Posts Tagged ‘ cmw ’

Charge of The Light Brigade Release The Defiant Ones

The vision of Charge of the Light Brigade is truly a focused one. Even the most reluctant of listeners will agree; with The Defiant Ones, this is a band that certainly cannot be stopped.

The debut LP from Charge of the Light Brigade combines intense, punk-influenced melodies with an irresistible pop sensibility yet there are no tracks that pander; instead, this collection of thirteen tracks has a vision that will leave listeners helpless.

Guitarist/songwriter Luke Sneyd has long been a fixture on the Toronto scene, originally as the guitarist for electro-rock act Mountain Mama.  Two solo releases included an early demo of his track ‘The Prisoner’ that was a finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting Contest, and the video won him a Top 5 spot in the Great Canadian Band Challenge, competing for a deal with Universal Canada.   And now, with new songs and new collaborators, The Defiant Ones is an honest and earnest culmination of five years of work.

Strong themes of doomed heroism and the terminal tick of relationships gone awry abound here.  They’re heard in the resilient sprawl of ‘Fastest of The Losers’, the furious early 90’s punk stomp of ‘Charge!!’ and finally, a moody but ultimately fulfilling cover of ‘Atlantic City,’ which serves as the album’s closer.  Each track drives its way into your subconscious with alarming and altogether defiant grace.  It’s an honest approach that fuels the entire record.  Candid emotions are abundant in every song.

Charge of the Light Brigade is a collaboration between songwriter Luke Sneyd and producer Marc Koecher, with bassist Jason Eagan (Clockwise, Ryan Luchuck), and drummers Zack Mykula (Bella Clava, Inhumanoids) and Owen Tennyson (Blue Peter, Rough Trade).


CMW In Review: The CMW Hangover

My last show of CMW was supposed to be The Dillinger Escape Plan. I love this band.

By the time the final night of this fiasco arrives your just exhausted and mad at everyone. But I made it out, I was getting this done.

I drive down there, parked right across the venue – because I finally understand Toronto parking. Heart break moment,  I’m quickly told that no more media will be let in the venue.

That sucks. I’m not about to argue with the door girl. I am horribly grumpy, but she didn’t seem to care. The scary bouncer actually did a serious pat down on me before entering. I gave her a dirty look, and decided to walk away.

Oh well, I don’t have any cash on me anyways.

I’m tired, and so I choose to go back home and hit the hay. I slept for a solid 12 hours. I am drained, thats how I’ll describe it. Maybe I sound like a wuss, but the ying-yang sleeping patterns, the late nights, and the drinking has kicked my ass. I admit it, I worked my butt off, and I have the ultimate CMW hangover.

The entire event is a miracle work of art. The amount of planning involved with all of this is unbelievable. There is just so much going on all at once I can’t imagine the stress being placed on everyone who took part.

I experienced Toronto in brand new way. I went to venues I’ve never had the chance to go to, and I really got to know Toronto. I even learnt that The Annex Wreckroom is probably my favorite bar ever, only because it mixes PacMan and beer.

I got lost so many times, I met so many new people, and I am overwhelmed by all the people who were willing to give me a helping hand.

CMW is an experience. My own highlight for me would be seeing Comeback Kid in the tiny hole in the wall that is The El Mocambo. I’ve never had the chance to experience this band, and I can honestly say that I felt like a teenager again, jumping on people.

So thats it. Interviews are coming, lots and lots of interviews.

I sat down with the likes of Protest The Hero, Alan Cross, Kobra and The Lotus, and the ladies of Hunter Valentine.

Stay tuned, this isn’t over yet.

By Michael Burton

Assorted Photos On My CMW Adventures

Shooting has been on the back-burner of life ever since my camera got a little messed up, but luckily I avoided Nathan for a week and was able to borrow the exact same camera from the school!

So yeah, shall we? These are photos that didn’t make it into the show reviews.

Shooting CMW is challenging if you don’t have an external flash. Dark venues, moving objects, it makes for a lot of dark blurry photos. I am mentioning this, because I don’t own one.

This however I thought was an interesting picture of the hardcore band Bastard Child Death Cult. If you’ve been following the reviews, yes I already mentioned that their name is absurd. But, the bass player of this band is super sweet to shoot. He’s an interesting bearded guy who actually rocked out. This band doesn’t sound very good live, but if every member did shit that this guy does, well I wouldn’t really care how bad they sound. Here he is jumping off a stack of subs at The El Mocambo.

Next we have the band Coalesce playing the Annex Wreckroom. Again, here I am in a dark venue, no external flash, but I still manage to pull off this artsy photo. Not so bad.

Now this is a picture. This is a photograph of the trendy pretty boys in Stereos winning the award for “Best New Group” at the Canadian Radio Music Awards. I was thrown into a big mess of radio personalities and musicians, and quite a few things came out of this fiasco.

And here is another one from the same awards show.

All of CMW is free-for-all on the photo front. This means that everyone and their uncle busts out their SLR. It gets a little silly looking when there are 6 photographers front and centre and probably only 20 people watching the opening band.

I don’t have any fancy lenses, but I’m impressed at all the crazy wide-angle, whitchawhat zoom lenses all these 16 year olds had. Seriously, I looked like a chum with my 50 mm. But thats ok, I managed.

Thoughts, opinions anyone?

Photos and Words By Michael Burton

CMW Snapshot: Sweet Thing & The Junction

I had a birthday to attend last night. I had to go, it was for Mike, a senior designer for this magazine and a lover of mine. The sushi was good. But after, Chuck and I were able to skip out and make our way to Lee’s Palace to check out Sweet Thing, the pop-charismatic-lead-singer band. They actually opened for Sam Roberts at Sheridan two years ago. They get better, more refined every time I take in their joyous indie rock. Well done you crazy vest-wearing band.

Then we jetted over to the Horseshoe, but we missed The Wooden Sky, a band I openly fawn over. Their folk-cum-soulful tunes get me every time; it’s authentic, trueful music. And then we messed around until Toronto’s The Junction hit the crowded Horseshoe stage. These boys have been around for quite awhile, never really catching their big break. They were still fun and tight, but it was admittedly missing something. It was a good way to close CMW — just a number of solid and subpar showcases fused together. There’s a boatload of talent in this country, and although you need to dig at times and hunt for it, damn it was worth it when you catch the standouts.

Below is a shot of the Junction show and below is Sweet Thing at Lee’s Palace.


The Junction plays a late night show at the legendary Horseshoe

Sweet Thing holds their own with lead singer Owen Carrier doing his (wild) thing.

CMW Day 4: Sights and Sounds Vs. Comeback Kid

Day 4 and I’m running on fumes now. I show up to The Garrison just as Songs From a Room were finishing up their set. They were pretty ok I guess, another rock band from Toronto. Who I was really looking forward to seeing was the next band, Sights & Sounds.

The epic band that is Sights And Sounds hits up The Garrison

This venue was not suited for the monstrous live sound that is Sights & Sounds. This is my third time seeing them, and the first time seeing them and actually being familiar with their record. They were great. They are atmospheric but still go nuts on stage. The band manages to make their song-writing exciting, but still sort of spacey and ambient. It’s really good stuff. Fans of Thrice would really dig this band.

Old times are good times with The Meligrove Band

I was really into The Meligrove Band when I was high school. Not so much anymore. I really don’t know how to describe them. They are pop. It’s weird. Falsetto, keys, I don’t know. Someone help me out here. I liked how they all were dressed like they were living in the 60’s. I didn’t stay long, because Comeback Kid was playing a couple blocks away.

Dead and Divine, doing their thing.

So I’m a wild man, I did the unthinkable. I venue hopped. I wasn’t down with seeing Moneen over Comeback Kid, so I booked it over to The Elmo and picked up the last bit of Dead and Divine‘s set. They sound great live, Matt Tobin can sing, and everyone was in place for these guys last night. I love the singing in this band. I used to label this band as an Emo band, but I guess they are leaning towards the melodic-metalcore side. Really good stuff, check them out if you haven’t yet.

Comeback Kid, destruction. So amazing.

Comeback Kid is simply amazing live. I hurt everywhere. I don’t understand how photographers get good shots of these guys. You’d have to camp out for the entire show and wait for that perfect moment. I on the other hand ditched the camera one song in to take part in the mayhem. Endless stage dives, crowd surfing, chants, swinging fists. It was poetry. Everyone just lost it. Shoes and limbs flew everywhere, and I was drenched in sweat after this one. I did time one of my stage dives at the perfect moment during the song Wake The Dead. That one moment alone made all of CMW worth the stupid amount of driving I’ve had to do.

Cheers to that. We save the best for last, with The Dillinger Escape Plan.

Review and photos by Michael Burton

CMW Day 3: Interview with The Dudes

One thing is for sure, CMW has made me truly hate driving, parking, and even just getting around Toronto. I don’t know what mother nature’s deal is, but she almost killed me three or four times driving back and forth in this rain.

My interview with The Dudes was scheduled for 8 p.m. sharp, and with the rain pouring down like cats and dogs, I was a little late. Five minutes late? I’m not sure, but I hate being late, being late makes me grumpy.

Next I have to find parking. Two days ago I didn’t really understand how the Toronto parking system works, and with a band manager calling me to find out when I’m going to arrive, parking is a stressful thing.

So I’m parked, it’s raining, I’m running to the venue, I’m soaking wet, and the door girl doesn’t believe me that I have an interview.

Now this just sucks.

I con my way in, because I’m sauve as hell, and next thing I know I’m in a dark stinky room with front-man Dan Vacon of Calgary’s stellar four-piece The Dudes.

The Dudes from Calgary Alberta

As for Vacon himself, he didn’t really seem like he had much to say about his music. He’s a really quiet guy, mild-mannered, and I guess you could even call him a sweet dude. He has no rants or raves, no comments on the music industry, no band he is overly excited to see. He’s just chilling out, sipping at his bottle of Molson.

The Dudes is the first and only band he has ever played in – that’s 14 years of writing tunes about stealing girlfriends, running from the lady cops, and creating some great rock and roll.

The songs written by Vacon, according to him are just lyrical and guitar ideas that translate into something more after a few lagers.

The bands personality only came out during their live performance. It was everything I expected to be, fun, lots of singing-a-long, and lots of energy from every member.

See, you have to understand this. I really like this band. I approached this night from the perspective of a fan. They are great, their lyrics are clever, they know how to work an audience, and if I wasn’t driving – they would be even more incredible with a couple more pints in me.

I did however make a fool of myself when I asked Vacon if summer was a big influence on his song writing. He paused and looked at me, “nah man, winter is a good time to chill too.”

Just another dude I guess.

Review and interview by Michael Burton

Found it: New (Good) Music at CMW

I have seen the big shows at CMW. All the hype got to me, too: I took in the Zeus, Jason Collett show, Fucked Up and then the Woodhands, K-os show. The biggies, if you will. But the point of CMW, I had to remind myself, was to check out the showcases. That’s kinda the bloody point; discover some new artists and ditties in the sonic jungle of 700 different bands. And, hurray, I found one. Well, let’s be honest, my friend found Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, the Calgary-born singer-songwriter with infectious hooks and lyrics. My friend thought he was cute. I concur.

So, we downed a bottle of pinot grigio at the Gladstone, purposely missed the opener — a lad named Jesse Labelle — but it sounded good enough from the neighbouring room. Next up was a refined garage band’s take on illScarelett. The boys from Welland known as Street Pharmacy was decent with their ska, rock, and something like the sounds that emit from the garage when you’re brother picks up a strat for the first time. Passable, but they’re not going anywhere.

And then time for a little crooning from the pop ballads of Fitzgerald. Doing something a little fun — he brought three lovely ladies from Humber’s music program to the show to sing back up. Interestingly enough, they all like wearing black clothes, but were able to sing on key and add a little something to the smooth, authentic voice that is the little boy in plaid. (See: Fitzgerald). Talent comes and peeks its random head here and there in showcases, and this was one of those situations. Shit, it was refreshing. And after that, some semi-noise band with decent noise-making abilities from Down Under took the stage. They’re called something silly like Children Collide. I swiftly got drunk during this. To make up for it, here’s some Fitzgerald. Keep these guys on your radar — they’ll be popping up sooner than later.