Pick of the Day: Val Halla

Home for the holidays, and fresh off a lengthy American tour that saw her open for “zie wango, zie tango” man himself Ted Nugent, Val Halla (a.k.a. Val McLeod) is playing shows tonight at the Fainting Goat and tomorrow night at O’Hanlon’s Pub. Backing her up at O’Hanlon’s will be Chad Kichula and the Douglas Ave. Garage Band.

Here’s the video for Val Halla’s song Stay (I Wanna Be With You)

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

7 thoughts on “Pick of the Day: Val Halla”

  1. i apologize gregory, but i have to disagree.
    i understand supporting local talent, but at what compromise of taste and integrity?
    i have heard several accounts of what a phenomenal guitar player this val halla is, but i have yet to hear any evidence of such.
    furthermore, this idea of catering to downtown culture (which i question at the root) seems contradictory in glorifying such blatantly mainstream music as this. the idea of individuality or independant music is lost when an artist overtly caters to mainstream taste in order make a means to an end.
    it seems to me with the vast resources of the internet an author may find more suitable artists to cover, rather than reinforce an artist who clearly strives to take off, but hasn’t.
    for a far stretch of the limits music has taken in the last 100 years, i would encourage the research into indie bands influenced by modern and postmodern classical music in the last 10 years.

  2. can a person not express an opinion on your message boards if it appears to me in opposition to yours? it seems you’d rather have no comments than challenging comments. well that’s what you’re getting. just like the stacks of untouched PDs around town. i really like the PD, but if you 40somethings don;t grow up and change your attitudes, I’ afraid I won;t be seeing it around for much longer.

  3. Hi, Suspiciously Familiar Sounding Anonymous….

    We love opinions that are in opposition to ours. That’s one reason why we leave our blog open to anonymous comments. (Even though that leaves us vulnerable to the spambot scourge.)

  4. All Steve was pointing out “anonymous” is that the Pick of the Day is designed to let people in Regina know about stuff that is happening in their city so that if they are so inclined they can check it out. As much as possible I try to profile talented artists and interesting events, but the column is not intended to be global in scope.

  5. For the record (and I know you didn’t say otherwise, Greg), Val Halla is a talented and interesting artist pursuing success in a far more difficult and demanding milieu than indie rock. (not that indie rock is easy, not by a longshot)
    “Coming Home” is a more interesting song, and showcases her guitar prowess a little more. And the video, while a bit corny in a MySpace slideshow kinda way, gives a glimpse of how hard she’s worked for the success she’s had.
    It certainly won’t be to John’s taste, but luckily, there’s lots of stuff out there that is(though I’d love to see him mention an artist he _does_ like).

  6. Hey I just discovered this post while searching for the Prairie Dog article that had covered me back in March. You see I’m applying for the Sask Music Export Mission to try and help Saskatchewan artists find placements for their music in TV & Film. Part of applying is showing press coverage, which has lead me here, discovering this blog post.

    I can appreciate that John Neill thinks “(Stay) I Wanna Be With You” isn’t his cup of tea, but I question where he gets the idea that my “blatantly mainstream music” is being “glorified”.

    I’d question both ideas, since John Neil is not aware of the struggle I have had in getting my music covered ANY WHERE. Now maybe this is the only song of mine he has ever listened to, but the album “No Place” I released was titled so, because it actually does not fit into a Country mainstream format, or a rock or pop mainstream format. This is not simply an opinion of mine, but a prevailing attitude in the industry that I have been confronted with in the last yaer and a half, while pitching it to anyone and everyone to get some kind of coverage or airplay.

    Also I can see where John has made an aboslute assumption, that I have catered to mainstream taste in order to make a maens to an end.

    I have turned down 2 management deals, a publishing deal, and 3 record deals in the last year. Not that I am some anti-establishment anarchist, but simply that, so far, I have yet to find a partnership I felt comfortable with, where I felt my TRUE indentity and individualtiy would still be protected. I have self released all my albums, even producing and engineering on my own albums, written all my own songs, and let me tell you so far there has been no means to an end – I am flat broke. I have lived on the road for the last 2 years of my life, and I don’t know one single “indie band” (I assume he is referring to the style of music and not the lack of major label record contracts) who has toured as extensively as I have in the last 2 years. (Booking these tours my self, including the Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, and Burton Cummings show which I had to negotiate over 45 different contracts for).
    Now this isn’t a pissing contest with the indie bands of Regina either, as I have a great respect for many of the bands from here, and they DO work their asses off as well, tour a ton, and a lot of these bands I REALLY enjoy their music.
    But unless you’ve been living under a rock until recently, you would know that indie music IS the new mainstream, that blues and roots and “classic” styles of rock n roll are not the current trend. Jordan Cook could play any “indie band” guitar player under the table in Regina, and the guy couldn’t even get arrested when he comes to town from Saskatoon. Why? Because he plays blues and filthy gritty Rock n Roll, and that just isn’t what SPIN or Vice Magazine or the iPod commercials say is “in” right now…

    To say I have catered my music to the mainstream, is proposterous. I have done nothing but follow my heart and stay true to the music that I create from within. I can go to sleep at night knowing that, and that is truly all that matters.

    But to challenge the thoughts of Mr. Neill, I’d also like to ask lastly, what is his time frame for success? Should it sky rocket to fame like Britney Spears, only to crash and burn in a firey pile of rubble?

    To say that the Prairie Dog chose to “reinforce an artist who clearly strives to take off, bus hasn’t” is somewhat contradictory to the tone of Neill’s post in general, and a little bit ignorant to the actual reality of the music business.

    Perhaps he can list some of the local indie bands, influenced by modern and postmodern classical music in the last 10 years who have really “taken off”.

    Perhaps it isn’t wise from a PR stand point to comment on your own critics blog posts, haha, but the freedom of not having a record label or really anyone at all telling me what to do, is that I can really say whatever I want if I so choose.

    I’m in it for life at this point because I love music and incase you can’t tell, I’m incredibly stubborn. Haha. So whether I “take off” or not, is irrelevant.

    So thanks for the mention Greg, and John Neill what’s your deal man?

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