This week in RCS Music News Weekly: Live music happening tonight and locally in November, including EVO at the Red Brick and Cody Drake, rolodex darko, and Hollow Core at Silence; new music releases by Rise of Division and Guelph’s Season of the Senses; warnings about online music promotion scams; and a pandemic downgrade appears to be in sight (maybe). But first…
Catch three incredible performances at Royal City Studios on Nov. 13th.
Paige Rutledge, Jessica Sole, and Half Decent Perform Nov. 13th at Royal City Studios
Hear great favorite and original country rock music on Nov. 13th at Royal City Studios with three awesome performances:
- Paige Rutledge: Vibrant, energetic, and dynamic are words that have been used to describe Paige. Coming off her latest release, Broken Record, Paige has been making a name for herself in Canadian country music, and has performed on the main stage at Toronto Ribfest and at showcases on collaboration with the Country Music Association of Ontario.
- Jessica Sole is a country artist and songwriter based in Shelburne, Ont. Working alongside Shawn Moore (CMAOntario Record Producer of the Year), Jessica has crafted a fresh new sound, and after more than a year of lockdowns, she’s excited to hit the stage again.
- Half Decent returns to the RCS stage with classic rock, country, and pop. Based out of Caledon, the band takes a tongue-in-cheek approach with their name, setting the bar low with their name because they like to surprise people, and if you’ve not heard this band, they definitely surprise.
Show starts at 7:30 PM. Lots of free parking. Licensed event with public health protocols in effect.
>> Get your tickets on Eventbrite
Eclectic Vinyl Orchestra: Stu Peterson, Jim Duffield, Kerry Mullen, and Matty Cooper.
Eclectic Vinyl Orchestra Performs Tonight (Nov. 5th) at the Red Brick Café
Playing high-energy swing, jump blues, and dancehall standards and styles from the 1920s to the 1950s, Eclectic Vinyl Orchestra (EVO) performs tonight (Nov. 5th) at the Red Brick Café in downtown Guelph.
Comprised of Stu Peterson, Jim Duffield (RCS owner), Kerry Mullen, and Matty Cooper, EVO has packed venues across Southwestern Ontario, and the reason why is evidenced in their YouTube video for “(Every Time I Hear That) Mellow Saxophone, recorded and shot last year at Royal City Studios.
Eclectic Vinyl Orchestra at Thatcher Farms & Speed River Bicycle Country Rumble, 2019
EVO’s return to the Red Brick marks the return to the venue that gave EVO their first gigs in Guelph, and to which EVO holds much gratitude. To show support for the venue that has equally given artists their first chance to perform in the Royal City, EVO encourages people to come out, adding in a recent Facebook post, “Let’s do this Friday night!”
Tonight’s show at the Red Brick starts at 7 PM.
COVID public health regulations in effect. For more, visit the Red Brick website.
Catch incredible local music at Silence.
rolodex darko, Hollow Core, and Cody Drake Perform Nov. 19th at Silence
Guelph’s self-described portal for adventurous new sounds, Silence, offers just that on Nov. 19th with a triple-bill live show:
- Headliners rolodex darko have been perfecting their singular brand of violent, unorthodox noise since 2019. Led by vocalist Roberta “Bob” Stan, the band fuses hardcore, alternative metal, and noise with brutal energy and theatrical live performances. Lyrically, the band covers diverse subjects—religion, power, humor, and death, among others—through the lens of female empowerment.
- Hamilton metal/rock band Hollow Core will perform the kind of high-energy music found on their singles and EPs (e.g., The Demo CD That Nobody Asked For) and generally put the jumper cables to the evening.
- Cody Drake, former drummer for Near Summit (who rocked Royal City Studios’ 2019 Classic Covers Cool Cars concert*) takes a break from the drumkit to open the night performing original songs on acoustic guitar as a solo performer. Saying in a Sept. 7th Facebook post that the change from drums to guitar is a bit scary for him, Cody also said he’s overwhelmed with joy to announce his first live show in almost two years.
Code Drake performing with Near Summit at Royal City Studios’ Classic Covers Cool Cars concert, 2019.
Silence is located at 46 Essex Street. Show starts at 7 PM. Tickets just $10 at the door (no advance sales). For more info, visit the event page.
*For Near Summit fans, here’s a 2019 clip of the band performing “Welcome to the Jungle” at Classic Covers Cool Cars.”
Cover art for Rise of Division’s new single, “Feed Me to the Wolves.”
Rise of Division Releases “Feed Me to the Wolves”
Canadian hard rock band Rise of Division releases their new single “Feed Me to the Wolves” on all major streaming platforms. As the fourth and final single release from their upcoming album, Dichotomy, “Feed Me to the Wolves” embodies the band’s description of Dichotomy itself: “A musical fusion between violent guitars and catchy melodies,” all orchestrated to “send the listener into a tornado of emotion.”
Listen to the “Feed Me to the Wolves” preview on DistroKid or catch the whole track on YouTube.
Cover art for Season of the Senses’ new single, “Summer Night City.”
Season of the Senses Drops “Summer Night City” Today
Guelph electronic/rock/alt-pop band Season of the Senses drops their new single “Summer Night City” today.
Formed during the pandemic as a duo (Elena Stocco and Damian Weston), Season of the Senses (now a trio) began working on their cover of ABBA’s “Summer Night City” just for fun while working with their new guitarist but decided to take it more seriously (but still have fun) after ABBA announced they’d be releasing their first new album in 40 years.
Mixed and mastered by Darius Szczepaniak (Sum 41, Big Sugar, Black Crowes), Season of the Senses’ take on “Summer Night City” is available for pre-order through DistroKid.
Metallica teaches new MasterClass in how to be a band.
Metallica Teaches How to Be a Band
Bands break up for a range of reasons, from ego clashes and creative differences to communication breakdowns and key members quitting. To help bands last, Metallica has joined the online learning platform MasterClass to teach How to Be a Band.
Metallica’s 15-video lesson plan, focused on what it takes to build and sustain success as a group, includes:
- Navigating egos and criticism
- Stage design and ticket pricing to build lasting relationships with fans
- Putting together an album
- Financial guidance for bands to value their music and not give it away for free
- Harnessing collaborative energy and taking risks
The course also includes song deconstructions of “Laster of Puppets” and “Enter Sandman” and a closing, members-only performance by Metallica to demonstrate how all the lessons come together.
>> Check out the class trailer and sample here
For most bands, the numbers continue to show that music streaming effectively rests in the area of unpaid promotion.
The Streaming Numbers Are In… and They’re Not Encouraging
In case you don’t follow RCS on Facebook and missed this week’s post: For bands counting on income from music streaming, the numbers aren’t encouraging. According to data released today by Statista: To earn just $20 on Spotify, bands need roughly 6,240 plays.
Apple and Amazon offered slightly better returns, with roughly 2,000 and 4,000 plays respectively to earn $20, while Pandora and Deezer clocked in with dismaying numbers:
- To earn $20 on Pandora, bands need roughly 14,280 plays.
- To earn the same on Deezer, bands need roughly 18,180 plays.
Does this make music streaming pointless? No. Music streaming platforms serve quite nicely as cheap and simple channels in your promotional toolbox. However, if income is part of your goals to get your music into the hands (and minds) of listeners, you may wish to explore other options. For example, bands only need to sell a relatively few downloads or physical releases to earn $20 or more.
>> You check out the whole Statista report here.
Listen to your spidey senses the next time you see one of these posts clogging up your newsfeed.
Critics Warn Bands of Online Music Promotion Scams
They litter newsfeeds like French fries tossed to seagulls—those social posts that basically go, “Send your song link to our Gmail account and we’ll get you promoted!” or “Drop your links here to get heard on online radio!”
While some posts like these may be legit, many are simply vaguely worded scams by people selling paid-up-front promotion packages, but whether they deliver on their dangling carrots is anybody’s guess.
Some comments on Facebook suggest some companies simply grab your cash and do little or nothing. Other companies seemingly do offer services like “airplay” on online radio stations, but they’re usually not forthcoming about what or where those stations are. That means, for all the “big time exposure” they offer, bands just may get the same level of exposure for themselves (and save a heap of cash) by uploading their own tracks to SoundCloud, Mixcloud, or Bandcamp, or directly contact podcasters and radio stations.
>> For more, read Why Radio Still Matters to Bands and Live Shows
To protect the unwary and wake artists up in the clearest way possible, critics regularly (and viscerally) tear into scammers like a bulldog chowing down on a chewy.
“Scammers rely on ignorance and sloth, taking advantage of the uneducated and lazy,” writes Mark Tavern, artist manager and consultant, in a recent article for Tunecore. “Overnight success is a myth. Instead, it comes from the hard work of making great music and building your audience. There are no shortcuts to success, so be wary of anybody trying to sell you a service that says otherwise.”
Similarly, Andrew Marron recently wrote in the public Facebook group Independent Musicians Network, “Stop being so eager to chuck your hard-worked tunes at every Tom, Dick, or Harry who says drop your links. Had this type of thing with ‘college radio’ before. Then they ask you to chuck some money at them. Seriously, your tunes are better than these charlatans.”
RCS Music News Weekly couldn’t agree more. Yes, money comes into play in music marketing and promotion, just like it does in any industry, but the siren song of fast fame shouldn’t be an excuse to part ways with your hard-earned cash when an empty wallet may be the only payment you see.
The best possible way to protect yourself is to do your due diligence, meaning ask questions of anyone offering you a service.
- What are they specifically offering you?
- How much experience do they really have and what proof do they offer?
- How will they be accountable to you and keep you in the loop about their progress?
- Do they offer personal, direct contact after initial contact?
- Do they respond to your messages or leave you in the ghost files?
In general, scammers cannot tolerate the cold light of day, and if your spidey senses start tingling, you may be better off putting your boots back down on the ground and directing your promotional efforts elsewhere for one simple reason:
You and your music are worth it.
In support of this, please do not hesitate to send info to RCS Music News Weekly to promote any music releases or upcoming shows. We’ll never charge you to be included in RCSMNW or ask for anything, apart from band publicity photos, bio, album art, and/or whatever you have to accompany your story. The more you tell us about yourself, the more we can tell our readers about you.
Email your info to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM Royal City Studios on social.
Nothing coming up for you right now? We welcome and encourage you to add email@example.com to your media and promotions emailing list.
Experts believe COVID may be downgraded from a pandemic to an endemic sometime before the end of 2022.
Scientists Now Charting the Endemic in 2022
According to Reuters, over a dozen disease experts are now charting when and where COVID will transition to an endemic—a viral infection remaining at a constant baseline level in a geographical region. (Chickenpox, for example, is endemic in the UK but malaria is not.)
“We think between now and the end of 2022,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, “this is the point where we can get control over this… where we can significantly reduce disease and death.” Citing the WHO’s goal for 70% of the world’s population to be vaccinated to facilitate an endemic, Van Kerhove added, “If we reach that target, we will be in a very, very different situation epidemiologically.”
Overall, the disease experts expressed increasing confidence that many countries will have put the worst of the pandemic behind them in 2022, yet also felt COVID could further mutate to immunity.
In other words, as much as we all want an end to COVID, and as hopeful as the experts sounded, they know about as much as you do right now. Yet they likely wore lab coats while making their studies, and who doesn’t like a COVID report by someone in a crisp white coat?
The public-health arrows may soon all point in the same direction for Ontarians.
Ontario Plans to Lift All Remaining COVID Public Health Measures by March 2022
ICYMI: Ontario plans to lift all remaining public health measures—including proof of vaccination and mask requirements—by March 2022. The removal of measures will take place “slowly and incrementally” over the next six months, guided by ongoing monitoring of key public health measures, according to Dr. Keiran Moore (Chief Medical Officer of Health) and Christine Elliot (Minister of Health) in a recent press conference in Toronto.
While the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario said the plan puts the province’s progress at risk (particularly since some restrictions will ease as winter approaches), the fourth pandemic wave is receding in Ontario. The seven-day average of new daily COVID cases has been falling since September 5th, 87.7% of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, and 83.6% have received at least two doses.
When you arrive, make sure to tell us you saw this post in RCS Music News Weekly.
Add a FREE HOUR of rehearsal time at Royal City Studios!
Just bring in your Long & McQuade instrument rental receipt or product purchase receipt to Royal City Studios after you book an RCS rehearsal studio and get an extra hour of rehearsal time for free. All instrument receipts accepted: saxophone, trumpet, bass, guitar, keyboard, whatever you rent. Walk-ins welcome but limited to studio availability.
Book your rehearsal studio online or call (226) 314-2177.
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As RCS Music News Weekly grows its connections and relationships with promoters and music publicity companies (real ones, like Bad Parade), so too will its area concert listings and music release news. Sharing RCSMNW with friends helps alert them to shows and releases they might not know about, which helps music venues and bands coming back from a long pandemic smackdown.
Until next time, stay awesome.