A belated recap: My Canadian Music Week 2016

I was able to catch quite a lot of live music during the week, and I’m sure I could write about a lot more than I have here, but these truly were the performances that really touched me – or that I was able to stay for long enough to have been touched by them. I know it’s not the first time I’ve admitted that it’s a highlight of my life working for the festival, but it isn’t always awesome shows: I do actually get work done!

My favourites this year:

Lights at Danforth Music Hall

Lights at the Danforth Music Hall | Monday, May 2nd

At this point, I hadn’t been to a show in ages. Ages. I’ve been to small shows, and they have been lovely and intimate but there’s something about attending a show by someone who has been through it all, and has continued to hold on the thing that makes them magical.

It was an acoustic set for almost 1500 people, and you could feel the intimacy in the room all the way at the back of the balcony where I was seated. I am ashamed to admit I haven’t listened to any of her latest stuff but that didn’t stop me from enjoying her incredible talent.

What a delightful way to start my Canadian Music Week experience.

Royal Canoe at Mod Club Theatre

Royal Canoe at Mod Club Theatre | Wednesday, May 4th

I hadn’t planned on staying long, but the route I chose to check-in on my venues for the night made me quite late for my check-in at this venue. I’m so glad it did. I ended up being able to catch Royal Canoe‘s entire set, which was so much fun. I wasn’t that familiar with their music, but it was easy to enjoy.

Definitely a highlight of my week.

The People The Poet at Cameron House | Thursday, May 5th

I tried so hard to make it back to the area from the east end of the city to catch some friends, The Cat & The Queen, playing at The Hideout but I didn’t quite make it. So I thought I would check out The People The Poet at Cameron House. I discovered this band from Ireland while I was investigating international bands, and our potential transformer needs and had penciled in a few of their showcases in case I could catch them.

As a lover of Mumford and Sons, the Head in The Heart and of Monsters and Men, these guys were right up my alley. Would definitely go to see them again if they made their way back to Canada.

Demi Louise at Drake 150

Demi Louise at Drake 150 | Friday, May 6th

I wasn’t able to catch her whole set as i had to get started on my schedule of venue-checks for the evening, but I managed to stay for a couple of songs performed by this gentle-woman. I first met her last year when I advanced the shows at the same venue. She reminds me a lot of Rory from the GIlmore Girls, except that she actually has musical talent1. With a buttery voice, tunes that are funny and serious at the same time it’s hard not to swoon when she starts playing.

Very glad I was able to catch her set, ever-so-briefly.

Motel Raphael at Lee's Palace

Motel Raphaël at Lee’s Palace | Saturday, May 7th

Three years ago, my life was very different, and meeting and working with this band was one memorable experience. I was still Stage Managing. They were gracious, humble, and they rocked. I’m very happy to report that they still rock, and I can only assume they’re every bit as gracious and humble (I wasn’t able to stick around to stay hello – duty called).

I can only hope they keep coming back so I can continue to catch their live shows. So much love for these gals (and their band).

Who did you get to see at Canadian Music Week 2016?

Footnotes:
  1. where Rory did not[]

Earth Hour results

The Toronto Star reports that the target energy consumption in Toronto was reached! Which leads me to think that maybe the target was too low – there is a photo featured on the article page showing the difference in the appearance of the skyline after Earth Hour commenced. But if the target was so easily reached, and there were still so many lights on then I feel like more could have been done. And more importantly that more can be done – I’m certainly going to try my best to conserve energy on a regular basis.

I used to leave my laptop on if I had to leave while I was in the middle of working on something – but I stopped that since I came back from Ireland. It’s strange, but my awareness level was actually greater in Ireland than it has been in a city as big as Toronto.

My Earth Hour experience

My initial take on the night? A disappointment. But I’m waiting to hear back about the decrease in energy consumption from the people who can tell me this sort of information before I completely lose hope in the movement.

The first disappointment of the day (albeit a personal one) came from my brother deciding to stay home at the last minute. My parents and I got down to Nathan Phillips Square just in time to get some free hot chocolate, find a spot where we wouldn’t be trampled on, and where we could hear well enough. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see anything because all the prime spots had been taken by people who had probably been there since 5:00 p.m. But it didn’t matter, there was quite a good buzz around the place and we were content enough with being able to hear well. Then came the second disappointment of the day when I realised that I had left my digital camera at home, and that Dad hadn’t packed the flash for his 35mm SLR. (You may have noticed the lack of photographs in this post.) Crap!

Close to 8:00 p.m., they started the 10 second countdown… but the excitement didn’t last long. Nothing happened when we reached the elusive climax. The BMO building didn’t even turn off all their lights even after they started to (a few minutes after our countdown). But what was most disappointing was how many lights we saw lit on the drive home. We saw far too many unnecessary lights on for Earth Hour; billboard lights, neon signs at closed stores, bright fluorescent lights at close stores, classroom lights at Ryerson, the list would go on… but I’m going to stop there. Strikes three and four!

We only stayed for Nelly Furtado, and the Philosopher Kings because I didn’t have any particular interest in the other artists and we were all pretty cold. Nelly performed Turn off the Light, said a few words and quickly passed the torch to the Philosopher Kings. They sang three of my favourite songs and a few minutes after the next act started, we decided to head home to beat traffic.

It didn’t move me as much as I was hoping it would, but always the one to hope against hope I just know in my gut that I’m just not seeing the difference that has been made because I never took notice before of just how many lights are always on in this city. Just because it didn’t fit the picture in my mind of how Earth Hour is going to look, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful – after all, you can’t expect things to change overnight.

On a side note, I had a great time with my parents so I’m really glad we did this and I’m glad we’re going to go out and watch Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hear’s a Who tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m going to leave off here for now… thanks to everyone for their supportive words about work. My elaborative post is coming, I just want a few days to mull over things and really get my thoughts together.

How was your Earth Hour experience?

Earth Hour latest: Nelly Furtado free concert

I’m really glad that so many of you are joining me this Saturday in turning off your lights, but I have more news. Today’s edition of the Toronto Star had an entire section on this Saturday’s upcoming global event, Earth Hour, and the section highlighted several (mostly free) events & activities taking place during this remarkable hour. One of them, is a free, acoustic concert by Nelly Furtado (Singer of I’m like a bird, Promiscuous ft. Timbaland, and Turn off the Light). Now, I’m not a huge fan of hers, but The Philosopher Kings (who you may or may not have heard of) are also going to be there. And them, I love!

The concert is being held at Nathan Philipps Square and while it isn’t going completely unplugged for the concert, power will be supplied by Bullfrog Power (uses emission-free sources like wind and water). They’re encouraging people to take transit too. And to bring mugs since they’re providing plenty of hot chocolate!

It will be a challenge for me to go via transit because I don’t live close to a line, but I’m going to try my best. Also, I have to work at 5:30 that morning, and I’m going to be very tired which makes me colder than normal. It’s not that I’m not willing… it’s that I’ll be alone as well so it won’t be that easy to go via transit, by myself, in the cold. So if it turns out to be really cold that day I’m going to end up taking my car. My guilt-easing spiel is that I drive a Toyota Yaris, and it was listed in another section of today’s Toronto Star as being efficient (is that the right word?) on fuel consumption. Also, if anyone lives in the Scarborough area (this only applies to people on facebook that are reading this, because I’m afraid I’m just not trusting enough) and would like to carpool to this free concert, I would be more than happy to take you along! Just message me and we can work out the details.

Have you signed up yet? Hurry up! It’s tomorrow night! What are you waiting for?

Photo courtesy of the Toronto Star