Manitoba Music

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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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Uncertainty for Digital Music Business Models (Still)

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Last week I wrote about a downward trend in peer-to-peer downloading - many observers see this in part as a result of the increased use of free and easy streaming music services such as imeem, Pandora, Last.fm, and Spotify. Why download and store files, when you can have access to anything you want, from any location, on demand?

Well, in the last few days, much has been written about the sorry state of business for these services. In the UK, where the artists are much more organized and active in demanding that they be written into the deals (not just as a footnote in their labels' deals with these services), google/youtube is currently in a battle with the PRS, claiming that they can't afford to pay artists for content. Other streaming music companies are lining up behind google, hoping to benefit from the behemoth's bargaining clout. Meanwhile, the companies themselves are still scrambling to come up with a homerun service that users actually like and use. The much heralded MySpace music, for example, was a major flop and is in the process of re-inventing itself again.

In many cases, it seems to me that it's inking deals with the major labels that is at the heart of...

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Who are you to criticize him?!?!

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If you caught that heading reference, then you probably know a thing or two about "Jesus Christ Superstar." Well, this week, Wab's going to tell you about the Winnipeg tie-in to the musical that could have you wishing you never got rid of those leather sandals.

To celebrate Easter, some Winnipeg musicians are getting into the holy spirit of things, a la Jesus Christ Superstar. Next Thursday (April 9) at the Park Theatre, The Liptonians and Flying Fox and the Hunter/Gatherers are going to perform the music from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. And this Saturday at around 5:30 on Radio One, Wab's going to be rocking it with some of the original soundtrack. Seriously folks, we didn't know Wab was a fan until he started blasting "I Don't Know How To Love Him." Click here for more info on the concert.

Also on The (204) this weekend, new music from The Nods, Paper Moon and Eric Nicholas.

And a victory lap for some of the Manitoba Juno winners: DJ Brace, Chic Gamine and Doc Walker are all featured on this show Saturday.

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

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Department of Dzama

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Winnipeg art hero Marcel Dzama worked with Feist's "1234" hero Patrick Daughters to direct the (brilliant) Department of Eagles' video for "No One Does It Like You," recently premiered at the MoMA. I'd say something deliciously clever about it but I'm too busy watching it repeatedly (along with Feist's Juno-winning video for "Honey Honey"). You should too.

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EMI Changes Digital Direction, Again

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Back in May, I wrote about EMI Music's appointment of former Google CIO Douglas Merrill as head of digital strategy. The move seemed to indicate that EMI was serious about rethinking their approach to digital distribution.

But now, less than a year later, EMI has announced in an internal memo that Merrill is "moving on." They have appointed Cory Ondrejka to the position of executive vice president of digital marketing - essentially signaling that they will no longer have a digital department, but that digital strategies will permeate all aspects of the company's business. It's probably the right idea, but many observers seem unconvinced.

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Happy Birthday Ronnie Lane

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Big Smash! Productions continues its dedication the music movies with a presentation of 2006's The Passing Show: The Life and Music of Ronnie Lane. The April 1 show at The Cyrk will correspond with what would've been the Lane's 63rd birthday and will feature a written introduction by Small Faces/Faces member Ian McLaglan. The bio doc features numerous musical clips and interviews with family, friends and colleagues including Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, McLagan, Kenney Jones, Glyn Johns, Henry McCullough, Joe Ely and many more. Click here to find out more about the event.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here and admit that I had no idea who this band was. Inevitably, that meant a trip to Wikipedia, where I learned that Small Faces was "possibly one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s." Which kinda embarassed me. So then I checked out some vintage stuff on YouTube. Learning is fun!

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Manitoba Roots Acts Dominate Juno Awards

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Chic Gamine has continued Manitoba's domination of the roots category at the Juno Awards.The quintet picked up the award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group) for its self-titled debut at the 2009 JUNO Awards Gala & Dinner on March 28 in Vancouver. The band joins recent winners Nathan, The Duhks, and The Wailin' Jennys who won in 2008, 2006, and 2005, respectively. The Duhks were also nominated this year in the roots category for Fast Paced World, along with Twilight Hotel for Highway Prayer.

Chic Gamine wasn't the only Manitoba act to pick up hardware at this year's festivities. Country rock stars Doc Walker landed the award for Country Recording of the Year for its latest release, Beautiful Life.

Expats also did well this year, with DJ Brace taking Instrumental Album of the Year for Nostomania, released on Winnipeg-based electronic label Balanced Records. Brandon-born violinist James Ehnes won for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble for his album, Homages. 

Most awards are handed out at the invite-only gala dinner the night before the main event, televised on CTV on March 29.

Keep up-to-date on the Juno festivities by following...

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Blender

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In the troubled world of print publications, music mag Blender is the latest to call it quits. The magazine was a glossy pop culture mag, but included serious music feature articles and decent record reviews. Blender follows No Depression which threw in the towel last year, in becoming an online only publication.

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The Simon and Garfunkel of the prairies

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They make beautiful harmonies together. And you'd seriously think they were Paul and Art incarnate. They're Chris Neufeld and Donovan Giesbrecht, performing under the moniker The Other Brothers, and we've got these two playing in the (204) studio this weekend.

The Other Brothers aren't really brothers, even though they look peculiarly similar. They're two solo folk musicians who've recently joined forces. Aside from being catchy, the band name fits because when it comes to their approaches to music, they're a lot like siblings (in all the good, non-bickery ways). They're about to release their first CD as the new duo - you can check out the release part April 3rd at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg at 7pm.

Chris's solo career gained immediate attention. After being featured on CBC radio's Culture Shock, and sharing the stage with the likes of Fred Eaglesmith and Nathan, Chris's debut CD, Colorado Low, was met with eager anticipation. It did not disappoint. The record ranked #1 for three weeks on the UMFM campus charts, and was later selected as one of the top ten albums of 2005. Those who have heard Chris live—whether on stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Brandon Folk...

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CBC Cuts The Signal (Kinda)

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In a town hall meeting today, CBC's English Services executive vice president, Richard Stursberg, announced details on some of the cuts to its programming.

Of note to music fans: Radio 2 will cut the Manitoba-produced weekend edition of The Signal, hosted by Pat Carrabré (who's up for a Juno this weekend). Radio 2 will also cut In the Key of Charles and plans "more consolidations with Radio 3," whatever that means. It'll also reduce the number of live music production and recordings it does.

While none of this bodes well for, er, much of anything, it does appear that regional show The (204) is safe from the axe, which is good news for Manitoba music and fans alike.

Find out more about the cuts on CBC's website and follow Stursberg's presentation minute-by-minute.

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Manitoba Heads to the Junos

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Vancouver is about to get a taste of Manitoba’s legendary hospitality with a special celebration of Manitoba music during the 2009 JUNO Awards street party in Vancouver on March 29. Presented by Manitoba Film & Music, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, and Manitoba Music, the event will feature performances by 2009 Juno nominees Doc Walker, Tracy Bone, Billy Joe Green, and Big Dave McLean, showcasing some of the great talent coming from our province. With 11 nominations, this year marks Manitoba’s strongest showing in Juno history.

Three Manitoba bands are strong contenders for the top prize in the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group) category this year, solidifying Manitoba’s reputation for great roots music. This year’s contenders include soulful roots music outfit Chic Gamine for its self-titled debut, genre-defying roots act The Duhks for Fast Paced World, and Americana duo Twilight Hotel for Highway Prayer.

Hometown talent is also leading in the Aboriginal Album of the Year category, landing three nominations this year. Nominees include country chanteuse Tracy Bone and her Western Canadian Music Award-winning debut, No Lies, on Winnipeg-based...

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Trends in "Free" Music

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Manitoba Music hosted a session last night with Mark Meharry from MusicGlue. Mark is based in London and is a pioneer of the "free" music approach to building a fan base and building careers for independent artists. Mark helps artists give away music, as a way to track and interact with fans, and build other revenue streams from concert tickets and merchandise. In the face of declining CD sales, artists and music industry companies are looking for new buisiness models and business structures.

One of the trends that we talked about last night was the move from downloading and storing music, to streaming music. Broadband speeds and access to online file storage are increasing and becoming cheaper, moving towards zero cost. This is leading to increased ease of access to music through legal channels like mobile phone delivery and streaming online services. Rather than building libraries of music, the user can simply plug into vast existing catalogues.

Illegal file sharing has been as much about ease of access as is about cost - labels weren't quick enough at making music available and transportable so mega music fans and tech savvy kids looked elsewhere. Now that music is...

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