Benji Rogers, founder and CEO of Pledge Music, kindly sat down with us to explain how he plans to revolutionize the way that artists and fans interact by allowing fans access to the creative process of music making. Pledge Music is not equivalent to a crowd-funding company. They bring something unique and valuable to artists and fans alike. Read about how they deliver their unique and tailored service:

Can you start by telling us about what you’re doing at Pledge Music, a brief rundown of how you help artists and what the benefit is to both sides.

I was an artist myself and I made five albums over about nine or ten years. I was obsessed by the fact that fans wanted to be a part of what I was doing as an artist and what my band was doing. It was very much a participatory thing. When I was going into a town, they’d be like, “don’t stay at a hotel, come stay with us, we’ll make you dinner.”

What we found was that if you offered fans a kind of online version of that experience, I always thought in my head, if fans could be a part of that wherever they are in the world, that would be kinda cool. I was lying in bed one night, and saw in my head, artists, fans, charities. So the concept was, rather than say, “buy my album, it’s coming out August seventh,” we say, “pledge here to be a part of the making of my album.”

And from day one you get access to a special part of the site that has on it rough mixes, live tracks, demos, video blogs.  It tells a story of the album as it’s being made. And private video blogs. It’s not just posting on You Tube. It’s private for the pledgers. At the end of it, if you make more that what you needed, a part of the profits can go to a charity of your choice.

So the artist wins because they get the fans involvement early.  The fans win because they get to see this process unfolding. The charity wins because someone shows up with a cheque.  And within that, the producer, the engineer, the manager, everyone else gets something because it’s not reliant on selling it all after the fact.

We often get compared to crowd-funding companies, which are like, “please give us something, we will go make something and then we will deliver it to you at a different time.” To me that’s just another form of consumer commerce, if you will. But if you say to the fan, “we’re going to go into the studio today and as we do that, at the end of every day or every couple days, we’re going to share something with you.”

We’ve got an iPhone app that literally says, “hey, I’m in the studio. Come check it out, I’m going to beat my drummer over the head with a stick because he can’t keep time. We’ve had a great day, have a listen.” Then it auto-feeds the artist’s account on Facebook and Twitter. If I’m a fan, that same update can feed my Facebook and Twitter, so what you end up seeing is a thirty second clip and you can pledge to see the rest of it.

Really I think what it was, was I think there’s a place in music for just selling to consumers. But what the industry has never addressed is how to sell to fans. Fans are the ones that want to be a part of something larger than just the moment that they go into a shop and buy.

There’s still a place for retail. There’s still a place for labels. What we try to do is build a tool that means an artist and fan can have a direct connection and that the label can also use this tool to foster that same thing, because it’s coming from the artist in real time.

benji rogers
Benji Rogers

You can’t go back and have the experience. You’ve got to have it while it’s drawing out. It’s like a gig that unfolds in real time. If you don’t offer that, then the fans simply can’t be a part of it. All they can do is go to a shop and buy a CD or go to iTunes and download it.

We did a study with Nielsen (SoundScan) in the U.S. and what they found was that there’s between 0.5 to 2.6 billion dollars available to labels and artists if they open this method up. All fans want to do is connect. They want to be a part of it. You want to say, “I was there. I got the signed vinyl that says ‘I was there.’” That’s really how I view us.

It’s part crowd-funding because there is an element of reaching a hundred percent goal and doing that, but we never display how much money is being raised because I think it distracts from the point of it, which is not how much is being raised, but the music. So I don’t care if they’re raising $5000 or $500 000. I care about how good the bass is sounding, personally.

So that’s basically how it started and I built a tool as a musician that I would want to use.  I launched the company on my own EP and it works really well.

Compared to crowd-funding programs, we tried to start it as a larger way of releasing music than just a show up and buy it, or fund it and then I’ll make it.  It’s about the participation all the way through.  So we just elongated the way in which you can do this.  Rather than say, “we’ve got six weeks to sell, fund and make an album,” you’ve got six months.

I think this is a brilliant idea because what you end up doing is you get music fans for life.

That’s a great one. You’re right.

In today’s world with social media especially, everything’s happening so fast. People want things right away and if you’re not constantly in their face, there are other things that will come along.

And also think of it this way. If you post on social media, “hey, we’re in the studio, day one.” That’s a broadcast to everybody. What can I do about it?  Nothing. I can stare it, I can comment on it, I can like it, but what have I done?

What if you could pledge on it at that moment? Then, all of a sudden, you know that the album will show up. You bought in. Then all you have to say is, “whatever we’re doing on a social level for everybody, we’ll create another layer in between,” and all you need is an iPhone to do it. We don’t have an Android app, sorry.

Really what I think it’s about is that the artists are creative people. They’ve never been given a tool that is this creative to release music. People who work at the record labels are creative people. They’ve never had this tool to use. So we provide not only the tool, but the team who will help get it done as well. That’s a big key to it.

The band Apocalyptica on PledgeMusic

 How do you choose who you work with? Do you take anyone on?

We have A&R reps who go out and find artists to work with who are at the right cycle, who are making an album or have made an album. We have a sign-up process and artists can sign up on a platform and one of our team will work with them to help get their campaign ready to go.

We don’t say no, we say, “not now.” Unless it’s something racist or sexist, or offensive. We look at whether artists can do what they want to do in the time they want to do it, and if not, let’s not let them fail. Let’s work with them to get to where it makes sense.

Millions of crowd-funding campaigns launch all the time and die because no one takes the time to just say, “that won’t work. That’s just not possible.”  I didn’t want to do that.

How does it benefit Pledge Music as a company?

We commission whatever comes into the platform and the artist owns the rights all the way out. We take fifteen percent and that includes the credit card processing fee. So it’s slightly more expensive that other straight crowd-funding companies, but what you get for that is us and we’re the guys that help make it happen.

It’s been a good year. We saw 176% increase in pledges! Our CFO said that to me. I think that’s good.

Wow!  I’ve never run a business, but I’d hazard a guess that that’s extremely good. Geographically who do you take on?

Global. Anywhere where credit cards or PayPal can be used, we operate there.

So all languages? All genres?

All genres. We have a Spanish version of the site, a German version of the site and English. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about how we’re going to grow and give Canada what they need to work, but then we have to do a French Canadian version of the site. If you know anyone! I’m a big ice hockey fan too.

What are hoping to achieve from this point forward?

I think there’s not going to be one album in the next twenty years that wouldn’t have a better experience for everybody involved if it had Pledge as part of it. So my goal is that all albums begin their life in this way. With me being a part of it. With me being able to be a part of it as a fan.

It’s not working the way it is. It’s not effective anymore. You can’t just say “go buy stuff in shops, go buy stuff on the internet.” That’s not working. So we have to reinvent the way in which music and art gets to be built.

People who have done crowd-funding campaigns have said they feel bad going back to the well. My thing is abolish any concept of the well.

Do you stop making albums because the last one was the best you’re ever going to get? No. You just make a better campaign, a better way of doing things.  Our job is to help with that.

Magic Powder shakerEver been to a show where the audience actually claps along all the way through a song without awkwardly fading out part way through? The highly enthusiastic and loyal fans at the LeE HARVeY OsMOND show on Friday night clapped right to the last note and it was magical.

LHO rocked out to a full house at The Great Hall, playing with a killer band including Ray Farrugia (drums) Brent Titcomb (percussion, harmonica), John Diamond (bass), Aaron Goldstein (pedal steel, guitar) and Jesse O’Brien on keyboards and also including distinguished guests Oh Susanna, Colin Linden (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings), Paul Reddick, Gary Craig, Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) and Andy Maize (Skydiggers).

The set was non-stop, high octane acid folk rock with a country flare.  LHO brought out the guests and the opening band Harlan Pepper for an encore which featured a makeshift shaker made from a container of Magic Powder.  Yes, I said Magic Powder.

It’s been a busy week for Lee.  A heavyweight in the Canadian music industry himself, he, along with Colin Linden, inducted Colin James into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame on Thursday night.

Supporting his friends is a characteristic trait of this big-hearted rocker. And not just his friends. The band, promoting World Vision, offered anyone who made a donation after the show a free CD.

“Charity begins at home,” a motto to live by, are wise words offered up by Lee himself. The spirit of helping others is very much ingrained in the music culture of Hamilton, Ontario, where Lee lives.  In a pre-show interview, he explained how he naturally wanted to include the people who had contributed to the recording of the group’s latest album, Folk Sinner, in the show because people were excited about it and he wanted them to be a part of the live experience as well.

Jesse O'Brien (also played with Colin James this week) and Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies)
Jesse O’Brien (also played with Colin James this week) and Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies)

You’ve got a lot of friends joining you for the show.  How did you swing that?

I just picked up the phone and called and they were people that were really into being part of the record and being a part of the LeE HARVeY OsMOND experience. As a result, I’d like to get them not only out to Toronto, but to other places in Canada. I’d like to have Oh Susanna come out and do Big Chief with me and Andy Maize come out and do Devil’s Load. Colin Linden come and play guitar and sing.

It’s an important thing for people to come out and see. The energy of the people involved in the show. It makes it a way more fun experience when you see people interacting. We lost for a long time people interacting musically and artistically and we’re getting that back so I want my energy to be attached to other people’s really amazing energy.

Where did the name LeE HARVeY OsMOND come from?

We did a song for an album called the Kennedy Suite that Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies guitarist) was producing. It’s an album that features Ron Sexsmith and the Cowboy Junkies, Hawksley Workman and others.  I was asked to do a song and when it was done he said, “okay so I can put this under the name Tom Wilson,” and I said, “no, let’s actually use the name Lee Harvey Osmond that I’ve always wanted to use.”

It was perfect because the album is all songs based on the day that JKF was killed. I thought that was a perfect name. And then Michael asked me after that to come back and do more recording and I had some time on my hands because Colin Linden (a member, with Tom, of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) was out playing guitar with Emmylou Harris. So we made this LeE HARVeY OsMOND record that I’ve always wanted to make.

Why do you capitalize some of the letters and not others.

I don’t know. I thought it looked good that way. I remember years ago whenever k.d. lang had a billing, you weren’t allowed to type her name on any kind of billing. You always had to use a little drawn k.d. lang logo and I always really liked that. I thought it was really smart marketing. So I thought that I would use that when we were doing LeE HARVeY OsMOND so that people like you would come along and ask the question, which I don’t really have an answer for.

Andy Maize helps out on vocals for a couple tunes
Andy Maize helps out on vocals for a couple tunes

With the album Folk Sinner, can you comment on who you think this would appeal to and what your goals were when making the album?

The Folk Sinner is more of a meditation than it is a record. It’s not something that would necessarily fit in with the current playlist at CBC. But somehow it does. I think the quality of what we’re doing is just good enough that people really get what we’re doing.

Once again it’s tones, the use of bottom end, something that we lose the further north you get. You go to Louisiana, the birth of jazz, they used tubas for the bass. Bottom end was always a big part of soul music, R&B and blues and the further north you go, the thinner the records get and we wanted to establish the idea that big bottom end was a really good vehicle for great songs.

We feel like we came up with really great songs that were based off of tones.  Tones and bass lines that I wrote over.

With the songs on the albums, where do the stories and the inspiration come from?

Love mostly. It’s funny. I know that CBC had meetings about my record and they said that both my records are awfully dark. They’re actually just love journeys.  Love isn’t necessarily puppy dogs and rainbows.

Oh, it’s not?

No. Love can slap you right back, you know? And there’s different ways of love. There’s ways of reaching out and showing love that aren’t about Valentine’s day. They’re about day to day experiences and people don’t want to face day to day experiences all the time.

I understand this is your first show to promote Folk Sinner.

This is really the first show for LeE HARVeY OsMOND to promote Folk Sinner.

What are you hoping for or expecting from this experience?

Just the sharing of energy. The wealth of talent and energy that we’re putting on stage. I’d like to share that and be a part of that.

Big Chief

Their “Break Your Body” video was recorded at Music City Roots live on February 13, 2013:

Hear “Devil’s Load” on SoundCloud

Ben Caplan

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you; I love a man with a beard. While his beard may be a little too intense for me to be romantically attracted to him, it’s impossible not to be intrigued by Halifax native Ben Caplan.  I remember first making a note last year that he’d be someone I’d be interested in checking out, but as often happens during festivals you get distracted with other things/run out of time. While I was slightly disappointed I didn’t get to see him with his back-up band The Casual Smokers, I’m thrilled to have see him because even solo this charming man definitely knows how to put on a show.

With a east coast Tom Waits vibe, Caplan’s songs are fuelled with passion. It’s pretty magical when that happens because that night at the Rivoli it was hard to find someone in the audience not clapping, cheering or stopping their foot.

Caplan  makes the audience part of the experience and its hard not to be caught up in it. Before you know it at a Caplan concert you’re singing back up vocals to songs like “Beautiful” (check out the video below). This inclusion clearly inspires a devoted fan base; even with all the shows going on during Canadian Music Week people came back two nights in a row to see him perform.

As it turns out I was unexpectedly one of those people as well. The very next day I caught a second performance from Caplan at the Audio Blood showcase and watching his second performance only confirmed to me what a gifted storyteller he is. Let’s hope there is a lot more of  Ben Caplan to come.

Photos by Chris Zacchia for more Canadian Music Week Photos check out ForgetTheBox on Facebook


Any seasoned festival goer knows as much as you love to pour over a schedule pre-festival, your best experiences during the festival itself are almost always those random unexpected things you only discover during the madness. After an amazing Friday that left me completely sleep deprived, I found myself on Saturday afternoon at a Pledge Music event sponsored by the lovely folks at Audio Blood. Hosted by Ben Caplan, the event was a chance for movers and shakers to network, enjoy free whiskey and sliders and of course listen to great music.

The secret guest at the end of this delightful, sweaty loft party was Acres of Lions, a band out of Victoria, BC. I saw a lot of bands during Canadian Music Week and after awhile it’s not hard to spot those that perform solely because they’re desperate for rock star glory and those who put their heart and soul into every performance because they just don’t know any other way to play. Acres of Lions is definitely one of the latter bands.

cmw Acres-of-Lions-001

An upbeat pop-punk band, Acres of Lions has a diverse range of influences from Tom Petty to Jimmy Eat World. At indie parties like this very often you can find yourself leaning against a wall and focused more on the drinking then the music.

Acres of Lions easily inspires immediate attention from their audience. Without even realizing it, you’ve started shaking your hips and clapping your hands. Having recently signed with labels in the UK and Japan I think it won’t be too long before a whole lot more people are paying attention to them as well.

*photos by Chris Zacchia, for more, check out FTB on Facebook

My last stop of Canadian Music Week brought along a pleasant surprise as I was introduced for the first time to Sean Rowe.

While my financial situation dictates that I have to rely on the generosity of friends or cheap hostels when I come to Toronto, I still always try to stop by the Gladstone Hotel for their music venue. After a couple of days of high intensity rock and punk bands, I was looking forward to capping off my 2013 Canadian Music Week with a low key acoustic folk show.

Sean Rowe

I had originally intended to stop by the Gladstone to profile another artist on the bill, but my favourite performer of the night was upstate New-Yorker Sean Rowe. With his electrifying baritone voice and powerful lyrics, Rowe is a mix of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits with a dirty down south kind of sound.

As I watched the show I remember thinking screw those young, moody emo bands that littered Queen street on Saturday night! It’s a nice to see a performer who is clearly loving life. After declaring that he had a nightmare where he had to shave off his beard (see my Ben Caplan article for my thoughts on bearded men), one of the sweetest moments of my CMW experience this year was Sean Rowe gushing about his young son and then dedicating a song to him. It sent me off to sleep with a smile on my face. If only all our Saturday nights could end this happily.


Harlan Pepper, a young foursome from Hamilton, Ontario, are a shining example of why Hamilton bands are just so good. Dan Edmonds (vocals, guitar, banjo, keys), Jimmy Hayes (guitar, pedal steel, harmonica), Thompson Wilson (bass, vocals) and Marlon Nicolle (drums, vocals) make up this versatile group formed in 2008. They incorporate hard rock, blues, alt-country and folk elements into their sound and they are tight!

Recently having toured with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, the band opened for LeE HARVeY OsMOND on Friday night at the Great Hall, playing to a sold-out crowd. They were well paired to LHO in that they played a selection of upbeat, groove along tunes that set the mood and pace for the LHO set that followed.

Their lyrics and songs overall, as well as their skill levels on their respective instruments, are really quite impressive for young men barely out of high school, a testament to the high level of musicianship that exists in Hamilton. And, they’re fun! They ended their set with a tune where Dan and Jimmy played each other’s guitars mid-song.  Looks easy enough, but it’s not.


If you didn’t know what they looked like, you’d think they were a band that had been around for years and years. Seasoned performers already, Harlan Pepper have shared the stage with the Sadies, Born Ruffians, Two Hours Traffic, the Arkells and Feist.  Keep your eye on these ones!

Check out this video for their song “Great Lakes,” and listen to their cleverly woven lyrics:

Here’s a clip from a show at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern:

Photos by Stephanie Beatson, for more Canadian Music Week Photos check out ForgetTheBox on Facebook


Colin James came and tore it up at Lee’s Palace on Wednesday night.  Playing to an extremely excited sold-out crowd who demanded two encores from the Canadian icon, James delivered an incredible performance that showcased his talent in both the blues and rock genres that his music touches on. Women were screaming in a way somewhat reminiscent of Beatlemania years ago. James, always a crowd pleaser, came down off the stage and into the audience at one point which heightened the already charged atmosphere.

It was a highly entertaining show.  It’s easy to see why James has done so well for himself over his career, already having been nominated for fifteen Juno awards and winning six. He hit every note, ripped it up during every guitar solo (and there were many) and played with the energy and enthusiasm of a young go-getter.

Colin James Lees Palace 2

The band, made up of Chris Caddell (guitar), Maury LaFoy (bass), Al Webster (drums) and cutie Jesse O’Brien (piano/organ) played some of James’s older hits including a wonderful cover of Into the Mystic some tunes from FIFTEEN, his aptly titled fifteenth studio release that came out last year, and also many songs from his live album, TWENTY FIVE LIVE, which marks the twenty-fifth year of his illustrious music career and was released just this month.

James was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame on Thursday night by long-time friends Tom Wilson and Colin Linden of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Whether young or old, there’s something for everyone to appreciate in the music of this exceptional artist.  Check out a live performance of “Keep On Loving Me Baby” here :


A few years ago a friend who shall remain nameless callously declared that there’s no such thing as a good all girl rock band. Well on Friday night at the Horseshoe Tavern, playing their first ever show in Canada, the talented ladies of the band Savages proved him to be very, very wrong. As I attempted to scribble my notes on the show in the darkened, packed venue, a very sweet but very drunk man screamed in my ear “I hope you’re writing down how much these girls ROCK!” It was easy to tell from the energy in the room that drunk man and I were not the only people who knew that you don’t need a penis to put on a kick ass rock show.

Hailing from London, Savages are a post punk band whose psychedelic moody sound are reminiscent of  Sixoisie and the Banshees and Joy Division. Indeed, hearing lead singer Jehnny Beth perform often made me feel during the night that I was watching the reincarnated version of Ian Curtis in the form of a short, feisty lady. Her intense wail on the single “Husbands” convinced me that night if this lady does not become a giant superstar there is something horribly wrong in this world.

I believe the whole band is destined for greatness; although their first record isn’t out until May, their performances have caused a great stir in the UK blogosphere. And if Friday’s show is anything to go by, these Savages are most definitely going to be getting lots more love soon from this side of the pond as well.

Photos by Chris Zacchia for more Canadian Music Week Photos check out ForgetTheBox on Facebook



Mo Kenney has been making waves in the music scene recently, opening shows for Joel Plaskett and Ron Sexsmith.  And rightfully so.  What a voice!  Mo, a folky singer-songwriter, sounds something like a female version of Justin Rutledge or an acoustic Matt Mays.  The Nova Scotia native played many of the songs featured on her self-titled debut album, released in September of 2012, at the Great Hall on Thursday night.  She kept the audience in rapt attention, even when her vocal mic cut out for a song.

cmw 2013 thurs-Mo Kenney-001The audience crept in as she moved to the front of the stage, eager to hear every word.  At just 22 years old, she is already well versed at writing songs with catchy tunes, well thought-out lyrics and interesting accompaniment.  She sings with strength and a beautiful tone, and can finger pick like the best of them, which allows for versatile guitar parts that are rhythmic and often melodic.  This is emotional music to reflect on, to sing along with and sometimes even to dance to with unstoppable numbers like “Déjà Vu,” a scaled down version of which can be seen here in a live video with Joel Plaskett (who produced her album).

Photos by Chris Zacchia, for more Canadian Music Week Photos check out ForgetTheBox on Facebook


Trent Severn played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Dakota Tavern on Wednesday night.  The group, made up of Dayna Manning (vocals, guitar, banjo), Emm Gryner (vocals, bass, guitar) and Laura C. Bates (vocals, violin), paint stunning visual portraits in their folk/roots based songs fueled by Canadian landscapes and folklore.  With references to the Bluenose on our dime, getting stuck on highway 400 going up to cottage country, wearing comfy NHL sweaters and Brian Mulroney quotes, what’s not to love, dear Canadians? Especially when sung by a trio of  babes with killer three-part harmonies? Recently, at one of their shows, Chris Hadfield called them from outer space. Though they’re a relatively new band with only one album released to date, Trent Severn are already making headlines.

Listen to these stunning sirens croon their song “Freedom”

Hey guess what? It’s Canadian Music Week in the Tdot! For those of you who don’t know, CMW is a massive festival held in Toronto every year that boasts a buttload (around 1000) of incredible musicians playing shows at 60 venues around the city. There’s also a conference, a comedy fest and film fest. Sound overwhelming? Well, it can be, so we’ve compiled a list of shows we think are not to be missed. And kids, don’t forget to buy a wristband (they’re only $60), try to alternate beers and water so you don’t fall down and piss your pants and miss out on stuff, and check out the website for show times, locations and availability. Mostly though, just have a kickass time. This is the kind of shit we Canucks live for, right?


jeremy fischerThe opening day of the festival is somewhat sparse, however, that just means there is no reason not to check out the showcase at the Dakota Tavern. Trent Severn and Jeremy Fisher will make a killer combination beginning at 7:30pm. Trent Severn is made up of Emm Gryner, Dayna Manning and Laura C. Bates, each of whom have had exciting music careers prior to joining forces in this folky group. Their wonderfully melodic songs paint a portrait of the Canadian landscape sung with beautiful three part harmonies, and accompanied by acoustic guitar, bass and violin.

trent severnJeremy Fisher is celebrating the recent release of his fifth album, Mint Juleps, an acoustic-driven album that highlights the strong songwriting of this two-time Juno nominee. The album has the spirit of his live shows; in fact it was recorded live off the studio floor, a refreshing and brave idea in the world of digital technology. Mint Juleps contains original songs and covers that Fisher plays live, and you can expect a mix of upbeat dance along numbers and slower, finger-picked soulful songs at the show. His set begins at 8:30pm. If you can’t make it out Tuesday, fear not! The showcase will be repeated on Wednesday night.


starsStars (with Yukon Blonde)
Montreal band Stars are an exciting indie pop band who use electronic layers under soft, wonderfully nuanced vocals sung by Torquil Campbell (also of Memphis and Broken Social Scene) and Amy Millan (also of Broken Social Scene). They are something of a hidden gem in the Canadian indie music scene, but have steadily been gaining popularity. To promote their recent album The North, they toured with Metric in late 2012. Check them out at the Danforth with Yukon Blonde, another must-see act. Doors open at 8:00pm. They also play on Thursday with opening act Said the Whale.

colin jamesColin James
This six-time Juno award winner, hailing from Regina, has done it again with his fifteenth studio album, aptly named FIFTEEN. The album, featuring rock, blues, gospel and pop infused songs has been nominated for a Juno. On this record, James collaborated with industry greats including Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar, Grady), Tom Wilson (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, LeE HARVeY OsMOND) and Thomas “Tawgs” Salter (Lights, Josh Groban). Hear the latest and greatest from Colin James at Lee’s Palace, 10:00pm.


mo kenedyMo Kenney
This newcomer into the Canadian music scene is just 22 years old, but writes with wisdom well beyond her years. Her self-titled debut album, produced by Joel Plaskett, is a fantastic collection of original tunes which feature her strong vocals and solid guitar skills. From Waverly, NS, she recently announced she will be playing with symphony Nova Scotia next season, alongside Plaskett. Her showcase is at the Great Hall at 9:00pm. She’s also opening for Ron Sexsmith on Friday at 9:15 at the Randolph Theatre. Don’t miss Mo Kenney; you will not leave disappointed!

Two Hours Traffictwo hours traffic
This award-winning alternative band base their songs on pop melodies, built from the bass and drums up. Another east coast act, from PEI, they also collaborated with Joel Plaskett on many of their albums, but in trying to evolve their sound have teamed up with Darryl Neudorf (Neko Case, the Sadies, the New Pornographers) for their most recent release, Magic. Their collection of mostly love songs are filled with catchy hooks and emotional and lyric depth that will keep the songs lingering in your head and heart long after the show is over. Catch them at Lee’s Palace at 12:00am.


lee harvey osmondLeE HARVeY OsMOND
Former Junkhouse frontman Tom Wilson (also with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) has taken on a psychedelic acid folk solo project. His debut album as LeE HaRVEY OsMOND, A Quiet Evil, was critically acclaimed and added to the Polaris Music Prize long list. His follow-up album, Folk Sinner, features Tom’s signature grit and subject matter revolving around growing up in the sixties and experiencing the political unrest that plagued North America at the time. Tom is featured on guitar and vocals, and has an array of guest artists including Margo Timmins, Hawksley Workman, Colin Linden, Oh Susanna, Andy Maize, Colin Cripps and Paul Reddick. Andy Maize, Oh Susanna and Colin Linden are also featured at his showcase at The Great Hall. This show will be raw, and it will rock! Doors open at 8:00pm.

Yukon Blondeyukon blonde
Formed in 2005 in Kelowna, BC, under the name Alphababy, the indie rock band changed their name to Yukon Blonde in 2008 and changed from a moody style to a more raw, guitar-driven rock sound. They were later named one of the 10 Canadian bands destined to break by 2010. They certainly have done well for themselves since, receiving critical acclaim from CHARTattack and Exclaim! Magazine. Their song “My Girl” off their 2012 album Tiger Talk reached number 30 on the Canadian alternative chart. Don’t miss this band! They play at 9:40pm at the Kool Haus. They are also opening for Stars at the Danforth on Wednesday.

Saturday and Sunday

ninique royerNinique Royer
Ninique Royer’s vocal style has been compared to Ray LaMontagne. There’s a soulful rasp to it, which combined with his expressive lyrics and soft acoustic guitar strumming, make for truly moving music. For a quiet, eloquent evening, catch Ninique’s set which begins at 9:00pm at the Central on Saturday.

The Maladies of Adam Stokesthe maladies of Adam stokes
Toronto based band The Maladies of Adam Stokes were formed in 2009 and in a short time went from playing small clubs to sold-out shoes at the Horseshoe Tavern. This six member group were recently featured on CBC’s Searchlight contest, and in 2012, released their first full-length album City of Trees which they are currently promoting. Their songs feature beautiful and thought-invoking melodies, backed by a band including the foundational bass and drums, with guitars, piano, violin, trumpet and glockenspiel, resulting in a powerful collage of indie folk wonder. It’ll be worth staying up to catch their late Saturday night set at the Free Time’s Cafe at 1:00am.

in my comaIn My Coma
Toronto based alternative rock band In My Coma is made up of a trio of strong players who put on a great live show. Their music is influenced by Brit-pop of the 1980s. They tell unusual stories and use unexpected chord changes, yet it works and the result is a collection of interesting and melodic songs that will get you grooving along. They are about to embark on a cross-Canada tour, but before that see In My Coma play a showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern at 9:00pm on Sunday, or you can catch them earlier in the week at Cherry Cola’s Rock N’ Rolla Cabaret at 10:00pm on Thursday.