Day Two of Indie Week in Toronto was more than hectic, insider Cameron Carpenter breathlessly reported early this a.m. from The Bond Place Hote. The annual Indie 101 panels filled meeting rooms with the overflow spilling into the hallways and even stair wells that at times took on a pungent smell of semi-legal non tobacco. This wasn't a loaf and laugh convention though. Enthusiams and a thirst for knowledge were evident, as evinced by a demo listening panel that went on for an extra hour--ensuring that every band that submitted a song was heard.
Next door El Mocambo owner and Dragon Denner Michael Wekerle was entertaining as ever, talking about his passion for music and what's in store for the storied rock palace when it finally gets round to re-opening next year.
Doug Elliott of 94.9 The Rock interviewed Mod Club headliners James Black and Rick Jackett from Finger Eleven to a capacity crowd. Joe Chisholm from Indie Can Radio, a staunch supporter of Canadian independent artists, talked to every band who had a story and a song and those clever enough to speak with him will benefit from his stellar podcast and the exposure he gets on Sirius/XM.
From heavy metal and punk at The Coalition to electro and goth at The Nocturne, once again the clubs were packed with wristband wearing music enthusiasts hoping to catch the next big thing. At The Burroughes, host of the opening night party, the first Indie Beer Fest kicked off with craft beer sampling and live artists.
-- Nuryl is a newly launched music immersion program Nuryl that features a customized music app designed to jump-start a baby’s cognitive development during this critical time of heightened brain plasticity. It's the brainchild of classically-trained musician, music producer and former professor, Rick Beato, who created the program when his wife became pregnant with their first child, Dylan. It has gone viral, drawing over 40 million views. Check it out here
--Toronto roots music hub The Dakota Tavern launches its 10th Anniversary Secret Show Series on November 21st with Matt Mays, in a concert that benefits The Alzheimer’s Society and Perth County. The month-long concert series will also feature The Beauties, Flash Lightnin’, Sun K, Beams, The Rattlesnake Choir, and more. Tickets here
-- Call it the coolest investors party around. Eclectic songstress Lily Frost has a vision of boosting, in her words, “a musical retro cocktail culture" in her home base of Toronto. She envisions a series of four themed concerts along these lines, but needs financial backing, to the tune of 20k. Last night she took over the HQ of Aporia Records, the label and publisher she’s signed to, for a showcase designed to woo potential backers. Her 45 minute set delighted the crowd, with tunes ranging through rockabilly, swing, jazz and blues. Her ace band The Kelvinators included local A-list players William Sperandei, Gene Hardy, Ted Hawkins, and Nichol Robertson, and tunes paid homage to such inspirations as Ray Condo and Billie Holiday. Spied digging the scene were publicist Bev Kreller, SOCAN’s Howard Druckman, Teddy Fury, Canadian blues star Sue Foley, and local blues booster Julie Hill. For more information on Frost’s grand mission, go here. If anybody can spearhead a chic retro revival here, our money’s on Frost. (KD)
-- Speaking of Sue Foley, we caught up on her news at the Lily Frost soiree. She’s in town to play Massey Hall on Saturday night as part of the TBS Womens Blues Revue, and she told FYI she last played that event a decade ago. Now based in Charlotte, the Ottawa-raised guitar-slinger informs that she’ll head back to her old stomping grounds of Austin to record soon. She was a key player in the Austin blues scene of the ‘90s based out of Antone’s. That famed club is now being resurrected by new owners, including Gary Clark Jr.