Archives: Hamilton indie band

all the festivals

In the next week there are so many great festivals happening in and around the city. I want to go to all of them.

Here are a few of the must see and do’s if you’re sticking around Hamilton.

 

Hamilton World Music Festival

In its third year and back by popular demand the Hamilton World Music Festival is here this weekend!

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Boasting past musical guests like Polaris Prize and Juno Award winner Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, this year’s line-up features an excellent roster of International artists like Sérgio Pererê (from Brazil), and Zal Sissokho (from Senegal). Hamilton favourites like Mother Tareka (9-piece hip-hop funk band), Neeraj Prem (sitar), the Riddim Riders (reggae band), Bonnie Hamilton, and The Snow Beach Players (featuring #HamOnt mashup of local live hip-hop bands Canadian Winter, Haolin Munk & Kojo ‘Easy’ Damptey Band).

A song by Alysha Brilla, who’s song 2 Shots, I first heard on CBC Radio a while back. The chorus would get stuck in my head for days. She’s performing Saturday 8:30-9:30pm.

*Hamilton World Music Festival, July 15-17, Admission is Free, Gage Park, @matapaorg, Facebook

 

Strangewaves Music Festival

Strangewaves is a three-day festival in its second year for music, art, and film lovers alike.

The festival this year is at the Paris Fairgrounds, where you can camp all weekend and check out another amazing line-up of Hamilton musical musical outfits like: Simply Saucer (Proto Punk ), Thoughts on Air (soulscape), Goatfooted (dank ambience back from the grave), Zac Shaw (sax king), plus all sorts of indie acts hailing from LA to NYC, PLUS one of my ultimate faves Julie Doiron (OMG!), and DJ Rasta Princess (Montreal -reggae, reggae, reggae) -eeeep! Sounds like it’s going to be a fun little festival. AND, surprise guest yet to be announced for Saturday night -who could it be!?

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Tickets are available here, or at The Brain (199 James Street North, Hamilton).

*Strangewaves Music Festival, July 15-17, Paris Fairgrounds, @strangewavesfes, Facebook

 

Fringe Festival

The Hamilton Fringe Festival is celebrating its 13th year (#turning13)!

This year there are more than 48 theatre companies bringing to Hamilton a variety of comedy, drama, magic, dance, and family friendly entertainment in more than 300 performances over 11 days.

The amount of theatre that will be at our finger-tips during the next week is daunting (yet also awesome!).

If I had to pick just a handful of plays to see, these would be them:

Photo-credit-by-Naty-Torres-

El Diablo of the Cards (comedy): Be SURPRISED in the most HILARIOUS way! “El Diablo of the Cards” comes all the way from Brazil to bring you an UNFORGETTABLE night! Take your seat and get ready to laugh! Ewerton Martins will astound with his unbelievable improvised card magic. Really unreal, provocatively absurd, this delightful idiot will introduce you to the madness of card’s magic.

 

All-KIDding-Aside

All KIDding Aside (comedy): Time is running out, a life altering decision teeters before you…and you’re on the fence! Sometimes the biggest fears can be the “little ones”

 

 

 

Key-Promo-Image-KairosThe Bathtub Girls (drama, physical theatre): The Bathtub Girls is an original play based on the first known case of sibling matricide in Canada, occurring in 2003, Mississauga, ON. The work has strong roots in contact improvisation and examines the desire for a sense of community and identity, and the actions taken for their acquisition.

 

 

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Awoken (drama, sci fi): Meet Todd. Todd can’t sleep. But Todd is dreaming. Neither awake nor asleep, Todd must journey through his own corrupted subconscious – idle fantasies and suppressed memories – and discover his purpose, before choosing to wake up…or sleep forever. Inspired by a true story. All lighting controlled by the sole actor on stage.

 

 

Devil-in-the-DetailsDevil in the Details (comedy): Laura, after a freak photocopier accident, finds herself dead and the executive assistant to Satan himself. As she navigates her new boss and the inner workings of the seven circles, she finds that not everything is as it seems. Hell is losing souls, influence and power but no one knows why… Welcome to Hell.

 

 

*Hamilton Fringe Festival, July 14-24, @HamOntFringe, Facebook, #HamFringe

 

I will be updating my Facebook page regularly with various events going on in the city. Take a look at my event page for some great things coming up like Dusk Dances (Bayfront Park), Life of a Craphead: Bugs/ Zak Tatham: Doorcuts (summer film screening series at Hamilton Artist’s Inc.), and A Night in White (at Whitehern hosted by the Other Bird Chef Matt Kershaw) just to name a few. 

summer crawling

I used to be an art crawl regular and could probably count on one hand the number of crawls that I’ve missed. But with this past year’s crazy cold winter and trying to stick to the little one’s bedtime, I’d have to admit that recently we’ve attended only a handful of art crawls. But with the longer days of summer here we decided to throw caution to the wind and take Omi out of his bedtime time routine and hit up June’s art crawl to check out what all we’ve been missing.

Art crawls in the warmer weather are always so busy! The streets were packed and I noted a significant increase in the number of street vendors and busking musicians. I always love seeing the street and community so alive on art crawl nights but then I also wonder where everyone is all those other days of the month.

We headed down James onto Barton where I saw this ghostly and gorgeous door. A door like this seemed like it would have a few stories that it could tell.

June artcrawl door

On Barton we dropped by Hamilton Audio/Visual NodeMulti-modal‘s (HAVN) for their second year anniversary party. The space was all tinfoiled up and shiny with some music that was just about to get underway. Incidentally, for tonight’s art crawl (July10) HAVN is hosting the launch of “384″ zine. There’ll be music by DJ’s Motëm & Muffled Suitcase, plus some limited edition screen prints, a few acrylic paintings on wood panels, and animated visuals.

June artcrawl HAVN

Our last stop of the night during June’s crawl was at Dr. Disc, where Steve and I took turns running down to the lower floor of Dr. Disc, to check out RE-DUO - a collaborative art exhibit by Jo-Anne Balcaen and Donna Akrey - while the other stayed with Omi and rocked out to Hachey the Mouthpeace‘s beat boxing session on Dr. Disc’s roof top.

RE-DUO was such a fabulous show! I loved the humour of the re-do covers and how spot on they were. I especially loved how they used common-place items to stand in for accessories and hairstyles.  For example, in the image below, simple black construction paper did the trick to re-do that Ian & Sylvia album cover.

June artcrawl re-duo exhibit

The RE-DUO show will be running until August 9th. You should definitely check it out during this crawl while you stop by to listen to the amazing line-up for this month’s Raise the Roof session on the rooftop of Dr. Disc (presented by I Heart Hamilton & Hamilton Magazine).

about town

This weekend there are so many interesting things going on I’ll be hard pressed to do them all!

Starting on Friday there’s the International Market Place; an event put on in partnership with the Immigrant Women’s Centre. I checked it out when I first moved to Hamilton and would love to see how it’s evolved and grown since last going five years ago.

Be sure to stop by and support your local community and pick up some handcrafted goods and wares!

 

On Friday night at Christ Church Cathedral there’ll be a special talk about the potential future of James Street North. It’s entitled James Street North 5×7; 5 minute talks by 7 community thinkers on improving the James Street North community. It’s free and starts at 7pm.

*Christ Church Cathedral, 252 James St. North

 

On Saturday in partnership with Hamilton Artists Inc. and Needlework, the first of a new quarterly talk series put on by a recent new crafty collaborative Pulling Strings will take place.

If you can remember the whimsical underwater crocheted window display of White Elephant from two Supercrawl‘s ago then you might know who Shannon Gerard is. She’s been a collaborating force with the Hyperbolic Reef crochet project among many other craft, art and crochet endeavours. She’ll be giving a free talk from 2-3:30pm at the Inc. followed by a $10 (no experience necessary) crochet workshop at Needlework from 4-5:30pm (RSVP for the crochet workshop to pullingstringshamilton@gmail.com).

"Hyperbolic Crochet Reef", White Elephant's store window display, Supercrawl 2012

If you have some time Saturday afternoon I suggest you check this event out!

*Hamilton Artists Inc. t 155 James Street North

*Needlework 174 James Street North.

 

Last but not least, on Sunday afternoon I’ll be taking part in a #HamOnt Blog Fair at The Casbah organized by Hamilton bloggers I Heart Hamilton and Cut From Steel. There’ll be food trucks, beer, and a whole crew of Hamilton’s finest local bloggers. Come out and grab a bite to eat, sip some beers, and check out alt-electro-dance-rock duo Dear Rouge play a set at 5pm. The event is free and all are welcome! Please come by and say “Hi”!

If you’re knew to Hamilton or just want to get to know your city a little better this will be a great event to get your finger on the pulse of the city’s goings on, and to meet with some Hamiltonians who are passionate about their city. Hope to see you there!

new music expo

In the past few years it has become a bit of an informal tradition to head down to Gage Park for It’s Your Festival.

I love summer festivals. Especially ones that are relatively close to our house.

But let’s be honest. I mostly love summer festivals because of funnel cake.

After I got my funnel cake fix we headed over to a little side stage tucked in back of Gage Park for the New Music Expo.

For the past two years this mini concert series has been a fav of Steve and mine. It’s off the beaten track and in many ways reminds me of days when I was weee little teenager and would see bands down by the lake at the gazebo for Friday Night Live in Burlington.

For the most part the bands are raw, kinda gritty, loud and experimental. What I especially liked was that it allowed for Steve and I both to enjoy a show together since Omi could be there too; tumbling around on the grass and clovers.

We only made it for Doobie Freaks and a smidge of Glasseylashes before we packed it up for the evening.

Last year my highlights were Pucumber Sassquash and The Mystics.

Pucumber Sassquash at the New Music Expo stage 2012

The Mystics at the New Music Expo stage 2012

Happy that there’s still a few summer festivals still kicking it here at Gage Park. Love the seafoam bandshell (don’t ever change), and also love that there’s the Seven Sundays of Gage Park summer concert series, which has a line up of some really great musicians such as the Dinner Belles, Harrison Kennedy, and Jesse Lanza (check her beautifully cool video below), plus there’ll be movie screenings and food trucks. The series kicks off this Sunday July 7th but you can also check their website here for their schedule.

The Dinner Belles playing the bandshell 2012

I leave you with Jesse Lanza’s most recent video shot in  Hamilton featuring Jed the dancing guy. Jesse will be playing at the Gage Park bandshell on Sunday August 11th at 7pm for the Seven Sundays concert series.

songs from the bishop

Some of my favourite evenings of this summer were spent at Bishop Park in the Stinson neighbourhood. Every Thursday evening from July 7th until August 25th the neighbourhood surrounding Bishop Park gathered to hear some fabulous live music.  Songs from the Bishop showcased local Hamilton musical talent from the likes of Terra Lightfoot of the Dinner Belles to Adam Bentley from The Rest plus many other fabulously talented musical acts. The times I’ve gone the crowd has varied from about a hundred people to an intimate gathering of neighbourhood folk. People seemed to know each other. They’d gather on the park benches, on the grass or on lawn chairs to sit back and take in the musical act of that particular Thursday evening. In the canopied shade of Bishop Park we would sing along whenever we could.  Kids often busted out into awesome dance moves and routines, and overall there was just a real sense of community and neighbourliness.

I loved how the late summer sun was sinking behind the trees, and you could just tell the summer season was coming to a close.

The most recent concert I saw in Bishop Park was the last one of the summer.  Adam Bentley, who was integral in putting on Songs of the Bishop, played for us. His voice is so beautiful and it carried wonderfully in the open air -almost hauntingly.  It was a different sound and a real treat to hear Adam sing in bare bones form -without the ambiant wall of sound (from his band The Rest) that usually accompanies him. I only ever made it out to two evenings of the Songs from the Bishop and wish I’d come out for more. I really do hope that next year the concert series continues. I love all the secret little things that are happening in Hamilton all the time.  It makes me adore where we live and gets me excited for what new creative initiatives we will discover in the months and years to come! I leave you with a little music from Hamilton’s The Rest.  They do have a new album out so go out and get yours!

summer time

So much to do! So much going on!

I love summer! I also love that I have the summer off this year, and that there is so much to do locally in the city to fill up my days.

Just this week I sat on the rooftop of Jackson square and ate my schnitzel sandwich from the market; in the breeze, with the sun, and the beautiful sound of Terra Lightfoot‘s voice singing CCR and Fleetwood Mac covers carrying through the open air. Sigh.

Two young ladies "rushing" the stage.

The next day I headed to Gore Park for their grand opening of the new designated pedestrian area and their Summer Promenade’s first of several weekly events. So nice to see pedestrians taking over that space and seeing crowds of people gathering and hanging out at Gore Park.  The Gore Park Promenade event with vendors, and live music runs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 11am-5:30pm until September 15th.

Image by Jason Leach taken from Raise the Hammer

Last night I joined the Stinson neighbourhood in Bishop’s Park for their weekly Thursday evening concerts: Songs From the Bishop, running from July 5th to August 23rd. It was such a nice and laid back community event, it just made me love where we live more than ever.

I feel like I say this every month… but tonight’s art crawl is going to be an awesome one! There’s a craft show being put on by the newly open Mint Studio in the Sonic Unyon building (3rd floor).


Blush’s pink trailer coming all the way from Guelph selling gorgeous and delicate women’s clothing in partnership with Beaux Mondes.

The Sweet Ice Snow Cone ladies will be out selling their refreshing treats.  Check out their promo video it is so adorably sweet!

The AGH’s new Design Annex will be open for its very first art crawl.

Dr. Disc will be celebrating its 21st birthday with bands like The Rest, New Hands, The Dirty Nil, and Greg Preston & The Great Machine playing on their rooftop. Plus after Dr. Disc’s Raise the Roof event there’s an after party at The Casbah.  That’s a super packed crawl!

On Saturday there’s also the Farm Crawl!

It seems like everyday there’s something to do, and some place to check out.

hamilton sketchbook

A few years back when we were still living in Toronto I went to Pages book store, when it still existed at Queen & John, and asked if they had any books about Hamilton. We’d already been crushing on Hamilton big time, and I wanted to indulge in our fantasy of moving to Hamilton by giving Steve a book about the city for his 31st birthday.  The store clerk looked up at me in a bit of shock, and then clarified again whether I really meant a book about the city of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, really?

The only book in the entire store about Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, was a graphic novel titled Hamilton Sketchbook by David Collier.

I could not have asked for a better gift for Steve and introduction to life in Hamilton.  I was so happy to have had the luck of stumbling upon such a gem of book.

Hamilton Sketchbook Cover, David Collier, graphic novel, Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton Sketchbook, David Collier, graphic novel, Hamilton, Ontario

After having moved to Hamilton, at an art crawl about 2 years back, I met David Collier at Mixed Media.  He was selling and signing Part 2 of the Hamilton Sketchbook.  I ended up buying this copy for another present for Steve.

Hamilton Sketchbook #2, David Collier, Hamilton, Ontario, graphic novel

Hamilton Sketchbook #2, David Collier, Hamilton, Ontario, graphic novel

There’s something really cool about reading about places you’ve been to and places you’ve lived in.  I love the down to earth feel, and day to day life depiction of David’s work.

Today as I rode by Mixed Media on my way to work I noticed a poster by David in the window.  Prints for $10 Hamilton Light Rail Transit.

Hamilton Light Rail Transit, David Collier, Hamilton, graphic artist, illustrator, Mixed Media

I heard that David recently designed the album artwork for relatively new Hamiltonian Luke Doucet and The White Falcons latest album Steel City Trawler, which is a tribute entirely to the city of Hamilton.

Luke Doucet and the White Falcon, graphic novelist, artist, David Collier, Hamilton, Ontario

For a great read about Luke Doucet’s recent move to Hamilton, and more details about his album (produced by Sloan’s Andrew Scott) and about David Collier read the National Post’s article here.
 

 

Luke Doucet and life partner, fellow musician and singer-songwriter Melissa McClelland will be playing a show with their new band White Horse at The Hamilton Place Studio on September 30th with Frazey Ford.

supercrawl

Supercrawl 2011 is going to be so damn good.  I’m crying inside that I’m going to miss it.  Instead of artcrawling, I’ll be heading to beautiful upstate NY for the 4th out of 5 weddings of the season.  It will be fun but it might be hard pressed to top the 3 major free festivals that will all be running simultaneously in Hamilton’s downtown core on Saturday, September 10th.  We’ve got the Locke Street Festival, Country Music Week (at Copps Coliseum & on top of Jackson Square) and the SUPERCRAWL on James St. north.

The line up for the Supercrawl is just so outstandingly AWESOME! If I could go, these would be some of my top picks to check out…
 

J Mascis of Dinosaur Junior -9:15pm Stage 1 at York & James N.


 

Basia Bulat will be playing with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra -7pm Stage 1 at York & James N.

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Black Francis aka Frank Black of The Pixies and Reid Paley -9pm Stage 2 Colborne & James N.  (Paley & Francis will be releasing their new album with Hamilton local record label Sonic Unyon).

Reid Paley, Francis Black, Black Francis, Frank Black, The Pixies, Hamilton, Supercrawl, Supercrawl 2011, Sonic Unyon


 

Junior Boys back from their world tour, and home to Hamilton for the Supercrawl! -9pm Stage 2 Colborne & James N.


 

Hamilton’s own, Young Rival -4:15pm Stage 1 at York & James N.

 

DMC Canadian Final DJ Competition at Academia Banquet Hall (upper floor), 242 James St. north.

DMC DJ scratch Championsips, Canada, Supercrawl, September 10 2011, James st. north,

I would also love to see the hand knitted art installation that will replicate the entire brick facade of The Brain, done by the Beehive Craft Collective.  This is going to be so cool!

The Brain, James St. north, Hamilton

 

Oh, and how could I  forget to mention a super exhibit called Women’s Work that will be on display at Project Space 126/128 James St. north, opening reception on the Supercrawl night from 7-10pm.  It will be an exhibit of fantastic crafty, textileness, which will include a beehive paper dress by artist Hitoko Okata.

Project Space Presents: This Woman's Work, Artists: Simone Aziga, Erika DeFreitas, Insoon Ha, Colina Maxwell, Ingrid Mayrhofer, Shelley Niro, Hitoko Okada, Curated by: Sally Frater, Supercrawl 2011

Erika DeFreitas, Detail from A Teleplasmic Study with Doillies (A Selection). 2010 - 2011. Digital print

The day before the Supercrawl; Friday September 9th will be Terra Lighfoot‘s CD release party at This Ain’t Hollywood, and James St. north will still be kickin’ with it’s regular monthly art crawl from 7-11pm.

The Supercrawl will take place on Saturday, September 10th from 10am-12 midnight, from York/Wilson and James St. north all the way down to This Ain’t Hollywood.

After parties a plenty at The Brain -199 James St. north (dance party to soul, house, disco boogie) free, 1pm-2am, and after party thrown by Beauty Industries at The Red Mill Theatre -80 James St. north (at Wilson) $10 to get in, 9pm-2am.

On top of a phenomenal line up of class act musical artists both local and otherwise there will be some amazing visual artists and art installations, plus galleries and the ever increasing number of independent and cool shops, will all be open and pumping at full throttle.

Here is a list of the 2011 Supercrawl contingent.  For specific times and locations of performances look here.

Music-BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
J MASCIS
PALEY & FRANCIS
JUNIOR BOYS
SAID THE WHALE
RIDLEY BENT
BASIA BULAT and the HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
RAH RAH
DINNER BELLES
SEAN ROWE
JACQUES GREENE (dj set)
THE HEARTBROKEN
DINOSAUR BONES
YOUNG RIVAL
TURKEY RHUBARB
REBEKAH HIGGS
MAYOR McCA
ELECTROLUMINESCENT
LIVE HOW YOU LIVE
COWLICK
OLENKA AND THE AUTUMN LOVERS
MONSTER TRUCK
THE REST
BA JOHNSTON
SARAH LOWES
FRY TRUCK
HAMILTON HIP HOP ALL-STARS
MOTEM & CO.
McMASTER LAPTOP ORCHESTRA
DJ OLLIE
DJ BASCO
EARTH, WIND & CHOIR
plus
DMC 2011 WORLD DJ CHAMPIONSHIPS: CANADIAN FINALS
and
WAR CHILD Busking For CHANGE

FYI Free shuttle buses available from the Locke St. festival to the Supercrawl.

 

ps i love you

Last Wednesday night we headed to This Ain’t Hollywood to see PS I Love You.  A duo hailing from Kingston, Ontario, they’re signed to Paper Bag Records and have been getting major acclaim from all your indie type music sources such as; Pitchfork, as well as some noted recognition for their Polaris Music Prize nomination.  Their debut album Meet Me at the Muster Station was listed in  Exclaim! for Top Pop & Rock Albums of 2010.

I came across this video a little while back, and loved the gritty lo-fi sound, and catchy guitar hooks.  So when I got wind that they were coming to town I was happy to be able to see yet another fantastic live musical act making a stop in Hamilton.

bass organ foot pedals, PS I Love You, Paul Saulnier, This Ain't Hollywood

I can barely manage to keep a beat and breath at the same time.  Meanwhile Paul Saulnier can rip it up on the guitar like something furious, wail and play the foot-pedal bass organ like a pro all the while keeping pace with the quick and steady licks of drummer Benjamin Nelson.

Paul Saulnier, Benjamin Nelson, PS I Love You, This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton music shows

For more PS I Love You Videos you can check out Southern Souls acoustic sets of Starfield, Little Spoon, Butterflies and Boners, and Facelove here.  AND if you want to see PS I Love you they’ll be doing another show October 3rd at This Ain’t Hollywood.

An honourable mention goes out to Hamilton’s The Mystics for their mad tambourine playing, and for taking us back to the days of rough edgy rock with their opening set.

 

southern souls

I can’t remember when exactly I stumbled across Southern Souls, but I feel like it had something to do with looking up native Hamilton band Harlan Pepper.

Harlan Pepper -Little Miss Sunshine

I loved the superb sound quality, richness and warmth of the video’s texture, colour and light, not to mention the local Hamilton talent.

Young Rival -All I Have to do is Dream by the Everly Brothers

Wax Mannequin -Black Bells

Zeus‘ song The River By the Garden, covered by Make Your Exit (another Southern Souls production) came across my Facebook newsfeed a few months back. That was my first clue in realizing that Mitch Fillion, the guy behind Southern Souls, was not just a local Hamilton filmmaker, but that his site Southern Souls was something much bigger, reaching further than just steel town.  It had already been coined by Vish Khanna of Exclaim Magazine “as the most impressive online archive of performances by emerging Canadian musicians”.  If you haven’t already, take a look at the roster of artists that Mitch has filmed.

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