My friend had seen British rock group, The Vibrants (I would call them British ROCKERS, but I feel like this would give readers the impression that they were better than they actually were – sorry) at last year’s NXNE and thought they were worth checking out again. Don’t get me wrong, there were some pretty good moments and from the crowd that filled Queen Street’s The Hideout, it was clear that these skinny-jeans-pointy-toe-shoes-clad Brits had some kind of TO fan-base. And to be fair, much of what took away from the night’s performance was the fact that the sound guy didn’t seem at all concerned with actually being able to hear the lead singer’s voice. So, despite the fact that the majority of the set sounded like I was listening to a muffled voice, being drowned out by the other 4 band members’ instruments, from behind a closed door, I did find myself foot-tapping to a song that I could actually make out some lyrics to (possibly titled “Fade Into The Dark”?). All in all, The Vibrants had high energy and catchy enough melodies, but I would definitely say you would need to check out their myspace to get a better idea of their sound…then again, it’s all about being able to pull off the live show, isn’t it?
A short walk down the street to The Rivoli, our next stop was to see a band my friends and I recently discovered @ a Supermarket Sunday open mic. I was instantly hooked. So much so that I’ve now seen the Toronto-based electro-pop threesome, EVE AND THE OCEAN, perform three times in the past month…and have frequented their myspace numerous times to hear some of the catchy tunes that keep getting stuck in my head! Not only is the live performance the only place (as far as I know) where you can hear their opening song “Caroline” (not sure if this is the official title) and their killer rendition of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”, it’s also the only place where you will be mesmerized by frontwoman, Tia Brazda’s piercing stare and emotional delivery. It’s intense and I totally dig it.
She graced the stage just after 11pm, in what I now believe to be her signature style – a hoodie covering her blond locks, half shaved on one side. She sings her first note looking terrified and vulnerable (something I find completely endearing), but then morphs into this super confident performer. At moments, her voice reminded me of The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan (who I also love), combined with her own sultry, breathy style and one of the coolest organic-sounding vibratos I’ve ever heard. Did I mention my friends and I acted like total groupies – front row, singing along with every word and then running backstage to chat with and sing well-deserved praises to “Eve” herself after the show? Oh yeah, and on top of everything else, she’s super sweet. This “femme fatale” (the all-too-fitting title of an original EATO song) will win you over with her charm and beauty, but her performance is anything but dishonest…and the only danger she poses is making you fall in love with her…watch out Toronto.
Written by: Rekha Patel
Photos by: Natalie Lisa Johnson
What a way to kick off the first official summer 09 weekend! I was super stoked to leave the office and hit the streets Friday night, ready to experience (I’m ashamed to say, having lived in Toronto for nearly 6 years) my very first taste
First stop was Whippersnapper Gallery on College to see Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim, a band I’d actually been pumping
out on my i-pod for quite a few months before knowing I was going to have the chance to see them live. Too bad we underestimated the size of their Toronto following and (with such an intimate venue) the show was at capacity by the time we got there – and people were still lining up! However, it wasn’t a complete disappointment – we knew they were playing later in the night at a different (and much larger) venue…read on!
We hit up Wrongbar just after midnight, hoping to catch some of Japanther and make sure not to miss Matt & Kim again. However, the line-up was once again insane, so we only got to hear the last 30 seconds of Japanther’s
set, but had plenty of time to set ourselves up in the front row for M&K….a decision we’d later regret. As soon as Matt pounded out the first note on the keys, the crowd went bananas, screaming and rushing the stage. Prior to this, Matt explained that Kim – who had been feeling under the weather earlier in the day – had discovered an interesting medicinal combo: Pepto and Budweiser. It must have worked because this girl was all energy and smiles on the drums, never missing a beat and even joining in on the crowd-surfing at one point! After I saved my toes from the abuse they were enduring in the front row, I was able to enjoy
the show, full with Matt’s unexpected breakdown of R.Kelly’s “Ignition” and the duo’s own hits, like “Lessons Learned” and “Daylight”. This Brooklyn duo definitely knows how to please a crowd.
I have never wanted to consume alcohol more than while listening to The Black Eyed Peas‘ new album, The E.N.D. Not because that’s what it takes to get through the 15 track-listing, but because it is in solid running for the most fun-filled record ever! The E.N.D. (which stands for “The Energy Never Dies”) is BEP’s third Fergie-featured album, fifth in total. The energy has indeed not died. Fizzling for a few years, their spark has been reignited and the Peas are back with a new look and sound.
Taking a 3 year hiatus in which each member worked on solo projects including both Fergie and will.i.am‘s solo albums, they laughed off rumours of break-up and speculation. This is the ultimate proof of recharge.
Delivering a self-described “futuristic” sound, there is definitely no shortage of catch phrases and gimmicky lyrics. The beats are more subtle and bass-y, yet infused with that electro stuff everyone’s into now. Taunting with in-your-face lyrics and imagery, BEP make it clear that they have an agenda for crunken debauchery. They pound it into our heads that they’re here and coming at us with a party vengeance.
While the party theme has potential of getting tired, there are plenty of contrasting tracks to divvy it up. Ring-A-Ling features a nonchalant booty call via text and Now Generation is all about modern technology taking over the youth. For the romantics, check out Meet Me Halfway, Alive, and Missing You. There’s a tune for everyone’s taste.
Mixing the familiarity of reggae and hip-hop with electronic sounds and synths makes for a unique and new endeavour for The Black Eyed Peas. Trading in signature BEP style, we get a taste of mainstream electro techniques. Rap-tastic Imma Be keeps it early 2000′s, but not forgetting that hint of synths they’ve developed a penchant for.
Most tracks are over four minutes in length; a hefty amount of tunes, giving DJs the creative room to mix and add their magic touch. The likes of Kid Cudi and LMFAO have hopped on board, remixing first single Boom Boom Pow. Second radio single I Gotta Feeling was produced by David Guetta and gives people everywhere a new anthem for pre-drinking.
Having a developed a generally younger demographic via Elephunk and Monkey Business, the subject matter might fluster a few. Needless to say, The E.N.D. will appeal to a whole new flock of club crawlers.
The E.N.D. Deluxe Edition features 10 bonus tracks, including Simple Little Melody (produced by Boys Noize) and 6 remixes of existing tracks off previous albums.
Whether you’re hanging out in the clubbing district or doing keg stands at a stranger’s sketchy house party, The Black Eyed Peas will turn it into rager like no other, and they’re not apologizing for it.
The E.N.D. is undeniably a frenzy of feisty-ness that’ll tie you over until the after hours bar. Get ready to rumble and stumble home after a hard night’s play.
The Peas can party all the time and I will definitely be there to crash it. The end.
Words by Melania Fedyna
-”My body is exacting revenge on me for this weekend.”
- “…can’t eat, can’t drink, can’t sleep. I’m on the verge of total collapse.”
-”What the fuck happened?”
-”…is NXNE this weekend. No more fests please and thanks I might die.”
-”My stomach hurts so much.”
-”I hurt in ways I never thought I could. Now what the fuck are we going to do?”
-”…put his body through 5 lifetimes in 3 days. I need to be put down.”
The above are some notable facebook status updates that I accumulated following the 2nd Annual Gaga Weekend here in Ottawa. It was immensely fun, but over the top horrendous on the liver. I am still hungover and it’s been like 3 days since. Gaga Weekend 2 took place from the 11th to the 13th of June and the roster of bands was absolutely phenomenal this year.
Ian Manhire, founder of Going Gaga Records , enlisted close to 30 local bands to participate in the festival. Without any major advertising, news of the festival transpired throughout the underground, via the means of social networking sites, blogs and good ol’ fashioned word of mouth. The overall hype and success of Gaga Weekend indicates how awesome and truly connected the underground scene in Ottawa is.
GAGA WEEKEND 2 kicked off at Rock & Roll Pizza Party with performances by the Sedatives, Mother’s Children and the Visitors. I arrived early in anticipation of RRPP being busy, but when I got there, there was already a lineup! After waiting 20 minutes in line (which was different for me because I’m spoiled and never have to wait in line!) I was granted entrance into the Atomic Rooster just as Sedatives were about to start. Sadly, many folk were left on the streets of Bank to watch/listen to the show from outside. Sedatives played loudly enough that my ears are still fucked and all their friends outside could hear them perfectly.
The next act to play was Mother’s Children. They’ve been around for about a year or so now, and they always get the crowd going. They had everyone at RRPP dancing and singing along to the likes of “Dance to the Rock & Roll Band” and “I Did Not See Her” among others. Mother’s Children were definitely one of my favourites of the weekend. They’ll be playing Toronto along with the Sedatives Thursday, June 18th for a NXNE gig at the Silver Dollar.
Friday night, GAGA WEEKEND 2 shifted to a local house renowned for basement punk shows. There were people everywhere. They even had a live feed set up in the living room of what was going on in the basement. People were squished into any corner they could find, drinking out of tupperware bowls because there were no cups to be found. First band up was Nervous System who have just released their first tape this week (available at bruisedtongue.com!), followed by the Holy Cobras. The Holy Cobras debuted a new drummer, only to rescind the offer to join the band following the show. Ah well, the Holy Cobras were fun to watch, as always.
After the Holy Cobras, Savage Crimes performed what is rumoured to have been their last show? Is this true?? That’s too bad! I really enjoy the Savage Crimes! (Update: untrue. They have a show next weekend in Ottawa at the Glue Pot Pub with Zoobombs & the Centretown Cripplers, phew.)
Uranium Comeback made a comeback (although I believe they were listed as Ukrainian Wombat somewhere on the lineup). Despite the fact that they are made up of 3 parts Marxists, I had never had the liberty of seeing Uranium Comeback before (Edit: untrue. I once saw them, but I was pretty intoxicated. This has just been brought to my attention). They don’t have anything to preview on their myspace page, which kind of sucks because I wanted a refresher of the stuff they played on Friday night.
Closing down the evening was the Beach Blankets. This was my first opportunity to see these guys and I was blown away. They were so much fun to watch. I’m surprised none of them ended up being severely injured during their set. I do recall a few instances where close to half the band was on the floor. Needless to say, they were amazing!
GAGA SATURDAY – MATINEE
The next day started off early. 12:30 to be exact. I made my way over to Yogi’s Meatlocker (a local recording studio/jam space) around 1:30 for the Gaga Matinee (stopping by the Beer Store beforehand and picking up a 12 of PBR). I got there just in time to see Fucked Corpse begin their set. Shortly thereafter, the Zebrassieres played. Another one of those Ottawa bands with plenty of hype but I had not had the opportunity to check out (update: also not true. I saw them on my birthday. I’m entitled to not remember). They were another one of my favourites this weekend. Really fun to watch and dance to. Next on my agenda to see was the Felines, who unfortunately are splitting up after Gaga weekend to pursue other options. Glad I got to see them one last time.
Now, I’m not the type of person to get really hyped on a band and talk about them constantly, so I am going to say this once and only once (edit: untrue. I am all about this band). If you ever have the opportunity to check out the White Wires, I highly encourage it. I can’t get enough of “Girly Girly Girly”, “Ha-Ha-Holiday” and “I Remember When”. The White Wires had everyone in the meatlocker dancing and singing along at the top of their lungs. This was by far, my favourite show of the weekend. The energy shared amongst the band and the crowd was amazing. I cannot wait for the “Gaga Weekend DVD” to come out so I can relive that set.
GAGA SOIREE @ BABYLON NIGHTCLUB
Following the White Wires performance, I decided it might be a good time to go home and download some of the 1100 photos I had taken prior to the evening show at Babylon. On the walk home, I was sure to stop by the Beer Store to pick up another 12 of PBR. I got home, plugged my camera into my computer and set my alarm for a half hour nap. I woke up and it was dark outside. Immediately I knew I had slept longer than a half hour. I checked my phone and of course there was about 10 missed calls/text messages and it was 4 hours later than my intended “wake-up call”. I ran to Babylon just in time to catch Sudbury favourites, Statues. Everytime I see this band, I love them a little more. “Living in Lines” was my favourite song of their set. Everyone was into it. WAY INTO IT.
The last band to play Gaga Weekend 2 was (presently defunct) Million Dollar Marxists. They headlined last year’s festival as well and have made it somewhat of a ritual to reunite for ONE NIGHT ONLY during Gaga Weekend! I truly miss Marxists. They’ve been on heavy rotation on my ipod again since seeing them this weekend. The Gaga-Goers went insane during the Marxists set. Marxists don’t come around here very often anymore, so I think most of the audience felt the need to experience/contribute to the mayhem induced by the Million Dollar Marxists. By the end of the show, most of the crowd had invaded/violated the stage. After the Marxists left the stage, they were invited back for another round. I don’t recall the exact quote, but they were surprised that anyone wanted to hear them play anything else. Ha.
So. What have you learned from reading my long-winded post about Gaga Weekend? You learned/observed:
-that a 12 pack of PBR cans is never enough.
-that I’m still severely hungover.
-that Ottawa has some pretty wicked new and not so new bands.
-Ottawa can be fun sometimes.
-that you should check out the Going Gaga compilation available from Gaga Records.
And last but not least…
-that you should come to the 3rd Annual Gaga Weekend which will take place in Ottawa in 2010.
(photos available at cobrasnatch’s flickr)
Ok, so I need like two secs to catch my breathe… I’m goin like a million miles an hour. People like me are the reason they need to tack on a couple of hours to the day. I can’t imagine my work week has begun… but really who am I to complain, especially when it starts off with me catchin’ Passion Pit @ Lee’s Palace. FYI- if u didn’t kno they are totally my new fave band… especially since I got to score a phone interview with Nate the drummer, yes I’m that GOOD!! Who BTW was totally awesome… I let him kno that he was poppin my cherry!! Shocked? I kno ,but its true, I’ve never done a phone interview… So here’s the 411 on our convo cause it certainly wasn’t no formal interview. Ok, so be honest I had to like grab a paper bag and practice my breathing for a second I was soo nervous!! So we all kno I’m poor so my ass had to get a callin’ card (I can’t afford those daytime mins) and we know how reliable they are.. my palms are soo sweaty as I wait for an answer and then voicemail… I was kinda bummed. Then my phone vibes and its Nate, okay I’m breathin…
Pinkie: Hey Nate, How’s it goin’ its Pinkie from Pink Mafia!?! I’m soo freakin’ nervous this is my first phone interview… So, ya kno’ your poppin’ my cherry!!
Nate: Pinkie… Pink Mafia now thats a good one… LOL!!! Don’t worry I promise to be gentle… hehe.
Pinkie: LMAO!! We try… So, I have to ask whatcha had for breakfast?
Nate: Ooo man, we had a TGIF in the hotel so we hit up the buffet, it was cold and blah, definitely not worth my 10 bucks.
Pinkie: Awww, that sucks! So whatcha guys up to now?
Nate: Ahhh, nothing much just on the road, we played a show lastnite in Austin and we have another one tonite in Houston so we’re on the road again.
Pinkie: Ooo ok.. So how was the show lastnite?
Nate: The show was totally awesome I wasn’t expecting it… to be honest its right up there with some of our crazy shows from Paloma, Cali to Echo Park.
Pinkie: Really, you don’t say… So be honest, how do ya feel ’bout your fellow tourmates the Harlem Shakes and Cale Parks?
Nate: I think they’re freakin’ INSANE, and really it doesn’t get better than this…watching two amazing bands nite after nite.
Pinkie: I totally agree with you there… So, I’ve been doin some homework and guys are on quite the whirlwind even makin’ a stop @ Lollapalooza, its official you guys are hot shit… How ya feel about that?
Nate: Well, at this present moment I’m feelin’ a bit hungover… it goes with the territory I guess. HOT SHIT… if you say so your media. But yea, its pretty astounding we’re goin from here to Europe making a bunch of stops across the pond. To be honest its all just sinking in, but I’m super stoked its the best feelin’ in the world.
Pinkie: Well enjoy the ride its well deserved. Well, me bein media I gotta ask… How did ya start playin the drums?
Nate: WOW… ya got me there. Well, we always had music in the house growin up my mom had a piano from when I was a kid. Then I dunno I just started feelin’ the drums hard… And I can’t forget my 13th bday was steady approachin we just moved to suburbia & I was totally beggin’ for a drum kit. My parental units were on the we don’t wanna disturb the neighbours tip soo I thought all hope was lost… Then BOOOYAAA!!! My 13th bday I open the gargage door and there it was in all its glory my first drum kit… and we’ve stuck ever since.
Pinkie: Awww… Way to go Parents, thats pretty slick!!! Have they had a chance to check out any of your shows!?!
Nate: Nah, I can’t say they have been to any of my shows.
Pinkie: Ooo really your a horrible child… I’m just playin!! But that sucks you soo need to get them front row. OMG!! I haven’t forgotten so the full length disc just dropped called Manners. CONGRATS are in order… So hows the overall reaction to the album been?
Nate: Well we definitely love it and from what we’ve been hearin’ people are feelin’ it…
Pinkie: You can add me to the list… ’cause I’m soo feelin the new disc! But I got a question sure everyone else is wonderin’… Why is Sleepyhead on both disc?
Nate: Hahahaha… that’s a good one. It wasn’t really up to us, the big wigs made the decision… It did get remastered and remixed a bit so they figured it would get a bit more play if it was on the new disc as well! Pinkie your pretty damn good…LOL!!!
Pinkie: For real thanks, your makin it pretty easy also!!! I see, I can agree with them on that one it will definitely get more circulation being on both disc… and frankly, its good enough to be on both!!! We kno that on the last disc Micheal did all the writin’ is it the same for Manners!?!
Nate: Ummm, he does have the credit as the songwriter… but this time it was a definitely a group effort. We usually chill, relax and let things flow when it comes to the album… but this time it was kinda different,we had 10 weeks to get everything done!!! Its like Lego pieces, ya know you put them all together and you get one massive block .
Pinkie: OMG!!! Like literally 1o weeks thats INSANE, I couldn’t tell at all the whole album is on point.
Nate: Yeah, it was just 10 weeks were in the studio and this time we did a even mix 50/50 on the live instruments and synthesizers, electronic stuff… its evident that its a total band effort.
Pinkie: Ok, so I kinda have a big mouth so my bad if I’m puttin my foot in my mouth… But, I gotta be real!! I’m not feelin’ the Reelin’ as a single… I would have totally preferred Moth Wings!!!! My bad I’m kinda pushy…
Nate: No worries, I love your honestly… and no word of a lie your RITE!!! I actually would have preferred that too but once again it was the big wigs’ decisions.
Pinkie: LOL!!! Its always there decision… they sign the checks!!! Thanks soo much for makin my first time sooo memorable. I can’t wait to see you… I better be gettin’ backstage!?!
Nate: It was good for me too… I told you I would be gentle… LMAO!!! And backstage did you have to ask… your all in!!! See ya soon!!!
That’s it FOLKS… I’ll hit y’all up after the show, and let you know the 411!!!
Hey, hey, hey!!!… It’s Saturday night of course you know what that means I’m workin’ hard and playin’ even harder. Now peeps you know I’ve been changin’ it up on ya with this Luminato Festival… it’s soo INSANE! No worries, y’all will get the 411 ASAP. So you know how we do @ PM, we only $%&* with the BADDEST BITCHES… tonight is no different cause its all about BIF NAKED @ the Mod Club. I know, I know you can’t breathe either. Of course I’m in a rush as usual, like I’m literally breakin’ my neck leavin’ a Luminato event to make the show tonight… Ooops double-booked, who wouldn’t its BIF NAKED! I finally fly off the College streetcar and almost lose my life to a black VW as I J-walk across the street. I made it just in time to catch the endin’ of the Manvils… I’m totally pissed at myself for missin’ their set which I heard was an astounding STRANGE DISASTER… But, after teasin’ my ears for only a momento they sure tickled my HOLLOW HANDS into downloadin’ a few tracks when I got home. Speakin of home… the bar bein’ my next home looks kinda lonely so I head on over where I open the hatch and down a piss warm Canadian… FAK, that tasted like ass. As soon as I place my bottle on the bar I hear some chick say OMG!!!! Bif’s rite there by the door… two secs later fushica, purple, & turquoise lights begin to flood the stage then a light South Asian instrumental diffuses in the background. The band enters the stage and assumes there rightful position, followin them is Bif dressed in all black like an omen… OMG!!! Her black cowboy boots are mega-bitchin’, I sooo couldn’t pull that off. Honestly, the whole crowd is goin NUTS myself included, I was screamin’ so hard I couldn’t breathe… the truth is I saw stars accompanied by a slight head rush, I know LOSER! Then out of nowhere the guitars and drums hit. Bif Naked started bustin’ a move all over the stage, I damn near thought she was a Spaceman ’bout to fly to cloud 9… Ooo that was me flyin’ like a Bluejay. It was surreal!!! I mean I was literally sooo close to her I grazed her hand and yes it will never see water again, LOL!! And boy does she know how to work a crowd… her interaction with us was phenomenal, I felt like we were BFF’s and you knos Nothing Else Matters. She took us on a trip down memory lane to reminisce bout her first time playin the T.O. in same basement of the Mod Club, back in the day it was the Apocalypse if memory serves me correct. Not to mention she has a heart of gold under that Fuck You 2 exterior… betcha didn’t know she sponsors a World Vision child, I know a tear jerker. ..Wooo, don’t get it twisted that wasn’t a Moment of Weakness, I was still jumpin my ass off and beltin out every tune word for word like a BIG nerd… And, OMG that guitarist Jason- his fingers must be of the mutant variety. Then it hit, I felt the gloom of the set endin, the time for her to say Ciao Bella… before she did, she asked us ” Do you Love Yourself Today?”And we all have to be honest with ourselves and admit sometimes we don’t… but after this I swear I do!!! So thanks for remindin’ us to Love ourselves Today, but most importantly kno’ that we LOVE U!!
Peace Out, Pinkie
P.S. MY BAD PEEPS FOR THE LACK OF PICS… A LIL BIRDIE TOLD ME CAMERAS WERE PROHIBITED IN THE VENUE… AND OF COURSE TO MY SURPRISE WHEN THE WHOLE CROWD HAD CAMERAS!!! NEEDLESS TO SAY, I’M STILL A LIL PISSED…
Pride Week is fast approaching now, and what better way to celebrate the diversity of our LGBT community than to attend the Prism weekend?
Prism Festival is back for its sixth year, and it’s bigger and better than ever. All the events they’re organizing this year seem amazing, but I have to say – Madonnarama seems like it’ll be a super fierce one, it’ll feature performances by Donnarama and Isabella London. And come on, who doesn’t love Madge?
Future Babylon at the Sound Academy will also be a rockin’ event, with DJs Ana Paula, Hector Fonseca, Honey Dijon and Jeremy Khamkeo spinning and performances by Sofonda Cox, Gia Cox, Kidd Madonny, Geoff Kelleway and Cesar. This will be an event you don’t want to miss.
The winners of our Pride contest get a pass to ALL the events. Amazing! Check out the press release below for more info.
*PRISM Festival returns to Toronto for its sixth year during
Canada’s largest Pride Celebration: June 25 – June 28, 2009*
Toronto, ON – PRISM Toronto is proud to announce the return of PRISM Festival for its sixth year.
PRISM Festival will be presenting a series of five world-class events taking place during Pride Week in Toronto from Thursday, June 25 to Sunday, June 28, 2009. */Embracing the future/* with a fresh look, the festival weekend will focus on new talent, cutting-edge production and the highest level of quality and value for the 15,000 international revelers that will stream through the doors of the Prism Festival events.
A fantastic array of talent is lined up for 2009 including Star 69 Records Grammy Award winning superstar Peter Rauhofer, International Drag Sensation Sofonda Cox, Brazil’s Ana Paula, Miami’s Abel, NYC’s Hector Fonseca and Miss Honey Dijon, as well as LA’s Brett Henrichsen and Montreal’s Patrick Guay. They will be joined by Toronto’s most notable DJs including Shawn Riker, Mark Falco, Jamal, Cajjmere Wray and Geoff Kelleway.
This year’s main event will be Future Babylon, presented by 103.9 Proud FM and featuring the return of Toronto’s reigning diva Sofonda Cox. Even bigger than last year’s Babylon event, the show will also feature internationally renowned Miami décor company RKM’s deliciously warped futuristic vision.
Executive director Gairy Brown promises “Future Babylon will be an unforgettable spectacle, absolutely our most glamorous and sensational show yet. Future Babylon will be the crown jewel of Pride.”
PRISM Festival is also excited to move Aqua Beach to the beach at Sunnyside Pavilion. Prepare to get all wet at the newest and most exciting beach party during Pride !
Continuing to focus on the growth of the festival, this year will also see a big international marketing push for PRISM Festival as a global audience is invited to share in the amazing weekend long party experience. As part of this effort, PRISM is pleased to welcome aboard www.manhunt.net as PRISM’s official media partner. *Tickets go on-sale today for PRISM Festival exclusively through Priape at all retail locations across Canada and online through * *www.priape.com/prismtoronto* *.*
*Specially discounted Weekend Passes are available just $99 if purchased before March 24, 2009.*
For full event schedule, talent lineups and more information, please visit www.prismtoronto.com or join the PRISM Toronto Facebook Group
If you don’t know who The Gossip are, chances are you know of the band’s fearless leader Beth Ditto anyway. Beth Ditto has made quite a name for herself in recent years – she is a lesbian, a feminist, thinks of herself as a punk and doesn’t wear deodorant or shave her armpits and has fully embraced her curves and challenges the idea of conventional body image. She won the NME award in 2006 for “Coolest Person In Rock”, claims she used to eat squirrels when she was younger and loves taking her clothes off when performing. Oh, and she hates Katy Perry.
But enough about that – The Gossip have earned their success through their music, and not just the antics of their frontwoman. Guitarist Brace Paine and drummer Hannah Billie are the other two members of the band and their first release with this current lineup was Standing In The Way Of Control which reached number 1 on the UK indie chart and propelled them into the mainstream. The song “Standing In The Way Of Control” is also the theme song for the popular British teen drama show, Skins – a show that is like Degrassi, if Degrassi was more hardcore and less Canadian. You know what I mean.
In a couple of weeks, they’ll release a new album entitled Music For Men and considering how good the song “Heavy Cross” is, this is going to be a good one! And for winners of our Pride Toronto contest, you’ll get a signed vinyl copy of the album! Vinyl is sooo cool right now.
Two weeks ago I began my Euro-slumming adventure in the UK. I booked the cheapest flight to London, and began my transatlantic journey seated behind a family with 2 kids under the age of 2 that screamed the entire duration of the flight. I also got to see the sun set and rise again within a matter of hours. MINDFREAK!
While it was miserably cold and pissed rain back in Ottawa, it was 25 and sunny everyday I was in the UK. Alright, it rained for a half hour one day. But that was well worth it because I got to see a woman wearing flip flops bail. Twice.
Not only was my timing perfect weatherwise, I also got to see a bunch of great shows. I met up with those Jokers of the Scene a couple times. I was stoked because I haven’t seen them play in a while. I was also stoked on free accommodations! The first night we met up, we stayed at the luxurious Travelodge at King’s Cross in London (I use the word luxurious loosely). It was supposed to be a room with 2 double beds. It was a box with 2 single beds. Notably, when I had walked into the room, the fellas had already pushed their single beds together in order to “make more room”. Riiight.
That night, we went to the Mixmag Party at Egg. I got accosted at the front door for having a camera and then had to sign my rights away to any photos I decided to take. Lucky for me, all those photos blew and I’m not posting any of them. Mixmag was a weird party. Jokers were scheduled to play the 2:30-4:30am slot but then they got pushed to the 4-6am slot. I wasn’t planning on raging until 6am because I was a bridesmaid at a wedding the next day…but it happened anyways. I survived the wedding in Reading.
Post wedding, we found our way back to London and were booked in the luxurious Travelodge again. This time we asked for a room with 3 beds for the 4 of us, thinking it would be a tad more accommodating. It was a room that was the same size as the box we had stayed in before, but with 3 single beds. How luxurious.
We trekked to Leeds to see JOTS play a show at some new club. It was kinda weird, but definitely better than the Mixmag party. I was scheduled to train back to London the next day but discovered that there was a SUPER MEGA PARTY at Leeds University called “Wax On” that featured the likes of Toddla T, Boy 8 Bit, Eskimo Twins, Erol Alkan, Diplo and Boys Noize. So I booked myself into a hotel and stayed another night solo.
Wax On was amazing. I did get kicked out of Erol Alkan for taking photos though. That would be my only complaint. Oh well. Boy 8 Bit and Diplo killed it. Boys Noize was awesome, but I was tired and drunk and there was no way I was going to make it until 5am. PARTY FAIL. Anyways, here are some pics of my “travels” across the Atlantic to see deejays I’ve already seen a million times before (but hot damn, it was well worth it!)
The Drake Hotel was opened in 1890 and it was called “Small’s Hotel” – since then it’s gone through a lot of changes and in 1949 it was renamed the Drake. In 2001, it was purchased by Jeff Stober and the hotel had a makeover, and it is now one of the best nightclubs, arts and show venue, restaurant and hotel all rolled into one.
As far as hotels go, this is probably one of the most quirky hotels in the city, the rooms are cozy yet luxurious and tastefully decorated. The smallest rooms are called “Crash Pads”, and some of them have exposed brick walls and high ceilings and their largest room is their 385 square FT suite.
If you’re looking to eat something at the Drake, you’re in for a treat – you can eat at the Raw bar, if you want sushi, sashimi or oysters otherwise you can go to the Corner Café where they have great menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It’s also really worth noting that the Sky Yard is the Drake’s rooftop patio and since summer’s here, you know you want to have a margarita on a rooftop patio. Admit it.
And, of course, there’s that little venue called Underground where bands like Broken Social Scene, M.I.A and The Killers have performed. This is the best place to go if you want to see your favorite indie band.
One neat little thing that I love about the Drake? Their photobooth. If you’re ever there, it’s worth the $2.
If you’re in town during Pride week, go check out the Drake Hotel, because they’ll have lots going on! Here is the lowdown:
Thursday June 25
JD Sampson + Lauren Flax
Doors@10PM_$5_$10 after Midnight
Friday June 26
Nonstop W/ House of House (Saheer Umar)
Dors@10PM_$5_$10 after Midnight
Saturday June 27
Can’t Stop Esther: Madonna Marathon W/ DJ Doctor Baggie
Doors@9PM_$5_$10 after Midnight
The pride hotel package:
Stay with Drake and get full access to epic Pride House Parties,
complimentary welcome cocktails, Go-Big-Or-Go-Home Survival Swag Bags +
more. Crash Pads begin at $219. Extend your stay for 50% off any nights
after the 2nd. Call 416.531.5041 x103 for bookings.