Tag Archives: Canada
Thanks to the lovely people at Matchstick and my favourite brand of whisky, Canadian Club, I was flown out to BC in July to shoot a video at Rock The Shores (see it below!). Yes, the wish I wrote on the contact section of my About page, half jokingly stating my dream of being sent around the world to cover music festivals, actually (briefly) came true.
They approached me a month earlier, with an option of going to either BC or PEI for the music festivals happening in these locations, and while I’d never been to either province (most of my travel time has been spent in the States) the lineup at Rock The Shores was stronger, and it’s much easier for me to get to PEI than to BC – so it was a fairly obvious choice.
It had literally been over 5 years since I’d last been on a plane, and that last time was my first flight ever, so I was nervous but excited to finally be flying again. If I wasn’t saddled with student loans, I would travel constantly. All I remembered about flying was how much I enjoyed being able to see the world from that height – to see the real life version of the map take shape right before my eyes, and see the clouds up close. And that, surprisingly enough, I didn’t find it scary at all. This time around, the view was even better because flying into BC is incredibly beautiful – the mountains and the ocean make for a scenic landing.
Unfortunately, it seems my sinuses have become an issue since that last time, because I endured something horribly hellish, called aerosinusitis, when the plane landed. Look it up. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Luckily it was only so painful that it brought me to tears on the way BACK to Toronto, so my stay in Victoria wasn’t ruined. I am slightly terrified of flying again because the pain was so crushing it hurt to even BLINK for a day after landing.
When I arrived in Victoria, we went straight to the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel. As you can imagine, it was the nicest hotel I’ve ever been to in my life. Canadian Club also had a package full of the mixed and ready drinks and beach necessities waiting for us. FYI, you can win one of these Canadian Club beach kits through their Facebook page. Upon arriving we also met fellow blogger Randa, of The Unprecedented. Hanging out with her, along with her friend Jordan, was a true highlight of the entire trip.
To get the chance to stay right on the ocean, and wake up to this sight every morning, is something I’ll never forget. I am a water person by nature (water signs ftw) so this is my paradise. I have to thank Tourism Victoria for upgrading me to one of the rooms with a view, and for providing me with attraction passes to experience the city. As we were only there for under 3 days we didn’t get to do too much, but the Zipline experience through the mountains and forest was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I almost backed out after the test line, but there was an 8 year old boy doing it fearlessly, so the shame factor was too high. Now I want to try every ‘extreme’ activity I can. Just like with tattoos, the adrenaline rush is addicting.
Victoria itself feels like a rather small city, but it remains charming and interesting – something small-town Ontario just is not. It is so gorgeous there that you would be foolish to stay inside any more than necessary. It’s also the most walkable city I’ve ever been to. Walking around the harbor is quick and incredibly beautiful – but if you want to take a boat taxi to get somewhere super quick (or just to enjoy a boat for a few minutes) you can do that too for 5$.
The buildings are beautifully designed and carry the charm that comes from being one of the oldest cities in Canada. When comparing to other cities I’ve been to, it reminded me most of New Orleans in terms of architecture, size, and friendliness of the locals (they are quite different cities in most other ways, though, heh).
I will be quick to note that I think Ontario is a beautiful province. We have all kinds of natural beauty here, including one of the wonders of the world, but BC wins overall, because – look at that park. It was like a mini paradise within the city. Add in the ocean, mountains, and the insane variety of trees – and our lakes and maples just don’t quite reach this level.
Now for the reason I was sent there in the first place, to attend their big music festival, Rock The Shores, and finally, FINALLY, see Weezer live.
As someone who’s been to festivals in Toronto, Tennessee and Montreal, I was curious to see how they treat media out there. The nice thing about this festival was that they treated media (almost) the same as anyone working the festival + the performers. We got to hang out backstage and drink – which is unlike ANY media experience I’ve had at any other festival. HUGE points, to say the least. And it wasn’t even just shitty beers – they had my beloved Canadian Club Rye & Coke/Gingers, as well as a variety of cider, wine and beers! Um, as someone who’s been paying up to ELEVEN dollars to have a drink at a festival (looking at you, Edgefest……) this was joyous.
Sadly though, they didn’t treat media so great when it came time to see the actual bands. Having just come from TURF where media were given VIP access and could therefore stay in the pit the entire day to really experience the show, it was fucking shitty to only be allowed in the pit for 3 songs. I know this is industry standard – fair enough – but their rules were very, very unclear and it made the festival look incredibly unprofessional.
Randa had attended the first day (we skipped out to spend a day seeing the city) and she was allowed to sit in the pit divide for the whole show – so we went there expecting that again, but instead when we tried to come back in they sent us out of the entire backstage/pit area and made us walk all the way around the ENTIRE over-packed RTS grounds in order to get backstage again. Sometimes security guards are just bullies. One, upon looking at my Ontario ID, even said “Onterrible.” I know Ontario and BC have a NYC/LA style rivalry, but I wasn’t expecting that.
So basically we caught the first 3 songs of each band and then had to sit backstage and listen, unable to see anything, if we wanted to keep drinking without waiting in line for hours and paying 11$.
We got there just in time for Awolnation, a band I had been curious about because “Sail” is such a fantastic song, but didn’t know what to expect beyond that. It’s fair to say I was shocked when a long haired skinny blonde California surfer dude type came out onstage. I was definitely expecting someone more like Cee Lo Green. It’s also fair to say “Sail” itself is a misleading song, definitely not representative of the rest of their work. After seeing this show and listening to the album, it stands alone as the only song I care to listen to.
This was also my first time seeing Mother Mother, and while the lead singer’s goofy look was enough to turn me off at first, the sheer talent they possess as a group, and the insane love the crowd had for them, easily pulled me in. This is a local band that has had national success, so they go crazy for them out there. Seeing them here in Toronto at Edgefest was disappointing by comparison, not because they weren’t giving it their all, but because the crowd was so different/boring.
I’ve seen Sam Roberts a handful of times now, and he always gives a great, high energy, entertaining show. There’s really not much more I can say about him. I think he is a definitive CanRock artist, and it was interesting to see an Aussie we were hanging with watch him perform, because it gave me such a reminder about how specific this sound is to Canadians. It’s rare a sound like Sam’s will ever break out of Canada, because it is so authentically Canadian.
Last but not least, was the main reason I was excited for this trip. Like probably all of you, I’ve been a Weezer fan since I was a little kid hearing my friends older brothers obsessively play the Blue Album. Along with Green Day’s Dookie, it was my first favourite album. This helps wipe away the shame that, just years later, I became a preteen, and therefore became obsessed with the Backstreet Boys and every other boy band except N’sync. At least I started with relatively good taste, right?
Anyhow, the ongoing joke that Weezer shit the bed after Pinkerton is one I embraced fully, because, give or take an album’s worth of songs, it’s kinda true. That meant I stopped paying attention to them in high school, and have never made the effort to see them live, for fear of hearing a full set of songs from Raditude or Hurley. So, when I got this chance to see them, I was happy to embrace the childhood nostalgia and finally see how they are live, headlining a festival. Especially when I heard that they would be playing the Blue Album in full in Toronto the night before. They had to be doing it in Victoria too, right?!
Well, not quite. But, they certainly did play a ton of Blue songs, and surprisingly, Rivers was in a great mood, and it was the perfect way to end the night. At this point we were happy to give up our free drink access to be able to see the entire set.
Finally, the real reason I was there, was to shoot a video of my experience, so check it out!
Hey everybody. Happy Friday! What are your plans for this weekend? If you need some suggestions, I’m writing a new column for Dose every Monday with 5 of my top picks for things happening in Toronto, so you can always check that out. Beerfest is on the agenda, and I’m hoping to hit up Shakespeare in the Park this weekend as well.
BTW, if you’re wondering, my BC trip was wonderful. It had been 6 years since I’d been near my other love, the Pacific ocean, so boating around in it was all I needed for the trip to be a success. But I also did a whole bunch of touristy things, met some truly awesome people, went ZIPLINING in the mountains (!!!) and of course, went to Rock The Shores and saw Weezer! Lots more about that whole experience in a future post – there will be a video to go with it!
Now, for the links:
- Canada’s crime rate hits four decade low It’s good to be Canadian, and even better (safer) if you’re in Toronto. Yet again, Toronto is the safest city in Canada. I don’t know why this still surprises me, as I’ve always felt super safe here (minus a few incidents many years ago)… it just seems crazy that the largest city is actually the safest? Can you imagine that happening in the States?
- 2013 Polaris Music Prize Shortlist So this was the big news last week. What do you think of the list? I think it’s fair.
- Terrible Short List Revealed for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize Unlike this guy, who is a complete and total idiot, who certainly shouldn’t be writing about music, and really shouldn’t be making music genres into some kind of racially exclusive bullshit. Clueless.
- Great White Nope: On the “Terrible” Polaris Prize Thankfully, this article sums it up quite well.
- LiveNation Invests $100 Million in Ticketmaster Technology Yes. Finally.
- Shazam Moves Beyond Music
- Take a Trip Down Music Start-Up Memory Lane So many failed startups.
- Indie Labels Now Hold More than a Third of the Market in the US #hellyes
- Music on the Mind This is fascinating.
- 7 Insane Ways Music Affects the Body As is this.
- The 5 Weirdest Ways Music can Mess with the Human Brain And this.
- Singing Provides Same Health Benefits as Yoga Who knew? But it does make sense. Releases those good chemicals. I’m gonna sing every day now, alone, to myself, so as not to torture anyone else.
- Amanda Palmer Being Awesome She isn’t always, but this was great.
- Deakin University Surveys Reveal Golden Triangle of Happiness This makes perfect sense, actually.
- Kids Reacts to Controversial Cheerios Commercial Kids, always saner than adults, somehow.
- 99 Problems Because even world famous rappers have problems. This is hilarious.
- 25 Musicians With Tattoos Gone Wrong This is the opposite of hilarious.
- Things Indie Rock Fans Hate I can’t really deny any of this.
- 36 Things Vinyl Collectors Love Or this.
- Finally, watch this full BBC documentary, When Albums Ruled The World:
Courtesy of eOne Entertainment I have a bunch of tickets to giveaway to the advance screening of Sofia Coppola’s latest, The Bling Ring.
Tickets are available for Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg for Wednesday night (June 19th). One winner will also receive a prize pack that includes the poster, book, and soundtrack along with the tickets.
To win, just email me at lisa (at) turntherecordover.com with the name of the city you’d like to win a pair of tickets to in the subject, by midnight on Tuesday.
Sofia can be hit and miss for me, but this looks to be another film I’m going to love as much as Lost in Translation. Who doesn’t want to see a movie where Paris Hilton get’s robbed? JUST KIDDING.
Hey guys! I’m withholding TGIF this week to instead let you know about a contest that I think anyone who makes music should be entering.
Hennessy is giving musicians a chance to perform at the 2013 Blues Passions Festival taking place in – where else but Cognac, France from July 2-7.
Last year Hennessy launched their first ‘Talent Quest’ to celebrate their love of music, culture and live performances – aka all the things that I too, endlessly love. This year, they have opened up the competition to include submissions from Canadian and American bands.
To participate, just submit a video entry of your own original musical performance on Hennessy.com by April 30th.
Staying true to the grassroots music and Blues heritage carried out by the Blues Passions Festival, all entries must fit into the musical genres of Blues, Soul, Funk, Folk, R & B, Boogie, Swing, Country, Gospel, Hip Hop, Slam or Rock’n’Roll. The contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Yukon).
As an added incentive for Canadian artists, Hennessy is offering contestants a chance to play at the 25th Annual Beaches International Jazz Festival, North America’s largest free festival and one of Toronto’s most anticipated summer events, during StreetFest. Entrants are invited to link their videos to the Beaches International Jazz Festival Youtube page as a comment.
Watch last year’s winner give some tips on how to win the coveted spot:
This post was sponsored by Hennessy.
Back in February I posted about the unbelievably awful experience I had with Best Buy over Christmas, and the two months they left me without a computer – only to give me back my laptop just as broken as it was when I first brought it in.
The situation was a shitshow from the start, and I’ll still never buy from a big box store again, BUT, after reading my post, the head office in Vancouver called me up and told me the store would be in contact with me to work something out.
The wonders of social media, friends.
So the store manager called me and apologized for the unnecessary wait, and he offered to set me up with a new computer. Thrilled that something good had finally come of this ordeal, I quickly accepted and he gave me some times to come into the store to see him directly.
Of course, this is the store that is full of fail, so when I got there during the time he told me he was working, dragging my super heavy 17 inch laptop with me, they told me he was already gone for the day because the other manager came in early. These people!!! The worst.
So I dragged it in another day, and after a 10 minute wait he finally showed up, took a look at my computer and said he could give me a laptop for the current value of mine (600$). I wasn’t expecting to be able to choose one that day since on the phone he said they would have to look at mine and get approval, but now he said they could do it then and there.
Having no clue what I wanted other than a 17 inch screen, he gave me two options, and I went with a Samsung model he seemed to be pushing on me. Only upon looking at the receipt on my way out did I see this computer he recommended was on sale, and worth $160 less than my computer (it wasn’t even on display in the store). I had asked about an HP that was actually $600 but he told me Samsung lasts longer and that this particular HP was a cheaper model that would die sooner – having quite the love affair with my Samsung Galaxy SIII phone, I was inclined to believe him.
I’m still annoyed that I ended up with a cheaper sale computer, but the worst part is that it is running Windows 8. What a nightmare. While I’ve finally (mostly) gotten used to it, for about three weeks I really wanted my busted two year old laptop back just so I could have Windows 7 again. On the positive side, this laptop does have a faster processor and a lot more space than my old one, so I can’t really complain. If I could get the stupid right hand side panel to stop popping up EVERY single time I move the cursor slightly to the left I might not hate it so much.
Had I known when he first called me, that it really meant I’d have to give them my old computer to keep, and get Windows 8 instead, I’m not sure I would have agreed to it as fast as I did.
BUT they did make an effort to fix a major fuck up, and the new laptop is still a newer, better laptop without a busted hinge, so its still a nice little win against the corporations.
Have you ever complained to or about a brand and had them actually listen and fix their mistake? Share, please!