ORC4G Benefit Show a Community Success
“By girls, with girls, for girls.” This was the theme of Saturday night’s show at Pressed, as well as for the Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls. ORC4G was founded on the vision of providing a space where self-identified girls and women can “enjoy a sense of empowerment, confidence, and stability” while exploring and discovering themselves within the Ottawa music scene.
Highlighted by past participants and current volunteers for opening up the accessibility for women and girls in the music industry. Creating a space where girls can be themselves, sharing a common interest of rock music. “It also opens them up to this whole network of women who are able to help and support their endeavours, which in turn helps to build and strengthen the community and the music community as a whole,” said Mandie Norton, an active volunteer and board member of the camp. Mandie plays an important role within the organization assisting with the implementation of the camp, as well as supporting and mentoring up and coming musicians in Ottawa.
Willa MacLean was a past camper, and now active volunteer, who took on the task of organizing the benefit show that happened last Saturday. Having an understanding of what it’s like entering the music scene, Willa carefully chose the venue to ensure that the show would be as inclusive as possible, including being open to all ages. Wanting campers past, present, and future to come out and have a fun night, all while raising proceeds going to a great cause.
The show featured GOAT (Ottawa punk/rock),Sleepy and the Noise (Ottawa indie/alternative/grunge rock), and Radiogenic (Ottawa rock/alternative/singer-songwriter).
The camp itself runs over the course of a weekend in November. It is open for any and all self-identifying girls between the ages 13-17. Campers gather at Capital Rehearsal Studios on the Friday night to meet each other, socialize, watch a documentary, as well as find out what instruments everyone will be learning over the next two days. Bright and early on Saturday the real fun begins, and the camp takes over CRS, occupying the rehearsal rooms in instrument groups, and learning the ins and outs of the instruments.
Time in between rehearsal sessions is broken up with mini-workshops on anything from band management to booking shows. Sunday is spent rehearsing with the bands, leading up to the end of camp showcase that happens on the Sunday night. “Sunday evening we all head to the showcase together and the girls perform with their bands from the weekend.” The weekend is filled with learning and support, while being very emotional as everyone takes a new step in their personal music journeys. “I have yet to make it through a showcase without bawling like a baby,” Mandie professed.
ORC4G empowers young women to learn and play music in the community. (Photo from Facebook)
Saturday’s fundraiser was an excellent example of what this camp gives back to the music industry within the city. The bands featured were made up of past and present volunteers from the camp, and the main organizer, Willa, went through the camp herself. “It had been a dream of mine for so long, and music is something I’ve always been very passionate about…Thanks to the program it became a reality, and I’m so grateful for that.” She has grown immensely within the scene since her first experiences at ORC4G three years ago, and is now finding herself doing shows at local festivals like Ottawa Explosion, and of course, giving back through volunteering and planning fundraisers such as this one.
The ORC4G runs on the community support of volunteers, fundraisers, and donations. Events like this are critical to keeping the camp as accessible as possible for participants, helping with expenses, and allowing the camp to take place. This event was an excellent opportunity to get involved and support a wonderful cause and help jumpstart the next generation of musicians, so keep your eyes peeled for events to come, or reach out to the organizers!
Sleepy and the Noise played at the ORC4G Benefit Show last Saturday at Pressed. Photo by Elizabeth Durnford/Ottawa Showbox.
*Both Mandie and Willa wanted to highlight the volunteers and mentors within the Ottawa community that are a part of making ORC4G happen, particularly Luke Martin and Capital Rehearsal Studios/Gabba Hey! for letting the camp take over the space each year, the very active board members who work all year round, and Willa wanted to give a giant thank you to Mandie for the support she received in planning this event! *
Review/Interview: Alex G + Nicole Dollanganger, Heron’s Wake
Photo by HungerTV
After months of anticipation the show of the summer finally arrived! On July 30th, Casual Hex organized a spectacular show, featuring some big headliners. On the bill was Ottawa band Herons Wake, Canadian singer-songwriter Nicole Dollanganger, and American indie superstar Alex G. Knowing that the show could easily sell out, I bought my tickets in advance to assure I got a spot to see these bands perform. I wasn’t wrong! One third of the tickets had been sold before the date of the actual event. Gabba Hey!, the location of the show, hit capacity by the second set. Here’s how the night played out.
Local dream pop band Herons Wake was first up on the bill. The crowd swayed and bopped their heads as the band created an intricate framework of guitar notes and sung melodies. Throughout the set I saw people’s smiles widening as the set begun to pick up the pace more and more after each song. At one point, around the second last song, the lead singer announced that he’ll be playing the next track solo. He sang a heartfelt melody that set up an intimate atmosphere. The crowd hushed in silence to appreciate every word sung by the man. Afterwards, the Herons Wake ended with one of their most energetic songs, that grew louder and louder until it flew into an orchestra of guitar reverb, vocals, and loud drumming. They played a great set, and if you don’t believe me, check out their recorded music on bandcamp.
Straying from her soft angelic sound, Nicole Dollanganger stole the show with her music. The crowd grew in numbers, and the show was completely sold out at this point. The first I had heard of Nicole was her 2013 album Ode to Dawn Wiener: Embarrassing Love Songs, and I got quite the surprise at her set! Nicole sang heavenly songs back by heavy music from her bassist, guitar player, and drummer – much different from a shy doll-like sounding girl singing about falling in love at the True Love Cafe. Regardless of how different she sounded to me onstage, I truly appreciated her set. It was a unique show and I was sad to hear that this would be the last show they’d play with Alex G.
Finally, the much anticipated Alex G took the stage. Alex Giannascoli, online known as SANDY Alex G, is a singer songwriter from Havertown, Pennsylvania. From a young age Alex had developed an interest in music which continued to grow until he hit college. After releasing songs on his bandcamp and playing house shows here and there, Alex had decided to pursue a career in music.
Beginning with a song off Beach Music, the headliner began. Alex G was accompanied with his bassist, drummer and guitar players. Throughout the set you could hear the crowd chime in with lyrics to their songs. At one point, Nicole Dollanganger’s partner was taking videos of the show. Once the band took notice, they started having a bit more fun and danced like goofs for the camera. Then at another point Alex G began smashing his head against a keyboard and screaming for about two minutes. I joked with my friends asking what song that was. We later found out that Alex got upset for breaking a string off his guitar and in turn that merited the keyboard to receive a brutal beating. Later on in the set, the band took requests from the crowd on what to play next. They agreed to do their songs “Animals” and “People” off of 2015’s Trick, which I saw people dancing to and singing along. Much of the crowd, along with myself, had big smiles plastered on their faces.
After the show, I asked Alex G for a few questions to see what he thought about being a young musician and seeing if he had any advice for young musicians in Ottawa. A transcript of the interview will follow. But for now, I give Casual Hex a 10/10 show. The organizers work tirelessly to put a sold out show together and it went off without a hitch (at least from my perspective at least). If you missed this one, definitely check out the next Casual Hex Show coming up this month at Pressed!
Interview with Alex G
You guy started off in Philadelphia, how was the music scene over there? You guys started at a young age.
A: Yeah so me and Sam were doing Skin Cells [Alex G’s previous band] in high school and then beginning of college but then up for some reason we couldn’t play a show. So I asked if I could play my stuff and Sam played the drums and John played the bass.
And that’s how you guys evolved?
A: That was the default but then we started getting more bookings for that.
J: House shows for at least the first two years yeah
There’s lots of young musicians in Ottawa, how would you recommend them getting their music out there?
A: Try really fucking hard!
J: Play a lotta shows!
A: Only make what you think is like, the shit. Don’t be like “alright ! this is fine” Make something that’s actually good.
Lastly, I get the sense from a lot of your music that you’re more of an observer, with the way you write narratives. Do you feel like that changes onstage?
A: I guess that I feel like people are paying to see something. You gotta show em something.
Pregnancy Scares’ Final Fright with Subsistench, Sick Nurse & Sailor Jupiter
A great crowd showed up at Gabba Hey! Sunday afternoon to bid farewell to Pregnancy Scares.
The all-ages matinee show was packed with a great mix of music fans from varying age groups, some looking like they were from junior high and others looking much closer to retirement than graduation. Whoever they were, they’d all gathered to send off one of Ottawa’s loudest, wildest and most in-your-face-intense bands that recently ended their five years stint — Pregnancy Scares.
Craig Peru and his crazy eyes leading Pregnancy Scares during their final show. Photo: Eric Scharf
With the lights turned off and the smoke machine in full effect, the funeral began. This was not your average celebration of life as the deceased was on stage leading the charge at 100 km/h. That is the Pregnancy Scares way — blaring vocals over fast & crunching music with the crazy eyes of Craig Peru telling the rest of the story. The pit erupted at the sound of the first chord and only slowed when Peru was lifted above them and carried by the mourners around the room. It was really special to hear them perform “Don’t Try” as it was the first song they ever wrote together. A few songs in, guitarist Davey Quesnelle was passed the mic so he could speak his mind. “I really want to thank these guys for being in a band with me for five years… Time go out on top!”
Sparks flying during Pregnangcy Scares’ final show. Photo: Eric Scharf
The zenith was reached during during the final song of that last performance.
Energy from the crowd clashed with the band’s and culminated into a chaos of people getting on stage while Pregnancy Scares blasted away. It was taken to a whole other level when a man on the side of the stage wearing safety goggles and a bandana over his mouth started an electric grinder inside a steel Ottawa Senators trash can. He showered the stage and musicians with sparks and Davey, loving every minute of it, went as as close as he possibly could. The crowd completely engulfed the stage as all were shrouded in smoke and some grabbed drum sticks to pound away with Dave Fournier. As the wall of distorted sounds slowed and members started leaving the stage, Dave exploded from behind the veil of smoke and sent his drum set flying everywhere. Goodbye Pregnancy Scares, you sure capped off the five-year run with one hell of a performance.
Subsistench from Montreal playing through their hangovers at Gabba Hey! Photo: Eric Scharf
Montreal three-piece Subsistench began their set mentioning that they we “So hung over.” I guess this is one of the consequences of afternoon shows. The bass player was dealing with it pretty well as she slammed back coconut water. Things did not get off to the best start when the guitarist broke a string during their first song. Luckily other bands still in the crowd jumped to the rescue and brought him their guitar to play. Oh, Ottawa you are so kind. One thing that cannot go unmentioned about Subsistench is their drummer. He took to the stage wearing a mask that looked like Skeletor from He-Man, chains from over his shoulder crossing like an X on his chest and cut-off jean shorts… he is also a pretty dynamic drummer. Subsistench really peaked my attention with the tracks “Conform” and “Plastic Lies.” They concluded their set with the bass player saying, “We are Subsistench, we hate you.” Considering that they were all smiles the whole time it seemed kind of out-of-place.
Darryl Andrew Reid, lead singer of Sick Nurse, at Gabba Hey! Photo: Eric Scharf
I am pretty sure Sick Nurse were playing their first show ever — so, a birth amidst all this talk of death. The band began to play and there was no sight of lead singer Darryl Andrew Reid. He then emerged through the crowd wearing a Reagan mask and began to wrestle with a fan and slammed down to the ground. This would not be the last time Reid would find himself on the floor during the set. Sick Nurse may very well be the angriest band in town and I am sure they like it that way. Reid marched around on stage and threw himself flat, often pounding the floor while unleashing what appeared to be decades of pent-up rage. It was loud, fast and very raw. The set was mostly original material, but it did feature a couple of covers, including Bishop Green’s “Vacant State.”
Sailor Jupiter kicking things off at Gabba Hey! Photo: Eric Scharf
Getting the afternoon started was one of my new favourite local bands, Sailor Jupiter. I was always more of a Sailor Mars kind of guy, but this all-girl three-piece garage band quickly changed my allegiance. From the very first song I was in. The band had no fear of changing pace as their first song was a little slow and they followed it up with “Can’t Surf” which much faster and rockier. They may list themselves as garage, but I see them as more of a grunge revival sound. The bass intro for “Dead to Me” was really sweet and just kept adding to how excited I was to finally see this band. They were one of the best opening acts I have seen in a long time and are certainly a band to watch. Rumour has it they are working on recording some music as you read!
Ottawa Showbox’s Favourite Shows of 2014
It’s been another crazy 52 weeks in the nation’s capital and it’s coming to a close. How did we get here? What happened this summer again? Who is asleep in the bathtub? Who cares? It’s time for another kind of Throwback, to what rocked this year in Ottawa!
What’s important right now is listing our favourite shows of the year in no order. Thank you to all local musicians, creators & performers who made our days & nights entertaining, and thank you to all those travelling artists who graced our city’s stages in 2014.
Photo: Joseph Mathieu
“Possibly the most anticipated act for me that evening was by a fine Brit by the name of Simon Green, better known to the world as DJ & producer Bonobo. Is there anything better than watching something you know to be good turn out to be great? The man on the bass & buttons was flanked by five other artists who added dimension to his downbeat electronica but who also let him play solo so we could meet the hard-working multi-instrumentalist he truly is…”
Photo: David Kawai
“There was a lot of pushing, shoving, moshing, pogoing, falling, crowd surfing, and general disregard for our own bodies. That’s just the kind of music it was – they truly inspired us to sacrifice our bodies and leave our collective problems at the front door while letting the music take us away. There were a few instances where I got a bit worried for some smaller individuals in the pit, but everyone made it out alive and well (save for the aforementioned bruises and aches)…”
Photo: Hanhong Dan
“These sounds overlapped and crashed into each other as Jesse spun his extraterrestrial tale on his Terran synth. On five screens you could see the images of earth (also included on the golden discs) shifting and melting as the Reactable throbbed with the voices of the children of Earth with greetings in numerous languages. The middle screen captured Jesse’s pate, directly above the Reactable and its Tangibles…”
Photo: Joseph Mathieu
“Thank Christ for Deltron Zero and the cantankerous Captain Aptos, AKA Dan the Automator. We found out exactly why he’s called the Automator by watching him orchestrate with little finger wiggles and full arm movements while pounding on a synth with his free hand. There was a live band supporting these two supers making their way through the future, as 3030 slowly became 3040, as well as the third of the trinity: Skiznod the Boy Wonder AKA Kid Koala…”
Photo: Joseph Mathieu
“Quand elle jouait de la guitare, les marques d’usage sur le corps m’ont dis qu’elle l’a joué en tabarnac sa guit’, et quand elle jouait le banjo, elle l’a joué comme j’ai jamais vu un banjo joué. C’était une performance inoubliable, et possiblement pour Lisa aussi. Le premier concert de sa saison d’été et d’après sa réaction à nos applaudissement après « Kraft Dinner » elle a été touché par notre enthousiasme. C’est pas mal facile de se donner complètement à la chevelure en statique, la voix rauque & l’humour de cette Acadienne. En chantant « Aujourd’hui, ma vie c’est d’la marde » pour finir la nuit, c’était un show du tonnerre…”
Photo: Eric Scharf
“One of the other big highlights was during “Paper Girl” when Leah could be seen chatting with a girl in the crowd as the song began. After a little discussion she pulled her up on stage and had her sing Leah’s first verse for her on stage. They then danced, sang together and Leah even picked her up and cradled her while spinning around. I am sure that lucky fan will never forget that night…”
Photo: Eric Scharf
“While all of the singers were extremely impressive and convincing in their unique adaptations of Nirvana’s songs, the one that really stood out for me was “Territorial Pissings” sung by Craig Proulx of Pregnancy Scares. If you’ve ever seen Pregnancy Scares before, you know that Craig is an absolute maniac on stage, his eyes filling with a possessed look while lunging back and forth to the audience. He is one of those singers that seems to really thrive off the chaos in front of him, and there was chaos as bodies were flying everywhere…”
Photo: Jeff Watkins
“The magic moment of the set came when they paused just before the last drop in “Shine a Light” and all put their arms in the air. The crowd matched them while hooting and hollering, until Constantines kicked it back into gear. The band really looked like they were having a good time, and Webb confirmed it, “It’s fun to play these songs again, I love the Constantines.” Ottawa does as well Bry, come back anytime!…”
Photo: Ming Wu
Rich Aucoin @ House of TARG (Oct. 2)
Rich Aucoin’s ‘drop everything and just have fun’ attitude couldn’t have fit more perfectly at House of TARG. With great projections, the sounds of video games all around, and one giant parachute, Aucoin was at home. He played a number of songs off his acclaimed new record Ephemeral, and made sure that every single person was involved in making this a night to remember. About a third of the way through the set, Aucoin got the entire crowd together and got local photographer Ming Wu to take a photo together. Who does that? Rich Aucoin, the eternal party, that’s who.
Day three of Ottawa Explosion Weekend was absolutely insane! It went from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. I think… I can’t completely remember. It featured so many amazing bands — Jon Creeden, ROBOTS!EVERYWHERE!!, Outtacontroler, Tough Age, Protomartyr, The White Wires, Dig It Up, The Creeps, and Radioactivity all in a row! It was total madness.
Photo: Eric Scharf
“What is so great about Propagandhi is that it’s clear that it’s not just the lead singer pushing the message. Drummer, Jord Samolesky, spoke up about how he has been around for over 40 years now and has see the government go from “Liberal to Con to Lib to Con, and we are just moving more and more right, it is getting worst… it is time to start something radical, it is time for change. You are in Ottawa — start some fucking shit!” Combine that with the ever intense songs where the bass player takes lead vocals and this band packs as much of a musical punch as they do politically…”
Photo: Eric Scharf
“Even with sweat dripping off all the band members and everyone in the crowd, there was no slowing The Steamers or staggering the energy in the room. The Steamers have a great collection of original tracks that had us all dancing and singing along…”
Photo: Stephen McGill
New Swears Album Release @ Gabba Hey! (Aug. 23)
It was one of the sweatiest, messiest, most outrageous hoards of human flesh moving to music I had ever witnessed going to a show. Ever. New Swears were at the top of their punk rock game at Gabba Hey!, not giving a shit about their own well-being and somehow managing to continue playing and singing while crowdsurfing over the mass of disturbed moshing people (I was one of them). It wasn’t even moshing, because that implies that there was some set of rules or… something. This was the definition of chaos.
Photo: Jeff Watkins
“The four-piece sounded great and were thrilled to be there, constantly mentioning how awesome the bill was. Sometimes sounding like bands of the Gang of Four variety (and I say that as a compliment) Ought had my head bobbing along all show… Glad I stuck around late to check these guys out, they did not hit the stage until around 1 a.m….”
Photo: Ming Wu
“They were heavy, technical, and completely unorthodox. The way they used effects to supplement their really well-written songs is captivating, and I couldn’t help but just move erratically to what I was experiencing. I won’t say too much more other than that they kind of scared me in a really weird and good way…”
Photo: Ming Wu
Mac DeMarco @ Blacksheep Inn (Apr. 4)
This was by far the best show I have ever seen at The Blacksheep Inn. DeMarco’s neo-crooner style fit perfectly at The Blacksheep Inn, and the packed house was writhing in anticipation for him to come out and play. Once he got on stage, there was some obligatory crude banter from Mac and a wide, gap-toothed smile. The set included songs from both his first album, 2, and his latest release, Salad Days. It is a sight to see – an entire venue as nice as Blacksheep (which is host to many seated candlelit performances) explode with maniacal fans, losing their minds more and more one song after the next. By the end of it, Mac crowdsurfed his way into our memories, delivering himself into the storied history of Wakefield.
This Saturday Is Going to Change Your Life
This Saturday is going to change your life. Actually, you might just end up doing some Christmas shopping alongside other quality humans, participating in a discussion about accessibility in our music scene, and seeing a few Canadian bands at the top of their game. Either way, you’ll be glad you went out.
The day kicks off with the first annual GABBA! HEY! HOLIDAY! SALE! from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gabba Hey!, a.k.a. the Capital Rehearsal Studio, has increasingly become more of a centre for nice, fascinating people to make great things together. Put on by local record label Bruised Tongue, the sale is looking to be another prime gathering. Artists, clothing designers, and creators from around the city will be there to connect and maybe make some extra change for the holidays. Admission is pay-what-you-can (PWYC) and some proceeds will go to the Ottawa Food Bank. There will be vegan snacks. Gabba Hey! is an otherworldly place where good people come together, and there are dance-offs on Valentine’s Day.
Then, at Raw Sugar from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Debaser and Weird Canada are hosting a free discussion entitled FRYQ: THE GATHERING. A panel, curated by moderator Emily McQuarrie, will lead a conversation focused on accessibility in Ottawa’s music scene. The event will hopefully be a step toward being more inclusive of individuals who consider themselves to be outsiders in our community. Exclusion due to age, race, disability, gender, and sobriety will be touched on. Let’s have a talk about what we can do to find a space where we all belong.
At 8 p.m., the all-ages FRYQUENCY’S ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY will take us into the night. To celebrate the twelfth edition of Weird Canada’s concert series, Mugshots will be hosting an evening of psych, noise and weirdo-rock provided by Grime Kings, WTCHS and Fet.Nat. PWYC entry will also get you a copy of the Fryquency zine, finally finished after months of work from a crack team of local lizards. Last time I caught Grime Kings, lead singer/songwriter Callum Runciman continued to solo for nearly two minutes after a song was done. This show is a must.
Those are a few things that are happening Saturday. Come in from the cold and into warm rooms with art, tea and grunge bands.
Ottawa Music Guide: Top Ottawa Venues For Live Music
Here’s a revised and updated version of the writeup I did for WHEREOttawa when I was an intern there in late 2012. Now that 2015 is upon us, here’s what you need to know about the best music venues in Ottawa.
By Matías Muñoz
This Ottawa music venue in the city’s Centretown neighbourhood is home to artists of all kinds, showcasing hip hop groups one night and indie rockers the next. There’s plenty of room for dancing, but also lots of comfy seating for those who enjoy catching up with friends. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Babylon Nightclub, 317 Bank St., 613-594-0003, babylonclub.ca
• Map and Reviews
Nestled in the beautiful town of Wakefield, Quebec, just a 25-minute drive from Ottawa, this historic music venue is a must-visit. Some of Canada’s best musicians have graced The Blacksheep’s stage, making it a prime stop for many notable bands passing through Quebec and Eastern Ontario. It has become legend in Canada’s music folklore history. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• The Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., 819-459-3228,theblacksheepinn.com
•Map and Reviews
Ottawa Music Venues: Rich Aucoin gets up close with the crowd at Café Dekcuf (Photo: Ming Wu)
Located directly above Mavericks (see below), this music venue is known for profiling local bands, making it a great place to take some local culture. With a capacity of around 150, it is a small space filled with energy. It is not uncommon to see bands come off the stage and play songs amongst the crowd. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Café Dekcuf, 221 Rideau St., 613-244-5000, cafedekcuf.com
•Map and Reviews
Music venue, pierogi house, arcade and pinball spot – House of Targ is the mecca of fun in Ottawa. (Photo: http://bumpercity.blogspot.com/)
House of Targ is one of the newest and most exciting additions to the Ottawa music scene. This place isn’t only a music venue – it is also offers a selection of delicious handmade pierogies cooked in front of your eyes, an entire wall full of your favourite pinball games, and nostalgic arcade games such as Area 51, NBA Jam, Pac Man, and Mortal Kombat. This place exploded out of the city’s underground music crevasses to become one of the most talked about spots in town. They also offer up a monthly zine/newsletter and weekly freeplay for all pinball and arcade games on Sunday nights, with DJ KJ MAXX spinning vinyl while you get your game on.
• House Of Targ, 1077 Bank St, (613) 730-5748, houseoftarg.com
•Map and Reviews
This venue is a staple in Ottawa’s music scene, providing a good mix of smaller, local acts and more well-known ones. Located just down the street from the Rideau Centre, it is accessible and provides a little more space for patrons than other places around the city. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Mavericks Bar, 221 Rideau St., 613-562-3941, mavericksbar.com
•Map and Reviews
Delta Will gracing the stage at The Mercury Lounge located in the Byward Market. (Photo: Pat Bolduc)
The lounge-style ambiance here makes for a more mature, relaxed vibe. Dim lighting and smooth live music make this Ottawa venue an ideal hangout for adults of all ages. Mercury Lounge is the middle of the ByWard Market, close to other fine restaurants and nightlife spots. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Mercury Lounge, 56 ByWard Market Square., 613-789-5324,mercurylounge.com
•Map and Reviews
This beautiful, multi-purpose performing arts centre sits along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa’s downtown core. With several stages of varying size, this arts venue is capable of holding larger crowds with rowed seating in Southam Hall, or more intimate concerts at the Theatre, Studio or Fourth Stage.
• National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St., 613-947-7000, nac-cna.ca
•Map and Reviews
This quiet gourmet sandwich bar on Gladstone is bursting with all kinds of events. There is an aura of creativity that resonates from this place—and is showcased by the variety of acts that perform, from poets to live bands. This Ottawa venue uses its spaces to its full potential. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave., 613-680-9294, pressed-ottawa.com
•Map and Reviews
Ottawa dance-punk phenoms Silkken Laumann heat up Raw Sugar Cafe. (Photo: Ming Wu)
This quaint little café at the edge of Ottawa’s Chinatown is the definition of independent. Some of the best indie bands from Ottawa and around the country love the comfy living room-style atmosphere, which almost feels like a house show at times. There is a sense of warmth to this venue like no other in Ottawa. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset St. W., 613-216-2850, rawsugarcafe.com
•Map and Reviews
Known to throw some wild events, Ritual is the natural home for electronic, hip hop and DJ sets. With big sound and a long bar, this venue is a favourite amongst experienced partygoers. It is also conveniently located adjacent to the Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Ritual Nightclub, 137 Besserer St., 613-680-7661, Facebook page
•Map and Reviews
Located in downtown Hull, just across the Ottawa River, Le Troquet has proven itself to be a cultural hub since 1997. With a lively crowd of regulars and a particularly strong folk scene surrounding the venue. More and more, Le Troquet is emerging as a spot where both sides of the river can unite and enjoy a comfortable atmosphere with character.
• Le Troquet, 41 Rue Laval (Hull, QC), (819) 205-9060, letroquet.ca
Located in the heart of the Ottawa’s ByWard Market, Zaphod Beeblebrox—simply known as Zaphod’s to locals—is a prime stop for touring musicians and is probably the most well-known in Ottawa. The Rolling Stones shot their 2005 video for “Streets of Love” here! See what’s on this week by clicking here.
• Zaphod Beeblebrox, 27 York St., (613) 652-1010, zaphods.ca
•Map and Reviews
This brand new music venue couldn’t be in a better place. Located on Elgin St., one of Ottawa’s busiest core streets, LIVE! on Elgin has already begun to turn heads by booking great bands from all backgrounds and genres. From loud rock shows to quiet sit down serenades, find what you’re looking for here.
• LIVE! on Elgin, 2-220 Elgin St, (613) 695-5483
Radioactivity, Bad Sports and Steve Adamyk Band @ Gabba Hey!
The secret band of Ottawa Explosion Weekend, Radioactivity, returned to headline a wicked night at Ottawa’s “secret” venue Gabba Hey!
Radioactivity played a rocking set full of songs from their awesome self-titled album released late last year. People were enthralled by the punk rock trio from Texas. It was great to see them in full as I ran out of gas at Ottawa Explosion Weekend and only caught a couple of their songs. Shows at Gabba Hey! are usually all ages, as was the case with this show. Some people complain about all-ages shows but I love them. You get to see the next generation of Ottawa music fans in action, including our Junior Correspondent Sacha dancing up a storm for every song by every band.
Another band from Texas, Bad Sports, set the stage for Radioactivity. They showed up to take care of business, never introduced a song, they just rocked out, kicked ass, said thank you and walked off. It had been three years since Bad Sports played Ottawa Explosion Weekend, maybe that explained their sense of urgency. It was a great set of old school punk rock sound with pop punk influences in the modern world. The lead singers voice made him destined to play this music, and I am glad he is.
Opening the night was Ottawa’s punk rockers Steve Adamyk Band. Normally a four-piece, they performed as a trio with Davey switching to bass, and showed absolutely no ill affects. Having just played Ottawa Explosion Weekend a few weeks ago, they decided to play a bunch of new songs off their upcoming album Dial Tone. High energy, upbeat punk rock and new music… yes, please. They did not just play new stuff though, they covered The Rats’ “Nightmare” and closed with short and sweet explosion “Katacombs.” They thanked the other bands with flattery, “We love you guys, love your sounds and ripped you guys off . Thank you.”
Once again Gabba Hey! delivered an excellent night and just when you didn’t think the venue could get any better, they have restocked the store. It is open during shows and carries so much incredible music, a tonne of which is on vinyl at very fair prices. Support local and rock on!
Weekend Music Roundup: June 19 – 22
Looking for live music in Ottawa this weekend? Ottawa Showbox has you covered with the Weekend Music Roundup.
For full event listings, click here.
Thursday June 19 to Sunday June 22
Thursday June 19
Friday June 20 and Saturday 21
Friday June 20
Saturday June 21
Sunday June 22