Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee:: We Are the City

For the last few months, a select number of BC bands have been vying for the grand prize ($150,000 duckets) and the of Peak Performer. Friday night the announcement gave the nod to We Are the City, narrowly beating terrific bands like Bend Sinister and The Left.

Similar contests have been run across Canada - Hollerado recently pocketed 250K - but this one really seemed to help bands build a long term model for success. Obviously winning 150K is fantastic for any young band, but the whole Peak Performance idea shows bands how hard work and creative marketing can help them get heard, get noticed, get signed and get on the road. Blogs, tweets, videos, free demos for anyone wanting to listen; this contest has really highlighted how the digital age is changing the music model and showing that even though people might not be buying as many CDs, we still love and support music.

So congrats to We Are the City, and hopefully this piano rocking anthem will jump start your day.








MP3:: We Are the City - There are Tiny Beasts in the Ground
MYSPACE:: http://www.wearethecity.ca/

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Posted at 9:36 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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Friday, October 30, 2009

News:: Vote for Bend Sinister - Peak Performance Project

The amount of funding being awarded to the independent and small label bands in Canada is pretty impressive. You constantly hear about people like The Swiss (@polarismusicprize) or something like the Verge awards raising cash to help support the arts and in a time where the government is doing the exact opposite, it’s the very tiny silver lining in a very large dark cloud that constantly pours down on musicians.

For BC emerging artists – not exactly sure what that term implies, especially when one of the nominees has been grinding for 10 years – the Peak Performance Project is something that will literally make a band’s career. Twenty bands get hand picked for a week long knowledge session and the top three have the chance to split 275,000 dollars.

Basically, in a nutshell:
The PEAK Performance Project is a seven-year, $5.29 million contest open to all musicians in British Columbia. The project was created by 100.5 The PEAK and Music BC to develop BC based emerging artists. Every year, twenty finalists from BC will receive an intensive, one week training program in the music business, live performance, songwriting, marketing and promotion. Artists will benefit from mentorships from some of the music industry’s top professionals and performers. All of these artists will have the chance to perform live in Vancouver on the PEAK Performance Stage. Of these twenty artists, the top three will be crowned as the PEAK Performers of the year and will share $275,000 in cash for career development. First place receives $150,000; second place receives $75,000; and third place receives $50,000.
Obviously any of the twenty finalists would benefit by cracking the top 3, but I’m pulling for one in particular. Kelowna bred and Vancouver based rock revivalists Bend Sinister take you on nostalgic trip to the 70s, but handle the whole trip with such taste and skill, you can’t help but fall for the sounds. A love of proggy builds, the drama of Queen, the swagger of a young, pre-Disney Elton, the feel good vibe of Boston, and the phrasing and influence of The Beatles all play a huge part in their sound, but every time I listen to their latest record – Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers – I can’t help but picture the boys snapping along before a throw down with the Sharks either.

They fuse that Broadway feel with muscular riffs and banged out piano lines, giving Dan Moxon the perfect support for big, dynamic sing-along ready choruses, but rarely fall in the trap of becoming too showy. Tracks like The News, Brother of Human Kind and the Benny and the Jets inspired Jimmy Brown have been on regular repeat for me lately, and thanks to these Vancouverites ( and the almighty Zeus), 70’s rock is primed to make a triumphant return and hopefully the showmanship the sounds require will be close behind.

Part of the prize is for creative marketing and publicity, and I think the idea of slapping together a free, 8-song get to you know you Greatest Hits for new fans is pretty stellar. All you need to do is head over to their revamped, blog heavy web site and sign up. If you like what you hear, vote for the band. For Bend Sinister, this chance that won’t come along again.








MP3:: Bend Sinister - Jimmy Brown







MP3:: Bend Sinister - Happiness is a Warm Gun

MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/bendsinistervancouver
WEB:: http://bendsinisterband.com/

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Posted at 8:16 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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