Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Review: Metric "Synthetica"

Image: Wikipedia
As many of my friends know, I am a huge Metric fan. Since I first experienced their live show back in 2005, I have been hooked. There I was, watching, mesmerized by this intense, petite blonde singer. She was kicking ass on stage and I loved every minute of it. That was the moment that I fell in love with Metric. Since then, I have seen them live about 6 or 7 times. I will also be seeing them twice this summer, which is exciting.

On June 12, Metric released their fifth album entitled "Synthetica". The album starts off strong, with "Artificial Nocturne." Haines sings "I'm just as fucked up as they say..." and will send a chill down your spine. Their first single "Youth Without Youth" is quite catchy and will definitely become an indie summer anthem. The album contains many strong songs that can definitely stand on their own but that work very well together.

Overall, this album definitely includes more synthesizer than the last album "Fantasies", especially with tracks like "Dreams So Real".  The overall sound of the ablum is reminiscent of their "Live it Out" days, which is one of my favourite albums of all time. My favourite track on the album so far is "Speed the Collapse". I can't wait to dance to that song at their shows this summer!

This is a really strong album for Metric, showcasing their evolution while remaining true to the original Metric sound. Hardcore fans will be pleased. Besides, Metric can do no wrong in my eyes.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Review: Foster the People @ Canal Lachine

Last Tuesday, I traveled with my girlfriends and headed to Montreal. We were beyond excited to see Foster the People in concert. With opening acts like Kimbra and Tokyo Police Club, this show was bound to be a good one.

The show took place at the Canal Lachine, which is a National Historic Site managed under Parks Canada. Although I've seen tons of shows in Montreal, this "venue" was very new to me. The show was held outdoors, on the side of the canal. Our tickets indicated that the show was rain or shine, which turned out to be a good thing.

Tuesday was a rainy day. It rained all day and all evening. Despite the rain, my friends and I were excited to get to the show.

I am usually not a fan of opening acts. Although I am often pleasantly surprised by them, I am never genuinely excited to see an opening act, especially when I'm really excited about the main act. However, in this case, I got my hands on Kimbra's album and I was quite excited to see her live. Unfortunately, by the time we got to Canal Lachine, Kimbra's set had ended.

When we arrived, Tokyo Police Club had started their set. They played many songs from their latest album "Champ", which is a great album. They even played one or two new songs. Having seen Tokyo Police Club before, I believe it was definitely not their best performance. Also, the rain definitely did not help.

After Tokyo Police Club ended their set, the rain stopped and Foster the People took the stage 30 minutes later. You could feel the excitement in the air. Foster the People started strong with "Miss You" and played hit after hit from their debut album "Torches".  They even played two new songs, and invited Kimbra on stage to sing her single "Warrior" with Mark Foster. Their encore included a new song, started off with Mark Foster solo on the keyboards then he was joined by the rest of the band. And, as I suspected, the show ended with "Pumped up Kicks", with the crowd singing loudly. The song was prolonged with musical breaks and some dubstep interpretation, which brought the popular song to another level. By far my favourite of the evening!

Their stage set-up was fun, with lots of bright colours, and crazy designs. This definitely set the tone for the show. The band members had lots of energy and seemed to genuinely have a good time. Mark Foster explained that they have been touring non-stop for sixteen months. Despite this long touring schedule, the boys seemed to still enjoy what they do.

I must commend Evenko on their organization of this event. Every set started exactly on time, as outlined on Twitter. In my opinion, the location choice was good, despite the weather and distance from the general downtown area.

Although there wasn't a larger number of people in attendance (possibly due to the weather), the show was great and definitely worth the trip to Montreal. 

Here's a video of their first song:

Friday, 8 June 2012

Something to Look Forward to

I don't know about anyone else, but I am beyond excited about this summer. There is so much happening in the next few months and I cannot wait. Festivals, concerts... and more festivals!!!!!!

Here's a sneak preview of my summer line-up:

June 12th Foster the People, Tokyo Police Club, Kimbra
June 15th Radiohead
June 14th-24th Ottawa Fringe Festival 
July 4th-15th RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest (including Tiesto, AWOL Nation, Dragonette, Plants & Animals, David Gray, Alice Cooper, MSTKF, Thievery Corporation, Sam Roberts Band, Sheepdogs, Skrillex, the Weeknd & Metric)
August 5th Osheaga (including Metric, the Shins, Bloc Party, Austra, M83, Passion Pit, Woodkid, Santogold & more)
September 6th-10th Ottawa Folk Festival (including Matthew Good, Ben Harper, Great Lake Swimmers, Wintersleep, Timber Timbre, Dan Mangan & Bon Iver)

Safe to say that I am lucky enough to be catching amazing shows this summer. The craziness begins next week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Doors Open

Doors Open OttawaThis past week-end, I participated in Doors Open Ottawa. Almost 130 buildings in the Ottawa area were open for the public during the week-end.
Having lived in Ottawa almost ten years, I am beyond surprised that I have never participated in Doors Open before. I love going to special events and this one has a really interesting concept. According to the City of Ottawa website, Doors Open has been going on for about ten years. Many of the buildings involved are not usually open to the public, which is why this week-end is so special (and popular). Many other big cities in the country offer a Doors Open as well. Safe to say, I am really happy that I went... and from now on, I plan on participating every year.
Photo: Canadian Guide Dogs for
the Blind

First, we headed to Manotick and visited the National Training Centre of the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. As a huge dog lover, I was really excited to see the facilities, and of course, the dogs! Not surprisingly, many other people had the same idea. There were TONS of people there. All the tours were booked and line-ups were forming around the building. So we just walked around the facilities, visited the kennel and saw some of the dogs.

Then we headed to Carp and went to the Canadian Space Services. It was really cool, seeing this huge dome that shields a satellite antenna.
Photo: Canadian Space Services

Finally, since we were in the Carp area, we dropped by the Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum. Although I had been there before, I was really excited. I love and appreciate museums. This museum, in my opinion, is a secret jewel in the area. This place is filled with history, and it makes for a very interesting exhibition space. There were many small exhibitions in many small rooms. Gaston and I probably visited every room in the entire museum (except the bottom floor, seeing as it was closed off to the public). It was a very fun visit and I'm happy that Gaston was finally able to see the museum.
Photo: Diefenbunker, Canada’s
Cold War Museum

A few things to remember for next year:
- Plan ahead. Most of the places involved in Doors Open are not usually open to the public.
- Expect line-ups and lots of people.
- Make educated choices. It's impossible to visit 130 buildings in two days. However, look at your interests and see what's available. If some of these places are never open to the public, then it's definitely worth going during Doors Open. Also, check if you can book a tour or make reservations in advance.

See you next year!