Category Archives: CONFRONT

Snow Patrol & CONFRONT

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Today you can find me over at CONFRONT Magazine’s website, where I recently finished my article about Snow Patrol! After the amazing opportunity to interview one of the members earlier in April, I had lots of fun writing it up.

I’d love to know what you think!

You can read it by clicking HERE. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the new issue while you’re there 🙂

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Feel the Music

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Music has been one of my biggest loves for as long as I can remember. As a teenager I would spend countless hours sitting in my bedroom, doing homework or surfing the internet, with the familiar sounds of my favorite bands in the background. I would become addicted to a record and have it on repeat for months, or I would have a rotation of a couple of favorites and play them over and over again, one after the next.

It’s almost no surprise that my life has led me further into the music industry as I got older. The only surprise is that I’m lucky enough to be able to say that. So many people love music, and I am fortunate to have little inside views on the workings of the business through my job with CONFRONT magazine.

Me & one of my favorite female artists, Juliet Simms, last summer after my interview with her at the Vans Warped Tour. You can now catch her on Cee Lo’s team on The Voice! Don’t forget to vote! 

Me & Jeremy from Our Lady Peace after my interview, just 2 weeks ago! 

But working for CONFRONT is really just an experience that was lucky enough to fall in my lap, and I have made the absolute best of it in the last three years. I’ve interviewed dozens upon dozens of musicians- both well known and some still making a name for themselves- and it’s just been very humbling overall.

An interview earlier this year with the incredibly talented Charlie Winston from England

I’m feeling kind of introspective about this today for a few reasons:

1) Yesterday, I interviewed one of my all time favorite bands, Snow Patrol

2) I also got to attend the Snow Patrol concert after, opened up by the incredibly talented British solo artist Ed Sheeran

3) Earlier this week I interviewed another overseas band, Of Monsters and Men. They were not only AWESOME and HILARIOUS, but so down-to-earth. I love when that happens!

4) The magazine is really beginning to make a name for itself here in Montreal and I’m so proud to say that I’m part of it’s success over the last 3 years.

5) I really wanted to talk about music in a way that differs from my regular album reviews

In the last two years or so, I’ve had to tone down the amount of concerts I attend because of money. I spent a couple years around the age of 18 going to every concert I wanted, and it took a serious toll on my bank account. I can’t do that anymore because I have other priorities and things I want to accomplish, so I really make the best of each experience I DO get to have, like last night.

My interview yesterday went really well. I sat down with Nathan, and he was such a sweetheart and so incredibly polite. It’s a weird thing, but when I have the opportunity to chat with a band that I’ve adored for so long, I tend to love them even more when I know that they’re actually very humbled about their fame. It’s the mark of a band that’s never let the bad parts of the industry get to them- they’re still in it for THEIR passion, and I love being able to see bits and pieces of this through 15 minute conversations. I’m so excited for exams to be over so I can sit down and write a great article about a band that I’ve followed for over six years now.

Nathan is second from left!

The show last night was truly amazing. My city is well known for being an EXCELLENT crowd, as artists are often incredibly humbled on stage and sincerely say so. As an avid music person, this makes me very proud to be a Montrealer. I know we’re awesome, but when a band that has been together for over 15 years and sold over 10 million records are speechless on stage, that’s just a really incredible moment.

So last night Ed Sheeran played a half hour set and it was phenomenal. He’s a one man act, and he’s amazing at it. He stood on stage with nothing but himself, his acoustic guitar, and a loop pedal, and he played a better set then MANY opening artists are able to do. I love his album, so please DO check him out! His single A-Team is fantastic and his music video Lego Houses features Rupert Grint so… Yeah. Awesome.

Ed Sheeran on stage in Montreal last night

It was the third time I got to see Snow Patrol live, and it was just amazing. I love every record they’ve put out, and their music is even BETTER in concert. They played all their hits as well as a few other random tracks, and came back for something like a 5 or 6 song encore performance. Some of my favorite moments of the night? The song ‘Lifening’ during the Encore, as well as Chocolate, Chasing Cars, All I Have, Run, and Crack the Shutters. But honestly the entire thing was still more than I could have imagined.

The one and only Gary Lightbody 🙂

The best part though was a toss up between a solo version of ‘Set the Fire to the Third Bar’ and a duet between Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody for the song ‘New York’. You can watch an acoustic version of their duet New York that was recorded in a Montreal piano store below, it’s well worth the three minutes:

What are some of your favorite concert experiences?

Late night thoughts

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I didn’t get the chance to write anything today because I’ve literally been non-stop busy since 7:30AM this morning when I woke up. So since this post is a bit late (or rather, a lot late. I mean really it’s 10:30PM now!) I thought I might just a few more random thoughts out there and save my good post for tomorrow morning.

1) I’ve taken over CONFRONT magazine this week with an article and an interview and I’d love if you wanted to go check them out and leave me your thoughts! Also if I can introduce you to some new music, that’s even better.

You can read my full article with PARAMORE, which was so much fun to write. I’m a huge fan of the band and it was such a pleasure getting to chat with one of the founding members.

I also sat down with Adam Young from OWL CITY last month which was one of the greatest experiences ever. I’ve been a huge fan for a while and I haven’t been that star struck sitting down for an interview in a long time. I think the best part was just how genuinely nice he was, I think he is the sweetest musician I have ever had the pleasure of talking to.

2) If you haven’t read all the Harry Potter books or seen all the films, you can skip over this point! 

I went to see the final movie after work today and I’m just in awe. Especially the big seven- Luna, Neville, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco. Their characters were so heartbreakingly beautiful, maybe Neville most of all. I have to admit there were a few parts with Voldemort that made me laugh (for real, WHY doesn’t he have a nose? Is this just an unsolved HP mystery, or did I miss that one?) but when he starts laughing, it made me start laughing because his face was so strange looking.

Aside from that though, I cried like a baby. I loved when McGonagall placed the huge protection spell on the castle and all the stone soldiers protected Hogwarts. Also,  the Snape/Lily story was just heart melting, and towards the end when Harry gets the stone and sees his four most beloved people I just could not hold myself together any longer, not whatsoever.

I need to see that movie at least one more time, but I do regret seeing it in 3D. I think that was a little bit overrated. I LOVED the Hermione/Ron kiss but the fact that in real life it was so awkward for them makes me feel bad! I think they acted it out really amazingly and looked so darn cute together, but I don’t think you can beat the book version of it.

This post may or may not have been a reason to share more beautiful pictures of the Harry Potter cast. I am really just not getting sick of looking at their faces. I can’t believe the series is over, but I truly cannot wait to see what else these actors do, they are so talented. And beautiful.

3) That first picture I posted is Rupert chasing Emma on set for the last movie. I thought it was beautiful.

4) Any Big Bang Theory fans out there? The actors who play Raj and Howard (Kunal and Simon) are in Montreal this weekend and I had NO idea until yesterday. They have a comedy show tomorrow night that’s sold out and I am beyond devastated. I’m secretly (not so secretly anymore) rather in love with Raj. Luckily I’ll be seeing Eric Stonestreet with my mom so that’s going to be lots of fun!

5) I haven’t slept properly in at least a week and I can’t remember the last time I sat down with a book. I need to do both of these, preferably for many days in a row. Vacation soon, please? As a side note, I need to stop spending money on travel supplies. MUST. STOP.

Okay, one more Harry Potter picture to end this post? Fine. 🙂

Hope you’re all having a fantastic week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backstage at Warped 2011

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Every time I’ve been to Vans Warped tour (In 2008, and in 2010) I’ve had the most amazing time. There are always bands that I can’t wait to see, and the fact that there are something like 75 bands on any given day, there is music playing for 10 straight hours. Thousands of people make their way to Warped every year and it’s always on a really hot, humid July day. Warped Tour in Montreal more often than not marks the halfway mark of summer, it’s something to look forward to from March straight through til July when it gets here. When I get home at night, I’m usually dirty, hot, EXHAUSTED but on a complete adrenaline high.

Last year Warped landed on my birthday and I spent my whole day there with best friends, followed by a night with some friends backstage watching the fireworks late at night. In 2008 it was my first Warped experience and I was front row for every single one of my favorite bands (Jack’s Mannequin, Anberlin, The Academy Is, Relient K…) This year, I wasn’t just a fan. I got a media bracelet and I spent half of my day backstage conducting interviews.

The reason I thought this year would be good to request a media bracelet was because there weren’t really that many bands that I LOVED- There were a bunch that I really liked and wanted to see, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to watch that many shows if I was doing interviews all day. Plus, it was a great way to actually discover new musicians! Was I EVER right.

I was backstage from 11:30am until 5:30pm almost completely. I did 8 interviews, and they’re all bands I respect and had a great time talking to. I also took pictures for Jenia’s interview with Enter Shikari (check them out, great band from the UK)  and I got to do photography in the pit (in front of the barricade) for a band called Every Avenue as well as Paramore. THAT was quite the experience. I was beyond the front row, literally one foot away from Hayley Williams herself, a musician that I respect and admire like I can’t even begin to tell you. I felt very, very lucky for those 15 minutes.

Here’s a list of the bands I interviewed, linked to their MySpace so you can check them all out, and a little bit about how our interview went. They’re all really awesome, seriously!

1. Less Than Jake

 

– Style: Ska
– This band has been around for almost two decades, and although ska is not my style at all, I had the best time interviewing Roger, one of the two lead vocalists for the band.  I can’t believe I had the chance to hang out with such a long time musician for 10 minutes- not to mention that he might have been one of the MOST down to earth guys ever. He’s been in the business for so long but I wasn’t intimidated at all. We joked around the whole time and I’m just so humbled what a cool guy he is.

 

2. Go Radio

– Style: Pop/Alternative/Rock
–  I discovered this band a couple months ago because I’d heard they were going to be on Warped and that they were good- and they really are! They’re just my type of music and I had a lot of fun watching them play live. I got to sit down with one of the members and it was really nice to just hang out and talk music with a band that I like listening to.

3. Relient K

– Style: Pop/Rock
– How cool is this band? They have an album called MMHMM, I seriously love them! I interviewed Ethan, one of the members, pretty last minute, but I had the best time. It was like talking to a friend and he was really nice and had great answers. Best part? At the end of my interview he took the time to tell me that I had a really great interviewing style and he loved how we just spent some time talking, and that it doesn’t happen like that all the time at all. He made some jokes and shook my hand, told me it was super nice to meet me (remembered my name!) and just yeah. I was really flattered.

4. Paramore

left to right: Jeremy, Hayley, Taylor

– Style: Alternative/Rock
– If you don’t know this band yet, PLEASE GO CHECK THEM OUT. Lead vocalist Hayley Williams is 23 years old and she is phenomenal. Her voice, I can’t even tell you how great. I’ve been a HUGE fan of Paramore since College when they released their album ‘Riot!’ and the song ‘Misery Business‘ which is catchy by anyone’s standards. I got to interview Jeremy, one of the members who’s been around since the beginning, and he was absolutely HILARIOUS. He kept making jokes and I was easily myself, joking around and throwing around a little bit of sarcasm with him. I still can’t believe I interviewed one of the members of Paramore. Wow.

5. Every Avenue


– Style: Pop/Rock
– I wasn’t supposed to interview this band, but they were just relaxing by the media tent without much to do and were looking to talk up their band so I thought why not? They’re an incredibly talented bunch of guys and it’s always fun to talk to guys who are excited about what they’re doing. I got the impression they were a bit nervous during the interview from the way they were answering me, but that humbled me more than anything else. I caught part of their set later and got to take pictures in the pit and they put on a super fun show and had lots of energy too!

6. Automatic Loveletter


– Style: Alternative
– Singer/songwriter Juliet Simms has one of the most unique voices & I’ve been a fan of hers for about 4 years now. I first heard of her when she sang alongside All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth in a song called ‘Remembering Sunday‘ which I’ve been in love with ever since. I was most nervous to interview her but I have no idea why, she was so down to earth and funny and very honest. It was an absolute pleasure to finally get to meet her.

8. Ill Scarlett


-Style: Dub/Punk/Rock
– This band isn’t my usual style of music, but they’re from Toronto and I was interested in learning more about them since they’re so close to where I’m from. They’ve got a really fun summer vibe to them. I interviewed one of the guys and he was so relaxed and having the best time on Warped. It’s a tough festival for any band (think 3 straight months traveling the States and parts of Canada, 12 hour long drives every night, even longer days setting up and taking everything down) but he was absolutely loving everything about it.

9. Shut Up & Deal 

-Style: Pop/Rock
– I interviewed two of the guys in this band, they were a TON of fun to chat with and super down to earth. You can download their album on their Myspace (linked above) for FREE. Go now.

I finished off my day with Jenn watching Paramore from the main stage. There were SO many people that once I was done taking pictures we couldn’t get anywhere even close to the stage, so we just enjoyed it from a distance, and left just before the last song so we wouldn’t get caught with everyone leaving. We were both EXHAUSTED, but I had a really great time. Not only with interviews, but I just love the ambiance at Warped. There are so many people there for music and for a good time, it’s hard to leave there in a bad mood. I’m already excited for next year!

July: Goals & Turning Twenty Two.

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This month is not only the big summer month, but it’s really my favorite month of the year. Maybe it’s because my birthday is just before the halfway mark, maybe it’s just because July always seems to have the most beautiful days. Either way, I’m excited about it. Here are my goals for the month:

1) Get back to eating healthy, track my weight & start exercising again. I’ve got 5 weeks to feel fantastic for Greece, and I’ll be damned if I don’t put 100% of myself into this goal. I mean, seriously. It’s not like I have anything else (school, etc) in my way anymore. I have no excuse. This month, it’s on.

2) Try and donate blood again. SERIOUSLY, I’m going to try a third time. As of July 8th I’m allowed to attempt to give blood again, and I most certainly will. Especially if my lovely friend Agnes has anything to say about it. I know she wants this for me as badly as I want to- I mean really, 6 months to cross off this one goal? Unacceptable. Plus, I can’t get a tattoo or another piercing until I do this AND I WANT TO DO BOTH very soon. So let’s do this.

3) Read 8 books/Cross off two reading goals. I’m a bit nervous for this one because 5 is usually my limit, but I’m going to try and make this a bigger reading month than usual. According to Goodreads I’m constantly behind by 3 books, which means that if I add an extra 3 this month I might get myself on track to reading 60 books by the end of this year. I think if I continue reading books that are part of my reading goals as well as continue with my one evening a week away from the computer (but still at home) for the whole month, I should accomplish this one! Also, from now on I’m going to mark the dates that I finish books. Much easier that way.

4) Renew my learner’s permit. I’ve had this one on my last before and completely forgotten about it, but I really wanted to accomplish this one this summer… And since I leave in 5 weeks it’s now or never!

5) Complete 5 more goals from my 101 Goals list to be at 50 total accomplished. This is a mix of some of my above goals & other, but if I can get to 50 by the end of July I’ll be super happy! I’ve given myself a few extra in case I’m feeling up to it, since I’m feeling kind of repetitive here.

a) Read for an hour every day for 2 weeks
b) Re-read 5 novels I loved when I was younger (4/5 complete)
c) Spend an evening away from my laptop once a week for 2 months (I’m halfway there, at the end of July I’ll be done!)
d) Read  3 novels on Well Being (2/3 complete)
e) Go one month without junk food. Challenge accepted.

As well as:

f) Give blood
g) Stop biting my nails (if I make it through the month I’ll cross this one off)
h) Spend a day with my phone turned off

I think I’ll have my plate pretty full with goals, but I really want to get some stuff done before I leave the country for 3 weeks. I know that I won’t be focusing on them very much (if at all) while I’m gone, so I want to feel like at least I was productive before getting on that plane.

In July I will also…

– Celebrate my 22nd birthday on July 10th. I didn’t have any birthday plans earlier this week, but now I have a potential dancing date with my Greece girls on Friday July 8th, I have a work party (planned by a friend) on Saturday July 9th, and I have a birthday brunch with close friends on Sunday July 10th. I think I’ll spend the rest of my birthday with family, and that will be one pretty fantastic weekend if I do say so myself.

– Have a media pass to the Vans Warped Tour on July 16th. I’ve never been backstage at that festival, but believe me I am excited like it’s nobody’s business. I have a requested interview with PARAMORE (he-yo!) and I’ll be spending the whole day surrounded by music. This was the festival that I spent my birthday at last year and it was one of the best days ever. I can’t wait to do the behind the scenes thing.

–  Sponsor two blogs, they are both fantastic & I’m sure most of you know them… In case you don’t go check out Sometimes Sweet and Kyla Roma right now!

– Finish setting up my huge (and hopefully successful) Month of Guest Blogging AKA August. I still have just a few spots left if you’re interested in writing something for me, e-mail me at mliss024[at]gmail[dot]com! 🙂

Is your month of July looking fun, summery and full like mine?! What are your goals?

Things to love

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I’ve been spending so much time wrapped up in my own bubble these days; reading, writing, and falling in love with lots of things music and otherwise. Here are a few of my current favorite things:

1. Owl City. Remember this song?

It’s a couple years old now, but almost just as popular as when it first came out. Owl City is basically the work of one guy, Adam Young, and I’ve been a  huge fan of his work since his album Ocean Eyes. Anyway, he just released a new record called All Things Bright & Beautiful, and I just love it. Do check it out if you love happy, day-dreamy, synthpop music. It’s pretty different from what I normally listen to, but I just can’t get enough of it.

Also, yesterday I had the amazing opportunity of sitting down with Adam for an interview for CONFRONT Magazine, and it was the most surreal thing. He was a complete sweetheart and I can’t wait to write up our conversation! It was a lot of fun and one of those interviews I’ll never forget. I freaking love my job.

2. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

I’ve been re-reading the series of 4 books in the last two weeks and I’ve fallen back in love with the entire thing. I blogged about it recently and how I grew up reading them, but it just felt like it was time to re-visit them now that the author wrote a brand new one! I can’t wait until I’m all caught up with the series again so I can read it. It’s called Sisterhood Everlasting and I just ordered my copy on Amazon! The picture is the 4 girls from the movie, and while reading I’m finding myself picturing them throughout. They really were the perfect fit to play Lena, Carmen, Tibby and Bee!

3. Tattoos

Lately I have been OBSESSING over pictures of tattoos. Everybody’s has been inspiring ideas for my own. I can’t wait to get my first, but I really, truly cannot choose what to do first. I want something about music, I want something about my passion for reading, or writing, something about growing up. Something beautiful. But mostly, I want something about music. How to choose? I just love everything about it.

4. Greece

No surprise here, but I just can’t WAIT to pack my bags and GO GO GO! In just over 40 days I will be with 3 of my best friends in one of my dream vacation spots. Oh, and I’m going to the place pictured above- we just booked our hotel there last weekend! Everything I do, I think about my trip. The things I buy, the books I read, the travel websites I visit. I’m impossibly excited to spend 3 weeks there!

5. TOMS

Everywhere I look, people are talking about these shoes. I’ve clearly been living in a rock because it seems like EVERYONE knows about them. I’m trying to order my very first pair, but I’ve been having some trouble on their website. Figures. Anyway, I can’t wait to have a pair and jump on this bandwagon. This company seems to be doing a lot of good stuff and I’m excited to be a part of it!

What are you loving this week?

Reasons to smile

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This last week has given me more than a couple reasons to be sad and disappointed. A few things that I’ve written about, and a few that I couldn’t get the courage to. Either way, I think sometimes it’s important to put those less awesome moments in perspective with a few things that make me happy on a regular basis, and that I am lucky enough to have in my life. So here are the first 20 things that come to mind that make me smile.

1. Waking up in the morning & having a freshly brewed cup of coffee while checking e-mails

2. A really nice long hot shower

3. Staying in bed for 10 extra minutes to cuddle with my kitty

we were playing hide and seek! 

4. Reading a good book, and reading it fast because it’s too good to put down

5. Blaring music, listening to a favorite song and not being able to listen to it loud enough because it’s just too good

6. Retail therapy

7. Doing interviews for CONFRONT magazine- meeting some of my favorite musicians because of that job & then getting to write about it!

8. Spending an afternoon (or a day, night, morning) with family. I’ve been so lucky that my brother married into such an amazing family, and I’ve adopted them as my own.

9. Hanging out with friends. I’m lucky enough to have a really big handful of GOOD  friends and they all know how to cheer me up, and when I need it most.

10. Holidays with really big meals (and family, friends). That feeling after eating a ton of food and wanting to fall asleep but laughing too much with those you love.

They’re not all family, but they may as well be!

11. Buying concert tickets, roadtripping for a concert, waiting that hour between doors opening and the show starting. I love all of it.

12. Getting random text messages, knowing someone out there is thinking of you in that particular moment

13. A really hot summer day with no plans except enjoying the sun outside with my ipod

14. Going to the park with a friend and sitting on the swings. I love feeling like a kid again!

15. Meeting someone special, even if it doesn’t last long. Holding hands, being close to them.

16. Planning the vacation of a life time with best friends, getting excited months and months in advance

13 week countdown! 

17. Helping customers at work and making a difference in their lives. I’ve met so many special people at my job, even if it’s part time, and I see them all the time. I’ve even met a really good friend of mine because of it!

18. Spending a day doing nothing productive at all, and feeling like I could do it all over again the next day.

19. Going out and having the absolute best time, when there were no plans at all

20. Last, but not least… Making my already amazing family bigger. What on earth does that mean? I’m going to be an aunt for the very first time! And I just can’t wait to spoil the hell out of that baby<3

What are you happy for today?