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Black Sheep Inn

Hollerado Comes Home to Ottawa

Hollerado return to Ottawa this week, opening for Tokyo Police Club.

Though Toronto-based quartet Hollerado has been living in The Big Smoke for a few years now, their foray into music began right here in Ottawa. The band members —Menno Versteeg on vocals and guitar, Nixon Boyd on guitar, Dean Baxter on bass, and Jake Boyd on drums — grew up on the same street in Manotick, a small suburb in the south end of Ottawa. Before becoming the infectiously catchy power-pop group Hollerado, though, they were the not-so-glamourous Haulerado, a moving company that operated out of an old van. In 2009, having been a band for just two years, they won Live 88.5’s Big Money Shot, a local battle-of-the-bands competition with a cash prize of $250,000. With their bank accounts comfortably padded, the guys set out to conquer the Canadian music scene — and they haven’t looked back since.

Hollerado’s Menno Versteeg chats with WHERE Ottawa’s Erica Eades about growing up in Ottawa, the band’s favourite local venues, and their upcoming tour with Tokyo Police Club — which stops off in Wakefield at the Black Sheep Inn on Dec. 13, and in Ottawa at Ritual Nightclub on Dec. 14.

What was it like growing up in Manotick?
Well, back then there was no bus linking Ottawa to Manotick. There was nothing for us to do! Sometimes we could cause trouble; other times we’d play guitar.

When did you start making music together?
We always just kind of jammed. Growing up on the same street, it was something that happened all the time. We didn’t really decide to be a band until 2007, though.

Where did you perform when you started playing gigs around Ottawa?
We would play anywhere that would have us. You don’t really get to be too choosy when you’re starting out as a band. We booked a lot of gigs just by showing up and asking to play. We ended up at a lot of house parties, and at community events and parks.

What were some of your favourite local music venues growing up?
They used to have shows at the Legion in Manotick, but it eventually got shut down. With all-ages venues like that, people don’t really care about going to see bands and being part of it; they just go because that’s what’s happening on a Friday night in Manotick. But if I could convince my parents to drive me into Ottawa, I would see shows at SAW Gallery. And there used to be a place called Liquid Monkey that had all ages shows.

Do you remember the first concert you ever saw in Ottawa?
Oh, totally. One of the first shows I saw was a band called Punchbuggy. But the first big concert I ever went to (I think it was the summer after grade six) was Another Roadside Attraction at Landsdowne Park. It was The Tragically Hip, Midnight Oil, and April Wine.

What are your go-to spots when you’re back in Ottawa?
Going for a drink at The Dominion Tavern is often on the schedule if we’re going to see old friends. In Manotick there’s a place called Hard Stones – it’s the one pub in town. My wife is from Ottawa also, and we like to go to the chip truck at Bank and Sunnyside [M&G’s Chip Wagon] to get poutine.

When you play Ottawa this week you’ll be opening for fellow Canadians Tokyo Police Club. How did this come about?
They’re just buddies of ours. They live around the corner, and we always have barbecues at each other’s houses and hang out. It made sense that when it came time to play some shows we play together.

What else should people know about Hollerado?
We have a new record coming out on February 26 called White Paint. We haven’t put out an album in four years, so I’m really excited to get it out and show everyone what we’ve been doing since then.




Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for April 13 to 15

Friday, April 13
Gallery 101 presents the work of John Saski in the solo exhibition “I’ll Try to Move It.” Saski’s canvas is the world around him, as he uses everyday objects to comment on the struggles of everyday life. Saski can transform a pile of ladders or a box fireworks into art.

Kids will love the upbeat tunes of Imagination Movers at Centrepointe Theatre. The Movers dance around onstage to their friendly music, and the bright costumes and colourful lights will keep kids enthralled until the end.

New Country Rehab

New Country Rehab plays at the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday, April 14.

Saturday, April 14
One of Canada’s most exciting new bands, New Country Rehab, is coming to the Black Sheep Inn this weekend. New Country Rehab blends indie, bluegrass, and roots rock—a perfect sound to go with sipping a cool beer on a long weekend evening. Each member has had an extensive musical career, and their different skills form a complex combination of sounds.

For one day only, Shop Your Local Talent by the Old Ottawa South Community Association offers handmade crafts from the Ottawa area. Peruse pottery, jewellery, handmade cards, painting, baking, and more from 20 of Ottawa’s artisans.This is a great opportunity to brighten your home or get a head start on Mother’s Day.

World-renowned mentalist The Amazing Kreskin is appearing at Casino du Lac Leamy. Kreskin astounds audiences worldwide with his uncanny ability to reveal their thoughts and tap into the power of the human mind.

Sunday, April 15
Commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s tragic disaster with Titanic Remembered at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum. Listen to stories of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, see a six metre long replica of the ship, and learn about the technology surrounding it. There is also underwater footage of the ship’s remains and an opportunity to build your own ship!

Travel back in time to one of the most romantic moments of the last century. Casino du Lac Leamy is recreating the setting of the last dinner served to first class travellers aboard the Titanic,which sank on April 15, 100 years ago. Titanic Evening is a seven-course surf and turf gourmet meal inspired by the flavours of the early 1900s.

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for April 6 to 8

Friday, April 6
The best in Canadian handmade crafts are at Originals – The Spring Craft Sale. Come and browse through endless selections of jewellery, clothing, visual art, and home and garden decorations at the Ottawa Convention Centre. This weekend find items to brighten up your home and wardrobe for spring.

B.A. Johnston brings the sweaty underbelly of east coast music to Ottawa with the recent release of his eighth album Hi Dudes!. At Irene’s Pub, listen to Johnston wail hillbilly songs that are equal parts fun and debauchery (song titles include “Deep Fryer in My Bedroom” and “You’re Going to Miss Me When the Zombies Come”). Note: Not for the easily offended.

The Harlem Globetrotters take over Scotiabank with their wacky skills. Photo credit: Harlem Globetrotters International Inc.

Saturday, April 7
The Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their madcap skills to Scotiabank Place this weekend. Basketball fans will love the Globetrotters classic tricks, jokes, and shenanigans, from this year’s team that includes Paul “Tiny” Sturgess, the world’s tallest pro basketball player; Jonte “Too Tall” Hall, the shortest Globetrotter ever; and Fatima “TNT” Maddox, the first female Globetrotter in nearly 20 years.

The first Saturday of the month is here and that means Urban Craft is back. Ottawa’s coolest artisans come together so you can sample the best of carefully made chocolate, jewellery, candles, clothing, baked goods, toddler toys, and more. It’s the ultimate stop for local handicrafts. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 30 to April 1

Chic coats, cool jewellery, and plenty to decorate the home are on offer at this weekend's Ottawa Antiques Show.

Friday, March 30
The Ottawa Antiques Show is back for its annual spring edition, bringing with it a slew of great finds. But make no mistake: this isn’t your grandma’s show. While it does boast an assortment of century-old antiques, it’s also the place to find designer goods and hidden treasures. Vendors carry a selection of retro and vintage products; think designer jewellery by Tiffany & Co., haute couture accessories from Chanel and Hermès, handbags by Prada, and Rolex watches. Happy hunting!

Celebrate Canada’s diverse musical talent with Classical JUNOs in Concert, where JUNO nominated performers, such as Susan Hoeppner and Christina Petrowska Quilico, break out an array of instruments to perform classical pieces, including those by nominated composers. The afternoon concert is free and held in the lobby of the National Arts Centre.

Saturday, March 31
Step into the fantastical world of Tara Luz Danse – Les Billes, a creation of choreographer Anik Bouvrette, at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Here, dancers incorporate unusual objects into their movements: large marbles, lit hoops, and Chinese lanterns that resemble planets. In this lush performance of contemporary dance that has charmed both children and adults – not an easy task – the audience gets swept up in the question “When I close my eyes, in my imagination, I see…”

Come and be astounded by the magic of world-class illusionist Greg Frewin in his Vegas-style show, Beyond Belief, at the Théâtre du Casino. Frewin is the only magician to have won every major magic award in North America, and he has performed throughout the world. His show, featuring tigers, showgirls, and amazing illusions, will undoubtedly leave you beyond belief, just as it’s name promises. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for February 3 to 5

Quinsin Nachoff is just one of the performers taking the stage at the Ottawa Winter Jazzfest.

Friday, Feb. 3
Jazz up your weekend by taking in the international and local talent at the first annual Ottawa Winter Jazzfest. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz enthusiast or looking to diversify your musical tastes, this festival promises to thaw that winter chill. Hop all over downtown Ottawa, from the National Arts Centre to Club SAW to the Mercury Lounge to catch the smooth sounds of artists such as Megan Jerome, Quinsin Nachoff, Remi Bolduc, and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble of Chicago.

Experience Ottawa’s diverse architecture and examine the relationship between architecture, the arts, and politics through music with Polytectures. This sound walk was created by Montreal’s Antoine Bédard and 10 local musicians. Through a variety of musical styles, Polytectures allows visitors and locals alike to experience Ottawa’s architecture in new ways by pairing songs with local landmarks. Although the entire walk is an hour long, it has been divided into sections with warm-up breaks for Winterlude.

If you’re a film buff with a soft spot for independent cinema, then you’re going to want to Get Iced this weekend. The Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa is presenting 10 new Super 8 short films made by local filmmakers in cooperation with Winterlude. Afterwards, unwind with drinks at the Soviet-style reception hosted by Avant-Garde Bar and Gift Shop. The party continues at the bar after 9:30pm with live music and no cover charge.

This Friday, Yamantaka //Sonic Titan and Boyhood bring the party to Babylon. Yamantaka //Sonic Titan are a psychedelic opera group that fuses noise, metal, folk, and pop music to create an east-meets-west culture clash extravaganza. Boyhood is new on the Ottawa scene, bringing catchy songs with haunting melodies. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for November 11 to 13

Friday, Nov. 11
Pay your respects to Canadian veterans of the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and recent wars in Afghanistan and beyond at the annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the National War Memorial. The commemoration begins at 11am, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — of this 11th year of the 21st century — reminding us about the people and sacrifices that have contributed to this country’s history.

The new exhibition at Le Centre d’exposition Art-image in Gatineau will have you thinking about your clothes in a whole new way. The show “Emergence! My clothing, my shelter…” features five up-and-coming artists from Ottawa and Gatineau, each reflecting on the roles of clothing and shelter in a personal way. The show opens Friday night, featuring a free musical performance, and runs until Dec. 18.

260 Fingers. Photo credit: Diane Black.

Saturday, Nov. 12
Head to the Glebe Community Centre this weekend to view some beautiful ceramics at the 260 Fingers Pottery Show. This free exhibition, featuring the varied work of 25 ceramic artists, is sure to impress. Whether you want to make a purchase or just want to admire, you can chat with the talented artists who have come from all over Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Show runs Friday to Sunday.

If you like wine and food — and really, who doesn’t — make your way to the Ottawa Convention Centre for the annual Ottawa Wine & Food Festival. With a day pass, you can hit up the tasting floor and sample wines, beers, spirits, and food from all over the world. Then, you can head to the show floor for the “Festival Kitchen” series to watch some free “how-to” seminars and learn how to become a top chef yourself! There are also many more demonstrations and lessons if you’re willing to shell out a bit extra. Festival runs from Wednesday to Sunday (tasting floor Friday to Sunday only). (more…)

Q&A with The Good Lovelies

The Good Lovelies

This Canadian group won a Juno for Roots/Traditional Album of the Year in 2010, has recently released their third full-length album, Let the Rain Fall, and boasts a lighthearted, folksy sound that calls to mind sunny summer days. Where Ottawa editor Misa Kobayashi caught up with The Good Lovelies in advance of their local show to find out about their travel essentials, where they love to eat when they’re in Ottawa, and more.

What was the inspiration behind the new album?
The new album is a celebration of our lives together on the road, touring this big country of ours. We spend a lot of time together, performing on average 150 shows per year, and that experience is reflected in the album’s lyrics. It’s an upbeat, happy record, with moments of melancholy (particularly when we sing about wanting to be home).

What’s your favourite activity to do on the road?
Well, we bought some skipping ropes about a year ago. When we get restless, we get out of the car and jump rope for a few minutes. Invariably, we make friends with any young girls that happen to be around. They join in without asking. It’s a way more fun version of the elementary school playground! And we love eating in new places, checking out the local cuisine. Recently we had some incredible Indian food in Northern Ontario in Bruce Mines. Go figure!

You’re often on the road touring. What two or three items do you consider your “travel essentials”?
Needless to say, our bags are very heavy when we leave home. Here’s a snapshot of what’s in them:
Caroline- running shoes, a good book, earplugs for sleeping
Sue- hair dryer, slippers, and a camera
Kerri- iPod, glasses, and a notebook

What’s the best thing about touring?
There are lots of great things about touring. A friend of ours said that in a way we have “working vacations,” we get to see so many different places, and experience different parts of the world. We also get to see friends who live far away more often than we would if we were still living full time in Toronto. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 18 to 20

Jean Ravel for Rock Lounge

Friday, March 18
Find yourself saying “Those were the days,” when you hear songs from the ’70s and ’80s? If so, head over to the Casino du Lac-Leamy for “Rock Lounge.” This musical revue, featuring tunes by Billie Joel, Hall & Oates, Elton John, and a series of One Hit Wonders, will have performer Jean Ravel and the Groove Band revisiting and rearranging the popular tracks. Make a date of it and book dinner before the show (also playing Saturday night and next weekend).

The 15th annual Latin American Film Festival kicks off at Library and Archives Canada on Thursday, with 20 films from across Latin America making their Ottawa premieres. Presented with English subtitles, the fest includes The Man Next Door, a hit at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the touching drama Leo’s Room, and the classic 1948 film from Argentina, God Bless You.

Fashionistas, grab your best shoes and your trendiest accessories, because Ottawa Fashion Week struts down the catwalk this weekend. Running Friday to Sunday, see up-and-coming designers showcase fresh fall and winter trends at the National Art Gallery. The fashion-packed weekend features two runway shows a night, including lines from jeweler Karen McClintock and architect-turned designer Rachel Sin. In addition to soaking up the glamour and getting inspired for the upcoming season, designers will be selling their wares between shows. (more…)