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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Music

Mack Johnson of Partick Artists carries out local musicians’ dirty work

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Photo by Jared DavidsonPhoto by Jared Davidson

The music business has changed. Once a towering behemoth built of executives, lawyers, and piles of cash, today’s music industry is a more diffused. There was a time when a band’s top priority was to become signed to a major label, become famous, and proceed to roll in wealth. But if that was a golden age, it is no more. Now, artists make their livings through leg work –- playing shows whenever possible to make money. The book is being completely rewritten from the ground up, and the way artists... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music

Arboretum and Wavelength partner on Holy Smokes at the Ottawa Explosion Festival

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As the days get warmer the festival scene in Ottawa starts to heat up. This weekend will have launches of the Fringe, the Ottawa Jazz Festival and the Ottawa Explosion Weekend, and our new favourite upstart Arboretum is adding themselves to a busy a weekend line-up. The team at Arboretum has a reputation for doing things right and their event this Friday, Holy Smokes, looks to build on that reputation. They have partnered with one of Canada’s most famous and well-respected underground music series – Wavelength from Toronto - to present... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music

Weekend roundup: Festival season kicks off

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The joke usually goes that Ottawa has two seasons: winter and construction. But more and more, I’m convinced it’s not construction season but festival season that more accurately describes our summer – with at least five happening this weekend, that seems a fairly safe bet! First up, we’ve got Ottawa Explosion Weekend, which officially kicked off last night. With dozens of shows across the city, this music festival isn’t afraid to push the boundaries. If you stop by Club Saw, Cafe Dekcuf, Mugshots, Mavericks, Babylon or hang out in Hull,... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Dance, Music, Sports, Visual art

Ottawa Explosion Weekend: The scrappy young upstart festival

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With all due respect to Bluesfest, it does tend to dominate the summertime conversation around music in Ottawa.  Fortunately, the Bluesfest juggernaut is not the be-all and end-all of Ottawa music festivals, with more and more scrappy young upstarts springing up in recent years. One of these upstarts has gotten substantially larger and more mature this year (they grow up so fast!).  Ottawa Explosion Weekend, which runs from Wednesday, June 19th to Sunday, June 23rd., boasts over 100 local and visiting acts, diverse but tending towards punk. While the majority of shows will... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: General, Music

Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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Photo courtesy klwatts on Flickr. Ontario Craft Beer Week kicks off Sunday!Photo courtesy klwatts on Flickr. Ontario Craft Beer Week kicks off Sunday!

It’s a crazy weekend, folks: from free dentistry day to a no pants party to a rock paper scissors competition, it’s next to impossible to leave this weekend without a bit of entertainment. Looking for a whole lot of variety, packed into a short amount of time? Head to Pressed this evening for a variety show like no other. You can also head down to Mercury Lounge for the indie rock stylings of Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes, along with High Waters. Tonight is also the CHUO Edition of Battle of the Bands... | Continue reading article

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A Ravenswing 2013 retrospective

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Photo courtesy of Adria May on Flickr.Photo courtesy of Adria May on Flickr.

Ravenswing stands out as being one of the more interesting, fun, and accessible grassroots creative events in Ottawa. I went last Sunday, May 26, and there were zines, live music, as well as Do it Yourself (DIY) arts and crafts vendors offering quality stuff. The event had gotten bigger and more bustling than years past. The diversity of participants of all generations and interests, as well as a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers gave the event an incredible energy. “Ravenswing is a labour of love.” said co-Director Lauren Potosky,... | Continue reading article

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Introducing Melody McKiver: Q&A with Artengine’s Critical Resident Blogger

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Photo by John PailléPhoto by John Paillé

Melody McKiver is a (self-described) Anishinaabe musician, writer and interdisciplinary media artist. Trained as a classical violinist, she performs improvisational work on the viola and laptop (she’s also a percussionist and singer). More recently, she has been experimenting in composition, digital video, photography and online curation. A recent recipient of SAW Video’s Aboriginal Voices grant, she has also been selected as the Artengine Critical Resident Blogger for 2013. Over the course of the residency, Artengine and Apartment613 will be cross-posting Melody’s writing in the hopes of encouraging discussion and fostering... | Continue reading article

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The artist formerly known as Snailhouse: Michael Feuerstack plays Ottawa, explains his name change

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Photo courtesy of davnull on Flickr.Photo courtesy of davnull on Flickr.

After two decades, Michael Feuerstack found things were getting a bit stale. That’s why the Montreal-based musician decided recently to ditch his Snailhouse moniker  the name he’d used to record eight albums of eloquent, wistful indie folk-pop since the 1990s — in favour of the name he was born with. But don’t think that makes his new album, Tambourine Death Bed, a radical departure. Sure, it may be the first album where Feuerstack’s name is front and centre, but the 12 songs, for the most part, mine the same musical vein that’s... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Sights & Sounds

Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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Treasure hunters are going to have a heyday this weekend – but they’ll need some wicked transportation to do it. Start Saturday morning, bright and early, down in the Glebe for the annual neighbourhood garage sale – there’s the green version as well, with music and treats. Sons of Pluto will also be playing at the corner of First and Bronson, raising funds for friends headed to Kenya. Then, head out west for Hintonburg ArtsPark down on Parkdale, where CBC’s Ryan Gibson will host a day of music, food, fun... | Continue reading article

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Aidan Knight buys van, drives it to Wakefield

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Photo courtesy of Killbeat MusicPhoto courtesy of Killbeat Music

Aidan Knight and his band needed a van. It’s tough to tour without one and the band needed to somehow get off Vancouver Island. A van was bought. Now, the only problem was how to pay for it. Thus the Telecommunicate EP – an album born our of necessity. The whole process started only weeks before we spoke. It’s a four track digital only release based on the story of Robin Van Helsum, or “Forest Boy” as he was dubbed by the press when he wandered out of the woods... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Interviews, Music
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