Young Heart Music Launch Party
The rumours of Saint Alvia’s demise have not been overstated. It seems after eight years, three albums and a wealth of touring, individual band members are focusing on outside projects.
“It’s not like we hate each other and we’re breaking up, we’re just finding it too hard to function right now so we’re going to say goodbye this December at a special show at Burly Calling,” explains Rispin. “People have different priorities, babies, life catches up. We have a lot of wonderful people that work for our band that keep presenting us with opportunities and we have to keep turning them down so more than anything we just want to stop wasting these wonderful people’s time.”
As well as vocalist for Saint Alvia and the Video Dead, Rispin has long been one of the primaries behind his bands’ videos, the driving force behind the now annual Burly Calling music festival, a graphic novelist and even an auctioneer in the making. But this weekend, Rispin and Bombing Neverland’s John Fielding officially debut their newest project, the Young Heart Music label.
“Me and John have enjoyed working together for quite some time,” reasons Rispin. “We want to be a company that helps promote, brand and put out records. We’ve been laying low for a while until we had the right amount of time and the right amount of clout to really go hard with it and so we’re offering an official launch party this weekend.
Young Heart Music is a self-described boutique management, record label, music production, concert promotion, and licensing company run by musicians for musicians. With Fielding producing the Penske File’s latest offering, Toronto’s Partycat is the latest signing to Young Heart and will be a feature at this weekend’s official launch party.
“I think there are a lot of talented bands and we have the connections and means to help point them in the right direction,” offers Rispin. “We’ve done it for over 20 years and this isn’t a money making endeavour for us; we just love music and we want to help put out records and make music happening. I want to see good music succeed and that’s the only goal.
“We have to really like the band and they have to be willing to work really hard — that’s the formula we’re working with,” notes Rispin on their choice of artists. “We’re already looking at a lot of different acts. We both have eclectic tastes and are working on things by the project right now. We might work with a tech-metal band for four months and then a shoegaze band for the next four. We’re not looking for any specific genre or any specific look, we just want honest, good music and that’s who we care to work with. If we end up being a stepping stone to something bigger, we’re fine with that, we just want to give back to a music community that has given so much to us.”
The Young Heart Music Launch Party happens this Friday August 16 at Club Absinthe with Partycat, Bombing Neverland, Kingsland, Poacher, the Real Babe Ruthless and DJs from the Penske File, Dirty Jeans and more. Doors for the licensed/ all ages event open at 8pm and $10 gets you in. Click on youngheartmusicofficial.com
A Mid Summers Dream
Taking inspiration from a Hindu spring festival of colours, event organizer Matt Gowland has fashioned an outdoor party that is definitely out of the ordinary.
“For years, I always wanted to do some kind of music festival or concert,” explains Gowland. “I wanted to do something completely new and different, something that’s fun, innocent and beautiful. It is something that everybody can enjoy, tell a story about, have the time of their lives at and appreciate other people’s cultures. I first learned about Holi last year, I saw a video on Vimeo.com of Holi where people were throwing colour in slow motion, as soon as I saw it, I probably watched it a dozen times, and just said to myself, I’m going to do that here. I think it has become popular with other communities and people because of the colour aspect, it is quite simply beautiful, and throwing colour around provides an immense happiness. I wanted to achieve a festival that was inclusive, a festival that would have people experience a side of themselves that is forgotten, and to celebrate the diversity of the city. A lot of people came away from this festival saying it was the best thing they had been to all summer, and that made me feel really good so, it’s more a celebration of the human journey, of accepting one another of everything that they are. I want it to be a massive force for good.
“It’s definitely a grass roots festival,” adds Gowland. “I do have sponsors, and this festival wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support and belief from the Green Smoothie Bar, Earthbound Organic Food Market, the City of Hamilton, and believe it or not my friends. A few of my friends were major financial supporters, they gave without expecting anything in return, just because they believed in the movement, and that has just been amazing. People do pay for the colours, eventually I would like to start making money from the festival, because A Mid Summers Dream is more than a full time job, it consumes my life for 4 months, I pretty much work for 4 months for nothing as of right now. I am in it for the long term though, so it doesn’t bother me too much.”
Powdered paints are two for $5.00 or $3.00 a pack and your admission to the event is a non-perishable food item. The messy coloured cornstarch aspect of the paint attracts hundreds with a joyous youthful abandonment but onlookers can simply enjoy the euphoric technicolour spectacle from a distance – and there’s a throng of music to enjoy as well. With upwards of 500 people attending last year and 800 pounds of food raised for charity, Gowland hopes for even greater numbers.
“I chose the music that I think would be a great fit to the personality of the festival,” notes Gowland. “Beautiful, uplifting and different, all of them are pure heart and soul, and I love that about each and every one of them. If I can hear their soul in their music, I want them to play. It’s not my goal to put on the top 40 songs; there are enough festivals like that. I’m looking for something much deeper in the musicians I want.
“I read once that the way to enlightenment is to serve people and feed people, and I don’t think that this festival would be complete without it,” adds Gowland. “The food banks have fallen on tough times and hit exceptionally hard, there have been a couple times in my life while travelling that I have been stranded without food, and if it wasn’t for the kindness of others feeding me, I wouldn’t have been able to eat so I guess this is a massive pay it forward. This year all food donations will be going to the Good Shepherd, and I hope to at least raise double than what I did last year.
“The greatest thing about last year was that people came out, had an open mind, and we raised hundreds of pounds of food,” concludes Gowland. “I was overwhelmed with emotion the next day. I’m really looking forward to this years musicians, I am so stoked for all of them, but what I think will be really great, is to see all the people throwing colour, and even more people feeling and enjoying the vibe of this festival.”
A Mid Summers Dream happens this Saturday August 17 from 2pm to 10pm in Gage Park with Weekend Riot Club, Jetpacks to Jupiter, The Ohnia Kara Drummers, Hachey The MouthPEACE, Neeraj Prem, Basking Shark, Panama Red, The Rhythm Church, Cydewalk Cyphers, and the Monarch Project. Click on createjoyfund.com
Voices for Habitat Charity Concert
A special charity concert has been assembled by Grant Avenue Studio owner Bob Doidge and folks like Paul de Courcy, Manager of Development and Communications for Habitat Hamilton.
“Habitat for Hamilton works with the community — we build homes and sell them to our partner families,” offers de Courcy. “It’s affordable housing and our target group is specifically families that have at least one child under thirteen. They are safe and affordable, not very extravagant at all, the big difference is, the house is at market value, we are the bank, we hold the mortgage and our interest rate is set at zero percent. We set the payment levels such that money is freed up so that they can raise their families at a standard that they may not have had before.
“Fundraising is ongoing, whenever we’re doing a build but one of the fortunate things about our organizations is we only accept funds for the building of a home,” adds de Courcy. “As far as operations, we have a Restore which is supported by other corporate partners, we sell items that have been donated, usually from the home renovations, home improvement line. But Bob Doidge — this is his way of being involved in the community. His strength is creating great music as a recording engineer, while he is handy man he’s never been involved with Habitat before and he thought why not take one skill, put it out into the community and turn it into something that will result in homes being built.”
The Voices for Habitat charity concert will feature a range of musical styles; Doidge will perform alongside folk artist Caroline Wiles and Carter Lancaster, jazz singer/songwriter Chantal Chamberland returns to Hamilton for this event and even comedy abounds with Wendell Ferguson and emcee Mag “Canada’s Tool Girl” Ruffman. Many additional supporting voices will also contribute like William Shatner, Milton born astronaut Chris Hadfield and more.
“They have some pre-recorded messages specifically for the Hamilton audience — we’re holding back some surprises but this event is growing every day,” smiles de Courcy. “We know people will not be disappointed with the show. The excitement among the artists is phenomenal.
“We call it a freewill concert,” adds de Courcy, “meaning there is no price for a ticket, those attending will be given the opportunity to make a tax deductable donation for the Burton Street build. We know to build these three homes it’s going to cost approximately 250 thousand dollars because we have to buy the property as well. We’re going ahead this September and people can help make this happen by coming to this concert.
“There are a lot of people in Hamilton that may have housing but it’s over expensive so they don’t have funds to direct towards their children to give them the opportunities so that they can reach the potential in their lives that a lot of us have been fortunate enough to achieve,” says de Courcy. “Any money we raise will be going directly to the build and will make a big difference in Hamilton.” V
The Voices for Habitat concert happens this Wednesday August 21 at the Dofasco Centre for the Arts with the doors opening at 6:30. Free passes are available as long as they last at http://voicesforhabitat.eventbrite.ca.