Amber Long
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Amber Long

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada | SELF
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"Top 10 Albums of 2010"

For the holiday wrap–up, I’d like to start by thanking everyone for an awesome 2010. The following list is completely my own opinion. (And as a side-note, if you don’t agree, be sure to submit your opinion next year. I promise to include your opinions if I agree with them.) Happy New Year!

10. Off Victoria, Mutual Friends
The debut EP was an instant step in the right direction for the K-dub five-piece who were eagerly stepping out of their basement rehearsal space and into the spotlight. Recorded in an extremely short period of time, the band dropped the record at Maxwell’s Music House for a packed audience comprised of fans, friends and family. They’re back to writing and planning to head to the studio to record a full-length.
Favourite track: Imaginary End

09. BITE, Feeling
For a band that hosted their first gig together in October 2009, BITE have come a long way in only a year’s time. Their full-length record is a live-off-the-floor limited release recording that they debuted to hungry audiences at Molly Bloom’s in Kitchener. The band’s ode to rock and roll has earned them opening slots for their own idols including Gilby Clarke and Jon Corabi and has secured them a fruitful future.
Favourite track: “Clear Blue Sky”

08. Loaded Dice, Self-Titled
With a nod from the Hamilton Independent Music Awards, this homage to a time when punk was good plans to embark on a cross-country tour taking them from one side of Canada to the other. The band released the record to a packed house at the Hive in December in an unheard–of free CD release party. Unapologetic, full of curse words and ready to flip off the scene as fast as they warrant its attention, Loaded Dice is a live show you don’t want to miss.
Favourite track: “Going to California”

07 – Kelly Preto – The Kell EP
I saw Kelly for the first time at a songwriting competition in Guelph in early 2009. The beautiful Brazilian songstress fused soul R & B and an acoustic guitar in a show-stopping performance leaving me wanting to hear more from this new talent out of Cambridge. Kelly would then go on to debut her eager full-band EP at Maxwell’s Music House alongside some of her own favourite indie musicians. Recently home after an African tour, Kelly is planning to go full-tilt with a record that showcases her immense talent.
Favourite track: “Let Loose”

06. Lynn Jackson – Coming Down
No stranger to the Kitchener-Waterloo music community, Lynn Jackson has been writing fantastic folk/roots music since her debut. Her release Coming Down is Lynn at her finest, teaming up with Chris Boyne of Sexdwarf and Ian Smith of Spirits to create a more pop and mainstream record that showcases a genuine evolution from her previous releases. If you’re in town and she’s in town performing, my suggestion would be to link up.
Favourite track: “Coming Down”

05. Amber Long – XXX
One of the hardest DIY artists in the Waterloo Region, Amber Long successfully dropped the full-length (and self-produced) XXX on October 10, 2010. Teaming up with electronica gurus intent on coaching her to freely express herself in daring new tracks and ventures, the record is more of a journey then a playlist – and a pop-up book view of Amber doing what Amber does best: entertain. The self-proclaimed suburban diva has begun extensively touring, so best get out and see her when she does play a hometown show.
Favourite track: “Tournis”

04. CityWide Panic – Gary’s Bike Shop
The anticipated full-length release of the newly revamped three-piece finally made its debut at the indie mecca, Starlight, in November. Shredding all previous genre boxes they found themselves in, CityWide Panic emerged on stage pumped, prepped and ready to rock a house full of fans. The record (complete with cover art designed by a tattoo artist) was completely recorded by indie hero, Ben Kempel, and shows CityWide Panic as a band ready to blow the speakers show to show.
Favourite track: “What Were You In It For”

03. Ambre McLean – Murder at the Smokehouse
If you’re a fan of my column or my radio shows, you will have heard this record nearly on repeat since June when she slipped me some sneak peek tracks. Ambre’s innovative vocal styling and instrumentation glow on this record. Each track was recorded live off the floor with indie producer, Russell Jennison (Filet of Soul; Red Balloon), Ambre’s talent is brought front and centre through the novella of songs. As she criss-crosses Canada on tour, either by Via Rail or with Montreal songstress Gabrielle Papillon, be sure to snag a copy of Smokehouse while they’re still in stock.
Favourite track: “Bottom Of A Well”

02. Saigon Hookers – Truth, No Reason
Take everything you know about the Hookers and then turn it up. Loud. The beloved Hookers came back full force in the beginning of 2010 with a release ready to match the masses of fans that are always ready for new music. This year’s release was also combined with stadium shows and tours seeing the four-piece travel across the country to play alongside artists like Avenge Sevenfold. And while these tattoo-stamped, guy-lined, beer drinking Hookers are still doing shows in town, I suggest you catch them before someone snags them from us.
Favourite track: “Let it Slide”
01. The Stars Here – Econoline Hymns
It’s really no surprise that The Stars Here took my top spot. Although I’m an avid fan of the five guys who comprise one of the most recognized indie bands in the region, it goes far beyond the music. Having toured extensively on top of releasing solid record after solid record, Hymns, in my opinion, was a host of indie rock/folk anthems that solidified The Stars Here in a triumphant fist pump after having their jam halls broken into twice in late 2009. And unbeknown to fans that had flocked to the Registry to hear the debut of the album, the full-length release would soon be their last as the guys decided to put on the brakes on a ten-year career. What amazed me the most about The Stars Here in 2010 was not simply their flash of the bird to the jackasses that ripped them off, nor was it the incredible influx of energy and talent when they bombarded both the Registry and the Boathouse the night the record dropped. Rather, what amazed me about them this year was the very last night they played together as a five–piece. In a heart-wrenching two hour set, The Stars Here performed their last show in September at their home-away-from-jam-hall-home, The Boathouse, to a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd that even made its way to a line that had formed waiting outside. Also debuting their second release of the year, (on vinyl) If These Chords Should Be My Last, and its subsequent CD of b-side tracks, there is no doubt that The Stars Here deserve my top notch spot for best release of 2010 – and yours, too.
Favourite track: “Lady” - Echo Weekly


"X Marks The Spot"

Indie Seen


by Carrie Humphries
October 7 - 13, 2010
X Marks The Spot
XXX drops fittingly on October 10th, 2010. The latest release from electronica sweetheart, Amber Long, the record is a daring leap from her past projects into a futuristic fast forward. Encapsulating all we know and love from the techno guru, Long has redeveloped her sound and utilized her last few months on the road to round out her songwriting. From passion to sexy, to funny, flirtatious, and simple raw emotion, Long’s XXX is her fourth full-length studio effort since her break-out debut with the Languid Lotus Project, Bloom. In the short time that’s past, Long’s career was smashed into over-drive that included two nominations at the Toronto Independent Music Awards, and performances that have scaled North America – performing as far as New York City, Boston and Chicago. And if the girl wasn’t busy enough, Long has taken her creativeness in sound to other aspects of art - her visual art paintings have been on display around the region and her free-lance modeling career has even landed her to guest in music videos. So what’s next up for the Suburban Diva? She’s tentatively touring Europe in the summer 2011. But for now, this big city girl is gearing up to show her ever-growing fan base XXX. Performing the Boathouse stage on October 9th alongside Jimi Maze, Long’s initiative to keep the ground churning by lighting up each show she performs is how she’s growing an unstoppable rage of fans. And you can hardly call her shows ‘gigs’. Long’s performances are nothing short of a non-stop production - from acapella to techno beats, combined with her love to always entertain, it’s no wonder she’s requested to take it on the road. “I do techno, it's a dance party, it's 'feel good music' with costumes, lights and laughs,” Long explains of her show in an email interview. “You can sit in your seat and watch the performance but I don't know why you'd want to when you could dance. No one does this stuff in this town, when you come to an Amber Long show, you know you'll be christened with decibels and glitter.” Naming ‘fearless indie bands who lay it on the line’ as her main influence, Long is consistently enamored with the local talent that erupts from Kitchener-Waterloo. “I love KW, it's got such a diverse array of musicianship,” she says, “We harbour and have stages for all kinds of talent. We are saturated and luckily so.” So how does Long manage to hold her career in place as she diversifies herself from visual artist to techno diva, from costume changes to a constant evolution in her music? “The key is to remember where your passion comes from,” Long says simply. “Inspiration is in an artist's bloodstream, it's constantly acknowledging it and putting your self out there, at all times, fearlessly. Also, continually educating and bettering your self as a conscious member of society helps too.” Take it from the girl who bleeds glitter and mark your calendars for October 9th at the Boathouse. - Echo Weekly Magazine


"Amber Long"

‘The Diary Of A Suburban Diva’ has finally dropped, and it’s been
dropped Amber Long style. If it were possible to make her a new
word in the Urban Dictionary, Amber Long would be defined as
such: Amber Long adj: driven, persistent, dreaming. (1) To do
something that would inspire someone. (2) To go big or go home.
(3) To revitalize. Ex: Indie Seen has gone Amber Long all week.

The new record is not simply Amber’s best work. It’s not simply
her third record in two years. It’s not simply a follow up to
Ménage (her 2008 solo release). The Diary of A Suburban Diva is a
multimedia package – a daring and bold–faced approach to the
life of an artist willing to put it all on the line.

And it doesn’t just come as a record – Amber’s triple threat includes the full–length studio CD, artwork and a brand new book that contains snippets and pictures of the everyday life of a diva. From her artwork displays at the Art Bar, The Groove Kitchen and now being
showcased on May 2 during the Multimedia Release, Amber is a
woman who bleeds glitter and wears her heart on her sleeve. The
record promises collaborative efforts from Holla (Jen Militia),
Stephanie D (the Colour Tasters) and produced by the effortlessly
talented Wayne Bond.

The track line up is a mash of techno and experimental electro beats that will make you cheer, cry, smile, laugh and remind you that life is better in colour. And that’s one
thing Amber does very, very well – painting you a picture on canvas, in words and in music. If you’ve never heard of Amber, then playback her myspace a few times, pick up a copy of her book or purchase one of her fabulous pieces of art and you’ll be
privileged to say you were glad you got to know her.

We’ll see you
on May 2nd at the Boathouse. myspace.com/amberifica - Echo Weekly Magazine - Indie Seen


"Amber Long"

Since 2004, from being no more than a closet poet, Amber Long has performed at over 100 shows, released a full-length 19 track album, has volunteered for over 2 years as a local radio personality at CKMS 100.3FM, appeared in 2 videos (Dragonette and Dan Fournier and the Pill) and has had many works published in local zines, newspapers and journals (Poet's Eve, Wandering Artaholic, Jacknife Express)

Originally a Spoken Word artist, Amber began collaborating with local musicians, melding their melodies with her saucy rhymes. After winning the Matt Osborne Award for Emerging Local Talent, in 2006, she initiated a 'lovefest' of sorts (thx kelly, i'll use it forever), proactively searching for new, undiscovered local talent. The result? A full length cd, 'in bloom' by the Languid Lotus Project, produced by herself and well-known local producer, Wayne Bond. This cd highlights the delicacy of communal collaborations as well as the evolution of Amber's music. With the support of friends, mentors and the general population, 'in bloom' is a candid story of life, through Amber's eyes, that is currently making the charts at local radio stations.

Recently mentioned as 'an artist to watch for', in the latest "qatalyst" magazine (Mar 2008), Amber is pursuing her art, solo. Self-taught on the keyboard, her acoustic sets are laden in soulful song. Revelling in the electronic realm, she makes positive music to get people moving. And, of course, never forsaking her roots, she continues to bring her Spoken Word to Coffee House stages across the GTA.

Currently, she is recording and co-producing her first solo album, with a little help from her friends, due for release in June 2008, tentatively named, 'Ménage'.

Stay tuned!
- Today's Toronto


Discography

Albums released:

In Bloom (the Languid Lotus Project) 2007
Ménage, 2008
The Diary of a Suburban Diva, 2009
XXX, 10.10.10.
Foresight Remix EP May 2011

Songs getting airplay: U R Sumbuddy and Bedtime from the Ménage album, Party Mix and Dignity, Blinding Epiphany and Casualty from Diary of a Suburban Diva, Will feat. Jimi Maze from the in bloom album, Eggshells, Sweet Exile and The Secret from XXX.

Photos

Bio

“If it were possible to make her a new word in the Urban Dictionary, Amber Long would be defined as such: Amber Long adj: driven, persistent, dreaming. (1) to do something that would inspire someone. (2) to go big or go home. (3) to revitalize…” – Indie Seen, Echo Weekly Magazine

In a relatively short time, Long’s career has smashed into over-drive, including two nominations at the Toronto Independent Music Awards in 2010, and performances that have scaled across North America – performing as far as New York City, Boston and Chicago. She maintains her name locally, in Kitchener Waterloo, and throughout the Greater Toronto Area. With four, full length albums under her belt, and one Beatport EP release, XXX, released October 10, 2010, was voted #5 in the Top 10 Albums of 2010, Indie Seen, Echo Weekly Magazine. Amber adds Producer, Creative Director, Author and Visual Artist, to her extensive resume, constantly honing her craft.

Quoted to be ‘one of the hardest working DIY artists in the Waterloo Region’, Amber Long successfully maintains a state of prolific, artistic, homeostasis. She interacts within her community as a contributor and mentor while accomplishing her own personal goals. Currently focusing her attention on the technical side of things, she joins forces with Toronto based Producer, Mason Bach. Together, they are pushing Amber’s limits, to see, ‘just how electro can she go?’.

European performance dates, summer 2011, as well as a couple more remix EPs are her short term goals. Long term? It’s to be determined. Rest assured, when Amber Long chooses her target, her aim is meticulous and undeterred.