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 — Friday, June 19, 2015 - 9:14am
Get ready, Ottawa! Festival season is here! I've been to my fair share of music festivals. I'm not saying I'm an expert by any means, but my schedule pretty much revolves around music festivals and live shows, especially in the summer. From my experience, there are many factors that affect one's experience at a music festival. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in order to maximize your festival-going experience. Dress appropriately. Pick your outfit based on your surroundings and based on weather predictions. If you’re going to be standing in a field in the middle of nowhere for an entire day, wearing comfortable footwear would be a wise idea. If the weather is going to be rainy and cold, be sure to bring a warm sweater or jacket. Once you're on site, you don't want to be... Read More
By — Monday, June 15, 2015 - 1:46pm
The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, a household name among the National Capital Region's music scene, is back once again and this year, the action is happening from June 20 to July 1. The 35th edition of this annual gathering of music enthusiasts will once again be held at Confederation Park as well as the National Arts Centre and a few other near-by locations. This year’s format will be similar to last year’s, complete with different series geared to please various crowds. There sure are lots of talented artists to check out over the next two weeks, so to help guide your choices, I've put together my top 10 list of must-see bands that should be included on your list of performances to check out. Here are my picks in no particular order: The Roots  The Roots is certainly a must-see when it... Read More
By — Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 3:46pm
We are all students of this life. We are the sum of the people we meet, the art we consume, experiences we brave and heroes we revere. We must soak these things in so that they teach us something about ourselves, informing the things we then expel out into the vast well of content, art and expression. Go ahead kids, be a super fan! Gush over the things you love and let them wash over you and shake you up like a torrential thunderstorm. You never know what you yourself can make of it. Colter Wall of Saskatoon has released his debut EP Imaginary Appalachia on June 2nd and will be performing at the Daily Grind on Thursday, June 11th. At 19 years old, Colter has produced an album that is haunted by the ghosts of Delta Blues singers and Traditional Americana performers while... Read More
By — Monday, June 8, 2015 - 9:24am
As the Associate Editor of Couch Assassin, I get to do fun things and meet really cool people. Last week, I'm thrilled to have been a guest on Lunch Out Loud Ottawa, a weekly podcast that promotes the amazing talent, food, events and music Ottawa has to offer. I'm a big fan of LOLO and how they promote the cool stuff happening in our city (just like us!) and I'm thrilled to have been a part of their Summer Music Festival Preview. The episode was hosted by Nick Bachusky, and joining me as guests were Peter Simpson (Ottawa Citizen) and Ming Wu (CHUO's No Filter). We talked about Westfest, Ottawa Explosion, Dragonboat Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, RBC Bluesfest, Arboretum Festival as well as CityFolk... Read More
By — Sunday, June 7, 2015 - 11:49pm
The local music scene has exploded! Now what do we do? We expand and spread it out, that's what! Local venues are embracing live local music en masse which is resulting in a momentary glut of shows. How do bands rise above the fray? Two words: supply & demand. If the frequency of shows you play in Ottawa proper surpasses the demand, then you will notice your audiences starting to fall-off. How to address this issue: start playing more shows in outlying areas. One such (new) venue is McCloskey's in Chesterville. The venue has a beautiful stage, and at the sound & bookings controls is none other than CKCU Wednesday Special Blend host Tic, who also stages an annual indie music fest called Barnstorm in Finch, ON. Other great venues include the Branch in Kempville, Kaffe 1870... Read More
By — Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 6:49am
On Friday, Ottawa will be graced with another great space for artists and makers to collaborate, network, showcase and promote their work, giving us all yet another reason to f%$&ing love this city.   Father and Son team Lawrence and Jon Evenchick will be opening LIVE! on Elgin on June 5 with a performance from Ottawa natives the Balconies and FEVERS.  I asked Jon a few questions about the venue, including what it was like to go into business with his father. Jon is a recent graduate of the Algonquin College's Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship program and has always be a passionate participant in the Ottawa music scene, not only as a musician, but as a promoter and grantwriter through his non-profit... Read More
By — Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 2:00pm
There’s no doubt about it: the Ottawa-Gatineau music scene has been gaining momentum and the Ottawa International Music Conference (OIMC) is here to prove it. Riding on the wave of the first MEGAPHONO showcase, this new gathering will bring together music enthusiasts, industry professionals, promoters and musicians in an effort to showcase “groundbreaking acts, share knowledge to stimulate the growth of the music business and solidify the local network by creating opportunities to connect through events, seminars, workshops and business panels”. Sounds ambitious and a tad bit risky and that’s certainly a good thing because that’s just what Ottawa needs: driven, innovative and passionate influencers who come together and join forces to improve the state of the local music scene. Endeavours... Read More
By — Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 2:37pm
This Friday, Ottawa gets treated to a special night when local enchantress Riishi Von Rex unleashes her new EP Shed Your Helmet to an innocent (well, mostly innocent) crowd of onlookers.   Normally an RVR (Riishi Von Rex) show would be reason enough to get one off the couch, but a chance to experience an EP release event charged by a set of newly invigorated material is bound to be one for the books. In her distinct brand of ‘Riishi Von Rock’, Von Rex (guitar and vocals) blends the best of blues, ska, punk and soul with undertones of western-swing revival and Eastern European influences. The feel of Von Rex’s music is authentic and spellbinding with the power to conjure up places and scenes previously only existing in our minds. Whether it’s a smoky desert town bar, the stone... Read More
By — Monday, May 18, 2015 - 10:21pm
The motel: a potent symbol of all things sordid and desperate. The no-tell motel, hotbed of illicit activity, home to desperadoes of all stripes, the place where civilization goes to die. All of this makes it the perfect setting for George F. Walker’s The End of Civilization, a black comedy mystery from his six-part Suburban motel series of plays. Same Day Theatre has brought the play to Ottawa for the first time in their excellent production now playing at the Gladstone theatre. It is here in the last chance motel that we meet Henry Cape, out of work for two years, on the brink of bankruptcy and forced to move into a cheap motel. We witness the strain of fruitless days searching for work. Joining him is his wife Lily Cape who’s left the children with her sister so she can support... Read More
By — Monday, May 11, 2015 - 8:32pm
Tom West has often been called a ‘musical troubadour’. With his distinct sound of atmospheric acoustic and thoughtful lyrics, one could make the argument that each part, or his material as a whole, is akin to musical poetry.  Still, something about that analogy seems wrong, if not a bit pretentious and off the mark. After first listening to the music of West, even weeks later, there is something elusive, mysterious, but yet uncomplicated and honest that makes you almost feel guilty for analysing, rather than simply listening and enjoying. His songs beg the questions of ‘What makes this former lawyer turned artist tick? Where does his music come from, and lead to? Am I getting too philosophical and contemplative already? Whatever the answers, I knew Tom West could help set me straight... Read More

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