Episode #200 – Tim Potocic/Supercrawl 2016

Something really cool is going down in The Hammer this weekend – something that is like steroids for the music scene in this town, something remarkable called Supercrawl. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past eight years, Supercrawl is an amazing overdose of art, music and fashion crammed into a few closed-off blocks of James Street, transforming the concrete canyons into a real-life stage like no other. 

The dude at the helm of this mighty ship is Tim Potocic, the home town visionary who has parlayed his experiences of 90’s powerhouse Tristin Psionic into a key partnership with a band-mate and longtime friend, cohorts who took everything they knew and all they believed in – and formed Sonic Unyon, a small label with big dreams and the killer work ethic that makes ideas transform into a sublime reality.  Residing in the heart of downtown, the little record company that could began to develop and promote concerts and festivals, real life stages onto which the creative visions of the artist can be delivered to a receptive audience – from the lips to the ears of the next generation of folks to whom real, original music is the crucial ingredient. The hard scrabble of James Street North began to transform and evolve due to the monthly happening on the second Friday of every month – a little thing called Art Crawl that made that mean street suddenly inviting and comforting in a bohemian fashion, cool, trendy but somehow untainted by the monetization and fiduciary concerns that exist when art and commerce collides. In 2008 the idea of a street festival took flight with the first Super Crawl and  every year since the spectacle had grown in size and impact. Hamilton has always been known as a music town. We have always had a remarkable core of steadfast artists who could invest in their world on a street, in a neighborhood, uniquely their own. Now it seems everyone wants in, a sure signal that the little idea is now the blueprint on how to take a bit of skill, a deep passion, and a whole lot of community to create the most exciting three days in all of Ontario. Yup, it’s not rocket science but it’s close – let’s call it rock science and Tim Potocic is the mad genius we get to know tonight, on Barber Shop Podcast. 



Checkerboard Floors

Just west of Steeltown lies the fertile ground of Haldimand County and the city of Brantford – a place that punches far above its weight musically speaking. In that zone of influence between there and the town of Paris (not France 😉 live the lads who comprise the makings of tonight’s guests, Checkerboard Floors. Comprised of Derek Palagano, Tyler Wilson, Matt Outerson and Rob Shorney perform in every wing shack and mall bar they can book with their cover band, gaining the precious experience and chops along the way to invest in their vehicle of original music, making compelling and legitimate art in an environment that is often barren of the nourishment that steady gigs and regular praise brings. Steady progress, absolute conviction and a faith in the results bore fruit and when it became time to retreat to the boutique studio of guitarist Wilson’s creation led to the further creation of their debut album ART PROJECT in 2014, a 10 song, full length CD that showcases the slick arrangements and crafty vocal interplay within the band, the vexing voice of Palango strong yet plaintive atop the mix with Wilson’s fretboard flourishes and Outerson’s hinge evident in his harmonies and low passes, each instrument and voice both pushing and pulling the others effortlessly, creating just the right tension to make the heartstrings sing. Yup, these lads are both nothing special and the next best thing all at once. You’d be forgiven if you overlooked Checkerboard Floors whole going about your daily tasks – but you should definitely go back for a closer look – it’s well worth the time and effort.  This fine night, the last night of August, we welcome our western neighbors with open arms, lending a hand and an ear as yet another great band you’ll likely never get to hear or see without this little glimpse – who knows, you might just fall in love all over again.