j.chan

"I think I'd go with the medium..."
T-shirts and hoodies are my specialty. Always stoked to meet new friends, discover new music and find a truckstop with a decent selection of bagged tea.
#merch #music #tour #livethedream #everythinginbetween

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Infographic: Cheers To Ears!

Listening to great songs, working in the music industry (on the business and live sides) and living in a city where I can discover amazing bands nearly any night of the week is a pretty lucky thing.

What makes it amazing is that I have trusty soundwave receivers on both sides of my head. That is, my ears. Ears that work. Since seeing N’SYNC in ‘99 (my first concert), I’ve been to hundreds of shows and have been fortunate enough to land a couple of sweet tours where I can literally enjoy seeing great bands every night. But none of that would be worthwhile if I couldn’t hear.

If you asked me to wear earplugs when I was a young kid, I’d say no - I’m too cool and I won’t be able to hear anything. As an adult, I think of it this way - I’m not too cool to take care of myself, my health and well-being, and I want to cut out that “bite” that makes your ears ring for days later (trust, you can hear everything perfectly and way more comfortably).

Have a look at this infographic and get familiar. It doesn’t take much to take care of your hearing. After all, once its’ gone it’s not coming back.

         

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Twenty-Eleven: The Things That Didn’t Suck

There are always truths behind age-old sayings. The one that comes to mind to describe 2011 is “when it rains, it pours”. This year honestly lived up to it’s full potential (or the expectations I had set for myself) and in some ways made up for how much of a bummer 2010 was. Working like a maniac got in the way of checking out more new music, movies and books, but now I’ve got tons of great stuff banked up for the start of next year. I hope 2012 is a year of adventure, independence, opportunity and good health. I’ll drink to that.

"Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know? Maybe you just need one person." - Kermit the Frog

Favourite Books (in no particular order):
Leonard Chang, The Fruit ‘n Food
Jimmy Fallon, Thank You Notes
Stuart McLean, Welcome Home (an encore reading)

Books I Have Waiting For Me In 2012:
W.P. Kinsella, Butterfly Winter
Francine Pascal, Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later (Thanks KC!)
Stephen King, Blockade Billy

Favourite Albums (in no particular order):
Yellowcard, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
Doug Paisely, Constant Companion
Eisley, The Valley
Moving Mountains, Waves
Simple Plan, Get Your Heart On!
The Sheepdogs, Learn and Burn
Jim Cuddy, Skyscraper Soul (I got conditioned, but it’s a solid album nonetheless)

Albums I Have Waiting For Me In 2012 (I’ve heard singles, yet to hear full albums):
Arkells, Michigan Left
Patrick Stump, Truant Wave
Rise Against, Endgame
Wiz Khalifa, Rolling Papers
Panic At The Disco, Vices & Virtues
Augustana, Augustana
Blink-182, Neighborhoods
Switchfoot, Vice Verses
New Found Glory, Radiosurgery
Dia Frampton, Red

Favourite Shows (I Attended):
Feb 16 - Biffy Clyro & Moving Mountains, The Garrison
If the MovMou guys weren’t my friends and I knew how to play guitar, I’d harbour a little jealousy because they’re so damn good. Oh yeah, Biffy wasn’t bad either.

Jun 3 - Cunter & Lifestory:Monologue, Sneaky Dee’s
LSM is one of those bands who are slightly underground and highly underrated. If they were allowed to keep playing until people jumping around and rocking out could crash through the floor of Sneak’s upstairs and into the dining room, it would happen. My homeboy KB and I got booted out at 5am. That’s how good of a night it was.

Jun 19 - Arkells, The Ballroom
Motown set, MMVA after-party, a packed dance floor and just the right amount of beer. Perfect combo.

Oct 20 - Thrice & Moving Mountains, The Phoenix
Having been a fan of Thrice since ‘03, this was (shamefully) the first time I’ve seen them live. Prior to this show I hadn’t had a chance to listen to any new material from “Major/Minor”, but I like having that live introduction to new tunes. Definitely worth the wait and I’m so glad I got to see them before they announced their break from touring.

Oct 27 - Yellowcard, The Phoenix
I’ve been in love with this band since early 2002 and they are undeniably a band that I “must see” every time they are in town. My favourite moment was the acoustic encore, “Sing For Me”. This song was written from the perspective of Ryan Key’s Aunt Stephanie who had passed away 2 days earlier from brain cancer. Ryan talked about how Aunt Stephanie drove with him from Florida to California when he decided to join a band (listen to “Rock Star Land”), to make sure that he got there okay and about how she was his champion that encouraged him to never accept failure as a way out. There was not a single person in the crowd who wasn’t singing along. We all have or had a “Aunt Stephanie”, we sing for them. I’ve never felt this way before at a show.

Honourable mentions:
Mar 11 - Justin Nozuka, The Ballroom
Sep 09 - Elton John, GM Centre Oshawa (I bought tickets for my parents, but this should definitely make the list)
Nov 24 - Jim Cuddy & Doug Paisely, Marigold Cultural Center in Truro NS (Ok, that was work…)
Dec 17 - The Midway State & Jason Bajada - MOD Club

Favourite Shows (I Worked):
Jan 26 - Robyn, Sound Acadmey
Feb 08 - Linkin Park, ACC
Mar 29 - Queens Of The Stone Age, Sound Academy
Jul 09 - Huey Lewis & The News, Casino Rama
Jul 11 - U2, Rogers Centre
Aug 22 - Maroon 5 & Train, Molson Amp
Oct 07 - The Sheepdogs, Oktoberfest in Kitchener
Dec 15 - USS, Sound Academy

Favourite Movies:
The Muppets

Movies I Have Waiting For Me In 2012:
Moneyball
50/50 
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Tangled

Memorable Moments (work/fun/family and otherwise in no particular order):
Feb 28 - Finally landing a full-time job. When I first sent in my resume for what became my 3rd internship, I vowed that if nothing came of it, I’d do a serious life/career reassessment. Fate works in funny ways…never give up on your dreams.
Mar 30 - Becoming an Aunt for the first time.
Apr 14 - Spending a day at Pearson Int’l Airport for the Simple Plan “Jet Lag” video shoot with my super Coalition Music colleague Tyrone and meeting some of the fans who I chat with at work via Twitter.
Jun 18 - Baking in the sun as my BFF of 24 years got hitched.
Sep 10- Seeing Brett Lawrie make this unbelievable play (BAL@TOR), being in the stadium for almost all the home games this season and getting my picture taken with ACE.
Nov 15 - Picking my bunk on my first bus tour. And going on the road again in general. I realized on this tour that music can be generational, but it doesn’t discriminate what generation you’re from. A blog on that, to follow.
Dec 03 - Snagging the signed Ovechkin jersey at the very last minute of the silent auction at the Smiling Land Foundation Fundraiser for my pal Liam. That loudly dressed woman had no idea what was coming…LIKE A BOSS.

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Rewind: March Music Madness

March is probably one of the craziest months in music. There’s Canadian Music Week conferences, Canadian Music Fest (in conjunction with CMW), SXSW (which coincidentally happened the same week as CMW), Junos madness and the bi-polar weather of Toronto that makes going out to shows a chore and a half.

Like months past, work made up the majority of my waking hours, but I love what I do, so I count myself lucky. I returned to my student roots by attending webinars on social media, took part in social networking conference panels and read a ton of articles on things most people would find nerdy.

  • Ridiculously cheesy grilled cheese lunch in Cabbagetown with JE + DA crew
  • Finger Eleven kicked off CMF with Sirius Satellite Radio at the MOD Club
  • Discovered apps for bands/fans and disappointingly attended a keynote conference on social media which turned into a “this is how to use Twitter” tutorial
  • Random run-ins with friends at the Audioblood showcase featuring The Balconies
  • Justin Nozuka sold out The Ballroom for CMF and it was amazing
  • More random front-of-line run-ins with .moneen. friends at Sneak’s for Lifestory: Monologue - great show, great hangs
  • SOCAN awarded Justin Nozuka #1 radio hit for “Le Promesse” in Quebec at Sassafraz (yes, the food is delicious…)
  • Junos parties: Rockstar Hotel and Gibson Guitars at the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Monster Supercross at Rogers…slightly less worse than last year
  • Last minute work with my bud on tour with Queens of the Stone Age
  • Preparing for the upcoming Blue Jays baseball season
  • I became an Aunt for the first time!

                          

Yellowcard released their new album “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes” and I love it. Top tracks: With You Around, Hang You Up, Hide, Sing For Me (even though SFM has been reviewed as a “filler” track, still one of my picks). Also bought it on vinyl, clear purple pressing.

April so far is all about baseball, Simple Plan and website design. More to come.
Happy Centenary celebration of International Women’s Day!

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The things that were so last year…

I’m tardy posting my top lists for the year that was 2010, but it’s still better late than never. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that I was a bit let down by 2010, but in the same breath it also means that 2011 automatically trumps it. And if horoscopes are any indication, the stars are aligning to make it so. I found and rediscovered a lot of things last year and these are the ones that stood out (in my opinion), in no particular order.
Love what you love and if you feel you have to explain it to someone, you’re already losing ground. Stay gold.

Favourite Books or Stories
Stuart McLean, Spring In The Narrows from “Extreme Vinyl Cafe”
Sheila James, In The Wake Of Loss from “In The Wake Of Loss”
W.P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe
Katherine Patterson, Jacob Have I Loved
Roopa Farooki, The Way Things Look To Me

Favourite Albums
Motion City Soundtrack, My Dinosaur Life
Taylor Swift, Speak Now
Good Old War, Good Old War
Nick Jonas & The Administration, Who I Am
Robyn, Body Talk
A Great Big Pile Of Leaves, Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex?

Favourite Shows (I Worked At)
May 22 - Taylor Swift, Fearless 2010 Tour, Air Canada Centre
Jun 24 - Miyavi, North American Tour, Sound Academy
Jul 09 - Elton John, North American Tour, K-Rock Centre, Kingston
Aug 08 - Paul McCartney, Up & Coming Tour, Air Canada Centre
Dec 23 - .moneen., Xmas Extravaganza, Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

Favourite Shows (I Attended)
Mar 18 - Dashboard Confessional & Michou, Phoenix Concert Theatre
Aug 07 - Something Corporate (10th Anniversary Reunion), Kool Haus
Aug 11 - John Mayer, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Nov 04 - Motion City Soundtrack & Say Anything, Sound Academy

Favourite Movies (I don’t go to the movies a lot, so they’re not all 2010 releases)
She’s Out Of My League
Driving Miss Daisy
Grace Is Gone
Despicable Me
The Proposal
Rambo II - First Blood Part II

Most Optimistic Horoscopes for Sagittarius
Jun 25 - No matter how many times you have tried and failed at something in the past if you try again now you WILL succeed, so don’t give up.
Nov 15 - Ever since you were small, you have had a sense of destiny. You have known there are certain things you would surely one day do – or be a part of. Some of these have already come to pass. Others now seem like a distant dream. You are starting to suspect you may have missed your chance and that your earlier sense of premonition was misplaced. Don’t be so sure. Powerful planetary influences now speak about time of resolution and completion. As Jupiter changes direction this week, doors are starting to open.
Birthday: Dec 17 - It can only be a matter of time before your talent is recognized and you start moving up in the world, but that time will come sooner if you put yourself about a bit too. Network like mad over the next 12 months. Get your name out there.Options for action may be limited today but over the weekend you will get the chance to move forward again, so be patient. It may seem as if nothing much is happening but behind the scenes it’s getting a bit hot.

Other Random Things
Mar 17 - Yo Gabba Gabba, Alice In Chains - First time I did 2 shows in one day and didn’t regret it
Apr 17 - Courthouse Nightclub - First time I went “clubbing” for my SIL’s bachelorette
Apr 01-15 - Listened to the entire Beatles catalog
Sep 27 - New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays - First baseball game in 15 years
Dec 27 - Lifestory: Monologue, Sneaky Dee’s - Last show of the year

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Get Schooled: Beatles yesterday vs Touring today

musicthinktank:

The recent release of the Beatles catalog on iTunes made me think - what did a ticket to see them at their live peak cost? 
Answer: a prime seat to see the Beatles in Chicago 1966 cost…

Good read on touring, ticketing and general economics of the concert industry. As time moves forwards, the balance between cost of goods/services and intrinsic value can take a serious turn when the consumer cost is being pushed towards the max [at least I think so] especially with additional fees.

My concert-going habits changed in 2006/7 when I decided that even though I was shelling out no more than $25 for the vast majority of shows I was attending, I didn’t NEED to see “insert band name here” for the umpteenth time just because they were passing through town. More often than not “insert band name here” was a part of several package tours [ranging from opener to headliner or co-headliner] that came through town and it was the same old, tired set from 4 months earlier.

Lesson: Be picky. Attend the shows for the artists you truly love or the ones who just don’t tour that often. Some kids are out to see and be seen [or scene]. At the average rate that most teen to 20 somethings frequent concerts, there doesn’t seem to be any one act that is really special anymore. Maybe the issue is that attending concerts now just isn’t as special as it used to be.

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