“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.

Live Rock and Roll Rock News

These Electric Lives spread the love on their L’amour Electrique Tour 2010

Toronto’s These Electric Lives are feeling warm and fuzzy all over and they want you to feel it too. Fresh from their Indie Week Canada win, they are hitting the road with friends The Love Machine and guest Hungry Hearts, making stops at:

Dec 2 – Clark Hall Pub @ Queens University
Kingston, ON

Dec 3 – The Garrison
Toronto, ON

Dec 4 – Zaphods
Ottawa, ON


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!


Toronto’s Indie Week 2010 delivers ups and downs

Indie Week Canada showcases the best of Canadian and Irish independent music and this year, Australia and Japan also got in on the game.

Although many of the bands playing the Friday night “Irish Showcase” were not actually live and direct from the Emerald Isle, the bands that did cross the Atlantic were treated to all that Toronto had to offer: 16 venues, well over 100 independent bands and a 4 a.m. last call.

The only fault of Indie Week was that it tried to provide too much of everything. For 2010, organizers added new venues to the bill to accommodate the growing number of performances and Bread and Circus in Kensington Market was one of these. A small café/theatre venue, I had the chance to catch both Hamilton’s Ascot Royals and Montreal’s Vinyl Hero here, but unfortunately for both bands – the venue did them no favours. The floor was clogged with tables and chairs, which pacified the crowd, and the sound and acoustics of the venue were also very flat.


Making all-important festival choices easier: A look ahead at Indie Week 2010 (October 13 – 17)

It’s ba-ack, it’s bigger and better than ever and I am so excited for it that it’s almost sick. What is this magical “it”? No guesses? Okay, I’ll give it to you – Indie Week 2010! The annual musical festival, which showcases the best in indie music from around the world, will be taking over Toronto from October 13 to the 17. This year, Indie Week will be reigning its musical powers over 15 of the city’s most beloved venues (think Bovine Sex Club, Hideout etc.) and showcasing the talents of 150 (yes!) bands. But with so many shows to choose from, there does come a downside – how in the world can you take it all in? I hate to be so brash, but you can’t, so I’ve decided to make the task of picking a little less daunting by offering up some of the shows and bands I personally think are must-sees. I really hope I don’t disappoint you with my musical judgment. If I do, I’m sorry. (But I probably won’t.)



Indie Week is a Canadian festival that takes place in October and then heads overseas in the Spring of 2011 for Indie Week Ireland. This year’s top act from the 2010 Canadian festival will get to perform at the Spring gig in Ireland. As a result of playing Indie Week Canada 2008, Thunder Bay’s Bella Clava went to Ireland, and it was their first tour ever, so all bands should feel welcome. The deadline to apply is approaching, so visit for details. Download the mail-in application from the website and send in your press kit, or apply online through Sonicbids at

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 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.