Trinity Bradshaw is fresh off of the release of her new album “Open Skies”, and is already making waves with the single “Never Drinkin’ Again”. “Open Skies” was released on June 21 with a celebration at Ranchman’s and you can catch Trinity this summer as she makes appearances at several music festivals across Canada including the Calgary Stampede.
With a growing music community and the ability to network and connect to virtually anywhere in the world, it’s easy to get locked into the digital communication world. Social media and video conferencing are great tools when used properly, but nothing measures up to a good old face-to-face conversation, especially when it comes to networking in the music industry.
Events such as: North By… and South By… festivals, Canadian Music Week, and Indie Week, allow for musicians to not only travel and learn from industry professionals, but they also provide the opportunity to showcase their music to a large audience of industry professionals, other musicians, and most importantly, to music lovers. With most of the events lasting a few days, and others lasting up to a week, musicians should always take in as much as they can when attending these festivals and conferences.
Indie403 caught up with 2 musicians and a magazine editor, all based in Calgary, who attended the 2013 Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
Curtis Butala – Vocalist for Kingdom of Few
Michael Valenzuela – Drummer for Septembryo
Shannon Ambrose – Chief Managing Editor and Founder of The Portal Magazine
Here are some comments from the musicians side of attending Canadian Music Week:
Curtis: “This trip marked the 2nd time Kingdom of Few has made the trip to Toronto, the first time being for Toronto Indie Week. The connections that we made [during] our first trip lent well to our experience at CMW, allowing us to book more shows and network more effectively…and drink for free!
What you see right away at CMW is that a vibrant and passionate music community resides in Toronto, with all styles of music well represented. Original music venues litter Queen Street, with line ups of passionate music fans out the door. Bands support one another, bouncing from showcase to showcase. You get the feeling Toronto is the mecca for independent artists. The Marriot was packed daily with people from all walks of the music and entertainment business, with eager bands and artists trying to make their mark on the scene.”
Michael: “Septembryo‘s trip to Toronto was very worthwhile and insightful. [CMW] is a massive event in which musicians and industry professionals all gather in Toronto to perform, learn, network and enlighten. We were invited to showcase and perform a set at one of the many venues that were delegated for the event. We got the gig by applying through Sonicbids.com which was followed up by many emails and a detailed registration process. Septembryo got to reach a new crowd and get our music and circle of influence spreading out to a new city.
I know the trip might not seem like a worthwhile thing from an outside perspective, but it was very worthwhile for us. It was an educational experience and the more my band and I are present at events like this, the more we can have a relevant impact on the important people in the industry.”
“The summit [portion of the festival] was based on vital information sessions going on all week with industry professionals. One of the perks of getting invited to showcase at CMW is that you get to attend the summit for free. To put things into perspective, the summit costs around $600-$900 to attend if you don’t have a free pass. We were able to sit in on these summit sessions and absorb advice and experienced outlooks on various elements regarding the music industry. We were also occasionally able to talk and network with these important people who were all gathered at the Marriot Hotel.
Some of the summit sessions we attended included: Keynote with Arthur Fogel, Chairman, Global Music and CEO, Global Touring, Live Nation, Celebrity Interview – A Conversation with METRIC, Featured Speaker Tom Jackson, Live Music Producer, OnstageSuccess.com, USA, Panel Discussion on Licensing Issues Worldwide: Where Do We Stand?, Music For The Screen – Putting Your Music In Film & TV, and Presentation – The Elements of a Hit Song.”
And here are some comments from the industry side of attending Canadian Music Week:
Shannon: “This being my third time to Canadian Music Week, I went prepared for what I was about to experience, or so I thought.
The fact that its five long days and very late nights hadn’t changed but there were some other obvious changes. First off, the hub of all things CMW moved from the Royal York as host hotel, to the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre and that wasn’t the only change this year.
Another major change this year was moving two of the four award shows from afternoon luncheons to evening events, as well as the dates they were held on. The Indies (Independent Music Awards) moved from Saturday night to Friday, the Canadian Radio Music Awards, formally a Friday afternoon luncheon, was now held on Wednesday evening, and the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards were open to the media for the first time. Attending awards shows is always fun and exciting, though at times a little frustrating as media. It’s a great opportunity to get audio or video content with winners and guests backstage, as well as experiencing the excitement as award recipients are brought backstage.
Canadian Music Fest – a crazy six nights, with 1000 artists performing in any one of 60 venues is an original Indie music lovers delight. It’s virtually impossible to take every show in, but the best way to experience CMF is to hop from venue to venue, catching as much as possible. Most of the venues are a short walk apart, so it isn’t that difficult to hit 3 or 4 venues in one night. I’ve “discovered” several original bands I’ve never heard of before during CMF, and usually come home with a handful of CDs to review.
All that said, each year I attend Canadian Music Week, I see it as a great networking opportunity, meeting industry professionals, spreading the word of The PORTAL Magazine, attending conferences to advance my knowledge of the industry and basically being seen in the rich, creative environment.”
Michael: “Not only was I there to represent my band, I also was well represented as a graphic designer while I was there. Other than my band Septembryo, 2 other Alberta based bands (Rend and Maddison Krebs) were also showcasing at Canadian Music Week. I have done design work for these artists, so it is good to know the albums and business cards and posters I created for them were being handed out to industry professionals. These bands are both really talented and were getting a lot of attention during the week, so this could be very good if people appreciate my design work.”
In closing, here are some words of wisdom from our 3 attendees of Canadian Music Week:
“It takes a while to build dreams and to have them mature from ideas to reality, but we are on our way. Slowly but surely.”
~Michael Valenzuela | Drummer, Septembryo
“Overall the trip experience is what you make of it. Get your face seen, get your voice heard and meet some like minded artists.
It also looks great on your resume. Alberta was well represented at CMW with great acts like Oldbury, Double Fuzz and Septembryo.
I came away with the feeling that success is just around the corner for many of us here in Alberta, and that we are part of
something special here.”
~Curtis Butala | Vocalist, Kingdom of Few
“For anyone serious about a career in the music industry I recommend attending Canadian Music Week at least once. The conferences are extremely valuable, and the networking opportunities are priceless.”
~Shannon Ambrose | Â Chief Managing Editor, The Portal Magazine
In case you haven’t heard, Canadian Music Week is just around the corner, with over 1,000 musicians performing at 60 venues music from March 19 – 24 in Toronto.
The representation across the country (and from outside Canada) is phenomenal and Calgary is no exception. We’re super proud that we’ve had the privilege of working with many of these bands, including 5 of our past Indie403 Featured Artists:
We’ve also had the pleasure to listen and review albums from many CMW bands:
Cousins (A Palm At The End Of The Mind), Diemonds (The Bad Pack), Fur Eel (Perhaps Another Time & Elephant Summer), Jennah Barry (Young Men), Kaptur (Thousands), Of Gentlemen & Cowards (Warminster), King Dylan (Dinosaurs On Broadway), Rain Over St. Ambrose (Overton Window), Rend (No Lines), Septembryo (The Dreambuilder), Short of Able (The Last One’s Gone), The North Lakes (Grand Prix) & Wind Up Radio Sessions (Bird Eyes).
And of course whenever they played in Calgary, we’ve given the following CMW bands a shout-out: Bend Sinister, Diemonds, Double Fuzz, Fur Eel, Go for the Eyes, Hunger Hush, Jenny, JJ Shiplett, Jung People, King Dylan, Kingdom of Few, Miesha And The Spanks, Peer Support, Rend, Rockets and Dinosaurs, Septembryo & The Suppliers.
Congrats to all and have an awesome Festival!
Canadian musicians have always been known for their songwriting abilities. Since the beginnings of national musical pride and the early days of CanCon Canadian songwriters have been put on a pedestal and acclaimed for their music. From his catchy but thoughtful melodies to the poetic lyrics of each of his songs, Calgary’s Michael J Copley is continuing this tradition, showing off all his abilities on his newly released album What’s In Your Head.
What’s In Your Head is an outstanding example of strong songwriting and powerful storytelling. Copley is a master of emotion and theatrics, and each of the album’s 10 tracks offers a different look into the artist’s own head. Overall it feels like a soundtrack to a movie or musical theatre, a mainly dramatic collection full of emotion and well-written symbolism.
The album starts off with the Pink Floydian “Introducing: What’s In Your Head”, a multivoiced descent into madness. What exactly is this saying about Copley? You’ll start to question what’s happening in his head and for the remaining tracks you’ll listen carefully to the adventure he creates.
Symbolism continues in “Death of a Loved One”: the song feels empty, and in his echoed voice and lost and mournful tone Copley brings forward a feeling of being very much alone, hard to create and even sadder to hear. This is done incredibly well and in this and the remaining tracks Copley shows real artistic creativity. He also takes a spin at some spoken word poetry in the dramatic “Evening Departure”, giving a deeper look at whatever ghosts inhabit Copley’s brain.
It’s a lucky thing that Copley’s musical talents are equally strong and extend beyond the written word. Not just in the artsy/poetic way, but in that he can write catchy radio-friendly tracks as well. At times he sounds like 30 Seconds to Mars (“Long Time”) and Third Eye Blind (“Out of Your Head”) and in these poppier songs he’s able to create music that will get stuck in your head and provide a tangible answer to the album’s title. Musically he’s strong as well: piano, guitars and percussion are all perfectly done, and using vocal harmonies throughout the album (“Downstream” and “Out of Your Head” are examples) he shows his real technical abilities and talents.
Artistic folks will love this album. It takes real creativity to create this sort of work, and fans of this genre will really admire what Copley has done. It’s a big step in what will be a fantastic career, and Copley shows why he fits into the category of great Canadian songwriters.
Where to get the album? What’s In Your Head deserves to be celebrated, and fans in Calgary will have the chance to do so at the album release show on Friday, September 21! It’s a do-not-miss show, with a strong album kickoff and both acoustic and full-band sets during the night. Fans across Canada will also get the chance to buy the album digitally, enjoying every minute of the album’s creation and spreading the word about this emerging talent. Check out Copley’s website and Facebook for updates, and keep loving Canadian music. With stars like Michael J Copley emerging onto the scene, our music scene is alive and well.
There are a lot of great albums out there, and the Canadian music scene is a big pond full of fish. With so much competition, how do independent bands stand out? It takes a ton of talent, lots of energy, and a devoted army of fans to push them up above the rest. Lucky enough to have all three (and then some!) are The Bends, an enormously popular and brilliantly talented band out of St. Catharines, Ontario. They’re well-known in these parts, and with a new album coming out August 25 and a whole lot of time left to do even more, these fish will be hard to catch.
The Bends are a nifty young group with surprising talent and really cool style. While still fresh and fun, their professionalism and seemingly effortless sound show a lot of maturity and suggest they’ve been around a while. In some ways they have: the band formed almost four years ago and have been developing their sound ever since. Would it shock you to learn they’ve only JUST graduated high school? This is almost upsetting! The amount of talent these guys have is almost unnatural, and in their new album, Through Looking-Glass Houses, they show what they’re made of and what they have to offer.
Overall the album is fantastic. The 11 tracks fly by with different beats and moods, crossing genres and showing some good diversity. There are hints of Weezer, The Killers, The Strokes, and The Beatles peppered throughout the album, and with strong technical skills, great songwriting, and really catchy beats and riffs, the album has a lot to love.
Showing off a slightly heavier and trippy side of The Bends’ sound, the instrumental introduction gives an interesting taste of what’s to come. There is an immediate shift in mood as the album transitions into the second track, “Spit Curl”, one of the more bouncy and fast-paced songs on the album. The energy doesn’t stop here, though; the remaining tracks are equally fun and dancey, and the nonstop spirit is totally refreshing. “Something About You” provides something dancers can go nuts to, as does the funk-infused “Chicken n Rice”. It’s also nice to see some more variety in the somewhat psychedelic “That We’re Not” and less poppy “Isn’t It Strange”, showing the band’s ability to diversify and create different sounds.
It’s hard to pinpoint what’s best about The Bends: the vocals are fantastic, the guitars, bass, and percussion are all strong and smooth, and the incorporation of other instruments (horns, cello, ukulele?) all add to the band’s great sound. Through Looking-Glass Houses is an album that will really get you moving and by showing off all their finer qualities, The Bends have created something really cool. They’ve worked hard on this album, and you can tell.
This isn’t their first album and it will hopefully not be their last: the band’s now on hiatus as the members all head off to university, but maybe with some luck and convincing they won’t be gone for long. The album is being officially released at The Mansion House in St. Catharines on August 25, and fans of the band will definitely want to see them before they leave for school. Check out the band’s website for more info and news, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and stay tuned for their return!