The first time I saw Kytami perform was at Rifflandia in 2015, when my friend Deriek of the band Spaceboots told me, "Come check out Kytami, I'm performing with her." I knew little but that she played the violin. But being myself, I absolutely love going into shows with no expectations. I met up with a few friends, and in an absolutely packed venue, we collectively pushed ourselves to the very front of the crowd, leaned up against the protective rails, and I eagerly waited for the show to start.
I was fucking blown away. Sometimes when I go to shows, I stand back and observe, and other times I find myself completely lost in the music - and that was the case for the first time I saw Kytami perform. I went insane, dancing my ass off and losing myself completely for the hour-long set. I knew I would see her again and again. And I have.
From Tall Tree to Lucky Bar to Rock the Shores I've seen Kytami perform at every opportunity in front of me. She has never disappointed, always throwing every bit of energy she has into her performances. Phonik Ops always makes sure to announce and remind the crowd that 'the harder we go, the harder she goes' - and it's true. Kytami feeds off of the energy of the audience, and we're sure to never let her down either.
Friday's show at Sugar was to celebrate the release of her long anticipated album, Renegade, which has since become a soundtrack to my daily life. Between The Jackal and Listen Up, one of those two tracks has disintegrated my awful stock stereo system in my car, and still every time I turn it up as loud as it goes.
Having just returned from a West coast tour with the legendary Datsik, I was amazed at how much energy this performance still held - Kytami is showing absolutely no signs of stopping. Despite constant bouncing, dancing, jumping, all the while flawlessly playing her violin, Kyla shows zero exhaustion, clad in her show gear which this time included a fucking jacket in a nightclub. How that girl does it is beyond me, but she manages to hype up the crowd every single time.
The beauty of watching Kytami perform is not restricted to the size of the location. I've seen her perform at festivals for an audience of a few thousand, to in a nightclub for a few hundred. The consistency of the performance remains the same, and when she tells the crowd to jump, we jump. Sugar Nightclub was absolutely shaking on Friday night, and I thought the building was going to collapse. But, we partied on. Let the walls come down.
Between Kytami and Phonik Ops, these two on their own are mixing two different styles of music - a mix of Branden's drum and bass/electronica elements, and adding the classical violin sound expertly mastered by Kyla, who herself has years of history and experience with drum and bass. But with the guest performers, this duo takes it up another notch further - performing with Deriek 'Dirty D' Simon from Spaceboots, who adds a hip-hop sound, working to both help hype the crowd, and adding his vocals. And then to add to it further, Gino Trash stepped out on stage with his guitar to give a gritty punk-rock accompaniment to a few tracks. So here you have an amalgamation of four performers, and four very different genres of music, flawlessly synchronized together to create a sound that by all means shouldn't be considered possible, but with everybody playing their own part, effortlessly shows that the love of music holds no restrictions.
The journey of these musicians is far from over. Having already toured multiple cities and festivals across Canada and the US, no doubt with the release of the Renegade album, these musicians will soon be hitting the road again soon - who knows where Kytami will go this summer? I'm willing to bet that we'll start seeing festival announcements soon with Kytami & crew on the lineup. Fingers crossed!
In the meantime, be sure to check out her Facebook page for clips of videos from previous shows, as well as tour updates and show announcements.
And also check out her new album! Find it on -
This was my third time seeing USS - once when they opened for Mother Mother at the Royal Theatre in 2013, and again at the Phillips Backyard Weekender in 2015.
At the Royal Theatre, I had heard 'This Is The Best' (of course) and waited patiently for the song I knew. They played it, and they rocked it, and I was impressed with the rest of the show. Even from super far away (I almost needed binoculars) I watched Ash strum his guitar with passion, and Human Kebab running around going crazy.
In 2015 at the Phillips Backyard Weekender I went specifically for USS. I still hadn't listened to too terribly much of their music, but knew that I liked their sound in the songs I had heard. So I went, with no expectations. I can't recall the set list, but the one song that hit me like a ton of bricks was 'Freakquency'. The sun was setting beside the stage, setting the sky alight with hues of blues, pinks, magentas, and an essence of a warmth quickly disappearing. The crowd was writhing, and sweaty, and I was a part of it. I was a part of it. And so in that moment, and so aware, as Ash crooned to the crowd, "Someday, oh I'm gonna get you back again... rushing through my head like oxygen, never gonna let you go..." Goddamn. I couldn't see the band. I couldn't see ten feet ahead of me. We were packed in like sardines in a can, and as this sun set gloriously, illuminating us briefly and importantly, we moved as one in tune to the music. This was the moment in 2015 that I realized, I love this band. I left with my copy of Advanced Basics, where it remained in slot number 1 on my DVD player (makeshift CD player) and lives there to this day.
Then... Yo Hello Hooray.
In the winter of 2014 as most of you know, I quit drinking, and started focusing inwards and learning to be more present and aware, and most importantly, happy and carefree (as much as possible.)
When I heard Yo Hello Hooray in the spring of 2016 it felt familiar, and looking back, I'm sure I heard it before. But with a newfound awareness I was bringing to my life, it suddenly hit me harder than any drink or drug. Fuck. There it was. I was struggling yet again with depression, and struggling to find bits of happiness, as I tend to during the winters. Then it was a clear and sunny day, it was actually February 12, 2016 (thank you Timehop!) that the sun came out for the first time last year and I went to the beach with my iPod and listened to Yo Hello Hooray, cold and warm, and focusing more on the warmth. The happiness. The optimism. The silver lining. The music. It became my theme song, and as the days grew warmer and warmer, I listened to it louder and louder.
And all of the rest of the damn songs. Everything. I integrated USS into my life, and the more I listened to them, the more the theme of recovery became apparent to me. The more that the lyrics which can be interpreted as cryptic, or poetry, suddenly held so much meaning for me. I integrated my own recovery with the music, and found silver linings in each and every song.
Which I'm very sure is what Ash is trying to convey in the music that the band creates. In an interview with AMotherWorld Ash talks about his struggles with addiction (full interview here) and changing his lifestyle to become more focused on physical and mental health, and recovery. Reading this interview has been such an inspiration to me within my own journey. The correlation of music, and recovery, and how the two can go hand in hand.
For me, the music of USS has become more than that - not simply music, but in each song I find snippets of an anthem of my own recovery. Thank you. To Ash Buchholz, and to Jason Parsons (Human Kebab), for creating this sound that hits me directly in my heart and gives me strength. Thank you.
For me it was fitting that the band would begin the show with Yo Hello Hooray. I had my phone out, recording the lights and intro, waiting for the music to come crashing in, and when it did, it was my favorite song. I jumped when I realized they were beginning their set of the last show on the tour with this track, and my heart skipped a beat and my eyes welled up. I recorded it (iPhone quality, remember!) and remembered to be present and aware in that moment. It had to be a good start. It was a great start.
So all RIFFLANDIA FESTIVAL weekend I wandered around with my iPhone, shooting quick clips of crowds, and performances. Here's what I came up with. I'm super stoked to see the professional videos of Rifflandia, but this is my experience ;)
Huge thank you to Atomique Productions for another successful Rifflandia year, and I already can't wait for the next one. And of course a MASSIVE thank you to Do250 for including me as part of their team.
I caught a few clips of performances from
I am Caleb Hart & The Royal Youths
Band of Rascals
Zoubi And The Sea
The Wild Romantics
and watched so many more performances. Rifflandia again is a true experience. I'm so blessed to have shared it with everybody and experienced yet another successful festival full of laughs, love, and smiles.Electric Avenue was a brand new addition this year and a huge success.
Thank you so much to Caleb Daniel Basil Hart, our The Road to Riff: Contest Showcase • Sugar NightClub • (Victoria, BC) winner for generously letting me use Tasman Jude's song 'Every Breath' to accompany this video
The first time I saw Caleb Hart perform on his own was about a year ago, almost to the day. I went down to do an open mic at the Breakwater Cafe on a Tuesday and Caleb got up with his guitar and absolutely wowed the crowd. I remember being absolutely blown away by not only his playing, but the power and intensity of his voice and its natural reggae sound. I knew I would be seeing him perform again sometime soon, and I was right.
A few months ago my roommate booked Caleb Hart and his accompanying band, The Royal Youths, for a show at Upstairs Nightclub. I'd seen Caleb play on his own twice at the Breakwater and never with a band. I knew it was going to be GOOD. And it was.
The Royal Youths consist of Caleb Hart on vocals, Rhett Reilkoff on guitar and backing vocals, Liam Mackenzie on the drums, Karl Williaume on bass and backing vocals, and finally Andrew Greenwood on the saxophone. Yep, there's a sax player. How do you think they achieve that perfect reggae-funk sound?
The sound mastered by these guys is a team effort, plainly displayed in their immaculate performances. It's the combination of heart shared by each member of the band, and a flawless synchronicity of talent, skill, and simply soul.
Last weekend at Sugar Nightclub was the Road to Rifflandia contest hosted by Victoria's own do250 featuring four bands. Lazy Ghost, Caleb Hart and The Royal Youths, Small Town Artillery, and The Bad. These four music groups each brought their own unique sound to the stage and competed against each other by performance alone to determine who would win the slot of kicking off the Rifflandia 2016 music festival on the Thursday night. The winning band was determined by who had received the most votes from the audience that night.
To be completely honest, all of the bands truly blew me away that night. It was a friendly competition and each band performed to their absolute best.
At the end of the night the winner was announced, and a huge congratulations to Caleb Hart and The Royal Youths!
They will be opening the Rifflandia Music Festival with their performance at the Anian stage located at 516 Discovery Street, on Thursday September 15th at 8:30PM. I couldn't be more excited to see this band perform again.
I want to thank the rest of the bands for their performances on Saturday, it was a real treat to come down and see some amazing music from -
Small Town Artillery
I totally wish you guys had all won!
Here's a video of Caleb Hart and The Royal Youths performing their cover of Shaggy's 'Angel'. The band flawlessly rocks out every note of the song while Caleb has mastered the vocals of both Rayvon's chorus vocals, and listen to how the crowd goes WILD after the momentary first chorus break, and Caleb immaculately delivers perfection of his Shaggy vocals during the verses. Stunning.
If you're hitting up Rifflandia, be sure to check these guys out at the Anian Stage at 8:30PM to kick off the whole festival.
You can find Caleb Hart on -
And more on his band The Royal Youths on -
Thank you guys (all of the bands) for such a great performance. Looking forward to seeing you guys again at Rifflandia!
My roommate eagerly messaged me on Facebook on Friday night.
"There's a show at Canoe Club! The Wild Romantics!" I thought briefly on it for a moment before my classic YES! I'd heard of the band before, vaguely. I hadn't heard any of their music, but I'm never one to turn down a show. I didn't listen to any songs beforehand, I have a habit of diving into a show completely unknown, no expectations, no idea.
We showed up about a half an hour before the show started and ordered some food. I love the Canoe Club, tucked away at the end of Swift Street in Victoria, it rests upon the ocean and boasts a huge venue, perfect for food and live performances. We sat at the bar, ordered some food, and the band prepared to start playing, setting up equipment. At 9:30 they started playing.
I've been to a ton of shows, it's what I do, and it's what I love doing. Music catches me, whether I'm listening to it, or a part of it. This time I experienced it. I was hooked from the first song. We decided to switch tables and sit at the front to watch the performance, because with the Wild Romantics, the performance is part of their act.
The layered male and female vocals of Evan and Aleisha provide a depth of passion to their unique sound - it exudes sexuality, it tells a story, it gets you hooked. The sound draws you in, but to watch these two interact on and off stage, it truly is a show.
They performed two one hour sets and never faltered. Before, between, and after sets, the band members were flitting about the crowd, making friends, coming to chat with every table - personable and part of the whole experience. By the time the first set was over I was flying over to the ATM to purchase a copy of their debut EP She Could Tell, which is available for purchase on iTunes, or you can stream it on Spotify.
If you can though, I would suggest making it a priority to go see this band.
Their Western Canada tour still has a few remaining dates, two on the Island, two in Vancouver, and then they'll be closing up during Rifflandia music festival this year, which is one of my favorite festivals - and I'll be making sure that I'm going to listen to their EP and be in the front row, dancing away, singing along, and watching the magic that this group produces.
For more info on The Wild Romantics, booking, everything you need to know, you can check out their official website at www.thewildromantics.com
You can also find them on YouTube for more music, and give them a like on Facebook for the latest news.
Thank you guys for absolutely blowing my mind, and the CD. I'll see you guys at Rifflandia!
I don't know if I should start this story this way but fuck it. When I first moved to Victoria four years ago I'd heard of this band, Spaceboots. And what I heard was to 'stay away' from them. These party animals. Shows of theirs came and went and I didn't go. I lived for three years in Victoria before actually going to a show and getting to know these guys.
Can I interrupt myself here? Okay. My first Spaceboots 'show' was actually in 2010, at Mile 0, down on Dallas Road, at a beach party. These guys carried down guitars, amps, mics, drums, everything. They set up and played one song on the beach before the police showed up and shut it down. This was technically my first Spaceboots show, but I had no idea what the band was called.
Back to the now. I befriended a Spaceboot by complete accident, and sitting chatting he casually mentioned that his band was playing a show and I should go. I said, "Sure, what show?" and he said, "Spaceboots," and I was like, aw fuck. Okay. I'll go and I'll check these guys out.
I'll never forget my first Spaceboots show. It was at Lucky Bar on March 27, 2015. I remember ordering a ginger ale, one after another. I was just past four months sober at that point and the whole show scene still caused a bit of anxiety. I remember I had my purple hair in a ponytail and I was wearing metallic silver booty shorts with a black tank top. I didn't really know anybody there, and everybody knew all of the words to every song. I had listened to Let's Just Party on YouTube so I had a song to sing along to - phew! I'm always a bit of an observer, and I watched the crowd vibe and just go crazy for these guys, and they put on a hell of a show. For the encore they ran backstage and quickly changed and re-emerged in Ghostbusters outfits with spray foam guns and the audience screamed. By this time I had fallen into a strange comfort shared by the crowd and I was up at the front screaming and dancing, which I never do. I left that show that night and was just amazed and wowed. Okay. So this is Spaceboots.
But then it started to become something more than that. It slowly started becoming more than just the music. I went to every show trying to hold onto that vibe from the crowd. I remember my ex refusing to go with me, stating that he 'felt like a groupie', following them around to all of their shows. But for me, it wasn't about that. I was starting to learn the lyrics. I had a few favorite songs. I was sticking with my ginger ale and seeing that these guys were about more than just partying. The love was becoming apparent. It wasn't about fans, it was about friends, love, and support for all that everybody does. I started breaking out of my shell of anxiety and started introducing myself to people at shows. I started making friends.
Rifflandia was the pivotal point for me. I already felt a closeness with these guys and they were playing a show at Rifflandia on the Thursday night. I wondered if I wanted to buy a ticket simply for the Thursday night, or commit to the entire festival. Anxiety, you see ... fuck it. I spent the money and I bought a weekend pass to Rifflandia. I had no game plan, no idea what to expect. I saw Spaceboots and I watched the crowd go crazy and I thought, "Those are my friends. This could be my family." The Sunday was the real cementing - I was at the main stage at Rifflandia and went all on my own, a huge step in overcoming my anxiety. I was dancing through the crowd and I saw a helmet and I thought, "Oh, there's one." I had no idea who it was and walked over and tapped Deriek on the shoulder. I said, "Hello, you're going to be my Rifflandia friend for the day," and we made a decision to be best friends that day. When we were walking around I mentioned that I didn't drink and Deriek full-out stopped and said, "WHAT? And you still hang around in the music scene? Sober?" It blew his mind and from there on out Deriek Simon has become one of my number-one supporters in sobriety. I've attended many get-togethers at the Boots house, and always drink my trusty ginger ales. It's happened a few times where I carry around my green can and he mistakes it for a Cariboo and his face falls - until he realizes it's a ginger ale. So much for these 'party animals', hey? Who the fuck else could push me to do an open mic and buy me a shot of apple juice afterwards?!
We had a huge Thanksgiving dinner there this past year and most of the boys were away in Fort St. John. I was in Vancouver the night beforehand, and got a message from Mike (Redbeard) asking where I was. I said, "Vancouver, you?" and he came back with, "Sitting right next to Deriek with Josiah," and I burst into tears. I wanted to leave Vancouver that moment. The next night I showed up and almost all of them were home, flitting about, Deriek, Laban, Josiah, Beard, Sean, and Harley was MIA. Until Beard showed up from the ferry with Harley. And then it was all tears and a room full of hugs and love. I felt so at home in their home.
When I met the boys, there was the six in the band - Deriek, Laban, Josiah, Sean, Beard, and Harley. Six elephants. A few weeks before Christmas I was browsing through Craigslist and stumbled on this tapestry - hand-sewn, with six elephants on it. I had to. I had to. And so I did.
It was a Christmas gift to the house, to the band, to the family. Without even realizing it, Spaceboots had become my family. We did the Thanksgiving dinner, we did a Christmas dinner, we called each other up to chat, we spent quality time together, we played music, we listened to music, we went for drives, dinners, we did and do so many activities that don't involve partying. We loved and all love each other - and the love extends to everybody else who is part of this family, part of this elephant pack.
The reason I'm writing this is to talk about the show on Thursday, because it was the crux of my emotion regarding this whole year and a half of my life I've known these guys.
Thursday the 28th of July was a hugely emotional night for the Spaceboots and Reinders family - it was the Spaceboots show at Lucky to honor the memory of Sean Reinders, who tragically passed away earlier this year. Similar to my first Spaceboots show at Lucky, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that it was going to be emotional, and the boys hammed it up. There was no opening act, except them. We had Deriek telling terrible knee-slapping jokes dressed up as a cow, Dan and Beard performing Lil Jon's 'Get Low' on a ukulele, we had Josiah come out once in an American flag outfit to sing Borat's Kazakshtan national anthem, Lisa and Harley performing songs together, him on guitar, her on keyboard. We had Debs come up and play drums and ROCK IT! We had Nevil Meyer perform an original song he wrote for Sean. I raffled off a custom-made Spaceboots bikini and the boys dragged me on stage - eep! Sean's family attended and stuck it out until closing time at the bar. We had so much love flowing through that bar that it was overwhelming and we shared the grief, together, as a family. We loved together, we lost together, and we're now in the process of healing, together.
And isn't that just what a family does?
I'm not writing this to talk about the music, even though it is amazing. Still waiting on that album, boys! No. I'm writing this to talk about how Spaceboots has changed my life.
Spaceboots have become my biggest supporters in sobriety, and through these friends I've met infinite and ever-growing more friends. These people have pushed me to and past the limits of my anxiety and shown me that life doesn't have to be scary, and that you don't have to drink or do drugs to have fun. I've grown so much as a person thanks to all of the time I've been blessed to spend with everybody. I've grown into myself and learned to take pride in myself, and pride in my friends.
If I hadn't met these guys, I wouldn't be the person that I am today. I wouldn't have had all of the tears, smiles, laughing until your cheeks and stomach hurt, great stories, life experiences, and love that I have now. I would not be the person that I am today. I probably would not have this level of self-love and self-respect and pride that I take in myself every single day. I would not have the level of confidence and lack of anxiety that I now feel when I go to a show or festival. Sometimes I even wonder if I would have had enough strength to remain clean and sober without the support from these guys. I can look around any room and spot out a quick family member. I walk around town and see Spaceboots shirts and hats everywhere.
The line-up has changed since I met them, but the same love goes -
I love you guys. Thank you for all that you do - the music, the smiles, the love, the support, and the welcoming arms to anybody who needs it, or who wants it.
It feels just like home.
I first met Schayde on my 24th birthday. She was this tiny sprite flitting about my living room, it was my birthday party and she was dating my younger brother and he'd brought her over. I knew I loved her right away, her straightforward attitude. Schayde says what she wants, when she wants, and I love her bubbly personality.
It all came to be that we were all sitting around the living room, and I grabbed my guitar and strummed out an Ed Sheeran song - The A Team. Afterwards Schayde picked up my guitar and played the exact same song, in a style much different than I or the original - she truly made it her own. Her voice echoed through my living room and sent shivers down my spine. Schayde's voice is too big for her body. She handed my guitar back and I thought to myself, I quit. At that point Schayde had just celebrated her 17th birthday. I couldn't believe this talent was sitting in my living room.
I've seen Schayde perform a few times since then, driving up to Duncan for her shows at the Duncan Showroom. The Duncan Showroom (formerly at the Garage on Duncan Street) has since moved to Station Street and has remained a staple in the Duncan music scene for as long as I can remember. I saw my very first show there when I was 13, Mouthfull of Bees, an alternative rock band from Vancouver, and I absolutely loved the atmosphere. I went back dozens of times through my teenage years. Even though the location has changed, the Duncan Showroom still holds the same familiar atmosphere - a venue truly dedicated to the youth of Duncan pursuing their love of music and creativity. The owner, Long John as he's affectionately dubbed, pushes a love of music and sobriety - you won't find any alcoholic drinks for sale at the Showroom. It pushes the belief that you do not need alcohol to enjoy a live show, and I love it.
So I took a drive up to Duncan to watch Schayde perform at the 39 Days of July music festival, put on yearly by the Duncan Showroom, It's a festival set up right in Charles Hoey Park at the train station in downtown Duncan and features local artists from Duncan, artists from worldwide coming to perform, dance schools highlighting children's dance performances, and a plethora of creativity - and it's all free! For 39 days you can go and watch all types of music happening in downtown Duncan anywhere from 12-8 on the stage. It's truly wonderful and I've been blessed to attend a few performances this summer. I was definitely excited to see Schayde again.
The second song Schayde performed was the second song on her CD, called Pirate Ship. She wrote it a few years ago and it's been one of my favorites ever since I picked up a copy of her CD at the last performance I saw her do at the Duncan Showroom. I was so excited to hear her play Pirate Ship. This girl has a major talent for not only guitar, but for truly projecting her voice, and her song writing capabilities. Interestingly enough, Schayde caught the same plague of a head cold that I had suffered with the week previous so this performance is actually her playing through a cold - not that you'd know it from her voice!
The hour passed by far too quickly. At one point approaching rain threatened to make its way over but Long John and Ted were prepared and quickly bagged up the exposed speakers. Phew. Luckily the rain stayed far away and Schayde's performance went uninterrupted. She played a medley of covers and originals. Here's another original, called Outcast Beauties, a song she wrote recently that describes her and her friends, and hits me hard.
Clearly Schayde exhibits an extreme amount of talent when it comes to writing her own songs, and she writes, plays, and sings from the heart. For the entire performance I had goosebumps, and at certain points I felt a definite pull in my chest that threatened to spill into tears. It's hard to find music that affects you like that, and for me, that music is Schayde Dame's.
Another one of her impeccable talents is her ability to take a song and truly turn it into her own. If you are ever lucky enough to see Schayde perform, you'll hear exactly what I mean. For example she started the performance with a rendition of Britney Spears' 'Toxic' and it wasn't until she finished the first chorus that I realized it was a cover. She added such a unique sound to the song that I believed she had written it.
Schayde has no problem interacting with a crowd and grabbing the attention that she deserves. At this performance, I think Schayde managed to earn her newest and youngest fan, as this toddler was completely entranced by her, and through her performance she paused between verses to call out a quick "Hello!" with a smile that made the child's day.
At the end of the performance Schayde put down her guitar and stood up and looked out at the crowd with a big smile. "Thank you for bearing it with me, even through this nasty head cold!" she said, though it hadn't affected her performance one bit. She asked the audience to clap along with her, and we started clapping to the exact same beat and pace. Out of nowhere, Schayde started singing, and I laughed with a start when I realized what song we were clapping to. She did an acapella rendition Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin, and us as the audience were included, and were her instrumental backup for her finale performance.
Wow. Another amazing performance from one of the most talented people I'm blessed to know. Schayde has always rocked it, and will continue to keep rocking it further and further into her musical career. Keep your eyes open for upcoming shows, like the one at the Shaker Mill Pub in Lake Cowichan on Saturday July 23, or any of her performances which I'm sure will be coming up at the Duncan Showroom.
Want to hear more? Check out her Soundcloud page.
Go give Schayde Dame Music a like on Facebook and contact her through there for a copy of her CD, or pick one up in person at the Duncan Showroom, at 133 Station Street, Duncan BC.
Rock on, Schayde!
It's no surprise I love Rock Your Nose. How could I not? My mother has become one of the most inspirational people I know.
My mom, my badass mom (she was always super cool when I was growing up, rocking an open-minded lifestyle) got her nose pierced in 2004. Of course I wanted to get it done too, and so I did - the FIRST time (I've had each side done four times now, eep!) in 2007. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, not many parents have piercings. Piercings are for everybody! I thought it was super cool, and I still do.
The nose stud my mom was pierced with (the second time, you can read about her piercing experience here and the story of how she accidentally ripped out her nose stud) was a plain stud with a stone in it. She did some online shopping and research looking for truly unique pieces and found she couldn't find any. She had started up an Etsy shop in 2008 creating wire-wrapped pieces of jewelry and thought to herself, "What if I made my own nose stud?"
So she did. And another and another. She started getting compliments on her nose jewelry and the decision to open up a second Etsy shop, Rock Your Nose, was an easy one.
And it took off like crazy. People LOVED the unique nose jewelry options available, and they still do. It's been eight years and Rock Your Nose is thriving. In 2010 I got both sides of my nose re-pierced for the fourth and final time and began modelling for Rock Your Nose, and everywhere I go I sport a stud and a ring, courtesy of my mom!
I've had two instances that stick out in my memory vividly of people complimenting me on my nose jewelry. Once in a grocery store, the cashier commented that she loved my turquoise nose stud, and I mentioned I got it from Rock Your Nose, to which she replied, "Oh my god, I've heard of her! I've seen a few people wearing her things, they're so beautiful!"
Last year I was at the beach with a few friends, and struck up a conversation with a girl who had a nose piercing. She was commenting on my opal nose stud, and of course I told her where I had got it. "Oh, Rock Your Nose!" she replied, "I get all of my jewelry from her, she's excellent!" I smiled and said that she was my mother, and this girl was so excited and so shocked. It's been incredibly humbling and amazing to run into people who are fans of my mother's artwork, and I feel so much pride to call her my mom!
And at the end of the day it truly is artwork. The crafting has evolved so much over the past eight years and the product is constantly evolving and growing, with new designs constantly being added. The pieces are lovingly hand-crafted and the pride in each piece truly shows.You won't be able to find jewelry like this at a chain store or outlet. One of the best parts about the pieces from Rock Your Nose is that you are able to customize your order 100% to fit your nose, ranging from choosing gauges from 16-24g (depending on the piece), as well as the diameter of a nose ring, and the end style of your nose studs - L end, screw end for left or right, fishtail hook, or a ball end. Everything is customizable and if you don't see an option, or you don't quite know what size or finish is recommended for you, the customer service end is helpful and the patience evident to ensure that you receive exactly the piece you're looking for.
As I said my mother has inspired me so much. I see her happiness and pride that she takes in her work, her drive, her motivation, her perfectionism, her total commitment to sharing her craft with the world, She pushed me into starting up my own Etsy shop after watching the joy and fun she has had with hers, telling me stories about her repeat customers, and reading her Etsy reviews, everything about what she does is a huge inspiration to me.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces. Click on the images to be directed to the online store at www.rockyournose.com and each piece is available through RockYourNose on Etsy.
Current Coupons and Promos
(prices are in US dollars)
Etsy and www.rockyournose.com
ROCK15 - $1.00 off $15
ROCK25 - $2.00 off $25
ROCK35 - $4.00 off $35
ROCK50 - $5.00 off $50
ROCK100 - $10 off $100
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Live in Victoria, BC on December 18th, 2014. I couldn't believe it when I saw the tour date.
My mind was absolutely blown. He was in town doing his Life Acoustic tour, which I believe is STILL going on - it's been an amazing worldwide tour.
I've been a huge Everlast fan for years and as soon as the show was announced I ran downtown to go buy tickets. It seemed like forever waiting for the show.
I remember at this show I heard the song 'Long Time' for the first time ever and I was in tears. It was such an amazing experience and from where I was, I could literally almost reach out and touch him. He played so many of my favorites and I managed to get a great recording of both 'Little Miss America' and 'This Kind of Lonely.' I've come to realize that recording songs at shows takes away from the atmosphere. You feel like you're preserving the moment, but really you're ignoring the experience around you. That's my take on it at least, these days.
Anyways. His set blew me away and I stood fixated for the entire set. Such a wonderful experience.
I think the coolest part of the whole thing was this though.
Mid-February I was browsing through Facebook before heading to bed, and saw this picture come up on my news feed and was like, "Oh yeah, that's me at the Everlast show, cool." Then I looked closer at the photo and realized who had posted it.
Needless to say I freaked out.
Anyways, to wrap it up, if you ever get the chance to see this man perform his acoustic set, do it, buy a ticket and go I promise you won't regret this amazing show. I'll remember this show as long as I live!
And check out this song!
Oh man. Okay, first off, I'm a huge Coheed fan. There will be more than one album on this list. IKSSE3 changed my life in high school. The first song I ever heard was A Favor House Atlantic in the summer of 2004, on a local radio station. I had no idea what it was called and spent months searching for that song and never forgot it. In the winter that year The Zone played it again and I squealed with ecstatic joy. That was my introductory album - I YouTubed the hell out of the band and IKSSE3 became the soundtrack to my freshman year in high school. The lyrics made a whole bunch of no sense to me. It wasn't until I was 20 that I did some more Googling and found out - holy shit, this band has a comic/graphic novel/novel series that goes along with the albums. My mind was blown. I bless this introductory album which has now got me inked permanently with a Keywork and a dragonfly.
Song to check out: A Favor House Atlantic