musicians

Stay The Fuck Home The Music Edition

As we have all found out over the last week, COVID-19 is changing how we interact with each other. For some it will be really hard not being out and and being social. For other’s like me, the eternal introvert, I’m ok not being social. However, whether or not you are ok with being stuck at home, boredom will set in. Personally, I have a long list of things to keep me occupied. I’ve also given myself a bit of a loose schedule for each day, however, I, like everyone else needs stimulation. Over the next few days, I am going to share different things I’m doing, as well as lists of things we all can do to keep ourselves entertained over the next while!

Today’s post is all about music.

Band Camp Is doing an amazing thing. They are bringing awareness to musicians. Due to COVID-19 performers revue streams will be drying up. Go give this a read to see how you can help out.

The Stay At Home Fest is all about online concerts! They have a calendar showing who is playing and when! You can find it here!

Music Therapy is a good way to help out those who are suffering from anxiety and depression. My friend Siân Brown is doing live streams for her music therapy. If you think this is something that can help, follow her on Facebook here.

Friends online shows!
March 20 at 5 pm EST Michelle Rumball https://www.facebook.com/events/198854551439858/
March 21st 9 pm EST Luau or Die! https://www.facebook.com/events/228373388556483/
March 22nd 11 am EST Slow Fizz with DJ Cher https://www.facebook.com/events/150517896169065/

Where to stream or buy music that will make you dance. Seriously! Have a daily dance party. It’s great exercise, fun and will get your mind off things for a while.
Night Chill https://nightchill.bandcamp.com/
Mark Malibu & the Wasagas Mark Malibu & the Wasagas
The Champions of Justice The Champions of Justice
The Men In Gray Suits The Men In Gray Suits
Ichi-Bons Ichi-Bons
Shook Boys Shook Boys
Christian DeArmond Christian DeArmond
The House of Haunt The House of Haunt
20 Flight Rockers 20 Flight Rockers

There are two things you can do here. 1. Go buy music and help support the artists. They need your help now more than ever. 2. Continue to Social Distance without sacrificing having fun!

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Please check out this amazing new Toronto band and by their album! It just dropped! You can buy their album at Bandcamp. (click on the word Bandcamp)

A Pinch of Punk, a Squeeze of Tiki and a Shake of Rockabilly!

Living in a Metropolis that basically never sleeps, you can step out of your front door any day of the week and find some kind of entertainment. The city of Toronto boasts an eclectic mix of music, theatre, spoken word, poetry, burlesque, nerd bars and many other forms of the arts. Even though our city isn’t lacking in interesting things to see and hear, what it is lacking is getting people out to support it. I’m going to be doing a few different posts over the next while about the Toronto Arts and Music scene covering many different facets.

I’ve recently seen a few people complaining on Social Media that a few famous acts are selling their tickets for outrageous prices. I saw numbers such as $300 and $400 for nose bleeds. Rather than spend that amount of money on a not great ticket, why not throw that $300 or $400 around on local entertainment. Better yet, check out some of Toronto’s amazing Punk, Tiki and Rockabilly scene.

If you aren’t sure where to start, I’m going to help you out and include a list of local and almost local bands. The beauty of going to a show for one of these bands is there are usually 3 or 4 bands on a bill. Heck, I’m even going to include some upcoming events for you.

{As I was creating this list, I realized… I have a lot of friends who are in really cool bands}

Upcoming Events:

Feb 27 Tiki Rockabilly https://www.facebook.com/events/587900695275781/
Feb 29 Ceol Kids Kickoff Party https://www.facebook.com/events/2537062366617473/
Mar 7 Action Packed Vol 2 https://www.facebook.com/events/531269964160699/
Mar 19 Trainwreck Tiki https://www.facebook.com/events/470798086930466/
Mar 21 GLSB 2020 https://www.facebook.com/events/2778131848973652/
Mar 27 Rock n Roll Car Crash https://www.facebook.com/events/2441241052648626/

Bands to check out:

Conflicting Plaid http://www.conflictingplaid.com/myTemplate.cgi/index.html

House of Haunt http://www.thehouseofhaunt.com/

Mark Malibu & The Wasagas https://www.facebook.com/Wasagas/

The Ichi Bons https://www.facebook.com/ichibons/

The Shook Boys https://www.facebook.com/ShookBoys/

Christian D and the Sinners https://christiand.ca/home


Bunny Brown https://www.facebook.com/Bunny-Brown-21288089271/
Champions of Justice https://www.facebook.com/championsofjustice/
Sharny Sharn https://www.facebook.com/sharnysharn/
The Men in Gray Suits https://www.facebook.com/GraySuits/

The Royal Crowns https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Musician-Band/The-Royal-Crowns-307820119773680/

20 Flight Rockers https://20flightrockers.ca/
George Westerholm https://www.georgewesterholm.com/

The Cliff Divers https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Musician-Band/The-Cliff-Divers-216218588415326/
The Swinging Blackjacks https://www.facebook.com/swinginblackjacks/
Luau or Die https://luauordie.com/


The Treble Tones https://www.facebook.com/The-TrebleTones-542760309484661/
Ginger St. James https://www.facebook.com/MsGingerStJames/

Fall is in the air! Upcoming shows and dates!

Fall makes me happy. The crispness of the air, the crunch of the leaves under my feet, the smell of Autumn in the air. HALLOWEEN! I wish it could be fall all year long! I have a few shows and events coming up soon and thought I would share all of the dates and details!

The Redhead Revue: is a cabaret style show starring Lizzie Violet, Heather Babcock, Neil Traynor and Zoltan Du Lac. Each show has storytelling, music, a pre-code movie and trivia with prizes!

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Event listing: https://www.facebook.com/events/147937915784393/?active_tab=about

Killer B Cinema:  Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly double bill of b-moves from the 1950s to 1970s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Our first show will be on October 7th at the Imperial Pub’s performance space located at 54 Dundas Street East. More details coming soon!

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Music Makers: Portraits at the Great Hall:  I was honoured that I was able to help edit Lisa MacIntosh’s stunning book!  The book launch will be on October 14th, at the Great Hall. There is also a concert with some of Canada’s best loved musicians!

Event listing: https://www.facebook.com/events/161786311046366/?active_tab=about

CIUT Halloween show: On October 31st, I will be reading something scary at the CIUT Halloween show! I may or may not be dressed as a Zombie! More details soon!

Redheads Writing in Cafes #4 and Why I Support Local Indie Artists

Just to warn you. There may be swears.

The last few days have been lovely. Wednesday, I hung out with my sister from a whole other family, October. Thursday, live music at C’est What with Neil Traynor and band. Had another productive cafe writing session with Heather Babcock and John Oughton on Thursday, Saturday, my fella and I crammed in watching Street Poetry in High Park, a second viewing of the cherry blossoms and then dinner and live music in The Junction. After an amazing few days of enjoying local independent art, music, and poetry with the people I love, fellow creatives, why do I not feel content? Why instead am I feeling contempt? Here’s why.

This has been nagging at me, scratching at my gray matter for some time now It’s been bubbling just below the surface, pulling at me, like that song, that sits on the tip of your tongue and it’s driving me mad. I have talked to others about it. I’ve occasionally posted status messages about it and tried to get people’s attention and their consideration for it. Now… now I’m at my wit’s end and I’m pissed. No, I’m fucking angry. It’s time to make a change.

Ok.

Ok…

Those were the swears. I can’t promise those were the last.

What initially pushed me to the brink was a group of four women who were in their early twenties. As we were having our writing session at a local Mom and Pop run cafe Thursday, these young women were standing in line waiting to be served. A long line. The cafe was busier than normal due to the cherry blossoms in High Park. When they were about three people away from being served, one of the young women loudly exclaimed, “I want to support local, but they are too slow here. Let’s go to Starf*cks.” (she didn’t call it that and used the proper name, I did. Guess who will never be sponsoring me.).  Did these women not notice the cherry blossom festival chaos across the street and consider it might be affecting the businesses in the hood? If you really wanted to support local, wouldn’t you be patient? Wouldn’t you take how busy the shop was into consideration?  I did.

This, however, isn’t what I want to talk about. It was what triggered everything.  Thursday night, a good friend was playing with his band at a popular downtown venue. When it came time to pass the tip jar, we went around to everyone who was, what we thought, enjoying the music. We asked everyone to throw in a loonie or toonie to help support local music. Some put money in funds (mostly other artists), while the corporate types (I have another name for them, but won’t write it) declined — very rudely in most cases. This really bothered me.

I’ve put on many events and attended an even greater number of them. I’ve observed when the tip jar is being passed around, for the most part, artists will always put money in, even if it is whatever loose changed they have in their pockets. Artists will go out to other artists events without batting an eye. We support each other, promote each other, help out at each others gigs, artist supporting artists. This, sadly, does not help us grow, help us get noticed outside of our community and when we try to get others to come to events or if they are at an event, put a few dollars in the tip jar, they don’t or rather won’t and they make you feel awful for asking.  On Thursday night, we received snarky comments and evil stares when we asked. I felt that we were asking for their first born (no thanks) or for a donation of blood. (again no thanks) It was frustrating.

Once upon a time, artists were revered. If this was the 1920s or 1930s we would be looked upon at a higher level, would make a nice living from our art and be respected. Why is it, in 2017, we are looked down upon, brushed off and disrespected? We are asked to work for free and when we do get paid, it’s for way less than minimum wage.  We struggle to get anyone, who isn’t an artist to come out to events (when was the last time our families, workmates or other acquaintances came to see us).  We work hard to promote our events, prepare for the events and then put on the show.  How do we get people to start supporting local artists? How do we get them out to events? How do we get them to respect us?

This city is full of performers, writers, playwrights, theaters, bands, songwriters, singers, visual artists, photographers, poets, spoken word artists, designers, painters, sculptors, magicians, burlesque, comic artists, comedians — the list goes on. How do we get the average Joe to support us? How do we get the city and venues to support us?  And speaking of venues, how to we keep the supportive ones going?  I see my fellow artist struggling every day to get their art out there and to survive financially. I see musicians like Cynthia Gould trying to get awareness out there through her TO Rock Cult Facebook page. Yesterday I witnessed Street Poetry trying to raise awareness. I applaud these artists and all the others that are making an effort, but my question, the thing that is bothering me, nagging at me is how do we as one huge collective, make this happen on a bigger scale? How do we get the populous to once again respect and revere artists?

I will keep promoting, supporting and helping my fellow artists. I will continue to walk around venues asking everyone to put some money in a tip jar. I will keep posting and voicing out how much we need to support independent artists, but I need help. Cynthia needs help. Every person who is fighting to survive as an artist needs help!  Here is where you can help. Everyone who reads this, please share it. If you see an artist’s having an event, go to it, buy their art, books, CDs, merch. Post about their events, tell your friends. Better yet, gather your friends and bring the to events. If you are an artist, keep promoting your fellow artists. Let’s, as one huge collective get the rest of the world to see us!

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