This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

It’s been a big week for Zachary Lucky. He found out his song Lost My Way (Now and Then) is being used in the 7th episode of the Netflix series, The Ranch. The series stars Ashton Kutcher Danny Masterson Sam Elliott and Debra Winger. Then Glide Magazine showcased the first single, Didn’t Know That You’d Come Along, from his new album, Midwestern.

Zachary is having an album release concert at the Opera House Oct. 25. Get tickets here.

And Ayden Miller, who was last seen playing keyboards with Bleeker a the Guitars For Students concert, is in a band called New Friends and their single Purple Candy hit 100,000 streams on Spotify over the last 2 months.

Last, I stumbled on a Youtube video of John Lebarr playing an instrumental called Tropical Tai Chi.

Here, Hold My Stick, The Other End

Not to diminish the achievements I just noted, there’s a problem in the music industry that takes the luster of moments like that. It‘s about earning money. For a musician to decide they want to make a career in music these days is not the same as it was 15 or 20 years ago (which was not the same as it was 15 to 20 years before that).

The royalties Zach, Ayden or John, or Bleeker, Raey, or even Gordon Lightfoot receive from people playing their music as a stream onine is pitiful.

For a musician to earn $1 from streaming, a song needs to be played 229 times on Spotify, 752 times on Pandora, and 1,449 times on Youtube. With Spotify an independent musician can’t even get their music uploaded to the service because Spotify only deals with labels and distributors. So musicians have to pay a distributor just get a foot in the door. If you really like something that pops up you have to then stop doing the dishes to run to your device to see the title and artist, but dry your hands first.

Many musicians use Bandcamp. It’s not a passive service like the others where you might hear a particular tune as part of a playlist. Then you either have to surf through to a particular musician’s page, or get there after receiving a link (lots of artists have email lists to let their fans know of upcoming shows and new music) in order to listen.

Bandcamp is a sales platform, you can listen and you can download. On Danny Michel’s page (he’s playing at the Youth Centre fundraiser at Fern Resort Sept. 28) you can download his newest album, White & Gold, for $6. You can even buy it and send it to someone else. Many artists also sell t-shirts, posters, and other stuff. Bandcamp takes a straight 15% cut for the music, 10% for anything else. That means a musician earns 85 cents for each tune sold. Sure you’re going to listen to it a bunch of times, but the bookkeeper likes 85 cents over the almost 2 cents Spotify will send for every 8 listeners.

Many musicians put up with lousy pay from Spotify simply for the exposure. With 24 million subscribers (you get the luxury of paying someone to listen) it doesn’t obviously take time for someone like Ayden to amass a sizeable audience.

I think for independent bands and musicians it’s important to use both services, and of course Youtube. But, you have to be vigilant and find ways to get those who get exposed to your music to go to your website or Facebook page and then sign up to be on the email list and then get those people to use Bandcamp either to listen or buy. That’s not easy, SUNonline/Orillia has a sizeable audience but it’s like pulling teeth, despite how easy it is, to get people to sign up for email notifications (see the yellow button on the right side of this page).

You can order digital downloads or CDs of Zachary’s new album at, wait for it, Bandcamp.

Leacock Parties

The Downton Abbey movie is out on Friday and the folks at the Leacock Museum are right on top of things. They have A Royal Downton Picnic happening Sept. 28 at the museum. This is a dress up affair, sort of. It’s not necessary, but no one is going to tisk, tisk is you wear white, or light coloured clothing. The style doesn’t have to be from 1927 when the movie is set, but there are prizes for best dressed.

Guess who; photo is from 1927

There will be games, of the 1927 vintage, like badminton. There’s alos going to be a trivia game, so see the movie, or watch the series again, and brush up on your 1927 history (which country had a prime minister who talked to dogs? Or, which Orillia author published Jalna in 1927?). Oh, and there’s a cash bar. The 10 piece Sunshine Strings will be playing music, and the Leacock folks are encouraging this as a family event.

Tickets are $35 and you get them online.

Ahead, they have Night of the Vampire. Again, this is a dress up affair. The author of the Vampire Tales, Wayne Mallows will be there, and he’s going to judge the best ‘how I became a vampire story’ submitted.  That’s short, story. Tickets are $30 at the museum, 705-329-1908.

And don’t forget to fill out the survey regarding the future of the Leacock Museum by Oct. 14

The Shorts

*  Wendy Whalen and the Rubber Band are playing Octoberfest at the Washago Community Centre Sept. 21. The Washago Lions Club is handling food. The doors open at 4, the warmup band, Oompa Band, is on at 6 and Wendy and company are on at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

*  The Opera House has Pavlo in Oct. 9 for a night of stories and song with Cameron Smillie. The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour will be in town Sept. 27. Get tickets here.

*  The Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture has their next event, Gathering, Sept. 19/20/21 in Midland. It’s a First Nations literary festival with John Rice, Lee Maracle, Daniel Heath Justice, Tomson Highway (performing Songs in the Key of Cree), Sherry Lawson, Arthur Stevens, Tsista Kennedy, Alicia Elliott, Darrel J. McLeod, Jesse Thistle and Cherie Dimaline. Get tickets for this and other Orillia Centre events here.

*  The Ringos Comedy Troupe will be at the Geneva Thursday with their show 80s Kids Will Understand. The group is based in Midland and Kristen Keller is one of the 5 members. They do sketch comedy and promise to ruin your childhood memories of the 80s, or somebody’s. Get tickets here. Also at the Geneva is No Map Required Green Book Edition (2 comedians, 1 car, no driver) Sept. 27; and two showings Sept. 28 of the documentary I’m Just Me: The Charlie Pride Story, which Bill Dunlop had a hand in; tickets.

*  The 5th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Mancave Tour happens Saturday. If you’ve never been, a bunch of people, guys, get on a bus, or busses, and roll around the area visiting various homes where someone has had too much time on their hands and built themselves a den with all the toys. Email to get tickets ($175, or 4 for $600).

*  The Orillia Public Library has the How-To Festival, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 28. They have workshops ranging from art & crafts, to food & drink, outdoors & the environment, health & wellness, and home organization and decorating. You can see the full schedule of 40 workshops here. The Orillia Fire Department will have a truck in the parking lot for kids to check out.

*  The Youth Centre and Roots North are partnering on a concert at Fern Resort September 28.  Headlining is Danny MichelBilly Pettinger and Meredith Moon are performing too. You can get tickets online, or at Dapper Depot, or Alleycats Music. All of the proceeds go to the Youth Centre.

*  ODAC’s annual general meeting is Oct. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at St. James’ Anglican Church.  Visit their website before you go and catch up on the history of ODAC, maybe take out a membership, and plan to be there.

*  The Mariposa Folk Festival’s winter concert program starts Oct. 26 with an Echoes of Mariposa event. The Echoes are designed to give audiences a second crack at some of the previous summer festival’s performers. Rick Fines, The Doozies and James Gray will be playing at St. Paul’s Centre. Tickets are $35 in advance.

*  Dave Beckett has a show at his Marchmont studio Sept. 27/28/29. He’s got a door prize, a print of his By Still Waters and the first 50 visitors will get a print of his Georgian Bay painting.

*  The Orillia Museum of Art and History has a new exhibit opening Saturday with Ingrid Mayrhofer’s After Krieghoff. Sept. 28 Pest Control, works by John Ross and Amy Swartz opens (It’s an Orillia Centre Emerging Artist event). Also up is Gary Blundell and Victoria Ward’s Project Voyager and Melody Madden’s Exquisite to Sublime and Tina Poplawski’s When The Green Dark Forest Was Too Silent To Be Real. Peter Street Fine Arts has new work by Robyn Rennie this month. Lee Contemporary Art has Dan Nuttall’s Ruralia exhibit up. At Hibernation Arts see Mary Jo Pollack’s Equinox, Sept. 19 Dave Armishaw and Josh Poitras kick off the fall version of the Wordsmith reading series with some poetry at 7 p.m. ($10 admission), and the house concert series starts September 26 at 7 p.m. with Sean Patrick and Darrin Davis ($20).

*  Coming up… the Brownstone has Roman Clarke Thursday evening; Sarah Osborne and The Moonfruits play Friday night; Mark Martyre plays Monday night… the Coldwater Fall Fair is Sept. 27-29… the Hog ‘N Penny has The Hillbirds in Friday; the Barbara Jordan Trio is in Saturday… Jakob Pearce plays every Thursday evening at Kensingtons… Lake Country Grill has Even Steven in Sept. 28… The Orillia Shrine Club has Little Caesar and the Consuls playing at ODAS Park Sept 21; get tickets ($45) at P.D. Murphy Jewellers and Impression House… Irish Mythen is at St. Paul’s Centre Nov. 8; get tickets here.   

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