Five of a Kind for Canada Indie Music Week


Story: Lenny Stoute/James Lizzard

Like all the other muzik fests of its kind, Canada Indie Week prides itself on offering way too much of a good thing. It’s not on them, it's who we are as a culture and I’m right in there with y’all. As a result, folks tend to drop their bucks on acts they’ve at least heard of before. Which, when you think of it, is the exact opposite of exploring the indie aesthetic.

With one or both of those in mind, more or less, here are five acts you may not have heard about but you'll hate yourself later if you have to hear about their shows from your friends.

The Rabid Whole This quintet out of Regina, SASK. claim to do it all. From dual female/male vocals, alternating lead vocals, polished (but not overly polished) rock guitar, energetic rhythmic bass, and drums, all tied neatly together with catchy electronic beats.

These diverse abilities derives from the members’ varied musical backgrounds. From metal and hard rock to Latin jazz, as well as being submerged in the music scene in the form of other bands and projects for almost a decade, The Rabid Whole came together in 2007 to create the edgy, cold, angry and powerful musical stylings which define them.

The Rabid WholeThe Rabid WholeThe Rabid Whole started with Andreas Weiss (lead vocals, guitar and programming) and George Radutu (guitar). In 2009, The Rabid Whole’s first album ,”Autraumaton” was completed and released. In 2011, both JJ Taraglia (drums) and Oscar Anesetti (bass) joined, and, in January 2012, the last piece of the puzzle Chalsey Noelle (back up vocals and keys) was found.
Their sound has linked them to such as Nine Inch Nails and Linkin’ Park and they’ve appeared on bills with The Birthday Massacre, Left Spine Down, and Ogenix. Fueled by their strong love of music, it’s safe to stay The Rabid Whole will fight to be around for as long as they damn well want to.

Seems a lot of folk think so too, as TRW has just been nominated for a 2012 Toronto Independent Music Award in the ‘Best Electronic’ category.

"Once again we are extremely excited and honoured to take part in the Indie Week festival alongside such an amazing roster of talent! This festival has been gaining an unbelievable amount of momentum over the past few years and it's great to be a part of it! Get ready to have your faces ROCKED!" comments TRW vocalist / guitarist Andreas Weiss.

The Rabid Whole takes it to the people Thursday, October 11. at the Bovine Sex Club. (542 Queen W,)

Abstract ArtformAbstract ArtformAre ya ready for wheatfield hip-hop and prairie funk? This is what Winnipeg’s Abstract Artform is throwing down. In just three years on the scene the hustling four-piece have already topped earshot hip-hop college radio charts, landed on the Top 25 Hip Hop charts on CMJ in the USA and been selected as semi-finalists from over 16,000 entries in ISC 2011 for their song "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" in the R&B/hip-hop category.

"This is our second year at Indie Week and I swear our band is more excited than a bull in a paddock full of cows. We can't wait to bring back the prairie inspired country funk hip-hop that Toronto has grown to love!!” comments AA’s humble frontman Shea Malcolmson aka MC Kid A.

Set to release their new album As The Crow Flies? produced by Juno nominated producer Fresh Kils on Ol Roy Records, which features collaborations with Juno nominated rapper D-Sisive, blues/roots artist Rambling Dan Frechette and cuts from Uncle Fester. The group is excited to share the news of their recent win in the Urban genre for Intel Canada Superstars competition for the titled track from the forthcoming release.

"I'm thrilled that our group has won the #1 placement in the Urban genre for Intel Canada Superstars. It's amazing to see that already people are appreciating the music from the upcoming album "As The Crow Flies". Everything that we have done so far to build up for this record and the amount of heart that went into the topics I go into lyrically, are coming to fruition and that does nothing but put a smile on my face. Hard work pays off and I have proof of that. Thanks so much Intel Canada."

Abstract Artform has now moved on to the Intel® Canada Superstars Finals and can be voted for at the following link -
Abstract Artform will be kicking it twice during Canada Indie Music Week, on October 11th and 13th at the El Mocambo (main floor) (464 Spadina Avenue).

The SuburbiansThe SuburbiansThe Suburbians  When Essex based 4 piece 'The Suburbians' released their debut album 'Follow The Lights', it set a rumble through a vastly competitive, saturated UK industry. The initial few who were struck by the emotionally twisting grandeur, yet somehow familiar debut LP, soon began to ignite the underground world of British rock. In 2010 a cluster bomb of creativity exploded between two brothers Mark (vocals/guitar) and Ben K (lead guitar/vocals). During their time studying in Brighton, they were plunged into a new world where artistic expression was at the forefront of the city streets. Watching and performing at the prevalent open mic nights in the city's suburbs, word spread of the duo's songs, and when they were offered a main stage slot at the Brighton Marathon Festival, they had two weeks to find a band. It was sheer fate that brought best friends Charlie Roberts (bass) and Ben Nyari together with the brothers, meeting in a pub in Brentwood within hours of posting an ad online, their first rehearsal was scheduled, and they never looked back.

Broadening their musical perspective as their profile grew in the UK, it wasn't long before 'Follow The Lights' began to cross the water. When a festival in Ireland invited The Suburbians to perform, a whirlwind of interest began to turn. The organisers were struck by the discovery of the band, dates at the sister festivals in Canada and America were booked within weeks. When they performed as part of Indie Week festival in Toronto, the four piece ignited another flame, far from home, in a city where a British vocal mixed with the satisfying, classically 'big' guitars, kick-started that whirlwind into a full on typhoon.

A global endorsement deal from Gibson guitars was offered to the band during their first visit, and through attracting lucrative sponsorship, early 2011 saw The Suburbians return to North America for some of the biggest taste-maker festivals around the world. Touring from SXSW festival in Austin Texas up to Canadian Music Week festival, the band began to realize that this childhood dream was quickly dawning on them as a brutally exciting reality.

Say's Ben K “We were thrown onto an international playing field after living in a bubble for so many years, it's overwhelmingly inspiring and daunting at the same time. I want to invest our experiences and step up our game on the second album”.

See what the UK fuss is all bout when The Suburbians kick it Sat.Oct. 13 at The Horseshoe (370 Queen W.)

Magneta LaneMagneta LaneT.Dot garage/voodoo threesome Magneta Lane share with The Suburbians the distincton of also having an endorsement deal wth Gibson guitars. It has served to juice up their profile nicely and placed Lexi Valentine among he first rank of local femme stringbenders.

The all-female line-up consists of family members Lexi Valentine (vocals & guitar), Nadia King (drums) and French (bass). The group formed after Valentine and King attended a concert in Toronto and met the band backstage. After the meeting they decided that watching a concert was not satisfying enough.

Magneta Lane made an immediate impact wih debut EP The Constant Lover, two singles from which logged rotation on MTV, VH1, and MuchMusic.Since then, they have broken into the international indie scenes with a sound which draws comparisons to The Runaways and The Pretenders while honoring such influences as Nancy Sinatra, Sonic Youth, Hole. They released The Constant Lover and Dancing with Daggers on Toronto based indie label Paper Bag Records. Both albums were successful and allowed the band to tour Canada, the US, Japan and parts of Europe.

The band signed to Last Gang Records and released Gambling with God in Canada on September 15, 2009. Gambling with God, was released digitally in the U.S with a bonus track titled "Shatter" on November 9, 2010. Lexi has also appeared as a guest vocalist on Tokyo Police Club's "Nature Of The Experiment", K-os' "Fun", and Neverending White Lights'," Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Heart". Magneta Lane's music has also appeared on the L word soundtrack, the Canadian Showcase TV show Lost Girl, the movie CAKE starring Heather Graham and Microsoft's "Your Digital Lifestyle" advertisement, performing a cover version of Ash' song "Girl from Mars".

Magneta Lane, released a self directed music video “Shatter” at an exclusive VIP party held at the Gibson Guitar Artist Showroom in Toronto, Canada on Tuesday, February 22, 2011. Magneta Lane is currently working on their third full length studio album with Rick Jackett and James Black of Finger Eleven. Album in set for release in 2012.
The ladies of Magneta Lane top the bill Sat. Oct. 13 at The Horseshoe (370 Queen W.)

The StanfieldsThe StanfieldsWhen your band’s named after a brand of underwear, you’re pretty much commited to a down to earth, seat of the matter kind of sound. In the case of The Stanfields, it’s a maelstrom of rock ‘n’ roll, Celtic and bluegrass. Hailing from the gritty post-industrial towns of Nova Scotia, The Stanfields play every show like it’s their collective last night on earth. Their kitchen party harmonies, thunderous rhythm section, high-octane stage show and genuine chemistry have won over audiences clear across the nation.

Since forming in the summer of 2008, The Stanfields wasted no time making their mark on the venerable Atlantic Canadian music scene. Hailed as “The Clash meets Steve Earle” by Great Big Sea’s Sean McCann and “The Bastard Children of AC/DC and Stan Rogers” by Halifax’s Q104 FM, further accolades began rolling in, including a double win for “Best New Artist” and “New Artist/Group Recording” at the 2009 Nova Scotia Music Awards. In March 2010 The Stanfields were voted Halifax’s “Best Band”, “Band Most Likely to Make it Big” and, for the second consecutive year, “Best Band to get Trashed to” by readers of The Coast magazine.

Having recently signed a management and label deal with the aptly titled Halifax label GroundSwell Music and with the support of Warner Music Canada and booking agent Paul Gourlie of The Agency Group, the Stanfields are well positioned to make an impact and resonate with a wide cross section of music lovers with their release. Vanguard of the Young and Reckless promises to lyrically deliver a layman’s perspective to the thought process while musically catering to primal rock ‘n’ roll instinct, inviting you to think, drink, dance or fight back.

It’s your call.

The Stanfields kick it loud Fri. Oct. 12 at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave.)