Wednesday, June 30, 2010

this is not a music post; rather this is a post on my adventures during the g20 weekend in toronto and how I was detained in the heavy rain for 4hrs

Sorry I haven’t updated for a while, but I have been caught up with all the G20 craziness. I decided to go out on Saturday to check out the various protests solely for the purpose of taking some photos.

G20 Protest, June 26, 2010

G20 Protest, June 26, 2010

However, as time passes, I slowly realized that there is something terribly wrong with the city—no, I am not talking about those who used the black bloc tactic to destroy the city I love, I am talking about ordinary citizens, Toronto residents, who had their rights taken from them during the G20 weekend.

G20 Protest, June 26, 2010

G20 Protest, June 26, 2010

The streets were filled with police in their riot gears, randomly stopping people to look at their IDs and freely going through their bags and belongings; public streets were blocked off and part of the city were fenced in... it felt like some dystopia novel.

I am not really a political person and I usually keep my views/opinion to myself. However, by midway Saturday, I joined in on various peaceful rallies with fellow Torontonians and Canadians to voice our concerns about the state of the city during the G20 Summit. Contrary to what most of the world saw on TV, the protests/protesters were 99% peaceful and confrontation-free!

G20 Protest, June 26, 2010

G20 Protest, June 27, 2010

Sunday comes and it was a beautiful day. I was not aware of any official protest other than the bike rally. I decided to take a walk around the city. I saw a couple of “sort of protests”, but mostly just a gathering of curious on-lookers like myself. After a while, I started to walk on Queen West, planning to visit my favourite record store. As I came close to the intersection (Queen & Spadina) near where Criminal Records is located, I saw hundreds of people just standing around, walking by, and some sitting on the ground. People were just talking to each other, some singing... sort of a quite demonstration.

G20 Protest, June 27, 2010

I walked around to take some pictures, as I made my way up north, I was greeted by lines of riot police telling me to move South… so I did. As a bunch of us made our way back to the intersection, we were asked by another line of riot police to move back South. By now, hundreds (maybe around 3/400) of us were trapped in a circle of riot police. They would not let us leave and started to arrest random people in the crowd. As this point, I put my camera away as ironically, I was concerned about my safety. To make things worst, it started to rain heavily, and for the next 4 hours, I was detained—with hundreds of ordinary people that were doing ordinary things like shopping, walking their dogs, and riding their bikes—by the police without informing us on the situation the entire time. Half of the people (including reporters) were arrested without an explanation, while the other half were released after standing in the cold hard rain for 4 hours. I went home, on one hand, glad to be free, but on the other hand, extremely confused and still confuse at what had happened and what I experienced.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

let's listen to the songs of discontent

The G20 Summit begins today in my home city Toronto. While the first major demonstration happened peacefully yesterday, today is the real test for everyone in and around the city as at least two key groups will embark to march down the streets of Toronto in the afternoon. I think this is an incredible opportunity to capture some extraordinary images, but my friends had advised against any participation in the demonstrations due to the possible danger. At the moment, I am still undecided on whether I will get involve or not... in any case, I hope the protests today go peacefully and I wish all the demonstrators, police forces, and everyone involving to make smart decisions and be safe!

Here are a handful of my favourite protest/political songs:

At The Drive-In: Invalid Litter Dept. from Relationship Of Command
Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore: Only A Song from Dear Companion
Bloc Party: Helicopter from Silent Alarm
Bright Eyes: Old Soul Song (For The New World Order) from I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
Bob Dylan: Blowin' In The Wind from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Refused: Protest Song '68 from The Shape Of Punk To Come
Cat Stevens: Peace Train from Teaser And The Firecat
Strike Anywhere: Sunset on 32nd from Change Is a Sound

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

nxne 2010, post-festival

Avi Buffalo—June 18, 2010 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)
Avi Buffalo's setlist from The Great Hall

Favourite shows:
Avi Buffalo @ The Great Hall and @ Lee’s Palace
I saw them twice during this year’s NXNE! Although I liked the stripped-down set at The Great Hall more, both shows were absolutely wonderful! I was really surprised that more people weren’t at the shows; given the fact they put out one of the best records of 2010.

Japandroids @ Lee’s Palace
The lively set from the BC duo + the energetic packed crowd made for an extremely fun and entertaining show!


Surprises:
Zola Jesus @ Sneaky Dee’s
I went into Sneaky Dee’s on Thursday night not knowing what to expect— I didn’t know much about Zola Jesus and I have only started listening to Stridulum EP prior to the show. However, the moment Nika Roza (aka Zola Jesus) started to sing, I knew I was watching something special. Roza’s vocal was incredibly haunting and the music was moody and atmospheric, think Fever Ray meets Bat For Lashes.

Wavves @ Lee’s Palace
I was undecided about this show for the longest time because I didn’t think Wavves would be good live. Man was I wrong… I am really glad I went because it was fucking great! Like Japandroids later, the band was lively and the crowd seemed to really enjoy the music.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

nxne, day 3 | part ii

Wavves—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace

Wavves—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010)
Wavves—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010) Wavves—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010)
Wavves—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010)

see more photos at my flickr page


Japandroids—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace

Japandroids—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010) Japandroids—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010)
Japandroids—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010)
Japandroids—June 18, 2010 @ Lee's Palace (NXNE 2010)

see more photos at my flickr page

nxne, day 3 | part i

Avi Buffalo—June 18, 2010 @ The Great Hall
Avi Buffalo played a wicked stripped-down set last night, be sure to check the full band out tonight (12am) at Lee's Palace!

Avi Buffalo—June 18, 2010 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)
Avi Buffalo—June 18, 2010 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010) Avi Buffalo—June 18, 2010 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)
Avi Buffalo—June 18, 2010 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)
Avi Buffalo—June 18, 2010 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)

see more photos at my flickr page

Friday, June 18, 2010

nxne 2010, day 2 | part iii

The Strange Boys—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room

The Strange Boys—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010)
The Strange Boys—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010)
The Strange Boys—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010) The Strange Boys—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010)

see more photos at my flickr page


The Soft Pack—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room

The Soft Pack—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010)
The Soft Pack—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010) The Soft Pack—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010)
The Soft Pack—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010) The Soft Pack—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010)
The Soft Pack—June 17 @ The Silver Dollar Room (NXNE 2010)

see more photos at my flickr page

nxne @ criminal records

Criminal Records is hosting two in-stores for this year's NXNE. Fanshaw will play today at 7pm and Phenomenal Handclap Band will play on Sunday (June 20) at 4pm!

nxne 2010, day 2 | part ii

Women—June 17, 2010 @ The Great Hall

Women—June 17 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)
Women—June 17 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010) Women—June 17 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)
Women—June 17 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)

see more photos at my flickr page


Best Coast—June 17, 2010 @ The Great Hall

Best Coast—June 17 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)
Best Coast—June 17 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010) Best Coast—June 17 @ The Great Hall (NXNE 2010)

see more photos at my flickr page