Segarini recaps CMW2015…and an Exclusive Video Interview with Rival Sons

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I’ve known Rival Sons for 5 years now, and I need to thank Glenn Hughes and Cherish Stevenson again for the opportunity to watch a band from Long Beach California journey from the harbinger of great music and artists to come, to a rebirth of the rock we all love, and some of the most kickass pure rock that has ever fueled an all-night party. So…thank you.

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Recovery….

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Canadian Music Week has been over for 6 days and my liver has finally spoken to me for the first time since the last 4am Coors Banquet Beer and Jack and Coke at Cherry Cola’s last Saturday night.

Spirit-of-Yorkville-2015-Poster-WEBI feel almost human…which is a good thing, because the 2 day Spirit of Yorkville reunion starts tonight and in just under 3 weeks, NXNE screeches into town like a herd of Mad Max vehicles full of 4 year olds on a sugar high.

Toronto never sleeps when it comes to music. The City Fathers are all media-talk-y about making this hamlet a “Music City” (Austin envy, but seriously…) destination, even though it already is just that.

There isn’t an artist or band who doesn’t love playing here, and there is a music venue to accommodate all of them, from the newest, just starting out, sleep-in-the-van freshmen, to the I-own-an-island Mega-Super-Stars that arrive here over a Rainbow Bridge in Golden Chariots drawn by 12 perfectly groomed Unicorns.

There is somewhere for everyone.

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Me, I’m an early adapter….

I like to catch bands on their way up. When the energy, excitement, and passion are in full flower. Before it becomes a still enjoyable, but been-there-done-that job. Rare are the touring bands that keep the passion, love, and energy honestly high and fresh. You will know them when you see them.

cherrycolas_logo1Cherry Cola’s is my favourite venue for keeping an eye (and ear) open for new and promising artists. There’s also the Horseshoe, Bovine, Dakota, and scores of others, whose bookers and owners have their ears to the ground and hear the first rumblings of excitement regarding something fresh, and immediately arrange a date so we here in the City That Needs to Nap get an early peek at what is coming down the pike.

Toronto has been like that since at least the ’50s, and maybe even before. If that isn’t a “music city”, I’ll follow the Unicorns when they’re here with a pooper-scooper and a bucket. (I hear they shit gold and diamonds…at least, that’s what Jay Z and Kanye said).

Cherry Cola’s is where I start my sojourns and end my evenings when I venture forth into the night to listen to live music. It is in this wonderfully warm and welcoming space that I have seen more bands with a future than I’ve seen anywhere else. From the aforementioned Rival Sons (more on them later) to on-the-way-up outfits like Xprime, Courage My Love,  Joy Arson, Secret Broadcast, and so many others. I am rarely disappointed when I’m there, sitting on my preferred barstool at the far end of the bar, being well taken care of by Sean (an artist in his own right who makes listen-worthy music) or Cherish behind the well-stocked bar. Even attending a Battle of the Bands event there last week resulted in 2 very young bands I am now keeping an eye on. Funny how much great music you discover if you leave your house and turn off your phone.

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Sean’s band Day 2 Deja Vu (Sean’s in da Middle)

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By now you have read Cam, Roxanne, and Pat’s CMW coverage, and have a pretty good spectrum of viewpoints from these articulate music lovers. From the excitement of Pat’s first CMW experience, through Roxanne’s view through an artist’s eyes, to Cam’s inside familiarity with the music business and the people who captain it and the musicians who inhabit it, so this is just my personal relationship with this year’s spectacle, short, sweet, and mainly consisting of what I remember off the top of my head.

It’s the stuff that sticks with you that defines an experience.

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Bob’s CMW2015 Scrapbook

May 1st….

wristband

Picked up my CMW Media Wristband. No Lanyard, no laminate, no waiting in line. The Sheraton Centre is a beautiful complex, and the CMW staff were pleasant, helpful, and expedient. The wristband was kind of a let down. I miss the lanyard and laminate…but that’s just me.

Went home. Exercised my liver. Drank a lot of water. Napped.

coorsMay 2nd, 3rd, and 4th….

Exercised my liver. Drank lots of water. Napped.

May 5th….

Cherry Cola’s. Drank Coors Banquet Beer, a shot of Woodford Reserve, a Jack and Coke. Chatted with old friends, met some new friends, one more Coors, and onto the Queen Street streetcar, the University Line subway, the Sheppard Avenue West Bus, and home. Macaroni salad (made from scratch by yours truly, and a Bulliet and diet Coke. Bed.

May 6th….

Secret Broadcast at the Drake Underground. A lovely venue in a lovelier Hotel. Ex-DBAWISer Nadia Elkharadly and her Posse, My friend Peter, and my Significant Other (hereafter referred to as the “GF” which stands for Girl Friend), all in attendance. She watches me like a hawk so I don’t step off the curb into the path of a bus or have too much fun, lest I break my Fun Meter. She also makes sure I dress better than my usual “homeless” look, which protects me from actual homeless people. She is the biggest reason I don’t go out wearing my robe and slippers….

homeless bob

Secret Broadcast, as always, killed the room, started their set with the big hit and spiralled upward from there. These guys have the power, energy, and passion, and damn good songs. Also the World’s Tallest Drummer, which is cool, because you can see him, even sitting down. I see big things for them. Awesome team behind them (Nathan Quinn and eOne), and desire to spare. Catch them in a club if you can. They were just back from touring with Die Mannequin.

After Secret Broadcast, we drove to The Phoenix to catch the Unison Jam, a HUGE fundraiser with a cast of thousands, including Finger Eleven, I Mother Earth, Kim Mitchell, The Trews, Kardinal Offishall, K-OS, Jason McCoy, and Tom Wilson…and MORE.

unison jam

It was like an old Dick Clark Caravan of Stars road show. A song or two and on to the next artist. Hosted by The Hammer’s resident Cool, Tom Wilson, (Someday there will be a statue of Kelly J of Crowbar fame, Richard “King Biscuit Boy” Newell, Frankie Venom, and Tom Wilson erected in Hamilton as a tribute and pigeon park because they “Built This City” on rock and roll), this promised to be a highlight of my week…and it would have been…but…this….

Adult Onset Type Two Diabetes….

Low blood sugar can happen when you skip a meal. It can also happen if your pancreas releases more insulin than it should after you’ve eaten.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough, or your body can’t use it properly. To keep blood sugar levels from rising too much (hyperglycemia), you need the right amount of insulin. With insufficient insulin, your blood sugar levels rise. Too much, and your blood sugar levels can plummet.

Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially on an empty stomach. This can interfere with the liver’s ability to release stored glucose into your bloodstream.

The_Phoenix,_Toronto

We walk into the Phoenix but 5 steps into the concert venue, I get the most common symptoms of a Low Blood Sugar spiral; clammy, faint, weak, unsteady, and the cold sweats. Instantaneously this happens, just as we walk into the sold out room. I immediately start looking for a place to lean against and, working our way through the sardine stuffed crowd, find a place directly ahead about 20 feet in front of me. I make out a sign.

Fish Tacos.

That will have to do.

My girlfriend, a woman who will no longer go into my kitchen because she saw a bug there, goes into total panic mode while I bark out “Fish taco!” to the poor guy (thanks, Trent) behind the counter I am collapsing against. He sees my plight and figures out I actually NEED some fish taco NOW.

levelImedicWhile he is scurrying about building said tacos, the GF spots an EMS and yells “WE NEED AN AMBULANCE!” over the din being created by Finger 11 onstage.

“NO!” I yell, mustering up every ounce of strength left in my wilting body, “WE NEED CHOCOLATE!”

By now the EMS, a lovely woman with deep concern etched on her face is standing next to me, “Chocolate?”, she says quizzically. “Yes. Chocolate”, I answer, while another EMS lady joins us, “Candy bar, ice cream, anything. Type 2 diabetes, low blood sugar, going to pass out!”, I manage to spit out, fearing I am going to face plant in my newly arrived fish tacos (3 to a serving for 10 bucks, and from Rancho Relaxo, so…excellent).

“Candy Bar? Seriously?”, says the newly arrived lady, a smile starting to draw itself across her face.

“I normally carry an emergency Mars Bar or 3 Musketeers (this gets a laugh…”emergency candy bar”…stat!) but I forgot to bring one tonight.”

mars bar

One of the Emergency Medical Angels disappears like the Enterprise going into warp drive. I am stuffing most of the fish tacos into my craw, the bits I am missing with my mouth land in my moustache and beard, a snack for later. The GF wisely hands me a real Coke…not diet. I swallow it whole. GF applies a napkin to me like wiping birthday cake off a 2 year olds face.

RIESEN-PACKAGEThe Enterprise-quick EMS lady returns with a bag of Reisens. I grabbed 4 of them out of the bag, I unwrapped and crammed 2 of them in my mouth and pocketed the other 2. The lingering taste of fish tacos evaporated with the onslaught of the richest tasting chocolate coating ever, and then a caramel centre that emerged from the heart of the little, literal, life savers. I’m sure a beatific smile came over my face while a beam of pure white light shone through the roof and ceiling of the Phoenix and halo-ed around my face.

10 minutes later the GF and I are out on the non-smoking smoking patio and I am feeling human once again, but the shine on the night has dissipated. We saw Tom and a bit of the Trews, but it was time to go.

Cherry’s for a quick night cap, home, slap and tickle, pass out.

I now count Reisens as my go-to emergency chocolate. Thank you EMS Ladies…and the Phoenix for the fish taco stand and having those Medical Angels in your venue.

May 7th….

Fran’s, Family, and the Highlight of my Week….

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Rival Sons on stage at Cherry Cola’s 2010

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Rival Sons in Paris 2014

Thanks to my friendship with Rival Sons and due diligence to their L.A management, tour manager Peter Stahl (a Rock God as well), and the Phoenix, my daughter, GF, videographer Michael Tomasek, photographer Bobby Singh, and myself, arrive at the Phoenix just after 5 pm to hang with the Sons, hear them warm up, and do a short interview after they finish their soundcheck. We run into several friends including eOne music’s Nathan Quinn. The interview, scheduled for 6 pm, doesn’t get underway until 7:00….

sons interview

The soundcheck was awesome (you can see a clip of it here) and the interview…well…the interview is self explanatory. Short, sweet, and loaded with jayinformation about this incredible group. I have met and known a lot of great musicians and performers. The Sons are amongst the most down-to-earth, humble, and intelligent of them all. The musicality, spirituality, and humanity in this collective just adds to the magic they create onstage. Not to be missed…ever. The Rival Sons are absolute proof that you have NOT seen all the great bands until you have seen them.

An Exclusive Interview with Rival Sons

Thanks to the Sons, their management, support staff and The Phoenix for allowing us to share this with you.

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After the interview, Bobby Singh, my daughter Amy, and the GF and I decided to hit Fran’s on College for dinner and while away the time until the show started at the Phoenix.

frans

Fran’s…a throwback to the day of family diners and American sized portions is nothing if not predictable and reliable. So…armed with appetites and an hour to kill, we tucked into some standard diner fare and enjoyed each others company. I am still full….

A Tip….

Meatloaf gravy will find a way to get on your white shirt. Do not wear a white shirt when you eat anything that is smothered in gravy. No one is careful enough to avoid the gravy. The gravy is shrewd and smarter than you are. No one knows why….

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The Show….

Rival Sons Logo

Really? Seriously, if you weren’t there, you missed it. To be honest, a Rival Sons show is an experience unlike any other. They are the Doctor Who of rock, reminding of the past, clearly in the present, and indicative of the future. There are no precedents. When you add 2 (count ’em, 2) opening acts with futures of their own, you are getting more bang for your buck than paying 100 dollars for twin hookers in schoolgirl outfits. Word!

We missed most of The Damn Truth‘s opening set because A: I am slow, and B: Gravy stains make me self-concious. Even so, I have seen them before and I advise you to keep your eye on this Montreal based band with a wicked girl singer.

damn truth

In the catbird seat were Australia’s Lazys, who, being a hybrid of AC/DC and Spinal Tap are one of the most attention worthy bands of the New Age (The New Age being anything post Grunge/Indie and entertaining as hell. Armed with a pumping rhythm section a well equipped lead singer who knows how to rock, and a lead guitar player who puts the “show” in Show business. These kids rock and rock hard. At one point the lead guitarist mounted the bar to the left of the stage and tossed his mane of hair back and forth in (Taylor) Swift abandonment. Hair, BTW, with the volume and length of a Newfoundland dog…not the dog’s hair…the whole dog. I was thoroughly entertained…and the boy can PLAY.

lazys

However….

The sound quality may suck a bit, but so what…these vids were taken by someone who suffered the crush at the front of the stage so that the less fortunate could experience the show as if they were there. That person is one, brave, son of a bitch….

Rival Sons….

Fuck yeah….

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May 8th….

Pat already spoke volumes about Greg Simpson’s annual dinner at Ranch Relaxo, so I won’t dwell. Nevertheless, another highlight of the week was watching Xprime completely gobsmack Attic Records founders Al Mair and Tom Williams with a cappella versions of Their Hearts Were Full of Spring and Barbara Ann.

xprime tom al

Hoping to talk Al and Tom into releasing some music this year, in a way they haven’t released music before. Wish me luck.

…and once again, thank you Greg Simpson and Donnie Blais. Just. Awesome.

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May 9th….

Missed the eOne Party at the Gibson Showroom because the GF had graciously bought us tickets to the always sold out Song Synch Seminar at the Sheraton Centre. This is a “speed-dating” style tutorial on what you need to do to get your songs into movies, tv shows, and commercials and video games. We spoke with 28 representatives from all over the world and got great info and advice. The highlight? One of the placement guys stating that he is looking for something as good as the theme from the Edison Twins” TV show for a project.

I wrote and performed that theme.

I told him.

He didn’t believe me till I showed him my I.D.

Me for the win….

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Also written about at length was the annual food-fest.musical-dessert wonderfullness of the Tiki Lounge Maritimes Music bash at the Rivoli.

As long as they keep serving those scallops and shucking those oysters, all is well in the world. The music is always first rate, the food top drawer, and company without peer. Always a GREAT time.

oysters

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get ready to hit the Spirit of Yorkville party, so…Rock on, rock out, and rock hard. Seacrest OUT!

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Segarini’s regular column appears here every Friday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonBob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, and continues to write music, make music, and record.

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2 Responses to “Segarini recaps CMW2015…and an Exclusive Video Interview with Rival Sons”

  1. greg simpson Says:

    thank you for the kind words…we could rebrand as the Simpson/Segarini dinner, but we’d have to move it to a banquet hall.

  2. ….and I was standing right beside the guy who shot that video of Electric Man….fantastic concert but my feet are still in recovery….

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