Tattoo 7After a whirlwind 9-month tour through Europe, Russia and India, Tamarack finally returns home to Toronto. We’ve selected the iconic Rose & Crown (located in the new cultural centre of Toronto – Yonge and Eglinton) for our first hometown show in 2018. You know who we are. You know what we do. Now you know what to do. See you at the Rose & Crown.

Playing Canada is a real pain in the ass for American bands of the not-Metallica-sized variety. Fans of independent / underground music already know this. We hear about bands not being able to get past the border pretty much weekly, and it’s almost always for some ridiculously silly reason, like once upon a time one member of the band or the merch dude or the tour manager or whomever got a fifty dollar fine for smoking a joint. It actually really helps explain why Canada is such a nice place, but it also helps explain why Canada is such a boring place, and I imagine for Canadian fans this really sucks the big one, because one night you show up to see whatever band and oopsy they’re not playing.

Well, border patrol is about to become the least of musicians’ problems when attempting to play for Canadian fans.

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From comes a great but short interview from Dale Crover of the Melvins. the Melvins (the grandpappys of grunge) have been active for more than 30 years, touring relentlessly and consistently releasing new material. In the interview, Dale gives great points on what helped keep the band together through what would be the Melvin’s teen years to now as they approach their 50′s. Tongue in cheek for sure, but enlightening none the less.

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A quickie this week.

For our reading pleasure, a newly released study by Pacific Standard and conducted in France (where else?) concludes that a man is considered more attractive to the opposite sex if he is holding a guitar. Here’s the bottom line:

One sunny Saturday afternoon, in the shopping district of a medium-sized French city, this good-looking guy approached 300 young women (aged approximately 18 to 22). He introduced himself, declared “I think you’re really pretty,” and asked for her phone number so they could arrange to have a drink. For one-third of these brief encounters, he was carrying what was clearly a guitar case. For another third, he was holding a sports bag; for the final third, he was empty-handed. (more after the jump)

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Sat down to watch “Sound City” the other day. This is the new (newish) Dave Grohl-directed documentary focused on the now defunct Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. I had heard some chirping about this one over the past few months and had to check it out.

With Dave Grohl as the center piece of this film I expected it to be a blow-by-blow account covering the writing and production process for Nirvana’s seminal 1993 opus ‘Nevermind’. I’m a huge fan of these kinds of movies. Metallica’s ‘Some Kind of Monster’ and VH1’s super cool Classic Album series get regular play in my basement. What I actually got was an incredible documented journey down the hallowed halls of classic rock history. (more after the jump)

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With warmer weather upon us and a jammed packed summer of diverse and interesting music festivals on the horizon, we wanted to look back at some of the bigger music gatherings of our time. Whether you like music festivals or hate them, you can’t deny that they excel at one thing – bringing together a large group of people with common interests and a passion for music big enough to look past the excruciating heat or freezing wind and rain, $9 bottles of water, $14 cups of beer and port-o-potty lines that stretch longer than Yonge Street. Huge festivals can be not only a logistical nightmare but even deadly if not organized correctly. Fortunately, events like what happened at Altamont in 1969 (Hells Angels murdering a fan during the Stones), Roskild in 2000 (9 killed during Pearl Jam set) and the Indiana State Fair Fest in 2011 (stage collapse kills 7) are thankfully, pretty rare. (More after the jump)

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Lately, nothing has made me feel older than going to a concert. I’ve been going to shows for most of my life now and have been very fortunate to see most of my favourite bands. Although, as I’m getting older, the way I enjoy a show and my gripes about said shows have changed. My fuse is shorter. I have less patience for dorky malorkies ruining my concert experience. Bottom line is that I feel old.

It’s different of course when you’re seeing a big band in a big place and you have reserved seating. People sit, clap politely between songs and everyone has an enjoyable, mature and responsible (boring?) time. On the flip side the BEST shows I’ve ever been to are the ones that are at venues that are bit smaller with a stage that’s a bit lower so that you can get a bit closer to the band. It’s more intimate right? It’s in these environments, the shows that are general admission and bereft of any semblance of audience organization and order that make me feel a bit out of place. Now I’m 35. Not old by any stretch of the imagination but I still find myself becoming a crotchety grump sometimes. Pushing and shoving was fun and part and parcel with a gig when I was 22 but now I want to pay attention and enjoy the show. I never had to worry about my line of sight being obscured by a rolling smartphone either.

I’ve been collecting these points for a few weeks now. While a but tongue in cheek, the following are a few demandments that need to be followed when of going to a concert.

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By all accounts this past Saturday at the Bier Markt King West was a big success. From Sean breaking out the trumpet and Ryanne joining us for ‘Little Talks’ to every single one of the killer 3rd set sing-alongs, we had an awesome time. We hope you did too. Big thanks to Ali and the Bier Markt, the awesome servers and bar staff, all of our friends and everyone else that braved the wet and cool downtown Toronto Fashion District weather. More shows are coming up soon stay close to this space for more information.

- Tamarack


A shorter entry this week. This came up on my Facebook newsfeed the other day and I wanted to share it. Intronaut ( is one of my favourite bands. Saw them a couple years back at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. The following year they opened for Tool at the massive Air Canada Center. This year they’re playing small shitty clubs while supporting a new record and traveling across Canada and the US in brand spanking new Ford Econoline van. For a small / medium-sized band, touring is the farthest thing from glamorous. Even for some of the bigger bands the road can be especially grueling. A cross-country tour can almost assure you of experiencing dubious shyster rip-off artist promoters, a steady diet of gas station hot dogs, Slim Jims and peanut butter, an inconsistent laundry and shower schedule and at some point and broken tour van requiring hundreds of dollars in repairs causing multiple missed shows.

Another thing you can bank on when touring with your band is having some great memories and meeting some awesome people that will last for the rest of your life. How do you stay positive and keep your sanity through it all? Sacha Dunable, Intronaut’s guitarist/vocalist recently summarized the finer points of how to not just survive, but thrive as a struggling touring musician. As he says, it’s all about looking at the big picture and doing whatever you can to NOT sweat the small stuff. Read some words of wisdom, after the jump…

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I remember a night in 1993. Me and buddy of mine decided that if we really, really wanted to see Nirvana the only way to get a ticket was to head down to our local Ticketmaster kiosk and camp out overnight. I remember that evening… leaving the house at midnight, walking in the cold and wind only to plop ourselves down in front of the locked doors of the shopping mall and wait. In our minds, this was a battle of attrition that only the strong ‘and most diehard’ fans would happily wage in order to get the coveted golden ticket to a concert that would in the end (unbeknownst to us) change our lives forever. This was the pinnacle of fandom. If you wanted to really be there, if you were a real fan you could get a ticket. All you had to do was put in the time and effort required.

You know where this is going. Today, and with the advent of and other online retailers, not to mention the plethora of credit card, fan club and other corporate presales, the pool of available tickets available to the general public on the on-sale date has all but dried up.

I don’t know much about Matchbox 20, but recently they received a bit of backlash from their fans when it came time to purchase tickets for their latest tour. To their credit, they posted an informative and revealing response on their Facebook page. You wonder how tickets for a concert in a 20,000 seat venue can sellout in a matter of seconds? It’s all about the business. The scenario they detail below isn’t unique. Any Nationally touring major act will follow a similar protocol and ultimately many of their fans will end up being left with no other options that scouring the resale market (ie, $calpers) for their own tickets. Here are the facts Jack…  (more after the jump)

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