Festival Preview: MEGAPHONO 2016, Feb. 2 – 5
In its second year running, MEGAPHONO has upped the ante and significantly expanded its scope and size. The festival, which takes place February 2–5, 2016, brings industry professionals to Ottawa and gives local artists and delegates the rare opportunity to connect with those who are working in the music business.
Last year saw the release of the Connecting Ottawa Music report on the city’s status in the music industry, which presented some revelations about the challenges Ottawa faces with respect to its lack of music infrastructure and connectedness to the wider industry in Canada and North America. We at Showbox were very proud to contribute to this report by providing important data on 2014 album releases.
This unprecedented report not only outlined the barriers that are preventing Ottawa from moving forward as a “music city,” but it also offered a glimmer of hope by providing recommendations and a strategy based on core principles. One of the most critical recommendations from the report reads as follows [p.65]:
3. Connect Ottawa’s music community to the global music industry.
- Advocate for Ottawa’s music community at national institutions
- Facilitate exchanges with more prominent music clusters
- Lead delegations to trade shows and festivals (e.g. MIDEM, SXSW)
- Promote Ottawa’s music cluster to outsiders
MEGAPHONO is doing something that has never really been done in Ottawa before. Not only are the organizers tirelessly reaching out to important industry personalities in places like Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, New York City, and London (UK), but they are actually bringing them to Ottawa over the course of the festival. This affords Ottawa artists the opportunity to have an audience with the people that might be able to advance their careers – or at least get on their radar. This includes booking agents, record labels, music publishers, film/TV music supervisors, managers, publicists, and more. Like any other business, music is about connecting with the right people, and just as the report recommends, Ottawa needs to bring industry personnel together so that coalescence can happen.
“MEGAPHONO is about getting the right people in the room to see our artists,” says festival director Jon Bartlett. “The best way to tell the story of Ottawa music is to drag industry folks here to see and hear it for themselves. If we put our best artists on stage with key music people in the room, I’m confident good things will happen.”
Attendees will enjoy four solid days of music, with all performances open to the public. Over those four days, 60 artists will be performing in Ottawa at various locations, 47 of which are local acts.
Ottawa artists such as New Swears, Merganzer, Boyhood, Mehdi Cayenne, SILKKEN, Isaac Vallentin, Scattered Clouds, The Visit, and Pipahauntas will all perform alongside veterans of the scene such as The Acorn and Lynne Hanson.
MEGAPHONO will also showcase some of the best bands from the Toronto-Montreal corridor and beyond, including synth/punk rockers Duchess Says, psych-sludge outfit Darlene Shrugg, Saskatchewan songsmith Andy Shauf, garager rocker Michael Rault, harpist/chanteuse Emilie & Ogden, and Ottawa ex-pat Michael Feuerstack.
Noted music critic and author Jessica Hopper (MTV, Pitchfork) will kick things off at the launch on Tuesday, February 2nd with a keynote speech at St. Alban’s Church; MEGAPHONO will also screen a film this year called Terminal Device, directed by Ross Turnbull, edited by U.S. Girls‘ Meg Remy and with music composed by Slim Twig.
Additional panels and networking opportunities with industry reps are available to those purchasing a delegate pass. Fan festival passes are $50; delegate passes run for $100. Both are available at http://www.megaphono.tv/passes/.
Highlights of this year’s festival include:
- MEGAPHONO Meltdown — MEGAPHONO after party in Hull, QC at AXENÉO7
- PANELS — daytime talks focusing on music industry-related topics and conversations focused on our local music community
- FREE SHOWCASES — Wednesday & Thursday afternoon showcases in the Centretown & Hintonburg neighbourhoods
- Over 30 visiting delegates from LA, NYC, London (UK), Toronto & Montreal
Tuesday, February 2nd
4:00 – 6:30pm
MEGAPHONO FESTIVAL OFFICIAL LAUNCH
w/ keynote by JESSICA HOPPER
@ ST ALBANS CHURCH
THE ACORN / EMILIE & OGDEN / PIPAHAUNTAS
@ ST ALBANS CHURCH
THE VISIT / HEAVY BEDROOM / NOVEMBER @ BLACK SQUIRREL BOOKS
PATCHOSTARS / RÈGLEMENT 17 / HIGH WATERS @ HOUSE OF TARG
Wednesday, February 3
FRED WOODS / JULIE CORRIGAN / LAURENT BOURQUE
@ TWO SIX ATE
MICHAEL FEUERSTACK / AMANDA LOWE / DANIELLE ALLARD
ANDY SHAUF / MERGANZER / FIVER (SIMONE SCHMIDT)
@ ST ALBANS
DUCHESS SAYS / FET.NAT / BOYHOOD / EVERETT
@ DOMINION TAVERN
PEPTIDES / RIOT POLICE / JESSE DANGEROUSLY / MIVCA @ ZAPHODS
Thursday, February 4
CLAUDE MUNSON / JILLIAN KERR / JOHN PUNCH BAND
@ RECORD CENTRE
LYNNE HANSON / JIMMY TRITONE BAND / ELEMENTALS
@ ELMDALE TAVERN
TERMINAL DEVICE – DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING
dir. ROSS TURNBULL / music score by SLIM TWIG / edited by U.S. GIRLS’ Meg Remy
@ BYTOWNE CINEMA
MEHDI CAYENNE / FIRE ANTLERS / LOST TO THE RIVER
@ HAPPY GOAT
PITH AND THE PARENCHYMAS / ICE CREAM / THE HEAVY MEDICINE BAND
@ HOUSE OF COMMON
SILKKEN / CABAAL & HARD SCIENCE / FRAYD / DJ DAN VALIN (THE QUEER MAFIA)
Friday, February 5
YAO / VALOIS
@ ZIBI WELCOME CENTRE (HULL)
HER HARBOUR / ISAAC VALLENTIN
@ ZIBI WELCOME CENTRE – MILL (HULL)
CHÉRIE / CHRIS PAGE / JACK PINE
@ BRIDGEHEAD ROASTERY
PONY GIRL / SAXSYNDRUM / TÁDÉ
@ LE GAINSBOURG (HULL)
KRISTINE ST-PIERRE / NOISY LOCOMOTIVE / SAINT CLARE
@ LE TROQUET (HULL)
NEW SWEARS / SCATTERED CLOUDS / DARLENE SHRUGG / MICHAEL RAULT / US GIRLS & SLIM TWIG DJ SET
@ AXENÉO7 (HULL)
Contest: Win a pair of tickets to New Country Rehab Feb. 27 & 28
Toronto ‘outlaw country’ group New Country Rehab are making their way to Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, QC, for a double header this weekend, and we’re giving away a pair of tickets each night.
The band was formed in 2009 and are signed on Ottawa’s own Kelp Records. Although their name might suggest that their country roots run deep, their music reflects a broad range of influences from folk to hard-hitting rock and roll. New Country Rehab blends intimate storytelling with infectious instrumentation and songwriting that appeals to more than just your average country music audience. Their latest release, 2013’s Ghosts of Your Charms, has received international acclaim, and was just named one of the top bands in Contemporary Canadiana by The Bluegrass Situation.
One can only imagine how perfectly this band will fit in at the legendary Blacksheep Inn. They are well-oiled and ready to show their best having just come off a US tour recently.
How to Enter
Email music [at] ottawashowbox.com or tweet at us (@ottawashowbox) which kind of motel the band named one of their songs on Ghosts of Your Charms.
(Clue: it may be a little more extravagant than the average Joe can afford)
What you could win
One of two pairs of tickets to either Friday or Saturday night’s show, along with a copy of New Country Rehab’s debut album! We will announce the winner mid-afternoon day-of. May the force be with you.
Contest: Ticket Giveaway for Quintron & Miss Pussycat W/ Uncle Phil and Friends, Nov. 20
Photo by Guy Lavourde
Multimedia poltergeists and sweaty psychedelic apparitions are descending upon the nation’s capital from the far away Spellcaster Lodge, in the realm of New Orleans. Quintron & Miss Pussycat will unleash a force of light, sound & puppetry for a lucky audience at the House of Targ, a show that will be complimented by Ottawa’s own master of musical puppets Uncle Phil & Friends this Thursday.
Quintron is the captain of the organ and several homemade musical creations, including a new addition known omniously as the Weather Warlock. It might or might not create a hurricane. Miss Panacea Pussycat is monarch of her troop of puppets — an army of memorable, handcrafted characters that will give us a half-hour puppet show before Quintron takes to his songs and Miss Pussycat backs up with maracas and voice. Their tour stop in Ottawa for their full-length The Spellcaster II is a rare treat that no one should miss and we have two (2) tickets to win!
How to Enter
Email music [at] ottawashowbox [dot] com the name of Quintron’s most prized invention, a certain little lo-fi bundle of synthy joy that plays on optics and oscillation. This creation goes by the name of [ — ].
What you could win
A FREE pair of tickets to the show on November 20 at House of Targ! This kind of show is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen, heard, felt or tasted. Beware the vapours! We will announce the winner Thursday afternoon, so check your emails!
Contest: Ticket Giveaway for Jennifer Castle w/ The Acorn, Nov. 14
As Christmas draws a little closer, we’re going to open up our Santa sacks and give away some more free stuff. This one is a real treat! Not only is Arboretum Festival bringing psych queen/goddess Jennifer Castle (Idée Fixe Records, Toronto ON) to the beautiful St. Alban’s Church, but Ottawa’s indie darling Rolf Klausener will be suiting up once again to bring The Acorn (Paper Bag Records, Ottawa ON) together after a three-year hiatus. Shows like this come around only once in a while, and nothing compares to the atmosphere in St. Alban’s when musicians of this calibre are playing.
How to enter
Email music [at] ottawashowbox [dot] com the name of Jennifer Castle’s new record. Simple. (Hint: There’s a colour theme that this album shares with something The Acorn has released.)
What you could win
A FREE pair of tickets to the show on November 14 at St. Alban’s! It’s going to be a packed house, so a couple of admissions on the house is pretty nice.