Episode 180 of Indie City Madness, hosted by Rick and Elly, features an hour of great Ottawa-Gatineau music, with lots of new music and plenty of events.
If you’re sticking around Ottawa this week for the long weekend ahead, here are some ideas if you’re looking for fun events to attend in the upcoming days.
The Canadian Tulip Festival is on for the third and final weekend so be sure to check out the flowers and activities if you haven’t already done so. You can get all the details on the festival’s official website here.
This Wednesday, May 16 as well as each Wednesday for the next little while, the Ottawa Jail Hostel will be hosting its weekly open mic for those with musical talent who wish to showcase their stuff or simply for those who want to encourage local artists, singer-songwriters and musicians while enjoying a few drinks. The open mic takes place inside Mugshots, the Ottawa Jail Hostel bar. For more info, check out the Facebook event here.
The following evening, Thursday, May 17, the Canadian Museum of Civilization invites the public to partake in the official opening of MAYA: Secrets of Their Ancient World, the newest special exhibition launched by the Museum for the summer season. This is sure to be an extremely interesting exhibition for those who have an interest in world civilizations and particularly in the Maya history and culture. The inauguration takes place at 6:00 pm after which guests will be invited to visit the exhibition should they wish to do so. Details are available in French and English on the below images.
Also this Thursday, May 17, Overkill Bar, in the basement of the Mercury Lounge, presents the weekly edition of Double Barrel, starting at 10pm. DJ Magnificent will be throwing an all-vinyl set and is looking forward to making you dance with another night of funk, soul and Motown hits that are sure to get you moving. You can grab more details on the Facebook event page here.
Another event happening this Thursday is the Collectif III vernissage taking place at Le Temporaire, an artistic production and exhibition space in Vieux-Hull, Gatineau, which encourages local artists to present their work in order to get noticed and promote their work on the Outaouais artistic scene. The exhibition launch starts at 5pm and all details can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.
If you’re into slam poetry, head out to Mercury Lounge this Saturday, May 19 for VERSEOttawa Women’s Slam. Last January, VERSEOttawa held the city’s first ever Women’s Slam Championship. It was the first and certainly not the last. Throughout the year, VERSeOttawa will be hosting a series of women’s slams that will culminate in the Women’s Slam Championship. You can find a breakdown of the event details here.
In Flux, a new concept night combining the best bands & DJs in the National Capital will debut at Babylon on Saturday, May 19 as of 10pm. For the first edition of In Flux, the people of Droppin Science, Bass Machines & Antique Skateshop present Jon Deck, Birthday Girls, and the Big Muffs. Tickets are $7 and more info is available on the poster below.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Ritual will host the Atherton Album Release Party starting at 9pm. The local hip-hop artist will deliver his third studio album and first solo project entitled “No Threat” alongside guests Homebased, Babble Goons, The Joynt and DJ So Nice. Atherton will also be releasing his video for album track “Lights Out” at the party. There’s more info if you click on the poster below.
To celebrate the long weekend, BYDEK, THEKNWLDG, Soundsation, and 1X1Love present Madeon at Mansion on Sunday, May 20. Hugo Leclercq, aka Madeon, is a self-proclaimed “electro-pop-house-whatever” producer from France. Recently back from a huge performance at Coachella, Madeon is set to perform live in Ottawa and if you love electronic dance music, don’t miss this as this kid is bound to blow-up big sooner than later. You can get more details on the Facebook event page by clicking on the below poster.
Also, don’t forget about Elage’s gig at the Petit Chicago and Rakim at Ritual: two worthwhile shows taking place this Thursday and Friday as mentioned in my last post! Enjoy the May long weekend and be sure to check out one of the many events taking place in the coming days in the National Capital Region!!
As we head into the second week of May, the weather’s getting nicer and the events are plentiful!
This past weekend was ideal for festival-goers who checked out the tulips at the Canadian Tulip Festival. The weather was simply sublime which doesn’t seem to happen often for the annual festival, so people took advantage of this to discover the new sites that have been included this year including Chinatown. You have until May 21 to check it out.
This Thursday, May 11, Doba, who used to be part of the Dobacaracol duo, will perform songs from her latest self-titled album at La Basoche in Aylmer. The show starts at 8:00 pm and tickets are available through Ovation here. You can also get further details on the City of Gatineau’s website here (in French only).
This weekend, A Tribe Called Red will DJ in their Ottawa home-town as part of their Canadian tour. The boys will be at Babylon Saturday, May 12 for the Electric Pow-Wow and I recommend you come early become this is sure to be a busy night! Doors open at 11pm and that’s about all the info you can get at this point in time…! But really all that matters is that this is the place to be if you want to shake your bootay. See you on the dance floor 🙂
For those who love biking and all things related, the MEC Bike Fest is taking place this Sunday, May 13, which also happens to be Mother’s Day (that’s right, you only have a couple of days lefts to get her something…!). Bike lovers will converge at Lebreton Flats for an entire day of family-friendly activities and demonstrations. More details can be found on the MEC website here.
The LOX fans rejoice! Next Monday May 14, Styles P and Sheek Louch will be in Ottawa to do a show at Ritual as part of their D-BLOCK Canadian Tour. Tickets are $30 and you can get all the info by clicking on the poser below.
On Thursday May 17, Babylon presents Montreal-based Jah Cutta with special guest Errol Blackwood for a night of reggae music and dancing. Doors open at 10pm and tickets are $10. Known as the Canadian King of reggae, Jah Cutta will be performing songs from his sophomore album A Me Dis along with a variety of others from previous year.
For Hip-Hop heads, Kapacity Entertainment presents the legendary Rakim on Friday, May 18 at Ritual Nightclub. The NY rapper also known as The God MC will perform alongside Borden and Ottawa’s Bigg Ceasar & TheNamesMillen. Tickets are $35 in advance and you can grab more information below.
Also Friday, May 18, DNA in collaboration with the Canadian Tulip Festival present Steve Angello of Swedish House Mafia on the occasion of the Size Matters tour with special guests Nicky Romero and Third Party. The electro-house event takes place at the new CE Centre and tickets are still available online at $49.50 here. You can obtain more info if you click the poster below.
On Saturday, May 19 in the Vieux-Hull section of Gatineau, Senegalese singer and drummer Elage will perform at the Petit Chicago as part of the show-bar’s summer programming. Elage, who is also a musician with Mighty Popo, mixes traditional West African sounds with modern music. The show is set to start at 10pm and tickets are $10 and available here.
Much more coming your way next week…!
Last Thursday, The City of Gatineau launched its 2012-2013 seasonal programming at the Salle Jean-Desprez with an evening that offered us a taste of what’s to come in music in the year ahead from Stefie Shock and Ingrid St-Pierre to Dumas.
The Traveler’s Series includes H’SAO, the Montreal afro-pop a capella group originally from Chad, 2-time Juno Award winner Alex Cuba, and Habana Cafe, the Cuban group back for a second time that will make you dance to the sounds of salsa, cumbia and merengue.
There are several new musical discoveries from across the country that are worth checking out like Ariane Moffatt’s protege David Giguere, folk rock new-comer Colin Moore, and Kellylee Evans who hails from the latest generation of Canadian jazz singers.
This year again, the City will offer a series of free concerts which include but are not limited to New-Brunswicker Lisa Leblanc and the weird-but-funny Benoit Paradis Trio, Clement Jacques and Francis Faubert and several more.
On the occasion of Halloween, a party is planned with funky eclectic and versatile artist SoCalled. The excentric Josh Dolgin aka SoCalled will be performing songs from his fourth solo album as well as some of his numerous collaborations on October 27.
Personal favorites throughout the new season are Andrea Lyndsay who will be performing with Luc Delarochelliere temporarily together to work on an album, the both electronic and acoustic Monogrenade and Toronto-based Jazz artist Alejandra Ribera whom I discovered on the night of the launch and who’s hauntingly charming voice caught my attention like one rarely does.
The city decided to renew its partnership with the Museum of Civilization for a second year in a row to present shows by singer Patrick Watson who will perform songs off of his latest album Adventures in Your Own Backyard, artist Elisapie Isaac who blends English and Inuktitut to electro-pop folk sounds, and the talented Adam Cohen, son of the legendary Leonard Cohen.
This is just a summary of the music acts that have been scheduled for and by Gatineau for the next few months. Congrats to the city for scheduling such a wide variety of talents from all parts of the province and country and for offering a long list of interesting and inspiring shows to choose from! You can obtain the full program for 2012-2013 on the city’s website here. Enjoy!
This past weekend, Canadian DJ and Scratch Turntablist Kid Koala was in Ottawa to present his Space Cadet Headphone Experience Concert at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The Montreal-based multi-talented artist had not one but 5 basically sold-out shows in the Museum’s new multi-functional Theatre, a space just like the one built for the War Museum.
Having seen Kid Koala perform in Ottawa before, I knew he wouldn’t disappoint and was sure to bring tons of creativity on the turntables as he’s known for. The show, like no other I’ve attended, is an audio-visual and interactive experience inspired by the birth of his daughter, which presents the soundtrack composed for the Space Cadet picture book with the help of visuals, crowd participation intertwined with humor. Part author commentary and part concert, the show offers the public a humble yet highly entertaining and unique account of Kid Koala’s Space Cadet picture-book and musical composition project.
The experience, presented in two portions, started with an interactive visit of an exhibition which brings together an interesting assortment of old DJ equipment like vintage plastic turntables and other musical artifacts from Kid Koala’s personal collection meant to present certain aspects of the Space Cadet story. For example, a collection of vinyl album covers all representing some type of space-related music and cosmic sounds were fixed to a wall along the Theatre near a keyboard and mic that aloud you to “speak like a robot”.
Eventually, the Theatre doors opened and all 250 of us grabbed a pair of earphones and headed in for the second segment of the event. We were able to find a spot on the floor in the “inflatable space pod seat” environment created specifically for the show and awaited as Kid Koala welcomed us into his world and introduced his friend and musician for the opening act. Out came a certain Michael Feuerstack aka Snailhouse, a soft folk singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player from Ottawa who performed a couple of songs from his repertoire for a curious but receptive crowd. Although he sang very nicely and had beautiful texts, his set didn’t seem to ‘fit’ with the whole DJ/Turtablist/Audio-Visual/Multi-Sensorial Earphone Experience as I was expecting a funky DJ and/or act to kick things off. So personally Snailhouse was a very good act but sort of out of place.
Kid Koala soon followed and charmed the crowd with his unique show without pretense that often called on the public’s participation to contribute to the music while his scratching and sound selection enhanced the overall performance. He graciously offered some old classics of his like Drunk Trumpet and Skanky Panky from his earlier days and even introduced some unreleased material coming out later this year like the fun Mosquito Blues track. The artist was also language sensitive and even spoke French here and there for the bilingual crowd who truly appreciated the thoughtful gesture. As a whole, the experience was extremely entertaining and it felt refreshing in comparison to all the regular shows that repeat themselves in style and format. Thank you Kid Koala for being so creative and innovative and props to the Canada Aviation & Space Museum for being open to hosting such a fun and different event!
You’ve got the next 4 days off and are still undecided about what to do? Here are some options of where to go out this Easter long weekend around the nation’s capital.
Tonight, the place to be is Ritual nightclub for the Redbull Thre3style DJ Competition with DJs:
The 7 above-mentioned DJs will get 15 minutes to showcase three different styles of music to prove that they are the best party rocker in Ottawa! A panel of judges will evaluate each DJ based on several predetermined criteria and they will announce the winner at the end of the night. Now I’ve been to this competition before and it’s so much fun. It’s always such a pleasure to support local DJs 🙂 Tonight, I’ll be rooting for DJ Shub from A Tribe Called Red, Jon Deck and So Nice! Best of luck to all contestants cause this is sure to be a tight competition!
If you like Reggaeton and want to shake off the week’s stress, head out to Studio SKYbar on Rideau St for I Love Reggaeton with DJ Santana and guests. Tickets are $10 and you can grab more details below.
This Friday, hit up Babylon for this month’s edition of Frenzy with special guest DJ Craze a 5-time world champion from Miami who’s been tour DJ for Kanye West and Yelawolf. Craze will be spinning alongside Ottawa-resident Iggy Smalls starting at 11 pm. More details available by clicking on the poster below.
Also this Friday, Ritual is hosting the CHUO Funding Drive Party featuring Bass Machines, DJ Noble, DJ Alive and Cong. The minimum donation to get in is $3 and all funds raised will go towards CHUO 89.1 FM, the University of Ottawa’s community radio station. Doors open at 10 pm and you can get more details by clicking on the poster below.
On Saturday at Babylon DNA and Droppin Science present Static featuring resident DJ Jon Deck and special guest Felix Cartal, a Canadian electronic music producer and DJ who recently released his fifth EP The Joker and Different Places. More info available by clicking the poster.
Then on Sunday, Mercury Lounge is where it happens with the Easter Sunday Jam with The Play On Players aka DJ Magnificent and DJ Illo. The gentlemen will be dropping beats to make you move , sing and remember the good ol’ days of soul music. Doors open at $10 and more info below.
If you’re looking for something more trendy and upscale for Sunday night, I recommend that you go to Bijou nightclub and lounge for DJ Colleen Shannon, coined the world’s sexiest female DJ who also happens to be Playboy Magainze’s 50th anniversary playmate. I hope that she can spin as great as she looks…! For more details check out the Facebook event page here.
Have yourself a fantastic long weekend ahead and enjoy all that Ottawa has to offer!
This past weekend was all about the JUNOs in Ottawa and I was lucky to attend 3 very different events to partake in the celebrations.
First up was Canadian hip-hop artist K-OS who threw a DJ Set at Bijou Nightclub & Lounge, a new venue located on the corner of Bank and Slater that recently opened its doors. It was my first time at Bijou since the opening and it was also the first time I went out to hear K-OS spin records for a live crowd. The venue itself is small and intimate but decorated with taste and clean, which is somewhat difficult to come across when it comes to nightclubs and bars. I sometimes ask myself why the best music is often played in the grimiest of places, but not this time! Bijou proves to be an interesting place to go out for drinks and dancing if you like it a bit more upscale.
Prior to the main set, Bijou resident and Ottawa DJ Kid SL got the crowd warmed up followed by Sebastien Grainger from Death From Above 1979 who kept the people moving until K-OS decided it was time for him to take over, which was around 1:00 am. That’s rather late, but considering the place was open until 4:00 am with extended license on the occasion of the JUNO weekend, then I guess it was acceptable. Having said this, the minute K-OS started his set, I knew the night could only get better. The man held it down and served the crowd classics one after the other: I was in hip-hop heaven! He’s definitely a great DJ for those who enjoy good old hip-hop, but others who would expect newer stuff and commercial tracks would’ve been disappointed. Thank you Bijou, K-OS was a great choice to bring out to celebrate the JUNOs in the nation’s capital!
Saturday night, although I wanted nothing more than to go party with The Weeknd at Studio SKYbar, I switched things up and headed to Mercury Lounge, renowned in Ottawa for being a major contributor to the arts sector and night-life scene in the national capital since its creation in 1996.
I was primarily there to see Rise Ashen & Flying Down Thunder, 2012 Juno nominees for Aboriginal Album of the Year, but also enjoyed hearing KASM and the Seed Organization who came all the way from Winnipeg to spin addictive and danceable tunes filled with reggae flavors and heavy-bass beats. I didn’t know who Rise Ashen & Flying Down Thunder were until last week when I read an Ottawa Citizen article on them and saw them perform their One Nation single during sound-check at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (they were scheduled to perform at a JUNOs launch private party the same night at the Museum). Combined, the newspaper article and sound-check run sparked my curiosity and I wanted to hear more hence why I headed to Mercury Lounge.
The duo hopped on stage around midnight, and although they didn’t take the JUNO Award for Best Aboriginal Album of the Year (Murray Porter did) they consoled themselves by offering a fantastic performance to the receptive crowd in attendance. They performed their main track One Nation along with many other excellent songs from their album, which shares the same title. B-boys and B-girls alike were breaking it down front and center as everyone seemed to have a a good time jamming to the unique sounds of Rise Ashen and Flying Down Thunder. Thanks to the guys for such an engaging and energetic performance and thanks to Mercury Lounge and APTN for organizing a very successful JUNOfest event!
Last but certainly not least, the culmination of all of JUNOfest and other related events lead to the JUNO Awards show, which took place at Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place this Sunday at 8:00 p.m. As a volunteer seat-filler, I had to arrive quite early for logistical reasons. Around 7:30 pm, I was finally seated in the 200-level (sadly I wasn’t sitting next to an artist like I had hoped for) and watched the show with great interest! It was so exciting to not only be at a awards ceremony, but to also experience it in person as opposed to watching it on TV as I normally do. It was interesting to witness some of the behind-the-scenes and to enjoy seeing so much Canadian talent under one roof.
Although only 7 award categories were announced live (the majority of awards had been given out the night before at a JUNOS gala), this gave the crowd a good balance between the awards announcements, William Shatner’s so-called humorous skits and the artists performances. The Toronto Sun has it just about right when it wrote that this year’s JUNO Awards were “just plain weird from the presence of 81-year-old hambone host William “I wanna rock!!” Shatner (and the absence of major international celebrities) to the bizarre comedy bits and inexplicable award choices, this year’s event easily ranks as one of the weirdest JUNO nights in recent memory”.
Despite finding the performances somewhat ordinary, at the end of the day, my highlights were definitely to see Kardinal Offishall and Classified announce the winner of Songwriter of the Year, City & Colour performing The Grand Optimist, K’Naan who dropped a verse with Simple Plan and almost fell off stage (!), Feist for being all-around cute and awesome and deadmau5 with Lights for the grand finale! All in all the main stage was fantastic, the lighting was great and the special effects were sort of impressive for a Canadian awards show! And now that the madness is all over and that everyone has gone back home, Ottawa will get back to its regular old self, but here’s to hoping we keep some of that fun JUNO spirit alive!