Off the Couch Blog

Welcome to our blog! This is where you'll find longer previews and profiles on upcoming or ongoing events in and around Ottawa. We've got fresh tips on what's new and exciting in town, as well as interviews with local movers, shakers and party makers. If you're into it, you too could join our team of volunteer bloggers!
By — Monday, May 16, 2016 - 8:20am
Nick Thorburn and Montreal's Islands have graced us with good luck by releasing not one but two full length albums on Friday, May 13. Taste, their sixth album is an exploration in electronica, backed with drum machines and vintage synths. Their seventh album, Should I Remain Here At Sea? Is considered a spiritual sequel to their debut work Return to the Sea which was released in 2006. The album reflects on the decade past in a stripped down and raw fashion, with some of the tracks recorded in one take. Both works reflect the band's classic exploration of dark themes such as loneliness, disillusionment and ennui, all with an edge of tart humour. Nick and co. are currently touring in support of these albums and will be performing at Ritual night club on Tuesday May 17.I got a... Read More
By — Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 1:40am
It’s one dark, stormy, sexy, funny story rolling in moments of tenderness and cringe-inducing cruelty. Wait, all at the same time?  Now playing at the Gladstone theatre, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf packs all of this into one brilliant story set on one fateful night. Fair warning, it can get pretty intense.It’s easy to see the attraction of Who’s Afraid. The award-winning play (Tony, New York Critics’) has proven itself a classic with a look at relationships as incisive today as it was when written in 1962. As strong as the script is, it’s also very demanding. Luckily, Bear & Co. have assembled an all-star creative team for the show. In the director’s chair is Ian Farthing, former Artistic Director of the St.... Read More
By — Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 1:11pm
Quick, what’s the first thing you think of when someone says Vikings? Odds are it’s a band of fierce warriors approaching the shore of a new land fresh for the plundering, all burly bearded men with horned helmets and heavy swords. While there’s some truth to that image there was a lot more to the Viking civilization too. If you’re curious, there’s still time to catch Vikings at the Canadian Museum of History, a revealing exhibition that will change everything you thought you knew about this fascinating people.The exhibit gives a feel for the Norse people’s everyday life, as well as their beliefs and mythology while also taking a look at... Read More
By — Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 11:55am
Some people have a passion that is infectious. One that is driven by the fact that they have found their place in the world;  their community and people.  If you are ever so fortunate as to stumble upon your purpose, it is my hope that your run toward it with all the vehemence and intensity engrained in your bones.   The third annual Indigenous Art, Music + Fashion Show, presented by UN1TY Entertainment will take place at Centrepoint Theatre on Saturday March 26th at 7PM.  I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with organizer and entrepreneur Justin Holness about the events purpose and future.  When I spoke to Justin, his passion and excitement was palpable.  I hung up the phone feeling energized and inspired by his dedication to empowering aboriginal... Read More
By — Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 1:40pm
The last thing you expect from an evening of theatre is a nerve wracking thriller with the suspense of a TV crime show and the claustrophobic mind games of SAW. This and enough twists to leave you dizzy is what you’ll find in Butcher, now playing at the Great Canadian Theatre Company through to March 20.The show starts out innocently enough on a rainy Christmas Eve in a Toronto police station. Detective Lamb (Sean Devine) is working the graveyard shift, looking forward to a quiet night and getting home early to spend Christmas morning with his young family. But Lamb’s silent night is shot to hell when some kids drop off an old man in a military uniform and a Santa hat at the station. The man is weak. He doesn’t seem to speak any English and instead repeats the same... Read More
By — Monday, March 7, 2016 - 3:15pm
Fast Romantics will be rocking Zaphod’s on Wednesday, March 9th as part of a spring tour in anticipation of the release of their upcoming full length LP, set to come out this summer.  The first single of the album Animal has just been released and reflects a feeling we can all relate to, spending a night partying with someone acting on their basic, yet horrible instincts.  This sentiment, paired with the band’s synth laid instrumentation and melancholy vocals make for a thoughtful yet danceable track.The band’s song writing has been compared to that of Jarvis Cocker, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello.  Matthew Angus provided musings on the band’s process and what a good live show means to them.CA: What is your song writing process like? How has... Read More
By — Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 11:45am
If you’re looking to get out this weekend and do something decidedly un-Valentine’s day you must check out gloom pop band Vulva Culture who play Happy Goat Coffee Sunday night. With Lynch-like eeriness, gothic darkness and a tendency towards the tragic Vulva Culture is pretty much a perfect antidote to all things V-Day. On their latest EP In Vain the Halifax four piece offers up a sound all their own – dreamy, melancholic atmospherics, ethereal vocals, winding guitar lines and a love for waltzy 6/8 time. doo wop, psychedelia and shoegaze. An anonymous fan said it best when they described the band’s sound as "like a lot of drugs on a rocking chair underwater." I can speak from experience it’s a mysterious sound that pulls you in unexpectedly. Even with a band bio introducing them as “a... Read More
By — Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 10:43am
Just like Montréal has its M pour Montréal showcase, Ottawa has now found an equivalent to call its own. MEGAPHONO, back for a second year, has positioned itself as a festival celebrating Ottawa-Gatineau and Eastern Ontario music that puts local artists center stage to get them heard on a larger scale. Happening from February 2 to 5, 2016 this latest edition will feature 60 artists in 18 venues across the city and is set to welcome 30 music industry delegates from as far as The Netherlands. As festival director Jon Bartlett puts it, "MEGAPHONO is about getting the right people in the room to see our artists. The best way to tell the story of Ottawa music is to drag industry folks here to see and hear it for themselves." There’s certainly no doubt about it: Canada’s National Capital Region... Read More
By — Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 8:48am
If you haven’t been to the theatre in a while and are looking for a show to bring you back, you should definitely check out Matchstick now playing at the Great Canadian Theatre Company through to January 31. Produced by Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre, Matchstick showcases the impressive collaboration of playwright and performer Nathan Howe, director Kristen Holfeuer and her sister Lauren in the role of Matchstick and costume designer. The show is a prime example of what drives the Fringe theatre scene: hard work, improvisational creativity and a scrappy determination to make it happen. It’s inspiring to see just two performers pull off a show this powerful with fairly minimal resources – some instruments (guitars, a suitcase drums, xylophone), a couple puppets, a cardboard box and some... Read More
By — Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 8:59am
RockSteady Bookings (RSB) is celebrating four years of showcasing local music on Saturday January 9 with Ladies First at Live on Elgin! What’s awesome is how eclectic the lineup is and how it completely busts all the stereotypes of ladies in music. Where do I start?  Making Ottawa look good there’s Coccinella, a blues-pop 3-piece who pack a good Spice Girl cover, Riishi von Rex with a sound something like "If Janis Joplin and Tom Waits had a baby raised by the White Stripes” and the introspective songwriting of Amanda Lowe. Rounding out the night Ghostly Hounds will bring their dark folk ambience in from Montreal and Maya Killtron will get the crowd moving with her smooth electro R&B. I got in touch with RockSteady bookings’ founder Andrea Desjardins to learn more. Desjardins... Read More


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