January 2012

Jonas & The Massive Attraction-Breaking out in Europe

Jonas & The Massive Attraction.jpg

Story: Cashbox Canada

After much success in Canada, Montreal-based Jonas & The Massive Attraction are set to release their album ‘Big Slice’ in Europe on February 10, 2012 through Big Slice Records/H’ART Musik. A European tour to support this release has just been announced, commencing in Copenhagen, Denmark and talking them through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Benlux.  As part of the tour, the band will perform a special show at Harmoni in Bonn, Germany, that will be taped for the German television show Rockpalast. No strangers to Germany, Jonas & The Massive Attraction performed this past September 20 at the Blackland Metal & Rock Club (Lilli-Henoch-Strasse 1, Berlin) and at Canadian Blast @ Canada House Reeperbahn Sept. 24, 2011 -  (kukuun, 22 Spielbudenplatz, Hamburg). The following is a review submitted to Cashbox Canada both in English and German.

Down a dark street and around a couple of bends on a stretch of unlit road in the middle of what looks like a forbidden forest from a Brothers Grimm picture book lies the Blackland Metal and Rock Pub. This is Berlin and Canadian rockers Jonas & The Massive Attraction are onstage surrounded by a packed house of very serious music fans who are ready to see the band for the first time.

Charlie Camilleri A Legacy to Be Remembered

Charlie and Tony Bennet.jpg

By Sandy Graham

The Canadian Music Industry has lost ‘one of our own’. Charlie Camilleri, well known in the old school circles, has left us, and the business has lost an icon who truly paved a path for future record reps to learn the ropes.

I met Charlie in the mid-70’s in Montreal, when I was a very young Music Director at CJFM. When all the reps would show up on Wednesday to push their latest new hits, they were a young hip bunch, dressed in the latest looks. Not Charlie. He would show up in shirt and tie, looking more like a bank manager than a record rep. But boy did he know his stuff. He was a music man, from his relationships with radio, nightclubs, theatres and the artists, managing to make them all happy and feel good about this business.

Burton Cummings and CharlieBurton Cummings and CharlieCharlie was also more mature than the rest. We were in our 20’s and he was pushing 40-ish so that was mature for us back then. He was a gentleman as well, and never made you feel obligated to play his latest ‘push’, but somehow he always got his songs played and charted by his persuasive promo skills.

Charlie also spent time with his artists, and was always on the tour with them; making lifelong friends with stars like Tony Bennett, Ronnie Hawkins, Tom Jones and Andy Williams to name a few.

Carpet Frogs-The Best Band You Don’t Know

Cover, Jan 6-2012

Story: Michael E. Williams

There are few crack elite live and studio session bands in the country that are bands for hire. They learn new material all the time, translating it with skill, accuracy, and speed, bringing out the originality and authenticity in all the music they play.

One such unit is The Carpet Frogs. I talked to founding members Jeff Jones and Nick Sinopoli.

NS: I was in a tribute band at the time “Just Alice”. We put The Carpet Frogs together for the closing of the Gasworks, Jan. 9th 1993. All the bands came down and played; Saga, Triumph, Helix, Platinum Blonde, and Coney Hatch.

JJ: I joined Red Rider in 1978, left in 1985, joined the Infidels and after that formed The Carpet Frogs. We did the Gasworks closing and Sammy Culpepper’s Tuesday night jam for beers and the band has been going ever since. It has been 19 years.

MW: When did the Carpet Frogs become this crack studio session and live backing band?

JJ: During the 90’s at Lulu’s Roadhouse. They had a house band. We played between the house band and the main acts as an opening act for everyone that came through. Lots of the people that came to Lulu’s wanted us for corporate gigs.

Sacred Balance: Sacred Balance



Montreal’s Pouya Hamidi and Toronto’s Chloe Charles both have heavy reps within their scenes as avant composer and edgy vocalist respectively. So yeah, quirky expectations were afoot from the moment Sacred Balance formed, although some wondered just how quirky a band named after a sombre work by enviro-activist David Suzuki could get.

So yeah, we gotta be looking at more than electrobeat trance pop. Best news here is that this stuff isn’t as balanced as the title suggests but has its own shade of reckless cool.

The opener is a thing of flair and promise, primal drum stomp, dissonant chords with a delirious femme chorale floating atop, and plenty of fuzz toned guitars to keep it grounded in its Montreal anarcho-pop roots.

Track two is even more pop-giddy but kept from floating off by Hamidi’s sinuous and claustrophobic keyboard/programming work and a slippery rhythm section.

Track three is a highlight, a set piece for the wrecked and wistful cabaret style vocalising of Chloe Charles set against the most shamelessly baroque right outa Phantom of the Opera organ riffs. Abruptly, she’s outa there and sailing into the cosmos on a soundtrack from a lost Lost In Space episode. Funny shit, all very retro-futuristic and it works as edgy trance, if that’s a thing.

The next track starts promisingly enough with mournful violin atop swirling synth patterns and then quickly strolls onto Norah Jones turf and hangs there, content to leave the atmospherics to the instrumentation. Mark this one as a ‘time out’ and move on.