A Guy Walks Into a Music Store…

Townsend Labs Sphere L22 FrontNo, the title is not a setup to a joke. While picking up an accessory this past week at the Long and McQuade Pro location, an nice man overheard me asking the staff about purchasing the Sennheiser MK4 I am currently renting. Turns out Dave Dysart represents an intriguingly clever microphone line from a company called Townsend Labs out of California. He gave me a run down on the mic and related software and how it functions. There is a great review of it at the Sound On Sound site, and after the talk and the read, the Townsend Lab Sphere L22 is definitely on my wish list for the ManCave Studio.

After chatting about mics for a while, other tangential discussions revealed that we knew quite a few people in common, which I won’t name drop at this time. It also interestingly turned out Dave plays with the band UIC, a punk and garage rock band from Exeter, Ontario, formed in June 1982. 

Photo from the Exeter Lakeshore Times-Advance

The band played locally, then made the move to Toronto in 1984. They found acclaim in the city’s indie scene, playing with other garage faves like The Gruesomes, and Deja Voodoo, and opening for acts like Teenage Head, The Dead Milkmen and The Goo Goo Dolls. U.I.C.’s first recording, Our Garage, was released in 1986. Followed a number of cross-Canada tours and a second album Live Like Ninety, featuring a live set at Lee’s Palace late in 1988. After a number of personal changes, the band broke up in 1995, only to recently reform with Dave now taking up guitar duties and Andy Hauber playing bass. Band biography here. Take a look/listen to this recording of the band live! UIC are playing The Horseshoe Tavern on March 23, 2019.

And speaking of live, Félix & the Cats will be playing its first 2019 show at the Linsmore Tavern on Tuesday January 22, with the gritty and real Ryan Schmidt opening and a cool new band (to me) called Level Ground (formerly known as Shank Street Social) headlining. Much more on these fine performers in next week’s blog.

Until then, be well!

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I’m Lichen It!

This is not a slogan for a fast food chain moss and lichen burger.

But like the aforementioned symbiotic organism, it’s about mutualism, a topic well explained in this award winning blog by the lovely and talented Mrs. Félix.

A mutualistic relationship is when two species cooperate for mutual benefit. So what’s my point you ask?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that the topic of access to shows and artist compensation has come up before. This week, a post on Facebook that I shared brought the subject up again.

From the comments received, and other posts I’ve read, it appears some musicians have had disappointing club gigs and feelings towards clubs that are to say the least ambivalent. Everyone’s experience will vary of course.

Clearly the relationship between musicians and clubs is mutualistic where both have to win for the “organism” to thrive. Without clubs, musicians would have far fewer places to perform, and without musicians, clubs would have far less to feature on their stages. And for both, there are easier ways to make money, so never doubt that it’s being done for the love of music.

The win-win connection goes beyond musician-club, and in fact 3-sided, as the audience benefits from entertainment, ultimately (and hopefully) paying for the music AND (usually) the food, drinks and service at clubs.

It makes sense to let the patrons know of the terms under which musicians are performing (they may be sympathetic but are not telepathic) and kindly encourage them to contribute something back to the relationship.

After all, it’s simply mutual respect.