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Ottawa BluesFest 2006 July 25, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in music, photography.
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Every summer in Ottawa we have lots of fantastic music festivals. I’ve usually caught at least one show at BluesFest each summer for the past few years, back as far as the festival was held at LeBreton. I saw Matthew Good Band as part of the festival as well as The Tragically Hip and Sarah Harmer. Last year I had really wanted a pass but couldn’t find enough people to go, so I just went one night – any night, I said, I just wanted to go. A friend and I went on the only night in the entire history of the festival, according to the news then, that a night was actually cancelled (not just delayed) due to rain (and, well, thunder – lots of it). We saw Xavier Rudd, Michael Franti, Dutch Mason, and Keller Williams. That was the first time I went and wandered from stage to stage checking things out – I had never heard of Xavier Rudd and he was so much fun that my friend and I each bought a couple of his CDs.

I was totally stoked this year to be able to get a full pass for the festival, it was definitely worth it. I saw a lot of great people and while I don’t have much commentary on photo-takin’-stuff I felt like sharing a bunch of pictures from the week. So, here’s who I saw:

Corb Lund (just a couple songs)
Seu Jorge
Great Big Sea
Ani DiFranco
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Blue Rodeo
Nelly Furtado
Etta James
Jim Bryson
Danny Michel
Sharon Riley & Faith Chorale
Meligrove Band
Chicago Blues Reunion
KC & the Sunshine Band
Sister Sledge
Gloria Gaynor
The New Pornographers

Some highlights:

  • Seu Jorge – very cool.
  • Michael Franti was outstanding and I’ve just ordered my copy of Yell Fire!. Check him out if you get the chance, you’ll have a good time and you’ll feel better.
  • Blue Rodeo was stellar, second time I’ve seen ’em and I’ll see ’em again if I can, too. You can’t help but want to make out with Jim Cuddy, seriously.
  • Much as I enjoyed Mobile, Live was the highlight of that night. Was surprised at how many of their songs I knew and how ridiculously happy those guys seem on stage. It’s very cool to watch a band really look like they’re enjoying themselves. Played a lot of old hits which I appreciated ’cause I knew ’em. Awesome stuff.
  • Etta. Freakin’. James. ETTA JAMES! What can I say; it’s Etta, baby, and she was fabulous. What fun!
  • Metric puts on a good, fun, high-energy show. Would definitely go see them again, would go see just about any of these people again but hopefully in a cooler setting – God it was hot out during the festival.
  • Ottawa’s Hilotrons were a real treat, my first time seeing them but not my first attempt to. They make you wanna get up and move, and many people did despite the heat. They’re another must-see-again band. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
  • Boogie Blast? Best crowd of the whole thing. We had a great time shmoozin’ with people who could’ve easily been our parents (hehehe) and I think Sister Sledge’s “He’s the Greatest Dancer” should’ve been dedicated to the dude near us in the crowd. Red Shirt Guy, you were awesome.

And now for a few photos… :

City Hall

Location, Location, Location: Ottawa City Hall


Blue Rodeo Crowd

Bein’ in the Crowd: Blue Rodeo



Live @ Main Stage, BluesFest 2006



Metric @ MBNA Stage, BluesFest 2006



Hilotrons @ Blacksheep Stage, Bluesfest 2006


Ani DiFranco, Sea o' People!

Sea o’ People


Parliament Buildings

Ottawa @ Night


It was a great week, a lot of fun, anyone who enjoys live music should get to Ottawa and go. Best part of the summers, here, in my opinion.


Concert Photography May 22, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in music, photography.

Normally I bring my point n' shoot, Casio EX Z-30, to take pictures when I go to shows.  I'm just looking for the odd fun shot, a quick snap to help remember things.  It's easy to carry, I can put it in my pocket when I've snapped off a few that I want.  Finally, though, I tried out my SLR at a live show.  I went to see a friend of mine play and brought along the Rebel XT and let me tell you – it's quite difficult to take photos in that kind of setting.

Chad @ Urban Well, I: GIMP Edit


In this particular setting, Urban Well, there wasn't much apart from a single harsh red light over the stage.  All my photos came out red & black – looks kind of cool, representative of what things actually looked like that night, but hard on the eyes.  So I did what I could using both The GIMP and Canon's Digital Photo Professional  to remove some of the red and usually was left with almost sepia-toned images.  I like how they turned out but I'd like to have some more natural looking colours.  Will have to read up and learn how to make adjustments on my camera to account for the strange lighting.

 Chad @ Urban Well VI (B&W)

I tried most photos as they were originally vs as they look in black & white vs as they look with some editing.  Still, honestly, undecided as to what I prefer.


Check out the complete set here: Showcase Saturday @ Urban Well, Ottawa.

Concert; Cycling May 5, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in bicycle, cycling, fitness, health, music.
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One of my absolute most favorite things to do in the world is to watch music, live.  I've seen a few local shows recently, so I'll probably go back and update on what I've seen in 2006 but to start I'll fill you in on what was a great fun show: Great Big Sea @ The National Arts Centre, in Ottawa.


A few months ago a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join in on a group of people going to see Great Big Sea.  I had always heard what a great time everyone has at their shows, especially as I have a lot of friends who went to University on the east coast.  So finally the time came for us to head to the show and we all had a really great time.  It was "An Evening With…" so there was no opening act or anything, all Great Big Sea.  The first half of the show was mostly new music with the odd old folk tune – followed by a brief intermission and when we came back they were blaring Johnny Cash in the theatre, no complaints there.  The second half of the show was full of older hits, including one great sing-a-long moment which included crowd-favs everywhere like "I Fought the Law," "Blister in the Sun," "Video Killed the Radio Star," The Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams" (so fun!) and – Summer of '69!

The fellas talk to the crowd a lot, telling some great stories, making the whole thing feel very cozy and fun.  In summation, they're great – check out my flickr photo set for more!



Onto the cyclingness.  When I tuned up my bike myself I had a little one kilometer ride.  I also went out in some crazy bad-ass wind we had the other day and got a whopping two kilometer ride in.  Today, as it was gorgeous out, I decided to go for a bit more of a ride.  Unfortunately, that 2km was more difficult than I had anticipated.  So instead of starting my ride at 10km, I figured 5km for a little bit would be better.  I wound up biking 6.5km!  I was very pleased with that, it took me about 20 minutes.  Next ride I will probably do the exact same thing and then I'll try an 8km ride and then map out a 10km route.


Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. 

Last.fm & more. February 14, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in Admin Messages, music.

So I’m having more issues with this thing – for some reason my About page has disappeared, it is a “draft” and won’t change the status to “published.” Dunno how it changed in the first place, dunno how to put it back – ugh. Maybe it’ll fix itself the way the links problem did.

In other news, I’ve signed up with last.fm finally. Have been trying to post my chart, but that’s also problematic. So when that’s ready I’ll edit this post.

Music; Knitting Olympics; Photography. February 13, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in knitting, knitting olympics, music, photography, wip.

I’ve been listening to the iTunes exclusive EP Live Sessions from Iron & Wine. Definitely worth the purchase for the beautiful version of “The Trapeze Swinger” and a great cover of New Order’s “Love Vigilantes.” Not to mention the fact that “Cinder & Smoke” is one of my all time favorite songs.

If you’re in the mood for something way mellow, way soothing, and way pretty – check out Sam Beam’s great music. It sounds like summer rain feels.

Clicking the photo there will open the iTunes page for the EP. Also check out Iron&Wine.com.

There’s a bit of everything going on today – have just uploaded a couple of photos to my flickr account and am about to have lunch and get back to working on my knitting olympics project – the first WIP photo is below!

train – view more – jessica @ flickr

I’ve gone with a straightforward basic mitten pattern for my knitting olympics project and here is the progress so far.

So far the only thing I have to really work on is making my stitches tighter between needles. It is definitely something that you notice, so I’ll have to work on that for my next mitten. With the exception of not getting the increases right at first the progress so far is much better than expected, though I expect the thumb to be rather tricky as it is so bloody small.