INDIE WEEK CANADA 2012 – FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

Photography By: Dipan Cheema For FridaeTV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For FridaeTV

INDIE WEEK 2012

FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema FOR FRIDAE TV

By: Fridae Mattas

This year Indie Week was a little different, I missed half of it because I was on vacation in Cuba taking in a whole different musical culture. I was a Judge last year and that hindered the ability to be my usual wandering self. Normally I float from club to club to see if there are any good new bands. This year was back to normal, meaning I was not obligated to stay at one club majority of the night. I made my rounds, trying to cover majority of the venues but ended up at the same sweet spots like The Hideout, Velvet Underground, Horseshoe, EL Mocambo, Bovine and Cherry Cola’s! They always have the best Indie bands at any festival without being over run by hipsters like many other live music venues in the city.

Queen street was cool, it has now faded to what the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles was a few years ago until they began to restore the music scene trying to relive its glory days. Maybe Toronto should take note of this Hollywood trend and try to refresh the music scene on the Queen Street Strip. We definitely need a Roxy in Toronto, I would be the Talent booker and General Manager in a second, maybe even go behind the bar and make some drinkies for everyone, all of my friends will agree I am the mix queen!

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

The first artist that made the cut was the always fabulous indie artist Angela Saini. As I said last year, why is she not signed? She has talent, stage presence, charisma and the comfortability factor, she looks right at home on the stage. Yes, her vocals need some work as do her songs but she is so much better than the many similar female singer-songwriters who are signed. I only caught a few of Angela’s tracks but I have seen her perform before, she always gives it her all! A few more venues I migrated to that evening but nothing really stood out enough to mention. Saturday was a brand new day of floatings and I was still trying to catch up with emails. A week away without internet access and then a music festival is brutal, I missed so many bands! Almost caught up, just a page of press releases to go and that keeps growing with more news…

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Saturday I was happy that Breached were playing again because I missed their first set at the Bovine on the 11th. They always put on a good show and their music is getting better and better. For a band who has only been around about two years, they have accomplished quite a bit. In order for Breached to make it big, the songs need more of commercial mainstream appeal, unless of course they want to stay indie. As usual you can find more photos and videos of Breached and all of the artists here and here.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema

After being rocked by Breached for a few tunes, it was time to wander off to different venues before heading to see Atlantis Blueprint at the Hideout. I have not seen them play in a while, they added a new guitar player and a new drummer. Atlantis Blueprint has improved greatly since I saw them perform last and I hope to see them rock out some new tunes soon. The bands set times were pushed back so it made my coverage of Atlantis Blueprint shorter than I anticipated. 

Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Managed to hit the Horseshoe with enough time to check out the last two tracks of The Suburbians set and a drum solo where lead vocalist Mark Konstantinovic joined drummer Ben Nyari for a minute. Unfortunately the track I filmed did not make the cut , I could not hear him then and cannot hear him on playback. The vocal mic needed to be louder, the guitars were drowning him out. Other than the mic levels, this band is as tight as their pants! Why are they not signed? Hopefully they cross the pond in the future, so I can enjoy their music live in the city once again.

Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV

I believe we migrated to the EL Mocambo next, August of this year Sam Grosso and partner Marco Petrucci bought the El Mocambo with the intention of restoring the venue. The bands I was checking at the Elmo were Nixon formerly Tiny Dinza who were signed to Wind Up shortly after winning Indie Week last year. They are always a breath of fresh air, but the songs are a little mediocre, they need to step up their game, now that they are signed the real work begins. 

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

The other band I wanted to see was the super fantastique Rebel Emergency, haven’t seen them jam in a while. I’m hoping to hear new material from them in the future, they always put on an exciting set and have irie tunes. I’m in the process of reviewing Roddy’s first solo record “The Little Things“, which is now available. I could not stay for all of Rebel’s set because I wanted to check a few bands on the Queen St. strip. I was still looking for new bands to blow my mind…Did any new bands accomplish that? Nope.

Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema

There were a few bands I really wanted to see “In My Coma” and “West Memphis Suicide“. I was not able film In My Coma’s set because my battery died twenty-five seconds into filming the first WMS tune and their set was just before. West Memphis Suicide put on a high energy set that got the crowd pumped, they were having a blasty blast past 2am. I will have to hit up future sets of both these bands as should you because they are definitely worth checking out.

Photography By: Dipan Cheema For FridaeTV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Now to the finals held at the Tattoo Rock Parlour Sunday October 14th. I have not been to the Indie Week finals since they were held at the Reverb for the last time. This year Burning The Day a metal band won Indie Week Canada and are off to Indie Week Ireland next year. Burning The Day are the first metal band to ever win Indie Week Canada and they were absolutly fantastic. Work is needed on diction but other than that the music is moving, literally! They were the only band I saw all weekend that actually got the crowd jumping, the whole floor shook as this metal band conqured what no metal band has ever accomplished, winning Indie week!
Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV

There were a few other bands that made it to the finals like Cai.ro and Left Turn City. I have never seen Cai.ro live, I have always missed their sets. The band is a collection of incredible musicians with a folk rock pop sound. I was interested in the music and not bored to death with their stage performance, keeping me and the audience entertained. I do have to say they all need to let loose a little.

Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV
Photography By: Dipan Cheema
Photography By: Dipan Cheema

The final band I caught before my memory card filled up was Left Turn City. I couldn’t believe that it was full! I swear I put all of the previous coverage onto my computer. I discovered when transfering the new coverage there were Cuba photos on the same card, I couldn’t see them on my DSLR because they were shot with another camera. I need to break this cycle of forgetfullness at festivals, I was so busy I forgot my back ups except of course my Homie, Photographer/Security D who took some pretty awesome shots and kept the creeperellos away, thank you D! Back to Left Turn City at the Indie Week finals, of all the bands I saw that weekend they have improved the most but work is still needed to be done. The songs need to be catchier if they want to take it to the next level and catch the attention of a rock label. I give them credit for still persevering and improving while others simply have just given up. Without the passion, commitment and the continued development of your craft you are wasting your time.

Photography By: Fridae Mattas
Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Indie Week was fun as it always is, Darryl Hurs the creator of Indie Week is always floating around the venues, Darryl is a stand up guy, one person that actually cares about the indie scene and continues to be an advocate. More people should support the indie scene but most of all, the bands need to support each other a little more! I hope to one day check out Indie Week Ireland, but until then we always have Indie Week Canada, see you next year! www.INDIEWEEK.com

COPYRIGHT © 2012 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

REBEL EMERGENCY – APHRODISIOLOGY ALBUM REVIEW

Photography By: Joanna Glezakos For FridaeTV

REBEL EMERGENCY

APHRODISIOLOGY

ALBUM REVIEW

By: Fridae Mattas

 

Looky, looky I am keeping my word, it’s another album review and this time it’s Rebel Emergency! One of the first bands I covered at the start of my professional career when I was still in college, scouting and writing for other publications. What keeps me drawn to this band year after year other than their incredible live show, is their music and versatility! They are not afraid to change it up and still incorporate that original Rebel Emergency feel, always tastefully seducing the envelope. “Aphrodisiology” is the third record released by the quartet and has a slightly different vibe than its predecessors with a more commercial mainstream formula. I’ve heard tracks from this record on Galaxy music (Radio on TV for those who don’t know what it is.)  didn’t even realize it was them until I finally listened to the full record. Before I get carried away, Rebel Emergency from Toronto is; Roddy Soul – Vox, Geoff Star – Lead Guitar, Mike “Mutten Chop” Cohen – Bass and Sir Jeremy on the Drums.

Photography By: Joanna Glezakos For FridaeTV

On this eleven track LP, most of the songs have different yet similar elements that tie them together fluidly. To me it sounds like Rebel has figured out what works for them and this record shows their continued growth with a more mature sound. Roddy is vocally coming out of his shell and finding his own voice instead of emulating the White Bob Marley. There is still more for him to discover and refine only to get better with age like a wine. I put the record in and just let it play, not stopping or rewinding any tracks it was a full run through. After about the third album spin I decided it’s time to start writing and selecting what songs need to be listened to on repeat over and over. “Up All Night” started in like a video game in some far away fantasy land and as the opening mid tempo track, it set the tone for the album perfectly. The lyrics are clever and slutty but sweet: “You know that I’m loose how dare you seduce me.” listen to the song and you’ll know what I’m saying.

Photography By: Joanna Glezakos For FridaeTV
Photography By: Joanna Glezakos For FridaeTV

The writing, mixing and production on this record is by far their best to date and they have definitely improved as musicians. Guitars sound fantastic but I wish there were a little more and maybe a few solos somewhere. There are a few tunes on this record I am not liking so much like the song “Letters”, the only one I skipped after the first run through. There was something about the vocals that just wasn’t appealing to my ears. A stand out tune worth a listen is…”Picture This” a poppier slice reminiscent of the 80’s but with better sound and production. The following songs I had on repeat in my shuffle:  “Just Wanna Kiss Ya”, “Rise And Fall” and the title track “Aphrodisiology” which is a unique funky gem of it’s own. My most favorite track on this record has to be “Lion In A  Cage” which features recording artist KO. I first saw this song performed live prior to the release of the record at the 2011 Toronto Freedom Festival and I named it wrong in the video I filmed. Every element in this sonata fits so well together, from the music to the lyrics and melodic arrangements, this song gets you all pumped up and excited. Roddy’s voice sounds really good with the melody, KO’s vocals came off a little theatrical but he sounds better on record than he does live. It’s a shame too because there is all this hype surrounding him and his manager pushes his music hard but I felt like he did not live up to his hype. A few lyrics from the track “You can never hold us down… / Rising up is all the rage… / You’ll never keep us locked…locked up / We’re like a Lion in a Cage”. On that note my friends, if you like a relaxing new school fusion of rock, ska and reggae, Rebel Emergency is the band for you! This record is not to be ignored, good music for your ears buy “Aphrodisiology”  HERE, you won’t want to turn it off!

www.myspace.com/RebelEmergency

COPYRIGHT © 2012 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

Photography By: Joanna Glezakos For FridaeTV

 

TORONTO FREEDOM FESTIVAL 2011 & A LITTLE NIKKI SIXX

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

Ever year I cover the Toronto Freedom Festival and this year was no different or was it? Saturday May 7th 2011 was completely different! Not a drop of rain to be found, it was absolute sunshine and there were no kids falling out of trees. About 35,000 plus people gathered at Toronto’s Queens Park to protest and speak their minds in regards to legalization of Marijuana. I always  miss the  Global Marijuana March but 20,000 other people made it out to march along the usual route of across Bloor to Yonge down and across to Wellesley ending back at the base Queens Park North.

There were smokers everywhere, but not as many police officers compared to the first year I covered TFF, I am glad because there is no need to have them everywhere, everyone is just chilling, smoking, eating, dancing, singing, drumming and learning but don’t get me wrong they were there but just a little more discreet with their Popo Horses, Bikes, Cars and Motorcycles. What is a festival without music and plenty of it from Rebel Emergency, KO, Daniel Wesley, iLL Scarlett, House of David Gang and DJ Sneak. The band members may seem familiar in every shot, that is because Rebel Emergency played until iLL Scarlett hit the stage but switched singers so it was more like a sneak peek of the Joint Venture show with Rebel Emergency, KO and Daniel Wesley that took place at the MOD club later that evening.  The bands were amazing Rebel, KO and Daniel Wesley didn’t play a full set but Ill Scarlett was on the stage for quite a while. You will be able to find videos of the performances I managed to film very soon, until then enjoy the photos in a slide show at the end of this jibber. I couldn’t stay for the whole festival I did however donate at one of the many donation stations even though I was covering the event because the city needs festivals like these to keep the arts culture alive regardless of the reason which is a very good one, the legalization of Marijuana deserves a chance, it costs a lot of money to put on this one day “Freedom” festival everyone in attendance should donate. It’s not just another day in the park catching a few bands and DJ’s. So many events I had to choose from it was Saturday always a crazy day, if I could I wanted to catch Nikki Sixx signing copies of his new book ‘This Is Gonna Hurt‘ for all the fans that search him every day but we shall discuss that adventure after a few photos from the 2011 Toronto Freedom Festival.


Next stop was Nikki Sixx at the Chapters on John and Richmond, I wasn’t going to go because I thought it would be extremely too chaotic and my issues being in crowds would amplify but I went anyway didn’t think I would make it because it started at 7pm and I was just walking towards the bookstore which was about fifteen blocks away form where I ended up after I migrated from the Toronto Freedom Festival. Lucky for me when I arrived at about 7:20ish he still had yet to pop out and sign, his people were still waiting. I took some shots of everyone, so many people and that is a huge bookstore, you could not get an autograph if you didn’t have the book ‘This Is Gonna Hurt‘ that only makes sense because it is a book tour session not a regular autograph session. I have yet to buy it but I will! Skimming through it for a minute as I wandered around and I have to say as a photographer myself some of the photographs are too amazing! When it comes to photography many people are so technical about it and lose perspective of the art because the hunger for money and material riches blinds the creativity of the photographers eye. You can know every detail of your cameras functions and the lighting techniques but that doesn’t mean you can take a good picture. I have seen photographers with top of the line equipment but the photograph is flat and muted, it’s all about how you see it through your eyes and making that picture speak those thousands of words to everyone else like a photograph is meant to, Sixx is a natural!

The reason for my delayed purchase, is I don’t have much time to read, the last book I read was  Marilyn Monroe – The Biography By: Donald Spoto that I borrowed from my cousin because she has two copies…Obsessed much? And that book took me over a year to read, that reminds me I should give it back to her and just buy my own. I am too busy filming music, shooting and writing everything including my own books, films and sonatas that will eventually come out when they are ready. The fans were screaming, cheering and yelling his name,  I thought I was fucked for real because there were so many people all of those rows of books in the photographs were filled with people lined up in and around all of the top floor but it didn’t end there more people were downstairs wrapping the whole bottom floor. I did not see a media area and then a super nice security guy asked me if I was media, I’m surprised he didn’t ask me if I worked for Much Music like most of them do and guided me to the media area which was a little corner among the bookshelves. Not that many media people about a handful of us but you can always spot a Stalkerazzo! There he was all unnecessarily aggressive because you could tell those dollar bills in his eyes were gleaming  and totally ruined every single one of my shots! I tried so hard to get a clean photograph you can tell the difference by comparison to my other photographs, this guy was big and large I ducked under him tried to move to the left and the right, his big body and arms were all up in my lens and almost elbowed me in the face and boobs,  I was about to snap, the ghetto girl was shortly to make an appearance my mouth getting ready to start cussing in Greek but I kept my cool. Its a miracle a few shots were decent enough to publish. Huge thanks to Sixx for posing a little longer with book in hand, Shania Twain should have held her book when she did her camera call but she didn’t. Toronto! No worries dry your eye, Nikki Sixx will be back all of you Mötley fans with his Crüe and a few friends June 28th at the Molson Canadian Amphitheater buy tickets HERE.

There you have it my friends, mellow times with The Toronto Freedom Festival and some craziness with Nikki Sixx’s book singing all in a single day before sunset, Toronto always has so much to do and that is why I love my city.

COPYRIGHT ©2011 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

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REBEL EMERGENCY ROCKS THE TATTOO THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH!!

 
 

PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

Toronto’s Indie Superstars Rebel Emergency  are to rock the Tattoo Rock Parlour on Thursday September 16th 2010. With their melodic blend of Rock and Reggae, Rebel Emergency has a fantastic sound. Their live shows are NOT to be missed, the only Surfing songbirds I’ve come across.  

REBEL EMERGENCY with Guests The Trip & StereoKid   

LIVE @ Tattoo Rock Parlour  

567 Queen St West
Toronto, ON

Doors: 10PM 

End: 2AM 

$10 cover 

For reduced guest list and bottle service info email: vanessa.piotti@gmail.com 

www.myspace.com/rebelemergencymusic 

www.myspace.com/theerinmillstrip 

www.myspace.com/stereokidband 

PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS