A Shocktober special: 10 cult classics you need to see

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by Michael O’Keefe

Shocktober is the perfect excuse to catch up on horror films. From the great to the not-so-great, there’s always so much to explore. Compiled here are not necessarily the best horror films of all time, but a collection that’s so much fun you’ll hardly miss trick or treating. Happy Halloween, y’all!

1    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: While it’s not a classic, anything-goes-let-it-all-burn film like the first one is, the second  installment in this series is very funny. I mean, how can you beat Dennis Hopper having a chainsaw duel with Leatherface?

2    The Toxic Avenger: A cult classic from Tromaville! New Jersey’s first Super Hero! The Toxic Avenger might not be your favourite movie but maybe it should be. Basically the local wimp gets bullied one day, thrown in toxic waste and runs around town stopping crime.

3    I Drink Your Blood: This film is about a bunch of jerks going to stir stuff up in a small town. A kid has enough and infects their food with rabies, and the jerks go on a killing spree. Need I say more?

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#WhatDrivesYou: Richard Parks of Both Kinds of Music

Richard Parks sits at a desk, smiling.

photo and words by Erik Stolpmann

Richard Parks hosts a long-running show, Both Kinds of Music, on CKCU FM. As Parks heads into his 11th Funding Drive, we asked him—what drives you? 

How long have you been involved in CKCU?

I started with CKCU in late 2004 and Both Kinds of Music started in March 2005.

What made you want to start a show at CKCU?

I wanted to highlight the local community and show people great music was happening here. I just wanted to focus on the shows I was going to and the musicians that I saw there. And it sort of morphed into a show of six or seven songs I geek out about—they come from anywhere in the world. But the bulk of the show comes from who’s playing around town, who’s released records, and I want to make sure everyone knows that they’re happening.

What is the premise behind Both Kinds of Music?

In my mind, Both Kinds of Music is country-ish rock and garage-ee rock. It could also be local and international. But it really comes down to that I like the country music and the garage music. Genres are silly. No one works in a genre. I find that artists that start in one end up in different ones. At the end of the day, the show is really about music I like, and that’s the only definition that matters.

Why have you stuck around for so long?

It is work—really fun work. When I started, I didn’t realize what CKCU meant to the local community.

Over the 11 years I’ve been there, I really do see from an artist’s point of view that we’re there to promote new artists and give them that opportunity. I know from the people that put on music—Irene’s, Zaphod’s, Dominion Tavern, Blacksheep Inn, or even the National Arts Centre—that it matters to them if someone in the media is helping them do what they’re doing.

So I was just flabbergasted last year during the funding drive when Irene’s called in a huge generous donation for me. I’m just a patron of Irene’s, is what I think. But then I started to think that I play a lot of music, and I talk about that—and that matters to them. At the end of the day, the main reason I stay at CKCU is that all the work that I put in comes back at me so hard and so fast, and it pays me back in ways that I could never anticipate. Continue reading

REVIEW: Sleepy and the Noise release debut EP

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by Beverly Osazuwa

Ottawa’s Sleepy and the Noise steps onto the scene with their debut EP, Altitudes.

Sleepy and the Noise brings us emotionally charged lyrics over easy listening melodies. The indie-rock-pop trio formed in 2012, but the music started much before that.

Before Sleepy and the Noise, lead singer Christian Pasiak was working on solo projects. In an interview with Ottawa Showbox, the musician talks about how he found love in singing and songwriting. When drummer Kira Montfort and bassist Sarah Fitzpatrick joined Pasiak, they completed the sound.

Altitudes is an authentic piece. The four-track EP moves from mellow beats in “Mountains and Valleys” to a harder sound in “Crossroads and Graveyards.” Pasiak’s lyricism shows its strength in tracks two and three, “Noisy Universe” and “My Medusa,” where he tackles the depth and struggles of anxiety. Continue reading

surinder_jajeet_smAsian Sounds in partnership with Urban Tandoor restaurants (Bells Corners location) have arranged for a lunch buffet on the 29th of October at 11:30 a.m. The lunch buffet is priced at $15.00. Part of the proceeds will go to CKCU’s funding drive. Please call Urban Tandoor at 613-820-1700 for reservations and mention “CKCU Funding Drive”. Please make your reservations before the 28th of October. Asian Sounds is hosted by Jagjeet and Surinder Sharma (pictured here) every Wednesday evening from 6 – 7 PM on CKCU!

Interview: LUKA talks songwriting and making movies as a kid

The cover of artist LUKA's new album, Summon Up a Monkey King. Pictures LUKA sitting on a chair in front of a mostly blank wall.

By Renee LeBlanc

Luke Kuplowsky, or LUKA, is a sad but beautifully amorous voice who resides in Toronto, Ont. He’s soft spoken and passionate. His fourth release, Summon Up a Monkey King, was released in June 2016 on Yellow K Records. CKCU’s Renee Leblanc caught up with LUKA to talk about the new album, his inspirations, and making movies as a kid. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.


CKCU:
How would you say your taste in music has influenced the music that you’ve created?

LUKA: I guess with Monkey King, I was listening to lots of Jonathan Richman, and Nina Simone, and Arthur Russell. Specifically they’re all singers who have a lot of freedom and an unstructured feel to their vocal performances. So there’s this kind of sincerity in their vocals that seems to be unconstrained by strict forms. I wanted to, in this album, speak to the songs very honestly, and I think they were touchstones for people who sing in a very untraditional way.

CKCU: So would you say that your vocals are the main focus on Monkey King?

LUKA: Yeah, I’d say there’s an element—and the instruments definitely help create a certain space where those vocals can lie—but I definitely try to approach the songs through the vocal performance and find a very natural, and sometimes nontraditional, way to do that.

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The Saint Brigid’s Sessions on Saturday Morning

Tune in to Stephen Neale’s edition of the Saturday Morning program for the SAINT BRIGID’S SESSIONS. Recorded at the Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, located in Ottawa’s lynn-milesLowertown, this former church, which was built in 1890, plays the ideal host to the sessions.  The goal of the Saint Brigid’s Sessions is to capture live unplugged performances by artists in as technically minimal and unobtrusive manner as possible in order to capture a natural sound in what really is a magnificent sounding space.

The Saint Brigid’s Sessions are sponsored by Brigid’s Well, a pub located in the basement of the Centre.  Brigid’s Well is open Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 4PM. The address is 310 St. Patrick Street.

The Saint Brigid’s Sessions resume on Saturday, October 1 at 9AM. The guest is Lynn Miles. Photo Credit: Patricia Traill.

From humble radio beginnings, Debaser continues to grow

Rachel Weldon (left) and Emily McQuarrie (right) stand holding a Frquency posterby Gillian Francis

Rachel Weldon named Debaser after a Pixie’s song she found while scrolling through her iPod.  Debaser started as a CKCU FM radio show that gradually grew to become a local promoter of under-recognized acts in Ottawa’s music scene.

Weldon and her partner Emily McQuarrie are planning to make a few major alterations to Debaser starting this fall, including changing the status of the organization and restoring an old show.

Debaser curates events regularly that showcase local bands. The organization also focuses on putting underrepresented genders on stage, such as women and people who are a part of the LGBTQ spectrum.

“Part of our goal in putting underrepresented folks on stage is to help other folks to be inspired.  They see themselves in the person on stage and they picture themselves as performers. You know, they look like you,” Weldon said.

As a part of this goal, Debaser collaborates with other local collectives such as Babely Shades, an organization that aids in assisting individuals of colour within the artistic industry.  Debaser and Babely Shades collaborate to show how seemingly progressive punk spaces are reinforcing the same hierarchy and marginalization seen across the music industry as a whole.

“They are incredible. They have done some of the most challenging and selfless work and I know it’s been so hard on their collective and them personally.  It’s very emotional work and thank goodness for them,” Weldon said. “They were pretty much the first people to call us out on not really considering the erasure of colour in the music scene and it’s always difficult to receive criticism but it’s so essential.”

Debaser was not always an organization.  It had its humble beginnings as a radio show. Weldon said she first broadcast the show through CKCU FM 93.1 for the first time in October 2012.

Shortly after this, McQuarrie joined through her connection with Weird Canada, a blog for emerging and experimental Canadian musicians and artists.

“The executive director at Weird Canada, Marie Flanagan, sent an email and was like ‘You both are interested in doing shows in Ottawa. You should connect,’” Weldon said. “So we did our first show together—probably it was in May 2013.”

McQuarrie said Weird Canada inspired her to get involved with Debaser and helped her build it into the organization it is today.  The excitement she felt for the music industry, the community, and for interacting with people is what McQuarrie said pushed her to be involved music. Continue reading