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CMW 2017 Editor’s Choice


CMW 2017 Editor’s Choice

Well folks, here we go again!

It’s year 35 for Canadian Music Week and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Some of the big names this year include: Wolf Parade, Hollerado, Good Charlotte, Papa Roach, Matt Mays and 54-40.

The conference part is no small matter with key speakers including: Michael Rapino (Live Nation), Paul Shaffer (The Tonight Show) and Scott Borchetta (Taylor Swift, American Idol, Big Machine Records)

As usual we are here to present the small things, because the small things matter.

Here is our list of must see acts performing in Toronto this week.


Texas King
Tuesday April 18
Venue: Adelaide Hall
Time: 11pm

Texas King was formed by front man Jordan Macdonald in London Ontario during the late months of 2012. They released their debut EP in 2013 and immediately began touring and performing throughout Ontario and the east coast of Canada. It wasnt long before they earned themselves a reputation for their high-energy live shows.
The EP opened doors and allowed the band to take part in festivals like Canadian Music Week, NXNE, SCENE Fest and KOI Fest. Texas King was named London’s Best Rock Group at the 2014 Jack Richardson Music Awards and has landed supporting slots for bands such as X-Ambassadors, USS, Mother Mother, The Trews, and Current Swell.
In 2016 the band hit the studio with Juno award winner Dan Brodbeck to record their first full-length album. Soon after tracking was complete, the guys found themselves back in the van journeying to Lancaster Pennsylvania where they showcased at the annual Launch Music Festival.
Texas King is relentless. As they gear up for the release of their hook-filled debut, they couldnt be more hungry. Their accomplishments are impressive, but the band feels that its just the beginning.


MunizO  (Japan)
Tuesday April 18
Venue: Silver Dollar (486 Spadina Ave)
Time: 10pm
MunizO was formed in August 2015 by TarO&JirO and Yuta. TarO&JirO: In the spring of 2009, they left their homeland for London, UK and then, in 2011, expanded their activities in Europe, performing at Japan Expo in France, Rock Oz’Arene in Switzerland, and at the Guitare en Scene competition in France, where they won the first prize.
In 2013, after winning the Japanese section of Emergenza, they were signed to a major label and the next year they played at some of the biggest festivals in Japan, such as Rising Sun Rock Festival, Rock in Japan, and Countdown Japan.



Tete (France)
Wednesday April 19
Spotlight On France
Venue: Rivoli
Time: 8pm
Welcome to Tété’s world. Having sold 500.000 records throughout the world, this french acoustic pop poet, seasoned live performer and songwriter is looking to expand his horizon with a new mini-album in english. Many have compared him to the likes of Ben Harper, Tete remains Tete, with his strong, melodic, blues tainted quirlky pop songs. Not to be missed!


BARQ (Ireland)
Wednesday April 21
Music From Ireland
Venue: Drake Underground (1150 Queen St. W)
BARQ are a high energy four-piece, shoving groove into the belly of the rock-beast and creating agro-soul. This is music to dance dangerously to. In March 2016, BARQ released their debut single “Gentle Kind of Lies” to critical acclaim and a surge of media attention. The track was picked up Spotify’s new music playlist in both the UK and Brazil, as well as being included on IASCA’s playirish USA, and two of Goldenplec’s Goldenstereo playlists.


Wednesday April 19
Venue: The Painted Lady (218 Ossington Ave)
Time: 11pm
Denis The Night & The Panic Party is an idiosyncratic collective born two years ago on the road across Italy and United Kingdom centred around the power trio of Ono Nora Fiorani, Nicola Sbrozzi and Alessandro Gobbi. Seeking musical freedom beyond songs, they started conceiving tridimensional landscapes and soundtracks for raves. Juxtaposing elements from various genres like neo-psychedelia, shoegaze, noise-pop, electro and avant-garde, they eschew traditional norms evolving into a music and visual arts collective, featuring other like-minded artists with a simpatico disaffection for conventions.


Bitch Falcon (Ireland)
Wednesday April 19
Music From Ireland
Venue: Drake Underground (1150 Queen St. W)
Time: 11:20pm
Two years on from an initial explosive emergence, the Dublin-based three-piece haven’t so much discovered their voice as honed and refined it. They relish in frenetic declarations, their sound always moving forward while throwing occasional nods to the past. The sonic aesthetic is raw, even a touch frenzied, yet manages to harness the strongest elements of rock, grunge, metal, hardcore and melodic electro-pop. Bitch Falcon’s end result is a distinctive, once-heard-not-forgotten voice.


Goodbye Honolulu
Wednesday April 19
Venue: Monarch Tavern (12 Clinton St)
Time: 11:30pm
Goodbye Honolulu is best known for their live shows and in best form when every member is screaming their heads off with shout along choruses. Whether it’s Emmett’s fuzz-layered guitar, Jacob’s gnarly vocals, Fox’s Bowie-inspired vocal inflections or Max beating his drum kit to death, Goodbye Honolulu make their audience the VIP guests to their rock n roll party. Highlights of Goodbye Honolulu’s ride so far include a USA tour supporting their pals Hinds and releasing their debut album Heavy Gold in 2016.


Danko Jones
Wednesday April 19
Venue: Velvet Underground (508 Queen St W)
Time: 10pm

Celebrating 20 years in the rock n’roll game in 2016, DANKO JONES have an impressive resume to show for the past two decades. In addition to sold out headline tours across Canada and the European continent they have also toured the US, Brazil, Japan, Australia and South Africa and done extensive collaborations with a vast number of great artists. The Canadian trio has spent months on the road with GUNS N ROSES, MOTÖRHEAD and VOLBEAT and opened up for THE ROLLING STONES and OZZY OSBOURNE.




Tete  (France)
Thursday April 20
Venue: Paddock (178 Bathurst Street)
Time: 11pm


The Ballroom Babies
Thursday April 20
Venue: Coalition
Time: 1am

The Ballroom Babies are a rock trio from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The band consists of three brothers: Mike (drums/vocals), Steve (guitar/vocals) and Nathan (bass/vocals). From a young age, the three siblings shared a strong passion for music. They began performing in their first group, White Dove, before they had reached high school. Throughout their teenage years, each brother studied their respective instruments vigorously, enrolled in Humber College’s music program and formed separate bands. They have dedicated their lives to session work, touring, teaching and live performances. In 2010, after years of playing in different bands, they finally decided to form their own project, The Ballroom Babies.


Thursday April
Focus On Italy
Venue: Monarch Tavern (12 Clinton St)
Time: 10:30pm


The Foreign Resort (Denmark)
Thursday April 20
Venue: Nightowl (647 College St)
Time: 9pm
The Foreign Resort are Denmark’s finest musical export of post-punk and dark new wave. TFR combine the shadowy mysticism of The Cure’s Pornography era with a driving production aesthetic akin to LCD Soundsystem.


P.C.B. (Taiwan)
Thursday April 20
Taiwan Beats
Venue: Rivoli (334 Queen St W)
Time: 8:50pm

P.C.B sampling 8 bit sounds and graphic from Nintendo games, creating tracks who’s style ranges from Electronic, Techno, DNB to Dubstep. then places the mix on the dancefloor where it becomes not just indie music but electro indie.





BARQ (Ireland)
Friday April 21
Venue: Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave)
Time: 9pm


Beyond The Wall
Friday April 21
Venue: Smiling Buddha (961 College St)
Time: 7pm

There’s so much excitement and adventure in becoming your own self through trial and error – don’t waste your life getting caught up in the shadows of someone else. There’s no “rulebook” for who you are or how you’re supposed to be, just appreciate whatever happens (good or bad) and strive on learning from all of it. You will become the truest version of yourself when you learn to reject what others see you as and what they say about you.
Be real, and be true. Be really true. This is what BTW lives by


Bitch Falcon (Ireland)
Friday April 21
Venue:The Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen St W)
Time: 10pm


The Foreign Resort (Denmark)
Friday April 22
Venue: Hideout (423 College St)
Time: 8pm


P.C.B. (Taiwan)
Friday April 21
Venue: Painted Lady (218 Ossington)
Time: 2am


Friday April 21
Venue: May Cafe (876 Dundas St W)
Time: 11pm

MAYRAKI is a Hip Hop Fusion band from Toronto, Ontario. Formed in 2012, the band is known for their high energy shows and unique approach to hip hop, incorporating funk, jazz and rock with splashes of blues, metal and other surprises. MAYRAKI, original spelling ‘Meraki’, is a Greek word defined as “the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work”. It’s all in the music.


Bike Thiefs
Friday April 21
Venue: Baby G (1608 Dundas St W)
Time: 11pm

Gramattically inept three-piece rock band


Birds Of Bellwoods
Saturday April 22
Venue: Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen St. West)
Time: 1am
Four men making handsome folk and rock music from a different angle.
With lush harmonies and haunting lyricism, the group has charmed venues throughout Ontario and beyond.


Moon Tan
Saturday April 22
Venue: The Bovine Sex Club
Time: 10pm

Energetic. Funky. Progressive. Vintage. Rock n Roll. These are a just few elements that have been forged together to create a unique yet very familiar soundone that is cleverly harnessed by Winnipeg’s power trio known as Moon Tan. Born of three separate imaginations, their diverse influences seamlessly blend to form a new genre, or “anti-genre” of music and entertainment, which they refer to as “intergalactic space freak rock n’ roll.”…Ohh and they won Indie Week last year.


Fred Penner
Sunday April 23
Venue: Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St W)
Time: 2pm
Because it’s Fred fucking Penner baby!




Jessica Meuse signs deal with LA Group Management


American Idol alum Jessica Meuse has signed a deal with L.A. Entertainment, Inc.’s management division, LA Group Management, and the Season 13, Top 4 finalist is also starting pre-production to record her debut album for release on Warrior Records/eOne.

Hailing from Slapout, AL, Meuse has been a natural performer, wowing audiences since the age of 10.  At 20, she won the state-wide artist showcase, Stars of Alabama, and in 2013 was part of the Vans Warped Tour. Meuse’s tenure on American Idol led to her becoming the first person in the history of the hit series to perform her own composition, “Blue-eyed Lie,” during the finals. “Jessica pulled together a powerful performance of her original song,” commented Ryan Seacrest.

Moon Tan wins Indie Week


Moon Tan wins Indie Week


Cred: Wendy L Rombough, WLR Photography With Permission from: IndieCan Radio

Now in it’s 13th year Indie Week 2016 saw some 300+ bands play over 5 days in down town Toronto.      The festival boasts several elements including film, a conference and a contest that sends one band to play Indie Week Europe next year.  Dozens of shows were judged throughout the week across the city and 8 bands were chosen to compete in the finals last night at the Mod Club Theatre.

(brackets show where the band won the semi-finals)
The Corks (SAT Cameron House)
Samara York (SAT The Painted Lady)
Dick Rodan (SAT Velvet Underground)
#FamilyGrind (SAT The Bovine)
Fade Awaays (SAT The Drake)
Them&Us (Sat Nocturne) – 3rd PLACE
MunizO (Sat Cherry Cola’s) – 2nd PLACE
Moon Tan (SAT Mod Club) – WINNER

The was also a performance from WUZI (UK) – Indie Week Europe WINNERS

“Originally We didn’t even know if we were gonna make it out.  We just finished a small tour a whole month in October from Quebec City to Vancouver Island and everything in between and we weren’t sure if we could afford it being self funded and all.  But you never know what can happen so we went for it.”  Said drummer Nick Kula over the phone.   “We’ve never played Europe before.  That’ll be cool and an excuse to do something more in Europe hopefully.”

Described by The Scene as “Rush on Steroids”  Moon Tan started in 2012 as a cover band in the Winnipeg area.

“We started as a cover band just to make money and play for a laugh.  We’ve been covering Rush in our live shows for the last few years.  We are all big Rush fans, all of those guys are heroes for us.” Said Kula.

Winning Indie Week 2016 seems like another rung in the ladder for Moon Tan who have slowly been building up their contacts and fan base under the guidance of veteran studio engineer Ron Obvious Vermeulen since their self titled EP in 2013.   Obvious’s credits include building studios for Bryan Adams “The Warehouse Studio”, Jim Vallance “Armoury Studios”, k.d lang (private), Bob Rock (private), Colin James (private) Bob Buckley (private), and Mutt Lange (private).

Bands were judged on the following criteria:
Image, Stage Presence, Performance, Songwriting, Crowd Reaction, Professionalism, The IT Factor (Ready for the next level or not) .

Scores were marked out of 5 and grand totals tallied from all of the judges out of 35 possible marks were compared.

Take a listen to Moon Tan and see if you agree with the judges:



Indie Week 2016 Editors Picks




Now in its 13th year, Indie Week has become one of Canada’s premiere indie music festivals showcasing 300+ acts from all over the world in front of music industry professionals.

Indie Week offers 6 nights of showcases, late last call after parties serving until 4am, 20+ venues, music industry panels, industry judging, demo listening sessions, mentorships, sponsored stages and more.

After listening to every band playing the festival we’ve narrowed it down to our top choices.   Here are our Editor’s Picks for Indie Week 2016.

Wednesday – Nov 16

Brad Fillatre
8:00pm – Supermarket

Based in Toronto, Brad grew up in the small town of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Brad’s latest work entitled ‘Strangers’ was released in August, 2016 on Sparks Music/Universal Music Canada. This fall he will be on the road supporting multiple award winning Newfoundland folk trio The Once on select Newfoundland and Ontario Dates.

Sounds Like: Travelling Wilburys solo project

Mammoth Seed
10:20pm – Bovine

Frontman/Guitarist Andy Dmytryshyn, Drummer Alex Sousa, Guitarist Dervish Kucukovic and Bassist Ty Quackenbush Comprise Mammoth Seed. A Rock n’ Roll band hailing from Hamilton, Ontario. In late 2013 Mammoth Seed hit the rehearsal room and began honing their craft creating heavy rock tunes with a unique sludgy psychedelic feel while keeping with the classic rock roots.

Sounds Like: Sludgy Monster Truck

Ginger Ale & the Monowhales
10:30pm – Supermarket

Ginger Ale & the Monowhales are a five-piece indie rock band from Toronto, Ontario. Carving out a niche with their high energy, Flaming Lips-esque live show, the Monowhales have quickly made a name for themselves in the local scene. Since their debut EP “HA!” was unveiled in 2014, the band has gone on to release three new singles and one music video, as well as play in support of heavyweight acts such as FIDLAR, Electric Six, Hank and Cupcakes, and In-Flight Safety. Packing Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern for their last two releases, the Monowhales have also headlined bills at venues such as Lee’s Palace, The Silver Dollar Room, and The Garrison. With the release of their new video “Home” already gaining momentum online, the Monowhales are gearing up for the release of their newest EP. “BANG” will be released EVERYWHERE on October 14th with a party at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern.

Sounds Like: Ginger Ale & the Monowhales

Adrian Pain & The Dead Sexy
10:30 – Coalition

Adrian Pain & The Dead Sexy is Toronto and Canada’s very own Post-Hardcore / Nu Metal Hybrid; a band that melds every splintered off sub-genre you can imagine into one, stand alone, Rock sound. This is sonic seduction delivered with a serrated edge image.

Sounds Like: Alexisonfire in  dream

Jack The Lads
10:45 – Silver Dollar

With their mix of old-school rock &roll and modern style, Jack The Lads write pop, soul, and everything in between.

Sounds Like: Greased Lightning

Die Hexe
12:20 – Coalition

Die Hexe formed in late 2015 and released their self-titled EP on January 2nd 2016. Focusing heavily on creating a captivating live performance, Die Hexe combines delicate ambience with honest aggression to portray a unique musical experience.

Sounds Like: If Deafheaven got run over by a Mastodon



Thursday – Nov 17

8:30pm – Cherry Cola’s

Cleopatrick is an explosive rock duo from the small town of Cobourg Ontario, Canada. From thunderous drums, and battle-cry vocals, to fuzzed out guitar, and bass-ridden riffs; you won’t look at a duo the same once you’ve experienced Cleopatrick.

Sounds Like: DFA 1979, White Stripes more refined

Laugh At The Fakes
9:15pm – Mod Club

With a name as unique and identifiable as their sound, Toronto, ON’s LAUGH AT THE FAKES is a band that challenges the trends of today’s rock and metal scene. Since the bands inception in 2010, LATF has combined elements of metal, hard rock, and prog to create an unmistakable sound. Debuting their six song EP ‘One Night Only’ in 2011, they return in 2014 with their latest offering ‘Dethrone The Crown’ their first full-length produced by Greg Dawson and mastered by Andy VanDette (Rush, Dream Theatre, Kid Rock, Deep Purple, Bruce Dickenson, Bif Naked).

Sounds Like: Dream Theatre plays Iron Maiden fest

Ben Hudson
9:30pm – Adelaide Hall

Ben Hudson is rising quickly in the Canadian country music scene. His self titled EP earned him a nomination at the 2016 CMAO Awards and a spot at CMT Music Fest. His new single ‘Redneck Summer’ is taking over country radio across Canada.

Sounds Like: Brad Paisley

Black Collar Union
10:20 – Coalition

Founded on blood, sweat and brotherhood, Black Collar Union is a hard rock trio that delivers a hard hitting, riff driven and head banging sound. Formed in 2014, Black Collar Union are a Hamilton-based band featuring guitarist Josh Belliveau, drummer Matt D’Alvise and bassist Dave Ens.

Sounds Like: Foo Fighters

My Hollow
11:10 – Coalition

My Hollow are a metal band who have been playing for several years. Indie week is a beautiful time for all artists and terrific for exposure! Make no mistake, My Hollow are a group of well mannered gentlemen who are in it to win it!! Lets ROCK!!

Sounds Like: If Threat Signal offered the Gods lamb to slaughter

Fortune Killers
11:30pm – Cherry Cola’s

With exotic vocals, driving lead lines, and heart-thumping grooves, the band weaves a musical web that pulls you to the dance floor. Delicate innocence meets howling distortion; soft in one moment then crashing into powerful crescendos the next. It’s little red riding hood and the big bad wolf all in one.

Sounds Like:  Synth pop Metric

Kansas Stone
11:45pm – Adelaide Hall

Kansas Stone is a high energy Country band that fuels off of many different styles. Hailing from Ontario,Canada they deliver a sound that ranges from old & new country, blues, rock, and more… Kansas stone has become notorious for their catchy Melodies and well crafted Original songs.

Sounds Like: The Road Hammers

Pat Robitaille
11:45pm – Cameron House

Soulful singer/songwriter from Windsor, border town to Detroit, MI. The former front man of The Walkervilles was raised on the spirit & sound of Motown and currently resides in Toronto. He performs around Canada, armed with his guitar, looper, “golden voice” (Exclaim Magazine) & countless soul stirring songs.

Sounds Like: James Blake joined Chet Faker on stage at Coachella

Elijah Ford
12:15 – Piston

Elijah Ford is a California native turned Austin-based musician, songwriter and producer, who began his solo career after breaking from touring with Oscar and Grammy award winning musician Ryan Bingham. Ford put out his first solo record Upon Waking in 2011, and an EP called Ashes in October of 2012. After spending the last two years touring Europe & the U.S., Elijah and his band, The Bloom, are releasing a new full length album called As You Were on September 16th, 2016.

Sounds Like: Joel Plaskett




Friday – Nov 18


I Shot Samo
8:30pm – Drake Underground

An indie rock band from Montreal, born out of a discontent with the same old shit (SAMO). Ideas and feelings offset with the desire of accomplishment.

Sounds Like: If Beck hosted a psychedelic brit pop listening party

The Lad Classic
9:15pm – Mod Club

A tip of the hat and appreciation of the classic rock heavyweights that came before them, The Lad Classic create a sound that is nonetheless their own. With Paul Stevens delivering a wide range of in-your-face vocals, the heavy boom from Josiah Whitney on drums, the rumble of the bass and groove, along with the intricate, explosive guitar of Ben Healey, this band has created a sound and energy that makes you look up and take notice.

Sounds Like: If Tom Morello and Glenn Hughes produced the Trews

9:15pm – Painted Lady

An eclectic blend of earnest melodies and evocative lyrics, DEON’s music is an enduring collection of heartfelt songcraft that calls to mind the Indie Rock brilliance of Coldplay and the heartburnt drawl of Rachael Yamagata. This Singaporean songwriter brings indie electronica rock to new heights with his keen sense of musicality.

Sounds Like: Sophisticated Coldplay

9:45pm – Peacock Bar

KNYTE is a dusky, nocturnal experience; a fusion of echoey guitars and synths, powerful and edgy alt-rock drums, heavy bass lines with R&B and electronic samples, strung together with emotional, pop inspired melodies that are dark, moody and full of momentum.

Sounds Like: The Pretty Reckless

Love Razar
10:45pm – Cherry Cola’s

Winners of the Canada wide Jack Daniels Supporting Act Contest, Löve Razër is here to bring back the flash and high energy to rock ‘n’ roll! With big hooks and choruses that will have you pumping your first in the air.. its time to turn it up!

Sounds Like: Motley Crue style rock party

Los Bolita
10:45pm – Painted Lady

Los Bolitas created a new genre called Rock Chacota, this is a fusion of several genres as rock, folk, cumbia, reggae. They are from La Paz Bolivia.

Sounds Like: Los Lonely Boys got married to the music of Rage Against The Machine played by a Pacho Galan inspired Mariachi band

Philip Sayce
11:00pm – Mod Club

Born in Wales and raised in Toronto, Canada, Philip Sayce’s love of the guitar started at an early age when his parents introduced him to all of the classics, notably, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck. “I have such distinct memories listening to these incredible musicians,” Sayce says.  “Their music had a huge effect on me.”

Sounds Like: SRV

Atomic Tomb
11:30pm – Bovine

Toronto Hard Rock, Punk Metal band ATOMIC TOMB unleash an intense, earth shattering aggression, with a hard edge sound as they emerge from several years of suspended animation. Re-united co-founder’s, Axel Tomb on lead Vocal’s and Tommy Gunn on lead guitar, along with original guitarist Ron Bechard on lead Guitar are back! With long time member Corrado Bartolo on bass and new arrival Gary Glynn rocking the drum’s. That rounds off the bands loud, fast and in your face sound. Watch for these guy’s killing it on a stage near you!!

Sounds Like: Sabbath

1am – Painted Lady

gLife is breaking the mold and exposing the system with his indie success in hip hop. Having been declared “top mover” by CMJ, he is on the road again with Boston legendary emcees Slaine (La Coka Nostra) and Jaysaun (Special Teamz) on their “Underdog Mentality Tour 2016”, and booking a tour with battle rap legend Diabolic for Summer 2016.

Sounds Like: Eminem had a problem child named La Coka Nostra

Family Grind
1:40am – Painted Lady

Not looking to fit a certain “format” or reduce themselves down to being placed into a “standardized” radio playlist this duo found great worth in performing within a group dynamic… FGE’s own 313phresh and TrueSpeech paired up as #FAMILYGRIND and has aggressively become a stable on the Detroit Hip Hop scene.

Sounds Like: Kardinal Offishall

Moon Tan
2:50am – Cherry Cola’s

Energetic. Funky. Progressive. Rock n’ Roll. These elements have been forged together to create the power trio known as Moon Tan. Engaging spectators with their unique stage attire and theatrical live performance, they captivate both musicians and music lovers alike with their technical expertise, driving rhythms, and infectious melodies.

Sounds Like: Rush on steroids


Saturday – Nov 19

Jai Malano
6pm – Cameron House

In the last year, singer-songwriter Jai Malano has maintained an Austin residency with the legendary C-Boys Heart & Soul, while also traveling around Brazil, England, France, Germany, and the United States. International festivals include the Tours Festival in France (July 2015), the SJOCK Fest in Belgium (July 2015), the Bossa & Jazz Festival in Brazil (September 2015), and the Dark Season Blues Festival in Norway (October 2015). In the United States, she has showcased at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, CA (May 2015), SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX (March 2016), and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender in Las Vegas, NV (April 2016). She will also showcase at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, TX this coming October 2016. She is a rare gem you won’t want to miss.

Sounds Like:  Boot scoot n boogie dixie land style

Jenna Glatt
9:00pm – Painted Lady

Jenna Glatt is an “exceptionally gifted” soulful singing sensation with an impressive track record. This accomplished Canadian singer/songwriter has earned many awards and accolades over the years and is a Berklee (Boston) Grad. Jenna has appeared at many international music festivals and venues as well as on radio and television programs and has been collaborating with top level international producers and songwriters with whom she was invited to work.

Sounds Like: Paula Abdul

Bien Agiter
9:00pm – Coalition

Bien Agiter: a two piece, instrumental assault of drums and bass. The band is an eclectic and visceral combination of dancy funk grooves channeled through the gritty voice of punk. Something you can dance your angries out to.

Sounds Like: Primus went on a month long tour with the Ramones

Goodbye Honolulu
10:00pm – Silver Dollar

Goodbye Honolulu is quickly becoming known as one of Toronto’s most powerful and intriguing new bands on the live music scene. The boys of Goodbye Honolulu – which include Jacob Switzer, Fox Martindale, Max Bornstein and Emmett S Webb make unbelievably catchy, garage pop-rock n’ roll tunes, with an attention to melodies. Goodbye Honolulu will continue their rapid word-of-mouth growth as they bring their heavy, powerful, catchy, fun and engaging garage rock sound to a venue near you!

Sounds Like: NoFx did a Nirvana inspired MTV unplugged session.

10:30pm – Peacock

REDD uses his words to paint vivid pictures of positive inspiration and overcoming hardship. As the lyricist, he inspires listeners to pay attention.REDD is gearing up his 2016 album release

Sounds Like: Classified

The Killer Wails
1:20am – Bovine

We’re The Killer Wails from Toronto. We’re punk and we draw heavily on garage, grunge, and classic rock. We have an energy filled show that you’ll be talking about at the water cooler on Monday.

Sounds Like: Iggy Pop full on Kevs mom


Sunndrug talks starting anew in the 2016 music scene



Bands break up but that doesn’t mean that the musicians are finished making music. Just like any creative outlet, a band can be played out (figuratively and literally) and moving on is generally more difficult for the fans than it is for the players themselves.

Sunndrug is made up of the same such musicians. Drawing from previous members of Norma Jean, Spitfire and Mae, the group has taken more than a few steps away from the hardcore genre into new, unchartered musical territories. Jimmy Reeves, Chris Raines, Junior Favela, Clint Kesler and Matt Beck, released their first album as Sunndrug called Exit Wounds.

I spoke to Raines about what it’s like starting a fire from old ashes in the contemporary music industry.

You’re first record Exit Wounds came out on Halloween, what’s the most important part of releasing a debut album for a band?

A debut record is so important for any band. In today’s world people won’t give you much time before they decide if they want to continue listening or move on to the next new band. I feel like you really need to hit people immediately because a first impression is everything. We really put it all into the music. We spent almost two years writing the album and canned almost an entire album before we found our sound. Obviously a ton went into writing the record but also a lot of thought goes into picking the right first single, the right imagery, etc.  

How did the recording of the Exit Wounds go?

Our recording process went great. The project started out as something Jimmy [Reeves] and I have been wanting to do together for a long time. When we started writing the album Jimmy lived in Brooklyn, NY and I live in Virginia Beach, VA so there was a lot of traveling and phone calls with visions, ideas, and songs. Once Jimmy moved back home to VA. Beach the writing really took off. We recorded most of the record in Jimmy’s studio space in Norfolk, VA. It was a very different but productive recording experience for us both. I have never written music outside of a small room with a full band hashing it out. This time was a lot of sitting in front of a computer creating one song at a time. A lot of my drum parts were actually written on a keyboard or simply tapping on the desk. Once most of the writing was done Jeremy Griffith came to Virginia and recorded the drums. Jeremy is an amazing engineer and producer and had done both of those duties on the last Norma Jean record I was a part of called “Meridional”. Once drums were completed we headed to Jeremy’s studio in Florida to do the final mixes.  

[bandcamp width=600 height=720 album=855723809 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 tracklist=false]

How would you describe your sound? And how did you find it?

It is always so tough to describe your own sound. Just this past weekend at a show in Winston Salem, NC someone came up to me and said, “Man, you guys were great, you sound so much like Quicksand”. Although I took that as a huge compliment, I disagree with him one hundred percent [laughs] So with that being said, I don’t know that I can describe our sound. I know our vision was to take influences from our present and past and to make sure we created something aggressive and dark. I think we found it though all these years of writing music, touring, and friendship. Jimmy and I almost never disagree when it comes to ideas leading to composition or art for Sunndrug. It really is a great partnership and that has absolutely helped lead to how we found our sound.  

Being former members of notable bands like Norma Jean, Spitfire an Mae, how do you feel about using your former band’s stature in furthering your new musical project?

It has its pros and cons. It definitely helps to already have a fan base built that wants to know what we are up to musically, but also can hurt being thrown into a scene or genre that we don’t necessarily fit into. There are many Norma Jean and Spitfire fans that will enjoy what Sunndrug is doing, but also a number of fans that will be turned off since it doesn’t sound like those bands.  

How has working with Mind Over Matters Records affected the release? Why did you choose to go with a label for your first album?

Working with Mind Over Matter has been nothing short of amazing.  Austin and everyone at the label have been such a huge help to us. MOM Records has a really great way of doing business and have adapted to the landscape of today’s music industry in a great way. Their vision is all about putting out great music and making super quality physical releases for affordable prices.

What was the scene like for you guys growing up in Virginia Beach?

The scene in the Virginia Beach area growing up was great! We still have so many friends in the area or from the area that we have played with and stayed close with after all these years. We were heavily influenced by a number of bands from this area.  

What was the first song/artist that really made you fall in love with music?

I don’t know if I can name just one. I have vivid memories of hearing certain artist/bands for the first time, but can’t pick out one that made me the music lover I am today. I remember being very young and borrowing my older sisters 45’s, which lead to a lot of INXS, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses and other 80s bands. I absolutely remember falling in love with Metallica’s …And Justice For All and Tourniquet’s Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance. Once the 90s hit I was absolutely changed by Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden. Those bands taught me how to play drums and how I wanted music to sound. Once I became more embedded in the hardcore scene bands like Dead Guy, Coalesce and Dillinger Escape Plan became everything!  

What sort of reaction do you hope your music will create?

My first hope is that everyone will love it of course. I think more importantly that people will be able to relate to it and that it will leave a mark on the listener.  

Where do you hope to be a year from now?

Opening for Nine Inch Nails on a World Tour, of course!  A year from now with a lot of shows and a record under our belts I’m sure we will be deep into creating and planning for a new release.  

Grab yourself a copy of Exit Wounds here and have your mind melted by Sunndrug.


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