I’ve been terrible about live music this summer. Last year, going to shows was a priority but between personal drams (eyeroll) and being the lazy old lady I am, I’ve passed up a lot of great acts in 2011 (Robyn, Black Keys, Cults, all of NXNE to name a few). Well, this week I started making up for lost time.
There probably isn’t a better band to rekindle love for live music than My Morning Jacket. They played Kool Haus last Monday (a favourite venue of mine if only for the great shows I’ve seen there). I’ve been arguing all week against people who call them a “jam band”. I mean, as a group of insanely talented musicians (fronted by someone who is arguably a musical genius) of course they play with their songs and go a little off the beaten track path. But unlike other jam bands, you won’t be wondering “What song is this again?” after a 20 minute extended version. My Morning Jacket are fucking tight OK and they know exactly what they’re doing at all times to keep you under their spell. Notorious for on-stage commitment, they played a full 2 1/2 hour set, including a 30 minute encore. If you’re going to see live music, this is where you need to be. Highlights: Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt II, I’m Amazed, Librarian, Golden
Three days later I managed to score a last-minute ticket to see Fleet Foxes at Massey Hall. For 60 bucks I was two rows from the stage, easily the closest to the action I’ve ever been in Massey. Being so close, I was able to see the reason for this venue’s incredible sound – a 40 (50?) ft high dome above the stage, cupping the sound and sending it back to the audience “like a big hug”. Fleet Foxes are new to me – I only started listening after the release of their second album Helplessness Blues – but I’m already totally smitten with their sound. I felt like a superstar music critic when I whispered to my seatmate that their sound was like modern medieval until every review I read called the band “minstrels”. In short, their music kind of fills you up and you can’t wipe the stupid I-Can’t-Believe-This-Is-Happening smile off your face. The show wasn’t long, but it was solid and by the last encore, I had goosebumps and felt like I was going to cry. Hugely amazing. Go see this band play, I’m serious.
Fair Warning: Wilco is coming to town
I’ve thrown many a media event during my PR career and they have all had one thing in common – swag. So when Lia invited me to ElmSpa‘s O2 Oxygen Therapy media launch as her +1, I expected to get a mini-treatment and maybe take home some lotions. No lotions but instead, a gift certificate to try out one of their Oxygen treatments. Umm, score!
I opted for the O2 Facial at the Elmwood Spa (normally $130). The booking agent told me to arrive an hour early so I could enjoy the water therapies. Basically it’s a hot tub and a swimming pool but it was nice to chill out for a bit before my service. Besides feeling a little dated, it was super clean and lovely and I read Vanity Fair articles about old Hollywood. Perfection.
The facial: I’m used to a straight cleanse-exfoliate-heat-extract-moisturize type facial but this was quite different. After the cleansing and exfoliating, the technician applied a serum to my skin and then, with the oxygen wand, pumped pure O2 over my face for what felt like ages. This helps the skin really draw the serum in. Afterwards, we did a mask followed by lots of lotion.
The result: My skin looks amazing you guys. Like, fine lines, what fine lines? Super plump and dewy. I also got some great skincare advice from the technician (I have thin skin. Literally) and wound up buying a product from the ElmLine (AHA exfoliator).
Thank you sooo much ElmSpa (and Lia)!
What a weekend.
I laughed. I cried. I cried some more. I made up. I went out. I blew it up.
Toronto has a Roller Derby and I saw it for the first time last night. Like I was in Whip It. Actually, I can credit that movie for teaching me the rules and making me feel like I was a sort of expert (example quote:”Oh look SEE they’re doing the thing where they take the girl who skates fastest and pulling her in front!”). Seriously it is a damn good time. They’re doing it again May 14 I believe. Downsview at the Hanger. Yes it’s far but it’s worth it.
We were rooting for the Smoke City Betties (I always love an underdog) and especially their jammer Memphis Kitty. Great heart. Shit defense. So. Much. Fun.
Second thing: I booked it back DT to catch the Vivian Girls and Black Lips concert at the Phoenix. First thing about the second thing: Not all girl bands are created equal. Vivian Girls = meh. Sub par. Andrew made an interesting point that if they weren’t all girls, they probably wouldn’t be opening. I don’t think that is far off. His gf was biting her tongue and had no opinion. Fine, I’ll say it: TOTES TRUE.
It was my first time seeing the Black Lips live and I’ll never forget it. Amazing. Not many bands out there copping the Rolling Stones vibe (in my opinion) and they do it just perfectly. Still giddy from it, actually.
Last thing: Lou Dawgs turned two! We went to the anniversary party where I didn’t take one, NOT ONE, picture and from what I can tell, nobody else did either.
Happy Bday Lou’s! May you have many, many more. ps – you’re worth the hangover.
589 King St. West. Best pulled pork in town.
Fun weekend, right? Now to spend my Sunday with lazy brunch at (name omitted to ensure continued short line waits), vintage shopping and getting my nails did (matte top coat getting put to some use – yes!). Blog about it later if worthy. XO
Photo Miles Storey via Torontoist
I left Newfoundland for this?
Is it cool to hang out at Trinity Bellwoods park? I ask because I’ve never spent so much time in the park before. It’s like ‘my local’ of the summer. Tall cans and iphone tunes and good chats as the sun goes down – it’s my favourite way to spend a weeknight in the summer.
Last night was no exception. I explored Bellwood’s mini Farmer’s Market and grabbed some Olive loaf and goat’s cheese (from Stratford!), fresh basil and raspberries. Jess and I hunkered down on a pretty yellow picnic blanket I picked up from Honest Ed’s and had a makeshift picnic.
This is Jess’s friend Joe. He owns the Bellevue in Kensington Market
We had great heart-to-hearts and listened to good tune’s on Jess’ phone (technology. who knew?) and stayed until the beats from the drum circle drowned out our conversation. Just a nice, perfect Tuesday evening. So nice, in fact, I thought I’d share.
See you in the park.
Gaetano Previati’s Paolo and Francesca
It’s easy to live in the city and miss a lot of what’s going on. For me it is. So when I do go out and see ‘city things’ I’m reminded and inspired to do it more often. Case in point, the latest exhibition at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario for non-Torontonians) Drama & Desire.
The show features art created from the start of the French Revolution to the beginning of WWI, all inspired by the theatre. I don’t pretend to know a lot about art but I like to look at beautiful things and this exhibit was exactly that. Beautiful. Maybe an added thrill had to come from knowing a few of the plays some of the paintings were based on; Understanding why Sargen’s Lady Macbeth looks so bat shit crazy or reading the looks of devastation on the faces of Frederick Leighton’s The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet. I don’t think you need to know anything about either art or theatre to appreciate this show though. It’s just lovely to look at. Most especially Degas’ dancers.
It runs until Sept 26 so you have lots of time to go. While you’re at the AGO, go take a look at Anselm Kiefers Palmsonntag. It’s jaw-dropping. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Edgar Degas Blue Dancers
Frederick Leighton’s The Reconciliation…
My friend Kristen is going to see Paris soon. I’m crazy jealous. It’s no secret to you, or any of my friends, that I’m bananas about the place. I’m not sure why – people say that Paris is dirty and the people are rude but I refuse to believe it could be anything less than magical. Paris and I click somehow. As if, in Paris, I’d be a better me.
I feel similarly about New York.
Have you seen Julie and Julia? It’s a great movie. I’d like it more if it was just “Julia”, as in Julia Child. I read her book My Life in France – it’s so, so , so good. If you read it, you’ll be heart-sick in love and starving the whole time. When people write about cooking French food I actually salivate – which is funny because lots of French cuisine I’m not fussy about (pigs feet? pork belly? sick.). Another great book to read that will turn you into a cheese-scarfing, wine-guzzling alcoholic is A Year in Provence.
This is Julia Child and her husband, Paul. They were crazy for each other.
Where is all this coming from? I biked down to the Harbourfront Centre tonight to catch a free outdoor screening of Julie and Julia. It was awesome. A perfect sunset and iced-down white wine in a Nalgene. Literally a 4 minute bike ride from my front door. Toronto, I love you.
It’s Pride! Otherwise known as Christmas for the Gays (and girls). The Toronto parade is beyond – so colourful and vibrant. Today is all about acceptance and celebration…and looking at beautiful, half-naked men (I can’t help it. I was born this way).
The weather over the last month has been incredible, right? So hot and sunny and lovely – an early summer to make up for last year’s spectacular fail (it was summer for like, two weeks in July. What a joke)
That’s why I’m able to look out the window at the rain today and not be annoyed. Even though I start my new job (!!!) next week and have precious few days of unemployment left, I can’t hate on the rain.
Hipster Collective has a sweet Rainy Day mixtape – click HERE to listen/download:
All images from tumblr/hipster collective
Tonight is my first game with the Pulled Porkers, my pro-league softball team. OK, so it isn’t ‘pro’ but I’m taking it verrrry seriously – Down to the stripes on my knee socks. I’ll only shotgun beers between runs, promise. So excited! (Mainly for the outfit possibilities, I’ll be honest) If you want to know where to buy this stuff you can check out my Polyvore.
Let’s play some ball!