We are now less than a month away from Canadian Music Week–which is weird to say because by now we’d usually be a month beyond CMW. But here in St. John’s we’ve been building towards CMW since October as me and Ian Newton–owner of CBTG’s, a fantastic downtown live venue–have worked to bring as many Newfoundland acts as possible with us to Toronto for this year’s festival.
The idea was hatched when I was still so fresh into St. John’s that I managed to get completely lost even trying to find CBTG’s in the middle of a torrential downpour, eventually showing up late and soaked to the bone for a meeting to discuss future opportunities to work together. After a shot of Jameson (or two), Newt hooked me up with a fresh hoodie and we went to Yellow Belly, where we hatched a plan for an event that would eventually send two bands and two acoustic/solo acts to CMW. The plan was to cover flights, get the artists into the festival, and hopefully provide accommodations.
At the time, I had yet to throw even a regular event in Newfoundland, let alone one of this size. The task was daunting and the risks massive–but we pushed forward and with CMW’s blessing we planned an event spanning 12 weeks and featuring upwards of 70 acts, eventually culminating in a finals weekend to decide the four winning acts.
The result was massive. There were bumps in the road, but the island supported our endeavour with more vigour and passion than we could ever have hoped for. The final weekend’s shows were three of my favourites in which I have ever been involved. In the end it went so well that we were able to bring the four acts who won, and then we were able to help in bringing along another five acts for good measure.
Here are those nine acts, with their links, some information about them, and when you can catch them. I implore you to come out and check out what we have going on in St. John’s–then come visit us or bring your band out to play and see for yourself. We are bringing the Rock to Toronto for CMW and it’s going to be a Rancho CMW party crazier than any other before.
The Beer Patrice “Beastiality”
The Beer Patrice: The Beer Patrice are a band with an insane live show, catchy-as-hell and unorthodox songs, and a gimmick that everyone in St. John’s just eats right up. With their slogan “Who the fuck are The Beer Patrice?” the band has gained some notoriety in town, along with loyal and passionate fans who came out and pushed them right through to Toronto. What you end up with is oddly catchy punk-meets-party-rock costumed mayhem. Thursday May 8th at Rancho Relaxo at 11 PM
Danielle Trouble “All My Friends Are Toes”
DT & the Dinosaurs: Nothing says CBTG’s more than Danielle Trouble and her band DT & the Dinosaurs. DT is the head bartender/bar manager at CBTG’s, where she and her band are always ready and willing to fill in with a deadly set in a pinch. CBTG’s keeps DT so busy sometimes that it’s hard to get enough time for the band, but thankfully we were able to make it work to bring them to CMW. Joining DT will be Adam Blackwood on bass and Jay Miln on drums. The band plays punky sing-along indie rock jams. DT is a indie star in the making, if you ask me, but don’t just take my word for it–come see her play. Thurs May 7th at Charlie’s Gallery at 9PM for Indie Machine (solo), Friday May 9th Rancho Relaxo at 2AM (full band)
Hogarth & the Sky Vines “The Winter”
Hogarth & the Sky Vines: You never know when you are going to get an opportunity of a lifetime, but when that opportunity comes what you make of it can dictate your future as a band. When Hogarth & the Sky Vines saw a chance to go to Toronto they grabbed the bull by the horns, ramping up their practice schedule and taking more gigs to fine tune their live show. In the end, it worked out. Hogarth & the Sky Vines are young, motivated, and talented. They combine elements of radio rock with a very meticulous indie-rock sound that is wise beyond the band’s collective years. Tues May 6th at Charlie’s Gallery 12 AM for Indie Machine (solo), Saturday May 10th at Rancho Relaxo at 1 AM (full band)
Jay Miln “Had Enough”
Jay Miln: Don’t be mistaken by the lack of online presence for Jay Miln; of the musicians we’re bringing, he might be the most talented of the bunch. Jay plays a diverse mix of music: some more traditional, some folk, some indie pop, and some looping experimental pop. He also can be found on Friday night of CMW behind the kit for DT & the Dinosaurs. Weds May 7th at Rancho Relaxo at 9 PM, Thurs May 8th at 10 PM Charlie’s Gallery for Indie Machine
The second part comes tomorrow!