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I Left My Heart in Toronto

hmrJenna’s Doodles

Half Moon Run- Need It (Cover)

I’ve included a link to my cover of the Half Moon Run song Need it above. I hope you enjoy!

So often I think I build something up in my mind so much that when it actually happens it’s a bit of a let down. Every once in a while though…Usually when I’m least expecting it I just have an all around great night.

Everything about it was perfect. It’s an odd feeling when you realize that a place makes you feel different. You walk a little bit taller and breathe a bit slower. It fits. It’s just that feeling, knowing it’s where you want to be. It’s exciting really. We were in Toronto to see Half Moon Run at The Phoenix the other night. As we drove to Toronto I kept getting flashbacks of while I was in Australia and listening to this band and knowing they were Canadian and feeling so excited to get to see them for the first time.

Even the drive to Toronto just fit. Traffic, music, darkness and lights. The perfect backdrop for a night of music and friends.

Once we got to The Phoenix I could feel it right away. The energy was insane. This dark, maze-like bar with red back lighting and oddly round industrial looking ceiling decorations. There was no band on stage but the atmosphere was enough to get the energy up. It felt like forever waiting to for them to come on stage but once they did…

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Half Moon Run – The Phoenix, Toronto

I knew they were going to be good…I had no question. But I didn’t expect that. Incredible. The record is just nothing in comparison. They are incredible. It was also one of those shows that singes your memory so that you can’t forget a thing about it, you stand there and watch while you take everything in.

The show was their first one home in Canada since being away on tour and they were certainly as happy to be there playing as everyone was to be seeing them. They gave absolutely everything they had and it was tangible. Once in a while you go to a show where you don’t feel like you’re there to watch an act, you feel like you are really part of it. As the crowd sang the lyrics and howls echoed through the venue at every spontaneously perfect note it was obvious that this band has something. Something that makes you want to be friends with them and make music with them and then make love afterwards. Just a pure commitment to their music and their talents that made me want to run home, grab my guitar and try to grasp even a little bit of what they may have been feeling.

I have to confess that leaving Toronto I felt simultaneously elated and unfulfilled. I had to go home. It was over. Until next time anyway. I know I’ll get there, maybe not yet but soon enough. To collect the part of me that I left behind and create the next chapter.


When Was the Last Time you Hit Record?

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It is entirely possible that I am the last person to discover this amazing idea but with the possibility that I’m not I feel the need to share!

Have any of you heard of Hit RECord? Some of you may have heard of Joseph Gordon-Levitt who got his first big start in ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’ and has recently been making quite the name for himself in Hollywood. Most recently I’ve come across a project he has been working on with other industry professionals which I think is amazing! It may very well change the game for artists around the world in many areas.

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So here’s the idea in a nutshell: Create a website where artists of all types can come together collectively to create art. More importantly is that now ‘hitRECordJoe’ (as his Twitter handle refers to him) has created an idea for a television program which will showcase the highlights of artistic products created by the online community of Hit RECord. In addition to showcasing this art, this platform is being treated as an actual online job market where art is produced and anything that is used is paid for. Brilliant right?

The way this idea was formed was clearly with a lot of creativity and tact because it is both inclusive and inspiring. When you make yourself a member you are automatically involved in the community. How much you choose to produce is up to you but it is filled with ‘advertisements’ or ‘creative suggestions’ for you to work from. Joe regularly posts general concepts that he may have for a segment on the TV program and invites all community members to create and collaborate.

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This is my favourite part of this idea- The collaboration! An animator can post a video on the dashboard and a musician views the animation, is inspired by it and submits music to accompany it. Or a songwriter may write something but not want their vocals on the track so they may ask the community of musicians to submit  vocals for the track. Additionally, sometimes more specific ideas are required and in this case it operates like a normal job posting. Joe posts what he is looking for and asks for creative input and interpretation. These options give artistic individuals who don’t really know where to begin a starting point which I think is integral to the promotion of creativity.

While this site is definitely not new (as a creative individual I’m quite disappointed that I’ve only just come to realize it exists), I feel that it deserves the mention that I am giving it now. The creative possibilities that it allows are endless and in a world that can always use more art I think this is an amazing thing! So…What are you waiting for? Hit RECord!


Moved by Music: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Wedding Song- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Wedding Song- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Wedding Song (Acoustic)

Wedding Song Lyrics

Moved by Music 

The song that I selected for this week’s challenge is Wedding Song by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I have a hard time letting myself truly let go in love somtimes. I’ve never really been able to relate with incredibly romantic songs even when I was in love  because they so often sound corny and superficial to me. I’ve always preferred an edgier song to something soft and delicate, but I have found the perfect love song that is both of these things. You know that feeling you get when you hear a song for the first time and you know you’ve fallen in love because it is perfect? Every note, every sound just fits.

Two months out of a two year relationship and as much as I didn’t want it to, this song made me fall in love with love again. As happy as I was to be searching for my independence again, and working toward standing tall and focusing on me, this song struck me. The excruciating beauty that she sings with swept me off my feet and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story she was telling. That probably sounds corny and maybe that’s okay…But give the song a listen before you decide for yourself.

Karen O is basically an alien in the most complimentary way possible. She writes lyrics that are out of this world and for someone with such an unclassical voice she makes every sound sheer perfection. Her words are ones I would never think to use to talk about love, but the way they fall one after another you see and feel exactly what she is talking about. I have never heard music that let me feel more in love than when I first heard this song. It was a love that I haven’t known yet and a world I have not yet lived in but I understood it and most importantly I felt it.

Every word that she sings makes it the least cliche and the most intelligently poetic love song I’ve ever heard. Hearing it sets my mind free as I run through every relationship that I’ve had. Those photographic memories that you hang on to even after it has been and gone. You always hang on to those few precious moments that told you it was real and it was worthy. Every moment of love and inseparable devotion. Even in their beauty, those loves could never have stood up against this love that she sings about.

Such a simple love yet so perfect.

“Some kind of violent bliss led me to love like this. 1000 deaths my dear, I’d die without you here.”

Each lyric so artistically crafted to express exactly the love that she knows she has found. It is such a painfully beautiful description of her devotion and appreciation for this love. This song oozes inspiration for me. It reignites a fire in me to open myself up and really fall.


Cruise Control

It’s easy to forget what you’re doing. I find myself going on autopilot. Every once in a while I will wake up and realize what is in front of me. I just went through midterms and it’s that feeling of having no time while also running out of time. I had forgotten that feeling already which is surprising. It’s scary and overwhelming and makes me want to do nothing but sleep. Now things have calmed down though and I almost feel antsy. It’s  uncomfortable. I suppose that if you get used to running it can be hard to walk again afterwards. I realized today that the stress of midterms pulled me away from what I’m doing here. Slowly I’ve felt myself pushing forward. Trying to wake up to find myself further down the line, but I was excited to go back to school for a while there. I knew that I would feel like this at some point-burnt out and over it. University consumes your life like nothing else, you constantly feel like you have work to do and just look forward to the day you can relax only to feel guilty for wasting a day…It’s exhausting.

Today I realized how much of my time that is spent technically doing schoolwork that really doesn’t feel like schoolwork though. I realized I was lucky. And more importantly, that I was happy. There was a reason that I took a break from school but there was also a reason why I chose to do this. While it’s not traveling, it is a process that sure teaches you things about yourself. I am a very determined person I’ve learned. I can lose focus every once in a while, go on auto pilot but I’m working towards something and I will achieve it. Tomorrow will come and the next chapter will be exciting but I will have accomplished something that I will always have. There are always two sides to the coin. It’s important to appreciate the side you’re on. It won’t always be there.


My future children have this to look forward to…


I’m Awake and I’m a Reflektor

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They have done it again. I didn’t doubt it but it just feels like it needs saying. Arcade Fire have made a fun album that is so them yet at the same time something completely different. Lovey and dancy but yet not quite romantic dance music. It is an album that you will put on to listen to and just completely fall into. You may not even realize it but all of a sudden you are in the rhythm of the song and you realize how good it is. While each song sounds infinitely different than the last, you seem to almost loose your train of thought as you follow it with the sense that you’re being told a story. Such a truly Arcade Fire thing to do. The Suburbs did the same thing to me. The more I listened to it the more I realized what the story was and how every one song contributed by being stand alone tracks that fit the puzzle so well.

This year’s album feels like a friend you haven’t seen for a while but as soon as you see each other again you remember exactly why you’re friends. Changed a little maybe, but everything you’ve come to love is still there. The artistic quirkyness that is so Arcade Fire is there and present, but somehow you add trippy futuristic sounds, and bongo drums and they still make it work. The dancyness of the album is exactly what I had hoped for. Arcade Fire are so great at writing these epic anthems but underlying them is this catchy beat and this album has amped that up a bit. I think that this album tells the story as more of a journey. They reel you in to dance and move and feel with them. How can you not dance to ‘Here Comes the Night Time?’ It’s infectious. I just cannot wait to see them. I’ve waited a long time, and this is the year.


On My Decision to Embrace Autumn

It’s happening now…Faster than I thought it would for sure. It’s getting cold. I’ve been in denial about it for a while I’ve realized. I have recently returned from living in Australia for the past two years, and more importantly in many of the warmer places! As much as I’m looking forward to winter in some ways…I’m just really not ready for the cold yet. The beautiful thing about traveling is that it lets you look at things in a different way when you come home and that is the perspective I’ve decided to take about autumn. I used to love this season when I was younger. I loved the cool crisp nights and the beautiful colours of the leaves and of course…Halloween. This past week I’ve really been loving the beautiful colours on the trees…It’s something I’d really forgotten about.

We are a bit spoiled here in Ontario because we are surrounded by trees. I lived in the same city my whole life and even on the occasions where my family traveled in autumn those beautiful colours were always there. It wasn’t until I left home to travel that I realized what a marvel it really is.

One thing I learned living in Australia is that here in Canada we are blessed with transitions. Truly blessed. I realized that every month of the year has a seasonal association to it in my mind and living in Australia was an experience of me constantly feeling out of the loop. A month would go by and I wouldn’t even realize it because I knew that September always felt differently than October whereas Australia (I lived in various places in Queensland the whole time- one of the warmer climates) doesn’t have these transitions. There are transitions of course, but well…The transition from what feels like summer to spring to summer again as a Canadian is definitely not the transitions I’ve experienced through our seasons.

Upon returning home to Canada I will admit that the adjustment has been huge for me. It was something that I really hadn’t anticipated which made things more of a challenge. The experience of traveling is composed mainly of the new experiences you will have and so that is your expectation. I’ve never met anyone who went home with the anticipation that things would be different though, and this is what I experienced. Since my return home I’ve learned that this is very common with travelers who leave for a period of time and I am embracing this opportunity to reinvent this home in my mind.

As the weeks have gone by since returning home I’ve really noticed how quickly things change around here, and in some sort of way I’ve adapted that idea to my perspective on this chapter of my life. If I can transition with the seasons and recognize the beauty that comes with it, I feel that I will have so much to gain.


A World Away

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Every once in a while it really dawns on me how much we had back then. This beautiful little world to explore. A simple day on another planet. A home together. You were amazing. Confusing. Mysterious. Scary. Kind. You didn’t know it but you were happy. Truly happy. You were so alive. Scared but alive. Where did you go?


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Here Comes the Night Time

For any of you out there who are anxiously awaiting the new Arcade Fire album as much as I am, I thought I’d share this tasty treat. A sneak-peak at a few of the songs on the upcoming album with some guest appearances by celebrities such as Micheal Cera, Bill Hader, Zach Galifianakis, Azis Ansari and more!


Just a Glimpse

I think about that house. That beautiful old house. I loved it from the first time I saw it and knew it would become a home for me.

I think of that room at 2:30 in the afternoon, when the sunlight delicately fell through the red curtain that hung down from the doorway. The soft warm air and a beautiful cloudless sky. I was free and in love, and in love with being free. It was mine. It was calm, it was open.

But one day, you wake up and a seed has been planted for the thought that you will think that will change the rest of the days. It’s growing and it can’t be ignored. Everything has changed.