City Living: Planet IndigenUS at Harbourfront

What’s the best thing about Toronto? There is always
something new to explore! This weekend is no exception. It marks the beginning
of the Planet IndigenUS festival at the Harbourfront Centre in association with
Woodlands Cultural Centre in Brantford. IndigenUS is the largest contemporary
international Indigenous cultural festival in the world and it only occurs once
every three years – so we don’t want to miss out (maybe we should see someone
about our fomo).
The festival celebrates current Indigenous culture.
With almost 300 performers from seven different countries taking part, the
presentation of Indigenous culture varies wildly. The acts range from Pow Wow Step to a Mongolian-folk-punk-rock
blend, to a high-energy technicolour dance performance by an Australian
company and a woman who weaves herself into a basket.
IndigenUS starts today and runs until Sunday, August 19, which means ten days
packed with great music, theatre, food, art and, if you’re willing to make the
trek to Gretzky’s hometown, even comedy. The selection of free fun to
participate in this weekend is overwhelming so we’ve listed our must see events
below.

Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.

A Tribe
Called Red (ATCR) and Electric Pow-Wow
DJ Bear Witness, DJ NDN and DJ Shrub of ATCR created
their own blend of traditional drums, Jamaican dub and club beats, which they
call Pow Wow Step (and you thought Moombahton was the new thing). We can’t wait
to bust a move to some new beats. You can catch ATCR at 11 p.m. on Saturday,
August 11 at the Harbourfront Centre,
235 Queens Quay West.
Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre. 

Polytoxic
with Trade Winds
Australian dance-theatre company Polytoxic is known
for big bright performances. Trade Winds,
a story about the cultural exchanges that took place during the exploration of
the Pacific, is certainly a powerful visual experience. Polytoxic’s show starts at 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, August 16 to 18 at The Natrel Pond, 235 Queens
Quay West.
Image courtesy of Harbourfront

Ursula A.
Johnson: Basket Weaving Performance Art
Johnson has a theatre background and is able to turn
herself into a living piece of through her basket weaving. She will spend eight
hours creating her cocoon and emerge a butterfly. Just kidding, but we
definitely want to stop by for before and after shots. Ursula will be
performing from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 18 at Harbourfront Centre Site,
235
Queens Quay West.



Cris
Derksen: Electronica Cellist
Derksen is an award-winning Aboriginal cellist from
Alberta. She combines classic, folk and electronic styles to create her own
cross between traditional and contemporary music. We love classic strings with
an electric charge – and the girl’s got chops – she’s performed with Kanye West!
Derksen will be on the Redpath Stage,
235 Queens Quay West at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 18.

Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.

Heck Init
Comedy Night with Don Burnstick and Charlie Hill
Okay, Brantford is a little far (one to two hours from
downtown, depending on traffic) but it does claim rights to Gretzky and Bell,
plus, it boasts a casino. Burnstick and Hill will be there poking fun at
stereotypes and political issues. These guys are talented; Hill has appeared
with Letterman, Leno and other famous funny folk. Burnstick and Hill will be
performing at Woodlands Cultural Centre,
184 Mohawk Street, Brantford.

Image courtesy of Harbourfront Centre.

Hanggai:
Mongolian folk/punk ensemble
This group from China preserves tradition in the form
of the horse-head fiddle, tobshuur and throat singing and adds electric guitars
and drums. The resulting sound is an exciting blend. Hanggai can be seen on Redpath Stage Friday, August 10 at 7
p.m.,
235 Queens Quay West,
on WestJet Stage Saturday, August 11
at 3 p.m.,
235 Queens Quay West
and at
Woodlands Cultural
Centre, 184 Mohawk Street, Brantford at
8 p.m.
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Rave: Top 10 Viral Vids for 2011

Everyone loves a good viral video.  Whether it’s shocking, hilarious or ridiculous, we love a good laugh or witty joke. We have to admit, we’ve watched a lot, but there were a few stand-out favourites this year.  We’ll let these videos speak for themselves.

10. Kanye West, Jay-Z – Otis
One of our favourite music videos of the year, Kanye and Jay-Z chop up a Maybach, rebuild it and drive it around all while being super awesome.   


9. A Harvey Nichols Christmas 2011 – Ever faced a walk of shame? 
Though less viewed than our other selections, Harvey Nichols created a brilliant idea to promote their store during the holidays. Haven’t seen it yet? Only 500,000 have, check it out!


8. Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
Great example of an amazing marketing campaign. With almost 38 million views, it’s by far one of the best commercials we’ve seen in a while. 

7. Denver Official Guilty Dog!
Denver that scoundrel. 

6.Ryan Gosling talks about F*ck Yeah and Hey Girl
Self-explanatory.


5. YouTube Challenge – I Gave My Kids a Terrible Present
A follow-up to “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy,” Jimmy Kimmell once again reached out to parents and asked them to trick their children and film reactions. These poor children… but hilarious all the same.


4. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass by Sophia Grace Brownlee
It’s hard to find things more adorable than two little girls rocking out to Nicki Minaj.  These two were featured on Ellen and had the chance to go shopping with Minaj after their little music video went viral.

3. The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger
Ever wonder what a honey badger gets up to? This video takes you on the daily adventures of our favourite marsupial, the honey badger.
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2. Marcel the Shell with shoes on
An adorable shell with shoes. What’s not to love? 

1. Shit Girls Say
Our favourite of the year for sure. Let’s be honest, we’re guilty of most (if not all) of these phrases. We can’t stop smiling! 

Rave: Best songs of summer

Music is the soul of the earth. At least we think so. Music has the power to take you back to special times, romantic moments, cool places. And of course, it makes you want to dance. Almost no music is as good as a summer anthem, the one song that you’ll forever associate with a specific summer.

It may almost be September, but you can make summer 2011 last a bit longer with some of our favourite sunshine-worthy tracks. Here are the top jams that our team loved best this summer. A little fourth floor mix-tape, if you will. Enjoy.

Ellie Goulding ‘Starry Eyed’

Flo Rida – Club Can’t Handle Me ft. David Guetta


The Weeknd – High For This

Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend

Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix & Criminal Minds Intro Mix)

Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill

The Black Keys – Everlasting Light

MNDR – Cut Me Out


Jay-Z & Kanye West – Otis

So, what song made your body move on the dance floor all summer long? Comment below or share @rockitpromo.