INTERACTIVE VIDEO RELEASE PARTY
W/ BLIND RACE, LOST CAUSE
VISUAL FEATURE #2
All Photography By: Anna Sklavos
By: Fridae Mattas
Additional photography by: Dipan Cheema
Last Monday December 8th, America’s first reality show musical group O-Town hit Lee’s palace in Toronto. First time across the border in ten years for their only Canadian stop on the reunion tour. Before American Idol existed and Puff Daddy took over Making The Band, there was O-Town. The last “Boy band” created by convicted con-man and alleged pedophile “Lou Pearlman” who is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence. You could probably find episodes of Making The Band’s first three seasons on YouTube. Unlike “The Backstreet Boys” or “N’Sync“, O-Town’s formulation was amidst Pearlman’s extreme legal issues. They didn’t even get the chance to sustain their momentum and stray from the boy band definition. The group released two albums and disappeared, until now!
Late August of this year, O-Town released their third record “Lines & Circles”. The first single off of the new record is “Skydive”, a fantastic mid tempo ballad that you can watch here. The current group is Jacob Underwood – Vox/Guitar, Trevor Penick – Vox, Erik-Michael Estrada – Vox and Dan Miller – Vox. The group once had five members, Ashley Parker Angel the fifth member did not want to partake in the reunion. But hey, that’s okay because from what I saw and heard, the quartet will do just fine without him! Never have I seen them live before, I was expecting the worst. I’ve covered or seen pretty much every musical group except “The Beatles”, “The Jackson Five”, “New Edition” and a few more because I was not born yet or old enough to migrate! Bypassing the fans waiting in line at Lee’s, I ran straight into the venue thinking I was late! It was five-thirtyish, the bands publicist told me my interview time was at 5pm. Turns out the band wasn’t there yet, I breathed easier, so glad that I made it on time.
Another media outlet was setting up their lighting across the room as I began unloading my gear. In the venue maybe five minutes before a guy walked over and introduced himself, his face looked familiar and the name Jacob rang a bell. One-fourth of the quartet and the business man of the band, which I later learned in my five second interview. Soon after the other interview began a blogger arrived to interview the group, adding to the time crunch. That pushed my interview back until she finished hers because mine was to be filmed, I didn’t mind for the time being. My priority was finding a plug to charge dead camera battery that was fully charged but somehow now dying…It was more than obvious that the Universe was being moody, something else was going to fuck up for sure.
When it was finally my turn, we were getting acquainted as I set up my tripod. Was being rushed to the point where I almost didn’t get the mic into their hands, nevermind check the audio levels! The guys were friendly and helpful, making suggestions on where I’d like them to be placed for the interview. After introductions I opened with “You guys are back! Why now?” Underwood answered with “Well, it was the right time for us, it has been difficult to get together in the past, with me living in Nashville and Dan being a father and all of our other projects. Now is the right time.” I can recall telling them their 2014 debut single “Skydive” was a good tune and asked if they were more hands on with this record? After thanking me for the compliment, they answered back with “yes” and a more in depth perspective that was lost amongst the static in the recording because my lip reading skills are not the greatest.
When I asked if they would do a reality show again, Dan was the most responsive, rapidly shaking his head “No”! We chatted about the difference of their first tour and this tour, at some point they were jibbering about visiting Niagara Falls (The big one is called Horseshoe Falls) before migrating to Toronto. Assuming it was their first time, judging by their excitement it sure sounded like it was. Niagara Falls Canada is the honeymoon capital of the world for a reason! The best time to see the falls is at night when they have the lights on, it looks too cool. Plus its fun to hit up a haunted house attraction and party there sometimes, on the Canadian side that is! Buffalo is ass! No offense Buffalo, I’m sure everyone notices how much it sucks compared to Canada’s Niagara and Toronto but, we are nothing compared to Manhattan. Oh yeah before I forget, single ladies…You are in luck! Three of the four are ready to mingle, as Jacob stated while he did the “call me” gesture on camera. They also chatted about their status during the show, playing the dating game theme song for shits and giggles.
It’s good to see them being responsible for their own careers. Underwood is basically the manager, handling most of the business, booking the gigs and apparently this is only the beginning, in 2015 we will be seeing a lot of O-Town! There you have it Townies, they will be heading back on tour, hitting a city near you in the future! Literally in four minutes that is all I was able to get. Not the interview I had envisioned…But tour manager Chris (I think that was his name) looked like he was going to have a nervous breakdown when he told me to wrap it up… I blame my tech issues on that half hour interview because they fucked up the whole rotation! So annoyed, I went straight to my generic wrap, pretty sure the band read the annoyance of being cut-off on my face. Now multiply that by seven and add a livid LeTawniyah on level ten. That’s how pissed off I was when I played back the interview to no sound, just static…Couldn’t even finish eating my poutine. Clearly, the Universe was not happy with the brief little snippet. And, after spending the last week trying to resurrect the audio from Monday’s interview, I finally gave up.
The opening act was “Todd Carey” American singer whose single “Nintendo” hit number one on the Billboard twitter charts. During one of the cover tunes, O-Town’s Jacob Underwood joined the stage to jam with Todd Carey and you can see how it all went down here. My ears were done after that, I had to find my ear plugs now! The sold out mostly female crowd was competing for the loudest scream, like Animals with the loudest mating call in the wild. Thankfully I was finally armed with ear plugs, they were my saving grace because that was only the beginning…Carey was good, a little too broadway and disingenuous for me but has potential, the fans were enjoying themselves. When Todd played his number one billboard twitter tune, my ears did not like that “Nintendo” song. The fans were screaming stuff like “Oh My Gawd, he’s soo cute” but not “I love this song” or any vulgar obscenities, that I heard anyway!
About twenty or so minutes after doors opened we heard a commotion near the parking lot around the corner. Photographer “D” made a sarcastic comment about how the group probably popped up to check the fans. His words rang true, the quartet ran to the front entrance along the crowd causing “Bandimonium” because most of the fans were still waiting to be let into the venue. It was pretty amusing to those of us watching this madness unfold. Apparently an older woman looked absolutely disgusted as she passed by. I was laughing, this was hilarious and obvious they still have an effect on Canadian females.
The set up was pretty basic, a computer played the instrumentals as the group kicked off their sold out set with the song that started it all, “Liquid Dreams”. At first I could not hear them over the shrill screams of five hundred or so grown ass women with a few boyfriends in tow and a couple of gays sprinkled in the mix. To be exact, two Queen’s dancing the night away in the middle of the venue like nobody was watching. Both myself and photog D, refused to even attempt shooting anywhere near the front of the stage. D was stage left, closer to the pit area and I just chilled on the steps by the sound booth, stage right. Was hoping to get decent footage without too many heads and hands…But of course the struggle was real, Andre the Giant’s daughter decided to wear stilettos and a messy bun to this concert…You can see her head bobbing all over my footage and she was standing below me…My weakness is filming in crowds without media pits! Wish I wore heels to make my 5’8 stature at least 5’11 or 6 feet and if only I could find a good spot to set up my tripod! Nowhere in the chaos was that possible.
They sang a mix of their new and old track’s, sounding absolutely tight without needing any live auto-tune! The performance shocked me actually, because my ears were liking all of their voices and that is rare when it comes to vocal groups. The only ones able to accomplish that thus far were “Boyz II Men” who are impeccable live, watch them for yourself on FridaeTV Youtube. As for The Backstreet Boys; my ears don’t really like Howie D’s vocals, N’Sync; JC’s vocals were the strongest, did not like the rest especially Chris’s tone. Occasionally Justin’s vocals were tolerable, the nasal whine in his falsetto still bothers my ears to this day. New Kids weren’t really known as a vocal group and 98 Degrees doesn’t even make the list! My ears don’t like any of their voices and they are so boring on stage. Saw them live when I was a youngin, it was the first time I was attacked by fans, all because one of the Larries handed me a rose. Never went to another 98 Degrees show or saw the rose again because the teenies yanked it out of my hand.
Right out the gate, O-Town could have done anything and sounded like shit, yet the fans still would have eaten it up. A great example was when Jacob decided to try something new where he threw and caught his mic during the hit tune “All Or Nothing”. My reaction to the little trick was similar to Trevor and Dan’s but the fans loved every second! You can watch that big tune unfold here. At least he tried it and in the end it worked out for him.
Toronto embraced O-Town with open arms, except for this douche behind me who kept yelling “You suck, you fucking suck!” during an acoustic performance of a song they’ve never done live before. It was a little rough as expected for a first attempt, it was a lot better than many “Rock Bands” have done on the fly. That man was aggravating LeTawniyah, lucky for him he disappeared before she was unleashed. The crowd was entertained without the bells and whistles of a huge production. O-Town’s talent and personalities we’re more than enough for the fans in Toronto. Next time, hit up the Phoenix where there is ample room for more fans and stage tricks ha ha.
My ears did not mind a few of the newer tunes like “Lines & Circles” and “Rewind”. Those songs stood out after briefly listening to the latest record and hearing them live. O-Town has been trying to gain respect in the industry, working hard to find a place in the world of today’s music as legit musicians. Is it possible for them to gain momentum in an era where everything is over processed and manufactured? I believe these indie underdogs of pop could slowly climb to the top! Ashley who? Keep practicing, writing and always remember what Drake says; “Started from the bottom now the whole team fucking here!” O-Town is Fridae approved, if you get the chance, go see their brand of non-autotuned musical infusions. Muchas gracias to D for assisting me in shooting the set, publicist Matt for all his help. And of course thanks to O-Town for taking a few minutes to chat, it was great to meet you guys! Reach out and I’ll see ya’ll in 2015, we need a new interview! Enjoy the holidays everyone and don’t forget to grab your copy of O-Town’s newest album “Lines & Circles” here in the US and here in Canada.
By: Fridae Mattas
Canadian shit disturbers “Die Mannequin” are back with a new “Neon Zero” feel for everyone to groove with! Watch the new video below, read the press release and sooner rather than later you can read my review on the new record. Buy “Sucker Punch” here and keep your ears and eyes open for the new album “Neon Zero” to be released in October!
Care Failure – Vox/Guitar
Tony Bleed – Bass
Dazzer Scott – Drums
Stacy Stray – Guitar
By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas and Dipan Cheema
Here we go again, trying to squeeze yet another CMW adventure into one editorial. After years of hoping for a warmer Canadian Music Week, it finally kind of happened. It was held from May 6th to 10th for the first time, usually it’s in cold Canadian March. You would think in May the weather would be warmer…It was not, in fact the weather was just as confusing as the beginning of the festival. Compared to the eight previous years I have attended, this was the most lackluster and unorganized of Canadian Music Week’s. Many other industry professionals I came across were also left scratching their heads, communication was non-existent. Thankfully the miscommunications only lasted the first day of my coverage adventures and it did not slow the coverage too much.Wednesday night there were some super amazing bands at the Bovine and Hideout, I came across the gems of the night at the Bovine. One of those smashing bands being “Bloody Diamonds” from Halifax. They hit me up about a month before CMW, requesting coverage the proper way with an email and links to their music. Many think a Facebook invite is all they need to get media at their show…Wrong! We all receive emails from managers, publicists or label reps, I rarely check my fb invites because there are just too many and these days I am so busy. My friends even have to call or text me a few days before an event at the latest. But, if a band or artist sends me an email without a publicist in advance, unlike other media folk I will take the time to check them out before the others sent daily. All of this is possible if you take the initiative and do it yourself like Bloody Diamonds. If you don’t try, you won’t know what could have happened. Most media establishments don’t even open unsolicited emails, FridaeTV is a little different. I am always looking for amazing new music signed or unsigned to introduce to the world.“The Deadset” from Vancouver hit the Bovine stage just before Bloody Diamonds. You never know what to expect when it comes to unknown indie bands, but lucky for us this band was pretty good! The Vancouver pop-punk duo is; Jt Criminal – Vox/Axe and Steven Appleyard – Drums/Vox. They got the crowd extra hype as they rocked their original tune, “Hello Kitty”. A track they wrote pre-Avril shitstorm and you, can watch it here. Would love to see this band again, they were very refreshing and if I were to describe the vocals…The closest comparison according to my ears would be Paramore’s leading lady, but Jt Criminal sounded so much better live at the Bovine! They just need to add a few more band members to fill out the sound, that also applies to Bloody Diamonds who are mentioned in the paragraph belowAs enjoyable as they were I couldn’t wait for Bloody Diamonds to hit the stage at the crowded Bovine, I was looking forward to hearing a specific song of theirs “Monsters”. Unfortunately for me they did not play it in their set but it was a fantastic show once the sound issues were handled. At showcases like these, you need to make sure to play the best tracks you have, hence the word “showcase”…Especially if you want to get signed to a major. The duo’s stage presence was electric and I was loving the last track “Four Walls“. The audience was captivated by Vox Sara Elizabeth’s unique vocal performance and Jake Seaward’s skills. I see extreme potential for both of the young bands mentioned. And, if by some chance you get to see them on tour which Bloody Diamonds is now on, don’t be shy! Go and discover some fresh sounds.
After Bloody Diamonds wrapped their set, off it was to check out a few more bands along the strip but a large number of them didn’t make the cut. Oh yes, actually one band did make the final cut and technically it was a new day, the band being “Streetlight Social” from Peterborough. They were playing the Piston, a venue I have never been to and probably will never return to shoot at again! The reason? Overbearing red lights used during the performances, for a photographer this is the worst lighting to work with, might as well have them play without lights. The band consists of members from various other bands like My Darkest Days and Cold Creek County rolled into one giant six piece funky folk fusion of a band called Streetlight Social. They played well, had a lot of energy and tried to work the small stage the best they could. The stage did not fit all of the Larries comfortably, I could barely see bassist Brendan McMillan behind his giant old school string bass squished in with the other five. Streetlight Social is: Chris Millar – Vox/Guitar, Reid Henry – Keys/Axe/Backup Vox, Kevin Austin – Guitars, Matt Baylis – Percussion and Gabe Gallucci on Drums. Vox Chris Millar did better but still needs a little more vibrance, something is missing there. Honestly thought he was going to be a bundle of nerves like when I saw him sing with My Darkest Days last year in Peterboonz. He was still nervous but could hold it together long enough to shake most of his nerves by mid set. The music was good, different but that’s what makes them stand out and worth seeing. The whole band gave it their all and entertained the crowd of maybe thirty people like they were thirty thousand. Not bad for a first time viewing, wish I could have stayed longer but camera and phone were in nap mode and there were other bands I needed to see. Will definitely have to check them out again at a better venue, watch a couple of the tunes filmed here. Thursday I had a major issue, none of my photographers could make it to shoot and I had to be at fifteen places at once. No need to give yourself stress wrinkles, no stress. The only choice was to downsize coverage, problem solved. Yeah…The only band I actually made it to see and get some shots of was Dearly Beloved. They were playing at the newly opened Studio Bar for a semi-private rock party just down the street from the Hard Luck on Dundas. Once upon a time I did an interview with Dearly Beloved but some how the footage disappeared, it was a really good interview too.
The sound system at the venue was garbage, couldn’t decipher anything the band was singing! That meant no filming of any tunes because even with an external microphone, it would sound like shit. I have been doing this for almost eight years now, if the environment is not up to my standards, filming does not happen. I do hope the venue fixes their sound problem because if they want to be a successful live music venue, the system has to be stellar! The band tried their best and the crowd was entertained despite the sound issues. Recently Dearly Beloved released their newest album “Enduro” filled with their blend of folky garage punk rock that must be heard. Air was desperately needed by the end of the set, it was so hot in there I was sweating like a hooker in church! Ha ha plus I couldn’t stay, had to rush to the Revival and try to catch some of the sets.The Revival was a full house when I arrived, so packed I couldn’t even find my friends and so very hot with my winter jacket on. Migrated outside between sets to get some fresh air hoping to see someone I knew. Just as my phone died there was my favorite British friend strolling up to greet me, surprised he actually made it to the free show with his busy schedule. So very happy that he arrived when he did, I couldn’t find the others and my phone was dead no contact unless we bumped into each other. As we headed into the venue, one of the security guys had a super beenie (fanboy) moment and asked my friend for an autograph on his arm…That was the most awkward moment of the night for sure! Back in the venue my friend tried helping me get to the stage by leading the way through the crowd, but he was getting stopped for chats and photos in the process. We decided to retreat from the crowd before more people recognized him and enjoyed Fefe Dobson’s set from a corner in the back of the venue. She has come a long way compared to when I saw her perform for the first time when I was still in high school…Not going to lie, she was a hot mess back then! Now, it seemed as though she has her shit together and it showed because she sounded fantastic. Too bad I didn’t get any feasible shots, I tried with my longer lens from the back but the photos are far too blurry to publish.Friday! A few different coverage schedules were made just in case there was a “magical” guest list I forgot to put names on. The first stop of the night was Yuk Yuk’s to see Tom Green’s first early show. Before finding a seat, I asked the person at the door where media seating was, he said there was no specific media area and that I could sit anywhere except the reserved seats. “I can shoot from anywhere?” I asked, he said yes. Very soon I was to find out how wrong that information was. Always trust your intuition, wish I had listened to mine! As I looked around for a non-reserved seat there was nowhere to sit except the second row in the middle of the room…I try to blend with the crowd but at 5’8 I stick out regardless. There were two comics prior to Green, Trevor Thompson and Patrick Coppolino.Trevor and Patrick were funny but honestly after seeing a few stellar amateurs at Yuk Yuk’s and a number of other comics in the past, they were not that funny but did make me laugh a bit. Green, was funnier than his openers but extremely overrated and not really a Russel Peters, Chris Rock type of comic. He relies more on his eccentric antics and catch phrases than actual material. Perfect example of this is his famous line “Daddy would you like some sausage” from 2001’s “Freddy Got Fingered” which he gladly said over and over again. The plan was to take a few shots and enjoy the set like I did with the openers. Green walked out on stage and scanned the crowd, after saying a few words to the first victim, he spotted me and then saw my camera. He jibbered on about how big it was and how nobody asked him to take pictures. My camera is not that big, it’s just a Nikon 5100 Dslr with the basic 18-55mm lens, I can fit it in my purse. Anyway, in typical Tom Green fashion he yelled in my face, asking if I was a student at Ryeeerson Poleeetechnical University and wanted a picture for my project. At this point I was in tears from laughing so hard, I could barely talk when he asked who I worked for. “FridaeTV!? What the fuck is that?” Oh your name, oh ok I get it.” I was trying to stop laughing and he thought I was upset; “I don’t think she’s enjoying herself anymore, don’t worry you’ll get lots of hits, come to me at the end of the show and I’ll take a picture for you FridaeTV.”Actually, it was not at all embarrassing or offending, that was the funniest part of the entire set and it was freestyle. He apologized for dragging it on and found others to heckle, but mid set found his way back to me again ha ha, they always do. Tom Green was entertaining, I will give him that, however my a.d.d was kicking in hardcore and I couldn’t wait to wander. Mr. Green was all about his beer once he got over harassing me as he drank it on stage throughout the performance. Don’t think I will ever try his beer, it looked dark and muddy like Guinness and probably would taste just as gross to my palette. A guy was going on about the fifteen dollar cost of one beer and Green ripped into him and changed the subject moving onto another victim…Like the I.T. guy who looked like a serial killer, don’t know how wise that was. No, I did not go back and get a photo with Green, I do not have time for old men hitting on me. All in all it was a fantastic way to start off the evening, Tom Green is worth checking out at least once in your life, just don’t sit near the front if you can’t laugh at yourself. The minute comedy time was over, I booked it to the next venue as fast as the serial killer looking I.T. guy hopped onto the streetcar. After a quick Queen strip trip, I headed back to the Revival for the Universal showcase featuring Nikki Yanofsky, Bobby Bazini, Jesse Gold, Cris Cab, Andee and Kardinal Offishall. I managed to shoot three of the six, but didn’t think I would get any of them. Luck was on my side, well, sort of…One Montreal friend was outside in line, doors were still closed but the line was massive. When I arrived they had let people inside by groups of four or two’s depending on the space in the venue. Security was awesome to me, didn’t even need to show them anything or stand in line. It was more crowded than the night before and the bands were not even on stage yet. As overwhelming as it was, I sucked it up and made my way through the crowd to the stage, along the way I bumped into a few people but whacked someone with my purse. When I turned around to apologize, there in front of me was the Legend himself, Mr. Quincy Jones! The man who produced Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, amongst the many groundbreaking award winning records under his belt. Little did I know Mr. Jones was going to hit the stage to introduce Nikki Yanofsky once Universal Music President/CEO Randy Lennox introduced him. First artist to hit the stage was Toronto’s Jesse Gold, I thought he was going to be some folky singer-songwriter. Turns out I was wrong and happy about it too! Jesse has this poppy rock bluesy feel to his music. He did a phenomenal job as the first artist of the night, the crowd was eating it up. His songs do need a little work but the talent is blatant, no wonder Mr. Jones has taken a liking to him. One thing I noticed that night was, every artist including Miss Yanofsky had to ask for water on stage, what’s with that? Water should always be on stage at room temperature ready and waiting for the artist to drink, this keeps vocal chords moist. By the time Gold was really into his set it was over, he only played four songs. You can watch one of Jesse’s tune’s here. On stage next was Montreal’s Bobby Bazini, never heard of him or Jesse before but now we all know. Bazini had a full band and three backup singers, the first track he played was “Bubblegum” and it was the best track of his set. There was something about his vocals that irritated my ears in the other songs. It was like he was forcing himself to sound that way, wasn’t natural and did not sound authentic. Celine Dion has a similar problem but has been getting better over the years. The final artist I covered at this venue was Nikki Yanofsky, the child prodigy now twenty! Everyone knows Nikki as the voice of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic’s song “I Believe”, but now Montreal’s little Jazz pop star is growing up. This wasn’t the first I heard of Nikki, it was the first time I was actually able to see her perform live. Like a proud Grandfather, Quincy introduced Miss Yanofsky after he said a few wonderful words. You can see it unfold and hear Nikki sing her heart out here. Nikki blew me away, she was incredible as she showcased her new album for everyone in the crammed Revival. Yanofsky is one of those magnificent talents who is not noticed enough. First track was “Little Secret”, followed by “Something New“. People need to pay more attention to artists like Yanofsky instead of the overly sexual mediocre entertainers out there. The crowd was enchanted and her fans were falling more in love with her by the minute. I see great things in Miss Yanofsky’s future, after all Quincy Jones is executive producer on her latest record “Little Secret”. Once she sang three songs and I had the coverage I needed, I migrated to the same spot as the night before so I could watch the show. Nikki was truly a pleasure, the beautiful butterfly is definitely coming out of her cocoon. See her live, buy her records, get acquainted with Canada’s sweetheart.
Saturday was interesting, I decided to play a game with the local FridaeTV fans. Quite a few of you showed up to meet me at different locations, I felt so loved thank you everyone for all the support! The first coverage location of the night was The Horseshoe Tavern for the Paul Gourlie charity benefit. Paul Gourlie was probably the best agent any band or artist could ever have. Paul worked for the Agency group, he was so very passionate about music and the bands he worked with. He was the first agent I ever met and has told me about so many bands. He loved the bands like he was in them, very few people in the entertainment industry are like Gourlie, he loved music, a true music angel. I think I still might have his card somewhere. Sadly he is missed by many, last year on May 10th 2013 he succumbed to the disease he had been fighting his whole life, Cystic Fibrosis. Rest in paradise Paul Gourlie, you are now free to chill with the greatest musicians. Two of the bands Paul discovered played to honour him they were, Bedouin Soundclash and The Trews.Personally, my ears are not a fan of Bedouin Soundclash’s music, however they do have my respect for making waves. The Horseshoe is one of the worst venues to film or photograph anything. The lighting is horrible, the crowd gets sweaty and the footage always comes out looking and sounding like ass. This time was no different except that the lighting was better and I had my external mic, therefore the sound was not going to be an issue. Some of the crowd was already drunk and rowdy, this environment was going to get interesting rather quickly. As predicted it did, once Bedouin Soundclash hit the stage the pushing and elbowing began. I only planned to film one track but forgot to turn on the mic for the first one, The next track was a song they dedicated to Paul and had all of the original members in attendance. The band is: Eon Sinclair, Sekou Lumumba but for this special night original drummer Patrick Pengelly. Pengelly left the band in 2009 to attend Law school but joined the band on stage for this performance. The set was entertaining, they played all of their hit tunes but the crowd was thirsty for more. Watch the track “St Andrews” here, and while you’re there check out all of the other artists on FridaeTV.It calmed down for maybe five minutes between changeovers and then more people flooded the room to watch The Trews. I couldn’t see the back, there were far too many people and it just kept going like an endless ocean. No way I could get a drink and find my way to the stage again, that was an obvious delusion. To pass the time a lady who was with the Toronto Star was asking me about FridaeTV. She mentioned that the Star was working on a new online live series with musicians. Well, I wish you all the best, so many media outlets doing the same thing. But hey, we could always team up! The Trews kicked off their set with a song they wrote specifically for Paul called “65 Roses” you can watch the video below.
The Orlando, Florida-based band of brothers have been playing ever since they were young. The group consists of Connor McDonough, 20, (Vocals/Guitar), Riley McDonough, 18, (Vocals), and younger brother Toby McDonough, 16, (Vocals/Guitar) and they’ve already began to make their mark on the world.
With their most recent EP, I Like That, the three brothers have crafted a soaring pop album of uplifting relationship songs that effortlessly blend sharp hooks with bright and buoyant rock. “We were searching for a sound, and wrote with as many people as we could. It helped us grow and write better songs. For this album we wrote 30 to 40 songs and picked our favorites,” Riley McDonough says. The band drew inspiration and wrote songs from sessions with such seasoned vets as Robert Ellis Orall (Taylor Swift), Dan Book and Alexei Misoul (Hot Chelle Rae), Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low), and Stephen Barker Liles (Love and Theft). The album standout and first single, “I Like That”, is a tune with tenderly romantic lyrics and big pop-rock beat. Ryan Daly and Anthony Improgo, along with Connor McDonough, produced the album. “They really listened to what we wanted to do and let us try out our ideas, no matter how crazy,” Connor says laughing. “Because of that, we feel really connected to the way the recording turned out,” Riley adds. The group is even more excited for the release of their brand new music coming soon!
With the I Like That EP, the band has been critically acclaimed by the likes of MTV, J-14, Seventeen, Radio Disney, Teen, Teen Vogue, Popstar!, Just Jared, just to name a few. The band has also toured/played with high profile acts such as Cody Simpson, Olly Murs, The Wanted, Fifth Harmony, and even the Jonas Brothers.Conjuring up the optimism in the band’s name-inspired by the sentiment “make a difference before you exit”- the band works daily to make their way to the top but they never fail to stop and appreciate what has got them thus far. “There’s no way we’d be anywhere without our incredible fans. They are behind us every step of the way and are a huge piece of this band,” states youngest brother, Toby. In light of the many short lived and fly by night artists, this young, singer/songwriting, brother driven band, is one to be around for a while.
Purchase Before You Exit’s new single, “Dangerous”, on iTunes, here!
5.4 SunFest 2014 West Palm Beach, FL
5.17 Samsung Hall Manila, Philippines
6.4 The Fillmore* Silver Spring, MD
6.5 Baltimore Soundstage* Baltimore, MD
6.7 Digifest NYC New York, NY
6.8 iPlay America’s Event Center* Freehold, NJ
6.9 Bergen Performing Arts Center* Englewood, NJ
6.12 House of Blues* Chicago, IL
6.14 DigiFest Toronto Toronto, Canada
6.21 Tanger Outlets @ The Arches* Deer Park, NY
6.25 Jacobs Pavilion @ Nautica* Cleveland, OH
6.26 Stranahan Theater* Toledo, OH
6.27 PNC Pavilion* Cincinnati, OH
6.28 Farm Bureau Lawn* Indianapolis, IN
6.29 Lifestyle Communities Pavilion* Columbus, OH
By: Fridae Mattas
Once again Marshall Mathers teams up with Miss Fenty Riri to throw down another “Monster” masterpiece. I vowed to not write another video news release because music channels out there have fallow video hosts who like to use my words on air. Main example is a little news piece back in the day on “Love The Way You Lie“, thanks to my loyal friend who informed me of this faux pas. If you’re going to plagiarize someones work at least change up the words, laughs! This is not a news release more like a song and video review…Did not go into too much detail regarding this track in the review of “MMLP2” for good reason! I had this up my sleeve for a minute now, today it can be published because the video has been released.
The song itself is in reference to Eminem’s multiple personalities and how he is still actively feeding the monster under his bed and vice versa. In the video directed by Rich Lee, Mathers plays a patient and Rihanna is the doctor. As Rihanna sings “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed / Get along with the voices inside of my head / You’re trying to save me, stop holdin’ your breath / And you think I’m crazy, yeah, you think I’m crazy.” Mather’s reflects on his past accomplishments and demons using flash backs of The Monster’s reign. It was clever to redo and incorporate those specific videos to tell the story of the song, which goes fittingly with the lyrics. People fail to convey the message in video form these days. “Cause I need an interventionist to intervene between me and this monster / And save me from myself and all this conflict”. One of the video clips embedded within was when Eminem had his moment with Elton John, my guess is to reiterate he is not a homophobe. “I’m just relaying what the voice in my head is saying / Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just friends with the…” People need to remember he is just utilizing his freedom of speech, does not mean he actually believes some of the things he says, it’s just art.
Rihanna’s vocals on this track are very well done, she knows how to use her voice to the best of her ability. Fenty is not the strongest vocalist but as an entertainer she has the charisma and determination, not to mention she is one hell of a performer. Mathers solidifies his top spot in the music industry with a sharp flow and passion filled feelings behind the lyrics. Even though you don’t want more fame, this is your job, now werk bitch! Haha! That is, if you still have something left to say. At the end of the video Eminem comes face to face with the Monster locked in the cage being watched by two teflon padded gunmen, we all know who the moster is even before you see him. Watch this epic video and see for yourself what I’m talking about! www.EMINEM.com
By: Fridae Mattas
Indie Week came and went, like all the festivals this year I did not cover as many bands as usual because of how busy my schedule has been this past year. Trying to squeeze in as much coverage as possible is too much stress so I winged it to the fullest this year. Most of the bands and artists playing I have already seen but some I will always support like Angela Saini, I tried so hard to cover her set but I couldn’t make it on time because I was trying to reach the Underground Garage for Australia’sArcane Saints. Personally I had not seen them yet so this time I promised myself I would, after all they came across the globe to be at this festival.
Arcane Saints played three shows during Indie Week 2013 and I caught one of the three shows on Friday night. The sound at the Underground Garage is not the greatest, neither is the stage but it is somewhere that has live music and that is important. The venue was packed, people were everywhere and of course the band was already playing, Their sound is your good ol’ fashioned rock and roll with a little grunge vibe . You can check out a tune from their set below the photo.
After Arcane Saints set I ran as fast as I could to Queen street but both The Horseshoe and the Rivoli were between bands so I migrated farther west towards the Hideout and again it was between bands so I ended up at the Bovine where my memory left me but there were a few super blurry shots of some random bands I still don’t know of on my camera, to remind me that indeed there was more.
When cool people come to the city I often miss a lot of them due to my non existent time, like when Doors Drummer John Densmore had a chat as a keynote speaker at the festival this year, a day after he did a Q&A at the first ever Reel Indie Film Fest. Completely bummed that I couldn’t fit him twice into my overflowing schedule. I did manage to reach the dual album release by Breached and The Joy Arson at the Rivoli Saturday October 19th. That show was like a reunion of all the cool folks, frenemies and posers alike. The music industry, well, the entertainment industry as a whole has the most unique collection of beings.
The Joy Arson gave it their all musically but vocally, singer Matt Moffit was off that night. Most of the tracks played were pitchy, I couldn’t even find a decent enough video clip to put up. A few vocal lessons and breathing exercises to help with the nerves should do the trick. The rest of the band were pretty good, they even added a new guitarist to the lineup. Next to hit the stage was Breached, you can check out a video of their set below.
Breached are one of my favorite bands on the scene currently and they threw it down at the Rivoli! This was probably one of their best sets, of course the light show was pretty cool! The new tracks are so good, and they do sound a little more commercial than their previous material. These days if you want music to be your sole source of income you better write some catchy fucking tunes or sell your soul to the devil… Just ask Katy Perry, who clearly sold her soul to the devil…
And that my friends is where this jibber ends, the winners of Indie Week are Sumo Cyco who battled it out Sunday October 19th at the Tattoo Rock Parlour with the other semi-finalists. Keep it locked for a photo editorial with a couple of specially chosen bands, and next year I hope to declutter more of my schedule so I can discover even more of Toronto’s indie music to share with all of you.
By: Fridae Mattas
“Luminato began as a dream that each year Toronto would invite the world to join us in celebrating creativity. A dream where the best artists in the world and the best artists in Canada fill the stage that is Toronto with new and wonderful creations. A dream that we could create in Toronto a festival that would become renowned the world over for its excellence, its originality and its accessibility to all people regardless of background or experience. Today that dream has become the reality of a boisterous festival sprawling all over the city with music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, film and celebrations of all kinds. Luminato embraces the very diversity that is the beating heart of Toronto and is living testimony that creativity is best nourished where cultures come together in a spirit of common humanity and citizenship. One can note the artistic and economic impact of Luminato, but its core purpose is something larger: Luminato is a hugely personal and collective enterprise. In a digital age, a festival like this is one dimension of human activity that must still be experienced in person. It is a shared spectacle. Luminato’s roots go back to our earliest cultural experiences before we even lived in cities and practised formal arts. At its core Luminato is about the creativity in each one of us.
We know that each and every child is fundamentally a creative being. Over our lives, some of that creativity is lost. Luminato is a time, a place and a set of experiences where each of us can reconnect with the creative in ourselves. The dream of Luminato, a dream we can all dedicate ourselves to this week, is that each of us can discover and share our innate creativity. And in doing so, connect with one another as a community in the most powerful way we know.”
– David Pecaut (June 2009)