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, 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
By — Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 1:27pm
It is true that all Bourbons are Whiskeys, but does that mean that all Whiskeys are Bourbons? Definitely not. Bourbons, to be classified as such, adhere to a specific set of defining characteristics. Firstly, they must be American made, comprised of 51%-80% corn. They must also be distilled at no more than 80% alcohol (160 proof) and must be free of additives other than water. Lastly, they must be aged for a minimum of 2 years in new, unused charred barrels. It is the charring on the inside of the barrel, producing a caramelized sugar which seeps into the bourbon that gives it its distinctive colour. Now that we know what Bourbon is, let’s talk about drinking some. Ottawa Bourbon Week kicks off this Friday, November 21. Seven restaurants will hold bourbon inspired events over seven... Read More
By — Monday, November 10, 2014 - 9:35am
Alex Silas prefers to call his supporters family rather than fans, as he explains on The Rain, the last track off of his full-length debut album Roots – The Opera of June Manana released earlier this year on June 30. For Ottawa’s hip-hop hippie, Roots is all about growth. It’s a captivating musical journey that reflects where he’s from, what he’s been through and where he is now as an individual and as an artist. Silas has certainly come a long way since the release of his first two projects, having gained significant experience in and out of the studio and learning valuable lessons along the way.   Throughout the creation process for Roots, Silas surrounded himself with people who inspire him and with whom he shares a musical synergy, including his producer Bryan Ruckstuhl,... Read More
By — Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 2:34pm
Herd turns two next week, and those first two years have flown by for the local cultural magazine. Its presence can be seen around the city in local coffee shops like Bridgehead and Pressed. In addition to the print versions scattered throughout the city, you can follow the newest articles on the magazine’s website. Herd has been working tirelessly for the promotion of local talent, be it through music, culture or new establishments throughout the capital. They take #SupportLocal to a whole new level with their Issue #7 Launch Party and Anniversary celebration by filling their dance card with a little something for everyone: garage rock, b-boy stances and electro-pop dancing. Herd Magazine boasts being a free, independent cultural publication that focuses on everything from local artists... Read More
By — Friday, October 31, 2014 - 3:25pm
When Doug Haynes sat down to write a few songs, and then convinced his dad to help he and a few friends record them back in 2012, he had no idea that two years later he’d be taking those songs across the country. Even after he and a few friends recorded a short demo, it was still unclear how far the music would take them. One thing that was for sure, there was chemistry when they played together. After they gained rapid popularity following the release of their self titled 5 song EP in 2013, and established a reputation for putting on great live shows,  it became clear that HIGHS were more than just chemistry, and that they could be around for a long time to come.  The band has performed in increasingly popular venues in and outside of Ontario, including Canadian rock festivals... Read More
By — Monday, October 27, 2014 - 9:07am
Halloween is fun for everyone and there are events to meet every taste. My personal favourite is hitting up the Mayfair or the Bytowne to check out The Rocky Horror Picture show. This year, Halloween falls on a Friday, so couch zombies beware! There is no excuse to stay home on Halloween! Here are my top five picks of Ottawa’s best Halloween events. # 5 Elementals EP release party w/ Tindervox, TOMB DREAM, Contour Out in the west end and looking for a party? Join 3 local bands during an EP release party. Of course, this is a house show, so you know the rules. Elementals will be releasing their long-awaited and overdue EP, following their week-long tour in Southern Ontario. They will be supported by... Read More
By — Monday, October 20, 2014 - 2:41pm
It's a rare tribute band that attracts anything near the affection fans have for the group they're covering. Sheezer is that band -- and you get to see them this Thursday at Zaphod's. Experiencing their performance for the first time, Weezer fans become Sheezer fans. Even the haters must find the ice melting from their cold dark hearts when they feel the waves of raw, nostalgic joy sweeping in from all sides. This band has the knack for transporting the crowd back to that magical time after Blue and before Green, capturing the spirit and energy of early-period Weezer before the bigtime blunted their edge. To see Sheezer... Read More
By — Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 12:20pm
For our September episode of Sound Check we stopped in at Danielle Allard's home, where she made us coffee and sang us some beautiful songs. Get a load of her voice, and when you find yourself humming the tunes in your head later, don't say we didn't warn you!  As always, the gentlemen at Rule2 Productions were a pleasure to work with, handling all the filming and editing of the video. Enjoy! Read More
By — Friday, September 26, 2014 - 8:44am
These days Ottawa’s own world-class blues guitar-slinger/singer JW Jones is a hard man to get a hold of, and it’s no wonder.  Jones is set to release his 8th album, Belmont Boulevard which he recorded down in Nashville with Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, and Susan Tedeschi). The new album also marks a career milestone for Jones as his first release on Blind Pig Records, a notable blues label in the U.S. This Saturday night you’re invited to hear what Jones has been up to lately as he and his band take the stage at the Rainbow Bistro for Belmont Boulevard’s CD release party in a show that also celebrates the Rainbow’s 30th anniversary. I got in touch with Jones over e-mail to ask... Read More


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