Inside Crows Nest Barbershop 9

Inside the Crows Nest

Crows Nest isn’t just a throwback barbershop. Crows Nest isn’t just an aesthetic steeped in tattoos, motorcycles, quality fades and memories of days long past. To the uninitiated, sure, Crows Nest Barbershop is all of those things. But more specifically, Crows Nest is also Toronto’s best barbershop according to blogTO readers, which, let’s not kid…

DJ M-Rock on his rooftop

Meet DJ M-Rock

A recent article I shot and wrote for blogTO. DJ M-Rock loves the hustle of the game. Getting his start in '99, M-Rock got serious after getting fired from his advertising job in 2008. Ever since, it has been a steady flow of DJ battles, mixtapes, some producing and of course, straight-up DJing. Having rubbed shoulders with…

Hastings Barber Shop 8

Once Upon a Time in a Barber Shop

Originally published photos and article on blogTO. Hastings Barber Shop has a small stack of '70s era Playboy magazines on the windowsill, and when you look up, the next thing you notice is two large taxidermied deer heads on the wall, flanking the turn-of-the-century wood and mirror barber back bar. Hastings Barber Shop is a cozy space,…

My Favourite Concerts of 2012

It's been another great year for live shows. Especially in Toronto. Outside of Toronto, Osheaga this year was easily the best festival I've ever been to. Black Keys, Bloc Party, Sigur Ros, Florence and the Machine, Santigold, MGMT, Passion Pit, and, of course, Snoop Lion. It was beautiful. Anyway, back in Toronto, here are my…

In The Review Mirror: Diamond Rings’ ‘Free Dimensional’

After only two albums, Diamond Rings (John O'Regan) has carved out a distinctive sound: melodic, catchy as all hell, emotive throwback '80s electro-pop. And O'Regan owns it with his follow-up to 2010's breakthrough, Special Affections. Having recently dropped Free Dimensional, his latest effort away from the homestead with the still-active D'Urbervilles, the gauzy synths, earworm guitar riffs, and that unmistakable…

The Flaming Lips and the Human-sized Hamster Ball

by RYAN BOLTON Unabashed, psychedelic good fun. That's not even a sentence, but that's how I would sum up the Flaming Lips' free show at a completely packed Yonge-Dundas Square Saturday night for NXNE. Like everyone else in the crowd, way into the thousands, as soon as those confetti canons went off and frontman Wayne Coyne…

Tattoos & Charm

by RYAN BOLTON Okey Doke Tattoo Shop is a good jog from Cabbagetown. When I get to the shop, located at College and Ossington, and gracefully dismount from my bike, I have a good layer of sweat covering my body. Doesn’t bother me, and doesn’t seem to phase Kyle Hollingdrake nor Alex Snelgrove, aka. Big…

The Barista Profiles

I've quite enjoyed my latest set of profile pieces with blogTO. They aren't celebrities, musicians, politicians or quote-unquote big wigs. They're baristas. Getting a chance to know some of the city's top espresso slingers has been both enlightening and insightful. Everyone has a story and baristas seem to have some of the best ones. But…

My Top 5 Concerts of 2011

I had the pleasure of seeing and reviewing a shit-ton of shows this year. This really is a blessing as part of my job. A gaggle of stellar venues. Ample beer. Good friends. And some untouchable talent makes this city a great place to take in a concert. Here are the top 5 shows I saw with…

K’naan / James McMorrow / Coldplay

I've been covering a lot of concerts recently. Insert giant happy face emoticon. There's something about the rawness of shows that I'm drawn to. It's so much more of a personal correspondence with the musician and the crowd. As you're obviously aware. Anyway, here are some reviews (with stellar blogTO photography) on some recent shows.…