Articles Tagged ‘sound seekers’

SOUND SEEKERS: Timekode dance party finds new home

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


DJ Zattar spins at Timekode, a monthly dance party, which recently found its new home for 2014 at Café Nostalgia

Timekode, the long-running monthly rec-room style dance party, moves to a new location starting this Friday. DJs Zattar, Memetic, and Eric Roberts will spin retro-soul, house and dance music at the recently renovated Café Nostalgica (601 Cumberland St.) on March 21.

That’s where Timekode originally launched nine years ago. The DJ trio later moved the party over to the Eri Café on Somerset Street West, which operated as an Eritrean restaurant. The cafe turned into a late-night dance club on the third Friday of each month when it became Timekode’s clubhouse. The party attracted a long lineup of revelers looking for a sweaty dance floor bash.

Earlier this year, the Timekode DJs got word that the café owners would not be renewing their lease, so Zattar and Memetic went looking for a new location. Timekode went on hiatus for two months until they could sort out the paperwork.

DJ Zattar (Alexandre Mattar) says Nostalgica, a café run by the University of Ottawa’s graduate students association, is comparable in size to the Eri Café with a large dance area and a good sound system. It has a large patio close to the dance floor for spillover crowds looking for fresh air. The open-concept space has a bar that runs the length of the room.

DJ Memetic (Kwende Kefentse) says Timekode has a cast of regulars that have been coming since the event started in 2005. “People come for the music and not for our personal reputations, but for the reputation of the event.”

The DJs are calling tomorrow’s event Timekode 3.0 and telling regulars to come “back to the future” on their Facebook page. Retro-futuristic sounds make up much of the playlist at Timekode; it’s the push and pull of old and new sounds that gives the evening its unexpected pace. You can hear a sampling of those sounds on this EP that DJs Zattar and Memetic released a while back in celebration of their eighth anniversary of Timekode.

Timekode: New location (Café Nostalgica), same date (third Friday of the month), same time (10 p.m.), same deal ($5 cover).

More Weekend Music in Ottawa

Fevers and Pony Girl play a double bill at the Black Sheep Inn on March 21

Acadian electro-rap band Radio Radio play Ritual on March 21

It’s been 40 years since the release of the Cooper Brothers’ first single. They’ll celebrate with a show at the Centrepointe Theatre on March 21


SOUND SEEKERS: Before Ottawa Bluesfest comes Rumour-Fest

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 Black Keys were one of the big headliners at last year’s Ottawa Bluesfest. Who will take centre stage in 2014?

Update: The first wave of Ottawa Bluesfest acts has been announced! Click here to see who’s coming. 

Scouring the concert listings of major festivals and cross-referencing them against a band’s touring schedule for gaps, along with some travel calculations via Google Maps, seems to be the rough formula for those speculating on who might play at the 20th edition of Ottawa Bluesfest, which runs from July 3 to 13 this year.

Speculation on blogs and fan forums started as early as January of this year, and ramped up this week when other major festivals released their schedules. Bluesfest organizers said on Twitter that they would announce their lineup next week.

Ahead of the announcement, we look at some of the rumour generators and fan wish lists that have people talking.

The lineup for Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts was released this week sending the Bluesfest fan forum on Facebook into overdrive. Many are hoping that headlining acts such as Lorde, Outkast, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, may make a stop in Ottawa. SXSW is in full swing this week too. The taste-making festival is a huge industry draw for bookers and talent managers looking for rising acts.

Westfest (June 13 to 15) announced its lineup this week as well. Ashley MacIssac will headline the neighbourhood bash along with A Tribe Called Red and George Leach. Typical industry standards around territory clauses mean that a major act playing one festival won’t likely appear at another festival, so you can scratch those names off your Bluesfest list.

There is a Dave Matthews Band super fan out there that tweets under the handle @DMB_Ottawa and eagerly waits for the annual Bluesfest lineup announcement with baited breath.

Aedan Helmer of the Ottawa Sun compiled a list of 20 bands that got their start in 1994, the same year as Bluesfest. It includes Weezer and Outkast, as well as some less memorable bands such as Hootie and the Blowfish and G. Love & Special Sauce. Thanks to Ottawa Start for that link. The events info site compiled this tip sheet of other Bluesfest rumours.

In keeping with Ottawa Bluesfest’s commitment to the local scene, we wonder if there will be any link with Kelp Records this year. The Ottawa music label got its start in 1994 as well. It represents artists New Country Rehab and Measha Brueggergosman among others.

Keeping all this mind, we ask you, dear reader, who do you think will come to this year’s edition of Bluesfest? Who is on your wish list? Comment here or tweet us at @OttawaMag with your picks.

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: Fame! Fortune! Creativity! Revealing the secret desires of Rock Lottery participants

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 Ottawa Rock Lottery is a big ol’ love-in for the local music scene. It’s the community cup of spontaneous music-making that happens annually with proceeds going to charity. The fifth edition takes place this weekend with 25 musicians participating.

Daniel Spence, centre, of The Pelts will participate in the fifth annual Rock Lottery.

It works like this: on Friday night, organizers put the names of individual musicians into a hat. They draw out five names at a time and put those people together to form an insta-band. Over the next 24 hours, those five new bands create a half-hour set of original music to be performed on Saturday night for all to see.

The hilarity, camaraderie, rivalry, shining moments, and flubs are what make the show interesting, particularly to those who see live music often and are familiar with the city’s band-folk. The Ottawa Rock Lottery deck-shuffling allows those people to display talents that may be hidden in their other bands — or perhaps the deadline pressures will be evident. As organizers promise on their Facebook page: “It could be great. It could be awful.”

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SOUND SEEKERS: Have You Done the Pee Dance? Hey Buster releases second CD of kids’ music

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

Three years ago, singer-songwriter Sherwood Lumsden rounded up the dads in his Preston Street neighbourhood to form a band. He knew Matt Young and Geoff Paisley for years before that — but he never knew their vocal talents until they started writing songs for their kids as the band Hey Buster.

The new album features cover art by Sherwood Lumsden’s son, Thomas Slaughter, 7.

Between the three dads — plus newest recruit Tom Stewart (Furnaceface, Slo’ Tom) — the band members have nine kids from the ages of two to 9. They write tunes for little ones without the preachy educational elements common to kids’ music. Their style hits somewhere between Junkyard Symphony and Robert Munsch with lyrics about family life that are observational and funny. Hey Buster’s first album called Bing Bang Bong was released in 2010 and includes songs about poo, pee, pink eye, and getting lice.

The song “Lice Twice” is about an experience familiar to parents of grade-schoolers. It rhymes hats with gnats. The chorus of “Pee Dance” describes the contorted moves kids make when they clearly have to go. “Oh no, I don’t have to go. No siree, I don’t have to pee!” goes the chorus.         

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SOUND SEEKERS: Dropping Drawers and Rhymes — MC Jesse Dangerously does Strip-Hop

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

How does “strip-hop” work anyway? Is it like a drinking game where you chug at the appointed cue? Hear a three-syllable word and everyone peels?

Jesse Dangerously, Pillar of Nerd Rap and Frequent De-Clother. Photo by James Dechert

“It’s not that integrated—I wish,” laughs Jesse McDonald, the Ottawa MC who goes by Jesse Dangerously.

Strip-hop isn’t about dropping your drawers for a choice rhyme; rather, it’s a night of performances by members of the city’s burlesque scene interspersed with music by electro pop team Billz & Woo and MC Dangerously.

“People are accustomed to me taking my shirt off at shows,” Dangerously says of his on-stage showmanship. Off-stage, on gig posters and websites, he subtitles his handle with the words “Genuine Independent Rap Legend,” in keeping with the genre’s boast-and-hype conventions.

Dangerously figures the burlesque organizers approached him for his messages about feminism and being body positive. Some of his rhymes push for loving pudginess:

“Although jerks have mocked that I’m fat since age ten / I work it, I rock it; ask your girl or a gay friend!”

“Half-stepping cats packing weapons ask for rap lessons / while I slap bad physicians on behalf of vengeance for Fat Acceptance.”

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SOUND SEEKERS: Shannon Rose riffs off Jon Bon, dancefloor fire at the Merc, plus Stompin’ Tom saluts, dub reggae 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

Of all places to pull from.
Director Steve Matylewicz is taking inspiration from the Bon Jovi song “Wanted Dead or Alive” for Shannon Rose’s next music video for her song, “If We Come True.”

Photos: Shannon Rose: She’s not a cowboy on a steel horse ride. Photo credit: Mauricio Ortiz

It’s a bit of a head scratcher, because the musicians’ styles couldn’t be further apart. Rose is an Ottawa pop songwriter concerned with all life’s little moments, while the pride of New Jersey wants to blow stadiums apart with eardrum blasting rock songs.

To clarify, Matylewicz — part of Rose’s band The Thorns and her spouse — says he likes the video’s context. (If you haven’t seen it in a while, “Wanted Dead or Alive” takes highlights from a day in the life of the band).

He’s not so inspired by the video’s style of painted-on pants, teased hair, and dudes making cheesy guitar sex face. Rather, he’ll apply the concept to a day in the life of Canadian indie artist Shannon Rose. The video will show Rose doing musician things including a sound check, being interviewed by a music writer (I’ll be making a cameo) and playing a show.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Claude Munson faces his fears — and finds his voice

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

Claude Munson. Photo by Igor Cedeno Garcia


Two singers come immediately to mind while listening to Claude Munson. The Ottawa folkie’s falsetto interludes recall Jeff Buckley, while the white reggae vibes churn up thoughts of that dude from Bedouin Soundclash.

Those word-of-mouth references are a nice boost for a new-to-the-scene songwriter, and his shows are often packed as a result. From here, the challenge for 24-year-old Munson will be to carve out a name from underneath the weighty influence of two superstar sound-alikes. No one wants to sound wholly derivative.

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SOUND SEEKERS: Zattar guests at Kitchen Party, plus Munson, Carroll, The Ethics, and Jack Pine

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

DJ Zattar, aka Alexandre Mattar


Alexandre Mattar is waxing nostalgic about, well, wax — and a bit of acetate too.

Mattar is known by his DJ handle, Zattar, and as one of the cats that started the good-time monthly dance party called TimeKode.

Zattar been collecting records since he starting DJing a dozen years ago and has, of late, taken a shine to labels such as People’s Potential Unlimited, an American mail-order business that has re-released some boogie-funk records from back in tha day on seven inches.

Zattar took it on as a personal challenge to prepare a new set using only 45s. He will play that mix Friday at Kitchen Party 9, a monthly dance night that, as the name implies, takes the hang-out-by-the-sink house party vibe and transfers it to the neighbourhood pub.

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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.