The Ottawa Dragonboat Festival Launch Party -S10E24

Ottawa Dragonboat Festival Launch Main

The Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragonboat Festival had their launch party at the Rideau Canoe Club on Thursday night. There were some food by The Royal Oak and lot of mingling around. There were speeches from John Brooman (CEO), Warren Creates (Festival Vice Chair), Lawrence Greenspon and Riley Brockington (Ottawa councillor for River Ward), just to name a few.

The festival is now on its 23rd year and going strong with sponsors and festival supporters. This year has a terrific music lineup which has Mounties, Yukon Blonde, Hey Rosetta, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith to local favourites with Jim Bryson, Jeremy Fisher and The Acorn. All Canadian acts to enjoy and it’s free! A great way to start the Summer festival season.

The festival runs from June 25-28th at Mooney’s Bay Park.

Lastly, you can check the photos over at Flickr by clicking HERE.
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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 this track via SoundCloud, The Longest Night.

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The Best of 2014 Countdown Part 2 (S10E13)

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As promised, the second part to my best of 2014 countdown. This list is from #20 to #1 and it’s the best part of the year ender to Canadian independent music. The countdown for the past few years has no repeats from an artist and band. It’s based on the album and when it was released.

Without spoiling much, the top 10 has half of the entries by female musicians. 2014 has been an important year to female rights and violence against women. Without spoiling much, the playlist is posted below. Several entries have a lot of returnees as artists and bands have released their follow-ups to their previous albums. Some have been critically acclaimed.
As usual, you can listen to the audio.

Happy New Year and hello to 2015.

Audio
– #20 to #1
Press play to listen.

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The Best of 2014 Countdown Part 1 (S10E12)

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It’s back for another year but in a slightly shorter list as I had issues from the radio station in early 2014.
I didn’t pay attention to a lot of Canadian independent music due to the problems stemming from the station. I was able to compile album towards the end of the year thanks to friends, various radio programs and music websites.

I’m closing off 2014 with some of the best albums from Canada. In the first part, the countdown is from #40 to #21.
You will hear music from the likes of Brave Shores to In-Flight Safety to Kevin Drew and various others.

For those who missed me on the airwaves, I got you.
Here’s the first part of the audio and the playlist is posted below. Happy New Year’s Eve and the second part will be posted on New Year’s Day.

Audio
Press play to listen.

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Merry Christmas to You All – S10E11

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I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

On Tuesday, it was a privilege to be a guest co-host for Friends With Benefits, which is hosted by Tonya Price. It was an impromptu appearance as I decided to give her a Christmas gift in the form of Hudson’s Bay’s Tres Canada Canvas Tote Bag.

On her radio show, she went through her Top 5 Non-Canadian music of 2014. There were some Christmas music as well.
You can check out the radio show by going to this link.

As an added bonus from below, here’s an audio from last year’s Christmas audio and joined with Lauren Bridle as we played the favourite Christmas songs. It was part of the year-end countdown from 2013 for extra time.
In 2014, there’s a new version of Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid 30. In the audio from last year, it’s the original version.

Happy Holidays!

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World AIDS Day 2014 – S10E09

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December 1st is World AIDS Day and it’s a day observed every year as people to NGOs and governments dedicate the awareness to fighting the AIDS epidemic. Started back in 1988, the famous red ribbon is the symbol for solidarity with people infected with AIDS and HIV.  The theme for World AIDS Day is “getting to zero.”

With World AIDS Day, I’ve been a stanch supporter of the campaign called (Product) Red. This year has been no exception as Apple has been a big supporter to the organization. The tech company has brought along iOS app developers to join in on (Product) Red solidarity.
If you know me, I own a few (Product) Red iPods as a way to show my support and cause to fighting AIDS.

One of the photo apps I use is Over and they partnered up with (Product) Red. I posted some photos of good radio friends using Over’s in-app purchase and it’s available until December 7th.

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What I Have Been Listening To? – S10E08

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It’s been awhile since we last heard from Emmy the Great. For those who don’t know, Emma-Lee Moss is a singer-songwriter born in Hong Kong and raised in England. My interest caught on from a former host at RTHK Radio 3 and she’s now a producer for Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2. I had Ryan Bresee of Whatever’s Cool With Me to play some of her songs awhile back.
I can almost relate to Emmy as she has a fondness for Cantopop.

Ever since her 2011 album, Virtue, Emmy the Great has moved to Los Angeles and now to Brooklyn while still making music and writing articles for Noisey.

I haven’t kept up to tabs on her updates through social media as I’m flooded with various tweets from people I know. It wasn’t until last week I found out that she released the music video (posted below) to her new song, Swimming Pool. I didn’t release the song was out in early November.

What I like about Swimming Pool is Emmy’s soft voice and parts of the lyrics just sticks on as it’s pretty catchy. Emmy is joined by Tom Fleming of the Wild Beasts. It’s a nice chill and relaxing song and I would never get sick listening over and over again.
I can never stop singing to this part of the song;

Love is something that I’ve always thought
I could never go inside
Now I’ve seen you here,
I don’t know how
I even used to be alive
Can I stay here for a while?
Watch you till my heart unwinds
Until I know I won’t forget you
In your swimming pool.

Compared to the music video, which seems to look dark but listening over and over, the lyrics don’t sound as dark. Aside the fact there was some funny jokes of the hologram use, it’s still a masterly crafted music video.

It makes me want to listen to more new materials from Emmy the Great as she will eventually release a full length album later in 2015. Her EP S will be out on January 27, 2015. You can get the song and pre-order the EP via iTunes.
The question now is whether I really want to jump into a swimming pool?
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An Interview With Kandle – S10E07

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Kandle and Krooks performed at Zaphod Beeblebrox on Wednesday night. I had the opportunity to check out her performance and did an interview with her (which you can listen). For those who don’t know, Kandle Osborne’s father, Neil Osborne is from the well-known Canadian rock band, 54-40.

2014 has been a great year for Osborne as In Flames marked her debut full length album. Prior to the album, she made the move from Vancouver to Montreal as the city has a great music scene. As mentioned from the interview that she worked with Sam Goldberg from Broken Social Scene when making the album. Also mentioned were friends from the likes of Coeur de Pirate and Sam Roberts who lend their voices to the album.

Opening up for Kandle and the Krooks were the Calgary indie rock band, Fast Romantics. The band never performed in the Nation’s Capital but have performed at The Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec. The band has gone through changes with the members. They have lost some but gained some . Their music style has a bit of a power ballad when checking them out.

When Kandle and the Krooks got on stage, their music brought on a mix of twang and rock. Osbornes’ soft voice also gave some memorizing and soulful sounds. One of her bandmates was funny that he didn’t know they’re in Ottawa.
Overall, it was a terrific show for both bands and it was rarity to have a concert at Zaphods finish past the 11pm curfew time.
You can check the photo over at Flickr by clicking HERE.

Kandle and the Krooks are on tour in Ontario and Quebec until December 4th.

You can check out audio interview and instant photos below.


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Saturday Night with The Elwins and a Haunted House Pop Up Show – S10E06

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It’s been awhile I have written a blog post and it’s most likely a Polaris Music Prize Gala withdrawal. October has been a slow month and it’s been a crazy and sombre time in Ottawa. The shooting in Ottawa on October 22, 2014 has been a tense and sad time as we all know that Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lost his life at the National War Memorial. People in Ottawa have bringing life back to normal after the tragedy. On Saturday night, I had the opportunity to drop by to the National War Memorial and pay my respect. It has been a week that I haven’t gone to downtown Ottawa. It’s a new reality set in the Nation’s Capital. Onto the entry.

The Elwins in Ottawa
On Saturday night, The Elwins were performing at Mavericks as they’re on tour with the Manitoba band, Royal Canoe. The band from Keswick, Ontario, which is north of Toronto are having a surprising year as they got signed to Hidden Pony Records. It’s worth mentioning that the band is taking up a challenge as they’re going to be TV critics. You can follow them at elwinsTVclub and @TheElwins on Twitter as well as blogging at The Huffington Post.
As for the concert, they played some of the usual songs and played some new songs. There was a good crowd for the show at Mavericks and for my experience, I was near two young ladies who were dancing enthusiastically and a bit of robo movements. The Elwins definitely brought the crowd to its feet as the city is moving back to normalcy from the tragic event of the past week. Prior to The Elwins playing was the Ottawa band, Pith and the Parenchymas.
I didn’t stay too long for Royal Canoe’s performance but there was a good turnout for the Winnipeg band.

You can check the photos via Flickr by clicking HERE. There’s also two Impossible B&W photos of The Elwins below.

The Haunted House Pop Up Show
Before going to the concert, I decided to drop by in the Westboro area for this event. It was a pop up shop as well as a Halloween costume party and festivities. Entering the pop up shop was a terrifying but creative entrance in time for Halloween.
The pop up show had paintings on display and sale as well as a photo booth and fortune telling. It was a fun event
I was there to give some support to DJ 2 Creamz as he spun some Halloween tunes. I decided to take some photos from the Polaroid camera and the digital camera. The Impossible Project B&W photos will be posted below.
Kudos to Dream Love Grow for hosting the event.

You can check the photo via Flickr by clicking HERE.

Since I hadn’t written anything for the month of October, I’m going to post some photos taken from the iPhone 6. That’s right, I changed phones as I finally upgraded. I had been using the iPhone 4S for about three years and needed to replace a phone. From below, some photos from Saturday’s event.

It has been whirlwind of a week in Ottawa and hoping you are safe with the loved ones.
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The Impossible Polaris Polaroid – S10E05

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Back from Ottawa and this will be a wrap-up to the 2014 Polaris Music Prize coverage. This is more on the photos, instant photos, to be precise.
From the previous entry, I mentioned that half of the photos were on Flickr, it’s now updated and you can go to the link by clicking HERE.

I also brought along the trusty Polaroid SX-70 camera and several packs of The Impossible Project films to Toronto for the Polaris Music Prize Gala. Worse part was having to carry multiple equipment with a small carry bag. At least, I was able to bring the fun to shooting instant film photos. You will see the colourful frames and wonderful black & white photos taken from the pre and post Polaris Gala as it’s posted below.
I got a chance to try out Impossible’s B&W Film for 600 Hard Color Frames Edition. The colour frames looked great with the black & white instant photos. It’s definitely fun to look at.
You will see some of the familiar faces with the Impossible instant photos.
There’s a few instant that didn’t out well and that’s being posted up.

Short Basia Bulat Interview
It’s been awhile I have done audio interviews and had the opportunity to do a quick chat with Basia Bulat. You can listen to the interview from below. It’s just great to see her at the Gala.

For fashion, I rarely dress up nicely and shoot selfies. It was quite dapper of me to wear the bow tie from Hudson’s Bay.

Other Things
Going off on a different topic or going backwards. Prior to attending the Polaris Music Prize Gala, as I arrived to Toronto, I went straight to CBC Toronto, the Canadian Broadcast Centre for an informal tour of the building. I’m surprised that the CBC social media/digital team have been wanting to meet up for awhile but scheduling and lack of travel, it wasn’t worked. Luckily, with the Polaris Music Prize, I was able to make a schedule to come by to the building. It’s great seeing the radio side again but never got to see the main studios (#40, 41 and 42) from the tenth floor. The last time I went on a tour, it was with CBC Radio 3. I posted several photos on my Instagram if you can look for the CBC related photos.

Lastly, a final shoutout goes out to Be SixFifty Hotel. It’s a boutique hotel located on Bay St. Their decoration is stylish and more like a fashion-chic setting. Checking into my room, it was a small, which was fine as I stayed for one day. I was provided with a bottled water and some nice treats. They were the yummy macarons and candied nuts. The staff were friendly and decided to give one of the staff an instant photo. The price is under $200 if you’re going solo and it’s convenient in the downtown core of Toronto.

That’s the fun adventure I had and time for some rest and relaxation from the sweat and muscle pain. Also quite unusual to post two entries in one day.
Enjoy!
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