Well the final showcase is upon us, this Thursday Dec 9th the 4th session of the West Coast League of Rock will take the stage at the Yale 7-9pm and dare I say it, this has been the best session yet.
Here are some pictures from the previous 9 weeks to give you a glimpse of what you can expect when you join the League. :)
The first few weeks are dedicated to rehearsing at one of Vancouver's best loved jamspaces, NAL sound.
Kara (who helps facilitate operations in the League) in rehearsals!
me, generally just hanging out with the bands and cheering them all on!
Dave and Stephen
(another one of our invaluable co-ordinators, whom we could not run the West Coast League without! )
Sean and Jay
RandyShawn Soucy who toured and recorded with countless artists including One Horse Blue, The Blue Shadows, Farmers' Daughter, Ellen McIllwayne, Joel Feeney, Lisa Brokop, Doug and the Slugs, and many others. His band Alibi was a Juno award nominee and, he is also the drummer for my band!
After a few weeks the bands get together and perform for each other in what are known as the midway workshops. The first midway is held in the big room at NAL sound. This is where my part comes in as I am the MC for the events.
Pictured here with Lory who is also a part of the LOR production team and she is practically the glue that keeps this thing running with the way she pays attention to all the details, emails to members and paperwork (ie: scripts for me).
Taking the stage, Bitter Suite
Steven (whom I am throwing a shout out to for helping me with his gracious and generous donation to a family in need, thank you Stephen and Parker Mattresses, what a great company!)
Corinna (you may recognize her from this post here )
Moose Nukl takes the stage
Watching the other bands...
Coaches Shaun Verreault (Wide Mouth Mason) and Simon Kendall (Doug and the Slugs) who have been mentioned several times on my blog already thanks to the League of Rock, were the first mid-way coaches for session four and these fellas are always so hugely helpful and very appreciated for all the support and insight they have to share and continue to give to the members of the League of Rock.
After the first midway we had another week of rehearsals where we enjoyed the coaching advice from Camille Henderson, a friend of mine whom I featured in a video on this blog post. Camille played the role of Shirley in the classic Canadian movie My American Cousin in 1985, and then went on to become part of the Vancouver-based pop group West End Girls from 1991 to 1993. Following her departure from the band in 1993, Henderson became a backing vocalist for Sarah McLachlan, and also appeared as a vocalist on albums by Delerium. She is the daughter of Bill Henderson, a singer-songwriter associated with the bands Chilliwack and UHF, and is a vocal instructor in Vancouver. I didn't have my camera with me that night so I don't have a pic of Camille in action with the League, but I poked around and found this picture online with me and Camille, credit goes to the North Shore News.
The next midway was held at the Yale and the community really came together and cheered each other on. If this midway was any idication of how the finale will go, then the showcase 9th is going to ROCK!
Edible Looking Plastic rocks out!
During the midway we were glad to welcome back coaches Mick Dalla Vee and Marc La France to share their vast wealth of experience. Mick and Marc both have been mentioned on my blog a number of times for their own projects as well as having been featured as the rock solid musicians who back up Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman. The trio (including Brent Howard who is also a LOR coach) have just completed a world wide tour with Bachman and Turner to support B and T's recently released album of new kick ass material. The weekend before Mick and Marc came to work with our members, they had just performed with B and T during the half time show at the Grey Cup so the room was buzzing. All the members at the League of Rock were so excited they were able to fit us into their busy touring schedule it seemed to be a bit of a thrill for all involved. I'll take an instant to send a shout out to Mick who records/produces my songs for me, and let you all know that bands and singer songwriters who are looking for a producer, might like to check out his great work at Millennia Sound Design.
The final week of rehearsals brought coach Brent Howard and by this time he really just had to share some 'finishing touches' advice with everyone. At the end of the night some of the members of Bitter Suite enjoyed a unexpected surprise as Brent jumped onstage to show them a bass part. Somehow this moment turned into a few songs and really, everyone was pretty stoked about how much fun it was to play with him.
The final week brought LOR co-founder Topher Stott all the way from Toronto to produce the bands at Nimbus school of recording arts. Each band by now had chosen their strongest song and they all spent half a day recording it with the guidance of Topher who produces all the League of Rock recordings from both Vancouver and Toronto.
I myself was gigging that weekend so I couldn't make it to all the recording sessions but I made it back to town and caught the last band Bitter Suite as they finished off their last tracks and they knocked it out of the park!
Special thanks needs to go out to Tempus Drums who are a new sponsor in the League of Rock family. Tempus are handmade, high quality specialty drums that you MUST check out as I can't possibly cover it all here, but drummers, I invite you to see what the fuss is all about by going to the website. You can also see the drums in action if you come to the Yale on Thursday as there will be a kit there and a planned 'Drum off" Not to be missed......and oh, by the way, amongst the unusual materials Tempus uses, well lets just say they could have called their company "HEMP us" (wink wink)
What else will you see on Thursday besides four bands who met only 10 weeks ago performing at the Yale? Well we will be giving away thank you awards including a Tempus snare drum, a guitar from our long time sponsors Long and McQuade, software from IK Multimedia , and more.
Still want to know more? Check out these testimonials from past members and see more success stories in November's Sound Check, as well as the latest special deals for new members here!
Or, you can always watch this vid from session one!
So, ready to sign up and join the most welcoming music community around? Now were talkin!
Next session starts here~!
See you on Thursday! xo