Cameron Carpenter – 10 CC
It is getting to be that time of year when the conventions and music conventions begin. SXSW kicks off next week, The Junos are in Calgary at the end of this month followed by Canadian Music Week in May, the newly re-vamped NXNE in June and Indie Week Manchester in October and Indie Week Canada in November. There is a lot to see and do in Toronto as well. Here are ten things on my mind.
- Cadence Music Group
On Tuesday night the Canadian music industry was introduced to the Cadence Music Group, the new moniker for Maple Music. Actually, it is a lot more than a new name and it seems like CEO Iain Taylor has instilled a new attitude in the team. Iain and I have a bit of history. He was part of the sales team at MCA Records (now Universal), while I was in marketing and A&R. When he moved over to the film world, we kept in contact, and, he managed to score me the Canadian premiere of “B.B. King – The Life of Riley” back in 2014 for NXNE Film. Actually I have history with a lot of the players in the various companies that comprise the Cadence Music Group. Fontana North head Tony Tarleton also worked with Iain and I at MCA and recently he signed Indie Week Europe winners Victoria & Jean to a distribution deal in Canada after seeing them at The Mod Club during the Indie Week finals last October. His A&R guy Andy Hawke worked with UR Artist Network when we all shared the old “bunkhouse” on O’Connor along with the likes of Greig Nori, Brian Hetherman, Mike Denny, Darren Pfeiffer, Brian Huston and Todd Arkell. Bellwoods, who Todd and I manage, are signed to Neighbourhood who are part of Open Road, a big part of Cadence. Kim Cooke’s excellent label Phermone is part of the family and Jeff Nedza runs the Fan Experience division. A great collection of talent sits on both sides of the desk at my old 2450 Victoria Park offices.
The party was held at the newly renovated Velvet Underground and the club is looking good. The front facing is fantastic and the ceiling has been raised a bit and the club breathes a lot better. It was nice to see the old school out in attendance and laughs and perhaps a beer or two were shared with the likes of Gary Slaight, Jeff Craib, Ralph James, Randy Lennox, Yvonne Matsell, Neill Dixon, Rudy Blair, Karen Bliss, Robyn Bear, Jeff Leake, Mike Greggs and many, many more. It was also nice to see our mayor John Tory in attendance. I have seen John at many music and film industry events and it nice to have him out there supporting the arts.
- Music Made Me
This Friday night I will be the first guest DJ at The Old Laurel’s (College & Spadina – where Rancho was) new series “Music Made Me”. I start spinning at 10 PM and you can expect everything from Northern Soul to glam to punk to new wave and everything in-between. In a galaxy far far away I used to spin records back at the old Nuts & Bolts and occasionally I would spin a tune at the Tattoo Rock Parlour between band sets. My “residency” at the now-gone Kensington Lodge was more of an intimate iPod-by-the-bar experience, but this will be a bit of a different vibe and I am really looking forward to it. I will be on the main pub floor while bands rock away upstairs. If you have not seen the new club, drop on by for a bite and a listen.
- I Mother Earth
Lots of chatter from the I Mother Earth camp this week as Edwin will be re-joining the band to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their album “Scenery and Fish”. It has been close to twenty years since he last sang with the band. I remember when the group was the focus of a huge North American bidding war and their Opera House showcase was littered with U.S. A&R folks clamoring over the lads and their manager Bob Luhtala. They ultimately signed a pretty massive deal with EMI/Capitol. Brian Bryne, who has been singing with the band, recently auditioned to become the new lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots. Brian is currently a disc jockey on Live 105 in Halifax. Best of luck to all involved.
- Music Therapy – A Benefit Hosted by Fred Penner
My pal Scott Rondeau has put together a great show for a great cause on March 11th. Fred Penner will welcome musical friends Justin Rutledge, Matthew Barber, Peter Katz, Emma-Lee, Tomi Swick, Bellwoods and other surprise guests, to the Berkeley Church for a night of songs which will benefit Music Therapy. If any of you ever went to Weaselpalooza, Music Therapy was who we were benefitting. Fred is become quite the celeb in the new music scene. This one will be a lot of fun.
- Lights Out
On Saturday March 19th at 8:30 PM over 100 bars across Canada will turn out the lights for Earth Hour and entertain their patrons with an hour of totally acoustic music. Mill Street will be donating some of the profits of every pint sold and the monies will go to Earth Hour initiatives. So far they have raised over $300,000.00 for Lights Out. There is a kick-off party this Saturday night at The Rivoli in Toronto which will feature performances from Sigrun Stella, Joshua David, Logan Brown and Angela Saini. If you would like to be on the guest list drop me a line.
- The Brit Awards
This tribute to David Bowie was a lot more to my liking. Lorde, along with former Bowie band members Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Sterling Campbell, Gail Ann Dorsey, Gerry Leonard and Catherine Russell, nailed a medley and then a beautiful version of “Life on Mars”.
- Nadine Gelineau
Nadine, Cam, and Tool
On the first day I joined the staff of BMG Records two lovely marketing managers asked me if I had plans for lunch. I knew quite a few of the people who worked there but I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting Nadine Gelineau and Rebecca Black. I took them up on their offer and we headed over to O’Boy for burgers. As my department would be responsible for publicizing their artists they wanted to know my musical tastes. More importantly they wanted to know if I was a member of the boys club. Hopefully I proved I wasn’t.
Nadine is very ill right now. Her friends around the world are rallying behind her and a fund has been set up to help her out: www.gofundme.com/nadineg. I will always remember that lunch, martinis and manicures at The Beauty Bar in New York, sushi in Montreal and our gold record presentation to Tool. She is one of a kind.
- Bullseye Records
Congrats to fellow DBAWIS’er Jaimie Vernon on the resurgence of Bullseye and the new distribution deal. It’s good news that some amazing music will once again be available to the public. The new distributor is Conveyor Records run by the very capable and astute Peter Piasecki.
Rusty, one of Canada’s most over-looked rock bands, are back together and under the management of John Kastner, and will be performing at The Horseshoe on Friday March 11th. I have known some of these guys since their One Free Fall days. I imagine they will be on late enough for you to catch them after the Fred Penner & friends gig.
- Elvis Costello
I am currently reading “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink” the autobiography by Elvis Costello. Really enjoying it.
Cam’s column appears every Thursday.
Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59, Instagram @Cambo1959 and Spotify @Cambo59
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Cameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener, The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.