>Open Roof Festival featuring The Darcys and the film ‘Beauty Day’; Thursday June 30, 2011

>I have to give it to the last day of June, it was quite possibly the most lovely evening of my summer yet. It’s just one of those evenings you can’t really plan, but rather they just sort of happen on their own. This will certainly go down as one of those amazing evenings.

My best pal and I made a very last minute decision to go to the Open Roof Festival, something I put off last year because I discovered it wasn’t actually held on a roof. Rather, it’s in the back lot of the Amsterdam Brewery on Bathurst just south of Front. Their name isn’t entirely off, there is no roof at this venue.

It was made an especially perfect evening because of the weather – a lovely 21 degrees Celsius, perfect for the summer dress. Nicole and I, dressed to the nines took on Toronto.

There was something real surreal about watching a film in the middle of the city buzz.

The Darcys went on around half past eight, the whole idea of these Open Roof sessions is to show the movie right at dusk, so bands kind of leisurely go one with enough time to churn out a few tunes without impeding on the film’s spot. This audience was definitely there for the film over the band. It`s kind of not a good atmosphere for a concert as there are seats and terrible terrain to stand on. I feel like it’s terrible concert etiquette to sit and watch a band, unless that`s the sort of show. People sat and spoke throughout the gig – not a gig I`d like to play myself.

The sound was mediocre to lousy, although loud enough to carry decently, but i’d credit that to the band`s crisp sound rather than the venues good speakers.  The Darcys did not let me down. I was taking Nicole to see the Darcys for the first time since we had first laid ears on them at the Supermarket in 2008. We both thought they were nothing special. It’s really incredible to hear what three years’ll do. Times are a changing and things are looking up for this band.

Trouble is they have yet to release an album. How can a band really explode without any material to support what they`re pushing? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Darcys absolutely need to put an album out, or at very least another EP.

I really love what Zeus has done, they’ve sort of lagged between releasing their legendary album Say Us and a follow-up, but they have released a couple of EPs to satisfy my needs.

I am happy to report that the fourth song in was a new tune I’d never heard before and it sounded fantastic. This band has definitely not lost steam, they’re clearly just being picky with things. I just hope they don’t grow bored of their songs before they actually have a chance to really do well.

Now, moving on to the incredible documentary Beauty Day.

Do you use the term “beauty”? I use it time to time when I describe something really great. After seeing this film, it’ll definitely work its way more into my daily language.

Meet Ralph Zavadil – a totally off-beat, weird looking guy, the original Jackass. Of St. Catharines, ON, Zavadil probably had a tremendously hard time fitting anywhere, because he has a hell of a lot less shame than anyone else. Zavadil made absurd recordings of stunts he did involving himself. Take the most absurd thing you can possibly think of and Zavadil would probably do it. His program The Cap’n Video Show aired from 1990-1995, with what seemed to have a solid following.

I think this documentary was such a hit with the audience is because Zavadil is human. Humanity really bleeds through in the descriptions and interviews of his life. One can really relate to this man in many surprising ways.

The music throughout this film was selected and mostly made by Justin Small and Ohad Benchetrit, both of the Toronto-based band Do Make Say Think. The song “Major Lift” was used throughout the film, kind of a theme-song for Zavadil almost.

It’s always really lovely to see what Do Make Say Think will stick their fingers in.

Further thought:

Do Make Say Think, auteurs?
Documentaries to consider: Jay Reatard doc Waiting For Something and Beauty Day
George Harrison (unrelated)

>Jenny Lewis in ‘The Hangover Part II’

>There’s nothing like starting a movie with a good song. Few people probably noticed but the intro song to The Hangover Part II was Jenny Lewis’ very laid back tune “Bad Man’s World.”

Instantly making me a fan of the film. It’s one of those disposable films, one time use only.

>Mike Mills ‘Beginners’

>So I finally got around to rewatching Beginners in theatres.

I found myself absolutely charmed, yet again, by the film and its music.

The soundtrack has proved very difficult to find in-store and with the Canada Post strike and all. Thankfully, I found a free, live stream online.

Make your day a little better with the lovely music from the film, or just go out and see the film.

Music big-wig Brian Reitzell collaborates for a few tunes on the soundtrack.

>Mike Mills ‘Beginners’ out June 17

>I can’t shake how lovely the film ‘Beginners’ is. I mailed my friend today saying this is the summer of Lovely. All things lovely.

So, I’ve gone on about the lovely film ‘Beginners’ Directed by Mike Mills (husband of Miranda July). The film stars the incredible Canadian Chirstopher Plummer, Ewan MacGregor and the very beautiful Mélanie Laurent. The film is about the revelries of life, some joyous some overbearing.

I fortuantely have the pleasure of watching this film at TIFF ’10. I was surprised and warmed inside.

I’m most excited by the booming soundtrack that makes me feel equal parts classy and in love.

Soak it in –

“Stardust” – Hoagy Camichael

“Everything’s Made For Love” – Gene Austin

“Bach Suite” – David Palmer, Roger Neill, Brian Reitzell

“1955” – David Palmer, Roger Neill, Brian Reitzell

“Sweet Jazz Music” – Jelly Roll Morton

“That Da Da Strain” – Mamie Smith
Note: not the version on the soundtrack, but still lovely.

“Mamanita” – Jelly Roll Morton
Note: couldn’t find the original on YouTube, but this is pretty faithful.

“Moon Waltz” – David Palmer, Roger Neill, Brian Reitzell

“Veronica’s Blues” – David Palmer, Roger Neill, Brian Reitzell

“Breezin’ Along with the Breeze” – Josephine Baker

“Beginners Theme Suite” – David Palmer, Roger Neill, Brian Reitzell

“Buddy Bertrand’s Blues” – Jelly Roll Morton
Note: I think this is the same song…

>"Ballad of Sir Frank Crisp" George Harrison, How I Met Your Mother

>I haven’t fully emerged myself into Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. I’d say I’ve put a fabulous effort into the first disc, but it’s the second one I’ve really overlooked (along with Disc Two of The Beatles). 

But it was in watching How I Met Your Mother‘s most recent episode “Challenge Accepted” that got me really onto the song “Ballad of Sir Frank Crisp” that boasts the lyrics “Let it roll” prominently throughout the song. 


>After months and months of my uncle asking if I’ve seen the television show Weeds, I finally broke down and watched it. It’s a real clever show with a fantastic music selection to follow. I’m going to write a bit on the theme song “Little Boxes” when I get around to finding videos I can actually post on here.

But here’s the really lovely Sufjan Stevens song “All The Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands”

>On Grey’s Anatomy’s music

>I really like the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. There’s something about super attractive doctors mixed with steamy love stories and great music that hits me the right way.

But what rubs me the wrong way is how they steal titles from tunes that I really like, or at very least am aware of.

For instance, their last episode titled “Song Beneath the Song” was lifted from a Maria Taylor tune. This takes me back to the high school days when I use to be very protective about great music that I really liked. I use to make sure that no one knew about it because it was my little secret. It killed me when people, especially people  I didn’t like, knew the songs that would make my skin quiver. I’ve distanced myself greatly from that, in that I don’t really care about who knows what, because I’m all about sharing music now. But, what aches me most is how these shows are unoriginally naming episodes after songs.

At the arts high school I went to, each year there was a dance review choreographed by dance students called Mosaix. This was a big deal (at the time). I remember when we were the top dogs, or seniors, a group of girls leading a particular number called their piece “One More Night” and put it to the music of Death Cab For Cutie’s “Tiny Vessels.” That killed me. I think I was at the peak of my snobby indie phase and knee deep in Death Cab at that time. Where did these legs get off castrating two of my favourite tunes at the time!!

Thanks ladies!! (Although, I secretly wished I was in their dance number)

Not a completely useless rant post, here’s the soundtrack to it:

>Little Miss Sunshine

>It’s been a while since any one has mentioned the film Little Miss Sunshine. I first saw this film four or five years ago when it hit DVD. I remember laughing so hard and so very honestly.

Who could forget the brilliant soundtrack with songs by DeVotchka and Sufjan Stevens. And that dynamite cast.

>’Incendies’ (again), Radiohead

>OK, maybe a little much but I can’t stop thinking about this fantastic film. I also cannot stop listening to “You and Whose Army?” by Radiohead. It’s such a dozy song that comes off almost lazy sounding, without the pick up party way through the song.

I don’t think I’ve seen such a powerful song intro to a film –

Opening Sequence from Incendies from Dirk Roth on Vimeo.

Please see this film!!!

>’Incendies’ Dennis Villeneuve

>My wonderful evening of Radiohead. I purchased Radiohead’s latest album on vinyl today, in addition to hearing their music set perfectly to the beautiful film Incendies.


If you haven’t seen Incendies yet, there’s still time. It has to be one of the most well-told stories I’ve seen all year. It reminded me a bunch of the Kristen Scott Thomas film Sarah’s Key – they basically both trace back former events, flipping narratives from the past and present. Both films unfold their stories with great sophistication, keeping me on edge throughout.

I can’t glow enough of the film’s use of “You and Whose Army” by Radiohead. It was haunting but not painfully out of cultural context – it definitely got me more into the movie this way. I love minimal soundtracks, it really better focuses a movie whose prime interest isn’t in storytelling with music. There’s something really mood evoking about Radiohead, it just gives me the chills to listen to that song and think about the movie.