Restarting blogs: I’m back after a long hiatus! Why…?

October 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm (Musings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

still here, but I've remained mainly unseen.

Yes it’s true! I’ve decided to restart posting my thoughts and blogs after many months on the lam. Why? Many reasons, one of them being, that I felt I was being to cryptic & withholding (holding back) my thoughts & opinions on music, life, and the world.

I was hiding out in the social media outlets on the internet (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.). I had grown a little embittered that all the hard work into my stories, interviews, reviews, etc., were becoming redundant. Namely, I was putting in way too much effort, for so little in return. I mean, meeting & interviewing artists, improving your websites, social media integration, it’s all gravy in the beginning, but it tends to get “the same” after a long time without other motivations.

I was getting a bit worn or burned out. A saying in the blogging world (that I heard) was, “Once you no longer have that stop at nothing, all consuming passion about your writing subject…you might as well stop.”

So I did for awhile, and a month turned into a couple months with little motivation to write new creative articles and stories…until something changed. I found that there were increased e-mails to myself from new contacts! People contacting me, asking for my opinions on music/artists/bands. I was sent a lot more new music from different sources, and asked to do interviews.

In a nutshell, I was becoming busier in “my hiatus” than during my busiest writing/blogging periods. I asked myself and friends why? It seemed strange to me…but my friends and I agreed, that I had probably established myself online enough at that point online, to be considered a respectable & reputable source in the niche of “Canadian indie music”. I saw that there was no point to ask why, but to accept the good fortune and try to move forward with it, and to not take myself to seriously this time.

Let’s see where this goes…

~Jason

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Junior League Band is the real deal

November 23, 2009 at 4:20 pm (Indie Artists, Music Reviews, Musings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The funny thing is at the Examiner website, my topic is Canadian music, which is a large and broad topic, however, I’m not allowed to write about anything else. This of course leaves out many great musicians/indie bands out there. So, I’ll use this blog to put up some cool new “foreign” music that I’m not allowed print at the Examiner.com/Canada.

You know that saying, “when you least expect it, you get it!”, well that saying goes far in explaining how I got introduced to this next band’s music. Normally, it’s myself trolling through the internet, music sites, listening to songs, looking for that group that just shines & sparkles. Oftentimes it’s few and far between. This time the band, found me on Twitter. I usually find my way listening to most of what people send me, but realistically I only time to write about a certain number of acts.

There are many ways to look at indie: just starting out & trying to find their sound; those that are starting to turn heads & have the talent, and are gigging like mad to make it (at this time they are pretty much ready); Indie/underground groups that have been around so long that they are very respected, but shameful they didn’t break through into the mainstream.

I would class the Junior League band in the second category, as they certainly are up and coming, but they bring a throwback roots/americana/country/acoustic sound. The Lissy Rosemount (the singer) stands out from the pack as her soulful voice that is truly unique, & the band has that polished sound that comes with many performances together. Anyway, you can check out their videos for yourselves. I chose: South Carolina Blues and Kiss You In The Morning b/c. they are more their “music videos”, the other clips are more raw performances.

Junior League Band- South Carolina Blues

Junior League Band – Kiss You In The Morning

If you want to see more, or leave a comment with them, check out these links:

Junior League Band’s Official Homepage: http://www.juniorleagueband.com/

Junior League Band’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JuniorLeague

Junior League Band’s Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/juniorleagueband

Junior League Band’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/JrLeagueBand2

~ Jason Chu

Canadian Music Examiner


Jason Chu’s Twitter

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Reflections: pop music vs. classical music

November 16, 2009 at 9:10 pm (Musings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

music comic

Pop music vs. Classical

I’m not sure what it is, however, there has been an “elitist” bias among practitioners of classical music (and jazz to an extent) towards pop music. With their complexities, and often times, numerous years of study at music programs, classical musicians reverence of historical catalogues, yet it doesn’t improve their popularity among the masses.

On the other hand, pop music (in this case all popular music) keeps growing in popularity with the advent of the internet. Sometimes there has been collaborations like Metallica’s orchestral performances, or anytime you bring in a string section in a pop tune ballad.

Classical music activists say there is no interest to classical/jazz music & that in many ways it’s dying (sales of songs/albums). Critics blame it on the public for not appreciating the greatness of the music. Meanwhile, pop musicians like Miley Cyrus and Linkin Park sell tons of albums, itunes, merch, and ticket sales for tours. Today I checked ticketmaster and the top billed ticket price for Bonjovi concert was over $1,100 (and those were sold out within 10 minutes). And no offense, but I’m not sure if any pop artist will last as long as a Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin.

#1 Music is music & it needs be promoted through press, given publicity, shared, passed on to each successive generation. It doesn’t happen by osmosis.

My point, is that in my experiences as a music writer, I have got a lot of positive response from the pop music community and silence/ignored by the classical/jazz community. Now, I admit I don’t search out classical or jazz as much as pop music, but I have a beef with the “Classical” mindset.

Simple example, whenever I have contacted pop musicians/bands about doing an article or contacting them for background info, etc., I have usually been given a positive and response. They seem to welcome publicity and press. So, I’ve been sent many press releases, invites to shows, and made contacts within the pop music world.

On the other hand, whenever I have contacted classical/jazz musicians or venues about writing articles and giving some press on this genre of music, I’m usually “stiffed at the door.” I have contacted Koerner Hall multiple times, which is the new performance hall in Toronto specifically made for the RC (Royal Conservatory).

My beef is that I contacted them through the appropriate channels knowing that the 1st season of this concert hall is a big deal for Toronto. The thing is they didn’t get back to me with any response after taking my info down & saying it would be passed to “blah blah” and I think that’s poor that they don’t get back to me with at least an explanation as to why it’s a “no”.

If given press access, I would’ve went to the “9’s” in writing about all the great classical, jazz, world music performances that are going on there. And I really don’t understand it, because classical/jazz is definitely in the decline and a lot less popular than pop music, which get’s most of the music press.

So, I’ve got the beef out & it’s done. No grudges, I’ll even leave the link to Royal Conservatory/Koerner Hall, so you can check out their shows & go to them if you are in the GTA region (Greater Toronto Area). If you want to get the younger mainstream audiences into classical/jazz, you need all the promo you can get.

I just wonder if classical music society purposely want to keep the concerts small, quiet, in order to…have the masses stay away.

The Royal Conservatory: http://performance.rcmusic.ca/

~ Jason Chu

http://twitter.com/Chodidees

http://www.examiner.com/x-19981-Canadian-Music-Examiner

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

http://www.youtube.com/user/Chodidee

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