Possible indie music interviews

February 14, 2010 at 4:54 am (Music Reviews, Musings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ll keep this short. Through communicating back and forth these musicians have agreed (in principal/theory) to do an interview with me. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s in person or by phone b/c. in this cases, the bands are a far distance away. The trick is trying to schedule it when their tours arrive in Toronto.

For example, in the summer I got in contact with Vancouver artist, Leah West & she agreed to do an interview when she came to Toronto, however, she wasn’t scheduled to come for a few months. When I realized it, she was gone in other cities on her tour. My bad mistake.

Leah West - singer/songwriter

Leah West - alternative/pop/folk rock

1. Eternia (Toronto/NYC)

Eternia's going worldwide! (Congrats on the record deal!)

Eternia's going worldwide! (Congrats on the record deal!)

2. Papermoon (Winnipeg/Manitoba)

Indie pop rock band - so underrated...

Indie pop rock band - so underrated...

3. The Mountain & the Trees (St. Johns/Newfoundland)

Coming to Toronto for Canadian Music Fest 2010

Coming to Toronto for Canadian Music Fest 2010

4. Fields of Green (Vancouver/B.C.)

New album "Blanktown" out now...

New album "Blanktown" out now...

We’ll see if I can organize this all & do it properly. We’ll find out, however, I’ll get trying to set these up in the next few weeks. Right now, I want to throw up as many articles & content on the Examiner page, and some on NxEW. Check you later…

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Interviewing indie music artists

February 14, 2010 at 3:36 am (Musings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m writing this to help me remember, but also as a guide for you to get some ideas on interviewing musicians.

1) Most indie musicians love writers b/c. it gives them more exposure, attention, contacts, etc. Knowing this will give you some confidence, be patient, positive, brief (don’t waste their time) – meaning, be direct and clear when you ask them for an interview.

2) You’re already at the show, you see the singer. Be proactive! You have to create your own breaks, stories…so go find them. Don’t waste a chance if your gut says go talk to THAT band.

3) At a show, you can approach in many ways, but always be respectful & handing over a nice looking business card, always looks good. State that you are writer, right off the bat, so they’ll probably get that you are there wanting to interview or get a quote for an article.

4) Nowadays, contacting a band through a website is actually a decent way to go. I have scored most of my interviews writing a direct e-mail to their official website, Myspace, Twitter, even Facebook. Social media does work for writers to connect with the artist….really!!

At first I would write comments & stuff on their site, and then the artists sometimes would comment back..huh? So, the more it happened, I thought, why not? E-mail directly and see if they want to talk, the worst they can do is say no or ignore your message. For example, if I get a response, I usually either try to meet when they next come to town, or I try to do a phone interview & set it up.

*The hardest thing about doing an interview is setting a suitable day & time. It can be frustrating if they have to re-schedule, etc., however, this comes back to the patience thing. If you want to interview an artist, it’s still awesome to have to interview, even if you have to wait a long time. But be persistent and patient. Remind yourself that musicians are busy, practicing, recording new stuff, so be prepared for example, if they say come to show  I’ll talk with you after the show, and the show ends at 2am…you stay till 2am happily & do that interview to your best.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go through their indie record label reps, & that’s fine. You will probably have to go that route if they’re a big “indie artist”.

O.K. this blog is getting horrendously long, I could tell you a lot more things, so I might in a continuation blog.

~Jason

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Beth Moore Performances & the Peter James Project

August 24, 2009 at 9:20 pm (Music Reviews, Unsigned Artists) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The Beth Moore Band

The Beth Moore Band (photographer: Brad Moore)

The Toronto Independent Music Awards (T.I.M.A.’s) occurred in late June, and Beth Moore was one of the acts playing that night, and an article was supposed to be written at the time. In typical independent writing/blogging fashion, it didn’t quite get done, however, it lead me to her next show on August 11th, 2009 at Mitzi’s Sister in Toronto.

First of all, who is Beth Moore? We surely aren’t talking about the pop/punk mega-star “Pink” whom we all know Beth Moore is her non stage name. Well, Canadian local, Beth Moore is an indie/folk singer/songwriter who mixes many styles most notably indie rock, folk, Americana, Blues, etc.  About two years ago, was when I first heard Beth’s music and I could tell right then, she had a unique sound and a strong voice.  Over the past couple years we’ve kept in touch on Facebook and from time to time I’ve heard her new songs posted online, and am impressed by her developing musical style.

Remembering that night at the T.I.M.A.’s was special as Beth Moore played live with a full backing band, which was unusual to see (she plays solo acoustic most nights). So, I grabbed my note pad (not taking my laptop into a bar/club) and scribbled a bunch of notes throughout the night.

I came a little early to ensure I wouldn’t miss her performance and happened to see a great rock band Japhy that was getting the energy of the intimate crowd quite high. At about 10:50pm Beth Moore took to the stage, and I was excited to hear her perform live.

Beth Moore

Beth Moore (photographer: Brad Moore)

They were introduced as, “The Beth Moore Band.” They brought a mix of sounds and styles, but one thing was unmistakable, Beth’s fiery power vocals. Again, after hearing her mostly singing soft acoustic lullaby guitar numbers, it was quite jarring and impressive to hear her let loose on a song. The band was solid and definitely filled out the sound.  She has a unique vocal style and voice that would be comparable to: Sarah McLachlan, Sinead O’Connor, and a healthy dose of Ben Harper. The keyboards in this group really add another element to their sound. The real emphasis is on Beth’s vocal talents mixed with the interesting songwriting and lyrics of their music. Anyway, in their half hour set they showed a lot versatility with their band and the music.

To show support, Beth Moore was having another show on August 11th, 2009 at Mitzi’s Sister in Toronto, which i went to. Also, on the bill was the Peter James project. Beth played first, and again she played solo acoustic, but what missing from the bigger band experience was the funny performer side of Beth Moore. Her jokes and stories made great interludes between songs and kept it memorable and interesting. It’s doubtful anyone one there will forget her “Mandarin 10 hr gig” story. She debuted some her new songs live and they were all well crafted songs, but sometimes wondered what the song would sound like with the backing band. Anyhow check out the video links below to see Beth Moore play live at Mitzi’s Sister.

The Peter James Project is an Irish/New Zealand/Toronto mix band that plays a pop/rock/ska sound with influences like: Crowded House, The Smiths, and the Dave Matthews Band.  As luck would have it, though traffic caused me to be late by half an hour, I missed none of the shows. The HD camera was brought for some filming, but it was uncharged, however, some footage was still captured of Beth Moore and the Peter James Project. The Peter James project was technically crisp and band had their chops down. Peter James vocals were crystal clear and the lyrics were easy to follow. Take a look and listen.

By: Jason Chu

http://www.linkedin.com/in/chodidee

http://www.google.com/profiles/Jason.Chu18

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Bridgestock 09′: A New Canadian Indie Music Festival

August 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm (Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My first article with Examiner.com! I’m pretty excited because it has taken a long time to get to this point. I can’t wait to cover music exclusively, and I will continue to write my blogs (thoughts & stuff I can’t put down for Examiner – here). It’s a busy next few months, seeing shows, networking, doing interviews, and staying ahead the tech/social media game so that I can be effective at what I’m trying to do. And that is to be a respected writer online or otherwise, writing great articles with cool pictures, and links!

Here my 1st article with Examiner.com

It’s about a Canadian Indie Music Festival called Bridgestock 09′. Check it out! http://lnk.ms/1bGdT

~ Jason Chu

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Alicia Silverstone & Alanis Morissette in hilarious Road Trip parody!

July 27, 2009 at 1:35 am (Musings) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

My Mother’s Red Hat w/Alicia Silverstone & Alanis Morissette from Alicia Silverstone
Keywords: alicia silverstone alanis morissette road trip indie movie trailer garden state soundtrack
Credits: Starring: Alicia Silverstone and Alanis Morissette
Directed by: Steve Carr
Written by: Lauren Palmigiano
Produced by: Lauren Palmigiano, Mike Farah, Jason Taragan
Baby Hitchhiker: Gary Owen
Director of Photography: David Thies
AC: Ryan VanAusdall
Camera: Will Shipp
Audio: Jason Perez
Editor: Ross McNamara
Pos… more >

Credits: Starring: Alicia Silverstone and Alanis Morissette
Directed by: Steve Carr
Written by: Lauren Palmigiano
Produced by: Lauren Palmigiano, Mike Farah, Jason Taragan
Baby Hitchhiker: Gary Owen
Director of Photography: David Thies
AC: Ryan VanAusdall
Camera: Will Shipp
Audio: Jason Perez
Editor: Ross McNamara
Post Sound: Jayce
Production Assistants: Zak Zeman, Josh Simpson
Alicia Make up: Shauna O’Toole
Alicia Hair: Gregory Russell
Alanis Make up: Kayleen McAdams
Wardrobe: Emilie Pereira
Special Thanks: Alissa Vradenburg, Lisa Giglio, Karey Dornetto

Hahaha! After I saw this video clip, I had to embed it! I didn’t expect their video to be so funny! Priceless
🙂

Jason Chu

http://twitter.com/Chodidees

http://www.youtube.com/Chodidee

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

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High School, College, and University Students: This Notes for You!

June 2, 2009 at 7:28 am (Musings) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello! It is 5:09am as I start writing this. Yes, I do have insomnia again, but that’s not the point…About 2 weeks ago I started reading “Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl”. What made me choose that book? (never read it up till now). I knew vaguely of her family’s story during WWII, but I also remembered the Gr. 6 department at my “school” was going to do a unit on Anne Frank, culminating in seeing a play about her diaries (stoked my curiosities).

*****

I haven’t fully completed the book yet, but I realize beyond her extraordinary situation, timing, & her first person diaries of WWII life in the “Secret Annexe”, I see genius. She was truly an amazing person, a gifted & genius writer who wrote her diaries as a 13-15 year old adolescent! If she were alive today, I’m sure she would have become one of the greatest writers of our times (she had that much talent, loved school/learning so much, & her spirit comes alive in her writing). So often, we think of WWII and black & white grainy images of historical film with a monotone voiceover…her writing is a treasure, if you have read this book, or haven’t yet, I would strongly advise it. It’s 5 stars plus (i don’t rate easy)…and it’s simply one of the best books I have read so far.

*****

Here’s a relevant quote from Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, I would share with anyone who is in school in some form or another:

Tuesday, May 18 May, 1943:

“All students who wish either to get their degrees this year, or continue their studies, are compelled to sign that they are in sympathy with the Germans and approve of the New Order. Eighty per cent have refused to go against their consciences. Naturally they had to bear the consequences. All the students who do not sign have to go to a labor camp in Germany. What will be left of the youth of the country if they have all got to do hard labor in Germany?” ~ Anne Frank

*****

Another reference is the Cultural Revolution that took place in China in the late 60’s-early 70’s read this: “As students, workers, commune members and people from all walks of life were busy participating in the Cultural Revolution, almost everything was shut down in the country. Production declined drastically, and the country became stagnated. Schools were closed (they would not reopen until 1970 ) so that teachers and students could concentrate on “destroying the four olds”: old culture, old ideology, old customs, and old habits. All forms of the old- — old textbooks, literature, music, movies, plays, and Chinese paintings were banned in schools.”

*****

Furthermore, in Communist China during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960’s-early 70’s. The Cultural Revoulution condemned every form of religion and banned all open expression of faith, churches, and temples are shut down and destroyed; believers are imprisoned, killed. link: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/research/edu20/moments/1966chinarev.html

*****

As a side note the above paragraphs, my father fled China in fear because of this & many ofther actions within China at the time (on a student visa to Canada & never left). Imagine that, for like 5 years ALL higher education school was shut down completely…and high schools were taught propaganda & Mao’s ideologies. Why do dictators do this, countless times, over and over again, renegade powers take over their nation & one of the first thing they go after is the educated? Why? Because they fear educated people, and their ability to see through rhetoric, false literature, propaganda, their ideas – they fear being overturned by the elite/the intelligent-sia. If they take out the educated…the masses or uneducated, generally do not have no one to turn for leadership, organization, and structure, to form a counter against powerful military and dictatorial might. If you take out faith & religious leaders – people lose hope, and the “new takeover” power have more freedom to brainwash the nation through propaganda and make their revolutionary power into “god-like” or “man-gods”, make their power/ideology/leader into almost a quasi-religion.

*****

It’s not a joke, the young are the leaders of tomorrow, and some even of today. For example, President Obama is only in his 40’s and has 2 young daughters. Think about it, how many world leaders, do not have an education?

*****

Value your education. Treasure that you have the opportunity, that so many in the past were denied & many died for. Yes, higher education is expensive, whine & complain if you must, but remember the value of an education CAN’T be bought! You must learn, study, rinse & repeat all your own. How much you decide to learn is really up to you. Oh yeah, please remember it’s really not about marks & the degree. It’s about learning, growing, studying, trying your best, getting educated – so that you can become an effective member of society. You do those things, I guarantee you’ll get what you were aiming/studying for or you will find another opportunity in the process. O.K. 6:09am.

*****

One hour it took to write this…it’s all good! Anyway, just remember the value of your education was & is denied many still today, so don’t take it for granted! Value your education.

~ Jason Chu @Chodidees

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

http://www.youtube.com/Chodidee

http://www.tweeplemagazine.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/chodidee

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