Interview: Bif Naked Aims to Delight With New Acoustic Album

If you are a fan of Bif Naked and you pick up her new acoustic album and fall in love with it, you can give yourself a pat on the back. According to the multiple award-winning artist, the decision to make an acoustic album was directly inspired by her fans.

“We (she and guitarist JD Ekstrom) had been doing acoustic concerts, at the request of some fans and some promoters for about three years,” says Bif. “And what happened was, it just became something that was an obvious move for us, we kept getting so many requests for our acoustic show basically on disc.”

Her sixth full length disc, which comes out December 4, is called Bif Naked Forever: Acoustic Hits and Other Delights. The “other delights” referred to – including the first single, “So Happy I could Die” – are actually songs that did not quite fit the acoustic theme, but which were written at about the same time as she was working on the rest of the record.

“I started doing some of the writing while we were recording some of the acoustic songs, and some of the songs, they don’t feel as acoustic I guess,” she says. “I didn’t know how else to describe [them] other than they were delightful, and I was able to do some new songs, as well as do the singles that I’ve always had. So it just seemed like a more fitting title, more accurate.” Continue reading

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X Marks the Spot: Mark Holmes on 10 Years of The Mod Club, Making Music, and the Future of the Industry

DJ MRK © Gesilayefa Azorbo

Mark Holmes is having a busy week. Scratch that, he’s having a busy year. The frontman for Canadian Hall of Fame inductees Platinum Blonde is also a highly respected DJ (under the moniker DJ MRK) as well as co-owner of one of Toronto’s premiere live music venues, The Virgin Mobile Mod Club.

This year, his separate passions collided as August marked the return of Platinum Blonde with a brand new album release, Now & Never, and on November 17 the Mod Club celebrates its decade-long existence with a party to top all parties for its 10th anniversary celebration.

Known as it is for its extravagant parties (in the first three years after it opened, the Saturday night parties grew so big that the same party had to be held at Revival as well as the Mod Club), as well as celebrity guest appearances from Noel Gallagher to Kanye West, and yearly anniversary parties which are themselves the stuff of legend, the Mod Club’s tenth anniversary party is expected to be nothing less than spectacular.

The event page on the website promises a champagne reception at 9.30pm and performances by Chick-a-boom dancers and aerial artists. It also boasts a line-up that includes Holmes himself behind the turntable, as well as Tigerblood, Nightbox, Jelo, Me&John, and electric violin virtuoso Dr Draw, and additional surprise guest appearances.

In light of this milestone, I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Mark recently for Cadencemag.com, in which he shares insights from over two decades in the music industry, and reveals a life lived to the fullness of every moment. Continue reading

Country Music’s Newest Sensation Has the Biggest Heart

Most people might equate turning 18 with high school graduation, newfound freedom, or anticipation about college. For Tenille, it also marked the culmination of a series of events and circumstances that led to her being crowned country music’s latest sensation, with her debut album Real landing her a nomination for Female Artist of the Year 2011 from Canadian Country Music Association Awards – the youngest ever nominee – and a 2012 Alberta Country Music Association Award, also for Female Artist of the Year, to seal the deal.

“That was so insane! I will never forget that phone call last year, hearing that my name was among four other ladies that I’ve been looking up to for so long,” she says in a phone interview with Cadence.

“Some of these ladies are Canadian female icons I grew up being immensely inspired by and being next to those names was a really huge honour. It’s an incredible family feel that the Canadian country music has and I’m so proud and honoured to be a part of it.”

But Tenille’s passion for music is almost overshadowed by an even greater passion…for people. This young woman is also the force behind “Big Hearts for Big Kids”, an annual music fundraiser targeted at raising money for Sunrise House, a youth emergency shelter in her native Grande Prairie, Alberta.

“I had heard of Sunrise House when I was thirteen,” she says. “And I remember hearing about these kids that were the same age as me, in my own community, that didn’t have a safe places, or homes, and how many of them needed sheltering. And I really wanted to be able to do something about it. Now, with the passion for music I was able to go round asking for supporters for this project, and we brought in some incredible musicians for a music fundraiser and made a huge difference for the shelter, and it was a huge, life-changing experience watching that community come together like that.” Continue reading