Ottawa’s folk extraordinaire Kalle Mattson have just released a video for their new song ”Darkness.” I really like the eerie video for this great track. It has a lo-fi DIY feel that is complimented by the fact that the video is in black and white. “Darkness” will appear on the band’s 7-inch coming out October 1st on Parliament of Trees record. Check out the video below.
WARNING: This video may be offensive to people with a fear of clowns.
Ottawa art-rock band, Pony Girl, are poised to release their debut album, Show Me Your Fears, on September 28th. Ottawa Showbox is very proud to stream it for you 10 days before the release!
As I mentioned in a previous post, Pony Girl is anchored by guy-girl pop harmonies, while songs flow from calm to chaotic thanks to excellent musicianship. Members of the band are veterans of Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa Rock Lottery, various global jazz festivals, have taught classrooms and earned university degrees in music before coming together as Pony Girl in 2012.
Take a listen to Show Me Your Fears below. I hope you like it as much as we do over here at Showbox.
Now that you have gotten a taste of the record, why not see them play it live. The Show Me Your Fearsalbum release show is on September 28 at La Petite Mort Gallery, at 306 Cumberland Street in Ottawa. Click on the poster below for more information.
Ottawa band Pony Girl are poised to release their debut album, Show Me Your Fears, on September 28th. Ottawa Showbox is proud to present you with the premiere of the first single, “Sun of the Morning.”
Pony Girl is anchored by guy-girl pop harmonies, while songs flow from calm to chaotic thanks to excellent musicianship. Members of the band are veterans of Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa Rock Lottery, various global jazz festivals, have taught classrooms and earned university degrees in music before coming together as Pony Girl in 2012.
If you are digging the single, you should go hear more at their album release on September 28 at La Petite Mort Gallery, at 306 Cumberland Street in Ottawa. I know what you are thinking, the 28th is just so far away! Come back and visit us on the 18th and be the first to hear the entire album, which we here at Ottawa Showbox will be exclusively streaming live!
In the meantime, here is some more Pony Girl. This is a live video of them performing their song “Please Do” at The Daily Grind.
This year, we here at Ottawa Showbox are proud to be media partners with the best new up-and-coming boutique arts festival in Canada, Arboretum. Before we deliver full coverage of the festivities, we’re also really happy to collaborate with Jackpine, a new digital media agency chock-full incredibly talented and inspirational individuals, to bring a series of short video features. The first instalment features the co-owner of N-Product, Dominic Coballe, co-owner of Victoire Boutique, Regine Paquette, and artist Drew Mosely. If you’re wondering what that really great song is in the video, it’s called “Thailand” by Ottawa’s own Boyhood.
There will be more videos to come, and the festival is coming up very, very soon. So get ready! Watch the first video below.
Last weekend a bunch of us gathered at Fall Down Gallery for what was to be a hot, smoky music video shoot for The Love Machine‘s new song “Sorry My Dear”. The video is being made with a string of Vine videos, each 6 seconds in length. I have certainly never seen anything like this before, so the end result will be pretty interesting. With lots of confetti and dancing, I think the shoot was a pretty huge success overall. But wait, The fun isn’t over yet!
The Love Machine, along with Dan Rascal Productions, are allowing fans to get involved by submitting a Vine video of their own to be included in the final cut of the video. Here’s how it works:
1. Follow The Love Machine on Vine (handle: thelovemachine)
2. Fans can then download the song segments from the Dropbox link provided
3. Fans can make their own segment(s) and upload it and hashtag it with #TLMvine
4. The segment submitted is eligible to be in the final product!
Now check out the video teaser that The Love Machine just released!
Here’s TLM’s video description:
“We want YOU to create your own vines for The Love Machine’s newest video – Sorry My Dear.
The first thing you need to do is follow this link to a special Dropbox Folder. Inside are all the goodies you will need to create your own segments which we will review. If we like…then there is a good chance it will make the final cut of the video!
In the Dropbox folder you will find 33 Segmented clips of the entire song. We broke the song down into 6 second partitions and filmed each one. Now we want you to pick your favorite segment and re-create it any way you want. We also included the mastered song so you can think about the video as a whole and well….it makes for a nice gift too!
You’ll also notice that each clip has 3 seconds of quiet and 6 seconds of loudness! We wanted to make sure you recorded on the loud part but we also wanted to give you some time to cue yourself up. Make sure you practice and try to get it as rock solid as possible!
Get creative! Do something zany! We accept parodies of your favorite vines, stop motion whatever whatever!
Once you have your segment finished, don’t forget to tag them so we can see them.
When I first started Ottawa Showbox in May of 2012, one of the first hip hop groups in Ottawa I came across was Antiks. Consisting of emcees Jayem and Lex, Antiks released their first mixtape called Here’s The Thing back in February of 2012 and it thoroughly impressed my eardrums. Their style struck me as some blend of Beastie Boys and Atmosphere, and production quality on their first record was great. I remember thinking that I’d really like to hear more from these guys.
Well, they’ve finally delivered. Adding guitarist Ryan Farrell and drummer Derek Hillier to the group, their new album called The Thing Is experiments with some new things and contains some interesting anecdotes throughout, some of which I’ll mention in a minute. But first, believe me when I say that there isn’t a bad track on this album. Not only have these guys succeeded in overcoming the sophomore blues by going a very different direction with the new record, they also collaborated with a few talented local producers and MC’s to make things a little more interesting. Produced by Ottawa’s DJ Greg Reain, with special production appearances by Jeepz and Crack Moses, each track on the album has its own character and proves to be integral to creating an overall “feel” while listening. Ranging from melodic, reverb-heavy tracks such as “Contra”, soulful ones like “Therapy”, and definitive anthemic tracks like their collab “Walk on By” with outstanding local hip hop artist G. Grand, Antiks dug deep to diversify their sound and make and album that stood out. Their song “Step To It” sums it up nicely: “Step to it, get to it, what ya doin? A million MCs in the world, you gotta move it”.
My favourite track on the album is “Contra”, a beautifully constructed and well-written song that demands attention from the listener immediately. Other must-hear songs include “Walk on By” (ft. G. Grand), and “Willy No Man” (ft. Dynamite Motel), but as I said, this album is an ear party all the way through. I also really enjoy the interludes included on the record, two of which feature emcees Jayem and Lex rapping over the beatboxing of MC Dimz, respectively. To me, this is what real hip hop is all about. You don’t need layers of tracks and loads of production to do that, and I found it refreshing to Antiks try out some interesting things such as interludes. Their lyrical flow and the quality of their lyrical content was evident throughout the entire the album.
My interpretation is that the album (or parts of it), in a way, is their tribute to Adam Yauch (“MCA”) and the legend that is the Beastie Boys. You can hear certain similarities to classic Beastie Boys albums like Paul’s Boutique, from which they sample “B-Boy Bouillabaisse” in “JAYem & Dimz [interlude]”. Their use of raw beatboxing by MC Dimz, sampling/use of funk/soul tracks and bass lines, and scratching by DJ SoNice, to name a few things, all subtly pay tribute to the Beastie Boys and remind us of their influence on hip hop music. Big high five, guys.
Other little treats on the album include a comically inspiring clip of Sylvester Stallone reciting a clip from Rocky Balboa, anda randominterlude called “The Rap Music” which samples Charles Aznavour’s “Parce Que Tu Crois”, slowed down and popularized by Dr. Dre with his hit “What’s the Difference” off The Chronic 2001. The last track “Fooled Ones” samples the song “Everybody Plays the Fool” by The Main Ingredient, a song nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best R&B Song in 1973. What a perfect ending to an album, don’t you think?
One thing is certain – these guys are just getting started. Hearing what’s on this album, one can only imagine how far Antiks go with the kind of talent and production they have at their fingertips. I got in touch with emcees Jayem and Lex of Antiks, as well as G. Grant, to discuss The Thing Is. Read the interviews below:
Q&A with ANTIKS
(L = Lex, J = Jayem)
1. Can you guys give your take on the hip hop scene in Ottawa? What’s it like here?
L: The hip hop scene in Ottawa is definitely looking good. There’s some great groups out here, and with events like Hip Hop Karaoke, you see tons of people showing up so it’s obvious there’s a high demand for rap in the city. I think a lot of clubs focus on EDM just because the money is there right now. I like that kind of music but it’d be nice to see a few more clubs do some dedicated hip hop nights.
J: Ottawa has a very healthy rap scene. I mean there’s going to be terrible acts in every city, hopefully we’re not included with those, but with dope groups like Flight Distance, Just Poets, Zoo Legacy, and artists like G. Grand, it’s hard to say we’re not holding our own.
2. In what respects is your new album “The Thing Is” different from your previous material?
J: I think the tone on “The Thing Is” is much different than anything we’ve done before. When Lex and I started making music a couple years back we had no idea what the hell we were doing or what we wanted to sound like. We learned a lot since then so when we started recording this album, we were way more confident, knew what sound we wanted and the balance we wanted to strike in terms of humour. But ultimately we wanted to make a good hip hop record, something that we’d listen to, as opposed to trying to guess what others might like.
L: I think with this record, it’s the first time we tried to say something beyond a bunch of silly shit our friends expect us to say. Don’t get me wrong there’s some horribly immature stuff peppered throughout it, and some fun tracks, but we definitely opened up much more on this one. I think we were also trying to step our game up lyrically, a lot of that just comes with experience, so hopefully we didn’t suck to bad on that front.
3. Can you talk about your collaborations on this album?
L: We’ve got some super talented artists on this album that we were lucky to be able to scam into performing with us. G. Grand was a rapper that we’ve all loved, so when he agreed to hop on our track ‘Walk on By’, which was produced by our boy Jeepz, we pretty much sounded like a bunch of Japanese school girls that caught a glimpse of One Direction. We actually met Dynamite Motel through some friends, became friends, and then made it our mission to do a track with her. We got love for funk and jazz music so we’re glad that got represented on this record.
J: Ottawa’s got some sick producers and we were looking to showcase that. We linked up with Jeepz, who produced some awesome stuff for Just Poets and G.Grand. We got onto Crack Moses through the last Flight Distance record, reached out and thankfully he was down with working together. Greg Reain, who’s on the team, also killed it with his production. Hopefully we didn’t butcher their tracks too much or else we’re back to recording on my T-Pain app. Also shouts to MC Dimz who beatboxed on two tracks, dude is a mad talent, and DJ So Nice who did some dope scratches on ‘Perfect Machines’.
4. Which tracks are you most excited for people to hear?
L: I’m really excited for people to hear ‘Man vs. Food’ and the track we did with Dynamite Motel called ‘Willy No Man’. I think those tracks show the range of sound we can bang out.
J: For me I’m looking forward to seeing how people respond to our collab tracks. G. Grand has an awesome verse on ‘Walk on By’ and the beatbox tracks we did with Dimz are killer.
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.