BTW-BAYLA, The Hearts, Christina Martin, Linda McRae/String Bone/ Deni Gauthier, Mazacote, Ben Rogers, Jerry Leger, Long Winter, Cashbox Canada Caravan

Fri Nov 15
BAYLA

Indie-pop singer-songwriter BAYLA is back with a bang! Ok, Brittany Kwasnik is back with a new name, new sound and a big win, first time out the gate. Montreal based BAYLAhas been announced as the winner of the 7th Annual RBC Emerging Musician Program, a part of Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artists Programs and Scholarships. With over 1000 applicants BAYLA wowed the committee with her upbeat and infectious single “Monster”.The accompanying video is thematically linked and probably inspired by the Toy Story films. As the Grand Prize winner, BAYLA will be attending and performing at Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards Show and Gala on November 23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Mike Biggar and Manitoba Hal Hit the Road for “All The Same”

Fri Nov 15
Mike Biggar & Manitoba Hal

Multi-award-winning soulful Roots & Blues artist MIKE BIGGAR and critically acclaimed, globe-trotting Blues master MANITOBA HAL have come together to hit the road with their first-ever combined tour, performing shows across the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario in October and November 2019.

Watch “All the Same” here:
https://youtu.be/pfGglFzWcWU

Friends for years, Mike and Hal’s first performance together came in February 2019 when Hal joined Biggar onstage for his blues showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Montreal QC. They appeared again in May 2019 at East Coast Music Week in Charlottetown PEI for showcase appearances that garnered praise from audiences and industry delegates. Their first official tour combines Biggar’s soulful melodies and powerhouse vocals – Hal’s effortless mastery of the Blues on the resonator, cigar box guitar and ukulele – and abundant fun and humour from each with their onstage banter, demeanour and tales from the road.

The Social Media Dilemma – Nice or Mean?

Fri Nov 15
Peter Åstedt

It is a focus on the hate on the internet. Yes, the algorithms are the focus. They are designed to bring topics that will make us react. Since we mainly just react with a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘heart’  to things we like and it takes us to be angry to write something, the algorithms just give us cute cats and bad decisions made by politicians.

And the same here in my blog. Most of the posts are I write about are things that I react around. Things that annoy me or I want to change. The opposite is the post where I just celebrate something like it was the best thing since sliced bread. It's never anything in between. Why? Easy it won't get my readers to react. Yes, I'm stuck in the algorithm trap where I have become a react junkie?

I guess I'm not so much of a ‘react’ junkie. I seldom look at my numbers or how many likes or so. Still, back in my head, I feel I'm just here nagging. You can hear me say on panels that I'm an old grumpy guy writing negative things. I would like to experiment with the things I create. So, can I write three positive posts in the blog? Just leave the old grumpy person for awhile?

Producer And Songwriter Chris Birkett Releases Debut Album with The Free Spirits

Fri Nov 15
Producer And Songwriter Chris Birkett Releases Debut Album with The Free Spirits

Multi-award winning record producer and songwriter Chris Birkett has announced the release of the debut album with The Free Spirits 1:11.

11:11 signifies a time of serious reflection in the world, heralding a new beginning, announcing an Age of Awakening for the planet.  The 11 songs on the album have titles and lyrics that ask us to explore ourselves and our world.  Listening to this music, you’ll notice a pattern that flows through the album.

Every Day People - “We got to live together” - a new take on the Sly Stone classic

The Power of Our Love - “We are climbers, and we’re climbing to the stars..”

Seeds of Peace - “Find the peace within, and give it to the one you love.”

BTW-Adam Ndaro Solomon, Dan Mangan, Coco Love Alcorn, Taylor Abrahamse, nêhiyawak, Linda Carone, Les Stroud

Fri Nov 08
Adan Ndaro Solomon

The ‘African Jimi Hendrix’ has a new album that’s another step forward in his evolution, a lilting and in parts slashing fusion of the styles of his native Kenya and the folk/roots elements of Western music that he employs to generate organic, joyous, uplifting sound.

Adam "The Professor" Solomon is a Juno Award-winning composer, guitar maestro, and singer. He established his career playing lead guitar and singing on recordings and videos with some of Kenya's most popular artists including Joseph Kamaru, Bana Citoyen, Super Kalles and numerous others. It was during this period he picked up the ‘Hendrix ‘ tag.

Solomon was a co-founder (with Tarig Abubakar) of Canada's best-ever pan-African band, the Afronubians, with whom he toured western Canada in 1993. He collaborated with them for two CD releases, "Tour To Africa" (1994) and "The Great Africans" (1995). The band looked poised for mainstream and indeed, international success when Abubakar died in a car crash while on a visit to his native Sudan. "Afronubians Live" was released posthumously in 2005.

Please Get the Gatekeepers Back!

Fri Nov 08
Please Get the Gatekeepers Back!

Not everyone has the right to release music! Even though many crappy musicians seem to think that. I just had a nutcase that really made me think those forbidden words “it was better before”.

This particular idiot wants to change the Spotify link system, so it fits his different releases with different names. No, the world won’t adapt to your stupid artist's uncertainty. We have been back and forth with his name change for three months and have changed it in at least six different versions. For what? Nothing really. It’s just that he doesn’t understand how to separate things from his account through Spotify artists. Will it change his career? Not really his eight listeners probably will never see any difference.

Soul-Popster Dylan Cohen Launches ‘Ode to T.O.’ in New Music Video ”Alleyways”

Fri Nov 08
Soul-Popster Dylan Cohen Launches ‘Ode to T.O.’ in New Music Video ”Alleyways”

Like the thickened blanket of graffiti on Toronto’s back laneways, each artful burst layering on the last so can be said for Canadian alt. soul-popster Dylan Cohen’s newest video, “Alleyways”.

The visual ode to Cohen’s home base features crowd-sourced footage from Toronto residents, and proceeds from the launch party will be in support of The Laneway Project. The video was produced by members of the team behind JUNO Award-winning production house Route 11 (Grimes, Janelle Monáe, Sofi Tukker, Ria Mae) and Cohen’s classmates at the Harris Institute.

“I’ve always had a soft spot and fascination for Toronto’s laneways,” says Cohen. “It’s like the streets could be so busy and overwhelming, and then you and your friends could all hang a turn into an alleyway and have the space to yourselves.”

“The term became a metaphor in the song for ‘things that connect us all’ but are sometimes unseen.”

Cashbox Canada Magazine Hosts Two Showcases at Indie Week 2019

Fri Nov 08
Cashbox Canada Magazine Hosts Two Showcases at Indie Week 2019

The Cashbox Caravan continues its journey, having stopped in France (MIDEM in Cannes, France) and Orebro, Sweden (Live at Heart Sweden) and ending our year back here in Canada at the ever-popular Indie Week 2019.

“The idea behind the travelling Cashbox Canada Caravan was to give indie artists a chance to showcase at major events and have the opportunity to perform for agents, pr people, and labels with first-class sound and on professional stages all on a global level,” says organizer Sandy Graham. “We are proud to be able to offer an alternative way of showcasing at major events where the competition for submission is so high.”

Now the third event this year of the Cashbox Caravan will be back in the country of origin for the magazine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“Indie Week has given us the opportunity to bring talent from other areas in the world so we will be able to have acts from not just Canada, but Sweden, Spain and the USA,” Graham says.

The first CASHBOX CARAVAN SHOWCASE is at the cocktail hours of:
5 pm – 8 pm
Thursday November 14
B-Side Lounge (669 College St)
Doors: 5:00pm

BTW-Fergus Hambleton, Sleave, Grace Cummings, Jerry Leger, Ava Lake, Raine Hamilton, David Bauhaus J, Donkey, Tony McManus/Julia Toaspern, Matters Of The Heart, Sleater-Kinney, Jessica Rhaye

Fri Nov 01
Fergus Hambleton

Gonna start by getting personal in the sense that Fergus Hambleton is a personal fave of mine. It seems like he’s been weaving his way into Toronto’s musical tapestry since forever. In the '70s Hambleton hooked up with legendary Jamaican composer/trumpeter Jo Jo Bennett and a lasting friendship was formed leading to the pair becoming the foundation for acclaimed reggae collective the Sattalites.

"I was a sax player and I was living in the neighbourhood where all of the reggae stores and musicians were," says Hambleton. "I got to know people and they would ask me to come and play on this and this and that and that. I got pulled into it gradually and it was all very nice. I enjoyed that music because Jamaican music always has lots of horns in it and as a Sattalites horn player, I always appreciated that."

The World of Empty Streams Sounds Metallic!

Fri Nov 01
Peter Åstedt

I just saw that a friend posted about a local band being signed to a bigger festival organizer. Never heard about the band before so I was a bit curious. I had heard about their former band though. It was one of the metal bands that was doing things very fast and very costly until they crashed after a couple of years.

So, they reformed and changed their name. Also, kind of a stupid mistake but usually the aftermath of an emotional and poor decision.

Anyway, I saw that they were picked up by the only metal label left in Sweden. Usually, people brag around that but this label, even though they are owned by a major, is counted as a small shit label with no power whatsoever. And since I haven’t heard anything around about the project, I was a bit puzzled. Why brag and share this shit? As usual, I just went into Spotify and checked the numbers.

Pretty good numbers, too good numbers to be unknown like that. Most songs were between 500,000 to 300,000 each. But they only had 10,000 monthly listeners. Also, they only had 5,000 followers. Something strange here.

Bobby Curtola Inducted Into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Fri Nov 01
Bobby Curtola Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee Photo Credit Johanna Carlo

Canadian icon Bobby was already in three Hall of Fames, the Coca Cola Hall of Fame, The RPM Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and on Sunday Oct 27, 2019 he took his rightful place in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in Calgary, Alberta, along with also deserving Andy Kim, Chilliwack and The Cowboy Junkies.

This is one honour that Bobby really coveted and wanted to be a part of for many years. He used to half-jokingly say “when I’m gone they’ll induct me!”

I was one of the fortunate ones who got to be friends with Bobby, for over 25 years. We wrote songs together, planned projects, talked about the past and dreamt about the future. I learned so much from Bobby, about everything from the music business to life lessons and the importance and humility along with supporting our fellow musicians. So I know what Bobby would say if he heard  “it’s about time.” He would say “the timing doesn’t matter, I’m inducted now.”

Sultans of String Partner with Ojibway Elder Duke Redbird & Indigenous Duo Twin Flames “The Power of the Land”

Fri Oct 25
Twin Flames

With their historic and visionary seventh album REFUGE (releasing March 20, 2020), Sultans of String bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration into the studio like never before. 

Their most ambitious, diverse, inclusive and passionately political album, REFUGE puts the Toronto-based Sultans of String face-to-face with a VIP roster of artists from around the globe who have fled the peril and persecution of their homelands for the safer shores of USA and Canada (including Iraqi violinist Imah Al Taha, Iranian santur master Amir Amiri, Robi Botos, and many more) as well as those who have been global ambassadors for peace, including Béla Fleck and Yasmin Levy. REFUGE also includes important Indigenous voices from artists Twin Flames and Ojibway Elder Duke Redbird.

BTW-Zach Oliver, Basement Revolver, Lydia Persaud, Frazey Ford, Laura Repo, Little Scream, Betty Moon, Terry Gomes

Fri Oct 25
Zach Oliver

Starting off with a blast of cheeky monkey music. Canadian pop-rock n’ roll bad boy and self-described “bastard” Zach Oliver has dropped his personal anthem and “battle cry” in the form of new 10-track LP, Banzai — available now.

“I feel alive in this music,” the Toronto-based artist says of the album as a whole. “I think that’s where the name came from. I love that ‘banzai’ is used as a patriotic cheer and battle cry. It’s kind of like the Japanese version of ‘hooray’ and shouted in the same sense as ‘long live the King’ in English…

“This relates EXACTLY to how I felt making this,” he continues. “It’s a battle cry for being original. I wanted to celebrate coming into my own.

“Although 90% of the album is about a relationship, a lot of the back-end emotion came from just being 21 or 22 years old, and figuring out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to say.”

Tonia Evans Cianciulli pens biography of Newfoundland opera legend, Georgina Stirling

Fri Oct 25
Tonia Evans Cianciulli

A standing ovation for Newfoundland-born, Toronto-based international superstar opera singer Tonia Evans Cianciulli, The Heart’s Obsession celebrates the historical ripple effect of one woman's voice—Georgina Ann Stirling—and brings her astounding legacy into the twenty-first century. Forging a musical journey from across the surging sea of Twillingate, this heroine conquered the hearts of audiences through Europe, the United States, and beyond. This is the definitive biography of Georgina Stirling, and in addition, Tonia has also released an accompanying album, Nightingale of the North and both are available now!

Don’t Expect People To Like Your Music

Fri Oct 25
Peter Åstedt

I got one of those emails when the artist requested feedback on their songs. I am always a bit reluctant to do that. You can see the new trends with bloggers and magazines as almost all of them take a step to just write about things that excite them. Bad reviews don’t really exist any longer. Instead, it’s like a silent agreement that if you don’t hear back after you got the thank you for sending in the files, if I’m interested, I will get back to you.

But all artists want that feedback, why I don’t understand, but I’m getting to that. The feedback has become an industry at different sites. When you pay for it, they actually give you some feedback. The problem with this I that it’s just bloggers that in many cases, just your average joe sitting and give feedback. Much of the feedback is also nonsense. Here is some feedback from bloggers that passed on The Magnettes track “Shakes (Falling in Love). 

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/FxHZcaePAH8

Myles Goodwyn Friends of the Blues 2

Fri Oct 25
Myles Goodwyn Friends of the Blues 2

An artist debut album is most often ten years or more in the making, a collection of the best material they have gathered over the years. It’s the best of their best. The label usually requires the follow-up album 6 months to a year later leaving less time to create material. That to me is why the sophomore album is the true test for an artist’s shot at longevity.

Myles Goodwyn’s first solo blues album was 11 years in the making and was critically acclaimed and Juno nominated.  I personally loved the first album so when I heard there was a second one coming I was wondering if Myles would be able to keep up with himself and deliver another killer album on such short notice. Well, those fears were totally unfounded as not only Myles keeps up with himself he actually surpassed himself.

BTW-Andre Ethier, Modern-Rock Ensemble, Ellevator, The Lifers, Headstones, Sin City Boys, Girl Wilde, Anna Atkinson/Jessica Stewart, Searson, Ray Montford & Friends, Reid Jamieson Band, Soundgarden

Sat Oct 19
André Ethier

So noted iconoclast and ex-Deadly Snakes frontman André Ethier celebrates the release of new album Croak In The Weeds with the new video for “Froggy”. Of the track, Ethier says : “It's like Froggy Went a Courtin' except this time Froggy is courtin' existential collapse. “

Watch Froggy here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-nsvjxp3Ls

Out via Telephone Explosion Records, Croak In The Weeds was created in collaboration with Sandro Perri (producer) at his Toronto studio in late 2018 / early 2019.

In Memory Of Jay Frank

Sat Oct 19
In Memory Of Jay Frank

Even if it was expected it came as a shock when it happens. Jay Frank's death was not that expected even though he had suffered badly for the last year of cancer. Or yes, you sometimes know the outcome, we are all going to die. Just this went very fast. And it always happens to the wrong people. It’s always the nice, really friendly people that are going away.

I meet Jay by accident, like so many of my people in my network. I was on CMJ invited by Robert Singerman, another friendly and awesome guy. I had You Say France & I Whistle there playing live. I was in a real networking mode and took as many meetings as possible. And in the last hour, before I had to go to the gig and help the band, I made the decision to also visit the exhibition in the basement.

The Latest Rock Music Merch? Check Out iGaming Websites

Fri Oct 11
Motorhead

“Good evening” screams a familiar gravelly voice, “We are Motorhead; and, we play rock n’ roll!”. The voice, of course, is the legendary Lemmy, who begins to bark out vocals to an adoring crowd. It was a common way for Motorhead to open a concert before Lemmy’s death in 2015. However, this is not a DVD of a legendary concert; this is Motorhead the casino game.

It is surely one of the strangest phenomena in the area of iGaming that a whole genre of casino games has been built up around classic rock and metal bands. These are officially licensed games, merchandise if you will, with as much production value as you would see for something on a games console: Real footage, music snippets and images, all spliced in with spins and bonus games to create blockbuster casino games.

Line Up is a Who’s Who of Metal