Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dale Luarca, Henry Nozuka, Christian Bridges and Melissa-Bel @ The Central

Dale Luarca, a Mississauga-based solo artist, is reaching for the stars. He may be short but that with which he lacks in height, he certainly makes up for in vocal and guitar talent. The evening was a close knit affair in Mirvish Village's, The Central, and everyone was invited including Dale's mom. He refers to his style as "a mix of john mayer/Raul Midon/Donnell Jones" but in terms of lyrical content sticks to extremely personal topics. With a soulful sound and hypnotic beat, Dale tells stories of heartbreak and harsh realities. Even his cover songs have a personal stamp. Some of my favourite changes were to the lyrics of Tom Petty's Free Falling, "she's a good girl, loves her mama and Canada too" and "It's a long day livin' in Mississauga." Anyway, it was a fantastic show that included the likes of Henry Nozuka, Christian Bridges and Melissa-bel. I've included a few videos of the night below..

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Koxx // Live @ Club FF // Seoul, South Korea

I'm so glad that I found this video. I have been looking for these guys on the web for quite some time and I've finally tracked a video down of them. They've got a catchy, dance-able sound.. check it out HERE

Monday, December 7, 2009

United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009

The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 has begun today and I thought it might be important to share some interesting tidbits including videos, new clips and impressions from the media and the event itself. The conference is scheduled from December 7th - 18th held in Copenhagen. Seen as a model in terms of public policy and social culture surrounding environmental sustainability, Denmark was an excellent choice as host nation for the conference. One interesting aspect of the event is the ability to submit questions..
"CNN and YouTube are conducting a live debate in Copenhagen on December 15, where leaders and activists at COP15 will come together to answer your top-ranked questions on climate change."
The COP15 website also offers a ringtone and SMS alert as part of the press package, if you're so inclined.

Opening Film

Monday, November 30, 2009

Exploration Korea

These are some of my favourite photos from my seven week trip to South Korea.



Smitherman for Mayor!

Cities are creatures of the province. Cities, especially Toronto, often find it difficult to find extra money to start new (sometimes green) initiatives and are forced to cut other city service funding to accomplish those tasks without raising property taxes. Property taxes are really the only revenue stream for cities (except user fees - memberships). Smitherman's former provincial cabinet position, not only gives him energy and infrastructure policy experience (important for TO), but significant influence provincially. The Ontario Liberal government still has a powerful majority, so his provincial connections means a better bargaining position for Toronto. The relationship is reciprocal as well, Smitherman will certainly be supportive of McGuinty (his old boss) in implementing his vision for Ontario.


Enlightening, that's all I have to say. Found a quick and easy read about better food choices. It's a special information supplement from the Globe, so it's basically an advertisement that looks news-like but it offers interesting information that shouldn't be discredited due to the medium.

A Healthy, Growing Industry: Organic Foods

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Matt Epp & Bahamas at the Cameron House // Review

Cameron House is a small bar/venue on Queen St that, for it's size, provided the perfect space for an intimate show hosting two lyrical maestros. It was the CD Release for Matt Epp's new album 'Safe or Free' featuring Bahamas as the opening act. Bahamas is Afie Jurvanen, a talented Toronto-based artist, who describes himself as folk rock. From the moment he launched into one of his soft and carefully craft mellow tunes, his strategy for the night was to try shaking the traditional separation of artist and audience opting for a more informal feel. This was accomplished through his funny, yet honest banter. By simply speaking his mind on everything, from his own riffs to the influx of people, we could all share in his thoughts that very moment. His overall approach seemed to fit with the mood of the audience,  from song to song he was able to engage with the audience with seeming ease and confidence, leaving each of us all with at least one funny story to tell. *Someone's phone rang during a break in his singing, and without skipping a beat, stated "...that's a faux pas"* My lasting impression was that it was more so a gathering of friends than a highly-rehearsed set. It fit the music and his personality; it was light and fun.

Matt Epp seem to have a more impassioned approach. A Winnipeg-based acoustic act, Epp calmly demonstrated his wide vocal range and instrumental talent. His stories were charming and heartfelt and so I felt by the end of the show that I somehow got to know Matt on a personal level without having actually speaking one-on-one. As I was leaving, without hesitation, I quickly caught his attention shouting "great show Matt! I really enjoyed it" to which he replied with a surprised but satisfied grin, "thanks so much, man." I feel privileged to have seen such talent on the cusp of what can only be a great future in music.

Both Matt Epp and Bahamas' lyrics, in my opinion, were the highlight of the night. Both artists provided such beautiful imagery to convey emotions that often seem difficult to describe but I felt at home with both Epp and Jurvanen's interpretations. My ability to relate so closely with lyrics is a phenomenon that I haven't felt in a long time and for that, both Matt and Afie, deserve the attention of music lovers everywhere.

This Old House - Matt Epp (feat. Eliza Gilkyson) *mp3 download*

Monday, October 12, 2009

Director of (mis)Communication

I am amazed at the number of enemies that the Conservative government has accumulated over the past few years without reprisal.

Top bureaucrats.

Elections Canada.

National Press Gallery.

Environment Canada.

And the latest being the Parliamentary Budget Office, an government agency created by the Tories themselves.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

just follow the signs and you'll reach your destination.

Monday, August 3, 2009

family gatherings.

A light in the attic.
summertime in the void.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"I got $11,668.05 in less than a month."

Have you seen those ads on facebook claiming to pay out large sums of cash for essentially spending time surfing the net?

Well, its a sham but that certainly no surprise to anyone. I found it hilarious that they used the Government of Canada to legitimize the scam by sticking Harper photoshopped with a government cheque! These guys are relentless because when you click the link it takes you to a "real person's" blog, a regular everyday normal guy (Oh Jon Lajoie). His story is almost convincing! "I work in a pipe factory" (no wonder, it sounds like a pipe dream, lol). "My life was going nowhere then I found a way to make huge sums of CASH for free. Well, almost. Its a $1 to start." Lies already, how could you Richard?

So anyway, I wanted to see just how bad this scam could get and so I investigated further. By simply clicking on the Terms and Conditions, I found some interesting details about this "great opprotunity."

"The initial shipping and handling charge of one dollars and ninety seven cents, includes the google treasure chest kit as well as seven days worth of access to the online directories and training. After seven days, if you choose not to cancel, you will be billed your first monthly membership fee of seventy two dollars and twenty one cents for the membership fee for the membership. Membership fees will be charged to the credit card used by you to complete the transaction. You have also unlocked a fourteen-day trial and twenty one-day trial to the Fraud SafeLockID and GrantSpring for just $19.95 and $14.95 a month thereafter..."

What a great deal! I don't know about you but I'm getting two of them.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A few bands to check out…

So I mentioned on Facebook that I would blog about some of my friend’s bands but in the interest of conserving homework time, I will make one post with links to them all. I am certainly not intimately connected to any particular scene but I happen to know some really cool guys that are making some amazing music. I always love going to friend’s shows because that’s when you really kick it up a notch and have the most fun. Here is a list of bands that you should certainly check out!

The Knockouts 

The Polymorphines


Lost Subject

And for those who like “Grindcore / Down-tempo / Death Metal”…

Decapitated Proletariat

That’s all folks… unless I have egregiously neglected a dear friend in a band that didn’t immediately come to mind. If I have forgotten you, please add your link.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Lack of Communication

You know I was thinking about why many people assumed that the governing party is voted in directly; however, in actual fact, the composition of the House of Commons is based on the the 308 elections in the different ridings in Canada. The reason must have been the lack of communciation technologies and the extreme cost of advertising back in the day that resulted in a large focus being placed on the riding rather than country. People would only know their local MP and would base their vote those grounds as opposed to  nowadays. A well-funded political party can make use a whole host of mediums allowing coverage to be pretty much anywhere peoples' focus and attention may be. That's why a majority of Canadians think that they vote directly for the PM.


The Prime Minister and the Conservative Party of Canada are quite obviously against any notion of a coalition in Canada. Fine. 

But in an interview with the National Post, Harper appeared to actually agree with the premise of a coalition almost as though he wanted one with the Liberal Party.

Ivison: Talking about a more bi-partisan Parliament, what steps are you personally going to take to ensure that? For example, during the election, the idea that the justice package was a matter of confidence — are you in a position now to say that only money bills are measures of confidence, given your focus on the economy?

Harper: I wouldn’t go that far. Obviously the economy is everyone’s number one priority. It would be unwise for a prime minister to say he would narrow the range of confidence measures unilaterally, if the opposition parties would not be prepared to do exactly the same thing. I don’t want to be in a position where I would say only one or two or three things would be confidence while they would get up and say: “we reserve the right to bring forward a motion of confidence on every thing.” I think if we could get together and agree that a narrow range of things would be confidence — that would be useful to the functioning of this Parliament. I haven’t had that kind of discussion with Mr. Ignatieff and that would be a judgment he would have to make. But I do think that Canadians want to see Parliament work. We’ve had three elections in four years. They especially want to see it work when everyone knows jobs and futures are on the line. And I also think they believe that the country’s two major parties, who have been in government, who understand what it means to govern, would exercise some degree of common sense and collaboration and not make outrageous demands that they know one or the other couldn’t possibly meet.

Remember that the coalition agreement that was set between the opposition parties was simply a non-binding contract that outlined key policy priorities that would recieve support on confidence* measures from the coalition members.

Not that this point changes anything but it does show that he is a big hypocrite.

* Confidence or non-confidence is a designation for bills that are proposed in the House of Commons to be voted on. If a bill is a confidence measure (budget bills are) a majority of support must found within the House. In the case of insufficient suppport, the Prime Minister must dissolve parliament by advising the Governer General to call an election (or like last month - a prorogation). Non-confidence does not require the support of the House of Commons.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sounds better than it reads.

Only Joe Biden can get away with this kind of comment.. “We’ve got to begin to stem this bleeding here, and begin to stop the loss of jobs and the creation of jobs.