Monday, March 16, 2009

Wrapup: It's Always Canadian Music Week in Toronto

Last weekend was CMW and I feel like I owe a wrap up, or a mention of some kind. First let me say that CMW was great. Thanks to a little help from a friend I was able to go to more shows than usual, talked to alot of people - especially people from out of town and generally had a good time.

That said I don't "discover" bands at CMW. I may see a band for the first time but generally I already knew about them. I also don't pay much attention to the conference part of it. I mean I heard bits and pieces that spilled over but it seems to me that all music industry conferences go like this:

First there are the people that haven't adapted to the new music industry. They take the podium and lament the internet, file sharing and their declining fortunes. People who have adapted go 'yeah, things are fine - the industry is actually pretty good right now.' So people who know what to do are doing well and people who don't know what to do aren't. There's some breaking news for you - don't you wish you'd gone to the conference?

The other thing to take note of from this years Canadian Music Week/Canadian Music Fest is that it was only sort of Canadian. The featured speaker at the conference was Gene Simmons (the Kiss/bad reality television one). As Handsome Fur Dan Boeckner said at the Horseshoe "Don't get me wrong, I love me some Kiss but I don't know what Gene Simmons can teach young Canadian musicians." It's actually more likely that Simmons could get some schooling from people like Boeckner. Apparenly Simmons is starting a label here and wants to make Toronto "the pop culture capital of North America" which is great, but if he wants to succeed he should assume that he's the student, not the teacher.

Canadian Music Fest featured "500, in 45 venues over 5 nights." If you look at the Canadian Music Fest site though they hilight performances by: Bloc Party, Buck Cherry, Burton Cummings, Default, Hinder, Papa Roach, etc. So out of their top 6 acts only 2 are Canadian and Burton 'F-ing' Cummings is their Canadian headliner! Now I went and looked and counted Jen's listings for the week before CMW and it featured 326 musical acts at 37 venues. That's just a normal week in Toronto (and bear in mind Jen only lists shows that cost under $10, and there are some I'm sure she just doesn't catch).

As I said, I had fun at CMW. I saw some great shows. I talked to alot of great people and it was good to have the Canadian media focus, briefly, on Canadian music. Still the only thing I can conclude is that Toronto is Canadian Music Week, every week, all the time and is actually a little more Canada centric when it's not officially Canadian music week. If you're in a band, or are a solo performer come play Toronto. Don't worry about when - it's always like that here and it's probably easier to draw a crowd when the hype is less and the competition is a bit thinner!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Yup, definitely. Every week is Canadian music week here in Toronto, with fantastic indie music and so much other stuff, and seeing great stuff won't break the bank.