21 03 2012

Get funky with it this weekend and support local DJ’s at the Sunset Room, take in Aussie hip hop group Bliss N Eso or check out the Island’s best musicians, SATURDAY at the Fort Cafe. There’s also a variety show for the kids to finish Spring Break strong, and an important breast cancer awareness event. Plus, once again…

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Win four tickets to Grease on Ice, or tickets to Celebrate Kids: A Variety Show for this weekend! Email (subject WIN) or comment below and tell us why you should win.

BASSLINE WARFARE: ROUND 2 – DJ battle with Whoa Grenade. FRIDAY 10pm at Sunset Room. $10/$15.

GREASE ON ICE – Take a classic movie, throw in incredible talent, choreography and music and you have an amazing  show that is sure to delight and entertain the whole family. SATURDAY 2pm and 7pm. Also SUNDAY 1pm at Archie Browning Sports Centre (1151 Esquimalt). $15. 250-412-8510, 250-412-8500,

VANCOUVER ISLAND MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE SHOWCASE – With Ryan McMahon, Michael Tension, Spaceport Union and more. SATURDAY 8pm at the Fort Cafe. $7.

CELEBRATE KIDS: A VARIETY SHOW – A variety show for children with dancers, singers, martial arts and much more. Refreshments for sale. SUNDAY 2pm at the Centennial United Church (612 David). $2/$5. 250-384-6424,

BLISS N ESO – With Rich Bros and guests. Hip hop. MONDAY 9pm at Upstairs. $20.

CANADIAN BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION: ASK AN EXPERT – Researcher Dr. Peter Watson and Dorothy Yada, Breast Health Patient Navigator from Vic General Hospital present the latest info on breast cancer research and breast health. Jules Sesia, a breast cancer survivor and comic shares her story. TUESDAY 7pm at Saanich Commonwealth Pool (4636 Elk Lake). Free. 250-384-3328,


15 03 2012

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and there are tons of events around town to help you celebrate. The Maritime Museum is hosting a fun night with Cookeilidh and Battle of the Bridge is Victoria’s own MC competition supporing a local charity. For you festival fans, check out Josephina as part of the Spark Fest or the World Storytelling Festival events. Plus:

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Win tickets to at the Maritime Museum’s event! Email (subject WIN) or comment below and tell us why you deserve the luck o’ the Irish this weekend.

MUSIC FROM THE SHAMROCK SHORE: A ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION WITH COOKEILIDH – Set in our beautifully restored 19th century Courtroom, enjoy traditional jigs and sing-alongs to bring out the Irish in all of us! Also get your feet tapping with  special guests the O’Connor O’Brien Irish Dancers. It will be a night to truly remember. FRIDAY 7:30at the Maritime Museum (28 Bastion Square). $12.

BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE 7: HUNGRY FOR BEEF: Sixteen emcees, and only one can be left standing as the new Battle Of The Bridge Freestyle Champ. Food drive and MC battle benefitting the Mustard Seed. SATURDAY 2pm at Incite Screen Printing (2514 Douglas). $3/$5.

JOSEPHINA: A shockingly beautiful, sexy, funny, and mysterious piece of physical theatre about a man and a woman: is it the story of a perfect, passionate couple, or a shattered one? TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY 8pm at Metro Studio (1411 Quadra). $17-$23.



7 03 2012

This weekend support local skaters in memory of  James Lindsay and have the chance to win prizes at a a silent auction all while rockin’ out to DJ Squantos at Lucky Bar. Or get some tips on ecologically-friendly wine practices at Flights and Light Bites. Plus…

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Win tickets to Flights and Light Bites OR weekend passes to the Small Change Expo! Comment below or email (subject WIN).

FLIGHTS AND LIGHT BITES: Sustainable Wines – Sommelier Stuart Brown of Trialto Wine Group will take you through the rising trend and practices of making sustainable wines around the world. SATURDAY 4pm at Hotel Grand Pacific (463 Belleville). $20 plus tax. 250-380-4478.

JAMES LINDSAY MEMORIAL FUNDRAISER – Fundrasing gala and silent auction. With DJ Squantos and Rennie ‘Dubnut’ Foster. Supporting an addition to the Vic West skatepark. Auction MC Ken Gordon. SUNDAY 9pm at Lucky. By donation.

5th ANNUAL LIFEMARK HEALTH ESQUIMALT 5K RUN AND WALK – 7:45am kids run and 8:30am 5K race at Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser). $2 for the kids run $22 for the 5K. 250-412-8502,

SMALL CHANGE EXPO – Lectures, prizes and more. FRIDAY 12pm at the Victoria Conference Centre. Also SATURDAY 10am. $6-$10.


29 02 2012

As the weather gets warmer (or at least sunnier!) the Garden City starts to live up to its name. Check out  rare flowers at the Orchid Show and Sale and tally up the ones around your neighbourhood for the 36th annual Flower Count. Or, chop your locks for charity and start next week with a new ‘do. Plus, one of the biggest Canadian rock groups is kicking off their cross-country tour here – plenty of reasons to look forward to this weekend.

Giveaway Alert! Win coveted tickets to the Orchid Show and Sale! Email (Subject WIN) or comment below and tell us why you should win.

THE TREWS – With Poor Young Things. Rock. FRIDAY 10pm at 9one9. $28. Who doesn’t remember “So She’s Leaving”?

VICTORIA ORCHID SOCIETY SHOW AND SALE – Purchase a rare specimen unavailable elsewhere. A portion of the proceeds to the Victoria General and Royal Jubilee Hospitals. SATURDAY 9am and 10am SUNDAY at the Student Union Building (UVic). $6/$7. 250-217-4390,

VICTORIA FLOWER COUNT – Each municipality across the capital region is encouraged to take up the challenge to be the “Bloomingest Community” in Victoria. 250-360-2837,

LOOK GOOD: DO GOOD CUT-A-THON –  Refreshments and door prizes. SUNDAY 12pm at Head Start Salon (1315 Cook). Benefiting the Cridge Respitality Service. $15 suggested donation. 250-995-6419,

CALENDAR: Peace and Pink Shirts

22 02 2012

Whether you represent the West or East Coast, take in some good music this week. Down With Webster is repping T.O. and the Folk West show brags many local musicians. Or start the day with health at the Holistic Wellness Fair and move on to the Beer Fest – there really is something for everyone! Of course remember to wear pink this Wednesday to take a stand against bullying.

Plus, we have tickets to the Beer Fest, Wellness Fair and the Spoken Word Fest to get you started this weekend! Just email (Subject WIN) , or comment below and tell us why you should win!

DOWN WITH WEBSTER – Not easily classifiable, DWW employs elements of rock, hip-hop, funk music and just about everything in between in their recordings and high-energy live shows. THURSDAY 7:30pm at the McPherson (3 Centennial Square). $45. See article in this week’s issue of Monday.

THE VICTORIA SPOKEN WORD FEST – The most exciting, entertaining, out-there poetry you’ve ever heard at the second annual Victoria Spoken Word Festival. To SUNDAY at Intrepid Theatre and Solstice Cafe. $5-25.

INSPIRED WELLNESS HOLISTIC FAIR – Psychic readings, massage, energy healing, holistic services and more. SATURDAY 11am at 111 Superior. $5. 778-433-7334,

THE ISLAND BEER FESTIVAL – Hosted by DJ Pat Shade. All your favourite local breweries. Live acoustic duo Mike Hann & Tyler Harvey. SATURDAY 1pm at 9one9. $20. 250-383-7137,

FOLK WEST FUNDRAISER – Mae Moore, Lola Parks, Crikey, Paul O’Brien and more. SATURDAY 7pm at Upstairs. $10/$12.

5th ANNUAL PINK SHIRT DAY – Anti-bullying campaign. Proceeds from t-shirts sold at London Drugs go to Boys and Girls Clubs. WEDNESDAY.

Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers Are Swimming in a Giant Bowl of Jelly Beans

20 02 2012

If the name of this Toronto-based band doesn’t give you a hint about Ash Boo-Schultz’s intellectual mindspace, these answers will. A glimpse into the thoughts of the USS vocalist/producer when he had a day off from touring the country with Down With Webster. Plus, an unexpected cooking tip!

On Rifflandia 2011:

When we were walking from our hotel to the show it was really cool because there were all these fans with signs for USS.

On touring vs. recording:

I’m more productive on the road, so there’s really no separation of the two.

On his biggest accomplishment:

It’s less of one specific isolated event and more of the realization, especially in the last three months, that I’ve just written hundreds and hundreds of songs and pieces of music and I’ve always been shackled by not totally having the confidence to venture outside of a band. Almost needing the confidence of working with other people. So in that three months my entire psychological equilibrium has taken this quantum leap and I’ve been putting together all kinds of these projects and bands that are going to be able to channel all this creativity. One thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t use your mind it drives you insane. So I have to especially keep concentrated and focused. I’m feeling really successful about finally hitting my stride; it just clicked finally and I’m just loving the click!

On their new sound and new drummer:

Our music as a band is also taking a quantum leap because we’ve added a drummer into our band. Also, Human Kebab, over the course of our evolution as a band, evolving and improving, he started singing more, and he has a really low voice.  So you’ll hear me and him doing harmonies more. We got to know [our drummer] more when his band would open for us in Ontario. So when the time was right, and we knew we wanted to add that final dimension to our live sound, he was the first person we thought of. Because when you’re on the road with people 24 hours a day, in the hotel room, in the van, at the library, at the bowling alley, it’s gotta be about the person first and then their ability

On life outside of music:

I go home and I work as a carpenter and I have to use the logical side of my brain. Cause I can live in the total emotional whirlwind of life, and you can lose touch with that logic that’s especially important for decision-making. I love it, so I’m doing both at the same time. And all of the houses that we work at are in my neighbourhood so I can always go home and have grilled cheese for lunch – with really cold ketchup. Put the ketchup in the freezer while you’re making it. And you use one piece of white bread and one piece of brown bread. So, it’s like, grilled cheese on white bread is like the best thing ever but you wanna still get your whole grains in there. It’s all about balance. Life is a grilled cheese with one piece of white bread and one piece of brown bread.

On an upcoming solo project:

I have this whole series of four-song EPs and I’ll be partnering up with people that I feel is appropriate. I’m this abnormal psychologist, I basically study all these cases of music savants and all these abnormal music cases all over the world. So each cover song is a back-story of the patients; it revolves around the songs that the musicians in the psych ward wrote. It’s called Lab Rats.

Most surprising thing about the music industry:

How much love there is out there, it’s incredible. We have our love magnet turned on full blast all the time.

On Down With Webster:

I was having this huge conversation with Pat (Down With Webster vocalist/guitarist) last night because Pat is a huge documentary freak and so am I. It [touring together] just has this natural ease to it. I played with those guys when they were still in high school. I was between bands playing mid-90s hip hop covers on my acoustic guitar, and I’d open for them at some little chicken-wing restaurant outside of Toronto. I said to Bucky (Down With Webster vocalist) the other night, ‘We’re not flowers we’re roots.’ We’re not something that comes and goes with the seasons, it’s a solid foundation.

On the future of USS?

We have a couple of shoeboxes full of songs, I’m not even sure at this point how we’re gonna choose what songs we’re gonna put out, and we just keep adding more. Tons of songs are in various stages of production that will become our next album…We’re just swimming around in a giant bowl of jelly beans!

USS opens for Down With Webster, THURSDAY 7:30pm at the McPherson. Tickets at

– Reyhana Heatherington

CALENDAR: Teabags and Tsukino

15 02 2012

For Victorians of diverse tastes, this week boasts some unique events around the city. From the Northwest’s biggest anime convention hosted by UVic to a weekend of tea-tasting, explore the finer things in life. The music scene is roaring as usual, so check out local rock band KHBR or  Louise Rose.

Victoria Tea Festival – Over 40 exhibitors will showcase the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of the global tea culture. SATURDAY and SUNDAY at various locations. $20/$25., 250-370-4880.

KHBRWith The Dyeing MerchantsBells & Cannons and Newport Beach. Support our local rock bands. SATURDAY 9:30pm at the Cambie at the Esquimalt Inn (856 Esquimalt). $7.

Louise Rose – Celebrate Black History Month through song and word with this dynamic, inspirational multi-talented musician.  She will lead choirs and congregation from the piano in a moving program of stories and song, exploring the lives and legacies of people of African descent in Canada. SUNDAY 11am at First Metropolitan United Church (932 Balmoral). 250-388-5188.

Tsukino Con 2012 – Anime convention. FRIDAY to SUNDAY at the ECS Building (UVic). $25 weekend pass.

Ahead By A Century

6 10 2010

If you haven’t read our interview with The Top 100 Canadian Singles author Bob Mersereau yet, pop on over here and see what he has to say about this list. But if you have and are ready to start perusing, here’s the whole 100. Mull it over and let us know what you think.
Does kd lang deserved to be buried all the way down at #56? Does Bryan Adams really deserve three songs in this list? Should Neil Young’s songs even count as Canadian singles when most were released south of the border? Is it kinda embarrassing that Maestro Fresh Wes is, at #22, so far up the list? (According to his interview in the book, he thinks so. “I’m tired of having people look at me, reference me, what I’ve done, back in the day,” he told Mersereau. “I don’t need to stroke my ego . . . It’s two decades, man. It’s not funny no more.”)

Chime in and have your say. What would you put on this list, and why? What shouldn’t be on this list, and why not?

1. American Woman, The Guess Who
2. Heart of Gold, Neil Young
3. The Weight, The Band
4. Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams
5. Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
6. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf
7. If You Could Read My Mind, Gordon Lightfoot
8. Takin’ Care of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive
9. Four Strong Winds, Ian and Sylvia
10. Snowbird, Anne Murray
11. Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell
12. Tom Sawyer, Rush
13. Try, Blue Rodeo
14. New Orleans Is Sinking, Tragically Hip
15. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot
16. Suzanne, Leonard Cohen
17. Life Is a Highway, Tom Cochrane
18. These Eyes, Guess Who
19. Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot
20. Underwhelmed, Sloan
21. Up On Cripple Creek, The Band
22. Let Your Backbone Slide, Maestro Fresh Wes
23. Tired of Waking Up Tired, The Diodes
25. The Spirit of Radio, Rush
25. Oh What a Feeling, Crowbar
26. High School Confidential, Rough Trade
27. Echo Beach, Martha and the Muffins
28. Sweet City Woman, Stampeders
29. Wake Up, Arcade Fire
30. If I Had $1,000,000, Barenaked Ladies
31. Lindberg, Robert Charlebois
32. I’m an Adult Now, The Pursuit of Happiness
33. Nothin’, Ugly Ducklings
34. Coax Me, Sloan
35. Closer To the Heart, Rush
36. Picture My Face, Teenage Head
37. Shakin’ All Over, The Guess Who
38. Signs, Five Man Electrical Band
39. Lost Together, Blue Rodeo
40. Sonny’s Dream, Ron Hynes
41. The Safety Dance, Men Without Hats
42. Claire, Rheostatics
43. One Fine Morning, Lighthouse
44. (Make Me Do) Anything You Want, A Foot In Coldwater
45. Sunglasses at Night, Corey Hart
46. Working For the Weekend, Loverboy
47. Raise a Little Hell, Trooper
48. Rise Up, Parachute Club
49. Black Velvet, Alannah Myles
50. Seasons In the Sun, Terry Jacks
51. Montreal 40C, Malajube
52. Cinnamon Girl, Neil Young
53. You Oughta Know, Alanis Morissette
54. 1234, Feist
55. Rebellion (Lies), Arcade Fire
56. Constant Craving, k.d. lang
57. Rockin’ In the Free World, Neil Young
58. Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy, Michel Pagliaro
59. Lovers In a Dangerous Time, Bruce Cockburn
60. Bobcaygeon, Tragically Hip
61. A Case of You, Joni Mitchell
62. New York City, The Demics
63. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, Bryan Adams
64. Ahead By a Century, Tragically Hip
65. Five Days In May, Blue Rodeo
66. I’m Moving On, Hank Snow
67. Pour un instant, Harmonium
68. Magic Carpet Ride, Steppenwolf
69. Money City Maniacs, Sloan
70. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion
71. Crabbuckit, kos
72. This Beat Goes on/Switchin’ To Glide, The Kings
73. Old Man, Neil Young
74. 1990, Jean Leloup
75. Eyes of a Stranger, Payola$
76. Hasn’t Hit Me Yet, Blue Rodeo
77. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Bachman Turner Overdrive
78. Wondering Where the Lions Are, Bruce Cockburn
79. You Could Have Been a Lady, April Wine
80. Let’s Shake, Teenage Head
81. Help Me, Joni Mitchell
82. We’re Here For A Good Time, Trooper
83. Sunny Days, Lighthouse
84. Le petit roi, Jean-Pierre Ferland
85. Cuts Like a Knife, Bryan Adams
86. The Hockey Song, Stompin’ Tom Connors
87. Wheat Kings, Tragically Hip
88. Mon pays, Gilles Vigneault
89. Home for a Rest, Spirit of The West
90. Letter from an Occupant, New Pornographers
91. No Time, Guess Who
92. As the Years Go By, Mashmakhan
93. Hey Hey My My, Neil Young
94. Diana, Paul Anka
95. The Maker, Daniel Lanois
96. Nova Heart, The Spoons
97. La complainte du phoque en Alaska, Beau Dommage
98. Secret Heart, Ron Sexsmith
99. Run to You, Bryan Adams
100. Weighty Ghost, Wintersleep

Decisions, Decisions

14 09 2010

Over the past month, my “to listen to” record pile has been growing rapidly. It’s not just because of the September influx of new records and touring bands; it’s because I’ve been spending all my time listening to the same 10 records over and over. Instead of new offerings from the Meligrove Band and Luke Doucet, it’s the Acadian choruses of Radio Radio’s Belmundo Regal repeating in my head, despite the fact my Anglo ass can only understand every fifth word. Same goes for the catchy hooks on Tegan and Sara’s Sainthood. It’s not that I’ve become some sort of Sadies sadist, either; it’s just that their album Darker Circles, along with nine others (including the two aforementioned records) are on the Short List for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize—and I, along with 10 of my colleagues from across Canada, have been tapped to figure out which of these albums will win $20,000 for being the best Canadian album of the year.

I've been spending a lot of time with these 10 records lately...

For those unfamiliar with it, the Polaris Prize was founded by Steve Jordan in 2006—and although only in its fifth year, it’s become an important part of the Canadian musical landscape. According to their press, it’s “not-for-profit organization that annually honours, celebrates and rewards creativity and diversity in Canadian recorded music by recognizing and marketing the albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history, as judged by a panel of selected music critics.” Since last year, I’ve been on that panel, along with nearly 200 other writers, broadcasters and bloggers. There’s a mailing list for all of us to suggest albums and discuss the pros and cons of the Canadian musical offerings of the year, and then we each submit our top five records (released between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010 for this year’s prize).  The folks at Polaris HQ tally up our votes and from that comes a long list of 40 albums. Then we vote again, but this time can only choose our top five from said 40 albums.  There’s more furious counting and—voila!—the short list of 10 albums emerges. This year’s is The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night, Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record, Caribou – Swim, Karkwa – Les Chemins De Verre, Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice, Owen Pallett – Heartland, Radio Radio – Belmundo Regal, The Sadies – Darker Circles, Shad – TSOL and Tegan And Sara – Sainthood.

This is the part where the grand jury comes in. Instead of just getting everyone to vote again, Polaris organizers select an 11-person grand jury from the larger pool, who meet in Toronto to deliberate/argue/roshambo over which of the top 10 deserves the $20,000 prize money on September 20. Care is taken to ensure the jury isn’t stacked—i.e., three people who voted for one of the top 10 albums as their first choice aren’t all on there—and no one can serve on the jury more than once.

I have to say, I’m pretty chuffed to have been asked to be a part of this year’s grand jury. I know it’s mostly because of my unabashed love for Caribou’s Swim (which I have shouted from the rooftops) and Polaris organizers wanting to ensure the jury is balanced (I imagine each of the 10 records will have a champion on the jury), but it’s still pretty exciting. It also feels like a huge responsibility, almost like I all of a sudden have a huge exam I have to write—and therefore, I have been cramming like crazy.

Writing at the office, it’s the Polaris Short List on my headphones. When I go for a walk, it’s the playlist that’s on my mp3 player. In the car, I’ve got the albums on repeat. I just went on a 7,000 km road trip to the Yukon and back. Guess what we listened to most of the way, much to my husband’s chagrin? (His taste leans more towards the KMFDM or Skinny Puppy discography, but he admittedly got pretty hooked on Shad’s TSOL, the T&S album and the Radio Radio disc.)

A week today, I’ll be in Toronto helping to decide who takes home this year’s award. I’m going to do a bit of blogging about my experience and thought process here, so stay tuned.


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