December 2014

Best Albums of 2014

Instead of trying to sound cool and listing Mac De Marco as #1 these are the albums that were on such high rotation that you should feel bad for my neighbours.

  1. Stars – No One is Lost
  2. Dum Dum Girls- Too True
  3. Kevin Drew- Darlings
  4. Arkells- High Noon
  5. Spoon- They Want My Soul
  6. Lowell- We Loved her Dearly (I can’t stand her live, but damn, this album is addictive.)
  7. Phantogram- Voices
  8. Vance Joy- Dream Your Life Away
  9. The Menzingers- Rented World
  10. St. Vincent – S/T

Happy New Year to you and all the best in 2015!

Top 10 Concerts of 2014 w/ live show photos of Nick Cave, Stars, Constantines…

Best Shows of 2014

*All band photography by me. Shot on Canon DSLR EOS 60D or Iphone. I go to minimum 1 concert a week. Warmer months mean festival season and this summer was packed with hundreds of great performances.

  1. Stars, Tribe Called Red, Kevin Drew- Google Plus Launch party Toronto, ON (Wait for the film as to why it was so excellent.)

    stars cmw

    Stars- Toronto

  2. Nick Cave, Osheaga, Montreal QC – I had never seen Nick Cave. I feel like my life up until now was not complete. All front men need to aspire to the power he has over an audience. Also if you’ve not seen 20,000 Days on Earth the semi-doc on him, stop what you’re doing and go download it off Itunes now.

    Nick Cave

    Nick Cave- Osheaga

  3. Tanya Tagac, Polaris Prize, Toronto, ON – I had no idea who this woman was, she came out and delivered a more metal, more emotionally intense performance than any male performer I’d seen all year. Plus it was just the wtf is this amazing sound, noise coming out of this tiny human!?)

    Tanya Tagac at Polaris Prize, Toronto

    Tanya Tagac at Polaris Prize, Toronto

  4. Band of Horses, Osheaga, Montreal, QC – watching the lead singer of Foster the People and the happiest singer ever of AWOL National shout out the lyrics in the pit in front of us instead of watching OutKast then high fiving us in between awesome song breakdowns to make sure we’re enjoying it was just awesome. Plus, only a handful of people were at this far stage for them initially so it was a really cool private experience.

  5. Dum Dum Girls, Club Soda, Montreal QC (I love Dee Dee and all things Dum Dum Girls)

    Dum Dum Girls MTL

    Dum Dum Girls MTL

  6. The Constantines, Arboretum Festival, Ottawa, ON – I had never experienced the raw energy and emotionally charged performance of the Constantines like this before. It was dark. I was up front centre photographing it all. I stomped my feet along and lifted my hands up high high high to classics from Shine a Light. Also was somehow transported back to second year university and romances that were set to.


    The Constantines – Ottawa, Arbfest

  7. Phantogram, Bluesfest Ottawa, ON- You know when an audience is really pissing you off and just taking away from the performance? I wasn’t supposed to see Phantogram as I’ve been a longtime Killers fan. I was transfixed by the lights that sparkled off lead singer’s disco-themed cape as she got on an illuminated box to serenade us to dance beats that would become the soundtrack for my summer. We kept repeating how glad we were to be watching this intimate show with only maybe another 200 people not mashed up together but all commenting to each other, “This is so much better than the Killers.” Friendly audiences make a world of a difference.

    Phantogram, Ottawa Bluesfest

    Phantogram, Ottawa Bluesfest

  8. Metz, Lee’s Palane, Toronto, ON – ears meltingly awesome. Was exhausted from NXNE shenanigans and was blown away. Walked away thinking how stupid I’d been to have missed all their hometown shows for the last few years. Now dedicated to seeing them perform as much as possible, whenever possible.

    Metz, Lee's Palace, Toronto

    Metz, Lee’s Palace, Toronto

  9. Fucked Up, Field Trip Fest, Toronto ON – I brought a folk-singer friend who has never been to a hardcore punk show and she was converted. The performance included guest vocals from Gord Downie of the Hip, George Petit of Alexisonfire and Damian’s toddler son who watched proudly as his sweaty bare-chested daddy ripped beach ball after beach ball and formed a new fashionable hat for himself AND the audience members. Ears hurt. It was worth it.

    Fucked Up, Field Tripfest Toronto

    Fucked Up, Field Tripfest Toronto

  10. Blondie/Lady Gaga, Bluesfest, Ottawa, ON – both divas, both genius, all worth singing at the top of my lungs.

    Blondie, Ottawa Bluesfest

    Blondie, Ottawa Bluesfest

Who should have made the list: Gaslight Anthem. I miss you. I forgive you for cancelling Folk Fest in Ottawa, but next year, we will be besties. Or at least I’ll be in the photo pit singing back every lyric Brian Fallon shouts out.

Who did not make the list:  Julian Cascablancas, Opera House.  Why?? Half the audience left about 20 minutes in and I was included in the exodus. Only played 1 Strokes song and it was so obscure and mangled it was pitiful.

Repeat offenders: Tribe Called Red- that huge round dance at Field Trip was epic.


Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew, you were everywhere I went…. Except that Uber car ride.

9 Ways YouRockRed HQ has Rocked December Madness

December has been a madhouse in the best ways possible.

Some major wins and highlights:

  • BSOMA to continue music industry info sessions until April 2015 (maybe longer!)
  • BSOMA sponsored band consults a major success
  • Clients Adaline and Stuck on Planet Earth both approved for Factor grants
  • Success of Sunparlour Players’ first Euro tour
  • Assisting in other clients Euro plans and music video development
  • Re-location of YouRockRed headquarters!
  • This super cool handmade patch from The Haig band
  • New client confirmations… (these I’m super stoked on)
  • Amos the Transparent Toronto album release party this Saturday at Rivoli, Toronto (where you’ll find me dancing)

Next week I feel like I’ll be doing my summary of favourite albums and shows of 2014.

BSOMA Thanks! Ottawa Musicians PACK first info session

Thank you so much to the 70 people who packed Bluesfest School of Music and Art’s new venue in Westboro last Thursday night for the first ever BSOMA presents. It was a fully-sold out house and it wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing organizing support and creative team from Bluesfest. It was a total pleasure being able to collaborate and make this whole thing happen and a little birdie has now said that the next one will be February 2015!

bsoma me talking

From l-r: Chris Wilson and Dan Hay from Amos the Transparent, Caroline Matt of City of Ottawa, Megan Jones of Factor and me!

Big thank you to Megan Jones from Factor for making the trip from Toronto to talk to the audience.  By the way, what a diverse audience- wow! All ages, ethnicities, and GENRES.  Metalheads to folk rockers to pop singers. I feel absolutely honoured that people held on to the panelists’ words like they did.

Seriously, it’s almost a week from the fact and I’m still gushing.  It was amazing to talk to all the artists afterwards eager to set up their special BSOMA-sponsored appointments with me as YouRockRed.  People had such positive comments including “That was the best $10 I’ve ever spent,” to just telling me how inspired they feel and how they can’t wait to meet with their band that week to talk about how to get THEIR group to the next level with all this new information.  This was a first of sorts for Ottawa.  The reason I pitched the info session series concept was because I go to sessions like these all the time at music conferences like NXNE and CMW and wanted people NOT in the music industry or music-specific training programs to be able to take advantage of education/networking opportunities.  I think the mission was accomplished.

bsoma mark

Mark Monahan thanking everyone for coming out and telling the audience how these sorts of sessions are exactly what BSOMA intended to do when founded. (I’m trying to hide how much I’m smiling at those kind words but the smirk is breaking through!)

Again, big thank you to Mark Monahan, Caroline Matt of City of Ottawa and my pals in Amos the Transparent.  Beaus- your beer was much appreciated by everyone afterwards in the swanky BSOMA lounge.

I’m meeting with BSOMA this week and can’t wait to read all of your feedback.  There’s a lot of subjects that can be future conferences- I’ve got about 25 already brainstormed with min. 3 people for each.  Stay tuned here and thank you again!

All these photos are from Ming Wu and Jackpine.  Thanks for the great shots!


Look at that crowd!

Look at that crowd!