Tag Archives: music

Supercrawl 2013

A couple weeks ago, I went to Supercrawl in Hamilton, a city about an hour away from Toronto.  Supercrawl was a two-day festival over Friday and Saturday, celebrating music, art, and culture. While I had heard about the emerging art scene in Hamilton, this was my first time experiencing it, and I was excited to explore Hamilton!

Each year, Supercrawl gets bigger and I can definitely see why. The biggest draw to Supercrawl for me initially is the music line-up. This year they had some big bands such as Passion Pit, Yo La Tengo and Said the Whale. But I fell in love with so much more.

Supercrawl took place along a blocked off James Street North, so there was no need to worry about cars except for one crossing. We spotted interesting art in strange places.

SupercrawlA functional merry go round made out of scrap metal.

Supercrawl-003Sculptures made out of packing tape

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There were so many cool vendors both on the street and vintage shops along James Street North.  

In particular, I found out about a very cute pop up vintage vendor, Dizzy Alice. Their selection of goods was so charming! I was also impressed at the quality. In my brief foray into vintage stores, I noticed things like broken zippers and frayed ends, which I understood was part of the hunt, but it was sometimes frustrating. So I was happy that I found a cute purse in good shape there. Not too adventurous, but I had been looking like something like this for a while.

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I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of their stall as it was freezing that Friday night we were there. This is Dizzy Alice’s write-up about Supercrawl. There were a couple items that I was eying that night. Now  I am kicking myself for not getting them. But I will definitely try to follow these girls around as their “shop” pops up in more places.

Part of the Supercrawl took place by Lake Ontario, as there was another stage by the water a bit further north than the rest of the event. This provided some serene views.

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Lastly, the music was fantastic. I was happy to see Young Galaxy play. It was also amazing to see the legends from the ’90s, Yo La Tengo, play. I wasn’t too ready for the ambient sounds live, but it was a good time. 

Then for the last musical act of the weekend, I somehow ended up literally front and centre for Passion Pit. That was a surreal experience in such a large (and younger) crowd. It was a lively show.

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This was a grand break from school and a lovely way to spend a fall-ish weekend.

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adieu, summer

Alas, the real end to summer is here. We’ve had some surprisingly chilly days already and a couple last (?) heat wave days in Toronto. I’m settling back into the school year. Yes, even autumn appropriate recipes are starting to catch my eye. 

As such, here is a belated last glimpse of summer 2013.

First up, sangria sorbet from Ed’s.

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A lot of good tunes:

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In July, my sister and I went to the Weezer memories concert. Weezer is a 90s alternative band that still makes music, but like many bands their earlier stuff is the best. They put on a tour in which they played their greatest hits reverse chronologically, followed with the main event: their first album, the Blue album, in full. It was a fantastic nostalgia-filled night.

I went to the last Wavelengths music festival at Artscape Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Islands in August. I found out about a lot of bands I hadn’t heard of before. A couple highlights were Catl, a rhythm and blues duo, and Beliefs, a lovely shoegazy band. Both are from Toronto!

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Beliefs

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I also caught the Wooden Sky’s traveling show as part of Summerworks. The audience literally followed the band as they played across CAMH, the backs of buildings, and alleys. We ended up with a full out concert inside.

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I of course did some further cooking.

I held a brunch earlier in August for my birthday. I put out way too much spread, but I learned it’s really fun having friends over and sharing food. There was no need to stress out.

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Kinda sloppy shot, but these two overnight casseroles were a life saver in the morning: cinnamon toast French toast and a savoury “New York” breakfast casserole of bagels, red onion, cherry tomatoes and cream cheese (Smitten Kitchen’s cookbook). I prepped everything the night before, and put both of them in the oven in the morning.

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I continued my pie craze by making a a savoury tamale pie. I didn’t take a picture of the innards, but there was a turkey tomato stew underneath that cornbread crust. It was all baked up in the oven in a cast iron pan.

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I made one more pie: peach blueberry pie. This was my first double crusted pie and once again I tackled the crust. I have to say that rolling pie dough is probably the most stressful part, since the rolled out dough has to be large enough to cover the pie and you have to transfer the dough without it tearing. Fortunately, I just covered the pie, and it baked up beautifully/at least tasted good.

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Finally, I savoured summer’s last peaches with sour cream peach pancakes (also from Smitten Kitchen’s cookbook!).

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Until next year, summer! You were a good one. Let the season of stews, pumpkins and apple pie (hopefully) commence.

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remnants

With the first week of classes over, here are some smatterings of the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year.

Last Music in the Park with the Happy Pals. Some good jazz, bluegrass and fun times.

Pistachio and rum and raison gelato from G is from Gelata at Jarvis and Adelaide.

 

Lovely accompaniment to the concert.

Near the end of summer I had a sudden panic/realization I’d have less time to cook once school started so I made a bigger-than-expected batch of tofu chili. Eight portions! These are now in my freezer.

A finer affair: green beans with almonds.

Free TCBY from one of Canada’s telecommunications conglomerates.

St. James Park, always lovely.

Tonight I tried  “cooking without a recipe” (as per Michael Smith). I browned some Italian sausage without the casing and added some sliced Brussels sprouts and peppers. It was pretty tasty thanks to the sausage, but that Brussels sprout flavour did not come through as much. I actually quite like the taste of Brussels sprouts so it was a little disappointing!

Over the weekend I plan to catch up on sleep and readings. Hope you have a good weekend!

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Let’s go

I had a peaceful Friday evening at the Evening Hymns album Spectral Dusk release concert, which was also a SummerWorks Festival event. SummerWorks is mainly a performance arts festival, but there are also musical acts.

I liked the opener Fiver, Simone Schmidt, a female singer/guitarist with a great smoky voice and another guitarist. I couldn’t really understand her when she was speaking to the audience though, but I might have to get my ears checked. She was very earnest and confident.

Evening Hymns were just stunning. This will be perfect music for fall. During the concert, there were projections behind the band which fit in perfectly with the music. I was most impressed with how talented and cohesive the seven-piece band was. The dynamics were nuanced. It was an intimate concert.

On Saturday, I went a little crazy at the library.

I often go through periods of “revelations” at the public library. When I was younger I found out that the library stocked a lot of recent DVDs and CDs. Recently, I discovered that the library had recipe books. I’m always the one browsing pretty cookbooks in book stores. It’s so easy for recipe books to stay on the shelves never to be used. That’s why I enjoy borrowing cookbooks just to get a preview of the recipes inside. I don’t know if I’ll get through all these books this time though…

I also went to my first soccer/Toronto FC game! My friend had a spare ticket so I joined her for the afternoon. The TFC played against Kansas City. Unfortunately, we lost, but it was still fun to see so much red.

Since the BMO field where the TFC plays is actually in the Exhibition Place, the tickets come with admission to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). After the soccer game I stayed for a few more hours just walking around the grounds. The CNE, to many, symbolizes the end of summer. The CNE is a large fair with a whole hodgepodge of attractions including rides, food, a garden competition, performances and shows. Last year was the first time I had been in years.

It was really such a pleasant way to finish summer. I had some necessary carnival food: a corn dog (+ artistic ketchup and mustard additions).

The waffle ice cream was amazing: warm waffle and a slice of Chapman’s vanilla ice cream.

There are more restaurants/stalls inside one of the buildings on site which serve a variety of foods other than your typical fair food. The CNE is also famous for introducing calorie-bomb foods, like last year’s Krispy Kreme donut burger. This year, one of the buzz foods is bacon such as bacon wrapped hot dogs or bacon Nutella sandwiches.

So I’d say I got some very anti-CNE food at Vie, a raw food stall. I got their raw taco which was delicious! I loved the texture of the wrap which was a dehydrated corn tortilla. It had some bite to it and was slightly thicker than your regular tortilla. For the “refried” beans, Vie used a walnut paste. The taco also had guacamole and vegan sour cream. For vegan/raw food, this did not taste “healthy” at all.

Other food things:

Always a nice weekend breakfast of French toast + peaches heated on the pan.

Latte art from Bulldog Coffee.

Peanut tofu noodles based on Candice Kumai’s recipe from Pretty Delicious. I shredded the carrots and zucchini using a mandolin-esque instrument my great-aunt gave me. It’s great, especially since I don’t have a food processor.

One parting shot.

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Pape to Old Town

On my commutes to work, I noticed that the Pape subway station name is currently painted on the concrete walls while the station is being renovated. Does this mean there are “TTC font” stencils? Mm, the possibilities.

Fallen tree in St. James Park after a storm.

Music in St. James Park, Thursday nights during the summer. Such a pleasant free public event. On this night I listened to The Prominent String Quartet, who played music from the Romantic period.

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Montréal: La Musique

Over the long weekend my family and I took a roadtrip to Montreal. My sister and I went mainly for the Osheaga, a music festival, but we still got in some good family time (and my parents enjoyed exploring Montreal on their own too). It was both a food- and music-filled experience.

I will have to write about the food in a separate post, but here’s a snap of a homemade snickerdoodle for the ride.


This was my first outdoor musical festival and I loved it. Seeing so many awesome bands in such a short time period was fantastic. There were so many people everywhere: watching the bands, lining up for food, taking the Metro back and even just going from the different stages. Apparently there were 120,000 of us over three days.

Day 1: Of Monsters and Men, Dum Dum Girls, Atlas Sound, Florence and the Machine, Sigur Ros and the end of MGMT.

There was a massive crowd for Of Monsters and Men. I didn’t know them well before, but this was one of my favourite shows and a perfect way to start the weekend. I am definitely going to listen to more of them.


Atlas Sound is an interesting man.

 

A very zoomed in Florence – unfortunately we were stuck in the middle, but Florence put on a lovely show and got the whole crowd involved. She also leapt around the perimeter at one point!

Day 2: Young Galaxy, Arkells, Garbage, Feist and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Young Galaxy was dreamy.

 

The recent Arkells album grew on me this past year. Unfortunately I misread the stage for them and I missed the first fifteen minutes. They were so energetic that it didn’t seem to matter as much, luckily.

 

I never thought I’d see Garbage live. She had tons of attitude.

Feist is a cool woman.

Somebody passed up a palm tree “offering” through the audience.

The legends, The Jesus and Mary Chain, still rocked it. I feel the need to go through their discography now.

Day 3: Zeus, Dan Mangan, Aloe Blacc, Passion Pit, Austra, James Vincent McMorrow, The Shins, Bloc Party

It was a very rainy day so I didn’t take many pictures. I was definitely looking forward to see Dan Mangan. It was pouring during his show, but I don’t think the crowd minded.

 

The rain cleared up later on and it was actually very hot when we watched Austra. We were in the first row!

 

The Shins were one of my favourite parts of Osheaga. To be honest, I don’t know many of their songs, but the ones I do know are so comforting.

 

As much fun as I had, unless there is a can’t-be-missed lineup, I probably don’t need to go to Osheaga for a while. It was quite exhausting and kinda messy!

That trash isn’t ours either — one of the disappointing parts of Osheaga was how willing people were to litter. The ground at the end of each night was a sea of plastic cups.

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Just Pipes

I had a lovely weekend back home. I am happy to say that I now have a Presto card for the GO train. This may be old hat for any readers abroad, but it is exciting to be able to tap in and tap out using the card to ride the train. There’s no need to scramble for a ten-ride pass anymore. Of course, the key is tapping out. Unlike the Hong Kong system where there are barriers to enter and exit, the GO train uses a proof of payment system. Thus, it is easy to forget to tap out here, ahem… I can’t wait until Presto is compatible with more TTC subway stations.

My sister and I stopped by a Zellers to pick up some sundries and were surprised by a liquidation sale. Target bought out Zellers and I suppose now is the transition time. The sales were not all ridiculously cheap yet, but the selection was still good. Even though I’ve heard great things about Target, I am not sure about another big box store replacing another.

The main reason I went home was because our family had Brott Music Festival tickets to a “Just Pipes” concert with high tea in a local church. Music + tea is always a nice combo 🙂 Since this was a “just pipes” concert, the whole concert consisted of an organ (Jan Overduin) and recorder (Matthew Jones). Wow, I did not know that the recorder could play such an expansive repertoire! The first half of the concert took place in the church where there was the organ. The duo played pieces from the Baroque period.

During the intermission, we went to another room in the church for tea. What a spread.

Clotted cream, of course 😉

In the second part of the concert, Matthew Jones continued playing the recorder including a soprano and baritone recorder. Overduin accompanied him. Jones even played two recorder at the same time at one point! He was a very animated musician and discussed the pieces he played.

A very interesting concert, indeed.

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