Slagging Off – a how to guide

Congratulations, your band or musical project just won the band lottery and we just made fun of you. How should you respond? What does it mean? WHAT NOW?

Don’t panic. Ultimately, it isn’t going to matter. This is just a generic tumblr, and we are just unfunny dudes with our own shitty bands, so you don’t need to worry too much. Really.

Our tastes are subjective – rest easy with the knowledge that our bands are way worse than your bands, you have more likes on facebook, and that you are DOING THE RIGHT THING and are ABOVE CRITIQUE in any form. 

Besides – how is someone saying “you suck” critique at all? Isn’t all critique supposed to appear in essay length analysis unpacking every aspect of the music and the recording?

There is no reason to change anything! If we made fun of you, it is because we are (a) jaded (b) hipsters (c) talentless (d) losers with (e) nothing better to do.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Write a series of tweets that allows your GROWING FANBASE to see you as a vulnerable musician who are unable to handle even the smallest slight. Again, remind us that our own music sucks. The more you get worked into a lather about it, the better to whip your fanbase into action. It will make you look really good.

2) Physical violence: These aren’t just words, kick someone’s ass!

3) Remind everyone that taste is subjective and that the only valid words about your music are (a) positive/ encouraging and (b) come from monk-like music writers who live in a subjectivity-vacuum who have no real ties to the real world. Music writers should be unable to play even a simple c-chord (TASTE IS SUBJECTIVE!) on a guitar because any inside knowledge is damaging and may influence/taint them from having valid opinions. No music writer with an opinion should ever set foot on a stage, period.

Elos Arma (Toronto, ON)

Toronto has a lot of bands. I didn’t even realize how many until recently.

Here’s something constructive Elos Arma: your band sounds exactly like 90% of the other indie bands in Toronto. Maybe that’s what you are going for?

But do the math. If there are 700 bands doing THE EXACT THING YOU ARE DOING – guitar tone, WHOA OHH OHH backups bands like you just fucking love, drum fills – then how is anyone ever going to care about you?

Most bands love playing the band lottery. They look at bands like Yukon Blonde and think “if the most boring band on the planet can win a SIRIUSXMINDIEAWARD, then so can we” because the only way Yukon Blonde is a THING at all is that they won the band lottery.

I’d rather think that you should make your own luck. Try new combinations of genres and styles and backing vocals (here’s one for free – OH OHH OHHH WHOAAA) and give it hell.


When I decided to go anonymous, I didn’t expect a witch hunt.

I moved to Toronto and took a job. That job was previously held by the lovely Terri Coles. Terri’s partner Dan books at the Rancho Relaxo in Toronto. Someone sleuthed the old header and discovered it was uploaded by a computer run by Terri Coles, and Dan and Terri were accused (multiple times). 

Except I used that computer – Paul Lawton – made that dumb header. I’m not even trying to “protect them” or whatever – I’ve never had any contact with Dan. I don’t know him personally, but I know that Dan and Terri are amazing people who have a new baby who is super cute and you should know they had nothing do to with this and leave Dan alone about it.

Terri and Dan, I’m sorry you had to put up with this sloppy thing. 

My band Ketamines is playing tonight at… CMW. We didn’t apply, but were asked to play by Music She Blogged. I bet they wish they didn’t now. Sorry Music She Blogged (who also has nothing to do with this). Be at the Velvet Underground at 10. If you are looking to spit in my face, that’s where I’ll be. I made fun of some of the bands we are playing with so it wont be awkward at all.

The best revenge is just to do better.

Recent FACTOR approvals

If you ever want to really get yourself into a knot about the current state of the Canadian music industry, check out the FACTOR approvals page.

A bunch of people pointed out yesterday that FACTOR gave CMW $200,000 this year to run the festival. Where does THAT money go? Not to most of the musicians. 

Legitimately curious how much METRIC and MARIANAS TRENCH are getting from CMW for their showcases ( if you can get me numbers – I promise to keep you anon). Of the “1000 bands” playing CMW, what is the percentage of bands that get paid in dollars and not useless wristbands (though I’ve been using mine to check out the comedy side – Dave Foley and Scott Thompson at Yuk Yuks was particularly enjoyable).

My educated guess: less than 3% of the bands playing will get paid in dollars.

The most recent Factors approvals for making a music video in the $20,000 range: 

Doug Crawford
Lesley Pike
Yukon Blonde

If you want to know the difference between “HAVE” and “HAVE NOT” bands in Canada, look no further. “HAVE” bands take initial success (Metric, Stars, Yukon Blonde) and work it into a career heavily subsidized by FACTOR and provincial arts funding. I have no problem with arts funding, but there was a limit to how much I could take out in student loans, so why should grant be different?

Take Feist winning Polaris last year. So what if the milquetoast Canadian music press were so dazzled by “METALS” that they awarded it with the Polaris, but that prize came with a fucking TOURING VAN. There is no way Feist needs a touring van. WHERE IS FEIST’S TOURING VAN NOW?

Doug Crawford is going to take his $20K and make another music video with girls in bikinis (at the very least, blatant objectification of women should bump you down to the $5K club). Leslie Pike has a Reverb Nation account, and sounds like a modern-day Jann Arden, so I can’t wait for that vid.

I am really happy to hear from an insider at FACTOR that the rules are changing, but I don’t expect the main benefactors to be any different than they are now.