Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Winehouse Off the Record: New Line Up for Virgin Fest

I've been sitting on the edge of the fence, deciding whether I wanna pay my $80, for day one of Virgin Festival on Toronto Island September 8th. I would've gone for Amy Winehouse and Bjork but now the bitchy crooner has dropped out and I don't feel like paying the bucks to see cute little Bjork perform for only an hour or two. I've seen her on the Island before and it was okay. The view sucked for everyone unless you were on a picnic table or right at the front since the grounds have no naturally built-in gradient.

My fav show/concert ever was Bjork at the Hummingbird Centre, each song built up methodically over 15 minutes, layering effects by computer technicians Matmos, a choir from Greenland, a harp and Bjork herself emerging on stage as if in a fairy tale. Virgin festival, with its wham bam attitude, won't come close to comparing.

Winehouse was really the clincher for me, having missed her appearance at The Mod Club earlier this year, but she's cancelled all her September shows and is out of the line up for Branson's big music festival. Must have something to do with all the gory details emerging from a bloody fight with her beau. Hope those two sort out their drug problems before Winehouse's father-in-law convinces everyone to boycott her and business plummets. Despite her drug issues and bitchy demeanour I would've dropped the cash in a sec to see her. Now I'm dropping my plans to go to V-fest instead.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Toronto's Total Lunar Eclipse

blister in the sun
Originally uploaded by 416style
Photographers and astrologers in Toronto take note, if you're able to get up at 4:51am tomorrow morning you're in for a treat. Get outdoors and you'll catch a total lunar eclipse as the earth's shadow slowly passes in front of the moon. It'll deliver celestial fans in North and South America a spectacular view of a copper red glowing globe in the sky. The planetary process will take an hour and a half to move through its heavenly course. Worth setting your alarm clock for I'm sure.

Find out about more about the eclipse from 680news.com.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who Doesn't Love a Little S'Mac?

I've been eating mac and cheese since I was a key kid and, as Gridskipper's Chris Mohney puts it best, I expect to be gumming it down well into my dotage. The best place for the chewy cheese in Toronto is, hands down, Freshwood Grill on Roncesvalles. Made with four cheeses, fun spiral pasta and a bit of tomato and basil, I guarantee you'll come crawling back for it on your carb-carving days. At $10 bucks a pop this ain't kid's play though.

Scanning through Gawker today I came across a link to Mr. Mohney's piece on the Best Mac and cheese in the big Cheese - NYC. I was thrilled to learn about S'Mac in Manhattans' East Village. The people who created this divine orange eatery (pictured above) must truly have macaroni madness. I used to make fun of a co-worker who'd spend his long weekend's visiting the last few St.Hubert's in Ontario, but now I'm geeking out at the thought of taking a trip for a little NYC S'Mac.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Walking Into the Floating World

I've been captivated by woodblock prints for sometime and finally made my way to the ROM Friday night to see their exhibit Drama & Desire: Japanese Paintings from the Floating World. This is the last weekend the exceptional collection is on display. While the pieces are predominantly from the early period, before colour technologies blossomed, it is a great starting point to learn about the art and history of Edo.

Before there was Tokyo, there was Edo, a scintillating place for artists, actors and musicians to celebrate life, sex and nature, oooh, and clothing, beautiful clothing. While in Tokyo I'd once seen a portrait, a slice of Edo, of several women floating around in a boat, drinking sake in lavish kimonos, celebrating the arrival of cherry blossoms and the changing seasons while monkeys performed and musicians played. If only I could be transported back in time to enjoy this rich and poetic culture.

This exhibit showed some screens and scrolls with similar scenes, women in colourful garbs fishing, lounging and smoking, with always a bit of nature peaking out of the background reminding you where the people were; beside each piece, a charming tale to help bring the art to life.

I'll admit I was a bit dismayed that the ukiyo-e collection at the ROM, on loan from Boston, was missing some of the great masterpieces I'd expected. There were limited pieces from Hiroshige and Hokusai and only one true landscape piece, Hokusai's Li Bai Admiring A Waterfall. It's his prints that always strike me the most. While he's well-known for The Great Wave, it's his pieces with one solitary individual in the throws of nature that I'm especially drawn to, those that make you reflect on the power within yourself and aware of the delicate balance mankind shares with his surroundings.