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 — Thursday, August 6, 2015 - 6:56am
Every once in a while you hear a record that stops you in your tracks, a record where everything just feels right and you wonder where did this come from? How can something sound so ripe? This was my reaction when I heard “Together Ensemble”, the latest work from Ottawa singer-songwriter Megan Jerome. Megan’s fifth to date, the album marks a turn in her musical career –new band, new songs, new approach to songwriting, and an overall new sound. Megan Jerome has always been an interesting artist, her piano-based compositions quirky and eclectic yet soulful with a knack for capturing the emotional tone of a situation. On the new record, her work is in bloom. At a gig one time, someone asked Fred Guignon (Together Ensemble guitarist), “if I like Megan’s music what else might I like?” and Fred... Read More
By — Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 5:38pm
They say all good things must come to an end. Well they must be talking about the 2015 RBC Ottawa Bluesfest. After 11 days of jam-packed music, a lot of us need a vacation. Or a giant nap. Or maybe that's just me. Regardless, I took a few days to digest all the music I experienced at this year's Bluesfest. Here are some of my highlights of week two: FET.NAT. Definitely in my top 5 favourite local acts. These guys don't play shows often enough (in my opinion) so it's always fun to catch them live. They put on a great show at the Canadian stage. Frontman Mononc Jayno was up to his usual shenanigans, as we've come to expect! Pony Girl. So great to see these guys perform again, especially in an intimate venue like the Barney Danson Theatre, where the sound is fantastic. It was lovely seeing... Read More
By — Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 5:39pm
Well, folks. The first week of RBC Ottawa Bluesfest is officially done! It was definitely eventful and I, like many of you, was able to catch some great live music and enjoy some nice (hot) sunny weather. Here are some of my highlights: BlakDenim. Blakdenim - one word, no c. Ottawa's very own hip hop/soul/funk/everything band put on a great performance on the River Canadian stage Thursday night. Although it wasn't packed, the crowd seemed to really enjoy discovering this local gem. Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires. Wow. Bradley, also known as the Screaming Eagle of Soul, gives it his all on stage. And you can sense the love he feels for the crowd. The talented singer started out as a James Brown impersonator but he definitely has enough soul to stand on his own and leave his own... Read More
By — Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - 2:49pm
In case you haven't noticed, Ottawa's artistic scene is jam-packed with talented people. Sometimes promoting our city’s talent is where the challenge lies. Enter Studio La Mouche. Lucie B, a local artist, started the project. Born and raised in Ottawa, she has been involved in the artistic community through her circle of friends, especially in the music scene. Having studied in chemistry, Lucie has no formal training in visual art. She shared that she was working on her Masters' degree when she acquired a silk-screening machine. She got the idea to start Studio La Mouche after realizing that some of her drawings would look good on t-shirts. "I decided to silk-screen my own stuff. Then I started noticing other artists around me and thought that their designs would work well on t-shirts too... Read More
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


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