Sunday, June 21, 2009

NxNE – Day 5

de⋅feat –verb
1. to eliminate or deprive of something expected
The Boat cruise took a lot out of me, so after getting up and eating some garbage food from McDonalds, I decided to blow off the last day of NxNE and make the long drive back to Capital City. Three out of Five is not bad, right?

We'll see if I can do any better on my home turf when the 12 days of Bluesfest comes along in July. Wish me luck.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

NxNE – Day 4

missed out –verb
1. to fail to take advantage of
I awoke feeling a little rough so decided to take advantage of the late checkout and sleep in. Unfortunately I slept in too long and wasn’t able to use the pool, sauna, fitness centre or waters slide… not that I would really have done all that, but the sauna might have helped the hangover a bit.

After checking out I decided to head back to my cousin’s apartment for a little more rest. I passed The Details on my way to the subway station and they invited me to the Six Shooter BBQ. I asked them to call me once they confirmed I was able to get in for sure because the BBQ was all the way down by the beaches and I didn’t want to go to just be turned away. Plus it was raining. And did I mention I was hung over? In the end I never ended up going. I needed to rest up for the Boat Cruise.

Since I was in town I got in contact with The African Accent and tried to coax him out. He declined the night before, but was a maybe for the festivities for the Boat Cruise, where there was to be DJ’s, bands and as the fuzzy picture shows, nude painted models. He never showed and definitely missed out.

After the boat cruise I was planning on going to The Horseshoe to thank Grant Lawrence personally for the passes, but the cruise was so good hic I never made it.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

NxNE – Day 3

fate –noun
1. the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed
The day started off slow, I had a bit of writing to catch up on so I didn't end up going out until the late afternoon. I decided I was going to give my cousin and his wife a break and rented a room downtown at the Delta Chelsea. They set me up on the 15th floor with a view of Yonge Street. I could almost make out the stage set up at Yonge Dundas Square, so after I settled in I strolled down to catch Black Hat Brigade’s set.

After some dinner and a shower I was ready to see a show that I was really looking forward to, Coeur de Pirate. Apparently I wasn’t the only one as I arrived at the Dakota Tavern the line-up was already around the block. The doorman told me that they were overcapacity and it was now a case of one-in-one-out. Later I would find that this was not true and in fact it was another case of the industry guest list ruining it for the rest of the fans. In fact I have a credible source that says not only was the Dakota way below capacity, but Coeur de Pirate’s manager had to come out and ask why they were not letting anyone in. The answer – industry guest list first.

Feeling dejected, again, for having my beginning of the night ruined by NxNE’s industry guest list policy I was at a loss of where to go next. I almost planned to work my way up to College street to see some of the 9pm concerts before making my way back to Yonge Dundas Square for the Wintersleep show, but at last minute decided to cross the street to The Painted Lady to enjoy a pint of Guinness and listen a few minutes of a PEI band by the name of Boxer The Horse. That decision proved fateful as the rest of the night could have been quite different if I decided to walk up to College Street.

Not wanting to miss any of the Wintersleep show I left The Painted Lady early and walked down Dundas Street in search of a streetcar that would take me to Yonge Dundas Square. I ran into a couple asking a man about the very streetcar I was looking for. I asked if they wanted to just split a cab, but the girl said she was really looking forward to experiencing a streetcar for the first time. As it turns out our NxNE experience was very similar. The girl, originally from Winnipeg, who I am dubbing Superfan Jenny, arrived from Ottawa on Wednesday, where she had been visiting her sister. We both had tried to get into the Coeur de Pirate show but were turned away and ended up going to The Painted Lady for a pint of Guinness. Amused by our coincidences I mentioned that I was staying at the Delta Chelsea, and of course they were as well. I said they had me on the 15th floor, they were on the 14th floor. It turned out that her boyfriend Jon is the front man for a band called The Details and they were performing at NxNE. I missed their show on Thursday by a matter of minutes when after Papa Groove I decided to take in a documentary, which I also missed. Furthermore, every show the night before we were all at the same venue, probably even standing right near each other.

We ended up taking in the Wintersleep show together and bought each other rounds of Mill Street Organic Drafts from the beer tent. Although Wintersleep put on a great show it paled in comparison of the new friendship we were forming. I met the rest of the band members from The Details after the show and we all headed down to the Drake Hotel to take in Halifax’s Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees. Afterwards the band and Superfan Jenny called it a night and we planned to meet up the next day. I would see the band one more time in the morning, where they invited me to a party, which in the end I declined.

After I left the Drake Hotel I ended up at The Reverb and attempted to dance the night away to the sounds of the Parallels, 84.85 and Kenny Glasgow, but in the end the drink was too much for me and I headed back to my hotel room to pass out, alone, but happy for the experiences I had.

And that, Dear Reader, was my 3rd, and what would be my last, night at the North by Northeast festival in Toronto.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

NxNE – Day 2

ac⋅quaint –verb
1. to make more or less familiar, aware, or conversant
2. to bring into social contact; introduce
My cousin decided to blow off work and join me for a day at NxNE. I haven’t seen him in awhile and we were never really that close so it was a good chance to get to know him better.

We started the day out at the Hyatt Regency with Rah Rah, a pretty good band from Saskatchewan. Followed by Papa Groove, a very unique band from Montreal. During the Papa Groove show my cousin leaned over to me and said “They look like a bunch of tour buses crashed and these guys are the survivors.” And he is right. The lead singer resembles Lenny Cravitz, the bass player is a white guy with long dreadlocks sporting a cowboy hat, there was a 5-piece brass section, two guys on keyboards dressed as pimps, three drummers and I think one or two other guys on guitars. You really have to see it to believe it.

We rushed over to the National Film Board to check out a documentary but, still feeling the pints from the previous night, I misread the schedule. The documentary was being screened at the Hyatt Regency – the very place we just left. I begged off doing anything else for the rest of that afternoon and took a much-needed nap.

Feeling refreshed, we headed back out on the town. Our first stop was Lee’s Palace for the Outlaws and Gunslingers show. I ran into Amanda Putz and listened to The Swallows and a compilation of Jim Cuddy, Royal Wood and Oh Susanna. The line-up was a little too country for me so we jumped the streetcar to Queen St. West and just made it in time for The Burning Hell show at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, followed by The United Steelworkers of Montreal. Apparently the Horseshoe does not follow the maximum capacity requirements, so by the end of the Steelworkers show the place was jam-packed. Feeling slightly claustrophobic we left and ended the night off at the El Mocambo with You Say Party! We Say Die!, and die I did. Exhausted, I made it an early night and went back to my cousin’s place to rest up for the weekend.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NxNE – Day 1

let⋅down –noun
1. disillusionment, discouragement, or disappointment

On Tuesday night the great people at CBC Radio3 hooked me up with two passes to the North by Northeast music festival in Toronto. So Wednesday morning I woke up early, jumped in my car and made the 500 or so kilometre drive to The Big Smoke.

The first night was a bit of a bust; the rain began just as I got in line for the Arts & Crafts show at The Courthouse, and to add insult to injury they were only letting in people on the industry guest list. After standing in the rain for 2 hours, dejected, I decided to leave and hailed a cab to The Drake Hotel. A cool pint of Guinness and the sounds of The D’Urbervilles, lioness and Woodhands made up for the disappointment from the beginning of the night.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

UPDATE: CBC Radio3 Goes 100% Canadian - Sorta

hy⋅poc⋅ri⋅sy –noun
1. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude
Today Steve Pratt, Music Director at CBC Radio3, anounced on the Radio3 Blog that they would stick with the current mix of the web radio station, which is 100% Canadian. Although this is good news, the people spoke and the powers that be listened, there is a few caveats when it comes to 100% Canadian. I'll let Steve explain further:

Why did we choose to only include Canadian music and artists in our rotation?
It's a long list, but here are three big reasons:
  • To many of you, CBC Radio 3 is synonymous with all-Canadian independent music already.

  • We believe this music format makes a huge impact for Canadian musicians.

  • In a world of musical offerings, 100% Canadian is distinct.
One tiny caveat:

We're celebrating, but we're not bigots.

A quick note to those among you who will call for our heads if there's even a shred of content that can't be deemed ‘100% Canadian:' while we will play 100% Canadian music in rotation day in, day out, we will also continue to reserve the right to play what some may consider 'non-Canadian' music when we feel it makes sense. For example we might:
  • Play bands that feature Canadians prominently, even though they don't technically qualify as ‘official Canadian Content,' like the new Buck 65 collaborative project, Bike For Three.

  • Play a cover! If a Canadian artist is covered or remixed by a non-Canadian artist and people are talking about it, we will feel very comfortable playing that song for you once or twice for context, as we recently did in our Remix Special Podcast.

  • Broadcast a non-Canadian band at a live event because they're on the same bill as several amazing Canadian acts, as we did two years ago at Pop Montreal.

  • Make an occasional exception: Our recent CBC Radio 3 Session with Neko Case, who is American, but is widely considered an ‘honourary Canadian.

  • 'Embrace an artist's choice, if a guest host or artist wants to play a favourite track or talk about influences.
Basically, our rule of thumb will be this: if it feels Canadian and if audiences consider it a relevant and essential part of the celebration, enjoyment, and discussion of Canadian music and culture, we're gonna play it. As Sloan put it, "if it feels good, do it." That's what 100% Canadian means to us.

So in other words CBC Radio3 Goes 100% Canadian - Sorta.

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Free Events In Ottawa This June

fru⋅gal –adjective
1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful
2. entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager
Yesterday I brought my car in for it’s semi-annual inspection and an oil change. Well the total tab ended up costing me close to $600. With the months entertainment budget now blown I decided to look for some free things to do in Capital City for the month of June.

June 12th (to 14th)

This year you can look forward to the best in Canadian and Local Ottawa multidisciplinary arts, including music, performance art, literature, spoken word, media art, visual art, dance, theatre, and live animation. Westfest is located on Richmond Road, between Golden Avenue and Island Park Drive. Tonight’s musical acts include:
Arctic 7:00 - 7:45 PM
Jenn Grant 8:00 - 9:00 PM
Danny Michel 9:30 - 11:00 PM

Check out Danny Michel’s video for Feather, Fur and Fin:

June 13th
Indonesian Festival 2009

Embassy of Indonesia will be presenting “Indonesian Festival 2009”. There will be a bazaar (furniture, handycraft and traditional food), kid’s activities, traditional cultural performance and workshop, and trade/tourism promotion for the whole family. This event will be held at the Embassy’s premises at 55 Parkdale Ave from 11:00am-4:00pm.

June 16th
Bloomsday In Ottawa

National Irish Canadian Cultural Center is proud to announce the’ Inaugural Celebration’ of ‘James Joyce Bloomsday ‘ to be held at St. Brigid’s Cultural Center, 310 St. Patrick Street. Readers, Musicians and Dancers from the Irish Community, will combine to present Drama, Music and Irish Dance in a mosaic of the Performing Arts, reflecting every day life in Dublin around 1904, the year of ‘Ulysses’ debut. Doors will be open at 6:30 pm and the event will conclude at 10:30pm with the Cash Bar closing 11pm. Information: 613-225-1830

June 17th
Mens' Health: Golfing Injuries

Free seminar on Men’s health: Golfing injuries, presented by Joel Villenueve, Naturopathic Doctor, at Rainbow Foods 1487 Richmond Rd. 630-7:30pm.
Information: 613-726-9200

June 19th
Arts Cafe concert, Austrian Embassy

Love, Rage and Altered States: The Mind in Austrian Music Concert by Justin KOLB (piano) and François MAI (text) with music by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Robert Starer. How do emotions affect the music of great composers? In this duo performance virtuoso pianist Justin Kolb and psychiatrist-author François Mai will address this question and highlight how Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and others expressed specific feelings in their music. Sheraton Hotel, 150 Albert St. 7pm

June 24th
Seasonal Allergies Seminar

Free seminar on Seasonal Allergies, presented by Mark Orbay, Naturopathic Doctor, at Rainbow Foods 1487 Richmond Rd. 630-7:30pm.
Information: 613-726-9200

June 25th
A Free Home Buyers Seminar

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls when buying a home. Speak to the professionals. There will be a Lawyer, Home Inspector, Mortgage broker, and Real Estate Agent there to answer all your Real Estate questions. There will be light refreshments, discounts and The seminar will be held at the Royal LePage Gale Real Estate office Located at 591 March Road, Kanata from 6:45pm – 8:00pm
Information: 613-763-0772

June 25th (to July 26th)
OSA’s 2009 Graduating Class Exhibition

A showcase of emerging artists in the Ottawa region. Work will be on display from June 25 to July 26, 2009 at the OSA Gallery, 35 George St., 5pm-8pm.

June 25th (to July 1st)
Canada Day Festival

The Canada Day Festival has talented performers, unique entertainment and fun for the whole family all weekend until the finale on July 1st 2009 Canada Day! Check out the events in Andrew Haydon Park in the city's west-end to savor foods for every palette and enjoy the colourful entertainment and activities offered by a variety of stellar performers. There's something for everyone - midway rides and games, a mini-circus, a petting zoo, a car show, a water park, face painting, live DJ, band shell entertainment, cultural events and a Canada Day fireworks display.

June 27th (to July 2nd)
Unisong Choir Festival

Over the Canada Day weekend, ensembles of over 400 choristers from across Canada will present four days of free concerts throughout the Capital.

Budget blown and all, I am still hoping to make it to Toronto next weekend for NxNE - so wish me luck.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

CBC Radio3 – 100% Canadian vs 85% Canadian

poll –noun
1.a sampling or collection of opinions on a subject, taken from either a selected or a random group of persons, as for the purpose of analysis

Due to the recent budget cuts in the media, the national broadcaster CBC has had to make hard decisions. Many programs have been reorganized, and some have been cut all together.

On the radio side of things, from my understanding anyway, the budget for recording live shows has now been amalgamated between CBC Radio3 and CBC Radio2. Furthermore the CBC Radio3 web radio station, which boasts 100% Canadian content, is now facing a change in their programming.

Radio3 currently runs two separate stations, one for the web and the second on Sirius radio. Again due to budget cuts CBC will merge the two stations into one on Monday, June 15th. The web station currently features a 100% Canadian mix, whereas the satellite feed is an 85% Canadian and 15% international mix. The question is which format do they go with?

Music Director Steve Pratt breaks down the respective arguments as follows:

For keeping the Sirius mix:
  • it will help draw in a bigger audience that will then be introduced to new Canadian acts

  • we can showcase the best of international music side-by-side with the best from Canada and show how we stack up

  • it better reflects what our audience might actually be listening to.
For keeping the Web Radio mix:
  • our 'brand' is very, very clear (100% Canadian)

  • every song works with full interactivity on the website (international artists do not have pages on New Music Canada, would not be available for inclusion in personal playlists, etc).

  • web radio supporters believe that as a public broadcaster, we should be playing as much Canadian music as possible.
In pure social media form, Radio3 included their listeners in the decision making process with a web poll which closed today at 5pm EST. While I was writing this post the results were just announced:

77% NO – Do not include international music into the mix
23% YES – Include international into the mix

Now it’s off to the powers that be to make their final decision. Either way, the people have spoken so let’s see if they will be heard.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Math Behind Getting Ahead

e⋅qua⋅tion –noun
1. the act of equating or making equal

When it comes to emails I normally I don’t like getting forwards. The vast majority of them come from family members and usually I just delete them. Every once in awhile a good one sneaks through, so I thought I would share this one that I recently received from my Uncle:

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


= 96%

But ,
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%


2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

= 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.

I thought I would do a couple of my own:

= 48%

= 54%

= 147%

As you can see it takes a considerable amount of effort to be in a relationship. Basically you have to give it your all and then some to keep it going, a total of 147% everyday. On the other side it’s relatively easy to fall in or make someone fall in love with you, it only takes 54% effort on your part. The easiest of all is to have sex. It only takes 48% effort to ‘get some’; I clearly have been trying way too hard.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

The Big Boy Bed

sin⋅gle bed –noun
[sing-guhl bed]
1. a bed for one occupant

Since I was about 19 years old I have been rocking the single bed – in fact it is the same bed I had in college – my grandparents bought it for me in my second year when I moved into an apartment. For 11 years I’ve slept on this narrow bed, which as of late has grown uncomfortable with its springs that have now become sprung. Yet, financial issues aside, I can’t bring myself to upgrade just yet. It’s not a form of nostalgic attachment to some lost love, or a gift from my grandparents. It just seems to suit me, single bed, single me.

I’ve taken quite the ribbing from many people when they find out that I still have a single bed. Friends usually shake their head and tell me it’s time for me to buy a ‘Big Boy Bed’ or ask “How can you even bring a girl home?” or some variation of that question. Although sleeping can sometimes be difficult, I like the closeness my single bed affords, and the limited space has also been know to inspire creativity wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Besides, I take solace in knowing that there was probably only one other guy in the whole world that didn't mind having a single bed:

”I wanna love you every day and every night:
We'll be together with a roof right over our heads;
We'll share the shelter of my single bed; “

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