Friday at NXNE – S10E29

Friday was the start of the weekend and there were a lot of events happening during NXNE. The first event I went wasn’t part of NXNE but it was an important for myself because it was the Polaris Music Prize Long List panel at ACTRA RACS. Steve Jordan, the founder of Polaris was moderating and the panelists were Slava Pastuk (Noisey Canada), Nicole Villeneuve (AUX), Tabassum Siddiqui (Freelance) and Lana Gay (CBC Music).

The panel talked about the criteria of the music prize and who they voted for in the current list as well as mentioning past lists. Jordan brought up about having the longest list since there’s always debate and discussion on which albums got snubbed or left off from the ballot. It was a great event and always a treat to see the people behind Polaris.

CBCMusic.ca Showcase at NXNE Hub
As Friday was a jam packed event at NXNE in Toronto, the first event was the CBCMusic.ca presents: Music at the NXNE Hub. It was a free show at NXNE Hub. The hosts for the event were Grant Lawrence, Tom Power (of CBC Radio 2 Morning) and Jonny Harris (Murdoch Mysteries).
The performers consisted of the 2015 Searchlight winner, Orange O’Clock. Other performers on the list were Jane’s Party, Ben Caplan, Iceage (from Copenhagen, Denmark) and Toronto’s catl.
I was able to check out Orange O’Clock and Jane’s Party as I decided to head off to other venues. I did return for catl, which they played an awesome set.

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Second Day at NXNE, 2015 Edition – S10E28

Paper 100 Main

On Thursday night, Paper Bag Records host an event at Lee’s Palace to celebrate their 100th release and as part of NXNE. It was an evening of music from performers of the past, present and future who helped Paper Bag Records. The event was hosted by CBC Radio 3/CBC Music‘s Lana Gay.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stay for the whole night of fantastic music. I was able to check out DIANA (again), the 2015 Polaris Music Prize Long List nominee and Ottawa’s The Acorn, Nils of The Rural Alberta Advantage, the return of Rock Plaza Central and Alana Yorke. The best part was getting the #Paper100 bag with goodies.

U.S. Girls at The Garrison
The reason for leaving #Paper100 was to get to The Garrison to check out U.S. Girls. I have heard some good thing about this musician. Meg Remy, originally from America and based in Toronto, has been making music since 2007. Her music brings a style of Pop with some electro beats and funky sounds. Remy uses a reel-to-reel player for the unique mixing. A lot of dancing and energetic beats from her music.

Another reason to check U.S. Girls was Basia Bulat. She was there on the supporting vocals. It’s very different from her own music because I would say she’s having fun. There was a good turnout to those who checked out U.S. Girls.

Overall, it was another fun night to be at the venues and meeting the people I know.
Lastly, you check out the photos at Flickr by clicking HERE (for #Paper100) and HERE (U.S. Girls).

First Day at NXNE, 2015 Edition – S10E27

ginla Benice Prince Innocence DIANA

Arrived in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon and it’s the first time to attend NXNE during the midweek instead of the weekend. The funniest thing was bumping into people I know in Toronto and it’s not the weekend yet.

Even though, I didn’t have much priorities on who to check out this year, it’s going to be pretty random and spontaneous. On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity and a long walk to The Drake Hotel Underground to check out DIANA. It’s one of the bands I haven’t got to see live for awhile. Opening up for DIANA at the Drake Underground were ginla, Bernice, and Prince Innocence. All of the bands were amazing and ranged from soft to the loud.

You can check out the photos over at Flickr by clicking HERE.
There were a few photos at NXNE Hub and a photo of Cadence Weapon as he was DJing.

Keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I post some fun photos.

The Polaris Music Prize 2015 Long List – S10E26

Image - Courtesy of Polaris Music Prize

Image – Courtesy of Polaris Music Prize

It’s that time of month where Canadian music fans anticipate the Polaris Music Prize long list. There’s always complaints about certain artists or bands not making it to the list and then when it get whittled down to the top 10, there’s more madness and fury. It’s all in the fun and excitement to finding out who made it and which obscure album got on the list.
Don’t forget that it’s compiled and determined by a jury of broadcasters, journalists, bloggers and programmers who choose their albums based on artistic merit. The winning album this year gets the $50,000.

Here’s the list of the 40 nominated albums for the 2015 edition of Polaris Music Prize;

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AquaAlta at Zaphod Beeblebrox – S10E20

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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.
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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

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.
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Some Others I Left Off From The Best of 2014 Music – S10E14

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I’m not done with 2014 just yet. There were some notable musicians and bands that came out with album in 2014  as well as going through some of the Ottawa bands that released materials last year. My year end countdown is based on albums as singles don’t really count. Here’s my short summary on the leftovers.

I’m going to start with Scary Bear Soundtrack. Gloria Song, who’s from Ottawa and residing up in Nunavut. The band had some member changes over the time and change of location but it had a lot of exposure in 2014.
The band got entered to CBC Music‘s Searchlight contest and has made it to various year end countdowns and picks from radio programs and music blogs.
Here’s the song, The Longest Night.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kn8EBkrsBM

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