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Marvest: Spend a night in the intimate wing of Ottawa’s Dynamite Motel

By Alessandro Marcon on September 11, 2015

Marvest is an offshoot of the CityFolk festival that runs between September 16th and 20th, at the Aberdeen Pavilion, and along Bank Street. These mostly free shows feature local bands, and we’ll be profiling some of those bands.

Singer-songwriter, Dynamite Motel (a trickily-woven anagram for Mindy Amelotte) is something of a veteran on the Ottawa music scene. With one EP and two full length albums under her belt, she’s been performing her unique trip-hopped, rhythm-and-blues-y jazz inside and outside of Ottawa for over 5 years.  Her latest album, Green Lights, released only a few weeks ago, rings out with tightly-produced tracks sounding warm, inquisitive, strange and sensual.  Apt613 last spoke with Amelotte back in 2013, when Dynamite Motel played Bluesfest.

You can really hear a mature sound on the record, and not only in the strong vocals but in the songs themselves, which eschew generic structures in fruitful ways. Green Lights cultivates an aura of peregrinations and transgressions. Think Portishead in a somewhat David Lynchian lounge where the waiters knock about in sabots, patrons chew and slurp through scrumptious morsels, and where six or seven tables have cast aside their food to roll around on the tablecloths with locked lips, exploratory tongues and ardent pawing. Although Green Lights is an album featuring various artists and a wide-range of instrumentation, at this year’s Marvest, Dynamite Motel will be performing solo. And it’s a gig she’s amped on.


“CityFolk fills a special niche that I feel is important in highlighting how rich this city is in talent,” she says. “For an average to low income person Marvest is a wonderful way of getting people to discover acts they didn’t take a chance on before. They can decide for themselves, become fans, maybe buy an album or go to future shows. It’s for those who are always looking to find local gems and take pride in their city but can’t always afford to see them all.  To me it’s a win for CityFolk, artists, tourists and all the wonderful venues where everyone gets to shine! Summer is short, people wanna be out and discovering!”

For her contribution, Dynamite Motel will be performing two 30-minute sets where audiences can soak up her soulful, jazzy explorations in venues where music is not typically performed. It’s the creation of a space in which Dynamite feels enthusiastic to perform.

“When you are performing solo in a very large venue it can at times feel a little bit disengaging for yourself and the audience. I will be performing at Metro Music and David’s Tea in the Glebe, warm and cozy spots for a solo artist to play and feel closer with the audience, talk freely between songs and have people hear you in a pretty live sounding atmosphere… I’m not too concerned about the venues possibly being too tight, it makes for a fuller crowd and those who miss my first show can catch my second one a couple blocks down across the street 30 minutes later.”

With more full-band material in the works, including work with electronics, trumpet and cello, this year’s Marvest gives you the sweet opportunity to check in for a night in the intimate wing of the Dynamite Motel.

Dynamite Motel plays September 19, 2015 from 2pm to 2:30pm, at Metro Music (695 Bank St.) and David’s Tea (798 Bank St.) 3pm to 3:30pm, as part of CityFolk’s Marvest.  Find Dynamite Motel on Facebook or Bandcamp.