Mother Tongue Books has been part of Ottawa’s literary community since 1984.
But in a month, Mother Tongue Books will close its doors forever.
Ottawa Tonite sent Bob LeDrew to tell the story of a part of Ottawa’s literary life.
The first event in the Celebrate Mother Tongue series will feature Giller Prize-winning author Elizabeth Hay (Late Nights on Air, Alone in the Classroom) and Ottawa favorite singer-songwriter Jill Zmud.
The evening begins at 7:00 on Friday, June 22 at Mother Tongue, Bank at Sunnyside (across from the Mayfair).
Fans of Mastodon will be ecstatic that they are playing Bluesfest.
They are a thinking’s man metal band along the lines of Sabbath or Black Mountain. They will rock the park and those with even the slightest interest in hard rock should catch this act.
As one person said on Mastodon…..Good Call Bluesfest.
|River Stage:||Saturday, July 14th @ 9:00 PM|
The band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are playing Bluesfest. You should go and see this show whether you know her or not. This show will rock your socks off. High energy power pop from a fast rising rocker.
Her two cds present great song writing, powerful lyrics and true originality.
An unknown gem who will surprise everyone who takes the time to discover this act. I hope you are there.
|Electro Stage:||Wednesday, July 4, 8:30 PM|
Attend Bluesfest for Thievery Corporation. Those that know this band will be jacked to see the show.
They have been high on the card at every major festival in the world and now it’s our turn. They have already made my top ten for concerts of the year and they haven’t performed yet. Hope to see you there for this show.
Thievery Corporation – Main Stage
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11 9:30 PM
For the next two weeks, Ottawa audiences have the unique opportunity to sample some of the best independent films coming out of the EU. The European Union Film Festival is hosted by the Canadian Film Institute (the oldest film institution in Canada) and takes place at the Library and Archives on Wellington Street. The participating films are chosen by the CFI and many are credited as official selections for other big international film festivals such as Cannes, or have already won awards in their country of origin.
This is the 26th year for the Festival and in an interview, CFI Executive Director Tom McSorley told Ottawa Tonite that attendance and popularity grow steadily every year due to Ottawa’s “love of international cinema in general and European cinema in particular.” There are similarities between Canadian cinema and that of the EU, namely that filmmakers tend to generate “small, personal films with modest budgets and big ideas.”
Running now until December 4th, the EU Film Festival offers a diverse array of film styles and subjects, so there is something for every taste.
To highlight a few:
More information on the Festival and the Canadian Film Institute can be found on their website: http://www.cfi-icf.ca/
I stumbled upon an amazing band in 2007 at a local bar in Gainesville, Florida called “The Sidebar” while out with friends. I fell in love with their sound after just two songs, but had to leave during their set and didn’t think to grab their name in my rush. It took months of Googling and Yahooing before I found them again. The band was called Boyce Avenue, made up of three brothers; Daniel, Fabian, & Alejandro, who sing covers of songs as well as original music. Over the next few years I bought their music and became really impressed with them, but I never had a chance to make it out to a show until now. The concert here in Ottawa was the first time I’d seen them, since that night nearly 5 years ago. It was also the first time we’d officially met face to face.
I walked into the venue for a meet & greet, which I had purchased weeks earlier to see the band before my interview. When that wrapped, Boyce Avenue and I sat down for a one on one chat*:
Who’s idea was it to start a band? What drew you three to music?
Alejandro (A): It wasn’t really a concrete idea, it was just something that naturally happened. We got into music as kids. And we are brothers, so when one of us picked something up, we’d all join in for fun. It all happened organically pretty much.
How long have you been playing together?
A: We’ve been playing together for about 6 years give or take.
Do you find that touring has changed you as a band in any way? How?
A: I think it’s helped our musicianship a lot. We can play more with little to no downtime in between.
Daniel (D): I think we get along better on the road, we bond and get to experience adventures together. Off the road it’s more business, and focus on management, but on the road we can focus on playing.
Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
A: Doing what we’re doing now, but to more and more people ( laughs).
A: Of course from a family standpoint, we want to continue to grow. You know kids, wives.
D: Wife, not wives!
A: Right, one wife for everyone.
Well, two of you (Daniel & Fabian) are already married so, you mean one wife each?
D: Right. Each of us only having one wife. Not multiples!
That’s Cool. Who are your core influences?
A: Goo Goo Dolls, Coldplay, Dave Matthews, Oasis, John Mayer…
Fabian (F): (under his breath) John Denver
A: and John Denver
I’ve noticed that there is some familiarity (in a good way) in your music with some of the bands you listed as influences, like the Goo Goo Dolls for example.
A: It’s kind of natural since we all kind of grew up listening to 90’s rock or melodic rock. I don’t think you can help writing stuff that sounds like the music you listen to, if that’s where your heart is. If you like that sound and those are your favorite songs, then it’s going to feel right when you have an acoustic in front of you to play riffs or music that is like that.
Some of your songs, no matter how sad the subject matter is, actually seem kind of hopeful to me. Is that the overall message you want to convey to your fans?
A: Yes! That’s true.What appeals to us is being a bit more emotional, which kind of lends itself to being a little sad. But we always seem to have in every song pretty much, the vibe that “It’s not perfect now, but it’s going to get better” you know that kind of vibe. And we hope that’s fairly relate-able, you know since we go through that. You never feel–I hope you never feel– that you’re completely finished as a human being, but striving to get better.
The event opened with youtube sensation Alex Goot & a band of Texas rock-gods called “Green River Ordinance” or GRO who by the end of their set, had the audience wrapped around their fingers. Alex performed an upbeat cover of “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton which is a hit with many of his Youtube fans. Lead Singer of GRO, Josh Jenkins primed the crowd with their popular single “Dancing Shoes”, before surprising everyone with a rock n’ roll sing along of the Justin Bieber hit “Baby”. Josh’s pitch was perfect through the entire song, and I must say GRO put Mr. Bieber to shame. Electric guitarist Jamey Ice immediately drew my attention the second he walked onstage. He reminded me of a younger, blonde, and considerably more animated Slash from Guns N’ Roses. The way he played his LED-lit guitar and entranced the entire room (especially the ladies) no one could keep their eyes off of him when he worked the crowd. I was at the front of the stage and could clearly see how passionate GRO was about getting the audience on their feet. They made their mark on this crowd for sure.
Alejandro took the microphone and introduced himself and his brothers and then the concert began. “Daylight” an earlier song, came first, and drifted into “Tonight” flawlessly. “Not Enough” came second as veteran Boyce fans (myself included, thank you very much!) mouthed along and pretended to be mini-Alejandro’s. This song also featured the first of a few amazing standout guitar performances by Daniel and Fabian, respectively. Next, came Boyce’s stunning cover of “Rolling in The Deep” by Adele. I loved this performance, and found it soulful and well arranged. When “Find Me” played, I looked up to watch the band and for one moment during the chorus all three brothers had closed their eyes at the same time. It was just for a micro-second, but I could tell they had a vibe between them and were really feeling this particular song together.
The energy-lifter of the night was the Boyce Avenue rendition of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”. There was fist pumping, lip syncing, even some jumping on my part as I lost myself in that song. Daniel worked the Cajon with a magic all his own, as his brother Alejandro joined in to battle him. “Just The Way You Are” slowed everything back down again as Alejandro crooned the chorus to a sea of tightly packed fans, before the band took a moment to tell the audience about their next song, “Briane”. The mood was somber as Daniel explained that this song is what his friend’s wife, who committed suicide, might have wanted to say to her husband in the aftermath.
“Broken Angel” flowed right to the core of the crowd as every girl, myself included, swayed and used the music to heal any sadness that lingered within us. “On My Way” is lead singer Alejandro’s love letter to his future soulmate, who he knows is out there, but hasn’t met. It had us all swooning before we kicked it old school to Boyce’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”. Drummer Jason Burrows shined all through this concert, but I really liked how he played during “Fast Car”.
It wasn’t until “When The Lights Die” came on that I felt that familiar feeling that originally drew me to Boyce Avenue. When Fabian started rocking to the music, eyes closed, in his own world, I couldn’t help but smile and think back to 2007, when I saw him doing the exact same thing. I was 8 feet from the speakers which most people would probably hate, but it only intensified what was happening. It felt as if the speakers were pumping the music into my whole body, thrumming it into my heart, and back out towards that stage. This feeling was what I had waited all night to experience. “Every Breath”, a popular fan favorite was played as a fake-out ending, but as the crowd chanted “Encore!” Boyce returned to play “Dare to Believe” and “Iris”. The set then truly ended after Alejandro led us all in a sing along to “Hear Me Now”, a song that has become somewhat of an anthem for this tour. The next time Boyce Avenue is in Ottawa, I highly recommend you check them out. They truly love their fans, and for one night they’ll make you feel like they played every song just for you.
I’d like to thank Boyce Avenue for taking the time to do this interview, with everything they had going on during their time in Ottawa. Also, the show both looked, and sounded fantastic, thanks in large part to tour manager Erich Jackson, Merchandiser Anthony Hook, as well as their crew of stage hands. These guys attend venue after venue making sure the tour runs as smoothly as possible. Everything from scheduling my interview to running the stage during the show was primarily handled by these guys, and it is greatly appreciated.
*Want more Boyce? Click the links below for video from the interview, and their fan Q&A! (copy & paste links in new browser)
To learn more about Boyce Avenue, please visit their website, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook:
Green River Ordinance:
For links to my other interviews please visit:
Balance, written and directed by Derek Price and shot by Jith Paul, will be screened as part of the Treepot Indie Filmmaker Showcase on September 22nd at the Mayfair.
The cast and crew of Balance gathered to talk about the process of making this chilling short:
In this second clip, we hear about the shooting of the film:
And in this third clip, we learn about the process of putting the film together … oh, and Derek remembers a very important thank you …
You can see this short film and others at the Mayfair Theatre in Old Ottawa South on September 22, 2011.
The box office opens at 6:30pm. The show starts at 7:00pm. Tickets are $5.
Note:The Mayfair is a cash only outfit so save up your Lauriers.
Video and article courtesy of Kevin Burton
Notes by John Geggie
Now this is more like it…lots of jam fun….
There were people available to sit in and an audience that filled the room and were supportive and attentive the whole time….this made for a lovely evening of music…
After the opening set by the house trio (which is always fun and full of surprises), the first segment of jamming involved players from Tania Gill’s quartet and Pink Martini. Bassist Phil Baker and guitarist Dan Faenhle played with Jim Lewis on trumpet with Nancy and Nick. They played three tunes…a medium Gone with the Wind, a smoking Charlie Parker tune called Segment (and a ballad I can’t remember the name of)…a great mini-set of listening and interaction..
The second group to come up consisted of players from various places..local bassists Norman Glaude, young guitarist Justin (Duhaime?) and finally Drake (I think that is his name) – a drummer with the Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam show at Scotiabank Place. Two nights ago, we had fun with the saxophone player from the circus and I am happy they are starting to make a trip into town to play. They played All Blues and How Insensitive.
The final configuration featured Nick and me playing with pianist Tania Gill – tunes were a spiky I Remember You, Bud Powell’s Parisian Thoroughfare and a blues I think…
We the house trio finished off the night with a tune…thanks to the quiet and respectful audience enjoying the music and showing their appreciation the whole night…things felt really good in the room.
Location: 40 Slater Street, Ottawa
Thursday, June 23rd thru Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 (excluding Canada Day)
Time: 10:30pm – onward
Notes by John Geggie
So, curiously enough with all the inclement weather, no one at the session felt like playing tunes like Stormy Weather, Here’s That Rainy Day or Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head…
So things started nicely with some house trio tunes such as Steve Swallow’s Eiderdown, Phil Markowitz’ Sno’ Peas, Keith Jarrett’s Belonging and Jaki Byard’s Mrs. Parker from KC.
Jamming got going with some fine local players Tom Denison on bass, his son Lucas on drums, Mike on alto (a fine player studying at McGill but spending the summer playing in the band of the Ceremonial Guard) and Daniel Ko, the young Ottawa alto player who has just won a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Nancy joined in on piano. They played two tunes (Green Dolphin Street and All Blues).
After that, we switched things up with a tune by the house trio with Galaxie Youth All-stars Director Jim Lewis..we did Secret Love. For the next tune, Dan Ko came back up to play two with us, ending with a very fast What is This Thing Called Love.
After short break, local trumpet player Craig Pedersen jammed on a John Zorn tune…Ottawa drummer Dave Pontello joined in for No Greater Love and we finished the night with a blue that went inside, outside and free at times.
Things wrapped up around 1:30am.
Post by John Geggie
Ok, so like Robert Plant showed up and we wailed through Houses of the Holy, Dazed & Confused and Whole Lotta Lunch….uuhhh, so, like,…NO…that didn’t happen.
BUT the ARC lounge is great…the feel on the bandstand is great, very intimate. It got noisy last night (lots of people at the back) and we will have to rejig the piano volume to cut through but onstage, it is very intimate and it feels right. I like the look of the room and there seemed to be a lot of people in there last night..Colin and the whole team at the ARC are being great…
So, it was a joy as always to play with my pals and co-conspirators in the house band, Nancy Walker and Nick Fraser.…they sounded great as always and it was fun to play some new tunes for our opening set – people coming down to the session should note that the opening set by us the house trio is sometimes the most sublime and happening music of the night..I am truly blessed to be able to share music with Nancy and Nick.
We had a good night of jamming – things started off with some local players: Craig Pedersen on trumpet, Lucas Hanemann on guitar played two tunes, the 2nd one being Lady Bird (Tadd Dameron). We were then joined by vocalist Renée Yoxon (sounding GREAT). She sang Bye Bye Blackbird and All Blues. Nancy was sitting out on this segment but I could see her edging back closer to the stage and finally she crept up to the piano because she simply wanted to play (‘Renée was sounded so good on All Blues, I just wanted to join in’). It was nice how just her subtle interjections of things on piano spurred Lucas to change how he was playing and go to a different place. It had a great arc and journey.
After a short break, two young players from the Galaxie Rising Stars came up with their horns (Marie on trumpet and Chris on tenor sax)…we did three tunes ending with a fast version of John Coltrane’s Blues for Alice (she doesn’t live here anymore).
After another shortish break, we the trio finished off the night with Wayne Shorter’s ESP.
We finished about 1:20am..it was pretty non-stop music and neither Nick nor I had a break all night.
- a nice start to the festival jams this year.
Location: 40 Slater Street, Ottawa
Thursday, June 23rd thru Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 (excluding Canada Day)
Time: 10:30pm – onward