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 — 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
By — Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 1:40pm
Well, it’s that time of year again, folks! A time for reflection, for promises to make better decisions in the New Year, and especially time for a plethora of festivities before the great hibernation. Granted, it’s looking more and more like there might not be a hibernation this year, but isn’t that all the more reason to celebrate? Specifically, if you’re looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve, you’ve come to the right place! As per tradition, we at Couch Assassin have compiled a list of various types of NYE events to say goodbye to 2015 and ring in 2016. Looking to get fancy? Don’t want to stay out late or spend money? There’s something for everyone here! For your convenience, the events are separated into the following four types: FANCY: Higher price, themed and/or formal dress... Read More
By — Sunday, November 29, 2015 - 12:11pm
Hip-Hop street rockers wotts just released their full length album “b”.  “b” is a follow up to their 2014 ep release “a”. The new album shows the lighter, sombre side of this rhyming/beat makin’ quartet. Yes, I am aware that wotts has release “b” as an EP. Everyone has a different views on the difference between an LP (long play or full length) and  an EP (extended play). My view is that 2-5 tracks count as an “Extended play” and anything past should be a “Long play” album. So, by that “b” being 7 tracks, I would have to say it's an “LP” or full length. Then again, some people may argue that the record only contains 7 songs timing under a half hour of music; thus it should be considered an EP. “b” clocks in just under 22... Read More
By — Monday, November 23, 2015 - 1:52pm
I am a lover of words.  Like a painters palette of colours.  Words can be crafted together to blow explore an idea, create rich images, dense stories and complicated characters.  They can then be transformed even further when set to music, thus creating an extra level of texture which Toronto-based artist David Newberry has mastered throughout his musical career. I spoke with David as he drove to Peterborough for his next show at The Garnet.  After assuring me that he was indeed using a hands free device, we were able to talk about his music and his upcoming performance on November 26th at the wonderfully intimate Kaffé 1870.   I asked David what he most enjoys about being on tour. “The great thing about being a touring musician in Canada is that there are tonnes... Read More
By — Monday, November 23, 2015 - 10:04am
Onionface has been KICK’in around Ottawa since 2013. Stefan Jurewicz, Onionface’s frontman, normally shows up at live shows with a kick drum and a guitar and rocks the shit out of the two pieces of equipment. Quite the “one man band”! In 2014, he joined up with Calvin McCormick and Jon Schultz to add to the live show. McCormick adds the massive low frequencies of the bass while Schultz hits the skin in the background.   Goldenlips, the most recent single from Onionface, features an assortment of musicians recorded in many studios. Is this an Ottawa “Sonic Highways”? The track opens with a soft acoustic tone and then takes you... Read More

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