Monday, 25 June 2012

Secret Show

Today was one of those rare days when things happen that you would never have expected to happen in Hamilton on a Monday afternoon. I woke up to several messages about a secret show that was taking place in downtown Hamilton around noon and I'm not going to lie I got rather excited. I love when randomness occurs.

The show was held as a lead up to Supercrawl which takes place in September. Supercrawl is just an insane two days of incredible music and art and just overall festival happiness. Last year Broken Social Scene played at Supercrawl so there has definitely been some anticipation for this years play list announcement, which was also announced at the secret show today.

Terra Lighfoot played as well as Said the Whale. It was great. I am in love with Terra's voice. She is also in The Dinner Belles who I raved about in my last post. She's pretty awesome.

Terra Lightfoot- Check her out on facebook  at

Said the Whale is a band out of Vancouver who are starting to get some really big recognition. They will both be playing at Supercrawl in September. I'm very happy about that.

Said the Whale- Look for them at

There is a great line up for this years show which is taking place September 14th and 15th. Here's just a short list of performers:
  • Born Ruffians
  • Elk
  • Great Lake Swimmers (YAY)
  • Hollerado
  • Wax Mannequin
  • White Horse
  • Young Rival
  • Zeus 
  • and K'naan
Sounds like it's going to be a crazy weekend in the Hammer and I can not wait for it.

I loved how even with such short notice today there was a pretty good turnout for this show. It's great to see people come together and it definitely was a great way to start the week.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Monday, 18 June 2012

Burlington is alive with the sound of music...festival

Our not so far away neighbour Burlington had an amazing festival this past weekend. The Sound of Music Festival is the biggest free music festival in Canada and for good reason. Local talent. Hamilton and surrounding area is chalk full of crazy, crazy talent. Since the festival fell on father's day weekend I was unable to go everyday but I managed to get there a couple of times and can definitely say that there has to be something in the water because I don't know any other areas that have this much of a bursting diverse, music scene.

I went on Thursday evening to see Born Ruffians, a band I had never seen but had heard about many times. They were a lot younger than I had imagined and that made the music they were playing much more impressive. The lead singer is a young guy with a baby face and a great rock presence. I liked them.

Born Ruffians
  After they played I noticed that the crowd had probably quadrupled in size. I was kind of expecting that since the biggest band to come out of Hamilton in the past 10 years was there. Arkells made it to Burlington after shotgunning it 42 hours from Pheonix. This was probably my fifth time seeing them and once again they did not disappoint. Their music really resonates with me because they just seem to get it. They get my generation. They come from blue collar families and went to the same schools we went to. I hear Hamilton in their music, but they have taken their hometown love and made it accessible and understandable even to those who are not Hamiltonians, hence their success.

Arkells killed it!
 I missed Saturday to pursue father's day activities. I was a little bit sad because I really wanted to see San Sebastian. Another band from Hamilton. They have opened for bands like Hedley and are really making a name for themselves. I have liked them since they were The Pumps, then just Pumps and finally San Sebastian. I have to say they know how to get people off their feet. My friend Laura went and said that they played an awesome set which included a cover of my all time favourite song. Shout. I wish I had seen it. Oh well, next time.

San Sebastian. I feel like I need to support them not only because they make great music but I went to college with the one in sunglasses :P
 I almost didn't go to the festival on Sunday due to the weather forecast.  It called for thunderstorms all afternoon and evening and I really didn't want to go walk around in the rain but at the last minute I decided to go and thank goodness I did. If I had not gone I would not have discovered an amazing band. The Dinner Belles were playing on the Cogeco stage and even though I had never heard of them I had heard that one of them was in another Hamilton based band, Monster Truck. If you've heard Monster Truck you can imagine my surprise when this band walked out with banjos and mandolins and started playing folky country music. I did not expect it, but I did love it. I bought their album and intend to drag my friends to their next show.

Dinner Belles. Best discovery at the festival.
 After Dinner Belles I went and saw another fairly well known band that hails from Burlington. Saint Alvia. I liked them. I really did, but after seeing Dinner Belles I had a hard time really getting into it. They ruined me for the day because they were just so good I compared everyone to them. The bands are complete opposites. Maybe next time I see Saint Alvia I'll be in a better headspace.

(The) Saint Alvia (Cartel)
 The next band I saw was the youtube sensation, Walk Off The Earth. Okay I'm ready for the backlash here but please remember this is just my opinion. I did NOT dig it at all. Thousands showed up for them, which I guess I expected because they really did blow up over night. Once their somewhat pretentious five minute musical intro finally ended and they all came on stage wearing matching hoodies I was kind of surprised at how...not great...they were. It felt like they thought they were mega stars...there was just no connection. I was pretty disappointed because I was actually looking forward to seeing them. I left halfway through. I didn't need to see anymore. Maybe it was the was too big for them. I don't know, I think I had hyped them up in my mind. Either way it's just my opinion.

I could not get any closer to Walk Off The Earth. The crowd was nuts.
 Last but not least I went to see Treble Charger. As I walked up they were playing the song Hundred Million and I was taken right back to high school. They were a very popular pop-punk band as I was growing up. When I saw them though I immediately felt old. They still sounded good but there wasn't a ton of energy and you could tell it had been a while since they had played. It started to drizzle while they were playing so I left before I could hear my favourite song by them, Brand New Low. I'm not too upset about it though. I would hate to have my memory of that song be tainted by them playing it lackluster. I'll just keep it in there and remember singing it in vocal ensemble in high school.

Treble Charger. Less charging now.
All in all what I saw of the festival was impressive. I liked that even though it was in Burlington most of the bands were Hamilton based. I just loved the bands, the stages...everything. It's such a great festival and as they kept reminding us it is run mainly through volunteers so that is pretty incredible. Can't wait for next years festival! (Also most of these pictures were taken by Laura Cook so photo cred to her)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Healthy Hamilton

Just recently I have decided to try and change some of my less healthy habits. Maybe because it's pretty much swimsuit season or maybe because I'm just tired of being lazy and having no energy. Either way I have been trying to exercise more lately and eat better. Maybe writing about it will motivate me even more. I've always had that nasty weight issue but I'm no longer striving for the unrealistic. I just want to be a bit healthier. Nothing crazy. I thought it would be nice to put my top 5 favourite places for a workout. I love going for walks or jogs or something in between and Hamilton has lots of space to stroll around. Okay laces tied and tacky sweatband in place. GO!

#5. Mountain Stairs
Chedoke Stairs, Dundurn Stairs, James Stairs, Wentworth Stairs and Kenilworth Stairs. There are many different ones to choose from. They're all hell and I hate them all but I'm sure my heart will thank me. Also my wallet because it is free to go run the stairs.

Oh Sweet Mother.

#4. The Royal Botanical Gardens
This is somewhere I almost never get to go but it is beautiful if you are able to get out to it. Definitely makes going for a walk a real adventure for the senses what with all the colours and smells going on. Lovely.

Pretty pathways

#3. The Hermitage
Old ruins, wonderful forest trails and creepy ghost stories!? Count me in.

They even have Ghost Walks here. I want to go!

#2. Waterfalls, waterfalls...did I mention waterfalls?
Hamilton is known as the waterfall capital of the world. Basically we have around 120 waterfalls hidden throughout our city. Hrrmph and you thought we only had steel here. From Albion to Tews Falls. Almost all of them are in forests and include lovely nature hikes to get to them.

Beautiful Albion Falls

#1. Sam Lawrence Park aka. The Brow
I've talked about how my favourite tree is located here in a previous blog and that may have something to do with my love of the brow but definitely not all. I have always loved going for walks there. I can remember going there even as a little child. Lovely gardens and views of Hamilton.

One of the paths found at the brow.