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Artists and Bands

The Raveonettes’ Sharin Foo talks touring, nerves, being a duo, and opening for Iggy Pop

The Raveonettes are, by far, Denmark’s coolest export. The alt-rock duo is comprised of Sune Rose Wagner (who juggles guitar, vocals, and an array of other instruments, as needed) and Sharin Foo (who reigns over bass, guitar, and vocals.) October of 2009 saw the release of their fourth full-length album, In And Out Of Control, which was then followed by a string of live shows (and now, worldwide festival gigs). I caught up with Sharin in Toronto, during the NXNE festival, on the morning of The Raveonettes’ rocking gig, which saw them open up for Iggy and the Stooges in Yonge-Dundas Square.

Q: You’re scheduled to play a bunch of summer festivals all around the world, do you enjoy the traveling, or does it get tiring?

A: No, I like it actually. I actually do like playing only one, or two, or three shows; it’s really exciting. The traveling can be a little tiresome, jetlag and that kind of stuff, but I find touring can be a little harder sometimes because it’s so monotonous. You have to play five, six shows in a row and it’s harder to find that sort of excitement. So, actually, I do like doing the [dispersed] shows. It can be a little more terrifying because maybe it’s like a week or two since we played, and you’re like “oh, okay!,” but yeah, it’s fun.

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Features

CD Review and Interview: Masterplan “Time to Be King”

Masterplan “Time to Be King” playback

Friday 5th March

The Intrepid Fox, London

Interview and photos by Dawn Irwin

The last night of the European tour … Slovakia, 2007

After a successful tour as support for Saxon in the summer of 2007, it seemed that Masterplan was on the rise again, with powerhouse Mike Terrana (Malmsteen, Axel Rudi Pell, Rage) on drums, and new vocalist Mike DiMeo (Riot, The Lizards) joining in 2006 to replace Jorn Lande.  Rather disappointingly the flames of euphoria seemed to dwindle after the tour as the hype deteriorated into complete silence.  During some exchanges of correspondence with Roland Grapow, it became apparent to me that he had other things on his mind, namely finishing his studio in Slovakia in order to get on with the business of recording and producing many other bands and artists.  However, it was during once of these exchanges mid-2009 that Roland mentioned that he was laying down tracks for with Jorn for a new Masterplan album.  As there hadn’t been an official announcement at that point I was beside myself with excitement.  I confess to being devastated when I heard of the initial split with Jorn and whilst there is no doubt that Mike DiMeo has a powerful set of pipes, from a live point of view there was something that didn’t quite gel, and of the four live shows I witnessed I distinctly recall being quite miffed at certain timing issues and missed cues in some of the songs I love so well.   Ever the cynic, though, as far as the return of Jorn was concerned, I resorted to my motto of “I’ll believe it when I see it”, and when the official announcement finally materialised, followed swiftly by new single “Far From the End of the World” I knew there was absolutely no doubt.  Jorn was back … Masterplan was resurrected!

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Opportunities

LOS ANGELES MUSIC AWARDS ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS

Attention all bands and solo artists: The Los Angeles Music Awards, the longest-running indie music awards show of its kind now in its twentieth consecutive year, is currently accepting submissions, for the stretch run to this year’s Main Event, taking place on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010. The LAMA’s are the longest-running independent awards show of its kind; past nominees include Grammy-winning act Black Eyed Peas, platinum pop artist Gwen Stefani; Alien Ant Farm; blues guitarist Walter Trout and many others. For more info: www.sonicbids.com/lamusicawards.

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Opportunities

MIAMI MUSIC FEST SHOWCASE APPLICATIONS DUE BY JULY 31

Showcase applications for the second annual Miami Music Festival are due by July 31 – submit yours asap at www.miamimusicfestival.org. Music of all genres will be featured during the 500+ performances at venues throughout the city Nov. 12-14. The Hyatt Regency Miami, which will host the event’s music industry and artists’ conference, is offering special rates, which you can also check out at the MMF website. For more news, follow them on Twitter – @MiamiMusicFesti.

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Opportunities

KOOLHAUS LAUNCHES UNSIGNED BAND COMPETITION

Koolhaus Games has announced its International Contest for Unsigned Bands. The winners will have their music included in the soundtrack of the next version of the company’s popular iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad game – iMP:Surf the Music, now available on iTunes. The contest is free to enter, any use of material would be on a non-exclusive basis and all intellectual property rights remain with the artist. Winners will receive a revenue share from game sales. Visit www.impmusicgame.com.

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Reviews and Suggestions

Live Review: Frenzy

Almost three decades ago in a market town called Frome in the UK there was the usual collection of local muso’s playing in a variety of bands. These muso’s and bands (being from a relatively small town) were all interconnected in some way, at some stage. The point is that as all of the above melded over time, several now long established and very successful bands have emerged from Frome and the surrounding interconnected area. The band that I feel the need to inform of to start with is Frenzy, a highly active rockabilly/psychobilly/alternative band who have been rocking hard for about twenty seven years now. This trio of musicians show no sign of ageing at all, they are actually now getting stronger and more and more popular. The Frenzy fanbase is spreading further and further as they tour all over the world gaining many new fans.

I have been viewing an awful lot of Frenzy live footage on you tube, there is a vast selection to choose from and these give a real good taste of they have to offer on stage. Check the two videos at the end of this post as worthy tasters.

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Features

Pigshit by Gary Pig Gold: OUT OF EXILE

For an album that received such a lukewarm-at-best reception upon its initial release (even the almighty Rolling Stone magazine used the words “overdone blues cliché” whilst making snide comparisons to Tommy James), the tenth album produced by Keith Richards and company – “The fact is that Mick spent most of his time away ’cause Bianca was pregnant; you know, royalty is having a baby. So what am I supposed to do?” the human guitar griped in 1979, “I’m supposed to be making an album!” – has certainly enjoyed a critical reappraisal and then some over the ensuing thirty-eight years. Why, even the proud papa Jagger who in ‘72 complained “This new album is fucking mad. It’s very rock and roll. I didn’t want it to be like that. I mean, I’m very bored with rock and roll,” today insists the recording of Exile On Main St. “was a wonderful period; a very creative period.”

And, of course, Rolling Stone now places those very same blues clichés near the tip-top of most every Greatest Album Of All Time list it regularly publishes in between all the sneaker and suntan crème ads.

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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.