Archive | July, 2012

Hot, Hot, Halifax

31 Jul

It’s been a busy month. A glorious month! Perfect summer weather brings backyard patios, lake and ocean adventures, bbqs with friends, and a bustling city to enjoy – hence our serious neglect. Fleeting summer, where nights are never long enough, and tomorrow’s early morning doesn’t matter. You have to get out and enjoy it while you can, strike the hammer while the iron is hot. Oh! and Halifax, there are just so many irons to hammer. No matter what you are into, there is something for everyone – arts, music, history or just plain old beautiful Nova Scotia nature.

Let’s take a look back on the past few blurry sunshine filled weeks of fun…Jazz Festival (special shout outs to Garrett Mason, Gypsophilia, Maestro Fresh Wes & Deltron 3030) and Tall Ships (Hey Rosetta!). Concerts and shows seemingly every night, not to mention Evolve. Queer Acts Theatre Festival and Pride! (Just have to take a moment to shout out to Sissydude: a dandy rock musical, which debuted at Queer Acts earlier this month. Local, campy, delightful and clever, sharply written, with ALL original rock music…we had a blast.)  It’s been a time where Halifax smacks you in the face and reminds you why she is so amazing to live in. Upcoming we have Natal Day (and a sweet free concert too – super pumped for Rich Aucoin & Wintersleep!), Buskers, Summer Sonic…and in our backyard there is Bruce Springsteen, Sappy Fest, Dutch Mason Blues Festival, Fred Rock, and much more. How do you choose where to spend your money when so much is happening?

If you don’t want to spend any money, but still want to support local music, there are some sweet options for you – relax on a soft piece of grass with the sun in your face, hearing amazing local artists! This is the 5th year for Tunes at Noon, free one-hour concerts at Grand Parade Square. The lineup is stellar and it really has a friendly, great community feel, adding a touch of whimsy to your work day. The full summer schedule can be seen here: http://www.musicnovascotia.ca/Events/TunesAtNoon2012/ and concerts run Thursday and Friday from 12- 1, until September 6th. Another free music event can be found in the Hydrostone on August 25, Music in the Park. It’s a free afternoon of sweet local artists, brought to us by the ECMAs!  http://www.assantehydrostone.com/music-in-the-park/

As for some client news, SheMachine played an amazing gig with Burnt Sugar and AQuestrya on July 20 at the Company House. The pre-pride party was an amazing night of dancing and celebrations! SheMachine’s new songs are SO good. We couldn’t help but start the dance party! We’re super excited for the debut of their EP and short film/music video in the Fall.

The Xara Youth Ensemble is busy auditioning 14-18 years olds for their pre-professional choral theatre group, launching in September. Eighteen young ladies are ready to go, and the group is looking for a few more girls wishing to develop their skills and artistry. Should you know any talented young ladies looking for an amazing opportunity with two unreal artists at the helm…XYE is it! http://murraymusic.ca/studio/xye/

A show that is coming up, that you really should try your darndest to catch is Willie Stratton and Sean Burns on August 15th at Gus’ Pub. Willie Stratton is a powerful local performer, who puts on a howling good show! In our opinion, he is one of the best up and comers Halifax has seen in a long ass time. Lashing together three part harmonies, thundering war drums, and a whole lot of soul, Willie Stratton and his band are slightly less likely to make you feel OK than they are to kill your boredom absolutely stone cold dead. He will be sharing the slot with Sean Burns, based out of Ontario, who is a longtime friend of Rose. While constantly performing live and writing music in the tradition of the traveling singer/songwriter, Sean Burns is a real weapon on the stage, delivering a unique brand of humour with an extensive repertoire. Check out their respective tunes at http://www.seanburns.ca/ & http://williestratton.bandcamp.com/. We promise a grand night of storytelling and music. Check out more information about the event at https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/346965408715479/

We leave you, on this humid July night, with this, our favourite summer song.

Picnic Tables and Trees, Music Sounds Better Outside

10 Jul

As I have emphasized before, one of the greatest things about Halifax is all the wonderful talent that comes out of this damn place. Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible that all the talent can live within these city limits. But, laser beam mind trick, they can.

I felt like I had hit the musical jackpot when I was invited to a backyard show in Halifax’s North End last Friday night. The sun was shining, the breeze was just right, the grass was green and it all just seemed really perfect. Everything just fit right. The suggested donation of 5 bucks for the lineup was mind-blowing

Backyard Show
Photo: Scott Munn

and I think an amazing time was had by all.

We started the night with Mike O’Neill which was a super treat. He is the nicest guy ever, and his lyrics obviously get to everyone, as you could see from everyone around me (and me) mouthing the words along with him.

Next up was the wonderful Ruth  Minnikin , who blows me away every time I see her. Between a mix of her own songs and some classic folk songs we all swayed.

The surprise of the night was Levon, who I had never seen live before. He was touching and moving and the sun was starting to go down as his voice scratched over the night air. He played the piano and pierced my soul with his, “love dies folks” ending line.

Finally we rounded the night out with Jon McKiel , who is always a dreamboat. Jon’s voice, lyrics, and shining eyes get to me every time. I have been a fan of this guy for like 10 years, and I will never stop.

This kind of event makes you feel like you live in a place where community and magic come together to create a special evening. I just felt so privileged to be there and to be surrounded by so much talent.

Love might die folks, (I am still on the fence about that one) but music always lives.

LB

First World Problems or The Path is Smooth

4 Jul

Our last post clocked in 24 days ago – we’re a little ashamed. We encourage our clients to stay current on their social media and blog posts, so it’s time to take our own advice, no doubt about it. This post is a little different, as we’re in the need of a little self help, so here we go…

There has been much discussion amongst our friends lately about jealousy, our place in the world, frustration at how our society is structured, the need for more honesty…we’ve been bitching and debating and it has made us realize that we all need to remember a) that we’re not alone, and b) we need to get over ourselves! Many of us are struggling – where do we fit in this world?, too many bills, piles of debt, personal relations, struggles at work, not enough time, no one loves us, societal pressures – our problems are everyone’s problems. It may not make our personal struggles any easier to overcome, but isn’t it comforting knowing that we’re not special? We pressure ourselves so much – to fit in, to say the right things, to meet others expectations, to have people like us – in the end, we need to be able to live with ourselves, so maybe it’s time to stop trying to please others and just make focus on our own happiness. We need to succeed and fail on our own terms.

Rose’s Mother Diane is a bit of a Pollyanna, she is full of positivity and hope, despite the fact that she is ill and has been on disability for over 20 years. She has shared two sayings that have stuck with us. The Cherokee parable feed the right wolf is always a good reminder, knowing that it is us who controls our thoughts, beliefs, actions, and we can choose the positive path over the negative one. The second is “the path is smooth,” which means we have a clear path ahead of us – and it is us who place obstacles in our own way. So much of our daily stress is the stress that we create and manifest, and it’s tiring. We have decided it’s much easier to be happy than it is to be upset or frustrated. (Not an earth shattering revelation, but one that we do need to remember.)

We have been fortunate enough to travel around the world and the happiest people we have met are not in North America, or even Europe. They are those in Asia or South America – who have nothing by our standards. They are the ones who have their homes, their families and work to support those homes and families. Not work like our work – work like working in the fields to grow their food, and walk to the pasture to check on their animals and building a new mud hut. It is a humbling experience to see what those lives are like, and a good reminder that all of our stress is a #firstworldproblem. Our path is smooth, we just need to stop sometimes and move that rock.