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Indie Week Toronto in Review

October 26th, 2010

For a music junkie like myself, something like Indie Week doesn’t come along very often – and when it does, I inherit total kid-in-a-candy-store syndrome. Just one night of music is simply not enough anymore. Suddenly, my weekend is overcome with an overwhelming need (yes, need!) to get out in this beautiful city of ours, and experience as many musical acts as possible. I can safely say that was accomplished this past weekend.

There’s absolutely nothing better than experiencing great live music; up front and personal, head bobbing, singing the words or simply soaking up every single solitary moment. Each strum of a guitar, each crash of the symbols, every grip of the microphone, each glance between musicians, solidifying eye contact – it’s completely thrilling. And all the better if it’s music that is completely new and unfamiliar. It’s so refreshing to share a room with so many people that have the same passion; exposing all kinds of new, great music to people who truly believe in it. The people behind Indie Week are doing just that, one year at a time.

I had a chance to briefly speak with the founders of Indie Week, and their whole mission is so inspiring. Indie Week International takes place in both our beloved Toronto, as well as Ireland. Bands play showcases all week long in Toronto, and a handful of lucky ones are selected to play the final show, which took place at Tattoo Rock Parlour this year. Industry leaders of all kinds make up a panel of judges who award a winning band who will then travel to Ireland to play and network there; and vice versa with Ireland-based bands. The entire event is a huge opportunity for networking and unlimited opportunities for bands who would never otherwise get that chance.

Attending the Indie Week finals was a great experience. I can safely say that every single piece of music I heard was unique, and moved me in a way that only live music can. There’s something vulnerable yet fulfilling about watching all of these bands from small towns get up there on a big stage in front of a bunch of intimidating Torontonians and play their heart out like it’s all they’ve got. That no-fear effort was definitely noted and fully appreciated; it takes a lot of guts, that’s for sure.

The list of bands I was lucky enough to experience this year is endless, but the bands chosen for the finals were; Faye Blais, The Little Black Dress, Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case, WAZU, Simon Fagan, L.Stadt, A Primitive Evolution, Courage My Love, Serena Pryne & The Mandevilles, and the big winner winner chicken dinner – Toronto’s own These Electric Lives!

Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to check out all of the above bands; each one is completely unique and amazing in their own way – trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Article and photos by Chloe Gedmintas.

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