THE SUMMER GIG BLOG
Last September AXE put a call out to Canadians: show us why we should give you a
summer filled with unforgettable personal and professional experiences.
Canada answered. After fighting off the competition, two clear winners have emerged.
Please meet, AXE Canada’s Consumer Consultants for 2010...
That was Mike and Declan, better known as Men About Town. They’re a pretty rockin’ duo comin’ straight outta D-town. Listen to more tracks here.
Another awesome band I’ve had the opportunity to see live is The Airplane Boys. They’ve had their music featured in shoe commercials and they’ve just started creeping into the Canadian airwaves. They also have a very cool fashion/lifestyle blog. You heard it here first!
Finally, I would like to tell you about a great little play I saw called Love is a Poverty you can Sell. It was chosen as Best of the Toronto Fringe Festival, and with good reason. Set in 1920s Berlin as a cabaret homage to the music of Kurt Weill, this thoroughly entertaining production features sixteen (!) song and dance numbers and a ten piece band! The pieces are seamlessly and hilariously transitioned with with the help of Hans and Jodel (Ryan Anning and Scott Dermody), two funny little men who provide witty banter, engaging stories and classic slapstick throughout the duration of the show. I also have to tip my hat to Justin Haigh for writing such sharp dialogue (as well as co-producing, PR, props…).
Why have I put reviews of two bands and a play in one post? Because, alas my friends, this is it! As of August 1st, my sweet summer gig is over. Sad, I know. But we had a pretty good run, eh? Before I leave, I need to give multiple rounds of thanks.
First, my supporters. When I entered the Ridiculously, Ridiculously Good Summer Gig concert way back in November, I didn’t really think I would be the one chosen to chill in Toronto, write a fun blog and get to work with the AXE Canada team. Then my family, friends and THEIR friends got behind me. Thank you. A special kudos to my sister who helped film and create my videos during the voting period, and who also told me when my ideas were stupid. I need that sometimes (a lot).
Secondly, the Toronto crew. from Bri-Bri to Moi Aussi, the Burnmaster to Double L (and many more!), you guys provided me with direction, deadlines and dynamite. Huge shout outs to the rest of the IAT family, whom Jaime and I had the bonus pleasure of brainstorming and interning with. And who could forget the legal beagles?
Finally, the last bow goes to you, the reader. Without you, this blog would have been a bad idea. With you, I’ve got a reason to get up in the morning and write about cool bands, men’s grooming products and burlesque dancers. And if you haven’t done it already, JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP! You never know what the next ridiculously good contest will be…
If you’re wondering what I’ll be up to in the future, I’m going back to Montreal for a month to study. This fall I will be traveling to France to live, work and travel awhile before I head back to school. I smell another blog coming on…
If you want to keep in touch, you can follow or direct message me on Twitter. If that fails, send smoke signals. Alright, I can hear the orchestra playing me off. Have a good one, see you around like an orange.
Read part 1 here.
I dragged myself out of bed around 8 and jumped in Dan’s pool to wake myself up. Then I air dried.
Pretty soon after, Ed and I grabbed a quick breakfast, said our goodbyes to Dan’s parents (thanks again!) and hit the road to Grand Bend baby whoooo! We left early because we were on a mission: find a place to stay the night, or sleep in the car. When we arrived it didn’t look good - there were a lot of no vacancy signs. But we kept our positive attitude, and managed to score an awesome place right on the main drag!
It was a baby cottage, it didn’t have sheets or pillows, and I would have to share a bed with Ed. Our heads almost touched the red shed, but give us some cred, at least we weren’t dead. Max and Dan soon joined us and we all marveled at how we were going to fit in such a small building. Here we are in front of our castle:
We all grabbed lunch at Coco’s and were set to hit the beach when Grand Bend got drilled with some nasty weather. We retreated to our porch with a guitar and some beer. Then it started hailing…
Yeah, that was weird. Eventually we became stir crazy and decided to check out some of the town’s shops. Right off the bat we stumbled into Endless Surf, a shop that just opened this summer. I could describe it myself but I’ll let the co-owner Andy to do the talking:
After Endless Surf, the rain cleared up and we went to the local grocery store to buy meat for what was to become an epic BBQ.
After almost eating ourselves sick, we headed to the beach to catch the legen-wait for it-dary Grand Bend sunset. I’ll let you judge for yourself:
Once the romanticism had died down, we walked back to our cottage and began the night’s festivities. This is where it gets epic. After a brief debate we decided that going to a club, we would pull up a picnic table, jam, and let the people come to us. And man, they came! Old, young, men, women, bachelorette parties, you name it, they were there. Most of what we got on camera is… um… unusuable… but here’s the best of what’s legal to show:
When the crowds on Main Street died down, we roamed around performing at cottage parties in exchange for a liquid refreshment or two. By the end of the night we made $35!
We groggily dragged ourselves to breakfast (which was paid for by our jamming earnings) then set out to the famous “hundred mile beach.” After purely scientific observation, I came to a conclusion regarding gender trends and chilling at the beach: girls tend to be a little more organized…and linear. Exhibit A:
Once the boys and I gathered our wits, we did pretty normal beach stuff: threw a football around, went swimming, tanned. I also literally trolled the beach looking for guys who wanted to be filmed talking about making out. Eventually it was time to pack up and leave Grand Bend. But not without going to the batting cages!
OK, NOW it was time to leave Grand Bend. We said our tearful goodbyes and split up. After dropping Ed at the farm, I had a long sunny afternoon drive to ponder my life. Sometimes we need those. All said, my Ontario road trip was probably the best weekend of the summer. It’s not a difficult formula: old friends, new friends, beach, cottage, party. Mix. I’ll be back, Grand Bend.
Just for you, I lived the past few days wearing alternative underwear. My findings?
Name: Tighty Whities (Steady Reddies?)
Weather: 28ºC, sunny
Pros: - Available in awesome colours
- Most socially acceptable undergarment to prance in
Cons: - Only 50% of ass sweat absorbed (boxer briefs catch 100%)
EoU (ease of urination): 4/5
Additional Comments: - much more comfortable with shorts than pants
Weather: 27ºC (40º + with humidity!)
Pros: - Feel manly and sexy at the same time. Mexy.
- Can silently rebut any comment with “oh yeah? I’m not wearing any underwear!”
Cons: - Need to wash pants more frequently (see ass sweat, above).
EoU: Delivery = 6/5… Cleanup = 3/5
Additional Comments: Wear a belt.
Weather: Hot, humid, and rainy
Pros: - You can shock people
Cons: - It’s a man thong
EoU: 1/5 - No hole!
Additional Comments: Don’t ride a bike. Don’t tell your parents.
This past weekend I took a road trip to chill with some of my boys and spread the word about this blog and our Facebook page! My activities were numerous. Our antics were possibly debaucherous. That’s not a word. Enjoy responsibly.
I woke up, packed like a banshee, scribbled down directions and headed out in a rental for some good times in K-W, aka Kitchener/Waterloo. After getting turned around a few times at the 401 interchange (thanks urban planning), I finally found myself traveling up the gut of Kitchener through its main drag, King Street.
Random things about Kitchener:
- they have a street called Sportsworld Drive
- it’s incredibly hard to find signs for Waterloo
- the meat packing plant smells awesome!
- there is a bar with a beach volleyball court
- at least one citizen owns a pair of booty shorts with “Blah Blah Blah” emblazoned on the bum in pink gothic font. I saw her with my own eyes.
After winding through the Kitch, I met up with Erin and Pat, two jocks I met last summer when we played in a band together.
After lunch we decided to go hang out at theUptown Waterloo Jazz Festival. I was wondering about the Downtown Waterloo Jazz Festival, I heard it’s crazy!
Anyway, it wasn’t the best crowd… yeah, we showed up just in time for the “Jazz For Kids” set.
We stayed awhile, but the audience wasn’t as receptive to men’s grooming products as I had hoped. They were, however, very interested in flowers, cool bugs and picking their noses.
Pat and Erin took off for work, leaving me with open plans and a lot of AXE coupons to distribute. I beelined it to a university in the area named after Canada’s seventh prime minister and set about meeting the people.
I got the DL on K-W from some dudes playing ultimate, then I caught up with a scrimmaging soccer team. I was headed to the bleachers when I spotted three guys, two girls and an octo-human.
The next leg of my trip took me through rural Ontario. Highlights:
- Stratford, home of many theatrical festivals… and a certain floppy haired pop star
- Dublin… Ontario! There were no awesome accents :(
- Maxwell, which was well signed for their August Corn Festival. Tasty.
- Exeter, the (temporary) home of my main man Ed! I picked him up on his broccoli farm:
With Ed riding shotgun, we high tailed it to London to chill with our man Dan aka Triple Beam Dream’s house. Our boy Max drove in from Toronto, and the quartet of weekend awesomeness was complete: Dan, Al, Ed and Max. Our friend Keith wanted to come, but he had too many letters in his name and was deemed ineligible.
All of us had a great BBQ and lively conversation with Dan’s parents (thanks!), then it was time to hit the town.
We wound up at an awesome club where Dan’s friend was spinning under the clever moniker DJ Mister-e. Get it?
He was good! The DJ area itself was 20 feet high, overlooking a big patio area with cushy VIP booths. Between the live DJ on the patio, the dance floor inside and the crowd that poured on to Richmond Street at the end of the night, we definitely met some fun peeps to party with. Here’s a video of our night featuring DJ Mister-e himself!
We finished off the night with chicken shawarmas and a jam session, which is how every night should end in my opinion. I crashed in Dan’s guest bed, pooped from my day of travels but giddy for the next two days that lay ahead.