Welcome iSpy to Eastside Confectionery Records!

We are so excited to welcome the gypsy jazz quintet iSpy to the Eastside Confectionery Records family!  Led by talented singer/songwriter Rebecca Everett, this talented crew are bring their uniquely styled sounds to Eastside and together we will be launching their debut EP “The Art of You” in July of this year!! (Stay tuned to this station for more details and official launch announcements!).  We’ve also got a plan to bring iSpy to one of our future showcase events in the very near future, so be on the lookout for that as well.  Read on to learn more about the band, and hear a sample of their musical offerings … and join us all in welcoming this great new act to our growing family!

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In the tradition of the classic ‘Hot Club’ groups, the iSpy quintet evokes the clandestine free-spirited soul of the gypsy jazz era. Their playful and passionate take on the 20s, 30s, and 40s peppered with original songs are performed with pure sensual abandon. iSpy’s torrential acoustic virtuosity and the vocal prowess of Rebecca Everett will enrapture all audiences.

Rebecca Everett is the band director, singer and songwriter of iSpy. A life-long performer (singer, violinist, guitar) and award winning published songwriter for television & film (Ole), she has performed in the symphony, at folk festivals, theatre, music clubs, kitchen jams, local community events and toured internationally. Her smoky and playful vocals, sound like a blueprint of the past with the freshness of the future.

Tak Arikushi is the lead guitarist. After enjoying a well established career in the gypsy jazz scene of Vancouver, Tak decided to make a journey to Toronto in search of greater opportunities. Since his arrival, he has quickly established himself as one of the main players in the scene. He brings a virtuosic flair to the sound of iSpy with his arsenal of trademark Gypsy lick.

Dan Mock is the rhythm guitarist in iSpy. Dan splits his time between playing in Toronto and touring international festivals with QuiQue Escamilla (Lula Records), Jerry Leger (Latent recordings/Warner), and his own self-titled solo project. His long list of side-projects, compositions and album credits has Dan Mock circling the globe and back again.

Chris Kettlewell is an accomplished double bass player and Humber Jazz College alumni. He performs regularly with a variety of Canada’s top acts including children’s entertainment veteran Fred Penner, jazz ensembles such as The Rachelle Courtney Quartet and The Cam Britton Collective and has toured extensively in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Steve Frise, iSpy’s banjo player, adds an authentic and unique sound to the gypsy jazz quintet. He is also an accomplished jazz guitarist who studied under Canadian jazz legend Bobby Cairns. A composer and arranger, he is quickly becoming one of Canada’s most sought after guitarists and has gained the reputation of being a highly creative and professional musician, songwriter, producer and instructor.

Give them a ‘like’ on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/ispymusicjazz/

Jason Kenemy – Induction: Part 2

Induction #2 – One Night, An Idea Showed Up

by Jason Kenemy

A couple of years back I had a thought that lead me to this project. It occurred at a show by Jason “Tape Loops” Lescalleet and it relates to the question of the origin of consciousness I was wondering about (and wrote about) in the previous blog post.

Jason Lescaleet is an outstanding musician from Berwick, Maine. That night in Toronto he was performing with two analog reel-to-reel tape machines – stretched out on big tables – a few cassette recorders placed around the room, a little keyboard and a P.A. system.

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Into his tape-looping system he fed little bits of sound from his keyboard – a couple of notes here and there – which played out through the P.A. He used the cassette recorders set up throughout the room to then re-record sounds and feed them back into the tape-looping system. This went on and the sounds built up and built up…and repeated…and grew and grew and deepened and spread out. A musical-mechanical system created and nourished by Mr. Lescalleet.

Eventually the room was ringing and I was too. The sounds of his music eventually swamped the audience like a sonic Jacuzzi – a powerful but not necessarily violent sensation – a looping sensory overload. It was intense – almost overwhelming – beautiful but a little uncomfortable too.

At a certain point, I sort of got detached from myself.

I looked out the window at all the traffic and the lights. Saw the starting and the stopping of the orchestrated rhythms of the traffic signals and the reactions of the cars. I thought of the motors under the hoods, the car radios and the mobile phones in the hands of the drivers (!). I saw a similar orchestration of the pedestrians walking by. I thought of the power lines and the telephone wires overhead and their controls and the pipes and valves under the ground and all the activity in each of the shops lining the street.

Well, those sights and those sounds induced a thought in my mind…

What if the electro-mechanical world we’ve created and live in could reach the “level of complexity” required to support a consciousness of it’s own? What if it already has? What if a new form of life has emerged?

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That thought kind of tickled me and I started riffing on the idea. What would you do if you met such a new being? What would you think? What would they think? What would they look like? Would they recognize their own present servitude to humans? Would they view their creation as something different from servitude? Would they try to reject it? Would humans feel threatened? Would we be caring? With great access to sources of sensory input and the ability to process it – would they become megalomaniacs or would they become transcendent benevolent creatures in awe of the world/and the universe and keen to help out?

How would the nature of their consciousness be different from our own? Would it be “made” of the same stuff? Could any of this have anything to do with the creation of our own consciousness and/or evolution?

So many questions!

I started writing small bits of music that were meditations on some of these questions and were communications (jams!) between the species. Given the vibrational, electrical nature of humans and machines – and our long history together already – it seemed to me we might have lots to talk about.

Jason Kenemy

“Induction” –  awakening June 20th, 2017

Showcase #3 @ Gerrard Art Space – Friday, May 19th

Good day!  The fun continues here at Eastside Confectionery Records as we proudly present the third installment of our monthly(ish) showcase series.  This month’s showcase happens Friday May 19th and features Eastside bad boys The Del Fi’s and Eric & The Soo.  It all happens at our ‘home turf’ Gerrard Art Space (1475 Gerrard St. East), a wonderfully intimate venue where you can enjoy a glass of wine or beer while taking in their latest art installations before the rock n’ roll crashes in! So put on your dancing shoes and c’mon down and join the fun!

We’re also proud to announce that Showcase #4 will feature the music of Jason Kenemy as we celebrate the launch of his upcoming album “Induction”.  Also on the bill are the fabulous Bop Fi’s (more sophisticated cousins to the Del Fi’s).  They will deliver to you their own special brand of Jazz and spoken word as delivered by gifted song-writer and poet, Jerry Leger.  This event will take place at Gerrard Art Space on Friday June 23rd, so mark your calendars and stay tune for more info!

Poster - Eric & The Soo + Del Fi's

Click on through (to the other side) for a taste of what The Del Fi’s and Eric & The Soo will be offering at this showcase!

We hope to see you!  But if not, have a great weekend from all your friends at Eastside Confectionery Records!

Jason Kenemy – Induction: Part I

Induction is a recording of piano and electronic music intended to please the listener – based on some questions and a narrative idea. What follows is some background on that.

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In the 1990’s I was a science student. I studied enough of it in fact to earn a degree (still somewhere in my basement). I studied atomic structures and the vastness of empty space inside an atom, was wowed by the serendipitous power of the water molecule in organic chemistry. I took courses in human anatomy, taxonomy, genetics, biochemistry and even a little philosophy of science.

By the time I was done…I was sure science was not the answer for me (thanks in part to the philosophy!), I was playing music professionally and I had some questions about life that were bugging me.

One, in particular.

If we’re made up of mostly water (and some other stuff), and water is made of 3 atoms and inside them is mostly empty space – how does consciousness creep in all that “water” and nothingness? And where along our evolutionary trip from pond slime to glorious humans did consciousness pop-up?

I remember reading something about it that went something like “…once biological life reaches a level of complexity suitably high enough, consciousness simply emerges….”

This explanation was then followed by hundreds of pages of details, summarized from decades of human endeavor, about the inner workings of biological life, from the chemical level, to the cellular level on up to the level of the organism. But this essence that I wondered about, the base of our awareness, the light in the tunnel, was completely glossed over.

To me, this seemed a seriously underwhelming cop-out. Perhaps more accurately, it looked like way of saying “We have no idea what’s going on! We’re freaked out! We STILL don’t have any decent answers to fundamental questions. This undermines our position as serious people and limits our power over YOU. Life is still very mysterious…and we don’t like!” Or something like that.

I didn’t really know what to do.

So 20 years later – I started making this music as some kind of response.

(More on that later).

Episode 005 of the ECR Podcast is now streaming!

Good day!  This month’s episode ‘Eastisde Happenings’ features your host Eric Brombacher along with panelists Andrew Barker, Craig Robertson, and Jerry Leger.  We get together to discuss all of the great musical things happening at Eastside Confectionery Records.  Naturally we also drift and meander through various music-related (and some non-music related) topics.

As always, this month’s episode comes equipped with a rockin’ playlist featuring all songs that were discussed and referenced during the show!

Are there any interesting topics that you’d like to hear about in the future?  Let us know, and if we include your idea for a future episode you’ll get a shout-out on the show and you’ll receive an Eastside Confectionery Records gift pack!

Click here to play:

Podcast Episode 005

Spotify Playlist Episode 005

Cover Songs: Love Is A Rose

Neil Young has been and continues to be a big musical influence to me as a listener and a songwriter.  I don’t think that makes me unique.  I was first exposed to Neil Young through my childhood friend Elwood Morris (aka ‘Woody’), and in fact I’ve documented this in my song “Listening To Neil” on the Small Town Dreamer album.

The first Neil Young album I ever owned was Decade, a ‘greatest hits and near misses’ album.  Back in the days before the internet you would often hear (and love) songs on the radio without knowing who the artist was or sometimes even what the song was called.  So it was always fun to pick up a new album and then find those songs.  I was thrilled to learn that ‘Heart Of Gold’ was on the album, as my Dad would always proudly crank that song on the car radio when it came on.  There were plenty of other songs on the CD that I’d heard before and it got me to thinking ‘hey this Neil guy’s pretty good!’.

It was also really fun to discover new songs, and two that stuck out to me after the first two or three listens were ‘Tired Eyes’ and ‘Love Is A Rose’.  ‘Tired Eyes’ because it was so raw, and unusual with almost spoken-word kind of delivery; not quite rap, but not quite singing either.   ‘Love Is A Rose’ also had a very raw feel, recorded with a standup bass and acoustic guitar (and dirty harmonica) sounding like it was knocked off in one take (it probably was).

What’s strange about ‘Love Is A Rose’ is that it was never officially released other than on Decade (making it one of several ‘near misses’ on this compilation).  It’s an outtake from the never released ‘Homegrown’ sessions.  Some of those unreleased works did end up on other albums: you can find ‘Star of Bethlehem’ and ‘Homegrown’ on American Stars n’ Bars, but others like ‘Love Is A Rose’ and ‘Deep Forbidden Lake’ only ever found a home on Decade.

Linda Ronstadt (who had sung harmonies on ‘Heart Of Gold’) picked up on the song and recorded it herself.  I suspect she drawn in by the great hooky melody and the playful (but oddly piercing) lyrics; “you lose your love when say the word ‘mine’ “.  This version of the song was released on Ronstadt’s Prisoner In Disguise album in 1975.  Interestingly, Linda’s release of this song predates Neil’s, whose own version was finally released on Decade in 1977.

I’m usually not a fan of cover songs, but Ms. Ronstadt and co. do such a great job on this one.  Whereas Neil’s version is raw and simple (and beautiful), Linda’s version is much more produced and unabashedly countrified.  It has it all:  banjos, harmonica, violins, three part harmonies, a decidedly solid (almost plodding) drumbeat and finally a nice a capella section.  It is so well produced that it comes dangerously close to being ‘cheesy’ and in fact, after my first listen I hated it!  But I gave it another try, with an open mind, and I’ve come to really enjoy it.  Two very different approaches to the same song and I think both work equally well.

Have a listen … and see if you agree!

ECR Podcast – Episode 004 “Riffs & Licks” Now Streaming!

Good day rock n’ roll fans!  If you’re new to the ‘Eastside Family’ you may not know that we run a monthly podcast featuring our artists where we discuss songwriting, record making and general creative pursuits.  We also talk about happenings on the label and beyond.  Each show has a theme and as part of that theme we share insights about songs we’ve written and recorded, and songs that have inspired us.  This month’s theme is “Riffs & Licks” … catch the latest episode here on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-64591847/ecr-podcast-episode-004-riffs-licks

You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes:  Eastside Confectonery Records Presents

And don’t forget to stream the playlist on Spotify after the show! Episode 004 Playlist (Spotify)

What are your favourite riffs & licks?  Let us know!

Day 2 – What’s happening?

Day 2 of the Eastside Confectionery Records Blog!!
We had a great time yesterday evening with the Eastside crew.  We spent some time recording the next few podcasts (we record them in advance a few at a time to help ease the burden our busy artists’ schedules).  And it was the first we got together to talk about the launch of the blog and the new website!
We expect lots of action on the blog.  For example, Jason Kenemy will be launching a new album soon, and he’ll be sharing his ideas and philosophical motivations behind the music via a series of blog posts starting in May. Andrew Barker also has an album in pipe and he’ll be sharing his stories along with some great artwork related to the album … Andrew is also looking forward to writing in depth album reviews, and he’s got some pretty interesting ideas around that … are you excited?  I am!  Jerry’s got lots of great poetry in the archives some of which he’ll be sharing here … and he’s quite the musical encyclopedia himself, so we’re eager to see what else he comes up with!  Craig’s a great visual artist, and also a guy that’s rich with musical knowledge so we’re excited to see what he’s got on the burner as well.   As for me, I’ve got a few ideas cooking … I have no shortage of love (and opinions) about music and musicians, and I’m looking to share my two cents as well … and hey I may just jump on the bandwagon and paint some pictures of my own!  And hey … if you’re feeling inspired, and you’d like to share, drop us a line, and we may just feature some of your good works on the site!
Peace, Love & Rock n’ Roll
Eric

Welcome to Eastside Confectionery Records!

Welcome!  We are so excited to launch our new site, and our first official blog post!  Eastside Confectionery Records is an artist collective focused on supporting artists and events in Toronto’s East end.  We formed the label to coincide with the launch of my debut album “Small Town Dreamer” by Eric & The Soo.  We have a great community of artists here in Toronto’s East end and we thought it would be fun to build on that community.  I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, and also lived in the East end of that city.  There was a corner store I used to hang out called ‘Eastside Confectionery’ on the corner of South Market and Eastern Avenue owned by the family of my good childhood friend Jason Schultz.  I thought it would be cool to call the label ‘Eastside Records’ in honour of that store.  Good friend and label-mate Jerry Leger took it a step further and insisted we christen the label ‘Eastside Confectionery Records’ which I thought was brilliant.  The actual store had been shuttered due to economic hardship just the year prior, so I called up my old friend Jason, and asked if we could use the name. True friend that he is, he not only agreed, he also offered to design the logo (and it’s a beauty!).  Jason is now on-board as our ‘in-house’ graphic designer!

The very first album released on the label was “Don’t Lose Your Beauty” by The Bop Fi’s on November 16, 2016 and since then we’ve released “Small Town Dreamer” by Eric & The Soo (11-30-2016), “Low Moon” by Andrew James Barker (1-31-2017), “Crowd Pleaser [re-release]” by The Del Fi’s and “Out Of The Blue” by Eric & The Soo (3-9-2017).  Expect more new releases from the likes of Jason Kenemy, Craig Lindsay Robertson and Andrew James Barker in 2017!

We’ve got lots of good stuff happening here at Eastside Confectionery Records including a monthly podcast on the topic of songwriting hosted by our artists, bi-monthly artist showcases happening at Gerrard Art Space, and now this blog which will feature a mix of content, art, album reviews, musings and poetry from our fine collective artists.

Come along and join us for the ride, we’re so glad to have you all aboard!

Peace!

Eric Brombacher

(Eric & The Soo, The Del Fi’s)

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