friday faves: 10 best books covers of 2015 (so far)

Hall of Small Mammals: Stories by Thomas Pierce

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by John Ronson

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, US edition

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, UK edition

The Shore by Sarah Taylor, UK edition

Shooting Stars: Ten Historical Miniatures by Stefan Zweig, reprint by Pushkin Press

Letter to a Future Lover by Ander Monson

The Poser: A Novel by Jacob Ruben

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper, UK edition

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

musical q&a: meet Acronyms

ACRONYMS2
What do Joni Mitchell, Wide Mouth Mason, and these four have in common? They’re musicians from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (and we’re pretty sure that’s where the similarities end). Music lovers, meet Acronyms, the latest indie-rock band to hail from the Canadian flat lands. Today marks the start of their first Canadian tour to promote their brand new EP SimpleComplex, and on March 28th they’ll be filling Victoria’s Copper Owl with a sound that has been compared to that of Foals, Radiohead and Tame Impala. We think you’ll like it, but be your own judge and listen to their singles Fake Fear and Parts here and here.

We chatted with singer/guitarist Billy Tataryn (in the glasses) about the band’s biggest dreams and the growing music scene in Saskatoon.

What band (past or present) would you most like to tour with?

Billy Tataryn: I think we can all agree that backing up the king of pop would be tight. Starting the night off with our intergalactic sounds sweep, then parking it on the side stage to watch Michael glide across the stage like a shooting star.

What’s your dream venue?

B: Probably on the back of a semi-truck parading through downtown Manhattan. I think we might pull it off better than those U2 guys.

Where did the name Acronyms come from?

B: Thin air. We literally had a band name before we had the band. Adan and I were school mates in University and would shoot bands names back and forth, Acronyms was one of them. Although we all agree that now having defined a sound for the band that the name, the way it sounds and looks, is reminiscent of the bands identity.

What song are you most excited about on SimpleComplex? Favourite song to play?

B: Parts is one of our favourite songs to start a set with. It’s a nice fast tempo track with catchy chord progressions and melodic hooks that progress through the song tying it together quite nicely. Kingdoms is another favourite track of ours, both on the EP and to play live. It has this repeated descending riff that sorta gives me chills when we’re all full drive tearing it up on the verse – then into the chorus most effects drop off and Tyson breaks in with a tight beat holding us all in the palm of his groove.

You’ve been compared to Tame Impala, Foals and Radiohead… who are your musical inspirations?

B: We mostly inspire each other. Every jam usually starts of with one of us showing the others a new song or band that we’ve been hooked on. We inspire each other by showing one another our musical tastes and preferences.

What’s life in Saskatoon like for a band?

B: Amazing, the music scene although growing is a tight knit group of individuals eager to support each other musical endeavours. We’ve all grown up playing in numerous other groups – it’s nice to get a chance to play with a lot of different people. I think that’s how Acronyms came to be, we eventually worked our way around until we found each other and enjoyed creating together. Since then Saskatoon has been a great place to call home for the band.

 

west coast weekend: tofino, bc

TOFINO, {OH} Victoria
Tofino is top-notch May through August, but true west-coasters know the wet and windy surf-destination is worthy of its accolades year-round. We slipped away on an extra long weekend in February for an incredible mini-vacation that has us itching to head back soon. From three meter swells to a world-class meal, it was a weekend worth talking about. Here are a few of our Tofino highlights.

surf

The first item on the agenda was a 3 hour surf lesson with Tofino Surf School. There are an overwhelming number of surf schools in Tofino and choosing one online can be a daunting task.  In the end, we went with Jeffro because his prices were the best and there were plenty of rave reviews on his site. Verdict? We picked good. Jeffro was professional (yet fun) and relaxed (yet diligent). It was grey and raining hard even by Tofino standards, but our wetsuits were warm and we were having too much fun to care. Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was luck, but there was not another soul on the beach that afternoon. It was a perfect Tofino day.

soak

We consider ourselves pretty savvy when it comes to Vancouver Island points of interest, but we only discovered the Tofino hot springs a little while ago. Located in Maquinna Provincial Park, the springs are only accessible by plane or boat. We booked a tour through Tofino Whale Centre, but several Tofino tour companies travel there. The 2 hour boat ride was an incredible way to see the coastline and the vast ocean, and if the season is right you might even spot a whale or two. Tip: take Gravol or you won’t be enjoying the view at all – the open ocean swells were 2 to 3 meters. On land, it’s a 30 minute (or so) walk through the rainforest to the hot springs. The springs are tightly packed, but piping hot and soothing. The best part? We packed a post-soak picnic to enjoy from the rocks overlooking the waves – miraculously, there was not a cloud in the sky that day.

dine

Food journalist Andrew Braithwaite named it Canada’s Best New Restaurant, and while we haven’t traveled as far and wide as Braithwaite has, we’d have to agree. Wolf in the Fog is a new favourite of ours for its stunning interior, gracious staff, and most of all, its remarkable food. At the helm of the new restaurant is head chef Nicholas Nutting from The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn. From the moment it started, the meal was an experience. It began with a potato crusted oyster with apple and truffle and a Bamfield seaweed salad with shitakes, wild rice and daikon. From a selection of five sharing platters we chose the ‘Mighty Duck‘ – a whole B.C. duck, beetroot and gorgonzola lasagne, and blood orange salad (other enticing options included fried chicken with corn bread and an Arabian lamb shank). The grand finale was butterscotch brulee with caramelized white chocolate and raspberry gelato. Trust us (and Braithwaite) when we say Wolf in the Fog is not to be missed.

sleep

The Cabins at Terrace Beach in Ucluelet is a really cool little resort. We only crossed-paths with other guests at check-in and check-out, so if you’re into privacy then this is your place. The staff we did see was incredibly kind and accommodating (but we might be a little bias because they upgraded us to a huge two bedroom cabin). The cabin itself inspired many “we could totally have a place like this one day!” comments over crib and wine.  That’s a sign of a good cabin.  The only downside to our stay was our own poor planning.  The drive between Ucluelet and Tofino is about 45 minutes, and every activity we planned took place in Tofino.

 

friday faves: love, and stuff edition

friday faves: valentine edition

Here’s a friday fave dedicated to some little things that are kinda related to love, and stuff.

1. Maybe you’re in love with a Darling. Maybe your best is a Darling. Most likely, you’re a Darling.  This beautiful quarterly magazine defines ‘the art if being a woman’ in a way foreign to glossy magazines.  2. The best little things come in the form of simple, gold rings. This one from Vale Jewelry is our top pick right now.  3. Hartland Brooklyn cards are a-dorable. Find them online or at Milkman’s Daughter.  4. A black heart by Banquet Atelier for the dark side of your loved one. Available at Violette.  5. The History of ‘Loving’ to Read by The New Yorker.

Psst. Darling and Vale Jewelry are both sold at Violette