Must-see music at CMF this year!

It’s that time of year again! It’s Canadian Music Fest! Several thousand artists are flocking to Toronto to play the city’s numerous venues for the next couple of nights, hoping they get discovered by a international festival booker, record label, agent, etc. I’ve had the chance to attend Canadian Music Fest since 2006, wearing different hats (label rep, a&r, publicist, host, etc.) and have always discovered great artists every year. With that many artists playing at the same time, it’s always difficult to arrange a schedule and a must-see list. So I figured, I’d give you guys a little help. Here are some must-see artists at this year’s CMF:

1- THE BALCONIES – The most promising up and coming rock/pop outfit from Toronto. Best vocals, stellar guitar shredding and all-around amazing performers. They’ll rock your socks off! If I wasn’t at my own showcase, I’d be there front row centre, singing and dancing!

Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 10:00PM
Lee’s Palace

2- PETER PETER – His sophomore effort Une version améliorée de la tristesse was in my top 3 albums of 2012. His record has been generating buzz not only across Canada but also in the states and internationally. Hope you’ll also fall in love with the electro-tinged sounds of this stellar songwriter!

Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 11:00PM
Gladstone Hotel

3- MISTEUR VALAIRE – Mega talented multi-instrumentalists from Montreal who will make you shake your tail feather!

Friday March 22, 2013 @ 8:00PM
Sneaky Dee’s

4- CHVRCHES – Outfit from Glasgow who are buzzing all around the world with their dream-pop tunes. Listen to “Recover” and you’ll be sold!

Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 10:00PM
Virgin Mobile Mod Club

5- SUUNS – Trippy, moody, post-punk and electro hybrid band from Montreal that will send you into a frenzy!

Saturday March 23, 2013 @ 1:00AM
Lee’s Palace

6- AIN’T NO LOVE – Love the electro hiphop sounds of the Montreal/Toronto quartet. Definitely something special about this act!

Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 12:50AM
Drake Underground

7- KARIM OUELLET – A talented multi-instrumentalist from Quebec City who fuses pop, rock, soul and funk in his songwriting. His second record Fox, topped the Canadian iTunes charts, surpassing even Celine Dion!

Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 10:00PM
Gladstone Hotel

8- TEENAGE KICKS – Toronto rock outfit with hooky choruses and melodies. If you’re looking for one sweaty rock show, they’re the band to see!

Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 12:10AM
Horseshoe Tavern

9- ROCK FOREST – I recently discovered this four-piece from Montreal. They’ve got dancy tracks that blend electro, rock and pop together.

Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 12:00AM
Neutral Lounge

http://rockforest.bandcamp.com/

10- AUSTRA – Their second record Olympia will be coming out in June. Katie Stelmanis’ unique vocals + their moody electro-pop sounds are the perfect match.

Saturday March 23, 2013 @ :PM
The Danforth Music Hall

There you have it!

Happy CMW!

Mel xo

 

Day 2 – WMCFW + CMW #DailyOutfit

Today is Day 2 at World MasterCard Fashion Week and also at Canadian Music Week. I had a stellar day shooting BRBR yesterday at Le Dolci in Toronto. The wonderful owner Lisa, let us use her kitchen and baked us a lovely BRBR cake. Check it out!

photo (47)

 

photo (46)

After shooting the show, I rushed over to see my first ever Pink Tartan runway show.  The place was packed! The show started off with some bright colors, long flowy coats and 50s & 60s-inspired flower prints. I really loved the bold blues, purples and pinks. The show continued with some lovely fur coats: some even had mixed colors. There were also a few leopard pieces, a handful of black and white dresses and coats, shimmery fabrics and lot’s of fur collars. One of the items I loved most, were the long leather gloves that all the models were wearing to accompany the coats and dresses. My top piece was without a doubt the multi-colored long fur jacket.  Though I don’t usually wear real fur myself, I still really loved the overall look of this coat!  You can see a few pics from the show below. Apologies for the quality of these photos, they really don’t do the collection justice. Looking forward to more Pink Tartan runway shows!

photo (48)

photo 1

photo 4photo 2

photo 3

I also had the chance to meet a handful of lovely Toronto fashion bloggers including one of my recent favorites: Dainty Girl. She looked stellar with her black and white dress and Myles Sexton custom spike headband!

photo (49)

 

Today, I’ll be spending part of my day at the Marriott shooting interviews for BRBR.  Really looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people! I decided to go with a bold red jacket, black and white stripes and a few gold/brass accessories.

photo (50)

Lionette the JOPLIN bracelet (check the site for more info)

Forever 21 boat neck striped black and white top (get it here)

H&M Red open front blazer (similar one here)

Aldo Accessories THOMSONA gold cuffs (get them here)

H&M distressed boyfriend jeans (similar ones here)

Stella & Dot gold renegade cluster bracelet (get it here)

Steve Madden Madhouse Stud Strap Ankle Boots

Let the madness begin! #DailyOutfit

Happy Monday everyone! Today is the start of one heck of a week for me! Not only is it Canadian Music Week, but it’s also World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto.  I’ve been attending Canadian Music Week since 2006 but this is only my second season attending Fashion Week in Toronto. I couldn’t be more excited to be splitting my time between two of my biggest passions: Music & Fashion.  Tonight, I’ll be heading to the Bustle and Pink Tartan runway shows before going to see Mackage and Joe Fresh later in the week. Also this week, I’ll be hitting up conferences at the Toronto Marriott for CMW as well as doing a bunch of interviews and live music sessions with artists.  Thursday, we’re taping a special BRBR show live from our showcase at The Gladstone Hotel.  There are still some tickets left, so if you’d like to attend or for more info, click here.  Friday, I’ll also be covering the INDIES for the show.  Basically, no rest until next week!

So to prepare for a crazy week, I got a super cute manicure yesterday in Liberty Village at X-Nail & Spa. They gave me an ombré blue and green shellac manicure that changes color like a mood ring depending on your temperature. I couldn’t be more stoked about how it turned out!

photo (44)

For today’s BRBR shoot and first batch of runway shows tonight, I wanted to wear some of my favorite colorful spring items I recently purchased and paired it up with my favorite Lionette jewels.

photo (45)

Lionette VENUS necklace (check the site for more info)

Lionette ASHLEY ring (check the site for more info)

Lionette the JOPLIN bracelet (check the site for more info)

Forever 21 neon green tee (similar one here)

Forever 21 metal trim shoulder bag (get it here)

Forever 21 royal bluebasic knee length skirt (get it here)

H&M denim buttoned-up shirt (similar one here)

Steve Madden brown suede boots

Pocahontas #DailyOutfit

Bon matin everyone! Can’t believe Canadian Music Week is just a week away! So much preparation to do before the festival starts.  Next week, we’ll be taping two shows, I’ll be covering the festival for my show, running around doing live sessions and interviews with bands. I’ll also be at the Indies and in addition to all of that BRBR is putting on its first ever CMW showcase at the Gladstone Hotel on the Thursday March 21 called “Le French Tickler“. We’ve got a ton of rad Canadian artists on the bill: Eight and a Half, Peter Peter, Karim Ouellet, Pandaléon, Claude Munson & The Storm Outside as well as Loud x Lary x Ajust. For more info on the show, go here. And, if you’re still in need of a wristband for the festival, my show is giving away 10 free pairs, right here.

I was super excited to get dressed this morning because a) I had picked out my outfit in advance, something that I rarely have time to do these days and b) I had a brand new Zara skirt to wear!! The print on the skirt reminds me of Pocahontas, I’m not sure why but it just does! I’m really obsessed with Zara‘s new spring/summer 2013 collection. I love all the aztec prints, southwestern vibe, vibrant colors, suits, blazers, dreamy shoes, etc.  I also received the perfect sparkly necklace last week from Luxe Craving, which fit perfectly with the colors of my new skirt.  Have you check out their new jewels yet? You can do so right here!

photo (40)

Zara Batik Mini Skirt (get it here)

H&M graphic masquerade ball tee

H&M denim jacket (get it here)

Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)

Luxe Craving  The Sea Blue Andante necklace (get it here)

Steve Madden brown suede boots

This Week’s Ear Candy

Happy Friday!

Here are my favorite songs and videos of the week:

This week I found out that one of my favorite Toronto acts Austra will be releasing a brand new record in June called Olympia. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play a handful of times and they always blow me away.  I absolutely love Katie Stelmanis‘ haunting vocals and Maya Postepski‘s drumming. Their new track “Home” is a great follow-up to their 2011 debut Feel It Break. Can’t wait for the album to be released, in the meantime, listen to “Home” here:

This week the Glasgow band CHVRCHES finally released a video for their stand out track “Recover”. It’s simple yet beautiful. I adore Lauren’s voice. They’ll be in Toronto for Canadian Music Fest in two weeks. I’m really hoping my schedule will allow me to go see them live. Also, if you’re in New York, they’ll be playing two shows at the Mercury Lounge on March 18th.

Also really enjoyed the new single from Chicago’s Hey Champ that was released earlier this week. “Comet” made it to #1 already on Hype Machine. It has a very Justice and Daft Punk vibe but is great nonetheless. A perfect dance track to start the weekend.

Wishing you all a stellar weekend!
Mel xo

 

This Week’s Ear Candy

I missed this post last week, so I’m going to post a few more ear candy picks today! Here were my favorite tracks and videos of the week:

I’m a big fan YUKSEK‘s remixes, I love it when he puts his personal touches on other artists’ songs.  I particularly liked his remix of  “Touch Ground” by GRIEFJOY. You can take a listen here:

 

Groenland are an up and coming band from Montreal that recently announced the release of their debut record called The Chase on Bonsound Records. Their album will be available on April 16th.  This week I heard their first single “Superhero” for the first time, which reminded me a lot of Hey Rosetta!.  They’ll be performing at Canadian Music Week in March in Toronto. I definitely want to be there!

 

This week one of my favorite bands from LA – HAIM released a brand new video for their excellent new track “Falling”.  I love the naturey vibe to the video. You can watch it here:

I recently discovered a great duo from Montreal called Les Soeurs Boulay.  I had the chance of interviewing them for my show last month in Ottawa. They’ll be releasing their first full-length entitled Le poids des confettis in the spring.  In the mean time, here’s their lovely first single “Par le chignon du cou” here:

http://lessoeursboulay.bandcamp.com/

Have a great weekend everyone!

Mel xo

 

BRBR at CMW

I’m super excited to announce that my show and I will be putting on our first ever Canadian Music Week showcase on March 21st at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.

I’ve been attending Canadian Music Week for 8 consecutive years now, it’s one of my favorite festivals because it officially kicks off the spring and summer touring and festival season.  For those of you who don’t know what Canadian Music Week is, it’s similar to Austin’s South By South West, but a little more tamed  organized and colder weather. Basically, it’s a week-long music festival where artists, industry folk and media gather together to attend panels and put on showcases all in order to promote up and coming talent.  Over the years, I’ve attended as a label rep, radio host, tv host, manager, etc. and each year I’ve met some amazing people and discovered great artists.  All of Toronto’s music venues and bars become locations for showcases in the evening and during the day the Royal York Hotel is transformed into the meeting point for everyone in attendance. All you have to do is sit down with your computer in the lobby and you’ll make tons of great new connections.

So for our first ever showcase with BRBR, we decided to showcase some of our favorite up and coming bilingual Canadian talent.

Peter Peter – a Montreal singer-songwriter who’s buzzing these days in the US and across Canada thanks for the first single off his sophomore effort, a single that reminds me a lot of M83’s “Midnight City”. Everyone knows I have a little sweet spot for him.  He definitely has big cross-over potential in the English market.  Keep an eye out for him!

Eight and a Half – some might call them a super group because this trio features ex-members of The Stills and Broken Social Scene.  Dave Hamelin and Liam O’Neill recently re-located from Montreal to Toronto to pursue their new musical project.  Their first release was one of my favorites last year. Check out the rad “Go Ego” here:

Karim Ouellet – one of the most talked about artists in Quebec right now. His second record “Fox” made it to the top of the charts, not bad for a young artist from Quebec City. I really respect what he does, he’s a great lyricist and talented multi-instrumentalist.  The track below “Amour” plays everywhere across Quebec these days!

Claude Munson & The Storm Outside – is my latest discovery! They’re a great folk-group from Ottawa. Claude Munson’s voice is absolutely charming. It’ll be my first time seeing them live but I couldn’t be more excited! Take a listen here:

Pandaléon – a trio of young guys from St-Bernadin, Ontario, who are currently working on their first full-length. They’re recording and producing everything themselves straight out of their garage, turned jam space.  Their mature songwriting has always impressed me! They don’t have an official video out yet but you can get a little sneak peek of their track “Taché” here:

So if you’re into discovering great Canadian artists, I highly recommend coming to check out our little showcase on March 21st. Yours truly will be hosting the event 🙂 If you’ve got a festival wristband or pass, you can get in for free. If not, tickets are available here: http://canadianmusicfest.com/tickets/ticket-details/?schedule_ID=88&band_ID=5755

For more info about the event, check out our facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/127547670755646/

Hope to see you there!
Mel xo

cmwshowcase