The following was posted by Ottawa pop-punk band The White Wires‘ Facebook page, and it’s awesome. Notice Caylie of Boyhood filling in for Allie Hanlon on drums?! The sound is totally muffled, but the party is all there.
After 4 days, and nearly 100 bands, this year, on the Saturday night of the Ottawa Explosion, at about 2am, some of Ottawa’s finest thought it would be a really good idea to have an after party in Phil’s house…and to get the White Wires to play. Obviously, we agreed. Even though Allie couldn’t make it from California, we got Caylie to fill in on the drums.
At 3am, about 200 people showed up to Phil’s house. and Phil’s house turned out to be an apartment. We did 2 song sets to make sure we could cram it all in. Robot’s Everywhere played 1, the Mandates played 2, and then the White Wires played 1.5 songs.
I’m not kidding, it was hilarious! So much fun. This one will be with me forever. Here’s an idea of how crazy it was!!!
Alex Clare performing at 2013 Bluesfest on the River Stage. Photo credit to Marc DesRosiers
The capital’s most anticipated music festival of the year has finally arrived, Bluesfest 2013 is off and running.
Starting my festival experience this year was Barrie, Ontario’sBahamas. As I headed to Lebreton Flats the sky was full of dark clouds and a thunderstorm warnings looming. But Bahamas was too good for the sun to stay hidden and it finally rid us of the clouds and partied with us. Not only did Bahamas brighten our day, he had wonderful advice on how to survive the festival, ”Stay hydrated and drink light beer. Just kidding go really hard tonight and get your money’s worth.”
The only other time I saw Bahamas he was a solo act. This time around he had a full band and two amazing female back up vocalists which added so much depth. He played my favourite song, ”Hockey Teeth,” and then topped it off with a rocking cover of OutKast’s ”Hey Ya!”
I have always heard great things about The Cat Empire, but I had never seen them before. I decided not to miss it this time and am I ever happy I did. Their Latin gypsy styling with a dash of ska is pretty awesome, and even more so when you realize they are Aussies, not South American. Cat Empire had this one song that had absolutely everything. There was awesome brass, a bongo solo, a DJ scratching, two different vocals and a whole lot of dance. I like how almost every song became a jam session. A wonderful moment of the set was when they got polka circles going through out the crowd. Their new song, ”Still young,” had such an amazing super ska sound to it that now I really can not wait until The Specials.
With so many people flocking to headliners The Black Keys and Adventure Club, I made my way to Alex Clare for a combination of both, rock and some drum and bass.
The start of the set was the best ten minute delay ever, because I still got to hear three Black Keys songs while waiting. But once the Brit got going, it was easy to forget the Keys and be absorbed by the beauty. His incredible voice reminds me of Tracy Chapman during the ”Fast Cars” era. Complementing that voice was the excellent effects applied to the bass adding the DnB dynamics. I just wish it would have been louder. His originals were good, ”Caroline,” blew me away because I am such a sap. What really impressed me were his two covers, Etta James’ ”Damn Your Eyes,” and Lead Belly’s ”Irene (Goodnight Irene).”
Day one is in the books and it was a day of firsts. First time I saw Alex Clare, first time I saw Cat Empire, first time I saw Bahamas with a full band, first day of Bluesfest and first day of my vacation. Let’s go Bluesfest 2013, nine more days of music, sun and good times.
FEVERS have made it known that they’ll be releasing their new album “No Room For Light” on August 27, 2013, with album release party details forthcoming. It’s been an exciting few years for the band as they’ve achieved a lot of notoriety around Ottawa and across Canada since their original Passion is Dead EP (and even getting a shout-out from music mogul Alan Cross, who likes them for their “dark and danceable electro sound”). I have to agree with Mr. Cross. The album was produced both here in Ottawa and in Toronto by Laurence Currie (Sloan, Wintersleep, Holy Fuck) and contains an 11-song track list which is sure to have some hits on it. Listen to their first single “Dance Cry Dance” off the album below.
Fevers have released a new single from their upcoming album No Room For Light called ‘Dance Cry Dance’. In classic Fevers form, we get a perfect mix of just about everything. The dancability factor here is high, as funky guitar licks, synth-based pop fills, and tight percussive flows make this song a really exciting taste of what we’re going to expect on the album. To me, personally, it sounds like vocalist Sarah Bradley is becoming much more confident with her voice. Seeing her absolutely destroy Ottawa Rock Lottery 5.0 this past weekend with her throw-together band Black Usher confirmed this for me. The band definitely seems to be coming into their own, and I’m guessing this album will take them to brand new heights. Take a good listen to the track here. Then listen to it again.
Eric Scharf & Matías Muñoz hanging with ORL organizer Samantha Everts and Luca Fiore (Photo: Ming Wu)
The fifth edition of the Ottawa Rock Lottery, which was held at Maverick’s, blew me away. You are probably wondering what is a rock lottery? Well you take 25 members from local bands, pull their names out of a hat to form 5 bands. Then give them 24 hours to come up with 20-30 minutes of original music. And for an added twist, you assign each band a special instrument that they must integrate into their set. If all of that does not sound fun enough, consider that all proceeds of the event go the the Ottawa Foodbank and there were free draws between sets with a lot of merch from sponsors and bands.
The event’s special guest host was CBC Radio 1’s Amanda Putz. Amanda hosts the show Bandwith, which focuses on Ontario music. In her opening remarks she declared that not only does Ottawa have one of the best music scenes in the province (eat your heart out Montreal and Toronto), but “one of the greatest scenes in the country.”
First up was But I Don’t Want to be a Pirate. The band was comprised of Arturo Portocarrero (Miss Polygamy), Cody Allen (Cody Allen), James Rooke (Modern Era Pirate), Mike Libbos (The Goodluck Assembly) and Rory Lewis (Kalle Mattson). They were tasked with the coolest random instrument of the night, a keytar. Man can Rory rely shred on his guitar and he even did a solo on the keytar. They set the bar very high. And Ottawa is very lucky, as Jame Rooke won a three song EP recording from Audio Valley Recording Studio and announced he will use it to record with But I Don’t Want to be a Pirate.
The second band of the evening was Sextadeth. The band said the name was in honor of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who they assume will be sexted to death now that he is back on Earth. Fitting that the band that ended up with two drummers, also got assigned the spoons, and had an epic percussion finale. Sextadeth was, David Wisjman (Fire & Neon), Max Savage (StillNative), Peter Zachar (Those Gulls), Reverend Doctor D (The Pelts) and Riishi Von Rex (Riishi Von Rex). They played a really fun set, but unfortunately David announced at the end that “due to creative differences we are breaking up.” the crowd got a good kick out of that.
Black Usher was up third. They were two Keys, two MCs and a Macbook. The keys were Patrick Steele (StillNative) and Sarah Bradley (Fevers), the MCs were Atherton (Atherton) and HYF the GypsySun (Missing LinX) and the man on the Macbook was Jordan David (The Love Machine). Their set was awesome! The dynamics of the five members singing or spitting rhymes throughout their performance was very good. And the energy…oh lord the energy. They finished with the incredible “Weird, Odd, Strange” that could very well have been the song of the night. And it was fun to watch both MCs play on pots and pans with wooden spoons.
Fourth to the stage was Slow Dance Chubbies. As per their name, they slowed it down a little bit. Their set was full of guitar solos, incredible trumpet play and funny lyrics. The crowd got into their set singing along with the band. Slow Dance Chubbies was Connor (sorry no last name provided), Erik Hertzberg (Cold Capital), Gregg Clark (Pony Girl), Jake Ting (Zoo Legacy) and Shawn Desjardins. What happens when one band gets two drummers, another band gets none. But that did not stop Slow Dance Chubbies. Jake Ting, who had never played drums live before, took on the task and did a great job.
Closing the show was Nicolas Cage in Con Air. The band was made up of Craig Barlow (Loon Choir), Dave Nado (The Wicked Mercy), Jon Schofield (The Yips) Just Jamaal (Missing LinX) and Kalle Mattson (Kalle Mattson). All of their songs were named after Nic Cage movies, they opened with Ghost Rider Two, followed with Ghost Rider One, which led to Raising Arizona and concluded with Face Off. Nic Cage was an amazing combination of rap and slam poetry over rock. Their special instrument was the whistle, which they integrated into more than one song, the only band to do so. While the band tuned, Just Jamaal used his instrument, his vox, to keep the crowd entertained with some freestyling.
I think Amanda Putz said it best when speaking of the evening. “The talent tonight blew me away.” I overheard many people in the crowd saying “I figured this would be a train wreck, but this is awesome.” And I must agree, it was a great night. If you did not go this year, or are an artist and did not participate, I strongly encourage you to do so next year.
Every song from the show should be available by May 25, thanks to Audio Valley Recording Studio. Keep checking back at Ottawa Rock Lottery website for it.
Soul king Mike Mackey’s project Kings of Lowertown released the first single off their new album 60 More Miles due out October 2013. The track, called “Shotgun Preacher” is a short but sweet preview of what to expect form the upcoming album, and boasts dirty sounding blues riffs along with distorted vocals. It seems that this song could have very well come right out of the heart of Nashville, but Pembroke native Mackey delivers a genuine style that intersects somewhere between Alabama 3, Tom Waits, and The Doors. Too bad The Sopranos is all over, because the song would have fit right in there. 60 More Miles will be the follow up to Kings of Lowertown’s first self-titled full length, which was featured onThe Big Beat blogBest in Ottawa music 2012: 20 songs by 20 bands (Ottawa Citizen). Listen to the new track below.
Last night Ottawa indie folk-rock band Little Stella released their new video for their song “Bluff” at the Herd Magazine Issue 03 launch party. With the help of Jack Pine Studios, they got together a great cast of locals to bring this song to life. Little Stella is featured in the magazine’s third issue (written by yours truly) and played a short but sweet set at Mercury Lounge where the crowd was already warmed up from an explosive performance by hip hop madman Jesse Dangerously. They showed the new video before their set, and was greeted with warm praise from the full house upstairs. It’s really exciting to see guys like these make big leaps, and their hard work and dedication shows when they get up on stage. Once again, the Herd Mag release was a huge success! Check out the video below.
Fire and Neon have released their new track “Good Intentions” in advance of their new album to be released May 3rd. The track is a great mix of synth-driven layers with well-placed guitar riffs and explosive percussion throughout. The song is a departure from previous material in the sense that it seems more matured – the band has come into its own a little bit more, and really developed their sound since their first Like Dance EP released in 2011. Another big announcement for the band was their Album Release partyannouncement, where they will be playing at Ritual on May 3rd with Ottawa heroes The Love Machine and Zoo Legacy.
Fire and Neon Album Release Party w/ The Love Machine + Zoo Legacy
Ottawa synth-pop supergroup Silkken Laumann has released their third single from their upcoming album Not Forever Enough, due out this summer. The band, which consists of Acorn frontman Rolf Klausener, local music genius Adam Saikaley, and resident beatmaster Pat Johnson, has been slowly putting out new material and playing shows here in the underground dancenight and DJ scene over the last year. The new track is a great listen, as it pulls from some of Klausener’s creative forces inspired by elecro and dance music. He and his multitalented best friends in Silkken Laumann are building anticipation to their album release, as the three tracks released thus far experiment with different sounds and techniques. Check out the video for the track, which was mixed by Jarrett Bartlett.
Yes, more new music. Last month Ottawa’sRoberta Bondarreleased a teaser video for the first new single from their upcoming full-length release from Bruised Tongue. The song itself is filled with moments of hectic intensity from the band and bellows from frontwoman Lidija Rozitis that provide the perfect preview of what to expect from the new material soundwise. The video was shot on location at the Kichissippi Brewery, and it uses some pretty interesting techniques by Hard Science that I fully do not understand… hence why I’m not in video production. But it really works especially given the nature of RB’s music, which involves a lot of experimentation with sounds, effects and instrumentation. RB will be releasing the album digitally and on cassette March 22, and have planned a shindig to celebrate the release on that night at Cafe Alt on campus at Ottawa U. Cheap beer, good music. Sounds good to me.
Here’s the video and some details about it!
From Roberta Bondar’s upcoming release on
Bruised Tongue (bruisedtongue.com)
!!! AVAILABLE ON CASSETTE TAPE & DIGITALLY: MARCH 22, 2013 !!!
Filmed in one take on January 5, 2013. Performed live and featuring live CRT video feed manipulation.
Directed by Travis Boisvenue.
Concept by Arturo Brisindi (Hard Science) and Travis Boisvenue.
Live video manipulation performed by Hard Science.