CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK 2014 – FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

Featured

NIKKI YANOFSKY LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK

2014

FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

 

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.DSC_7440-2Wednesday 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.BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014The 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 belowTHE DEADSET LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014 - Photography By: Dipan Cheema THE DEADSET LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014As 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.

BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014After 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. STREETLIGHT SOCIAL LIVE @ THE PISTON CMW 2014They 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 hereSTREETLIGHT SOCIAL LIVE @ THE PISTON CMW 2014STREETLIGHT SOCIAL LIVE @ THE PISTON CMW 2014STREETLIGHT SOCIAL LIVE @ THE PISTON CMW 2014Thursday 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.

DEARLY BELOVED LIVE @ STUDIO BARThe 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. DEARLY BELOVED LIVE @ STUDIO BARDEARLY BELOVED LIVE @ STUDIO BARAir 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.TREVOR THOMPSON LIVE @ YUK YUK TORONTO CMW 2014Friday! 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. PATRICK COPPOLINO LIVE @ YUK YUK TORONTO CMW 2014There 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.”TOM GREEN LIVE @ YUK YUK TORONTO CMW 2014Actually, 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. RANDY LENNOX & QUINCY JONES @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014The 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. JESSE GOLD LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014First 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. JESSE GOLD LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014On 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. BOBBY BAZINI LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014BOBBY BAZINI LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014The 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. NYGNIKKI YANOFSKY LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014Nikki 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.

NIKKI YANOFSKY LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014 NIKKI YANOFSKY LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014Saturday 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.BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHBEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHPersonally, 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.BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHBEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHIt 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 TREWS SETLIST @ THE HORSESHOE MAY 10TH 2014 CMWTHE TREWS LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHOW)Finally! After years of trying, my ears and eyes experiencedTHE TREWS LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHOW) the Trews live, every time I was to see them perform I missed them or couldn’t make it. The closest was the last song of their set at a festival a few years back but since then it had yet to happen. I was fully enjoying this show, the whole band was in it to win it! The passion and energy came across immediately but once they rocked their second track “Hope And Ruin” they had that twinkle in their eye and stole the show. This band everyone needs to run like the wind to see, in the longest time I not have not seen a band transmit this much Charmisma® (Charm & Charisma) playing good old catchy rock and roll. It was all delivered with a red bow of amazing guitars, team work and solid singing. As an artist working on my record, I love watching bands who have just finished creating new material and have that evident love for their craft. Can’t wait to see these brothers live again for a full set, this mini show of new tunes was only the first. The Trews are: Colin MacDonald – Lead Vox/Guitar, John-Angus MacDonald – Lead Guitar/Vox, Jack Syperek – Bass and Sean Dalton smashing the cans. You can buy their newest self-titled record here! THE TREWS LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHOW)THE TREWS LIVE @ THE HORSESHOE (PAUL GOURLIE TRIBUTE SHOW)The last artist I am going to talk about is Adam Baldwin who I saw just after the Trews over to the left at the Rivoli. Walking into the venue I almost passed out from the very potent fish slap in the air, it wasn’t any better by the stage at the Nova Scotia showcase. When Baldwin hit the stage after being introduced, I was trying to place where I had seen this Larry before. Then he started chatting and tearing up about Matt Mays and his fallen bandmate Jay Smith. Smith was found dead in his Edmonton hotel room March 27th 2013 of last year while the band was on tour. Just a week before his death, Smith played with Baldwin and Mays at the 2013 Indie Awards in Toronto. I filmed that performance and you can find it along with all the other videos your hearts desire right here.ADAM BALDWIN LIVE @ THE RIVOLIADAM BALDWIN LIVE @ THE RIVOLINow that it clicked, I knew where Adam Baldwin was from, I did not know he was a soloist as well. Not bad for the guitarist in the backing band. His songs were a little bland but with some help on the writing there are possibilities. He does need to work on his vocals, he can’t just scream into the mic thinking its singing. Overall he did alright but who can top the spectacular performance a half hour before? Nobody! Not one band that I saw after The Trews were at their level. If there was an award for best band of CMW, The Trews win the 2014 imaginary trophy hands down! They are on tour so do yourself the biggest favor of your life and see them live. Many thanks go out to the FridaeTV crew Dipan and Joanna, without them all the extra visual feature coverage would not be possible! And thank you to everyone who supports FridaeTV and helped make the 2014 coverage run smooth! Until next year, enjoy the videos, photos and check out all of the fabuloso musicians mentioned! COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

SPECIAL FEATURE EDITORIAL: LUMINATO “THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC”

GLASS BALL - LUMINATO 2013 - DAVID PECAUT SQLUMINATO 2013

SPECIAL FEATURE EDITORIAL

“THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC”

By Fridae Mattas

My first year covering Luminato! I actually remembered to apply for media accreditation this year before the deadline. Luminato is a festival of arts, a collection of various forms of artistic expression, from paintings to performance art by veterans in the field like “Marina Abramovic”. She not only performed in a theatrical piece about her life and death,  Abramovic’s installation, MAI – Prototype was on display at Trinity Bellwoods.

Toronto’s Festival of Arts and Creativity, Luminato was technically born in 2003 but it wasn’t until June 1st 2007 that festival first launched thanks to the brainchild of Tony Gagliano and David Pecaut.

LUMINATO 2013 - DAVID PECAUT SQ The plan was to cover as much as possible…I had no idea that my schedule would flip so quickly making all coverage limited. I double booked myself a few times missing many performances like Maxi Priest and Joni Mitchell’s “Joni: A Portrait in Song – A Birthday Happening” live where she recited a new poem with musical accompaniment by her drummer and collaborator Brian Blade. I only had a chance to wander the hub once and that was when they elevated the world’s largest mirror ball, I really wanted to see it used during Maxi Priest’s performance.All Photography By: Fridae MattasIt was a complete miracle I even made it to the Bluma Appel Theater on Moday June 17th to catch the North American premier of “The Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic”. However, I did get to the theater on time. Before we get into the review of  the performance let’s rewind to Saturday June 15th’s TimesTalks with Director Robert Wilson and narrator of the stage production Actor Willem Dafoe. This little talk took place at the Isabel Bader Theater in Toronto and the two personalities were interviewed by arts critic, editor and New York Times contributor John Rockwell.

TIMES TALKS - LUMINATO 2013The trio talked about how “The Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic” came together, my perception of Wilson is that he definitely is an interesting character while Dafoe was very mellow,. They discussed various topics and below you can watch a clip from the TimesTalks.

WILLEM DAFOE CLIP FROM "THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC"Once in my seat at the Bluma Appel Theater I noticed it was dark but there was a soft blue light and Doberman Pinschers wandering on stage around three “Marina’s” in elevated coffins, I immediately went back to the TimesTalks where director Robert Wilson said Abramovic wanted to have raw meat on stage as the opening. The dogs were his interpretation of her very Avante-Garde request for the opening scene. Of course I wanted to play with the doggies! Doberman’s are one of my favorite breeds of Dog. Abramovic played herself and her mother in the stage piece, the set was changed frequently but it was always crisp, clean and artistic as was everyone performance.

TIMES TALKS - LUMINATO 2013Many people were following the storyline that is her life, during the intermission a few people made comments  “This is the story of her life? Her life is pretty boring.” they clearly were not getting the artistic aspect of the theatrical performance. I do understand why they thought it was boring, they are used to the Hollywood version of people’s lives and what they have been through. The acting was very well done especially when keeping a straight face for so long, I always crack and start laughing that takes a lot of focus. Willem Dafoe’s character kind of reminded me of Drop Dead Fred’s evil twin brother, Dafoe is a great actor he played his part well, engaging the audience as he colorfully narrated the story. He is not much of a singer but his dancing is commendable.

MARINA ABRAMOVIC CLIP FROM "THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVThe music was spot on for the piece, it fit the scenes perfectly and singer Antony Hegarty who performed a few songs sounded beautifully haunted majority of the time. Abramovic is a true artist, her creativity is always without boundaries and her work is a definite must see. Now that I have spoken a little bit about “The Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic” I will leave you without giving too much away, if you are an artist of any kind or a lover of performance arts you must see this production, it is very inspiring. Next year I hope to tread more Luminato ground and capture more of the amazing creativity there is out there.

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

Q & A WITH DOLLS!

1ssulk_new_high_res

Q&A WITH DOLLS

 

By: Fridae Mattas

 

Amidst the whirlwind of press for her new album “Secret Sulk”, Nikki of Dolls (You may know her as Nikki Awesome.) had a few minutes to catch up and share some of her life.

 

Fridae: Hello, Hello! It has been awhile since we hijacked a ballroom, how are you?

DOLLS – Nikki: OMG I almost forgot about ballroom-hijacking. I mean, nowadays they just give themselves up. It’s been a while!

 

Fridae: What has been going on in Awesome land since we last chatted a few years back?

DOLLS – Nikki:  So much.  I’ve pretty much left the ‘Nikki Awesome’ thing behind (DOLLS website launching soon, but won’t change my Facebook fan page), relocated to the UK (three grey and glorious years this summer), learned how to produce my own music, have thrown myself about traveling, meet/greeting some of my favourite artists and making ridiculous videos.  Basically, I’ve spent the last three years regaining control of my art and having FUN again after leaving the major label game, which has definitely been a good move.

 

Fridae: How was Dolls created? If you could tell the world and myself a little more background information on the history of Dolls.

DOLLS – Nikki:  DOLLS was initially an outlet for me to create music with a darker overall sound which wasn’t really compatible with The Royal Society’s.  I always listened to synth-heavy music with a dirty, raw vibe, like Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, and Joy Division/New Order.  I also really love some of the pop artists of the 80’s like Tears for Fears, Pet Shop Boys and Men Without Hats, all acts that had depth in their lyricism as well as wicked synth lines.  I found that many mainstream artists were not into that style when I was last living in North America. There weren’t many artists making a crossover between ‘alternative’ and ‘synthpop,’ coming from a commercial pop background (though some were crossing over the other way).  I’ve always written all my own lyrics and melodies, played guitar and keys, but I felt despite that, I was limited to one style of music by virtue of having had a hit in that genre and lacking the resources to produce music on my own.  Even though The Royal Society’s fans were wonderful and the media outlets were amazing in supporting the project, the club scene was feeling a little superficial to me.  After losing several years worth of work to a series of heavily political power plays (in case you ever wondered why there wasn’t a Royal Society album), I began learning production in order to make the music I wanted, so as not to have to take direction from people who didn’t get me as an artist.  It wasn’t the easiest transition and I probably burned some bridges, but ultimately I feel more empowered and happier doing what I want to do, and if people don’t ‘get it’ I don’t have to answer to anyone.

Fridae: Good for you! It’s seems like every artist comes to learn in their own time, that the only person who can truly relay your vision is you.

 

Fridae:  How did you come up with the new records title?

DOLLS – Nikki: It was little bit of a joke at my own expense. I felt like in writing the material for DOLLS, people saw me as being a bit of a ‘poor little bitch girl,’ biting the hand that had fed me. Because the songs were a lot more angry, less commercially friendly, and openly bitter about things that usually get hushed up. Dolls music is a total contrast to The Royal Society vibe which is all “let’s party, everything’s rad.”. I wrote so many songs over the last three years that chronicled some experiences pretty viciously, and it turned out that after incessant (often unsolicited) input from everyone else I was (un)surprisingly kind of pissed off.  Making Secret Sulk the album’s title seemed appropriate in the sense that everything I did musically and the way I did it was otherwise so atypical and ‘inappropriate’.

 

Fridae: Did you work with someone on the new album or did you create everything yourself?

DOLLS – Nikki: Millions of hours alone in my bedroom. I didn’t have any previous experience with production outside of being in-studio, so it’s been an insanely huge learning curve, which is obviously not yet complete.  The new (unreleased) stuff is a lot more refined in terms of sound quality (since I have upgraded my equipment) but it’s still DOLLS: dark cynical synth/wave with pop vocals.

1dolls_nice_high_resFridae: What separates Dolls from all the other artists trying to break the global scene?

DOLLS – Nikki: It’s no secret that the whole music industry is upside down.  Everybody’s looking to sign the prepackaged ‘next big thing,’ so I’d say it’s pretty rare to be invited in to hear the ‘flaws’ and outtakes from the onset, especially from someone who was formerly perceived as being the prepackaged ‘thing’ . DOLLS is the evolution of an artist, not the ‘delivery of a product.’  In my opinion, flaws are what resonate with people and give the audience something real to connect with.  The pitch-perfect image airbrushing that has become par for the course is not what I want to buy into or sell anymore.  Imperfections have always intrigued me; whether it was hearing a wrong note, a crack in the vocal performance – those kinds of things are so smoothed-out these days that I feel it’s tremendously different to allow fans in on a project’s development. Not just delivering a polished focus group-approved sound or image, which means releasing material that hasn’t been over-refined.  Which is unconventional in the current system.  I’ve chosen to work outside the model of recent tradition, and I will make mistakes, backtrack, change things around, have opinions that will piss people off. It’s more interesting (to me) to throw down total chaos rather than play a formulaic game, shuffling alongside everyone else, everyone crossing their fingers for a major to pick it up.  Getting signed doesn’t always benefit an artist, more often than not it just brings in a bunch of watered-down opinions on how you can best sell your music like it’s a breakfast cereal.

 

Fridae: Are you planning on hitting the road anytime soon?

DOLLS – Nikki: Definitely, but nothing’s set in stone yet.  I’ve had interest in the UK and Europe, but because I don’t have label support it’s a bigger deal to commit to touring, so I’m still working out the bugs and deciding who I want to work with for the live show.

 

Fridae: If you could work with any artist in the music world today who would you choose?

DOLLS – Nikki: Trent Reznor, David Bowie or David Lynch.  I feel like they should come as a package-deal, just so I don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings.

 

Fridae: Are there any other projects in the works?

DOLLS – Nikki: At the moment DOLLS is pretty all-consuming and there’s some deadly business waiting in the wings, but it’s all hush-hush, innit!  I’m just releasing my first collaboration with a Canadian artist since 2010 (On Your Lips with Toronto electro artist COINS), and have been talking with another UK indie artist (Magpies and Vagabonds) about a new concept project. He also did the Dustcover Mix of NOW NOW. Both tracks are on my Bandcamp and Soundcloud accounts for free download.

 

Fridae: Whose music are you playing on repeat right now that you could not possibly live without?

DOLLS – Nikki: I really like Miike Snow, Das Racist, HURTS and Paloma Faith.  I’m pretty shit at listening to new music, so I go through phases of not knowing about anything new and just snuggling into old faves, followed by frenzied accumulation of Spotify playlists.  I feel like not buying physical copies of albums combined with being so obsessive about learning production has changed the way I consume music; it’s like the line in Amadeus, about how sometimes there are just too many notes. When I (n)ever have spare time, I prefer to see plays, go to galleries, read.. Whatevs.

 

Fridae: Words of wisdom for aspiring artists….?

DOLLS – Nikki: Probably not to take anyone’s advice.  Nobody else knows how to develop your art better, and letting them try, almost invariably leaves you disappointed or risking relationships to maintain the integrity of your ideas.

 

Fridae: Where can people find your music?

DOLLS – Nikki:  DOLLS’ Secret Sulk is available for free on my Soundcloud account (http://soundcloud.com/dollsxx/sets/secret_sulk) and if people like it, it would be fantastic if they want to purchase it for whatever they think works; I’m asking for £5.00 on Bandcamp (http://dollsxx.bandcamp.com), which allows me to continue to make music and develop the project.

 

Fridae: Are there any last words you would like to share with the world?

DOLLS – Nikki:  “She probably had it coming.”

Fridae: LOL!! Thank you so much Mizz Nikki Dolls!

 

www.DOLLSXX.com

www.twitter.com/DOLLSXX

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

1DOLLSGANGSIGNS_HIRES_2

 

GET PAID TO SELL CIRQUE ÉLOIZE iD TICKETS!

Make Easy Money This Summer 

Selling Tickets to Cirque Éloize’s Action-Packed iD

with the New Sony Centre Affiliate Program

The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts is launching a new sales initiative that rewards its loyal patrons and builds a new audience while allowing anyone to make money by selling tickets to Cirque Éloize’s iD.  This is the first time a venue in Toronto has created a rewards program that pays a commission for selling tickets!The Sony Centre Affiliate Program provides each participant with a unique online code for exclusive use to sell tickets to family, friends, and associates, and pays a $5 commission for each ticket sold. Affiliates can also access a professionally designed, web-based, marketing tool kit to assist in the promotion.   Up to a total of $60,000 in commissions can be paid to participants, and the highest seller will receive a 65” Sony Bravia 3D HDTV.Simply Register at http://id.sonycentre.ca/ and start making money!

The astonishing production that took Toronto by storm last fall, iD  will make a triumphant return to the Sony Centre with an awe-inspiring spectacle that weaves together hip hop, breakdance, BMX bikes and ten circus disciplines including tumblers, acrobats, jugglers and contortionists, creating a breathtaking explosion of exhilarating music, dance and video.For more information on Cirque Eloize’s iD and the Sony Centre Affiliate Program, visit  http://id.sonycentre.ca/.

Sony Centre For The Performing Arts presents
Cirque Éloize’s iD
November 1-3, 2012
Thursday – Saturday@ 7:30pm; Saturday @ 2pm
Tickets as low as $45 and can be purchased in person at the Sony Centre Box Office, 1 Front Street East, Toronto, over the phone at 1-855-872-SONY (7669) or online at www.sonycentre.ca
Discounts are available for groups of 8 or more, call THE Group Tix Company 647-438-5559 or Toll Free 1-866-447-7849 or online at www.thegrouptixcompany.com
 SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, Toronto’s first performing arts centre, has played a defining role in the cultural life of Toronto for more than 50 years. Today, the newly renovated Sony Centre’s mission is to unite the global citizens of Toronto through great artistic experiences. In addition, the Sony Centre is dedicated to developing Toronto’s younger audiences through family programming, workshops targeted towards school-aged audiences, an under-30 membership program, and other community initiatives. www.sonycentre.ca

TYLER MEDEIROS’ NEW RECORD OUT SEPTEMBER 4TH!

 

CANADA’S TEEN SENSATION TYLER MEDEIROS SET TO RELEASE 

TYLER MEDEIROSTM 

TOUR WITH BIG TIME RUSH AND CODY SIMPSON KICKS OFF SEPTEMBER 4

 

Toronto, ON – 17-year-old Canadian pop artist Tyler Medeiros announces the release of Tyler MedeirosTM  on September 4, 2012, which will be available on iTunes and at www.tylermedeiros.com. As a bonus, fans can go to Medeiros’ website for a free download of his upcoming single, “#QTEE.” The new release will coincide with the first date of his Canadian tour with Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson, kicking off in Montreal, QC. Medeiros will also be hitting the stage at Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert alongside Bridgit Mendler and Allstar Weekend on August 26. For full track-listing see below.

“I’m really pumped to be able to share Tyler MedeirosTM with my QTEEs,” says Medeiros. “We’ve been waiting for the right time to release a new song and now I get to share seven. I hope my fans love the new tracks as much as I do.”

Tyler MedeirosTM features seven songs including fan favourites “Girlfriend” ft. Danny Fernandes and “Say I Love You (Please Don’t Go)” ft. Young Money’s Lil Twist. Previously, both singles were played in high rotation on the Family Channel and MuchMusic. Additionally, there will be five new songs including “Radio” featuring international superstar Flo Rida.

Earlier this year, Medeiros toured with pop icons Flo Rida and Pitbull on the Canadian leg of the Planet Pit World Tour 2012. Medeiros is signed to Flo Rida’s record label, International Music Group (IMG), in the U.S. and serves as one of the flagship artists on the label. Managed by both Strong Arm Management and CP Management, his projects are released through a joint venture with Canada’s leading independent record label, CP The Major Independent. In 2011, Medeiros worked with the Family Channel as the face of their Bullying Awareness Week Campaign. The project had him visit middle schools across Canada to talk about anti-bullying and perform his single “What’s Up, Stand Up.”

 

Tyler MedeirosTM Track Listing:

  1. Girlfriend ft. Danny Fernandes
  2. #QTEE
  3. Radio ft. Flo Rida
  4. Say I Love You (Please Don’t Go) ft. Lil Twist
  5. First Time
  6. I Got It Bad
  7. Favorite Girl

Tyler Medeiros Canadian Tour Dates:

* – Indicates all tour dates with Big Time Rush & Cody Simpson

 

August 22, 2012           Fair at the PNE                                                  Vancouver, BC

August 26, 2012           Family Channel’s Big Ticket Summer Concert       Toronto, ON

September 4, 2012*      Bell Centre                                                         Montreal, PQ 

September 5, 2012*      John Labatt Centre                                     London, ON  

September 7, 2012*      Scotiabank Place                                          Ottawa, ON

September 8, 2012*      Molson Canadian Amphitheatre       Toronto, ON

September 13, 2012*  Rexall Place                                                       Edmonton, AB

September 14, 2012*    Scotiabank Place                                                Calgary, AB

September 16, 2012*    Rogers Arena                                                      Vancouver, BC

                               

Weblink: www.tylermedeiros.com

Twitter: @TylerMedeiros

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TylerMedeirosCP

NICK CARTER IS TAKING OFF!

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

NICK CARTER CD RELEASE  SIGNING

MINI-FEATURE

By: Fridae Mattas

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Yesterday, August 9th 2011 on Toronto’s famous Queen Street hundreds of girls shed tears of joy, shook with excitement and screamed really loud, their Teenie dreams were coming true, they had the chance to meet their idol obsession the boybander who brought back the frenzy, the one and only Nick Carter. It was a day full of promotions for Carter, he was making the rounds at the usual media hubs including Much Music to debut the new music video for “Love Can’t Wait”. Those asking who the heck is Nick Carter, read this and then this, I’m sure it will all come back to you. If that isn’t enough Carter information for you then simply go to his website and check that out.

The autograph session with the worlds most notorious pop heartthrob began at 6pm at the HMV on Queen West. To get an autograph from Carter you had to purchase the record to obtain a wristband that guaranteed you a signed copy personally by him in the flesh. I was late, of course thanks to traffic but once I arrived I  saw the never ending line that went down the block and when I left it was still at the same spot because they just kept coming. As I was leaving the insanity, a group of females stopped me to ask why so many people were lined up outside HMV. I told them Nick Carter was signing copies of his new album, the exact minute I said Nick Carter, they let out a loud united shrill scream in my face (Wish I had my ear plugs at that moment) and literally ran to HMV screaming “Thank you! Thank you!”, I don’t even think they heard me say the last bit of my sentence. I wish I had a chance to film some of the madness but I had to hit up another event and that event was cancelled soon after, if only they told me sooner because I wasn’t about to rewind into the jungle.

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

At the signing they only allowed a certain amount of fans in the store at a time to keep some order and not  overcrowd the store. This made it easier for other patrons to shop amongst the chaos. The fans were lined up on the left side inside the music store along the wall, they cut them off at the stairs only letting a few at a time upstairs to the second level where Carter was signing copies of his new record “I’m Taking Off” just released yesterday here in Canada. Nick’s bodyguard wasn’t far from his side he stood where the fans ended their journey, if they tried to do anything crazy he was there ready for them. None of the fans did anything severely extreme from what I saw except burst into tears right in front of him. I don’t know how he did it, I wouldn’t be able to hold the laughter inside past the tenth girl but I guess after almost twenty years of chicks crying and screaming in your face, you get used to it.

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

This is not the first solo LP for Carter, his first release was titled “Now Or Never” which debuted at number 17 on the billboard charts and sold over 500,000 copies in the States and about 50,000 in Canada certifying it as a Gold Record.  Carter is no longer with Jive Records the label he’s been signed to since he began his musical career as a Backstreet Boy, now he’s under the giant wings of 604/Universal and from the looks of it he found a label that cares. Major thank you goes to Nick’s Publicist for helping me out because the HMV Securitard was being difficult and she totally made him feel stupid after he tried to deny even her access. I know he treated us the way he did because we were Women and 95% of the people at the HMV were females of all ages with a few males sprinkled here and there, it was evident that we were being stereotyped by this obvious chauvinist.

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Minus that minor snafu this was a pretty chill signing, the media area was to the right as you came up the stairs and the five or six fans allowed up to get their copy signed, were to the left. I captured a few decent shots because I was able to migrate around and get different angles, this was better organized than the other signings I’ve covered lately. The only thing blocking my shot clarity was this other photographer with his massive flash and super long lens. Dude, you are inside a well lit room and right in the artists face, there was no need for flash on a pro DSLR period or a large wide zoom lens. My camera, I like to call it the Diva D40, it didn’t have as many issues with the lighting other than the flashes of others causing my shots to blur as always when the flashes go off.

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

I walked into the store and there were crying girls everywhere, it looked more like a funeral than an autograph signing! I asked a few girls why they were crying and they all said the same thing “I’m so Happy! I just met Nick Carter!!” One girl in particular was repeatedly saying she was so happy as she cried and hiccuped all at the same time, it was hilarious but disturbing at the same time. I think I’ve encountered a fan that did the same thing at another event for someone else, it was like déjà vu. Growing up I never understood why girls would faint, cry and scream? That was and always will be odd to my brain, entertainers are just people too and you worship the ground they walk on but we all breathe and feel just the same. Some of us are just lucky enough to live out what we were meant to do with our talents. No different than a person who is a Doctor, Lawyer, Psychologist, Horticulturalist, Retail worker we all have different talents that make the world go round. This Larry was destined for greatness, although I don’t think he has captured his full potential yet, Carter is growing towards it. You must experiment to find out what works best and not being afraid of trying something new is key to discovery. Thanks again to those that helped me out at Universal Music Canada! To everyone else, if you like pop music the good pop, go buy Nick’s record at HMV and iTunes or wherever music is sold, it wasn’t too bad from what I heard as they played it in the store. You can find the rest of the photos here.

COPYRIGHT © 2011 FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAETV. All Rights Reserved

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

www.NickCarter.com

Nick’s Myspace, Twitter, Facebook

www.604records.com

www.UniversalMusic.ca



NKOTBSB LIVE IN HAMILTON EDITORIAL REVIEW 2011

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

NKOTBSB EDITORIAL REVIEW

LIVE @

COPPS COLISEUM HAMILTON

By: Fridae Mattas

Saturday August 6th 2011 was the Day NKOTBSB took over Hamilton, with opening act Neverest. They also had Glee’s Mr. Shuester after Neverest (Laughs) okay okay, his name is Mathew Morrison and I did not cover him, I can’t stand his voice! The super group had their second last show of the tour at Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum, the final show of the tour was in London, Ontario Sunday night. One of the fans I was talking to basically laid out their schedule for me and then proceeded to whimper at how upset she was that it was their second last show, wishing they would tour together again. I have a feeling there will be a European leg and another North American tour because clearly the fans can’t get enough and you must always give the people what they want. This Coliseum holds 19,000 people for concerts and it was almost overflowing at every level with only few spotted seats throughout the venue. They had some seriously loud screaming fans and “For such a small city, Hamilton is the loudest on the tour!” according to Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids On The Block, which I’m sure he said at every show on the tour but I wouldn’t know I haven’t been to any of the others.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

It was bananas when I arrived at the venue, the tour buses were parked all around the venue with thousands of fans lined up to catch a glimpse of the Supergroup that is NKOTBSB. As I was trying to figure out where the media entrance was I heard acoustic guitars, singing and it didn’t make me cringe so I stopped to take a shot. It was the fifth season Canadian Idol winner Brian Melo performing outside the Coliseum before the show, at least it kept the fans entertained and maybe he gained a few of his own.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Some of you may not know what an NKOTBSB is, those are the initials of old school American Pop sensations The New Kids On The Block and new school old’s best selling Boyband of all time The Backstreet Boys and together they performed on one stage, serious blast from the past! According to Billboard this tour has generated over ten million dollars in revenue and is one of the top 50 tours of the year. Laugh all you like, these nine guys on a giant dick are laughing all the way to the bank and most of them could probably still steal your girlfriends. By giant dick I am talking about the stage, it looked like a massive penis with two balls (Winged Stage ramps) on both sides of a long shaft Runway and the head was a little off but close enough (Circular stage that erected at the tip of the shaft) it was absolutely hilarious but cools at the same time with all the colours in the background and the runway looked fun to play on, they all enjoyed it strutting around like modelabees.

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

The two Iconic pop groups decided to conjoin and create a co-tour and back in November 2010 they confirmed the tour explaining it all during the show. I find it amusing that basically everything I said in my Backstreet Boys review from their Toronto show last August was pretty much followed word for word, even Kevin made an appearance and performed with them during the LA stop of the tour. Either I’m absolutely psychic or people read my work, that’s the best free advice anyone could get! I hate tearing people apart, I am just honest about what work needs to be done to help talent grow into their full potential. If you want more background information on all the mentioned artists hit up their websites NKOTBSB, Backstreet Boys and NKTOB.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

This was the first time I have ever seen Neverest live, I went to their video release party but haven’t been able to catch a show. Fans search for them every day on FridaeTV.ca and this time I caught the set. After some confusion I was able to gain pit access to shoot a few songs which turned out to be a challenge in itself. Huge Thank you goes out to everyone who helped Saturday evening, that includes many of the NKOTBSB fans, Live Nation, NKOTBSB Management, Strut and Neverest management! Neverest was introduced by one of their managers Howie Dorough who is a Backstreet Boy and was to perform an hour or so later. They didn’t play for long about fifteen minutes; it was a four track performance including the hit singles “Everything” and “About Us”. I was a little annoyed that I had the little corner of stage left (Audience right) to shoot from, couldn’t get many different angles because security wouldn’t let me. The main stage was so high up but I managed to shoot a few good ones regardless of the restrictions.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

While shooting a band I like to wander around,  feel it out and capture all of the band members in their essence. I hate when they trap me like a caged Tiger, “I’m a peacock dammit, you’ve got to let me fly!” Neverest’s performance was good, I was expecting worse but they did fabulously well exceeding my expectations. Musically everything was timed perfectly and on key. Vocally it was almost faultless, Spyros (Spee) just needs to strengthen vocals by using his diaphragm more than the throat and sometimes he was a little too nasally.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

By using your diaphragm as you sing, it gives the vocals a more stable powerful sound because you are able to allow more air into your lungs and keep it solid for a longer period of time. All nine of the NKOTBSBers need to pay attention not just Spee, this is for all of you. I know this because first and foremost I am a singer, Soprano-Alto with a variety of range. My vocal teacher in high school told me how important it is to sing with your diaphragm and refrain from using your throat as much as possible. But, sometimes even I forget when nervous and have to sing. The nerves sometimes get the best of me, but even when the adrenaline is going and you have the shakes you must always try to keep control of your voice. Another bonus is, your chords won’t be strained with fewer sore throats. Neverest gave the crowd a fantastic warm up set, it came right from the heart. Absolutely evident they all were genuinely thrilled to be up on that stage entertaining their manager’s fans and their own. This Canadian Pop Rock band is growing as fast as their fan base, in ten years they could still be kicking if they continue to progress at this level and stay relevant. The only thing about their music I’m not feeling is the redundancy in the melodies, they are all sounding too similar, switch it up a bit. When making music always have an outside ear listen to the tracks and honestly advise you on what needs to be tweaked. Neverest is: Paul – Bass, Spee – Vox/Guitar, Brendan – Drums and Mike keeping it fresh on the Keys. Go see them live if you can, I know I definitely need to catch another show and do an interview with the band.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

As predicted there were several generations; Grandmothers, Moms, Dads, Daughters, Teenies, Greenies and Beenies, it was 85% female 15% male. Girls flew in from all over the world not just Canada no lies! New York, Montreal, Detroit, Virginia, Boston, Seattle, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Germany and probably many more but those are the only ones I talked to at the venue. Those fans are obviously on a dedicated stalking tour of their own. When I was six or seven I was forced to pick a New Kid, my cousins were obsessed and wouldn’t let me play Barbie’s if I didn’t. I chose the one I thought had the best voice Jordan Knight, I did not find him attractive or any of them for that matter, still don’t. That is my NKOTB history, that is how I know the hit singles like Hanging Tough’, Step By Step, Right Stuff, Please Don’t Go Girl and Cover Girl which they sang at this show. To this day Jordan and Donnie have the best vocals out of their group. I was a fan of The Backstreet boys back when I was fourteen, fifteen but after Black and Blue the music got way too corny, I loathe Larger Than Life and Shape Of My Heart and a few more on that record, I can’t remember the names for a reason. To me, they are just another bunch of larries I’m reviewing and of course Backstreet Boy Nick Carter is still the hottest of the bunch, only because I have a thing for blondes. You can catch Nick today at HMV on Queen St. West 6pm downtown Toronto signing copies of his new record “I’m Taking Off”. You buy it, he signs it! So simple my friends!

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Earlier I had a little issue with my ticket at the box office, the girl working obviously didn’t check the first time causing this whole delay and then acted like I was the dumb one. NKOTBSB press list with a ticket in a ticket holder that says my full name and publication right on the front, not hard to find but for her it was challenging. Then again I was in Hamilton! My friends think the girl was probably trying to teef the ticket and media pass for herself. Major thanks to the security guy downstairs, he was super patient while I waited for clearance. The NKOTBSB set had visuals on a giant screen introducing the supergroup with individual shots of each member and their names. That was followed by a medley of a New Kids tune ‘Single’ and a Backstreet track ‘The One’ performed together. They rose out of the stage on a platform similar to the end stage erection. The way they intertwined and arranged all their hit singles was interesting, it was clear there was a lot of thought and effort put into this production. They had a live backing band who were phenomenal, the crew that set this all up are amazing, lighting techs did an incredible job as did the stage hands! This show gives Rob Zombie’s recent set at HeavyT.O. a run for his money. There was fire during a few tracks, confetti floating and they all popped in and out of the crowd giving the concert goers their monies worth for sure.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

In order for us to get our shots I had to reason with the fans because they told me our escort was rubbing them the wrong way when she talked to them before. The first two girls I spoke with in the front row paid $500 a pop for their seats at the second stage and they didn’t want any interruptions from their NKOTBSB experience. I felt sorry for them because scalpers will always rip the fans off and the artists never get a cut of that. I also felt super terrible for being in their way but that wasn’t our fault. I explained to them we didn’t pick the place to shoot, usually we are placed in the pit and would only be there for three songs, they agreed. As long as you rationalize with the fans treating them like people with respect, they will be chill about anything. After I spoke to all the other fans in the front row they were all on board; we had the whole tip of the weenie on our side!

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

It was smooth shooting until a venue security guard came up to me as I was snapping the second track while the New Kids were performing ‘Summertime’. He asked me my name as he told me to go back to my seat, I gave him the dirtiest look showed him the pass and he blushed with embarrassment apologizing as he walked away. I did not get as many shots of the New Kids because of the security guy and my camera did not like them. They were lucky they had the first track with the Backstreet Boys otherwise I’d probably only have two good shots.They were lacking some energy, I have to keep reminding myself it was the last leg of the fifty plus date tour and that definitely takes a major toll on you especially for these Ancients, I’m surprised nobody passed dust. Unlike their co-tour mates they do not have the natural skills. Jon looked as if he was floating on a cloud most of the time dazed and confused always looking at his brother for guidance. Danny, faded into the background once again, Donnie and Jordan were the more skilled of the bunch and Joey…Well I don’t see the big deal, never have, and I really don’t like his denture teeth, they looked mucho weird shining in the dark (I had a Doctor with similar teeth and he looked like the Poltergeist scary man, gave me nightmares when I was a kid so his extra bright pearly whites rehashed that memory). 

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

They gave me the best seat to review from, I could have moved closer to a few free seats below me but I had the perfect view of the whole venue. I could see everything crystal clear, if I was allowed to take shots from my seat with my pro DLSR camera I would have had the sickest crowd shots! Fortunately for me and thanks to technology my cell phone was perfectly capable of taking alright shots as did my super ghetto point and shoot that I found in another pocket from beach day! You can see the difference in clarity from the pro shots to the ghetto snaps they are definitely not as crisp but good enough especially the one directly below. Obviously the one under the floating stage was taken with my pro cam during the three media tunes. I’m such a blonde people were probably looking at me weird because I kept looking in the viewing hole of the little point and shoot instead of the screen, I’m so used to the DSLR I forgot how to use a normal camera.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Danny Wood actually sang!  It was mediocre, monotone and shy but not too bad, he could benefit from the above advice and use his diaphragm more often to give his vocals some push. I’ve seen mostly all the Toybands perform including ‘Nsync which was the most boring show ever, we didn’t even stay for the whole thing. I recently had the pleasure to cover and film R&B Icons Boyz II Men who have been an inspiration to pretty much everyone in this industry, myself included! Boyz II Men could never be replicated but most Boybands can be, except for these two trailblazers. NKTOBSB as separate groups or combined they are the drier poppier version of the irreplaceable Boyz II Men who made a guest appearance a few weeks ago at the Orlando stop of the NKOTBSB tour. The Backstreet Boys serenaded a few fans during I’ll never break your heart, Carter even wandered out into the audience behind the house cameras to pick that “special girl”. He did just that, a Ginger with a sign saying “Pick me Nick! Gingers have souls too.” I’m pretty sure it was something along those lines. I would have picked her too she was the most original of the teenies! During ‘Get Down’ the fifth track of the set, one of the Backstreet Boys cracked, it was horrendous to hear! I couldn’t figure out who, until Brian Littrell started to speak. His voice was hanging by a thread but I honestly don’t blame him or any of them for fucking up. I noticed he did not attempt the high notes for the rest of the night unless he was sure he could follow through. This supergroup just toured their balls off, vocals have lasted over fifty North American dates performing a thirty four track set almost every night live. All nine deserve a standing ovation for lasting this tour without anyone kicking the bucket or cracking out into rehab.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

As I was observing I didn’t like Joey McIntyre’s overly arrogant self, he seemed a little too cocky for such a plain voice and awkward looking dance moves. Jordan was too pitchy while in falsetto during a song I don’t know, thank God my ear plugs tuned most of that irritation out. The fans heard nothing but perfection from them regardless of how they sounded to me. To the fans they were all God like, to me a lot of the performance was super cheesy but at least they have personalities and can throw it down. The two hour set was divided evenly, they sang their own hits and a few tracks together like the current NKOTBSB collaboration single “Don’t Turn Out The Lights”. The final Backstreet Boys track was “Everybody (Backstreets Back)” and to wrap the entire evening it was “Hanging Tough” which the New Kids sang minus Backstreet then molded together as a medley and goodnight!

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

If they happen to tour again go check them out, maybe I will too I loved the lights and the pyro! I think NKOTB Jordan, Donnie, Jon, Joey and Danny did a much better job this time around but the Backstreet Boys AJ, Nick, Howie and Brian were the show stoppers stealing the spotlight with undeniable enthusiasm and chemistry, my cameras loved them. Go catch these Candy Apples of Poppyness if you can, this is a show nobody will ever forget. You can find more photos of the show here, NKOTBSB are Fridae Approved!

COPYRIGHT © 2011 FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAETV. All Rights Reserved

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas For FridaeTV

FRIDAE TV’S JULY 2011 TOP 10 CHART

Photography By: JOANNA GLEZAKOS for FridaeTV

It’s August 2011 already! Wow, summer is almost over and it felt like just yesterday I was battling snowstorms. Have to enjoy this amazing weather as much as I can, while it’s here! It’s great to see a new number one and the tune climbed to the top pretty quickly since I just recently filmed it at Edgefest 2011. Major congrats to all who made the charts that means people around the world are continually watching your artistic talents! People even watch the foolishness of my Haunted House Video in Niagara Falls as you can see that’s at #5, (Laughs) please excuse the coarse language! See you all in September for the August chart! And…Remember you choose the numbers one videos by watching your favorites.

#1 VIDEO – RISE AGAINST SATELLITE

 

 

 

FRIDAE TV’S JULY 2011 TOP 10 CHART

  1. RISE AGAINST – SATELLITE LIVE @ EDGEFEST 2011
  2. BOYZ II MEN – ON BENDED KNEE LIVE @ THE KOOLHAUS
  3. GIRLICIOUS – MANIAC (NEW SINGLE) LIVE @ SPLASH BASH PRIDE TORONTO 2010
  4. DILEMMA – KELLY ROWLAND LIVE @ TORONTO PRIDE 2009
  5. NIAGARA FALLS HAUNTED HOUSE!
  6. ART OF DYING – DIE TRYING LIVE @ THE TATTOO
  7. MY DARKEST DAYS – COME UNDONE LIVE @ THE RIVOLI – NXNE 09′
  8. BITTER TASTE – THREE DAYS GRACE LIVE @ THE DIRECT ENERGY CENTRE METAL ON
  9. METAL – ANVIL LIVE @ THE INDIES! – CMW 2009
  10. CHILD PRODIGY IN QUEEN’S PARK

COPYRIGHT © 2011 FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAETV. All Rights Reserved

TASTE OF GREECE IN TORONTO! Taste Of The Danforth 2011

THE ANNUAL TASTE OF THE DANFORTH IS NEXT WEEKEND!

Toronto’s favourite street festival has a whole new way to celebrate the fun flavours of Greece and summer in the city. Every year in August, the people of Toronto and abroad flock to GreekTown on the Danforth. Celebrating its 17th year, the Pilaros Taste Of The Danforth is Canada’s largest street festival, welcoming over 1.2 million visitors. A Decima Research poll indicated that 90% of respondents identified “The Taste” as their favourite GTA festival event — beating out such iconic events as the Toronto International Film Festival, Caribana and Pride Week. Last summer the Pilaros Taste Of The Danforth won two Toronto Sun Reader’s Choice Awards: a Gold for Favourite Community Festival and a Silver for Favourite Summer Festival. The festival’s title sponsor is Pilaros International Trading Inc. a leading importer of Mediterranean food products, primarily olives and olive oil, what the ancient Greeks refer to as “the Essence of Life”.

The GTA lays claim to more than 200,000 residents of Greek ancestry, the third largest Hellenic community outside of Greece, and between August 5th and 7th, 2011, everyone who comes to the Danforth gets to be “Greek for the day”. But there is much more than the celebration of the Danforth’s Greek heritage at the festival. Here is a “taste” of what to expect … A “Taste” of What to Expect This year’s Pilaros Taste Of The Danforth has loads of fun, family-friendly activities to engage and entertain Torontonians. All three stages offer incredible free entertainment. Who wouldn’t want to see a free concert from the Toronto Symphony’s brass quintet or have fun with Second City improv? Who wouldn’t want to meet some of last season’s top winners from “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” or have the opportunity to volunteer for a Celebrity Makeover from Smashbox Cosmetics? You can be charmed by the music of Jesse Labelle or Alyssa Reid, or sing along to a tribute to Neil Diamond and Tom Jones. In addition to the Greek Stage — which features everything from Greek music, song and dance to bellydancing — there is the Broadview Stage, featuring virtually every variety of music from R&B to jazz to rock. There is music from Brazil and Argentina, and even free NIA classes. And if you have kids, you won’t want to miss the Kids’ Fun Zone where they can join the Centre of Gravity ‘You Can Try It’ Circus, or dress like an Ancient Greek.

They can experience the Toronto Zoo ‘Touch Table’ by interacting with pelts, skulls and feathers, and even find out how big the claws of a polar bear are. They can meet both Explorer Bear™ – the Toronto Zoo’s mascot – as well as Alex the Beaver, who will be handing out free tickets to the CNE. The programs, the exhibitors and performers are still being finalized but the following is a “taste” of what is to come: 1. THE CELEBRITY STAGE – Second City: Join Second City for hilarious, interactive comedy – Stage West: A tribute to Neil Diamond and Tom Jones – Toronto Symphony: Enjoy the Toronto Symphony’s stellar brass quintet’s lively performance – So You Think You Can Dance Canada: Meet some of the top winners from last season – A Taste of Beauty: Smashbox Cosmetics Celebrity Makeovers – Jesse Labelle: Jesse Labelle is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. He recently made waves with his chart-topping single, “Perfect Accident”. Jesse’s sound is a cross between John Mayer and Rob Thomas, and he’s been winning the hearts of fans across the country on tour with Faber Drive, The Arkells, and Tom Cochrane. – Alyssa Reid: Alyssa Reid’s acoustic version of Justin Bieber’s “One Less Lonely Girl” turned into a YouTube epidemic. Her debut single is called ‘If You Are’ and her sound is best described as soul infused pop. She just completed a cross-Canada tour on Muchmusic’s SodaPOP festival with Emily Osment. – Frank D’Angelo with his 15-piece R&B band energizes The Taste of the Danforth – Zero Gravity street performers – Opa Dancers of London – Jeanine Mackie: Enjoy phenomenal R&B and jazz – Daniel Cannis: Broadway music – The Imbayakunas: Music from Ecuador – Sol De Cuba: Music from Cuba – Jorge Miguel: Flamenco music – Yiannis Kapoulas with Ena K’Ena: Amazing Greek music – Arkadia – Lively Greek music … and many more great performers.

Check http://www.tasteofthedanforth.com for updates and announcements.

THE BROADVIEW STAGE Features an eclectic array of music and lifestyle-related programs and performances, including: – Swamp Dawgs – the blues and rock – Batkucada Carioca Samba & Grupo Afro-lusophone Dancers – Brazilian dance and music group – Souls of Steel Orchestra – Daniel Barnes Trio – jazz at its best – Rock’n Blues Butcher Band – get rockin’ – Embrujo Flamenco Dancers – Argentine Tango Milonga – Dancing On The Danforth – Felinity – hoops – Free NIA classes – Hannan’s Bellydancing – Taste Mob Flash Dance – learn the choreography and join the Taste Mob Flash Dance.

THE GREEK STAGE will feature traditional Greek dancers, singers and musicians, including an opportunity for the audience to learn Greek dancing. Some of the performers include: – Parea – music – Arabesque Dance Company – bellydancing – Yiannis Kapoulas with Ena K’Ena – music – Greek Style M. – music – Yia Mas – music – Levendia X – dancing – Arkadia – music – Alexandros Hatzis – music – Knossos Cretan Association Dancers – dancing.

THE SPORTS ZONE Including challenges created by Toronto’s professional sports teams. Lots of chances for people to test their skills and win prizes: – Toronto Maple Leafs – visit the Leafs’ Mobile Dressing Room – Toronto Argonauts – test out your football-throwing arm at the Argos’ Football Toss – Toronto Blue Jays – test out your baseball prowess in the Blue Jays’ batting cage and pitching cage – Toronto FC – amazing soccer challenges – Toronto Rock – lacrosse challenges at its best.

THE KIDS’ FUN ZONE Offering fun-themed activities including: The Centre of Gravity Circus Training Studio – The “You Can Try It” Circus – kids from 5 to 14 can try out the classical area circus hoop The Olympiada featuring: – Dress like an Ancient Greek – Build the Acropolis – Ancient art – Learn Greek dancing The Toronto Zoo – experience the amazing “Touch Table” and meet Toronto Zoo’s mascot – Explorer Bear™ The CNE brings you Alex the Beaver plus free children’s tickets to The Ex The East York Mirror Kids’ Activities Tent – giveaways and contests, colouring and crafts Free Owl Kids Magazines The Tennis Pathways Fastest Serve Zone – clock the speed of your serve.

BEER, WINE & SPIRITS GARDENS: Although Toronto changed it’s liquor laws, the festival has chosen to keep it a family friendly environment and drinking is as always only permitted to the beer gardens. There will be two Carlsberg Beer & Spirits Gardens and one Wine Garden to help keep our thirsty patrons refreshed.

GREAT CONTESTS, PRIZES AND FREE SAMPLES FROM A HOST OF EXHIBITORS INCLUDING Free samples and coupons from Smashbox Cosmetics Free samples and coupons from Lacoste Free samples and coupons from riceworks Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps Free samples of Astro Yogurt Smoothies Free samples from Hidden Valley Ranch Free samples from Coke Free samples from Sensodyne Free restaurant coupons from Dine.To Win prizes from Cheetah Power Surge Great deals from FIDO 8. OPPORTUNITY TO WIN AN AMAZING TRIP Opportunity to win an Aegean Splendour Trip For Two to Glorious Greece, courtesy of Transat Holidays 

FOOD, FOOD AND MORE FOOD! And, of course, dozens and dozens of tasty food stations from Danforth’s amazing array of multi-ethnic cuisine

The PILAROS TASTE OF THE DANFORTH is a proud supporter of the Toronto East General Hospital. On Friday, August 6th, at 1pm as part of our “pre-show”, celebrities, politicians, members of the media, and corporations will be kicking up their heels with “Beds On Wheels” at the 5th Annual Danforth Dash Bed Race, in support of the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation. To-date this event, which is hosted by the Pilaros Taste Of The Danforth, has raised in excess of $100,000 towards the Hospital’s expansion campaign and the purchase of new electric hospital beds for TEGH. In addition to supporting the “Danforth Dash” over the years the Taste Of The Danforth has raised more than $1 million in support of our community hospital, Toronto East General. The event takes place on Danforth just east of Broadview. To enter a team or for more information, contact Justin Van Dette at 416-469-6218 The festival is supported by Ontario Tourism … Ontario, Yours To Discover, as well as the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation. The Pilaros Taste Of The Danforth is presented by the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA, in cooperation with the Danforth BIA.

UPDATED INFORMATION AND SCHEDULES For updated festival programming and schedule information visit: www.tasteofthedanforth.com

PRIDE TORONTO 2011

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

By: Fridae Mattas

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

A few weeks ago, the city of Toronto was filled with rainbows of colour and people who were proud to show who they were in the City’s annual Pride Week Toronto festivities. The parties raged from June 24th to July 3rd to celebrate individuality and equality for those who have  alternate sexual preferences. I never understood why it was such a big deal, everyone deserves to love someone or to make the mistake of marriage or to have a dream family with children and live a normal life regardless of sexual preferences.  We all are human and should be treated with respect no matter how different. There are three parades in total, July 1st was the Transgendered Parade, July 2nd was the Dyke March. To finish off the festivities Sunday July 3rd it was the Pride Toronto Parade, the whole reason why it is now a full week of celebration and not just the weekend. The final parade is meant for everyone, gay or straight to unite and march the streets of downtown Toronto proudly to support their friends and make their voices heard.  Globally everyone knows about Toronto’s Pride celebrations, it is the second largest Pride festival in the world and that is also why Toronto was the perfect choice for the World Pride celebrations in 2014. I loved every minute of Pride, I do not judge others by who they are attracted to,  as long as you are a good person with a heart of gold, that is all that matters.

There were many dancers breaking it down, fabulous Queen’s working the stage and many bands and artists in flotation. My favorite was Jade Elektra because from the hundreds of  Drag Queen’s I have seen perform she was the only one who sang live and that is beyond rare. Ill Nana who have performed with Jade are Dance troupe extraordinaire! They not only danced their hearts out on a puddle filled stage in heels as it poured down, they also had six performances this Pride weekend! ILL NANA sure know how to work it!

All Photgraphy By: Fridae - Rob Ford is the first Mayor of Toronto in the History of Pride to not attend or march in the Parade.
Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Miss Deborah Cox graced the Pride stage for a second time! In fact, she did two performance in one day, a two song set during one of the other parties because their headliners (a dance crew from Europe) could not get through immigration, something along those lines. The amazing female that Deborah is she sang for them and also performed her set later as originally scheduled for the evening of July 2nd at the main stage, better known as the TD Wellesley stage. Deborah Cox has been a huge influence in the carving of my vocals, she has such a powerful incredibly versatile voice with such strength and confidence that always emanates from her when she performs. I was very happy that I was able to cover her performance even though it was in the middle of a torrential downpour we were all very wet. Deborah sang through the rain and we the media kept shooting as the audience grew and danced in the leaking sky.

Growing up with a variety of different people I have come to accept everyone for who they are, not what they are and who or what they do. Proud to be an ally to the LGTTQQ2S community around the world, I will always support the conquest for Love, Equality and Freedom. Until next year my friends, hope everyone had an absolutely fabulously Safe Happy Pride Week in Toronto! Check out the slideshow below for all the photos or hit up FridaeTV, Videos can be found here and below is the 2011 Pride Toronto Parade.

COPYRIGHT © 2011 FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAETV. All Rights Reserved

This slideshow requires JavaScript.