i interviewed these guys (and why i love going to shows)

I’ve had some pretty good luck with interviewing bands I like.

Many music/entertainment journalists have to beg, borrow, steal and bribe their editors for that good “get” (don’t quote me on that – it’s just the perception I have of this industry).

But I haven’t.

How? Why?

First, it helps to work for an independent publication that is wholly dependent on unpaid* contributions from their writers to fill their mag. It’s hard for the higher-ups to say “No” to you. Not to say I take advantage of my editors-in-chief. I’m just saying that they’re more open minded about what you pitch.

Second, I go to a lot of shows.

Well, not a LOT – just, enough. I live in downtown Toronto, with the means to get around town, and I have a fairly flexible schedule. I have friends in the music industry and friends who enjoy going to shows with me (although I’m more than game to go to a show on my own), so I’m never lacking in reason or company.

How does this tie into my ability to get bands to talk to me?

I tend to go to shows of smaller bands, unsigned or signed, and I think there is some kind of mutual appreciation between the journalist and the artist in this case: the journalist knows the artist appreciates the chance to publicly talk about their music, and the artist knows that the journalist appreciates the chance to practise their craft and publish an article.

So usually, I’ll go to a show to see one band, and end up really liking a supporting act. I ask them if they have a publicist or manager present, and that’s where I get the ball rolling.

And although I’ve only done this a handful of times, I can genuinely say I’ve never had anyone turn me down.

My latest interview was with this charming band from Ireland, Nightbox. I saw them at Canadian Music Week and they blew me away. They’re a mix of Canadian, Irish and American boys who have had some pretty wild success for an unsigned band without a full-length album. They’ve toured with Lights several times, remixed a couple of her songs, performed at the Reading Music Fest, was a cast of Much Music’s “Discovered,” and had their EP produced by Seb Grainger from Death From Above 1979 and Al-P of MSTRKRFT, which was distributed by Last Gang Records.

For now, I’m grateful that I don’t have to bow to the wishes of a paying employer and still get to write about what I want to. But of course, I could just forego the whole steady-paycheck thing and live my life out as a freelancer. Who knows?

Til then, I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.

*Press+1 recently started paying their writers for articles/reviews on Canadian cinema, thanks to a government grant!


you gave it your all, but you’re not the girl we’re taking home, robyn.

In the midst of her tour, Robyn developed laryngitis.  In short, the concert I travelled from Montreal to attend was cancelled a few hours before it was slated to begin.

Cue tears.

Well, not really.  But I was incredibly disappointed, no doubt.  So I instead spent the evening with red wine, good friends, and Brazilian food (OMG I am so in love with this cuisine!)  Not a bad night.

Robyn did perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the night before her Toronto show, so that’ll have to do until her concert is rescheduled.  Maybe it’ll be after Body Talk is released, which might actually make for a better show.

It breaks my heart when Jimmy says, “Catch Robyn live on Friday in Toronto!” after her performance.  Le sigh.

fall favourites

I’ve been shopping a lot lately (as you can probably tell from my tweets), and I don’t really have any regrets, because my wardrobe was seriously lacking in some fall/winter staples.  I have always been a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, so I really needed some warmer things.  Alas, I always end up buying accessories, but whatevs.

Deena & Ozzy Lace-Up Tread Bottom Bootie Heel

The tread on sole of the shoe and the stacked heel make for a super comfortable pair of hot fall ankle booties.  I bike in these babies.


Groggy Cargo Jacket

Alright, I hate the latest cargo pants trend, but I do love this new jacket I purchased for myself.  I took off the ratty faux fur around the hood, and it makes it so much more appropriate for life in general.  I love the plentitude of pockets this jacket has, and the fact that it has a super warm removable inner lining, which makes it versatile for both fall/winter/spring.

One of my fave features is the side pocket on the left sleeve:

I keep my metropass in there.  No more digging around in my bag to find my wallet.











I bought this bag on a whim, but I’ve been incredibly happy with it.  Perfect for riding around on my bike, as well as just shopping/living life hands free.  And it has a substantial amount of room inside.  I can fit my water bottle, wallet, Moleskine, umbrella, cell phone, and camera – more than enough crap for a day out.

Oh god.  You can probably tell I’m such a Torontonian just from the colours of my recent purchases.  Montreal has yet to infuse colour in me.  According to this columnist from The Gazette, I must lack “joie de vivre”.

david choi likes a sweet lemonade

Being a YouTube vlogger, I really enjoy the power of the site.  It has launched the careers of many talented people, whether they be artists, musicians, actors, comedians, dancers, etc.

One of my favourite YouTubers is David Choi, a singer/songwriter/producer based in California.  He has a huge following on YouTube, but being an unsigned artist means little to no publicity besides his own videos, Twitter, and website.  However, YouTube being the huge influence that it is, David has recently been able to successfully complete a West coast tour, and will soon be embarking on a Northeastern tour, including my hometown, Toronto (his only Canadian date)!!

David explains why you should go see his shows, with the help of some famous YouTube friends.

I’ve been pretty active in trying to get David to come to Toronto, requesting him to come through Eventful.com and encouraging my friends to do the same (to no avail…!)  And then, I moved to Montreal.


But, the stars aligned, and it turns out that he’ll be in Toronto during my reading week (spring break, for you Americans), during which I’ll be back in Toronto to “study”!

Anyway, with all the excitement, I tweeted about the show, and David graciously retweeted my tweet (of course, to publicize his tour, no doubt).  I then looked at the growing guestlist for the event on Facebook, and noticed how it was comprised almost entirely of Asians (no surprise there).  I just thought it was kind of funny, since the venue he’ll be playing at is so…not Asian.

I, of course, tweeted about it, and David sent this response:

Follow me! @jennynotjen


If you’re into sweet lemonade, come join me in Toronto for this rare appearance by David Choi!


Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Location: El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave.) – Intersection: College & Spadina (The southbound streetcar from Spadina station, or westbound streetcar from College or University station will take you right there).  Look for the huge neon sign with the palm tree.

Doors: 7 PM

Tix: $12 at the door (no presale – so arrive early!)

19+ event – bring your IDs!

From my experience, the ElMo is standing room only, so I’m hoping that the amount of small Asians at the event will prove to be beneficial to me and my short stature, haha!

For more info on his tour, visit his website.

See you there!!

convocation (finally!)

It’s been over a month since I’ve convocated, yet I still haven’t posted any photos!  I’m sorry, that’s so lame of me, I have no excuse.  I really should be blogging as much as I can before I get into the thick of school in September.

With the parents

With the parents

Convocation was a very lovely day – seeing friends from the past 4 years that I had nearly lost touch with, and celebrating graduation together was so nice!  I didn’t expect many people to come support me (even my parents were late for the ceremony!), but my pastor & 2 friends (in Korean, I would call them “unni”, or “older sister”) surprised me after the ceremony was over, and my family took them to Wah Sing, a popular Chinese restaurant on Baldwin street.  We ate LOBSTER! Very delish.

[I think I’ll really miss places like Baldwin or Kensington Market, and our HUGE Chinatown once I move to Montreal But I’m sure I’ll find other great nooks & crannies to fall in love with =)]

My university divvies up convocations by colleges/professional programs, and since my college is numerically the largest, the ceremony was quite long.  I was called up within the first 80-ish people, so my butt got kinda numb near the end, but it was still exciting!  There was a BBC journalist (Lyse Doucet) receiving her honourary Doctor of Laws degree, which was cool.  Her address to the graduates was quite compelling as she had just returned from Tehran, right after the controversy over the vote had just begun.

Anyhoo, down to the fun stuff.

The EOTD - Don't even ask me to remember what products I used, haha!

The EOTD - Don't even ask me to remember what products I used, haha!

I spent too much time curling my hair, and so I forgot about mascara.

I spent too much time curling my hair, and so I forgot about mascara.

The outfit - yeah I'm standing on my bathtub.

The outfit - yeah I'm standing on my bathtub.











One of my friend’s brought her baby boy! In this photo, he’s only about 3 or 4 months old in this photo, but he’s a fat one! Hehe, I love him sooo much, but I don’t think he’s too impressed with me here.

Me & Timothy

Me & Timothy

Timothy's mom bought me this beautiful yellow & pink rose.

Timothy's mom bought me this beautiful yellow & pink rose.

Leaving with a bang...and in flip flops.

Leaving with a bang...and in flip flops.

On to bigger and better things =)

revlon skinlights eye/cheek stains & nyx discovery

I was wandering through Vaughan Mills yesterday, and I found this little hole-in-the-wall store called Designer Cosmetics Warehouse.  It’s not really “designer” per se, but they carry a bunch of discount cosmetics/accessories from pretty random brands.  They even sell NYX!  

It’s so hard to find NYX in Toronto (besides some Pharma Plus stores which have limited selection & are kinda pricey!) so I told the salesgirl I was really happy to find her store.  She told me that they only just started receiving NYX products, so they will soon be expanding the products they carry from that brand!  From what I recall, they had all the single shadows, powder blushes, glitter liners (the one with the tassel on the lid), loose glitter dust, glitter cream shadow palettes, concealers (jar & tube), and all the NYX brushes.  I hope they start carrying the Jumbo Pencils, the liquid pen liner, and their Doll Eye mascaras.

Anyway, I wasn’t interested in getting any more brushes (I recently just bought 5) or their blushes/single shadows (because Makeup Masala does sell them @ better prices, even with the exchange rate).  But I did dig through their dirt cheap discount makeup bins…you never know what you’ll find!

They mostly had stuff from discontinued products from drug store brands, or products from the States (some had Rite Aid stickers on them…?).  After some digging, I found the Revlon Skinlights Color Lighting for Eyes/Cheeks.  They had them in a bunch of colours, but I chose 3 in Mocha, Sunny, and Berry.

p5050774I’m pretty sure the SkinLights collection has been discontinued for a while now, but I’m so glad I found these!  They were a great deal too: all 3 for $5 (CDN)!  I think that they’re great for those “no-makeup days” when you still feel like having some type of sheen or sparkle.  It’s a 1-2 punch as well, since it functions as both a cream eyeshadow/base and a cream blush in one tiny compact.


Swatches from L-R: Mocha, Sunny, Berry

Swatches from L-R: Mocha, Sunny, Berry

The mocha reminds me a lot of the NYX Jumbo Pencil in Iced Mocha (obviously…), but when swatched, the NYX Jumbo Pencil is a lot more on the brown/taupe-y side, whereas the Revlon Mocha is slightly more skin toned & subtle.  I bought the NYX Jumbo Pencil in Iced Mocha hoping that I could use it as a natural look on days where eyeshadow is just too much, but it is way too dark for me.  So I’m hoping that this Revlon shade can replace that!

The other 2 shades (Sunny & Berry) are verrrry pretty blush shades.  Especially Sunny – I looove peachy blushes.  I can’t wait to use them!

spears & rudd

I had the privilege of attending Ms. Spears’ concert when she was in town for Wednesday/Thursday – quel fun!  Read my review on A’n’E Vibe here.

Also, everyone has to go see “I Love You, Man”! It opened on Friday, but I was privy to a sneak preview about a month ago. Definitely not your average comedy. Read my review here!

In other news, only a month left until my undergraduate career is over. le sigh.