Local three-piece punk band The Valveenus have released a music video for their song “Runaway Train.”
“Runaway Train” is a blistering track off the band’s first full-length album Catalyst which they released last year. Many of The Valveenus’ songs have more of a country-punk twist, but “Runaway Train” is much more punk rock in sounds than country.
The video features old black and white footage of what appears to be an angry drunk man stealing a train and trying driving it to his demise. Luckily for him our hero, his wife? partner? friend?, does everything in her power, jumping from another train and then running on the roof of said moving train to convince him he has something to live for and saves the day. Meanwhile in between the harrowing train chase the camera cuts to the band rocking out in what could easily be one of the train carts.
Check out the video below and don’t blink as the video clocks in at just over two minutes of tense action. If you like what you hear don’t miss The Valveenus playing with Pistols at Dawn, Serenity Now and Reminder at Pressed on October 13th, info here.
Most of the video is shot at the Legacy Skate Park in Ottawa’s west end and features wonderful Girls Skate 613 crew shredding and having a blast. The video also shows some love to other four-wheelers, the Ottawa Quad Rollerskating Club, a local inclusive recreational rollerskating group, who show us their moves.
Not to be missed in all this is the cameo by Alanna Why of BB Cream as she rides her banana board, gets her Slurpee on and shows off Colleen Green’s comics as Green is heard providing backing vocals on the track. The video was filmed by local mastermind Lesley Marshall and featured illustrations by Tyler Goodman. This video screams fun summer times and can serve us all as a reminder when the frigid winter or Slurpee brain freezes arrive.
Check out the video and tour dates below, but be forewarned that the video will give you the urge to jump on your board and go shred.
September 22 – Montreal (Pop Mtl)
September 23 – Vankleek Hill, ON (Beaus Oktoberfest!)
October 30 – Gainsville, FL (THE Fest!)
October 31 – Athens, GA
November 1 – Richmond, VA or TBA
November 2 – Philadelphia, PA
November 3 – New Brunswick or TBA
November 4 – Brooklyn, NY
November 5 – NY, NY
Ottawa’s Pony Girl have released a video for a dreamy, sexy cover of Céline Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.” This one sure came out of left field, but hey, you can’t go wrong with a song by this seminal Canadian music icon.
The song starts off with delicate, sultry vocals by Pascal Huot and Yolande Laroche and intricate, minimalistic instrumentals. The group encircles the now-commonplace light fixture that they use in their live performances. It in intensity, and by the end we’re left with a completely re-imagined interpretation of the song. Listeners instantly become enveloped this modern take on this classic love-making ballad. Be sure to listen to and purchase their impressive catalogue on Bandcamp, including their latest release Foreign Life.
Pony Girl are currently on a massive two-month tour across Canada, and those dates can be found below.
Pony Girl Canadian Tour 2016
08/21 Hull, QC@ Arboretum Festival
09/01 Montréal, QC@ Ex-Pop MTL
09/02 Edmundston, NB @ Le Deck
09/03 Fredericton, NB @ Mazerolle Gallery
09/05 Charlottetown, PE @ Baba’s Lounge
09/08 Sydney, NS @ Governor’s
09/09 Halifax, NS @ Menz & Mollyz
09/10 Halifax, NS @ The Seahorse
09/11 Wolfville, NS @ K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre
09/14 Chicoutimi, QC @ Bar à Pitons
09/15 Québec, QC @ Le Sous-Sol du Cercle
09/16 Trois-Rivières, QC @ Zénob
09/17 Ottawa, ON @ CityFolk Festival
10/07 Vancouver, BC @ The Merge
10/08 Prince George, BC @ The Legion
10/10 Edmonton, AB @ The Buckingham
10/11 Edmonton, AB @ The Sewing Machine Factory
10/12 Calgary, AB @ TBA
10/13 Saskatoon, SK @ TBA
10/14 Regina, SK @ BreakOut West *
10/15 Regina, SK @ BreakOut West *
10/17 Thunder Bay, ON @ The Foundry
10/18 Sault Ste-Marie, ON @ Gore Street Café
10/19 Sudbury, ON @ Townhouse
10/20 Guelph, ON @ DSTRCT
10/21 London, ON @ Rum Runners
10/22 Windsor, ON @ The Beer Exchange
10/23 Kitchener, ON @ Open Sesame
10/25 Hamilton, ON @ TBA
10/26 Sarnia, ON @ Refined Fool
10/27 Toronto, ON @ TBA * Backing Old Cabin at BreakOut West (Regina, SK)
Local producer and hip hop artist DRAE just dropped a video for the lead single, “Nightmare,” of his upcoming debut album Escape.
The video shot by I in Eye Cinematics opens with a black and white scene of a woman running barefoot alone in the forest to the words “This is what a nightmare looks like.” The song tackles the nightmare of being cheated on and all the anxiety and stress that comes from uncertainty. The lyrics masterfully bounce back and forth between the cheater and the person being cheated on.
The video depicts the ordeal in such a real way. The footage shifts between shots of the the woman who is being cheated on incessantly picturing her partner out with another woman to scenes of herself running all alone in the woods barefoot while being chased by a dark, ominous silhouette to her waking up in sweats. That darkness chasing her is the truth and you can only run for so long. The imagery is absolutely perfect.
This is the first time I hear of I in Eye Cinematics and I must say, hats off. The video is beautifully shot and very well put together.
Watch the video below and if you like what you hear you can check out DRAE opening for Five Alarm Funk June 30th at Ritual Nightclub. More info here.
“Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends,” is how Alex Silas kicks off his latest single “Champagne” from his upcoming album Tunnels.
It is always good news when Alex Silas & the Subterraneans release new music because you know you are in for heartfelt and honest lyrics laid over live instruments. There is something very special about rap and hip-hop with a live band (no disrespect to DJs or anything). Silas, the hip-hop hippy, is clearly building on the growth from his debut album, Roots, and if “Champagne” is a sign of things to come, he is really honing his craft.
Ottawa Showbox is delighted to debut the video for “Champagne.” The video was recorded at Live on Elgin and opens with Silas & the Subterraneans on stage while the instruments join his raps one at a time. “Champagne” looks like one of the more fun videos to be a part of as the crowd joins in popping bubbly and spraying it all over the place and each other during the chorus: “I swear to God if Jesus walks I will Kanye West pop bubbly / Hey so we don’t even like champagne / but we drink it anyway.” There are also some pretty cool cuts from Silas rapping to people dancing in the crowd and back.
Check out the video below and keep your eyes peeled for more from Alex Silas & the Subterraneans as they slowly roll out pieces of Tunnels over the coming year.
Harea Band are back with a brand new video for the single “Drop and Dance” off their upcoming EP All The Hits. I say they’re back, but the reality is they never really went away. The five-piece band, lead by principal songwriter Alex Harea, was formed in 2012 and brought together a diverse array of talented individuals with varied musical backgrounds.
This collective takes elements of pop, soul, folk, funk, hip hop, jazz, blues and world music, and effectively fuses them into uplifting, melodic, and downright funky-ass tunes. Since their formation, they’ve been continuously active and have been invited to play notable shows at The Black Sheep Inn, Ottawa Jazz Festival, CityFolk Festival, and other venues across Ontario. Needless to say, this is one hard-working group of musicians – and it shows.
This style can be heard nowhere better than their 2014 EP Hip Hip Harea, an 5-track album that doesn’t try to break any musical boundaries, but succeeds in providing a fun listening experience front-to-back and translates into intoxicating live energy on stage.
Speaking of intoxicating, let’s talk about their new video for a minute. “Drop and Dance” is a step in another direction for Harea Band as they’ve taken their uplifting, soulful sound and injected a little more funk and disco-inspired aspects into the track. Although the whole album isn’t available yet, this probably signifies an evolution of a band that wants to keep people smiling and dancing, but with new sounds and rhythms over time.
The video’s subject is a young, overworked office dweller that experiences the mundane motions of the 9-to-5 life. This is something a lot of people in Ottawa can probably identify with, but our friend in the video takes it… well, to the extreme.
Filmed at Live On Elgin!, the video follows the subject as he parties to oblivion, refusing to let the boring desk job define his life. However, we can also see how this over-the-top lifestyle isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be either – he experiences some unnecessary violence, performs some not-so-impressive dance moves, and probably sets himself up for a pretty mean hangover the next day.
All The Hits will be released April 28th at KM Theatre (Carleton University campus) starting at 7pm. It’s an all ages show, and $10 at the door (or PWYC if you’re a student), so be sure to head on over and see what the band has in store. Enjoy the video for “Drop and Dance” below.
Ottawa duo, Buck-N-Nice just dropped a powerful politically fueled and very meaningful video for “Welcome to Infinity.”
“Welcome to Infinity” is their first video single from their upcoming sophomore album, EMAG, to be released this summer. The video was filmed in a single day at various locations with historic monuments in Toronto by Boom Shoal Enterprises, who also directed, produced and edited the piece.
The song doesn’t hold any punches and SawBuck tells it how it is, “Columbus Day in North America is a Hitler holiday in Germany.” I love the imagery of So Nice, slowly dropping pages he ripped out of book he is holding. History is told by the winner and “a liar tells you that he never lies.”
“We decided this was going to be the first single from the album before it was even finished. It was originally an a cappella single verse for live shows, that was written as a poem, but after being approached by multiple people about how the content was slightly offensive or bold, we were slightly offended and decided to get bold,” says SawBuck, the rapper half of Buck-N-Nice. “This song is to wake people up. Offended? Say it. We don’t write lies to make people feel comfortable.”
I have so much respect for Buck-n-Nice for this piece. “Welcome to Infinity” is extremely powerful and real, and definitely not shy. It is a message that has to be said more often and more importantly heard.
We had a quick chat with SawBuck about “Welcome to Infinity,” the track and the video. Check out the interview and video below:
Where is the intro video portion taken from?
That’s a cameo feature from our friend Jonny Rockwell (from Philly Moves). He’s playing a role representing the masses in taking “stories”, or, the history books, copying and passing on its information as the complete story, knowing that there’s tons of truth missing. The whole story isn’t in the book, he knows it, but doesn’t seem to care and still values it. This is what history is. A collection of convenient stories to appease those in control and keep the oppressed where they were plotted to be.
Where was this filmed? And what is the significance of the location to you or the song?
The video was produced, directed, shot and edited in Toronto by Boom Shoal Enterprises (Dan Jardine and Alex Zampino). The various locations throughout Toronto all feature historic monuments which to be honest aren’t as important individually as their representation that history is in front of us every day, and for the most part, people ignore it. Nobody knows the significance of these statues, and if they dig deep enough, a lot of them praise oppressors of assimilation and the colonization of the Indigenous Peoples of this country.
So Nice is seen ripping up a book during the video. What book is it?
The book you see So Nice ripping up is actually early 1900s Americana; a book from the Department of History that should be on somebody’s collection shelf. Alex Zampino owned it, and donated it to the cause of this video. So, there’s genuinely a piece of history being ripped up throughout the entire video. A subtle, but major addition to the concept that many won’t even recognize. We really appreciate this addition to the piece.
Can you speak a little to the importance and relevance of the song giving whats going in Canada? Or simply why it is important to you to cover this subject?
Indigenous issues get slept on by most people; unless it directly affects them. If you step back and look at the mess that’s been made as proverbial broken bones, it becomes confusing as to why the issues are being treated with Advil as opposed to X-Rays and casts. Nothing is being fixed. These issues run so deep, with so many levels, that the only way to truly start to make progress, is to start at the beginning.
Speaking generally, as not all people are of this frame of mind, but many people put the blame on the Indigenous communities themselves, and their leaders, as though an equal playing field is and always was the case. Currently, there are so many issues affecting these communities, and it’s the responsibility of Canada as a whole to respond with assistance. Why don’t more people care about the lack of fresh water for entire communities? Why aren’t more people concerned about the suicide epidemic in Manitoba? Why aren’t more people in defense of sacred grounds being abused? Why are sports teams allowed to use racial slurs for team names and logos? Why are the stereotypes and dollar amount “provided” by the government basically the only thing the average person knows about Indigenous People? Why is Sir John A. Macdonald on the 10 dollar bill? Why is the Hudson Bay Company a Canadian staple despite their spreading of smallpox? I can keep going.
The issues run deep, and they are many. The answer is in the root. The genocide and cultural assimilation that was re-written by the history books, and the everlasting propaganda is what seemingly stops people from caring, or being more vocal. If that’s the case, we decided to tackle the issue from the root. We wanted to wake people up about the beginnings of this nation. This can also be related to by other cultures that have, or are experiencing similar injustices. In terms of personal relation, I have First Nations roots by way of my father, but that’s not why the song was written, so that doesn’t even need to be brought up. It’s not a First Nations issue; it’s a Canadian issue; it’s an educational and historical issue. Regardless of roots, this is a topic that all Canadians need to be made aware of. These issues need to stop being overlooked and minimized, but acted on. That starts with the truth about our history, and from there, people can grow to understand why things are the way they are now.
Any shows, new track or something exciting coming up I can mention to drive some more attention your way?
Our sophomore album, EMAG, is set for a summer 2016 release. A solid date will be announced in May as we’re currently in the mixing and mastering stage. Following this release, we have 2 more singles on the way before the album drop, along with some more visuals. As for shows, we’re planning a tour with Ottawa vets, Flight Distance, so those dates will be announced in the coming months. Lots of stuff happening between now and summer!
Mehdi Cayenne recently released a new video for “Je Te Vois,” the first single from their third album Aube.
The video is a lot of fun but also quite complex and has some depth to it. The song itself is a step forward for the band, as there is clear growth and musical maturity as the band continues to progress. At the same time, it is also very Mehdi and has many of the elements that have made so many people, whether English or French, fall in love with the talented singer and song writer.
We caught up with Mehdi during Megaphono in Ottawa. Check out the video for “Je Te Vois” and read the interview below.
Can you tell me a bit of the story behind the song?
It was a love song of sorts, eh? It’s kinda mystical and erotic, and whimsical and dark (like the video too). I think the original feeling came from meeting someone that I felt as though I had known them forever – I’d never felt that before. I wrote it on my guitalele in my living room, in the morning. It took me a while to own up to how poppy that chorus is! [laughs] Also it went through at least 4-5 different versions. I’m really happy with how well the drums and bass sound, that took a while.
Can you tell me about the story behind the video?
Frédérique Bérubé, the director, was really cool and full of ideas and super fun to work with. She came up with the bulk of the scenario, and I was happy to go along, for once! I really like the duality of the two alter egos, and the ambiguous emotions therein. I basically came up with a certain way to move… I think there’s a very interesting (albeit abstract) commentary on double lives, on sexuality, on owning up to our shadow selves. The contemporary dance classes I’ve taken in the last year really came in handy (and in footy!).
The video looks like it was a lot of fun to be a part of? Any highlights or fun stories?
It was! Again, working with Frédérique was superb. She brought in her roommates to help with the lights and the smoke (the smoke blowing at the beginning is from a cigarette – that guy had to smoke for the cause!). The idea for the bling-bling cameos happened very spontaneously, we were just thinking of cool people to go visit, and realized all the peeps therein were mutual friends of ours. Also, I was floored that Bernard Adamus spent his whole day driving us around to shoot, in his own touring van! So the shoot is full of special, funny and touching memories for me.
How was been the reception of the new album? And new music?
Actually, amazing! I was pretty scared by the end of the process – most of my previous music was quite abrasive, and “cool” [laughs]. This record is much more vulnerable I’d say. I am very attracted to the risk of candor, of emotional nakedness with no posturing – with the straight-up-ness of a church hymn or something. So very scary for me, and very exciting. I’m happy that people seem to understand what I was trying to do, which is mixing up very familiar musical elements with more unusual ones. Ive always done that, but for Aube the goal was to create such a wide palette of sounds and vibes, within a much smaller decibel range, you know? Also this time, it’s a story of sorts, with a narrative – also usually very difficult for me – here all the lyrics actually interconnect and build the story, with recurring themes and characters. And, I had to own up to the fact that it’s a love record. But with a unique perspective – which I’m very happy about. Obviously, Geneviève L Richard’s design and the hearts & ears of my beloved Cayenne Clubbers (François Gravel, Oli Bernatchez, Olivier Fairfield and Charles Fairfield) were absolutely essential in bringing Aube to fruition. I can’t say enough good about their good taste, talent and humility.
Can you tell me about how you feel to be part of Megaphono?
Man, I love Megaphono! They do an amazing job at bringing together O-town’s different scenes. For example, I was so proud to see Elsa (of Everett and Babely Shades renown), whom I’d been privileged to perform for back when she was in high school, perform the same night as Boyhood and Duchess Says, and of course alongside scene luminaries Fet Nat – of whom I’m a great, shameless fan (no really, best damn band in town yo). That variety is a nice big breath of fresh air for this town. Props to Jon Bartlett, Rachel Weldon and co!
What’s coming up next for Mehdi Cayenne?
I’ll be working on more visuals and videos, and releasing Aube in France in early June. I also have a few cool projects related to Aube I have to be hush hush about… But some cool surprises coming up!
Every year we’re always astounded by how many new artists we stumble across here in the nation’s capital. Sometimes they’re brand new, and sometimes they’ve been around for a while and we just hadn’t heard of them yet. One of the artists that raised our eyebrows in 2015 was Andre Thibault, known by his former stage name KING to those in the hip hop community since late 2013. Not only is Andre an incredible solo MC that is technically on-point, he’s also able to raise the bar about as high as it can go with respect to local hip hop when it comes to stage energy. Whether by himself or collabing with others (such as Crookid Bass, his project with another astounding rapper in town, Yusso), 2015 was the year Andre Thibault seemed to make all things happen and love every minute of it.
However, today he released the new video for “Death of a Tyrant,” and it’s not just any new video for him. It marks the end of KING and the beginning of his new alias DRAE. I posed a few questions to Andre about the change, and what it means for him as an artist. Check out the video below.
The imagery in the video implies a clear break with your former alias of KING. Can you tell us why you decided on the name change and what it means to you?
When we shot the video, the goal/concept was to portray a growing-up of sorts, a maturation. KING is a very overused term in music, particularly in hip-hop. It felt a little egotistical and boastful, which, despite the cocky nature of most hip-hop music (including my own at times), is not me. I’m a very down to earth person, and like to be authentic and organic with my music. A lot of people have called me “Dre” for some time now, so the name association of DRAE was already there. It also makes it easier to find me online. Rather than googling KING and finding every monarch under the sun, it’s now a unique name .
Now that you’ve taken a step in a new direction, what can we expect from Drae in 2016?
With the name change comes a more consistent and defined sound/direction for my music. I have a full length project in the works, with the aim being a spring 2016 release. I’ve aimed to include all of my capabilities musically (guitar playing, singing, rapping, various genres production-wise), so it wont be conventional hip-hop, but rather a very unique sound. There’s also a lot of work going on behind the scenes from a branding/merchandising perspective, so the business end of things will be more focused and present as well. Music videos for multiple singles, lots of shows… 2016 is going to be an active year for DRAE. Another point with regards to the video: the whole changing from a sweatshirt and tee shirt to a suit is symbolizing taking my craft and my career seriously, and treating this as a business
Ottawa probably seems like the last place in the world that beach-friendly surf rock would come out of, other than Moscow… maybe. But Cody Parnell, a.k.a. Blve Hills, has different ideas.
Blve Hills has released two records, both this year and both over ten tracks long. Pretty impressive, especially for a guy that seems like he was made for the chill beach bum life on the Gold Coast in Australia. It’s refreshing to see someone make music without taking themselves too seriously, and Parnell’s fun and laid back songwriting style is a much-needed dose of summer now that the cold weather is starting to make its way upon us. Fans of Mac DeMarco will feel right at home with this one.
The video for “She Won’t” off Blve Hill’s most recent LP She’s Still Here follows suit, and you can’t help but smile at its goofy concept while watching.
“I don’t think I’ve ever went the serious route while making a video,” explains Parnell. “It takes away from the fun. I’m not really much of a serious guy either.”
Filmed at the beach while back home in Orillia, Ontario, the dramatic rescue attempt of Parnell’s red guitar leaves us in suspense the duration of the video. The adversity he endures includes a death-defying rescue of the guitar in the treacherous waters of Lake Simcoe, as well as being shot at with water guns by children while playing said guitar. Although the ultimate fate of the instrument is uncertain in the video, we got an inside scoop from Parnell. “The guitar did survive the making of the video, and will live to make it through another.”
That’s pretty great news. We were worried there for a few minutes.