Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cabaret for a Cure

The Queens Law Cancer Society once again held the Cabaret for a Cure. The Cabaret is a fun event where Queen's Law students perform dance routines choreographed by Queen's law students. There's also be a raffle at the event with several amazing prizes! All money raised from the event goes to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Yes, the above was basically ripped from the LSS newsletter. So, with the formalities out of the way, here are some pics!

Seven routines for eight bucks, including an arm length of raffle tickets for $10. Stages, the club, was Stages. There's a reason I hadn't stepped been there for 8 years. Actually, there are probably many reasons, but you know what I mean... 

Mark, a natural MC.

Rock that shit like it was Nav Can vs. the GFAA, moot partner!

Good turnout... including a packed second level. 

So, shooting indoors in varying lights may have finally convinced me to shoot RAW images, cuz the exposures were just impossible to judge from moment to moment... 

Chicks love props!

And the chicks apparently liked this too.. 
First Julia sighting!.. Take a good look, cuz she tries to disappear later... 

Exhibit A.

And B... awesome. 

That tie is disgusting. 

So, so awesome. 

Also awesome.

Beata getting her moves down for an India exchange.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your future lawyers of Canada! And all for unquestionably a great cause

Yup. Solid night. And relatively short too. Got home, and still had time for Albert to introduce me to Tower of Power (So they're playing 4 consecutive nights in Tokyo, and another 4 nights in Seattle.  Then they come to Ontario, and play: Ottawa, Kingston, Oakville, Chatham, Mississauga, St. Catherine's, and Markham; we're going to see them April 2nd at the Grand.) His suggested listening tracks: 

Mid tempo:
Mid tempo 2:
Down tempo cover:

We also discussed, amongst other things, Victor Wooten,

Bela Fleck,

and some amazing ragtime improvisation.

Oh, and this duo...

... who are two are Julliard grads that now just book gigs as a classical piano duo doing all sorts of crazy arrangements.

Yup. Solid Tuesday night.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Plaskett at the Dakota tonight?

Cuff the Duke Tweet:
I'm playing the Dakota tonight with my solo band the Thieves! Peter Elkas is playing as well. There will also be a surprise guest.


Joel Plaskett Blog post:
Posted on March 7th, 2011

Hey Upper Canadians,
The van is packed and on its way to Ontario. See you at Peter Elkas’ residency tomorrow night at the Dakota in Toronto. Might even sing a few songs.
Meaford on Wednesday and away we roll.



Photo by lucky bastard Jesse.


Apocalyptica was formed in 1993 when four cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen gathered to play Metallica covers at Sibelius Academy. In 1996, Apocalyptica released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which consisted solely of Metallica covers played on cellos.

This is AWESOME.

Thanks Albert!


This is ripped (and edited) from the Wikipedia entry, but I thought it was of interest today.

International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on March 8 every year.

Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and St Valentine's Day.

The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

An 'International Women's Day' was established. It was suggested by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified. The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on March 19.In the West, International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.


The day is an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia.

In many countries, such as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, the custom of giving women flowers still prevails. Women also sometimes get gifts from their employers. Schoolchildren often bring gifts for their teachers, too.


Clara Cetkin 1857 -1933) was an influential socialist German politician and a fighter for women's rights.

Because of the ban placed on socialist activity in Germany by Bismarck in 1878, Zetkin left for Zurich in 1882 then went into exile in Paris. During her time in Paris she played an important role in the foundation of the Socialist International socialist group. She also adopted the name of her lover, the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, with whom she had two sons, Kostja and Maxim. Ossip Zetkin died in 1889. Later, Zetkin was married to the artist Georg Friedrich Zundel, eighteen years her junior, from 1899 until their breakup in 1928.

When Adolf Hitler took over power, Zetkin went into exile ... in the Soviet Union. She died there near Moscow, in 1933, aged nearly 76. She was buried by the wall of the Kremlin in Moscow.

Zetkin was memorialized on the ten mark banknote of the now-defunct German Democratic Republic (GDR).


Anyway, Happy International Women's Day!

New Sloan Album

New Sloan Album coming out on May 10th, The Double Cross. This is their 10th studio album over a 20 year period. Wow. Has it really been that long since 1991?

Here's the first single, "Follow the Leader".

(I'm totally not sure how to do this... if that link doesn't work, go here)
Sounds pretty good, eh? Chris Murphy song, pop, Beatles-like, more Navy Blues (totally underrated album) than the recent "heavier" (read: non-melodic) stuff. Actually, that's not totally true. I rather enjoyed Parallel Play, but thought Never Hear The End Of It (their double album) overrated overall and totally hit and miss, mostly miss.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of Sloan at the Dakota. Did I tell you the story of when I stationary cycled next to Chris Murphy?...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ottawa, Montreal, and Reading Week

Reading week came by and I had this plan to get to Ottawa, and more specifically to skate the Rideau Canal, cuz I never have, and I figured I should at some point. Yes, been to Ottawa a few times, and it's a great city for getting out and about in, but never had the opportunity until now to actually get on the Rideau and experience the last weekend of Winterlude.

So, checked the weekend before for skates at home, and apparently they've been out of commission so long they no longer fit. We stopped on the way from Toronto to Ottawa in Kingston, and picked up some Canadian Tire specials... 

And Winterlude!

It was FREEZING in Ottawa (after an apparently double digit Celsius day before) so once settled into the hotel Tori and I only ended up venturing to Confederation Park where we quickly dipped inside a Yurt for some free SOUNDS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM show! David Hickey, of Crystal Journey, played a short non-electric set for us all on his quartz crystal bowls and paiste gongs.

Obviously starving after that we attempted many a reservation upon Albert's suggestions (and where he actually got in to), we ended up taking another suggestion for Jak's Kitchen at Bronson and McLeod that hit the spot. Afterward, we took the chef''s suggestion and headed to the Market for some live music, a pint and a few Jameson's.

Smiles all around.

We were told the Rideau was closed due to weather on the Saturday, and although a bit nervous of the prospect of coming all the way up here without a Rideau run, Sunday 4.2 kms of the canal were open! After a bar brunch at a place I can't remember (where I had a lovely salmon and spinach omelette, along with about 6 cups of coffee) we jumped on the ice near Hawthorne Ave.

 Tori, happy to get on the Rideau for the first time in her life too.

It was pretty busy, at least near the mouth of the river, but it definitely was part of the experience. Also, I can't remember who gave the tip to bring your own skates (and not rent up there due to the lines), but it was pretty key.

Below is a brief video of our weaving through the crowd, and a dangerous attempt at skating backward. Really, who needs virtual reality?

 We ended up skating about 8.5 kms, skating as much of the available ice as we could that day, and that was more than enough for our tired legs we found out afterward.

So, next day, after a Scone Witch stop (recommended by Jowi and Sarah), more coffee, and helpful directions from a dude in Starbucks who used to live on Indian Road in Toronto, we headed for Montreal for the night, which was pretty awesome.

We stayed with Tori's friends Graham and Lindsay who took us out to an awesome Portuguese chicken place (where I was lucky enough to split that with some steak!), and after to a bar (and kitchen) where we discussed dreams, expectations, visions, Schrodinger's Cat AND ENTANGLEMENT all in one night! Amazing. Great night, and memorable for the most part!

Next day brunch, Montreal sight seeing, and exploring a tip of the multi-level Beaver Lake ice skating pad atop Mont Royal.

 Welcome to the danger zone! The things I did to that pylon...

Triple-axle attempt turned into a 1/2 spin air jump. That's perhaps the best description I have of that massacre.

The rest of Reading Week was pretty great too. Caught up in Contracts, and still had time to hang out with the guys for a night or two thanks to Dharam and Sophie hosting a get together at their place....