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    Randy Bachman has been in the music business for more than 50 years, first as a member of the Guess Who, then Bachman–Turner Overdrive, followed by a solo career.

    Over the course of that time he's been behind some of the biggest hit songs of his day, such as "These Eyes," "No Time," "Let It Ride," "No Sugar Tonight," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," "Takin' Care of Business" and, of course, "American Woman."

    Bachman is currently on his Vinyl Tap Tour: Every Song Tells a Story, sharing the stories behind 15 of his biggest songs. We asked if he would write a letter to young Canadian artists explaining how, exactly, to write a hit song.

    Here's what he had to say. Apparently it involves a lot of stealing.

     Dear up-and-coming musicians,

    When I was learning guitar, a great guy named Lenny Breau said to me, "You're a good guitar player, but you'll never be great. The great ones always burn out, and there will always be a younger, faster player, but here's the trick: Write good songs."

    But how do you do that?

    I started studying the greats, like Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Bacharach and David, Brian Wilson, Hall & Oates, Motown; the people who were writing the great pop hits of the day. You don’t want to study failures. If you’re going to write a book, you’re going to copy John Grisham, and if you want theatrical, you copy Stephen Sondheim. Basically, you copy and steal from the best. 

    You will start to notice how they write songs. For example, there are often repetitions of familiar phrases; lyrics that you get from everyday conversations that people will be familiar with. Something like "Takin' Care of Business" or "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," that kind of thing. You take those and build them into the refrains of songs.

    What I would do was when someone hit number one, I would write their followup song. When Petula Clark hit number one with "Downtown," I would write another song called "Uptown." Of course, I never got the actual song to her, it was only practice. I would pattern it after this three minutes and 10 seconds of magic, whether it was the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love," Eric Clapton's "Crossroads," Jimi Hendrix doing "Purple Haze," or anything. Copy that song then write them their followup.

    What you want to do is make that song your own, which requires a couple of steps. When I first start working as a producer with Trooper, I told them to get their 10 favourite songs and write them down. Then I told them to take one song and write new lyrics to it. Next, change the chords to match those new lyrics, then change some of your melody lines to fit those new chords. At the end of the process, they came back with a pretty good song. They started with the Who's "My Generation" and ended up with either "We're Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)" or "Raise a Little Hell," something like that.

    That’s what Chuck Berry did. He used to take these country western songs, take those lyrics and put it over an R&B sound, or he'd get an R&B song and put his own country lyrics over it, and all of a sudden he’s a great storyteller. He's talking about "Maybellene" and "Johnny B. Good," and he’s telling these incredible stories all over a three-chord blues format.

    Sometimes the song you end up with is nowhere near the one you copied, which is the trick. It’s like saying, "Here is some flour, sugar, water and chocolate, now make something." Somebody will make a pancake, somebody will make a cupcake and somebody will make a doughnut. They will all taste different, but it’s all the same ingredients. It all depends on proportions. If you’re a lyricist, you put in heavier lyrics and lighter music, and if you put in lighter lyrics, you balance that with heavier music.

    The key thing though is to put your own twist on it because you're going to get sick of your friends saying that it sounds like Lady Gaga or John Lennon, so once you change it enough and they all say, "Wow, this is amazing. Did you write it?" You'll say, "I think so." The thing is you stole it from so many places, it’s become your own.

    Do this long enough and open your mind and eventually a song just comes to you. Some angel says, "This poor guy has been trying to write songs for two years, it’s time to give him one," and out of the blue somebody says two words and you get this whole song that falls in your lap.

    Embrace it, write it down, play it for someone and when they say, "This is amazing. Did you write it?" You'll say, "I think so."


    Randy Bachman takes us behind the writing of ‘American Woman’  

    Randy Bachman: 10 Guitars that Changed Music Forever (Part 1)

    Reworking Randy: Royal Wood and Randy Bachman record 'Undun' [VIDEO]

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    We were honoured that Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni made her North American broadcast debut in Studio Q, and loved this performance of "Breathe Easy" from her record Under Mountains.

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    South By Southwest in Austin, TX, is in full swing right now: 2,000+ bands from 50+ countries at 60+ venues, including over 140+ artists from Canada. The festival can range from pure bliss to pure hell in minutes, so here are my...

    Seven tips for surviving South By Southwest:

    1. Whole Foods. Yeah, it's pricey, but it's important that you stock up on foods and beverages that won't immediately give you diarrhea, like most of the free BBQ 'n' booze will. And hey, Hannah Georgas played the SxSW Whole Foods this week!

    2. Rent a bike. It's the fastest and easiest way to get around through the warm Texas night to the next gig.

    3. Getting in to shows. Avoid rush hour, which is 45 minutes after the hour, when most sets end. Show up to the show you want to see 10 minutes into the set and many times you can stroll right in even for the biggest bands.

    4. Proper footwear. I have to wear Mama's Family orthotics for the rest of my life thanks to limping around SxSW (pre-bike years) in worn-out Chuck Taylors

    5. Daytime parties. You can see almost every band playing SxSW for free during daylight hours, and usually eat and drink free while you're at it. Watch Twitter!

    6. South Congress. Get out of the mayhem of 6th Street and check out Austin's best club (the Continental), and some of the better restaurants and shopping. Time your return across the bridge for sunset so you can see the bats! 

    7. See a band you've never heard of. Music is all about the joy of discovery. Don't just see the Canadian bands you know and love. Give the totally unknown, unbuzzed act a chance.


    Let me me know by commenting on our blog or emailing me at, or tweet me up @grantlawrence. You can listen to the Canadian bands performing at SxSW on today's Grant Lawrence Live


    Click the play button to listen live to CBC Radio 3.



    SxSW 2013 quiz: Startup or band? 

    Grant Lawrence goes green at SxSW

    Grant Lawrence freaks out on smart phone users at SxSW 

    Vote for your Searchlight national finalist

    *fear of missing out.

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    Every year the Canadian Independent Music Association puts on one heck of an impressive party at the SXSW Music Conference. Traditionally it acts as the first big day party of the festival and therefor, not just Canadians want to be at this free booze and BBQ rave-up but so do bands and delegates from all over the world. Of course, CIMA wants to show off how talented we are up here and so they also book the best of our country's up and comers. This year's performers were: Rah Rah, Daniel Romano, Hey Ocean!, Hannah Georgas, Paper Lions, and the Trews.

    CBC Music covers this party every year, but this year alongside the photo gallery of performances,  we thought we'd actually ask the global crowd their thoughts on Canadian music and what they think defines it.


    The Sheepdogs live at SXSW: March 14, 2012

    SXSW: is it a startup or band name?

    SXSW: Grant Lawrence's 7 survival tips

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  • 03/14/13--06:53: SHIFT on March 14th 2013
  • Welcome to Shift, where Tom Allen takes you on a daily musical journey from the stalwarts of Classical music to the cutting edge of Contemporary tunes. Join us here on CBC music for a round-up of the stories of the day, some videos of music (or maybe just videos interesting to music fans) and a place to speak your voice.

    Today, Katherine Duncan is sitting in for Tom Allen.

    From now on you'll be able to stream SHIFT at your convenience in its entirety. Click on the AUDIO tab on this blog to listen.

    There is incredible news for Canadian classical music today. 17-year-old pianist Jan Lisiecki just received his call to the big time. A major performer recently became unavailable for a performance and recording, and Lisiecki got the call to work with famed conductor Claudio Abbado. This is the kind of opportunity that can catapult a career onto the fast track. Congratulations Jan Lisiecki!

    (our on-air broadcast featured the 2nd movement of this piece)

    A short walk could help you in old age. New studies are showing that small amounts of extra daily exercise, as little as short walks, can prevent some cases of Alzheimer's. Doing it while listening to a piece of classical music can only help the experience.

    Babies may be meaner than you think. Those cute, pudgy humans may be all smiles and giggles, but what they aren't saying is relatively adult. Studies show that even babies take pleasure in watching people that are different from them treated with cruelty. It may just be eating peas and carrots they were studying, but there were some mean faces at nap time.

    Are you still working on any New Years Resolutions? It's March, and already many people will fall back on old habits. If your resolution had to do with weight, maybe it was the motivation that let you down. Apparently the best motivation isn't health, or looks, but money. Folks that were given a form of financial incentive averaged over 4 times the weight loss as those just pushing themselves.

    Fundraising for your child's school never ends. Either you have to sell chocolate bars or it's time to convince your friends to buy magazine subscriptions. Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of the band Wilco, had a better idea. He auctioned his skills as a music producer, and 8 hours of his time in studio earned more than $20000 for the school of his children. That's way better than going door-to-door in a Canadian winter.

    You can contact us at Shift with your ideas, questions or anything else by sending us a message on our Facebook page. Through email, you can reach show producers Alison Howard, Alex Redekop or Pete Morey 

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    Each day, Radio 2 Morning starts your day with music and stories about the interesting things going on in the world. Now, you can follow along at home. Here are the stories we're talking about today.

    CBC MUSIC FESTIVAL PRESALE TICKETS HERE STARTING AT 10AM EASTERN. PASSWORD IS CBCMUSIC. (Of Monsters and Men, Sloan, Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards and many more).

    Jenn Grant -  I've Got Your Fire.

    Vote for Canada's next big musical act. Searchlight on CBC MUSIC.

    Put Your Hand In The Hand. Tom Power and the gang singing on the street in Halifax during the E.C.M.A's.

    The new coffee-powered cell phone charger. Good morning!

    An Ontario man proposes to his girlfriend with roll up the rim to win.

    Check out the show Radio 2 Top 20, your votes count!

    Come hang out with us on facebook. Lots of fun videos, stories and it's a great place for us to hear from you.

    We'd love to hear your comments on any of these stories. Leave 'em below.

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    The Juno Awards have rescinded Nunavik singer Elisapie's 2013 nomination for breakthrough artist of the year. 

    In a statement, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said Elisapie is ineligible in this category because she is a past Juno winner. She was one half of the duo Taima, who won for Aboriginal recording of the year in 2005.

    For more on this story, visit CBC News Arts & Entertainment.


    Countdown to the Junos: Past winner Taima 

    5 Aboriginal pop and rock artists to watch for in 2012

    Meet Elisapie Isaac, the boundary crossing singer-songwriter

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    Each day, Rich Terfry and Radio 2 Drive wraps up your day with music and stories about the interesting things going on in the world. Today, Pete Morey fills in for Rich. Here are the stories we're talking about today.  



    Listen to Hour 1 of Drive by hitting the Play button



    Listen to Hour 2 of Drive by hitting the Play button



    Listen to Hour 3 of Drive by hitting the Play button



    Listen to Hour 4 of Drive by hitting the Play button



    THE BACKGROUND CHECK: At 5:15 p.m. today, listen for Three stories about the David Bowie. One of them is true.  If you can guess, send your answer to Twitter, Facebook, or email

    We are celebrating a surprising bit of news that David Bowie has put out a new album in 2013. Here are 10 things you may not know about David Bowie.


    3:40 p.m.
    Jocky Wilson mess up with the band Dexys Midnight Runners
    3:50 p.m.
    Bagpipe fungus. Its real. 
    4:10 p.m.
    Monkeys shun meanies.
    4:30 p.m.
    $20,000 Data roaming shocker.
    4:45 p.m.
    Our pal Brenan Canning is a whiz at tweeting Double first name names! 
    5:30 p.m.
    The perfect age gap for couples.
    5:40 p.m.
    The rainforest may survive global warming.
    6:10 p.m.
    Vikings didn't have GPS. They had a sunstone.
    6:20 p.m.
    New Music today from Toronto's Wilderness of Manitoba, Idol champ Phillip Phillips and Canada's songwriting treasure, Ron Sexsmith.
    Ball girl gives away live baseball in the middle of a game.

    Knot in the floor looks like Jesus.

    Ultrasound looks like the Emperor from Star Wars.

    Dance Dance Dance! 

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    When pianist Martha Argerich cancels, Canada's Jan Lisiecki steps into the spotlight, replacing the Argentinian superstar in a concert and recording with conductor Claudio Abbado. Plus, find out why classical music can help you reach your fitness goals, but could make you a dangerous driver. 

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    The music business is changing so dramatically, in ways no one could have imagined, that there are very few cornerstones left, holding it up and keeping it steady. Now in its 26th year, CBC Radio’s Saturday Night Blues is one of those pillars of the community, and host Holger Petersen has been the voice of the blues since day one.

    This week, Saturday Night Blues took another step to secure its future, as Sirius channel 159 launched a new schedule on Monday, March 11, that includes the addition of Canada’s flagship roots and blues radio show.

    “It's a great time to share Canadian blues,” says Petersen, who has been awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to the arts community. “Creatively, the community has never had stronger releases and better musical ambassadors.”

    One of the highlights of the weekly program is hearing from fans who call the Bluesline to share their blues stories and make requests. Some requests are intended specifically to challenge Petersen’s knowledge and record collection — for the past 26 years, music played on the show has largely been drawn from Petersen’s personal library.

    Over the years, as word of the show has spread, the audience base has slowly crept into the U.S. in border towns that could get the CBC signal. Since the advent of CBC live streaming on the web, it has not been uncommon to get requests from fans around the world. Sirius will bring SNB to a whole new world of listeners who have gravitated to the satellite market.

    For the last quarter century, Canadians have been treated to exclusive concerts and intimate acoustic performances recorded in the SNB studio at CBC in Edmonton, Alta. Interviews with the most highly regarded blues players, and the hottest young up-and-comers, have always been a feature of the show. Blues voices that have graced the SNB airwaves in person include icons B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Maria Muldaur, Amos Garrett, Long John Baldry, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Mick Fleetwood, Bill Wyman and so many others.

    This kind of great CBC programming, that Canadians have known of all along, will soon become the Saturday night tradition of truck drivers on the North American highways, friends sitting around the backyard fire pit, late-night hobbyists tinkering away in their garages and fans of blues and roots music simply looking for the best blues that radio has to offer.

    The first SNB broadcast to hit the Sirius satellite network will air on Saturday, March 16, at 9 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. PT on channel 159.

    Tonic and A Propos are also joining the Sirius schedule this week.


    2013 Juno blues nominees include Shakura S’Aida, Colin James, Steve Strongman

    Uncut video interview: Janiva Magness on Etta James, Colin Linden and foster care

    Irene Torres and the Sugar Devils take the DIY approach

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    Back in November, it was announced that the American company that makes Twinkies was going under. For a while there, it looked like our south of the border friends might have to make do without their sugary cream-filled pastry tubes, but HALLELUJAH! Investors have taken over the production of Twinkies, and they're looking for a new celebrity face to represent the product. 

    Apparently, one of the ideas for a new mascot is comedian Zach Galifiniakis... which is an odd choice, but OK?

    All of this got me thinking -  what Canadian indie artist product endorsements would you like to see? Who would be good at promoting your favourite foods? Whose face would you trust on a package of boxer briefs, or slapped on the side of a riding lawn mower, or smiling and tossing their hair on an ad for shampoo? 

    Personally, I'd go for Corb Lund promoting corn on the cob. It'd be Corb on the Corb!  

    Share your ideas in the comments below!

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    Mar Sellars is a music journalist and former CBC Radio 3 producer. She is traveling to SXSW along with Toronto band Absolutely Free, and documenting the whole thing.

    I’ve been to SXSW a few times before, but never have I decided to drive down with a band. There are five of us squished into a soccer mom’s minivan. The van is like a Tetris puzzle of equipment, sleeping bags, merch, backpacks and people. The last time I travelled like this I was 19 years old in my mom’s minivan, embarking on my first three-week tour across Canada. And let’s just say things didn’t end well (the singer in my band at the time quit somewhere midway through Ontario).

    Toronto band Absolutely Free formed out of the ashes of DD/MM/YYYY just over a year ago. They are road veterans already from numerous tours in their previous incarnation, having travelled to all 48 continental states. Driving from Toronto to Austin is a piece of cake for these guys, but one of the longest drives I’ve done in a long while.

    The band has one EP out on One Big Silence, the label that launched Diamond Rings and Austra’s careers. They spent the last few weeks in the studio with producer Mike Haliechuk (of the band F--ked Up) and are geared up to play six shows at SXSW.

    We left Toronto at the crack of dawn Tuesday morning (the band’s first show in Austin is Wednesday night). At the border I felt a bit bad for the American border guard. He had a really tough time with a few of our legal names, especially the band’s drummer, Moshe, which he pronounced "Mos" (as in Mos Def) and then asked how it was pronounced. We said “Mo-sh-e.” After clearly looking at Moshe’s passport (which does say he was born in Israel) he declared, “Sorry, I don’t speak a word of French.” Us funny Canadians and our weird French ways. Oh well.

    The band was smart and booked a show halfway to Austin (to break up the drive) in Evansville, Ind. It turned out to be a potluck party. We all tried “taco soup” for the first time, which was basically like a watered-down chili. And someone brought “donuts,” because we were Canadian. Except that they weren’t called donuts, they were called “yeast rings.” Only in Indiana would they decide to call a donut the most unappetizing name imaginable. Still, despite the gross name we managed to eat three packs.

    The next day was brutal. We drove 16 hours straight, driving through six states (Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and finally Texas). We were rushing to get to Austin in time for the band to make their first appearance, which was to be at SXSWendy’s, an unofficial show in a Wendy’s parking lot. Their set was at 1 a.m. and we got there at midnight with plenty of time only to find lots of Wendy’s customers and no bands or music fans. A quick text back and forth with the promoter and we found out the generator had broken and the police got worried and cancelled the event. Oh well.

    First SXSW night down, and all we saw was the Wendy’s parking lot and many scantily clad drunk people on the street. The band almost seemed relieved as they drove to the hotel to get some much needed sleep and showers.

    Check CBC Music in a few days for the next update from SXSW.


    SxSW: Grant Lawrence's 7 survival tips

    Hannah Georgas, Hey Ocean and more impress the world at SXSW

    SXSW: is it a startup or band name?

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    Plenty has been said about the personal and musical differences that caused the Grapes of Wrath to break up 20 years ago. There have been hopes and speculations about if and when all three original, founding members (Tom Hooper, Chris Hooper and Kevin Kane) would reunite ever since. And while Ginger got us through the '90s, and Field Trip teased us in 2000, there was always hope that one day Tom, Chris and Kevin might find their way into a studio and come out with a record. Well, the wait is over.

    The band is back and sounding as strong as ever with a new album called High Road. It's crunchy and radio-ready, with riffs and hooks reminiscent of Now and Again (1989) or their first attempt at a sort-of reunion, Field Trip (2000), and you can stream it all weekend long on CBC Music.


    albumHigh Road streams until March 20.


    (Courtesy of Aporia Records)


    If the chorus of High Road's opening cut, "Good to See You," is any indication, the Grapes of Wrath are glad to be back:

    I've been high
    I've been low
    Funny how the years just seem to come and go
    It's been a long time but it sure is good to see you.

    It's good to see you, too.

    Follow Judith Lynch on Twitter: @CBCJudith 


    The Grapes of Wrath live at The Mod Club on Concerts on Demand

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    If you've been following along in our Searchlight competition, you may have already discovered Nuela Charles. If you haven't, now's your chance. As CBC Music writer Andrea Warner pointed out, "I had no idea that Edmonton was secretly harbouring the future queen of Canadian soul."

    The 28-year-old singer-songwriter recently released her sophomore record, Aware, to great acclaim. We checked in with the rising star of Canadian soul to find out a little more about her cross-continent upbringing, her musical craft and her future plans.

    Where did you grow up?

    I grew up in several different countries. I was born in Kenya, and then lived in Switzerland until after kindergarten. Then my family moved to Williams Lake, B.C., and I lived there up until Grade 8 when we moved to the Bahamas. I was there until Grade 11 and moved back to Canada for my Grade 12 year.

    What’s your earliest memory of being moved by music?

    Our house always had music in it. I wanted to be a dancer before I wanted to be a singer. I did ballet, tap and jazz at a young age and from there I transitioned into singing in school choirs.

    How and why did you start singing?

    I started in the Bahamas when I was 13. I was a part of a church youth group and we formed our own band. I taught myself how to play the guitar and started writing songs there.

    How would you describe your sound?

    I call my sound alternative soul. It’s not your typical old school soul or even what you would expect from an R&B record. It pulls in all of my influences, from rock, jazz, pop, hip-hop and soul.

    Tell me about your experience making your second album, Aware.

    I really enjoyed making Aware. The process was different from my first album because I already had songs written that I gathered together for it and the recording of it was spread out over about a year and a half.  But for Aware I got to write specifically for that album. It made me really want to focus my thoughts and it pushed me to write songs that reflected where I was at that point in my life and allowed me to create individually unique songs, but still a very cohesive body of work. We ended up recording the album in May 2012. That was a different experience as well, because we did five-day work weeks with eight hours a day (sometimes more). I think I like that a bit more, because it allowed us to focus on one song at a time, instead of trying to race the clock all the time.

    You have some vintage sounds like horns mixed in with some modern production. How do you balance the classic and contemporary?

    For this record I worked with two amazing producers from Edmonton — Mr. Smith and Freddy B. They understood the sound that I was trying to achieve but also helped me to step out of my comfort zone a little. We weren’t afraid to experiment with different sounds and technologies, but it was important to me that it sounded real and that it had those real live sounding elements like horns, and electric guitars.

    What do you love to sing about?

    I love to sing about life and experiences. Because I write everything I sing, it’s important that it means something to me, and that I can relate to it, even if it’s not necessarily about me.

    What do you love to write about? 

    I consider myself to be an observer and I’m really a quiet person when I’m not onstage, and so I tend to take in what’s going on around me and use that as inspiration for my songs. Again, life and experiences play a huge role in my songwriting. I want it to be real and relatable.

    What is the story behind the song “Take it or Leave it”?

    Listen to "Take it or Leave it" by Nuela Charles.


    “Take it or Leave It” was written while I was living in Vancouver for a year. I was at a point where I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life and how I was going to do it. Sometimes things look shinier from far away but once you get up close you realize that the grass, definitely, is not always greener on the other side and that eventually you’re going to have to choose right or left, because being stuck in the middle never really does anything for you.

    How about “Unfortunate Love”?

    Listen to "Unfortunate Love" by Nuela Charles.


    “Unfortunate Love” began as a guitar riff and just the words, “Unfortunate Love.”

    It stemmed from experiences in relationships by the people around me and by myself. Things don’t always work out the way you want, whether it’s just bad timing or bad chemistry — it’s unfortunate (pun intended).

    What do you think of the term “indie” or “alternative” R&B?  Would you classify yourself as that?

    I think that when people think of “R&B” they usually think of '90s R&B — Aaliyah, early Destiny’s Child, 702, etc. I think more and more R&B artists today are beginning to branch out and experiment with instrumentation, arrangements and different sounds, like Janelle Monae, Miguel and the Weeknd, to name a few. I would definitely classify myself as alternative.

    You are getting a lot of love from Edmonton, what does that mean to you?

    It means a lot! I love the music community here. It’s really supportive and encouraging and Alberta Music has been a staple in my growth as an artist here.

    What has been your favourite performance in Edmonton?

    My favourite performance in Edmonton would definitely have to be my Aware album release in October 2012. It was a new beginning for me here in Edmonton — new sound, new songs, and I loved every minute of it!

    You’re playing CMW in March in Toronto. How do you approach a gig like that?

    I’m super excited for CMW. This will be my first time there. I played at North by Northeast as a solo act last year before the album came out, but I will be bringing out my whole band this time. Showcases are definitely different than a regular gig — the audience is constantly moving in and out of venues checking out different bands, and it’s our job to try to keep them in the room for as long as possible. It’s like a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it!

    What’s next?

    The music video for “Unfortunate Love” will be released soon, and then we’ll be heading out on a western Canadian tour at the end of April. We will also be headlining the last night of the TransCanada Alberta Music Series in Calgary on April 6, as well as performing at the 2013 Edmonton Music Awards on April 29.



    Nuela Charles on CBC Music

    CBC Music producers pick their favourite overlooked Searchlight acts

    Maylee Todd's new video, 'Baby's Got It'

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    CHART #335 Check out this week's edition of the chart as a handy dandy playlist or podcast (stream with the play button, download using the links to the right).

    :: Click here to vote on the next R3-30! ::

    Vote for as many songs as you want, once every 24 hours. Voting closes Tuesday at noon ET.

    Here are your top indie songs in the nation! There are seven brand new songs on the chart, including one debut in the top 10 AND we have a new number one song!

    30. Thomas D'arcy "I Wake up Every Day"
    29. Two Hours Traffic "Faster 4 U"
    28. The Matinee "Long Way Home"
    27. Nautical Miles "Mythmaker"
    26. Young Galaxy "Pretty Boy"
    25. Leif Vollebekk "Off The Main Drag"
    24. K-os "Surfs Up"
    23. The Besnard Lakes"People of the Sticks"
    22. Ladyhawk "Evil Eye"
    21. Mo Kenney "Sucker"
    20. Born Ruffians "With Her Shadow"
    19. Hollerado "Desire 126"
    18. Wake Owl "Gold"
    17. Shotgun Jimmie "Standing in a Line"
    16. Diamond Rings "All The Time"
    15. Half Moon Run "Call Me In The Afternoon"
    14. Grounders "Speedboats"
    13.Whitehorse"Devil's Got a Gun"
    12. Mounties "Headphones"
    11. The Meds "Renegades"
    10. Deep Dark Woods "My Baby's Got to Pay the Rent"
    9. Rah Rah "I'm a Killer"
    8. Hannah Georgas "Somebody"
    7. Kate Rogers Band "TheLake"
    6. PortageandMain"Better Man"
    5. Wildlife "Born To Ruin"
    4. We Are Wolves "As The Moon Sets"
    3. Magneta Lane"Burn"
    2. Groenland "Superhero"
    1. Fake Shark Real Zombie "Paint It Gold"


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  • 03/15/13--07:01: SHIFT on March 15th 2013
  • Welcome to Shift, where Tom Allen takes you on a daily musical journey from the stalwarts of Classical music to the cutting edge of Contemporary tunes. Join us here on CBC music for a round-up of the stories of the day, some videos of music (or maybe just videos interesting to music fans) and a place to speak your voice.

    Today, Katherine Duncan is sitting in for Tom Allen.

    From now on you'll be able to stream SHIFT at your convenience in its entirety. Click on the AUDIO tab on this blog to listen.

    Everybody could use a boost in mental vitality. Who would say no to such a thing? It turns out you don't need herbal medicines, or the right fruits and vegetables (though it couldn't hurt). Instead, the music of Vivaldi does the job.

    (our on-air broadcast featured this piece being performed by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra)

    In the past, when you got a brand new CD there was a good chance you were the first person you knew to have it. You could call your friends and they'd rush over to listen to your copy. It was a listening party. Today, things have changed a bit. Even if you bought the CD, it was available weeks before online. British artist Dido wants to bring back the experience of a listening party. She launched her new album, then coordinated her listeners on twitter to start the music at the same time. You can follow the transcripts, and listen to her record streaming for free on CBC Music.

    Serena Ryder knows how to edit her work. In 2010, she released her singe "A Little Bit of Red" with a video. It consisted mainly of Serena walking around in a wintery park with an electric guitar that wasn't plugged in. Later on, she went back and made a second video for the same single. This time, it involved visual effects that made it look like her finger could make 3D structures of red paint. It was all one long shot, and looked much more polished. All the hard work earned her a Juno for Video of the Year. Sometimes, even if it isn't broken, you can fix it. Check out the two videos below:

    You can contact us at Shift with your ideas, questions or anything else by sending us a message on our Facebook page. Through email, you can reach show producers Alison Howard, Alex Redekop or Pete Morey 

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    Vote on the chart here! 

    This week, 66-year-old David Bowie debuts on the chart with his new single, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)." What do you think?

    Also debuting on the chart are two new songs by artists familiar to the R2-20: Of Monsters and Men with "King and Lionheart" and Mumford & Sons' "Lover of the Light." Their video features Idris Elba, from the TV series The Wire!

    Here's the biggest news on the chart: the Lumineers are the new number one!

    And some more news from CBC Music: we're having our first ever music festival! Headliners are Of Monsters and Men, Sam Roberts and more. Click here for details.

    Enjoy the show this week.


    ListenLink Click the play button to hear the show.


    The chart

    1. The Lumineers, "Stubborn Love" (up three) 

    2. Mumford & Sons, "Lover of the Light" (new entry)

    3. Walk Off the Earth, "Red Hands" (down one)

    4. Luke Nicholson, "Just Fell Down" (up two, most online votes!) 

    5. Whitehorse, "Devil's Got a Gun" (down two)

    6. Serena Ryder, "Stompa" (down five)

    7. Family of the Year, "Hero" (same as last week)

    8. Heathers, "Forget Me Knots" (up eight)

    9. Kate Rogers Band, "Contender" (down one)

    10. K'naan, "Hurt Me Tomorrow" (same as last week)

    11. Of Monsters and Men, "King and Lionheart" (new entry)

    12. Christina Martin, "Falling For You" (down one)

    13. Phillip Phillips, "Gone Gone Gone" (up four)

    14. Raine Maida, "Montreal" (up four)

    15. Justin Rutledge, "Out of the Woods" (down two)

    16. Jenn Grant, "I've Got Your Fire" (down one)

    17. The Avett Brothers, "February Seven" (down three)

    18. Dido, "No Freedom" (up one)

    19. The Black Keys, "Sister" (up one)

    20. David Bowie, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" (new entry)

    Tune in to Radio 2 Friday to hear the show at 7 p.m. (7:30 NT) and Sunday at 5 p.m. (5:30 NT). Follow us @CBCR2Top20 or email 

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    This week on Choral Concert you’ll hear Peter Togni's tribute to St Patrick’s Day, as well as an incredible performance of the great Missa Solemnis by Beethoven.

    On the St Patrick’s day side of things, you’ll hear beautiful Irish music from the Dublin-based Anuna, led by Michael McGlynn, as well as the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir led by Susan Knight doing an Irish medley by Stephen Chatman.

    On the Beethoven side of things, you will hear Collegium Vocale Gent and l'Orchestre des Champs-Elysées interpret Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. This major work of the sacred repertoire, high on the list of great works of art alongside Bach's Mass in B minor and Mozart's Requiem, is Beethoven's longest work and even he considered it his finest. With four superb soloists, a refined chorus and orchestra, and a suburb recorded sound, Philippe Herreweghe leads us all to a thoroughly transcendental experience.

    Choral Concert, the “Ludwig van O’Beethoven” edition. Sunday, March 17, 2013, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m., (9:30 - 11:30 NT) on CBC Radio 2.


    Music that survived the black death

    Listen to classical easter music 24/7

    For broadcast listings go to the Choral Concert home page

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    Early last year, Manchester producer Andy Stott was still working at his day job refinishing cars for Mercedes. For almost a decade, Stott has put out dub and techno-hued releases under his own name (and as Andrea) including three full-length albums for the British label, Modern Love. After the success of the 2011 EPs We Stay Together and Passed Me By, which took off thanks in part to his rule-bending take on the pace of club music, Stott found himself facing a larger audience than ever. 

    So he quit his job to prep for the release and touring of his third full-length, last November's exquisitely-titled Luxury Problems. And the record, which made it out just in time to topple some unsuspecting artist off many a year-end list, didn't disappoint. This time, Stott teamed up with his childhood piano teacher, Alison Skidmore, to incorporate a strong vocal element to the immersive, winding, somnambulent techno sounds.

    You left your job almost a year ago to pursue music full-time. When Luxury Problems was released you seemed to still be adjusting to the new lifestyle. How about now?

    This is very true. It was such a big change of lifestyle for me, going from a nine to five to having all this time on my hands. Plus, two days after I quit my job I went straight on tour with Demdike Stare in the U.S., so when I got back to the U.K. that's when I had to start adjusting to this new lifestyle. It was a huge decision for me to make but with touring becoming busier and my time off from work remaining at its same allowance something had to give. Also, my partner Sarah was pregnant at the time so the decision was thought about long and hard - looking back, it was a pretty busy period!

    So I made the decision to leave work kind of based on the fact that the schedule was looking healthy and Luxury Problems was soon to be released. It was a huge gamble but I'm glad to say, so far so good. I've learnt to be completely disciplined with what I make from music but it still kind of frightens me to think that it's my income these days. I'm just taking it month by month and keeping an eye on the future.

    How has the free time impacted your work and creativity?

    Well, the closer I got to the end of my day job career things just started to come together. I found some studio space right in Manchester city centre (downtown): a friend of mine is a photographer so he lets me share his amazing studio space. I had got some new equipment too that was all ready to go into this space. So I had a purpose space to go to with more equipment than I have ever had. I try to treat it as a job with regards to time: I try and get and leave around a certain time, but it never works ou that way. I'm creative as I was, I think. 

    Luxury Problems had a reach beyond the techno community; it debuted as an NPR "First Listen." Is it important to you to have that mainstream consideration?

    I'm not concerned about pushing it into the mainstream. I mean electronic music has always been in the mainstream, but in various guises. I'm glad that it has reached a new audience that might hopefully become attracted to other things that are considered to be more underground.

    Does the listener fit into your music-making process?

    This will sound really selfish but I don't really think about other people listening to what I'm making, while I'm making it. I just sit down to make something that gives me a reaction. It's just really fortunate that people are like-minded it seems and get the same feeling from listening as I do when I'm writing.

    Over the years your music has evolved to something more cinematic and conceptual from straight-ahead dancefloor tracks. What's that the result of?

    Different things like influences, equipment, environment. From Passed Me By to Luxury Problems there were new things going on: I moved house, found new ways of working in the studio, discovered new ways of making new sounds and those releases are just a result of me with a new palette almost. 

    In other interviews you've mentioned that this is a good time for techno music. Why is that?

    I have no recollection of saying that, heh! To me techno has taken on more guises and forms and at the moment there are so many different styles. I think you can find material that's so specific these days, but it still has a core to it that remains techno.

    The album art for Luxury Problems is really beautiful and compelling. Can you tell me a bit about it?

    I love the sleeve for the album. It's a stunning shot and represents the music very well: there had to be a certain amount of control and balance to get it absolutely spot on. If (something) was tipped either way it would just be a mess. 

    If you're around Toronto, catch Andy Stott this Saturday night at FOUNDRY - a month-long electronic music showcase featuring top international and local talent. Opening for Stott are Box of Kitten's Mike Gibb and Fabio Palermo.


    Juan Atkins, the pied piper of techno

    Matmos's weird science

    FaltyDL's dancefloor courage

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    Recently, Tegan and Sara posted a strong reminder to fans that they have "a policy of NO stopping or signing after shows". This is due to the fact that they have often found a line up of fans beside their bus late at night, hours after the concert.

    So... what do you think of this policy? Should fans be allowed to meet the band?

    Do you wait around after the show to meet the band? 

    Let me know by commenting on the blog, tweeting me up @grantlawrence or emailing

    Top 5 Gigs of the Weekend

    Fri Mar 15, Portage and Main, Winnipeg MB. They're from BC but they named themselves after Winnipeg's famed intersection, so show em the love! At the West End Cultural Centre w/ White Ash Falls.

    Sat Mar 16, Inlet Sound, Ottawa ON. One of our fave finds from Searchlight, this band plays the legendary Zaphod's with Amos the Transparent

    Fri-Sat Mar 15-16, Elliott Brood, Hamilton ON. A double night stand at This Ain't Hollywood with the Highest Order.

    Fri Mar 15, Stompin' Tom Tribute Night, Toronto ON. A cast of musicians gather at the Sister to pay tribute to the Stomper. Free, bring a non-perishable food item.

    Fri-Sat Mar 15-16, Stars, Montreal QU. A double night hometown stand at the Corona Theatre

    Anything we missed? What are you doing this weekend?


    Click the play button to listen live to CBC Radio 3.

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