Nadia Elkharadly: Indie Week 2012 – That’s a wrap

It’s been a lazy Monday for me today as I recover from yet another multi-day music festival in Toronto.  This Sunday night (or Monday morning if you want to get technical) marked the end of Indie Week 2012.  It’s only the second Indie Week that I’ve attended and taken part in, but it’s rapidly becoming my favourite music festival in our fair city.

If you haven’t heard of Indie Week, you probably haven’t been walking around downtown Toronto with your eyes open; the intrepid indie week volunteer team has been diligently postering the city for weeks leading up to the launch party.

Indie week (Canada) raison d’etre is to bring independent musical acts into the forefront of Toronto’s bustling music scene.  Bands from all over Canada, the U.S. and the world got the chance to grace the stages of some of our fair city’s most renowned musical venues; The Horseshoe Tavern, the Bovine Sex Club, the El Mocambo, and Cherry Cola’s Rock and Rolla Cabaret to name just a few.  Indie Week events were not just relegated to night time shenanigans; artists who were so inclined got the chance to attend informational panels by day, where they learned from and network with industry big wigs and experts, all coming together to share their knowledge and help up and coming artists achieve success.  This year’s most notable panelists include DJ LD onthecut (Sublime With Rome), Rose Slanic (Eleven Seven Music), and Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) – beyond cool.

The entire point of the week, besides checking out new bands and old favourites, is that the entire festival revolves around a competition.  Every night of the fest, bands and artists played in exclusive showcases, vying for the grand prize: a trip to Ireland to headline Indie Week Canada’s sister festival: Indie Week Ireland.  Music industry experts, big wigs and those aspiring to be either (like yours truly) judge these showcases, providing valuable feedback to bands, as well as pushing them towards the finals that took place last night at Tattoo Rock Parlour.  And like back in my teen days at the El Mocambo, I watched the ‘Best of the Fest’ play in an old fashioned battle of the bands as I crossed my fingers and hoped and played fervently for my faves to win that coveted top prize.

For the second year in a row the powers that be at Indie Week saw fit to have me judge a few showcases, and for the second year in a row, I really enjoyed it.  I’ve been guilty of sticking to my old favourites at past music festivals and only checking out new band here and there.  But when you’re assigned your bands to judge, they have to be bands that are new to you; you can’t be biased one way or another.  So as a result, I checked out more than ten new bands in 3 days.  Some were just ok, some…not so great and some that were completely awesome.  The Maladies of Adam Stokes put a huge smile on my face with their east coast kitchen party soul, incredible musicianship and lighthearted feel.  They made the dark and sensual den that is Cherry Cola feel like the warm and cozy Dakota Tavern from the moment they played their first note.

Nashville’s Kink Ador wow’ed me so much with their glam rock style and sound that I couldn’t stop raving about them to anyone and everyone who would listen, as well as the band themselves – three of the nicest and coolest people I’ve met lately.  I sincerely hope they come back to Toronto soon so I can make everyone I know love them and their music as much as I did.  And the Bright Road from Montreal put me completely out of my rainy night funk with their ambient shoegazey pop music and incredibly sweet and humble attitude.  If it wasn’t for the careful planning of the good folks of Indie Week, I would never have encountered any of these bands, or met these very talented and wonderful people.

And I have to give an honourable mention to one of my local favourites  Even though I didn’t judge their showcase, I was incredibly pleased to seethem in the finals; their passionate performance was one of the best of the night, giving me goose bumps like they always do.  Despite the fact that none of my personal picks took home the big prize, I know their talent will carry them into a bright and promising musical future.

I had a fantastic time at Indie Week 2012.  I caught some amazing music, hung out with old friends and made some wonderful new ones; and partied like a rock star WITH actual rock stars – the best part of any music festival.  Congratulations to Darryl Hurs, Sarah Riches and all the other masterminds behind Indie Week, and to the amazing volunteers, judges and of course the very talented musicians that made it all happen this year.  I can’t wait to see what next year, and every year after brings to this ever growing festival, and |I hope to be a part of it for many years to come.  Stay tuned for photos and reviews of the bands I managed to catch this past week at the Toronto Live Music Examiner…whenever I’ve recovered enough to put them up.

Until next time,



Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

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Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

2 Responses to “Nadia Elkharadly: Indie Week 2012 – That’s a wrap”

  1. You forgot to mention that people can download Kink Ador’s three-sided single for FREE at Just sayin’. And, boy, am I envious!

  2. i DID forget to mention that (because I can’t find the card the lovely Sharon gave me). thanks Frank!

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