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June 27, 2013 / Brian Toye
You have done the leg work, written the songs, played the shows, built the fan base and sold the music. It sounds easy putting it into one sentence, but it’s very difficult (many try and fail).

Here are some possible things/events/feelings you could encounter on your way to being the type of band a label is looking for:
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June 27, 2013 / Dan Langevin
As Canadians we are taught to be humble and to make due with what you have, this is to make you strong and adaptable. While trying to over come the odds how ever you will be forced to work with all sorts of people. However one day, you'll wake up and begin to HEAR things differently. Negative communication, or the "Time" wasters as they're also known as!
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June 20, 2013 / Dan Langevin
Well not everyone can take on big things. Sad but true. However that doesn't mean you can't be part of big things. So really you have two parts to it. Taking on the big thing or looking for the big thing to be part of.
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June 20, 2013 / Brian Toye
It can be very stressful for you. Especially if your band members are staring you down while you are trying to get in your zone. Let’s face it, you probably won’t find your comfort zone in that environment and you therefore will not give your best performance. That’s what we are after though, right, your best performance, so this just won’t work.
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January 31, 2013 / Dan Langevin
Naming something is always half the fun of a project or tune. This Blog is going to be short so pay attention. It's Fire
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January 31, 2013 / Dan Langevin
How do I get time back for my hobbies and alternate career.

We are really talking about wasting time. Wasting time is actually a shared event. Think of it as, unless your on a desert island, then your getting help being lazy or procrastinating. It's everywhere, clean up and have some one else make a mess, too many dishes, not keeping things organized, cluttered rooms, cluttered brain.
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January 15, 2013 / Dan Langevin
Pro behavior? Is there such a thing? What does that mean? Well if we take into account our goal is to get payed for the gig or project your doing you'll want to know the basics of national professional behavior. Being in a band with some of your best buds can some times boil over into ruckus (my favourite) screaming matches (not for me) Hilariousness (I'm all over that) and lots of other events. The thing to remember is getting payed.
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January 15, 2013 / Dan Langevin
So your band just released a new album and your known for drinkin tunes! Guess it's time to hit rehab and then the papers?!? Ok some people will crash their plane for anything. But those of us who prefer not looking like a neanderthal, how do you create a presence for your band? Well Most artist are emo whether they like to admit it or not. Oddly enough the answer is..
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December 07, 2012 / Dan Langevin
Get ready for topics on: Professional Behavior, Making Money, Creating Hype, Saving Time, Making History, Networking and all sorts of helpful topics for the artist and musician in you!
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May 24, 2012 / Dan Langevin
GP. First off congrates at the Music Awards!

DX. Thank you very much, kind Sir.

GP 1. Can you tell us a little about your self?

DX. I'm Daniel X. Belasco. I sing, play a bunch of instruments, engineer and produce
music in bands such as Defence Mechanism, MDM, Glass Apple Bonzai, and a variety of
other projects with clever names!
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May 08, 2012 / Dan Langevin
Bruce Andrews plays at Sheehans Irish pub in St.Catharines and has been a musician for 41 years, most his life. I caught up with Bruce to ask him some questions about the music industry in hopes that he can shed some wisdom on the difficult to understand game.
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March 24, 2012 / Dan Langevin
So what have we got to look forward to this year? Well along with checking out your favourite local band you might be voting for them to hit a Rock Search or Festival to heighten their popularity and the excitement. Or are you heading to one of the hundreds of music festivals yourself?
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March 24, 2012 / Dan Langevin
Ok so your asking how do you tour? Or what does Dan Langevin know about touring? Fair enough, lets do this.
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January 29, 2012 / Dan Langevin
2012. A brand New Year, filled with tour dates, festivals, new bands forming, old bands getting back together for one more hurrah, current bands organizing, fans, roadies,
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December 24, 2011 / Dan Langevin
What a fantastic year of music!
If you missed anything we covered this year please check into the blog archives! Game Plan's writing crew is taking some time off writing till the New Year. We wish you all a great Holiday season and the best in music from all over the globe.
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December 13, 2011 / Julie JD
So I've been telling you how to use your voice. This week it's all about taking care of it. Keep in mind everyone is different so some things that may work for some may not work for others. Same goes for how long or how much.
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November 29, 2011 / Julie JD
So last blog all I talked about was breathing. Why did I spend a whole blog talking about it? BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT! Without the proper breathe you risk straining your voice and sounding like a dieing cat. So it all starts with breathing correctly. But what can you do after that? I have a few exercises that can help you use that air properly and train your muscles.
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November 21, 2011 / Dan Langevin
We all know St.Catharines own Crutch! So catching up with the guys, I try to see what's happening in the world of Mutt Rock! Lets see if they've caught anything on fire lately?
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November 16, 2011 / Julie JD
Welcome back to another post of my blog. I've come back this week to give you some more tips, only this time it might not be interesting for all of you, only some. But I suggest that everyone read it, because being a musician, you'll have to sing at least once. There are many styles of singing. Classic, rock, screaming, rapping. This is all included. Yes even rap. Just because it may be partially spoken, there are still notes you need to follow, you just don't realize it because
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November 09, 2011 / Dan Langevin
GP: So tell us about your band, who’s in it?
AYF: We're a 4 piece band. Our members consist of Neil Kostecki, Dave Pike, Sara Rose Hebert, and Joey Bell. We do a lot of instrument changes so I won't get into who plays what, but we're a pretty tight band in both music and life and we'd like to think that
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November 09, 2011 / Julie JD
When you're starting out you're getting a lot of people to do things for you for free. It's great because you can get quality work for trading something you can offer. I've mentioned this before, tha
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October 30, 2011 / Dan Langevin
GP: How is my Son the hurricane doing these days?
Danno: -truly great, the album You Can't Do This is doing well, we've been featured on Much More Music since August, and are going to be doing some work with Muneshine and USS soon. The shows have been awesome. We've been lucky enough to tour behind Juno nominee D-Sisive as well.
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October 29, 2011 / Julie JD
I've already talked about the anatomy of a song, different rhyming schemes and phrases. But what about the actual music part? Well I have some information about that. In this blog I will be going over the different elements of music. You have rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, volume and form. Sounds like a lot to think about when you're writing music. For every musician it comes naturally, but it's always better to understand what you're doing so that when you're stuck you know
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October 25, 2011 / Dan Langevin
GP: Brian you’ve been a major inspiration to a lot of our readers, you have a great track record in the industry and you’ve been pumping people up to make more of themselves for a year now with GamePlan! I want to say congrats on the website launch first of, now lets get down to business.
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October 24, 2011 / Brian Toye
It all begins when you hear that first song and pick up that first used guitar at the local pawn shop. Years of hacking and dozens of bands later you find yourself with a talent to communicate stories through song. You’ve recorded some home demos and are gaining a following at your local shows. The bands YouTube and Facebook music pages are gaining fans daily. What lies ahead for someone like you?
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October 18, 2011 / Dan Langevin
GP: Hey Steve, What are your major projects every year?
Stumble: Well there is a bunch of different divisions of the Stumble Recording Company. We have The Record Label where we put out records which has been slow lately. But the new Lucky Ones album Heartbreak, Hangovers & Punk Rock" is coming out. Then we have
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October 18, 2011 / Julie JD
You've heard me mention before the different jobs band members should take on. Like promotions, contacts, handling the website. But there are parts you must play when you're performing. It's not just a matter of having good music and being able to play it in time. You're on the stage to entertain, and every band member has a role in this to make it the best show ever. So here I have a few dos and don'ts to make your show a successful one.
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October 12, 2011 / Dan Langevin
Catching up with Shiltz, we got the chance to chat about his new video. Shot in Toronto at multiple locations this video has
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October 11, 2011 / Julie JD
So you think because you're becoming a rock star, that means you don't need a resume to apply for jobs. WRONG! You totally need one. But it's not like you're everyday resume like you're applying to A&W. This is a special resume that is industry specific. It's called a curriculum vitae or c.v. This lists your relevant experience for the music industry.
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October 06, 2011 / Dan Langevin
Hey, all you country and blues fans, check out Ginger St.James performing Country Bumpkin at the Hot Rod Hootenanny this year. Ginger (Hamilton Music Awards winner) performs with
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September 26, 2011 / Julie JD
There may be a time in your career when you have a professional studio recording. This takes a lot of time and money on both ends, so you need to make the most of it. On the first hand do some research on the studio, know who you're working with and check on some credentials.
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September 20, 2011 / Julie JD
There is a difference in sound when a recording is converted to mp3. What difference you say? Well, each tone you play, plays at a certain amount of hertz (Hz). Which is the amount of cycles per second a sound wave travels. When you're recording, certain microphones only pick up on certain frequencies, kind of like our own abilities which is 20 Hz to 20 kHz. When you convert these sounds to an mp3 it compacts these frequencies,
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September 13, 2011 / Dan Langevin
This "Music City" story is about eight musicians in particular. We will follow them threw their careers in the endless adventures of the music industry. The range from producers to street performers is a grand scope, allowing us to see the development strategies and brutal realities of the music industry. Touring takes you to many places and
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September 12, 2011 / Julie JD
In any song, rhymes are an important part of memorable lyrics. They are so important, that people who listen to music have been unconsciously been trained to anticipate rhymes in certain places. Rhymes
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September 07, 2011 / Brian Toye
Butch Vig is a world renowned producer and engineer. His resume boasts the Nirvana Nevermind mega album, as well as huge commercial hits by the Muse, Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins and the Foo Fighters. Butch also started the sucessful band Garbage and continues to write/produce and tour the world to this day.
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September 07, 2011 / Dan Langevin
GamePlanPros.com still has openings for YOU to become a volunteer writer! Articles of 2 paragraphs in length or more are due Mondays on the topics listed below. It will be printed weekly on www.gameplanpros.com and two Featured articles will be picked
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August 30, 2011 / Dan Langevin
Ana " I have been working in both the modeling and music industry since 2005 and have established a name for myself through my hard work and networking skills. My constant involvement in local events has kept me “in the loop”. I was able to accomplish a lot with my modeling career and have now decided to take my love for music to the next level. I started out writing for other people and now I am pushing my own material out to the public. I love growing with this industry and am excited for each and every year to come!
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August 29, 2011 / Julie JD
There's a thing about technology. You can have all the latest equipment, spend thousands of dollars on the best stuff around, but it doesn't mean a thing if you don't know how to use it properly. It's better to start out simple.
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August 23, 2011 / Julie JD
Music theory is a hot topic with people both in and out of the academe. On one hand, some traditional theorists are reluctant to embrace concepts such as popular chord symbols and progressions. On the other hand, some self-taught musicians are reluctant to consider
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August 23, 2011 / Dan Langevin
Why is the Music Industry broken or shall we say in a hold pattern? that's a tough one.
First I’d like to say that the greatest music with the greatest plan can’t be stopped. It travels in ways you can’t ever contain. So that brings us to how we are moving around sound
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August 15, 2011 / Julie JD
Here's a new thing I may not have mentioned before. Practice setting up and taking down your equipment. You should know ahead of time what equipment you
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August 13, 2011 / Brian Toye
There are so many (interfaces) on the market. Some cost $100 and some cost $5000. What are the differences? Which ones should you expect to find in an artist’s bedroom and which ones in a pro studio? Let’s start by explaining “what” and interface is, according to
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August 09, 2011 / Julie JD
Some artists don't like showing their work until it's done. They'll lock themselves in their room working on the same project until they feel it's ready. This works...if you're a painter. You may think your song is amazing, but you don't know unless
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August 02, 2011 / Dan Langevin
Shazam! That’s the word of the day when you're in the mist of all your fellow Shazamers. Get excited because Shazamfest is a Great Adventure! No Joke.
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August 01, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
Cypress Hill was late for the show, and there were some rumours flying around, saying they got lost, or held up at customs. Neither would surprise me, because come on, this is Cypress Hill we're talking about. Whole lotta
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July 26, 2011 / Brian Toye
A project close to my own heart, involving past band members of mine, named The Wanted have been in pre-production for their first album for the past 9 months. I was lucky enough to help them out recently during the final stages of a mix for a cover of Black Velvet. The phone call went a bit like this… "we have recorded an arrangement of Black velvet…we need to mix it and shoot a video in the next two days to submit it for a CBC Cover Me Canada contest”. Wow…is that possible? lol. I think they did a great job in the extremely small time frame. It was great fun to work on a project with these guys again.
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July 19, 2011 / Julie JD
So I know sometimes writing just doesn't come naturally all the time. Sometimes the words just flow like vomit and other times you choke. So how do you work around that? Well I've mention before, that you need to take
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July 18, 2011 / Brian Toye
The question…What microphones should I purchase? The decision making process was a collaboration of my past experiences as well as 2 months of testing alternatives. I knew I was not going to need mics for tracking drums, as I
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July 12, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
I was walking down James street between bands when I hear one of the most wonderful sounds I've ever heard. I wander over to Caché, where the bassist of the band playing is hanging out the window that leads out to the street, a few feet off the ground. I snap some shots and wander in. I had just discovered the Coppertone.
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July 11, 2011 / Julie JD
This year first place is a song aired on one of three London radio stations AND a radio interview. So you can see why I am so excited. Every band who qualifies will have a special
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July 07, 2011 / Julie JD
This year at S.C.E.N.E Music Festival, I saw an indie band that really stood out to me. Autumn Crush was playing at the red hot chili pepper and I was actually invited by the bassist to go see them play. Honestly I didn't know who they were, so I figured why not; that is my favourite part about music festivals, discovering new bands. And discover I did.
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July 06, 2011 / Victoria Blair
At the Niagara Music Awards 2011, in Thorold, model looking girls were waiting on Niagara's finest artists all night. You could single out the talent by the
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July 05, 2011 / Victoria Blair
There are many reasons to go to a Crutch concert, all of which I experienced first hand at their CD release party at Rockfords on the 18th.
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July 04, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
So a few months back I wrote an article about the band Lambs Become Lions,
a relatively new band out of St. Catharines.
While covering S.C.E.N.E, I
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June 29, 2011 / Julie JD
Wow. You people in Saint Catherines like to party. Scene fest was so wild, four venues had to shut down. I had a lot of fun. Even though most of the day I
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June 28, 2011 / Brian Toye
I was able to catch Matt Dell’s 11pm set at the SCENE MUSIC FEST 2011 this year at Strega Café. The place was packed full of Matt Dell fans and they seemed to know all the words to his songs. What was my impression of the show?
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June 21, 2011 / Victoria Blair
I went to the 2011 Niagara Music Awards last week and it would be
impossible for me not to mention the spectacular performance of Defence
Mechanism. Of course, they weren’t the only set scheduled for that evening
but they were the last.
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June 21, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
I've mentioned in a lot of previous articles that I really like artsy, droning instrumental music, but I sadly have never had a chance to write about it, as there are no bands in the region that completely fit that profile. The closest I've come to a band like that in the area is
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June 20, 2011 / Julie JD
It's the best time to do any type of performing. The summer is when more people are available to go to outings. in the summer they want to go out and have fun. So you'll be playing to a bigger audience then you would in the dead of
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June 15, 2011 / Julie JD
So it's coming close. What's coming close? S.C.E.N.E music festival. When? June 26, and from looking at the line up you know it's going to be awesome. You're going to find me in Market Square at the Scion/Explore stage. From 1-9 there is an awesome line up, consisting of
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June 15, 2011 / Brian Toye
Sal Coz Costa is the lead guitarist of breakthrough band My Darkest Days http://www.mydarkestdays.com. The 2009 97.7HTZFM Rock Search Winners from the GTA went on to produce an album with Chad Kroeger and Joey Moi. Thier single
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June 15, 2011 / Brian Toye
Doug Oliver is the thunder behind breakthrough band My Darkest Days http://www.mydarkestdays.com. Doug was one of the original members of the group. The 2009 97.7HTZFM Rock Search Winners from the GTA went on to produce an album with Chad Kroeger and Joey Moi. Thier single "Porn Star Dancing" featured Ludacris, Zakk Wylde and Chad Kroeger. Their single went Gold and Platinum within weeks of release in the States. They have finished
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June 07, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
I'm sure all of my readers recall the review of Gimme That Flow and subsequent interview with the song's writer J Shiltz. (see earlier 'Blogs' if not) Anyone who read that is bound to have figured out that I'm a huge fan of his work. But you know what? He's only half of why I like the track so much. The other half come thanks to producer/beatsmith Lancecape, who was kind enough to sit down and have an interview with me. That is to say, he was kind enough to reply to my emails.
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June 07, 2011 / Julie JD
Two heads are better then one, but then again if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. To be in a band or not be in a band that is the question. Well, really it can go either way. Every artist has a decision to make, should they
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June 07, 2011 / Dan Langevin
Well of the Saturday and Sunday shows I got to see, I’d have to day Saturday was an insane rock party and Sunday was the feel great lets get baked and kick back with friends day. It was probably the best way to do it if you think about it, I mean the
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June 07, 2011 / Brian Toye
In the late 1990's the onset of music downloading began to whisper its way into the offices of the large record labels. Instead of embracing this new technology and restructuring the music business, many of the labels chose to ignore this revolution. By 2001 the rampant mp3 file sharing directly affected CD sales by more than 45% and the labels could no longer ignore the damage.
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May 31, 2011 / Julie JD
There is a major problem when forming a band. Most people are so eager to start playing and get out there that they invite anyone who can play an instrument. But it's not always about who can play what. When finding a band member you should
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May 31, 2011 / Brian Toye
Since one unknown band cannot fill a venue...and its safe to say even 5 unknown bands cannot fill a venue, your band is forced to sell tickets prior to the show in order to earn the right for
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May 31, 2011 / Victoria Blair
Honestly, RedD Monkey is one of the strangest bands I have ever heard. The name of the band itself is very different and the fact that there is a cellist and a rapper in the band takes it to the other side of sanity completely.
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May 24, 2011 / Victoria Blair
In my opinion, Gonz Productions is one of the best booking agency in town. Jason Di Leo, A.K.A. Gonz is the face of the company. Not only does he work with big names like The Johnstones and Cypress Hill but the atmosphere and crowd he attracts are always
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May 24, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
Sheldon "Shocka" Thompson, from Toronto, has been rapping since 2004 at the relatively young age of 15. He released The Raw Tape in 2011. The album itself is well produced, with higher production values than I was expecting from an album with the word "raw" in it. Shocka's flow is
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May 23, 2011 / Brian Toye
Ian spent 8 years at world renowned Metalworks Studios in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He worked his way up from Intern to Chief Staff Engineer. Ian has worked with the likes of Aerosmith, Tina Turner, Ben Folds Five, Finger Eleven, Limp Bizkit, Treble Charger, Kim Mitchell, Katy Perry, Sam Roberts and Sum 41 (Ian also engineered my old band's debut EP FYI "A Full Year Story" during his time at Metalworks).
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May 18, 2011 / Ben Krawec
I wasn't fortunate enough to be able to attend both days of Niagara Metal Fest, but I suppose that's probably for the better. My face was
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May 15, 2011 / Brian Toye
Guitarists listen up! When your about to use your axe to record, make sure its intonation is set up for your chosen tuning and string gauge. Make sure you bring a few extra packs of strings (same gauge). Make sure you have a trusty tuner because you will be using it in between each take. Leave your girlfriend (or boyfriend) at home.
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May 13, 2011 / Brian Toye
The music you are listen to was most likely mixed in an acoustically treated room. Rooms designed for mixing sound extremely balanced through the whole audible spectrum, 20hz – 20khz. In an untreated room, reflections from walls and solid surfaces will overlap other existing sound waves. This results in positive and negative interference. Positive interference results in an
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May 10, 2011 / Julie JD
An important thing for any indie artist to have is a quality press kit. Press kits are what you hand out to venues, managers and you even use them for grants. A press kit should be short, sweet and to the point. But you don't want to skimp on any
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May 04, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
So anyway, right near the beginning of April, my friend asked me if I'd be interested in going to see Mother Mother with her at L3. Mother Mother is a 5 piece band out of Vancouver, BC, and they were touring in support of their third album Eureka, which was released on March 15th of this
year. The show was opened by
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May 03, 2011 / Julie JD
Songwriting just comes so naturally that people don't even realize there is a format to it. Oh but there is. There are so many building blocks that construct a song. Most common that people know about is the verse, chorus format. But just using those two can get boring, and there are so many more than that. You may have used some and didn't know there were proper terms for it.
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April 26, 2011 / Victoria Blair
I Got The Girl, a punk/pop band from the Niagara Region, consists of five teenagers: Jesse Boulay (guitar), Zach Coull (bass), Andre Dupuis (rhythm guitar/vocals), Sam Villeneuve (drums) and Andrew Goodwin (vocals). Andrew accepted to represent the band for this interview. Here is how those young artists started out.
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April 23, 2011 / Ben Krawec
Ok, first and foremost I would like to thank Justin Weaver for being awesome enough to give me a chance to to celebrate my love of cannabis while celebrating my love of awesome music. Before going into the musical side of things, I'd like to point out
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April 19, 2011 / Victoria Blair
I recently did an interview with Grimsby's very own Funky Cowboy: Bryan Sorensen. A polished artist, his music sounds lay brilliantly somewhere between funk, rock and acoustic hip hop, and every time he plays fantastic parties happen! The "brYan sorensEn" band consists of
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April 18, 2011 / Brian Toye
I Thought I would post an interview this week. I got Terry on the phone to ask him a few questions. I hope it will be informative for all the young home recording enthusiast out there.
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April 18, 2011 / Julie JD
This week my advice is about every artists worst nightmare...writer's block. We all do it and it happens to the best of us, but you just have to figure out what works best for you to break it down. Sometimes you
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April 12, 2011 / Victoria Blair
Shad was really something else. Winner of the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year 2011, his style reminds me of K-os with an old school hip hop feel to it. No light show, no special effects, just Shad, DJ TLO and
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April 11, 2011 / Julie JD
A common problem every artist has is that they get too comfortable. They carve a niche for themselves and that's where they stay. You know there are other cities out there other than your home town, and trust me, it's a lot easier performing in a city you're not in as often then you're own. There are opportunities anywhere and
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April 07, 2011 / Victoria Blair
Barracuda Pretty was filled with less then sober fans, tensed with anticipation for the main event : Classified.
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April 06, 2011 / Victoria Blair
I was truly surprised when I found out about the variety of activities Ginger uses to challenge herself. She is a songwriter, musician, singer, the founder of many groups and even an actress. Her music is classified as alternative (which is the miscellaneous section of music genres) but she sounds like an old country singer (a sultry June Carter) meshed with blues melodies and lyrics filled with sensual undertones. Actually, her first
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April 05, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
I'm sure that anyone who has read my articles has figured out that I'm a bit of a music snob. I pride myself on listening to a wide variety of music, and for this reason, I like to cover bands from as many different genres as possible. So when I found out that there was an 80's style electronic/industrial band playing, I jumped at the opportunity to cover it, as there aren't very many similar bands in the region.
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April 05, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
King and Academy is a new band from St. Catharines, but the members, Eric Hutt, Mike Wale and Matt "Matty P" Perron, have been in the local scene for over a decade, in bands such as The Strange and The Amazing Flying Hammer Brothers.
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April 04, 2011 / Julie JD
There comes a time where every artist has to ask themselves, how far are you willing to go? I'm not talking about distance, but how far you're willing to push yourself. In the music business competition is fierce. You need to create value for yourself, that will make you stand out from the rest of the artists. How do you do that you may ask? Persistence.
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April 04, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
Being only 22, there are a lot of bands that I absolutely love that I feel I missed out on, as they'd ceased to be well before I was born. I'll never get to see Rainbow live. Or Iron Butterfly, or Black Sabbath or Jefferson Airplane. Uriah Heap and Jethro Tull are still touring, so I might get to see them at some point, but still.
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April 04, 2011 / Brian Toye
Here is a general tip for Guitar and Bass Amps – In a live situation such as a bar gig or stadium show or outdoor show...ok pretty much anywhere other than in the studio or jamming by yourself in your room...you should NOT set your amp EQ with
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April 04, 2011 / Ben Krawec
Justin Weaver, or Hard Core Warrior, is one hell of a dude. His shows are my number one source of bruises, strained ligaments, split lips, bashed up joints, sore noses and general health problems, so it was definitely fitting that he celebrate his birthday by getting
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March 29, 2011 / Victoria Blair
Imagine Barracuda Pretty filled with a mostly female crowd of overexcited children and teenagers, all waiting to see their favorite idol: Fefe Dobson. It's with that audience that the local band, I Got The Girl, started their set. They sounded poppy and emo at the same time. Their songs were upbeat and the young band set off a teenager's vibe,
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March 29, 2011 / Julie JD
When being an independent artist you must be able to market yourself. This week I have got some tips. All though it is recommended that you not take on all the responsibility of marketing because artists should spend more time working on music then they do business.
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March 29, 2011 / Brian Toye
I listened to a motivational speaker describe the will necessary to succeed in terms of how bad you want to breathe when someone holds your head under water. If you want success that bad, you just may get it. Why do so few of us find success? It does not seem that our human nature is designed to drive so hard for a long term goal.
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March 23, 2011 / Ben Krawec
The lineup featured Live Animal Sex, Jackin your Swagger and Heads As Trophies. Tyrant Angel was supposed to be there as well but didn't quite make it for some reason. Their absence threw a bit of a wrench into Mr. Weaver's plan but all in attendance definitely had a good time regardless of the chaos. Live Animal Sex rocked faces off as usual.
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March 22, 2011 / Julie JD
All rock no c*ck; that's what this award winning band's music is all about. With stuff like best local band, best band name, best event of the year, and best recording. Is there anything this group of powerful women can't do? From the moment they take the stage..
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March 22, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
Some of you may recall the article two weeks back where I reviewed two tracks by Toronto MC J Shiltz. This week, I was fortunate enough to interview him, albeit by email.
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March 22, 2011 / Brian Toye
How Do You Get Paid When You Get Played?

Royalties from the performance of works on radio account for over one quarter of the approximate $160M SOCAN distributes annually. Along with musical works used in live concerts and in TV shows, radio play is one of the key ways your compositions earn you money.

Where Does This Money Come From?
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March 15, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
One of the first Canadian hip hop artists I'd discovered upon getting back into rap was Shad. Hailing from London, Ontario (though born in Kenya), his style is often compared to that of K-os (also Canadian) and Common. He has three
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March 14, 2011 / Victoria Blair
After the birth of her beautiful baby girl, LaReign, I wanted to know if Pam Levi was still in the music business. "[..]I look forward to making music with my daughter, if not for. [...]music is my life, passion, religion and money maker." She is a true artist, music is a part of who she is.
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March 14, 2011 / Brian Toye
In this weeks article I will give a general overview of some popular microphones for recording studio use. I will suggest specific drum mics, vocal mics and guitar/bass cab mics. There are three categories of microphones in use today.
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March 14, 2011 / Julie JD
The most important thing in any song would be the vocal track. It's the part most memorable to people. So how do you get a good recording of it? Luckily I have some tips for you on how to get the best out of your vocal track. A good start is with a vocal warm up. Nothing too excruciating because you don't want to tire out your voice. A lot of people have different things they do before they perform, like
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March 08, 2011 / Brian Toye
The sound starts off as a wave moving air molecules causing locations of high and low pressure. The capsule of the microphone vibrates due to this pressure change and converts the vibrations into small electrical signals. We touched on this last week. This small electrical signal will travel down the XLR cable into a microphone pre amp. This will take the small electrical signal and boost it,
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March 08, 2011 / Julie JD
Music is an ever changing business. For example at least 20 years ago, it was all about getting signed with a big record company. Now a days it's all about doing it yourself. And let's face it, it can be frustrating, especially if you're trying to record on your own. Which is why I have some tips for you this week. My first tip would be taking advantage of your resources. If you can't find it in a book, you'll find it on the internet. It also doesn't hurt to be a regular at
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March 08, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
I was originally supposed to just review the track Gimme That Flow and the video for it, but honestly, I was so impressed, I figured it’d be a shame to limit it only to one song. The guy’s good, and while Gimme That Flow is his newest, I feel that his other tracks also deserve to be mentioned.
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March 07, 2011 / Ben Krawec
Live music makes me really happy on a number of different levels. First and foremost, I like listening to music. I don't need to explain that much further. I also enjoy the chance to meet new friends, dance around a bit and see tangible proof that something good comes out of this region besides fruit and booze made out of fruit. One of the main reasons I like
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March 01, 2011 / Brian Toye
What is digital audio? What is meant by sample rate and bit rate? How does sound go from the air into my computer?

These are all good questions. A starting point towards finding these answers involve defining
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March 01, 2011 / Victoria Blair
I present to you Southern Souls, an online archive of videos featuring Canadian artists in their natural habitat. While most Gameplanpros' videos feature sweaty and energetic local bands performing at festivals (good times), Southern Souls' videos seems to create a more intimate atmosphere. The artists featured always choose their own locations based on what is most suitable for the type of music. Suitable here can mean zoo and factory. If you have had the chance to watch some of the videos, you will notice that they all seem to take you on a journey.
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March 01, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
Lambs Become Lions (henceforth to be referred to as LBL) is a brand spanking new Indie/Pop band from St. Catharines. The band is something of a supergroup of local musicians from bands such as Journey to Aspen, Storyteller, Queen Anne's Lace and In Ghost. The band consists of Eric Conlon on Lead Vocals/Rythm Guitar, Justin "Jay Jay" Jennings on Lead Guitar, Rob Paulin on Bass and Brandon Deline on Piano and Backup Vocals.
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March 01, 2011 / Julie JD
So, you've written a song, now what? Well besides registering it like I talked about in my last blog, you need to create a hard copy. It's recording time. Now you don't have to go all out and pay a lot of money for somebody to record you in their basement, when you can record it in your own!
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February 22, 2011 / Julie JD
So what is indie? Well, it's short for “independent” which refers to a philosophy based on a proactive approach to one's career; retaining complete artistic control, to maintain the integrity of one's art, regardless of record label affiliation. Wait, what? That means no record labels. You write what you want, play what you want and own the rights. Any artist will tell you, that it's important to own the rights to your work.
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February 22, 2011 / Victoria Blair
He is a producer/artist from Brampton that decided not to go commercial but to stay true to his nature and respectful towards the artists he works with.
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February 21, 2011 / Brian Toye
It is my nature and it was true for learning and playing classical guitar as a child (six years its all i did), learning and studying the game of poker, learning and studying the art of record engineering and learning as much as i could about genetics and life as we know it (BSc Biotechnology). During the time I was buried in these individual topics, not much else existed in my world. Not society, money, thoughts of a career, no cares in the world besides increasing my knowledge.
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February 21, 2011 / Ben Krawec
The first band that was up was Honour Amongst Thieves. The vocals were interesting, early in the set it was almost as if the singer was yodeling for a bit. The music was a very 4:20 friendly indy/funk sound that made some hips start swinging.
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February 21, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
This album is a total departure from the album reviewed last week. the album is a fast, cheerful pop rock piece, and if I had to use one word to describe it, it would be "marketable". The fact that Jay hasn't been picked up by a major label is a shock to me, based on the strength of this
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February 15, 2011 / Brian Toye
High school does a great job (in some cases) of preparing their students for succeeding in university and in life. One thing high school does not touch upon (at least within the curriculum) is the fact that failure is a part of life and how to deal with it. I have never seen someone 1) become the person they wanted to be 2) with the job they wanted to have 3) surrounded by the people they wanted to be surrounded by without first
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February 15, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
The album starts strong with the catchy Hey Mama. Structurally simple, with just a harmonica, stomp box and vocals, it's a short, sweet piece of soul that evokes images of the American South. Neilson's voice is powerful and lets you know right off the bat that she's
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February 15, 2011 / Ben Krawec
Oh man did this show ever pick me up. I was worrying that metal was dying, that people who like to mosh were becoming a minority and that the League of Concerned Mothers were winning their unholy crusade (I am convinced that there is a conspiracy in place dedicated to sucking the life out of everything and making the world a more boring place
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February 15, 2011 / Ben Krawec
You should almost be able to feel your heart rate sync up with the music. If they're playing really well you feel compelled to move a little,then you begin jumping around a little, and the next thing you know you've lost yourself in the thunder and you're moshing your f***ing face off. Drugs and alcohol have always been considered inseparable from music, but at a good hardcore show you
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February 08, 2011 / Victoria Blair
This last week, I have been lucky enough to interview the co-founders of Walk Off The Earth: Gianni Luminati and Marshall. To those of you who haven't already heard of them, read this article very closely, this band is very important. W.O.T.E.'s sound is a mix of ska, and beach music, the end result is not unlike a hip hop version of Cat Empire, the perfect soundtrack for
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February 07, 2011 / Brian Toye
Along long time ago in a far off place there was a very creative individual who took some life experiences and turned them into a story with music. The individual recorded this new song and it became very popular. His local radio station was playing it daily and he had an arrangement with the station for payment because this song was providing the radio station with listeners and this allowed the radio station to sell advertising time on air. So it seems
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February 07, 2011 / Ben Krawec
The kind of nights that wind up in sleazy motel rooms with strange women after hitting up the strippers, reeking of alcohol and banned foliage. Your clothes would be stained with somebody's blood and you'd party until noon while sirens blared outside as the police chase some poor bastard down the street. Kind of like every Guns'N'Roses music video ever made.
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February 07, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
The brainchild of local jobber musicians Danno O'shea and Nelson Beattie, MSTH is a 12 piece band that creates a fusion of New Orleans jazz, funk and hip hop. The band
features Danno on drums, Nelson on baritone sax, with MC Jacob Bergsma supplying the
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February 02, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
There is one band that I will go down to see every time they play. That band is Dave Clark and His Woodshed Orchestra.
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February 01, 2011 / Victoria Blair
This article is to those of you who ignored all the posters, fliers and invites to Lauren Garbutt's Art Under Glass closing show. I just want you to know that you should never, ever ever, under any circumstances
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January 30, 2011 / Brian Toye
Electric guitars are one of my favourite instruments to record. The fun part involves getting the sound we want to lay down to tape. I tend to go to the extremes as I have built Rock Wool Baffles (diffusers/bass trap materials) designed to separate four – 4x12 cabinets. Picture four of the squares in the Hollywood Squares game show with a 4 x 12 guitar cab in each square. They are baffled from each other to limit the direct bleed from one cab
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January 25, 2011 / Brian Toye
Mixing can take some engineers a few hours and some a few days. It is always beneficial to have an idea how the tracks were recorded (microphones/mic pre's/any pre tape EQ or dynamics) and the recording engineer will usually send such notes along withe the audio files to the mixing engineer. It is also very important the the mixing engineer be very familiar with the equipment he will be employing throughout the mix. This is why we see
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January 25, 2011 / Ben Krawec
AJ originally asked me, “we need to start a band”. before and uh... Well things went sour with our last band and then he moved to London and when he came back and he goes, “Dude let's start up another band!” and I was like, “No man, I'm not going through that shit again.” And AJ was like, “No, come on, let's start up another band!”
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January 25, 2011 / Victoria Blair
I went to the Mansion House Metal Show excited to finally see Mary Shall Burn live and discover the local metal music scene a little bit. The event was held at The Mansion House on January 18th and was presented by Breakthrough Productions. It started at 7:30 with Mary Shall Burn's extraordinary talent and ended around 10:00 with Gutwrench's unequaled energy. The night was rainy and the elements where against us but,
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January 18, 2011 / Ben Krawec
I'm sitting down with Justin Weaver, also known as Hardcore Warrior, who runs Breakthrough productions and we're having a conversation about what he does, how he does it and how much sweet sweet money comes rolling in (here's a hint, its
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January 18, 2011 / Victoria Blair
In the last installment, London's Radio 94.9 CHRW was looking for the most promising band out there and GamePlan came up with a solution : The Battle of the Bands 2010. The winner would win air time at the radio station, a prerecorded interview and the airing of their winning song.
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January 18, 2011 / Brian Toye
It’s now time to replace the scratch vocal tracks. It’s important for the vocalist to be comfortable when recording. A balanced headphone mix is key. If a singer hears his/her voice too loud in their headphones they will naturally sing softer. This may not capture the feel you are going for. Also, when you sing softer you usually fall slightly flatter in pitch. If a singer’s voice is too low in their headphones they will overcompensate by singing much louder. This will result in
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January 11, 2011 / Victoria Blair
The Johnstones set off their Yellow Snow tour at L3 on Thursday night with unsurpassed grace and poise. I'm totally kidding. It was the complete opposite, they actually gave away a VHS copy of The Nutty Professor to a lucky fan who probably wishes he still had the VCR to watch it. No doubt the tape was bought a long time ago, when screens weren't flat and wires roamed the floor of every living room and basement in the city. But enough about the dark ages, I have so much to tell
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January 10, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
Sunday the 9th was a good night for me. I'd just won the shit out of a turkey cook off, The 4th season of one of my favourite shows had just started, and I was all stoked to go to the All in the Family show at Mikado.
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January 10, 2011 / Brian Toye
I don't know why I wasn't able to sleep the other night. I started thinking about the music business. How I had no idea what made it turn when I was younger. How I had no idea why or how certain artists/bands became so famous. It was just some mystical process when I was younger.
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January 10, 2011 / Ben Krawec
My buddy Joel and I have been friends for a very long time and have a long history of competing over various things, as men do. We've done a lot of awful, horrid things to each other in the name of competition and we were getting into another one of our contests of will this Sunday. I'm not going to go into graphic detail but it
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January 09, 2011 / Brian Toye
OK so we are picking up from last week. We have a fully written and arranged “scratch” recording that we will now use to “trace” over with better gear. Why not do this from the beginning you may ask? MONEY. It wold have cost thousands of dollars in studio time to have organized everything up till this point in a pro studio with the meter running.
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January 08, 2011 / Brian Toye
When a band or singer/songwriter comes forward with a song(s) and requests that I record those songs that is exactly what I will do. I am playing the role of the audio engineer and my job description involves capturing the best quality audio. An audio engineer does not focus on “the
song” that is being recorded. He/She just knows what microphones capture what instruments best, where to place these microphones and how to best record the band. A producer/engineer however will meet with a band long before the recording process occurs. He/She will for a short
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January 08, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
So 2010 is over now, and I figured that, since I really have nothing else to write about, I'd go over some of the highlights of the year.

I've heard a lot of people bitching and moaning about 2010, but I really don't have many complaints. I've made new friends, and partied with the old ones. I finished writing my first feature length screen play (which was actually my resolution last January), I began writing a novel, I hitchhiked
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January 04, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
Cuntscumb's Myspace page tells us that the band was birthed in the fiery pits of hell, before coming to earth with a mission of pure destruction. That's not the full story though. It goes a little more like this:

Cuntscumb does have it's origins in Hell. They had a small house in a
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January 04, 2011 / Joel Barnhart
So, it occurred to me that I haven't actually covered any metal shows. This is uncharacteristic of me. I adore metal. I'm so metal, even my drink ware has knives in it (I drink out of a blender from time to time, that counts, right?).
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January 04, 2011 / Ben Krawec
At the time of this writing I should be in bed. I haven't even seen my bed in days. As I write this I'm washing down two caffeine pills with a cup of coffee, my eye is twitching and my teeth feel like they're going to launch out of my face and start tap dancing because I've been awake for far longer than can possibly be healthy. I'm doing this to myself because I love you, St Catharines. I torture myself with sleep deprivation and caffeine overdose because I don't want to miss a beat of the craziness this crazy town has to offer and going to these shows is more important to me than the
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January 04, 2011 / Ben Krawec
So if you're one of two people who actually read my stuff (hi mom! Hi grandma!) you'll know that normally I like my music the same way I like my women; loud, fast, angry and likely to leave you bruised and bleeding. I listen to metal because listening to somebody sing about things like “emotions,” “feelings” and “happiness” is a painful reminder of that which I am missing. But since Joel covered theLiferuiner show I was going to see I had to branch out a little bit
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January 04, 2011 / Brian Toye
For all the young musicians and bands out there in Niagara. I would like to take this opportunity to share some insight into the role an engineer/producer plays in your recordings. It surprises me to no end the time and money musicians spend on instruments/amplifiers, microphones and touring (which is great!!) but when it comes to recording, they cut corners and try and do it themselves on their home computer. Home recording is a fantastic tool for arranging and writing your songs. Its great for laying down ideas to revisit at later dates. Its no good, however, if you
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January 04, 2011 / Victoria Blair
So the Stumble Records decided to throw a Christmas party/first year anniversary party for The Lucky One on December 10th at the Merchant Ale House. If you just learned about this now, you're probably cursing the heavens for the path you chose that forced you to live under a rock... or maybe you're just wondering how it went. Here's the deal.
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January 04, 2011 / Victoria Blair
On Saturday, the 18th of December, Jaimie Godard, a local philanthropist, organized a charity event for the community care food drive. Four musicians were to perform at Strega Cafe, giving the audience a chance to donate some food for the poor at the door. With local art on the wall and organic tea on the menu, Strega felt like a very good student cafe (except for the liquor license!).
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Niagara Music Scene (NMS) is a concert promotion company that works with
the regional music scene of Niagara. They have helped make venues more
alive for every genre of music such as Ska, Hip Hop, Metal and Punk.
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January 04, 2011 / Dan Langevin
Life is what you make of it and you could make it all the way to the radio station with the recording of your band's very best song! Londons Radio 94.9 CHRW is going to give one band an interview and play time on Jan 25th. The interview will be pre recorded on
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December 30, 2010 / Victoria Blair
On Thursday December 30th, The Mansion House hosted a Gas Station Junkies concert. The Mansion House is a saloon type of bar that provides great beer and great entertainment to it's customers: on Saturdays at 10:30 they host a band called The Smoothies, a funky reggae band. The Gas Station Junkies on the other hand are, well, a hardcore blues band. Very different and very loud.
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December 07, 2010 / Joel Barnhart
I discovered Phantogram when I was looking over which shows I wanted to cover on Niagaramusicscene.com. I originally chose them because they were playing on a Sunday night, which is one of my nights off work. Checking out their Myspace page, I was immediately hooked.
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December 07, 2010 / Victoria Blair
Trying to find a musical topic to write about, I came across a shop called Atomix Records on Saint Paul street and decided to go take a look. I've never been in a record store before, and now, I know for a fact that they are much better than any HMV. The whole room had a vintage feel to it, in an inspirational kind of way.
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November 30, 2010 / Joel Barnhart
I live above the Merchant Ale House, a popular bar and microbrewery in the heart of down town St. Catharines. The Merch is a popular venue, and bands play shows there once or twice a week. Having lived here for just over a year, the live music resonating through my floor boards every weekend has largely lost it's novelty. That's not to say I dislike it, I decided to live above a bar for a
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November 30, 2010 / Ben Krawec
So I almost didn’t go to see this show but luckily I was walking past Mikado’s to my buddy’s place and heard the most beautiful racket coming from inside. I took a look at the flyers posted in the windows and realized that I had spaced on the show I was going to go see and hurried inside. After Chapter, Gutwrench, What Doesn’t Kill You, Horizons and Call the Cavalry were playing that night and I figured anything called “Gutwrench” had to be a good time
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I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by talented, creative people, who through their music, provide an endless supply of fresh sounds and melodies. The most recent ones came from the song the guitarist Matt Palmer has been composing for a year now: Illusion. It speaks of nostalgia and escaping reality into illusions we create for ourselves. When he played it, the strong but soft melody flowed out of his guitar. To enhance his subtle notes, Matt sings in a deep voice, lyrics that can only be inspired by women ( because we are an inspiring gender)
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November 23, 2010 / Joel Barnhart
St. Catharines, and in fact, the entire Niagara region, is sort of a unique place to live. We’re surrounded by two great lakes, and the escarpment, giving us a rather unique climate. We’re known largely for our grapes and wine, and in fact, we even have a festival named after those very things. Also of note is the fact that during the 1800’s St. Catharines played a big role in abolitionism, being the final stop in the Underground Railway that helped free African slaves. But you know what else is unique about St. Kitts?
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Looking for something fun to do I went to see The Postmen on the 20th at Sheehan's Irish Pub. I was not deceived. The acoustic rock band played most of my favorite songs, took a couple requests and in no time, had everyone in the room joining in on the singing. By the end of the night, a couple people were dancing freely next to the stage.
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September 01, 2010 / Dan Langevin

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