Articles Tagged ‘Raw Sugar Café’

SOUND SEEKERS: Michael Feuerstack drops the Snailhouse handle, hits Raw Sugar for CD release show

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

Photo by Scott DaRos

Mike Feuerstack Drops a Name, Kicks Up the Rhythm

Michael Feuerstack has changed his stage name. He now performs music under his given and family names, having outgrown the Snailhouse handle, which he used over eight albums.

“I was afraid to be branded as a singer-songwriter in the media or by other musicians,” Feuerstack explains. “I wanted to work with collaborators and not be stuck with just guitar and voice and so I used that name, but artistically Snailhouse wasn’t speaking for me anymore.”

Aside from the name change, much will be familiar to fans of Feuerstack’s work, which dates back to the early ‘90s when he played guitar for the Wooden Stars.

The Ottawa band earned national acclaim with their 1999 Juno win for their album collaboration with Julie Doiron. Their music — reflective, with an almost meditative quality —  launched dozens of other bands on the same musical ilk. It was practically the soundtrack of Centretown and is often cited as a definitive mark in the evolution of an Ottawa sound.

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SOUND SEEKERS: The Glass Chain plays Ritual, plus Local Ivan, Erin Saoirse, and more

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

The Glass Chain. Photo by Bassam Daoud

The younger generation of digital natives has always been spoiled for choice, musically. The rabbit holes of the Internet — with its pockets and alleyways of information — provide endless answers to questions and curiosities.

So, if you were too young to have experienced New Wave, you can explore its rise and demise through a timeline on Wikipedia. From there, you might go offline to get wise to the Beatles through your parents’ vinyl collection, then log on again and stream playlists on Grooveshark.

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WEEKENDER: Sex, love, and psychic experiences, plus Wed By Hand and Undercurrents

Luca Spaghetti — yes, that’s his real name — is a character portrayed as the quintessential Roman in Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel Eat Pray Love. In preparation for Valentine’s Day, the man behind Gilbert’s many adventures in Italy shares passionate sights and stories of growing up in Rome, romantic Roman recipes, and the inside scoop on his whirlwind ride of Eat Pray Love. Valentine’s dessert buffet on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. $50, includes an autographed copy of Luca Spaghetti’s book Un Amico Italiano; Eat, Pray, Love in Rome. St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall, 523 St. Anthony St.


One of the photos from the Gallery Egypt exhibit, which takes place at the Library and Archives on Sunday, Feb. 12. Photo by Mohamed El Maymoony

It’s been just over a year since the uprising in Egypt, and Ottawa-based Egyptian communities are aiming to explore its international relevance through a unique event at the Library and Archives. Events include a talk on the role of women role in revolutions, spoken word poetry by Sumaiya Beshir, and piano music by Anastasia. Photography from the Egyptian revolution will also be on display; see website for full schedule. Sunday, Feb. 12. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St.

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SOUND SEEKERS: A musical bromance, a new edition to Garaga, plus Barber and Vollebekk and more

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

Matt Ouimet. Photo by Jamie Kronick.

When cops form bands, they call them things like “Guilty Minds.” Chock it up to the need to vent your workaday observations into clever little handles. That’s what Joe Brownrigg did. He’s one of Ottawa’s finest (a debatable term when applied to our force, especially of late, but I digress). He’s a father of two and plays a lot of hockey. In short, he doesn’t have a lot of time to mess around.

When recording engineers write songs, they make all the little details count. Chock it up to the need to be meticulous. That’s what Matt Ouimet did. He’s a comedian, turned producer, turned songwriter — one of Ottawa’s finest, in fact. He spends his nights above a radiator shop on Gladstone Avenue. The space has been turned into a recording hall called The Resonator. (Ouimet runs it with Dave Dudley, who owns the drum shop next store and has wicked cred because he drummed with Furnaceface back in the day). In short, he likes to mess around with knobs.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Bobbing to the rhythms of Shout Out Out this weekend

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


Singing along in the van with Shout Out Out Out Out

Even their name sounds like a dance beat. Edmonton’s Shout Out Out Out Out has four “outs,” meaning you can bob out a rhythm with your head, just by saying the band’s name. The beat continues on stage Saturday, October 22 at Maverick’s. That’s when you can preview tunes from the new album, which is expected in 2012 from the gear-heavy, vocoder-loving sextet (hee, hee inadvertent use of the word “sex”). Putting the juvenility aside, we’ll point out that the band doesn’t actually like the word “sexy” or “deejay,” according to a recent interview. Those are words that have become techno-cliches, synonymous with low-end, lecherous-sounding booty-beats that any arse can create in his basement, to say nothing of the vapid lyrics that get served up with that stuff. A band like SO4, keep an indie rock sensibility about their phrasing and their playing. In other words, they haven’t ditched their guitars, just because they like beats. This gives them cred with smart people who have rhythm.

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HIDDEN OTTAWA: Voices of Venus, one great Red Wall, and eight more hideaways where underground scenes flourish

Ottawa Magazine’s October issue uncovers “hidden Ottawa” with a hole-in-the-wall handbook that embraces the city’s undercover ambience, celebrating 39 overlooked nooks, hipster hideaways, secret foodie sources, and other mysterious locales. Get your copy at Britton’s magazine store and other newsstand locations around town.

Expect plenty of brass, bass, and maybe even some Bossa nova, at Groovy's Roti Hut on Sunday nights. Photo by Angela Gordon.

Groovy jazz
While Groovy’s Roti Hut regularly serves up flavourful (and filling and affordable) Caribbean cuisine, there’s something else special on the menu on Sunday evenings: jazz standards. It gets going around 7 p.m., and it’s a jam night, so no promises about who will show up. One night seven middle-aged men took to the lowered stage, covering trombone, drums, guitar, upright bass, alto sax, vocals, and keys. Later on, some kids straight out of High School Musical straggled in, instruments in hand. Food is mostly in the $9-to-$14 range, with lots of Caribbean faves like goat and codfish, as well as vegetarian options. On Sunday nights, the music takes over. 292 McArthur Ave., 613-744-1551. – Dayanti Karunaratne

In character
Taverns teem with drama — tall tales, fights, broken hearts — so what could be more logical than Chamber Theatre mounting plays in the venerable Carleton Tavern? The sightlines aren’t great (an incentive to get there early), but it’s a dandy place to watch slice-of-life theatre while quaffing a few. Tavern regulars seem mildly bemused by the events and stick to one side of the tavern during the shows. Their conversation sometimes spills over into the performance side, adding reality to the show (or is it vice versa?). Michel Tremblay’s Marcel Pursued by the Hounds opens Nov. 23. 223 Armstrong St., – Patrick Langston

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THE WEEKENDER: Music, mollusks, and five more ways to enjoy the first weekend of summer

All the way from TO, self-described percussion-dance-orchestra Drumhand perform music from their recent release Moving Still at the Merc as part of the Ottawa International Jazz Fest. Think drums, energized jazz horns, and a high-energy performance that encourages dancing. Ottawa’s own Rattling Tro Tro warms up the room at 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 9 p.m. Friday, June 24. $12. Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Sq.,

In advance of this Montreal singer/songwriter’s debut LP Calendar (which comes out July 5), he’s making the rounds at stages in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. His style is perfect coffee house music — straddling the line between sweet and melancholy, folk and pop — which has earned him supporting sets for names such as Julie Doiron, The Dears, and Sean Lennon. Saturday, June 25, 9:30 p.m. $7. Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset St. W.,  613-216-2850.

It’s a stylin’ clothing boutique so you know the five-year anniversary party will be stylin’ too. Victoire Boutique celebrates with sales at both store locations and lots of free entertainment. An all-day sale at both stores (40 percent off from 10 a.m. to noon, 30 percent off from noon to 4 p.m., and 20 percent off from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) is followed by an evening party at the Dalhousie Street location (6p.m. to 9 p.m.) with tarot card readings, a Ouija cake by Auntie Loo, and lots of discounts and giveaways. Saturday, June 25. 246 Dalhousie St., 613-321-1590, and 1282 Unit B. Wellington St. W.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Jesse Dangerously, rap legend


Jesse Dangerously shows his stuff. Photo by Jeff Ngan



Jesse Dangerously. Photo by Jeff Ngan

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

He’s compulsive with his references, dropping names and ideas from the likes of Napoleon, General Hospital, Neutral Milk Hotel, Flaubert and Sailor Moon. His highbrow kowtows and pop culture mulching bring out the rhyme rhythm in all of us.

He is Jesse Dangerously, a self-described rap legend, transplanted from the East Coast. For the past coupla years, he’s been hanging out in Ottawa, observing and interpreting life with drollness.

His newest release is called Humble & Brilliant. (Technicality: The album only exists physically as a chapbook — with a download code. According to Dangerously, “CDs are embarrassing.”)

The book parses Dangerously’s verses and gives insight into his frame of mind. From the self-deprecating introduction:

This book is a work of hip-hop. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are pretty much real to begin with, but grossly distorted by the author’s rampaging ego and deep emotional problems.  Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely accurate except where exaggerated or massaged to make rap legend Jesse Dangerously look cooler, smarter, or sexier.

No pretense or cheap sentiment here. Dangerously (né MacDonald) delivers his rhyming and writing with subversive wit. On stage, he’s a showman, working the room, sweating buckets, and living his words. Listen for stand-out tracks Halifax Rap Legend (about his hometown scene) and Hot Commodity, a song that questions the harm of pornography (“form and tradition are sort of worse than neglect, you’ve gone swimming / Both porn and religion distort a person’s perspectives on women”).

With Krista Muir. Saturday, May 14. Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset St. W.

“Melodies are easy, it’s writing lyrics that’s the hard part,” says Jeff Meleras, a part-time songwriter (the rest of the time, he’s practicing injury law here in Ottawa). “I want to avoid being preachy, clichéd or self-indulgent.” To do that, he had to spend a lot of late-night hours thinking through concepts and ideas. From there, he sculpted nine songs to form the tracks on his fourth album, Damage, which comes out this weekend. The melodies are spare (created with piano, guitar, voice, a bit of percussion) and were honed by Jack Pelletier (Jupiter Ray Project; Battle of Ontario) and producer Dave Draves. With Ana Miura. Sunday, May 15. 4 p.m. $12. Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield.

They call themselves the Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outaouais and, fittingly, their acronym IMOO sounds like some of the experimental sounds that this collective produces. David Broscoe (reeds/electronics), Jamie Gullikson (drums) and Mark Molnar (cello/electronics) come together to fuse sounds, bend concepts, and turn longstanding ideas about music upside down. Sunday, May 15. 7 p.m. Umi Café, 610 Somerset St. W.

Punk-a-billy trio Evil Farm Children celebrate Friday the 13th! 9:30 p.m. $10. Elmdale Tavern, 1084 Wellington St. W.

Guitar-drum duo The Ticket celebrate the release of their debut CD. With guests The Late ‘94s and Riishi Von Rex. Saturday, May 14. Elmdale Tavern, 1084 Wellington St. W.

GOOD2GO and The Bushpilots come together for a Full Moon Rock n’ Roll Cottage Party! Friday, May 13. 8:30 p.m. $10. Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield.

See hometown heroes Souljazz Orchestra before they take off for a European tour this summer. Friday, May 13. 9 p.m. $10 adv. Barrymore’s, 323 Bank St.

SOUND SEEKERS: Fateema Sayani on a pivotal punk moment


TokyoSexWhale is J-P Sadek, Paul "Yogi" Granger, and Julia Loan. Granger is the head at Meatlocker, who produced Monobrow's self-titled debut album.

This Saturday night marks a milestone for the Ottawa music scene. If you like heavy rock with a dynamic, orchestral bent, listen to Monobrow. The brain-bender of a band will release its self-titled debut (on vinyl, no less) at the show.

It’s a release from Meatlocker Records, led by scene guru Paul “Yogi” Granger. He’s a vertically integrated kinda guy, running a recording studio, a practice space, and a record label to facilitate production for upstart Ottawa bands. He’s also a sound tech at rock shows in the city and a general bringer-together of like minds. And he plays guitar in a number of bands, including in the heavy trio TokyoSexWhale, which has recently ceased to exist after a six-year-run.

“The good news is that — as is often the case with amicable break ups — you can bet that the end of TSW will herald the creation of three or four even better bands,” Granger says.

To that end, he says he’s working on a top secret unnamed project. Stay tuned. Ahead of that, you can hear Granger, along with pals Les Godfrey (Illuminati, Tchort) and Damian Sawka (Hilotrons), in his new band Djanguar. All bands — as well as another new band called Biblical — are on the bill this weekend. Saturday, April 9. 8 p.m. $8. The Dominion Tavern, 33 York St.

Like the grizzle of Tom Waits? Then check out Ottawa boy Andre Bluteau. He’s got pipes that’ll make fans of haters. Saturday, April 9. 9 p.m. $8. Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset St. W.

The Ethics and The Soiree — two bands that define the Ottawa sound, if there ever was one — play the downstairs club at the Clocktower Brew Pub. Saturday, April 9. 575 Bank St.

It’s the fourth annual Ottawa Opry. See rising stars Anders Drerup and Kelly Prescott, along with fiddle champ Louis Schryer, Ray Harris. Done up in the Grand old Opry style, the evening is hosted by Pat Moore & the Vinyl Frontier, with MC Garry Greenland. Friday, April 8. 8 p.m. $20. Library & Archives Canada Auditorium, 395 Wellington Rd.

NEXT WEEK: seven Ottawa acts will perform at All Together for Japan. The line-up includes Greg Harris, Wise, Young & King, The Polymorphines, Claude Munson, Lisa Poushinsky, Prufrock, and Train Jumpers. Wednesday, April 13. 8 p.m. The Rainbow, 76 Murray St.

SOUND SEEKERS: Giant Hand, Jehan Khoorshed, and Open Format 03

Kirk Ramsay, aka Giant Hand. Photo by Ming Wu

Former Ottawa Magazine cover boy Kirk Ramsay, aka Giant Hand, may sing about ruts and non-achievement, but he’s secretly quite lucky. In a few short years, he seems to have attracted fast attention. When the Ottawa musician decided to start his one-man band a few years ago, he didn’t yet know how to play the guitar. He made up for lost time quickly and landed on the radar of Ottawa tastemakers almost immediately — his third gig wasn’t in some basement dive, it was at the crowd-swelling Ottawa Bluesfest in 2008.

Following Ramsay’s debut Coming Home, the folkie will release a six-song EP this weekend called Starting As People — which has the backing of pride-of-Ottawa songwriter (and frontman of The Acorn) Rolf Klausener. Friday, March 18. Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset St.

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