Meet the Bad with the Good

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Today wasn’t easy. Neither was yesterday. Example: I just spilled the remainder of my Diet Coke.

Some days are just harder to get through, right?

You know, when things aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just hard. It’s hard to get out of bed. It’s hard to find your focus. It’s hard to find your rhythm.

It’s on days when there aren’t any croissants left at my coffee shop by the time I arrive; when I get handed an extra project at work when I have a million tabs open already.

It’s on days when I wake up with a feeling that I’m losing my way; when I don’t see my friends, or talk to my family.

It’s on days like these that I try to be the part of someone else’s day that I’m missing in mine.

I’ll compliment a girl waiting beside me at the Spadina/King St light.

It’s on days where I can’t seem to do anything right when I’ll make sure to tip my barista a dollar extra- it’s not their fault I’ve started a croissant revolution and now people are recognizing that they’re the most lit snack/pastry/food group. Ever.

I remember being told in countless basketball huddles how a really good player wouldn’t let a poor offensive day ruin their game. A really good player would focus on hustle, defence and on making their teammates stronger. So this is what I do- I try to ensure someone else has a great day. I look to sports in most situations- like how I organize my closet like a team bench- first string jeans, franchise tshirt, third shift leggings- they have a hole in them, but come laundry day they the real MVP), but lifting others up when you’re down is a metaphor I’ve always believed to hold some truth.

So maybe the best way to change your mood and your mindset is to focus outward and not on what you can’t control. Some days will be bad. Some days will be good. And most of the time, what makes the difference is your mindset. So change it. Believe in your strength. Meet the bad with the good.

 

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More than the Music: Electric Island S4E1 Review

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Photo Cred: House of Lords

 

I’ll admit it- I had forgotten how how special the event is and how much fun I have at Electric Island.

Even while writing this post leading up to the event, I wrote it remembering the feeling, but not quite being able to get back to it.  It had been awhile since we last danced together at Hanlan’s Point.

It didn’t take long for me to remember. Arriving on the island (after an expected battle with the water taxi lines) I instantly felt at home, which is interesting because as many of you know, I’m more of a dark lit club, smoke machines and one red light in the back kind of girl.

But this felt right.

May 2-4 long weekend is always a gamble with the weather. This year we were lucky and were blessed with some of the nicest weather we’ve seen yet. The beautiful day and weekend set the stage for fantastic day at Electric Island.

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Photo Cred: House of Lords

Since it’s inception four years ago, travelling to the island during every long weekend in the summer has become a tradition it appears the entire city has started to cherish, and rightfully so. No matter the line up of talented musicians, the crowd is more than ready to celebrate.

But as I started talking to the attendees, it became very clear everyone had come to the island with a similar mentality- to welcome summer and see friends. While it is sometimes difficult to coordinate all your friends coming together in the middle of winter to one set bar, it seems to be oh so simple in the summer. Meet me on the island. Meet me in the sun. Meet me on the dancefloor.

And dance we did.

While my favourite sets of the day were Job Jobse and Jamie Jones (shoutout to Sven Vath and DJ Tennis though who both killed it) the day was so much more then the music. People were enjoying the food trucks, picnic tables, and ping pong tables. Despite the obvious growth in number of attendees, the organizers have managed to keep the feel of the festival.

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Photo Cred: House of Lords 

Talking with attendees, it seemed they all felt the same way I did. Excited that the festival was growing, and although hesitant at the beginning, it was confirmed on Monday all the feels will still be felt. The sense of community on the island is not lost. The sense of coming together to celebrate summer, music, friends and family was not lost.

I am so for the future Electric Islands. It’s more than a music festival. It’s a day with friends, it’s a sense of belonging and a sense of community. Not to mention when the weather cooperates, it’s a beautiful day spent outside.

I can’t wait for Canada Day.

 

More Like My Mom

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our little family.

Technically I’m my father’s daughter. I’m quick to say what’s on my mind without a second thought; I won’t be late, but I sure won’t be early, and I often take control of any situation- whether it’s needed or not.

I’m outgoing, brave, creative, and logical.

My mom is thoughtful, sensitive, warm, and compassionate.

I’ve heard it so many times. I take after my father and my brother takes after my mother. While my dad and I can be brash, controlling and okay and a little hot headed, the other two are the water to our fire.

My brother’s empathy is easily traced back to days spent with my mother. My mother is the most selfless, warm hearted and caring person I know. She loves my brother and I far beyond how much she loves herself, and her constant guidance has always been something I treasure.

My brother also got my mom’s beautiful, huge, blue eyes. I’m not saying our blue eyes aren’t great, Dad, but we’re in second place.

However, I’m more like my mom than people realize.

I talk to every sales person in a store because well, we both like making friends. I’ve learned how to be a friend from my mother.

I try to  be the best friend I can be. I try to give my friends all the support, love and encouragement I’ve seen my mom give her friends (and me!) my whole life.

Sometimes, we wear similar clothing like when I saw her on Mother’s Day and we were both in a maroon top and black jeans. That’s the scary part.

I problem solve like my mother. I can brainstorm different ways to fix a problem, figure out efficiencies and work around time schedules like a pro, all because of my mom.

We both love disco, Father of the Bride, and cheese.

So while people will continue to label me a McArthur, and don’t mistake me, I am very proud to be one, I know that I am more like my mother than most know, well except my mom.

Mom’s know everything.

 

More than the Music: Electric Island s4e1

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How do you celebrate the start of summer?

Growing up in Brantford sumer was marked by the opening of the most lit franchise in the 519, Dairy Queen. Okay yes, it opened for Valentine’s Day, so summer wasn’t necessarily close, but it was always a beacon in the cold winter that promised warmer days.

As I got older summer continued to be marked by the opening of DQ, the changing of my closet, the start of the NBA playoffs, and in recent years, the first migration to the island.

This season we HONOUR the start of summer by the first instalment of Electric Island Toronto.

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Credit: Ded Pixel

This is the fourth season of the unparalleled Electric Island series and with it’s growing fan base it begs the question, WHY is it so special?

There have been some absolutely phenomenal sets played at Electric Island- The Martinez Brothers, Tale of Us, Seth Troxler, Jamie xx, Bob Moses, and Joy Orbison to name just a few.

However, I argue it’s not these world renowned musicians that make the island so special (though they help).

It’s the people. 

It’s the people who attend the concerts, pre at their friends’ place in City Place (“I live SOOOO close”), wait for the ferry, line up for a water taxi, and make the trek over. EI has created more than a stellar event for the heads of Toronto.

Electric Island has become our homecoming. It’s the gathering of all the different sub scenes and sub sub scenes seen throughout Toronto. It brings together the lovers of Coda, to the devotes of Nest, and keepers of Bambi and the dancers of Toika together.

The lovers of disco, the cravers of techno, the hipsters of house, and the ones who simply want to dance.

Electric Island is more than an event, it’s a community.

We meet for the first time on May 23rd for a (sort of) celebration of Queen Vicki but more so to welcome summer. And since summer is probably the only thing Torontonians love more than acting like they don’t care, everyone is pretty excited.

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We’re spoiled once again this year with amazing acts on for every EI. The opener will treat us to sounds by 416 favourite Jamie Jones, the great Sven Väth, and the ever techno DJ Tennis. For support, local heroes Nature of Music and Jonathan Rosa will be warming up the decks

We have the wonderful people at Platform, Embrace, and Footwork to thank for moulding this community into something so treasured.

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Credit: Ded Pixel

 

I went to Western University, so unlike those who attended Queens during my time, I know what a homecoming is and how it makes you feel. The island manages to conjure up those same feelings- ones of home, love, and belonging.

However, I can confirm the Hanlan’s Point has way better view than Concrete Beach.

I can’t wait to meet you on the island.

Stay tuned for post event coverage and see what others are saying about the island and if you need to grab tickets you can contact me at thatcbear@gmail.com or buy online here

The Realities of My Day Dream

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Painting by Erica Fueller displayed at GradEx101 2016 | OCAD University, Toronto

 

They drew a line. Told me not to cross. This is how things are on this side.

You stay here. Don’t go to the other side.

This is reality. This is my mother’s kiss. This is my brother’s laugh.

It’s not bad.

It’s real.

But what else?

There’s more.

The inside of my eyelids lead me in directions I’ve never been.

My eyes glaze over as my head takes me away.

Carried by a balloon. Embraced by the wind. Held by the sky.

I’m a giant.

I’m not sick.

My grandmother is at home and my best friend holds my hand.

This is my fantasy.

This is my Camelot.

This isn’t real.

 

Seriously, Stay Home.

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We’re pretty lucky in Toronto. There is a constant cycle of great musicians thrust upon us week after week, month after month.

But for some, it’s not enough. Some want and demand more.

Some travel to Montreal regularly (SAM)  Others leave us for NYC (LAUREN), London (SERENA), LA (GRIFF), or Berlin (EMMA) forever. All craving that elite party; the party they’ll boast to their friends about for years down the line.

You know the lines…

“One time, I saw him”

“This one time she played until 9am”

“I’ve never heard a set like it since”

You’ve heard all these lines countless times. But now, it’s time to Stay Home.

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My Side Project and All Blak Records are House Addict are so so thrilled to present to you Staying Home with :: Santé.

Because we don’t want you to go to Montreal for anything other than smoked meat sandwiches and the best fucking bagels on earth. We don’t want you to be tempted to leave us for London or to hear about another unforgettable time at Panorama Bar . We want to bring to bring the party home and we want it to be one you’ll never forget.

You’ll want to replay the night from start to end multiple times. So we’re doing just htat.

Supporting acts feature the best of the best Toronto has to offer, no, not the 6ix. TORONTO.  Paul Quzz and Steve Marto will be warming up the decks followed by Andrew Choe, and Jeremy Stott.

Followed by the incredible Santé who seems to be gaining thousands of new fans daily.

This is a night you’ll remember forever.

The night you chose to  Stay Home.

For more information visit the Facebook event page here.

The ticket link page here.

Listen:

 

and if you ned a bit more convincing to Stay Home. Stay here for a bit.

I can’t wait to Stay Home with you, and Santé.

 

 

S.I.L.O Returns to Save You

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Branded nights and different parties come and go in a city like Toronto. The scene is so deep and so diverse it causes constant turnover. When one party dies another one is born. *cue Lion King Circle of Life music*

But sometimes, a party isn’t quite done. It hasn’t reached it’s full potential, it hasn’t had the last drink poured, or the last song played.

This Friday, we welcome back a party that left us too soon, S.I.L.O. (Saving Individuals Like Ourselves).

Being held at a new venue (Toika) Friday night will be sure to take you back to the first time you walked down the stairs to the basement. This time there won’t be a basement, but there will be a others like you; others searching for something to hold on to; anything that can help them make sense of their perpetuating need for further fulfilment. And in this time of need we look at music to guide us. We look to baselines, and snares, and claps and maybe a soulful vocal- to help us through the night.

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To curate the night, the founders of the original party have been brought together alongside some new company. The original S.I.L.O crew is joined by All Blak and MySide Project as we try to save ourselves, and you in the process. We’ll hear all our favourites on the decks- Andrew Choe, Patrick Blue, and Matias Busato.

S.I.L.O is at the core, a simple concept. It’s a party, yes. But it’s a little bit more

For those who want to be saved, who are in search of something else; feeling lost in the depths of the universe.

SILO is an accumulation of ideals, a collective of individuals vested in bringing like-minded people together upon the common ground of one thing, music.

We are here to save you.

See you Friday.

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