I have a really cool roommate. Her name is Vanessa Rieger. She is also one of my best friends. Vanessa is an exceptionally talented multi disciplinary artist, with a special gift for curation and facilitation of amazing shows and spaces of opportunity. Vanessa has vision. Vanessa also used to terrify me. We met five years ago when I joined my very first artist studio / collective, The White House, back when it was literally a white house tucked away down an alley at Landsdowne and College. When I first joined I was part of a group exhibition they curated at Gallery 1313. I have a memory of the day we began hanging our work, Vanessa immediately approached me to give me unsolicited advice about how I should display my stupid little drawings I had made. It was great advice, but being so new to Toronto, to showing my work, and to everyone involved in the art scene, I was so afraid she would find out I was a huge fraud, not a real artist, had no idea what I was doing, that I, for some reason, wasn’t supposed to be there.
That was a bunch of baloney and a few months later, after sitting uncomfortably silent through many meetings and White House shows, I finally began to open up and feel comfortable around Vanessa (and everyone else). It seems insane to me now that I ever felt intimidated by her, or felt as though she would see through what was actually a very earnest attempt on my part to become part of an artistic community and figure out what kind of work I wanted to make. And I realize now, even as I am typing this, that Vanessa was so integral to that process. By creating the board of directors that I later joined, by curating the annual halloween spectacular, ‘Ghost Hole,’ a show I of which I am now a curator/organizer, by giving me opportunities to design posters, without which I would not be considered a poster designer today… this list can probably go on and on and I have other things I need to do today. Vanessa is a gem, a visionary, a great friend and one of the funnest ladies I know. This mixtape is a compilation of recordings she made for a weeklong party/cafe/restaurant/store/show she curated with Henri Faberge. It’s crackly and wonderful and on side A you can hear Henri give me a little shout out at the beginning!! Here’s what Vanessa sent me, all the info you need to know. Links to Side A and Side B can be found below. OPPORTUNITY CAFE FOREVER.
In my usual fashion of never doing anything on time, here is a belated but well worth the wait mix from artist and musician Esther Splett. Esther is a member of Montreal band Sacral Nerves, in addition to being a cool feminist and artist. She also hails from my hometown of Ottawa! Esther always backs me up in online arguments about feminism and since I couldn’t make it to this year’s Slut Island festival, the evil twin sister festival to Calgary’s Sled Island, she made me this awesome playlist of the bands who were performing! LISTEN TO IT! I hope this becomes a yearly thing, because I will very likely make the trip next year.
SLUT ISLAND MIX by Esther Splett, available to stream on 8 tracks here
Truths - Fakes
Montreal - Charlotte Day Wilson
Dream and Variation Romantic - Syngja
Pleasure - Dekoder
Mountain Night - Ghost Taco
Wear Me Away - White Poppy
Born Slippy - Ylang Ylang
First Year - Empty Disco
Magic 8 Ball - Pretty Boys
Hyper Sensory Experience - Cheap Wig
Lay It Down - The Wayo
Special Special For YOU - Gambletron
I Am Jack’s Nightlight - Food Stamps
Vodka Redbutch - Douce Angoisse
Turn Your Love Around - TOPS
Technic is Fun - Jeff Barbara
Hi everyone! I have a brand spankin’ new mix ready for you kind folks out there, and boy is this one special. At the request of Small Talk, Pierre Richardson and Lesley Marshall’s Ottawa-based music newspaper / monthly / zine, I made a mix hot out of the oven in anticipation of the yearly superfest, Ottawa Explosion. Featuring 100% OXW artists, this ram-a-lam collection of facemelters sure is making me excited about my impending visit to my groovy hometown.
I will also be participating in the Punk Rock Art Show at OZ Kafe and will be collaborating on visuals for the Thursday night OAG Show… but enough about me! This is all about the music….
Shake your hips, raise your fists in the air, get those mosh pit legs and arms ready and prepare for a serious bangover… its the Ottawa Explosion 2014 mix tape, available to download here.
It’s so nice outside tonight! Here’s a great new mix from another new friend, Morgan Dowler. Morgan is a recent Halifax export and we’re very lucky to have her. I met her in 2012 during Sappyfest 7 (aka the most magical weekend of my life) and we didn’t talk much but I remember thinking that she seemed really rad and I thought her hair was perfect (I get serious hair envy sometimes). She came along on one of the days when we jumped off the bridge into the salt water river in Amherst, that was a cool day! They were all cool days. So yeah, Morgan lives with my friend Mel in the nicest apartment ever (no really) and she plays drums and for a while I thought she played with Old And Weird because I saw some photos of her playing with them at Sappyfest 8, but it turns out I was wrong, that was just a special occasion. Whoops!
This mix is also…. 100% CANADIAN! Wahoo, get your cancon fill on this seriously east coast heavy mix. Can’t fucking wait for Sappyfest 9, drinking beers in the sun at Ducky’s, jumping off the bridge into the river, Mel’s Diner, all the kids with cars that run on vegetable oil, the super cute weird Halifax girls who never shave their pits, making friends with every single person there because Sackville is the place where friendship dreams come true. Recipe for instant happiness and joy.
(also I should mention that this mix is great because two of the songs have the word ‘slime’ in the title. Morgan: how did you know??)
(Art by Joe Chamandy)
Burn Zero - Nu Sensae
Modern Life - Astral Gunk
Slimer - Cold Warps
Witches Finger - Babysitter
Repo - Yellowteeth
Slimeball - HSY
Punk as Fuck - Kappa Chow
Mountain King - CROSSS
That’s What I am - Swollen Eyes
Graves - Hooded Fang
Sacred Hand - Monomyth
Teenage Kingdomdom - Organ Eyes
Into the White - The Squids
To Where - Grass Widow
Kowtow - Freak Heat Waves
girlhood-tv said: How are you so fabulous?
You are the reason I continue to breathe. Fabulousness is directly connected to the amazing women in my life, without which I would be a heaping mess of infinite sadness and existential strife. NEVER LEAVE ME.
Hi buds, I have 3 new mixes up for you to get down with on this muggy saturday afternoon.
The first comes from super babe Lauren Wilkins. Lauren is a fantastic bartender at fave hang zone Get Well and clearly a girl after my own heart. Every time she’s working they always play the best jams and I always assume it’s because of her. This playlist contains some of my favourite tunes, highly recommended listening when you’re in that perfect kind of bad mood, walking angrily to meet at ex to get your stuff back, had a bad day at work, feeling really strongly about oppressive power structures. You know! Get pissed off! Smash a TV with a baseball bat, give that car that cut you off the finger, walk down Dundas street kicking over all the garbage bins (a thing I did once, don’t actually do this, it’s mean).
… this is Harsh Tokes by Lauren Wilkins, available to download here.
Hello and good morning! Today a bug flew into my eye when I was out grabbing coffee and I was like ‘Ahhhh it’s finally spring!’ So, in honour of that moment, I would like to share this submission with you from new sweet gal pal, Carly Ogonek.
I met Carly through my friend Melanie Bristow Hill (also a contributor) and was immediately impressed with her funny jokes and the fact that she picked Bridget St John’s Songs For the Gentleman to play at my apartment during Mel’s birthday. Carly works at Soundscapes where many people like to buy CDs, records and tickets to shows. I ran into her at my friend’s DJ night not too long ago that was (unfortunately) kind of dead but then me and her and our friend Melissa just danced anyways and Carly has some seriously sweet moves and knew all the words to all the songs Dennis was playing. Carly is so cool! I want to hang out with her more than those two times! I bugged her to make me a mixtape and here is the result: a dreamy, folky mix for long country drives, quiet afternoons reading at home, walking around in the sunshine, sitting on porches with friends drinking beer, lying in a field with someone you like to kiss (I dunno how you would get a stereo playing in the field but whatever, be creative). Play this in your nice vintage clothing store with the door open, eat popsicles outside, wear your jean jacket with a sweater underneath, take a nap in the middle of the day, life is great and I love you! That’s what this mix feels like to me.
Popular Pastoral by Carly Ogonek, available to download here.
Betty and Dupree - Tia Blake
If I Could Be the Rain - Rosalie Sorrels
Sweet Dawn My True Love - Crispian St. Peters
One Sweet Day - Friends
Harvest Home - Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance
Magnólia - Jorge Ben
Life is a Constant Journey Home - Jerry Moore
Before You Know It (It’s Over) - Dylan Shearer
Fishing - Peter Howell & John Ferdinand
Good Morning Mr. Wind - Donovan
You Know - Angela Strange & Jennifer Lewis
Better Than Today - Trader Horne
Niña - Eduardo Mateo
April Morning - Jimmy Campbell
Hello Mabel - Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Lotus Blossom - Davy Graham
Everything is Sunshine - The Hollies
Some People Never Know - Wings
Lucky Star - Promise
Hi, hello, welcome and how are you?
April’s first mixtape comes from my dear friend and fellow visual artist Sarah D’Angelo. Sarah is a very funny little lady who is also the owner of my dream hair: a muppet mop of short black curls with a sweeeet undercut. I realized that it was my dream hair when we (me, Sarah, Alicia and Airin) were driving back from Ottawa last June and Alicia asked us all (as an extension of ‘would you rather’) if we had to have one hairstyle for the rest of our lives what would it be and I picked Sarah’s because it’s perfect. Sarah is a multidisciplinary artist and one of the founding members of gallery and art shop Good Blood Bad Blood (RIP), a nice place we all used to hang out at in Kensignton Market. Anyhoodles, Sarah has made two really magical clay animation shorts and we are working on a third together which maybe will be finished by the end of the summer? Who knows, we haven’t really talked about it in a while. I used to take the leftover clay from workshops when I worked at the NFB that otherwise would have gone to the garbage and bring them to her because that stuff is expensive. A month or so ago Sarah and I were working on our pieces for “Another Dark Day Passes” and we ordered an extra large pizza and I think we ate the whole thing and I only sort of regretted it. Then we watched episodes of I’m Alan Partridge while she worked on her project and I worked on my hangover and I definitely don’t regret that.
These are just a scattered collection of Sarah anecdotes because I don’t really remember how we because friends or if there was a specific moment, it just sort of happened. She moved into my old studio (The White House) after I moved out. I brought her bags of garbage clay. She asked me to collaborate: I said yes. We worked on our film in a tiny back room at the end of a hallway that was filled with piles of empties and giant cockroaches. It was really fun and probably the best thing I did that summer. Sarah is self taught and so talented and her mix is very special because it is the first ever to feature none other than Canada’s own Justin Bieber.
Get down get down, it’s Emotional Money by Sarah D’Angelo, available to download here.
Tonight - Xscape
Part of the Game - Airbird
Confident - Justin Bieber
Copalita - Chancha Via Circuito feat. Miriam Garcia
Memories (secrets) - Sloslylove
To Each His Own - Patrice Rushen
Other Chicks - Ciara
Pulses - Infinity Frequencies
Eco Zones - Blank Banshee
Cannibal Cod - Desfontane
Is That You? - (Dose)
Majesty - Infinity Frequencies
HELLO WORLD. I’ll keep this one short but also very sweet. Today is International Women’s Day, and I would like to dedicate this very special mix tape to my best friend Sasha Foster. Sasha and I met in the illustration program at OCAD five years ago, we’ve lived together twice and in the same building for a number of years. I usually want to tell some sort of nice anecdote when I talk about my lady friends on this blog, but sometimes there are those people… the friends where there are too many stories to pick just one or two. Sasha moved to Calgary last year and I miss her a whole lot. I went to visit her in June for Sled Island (which became Flood Island) and we had the most amazing time. However, I didn’t book my flight properly and accidentally scheduled it for Sunday evening instead of the monday morning I had planned. Expecting to see her before I left, it was a huge shock and I got whisked off to the airport without getting a proper chance to say goodbye. Although she came to visit Toronto at the end of October, I remember that bittersweet feeling at the airport, of being so happy to have seen her but realizing that I had no idea when the next time we would be in the same city again. It’s a weird kind of sadness, being unsure if you will ever live in the same place as the people you love the most. But life is long, and we have so much future ahead. There is no way of knowing how and when our paths will cross again, but I have no doubt that they will continue to do so.
It’s Sasha’s birthday today, and since I can’t be there in person, I made her this mixtape of feel-good tunes. Hi Sasha! Sorry I can’t be there to celebrate with you. Listen to this when you’re working in your studio, and I can’t wait to see you again. I’m so incredibly proud of everything you’ve accomplished, and for what’s ahead for both of us.
(Above Photo is of me and Sasha in my bedroom, 2012. I look pissed off but it’s not true! It’s just the face I am making that does not reflect my inside feelings. There are probably better photos of us but I just really like this one for some reason)
Care Of Cell 44 - The Zombies
You And Me - R. Stevie Moore
Live On Genevieve - White Fence
Raised Eyebrows - The Feelies
Beatnik - The Clean
Gettin’ High In The Morning - Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Plastic Flowers - The Wake
Down Is Up - Moondog
Dance - ESG
Mind Your Own Business - Delta 5
T.V. Playtime - Silicon Teens
Transcendental Overdrive - Harald Grosskopf
Blurred - Turquoise Days
Warm Moving Bodies - Units
Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Killing My Life - Sonic Boom
No Nonsense - Electric Eels
Totally Wired - The Fall
Gotta Gettaway - Stiff Little Fingers
Split - Kleenex/LiLiPUT
Kool Thing - Sonic Youth
Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill
You Don’t Own Me - Lesley Gore
Hi pals! Today feels so much like spring that I felt like it was time to drop two new mixes to get everyone excited about the warmer weather (actually, I’ve just been procrastinating). I would like to apologize officially to these two ladies for my tardiness, since they both got these in to me quite some time ago. Let’s start with Katie’s mix…
Katie Lavoie is a (somewhat) recent Calgary export, and my favourite new friend. Her friendship was recommended to me by my best friend Sasha, who is a (somewhat) recent Toronto export to Calgary. It took a bit of time after her move before we actually hung out, but the memory of the precise moment when I realized I wanted to be her friend is etched in pretty well. After attending July’s Feast in the East on a very hot night, I went with a mutual friend to a DJ night that Katie was at. She was wearing powder blue, high waisted flared pants with platforms and a crop top, dancing perfectly and singing along to all the words to the disco songs (I know NOTHING about disco, by the way). I should also say that when she said hello to me that night I totally blanked on who she was and felt super embarrassed about it. Whatever! The point is, I realized that evening that this was a person who I needed to be friends with. It was solidified a few weeks later after I went to the pool with her and some friends (twice) and we exchanged numbers. I feel like I’ve texted her every day since.
Katie is my regular Karaoke buddy, and I am thoroughly impressed with her rendition of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. She works like a maniac and you can usually find her on weekends at June Records, looking like a babe and knowing more about music than you do (and she’ll recommend you something great). Katie is also a fantastic DJ herself, she co-hosts a super fun night called ‘Shake It, Don’t Fake It’ with June Records’ Ian Cheung, and is going to be playing some nice music for you at the Optical Sounds Pysch Pop. 2 party at the Great Hall on March 15. KATIE RULES.
**Also, I should mention that this is the first Loving Echo mix I’ve received that features exclusively female musicians/performers/female fronted bands, which is awesome. Also that Avengers song KILLS ME every time.
Download Katie’s Loving Echo mix HERE.
Heard It Through The Grapevine - The Slits
Girl - Destiny’s Child
Lotta Love - Nicholette Larson
We Are The One - The Avengers
The Crippled Jazzer - Marnie Stern
My Heart Can Feel The Pain - The Tonettes
Body Party - Ciara
Uptown Top Ranking - Althea & Donna
Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill
Ain’t Got No - Nina Simone
Only Seventeen - The Beattle-ettes
Come Live With Me - Dorothy Ashby
Ince Ince - Selda
Young Hearts Run Free - Candi Station
Nothing Compares to You - Sinead O’Connor