Swedish singer/songwriter Tom Levin has released a new 13 song collection of original songs Tooth and Claw and it’s a gem. You can hear why Levin was voted "AC Male Artist of the Year" in the USA (New Music Weekly Award) in 2006. The win was a bit of a surprise since the other nominees where John Mayer, James Blunt and Daniel Powter.
Tom grew up in the southern parts of Sweden and in Stockholm. His teenage years brought him to Alaska, where he lived as an exchange student. It was here that his vocal talents were first discovered.
It’s a wrap for another Canadian Music Week (CMW). This year was number 31. CMW has just gotten better year after year.
CMW was broken into segments including Digital/Social Media, Live Touring, Songwriting and Publishing, Film Festival, Comedy Festival, Live Music and International Market Place (our own emerging Midem - a great feature). Through International Market Place (IMP), Canadian artists had access to promoters, labels and night clubs from around the world. This year’s spotlight was on Korea, The Nordic Regions, Australia and Japan. Deals were signed and dates were booked.
I attended each day of CMW 31. I skipped the radio presentations in favor of the digital and social media panels because, other than live touring, this is where music is now. Live music was covered brilliantly in the Film Festival premiere of Ron Chapman’s Concert Documentary “Who the Fuck is Arthur Fogel?” It is the ultimate insider’s behind the scene concert film. So, who is Arthur Fogel? The Chairman of Global Music and the CEO of Global Touring for industry giant, Live Nation. His career spans three decades and includes promoting or producing 11 of the top 15 tours in history. In this film, viewers go ‘’behind the scenes’’ at live concerts by The Police, U2 and Madonna. Arthur Fogel changed the face of live music globally. It is a ‘’must see’’ for anyone considering getting into the music business. And, Arthur Fogel, is Canadian!
The move from the Fairmount Royal York location to the Marriott Eaton’s Centre Hotel was surrounded by talk; is the event getting smaller? Is it because of the construction on Front Street? Are there less attendees this year? None of the above.
Quite frankly, when checking in, I had my doubts, trying to maneuver my way in through the doors to Registration, down a skinny hallway made me wonder what the rest of the event would be like. It was nothing short of amazing. I personally feel the move to the Marriott location gave the whole event a new feeling and breathed life into the whole thing. Where the Fairmount was old and staid, The Marriott was slick and modern, with many pockets to mingle in the restaurant, lobby and bar. The IMP room (International Market Place) was hopping every day, with quick change arounds of speed meetings to cocktail receptions, where food and service were 5 star, and the international deals were going on non-stop. Many of the international activities were presented or sponsored by the OMDC (Ontario Media Development Corporation) who have supported CMW for more than a decade.
Special kudos to Manager of the International Market Place Kathy Hahn, Mark Smith and the rest of the team.
Canadian Music Week aka Canadian Music Old Home Week is over and done with for another year. This year was special. A new venue added some spice to the event and I think made it even more exciting and interesting than the Royal York years. The choice of The Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel was great. Don’t get me wrong The Royal York is a beautiful hotel but the Marriott because of it’s layout made it more interesting. At the Royal York you can stand on the mezzanine and look down over the entire lobby, pretty much seeing everyone that is there. The way the Marriott was set up was that the events were taking place in different corners of different levels of the Hotel. Every time you went into a different room you saw different people for the first time. The International Market Place, masterfully managed by workhorse and International music tradeshow guru Kathy Hahn and maintained perfectly by music industry veteran, Mark Smith, was located strategically behind some doors and off the lobby. The lobby was the main mingling area and was the best place to see the fluid traffic and meet up with old colleagues and meet the newcomers as well. The cool thing about his annual gathering is the meeting of guitar cases and briefcases. interaction of the young and the old.
Story:Lenny Stoute, Michelle Kaye, James Lizzard Photo: Trent Severn
‘Twas the year of the drummers in particular and a stepping up of the musicianship in general. We can say this with a clear conscience, since as always, we passed on the star attractions in favour of the lesser known hungry hearts.
And what a glorious firestorm of youth in anguish and exhilaration that turned out to be. First inkling the drum thing was afoot came at the Drake. First act we caught was the dynamic duo Mad Ones, being Andrew Devilliers on guitars and drummer Phil Wilson. The sweaty pair put out a contrapuntal din so scalding and full of garage rock swagger, you just know they’d never got on a White Stripes bill.
Dammed if the next act wasn’t another drumbastic duo, PS I Love You, who are Paul Saulnier on guitar and Benjamin Nelson on drums, going down a rock’n’roll road all their own. The dynamic here’s a little diff, with singer/guitarist Saulnier in charge of the theatrics while Nelson’s busy laying down massive and supple sonic foundations, a la Nirvana era Dave Grohl. While they have the dynamics down, the songwriting is sketchy in places. When they get it right, as with “Sentimental Dishes”, it’s brilliant, and includes Saulnier referencing Paul James by playing guitar behid his head.