Manitoba Music

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UK Gov Turns Music Industry Support Up To 11

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Canadian musicians and music industry workers are often met with looks of envy and astonishment when talking to international counterparts about the support that the industry receives from the Canadian government. The UK Government is also heavily invested, financially and culturally, the music industry and this part week has brought a couple of announcements of increased support from the British parliament.

The government has made a commitment to support creative businesses with measures that could provide tax breaks on royalty and other creative industry income. In addition, Chancellor Alistair Darling set aside 10m pounds for the Government's international business development organisation, UK Trade and Investment, which works closely with the BPI and AIM. This at a time when the Canadian Government has cut international assistance for the music industry to the bone, and yet to replace it.

The big announcement is 26million pounds for job creation, mostly in the live music sector through 200 music festivals jobs.

At the same time, the British government is paying some due to the grass roots and to musicians themselves, with an inovative, youth-targetted rehearsal...

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Music Community Comes Together for Flood Relief

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On May 13, the music community is coming together to help Manitoba flood victims. The MTS Centre will host Rise Again 2009: The Red Cross Manitoba Flood Relief Concert, featuring performances by a diverse group of artists including another expat, Tom Cochrane, R&B singer Deborah Cox, former INXS frontman JD Fortune, funk act Bet.e, roots quartet Nathan, country acts One More Girl and Beverley Mahood, funk fusion outfit Moses Mayes, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and East Coast Celtic band The Barra MacNeils.

The event is being spearheaded by a familiar former Manitoban, internationally-acclaimed musician and actor Tom Jackson.

"I currently live in Alberta,” Jackson said in a recent media release, “and as much as I think Alberta is wonderful, my heart is in Manitoba: my history is in Manitoba. As I have been blessed with the gift to help others, I feel a pride and responsibility to help my family and friends—literally and figuratively—when the need calls."

The concert is presented by Enbridge Pipelines Inc. with the support of the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, as well as Paquin Entertainment, APTN, CBC Manitoba, CBC Radio Two, Epic, Long & McQuade, MTS...

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EMI Digital Non-Strategy Might be Working?

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Last May, we wrote about EMI Music's appointment of former Google CIO Douglas Merrill as head of digital strategy. Then in March of this year, Merrill moved on with a claim from EMI that digital was becoming central to all of their operations, rather than it's own stand alone department.

Now, the numbers coming out of EMI's year of digital confusion seem to indicate that profits are up significantly (£163 million over 2008's £51 million) and digital is to thank. The numbers show that while physical sales were down 10%, digital sales have moved in to represent 35% of the company's income, up from 20% last year.

Their digital activity in the last year has included a number of quirky licensing deals including a deal with The Fairmont Hotel chain, music-themed scratch-off lottery games, and a music Visa card.

In fact, the real secret to increased profits at EMI may well be the strong British Pound (against the US dollar) and internal cost cutting (such as letting go their head of digital strategy?).

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Open Mic @ The Folk Exchange - May 29

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Manitoba Music and the Winnipeg Folk Festival present
OPEN MIC NIGHTS at THE FOLK EXCHANGE
with Daniel ROA
Friday, May 29, 2009 | 7pm

Winnipeg Folk Festival and Manitoba Music are happy to announce the next Open Mic Night @ The Folk Exchange. The exciting line-up of guest hosts continues this month with Daniel ROA.

On Open Mic Nights, musicians and music-lovers unite to share songs, inspiration and just plain old good times in the casual, intimate atmosphere of the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Folk Exchange venue, located at 211 Bannatyne Avenue (behind the Festival Music Store @ Albert Street).

Bring your instrument and take your turn on the Folk Exchange stage–or just come to listen (non-players will be charged a $2 cover).

Call the Festival at (204) 231-0096 for more information.

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Mommy raised ya, but Romi Mayes'd ya...

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Over the years, Winnipeg's Romi Mayes has shared the stage with roots heavyweights like Ricky Skaggs, Iris Dement, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Corb Lund... the list goes on. But this week on the (204), Romi keeps it simple in a concert we recorded at the Park Theatre. The very talented and humble Chris Carmichael joined her for the show, and Jaxon Haldane from the D.Rangers popped in too.

Plus, Wab's got a studio session from roots duo Twilight Hotel. They're playing the Times Change(d) Friday May 15 before packin' up and hitting the road until late June. Joanna Miller, Sky Onnoson and perhaps Scott Nolan will show up to play with the duo on the 15th, so make sure you don't have anything to do the next morning. The folks at the Times know how to have fun.

Plus, new music from the newest voice in the Christian Hip Hop scene, Sadie. As well as some old faves from Matt Epp, Nathan, and Athavale.

Listen to:
The (204) with Wabanakwut Kinew
Saturdays 5-6 p.m. on CBC Radio 1

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Bluebird North: Where Writers Sing and Tell

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The Songwriters Association of Canada has announced it will stage its first local Bluebird North event in Winnipeg on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at the Park Theatre (698 Osborne Street). Showtime is 7:30pm.

Bluebird North: Where Writers Sing and Tell is a musical showcase that brings together Canada’s most inspiring songwriters during an intimate and interactive evening. The audience will hear each performer share their songs and stories in an acoustic, informal environment.

"It’s an insider’s look at what inspired their original songs, straight from the artist’s mouth," explains event producer, Chris Burke-Gaffney (CBG Artist Development/Vatikan Records). Burke-Gaffney is working closely with his S.A.C. colleagues to organize the Winnipeg evening, keeping it consistent with Bluebird North events in other cities like Vancouver, Ottawa and St. John’s.

Bluebird North is based on Nashville's famed Bluebird Café, which opened in 1982. The venue is well-known for helping launch the careers of Garth Brooks, Ashley Cleveland and Pam Tillis.

Hosted by veteran radio host, Howard Mandshein (92 CITI FM, 101.5 UMFM), this year’s Bluebird North at the Park Theatre will...

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It's a Wild World

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I remember watching a fun show on MuchMusic called "Too Close For Comfort" eight million years ago. The show played videos of songs that sounded a little too similar to another and then the host would analyze. I might be making this up. But if the show did exist and was on today, Coldplay would've landed on it. Again.

A few months ago, guitar legend Joe Satriani sued the British outfit, claiming that the title track of the band's latest release, Viva La Vida, ripped off the melody and chords from his song, "If I Could Fly."

Now Cat Stevens, er Yusuf Islam,  is crying foul over the very same song, saying that it sounds an awful lot like his 1973 song, "Foreigner Suite." Apparently, Stevens isn't looking for money. He just wants credit. You be the judge.

As an aside, I named my family cat Cat Stevens when I was about four years old.

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Canada Joins the Copyright Blacklist

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Canada can now say hello Russia and China as it joins them on Washington's copyright blacklist. According to an article in the Globe & Mail, Obama's administration has officially deemed Canada a place where people roam free on the interweb and violate intellectual property without much interference from the powers that be. The move has been celebrated by the folks at the International Intellectual Property Alliance.


No other advanced Western democracy is on the list and Canada is regarded as a lawless hub for bootleg movies, ripped-off software and pirated chips that bypass copyright protections. - SOURCE: Paul Koring, "Canada placed on copyright blacklist"


So what do you think about Canada joining the blacklist? What should the Canadian government do? Does it matter to you?

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WHY Song in Upcoming Film Trailer

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Local rock band WHY has lent their music to a new film trailer for the upcoming film South Pole Quest. The film features Ray Zahab, founder of Impossible2Possible, as he embarks on his quest to run across the South Pole. Impossible2Possible is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to inspiring, educating and equipping a generation to achieve both environmental and human sustainability. They host adventures, such as South Pole Quest, in hopes of inspiring and educating young people to help protect the planet. Click here to watch the trailer.


WHY is a strong advocate for many anti-poverty organizations as well as AIDS awareness organizations including Make Poverty History, The Global Fund, (RED) and Level Ground Trading Ltd among several others. When they released The Lazarus Effect in 2005, proceeds went to supporting OXFAM, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty and social injustice around the world.

Zahab has started incorporating more of WHY’s music in several other Impossible2Possible film projects. Turns out he’s actually the guy who ran across the Sahara Desert in Matt Damon’s film Running the Sahara.

The band's new song, “We Started Out...

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Riding the Rails!

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After a long Canadian winter tucked away in cabins and churches, scribbling new scores and composing new tracks, Miss Emily Brown and Ingrid Gatin are about to launch their 2009 Great Lake Train Tour. Sponsored in part by Via Rail, the tour kicks off in Winnipeg on May 7th, 2009. The Train Tour will feature several onboard performances as well as venue stops, as the duo travels vial the rails through Toronto, London, and culminating in Montreal. And we've got the Winnipeg half, Ingrid, coming down for an chat and live performance in the (204) studio.

Ingrid Gatin, formerly of Winnipeg's Magnificent 7s, is the roots treat of the summer. Layering accordion, mandolin and piano, Gatin's work combines French-inspired accordion and Balkan rhythm. Back from a month in a Northern Saskatchewan cabin sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council, Ingrid will premiere her new songs on the Great Lakes Train Tour, beginning in her hometown. Her eclectic sound is said to be:"A little bit gypsy, a little bit soul, a little bit of a lot of things; Ingrid's voice shines."

Starting in Winnipeg at the Time Changed High and Lonesome Club right behind the Transcona Train Yards, the duo will play at...

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Songwriter in Residence: Emm Gryner

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Manitoba Music presents
Songwriter in Residence: Emm Gryner
Monday, May 11 | 7pm
Manitoba Music Resource Centre

Full Registration: $30 members, $50 non-members (one-on-one songwriting session plus the evening songwriting workshop) Workshop Registration: $20 members, $40 non-members (evening workshop)

with: Emm Gryner

A songwriting workshop with the critically-acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Emm Gryner, this program features one-on-one afternoon sessions with Emm, as well as an evening songwriting workshop. A limited number of one-on-one songwriting mentor sessions are available during the afternoon. These 30 minute sessions can be used for song editing and completion, song critique, or discussions about the craft of songwriting. Specific topics for the evening workshop will be announced in advance. The workshop will address topics such as the art and craft of songwriting, finding inspiration, and editing and refining song ideas.

Emm Gryner has carved out an enviable career completely on her own terms over the past decade, long before current music-industry trends sent many artists down an independent path. She has released eleven full length records,...

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NXNE Market Access Program Deadline - May 27

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The next Market Access Program deadline is for North by Northeast (NXNE). If you have a showcase at NXNE, please get your Market Access application in no later than Wednesday, May 27. Click here to download a PDF of the application form. You can also pick up applications at the Manitoba Music Resource Centre. For more info, please contact Danielle Strueby, danielle@manitobamusic.com.

PLEASE NOTE: Until program funding is confirmed for this fiscal year, Manitoba Music will only accept applications for approved events. See application form for list of approved events.

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JP Hoe in concert, plus new Manitoba music!

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This weekend, we bring you one of Winnipeg's brightest pop stars, JP Hoe, performing in concert. Recorded last fall at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the concert features JP and a host of local talent, including members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ruth Moody of The Wailin' Jennys, indie rock band Quinzy, and a whole lot more.

The concert was in honour of JP's release of his new CD, The Dear John Letters.

Also on the show this weekend: new music!

Dominique Reynolds releases her new album Tiny Burden this weekend at the Park Theatre. We've got her song about monkeys for you.

Plus, music you've never heard on the (204) before this weekend... Pepper Laing and the Lone Star Killers. They're an old-time roots band with great lyrics and tons of energy; they've have been makin' the rounds in Winnipeg lately. You can usually find them at the Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club, or if you're lucky, at your local Legion.

Lastly, new music from The Western States, who recorded their new album onto acutal TAPE, down in Austin Texas. The results are pretty terrific.

Listen to:
The (204) with Wabanakwut Kinew
Saturdays 5-6 p.m. on CBC Radio 1

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Return of NUNA (now)

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The 3rd annual NUNA (now) festival is making its way back to Winnipeg for five consecutive weekends in April and May starting April 24 with a pretty nifty sounding opening party. It comes complete with a visual arts and performance component courtesy of 2boys.tv, the Icelandic Love Corporation, Freya Olafson, DJ Magic and Asdis Sif Gunnarsdottir.

The NUNA (now) festival is geared toward celebrating the contemporary artistic and cultural connection between Iceland and our own home and native land. Some of this year's events include legendary singer/songwriter a.k.a "the grandfather of Icelandic Rock" Megas' very first appearance on North American soil. Catch this folk/art hero Thursday, April 30 at the Pyramid Cabaret with Baggalutur and The D. Rangers. The Keri Latimer Band (2/3 of Nathan) and Lay Low are also playing during the festival, along with several other musical acts.

You can also check out the theatre aspect of NUNA Saturday, May 23 at the Prairie Theatre Exchange in Portage Place. Watch a staged performance of Surf, a play by Icelandic playwright Jon Atli Jonasson.

Check out the live event calender for a more detailed listing of what's happening each...

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Manitoba Set to Rock L.A. Scene

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Two local bands are set to rock out in front of industry heavyweights next week at MUSEXPO 2009 in West Hollywood. MUSEXPO, which runs April 26-29, is one of North America’s most important music business conferences. Now in its fifth year, the exclusive event invites fewer than 30 international acts to showcase and is attended by top industry big wigs from across the globe.

Local alt.rock outfit Floor Thirteen is slated to perform on this year’s bill, which also features some of the hottest new acts from Iceland, Europe, the U.K., and more. Floor Thirteen has had an exciting year in which their song “Blame It On Me” received a key placement in EA Game’s Need for Speed and The Sims 3.

Hard rock quartet Domenica will also perform at this year’s festivities. The band continues a successful year that has included a trip to Berlin for Popkomm, a trip to London for MUSEXPO Europe, and licensing for its tune “I Love My Gun” to a number of primetime television shows.

For the third year running, Manitoba Music and MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC will host a networking reception on April 27 for all conference delegates to make business connections at Cravings Restaurant Sunset Plaza....

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Get your groove on!

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Jazz Winnipeg has just announced the official line up for the 2009 Groove-FM Jazz Winnipeg Festival.  The festival kicks off Wednesday, June 23 with a preview show featuring The Derek Trucks Band at Pantages Playhouse Theatre and officially gets underway Friday, June 26 until Sunday, July 5.

The theatre series is full of world-renowned Jazz acts including Buddy Guy June 27 at Pantages Playhouse Theatre, Al Green June 30 at the Centennial Concert Hall and Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Centennial Concert Hall July 2.

Just in time for the festival, the newly renovated West End Cultural Centre will be open and ready to act as one of several more intimate venues for performers like Jill Barber and The Bad Plus with Wendy Lewis. Jazz Winnipeg has also added two brand spankin’ new venues to the bill this year: Le Garage Café (166 Provencher Blvd) and the Rachel Browne Theatre at Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dance Studio. You can catch The Brandi Disterheft Sextet, The Shuffle Demons, Monk’s Casino and more at both of these venues.

Don’t forget about Wrap Up Weekend July 3 to 5 on the TD Canada Trust stage in Old Market Square where you can enjoy three days of free music from The...

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New anti-file sharing law = more legal downloads

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On April 1, 2009, a new law was passed in Stockholm; that being the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) law. It gives copyright holders the opportunity to receive information about file sharers released from an Internet Service Provider through a court order.

The law was the result of the much publicized Pirate Bay trial in Sweden. Just this morning, Pirate Bay’s four co-founders were found guilty of assisting the distribution of illegal content online. They’ve been sentenced to a year in jail and a hefty $3.6 million dollar fine.

Since the implementation of this new law, there’s been a few interesting statistics floating around the interweb. An example -- “The first week after the introduction of IPRED, (legal online and mobile phone file downloading services) sales increased by 100 percent compared to the previous weeks. I don’t know if this is only because of IPRED, but it is definitely a sign of a major change,” said InProdicon’s managing director Klas Brannstrom. InProdicon is one of Sweden’s main legal file download services.

Now it’s expected that the outcome of this trial could spawn a variety of other trials as both the music and film...

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Independent Record Store Day, a harmonium master and the Flood of '97... whew.

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Remember the olden days when you couldn't download any song ever written?
Where you had to physically go to a store to buy your music?

In honour of this long-forgotten activity, a group of artists and record labels came together for Record Store Day, happening April 18 this year. Music stores great and small join together to celebrate their place in the community.

Winnipeg shops like Music Trader and Into the Music are taking part in the celebration with sweet sale of exclusive records and live music for most of the day. We here at the (204) are gonna play some of that music for you in honour of the occasion. Bands like Novillero and Les Jupes. You know, good stuff.

Also, a special studio session like no other on the (204) this week: Ahmjad Sabir is coming in to play traditional Punjabi folk music on his harmonium.

And in light of the rising Red River these days, we've got an award-winning documentary by Jim Hiscott about music created out of hardship; Winnipeg composer Glenn Buhr wrote his Richot Mass during the flood of 1997. That's airing around 5:40 pm.

And, GIANT NEWS! The West End Cultural Centre finally announced this week when it's re-opening! We've got...

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Manitoba at the Gathering of Nations

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Manitoba will be well represented in Albuquerque, New Mexico next week for the 26th annual Gathering of Nations. Five Manitoban acts will be showcasing at Stage 49 and “The Pit,” while Manitoba Music’s Aboriginal Music Program, Travel Manitoba and the Manito Ahbee Festival will be hosting a Manitoba Reception and participating in the trade show.

Leanne Goose, Wab Kinew, Rik Leaf & Tribe of One, JC Campbell and Tracy Bone have showcases spots at the actual event, while Highway 373 will be performing for Native American business and community leaders at the Manitoba Reception on April 23.

The Gathering of Nations is now in its 26th year. The event is anchored by the biggest competition pow wow in the world, which draws thousands of visitors to the Indian Trader’s Market and Stage 49 each year.

Stage 49 is the main showcasing venue at the Gathering of Nations. The acts are programmed by Emergence Productions, a full service Native American music event production and artist management company based in Albuquerque.

The performance times and locations for each of these artists are:

Thursday, April 23
8:00pm Highway 373 @ Manitoba Reception, Albuquerque Convention...

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The New METRIC System - Direct to iTunes

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Metric released it's new record in March. The band is still affiliated with Last Gang records in Canada. But this time around, they went without a label in the US, and did a deal directly with iTunes. Two weeks in, it seems to be paying off.

The following is an excerpt from the LA Times Business section:

The 10-track "Fantasies" has sold 24,000 digital downloads since its release March 31. With direct access to iTunes, as well as sales via the band's website, Metric has already brought in more gross revenue than it did on 2005's "Live It Out," which sold more than 45,000 copies.
 
According to Mathieu Drouin, the band's co-manager, "without any intermediary, we're making 77 cents on the dollar for every record we sell" on iTunes. Under a label deal, based on Drouin's estimate, Metric would have earned closer to 22 cents.
 
Metric also took a page from album rollouts employed by much bigger artists such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. Fans could purchase the album directly from Metric's own site (www.ilovemetric.com), which sold "Fantasies" at five price points, ranging from an $8.99 album download -- with an extra track not available on iTunes -- to a $64.99...

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Red River's Rising

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Finally, coverage of the current flood situation in Manitoba partners with Manitoba music! A YouTube user has set a flood video to James Keelaghan's popular "Red River Rising." Click here to watch.

Mind you, said YouTuber doesn't bother to credit to Keelo or his compadre, Oscar Lopez, which is... unfortunate. And the song isn't actually about the Red River flooding but rather the Red River Rebellion.


UPDATE: Apparently I am blind. The YouTuber does offer credit at the end of the video. Apologies.

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MENTOR SESSIONS: One-on-One Consultation Opportunities - April 27 to May1

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Manitoba Music Presents
MENTOR SESSIONS: One-on-One Consultation Opportunities
Monday, April 27 to May 1
Free for members
Manitoba Music Resource Centre, 1-376 Donald

Manitoba Music presents a week of mentor meeting opportunities with some of Manitoba's most experienced artists and music industry veterans. This is a unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with local mentors, to talk and ask questions about your music career. Meetings are available throughout the week, and are open to Manitoba Music members only.

Monday, April 27 & Tuesday, April 28
Glen Willows - Grant Writing, Artist Management, Team Building, Touring
Glen is an experienced artist and artist manager. For the past 12 years, he has worked with talented emerging artists to help bring their music to the world. He recently stewarded Inward Eye and Ash Koley through major deals and has experience with everything from grant writing and advancing shows, to showcasing artists and and brokering deals.
www.burningcircusmgmt.com" class="shorten">http:///www.burningcircusmgmt.com

Wednesday, April 29
Dale Penner - Production and Demo Critique
For the past 20 years, Dale has worked as a music producer, and has been fortunate enough to work with...

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So bubbeleh, are you coming home for Passover this year?

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Such a simple question - but the answer ain't easy.

This weekend Alix Sobler guest hosts The (204). Over the last five years, Alix has lost touch with her Jewish heritage. She's been living with her Mennonite boyfriend in Winnipeg, Manitoba (or The Middle of Nowhere, according to her family in New York). Now both Passover and that good ol' Jewish guilt are here; and Alix finds herself yearning for family, for Judaism, for her past.

Tune in for a schmeer of comedy, food, plenty of yiddish and a little Klezmer.

Alix reminisces about food:
Like most holidays, food plays a big role in Passover. Noodles with raisins, cow intestines stuffed with potatoes, and fish suspended in a gelatinous goo. It might not sound the tastiest, but Alix will make a case for why you should give gefilte fish a second chance… or first chance.

Plenty of Alix's New York relatives show up too:
Her cousin Rachel won't stop calling, her grandmother shows up (via uncanny impersonation) and the loads of guilt never stops reminding her that family comes first... or does it?

Plus, the music of Winnipeg Klezmer sensations Finjan... and some George Michael, but you have to tune in to see how...

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Potholes vs. Arts Funding: Who Will Win?

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Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck's April 7 column, "Nix 'artist' funding: City $$ for puppet shows, nude oils, poetry wasteful," continues the the arts funding debate, this time on a civic level. Especially in a recession, why should the city fund obscure art when the city should be repairing potholes? 

I take great comfort every time I slam my driver-side wheel into an axle-shattering pothole that some "artist" is getting a taxpayer-funded grant to produce another psychotic short film or deranged piece of poetry no one will read.
What's interesting here are the online comments. There are many many of them, most in support of arts funding. They're are a fascinating read, running from satircal to outraged to quietly eloquent.

Brodbeck has continued the argument in his blog. Meanwhile, others have done some digging on Brodbeck's public funding opinions and found their own unfixed potholes.

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iTunes Prices Change Today

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iTunes Canada announced back in January that it had reached a deal with labels, allowing variable pricing by the labels in exchange for dropping DRM.

That change happens today.

Starting today, many major label tracks will jump to $1.29 from the standard $.99. Many will stay at the just under a buck price, and supposedly others still will drop to $.69. iTunes has said that for every song raised to $1.29, ten songs would be lowered in price to $.69. I did a quick search this morning and I couldn't find any tunes at $.69.

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Inward Eye Video Shoot

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Inward Eye is shooting a video and you can be in it. The rock trio will hit the Royal Albert on April 6 to shoot "You Know I Know," the second single from its debut four-song EP. The band's last video, "Shame," is already in heavy rotation on MuchMusic so if you're a part of this, your mom's probably gonna see you (whose mom doesn't watch Much?). The free show kicks off at 9pm with AM Glory, followed by The Paps at 9:30pm and Inward Eye at 10:15pm. I'm fairly certain that I'm too old but you're not! If you want to be in the video, be at the Albert at 9pm.

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The Brewnos are coming

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Every spring, Manitoba's artists get dressed up and head out for a special night to celebrate and honour the best in music. Yup, it's Brewno time again. On April 3, 92.9 KICK FM show Beer for Breakfast will once again host Definitely Not The Junos, a.k.a. the Brewnos, an awards show with an online public nomination process that draws the winner randomly.

Beer for Breakfast's Broose Tulloch did the event as a one-off Winnipeg-centric compliment to the Juno Awards during their 2005 visit to Winnipeg. Five year's later, the event continues to gain popularity. Always an interesting and diverse show, this year's Brewno performers include Marco Castillo, Mahogany Frog, Ismaila, Rik Leaf, Equal Loudness Curve, and more. Join in the festivities and celebrate the local scene tonight at The Academy.

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The Wailin' Jennys Eat Cake

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For a band that has a page on its website dedicated entirely to food and restaurants, placing a song in a movie called The Cake Eaters seems fitting. The Wailin' Jennys landed their song, "Begin," off the Juno-nominated release, Firecracker, in the new movie directed by award-winning actress Mary Stuart Masterson and starring Twilight phenom, Kristen Stewart.

The movie also stars Oscar-nominated actress Melissa Leo, who recently appeared in The Frozen River, which featured music by fellow Winnipeg roots alum, Nathan's Keri Latimer.

"I was a big John Hughes fan in the '80s and therefore I was a big Mary Stuart Masterson fan. It's exciting that now that she's directing, she's put one of our songs in her film," says band member Nicky Mehta.

The Juno-winning act, which also includes Ruth Moody and U.S.-based Heather Masse,  has been taking a break from its usual hectic tour schedule in recent months but is planning to release a live album in July.

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Turn Your Knob To...

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The radio ratings are in and CBC Radio 2 isn't a winner. The Winnipeg Free Press has reported that Radio 2 has dropped listeners since moving away from its classical format in September. 92 CITI FM and Clear 102.3 FM, meanwhile, gained listeners. So did QX 104 FM, Bob FM, and CFRW. While they both lost listeners, CJOB and CBC Radio One still come in at number one and two in Winnipeg, respectively.  Read more...

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