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School of Rock

A new partnership between a top promotion company and a premier music technology school is helping artists make that journey a little shorter

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Maximum Music for Film and Television specializes in licensing independent music for use in a variety of media outlets including feature films, television shows, video games, movie trailers, ringtones, compilation CD's, and advertising commercials.

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17 December 2011

School Of Rock

IN the words of classic rockers AC/DC, it's a long way to the top if you want to rock'n'roll.

But now, a North Shore partnership between a top promotion company and a premier music technology school is helping artists make that journey a little shorter, regardless of genre.

A little more than a year ago, Maximum Music Group's Brian Watson agreed to teach some business and marketing courses at the Harbourside Institute of Technology. Maximum can boast literally dozens of awards, and the walls of Watson's office are graced with platinum records from his work with Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz and Smashing Pumpkins, among others.

"I've been in the business for 15 plus years," says Watson, "and I've always been a bit wary of these music schools that advertise 'You could produce the next hit record!' What I do is not rocket science - what they do in the studio is a little different. I went down there and saw the facility. The first thing I noticed was there weren't any awards on the wall even though Tony (Rudner) is an award-winning writer and producer. There was no swag to entice people or brainwash them about the glamour of the music industry. Every student had a computer terminal and the classes weren't any bigger than 12 people."

Watson was impressed by Harbourside's focus and the opportunities students had both to develop their projects using both professional software and a fully equipped recording studio.

"I saw these students coming in and creating music and then leaving and I said 'Wait a minute, we're kind of sitting on a gold mine here. We have the facilities, you have the students who are obviously a bit more serious and I kept hearing these projects, some great stuff.'" Watson recalls.

After chatting with some clients who attended Berklee College of Music in the U.S., Watson approached Rudner about starting a student-run record label, giving students the chance to take their work all the way from idea to market.

"I said 'Look, I have the infrastructure with EMI, we have the marketing stream, you have the talent, young emerging talent. Why don't we offer them, instead of just graduating with a certificate, let them produce and market a record and release and sell it and try to make money off it?'"

The first product was Hit Records' Sessions Vol. 1, a compilation of tracks ranging from rock to R&B to Christian gospel, all recorded, mastered and marketed by Harbourside students. Volume 2 is on its way. Being able to combine the technical and business sides of the industry gives aspiring producers a launchpad that other schools simply can't offer, says Watson.

"Like I said, I was always a bit jaded about these schools. I felt they took students' money, they told them 'You could do the next Nickelback record, here's how' and they concentrated on tips and tricks without letting them implement or actually try anything. You're left with a certificate and hopefully some knowledge. But there wasn't a lot of hands-on experience and you couldn't walk away and say 'I have a portfolio now.' Students at Harbourside can say 'I am a recording artist. I have a record out with Maximum/ EMI.' Well, they probably just mention EMI, but whatever.

That really excites me. We don't just sell a bag of wishes and good luck."

Not satisfied with studio recording, Watson brought the project to the public with Harbourside Nights, a series of live performances, also recorded for release.

"Some students said they're not ready enough to be on Sessions yet, but they also want to showcase. There's recording in studio, using ProTools, but it's a whole different ball of wax when you're trying to record something live. It can be a disaster," Watson laughs.

You can check out the results - Harbourside Nights 2 - at The Eagles Club, 170 West Third Street, at 8 p.m. Dec. 17.

"We wanted to keep it on the North Shore, we wanted to keep it indie, not at a club where you have to pay seven bucks a beer.

We wanted it to be really grassroots. And the students designed the poster and all the social media stuff."

Some of the seven acts aren't products of Harbourside, but are managed by Harbourside alumni, something that is very satisfying to Watson.

"The fact that the students are off and running and we're giving them an avenue to actually do what we're been preaching to them is really exciting, and it's a lot of fun," he says. "No one else is doing this in an indie way, but backed up with all the marketing and distribution channels. They've going to perform live, it'll be recorded, mixed and mastered and released on Hit Records. So it's a full 360-degree experience."

Along the way, students take in the nitty-gritty of the music industry, from songwriting agreements to SOCAN registration to obtaining a UPC for digital release.

In the face of all the gloomy talk about the music industry, says Watson, "I work hard to establish with students that it's the record industry that's hurting, not the music industry. If you look at how people are embracing music in the Cloud way, like with Grooveshark, it's not necessarily a fair share of the pie financially, but music is still being consumed. Illegal activities are on the decline because if we can super-serve, make music flow like water, the more people can use it the way they want to use it. It's up to us to figure out how to monetize the involvement around music, not just touring and merchandise. I'm a big fan of the long tail, especially for emerging artists. Don't just offer an album, offer an EP, offer a single, offer a remix, offer your lyrics on a nice downloadable PDF. The more you offer, the more they buy."

In Watson's eyes, the Harbourside collaboration just keeps spitting out new ideas. "I envision a little mini-Motown down there," he said. "There's so much more we could do."

07 December 2011

Harbourside Nights 2

Be part of an exciting new Artist Showcase & Live Recording Series sponsored by Harbourside IT, HIT Records & Maximum Music/EMI.

25 November 2011

Sons of Granville - A Very Cool Band Worth Watching

We here at Maximum would like to introduce you to the passionate, inspiring, soulful and beautiful sounds of Sons of Granville.  This Vancouver based trio is comprised of Matthew Lennox (Electric & Acoustic 12 String Guitar), Thomas Beckman (Viola) & Jarrett Plett (Drums & Percussion).

Enjoy the track and learn more at

26 October 2011

Announcing Harbourside Nights 2

24 October 2011

Congratulations! Slow Wave Saga, CFOX Band of The Month

21 October 2011

Maximum Management Announces New Emerging Artist & Business Development Services

See what's possible here.
Or contact for more information.

29 September 2011

Mikey Wax debuts #47 Billboard Charts!

We’re thrilled to announce that our favourite singer-songwriter Mikey Wax and his new album Constant Motion have landed at #47 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart! And at #2 Billboard Heatseekers Mid-Atlantic Chart!

The Billboard Heatseekers Chart represents this weeks top-selling albums by new or developing acts!

22 September 2011

Mikey Wax launches brand new album Constant Motion

Acclaimed singer-songwriter and one of our favourites, Mikey Wax launches brand new album Constant Motion. His second full-length release, Mikey recorded Constant Motion with Producer, Warren Huart (The Fray, Kris Allen, James Blunt) and the album has shown all the promise of being a hit by recently breaking into the iTunes Top 10, Singer-Songwriter charts. writes, “Breathy vocals and serene acoustic rhythms will have Mikey Wax’s latest swimming in your dreams”. continues, "these are the kind of pop tunes which will be playing on your local radio station any day now."

16 September 2011

Maximum Free Music Friday :: Ryan McAllister

Welcome to our second offering of Maximum Free Music Fridays, Artist Showcase. As Vancity has seen its first rain in sometime, we thought we'ed run with the theme and introduce you to local singer-songwriter Ryan McAllister and feature the track This Black Heart, one of our favourites from his debut full length Music For A Rainy Town.

Ryan McAllister’s career began as the lead singer/songwriter for Dakona, McAllister runs Five Acres, a professional recording studio in a converted barn a few steps from his home in a sleepy corner of Southwest B.C.

McAllister wrote, produced, recorded and mastered Music for a Rainy Town, an honest, vulnerable and diverse record that covers the genre gamut between southern pop, story-telling folk, and straight-up rock. At times, it is reminiscent of artists like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and John Mayer, but McAllister’s unique vocal stylings set it apart as something all its own.

In an age of 99 cent singles, Music for a Rainy Town is a powerful 12 song album from front to back, with each track showcasing strong, seasoned storytelling, engaging melodies and lyrics steeped in imagery.

“Amazing singer songwriter, one of Canada’s best and is no doubt still one of the country’s brightest yet to be fully discovered and appreciated talents.” Freeway Frank, Virgin Radio Montreal, Former Host of Canadian Top 20

Official Site :: 
Twitter :: @ryanmcallister_

29 July 2011

"The Standard Is High" :: The Province Reviews Sessions Vol. 1

He didn't intend to, but Mike Slater has become a symbol for what Sessions Volume One hoped to accomplish.

Sessions Volume One is a 10 song compilation album issued by the Harbourside recording school, which set up a label, HIT (Harbourside Institute of Technology), to issue it. By the time it comes to make Volume Two, HIT (and Slater) will have first hand experience at writing, recording, manufacturing, distributing and promoting an album. For his part, Slater wrote the three songs that start the record with his band, the heavy Slow Wave Saga and produced them. He was so encouraged by the experience that he's set up his own production company that can be reached at This is exactly what instructor Maximum Music owner Brian Watson and HIT's Tony Rudner hoped. They wanted someone not only who could make music but to understand the business well enough to survive it.

"Since I was 10 or so, I wanted to be involved in music," Slater explains. He'd heard about Harbourside through the son of his mother's ex-boyfriend and was in the middle of developing the band when his opportunity as a student to participate in the sessions presented itself. "We were right at the perfect time."

Like most compilations it varies - from reggae, to christian pop to ambient instrumentals - but the standard is high and there only are 10 tracks which suggests some control was exercised and what went on the album didn't merely fit a theme.

"It's a reflection of the person in the class," Slater acknowledges. With only four or five students in each, the transition from creation to completion was smooth. "It could be more in sync but but then it wouldn't reflect the individual interests of the class."

Watson owns the Juno winning Maximum, which has diversified from jazz to country to Celtic punk to this. He was hired as an instructor but was inspired by what he heard. An idea that became Sessions Volume One started forming. HIT came under the Maximum umbrella, which in turn is distributed by EMI.

Watson likes Harbourside's "no flash attitude."

"The sessions albums are the most commercial things the school does. " he says.

"The reason the record is here is because of this guy here," Watson continues, pointing to Slater. "Mike gave me a song, I went to Tony Rudner and said, 'This is one song; if we dig further we can do this."

By: Tom Harrison

25 July 2011

Dustin Bentall & The Town Pants

Dustin Bentall skippers our very own Town Pants through a fun, raucous set close with a go on Fishermans Blues the night of the June fundraiser. Thanks again Dustin for coming out that night and your support!

22 July 2011

New & Improved Maximum on MySpace

Visit the new and improved Maximum MySpace, featuring new tracks, new artists and album spotlights!

15 July 2011

Sessions Vol. 1 Now On Soundcloud

12 July 2011

"Brash and No Hold Barred" :: San Diego Troubadour reviews The Town Pants

The sound on the disc draws from Appalachian hell-raising country folk music, but with that added taste of Celtish attitude that came to the Pogues in their prime by way of the punk movement. The sound is brash and no holds are barred, but tight...Shore Leave will find a home with any admirer of Celtish folk rock or bands like the Dubliners, Pogues, or their descendents.  (Full review)

The Town Pants now on tour throughout the US!

27 June 2011

Free Music Monday featuring Slow Wave Saga

To celebrate the release of Sessions Vol. 1, Slow Wave Saga together with Hit Records is offering a free download of the single Nefarious.

Nefarious was recorded at the Harbourside Institute of Technology studios in North Vancouver and produced by former student and honours graduate Mike Slater where he worked with heavy-weight team of Mike Rogerson (Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crowe) and Sam Ryan (Nirvana, Soundgarden).

Slow Wave Saga is a Vancouver based three-piece alternative rock/metal act featuring Erik Leonhard (vocals/guitar), Mike Slater (drums), and Mark Slater (bass). The name is a reference to REM-sleep, the stage of sleep in which we humans experience vivid dreams… and nightmares. Indeed, light and dark, dreams and nightmares, these are what characterize the dynamic sounds of Slow Wave Saga.

17 June 2011

Sessions Vol. 1 To Be Released Tuesday, July 21

Sessions Vol. 1 is a compilation of various artists, from pop, indie rock, to reggae and electronic that celebrates the writing, producing and engineering skills of graduates from the Advanced Recording Artist (ARA) program at the Harbourside Institute of Technology and showcases some of the brightest new artists on the scene today.

Sessions Vol. 1 will be available worldwide on iTunes and in stores across Canada on Tuesday, June 21, 2011.

Alan Cross of sits down for a chat with Carmen Townsend.

14 June 2011

Town Pants Fundraiser This Saturday June 18

Tickets available at:
Zulu Records (1972 West 4th Avenue),
Highlife Records (1317 Commercial Drive)
RedCat Records (4332 Main Street)
Eternal Salon (142 West 3rd ave, N.Vancouver, Wed-Sat, 604-649-8540)
and of course The Forum (1163 Granville Street)
$15 Advance
$20 Door

For you out of towners who might like to be there in spirit by making a donation (not matter how big or small) here's a link. 100% of proceeds go towards replacing our equipment that was recently stolen.

09 June 2011

"Go get this album and enjoy it" - Reviews Shore Leave by The Town Pants

Shore Leave is the latest album by the great Vancouver Celtic Rock band The Town Pants.

Shore leave is what happens when sailors put into port and got out to party. This is a party album for sure. Drinking in the Graveyard is, hands down, the best ghost story I’ve ever heard. Death Feels Like Me Today is about a place we can probably all recognize. Songs about hard drinking sailors and actors are joined by a song about their hometown called Rainville, a lovelorn ballad called Angel and a celt rock version of Iron Maiden’s Run for the Hills. Trains Not Taken is based on the short story by Joe R Lansdale.

This album takes you out of your here and now and sends you on your own shore leave. It’s a lot of fun and great music. You’ll be singing along with this one. I really liked every song on this album but the idea of drinking in a graveyard with famous authors, inventors, actors and explorers is such a delicious idea that this one has to be my favorite although Trains Not Taken is a very close second.

You’ve absolutely earned your shore leave. Go get this album and enjoy it!

Joe R Lansdale

03 June 2011

River Rat Indie Track of The Day At

Carmen Townsend: “River Rat”

1 week ago by Adam Morrison | After fifteen years of playing in rock bands in big cities across Canada, Carmen Townsend returned to her hometown of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to nurture her own sound.

Her long-awaited debut album, Waitin’ and Seein’, was produced by Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano and tracked at Carriage House Studios in Connecticut and Soundpark Studios in Cape Breton.

Listen to the album’s opening track, the rollicking “River Rat,” right-click here to download an MP3 of the track, and click here to check out Carmen Townsend’s official site.

05 May 2011

"Incandescent!" - FAME reviews Shore Leave by The Town Pants

Bad Haggis, Tempest, Sliotar, The Pogues, even The Immaculate Fools, and others. The Town Pants fall very nicely in that category and remind strongly of all the aforegoing blent with Horslips, String Driven Thing, and perhaps another ensemble or two.

They meld an Elizabethan Anglo folk feeling into their Irish wont, then infuse a generous rock element for a result that makes you want to dance, shout, drink, laugh, love, and think...but mostly raise a grinning ruckus.

The lads know their instruments well, and Kyle Taylor is a demon on the fiddle, but when everyone kicks into overdrive, which they do many times, the melee turns incandescent. Ah, but here's a kick an' a half fer ya: they cover speed metal gods Iron Maiden'sRun for the Hills in a cloverfield rendition!! Yee-haw, but that there's my kinda eclecticism, Seamus!

Bawdy, ribald, maverick, and as talented as any three other such bands, the Pants have worked through four previous CDs to arrive at this festive, arse shakin', effervescent collection of serially inspiring earthy songs fraught with passion, cynicism, iconoclasm, and, well, you know the Irish: we loves us our liquor we does and thus never forgets the raising of the wrist, y'all.

Trains not Taken has the hip ring of Sniff 'N The Tears as well, polished and urban-hip but underscored with a timeless knowingness that chooses to remain mortal and in the blood of life…but dancing through it all despite. And if you've ever had a night where you woke up and drank 'a hot mug of butter / And spread some coffee on [your] toast', then you know precisely where these lads hail from and have sufficient cause to sing along with them that Death Feels Like Me Today. I've certainly been there and wish I'd'a had this disc for the morning after pick-me-up; I would've been dancing a jig instead of swearing for the 9,458th time that I'd never do that again…just before returning to the scene of the crime and ordering another pint, hoping that The Town Pants would be in again in the evening to heat up the pub on a chill night.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

"A Highly Impressive Debut" - FAME reviews Alchemist by Project

In a highly impressive debut EP, Project immediately establishes itself as a progfusion outfit that needn't ask for entry into that hermetic world, its street cred 100% in order, its talent glaringly evident, and its consummate taste nearly unaccompanied in the current milieu.

A gorgeously orchestral blend of many tastes from everywhere, the 10-person mini-symphonia has created a sound that fuses Romanticism with Glassian meta-serialism and an atmosphere wherein the Berlin pulse shakes hands with Ibizan tropicality.

Anchored by composer and terrenely muscular drummer Mike St-Jean, whom I will predict is going to find himself soon in the forefront of percussionistic regard, Project has woven a glitteringly sensuous fabric of sound that grabs the listener by cerebellum and torso to provoke intellectual hypnosis and somatic seduction. You might, reading that, momentarily think "Oh yeah...Enigma!", but their sound goes well beyond that and into territory earlier marked out by many outfits, now collapsed down into a neoclassicism that embraces its antecedents with affection. True prog has ever been thus.

Think Minimum Vital, think Ozric Tentacles, think Gong, Sebastian Hardy, Alan Parsons, and myriad other outfits, and then project outwards, but also look upon Alchemist as something a very hip contemporary Neville Mariner might have joined, no longer content to just conduct and influence but eager to participate, drawing rich multi-tiered arrangements into the heady mix. The three-person string section contributes mightily to that lavish ingredient amid an already complicated but coherent swirling atmosphere. One might even venture that Project is somewhat the flipside of Univers Zero, as captivating and futuristic minus the storm and thunder, more the glowing aftermath now that the storm has passed on, the revivification of nature momentarily hushed, now re-emerging in all its subtler glories, rich and rhythmic.

Penguin Cafe Orchestra makes its way into the evolving landscape, especially in By Southwest, a delectable cut in which guitarist Alvaro Rojas surprises the listener in the comprehension that Project isn't much devoted to soloing, so collectivistic is its backbone. The six-stringer's appearance is brief, a sharp upspike of individual presence in the morphic field, but surprising and only redoubles the audient's growing engrossment with the entire affair. Evan Arntzen repeats the singularity on sax in the closing track for a sightly more emphatic but just as truncated appearance. The two-time illustration in purposeful tantalization makes the device all the more interesting.

Thus, dear FAME gaggle, don't pillory me when this sweeping tableau ends after only 25 enchanting minutes: I warned ya it was a EP right from the outset. T'ain't my fault, y'see, but I'll be more than happy to spearhead a fanbase effort to force these musicians back into the studio to further their artistry for our ravening ears—not that I'm advocating for my personal hedonism, you understand, certainly not that, never, not at all, oh my goodness perish the thought! I'm quite concerned with group evolution, naturally, it goes without saying, and a, oh I don't know, kinda martial Marxistic perversion of harmonic propinquity-adhered reflex urges me to strive towards that end, but…waddaya think…a 10-CD suite perhaps? Yep, sounds good to me, too. Surfeit can be a very nice estate.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

03 May 2011

Randy Quaid's "Star Whackers" & "Will We Be Together Then Available Today"!

Mixed and mastered by award winning and producer/engineer, Mike Rogerson (Sheryl Crowe, Shelby Lynne & Green Day) the new 45 features the infamous “Star Whackers”, a hard hitting roots-rock styled number featuring smart and clever lyrics directed at those who feed the public’s appetite for propaganda and drive the cult of personality and the beautifully penned Americana Johnny Cash influenced lovers lament “Will We Be Together Then”, an open and honest love song written by Evi and Randy while traveling through troubling times.

Available today wherever you by your music online.

18 April 2011

Sessions Vol. 1 is Almost Here

Hit Sessions Vol. 1 is a compilation of various artists, that celebrates the writing, producing and engineering skills of graduates from the Advanced Recording Artist (ARA) program at the Harbourside Institute of Technology. The compilation showcases some of the brightest new artists on the scene today.

The “Sessions” series is a joint venture between Harbourside Music Productions and Maximum Music Group, dedicated to discovering, and recording, a wide selection of emerging artists from all genres of music. Through the efforts of the student run label “Hit Records” the venture is committed to finding new and innovative ways to connect, market and promote these artists to the world stage.

The Harbourside Institute of Technology (HIT) is one of Canada’s premier Audio Engineering and Music Production schools, dedicated to the pursuit of creative excellence combined with the technical knowledge and networking skills necessary to succeed in today’s highly competitive audio industry.

For more information visit: www.harboursideit.comcreditsRecorded At:
The Harbourside Institute of Technology |

Mixed & Mastered by:
Sam Ryan |
Mike Rogerson|

Produced by:
Tony Rudner |
Brian Watson |

14 April 2011

Randy Quaid To Release Digital 45


Thursday April 14, 2011 (Vancouver, BC) - Award winning indie label Maximum Music Group is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Randy Quaid and Evi Quaid that will focus on the recording, distribution and marketing of new songs written and performed by Randy Quaid.

Produced by The Quaid's and John Shewfelt, the first two singles will be released on a self-titled digital 45 available for download on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 on iTunes and wherever you buy your music online.

Mixed and mastered by award winning heavyweight engineer, Mike Rogerson (Sheryl Crowe, Shelby Lynne & Green Day) the new 45 features the infamous "Star Whackers", a hard-hitting rock-rebel styled number and the beautiful Americana-Johnny Cash influenced lovers-lament "Will We Be Together Then", an open and honest love song written by Evi and Randy while traveling through troubling times.

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Randy Quaid may be best known as an acclaimed and respected actor but music has always had a place in Randy's life. He began performing as a singer-songwriter before his acting career took off, he and wife, creative partner Evi started playing and writing music together as a way to express their love and frustration. Finding relief in telling the truth through song, Randy and Evi kept putting pen to paper, often writing down simple ideas and verses that would later become finished compositions.

Most recently Randy appeared live on stage at the legendary Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, where he realized how good playing music and being on stage felt, and thus together entered the studio to record a series of songs that will eventually become his first full length album, to be released worldwide later this year by Maximum Music/EMI.

Randy's band is Randy Quaid on lead vocals, John Shewfelt (Drums), Mark Hopkinson (Guitar), Bruce Green (Guitar) & Rich Johnson (Bass)

- ### -

About Maximum Music Group
Maximum is an award winning artist management, record label and music marketing company dedicated to discovering new and innovative ways to connect, promote and deliver artists and their music to the world.

Our label and management divisions have overseen the release of more than 100 albums from artists such as Randy Bachman, The Guess Who, Jim Byrne's and Brad Turner. Maximum has also helped launch some of the most respected and successful indie labels in Canada today including, Black Hen Music, Cellar Live, Drip Audio, Northern Electric and Vinyl Republik.

Our clients have been recognized with:
6 Juno Awards
9 National Jazz Awards
6 Western Canadian Music Awards
5 Canadian "Indie" Music Awards
3 Canadian Urban Music Awards

Maximum's global marketing partners include EMI Music and IODA.

Web Links:
Maximum Music Group:

For further information or to request your review copies please contact:
Brian Watson, Maximum Music Group
Tel: 778.987.7243

13 April 2011

08 April 2011

Randy Quaid & The Fugitives

Academy Award nominee and golden globe winner Randy Quaid may be best known as an acclaimed and respected actor but music has always had a place in Randy's life. He began performing as a singer-songwriter before his acting career took off, he and wife, creative partner Evi started playing and writing music together as a way to express their love and frustration. Finding relief in telling the truth through song, Randy and Evi kept putting pen to paper, often writing down simple ideas and verses that would later become finished compositions. 

Most recently Randy appeared live on stage at the legendary Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, and backed by his stellar band he realized how good playing music and being on stage felt, and thus together entered the studio to record a series of songs that will eventually become his first full length album, to be released worldwide later this year by Maximum Music/EMI.

The first two singles include the infamous Star Whackers, a hard-hitting rock-rebel styled number and the beautiful Americana-Cash-eque influenced lovers-lament "Will We Be Together Then", an open and honest love song written by Evi and Randy while traveling through troubling times. 

Randy Quaid on lead vocals, John Shewfelt (Drums), Mark Hopkinson (Guitar), Bruce Green (Guitar) & Rich Johnson (Bass)

05 April 2011

The Town Pants Live on Urban Rush

Broadcast daily to 3.3 million households in Canada. Urban Rush on Shaw TV is Vancouver's award winning entertainment talk show. Hosts Michael Eckford and Fiona Forbes talk to celtic-roots-rock rebels The Town Pants about their new album Shore Leave and their legendary gig with Academy Award & Golden Globe nominee Randy Quaid.

31 March 2011

Randy Quaid recording pair of songs in Vancouver

Randy Quaid is in a Vancouver studio recording two songs he debuted live earlier this month. Star Whackers and the ballad Will We Be Together Then are expected to be released digitally by Maximum Music/EMI, likely in late April.

Maximum Music Group president Brian Watson said he made the proposal after hearing Quaid and his band perform the songs at The Commodore Ballroom.  (full story)

30 March 2011

Carmen Townsend Video Series feat River Rat

Carmen Townsend launches new video series.  Stay tuned for videos of selected tracks from her new album Waitin' & Seein'.  Each video showcases performances by Carmen and her band that are Uncut, Unedited, performed in One Take, Loud & and all Live Off The Floor!

28 March 2011

Congrats to our EMI Friends & Family on their success at the 2011 Juno Awards

Teenage Dream Katy Perry (EMI)

Said The Whale (Hidden Pony/EMI)

A Place Called Love | Johnny Reid (Johnny Mac/EMI)

Treelines | Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra (Justin Time/EMI)

Sofi Needs a Ladder | Deadmau5 (Ultra/EMI)

Justin Peroff, Robyn Kotyk & Joe McKay (Art Directors/Designers); Jimmy Collins & Elisabeth Chicoine (Photographers)
Forgiveness Rock Record Vinyl Box Set | Broken Social Scene (Arts&Crafts/EMI)

22 March 2011

Vote for NEW Carmen Townsend on Live 105

21 March 2011

Randy Quaid and The Fugitives Live In Vancouver

Randy Quaid hit the stage this past Friday night at the famous Commodore Ballroom, not to film a scene from a new Hollywood blockbuster, but as a singer-songwriter, debuting two songs from what could be a new EP in the offing. 

Quaid stands alongside such peers as Bill Bob Thornton, Kevin Costner, Dan Aykroyd and Russell Crowe.  As creative people it is completely reasonable to assume that actors are moved by music as much as anyone else, but unfortunately, there's usually suspicion following those actors who become singer-songwriters. Happily Quaid did himself and his band proud, quickly proving all naysayers wrong.

The first of two songs was the serene lover's lament entitled Will We Be Together Then, a beautiful piece of Americana with Cash-esque vocals, followed by the punk/roots-rock of Star Whackers featuring smart and clever lyrics directed at those who feed the public's appetite for propaganda and drive the cult of personality.

13 March 2011

St. Patrick's Night with The Town Pants

11 March 2011

Carmen Townsend LIVE @ CMW 11

The Paquin Agency presents CMW Night 3 with some of the most celebrated talent in Canada with a diverse set of artists spanning the rock, folk and indie worlds, and an appearance by children's performer Fred Penner, the night serves as a great sampler of Paquin's acclaimed roster:

The Heartbroken - 11PM
Carmen Townsend - 10PM
Wool on Wolves - 9PM
Fred Penner - 830PM
Del Barber - 8PM

Tickets available at the door - or get your festival wristband here!

04 March 2011

North Shore News Interviews The Town Pants

The Town Pants are booked for a few pre-St. Patrick’s Day shows in the United States before returning home for a March 18 gig at the Commodore Ballroom. To win two tickets to the show and a Town Pants CD library enter contest at
CD | Digital | Photo by Adam PW Smith

The Town Pants are booked for a few pre-St. Patrick’s Day shows in the United States before returning home for a March 18 gig at the Commodore Ballroom.

When brothers Duane and Dave Keogh and Aaron Chapman started strumming Celtic melodies across the North Shore, they knew they had a winner -- partly because the band was named after one.  (read more...)

To win two tickets to the show and a Town Pants CD library enter contest at

18 February 2011

You definitely need to check this band out

CD | Digital
Song stuck in my head...

“Drinking in The Graveyard” by The Town Pants. I had a difficult time picking a favourite track from Shore Leave, the new CD by Vancouver’s Celtic roots rock rebels. This accomplished fifth album is just such a lively and lyrical treat from start to finish. If you’re an old-time Spirt of the West fan like me, you definitely need to check this band out. Great stuff.

Grant McKenzie | Monday Magazine  

17 February 2011

"Instrumental Brilliance In A League Of It's Own"

Alchemist is a short, five-track EP that lets the music speak for itself. It’s refreshing to see that the album doesn’t rely on flashy packaging and artwork to grab attention, as it contains only five photos to symbolize each track. Composed by ProJect, music veteran duo Mike St-Jean and Matt Rosen, this ethereal and lush collection of instrumental brilliance is in a league of its own. It sounds like an electronic version of the soundtrack to a tragic love story. To understand the quality of ProJect’s odd collaborations, I’d recommend giving ‘By Southwest’ a listen.

13 February 2011

CD Review: The Town Pants | The Argosy

A Celtic rock group from North Vancouver, The Town Pants delivers warm soul along with a rebel punch. Their music has been dubbed West Coast Celtic, because of their instrumental blend of Irish traditional and Americana roots.

Their latest release, Shore Leave, is upbeat and stylistically varied, surprisingly so for a folk repertoire. They have a sound very similar to Mumford and Sons, especially the second track, ‘trains not taken’. 

They show maturity in their songwriting in ‘coming home’, a nostalgic ballad about reuniting with friends and family – my favourite song on this gem of an album. With lyrics like ‘a thousand days behind me, and a thousand miles to go’ paired with uplifting string melody, this song basks the listener in optimism. You should check out the last track ‘run to the hills’!

08 February 2011

CD Review: The Town Pants | The Uniter: Winnipeg's Weekly Urban Journal

Shore Leave
Label: Maximum Music
4 out of 5 stars

Now this is something that I am down for.  The Town Pants have created their own division of Celtic that lends itself to an audience somewhere in between the heavy drinkers and the soft rockers.  Shore Leave is an album of 10 bumping songs that lay the drums on thick, throwing in some banjo, fiddle, tin whistle, bass and guitar.  Their energy soars even in slow tunes like Angel and skyrockets in upbeat tracks like Drinking In The Graveyard.  Each track is inventive, the percussion and other varying musical instruments fit perfectly together, stylishly and with a great rhythm...the album spills over with character.   

By Sara Shyiak

03 February 2011

Carmen Townsend #30 Most Viewed Musician on YouTube

Carmen and band lay down a smokin' version of Open Sea "Live Off The Floor" at the Warehouse Rehearsals.

28 January 2011

Carmen Townsend on Live 105 w/ Scotty Mars

27 January 2011

Carmen Townsend hearts Ann and Nancy Wilson

Swinging her mane of fiery red hair, Carmen Townsend belted out the lyrics to Barracuda, Magic Man and Crazy on You; she was just a kid, singing all alone with her living room as a stage.  [read more @]

25 January 2011

Carmen Townsend On Tour With Heart

13 January 2011

Carmen Townsend - CBC Radio 3 Track of The Day

12 January 2011

Carmen Townsend Tours With Legendary Rock Band Heart

Fresh off of an Australian tour and currently showcasing in select cities across Canada, Carmen Townsend has been selected to tour with the groundbreaking rock and roll band Heart. Playing 20 dates coast-to-coast as part of the Heart Comes Home – Canada Tour 2011, Carmen was hand picked by the band themselves in what is shaping up to be one of 2011’s hottest concert tours. And all before the release of her upcoming album Waitin’ and Seein’.

Born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Townsend has been making music her whole life. Both on the album and on stage she immediately strikes a chord on two levels: her live-wire sound is vast, with stretching riffs that build into a fierce sonic motion accompanied by vocals that are earthy and enduring, her voice becomes a powerful instrument all on its own.

Starting in St. John’s, NL and working it’s way to Vancouver, BC the tour marks the 35th anniversary of Heart’s debut record and first coast-to-coast Canadian tour in three decades. With the January 25th release of Waitin’ and Seein’ (Company House/EMI) the timing couldn’t be more perfect for Carmen Townsend to share her talent with the country she calls home.

For more music, tour dates and more info please visit:

Purchase tickets for the Heart Comes Home Canada Tour 2011 here: 

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