Articles Tagged ‘Irene’s Pub’

SOUND SEEKERS: John Allaire and the Confederation bring strings and sticks and other skills to Irene’s Pub

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

Songwriter John Allaire put on his photo-hacking hat and did this stitch job for me. It’s a pasted-together pic of some band mates he’s corralled for a weekend gig. It was a quick-and-dirty deal (the photo, not the band-herding, natch). We here at Ottawa Magazine needed a photo to run with this column and the task of rounding up musicians rarely squares well with tight web deadlines.

Four players and one twirler. (That’s a drumstick. He’s not flipping you the bird). Photo by John Allaire

This banner image is a poor replacement for the real thing; it lacks all of the characteristics of a live setting: the vibrancy and sizzle that boils over when those with six strings and salty humour gather for a show.

That’s set for this Friday at Irene’s with Allaire at centre stage with a band of O-town all-stars. The band is called The Confederation and comprises Anders Drerup, Lynne Hanson, Kevin “Breeze” Smith, and Dean Watson.

Here’s a primer, from Allaire, on his band The Confederation:

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SOUND SEEKERS: When you name your band Big Dick, you’re bound to get some attention

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

Gilded frame or not, there’s no way you can call Dave Secretary, left, and Johnny O fancy-pants folk. They prefer to go by the name Big Dick. Photo by Rémi Thériault.

Dave Secretary and Johnny O aren’t trying to over-promise with a band name like Big Dick, rather they’re advertising their wares, so to speak.

It’s not the message one finds in back-page classifieds, but a message about their style of bleak, challenging punk rock in the vein of the Victoria, B.C. band NoMeansNo. The Ottawa duo takes their name from NMN’s song of the same name. (We’ll link to it here to spare you the endless results one gets when Googling “big dick.”)

“It was one of NMN’s more popular songs,” bass player Johnny O says, “and it was a drum and bass song by that band, which corresponds with us being a drum and bass act.” He says the duo likes that they’re named after a Canadian punk band that tended to be musically progressive.

“I know the name is a little ridiculous, but the band itself isn’t terrible,” Secretary says. He plays drums in Big Dick, under the stage name he’s been using since the days of playing in bands such as Party Knives and hardcore act Van Johnson.

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with photographer Kym Shumsky on “Les Nôtres: An Ottawa 100 Strangers Project”

By Elizabeth Balsom

Photographer Kym Shumsky reached out to people through social media to find subjects for "Les Nôtres." Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen.

Kym Shumsky is an amateur photographer who, two years ago, challenged herself to photograph 100 strangers. Shumsky turned her compilation of photographs into both a show and a book, entitled Les Nôtres: An Ottawa 100 Strangers Project.

Shumsky, who studied journalism at Carleton University, had a goal in mind: to capture the emotion that is often lost within a photograph. She hopes to tell the viewer who the subject is, and their story. She has captured images of subjects in both intimate and public settings, and has brought together a community of people who would have otherwise not known one another. The result shows people they’re more beautiful than they think, and raises money for a great cause.

What inspired this project?
Honestly, the camera. I’ve always been interested in photography going back to my days in journalism. My husband gave me a camera, so I went from there. It takes a lot of practice. You have to calm people down, and they have to trust you. It’s the same dynamic as journalism, telling a story.

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SOUND SEEKERS: John Allaire, Lucky Ron, Daughters of the Revolution, plus 20th anniversary celebrations at Zaphod’s

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

John Allaire headlines the monthly songwriter circle Wednesday, March 7 at the Elmdale Tavern

John Allaire headlines the monthly songwriter circle Wednesday, March 7 at the Elmdale Tavern, with guest Meredith Luce.

Is it in poor taste to say Allaire writes tunes from the heart? Probably, but if you’ve seen an Allaire show, you know he has a fierce wit. The banter is often worth the price of admission ($5). Ray Harris and Lefty McRighty host.

Trip-hop act Sound of Lions plays Friday, March 9 as part of a week-long celebration of Zaphod Beeblebrox’s 20th anniversary (27 York St.). You can hoist a pan galactic gargle blaster to club founder Eugene Haslam — he plays a DJ set Monday, March 5.

On the songwriter tip, Lucky Ron plays Irene’s Pub Friday, March 2 with his band The Rhode Island Reds and openers Steve Stacey and The Stump Splitters. 9:30 p.m., $10.

Daughters of the Revolution meld hype-man antics with electronic pop and rock for a mad live jam. They’ll fill the room when the play Café Nostalgica on Friday, March 2 with DJ Pruf Rock.

Finders Keepers is a pop-punk trio born out of the Centretown Recording Alliance, a group that challenges each other to throw together bands real quickly and put out new releases at the speed of a three-chord punk tune. The band celebrates its new release Friday, March 2, at Maverick’s with headliners The Penske File. 8 p.m., $7.

SOUND SEEKERS: Jack Pine & the Fire CD release

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

Gareth Auden-Hole, aka Jack Pine. Photo by Matthew Gomes

Heartache, adventure, a sense of home — these were all starting places for the songs on the self-titled debut disc from Ottawa’s Jack Pine & the Fire, but it’s not a self-pitying release. The bustin’, bluegrassy album is technically slick, but leaves enough room for the rising vocal idiosyncrasies of the frontman to shine through.

Front man Jack Pine is the nom de tune of Gareth Auden-Hole, 31, formerly of the Slackjaw Sinners. He liked the symbolism of the tree: its ability to re-seed burnt ground after a forest fire gives it a sense of purpose and legacy. There’s also the ability to coattail on the iconic Tom Thompson painting of the same name and all its implied Canadiana — another element in the nine songs on the album.

A stream of mandolin, guitars, dobro, pedal steel, and fiddle give the album an haute-campfire vibe, made resonant by Auden-Hole’s vocal edges. His stories play on average themes, but are made bold and new by a robust telling and smart unravelling.

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THE WEEKENDER: Music, photography, garage saling, and a paddle


Darren Holmes is one of the featured artists in Portraits of Bluesfest with "The Apprehension of the Maria at the Recoil of the first Volley (marching to victory afterward)"

Back for its third year, Portraits of Bluesfest raises funds for the Blues in the Schools program. More than a dozen visual artists have created paintings and photographs inspired by Bluesfest (they’re not all visions of a stage collapse). Watch a video tour of all the work here. This year’s artists include Darren Holmes, Andrew King, Jason Vaughan, Brandon McVittie, Whitney-Lewis Smith, Alison Fowler, Andrea Sutton, Claude Marquis, Dave Cooper, Andrew Farrell, Jennie Lynn MacDonald, Andrea Warren, Andrew Morrow, Kathy Roussel, Sandy Sharkey, Jamie Kronick and Steve Gerecke. Blues in the Schools is a program that hires local musicians and takes them into public schools to work with students who otherwise might get no music training. After the auction, local band Royal Ottawa will rock the joint with a set or two. Friday Sept. 9, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Patrick Gordon Framing Studio,
160 Elm St.,

Dreamy, folk-country music awaits you when this singer-songwriter takes the stage with her guitar. Oh Susanna is known for creating imaginary worlds and characters with her lyrical storytelling, and in this concert she highlights songs from her sixth album Soon the Birds. This latest venture features collaborations with plenty of familiar faces from the roots world, such as Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo, guitarist Kevin Breit (who’s worked with Norah Jones and Rosanne Cash), and Ruth Moody from The Wailin’ Jennys. Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8:30 p.m. $15. The Blacksheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield, Quebec, 819-459-3228.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Phelps and West, Lefty McRighty, and more music picks

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine.

Kelly Joe Phelps and Corinne West

You’ll kick yourself if you heard about this show after the fact. Kelly Joe Phelps has traversed many styles over eight albums and 15 years. He has moved through country, folk, and jazz, but made the most eloquent noise as a player of haunting acoustic blues. The Portland, Oregon based musician has a voice that can quiet a crowd with its stirring weariness. He was a Bluesfest favourite in years past; his current stop is a chance to see to see him in a small venue. He’ll play with musical partner Corinne West. It’s a mutual admiration society — Phelps played in West’s touring band on her recent CD release tour. The two discovered a shared love for pared-down music that’s stripped of pretension yet has brain-searing impact.

With opener James Farr. Friday, Aug. 19. 9:30 p.m. $20 adv. Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank St.

Take in some good old-fashioned country tunes when Lefty McRighty (aka Greg Harris) brings his band The Sinister Six to the stage to unleash fast favourites such as “There’s No Cold Beer in Hell” and “Too Late to Quit Drinkin’ Now.”

With guests Lee Mellor and Huntley Slim. Friday, Aug. 19. 10 p.m. $10. The Rainbow, 76 Murray St.

Landon Coleman just released his debut full-length album, documenting a state of mind. The album, called Landon A.R. Coleman’s Single Life, has Ottawa stamped all over it. It was recorded by Dave Draves at Ottawa’s Little Bullhorn Studios by fellow cap-city songwriter and musician Leif Vollebekk. Glebe-ite Coleman performs Thursday night at the little gazebo on Parliament Hill (near the feral cats, just west of Centre Block) at 7:30 p.m. It’s a sweet spot for a show. If you’ve never done the tourist-in-your-own-town thing, now’s a great time to take a stroll to la colline for the music, the view and the sweet mews of friendly, mangy kitties.

The Ethics, Garaga, and other great gigs from the Ottawa scene sound-o-meter

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine.

The 12 days of Bluesfest are likely to attract most music goers in the city to the grounds of the Canadian War Museum. For those who like to get away from the crowds and long beer lineups, there are a bevy of happenings in and around the city. Some picks for the discerning music lover:

The Ethics are (from left): Paul Ross (drums), Marcus Ward (keys), Kevin Hersak (vocals, guitar), Matt Arnold (bass), and Jeff Gleeson (guitar, vocals)

The Ethics make yearning sound beautiful. If there was a spectrum of Ottawa sound, The Ethics would be at the softer end, creating beautiful music for romantically inclined over-thinkers. The title of their forthcoming album says it all: What I Did for Modern Love. It sees the band pick up the pace a bit (still maudlin, but danceable!). Stay tuned for a fall CD release show. Here the new songs this weekend when they play at Irene’s — the Glebe is under construction, so wear your walking shoes to get to this gig. With Royal Ottawa. Saturday, July 9. 9:30 p.m. $6. Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank St.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Softies, Soul, and Send You Backs

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine.

Mike Feuerstack of Snailhouse. Photo by Anneke Hymmen.

Snailhouse, the softcore outfit led by Montreal-via-Ottawa songwriter Mike Feuerstack, celebrates the release of album number six. It’s straight-up heart-on-sleeve musings set to pretty, pensive melodies. The album, on vinyl and CD, was released Tuesday. Hear the title track, Sentimental Gentleman, here and watch a series of album release trailers here. Feuerstack’s links to the Ottawa scene date back to the 1990s when he was part of post-rockers The Wooden Stars.

With guest Sarah Hallman. Friday, May 27. 9 p.m. $10 advance. Maverick’s, 221 Rideau St.

Members of the Souljazz Orchestra form the backing band for Slim Moore and the Mar-Kays. Moore is a Jamaican-Canadian soul singer and is working on an album release for the fall.
Friday, May 27. 9 p.m. Barrymore’s, 323 Bank St.

The Flats will send you back to the days when college rock ruled. Hear good guitar rock with moody overtones when the band plays twice on Saturday, May 28. See ‘em the during the day at the Hintonburg Artspark festival (4:15 – 5 p.m. Parkdale Market Park, Wellington Street West between Parkdale and Hamilton avenues) and in the evening at Irene’s Pub (9:30 p.m. 885 Bank St.,

Jacques Murigande, aka The Mighty Popo, is raising funds for Kigaliup!, a music festival he’s hoping to start in his hometown of Kigali, Rwanda. It starts with a concert in Ottawa featuring himself and The Hammerheads. Saturday, May 28. $20. Barrymore’s, 323 Bank St.

SOUND SEEKERS: Put on your jammies — it’s Sleepover time with Socalled

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine.

Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled

Josh Dolgin is the man known as Socalled. He calls Montreal home, but we here in Ottawa can sort of claim him as one of our own, since he was reared in nearby Chelsea, QC.

One spin of his current album — or any of his klezmer-inspired works from the past decade — may make you wonder what’s in the water there.

The dude is slick and complicated and translates all his far-out ideas into songs that are so clubby and so cool. Samples, hooks, chatty rappers, a horn section, strings — he melds all the elements and makes it work.

Don’t believe it? Hear his new album called Sleepover or watch his ideas take shape for yourself. Socalled earned the interest of the NFB, which produced a series on Dolgin’s creative process.

His process involves a lot of creative minds. For the new album, Dolgin called in nearly three dozen collaborators to add to the dozen tracks. Calypso king the Mighty Sparrow is there, as are composer Mocky and cellist Matt Haimowitz. Ottawa represents on the album too: drummer Philip Bova Jr. and soundtrack composer Mike Dubue added their touches to Sleepover.

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