Roxanne Tellier: Indie Week 2015
The big Indie Week finale is tonight at 6 p.m. at the Mod Club, where one of the acts that won their nights at the various venues will become “The Best of the Fest,”and earn the grand prize of a trip to headline the nextIndie Week Canada. Good luck to all the finalists; Ivy James, Uniter,Kendal Thompson,Gold Complex, The Reklaws,BlakDenim,Aaron Pollock Music, The Killing Floor,&Amberwood!
There will also be an awards presentation. The Road To Alberta Award will go to “Face First;” “Alone In North America” forBest Short Film; “Will Currie and the Country French“ takes Best Music Video, and “Forced Perspective” was chosen as Best Feature Film.
If you still haven’t had your fill, there’s an Indie Week afterparty at The Bovine ,witha special performance by The Luka State, followed by Live Band Karaoke from 11:00-4:00 AM,
But I digress … let’s start at the beginning …
Tuesday’s opening night partywas held at The Burroughes, at Bathurst and Queen. Wrong-Way Roxanne naturally landed up at that other Bathurst, the one called Spadina, and had to beat feet up the street, where I connected with our Fearless Leader Bob Segarini and fellow scribe and photographer, Pat Blythe.
Once at the venue, we were greeted by the tiny, perfect Katia Montesano, who made sure that the DBAWIS crew were VIPed and swagged. Kat was everywhere; greeting guests, helping staff, and keeping the night running smoothly. Great job, and thanks Kat!
The evening featured performances from Joni Fuller, Indie Week Europe winners Victoria + Jean, former Canadian Indie Week winners Tiny Danza, (love that name!) and to round out the evening, Mike Joyceof The Smiths was spinning.
The Burroughs is a super venue, large and airy. The Jack Daniels and Mill Street flowed. We cruised the joint, which was jumpin’ with the usual boldface. I was delighted to chat with fellow writer, Nadia Elkharadly; the legend, Richard Flohil; photographer to the stars, Lisa MacIntosh, with some new gear she was itching to try out; The Mike, main man for BlackDog Ballroom; singer/songwriter Andy Griffiths; promo person extraordinaire Diane Foy; and our own Cam Carpenter, who introduced me to Mike Joyce. What a lovely fellow! We had a great chat about music in general, and drumming in particular.
Roxanne and Mike Joyce
Mike said that he’d not played his drums for years, but when his wife asked him if he’d ever drum again, he reluctantly took up the sticks again. He quickly found that the physical exertion and mental exercise of rhythm and tempo revved up his energy, and he played around town (Manchester) for a while with some local lads. He’s having fun doing the deejaying as well, but is looking forward to touring again with a guitarist friend, using loops and sequencing to fill out the sound. And, he said, he’s now driving his wife and everyone else mad, as he’s never without his drum pad and sticks. He’s re-found his musical passion, and he’s loving it.
On Wednesday, I was a judge at the Paddock. As it turned out, one of the judges had bailed. Kat called me just as I was leaving the house, and we quickly conscripted Pat Blythe to fill in. The third judge was the lovely Kate Lexington, an opera singer and general all around font of musical knowledge.
The three of us took our jobs very seriously, as we listened to the competitors, Talking Out Loud,
Tiny Rhymes, Kinetik, Lucky Wildmore and AlannaMatty. Then it was over to Cherry Cola’s Rock n Rolla, with Kate in tow, to join Johnny Brower and Bob, who was parked on his usual seat at the bar. I’ll be honest … I didn’t catch the names of the bands who were rounding out the schedule at Cherry’s that night, but I do remember that they were very good. The crowd certainly loved ‘em.
On Friday, I finally got a chance to visit the Bond Place Hotel, where the body of the Indie 101 conferences were being held. There were panels, a demo listening session and mentorships, hosted by knowledgeable and respected experts.(Mike Joyce was a keynote speaker on the Thursday.) During the week, attendees had the chance to meet delegates from the Focus Wales festival, and promoter Dustypop, amongst others.
I had hoped to see ‘friend of the BobCast’ Eric Alper, who was on the panel discussing Indie Publicity and Social Media, but had to leave before his session. Eric’s the main man when it comes to social media; bookmark his site for all things groovy, at thatericalper.com.
I stopped at the Record Artists Collecting Society (RACS) booth, and chatted with Lee-Anne Wielonda about the service. They are a division of ACTRA, and the society’s job is to make sure that royalties get into the hands of recording artists, in Canada and abroad. They also offer services like insurance, both personal and for your gear, at a decent price.
As Lee-Anne and I talked, Mike Turner (Our Lady Peace, Crash Karma) passed by, and enthusiastically talked about the great job they’ve been doing for him. He’s getting to see the ‘long-tail’ of revenues on albums he recorded ages ago.
I met Marina at the Long &McQuade table, and asked her if I could take her picture for this article. Long story short, the pics I took looked like a two year old had been messing with mum’s camera. Marina gracefully took this shot of me, which turned out to be the only one useable. And this is why we’re all so very grateful for our resident photo-journalist, Pat.
On Saturday. It was off again to Cherry Cola’s to see Cherie Currie. Baby, it was cold outside! Rumour had it that Joan Jett, also in town, opening for The Who, might pop by as well. I realized too late that I was going to be stranded downtown if I waited to see Cherie’s midnight set. So I had to leave Currie-less. Pat Blythe will have pictures later in the week, I’m sure.
Which brings us back to today, and the grand finale. If I can get this column done, and my act in gear, I’ll be joining the DBAWIS crew later today at the Mod Club, for more music to round out the week.
Congratulations on a job well done, Indie Week Canada!
Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday
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Roxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’.