A few months ago I was approached to do a ticket giveaway for a holiday show and review of the opener. I had never heard of Caren, or Sharon Nutzati – the Toronto native behind Caren, but as I was already going to the show, and always eager to give people incentive to check out great new music, I happily obliged. And let me tell you, Caren rocks.
So when Caren asked if I wanted to write something about an awesome CMW show she was headlining, I jumped at the opportunity to sit down and chat with her. Read the interview below and find out a little more about this awesome show, and make sure to come down to Ildsjel Collective on Thursday to check out both the maker’s market and the CMW showcase afterwards.
The Indie Blender: Hey Caren, tell us about your connection to Ildsjel, and what makes having this kind of space in Toronto so important.
Caren: Ildsjel is run by a few great creative friends of mine, and through the last year I’ve been singing their praises so I’m super excited to finally be doing a show with them. The space is such an interesting tool that a lot of Toronto needs, but can’t seem to offer. Essentially it’s a multi space for creatives to work. They have a music studio, a wood shop, a bunch of 3D printers and basically anything else you can dream up to make the things you make. They’re a great community oriented space that caters to the creatives in the city and I couldn’t be prouder to be doing this show with them.
TIB: So how did this show come together?
C: The people at Ildsjel came up to me and wanted to see if we could do an inclusive CMW show that features womxn and non-binary musicians and makers. I was in love with the idea and it just took off from there. We’ve now got a makers market going on from 5pm – 7pm followed by music from 7pm-12am featuring tons of folks making different genres of music. It’s grown into so much more than just another CMW showcase which is why I think it’s really special and why I wanted to work on it in the first place.
TIB: Many Toronto concert-goers have a love-hate relationship with the Port Lands because it’s so out of the way/difficult to get to. Why should music fans put their issues aside and make the trek? And are there any measures put in place to make that trek easier? (Or is there a route/transport option you’d personally recommend to make the trek more enjoyable/shorter?)
C: I totally am one of those people who makes excuses because things are “too far”. To be honest though, once you get out of your comfy pants and start making the trek it’s totally worth it. Plus with ridesharing apps and the warm weather for biking, it makes it much easier to get around town and catch all the bands you want to see in one night.
Biking down to the Port Lands is actually super pretty when going along the waterfront and is much faster than you expect! TTC also stops steps away from the venue at Carlaw and Lakeshore.
TIB: Do you know offhand any of the vendors who will be setting up shop at the market that you’d like to recommend?
C: My favourite is brittpaperscissors, she’s always got cool pins and stickers with fun bright colours! I can’t wait to see what she brings to the makers market. We’re also having Forward Thinking Natural Skin Care and Wayward Sisters Anthology.
TIB: Also playing on the bill is Montreal’s Altered by Mom, a band you share a drummer with. Have you had any issues on that front? Are you excited to be on the same bill as them?
C: Having Jamie in the band has only been a wonderful experience. Devon (guitar and vocals in Altered By Mom) did my record and actually recommended I ask Jamie to play. Having them be a part of this makes it really special like there are more people on my team rooting for me and trying to just help each other succeed. Plus it doesn’t hurt that we can gear share at shows!
TIB: Tell us a little about Lolaa and Paper Shakers?
C: Lolaa is a good friend of Britt’s (brittpaperscissors) and has worked with her in the past which is how we got so lucky to have her on the bill. Lolaa is a sister duo and they’re really inspired by Latin American/ 80s pop which you can really see in their songs. I’ve never met them but I’m excited to see them perform!
Paper Shakers are my friends from Peterborough that we met while on tour last year. They’re fun folk rock, when I first brought them to Toronto we played this tiny cafe and packed the place and they got everyone dancing and stomping. I’m overall just really excited for the blend of musicians we have playing.
TIB: Please tell us you’re going to play some new music and you have some new recordings on the way, we’re itching for more Caren!
C: Yesssss! Definitely new music and of course old stuff. I spent the winter writing a lot so I’m excited to bring some of the new songs out of hibernation.
For those that need a recap, the show is May 10th, 2018 at the Ildsjel Collective (7 – 4 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, ON). A maker’s market will take place from 5-7pm with music starting at 7 until about midnight. Caren is closing out the show, and is not to be missed!
Happy CMW, we’ll be sure to see you around!