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Florence and the Machine Play for Semiconscious Audience.

Florence and the Machine Play for Semiconscious Audience.

Brit singer Florence Welch and her Machine rolled into town Saturday night at Kool Haus. My ilk and I attended this show with great anticipation. Florence’s style eludes definition, an amalgamated style of folk, pop and rock. Her voice takes over a room. The new Patti Smith, but fortunately easier on the eyes. Indeed, Florence took the stage looking freshly roused from a hippie commune. A musical anachronism without label, as great music should be.

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Now my hard on for the music aside, the show fell short of my lofty expectations. The ginger songstress took the stage and at once broke into Howl, my personal favourite off Lungs, her 2009 release. Her presence on stage was at once reminiscent of a young Steve Nicks. And she killed it like a young Stevie Nicks. Yet all feet remained firmly on the ground for the first song. The crowd seemed unaware that whom they had paid to see had taken the stage. Kiss With a Fist followed. A more popular number than the preceding track. I moved into the crowd and prepared to soak up the crowd’s ambient energy.  No dice.

My first inclination was to blame the youngens of the all ages crowd for the mausoleum style reception that Toronto provided. Perhaps I can in part blame them, but the other end of the spectrum brought their own brand of geriatric apathy to the concert. I can appreciate that Florence’s music reaches a wide crowd and can be enjoyed by many. Truly, it is the mark of a versatile artist.  But to come to her show, which in of itself demonstrates your affinity towards her beats, and then make no effort to partake in concert revelry? For shame, Toronto.

I lend the term ‘mosh pit’ with great trepidation. What technically should have been the mosh pit was not unlike a grade 8 dance. The range of motion was limited to minute swaying, people recoiled at accidental touching and scowls and awkward smiles were the expression of choice. My time here was brief, I relocated to the bar as the set ended. For the first time the crowd raised their voices in the standard bargain for more songs. We pad your ego, you keep playing.

Waiting for encores is like taking the bus. A little piece of me dies each time I do it.

However, like taking the bus, I waited for the encore.

Florence retook the stage. Two more songs followed. It was not until Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up) that the crowd was reminded they were bearing witness to great live music. Despite the somewhat subdued volume when Florence hit the chorus, the crowd was there to help her out. Finally I saw a glimmer of the energy that a concert crowd should have in droves.  I wish this were the feeling from the show’s onset.

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I imagine the force of Florence and the Machine’s concerts have elevated audiences in other cities.  Here in Toronto they were met with muddled disinterest. It is my hope that the bitter aftertaste from Saturday’s show does not dissuade the band from returning. Perhaps next time we can distract the douchebags with an Ed Hardy sample sale. That oughta keep ‘em busy.

Words: Darien Campbell



k-os At the Junos

k-os At the Junos

“Taxi, take me to the jam of the year,” sings k-os in his bright and flowing collaboration with Metric’s Emily Haines. The award winning recording artist/producer and Canada’s hip hop party sweetheart has an edgy attitude that continues to redefine music culture. His timeless energy pumps out “sunshine” at parties coast to coast.

After more than a decade of innovative rap music behind him, evolving from VideoFACT’s neighbourhood cyclist to an Orange County inspired, pop-fused talent, Kheaven Brereton touches fans with his traditional back pocket bounce beat. He graciously reminds the community that the Junos are  “not necessarily about awarding one person over and over again, they don’t chop down weeds before the grow.” Masterfully challenging popular music, his growth has captured a dimension of hip-hop that gets people dancing wherever he goes.

Content with a nomination for Best Rap Recording, an amped k-os, along with tour-mate Drake, will rest their mics so the two can celebrate their accomplishments from the past twelve months. Speaking with k-os, he says “being nominated this year makes me feel like it’s come full circle.”

Back for the first time since 2002, St. John’s will once again show that Newfoundland’s heartfelt and vivacious presence in Canadian music can hold its own with the parties of Calgary, Ottawa, and Vancouver.  This year, “Everybody is there with the purpose of being recognized for the work they’ve done.”

“Let’s keep it polite” chuckles k-os on the sunny streets of Toronto before he jets to the Maritimes for this year’s festivities. Truth be told, in a country known for its uncanny sportsmanship in an arena such as this, the best man may in fact win but “at the parties it’s all forgotten”.

[www.k-osmusic.com]

[@koskhv]

“Taxi, take me to the jam of the year,” sings k-os in his bright and flowing collaboration with Metric’s Emily Haines. The award winning recording artist/producer and Canada’s hip hop party sweetheart has an edgy attitude that continues to redefine music culture. His timeless energy pumps out “sunshine” at parties coast to coast.

After more than a decade of innovative rap music behind him, evolving from VideoFACT’s neighbourhood cyclist to an Orange County inspired, pop-fused talent, Kheaven Brereton touches fans with his traditional back pocket bounce beat. He graciously reminds the community that the Junos are  “not necessarily about awarding one person over and over again, they don’t chop down weeds before the grow.” Masterfully challenging popular music, his growth has captured a dimension of hip-hop that gets people dancing wherever he goes.

Content with a nomination for Best Rap Recording, an amped k-os, along with tour-mate Drake, will rest their mics so the two can celebrate their accomplishments from the past twelve months. Speaking with k-os, he says “being nominated this year makes me feel like it’s come full circle.”

Back for the first time since 2002, St. John’s will once again show that Newfoundland’s heartfelt and vivacious presence in Canadian music can hold its own with the parties of Calgary, Ottawa, and Vancouver.  This year, “Everybody is there with the purpose of being recognized for the work they’ve done.”

“Let’s keep it polite” chuckles k-os on the sunny streets of Toronto before he jets to the Maritimes for this year’s festivities. Truth be told, in a country known for its uncanny sportsmanship in an arena such as this, the best man may in fact win but “at the parties it’s all forgotten”.

This along with the rest of our Juno Week content can be seen in the Hip Guide To St. Johns which is all over the city and in the pockets of all the right people traveling to the Right Coast for the 39th Juno’s. You can see it in its full glory on the ION Magazine site.

Most Fun Ever…VIVA Las Vegas

Most Fun Ever…VIVA Las Vegas

In the weeks leading up VIVA, I was a little bit nervous.  I mean, I’m a straight up Queen Street West girl heading to Las Vegas into what is the mecca of Rockabilly events in North America.  My friend Ashley whom I was attending with, calmed my nerves, promising to do my hair for me and whatever else I needed to make me feel at ease. Those rockabilly peeps — they are always so on!  So yes, this made me feel slightly better.  We’re both VIVA newbs.  So this will both be an experience together!

I knew that our trip was destined to be good when the customs officer at YYZ told me to be “extra naughty in Vegas” while we were crossing the border and the flight to Vegas was filled with drunken bachelor parties looking to imitate ‘The Hangover’.

Since the Orleans Hotel + Casino where all the VIVA activities were taking place was already booked up, we ended up staying at Excalibur.  It turned out to be in our favor.  Jimmy, the clerk at the front desk at Excalibur, upgraded our room to something swank with a Strip view because we were such “beautiful and upstanding ladies”.  God bless Vegas!  After running up to the room to check out our new digs for the week, we did what any normal person would do.  MAKE A TRIP TO THE BAR!!

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Our arrival at the bar at first seemed somewhat uneventful. The regular crusty casino cronies. But this lovely lad who seemed to be having a pretty down on his luck night ended up buying my lady and I drinks.  When we tried to strike up a conversation to thank him for the drinks, he waved his hand as if to say he wasn’t interested in the convo.  We kinda shrugged and continued with ours.  Free room upgrades and free drinks?  Score!  This night is killing it so far.  Just as we’re about to leave, our free drink man come up to us and say, “I’m not staying at this casino – so this will probably do you more good than me.” And hands us a cash out voucher for $10.  WTF?!  Now we just earned $10 for looking jet-lagged!  We’re ballin.  Time to get some beauty sleep.  We’ve got another six days ahead of us and apparently lots of greaser boys to impress.

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- – -

DAY 1 of VIVA – THURSDAY

Vegas is an alcoholic’s dream.  Since we were still on EST – we woke up at the ridiculous time of 8AM and began to wander around the casino.  We thought it would be a good idea to check out the buffet and fill our belly’s for the impending drinking that would begin.  Buffets can be hit or miss. But this buffet did us right.  From there, we went to the local liquor store located conveniently across the street from our hotel (praise Jesus!) and stocked up on all things boozed related and picked up some Escort magazines (just in case!).  Might I add, it was 10AM by this point.  Yes, us Canadian chicks – we go hard.  After careful review of the schedule, we realized that vendors @ VIVA would be beginning at 2PM.  Drinks were going down fast.  I wanted to go check out the Blackjack tables before we headed to the Orleans.  Next thing I know, I’m six Heinekens deep and not able to get on a Blackjack table at the Luxor Casino.  So, I’m cheering on some dude whose “on the heater” on the craps table and I’m getting free Heinekens from the cocktail waitress.  This is the life.  We make our way to Orleans a little bit early.  Wandering around like drunken idiots, we meet the cutest newlyweds from SoCal also new to the VIVA experience named Filipe and Jessica. We ended up sticking together to find out where the check-in was and grabbing our wristbands.  Naturally, after this process was done, we headed to the bar.  Where else?  Our new friends from SoCal bought us drinks.

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We chatted with some locals and when the time arrived head to the vendor areas.  I’ve come to learn that shopping at VIVA is KEY!  The things found in the vendor area were fucking adorable.  I know my girl Ashley dropped $300 USD in a good hour or so.

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Our stomachs were somewhat angry at this point (yes, we had ONLY ATE BREAKFAST!)  so dinner was upon us.  At dinner, I thought I heard the distinct sounds of French at the table beside us.  Being the obnoxious girl I am, I prodded to find out where they were from and sure enough we had in our vicinity some Montreal greasers!  Not only that, they are in the band The Cyclones. They suggested that after dinner we check out Big Sandy & His Flyrite Boys in the Ballroom.  After our MTL boys were out and we were sipping on more drinks (in very LARGE cups) — we noticed a loud man at the table across from us.  I tell Ashley I need a photo with him and sure enough, I got my request.  We dubbed him, my Vegas boyfriend.  Sexy, no?

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Upstairs to the Ballroom where we danced the night away to Rip Em Ups and then Big Sandy & the Flyrite Boys.  I was kind of shocked that in the middle of the dance floor all the girls started busting out into what I called “The Rockabilly Line Dance”.  What’s funny is during this, I met someone who looked just as confused as I did.  What’s funny – he was from Toronto as well.  He said, “I’m an Ossington guy, this doesn’t make any sense to me. I came with some friends.”  Touche dude.  After this, Ashley and I returned to the hotel to sleep and got ready for another fun day.

DAY 2 of VIVA – FRIDAY

This morning started out with gambling on some penny slots.  Personally, I found the best one in life: Wolf Run!  I know I’ve been obsessed with Wolf shirts.  So this combined the love of wolf shirts with the love of gambling.

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From here, we decided to get outside of the casino atmosphere for just a bit and take our Canadian asses out into the sunlight to walk the strip.  This tour didn’t last for very long, as we forgot that we promised another new friend we met yesterday from Austria that we would catch her Fashion Show during VIVA at 2PM.  We made it from our hotel to about Tropicana.  For those of you familiar with the strip, that’s not very far at all.  It’s OK because on the way, we saw some classic cars and got some sunshine.

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The big ‘special’ for that weekend was VIVA Boots.  So I know what you’re thinking, wtf is that?  Well, it’s this giant red boot and for $8 they fill it with whatever mixed drink you want.  If you bring the boot back to the bar with you, they’ll re-fill it for $7.  One of the special mixed drinks they had for the weekend was a Cherry Popper. This was recommended to us by a girl sitting at the bar by stating, “I’m already on my second one.  Get the extra shot.  I’m already effed.”  Well, this was recommendation enough for me.  VIVA Boot – I’m going to OWN you.  This day basically consisted of us sitting at the bar and getting smashed.  From here, we met Justin (with whom my friend Ashley is going to be getting married to apparently) from New Jersey and Aaron & co. from Huntington Beach, California all at the Alligator Bar.  Getting loud and rambunctious with our new friends, Ashley and I decided Goldschlager shots were in order.  Shots were done and ordered.

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We were informed by our new friends that tickets had gone on the block for the Burlesque Show happening that night and there was a 2HR lineup to get them.  Not wanting to miss the essence of what VIVA is about, we promptly lineup and got waiting.  We were lucky to get the last 2 TICKETS.  From here, we got a text from our newlyweds Filipe and Jessica to come and catch the Fashion Show with them.  Holy hell.  This theatre was packed to the tits with people checking out the latest in rockabilly fashions and wears.  It also made me realize if I want to find anything remotely in my size (and look good), I must move to California.  After almost 2 hours in the fashion show and a nearly bursting bladder (yes, you were allowed to drink during the fashion show), it was time to meet my old friend Katie whom I hadn’t seen in YEARS for a little dinner (again, at the buffet) with her Salt Lake City crew.  Partying with Katie and her SLC crew was a freaking riot.  Being general shizz disturbers was awesome and once we were done nom’ing down — it was back to the bar.

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This is where shit gets real.  Real hilarious that is.  This man who Ashley and I have dubbed ‘Zoolander’ just kind of wandered into our convo between myself, Ashley and Justin.  From here, he begins to tell us about how we shouldn’t trust anyone in Las Vegas.  He has several pens stuffed into his shirt pocket. Then he tells us he has several girlfriends waiting upstairs in his room, but his main girl is Yolanda.  Right buddy.  From here, he inches closer to Justin for no apparent reason and offers Ashley and I these random pills from a bottle.  We begin to laugh and say, “WTF is that?!” He tells us, “I don’t know I just found them.” And begins taking them.  Wow.  Just wow.  It was time to get away from this man.  Zoolander is the guy making the “Blue Steel” look in the photo below, if you couldn’t tell. Ha!

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So our motley crew met back up with the Salt Lake City crew again and did more drinking.  My body by this point was beginning to give out on me — so I gave up my ticket to the Burlesque show (which didn’t start until 11:30PM) to my friend Katie who ended up going with Ashley.  I decided I wanted to sleep so that I would be ready for Saturday night debauchery.  The report I got on the Burlesque show?  It was over 2 hours long and was alright.

DAY 3 of VIVA – SATURDAY

I think this was quite possibly the biggest day of VIVA yet and I know this was the day that I was most excited about.  The largest classic car show (I was told that 800 cars were registered).  Chuck Berry performing at the Car Show.  Plus, Wanda Jackson performing in the Ballroom later.  Sweet Jesus, I think I had died and gone straight to heaven.  I am so happy that I was good girl the night before and went to bed early because this night was a night for HARDCORE PARTYING!!  We both decided to have good hearty meals prior to venturing out to the Orleans for the Car Show.  I know that personally, I didn’t want to miss a thing.  The cars here were so beautiful.

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Also, apparently Dita Von Teese made an appearance at the show.  But I missed it.  For shame. I wandered and wandered and wandered in what was classic car heaven.  I also got nice and drunk on $2 Pabst Blue Ribbons.  I literally wanted to lay on the hood of each car, like one of those slutty car show girls.  But alas, I was too scared to ask if I could get my photo taken with any of the cars.  We made our way into the HUGE crowd of people waiting for the one and only Chuck Berry to arrive on stage.  Some good music that got us pumped and ready for Chuck were The Chop Tops, who as they put it played “real fucking rockabilly music”. So let’s get one thing out of the way.  Chuck Berry is OLD (he’s 84 years old) but he’s still rocking.  In our venture to find the perfect spot for Chuck, we ran into Ashley’s adorable friends from Oshawa Paula and James.  These two have serious style and serious dance moves.  When Chuck Berry finally decided to come on – we all just begin to groove.  I’m not even lying but people cleared a space for us to get our dance moves on. Chuck did all his classics — Maybellene, Rock and Roll Music, Roll Over Beethoven.  But I think the best was the sing-a-long the crowd did to “My Ding a Ling”  You can’t get any better than that.

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Once Mr. Berry’s set was over, it was time for a little girl on girl dinner & shot action.  We wanted to ensure that we were prepared and ready for Mrs. Wanda Jackson and that nothing could hold us back.  Two large Sex on the Beaches later, some food and shots of Jager — we were ready to make our way to the Ballroom to find a primo spot for when she came on.  We happen to catch Union Avenue from the UK.  This band was fucking amazing.  They mostly played covers but converted them into country and rockabilly (Johnny Cash, Billy Idol and Motorhead).  The lead sounded exactly like Johnny Cash and made me so excited to see Wanda.  Hot damn!  Can I just say, I’ve never see a room so full, so hot, so sweaty and so excited for one person.  She’s a legend and she was AMAZING.  Her performance was bar-none the best of the entire weekend.  Her infamous growl and voice was the same as it was in her recordings back in the day.  She played right to the crowd and made the right amount of conversation, speaking about her love affair with Elvis & her current musical partnership with Jack White.  Again, she played a great selection of her hits too: Riot Going on Cell Block #9, Let’s Have a Party and Mean, Mean Man.  I was completely enamored with her.  With her pink fringe and just how much FUN she looked like she was having on stage.  The heat in the room, the fact that I felt I was going to pass out and the blood blisters on my feet could not tear me away from Wanda!

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After she was done, the flood of people leaving that room was intense.  Ashley and I got separated from each other but eventually found each other.  It was time to party, which lead to more drinking.  And well, you know how that goes….

DAY 4 of VIVA – SUNDAY

Another one of the big events here at VIVA is the Tiki Pool Party.  Its like the closing party of VIVA, as everyone gets into their vintage bathing suits and vintage apparel and parties by the pool.  The vintage bathing suits were amazing and while the weather wasn’t exactly up-to-par (beautiful sun with insane wind? I thought I was going to blow away at some points), the music and people made up for it.  Surf band The Eliminators provided the best musical soundtrack for this party playing things like Tequila, Surf Rider and Long Live the King. People were jiving (in and out of the pool), hoola-hooping, wearing Bunny suits and one guy even wore Flippers and was walking around the deck of the Pool.  It felt nice to just lounge out on the pool side, take in all the sunshine and watch everyone enjoy their final moments at VIVA and recall all the craziness that went down.  I know that as Ashley and I sat there, we kinda said to each other we couldn’t believe that this was it.  While we weren’t leaving Las Vegas — this was it for VIVA. It seems like it all just started yesterday and we couldn’t believe that it all went by so quickly.  All the new friends we had met.  All the amazing music we had seen.  All the crazy encounters we had.  I can understand WHY this is the closing party for VIVA because its the best way to cap it all off. Soaking up the rays with all the new friends you’ve just met and just having fun.

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THE REST OF VEGAS ….

We had a couple days after VIVA in Vegas and we took full advantage of it. Drinking, shopping, eating at Batista’s Hole In the Wall (the best Italian restaurant in LV) and going to Krave (Las Vegas’ gay bar).  We did as much touristy crap as we could whilst there such as attempting to go on the roller coaster in New York, New York ($15USD for one ride, eff that!).  Or checking out the Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay ($18 USD).  We wanted to go down to Freemont Street as well (aka. Old Vegas) to catch the nightly light show and play at the Golden Nugget but a stupid cab driver told us it would take 30-minutes to drive there and some ass amount of a cab fare, thus we didn’t end up going.  That made me sad.  But all in all, by the time we left Vegas — my liver was crying out for me to stop drinking for 13 hours a day and to begin eating proper meals (and vegetables).  I think we rocked out Las Vegas proper and now that I’m home — I’m taking a detox from all things alcohol related.

Viva Las Vegas!

Interview with Juno Nominee Grahmzilla

Interview with Juno Nominee Grahmzilla

“I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal until my family got in touch with me and they were losing their minds,” says Grahmzilla of his Juno nomination for Dance Recording of the Year as one half of dance rap act, Thunderheist. The nomination is a fitting bookend to the fantastic run that Thunderheist (Graham Bertie with partner Isis Salam) had in 2009. They have recently decided to take a break from their hectic touring schedule to pursue solo interests. He’s happy for his time in the band and credits it with helping him hone his chops as a producer saying “I was a rookie when we started to pop off.” He admits that working solely on one project, constantly on the road was tough. “I like producing, I like DJing and I really wanted to get back to what I love, which is staying at home and making music all day.”

Turns out Graham’s been really busy doing just that. He has a release, Bassanova with Jubilee, coming out on Sinden’s newly launched label Grizzly in the early summer. He’s also recently launched a solo project under the moniker Nautiluss, the first remix is described on his site as “a luscious pad-filled syncopated dancefloor number for Edu K” and is already getting support from Sinden, Teki Latex, and fellow Torontonian producers, Nacho Lovers.

With all this on the go, Graham seems excited for the future “I just finished my second remix. I have a way more distinct direction now. I have that producer problem that I try too many things, but I made certain decisions about my direction and I learned my lesson about rushing out songs.”

[www.grahmzilla.com]

[@grahamisnozilla]

Look for Nautiluss as part of Red Bull Megahurtz in the fall of 2010.

As part of our Juno Week lead up program, here’s a lovely interview with Graham Bertie or Grahmzilla from Thunderheist as he has been known. Thunderheist are up for  a Juno in case you didn’t know, and he’s also playing our party, Heavy On The Right Coast, out on the Rock with Team Canada, Scratch, Skratch, Scratch, hosted by Drake.

“I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal until my family got in touch with me and they were losing their minds,” says Grahmzilla of his Juno nomination for Dance Recording of the Year as one half of dance rap act, Thunderheist. The nomination is a fitting bookend to the fantastic run that Thunderheist (Graham Bertie with partner Isis Salam) had in 2009. They have recently decided to take a break from their hectic touring schedule to pursue solo interests. He’s happy for his time in the band and credits it with helping him hone his chops as a producer saying “I was a rookie when we started to pop off.” He admits that working solely on one project, constantly on the road was tough. “I like producing, I like DJing and I really wanted to get back to what I love, which is staying at home and making music all day.”

Turns out Graham’s been really busy doing just that. He has a release, Bassanova with Jubilee, coming out on Sinden’s newly launched label Grizzly in the early summer. He’s also recently launched a solo project under the moniker Nautiluss, the first remix is described on his site as “a luscious pad-filled syncopated dancefloor number for Edu K” and is already getting support from Sinden, Teki Latex, and fellow Torontonian producers, Nacho Lovers.

With all this on the go, Graham seems excited for the future “I just finished my second remix. I have a way more distinct direction now. I have that producer problem that I try too many things, but I made certain decisions about my direction and I learned my lesson about rushing out songs.”

Look for Nautiluss as part of Red Bull Megahurtz in the fall of 2010.

Milano Releases EP on Modello, Launch Party @ Arcade

Milano Releases EP on Modello, Launch Party @ Arcade

“I really like conceptualizing things, it’s easy these days to make music but what makes it interesting is bringing a little bit more to it.”

The mystery of Milano and the accessibility of his new record is what makes him an artist to look out for in 2010.  And the “incubation period” as he calls this stage of the project, encompasses artistry, savvy, and intrigue. Think HBO season finales or ex-boyfriends with new girlfriends or the proliferation of Drake’s unreleased Grammy winning record. Tasting bite-sized morsels of an artist’s work paces their fans through a story and Milano’s “mystique” is no different.

Mario J aka Milano, is committed to his craft and “obsessed” with the idea of perfecting it. This album is a leap forward in his career and as “we’re living in an era where everyone wants the next new thing” he says, ” the best way to do that is leave some of my history behind and start with a clean slate”.

Putting his promotions company A.D/D events on hold to explore a passion for “performing and mixing”, he’s compiled a nine track recording, to be released song by song in 3 week intervals until it reaches all 9 songs. Expected out sometime this summer, the full album comes with a video feature and original artwork that ties the whole project together.

Becoming a legendary business man, Mario got his start cooking up the underground with A.D/D events throughout the early ’00’s and was a forerunner in launching CiRCA (Toronto’s Colossal, New York City inspired, multi-floor concert venue and Dance-plex).  Being the young one on the block back in what is now referred to as “the Industry days”, and as a fixture in electronic music for over a decade, he’s finally given his own artistic pursuits priority .  Working on a release for Turbo Recordings, he’s also dropping a remix of Crystal Castles new single and is planning a tour next fall.

“Being a promoter I understand how you do things to get attention but now for me it’s about experimenting and taking my time with this.  You only get one opportunity to make a first impression.”

Before gelato bars and the Ossington strip, party monsters called the streets of the club district the avant-garde neighbourhood in Toronto. Despite hip hop and indie leaping into the mainstream spot light, scene kids and rave-types shaped the pedigree of downtown electro culture.  Pop music was still a continuous distraction from hidden gems, and as the music industry reached the cusp of a technological plateau, electronic music was re-born.  Today, with a scratch of nostalgia, the budding souls who’ve survived the first wave of electro are paving a new era in genre and our thirsty youth are catching on.

Not that the days of spilling out into the Richmond-Adelaide-Peter-John perimeter at dawn are over,  but the 90’s were a time of turbulent growth in Canadian party culture. Before light jeans, coral and even ‘the fade’ dreamt of making their bohemian come-backs, techno artists, including Milano were waiting in the shadows of trendsetting for the perfect opportunity to strike its second cloud.

Musically original and energetic, Milano incorporates production with custom edits and his elaborate stage set up has “that sort of THX” quality of sound.  It will pump the living day lights out of your weekend.

Milano’s EP Release party is at Arcade this weekend. He’ll be playing alongside locals St. Mandrew and Andy Ares. It’s going to fill up quick. Check our events page for Guest List details.

arcade

88 Days of Fortune At the AGO

88 Days of Fortune At the AGO

The AGO held a free event Thursday evening in celebration of 88 Days of Fortune‘s 1 year anniversary. It was an all ages event, and it was completely free. It was nice to see people come together to celebrate and experience local artists.

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In case you don’t know who or what 88 Days of Fortune is:

About 88 Days Of Fortune:
88 symbolizes the double directions of the infinity, that is to say the infinitely small and the infinitely large. As such, the universe conspired and formed the collective 88 Days Of Fortune; musicians, multi-media artists and creative minds that have united to provide a strong network of artists dedicated to their respective crafts, while working together to promote a shared outlet of goodness and creativity. Introducing the new faces of music and multi-media; Ayo Leilani, KJ, Wolf J, Brendan Philip, Abstract Random, T.Ana Cole, Amenta, THEESatisfaction, Nadine Stillman, Yannick Anton, Deon Mars, Maiko Watson and Bahia Watson. Join them in an experience where the universes’ briliant beings are able to socialize while taking in the best of local Toronto talent. 88 Days of Fortune is the personified actualization of infinite possibilities.

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This celebration included performances by:
Ayo Leilani
abstract RANDOM
Brendan Philip
WolF J
KJ
T.Ana Cole
Maiko Watson
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It also had featuring artists, such as:
THEESatisfaction
Styrofoam Ones
Tanika Charles

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Toronto, it’s always great to come out and support local artists and causes. Join the facebook group for 88 days of fortune, and see what else they have going on.

Tour Diary: You Say Party! We Say Die! #2

Tour Diary: You Say Party! We Say Die! #2

Vancouver’s You Say Party! We Say Die! Are touring across the Great White North as I type this. They’ve been gracious enough to do a Tour Diary for us as they traverse their home country after a month in the USA! USA! USA!. As a side note, they take really nice photos and are making us envious of the ever illusive cross-Canada road trip that all Canadians grow up lusting after.

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We played an all-ages Easter Monday matinee show in Sault Ste. Marie. It was not the busiest show in the world, despite the nice weather.

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An abandoned gas station somewhere along the highway. There’s a lot of boarded-up buildings along the Eastern shores of Lake Superior; a lot of them are seasonal places that open back up in the summer, but this one’s been rotting for ages. I love it.

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Stephen at the helm driving through the Shield.

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Devon and Sissy enjoying a Standard Lager before the show at the Royal Albert, Winnipeg.

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Krista, Becky and Stevie from APTN do an interview in Winnipeg.

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The Royal Albert Arms: one of our favorite venues on the planet!

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Krista attempts to ignore the dick room at the Albert… IT IS FUTILE TO RESIST. It is truly amazing how many band rooms are covered in dicks all around the world, but this is definitely one of the best.

GSUS Affair CD Launch Party

GSUS Affair CD Launch Party

Listen up Hombres & Chicas – this coming Thursday, April 8, 2010 a major jam is going down. Where you ask? None other than at the infamous Tattoo Rock Parlour

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The name of the game is The GSUS Affair CD Launch Party. GSUS Canada (the popular Dutch clothing label) has teamed up with some of Canada ’s rising musical stars to create a compilation album that showcases the spectacular and wide-ranging musical genres that Canada ’s talent has to offer. To provide you with a taste of who the CD features – start with a serving of Ivana Santilli, add in 2 tablespoons of The Lost Fingers, then stir in some Candy Coated Killahz & Electric Youth, and add a dash of Quanteisha…to name just a few few few.

What’s even better is that you can get your paws on this album for FREE which will be available at all official GSUS retailers & at the GSUS boutique in Toronto .

So come out to Tattoo Rock Parlour ( 567 Queen St. West in Toronto ) on Thursday night for some free swagger and to hear some amazing performances by the featured artists themselves. Doors open at 9:00pm y’all. Oh and to top it all off, the word on the street is there will also be a special secret guest appearance…

–Words: Carine Rozen/Stylista Fashionista

20 Questions With Bahamas

20 Questions With Bahamas

Bahamas released his debut LP, Pink Strat, in the summer of 2009 through Nevado Records. He toured throughout North America last fall supporting Amy Millan and is currently in the midst of another full North American tour as part of the Bonfire Ball Revue with close friends Jason Collett and Zeus. The tour runs through April 24th in Brooklyn, NY, with a couple of days off, of course, to attend this year’s JUNOS celebration in St. John’s, where his album Pink Strat is up for an award.

And of course Bahamas is here to answer our 20 questions:

1. What is your dream of happiness?

Northern Canada. Way up there..

2. Blonde or Brunette?

Brunette. One brunette in particular.

3. What is the quality you like most in a man?

Cleanliness.

4. What do you fear most?

Drum machines..

5. 808s or 909s?

Ahhhh!?&@

6. What’s your biggest regret?

Losing my Finnish.

7. What’s your fav bar or club in the world?

Inner steer.

8. What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

Remember that brunette I mentioned earlier?

9. What are the 3 musicians dead or alive you’d like to see perform?

Thrush Hermit. Local Rabbits. SuperFriendz. For old times sake.

10. What is your favorite decade in music?

Duh…the 90′s.

11. If you had to choose, would you rather go blind or deaf and why?

I’m a musician. So it would helpful if I could keep my hearing.

12. How old is too old?

You lost me.

13. Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

In the kitchen, making breakfast for my kids.

14. Who’s your hero?

My mom.

15. What’s your favourite colour?

White denim.

16. What song could you live without ever hearing again?

Nothing else matters by metallica.

17. Metallica or Madonna?

See above

18. What’s your most hated vice?

The capo.

19. Who is the most tragic figure in history?

Rob Hamilton. Crooked former mayor of Barrie.

20. What are the top three live shows you’ve seen in your life?

Neil Young. Neil Young with Crazy Horse. The Cons’ Neil Young cover

band, Horsey Craze.

Buy Design’s Spring Social

Buy Design’s Spring Social

Buy Design is having their 7th annual dress up party thi sSaturday, April 10th. The theme this year is Dirty Thirties. It’s not about being all Sex and the City “am I a real woman if I’m not married with kids by 35/”, not that “dirty thirty”, think 1930s. You know, the decade before the war, after the roaring 20s, when women had the vote and wore pants. Now we’re talking.

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It’s in the Distillery District at the Fermenting Cellar which is fitting considering they are featuring a mess hall auction, croquet, badminton, and a dancehall tent. Oh the fun does not stop there, it’s all sidecars, sours and planters punch. It’s so Great Gatsby we’re thinking of reading the book in the cab en route (it’s only 100 pages, a sinch for smarty pants ladies like us).

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What else do you need to know? Tickets are only $75 and can be purchased here. The money goes to Windfall, which is a charity that provides NEW clothing and basic needs to over 100 social service agencies in Toronto.

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Wanna know something else? Kinda apropos for this event. One of the phrases that was commonly used in the 1930s, “Hey buddy, can you spare a dime?” Start the sparing. Let the dancing and sugary drinking begin.

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Tour Diary: You Say Party! We Say Die!

Tour Diary: You Say Party! We Say Die!

Vancouver’s You Say Party! We Say Die! Are touring across the Great White North as I type this. They’ve been gracious enough to do a Tour Diary for us as they traverse their home country after a month in the USA! USA! USA!. As a side note, they take really nice photos and even if the first post is a day late (apparently there is no Wi-Fi north Barrie) it was worth every minute we sat here nail-biting yesterday. Please enjoy liberally.

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Becky, Krista and Sharlene Chiu from MTV doing a cooking show at Trevor (our manager) and Maude’s place in Toronto.

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Henri Fabergé becomes a mic stand for Mac of Makeout Videotape, who opened the show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto and will be touring with us all the way back to Vancouver.

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Kip from the Horseshoe is a great sound guy who we’ve had the pleasure of working with many times. It was great to come back after several years; probably one of the best shows we’ve ever played.

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Lake break somewhere on Highway 17 during the long drive from Montreal to Sudbury where we were spending the night. Nice to be back in Canada after nearly a month in the US.

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Enjoying a low-key Easter Sunday night off with our friends from Sudbury at the Townehouse. Had some great pizza next door at the Laughing Buddha earlier.

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We love Ramone! He lets us crash at his place whenever we pass through Sudbury. Good dog.

Interview with ‘The Sea Inside’

Interview with ‘The Sea Inside’

(An exclusive still from the guys’ new video for ‘Stop Being Ourselves’)

The first time I saw the Sea Inside live was in October of last year. I hopped on the bandwagon a little late, as the boys formed the group approximately four and half years ago, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love them more than anyone else (duh!). Their astounding raw talent never ceases to blow my mind during their live sets, and their lyrics are absolutely phenomenal.

Music aside, they are some completely amazing guys. They just wrapped up the filming of their first music video last weekend and incorporated some of their fans, myself included, within the shoot. I can honestly say that I don’t know of many bands that would be that wonderful to the people who support them, nor do I know many bands who genuinely make the effort to be actual friends with their fans like these guys do. …Oh, and ps. All four of them are totally bang-able. - Love ya! ;)

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

The Sea Inside is:

- Geoff Callaghan (Vocals & Guitar)
- Piero Graci (Guitar)
- Danny Gaudio (Bass)
- Jeff Eden (Drums)

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: How did you guys meet?

Jeff: Piero came into Studio 8 for a session. I was blown away by his guitar playing and asked him if he wanted to work on writing some stuff. He did. He knew Danny, and brought him in. After we had some music in the works we started auditioning singers. We went to London, ON to hear one of them sing. We never even got to that guy. Cali played before him, and just simply blew us away. He came to Toronto for a recording session, and the rest is history. Those first sessions actually made it onto ‘A Beautiful Mess’. It just worked from day one.

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: Why did you decide to call the band the Sea Inside?

Cali: I was spending a great deal of time in Spain when the movie came out. The sentiment in our music is similar. We are all swimming around in ourselves trying not to drown. At first listen, I think our music can sound desolate, but once a listener spends some time with it, I think they will find hope.

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: Who do you consider to be your greatest influences?

Jeff: Larry Mullen Jr, John Bonham, and Stuart Copeland
Piero: Jimmy Page and John Frusciante
Danny: Flea and Larry Graham
Cali: Morrissey, Jeff Buckley, and Radiohead

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: What is your favourite song to play live?

Jeff:
From the first disc-’World She Couldn’t Find’
From DoS-’Fodder’

Piero:
From the first disc-’Sentimental Smile’
From DoS-’The Faithful Art’

Danny:
From the first disc-’We’re All Lost’
From DoS-’Stop Being Ourselves’

Cali:
From the first disc-’Sentimental Smile’
From DoS-’The Light at the End of You’

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: What are your feelings on the state of music today and what do you think sets you guys apart from all of the other rock groups out there?

Cali: Lydia! That’s a tough and potentially implicating question. The business seems to have grown incredibly complicated. There are so many bands out there that we are told by the new media are the next coming of The Beatles that it is hard to listen to everything. It is the classic Socratic problem: the more you know, the more you don’t know. What sets us apart is that we have had reliable professional advice from very early on in the life of the band. We know that we are building permanence due to the fact that we make the recordings that we want to make. We never compromise, ever. We keep going till we get it right by our own definition. There is never a quick fix for us. We know that gives us a certain type of fan, but it is worth it. Our listeners have to be willing to immerse themselves in our recordings. If they aren’t, then they should go right to the shinier tracks like ‘All This Time’ or ‘Trite But True’. If they want a rock music experience, I think they will be rewarded after a couple of listens through the disc, but of course, I am biased.

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: How did it feel to shoot your first ever music video? And what made you decide on your song, Stop Being Ourselves, as your first single?

Jeff: It was more fun than I thought it would be. The fun factor was heightened for me by the fact that we got some great results. The narrative was shot somewhat theatrically which I initially thought was a risk. I didn’t think we could pull the lighting off. We had some great people work with us. Dave Thies and Ryan Van Ausdall lent their expertise and the results are visually stunning.

Cali: It felt awesome, although it was a great deal less glamorous than I expected. Just like recording music, I learned not to invite my friends. They won’t be impressed, unless they get to be in the video. ‘Stop Being Ourselves’ was the clear choice. We wanted the world to know right off the bat that we are unapologetically a rock band.

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: How does it feel to have your latest CD, DoS, go international?

Cali: It feels incredible. It is gratifying to know that after 5 years of very hard work that the world is really taking notice. I am glad it is happening naturally, and that we didn’t have to pull some ridiculous stunt, online or otherwise. Well, let’s just say that we haven’t let any of our ridiculous stunts be filmed.

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: Where do you see yourselves in 5-10 years?

Cali: In September of 2015 we will be finishing 2 nights at Molson Ampitheatre and getting ready to head into the studio to work on our 6th disc. We would have played the ACC, but wanted to be outdoors for obvious reasons.

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

Lydia: Finally, is there anything you want to tell your fans?

Cali: The first thing that I would like to give our fans is our sincere thanks. Selling out our last show was an incredible feeling. It is very cool that we get to interact with our fans through social media tools. Everything we do online is genuine. We don’t inflate any of our numbers. We let it grow naturally, and many of our fans have truly become our friends. Please just tell them, ‘Thanks’.

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(Photo courtesy of Lance Citriniti Photography)

The boys have possible shows in Toronto, Hamilton, London, Guelph, Barrie coming up soon. The dates will be up on their website and facebook page asap!

Their latest album DoS goes on sale everywhere tomorrow.

Check it, bitches!!!

Most Fun Ever…Winter Music Conference

Most Fun Ever…Winter Music Conference

Our good pal, Stephanie Hynes just went to WMC, and was generous enough to tell us all about it. If you’ve never been to the World Music Conference in Miami, we highly recommend checking it out one of these years. In the meantime, enjoy.

Whenever I hear the word Miami I think of Will Smith and that song he did “Miami…south beach bringin the heat…”.

Last year my eyes during WMC burned with jersey shore. This year jersey was out and about but a great addition was the well-dressed (that I saw NONE of last year) who came out of hiding. I got the small but appreciated experience of Tom Ford mixed in with the typical Miami Ed Hardy.

US travel tip: if you are currently a lady of leisure (fancy word for “without job”) you need to have a printed copy of your return ticket. If not you will be detained by US customs, finger printed, have your luggage ripped apart, lectured by a customs officer, not allowed to use your phone when your travel friend is wondering where the hellz you are and given only 10 minutes to go through another security check where your hands and luggage are swabbed and luggage again pulled apart. Flight was 20 minutes late. I made it and told every soul this week I ran into about it.

I landed Tuesday night and made way to my friend Sydney’s place. She recently moved to Miami from Toronto and bonus for me I had a sweet condo to stay at on Ocean Drive and 15th, a one minute walk past a few palm trees to the beach. Funny enough it was called Drake.

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My WMC started the next morning laying on the beach, trash magazines and a copy of People Scandals and VOUGE circa September 2003 found in the condo was perfect beach reading.

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The girl above was awesome asking everyone if the were “practicing safe sun” and rubbing sunscreen on everyone’s back handing out flyers for her tanning business.

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Equally amazing below was this elderly gentleman searching for lost treasure on the beach.

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Most of Miami Beach is comparable to Young Street in Toronto. Super touristy. Interesting things to note about Miami even the mannequins have bad tattoos and fake boobs, people love saying “I’m in Miami Bitch” and they still accept food stamps.

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The day turned to evening and I found myself at Nikki Beach which my friend renamed Sketchy Beach. I didn’t find it that sketchy maybe my too many years to count of being sober working guest list at basically every club in Toronto has made me immune to seeing f’d up people around me.  The thing I hate about WMC is set times not being posted on flyers. They are all the same listing 40 dj’s and the party going from noon till five am. I understand set times change but a little hint would help a girl out. One of best stories of the week I heard was at sketchy beach which was a friend got his passport with showing his mega old library card as one of his pieces of ID. Rumor had it that previously he had not been able to get into the country cause he crossed the boarder with a joint in his pocket and here I get detained for being on a legitimate job hunt.

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Leaving sketchy beach we headed to the Espanola Way it’s a cute strip of restaurants with everything from Sushi to Italian. We chose Italian, Hosteria Romana (429 Espanola Way, Miami Beach). Super yum. We had dinner with the Embrace boys, which btw Embrace had a crazy line up of parties at WMC you had to be living under a rock or a seashell to not know all the parties they had.

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We headed back that night to Nikki Beach where we caught Tiefschwarz. I was in German techno heaven. The sketchies from earlier in the day had left and a new crowd was euro-esque and on fire. Tiefschwarz was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. I haven’t been to a techno party in a minute and it felt really good and my friend pointed out nicely that there are always hot guys at techno parties. At this one she was right. Miami is filled during WMC with a whole crazy selection of people. It’s a mix of dj’s, booking agents, management, media and fans from every inch of the globe, mostly Europeans and North Americans.

Day three in Miami was a big night it’s was my friend and condo host Sydney’s first WMC party hosted by her and her management. Last year I caught Funkagenda play a few times during WMC and I loved him. He was headlining with Sydney (Sydney Blu) at the party, I got drunk, danced and had a conversation via a pen and multiple bar napkins and woke up with a bad ass hangover.

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Orange Peel Moses made me a mermaid from an orange. He ran to Walgreens to get another orange after someone stole the first one he made.

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The next day hangover cure on beach didn’t go as planned, rain prevented my vodka headache “cure all” beach nap from happening, it also prevented me from going to the first day of the Beatport Beach Party. My favorite party last year was at the Beatport Pool Party which moved venues this year to the Gansevoort private beach. Gansevoort is an amazing hotel, I stayed there last year for WMC. Its pimp. Beatport went all out this year, the stage and set up was crazy.

Saturday and Sunday day I spent there! I love day parties, getting drunk that early in the day means pain though and drinks at $15 bucks US plus tip is pricey (they do tend to pour doubles rather than a single). L.A. Riots was my fav that day but I also caught Funkagenda and M.A.N.D.Y. Honestly there is so much going on during WMC its hard to remember what you did and didn’t do and who you did and didn’t talk to, or maybe that’s just me. I have some awesome friends who work for Beatport  (beatport.com) and they gave me a VIP wristband. I hung out around the side stage area for the most part but had fun going into the crowd as well.

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Beatport Shawn below, he is also half of the DJ duo Manufactured Superstars in business form overlooking the party he helped organized.

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That night I went to Porterhouse at B.E.D, Steve Porter is fun and a super great person, you know him as the mega brains behind the Rap Chop video. Worst pick up line ever I got there. “ You look too nice to be hanging out in a place like this”, who even says stupid shiz like that these days. Equally amazing pick up cat call that night was when I ducked out of party to grab gum a few doors down and got “Hey white girl, come over here”.  No. I do not go over.

Steve Porter WMC

By Sunday the last day of WMC at this point people have not slept for days and are either ready to hit a home run and party till Monday morning or they are ready to check into rehab. I spent Sunday at the Beatport Beach Party during the day. I was super excited to see DJ Hell, who I had yet to see ever in my life. He hasn’t played in Toronto in like a decade and when he did have a gig booked last year he cancelled. He played at the Get Physical party the night before that I didn’t make it to but my friends who went raved about have incredible it was and they danced there faces off.

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I was DEVESTATED to hear the next day that DJ HELL after he cancelled the gig and then tried to un-cancel he wasn’t going to be playing that day at Beatport.  I caught sets by Afrojack, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello all really great and was a good vibe to end off WMC.

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I stayed few couple extra days in Miami, it was great to hang in the city for a few days post WMC. The city seemed a lot more beautiful after the weekend of parties and people wasted stumbling on the street. My last day there was spent on the beach and it was amazing.

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There was this chip truck on the beach but was less ghetto than any chip shack I’ve ever seen and they made a yum fresh fruit salad, smoothies and sandwiches. Fruit salad cost $10 US but worth it. They cut up the fruit right in front of you. Needed a side of fries for good measure.

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I walked by a taco place a few nights before and felt it was much needed for my last dinner in miami. T-Mex (235 14th Street, Miami Beach). Amazing food.  You need to go if you ever make it to Miami Beach.

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I had loads of fun with friends in Miami and met some really great people! Things to note about Miami Beach/South Beach. SUPER expensive. Food and drinks and water and everything in between  is expensive especially during Winter Music Conference. There is so much going on and so many parties, its hard to go to it all cause there is so much to do. Cover can run you anywhere from $20-80. I didn’t have to pay for any parties luckily and everything is basically within walking distance. The other part of WMC is Ultra Music Festival, that I didn’t go to. Friends that went said it was insane with thousands of people I opted not to go but maybe next year.

I hope you make it to Winter Music Conference or that you too had fun in Miami bitch!

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