Peter Picks the Local Music YOU Need to Hear

In a recent interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Robert Plant was very frank about a number of things, including the possibility of writing his memoirs (nope) and the possibility of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour (not happening). When it was asked, he used the latter question to segue into something which I believe very strongly. “It shows you that people have nothing else to write about, obviously. And that’s kind of sad. All these magazines and internet platforms should be supporting new music and helping new musicians to find an audience, instead of dwelling on the old crap all the time. It’s like there is nothing new and exciting out there any more, when in fact there is. So stop living in the past. Open your ears and your eyes. It’s not that difficult, is it?” (The full interview can be read here.)

Now that’s not to say that I believe in erasing history. We drink every day from wells we didn’t dig. Nor am I denigrating classic cover bands, by the way. Covers are a staple for most bands, allowing them the opportunity to get out and play and earn some money to enable them to work on their original material. And of course, a song has the ability to carry you back to a specific point in time. However, if we stay stuck in the past, we miss an awful lot. “Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.” There is always great music being created and performed under our very noses. As I have previously mentioned, there are a number of different platforms and funding resources available to assist musicians to get their music out to their audience.

There is a steadily growing flow of great bands in your local music scene, with very few exceptions. (Now watch someone email me a video of a North Korean death metal band!) Here are videos from just a few of the bands with whom whose work I have become acquainted in the last 4 1/2 years.

Blackdog Ballroom – Elusive

Ivory Hours – Dreamworld

Secret Broadcast- More Than Friends

Mushy Callahan – Deep Meadow

Fat Mob –  Coral

Social Strife -Misunderstood

My question is “Why doesn’t this great music get more exposure?” The only differences between this and what you hear at a Big Box Venue are a) the size of the sound equipment and b) the price of admission. Thankfully local stations like 94.9 “The Rock” and Indie 88 in the Greater Toronto Area are promoting this genre quite well, but there’s so much more that could be done.

“So Peter, what can I do?” Well, I’m glad you asked that question. In my case, inter alia, I put up something which I call “indiesessions” every week or so on my timeline, which features 5 or 6 indie band videos. I also share indie band info on my timeline, and get out to every indie show I can. I encourage others to do the same. And when you do go, try to get there early. Sometimes the opening act blows the roof off the place! If we pay the cover, buy the merch and buy drinks, everybody wins, the bands, the fans, the promoters and the venue owners. Take a friend with you, for Christ’s sake! Talk to the bands during the break. Post about it on Facebook. Share the music of these hardworking musicians. (You want hardworking? “The Hazytones” are going on tour in January/February 2018. They’re touring from Boston to Mexico and back again. 43 shows in 46 days. Hardworking.)


Check out this great music on the internet. All of us here at “Don’t Believe A Word I Say” (<shameless plug) do our best to promote it, Frank Gutch Jr and Pat Blythe doing particularly thorough jobs in this regard. For example, Frank’s column this week makes me want to block out an hour from my day, sit with a glass of single malt scotch and savour, just savour.

The phrase “embarrassment of riches” comes to mind when talking about the indie music scene. I regret not being able to get out to all the shows I could see, so often I find that I’m faced with an “either or” situation, as it was when I wrote this column. I didn’t have enough bandwidth room for all the bands I wanted to show here, so if you want to see examples of the handiwork of “Second Pass”, “The Reed Effect”, “Last Bullet”, “James Blonde”, “Unidentified Funk Object”, “Vajra”, “The Anti-Queens”, ” Jim Dan Dee”, ” Black Absinthe”, “Crown Lands”, and so many more, “Google’ is your friend. Facebook is a great tool as well, letting you “like” and “follow” these bands to see what they are up to. Contact the venues, check out the “entertainment” section of the newspaper. If half the people who sit and watch “Tiny Talent Time  for grownups”* (Not the actual name of the show. Changed on the orders of our legal department😉 ) got off the couch and went to a venue, that would be not only great, but beneficial to the local music scene. We would all win.

There is a lot of great contemporary music out there. Give it a listen, you may be pleasantly surprised.

See you soon.


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