Mike Maas w/Lite Years • Sept 24

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MIKE MAAS with LITE YEARS

Saturday September 24, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:30pm, Show 9:00pm 

Tickets $10 (+SC) advance, $15 door

>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Mike Maas is a Hamilton-based singer-songwriter who has been writing and playing music for more than a dozen years now. A wide range of influences are evident in his music, from The Beatles to U2, Oasis to Coldplay, as well as the likes of Explosions in the Sky, Death Cab for Cutie and Radiohead — pop titans and underdogs who have all nourished the young songwriter and shaped his creative evolution. In 2006, Maas recorded his debut album, On The Otherside of The Trees, in 2006, at Hamilton’s Studio 410 Sound Productions. Since 2009 Mike has taken some time off to refocus but is now looking to start making music again. The future is looking bright as he continues to play live dates to warm receptions, performing with his band The Late Nite LineUp. 

Reuben and the Dark w/Charlotte Cornfield • Sept 29

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REUBEN & THE DARK with CHARLOTTE CORNFIELD

Thursday September 29, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, Show 8:30pm  

Tickets $15 (+SC) advance, $20 door

>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Calgary’s Reuben and the Dark is a collection of five multi-instrumentalists and vocalists led by Reuben Bullock. The group makes chilling, emotive folk and soul driven by dark, introspective lyrics that explore the duality of misery and joy. Boasting a rare chemistry between all members across western Canada, Reuben and the Dark has emerged organically from Canada’s stellar independent scene on the strength of often anthemic compositions that translate the language of emotion into song with haunting clarity.

Reuben Bullock is a storyteller. One of those undeniably engaging types that captivates with ease thanks to incredible charms and a fascinating past. Sit with him and you’ll hear tales of his upbringing, growing up the son of a preacher and middle brother of three. He’ll relate a childhood spent travelling North America, from town to town, never staying in one place for long and learning about life on the road – a lesson that now serves him well.

He will tell you about rebelling against religion and a lingering distaste for those teachings, he and his oldest brother spurning the spiritual world for a wilder one, which he considers himself lucky to have survived. The trials and brushes with mortality that have set the stage for Reuben’s current struggle- one more artistic than physical or strictly spiritual. Reuben will talk about past pursuits – skateboarding semi-professionally during a career marked by the same fearlessness with which he approaches his new pursuit as a music maker.

Now inked to Canada’s iconic indie imprint Arts & Crafts, Reuben finds himself on a promising new path, this time as a young songwriter and star with a world-class album. Now, the names of studio titans like Stephen Kozmeniuk and Jim Abbiss – men who boast credits from artists like Madonna and Adele – dot the liner notes of Reuben’s debut, but not along ago music was actually a new craft for Reuben. He’ll tell you he picked up a guitar for the first time at 21. The goal then was to make sense of the notebooks full of poems and lyrics that had been pouring out of him for years, to find the means to express whatever it was that was coursing through him so powerfully. Much of it was about that religious upbringing, preaching against it, the need to shake people up, to make them see and feel things differently.

Reuben’s first album was recorded in a Canadian prairie town shed, the product as stark, raw and beautiful as the rustic surroundings in which it was made. What followed, Reuben will tell you, was a need to expand that sound, to make it much, much bigger.  That’s when he embraced The Dark, bringing together a collection of musicians inclusive of his younger brother, Distance, that helped him craft something that was both sonically intricate and capable of something greater.

The first group recording represented a scrappy attempt at gospel from the rock of the earth, a reach for the stars while being tethered to the self. During this time a reputation also began to build, based on the strength of a transcendent live show – one intended to help those in its grip reach catharsis. Without a doubt this was a successful time, both in taking his project and its music further, and on a whim, also taking Reuben to Mexico. There, a chance meeting with members of Florence + The Machine unfolded after they’d heard his album playing in a local shop. Later he’d join them on stage and eventually, fly to London to record some demos with drummer Christopher Hayden, who now joins Reuben and Kozmeniuk as a producer on the band’s debut. That album marks the first proper effort from this now fully realized incarnation of Reuben and the Dark – and on it you’ll experience his storytelling first hand.

Charlotte Cornfield is a multifarious songwriter/instrumentalist from Toronto. A friend describes her sound as “Laurel Canyon grunge folk,” and she agrees with a smile. A denizen of the road since her late teens, the 6-foot-tall musician lives in a state of bemusement. Cornfield, whose music lies somewhere between Neil Young, Sharon Van Etten, and Courtney Barnett, recently recorded a new album in Toronto with producer Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith, Bahamas), a follow-up to her acclaimed 2011 debut Two Horses. She has previously shared the stage with the likes of Sun Kil Moon, Lake Street Dive, Ron Sexsmith and Sharon Van Etten. The Globe and Mail says, “Her songwriting is ravenous. Even here, in uneasy happiness, the 27-year-old sounds like she will wolf down her life as fast as she is able. The windfalls, the crises, the concerts, the chance encounters – she’ll sprint through them all, collecting burs. This is work in the tradition of Dylan or Townes Van Zandt.”

Destroyer (solo) w/Andre Ethier • Nov 10

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DESTROYER (solo) w/ANDRE ETHIER
Thursday November 10, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 8:30pm 

Tickets: $20.00 (+SC) advance, $25 at the door

Destroyer‘s previous full-length saw Dan Bejar alluding to David Sylvian, New Order, ’80s Miles Davis, Roxy Music’s Avalon, and Bryan Ferry’s Boys and Girls; constructing lyrics from cue cards sent to him by African-American visual artist Kara Walker; and eulogizing the pallid ghosts of the UK music press (“Sounds, Smash Hits, Melody Maker, NME / All sound like a dream to me”). Said album, Kaputt, proved to be both a Billboard chart commercial breakthrough and universally garlanded critical touchstone, ascending to second place on Pitchfork’s Best of 2011 list (actually topping it would have been gauche).

By contrast, Poison Season opens with the Vancouver native swathed in Hunky Dory strings. He’s a dashboard Bowie surveying four wracked characters–Jesus, Jacob, Judy, Jack–simultaneously Biblical and musical theatre. This bittersweet, Times Square-set fanfare is reprised twice more on the record–first as swaying, saxophone-stoked “street-rock” and then finally as a curtain-closing reverie.

“The first and last songs are actually one song tracked live with quintet,” explains their author. “I even sang with the band. That song always swung between super austere and super mid-’70s Springsteen/Bowie street-rock. In the end, I decided I wanted both. Couldn’t really figure out a way to sequence the orchestral version within the record, so I decided to carve it up as a book-ending motif, with the rock version squarely in the middle.”

Broadway Danny Bejar dramatically switches scenes with “Dream Lover,” all Style Council strut and brassy, radio-ready bombast (echoes of The Boo Radleys’ evergreen earworm “Wake Up Boo!”). This being Destroyer, its paramours-on-the-run exuberance is judiciously spiked by his deadpan delivery: “Oh shit, here comes the sun”

“Forces From Above” applies ABC’s deathless Lexicon of Love to theological imagery, its romantic-agnostic narrator driven up metaphorical cathedral steps by maximalist chamber funk. Rapture gives way to deftly orchestrated self-loathing on the appositely titled “Hell,” a plaintive MIDI tuba solo heralding such quixotic observations as: “Every murderer voted out of office is sold down the river / Every time I try to look into your eyes an angel flies by.”

“The River” muses on gentrification–”She despises the direction the city’s been going in”–an urge to take flight alternately wreathed in flute/viola pleasantries and scarred by barbed-wire guitar. The horn-blasted, percussion-rattling “Midnight Meet the Rain” is similarly disillusioned (“I visit the symphony and I smell a rat”), its acidic wit amplified by the 12-member Destroyer ensemble’s virtuoso R&B interplay. They’re his Young Canadians, if you will, a group that absolutely slays onstage.

“I like this record if only cause everything that’s not a string section, saxophone, flute, or electro-acoustic drone was recorded all at the same time,” says their leader. “Generally in three takes. Not even [his cult 2001 opus] Streethawk came close to this as far as an actual band vibe goes.”

Like the other DB, Mr. Bejar has long displayed a chameleonic instinct for change while maintaining a unified aesthetic (rather than just pinballing between reference points). No two records sound the same, but they’re always uniquely Destroyer. His latest incarnation often appears to take sonic cues from a distinctly British (usually Scottish, to be precise) strain of sophisti-pop: you might hear traces of Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout, Orange Juice, or The Blow Monkeys. These songs merge a casual literary brilliance with intense melodic verve, nimble arrangements, and a certain blue-eyed soul sadness.

Playfully rueful, “Sun in the Sky” foregrounds cryptic lyrical dexterity over pop-classicist strum before gradually left-fielding into rhythmically supple, delirious avant-squall. It’s as if Talk Talk took over a Lloyd Cole show. Originally released on a collaborative EP with electronic maestros Tim Hecker and Loscil (the latter’s drones are retained here), a retooled “Archer on the Beach” suggests Sade swimming in The Blue Nile, smooth-jazz marimba melancholy dilated by ecstatic ambience. Flecked in heady dissonance, elusively alluring, Dan hymns its eponymous “impossible raver on your death bed” while implicitly beckoning the listener: “Careful now, watch your step, in you go.”

That’s Poison Season in essence: familiar yet mysterious, opaquely accessible. Arch, for sure, but ultimately elevatory.

Andre Ethier comes from another time, a time where simplicity in music-making was favoured over the new tradition of loops and layers and editing, Andre Ethier was born 40 years too late.

Andre has been roaming the streets of Toronto for the past decade as a visual artist, waiter and musician. For over ten years Andre has released a bunch of records as the frontman of the critically acclaimed Toronto garage rock outfit The Deadly Snakes. In 2004 Andre took a step a step away from the rock and recorded his first solo record “Andre Ethier with Christopher Sandes featuring Pickles and Price” (Sonic Unyon) recorded over a weekend where first takes were preferred. They just set up, played, drank, mixed and split. Andre’s been compared to seasoned and revered musicians such as Bob Dylan, Nick Cave and Van Morrison.

After recording the latest Deadly Snakes album “Porcella” Andre is geared up to go it alone once again with the help of Paper Bag Records. Andre will also be enlisting the help of trusted companion Christopher Sandes, Andre’s mood has drifted in to the realm of being completely in love, and promises that the next record will be a love record, yet still raw and spontaneous, cause that’s how Andre lives his life. Until then, he’ll be hitting the road with the Deadly Snakes, he’ll be hitting the road by himself, he’ll be building a house, he’ll be recording a record, he’ll be in love and we’ll all just be waiting.

Justin Rutledge w/Joshua Hyslop • Oct 20


Justin Rutledge
Justin Rutledge
JUSTIN RUTLEDGE w/JOSHUA HYSLOP
Thursday October 20, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 8:30pm 
Tickets: $20.00 (+SC) advance, $30 at the door

At the mouth of the open sea, there are three ships on the horizon one of them is on fire. Black plumes of smoke rise from its charring masts like a mountain’s shadow across the dawn. Perhaps those on board are tossing their lean prayers to the wind like holy matchsticks before thrusting their bodies overboard into the furiously silent ocean. Perhaps several hundred miles away a girl brushes a lock of hair from her eyes as she regards the indolent waters. Perhaps she turns, slowly making her way back to a house where the windows are always broken, away from a blackening horizon, towards the hurt of a dawn through a curtain. These are The Early Widows.

Justin Rutledge returns with The Early Widows, a stoic collection of songs that rehabilitate the heart and illuminate the dark. Produced with intense fragility by Hawksley Workman, Rutledge’s fourth album is an arrestingly moving and lyrically meticulous piece of art penned by one of the most progressive songwriters at work today. Shouldering an electric guitar instead of his trademark acoustic, Rutledge infuses the new material with a newfound conviction and drive. The Early Widows also includes songs co-written with literary giant Michael Ondaatje, and award-winning songwriter Darrell Scott from Nashville.

Each song is like an undisturbed room in which a wounded echo reclines. “Be A Man” is a mantra sung by a mirthless poet at an AA meeting; the rallying drum cry which begins “The Heart of A River” calls for metropolitan migration; the weathered, blustery scrub of “Snowmen” responds with a longing for spiritual hibernation, with a refrain that escapes the shadows of condo towers. Like the birth of a dawn through a curtain, The Early Widows is a study in light and shadow, with words that move like a pilgrimage towards one’s ear. The Early Widows was recorded live utilizing two drummers, Gary Craig and Blake Manning, with Bazil Donovan (Blue Rodeo) on bass, Burke Carroll on pedal steel, David Baxter on electric guitar, and Jesse Zubot on violins. In addition to this stunning ensemble of musicians, the album features the soaring and explosive voices of gospel choir, The Faith Choral.

Signed to Six Shooter Records, Justin Rutledge’s albums garner impressive amounts of critical acclaim. Between his debut, No Never Alone (2005), his sophomore release, The Devil On A Bench In Stanley Park (2006) and third album, Man Descending (2008), Rutledge has earned a Juno nomination, a Galaxy Rising Star award, countless year-end critics’ picks, the title of Toronto’s Best Local Songwriter (NOW Magazine), a spot on the 2008 Polaris Prize Long List and a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination. Justin has shared the stage with artists such as Blue Rodeo, Dolly Parton, Martha Wainwright and Great Lake Swimmers.

The best way to tell any story is to live it. Canadian singer and songwriter Joshua Hyslop has certainly done that. Since 2013, he’s actually played over 50 intimate “House Shows.” You read that right—he literally performs in a fan’s living room for a crowd of their friends and family. However, it’s more than that. After finishing the set, he doesn’t immediately pack up his gear and hit the next town.

Joshua would break bread with these families across the country and often end up staying awake late into the night talking about life, loss, love, and everything in between. These revealing conversations awakened something inside of him. He felt he was being given a unique opportunity to truly open up to these people and to share his own thoughts, fears, and doubts. It helped to serve as the catalyst for his second full-length album, In Deepest Blue [Nettwerk]. In an age when we’re become more isolated than ever, he connected in the most old-fashioned way possible. The artist really committed to this idea of living among the people, and it changed him.

“We’re raised to be afraid of strangers,” he says. “More and more, I’ve found that many people are just inherently good and kind. I’ve had the pleasure of playing for some of the nicest and most hospitable families around the country. I’d show up, we’d have dinner, I’d perform the concert, and sometimes we’d end up talking almost all night. After breakfast the next day, I’d say goodbye and drive to the next families house. Some of the conversations I got to have had an impact on me, and it would bleed into the songs. Through these tours, I’ve realized that, ‘Yes, times can be hard, but everybody has felt that way. Everybody’s got their stuff. I’m not alone in that.”

That catharsis drives In Deepest Blue. His empathy expanded, and he channeled those feelings into the writing process. However, he also wanted to continually challenge himself by breaking a personal tradition and writing in Nashville instead of his native Canada.

“In some ways, going to Nashville and writing with other people was similar to me doing the house shows,” he explains. “When you meet someone for the first time, it’s much easier to be open—because you don’t have to worry about the history of the relationship. You can simply be who you are. At the same time, the work ethic in Nashville was incredible. They don’t stop. We’d go from one song to the next without a break.”

Finished back home in Canada, In Deepest Blue reflects every facet of Joshua. First single and album opener “The Flood” starts with a soft mandolin strum and rustic acoustic guitar that seamlessly complements his breathy delivery. Written in one nine-and-a-half hour sitting, he utilizes the entrancing opener to tell a rather timeless tale.

“It’s loosely inspired by the biblical story of The Return of the Prodigal Son,” he explains. “There’s this idea of really messing up, feeling bad about the mistakes you’ve made, and hoping you can be forgiven. Underneath it all what unites everybody is that hope. More specifically, it’s hope in humanity, forgiveness, and love. It’s the blood we all share. I think it’s something everybody can identify with.””Let It Go,” penned with Michael Logen during a Nashville trip, pairs a soft violin and finger-picked acoustic with a soaring refrain.

“I often feel like I don’t have a well of security to draw from,” he sighs. “I can be quite neurotic which gets me worrying about everything from mortality to how I could be a better person. Sometimes, you just need to let all of that stress go, wash your hands of it, accept that it’s there, and hope that maybe it will lead to some deeper revelation.”

With its countrified pounce and spirited hook, “Living & Dying” examines the changing climate both figuratively and literally, while “Gone” is a soulful rumination on existence.

He says, “I love my job, but it can be pretty lonely. With so much time alone I start thinking about things. I don’t know if there’s an afterlife, or what that looks like, so it’s sort of an urge to live in the moment. You only get however many years you’re going to get, it would be a shame to waste them.”

Since first emerging with his 2012 full-length Where The Mountain Meets The Valley, he’s garnered praise from the likes of The Daily News, Vancouver Sun, !earshot, and more. He has also has carved out an impressive diehard fan base, willing to consistently invite him into their homes to perform. It’s because he always imparts an honest part of himself on the audience with every song and show.

“I want people to listen to In Deepest Blue from beginning to end,” he leaves off. “If they do engage with it, I think optimism will be the one thing they’ll feel. Whatever that looks like. I think they’ll find their own personal meaning though. Beyond all the chaos, you find the Deepest Blue. It’s the calmness we all have. It’s the hope inside.”

KROY • Oct 26

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KROY
Mercredi 26 Octobre 2016 • 20h30 (portes à 19h) 
Mills Hardware (95 rue King Est, Hamilton)
Billets à l’avance 12$ (+frais de service); 15$ à la porte
>> Achetez Des Billets Ici <<

Certaines vies peuvent être chamboulées par un talent rarissime. Découverte sur la scène musicale québécoise grâce à ses choeurs sur des albums de David Giguère et Jason Bajada, Camille Poliquin prouve qu’elle est davantage qu’une simple voix lorsqu’elle compose ses premières chansons sous le pseudonyme de KROY en 2012. Rapidement, son adolescence atypique vécue dans un monde d’adultes marque son sens de l’écriture dominé par des histoires d’amour impossibles. Ces récits sombres d’abords inventés de toutes pièces, mais dont la fatalité se matérialise au fil des ans, plongent l’auteure-compositrice-interprète dans un spleen créatif inspirant. Quatre chansons sont lancées sur Bandcamp en 2014. On remarque vite son timbre de voix cristallin, une voix reconnaissable entre mille, envoûtante et sibylline. KROY est alors qualifiée de « prochaine sensation indie pop montréalaise » par le magazine spécialisé Voir. Elle se produit en première partie de Coeur de pirate, AaRon et s’illustre sur plusieurs scènes au Québec, en Europe et aux États-Unis. Puis vient une rencontre déterminante. Avec Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, Camille fonde le duo électro-minimaliste Milk & Bone qui attire rapidement l’attention au Québec et à l’international, où des magazines comme Vice et Libération vantent la pop atmosphérique du premier album du groupe, Little Mourning. Entre les tournées de Milk & Bone, Camille poursuit son travail solo influencé par les ambiances planantes du trip-hop (Goldfrapp, Portishead) et l’ingéniosité de la pop moderne (Vampire Weekend, Youth Lagoon). «Artiste à surveiller cet année» selon Noisey, KROY lancer son premier album complet le 23 septembre prochain. Un disque plus éclectique, personnel et témoin de la quête pop foisonnante dans laquelle la musicienne s’est lancée. Le premier extrait de l’album, la pièce River, offre un aperçu du paysage sonore de KROY, un univers captivant dominé par les rythmes électro hypnotiques et la richesse des synthétiseurs analogues.

KROY
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 • Doors 7:00pm, show 8:30pm 
Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Tickets: $12 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door
>> Buy Tickets Here << 

Extraordinary talent can sometimes lead to an extraordinary life. Camille Poliquin was discovered on the Quebec music scene when she sang backing vocals on David Giguère and Jason Bajada’s albums. In 2012, she proved she had much more to offer than a pretty voice when she wrote her first songs under the alias of KROY. Her atypical adolescence, spent surrounded by adults, quickly carried over into her songwriting, which is dominated by stories of impossible love. Though these sombre tales were initially fabricated, many of them materialized in Camille’s life over the years, throwing the singer-songwriter into a state of inspired melancholy. Four songs were released on Bandcamp in 2014, and she soon gained attention for her spellbinding voice, with its distinctive, crystal-clear tone. KROY was then dubbed the “next Montreal indie pop sensation” by cultural magazine Voir. She opened for Coeur de pirate and AaRon, in addition to performing on various stages in Quebec, Europe, and the United States. Then came an encounter that would really change the course of things. Camille met Laurence Lafond-Beaulne, with whom she formed Milk & Bone, a minimalist electro outfit that rapidly made a name for itself in Quebec and abroad. Magazines such as Vice and Libération praised the atmospheric pop of the duo’s first album, Little Mourning. Between Milk & Bone tours, Camille carries on her solo work influenced by spacey trip-hop (Goldfrapp, Portishead) and inventive modern pop (Vampire Weekend, Youth Lagoon). An “Artist to watch in 2016” according to Noisey, KROY released her first full-length album, Scavenger, on September 23 via Dare To Care Records. The recording proves to be more eclectic and personal than Camille’s previous work, reflecting her bold and brilliant pop explorations. The first track off the album, “River,” offers a glimpse of KROY’s musical landscape, a captivating universe where hypnotic electro grooves meet the rich sounds of analog synthesizers.

Andy Shauf w/Chris Cohen • Nov 23

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ANDY SHAUF with CHRIS COHEN 
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 8:30pm • 19+
Tickets: $15.00 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door
>> Buy Tickets Here << 

Known for honest, self-reflective songs as well as captivating lyrical works of fiction and an intimate live show, Andy Shauf is quickly becoming one of the most intriguing emerging songwriters. The Bearer of Bad News explores themes of uncertainty, curiosity and spirituality. The unsettling stories told on The Bearer of Bad News came as Shauf wrote both at home and on the road. Musically, the record took shape in his modest home studio in Regina, Canada, where Shauf spent four years recording each song himself. Bearer is 11 songs built from the sounds of a weathered piano, the warm tone of his guitar’s aged strings, and a clarinet. At the heart is Andy’s one-of-a-kind voice and dark, literate storytelling.

Sometimes as a leader, sometimes as a sideman and collaborator; sometimes as an invisible musician but you’ve heard him: the chest-high bass drum thump, the tightly paired flight of guitars in odd harmony, the disorienting shift in time and texture that resolves itself into song. Chris Cohen has plied the inside and outside folds of pop musical possibility since at least 1978, when he first set infant drumstick to skin at the tender age of three, initiating decades of sonic experimentation across multiple bands and nearly a dozen recordings.

Jon Fine in conversation w/Stuart Berman • Sept 18

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JON FINE in conversation with STUART BERMAN
Sunday September 18, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 6:00pm, Talk 7:00pm 

FREE ADMISSION • BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

“Jon Fine has done something miraculous: he managed to drag me through a time in my life that I hated and made me actually miss it. Both a hilarious personal memoir and an obsessive guide to that weird moment in underground music before the great tsunami of the Internet changed everything forever, Your Band Sucks reminds you that one self-confessed rock-nerd’s journey through rejection, triumph, and cheap motels is as universal as any well-told story.” — James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem

Join Jon Fine — guitarist for ’80s American underground rock heroes Bitch Magnet, and now an award-winning journalist — as he discusses his recent memoir, Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution* (*But Can No Longer Hear) with Pitchfork writer Stuart Berman.

Jon Fine spent nearly 30 years performing and recording with bands that played aggressive and challenging underground rock music, and, as he writes, at no point were any of those bands “ever threatened, even distantly, by actual fame.” Yet when the members of his 1980s post-hardcore band Bitch Magnet came together for an unlikely reunion tour in 2011, diehard fans traveled from far and wide to attend their shows, despite creeping middle-age obligations of parenthood and 9-to-5 jobs.

Their devotion was testament to the remarkable staying power of indie culture. In indie rock’s pre-Internet glory days, bands like Bitch Magnet, Black Flag, Mission of Burma, and Sonic Youth—operating far outside commercial radio and major label promotion—attracted fans through word of mouth, college DJs, record stores, and zines. They found glory in all-night recording sessions, shoestring van tours, and endless appearances in grimy clubs. Some bands with a foot in this scene, like REM and Nirvana, eventually attained mainstream success. Many others, like Bitch Magnet, were beloved only by the most obsessed fans of the time.

Your Band Sucks is an insider’s look at that fascinating, outrageous culture—how it emerged and evolved, how it grappled with the mainstream and vice versa, and its odd rebirth in recent years as countless bands reunited, briefly and bittersweetly. With backstage access to many key characters on the scene—and plenty of wit and sharply worded opinion—Fine delivers a memoir that affectionately yet critically portrays an important, heady moment in music history.

 

Praise for Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution* (*But Can No Longer Hear):

“[E]verything a cult-fave musician’s memoir should be: It’s a seductively readable book that requires no previous knowledge of the author, Bitch Magnet or any other band with which he’s played.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“For those of us who loved and lived indie rock in the 1990s, we were never sure if our alienation meant we were part of a revolution or just making the best of a chronic condition. Jon Fine captures what it meant to find a home in the margins — the dark humor, instant camaraderie, and strange hope of loud music, grimy road trips, bad food and worse booze. And then what it’s like, decades later, to find yourself a tourist in the same places, grown up but still maturing.” — Ana Marie Cox, Chief Political Correspondent, MTV News, author of Dog Days

“Fine can write, and because he doesn’t mind making himself look like a jerk, he summons up all the idealism and the cluelessness, the talent and the posturing, that went with the territory . . . Indie was, as Fine puts it, a ‘culture that unorphaned you,’ and he’s especially good on the haven that post-punk music offered Gen X misfits.” — The Atlantic

Your Band Sucks is a fantastic document of a culture-defining era of rock music. It paints a detailed portrait of the scene before corporations bought music’s soul. A tremendous read.” — Stuart Braithwaite, Mogwai

“The story of the indie rock era has rarely been told as well as it has in Your Band Sucks . . . Written with both anthropological detachment and deep romanticism about the making of music, Fine’s book belongs on the shelf alongside Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life.” —Salon

“Like Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, but for would-be rock stars who live like train hobos and perform for dozens of fans a night.” — Men’s Health

“More striking than Fine’s clever words is his incisive commentary, which examines everything we’ve come to know about music in the digital age, from cyber communities to music streaming services to major record labels.” — Esquire.com

Your Band Sucks is a beautiful, balls-out, hilarious, rich memoir about one guitarist’s epic immersion in the world of indie music—but it’s also the story of an entire generation and time. Has anyone ever written a better book about indie music? I don’t think so.” —Kate Christensen, author of PEN/Faulkner award-winning novel The Great Man and Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites

“By telling his own story, warts, bruises, drug-induced facial tics, and all, [Fine] has recaptured a time when music felt, for many well-educated, middle-class kids now having achieved a certain age, like something much more important than mere entertainment.” —The Boston Globe

“‪I never attended a Bitch Magnet concert, so I can’t speak to whether the band sucked. But this book is a funny, thoughtful, frank, whip-smart and moving chronicle of being a particular kind of young at a particular time in America. It definitely doesn’t suck‬.” ‬‬ —Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360, author of True Believers

“If you want to know how indie rock rolled in the forlorn and scorned mid ’80s and early ’90s, you won’t find a more vividly rendered, incisive, and self-deprecatingly humorous portrayal of it than Jon Fine’s Your Band Sucks.” —The Stranger

“Exhilarating. Like a song that appears out of nowhere to exactly fill a hole in your life that was never apparent, Your Band Sucks makes vividly real the ingredients that went into ‘80’s indie rock. With a cultural critic’s reach and an insider’s self-critical insights, Jon Fine has produced the definitively anthropological “why” thousands of bands like his existed and what the accomplished.” —Ira Robbins, editor and publisher, Trouser Press

Paint w/Of Gentlemen & Cowards, Eleven North • Sept 16

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PAINT w/OF GENTLEMEN AND COWARDS & ELEVEN NORTH
Friday September 16, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 8:00pm 

Tickets: $10.00 (+SC) advance, $12 at the door

Toronto’s Paint has earned their reputation as one of Canada’s hardest-working bands. Their new live album and concert film literally puts on display their “visual and aural assault on the senses”

Of Gentlemen and Cowards is a Hamilton-based band established in late 2010. Formed during their freshman year at McMaster University, the young band is a quartet who effortlessly weaves delectable choruses and audience-arresting groove into a sound uniquely their own.  Since releasing their demo EP Threads in early 2011, Of Gentlemen and Cowards have shared the stage with the likes of other Canadian groups such as The Reason, Hey Ocean, The Midway State, and the Arkells and along with the “Warminster” release are planning a early 2013 release for their upcoming “Little Cracks, Little Light 7″. The band famously appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman in promotion with the film We Made This Movie, in which their song “Save Me” was selected for inclusion in the official soundtrack. A blend of singable catchy guitar-pop and old fashioned rock n roll. Their tight vocal harmonies, catchy melodies, and foot tapping hooks are reminiscent of their parents’ record collections. These self-proclaimed music nerds create pop music with an old school twist that appeals to a younger generation.

Eleven North is an alt-rock indie folk four-piece band incorporating diverse elements into their music.

http://www.elevennorthofficial.com/

 

Jocelyn Alice • Sept 2

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JOCELYN ALICE w/guests TBA
Friday September 2, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 8:00pm 
Tickets: $20.00 (+SC) advance, $25 at the door

 

Jocelyn Alice is a Canadian singer and songwriter with a fiercely powerful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and magnetic style influenced by her favourites such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Lorde. She is known for her flawless vocal control and extraordinary range of diverse pitches. Jocelyn’s debut single as a solo artist, the summer hit “Jackpot” was certified Gold in Canada in early August 2015 and reached the top 15 on multiple Canadian commercial radio charts (including #13 Billboard Hot AC, #12 Billboard All-Format Airplay, #14 Billboard CHR/Top 40, and #13 Billboard AC). “Jackpot” also reached #12 on the Shazam Canada Top 100, #13 on the iTunes Canada Top 200 Pop Songs chart, and additional Billboard Canada chart peaks of #16 on Hot 100 Airplay and #38 on the Canadian Hot 100. Jackpot indeed!

 

Prior to her solo career, Jocelyn and bassist Lisa Jacobs performed in the indie soul pop duo jocelyn & lisa (a unique sound-blend of pop, soul, reggae, and funk). Within their first two years they played nearly 300 shows (including NXNE and BreakOut West) and released an EP that charted #2 on CJSW. The duo was featured in the documentary Crave, by LA filmmaker and best-selling novelist Erwin McManus, as well as in a Destination Calgary television commercial promoting Calgary internationally. Their single “Open Wide”, off their 2012 album Weary Warrior, was featured in the documentary 1,000 Days by award-winning director Jeth Weinrich, as well as the TV show Degrassi. Jocelyn has co-written music featured in the hit TV shows One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars, the movie Dear Santa, a television commercial in Canada for Shaw TV, and a USA nationwide television commercial for Target. The cover single “So Groovy”, recorded by Jocelyn and Right The Stars for Target, has sold over 40,000 downloads and charted at #2 on iTunes US’s Singer/Songwriter chart.

Jocelyn is currently writing and recording and will be releasing new solo material soon.

Max Wray w/Mandippal • Aug 12

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MAX WRAY CD Release Party w/Mandippal
Friday, August 12, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 8:30pm • 19+
Tickets: $8.00 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door
>> Buy Tickets Here << 

Meet Max Wray.

“I come from a home that never knew what it had to offer, but still offered itself just the same.

Music was never discussed at length. It just was. It was the soundtrack, the heartbeat that connected each moment seamlessly to the next. From the moment I asked, “what’s jazz?” at the age of three to this very moment as I sit here writing, music has been the end all and be all of my understanding. Navigating a course of music lessons as a child, through all different instruments, I eventually found my own voice and a love of playing the guitar.

Along the way, the shy youngest boy, of a musically appreciative yet musically inept family, discovered a joy in performing. Taking a cue from songwriters and stand-ups I found a way to connect with an audience through both my music and my sense of humour. The songs of Lyle Lovett, Bill Withers, Gil Scott-Heron, Jason Mraz, John Mayer and even Irving Berlin, helped me find a line I still walk today as I navigate my career. Their songs of the heart have always been the ones that I connected with. The breaking of, the mistaking of, discovery, and recovery of the heart, have always been intrepid in my songwriting.

Now, as I write myself, the words work their own way, I only try to craft them as they pass and hope that one day I’ll have the same connection to others that the ones who molded me had.”