Summer Special 2008 #2: Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest

It was an amazing 10 out of the 11 days for enjoying Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest. I ended up with a nice tan and sore legs. My favorite top acts were Feist, Stars, The Most Serene Republic, Jim Bryson, much more. What I missed out were Snoop Dogg, The Wailers, Born Ruffians, and Tokyo Police Club because the reasons were the hot weather and schedule conflicts.
One of my favorite moments at Bluesfest was text messaging my brother to get to Feist’s concert before it started. He was at the Wintersleep concert when I saw the photographers in the stage pit. My brother tells me later that he had to jump over the fence to get to the pit. Afterwards, he tells me he was disappointed with Feist due to low lighting. I talked to a photographer the day later and he was disappointed having to take photos for Feist and also told me another photographer was also angry with the low lighting. Another favorite moment was being backstage for the Plain White T’s and again for Friday night’s lineup for The Love Machine, Jetplanes of Abraham and Metric. Another favorite moment was catching the flowers two times at the Stars concert.
Here are the links of photos from Bluesfest to enjoy. Although, I stopped until Thursday, July 10 because I couldn’t use the camera.
The first two days of Bluesfest, Corb Lund, Feist and a few of Jose Gonzalez
Saturday, July 5 – The Six Shooters Show – Christine Fellows, Justin Rutledge NQ Arbuckle (wasn’t photographed), Luke Doucet, Elliott Brood and The Six Shooters Finale.
Sunday, July 6 – United Steel Workers of Montreal, Jenn Grant, The Acorn and The Weakerthans.
Tuesday, July 8 – Jason Collett, The Most Serene Republic, and Stars
Wednesday, July 9 – Jim Bryson and Kathleen Edwards.
Thursday, July 10 – Plants and Animals and a bit of Sadie Hell.
Also on my Flickr, there are some photos with the artists.
Seeya around.

Summer Special 2008 #1: Canada Day and Basia Bulat

Happy Canada Day! Here’s a photo from downtown Ottawa in the afternoon.
Check out the photos from the Basia Bulat concert at Confederation Park. As usual, Basia Bulat was very nice and down to earth. She was even surprised by the Ottawa crowd because they knew when to clap along. I guess it’s thanks to loyal fans of Basia. 🙂

More photos from downtown Ottawa on Canada Day.
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5
Note: Whoever got tagged on Facebook, I just wanted to show you how I enjoyed the concert and show what it is like on Canada Day.

Year-end Roundup: My Moments of 2007 [Update: Flickr Link Added for Photos from New Year’s Eve]

What to say about 2007? It has been a wonderful year that I enjoyed. There has been ups and downs this year.

January: A favorable moment that I can tell was on January 10, 2007. I finally bought a Nintendo Wii. Here’s the story, I waited for the whole morning at Carlingwood Mall and then I was close to leaving the mall until I saw the Purolator guy and then I finally got it. Due to my dumb thinking, I didn’t go back home and instead went to Carleton University. I was totally worried having to carry the Wii but it was humourous too because I was carrying like a goof.

February: One “defining” moment was February 12, 2007 when the lion dance troupe had a performance at the National Gallery of Canada. It was for the 18th Annual CAO Sweetheart Lunch for the Arts. What happened later on was that the Mayor of Ottawa, Larry O’Brien made a bombshell announcment that he wouldn’t be funding the arts in Ottawa. The new media made a big deal the next day when our lion dance troupe “scared” the Mayor. It was unbelievable that one of the lions was on the front page of the Ottawa newspapers.
Another thing was that I didn’t know Jim Bryson (Amanda Putz’s favorite musician) was at the event. I will explain Amanda Putz from the September section.

Aside from that, I finally went to Winterlude on February 18, 2007. It was the final day of Winterlude and I went along with my friends to Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, Quebec. Before walking down to the park, we had a tough time walking from Byward Market to the park. It was pretty brutal. All in all, it was fun going to Jacques Cartier Park. Relive back a few images on here,

April: Not much happened in March and semi-fast forward to April. A memorable moment was on April 28, 2007. That was when I stayed up so late to finish up a take-home exam. How is it memorable? Well, it was the final assignment to end off my term in university. I was kept company and listened to music all over in Hong Kong. I messaged Alyson Hau to play “All Good Things (Come to an End)” by Nelly Furtado because the song meant that all good things come to an end as I finally finish my studies at Carleton University. It was bittersweet to be finally done with university.

May: The only moment was on May 31, 2007 and it was the sold out Feist concert at Bronson Centre. I got a good view at the concert and the only downside was that my brother could not use the D-SLR camera. For whatever reason, I guess it had to do with copyrights because D-SLR cameras bring out a perfect image. All in all, it was an amazing concert and one of the precursors to getting into Canadian independent music.

The only downer was seeing a very close family friend pass away. It was in early May.

June: The big day happened and it was on June 12, 2007. That was when I had my convocation at Carleton University. The worse part was that I was sweating from waiting at the old gym at Carleton and to make things worse, the Field House was not cold too. It was nice to shake hands with astronaut and Carleton University chancellor, Marc Garneau. I finally get my degree in Political Science and a minor in Canadian Studies.

There were the usual things I have done like the lion dance performance at the Dragon Boat Race Festival in Ottawa. I also checked out Montreal on June 23, 2007 and I haven’t been to Montreal since 2002 for Just For Laughs.

July: July 15, 2007 was when I went to the Kanye West concert at Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest. It was a great concert but it was also a rainy night and ended up getting my hat soaked. It was great to hear old and new songs like “Touch The Sky” and “Stronger”.

August: August 17-19, 2008, went to Toronto and on Saturday, August 18, 2007, checked out the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival.
Links from Flickr, The lanterns were amazing to watch. I also got some Apple accessories at The Apple Store.

September: Starting off September, on the 2nd of that month, I went to Camp Fortune Aerial Park. It was a fun and challenging having to climb and swing down wires. I thought it was scary when gliding but overall it was just fun. Photos on this link,

On September 11, 2007, I finally met Amanda Putz at the CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre for the second FUSE taping but I missed the “season premiere” taping from a week earlier. Why is it significant? Well, I got in contact with her via MySpace in early 2007. Originally, I did not know she left to Hong Kong in Summer of 2006. So, I left an email to CBC Bandwidth but it was too late. In the email, I told her to meet up this person in Hong Kong. What did surprise me in early 2007 was that Amanda did get in contact with Alyson Hau as I was skimming through her MySpace. I was totally astounded because it felt coincidental that Amanda would get to meet Alyson Hau. Amanda got to host a indie show by the same name from CBC Radio One (excluding Toronto on Saturdays) on RTHK Radio 3 for several months. The thing is that I am used to her as a radio host but it’s different that she is a radio DJ as well as she is also a host for CBC Radio 3. Prior to her return to Ottawa, she was one of the benefactors to getting me into Canadian independent music. Another thing I forgot is that Amanda Putz is a Saskatchewanian. Since September 2006, I encountered a few graduate Journalism students from Saskatchewan. It was a feeling different having to hang out with them because I was the lone person from Ottawa and see a different perspective from those amazing people. I think Amanda Putz is the last person from Saskatchewan that I have encountered. Aside from the Saskatchewan Rough Riders winning the 2007 Grey Cup, it is time to end my experience of knowing people from Saskatchewan. Overall, she is a great person and without you informing about CBC Radio 3 on the Internet, I wouldn’t get into Canadian indie music. It was also nice to have you mention me on-air during the Web Radio broadcast.

On September 30, 2007, I got to check Mont. Tremblant. It is a great place for skiing, but I went with no snow. Going to the summit was breathtaking.
Link to the photos,

Rounding out October through December:
– Several lion dance performance from Double Ten to the Canadian Olympic Committee.
– Went to several CBC Fuse tapings and one memorable taping was at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, QC. Maybe Smith and Christine Fellows. [Flick link]
– The Acorn concert at Barrymore’s Music Hall. A funny moment was when I was sitting and watching, Amanda Putz taps my shoulder and she was taking photos.
– Ending off 2007 (December 31, 2007) was going to Major’s Hill Park for the fireworks at 18:57pm. [Flickr Link from New Year’s Eve]

Happy 2008 Everyone!

Year-end Roundup: Music 2007 [Update on Dec. 28: Links Added]

2007 has been an interesting year for music. Legal downloads from Apple iTunes, Amazon and other retailers continue to dominate the way music is being sold to the consumers. What else was groundbreaking was Apple finally come out with DRM-free songs. The only major record label to sign on to iTunes Plus was EMI.
– Other notable happenings were Kanye West’s Graduation versus 50 Cent’s Curtis on September 11, 2007. Kanye West beat 50 Cent in album sales.
– The horrendous performance by Britney Spears from the 2007 MTV VMAs, ’nuff said on Britney. Not going to explain about her current album.
– Madonna leaving Warner Bros. Music to Live Nation Inc.
Live Earth happened on July 7, 2007.
Feist becoming a surprise in the United States and internationally.
– The Spice Girls reunite and have a comeback concert.

Concerts I attended were Feist in May and Kanye West at Bluesfest in July. Those two concerts were amazing. Feist was one of the benefactors to getting into Canadian independent music. Kanye West was just fun but it happened in the soaking rain.
Near the end of the year, I enjoyed Canadian indie artists concerts like The Acorn and The Russian Futurists. Even though, tickets for big name artists are expensive, I found that going to a smaller venue like Barrymore’s Music Hall felt more worth it. I felt more appreciative to Canadian indie artists.

My Top Songs of 2007 (Links from Wikipedia);

1. Umbrella by Rihanna. I chose Umbrella because it was 10 weeks on the UK singles chart and that I got hooked to the song. Plus, people kept singing “ella ella eh eh eh” where to the point it got annoying and overplayed. I even annoyed Alyson Hau on occasion.

2. Stronger by Kanye West. Even though the song was sampled from Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk. I found the song catchy and smart coming from Kanye West. I also liked the music video which featured Daft Punk and R&B singer, Cassie. Plus, it was filmed in Japan and gave a nod to the anime, Akira.

3. 1234 by Feist. Nuff said on this song because Feist accomplished her popularity. The iPod nano TV ad elevated her status in the United States.

4. No One by Alicia Keys. I know this song is almost a latecomer to 2007. It is still a great song coming from Alicia Keys.

5. All Good Things (Come to an End) by Nelly Furtado. This song meant a lot to me because it felt like things were coming to an end as I finished my academic term at Carleton University. Refer back to previous blog entry.

6. The Way I Are by Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson & D.O.E.). This song caught my attention because at first, Keri Hilson sounded like Jennifer Lopez. The rest is history as this song rose to the top 10 charts around the world.

7. When You’re Gone by Avril Lavigne. This power ballad song grew on me when I was in Toronto in the middle of August. It was played a lot and it was the time when Avril Lavigne went to Hong Kong.

8. Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5. I still like this song because it seemed fresh coming from Maroon 5. It was also big jumper when it debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart.

9. My Moon My Man by Feist. This is my favorite song because it was the first released on The Reminder. The video made it one of my favorites to watch because Feist is dancing through the flat escalators.

10. Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control) by Groove Armada & Mutya. I kept ‘grooving’ to this song from my iPod and that I haven’t listened to a lot of Britpop songs lately.

Favorite Canadian Indie Songs. It’s in no particular order. Since September, I have been enjoying Canadian independent songs from CBC Radio 3. I just hope none of the hosts are reading this as I’ve become fans of them. You know who you are. Hmmm, one being a guest host and the other being based in Ottawa.

1. Around This Town by Grand Analog

2. The Night Starts Here by Stars

3. Weighty Ghost by Wintersleep

4. Listened On by Lightning Dust

5. Melody Day by Caribou

6. Nothing More to Say by The Joel Plaskett Emergency

7. Your English is Good by Tokyo Police Club

8. Sweet Dreams by Pride Tiger

9. What You Want by Hayley Sales

10. Hearts Like Bears by Maybe Smith

11. Give It a Night by Bella

12. If I Live or If I Die by Cuff the Duke

13. Backed Out On The… by Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew

14. Take Me to the Riot by Stars

15. Let’s Get Ready to Crumble by The Russian Futurists

One-Off Special #3 – End of Summer

Originally uploaded by Lenny W.

Oh gee, what a way to avoid writing an entry for August. What a way to end Summer with this by going to an Aerial Park where I walked thru obstacles and gliding through the zip line. Here’s a photo from September 2, 2007. It was at Camp Fortune Aerial Park.
I wished that people like Amal, Michael and Sarim came along to the adventure. Knowing me, there is bound to be laughs when dealing with the outdoors.
Here’s the link to the Photo set.

One-off Special #2: Convocation – June 12, 2007 @ Carleton University

Yep, I am finally done with university and got my degree. It was great to see friends and classmates during the convocation on Tuesday. I couldn’t be any happier and also congratulating them as well. What my future plan holds? I am not sure. Hope to take things in stride.
It was hot waiting at the old gym. I nearly tripped and stumbled getting back to my seat.
Here are some photos from the event. Since several photos are currently up on Facebook.
Note: I couldn’t put alot of photos because the uploading took long.

One-off Special #1 – Spring Entry

Heyhey, it has been awhile that I wrote something. This is a different entry as I try to sum up what has happened in the short Spring season.
Movies – The summer blockbuster movies has happened. So far, I have watched Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. My response to those three movies have not been positively great. I am very disappointed over Spider-Man 3 because I am still a comic fan and watching the 3rd installment was more of an insult to me.
Shrek the Third was alright but the formula is getting old, but it’s more for the kids.
Pirates 3, I was excited because of Chow Yun-Fat. Now, there are mixed responses with this movie.
What’s next? Transformers, Rataouille and maybe Ocean’s 13.
Music – The latest releases from certain artists have been exciting. I am enjoying Feist’s second album, “The Reminder.” The funny thing is that I don’t use CDs to listen to the music, I just get the songs from iTunes Store now. Talk about how technology has shifted.
TV Show – May sweeps is winding down. Lost season finale was excellent. I felt very satisfied because the previous season for Lost got me angry because the castaways felt like they were defeated. I had enough of the Rosie/Elisabeth debacle from The View.
Excitement in Ottawa – It’s great that the Ottawa Senators have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Go Sens Go!