Monday, July 18, 2011

More Weird Al

Got to meet this genius backstage on Saturday night - thanks to Ruben Very fun show - those Weird Al fans are serious - singing along with all the clever lyrics. What can you say about a show that features a Doors parody "Craigslist", mini pseudo interviews with the likes of Robert Plant, Eminem and Madonna, a Segway, Amish outfits and Star Wars' storm have to see it to believe it.

This week keeping cool as the temperature is soaring with humidex into the plus 30s...ugh. Still, remind me about this when I'm complaining about winter...

Martedi - that's Tuesday for you non Italophiles - Daniela Nardi is again at Chalkers, Wednesday Mohawk grad and former "Jazzology" guest Mary McKay VanEnden is at the Reservoir from 7 - 10 p.m. - she is a wonderful singer and will be accompanied by her man Johnny McKay..a nice cool place on a sweltering day...the only heat will be that generated onstage. Also on Wednesday over at Hugh's Room - Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran's CD release for "Cuban Rhapsody" around 8:30...

Read an article ":Resisting the Avant-Garde in Films" by Manohla Dargis in the New York Times this weekend about how some appreciate and some do not more abstract films...i.e. "Tree of Life" .The author cited this interesting 3 minute film which I'd never heard of's oddly compelling and calming - plus there is Ella tenuous jazz connection. Apparently it appeals to young children who often get up and sway and move to the music, mesmerized by the pan of the flower covered fence...I think as an INFP I don't have trouble if there isn't a set narrative or linear storyline, I'm perfectly fine filling in the blanks...or leaving the blanks unfilled too...

Bruce Baillie - All My Life from Andrew EW Neel on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fun at Azure and a Weird Al siting

IMG_3801.jpgHere's Dan and his stellar subs for the evening  - Dave Restivo on piano and Duncan Hopkins on bass...later Lee Wallace subbed for Dave - who had a gig with Vaughn Misener over at the Rex...As a special treat - Weird Al Yankovic's keyboard player Ruben Valtierra - I have scored tickets for the gig tonight at Massey Hall...Woo hoo! I have been a fan of Weird Al's since I heard his early work on the Doctor Demento show...."Another One Rides the Bus" (aka Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust").

Ruben let loose on Horace Silver's "Song for My Father"...

There was also a young fan of the music - I believe her name was Sienna....she was quite the fashion plate - she even had matching turquoise Crocs....she certainly enjoyed moving and grooving to the tunes...
I'll let you know how the Weird Al concert works out...should be good. I think in every band with popular artists there lurks a secret jazz musician or two...saw him in the lobby on the way to the elevator...

By the way if you happen to be or live in Mississauga, Dan Bodanis let me know about a new jazz gig - solo piano on Wednesday's starting at 5:30 - it's a lovely Italian restaurant/bakery called Artisano's  - check it out - Dave Restivo is usually pianist in residence with Bernie Senensky subbing in this coming week. They have a "Pasta Bar" which is I think a buffet....magnifico! As always great jazz and food go together...(it's close to where I used to live). Sounds like a great idea for the after work crowd., 3145 Dundas Street West (.at Winston Churchill Road)  Phone 905 607 1990

Dan assures me the menu is very yummy, especially the bread and baked goods and I certainly trust Dan when it comes to food...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Carrie Bradshaw moment

Mind you not the multi hundred dollar Manolos or Jimmy Choos -these are far more practical - you can walk and be comfortable in them. I went a little crazy at the Naot sale at Prairie Dog on Eglinton yesterday...but at less than half price, how can you not? A couple of pairs were $50/$60 buck and the other two $80. I already have a pair of "Paris" sandals - which are the most cushy and comfortable sandals I HAVE EVER, EVER OWNED. Seriously! Now I know why this Israeli brand has a cult following.

I got these pairs in the basement - there is also 20% off many other styles upstairs.

I was coveting the Mary Jane style for a while the model is "Pleasure" - I think because this colour is seen as "odd" - but not to odd people like me, it was discounted - it's kind of a bronzy pink/purple shade - lovely. The " Montreal" sandals are a "pecan" colour, Love the grey patent "shooties" or boots "Gleam"- so cute - they will be nice with jeans, leggings and the wet winter days....the burgundy numbers are suede - slipper like - and feel like "buttah"!
Can't wait for the winter sale - for boots - likely in December. I wonder where the name of the store came from...a former prairie person? Sale continues until July 17th...but not all sizes of course.

In jazz news - check out vocalist Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto series at Chalkers for the next few Tuesday nights - featuring music by Italian composers such as Paolo Conte, Luigi Tenco and Renato Carasone. themed music....bellissimo! Starting at 7 p.m. Phone 416 789 2531.

I see that there is a great opening act on "Girl's Night Out" - Sophia Perlman and Terra Hazelton, plus BIRTHDAY CAKE of these days I will gather my nerve to get up there and sing again!

If you are in the Waterloo area or are inclined to head that direction I suggest checking out  my friend Brenda Lewis' gig this Thursday at the Seven Shores Cafe with Margaret Stowe on guitar....8 Regina Street N. Unit 5, from 6 p.m. Her CD "Jazzlike is getting radio play on CBC! The duo plays again on August 18th. She's a busy lady this summer --- there are rumours of a potential Guelph Jazz Fest gig...oops...did I let cat out of fashionable bucket bag?

Wherever you catch her you will have a wonderful time. Brenda is after all also a banjo fan - which puts her up there pretty high in my books...:)

Alas the early set at China House is sold out...:(  We'll catch up some other time....

I'm reading this great little book and I highly recommend it - it's what happens when an editor at the "Paris Review" gets talked into opening a corner store with his Korean  inlaws in Brooklyn.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Playing catch up

Yes, I was one of the fortunate ones to see Hugh Jackman's show at the Princess of Wales this past week - in a word, incredible. Not only is a talented singer and dancer, he is also funny, self-deprecating, kind and good at improv - witness the young lady in jeans and flip flops who became his partner onstage - and the envy of every woman in the place...he's a class act - reports my brother, who is part of the orchestra for this show...Hugh does songs from "Carousel" from old movie musicals like "Singin' in the Rain", a moving "Over the Rainbow", a little Elvis.."A Little Less Conversation" and an homage to Peter Allen - whose portrayal brought him a Tony Award.

Haven't been jazzing much this week - went to the lovely tribute for Dave McMurdo on Monday - so many musicians in the room including John MacLeod and Barry Elmes, Carol McCartneyNorman Marshall Villeneuve, Phil Nimmons...what a great way to remember this giant of jazz in Canada. I only stayed for the first set, because I was feeling a little overheated- always the peril of the Rex in summer....

If you want to really make a contribution to Dave's legacy go online to and make a gift for a deserving student in his memory.

Checked out a new (to me) restaurant in the hood - perhaps I don't know about it because it's only open on weekends - The Raging Spoon on Queen West  - they have vegan options and are a non-profit. They also rent out space and cater...I had the Tofu Po'Boy - scrumptious - with a side of potatoes and slaw and a Berry Limeade - perfect! They have some funky retro furnishings too...I'll be Mr. S says...IMG_5532.jpg

Also succumbed to Fresh Collective as I usually do - so many pretty items and talented artisans - PLUS of course, they are all made here!! Got some "Sugar Rush" jewellery and another couple of dresses - one by Desserts and Skirts and the other another "goddess" dress this time in a print by Samantha a cute bejewelled bracelet by  Elementals Jewellery by Kelly Kan - who was great with helping me out in the store and has been in the past - I have some copper rings earrings with a peachy crystal that I love...she makes some lovely beaded pearl necklaces and braclets by the way. Her website is now there are these fab clutches by Guy Latulippe too cute - plus they are non-leather...gee this is turning into a fashion blog....There are two other locations of Fresh Collective - one in Kensington on Augusta and the latest on Roncesvalles.

The (Ultra Fabulous) Shield ClutchThe (Ultra Fabulous) Shield Clutch Gorgeous, non? And so fun...lots of room to put stuff when it folds out...comes in some great shades like pewter and burgundy....and it's called the "Ultra Fabulous Shield Clutch"..don't you love it?

I realized that although I do love "Anthropologie" designs - they are 1. usually too small - size 2 and 4 and 2. made somewhere overseas like India or China, where I'm sure they're not being paid properly or treated kindly and 3 - they are usually WAY overpriced. So I would prefer to support locally made and created items when I can - not to mention - they are unique.

IMG_4207.jpgIMG_6636.jpgThese are Sugar rush earrings and necklace..delish!IMG_5000.jpg. And a "Desserts and Skirts" dress below....
To start my day had a lovely yoga session downstairs on the lawn...ahhh...even the Indy is not being obnoxious for some reason time...some music....Carol McCartney is appearing at the last jazz for China House this coming Thursday - I'm sure the place will be packed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


IMG_6465.jpgCanada Day fireworks - as always a great show...there were also musical fireworks throughout the festival - I have been neglecting posting here as I have been busy going to shows and volunteering.  Two highlights - last night at Quotes - Gord Sheard's Brazilian Experience with guest Bill McBirnie - Fay Olson hints that may be on the agenda for fall - Saturday night a la Brazil.

Fab show from Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo - check out the Jazz FM website for that info and my write up....also caught some of the Basie band - swinging, the Heavyweights and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

More shots from Canada Day:


Fireworks of the jewellery variety - discovered LAG concepts as one of the vendors - Loni Goudreau's work is gorgeous - very organic, flowing, feminine and in some cases are some pearl and Swarovski sparklers:

IMG_0587.jpg These earrings put me in mind or coral - they use cat's eye beads...she even has some selections on her website that are called "Atlantic Kelp"...just my Type 2 sensibility - flowing, elegant, soft.

She also has some amazing brooches- lifelike lilies, heather, roses - hair ornaments, statement necklaces and even centrepieces for weddings - so you could really sing "baby, you're my Centrepiece".  I can think of a few  performers her pieces would look stunning on....You can even "rent" pieces... - she is also on Facebook .