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Source: Lou Molinaro

The other day I got to chat with Lou Molinaro, co-owner and promoter of Hamilton’s live entertainment venue, This Ain’t Hollywood.  We spoke about the success of local artists, Hamilton’s music scene and how social media factors in to the success of the venue, events and the artists who play there.

After leaving his previous job due to creative differences, Lou and his business partner, Glen Fulman found their own space.  In April 2009 a space for a new live entertainment venue was acquired and in June of the same year, This Ain’t Hollywood opened.


Source: Lou Molinaro

Local Arts & Community

This Ain’t Hollywood contributes to the local art scene, taking part in the art crawl each month on James Street North.  Every art crawl, a new/different artist will display their art at the back of the club.

Although the majority of the events that take place at the venue are 19+, Lou and his team ensure they don’t forget about the younger music fans.  Every Sunday they showcase an event for all ages, for artists to get a taste for performing in a live venue.  Lou creates relationships with young performers, so in the future once they (and their fans) are 19, they know where to play.

Social Media

I asked Lou about the importance of social media and having an online presence. In regards to their social media accounts, they have hired an individual who manages This Ain’t Hollywood’s Twitter and Facebook page.  Since Lou has been in the business, social media has changed the dynamic of promoting and marketing events.  He revealed that it has allowed This Ain’t Hollywood to reach cross border audiences, resulting in an increase of fans from Buffalo and Detroit coming to catch shows in Hamilton.


Marketing/promoting shows at This Ain’t Hollywood is a mix of old school promotion (print and posters) with the new school marketing of social media. Local artists are hired to create posters for upcoming shows.

“Hamilton is a city that has a lot of street traffic,”  said Lou, who mentioned the location of the posters is always strategically planned.  At the same time the posters can be seen, the local artist ties into the promotion of their artwork and/or show through social media.  CFMU student radio station at McMaster University, is another outlet where Lou promotes events at This Ain’t Hollywood.

Lou also shared a story about booking Monster Truck shortly after opening the club.  The show was a Monday night and they were promoting it heavily because it was a Monday and not on a weekend.  The show was a double bill with Monster Truck opening up for Mick Jagger’s son James Jagger and his band Turbogeist.  The success of the event and response Monster Truck received from the local crowd was amazing.  Monster Truck has since found positive recognition in Canada and across the globe.

Artists and Social Media

When it comes to promoting artists through social media, Lou suggests it’s a balance: “As much as we want to promote every show, sometimes it can be overkill. We don’t want to flood people’s social media feed, [to a point] at which they won’t stop and read our post.”

Terra Lightfoot, Lee Reed, Hachey The MouthPEACE  and Monster Truck are great examples of how social media can help spread success.  Social media is great tool for helping and supporting artists with upcoming album releases and shows.  It allows the artists to enlarge their fanbase and interact with their followers.

Lou emphasized that he embraces social media, as he believes it’s an important means of promoting, communicating and encouraging audiences to talk about and review the show.  He enjoys going home after a show and seeing all the videos, pictures and comments posted online.

Music Trends

This Ain’t Hollywood is not one to simply follow a trend for the sake of doing so.  The artists they book are from all genres of music.  Lou believes this variety is crucial in reaching a wide range of music fans.  Lou also believes in quality music, therefore he often pushes for more quality sounding artists than the most recent hit sensations looking for a stop on tour.  This Ain’t Hollywood isn’t about what artists will be the next big thing, its about supporting local artists, music and the community.


Source: Lou Molinaro

Hamilton’s Music Scene

Hamilton nourishes their artists.  With better known ones often taking newer or younger artists on tour with them.  What sets Hamilton apart is they don’t shy away from their originality.   Lou mentioned he’s seen a migration of artists coming from Toronto, which is making Hamilton’s music community more confident.

Don’t count out Hamilton as one of the leading music cities in Canada.  Artists and others in the music industry have taken notice of Hamilton’s music scene, which is growing, but also not afraid of offering something different.

Hamilton is becoming a true music community,” said Lou as he also noted there are seven venues in Hamilton that showcase original live music. “Not trying to be trendy or create a scene, we are community; this is how it will be in 5, 10 years time…Doing things our way!”

This Ain’t Hollywood is located at 345 James St. N. Hamilton, ON.  For more information and upcoming events check out their website http://www.thisainthollywood.ca/.  You can also follow and like them on Twitter and Facebook.

Vinyl Records, Cassette Tapes, CDs, MP3s, Online Streaming, which digital age of music were or are you a part of? All of them or just a few? The way music lovers listen to their favourite tunes has not always been the way it is today.

The Digital Age of Music


Courtesy of Google Images

Thanks to the evolution of music technology, music has become more accessible and delivered on a number of different platforms over the years.

Before the popularity of MP3s and online streaming, the luxury of listening to music was not as simple or portable.  The evolution of music technology Radio and the introduction of FM was the first form of music technology. If you wanted to listen to music, you could only do so via the airwaves.

By the 1950s FM radio became mainstream and through RCA the cassette tape was born. In 1983 cassette tapes overtook vinyl as the most popular medium.

In the 1970s and 1980s we saw the advancement of music mediums.  Sony invented the Walkman and the Discman was introduced. The Walkman and Discman were devices that made it possible to listen to music on the go.

The CD became increasingly popular, overtaking the use of cassettes, and the 1990s saw the emergence of MP3s. MP3s are a compressed form of audio data. The 1990s introduced us to the world of MP3s and online file sharing.  However, the 2000s was the true era of MP3s. With the rise of MP3s, CD sales started to decline.


Courtesy of Google Images

Apple released the iPod, a palm-sized hard drive based music player, with the iTunes store launching in 2003.  Since the release of the iPod in 2001, Apple is one of the leaders in the digital music technology today. An innovator in music players, Apple has introduced many makes and models of the iPod since its debut.

From 2005-2008 the trend of posting music online gained popularity. YouTube and  Soundcloud were founded.  YouTube has helped launch the careers and discovery of artists like Shawn Mendes, Walk off the Earth, The Weekend and Arctic Monkeys.  (To learn how social media helped some of these artists grow their audience, read: https://newmotto.ca/shawn-mendes-and-walk-off-the-earth-find-music-success-using-social-media).  Soundcloud allows potential and established artists to embed their music easily on shareable pages. Viewers can then stay on that artist’s website or channel and listen to their songs directly from it.

Spotify, a social streaming service, started in 2008. Allowing listeners to stream music from their desktop, phone and tablet.

2013 and beyond is what can be branded the “age of streaming”. iTunes is at the forefront of the music shopping, with two-thirds of worldwide music purchases made through the app. Music streaming revenue also grew and online radio continued to compete with traditional radio.

  • 30% of music consumers use online streaming, with 1/5 of them paying for it.
  • Spotify has over 50 million users streaming music online, with 12.5 million subscribers.

Although some of these musical formats may not be a popular choice anymore, there are music lovers who enjoy keeping the old ways of enjoying music alive and have a collection of vinyl records or still go out and buy a physical copy of an album.

If the stats and numbers are any indication, traditional music listening technology is disappearing and becoming less available. Listening to music is moving into and potentially beyond the digital online streaming world. From vinyl to cassette to CDs to MP3 to online streaming, we’ve seen quite the evolution of music technology.

The digital age of music has made it infinitely more accessible. Having an online platform has made music easily accessible to download and share music with a wide range of people. With the internet easily accessed by the touch of a button, users can receive digital content on the go, on their mobile or MP3 devices. Music being online has given individuals a quick, easy and user friendly way to listen to, enjoy, and discover music both old and new.

Do you have content you need to make more accessible to your online audience?
Contact New Motto today to see how our team can help. >>





Imagine if social media existed during the hype of Elvis, The Beatles, Jackson 5 and even the pop invasion during the late 1990s.  And then think about the effects now with the likes of One Direction.  Word of mouth, radio stations and music videos were the only way to learn about these new artists.  In today’s world, word of mouth is sharing a video online or discovering them on a reality competition show.  It can take just one person to peak interest and to spark a chain reaction.

Shawn Mendes


Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Just like fellow Canadian Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes has a very similar story of being discovered. Although, Mendes compares himself more to the likes of Ed Sheeran than Bieber, their instant popularity is in connection to social media.  Shawn began posting six second cover song videos to his Vine account in 2013.  In a matter of months his followers and views grew into the millions.  On Vine, Shawn has 3.8 million followers and 347, 552, 213 loops (the number of times his videos have been shared).  A majority of his videos on YouTube have over a million views and they include:

  • Music Videos
  • Interviews
  • Clips of Live Performances
  • Tour date and album announcements
  • Episodes of his “Life on the Road” series & more

At the age of 15, Shawn was discovered by current manager, Andrew Gertler.  Once signed to Island Records in June 2014, Shawn released his debut single Life of the Party.  The song debuted in the top 25 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

The future is bright for the youngster from Pickering, ON.  His debut album Handwritten will be released April 14th and he’s about to embark on two major tours. Being the opening act for Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tour and headlining his own tour.

Walk off the Earth


Walk Off The Earth is a band from Burlington, ON and another great example of being discovered online.  Their success began while posting low-budget videos of cover and original songs to YouTube.  The band is best known for its covers of popular music on YouTube, making use of uncommon instruments such as the ukulele and the theremin, as well as looping samples.  There cover video of Gotye’s Somebody I Use to Know generated an enormous amount of buzz, as the video demonstrated all members playing one guitar at the same time while performing the song.


Photo Courtesy of Google Images

The rock band was signed to Columbia Records in 2012 and appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that same year.  Walk Off The Earth released their debut album R.E.V.O  in 2013.

Social media has become a, if not the, new platform for up and coming artists or talented artists that have gone unnoticed to catch their big break.  Going on YouTube or Vine you are certain to find many individuals and groups doing the same, hoping to be the next Shawn Mendes or Walk off the Earth.  Who will be the next superstar?

Social Media has the potential to take performers to the next level. Interested in discussing how social media can move your career or business forward? Contact New Motto to begin the conversation.








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