A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to join Post City for an acoustic session in Sunnyside Park, here in Toronto. The media outlet has been doing a series of musicians performing in local parks, and I was honoured to be asked to be a part of it. Here I perform my song, “Grain of Salt” -which appears on Bound- as a stripped back acoustic version, set to the rhythm of Lake Ontario lapping behind me. The blog post is below the video if you’d like to read for context.
From the Post City blog:
“Kat Burns is charming, and more than a little flexible, which helps when our video shoot moves from the very noisy but fun Dufferin Grove Park all the way down to the idyllic shores of Lake Ontario. And lucky thing we did; Burns’ easy-breezy tunes are a perfect fit for the lakeside locale.
We set up shop on a little stretch of rocky shoreline in Sunnyside Park, far away from the hubbub of the massive pool filled with the sounds of summer (kids screaming) yet surrounded by a surprisingly high number of curious waterfowl.
Burns is, of course, the creative force behind the now-defunct Forest City Lovers and her new(ish) project Kashka, which released their second album Bound late in 2013. She is also set to embark on her first solo tour, details of which are on her website.
For this video, Burns plays the lovely song “Grain Of Salt,” off Bound. Enjoy!”
Really excited to embark on this tour. I hope to see some friendly and familiar faces along the way. Please share with friends in these cities? Limited tickets on sale, small capacities each show. Bring your listening ears! I will be performing songs from my whole catalogue, including Forest City Lovers and KASHKA.
Asterix indicates an all ages/youth friendly show.
24 – Picton ON: WooHoo Farm* (TICKETS)
30 – Sarnia, ON: Festival of Good Things (FULL BAND, free show)
31 – Eden Mills, ON: Tantramar Farm* w/ Ryan Carley (TICKETS)
03 – East Vancouver, BC: Prophouse Cafe* w/ Olenka Krakus (TICKETS)
04 – Vancouver, BC: Dynamo Arts Association (TICKETS)
05 – Kelowna, BC: Streaming Cafe* (TICKETS)
06 – Vancouver, BC: Krista’s Backyard* (TICKETS)
If the show is at a private residence, the address will be sent to you when you purchase the ticket.
The photo above is from a beautiful farmstead that I played at last weekend, in eastern Ontario. It was one of the most special nights. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I love touring and performing live. After jotting down a list I realised that, at the heart of things, I love meeting new people and sharing songs and stories with them. Music moves and inspires people as much as traipsing across our landscape does. I want to continue to do this in a sustainable and special way. Instead of chasing for the big shows and risk getting the sentiment lost in loud bars, I’m going to go small. Really small. I am organising a small run of shows in late August and early September. I am looking for people that would be willing to open up a room in their home for three hours. Our team will take care of the rest. You don’t have to do anything except provide a space and check guests off a list at the door. Everything is taken care of in advance, to make it a pleasant experience for everyone involved. I will be playing from my entire discography, with selected songs from both KASHKA and Forest City Lovers albums. This is a rare chance to hear some songs that generally aren’t performed live anymore! If you are interested, and for a full list of dates we’re seeking, please read on below or visit www.playthetriangle.com/house-concerts
LIVING ROOM LOVE IN:
SEEKING HOSTS FOR AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014
JUNE 25, 2014
We’re looking for people to host Kat Burns (KASHKA, Forest City Lovers) for intimate Living Room Shows in Ontario in August and the West Coast in September!
This small tour of shows will be very special presentation from Toronto’s Kat Burns, exploring much of her discography over the last few years. She will be playing solo sets of select KASHKA and Forest City Lovers songs and collaborating on songs with selected special guests in certain cities. The experiences will be as intimate and unique as can be. Expect stories, audience chats and an interaction you would not find in a bar. As a host, we’re going to make it as easy as possible for you! All you have to do is let us borrow your living room for about 3 hours and tick names off the guest list at the door as people arrive. In return you’ll receive five free tickets to the show for your friends, and an album of your choice from Kat. We’re looking for hosts in the cities listed below and in surrounding areas. If you are near any of these cities and are interested in hosting please reach out because we’d love to chat! DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS JULY 18. The tickets will go on sale on July 20th, at 10am EST.
25 – Ottawa
26 – Kingston Area
27 – Peterborough
28 – Barrie
29 – Durham Region (Pickering/Oshawa/Whitby/Coutice)
1 – Buffalo, NY
2 – Seattle, WA
3 – Everett, WA
4 – Vancouver BC
5 – Chilliwack, BC
6 – Abbotsford, BC
7 – Tacoma, WA
13 – Toronto, ON
14 – London, ON
Please read everything below and get in touch if would like to host a show. Our contact info at the bottom of the page.
Hosts, we’re going to make this very easy! All you have to do is let us borrow your living room for 3 1/2 hours and tick off the names at the door as people arrive. In return, we’ll give you five extra free tickets for your friends, and an album of your choice from Kat.
Here’s how it works!
1. You have a house, loft space, art gallery, or other space that can comfortably and safely host 20-60 people. Please be realistic about capacity, it’s better to under estimate slightly than overestimate, as we’ll need to know how many tickets we can sell in advance. We’ve found that 20-40 people is what the average living room can hold, and larger spaces can usually hold up to 60. It would be great if there was public transportation, bike or car parking close by. To avoid problems, you probably shouldn’t do this if you live in a small apartment with a bunch of uptight neighbours/room mates. If you’d like to propose an outdoor space, please make sure there is adequate power supply, your neighbours are okay with it and –importantly– a plan B in case of rainy weather.
2. Ticket price will be $20, and $15 for those under 25. Everyone must buy tickets in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. There will be no reselling or third-party tickets sales. All tickets sales are direct to fans from Play the Triangle. Limit 4 tickets per person. We want everyone to have the same chance of getting tickets!
3. The host will be provided a detailed list of everyone coming to the show. You will not have to deal with any money and will only need to tick people off the list as they arrive. Kat will arrive at 18:45 / 6:45pm to set up, and we ask guests to arrive between 19:15-19:45 and the shows usually start at 20:00 / 8pm and we ask everyone to be out of your space by 22:00 / 10pm. If we have arranged a day time event, we will be clear about a similar window of time.
4. The host gets 5 additional free tickets for the show. If you have other friends beyond your 5 free who want to come to the show you should direct them buy tickets on-line.
5. Your home address will not be published on the web and will only be given to people who purchase tickets.
6. The shows will promoted on our websites, Facebook and Twitter and word-of-mouth.
7. We’ll need your help to spread the word on your Facebook and Twitter too. We’ll create a Facebook event for each show so you can easily invite your friends (Thank you!). Remember, please don’t post the address. The address only goes to people after they buy tickets.
8. All you need is a chair for Kat to sit on and some kind of ambient lighting such as fairy lights, a lamp or a dimmed light. A small PA will be supplied that will serve all the needs of the evening, please make sure your room has power within easy access.
9. There will be no opening acts on the living room shows.
If you’re interested, and have read all of this, please follow these steps:
1. PLEASE READ AND SIGN THIS FORM. IMPORTANT!
2. email email@example.com this info:
a. Your address.
b. A few photos of your living room or the space you’d hold the show.
c. Please put “KAT BURNS house show” and the name of your city in the subject line.
3. Sit tight and we’ll get back to as soon as possible if we can book the show at your house!
Thanks for your help!
Streaming music services introduce people to new music, and that is a great thing. Music is being heard, enjoyed and shared. You can now pay $10 to listen to all the songs you want, even offline. What a deal! But wait — this is where things have to change. The idea that you can get as much as you want for a single charge is very short sighted and does not feed into a long term sustainable model of operation.
I’m a musician/songwriter who has released five albums over the last seven years (KASHKA, Forest City Lovers). I’m very familiar with the music industry, and the way things are rapidly changing. There have been many discussions amongst my peers and contemporaries about the state of the industry now. It’s a whole new beast and the old rules, even from three years ago, are gone. The masses aren’t buying CDs, they’re streaming. This means less direct revenue is being earned from the same amount of time and money invested to create the music. There’s been movement from some individuals to remove all their content from streaming sites such as Rdio and Spotify, while many more others feel trapped in the current system by the perpetual dangling carrot of “exposure”.
Here’s a very brief rundown of the system, before I start to propose how it could easily change to benefit everyone involved:
- Users pay a fee directly to streaming services to listen to all the music they want, on all their devices, even when offline. The running cost of this hovers around $10 USD.
- Streaming services pay artists per streamed song, an average of $0.005 (it varies slightly by country). This is a fraction of a penny. An example: Arcade Fire, arguably one of the hottest bands at the moment, has around 400 000 plays on Rdio. This translates to about $2000— presumably split between six band members, management, and publishing. If even 10% of streamed songs were purchased at $0.99, they would have earned closer to $40 000. For lesser known artists, the numbers are much, much lower.
- Some services have been fighting to pay even less per stream as they think it is hurting their bottom line.
So I propose some minor changes be implemented that would have a drastic and positive effect on the way music is consumed and how artists are paid through streaming sites.
- Reasonable use. Stream all the music you want, but I propose that if you listen to a song in your ‘collection’ more than three times, you buy it for $0.99. The money would go directly to the artist, you’d be supporting the music you love, and you’d have the song permanently in your collection. Win win.
- The site would have an option when you sign up to either automatically charge your credit card for the songs you listen to more than three times ($0.99 one time charge to own that song) or have an option to be prompted after you’ve listened to the song twice that would remind you that, “John, you seem to love this song! You’ll have to purchase it to listen to it more. Thank you for supporting the artists you love!”
A second hand effect would be that it would encourage the listener to discover more music based on the artists they like, in order to maximize their subscription. This model could change the game. The artists would be earning a much better wage for their work and the services would not lose any money from their monthly subscriptions.
People will argue that having to pay more would dissuade many from using these streaming services. This may be true, but I believe strongly that if a value is placed on something, people will eventually accept, and, hopefully, understand it. There is an inherent value in the music you listen to; someone spent their time and money to create and distribute it. If you enjoy your music, it’s time to rethink unlimited consumption.
Alt Altman makes emotional pop music under the moniker Digits, and by gosh I like it. Here’s his newest video.