A Streaming Cafe Adventure: Roco-Coachella!

by Joel Thiessen

A few of us Cafe employees ventured out to Indio, California for the famous Coachella Music Festival 2011!
Barista Michelle hanging out in front of the Main Stage.
The adventure was a lot of fun and began with a delightful drive down to Bellingham, WA. Then the plan was to fly to Seattle, however our plane was delayed an hour because the light in the lavatory was burnt out! Apparently it is against FAA regulations to fly with a burnt out lavatory light so
they needed to replace it – but there were no spares in Bellingham! What to do now?!? Well obviously we need to drain the lavatory because it is against FAA regulations to fly with a functioning lavatory that has been deemed unsafe…Wow, I’m sure glad I’m not a Pilot, that is a lot of regulations to remember!
We finally touch down in Seattle with 10 minutes to get to our gate that will take us to L.A. NO PROBLEM! We jump on the subway tram for 2 stops and then sprinted to the D Gates to catch our flight. We made it just in time however there was one slight problem, they switched the gates without telling anyone! Oh geeze. Back to the tram for another 3 stops! Fortunately we make it to the gate for boarding and got to our seats. Ready for take off? Nope! There was a problem with one of the tray tables, and you guessed it, it is against FAA regulations to fly with a defective tray table! Call the mechanic and get that thing fixed!
Needless to say, after all of that we DID make it to the festival and had a blast there! I think next year, we might just drive…
The line up for this festival is so extensive that there was no way in the world we could see all the bands that we wanted to. Sacrifices must be made!
Barista Vicky couldn’t put down those dang novels!
On day one we saw The Kings of Leon, Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Black Keys, Cee Lo Green who had a very interesting show. Apparently his plane came in quite late which caused him to be 20 minutes late for his 30min set. He managed to rifle off a couple songs (consisting of two of his singles “Crazy” and “F**k You”) through an impromptu sound check but the plug was pulled suddenly during the intro to a Journey cover. Probably for the best. Interpol was a big show for me. I have been a huge fan of Interpol since Turn on the Bright Lights so I was very happy when their show consisted of many older songs with a smattering of some of their newer hits like “Barricade” and “Mammoth”. To make it an even more memorable experience, the band paired up with The Creators Project which really revamped the whole live video monitor experience with some crazy edits and light show effects. After the show we managed to get a poster signed by the band. It was quite the spectacle. The Rural Alberta Advantage was fun because we saw a Canadian band draw massive crowds at an American festival.
By the end of the day all of us were so burnt out from the 40’C shadeless sun, we could barely make it back to our tents at night. We started to observe that there is a technique to surviving this festival and getting the most out of your day: take it slow between bands and don’t move during the show! The less moving
the better!
Day two we managed to pace ourselves a bit better and had some energy reserved for the headliners. That day we saw Bright Eyes, Foals, Mumford & Sons, The New Pornographers, Freelance Whales who were a really neat surprise. While we were waiting for another band to get set up we heard sweet guitar riffs and quirky vocals coming from a stage next door. One of the best things about these big festivals are the hidden gems that you’ve never heard before – but if they are playing at a festival this size chances are they are good! The Arcade Fire was an all “balls” out in your face pedal to the metal show. Win Butler made it known that they did not take this opportunity for granted and in return The Arcade Fire gave everyone their monies worth! Tons of energy and a superb song selection with epic lighting and big color-changing balls that poured from the sky during the crescendo of “Wake Up” made this entire set one big unforgettable party!
Zach Frickin’ Galifinakis!

The third and final day did not disappoint we saw Best Coast, MEN, PJ Harvey, CHROMEO – Funny story about this one…While we were still waiting for CHROMEO to start playing, I glanced over my shoulder and saw a face I recognized. But who could it be? I didn’t know anyone in California…But this man’s name was on the tip of my tongue. OH RIGHT! It was Zach Frickin’ Galifinakis!! I danced to CHROMEO with Zach Galifinakis, no big deal. On a side note, did you know Chromeo was on Yo Gabba Gabba? I love that show…www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDG0c3saE4I Death From Above 1979 was sweet as 5 years after they broke up I can safely say it was pretty awesome to see Death From Above’s first show back together. I feel sorry for the PA system…The National  was probably the biggest surprise of the whole festival. I’ve heard The National before on compact disc and enjoyed them, but I was not expecting anywhere near the energy these guys put out. I mean it was nuts. Matt Berninger was off the stage, standing on the barricade and holding hands with the audience. He was singing loud. The guitars were ripping and drum was booming. It blew me away – I absolutely loved it! The Strokes Strokes were another big draw for me, a band that really plays the “we like to rock and don’t care about you guys at all” card very well. Again they played a lot of their older stuff that was well mixed with tracks from their new album. They followed Duran Duran (who I didn’t see as I was busy watching Chromeo) and Julian Casablancas mentioned something about them playing a flute solo. Awesome.And now the big headliner, Kanye West. I am trying to think of something cool to say about Kanye West, I really am. He had a magnificent entrance as he was suspended above the crowd on a moving platform but everything (literally) went down from there. People were expecting cameos or special guests but there was nothing. Just Kanye.  A lonely little man.

The whole experience was really fun and unforgettable. The friends that we made, sunburns we got and memories we left with were all worth every penny and time spent waiting in airplanes!
Before we left home we made sure to grab a couple Streaming Cafe stickers to leave with our American friends during our adventure:
We left stickers on scaffolding and stages…
We left our mark on Outhouses and Port-a-Potties…
We gave a calling card to some crazy L.A. music lovers!
Plus we put some on the Main Stage (Bands like Interpol, The Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, Kanye West and
The Stokes were so interested in our whole streaming technology thing!)

We even tried for the beautiful Indio Moon, but we settled for some palm trees…
…okay, so I might have made up a couple of those stickers, but we really did leave them on the scaffolding and in port-a-poties!
What a fantastic adventure it was!


Castanet and Streaming Café

by Malcolm Petch

When you’re on a journey, it’s always nice to come across helpful folks along the way. We here at Streaming Café have been pleased at the on-going support we’ve received from Kelowna’s Castanet.net, the online news source for the Okanagan and beyond. They’ve been going since November 2000, and as far as successful online media presence goes, Castanet is a grandfather in the industry (for comparison, though they’re in a different arena, Friendster launched in 2002, MySpace in 2003, and facebook started in 2004).

Today there’s a blurb on Brad Parson’s “offbeat” page with a picture and link right on the front page (on Castanet) about tonight’s Album-Release party with Pat LePoidevin. Big shout-out to Brad and the others there for supporting us yet again! The live show itself will be streamed on our site, as per normal, but Castanet will be showing it on the offbeat page as well. Take that, facebook!

So there are your choices for tonight: watch Pat’s show live on SC, watch it live on Castanet.net (and keep up with the news at the same time), or come on down to the café and watch it in person! You can’t get a beer or a coffee online, of course, but Pat’s music will still be there…

Thanks, Castanet!


Live Album Release Show "Pat LePoidevin Live at Streaming Cafe"

by Joel Thiessen

We are only a few days away from our Pat LePoidevin CD Release Show and we’ve gotten some great local press! We are very excited that both The Capital News and eVent Magazine have picked up our event to broadcast to the masses. If you haven’t already got your ticket (and free CD) for Pat’s April 21st show, do not wait – seating is very limited!

If you can’t make it out to the show you can still watch the show live online @ http://streamingcafe.net and buy the Pat LePoidevin Live at The Streaming Cafe CD for $10 from the Cafe or get it digital off our website in our new online store!

Don’t miss out on another great performance and the Cafe’s very first live album!


Art Show a great success!

by Joel Thiessen

Last Saturday we were fortunate to have local artists Leanne Spanza and Christina Leinemann Knittel host  Viewpoints art display at Streaming Cafe. This week we had a chance to sit down with Michelle from the Cafe to get a debrief on the success of the Viewpoints: a contrast of perspectives artshow.

Joel – So what is Viewpoints and how did it come to be?
Michelle – Well, one of the artist involved (Leanne Spanza) participated in our monthly craft sale last fall. We all fell in love with her art immediately so when she approached me and asked about the possibilities about having an art show that would feature her work as well as her friends, Christina Leinemann, here we didn’t give it a second thought.

J – What can you tell us about the artists involved with viewpoints?
M – Well there were two artists featured, Leanne’s work is focused more on scenery and landscapes. Her style contemporary and simplistic with bold and upbeat colors – reminiscent of Ted Harrison. While Christina’s art moves more through different textures with subtle color-play.

J – So how did the night progress?
M – It progressed very well. There were DJ’s, beer and wine, pizza and other appies. People even drove in from Summerland and Vancouver to see the art. Even Mayor Sharon Shepard made an appearance! It was packed house all night.

J – What was the general atmosphere in the cafe?
M – Some people compared the night to a birthday party! It as awesome. The vibe was very relaxed and people were mingling like crazy and having a great time. It felt so comfortable – like we were at a friends house…only with a lot of beautiful pictures hung up everywhere!

J – You mentioned there were DJ’s? I thought the Cafe featured mostly acoustic based music.
M – The cafe has really branched out and grown. The art show just happened to fall on one of our Groove Lounge nights (2nd & 4th Friday of the month). The DJ’s agreed to join in on the event and really helped make the atmosphere awesome with a mixture of jazzy instrumental music. It was really fun!

J – So how was the overall success of the night?
M – The night was a huge success in many ways. Everyone who came down had a really fun time, plus the Artists sold some art and got a ton of exposure from the full house. Some pictures are still up in the cafe and we find our customers being distracted from their drink orders!

J – How long will the art be featured in the Cafe?
M – They’ll be up till April 30th.

J – Is there talk of another art show in the future?
M – We are looking into the possibilities of making this a more frequent event, Kelowna is home to so many talented artists whose work deserves a local showcase. We’re not to sure when it’ll be, but keep your eyes open!

We believe that the Cafe serves as not only a local venue and intimate listening room for live music in Kelowna, but as a social hub for artists of all sorts to perform, display and interact in an un-intimidating environment. Viewpoints: a contrast of perspective was a great success and we appreciate everyone who worked so hard at making it the memorable night that it was!

Leanne Spanza – www.leannespanza.com
Christina Leinemann Knittel – www.clkstudio.com


Web-traveling the North Scene : Northcote

by Michael Donley
My Photos by I thought i’d write about an artist that I connected with through email last year but haven’t been able to connect to perform yet at the cafe….but hopefully soon!

Northcote is the project of Saskatchewan born singer/songwriter Matt Goud.  Matt toured North America for years with influential post-hardcore group Means and with the disbanding of the band in 2008 took on a new path. In the same spirit of Dallas Green’s City and Colour, Matt has made a clear change-up in musical direction to the folk/rock genre.
His debut solo EP in 2009 Borrowed Chords, Tired Eyes boosts 8 songs that need to be added to any Canadian Indie music fans collection.
He has now hit road in support of his new full length album Gather No Dust that is available on April 19th. The record was tracked in rural Southern Ontario in November 2010 with Producer Dan Weston (Attack in Black, Classified, Shad, City and Colour).

While you wait for the full release on April 19, be sure to grab his download Free Tonight @ his website http://northcotemusic.com/ and yes it is free!


Cash grabs for your next CD release

by Nico Boesten
Pretty much all of my artistically minded musician buddies are piss poor.

I’m not a huge fan of generalizations but when it comes to talking about all the things the average independent artist needs to do in order to “make it” (or make something) in the sea of digital music pirates, it’s a feat of gargantuan proportions.

The average artist that you’ve seen light up your computer screens via Streamingcafe.net over the past couple of years has to work their little tutus off trying to get well paid gigs, keep their websites / Fbook / Twitter / RN / Bandcamp etc. up to date, send out emails, sell merch, write tunes, practice… Tons of things to do. And unless you’ve either landed some sweet deal, robbed your brother’s piggy bank, or have a plutonium mine hidden in your backyard it’s tough to make a living plucking your git-box.

So, people are getting creative in the way they raise money for projects and I’ve seen a few really cool tools that artists can use to get their fanbase involved in supporting their next album.

This is my buddy Tom Conlon who hails from the east coast of the US of EH and doesn’t believe in selling his music. It’s always by donation. He tours nonstop in a van and is one of the most generous guys you’ll ever meet in your life. Maybe that’s why he’s penniless. Anyway, he’s using a free service called Kickstarter to get people involved in supporting his next album project.

Tom Conlon’s project with his brilliant little video explaining the project is here.

The real beauty in this is that you can give different packages to people who donate depending on how much they give.

For example:
Pledge $300 or more and get: digital pre-release, 2 signed copies, signed poster, your name in ‘thank you’ credits, plus…personalized video blog performance of the TC song of your choice.

The even cooler-er thing about this is that if you don’t get enough pledges by the date you set, nobody pays and you’re back to the drawing board. Ya, this would be a bit of an emotional sledgehammering to the confidence and ego of the artist, but at least all the donors will be off the hook.

Point being, it’s a great tool that could really work for you if you need a slick tool to help raise some money.

Have you heard of any other great tools / websites that could help artists?


Viewpoints Art Exhibition at Streaming Cafe

Come down to Streaming Cafe Friday, April 8th from 7pm to 9pm for Viewpoints Exhibition.

Viewpoints is an interpretation of everyday life by two local artists Leanne Spanza and Christina Leinemann Knittel. Leanne captures familiar landscapes with bold colour and simple shape, where as Christina focuses on small moments with expressive marks and subtle textures. These contrasting styles of work celebrate the different points of view that can be found within a community.

There will be art on display and for sale with many different sizes to choose from and of course, full of bold colours. Friends and family are welcome! There will be beer and wine available for purchase and of course great coffee from the Streaming Cafe.

Also, two draws will be made for two paintings, one by each artist! Make sure to enter while you are there for your chance to win.

Art from both artists will be for sale and on display.

Leanne Spanza
Believing that it is important to slow down from our hectic lives, I am inspired to capture the simple things in our everyday landscapes that can sometimes be missed. I paint because I love to create and am passionate about surrounding myself with people, places and objects that make me happy. I hope to remind the viewer of the importance of the simple things in life and seeing beauty in all that surrounds us.

Christina Leinemann Knittel
I typically create in an intuitive manner and my work is often informed by what speaks to me in the moment, allowing the surface of the canvas to guide my hand in the placement of paint, paper and colour. This approach allows for spontaneity and exploration in my creative process. I am inspired by the little things that make people smile and a playful sense of discovery.


Our First Live Album & Release Show!

by Malcolm Petch

It’s been just over two years now since we first opened the doors at Streaming Café, and in that time we’ve had a lot of very fine musicians grace our stage. Over the months we’ve enjoyed adding to the SC repertoire through YouTube vids, podcasts, a couple of website updates (have you seen the totally revamped and new website we have now? It’s killer!), plus we’ve been happy to see the Café itself start serving food menu items and, very recently, acquire a liquor license.

Now we are more than excited to announce a new FIRST for us: in partnership with one of those very fine musicians we are happy to be releasing our first live album… (let the fanfare build here…) “Pat LePoidevin live at Streaming Café” will be released nation-wide on April 21st!

That’s right – a live album recorded right here at the Café! We multi-tracked Pat’s concert in January of this year, and it was a great show. The response in the room that night, plus the number of people checking in online and interacting live with each other and Pat, kept bringing the show back to our minds here in the post-production SC office. When we decided to move forward with doing our own CDs, Pat LePoidevin topped the list as an artist we’d love to work with in our first endeavour.

In conjunction with Pat we are hosting an album release concert at the Café on April 21stat 7PM (“in conjunction” meaning that Pat is playing a concert that night to celebrate the release of the album. We’re not playing, just him). Tickets for the event are $15, available at Streaming Café, and every ticket includes a pre-release copy of the CD. Online-purchase versions of the album will be available as of that date, too.

Woo hoo! If you can’t be here in person on the 21st, please join us online for this FIRST album release!! We will never again have a first-album-release show; this is your chance to be part of SC history! (Okay, maybe that’s overkill. But it will be a great show; you know how good Pat is, right?)

Click here for more performance details…


"Born to it…" – Ambre McLean

by Malcolm Petch

Ambre McLean is among a select group of artists in Canada, a group that shares a notable genre. These days it’s harder than ever to pin down a particular musical styling as being the “such-and-such” genre. Sometimes it seems like every artist concocts his or her own distinct flavour simply to be able to come up with yet another new genre name. There’s one genre, though, that hasn’t been claimed yet: Alt/Via Rail. This genre applies to all artists, like Ambre, who’ve traveled the country as a performer on a Via Rail train, which is clearly an alternate means of touring. At Streaming Café we’ve had the pleasure of entertaining (or, rather, being entertained by) several Canadian indie artists who have done cross-country tours via Via rail.

Ambre McLean’s music is a blend of jazz, country, blues, folk, and pop. That list, detailed though it may be, is a fairly mundane description of the actual music: McLean’s strong guitar playing supports a spirited and secure voice, which is engaging right off the bat. Her songwriting abilities are both solid and fervent, and her comfort level at handling both her instrument and extras like a Line 6 looping unit make even her solo YouTube performances worthy of note. Here’s an artist who is good, and who is fun to listen to. “She must have been born to it,” says CBC 3’s Craig Norris about her performing.

McLean has released four albums to date as a solo artist. After cutting her teeth in various band environments, she moved on to being an artist in her own right back in 2004. More recently McLean took some time off – a sabbatical, if you will – and came back to her music refreshed and ready for new experiences. Her latest album, “Murder at the smokehouse – a musical novella” was released on a new indie label (Busted Flat Records), and she’s currently on tour with all her new music.

Ambre McLean will be performing a double bill at the Streaming Café on Saturday April 16th, along with Gabrielle Papillon (who herself appeared at SC back in June of 2010). The evening promises to be one of good music and yummy noms (for in-house guests, anyway; online will still be good music!!). Show starts at 7PM Pacific time.

For more performance details click here.


Discover our NEW website!

by Malcolm Petch

Back in January the staff here at Streaming Café came to the decision to rebuild our website from the ground up.

We had started online life two years ago with a fully functioning website, and a few months in we went to website 1.1, with a re-skinning and retooling of the website appearance.

This time we wanted to make the leap to website 2.0, with a complete re-do of the inner architecture and functions of the site. We’d learned from online guests and from our own experiences what aspects of the online experience could be made better, so we decided to jump in with both feet and see what we could do about it.

By now you have no doubt noticed that our site looks different. We went live on March 16 after two and a half months of solid work by an excellent marketing strategist and his top-notch crew (thanks D!).

The first thing you’ve probably noticed is that there is no video player on our home page unless the live show is on. We wanted you, the online viewer, to be able to choose which music you watched/listened to rather than be subject to whatever happened to be looping through the player at the moment you tuned in.

Along with no video player on the mid-week home page, you’ve probably seen that we have large banner images moving across the front of the page telling you who has just played and who is coming up in the next few weeks. We’d heard from folks who’d told us, “Hey, your previous and past shows list is hard to see and hard to understand…”, so we wanted to increase the clarity of who’s who in the zoo – and when they’re playing.

Now when you click on one of those images you’ll be taken to that artist’s page, where you can either learn about them if they’re due to play at Streaming Café, or where you can view some videos of when they did play, if their performance has already happened.

Those videos of past performances are from our YouTube channel. But here’s a little insider secret: for most of our previous artists you’ll find more videos of them on our site than you will on YouTube. That’s our way of rewarding you for spending time on streamingcafe.net; we like giving out rewards – that’s just the kind of people we are.

One other change we made was with the chat room on our home page when we’re live with a show. Used to be that you had to become a member and sign in to be able to chat with the artist or other viewers. We heard from tons of people that they found that frustrating and tedious, plus it didn’t even work on some browsers, so we’ve completely eliminated that. You’ll need to give yourself a nickname and confirm that you’re a human
being (way easier than it sounds), but membership is not required. Oh – but if you’re reading this in newsletter format you’ve probably already become a member…

Hey, there’s a ton of other good stuff and innovative features on the new site. Check it out, even during the week when the show’s not live. And we are looking for feedback from you, too: What’s not working still? What could be better? Any suggestions for other stuff we could add?

And did we mention the LIVE album release that’s coming up?…