2009 Year in Review
Wow! So it’s the 2009 wrap up and what a year it has been. Looking back on everything I’ve done and the music I’ve come across and the adventures I’ve have had, I can’t believe it’s all said and done. I wish I could write everything I’ve done over the last year but I know it all be too much to read. So to make a long story short I’m going to list my favourite moments of 2009.
#1 SXSW Music Festival and Conference. Austin, TX
This was the most thrilling time of 2009 for me as it was my first sxsw. I went down with the Empire ISIS crew to do showcases and of course meet and greet people and network my ass off with the music industry. The parties, the showcases and the people that I came across were a one of kind of experience.
I was down there as I said for Empire ISIS’ showcases but also to help coordinate the Gangstress Chronicles( Empire ISIS’ show with Musiqueplus (French version of MuchMusic). I never thought I meet some many artists and industry reps. The list is long but they were all great interviews even did some camera work for them (most memorable was Kid Cudi and hanging out at The Fader/ Levi’s Fort. Also to add attending the Perez Hilton party and hearing him call Lady Sovereign the C word. What a moment! Thanks to the Empire ISIS team! and of course Seth for making the party times even more memorable! http://www.empireisis.com
#2 Surefire Machine Skydiving Tattoo
Even though I wasn’t physically there to witness the event it put a huge smile on my face when Zeke from SFM told me of his publicity stunt. When I got a copy of the skydiving video to promote to the media, it was awesome time to spread the word of this crazy stunt (the first North American Skydiving Tattoo). It made national headlines across Canada on TV and print even landing Zeke in the November Issue of Revolver Magazine and making headlines on Swedish TV. Who would of thought! Here’s the video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNmgQ2VUi94
#3 CHOSEN – Irish Metal at it’s Best
When Chosen approached me to do their promo for their cross Canada Tour, I was thrilled. Their story was amazing and their blend of metal caught my attention. Here was a band from Ireland that relocated to Vancouver, BC to find a vocalist and was doing their first Canadian Tour from the west coast to the east coast on their way back to Ireland. Who would of thought that death metal would make the dailies but it did because their story was so great. The guys hung out with me in MTL for a few days and I help put them up at a friend’s place. Love the Irish! http://www.chosen.ie
#4 Halifax Pop Xplosion!
This was a blast! Went down to Halifax in October after being invited to speak at a publicity panel at HPX thanks to Josh Hogan (Diminished Fifth Records). One of the nicest guys I’ve met in the music industry and a real hard worker. Saw some great bands and hung out with some great people from the east coast. I was really impressed how supportive of the scene they are. If you get chance check it out. http://halifaxpopexplosion.com/
#5 – Blankfest Quebec – http://www.blankfest.org
In life I strongly believe that everyone should take up one charity in their life and this is the one for me. When I came into contact with Kenn Rowell, founder of Blankfest, I immediately knew I wanted to be on board. Blankfest Quebec’s goal is to raise blankets and clothing for the homeless for winter months as life on the street is not easy at all. This was my first year organizing it and I decided to put it on in February. I chose that month because people forget after the holiday season that charities still need support from the public. I wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped with this event, Mark Boudreau of Rock and Roll Report who helped with the promo and carrying all the clothing (over 500 items) to the Old Brewery Mission, the staff at Mohawk-Radio.com, the bands, Special Ops, Vinyl Hero, Ashtray and Fifty Stars Anger. Thanks again everyone. I can’t wait to the 2010 edition.
#6 – NXNE – Fattooth Showcase
This show was a steamer, packed house at the hideout and just incredible energy. Fattooth stole the show that night hitting the stage at 2am (extended bar for nxne so bar closed at 4am). These guys put on such a great stage act and the music that I felt like I was in a cult preaching moment as everyone was all over the place dancing, moshing singing along. What a show! The crowd was so intense that they demanded Fattooth continuing playing for another hour and they did. Rocking show!! \m/\m/ http://www.myspace.com/fattooth
#7 – Watching Vaginal Croutons Reunite
So let me school you on this band real quick. These are a cult classic punk band from MTL. They put on one of the most entertaining live shows I’ve ever seen. I’ve always left their shows satisfied. I don’t even know how to describe these guys on stage but there’s flying blow up dolls, messy pies and skanky costumes. Hell with the singer’s name as Johnny Jackoff you better brace your self fro a messy night lol. Unfortunately this was a one time reunion show. But it was one of my favourites of 2009.
#8 – Indie Week 2009
This was a great event to attend. I love my Torontonians! This was a week where there was incredible amount of Independent Talent from across Canada to check out.
I had three bands showcasing and my time was swamped, along with lack of sleep but all in all I had lots of fun. I want to say thanks to the organizers for putting an amazing event to showcase independent talent. A million Thank you’s go out to Darryl Hurs, Miriam Kaplan, Kathyrn Hummel, Sara Marie Harding & Sarah Riches. http://www.indieweek.com
#9 – Crippled Black Phoenix
When I was asked by my buddy Seth to go check out this band from the UK, I said yes just for the hell of going out that night. But I have to say I’m so happy I said yes that night because this band has to be one my favourites of 2009. Thanks Seth! It was such a great performance and the music they created as a an eight piece that even included a cellist was just unique in its own effort. Check them out http://www.myspace.com/crippledblackphoenix
#10 – My Honourable Mentions & Thanks
I came across a lot of great bands and shows so to finally round it up here’s a list at random of those I couldn’t mention.
• Having Barbara Pavone as my assistant. What would I do with out you. Thanks Barbara for all your hard work and fun road trips!
• Thanks to Dave Chinner for all his hard work in Toronto and helping Asher Media grow!
• Leather Arms Experiment – Thanks for letting me crash all those times at your HQ – http://www.myspace.com/theleatherarmsexperiment
• Thanks to Kimberly Bjorklund from K&B Artist Management for your hard work and effort!! you are a true rarity! We love you!! – http://www.kbartistmgnt.biz/
• Thanks to the whole Empire ISIS team!!! Through thick and thin! It’s always a great adventure with you guys!
• Special Ops – Pressure single Launch lots of fun! http://www.opsmission.com
• In n Outs – Great showman! – http://www.myspace.com/theinnouts
• St. Joes Mission! – http://www.stjoesmission.com/
• NinjaSpy – best band on the planet I have seen! – http://www.myspace.com/thetriadinblood
• Brother Ali in a sweaty cramped bar at SXSW
• Municipal Waste at Foufounes Electriques – just flying bodies everywhere
• Big Boi (Outkast) at SXSW and with Empire ISIS opening up for him in Montreal in October 2009
• Fathom Ties – great metal band out of Cornwall – http://www.myspace.com/fathomties
• Urbanology Photoshoot w/ Empire ISIS http://www.urbanologymag.com
• Stareblind at Bovine for Indie Week awesome album! – Something Left Unexplained! http://www.stareblind.net
• Montreal Jazzfest 2009 – Stevie Wonder, Ben Harper, Creature
• October Sky at Le National – http://www.octobersky.ca
• Hanging with Chinner and Fridae at CMW & NXNE great events! – http://www.cmw.net – http://www.nxne.com
• Vinyl Hero at Club Soda!!! http://www.myspace.com/vinylheroband