Posts Tagged: "Deanne Kondrat"

See the World at Sunfest- The Yodeller’s Top Picks

Deanne Kondrat - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

From July 9 to 12, Victoria Park in London will be transformed into the colourful, lively tradition that is Sunfest. For the past 21 years Sunfest has been bringing an array of artists from around the world to Victoria Park in the heart of London, Ontario.

There’s a lot to see, hear, experience and eat over the four days of Sunfest. Here’s The Yodeller’s top picks of acts for the festival.

Ukrainian folk-punk quartet DAKHABRAKHA

Ukrainian folk-punk quartet Dakhabrakha

Feel the mesmerizing beats of this world-music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Staying true to their roots, DakhaBrakha means give/take in the old Ukrainian language. The band has added rhythms from around the globe into their music, creating a purely unique sound. Check out their Tiny Desk concert for a real treat. Also – you don’t want to miss these hats.

DEANNE Ana-Tijoux

Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux

Chilean rapper, Ana Tijoux’s set is not to be missed. Breaking Bad fans will be familiar with her hit 1977. Tijoux gives an edge to Sunfest that we haven’t seen much of before. Her rise began in the 1990s in Latin America when she was the MC of hip-hop group Makiza, and she has since created a well-known name as a solo artist. Don’t miss this set and get ready to move. Continue Reading

London’s Longest Running Music Festival Returns

Deanne Kondrat - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

“We have a lot of performers coming this year who have never played Home County. It is important to keep the lineup fresh, but also just as important to bring back veterans.”

Nothing says summer in London, Ontario quite like a festival in Victoria Park. And the Forest City’s longest running music festival, Home County Music and Art Festival is gearing up for its 42nd year. From July 17 to 19 Victoria Park will be filled with crafters, artisans, food from around the world . . . and of course, music.

Darin Addison, Artistic Director of Home County, is excited to usher in year number forty-two. And we know many others feel the same. He explains that it’s all about keeping it fresh and knowing your audience:

The Skydiggers

The Skydiggers

“We have a lot of performers coming this year who have never played Home County. Think Skydiggers, The Grapes of Wrath, Martha Wainwright, Sarah Slean, just to name a few. It is important to keep the lineup fresh, but also just as important to bring back veterans of the festival like Sylvia Tyson and Garnet Rogers. Once again, it is all about balance.” Continue Reading

Happy Sweet Sixteen, London Fringe

Deanne Kondrat - - Theatre & Film
The London Yodeller

When Kathy and her team began London Fringe sixteen years ago, they sold 3,500 tickets in total. Last year that number has skyrocketed to 18,000.DEANNE Tire Caper Clothesline

“We are in the middle of puberty here,” laughs Kathy Navackas, Executive Producer and Co-founder of The London Fringe Festival. “It’s a transitional year, we are growing.”

The London Fringe Festival is part of a world-wide tradition that began with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and celebrates experimental and small-scale theatre productions. These are un-juried theatre festivals in which acts are chosen by lottery. “We literally draw names from a hat,” explains Navackas. The same process carries over to other Fringe events like Visual Fringe, where artists are accepted until the roster is full. “If you are a new artist, an emerging artist, or an artist wanting to experiment and try something new, the Fringe is a great place to do that.”

Because of the un-juried process, Navackas explains there is something for everyone. She isn’t exaggerating; with 45 Companies, 320 performance times, the Visual Fringe component, plus three festivals – Dundas Street Festival, Old East Village Street Festival and Nuit Blanche – there is something for everyone’s tastes and interests. Continue Reading

The Return of One of London’s Most Idiosyncratic Music and Art Festivals

Deanne Kondrat - - Art & Books, Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DEANNE grickle 2014“We’ve always felt the music community has had our back,” says Savanah Sewell, Director of London’s longest running indie music festival, The Grickle Grass Festival. She credits that support for helping the fest make it to year six. “London can be tricky when it comes to showing up to support the unique and different. But I find myself bumping into people I don’t even know who say sweet things about the festival. It makes me realize that people in our community want an event like this, they plan around it and tell their friends about it. It’s pretty magical.”

Magical, indeed. The Grickle Grass Festival is a unique music celebration that takes place each year at The London Regional Children’s Museum. During the day, special programming is planned for children and their families. At night, the lights dim, the amps and mics come out and the place of childhood memories is transformed into one of the most anticipated musical festivals in London. (And we should mention it’s a licensed, 19+ event.)

Sewell, along with her rag-tag pals, started the festival when she was just a fresh-faced 21 year old straight out of college. She admits the team has come a long way in the past six years. “The first couple of years, we had no idea what we were doing, so there were panic phone calls to each other late at night,” she laughs. “Now, our team just knows what we have to do. It’s second nature now to pull this thing off every year. We are faster and more concise with our plans and execution.” Continue Reading

Free Comic Book Day – London Just Does it Better

Deanne Kondrat - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

DEANNE mario_comics“We now have a couple of thousand people come through our doors every year for Free Comic Book Day and now we are noticing it is a much younger demographic.”

Former Londoner Mario Campos now resides in the ‘big city’ of Toronto. But he always makes a point of revisiting his home town for one special day – Free Comic Book Day. So why travel down the 401 and back to little London when Toronto has an abundance of comic book stores? “When you grow up surrounded by certain shops and certain people sometimes it’s nice to deal with the London crowds and with the people you grew up with. Browsing through back issues with friends who originally got you into the scene, with comic book shop owners you know and trust, is one of the best vacations a guy can ask for.”

London is known for its tight-knit communities. It’s very apparent in our arts and music scenes and also carries over into our comic book and graphic novel scene as well. “That’s just what happens in smaller cities. You go around and tend to see the same people everywhere,” explains Campos. “The comic book store owners at Heroes and Neo Tokyo were always helpful to me when I was a bright-eyed and bushy tailed boy who didn’t know the difference between Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man.”

Campos is not the only one whose love of graphic novels has grown over the past few years. “The industry has grown in huge numbers in recent years,” says Gord Mood, owner and operator of LA Mood. “We now have a couple of thousand people come through our doors every year for Free Comic Book Day, and now we are noticing it is a much younger demographic.” Continue Reading

Bluesy, Theatrical and Psychedelic – Lonnie’s “Black” has it all

Deanne Kondrat - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DEANNE Lonnie CoverLynne Craven bounds into Fire Roasted Coffee on a Sunday afternoon, talking excitedly about going wedding dress-shopping for her sister and soon we are exchanging stories about life and work. But then it comes to the real reason we sat down that day – to talk about Lonnie in the Garden’s new album. Her excitement begins to bubble.

And she has every right to feel this way. On May 2nd,Lonnie in the Garden, fronted by Craven, will release part one of a two part album: Black and Blue. Black is the first half to be released.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve done. I think there is a special sound we’ve been able to create that I don’t think a lot of people are doing. That’s why I’m so in love with this piece.” The feeling of excitement is mutual, as many in the music community have been waiting eagerly for almost two years for a new Lonnie in the Garden release after their first record, Psychedelic Cottage.

The group, fronted by Lynne and rounded out with members Nate Lamb, Adam Sturgeon and Joe Thorner (which some might recognize from bands WHOOP-Szo and Serf Kanata), didn’t intend to create a double album at first. “When we sat down after recording nine tracks it was clear that some of them didn’t go. Some of them were on a different plane. So we thought, why not do two in one year?” Craven explains that Black, the first album has a distinctly different feel. “Black has a darker yet lighter quality – which is weird and wonderful. There are vocal melodies that are hilariously poppy, theatrical and bluesy – how I traditionally write. But then we have the hard sludge from Adam, Joe and Nate and it gives it this darker quality but still allows the songs to keep their lighter sense as well.” Continue Reading

Spend Some Time With WHOOP-Szo This Record Store Day

Deanne Kondrat - - Interviews, Music & Food
The London Yodeller

DEANNE WHOOP-SzoAdam Sturgeon is a champion and revitalizer of London’s underground music scene. He is the owner and operator of Out of Sound Records. The label “forges its own path on the Canadian music scene with Uber-DIY releases on cassette, coloured vinyl and almost always hand-made form.” Local wonders like Serf Kanata, Lonnie in the Garden and Sturgeon’s personal project, WHOOP-Szo have all been represented and released albums through OOS. Sturgeon will be celebrating Record Store Day in 2015 as any record label owner and burgeoning rock star should – with an album release, and not one, but two live shows. The Yodeller sat down to talk with the bearded trailblazer about the big day.

Record Store Day is another reminder of the revival of vinyl. What does it mean for an independent label, like Out of Sound, who releases local artists on a limited run?

Record store day is an interesting breed, a multi-faceted conversation and I guess in that, it is something we at Out of Sound are struggling with. On one hand it’s great that people, like the media, the hipsters and dads are taking a renewed interest in the format, a format we’ve been releasing for close to a decade. On the other hand, it opens up a can of worms. Like, reading that there is going to be a RSD re-issue of the Clueless soundtrack or a heart shaped Father John Misty special edition. I don’t know about that . . . but I guess these are the adverse effects? Is it a ploy to push major market players into the mom and pop shop world we rely on to survive? I mean, we love coloured vinyl at the same time as striving to find the best possible return on our sound; an ever evolving process. For us though, it’s the packaging and the music and the experience. The nights on the road, the conversations at the merch table. We can’t help but feel we’re paddling upstream come this time of year. How are we supposed to compete this time of year?

There has been noise in the music community that RSD is punishing the smaller, independent artists and labels. Smaller runs of vinyl get pushed back for larger runs of commercial re-issues this time of year . . . how are you finding it?
Continue Reading

Make Your List, Check it Twice- Record Store Day

Deanne Kondrat - - Music & Food
The London Yodeller

“We’ve had to turn people – artists, labels – down. This year we have about 400 exclusive products for Record Store Day.”

Tim Baker is the Chairman of Record Store Day Canada and the Head Honcho of Canada’s largest independent music store chain, Sunrise Records. Part of the Record Store Day army since day one, he couldn’t be happier at how the day has grown over the past eight years.

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past decade and don’t know what Record Store Day is, here are the Wikipedia notes on it: “Record Store Day is an annual event, founded in 2007, held on the third Saturday of April each year to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store. The day brings together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record stores across the world.  A number of records are pressed specifically for Record Store Day, and are only distributed to shops participating in the day.”

Baker explains that in RSD’s early years there were no line-ups and they were releasing 50 exclusive pieces for the big day. “But this year we’ve had to turn people – artists, labels – down. This year we have about 400 exclusive products for Record Store Day.” Continue Reading

London Game Crawl takes over London for Year Two

Deanne Kondrat - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

DeannewebWe’ve all heard of a pub crawl before . . . but have you been on a game crawl? Now is your chance to take part in one.

For the second year in a row, our favourite comic book and gaming stores – emporia of cool – are opening their doors for a day of board games for one and all. The Game Crawl is a day open to every one of all ages on Saturday April 11.

Uber Cool Stuff, LA Mood, The London Public Library, Project Play, The Western Fair Farmers’ Market and the Game Chamber are teaming up to provide five awesome locations where you can play games, check out demos and enter contests to win . . . you guessed it, games. Each crawl on the stop has different activities. DEANNE board games 1

“This is an event that is completely unique to London,” says Gord Mood, owner of L.A. Mood. He says that London just seems to do events like this better than most cities. “Even Free Comic Book Day, no other city does it like us. Bigger cities do these events, but do they do it as well as London? Nope.” Continue Reading

What’s the Buzz? MTP Takes a new spin on fan-favourite

Deanne Kondrat - - Theatre & Film
The London Yodeller

“The team has worked to ensure they are doing justice to all the worlds represented in this production”

DEANNE Jesus Christ Superstar 2Two universes collide. But no, this doesn’t result in an epic battle devastating planet earth. This collision creates perfect harmony. And a kick-ass musical.

Musical Theatre Productions is presenting the classic Andrew-Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical Jesus Christ Superstar . . . but with a twist. This revival of the 70s rock-opera will feature something new: comic book heroes.

“We have always been comic book geeks,” says co-director and Musical Director Angela Southern of herself and co-director Sam Shoebottom. She explains the idea all started when she watched a documentary about the beginning of comic books. “In this documentary they explained that in the beginning, a lot of these comic book guys in the 1930s began looking at the Bible for the archetype of their heroes.” She notes that when you begin to look into it, the similarities align: “You can see it. Jesus can equal Superman, a man falls from the heavens to help the weary and downtrodden and has lost his father.” Continue Reading