Canadian Music Week 2005 at various venues, Thursday through Saturday (March 3-5). See club listings for complete showcase information. Individual shows free-$26.50, wristbands $30, available through Ticketmaster (416-870-8000, www.ticketmaster.ca). Note: some shows have limited wristband access. Check www.cmw.net for further conference event information, details and updates.
BLOOD MERIDIAN with CHAD ROSS , ANDY MAGOFFIN , WOOLLY LEAVES and the Parkas as part of CMW at Healey's (178 Bathurst), Friday (March 3), midnight. $8, free w/ CMW wristband. www.cmw.net. Rating: NNNNN
If you're in a band that's doing pretty damn well - like, you're on a respected label, you've gotten critical props and you've toured with Coldplay - it's tempting to just sit back and bask in the glory for a while.
But not if you're former Black Halos guitarist Matt Camirand, who's currently a member of in-demand indie rock darlings Black Mountain.
Instead of taking a break during Black Mountain's downtime, the Vancouver-based guitarist has been focusing for the last year or so on his new project, Blood Meridian, a band he describes as having "sombre country leanings by people who can't play country very well."
Modesty aside, the five members of Blood Meridian are carving their own path just fine these days. As well as their new Soldiers Of Christ EP, they recently signed to the V2 label in the States and have a full-length record scheduled for a midsummer release.
Not too shabby for a side project Camirand claims to have started with few aspirations.
"When I was in the Black Halos, I spent a lot of time away from home touring, and brought along my acoustic guitar to write. When I left the band, I decided to do something different, so I recruited some of my best friends to play."
For now, Blood Meridian seems like a family affair, especially when Camirand mentions that his new band will be touring right into summer with his musical Mountain bedfellows (in Black Mountain and Steve McBean's other group, the Pink Mountaintops).
Until then, he's taking songs across southern Ontario for some acoustic, stripped-down shows with Chad Ross and the Constantines' Will Kidman.
They'll be intimate affairs, but, he assures me, that doesn't mean they'll be boring.
"It's a chance for me to focus more on the lyrics. I spend a lot of time writing and I'm proud of that, and when you take the distortion away, it gives people a chance to actually hear you.
"But don't expect it to have some morose coffee-house vibe."