CMW 2011 Ran from March 7th to 11th and featured 800 bands/artists.  IndieCan Radio has exclusives from Mother Mother and A Primitive Evolution and we will introduce you to Heather Longstaffe and the Aesthetics.  Congrats to Hollerado, Hannah Georgas and all the other winners at the Indie's Saturday night.  Gordie Johnson played a Grady and Big Sugar gig + played bass for Wide Mouth Mason, but he wasn't the busiest, palyingist artist of all.  Check out our Myspace or Facebook for posts we posted throughout the week. 

See Wendy's Pictures, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday HERE  - Also, Jenn Martin takes you for a tour of the confernce - what you should have seen, what no one should ever see.  Who get's your Indie Goat?  You'll never guess what Indie Pool has been up to.  We go back stage at the Indie's with Sammy Hagar, Jeff Leake and Team XM Radio Canada, Hollerado, Hannah Georgas and more, more, more.  We will have reviews hand highlights from the Trade Show, Conference, Awards, and Music Fest from Danielle, Jenn, Gaby, Joe and Andre.  See the 2011 Indie's Awards and presentations HERE

Hear INDIECAN Radio @ CMW 2011

Show 1

Show 2

Want to get booked for your first Festival? Gaby has the shinny on what to do and not to do.  CLICK ME 

Gaby does Gladstone Friday at CMW 2011-Feldman Showcase


Friday night at the Canadian Music Fest was extremely wet, cold, windy, and all in all gross weather. So, rather than my preferred bar hopping extravaganza I opted for a showcase that I hoped would deliver all night long. I scanned the schedule to find a comfortable venue that would deliver a solid line-up that would allow me to stay inside. To my delight, I came across the S.L. Feldman & Associates Showcase.


The showcase was held at the lovely Gladstone Hotel in the North Ballroom; easy to get to by TTC(Public transit), warm, clean, friendly, and welcoming. My dreams had come true. I walked in just as Justin Hines was finishing up his set. I only caught the last bit of his closing tune but was instantly energized by his up-beat number. The room was excited and ready for the next set.


Next up was Sierra Noble. Sierra is from Winnipeg MB and has opened for Paul McCartney, had her music played in space, played the Opening Ceremonies for the 2011 Winter Olympics, and there�s no sign of her slowing down. She�s accomplished all this at the ripe age of 20.


The first thing I noticed when Sierra and her band took the stage was that the entire band was whole-heartedly committed to this performance. The passion of the band as a whole was palpable. Not to mention she was wearing a great dress. As Nikki Sixx put it �fashion and music go hand-in-hand�.


Sierra spoke about how she started out as an accomplished fiddle player and was content with that on it�s own. It�s hard to believe that she had no confidence in her singing or song-writing ability. It was only when a friend of hers sat down to write Possibilitiesthat she discovered her love and talent for singing.Possibilities went on to be her first single, her first music video, it won her an international songwriting competition, and it won the hearts of this crowd.

Sierra ended her set with a nod to her musical roots of fiddle playing. She played a fiddle medley called Gabe and wowed the crowd. The energy in the room was incredible and she got even the stiffest industry folk jumping or at least bobbing their heads/tapping their feet. I for one couldn�t manage to keep still enough to get video because the music was so powerful.


Sierra Noble was followed by Australia�s Kim Churchill. I have to say that I noticed a lot of Aussie action at this year�s CMW/Canadian Music Fest. I wasn�t quite sure what to expect as I watched this young lad set up. There was a lot of gear for 1 guy, and much of it was covered in duct tape. There were stage hands/manager and sound guys running back and forth turning knobs, checking cables, etc. Such an elaborate set-up for what seemed to be a simple young singer-songwriter intrigued me. The second he started playing I was reminded that night not to judge a book by its cover.


My immediate impression was that he reminded me of Xavier Rudd who also hails from the down under, but with a better voice. Kim was playing �acoustic� guitar, harmonica, bass drum, and sang. I put acoustic in quotations because it was hooked up to an amazing array of pedals that could make it sound like an awesome electric.  His entire set was high-energy. The bass was chest thumping; his guitar skills were incredible His songs had incredible texture to them. Each tune brought the crowd through a journey not only using lyrics, but music as well.


After his first song the audience erupted in applause. From that point on they were quick to participate by clapping, foot tapping, humming, and snapping for the rest of the set.

Kim�s passion was evident not only through his playing and songwriting, but physically as well. He was sweating and spitting all over the place - which is a good thing in my books (only while on stage). That kind of dedication to putting everything he had into this show is a rare commodity these days. His intensity translated directly into the crowd and there was a moment where I thought a mosh-pit was about to start. I�ve never seen a solo act get a crowd going like Kim did that night.  To top it all of, Kim is another super musician 20 year old. What�s up with these kids?


Unfortunately I had to call it an early night as I had work at 6am the next day. But I was thoroughly impressed with S.L. Feldman showcase and the little bit of Current Swell that I heard before I left sounded like it was the beginning of another great set.

I will definitely be checking out their showcase again next year. Read Gaby on How to get booked at Festivals Here.

Big News, new music from Big Sugar and Mother Mother featured at CMW 2011


Canadian Music Week 2011 had some great new talent that we will feature on IndieCan Radio, it had some GenX blasts from Stadium Rock past like Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), Sammy Hagar and Melissa Ethridge. As always wild guesses at �what is coming next,� was a recurring theme for the Conference portion of CMW. 


I was treated to the first presentation in Toronto of Mother Mother�s new Eureka CD (Available March 15, 2011) as they headlined Phoenix Concert Theatre Wednesday to kick off CMW before bolting for Austin Texas where they have a number of SXSW showcases.  (See the show Wednesday night). �Honestly, I am nervous� says, Jasmin Parkin, the newest Mother Mother member who celebrated her second anniversary with the band on this tour.  She was with them as them opened for Matthew Good for the 2010 cross-Canada tour. �I totally have confidence in our band, doing our thig.  But, there is such an aura about SXSW, I hear you carry your gear through ten blocks and thousands of people in walking malls to get to each gig.�  �If I have learned anything,� says lead singer, Ryan Guldemond, �it�s not to have any expectations. We just want to go out there and do our thing the best we can.  I am not dreaming of signing the big deal or being invited to best rock-star after party. I just want to focus on what we do as a band and having the best relationships and time I can with my band-mates.� 


Like �Touch Up� and �O My Heart� before it, Eureka if a real record.  You press play, you are treated to cinematic trips into dark recesses, yellow-brick-road-esque fantasy and faced with some poignant social commentary.  A single has been circulating for while but Eureka will have some long shelf-space.  Some of the songs I like the most aren�t even on the single or Video short list, so that tells you how deep it is in compelling music.  The crowd at the Phoenix was on fire.  It�s the only sing-a-long I can recall at CMW.  100s in the sold-out crowd knew the words to most of the catalogue. The show was 5-Star. It was packed with great songs, special moments, completely non-reliant on special effect trickery.  What is scary is good is this band�s performance has room for improvement.  You can see the evolution over the years but it�s hard to miss the world-class-potential.  In a world of dumb-down, Mother Mother, like Arcade Fire before them, will be one of the acts that make us proud as a nation and help us heal over our shame for the pop-Hollywood want-a-be that our country is now known for in the music google-sphere.


I had asked Ryan and Jasmin if writers were trying to compare Mother Mother again to some kind of sound (You try � good luck to you) and they told me ��90�s Power Pop;� although, Ryan had no idea what that means or sounds like.  Too bad he couldn�t have hung out a couple more days with me and come to the Sound Academy Friday night� 


You heard it on IndieCan Radio first, Big Sugar performed from what will be their first studio LP in 10 years, �Revolutions Per Minute,� coming out, according to Gordie Johnson, �Sometime soon after the snow melts.�  This marks 20 years of Big Sugar.  Grady is still going strong and Johnson is producing indie rising stars between tours.  Gordie played a Grady set at Tattoo Rock Parlour Thursday night and was bassist for Wide Mouth Mason who performed just before Big Sugar at the Sound Academy and then did about a two-hour Big Sugar set. The man is feeling HALF his age, just to play with Diggin� A Hole a wee bit.


Tim Chasson and Jay Malinowski (Bedouin Soundclash) who guest-appear on the new record were in the house to perform with the band.  (see Big Sugar and special guests, Wide Mouth Mason, Desperate Union and The Stanfields)The new record has the same brash and playful reggae-rock feel that couldn�t have been Grady songs, because they are so true to Big Sugar.  Will the record produce hits to the extent, �Hey Mr. Fantasy,� �Turn the Lights Down,� or �Diggin� A Hole,� did?  That is undetermined, but I loved the new stuff.  It won�t be painful like a new Rolling Stones album.  Radio doesn�t have the relevance it did when Big Sugar first shocked and seduced us in 1991. 

See all the CMW 2011 pics HERE

More CMW coverage HERE

North By North East 201o - June 14 to 20 in Toronto

Not everything in life live up to the hype created around it and Michael Hollett, co-creator of what is now the 16th NXNE dropped a gauntlet when he said in the program guide, “this years NXNE will be bigger and way better.”  Dundas Square was the focus of great out-door live, free music as part of NXNE so this could be a public and measurable barometer of the authenticity of the Hollett claim.  

Well, then Saturday night left no doubt as the much hyped Iggy Pop concert played to the largest gathering ever at Dundas Square. Yonge Street was closed from Queen to Dundas and people where backed up across Yonge Street, pressed against the Eaton Centre walls and wrapped around the Dundas Streetcorner.  The gated licensed section stage left was over-capacity as security was
ill prepared to deal with a swarming crowd of gate crashers.  Iggy himself gave the establishment fits as he invited people to climb over the barrier and dance on stage with him.  That said, fans didn’t need to be policed – they were well behaved.  They came for a good time and had a good time. 

See Iggy Pop IndieCan vid.  See Iggy Pop IndieCan pics.

NXNEi (North By North East Interactive) was an add on of two days and an extra cost that tested attendees.  Interactive also follows it’s older brother SXSW in programming and in the first year attendance was at capacity.  The crowd was almost devoid of regular NXNE attendees.  Interactive programming was devoted to interactive multi-media.  IndieCan had to recruit new blood and our multi- media correspondent Mark Farmer was quarterbacking our coverage and hand-picking interview subjects for IndieCan Radio industry insider segments.  Hear our IndieCan Radio NXNE show with an interactive flair - NXNE 2010 # 1 HERE!   IndieCan Radio NXNE 2010 Radio # 2 HERE!


Joe Chisholm saw over 100 bands this year, Steph Cloutier hit the clubs Friday with her camera - lucky us, Wendy shot about 5,000 pics and put the best each day in galleries.  Random pics throught the weekHERE (Boxer The Horse, XM Satellite Party pics, Town Hall, Zeus + more).  More NxNE pics HERE

Team IndieCan attended the North By Conference and Town Hall Meeting.  Here are Pics of How it LookedCLICK PICS  We will be talking up what we learned - look to IndieCan Radio for commentary on this year's panels.


Here’s our first look at the 40 movies of NXNE:   


IF You Love Your Music, Know Your History:                                                  

 2010 NXNE Movie and Performance Must Sees…


“Historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living, constantly remake.”   These are the words of Robert Penn Warren, the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry. 


Both fiction and poetry enshroud the history of arguably, Toronto’s first Punk band, The Diodes who roll out, “Circa 1977: The Diodes” and candidly point out the popularity of the band today is partly made up of what could have been, should have been myth and nostalgia but equally due to some hard work, risk taking and the original DIY (Do It Yourself) work ethic. 


While Joey “Shithead” Keithley was creating a punk market in Vancouver with DOA where none existed before, The Diodes created a scene from scratch. A wealth of cover bands and a brand new Q-107 were content in 1977 T.Dot to keep culture firmly planted in the past.  The Ramones played The New Yorker inToronto in the fall of 1976 and that changed a few people’s perspective.  Ian Mackay (bass) was at that show while he was attending what was then the Ontario College of Art, who reflects in the movie thatToronto was equally influenced by the UK scene and some USA punk scenes. 

The Ramones strongly influenced the whole band but The Diodes differentiate themselves, or their subject matter as more Art-school than the traditional political punk. Mark Gane (Martha and the Muffins) helped the band record their first tracks and in 1977, The Diodes would open some shows for Talking Heads.  The Diodes were part of a Canada-Punk night at CBGBs which included The Viletones and Teenage Head. 

The Crash and Burn was a club opened and run by The Diodes and it created new bands in Toronto by virtue of the fact that there was now a place to play original music.  With a “Special Occasions” liqueur permit and a constantly rotating line up of Canadian and New York bands, the band was raking in a few thousand dollars in a weekend – all DIY.  IndieCan got an exclusive interview with (Pictured above left to right) lead singer Paul Robinson, film maker Aldo Erdic and bassist Ian Mackay which you can hear on Episode 185 on the history, fiction and poetry of The Diodes and the making of “Circa 1977: The Diodes” which was seen first at the 2010 NXNE.


Also this year in film at North By North East you can see Die Mannequin, Tokyo Police Club and K’Naan, The Weakerthans and Watchmen, Leslie Feist as a Spaghetti Cowboy in a short film narrated by Alan Cross, The Story of Queen Street West icon, Handsome Ned which is a film that features IndieCan Gayle in a cameo appearance, The Doors as told by Johnny Depp, The first North American showing of “Carnival,” “Search and Destroy: Iggy Pop and The Stooges’ Raw Power and make sure you’re in the line for the kick of, “Trimpin: The Sound of Invention,” for a movie about a phenomena that will never find it’s way to a Starbucks counter anywhere at any time.


All of these films are essential credits for a diploma from the school of music culture.


More PUNK:  Read what we said about The Diodes in 2007 HERE.  Joey “Shithead” Keithley HERE.  Hear The Diodes on IndieCan Radio HERE.  More on NXNE Movies. Hear NXNE coverage from 2009 HERE

  More on NXNE Movies.

Toronto gets behind CMW like never before. Wrist-bands,

ticket sales were sold by Saturday afternoon

Take a walk inside the conference with IndieCan Jenn, Thursday March 11th.

See day by day events from the Indie Awards, the conference and  in the Clubs - Wednesday to Saturday

IndieCan - Mark Keeler sees We Are The Take, Slash, Royal York Hotel, Everlea, David Wesley, Black Swan Effect at CMW 2010

Bob Lefsetz, Dave Stewart, Dan Hill and Slash told us how it is from the stage.  Ralph Murphy, who is VP for ASCAP was busy on panels but IndieCan Radio caught an exclusive with him following his moderating of The Kings of Songwriting: Dan Hill, Paul Williams, Dave Stewart, Don Schlitz and Queen, Cindy Gomez, which was one of those once in a life-time experiences that Canadian Music Week always brings us each March.  Our reporters are still putting reports together.  IndieCan Radio has a lot ot say about CMW 2010 in Episodes 170 to 175 - Yeah, we always have lots to say - I know.   Hear Show ONE, TWOTHREEFOUR,FIVE

Hear six hours of IndieCan Radio (download or stream) starting HERE See IndieCan-crappy-cam capturing the spirit of CMW, back stage, front row centre and on the streets HERE

The East Coast Music Awards 201o from Sydney Nova Scotia

IndieCan Was there and you can hear it and see it - we'll take you there.  Joel Plaskett, nominated for eight and winner of six ECMAs - Joel would also win an Indie Music Award at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Saturday March 13th.  Other multiple award winners included Prince Edward Island’s Catherine MacLellan, taking Female Solo Recording of the Year and Folk Recording. Halifax’s In-Flight Safety won a pair of awards, as did The Motorleague – including the LOUD award – gotta love it!

Listen Now to IndieCan's coverage of The EMCAs by streaming here or downloading here We will all hear from Joel Plaskett, Tim Chaisson, Mel Keith, Two Hours Traffic, The Easy Bleeders and more.

See what IndieCan saw with videographer Ian Sherwood on our Youtube or by let pictures tell the story C/O  IndieCan Jenn



IndieWeek 2009 (Toronto Oct 7 to 10)  

Indie Week just finished it's 6th edition and now that it takes more than one hand to say, "I'm this many!" it's worth taking stock.  Dave Borins who competed in the final Saturday October 10th, made a good point, "I was in Indie Week 3 and there were 50 bands and now it seems like there's three times as many - they have to be doing something right.  Our band had a blast playing and the depth of talent was just fun to be part of."

The format of Indie Week is Wednesday through Friday every venue of bands are playing to the audience and a panel of judges that pick a winner from that showcase.  Over three days that's over 20 winners that all play off on the Saturday night on the Holy Joe's stage and two stages in the retro-fitted Reverb - both at Queen and Bathurst in Toronto.

Team IndieCan seems to have no consensus over who was "best" and the audience is always left divided and sometimes frustrated.  But the point is that everyone seems to care - everyone has a vested interest and grows attached to their "favorite."  The process gives the bands something to shoot for and the audience an easy way to break the ice and chat amongst themselves with "What have you liked tonight?" or "Who are you here to see?"

The bands have their reservations about the whole idea of competitive art but they bring the right attitude to work: If they can meet some other bands that they would love to play with and make some new contacts in towns they have never been to, then they leave Indie Week a winner.  The talent is varied and every showcase is so deep in first rate music that the outcome is more of a lottery than a talent contest.  There is no scientific way to put punk or pop up against country, folk, metal, rap and rock to pin-point one superior product.  Everyone has an opinion, and if you have a strong opinion, then Darryl Hurs, founder and coordinator has a job for you next year.  "If you got a good idea, let's do it," he says.

IndieCan Radio is sharing the wealth of interviews that include new finds, old friends and industry insiders over three shows - Episode 153, 154 and 155.

We didn't see it all and we don't rate it all - we are simply giving you a cross-section of style, genre and as far as our interviews go, insights.

Bob "THE ICE MAN" Segarini has been a major label artist.  He's been a trusted voice on major market FM and Satellite Radio.  Bob talks to us about the great state of music in Toronto in 2009.  "It's as good a scene as I have ever seen."  That's part of Episode 153.

Musically, we hear PURRR, Amy Campbell, United Steel Workers of Montreal, Darings of Chelsea, Dave Borins, Diane Catherine and The Rusty Tweeters, Static in the Stars, Sule, The Ins and Outs, Sidney York, Amy Campbell, KC and the Live Revolution and more.  

Check out all the Indie Week Radio shows Now:  

Start with the first epiosde  NoW:  

More PICS from start to finish


Have your say, come see us on FaceBook or Myspace.


POP MONTREAL 2009 - From September 30 to October 4, Montreal was the focus of music in Canada as POP Montreal celebrates music and culture in a distinctly Quebec way. Great music from around the world poured out of venues and parking lots for four great days. IndieCan was there, suffering as always with why-can't-we-be-everywhere syndrome. We saw new bands that will be on InideCan Radio soon. We heard good news from some old friends and there were more bands that we couldn't get to but wanted to then ever before which tells us there is a lot of great music talent, ever reminding us that the music business is in the toilet but music is having a renaissance without it. A bigger InideCan team might have helped. If fact, that's something worth focusing on, as the new decade races towards us.... More IndieCan!

First some good news to let out of the bag: Hollerado is going back to China and they are so excited. We'll be hearing from the on IndieCan Radio soon. I will have lots more commentary. For now, click to enjoy some great POP MONTREAL 2009 images and connect to POP Montreal here for more breaking news. After some sleep IndieCan will have more video and commentary for you.  HEAR what we saw as we talk POP in Montreal with visitors like Michigan's Kinetic Stereo Kids and Toronto's The Hoa Hoa's + locals Snailhouse and the allready mentioned, Hollerado :

POP Montreal 2009 IndieCan RADIO

MUD-SLIDE at HILLSIDE (Guelph Conservation Area Rain Dances July 24th - 26th)

New Oh My God this is so good finds from Hillside stages:

Library Voices from Regina (Atlanta Rhythm Section meets Indie/Pop) is a 10 piece band that had to make due with only two of their guitarists as 9 stubble jumping music makers Chinese fire drilled out of the band van, into, the rain and under the Island Stage tent to WOW and audience already hyped to by Hey Rosetta! and The Arkells Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long of Penticton B.C. (Slam/Folk/Poetry/Pop/Political). You think I am kidding right? It's easy to please and hard to blow a Hillside mind and thousands of Hillside festival goers are new believers. They wowed a crowd at the Sunday morning folk-gospel and drew a rain-drenched Sun Stage crowd of thousands not minding getting wet. I told Shane there is still room in today's music world for sincerity and he looked at me like he wasn't sure if he was lofty enough for that title or he didn't know what I meant and he was afraid he missed something. What I meant wasn't that I thought Shane was Snow-White-pure or the epitome of authenticity. But he really wants to communicate and the honesty of that is not lost on sophisticated music fans. Words don't tell the story and I am sorry, guys, but your lame-ass myspace doesn't do you justice either. You have to see this.

Wendy L. Rombough has captured some great random Hillside Imgages between artists performances. Check out Satruday Performers A to H - Saturday Random HILLSIDE - Sunday HILLSIDE Click on PHOTOS page for more

Rasheed is a Guelph photographer and blogger we met at Hillside. We are all about community so here is what Rasheed saw and said. Rasheed Blog

Every year there are musical moments that have never happened before in history and will never repeat themselves. This year's Hillside "You had to be there" moments were:

Patrick Watson made Julie Doiron make up a song in front of thousands of fans. Julie also sang with Attack in Black.

Dave Clark conducted an ensemble that included Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle, The Woodchoppers of Mali Africa, The Short Story Longs for a typical blues, soul, African, hip-hop, Dr. Demento, sing-a-long kinda thing (step-by-step instructional IndieCan video coming soon).

Monsoon like rains and thunder strikes that saw jittery musicians spillin' coffee and beer on their already soggy-sorry asses. No one complained, no one left, people drank it up and the music continued.

We'll have enough Hillside pictures, video and commentary to get you fired from your day job. So get back to work for now and we'll see you shortly with more, more, more, how do you like it, how do you like it. Sorry - '70's disco moment. So, Like I said, We'll have more on Green Go, Great Lake Swimmers, David Martel, Ladies of The Canyon, Treasa Levasseur, FRED, Dave Bidini, Gurpreet Chana, The Tabla Guy, USS and puddles of Hillside.



Day One - Thursday, July 8th
Well after two hours of sleep, three hours at work and a four hour drive, I arrive luggage in hand, at the 16th annual Cisco Systems Ottawa Bluesfest. After arranging my pass and stashing my gear (and a swig from my flask), I was off to soak in, what is my absolute favourite music festival to attend. By the time I was settled, I didn't make it to get photos of Metric from the pit, so I grabbed some pics guerrilla style in the pulsating crowd swaying with the beat, while trying to find a clear line of sight. The first show I caught and it was a great way to start my 2009 Bluesfest experience.


See Metric, Uppity Blues Women, Ben Harper and Relentless + The Road Hammers Thursday July 9th
See The Stills, Lindsay Furguson, The Dodos, Monkey Junk and Friends, Scott Doubt, The Texas Horn,s David Maxwell, Sam Roberts, Doyle Bramhall and Jackson Brown Friday July 10th

See The Drew Nelson Band, USWM, Loreena McKennit, Jesse Cook, Femi Kuti &The Positive Force, Brian Setzer Orchestra Saturday July 1th

went for a stroll after weaving my way back out of the crowd and scoped out the lay of the land. I popped over to the Hard Rock Stage and was able to take in the last half of Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women. It's a shame these soulful blues ladies are on their farewell tour, it was one of the highlights of the evening. As I stood and looked at my program to see where I was heading off to next, in a five minute span I was greeted with a shriek out of each of 20 of my closest Ottawa peeps. That's the way to find people, stand still - they'll come to you. After catching up with them and deciding what everyone was doing and seeing, I was off running again. I made my way to see Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, who as charismatic and expressive as Ben is, he left me wanting more...from the show. At first, I thought it was because I was too close to the speakers, so I left the front of the stage, went to the back of the crowd. Nope, not any better back there, so went to the middle. It wasn't the sound itself was bad, unfortunately I couldn't help but think - geez, I like the sound of his recordings better. And for someone who lives to see live music - well, that's something. And everyone I spoke to after had the same impression of the show. It wasn't bad, but
we were all expecting a stellar performance.

So I gave up on the "big" show and made my way back to the Hard Rock Stage (after stopping and shopping at a jewellery booth) where The Road Hammers were playing. I've heard their music before and liked it, but something always came up to prevent me from seeing a show. I'm glad I didn't miss this one - it was my favourite of the evening. These country rockers had the crowd "rawkin out" to their tight, energetic stadium size performance - that is until guitarist Clayton Bellamy caused an outburst of laughter- during his banter, a slight misstep caused a trip on a cable that nearly sent him flying off the stage. A few jokes about that and the guys closed out the evening right - leaving the fans wanting more - because it was a great show.

I decided that even as tired as I was, David Gogo was in town for the festival and had an after-party show at Ottawa's legendary Rainbow Bistro where he was playing tracks off his new CD "Different Views". He also had some guests drop by and sit in on a song each with him - Maple Blues Award Winner - Steve Marriner and Becky Abbott. I my sleep deprived state; I realized it would have been a good idea to have remembered to keep my camera on me after I relocated the luggage to the next "safe" spot. Ah allowed me to enjoy the show, dance up a storm and have some drinks to complete the first of what are expected to be, very long Bluesfest days....

Day 2 - Friday, July 9
Starting off the evening on time is a good way to begin the evening, made it in plenty of time to get in for photos of The Stills. First show of the evening, and it pumped me up for the evening ahead. After about half their set, I wandered over to a couple of the other stages to see what was going on - never heard of the other bands before so wanted to give them a listen. I was able to catch Lindsay Ferguson and the last song of the set for The Dodos. I decided that even though I could probably run and get more photos of another act, I wanted to see the full set (or as much of) the power hour hosted by one of my favourite Ottawa based acts - MonkeyJunk. They had the Texas Horns join them, as well as David Maxwell on B3, and other special guests to come up for a song. My friends and I had a "dance floor" area where we boogied away. I ran off for a little while to see Sam Roberts and get some snaps of him. He has made it Bluesfest somewhat regularly over the past number of years, and I had seen him recently, so after a few songs, I went back to dance to the last few songs by MonkeyJunk. Then backstage to say hi to the guys and catch up with them and get their new CD "Tiger in Your Tank". Hubert Sumlin (who would be considered one of the grandfathers of Blues) was hanging around back there too and got a quick word in with him.

It was getting close to the end of the evening, so figured I'd roam around find out about after parties and see a bit of most shows. So off to stage hopping - into the quiet and intimate Barney Danson Theatre to catch a few songs by Doyle Bramhall, over to the pit to try and get photos of Jackson Browne (which had to be done from the crowd as my press pass wasn't able to get into the pit on this one - well, we got in, and then were turned away by a polite stage manager as we were commenting on the nicely decked out tour buses). Because I was in the crowd and wanting to catch most of the set, I couldn't help but be struck by how good the videography for the big screens is this year. I don't recall it ever being as interesting as it was, and it wasn't just because Jackson Browne is easy on the eyes. I noticed more screens on the stages and on the main stage a variety of cameras to get different angles. Off again, I decided to skip Steve Earle to catch the last little bits of acts I didn't know.

Devotchka was an electrified polka performance, that my description is likely to not do justice for, but mesmerized me and my friends, stuck around longer than expected dancing, and for a couple of them became a band of the day they HAD to buy CD's from. While they were waiting in line, I ran off to catch the last few songs of King Sunny Ade & His African Beats. A few friends of mine are big into world music, so knew of him and had planted themselves there for his entire set. I danced along with them and decided that the after partying would begin at that time with a beer. Once the set was done, the night went on from there - some more pints and chuckles with friends who are volunteers for pageantry - decorations and stage design - just off site in a makeshift tailgate party. I wasn't doing anymore running around tonight, so I parked it and after a couple hours with them decided that staying out late drinking for too much longer was not going to help a full day I had planned for Saturday.

Day 3 - Saturday, July 11th
Well, today turned out to be different than I planned. I woke up to see that today was going to be one of the annual rain days on a Bluesfest weekend. Muttering to myself as I got ready, I made it down in time to support my friends playing in the local staple act for Bluesfest - The Drew Nelson Band. Playing a mixture of originals and Blues standards, they keep the troops who came out in the rain entertained for their set. Literally, in fact, on my way in the gate, there were about a hundred cadets in uniform in formation outside the war museum - nice, unexpected photo op. I bopped over to the Subway Stage where another of my fave bands - The United Steel Workers of Montreal played. A friend of mine missed them last year, so I dragged him along in the rain and muck to make sure I didn't fall and drop my gear (being the klutz I am) and have him experience their kind of cow-punk bluegrass. He was enjoying it so much, that he stayed behind while I ran off to see my friends in the Drew Nelson Band backstage. A couple beers, pics and chatter there, then off to do the same thing backstage with USWM. Back over to the main-stage with my friends again, who I figured would still likely be there even after an hour - sure enough - and some more beers. Then the rain started heavier, and my day went like a mudslide from there. I wasn't sticking out in the storm, so yeah more beers at a friend's place nearby sounded like a good way to wait out the rain. At least after all the afternoon beers I was able to catch a two hour nap. And when I woke up, the sun was shining.

So back to Bluesfest, and slowly made it through the night hopping around to see Celtic songstress Loreena McKennit, some power blues by Jesse Cook, caught some swing and jazz by the Brian Setzer Orchestra on the main stage, and then ended my evening with some more afro beats by Femi Kuti and The Positive Force. And as anyone who has experienced, after an afternoon of drinking, I was tuckered, so made my way back to my crash pad early to avoid the crowds leaving at the very end of the show - which is the way to do it, either leave a few minutes early or hang around chilling with friends for some time after. While they have added extra bus service from the park, if you have the choice of being able to do either of those options, saves you a bit of madness. Luck have it though, as I walked by an apartment building, I was greeted by some Ottawa friendlies to sit on the stoop and have a beer with them. I thought for a half millisecond of saying no and heading home, but at that point, figured a beer would probably help give me some energy back for the rest of the walk. Forty five minutes, some laughs and random meetings of other musicians later, I headed off to get some shut-eye. I wish I had a pedometer on me this weekend, it feels like I've walked over 50 kms. It's got to be fairly close, at least half of that with all the stage hopping I've been doing. Ahhh, sleep.

Day 4 - Sunday, July 12y last day of Bluesfesting for this weekend started with my sister's bridal shower in the morning, far earlier than I would have liked to been awake to start another long day. It started out as a gorgeous sunny day, so figured I'd take it easy in the afternoon enjoying the shows in the sun. Until it was time to head to the festival grounds. Then the rain hit again. There was plenty of great music I would have liked to see - JW Jones with Charlie Baty, Homemade Jamz Blues Band, Divine Brown, Sunparlour Players, Rick Fines, Jenn Grant, The Balconies, King Khan & BBQ Show, and so many others. However, having seen them all before, I made the call to have a nap and wait out the rain. I've taken vacation for the whole Bluesfest week in the past and really, to be down there every single day for as many shows as humanly possible, it is really a requirement, unless a person can function as a walking zombie.

So I waited out the rain until it got close to the time to see Hubert Sumlin, who I didn't want to miss again this evening. I was able to catch a bit of a dance party going on with Girl Talk as well - the rain had cleared and people were packed in at the Hard Rock stage with beach balls bouncing around the crowd - and immediately got my second wind from the energy of the festival atmosphere. I moved on to take in a bit of Neko Case, and had planned on grabbing a bite afterward, but then ran into friends and completely forgot. Next, on to make photo call for Joe Cocker, who had a large, more mature crowd. And my conclusion that I reached last year about older people being more rude than the younger crowd was re-enforced - I had two songs to try and get some decent photos (while dealing with excessive front lighting) and I have a woman yelling at me to get out of her way from the other side of the fence. Fine, if I was actually being rude and had parked myself in front of her for the whole show, but was not the case. Maybe the younger audiences are influenced by substances that make them more easygoing, but whatever the case, I vow to not become and old grump at music festivals in my mature days. Otherwise, if I don't like it, I'll go to concerts where there is assigned seating.

I wrapped up the weekend by catching a bit of singer- songwriter Ani DeFranco, who while good, couldn't finish my weekend on a mellow note. I strolled over to see Los Lonely Boys to groove along for a few songs until deciding that the best way to close out my weekend was going to be to see one of my favourite indie rock bands - Mother Mother. The crowd was having a blast and I was happy that they didn't play Hayloft until late in the set, so I didn't miss it with my other stage hopping.

A quick stop in the "pod people" (our term for the Pageantry Volunteers) for a little after gathering and then back off to crash for two hours before having to catch a train back to Toronto...uugghh...

See Hubert Sumlin, Neko Case, Joe Cocker, Mother Mother, Ani DiFranco, Los Lonely Boys Sunday July 12th
See Misc pics of Ottawa Blues Fest Random Ottawa Blues Fest Pics


Day 5- Weekend Two - Thursday, July 16


Yeehaw!! Back in town for the rest of Bluesfest, four more days and many more hours of superb music! I made it in early enough to catch the shows at the start of the night. Loudlove kicked off the evening on a high note with their upbeat tunes. I stuck around for their whole show then headed over to see some great blues from Zac Harmon. He's a great guitarist and his charm and stage presence makes him an overall great performer.  My friends who had never heard of him before had the show as one of their favourites of the night.


I decided that this weekend I was going to enjoy the shows fully and take a bit of a break from the intense stage hopping. My show of the evening was the next to be seen - Live. Granted they hit it big when I was in high school and were one of my favourite bands, I haven't followed them too closely in recent years. However, they put on a show that re-enforced why I like them; some catchy songs, some insightful lyrics, and an attractive front man. I bumped into a couple friends before the show, and showed them the way to get close to the stage without being "sardined" in (nope it's a secret of die hard Bluesfesters - you have to go to find out). I went off to get my photos during the first two song window- which was delayed by Busta Rhymes deciding to not start his show until an hour late at which point he played only 26 minutes. I feel sorry for some people I know who bought their tickets specifically for that show. Geez. Rappers, they always seem to have inflated egos. Now it just may be rumour, but word had it was hey were just sitting in their tour bus. Regardless of the reason, this is a highly organized and well run festival, which the stages run very much on time. There may a couple minutes delay, but that was absolutely ridiculous. Personally I don't think that's anyway to treat your fans.


Anyway, back to Live - it was a truly fantastic show, and I'm happy I stuck around for the whole thing - wanted to get backstage, but alas, didn't happen for them. So I moseyed over to catch a bit of Styx, which while decent, wasn't captivating my attention for too long. So I wandered over to see the Alan Parsons Project which was good as well, but not as exciting as I was in the mood for - given I was starting off the first night of my second extended long weekend. But my friends were at that stage, so hung out, had beers and formulated our attack plans for the rest of the night - a trip to another local Ottawa haunt - Irene's Pub - for the weekly Thursday jam, after a pit stop to see the "pod people". Some great Ottawa talent shows up to play here and tonight was no exception. Frontman of Rudeboy - Scott Amey was there on guitar, Jed Rached, Steve Marriner and a host of others periodically through the night. With a slight beer buzz...I wrapped up the night hanging out with friends who didn't have to work early in the morning.


Day 6 - Friday, July 17th


The day started too early for my liking. But at least the sun was what woke me up - great - nice weather for Bluesfest. After making my way to a Starbucks to get a kick start to the morning, I was ready to see what I would do with my day before the shows started. A visit with a friend, lunch on a patio, ducking some more rain, visit with / stash my backpack at another friends place, check some emails, a short nap, and I'm off. Like a herd of turtles. I should have had the nap earlier, for longer.


I get down to the festival grounds to meet my mom who didn't want to miss seeing Blue Rodeo again. Something has always come up in her schedule. I know, they play around often, but well, she sometimes seems to live under a rock. This night would be a mother/daughter evening. I had made jokes with both her and my friends that I was going to run her into the ground after the first hour of stage hopping if I didn't take it easy on her.  Much to my surprise, she kept up with me pace for pace for the whole night.


We started off our evening at the Hard Rock stage seeing Sugar Blue, which was some great traditional blues lead by a harpist front man. We spent almost the whole show there as it really was too good to move on from. After it was done, we moved over to see Ken Workman and theUnion, a band I had wanted to check out for well over a year, but my travel schedule always interfered. I know the bass player Sean Burke from the other projects he's been associated with - Trevor Finlay and The Tony D Band, and when I first heard he would be working with this project, I figured it would be good. When they posted tracks on their MySpace, my thoughts were re-enforced. I was so happy to get to see them perform finally, again another show I caught the majority of. I did pop over to see Larry Garner - another fine blues man who was entertaining in his rousing the crowd to sing along / respond back. I wandered by The Rogers Stage to hear a bit of Cake, in the hopes of seeing a few other friends who I knew would be there. No dice, and so headed back to see the last bit of Ken Workman and the Union.


I was really hoping to share the experience of being in the photo pit for Blue Rodeo with my mom, who is a bit foreign to the life I lead in the music industry. I had subbed her in to get some video of them and gave the run down of what I needed her to do while I grabbed pics...only to be denied access that night to the main stage. Personally, I do have plenty of pics of Jim Cuddy from the Junos, and of him and the band from the Jeff Healey celebration held in Toronto last year, however, I never get tired of staring through the lens at him, and it would have been a cool experience for my mom. Alas, the one Canadian band I really wanted coverage on the main stage, and I couldn't get it other than some 'ok' pics from far off in the back of the audience. I wasn't going to weave my mom up to the front to attempt better photos. So I took the opportunity to make photo call for Paolo Nutini. A very successful artist himself, however a Scotsman - he wasn't high on list of bands to get a bunch of photos of. I like his music a lot and was planning on spending a fair amount of time there watching the show, but didn't originally plan on being in the pit. Well, it was a blessing in disguise. Being I hadn't seen a gig before, wasn't expecting so many to be at the stage, but there were, so was happy to not have to try and wiggle in like a mouse (as my mother so aptly described my crowd weaving) to get pictures. But pictures aside, it was one of my favourite shows of all of the Ottawa Bluesfest experience. Stage presence - he's got it, tight musicians and sound - he's got it, - stage presence, charm and looks, yep that too. I now have to see another gig of his as soon as I can. After my three songs pit time was up, my mom and I headed back to see more of Blue Rodeo. I weaved us back through the crowd to the midway point that we could see both the stage and the video screens, and parked ourselves beside a nice biker "fella" who bought us some beers and was entertaining to chat with. Another reason I love the festival, the majority of people are friendly and are there to have fun, regardless if it's with people they know or not; kinda like a modern day Woodstock experience (not that I would know for sure), but possibly with less drug use.


I gave my mom the hint that she should leave the grounds before the last song of Blue Rodeo's encore was done to avoid the rush of people and so she could make her last bus home. She thanked me for a really fun night. I went to meet up with friends to continue mine into the wee hours.


I made my way to another Rainbow "Bluesfest Afterparty" to see Paul Deslauriers play. I've seen him a couple times in the past and knew it was going to be a good show, but tonight he was really smokin'. He also had Steve Marriner pop by to guest on harp on a couple tunes, and even though I see Steve play often, a nice treat - I love the harp. Anyway, I danced some, played pool, hung around chatting with friends and closed down the bar. Only to step outside and find it was pouring. Damn rain. One day, just one day without rain would be nice. At least it was warm so the short walk in it wasn't completely terrible.


Ottawa Blues Fest Pictures

Thursday July 16th with Loud Love, Live Zack Hammond, Alan Parsons

Friday July 17 with Sugar Blue, Ken Workman, Blue Rodeo +

Saturday July 18 with That One Guy, Leynard Skynyrd, Black Mountain and more

Sunday July 19th with C.R. Avery, Monkey Junk, Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, The Dead Weather and more

Day 7 - Saturday, July 18


I needed sleep, but forced myself out of bed at 11 to go meet a friend at noon. Should have scheduled that later - I should know better by now. Anyway, a stop for lunch, back to relax for a couple hours, check email, figure out my must see shows for the night, have a mini nap, then back out to the festival.


I caught a lot of Otis Taylor's set as I was waiting for friends nearby. I've seen him before, and being a well known blues-man, was on my hit list, so it worked out well, even though friends were a bit late meeting me. The music coming from the Subway stage was enticing after we had all met up, so went over to check out Rythym Council. They finished their set about fifteen minutes after we were there so moved on to take my friend to see That One Guy. First words out of his mouth were "I don't like Folk" when he saw the description in the pamphlet, to which I said, "Trust me, I've seen him before and if you haven't, you must." I may not be a music critic per se, but I know what I like, and can appreciate good music in all genres, so generally speaking when anyone who knows me hears that I am stoked about something, they tag along. So entourage in tow, we went over and I was completely shocked to see how large of a crowd there was this year. He played last year in the Barney Danson theatre and it was half empty. Maybe his marketing efforts paid off, maybe the stage was the bonus, but regardless, I was happy to see such a turnout. The interesting hook, is that while his music is great (a melting pot of blues, jazz,  folk, electronica) it really is just one guy up there playing a contraption made of steel pipe, a bunch of elbow joints, strings, and who knows what else. He plays percussion on a boot and a small snare drum. It's a highly entertaining show to take in.


Admittedly, I was more focused on hanging out and catching up with friends than taking photos today, so we were making frequent trips to the beer tents, made a few jewellery purchases with the gals,  and grabbed some grub before getting back to the music. Since I wasn't able to get up close and personal with Lynyrd Skynyrd, we decided to start the end of the night with a few ofBlack Mountain's tunes and then went over to the main stage to enjoy Skynyrd in the thick of the crowd. After "gophering" our heads above the crowd, we found an empty pocket that was in sight of the video screens, had a decent view of the stage and ample room for a dance floor. We grooved away the night there, the crowd signing along to " Sweet Home Alabama" as they closed out their set. Of course they were not escaping without coming back to fulfill the crowd's request for "Freebird".


We still had an early night on our hands, so continued the party elsewhere, to see a friend's cover band at a local pub and still closed out the night with a Skynyrd experience through their version of " Sweet Home Alabama". Twice in one night co-incidence.


Day 8 - Sunday, July 19th


Damn - the last day of Ottawa Bluesfest 2009.  That is always a sad time - the festivities can't go on forever. They end tonight. And I'll have to go back to reality for a little while. Ironically, it turns out to be the most gorgeous day of the whole festival. The first day it actually feels like summer. 29 degrees Celsius + and the sun beating down upon us. It makes for a great day taking in concerts with a brew in your hand and good friends around. All of the diehards said the same thing with a look of longing in their eyes - "Last Day". After much psychological discussion of what Bluesfest means to everyone, the feelings associated with the wrap up and of this year's highlights - possibly substance induced ramblings - we enjoyed another power hour with MonkeyJunk and friends. After a pit stop for more beers we made our way over to take in Larry McCray's set, and stayed there to listen to Eden Brent. One powerhouse female singer, who's voice is completely deceiving of her age and race. We couldn't see the stage from where we were waiting in the line for more beers, and once the group of us made our way into the crowd to see her perform, we all had the same comment as to our shock when we realized the deep, powerful southern voice was coming from the forty-something Caucasian lady sitting in front of the keyboard.  We were hooked and the goose-bumps she caused were a nice relief temporarily form the heat of the sun. Some of the group left a bit early to check out Magneto, and the rest of us waited until the end of the set to begin our stage hopping again.


Another stroll over to the "good" beer tent (where there was more variety and the ability to get beer in cans rather than draft in cups), and we made our way over to see C.R Avery and The Sojourners. I had told people how great The Sojourners were and that we had to go check them out. I admittedly didn't know C.R. Avery or his style of music but thought it might have blended better with the sweet, soulful gospel sound The Sojourners have. I'm not a big fan of rap, or spoken word and I personally wasn't that impressed with C.R. Avery's music, I would have much preferred to see The Sojourners have the stage to them selves. So after a few songs and pictures, we moved over to sit on a hill over looking the view of the Ottawa River while listening to David Lindley. More discussions on how great this year's edition of the Ottawa Bluesfest and we decided to head over to the Subway stage to get in position for Buckwheat Zydeco.


I got a call from my mom that she was going to join me as she wanted to see Jennifer Warnes as well. I watched for her to come over to where I was, picked her out in the crowd and motioned for her to join the group of us front and center. We took in about a half hour of Buckwheat Zydeco, and then headed over to Jennifer Warnes as she was antsy to see her. I was completely humouring her on that. There is a reason why some artists are one hit wonders, and I wasn't left wondering in regards to her. Aside from the fact she appeared under the influence of something, was reading her lyrics and still managed to forget them, those reasons alone wouldn't have made me want to leave as much as how depressing her music was.  After three songs I asked if we really had to stick around. I was almost to the point of wanting to cut my ears off. My mom agreed that it wasn't the show she was hoping for, so we decided to make our way back to Buckwheat Zydeco by way of the long route. I wanted to catch a bit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the main stage, so took in a few songs of theirs while watching (or being watched by?) a giant eyeball beach ball bouncing around over the crowd. Not exactly my mom's cup of tea, but since I humoured her, she humoured me. Then back to where we were both happy finishing off the night dancing to Buckwheat Zydeco with the rest of the group of friends. For me, it was a great way to complete the Bluesfest experience. I wish time could have been paused at that moment - a beautiful mid summer night, friends, family, great music and beers. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end (why? I still ask), and I made my way back to my crash pad to pack my gear and get a few hours sleep before catching the train back to Toronto. Hmmm...d�j� vu, but this time slightly different, the promise for more is further off...I have to wait until next year to take in my favourite festival again....ah well, plenty of great memories to last until then...

The 2009 NXNE is June 17 to 21 in Toronto Canada

Hear IndieCan Radio as you read and enjoy galleries of NXNE
Stream Epiosde 137 HERE
Download Episode 137 HERE
REVIEWS: Check out NXNEreviews of NXNE showcases by IndieCan Dan Dwoskin

IndieCan's team on the street is bigger than ever. We'll bring commentary, video and pictures as well as great radio programming. We're off to a great start. Sensory overload will come every day with new content added.

The musical experience of North by North East is expanding. New venues are participating and more out door "free" events are offered. Score one for youth and families that can feel included in celebrating culture in what is sometimes sarcastically referred to by the arts community as the business capital of Canada. Dundas Square, in-store appearances and other all-ages opportunities respects what is the future for most emerging musical artists - our youth. Juno winners, Wintersleep, The Cliks, Spiral Beach, In Flight Safety and My Darkest Days are some of the indie rock bands that pour their creativity out into the openair of Toronto.

their live performance." The Ontario Media Development Corporation set up camp in Queen Street's Rivoli to cover topics like Music Supervision and Management. Promotion, law, money, media and airplay were all discussed.
"I WANT TO ROCK 'n' ROLL ALL NIGHT and learn the Industry every day" - NXNE Conference. Maggie Martin of EMI Publishing made her way to Toronto for her first ever North By. She did more than compare liquid weapons of choice; she shared with delegates the importace of publishing in 21st century. Maggie will be IndieCan's industry insider for episode 137. Moe Berg discusses who to be or who not to be on stage when performing. "Everyone talks about 'authenticity.' Well - bullshit. All the best acts are portraying a character when they are on the stage. They aren't being themselves. Look at Cheap Trick. They haven't had a hit song in... how many years? But they succeed on the strength of

The NXNE Town Hall tradition kicked started the conference portion of the music festival with Jake Gold (pictured right) moderating a pannel of music experts. 300 years of collective wisdom interacted with artists and discussed the state of the musical nation.

Repartee between artists and industry varied from polite to restless. One band member spoke out about what does an indie act have to do to get the attention of industry these days? This is a band whose debut recording came out in 2006; they have 40,000 Myspace visits and 2,000 friends. Jake started the retort with a Tragically Hip example. It took them as a band 10 years to sell out the Air Canada Centre. "Snell's Law," Gold reminded us, "states the angle of incidence equals the angle of refraction. If you want a career that goes straight up, it will likely come straight down again." Better to be patient and hope for a gradual climb to the top, just for that reason was the point he was making.

"Do not be so preoccupied with getting our attention" 

was one of the messages coming from the pannel. "Focus on your craft - write great songs, be great musicians, never stop learning about performance. Then we'll find you. And if we come knocking on your door you can expect we'll be offering a better deal than if you keep calling us." The Panellists were: Jodie Ferneyhough, Managing Director, Universal Music Publishing Canada, Kevin Leflar, President, officialCOMMUNITY, Steve Kane, President, Warner Music Canada, Denise Donlon, Executive Director, CBC Radio, Paul Haagenson, President, Canada West, Live Nation Canada, Heather Ostertag, President/CEO, FACTOR, Jack Ross, Senior Vice President, The Agency Group, Jack Ross, Senior Vice President, The Agency Group, Chris Sisam, General Manager, Corus Radio Toronto, Bernie Finkelstein, President, Finkelstein Management, Chris Taylor, Owner, Taylor Mitsopulos Klein Oballa, Mark Jowett, Vice President/Co-Founder, Nettwerk Music Group. See what we saw - CLICK HERE!

Top left, Chang A Lang, Toronto, Top Right, Spiral Beach, Toronto, Bottom Left Xavier Caffeine, Montreal, Bloodgroup, Reykjavik from Day one of NXNE

Photos of North By North East 2009 : Saturday Showcases - Queen Street     

Saturday Showcases, Kensington, Rancho

VIDEO of Noth BY 

Saturday Conference and Trade Show Town Hall Meeting PART 1 - FACTOR
Friday Cliks, Wintersleep, In Flight Safety on Dundas  
Friday Conference and Trade Show @ the Hyatt  
Friday Dinosaur Bones, Eve and the Ocean more video from IndieCan 
Thursday by Gayle - Spadina, College, Kensington
More radom Thurdays Pics +Dundas Square  
Thurday Showcases at NXNE IndieCan Radio - all about NXNE 2009



Keep scolling below for galleries and commentary for NXNE coverage from past years.

LILY FROST pays homage to fallen Toronto independent legend RAY CONDO

Gayle Hurmuses

Lily Frost has a voice that gives me goosebumps and a poise both on stage and off that makes me wish I was a real grown-up too. It's a wonder that she and I had never met before, we've got lots of mutual friends and I'd been hearing about her for years, particularly from Ray Condo, a mutual friend. I remember sitting in his kitchen on Grant Street when he told me about Lily and her swing band, the Colorifics, the story of Lily's wandering life and what a fabulous voice she had. He mentioned them regularly over the years as one of the great bands in the Lower Mainland. Kept trying to be in Vancouver when they were playing, but it never worked out.

On May 14, I was walking down College Street, when I saw the poster proclaiming: "Lily, Does Billie, For Ray" in the window of Soundscapes, two days before the show. Lily Frost, singing Billie Holidayfor Ray Condo, on May 16, his birthday. Ray Condo was more than a friend and a colleague, he was a hero and a mentor...this, I had to be at. As it happens, given that the show was sold out the day before I saw the poster, this was a four email, two phone call finagle...Thanks so much to Lily and RJ and Jake and Jane for getting me in at the last minute to this stunning, over-capacity show.

So, the show...May 16, 2009. Got the word at about 4:30 that I could get in.

I arrived at about 8:30 to see the opening act, a singer named Emma Lee, looking like a cross between Melanie and Lesley Gore, with a band that included an upright bass, guitar and drums. They did a great job on a swampy arrangement of Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog", with a smokey close only slightly marred by an unsuccessful attempt at call and response with the audience. They were 'Cool' in the hipster sense. The group of people where I was standing, was there to see her in particular and said that she regularly plays up on the Danforth.

Then, Lily Frost and the Debonaires came out and opened with a dedication to Ray and the song "Lover Come Back To Me" a song recorded by both Billie Holiday and Ray Condo and one that I often think of when his memory crosses my mind. The Debonaires were: Terry Wilkins on Bass, Mitch Lewis, Lap Steel and Electric Guitar, Patrick Gregory, Acoustic Guitar, Bob Stevenson, Clarinet, and Jeff Halischuk on Drums. 
Lily was perfection, her voice is so sure and pure and clear and she was the part down to the details, like a lovely early 20th century songbird. The band was right on the money too.

While taking notes for the show, I was writing the word "Enchanting", when one of the people in the group beside me, turned towards me and said..."She's enchanting"...funny...the next day I mentioned seeing the show to IndieCan's Joe Chisholm, and his comment was "Lily Frost is Magical".

She really is and the show was like a spell, from the first note to the last, with the audience listening intently, even at the back of the room where the industry types were all standing about, as reverent in the face of her talent as any other fan. Now, that's not something you see everyday

This isn't a full list, but here are some of the songs that Lily performed so brilliantly that evening: Love Me Or Leave Me, WIllow Weep For Me, Don't Explain, Them There Eyes, One Never Knows, I Cried For You, I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, It's Too Hot For Words, Do Your Duty, What a Little Moonlight Will Do, (where she sang a duet with the clarinet), In My Solitude, Swing Brother Swing, and in an encore dedicated especially to Ray, Lonesome Blues with Lily playing rhythm guitar. "She cooks with gas!" says the drunk guy next to me. Inelegant, but true. Ray would have been so proud. More IndieCan Lily Frost pics by Wendy L. Rombough (Canadain Music Cafe) "Sailor" pic by Ivan Otis

Hamilton - Canada's Steel Town sets new records for the Rogers Spring Music Festival with attendance and diversity
More bands from greater distanced applied to be part of the Hamilton Spring Music Festival in 2009. Hamilton fans got a taste of bands from more countries and as always, southern Ontario showed off some of our home-grown talent this year, too. Gordie Johnson and Grady returned to Hamilton this spring, getting a thumbs up from all those in attendance last year who left saying "Damn, So-and-so should have been here to see this!" This year they had a second chance to bring them to see and hear the big sound of Austin's Grady.

Jay Sparrow (Edmonton) returned this year as well but not hiding behind the big punk sound of Murder City Sparrows - this year, Jay was sporting an acoustic guitar. The Free Press of Toronto, Apollo's Down(Guelph) and Never Ending White Lights (Windsor) were some of the bands from driving distance that made Ontario proud.

"I started in the concert promotion business as a band, bringing bands into Hamilton to play so my band could open for them, then I started a label in the mid-1990s, so I had lost of street experience." points out Rob Rapitti, who heads the festival. "Then I got the corporate experience working with Canadian Music Week as sales manager, being flown to Vegas, L.A., New York and I really learned how to do business internationally." Bands from Philadelphia to Alaska were in attendance this year. Enough typing about music - here's what we have to see and hear:
IndieCan Radio - Episode 133 and 134 both have a Hamilton angle LISTEN HERE
See more pictures from the Spring Music Festival's Saturday night - CLICK for Pics!! SeeGRADY on YouTube

Presented by Long & McQuade

Why Schmooze? Creator, Ellen Drake is all about building community, education and opportunity for music artists and industry in Toronto

Who: If you live or are travelling within driving distance of Toronto -Songwriters, indie artists, people in the music biz or fascinated by the behind the scenes of today's music biz
Where: Long & McQuade music store in downtown Toronto, 935 Bloor St - upstairs in the conference room (follow the Schmooze signs)

Why: Songwriting is a craft like anything else. The idea of "natural songwriters" is a myth. Songwriters that make it not only take criticism, they seek it out, learn as much as they can and are open to being a better artist. It's like guitar lessons. If you listen to professionals, they'll identify your bad habits and show you how to get better.
When: April 24th 2009 7 PM to 10 PM

APRIL 24th - Demo Listening Derby.  See the pictures HERE!

Many came to hear what the Big Schmooze panel had to say about what makes better songs and how great songs get the attention of both the public and industry. Over 20 songs were critiqued - a big plus for the artists who put their pride and joy up to public and professional scrutiny. But everyone in attendance got a real education. The audience was captivated by the depth of knowledge of both the industry and music and all the comments, although directed at each musical submission, had universal truth that everyone could take away to help improve their craft and understanding of song writing. Learn more about the experts below:

Panel moderated by Joe Chisholm -founder, host, IndieCan Radio.

John Capek - Teacher, Hit Songwriter for Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Cher, Toto, Chicago, Olivia Newton-John, Little River Band, Heart, Patti Austin and Manhattan Transfer.

Doug Romanow - Juno-nominated producer and owner of Fire Escape recording studio.
Elizabeth Spear - Creative Manager with Ole Publishing, one of the largest independent Music Publishers in the world. 
Bob Segarini - legendary Broadcaster, "The Ice Man" on Q107 and Sirius Satellite Radio, now producer of internet radio station Radio That Doesn't Suck! Bob had a few bands - google "the Wackers" - lol. Bob offers a music promtion service to indie artists at a very reasonable cost.

IndieCan Covers Canadian Music Week with more team-members on the streets than ever before. Once agian, you'll find more CMW here than at CMW. We will help if you are here - we will help if you can't be here. Hear IndieCan Radio CMW 09 Hear CMW President Neill Dixon on CMW 09

IndieCan Radio will be bringing you hours of Canadian Music week including (show 124)Vanderpark live at IndieCan with CMW big-cheese, Neill Dixon + (125) Sunshine State live at IndieCan. Coming soon, we hear from April Wine (# 126), honoured with a Life Time Achievement Award by the Canadian Music and Broadcasting Industry Hall of Fame. See April Wine, talking to IndieCan, meeting old friend and producer, Ralph Murphy. See who's on IndieCan Radio

Anvil was inducted to the Indie Hall of Fame in a presentation by Biff Naked to join the likes of D.O.A., Rough Trade, The Pursuit of Happiness and more. Performances included Montreal's Beast, St. John's Hey Rosetta and Midway State. XM Canada's Jeff Leake hosted an enchanted night to a charged up, full house at the Royal York - See Indie Award winners and performers HERE! More on Myspace (coming soon). Video on YouTube


Once again at CMW, legendary songwriter, Andy Kim hosted the Canadian Radio Star finals as finalists for 12 radio stations across the country sing-off for a great prize pack. Included were IndieCan friends Andrew Hunter (Nova Scotia), Jeffery Straker (Sask), The Insiders, Stephanie Mainville, Seven Days, Watters Brothers, Tigerbomb, Taylor Demetrioff, John Antoniuk (pictured with Andy Kim), Zoo Lion, My Sister Ocena and eventual winner, The Latency from Vancouver.

See the whole gallery here by Wendy L. Rombough. Congrats to all the fianlists. IndieCan wishes you could all have won.

I am filled with hope about the music scene in Canada and more specifically, in Toronto - which I often
accuse of being a "thank God it's Monday" town, to busy and important and overwhelmed for art. But the
streets have been filled with excitement. CMW 2009 and more importantly, the Festival segment
(Can. Music Fest), have seen many venues over-flowing or beyond capacity. Nothing I could have said could
have got me into Mother Mother Thursday night at The Supermarket. Tyrone wasn't out from at the Horseshoe
and I got cock-blocked there too. It was the same all over town. Sure - I didn't get to cover all the bands
I wanted to see and talk to but the cold and heartless strictly business city I live in grew a soul. Like the
Grinch, Toronto's heart grew to the size of 10 Toronto's + 2. Inside the Royal York Hotel, (which you will
never find me calling the fairmout) conference were packed. I got to talk with Myles Goodwyn and the
rest of the new-look April Wine. I will bring that to you soon. I didn't ask where Jimmy Clench (bass player for
all my favorite albums) was. In case the answer is ugly, why rain on their induction parade. Myles and Brian
deserve it (bust so do some missing soldiers). Someone asked me, "Who's that? He looks stressed out
." I said, "That's Neill Dixon, president of CMW. There's 5,000 people in this hotel right now who think they can
run this thing way better than him. I doubt he's had enough sleep and there just isn't enough coffee."

Twice daily Team-IndieCan will be posting new content here and Myspace and Facebook. We look forward to
bringing it to you - what a privilege. Here's a few pics, and comments to start with. Check out our radio page
for some sounds of CMW.

For conference goers of Canadian Music Week, a battle of two influential titans emerged. I don't think I was
planned that way, otherwise it would have been billed that way. Gene Simmons and Bob Lefsetz has what
seems at times geometrically opposing views on the what is and should never be of the music biz.










Gene Simmons is looking to recruit the best of the best of the best in un-signed talent, provide his artist(s)
with the weapons needed to come out on top - using his label, marketing and merchandising know how to
create a made-in-Canada international superstar.

Lefsetz believes the traditional label-artist relationship is tragically flawed and has no future. In the most
widely read music biz news letter in the world Bob Lefsetz has argued that in the near future the workable
model puts the power with the artists not the label - not even if your subordinating your career to Mr. Kiss
Army, the most successfully marketed franchise in the U.S. history.

Here's the common ground Simmons and Lefsetz agree on - most emerging artist are grossly unrealistic
about the odds of success, the sacrifice required or the path to take. One titan won me over, but both won
my even growing respect. Lefsetz, beholden to no one, Gene Simmons, an undeniable self-made man
who plays to his own strengths and makes no apologies for his shortcomings. IndieCan will spend
some time dissecting what these great men had to say. It's only fair - they both put years of work and
experience into arriving at the convictions they promulgate now.

THIS JUST IN: Neill Dixon, preident of CMW seized opportunity - 4 PM Thursday in the Royal
York Ballroom, the cage match was scheduled - Simmons/Lefsez - IndieCan was there! Details will
follow soon.

See how Wendy L Rombough interprets Gene, Laura Peek and Matt Mays are part of an East Coast boast. Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC and Manitoba wouldn't go unheard either.

Team IndieCan divvied up Day II Canadian Music Fest duties loosely as three teams: Bloor Street, College Street and Queen Street. Adjustments had to be made as several venues were at or over capacity, denying entry and forcing to amend our plans. This is a sacrifice worth making to give in to the fact that demand for these showcases is on the rise. Detailed galleries and commentary are coming soon including the Music BC Showcase, Tanya Davis, Amanda Rheume, The Parlotones, Matt Mays and El Torpedo, Easy Targets and much more. CLICK HERE for samples of IndieCan pics of Canadian Music Fest 2009 by Douglas Graham and others.

CMW DAY KICK OFF: IndieCan Wednesdays was one of five official Canadian Music Week kick-off venues. Several other renegade CMW celebrations were also presented across the city. The Rok Boutique was CMWing, and the Big-Bop was doing a two story 15 band night of Indie Night in Canada upstairs at the Reverb and down in Kathedral. IndieCan Wednesdays regulars and new-comers were treated to a trio of showcases that left most thinking there couldn't have been a better line

up of music anywhere in the world that night. Power-pop New Jersey lads, Jet Lag Gemini kicked the night off and if their set was some kind of foreshadowing, Rock 'n' Roll is here to stay, it will never die. I chatted with the band before the show (They will be at Tattoo Rock Parlor

Thursday night) andn they couldn't believe how expensive parking was. Were they ever happy to hear that with their Garden State plates they could collect the whole set - at no cost to them and use them as post cards to communicate with their loved ones back home. I pushed my luck a

little when I told them that if they get any ticket with 4 consecutive 3s they could take it to City Hall to redeem the $100 and bottle of Maple Syrup for possessing a winning ticket. Now, on to set # 2: What seems to be a haven for great alt/country, from the UK, Liverpool's Familiar Looking Strangers showed off some stunning vocal harmonies and many North American influences such as soul, R & B, Blies as well as the country/roots signature sound of the band. Paul Baker,

guitarist said to us "You can't choose what kind of music comes out of you." (FLS play The Cadillac Lounge Saturday night). Manana (Tomorrow) from Basel Switzerland are promoting their latest xperimental art/rock CD, "Interruptions" on a North American tour that includes CMW and SXSW. Manuel, lead vocalist when asked if he knew Canadian bands like The Dears, says, "The Dears - they are fucking awesome!" paying homage to his Canadian cousins. "People in the audience were shouting out song titles," exclaims Manuel B�rkli, "How do they know are songs?" The WreckRoom crowd wouldn't leave without an encore.

See Familiar Looking Stranger & Manana pictures here.

Wendy's WEDNESDAY PICS (Tattoo Rock Parlour, The Horseshow, Rok Boutique + Jet Lag Gemini)

 Wendy's THURSDAY MARCH 12 - PHOTOS Saturday night Indie Awards performances

Like being there: See the indies, and come club hopping with us on IndieCan's YouTube page

Couldn't make it to the Gene Simmons/Bob Lefsetz cage-match? We have it HERE.

CMW has podcasting of some of the key-note speakers. See what Bryen Dunn saw @ CMW HERE

Hillside Inside 2009 Brings Summer to Canadian Winter February 7th
Wendy L Rombough photos - top: Bell Orchestre, Bedouin Sound Clash, K'Naan, Sam Roberts bottom: Thunderheist, The D'Ubervilles, That One Guy, Stars. Also The Magic, Great Lake Swimmers, Jay Malinowski,

"We are still in the experimental stage with Hillside Inside" says Artistic Director, Sam Baijal. "It's been 25 years of Hillside's summer festival
and only the second year we've done this in the winter. Our summer festival sells out before we even announce the artist line up - it has that culture, it has that history. We are hopeful that in time Hillside Inside will develop those same attributes." Sam Roberts said from the stage "Let's here it for
Sam for bringing summer to hockey arena in the middle of a Canadian winter." Some patrons jokingly refer to Hillside Inside as the first day
of spring. Even the temperature came in line and rose out of the below freezing temperatures for the day. (Take a trip through Guelph's
Sleeman Centre with photographer, Wendy L. Rombough - CLICK HERE)

There is always a great balance of genre, marquee acts vs. emerging acts and a feel unlike other concerts. Attendees are free to travel from
the floor to the stands, to the vendors market, in and out privileges allow anyone to take a break and walk about downtown Guelph. Vendor,
Jason Bellchamber (Bellchamber Rings) is a veteran of Hillside and he heard opening act, The D'Urbervilles sound checking as he was
setting and he said "Whooo, that's attention getting - who are they." Locals, The D'Urbervilles aren't new to the scene but they are starting to
get some universal recognition. Hillside kicks off an exciting year that includes Canadian Music Week and their first South By South West.
The Magic was another local emerging act that impressed. Great Lake Swimmers introduced new music from their upcoming release Lost
Channels which included some up-beat and very sing-a-long-able new tunes. Jay Malinowski introduced his solo material as well participatin
g in a great Bedouin Soundclash set. The boys of Bedouin are off to the land down under and they tell IndieCan that they are stoked about
doing some big-venue shows with No Doubt later this year. Montreal's Bell Orchestre includes Sarah and Richard from Archade Fire,
who don't refer to Bell O as a side project at all. This ensemble includes both classically trained talent and other artists on record for rude
comments about classical that has them in hot water with their parents. I first had my music-loving socks off by Bell O at the 2008 Hillside
"outside" festival where they entranced the island stage patrons. K'Haan, a Sam Baijal favourite, The Aboriginal Opening Ceremonies,
That One Guy and Thunderheist stretched the boundaries of pop, art and cultural community and the Sleeman Centre crowd finished the
night off with back-to-back sets of more Montreal with The Sam Roberts Band and Stars - either of which could justify admission cost of
$55 to $70 on their own depending on what spectrum of pop culture you identify with.

Check out swanky Hillside Inside pics, Coming Soon: IndieCan Radio coverage of Hillside Inside includeing chats with The D'Urbervilles (pictured here with IndieCan Radio's Joe Chisholm, Bedouin Soundclash and organizer, Sam Baijal


January 17, 18, 19, 2009 the 4th Annual Blues Summit graces Toronto. Maple Blues Awards were handed out at The Phoenix

Don't just read, it, hear Episode 118, IndieCan gets the blues

Artists, festival directors, blues societies and other industry leaders meet and greet in Toronto. Day one at the Delta Chelsea Hotel, great artists strut their stuff at The Summit

Toronto has been treated to the countries best of the blues for three days. January 17th to 19th, The Delta Chelsea hosted Maple Blues bands on two stages. Ross Neilsen, Blackburn, (top) Fathead and Tracy K (bottom) were just four of the acts that brought Blues power to T.Dot's winter wonderland Saturday. pictures courtesy of Jenn Martin

Summit Pics -Saturday in colour - black and blue / Sunday in colour - black and blue and Conference Pics+ IndieCan presents... Eric Thom Pics

Sunday morning, following a buffet breakfast (and yes I agree - a Blues Breakfast should somehow be a smoke filled room that smells of stale beer, but croissant, eggs, hash browns and fried pig by-product were the order of the day... and plenty of coffee) The Blues Summit keynote speaker was Ben Manilla, The House of Blues partner to the radio front man, Dan Aykroyd, A.K.A. Elwood Blues.

Ben Manilla talk about House of Blues

Ben's child-like love of music is still intact. He recounted so many of the
idols he's interviewed that he still truly admires. His motto, stolen from
Jerry Garcia, who stole it from Cary Grant, "If you just stay in one place long enough, people figure you're suppose to be there." The House of Blues
radio hour (2 hours in some markets) is the longest running blues radio show in American history, running every week since 1993.

For anyone wondering what interest, IndieCan - an emerging music
community would have in "tired old blues music," here's one of the most
compelling commentaries Manilla made: "Every town I go to in the USA,
someone's bragging about a 16 year old who's better than Stevie Ray
Vaughn. One festival in particular in the USA has a youth component (21 and younger) to their Blues Festival and they had 23 performers"

In the media panel that followed the keynote, Danny Marks answered the
question, "How can we (the Blues community) get our fan base average
age down?" Without hesitation, Marks piped in, "As the old guard steps
aside and makes room for young performers to play the blues, young people
catch on. As long as we look like Dad's music, young people will be reticent to embrace it."

Media Round Table discusses the state of The Blues

Young Canadian artists like Jimmy Bowskill and Alex Tintinalli are ready to take their place on larger stages as soon as the limelight will be shared by the old guard. In 2008 Southside Shuffle did just that, introducing festival goers to Homemade Jamz from Mississippi. Neither audience nor critics treated this 16-and-under sibling blues team as a novelty act. They are the real deal - and nowhere did we hear the condition "...for a bunch of kids."

Blues players and fans alike always have, and always will honour their roots - those who have come before them and the craft of "the Blues." Tradition withstanding, music writers like Errol Nazareth still demand originality from new offerings. "If it's clich� I will say 'this is clich�' but luckily there is plenty of original blues and roots music on the Canadian scene like Julian Fauth..."
The IndieCan favourite quote of the day goes to Richard Flohil : "Music has to reach you in the head, the heart, the crotch or the feet - any two of the four can give you a hit song."

Keith Hallet's New Brunswick Blues
Hamilton's Steve Strongman's band rock the Summit


MonkeyJunk, Danny Marks + more IndieCan Radio

Review: "No Looking Back" by David Rotundo Band



More panels, more learning, networking, bonding and such. Now, after a full of day of conferencing, how about a full night of music?
We saw MonkeyJunk, Scott McCord and the Bonafide Truth, Amos Garrett, Suzie Vinnick, Matt Anderson, Ray Bonneville, Steve Strongman
, Keith Hallett and more. You will be hearing from some of these people in IndieCan Radio episode 118 and seeing what
we saw in photo galleries The Maple Blues Awards at the Phoenix Concert Theatre payed tribute to Jeff Healey and his band - Check our Myspace Blog for all the winners.

"When Balls are held for pleasure, that's the balls I like the best" AC/DC ~ Wednesday December 10th XM Satellite's Channel 87 THE VERGE had their "Thank God It's Not Another XMAS Party!" GalaThis was a free event at Tattoo Rock Parlour. Moneen, The Arkells & Hollerado played to the 500 that got in of the 700 that RSVPed.

Rocking the Burbs - Award winning Indie acts DO Kitchner / Waterloo + New Market Ontario!

James "The Road Dog" Walker and Sound FM hosted their annual fall night of noise in Kitchener Novernber 21 and IndieCan was there. Hello Beautiful closed the set that included The Joys, Low Level Flight and locals, Bravura. Pictures paint a thousand words so this should save me tens of thousands - CHECK THIS OUT - snappy pics, aren't they? Sound FM plays IndieCan Radio Wednesday's at 3 PM on 100.3 on the FM dial in Kitchener/Waterloo. Thanks Elements Night Club and thanks PIZZA NOVA for the warm and yummy food.

The other part of the November 21 double header included bringing culture to Toronto's northern outskirts where IndieCan was proud to be part of a first class night of music with Human RecordLittle Sunday and Japhy. See what IndieCan saw at the Newmarket Theatre, "NEW CONCERT SERIES" CLICK HERE

Halifax POP Explosion 2008

Halifax POP Explosion is an annual festival that feels like a holiday for me. I love the pace of Halifax, I have great friends that live there now and at every HPX I have great friends show up there. HPX is only small when you compare it to central Canada's festivals like NXNE, POP Montreal of Canadian Music Week that sees upwards to 500 bands and/or artists performing. I know the heart-ache for all the bands in Central Canada that apply for Halifax POP Explosion and get refused each year. I know these performers; I think they should be in Halifax; I think their charisma and music would make the festival a better experience for locals and bridge more gaps in our somewhat problematic music community. It's too bad that there isn't room everyone. I am sure "You are not welcome here" is not the message HPX Jury members are trying to convey. I know that bands like Toronto's The Free Press and Ottawa's Loud Love would enhance the experience for locals and travelling delegates alike but there isn't room. There are venues playing live music during HPX in Halifax, but for what ever reason, there are only a select group of HPX venues

See what we heard Saturday Day & Nightthe conference, Sebastien Grainger, Islands, Waye Mason, White Cowbell Oklahoma

See Halifax POP Explosion Friday

See Halifax POP Exlosion Thursday

Halifax POP Explosion Wednesday Night -CLICK FOR PICS Mt. Royal, Love Machine, Nick Zubeck, Golden Hands Before God, The Spades, The Diableros +

Halifax POP Explosion Tuesday NightCLICK HERE for Emm Gryner, Jay Retard, Modern Boys Modern Girls, Kestrels, Share


listen to IndieCan Radio's Show ( # 106) onHalifax POP Explosion

"People are still buying VIP delegate passes from the USA and other far-away-places and when they come here, they want to see the Joel Plasketts and other local buzz bands when they get here," says Waye Mason, Executive Director of Halifax POP Explosion. That said, some of you may remember a blog I sent out after Tuesday of HPX called "NO FRED NO SAID" because at Coconut Grove, Fred from Ireland and Said The Whale from Vancouver we scheduled to play, the engineer at the venue told me he was unaware of any cancellations at 7 PM when I made my preliminary rounds, but then the 9:30 start got pushed back by the time I got there at 9:15 because both bands were no-shows. I don't know why that happened. I think in the case of Fred, there arrival hinged on a travel grant that never came. I hope all is well with Said the Whale, but I don't know what happened there. That's the sort of thing that might irk someone who received a "P.F.O." Sonic Bid reply.

Not all was lost on Day 1. IndieCan saw Emm Gryner at The Music Room - what a cool location. Its downside is that it's so far off the beat and path but it's an intimate, bright and warm place to enjoy great music and Emm, what a great way to kick off the festival. At the other end of the music spectrum, the night ended with Jay Retard at the Marquee - Folk to Punk - love it! Share was a band that played the shortened Coconut Grove set and I loved them - good local talent worth checking out.

Wednesday saw more of Team-IndieCan out. If you're on YouTube check out IndieCan Joe for a couple of videos in a series I call "IndieCan Crappy Cannon Cam Videos" by Joe C - Cannon doesn't pay us to enhance their product branding, it's just the point-and-click digital that I shoot these things on. Wednesday started my "Crappy Cam" coverage which over two videos will include Holy Fuck, Sebastien Grainger, Young Rival, Golden Hands Before God, White Cowbell Oklahoma, Modern Boys Modern Girls and much more. Doug Graham will be bringing us some high-quality video from HPX but all in good time. My crap is posted quickly and suffers through spelling errors and marginal quality. I know that to people with whom spelling matters, it matters a lot - but if it's how I will be judged, I will be judged badly. I also digress badly, don't I?

Thursday and Friday, let's see what I can cram in to what I saw and loved - VKNGS, Catherine MacLellan and Boxer The Horse from PEI, Sports The Band, Hilotrons, Innes Wilson from Guelph, The Superfantastics, Holy Fuck, Rich Aucoin, Rural Alberta Advantage, American Eric, Windom Earle and Sheva - who wasn't part of HPX.

City of Halifax, Young Rival, Catherine MacLellan, Sebastien Grainger, Emm Gryner, Grant Lawrence, The Superfantastics and The Seahorse Tavern
Saturday IndieCan stopped by the brunch at Gus' Pub where Mat and Dave of Let's Get Baked (Radio Show) were jammin' with Laura Peak and others were enjoying breakfast. Not long after that, you could have found IndieCan at the Zine Fair and we had a blast, not far down from the 6015 Willow project's table. We met some long-time listeners, made some new friends, sold some buttons and T-shirts and got a bunch of new Email pals. I found Chantal of The Maynards there too, who I saw the night before and got thier CD from her. Sebastien Grainger and Islands were part of the CBC Radio 3 night, where we got to hang with Kelowna of XM Satelitte Radio, Grant and Craig from CBC and chat with Waye Mason about this years Pop Explosion - an interivew you'll hear on that hyper link to 106 right down there... go ahead, you can click it. If it doesn't start playing some super-fab music, let us know.

Also on the final night, Myles Deck and the Fuzz, White Cowbell Oklahoma, Toronto's The Bicycles were jamming with Township Expansion, locals Iron Giant and seeing our Hamilton friends, Young Rivals was sweet, too.

Thanks for having us Halifax - we will have to POP and Explode again very soon. Enjoy some picture galleries in the mean time and if you have not heard Episode 106 of IndieCan Radio - what's the point of reading about music anyway? Get to it and listen up. It's more like being there.



Indie Week Toronto - October 8 to 11, 2008

(above) Night Flowers at Holy Joes

Wendy's Oct 10 2008  PHOTOS

Jenn's Oct 10 2008 PHOTOS

Review INDIE WEEK 2007

What do you get when you have showcases all over the west end of down-town from Wednesday to Friday as part of Indie Week? 18 bands making the final showcase finals, playing off for the fans and the judges with thousands of dollars in cash and prizes up for grabs. The format was this: Reverb was retrofitted with an extended stage, an extra backline (drums, amps and PA system) ready for 10 bands to go back to back to back with 15 minutes sets and upstairs at Holy Joe's another 9 bands were playing off in what we'll call "Pool B." More of the acoustic or smaller acts (3 or less performers) were competing in a show that previous Indie Week winner, Peter Katz was hosting.

At IndieCan we are still putting together commentary and the final day photo-gallery but here's the punch line: In a Reverb playoff that could have been a coin toss between at least 5 acts, Walter Mitty & the Realists - one of the Irish invasion bands won downstairs and Bella Clava took the Holy Joe's showdown. Each of the two finalists went head to head with a couple more tunes for the audience and the judges and it would be Walter Mitty & the Realists who won the "winner-take-all" format. "I have seen these guys four times now," says Darryl Hurs, IndieWeek founder "and they get better and better with each performance." Walter Mitty & the Realists lead vocalist, Niall MacTaidhg added, "This hasn't really sunk in yet but everywhere we went in Canada, every show we played, we were treated like fucking Gods - we love this city!"

Yes, there was an Irish Invation in Toronto this weekend - Vesta Varro, who along with Durham's Hello Beautiful won Indie Week '07 are part of an all-Irish showcase at The Hide Out Friday October 10 included Fred from Cork and Walter Mitty & The Realists + Maslow from Limerick.

(above) Bella Clava, finalists

 (below) IndieCan with Indie Week founder Darryl Hurs, plus three members of the winning band, Walter Mitty & The Realists

What was Oliver Black - now Townline DID the Horseshoe Friday night. The Riv, Shoe, Bo, Hideout, Reverb, Holy Joe's Free Times Cafe and Rancho Relaxo are all in on the IndieWeek act as well as Tattoo ex-Friday and Saturday, where they make way for their dance crowd from the 905.

IndieWeek format puts diverse musical acts in front of audiences who have never heard of them. No matter who you came to see here at IndieWeek, you were treated to other acts on the bill that were sure to impress. Great job to Darryl and his team - IndieWeek 5 was a great time, well attended and had a great vibe to it.

IndieCan couldn't be everywhere but we didn't find any soft spots in what we did see. We hope you enjoy our pictures and commentary. Episode 104 of IndieCan Radio will be completely devoted to Indie Week # 5. Congrats to all the other bands hat made the finals: Nathan Moormaw, Christina Maria, Larry Bagby, Ariel Mura, Ketch Harbour Wolves, Whaletooth, Braine, The Cunninghams, Pavlov'e Dog's Orchestra, Selena 7tySix, Random Robbery, Murder City Sparrows, Isle of Thieves, Purr and Process.

More on IndieWeek 2008 click here! 

Hear IndieCan's IndieWeek Radio Show







 Fidget at the Hideout (left) and BreadFan doing the Reverb (below) as part of the Jagermeister showcase. IndieCan will be at the finals Saturday evening and bringing a complete review of Indie Week. More images coming soon - why, because we love you, that's why. 


POP Montreal  2008 - October 1st to 5th was an annual party in the streets unlike anything else in Canada. We've told you about many of the bands before, we have covered club style festivals in Canada, but Montreal is in Quebec and Quebec is a distinct society; a cultures absorbing, party loving society with scale. Venue after venue that IndieCan visited neared over-capacity. I don't know if that's good organizing or just a testament to what a great city for art that Montreal is. Founded in 2002 by Daniel Seligman, Noelle Sorbara, and Peter Rowan (who has since moved on down the 401 to T.Dot's Queen Street), it has expanded in scope and vision every year, and celebrated it's 7th anniversary. We met visitor from San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Long Island, Vancouver, Halifax and..... damn, I know I am forgetting a few!@$@$!



Hollorado get everyone dancing unitl 3 AM
Outside and in - it was crowded
The Dears, new music, new light, new look.

Thursday IndieCan arrived but POP Montreal had started without us. Some of the Thursday acts we caught were Dave Martel, The Dears and Hollerado. The Jupiter Room must have been over capacity for the Dave Martel set. I noticed some industry buzz-buzz-buzz and it's nice to see a town and a room embrace Dave Martel's music the way it deserves to be enjoyed. I knew I would be catching up with Patrick Krief later in Montreal and then back in T.Dot for IndieCan Wednesday October 15, but I didn't yet know if his non-stop song writing frenzy and if his Black Diamond Bay commitments had brought an end to his Dears duties. Well, Krief was there, along with new band mates Andre, Roberto and George to take in The Dear's showcase at the Masonic Temple. - a campy, oddly lit let down for photographers, horny to post evidence of their presence at the unveiling of the all-new Dears (in the low-lights) new music. Two days later, I would talk to George about just that while we were stage left at Caf� Campus waiting for Black Diamond Bay to take the stage. "It wasn't really an act of indignance, we just wanted to do something different."

Friday was a WeeWerk focus as they had "side-by-each" venues pumping out non-stop twang from 8:30 PM to 3:00 AM. I missed Don Brownrigg (sorry Don, long story - explain in Halifax) which was bumming my POP Mtl high, but I did get to catch up with Charlotte Cornfield, Proof of Ghosts, Ladies of The Canyon, The Burning Hell, Canteen Knockout, The Unsettlers and United Steel Workers of Montreal. Some of Team-WeeWerk is off to Germany for Popkomm Music Festival in Berlin including Andre of Canteen Knockout, Don Brownrigg and USWM. For those of you who can't wait of the new Steel Workers CD, (and I still love Kerosene & Coal) it's being mixed and mastered now, so it won't be long. I got to hear some of the new music - smokin'!!! I also got time to head further on down the road to catch part of the Hey Rosetta (winner of this fall's XM Satellite Channel 52 The Verge $25,000 Music Act of the Year award) set which, as always was like a breath mint for the soul.

Saturday wasn't too hard to pick a venue - Caf� Campus had Black Diamond Bay and Mother Mother back to back - how sweet is that? It should have been a bigger venue according to the wrap around line up out front of hopefuls that never got in. That made for a great start to the night before seeking out new music on "The Main." So, Patrick Krief are coming to Toronto, NYC, Quebec City and Boston this Fall. This is one of our few "MUST SEE" live acts. If you ever wanted to know about what great '60s jam bands like Cream, Hendrix and Ten Years After were really like, come see Black Diamond Bay - it' not far from the real thing. Ryan Guldemond took some time to talk about the new record, "OH MY HEART" which I will be featuring on IndieCan Radio soon. Some serious make-over time and thought has gone into Mother Mother hair - looks like they got that "Touch Up" they were singing about last year after all. Mother Mother is on their way to CMJ October 24th. So, for anyone going to New York City write that down. If you aren't going to be there, check them out online to see where you can see them - I have seen Mother Mother three or four times and I am a long way form tiring of them just yet. Also, like "Touch Up" this isn't a CD you will buy, listen to and put away for life. You'll be coming back to this one - over and over.

At POP Montreal Symposium IndieCan took in some meaningful workshops or seminars. There was an interesting discussion on the state of Music Journalism. The comment was made that for readers - things haven't ever been better. For journalists, things haven't been this bad... ever. People like "just the facts" blogs and books when they want detail; feature articles - the main-stay of the journalist, fans don't have the time for. A lot of time was devoted to "Why is this so?" as the panellists performed a public wake for their profession of choice. You know what's strange? None of these people where at PodCamp Montreal - which we were at two weeks ago, where the answers to these questions were articulated. Journalists use to be gate-keepers. We came to them because they got the music first; they got to ask the question directly to the songwriter, "What were you going through when you wrote that song?" Now fans can get the music as it comes out of the studio on myspace. Fans can ask the things they want to know directly thanks to facebook. Fans can also find out where the band will be, how to get tickets, swag or what have you without waiting for the weekly Entertainment section in the Paper to arrive.

Songwriters Association of Canada panellists spanned four decades in age and the anatomy of a song discussion had some clear generational differences of opinion. I loved this discussion. Don Quarles, of SAC moderated and did a good job to keep the audience involved.

Another great panel was all about taking it on the road - international touring and festivals. Did you know that 10,000 applications come in to SXSW. 1,800 are selected.

More POP Montreal coverage 100's more pictures will follow. I want to take this time to thank organizers for having IndieCan as part of the festival. And thanks to La Belle Provence for making us feel at home.

Canadian Music Cafe at TIFF 2008

Day 1 Photo Gallery    Day 2 Photo Gallery    Day 3 Photo Gallery

For IndieCan, the highlight of the Toronto International Film Festival is the Canadian Music Cafe - a three day showcase exposing Canadian artists to music supervisors, directors and anyone in the film industry that is responsible for music placement. This is another opportunity to have Canadian music enjoyed by the rest of the world. Day One had had an anxious feel to it as reports were coming in that Tuesday's show clean-up hitter, Martha Wainwright was stuck on a plane delayed somewhere south of the border.

Ali Milner of Whistler BC kicked off the event, a piano playing songstress who looked pretty bubbly at the 1:00 pm start time considering that's 10:00 am Pacific Standard time. An IndieCan favourite, Kyrie Kristmanson introduced us to her latest record Pagan Love and some CBC commissioned work she's doing. About Kyrie, I always refer to a coffee I enjoyed on a Queen Street patio with Michael "A Man Called" Wrycraft where he eyed Kyrie's first record in a stack I had on the table and he said, "Have you heard that CD yet? Did it fuck you up?"

Royal Wood, the only full-on band of the day, took Martha's time slot and played to a very receptive crowd. Royal Wood was one of the first reviews that ever appeared on, compliments of co-founder, Andre Skinner. The Duo, Thunderheist was a hip-hoppin' caffeine injection to what had been a pretty safe and easy listening day - hey not that folk can't be dangerous and edgy... come to think of it, that's a good question. Well, the answer to that question was addressed as Martha Wainwright hit the stage to close the show -  no band, no makeup, no sound check, just her and a guitar. Her new CD, "I know that you're married but I have feelings too" says something about the humour of this multi-generational songstress that I won't attempt to fairly represent in print. You have to see it, and if you haven't you should. She was funny, she was talented and she was professional. She wowed the crowd and CBC host Craig Norris was apologetic to admit that he had never seen Martha perform live.See What IndieCan saw Day 1, Click Here

Ali Milner Day 1 Royal Wood - Day 1

Wednesday September 10 Day 2 CLICK HERE to see Gentelman Reg, City and Colour, Final Flash, Two Hours Traffic, Jill Barber. IndeCan had some great interviews that we will share with you on Day 2. Final Flash is a new Montreal band working with Jace Lasek from The Besnard Lakes on their upcoming CD. Jill Barber, a Toronto native, got her music career going in Halifax and is now moving to the left-coast. Restless spirit? Maybe there are some answers in her new record, "Chances." Two Hours Traffic wasn't completly down with being dubbed "the band in plaid" but they were still good sports about talking shop with us. These interviews and more will find their way to IndieCan Radio soon.

Two Hours Traffic - Day 2, hear them on Episode 100

Thursday September 11, 2008 Shuyler Jansen of Saskatchewan showcased some singer/songwriter twang, Grand Analog, Lindi Ortega and Kreesha Turner, who you may have seen doing her Dundas Square performance at NXNE, all performed to a healthy and welcoming industry crowd. The show closed with The Midway State, the Collingwood Ontario pop-rock foursome who will be part of our one hour radio show (EPISODE 100) which you can hear by clicking the link. This year, Michael Perlmutter is the Caf� Coordinator and he talks to IndieCan on Episode 100 as well. Micheal comes to the role with sum creds as music supervisor of such films and television shows as "High Life", "Childstar", "Queer as Folk" and "Degrassi: The Next Generation".

CBC Radio 3 broadcaster and podcaster, Craig Norris hosted this years event, meeting some old friends and scoping some talent that was new to his national brodcaster ears and eys. Day 2 was recorded for CBC.

Day 3 photos CLICK HERE  Photo credits: Wendy L Rombough

Two Hours Traffic - Day 2, hear them on Episode 100

Thursday September 11, 2008 Shuyler Jansen of Saskatchewan showcased some singer/songwriter twang, Grand Analog, Lindi Ortega and Kreesha Turner, who you may have seen doing her Dundas Square performance at NXNE, all performed to a healthy and welcoming industry crowd. The show closed with The Midway State, the Collingwood Ontario pop-rock foursome who will be part of our one hour radio show (EPISODE 100) which you can hear by clicking the link. This year, Michael Perlmutter is the Caf� Coordinator and he talks to IndieCan on Episode 100 as well. Micheal comes to the role with sum creds as music supervisor of such films and television shows as "High Life", "Childstar", "Queer as Folk" and "Degrassi: The Next Generation".

CBC Radio 3 broadcaster and podcaster, Craig Norris hosted this years event, meeting some old friends and scoping some talent that was new to his national brodcaster ears and eys. Day 2 was recorded for CBC.

Day 3 photos CLICK HERE  Photo credits: Wendy L Rombough



Craig Norris- Music Cafe Emcee New from Montreal- Final Flash, Day 2 Lindi Orlega- Day 3 performance

Thursday September 11, 2008 Shuyler Jansen of Saskatchewan showcased some singer/songwriter twang, Grand Analog, Lindi Ortega and Kreesha Turner, who you may have seen doing her Dundas Square performance at NXNE, all performed to a healthy and welcoming industry crowd. The show closed with The Midway State, the Collingwood Ontario pop-rock foursome who will be part of our one hour radio show (EPISODE 100) which you can hear by clicking the link. This year, Michael Perlmutter is the Caf� Coordinator and he talks to IndieCan on Episode 100 as well. Micheal comes to the role with sum creds as music supervisor of such films and television shows as "High Life", "Childstar", "Queer as Folk" and "Degrassi: The Next Generation".

CBC Radio 3 broadcaster and podcaster, Craig Norris hosted this years event, meeting some old friends and scoping some talent that was new to his national brodcaster ears and eys. Day 2 was recorded for CBC.

Day 3 photos CLICK HERE  Photo credits: Wendy L Rombough




Top Left - head draw for the event, Fidget, Top Right - headliner Exciter, Bottom Left - head cases, Bobnoxious, Bottom Right - head Metal Queen, chief and bottle washer, Betty

MQM's 2008 Phoenix Concert Theatre rocked hard for the house-party size crowd that paid their $25 in advance, $30 at the door afternoon and evening of big-hair sound. The line up was pop-punk to death metal to straight ahead De Lorean ride back to 1985 Heavy Metal, to afro-world beat. I am not a metal guy but I appreciate that these weren't light-weight music talents. Several of you have commented on how I poked fun at Montreal's Psychotic 4 by panning them in print; they took pretty well, so I invited them into our studio to have a few laughs, rock out and celebrate the music they have devoted their life to.

Many an IndieCan insider (male and female) own hair spray and apply it with pride so I don't get away with any "more sophisticated than thou" elitist crap around here. I don't go to enough of these types of shows to know if there is demand for this music. The bands I know, Bobnoxious and Fidget generally draw a crowd, but said-crowd all know they can wait a couple of weeks and see them somewhere else for $7. I assume that being at The Phoenix means there was some expectation of a larger crowd. I think like the beer commercial goes, people who like metal, like it a lot and "those" people, if they were here, they would have liked it.

We got some great photos. We had a good time. I can only assume the event was a bust but I don't pretend to know why. Performances were top-rate, the look and talent was there, and what a cool poster! Taking it on the chin and wallet in the same day isn't fun for anyone who works hard to create opportunity in the music business. I don't know what the winning formula is. Let's blame all the "May Be Attending" RSVPs from FaceBook that couldn't get the $30 together. But seriously, it looks to me like Metal Queen Management is only one or two slight adjustments from drop D-Shangri-La. I hope they keep at it. Their cold-blooded satin-worshiping hearts are in the right place.

 SEE MORE OF WHAT YOU MISSED   Photo credits: Wendy L Rombough

Hillside's 25 Summer Music Festival Gueph, July 25-27, 2008

What makes Hillside Music Festival one-of-a-kind on planet earth? Let's start with their "mission statemen
t": To create and present music-focused events and projects within a non-commercial, environmentally
responsible framework while engaging a diverse multi-generational community and volunteer base.

The 5000 tickets for people permitted on the island are, in recent years, sold out, well before the line up
of artists is fully announced. Many Hillsiders are seasoned veterans and they just trust Sam Bajal,
Artistic Director and the rest of Team-Hillside to deliver a high-quality weekend of events and music.
There is camping, there are workshops, family activities, 1000 volunteers,


Random Gallery I including Broken Social Scene, Spiral Beach, Sun Stage workshops, Bell Orchestre and more

Random Gallery II, people watching, back stage, fans, exhibitors, artists and IndieCan folks being goofy

Friday Night as seen by Gayle, Hawksley Workman, The Abrams Brothers, The Cowboy Junkies, Drums, drums, drums

Saturday as seen by Gayle, Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Spiral Beach, Po Girls, The Sadies and more...

Sunday as seen by Gayle,  The Acorn, Kids doing Kids Stuff, Chocolate, Hayden and more...

Main Stage as seen by Wendy, Elliott Brood, The Sadies, Sue Foley, Hayden and more...

Lake Stage as seen by Wendy, Mr. Something Something,  The Akron Family, Rae Spoon, Justin Rutledge, Jenn Grant + +

Island Stage as seen by Wendy, The Acorn, Plants and Animals, Mandibles, Spiral Beach, The Sunday Gospel Hour and more...


 Four stages going constantly for most of the day.
Several of this years' performers were last years volunteers. Airick Woodhead of Spiral
Beach has "been going to music festivals since he was 2 weeks old but Hillside is special.
Rolf Klausener of The Acorn said to the packed Island Stage audience that he has many
time been out there dreaming of being on that stage. He also said to his Hillside voluntee
r friends that he'll see them again next year at the late night drum circle in volunteer village

Broken Social Scene who closed the show took the time to say that they
travel to festivals all over the world and there is nothing just like Hillside
anywhere. Artists are rarely spending their entire weekend camped out in
the hotel or sitting back stage, schmoozing with industry. They are in the
audience, being music fans for a good part of the weekend and chatting with
the patrons, fan to fan.

Workshops are one of the idiosyncrasies of Hillside where artists for different acts are
put on a stage together with little direction other than to entertain the audience.
Fans are treated to once-in-a-life time musical experience, not likely to be repeated.
On the Sun Stage Saturday, David Woodhead, Danny Michel, blues artist Sue Foley
and Land of Talk's Lizzy Powell were cast on to the stage together and fans were the
first to hear the latest on Sue Foley's book on women and guitar, they got to see Danny
Michel, covering Peter Gabriel and improvised Pong and Asteroid sounds to David's bass
playing - all part of an impromptu 80's music debate, while Liz and Sue traded guitar leads
. Good Brothers, Roxanne Potvin and Jason Colett Sunday morning, followed by
Bell Orchestre (Arcade Fire and friends),


Plants and Animals, Culture Rejects, The
Acorn, Mandibles and more on the Island Stage. While on the Lake Stage, The Akron
Family, Burning Hell and an unplanned IndieCan Joe on percussion and back ground
vocals, Jenn Grant and unbilled friends (hear Jenn and Kinley on Episode 95 of IndieCan Radio), Justin


IndieCan's Little Drummer Girl, Jazmine Hurmuses reports on Hillside from her own vantage point of the Rainbow Stage and the rest of the kids area, kite flying, music, swimming and more fun than grown ups could know. Full Youth Reporter report, pictures and such RIGHT HERE

Rutledge. who finished his set by dismissing his band and climbing up onto a picnic table in the middle of the audience and shouting out the words for the audience to sing along  - which they did with great enthusiasm and it all ended on the Lake Stage with The Sadies and Po' Girl doing originals and Johnny Cash Sunday night.

Twenty five years of Hillside represents an entire generation and this year we celebrated two-generation families as did organizers. Margaret and Bruce Good (The Good Brothers) gave birth to two of The Sadies (pictured below) and throughout the weekend these two acts performed separately and together. Hey Gayle, thanks for introducing me to Margaret, what a celebrated career she has had and it looks like she has left a noble legacy. IndieCan will talk to Margaret Good about her musical life for a show coming to you soon. David Woodhead not only has he given Canada and the world his contribution to 150 records as a performer, engineer and producer, he is father to one half of Spiral Beach, brothers Airick and Daniel. David not only performed solo and a la workshop, he was Hillsiding as a fan right to the end, delighting in sharing his artsy photos of Broken Social Scene that he was taking from back stage.

Another Gayle Hurmuses introduction, Derek Andrews, Executive Director or The Guelph Jazz Festival, talked to us about a new World Music conference that will kick off in the fall of 2009 in Toronto. We'll be sharing that interview with you on an upcoming IndieCan Radio show.

IndieCan Radio will be featuring some Hillside on Episode 94 and 95 and more commentary will be coming soon. Listen to 94 now if you like. Jenn Grant will be live at IndieCan for 95 along with artist and organizer interviews. Radio page for more....



July 3rd to 13th is the real Nations Capital Marathon for music fans. BluesfestOttawa brings 300,000 music fans and about $22 Mil which may make this music festival only second to Government spending as a stimulant to the City of Ottawa. This is one of North America's biggest music festivals and don't let the name "Blues" fool you. The true-blue were here to play like Johnny Winter, but welcome Snoop Dog and Don Maclean to the main stage as well. For this assignment, IndieCan goes with a veteran and goes commando - no greasing palms or all-access gala life, Jenn Martin greace the elbows and intertwined with her wrist-band peers to bring the 'real' fan's perspective:

The 2008 Ottawa Bluesfest just wrapped up from a whirlwind eleven days jam packed with stellar music for every interest, tasty eats, gorgeous weather (mostly), and an overall great vibe.

This year marked the 15th anniversary of the festival and the line up of acts kept me stage hopping constantly. So much to see, hear and experience I wanted to split myself in seven pieces - one for each stage, and one for food and socializing. I did my best to take in as much as humanly possible, by careful co-ordination of the start times for each performer and some fancy manoeuvring, I even found time to grab some good grub before having to run again. I love the variety of food options Bluesfest always offers and try as much as possible, but have a hard time not having the same meal a few times once I've found my favourites - hence the case with the Pad Thai and Indian butter chicken with rice. For quick cheap munchies, there were samosas, Jamaican patties, pizza and the like, but the doughnuts and caramel corn were sinful treats as well as the ice cream that was always so convenient along the pathways. There were plenty of choices to keep my stamina up for sure.

When all was said and done I managed to catch 113 acts at the festival that I was able to listen to and photograph, and another ten or so I only got there in enough time to catch the end of their last song. Other than some futile crowd surfing attempts that were quickly thwarted by security, every crowd I was a part of was polite, controlled and very accommodating in my pursuit of great photos from the front of the stage, no matter what time during the set I was squeezing in. The few less than pleasant responses surprisingly came from people in an older age bracket, which was contrary to what I was expecting. Akon's set was outstandingly intense with the younger audience crammed in tighter than sardines, jumping, bouncing and swaying to his beats as a unified crowd, but was assisted on my journey to the front with nothing but smiles and a few followers who figured they'd tag along behind me because they knew where I was headed with my camera in hand...

Top: Elliott Brood, Guitar Shorty, Fergie Bottom: Great Big Sea, Don MacLean, Stars  

...With so much seen (with as wide musical interests as myself), it's hard to pick just one favourite, or even ten for that matter. I thoroughly enjoyed everything I saw from the local indie acts right up to the big name performers, with the exception of Brian Wilson only for the fact that he appeared little more than comatose. There are so many that stood out in each genre, where to begin? I'm a blues girl at heart so I'll start there...I took in some amazing blues greats with Keb' Mo', The Blind Boys of Alabama, Boz Scaggs, Bernard Allison, and Taj Mahal. Guitar Shorty and Otis Taylor got up close and personal with their audience involvement by disappearing off stage and re-appearing in the thick of the crowds. The Wailers stole the show the first Sunday drawing a larger crowd than I think any of the planners were expecting, and while Johnny Winter is a fraction of his former self, laid down some licks on axe like only he could, and managed to give The Wailers some fierce competition. Despite the humidity, I got covered by goose bumps from the power of Shakura S'Aida's voice; and Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Bettye Lavette, Kathleen Edwards, Becky Abbott, Amanda Reahume, Jully Black, Feist, Fergie, Joan Armatrading, and Donna Summer all owned the stage adding some dynamic, estrogen fuelled performances. There were so many entertaining acts - I rawked out with The Plain White T's, Wintersleep, Weatherthans, Tokyo Police Club, Metric, Primus, Three Days Grace, Matt Mays and El Torpedo, Matthew Good, Sam Roberts, The Tragically Hip, Zappa Plays Zappa, and The Black Crowes. I danced my heart out to Elliot Brood, United Steel Workers of Montreal, Balkan Beat Box, Mr Something Something, Eli Paperboy Reed, and JJ Grey & Mofro - where my friend and I claimed a space for bustin' some moves. I got my fix of harmonica for the next little while; it appeared randomly in some sets, but I needed more, so made sure to see Jason Ricci and Steve Marriner, which although different styles, I'm mesmerized by the sound of harp. Michael Franti put on a great performance and had the whole audience feeling fellowship and love while singing along with Hey World and Say Hey. Great Big Sea definitely had tremendous sized kitchen party and satisfied my taste for down home Celtic music. What else? There was Steely Dan, Don MacLean, Stars, Widespread Panic, James Taylor, The Cooper Brothers, Canned Heat, Wyclef Jean, Snoop Dogg - the list goes on and on, something for every taste, even some gospel shows on the second last day to make up for hedonistic Bluesfest living leading up to that point.

Then, if a full day or evening at the very least wasn't enough music to experience, there were the after parties held at Ottawa's Legendary Rainbow Bistro, which featured some of the Bluesfest artists - but for a longer performance to enjoy. This was my time to put the camera down and tear up the dance floor! I had to catch Jason Ricci again, and grooved to MonkeyJunk, Lil' Dave Thompson, and The Bluesrunners although some of my die hard friends made it there every night.

All in all, a terrific Bluesfest experience which I like many others are going through withdrawal from now, and the only regret is that I didn't pitch a tent down by the river to be able to see absolutely everything and still get some sleep. Ah well, it's an idea for next year.

See What Jenn Martin saw: FIRST 117 PICS 


The Toronto Pride Stage was host To Hunter Valentine, Jully Black and Shitt Hottt from T.Dot, Saskatchewan's Jeffery Straker and Montreal's Mad June to name a few. Hear from Pride artist's as part of Episode 91 of INDIECAN Radio 

Toronto Pride Fans Welcome Melanie C (no relation to our own Joe C despite the name sake). Melanie C was finishing up her Canadian tour . Soon we'll have more artists and Jenn and Wendy's "photo-journalism" of what over 1 Million flocked down town to see; the 2008 Toronto PRIDE Parade unabashed and in all it's glory.

Jenn's musical coverage includes Mad June, Jeffery Straker and more  HERE

Wendy's musical coverage includes Shitt Hottt, Jully Black and more  HERE

Pride Parade Part I  HERE    Pride Parade Part II  HERE


North By North East, June 2008 in Toronto

Hearing all about NXNE on IndieCan Radio:

Episode 91, Vancouver's THE PAINTED BIRDS live at IndieCan

Episode 90 God Made Me Funky, Public, Hello Beautiful, The Pack AD

Episode 89 Dan Mangan "live at IndieCan" Said The Whale, Rebekah Higgs, The Blood Lines, Carole Pope,

Episode 86, Julie Doiron, Ember Swift, Tin Bangs, Mad Staring Eyes

North by Northeast 14 struck Toronto June 12-15, 2008. For four days 100,000 frolicked in the humidity and rain to be entertained by some of the worlds best emerging artists and some legends in music. Five hundred erformers on stages at 40 of the city's coolest clubs + in store performances, park performances, B.B.Q performances and random jams in The Holiday Inn and Toronto speak-easys. The Film Festival screened the year's best music-related cinema. The Conference brought music celebs to Toronto for in-depth interview sessions in hope of the future of the music business revealing itself to us.




Picture Gallery from Jenn Martin

Random Picture Gallery on NXNE 2008

IndieCan Wendy Thursday

IndieCan Gayle Gallery Thursday

IndieCan Gayle Gallery Friday

IndieCan Gayle Gallery Saturday

Getting Wet For North By Northeast
And so it begins: Who didn't get wet if you were doing the club-to-club NXNE routine this week? IndieCan has a broad collection of Alice Cooper - wet T-shirt contest pics of delegates and wrist-band holders but we'll spare the innocent. We remember the great-white north of CMW 2008 and for North By, Mr. Weatherman (Rebekah Higgs reference) had to get into the act again with lightning and torrential rain. Wednesday night kicks off the summer festival at Palais Royale with a media and insider starting gun for schmooze-a-thon 2008. Fun enough I suppose - no rain anyway; caught us with a few conversations on our "things to do" list. Enough of that; on to the music.... (continued)

above: Hello Beautiful (top left) Rock 'n' Roll on the Road Saunders/Pope (top right), Pontificating on the future 101 (bottom left), How many Larua Barrett appearances were there? (bottom right)

above: Fox Jaw, Tina Lina, Dave Acari, Blood Lines

Vancouver's Hey Ocean was at The Riv with Jon and Roy of Victoria so I thought IndieCan kicked off the Left-coast slanted festival there. Jon and Roy is a two-some with a mandolin and bass playing side-kick that helps out with a few tunes. Is there now a White-Stripes-genre? I know there was Death From Above before hand and maybe others I am omitting. From Folk to Garage-punk, a few that I know are Jon and Roy, Julie Doiron and Dick Morello which, depending on who's behind the kit might be called Dou or Blue Heeler, Halifax's The Superfantastics - a pop duo, and Vancouver's The Pack AD, Becky Black (Guitar/Vox) and Maya Miller (Drums) with their 70's jam-band sound. It really makes sense as a traveling band. Two bands - one van, limited backline - very practical. Anyway, Jon and Roy are compelling and a packed house loved them.

Hey Ocean is a band I learned about on my first trip to Vancouver to record our podcast - the first ever "Vancouver Indie Scene." Here's the chronology - NXNE 2006 I meet Dan Mangan who say's "I wish we had something like this (IndieCan) in Van, man." I say, "Oh really - just how much do you wish you had something like this in Vancouver?" "Lots" he replies. "OK," I say, "Find me someone who will put me up in a studio to do an interview or two and record a band live off the floor. I'll fly out, and we'll get it started and then the music community in Van can keep it going." That's how episodes 20 and 21 came to be. The Flairs were the first Van-band we recorded in Toronto and guitarist Ginger Flair was to co-host and set up a lively band for us to record. Our first ever Toronto Indie Scene show had industry insider Moe Berg (Indie Hall of Fame, author, Pursuit of Happiness, producer) and to kick off Vancouver I wanted 54-40's Neil Osborne. So I called then True North publicist, Sue McCallum and she got me the interview and some 54-40 tickets at the Commodore Ballroom. I toured local haunts like the Roxy and Backstage and made contact with some myspace friends and I had amassed a good collection of CDs. Tom Dobrzanski keyboard player for Lotus Child engineered our show(s) out of his studio Vertical Studio and I asked him if he had any CDs hanging around. Hey Ocean had been in his studio and this song "Eskimo Kisses" ended up on one of those first Van-shows.

So, this was my first time to see them live and I liked it so much I decided to have them in studio for a "live at IndieCan" session - coming soon. Choclair came up and jammed out a tune with the band. I think we appears on their latest record. Hey Ocean deserves to be a buzz-band - no soft spots in terms of singing or musicianship. A good attitude and some strong songs are going to take them a long way. There isn't much of a thought out performance, but they are a good looking 3-guy, one gal troop with good hair - maybe that's enough. If it's all about the song, no problem. I loved the show. If they want to reach out for what is cheaply bandied around here as "the next level," Hey Ocean songs scream out to be delivered in an animated and creative way. I would love to see what Tom Jackson could do with this band. Anyway, it's worth the money - go see them.

A Goldie Locks tale of Venue mis-matches at NXNE - this one is too big, this one is too small, this one is just right!

Pictured Above is 1/2 of the 2008 Town Hall Learned panellists. This event is a think-tank of the hottest and sharpest North-By-Delegates.

Alexisonfire's George Pettit moderated. Allison Outhit, Exclaim!, Jenna Miles,, Gord Lewis, Teenage Head, Mope Dean , Promoter, Nanci Malek, Publicist, Sid McCain, EMI Music, Steve Jordan, Polaris Music Award, Eric Alper, Koch Entertainment, Shauna deCartier, Six Shooter Records, Chris Budd,, Alan Cross, Edge 102.1, Cam Carpenter, Cool Planet Entertainment, Brian Hetherman, Curve Music, Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2, Damian Abraham, Fucked Up, Jay Malinowski, Bedouin Soundclash, Joel Carriere, Bedlam, Grant Lawrence, CBC Radio, David O'Coy, Fused Magazine, Kevin Wierzbicki,, Evelyn McDonnell, Freelance Writer, Jason Scott Buhrmester, Inked Magazine, Michael Mollura, Music Collection Magazine, Caspar Llewellyn-Smith, Observer Music Monthly, Ben Conoley,, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Artist, Chris Stevenson, Soundproof Magazine

Last year it was standing-room only for the marathon of much wisdom which was held at Much Music studios, walking distance from the conference Hotel, Holiday Inn on King. This year it was CTV's turn to host and it was held at the beautiful Masonic Temple on Yonge and Davenport. There were barely more audience members than panellists. And get this - there was free food! Even "feed them and they will come" is no defence against Location, Location, Location. The information was great. For those who attended it was informative and more personal than ever. It's like having a panellist for every 1.5 attendees. The questions were good. Maybe it's better to inspire one than entertain 10,000 but you can't escape the fact that this event was a bust.

Another case of misplaced crowd planning was the Thursday night Rough Trade, Hidden Cameras and Ember Swift Show. IndieCan touched on that on our index page, but more people deserved to see this show and the performers, for the first-class show they put on, deserved the buzz of a sell-out. For all the line-ups around the Horseshoe Tavern and the bust which was NXNE at The Phoenix this year, it begs the question - if the Horseshoe line-up and Phoenix line-ups been reversed, what would the outcome be? Who if anyone is to blame for left waiting in the rain Horseshoe crowds and the house party-size crowds at The Phoenix this year. 200 fit in The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. 1,000 fit in The Phoenix. Things that make you go.... Hmmmmnn.

The other odd-ball was Kathedral and Holy Joe's of the corner of Bathurst and Queen. The crowd at The Reverb on the second floor always seemed just right. First floor Kathedral was almost like a Bingo hall right after no-smoking legislation hits town and Holy Joe's on the third floor was sometimes so packed I couldn't see who was performing. Lost opportunities for sure - but I am glad it isn't my job.


This year's greatest accomplishment: In one day (Friday) I was able to record three great Vancouver acts without so much as spending a single carbon tip-toe on planet earth. Dan Mangan, The Painted Birds and Hey Ocean will all be "live at IndieCan" soon.

This years greatest find: The Pack AD and Said The Whale from Vancouver and Hidden Cameras (it's true - I am the only known Canadian indie fan who has never seen The Hidden Cameras... I have made my amends).

My favourite bands to share with listeners and friends: Mad Staring Eyes, The Brown Hornets, Black Mountain Bay (Krief), God Made Me Funky, The Painted Birds, Hey Ocean, Dan Mangan, Hello Beautiful, Public, Tin Bangs, The Stand, Big Rude Jake, Modern Boys Modern Girls, The Cockroaches.

Best music advice all weekend: I was at the Town Hall and I found a few gems of information. I was at several panels - some fair, some pointless. Too often I see a treasure-chest of expertise assembled and the wisdom they could share is high-jacked by the panel topic - something to do with pontificating about what the future might be or should be. I can get that from a bar tender or cab driver with the same blind-dart-throw chance of accuracy. For my money, when we assemble 50 to 100 years of collective experience together, lets get them talking about what they know - not what they think or speculate. I will take real life examples over "what if" scenarios any day. Especially if I am getting up before noon, after going to bed at 8 AM. So the best career-building advice came from another left-coast new friend, Adaline. She was telling me that if she is going to panels to network and wants to make an impression with a particular industry personality, she contacts them ahead of time to introduce herself, let them know that she will be attending their presentation and invite them and she may invite them out for coffee afterwards. This sets her apart from all the others that just show up and push a business card or CD in their face afterwards. Profound, and simple - I wonder if that was a carefully protected competitive advantage. Oh well, Adaline, if I have just given away your dearest secret, my replacement advice is show caution to whom you chat with at illegal booze cans at 6:00 AM during music festivals.

See More GOD MADE ME FUNKY form Episode 9o of IndieCan Radio

The Hamilton Spring Music Festival Rocked Steel Town from May 8th to 10th. On May 9th we saw local talent Dean Lichyer and The Apollo Effect, Vesta Varro from Ireland, Grady from Austin Texas, The Salads from Toronto, Jay Samko of The Northern Pikes and there were still bands I wish I saw. You just can not be everywhere.

See Rogers Hamilton Spring Music Festival Pics from IndieCan's vantage point. CLICK HERE!


photos: Wendy L Rombough

See the Indies Awards Performances Part I

 Indies Awards Performance Part II

Check on Andre Skinners picks this year on the Reviews Page by clicking here!

HEY ROSETTA! are part of an "XM THE VERGE CHANNEL52" live to air fromThe Gibson Show Room at CMW 2008
. Hey Rosetta is one of the feature CMW artists featured on our CMW Review Show (Episode 75) on our
Radio Page.

See it all, feel it all (Hey Rosetta pics)

THURSDAY @ THE SAVANNAH ROOM was one of the hidden treasures of CMW. A full house packed the murderrecords
showcase at THE SUPERMARKET around the corner, and why not. CBC had a good crowd at the Montreal artists showcase around the
other corner at The ELMO and TATTOO ROCK PARLOUR had people lined up waiting to get in for Grady and the rest of The Agency
showcase. But it was a modest but appreciative crowd that found thier way passed the manding and manic crowds and into the
Savannah Room for what a five-star showcase of talent: Ruut from Baltimore, The Good Lovlies from Toronto-East, Kyrie Kritmanson from
Ottawa/Regina, The Ease Down from Monteal and Halifax's Down With The Butterfly. Spend some time with these artists and you'll
see what I mean -- If you weren't there, you missed something. As the snow was swirling around the streets of Toronto, a little magic was
swirling around this little nook and cranny of College/Spadina.
See Pictures Here - Enjoy!

photos: Wendy L Rombough


Harvard Broadcasting and X992.9 presented ALBERTA Exposed! Thursday at The Silver Dollar. Secret Broadcast, Jane Vain & The Dark Matter, The Rocky Fortune and Hot Little Rocket performed. OH, Alberta - IndieCan was there for Secret Broadcast and The Rocky Fortune - Feast you eyes - See it all here!

 photos: Wendy L Rombough


Jeff Leake, XM Satellite Radio hosts The Indies Suzie McNeil - Favorite Pop Artist or Group Neverending White Lights win Favorite Rock Group

Saturday March 8th: XM Satellite's Leake and Kelowna held court at the Royal York for the annual Indies Award Gala (Click to see). To give more people a chance to see this glorious event Neill Dixon's CMW team moved the event from the traditional time of

Wednesday night to Saturday which did see the biggest audience in history Also, moving the event to The Canadian Room in The Royal York Hotel turned out to be an inspired move seeing as this was the stormiest CMW ever. A trip to The Docks would have been a test for all of us.

Hall of Fame Inductees for 2008 were Ron Hawkins, Spephen Stanley, David Alexander, Lawrence Nichols and Dylan Parker; who make up THE LOWEST OF THE LOW, a 90's alternative band that morphed from the previous moniker, Popular Front. The first record, "Shakespeare My Butt" came out in 1991, which held the title of best-selling indie release in Canadian History to that point. Three more records would follow in 1994, 2001 and 2004. There was at least one break-up and reunion. I was fortunate to be at the last ever Queen Street West show in history, December 4, 2007 at The Horseshoe Tavern (many thanks to IndieCan's Gayle Hurmuses for bringing me out). Queen West was where it all began and in November 2007 the announcement came that Lowest of The Low would be no more. Congrats on your induction, boys.

Photos below courtesy John Frazer -

More Indie Awards Pics by John Frazer

 More Indie Pics Gallery I  Gallery II


One of the shows that some got turned away from was the Murder Records Showcase at the Supermarket which closed with Sloan. SEE IT

Friday March 7th: Finding new music, new friends, taking Canadian winter in stride is all part of the CMW experience. Suffering through the "I want to be here and here and here all at the same time syndrome" is something that even self-awareness is no cure for because Canadian Music Week is so deep in great music. The great thing is it's hard to get it completely wrong. North, South, East, West - any direction you take in Toronto this week leads to great 2O hour day of education and entertainment. Sleep would have to come later.



Left to right above, XM's Kelona hosts "Live from The Gibson Show Room" ,  Dale Russell of The Student's Alliance of Student Songwriters talks to Tom of Lotus Child at the Reverb during the BC Music-Georgia Straight showcase.,   Vesta Varro record for an upcoming "live at IndieCan" session ,   Hey Rosetta are two timers Friday Night as the played the XM showcase and then again at The Legendary Horseshoe.

Thursday March 6th: Music fans waited in line to get into the at-capacity Tattoo Bar to see Grady finish the night strong. This encore performance even had the arms-crossed industry types hooting and hollering like kids at an amusement park. Big Sugar was remembered in home-town Toronto with a raunchy rendition of "Digging a Hole." Our own voice of Ottawa Indie Scene, Woodstock who was with the band at the Barrymore's show in the nations capital two days earlier was heartbroken to know the improved "Spirit of Radio" breakdown by Rush wasn't actually a tribute to her, but was part of the bands set. Disappointed that she'd been duped, Woody is still pleased to report that Grady will be live at IndieCan later this spring.

Around the corner in Kensington at The Supermarket The Murder Records showcase had a capacity crowd loving every minute of it. Sloan closed the night in Kensington and shared some new tunes to what will be the 9th Sloan studio album (Click for pics above). Sloan pics are coming soon. IndieCan also took in The Montreal showcase at The Elmo, Down With The Butterfly, Kyrie Kristmanson, The SuperfantaThe Ease Down, Good Lovlies and a whole lot more. We'll have more coverage coming soon.

photos Wendy L Rombough



Wednesday March 5th: While Industry talked about the Millennial's ( the "demographic" born between 1982 and 2002), considering why they aren't called the "Y" Generation anymore and what gadget Millys use (Can I use "Millys?" It's just a matter of time before it gets a nick name. How do we like Millys?) and what young folk want and how to sell it to them and what rotfl means, and why this generation feels they are so special, the rest of us had a quick laugh and got ready to ROCK. And so, the CMW gets off to its start as opening-nighters pose for CMW crowds.

Audience in State of Shock as lead singer Cam Melnyk shares an intimate moment with his own camera man and his own camera man alone.

While Geriatric-Rock was the order of the day at The Guvernment with Ace Freely doing his "this is how it was done in the '70's" thing; at the Mod Club Theatre, at least the Millennial's were invited to perform on stage.

State of Shock, Three Star Seed and Bleeker Ridge got CMW rolling
- for those of us who aren't Kiss Army retirees. State of Shock handlers kept
the band away from our microphones and questions so we will leave you with
the colourful poetry offered by the bands committee-of-expert- bio writers:

"What is it about the West Coast? Could it be the water that
flows from the snow pack on the North Shore Mountains? Perhaps it's the
fresh breeze off the Pacific or the herbs that grow in the lush forests
surrounding the Lower Mainland. Whatever it is it's true to say that the 604
area code has produced some of the most successful rock acts in recent,
or even ancient, memory. BTO, Loverboy, Trooper, Bryan Adams, Default,
Theory of a Deadman & Nickleback come to mind without any effort or
research. Well another name is about to be added to that list, State Of Shock."

Alright then, maybe the band couldn't have represented themselve
s in a more heart-felt way than this, the prose of pros but I think you know
I wouldn't have shoveled this crap your way if I had any alternative. I mean
what was that about "...perhaps it's the fresh breeze off the Pacific or the
herbs that grow in the lush forest." Geeez - what herbs have these copy writers been smoking?

Interestingly enough, look at all the 70's and 80's references. The authour spent more time likening SOS to their parent's record collection
than this bands contemporaries. I guess it's not the the Mellenials running these majors or psudo-indie labels. I mean name me one person
under the age of 25 who would compare a band to Trooper or Brian Adams that wasn't making fun of them?

Sounds to me like the old guard baby boomers (and isn't that generational name tag starting to sound just a little bit creepy?) are still guiding
their ships with sleepy fond memories of the sea of money they use to make off those 70's and 80's bands.

I will say this about the bands handlers - the bands hair was perfect.

I did meet SOS band mates in the Gibson Lounge and they are likeable and personable every day artists that, given a chance, you couldn't
help but want to help them along in their career. Why they made this corporate packaged sell out, I don't know. I thought they made their
own case without it. If they all have cars and houses paid for, I take it all back and I will pay money to go to their seminar on

" how to make it in the music biz." But if they aren't quite there yet, I would have to ask them what it is costing them to have these
words put in their mouth to represent them.

 More CMW details Right Here


HILLSIDE brings their brand of Summer of Love Inside February 2nd 2008       

 Pictures  Gallery 1 Gallery 2 Gallery 3

A Shout Out Out Out Out for Hillside Inside!
By: Jesse Beatson

Typically a summer festival outdoors, Hillside is known widely for presenting a great pool of talent from indie and small label bands from all over the world. Long-time Artistic Director, Sam Baijal, says "This event will encompass not only the successful mosaic of the music that has made our annual festival so popular, it will also present an exciting new format that involves the creative transformation of an arena into a warm and inviting festival like environment." Transformation it was, featuring two alternating stages and a unique seating layout that allowed all reserved seats access to the general admission floor area, enjoy the Hillside Market and roam freely.

Thousands of music fans of all stripes congregated here to spent 10 hours together in a converted hockey arena with two stages, 13 bands, refillable mugs - all of it happening on top of still-frozen ice covered with green mats which were apparently "grass" (the theme at Hillside Inside is "outside"). There were people dancing, people sitting on the rink-floor, playing leap frog, standing in motionless crowds or valiantly bobbing heads like the concert-going aficionados they were and a wee bit of crowd surfing from time-to-time.
Some of the highlights of the event include the Weakerthans, Cuff the Duke, Tokyo Police Club, Shout Out Out Out, Wintersleep, City and Colour, and Xavier Rudd. Few of these bands shared more than the stage with the others. They were all good, but very different, with stylings from 'new grass' to alt-country' to 'electronica-newwave' to 'blues-jazz-soul' to 'indie rock' and even '"hip hop"'.
A definite highlight of the show was The Weakerthans who hit the stage first with their unique brand of alt-Winnipeg. Deeply lyrical and introspective, chords were struck which rang through and across the crowd. Talking to the lead singer John K Samson shortly after the set, a soft-spoken guy unexpectedly shy after his deftly command of the audience just moments before, he shared "We [The Weakerthans] write the only songs we know how to write: songs that reflect the place we come from, musically and geographically, the community we live in, and the struggle for any one person to connect with another in a meaningful way."
The Final act of the night, Xavier Rudd, the Australian singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, also deserves special mention for his electric performance. Between himself and another drummer, an extraordinary and mellifluous assortment of sounds were created with such worldly instruments as didgeridoos, harmonica, strumpets, slide guitars, shakers, gongs, and Aztec drums. He his music is not just viscerally-interesting, but also carries some profound social messages about the environment and the rights of Aboriginals. Overall, this event was a huge success and could very likely become as regular a festivity as Hillside's summer music festivals. Hillside 2008 will be the 25 year anniversary of the festival. Be sure to check in at the Hillside web site for details or listen to IndieCan Radio Episode 72 to hear about line-up and ticket information from Sam Baijal.

photos: Wendy L Rombough


photos Wendy L Rombough

Xavier Rudd's rig, Paul Murphy of Wintersleep is a guest on Episode 72 of IndieCan Radio. Above - Wayne from Cuff The Duke, Roxanne Potvin and Bocce.

More Pictures from the Main Stage.

Behind the scens at Hillside Inside

 Photo credit: Wendy L Rombough


Click for more PICs from Windsor

Hear COCA host Megan Carbone talking to IndieCan (epidsode 63)

Hear some of the featured bands on IndieCan Radio (episode 61)

November 1st to 3rd 2007 Windsor Ontario was the "Border City Rocks" home to COCA (Canadian Orgization of Campus Activities) regional conference. Meghan Carbone of U or Windsor Students' Alliance hosted the conference with help from committee members including others from Universtiy of Windsor as well as Mowhawk and Algonquin Colleges and McMaster University.

Campus delegates attended ed-sessions by day and sampled a strong short-list of entertainers by night that included , singer/songwriters, bands, comedians and some circus guy who drove nakes and stapes into his head - Yes, campus life doesn't get any better than this.

The Mission District from Montreal were part of the Friday night line up at the Roxy. Saturday at the Chubby Pickle featured a number of acts including Cort Delano form Calgary. Toronto and southern-Onatario were also well represented including local bands Inoke Errati and Mic Lords & Sauce Funky. See it all here. Click on the shows to the right for more.


IndieCan Report for Halifax POP Explosion

October 16th to 20th 2007 by Joe Chishom

Still groggy from the 16 to 20 hour days at Indie Week in Toronto (See commentary below), Doug and I geared up for the 20 hour drive to Halifax for the 15th anniversary of Halifax POP Explosion. I would later learn at a panel on the festival history that over a decade and a half this rose has been "by another name" and cancelled one year. There has never been a single staff member for HPX which I would think makes serving as a director more of a "tour of duty" than any free lunch. But anyway, I get away from myself, as far as this story goes, I am not there yet.

On the eve of IndieWeek back in T.Dot, Doug and I watched the sun come up as we put the final touches on Episode 59 of IndieCan Radio. As many of you may well know now, Andre, my original co-host is back in the saddle and he was on deck to retrofit Episode 60 while I was in Halifax. I got this web site as up to date as I could, put up some galleries of The Toronto Independent Music Awards and Indie Week and picked through my cleanest dirty cloths, we double checked camera and recording equipment and off we went. 2,000 km away, accommodations in Halifax awaited us, compliments of Down with the Butterfly guitarist Kris Pope and drummer Jason Burns.

After a pit stop in Ottawa, Doug and I hit the road and around 2 AM hummed and
hawed over getting a cheap room or another XL Coffee and push on through. Coffee it was - it seemed almost too easy with two drivers. The words to my own song "Toronto to Miami" came to mind as the sun rose: "As sleepy night gives way to early light/ That's the 'heart-break hill' of marathon driving/ Highway lines swerve, focus blurs as all five senses are colliding/ Exhaustion drowns, I roll the window down/ Oooh the sweet slap of fresh air/ I've crossed five state lines and it dawns on me/ Hey, there's no more snow out there..." 8 AM found us at Halifax's out-skirts and I was astonished to learn they have rush hour on the east coast. I was having none of that - we side-tracked to Peggy's Cove where I treated Douglas to one of Nova Scotia's treasures. 40 pictures each, a deep breath of ocean air and back to Halifax. I needed breakfast, Doug needed a nap, and I was waiting for a reasonable hour to call Matt Charlton who had arranged media passes for Doug, me and a reporter to be recruited later. My itinerary was a few numbers written on the back of a receipt which seemed to make Doug even more nervous than when I was driving with my knees at 140 km/h, talking on a phone and looking for a new CD. I found the Hotel, got registered, found some internet connectivity and got a note from Kris about where I could find a key to get into his place. Nap time.

Tuesday night: Before I get started I want to say that what I cover isn't intended to be "the best of" it's just what I got to for what ever reason. Tuesday's game plan was to settle a debt. Back in Toronto a few weeks earlier I was interviewing Julie Doiron at the Polaris Music Award Gala (Click on REVIEWS page for more on Polaris or RADIO to hear Julie Doiron on Episode 58) and she was quite enthusiastic about her pending Blue Heeler tour with Halifax's The Superfantastics. There was a Toronto gig booked at The Boat in Kensington Market, I said I would endeavour to get out and see the show, turned out I was double or triple booked (not so unusual) and HPX was the last gig of Maritime-Stripes tour (that being my own "White Stripes" comparison to the minimalist guy on guitar, gal on the kit routine that was the Blue Heeler/ Superfantastics tour.

The Superfantastics play as Blue Heeler watch at HPX

Earlier in the evening I had been to the XM Satellite Radio New Music Stage at The Seahorse. Vennt I just don't pretend to get although the crowd was into it. Be Bad was a little more my style and I would like to hear a whole set of theirs but I did have what felt like a promise to keep at The Attic. Husband and Knife were finishing as I arrived. And a night of the Oedipus-Drum-ius began, with the aforementioned two bands and Toronto's Dana Snell closing the night as she would count out the beats for The Bicycles.

About this whole minimalist thing; when I first heard the White Strips I thought, "that's cool, I like it, but the main-stream will never buy into it." What I don't know about Pop Culture you can write a book on. Call it POP CULTURE. Remember I am the guy who watched � an episode of "Survivor" said, "This is a 'reality' as professional wrestling. No audience will allow themselves to have their intelligence insulted like this - reality TV won't last a second season!" I don't come by the nick-name "the king kong of dead wrong" for nothing. So I didn't see the White Stripes stardom coming at all. As for back to reality - October 16, neither Dick Montello and Julie Doiron (Blue Heeler) or Matthew MacDonald and Stephanie d'Entremont of The Superfantastics sound like The White Stripes, nor do they sound like each other. Both sets seemed to end too soon for me. There is a wit and fun in the song writing and a lack of pretentiousness (something we hold out as dear and noble in Toronto) in the performances. The future for this musical niche - I know enough not to make a prediction. I do hope it lasts long enough that I get to see this duo of duos again.

The Bicycles are the Pop-Pop of T.Dot. I saw them open for the Exclaim/Mint Records anniversary tour last summer which included the New Pornographers. I tend to like more edge, less smiling in my culture but I am here to report that the crowd peaked for the Bicycles set and they were totally into it. I confess that the sleepless night of driving the night before had me hankering for a walk home to funky North Halifax flat.

As Wednesday morning came shortly on the heels of Tuesday night, I found that articulating coherent sentences was a little out of my league for the time being. I spent the day finding the downtown library which, as I recall from my last trip to Halifax, was a reliable source for internet dependent folk like me. I got through a couple dozen of the list of 200 urgent things I need to do and that's not too bad. I had promised some "15 Years of HPX documentary producers that I would talk to them and I did. Not only was this a bad day to quit sniffing glue, but... well good luck editing something coherent from what I had to offer.

Evening draws near and I decide I wasn't going to spin my tires from venue to venue

I See Rowboats at the Marquee

so I parked my music whorin' ass at The Marquee Club for I See Rowboats, Laura Peek and The Winning Hearts and Montreal's The Besnard Lakes. I would have got off my ass to check out Hell's Kitchen but there was nothing going on there Wednesday. Just being at the Marquee was great. This room has some history and I can see why everyone bitches about the compromised sightlines from all the columns but I get by with less in a lot of our Toronto venues. What a night of music - just what my soul and ears needed. I See Rowboats was a clever blend of traditional roots music with alt/Rock transmission driving it. The musicianship of this quintet bordered on intimidating although I am quick to say that's my weary insecurities acting up. There's nothing about the East-coast music community that even wants to be intimidating. In fact this set foreshadowed the theme for the week as several of the bands friends jumped in to play choir - the theme of the week being that artists collaborate, communicate and celebrate each others music and achievements like no other music community I have come to know in Canada. Although I See Rowboats was only playing their 13th gig at HPX they were totally for real. Doug and I would later interview the band which we'll be bringing to you soon. But in the mean time, keep an eye out for this young band coming to a venue near you - go see them. Laura Peek, our host Kris had been bragging on you and you lived up to your hype. Doug and I both liked the "Three Dog Night" look that the band was sporting - go team Peace and Free Love.

The Besnard Lakes light up The Marquee Club

Jase of the Besnard Lakes told me that it feels like he barely remembers life before touring the CD, "The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse." which earned them a Polaris nomination. In fact, to tell you what kind of band these soldiers are, the night before the Polaris Award Gala they were at a gig in San Francisco. They flew in for their performance at the award ceremony and were back in Portland for their next tour stop the following night. They were in Toronto - in Canada - for less than 12 hours and back they went, three time-zones away. A couple of the band mates were suffering a wee bit of the grip. They tried to start a rumour about monkey bites which only amused the crowd. These guys (oh, and gal - sorry Olga) rocked the place silly and were called back for an encore. A fine way to treat guests with a cold, but I concur - Encore!

If you want to sneak a peek at the final chapter, IndieCan was at the sold out last night back at the Marquee Club which was live to air to CBC Radio 3 featured Vancouver's Pride Tiger and Mother, Mother. From Montreal, Land of Talk and Miracle Fortress and the 15th anniversary special finalized the night and the festival - Eric's Trip re-united for a ten show tour which finished October 20th at Halifax POP Explosion. Eric's Trip who's first cassette hit small patches of planet earth in 1990, found their way to early indie label Sub Pop Records and they enjoyed some world-wide notoriety. The band's demise was 1996 by some counts but rumours persist of performances and recordings up to and including 2001. Eric's Trip played the first ever Halifax POP Explosion, or what ever they called it then but it was in Halifax, it was a festival and it was 1993, a fond memory not lost on 2007 Executive Director Waye Mason or many of the HPX powers-that-be alumni. IndieCan was able to re-connect with Mother Mother (featured on Episode 50) and we were keen to hear about road stories since we had them live at IndieCan as part of the Hillside Music Festival near Guelph, Ontario. if you like. Episode 59 through 63 will be full of HPX highlights including interviews with Executive Director Waye Mason, the Besnard Lakes....


Darryl Hurs of Indie Week

photo: Wendy L Rombough

The 4th Annual Indie Week saw suspense building as we waited to see who this years big winners will be. Here's a quick look at some of what's gone on in the first days.



Photos Wendy L Rombough


IndieCan congratulates Darryl Hurs and all the hard working volunteers as well as the sponsors who had the foresight to get behind this great event. To the bands that participated, IndieCan wishes you could have all won. We didn't see any soft spots in the showcase nights and we made some new friends and it was great to see some old friends recognized for the great artists they are. In the end there were two winners - one from the Elmo show Saturday night and one from The Horseshoe. Durham's Hello Beautiful and Limerick Ireland's Vesta Varro who both won prize packs worth $5,000 each. Shown here are Hello Beautiful, one of two winners of 2007 Indie Week - Ireland's Vesta Varro were the other winners. See what was included in the prize pack on the IndieWeek Prize Page. IndieCan would also like to recognize the other finalists for their outstanding performances and contribution to a great music festival. From Toronto, The Free Press, Eden Ants, Methodology, Bombay Doors, Trophy, Sons and Lovers and Breadfan. From

Guelph, Lifestory:Monologue, from Hamilton, Matthew de Zoete, from Ottawa, The Amanda Rheaume Band, Larry Babgy from California and Juxtaposse from Buffalo NY. As organizer Darryl Hurs says, "We want this to be an opportunity for every band to watch, listen and discover which we hope ever band feels they benefited from. Someone has to win and we try to create prizes that help give bands the next step in helping their career. What band doesn't need cash, recording time, equipment and publicity? If we can look back a few years from now and say, hey, we helped make a difference or we contributed in some way to a bands ultimate success, what ever that is for them, then that's what will be rewarding for me and the sponsors." INDIE WEEK is proving that the newest festival on the Toronto block won't settle for being the bronze medal winner to CMW and NXNE. IndieWeek is developing an indentity of it's own. More Pictures coming your way soon. Visit our Facebook and Myspace to have your say.

photos Wendy L Rombough

THE CANADIAN MUSIC CAFE at 2007 The Toronto International Film Festival

The Canadian Music Cafe - We bring it to you!

As part of The Toronto International Film Fest, Canadian music talent is showcased over three days

Tony Dekker of The Great Lake Swimmers talks to about his upcoming tour.

Day One at Music Cafe features The United Steel Workers of Montreal, Oh Susanna, Skye Sweetman, Chris Colepaugh and The Cosmic Crew + The Great Lake Swimmers

The Man who put the "EX" in XM Satellite Radio, Cam Carpenter announces he is leaving the project he helped launch.

Cris Tetter, organizer, talks to us on Episode 55 of IndieCan Radio

Day 2 of the Cafe features Jessica Rhaye, Lily Frost, DK Ibomeka, Jarvis Church and The St. Aliva Cartel

Day 3 was Justin Rutlidge, Hunter Valentine, Simone Wilcox, Die Mannequin and The Cansecos




Episode 55 of IndieCan Radio will begin our coverage of The 2007 Music Cafe at TIFF with organizer Chris Tetter a preview of artists and Toronto's SAM HELL. Be sure to click and the hundreds of great pics, front-row-centre and back stage


What Hillside Music Festival regulars know if you're guaranteed quality in the music and a unique music watching and listening experience. How about being there for Emily Haines (Metric)'s last solo performance, plus seeing her up close and personal doing spoken word. How about Juno Award winner Ron Sexsmith taking the open stage Sunday night after you got to see him on the small stage in a songwriters circle and jamming out with Blackie and The Rodeo Kings and other feature musicians to "The Night They Drove ol' Dixie Down/" Why was Danielle Duval his favourite showcase. How about The Dears, Mother, Mother from Vancouver, Two Hours Traffic from P.E.I., Ohbijou, The Golden Dogs and dozens of other artists and spoken word artists from Canada and around the world. Hillside even has Juno award winning Emcees. Michael Wrycraft is an award winning CD designer who's work is on display at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC. We'll be talking to Michael in the weeks ahead. 

Mother Mother who was one of the Hillside fan favorites were "Live at IndieCan" guests of ours athe rural Escarpment Sound Studio. We look forward to bringing you that set and interview as part of Episode 50 which we will call THE HILLSIDE INDIE SCENE. Check out Music and More - an IndieCan pictorial trip that captures the whole experience at Hillside including the workshops, drum circles, vendors, the camping life, family life, on-stage, back-stage and in the crowd. Thank you Hillside for letting IndieCan be a part of it. "You can't be every where" and even with our team of four this years offering was so deep, we couldn't get all that we would have liked. To those artists we didn't get to, it's only because we hope to see you again soon.


Joe's Hillside Pics: Click for Pics.

Gayle, a Hillside veteran captures the weekend experience in images. Click for Pics

WORLD BEAT: One of the many musically enriching experineces was to catch some of the weekend performances of Vieux Farka Toure and Jah Youssouf. Jah plays an African lute called the n'goni and Hillside was his first North American appearance. Singing songs in both French and his native African tongue, Youssouf was a favorite, both during his main stage showcase Satruday afternoon plus what seemed endless planned and impromptu trips to the stage to jam with Sam Turton, Eliza Gilkyson, Madagascar Slim, Ron Sexsmith, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings and so many others.

Vieux Farka Toure is son to Grammy winning Ali Farka Toure who as a farmer and guitar player, colaborated with Ry Cooder to create Talking Timbuktu, a 90's recording that I lent out for a Bruce Cockburn CD and I have never gotten back. I have my friend Mady Macdonald to thank for introducing me to both Hillside and Talking Timbuktu late last century. A debt that can never fairly be repaid. Vieux was part of the Sunday evening main stage which included Ron Sexsmith and Ani DiFranco. Man, is his music good for the soul. He also was part of "Gourds and Guitars" showcase with Jah Youssouf and you'll also find him showing up in many of our music workshop pictures. This music is medicine for psychic damage and the memories of these two men's music will be with the Hillside faithful for life.

THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM THE STREETS OF TORONTO: Here's another connect the dots for you. And no, this isn't an "it's all about Toronto" commentary, it just takes the peaceful confindes of somewhere like Hillside to get some of the great scoops. Sebastien Grainger (drummer for Death From Above 1979) owns Giant Studios with Metric's Jimmy Shaw. Don't worry, I'll work that fact into this story. Not long after DFA 1979's Jesse Keeler and Sebastien parted ways, Sebastien Grainger et Les Montagnes was born.

I first saw this act at NXNE as part of the CBC Radio 3 - SIRIUS Satellite showcase and I really loved it. In talking to Sebastien back stage, I mentioned how I liked the show and how surprised I was that other writers seemed who were DFA 1979 fans seemed like they were longing for more of the same. "Oh" quipped Sebastien with what seemed to be an un-trusting glance at the business card I gave him, "I really don't read anything people write about me unless a friend drops it in front of me." No way - I wonder how he resists Googling himself at least every once in a while. Friends Leon Taheny (Germans) and Nick Sewell (Illuminati) are the afore mentioned "mountains" that make up the rest of the band. Like a tired clich� I couldn't help but asking, "So, when can we expect the new recording to be finished?" "Finished? How about started - Metric is still in our studio. They should be finishing up this month and then I could get started. Maybe this winter, maybe the spring - I don't know. I am not rushing it."

Both Taheny and Sewell were walking around with bandaged hands before the Saturday set which made me wonder if they were accident prone or scamming handicapped parking, but by show time they were both good to go. The Lake Stage drum kit seemed to be taking more than it's regular beating all weekend and Les Montagnes were victims to a short delay while the techs worked away. Sabastien played up to the crowd and coaxed IndieCan's Gayle Hurmuses on to the stage for a spoken word segment with a musing he found in the bio for his band mates that was written up in the program. Hey - wait a minute: Sabastien, you told me you never read the press! Anyway, thanks for another great set. For anyone who doesn't dig on delayed gratification, check out Sebastien Grainger's myspace for some sneak-peeks/demos of the music he's working on for this new CD. For more, check out the NXNE coverage below.

Downsview celebrates Canada's birthday with 54-40 fireworks + 9 more bands

photos Wendy L Rombough

Canada Day at Downsview with 54 40 and friends


The "Paper Bag Princesses" of Canadian music, Becky Ninovic, lead vocalist and Krista Loewen on vox and keys are teamed with Derek Adam on guitar, Stephen O'Shea, bass and Devon Clifford on drums to form YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE!, the midnight crown jewel of the CBC 3/SIUIUS showcase. For more in run-on-sentences, please read on. The line up wrapping around the corner of Spadina Avenue and Queen Street is all you need to know about what's the best promoted hot spot on NXNE Saturday - It's the live-to-air at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. As bassist Stephen put it, "We haven't seen crowd surfing for a while." If that's the competitive edge to give YSPWSD "crowd favourite" status then, we salute you. It was a fitting send off as these five Paper Bag recording artists are Euro-bound to tour for the rest of June and July. Make us proud, You Say (Is there a west coast writer that can help me out here - how do you abbreviate their name???) while your across the ocean and remember we love you too.

This was my first time seeing them. My expectations were high and I was favourably impressed. I see what the fuss is about and I will attempt to articulate it. It isn't catchy pop songs that don't' leave my head; it isn't the mastery of musical instruments beyond what I have seen before. What I saw was a band that connected with the crowd with sincere devotion to pleasing them and a quite confidence that the outcome was never in doubt. My only disappointment: during sound check I am sure I heard drummer Devo announcing that he just got body waxing done that left intricate impressions on back and chest. That said, I expected the shirt to come off. Not that body art is more important to me than music, but I am feeling now that I am such a looser for not getting the Abbotsford BC humour.... Damn Toronto L-7 that I am. YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE! Pictures...

Let's not forget the rest of the Saturday line up. The show opened with the deep in talent, UNITED STEEL WORKERS OF MONTREAL who Phil Klygo of Weewerk has been touting for some time. This was a fabulous heart felt set. In speaking with the gentle giant Gern after the show he said, "We were just having fun." And while their enjoyment was obvious, the rest of us were digging on the great songs and sound musicianship.

In the Death From Above 1979 after-live, Sebastien Grainger has risen from behind the drum kit to front Les Montagmes. Quoted as saying, "I don't want to make a cool record - I want to make a good record," Sebastien admits that his rise-to-fame band was somewhat preoccupied with how fabulous each part sounded. Sebastien Grainger and Les Montagnes ingratiated us with that which is good. I can't say it was un-cool, but you can see that there's no attempt to take over the pop charts. The performance was unpolished but hardly sloppy. We'll see what the pre-sold CBC 3/SIRIUS audience thinks, but don't get me wrong when I say this, Sebastien but that was really cool.

Two Hour Traffic from P.E.I., Halifax's In-flight Safety and Ohbijou from the 905 rounded off the night - All three deserving of a few words of praise, but I see that I am rambling.

More NXNE Photos by IndieCan Gayle

CBC's Galaxie Rising Stars Award of $3,000 Goes to a Proven Commodity

Story by Laura Byrd

If you talked to anyone on the streets of Toronto Friday night, chances are they were going to the see the Handsome Furs, comprised of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry. The duo arrived from Montreal just twenty minutes before they hit the stage, and just in time to receive CBC's Galaxie Rising Stars Award, which was a check for $3,000. The duo was very thankful, and Boeckner promised that the money wouldn't be blown on coke.

Seeing the Handsome Furs live is a completely different experience from just listening to their album. Their music is simply made up of Boeckner's vocals, guitar, and a drum machine, but to see how it all comes together on stage is well worth standing in the seedy basement of the Comfort Zone. At times, both Boeckner and Perry were awkwardly leaning over a small table, arms tangled around each other, in order to achieve the infectious beats on the drum machine, and for Boeckner to reach his microphone. By the third song, the band settled in and had the crowd hooked.

Although it seemed as if everyone and their mother showed up to see the pair, if you missed it, the Handsome Furs are definitely a band to look out for. If you check them out on myspace, you may also want to search Wolf Parade, another Montreal band that Boeckner is in.



1980 photo of  The Diodes was taken on Queen Street, Toronto

What better way to end NXNE festivities than to go to Sneaky Dee's to watch and meet a band who's musical past all started out in Toronto over 30 years ago - I caught up with THE DIODES, the Rock, Punk, Power-pop band that dominated the Toronto scene in the late 1970's. This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the birth of The Canadian punk scene, The Crash & Burn Club and the release of The Diodes first album on CBS records. When punk first broke in 1976, The Diodes (Paul Robinson, John Catto, Ian Mackay, John Hamilton and, later, Michael Lengyell) were at the front line of a wave that included The Ramones, Dead Boys, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, The Clash and Generation X.Arriving at Sneaky Dees there was a long line up of people, a mixture of generations, many of whom had seen or known the band when it originated back in the mid 1970's.

You could hear comments like "The first band I ever saw in a club was The Diodes. I was 17 years old.", "I saw them at Dundas Square earlier today and they were able to show all the other bands how it was done." "Filled with energy at Dundas Square, I videotaped the whole thing" "I can't wait to hear Tired of Waking Up Tired" "It didn't matter what else I had to do today, seeing The Diodes tonight was just something I had to do."

Listening to such classics like, "Headache", "Red Rubber Ball", "Photographs from Mars" and "Tired of Waking up Tired", the atmosphere within Sneaky Dees was infused with electricity, high energy, anticipation and nostalgic memories for most, which included the band members, not having played a venue since the 1980's here in Toronto.

You could certainly understand after attending Sneaky Dee's on the final night of NXNE, why bringing forth their brand of original punk/alternative/rock music, The Diodes set the tone for many existing Toronto and Canadian bands today.

Mary-Elizabeth Gilbert
IndieCan Music & Meg-a Music Toronto


With bands like Hamilton's High Voltage (left), London's The Scenario (right) and Sudbury's High Deafinition, the state of Rock 'n' Roll is in good hands. High Voltage raced from their highschool prom to play Kathedral for a midnight show. They aren't old enough to get in to any of the other shows. The self titled EP was recorded under the direction of Crash Kelly's Sean Kelly. Ryan Lynch, front man of The Scenario may be the old man of the bunch, who formed this act in 2004. Ryan tells us that June 16 we can look forward to a new a CD which will be launched in T.Dot at The Mod Club. As for High Deafintion, they were the only band of the three playing at an all ages show - The Gibson Lounge of Friday. Formed in 2002, the 3 members that make up High Deafinition are: Drummer James Yorke Guitar/ Vocals Thomas Yorke Bass/ Vocals Gilles Beaulieu This young three piece band comprised of members whose ages are 15, 17 and 19 they have an encouraging work ethic. Yes, the heart of rock 'n' roll is still beatin' -- See more High Voltage pictures.


Other Other Mother Mother by Laura Byrd/ Pics by Patrick Kirby

The MySpace Canada Showcase helped to kick off NXNE Thursday night at The Boat, with Vancouver's enchanting 5-piece band Mother Mother (who resist categorizing their music, defining it as "Other / Other" on myspace). The Boat quickly filled up with buzzing bodies that only became more energetic when Mother Mother opened with "Dirty Town." It was clear the audience was in for an amazing show. Loyal fans danced wildly along the crowd's fringes, causing the band to smile and declare their excitement about playing in Toronto.

Mother Mother not only sound unbelievable live, but I also caught myself hanging on their every movement. Molly Guldemond sings with her eyes tightly shut, while Debra-Jean Creelman's eyes are open so wide, it looks as if she is constantly having a revelation while singing. These two women's voices mix together beautifully to help create the band's unique sound. The clear hit of the night was "Touch Up," as Ryan Guldemond on guitar and vocals dropped to his knees to play, while Kenton Loewen on drums and Jeremy Page on bass exchanged some laughs and banter.

When it was all over, the room was filled with an energy that I hope set the tone for this year's NXNE. If you were at this show, have your say on our myspace. If you missed Mother Mother fear not. In July, they will be part of the Hillside Music Festival line up just out side of Guelph Ontario. So if you're a local, you have another chance to see them.


Hey Rosetta is a Newfoundland Band that returns to The Rivoli as part of NXNE. Sonic Records has their eye on Tim and his band. See great pictures of HEY ROSETTA! IndieCan looks forward to bring you this great band live at IndieCan soon. Jon Cohen Experimental were in Toronto and IndieCan recorded them as part of episode 25. Later, we were in Montreal recording our first MONTREAL INDIE SCENE and Jon Cohen invited Joe Chisholm out to see some bands from the east coast; Down With The Butterfly and Hey Rosetta. Funny how it works isn't it?

Every NXNE kicks off with more experts than you can fling a CD collection at. Reflective, pontificating worry was the order the day. What is with an industry where so many of our brightest stars return from tours or Juno performances, sitill incapable of buying a car or qualifying for a mortgage. Here, Alexis On Fire tells it like it is as other pannelists and a crowded town hall audience listen on. If the artist heard the doom and gloom they would have packed up and gone home - but the bands played on. The music biz has cylces - fine but 450 bands had a gig to play and that they did.

So it starts - 450 acts, 40 Venues, 4 nights. Let's party. We'll sleep later

Ride Again from Durham rocked the Riv. They are stoked about a new CD in the works. IndieCan will bring you more.

True North's Hunter Valentine. The next big thing? Great songs, great performance, great "je ne sais quoi."

High Voltage from Hamilton aren't old enough to go to thier own gig. They rushed from their highshool prom to play Kathedral at midnight. Do you remember when Rock was young?????

Rally Car from Vancouver stopped by IndieCan to record for a future episode. If you miss Rally Car this go around they are back to Rock Downsview Park on Canada Day with Super Nova and 54-40

Chris Case of RCD Records bumps into Sarah of The Joys outside The Reverb/Kathedral. They Joys made NXNE one of 100+ stops so far this year and they are live on Episode 42

NXNE organizers Sue and Dave pose for IndieCan - showing love, big time!

Gern of United Steel Workers of Montreal and Phil Klygo (Weewerk)

From left to right, Gary with Winnepeg's Jacob and Lilly, Tom of Vancouver's Lotus Child chats with Daniella of TIMA and Sarah Burton's NXNE showcase is the first stage she ever performed live on - Free Times Cafe

INDIECAN's Coverage of Canadian Music Week

CMW 2007 Photos

Saturday March 10th, 2007: Check the link above for pics, Galore. More reviews and more audio and more content coming soon from Jeff Healey's The Mod Club and more - so keep coming back. Kudos to the oranizerss of CMW - great job.

Saturday March 10th, 2007: Check the link above for pics, Galore. More reviews and more audio and more content coming soon from Jeff Healey's The Mod Club and more - so keep coming back. Kudos to the oranizerss of CMW - great job. Here are some Saturday snaps!

On the Didgerydoo, slide guitar and more, Shane Philip's one man show was a pleasant treat to those who took in the Music BC/Georgia Straight showcase at Jeff Healey's Roadhouse. Meanwile, team talks tunes with a great UK indie rock band, The Vibrants. Below, more from the British Columbia showcase:

Saturday night at Healey's a variety of great artists were paraded onto the stage, starting with Ellias, Shane Philip, Yuka, Hayley Sales, International Song Contest winners, Whitfield and they closed with indie solo artist, Shaun Verreault (of Wide Mouth Mason). An entire IndieCan Radio show will be devoted to this night. The next Vancouver Indie Scene will be from bands and interviews here in T.Dot.

One of these folks is not like the other - c'mon, sing along with me - and the one that isn't like the others is Ember Swift,nine CDs into her "independent by identity not by default" carreer and Sunday March 11th she was with her band at Hugh's Room. I had a chance to talk to her and check out the show. Click on the image for more on Ember Swift.

Friday March 9th, 2007: David Foster was interviewed by Traci Melchor of Much More Music Friday afternoon which maintained the great CMW tradition of frank and relevant celebrity interviews. This Victoria boy, loved band class, moved to the U.S.A. and made good, living legend told us "how it is" and what he thought. He insisted on going over time to take more questions. I don't remember the totals on Grammy's and Junos to Fosters production credit but that can be easily found on the net. Here are some quotes from David Foster:

Every other day I feel like I haven't accomplished anything.

It's important to be impressed by the people we respect.

Like women in the workplace, as a Canadian I always felt I had to work twice has hard to be taken half as seriously.

(Regarding the state of the industry) The music business is thriving - it's the record business that's in the toilet, CDs are $4.99 at Circuit City now.

Buck Brothers with Diane Foy. This Fabulous UK Band plays CMW Saturday Night - consult your program Barzin was part of a great WeeWerk Showcase at The Silver Dollar that trilled a packed house.
From Vancouver, Feldman and Assoc., Josh McNorton (center) is here with Elias, part of the B.C. showcase that starts at 8 PM Satruday at Jeff Healey's Road House. Indie Bands: Love your photographers, they work hard for you. Gayle Hurmuses and "the One Who Saw" have both contributed to your popularity at

Look for more great CMW photos in the link at the top shortly.

Listen in at CMW: Here's some audio from the first couple of days. Download or stream this really bad edit, but get the meat and potatos of what I heard from: Carole Pope and Kevan Staples, The Stills, Daniel Victor of Neverending White Light and Lucas from The Cliks.

CMW Roving Reporter- streaming
CMW Roving Reporter- download (right click and save link)

Thursday March 8th, 2007: The almost impossible task of where to be and what to see is the every day delehma of CMW. Sorry to those I missed, but here's what we came up with. The evening started at The Legendary Horseshoe with performances by Lye over to The Riv for The Cliks, down to Global Village for Canteen Knockout and up to Clintons for the tail end of Eden Ants.

CLIK-ing on all four cylinders - Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah
The Cliks @ The Rivolli March 8, 2007

The bar has now been set. Two days into Canadian Music Week and Lucas Silveira - lead vocals/guitar, Morgan Doctor - drums, Nina Martinez - guitar and Jen Benton on bass are the favourite pick for "the next big thing" to come out of Canadian Music Week. Many deserving Canadian indie bands have been patiently trudging on the cusp of breaking big. The Cliks are full steam ahead, indicating left and accelerating into the passing lane.

Let's go back. I remember when Moe Berg (who produced Snakehouse, The Cliks new CD to be released April 24th) told me he was working with this new band and something exciting escaped his normally understated demeanour. It was somehow contagious and I couldn't wait to hear what the Cliks were up to. When I got the first incarnation of pre-release, I saved it for the car - one place where I can listen to music carefree without sporadic thoughts of I have to do this or I should do that. I expected a lot and I was favourably impressed. The only thing that bugged me was this: Why is "Oh Yeah" buried something like t #8 in song position? It has "radio hit" written all over it, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah Oh Yeah. Don't get me wrong - I love the opening track, "Complicated." But as the clich� goes, "first impressions are lasting impressions. So introducing yourself with the first four lines, "Fuck your pain away" to a skittish program director who wonders what next risky move might cost him/her their job, you haven't given them any degree of safety here.

So, I was delighted. It meant that I got to spin "Oh Yeah" on the next episode of THE TORONTO INDIE SCENE (Episode 24, October 2006) and meet my disturbed sense of programming requirements - avoid track 1 or 2, if you can find something compelling deeper in the CD. Maybe I want to send a message to artist that at least someone they send their CD to listens to entire songs and entire CDs. Or it could be that if listeners already know the band, I want to give them something different than they've already heard on myspace. So anyway, there was some grief over what Cliks song I was going to use to introduce my listeners to and I was convinced that "Oh Yeah" was the infectious one. That said, I don't know what came first - the clik-en or the egg, but now "Oh Yeah" is on auto play on myspace, that's what the indie label web site is playing too and as I learned tonight, "Oh Yeah" is how they finish their set. Now, how about less about me pontificating about being a trend setter - and more about the band?

So, the sets over and I am mingling back stage and I had a chance to talk to Morgan Doctor (a great indie solo artist in her own right -Aquarius Records). I told her that it's rare that a CD does laps in my car deck but Snakehouse did. I asked if the songs were as fun to play as they sound and she concurred. I then asked Lucas that I thought the record could take off and I wanted to know if they knew they were on to something when they were making it. "It felt a little magical" Lucas reflected. We chatted about SXSW, doing an L-tour in the U.K. and we'll talk more. The Cliks will be "live at IndieCan" soon.

Lye got CMW attendees blood moving with their theatrical and strangely melodic ways.

Lye fans included Calgary's ONE900 (left) who play The Hard Rock Friday night. ONE900 were our guests for Episode 11. (right) Darryl Hurs works liights


Canteen Knockout Twang out at Gloval Village
Eden Ants share new tunes with CMW faithful. IndieCan fans will here from these boys soon as they will be IndieCan guests soon.


Wednesday March 6th, 2007: The Canadian Music Week Smack Down starts with a little Industry Insider Action. IndieCan Recorded interviews with Brad Schwartz from MTV Canada, Co-Chair of CMW and Phil Klygo of WeeWerk Records who's been Festival Director for 7 years. These interviews will be edited down to 10 minute industry insider interveiws, but if you're here to learn and you want to catch these uneditied frank interviews in their entirety, they are available for a limited time by clicking on the pictures below.

The kick off to CMW was a fabulous night at the Docks that would see Rough Trade inducted into the Indie Hall of Fame. IndieCan salutes Carole Pope and Kevan Staples for re-shaping the musical landscape in the '80s both in Canada and beyond. Rough Trade would perform two songs including "High School Confidential." Wespoke with THE STILLS who closed the night with a hot-hot set NEVERENDING WHITE LIGHT (Daniel Victor) took the time to talk to us after the show about winning single of the year for "The Grace." Other great performances came from Wold Mother, Preistess and others. We met some old friends and made some new ones. It was a great night for Canadian Music.

Some of the other 2007 Indie Winners included Alexisonfire with the XM Satellite Award and Album of the Year, Ember Swift for Artist Web Site and other winners included The Arctic Monkeys, Feist, Malajube, The Sadies, The Trews and Billy Klippert. For a complete list check out the CMW site

Show me all the Indies pics....

hooking up with Staylfish from London, The Salads, Mista D who may be the foremost Reggae/Ska podcaster in Canada now, and Maxi and Curt from Radio xXx.

Staylefish live at IndieCan

Salads front man, Mista D co-hosting

Radio 3X DJ Maxine loves her listeners

Next: Montreal to yak it up with CKUT's Monday Morning After crew (McGill Radio). We talked about bands, propoganda and hey, this was the first time I was on the same show with Nohm Chomski. After another coffee I was off to chat with Bruce about Canadian Stage Review then meet up with Jon Andrersond of The Dress Whites who drums and has fallen into the "manager" role. Good news for Toronto is they may be moving out that way from Montreal.

After checking Email, it was off to Productions DNA to meet Dave Sturton and record Dave Martell with Jean and Nick for our next MONTREAL INDIE SCENE. Heading back to T.Dot, I had a chance to talk to Douglas at White Bird Studios in Ottawa to get the low-down of some of the artists he's working with and make plans for our first ever OTTAWA INDIE SCENE which will likely feature three of the best singer/songwriters the nations capital has to offer. I couldn't stop in Ottaw to talk - It was Tuesday, which meant Little Sunday was performing at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern and Toonage's Mellissa was celebrating her birthday.

Top Left: Jean and Nick perform with Dave Martell for THE MONTREAL INDIE SCENE, Jon Anderson drums for and manages Dress Whites. Bottom Left: Toonage Mellissa and Meg-A-Music Mary, Middle: Dave Martell and Bottom Right: Liz Pieries of CKUTI

IndieCan's Birthday Bash Celbrates The Toronto Indie Scene's 1st Year by honouring AthletesCAN February 16th, 2007 (click below for more pics)


 IndieCan Music visits the Vancouver Indie Scene October 2006

Elias at the Backstage with Lotus Child
Superbeing at the Roxy with Sweetheart

Jared of Marble Ryeand Mark of Ant Hill

Most of the people I know in Vancouver are friends that have moved out there from Manic-ville Ontario. Toronto could be the most culturally integrated city in the world. People blend like patterns in a quilt here. I have the impression that as multi-cultural as Vancouver is, people keep to their own community more. Even the central-Canadians in Vancouver hang with each other. For a maniacal over achieving Torontonian, the lotus land life is traumatic and only the community of the fellow overwhelmed can bring the sense of security they need.

Preparing for this trip was no different than any - too much to do to prepare without enough time to do it in. Sleep is the first casualty, then it�s the �Sophie�s Choice� of what must-do-items would and would not get done and if you are like �us� you bring 10 hours of work for your 5 hour flight.

How did this trip come together? IndieCan never meant to be �Toronto-centric� even though our first major effort is our internet radio show, THE TORONTO INDIE SCENE has almost been all consuming, we look forward to spinning tunes from coast-to-coast and we love getting bands into the Toronto studio as they pass through T.Dot. We envision programming from as many places as can possibly sustain periodic shows. Vancouver and Montreal (you too, Halifax) are naturally on the things-to-do list � it was just a matter of how and when. At NXNE this year I met a Vancouver singer-songwriter, Dan Mangen, who after chatting for a while, offered me his CD. I played a song from his CD in our NXNE Episode of our radio show. Dan contacted me and thanked me for giving him a spin and we chatted a bit about the Vancouver scene. I put the bug in his ear that we would love to come to his hood if we could find an eager studio owner out there that would have us.

Dan called Tom Dobrzanski who built Vertical Productions Studio. Tom emailed me, I Emailed him and an agreement in principal happened quickly. IndieCan was coming to Vancouver. In July, when we were picking dates, I thought September should be a nice quiet time for me. As it turned out, September was THE TORONTO INDIE SCENE�s launch to college radio. First Durham College�s, then CKLU, 96.7 FM in Sudbury and then Thunder Bay�s CILU, 102.7 FM � so what was I thinking. I could launch three new radio slots for our show and have a nice little holiday. It turns out �no� is the answer to that question so the Van-plan had to be moved to October. Tom was cool with that. I had so enjoyed having Vancouver�s The Flairs in as our guests in TO for Episode 10 that I contacted them about helping steer me to some good venues and good bands. I was also looking for a co-host with some street cred in Van-land. Ginger Flair was the first to get back to me. And in the spirit of there is a plan and there is what happens, the co-hosting thing never happened but Ginger did direct me to Vancouver punk rock band The Smears who would be the musical �live from IndieCan studio� guests for the first ever Vancouver Indie Scene.

Joe C. and Ginger Flair Neil Osborne on Show 20 Justin, Angie, Rene and Squid of The Smears

The first industry insider for THE TORONTO INDIE SCENE was Moe Berg. As front man for Toronto Indie legends The Pursuit of Happiness and producer to an ever increasing resume of kick-ass indie bands, Mr. Berg had the no-bullshit-in-his-own-words perspective that I wanted for Episode 1. To match the task for Vancouver�s inaugural episode, I had my eye on one man, and one man only � 54-40�s Neil Osborne. As a 20+ year veteran of the Canadian music scene and having done a smokin' job of producing indie artists, Jets Overhead, Neil was the man I wanted. It was only fitting that 54-40 had returned to their own indie roots and having spent time with both Warner and Sony they had �come home� to boutique indie label True North Records. So I built the trip around the annual 54-40 Commodore Ballroom show confident that this interview was meant to be and everything else would just fall into place.

With the help of Sue McCallum at True North and Lara in the Vancouver 54-40 camp, things came together. We were confirmed for 1 PM Saturday October 21st. With plans ? made, for the rest of the visit, I flew into Vancouver early in the morning of the 20th. My first public appearance was The Back Stage Lounge that night for a show case which included Tom Howie, Lotus Child and Elias.

I had put the myspace word out that I was coming and invited other indie artists to show up and say �hello.� Lotus Child I knew. This was Tom Dobrzanski�s band and I had already bonded with their CD and featured a tune of theirs on the show. Mark Osachoff�s band Ant Hill had earned a spin on our show too, as they had won �Best Out of Area Band� at the Toronto Independent Music Awards. Mark and I had already planned to meet up at The Back Stage. I hadn�t met Tom Dobrzanski yet, but when I sprung on him that at 1 PM, the day after he had a show to do, we had our first guest showing up at his studio he said, �OK, I will have everything ready at noon,� I knew we were going to get along great.

As I got to The Back Stage Mark was the first to recognize me. He was sitting with Elias band mates Brian, Robert, Jon and Dom who I chatted with before the show started. TV Heart Attack band mates were there for the show too. They share drummer, Dominic Coletta with Elias. How about that � Vancouver has the same �open relationship� policy that you find in T.Dot. Dom is clearly a fixture in the Van scene. He use to play with Mongoose who I would later see and he has an impressive resume that goes on from there. There aren�t that many people who are devoted to a career in music that can devote them selves to just one indie act and make a living. Jared of Marble Rye (is that a multi-cultural metaphor, Jared?) and gave me a copy of their EP, Tight Pants � Wide Stance. Jared, Mark and I talked shop quite a bit between sets.

The trio of Tom Howie got the crowd going and everyone in the crowd seemed ready for good music. Lotus Child took the stage and I jumped to the obvious conclusion that the guy setting up his keyboard must be Tom Dobrzanski and I introduced myself. Damn, was that a nice set. Later, Tom introduced me to Josh McNorton of Feldman and Associates and after talking for a few minutes I immediately got the idea of doing a second show with Lotus Child and Josh. Elias took the stage and fans loved their set. I wonder if they get Cold Play comparisons in the press. Elias is another band that has had a serious impact on the indie scene all across Western Canada.

Day 2 was a day to remember. Being one of my song-writing influences, the Neil Osborne interview was something that I was really looking forward to. Long before all of this was confirmed, I had tracked down 54-40 tickets from life long fan Leslie, who I met on Myspace. Lara of 54-40 hooked me up with a couple of comp tickets so I was able to give Tom and his girlfriend tickets for the show, too. I got to Tom�s studio early, got the penny tour and talked about the week ahead before Neil arrived.

Neil Osborne was a delight to interview. Listeners should really appreciate this segment of our show and might want to go back to it from time to time. He couldn�t have been more generous with his time. There wasn�t a clich� to be found in a single answer to any of my questions and despite several buzzes from his cell phone, he patiently engaged Tom and I until I was out of questions. One of the great joys of my job how genuine all of the artists I deal with have been. They love the craft of music making and generously offer themselves to those with a sincere interest in their work. Neil was as genuine as I could have asked for. He displayed a healthy disconnect between himself and his work, acknowledging that it was the place his band comes from that has drawn such fanfare through the years and not him personally. Having gone from indie artist, to two major labels and now finding a home with Canadian indie label True North, having grown up musically as Much Music darlings, no one would begrudge this man a wee bit of obnoxious self-indulgence or a twinge of bitterness � but I saw no temptation for him to play either of these cards. As a student of the music business you will find how he balances �careering and craft� insightful. As a fan you will be stoked to hear about his current �100 new song project� is 24/100th of the way there.

Lara  the human face of the 54-40 front office came out to greet meet me when I arrived at The Commodore. Blackie and The Rodeo Kings She was caught off-guard that I arrived with camera equipment (Hey me too. I borrowed it all only hours before!) but jumped in to get me a photo/press pass that would keep both me and The House of Blues management happy. Lara also works with True North�s Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, so I am sure we will have Lara to thank for something again soon I had a techno-black cloud following me for a week. Once I was in the �photographers row, I had a film camera that wouldn�t load, a high end digital that lost it�s charge every picture I took and most of these pictures that I did capture were from a consumer special point and click digital. May we live in interesting times has been the curse or challenge of my life. Anyway, I digress - with all the photographers I know either in Ontario or double booked in Vancouver, I did what I could and it is what it is. Neil threw me a smile from the stage. Either he was surprised that I didn�t have enough of him for the hour we were in the studio or I was the only one in the photo-pit that was singing along to "Easy to Love" - one of the opening three tunes. And no � that picture, annals-of-time as it would have been, didn�t turn out.

After a few songs, I called it a day and went back to being a music fan. I have seen 54-40 in Toronto and it was a show to remember, but to see them in the room they could only hope for in their youth, now that felt like being a part of history. Being on that dance floor for Ocean Pearl was so much more engaging than hearing it from my perch behind the sound board back in Lee�s Palace in T. Dot.

I found Tom and his girl friend. Tom didn't grow up a 54-40 fan. Tom had an eclectic, non-commercial music background that we will leave for another day. But having sat with Neil and me, engineering the interview in his studio, Tom found the whole thing compelling and couldn�t be more grateful to be at the show, likely imagining and hoping the way Neil Osborne had done 30 years earlier watching his hometown crowd fawn over The Talking Heads, Blondie and other �next big things� of the day.

TV Heart Attack was the opening act, Dom on the drums for my second night in a row. Songs like Bang, Bang, Bang, featured on Episode 20 of THE INDIE SCENE are clever and infectious. I liked their set. It doesn�t hurt anyone�s to include a gig like this. It�s a currency. I would like to hear if the exposure translates to a significant increase in fans or just a peak experience.

Sunday and Monday were prep and organizional days. What we call in Toronto, days off.

Tuesday I got caught up on 5 new pages of new friend requests on IndieCan�s myspace. Tuesday night I had committed to come see Superbeing (Episode 19 of THE TORONTO INDIE SCENE at the Roxxy who were opening for Sweethearts CD release party.

I am guessing that Tuesdays are Vancouvers The Fox 99.3 FMs Indie night. The night was emceed by The Fox personality, Lana. She did a great job of treating the crowd, the bands and the music right. It was great to see Superbeing in their natural environment. I got to meet the whole band before the set and some of their fans. Jason did a rare acoustic set for us in Toronto and it made for a well-received show. Jason is a great ambassador of indie music. He always makes a point of thanking the audience for supporting live music and reminding them, in so many words that culture is our humanity.

Thank you Matt, Marty, Sam and Ian who are Sweethearts. I was graced with a cool story about a booking agent in Calgary that liked them so much they put them on a bill with The Trews. I picked up a copy of Map of the Human Heart, their CD and slapped Shout It on Episode 20. They are good showmen. They give some thought to image and involving the audience in their show.

Tom, manager of Vertical Productions did a stellar job of recording The Smears and Lotus Child and helping me put two great episodes together. They sound great. Talking with The Smears, Lotus Child, Josh McNorton and other artists, you hear some recurring themes in the Vancouver Indie Scene. Artists wish there were more venues and more devotion in the city to showcasing indie talent. I saw 11 live performances without a �wish I could have been elsewhere� moment. The depth of creativity and talent is rich in Vancouver. To compound the lack of local support, the drive to the next sizable gig is not only long, but treacherous for about 200 of the 365 days of the year. For many a band, a 10 to 12 stop tour involves three time zones.

I finally caught up with Ginger Flair, guitar player for The Flairs (Episode 10 of THE TORONTO INDIE SCENE) at the Lamplighter Pub Friday night. This was cause for a party, for sure. Hot Little Rocket from Calgary opened. The Smears, Mongoose and The Manvils followed. It was a Halloween party. It also celebrated some guy in attendance that skateboarded from Halifax to Vancity over 6 months to raise money for breast cancer research. Both the bands and audience were good sports. Almost everyone on stage and in the audience was in costume. Rene of the Smears was a dead bride (something to do with her well known commitment disorder, I guess). Dustin, I am guessing was the creature from the Blue Lagoon, Squid was Frankenstein and Ange on drums � she had this elaborate skeleton costume � Holy sweaty down to the bones after a long set, Batman. The music was, again, fabulous. I picked up a Mongoose CD and I will share that with Indie Scene listeners soon.

It was great to hang with Gillian-Ginger Flair for a while. She would have co-hosted an episode with me, but it was one of those weeks for her. I was anxious to here how their North American tour went after they left us in Toronto. It was cool to hear about playing before 70,000 in an outdoor event in Indonesia. Then there was the big news with the Flairs � some personal (we�ll leave it that way) and some professional. It seems Ontario may enjoy an extended stay in our fair province within the next 6 months. Luck for us. It�s all in an interview I did with Ginger.

I think the west coast scene is vibrant. The only threat to this emerging scene is apathy and complacency. If the city continues to embrace the local talent and the existing infrastructure does just a little bit more, the city could enjoy a world-class wealth of emerging talent for years to come. Thank you one and all for the hospitality you showed me. It�s a big country, but with the wonders of modern technology, I think we can build a world class music community. Let�s not forget that we�re all in this together. See you soon Vancouver.


Silver: Indie Culture Shop is excited to announce the addition of the 25th cd to our store, Street Legal Aliens by up-and-coming Birmingham, UK pop-rock band Aquila (pronounced Ahk-will-ah). This talented trio - Rich, Ford and Dan Aquila - have received rave reviews for their melodically heartfelt and sensual music, and performed to packed houses full of swooning girls all over the UK. With diverse influences such as Nick
Cave, Led Zeppelin and Tom Waits, they describe their sound as, the songs playing in your head during the best sex you ever had, or the soundtrack to the end of a beautiful relationship. You choose. Being a three track EP, Street Legal Aliens is a mere sampling of what is to come from these lads, as they are currently working on a full length cd (to be called No More Your Lover) that will also be welcomed into Silver once it
is completed. So come to the store and grab one of their cds while you can!

Some of the other indie cds that we have in store are from: acclaimed local metal band Scarlet Sins; gifted Toronto alt-country singer/songwriter Amer Diab; nxne 2006 local punk performers Bukkake Katholik; up-and-coming Toronto industrial act Lye; well-known local alternative-rock band, Jemo; Halifax, NS experimental-folk musician Clumsy (aka Kev Corbett); prominent Victoria, BC industrial band Tribal Machine; and Atlanta, GAs retro experimental band, VieTNam.

One of our goals here at Silver is to become THE place in Toronto where people go for independent music, local or international, so we are always welcoming musicians who want their cds and/or band merchandise to be sold in the store.

For more information, please contact owner Carlin Joie Belof at 647 439 5464, Tuesdays to Sundays 11 AM to 8 PM, or email her at

Silver: Indie Culture Shop * 703 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON, M6J 1E6 * 647 439 5464 *

Canada Day Concert - Downsview Park July 1, 2006

Eden Ants

EYE Weekly, Cool Planet Entertainment, IndieCan, Steve's Music and PM5 Records Rocked Downsview Park with Eden Ants, The Chris Graham Band, Tomorrow's Excuse, Abandoned Souls, Danielle McKee, 68pornomags, Dayvid, Scarlet Sins, Aria Coma, R.O.A., The Philosopher Kings, Hedley and more.

For a pictorial review of the day click here

Pod Casters Across Borders

Joe Chisholm attended this international conference of internet broadcasters that included futurist, broadcaster and pod caster Todd Maffin, Sounds Like Canada host Shelagh Rogers and besides a few more CBC producer types, the rest of us were on our own nickle. It was great to meet some of the other broadcasting mavericks who I only previously knew by URL. Check out the link above for a list of some other great shows.