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Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque 2015 Canadian Tour


Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque 2015 Canadian Tour

Photos: Andrej Ivanov

Suicide Girls is returning to Canada with plans to hit every major city along the way, beginning this April 6th in Victoria and concluding April 20th in Montreal. The Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque is unlike any other burlesque act you’ve seen filled with pop culture references, high-energy indie soundtrack and the sexiest choreographed strip tease to make your inner nerd explode with glee. Tickets are on sale now at

Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque has been wowing audiences all over the world with their geeky, sexy, fantasy show. The show features stunning choreography from renowned choreographer, Manwe Sauls-Addison, who has worked with world famous performers such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga. He has assembled a team of the most seductive and talented Suicide Girls to create the ultimate provocative tribute to pop-culture that Burlesque has ever seen. There will be striptease performances in tribute to Star Wars, Orange Is The New Black, Donnie Darko, Clockwork Orange and more.

In the early 2000’s the Suicide Girls Burlesque show crisscrossed North America for 5 years. The girls entertained thousands of people at sold-out shows, opening for Gun N’ Roses and Courtney Love and went overseas to perform at music festivals in both Europe and Australia. In the fall of 2013, the girls decided it was time to continue their captivating worldwide rule and spent six weeks playing sold out shows across the United States. Shortly after, they decided to take it world-wide again! With sold out shows in Australia, Canada and the US in 2014 they kicked off 2015 with a sold out performance in London.

Suicide Girls: Blackheart Burlesque Tour Dates

April 6th – Victoria BC – The Strathcona Hotel
April 7th – Vancouver BC – Rickshaw Theatre
April 8th – Kelowna BC – Flashbacks
April 10th – Edmonton AB – Encore
April 11th – Calgary AB – Flames Central
April 12th – Saskatoon SK – Louis Pub
April 13th – Winnipeg MB – The Pyramid Cabaret
April 16th – Toronto ON – The Phoenix Concert Theatre
April 17th – London ON – London Music Hall
April 19th – Ottawa ON – Bronson Centre
April 20th – Montreal QC – La Tulipe

For more info:


Interview with Pinball Sessions and Class of 2015 Showcase


 Interview with Pinball Sessions and Class of 2015 Showcase

Daniel Cooper, posing like he isn't posing on a warm afternoon

Daniel Cooper, posing like he isn’t posing on a warm afternoon

Daniel Cooper is the head of Pinball Sessions, a Guelph music blog that defies the traditional definition and moves toward being a live project with video production. Daniel has been working with Toronto promoter Dan Burke to bring a winter showcase of acts to look for in 2015. The first Class of 2015 showcase is January 3rd at The Silver Dollar.

I had a phone interview with Daniel Cooper to discuss his involvement in the Class of 2015 showcase, Pinball Sessions and his new company Home Base Publicity.  

… finger on the pulse of local music.  

You are involved in the Class of 2015 showcase series this month at Silver Dollar. How did it come about?  

Dan Burke has done showcases before at the Silver Dollar. The bands that are playing are mostly Toronto bands, with a few from Montreal, eastern Canada, and beyond.

Dan teamed up with 5 promoters, Jonny Dovercourt of Wavelength Music Series, Dan Seligman of Pop Montreal, James Mejia of Hand Drawn Dracula, Aaron Miller of Arts & Crafts, and Scott Waring of Sleepless Records. He looked at people who have their finger on the pulse of local, regional and Canadian music in general.

There are 29 bands in total fit into shows spanning 27 days. There are some new projects from established bands such as Etiquette, a new-ish project from Julie Fader and Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck. There’s a ton of great talent including pinball alumni Bile Sister, Pet Sun, I Smell Blood and Crosss.

Is this the first showcase in Toronto you’ve been involved in? How about Guelph?  

We’ve promoted a lot of shows independently since our inception. We launched Pinball Sessions with shows across Canada in Winnipeg, Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. For our first year anniversary, we had shows in Toronto, Guelph and Ottawa. We’ve done a lot of local show promotion in Guelph, which was an extension of what I had been doing independently before. We’ve sponsored showcases in Toronto with 3030 and Kensington Brewery as well. With this round of showcases we’re more involved in getting the artists into our studio and releasing sessions to coincide with the shows. We did something similar with Wavelength’s festival in 2014 where we recorded Hooded Fang, Lido Pimienta, Phedre and OdonisOdonis and released the sessions around the festival.

How did you get involved?  

My business partner, Tyler Belluz at Home Base Publicity, played a show at Silver Dollar and ended up driving Dan Burke home that night. The two started talking about the series and how we could be involved. He told Dan about Home Base Publicity and Pinball Sessions and they got the idea of having including Pinball as a sponsor wherein some of the participating bands would get a Pinball Session. We’re recording some sessions on Saturday with Hush Pup and Most People. They’ll both be released on the Monday and Thursday before their show January 10th with Calvin Love.   

pinball sessions CLASS of 2015 poster

What is Pinball Sessions and what makes it different from a music blog or a label?

All of our content is created in house, literally in our house. We record music and shoot videos live off the floor. We have pinball machines and the studio situated below our bedrooms. Dan Beeson, my roommate, records, mixes and masters all of the sessions and we share filming duties. Music blogs can sometimes be a little impersonal. We like to get bands in, get them comfortable and have some fun with the recordings. We like to have bands come in and do things a little differently or closer to what their live shows might look and sound like.

pinball sessions

How do you choose the bands you record?  

I pay lot of attention to festivals, music blogs, live shows and other promoters and music series. I’m mostly the primary curator for Pinball Sessions, which means I have to search out new talent constantly as well as getting established artists in. I like to look at the indie labels coming up as well, Buzz, Telephone Explosion, Hosehead, Pleasance and Mammoth Cave all have some of the best upcoming garage/punk/noise around. I find music I’m passionate about and that the whole crew can get behind. Sometimes we don’t all agree but that’s OK.

How many Pinball machines are at the studio?  

[Dan walks around house] 3 in one room, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 11 in the house, 3 in the workshop. Dan Beeson refurbishes Pinball machines constantly and we rotate out machines with some pinball aficionados in Guelph and have some at bars in Toronto. Handle Bar and 3030 both have some of our machines. There’s a really cool resurgence in pinball right now and we have some of the best players in Southern Ontario come by to hang out and play regularly.

People are very passionate about pinball.

Does the pinball ever get in the way of the recordings?

Haha no, but B.A. Johnson went straight to the Pinball machines after recording. People are very passionate about pinball, even people who haven’t played before. It’s a physical game and it’s easy to get lost in the lights even if you lose constantly. All our machines are on free play, of course, so it’s cool to see some people come in and get lost in it who wouldn’t have otherwise.

Do you ever have issues of the sounds of pinball coming through on the recordings?

No we’ve never had that problem. The studio is in an old convenience store, maybe it’s the layout of the rooms, but it’s pretty sound proof, there’s no bleed.  

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 3.30.24 PM

Have you ever seen the movie Tommy?

Yeah haha not since I was a kid. I remember the scene, uh, what’s it called. There was an iron man with spikes that you put people inside?   

An Iron Maiden.

Yeah and Tina Turner put Roger Daltrey inside. That was a freaky psychedelic acid scene from what I remember. But I guess the whole movie kind of was.   

daltrey iron maiden

Roger Daltrey with Tina Turner’s iron maiden in Tommy (1975)

How did you get started in the music industry?  

Well my mom Shawna Cooper runs Dollartone Records but I moved to Toronto at 16, finished high school then went to Ryerson for photography. I realized pretty soon that I didn’t want to do that. My friend’s band The Creaking Tree String Quartet was looking for an Intern so I worked for them for a while. They were a Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical instrumental string band. At the time I worked in a lot of bars and I worked on promoting some shows as well as interning around.   I started going to Folk Alliance Conference around that time and working on the Beaver Suite, whose mandate was to bring more Canadian talent to the American conference. We would plan it like a festival and schedule bands from 10pm – 4 am Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That’s when I got a taste for curating. It was fun, you get to see and listen to so many bands, there are about 2000 musicians there over a weekend.

That’s my favorite part of the job. I get to be passionate about music and find people who share that passion.

I read that you received a large grant from the government of Canada to help start Pinball Sessions. In your opinion where would the Canadian music industry be without government grants?  

The funding element is absolutely essential for many smaller bands. In a country as large as Canada it would be impossible for bands to make the, sometimes, 8 hr drives between shows without the help of the funders. We’ve gotten FACTOR grants, which help get bands and labels to make moves to further Canadian music and allows a lot of people to garner more international attention. In a country of 30 million people it’s hard to get anywhere confined to this huge country with so little pople in it.

You recently launched Home Base Publicity.  

I started it with Tyler Belluz of Missed Connection Records. He’s been doing publicity for his bands and label while I’ve been doing publicity for Pinball Sessions and independent artists so it just fit. Publicity is one part of the music industry that hasn’t really been affected by the downward spiral of the last few years.

Who do you represent?  

We are working on filling out our roster for 2015 right now, we’ve got some things in the works that we’re really excited about. We’ll have more information coming out soon.

Someone overseas can listen to your tracks and if they have any clout and are excited about your stuff that’s important to gain fans internationally. 

What do you see for the future of music on the internet and live?  

Posters, print, and physical things will always be important locally. Digital is international and is super important. Someone overseas can listen to your tracks and if they have any clout and are excited about your stuff that’s important to gain fans internationally. Independent musicians make most of their money touring now so it’s important to leverage your online presence to engage more people and excite them about your tours. Album sales are fine and good, the vinyl resurgence is great but it’s expensive to press, so if you can push this mostly free online presence that’s a huge boon to your career and can be great for your tours.

You have anything else you wanted to mention?  

We are starting a new video series partnered with different craft breweries. We interview artists, starting with a beer tasting, sometimes we have a few too many, and then we launch into the interview part. We are currently getting more breweries lined up. We have Amsterdam (Toronto), Wellington (Guelph) and Publican House (Peterborough), on board so far. The first up is Eamon McGrath drinking some Wellington beer, which will be premiering around January 15th.

Class of 2015 Concert Series

The Silver Dollar Room, 486 Spadina Ave, Toronto

Jan 3rd – Wax Atlantic (members of Major Grange, Zeus) / Only Yours (Lowell of Great Bloomers’ new act) / Fever City / Holy Gasp

Jan 9th - Edgewater Hotel / Pistol George Warren / The Dead Projectionists / The Nursery / CHOBO

Jan 10th – Calvin Love / Most People / Mimico / Etiquette (Julie Fader + Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck) / Hush Pup

Jan 16th –  Crosss / WHIMM / I Smell Blood / Dories / Stuka January 17th – Brave Shores / Votiiv (feat. Kontravoid) / Country / Peers / Vallens

Jan 24th – New Fries/ Nancy Pants / BB Guns / Bile Sister

Jan 30th – Pet Sun, Nobro, Champion Lover, Several Futures, Canyun

By: Tyler Brown


Dirty Frigs Twist – Live Review


Dirty Frigs Twist – Live Review

Dirty Frigs Photo: Shane Parent

Dirty Frigs
Photos: Shane Parent

I arrived to the Smiling Buddha just before Twist started to play. The bar was welcoming 
with great staff. It was a secure, dark, Christmas card envelope, with blood red walls and stark lighting. The beer was priced not to break the bank. The sound was amazing helped by the talents of audio engineer Brian Renton and his high-tech board that lit up like a Christmas tree.

Twist came on as a two piece fronted by Laura Hermiston on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Matt Buckberrough of Invasions and Beds on lead guitar. The band was backed by a drum machine and sampler. The creator of the samples, Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck, is no longer with the band. Laura and Matt informed me after the show that they are looking to make their sound more live with a drummer and bassist.

They swayed to their songs’ lo-fi drive which was mellow with accents of hard chops reminiscent of hard feelings for past lovers. Their technique was sound through the set. Barriers were not pushed, but it wasn’t necessary. The construction of songs didn’t surprise me, but I enjoyed their smooth methodical and logical flow, with one exception. There was a song that didn’t flow like the other songs. It was like a soup of riffs rather than a full meal. None of the song’s ingredients were bad, but for some reason together they didn’t jive in my ear drums. All in all a good show. Good turnout for a Wednesday and they did not disappoint. If albums were still a thing I’d buy one.

2014-12-18 (2)

Dirty Frigs took the stage with a slow number that got the crowd in the mood for more. The frontwoman Edan Scime Stokell rocked her Danelectro in style. The bassist seemed influenced by the physical style of Murdoch from Gorillaz while the lead guitarist had hair over his face that mirrored the grunge vibe of the band’s set. The drummer found no difficulty hitting the symbols with his glasses riding down his nose. The songs were chalk full of cool dynamics each filling their five minutes to the brim. The music was not complicated, but arranged with a dignity not often found in this era. The singer had an amazing range, was gorgeous and she knew how to rock.

The one shortcoming I saw was with the audience. They seemed to need permission to mosh to these fine crafted grunge tunes. When Edan took off her guitar, grabbed the microphone, went out into the packed audience, climbed on top of a bench and sang over the crowd, permission was given. The song was a very original cover of New Kind of Kick by The Cramps. Dirty Frigs made it their own rather than copy the ancient classic. The crowd moshed into the next and final song. They had me screaming “one more song” at the end of it.

The four bands that played were all fronted by female singers yet there was a disappointing turn out of females at the show. It is a common issue but it begs the question: “What do girls do on a Wednesday night if they’re not rocking out?”

By: Tyler Brown


Darryl Reid – Ottawa punk photography exhibition



DARRYL REID | four years in the punk underground

Railbender Gallery proudly presents ‘four years in the punk underground’; a photography exhibit by Ottawa punk photographer Darryl Reid.

Four years ago, Darryl Reid stole his sister’s old Pentax and brought it with him to a punk show; he was bitten and has been shooting the local underground music scene in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal ever since. 

Obsessed with music and photography, and the space where these two obsessions meet, Darryl Reid uses both digital and analogue cameras to capture a subjective experience. In his best work, “the image is unstable and seems to be on the verge of collapse, as if the raw sensory data cannot be contained in a simple image”. 

Reid’s work will be on display at Railbender Studio from Wednesday, May 28th to Sunday, July 27th.

“Punk music is best experienced in person in shoddy, illegal, thrown together venues, where audience and band can become a nebulous whole. The best punk photographers are the ones who engage in this milieu, who brave being kicked and spat on and who have developed the ability to shoot a band, dodge beer bottles and hold their pants up all at the same time” 
– Darryl Reid

Photo by Darryl Reid of The BCASA (Bill Cosby Anarchist Society of America) playing at 614 Gladstone in Ottawa. Read the article here.




Ottawa POTW February 6th – Destroyer (Dan Bejar) at St. Alban's Church


1512381_442501449184354_974884521_nWho: DESTROYER (Dan Bejar)

When: Thursday February 6th, 2014

Where: St. Alban’s Church, doors at 8:30

Price: $10 adv, $15 door (SOLD OUT)

Presented by: Arboretum Arts Festival, Ottawa Art Gallery and Herd Magazine

Vancouver’s DESTROYER frontman, Dan Bejar, will be performing a solo show this Thursday, February 6th at St. Alban’s Church. Along with DESTROYER Bejar’s most notable works include his collaborations with Vancouver indie-rock band, The New Pornographers. 

Thursday’s performance will be a collaborative improv set, featuring Linsey Wellman on saxophone and Gary Franks on modular synth. It also follows the vernissage of David R. Harper, Rémi Thériault and Painters Eleven at the Ottawa Art Gallery.

Bejar released an EP of songs written by Spanish musician Antonio Luque this year, following the success of his 2011 album Kaputt.


From Bejar’s bio:

“Informed by questions of memory, identity, and the histories found in the present-day, my practice looks to create ruptures within established narratives. Utilizing performance, intervention, photography, and sculpture, my work employs appropriation towards historical and cultural residue as a strategy to provoke historical amnesia and subvert the established narratives of power operating within the present. I believe the past can influence the future, and by employing modes of evocation to bring the past into the present, a rupture can be created, which provides an opportunity to explore unresolved histories, pose critical questions, and affect social change.”



It has been announced that Bejar’s Ottawa show is now sold out and tickets will not be sold at the door.

Brianna Harris


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