One of the Books Read from Canada Reads 2015 – S10E21

When Everything Feels Like The Movies

I made an accomplishment as I read one of the contending books for CBC’s Canada Reads. The book I read was When Everything Feels Like The Movies, written by Raziel Reid. Other books competing are And the Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier, Intolerable by Kamal Al-Solaylee, Ru by Kim Thúy, and The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King. All of the books are defended by well-known Canadian personalities, musicians and actors. They are Cameron Bailey (Ru), Kristin Kreuk (Intolerable), Craig Kielburger (The Inconvenient Indian), Elaine Lui (When Everything Feels Like The Movies) and Martha Wainwright (And the Birds Rained Down).

The reason for picking When Everything Feels Like The Movies by Raziel Reid and defended by Elaine Lui was that it interested me as it’s the first young adult book to be entered in Canada Reads. It won the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Awards and not without controversy with the subject matter of the book.

The book by Reid is pretty ambitious and explicit as the themes of homosexuality, sex and loneliness being prevalent throughout the book. It’s quite a tough book to read as there’s profanity and other harsh words being used. Aside from the negative points, the thing that intrigued me with the book was the use of pop culture reference and social media/Internet sites as it bursted a lot of ideas and imaginations in my head. It does bring the notion everything feeling like the movies. It also made me wish that I went back to high school to experience what changes and attitude teens are doing now since the use of the Internet is influencing for the good and the bad. It really opened up an perspective for respecting one another in terms of gender rights.

Continue reading

AquaAlta at Zaphod Beeblebrox – S10E20

AquaAlta Main-1

On Thursday night, a new band, AquaAlta played at Zaphod Beeblebrox. The band consists of Charles Austin, Jenn Grant and Graeme Campbell. It’s a side project and a collaboration of the three artists. The Halifax band released their debut LP, Dreamsphere on March 3rd and have embarked on a mini tour. Ottawa was their second show in promoting the new LP. Their vinyl includes 3-D glasses.

AquaAlta’s music can be described as dreamy or seagaze as described on their Facebook Page. The concert was much like that, very dream pop with some techno/electro beats in it as well as Grant’s hypnotic voice. For Canadian music fans familiar with Grant, there’s no change to her singing which keeps her folk music style intact. She had released her fifth album, Compostela in 2014 and is having a pretty busy year so far. The show at Zaphods was terrific and had a good turnout. At one point, Grant came down to the crowd and had people dance with her as she sang. It was definitely a fun show.

Opening up for AquaAlta was the local band, The Visit. Their music is a mix of experimental classical music and some throat singing. The duo consists of Raphael Weinroth-Browne on the cello and Heather Sita Black on the vocals.
Continue reading

Rich Aucoin at Nuit Blanche Montreal – S10E19

Rich Aucoin Nuit Blanche Main

It was an eventful weekend to end a cold and miserable month of February. On Friday night, it was Dan Mangan + Blacksmith at NAC and Saturday, it was meeting people at Ottawa Radio Club. Saturday night was going to Montreal for their Nuit Blanche. It was a last minute getaway to Montreal and to find out what their Nuit Blanche was like.

The first event to check was the Rich Aucoin concert at Metropolis. It’s been awhile I had seen Aucoin live as he brings a very interactive show. In Montreal, there’s more a enthusiastic crowd to live events and the one by Aucoin was no exceptions. He started with the talk of the social media buzz of the black & blue dress. The very entertaining video clips and lyrics to songs made the concert enjoyable. It had a party atmosphere when he used a lot of confetti and streamers. He kept coming to the crowd to have them sing along, jump and dance.

Towards the end of the show, a playground parachute was used and the Montreal crowd had fun with it.
The best thing about it was that the show was free as it was part of the Nuit Blanche program.

Don’t forget that Rich Aucoin will be playing at Ritual Nightclub on March 6. Continue reading

Happy Chinese New Year – The Year of the Sheep/Goat – S10E18

CNY2015 Lions

Gong Hei Fat Choy! This year’s lunar new year celebrations is quite late. This year’s animal is quite confusing as it’s either year of the sheep or goat. I’ll leave it either way.

As usual, it’s great to go out and lion dance at various places. The first stop was at a public school and kids were excited to see the lions and take part in it. What was surprising that some of the kids knew their animal that they’re born in. I was able to take some photos from the event. Then my lion dance troupe did five other events and they were at a bank and several retirement homes. It was great to see some of the guys again for the performances.

You can check the photos over at Flickr by clicking HERE.

Posted below are a few silly photos during the performances. I got several lion dance performances to go. Have a Happy Chinese New Year!

Pssst, February 20th is my birthday!

Photos from the February 22nd lion dance at T&T Supermarket. Click HERE.

Continue reading

An Evening with Leonard Youngfoot – S10E17

Sounds Simple Leonard Youngfoot_Main-1

There were so many events happening on Thursday night. I decided to go to A Thing For Chocolate as Trish Murray, who’s a radio host at a station and also runs RedLeaf Music has created a series called Sounds Simple. It’s an acoustic music series held at an intimate place where they serve crepes and other sweets goods.

The series started in mid-January of 2015 and the February 5th edition had singer/songwriter, Derek Atkinson. At the Sounds Simple event, he went by Leonard Youngfoot. It’s an influence of the three famous Canadian singer/songwriters, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot. Atkinson also plays in the nine-member band, Loon Choir.

It was my first time being at A Thing For Chocolate, which is located in the Hintonburg area in Ottawa. It’s nice to support local businesses and try out unique food. I had a chance to try the pulled pork crepe. It had beets and it was definitely a delicious crepe. Continue reading

The Launch of Megaphono – S10E16

Megaphono Launch_Main-1

A new music showcase festival has started in Ottawa and it’s called Megaphono. The showcase festival is give the Ottawa music scene a way to shine and show that the city is striving in the arts and cultural scene. It’s to give an opportunity for Ottawa musicians and music-related companies to build connections and the creativity of what Ottawa is. There are concerts, panels and networking at the music showcase.

I went to the Launch along with the tape cutting ceremony which had Ottawa mayor, Jim Watson. Watson spoke at the event launch and to show his support of the music scene in Ottawa.

Checked out the panel, Connecting Ottawa Music. The panelists were Andrew Vincent, Ian Swain, and Kwende Kefentse. The moderator of the panel was Alan Neal. The panel brought great insight on what the Ottawa music scene should do and there’s so many obstacles to go through in growing Ottawa as a musical hub.

The event runs from February 3-5th. It’s definitely a good initiative to check out great and interesting live music in the Nation’s Capital.
Congratulations goes out to the organizers of Megaphono for making this Wintery event happen.

You can check out the photos from the launch over at Flickr by clicking HERE.

The Mix 3rd Year Anniversary Party – S10E15

The Mix 3rd Year Main_-1
Thursday night at Babylon Nightclub was The Mix 3rd Year Anniversary and it was hosted by the creator of the radio show,  DJ 2 Creamz.

The Mix has been on the radio airwaves for 3 years and was originally an overnighter and is now from 8-10pm Fridays at this radio station.

Due to the amount of snowfall in Ottawa, I was able to make it in midst of the deep snow fall and the slow buses getting to downtown.
In celebrating the 3rd year anniversary, the event also had an art display by Dems & Doll and Dream Love Grow. Both had terrific artwork on display.

Prior to the performances, there was music DJ’ed by DJ Ducats. Even though I stayed for two hours, there were three performances on the bill. They were G. Grand, Eddie Quotez and Goliath Paw. All three are from Ottawa. It’s just great to that DJ 2 Creamz was able to bring local talent in the burgeoning Hip-Hop scene.
Continue reading