Yes, you have read correctly, I met one of my biggest idol : Kevin Richardson from the Backstreet Boys.

I have been a Backstreet Boys fan since day one. I have never stopped following them, buying their albums and listening to their music even when Kevin left the band (he’s my fave just so you know), and that even when we were 1500 people attending shows. I strongly believe that they are amazing singers, great entertainers and that if I were to play a new BSB song without people knowing it, they would love it as much as they enjoy a Justin Bieber hit let say. I have never cared about the fact that people think it’s stupid for me to be a true BSB fan. What can I say, they are one of my favorite bands and they are part of the reason why I decided to sing. I have to tell you for the sake of this story that I’ve met the BSB back in 2008 but at that time, Kevin wasn’t part of the band anymore. We had waited many hours in front of their hotel in order to meet them. It was a great moment where we quickly took pictures and took 1 minute. It was also the night Obama got elected for the first time and that made it even more special.

  
(2008, bad pictures because the excitement level was way too high)

This year, the BSB were in town for a show.  My friend & I thought about waiting outside the hotel for a picture but as there was a ‘meet & greet’ and an after party planned, we decided to go for the more ”legit” way and pay 300$ to meet them. For the past 10 years, every single tour, we had been hesitating on purchasing or not a VIP package. It usually costs about 500$ which is believe me way too expensive for me, so we always ended up not buying it. This time, as it was cheaper, we decided to just do it, go crazy and pay ourselves a treat! Also, just so you have all the facts, the after-party (without the meet and greet was 30$).

I was SO nervous! Hang in there because this post is going to be long and just a heads up, I have rarely been that disappointed in something. I was so dumbfounded by how much this night made me feel ridicule that I felt like crying. I am a normal person that is pretty much broke and that has decided ONCE in her life, to pay for something big and I basically paid 270$ more for nothing.

Here’s how the night went :

300$.VIP.Package
1. We waited 2h for them to arrive. I totally understand that the people from the organization didn’t have the control over that and to a certain extend I was ok with waiting until 1am on a Sunday night to meet my idol. I was ready for this really important moment of my life.

The ‘meet & greet’ 
2.If you look at what usually is included in a BSB VIP packages, well it consists of, yes an official picture ( which now I know, I will never own a copy of), 1 minute to express your admiration and bonuses such as having access to the soundcheck and things like that. On this particular night, no one in the organization took the time to let us know what the night would be consisting of. No one ever told us that we wouldn’t have time to even take 1 minute to speak with them, no one indicated us that it would only consist of an official picture (no cellphone allowed for that portion of the night) and where and when this photo would be available. It was such a surprise to see that nothing except a 300$ picture was what ‘VIP’ meant. How difficult would it’ve been to explain us, while we were waiting, what was expected of us, what we would be able to experience and where to find this ***!* picture.

  
(”VIP” pictures, good right?)

3.Once our expeditious picture was taken (like I mean give a hug, take a picture and move on), we were send in a small section, that separated us from the people having paid 30$ with a cord, and that was supposedly the VIP section. Way to feel like a Very Important Person. This section was along a row of tables and on the other side of those tables was the section where the BSB would eventually end up in. Security was constantly asking us to move back in this tiny section, but for us that were among the first in line, it felt kind of absurd. We had just paid this great amount to be near them and were constantly asked to move further back. The guards were rude and were not helping with our questions. And to be fair I’d say that most of the crowd, if not the entire crowd was calm and polite, so why the rudeness,

VIP you said?
4. Once the photo part ended, the VIP section (meaning the cord that were separating us from the rest and that was supposedly giving us a vip access) disappeared. The cords were taken down and within a second, the VIP section vanished. We were simply not given a VIP access and were among the people who paid the 10th of the price. I was squished between the tables and people that were not VIP’s trying to get closer. If I would’ve know that paying 300$ would only be giving me the opportunity to have a picture, I would not have participated. I understand that business is business and money needs to be made, but this really felt like exploiting fans. I felt so humiliated the moment I realized that I could’ve paid 30$ and would have seen Kevin and would’ve been able to take a selfie with him.

 

Let it be clear that I wasn’t expecting to spend 10 minutes with them, to share a meal with them, I wasn’t expecting to be seated with them, but I was expecting a minimum of time with them, clear indications, a VIP access and my picture. How come I got almost the same thing as the 30$ ticket? I have written to both companies that have organized that evening but nothing came out of it.The main company is there to make money and have told me that as nothing is specified on the ticket as to what the VIP/Meet and greet consists of, well I shouldn’t have expected anything in particular. HELLO! I paid 300 bucks for crying out loud! Way to ruin a special moment.

On a positive note though I did hug Kevin, I did look him right in the eyes. I had prepared a little letter with what I needed to say to him and was SO glad I had brought it with me. I gave him the letter and the rest is history. I felt like he had the best energy ever. His energy was calm, it felt,sane and balanced. He was very polite with all the fans and he looked like he cared. I know this is crazy, but I truly hope that he reads my note. What are the chances right?

So there you have it. I did ‘meet’ my idol. But I can guarantee you that when we met the rest of the band we had wayyy more time and lattitude and it was free. I have learned my lesson. Now that it is over, I will continue to cherish the dream that one day, oh yes, one day, I will sing with the BSB, as silly as it sounds.


(sorry for the quality, this is a screen capture)

 

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I have gathered for you what I’ve been listening to on repeat since September as begun. Some of those songs, I know I’ll get tired of in the next few days, some are here to stay. You’ll find classics, a multitude of genres and a few jazz songs that I’m obsessed with. I want to release a jazz/folk EP this year, so I’m on the hunt for amazing standards to sing and musicians. I wanted to add Purple Rain on the playlist, as I’ve been listening to this masterpiece on repeat, but it ain’t available. I hope you enjoy!

Treh LaMonte – #onrepeatbigtime
Bon Iver – #unexpected
Gabrielle Shonk – #finallyreleasedthebestsingleever #proudfriend
Celine Dion – #sawherlivethissummer #mindblowing
Les B.B – #trowback #firstlove
Sylvan Esso – #newmusic #yay
Frank Ocean – #lovehisvoice

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Flying to EC

As people are about to return to the river, my heart weeps because I won’t. Having experienced what Eaux Claires is all about, I can’t believe I won’t be one of the beating heart standing in the field.

Last year, my brain exploded and I bough plane tickets, festival passes and waited for July to come. The first edition’s lineup of the Eaux Claires Festival was cray cray and not only was it the best decision e-ver to go to Wisconsin, but I am also extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to live the best festival experience of my life.

Art installations, pop up shops, merchandise and site made the experience incredible. I wanted to see so many artists but due to a combination of heat (we are talking about 2 Quebecers standing in a field with let’s say… a limited amount of available shade spots  at 37C, full on humidity, no wind on the first day, at the bed river level) and social anxiety, we didn’t get to see all of them. We managed to see The Staves, Elliott Moss, Phil Cook, S.Carey and the jazz ensemble, Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver. What is there to say : it was perfect. Can you believe that this year’s Bon Iver set will only be new music. UGHHHHH! I’ve been waiting for that for years and people, we won’t be there!

Sets I wished we attended : Aero Flynn, Blind Boys of Alabama, Colin Stetson, Hiss Golden Messenger, Lizzo, Phox, Rosenau, Sylvan Esso, The National and The Tallest Man on Earth.

So by now, you’re probably like, Chloe what was so great about that particular festival? Well my friends, probably everything. Water stations, AWESOME shuttle organization with friendly drivers, wind on the second day, the venue which by itself is like out of this world (it is so soothing with the river flowing in the back ground) and the Field Journal which some people made great use out of it. Props to the mist tent (Thank you sweet baby jesus (kanye west writes awesome lines). Also, the crew on site was super friendly. What really made the experience better was the crowd. I have been to a lot a shows and to quite a few outdoors events but I don’t know what happened in Wisconsin, the crowd was awesome. People were respectful, polite, not to extravagant, were loud when needed and quiet when appropriate. Togetherness would be the word. 22 000 people in total silence and communion listening to Bon Iver, that is indescribable. I thought my heart was going to explode.

As to Eau Claire, the city, well we drove around, saw things, saw landmarks (hello Towers) and felt the vibe. There was also this insane thunderstorm in the middle of the night, which made us feel really appreciative of our hotel room (what’s up people in tents). Finally, I hope that one day, this magical happening will be broadcasted live for everyone to experience.

P.S To the girl who was giving a handjob to his boyfriend while we were all tearing up to Bon Iver’s songs, we did see you.
Subtlety : 0. Sexual acts in public (22 000 people): 1.

Sorry for the few pictures and mostly grainy ones but I cherish those moments so much. There is the Visit Eau Claire Instagram account that is pretty neat and of course Eaux Claires’ website if you wish for better ones! x

2015-07-17 16.20.55 string ec 1 strings ec 2 2015-07-17 20.32.29 2015-07-17 21.18.50 2015-07-17 21.02.46 2015-07-18 22.58.31 pictures by me (Flying, Eaux Claires, Art installation, Chippewa River, The Towers, Owen Park Bandshell, Me  dying)

One day, I will #returntotheriver

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December 31th, last day of this endless year. What a year! I can’t wait for you 2016! I thought I’d share with you the musical highlights of my 2015. I have listened non-stop to either folk or pop. I usually try to keep myself updated on new releases and music in general, but haven’t achieve that goal this year. The worst thing about being late with new releases and upcoming bands is that I usually discover them 6 months after they’ve been in town for a show, and there is no worst feeling.

From The Staves to Beyoncé to Christine and the Queens, my year was filled with amazing songs, artists and talents that blew my mind. Here are two songs that I would’ve loved to add on the playlist but they have not been released yet in audio (just click on the song title for the video) :

Bon Iver – New song #2
Bonus: Justin Vernon’s speech on his festival. I shed a lot of tears when I heard this new song. What an experience. I’ll do a post on my Eaux Claires trip and festival experience pretty soon.

Britten Newbill – Wildflower
I LOVE this guy’s voice and I can’t wait for his album to come out. In the mean time, he released this single and his EP called Six Strings and a Drum Machine is available. I love love love every single song.

Here’s the playlist ladies and gentlemen. Let me know what you listened to this year :

Damn it all – The Staves
Great Tide – Phil Cook
Lost in the light – Bahamas
Partition – Beyoncé
Sorry – Justin Bieber
Mahogany Dread – Hiss Golden Messenger
A Lone Sound – All Tiny Creatures
Nuit 17 à 52 – Christine and the queens
One last time – Ariana Grande
When love hurts – Jojo
Noyer – Rosie Valland
I Am Not Waiting Anymore – Field Report
On the nights you stayed home – Donovan Woods
When we were young – Adele
Every grain of sand – The Blind Boys of Alabama feat. Justin Vernon
Lost in the sound – Angie Miller
Highspeeds – Elliot Moss
Valentine – Pentatonix
Long way home – The Slow Show
Radiant – S.Carey

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Credit : Aran Goyoaga @cannellevanille
Aran Goyoaga @cannellevanille
My friends, I LOVE Christmas music. My official rule for starting listening to Christmas music is either on December 1st or on the first snow of the year. Having worked in a record store for a few Christmases where music started to be played on November 1st, I’ve heard my share of it. I thought I’d share with you my favorite music songs and/or albums. I could’ve honestly written an endless list but I’ve tried to picked my favorites:

Old Classics:

  • Harry Belafonte / Mary’s Boy Child : I can’t find the version that I L-O-V-E because not only was it sold on a cassette but it also seems like no one thought it was a good idea to make that available on a digital format… (no comments). We had a Hallmarks compilation Christmas cassette that had this song on it but with a particular version with a boy’s choir and boy oh boy was it the best. It brings back so much memories and it is so kitsch!
  • Bing Crosby / the entire White Christmas album : It’s a timeless classic that I can listen to over and over again. His voice is just perfection! And do I need to say anything about Mele Kalikimaka : best thing ever.
  • Tony Bennett / The Christmas Album Snowfall : I could listen to that album all year long. It makes me feel so relaxed and chill. It feels like light snow falling on the ground, hot chocolate, and I love the arrangements even though simple.
  • Ella Fitzgerald / A Swinging Christmas : First, can we talk about the artwork! It represents exactly the feel of this album, it swings, its festive, its a Mad Men Christmas Party at it’s best! Oh Ella!

Let’s say it was recorded after 1970:

  • Coldplay / Christmas Lights : This is a very unusual Christmas song, but it is so pretty! It’s Coldplay at its best and I never get tired of listening to that song.
  • Diana Krall / Christmas Songs : One of the best album of all times, seriously! Are you kidding me with those big band arrangements? It is PER-FECT from A to Z! Even if you don’t like Diana (not the princess of course, because who doesn’t love her?) you will like this album, it swings like cray-cray!
  • She and Him / A very She and Him Christmas : Even though I’m not the biggest She and Him fan, this album I find is refreshing. It has a Beach Boys’ kinda vibe. It’s smooth, soft and shows variety in Christmas music which is a plus.
  • Pentatonix / Silent night (live version) : Well, what is there left to say about those brilliant, talented singers and the guy who arranges songs for them. WOW! This version gives me goosebumps and please notice the base, IN-SA-NE.

I could have listed, Charlie Brown, Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Rat Pack, Billie Holiday, Johnny Cash, and sooooo many more. In the french department, there aren’t that many, but THE classic in my household is Marie-Michèle Desrosiers, A MUST!

What are your favorites? Would you have any suggestions for me?

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