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…

Permalink 1 Comment

January 27, 2010 at 12:05 am (Major Label, Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


From opening for Hannah Montana’s Emily Osment, pop sensation Jesse Labelle returned to his home soil in Toronto 2 weeks ago to unleash his debut music video “Perfect Accident” live on MuchMusic’s “Much On Demand”. The video from Jesse’s “Perfect Accident EP” will debut on the MuchMusic countdown at #20 and has also been added into heavy rotation at Much More Music and Punch Much (Check out the tour video link below).

On tour, his heartfelt ballads and uptempo pop songs were met positively from audiences across the country. Opening for Emily Osment, Jesse had the opportunity to win over a legion of new young fans, witnessed by the long lines at the merch booth and his post show meet ‘n’ greets where literally thousands of (screaming) fans waited several hours for a chance to have a picture taken with the young singer songwriter.

Jesse Labelle’s “Perfect Accident EP” debut release, recorded with Dave Thomson (Lights) is already off to a running start hitting #1 on the Soundscan Singles Chart this past week. The digital version of the EP which came out in November soared into the Top 10 on iTunes Pop Album Chart the week it was released. This 4 song introduction is but a small taste of what is to come on Jesse’s full length release slated for a mid-March release on Wax Records.

DOWNLOAD photos, album art, logo, bio here:  http://jesselabelle.com/artwork
VIEW music video and fact sheet: http://web.me.com/waxrecords/JesseLabelle/Info.html
VIEW tour wrap-up video: http://gallery.me.com/jamieapples/100566




Perfect Accident EP on iTunes:

Jesse on “Much on Demand”:


Jesse Labelle – “Perfect Accident” Official Video

Permalink Leave a Comment

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





Permalink Leave a Comment

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



Permalink 1 Comment