FESTIVAL: OTTAWA EXPLOSION

Last weekend I took the train from Montreal to Ottawa for Ottawa Explosion. For full transparency, my band Blood Beach was playing the Clock Tower parking lot gig Saturday afternoon, but I’ve been meaning to check this festival out for a while. This was my first time in Ottawa, and I’m still trying to process all the warmth I was met with. Here are some personal festival highlights, in some kind of order:

BBQT @ the Clock Tower Parking lot

“This song is about being dumped on Valentine’s day,” lead guitarist Amery Sandford said before playing  OK CUPID from BBQT’s new EP ALL FOR SHOW. When she said that, I felt it, and that’s what BBQT is all about: feeling and sharing. These are more than pop songs, they are vulnerable anthems we can all relate to. The highlight of the show was when they played PEPSI from their first self-titled EP; everyone knew the words, or found it so catchy they pretended to.

Future Girls @ Clock Tower Parking lot

Halifax’s Future Girls started their set with the song Bowing Out from their newest LP Motivation Problems. My favorite lyric of the song “And why does everyone around me always bum me out?” made me feel like Matty Grace has a knack for writing lyrics that come from her heart and can empathize with others’ anxieties. Bassist B even covered their other band, Goldbloom’s song. Future Girls dish out a little bit of everything.

Martha @ Babylon Nightclub

I saw Martha play twice on Saturday; earlier at the Clock Tower Parking lot and later at the Babylon Nightclub. They were electric and energetic both times, playing almost an entirely different setlist for each show. I was eager to hear my favorite track “1967, I miss you, I’m lonely,” which they played at both sets, and each time the crowd sang along to every word. Martha are as sweet as they are political; their lyrics make you feel seen and encouraged.

All ages scene @ The Clock Tower Parking Lot

This is a side note but an important one; Ottawa Explosion put a lot of energy into making the Clock Tower Parking Lot an all ages venue. They even had a daycare downstairs where you could take your little bud for a break or a quick babysit! I can’t tell you how heartwarming it was to see kids rocking out with huge protective ear muffs along to Martha. The inclusion at Ottawa Explosion seems effortless.

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Martha at the Babylon Nightclub

STAFF CONTRIBUTION: Stephanie Muise

FESTIVAL LINEUP: OUT OF EARSHOT

On the weekend of August 23-25, 2018, not your boys club will be in St. John’s, NL providing media coverage for Out of Earshot’s inaugural festival.

Out of Earshot is a non-profit community-based festival that aims to create supportive spaces for DIY and emerging bands and artists. This mission has been reflected in the festival lineup announcement released last Wednesday. As the festival organizers advocate for safe and inclusive spaces, they prioritized bands and artists who demonstrate inclusive practices within their respective communities.

not your boys club will be covering headlining artists such as DOXX (ON), LAPS (QC), Surveillance (NS), Syngja (QC), Claire Whitehead (ON), Rabies (NS), Blunt Chunks (ON), and BLOOD BEACH (NS), local artists such as Eastern Owl, Hard Ticket, Hopscotch, yee grlz, PROPERTY, Worst Lay, and nybc alumni BABY BUNNY (BBQT) and Lo Siento.

Out of Earshot shares similar values to not your boys club (providing a platform for emerging and underrepresented artists), so it is truly an honour to provide guest coverage for artists I admire, and in a place I adore.

Tickets are for sale online at http://www.outofearshotfestival.com or locally at O’Briens Music or Fixed Coffee & Baking. For $40, you can pick up an Early Bird Pass until June 25th.

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STAFF CONTRIBUTION: Nikki A. Basset

SHOW: SNAIL MAIL AT THE BELT

On June 15th, Snail Mail (Baltimore, MD) with supporting guests, Bonny Doon (Detroit, MI), played a free show at The BELT in Detroit, MI.

The BELT is a redefined, yet unassuming, alleyway in downtown Detroit. As part of the continous effort of its redevelopment, the Library Street Collective gives space to artists that create work to engage the public.

As you walk underneath the colourful plexiglass sculptures marking the entrance, you are pleasantly over-stimulated by the half-kilometre of murals and installations illuminated by string lights criss-crossing above. Walking through the alley, I could feel that the energy was high; there is something unique about a Detroit crowd where their appreciation for music is unwavering and remains unpretentious.

After releasing the album “Lush” on June 8th, Lindsey Jordan (Snail Mail) has been getting a lot of attention. The unapologetically vulnerable song-writing and moody, yet jangly, guitar from “Lush” carries over into her live performance. With relatable lyrics and melodies that move you, Jordan has the ability to connect with people through her music. As she seemlessly transitioned from one song to the next, the crowd swayed synchroniously.

This show was special for a lot people, myself included. Bonny Doon received unconditional home-town support, Lindsey celebrated her 19th birthday, and that was the last time I would cross the border into Detroit for a show before moving to Canada’s east coast.

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Lindsay Jordan playing with Bonny Doon (Detroit, MI) at The Belt

STAFF CONTRIBUTION: Nikki A. Basset

PREMIERE: BBQT’s “ALL FOR SHOW”

Someone once admitted to me that they identify as an intersectional feminist in their tinder profile just to get more dates; an acute example of a bad dude who’s using feminist language but is all for show (swipe left).

BBQT’s new EP, ALL FOR SHOW, is a sweet and salty treat about bad dates and being disappointed by a crush. These high-tempo minute-long tracks will satisfy all your garage-pop cravings (swipe right).

These BB CUTIES, now based in Montreal, met at a BBQ (well, of course) and quickly became great pals and supportive bandmates; each of them contributing some of their own spicy charm to the songwriting process. If you had the pleasure of looking deep into their online message threads, you would find lyrical content that has creeped into every BBQT song.

Despite only writing music for three years, Amery (vocals/guitar) delivers six well-crafted pop songs with silly, but relatable, lyrics. Allison (drums), in distinct BBQT fashion, keeps you swaying with her double snare hits across the entire EP. Jack (guitar/backup vocals) is responsible for most of the sun-kissed lead guitar that gives ALL FOR SHOW its power-pop inspired sound. And finally, Mike (bass/backup vocals), brings much more than just his sweet boyish demeanor; his driving bass lines bring each punchy track to the next.

Forget your crush and let ALL FOR SHOW be the summer soundtrack to your sunny afternoons drinking radlers in the park with all your best pals.

Fav track: FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL. In thirty seconds you are blasted with the lyric that named the EP, noodley back-and-forth lead guitar, and a solo walk-down bass line that is punctuated by an effective single cymbal hit.

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BBQT’s: Allison Graves, Mike McDonald, Amery Sandford, Jack Bielli
Photo by: Tricia Robinson

Catch BBQT on their ALL FOR SHOW June 2018 Tour:

June 13th – with Property and Fog Lake @ Brasserie Beaubien, Montreal, QC

June 15th – w/ Dusk, Tough Age, and Peach Kelli Pop, @ The Clocktower Parking Lot Ottawa Explosion Music Festival, Ottawa, ON

June 16th – w/ Rareflower, Mountain Laurel, and Goodbye Stephanie @ King Edward Hall (All Ages Show) presented by Sweaty Palms, Edmonton, AB

June 17th – w/ Vi’s Guys (Canmore) @ The Canmore Legion, Canmore, AB

June 20th – w/ Dark Time, Le Plaisir, and Michael Rault @ Ship and Anchor, Calgary, AB

June 21st – w/ SBDC, BIRDO, and The Allovers @ The Palomino, Calgary, AB


STAFF CONTRIBUTION: Nikki A. Basset

NYBC PRESENTS: LO SIENTO AT GREEN BEAN CAFE

On April 25th, not your boys club presented Lo Siento (NFLD) with scrambled meggz (NFLD) at the Green Bean Café in Windsor, ON. On the afternoon of the 25th, Lo Siento—Pepa, Andrea, and Meg (of scrambled meggz and filling in for Allison on drums)—pulled up to my house in their (hilarious) royal blue Dodge Charger. We had some time before they needed to load into the venue, so I took them across the river to Detroit to see the installations at the Heidelberg Art Project and the Detroit Industrial Gallery.

After our visit to Detroit, Lo Siento loaded into the Green Bean Café for their early show. Green Bean Café is a safe, accessible, dry, and inclusive space with a large capacity, great food, and a welcoming atmosphere. It was the perfect venue for the first not your boys club show. Before, between, and after sets, I played my favourite records (women and trans musicians only!).

Once a handful of people were there, scrambled meggz started her set. Meg has a way of making a show feel intimate and personal as if she’s playing in her living room to her closest friends. My favourite track that Meg played for us was “2 little lazy eyes (a song for pepa)” which was realeased on the two-track album xoxo only a few days before Lo Siento went on tour. When Meg didn’t have a trumpet for the solo, she compromised and sang it for us.

Lo Siento did not disappoint. Pepa sings in spanish, but regardless of language, she gets her (feminist) message across. Two specific songs, “Historia en el Placard” and “No Es No”, really resonated with me.

Historia en el Placard” is a song that Pepa wrote about her experience of moving to Canada and learning of the injustices that Indigenous people face. She told us she wrote it specifically about the residential school systems and forced assimilation, and with the recent failures of justice for Colton Boushie and Tina Fontaine, this live performance hit me hard.

Second, “No Es No” (translates to “No Means No”) is a song about rape culture, victim-blaming, and informed consent. The song begins with a lyric that translates to “tired of feeling afraid”; a relatable lyric for any vulnerable person who is told that they are responsible for having resistance strategies when “no” is not enough.

Lo Siento delivered a set that was unapologetically sincere.  Their performance was a window into their unwavering friendship; while laughing at their mistakes and refusing to take themselves too seriously, they also communicated love for one another all throughout their set. It is unmistakable how much fun they have playing music together.


STAFF CONTRIBUTION: Nikki A. Basset