So I trudged through weekend traffic into the depths of northern Ontario... Collingwood to be exact, for Wakestockís triumphant return to the Wasaga Beach area from the island in downtown Toronto. I can't believe they let them back into safe and tranquil cottage country. Although smaller than most years, I must say the vibe was better. It didnít feel like a giant circus on the island, but more an action sports/music festival. Who the crap woulda thought, eh? Quainter, quieter, a little less frantic, but just as many frosted tipped shell necklace bros and beach bikini babes (which only one of the two I can stomach). Even though I had ulterior motives to be there, my old band Closet Monster was playing our first show in three and a half years for shits and giggles, it was cool to check out the other bands and the vibe of this year.

Social Distortion was epic. It was an honor to share the day with them.
Midway State are quickly becoming one of my Canadian favorites.
Rebel Emergency finally won me over
Stereos rocked it up big time
Cheese and Crackers in the UO tent was priceless
But, Classified, at the end of the day, I believe stole the weekend

I heard the afterparties were a bust. Dean Lickyer played somewhere nobody could find.The curling club bikini contest got shut down by the local gestapo. And well, who knows what happened to John Honeyford that night, I heard that guy woke up in a ditch covered in pink paint.

At the end of the day, I think everyone went back to the city sunburnt and perplexed.

Until next year, Wakestock. Until next year....


So I spent two days in a two person tent in Kitchener, Ontario at Cutting Edge Music Festival. I watched bands and band-related programmed events all weekend, while living off Advil, sunshine, waterslides, and mostly mediocre music. The main highlight for me was definitely Ill Scarletís set: as the sun went down and they jammed out their new tunes, you could really tell it's the beginning of the new day for them, with their new record on the horizon. Street Pharmacy, who I saw two SceneFests ago, was my surprise of the day then. So I have been keeping an eye on them for some time. But as of late they just seem to be doing everything right. Protest The Hero slayed it with a killer headlining set on the Saturday night, which ended with an encore never to be forgotten... Andrew W K came out with the band and sang I Love New York City. Artist Life and Stereos that day both nailed it too. And Kingdoms from Kitchener, probably played the best set I have seen for a band like them in eons. The Roots- well, what do I have to say, they had a giant shiny tuba that I couldnít take my eyes off of. Dinosaur Bones was said to be the band to check out unfortunately I missed them cause I got hooped into hosting the 420 games at the UO tent. But I only heard good things about Dino Bones, and to be honest after seeing Serb Supurbs freestyle set at the UO tent, anything he does im sure is golden. Other tent highlights include Dean Lickyer's sick awesome accoustic jam, Chad Michael Stewart's three new acoustic songs, and Jesse Colburn's improv accoustic set.

In all, the festival was fun times, except for sleeping in a tent and having to listen all night while people on acid light their hair on fire for kicks. I'm pissed that I missed Mix Master Mic and Lady Sovereign at 4 a.m. But god dang, I needed to be asleep at that point.

Summer Festival fun times.

Mark Spicoluk over and out

Bands on my list:

These days keeping an ear to the ground means staying on top of demos and discs and mp3s and myspaces and youtube videos and facebook pages and clubs and bars and charts and release schedules and magazine and webzines and on and on and on and onÖ well, it has become and unending and impossible task to fulfill. And with the influx of bands and recordings it truly is a daily expanding abyss of music that would only drive someone mad sifting through the crap out there hoping to strike gold. that someone is probably me- madness. and not like a magical abyss with spirit water creatures like in the movie with ed harris and his underwater spelunking adventure, but an abyss of perpetual usually horrific and untweeked sonic scapes of noise and thunderous atrocity. yes, most of the time im expecting nothing better than a fart in a mic. and with a bar set that low its shocking how few are able to hurtle over it. hahah. did I mention years of this shit has made me a little jaded; sometimes I feel the magic of concerts and records has been stolen from me forever. however, I buy all my favorite records on vinyl only and donít have a cd player or mp3 speaker system in my apartment. this engages me to remember why I liked my favorite records, new and old, in the first place. and when I truly love something how to cherish the reminiscent passion that got my life here in the first place.

I remember lying on my bedroom floor when compact disks first came out and shuffle was a magical unheard of mix tape on my five disk player that would take me on a musical journey from the doors, to rancid, over to green jelly and then back to rage against the machine. or when I was even younger flipping through bins of my parents vinyl when they werenít around and figuring out how to drop the needle manually and that infact you could pick what track you wanted to listen to by counting the grooves. everything was new and brilliant to us all back then- the conscious music listening experience. and from time to time I still relocate my solace when I find myself lying on my back on the floor in the middle of my place wearing only underwear with a curious and appreciative cat curled next to my head as all the old and new favs are spit out of my parents 1972 vinyl stereo unit. itís the unit that I make my friends lug from place to place with me every time I move, they hate it but I hope understand it. I think those things used to be made out of cement or some shit it those days. its responsible for at least three hernias that I know of.

On there I listen to my classics like sigur ros, regina spector, ten foot pole, and fugazi, but also add in some real classics I truly hold dear like Johnny cash, simon and garfunkle, and my original press e.t. soundtrack picture disk of the silhouetted bike flying in front of perfect circular moon.

But there is hope for the music of tomorrow, the trouble is finding it. Iíd like to think a classic is made everyday and itís my search to find it, but hopefully with a little luck it will be finding me instead. so here is a list of artists that have found me lately and I feel blessed to have heard or to work with before they crack it big or break up and are never heard from again.

Sam Bradley, Marcus A, And Bobby Long

These three yes, have recently been lit up by a larger spotlight of discovery which could be seen as luck, but to me it was meant to happen one way or another. they are a team of friends and writers from England who have been doin it for years and bleeding through chords and melodies in front of empty bars and deaf ears for sometime. now people are starting to notice what they have been ignoring and the world is coming back into balance again. they all have a different take on it, but collectively and individually they have equal value to each other.




Anna Cyzon

She is hot, she can sing like a sweet raspy bird, she can write, and she has been doing it all on her own waiving the flag of complete independence from day one. self sufficient she has a couple videos in the can I have been blessed to see already and 20plus songs that prove you donít need a million dollars to write a hit, in fact that usually fucks it up from the start.


Hey Ocean

Here is a band I will go on record and say that I want to sign. but my style is not pushy or sleezy a/r dude at all, ill put out my feelings and if its right it usually takes a natural course. ive seen them play out in western Canada on a few different occasions and everytime I express my fanaticism to the singer and how whatever she wants to do with her bandís career im here willing and waiting at the front of the stage singing along with a number one fan button on my chest. but to no avail, and for whatever reason, im still just a fan. and could care less cause I love it so much. seriously. so much.



Yeah, they have been around for a while and to anyone into aggressive music im going to sound like a little queer hyping these guys up when they are already championed so heavily in the world of slowed down aggressive instrumental metal. but I donít care, after their most recent record and me somehow acquiring the whole catalog, im in love.



nuff said. and they would probably hate me for writing this on here in the first place. or you know what? maybe they wouldnít. I owe them everything and I love the new record. and when I was 16 I put on a show for them in oshawa and they slept on my couches in the suburbs- greatest day of my teen years.


Jhevon Paris

This is an mc with some skills and some new trax I have heard that are just out of control. I donít even know where it fits in or how to begin with something like this except, check it out. I heard he had a club hit a few years ago that was obviously way off my radar. but yes, maybe I just feel more bad ass when I listen to him and less of a Canadian prairie whiteboy.


Hello, everyone...

My name is Kristy, and I'm the Webmistress here at SimmonsRecords.com

So, how did I end up here?

Sometimes I wonder myself... I grew up on a farm, raising cattle and growing crops with my family. But I was always creatively-inclined, so moved to the city at 19.

I had the good fortune of meeting Gene at an event about 8 years ago, and have never looked back. I've been able to help out on various projects for Gene over the years, and now enjoy working for him full time.

When not working as the Renfield to Gene's Dracula (or is that Demon?...), I'm also a freelance make-up artist, and have a burgeoning career as a pop art painter. In my spare time (what's that?!), I like to watch movies, read a ridiculous amount of books, and enjoy the usual hi-jinx & shenanigans with my friends...

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Your friendly neighborhood Webmistress,