March 2018

BTW Tara Beier, Rich Aucoin, Lucy Rose, Major Love, Ought, Liza Anne, Nagata Shachu/ Ken Yoshioka/ Julian Fauth

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

L.A.-based, Vancouver-born singer-songwriter Tara Beier has released a new single, "Forgiveness," on her own Red Raven Records, a song with a message she hopes will take hold within our current political and social climate. Musically, "Forgiveness" builds on the power pop sound that defined Beier's acclaimed 2017 EP California 1970, which Popmatters described as, "one-of-a-kind Canadian indie rock," and Spill Magazine said, "firmly establishes a powerful new voice." As with California 1970, Beier produced "Forgiveness" at L.A.'s The Village Studios utilizing some of the city's top-notch musicians, including drummer Tripp Beam (Moby) who, Beier explains, played a crucial role in the song's creation. " Tripp joined me last summer when I played Riverfest [in Elora ON] and during that time, he introduced me to a book called The Missing Link by Sydney Banks.

"It made me realize that I really needed to let go of the anger I've felt for many years toward certain people in my life. I wrote the lyrics right after I got back to L.A., and set them to music I had already that had come to me in a dream. Everything was recorded, mixed and mastered in the space of about a month. It was a pretty magical experience overall that I want to share with everyone."

Voice of Addiction The Lost Art of Empathy

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Submitted by Lance Wright

Voice of Addiction hasn’t released a new studio album in a number of years, but The Lost Art of Empathy doesn’t betray even the faintest signs of extended layoff. Ian Tomele’s engagement with both his immediate surroundings and the world at large is every bit as vital as ever and manifests itself in twelve songs ranging in duration but all packing the same impressive punch. Tomele and his bandmates can connect with you in a number of different ways and, despite the band’s punk rock sound, there’s subtlety in this collection on both a musical and lyrical level listeners are well advised to not miss. The Chicago punk scene has always been close-knit and vibrant, but they’ve produced few bands with the staying power and ever-growing pedigree we find with Voice of Addiction. The evocative title of the album reflects Tomele’s social concerns but, moreover, his attitude towards our modern life in a way each of these songs reflects.

Rustbelt” opens The Lost Art of Empathy with a song undoubtedly very personal to Tomele’s heart as it, in essence, takes on his home base of Chicago and other cities in the region. The thwarted, underappreciated lives depicted in his lyric finds perfect musical expression in Tomele’s fierce bass playing, drumming from Dennis Tynan, and ferocious guitar work from Jake Smith. Tomele wisely brings in some backing singers for an

Soja The Mod Club Toronto


Submitted by Lenny Stoute

What with Toronto's deep and longstanding relationship with reggae music, the genre cognoscenti round here can be hard on contemporary acts doing original material. Luckily they were in short supply among a packed house because D.C. based Soja deal in a reggae muchly influenced by the area’s local hip-hop, with alt-rock in its DNA. So there was room aplenty for superbly dreadlocked frontman Jacob Hemphill to show off his shredding chops on songs like "Be Aware" and "Tear It Down".

Ok, so this isn't old school rebel reggae standing up for its rights but it must be nigh near impossible for a black act in Amerika not to have a political thing or two to say. With a name like  Soldiers Of Jah Army it's a downright obligation and Hemphill and crew got right to it, albeit with sparkling horns and uptempo beats. “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” the breakthrough single, had a rap interlude that took issue with both Republicans and Democrats (sample lyrics: “It’s all about money/money”), the fierce and defiant “You Don’t Know Me” and “Bad News” with the grabby chorus “we are the immigrants/Thank you for the bad news.” all kept the socially conscious beat strong.  Hemphill has cited the band's stance thusly“Our goal as a band is to stick up for the human race.

We see the world and we try to make it better in the limited time we have here." and their socially conscious good times mashup does a decent job of keeping it real.

Rosie and the Riveters Climb CBC Chart With a Message

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Rosie & the Riveters have released their new song I Believe You, a heartfelt tribute to the #MeToo movement. Coinciding with International Women's Day, the powerful video stands up in support of women who have experienced sexual assault.

Billboard commented on the video and called it “powerful [and] daring,” saying, "Their purposeful lyrics and poised harmonies are meant to...inspire every woman." Watch here and feel free to share: All proceeds from I Believe You will be donated to organizations that provide support for survivors of sexual assault.

Of the song, the band says, “We wrote ‘I Believe You’ because we were nauseated by the results of various sexual assault trials that resulted in minimal or no sentences for the perpetrators. The way that survivors were torn apart during trials and in the media reminded us why so many women stay silent. We wanted to be a voice of compassion and love for survivors.”

I believe you when the jury has failed
I believe you, no, you’re not telling tales
Stand for your truth, you’re not alone
I’ve been there, I believe you

Sarah Jane Scouten At The Dakota Tavern April 5

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

It’s hard to pin singer and songwriter Sarah Jane Scouten down. She’s called Montreal and Vancouver home at different times in her life and she now lives in Toronto — on the rare occasion when she’s not touring Europe, the UK, the U.S. or across Canada. Now she’s stopping long enough to play a special show in Toronto at The Dakota Tavern on Thursday, April 5, 2018.

Sarah Jane Scouten is a link between folk and country, a traveling musician whose musical boundaries cross as many borders as geographical ones. She’s a three-time nominee for the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

A quick check of her passport shows she’s done four UK tours, in a variety of European countries, and several tours in the United States. Coming up is a spot at the prestigious Merlelefest in North Carolina (headliners this year include Kris Kristofferson and Bela Fleck), and five weeks in the US North West in September...

Her latest album, When the Bloom Falls From the Rose, is on the Vancouver-based independent label Light Organ Records.

You can hear traces of Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith and Iris Dement in her work — as well as a wealth of early country music.