BTW This Week-Noble Son, Crystal Shawanda, Jehnny Beth, Brittany Howard, Lily Frost, Emily Welles, Joel Plaskett

Fri Apr 24
Noble Son

Right, this week spotlighting food banks in Parkdale in Toronto, another high poverty location with perennially under stocked food banks. Please give what you can and best way to do so, go out and buy groceries at a local store and take them to your neighbourhood food bank. If you do contribute, let me know which one and where and I’ll give you and the food bank a shout out. Thanks.

Parkdale Community Food Bank 
1499 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R 1A3
Open Wednesday to Saturday 11-3:30 p.m.
Currently, hours are changeable. (416) 532-2375

Fort York Food Bank 
380 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1S6
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9a.m.–2p.m. Hours may differ Phone: (416) 203-3011

Into the music we go. When it comes to describing the indie-folk undertaking that is Canadian artist Noble Son — aka Adam Kirschner, singer/songwriter, actor, and VFV (very familiar voice) — his new single “Sad Dumb Lovesick Young Kid,” and album Life Isn’t Fun, I’d say it’s one that’s generating a lotta media, usually thick with hyperbole.

Don’t Shag The Producer!

Fri Apr 24
Peter Åstedt

Or any of the band members either! Sure, people meet at the job but there is a reason that bigger firms have rules that it’s forbidden to have relationships between employees. Ok, the music industry doesn’t have that but you should see it that way anyways.

I had an artist that was produced by her boyfriend. They did not meet on the job. They had been a couple for a long time so it became kind of natural that they started doing some music together. He naturally produced her first EP and album. Things were going quite well and a record label came onboard. They were very enthusiastic but felt the music had to step up. “Why don’t hire a good producer?”

She got stuck between a rock and a hard place. Go home and tell her boyfriend that his producer career wouldn’t be moving forward with her career? Or that he wasn’t good enough? It just became mission impossible. Every time the subject came up at the record label meetings she avoided the topic. The record label just took it that as she was a diva and didn’t see their new super-producer as cool enough. After a couple of meetings, the record label was not so enthusiastic about their new signing any longer.

Take a Leap Of Faith - That’s How It Starts with Marshall Potts

Fri Apr 24, 2020

How do you start a journey to an unseen but magical desired location? You take a leap of faith, because “that’s how it starts”.

Canadian singer/songwriter Marshall Potts has a new fresh version of “That's How It Starts” and it’s a hit. The song offers an intimate invitation into the heart and soul of the man.

In Marshall Potts’ case the journey is as interesting and inspirational as the destination. The last year has seen Marshall reap the rewards of faith, determination, tenacity and hard work. Realizing this is a marathon not a sprint, he mapped out a plan and strategy that would see him dipping his toes into the ocean of festivals and reaching out to global audiences.

Spoons Release New Video for “Landing Lights” from New Day New World Album

Fri Apr 17, 2020

Canadian new wave icons the Spoons are serving a bright dose of inspiration and immense gratitude in this, their newest video for “Landing Lights”.

Watch/Listen on YouTube here:
Landing Lights by Spoons

“Landing Lights” is on the Top 20 Pick Hit Chart for May on www.cashboxradio.ca (available on App for free)

Members Gord Deppe and Sandy Horne’s sentiments stretch two ways, but first and foremost to medical professionals and their ongoing efforts in the face of COVID-19. “We wanted to create a video that reaches out to all of the healthcare workers during this scary time,” Deppe says. “We wanted to thank them, and let them know how grateful we — and the world is — for risking their lives every day for us.”

BTW - Stellar Ash, Whatzernam, Trrmà, Donovan Woods, Krosst Out, Taya Marquis, Girl Pow-R

Fri Apr 17
Stellar Ash

Everybody holding strong in keeping yourself to yourself and keeping your distance? As I mentioned last week, Toronto food banks are at their ramen’s end trying to keep their clients fed and are mighty grateful for whatever little help we can give.

You can give all donations to the Central Daily Food Bank 191 New Toronto St. services, among others, Allan Gardens Food Bank at St.Luke’s United Church SE corner Sherbourne & Carlton. Thursday & Friday 1-3.30 PM.This location serves one of Toronto’s most vulnerable and neglected populations.

Alternative indie rock band, Stellar Ash, comprised of band members Dave, Dave, & Not Dave combines 90s alternative elements with a fresh take on Canadian power rock and the result is unique, yet familiar. A big sound for a small band, with a chemistry rarely found in bands so newly formed. 

I’m Seeking an Artist That Wants to Break Big! (Part 3)

Fri Apr 17
Peter Åstedt

If you missed it here are the links for Part 1 and Part 2 for this series:
cashboxcanada.ca/features-music/im-seeking-artist-wants-break-big-part-1/3890
cashboxcanada.ca/features-music/im-seeking-artist-wants-break-big-part-2/3896

Here is Part 3 what I need to break an artist worldwide. If you have read part one and part two here on Cashbox and you think I’m mean to artists, well you are not up for the task so stop reading and go back to your normal daily job, you are like Harry, Harry doesn't mind, if he doesn't  make the scene. He's got a daytime job, he's doing alright!

You need charisma. (Not really, we can work on that as well.) Yes, you will be someone else. But know who artists really are. Dolly Parton is not Dolly Parton. And the girl next door will never break big like Dolly Parton. Still, I have the knowledge where to find all the people to get these things right. Sometimes an artist is a persona, quite often really.

BTW - Oliver James Brooks, Jupiter Hollow, Becky Bowe, Raina Krangle, Jhalaak, King Gizard & The Lizard Wizard, Braden Barrie, BadGuysWin, Toots & The Maytals

Fri Apr 10
Oliver James Brooks

Hey, everybody safe so far? How many are going just a tad squirrely? That’s cool, just don’t go hoarding food like you’re a squirrel stashing nuts. Think of the other squirrelies. Heck, if it’s at all possible donate to your local food bank. They need us more than ever.

Here we go with one that has the makings of a genuine comer. Toronto-based folk rocker Oliver James Brooks has set free “Set Free” a new message for the masses and his latest single — available now.

“This song was written in response to the current state of our planet,” he shares of the track and its origins. “The turmoil in which we live has reached an unfathomable level… Some days it becomes unbearable to even exist.

“It was on one of those very days that ‘Set Free’ was written.”

Eden James – Living the ‘New York’ Life

Fri Apr 10, 2020

Internationally-acclaimed rocker and New York City resident, Eden James, applauds people for their displays of compassion and community spirit in these unprecedented times. His newly created single ‘New York’ pays homage to a city that has shown great resilience and a sense of togetherness in a  global crisis, ya gotta love New Yorkers!

A little background on Eden James:

“Growing up in Australia, I was drawn to the sound of the British bands and knew I had to go there to get the full effect of the music. So that was it, I packed up everything and moved to London, where I immediately felt at home and got immersed in the music and the scene. I was like a sponge and started really developing as a songwriter. Then it was off to New York City where I’ve been for over 9 years now. I’m growing every day in my craft and my confidence here in this amazing city.”

The release of ‘New York’is timely for the international rocker, Eden James.

I’m Seeking an Artist That Wants to Break Big! (Part 2)

Fri Apr 10
Peter Åstedt

Here is the next round of what I need to break you big. You read Part 1 in Cashbox Canada last week, if you didn’t catch it you can find it here:
cashboxcanada.ca/features-music/im-seeking-artist-wants-break-big-part-1/3890

 In Part 1, I stated the fact that we need good songs. But we can get them if you can't write them. You need to fit the team, do what we tell you and don't really question it. The money issue....and now over to the patience.

Thomas Wade – Singing in My Sleep

Fri Apr 10
Thomas Wade

Canadian country music artist Thomas Wade began his career as the lead singer of the group Thomas Wade & Wayward, which presented a debut album in 1996. An impressive, seven singles were released including two Top-10’s “Zero to Sixty” and “She’s Getting Serious” as well as the number #1 video “Lying Here With You”. The group received seven CCMA awards and were nominated for three Juno Awards for Best Country Group or Duo.

Thomas began his solo career in 2000 with Shoreline Records and debuted his first album, Lucky 13 with 5 singles released including the Top-10 “Running Away with You”.  With a previous impressive music chart history, and basically being a household name in the country circuit, Lucky 13 showed that Thomas Wade still had what it takes to stay current and have hits.

BTW-WyldLife, Jont, Mister Nobu, Harrow Fair, Treble, Chicano Batman

Fri Apr 03
WyldLife

Need a getup and shakedown start The Sensations ‘Let Me In’

NYC punk/rock ‘n’ roll band WyldLife, and it’s so nice to hear there are still such things, have debuted "Automatic" the current single off upcoming fourth album ‘Year Of The Snake’, which will be released on April 17 via Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records.

The track was both inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain and named after one of their albums and features harmony vocals by friend of the band Sasha Cibic, the first woman to guest on a WyldLife song.

I’m Seeking an Artist That Wants to Break Big! (Part 1)

Fri Apr 03
Peter Åstedt

After 30 years working with major stars (yes, I worked with four of the twenty most streamed songs worldwide) and with small upcoming acts (I have started two of the biggest showcase conferences in Scandinavia). I know how to make an artist successful and get them to be a major star.

The problem is not how to know how to do it. The problem is to be able find the raw material to mold an artist to become that star. In many cases right now the industry just takes chances. Throw out a hundred artists and then see what sticks and how long we can take them and then dump them when they get tired. That is not how you build a new Michael Jackson or Queen. And the industry knows that. The fact is that the new industry has a hard time to find the material, because it’s trying to hold for a longer race. 

What do I look for then? In three story episodes,  I will try to explain that. Because I just can see that hundreds of artists right now think they are the ones I’m looking for. But like Carly Simon sang, You’re so vain. Here is the criteria.

Getting Together With the Legendary Tommy James

Fri Apr 03, 2020

With 23 gold singles, 9 platinum albums and over 100 million records sold worldwide and 32 Billboard hot 100 chart hits, you would think Tommy James (of Shondells fame) would be happy to rest on his laurels and enjoy the royalties that come along with that type of fame.

But that is not the personality or persona of the indefatigable Tommy James.

Speaking to him in his home in New Jersey, it feels like you are talking to an artist in his 20’s just about to launch a new career. He is enthusiastic, curious and still one of the most talented, legendary artists in the business. He tells it straight and not just straight, but straight from the heart.

“I was four years old when my grandfather, Claude Jackson, bought me a ukulele. I loved that thing and played it constantly,” remembers Tommy with a warmth in his voice.

How to Make A Royal Flash

Fri Mar 27, 2020

Photo Credit Aleko Alvarez Chamizo

They say that music has no borders, and this is a true fact when it comes to the Royal Flash. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform in Canada at Indie Week 2020 and they did not disappoint.

Cashbox caught up with them back in their home settings in a town outside of Madrid, Spain and they had much to say of how they came to make Royal Flash a reality. Here are there Top Ten Answers:

1) How long have you been together and how did Royal Flash meet?

Jaime and myself have been lifelong friends since primary school and we met Israa later on and also Ray. Edu is the latest addition to the band from a year and a half ago and it was love at first sight.

2) Was there anyone in your families who were musically inclined? if so who?

Yes especially Miguel and Ray’s families. Miguel’s father is an amazing guitarist as well as making his own music, so he grew up surrounded by music and started playing from a very early age. Ray comes also from a renowned musical family on the Madrid music scene.

If You Ain´t First, You´re Last

Fri Mar 27
Peter Åstedt

Why do everything just halfway? What’s the point of going to a just one day on a four-day conference? Why just write a perfect song and then record it on an 8 track recorder with the worst possible sound? Or not having an ok song and then enter Abbey Road and think they will fix the problem.

If you can’t afford the whole thing. Either don’t do it or put everything on the same level. I don’t  know how many times I have had an artist approaching me with a recording for 10,000 dollars and I ask how much you will spend on PR? And they have spent all their budget on their recording.

Or artists that take all their money going on a showcase festival and can only stay there the one night they play with no one else to pick up the contacts. And they spent all their money so they can’t even follow up any opportunity the festival actually gives them.

Too many don’t really get things done in full. They cut corners and think it will work. And, it’s actually doing the full job is the things that actually get you somewhere, the half-done job is just a waste of money.

BTW-Soraia, The Pack AD, Black Absinthe, Caravan Of Jazz Unison Benefit, Good Lovelies, Donna Lugassy, Kendal Thompson

Fri Mar 20
Soraia Photo Credit Andrew Saeh

This week Talking Heads sets the tone with ‘Life During Wartime’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jShMQw2H2cM

Here’s some fresh material, mostly of a sturdy, we-will-not-be moved sensibility, ideal for keeping self-isolated spirits up. Leading the charge, Philadelphia rock quartet Soraia with just out new album 'Dig Your Roots' via Steven Van Zandt's label Wicked Cool Records.

Stream 'Dig Your Roots' here: https://orcd.co/digyourroots.

Stream/download the latest single "Superman Is Gone" here: https://orcd.co/supermanisgone.

Cancellations and Compassion

Fri Mar 20
Cancellations and Compassion

The Corona Virus aka Covid-19 is now officially a pandemic causing panic and pandemonium around the globe. Every facet of life and business is affected by this virus including the music and entertainment industry.

We have survived 9/11 and SARS in the past twenty years but this Corona Virus seems to be much more intense. Perhaps because it’s global and mostly because it’s so fluid and unpredictable. Every day we wake up to the ground and ground rules shifting under our feet.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It – Not the End of the World

Fri Mar 20
Peter Åstedt

For all of us, the news and writing around the Corona Virus (Covid-19)  seems overwhelming right now. And yes, I wrote about it when SXSW closed. The truth is that no one really knows what is going to happen. And it might not be as bad as you think.

This will be like 9/11 - ‘a before and after’ Covid-19.  9/11 affected a lot of security and border issues, Covid-19 will directly affect the music industry like nothing really before.  Record labels, studios, and publishers will be fine. Here it is the live industry that will get hit the hardest. The live sector is still the biggest part of the music industry, over fifty percent in most parts of the world. Also, this sector hasn’t had problems like this ever before. Just that we closed smaller gig places. That hasn’t affected the big companies, Covid-19  has now just affected everyone big time.

Sultans Of String Release New Video Asi Soy

Fri Mar 20
Yasmin Levy Photo Credit Ali Taskiran

Internationally awarded and honoured Canadian quintet Sultans of String collaborates with over 30 musicians on Refuge, including Yasmin Levy, Béla Fleck, Robi Botos, Ifrah Mansour, Demetrios Petsalakis, Imad Al Taha, Amir Amiri, Sammy Figueroa, Twin Flames, and many others on the wide-ranging treatise on displaced peoples, Refuge.

On this visionary seventh album, Sultans of String bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration to bear on 13 songs that speak to the challenges facing the world’s displaced peoples--their stories, their songs, their persistence and their humanity.

On track #11, Asi Soy (This is Me), the band combined songwriting with Yasmin Levy, an acclaimed Israeli artist known for her twist on Sephardic songs. The musical tradition came from her father who recorded and preserved folk songs in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language that emerged in the territories of the ancient Ottoman Empire after Jews were exiled from Spain in 1492.

Cashbox Canada Features Archive