BLOGGING AND VLOGGING FROM CANADA'S BEST KNOWN UNDISCOVERED OLD WHITE BLUESMAN

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Canadian Music Week - Short Takes

I'm sitting in the same spot in the rivoli where I wrote the lyrics for "One
More Weasel" a few years back. It was a CD launch for a hot act and people
were talking so loud you couldn't hear the earnest young folksinger who was
doing an opening set. Now I realized that I was surrounded by industry types
and if the music hadn't started I was about to take out my phone then I
really would have looked exactly like the rest of them (only older).

The singer on stage is a younf lady known as "Billy The Kid" - after her set
I tell her that the recurring theme at the music conference sessions was
that "music is about emotion" and she certainly had that covered. She
actually broke up a little in the middle of a song about a drug-addicted
friend (my bet is that she probably died). You could hear a pin-drop in the
Rivoli, quite "au contraire" from the night I wrote those lyrics.

Before the Riv, I went to the Gibson Guitar showroom, mostly to see what the
venue was like...I wasn't sure what the music was going to be but I soon
realized that we were seeing what's left of the "star-maker machinery" in
action. Even with that clout, they weren't able to get as many people out as
the band themselves did with their Facebook invite. That audience was all
pre-pubescent screaming girls and the band was a very accurate clone of the
Jonas Brothers. They were called The Latency

After poking in and out of a few places I determined that I would find
something worthy and sit it out for thge whole set. I found myself in the
tiny upstairs room of the Reverb/Kathedral...formerly BigBop. Three floors
of music...I like that. In Holy Joe's upstairs I found a band playing to
two or three people so I took a spot. They had two drummers and every once
in a while one of them would grab a Kaoscillator, Joels favourite new toy,
and create some synth sounds. I watched the whole set and ended up chatting
with the leader who told me they were from Brazil. They were called Cassim
and Barbéria.

I heard a lot of bands but they all morphed into a big blur. There are now
so many bands that sound the same that it;s well-nigh impossible for the
cream to rise to the top. It's ironic that the biggest news at Canadian
Music Week was the debate/pissing match between Gene Simmons and music
industry commentator Bob Lefsetz rather than any new artist.

Terry McBride said in his speech that 3 years ago he had made several
predictions that did not endear him to the audience of record executives but
that 90 or 95% of those predictions were now true. This session he was
saying don't worry about downloading - it will soon be a moot point. We will
all have smart phones that "pull" music out of the clouds whenever we want.
An d these smartphones will even flag tunes that we might enjoy (based on
our past selections). Smart phones are only 5% of the market right now but
that will soon change. Dig this: Third party applications for the iPhone
have garnered sales of One Billion dollars already and they have only been
available for a year. The fellow I was sitting with was using his phone for
a light to read the program, then he said there was an application that
would make the screen all white and as bright as possible and a few clicks
later he had downloaded the app and installed it on his iPhone.

He claims the iPod will soon be extinct by smart phones that can do all that
and more.

What are? Shazam, Tunecore, Rapidshare, slacker raduio, audiolife, Spotify,
Saynow.com and finally Twitter, which I had demonstrated at that table at
the Rivoli. If I had any steam I might try to rwesiter now but I think I'll
go to bed instead. We shall twitter away but not today!