Posts Tagged 'Ohbijou'

Back Home, The First Of May

Hello Again,

Of late, this city has been feeling more alive than it has in a long time. Maybe it’s something to do with the way that now the wind hints at warmth, instead of constantly trying to pierce through our skins. Maybe it’s the way that the sun is less inclined to hide from us, and instead is hinting at the fact that it wants to hold us in its warmth for days on end. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone seems to default to optimism when thinking about what the future holds, all seeming to hold a hope for things to get even better than they are for not just themselves, but for all. Whatever the reason, it is a wonderful time to be home in the city we call Toronto, and surrounded by the friends, family and co-conspirators who do the same.

We as a band have great reason to feel optimistic about the future. Our time in Montreal with Jace Lasek was, to put it simply, incredible. Jace took our music and fostered it, augmented it, molded it and captured it in a way that no one else could have. He found the spirit of our music and brought it forward; not just in the sounds he captured, but also in the performances and energy that he incited and reveled in each of us. And all the while, he did so with an ear to ear grin on his face, and a heartfelt laugh ready to launch at the drop of a hat. We come away from our days at Breakglass with not just wonderful memories of Prairie-inspired accents, family dinners, rooftop brews and views, karaoke, pint glass announcements, new vans, rain walks for take out, and the intense competition that only Words With Friends can provide, but also with an incredible documentation of the experience that we shared as 7 people working together as one on something that we are incredibly proud of, and incredibly excited to share with the world. It was an honour and a privilege to have been a part of that experience, and it is one that we will hold strong in our hearts for a very long time to come.

Thank you Jace Lasek, for all that you’ve done for us, and all you continue to do. We went to Montreal in hopes of making a wonderful album. We return to Toronto with an incredible album, and with you as someone we are all extremely grateful to call our friend.

The album will be out in the fall. More info will, of course, follow about it in the months to come. We couldn’t be more excited about releasing it, playing shows, and sharing it with everyone who has been with us as we’ve grown into who we are as a band today. To have the privilege to be doing what we love doing, making music with each other, is something that we don’t take for granted. Thank you all for your support.

From here, look our for more information as the release comes closer and closer. We will be gearing up for shows all across the continent come the Fall of 2011. Until then, there will be a few shows here and there. To start, here’s one:

July 01, 2011 – Ottawa, ON – TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

And there will be more. Many more. But not just yet. Right now, we’re going to take some time to sit in a park, on the ever greening grass, under the ever brightening sun, and just enjoy the feeling that comes with have created something special together with people you love.



Return to Dyers Bay

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
John Muir

Oh autumn! What a great season. With it in mind, we hopefully took some inspiration from the winds, and storms during our recent visit to Dyers Bay where we escaped the city to pen some new tunes for our third album.

It was a return to a familiar place, we visited Dyers Bay this past March to begin writing new material, so it was wonderful to see it again in the fall.  We were able to catch up with our lovely friends, like Scott whom we met in the spring, who is a wonderful man and musician, you can hear listen to him via his myspace.  We played a lot of Settlers of Catan, ate way too much, watched some crazy storms, hung out on the dock in the middle of the night, oh and we wrote some new songs that we are pretty excited about.  The song we are most excited about is called “There’s a bear down there” and it is a barbershop style song about a bear living underneath the barn.  Definitely going to be a hit.  Well ok, that song was a result of too much revelry, and will not likely make the album, but it had some real gusto.

Here are some pictures highlighting our adventures:

Ryan and Jamie be jammin’

Casey reconnecting with our pal Patch.

Petting some goats that will be running around at this years GoatStock.

Overall it was a fun and productive week, and we look forward to returning to Dyers Bay in November to continue writing.

In other news, after 8 years of awesomeness, the Ford Plant in Brantford, ON is closing.  The Ford Plant is an amazing venue, and was the location of some of our very first live shows.  Needless to say, it is very dear to our hearts, especially since Brantford is Casey and Jenny’s hometown.  To celebrate and honour the achievements of the Ford Plant, we will be playing a show there on October 22nd,  along with Rah Rah , Henri Faberge and The Adorables and The Dead Love Triangles (reunion).  For more info, please click here.

Another important venue that is currently facing tough times is the Tranzac in Toronto.   The Tranzac is a warm, welcoming venue that showcases a wide variety of musical acts as well as several community groups.  You can help support the Tranzac and prevent their closure by making a donation via their website.

If you are planning to head to Pop Montreal this weekend, you should definitely check out James’ sexy dance music project with Gentleman Reg – Lightfires.  They will be playing at Le Divan Orange on October 2nd.

I think that about sums it up.  Enjoy wrapping yourselves with warm fuzzy scarves, and kicking up the autumn leaves.

Til next time,


Going back across the Pacific Ocean

Hello friends,
Wow has it ever been a busy time for Ohbijou. We spent a couple weeks in Japan and Taipei, played some amazing shows, met some wonderful people, and saw some really cool bands like Doravideo, Sleepy ab, Luminous Orange and tic tac. We also ate tons of sushi triangles, discovered the joys of drinking shochu and plum wine, went to a karaoke bar, dodged scooters on the streets of Taipei, and shopped at the night markets. So we’d like to extend our most sincere thanks to Yasushi, Takeshi and Yuseke, Shoko, Augustine, Miyuki and Ling Ling who made us feel so welcome, comfortable, and helped us order food and learn enough of their languages to help us get by! It was definitely an unforgettable trip, and Casey put together a few short videos to summarize:

So now we are back home, and barely recovered from the jet lag, but we are so pleased to announce that our next venture is to China!  We’ll be joining Flash Lightnin’, Parlovr, Wil, The Raccoons, and Ill Scarlett for a whirlwind tour of China later this month.  The tour dates are as follows:

Saturday May 29, 2010       Guangzhou       Live 9

Monday May 31, 2010          Changsha        4698

Tuesday June 1, 2010           Wuhan             Vox

Wednesday June 2, 2010     Beijing              Yugong Yishan

Thursday June 3, 2010         Tainjin              13 Club

Friday June 4, 2010               Shanghai         Dream Factory

Saturday June 5, 2010          Hong Kong       Rock School

We’ll also be doing some touring around Canada this summer, so please visit our website or myspace to see if we are coming to a town near you.


Home and Away

Hi friends,

I’m writing from the wonder of wonders, the jewel of south-western Ontario, London’s Oh!Fest. Only in its second year, this little community festival is a mountain peak of camaraderie, deft organization, and talent.

The Open House Arts Collective (the sweethearts who are running the show) have gathered an impressive array of bands, from as far away as Halifax, and as near as their own campfire-filled backyard. Eager to showcase all walks of music from home and away, the Oh folks have scheduled three days of shows in the Forest City’s finest venues. In museums, art galleries, theatres, and amid the pillars of Call The Office, CanRockers like The Acorn, The Wooden Sky, $100, Cousins, The D’Urbervilles, and Evening Hymns have been invited to stand proudly with hometown heroes, Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, A Horse And His Boy, Handsome Dan and his Gallimaufry, Sam Allen, and youngins Say Domino and The Whipping Wind.

The whole picture is one of brimming excitement and steadfast adoration of all things homegrown. The Open House crew and their family of friends and volunteers are building something very special here in London and they’re not shy about showing their brightest feathers.

Oh!Fest is not alone in the good vibes fight this weekend, as similar displays of creative expression and social artistry have appeared both west and east of London. Sarnia’s Empty Spaces, and Guelph’s Kazoo! arts org have both set stellar festivals at the peak of the exciting spring concert season. The second edition of Empty Fest, and Kazoo!Fest (now in it’s third powerful year of helping heaps of fun happen in Guelph), are big bookmarks in ongoing concert series meant to enliven and celebrate the communities from which they have sprung. The Kazoo! group in particular have been holding and building the show promotion fort in their hometown for longer than anyone. Like the Open House Arts Collective and Empty Spaces team, they are themselves musicians and art makers, and seem to make very little distinction between organizing shows for themselves, and helping new friends from afar play excellent shows whenever and however they can.

This caring thought and action has led to thriving music scenes in the Southern Ontario community, and insured that wonderful events occur year-round; in smaller doses of course, but no less vibrant than those of this weekend. It’s forever a great time to get to know your neighbours, and all their friends’ friends. To know them is to love them, and love’s the best.

All this fellowship and fun has left me very inspired and content in the knowledge that my neighbourhood is flourishing. Spring is for the greening of the world and for the singing of the birds. It’s a time to clean your home and stretch your legs, and to enjoy all the good things in that home stretch. It’s also a time for adventure!

Here at the home of ohbijou, we are thrilled to tell everyone about a great adventure indeed! We are going to Japan and Taiwan!

We have been asked by the wonderful folks at the Arabaki Rock Fest to join them in Sendai at the start of May! This is a very exciting festival and from what we’ve heard from our friends in Timber Timbre, an amazing sight to see / sound to hear. In addition to Sendai, we’ve decided to make the most of our time on the Japanese archipelago by playing the wonderful Tokyo, and even hopping over the sea for a show in Taipei! It’s all very thrilling and we’re still pinching ourselves daily! I never thought I would get to spend my birthday in Taiwan!!

In full, here are the deets of our East Asian tour!

May 1st – Sendai, Japan => Arabaki Rock Fest
May 4th – Tokyo, Japan => O-Nest
May 5th – Tokyo, Japan => Shinkiba Studio Coast
May 7th – Taipei, Taiwan => The Wall

Also, we’re doubly excited to have been afforded the chance to play these awesome festivals in Western Canada this Summer! Hello friends, hello Frodo! More dates TBA!!

July 23-25th – Calgary, AB – Calgary Folk Fest
August 1st – Gimli, MB => Islendingadagruinn
August 6-8th – Regina, SK => Regina Folk Fest
August 13th – 15th – Salmon Arm, BC => Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Fest

Well that’s about the whole scoop for now. I hope you’re having a great weekend. We’re spending the rest of ours nestled in with friends and family, and getting ready for our trip! If you are in or near Guelph Ontario tomorrow, our good friend Lisa Bozikovic will be performing as part of the aforementioned Kazoo!Fest, and half of our band will be there to back her up! (9:30PM at the E-Bar – 41 Quebec St.).

Alright folks, our next update will be from the near shores of Japan!
Until then, be true and be strong.


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Happy Holidays!

Hello friends!

It has been a busy and exciting year for Ohbijou, so maybe we’ll just take a moment to summarize some highlights:

1. We released Beacons! It took 3 years, and was recorded all over the country from beds at Jamie’s grandmother’s cottage in Muskoka region, to the awe inspiring Banff Centre for the Arts, to our beloved practice space and former home of Casey and Jenny fondly known as “Bellwoods”, to home sessions with the album’s fearless and dedicated engineer/producer Chris Stringer. A big thank you to everyone who helped us make the album, we couldn’t have done it without you.

2. We got signed! Thanks to Bella Union in Europe and Last Gang Records in North America for taking the leap with us, we are eternally grateful for all your help and support.

3. We went to Texas! This year, we got to fulfill a big dream of ours by playing at SXSW, and what made it even better was that a ton of our band friends were there too! Props to the Wooden Sky, The D’Urbervilles, Gentleman Reg, and The Rural Alberta Advantage! We look forward to returning to Austin in 2010!

4. We went to Europe! Twice! Wow was it ever amazing, so scenic and interesting and we met so many amazing new friends along the way. Big thanks to our Tour Manager Matt Shrimpton and Scott Milner, for your humour and for getting us to all our destinations safely!

5. We did a Cross-Canada tour! It was wonderful to return to so many cities across our nation, each time we get more familiar with the venues, promoters and fans that make each tour stop unique and we are so thankful for the warm reception from our audiences. There really is no place like home! Also, we must do a shout out to our dear friends/touring partners the Acorn who always make touring fun with their dodgeball games, sanddune climbing and dice gambling.

6. Friends in Bellwoods II! The double-disk sensation curated by Casey and James has raised approximately $20,000 for the Daily Bread Food bank in Toronto, visit for more information.

7. Exploding Motor Car made us a kick ass video! An ambitious stop-motion animation masterpiece – click here to be amazed if you haven’t seen it yet. Thanks so much to everyone at Exploding Motor Car, and to Videofact for making it possible.

8. CBC is the best! We would like to take a moment to thank CBC for all their support, and for playing our music. We were privileged to make appearances on Definitely Not The Opera, GO, Q, Sounds of the Season this year, and we had a fantastic time. Thank you CBC, we love you!

Finally, we’d like to extend a humongous thank you to our friends, families, fans, and loved ones for all your support in 2009. So from our hearts to yours, below is a link to a holiday surprise we recorded just for you. We must also thank George Michael for writing such a gem of a song!
Ohbijou – Last Christmas

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

P.S.  Those who signed up to our Ohbijou News Mailing list got the “Last Christmas” track first, if you’d like to be notified of future early-bird goodies, join the mailing list now!

Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay

Greetings from Winnipeg!

Wow, we’ve done a lot of driving in the past few days!  Makes you realize exactly how large Ontario is, and also how lovely.  I drove a good stretch yesterday between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay and loved taking in the beautiful view of Lake Superior, framed by forest and rock cliffs while the sun was setting.

Sault Ste Marie was very welcoming, we were invited to dinner at the home of Nancy and Dennis Cavanagh, our publicist Beth’s parents.  They made us feel at home with a delicious meal, and wild blueberry pie for dessert!  Thanks very much for your hospitality.  Then we headed over to Loplops Lounge for the show, which was fun, thanks to everyone who came out and to Steve for having us play there again.

Then it was off to Thunder Bay bright and early in the morning, coffees in hand. It is always so great to come back to The Apollo, the owner Sheila and her mother Tina always welcome us with open arms and the venue has great food, amazing sound and friendly staff. Every band going through Thunder Bay should play there! Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned yet how awesome the audience is in Thunder Bay, we had so much fun playing last night and it was really great meeting lots of new friends after the show. A girl named Jayal even made us a really cool banner that says ohbijou! That is so sweet! We always have a little too much fun partying in Thunder Bay and last night was no exception, there was dancing and pizza-eating until the wee hours of the morning…

At the moment we are prepping for our show in Winnipeg, Jenny is setting up the merch and thinking about puppies, Ryan is poking around with the tour binder and pretending he is a vampire, Casey is staring at her blackberry and beatboxing, Heather is typing something about belly buttons and cotton, and Jamie is hiding somewhere still afraid of the ghost that lurked in his room at the Apollo hostel last night.

And while I listen to Slow Down Molasses soundcheck, I am thinking about all the awesome IPhone apps I’m going to build in the near future, to occupy my time while I’m cooped up in the van as we travel across the country…

So be well, and if you are in one of the following cities, please come see us at one of these upcoming shows:
13 Nov 2009 The Lo Pub w/ Slow Down Molasses Winnipeg, Manitoba
14 Nov 2009 Amigo’s w/ Slow Down Molasses Saskatoon, SK
16 Nov 2009 The Exchange w/ Slow Down Molasses Regina, SK
18 Nov 2009 Marquee Room Calgary, Alberta
19 Nov 2009 Pawn Shop Edmonton, Alberta
20 Nov 2009 Habitat Kelowna, British Columbia
21 Nov 2009 The Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, BC
23 Nov 2009 Communitea Cafe Canmore, Alberta

Yours truly,

Cross-Canada Tour

So today we departed Toronto at an obscenely early time and drove all the way to Quebec city to kick off our cross-Canada tour. The ride here was fairly uneventful, mostly everyone was snoozin’ (except the driver, phewf!)   Jamie and I recorded a radio spot for CBC in Fredricton from the van, so maybe you might hear it sometime this week. We also stopped by Last Gang Records office in Montreal, said hi to the crew there and hit the road with plenty of cds and vinyl to sell on the road.

Currently we are hanging out at Le Cercle in Quebec city, with our dear friends the Acorn, Howie and Jeffrey are playing dice, Ryan is reading and writing, Jenny is knitting, Heather is playing banjo somewhere, Jamie is touching his Ipod touch, and Casey and I are internetting. Nice ways to pass time before the show tonight!

Speaking of shows, here’s what we have coming up over the next few weeks:

20 Oct 2009 21:00 Le Cercle w/ The Acorn Quebec, Quebec

22 Oct 2009 21:00 Baba’s Lounge w/ The Acorn Charlottetown, Prince Edward

23 Oct 2009 20:00 St. Matthews United Church – Halifax Pop Explosion – w/ The Acorn Halifax, Nova Scotia

24 Oct 2009 20:00 Charlotte Street Arts Centre w/ The Acorn Fredricton, New Brunswick

25 Oct 2009 8:00 Sackville United Church with Snailhouse Sackville

5 Nov 2009 20:30 Lambi Montreal, Quebec

6 Nov 2009 20:00 The Grad Club Kingston, Ontario

7 Nov 2009 21:00 Babylon Ottawa, Ontario

10 Nov 2009 20:00 The Townehouse Sudbury, Ontario

11 Nov 2009 20:00 Loplop Lounge and Gallery Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

12 Nov 2009 20:00 The Apollo Thunder Bay, Ontario

13 Nov 2009 21:00 The Lo Pub Winnipeg, Manitoba

14 Nov 2009 20:00 Amigo’s w/ Slow Down Molasses Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

16 Nov 2009 20:00 The Exchange Regina, Saskatchewan

18 Nov 2009 20:00 Marquee Room Calgary, Alberta

19 Nov 2009 20:00 Pawn Shop Edmonton, Alberta

20 Nov 2009 19:00 Habitat Kelowna, British Columbia

21 Nov 2009 20:00 The Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, British Columbia

23 Nov 2009 20:00 Communitea Cafe Canmore, Alberta

We hope to see friends old and new at the shows, so if we’re rolling into a town near you, come check us out!

I will leave you with a video performance of Jailbird Blues we did recently with Mitch in Guelph.

Take care and stay warm!

Anissa (and the rest of the bijs)

Ohbijou Tweets