TOP 20 OF 2011 – #20

So – I haven’t posted on here in a while. I’ve been very busy over at True North Records and Linus Entertainment, where I’ll remain on contract to the labels for a little while longer. I’m loving my time over there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drop me a line. Though I won’t be working any more freelance projects for a while, if you think I might dig your music, or it might be a good fit for True North or Linus, please get in touch!

That said, 2011 has been a wonderful year for music and I can’t help but share my top picks for the best 20 songs of the year. Coming in at #20, in a very arbitrary order that changes as often as I change my hair colour, is James Vincent McMorrow’s “Hear The Sound That Moves So Soft and Slow.” Basically, Early In The Morning is one of my favourite records — as a whole. It doesn’t have any one song that particularly stands out from another. They’re all very, very good. James Vincent McMorrow’s voice is so entirely ethereal that you can’t help but be whisked away on a soft, warm cloud of sound. I know. Lame. But I swear it’s true. It’s truly a case of “he could sing me the phone book and it would be beautiful.” Personally, I just happen to like “Hear The Sound…” the best. I’m not sure why. I’ve always been more of a melody than lyrics person, so I think the pretty, simple, melancholic melody just sucks me in and makes me want more. It was also my first introduction to James Vincent McMorrow, after my favourite Music Director suggested him to me.

Check out the video below, filmed by one my favourite live video series, Wood & Wires.

Also – I should mention I had some very serious honorable mentions. In process of elimination, they didn’t make the cut.

Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

– Yes, I realize this record came out last year. It’s a 2011 single though and that counts. I will, for the rest of time, dance around in my underwear around my room to this song.

Cannon Bros – Out of Here

– I seriously love this song. This Winnipeg duo remind me of the indie rock I missed out on because I listened to the radio too much in high school. It’s just fucking cool. It’s simple, but with an undeniably catchy, infectious hook. It really is one of my favourite songs this year and I can’t wait to watch this band grow.

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Two Lovers

– I think I have a penchant for simple, pretty songs. This is one of those.

The Ettes – Excuse

– I love kick-ass female fronted rock and roll bands. Especially when they play some mean, dirty guitars and thumping drums. More women need to play kick-ass rock and roll like this.

Dawes – A Little Bit Of Everything

– Taylor Goldsmith is probably the one of the best songwriters to come out of the last 5 years. His songwriting sensibilities are so timeless. This track didn’t make the cut because I think the Middle Brother album is better than Dawes’ release, but this song is so intense, I probably should have found room for it on the list. He’s also one of the best guitar players and most intense performers I’ve ever seen live. So genuine and believable.

ALRIGHT. I’m sure I could go on. Must. Stop. Making. Top. 20. List. It. Started. Out. As. A. Top. 10.

See you tomorrow.


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If you’ve been wondering what Rock Me Joe Publicity’s been up to lately…

Rock Me Joe Publicity has some news! Since August 1 we’ve been working with True North Records and Linus Entertainment. Rock Me Joe Publicity isn’t on hold, however; we’re just covering a maternity leave and will be handling publicity for the label until its wonderful publicist returns. Please continue to send along your demos and inquiries! We’ll be looking for new projects just around the corner!

I’ll continue to update my blog, so please come back!

Peace and love.


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Press Release: Rattlesnake Choir Announce Final Residency Performance at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern

(TORONTO – June 10, 2011) For Toronto’s alt-country fans, Monday nights will never be the same. The Rattlesnake Choir is set to play the last of its long-standing weekly residency gigs at The Dakota Tavern on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 10 p.m..


With the release of the band’s new album, Walkin’ The Wire, Rattlesnake Choir look forward to playing more shows at new venues, bringing its swingin’ alt-country to new crowds. Having played The Dakota’s Monday night slot for as long as most can remember, Rattlesnake Choir have been an integral part of Toronto’s vibrant roots and country music scene.


The band released their latest effort, Walkin’ The Wire, on April 26 and celebrated the album’s release to a packed house at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern. Sticking to their traditional roots, Walkin’ The Wire (Cousin Jeb Records) was recorded live off the floor to tape in an analogue studio. As a live band first and foremost, capturing that “live off the floor” essence for the recording was paramount.


The Rattlesnake Choir are John Borra, Sam Ferrara, Tony Benattar, Miranda Mulholland and Michael Boguski. The band’s collective back pages read like a who’s who of Canadian music: The Ugly, A Neon Rome, Viletones, Change Of Heart, The Mahones, Groovy Religion, Blue Rodeo, Ron Sexsmith, Luther Wright, The Cash Brothers, Serena Ryder, The Cameron Family Singers, The Beauties and more. Their experience in punk, rock and country, coupled with their unique ability to capture the nostalgia of early country and western music, has created a distinct and unique sound, helping to shape and influence Toronto’s local music scene since coming together in 2006.


For more information, please visit

For the band’s biography and hi-res photo, please visit




For more information, please contact:

Meghan Gamble


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NXNE 2011

NXNE 2011 is upon us and Graydon James & the Young Novelists and Chris Velan have a number of shows for you to check out! Make sure you pop by at least one!

Chris Velan

Lee’s Palace: Thursday, June 16 at 9 PM

The Painted Lady: Friday, June 17 at 10 PM

Dakota Tavern: Saturday, June 18 at 8 PM

Graydon James & the Young Novelists

Union Station: Wednesday, June 15 at 6 PM (Parks & Airports Series)

Bread & Circus: Saturday, June 18 at 1 AM

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Christina Maria in Toro Magazine

Christina Maria was in Toronto last week to play The Cameron House in celebration of her new EP, Tide You Over. She spoke with Jesse Skinner of Toro Magazine while she was in town. You can read the interview here.

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Rattlesnake Choir’s Walkin’ The Wire Reviewed by Now Magazine

According to Now, “Dakota regulars are lucky to have these local veterans in their corner.” Read the full review here.

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Rattlesnake Choir Perform on Aux Weekly Live

Check out their amazing track, “It Wouldn’t Mean a Thing,” here:

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