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NXNE Roundup: Damn you, parties, it’s all a blur now!

Another year, another NXNE and yet again, I was a victim to NXNE's most awesome parking lot and rooftop parties. What can I say, free booze, food and live music are the perfect tonic for good times with friends.

I kicked off my NXNE with probably one of my most favourite parties to date. Hosted by Exclaim!, Jagermeister and Sailor Jerry in a random parking lot at the corner of Spadina and College, the combination of Canada's music authority and everyone's favourite drinks was the perfect slur maker.

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“Ever since I was a young musician…” A look back at JUNO Week 2012

Ever since I was a young musician, I dreamt of being at the JUNOs and one day walking on stage to the applause of thousands to receive an award.

Now, that being said, I have not chosen a career that would lead to this dream, but I have chosen a career that still lead me to be in attendee at this year’s JUNO Fest and Awards.

24 hours a day, seven days a week, I’m a full-time music publicist and an occasional freelance writer. With the honor of attending the 2012 JUNOs as spectator and writer, I truly got to experience the JUNOs and the Canadian music talent it celebrates.

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You’re banned! Your night is over! NXNE serves up good (and interesting) times with music and BBQs

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to (yet again) participate in the NXNE music fest in Toronto, ON and check out some fresh musical talent to treat my ears to.

Unfortunately (and this is the key word in my blurb) I got distracted by BBQs and parties this year and didn’t really have the chance to hear many new sounds.

I only had two days for NXNE. Arriving on the Friday, I already knew what I had planned for that night. I know the guys from St. Joe’s Mission and saw on the schedule that they were playing Hard Luck that night, so I thought I’d surprise them. This hard rock/funk band is never a disappointment, always putting on a great show. I know their album by heart and was a bit disappointed with not hearing my favorite track, “The Reins,” live but meh, what can you do? They mostly performed some new tunes and it was really enjoyable.

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Jon Asher’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

(1) Baroness – Blue Record – This album is my top fave of the year because of the trip it takes you on. It’s one of those albums that requires you to sit back, relax and enjoy every moment of its musical awesomeness!

(2) Orchids Curse – Voices: The Tales of Broken Men – An album you must listen to from beginning to end. It’s a concept album that is just too good to be passed on. A must!

(3) Titans Eve – Divine Equal – I came across this album by traveling a few thousand kilometers and hanging out with the band at Noctis Fest in Calgary. It has catchy tunes and is extremely memorable. The best car CD of the year for me! ‘Becoming The Demon’ and ‘Judgment’ are infectious.

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Oh Indie Week, how I love your music and wrestling!

This was by far the most memorable and most fun Toronto music fest I’ve been to in a while. Going on my second Indie Week, I have to say that when you mix talent with great venues, plus an amazing party atmosphere and cheap booze thanks to sponsors – you’ve got yourself one hell of a shindig!

Kicking off my Indie Week was my own Blankfest Toronto, co-organized with Indie Week and Serving Charity. Blankfest is a charity show I first brought to Montreal two years ago that began in NYC in 1997. It was founded by Kenn Rowell of The Baghdaddios to help collect blankets for the homeless during the winter months.

This was an amazing event as bands from all across came out to support Toronto’s homeless and Indie Week. The lineup was just phenomenal and had a great mix of punk, hard rock and my personal favourite genre of balls-deep metal!

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Last Call Chernobyl: A Metal Cinderella Story

Who’s ever heard of a Cinderella story in metal? Well, one band out of the East Coast of Canada, Halifax to be specific, has truly proved that the underdog can wear the metal horns, and represent a contingent of metal fans and musicians from back home.

It all began when Last Call Chernobyl entered the 2010 Battle of the Bands, sponsored by Nova Scotia Music and Vans Warped Tour. LCC entered the battle among many other East Coast metal bands, but by winning over the unfamiliar crowds and judges their destiny was written in stone.

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Artists and Bands

N x N + E = BBQs & Networking

Over the last few years I’ve been traveling down the 401, from Montreal to Toronto, to experience one of Canada’s biggest music industry conferences and festivals: NXNE. But this year’s NXNE really broke down into a clever, and almost mathematical, formula that I’ve discovered. When you take N x N + E, it equals something really special called, networking galore!

Arriving in Toronto on a Thursday, I wasn’t sure what my plans would be. This was the first year I told myself that I would play it by ear and word of mouth, and I sure am glad that I trusted my gut feeling because the rewards were just priceless. What I discovered at this year’s NXNE was tons of rooftop parties and backyard BBQs. All these were the right spots to be, whether you were an industry-type or a musician. The first rooftop party I ended up at was hosted by the XM Verge radio show. Arriving to the rooftop with industry friends from Liberty Music Traxx and BreakingTomorrow.com out of Montreal, we hit the party and it was crammed! Tons of people squashed like sardines, and super loud due to both people chattering and bands playing in the background. I met a few people that I knew there, but my rating on this bash was so-so, compared to the others I attended. I can’t do places where you can’t even talk to the person next to you because you can’t hear each other. But overall, just sitting on a rooftop in the sun and having fun with friends can never be a bad thing.

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Artists and Bands

R&RR Reviews THE Metal Night of All Metal Nights at Canadian Music Week 2010

A night of talent; a night of metal; a night of being a sardine with booze!

Last week I had the opportunity to be at Canadian Music Week 2010 and to scope out some of the showcases that took place from Wednesday to Saturday. One of the nights I was anticipating the most was the Metal Blade & Exclaim! Magazine showcase being held at the The Bovine (rumour has it that it may close down soon, what a shame!) The lineup announced for this night was just incredible and when I heard one of my favorite Toronto metal bands, Titan, was closing the night; I made a deal with the devil and had to be there!

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It’s the Mecca of all Mecca’s, SXSW the candy store of Music – Asher’s SXSW round up

(The Rock and Roll Report was stoked when Montreal music publicist Asher from Asher Media Relations agreed to give us a taste of his recent first time foray to SXSW. Hopefully next year we will expand our coverage of this amazing booze-fueled, music soaked event!)

Seeing how this was my first SXSW, I wasn’t sure what to be prepared for, but I will say this, the amount of talent I saw was purely amazing. I spent 5 days and 5 nights checking out wicked amounts of music as I was at SXSW filming episodes for a tv show I work on for an artist I do pr with Empire ISIS.

When arriving in Austin be prepared for overcrowded streets and music blazing out every bar, street corner and outdoor stage that is setup in the downtown core. I spent some of my days walking around hitting various tents that offered free booze, food and cigarettes. I was quite overwhelmed everywhere I went.

In my opinion, SXSW is the Mecca of all Music conferences and festivals, where music enthusiasts, industry and artists gather for one week of enjoying music and networking 24/7.