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*