In additional news, till the end of month of July, TOVare giving away a free song (Terminal Velocity), and for every person that downloads the track, their email will be entered for a chance to win a merch pack of the entire Throne of Vengeance discography of Live Evil (2013), Flesh Engine (2011) and Toxic Black Cloud [EP] (2009) plus a rad vinyl sticker. To enter the merch giveaway and get yourFREE download of Terminal Velocity, please visit the following link: http://throne-of-vengeance.bandcamp.com/track/terminal-velocity
(Note: emails from free download will be submitted into merch give away draw with the winner announced at the end of July 2014)”
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.
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.
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
During the 1:06 instrumental introduction of Open Air’s newly released EP, I swear that I had a flashback to 1977. Suddenly I was 15 again, (long-hair, bad attitude and all), hanging at a friend’s house, doing bong hits and listening to tunes.
“Pulling from their musical influences, which include Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Jet and The Answer, Open Air brings back everything that was wonderful about 1970’s Brit Rock, but with an updated, modern taste.” So states the band’s website and clearly they have achieved their goal if my opening statement is anything to go by.
One of the interesting things about getting older is that one sees things go round and come back again, often repeating in cycles over a span of decades. Open Air is treading ground that has been trod before – in some cases with excellent results. When I first cranked Open Air through the Behringers the band that came to mind was Black Crowes, a band who had success in the early nineties – the singles from “Shake Your Money Maker” are staples on classic rock radio today.
Open Air’s newly released EP brings that same energy back with superb production that rocks hard with plenty of sparkle and enough bottom end to kick you squarely in your tender parts. After setting the tone with the introduction the band kicks it into gear with “Snake Charmer” the tune that brought to mind the Black Crowes reference. From this point it is clear that the riff is the thing which is hardly surprising considering the band’s list of influences.
The EPs next track, “New Design” rocks hard, bordering on metal, and is sure to get your head banging. The tune features some of the hottest wah-tinged lead work you’ll hear anywhere in any era. The frenetic pacing of this track really sets up a dramatic and effective mood swing as the EP moved to its next track, “Preacher Man”, a slower paced epic tribute to mid-70’s guitar greatness. The final track is the EPs lead single, “Golden Times”, a frolic in more hard-rocking, groove-riffing goodness.
If there is a seminary of 70’s hard rock then Open Air graduates with an M.Div. – they are masters of divination of all that made hard rock and the birth of metal in the 70’s great. Superb melody, songwriting, fretwork and production make this a release well worth your time and energy. 5/5.
It is with great pleasure that Open Air and Indie403 present the official track listing for the Extended Play EP.
Some albums can be defined entirely by their lyrics. In the case of Hamilton’s The Human Orchestra, their new EP is easy to explain: “I can’t get you out of my head.” The four-song album is a masterpiece of earworms. These songs are catchy and hypnotic, easy to stick in your head and find a home there. Lip Service is an album to love, cherish and listen to on repeat, and with real diversity and cohesion, The Human Orchestra is a band to go down as a major contributor to Canadian music.
Released in August 2012, Lip Service is fantastic from start to finish. It’s full of sound and talent, with 12 band members rounding out the orchestra and giving the album a diverse and well-rounded power. It’s got everything: horns, banjos, keyboards and guitars, and the pieces all work together to create something strong and interesting without being too overpowering. If anything it’s just cool; you’ll find something new every time you listen and eventually you’ll start making trumpet noises along with the tracks. That’s just how the album works: it seems real and alive, and it’s something you’ll become part of.
Everything about the album is great. The band has put obvious heart into these tracks and each piece is carefully thought out while still natural and passionate. They could be compared to a mix of Arcade Fire and Of Monsters and Men, big sounds with folky,”indie”-like songwriting. One of the standout features of the album is the voice of lead singer JB Reed, whose unique vocals offer a bluesy twang to the songs and create the band’s recognizable sound. Her voice is magic. It’s kind of eerie at times (“The Winter Song”), sassy in others (“Heavy Handed Heart”), and sometimes soft (“In The Middle”). No matter what, it’s fun and easy to sing along with, and that makes for a catchy and loveable album.
Something really needs to be said for the songwriting as well. With so many band members and so many contributions, The Human Orchestra deserves a real tip-of-the-hat for their ability to create such rich tracks and subtle arrangements. They fall somewhere between simple and complicated, seeming effortless until you consider the multiple layers and pieces that make up each song. It’s fantastic, it really is, and it’s definitely worth a listen or two (or fifty). It would be great to hear a full-length album from the band to see what other diversity and sound they have in store, but this is a great introduction to their potential as a major artist.
Lip Service is available on iTunes, BandCamp, Amazon, and pretty well anywhere you look. Follow them on Facebook and wish them luck at the Hamilton Music Awards November 18, where they’re nominated for New Artist/Group of the Year! The Human Orchestra is destined for great things and this album is the first step to take them there.
There’s a lot to be said for hometown pride. Most bands know it: people at home are our biggest supporters and they’ll talk about us ’til the cows come home. Home and fan support drive us forward, and whether our achievements are big or small we know the fans will be there to cheer us on. With the entire city of Hamilton, Ontario and McMaster University behind them, Of Gentlemen and Cowards has huge things in the works and an incredible future on the horizon. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet you will soon: the four-piece just won a spot on the Late Show with David Letterman and will be broadcast to millions on Monday, September 17, a gig of a lifetime for most bands and a definite dream come true. A fabulous intro to the band and a record we’re all talking about is their new 7″ single, Warminster.
Released in August 2012, Warminster gives a great taste of the band’s sound and possibilities. Like most singles, this one’s not long enough – but that’s a definite good sign. It’s a major tease, and the torture of wanting more is painful at best. They’ve given us eight great minutes of catchy pop-rock, an energetic and fun display of talent and audience-friendly songwriting. They know exactly how to create music that will take them places, putting together a sound that fits on mainstream radio while also finding a home in the collections of audiophiles and music snobs alike.
They’ve been described as alt-folk-pop in their sound: using harmonicas, a children’s choir, and great guitar solos, as well as solid vocals and some bluesy riffs, Of Gentlemen and Cowards might be compared to bands like The Decemberists, Third Eye Blind, Foo Fighters or John Mellencamp. It’s possible to associate them with The Arkells as well, but this is an urge to be resisted. Throw together catchy melodies, uncomplicated lyrics and pieces of folk, pop and rock and we’ve got something to admire.
Of Gentlemen and Cowards is a band you need to listen to. And guess what: you can! Warminster is available for free (yes – free!) on the band’s website. Check them out now while you can and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. The Letterman show is just a stop on their trip to fame, and Hamilton is behind them every step of the way.
Edmonton quartet The Marquee spent two months in Los Angeles writing and recording their debut album White Room. In that time, their experiences in a different environment, far from home, must have been incredibly positive, because that’s exactly what shines through on this collection of catchy, easy and fully danceable indie-flavoured pop record.
Featuring up-tempo beats, jangly, understated guitar and a generous helping of synths and keys, The Marquee crafts accessible, dance-friendly songs along the lines of bands like The Killers, The Sounds or Metric. The album’s opener, “First Time”, with its mid-tempo groove, rolling bass line and enveloped synth melodies, would definitely strike a chord with any fans of The Killers’ Hot Fuss. Upbeat tracks like “Can’t Take Mine” and “Each And Every Week” offer plenty of bounce and happy riffs while cuts like “Melodies & Memories”, “Fall Back In” and “Save You” also promise to get your feet moving. Though vocalist Jordan Jones often sings about many of the frustrations in life like feeling restless, unsettled or at a loss of control, or the ups and downs of relationships, he usually shines a positive and hopeful light on such issues. Adding even more to the overall positive vibe of Jones’ lyrics are the sweeter-than-icing-sugar harmonies of keyboardist Nicole Riley, which really put the finishing touches on The Marquee’s whole sound. Jones and Riley’s harmonic chemistry really shines through on the touching “Beating Drums” and the soaring “Horizon”.
With White Room, The Marquee aren’t looking to push the envelope or take you into uncharted musical waters. What they’ve done is create an album of straight-ahead, highly accessible and definitely danceable pop songs that get your feet moving and put a smile on your face. The Marquee also want to make sure you have their record, making it available for download on their official website. You can also check them out on their Facebook page.