For many of you out there, this article will be of little immediate interest. But, I can assure you that by the time the last word falls off the tip of your brain you’ll be a convert, or appreciative at the very least. Not of me for pointing out the obvious, but rather of a band that is inconspicuously one of the most important functioning pieces of the history of new music. That band is Blink-182.
Relax, don’t go sounding the alarms just yet. Whether or not you were ever a fan of their music is irrelevant, because what we have here is a band that by virtue of their own “stupidity” has brought into existence a perpetually nourishing relationship with their fans that is unlike anything the rock & roll world has ever seen before.
In their prime, Blink was about embodying the spirit of the teenage experience. They were the musical counterpoint to teen angst, punk rock puppy love, and pop rebellion. For an entire generation of kids, their music put into words all those feelings that we tend to arrive at as we come crashing into life for the first time one summer when were 15.
The thing about Blink was their antics and that’s what drew the kids in. But it was their ability to pin point that feeling of being a recklessly free teenager bobbing along in the middle of a shit storm of hormones and happiness that really made us connect. They stayed long enough to define the pop punk sound, and then they broke up.
In retrospect I think it happened at exactly the right time, in a moment when the fans had hit that age that comes right after bewildering discovery and right before bewildering disappointment. I think they call it “growing up.” But, without even knowing it, the dynamic of the relationship that formed between this band and their fans honestly mirrored the nature of teenage life. The music became the soundtrack to their youth, and that it made it possible for them to grow together over time. And that’s the thing about rock & roll music, it’s a social entity- one that both reflects life and simultaneously dictates it.
So, now in 2011 as fans eagerly await the release of a new Blink record, it is this strange and wonderful relationship that is going to make it possible for Blink to step outside the boundaries of their previous existence, and avoid the musical equivalent of typecasting themselves as that same band that began their career telling dick jokes and
running around bare-assed wearing nothing but tube socks and converse sneakers.
Never before have we seen a musical relationship of this nature and that is the key component to making this sort of a reinstatement possible for a band at this point in their career. The timing is just right, and it’s a weird thing but like old friends- the kind you can pick up with exactly where you left off no matter what’s happened in between- both the
band and the fans seem ready and willing to go all in to let this thing breathe again.
Generally after a band breaks up what people want is a nostalgia act, something to provide a gateway back into their memories of that time. In this case, fans don’t expect the same Blink they connected with when they were 15 because they know they can’t connect with them in the same way anymore. These are not stupid people, even the
diehards don’t want to listen to a 35-year-old man sing about fucking pirates and how he’ll never talk to you again unless your mom will touch his cock. But, maybe that’s a testament to the outlook of Blink fans and to this generation in general because while we will always want to hear the classics, we’re not looking to recover a connection with a time already past, what we want now is to connect with this band on a whole new level.
When Blink announced that they were getting back together the first thing they did was go on tour. They didn’t jump right into making another record because they recognized the necessity in going out on the road and learning how to play as a unit again. Being in a rock & roll band is about finding and forging an honest connection with both the music and with the people who experience it. Blink hadn’t been a functioning unit for 5 years by the time they got back together, so releasing a record right out of the gate wouldn’t have been anything real. The fact that this band was asked to headline the 2010 Reading & Leeds Festivals in the UK and that they made a conscious decision to bring their separate experiences to the table, get their feet wet by reconnecting with the fans and figuring out how to make it work again before they ever recorded a single note, says two things; the first is that this band has grown just as much as the fans have and the second is that I’m not the only one who can see that rock & roll is on the cusp of
discovering something spectacular in Blink-182.
I think that in the beginning there were a lot of people who didn’t want to take Blink seriously as a rock band but then didn’t some skinny, old, English guy say, “you can’t always get what you want.” The crux of rock & roll music is the teenage generation and that’s what makes the Blink story such an incredible one. Prior to this moment in time,
there has never been another rock & roll band whose entire existence has been so literally tangled with the lives of their fans. This is a social fucking phenomenon we’re talking about here, a true example of art imitating life and life imitating art. I mean the relationship between this band and their fans is made of something completely honest,
and when do we as human beings feel more honestly than in our youths? This band is about to do something that no other band before it has done for a particular genre of music; defined it, disappeared, and then been in a position to do it all over again.
Photo courtesy of: Liverpool Mag
Text by Juliette Jagger of Rock Roll & Write
MARCH 9-13 2011
Once again its time to get pumped up about Canadian Music Week boys and girls. Celebrating its 29th birthday this year, and billed as Canada’s International Music Convention and Film Festival, CMW has grown into a world class event that attracts the best and brightest of the music industry’s business, creative, and technical worlds.
Boasting a jammed week of conferences, trade exhibitions, awards shows, a film festival, and of course Canadian Music Fest running five nights involving 800 bands in over 55 venues, this year’s lineup includes such acts as Janet Jackson, Buckcherry, PapaRoach, My Darkest Days, Die Mannequin, Mother Mother, Down with Webster, Serena Ryder, J. Mascis, Good Charlotte, USS, Shad, Bombay Bicycle Club, Land of Talk and so many more! Included as celebrity speakers this year are music legends Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar, and Nikki Sixx! So be sure and grab your tickets and wristbands, and check out all the events you can! “It’s going to be an awesome week for music! Check out all the details at www.cmw.net
.by Billy Gavel
LiveMusicTO is proud to host Colorsound in Toronto for their MuchMusic “DisBand: Discovered” episode taping at The Hard Luck Bar with Dot Dot Curve, All Out, Chiara Young, and more! This all-ages event is taking place on Wednesday, January 26th with help from our friends at D-Tox! What you’ll WIN:
- A meet and greet with Colorsound before the Jan 26th show!
- An Autographed CD by the band
- Uber rad Colorsound tees & merch
- Being way too tired the next morning and having absolutely no voice! NO LIE (but it’ll be worth it)How to WIN:
1) Get your ADVANCED TICKETS online! Tickets are ONLY $7 and you can do this either with TicketScene or PayPal.
**Every ticket sold will have the purchaser’s name and will be added to a guest list where we will pick the winner’s name from**
2) The more tickets you get, the better your chances of winning! So be sure to get together with your friends when getting your tix!1 ticket = 1 entry2 tickets = 3 entries3 tickets = 5 entries5 tickets = 10 entries We will be picking **3 WINNERS*** so you definitely have a good chance of winning!
For full show details, please visit the Official Event Page
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!
When seated rows are packed with a quiet rumble of anticipation and a room full of varying types—usually a good show is on deck. With a new album, and back in Toronto (briefly) as part of a 75-date North American tour, people were ready for Toronto singer-songwriter Chloe Charles.
The Rivoli is that venue that can work an electronic blaze style of show and an intimate performance, just the same. But it’s performers like 25 year-old Chloe Charles that cast such an intimacy that even the over-energized electronic dwellers want to slow down.
Taking song notes from famous females like Adele, Feist, and possessing a style reminiscent of Tracy Chapman—Chloe Charles oozed a striking demure and strong vocal prowess, keeping the audience captive though her savouring stories.
Songs like “Soon on a Snowflake” and “Salamander Red” struck chords that, personally, have not been hit in quite some time. Delving into her stories, Charles explains the songs relation to nature and wildlife, while exposing specs of her childhood through her own happy choir.
“Soon a Snowflake is a serenade to the snow for when I’m in places that are hot.”
Chloe Charles is a talent that not only signifies a contemporary mature sound, but the depth of her range keeps a mesmerizing lock on the ears. Slow enough to absorb, moving enough to indulge.
It started to make sense why so many were sitting down.
A refreshing change; Charles has her own style that meshes heart with vulnerability, without being too sap-washed. She sways from ballads to chants to crisp harmonies, all while politely strumming her guitar. You know that guitar is her ultimate companion and she shreds that relationship beautifully on stage.
Her backup ensemble were no less talented. A quiet drummer and a gentle violinist helped to keep the mood emotive-rich and unperturbed.
A voice worth hearing; a presence worth revisiting.
Chloe Charles is currently set to tour the eastern and southern U.S., as well as Germany, Italy and the UK.
More on Chloe Charles: http://www.myspace.com/chloecharles - by Kathryn Kyte
Toronto's own The Envy
have long been a huge favourite of LiveMusicTO. Since the very beginning of this website, Shaun (lead singer) has been the face on the top header. I couldn't have asked for a more fitting image - he sings into the mic in his trademark-expressive way, and it really has set the tone for the website ever since May of 2010. I've often thought of changing the header purely for the sake of keeping things fresh, but haven't been able to find anything more fitting - not within my own archives or from our team of photographers.
So for now, Shaun is there to stay.
You might recall many months ago some music news that buzzed around Toronto
(and indeed the world) - The Envy were to be the first band signed to Gene Simmons' record label, "Simmons Records", through which Simmons vowed he would shed more light on Canadian music and talent, on a world scale.That he has certainly done, with The Envy at least. Almost immediately after being signed
the band took flight and was reaching massive audiences of thousands while on tour with Simmons' band KISS. It was clear though, in our casual conversations with certain members of the band last year that they were on a very calculated and careful path. They started recording a new EP and had completed a music video months ago, but seemed to be in no real rush to release either.
Busy touring and growing their fan base maybe? Increase 'brand awareness' in order to make a release more successful? Sounds like a good strategy to me. Exactly why it has taken so long for us to see their first official release after being signed is a mystery, but one thing is for certain, I don't think any of you will disagree it was well worth the wait! Check out the brand spankin' new video below for "Don't Let Go" and purchase their album on iTunes HERE.
Photo and text by Matt Vardy
1. Where did the name Rhubix come from?
The name Rhubix came from a couple friends on a drunken night, I have a weird obsession with puzzles (completely nerdy, I know) and the new puzzle I wanted to master was the Rubiks cube, I can solve them in about a minute and a half. When it came time to pick a DJ name all my friends thought Rhubix was the obvious choice, we just changed around the spelling to make it a bit more interesting.2. 2. How long have you been DJing and what first inspired you to start?
I have been DJing for about 2.5 years. Back in the day, the weekly party by the Jons and Medley, "Dance like you fuck" kept me pretty inspired, but it was the night that JFK from MSTRKRFT did a secret show that literally made me go out the next day and buy all the equipment I needed to start mixing.3. Who is your biggest influence as an artist?
My biggest influence as an artist is for sure the crowd, as long as everyone is having a blast, it's fuelling the fire to keep shredding.4. How would you describe your style of DJing?
That's a hard question because I think as I progress as a DJ my style progresses also. I try to maintain a smooth style, keeping transitions long and try to overlap tracks as much as possible to get a seamless flow.5. What was your most favourite track to play live in 2010?
hahaha just one track… impossible… how about 3?
a) Take Over Control - Afrojack Ft. Eva Simons (Crowd Pleaser)
b) Vibrations - DJ Bam Bam (BASS! and dirty lyrics)
c) Alejandro (Skrillex Remix) - Lady Gaga (I f*cking hate her, but this remix kicked your teeth in)6. Any producers or DJs you're keeping a close eye on this year?
Skrillex. It's weird cause I grew up with this dude, listening to From First To Last in high school, and even performing "Emily" for an exam in guitar class, its just amazing to see someone to talented do great things.
Flux Pavillion was also an ear catcher, very interesting music with a unique tone.7. What would be your greatest accomplishment so far and do you have any goals for 2011 you can share with us?
Hmmm, greatest accomplishment so far would have to be playing strangelove a while back for Dance Like You Fuck, to play the venue and the party that made me want to DJ in the first place was a great feeling. New goals for 2011 is to get some remixes and original productions out into the world, and play some shows outside of the GTA.8. Hundreds if not thousands of people have listened to and/or downloaded your popular mixes online. How does it feel knowing so many people have a little Rhubix at home or on their ipod?
It's a surreal feeling to have people show you there iPods and iTunes with your music in it, its great though, I love all the comments, and support, I'm just happy to do something that people like. Soundcloud is one of the biggest assets a musician can have for themselves, it makes your music available all over the world, and tracks plays, downloads, comments - even what countries are listening. (Strangely enough, Turkey has the most plays for my music, so I guess Turkey loves Rhubix ;))9. Where is your favourite spot in Toronto to hang out with friends for food or drinks, any hidden gems you care to share?
I have a ton of fav places in TO, this city is amazing, some places to check out are;
-Sneaky Dee's (Best nachos of life!)
-Java House (You can eat a full meal and a pint of beer for like 8 bucks!)
-Aji Sai (ALL YOU CAN EAT ! you must mentally prepare for this one, its a TON of food.)
-Nirvana (Always a chill candle-lit lounge with great drink specials and a cool vibe.)
-7West (Never closes! Huge menu and delicious Chocolate cake!)
-The Bank Note (Old fashioned lil' diner style place with really tasty food, and good beer.)10. For people seeing Rhubix for the first time at our showcase on Jan 20th, what can they expect?
For anyone who's coming out to the LiveMusicTO jam on Thursday night, expect mayhem! Robb G is in the house, it's gonna be a blend of electro bangers, hard house and grimy dubstep.
Our artist of the month (January) ROBB G takes a minute to chat with us about how he first got into deejaying, where his nortorious live energy comes from, some upcoming releases and most importantly - what he can't live without when traveling abroad! You'll never guess his answer. Check it out! And don't miss out on our upcoming showcase with Robb on Jan 20th HERE
Video by Andy Wood
Interview by Matt Vardy
If there are any potential musicians wandering what it takes these days to find professional success, look no further than These Kids Wear Crowns. This powerpop outfit from BC, made up of six guys including Alex, Alan, Matt, Joe, Gypsy and Josh has exploded onto the scene over the past year and a half. While they’ll be the first to say that they’re just getting started, these guys work overtime creating opportunities and putting out first rate effort every show. Finding success in Season 2 of MuchMusic’s Disband, and in a season that included other great talent such as Abandon All Ships, San Sebastian, and Street Pharmacy, TKWC has taken the ball and is off like a rocket!
Whether playing sold-out club dates with Faber Drive, or in front of thousands NYE with fellow westerners, Stereos, their infectious powerpop grooves continue to attract fans all over North America and beyond. Currently signed to EMI and Capitol, TKWC are just putting the final touches on their first full-length album titled “Jumpstart” due for release Feb 22 (ish). Trust me, these kids are here to stay!
by: Billy Gavel
photos: Julie V Mckinney
Toronto pop-rockers, Sweet Thing have recently released their video for 'Lazy Susan.' Check out what all the craze is about. Like it? Hate it?