GWNtertainment #24 by Jaimie Vernon

The music world is slowly opening like a timid flower after a torrential rain. Venues are establishing boundaries in a minefield of deciding whether they can work at full capacity or not based on city post-COVID guidelines. The monster shed tours are also gassed up and ready to go. Now they just need audiences. Audiences who are now being asked to pay $200 to $1400 for tickets. The house burnt down and instead of having a fire sale, the landlords are asking the public to rebuild the barn. But live music is crack to some fans and many are willing to pay ridiculously inflated admission prices for the chance to what exactly? To see their rock and roll superheroes one last time before they retire/die/suck?

The consumer has the power to stop this. It’s happened before. When you saw artists cancel tours in the past it’s because of low ticket sales. The power is now yours to do the same. But we’re seeing sold out venues only days after tickets go on sale. We’re so desperate to get back to normal, to get out of the house, to get down and boogie that we’ve lost our sense of perspective. We’re also creating a massive divide between the haves and the have-nots. Once again, capitalism and consumerism is the dividing line between experiential living or not. This is also what happens when a younger generation abandons materialism and save their money for nothing but experiences. They will always get what they want first. They have nothing to lose. How do we combat this, folks? There’s a good chance you’ll never be able to see your favourite artist ever again without winning a lottery. Maybe the answer is to cultivate a new music scene from rising artists who haven’t crawled up their own asses yet and to feed off their fan base. Time for a shift in music culture. One that doesn’t pit fans against each other with credit cards.

* The 44th Kennedy Center Honorees have been announced! Justino Díaz, Berry Gordy, Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler and Canadian Joni Mitchell are this year’s chosen artists for the Kennedy Center Honors.

The Niz

* For the first time since its exclusive limited-run vinyl release, 54•40 alum Neil Osborne’s creative alter-ego persona Niz Wiz’s single “God Do Me A Solid” is available for streaming.

* The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) has inducted rock legend Kim Mitchell for more than 45 years of songs with both Max Webster and as a solo artist. Meanwhile, Mitchell’s new single was released last week entitled “Best I Never Had.”

* Canadian music composer Mychael Danna has received the Life Time Achievement Award from the Zurich Film Festival for his work on the film ‘Life of Pi.

* Canadian All-Star group Everyday Lemonade pay tribute to an unlikely hero in this unlikely time with “You’re As Good As Anyone (Jordan’s Song).” It all started with a 38-year-old autistic gentleman named Jordan Power in the Spring of 2020. Power’s mother Doris fell ill, and though she was hospitalized, she made a full recovery thanks to the incredible healthcare workers who responded to her needs. With his mom on the mend, Power’s wish was to supply lunch to the hospital workers to thank them. Donnie Blais, owner of Toronto’s Rancho Relaxo restaurant and food truck, helped out in feeding 400 healthcare workers in one day (Jordan’s birthday). Without being able to hug the workers to thank them personally due to COVID, Powers wasn’t sure the meal alone was big enough thanks. Enter: Everyday Lemonade. Moved by Power’s selfless act, Toronto songwriter Pat Kelly, along with co-writers Dale Harrison (drums: Headstones/Alannah Myles) and Stan Miczek (bass: The Guess Who, Kiiller Dwarfs) created “You’re as Good as Anyone (Jordan’s Song).” Next was record producer Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix) who came on board to produce the track along with the additional musical input of Michael Hund (guitar), Des Leahy (slide guitar) John Jamieson (piano/keyboards) and Kelly (background vocals, percussion).

* The David Barrett Trio has a new album entitled ‘Broadcaster.’ Check out the title track.

* Ornate is from Dundas, Ontario and their first ever release is the song “Never Break Me Down.” The remix features Cesar Rezer.

* Suzanne Carlson‘s new one is “Till The Well Runs Dry.” The song nd video follows the story of Carlson’s Acadian ancestors in Eastern Canada.

* Canadian pop singer/songwriter Gabriella Verdugo has released her new single “Finish Strong” which was produced by Grammy-nominated and multi-award winning producer Roy Hamilton III. “‘Finish Strong’ was written during a low point in my life,” Verdugo shares. “I felt alone, scared, and confused. During that time, music is what helped me through it. Listening to different artists and their songs touched me, in a way, and helped me to not feel alone…I wrote (the song) in the hope that it would help to uplift others — give them hope, give them a sense of support, and give them a sense of belonging, so they wouldn’t feel alone.”

* Steel Bridges have a new album out called ‘Under The Rug.’ Lead-off track is “Left Behind.”

* Hot on the heels of their 2020 WHO Vaccine benefit album ‘Quarantined,’ Real Sickies are back with ‘Love Is For Lovers’ featuring 14 new songs. Check out the great video for the title track.

* Vancouver’s Graham Brown Band has released the first single from their album ‘Spirit and Soul’ entitled “Haunted.”

* Montreal-born, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter folk-pop and roots artist Adrienne Nye has a new harmony-driven song, “Lonely Days.” “This song was written as an anthem to all bi-national couples separated by border closures,” Nye explains.“Being separated for a long time from someone you love can be gut wrenching and heartbreaking. It impacts everything from our mental health to our support network to our general sense of wellbeing. It leaves us longing for connection and feeling the deep sting of isolation and separation. My heart goes out to everyone trying to get to someone they love and just can’t. It is my hope that this song brings us together to relate to each other’s struggles and find strength in our collective pandemic stories of love, loss and uncertainty. Together or apart, love is essential.”

* House DJ/Producer Static. has a new mix of “Principium.”

* Adam Willey‘s newest track is “The Pursuit of Adventure.”

* London, Ontario artist Cascadian‘s first single “Gratification” is out.

Sammy Jackson

* Fresh off the sweet success of her first time win for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year at the 2021 JUNO Awards, St. Catharines, Ontario Jazz-Pop R & B singer-songwriter Sammy Jackson gives us the new single, “What Is There To Say?” “(The song) is about a relationship ending and not knowing what the future holds,” Jackson notes. “The lyrics illustrate a feeling of sadness and regret while the harmonic progression conveys a feeling of hope and a new beginning.”

* Vancouver artist Kele Fleming‘s next single is “Me Oh My.”

* Canadian singer-songwriter Michelle Creber is cruising into summer with a fresh pop jam radiating some seriously sunny, positive vibes entitled “Feels Like Summer.” COVID and its related isolation didn’t just inspire the song; it also influenced how the song was created with the writing team. “The process was extra challenging because everything had to be done remotely,” Creber says, adding that she engineered all her own vocals in her newly created home studio. The song is co-write between Creber, Christopher Ward (writer of the smash hit, “Black Velvet”), Luke McMaster, and Arun Chatervelli.

* Colin Linden‘s new album ‘bLOW’ is due September 17. He has released a sneak peek of the title track.

* “Parade” is the newest single taken from Lydia Ainsworth‘s new album ‘Sparkles & Debris.’

* After several sneak singles earlier this year, Valyear‘s ‘Revolution Fear’ is finally out on streaming platforms.

*Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Holly Rose has a new track called “Lucent In Obscurity.”

* Toronto songwriter and recording artist Lee Mack has a new song called “Heartfelt” featuring Chris Lopresti.

* At her most vulnerable and raw, Toronto-based self-described ‘sad-girl’ pop artist ANLIL has released a new R & B-infused track entitled “Phantom.” “The intention behind writing “Phantom” was being as vulnerable as possible,” ANLIL explains. “I had just closed a chapter of hardships in my life, and struggling to keep steady; to see eye-to-eye and tolerate those closest to me. I didn’t have any intent for what I was about to create.”

* Our last issue featured the newest single “Be My Baby” by Marx. His new EP has been released entitled ‘Blacked Out.‘ Here’s the title track.\

* Following on the heels of their recently released debut LP, ‘Little Dreams’, Canadian folk rock duo Robinson Kirby [Luke Robinson and Madelyn Kirby] serve up a feel-good track for the season entitled “Summer of Love.” Their fifth single, the release is accompanied by a simple, yet aesthetically pleasing lyric video which sees the Toronto-based band singing and jamming together by some rocks at the shore of Lake Ontario.

* Aquila, whose early influence comes from melodeath metal are from Hamilton and Kitchener, Ontario. The band includes Matt McGuire, Anthony Rimac, Mark Arruda, and Colin Wakil. Their new track is “The Plague of Galen.”  The vocal video is intense.

* Moist is set to release their new album ‘End Of The Ocean’ on October 1st. The lead-off single is “Put The Devil On It.”

* The Foole has a remix of his November 2020 track “Don’t Call It Love.”

* Mississauga singer/drummer Mark Kelso is back with another stellar cover. This time he does a video for Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”  The song features guest singers Eliana Cuevas from Venezuela and Waleed Abdulhamid from Sudan.

* Toronto’s Alex Jager Band does a take on Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman” (that’s right, it wasn’t written by Santana). Featuring Charles Burner (guitar, vocals), Alex Jager (bass), and Jacob Fly (drums).

* Alison Solo gives us Stone Temple Pilot’s “Sour Girl”

This issue was brought to you by Patio Interns – Kim Mitchell’s favourite summer helpers. Send us your news, views, and all manner of CANADIAN musical releases to promote and wave a flag for. Join the GWN Facebook page and drop us a message:

Keep up the fight!
Jaimie Vernon, 2021


Jaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 41 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 24 years. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon.

One Response to “GWNtertainment #24 by Jaimie Vernon”

  1. […] ‘Me Oh My’ in Bob Segarini’s blog. […]

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