April 2016

BTW-Little Scream, Lab Coat, Gracie, Avery Raquel, Jules, Jeremy de Freitas, Walrus, Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs, Chris Velan, Baroness, Strumbellas, The Sheepdogs, Fat White Family, Dilly Dally

Little Scream.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Montreal based twisted pop act Little Scream has dropped “Dark Dance”, latest track from her forthcoming second album, Cult Following, available May 6 in Canada. Alongside previously released “”, “Dark Dance” marks one of the album's most overtly pop moments: an '80s-influenced dance song vaguely inspired by Leonard Cohen's “I Can't Forget” and Margaret Atwood.

Describing the track's origins to , Laurel Sprengelmeyer (aka Little Scream), says, "One night I found myself dancing alone down an alleyway, singing in the dark. The further I walked down it, the further I sunk into my memory until I felt like I might actually step into my past when I emerged on the other side. This song was born there, it starts in the present and each verse moves further into the past. The main loop in the song is from an iPhone recording I made -- it's a very lo-fi gentle thing that I got really attached to, everything else was built around it."

“Dark Dance” follows in the footsteps of the previously unveiled “” in all its emotional heft, and “”, which features a guest appearance from TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone as the voice of a Magic 8-Ball with the power to give eerily specific answers.

Prince and Soul Killing Isolation

Prince.jpg

Submitted by Bill King

At this juncture it is difficult getting a read of what caused music pioneer Prince’s untimely passing at 57. Did he stay up 154 straight days – was he addicted to hard core opiates – I suspect we’ll get answers to this and more about the reclusive artist’s other life soon.

Much has been said about Prince’s stage fright and uneasiness around people. I’ve thought about this being a musician who has played a side role in many bands – some front line, others just common neighborhood gigs. There is a strange bubble that slowly wraps itself around those who climb up the tower of success. One top-ten recording can quickly elevate and suddenly all eyes point your way.

I remember interviewing Diana Krall in 1998 and her expressing how intimidated she felt playing in front of a large audience there to see her – a far different setting than hiding behind a piano in a hotel lounge. Suddenly, all eyes on are on you. In fact, examining your every move, the cut of your hair, the fit of your clothes, your mannerisms and possible gaffes.

Barbara Streisand waited 27 years before performing live fearful of forgetting lyrics – Sinatra dealt with the same anxiety. Cher had well placed large screen monitors for lyric security during her last world tour – I saw words scribbled all over the stage when Phil Collins played Toronto a few decades backs – this stuff is unnerving.

Jordan McIntosh: Steal Your Heart Away

Jordan McIntosh.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

Any good chef will tell you the secret to cooking a perfect meal is taking your time; low heat for a longer period of time.  It’s the same with a music career. Slow and steady wins the race. Jordan McIntosh is breaking out big time right now and it may appear to some that he is an “ overnight success” when in actuality he has been carefully making his in the complicated music world; choosing the right people, making the right moves, the right records and touring with the right acts.

Actually Jordan was “chosen” by Canadian industry heavyweight, Jim Cressman of Invictus Entertainment. “I went the Canadian Country Music Awards when they were held in Ottawa as a seat filler. My seat was right up in the front and we caught the attention of Johnny Reid, who was hosting. When Johnny saw me performing at one he mentioned seeing me to Jim Cressman at a meeting they were having. Long story short, Jim called me and offered me a slot on the roster. I believe I was the first artist Jim ever signed sight unseen. So I owe a lot to Johnny Reid.”

I actually first saw Jordan when he was attending the Canadian Music Week festivities at the Royal York in Toronto a few years ago. He was sitting in the concourse area with a couple of sidemen, singing hos songs and saying hello to passersby. “That was an album I had out on Iroc, an independent label. I’m amazed how many people say they saw me there.”

Cashbox Canada Seven Years and Counting

CashboxCanada_Cashbox7Years.png

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Seven years ago Sandy Graham, a Canadian music scene veteran with a background in music retail at International Record Store, radio, CJFM, CFCF in Montreal and Records, RCA in Montreal and print, Joey Cee’s Record Week in Toronto, received an offer she couldn’t refuse.

“The famous Cashbox Magazine in the U.S., that was our “bible” in the old days, had started up again in North Carolina and they wanted to expand to Canada. I was approached with an offer to own it outright and immediately said yes, having no real idea of how it would work.” So Sandy set about putting a team together, a team of writers, including herself, veteran Lenny Stoute whose grasp of the indie scene is unequalled, musician, photographer and radio host Bill King, country music songwriter and performer Don Graham, local scene whiz kid  Lee Fraser, Music Industry Veteran Mark Smith, MuchMusic VeeJay Michael Williams and ‘Girl With a Camera’ Pat Blythe. Add in foreign correspondent Iain Patience, Registered Graphic Designer Gillian FitzGibbon (who is responsible for the amazing cover designs every week) and Chris Wardman who keeps the train moving on the website.

BTW Pack A.D., Royal Canoe, Brian Eno, Walrus, Skydiggers, Royal Tusk

Pack A.D._0.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

They're back!! The baddest babes on da block aka power duo Pack A.D. unleashed latest single “So What” in celebration of their signing with Cadence Music. The thing's a blast of calibrated distortion, massive drums and Becky Black's rabble rousing vocals. Perfect Pack A.D. The single is expected to appear on the as yet untitled upcoming album.

The Pack A.D. is one of Canada’s “must-see” bands. Be it a massive stadium or the slightly seedy bar where everybody’s shoes stick to the carpet, the Pack A.D. have owned every spotlight and stolen every show they’ve ever played. Becky Black and Maya Miller are relentless and riveting, playing with the kind of fuck-off freedom that makes everybody in the room vicarious rock stars, even if it’s just for the night.

Shredding and pounding their way through every song, the Pack A.D. swallows you whole inside their fearless Franken-blend of heavy psych-pop/garage-rock. Their lyrics are wild nests, human and complex; darkly funny disclosures about depression, indictments of digital excess, grief-stricken fire bombs, sly crusades against stupidity, all the while refining their own potent brand of aggro-rock. If you haven't heard the Pack, think two UK acts, the contemporary Savages and aggro veteran P.J.Harvey.

TOUR DATES