The Tragically Hip

No Dress Rehearsal, This Is Our Life

I spent last night doing the same thing most of Canada was doing, gluing myself to the television to watch Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip play the biggest show of their lives. As with many of my fellow Canadians, The Hip are a staple of our upbringing in this country. They represent every cottage or camping trip we’ve ever been on, they helped us get through break-ups and for those of us who struggled through our English classes, they introduced us to poetry that we would have otherwise never known. In short, they were ours as Canadians and we loved them.

When the band announced that they would tour one last time, the rush for tickets was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The fact that Gord Downie was going to tour after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer was inspiring but I couldn’t have imagined the overwhelming array of emotions I was about to go through. I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the show in Ottawa and can honestly say that I have never heard a louder crowd in my entire life. You could tell by watching Gord in the moments when he wasn’t singing that he was truly humbled by the response from the fans and we were in turn humbled by his passion for his craft. By the way, if you’d like to donate to Gord Downie’s Fund For Brain Cancer Research, as I have already done, you can do so by visiting the Sunnybrook Foundation Page right here!

During their final show in Kingston last night, I told myself that I would be cool in front of the kids while we watched together. As I answered my son’s question about why the concert and the band were so important to me, I uncharacteristically started to choke up and realized that this was not going to be easy to get through. I can’t really explain the emotions I was feeling but I assumed that most others were having the same reaction. I was definitely sad to be losing a Canadian music legend in Gord Downie, but that wasn’t what was hitting me. I think part of it was seeing him up there doing the thing he was most passionate about and giving it everything he had left, knowing it would likely be the last time. It would have been easy to fold up shop when he got the diagnosis but he instead chose to make sure that every ounce of life went lived.

As I watched the tweets and facebook posts stream by, I was overcome with a strong sense of pride in my Canadian heritage and realized that we were taking part in one of the greatest send-offs of all-time. I was proud that Gord decided to unselfishly use his platform to speak for our indigenous community, who have been overlooked for far too long. I laughed as Gord talked about how hard he worked to finally get women to come to the shows, I cried as he let out all of his pain and anger in a stirring rendition of “Grace, Too”, I went through some deep self reflection and I became more inspired than I’ve been in a long time. All this in a span of 3 hours and all thanks to a band. Who knew?

I’d like to say a special thank you to the CBC for setting aside the Olympics and the commercials and the money you could have otherwise made to air this concert for the people and for a band that brought this country together for a night of love and reflection.

And, of course, Thank You to Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip for the music, the years of hard work, for teaching me about perseverance and the importance of nurturing your passion.

Keep Holding On & Support Women’s Healthcare ~ #WCHFRaiseUrVoice

Just because Movember is over, doesn’t mean it’s time to pack it in the good deeds for another year. That’s why I am happy to be working with the Women’s College Hospital Foundation in spreading the word about their new initiative!

Women’s College Hospital Foundation has teamed up with Canadian singing sensation, Avril Lavigne, to create a cover of her hit song, “Keep Holding On”, featuring the voices of Canadians from across the country. The remixed song has been released on iTunes, and the proceeds from every download go toward supporting Women’s College Hospital and the future of healthcare for women.

I downloaded the song myself this afternoon and haven’t been able to stop listening to it. It gives me that goose bumpy feeling every time the chorus of voices kicks in, and to know that it is also helping women in need is extra gratifying. The song only costs $1.29 and every single download helps support an amazing cause, so I hope you will head over to iTunes and purchase a copy today!

About Women’s College Hospital Foundation

Women’s College Hospital Foundation is dedicated to supporting Women’s College Hospital as it revolutionizes health care for women. The first stand alone ambulatory care hospital in Canada, Women’s College Hospital is dedicated to advancing the health of women and improving health-care options for all.

Working together with patients, family members, staff, physicians, volunteers, community members and corporations, we raise, manage and invest funds to support the Hospital’s current and future priority needs. Our donors contribute generously to help build our new hospital of the future, advance research and pioneer state-of-the-art programs that address the unique needs of women and their families.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Entrinsic for my participation in this program, but the song, Avril and the cause are all amazing.

Share and Inspire With #GoodNewsMonday – Canada Day Edition!

GNM Can Day

Happy Canada Day!!! I don’t know how active ‘Good News Monday’ will be today but I thought I’d put it up anyway, just in case. Please feel free to share your Good News stories below! As usual, I’ll kick it off.

Other than the fact that today is one of my favourite holidays of the year, my band has been practicing more regularly and have been focusing on writing on our music. There’s no crazy rock star dreams here, but there is a real sense of accomplishment when you finish writing and recording a song. The goal is to eventually have enough songs to put an album together and I feel like we are well on our way there.

That’s all for me. What Good News do you have today?!

Drum Kit Band

My Big Music Fest Experience; Or, Celebrities Rubbing My Belly

Big Music Fest

There was a point at Big Music Fest this past weekend, where I was trekking through the pouring rain, quite literally soaked to the bone, and all I could think about was how awesome it was that Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers were on stage, performing One Headlight. In fact, that’s kind of a metaphor for the whole day. It didn’t matter what curve balls could possibly be thrown our way, because music always wins.

I was invited to attend Big Music Fest, in order to be one of their featured bloggers. At first, I thought it was a joke, because I would have gladly paid for the opportunity to see some of my favourites acts, such as the Counting Crows, the Wallflowers and Hedley. I giddily accepted the offer, sent the kids to Nana and Papa’s house and scooped my wife up for a, much needed, weekend getaway.

I really wanted to provide an unbiased review of the festival, but other than the rain, which they had no control over, I couldn’t really find any flaws. I guess if I had to pick a negative thing, the walk from the parking lot was kind of far, but I could definitely use the exercise. Otherwise, the bands were all amazing, I had an unbelievably good ‘steak on a bun’, and, I got to hang out with some of my favourite online personalities, like Trina from Life’s a Blog, Christella from Crawl the Line, Candace and Eric Alper, and their always inpiring 10 year old daughter, Hannah, from CallMeHannah.Ca.

The Big Music Fest Blog Crew

The Big Music Fest Blog Crew

To save you the time of reading a million more paragraphs, I have decided to bullet form my highlights from the festival and will shoot some pictures down below as well.

* Seeing The Wallflowers live for the first time was a cool experience for me. One Headlight is one of the first songs I ever covered, so they have a place close to my heart.

* Being allowed in the photo pit for the first two songs of the Counting Crows set was an experience that I will never be able to put into proper words. To be within an arms reach of Adam Duritz during “Round Here” is something I will never forget.

* Mr. Jones. That is all.

* We had the opportunity to meet Hedley backstage and to say it was awkward would be an understatement. Imagine 20 teenage girls and one 34 year old dude waiting patiently for their arrival. Luckily for me, the guys had a sense of humour about it and we ended up taking a funny picture.

* While waiting backstage, the guys from Bleeker Ridge stopped by to sign autographs and take some photos. They were really cool guys and you could tell that they appreciate every single one of their fans, which is so important.

* Teenage girls crying everywhere. I’m pretty sure that I was the only one who didn’t cry after meeting Jacob and the Hedley crew. That includes my wife, who I have never seen so flustered in my entire life. Very adorable.

* Being in the photo pit for Hedley wasn’t as defining of a moment for me as the Counting Crows, but it was still incredibly amazing.

* My favourite part of the Hedley show was when Jacob mentioned that some band members had birthdays coming up and gave the fans 30 seconds to throw as much stuff as they wanted on to the stage. It was hilarious to see them dodging everything from pennies and sunglasses to chicken fingers and underwear.

Jacob Hoggard HedleyJakob Dylan Wallflowers

I have to say thank you and give a huge kudos to everyone who made Big Music Fest the outstanding event that it was. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a collection of music that incredible, and all in one day. Whether it’s as a blogger or a spectator, we will definitely be back to Big Music Fest next year! Rock on!

Jacob Still Hasn't Paid For The Lucky Belly Rub!

Jacob Still Hasn’t Paid For The Lucky Belly Rub!

Catch Counting Crows, The Wallflowers, Hedley & More At Big Music Fest!

Big Music Fest

I love music. If you’ve read this blog or have followed me on social media at all, I would imagine this much is evident. So when I was asked to help out with Belleville’s “Big Music Fest” on June 22nd, my immediate reaction was to say yes. When I popped onto their website and saw bands like the Counting Crows, the Wallflowers and Hedley, my fingers couldn’t type back my YES response fast enough.

Regardless of the lineup, the big ticket item for me is the opportunity to see the Counting Crows play live. The album “August and Everything After” was the first time I can remember actually “feeling” music. It was and will always be the anthem of my younger self and I still listen to it at least once a month. While singing the song, “Mr. Jones”, it was also the first time someone told me that I had a pretty good voice, which has led to me singing in my own band for the past 8 years.

The awesome thing about music is that it has the ability to mold your entire life. For me at least, turning to music has lifted me out of some of my darkest places. Green Day was instrumental in helping me work through the death of my father. And, who hasn’t listened to “Don’t Cry” by Guns and Roses after a tough break up. Music is something that makes our world a better place and I can’t wait to soak up everything that Big Music Fest has to offer.

Just to fill you in on a few details, Big Music Fest will take place on June 22nd, 2013 at East Zwick’s Park in Belleville, Ontario. The featured acts are Burton Cummings, Counting Crows, the Wallflowers, Hedley and Bleeker Ridge. Tickets are on sale now at $64.50 for general admission, $84.50 for VIP and they can be purchased by clicking this link to TicketBreak.Com.

I hope you’ll join me for this incredible weekend of music and please let me know if you are coming so we can get together for a soda…or whatever. You can stay up to date on everything Big Music Fest by following them on Facebook and Twitter as well. I hope to see you there!

As a blogger for the Big Music Fest, I have been offered tickets to the Festival.

Join Me At Terra20 This Weekend For Their TechZone Launch Event

Terra20 TechZone

Let me get this out of the way right off the bat. I am not Captain Eco-Friendly. I am also, however, not the opposite of that and am more than ready to start expanding my knowledge about the subject of eco-friendly products. In fact, blogging has opened my eyes to a whole new world of knowledge and passions, with this being one I am excited to further explore.

That’s why I was so excited to get invited to terra20 this weekend for the launch of their TechZone. In an effort to add something for the guys, the new department will feature products from House of Marley and I’ve been drooling over their catalog since I first saw it. That sounds corny, but just check it out for yourselves and you’ll know what I’m talking about. In fact, look at these two right now!

House of Marley Roots Rock Midnight Portable Bluetooth Audio SystemHouse of Marley iPod dock

Anyway, you are all invited to join me for the launch this weekend and I’ll hope you’ll stop by to say hello and check it out. Terra20 is located at 2685 Iris St in Ottawa. Here are some more details and I hope to see you there!

– Launch of terra20’s TechZone featuring House of Marley on May 25 from 9 am – 1 pm

– “TechZone,” features the House of Marley line of audio equipment, watches, and bags.

– TechZone includes a House of Marley listening station, as well as other innovative tech-related products.

– The TechZone also includes solar and crank powered products by Eton Corporation, tech accessories, and outdoor/emergency gear.

– Eton will also be represented during the event, and are offering a special gift with purchase—Free Blackout Buddy with purchase.

– Event features a charitable Caribbean-themed BBQ.

– LiVE 88.5’s David Schellenberg will be onsite for a live remote.

– Four Marley prize packs will be up for grabs.

– Representatives from Niko Organic skin care will also be at terra20 performing skin consultations for their men’s line, and Eton Corporation will also be on site demonstrating their solar and crank powered device.

You can also stay up to date on everything terra20 by following them on Twitter and Facebook.

Not Your Ordinary, Everyday Bunnies








Just a short post today as I get myself back into the swing of things after a long and very enjoyable vacation! My daughter has recently discovered the joys of music and dancing but there is one song in particular that she can’t stop listening to.

Seriously, she literally will not stop listening to it and if I turn it off, we get an epic meltdown every time!

That song is called Sleeping Bunnies by The Derry Hares and my little one can’t get enough of it. It’s so amazing to watch her dance and sing to the song that it almost makes you forget that you have listened to the song 31 times in a row!

I decided to take a video of her so you can all see just how much she loves it and got an added bonus when my son noticed the camera and decided to join in. He is a spotlight hog just like his Dad!

So without further blogging, here are my kids doing their interpretive dance version of Sleeping Bunnies.


My Life In Song – Dad Edition

I’ve decided to try yet another new feature on the site. The best thing about this being my site, is that I can try as many new things as I want without having to ask permission!

In case you didn’t know already (I guess you probably wouldn’t know unless you knew me personally, because I never really talk about it on the blog…until now) I love music! It makes my world go round in a way that would probably relate to Quentin Tarantino, who has said he picks his music before writing his movies.

If Sidney Deane from “White Men Can’t Jump” is indeed correct, then I feel like one of the few people who can hear Jimi, instead of just listening to him. That’s how much I love music!

Anyway, that’s enough of that. On to the show! This week, with Father’s Day still fresh in everyone’s mind, I am showcasing a couple songs that remind me of my Dad, who passed away in 2007. I don’t necessarily have a reason why certain songs remind me of him but anyone who has lost someone close knows what I’m talking about.

Without further ado, here is my list:

1. My Hero – Foo Fighters – Thought by some to be a tribute to one of Dave Grohl’s best friends, Kurt Cobain, this song is one of my all time favorites. My Dad was my hero and best friend and that’s why this song speaks to me so much.

2. Fix You – Coldplay – This is one of those songs that can relate to a lot of different situations. For me, oddly enough, it was the first song playing in my car after my Dad passed away and that has stuck with me ever since. There’s more to it but I imagine you’ve already gotten the point here. Plus, if I shared all my thoughts, I would have no mystery left to me.

3. Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day – Something funny about my Dad is that he really enjoyed listening to Green Day’s American Idiot album. Even in my late 20’s I didn’t fully understand it. He certainly wasn’t listening to it as a ploy to bond with me because we always had a great relationship. Personally I thought it was pretty cool but never admitted it to him, lol. Dad passed at the end of August, so this particular song is extra sentimental to me but he loved the rock songs on this album.

That’s all for this edition of “My Life In Song”. Unlike some other new features I’ve tried, I really enjoyed putting this one together and think it’s a keeper! I’m always happy to hear your thoughts/suggestions though, so just fire away in the comments section!

Thanks for reading!


Lucas Sings Episode 1 – My Toddler Composes Original Music

Recently, my 4 year old son has been infatuated with watching himself on video. In order to make sure that he gets ample time in front of the camera, he’s been composing original songs and notifying me whenever he has a new piece ready (every 8 minutes).

In an attempt to create a bank of embarrassing material for future use, I’ve decided to being sharing these shongs with you in a new segment I like to call “Lucas Sings”.

Every week, I’ll post a new video of him performing his original material. Sometimes it may sound similar or even like a blatant rip off of another song, but I assure you he’s tweaked all of them and made them his own.

Oh, and don’t worry about this segment running out of material as I already have a year’s worth of songs ready…

I have not copyrighted any of these so please know that if you steal any of them, you are stealing from a young child and most likely killing an angel in the process.

And now, with further Dudes, Here he is!

You’ll note that when he says “Bad Birds” at the start, he’s referring to Angry Birds. Also, his signature sign off seems to be “I wanna see my video”. He’s definitely NOT an attention seeker like his Dad….