A Canadian living and writing in Dublin

Archive for July, 2011

PS I Love You’s Paul Saulnier

My interview with Paul Saulnier, the lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist for PS I Love You got off to a rocky start. I asked a dumb question off the bat, and was having a hard time getting Paul to go beyond one-sentence answers after that.

I started panicking that the interview would be over before it even got off the ground.

Luckily, as I got a better feel for the band and interviewer and subject both began to warm up, I was able to hit some key topics and get Paul to open up. The interview ended on a good note and I was pretty happy with the finished product.

While I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of starting off on the right foot, I also learned that staying calm, thinking quick, and making an effort to connect with your subject on a personal level can save your story.

Osheaga Q&A: Paul Saulnier of PS I Love You

25 Years of Slam

Slam poetry celebrates its 25th anniversary this weekend.

I think it’s kind of cool that I was born three years and three days after slam was.

Last weekend, I was at the gym with headphones on when a random guy approached me and held up a piece of paper that read, “You are an awesome slam poet.” It totally made my day to know that even when I feel like I’m wasting my time with slamming, people are listening.

Fresh Prince

I’m a sucker for a good ol’ acoustic cover, and I’m in love with Kay Pettigrew’s version of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

For more good acoustic covers, check out this playlist.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

It won’t hit theatres until 2012, but I am eagerly counting down the days until I get to see my favourite book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, adapted for the big screen.

Author Stephen Chbosky is writing and directing, which helps ease fans’ fears that something important will be lost in the transfer from page to screen, as so often happens when iconic books are made into films.

Logan Lerman and Paul Rudd seem like perfect choices for protagonist Charlie and his teacher/friend Bill. I was surprised by Chbosky’s decision to cast Emma Watson as Charlie’s love-interest, Sam, but I’m keeping an open mind, and am eager to see her shed her Hermoine persona.

Music plays a vital role in the book, and I was most eager and nervous to hear the film’s soundtrack. I was pleasantly surprised to find a track listing that is absolutely perfect. It’s a mix of old and new music, keeping “Asleep” by The Smiths and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” both central in the book, while adding more modern favourites that fit perfectly with the story, like “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service, and “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers.

I was most thrilled to see The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?” listed. It’s a beautiful song, and I think it articulates the theme of the book perfectly.

See the full track listing for Perks of Being a Wallflower here.

Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs

My first journalistic endeavour since completing my journalism degree was an interview with Ryan Gullen, the bassist for The Sheepdogs.

The Saskatoon band has made it to the final two in a contest to become the first unsigned artist on the cover of Rolling Stone. The winner, who also gets a deal with Atlantic Records, will be announced on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon August 2, which happens to be my birthday, so I’ll definitely be sending good luck vibes.

This was one of the most fun assignments I’ve done, and Ryan was such a cool guy to talk to.

Doing research beforehand, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the fictional band Stillwater from one of my favourite movies, Almost Famous. These guys have a great sound, and I’m really happy they’re finally getting so much attention.

Q&A: Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs

Bluesfest Day 10: Hannah Georgas

Not only is Canadian songstress Hannah Georgas a wonderful performer, she’s also a sweetheart.

Since Death Cab for Cutie was cancelled due to severe weather, and I got sick and had to miss Tegan and Sara, Hannah’s show and subsequent autograph session definitely rank among my Bluesfest highlights this year.

The only thing I possibly enjoyed more was seeing Rise Against play in one of the hardest and coldest downpours I’ve ever experienced unsheltered.

Hannah was certainly lucky to play in the some of best weather the festival saw, and the numerous fans who got to hear the Juno-nominated indie singer play hits like Chit Chat and The National were even more fortunate. The secluded National Bank Stage provided a wonderfully scenic and intimate location for the show.

Bluesfest Day 12: One to Remember

Yesterday was a day I’d been waiting for ever since my 14-year-old self first fell in love with Seth Cohen, and went on to worship his favourite band, Death Cab for Cutie. I had a new outfit, I purchased my band t-shirt in the morning to avoid long lines and dwindling stock, I had a bag of mini donuts in my purse. I was excited.

Photo: Leon Switzer, Canadian Press

With five minutes left in my shift in the beer tent, I began waiting anxiously for the person coming to take my place so I could get out of there and go find a good spot for the concert. But my relief never came.

I noticed the temperature had dropped substantially, but since I was inside the tent, I couldn’t see the sky. A customer told me a tornado was heading for us, but I nervously assumed he was joking. I’d barely passed him his beer when huge winds started shaking the tent.

I stood paralyzed by fear while security guards rushed to hold down the tent. Then, like something out of a movie, the main stage directly in front of me crumbled.

We were instructed to run into the War Museum with our cash trays, where all the volunteers were to wait for further instruction.

I chose to go back to the tent for my purse just as the last people were evacuating. As I crawled under the table to get my bag, bottles fell around me and I was certain the tent was going to blow away and take me with it. It was one of the terrifying moments of my life.

Inside the museum, we were told Cheap Trick had safely made it off stage (luckily, they’d already played “I Want You to Want Me”), and the festival was being shut down.

I was completely shaken and heartbroken that I missed my chance to see Death Cab, but I have to remember it’s not the end of the world. I will see them one day.

I’m very relieved there were no serious injuries. Things could have been a lot worse.

I’m also very grateful to the leaders and other volunteers in my tent who, while I’m sure were just as scared as I was, didn’t show it.

Despite the devastating end, I’ll remember this year’s Bluesfest for some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.


Sexual Violence Affects Men Too

In the Eastern Congo, 30 percent of women have been raped, with 1100 instances occurring each day.

But few speak about the men who are also raped as a weapon of war – a staggering 22 percent of the population.

These stories are heartbreaking, but it’s important they be heard.


I Want!!!

Dopest kicks ever.

Book of Art

Book of Art project by Isaac Salazar.

Part of me thinks it’s beautiful, part of me mourns the words that will never be read.