Manitoba acts at home on the screen

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Funk collective Moses Mayes is hitting the small screen. The band has licensed a track to The Movie Network’s original series, G-Spot II. The track, “Airport Ripoff” off Needle to the Groove, will be used during a pool scene shot for the second season of the show.

Moses Mayes isn't the first homegrown act to make its way onto television in recent months. In June, indie rock quartet Novillero flew to Los Angeles to tape an episode of award-winning series Monk, performing its song "Gaining Ground/Losing Sight." The band members played themselves performing at a music festival, an incredible opportunity to not only have their music heard but their band recognized by millions of viewers.

Indie popsters Paper Moon will also go in front of the cameras for popular teen show Falcon Beach. Once again, the band members will portray themselves, this time shooting a video and "generally being a plot device," according to drummer Chris Hiebert. Episode 6 of season 2 of Falcon Beach will air sometime this winter. Several Manitoba acts, including Mood Ruff and The Wailin' Jennys, have had their songs heard on the show but Paper Moon is the first act actually appearing in an episode.

Juno-winning roots trio The Wailin' Jennys appeared in a special televised broadcast of Garrison Keillor's hit A Prairie Home Companion back in June, along with Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep and several of the cast from the recent A Prairie Home Companion movie. The show, which aired on PBS, had immediate results for the band whose website was so inundated by new fans that it temporarily crashed.

Punk poets The Weakerthans found themselves prominently placed in last year's smash hit movie The Wedding Crashers, with their track "Aside" getting subsequent attention from mainstream markets.

Three hometown singers made it to the Top 10 on Canadian Idol, beaming themselves into millions of homes across the country. Floor 13's Jeremy Koz, former McMaster & James singer Rob James, and Easily Amused's Keith MacPherson all went before the judges on the wildly popular talent search making it the best result for Manitoba vocalists in the history of show. Koz was voted off early, MacPherson made it through several rounds before being eliminated, while James stayed the longest before heading home a few weeks ago.

Back in October, Balanced Records' artists Kasm & Brace had their track, appropriately titled "Breaking Out," featured in an action-packed sequence in an episode of hit series Prison Break. Prison Break's music supervisor "stumbled" across the track, according to Kasm (aka Adam Hannibal, Balanced's cofounder), likely on iTunes while searchings for tracks with "break" in the title.

Singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson has five songs placed through Sony Pictures Televison for uses in television and home DVD releases in the past year and a half, including Joan of Arcadia and Dawnson's Creek, as well as placements in two independent short films by New York writer/director Joyce Storey.

Eighteen year-old pop songwriter and chanteuse Mia Kulba has had similar success in song placement, landing her tracks on Falcon Beach, Queer as Folk, and The Eleventh Hour. As well, her song "Just Like January" was released by Canadian Idol winner, Melissa O'Neil on her debut album back in November.

Song placement and appearances in television, movies, and commercials has become one of the best ways to open a band up to new markets and has seen instant results for acts that have managed to do it. Manitoba music fans will no doubt get plenty more opportunities to hear hometown bands coming out of the big and small screens.

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