elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean LM dance)
Hey look, it's another really long post. I'll cut the concert stuff when I get there :)

So yesterday was the second day of Slean concerts AND the day when Andrea and I put together the card for the Passioneer Holiday Project. Which means that Andrea spends a day being very arts and crafty and I spend a day helping when I can and not getting in the way the rest of the time ;) We ended up having 30 people participating this year. I was thrilled as it looked like we weren't going ot break 10 for a while there which was freaking me out. But it ended up better than well and the card looked amazing when it was finished :)

All was done on time and we made it to the venue in excellent time to meet up with lots of people before the show.

And on to the lengthy concert stuff:

Tim Baker (opening act) )

Sarah Slean )
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean sailing on a sunrise)
Last night was the first of Sarah's annual Harbourfront shows. I have no love for the venue but I do adore seeing Sarah play live and last night was a fantastic show!

All of yesterday was good. I only had a 1/2 day at work. Then I made my way up to the CNIB to visit Mel and Todd and to get my camera and DVDs which I'd forgotten at their house.

Then Andrea made her way to my place and we did a Christmas gift exchange and OMG she got me such an awesome gift. A graphic novel of Haunted Mansion stories from Disney World. Two of the authors are Roman Dirge and Serena Valentino so you know it's good :) I read through it this morning and love it!

On our way to the concert we met up with Leanne (who we lost after the show but if you come by this review, hi Leanne) who we'd actually met at the first of these concerts 2 years ago and had given her a ticket to move up a few rows in the orchestra becase we had an extra. Usher who hated me didn't like that game as I remember it. Apparently good deeds weren't cool by her. But how fun is it that we met the same person again!?

Heads up, Warner is handing out fun little cards promoting the new album and that you can download Get Home on Sarah's webpage. I noticed that there were extras on the merch table so if you miss out getting one in the lobby then head for the table :) I was surprised at the degree that Warner is actually promoting Sarah this time around. I've never seen this much effort from them before. Which reminds me, for those of you on Facebook someone from Warner asked me to let people know that Sarah now has an official Facebook group. Type in "Sarah Slean" in the search bar and her official one is the first one that pops up. I'm a co-moderator on the second one that shows up, Passioneers (totally unoffical) join that too :)

The opening act was Tim Baker from the band Hey Rosetta, He was quite good, I'd be interested in seeing his whole band perform to see what the total sound is like. However solo he held up really well despite the fact that Hfront has possibly the worst mics ever. The main one kept shorting out unless the wire was in a certain position. Touch the mic and it died. Not the most fun game ever.

Then we had intermission and then the highlight of the night, the fabulous Sarah Slean!

Review and setlist are under the cut )
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean LM dance)
As I posted earlier today my brother took me to the Royal Wood concert tonight. *sigh* that man (Royal) is amazing. I don't think I've met a single person who does not find him handsome, even my straight male friends had to agree on that one. So already it was going to be a great night. Then I'm chatting away with my brother and randomly see Kevin Fox walk by (not so randomly actually as he played in the show... and as he's generally at at least half of the shows I go to in TO lol) but I made a note of it because both Kat and Andrea would be amused to know it :)

Then I was back to chatting away and I hear a familiar voice, turn around and it's Sarah Slean :) This is extra odd because I was having a dream last night just before I woke up that I was at a concert of hers and was chatting with her about something. So *yay* surprise Sarah :) I said a quick hello and introduced my brother and apparently we look alike.. I still don't see it lol.

The concert itself was fabulous. I really must buy his albums. Not only was it just fabulous in general but I had a special highlight. Royal Wood had the audience harmonize to one of his songs... I'm not sure what it's called.... "there's no place like home" (does anyone see where this is going?) So we're harmonizing away and he sung a verse from Somewhere Over the Rainbow! So for me, who requests Sarah sing that song ALL OF THE TIME, I got about as close to that request as I think I ever will, and way closer than I ever expected to get since I was sitting about a row over form her singing along to the song. It was a happy fangirl moment :)

Anyways now I'm high on music. Royal Wood put on a show you could just soar to, fantastic! And I have to manage to get some decent amount of sleep today so I can survive work tomorrow. Goodnight all!

***ETA*** I found the song that Somewhere Over The Rainbow was worked into. lyrics behind the cut )
elizalavelle: (TCP AV cover)
It's only 7:30am, I went to sleep sometime after 2, not sure when.... and I'm awake and can't sleep.

Oh RENT surprise I'm teasing you all with will be a bit late, tecnical difficulties :S But I think Monday night it should all be a go :)

Last night I went out to a concert, the perfect thing after a HIGH stress day at work. I saw Tamara Podemski and Lucie Idlout and there was a new comer who played in between their sets but I didn't catch his name.

On to the night! )
elizalavelle: (Sarah Slean spin gallery Eye)
I have spent the last two nights seeing the Art of Time Ensemble Schubert: Source & Inspiration at Harbourfront featuring performances by: Andy Maize, John Southworth, Sarah Slean, Danny Michel and Martin Tielli. I think the only downside to going two nights in a row is that I end up in somewhat of a pattern and will wonder why I'm not there again tonight lol.

Just Andrea and I went on Thursday because we are just that silly to buy tickets for two nights in a row, and we had no clue really of what to expect other than we liked a few of the singers, vaguely knew the Schubert piece of music (now I think I want to buy some of his work it was very beautiful!) and figured it would be entertaining to say the least.

The show began with the Art of Time Ensemble which consists of Andrew Burashko (piano), Erika Raum (violin), and Winona Zelenka (cello). They played Trio No. 2 Op. 100, D 929: Allegro, Andante con moto, Scherzo - Allergro Moderato, Allegro moderato. Simply stunning. I don't go to see a lot of classical music be played and everytime I do I'm just blown away. These three musicians are just so talented and I was just enthralled both nights. Loved it! I felt badly because the first night I suppose it wasn't such a classical music crowd so between the movements no one clapped and I presume most everyone was sitting there like me thinking it felt like a moment to clap but just not wanting to screw up the wonderful music that was going on. Friday there was much clapping, all was well :)

Then there was an intermission and after that came the musicians who'd used the Schubert piece as inspiration for some original songs.

Andy Maize was definitely my unknown (to me) treat of the night. I don't believe I'd heard him perform before and he came up with some lovely songs. His second song, 'City of Sirens' was one I particularly fell in love with. I hope the performers record these new songs, some of them were just fantastic!

John Southworth (who, dear readers, you may remember me mentioning as he opened for Sarah one night in December) he for me is always a little hit or miss. Very experimental performer which is always interesting but I know I was not as impressed as I'd expected to be back in December. For this show his first song (which I think is called 'Mourning in the Morning") was delightful. Everyone spent the rest of the evening comparing him to Johnny Depp and while I couldn't see as much Depp as people were going for what I think they were getting at was that it was very much a Depp directed by Tim Burton performance. His second song ('Zulu') I just wasn't feeling as much, it was very original and actually the second night when I knew it was coming I found that I liked it better. At any rate I think I'm going to look into some more of his music because he is fantastically talented, just some of it so far hasn't worked for me, I'll keep trying.

Sarah Slean, for whom we'd bought tickets way back in October to these shows, had two very lovely songs. Both nights the string players who accompanied her were placed so it was somewhat tricky to actually see Sarah but that doesn't really take away from getting to hear two new songs. Her songs were called 'Lonely Side of the Moon' which was written about how mother earth is striking back at humanity somewhat and how if we wreck the world we can always go live on the lonely side of the moon. As that's something I tend to keep ranting on and on about (not the living on the moon but about how these random disasters aren't actually random and it's just the earth's way of evening things out) I was delighted with this one. The second song was called 'The Rose' and was about dying and it was just beautiful and sad and strong. Two really good solid songs.

Danny Michel was very entertaining. He won over the audience right away, and I have to say I always do enjoy seeing him up on stage. He performed one song to which I do not remember the title but it was about a love story in Guatamala and his second number was called 'Rye Whisky.' Before any Danny Michel fans stumble by this to inform me that that is not a new song, even I knew that! He told the story about the poem which comprise the lyrics and I was sitting there on Thursday thinking "boy does this sound familiar" and then he played the song and I've only seen him perform 3 times I think and I've totally seen him play that song before. Which I called him on on Friday before the show and he said that the music for it is all new, which in fairness it completely is, I paid close attention to it on Friday night and you can pick out the Shubert insipiration.

Martin Tielli wrapped up the evening and he was such an interesting performer to watch. He's very much someone who just gets out there and when he's playing he seems to be completely wrapped up in the music and unaware that he's also putting on a show... but he is theatrical with it at the same time... which doesn't make much sense when I write it down, just go see him, it was great. I can only remember the name of one of the songs 'Aluminum Flies' ("as in the things that lay eggs on rotting corpses") but both of his songs were just great fun to hear.

All in all it was a fantastic pair of nights full of songs. The second night I was particually aware of how every piano player completely handles the instrument differently, which I'm sure also translates to other performers with other instruments but as I only really know how to play the piano (somewhat) that's what I noticed.

Also on Friday Andrea and I were invited to go to an art show opening that Kate Jackson (one of Sarah's friends who was at the Thursday show - which is how we got invited) was a part of. I have to recommend this one. It's at the York Quay Centre and it's their Spring Exhibitions so there are so many different types of amazing artwork there to see. My favourites of the night were: Kate Jackson & Suzanne Carlsen 'Last Night I Dreamt I Was'. No, not because it's Sarah's friend and therefore I was somewhat obligated to like it, but because it was just a delightful series of pieces of art. I loved how it was displayed, you peer through cut outs to see these vibrant moments from dreams. They captured a whole mood with their art. Also Jennifer Long's 'Immigration Series' because the whole idea behind the photoshoot was so powerful and again you just walked into a whole mood there. Heather Goodchild who had a lovely dark fairytale feeling to her artwork (clearly I was going to like that!) There was also a whole series of different art using the medium of film in one way or another and the one that particularly stood out to me was one that was mounted around an old Catholic sick bed kit type of thing. It was a box that came with the holy water and candles and candle holders etc and the instructions for what would happen when the priest came and what you should have prepared and what then would be done, just very interesting to see that and to have that bit of history contrasted with film running over it. Hard to explain. Instead you can click the link for more info and head over to the show :)

I invited Jo to come to the art show opening with us and she made it and while there I convinced her to come see Sarah perform in May with us :) *yay* much fun!

And I think this is plenty long enough for now!
elizalavelle: (Little Mermaid - tiny squee Flounder)
Last night Jo and I went out to see Karen Le Blanc sing at the Gladstone Hotel. I quite enjoy that venue. It occurred to me that I was there for Valentines Day last year and at last nights show there were many references made to Valentines day even though it was a couple of days off. I’ve decided it counts. Hmm random tradition by coincidence.

I greatly overestimated how long it would take for me to arrive from the West End so I decided I’d just go on to HMV to kill some time and buy a Farscape DVD (I wanted the ‘A Human Reaction’ episode) but when I got there they just had 2 from season 3 and one from season 4 so I passed on that and headed back to the hotel.

The venue was packed, I’m glad it’s not too huge because Jo and I were able to stand near the back and see perfectly J Karen LeBlanc is fabulous! How smoking for years and years has not hurt her voice is beyond me but she still has this amazingly powerful beautiful voice. Lucky woman! It was a Cabaret night so she just performed two songs. A stunning cover of ‘At Last’ and a cover which I believe was called Can't Live Without You (she said Mary J. Blidge had sung it at the Grammy's last weekend, anyways it was marvellous as well. She was also funny and chatty with the audience. This of course amused me a lot because I was so young when I was seeing RENT and I was SO intimidated by Karen, now it’s fun to see a little bit of who this person is.

The Cabaret was hosted by Sharron Matthews who is just so talented and funny! I would absolutely go to another one of her events. She did a Dirty Dancing number which was very amusing, and had trivia. Is it a bad thing when that entire movie appears to be permanently installed in ones brain?

The other performer was Kyle Golemba who looked like a young Brad Pitt, so no complaints there ;) Again, very talented and fun.

Another night of seeing the fabulous talent in this city and wondering how these people are not all fabulously famous yet!

Oh we also ran into Tamara Podemski and Tricia Young (both Canadian RENT cast alumni) and chatted for a bit. It was nice to be able to say goodbye to Tamara before she heads out to LA. It’s a very bizarre feeling standing around waiting to talk to old RENT cast members. Falling back 9 years in time LOL

Today was a little rough. Drinking on a work night is never a good plan. But it’s always a fun plan at the time ;) I didn’t drink enough to be hungover but I felt a little spacy for the morning.
elizalavelle: (BtVS - WML1 gotta get inside)
Today I went with Neal to go see Shaye perform at Winterfest... which meant outside in Nathan Phillips Square. I so wanted to see them play again, and then I promised Neal I'd go and didn't want to go back on that... so I braved the cold. I have had enough cold in the last two days to last me for at least a month! However Shaye are awesome, I shall be buying their new album :) Not only are they amazingly talented musicians but inbetween songs they're full of stories and jokes :) I enjoyed myself thoroughly the entire time. By the end of their set my legs and feet were in a TON of pain so Neal was great and didn't wait around to see if he could say hello to them, we went for coffee instead.

I'm about to crash, I was up early this morning and haven't stopped all day. Tomorrow shall be a much needed day of sloth (aside from grocery shopping) and I'll look forward to spending a day reading, watching television, and playing around on the computer. Just what I need :)
elizalavelle: (Black Widow cameo end)
*squee*

Already such a good weekend! I went to my parents place last night (which did take forever, the TTC is not so good this weekend) and had a lovely home cooked meal, got to see Hocus Pocus on tv and generally had a nice relaxing evening. Then today I picked up the finishing touches for my halloween costume, bought Pillsbury cookies for my work party on Tuesday, and totally behaved myself and didn't buy lots of extra crap. So when my brother suggested a Value Villiage trip I figured I could go quickly and see if there was anything really fun there.

So I'm browsing through their CD section and what first caught my eye was Kristen Bell-Murray's cd. She's a friend of Nomi's so I thought I should give that one a good home. Then I'm looking more and saw a Cheap Suits cd, much fun as I'd seen then in highschool and always regretted not picking up the cd. Alas it was not to be because the case was empty (I hate that.) I decided to try my luck searching through the shelves to see if anyone just took the cd out and left it lying around or on another case... and came across some comedy duo's case which was missing the front cover, "aha" I think, something could be in here. So I pulled it off of the top of the shelf and peeked in to see a copy of the Black Widow DVD! This is the movie Sarah Slean was in last winter which, as of yet, is not out on DVD at all. Much joy and running around the store ensued :)

I just did a quick look over the disc and it appears to be working just fine, I'm having a fabulously happy fangirl moment, I know what my Sunday viewing is consisting of :)
elizalavelle: (TCP AV cover)
I went last night to The Beat show at The Horseshoe to see Tamara Podemski sing. Once again I was totally nervous, which was then compounded when I realized that much of her family was standing beside Nomi and I for a while. I actually think I saw this girl who would have been just a kid who I almost ran into (literally) after Tamara's last show in Toronto many years ago. Bizarre.

Let's go back to the beginning of the evening, some random creepy guy followed Nomi and I in from the bar to the back part where the show was happening. He would not shut up, and would not stop asking Naomi out. She shot him down about 6 times in a row and then it just got really creepy and I made her switch seats with me because she's just far too friendly whereas I can be a total bitch when needed. So I pulled out that attitude, told him off and he quickly departed. Just as well since he wasn't there for the show at all just there stalking Nomi. Creepy like woah. Which leads me into the rant of why do men think that persistance like that will work? Hullo, clearly you just get more creepy the longer you try to give your buisness card or ask for phone numbers repeatedly or try to make a date for the next night. If someone continually says no to you then the answer is no, move on to someone else.

Once he was gone that was far better, at least no one was around to yammer in our ears while Tamara played. Her set was really good, only 7 songs this time but it was a solid set and it was cute to see all of her audience interaction as she had her family out there :) After the show Naomi went to get her CD signed and was very pleased with that. I took my time getting brave enough to go say hi, which I don't know why I still do because Tamara is always so kind to me when I see her. Last night was no exception :) We chatted a bit as she got ready to leave and then Nomi and I bailed as well because we both were tired (I swear I've gotten old somehow in the past few years lol)

We actually ended up on the same streetcar with these students from Humber who think they are comedians but who really just aren't funny at all. We've ridden with them before, it's an annoying ride. This time at least we knew enough to sit as far out of hearing range as we could manage lol.
elizalavelle: (LM night sky)
Now I almost forgot to write about the AIDS benefit show that we went to on Friday night. Nancy (whom I know of through Sarah Slean concerts) put it together and sang and did a fabulous job at both! I'm always blown away when I find out people who I know are greatly talented, and Nancy is a great singer! A great start to our night.

Lindi was also performing and she was the reason we decided to go, I quite like her performances. There was also a singer named Emma-Lee who was really good, oh and the surprise greatness of the night was a singer named Alexandra Slate who when she took the stage reminded me of what Lilly Kane would look like had she decided to be a singer but then she (Alexandra) started to sing and she's seriously amazing. Her brother also performed (Gavin Slate) and it turns out that he goes to school with my brother, small small world. And the closing band was No Stone who were so good! I love our TO talent.

And not only was it a super fun musical night but we also ran into Cam who I'd not seen in forever (and good thing too since the show ran late and he was able to get Joel back home) and we saw Nic and Miguel who I haven't seen much of lately either (all my own fault.) We also got free handcuffs and fingercuffs from the movie Bon Cop Bad Cop which are always fun :D

Oh and lest I forget we had an awesome veggie dinner at Kensington Market with Neal :)

AND Saturday I spent wayyyyyy too much money at Vortex, BMV and Sugar Mountain (SM had a Wizard of Oz wastebasket and we needed one for the bathroom and I couldn't resist it!) AND we also went to see PotC 2 again. It's almost cleared a billion dollars this summer, I think it'll make it before the summer is out. Dell and her friend Anna hadn't seen it yet so they got to go for the first time :) Always fun!
elizalavelle: (Heathers change your world)
Well today was fun :) As I was looking through my DVDs to find one to bring to Nicole's house I stumbled across the Kathleen Edwards cd Back To Me which I did not know that I had but it must have been in one of the bunches of cds that my dad brough home, so yay, fun streetcar listening material. So my newfound music and I went downtown and met up with Nic and then we went and bought our tickets to tonight's Ember Swift show and I managed to not buy a DVD while in Sunrise, this is impressive for me lol.

Then we went for coffee and then a trip to the art store where I picked up a fun indipendant comic called retales hehe tales of the retail world. Clearly it's going to be amusing.

Then we picked up dinner (mmmm sushi) and went back to Nic's place and watched Saved! because that movie is just endlessly amusing. And Macaulay Culkin grew on her too, clearly that was a great role choice for him.

Then onto the Ember Swift show which was SO great! I saw her play.... last summer I think it was.... it was still warm out whenever it was... anyways it was a while ago. I remembered it being an awesome show but not much beyond that. This second show reinforces that awesomeness. Live she and her band are just so amazing. If you ever see that she's touring near to you (and people in the US, she goes there a LOT) it's totally worth it to check her out. For now check out emberswift.com. Her new album is called The Dirty Pulse and I just started to listen to it on my streetcar ride home (which was super fast randomly, like less time to come across town than to walk home from the streetcar stop!) and I think it really captures a lot of what comes through live. Initially I'd give it an 8/10, saving those extra two points for the live show, because no matter how much you rock in the studio, if you perform really well live the live show is always better.

And once again the Canadian music scene is such a small world! We saw Michael Shipley there who we did the postering promotion with back in December... and also Tod who did the sound for Sarah Slean on her last tour.... and there must have been two sound guys working because Ember Swift thanked "Doug" the sound guy which was momentarily highly confusing.


and as a follow up to that random thing I said a few days ago about crossing a big item off of my list of things to do before I turned 25... it was sending an email out that I should have sent ages ago.... and all backstory aside, I got my response today and it was 100% better than I'd been afraid of getting. I'm a little in shock but the good kind.


and I was going to leave you with Ember Swift lyrics but I'll save that post for tomorrow...

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Elizabeth Jamieson

January 2013

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