Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Get Off The Couch! Celebrating With Couch Assassin

Originally published on Couch Assassin.

This Saturday get off the couch and come celebrate with Couch Assassin! On October 13th, Mercury Lounge will be showcasing some of Ottawa's best talent.

Couch Assassin began as an idea by Lisa Zimmerman back in 2009. Having moved to Ottawa from New Zealand, Lisa was looking for fun things to do but found it was challenging to find out what was happening in Ottawa. She decided to do something about it and created a spreadsheet with event information that she shared with a group of friends. "One of my friends suggested I turn my spreadsheet into a blog," says Lisa. She then designed an amateur website and began posting event listings of online.

Lisa was connected with Daniel Spence through a mutual friend. For years Daniel had wanted to do something similar, but couldn't find the right collaborators and knew he wouldn't be able to maintain such an ambitious project on his own. He jumped at the opportunity to partner with Lisa to create a more full-featured Couch Assassin. “Planning a Friday night used to involve visiting 15 different websites," said Daniel. "We decided to fix that and build a resource for the whole community.” Daniel built and designed a more sophisticated version of the website which was launched in January 2011. Since then the website has seen many changes and new features added, including the local artist directory and a blog focused on previewing upcoming events and showcasing local talent. Couch Assassin is also fully mobile-enabled, automatically adjusting to fit smartphone and tablet screens with no need to download a special app.

Couch Assassin offers a user-friendly event calendar, with daily listings organized by genre. The artist directory is a great tool that allows local artists to find each other to set up shows or collaborations, and that helps non-artists discover some of the creativity on offer in Ottawa.

Although the website first went online in 2010, Couch Assassin is finally ready to throw its launch party and let Ottawa know that it's here to get people off the couch. "We decided that now was a good time to throw a launch party, since our team of contributors has grown," explained Lisa. "This party is a great opportunity to spread the word about Couch Assassin, but also to discover and support great local talent."

"It's also our way of inviting everyone to participate in this project with us," said Daniel. "All Couch Assassins are volunteers with a passion for having fun in Ottawa, and we want to involve other like-minded writers, promoters and event organizers to help build an even more dynamic and exciting arts and cultural scene."

This weekend's Couch Assassin party will feature live performances by local artists and musicians, including Dynamite Motel and Loon Choir. One of Ottawa's most exciting female vocalists, Dynamite Motel is a fusion of Blues Classics and Jazz favourites with original songwriting. Dynamite Motel is an anagram for Mindy Amelotte, one of the newest members of the Ottawa music scene. Ottawa's Loon Choir are a seven piece indie-rock/art-pop band whose unique sound and energetic live set has generated growing acclaim. The group has had a busy summer, touring in support of their new record Fire Poems. The band has been gaining momentum from performances at NXNE, JunoFest, Ottawa's Bluesfest and POP Montreal.

Spoken word artist John Akpata will also perform poetry at the event. DJ Magnificent will be entertaining the crowd with his beats throughout the evening. In addition, there will be live art by Adam Fraser Davidson.

On Saturday, be sure to stop by the Mercury Lounge between 8 and 11 and check out an amazing line up of local musicians and artists. You won't be disappointed!

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