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. Continue reading
So in case you didn’t know–and well, there is a good chance you didn’t know because FB only shows a small percentage of you my posts–I am going to be in Toronto this week as of Thursday the 20th! Continue reading
But here I am five-plus months into mine–and make no mistake, I am aware of how lucky I am to have this opportunity. Everybody makes mistakes in their lives, take missteps in whatever career is it that you choose, but it’s even easier to slip up when you are in a career without a defined path or established rules.
I fully believe that with a few different decisions or moves I could have been one of the major players in the Toronto music scene. Some of you might say that I actually was, but I’d disagree. I could have been. I made and continue to make an impact on that music scene and have helped hundreds of bands–a few dozen significantly. We had some of the craziest shows the city has ever seen and made friendships that will last a lifetime. But I also got caught up in this idea of what I had to be and became so obsessed with it that it sometimes stunted my ability to move forward. Continue reading
It’s been a while since we ran a First Spin Monologues on the website–then again, it has been a while since the website has been as active with new posts and content as it has been of late. The feature was always meant to be reserved for special bands who mean a lot to us, where we wanted to be the ones who shared their music with you for the first time. South of Bloor is one of those bands, and we can’t wait for you to hear/stream The Street exclusively and for the first time on Two Way Monologues. Continue reading
Here’s something a little bit different from the other spotlights I have done so far. When Ian and I decided to do this competition, we made it clear we would be willing to accept any genres to compete and that it would include both a band and a solo/acoustic component. A lot of the solo acts that are competing don’t have a lot online yet, so I won’t be able to profile them, but I will be writing about those that I can. Continue reading
Sorry it took a while to get this one up, but between the Christmas Holidays and getting ready to start up the Road to CMW next week, things have been busy! Today I am talking about a band I found out about while trying to get another act signed up for the competition.
A few of my friends had really great things to say about MOOCH and I had hoped to have them play the festival–but it turns out that a band member is going to be in Europe for much of the start of 2014. Now before I get off of MOOCH, let me say that I caught their last set of the year and they are awesome. Might be my favourite live act I have caught in Newfoundland so far. MOOCH is out of commission for four months, but that won’t stop two members Daniel Greene and Harry Parsons from making music because they have another project called London Above.
London Above put out some demos back in the summer and have them up on Bandcamp. If I heard them and MOOCH, I can’t say I would guess they share band members–but then again, why be in two bands if they sound the same? Before You Know It are a melodic indie-rock act who at times mix in some poppier punk elements as well.
Vocalists Chris Morrison and Elliott Butt clearly have fantastic chemistry in terms of layering and mixing their vocals, and they use these techniques on all four of the demos up on Bandcamp. They also mix in some wicked addictive guitar riffs.
London Above play the kind of music that brings me back to before I was booking and watching 20+ live bands a week, and before I started running a music-review website. Before I started paying attention to things like Pitchfork Media and Coke Machine Glow. Before my musical taste got a little pretentious. Back then, I would just listen for some memorably catchy songs with great vocals and guitars–and listen to them obsessively until I knew all the words.
That is what I find myself loving the most about London Above. The music has that quality that makes me want to listen to it a hundred times and pump some fists and shout the lyrics along at one of their upcoming shows.
I’d suggest the first demo on Bandcamp–“Hold Me Closer”–as I think it is the most complete and diverse song of the four, showcasing tremendous vocals, addictive songwriting, great riffs, and a deft touch for mixing in very different influences. At times in songs like “Creatures” these guys remind me vocally of one of my favourite frontmen vocalists in Toronto, Dylan Reisch (Duck Duck Goose, Bastard Sunshine).
Check out London Above on Bandcamp or Facebook. Before You Know It will be playing Road to CMW on Thursday February 20th, and also is playing a TWM showcase in January on the 25th w/ The Suits and Plainface.
Stay tuned to twowaymonologues.com for more spotlights on Newfoundland acts, and remember that Road to CMW has a satellite site set up to vote for the acts you are most interested to see us bring to Toronto for Canadian Music Week.