CABIN SERIES

Button up: Tradlands
Jeans: R13 Denim

We weren’t born in the big city, but that’s where that post-university-soul-search led us. We’re 20-something’s, grinding through our days, hard-hustling for survival in this metropolitan rat race. Weeks go by, and we get worn down. I’m so glad you connect to nature like I do. We both need fresh air and starry nights to gather some perspective. A cabin retreat in the woods is our blissful hideaway. We feel relief, with no internet connection or cell phone reception. We unplug from the world and tune into each other. Here, with no sounds of the city, I can hear you out. Here, with no where else to be, we can give each other what we need. When every moment is ours create, we find ourselves losing track of time. Until we meet again, my cabin-mate.

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Aspiring Heartthrob

Everyone’s friend crush, Cody Turner, filmed video portrait of me this summer. Earlier that day I had a meeting with Plutino Group – a modelling agency in the city. They ended up not taking me on. Hence, I am still aspiring to that heartthrob status I’ve always dreamed of.

Polaris Short List Announcment

I’m a music writer, and every now and then I get invited to exclusive industry events. I generally will try to go, cause I’m still at that enthusiastic stage where I think everything is the coolest, and have yet to adorn an apathetic disguise, with an air of pretension like nothing could ever impress me. The Round Room at the Carlu had a fair number of industry types, mostly populating the area around the food layout.

The Polaris Prize is an award that falls under the music snobbery realm, where a panel of  judges select the Canadian album with the most artistic merit, regardless of genre. The winner receives a years worth of clout, along with a cheque for $30,000. Past winners have included Arcade Fire, Feist, and last year’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who famously turned the of hoity toity-ness of Polaris on its head when they issued a statement against the ceremony.

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Anyway, this year’s Long List had a lot of fantastic talent, and I was happy to see Toronto locals represented through DIANA, PUP, and Odonis Odonis. I was curious to see who’d make it through to the Short List.

photo 1I waited behind the radius of television cameras as the founder (or whoever he was) of Polaris walked up to the podium. We gave a little applause to the sponsors blah blah, and then he awkwardly introduced Jay Baruchel, who I recognized as the co-host on Popular Mechanics for Kids… wow such celebrity! He was quite fumbly himself, and sped through the list faster than any of us journalists could type into our iPhone notes. The list of 10 nominees is pictured below.



My bet for the overall winner is Basia Bulat, so I was happy to see she made it to the top ten. I was somewhat surprised to see the inclusion of a few bands that have wide commercial success, like Drake, Arcade Fire, and Mac Demarco, but whatever.. it’s about artistic merit… the most subjective thing ever… so who knows! The Polaris Gala will be held September 22nd, where the overall winner will be announced. Hopefully I’ll get invited to that, too!

beau on Southern Souls

I’ve been a big fan of Southern Souls for years. So much so, that I wrote an article about the series for BlogTO earlier this year. Creator Mitch Fillion films live performance videos of local bands in locations they choose themselves. The collection of videos really paints a picture of the indie music landscape happening in and around Southern Ontario. My lovely band beau set ourselves up to have two songs filmed by Mitch inside The Black Cat gallery here in Toronto. I am pretty thrilled with the finished product, these videos really capture our sense of giddiness and our love for playing together. Check out the feature video below, and go to this link to see both performances.

Indy Pride with The Cliks

The Cliks have been a revolutionary band in the queer scene, with lead-singer Lucas Silveira being the first openly trans person to be signed to a major record label. I’ve been listening to the band for the last 6 years, and took special interest in them when they re-emerged in 2013 from a long hiatus. I wrote a few articles about the band for BlogTO and Listen Queer, and attended their CD release show for Black Tie Elevator. I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to take the stage with them. But Toronto has a funny way of providing me with dreams-come-true scenarios, over and over again (just look through this blog!). When I noticed the Cliks were looking for a new drummer, I auditioned, got it, and rolled into this summer doing my first ever international tour dates with a well-known band that I respect and admire.

A 12-hour drive from Toronto, we arrived in Indianapolis, geared up to play the main stage for Indy Pride Festival. We had an early rise, with a 8am sound check on a big outdoor stage. An hour before our set, a driver picked us up at our 5-star hotel, and drove us down to the festival. Police officers had to herd the hundreds of people to get out of the way of our vehicle. As we slowly proceeded through the crowd, the half-dressed Pride goers curiously peered in our windows to see what all the fuss was about. Cops escorted us out of the car and back stage, where we had our own air conditioned RV, and a Pride volunteer taking care of our every beer need. IMG_4468

When it was our time to play, I stepped on stage where I was greeted by the biggest crowd I’ve ever played to. It was wild! We blasted through our set, with fans singing along to every word. When all was said and done, I headed over to the merch table where there was a crazy long line up of smiling fans. I helped sell CDs, shirts, and stickers, and was even asked to sign autographs and have my photo taken! I felt like a real rockstar for an afternoon – it was super cool. What a huge accomplishment this was for me. I learned a lot about the road, the music industry, festival life, and myself as a musician and traveller. Next stop – San Diego on July 19th!

Check out this video from the show!