Monday, July 12, 2010

Hot and Sweaty Jazz at the Rex - Hendrik Meurkens Quintet

The night was hot - almost too hot for the likes of Toronto. Yes the G20 riots are fast becoming a distant memory, and the same street that saw so much breaking glass and smashed police cars is back to normal. On this same street is where you will find The Rex. This is The IT place to see some great jazz performers. The other night was no exception. In 40 degree heat Hendrik Meurkens and his quintet enthralled an extremely hot sweaty crowd with a killer performance.

Check these clips out from that night. These guys really excelled, even with the heat. Hendrik is a virtuoso on both the harp and the vibes - and he's also got some great in between songs patter. After the first set he joked that the band had to get off stage to change their shirts, with all of the heat in the room. For all it's charm, The Rex is not air conditioned, so performers and the audience were dripping with sweat after only a few minutes.

Kudos to the band though - from these clips it is clear these guys were the coolest in the room!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Divine Brown kills with New Classic RnB Set

Gail you missed a good one!

Going to a show in the year 2010 ain't like it used to be back in the day.
Now it is not uncommon to see lots of folks with their cell phones and digital cameras up in the air around the stage.

Last night Divine Brown and her band put on a killer show at the Pickering Jazz Festival, of all places. Thanks to the bundles of cash OLG throws at these types of events Ajax residents were able to get up close and personal with a class "A" RnB singer and her smokin' hot band.

Check these clips out from last night, and then I'll write about why I stopped taping...

As you can see I had to be really close to the stage to get these images. I use a few cameras for my You Tube postings, but I really still like my little FujiFilm camera that doesn't have a zoom function when video taping. This is the camera I was using for the Divine Brown stuff. Anyway, into the fourth song one of the sound guys comes over and says "I'm sorry you are too close to the stage - you must move back." Well I'm used to the security blowhards when going to shows at the ACC or The Skydome (I still refuse to call it by it's other name), but at a small jazz fest in Pickering Village? Anyway, I just packed it in and went for a beer and some jerk chicken.

Not sure what this incident says about Divine Brown, her entourage or the state of live performances in the 21st century.
What do you think? Is it OK to be real close to the stage when watching a band? Is it OK for fans to film and post clips to You Tube? I think that question has been answered - mostly yes.

After the show I asked Divine permission to post and she said "of course".
Gotta say Miss Divine is great to talk to and wonderfully gracious. She's also got great taste in footware, and loves soul food!

Post a comment with your thoughts...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kensington Market - Hotbed of musical talent

There is more to Toronto than the CN Tower and the G20 noise cannon! Take a walk around the Kensington Market area and you'll find music on the street everywhere.
Check some of these folks out - guitar players bringing their sound to the people. In front of the liquor store, and guitar players on the patios of the gotta love Toronto!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Caretakers take on the Indie Radio Show

Jeffrey, Lena and Norm along with Barry Mac brought their accoustic sound to Caledon recently to join DJ Rick Jones and Tom Beyer live in studio.

The new CD Unfinished Thoughts has just been released and it is anything but unfinished. Recorded at the Hamilton landmark Vibe Wrangler Studios this first release for the band has very polished and rehearsed sound. The big wooden studio where they recorded this release has a real warmth that comes out in the Caretakers sound.

The Caretakers emerged from the current hub of Canadian Music - Hamilton Ontario several years ago. But they could have easily stepped off a stage in Greewich Village - circa 1964. With folk music at their roots and the cultural grit of a working class city upbringing, this band fuses Peter Paul and Mary style harmonies with REM inspired melodies with a sometimes swampy '70's inspired southern rock groove.

The Caretakers music speaks to your heart and your mind. They are making music for people who remember a time when folk music was king, and the lyrics and thoughts behind the music meant something. The Caretakers sing about war, animal cruelty, and domestic strife - they are probably not going to be the subject of an 18 year old's tweet any time soon. And that's probably just all right by them.

Check out this clip from their live unplugged radio studio performance...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gogol Bordello one of the best concerts so far in 2010

Ever heard of this band? Let me fill you in.
This large combo played a sold out show at the Sound Academy this week and it was one of the rockinest shows I've seen this year.

Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of New York City. It was formed in 1999 and is known for its theatrical stage shows and persistent touring. Much of the band's sound is inspired by Gypsy music. The band incorporates minor-key accordion and violin (and on some albums, saxophone) mixed with punk and dub.

“Gogol” comes from the name Nikolai Gogol. As one of the most influential writers in Russian and Ukrainian literature, Gogol paved the way for the likes of Kafka and Dostoevsky. He also serves as an ideological influence for the band because he "smuggled" Ukrainian culture into Russian society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with Gypsy/ East-European music in the English-speaking world."Bordello", in Italian, refers to a brothel or a "gentleman's club". The band was originally titled Hütz and the Béla Bartóks, but Eugene Hütz says that they decided to change the name because "nobody knows who the hell Béla Bartók is in the United States". The band played their first show as the unofficial band at an after-hours club called Ohuetz on Ridge Street, where they became the house band and DJ Hütz became the house DJ.

Gogol Bordello's first single was released in 1999, and since then they have released four full-length albums, and one EP. In 2005 the band signed to punk label SideOneDummy Records. The band has toured tirelessly throughout Europe and America on numerous international festivals and toured with such diverse bands as Primus, Flogging Molly, and Cake. In an interview with NPR, frontman Eugene Hütz cites Jimi Hendrix and Parliament-Funkadelic as among the band's main musical influences. They have mentioned Manu Chao, Fugazi, Zvuki Mu, Sasha Kolpakov and The Clash as influences as well.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Arkells CD Jackson Square now available on

These lads from the Hammer have a lot to be happy about. There is a real buzz about this band and it's easy to see why. Rock n Roll is not dead - just watch this clip and you'll see what I mean.

Their newest release, for which they won at the Hamilton Music Awards is Jackson Square...pick it up by going to this link:

Old school licks with a power and energy seldom found nowadays. Check em out here - caught at the Hamilton Music Awards a few months back.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ben Somer and Matt Paxton Live on the radio

The Hockey Song - what can be more Canadian than hockey and Paul Coffey. Ben Somer brings his A game to the Indie Radio Show and busts out this jem. It is an oldie that he has been playing recently at his latest gigs. Ben's latest release can be purchased by going to:

Matt Paxton is a singer songwriter who is also touring with Ben at the moment. They have a similar sound - the new folk sound for the 21st century. These guys are good friends - just don't ask them to play together - they won't. But it was a lot of fun having them in the studio. Like old friends they joked and kidded each other about a variety of subjects. Oh to be able to broadcast what is said while the mics are off!

Take a listen and look at Matt - he also debuted a new song on the Indie Radio Show.
Check these guys out when they come to your town - you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Juno Awards set to rock the "Rock"

CTV and The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) have revealed that rap artist Classified, folk-pop artists Great Lake Swimmers and poetic lyricist K’NAAN are now the final performers confirmed for THE 2010 JUNO AWARDS broadcast, airing Sunday, April 18 on CTV.

Go to this link for purchase CDs from many of these artists:
Billy Talent
Blue Rodeo
Great Lake Swimmers
Johnny Reid
Justin Bieber
Michael Bublé

Broadcast in high definition and 5.1 surround sound, THE 2010 JUNO AWARDS,
Canada’s Music Awards, airs Sunday, April 18 on CTV for the second time from the
Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Here are the Great Lake Swimmers caught live early one morning this spring on CBC Radio One's GO...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ben Somer and Matt Paxton live on the Indie Radio Show

Indie music fans you are in for a treat next Wednesday when two of Canada's new minstrels come to play.

Ben Somer and Matt Paxton are the new faces of Canadian singer songwriters. In the tradition of Leonard Cohen, or even Neil Young, these two performers have both released new music in the past year. They have been touring across Canada together and Ben just finished a great appearance at Canadian Music Week.

We are honoured to have them on the best indie music show on the planet (I am slightly biased). Rick Jones and Tom Beyer ask the questions and will provide the mics, for both performers to play live in studio.

Be sure to tune in Wednesday March 31st as these new Bob Dylanesque performers talk about life on the road, their inspirations, and where to get a good pad thai while on the road!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big Star's Alex Chilton - Indie music's original Star

If you don't know who Alex Chilton is you are not alone. He was only 17 when he sang the hit song "The Letter" by The Boxtops back in 1967. He didn't write it but he sure did sing it. Sounding a lot older than he was, there was an emotional depth to his delivery.

Fast forward a few years to 1971 and Alex joined the power-pop group Big Star, with Chris Bell, recording at engineer John Fry's Ardent Studios. At Argent Sound they had the luxury of working for many months on what would be their first album #1 Record  Chilton and Bell co-wrote "In The Street" for Big Star's first album #1 Record, a track later known as the theme song of That '70s Show. But at the time this was not a hit record. In fact nothing from this record hardly got any airplay, never mind a hit record.

The group's recordings met with little commercial success but established Chilton's reputation as a rock singer and songwriter; later alternative music bands like R.E.M. would praise the group as a major influence.

He continued to tour and perform with many indie bands,always with a hardcore loyal following but never regaining the success he had when he was a teenager.

He came through Toronto in the early '90's playing at the Horseshoe Tavern. He had a new bass player who had a music stand for the sheet music he read off during the entire show. It was brilliant to see Chilton - he took requests from a rabid and rapturous audience. When I yelled out "The Letter" he smiled and dutifully played a heartfelt version of the song.

By the mid-1990s, he added to his schedule concerts and recordings with the reunited Box Tops and a version of Big Star that included two members of The Posies, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. A new Big Star album, entitled In Space, with songs penned by this lineup, was released September 27, 2005, on Rykodisc.

Chilton continued to perform live yearly, with sporadic solo, Box Tops and Big Star shows in theatres and at festivals around the world.

Chilton was taken to the hospital in New Orleans on March 17, 2010, complaining of health problems, and died the same day of a suspected heart attack. He is survived by his wife, Laura, and son, Timothy.

Here is a clip from the first Big Star album...

And here is a band that has the same indie asthetic as Big Star. Many indie bands owe a lot to Alex Chilton. Another great musican is now jamming at that big jam session in the sky!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bob Lefsetz at Canadian Music Week

Last Friday in Toronto the weather was bleak. Black storm clouds broke and by mid afternoon the dark clouds opened and the wind howled. Toronto was in the midst of an early spring deluge.

Fitting weather for a talk on the future of the music industry.

If you are in an indie band, or if you are an indie band fan, Bob Lefsetz is a guy you want to know. There are many music commentators who are in the back pocket of the giant music industry players, so you don't get the real story from them.
Bob Lefsetz is completely different. He is an outside insider, who tells it like he sees it - and he sees a lot!

Check out this clip before reading further:

Here is a direct quote from Mr. lefsetz on the future of the music biz:

"Winners start off in the wilderness. They do it their own way. They stick to their guns. They work incessantly and they never give up.

Whew. That just does not sound like enough people in the record business, on either side of the fence, talent or businessman.

We live in a confusing, crazy world. But one thing is constant. The winners pay their dues. And it's not solely time on the chain gang. No, there's a ton of anxiety involved. Questioning yourself, taking risks, sticking to your guns when no one believes in you.

It's every man for himself out there. Shouldn't be, but it is.

There's a safety net in Canada. In Sweden. That's the socialism you decry. But in the good old United States, the game is stacked against you. Those with power, with money, have erected walls to keep you out. And if you think kissing butt is the way to get ahead, you're delusional. It's not about how you can get signed, it's about how you can beat Universal at its own game. You've got to be smarter than Lucian Grainge. Believe me, these people exist. And they're gonna be the winners. They're the ones we're gonna be reading about in "Vanity Fair" five years from now."

Overdue straight talk about the music industry and how it is up to YOU to propel the music biz forward.

It's a brave new world, and we'll all part of it! There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the music industry.

"How the fat cats take their coffee" - Torontoist Blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Indie Bands Come out at Night at the Canadian Music Fest

Hundreds of bands and only so much time to see them in. What a great Canadian Music Fest line up this year. I've come across some incredible new (well new to me) bands from across the country, who have converged on Toronto. First up is a musical combo out of Victoria BC...check this clip out filmed on the first night of the festival...

Their Laid back west coast sound blends nicely into the Queen Street west asthetic.

In addition to the wicked bands playing around town there are professional music seminars and panel discussions happening at the Royal York Hotel until Sunday.

Back to it this morning with more seminars - a little bleary eyed, but all in the name of Rock n Roll!

I'll leave you with one more band - they have driven down the road from Cobourg Ontario. Winners of the numerous battle of the bands in the last couple of years, this band is ready for "break out" status...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Canadian Music Week getting underway in Toronto

Oh what to see and do this week? There are so many amazing acts are in town for the traditional harbinger of spring - the annual Canadian Music Week! This event is shaping up to be a powerhouse of information and celebration. Celebrating Canadian music is all it's forms. There will be an indie awards presentation, a film festival,the conference with a bunch of musical experts, and of course live entertainment.

Highlights are going to be numerous. For starters - Ben Somer, Huron, Sean Ashby, and even WordBurglar are around town performing for lucky music fans.

Here are some You Tube clips of what you can expect over the next few days. More indie band clips are on the DirkFimbob You Tube channel - recorded exclusively for the channel! Do yourself a favour and check some of the shows or check out the conference. It is a must do for anyone in a band, or anyone who loves new music...

Here are some clips of a few of the bands performing in conjunction with the music conference...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Great Lake Swimmmers early morning Surprise

Well the CBC Radio One's GO audience was geared up and ready to see and hear "Zeus" perform early Saturday morning. But who shows up, completely unannounced to do the show - The Great Lake Swimmers!

Now you probably know that the Great Lake Swimmers are doing amazingly well. They just came back from performing in China, so they have become music ambassadors of the world. They have a few songs that are getting some radio airplay (wow, in Canada?!), besides the CBC airplay I might add. I was in Pizza Pizza a couple of weeks ago, and one of their videos was on the PP channel. When you hit Pizza TV channel you know you are cooking with hot oil, as the old record industry saying goes!

Check out the three clips from CBC on the DirkFimbob is one to get you started...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tom Wilson Debuts new song on the Indie Radio Show

"Big Chief" is the latest from Canadian troupador Tom Wilson, of Lee Harvey Osmond fame. He is also in the Canadian Traveling Wilburys' - Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and is having one of the best years of his life.

The new song was co-written by his son Thompson Wilson, of the band Harlan Pepper.
Check it out on the You Tube Clip supplied here. The entire interview will be uploaded to this blog shortly. We talked about life on the road, drugs, early life for Tom, and his love of painting. Also the passion he has for his hometown of Hamilton comes out during the interview.

The man is a true gentleman, even though he does look like a demonic Jesus - but don't let the look fool ya!

Lee Harvey Osmond's "A Quiet Evil" can be purchased by going to:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Coen Brothers - The Indie movie makers

We talk about music on this blog for the most part, but we are going to branch out into other disciplines - namely movies and books.

Keeping with our indie aesthetic why don't we explore the Coen Brothers, as their newest DVD comes out. "A Serious Man" is the latest release from the quirky brothers who started making movies back in the '80's with the low budget film noire "Blood Simple."

"A Serious Man,” like “No Country for Old Men” and “Burn After Reading,” is fundamentally a shaggy dog movie. It's funnier than either of those movies, but it also has more gravity to it. This is something of a homecoming for the brothers, who grew up in the heavily Jewish Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park in the 1960s. They are hardly sentimental about the old neighborhood - but their smart-alecky nihilism feels authentic rather than contrived — you understand, maybe for the first time, where they are coming from.

“A Serious Man” continues their decade-by-decade, movie-guided tour of American history. The ’60s is pot, the Jefferson Airplane and slightly shifting attitudes towards sex. Apart from a Korean student and an unfriendly neighbour, Larry the "serious man" lives surrounded by his own kind: lawyers, dentists, doctors, colleagues, and a too-friendly neighbour.

And the local details are, in the end, incidental. “A Serious Man” is, like its biblical source, a distilled, exaggerated account of the human condition. The punch line is a little different, but you know the joke - and it’s on you.

Just like Fargo, with the in jokes about the good folks in Minnesota, or the crazy world of The Big Lebowski, The Coen Brothers are keen to put you on edge, in a world that seems normal enough, until you scratch the scab and find something rancid underneath. And in a way isn’t that how real life is anyway?

Pick up your copy by going to:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lee Harvey Osmond Unplugged on the Indie Radio Show

The King of Indie Music Tom Wilson will be performing live on the Indie Radio Show, and chatting about his various musical projects.

Wilson is a prolific singer songerwriter who is in a couple of big bands at the moment - Lee Harvey Osmond and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
Listen in as Tom talks about life, love, loss, painting, the road and a bunch of other stuff.

If that's not enough, we also have up and comer Ben Somers performing live in studio. He'll also chat with Tom Beyer and Rick Jones about life on the road, and the inspiration behind some of his songs.

Both of these fine artists are from Hamilton Ontario. Their CDs can be purchased and shipped to you super fast by ordering at:

The Radio Show, can be heard by going to the Radio Caledon website at:

The pod cast of the show will be available for uploading after the show on this very same blog.

Here are clips of Ben Somers and Tom Wilson performing cuts off their new records.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Constantines up for an Indie Award

Canadian Music Fest has announced who the nominees are for the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards, "The Indies". The event will take place on Saturday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto.

The Indies acknowledge, promote and honour achievements of Canadian and international artists in the independent music sector. Tickets for this event can be purchased for $20 at Ticketmaster,,,, Rotate This and Soundscapes.

This year's performers include Desperate Union, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Plants and Animals, Great Lake Swimmers and Constantines. The show will be broadcast live to air on XM Satellite Radio's "The Verge" and recorded for future broadcast on Galaxie.

Metric and Alexisonfire lead this year's Canadian nominees with four nominations apiece, followed by Phoenix with three nominations in the international categories.

And the nominees are.........

Alexisonfire - Old Crows / Young Cardinals (Dine Alone)
Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels (Nettwerk)
Japandroids - Post-Nothing (Unfamiliar)
Joel Plaskett - Three (MapleMusic)
Metric - Fantasies (Last Gang)

Danny Fernandes - Fantasy (CP)
Deborah Cox - Beautiful U R (DECO/Image/E1)
Faber Drive - G-Get Up and Dance! (604)
Marianas Trench - Cross My Heart (604)
Metric - Gimme Sympathy (Last Gang)

Constantines (Arts & Crafts)
Handsome Furs (Sub Pop)
Metric (Last Gang)
Patrick Watson & The Wooden Arms (Secret City)
Tegan and Sara (Vapor/Sire)

Coeur de Pirate (Dare To Care)
Dan Mangan (fileunder:music)
Joel Plaskett (MapleMusic)
Julie Doiron (Endearing)
Timber Timbre (Arts & Crafts)

Alexisonfire - Young Cardinals (Dine Alone)
Danny Fernandes - Fantasy (CP)
Lights - Drive My Soul (Underground Operations)
Marianas Trench - Cross My Heart (604)
Theory Of A Deadman - All or Nothing (604)

Alexisonfire (Dine Alone)
Arkells (Dine Alone)
Metric (Last Gang)
The Trews (Bumstead)
You Say Party! We Say Die (Paper Bag)

In addition to the nominees above, The Indies will once again present the Galaxie Rising Stars award and $5,000 bursary, sponsored by Galaxie. The award is part of the Galaxie Rising Stars Program, an original program that sets out to discover, encourage and promote emerging artists. Unlike the other award categories, the Galaxie Rising Stars Award is the choice of the nation's music critics. Music journalists from print, TV, radio and online media are asked for their top five Canadian independent releases of 2009. All submissions are then boiled down to a shortlist from which these same critics choose the most deserving recording and select Canada's emerging breakthrough artist of the year.

For further details and voting procedures visit the Indie Awards website at

Gonna be a great night. Indie bands get your music to these folks to be eligible for next year's awards.

Here are Constantines caught last April Fools day at The Phoenix in Toronto...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hawksley Workman - Politico commentator?

You gotta check this You Tube video out. Here is the scenario. CBC Radio One's GO show had a great bit where they invited singer songwriters into the studio and asked them to put lyrics to music that the studio audience submitted! How cool is that?

Only on GO. Yes that's right - the show gave the audience five minutes to come up with some song lyrics and professional songwriters went to work and made complete songs out of them.

Hawksley Workman was the cream of the crop. He mashed up two different sets of lyrics from audience members, and went to town on them.

Only on GO will you find such hilarity. The political bent of the lyrics makes this little tune even more effective. The proroguing of parliament has been a gift to the chattering classes!

Have a laugh and check this one out.

btw: big news for the Indie Radio Show...we have Tom Wilson, of Lee Harvey Osmond, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Junkhouse live on the show for an unplugged set February 24th. Gonna be a great one!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Barry Mac the new Ian Tyson?

The very idea of a "romantic cowboy" conjures up images of lonely cowboys on the range missing their woman folk left back at the ranch. There is a long history of romantic cowboys, including the interesting genre of "cowboy poetry." Singer songwriter Ian Tyson has a body of work that merges country music with the poetry of the cowboy.
Barry Mac carries on that tradition. With his songs of love found, and love lost, this urban cowboy sings with his heart on his sleeve.

When he's not in Grant Avenue Studios recording his love songs, you can find him out in his Jeep finding mud holes to get winched out of. Or flying out of Mount Hope airport in a Piper Warrior buzzing the farm fields south of Hamilton.
Mac (as he's known to his friends and fans) lives each day like it was his last. And his music reflects that reality.

If you are in Hamilton on Thursday February 4th be sure to check out Barry Mac and his band has they perform at his record release party. The album release party is being held at at This Ain't Hollywood in Hamilton's north end.

Check you this You Tube clip recorded on the Indie Radio Show. It features Barry with Caretakers front woman Lena Montecalvo.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Woodhands rocks on a Saturday morning

One of the best things about going down to particpate in CBC Radio One's morning show GO is the amazing talent you see first thing in the morning.

Case in point is these guys - Woodhands. They have been touring around Europe, have a big following in England and have even performed in China!
So here they are real early on a Saturday morning. They bring a lot of energy, as you can see in the clip.

Check them out and let me know what you think. Being an indie band does not mean you are only able to tour locally. This band is breaking out worldwide, with Canada, their home being the last to get on board. CBC Radio One's GO and DirkFimbob on You Tube will change that!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mississippi Kings get crowned on the Radio

Alright alright, sure the title of this blog is a bit obvious but come on - check out the attached clip and see if you don't agree. We Canadians can sometimes not see the forest for the trees...the mountain right in front of us. These guys are HUGE in Europe - headlining shows in Italy and selling out wherever they go. Here in their home country - not so much.

This act has it all - killer players and some wonderful vocals and arrangements to their songs.

A new EP is being release by the band soon. In the meantime check out the clips of the MK's unplugged. A couple of rare clips are up on You Tube. More to follow.
The entire performance will be uploaded to this blog page shortly. You will be able to upload it as a podcast - for your entertainment pleasure!

In the meantime if you want to pick up their wicked first CD, please go go:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hamilton Indie Bands Live on the Radio

We are pumped to have a bunch of Hamilton Bands join us on the Indie Radio Show this coming Wednesday. The bands you'll hear performing in the Caledon Radio Studio are as follows:

The Cartakers
Matt Paxton
Barry Mac
and the fabulous Mississppi Kings. If you listen to the show you know we like this act. They have a classic rockin' sound that mixes blues and funk with equal messure. It is an interesting stew of influences. Even the songs they cover are interesting - case in point is this attached video of them performing the old Marvin Gaye classic "What's Goin' On" with all proceeds going to charity. Now that's putting your money where your mouth is!
Be sure to tune into Radio Caledon on Wednesday night from 8 till 10 EST to hear some really unique performances. And if you miss the show, you can upload it from this blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Challange to all True Artists and Songwriters

With the whole world seemingly going to hell in a basket, where big banks and corporations are taking all of the money and turning the time back to where there is a monied elite, where the rest of us are left grubbing for scraps from their table the big question becomes "what are the artists saying about all of this?" Well, nothing as it turns out. Huge changes are occuring, massive inequities are forming all over the world and what do the singer songerwriters - our proverbial canaries in the coal mine - have to say about all of this? Again - nada.

So I throw down a challenge to all thoughtful songwriters - wake up! Get your head out of the sand and look around and notice what is happening. Take a stand and write something worthwhile about how you view the state of the universe. It is not enough to write about your bling, or your girlfriend.

I came across this email posting on  Bob Lefsetz' amazing music blog from guitarist Danny Kortchmar which is worth repeating: 

"A message to the Killers ..the yeah yeah yeahs .. mgmt...fall out boy..etc..try writing ONE song that has the power and truth of The Pretender, or Millworker by JT, or anything by Bruce or "Not Dark Yet" by Dylan or "Won't Get Fooled 'bout it,"Monsters Of Folk? Do you have enough ass in your britches?

Don't look like it...

The Supreme Court just decided to turn over the whole policital process to the corporations...any one got any thing to say about that? Ting Tings? Killers? Lady Gaga? Anyone?

It's not bad enough that our leaders are of no help...where are the "artists"?

If you have nothing to say except "look at me" then... f*&% you...remember when music used to mean something? Get your head out your collecitive asses and write something that speaks to the hearts of men (and women) or go away.."

Danny Danny Kortchmar is a guitarist, session musician, and songwriter. Kortchmar's work with singer-songwriters such as David Crosby, Carole King, Graham Nash, Carly Simon and James Taylor helped define the signature sound of the singer-songwriter era of the 1970s. Jackson Browne and Don Henley have recorded many songs written or co-written by Kortchmar. Kortchmar is credited as Daniel Kortchmar, Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, Danny Kortchmar, Dan Kortchmar and even Danny Kootch on different recordings.

What Danny is referring to in his rant is the U.S. Supreme court decision yesterday to grant corporations the same rights as individuals.  Indeed, in a momentous 5 to 4 decision the New York Times called a "doctrinal earthquake," the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an unprecedented ruling that gives new significance to the phrase "corporate personhood." In it, the Roberts court overturned the federal ban on corporate contributions to political campaigns, ruling that forbidding corporations from spending money to support or undermine political candidates amounts to censorship. Corporations, the court ruled, should enjoy the same First Amendment rights as individuals.

This is a very big deal that should have all who believe the democracy up in arms.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Obama, whose critics on the left have accused him of being beholden to Wall Street, has called upon Congress to "develop a forceful response to this decision."

"With its ruling today," he said, "the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for Big Oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

Check out this link for more information on the subject, and then get out there and write a relevent song on the subject:'s_'radical_and_destructive'_decision_hands_over_democracy_to_the_corporations/

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Haiti Gets a hand in the Hammer

The musical community in Hamilton continues their outstanding work with a benefit for Haiti. A whose who of Canadian talent will be on hand this weekend to support this very worthy cause.

Bands performing during this two day event are: Feist, Lee Harvey Osmond, Jacob Moon, Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet, Brian Melo and Attack in Black. Also on hand could be sometime Hamilton resident Daniel Lanois.
The Hamilton Spectator is co-sponsoring this event and will be webcasting the show on their site this weekend.

Glen Marshall from Vibewrangler is organizing this fundraiser for Haiti. The shows will be mixed and will be released as a CD for additional fundraising.

You've gotta come and check this one out. It's worth the drive down the QEW. Where else can you see the best in musical talent for cheap, with all of the proceeds going to the hell on earth that is Haiti.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Basia Bulat - Powerhouse singer songwriter on a Winter Tour

You know an artist is serious about their craft when deciding to tour across Canada in the middle of winter. Basia Bulat is such an artist. Bringing her new music to the Canadian public at this time of year has got to be tough. It is a long drive between gigs, so you know Basia is committed to her art. But maybe it's because she's from London Ontario(in the snowbelt region) that Basia is used to the snow drift driving.

Check out this clip and let me know what you think. Basia was filmed on CBC Radio One's GO stage last Saturday morning. Go to the details area of this You Tube clip for a list of tour dates across Canada.

Do yourself a favour and go and see Basia as she travels across the largest country in the world!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Huron - Critic band pick for 2010

Now magazine and National Post music critic Tim Perlich was right on the money when, in his "bands to watch for in 2010" column he gives new band Huron the nod.

These guys have seemingly come out of nowhere to rock the planet. Where to start on influences heard in their music. Sometimes sounding like The Beatles in their white album faze - think Helter Skelter, mixed with the darkness and light of Wilco. They've got the boogie rock sound of the Allman Brothers Band, but also they have an almost Kraftwerk quality to their music - they do a song that sounds remarkably like that classic europop song Autobahn, but with guitars instead of synths.

So, in a nutshell these guys are a disciplined rock combo, that your Dad would like. A throwback to the '70's jam band sound, that includes some really wild improvisational forays.

This is especially true of their Wednesday night residency at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto. Each Wednesday night since November they have been rocking the house with a couple of sets. Then, indie rock legend Ian Blurton joins them on stage for a set of his music, and finally a sprawling jam session to cap off the night.

Bring your earplugs – put them firmly in place and be prepared to be shaken. They play loud, inventive original rock n roll. The best place to see them is at the Dakota Tavern – a small intimate club that is one of the best rooms for live music in Toronto, if not all of southern Ontario.

Check out these clips – I’m sure you’ll agree!

btw: we have invited Huron to join us for an unplugged radio performance on the Indie Radio Show, heard on the last Wednesday of every month.

Go go for all of your indie band musical needs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rae Sun - Live on CBC Radio

This past Saturday new up and comer Rae Sun performed live in the studio on CBC Radio One's GO.

Born in Ghana Africa he immigrated to Canada when he was eleven years old. The family made their way to this Country in the coldest month of the year - January.

He performs here with his crack touring band. Check out this clip and let us know what you think.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chris Murphy of Sloan - Underwhelming on CBC's GO

Chris Murphy is one funny dude! Not only is he one of the driving forces behind Sloan, he's also got a radio show on CBC (natch). He surprised the early morning crowd at GO on Saturday morning with his unplugged version of the Sloan hit Underwhelmed.

Although his appearance on the show was great (and funny), it was in the question and answer portion of the show where he really shone. This portion of the show does not go live to air, but is for the audience only. They should be broadcasting this portion of the show - totally off the hook and unfiltered!

Off air Chris talked about meeting Celine Dion back stage at a Juno presentation a couple of years ago. He witnessed Celine getting ready for her Juno performance - "is there anything on my teeth" she asks one of her people just before she goes on stage. Yes she is a real person, says Murphy. He also had the line "as Celine gets skinnier, she gets uglier - are we still taping?" Hilarious off the cuff comments that just scream for Chris Murphy to have his own drive program - if CBC could stand the heat of Murphy without a lease!

Check out his unplugged performance on this You Tube clip, performed live on CBC Radio One's GO.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Patrick Dickinson Live on the Indie Radio Show

The clock is ticking and we are into 2010. Just saying 2010 sounds so futuristic. Shouldn't we all be driving flying cars, just like on the Jetsons?

The future belongs to all of us, and Patrick Dickinson is making a future for himself in music. Dickinson has been a frustrated songwriter for most of his life. But in the last couple of years he has turned that yearning into a solid new career path. In the last year he has written and recorded his first CD - "Sweet Weakness".
This year he'll be taking on the road touring around the country bringing his brand of country rock to a dance hall near you.

He joined us on the Indie Radio Show in the final days of 2009. Performing three songs live in studio with his guitarist Grant Lyle.

You will be able to upload the the entire performance as a podcast - go to the posting listed as Wednesday December 30, 2009.

Let me know what you think of this new artist. If you like what you hear, his new CD will be available soon on