Music

A Summer of Struggle for the Japanese Community – Kano Remembered

Chris Kano

Submitted by: Bill Delingat

This past spring and summer will be remembered as good and bad memories for the people of Japan and their Canadian families. With the biggest earthquake and Tsunami, spawning a nuclear disaster larger then any on record, Japan and their community are on the road to recovery.

Here in Toronto, Canada (located at 6 Garamond court off of Wynford Drive and Eglington) is the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. For more than 40 years the JCCC (as it is known)  has served as the gathering point for the Japanese Canadian community and for those of non-Japanese ancestry who have an interest in things Japanese in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Open to everyone regardless of race, religion, sex or age, the JCCC provides a place - and more importantly, the impetus - for the exchange of ideas; a showcase for those with Japanese artistic and athletic talents; social and intellectual events. The JCCC is pleased to introduce the culture, history and legacy of the Japanese Canadians to all Canadians while creating a tribute to the history of the Nikkei community and their contributions to the building of our nation. The centre has been proactive in bringing the spirit and youth of the community together during these difficult times with public charity events, concerts and bazaars.

Openhearts Society-No Spin, all Love In Time.

Open Hearts

Story:Lenny Stoute

[L:R: Eric Schenkman, Sarah McDermott, Chris Brown.]

From Lightfoot and Buffy Sainte-Marie, on through to Willie P, Stompin' Tom, Valdy and Sarah Harmer, Canadians really do care that This Land is Your Land, so take care of the blessed thing, fer crisssake, eh?

In that stubborn ass Canadian tradition of getting your oar in when the water gets deep, comes Wolfe Island’s Openhearts Society.

Chicago’s O’Hare airport is reckoned as the world’s busiest, making it a fitting location for an on-the-fly interview with guitarist extraordinaire Eric Schenkman, currently splitting his time between two touring bands and consequently, busy as a one-legged pole dancer.

Schenkman hit the big time as the Canuck component in Nineties stadium rockers Spin Doctors, currently on tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their monster hit album, Pocketful of Kryptonite. He’s at O’Hare just coming off a leg of the Spin Doctors tour and waiting for a connecting flight to Toronto, to carry on with the Openhearts Society tour which brings them to Toronto’s The Piston for the next two Sundays (Sept. 18 & 25). and a clutch of Ontario dates in between.

Alyssa Rubino Splashes onto the Scene!

Alyssa Rubino

Most teenagers are wondering what they are going to do when they grow up however Alyssa Rubino had already made up her mind at the young age of ten.  Flash forward three years later with 2 hit singles, major media coverage, and a growing fan base Alyssa Rubino is well on her way to achieve her goal of becoming a recording artist and performer.

Supporting her on the way to stardom is her Producer/Songwriter/Dad Danny Rubino who has encouraged the teen starlet to pursue her dreams.  Together with Trust Chen Pow the trio can be found writing together in the studio.  Trust Chen Pow has been a major influence on Alyssa helping her prepare for performances and developing her musical talents.  Under the name of Producers  oNe this production team has created hit singles that has taken the Billboard Dance charts by storm.  

Another strong influence on Alyssa Rubino was the late Josey Santos from G1E Productionz based out of Orlando Florida.  As an inspiration and mentor to Danny & Alyssa Rubino, Josey was always overlooking Alyssa’s developing talent and was constantly providing a helping hand to the father/daughter duo. With Josey losing his battle with cancer last year Danny & Alyssa plan to take all he’s given them and take it to the next level.  As Alyssa says, “I’ve got my guardian angel in heaven watching…”

One More Girl-Is all you need

One More Girl

Story: Lenny Stoute


In a line coming from way beyond Mama Mabel Carter, through Dolly Parton and onto the likes of Lucinda Williams, country has always had a soft spot for sassy wimmin. It’s still like that except these days they seem to come up like that sooner. Just ask Taylor Swift.
Or the McKillip sisters, known collectively as country act One More Girl. They’re barely out of their teens but can cheerily relate tales of fending off challenges from managers and record label folk, having to step up in defence of their music.


Speaking from their B.C. home, the pair operate in tandem, tag team style, finish each other's sentences and take up the thread of the conversation at will. So all responses in quotes are from the One More Girl girls as a unit.


“ Essentially, it’s your name on the brand so you have to take responsibility for every part of your career. This is our first worldwide deal (with Interscope) but we’ve had experience with major labels before.


“ Our dad’s a country music producer and mom’s a songwriter so we grew up in the industry and watched how things worked.”
That’s their poised, professional side but they turn into kids when talk turns to the secret Interscope signing.


“ We’ve known about it for six months but legally we couldn’t say anything. It was agony, we were just bursting to talk about this big exciting thing in our lives. It's only in the last couple of weeks that it’s become public knowledge and it feels great”.

THE CMT MUSIC FESTIVAL 2011

Corb Lund

On a scale of  1 to  10……. it was a 13!


By Don Graham


Three days in August in Burl’s Creek Park in Oro /Medonte, minutes north of Barrie, Ontario, will be memorable for more than just the incredible music. This was the 1st Annual CMT Music Festival put on by Kit Andrew with 13Entertainment in conjunction with CMT and any and all expectations were met and surpassed, in spades.


As advertised, the musical portion was stellar; complete with two stages, a smaller second stage and a huge stage, known as the “festival stage”, worthy of the superstar talent that graced it.


More on the performances later but first a little bit about the format of the event. As Kit Andrew explained pre-event, his aim was to create an experience that would satisfy the needs of a family; something for everyone was the mission! Mission accomplished! For the adults was of course the beer garden, open until 2AM no less, the great entertainment and lots of great food vendors. For the kids, a separate kids stage area with talent contests featuring  emerging young superstar in the making Naomi Bristow leading the way. Make note of her name, someday soon you will be hearing it everywhere!! Also for the kids was a Ferris wheel, bouncing castles and Jenny the Donkey, available to pet and feed.The food was typical country music fare including world famous Hank Daddy Ribs!

Drake Jensen: Well on his way to finding you

Drake Jensen

Story: Lenny Stoute

Faced with a landscape of rocky crags and vast expanses of ocean, with nary a cowpoke in sight, for generations the people of Cape Breton have turned to country music. Why this is so likely has a lot to do with the type of music they first heard on the radio or that was available in local record stores. Country singer Drake Jensen grew up in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, a location defined by coal mining, fishing and music all around.

“ Growing up I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t music in the house. I was used to singing along with my parents’ record player and of course, most of what they would play would be country. The Celtic music was all around too but country music was the real popular music of the time”.

Growing up in The Glace, Jensen got into classic guitar at 12 and by 15, like any self-respecting teenager, was playing in a rock band, more keyboards than guitar. But as happened with the classical phase, Drake found he didn’t like it much and drifted back to his country roots.

The next phase was all about gigging around wherever they’d let him plug in, honing song writing skills and bettering his vocal chops in the service of bringing original interpretations to existing material. He’d hit on the notion of being an interpretive singer as a way of getting attention and it proved to indeed be the way forward.

In 2001 Jensen released his take on an Anne Murray hit.” A Little Bit Of Good News” and scored his first taste of lower-case stardom as the tune scored airplay throughout the Maritimes

"Made in China" Has new meaning with a twist of Canadian in the mix

Made In China

Story:Bill Delingat

In the early 50’s “Made in China” was known as a stamp on the bottom of cheap goods brought in as competition to the more expensive North American original items. In the ever changing World market, “Made in China” is commonly known as one of the phrases associated  with world economics.

The China growth also includes the entertainment industry which is booming as well. Right in the main stream is a band called M.I.C. who are burning up the stages on television and “live houses”. Where did this new artist originate from? Hong Kong, No, Beijing, wrong again, Canada, right on!

Yvon Serré, the leader ,writer ,guitarist and front man of M.ade I.n C.hina was born in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. He first picked up a guitar at the age of 8 and within three years was playing lead in his first band ‘Love Boat’ and at the ripe old age of 14, was writing his own songs and playing in bands such as  ‘The Junior Beatles’ ,’Rock Wizard’ and ‘Thalassa.’ Serré quickly progressed to performing at major rock clubs with his off the wall stage antics.

It was at one of these gigs in Montreal at The Club Soda that the band was spotted by producer Denis Pantis who signed them to his label “Les Disque Millionare /Rockbec” where the band released a single and went on the road to support it. Serré soon formed the “Yvon Serré Groupe” , but this time wrote all original material.

Jaimie Vernon and The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia

Jamie Vernon

Story:Lenny Stoute

Photos: Courtesy Jaimie Vernon

(Jaimie Vernon has been an inspiring presence on the Canadian music scene for 25 years or more. This month Jaimie joined Cashbox Canada as a contributing journalist and we couldn’t be more delighted to have him.)

If you look in the new Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia under ‘Canuck' indie music icon’ you’ll see a picture of Jaimie Vernon. Ok, actually you won’t but that’s only because Jaimie himself has written the Encyclopedia and his innate modesty forbids such self-stroking in public.

After a quarter-century or so as performer, record label owner, encourager and supporter of Canadian indie talent, Jaimie Vernon is now making his greatest contribution to Canadian culture with the publication of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia.
“ It started with (indie label) Bullseye Records, when I began accumulating photos, press materials and early recordings from large numbers of bands. I became aware there was nowhere to go for reliable documentation of all these bands that would go on to be large parts of the landscape By 1988 it seemed kind of natural that we would put out a music magazine, Great White Noise”, says Jaimie of the project’s genesis.

A huge quantum leap in the saga came via a chance conversation with major music journo John Sakamoto who mentioned that The Toronto Sun had licensed a music Encyclopedia but weren’t happy with it.

BLANK CITY a Must See film of a Cultural Art and Musical Revolution

Television

If you knew better then to think of bringing sandwiches to the first Police Picnic then you would remember when disco died and hairspray bands soon got the Doc Marten Boot from a new and raging scene emerging from, England, New York, and down under, “Punk Rock” was born. The Toronto punk scene was blossoming in the 70’s with venues like Klub Dominoes at 1 Isabella Street. The 3rd floor nightclub that had once been an after hours disco Mrs. Nights, bounced to the tunes of Deejays like Chris Shepherd, Dave Allen, Ivan Palmer and then the video files and charts by Arthur and Brian who’s collection of rarities inspired a new scene of in club visual arts far before digital imaging made it way to the airwaves.

Groups like “Japan, Anti No Where League, The Deserters, UK Subs and Black Flagg” cranked it up to what now became Canada’s number 1 underground scene breaker.

The trend was set and the scene kept growing, Nuts n Bolts, Crash and Burn and the after hour’s scene of Voodoo lounge with Dave Allen & Siabhon spinning tunes at the top of a growing surge for an anti normal society. Reunions are abound with the Klub Dominoes’ Alumni, Bat Cave, with Ivan Palmer and talk of the long over due reunion for the Voodoo club and lounge that are bombarding the cyber blogs and social networks on line.

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