Category Archives: Music

And my love for Jack Johnson lives on

So I mentioned before that Jack Johnson was coming to Toronto and I scored tickets for Evan and myself… Last Wednesday was the big day, so we headed over to Molson Amphitheatre after work for some sweet JJ action.

I really love Jack Johnson, he is a rare true artist, and he’s just my favourite. So I was excited. That might actually be an understatement, I was a little beyond excited.

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I was smiling so hard that my eyes were just a squinty mess. Also this is the first time I have ever bought a concert T-shirt. I have seen a lot of live bands that I love over the years; Incubus, Foo Fighters, Weezer, Blink182 (we got them to strip down to their boxers on stage, but that is a story for another time…), KoRn (the moshpit was the most insane experience of my life), Deftones, Silverchair, Hole (haha!), Dallas Green, etc. etc. etc. but I have never bought a concert shirt because they are always so insanely expensive that I just can’t justify it. The Jack Johnson shirt I am wearing in the above photo set me back $35, but I have no regrets about that. JJ is the best musician I have seen live and I wanted to have something to remember my experience. I still regret not buying a shirt when I saw him four years ago. Also, that’s my favourite colour. It brings out my eyes, when you can actually see them. So I had to get it.

We hadn’t eaten dinner yet and I had just been planning on getting a jumbo hotdog or something, but then I noticed The Poutinerie food truck… Annnd I can never resist poutine, so that also had to happen.

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Pulled pork poutine! Fries + cheese curds + gravy + pulled pork. Amazing. I ate the entire thing and had I been dining in the dark I would have been sticking my face in that carton to lick it afterwards. Delicious.

We settled in with our dinner to watch the opening band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

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We didn’t have the greatest seats, as you can see. We were in the last row before the lawn, but last time I saw Jack Johnson I was behind a pillar so I figured this had to be better. I would have preferred to be up front on the floor, but all good. However I do have a slight beef… On the Monday before the concert the venue actually released 100 extra tickets that were RIGHT up front and only $10 more per ticket than I paid, so I tried to call and upgrade my tix but Ticketmaster told me it was too close to the event and they couldn’t do it. I was pretty bummed about that and kind of annoyed that I had purchased my tickets so far in advance and someone could come in last minute and essentially get front row seats. Of course, life isn’t fair and what can ya do. I was really tempted to just buy two more tickets and try to sell my original ones, but in the end I just kept ours.

Anyway, Edward Sharpe and friends were really great! They kind of remind me a bit of Arcade Fire, as there are so many members of their band and there are two leads, Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos (and like Arcade Fire those two are either dating or were dating previously). They are definitely hippy-esque, which I enjoy, and they were so good live and SUPER interactive with the audience. Alex invited people from the floor area on stage with them, and they let one random guy play their guitar for an entire song.

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The guy in the white is a random fan

See, this is why it’s good to be on the floor. You never know when you might get asked to come up and be a part of the band. I’m pretty sure this experience made that guy’s life.

If you’ve never heard of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, I recommend listening to 40 Day Dream (really great song probably my favourite of theirs), and Home:

Also quite nice. I like them a lot.

But of course not as much as my (platonic) love JJ. My excitement really hit when Edward Sharpe finished up and it was Jack Johnson time.

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He’s up there somewhere!

It was kind of cold outside so Evan and I bundled up and snuggled in for the show.

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#coldandnerdy

I like the cut of Evan’s jib. He was the best concert buddy.

The following photos are stolen from aux.tv because I was just too far away to get anything decent…

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I could see him well on the screens though, and I could hear him perfectly. He was so amazing, as I knew he would be, of course. He played all my faves (except Go On, but he played it last time I saw him so it’s okay). Here is the setlist if you want to check it out. I fangirl’d out a few times and my voice was nearly gone the next day because I was singing so loud the entire time. I am so glad we went, and I’ll never forget it! Evan had a really great time too, and the next day he downloaded a bunch of JJ’s albums 🙂

I found some videos from the concert on YouTube, and this one of Jack singing Radiate from his new album is really good quality:

(it’s dark until about 10 seconds in, and then it’s all good!)

I just really like him.

You watch this video (not from Wednesday) and you tell me Jack Johnson isn’t a stand up gentleman.

I love how much of a family man he is and the obvious love he has for his wife. I love their love!

Wednesday was such a great time with my own love.

Bolded question time! What is the best band/artist you’ve seen live? Worst?
It is a dream of mine to see Neil Young, so please don’t tell me he’s not good live!

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My Love for Jack Johnson

I am not sure if I have ever talked about this on here before, but I really love Jack Johnson.

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Like I am talking super fan. Possibly even number one fan territory. I go a little crazy for him.

My JJ love affair started about 10 years ago when I was working at Chapters and we played this CD every day.

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And I mean every day. All day every day. There were only certain CD’s we could play at Chapters (customers don’t appreciate bad language, you know) so we cycled through the same three. Jack Johnson was the only one I didn’t get sick of. I was into his smooth beachy styles immediately. Once In Between Dreams came out we played that one over and over as well.

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Probably the most popular of his six albums. And then we got our hands on his very first album Brushfire Fairytales and we added that to the mix.

By that point my love for JJ was solidified and I owned his discography myself. I think his music is so beautiful.

So then in 2010 I saw that he was touring for his new album To The Sea and he would be playing at Molson Amphitheatre. I was insanely pumped. Obviously I had to go. And if I didn’t already love JJ, well that was that. I was smitten.

First I heard that he donated 100% of the proceeds of that tour to an environmental charity (and did a bunch of other things to minimize the environmental impact of the tour, you can check it all out here). So I really liked that. Then I heard that before his concert, JJ spent the day at Ontario Place next door with his wife and three kids playing in the water park. So I really liked that. THEN as we were waiting in the concession area for the concert to start, JJ came out with just his guitar, no mic, and played a quick private show for the people who were lucky enough to be standing around. It was beautiful and I just about died.

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(This photo isn’t from Molson Amp but I was Googling around and apparently he does this often.)

He was probably the best musician I have ever seen live (and I have been to a LOT of concerts over the years, just not that many lately), and then for his encore he came out and played three songs that he had written for his wife, who was there, and he dedicated them to her. Once again, I just about died. I could barely handle it.

So that did it. I went from hoping I wouldn’t be disappointed in his live performance to liking him even more. I just can’t get enough of his music and I don’t think there is one song of his that I don’t like. I also think he is a very decent human and a lot of musicians need to take note.

Anyway, I swear this has a point. I was Googling about JJ yesterday and I noticed that he is coming back to Molson Amphitheatre in May to tour his new album From Here To Now To You. I don’t know how this slipped by me, but I bought tickets for Evan and I immediately. I am already BEYOND excited to see my pal JJ again. I told Evan I will probably be moved to tears. Evan said he’s excited. He also said we should make shirts that say “JACK JOHNSON YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON”. We might do it.

And apparently he already tried to get tickets to JJ for my birthday present (because he knows about my intense love for Jack) but they weren’t on sale yet. He got me tickets to The Lion King instead, which is also an insanely amazing present and I have wanted to see it live for years and years, so I’m pretty excited for that as well.

And back to JJ, but I guess that’s it. I cannot wait to see this live!

And this too!

My love for JJ lives on!

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Operation Motivation

So it is no secret that I have been eating horribly lately. It has been pretty well-documented on here. And by horribly I mean deliciously, but unhealthily. Very, very unhealthily.

This has mostly just been on the weekends. During the week I have been fairly good (minus last week, but it was Halloween and my best friend was here so I am giving myself a pass). I haven’t really blogged about any of my healthy eats though, because they haven’t been anything new or exciting, and writing about my oatmeal and salads doesn’t hold the same luster it once did for me.

Though you know I still love my oatmeal…

I still eat it for breakfast nearly every day.

Now, the eating wouldn’t be that big of a problem on its own, but I have also really been slacking on the workouts. I was pretty good all summer on the running front because I genuinely enjoy running outside in my neighbourhood. There are some good running areas, like the cemetery (I know, creepy, but I really like running through it), and there’s also an awesome trail behind my apartment. And sometimes I just run on the streets. It’s busy so the people-watching really holds my interest and makes me forget that I’m running sometimes (I only run on the street after dinner though, because if I do it around rush hour I am constantly dodging people in suits on their way to or from work).

So all summer I was pretty dedicated to the running thing, and I was running outside about three days a week. And then sometime around late August I started running only two days a week, which gradually became just one day a week. And there were a couple weeks in October (last week being one of them) that I didn’t run at all.

Also, and this is embarrassing, my gym is on the end of my street and I haven’t set foot in it since I switched my membership over when I moved. It is literally a two minute walk from my apartment and I have worked out there exactly once. I haven’t done BodyPump or any strength training really since June.

Both my personal life and my professional life were up in the air for a while, and I find when this happens and I don’t have a regular routine, I eat like crap and slack on being active. I completely lose my motivation.

Soo guess what’s happening. I am gaining weight. This is no surprise. Eating pizza and nachos and chocolate and candy will do that. I probably haven’t gained a ton, but it happens quickly. My pants are fitting a little more snug than usual and overall I just do not feel very svelte. I’m pretty lucky that I have a fairly decent metabolism, and I’m not as heavy as I probably should be considering the amount that I eat. But still, I need to put a stop to this.

So yesterday I decided that I needed to engage Operation Motivation. I am starting a new job today (I am so excited!!!!! More on that later!) so I will finally have a steady routine again, and I figure it is a good time to start up a regular workout regimen. And hopefully the healthier eating will follow. Probably still not on weekends though, let’s not get too crazy.

To kick-off Operation Motivation I was going to run outside, but sadly I think these days might be over…

It is freezing now, and I do not get down with winter running.

So you know what this means…GYM TIME! For the first time since I moved, I went to the gym. I ran 5k on the treadmill, and I would have hated every second of it…

But I have made an amazing (in my opinion) playlist that really excites me. I haven’t posted any of my playlists lately, but here it is in all its glory. You can click on any of the links to watch the song’s YouTube video.

Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols
Burn It Down – Linkin Park
Feeling Good – The Sheepdogs
Heavy Ceiling – Said The Whale
Ho Hey – The Lumineers (thank you to my BFF for introducing me to this song, I love it quite a lot)
I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs
I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
Jump Into the Fog – The Wombats
Kill Your Heroes – AWOLNATION
Little Talks – Of Monsters And Men
Madness – Muse
Professional Griefers – Deadmau5 feat. Gerard Way
Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
Reunion – M83
Robots – Dan Mangan
Take A Walk – Passion Pit
Time Bomb – 311
Tongue Tied – Grouplove

I like to save the songs on my running playlist and listen to them only when I’m running, because I am excited to listen to them so then it makes me excited to run. It is tricky though, there are a few on there that I just want to listen to on repeat over and over again.

But yesterday it worked. I was excited to run. And I felt so smug and great afterwards. So hopefully I can keep it up. My plan is to aim for three days a week of cardio (so treadmill and possibly arc trainer), and one day of strength training. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, NEW JOB! I start today! I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it later, but I don’t think it could be more perfect for me. It is a Communications and Social Media Specialist for a marketing/events agency and I am just so, so excited about it. It’s full time, permanent, and it’s a 20 minute walk (or two subway stops) from my apartment. I have worked with this company in the past at my old job, and I have always felt that they foster a very creative environment in their office. I have wanted to work there for a long time, but they don’t usually hire externally. So yeah, just good things! This is why I really try not to worry about things, because I know, everything will work out. It just will. Though I definitely did go through a bit of a funk when I lost my job. I think it would have been impossible not to. I actually went out for lunch with all my old coworkers on Friday to celebrate my new gig. It was really great to see them, and I am so grateful that they are still supportive of me even though we are no longer working buddies. I will always have a special place in my heart for them.

I hope you guys had a great weekend! I definitely have some shenanigans that I need to write about…

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Songs I’m Currently Obsessed With

So I’ve been trying to get back into that whole running thing lately. For most of December and January I was running maybe one day a week, pretty half-heartedly, and opting for other forms of exercise for the rest of my workouts (a lot of BodyPump).

But I want to run a 10k (my first!) this spring, so for the past two weeks I have been stepping up the running to two to three days a week. Mostly on the treadmill, but I did squeeze in an outdoor run last Monday after work. It was 10 degrees C and beautifully sunny when I arrived home, I couldn’t pass it up!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know how I feel about the treadmill. I don’t enjoy it, and that is an understatement. Most of the time I want to punch the treadmill in the face.

But for the past couple of weeks the treadmill has been more than bearable for me, and I’m pretty sure it’s due to the playlist I have been running to recently.

I feel like there are a lot of really great songs out right now! Sometimes my running playlists are just filled with mindless (but upbeat) Top 40 songs that are okay, but don’t really make me think about anything in particular. They keep me motivated to move, but they don’t excite me.

My favourite playlists include songs that I absolutely adore, and I’m so excited to hear them that I can’t wait to go for a run again.

I currently have a lot of song obsessions, and I’ve filled my most recent playlist with them. Here are a few of the highlights:

1. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye

I mentioned this one last week, but I can’t leave it out. It’s still a playlist highlight. I really have to force myself not to listen to this song on repeat, because I tend to do that with songs I really like, and then I ruin them for myself. So far it hasn’t lost its luster!

2. We Are Young by Fun. (feat. Janelle Monáe)

Ah this song, so good. I can’t get enough of it. This accoustic version (click the link to hear) is also quite fab. I actually may like it better… But both versions give me tingles. Love love.

3. Big Black Car by Gregory Alan Isakov

This song (no video so listen via that link) was on the McDonalds holidays commercial in Canada. Every time the commercial came on TV I would stop whatever I was doing and just listen. I loved it. It made me feel warm and comforted and tingly and nice. It is the musical equivalent of wine to me. It’s slow, but I love to run to slow songs if I’m into them.

Thanks for introducing me to this song, McDonalds!

4. Toes by Lights

I don’t have much to say about this song, but I really like it. Also, I find Lights really interesting to look at.

5. Gold On The Ceiling by The Black Keys

I’ve been listening to Lonely Boy ( <– the video kills me!) for a month or so now (who hasn’t been? It’s a great song), but it is starting to not have the same effect on me as it did when I was first listening to it (hate it when that happens!). And then I heard Gold On The Ceiling. And I was instantly a fan. I don’t know if I like it quite as much as Lonely Boy, but it’s pretty groovy.

6. White Doves by Young Empires

I can’t find the video for this song, but you can listen to it here. I like this song more every time I hear it!

7. Yo Hello Hooray by Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

No video for this yet either, but you can listen here. This is a local band that I have actually seen a couple times. I like them a lot, and I love that Edge 102 supports them and is trying to spread the word about their awesomeness! N/A OK is probably my favourite song of theirs, but I’ve had it on a few of my playlists, so it has lost a bit of its luster for me.

Here is the rest of my playlist. Also great songs!

Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols (oldie but a goodie!)
Color On The Walls (Don’t Stop) – Foster The People
Damini – USS (this song is about Damini the elephant that starved herself after her best friend died :()
Good Feeling – Flo Rida
Hit Me Up – Danny Fernandes ft. Josh Ramsay
Inside Out – Eve 6 (takes me back to the 90s!)
Lonely Boy – The Black Keys

And I can’t forget about Whitney Houston. I will probably make a little tribute playlist for her.

I was so shocked and sad when I heard the news about Whitney yesterday. I am watching the Grammy’s as I type this, and LL Cool J’s tribute to Whitney in the beginning definitely brought tears to my eyes. She was so talented!

What songs are you obsessed with right now? I love, LOVE being introduced to new music, so bring it!

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