Summer Music Festivals

With all the enthusiasm surrounding the recent lineup announcement for the Osheaga Music Festival,  we got to thinking about what other music festivals are happening this summer. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous roadtrip, or just a fun day of music and sun, we’ve rounded up some of the best festivals happening this summer.

Sasquatch – The Gorge, Washington (May 25 to 28)
First up is Sasquatch. If not for the music, then please go simply for the view. Taking place at the Gorge Amphitheater, this early summer festival is presented by the House of Blues and offers quite the line-up. Musicians this year include Jack White, Bon Iver, Girl Talk, The Shins, Beirut, Feist, Metric, Deer Tick, LA Riots, Coeur de Pirate, The Sheepdogs and Santigold.
Cost: $315 for a four-day pass. Tickets here.
The loveliest spot for a music festival.
Image source.
Bonaroo  Manchester, Tennesse (June 7 to10)
For those able to withstand four days of intense heat, a little dust, and a lot of die hard Phish fans, then the line-up and overall down south experience will be well worth it. With classic bands like Radiohead, Dispatch, Ben Folds Five, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, our inner 16 year old is dying to get out. Foster the People, The Roots, The Temper Trap, Major Lazer, Young the Giant and Two Door Cinema Club are sure to satisfy our current music taste.
Cost: $259 for a four-day pass. Tickets here.
Edgefest – Toronto (July 14)
Ok, so if you’re not into the idea of a multiple day road trip or don’t want to spend money on a flight, we have an awesome local festival for you. Taking place at Downsview Park, Edgefest is a mere subway ride away for local Torontonians. There is no shortage of Canadian and foreign talent with The Sheepdogs, Young the Giant, Said the Whale, The Darcys, Whale Tooth, USS and Acres of Lions, to name only a few bands.
Cost: $61 for the day. Tickets here.
Toronto can rock out. 
Image source.
Osheaga – Montreal (August 3 to 5)
If you’re like us, then your Twitter and Facebook have been overloaded with talk of this Montreal music festival. While the line-up in the past has always been great, bringing out bands like Ben Harper, Damian Marley, The Smashing Pumpkins and Amy Winehouse, the line-up this year is particularly impressive. The Black Keys, Snoop Dog, Justice, Florence and the Machine, City and Colour, Bloc Party, The Weekend, Passion Pit, Austra, Arkells, Bombay Bicycle Club, Atlas Sound, MGMT and Yeasayer are a handful of the amazing bands on this year’s incredible roster.
Cost: $217.50 for a three-day pass. Tickets here.
 
You’ll see a few of us from the fourth floor here.
Image source.
Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois (August 3 to 5)
So you may have noticed that Lollapalooza happens to be on the same weekend as Osheaga. With great deals on Porter flights to Chicago, your choice of Osheaga or Lollapalooza may just have to come down to the line-up… and we’re not saying it’s going to be an easy decision. There is usually an impressive lineup at Lollapalooza – last year’s bands included Eminem, Foo Fighters and Coldplay. This year hasn’t been announced yet, but we’re pretty certain it will be solid. However to decide?
Cost: $230 for a three-day pass. Tickets here.
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the big summer festivals. There are tons of smaller, more genre-specific concerts and festivals happening all summer long, so you can get a live music fix literally every weekend (and most weeknights). One of the best parts of these shows is how many bands play over a few days, and the fact that many of the bands hit several festivals each summer. So, if you can’t make it all the way to Tennessee or Chicago, you can check out many of the same bands in Montreal or Toronto. Score.
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Media Darling: Elaine (Lainey) Lui

Lainey isn’t looking to impress anyone. Especially celebrities. The eTalk reporter and scribe of the immensely popular celebrity gossip blog, LaineyGossip.com, does what she does for one reason – to provide a gossip education to the Canadian public.

The Toronto-born, self-proclaimed gossip maven got into the gossip game in a very roundabout way. What started as an email to two friends grew to a website with millions of readers from around the world, making it a leading international celebrity gossip source. As friends told friends about Lainey’s non-sycophantic email updates, she received so many requests to get on her mailing list that her server crashed.

Recognizing Lainey’s talent, eTalk made her part of their team of experts in 2006. Lainey also regularly shares her gossip updates with CTV News Vancouver and CTV News Channel, and is called upon as a celebrity expert by media outlets across North America, including CNN.com and the Los Angeles Times.

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario majoring in French and History, Lainey lives in Vancouver with her husband and beagles. She is a consultant for Covenant House, which offers shelter and services for homeless youth.


@LaineyGossip
www.laineygossip.com 

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Never. I came into media by accident after starting my blog. When I was very young, I wanted to be a professional mah-jong player. Like my ma and all her friends. Before I started gossiping, I was a professional fundraiser – for higher education at The University Of British Columbia and in support of at-risk youth at Covenant House Vancouver. My goal was to eventually run a non-profit organization. Now I talk shit about celebrities for a living. I guess I got the job I deserve.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
In a home that I own. (I currently rent.)

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be willing to do the shitty work. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”. Nobody likes an entry level know-it-all.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Grantland, Dlisted, Oh No They Didn’tThe Daily ShowDeadline, Color Lines and Gawker.
 
Best interview you’ve ever had?

Dustin Hoffman – he risked missing his flight and went over 5 minutes just to make sure I called him my “best”. Also, he tried to set me up with his son.

Worst?
Joaquin Phoenix – his nicotine craving kicked in after the third question. Was practically lighting the cigarette while pushing me out the door.

Best advice you’ve ever been given? 
From my mother – don’t let your hair cover your forehead.

What rule(s) do you live your life by? 
1. See above re: forehead and hair
2. Don’t cry at work
3. Avoid using the word “slut”
4. Never order seven dishes at a meal (very bad Chinese Feng shui)
5. Don’t live in a house where the staircase faces the front door
6. Don’t expect to be complimented on doing your job

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros? 
Give people second chances and proofread your emails.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins. 
It was one of my first red carpet assignments for eTalk. I was nervous about the interviews and totally overwhelmed. I fumbled through my chat with the first celebrity who stopped for me. I can’t remember the celebrity but I can remember the publicist coming back around, seeing me flustered and disappointed, asking me if I wanted another go, and bringing the celebrity over to me again. It was a kindness I’ll never forget.

I hate?
Chicken. Fan fiction.

I love?
My ma.

Reading?
The Headmaster’s Wager by Vincent Lam.

Best place on earth?
 The casino.

Dinner guest?
J.K. Rowling.

Hero? 
My ma.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)? 
PGA Tour.

Pool or ocean? 
How close is the ocean to the washroom and shower? It has to be accessible within two minutes. I have a small bladder.

Voicemail or email? 
Email me and I’ll call you back.

Rave: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

For some, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is considered “The Most Magical Place on Earth” but we’ve got news for those Muggles – they’re dead wrong. Universal Studios snagged the title when they opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWHP) in June 2010.

Where to go first?

Housed within Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure theme park, WWHP is a Rowling-fan’s dream come true. As with the books and films, the park’s attention to detail is impeccable. That noise you’re hearing in the girl’s loo? Oh, that’s just Moaning Myrtle having a wee cry. Looking for the ATM? It’s under the archway labelled “Gringotts.” So cool, right? 

For all your cauldron needs.

From touring inside Hogwarts to indulging your sweet tooth at Honeydukes, there’s a lot to see and do in the park, which also means a lot of time for lollygagging. Our suggestion: get to the park early (we arrived 30 minutes before it was supposed to open and they let us in!) and beeline to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, located inside Hogwarts (!!!). This dark ride takes you through the castle, where you’ll follow Harry (on his broom, natch) and encounter a lot of familiar sights: the Whomping Willow, Dementors and the Quidditch pitch. Surpringingly, one of our favourite parts of the ride was the queue, as it took you through Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor Common Room, Professor Sprout’s greenhouse and the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom.

The magical, magical Hogwarts.

The two other rides are Dragon’s Challenge, a pair of completely different roller coasters and the Flight of the Hippogriff, a kid-friendly ride by Hagrid’s cottage. If you’re a fan of rides, we highly suggest waiting in line for both the Red and Blue dragon coaster. Another tip: eat lunch after the rides. 

Butterbeer!

Finally, the shopping. Hogsmeade has it all: Ollivander’s Wand Shop, Honeydukes, Zonko’s and the Three Broomsticks. But save up your Galleons because Hogsmeade ain’t cheap. A character’s wand will run you $30, the Marauder’s Map (unframed) is $50 and a Chocolate Frog is about $10. There’s one thing that’s totally worth the pricetag though, and that’s Butterbeer. Make sure you get it frozen and in the commerative cup. You can thank us later.

Fashion-able: Fresh spring kicks

With last week’s blast of warm weather, we gleefully ran to our closets and started to pull out our spring staples: shorts, skirts, dresses…Since technically it is spring, it got us thinking about what shoes we’ll need this season. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our classic favourites and new kicks we’re coveting for this season.

And hey, you can never really have enough shoes, right? 

If you’re looking for some investment pieces, these Gucci Tri-color suede platform sandals with a splash of mint (we adore mint) are great for spring, and can be transitioned into colder weather with some opaque black tights. 



An alternative to leopard, these Haircalf Giraffe Slipper by Charles Philip offer “cushioned leather insole, an indented toe flap and rubber soles. They arrive packaged in a beautiful box, encased in a shoe bag and scented with tiny sachets – how precious!” Precious, indeed

Love Jeffrey Campbell but want a break from the ubiquitous Lita? This spring try out something new – there are a myriad of interesting styles including this gem, the Rockette Wedge.

Hooked on flats? This Aztec flat available at Dealuxe from Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent is an office-appropriate boost of colour that makes us happy to just look at it. 

We’re pretty sure you can wear these Alexander Wang Chloe perch-trimmed leather sandals (bit of a mouthful) just about anywhere. The neutral colours with a pop of “perch” (a pretty peachy-coral) would look great with some black skinny jeans and a white tee. 



We can’t write this post without mentioning a favourite on the fourth floor – a nice crisp pair of white Converse Chuck Taylor All Star’s. We’re personally fans of the low cut, but the high tops are fun too. Classic, comfortable, stylish and great for riding a bike or wearing with jeans or shorts. 

ALDO’s Calcagni wedges – if we can wear these many hours a day without (too much) pain – you know they’re a good thing. This season they come in a variety of colours from neutrals to neons and can add a little cheap and cheerful punch to any ensemble. Highlighter yellow? Why not?




ShoeMint always offers amazing styles with their collections, and when fashion icon Rachel Bilson and visionary celeb stylist Nicole Chavez are designing, we can’t help but shop. 
We’re so excited about the warm weather and the shoe options to come. Now only to decide on pedi colours…

Yum, yum: Yogurty’s froyo

It didn’t take us long for us to hustle down the street when we heard a new frozen yogurt shop had set up in our ‘hood! Today we give you the scoop on Yogurty’s, where you can get soft-serve, serve-yourself frozen yogurt, a.k.a. the latest and greatest place for a cool treat in the city. 

The cute shop at 652 Queen Street West.

The hook at Yogurty’s is that you get to serve yourself, choosing exactly what you want. Start with the yogurt from the soft-serve machines lining the walls. Choose from a variety of delicious flavours, including banana split, peanut butter, red velvet, vanilla and chocolate. There’s also a “twist” handle for a combination of two from one machine!

Anticipating a first taste of Yogurtys.

Next, stroll past the toppings bar and create the ultimate sundae from your childhood fantasies. Fixin’s include fresh fruit, nuts, candies, coconut, chocolate, cookies, cheesecake bits, sprinkles… all the usual suspects, plus many more.

This topping bar is dazzling.

Don’t get too excited by all the toppings: you’re paying by weight! Once you’ve finished, the lovely cashiers will weigh your customized creation and tell you exactly how much you owe.

Dessert by weight.

This delicious sundae (tart and red velvet yogurt, topped with strawberries, kiwi, peanuts & fresh coconut) cost around $5:

Red velvet + fresh fruit = love.

The verdict from the fourth floor? Love! Nearly all of us have made the pilgrimage down the street at least once. This treat isn’t too damaging for your waistline either: all the yogurts are non-fat or low-fat, with calorie counts starting around 35/cal per oz. Just watch your toppings (opt for fruit), and you’re good!


Our only complaint? It definitely takes a while. We stopped by on a (beautiful & sunny) Thursday afternoon, and there were about 6 people in line. To move each person through the line, making their selections and serving themselves takes some time. Not sure how that will work out in the middle of a heatwave in the summer, once the word spreads. Despite that, it’s a definite must-go and we think it’s worth the wait. The yogurt is delicious, store and toppings bar are clean, and the staff is friendly and helpful.

Getting a chocolate fix.
Not in our neighbourhood? Not a problem! According to their website, there are a ton of locations opening across Toronto, including Bathurst & Bloor, Bloor West Village, Liberty Village, The Beaches, and more. Make sure you stop by! Say hi to the rock-it promo staff when you inevitably bump into us indulging in an afternoon treat. 🙂


Find them on Twitter @yogurtys or Facebook here.


Rave: Funny Ladies

It comes up every once in a while, causes a little controversy, and then goes away: Women Aren’t Funny. Up here on the fourth floor, where quips and jokes can fly fast and furious, we beg to differ. Hence, today’s Rave: the funny ladies who make us laugh and reinforce our opinion that women can be hilarious. 

What would you give to be a part of this club?
 
Image source.

The SNL ladies and their spin-offs

A lot of the credit for promoting female comedy lately goes to the women ruling Saturday Night Live over the past decade. Tina, Amy, Kristen, Maya… they’ve given us so many great laughs. A few of our favourite sketches? The Dakota Fanning Show, Mom Jeans, Annuale and any sketch that has Kristen Wiig doing, well, anything. Plus, they’ve formed this cool group of beautiful, hilarious girls who make guest appearances in each other’s sitcoms and movies. More, please!

Here’s hoping Kristen Wiig has started writing her next comedy and includes this cast.
 
Image source.

Beyond PMS and boyfriend jokes

Ever experienced a date at a low-budget comedy club with unknown female comedian in the lineup who talks about PMS for half her set? Been there, and it’s had both us and our dates cringing. That’s one of the (many) reasons why we love Ellen DeGeneres: you never catch her talking about her lady parts or bad dates. Plus, she pranked Taylor Swift and it was pretty great:

The original queens of comedy


Funny women are nothing new, they might just be getting a little more credit these days. Some of the indisputable comediennes who led the way still make us laugh: Lucille Ball and her slapstick antics; The Golden Girls who spent seven seasons reigning the ratings as a quartet of funny, older women living together; and Jennifer Saunders, because Absolutely Fabulous taught us it’s perfectly acceptable to have a fridge dedicated solely to champagne. 

Thank YOU for being a friend.
 
Image source.




Funny in print


Pick up one of these books, and become the crazy person laughing out loud on the subway. Bonus points if it’s on an e-reader and no one can see what you’re reading. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling, and Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler are a few of our faves. Laughs guaranteed.




What other funny women make you laugh? Tweet us @rockitpromo




Media, Darling: Christopher Turner

Christopher Turner is a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. His writing has appeared everywhere from Fashion Television to Disney, but he’s best known for covering the red carpet and staying on top of style for Canada’s most read fashion and beauty website, Fashionism.ca. Christopher covers fashion headlines, trends, shopping, maintains the daily Fashionist blog and shares celeb-watching duties at the popular column Style Winners and Losers.
Twitter: @Turnstylin
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon? 
Not really. I actually started out with ambitions of becoming the next Atom Egoyan. As a university student I majored in Film Studies and English Literature. My entry into fashion was when I was scouted by a model agent and soon found myself bouncing around working in NYC, Milan and Athens. When I finally made my way back to Canada, I had no idea what I wanted to do next. One thing led to another and I ended up as an intern on the then-brand new websites for Toronto Life and Fashion Magazine. Half way through my internship I was hired on, and the rest is history.

Where would you like to be five years from now? 
I’ve made a lot of changes in the last couple of years to get to where I am now and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with how things are going. Five years from now? All I can say is that I believe in challenging yourself.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry? 
Be nice. Seriously. Once you’ve got that down, ask questions, listen to the answers and write everyday.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
I check in daily with New York magazine, Gawker and Styleite.

Best interview you’ve ever had? 
Jann Arden. She was gracious, funny and oh so sweet. You always worry when you meet someone you admire, but she truly exceeded any expectations. Adrianna Lima might be a close second… because apparently flattery will get you everywhere with me. I still have that interview on tape and give it a listen when I need a quick smirk.

Worst? 
Perez Hilton. No further comment.

Best advice you’ve ever been given? 
Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

What rule(s) do you live your life by? 
Take care of yourself and the person sitting next to you.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros? 
I’m a big believer in email etiquette, even on those days when things are rushed. You can say hello. I can’t stand greeting-less emails and I’ve deleted my fair share. I’ve also gone way out of my way to help PR pros that put that simple effort in. Most importantly? Figure out who I am and what type of content I write. It’s amazing the number of pitches I receive in a day that have absolutely nothing to do with anything that I would ever write about.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins. 
The little things mean so much to me. Nothing beats a handwritten thank you note.

I hate? 
Mean people, drivers who don’t signal when changing lanes, potatoes and when TV shows run late and my PVR cuts that last minute off.

I love? 
Shoes, spaghetti and meatballs, gingham, bad television, music that makes me sing, movies that make me cry, poetry that makes me think. And my niece and nephew, of course.

Reading? 
Always. I’m currently on a biography kick.

Best place on earth? 
The Duomo in Milan. It’s the most impressive building I’ve ever seen. When I lived there I made a point of stopping by the cathedral square every single day just to look and daydream. No excuses… every single day. I remember times when it would be close to midnight and I was just finishing work and desperate to go home. Still, I always ended up taking the long way home just to stand there for a few seconds. It was grounding and inspiring all at once. I need to go back.

Dinner guest? 
How about an insane dinner party that includes: Karl Lagerfeld (Baptiste Giabiconi would be with him of course), Madonna, Shakespeare, Oprah, Baz Luhrmann, Isabella Blow, and Karen Carpenter.

Hero? 
The news is filled with heroes. Anyone standing up for what they believe in despite the obstacles.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)? 
Truthfully, BBM is probably the only thing that keeps me from ditching my Blackberry these days.

Pool or ocean? 
Ocean. Nothing beats the sand and the sound of the ocean.

Voicemail or email? 
Always email.

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