Sled Island 2014: becoming a reality

Sled Island is an independent multi-venue music and arts festival that takes place each year in Calgary at the end of June.

“Each edition presents over 250 bands alongside a selection of films, comedians and visual artists,” says Maud Salvi, executive director of the event.

“Sled Island’s mission is to support, showcase and create opportunities for local musicians and to bring the best of independent art and music to Calgary, as well as to educate people about forms of music and art that are underrepresented or totally absent in mainstream media,” Maud Salvi adds.

Sled Island is a festival that was created in 2007 by Zak Pashak, a music, arts, and entertainment hub dedicated to providing an exciting festival for Calgarians and festival goers alike.

“We officially announced we will be back June 18 to 22, 2014,” says Maud Salvi.

“Right now the bulk of the work involves grant writing and finding sponsors for the upcoming edition, securing venues, developing our marketing plan and we also just opened artist submissions and are starting to work on programming,” Maud Salvi adds.

Because of the floods that hit most of southern Alberta including Calgary, the event was shut down this summer.

“It has been a setback even though we have been very lucky and largely supported by our community,” says Maud Salvi.

“The 2013 edition was going to be the best so far,” says Maud Salvi.

“Tickets and passes sales were really good and we were hoping to break even this time and maybe make a bit of a profit,” says Maud Salvi.

“Financially we are pretty much back to 0 now which means there isn’t room for risk taking or expansion in 2014, Maud Salvi states.

Ticket holders were given the option to either take a refund or put their money towards rebuilding the 2014 edition of Sled Island.

“We gave them all the option to either ask for a refund or invest in the future of the festival by letting us keep the money and 70% of them chose to forgo their refund, says Maud Salvi.

With regards to funding the city’s arts community, there is always going to be support in some way.

“I don’t think that I’ve lived here long enough to speak about the City’s commitment to the entire arts community but the Calgary Arts Development Authority (CADA), that receives most of its revenue from the City and distribute them through granting programs, have been a big supporter of the festival for many years,” Maud Salvi says.

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The Man behind the Masses

Rich Aucoin is an indie rock experimental solo artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia whose sound cannot be simply put into words.  As a collaborator to the instrumental supergroup, “The Hylozoists”, he has put out an EP titled “Public Publication, a studio album “We’re All Dying To Live,” and is currently working on his upcoming 2nd studio LP “Ephemeral”.

 Rich Aucoin takes an experimental approach to writing. In an interview on MTV Canada, Rich said he likes to watch movies with the sound off and compose music to coincide with it.

Where many would sit down with a group and work out arrangements in a well-mannered fashion, he’s found a niche that just might be the coolest way to write any song.

 “I write all my music influenced by visuals and compose my pop songs like they’re scores for a film,” says Rich Aucoin.

 “So all the songs I’ve released also sync up to a visual and film with many synchronicities occurring between the visuals and the audio,” he says.

 Living in a reality where you visualize how the music would sound feels like a place where ultimate creative freedom can birth.

 With visuals taking an important role in his music, it isn’t a surprise that he’d spend as much time on video as he would the sound.

 “Thematically, the visuals really influence what the song is about too,” he also adds.

 “I think it just gives me a framework for me to visualize certain things about the song right away (i.e. tempo, certain key beats, theme, lyrical suggestions, and duration),” he says.

 Rich Aucoin’s music video for the single “It” parodies pop culture references to famous Hollywood films such as Die Hard and E.T.

 After gaining attention from the masses, and being coined as the greatest opening act in Canada due to audience participation and a giant parachute alongside visuals, he’s working on something even more exciting than the last record.

 “The new record, Ephemeral, syncs to the 1970’s version of Le Petit Prince,” says Rich Aucoin.

 “Other restrictions on the songs other than retelling the story and theme of that amazing book are that the songs are all quite fast and short with the whole record being 10 songs and just under 30mins,” he mentions.

 Rich Aucoin has earned recognition for his talent and music alike.

“This year [2012] marks the inaugural instalment of the Prism Prize, a newly launched award that celebrates the best Canadian music video from the past year. After weeks of lead-up, the organizers have now announced the winner for the prize’s first edition: ‘Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E.’ by Rich Aucoin,” from exclaim.ca by Alex Hudson.

“This song appeared on Aucoin’s 2011 album We’re All Dying to Live, while the Noah Pink-directed video followed in September of last year. The unique clip tells the life story of the iconic Beach Boys songwriter by taking Aucoin through a series of Brian Wilson-themed sets on a sound stage,” exclaim adds.

And the music scene is swiftly responding to this recognition by showing support.

The Canadian music scene is sometimes taken as a joke or is rarely talked about as much as the U.S. or Europe, but Rich thinks otherwise when considering A-list talent.

 “[Canada] totally does [have a strong music scene] and such a wide range from Arcade Fire, Drake,  Justin Bieber to Celine Dion and there’s tons of huge artists,” says Rich Aucoin.

 “In the indie world, we’ve got such a huge number of respected artists for such a small population and it’s a very healthy and vibrant scene,” he adds.

It doesn’t hurt having industry heavyweights such as Broken Social Scene or Metric to help break through the musical barriers between indie and mainstream rock/pop.

 Rich has his music tastes just as varied too.

 “I really liked Pink Floyd growing up and film-like pop music,” he says.

 The visual aspect of his career is one that’s as prominent in everyday life as the music.

 “I like photography and visuals for sure,” he adds.

And if he wasn’t a musician, he would love to be a filmmaker and hopes to do that one day.

 With a strong music community backing his decisions, Rich Aucoin is swiftly becoming an indie heartthrob that will resonate throughout the masses for years to come.

 For more on Rich Aucoin check out his website and Facebook page. He might even reply to your answers too.

Risky Endeavor: The Multimedia

Cale Zebedee, upcoming rock and roll God, is front man bass player for the band “Risky Endeavor.”

In September he sat down with me for an interview to share insights of his band and their plans for new material, rocking the stage, and having a good time playing rock and roll music.

The article was published in SAIT’s The Press online and print newspaper publication:

http://saitjournalism.ca/thepress/2013/09/23/getting-a-little-risky-with-cale-zebedee/

Cale Zebedee in Photo:

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

Risky Endeavor, Trace The Sky, Sharks! On Fire! Old Towns

Risky Endeavor, Trace The Sky, Sharks! On Fire! Old Towns

Their music is catchy and raw, full of old school punk rock feel and new age rock music.

For a sound unlike any other, the link below offers an insight into who Risky Endeavor is:

The band is frequently posting new content on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RiskyEndeavor

You can get to know them a little better:

https://www.facebook.com/risky.endeavor.1?fref=ts

 

Risky Endeavor, Trace The Sky, Sharks! On Fire! Old Towns

And their tunes are often circulating the ‘net:

https://soundcloud.com/riskyendeavor

Risky Endeavor, Trace The Sky, Sharks! On Fire! Old Towns

Volition

This Saturday is going to be a show to remember. Protest The Hero, a progressive metal band from Whitby, Ontario, will be shredding at SAIT’s The Gateway with their self-produced, kick-starter funded 4th studio album Volition. This is the first record that isn’t released on a label and didn’t receive any support from a record company. They took other methods to figure out how to continue their stream of hit records by reaching out to their fans. They were able to purchase specific packages through the kick-starter campaign. Fans could purchase the record in advance, buy merchandise such as vinyl, posters, etc., be featured on the new record, and even have a pizza party with the group. This goes to show that you can make a success without having support from a label. This might be a new generation for music and how bands will reach new audiences.

Tonight, Tonight

For the past month I’ve been working on my directorial debut of a music video I arranged for a project’s class at SAIT. The video itself was shot entirely on my Nikon d7000 using an 18-105mm wide angle lens and a 50mm portrait lens. The song is composed and written by Brand New, an alternative rock band from Long Island, New York. The song speaks to me in a way that most songs don’t and the lyrics, although often cryptic, find a way to resonate in my head and won’t leave me anytime soon. I’ve interpreted the lyrics in my own way but the video itself touches on ideas of: lost love, misplacing and forgetting the past, starting over again and emotion in general. The video will be posted later tonight for your viewing pleasure. “This video is going to make me famous,” says Sam McPherson, lead actor and sarcastic friend. Stay tuned.

Inside A City Of Bridges

Robert Albus, A.K.A. Rob Jungle, A.K.A. A City of Bridges, is a young up-and-coming musical mastermind who dabbles in the indie electronic scene brewing in the cold winter heart of Calgary.

“My name is my music,” says ACOB.

“I am A City Of Bridges,” he adds.

To Rob, music is much more than most of us can comprehend.

“My name is the feeling you get when a song hits you in the feels,” he touches on.

“Maybe that’s a little inexplicable for most to understand, but it’s how I view myself,” he shares.

Rob has become accustomed to the soothing sounds of Fruity Loops Studio (FL) and shares his work throughout the social media scope.

“I make all sorts of electronic music but it’s all some common elements,” he shares.

“I like to use self-recorded sounds of things like twigs breaking, rocks hitting rocks, crunchy leaves and the sort for my percussion. There’s a lot of subtractive synthesis in my work and I’ve been branching into additive synthesis and FM synthesis, he says.

“Convolution reverb is another large theme for A City Of Bridges. Imagine clapping in a parkade: the tail of this reverberation can be processed in such a way that I can place my synthesized and self-recorded sounds into this acoustic space,” he explains.

But how does a musician deal with the task of trying to sort his thought process without interference or distraction from everyone else’s work?

“I listen to little music day to day at the moment. My tastes, however, have been developed over years which have been filled with great periods of active listening (the practice of listening to a piece of music as a sole activity rather than using it accompany other tasks),” he says.

I enjoy everything from big band and swing to acid and improvisational jazz. Anything folky speaks to my heart and reminds me of the fact that I AM nature, not IN nature,” he shares passionately.

“I love to throw my hood up and vibe to hip hop – new school or old school and basically anything bass-heavy in the electronic realm is A-OK to me,” he says.

“But my soul resonates with deep, atmospheric, dubby, grimy, slow jams,” he shares.

“I also like to dance like a motherfu**er so it’s important to know what’s appropriate,” he says.

Rob’s interest in electronic music dates back to the prepubescent ages of every man’s time to grow.

“I started making electronic music when I was in high school,” he says.

“I met a fellow who was a DJ and he taught me a few things. I thought it was fun, but I wanted to create music, not just play it,” he says with soul.

“I spent years learning the art and to this day I am still learning, he adds.

“The key is to do it every single day and allocate the time and money that is needed to do this,” he says.

Rob has been associated under a variety of names, but A City Of Bridges is a creature of a different realm.

“A City Of Bridges started autumn 2012. I went through a rough breakup and lost my mind a little and I went to my home town to see my ailing grandmother in the hospital,” he says.

“This lovely small city is known affectionately as The City Of Bridges. It all came together,” he shares.

“I knew that I had to dedicate myself to my art at a whole new level and in a way that I didn’t know I could previously,” he says.

“Since then, I have had a release, an EP entitled GSD https://soundcloud.com/acityofbridges/sets/gsd,”

A City of Bridges isn’t hitting the breaks anytime soon.

“I have a lead on a label release but it’s all unofficial still,” he says.

“It’d be a first for me and it is certainly the next step in my career,” he adds.

Whether it’s writing music, DJing, or simply finding the time to garden while rocking out to his beats (no pun intended), A City of Bridges will find his place in the modern world.

“Being a performance artist of some sort is a part of where I see my career going, but ultimately I identify as a maker,” he says with ferocity.

“For the time being I make music and coming up soon I will be making performance hardware from recycled and antiquated mediums. Wherever I end up, it will be music and it will be focused on making,” he adds.

“My music is my life and all I really want to see are people feeling what I’m feeling when I write my music,” he says.

“The rest we’ll have to wait and find out,” he shares lastly.

Bless up!

ACO Bridges

For additional coverage, click here:

http://storify.com/Dylan_Streifel/inside-a-city-of-bridges

Downtown Shoot

Young Galaxy: A Profile

Image

Young Galaxy is an indie rock/dream pop Canadian group that originated in Vancouver, B.C. in 2005.

Their sound is compared to Pink Floyd and Luna with elements of shoegaze and electronic-oriented soundscapes.

Originally on Arts&Crafts records (A recording company staple based out of Toronto), they have been releasing under Paper Bag records in recent years with a noticeable stylistic shift towards dance music elements.

Catherine McCandless features a more prominent role as a lead singer.

I watched Young Galaxy perform at SAIT’s The Gateway on September 21st and to my amazement saw a very minimal set up using background projections as an added element to a dream like set list.

The crowd gathered as they hit the stage and everyone was hypnotically entranced holding their gaze upon Catherine’s captivating eyes.

“She sounds like Dolores from The Cranberries,” I heard one audience member say.

The fours would hit the floor and everyone was crooning and dancing with their hands waving like flags.

Doused in 90’s vibes, even down to Catherine McCandless’ outfit of leather overalls to the swept back short hair, the crowd couldn’t help but move to the swaying dream pop resonating throughout the venue.

She gave a deadpan stare and moved elegantly with a shaker in her hand that seemed automated everytime she shook it but instead was rhythmically moving to the beat of the drums.

When they released their self-titled debut album back in 2007, their music was quickly being recognized for its well-crafted songs that carried you to a place you’ve never been to.

Even when you think you haven’t heard them before, you might have caught their tune “The Sun’s Coming up and My Plane’s Going Down” in the Canadian film “Y.P.F (Young People F**king)”.

It’s to no one’s surprise that they’ve accredited praise release after release while expanding their sound to incorporate electronic elements such as midi drums in their foray of instruments.

Their music has shifted in tone but hasn’t lost its edge.

They’ve adopted a more “impressionistic” writing style, says Stephen Ramsay (guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist), instead of using the verse-chorus-verse progression commonly found in all types of music.

Their new album Ultramarine, which was longlisted as a nominee for the sought after Polaris Music Prize, is available in your local music stores.

You can catch Young Galaxy continue their U.S. tour from September 27th through November 10th.

Check out “Embers” from their self-titled release and “Fall For You” off of Ultramarine.

Website: http://younggalaxy.com/

by: Dylan Streifel

Getting a Little ‘Risky’ with Cale Zebedee

Risky Endeavor is a 3 piece group consisting of Cale Zebedee (Bass), Paul Gervais (Drums) and Ryan Landon (Guitar) who are looking to storm the world with their melody driven, good-time-vibe rock and roll.

Cale Zebedee plays bass and shares vocals with Ryan. I sat down with Cale to find out just how “risky” his band could get.

“I’ve always been playing bass since I started [music],” says Cale.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

They originated in Calgary, Alberta contributing to the small but strong and proud music community.

“Music’s a risky endeavor,” says Cale.

“You put a lot into it and hope for something to come out of it,” he adds.

Cale has been in many bands but wishes to have no other affiliation than his current project. Risky Endeavor is looking to make a bigger impact on the music scene.

“We are going to take it as far as it takes us,” Cale shares.

“Until it doesn’t fit us anymore, we don’t care. We would still jam because we are all about having fun but being serious,” he adds.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

Cale is not a stranger to the road either. He has already been on tour across Canada.

“I love the road. There is honestly nothing better than waking up in a new place every few days,” he says.

“The only constant is change,” he shares wisely.

“It’s a whole different lifestyle, but there’s just such a romance you form with it,” he mentions.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics

 “I honestly would love to do some Risky touring but we have a few other things to worry about before we do that,” such as getting well known in their hometown first and foremost.

Risky Endeavor is influenced by some of the greats and some not as well known.

Jesse Lacey (lead singer of Brand New) and Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters) are among some of their most favorite acts today.

“They just do it for me,” says Cale.

“Ryan Landon is really influenced by Modest Mouse (an indie rock group based out of Washington), and Matthew Good (based out of Vancouver), he shares.

“We all love Matthew Good,” he says proudly.

There are bright futures for these talented young men.

“Risky is going to record for a few months and work on a 2014 release of an EP,” he shares as an insight.

“We really wanted to release something this year but we want to give people the best that we have, so we have been holding off and perfecting songs,” he mentions.

You can catch Cale, Ryan and Paul at their most favorite venue Vern’s Tavern on 8 Ave SW most of the time and at Dickens Pub on 9th Avenue SW coming up.

“Our show’s on the 30th (October). It’s with a bunch of really great touring bands and I feel honoured to be on the bill.

Trace The Sky (members of Dead Eyes Open and The Perfect Trend) from Vancouver, Sharks on Fire from Vancouver, and Old Townes from Edmonton.

“It’s at Dickens Pub. It’s the day before Halloween so we are probably going to dress up,” says Cale.

If you’d like to get dressed up, get risky and get rowdy, be sure to grab your tickets before they run out.

Cale Zebedee Article Pics