Tag Archives: guest post
Last week I had the very fun opportunity to take on the writing endurance/music obsession challenge known to music nerds all over the world as One Week One Band. It is a comprehensive music encyclopedia, where each week a new writer takes on the task of writing about a musician or band that holds a special place in their heart.
I chose Bob Dylan, which, if you know my dog is named Mr. Bojangles, and that Bob portraits hang on many of my walls, or that I almost named this blog No Direction Home, or that my next tattoo is Dylan lyrics, will be of no surprise to you. His music and words have had a tremendous impact on my life, and will continue to for the rest of my life.
With that in mind, if you want to read my raves about my five favourite Bob Dylan albums, go to this page on One Week One Band and scroll to the bottom to find my first entry, then work your way up and forward through the newer pages. There are many posts, and many songs! Like I said, endurance challenge. It was exhausting and fun, and I highly recommend any writer looking to go deep into their own obsession with an artist to consider taking on the challenge.
Just kidding, I’ll save that for later tonight! But really, it was super fun to be a part of this contest. It gave me a chance to discover a bunch of new bands I would have otherwise missed out on, and forced me to really think about just what it is that makes me so passionate about a good song. I wrote some of my favourite posts because of the questions AUX asked us.
One of my choices – Sarah Smith – even made it to the finals, which is great.
Those of you that entered and didn’t make it to the final three should still be proud, you put yourself out there to be judged, and that takes balls and faith in your own talent – two things that will get you far in this industry if you keep up the hard work. Be sure to stick it out – many bands will break up before they hit their stride, it’s the ones who don’t that eventually get signed.
It was also interesting to read my fellow bloggers opinions on all the topics we covered, and see their favourites. Despite it being an indie rock focused panel, for the most part we had pretty diverse opinions and choices.
The show happens tonight, and I look forward to finding out who takes home the grand prize! Will you be there?
As I was going through the entries, the other song that really stood out to me was Sarah Smith’s “Shine Bright.” While the video is just a simple live one shot on a cell phone, her voice is so strong it immediately pulled me in and I had to listen to it a few times before moving on.
Upon googling, I discovered she is actually the singer from The Joys, a band I’m not super familiar with but had definitely heard of as they’ve been around a long time. This explained the sheer depth of her songwriting skills and ease of performance on stage. Nothing makes up for experience.
The song is catchy, the lyrics are strong and her voice has that smoky quality I absolutely adore and seek out in female musicians. She can sing like no one’s business.
I also love that the song has that slightly alt-country sound, which is something I was looking for in the entries. These performers will be opening for The Trews, so their music needs to mesh genre wise with the headliner, and this definitely does. It feels like something The Trews would have written if they had a female leading the band.
If you like the song as much as I do, go give it a vote!
After the entries went live for voting this week I spent some time going through the videos and listening to the different songs submitted, and there was definitely a band that instantly stuck out to me among the rest – ilvekyo.
The strange name immediately made me curious, and from the still alone I could tell this would be a video worth checking out as it looked to be a recording session rather than a live video. After going through countless entries I was getting tired, but as soon as I hit play on this song I was fully awake again and I knew I had found my first choice.
The video is great – love the focus on the strings on their instruments – but most importantly, they are incredibly talented. The song is catchy, I immediately found myself clapping along, and the lyrics and songwriting ability is the strongest I found among the various submissions. I love their vocal tone, the pacing, the verse is as strong as the chorus, and each instrument stands out on its own and adds something unique to the song. I played it at least 10 times more before moving on to the next video.
They remind me of some of my favourite slightly country tinged alternative bands like Wilco, but without being derivative at all. They would fit perfectly up there on stage with The Trews.
I wanted to learn more about them, and after googling, discovered someone else thinks they’re pretty great too.
Watch the video below and then go HERE to give them a vote – they deserve to be up on that stage. And remember you can vote once every 24 hours!
Hey guys! Here’s my latest guest post for AUX for the Whisky Rocks competition (bands – this is your LAST CHANCE to enter your song to win a spot opening for The Trews and gear from Gibson and Yamaha!), in which the guest bloggers were asked to talk about a memorable opening act we discovered by showing up early – or in my case, sticking around later.
When I was younger, I only showed up for the opener when it was important that I could actually see the stage (so, standing shows). Being short is easily the worst part of being a live music fan.
But, as I’ve become more interested in the local music community in the past few years, I’ve made it a point to show up earlier than usual – or stick around for the other bands playing that night in the case of some local shows – as it can lead to finding my next favourite band.
The most recent example of this would be during NXNE, when I attended the Horseshoe to see some of my favourite locals – Poor Young Things, CATL, and the special guests for the night – Yukon Blonde. As it was a local festival lineup, it wasn’t like a typical concert where the first bands to play are the lesser known ones, the order was a lot more random, and so Yukon Blonde (who would be considered the headliner) were on at 10pm before most of the bands for the night. After their set was over I decided to stick around for Young Empires and CATL, and this meant staying for The Lumineers set as well.
For some reason, I hadn’t yet heard of the The Lumineers, but the Shoe was abuzz about them – the venue was packed and I couldn’t get anywhere near the stage, so I figured I should stick it out and see what they were about rather than heading to another nearby venue for a different band and then coming back as I tend to do during these festivals.
And I am so glad I did.
It was easily the best set of NXNE for me, by a mile.
There is nothing like that feeling of seeing a random band you’ve never heard of, and being absolutely taken away by their set. I immediately had that “where have these guys been all my life?” feeling that always means I’ve found my next favourite band. I was transfixed by their presence, even though I was at the back of the very packed room and couldn’t see too much – that’s how strong the music was. The room went silent all the way to the bar – which, if you’ve ever been to a Horseshoe show – you’ll know what a rarity that is. It was that exact kind of folky, foot stomping, hand clapping, sing along music that fills me with immense joy, and I felt so grateful to have stumbled upon them. They left me feeling that incredible buzz I talked about in my previous article about what makes for a memorable live experience.
Of course, “Hey Ho” became a massive hit, and their self-titled album became the soundtrack to my summer. It will definitely be making it onto my top 5 albums of the year list.