Manitoba Music

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PRO-IP Act passes US Congress

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The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the PRO-IP Act (HR.4279) by a vote of 410 to 11. The act would strengthen Intellectual Property protection and enforcement. Before being passed in the House, the act passed in the Judiciary Committee unanimously. It now has to pass through the US senate.

Dan Glickman, chair of the MPAA, praised the move by congress. He wrote, in part:
It is a comprehensive, bipartisan measure that will strengthen our nation's economy and generate more jobs for American workers by bolstering protections for intellectual property. Given the difficult economic times we face, the PRO-IP Act is welcome by both the business and labor communities because it can improve our nation's economic outlook. I hope the Senate will move quickly to pass similar legislation.Richard Esguerra of the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote a critique of the legislation. Here's a piece:
The most outrageous provisions would create new and unnecessary federal bureaucracies devoted to intellectual property enforcement. None seems more ridiculous than language creating a Cabinet-level 'IP enforcement czar' that would report to the President and coordinate...

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FACTOR Tightens Reins to Speed up Application Process

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The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), has placed a "no tolerance" rule around supporting documentation being sent in later than when an application is received.

While previously in some cases, FACTOR has been somewhat lenient on applicants who send in mandatory supporting documentation after they send in or submit their application to FACTOR. President and CEO of FACTOR, Heather Ostertag says the intention of the crack-down is not to be nasty but to be fair to other applicants. "The Submissions department at FACTOR has at times spent days and days waiting for supporting documentation to arrive from applicants, sometimes even weeks. This holds the entire department up which in turn, delays applicants getting an answer. It's not fair to applicants who do submit their materials on-time with the application. Why should others have to wait longer for their application to be assessed simply because someone else decided to take their time?"

As well, matching documents to applications after the fact has put an added burden onto staff and has created many challenges for both applicants and FACTOR. It has significantly increased the margin for error....

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FACTOR Tightens Reins to Speed up Application Process

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The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), has placed a "no tolerance" rule around supporting documentation being sent in later than when an application is received.

While previously in some cases, FACTOR has been somewhat lenient on applicants who send in mandatory supporting documentation after they send in or submit their application to FACTOR. President and CEO of FACTOR, Heather Ostertag says the intention of the crack-down is not to be nasty but to be fair to other applicants. "The Submissions department at FACTOR has at times spent days and days waiting for supporting documentation to arrive from applicants, sometimes even weeks. This holds the entire department up which in turn, delays applicants getting an answer. It's not fair to applicants who do submit their materials on-time with the application. Why should others have to wait longer for their application to be assessed simply because someone else decided to take their time?"

As well, matching documents to applications after the fact has put an added burden onto staff and has created many challenges for both applicants and FACTOR. It has significantly increased the margin for error....

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Waking of the Weezer

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I had the pleasure of seeing The Waking Eyes show Thursday night at the Albert and it has to be said...I’m proud to call these boys something of a Local. These four talented individuals impressed the pants off of me with their crazy-mad-much-cool kinda performance. The crew seemed very in tune with each other and no joke...I swear sometimes I can hear the Beatles in them (not sure how people feel about that but I’m just gonna let that speak for itself)?

As for the rhythm section drummer Steve Senkiw made me want to learn them drums. He does much more then simply bang on things. This guy is so freaking good...plus he sings (oh yeah that’s right I heard you singing back up vocals don’t try and hide I can see you). During the second set of the night Senkiw put on his Buddy Holly glasses and I full on respect that to the max! But we’ll get to the Weezer stuff a little later. (I feel like inserting a smiley face here... : ) there we go...and if that smiley face could talk it’d say, "thanks for playing the drums so well Senkiw")! Bassist Joey Penner plays with such an original style giving his instrument it’s own personality (it’s true). Penner is well let’s face it....he’s sick!...

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iPod? iCan't.

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I'm clearly a little behind in the times, but this video is for all those people who are drooling all over whatever it is Apple just released...

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ASCAP & Kittens

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At this time when so many forces are seeking to diminish copyright protections and devalue artistic expression, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has introduced a “Bill of Rights” for all songwriters and composers.

Says ASCAP president/chairperson Marilyn Bergman, "Given the many issues surrounding the music industry today, it can be all too easy to overlook the source of it all--individual songwriters, lyricists and composers. Our goal is to remind lawmakers, the general public and music creators themselves of the rights that are inherent in their art.”

The ASCAP Bill of Rights includes:

1. We have the right to be compensated for the use of our creative works, and share in the revenues that they generate.

2. We have the right to license our works and control the ways in which they are used.

3. We have the right to withhold permission for uses of our works on artistic, economic or philosophical grounds.

4. We have the right to protect our creative works to the fullest extent of the law from all forms of piracy, theft and unauthorized use, which deprive us of our right to earn a living based on our creativity.

5. We...

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Eagle and Hawk to play with WSO at Indigenous Festival

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Internationally acclaimed rock group Eagle & Hawk will collaborate with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) at the first ever Indigenous Festival on April 29 and 30, 2009 at the Burton Cummings Theatre. The festival will also include numerous other aboriginal acts from Manitoba and across the country. Eagle & Hawk will play a 70 minute set with new scores being arranged from the Eagle & Hawk discography.

Vince Fontaine, band spokesperson for Eagle & Hawk,solicited the WSO during their performance with world class violinist Richard Moody last year. This concert was a part of the Red Road Music live broadcast for CBC Radio 2.

“This will be different from any other work we have ever done before, as we will have to stay disciplined in our arrangements,” says Fontaine, “We are usually an improvisational band and we like to put in a lot of audience participation. This will be a new experience for Eagle & Hawk.”

World renowned Charles Cozens of Toronto will be charting the songs, supporting Eagle & Hawk’s traditional sound. Cozen has conducted symphonies across the country, and is considered to be one of Canada’s premiere composers. Winnipeg’s Andrew Balfour will be...

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Music Eh? eMusic launches in Canada

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The digital music subscription service eMusic has launched a Canadian site. The company has been around for a while, and unlike the iTunes store which wouldn't work for Canadian customers until they launched their Canadian version, I had a functioning account on the American eMusic site than a year ago.

But, with Arts & Crafts and Paper Bag Recordings showing up under the feature labels banner and City and Colour and Jason Collett appearing on the front page, the Canadian site definitely has a Canadian flavour.

The concept of the site is a bit of a hybrid, part digital download store, part subscription service. Unlike streaming audio subscription sites, eMusic sells downloads, but customers have to commit by keeping their subscription active. It reminds me a bit of the Columbia House Record Club in that way. (For those of you under 30, never mind.)

You can browse eMusic Canada's content and see if you feel, as I did when I had a subscription, that offerings are sometimes inexplicably spotty. I'm sure that they've added tons of content since I last visited.

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WCMA Deadline Extension

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Due to an overwhelming response of submissions, the deadline for applications for the WCMA Artistic Awards, Industry Awards, and Festival showcases has been extended to May 15, 2008. By May 15, at 5:00 pm (CT), all submissions should be submitted through Sonicbids.com/wcma for consideration.

Performers from across western Canada are encouraged to visit

Award nominations (for releases between January 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008) may be submitted in 20 different artistic categories and 11 different industry categories. Category details and other questions and answers regarding the Western Canadian Music Awards can be found at www.westerncanadianmusicawards.ca, and submit their electronic press kits for festival showcase and award nominations through Sonicbids (www.sonicbids.com/wcma). www.westerncanadianmusicawards.ca or by calling the office directly at (204) 943-8485.

Edmonton, AB will play host to the 6th Annual Western Canadian Music Awards, October 16 – 19.

Click here for Festival Guidelines
Click here for Artistic Awards Guidelines
Click here for Industry Awards Guidelines

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Festival Distribution Rolls Up The Tent (Kinda)

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Effective July 1, Festival Distribution will cease to be... at least in the way we're used to it being. The Vancouver-based company, which has been around since '80s, will move its physical distribution to Outside Music and continue on in a online-only capacity. Outside will take over sales and servicing of all Festival-distributed music and Festival will close down its warehouse at the end of August.

A respected FACTOR-recognized distributor, Festival has been home primarily to folk and roots, jazz, world, and blues recordings. Perusing the distributors "top titles" section on its website, you'll find the likes of Ani Difranco, The Wailin' Jennys, James Keelaghan, Tanya Tagaq, Alpha Yaya Diallo, and Shooglenify.

"The alliance with Outside Music is ideal for Festival and we are happy to be working with them,” said Festival Distribution president, Jack Schuller, in today's press release. “Lloyd Nishimura and his team have always been formidable competition. They operate an honest, hardworking and efficient business."
Schuller continued to explain that while Outside will handle the physical side of sales, Festival will concentrate on digital sales and its relationship...

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The breaking of the instruments

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Sacrilege! I don’t get it? I know bands like Nirvana got away with it but to be honest as much as I loved the Cobain it pained me to see all those instruments go to waste. I didn’t like it back then and I don’t like it now! It’s so wrong I tell ya!

I was at a show (outside of the city) a while back and the band lifted their guitars up to the heavens and then smashed them to the ground breaking them into pieces. While I watched all the little Gretsch bits fall to the pits of hell I realized...I WAS UPSET! My heart stopped and if it could cry it would have used up an entire box of Kleenex. Why do bad things happen to good instruments? With one hand on my chest holding my ticker and the other hand covering my jaw drop/horrified mouth I stood in shock. My heart sunk and fell into deep depression. Not even the comfort of an entire box of rocky road ice cream could revive my beat box back into normal pumping circulation. (Quick someone call ER...Where’s George Clooney at? Ha! So dramatic). My brain trips over itself when wondering...How could someone destroy such a beautiful thing?

My whole idea of good and evil is being challenged here...artistic expression vs. artistic...

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Two Local Bands Showcase for Major Music Biz in L.A.

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A few Manitoba residents will be escaping the spring slush and cold with a trip to Los Angeles at the end of April. Two local bands will be heading south to perform for some the music industry’s most influential players at MUSEXPO 2008. MUSEXPO – which runs April 27 to April 30 in West Hollywood -- is one of North America’s most important music business conferences, attended by top international industry professionals, label execs, A&R big wigs, and major television and movie music supervisors.

MUSEXPO selected only 36 acts from around the world for coveted official showcase spots. Rock quintet The Nods were chosen by MUSEXPO to join this year’s line-up, which includes some of the hottest buzz bands from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and beyond. The Nods have been building up a buzz since the October release of their latest CD, Static Pop. In addition to hitting the top 200 CMJ college radio charts, the band landed in Austin, Texas for an energetic showcase at the RedGorilla Music Fest as well as a showcase at Toronto's Canadian Music Week in March. The band has just signed a licensing agreement with MTV that could see their music placed in shows including Life of Ryan, The...

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Folk Fest Bids Farewell to Trudy

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A press release from the Winnipeg Folk Festival today ended weeks of speculation about executive director Trudy Schroeder's future at the venerable festival. She will take on the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as executive director.

Schroeder, who has been with the organization for a decade, has helped to shepherd the festival into a time of unparalleled prosperity. Terry Sargeant, president of Folk Fest's Board of Directors, had this to say in today's release:

She leaves with the organization considerably larger than a decade ago, with record crowds at the summer event, with record income surpluses, with a solidly based endowment fund, with year-round programming and with a plan in place to greatly improve the site at Birds Hill Park. And that’s really only the start of the list of her accomplishments.

Given all of her successes with us, it should not be surprising that other groups in town took notice. Morley Walker unleashed the rumour of Schroeder's move to the WSO in an April 11 article in the Winnipeg Free Press. Schroeder remained tight-lipped and the rumour went uncomfirmed until today's press release. 

Schroeder will stay on at Folk Fest through until the...

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World Intellectual Property Day

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You know Mother's Day, you've heard of Earth Day (it was last week), and probably Secretaries, I mean Administrative Professionals' Day, but how about Intellectual Property Day? Well, it's this Saturday, April 26th.

Established by WIPO in 2000, World IP Day represents the anniversary of the day that international WIPO treaty came into force in 1970. The org wanted to help people connect the idea of intellectual property - copyright, patents, industrial designs and trademarks - with their own everyday lives.

Each year, WIPO and its Member States celebrate World Intellectual Property Day as a way to increase public understanding of what IP really means, and to demonstrate how the IP system is at the base of employment and development for music, arts and entertainment, and products and technological innovations.

The goals of World Intellectual Property day are:

to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life;
to increase understanding of how protecting IP rights helps promote creativity and innovation;
to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies...

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More Music Movies from Cinematheque

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Big Smash! Music Scene continues with Thursday night movies about music at Cinematheque... find out more here...

May 1 - 9:30PM
Big Smash! Music Scene: THE PIED PIPER OF HUTZOVINA
Dir. Pavla Fleisher UK/Ukraine 2006 / 63min. / BETA SP / Music Documentary

An Eastern European road movie about roots, relationships and identity,
following Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello as he travels to his homeland in
Ukraine. In 2004, Czech-born director Pavla Fleischer met and fell in love
with Eugene Hutz, the lead singer of popular New York-based band Gogol
Bordello. Enamored of his intense personal charisma and Eastern European
spirit, she undertook to make a documentary about a planned road trip in
search of his family roots and links to the Roma musical heritage in his
original homeland of Ukraine. However, a certain tension creeps into the
filmmaking process as the director and her subject begin to pursue different
agendas. As the director turns the camera on the unfolding dynamic between
the two of them, their personal longings and searches play out against the
rugged backdrop of the rural Ukrainian and Russian trains and villages that
frame the journey....

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The Nods Ink Network Licensing Deal

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Rock quintet The Nods have landed a network licensing agreement with MTV shows including Life of Ryan, The Hills and The Real Life series as well as a new series from the newly launched cable network M Cable TV.

The deal was reached with the help of the band's manager, Jack Shapira, and their Minneapolis-based music licensing agent, Jon Delange of Tinderbox Music. Delange has been a solid supporter of the band since his company was successful in getting them a top 200 CMJ listing early this year as well as exposure at over 200 American college radio stations.

"The exposure opportunity to get the bands music in TV programming like this is fantastic," said Shapira in a release. "A number of these shows are ones that have a solid track record and most possibly will have some longevity to them."

The Nods have been building up a buzz since the October 2007 release of Static Pop. In addition to hitting the CMJ charts, the band landed in Austin, Texas for an energetic showcase at the RedGorilla Music Fest as well as a showcase at Toronto's Canadian Music Week in March. Coming up, they'll hit the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles April 28-30 for Musexpo and perform for some major...

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Jazz Fest Keeps Its Groove

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Jazz Winnipeg knows how to announce a festival lineup. With the Fairmont lounge as the setting, Heineken as the sponsor and Winnipeg's Neil Watson Trio as the entertainment, Friday's announcement was a well attended affair.

Dan Michaels from Groove FM was on hand to bring greetings from the title sponsor, and to preempt cynicism about the station's commitment to jazz with their change in format from a jazz station to a smooth jazz adult contemporary format - "Cool" is now "Groove".

The Festival lineup features some notable tweaks and changes to the format, some fantastic touring acts and lots of great local talent. The event will wrap-up with the outdoor market square concerts again this year - it used to open with this event - but will end Sunday night instead of continuing on to the holiday Monday.

The biggest change to this year's festival is that the nightly club programming has been distilled down to five venues. The usual Pyramid Cabaret contemporary music series and the Windsor Hotel blues series are joined by Roots programming at the Times Changed. This is cool - if the Times is going to have music on that weekend anyway, might as well make it part of the...

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Federal and Provincial Governments Support Manitoba’s Growing Music and Motion Picture Industry

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The Manitoba Music and Motion Pictures Development Project (M3P) will continue to increase local, national and international market access as well as other development initiatives thanks to an investment under the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement.

An investment of $600,000 to M3P was announced today by Andrew Swan, Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade; Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification; and Eric Robinson, Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport.

"Manitoba’s film and sound industry creates employment and attracts significant investment to the province,” said Andrew Swan. “This funding to continue the M3P project will ensure our international reputation as a great place to record an album, film major motion pictures as well as art films and documentaries will be enhanced.”

“The Government of Canada is proud to build on the success of the M3P project, and recognizes the importance of fostering the growth of this dynamic cultural industry,”...

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Get your P2 in 30 days, or its free! Sort of.

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The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to improve the artist visa process. The legislation would require the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to treat as a Premium Processing case, free of any additional charge, any arts-related O and P visa petition that it fails to process within 30 days. The 15 day premium processing would mean that no application would take longer than 45 days. Currently, processing can take months and premium processing comes at a cost of $1000.

The bill is called the Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS) Act (HR 1312 RFS), and it was passed in the House of Representatives April 1, 2008. The legislation still has to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

This bill has been quietly championed by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the American Arts Alliance, and similar not-for-profit arts organizations. These organizations deal primarily with "O1" and "P1" visas, for culturally unique and culturally excellent internationally recognized performers, and much of the writing that that I've found so far on this bill makes a point of mentioning "culturally unique artists."

So I'm wondering if local pop/rock/roots...

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What does it take to make a band work?

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On so many occasions I’ve talked with friends about the trials and tribulations of being in a band. Why does it at times seem so hard for a group to stay together?

The idea of being in a band is fascinating to me. From an outsiders perspective it seems as though a band is like a relationship, a love affair, or a marriage...but with more then one person! If that’s the case things are starting to make much more sense being that something like 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce now a days!?

So what’s the magical ingredient? What makes a band successful? What makes a band stay together? I hear countless stories about bands getting together to "jam". (I guess using the word "jam" sounds a lot cooler then simply calling it band practice...especially since the term band practice makes me think of when I used to play flute in high school symphonic band. Nerdy right)? I often wonder what goes on in these "jam sessions"? To me "jamming" sounds like you’re not going to practice at all. It’s basically a get together, a time to show off your pretty instruments, go with the flow, see what happens, allow the creative juices to pour, see if you can channel the Music Gods through your...

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Pre-sale vs On-sale

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Oasis is coming to Winnipeg for the first time ever. They’ll probably never do it again. I’ve been a Brit pop fan for over a decade, and I’m sure not going to miss this concert, even if Liam is the most boring on stage performer ever. I’m still going. And I got floor seats when tickets went on sale yesterday.

Notice how I said “on sale yesterday.” Not “tickets go on sale Saturday.” I have a beef with presales. I’m not even sure you can even call it a presale. I bought them. They went on sale. There’s really nothing “pre” about it. Someone said “let’s have people be able to purchase them today.” Yeah. That’s called on sale. Not presale. I wonder why they even bother telling people that tickets go on sale Saturday. Those poor schmucks that wait till Saturday will be sitting up in the rafters. If you actually follow what the advertisement says you’ll NEVER get a good seat no matter how you try. No wonder concerts sell out in two minutes. Half the place was already sold out three days before you even typed in www.ticketmaster.ca. If everyone is taking advantage of the presale, why do they even have one? It’s like I was saying to Rachel Stone (who patiently listens to me spew...

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Security Check

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I recently went on a business trip to Vancouver and of course went by plane. I was up early and packed my bags ever so carefully keeping in mind the strict rules that the airlines and airports have these days in lieu of post 911 fears of terrorist blowing up airplanes or taking out buildings somewhere in the United States. It seems funny to me that these rules were made in the US and then adopted by us in Canada… and even years after… we still have “security” coming out of the ying yang… or do we?

Lets think about this for a moment. Personally since “911” I have traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada. I was actually on a plane two weeks after the Twin Towers went down… a trip to Dallas I recall. Now that was security…soldiers in fatigues carrying machine guns, mission specialist wired into computer systems, dogs, ID Checks, bag checks… the works! I didn’t mind… actually I felt safe.

Fast-forward a few years to present day. I pack my bags taking into consideration that I can only have a tiny bag that fits only the bare essentials for personal hygiene and I mean bare essential… I don’t even take a toothbrush or toothpaste any more… I’ll buy them when I get to...

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Leblanc's Juno Rundown

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The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences blew it again this year.

The standout performance of the Junos didn’t take place on its nationally
televised Juno show but during its non-televised gala dinner and awards the night
before where 32 of the 39 awards were handed out.

It was there that all of the nominees in the World Music Album category,
singers Alex Cuba, Celso Machado, and Kiran Ahluwalia as well as guitarist Jesse
Cook and world music ensemble Autorickshaw joined together for an electrifying
celebration.

But Canada’s public missed it.

Canadians also missed out on some potentially great performances by such Juno
winners as jazz singer Sophie Milman who won Vocal Jazz Album of the Year;
Ottawa native Belly who won Rap Recording of the Year; Winnipeg’s Nathan who
took home Roots & Traditional Album of the Year; and sultry diva Serena Ryder
who was named New Artist of the Year.

Why weren’t these acts on the televised show?

Many industry figures here continue to question the longstanding CARAS
contention that some music genres do not work on a national TV broadcast and are
therefore not considered for the main event....

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New Award Categories at 2008 CCMAs

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The Canadian Country Music Association’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce changes to the Independent Award categories and the creation of the Top Selling Canadian Album award for the 2008 Canadian Country Music Awards.
The Top New Talent Awards, including Top New Female Talent of the Year, Top New Male Talent of the Year and Top New Talent - Group or Duo of the Year, will now replace the Independent Award categories. This new addition to the Canadian Country Music Awards comes from the Board’s desire to evolve the Independent Awards into an equally, if not more, significant recognition of newcomers to the Canadian country music scene.

The addition of the Top New Talent Awards brings exciting modifications to the Rising Star Award. Nominees in this category are now made up of the winners from the three Top New Talent Award categories. The act with the most votes from these three categories will be declared the winner of the Rising Star Award. The Rising Star Award will be presented during the 2008 Canadian Country Music Awards broadcast, taking place on Monday, September 8th, 2008.

“I am thrilled with the CCMA Board of Directors’ decision to implement the Top...

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CCMA Executive Director Leaves Organization

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The Board of Directors of the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced today that Executive Director, Carmen Celestini, has left the organization to pursue new opportunities, effective immediately.
“The Board of Directors wishes Carmen well in her new endeavors,” said Heather Ostertag, Chair of Board of Directors of the CCMA.

To see the association through this transition, Lynne Foster, Secretary Treasurer of the CCMA Board of Directors has stepped in temporarily to assume the role of acting Executive Director. “I look forward to working with the CCMA in the role of Executive Director until a suitable replacement can be found,” said Foster. The search for a permanent Executive Director will begin immediately.

About the Canadian Country Music Association

Since 1976 the Canadian Country Music Association has been a pivotal member of the entertainment industry in Canada as a federally charted, non-profit trade organization. For more than 30 years the CCMA has worked to protect the heritage of; advocate the development of; and enact laws favourable to the Canadian country music industry domestically and internationally. Through the use of education,...

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FACTOR Hires Erin KingHorn

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The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR) announced today that it has hired a new General Manager... Erin Kinghorn.

Kinghorn is perhaps best known for her years working as Director of Sales and Marketing at Nettwerk (home to Manitoba's newest Juno winner, Nathan).  Kinghorn will take over day to day administrative and operational aspect for FACTOR after relocating from Vancouver to Toronto.

A press release from FACTOR said...

"I think she's going to fit in instantly," says Heather Ostertag, President & CEO of FACTOR. "She has many valuable assets that will compliment the already existing team within this organization."

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Ruffled panties and MEN Deejay’s!?

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Itchy, itchy, scratchy, scratch, that open acts so freakin’ wak! (That’s a good thing in my books). Tandem opened for MEN Saturday night at Desire. Rumor has it that this local act formed a few months ago after riding a tandem bicycle inspired a tandem bike-rap!? The rest is history...That’s the word on the Winnipeg street anyway!? If you’re looking for a new band that’s... "a little different"...I highly suggest this one! How do I describe this duo? I don’t know where to start really? Think Dolly Parton meets, The Trailer Park Boys! That sounds like an exaggeration but it’s not.. picture a female drummer with a fake mustache wearing a brunette curly haired mullet wig (business in the front party in the back). Nice! Her shrunken tank and tight cut off gene shorts deliberately showed off her belly button! Hilarious! This gal knows the trailer trash look and was rockin’ it hard on the drums. (I’m totally calling Bubbles tonight to try and get her a gig on TTPB)! The other half of this two piece band was up in front with the lead vocals. She wore a two foot tall blond beehive wig with a purple sequenced headdress and that’s not even the best part of her ensemble!? This brave soul...

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Victory Is Mine!

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Last summer, I inherited a fifth-hand green iPod mini from my visiting brother. I was excited to finally join the rest of the humans in this century and spent countless hours walking around the city while listening to Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A.'s "Bird Flu" on repeat, oblivious to honking cars and friends yelling "hello" from across the street.

My joy was short-lived... because my battery was short-lived. Within a month of getting the little music robot, the elderly battery came to last just long enough for me to get excited about the song I was going to hear (about five seconds). In disappointment, I retired the iPod into my junk drawer. It has languished there for months, next to several old cell phones and a surprisingly large number of random screws and nails.

Over the months, I have felt an increasing need to iPod myself. Every two weeks, I walk into a store and stare longingly at the pretty little machines only to walk out because I can't justify dropping $200 on anything.

But today at Best Buy, as I moved past the shiny little blue Nano I've been coveting, I noticed an altogether more exciting package: an iPod replacement battery. It was a mere $30 and came...

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Nathan Brings Home a Juno

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Roots quartet Nathan has added yet another accolade to its resume. On April 5, the band picked up the Juno for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year at the private Juno Gala Dinner and Awards in Calgary for its latest release on Nettwerk, Key Principles.

This is the third time in four years that a Manitoba act has brought the roots award home; The Wailin' Jennys won in 2005 and The Duhks won in 2006.

The Juno adds to an otherwise stellar year for the act, which was nominated for the roots Juno in 2005. Band member Keri Latimer, who writes many of Nathan's songs, worked on the score and contributed two songs to The Frozen River, a movie that picked up  the top prize for drama at this year's Sundance Film Festival. As well, Latimer is currently a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for "Bad Ideas" and the band was nominated for the prestigious ECHO Songwriting Prize for its song "Scarecrow."

Two Nathan members, vocalist/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Shelley Marshall and drummer Damon Mitchell, were on hand in Calgary to accept the award. Nathan's other two members, Keri and Devin Latimer, stayed in Winnipeg with their second child, who was born...

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What's in a name-dropping?

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I love reading press releases for bands and getting to the obligatory part about who they've "shared the stage with." It's usually the best part of the document.

Let's make it clear right off the bat:

Mick Jagger shared the stage with Tina Turner at Live Aid.

Angus Young shared the stage with the Rolling Stones in Toronto in 2003.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake shared the stage at Super Bowl XXXVIII -- you remember the boob, right?

But if a band opened for another band, no stage sharing was involved.

But I love reading lines like this nonetheless:

"Rainbows Kill has shared the stage with many rock superstars, from Nickelback to Default."

For one thing, hitching your horse to those bands isn't going to impress anyone with any taste. For another thing, playing the first opening set at The Zoo for a 2002 Nickelback show does not mean you shared the stage.

What it means is that Rainbows Kill was heckled mercilessly by a bunch of drunks who staggered into The Zoo early and got mad because they thought it was Amateur Stripper Night. Rainbows Kill then spent the next 20 minutes dodging beer bottles while some mulleted dude in a jean jacket repeatedly...

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