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Worth the hype? Grimes, Big Boi and Rich Aucoin

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Photo courtesy of Blurasis.Photo courtesy of Blurasis.

Out of all the days of Bluesfest, yesterday’s was the one I was most looking forward to, and I’ll be honest, I was a little bit disappointed. It’s not that the artists didn’t deliver on their promise, but I think all, save one, could have used a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to make their show better. Below are my thoughts and feelings on last night’s performances of Grimes, Big Boi and Rich Aucoin. I got to Lebreton Flats early because I wanted to check out Grimes, the Montreal via Vancouverite... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Bluesfest, Music

mother tongue books closes its doors

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Photo of rob mclennan doing a reading at mother tongue books courtesy pesbo on Flickr. mother tongue books has been an Ottawa bookstore institution for 18 years – many young and future feminists passed through its doors. A community hub ever since it opened in 1994, mother tongue books has served as a creative, safe space for people to meet, chat and share life. They’re not going out quietly, though – they’ve been throwing regular events since they announced the closing, and have a few more events to go before... | Continue reading article

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Meet Megan Smith, Artengine’s Critical Resident Blogger

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Megan Smith. As I become an avatar and Edwige becomes me. (2010) Digital video still.Megan Smith. As I become an avatar and Edwige becomes me. (2010) Digital video still.

For the last three years, Ottawa-based new media collective Artengine has hosted a Critical Blogging Residency, with the aim to bolster critical writing about technologically-based art within the city. The organization, which brings to Ottawa events like Electric Fields, the Mini Maker Faire, and bimonthly meet-ups at the Mod Lab (they have a 3D printer!), has recently selected Megan Smith for the year-long residency. I met up with Megan and Artengine’s Artistic Director Ryan Stec over coffee a short while ago to chat about the residency and their plans for the upcoming... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Visual art

One soundtrack to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!

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Photo by Yasmin Nissim.Photo by Yasmin Nissim.

The low driving bass notes that told you Jaws was on his way, the nerve-jangling screeching of strings from Hitchcock’s Psycho that changed showering forever, the brazen trumpets of the Star Wars theme that gave you hope for the rebel alliance, these are all quintessential examples of the importance of music in spinning a tale.  Without music, these iconic films lack the same emotive quality they have when backed by a well-executed score. Music helps set the tone, foreshadow events – in essence, tell the story. One such epic saga... | Continue reading article

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Nuit Noire celebrates the night sky

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Work by Anna Edels courtesy of cubegallery.caWork by Anna Edels courtesy of cubegallery.ca

“Get inside!  It’s about to start.” “What is?” “The best fucking thing ever!” These were the words yelled into a crowded sidewalk by Cube Gallery owner, Don Monet, last Thursday evening to kick-off their annual dark-sky festival, Nuit Noire.  The festival, which runs until July 29th, is characterized by a wide range of activities with the night sky as their theme.  These activities include lectures by physicists and astronomers, telescope facilitated stargazing. At Nuit Noir’s core is a month-long art exhibition. At the vernissage last Thursday, throngs of art enthusiasts sought... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Visual art

A Tribe Called Red hits Bluesfest Hard

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Photo courtesy of Joelle GuédonPhoto courtesy of Joelle Guédon

Last night Ottawa’s A Tribe Called Red played Bluesfest. It should surprise absolutely no one that they played a fantastic set – their album, which I reviewed back in March, is rock solid. The one concern that I had going in was that an album created entirely with computers might be rather boring to watch live – a fear that was alleviated almost immediately by the trio’s great stage presence and ability to connect with their audience. They played one of the most dynamic and compelling DJ sets I’ve ever... | Continue reading article

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Harvest Noir: Ottawa’s top-secret picnic party is back!

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Harvest Noir 2011 Picnickers - photo courtesy fieldtripp on Flickr.Harvest Noir 2011 Picnickers - photo courtesy fieldtripp on Flickr.

If you missed last year’s top-secret picnic (a secret kept by over 700 people), you’re in luck. Harvest Noir is returning again this year, and promises to be even bigger and better. But let’s start with the basics: yes, it’s a secret picnic. And yes, it’s a black tie affair. Yes, you bring your own food. And no, you don’t know where it will be held. At least not until a few hours before the picnic is set to start. You and your fellow picnickers prepare all of your food... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Fashion, Food & Drink

Weekly News Review: $600K gone from Escapade Fest, lobbyist registry, NCC change and more!

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Photo courtesy of ibekev on Flickr.Photo courtesy of ibekev on Flickr.

The National Capital Commission will be getting a new CEO soon. Marie Lemay was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Infrastructure. The Citizen says that “many praised Lemay’s infectious enthusiasm, [but] critics said she lacked the vision to do the big things that really define great capitals. Waterfront development, redevelopment of Sparks Street and animation of Ottawa’s shorelines were not far advanced under her leadership.” After a successful weekend of festivities, Escapade Festival organizers had a rude awakening last monday when they discovered that $600,000 went missing, and co-organizer Nick Vachon hasn’t... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: News

Apartment613 Live – the Timekode re-launch edition

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Photo de Malajube.Photo de Malajube.

This week’s Apartment613 Live features two very special interviews. Our Gatineau correspondent JS gushes over one of his favourite bands – Malajube. Apartment613 Editors Francois and Karen chat with Timekode DJs and Billings Estate representatives on what is bringing them together for a very special show this Friday. I also chat with my co-host for the night, Jared Davidson, about the great work he’s been putting into our Bluesfest coverage this year. Have a listen! We play tracks from Malajube, Kardinal Offishall and the Flats.

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Filed in: Apt613 Live
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