On Saturday things quieted down just a touch at the hotel as many of the artists who performed earlier in the week were heading home as were a lot of the folks who attended the various awards shows. It seems that every year there are more afternoon events at the music venues, and it is impossible to catch them all. Still there was a little action at the lobby bar as Chapter 2 Productions Vincent Degiorgio was seen catching up with Nova Scotia's Marc Perry, who is now managing Reeny Smith. By mid-afternoon it seemed like everyone was heading either to the Slaight Music presentation at the hotel or over to the MusicOntario party at The Supermarket. At the same time the annual Aussie BBQ was taking place at The Horseshoe and we finally got a chance to see Timberwolf who are creating quite a buzz. Double industry award winner (label/management company) Joel Carriere was seen along with Eurosonic's Ruud Berends and Planetary's Adam Lewis.
The 14th annual Music Nova Scotia Tiki party, hosted by the legendary Mike Campbell, was formatted a little differently this year as full bands played right from the beginning of the evening, a time previously reserved for acoustic performances. Opening with an incredible performance of funk and soul from Reeny Smith, the party vibe was at a fever pitch by 6:30 PM. Once again the food, this year led by a team headed by Alert The Medic's Troy Arseneault, was a seafood delight. As the serving staff's shirts declared "Sex & Drugs & Lobster Rolls".
Great, diverse music was heard from The Mike Bochoff Band, Port Cities, Joint & The Infinite Possibility, Quiet Parade and Hillsburn, and it was hard to pick a favourite. We spotted young songwriter Jacob Henly chatting to Stuart Cameron (currently touring with the Crash Test Dummies’ Brad Roberts), Moe Berg, Polaris Prize founder Steve Jordan, CARAS prez Allan Reid along with Kim Stockwood, Canada Walk Of Fame leader Melanie Hurley, Redlion's Kyle Carpenter, Pocket Studio's Mike Turner, Pheromone's Kim Cooke, Damhnait Doyle and Delta Hotel's Stuart Jolliffe. Between acts many of the audience rushed to the front bar to check on the status of the Toronto Raptors and a huge cheer went up when they won the game.
The Velvet Underground hosted the Music is GREAT Britain party and throughout the evening we saw great performances from the impossibly-young Orielles, The People The Poet and the total swagger of Fat White Family. Seen were International Trade Adviser Pete Chapman, Chris Tams from the BPI, UK Trade's Phil Patterson and Embrace's Ewan Exall.
There was a line-up outside The Cameron House as the Marco Noni managed Scenic Route to Alaska played to a packed room. Supporting the Alberta band were Jay Sparrow along with his Record Mob host Riot (great name), Alberta Music Executive Director Chris Wynters.
The last stop of the evening was over at Cherry's Colas to watch an over-the-top performance from Sumo Cyco who were helping the club celebrate their sixth anniversary.
The BnB bar was the place to be seen on Friday afternoon as it seems everyone converged there mid-afternoon following the Canadian Radio Music Awards. Front Row Centre's Kevin Goodman was resplendent in his Grateful Dead jacket while Mascot's Ron Burman had meeting after meeting. Tenors manager Jeffrey Latimer was spotted in the lobby as was Stingray's Stephen Tapp. The labels were out in force with Warner Music’s Steve Kane and Steve Coady working the room while Sony's Warren Copnick (Jukebox Jury Champ), Trevor Lamas and Will Mitchell did the same. Phil Patterson, from UK Trade & Investment pumped the British industry while Becci Scotcher did the same thing for the Welsh. Slaight Music was represented by Derrick Ross and Jim Campbell and agents Ralph James and Tom Kemp were also seen. Band managers Jake Gold, Bernie Breen and Gourmet Delice were in attendance as were Oshawa rockers The Standstills.
The Google Happy Hour seemed to really pick up steam as the week went on and it was packed Friday for a performance by The Zolas. Redeye's Jonathan Elder, eOne's Nate Quinn, Eleven Seven's Morgan Townsend, and Pipe & Hat's Elise Roller were all enjoying Google's hospitality.
We finally got a chance to see Menage perform, who were seen all over Queen Street West all week, as they played a rocking 8 PM set at Cherry Cola's. Next stop was The Hideout to see Poor Nameless Boy who had Cadence Music's Tony Tarleton showing support. Mark Kates' White Lung played to a great crowd at The Velvet Underground and, with the release of their new album they looked ready to take things to the next level. Young Vancouver power-trio The Vidos, managed by Lyle Chausse, lit-up Cherry Cola's during their midnight set and then it was time for Tommy Stinson's second local appearance at the Bovine where he name-checked Warren Kinsella's political punk band Shit From Hell.
The day started early as L.A via Boston's Adam Lewis hosted his annual Planetary Party in conjunction with local scenesters AB Co. The long walk up to the roof was worth the exercise as the rooftop of The Porch was bathed in sunshine and the food and music were top notch. Adam was seen catching up with Milwaukee Summerfest talent buyer David Silbaugh who is often seen in Toronto looking for talent for his annual Fest. East Coast manager Sherri Jones was in attendance as was Justin Kwan who recently joined the MRG Concerts team.
The new Drake 150, across the street from The Sheraton, was showcasing talent on an outdoor stage and there was quite a crowd enjoying the tunes. The two venue Drake is now being booked by Ian MacNeil who, of course, has had a lot of CMW experience. ASCAP's Ralph Murphy was seen along with SOCAN's Michael McCarty and CCS Right Management's Jodie Ferneyhough.
Our lobby bar visit was quite short but we saw producer Garth Richardson chatting with FYI's David Farrell and Kerry Doole. Garth was also seen with old friend Cameron Carpenter who was drumming up business for Indie Week.
We managed, along with hundreds of others, to make it across the street to the new Google offices and were pleased to find out former Sony staffer Andrew Lindsay had joined the team. Always nice to hear Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning spinning the tunes between artist performances. Instinct's Michael Perlmutter was seen as was record plugger Mike Rice.
In the clubs former Replacement Tommy Stinson had the Collective Concerts team. Jeff Cohen. Craig Laskey and Ben Pearlman, all rocking to his set. Being a good Minnesota lad, Stinson closed his set with a beautiful version of "Purple Rain". Late night at the Bovine Indica Records Franz Schuller was showing his punk rock roots playing with his band Grimskunk.
After the very successful Ontario Town Hall hosted by MusicOntario's Brian Hetherman on Wednesday afternoon (we loved the fact that it was free and open to all artists) the beehive that is the Sheraton lobby bar certainly started buzzing. Bruce Eaton and his team from TicketFly were out in full force drumming up new business while the U.K.'s Ema Nosuruk from "Bite The Apple Management" dished out "Smooth + Turrell" CD's as she tried to get the industry out to see the Northern Soul band this Friday and Saturday night. Rockers and writers Bob Segarini held court in the corner along with photojournalist Pat Blythe. Rob Braide was helping out Ottawa-based band Lemon Cash and convincing folks to attend their showcase later that evening. Carleton Music Bar owner Mike Campbell was seen with old MuchMusic, now World Vision, pal Craig Halket. The west coast was well represented by radio tracker Oscar Furtado and publisher Patrick Zulinov. The Geoff Triomanaged band The Lazys, visiting Canada from Australia, were back where it all started from them three years ago when they first played CMW and picked up their recording deal and agent Ralph James. Mark Kates from Fenway Recordings is excited to showcase his latest management signing White Lung Friday night at The Velvet Underground. The major baseball fan was also excited to see his first game at the Rogers Centre and saw the Blue Jays win another nail biter. Musician and Record Mob co-founder Jay Sparrow was back in Toronto and busily showing off the impressive ap. Many folks were heading across the street from what we hear was a very interesting tour of the Google Play offices.
Once again the clubs were packed and we got a chance to see the aforementioned Lemon Cash who reminded us of a hybrid of Matchbox 20, Third Eye Blind and Our Lady Peace. I guess after all these years Rob Braide might now a thing or two about a hit single.
The big action was over at The Velvet Underground as the power players were out in force. Sony Prez Shane Carter assembled his troops to watch Romes who just inked a deal with Allen Kovac's Eleven Seven Music (Allen was in attendance as was the band's manager Ryan Gentles - who also manages The Strokes). Also spotted was Glassnote founder Daniel Glass along with his Canadian label manager Ryan Shepard. There seemed to be quite a bit of interest in the artist Blajk who also performed. Sony Montreal's Stephane Drolet was club hopping catching band at The Cadillac, The Velvet and The Bovine.
The lobby bar was pretty quiet on Tuesday as many of the delegates won't be arriving until today. The ever-amiable Mark Smith was spotted early in the day as well as Indie Week's Darryl Hurs and Royalty Records' Kathryn Hummel. Conference Director Greg Simpson was getting everything prepped for the dozen of presentations, panels and sessions which will start in earnest today.
The lobby may not have been busy but the venues were doing strong business. The Central was busy for Jakarta's lightcraft and Portugal-Canadian rockers Menage. Prism Prize founder Louis Calabro hosted a "Toronto Plays Itself" party down at The Garrison which included a great beats-enhanced performance from Maylee Todd. The Phoenix Concert Theatre was at capacity for the Boots and Hearts KX Country "Hot Shots" showcase which featured performances from Kansas Stone, Dani Strong, The James Barker Band, Eric Ethridge, Meghan Patrick and Blackjack Billy. Cherry Colas (who will be celebrating their 6th Anniversary this Saturday) was packed for a wacky show from American "puppet" rockers Green Jelly. To see over a dozen costumed volunteers moshing in the pit was quite a sight.
With the weather finally starting to come around it looks like the rooftop Tiki Bar at The Bovine will be a late night/early morning hangout as witnessed last night. Festival bookers John Kastner and Cameron Wright were working the roof glad handing with an assortment of bands who had performed CMW shows earlier in the evening.