Local Bands Head To New Music West

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Just in case there’s anyone left in Canada who isn’t aware of Manitoba’s tendency to produce top-notch musicians, this year’s New Music West music festival and conference promises to deliver a healthy dose of that good ol’ prairie talent to conference-goers from across the country.

Among the more than 200 bands and artists making the trek out to Vancouver from May 21st to May 25th, there are six showcasing Winnipeg artists. These include atmospheric rockers Blueprint Gallery, rockabilly kings the Farrell Bros., pop sweethearts Paper Moon, psychedelic mod rockers the Waking Eyes (whose recent showcase before Warner label reps was extremely well-received), melodic guitar-slingers Livid, and progressive rock innovators The Lanes.

Another big winner at NMW this year is Winnipeg’s own Endearing Records, which will be represented by five showcasing bands. Besides the abovementioned Paper Moon and Waking Eyes, Endearing bands The Meligrove Band, Readymade, and The Salteens will also be showcasing.

As is what happens every time a vast number of music industry members converge on a single destination, this year’s NMW guarantees to offer a wide range of opportunities to artists and industry members alike. And hey, it also just feels good.

“It was awesome. It was really, really gratifying,” says Blueprint Gallery frontman Ray Chan of his band’s acceptance. Having never earned a showcase nod before in his musical career (which included past turns in local bands Six Toed Sophie and Blueprint Gallery predecessor Cinema), Chan is thrilled that his band’s hard work has been recognized… especially since it’s gearing up to release its debut CD later this year. “This is saying that this band is on a professional level.”

Chan continued, “here locally, no-one really sounds like us. So it’s cool that people are liking the music, and that we’re getting some recognition somewhere else. We’re branching out. We hope to make some kind of distribution or independent label contacts, and some other bands, and see where that takes us.”

For more information about New Music West, check out newmusicwest.com.

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