Category Archives: music

Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky #WeekendWrapup

After this blog post and tomorrow’s #TOTweetUp, I will only exist online for the remainder of this week. I’ve got my big exam on Saturday morning so I’m going to lock myself in a room and shove my head in my books.

Most importantly, I promised myself a month ago that if I pull up my socks and study for this test then I get to reward myself on Sunday by buying my domain and get working on a new site to have fun from so there’s a fun, multi-coloured, creative light at the end of the tunnel.

Now excuse me while I #WeekendWrapup:

Kept the sunscreen industry in business at Edgefest 2011. Went with these awesome people, plus 4 more. No line up at guestlist willcall, no line up at the gates, no line up at the beer tents. After some major complaints about last week’s Tragically Hip Canada Day show, it looks like Downsview made some improvements that really worked.
Saw the Arkells, Gentlemen Husbands, Hollerado, Sheepdogs, Monster Truck, and Weakerthans and had SUCH a good time!

This is one of my fave bands, Gentlemen Husbands, covering Tom Petty’s American Girl. I took the video for hetero-life-partner Elissa since she’s back living life in the Big Easy and couldn’t make it. Decided it was about time I had my own Youtube account and posted it there. It’s bare bones right now but will be prettifying that too.

Someone told me attendance was at over 70,000. I was always bad at guessing the amount of gumballs in the jar but does that sound right to you?

Felt guilty about leaving Moe at home all day while we had fun at Edgefest, so on Sunday we compromised and brought him to Cherry Beach 🙂 Was a bit overcast but the sun came out while we were there. Moe’s a big chicken and is scared of the water but had a blast at the beach anyway.
This is the scene of the awful leash/rope burn on my ankle. 24 hours later and my ankle is cut up, swollen and disgusting. Can’t bend my ankle. Eeek! No time for hurt!

Went to a dinner party like a real grownup and took this creepy pic. I get all excited when (famous) people have the same name as me because growing up there was only ever Jamie-Lee Curtis (ew). Never even had songs with my name in it ‘cept this one.

Real grownup dinner party with a fantastic cook. Had chicken and shrimp, homemade falafel, greek salad, tabouli, fresh baked bread and a delish pecan pie for dessert. Everything was so delicious that I’m scared of my turn to host one.

Okay, back to the #homerunderby. Cheering for Bautista! #beastmode

My NXNE 2011 Fashion Picks

With NXNE only 7 days away and my tentative schedule already figured out, it’s time to get down to business: what to wear. If you’re like me, you’d rather buy new clothes than wash most of your old ones. And if you’re like me, you’re also on a budget because your love for clothes must share wallet space with your love for partying every weekend, going out for brunch and pho. So here’s one for the girls (or the fashionably-curious men – rawr).

Dressing for NXNE relies on a very volatile formula:

With all of these variables constantly changing, it’s important to get your first outfit right and be able to fit a light jacket and umbrella in your purse just in case.

Here’s a set of looks I’ve created that showcase what you can find me wearing during NXNE.

NXNE 2011 Fashion Picks

 

 

Now I’m not very daring when it comes to dressing myself. I prefer darker colours (sometimes paired with bold coloured or patterned shoes or accessories) and minimal prints, so my looks are based on those preferences. To me, NXNE is one part music, one part style, and 8 parts practicality. Wearing heels just doesn’t make sense if you are going to be out from noon until 4a.m. and may have to run for cabs, or to grab poutine and make it to the next venue in time. I’ve picked out some shoes with both style and practicality in mind to go with any outfit.

These quick, simple and basic looks paired with an eye-catching ring or cute vintage pocketwatch and some bright red tint for your lips is the perfect way to pull off a put-together look while still looking like you didn’t spend 2+ hours getting ready. And trust me, guys (and chicks) dig that.

Finally, I hate being under-dressed when the night cools down (let’s face it, shivering and complaining is not cute) so I’ve paired the shirts and tanks I’ve chosen with vests or jackets, depending on what the forecast calls for next week. I tend to carry a suitcase larger purse so I always have the essentials tucked away in there should I need them.

With outfits this easy and inexpensive to put together, you’ll have more money for band merch and shots at the bar!

 

😉

 

My NXNE & NXNEi 2011 Picks

The music portion of NXNE music festival kicks off next Wednesday with shows across the city. This will be my 5th year attending the festival and I’ve finally smartened up and booked Thursday and Friday off work so that I can see as many shows as possible and not suffer through my usual 6am wakeup the next morning.

Also very exciting is that in 10 short days my BFF/old roommate/former coworker/heterosexual-lifemate Elissa will be in town for a few days! We got hooked up with Priority Passes from the good folks at NXNE so we’ll be venue-hopping and band-groping from Thursday to Sunday together. You can follow what we’re up to on my Twitter and I’ll recap here when I have time.

One of my fave parts about NXNE last year was the huge (unofficial) role social media played throughout the festival.  While NXNE’s twitter account was very helpful last year, so was following the festival’s hashtags and people on my timeline to figure out what was going on at the venues they were at. You can find out who surprise performers are in time to get to the venue, or decide whether or not it’s worth leaving the venue you are currently at to head to another one. People were constantly updating about the length of lines at venues, whether shows were running on time (which is great if you’re debating waiting to see another band at the venue you are at before dashing out to the next one) or if shows were at capacity. I’m looking forward to see how NXNE embraces social media this year and hoping to use it to help me efficiently navigate (or drunkenly stumble) my way through this year’s festival.

I did a brief scan of the festival’s Schedulizer and picked out some conferences I’d like to check out, as well as selected some bands I’ve seen before and know I can’t miss this year. I still have so many bands to listen to and figure out who else I can fit in. This is my schedule so far:

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

       

9:30 A.M.

      The New Volunteers: Social Media and Emergencies or Influencing the Influencers

NOON

  Brand Loyalty 3.0 or The Black Hole of Facebook How to Grow Your User Base The Changing Experience of Music

       

2:15 P.M.

  Wheel Of Fortune/Misfortune: Conversations About Music & Stuff Profitable Social Media for Non-Profits Beyond MySpace: Musicians Connecting in New Ways

3:00 P.M.

      Gentlemen Husbands @ Y-D

3:30 P.M.

  Hootsuite – Building a Brand Music Marketing 2011 How to Create More, Better, Different

       

7:00 P.M.

    Junior Battles @ Phoenix  

8:00 P.M.

  Fucked Up @ Y-D   Mockingbird Wish Me Luck @ Opera House

9:00 P.M.

  Blackie Jackett Jr @ Y-D   Sheezer @ Sneaks

10:00 P.M.

    Stars @ Y-D or Jadea Kelly @ Dakota or Black Lungs @ Horseshoe Hot Water Music @ Opera House

11:00 P.M.

  Gavin Gardiner at 918 Bathurst C’Mon @ Horseshoe or Dum Dum Girls @ Lees Gentlemen Husbands @ Elmo

12:00 A.M.

Chuck Ragan & Dave Hause @ Elmo Parlovr @ Horseshoe Cunter @ Bovine or Fast Romantics @ Elmo Coppertone @ Elmo

1:00 A.M.

  Fucked Up @ Wrongbar Saint Alvia @ Elmo  

2:00 A.M.

       Sheezer @ Sneaks

Who are YOU going to see?

Seriously, tell me because I need your suggestions. Leave in the comments because my telepathy has been experiencing connection problems lately. Exceeded bandwidth or something.

I’ve also entered to win exclusive passes for me and 9 friends to the Exclaim! and Jägermeister Annual BBQ bash at the Cadillac Lounge on June 17th. Crossing my fingers and toes I win because that would be an awesome party to attend! I would post pictures of nachos and jager sno-cones all night to make you super jealous. Just kidding, I’d totally bring you with and we could dance to some Monster Truck and Young Rival together!

The New Face – and Feet – of the Music Industry

Simon Walls

I first met Simon Walls three years ago when I was booking bands to play at the Paradise Restaurant patio on Toronto Island during Wakestock as part of a Rock For Humanity fundraiser. While I was looking for bands to fill the bill we got a press kit in the mail from Simon Walls – a singer/songwriter from Montreal – with a short note and his second EP “Don’t Ask Your Eyes What the End Looks Like”. His music was personal, the riffs catchy and his work ethic inspiring. Simon wanted to play Rock For Humanity shows in Toronto and we thought he was a perfect fit for the Wakestock bill. Simon has a hectic work schedule working at a youth house in Montreal and couldn’t take much time off so he drove overnight from Montreal and napped in his car while he waited to meet up with us at the ferry docks.

Fast forward to the present. Simon is walking across Canada. He’s no stranger to blistered heels; Walls walked over 1000 km across Spain in 2008 and used some of his footage to create the music video for “Things I Will Give Up”. While Simon may have experience in roughing it, nothing could prepare him for his newest venture. Clocking in at just over 9,000 kilometers if he sticks to the route he’s mapped out in advance, Simon’s journey has seen the western tip of the country and will continue all the way east to the ocean. Throughout his walk, Simon documents his journey via updates to the blog on his website, plays shows wherever he can and lets his travels inspire him. When he reached the halfway point of his walk in Toronto, Simon took his newfound inspiration to the studio and will resume his walk across the country on Tuesday with a new record titled “Klein Blue”.  (Click on the link to buy).
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Despite all of his planning prior to his departure, Simon continues to be surprised with what his walk brings.  He couldn’t have anticipated the kindness of strangers he’s met who offer him food, money and sometimes even a place to stay. When he isn’t being hosted by someone he’s just met Simon sleeps in fields, parking lots, forests and campgrounds. He’s been surprised by a pack of coyote’s sniffing and snarling outside of his tent in the middle of the night and has endured sleeping in a field next to a tractor during a massive storm in the prairies. He’s spent lonely nights in his tent (which he carries on his back while he walks) recording new song ideas on his iPhone.

On the final leg of his walk, Simon is looking forward to swimming in the ocean when he reaches St. John’s, Newfoundland in September and meeting all the great people the east coast has to offer. He’s looking forward to walking through Montreal, his hometown, and is hoping to get a big group of people to walk with him there. Simon’s learned a few things from the first 4,800 he’s walked:

I really have to pace myself at first. Take it slow. I’ll have to really work on going slow all the way to Montreal, then I can pick up the pace. One of my goals is to meet more people, try and sleep in more houses as opposed to fields, in my tent.

The music industry certainly isn’t easy to make it into. With it’s future resting precariously in the hands of internet and new media, artists, management and labels are trying to find ways to still make a profit. With emerging artists like Simon, the future is clear. Imagine if all artists worked so hard at their art or traveled such great distances to promote their albums. No tour bus, no rider, no ego and no misplaced sense of entitlement; just pure, inspirational motivation and talent.

Whatever awaits him on the second and final part of his walk across the country, one thing is for sure – Simon will be charming the heart and ears of everyone he meets.

Simon is playing his last show in Toronto at the Cameron House on Monday, May 30, 2011 before he leaves for his walk on Tuesday morning.