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 CHCanada.com 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 channel...here is one to get you started...