Monday, October 16, 2017

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Luck’s Hard, the story of Ron Hawkins recording a double CD with his band ‘The Do Good Assasins’, had it’s world premier on Sat June 14, 2014 as part of the NXNE film festival at the Bloor Cinema.

Ron Hawkins has been on the Canadian music scene for over two decades and is probably best known as the frontman for the well respected band, Lowest of the Low. Although Lowest of the Low broke up in 1994, Ron hasn’t stopped working his career either as a solo artist or in his band The Rusty Nails. The Lowest of the Low reformed in 2000, released cd’s and toured until they broke up again in 2007. As a result, Ron started a new band called Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assasins (Jesse Capon – drums, Alex McMaster – cello/keys/trumpet, Derrick Brady – bass, Steve Singh – guitar) and began working on a new CD.

The film doesn’t hide anything and really captures the essence of  what being in a band in Canada and what trying to make ends meet is all about. Being in a band is hard and luck is even harder to come by. Yes Ron has had success in previous efforts but the grind is still there. The film follows the band to performances in Buffalo where they are very well received, to Toronto where they are still finding their foothold.

 

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The band shares stories on how they formed and where they came from, how the songs came about and what they would like to achieve. Each member getting their share of screen time that shows their background and their role in the band. Guitarist Steve Singh is focus for a good part of the film as he has his own unique personality that translates well onto film including a health scare that ends up finding him in the hospital. I’ve known Steve for over a decade now, and recently was over to his studio, Steve just is a great guy with a wicked sense of humour and I can see how he brings life to the project. The film also highlights Steve’s passion for buying and selling guitars.

Following their was a Q&A with the band members, directors David Brown and Daniel Williams and festival programmer Cameron Carpenter, where Steve mentioned how he misses the days where songs were the focus.

There’s nothing like seeing a film about good old hard work, honesty, humility and courage surrounding an under dog that everyone wants to see come out on top. Luck’s Hard has that. Go see this film.

 

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Propellers

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Bacardi is hosting a cuban themed festival in the Distillery District July 4-6 that will feature salsa lessons, dancing, cocktail mixology, and music. To kick things off Bacardi hosted a launch party at Archeo which had the perfect setting with both an outdoor and indoor areas creating two unique spaces. 

The red carpet was rolled out along with media wall for photo ops leading into an open space which allowed party goers to see projected images on the surrounding walls. The was of course an open bar which featured rum inspired cocktails – the RUMHATTEN was my drink of choice.

To enhance the atmosphere even further, one could watch and pick up a Cuban style rolled cigar or sample some flank steak and succulent pork belly.

All in all everyone had a great time, the atmosphere was lively and joyful. Well done!

The festival will be taking over the Distillery district with booths, food, cocktails and more. If you are in Toronto this weekend, make this event on your calendar.

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StyleID launch party

A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch party for an app called StyleID. A new Kitchener, Ont.-based startup co-founded by Sarah Juma and Rachel Nicole. It’s an app that allows the user to browse through TV show episodes, movies, and music videos, and then be able to click to find out where clothing and jewelry that is being worn by the stars is sold online. Basically finding out what’s being worn and then letting you find out how you too can look like a star.

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Currently the app can be downloaded for Android and Blackberry, iOS (Apple) will be coming soon.

The party, held at The SET on King st, Toronto, had a great turnout.  Attendees were able to test drive the app and learn about it’s features while enjoying a couple of complimentary beverages and some great food.

Also on hand was InvisiVision who are were demoing a way StyleID could work on TV. InvisiVision allows for two streams of content being displayed at once on a TV screen – without a special set of glasses, you see just a regular television screen, but wearing the special InvisiVision glasses allows the wearer to see an overlay of another stream of content. In the case of StyleID you can see the articles of clothing be shown in the episode you are watching and then be able to find out wear to purchase them as well. It’s a really cool technology which can have many uses including gaming.

The catering was proved by TOBEN, food by design,  and was some of the best I’ve had at these type of events. There was no shortage on samples to try as the food just kept coming and coming and everything was delicious.

A welcome surprise was to bump into performer Jesse Labelle , who I’ve booked shows with in the past. It was great to be able to catch up and to see him perform. He really has come along way and just recently opened for Blake Sheldon at the Calgary Stampede.

Jesse Labelle performing at the StyleID launch party
Jesse Labelle performing at the StyleID launch party

I think the app has great potential, they need to get the iPhone app out and get people using the app which is the hardest task. There is lots of room to grow by adding different uses, partnerships and options. I wish them all th best of luck – make sure you check out their website.

Website: http://www.styleid.info
Twitter: https://twitter.com/styleid
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StyleID

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Spiderman Homecoming

Spiderman Homecoming picks up where the last instalment of the Avengers left off.

From what we see in the trailer, Peter Parker (Spiderman) is looking to join the Avengers while hanging out with Tony Stark who has made a new suit for Spidey. From one cut scene, this is the suit that has the focusing eyes.

The villain in this chapter is one of Spidey’s classic villains, The Vulture played by Michale Keaton. Marvel is holding back on giving us a lot of screen time with Keaton building up suspense as we all know Keaton will raise the bar and deliver us a villain that we will all love to hate.

One other item to note is that at the start of the trailer we see an insect – could this be The Wasp?

The tone in the trailer shows that Marvel is keeping with the light hearted Peter Parker instead of the brooding love sick one that ruthfully, was not really entertaining in previous incarnations.

Being a comic book kid growing up I will be looking forward to this one!

RELEASE DATE: JULY 7, 2017

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On my last trip to Europe I spent a few days in London – this time not going to a couple places I haven’t been before. Taking a boat down the Thames to Greenwich and then spending a day at Brickworks – I really enjoyed the food market and ended up trying some food from the Lithuanian booth.