... so the 2014 Junos were held last night... the pre-broadcast gala where majority of the award winners were announced and hardware handed out. I found myself checking Twitter for the updates... seeing a few friends pick up awards really helped lift my spirits... even after an amazing day tracking group vocals... it ain't easy being a Leafs fan.
A few shout outs to some artists that hit a bit closer to home...
First off... huge congrats to Serena Ryder on winning Artist Of The Year and basically an insane year overall!
Serena and I went to high school together, and although we never really hung out or talked or anything, we've always said hello to each other around Toronto... high school runs deep... and I think there's a higher level of 'props' to people you know who've continued to grind it out with music as a career.
Again, she's had an insane year... and once Stompa came out... I figured it was officially go time for Serena and her camp. Glad she's been out touring like crazy as well... I've said it 400X, touring is where it's at... it's where you're going to solidify your core fans... and that's how careers are built and maintained.
Also, all the best to her tri-co-hosting the televised show tonight as well... even though I think it's kinda weird to have nominees hosting award shows... but I'll save that rant for later.
Congrats to Strumbellas on their win for Roots And Traditional Album Of The Year (Group)! I've known a few of the guys in this group since back in the high school days as well. I'm pretty sure they've all been in several bands together over the years, probably in several member combinations... but like most good bands out there, eventually there's a combination/chemistry that works and all of a sudden, things start to move forward. Of course that's the simplified version... but regardless, awesome to see!
Also... I'm really happy to seem them take home the award because they were nominated last year as well. I think there's a lot to be said in "not winning" your first time around.... and I can guarantee you at least one person at that table... after hearing someone elses name get called... became more motivated than ever. Congrats on getting the job done this time around! Been there. :-)
... and congrats to Eric Ratz for winning Recording Engineer Of The Year.
This one hits a bit closer to home for several reasons... although I doubt my name would ring a bell, we've crossed paths several times over the years. Like most people on this side of the glass, you eventually start blurring the lines between recordist and producer. He's been one of the careers I've kept an eye on the since I started 10 years ago, and I had my fingers crossed would take home the prize... plus he won it not only on a rock record... but on the Monster Truck record... which sounds rucking fidiculous. Good job Eric!
Congrats to Charlie Hope (Children's Album) and Courage My Love (Breakthrough Artist) on their nominations.
Third trip for Charlie, first for CML. It's always fun to go, but especially for the CML camp... it's great to see their progression over the years.
I typically have a bone to pick with acts that are "developed" but CML was one of the few groups I've heard of actually being discovered and developed... instead of discovered and then told everything they're doing is wrong and needs to be perfected over the next 5+ years until everyone has lost interested. Kudos to Nicole Hughes and Chris Perry for doing their part! All the best down the road... keep that momentum going!
Boourns to Ben Rayner. I saw this in the Toronto Star this morning...
"As for the rest of Saturday night’s Juno gala, it went pretty much where it always goes. Forever. Or for 3½ hours anyway. For the first time this year, casual observers could stream the pre-broadcast Juno gala online at home, but lord knows why you’d actually do that. Most of the people who actually attend the thing start tuning it out half an hour in because, frankly, by then it’s already clear there are several more crushingly dull and long-winded hours to come and everyone starts sucking down as much free booze as they can find until the bar shuts down."
Dude... of course you'd find it boring... it's not for people like you... it's not about entertaining, it's a dinner and presentations! It's a dinner party for those who actually belong in the room. And who would actually want to watch that? Anybody who has friends or family nominated... nothing tops seeing the happiness of people you care about in real time. I'm glad they streamed it... that's the future anyway... it's there if you want it.
Anyway, if you're there to be entertained, yes, you're going to be bored. It's probably similar to going to a party with your significant other, where most in attendance all went to high school or college together... it's going to be filled with inside jokes and you're going to hate it because you can't join in on their level.
You have no understanding how hard people are working to make a living in this industry and how emotionally charged up they are to be there... despite what they're showing on the outside. People aren't wandering around because they're bored or drunk (well... lol)... they're wandering around because it's a dinner, people have loosened up, and because you're allowed to walk around!
In my opinion, between the Saturday (gala) and Sunday (televised), it's all about Saturday if you're part of the business or more importantly, an artist.
You're in a giant room, filled with your friends, peers, probably a few mentors, and likely a few people who've done you dirty over the years... saying hello to people in that environment means a lot... for some of them, that might be the only time they've seen each other in years because we've all got our heads down, on tour or in our batcaves, working our butts off. Hearing your name called on Saturday is just a touch more huge than hearing it called during the nominations.... and once your category has been announced, all that anxious excitement you've been holding onto the past 6 weeks or so finally leaves your body... win or lose... you feel amazing... and you feel motivated.
Finally... finally, finally... a shout out to all those who were nominated but couldn't afford to make the trip. It aint cheap once you factor in travel, hotels, clothes, food, tickets, etc... for me, 2010 was close to $2,000, 2012 was around $1,500 (+$450 for the award! lol).
Obviously you look at the price tag vs. experience and think it's totally worth it... but I've heard of several artists over the years, mainly in the lesser known categories who just couldn't swing it... plus they didn't think they'd win anyway so why bother... which is pretty sad.
With the amount of money organizations like FACTOR have thrown around over the years to artists in that room last night to record, market, and tour... it'd be nice to see them throw a little in the corner of a few artists to help them make the trip. Even $10,000 could've helped send 5-10 people a year who otherwise sat at home last night... who despite having expectations so low, still had a sliver of hope in the pit of their stomach their name would be called... or at least the Leafs could've beat Philly... seriously guys... c'mon.
- Mike :-)
101 Tips To A Better Band: #7. Submit For Things (Grants/Awards/Etc.)... Even If You Don't Really Care About Winning
Another Juno Awards submission deadline passed yesterday... a handful of projects I worked on were submitted by the bands and artists... and a handful of projects were not.
In the past I never cared much... since I always felt like these types of things were out of my reach...
What's the point in submitting if you aren't going to win?
It costs money... I hate wasting money... and if I was to flush $50-$90 down the toilet... I'd hope the meal was worth it.
The thing is... it's not about winning... it's about giving yourself (and more importantly, your music) another opportunity (and approach) to get heard... this time specifically by industry folk. You're probably looking for help still... why pass up this really easy opportunity? This is a form of networking in my opinion.
Every week I get emails from new bands/artists... and every week I get a few "We're broke!? All we need is someone to help us out! We just need to get heard!"... someone looking for a deal routine... and me being me... I'll give them a half dozen ideas to consider to help provide solutions to their problems... if I think their music is good of course.
Huge pet peeve... and a sure way to get on my "wait... why do I care?" list... is shooting down every cheap (affordable) and easy idea. While it's easy to say "no" to everything... it probably took more energy to plead your case than to actually try something.
Submitting for awards/contests/grants/etc. probably won't bring you fame and wealth... well... from my experience at least... but it will get your music past some more industry ears. If your music is good or great, people will do their homework on you. If it looks like it could be worth/making money (important), they might want to get on board... or at least pass you along to someone who might.
So... with another Juno Awards submission deadline passing... as the old saying goes...
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
– Wayne Gretzky
It pairs well with this other old saying...
“Listen to your mother kids, aim low; aim so low no one will even care if you succeed.”
– Marge Simpson
Which one are you now... and which one are you going to be this time next year?
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!