It has already been announced that Windsor’s newest decet, The Unquiet Dead will be performing as part of Canadian Music Week in Toronto in March 2012, but another local act will soon be added to theoster, pending the outcome of Friday night’s Road Runner Records Sign Me To Showcase.
For only $10 fans can see 11 acts compete for a spot in CMW 2012. The show will take place at The Dominion House Tavern (3140 Sandwich st.) and tickets are on sale from bands now, but are selling out quickly.
The showcase will be split into two halves; the first will run from 5 pm until 9 pm and will be all ages. The second half will begin at 9 and run until 1:30 am. This bit is only for those 19 and up, but one ticket provides access to both halves.
Part one will feature bands on the lighter end of the musical spectrum, starting off with pop group HelloAudio. This is a group that has played with West-Coast dance-pop sensations These Kids Wear Crowns, and who plan on releasing their first full length in 2012.
Shortcut to Last have been receiving a fair bit of attention this year, releasing an album, a slip ‘n’ slide themed music video to their first single Two Minutes in Heaven off the album of the same title, and playing numerous shows in the area. Their Bowling for Soup-esque sound is always a crowd pleaser, with pop-punky and upbeat rhythms drawing audiences and winning over new fans at every show.
With a new band member and new EP, We Can Be Heroes will be vying for a spot at CMW 2012 with their brand of dancey-pop-punk. Catchy Synth Loops and crunchy guitars create interest and define the sound of this young band.
The Tragedy of Mariam are an eclectic group that take influence from pop, punk, alternative, and hardcore bands. The result is similar to an edgier Yellowcard with more heart. They recently opened for Silverstein when they visited Windsor.
To finish off the first half of the night is female lead, heavy metal prog-rock outfit Perpetuate. With keys, operatic vocals, and intricate playing, this is a group that has carved a place for itself in the local scene, and can be found on bills with varying genres. Their first, self-titled album was released in April of this year and is currently being distributed by CDN Records.
From here the night moves into the 19+ portion of the showcase.
Against All Evil is a new band who have been “silently creating their EP at SLR Studios”. Featuring members from Richie Nix, Radio Adelaide, and Thieves in Remand, this is their second show after opening for Mic Lordz and sauce Funky in November. Pop infused alt-rock that is ready for the radio, this band is half The Black Maria and half Fallout Boy. The sort of music that you can’t really call out for having anything wrong with it, except that maybe the melodies get stuck in your head.
Slaughterhouse on the Prairie haven’t been around for as long as some bands on this bill, but by relentless playing they have built themselves a strong local fan base. Now a fixture in the city’s metal scene, they are currently working on recording at Spectre Sound Studios.
One of Windsor’s more successful acts in recent years, Assassinate the Following… will join the bill as well. Playing progressive heavy metal with passion and heart, ATF… have toured with Protest the Hero and Abandon All Ships, and their 2009 album Massacre of the North is available through CDN Records.
A local classic, Betrayer has a history of winning battle of the bands competitions, so it will be interesting to see how their practised, old-school metal fares against such an eclectic group of more modern-sounding bands. But regardless of the night’s outcome, Betrayer is always a group worth seeing, with defined stage presence and no question as to what they’re about musically.
Ravenscode is another band in it’s infancy, but one that has found itself an audience in the Theory-of-a-Nickle-Creed fan base. After sprouting from a cover band in early 2011, they have spent this year touring Ontario and using their style of radio-friendly, crisp, alternative rock to win over audiences.
Another relatively new band, King Misfit is comprised of guys from Windsor, LaSalle, and Amherstburg. Epic, symphonic, and progressive, they’re like a less-heavy Dream Evil, and their vocalist even sounds a bit like Niklas Islefdt. They released their debut album Under Ancient Ground in the spring, and this is their second area show since then. Their songs are long, sweeping, dynamic pieces of polished rock that are very listener friendly.
Good luck to all bands participating in Friday night’s showcase, and hopefully music fans will take advantage of such a stellar lineup and go show their support for their favourites.
Road Runner Records Sign Me To Windsor Showcase takes place on Friday, December 16th and The Dominion House Tavern (3140 Sandwich St.). Tickets are $10 ADV/$15 ATD, and provide access to both halves of the show. Part 1 begins at 5 pm, is all ages, and features HelloAudio, Shortcut to Last, We Can Be Heroes, The Tragedy of Mariam, and Perpetuate. Part 2 begins at 9 pm, is 19+, and features Against All Evil, Slaughterhouse on the Prairie, Assassinate the Following…, Betrayer, Ravenscode, and King Misfit.
This Saturday, April 23rd, The Blind Dog (671 Ouellette Ave.) will be consumed by metal as Inferno Fest comes to Windsor. Almost ten full hours of music, on two stages, with nineteen bands, this is sure to be intense. The lineup is a diverse set of heavy bands, most of which are from the Windsor area. This show allows re-admittance all day, and advance tickets can be purchased for only ten dollars.
Between 2 and 3 will be two as yet undecided bands, but they’ll probably be pretty good ones.
At 3, Pomegranate Tiger will be playing the small stage. These guys are a four-piece instrumental prog rock/metal group who impress whenever they play, whether the viewers have previously seen them or not.
From there, jump to the main stage at 3:30 for local badasses Assassinate the Following… with their brand of contagious and addictive heavy metal that is not just one dimensional screaming and distorted guitars, but well arranged pieces of music that will likely induce quite a pit.
Back to the small stage at 4 for Desertion who have recently decided to make a comeback into the Windsor music circuit. Playing for their “Welcome to Nothing EP” be ready for intense vocals and grinding guitars.
4:30 on the main stage gives Celtic metal from Aeron’s Wake that will get you dancing while you headbang. A very unique group for in the Windsor scene, and the only one of it’s sort at this show, they’re probably worth checking out.
Return to the small stage at 5 for A Dream in the Morning as they show off their “2-step/Ghettotech/Happy Hardcore”
Modern Miniatures from Hamilton take over the main stage at 5:30 with hardcore featuring members of Threat Signal. Even when they lay off the screaming, it’s not to sing some pretty harmonies. The vocals remain jagged and raw, a relentless barrage of heavy.
Then catch Toronto straightedge hardcore Liferuiner on the small stage at 6 before they take off for their European tour in May. Think For the Fallen Dreams and Acacia Strain, and you’ll have a good idea of what these guys sound like.
Before going once more to the main stage for Perpetuate at 6:30 where they’ll be playing in support of their newly released self-titled album, spewing thick and layered female-fronted prog-rock.
The small stage will host Anu Beginning at 7, another group with a recent release “We Move Mountains”. This pop-punk/hardcore group will entertain you while bringing up thoughts of The Offspring from A Day to Remember fornicating with Blurt.
Are you dizzy yet? Hopefully not, because there are still 8 more bands and 4 more hours of face melting to come.
So then on the main stage at 7:35 you can catch Overcome Your Kingdom from Chatham as they scream and sing their way through a set that is likely to include a fair bit of jumping around from both the band and the crowd.
And Cyreene on the small stage at 8:10 with more prog-rock to get your head whipping about.
8:45 will show Betrayer on the main stage, one of the city’s longest-running acts, this group has in the past won numerous battle of the bands competitions, and are sure to wow you with their classic-metal style.
We Remain will take over the small stage at 9:20 for thrashy prog with a unique tone to it. Description and comparisons aren’t coming easy for this one, but it’s good. So check it out, and draw your own conclusions.
Finding your way back to the main stage after that will bring you face-to-face with Blackthorn City at 9:55, who have a new EP posted to their myspace. They have only short samples that make it rather difficult to judge, but it seems promising. Traditionalish metal, I’d have to guess.
We’re getting close to the end now… The Big Dirty will be tearing up the small stage at 10:30 with a big, growling, distorted set.
While that’s going on, the main stage will be set up for Hamilton’s Aarsonist who go on at 11:05. This is another unique band for the night. Vocals are spoken, and everything about their sound is something different that what you’ll have heard up until this point. Check out their clean guitar…Wicked.
And the day will then be closed off on the small stage by Devilz by Definition, the staple band of The Coach and Horses, self-defined as “good old fashioned metal”, you’ll want to save a bit of energy for this set so you can properly thrash around for a fitting closing to a long day.
Has your face melted completely off, yet?
Inferno Fest takes place Saturday, April 23rd 2011 at The Blind Dog (671 Ouellette Ave.). It is all ages, $10 ADV/$15 Door, doors open at 1 pm and the show goes from 2 until 12:10, with re-admittance all day.
Although it doesn’t have the cross country excitement of North By North West (NXNW) or perhaps the indie pop romanticism of Pop Montreal or Halifax Pop Explosion, Canadian Music Week (CMW), held annually every March in downtown Toronto, could very well be the nation’s most important music festival. And the best part of CMW – for music goers – is Canadian Music Fest (CMF), the live music portion of the festival.
Perhaps closer in importance to the U.S.’ South By South West (SXSW) than even NXNW is, CMW is a week long foray into the heart of the Canadian independent musician, as they primp, pose and rock for Canada’s national and underground media, and every record label from grass roots to international circles around venues like the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, El Mocombo, Sneaky Dee’s or Rancho Relaxo like vultures looking for the next Arcade Fire (or Shad or Caribou or…Justin Beiber). This is truly Canada’s industry conference festival and with social media becoming such an integral part of music marketing these days, its at events like CMW that bands will learn things that will automatically put them ahead in the game.
And while Windsor has had representations at prior festivals, this year’s CMW – held March 9th to March 13th – features one of Windsor’s strongest line-ups to date. Here’s your guide to following Windsor connected acts at this year’s Canadian Music Week:
WEDNESDAY MARCH 9: MICHOU at El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave.) Slot: 10 PM – Windsor’s big winners of XM Radio’s Verge Artist of the Year recently kicks off Windsor’s participation as part of the FACTOR Breakthrough Showcase at the El Mocambo, on a bill that features Eric Hutchinson, To Tell, Behind Sapphire and Cardinal Chase. Doors are at 8pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
THURSDAY MARCH 10: CRASH KARMA at Mod Club Theatre (720 College St.) Slot: 10:30 PM – Canadian alt. rock supergroup Crash Karma (featuring members of I Mother Earth, Our Lady Peace, Zygote as well as Windsor’s own Jeff Burrows (The Tea Party) on drums) headlines Blackburn Radio’s showcase at the Mod Club, with special guests Age of Daze, Birthday Boys, Metro4 and Paul Davidson. Doors are at 7pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
THURSDAY MARCH 10: MICHOU at The Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave.) Slot: 11 PM – Michou’s second showcase of CMW is the following night in the Kensington Market area, a great artistic and musical hub smack in downtown Toronto. As part of The Agency Group’s Thursday showcase, the night is headlined by In-Flight Safety and also features openers Sun Wizard, Tomi Swick and Louise Burns. Doors are at 7:30pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
THURSDAY MARCH 10: ASSASSINATE THE FOLLOWING at The Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen St. West) Slot: 12 Midnight – Windsor’s lone metal representative is a solid one, with Assassinate The Following taking the stage as part of Jagermeister’s celebration for The Bovine’s 20th Anniversary Bash. Also on this night are bands FAME, The Isosceles Project, Endast, Dagoba and As You Like It. Doors are at 8pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
THURSDAY MARCH 10: NEVERENDING WHITE LIGHTS at Cherry Cola’s Rock N’ Rolla Cabaret (200 Bathurst St.) Slot: 2 AM – Daniel Victor’s doom pop project headlines a late night party at Cherry Cola’s, on a bill with The Wandas, Stone Parade, In A Coma, Venice Queen and Preacher’s Son. Doors at 9:30pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
FRIDAY MARCH 11: BIG SUGAR at Sound Academy (11 Polson St.) Slot: 11 PM – One of Canada’s dirty blues rock pioneers, Big Sugar – led by Windsor’s Gordie ‘Grady’ Johnson and Kelly ‘Mr. Chill’ Hoppe – headline a night of Canadian rock and roll at the Sound Academy, alongside Wide Mouth Mason, The Stanfields and Desperate Union. Doors at 8pm, an all-ages event and all wrist bands accepted.
FRIDAY MARCH 11: ORPHAN CHOIR at Parts & Labour (1566 Queen St. West) Slot: 12:30 AM – Orphan Choir, one of Windsor’s hardest working acts, takes their thinking man’s post-punk to yet another Canadian festival as part of a Canadian Music Fest showcase at Parts & Labour, on a bill alongside March Forth, Listener and Lost Chord. Doors at 11pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
FRIDAY MARCH 11: NEVERENDING WHITE LIGHTS at The Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom) (1214 Queen St. West) Slot: 1:45 AM – NWL’s second showcase, this time as part of the S.L. Feldman & Associates Showcase, moves to the Queen Street district with a full line-up in the intimacy of the Gladstone Hotel, along with Andrew Cole, Stef Lang, Hello Beautiful, Current Swell, Kim Churchill, Sierra Noble and Justin Hines. Doors at 8pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
SATURDAY MARCH 12: PAT ROBITAILLE at The Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave.) Slot: 10 PM – Singer/songwriter Pat Robitaille is Windsor’s sole Saturday night performer, as part of The Agency Group’s Saturday showcase at the Supermarket. Pat is joined by Emmanual Jal, Morgan Cameron Ross and Nikki Lang. Doors are at 7:30pm, 19+ and all wrist bands are accepted.
SUNDAY MARCH 13: SEVEN YEAR RIOT at Cherry Cola’s Rock N’ Rolla Cabaret (200 Bathurst St.) Slot: 10 PM – Windsor’s Seven Year Riot has travelled a long road as one of Windsor’s longest standing original alternative rock acts, first as PlusMinus-X, then to Citizen Erased and now in their most successful incarnation as Seven Year Riot. They’re closing out Windsor’s CMF contingent on a Showcase with LastDayHere, Dearly Beloved and Parikrama. Doors at 9pm, 19+ and all wrist bands accepted.
The week isn’t just some of the country’s top independent musicians either. There’s a film festival running parallel with CMW as well as The Indies, Canada’s independent music awards, of which, two Windsor connections are up for. Neverending White Lights’s collaboration with Canadian hip-hop artist J Diggz, “This Time”, is up for Video of the Year, while Windsorite Jeff Burrows’ Canadian alt. rock supergroup Crash Karma are up for Rock Artist/Group of the Year. The Indies 2011 are held Saturday March 12 at The Royal York Hotel.