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 — Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 6:12pm
This time of year it is easy to get caught up in shopping, drinking and eating.  While all that is well and good it’s important to reflect on what we are contributing to the world and how we are making it better.  Five Ottawa students will be doing just that with the help of local musician Craig Cardiff. On Sunday, December 21, Craig will be playing an intimate show at the Dovercourt Community Centre.  The proceeds from this concert will be benefitting an orphanage in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Amy MacDonald, Darnell Kennedy, Kayla Medeiros, Callie Graziadei and Sofia Snook will be volunteering there for six weeks, helping the orphanage by keeping the kids active and teaching basic skills. I caught Darnell Kennedy while he was on his way to the Dovercourt Community Centre... Read More
By — Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 4:02pm
The City of Ottawa has finally responded to the underrepresented musical scene in the city with the creation of the #ottmusik initiative. This is ground-breaking in terms of public promotion for local music, and artists across the city have every right to be excited. Mayor Jim Watson personally launched #ottmusik the beginning of December at Gabba Hey! The project is simple: Those who call in to the City of Ottawa will now be greeted by 20 second clips of local artists, and if they like what they hear, they have the opportunity to find that music on the City's corresponding website. “I hope all Ottawa residents and music fans share my enthusiasm for this project and my excitement about hearing the music samples that will be submitted to #ottmusik,” Mayor Watson stated in the City’s... Read More
By — Monday, December 15, 2014 - 2:00pm
It’s always great to see a band go big. And by “go big” I don’t mean rolling in a limo popping bottles of Cristal while Puff Daddy throws dolla bills out the sunroof. I mean really embracing BIG sound; think U2 or Oasis stadium-style anthems we all grew up on. A few contemporary names that come to mind that dare to be epic: M83, Tame Impala, CHVRCHES and Ottawa’s own Those Gulls. Having been introduced to Those Gulls via a Fevers' supporting slot this past summer, I was immediately blown away by the sheer energy of their music. The band - made up of Andrew Grosvenor (guitar, vocals), Peter Zachar (drums), Kate Schroder (synth, vocals), Jake Ting (guitar) and Kurt Borutski (bass) – has been grinding through the nation’s capital since 2007; growing from a two piece recording project to the... Read More
By — Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 11:53am
What’s the secret to living a happy life? A loaded question for sure, but it’s safe to say doing something you love and surrounding yourself with good people isn’t a bad start. Ottawa’s hip hop heroes Just Poets seem to have that all figured out. This trio of pals, consisting of heavyweight producer Jeepz (G.Grand, Kay Flow, Shaun Carlo) and emcees Just Peace and Street Scholar, truly love hip hop. Their adoration for it, along with their respect and knowledge of the genre, is firmly entrenched throughout their music. The group started out as most do – friends who decided to give it a go without any expectations – but slowly grew into something bigger once they saw how well they worked together. “It's just that we love doing this,” explains Jeepz. Our passions and tastes are well-... Read More
By — Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 12:39pm
The holiday season is upon us and I always think of it as a special time of year to spend time with family and pick up where last year’s party ended. In today’s world, we can stay in pretty close contact with all our friends and family. Whether it’s a night out for dinner or a family gathering, or it may just be you and that special someone. Whoever you're spending the season with, good company and good food are always at the top of my list for the Holidays. The Ottawa Food Bank has been serving Ottawa since 1984. Today, they support 140 emergency food programs that feed approximately 50,000 people per month, 37 percent of them are children. The holiday season is definitely a time of year where giving a little does go a long way. The food bank accepts non-perishable items and some... Read More
By — Monday, December 8, 2014 - 12:24pm
At first glance, Ottawa may not seem like a place conducive to women and music, but if you look closer, you’ll realize that’s not the case. When it comes to ladies and the local music scene, Ottawa is home to some great initiatives like the Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls. With inspiring opportunities like these, it’s no surprise that the National Capital Region abounds with female talent. One local lady in particular, Andrea Desjardins, set out to contribute to the local music scene by launching Rocksteady Bookings (RSB), her very own events production company, in December 2011. As someone with a passion for music of all genres, Desjardins felt the need to support Ottawa’s scene by giving local artists a platform with which they could be... Read More
By — Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 4:00pm
Hailing from the East Coast of our vast country, rock'n'roll machine Sloan returns to the nation's capital. Sloan has been around since the early 90’s rocking out and making amazing music for our ears. One of my all-time favourite bands, they bring a unique range of talent to the stage with songs that make you wanna dance and rock out too. On November 28 at Mavericks, Sloan will be hitting the stage for two back to back sets. Touring on their latest release Commonwealth, I had the opportunity to fire off some questions in an email interview with bassist/guitarist/drummer Chris Murphy. Couch Assassin: It is always a pleasure to have Sloan back in Ottawa. I'm 30 years old and I know what you guys can do with your vast talent. Do you think Sloan as a whole has carried down to the next... Read More
By — Friday, November 21, 2014 - 10:28am
Sometimes, life is damn hard.  Jobs are lost, relationships crumble and debt rises as snow falls.  We can get wound up tight by our work, responsibilities and shortcomings while never giving ourselves a break.  Thank goodness for comedians.  They point out the absurdities in this world and rearrange them in a way that allows some distance for observation, connection and a cathartic laugh.  They say laughter is the best medicine, (though as Norm MacDonald points out: “unless you’re diabetic, in which case insulin is the best medicine”) so if you’re feeling a little low, a great remedy is a visit to your local comedy club and have a good laugh. Debra DiGiovanni will be passing through Ottawa as part of the Just for Laughs tour on Monday, November 24th at Absolute... Read More
By — Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 10:45am
Some musicians look towards new music for inspiration. Some find that looking back and reimagining songs and genres from the past helps in development. For Emmas Ringer, it sounds like staying true and running the course with their band’s sound is what keeps the Emmas Ringer machine moving. The band has been around since the early 2000’s. Scott McCooeye started the band alongside guitarist Jeff Parsons. Scott Maybee, then bassist joined alongside his brother Trevor Maybee on drums. After some time away to reflect, Emmas Ringer regrouped in 2010 with just Maybee and McCooeye and a drum machine to reconstruct and reinvent old material. With the trust and solid help of a drum machine, the resurrected Emmas ringer was back on stage. In early 2012, Owen Coffin joined the band to add a soul to... Read More
By — Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 9:23am
Ottawa may not be recognized for its hip-hop scene, but Flight Distance and Buck N’ Nice are determined to changed that. With the release of their new albums, the two local rap groups sure hope to put Ottawa on the map when it comes to rap.  Respectively titled High Priests of Low-Life and Us Versus Them, Flight Distance and Buck N’ Nice’s new albums are refreshing releases and a welcomed reminder that Canada’s National Capital is home to some brilliant hip-hop artists just waiting to be heard. They’re two solid projects that certainly shouldn’t be slept on. With High Priests of Low-Life, Flight Distance’s intention isn’t to reach the mainstream masses. A fixture of the local cultural scene since 2004, the trio is known for delivering heavy hip-hop that isn’t quite as accessible as... Read More

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