THE JUMP OFF 4
VISUAL FEATURE EDITORIAL
All Photography By: Dipan Cheema
All Photography By: Dipan Cheema
TORONTO – JUNE 17 2014 – Entertainment One (eOne) and Begin Again are on the search for Canada’s top undiscovered music talent! Just steps away from their Big Break, Canadian singers and bands can upload their original works to a new YouTube contest (www.youtube.com/beginagainmovie) to be entered for a chance to win a musical recording session at Metalworks Studios and a Digital Distribution opportunity from eOne Music, the #1 independent music distributor in North America, worth up to $10,000!
Contestants must rally their friends, fans and followers to vote for their original work to avoid elimination. Only the top four artists make it through to the final round. Canadian Recording Artist and Winner of Canadian Idol Eva Avila is joined by Eric Alper (Director of Media Relations at eOne Music and Host of ThatEricAlper’s Show on SiriusXM), Nathan Quinn (A&R and Label Acquisitions at eOne Music) and Kevin Dietz of Metalworks Studios in judging the four finalists and selecting the winning song.
“This inspiring film is set in NYC, and in a lot of ways, YouTube has the same huge caliber of undiscovered talent. Musicians can approach this like an open mic opportunity and do an original song to get heard by hundreds of thousands of music lovers,” explains Kai Exos, Creative Director at SPOKE and musician in his own right.
Begin Again is a soul-stirring comedy about what happens when lost souls meet and make beautiful music together. Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City.
“eOne Music Canada’s mission is to discover Canada’s next big star and showcase their stunning talent to listeners here, and around the world,” says Eric Alper, Director of Media Relations for eOne Music Canada. “We’re thrilled to be part of the Begin Again YouTube contest, so get your best song ready!”
The campaign, developed by creative agency, SPOKE, lives on YouTube and is powered by a custom YouTube contesting engine. The launch is supported by a heavy Social Media buy on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as well as in-store POS at HMV, that forms part of eOne’s broader wide-release Media campaign, which also includes broadcast, digital, social, print, radio and Out of Home.
eOne opens Begin Again in theatres across Canada on July 11.
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.
By: Fridae Mattas
Yes, it’s time to let the world read this editorial, that’s just me reassuring my O.C.D perfectionist self to let it go. Not the first time Collie Buddz brought the fiyah to Toronto and probably not the last! Good music and talented artists always get repeated coverage from me because it’s so rare to find these days. Collie Buddz (Colin Harper) new school Dancehall, Reggae, Soca artist hit Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on his “Light It Up Tour” with support from Miami’s Cris Cab and Brooklyn’s New Kingston. Unlike many publications I don’t care about covering bands/artists that will give me a million new views and fans, I like introducing people to the good ones, new and old. Quality is very important because my ears don’t hear numbers but music is heard clearly. If I were to cover all of the mainstream crap everyone else does, I would be working at Much Music like everyone else instead of running my own budding media empire.
The Danforth Music Hall has been a part of East Toronto history since 1919 and was even shut down a few times since, most recently for a year and a half until it was resurrected in 2011. Come to think of it, this venue is where I saw my first ever live concert performance, a Greek Singer my Mom took me to see back in the late eighties. The Danforth is a neighbourhood in Toronto known as “Greek Town” by non Greeks and is always fun to wander, I partly grew up on that strip from Greenwood to Pape.
Back to present day, I was hoping to make it on time for the first band New Kingston and I did! Finally I saw their full set! Well, kind of…I missed one song but did get a few good shots from the pit, they actually had a pit! Very surprised and excited when I saw the pit because I was ready for a general admission, no pit shoot from the crowd event, so I came prepped with different lenses. No complaints here, this show ended up being my favorite of the year thus far! New Kingston is a band of brothers with a “Fathager” (Father & Manager) Courtney Panton Sr. who also plays the Bass in the band. Brooklyn, NY is where they: Tahir Panton – Vocals/Keys, Stephen Suckarie – Vocals/Guitar and Courtney Panton Jr. – Vocals/Drums) are from. They have two records available for you to hear “Kingston University” and “In The Streets“. You can usually find them on tour with Harper (they are also his backup band), it is pretty fantastic that they get to kick off the night with their own material. I remember last year, they had a set in the city without Buddz that I wanted to cover but I had another show and all my photographers were booked. It’s hard to be five places at once, unless you can freeze time or fly which unfortunately I have yet to learn how to do.
The band was vibing it out, still I felt like they were not fully comfortable on stage but did warm up and let loose by the end of the set. Drummer/Singer Courtney Panton Jr. migrated from behind his drum kit, took off his shirt and sang for the people of Toronto. The females were loving every minute of the shirt removal and I noticed every time I wandered to different areas of the venue the crowd was growing quickly. New Kingston has this one tune with a sick beat that I have heard before but never know the name of the tune because they don’t introduce all the songs. Advice for all newbies: introduce your songs to the crowd if you want people to actually remember them and check out your music. Tahir was a lot more enthusiastic, he even smiled a few times as he was rocking a portable keyboard instead of being so serious all the time. Steve did a commendable job entertaining the crowd but he could talk to them a bit more. They need to separate themselves from being the backup band and embody more of a headlining act attitude with every performance. They also need to work on tightening up those harmonies, they were pitchy in a few songs but overall well done, I would see them again for sure.
The next artist to heat the stage was Cris Cab, he is new to my ears, I have never heard of him or his music but quite a few people in the crowd seemed to be familiar with him. There were plenty of different age groups, couples and of course the hard core Collie Buddz fans keeping their space hostage at the front of the barricade. Cris Cab is from Miami, Florida and like many people from Miami he has Cuban roots. Cuba is such a beautiful country and my heart aches for the people who live there, prisoners of paradise.
The crowd cheered Cab on as he was jamming out with his band, strumming a few tunes on the acoustic himself. Not bad for a young Larry, a little work is still needed here and there but he already has swagger and a presence about him. Cris was working the stage and a crowd like a seasoned veteran and looks absolutely natural! Truly coming from his heart you could see how much he loves being on the stage, I could tell he was nervous but had it under control almost immediately. He just released the Red Road Mixtape which you can grab here. Cris was discovered by Pharrell Williams and was signed to Mercury/Island Def Jam in 2011, one thing I know is Pharrell is right, this kid is the future.
The headliner for the evening Collie (Colin Harper) Buddz was up next! The crowd was more than ready chanting his stage name “Collie Buddz!”, “Collie Buddz!”. Once the house music stopped and the band started to jam the packed venue erupted into cheers of excitement for their favorite Reggae artist. The girls were going nuts, I avoided the area he was performing right in front of because the fans were getting grabby and “Too Watchy” (laughs). I really didn’t feel like having a chunk of my hair pulled out or my head whacked by hands.
Better lighting this time around and the setlist had old tunes and new, he even played a few super fresh tunes like “Light It Up” and “Payback’s A Bitch”. I was shocked when he threw down “Come Around” so early in the set, I think it was the last pit tune before I migrated back into the crowd. Usually when I’m shooting in the media pit and I have a three song limit I can barely remember the songs, its all a blur! This was true for the first two but the last one I photographed I remembered. “Come Around” is one of his big tunes and I’m used to it being played in the middle or near the end of the set, this time he mixed it up. Looking forward to hearing what Collie drops next his tunes are always original big tunes.
Once I stood still long enough to observe the set for a minute, my attention was drawn to the security guards who came out of the pit to converse with an older Jamaican man. He clearly had a problem with a female who was smoking weed and apparently was blowing the smoke in his face on purpose when he told her to put it out. She should not have aggravated him by showing some common courtesy and he should have known by going to a Collie “Buddz” show on the “Light It Up Tour” people would be blazing herbs. Both could have moved somewhere else in the crowd to avoid the whole problem from the start but that didn’t happen. Don’t know the outcome because I wandered off to another corner too much drama for me, that was the first and probably the last time I will ever see a Jamaican man so mad about ganja.
Unlike many musicians and people, I noticed that Collie is loyal to his crew, New Kingston always is his back up band and the fantastical Lady Alexis is always backup vocals. Lady Alexis (Alexis Layne) did a fabulous job although she didn’t get a solo this time around. I loved the shirt she was wearing, all the haters really should.
Buddz not only played fan favorites like “Mamacita”, “Sensimilla” and “Tomorrow’s Another Day” he also threw down some old school Reggae, DanceHall, Soca tunes like “Murder She Wrote”, “Who Am I (Sim Sima)” and one of my all time old school Reggae favorites “Everyone Falls In Love” by Tanto Metro and Devonte, I believe Beenie Man did a remix of the tune or was featured. I wish my siblings were with me they would have loved this show as would have many of you.
Buddz was relaxed yet extremely enthused when engaging the fans, throwing smiles at them, jumping around. He was bringing his music to life for his fans wholeheartedly with sweat cloth and mic in hand. I have not heard anyone like Collie Buddz, he is still the only one who can throw it down the way he does. With other artists you can tell many are putting on a front but with Buddz he’s as real and natural as they get. The one song the crowd loved the most and I’m basing it purely on the decibel level was “Blind To You”. As Harper came back on stage for the encores, he popped out wearing a custom Toronto Blue Jay jersey with Buddz on the back of it, the crowd exploded! Everyone loves it when people represent their city and Collie does have some history with T.O.. The largest crowd I have seen for Collie Buddz, he also noticed stating that it was his biggest Toronto show and he didn’t want to leave the stage. I will definitley be covering Collie again to see his progression, plus I still want to do an interview! You all should go check out his unique blend of island sounds live if you get the chance. I’m glad everyone was having fun and nobody ended up on a gurney this time.
By: Fridae Mattas
Here we are again! Another Entertainment filled year of FridaeTV coverage ends and a new year of fun journeys begins! The year of 2012 had many incredible live moments and just as many failed attempts by bands new and old. Below is the list of the top ten best live artists I have had the pleasure of covering this year, they all have that something special that transcends on stage. You can find the reviews in the archives as well as videos on Fridae TV Youtube and photos not in the galleries on Fridae TV Facebook. I am very excited as to what the new year will bring! Wishing everyone an amazing 2013, thank you for all the love and support!
Much Love xo Fridae
#3 – THRICE
#4 – COLLIE BUDDZ
#5 – DEFTONES
#6 – EMELI SANDÉ
#7 – REFUSED
#8 – SYSTEM OF A DOWN
#9 – THE WALLFLOWERS
#10- BILLY TALENT
BANDS TO WATCH!
Welland, Ont. – (Sept. 25, 2012) – Street Pharmacy today released a new EP, “Alimony,” marking a fan-driven return to the band’s reggae rock roots. Alimony is available immediately for download on the band’s Founding Fan site (http://buy.streetpharmacymusic.com) and iTunes. The new recording, Street Pharmacy’s fifth release, was inspired by overwhelming fan requests to return to its popular reggae-rock sound. The EP follows the band’s Nov. 2011 alt rock-inspired release “Divorce.” Alimony also marks a return to Street Pharmacy’s original four-member lineup. After a few jams in their hometown of Welland, Ontario, it was obvious that the spark that initially ignited the band, and the friendships within it, are still there. They decided to craft some new songs that would deliver a fresh take on the band’s signature hip hop, reggae rock-infused sound.
The release of Alimony caps Street Pharmacy’s Founding Fan experience – a new and unique way for fans to connect directly with the band online and in person. For just $10, fans can download a high quality digital copy of Alimony plus the band’s entire back catalogue, exclusive videos and other content. About the New EPSix new songs were recorded for Alimony over six days at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, Ontario. Highlights include the title track “Alimony”, which tackles the crumbling institution of marriage in today’s society.
The first track, “Step Outside,” has fan pleasing, anthem-like qualities similar to the band’s 2007 release “Free Delivery,” with a country-inspired bridge that is new to Street Pharmacy. The second track is a unique reggae version of Blind Melon’s “Change” that fuses intrinsically folk instrumentals with reggae grooves and tight vocal melodies. Lead singer Ryan Guay demonstrates his strong but youthful pipes throughout the challenging vocals, staying true to both the original song and Street Pharmacy’s distinctive reggae sound. Songs like “Twenty One” and “Shepherd’s Pride” add more experimental song structures and arrangements to the band’s distinctive sound. The final song, “It Ain’t That Crazy,” is a reggae-infused hip hop track that features verses from Welland-based rapper Sosa and A Plus from Hieroglyphics/Souls of Mischief, one of the band’s main musical influences.
A Plus anchors the final verse with his signature hieroglyphics West coast flow, taking the EP to an unexpected, energized level. The track was produced and engineered by Adam Tune of live hip hop remix act “KEYS N KRATES.” Tune has worked with Street Pharmacy since its inception in 2006. All of the other tracks were recorded and mixed by moon:and:6 and Marcone at Catherine North Studios, and produced by moon:and:6 and Ryan Guay. Alimony will appeal to fans of original Sublime, Pepper, illScarlet and Bedouin Soundclash.Founding Fan: the Best Way to Get Alimony and Much More.
Alimony is available for download on Street Pharmacy’s Founding Fan website. For just $10, fans get the new EP plus high quality, DRM-free copies of the band’s entire back catalogue, access to exclusive video content, and a Soundcheck Pass to a private show where they can meet Street Pharmacy before upcoming concerts. Founding Fan picks up the direct-to-fan approach of comedian Louis CK’s “Live at the Beacon Theater” special and takes it to the next level by offering fan a rich, multimedia experience built around the band’s music. During the recording of Alimony, fans joined Street Pharmacy via live streaming video, helping to shape the music in real-time by sending their suggestions on Twitter.
Founding Fan is powered by Waterloo’s ArtBarn Media (http://artbarnmedia.com), a collective of media and technology industry professionals. ArtBarn Media leverages social media channels to innovatively engage consumers. Founding Fan can be accessed at http://buy.streetpharmacymusic.com.
About the BandStreet Pharmacy (www.streetpharmacymusic.com) is a four-piece reggae rock band hailing from Welland, Ontario. Led by Ryan Guay, the band has written and recorded four full length albums since its start in 2006 and has gained a cult following in much of Southern Ontario. Street Pharmacy offers a fresh sound that combines 90s alternative rock with reggae grooves and lyrical flow reminiscent of Golden Age Hip Hop. The band has a solid and growing fan base, with about 7,000 likes on Facebook, an album that achieved sales of 10,000 copies, and a Walk Off the Earth/Street Pharmacy YouTube video with 1 million views.
Street Pharmacy was a recent co-winner of the popular MuchMusic series DisBAND. The band released its 4th album, Divorce, on the Handsome Boy/Fontana North label in late 2011 and plans to release a new album, Alimony, in June 2012. Lead singer and songwriter Ryan Guay started Street Pharmacy right after he was released from a Hamilton mood disorder clinic. This came after the discovery that he had been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia following a physical illness that had caused brain swelling. Ryan began writing songs about these experiences, which also inspired the band’s name. As a teacher in his native Welland, Ont., Ryan Guay goes the extra mile to share his knowledge and passion for music with students. A “School of Rock”-style music club he started released a single on iTunes to raise money for music education and was recently featured across Canada in National Youth Arts Week.
Upcoming concert dates:
Sept. 30 – Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, St. Catharines, Ont. (with Walk Off the Earth)
Oct. 7 – Busholme Inn, Erin, Ont. (with KO)
Ryan Guay – Vocals/ acoustic, electric and lead guitars/ mandolin
Dan Fretz – Drums
Brandon Ventresca – Bass
Nate Triano – Rhythm guitar
Leon Furs – Mandolin, pedal steel and banjo
Marcone – Organs and synthesizers.
All Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV
Toronto, ON – Multitalented Canadian ska/punk band The Johnstones are gearing up for the release of their fifth studio album SUCK (Stomp Records/Warner Music Canada) on October 22, 2012. In conjunction with the album, they have created and produced a half-hour mock/reality comedy TV series, Crown The Town with Ryan Long, premiering on Rogers TV Toronto Cable 10/63 in Toronto/Scarborough October 3, 2012 at 11:00 p.m. To celebrate the series’ launch, The Johnstones are hosting a premiere party at Toronto’s Comedy Bar on September 30, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. The event is free to the public. The Ajax-born, Toronto-based sextet is comprised of Ryan Long (lead vocals), Jarek Hardy (guitar/vocals), Rene Gillezeau (guitar/trumpet/MC), Brent Marks (bass guitar), Julian Warmé (keyboards/trombone) and Mike Murphy (drums).
SUCK is of a mix of musical styles and attitudes; combining ska, punk and hip hop, delivered in true rock and roll fashion. The Johnstones have one of the wildest live shows in music today, and this album, recorded at Chilleville Studios in Mississauga and produced by James Robertson (Down With Webster, Esthero, Classified), has been able to capture the essence of that energy.
Greig Nori, frontman of Treble Charger, once asked ‘Why don’t The Johnstones have a TV show yet?” Now, finally the answer is ‘they do.’ Crown The Town with Ryan Long, airing on Rogers TV Toronto on Wednesday nights at 11:00 p.m., is ‘Bringing cool back to TV.’ Reminiscent of shows like The Tom Green Show, Jackass and The Ali G Show, the series finds a way to deliver a bizarre combination of sketches, music videos, interviews, stunts, special guests and more. Every episode features The Gang on a quest to find the best in categories like the ‘Best Place to Dig Through Garbage,’ ‘Best Pole Dance Teacher’ and the ‘Best University Campus to Pick Up Girls At.’ It is like nothing else on television right now and has already received praise from such television legends as Tom Green, Kenny Hotz (Kenny vs. Spenny) and Jackass alumni, Steve-O, who will be featured on the show for its inaugural season.
The Johnstones started as a band of high school troublemakers, creating their own off-the-wall music videos, now they have become a multimedia force. Aside from garnering over five million combined plays on YouTube and MySpace, The Johnstones have charted on the MuchMusic countdown and toured the world with bands such as Hedley, Gob, Reel Big Fish and The Mad Caddies. They have also been featured in various movies, TV shows, cartoons, commercials and comedy shows, opening for acts like Jackass’ Steve-O. The Johnstones are currently rehearsing for their 2013 tour. Dates to be announced.
SUCK – Track Listing
1. Bad, Bad Dream
2. The Wanderer
3. Jennifer’s Jacket
4. Bottom Of The Ocean
5. Mic In Hand
6. Million Dollars
8. Mr. Gillezeau’s Opus
9. These Are The Times
10. Live Forever
11. Come Out With Me Tonight
13. The Menu
Crown The Town with Ryan Long
Enter now for your chance to win two tickets to the “Jamaica Land We Love” Gala, contest rules are below.
Contest closes at 11:59pm on Wednesday August 8th. Tickets include the Gala’s second presentation of The ’62 Reception, and for show-only Jamaica Jubilee and The After Party, 9 p.m. door – with a value of $75 per ticket.
Dress Code in effect – no jeans, baseball caps, runners or jerseys.
What: A star-studded celebration of the historic milestone of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre (South building), 255 Front Street West
Date: Saturday, August 11
Time: 5:30 p.m. (show-only 9 p.m.)
Tickets: $175, $350, $500
– Jamaica Jubilee & The After Party show-only $75
– An evening dedicated to the splendour, rhythms, heart and soul that is Jamaica. Toasting Jamaica and honouring great Canadian-Jamaican achievements.
– Hosted by CBC Television’s Dwight Drummond and Anne-Marie Mediwake.
– The spectacular, four-part evening includes The ’62 Reception, Dinner in Hope Gardens, Jamaica Jubilee and The After Party.
– Jamaica Jubilee: A jaw-dropping cast of Jamaican and Canadian artists and personalities will be part of a multi-media showcase of visuals, music, dance, comedy and spoken word.
Performances and appearances by: Jay Douglas with the All-Stars Orchestra, Derrick Harriott, Leroy Gibbons, Kreesha Turner, Steele, Nana McLean, Ammoye, Blakka Ellis, DJ Eugene Chang, Dwayne Morgan, Heritage Singers, Iyah Yant Drummers, Kafaye Rose, KasheDance, Letna Allen, Rachael-Lea Rikards, Robert Owen, Stephen Lewis & the KCC Choir, Wire,and Miss Universe Jamaica 2012 Chantal Zaky.
– The After Party: The thunderous energy and electric colours of Jamaica’s nightclubs today – partiers dance the night away – with set performances by featured artists – old and nu-skool.
Jamaican Rhythms, June 28, 7:30 p.m., is a three-hour, LIVE “Rocumentary” about Jamaica’s music, words and dance – a tribute to Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.
This celebration assembles international, Grammy, and 2012 JUNO Award-nominated reggae artists from each decade, linked with music, dance and talk from 1962 to 2012. JAMAICAN RHYTHMS: ROOTS, ROCK, REGGAE!
‘60s: Iconic Fab 5 Band – paying tribute to SKA
‘70s: Classic John Holt
‘80s: Magnificent Marcia Griffiths
‘90s: Fantastic Yellow Man
2000: Grammy Award-winner Maxi Priest
2010: King of the Dancehall, Grammy Award-winner Beenie Man
2011: Exco Levi backed by Mountain Edge – 2012 Juno Award-winner/Can Con
Jay Douglas – Juno Awards’ nominee/ Can Con
Steele – Juno Awards’ nominee/ Can Con
Tickets for Jamaican Rhythms are available from the Sony Centre For The Performing Artsin person at the Sony Centre box office, by calling 1.855.872.SONY (7669) or online at www.sonycentre.ca, as well as JAMAICA 50 and Community outlets: $35, $50, $75. VIP tickets are $150 and include pre-show cocktails, meet and greet with the stars, leaders and icons.
Presented by JAMAICA 50 Celebration Inc. and produced by Jones & Jones Productions – under the auspices of Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada Sheila Sealy Monteith, Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto Seth George Ramocan, Canadian Senator The Honourable Reverend Don Meredith, The Honourable Margarett Best and Councillor Michael Thompson.