Travel Review: Ocean Park, Hong Kong

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | 1 Comment

Hong Kong – Yup, this blog covers anything and everything. This is your one stop shop. Obviously, I just spent the past three weeks in Asia so most of my posts will be Asia related. Lets take a look at Ocean Park in Hong Kong. I will pretty much say this, Ocean Park is a top notch tourist attraction. One of the best I’ve been to, and I have been to both Sea Worlds, Disneyland, Disneyworld, Universal Studios in Florida and LA, MGM, Six Flags and Fujiama Park in Japan among others.

A little info first – Ocean Park is both an amusement park and an aquarium. It has two main areas, and the areas are separated by mountains, so you can take a cable car ride from one to the other. The cable car ride is spectacular, as you get a good view of the South China sea:

cable car

So what makes it so great? Well, its got a bit of everything. Lets take a look at the animal side – We got the freakin Pandas, which are arguably the cutest animals on Earth. You can literally stare at these things for hours and not be bored. I don’t even know why.

Then there is also a Jellyfish exhibit, Dolphins, Sea Lions, Seals, Sting Ray, Shark tank and a very impressive aquarium. The aquarium is crazy good, and has all kinds of massive fish, manta rays and sea turtles in it. Its hard to describe how many fish they have in that thing. I was wondering what they would taste like, but thats me. The jellyfish exhibit is great. At first I wasn’t even sure if I was watching a tv or was it an actual tank. As far as animals are concerned, the only thing they lack is a Killer Whale, otherwise there is not much u can complain about. They even have Parrots, Owls and Hawks and stuff like that.

The picture above shows you some of the amusement park rides that the park houses. There are several more and while they aren’t the craziest rides, you do still get some excitement. Think about it, these rollar coasters (theres 3) are all on the side of a frickin mountain over looking the ocean. So when you are up at the top, you feel as if you are higher then you are. I think they are building a really really big rollar coaster as well, so it’ll be improved.

The lineups can get a bit long at times, so go early. Theres a lot of shows to watch (dolphin show, sea lion show, bird show, feeding of the sharks) so make sure you have time for that too. The food there is decent, and for the non experimental people, theres a mcdonalds in the amusment park for you.

This place is a definite must go for all tourists to HK.

5/5

Black Mountain and Ladyhawk, Commodore Ballroom, April 6

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Everything | 4 Comments

bm

Vancouver, who says The New Pornographers are the only good band to come out of the west coast? After attending last nights show Vancouver proved itself as not only an incubator of prime bud, but some kick ass rock and roll as well.

I arrived at the venue at 10:00 just in time to catch Ladyhawk’s opening song. I was disappointed when I found out that I had missed the first opener Nordic Nomadic from Toronto, featuring ex-Deadly Snakes (R.I.P.) member Chad Ross. I gave a few of their tracks a listen on their Myspace page and they seemed like an appropriate enough band to kick things off.

Now I must confess that I’m not familiar with Ladyhawk’s entire album so you must forgive me for the absence of track names, so if any of you fine folks happen to have the setlist, please do post it in the comments section. I made my way to the back of the floor and managed to find a nice comfy pole to lean against, this actually became a prime location to not only watch the entire show but also observe the sold out crowd. The first thing I noticed was the dancefloor was 75% full, which I found pleasantly surprising. It seems like the Ladyhawk has quite a following in Vancouver and the fans were well into the performance from the get go. They rocked the entire set and proved to be the perfect primer for Black Mountain not only by banging out some great tracks, but also because Amber Webber and Josh Wells of BM contribute vox, percussion and organ on their album Shots, although they unfortunately did not make an appearance during the ‘Hawk’s set.

11:00 pm, Black Mountain quietly saunters on to the stage to the roar of the sold out crowd. The lights dim, Amber takes center stage, tambourine and maraca in hand while Josh plucked a few strings. Amongst the haze of artificial fog and plenty of smoke a deep rumble and a haunting chant billowed through that reverberated through the entire venue. ‘Stormy High’ was our introduction to this adventure that would take us from the icy plateaus of Valhalla and into deep space. One can’t be deceived by listening to only BM’s popular tracks. This band isn’t just about rock and roll. I found myself grooving to more than a few tracks at the concert that I would have never expected to after listening to the album. ‘Evil Ways’ was a perfect example. It has a dash of funk to it. ‘Stay Free’ kept my foot slowly tapping – a perfect song to listen to while hanging out on the porch in the Bayou. The set came to a perfect ending when we heard the familiar head banger intro of ‘Don’t Run Our Hearts Around’. There were goat horns a plenty. The Gods of Rock, Funk and Hillbilly music were pleased.

Special thanks to Ken.

5/5

My Morning Jacket, March 31st, Berkeley Church

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 5 Comments

mmj
(Toronto) For a great concert review, go HERE (Chromewaves). For my story of how poorly I feel the admittance policy was organized, keep reading.

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Hot Docs – Music

Posted on by Wade in Everything, Hot Docs, Movies | Leave a comment

hot docs

Well the Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival announced its official line up this past week. For those of you who don’t know, Hot Docs is happening in Toronto from April 17th – 27th and is the best film event that happens here each year. Here is why:

1. The films are good
– Truth be told, most people who make documentaries are not film people. They are regular people who have access to a good story and decide to get into filmmaking. Story telling is an art and this festival has stories that you didn’t even know existed.

2. It is accessible and you can afford to go – My suggestion is to get a 10 pass for only $90. This pass is transferable, so you can split the cost with a buddy and you can each see 5 movies for $45. My only suggestion is to get your tickets NOW. Two weeks before the festival, the high profile films will be sold out.

Make sure you check out the full schedule. Take the time and spend an hour reading through the films. You will find a few that will speak to you.

Lets start with some docs about music.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil
anvil
At the age of 14, best friends Lips and Robb Reiner make a pact to rock together forever. Their band Anvil, hailed as the “demigods of Canadian metal,” influences a musical generation including Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. Though Anvil never makes it big, they never stop playing or believing. Following a calamitous European tour, Lips and Robb, now well into their 50s, set off to record their 13th album, This Is Thirteen, in one last attempt to fulfill their boyhood dream.

All Together Now
Music is the star in this dizzying documentary about Montréal-based Cirque du Soleil’s new Beatles-inspired Las Vegas show, Love. After three years of negotiations and with a budget of $180 million, director Dominic Champagne has to wrangle an international cast and crew of 500, and an approvals process that includes the founders of Cirque, the Beatles holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison’s widow Olivia, and Yoko Ono-one wonders how he didn’t have a nervous breakdown. With fabulous archival footage and spectacular performances-this is one behind-the-scenes story you won’t want to miss.

Talking Guitars
Talking Guitars is an engrossing portrait of master guitar craftsman, Flip Scipio, an unassuming Dutchman with an obsession. Based in New York, Flip is revered in the music industry. His clients include Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Ben Taylor, Paul Simon, David Tronzo, Leni Stern and Carly Simon. The film is a musical journey that follows Flip from his quiet, sunny workshop to captivating face-to-face sessions with his famous clients. Watching him at work is as interesting as hearing the musicians play. The film draws you into his world, and makes you want to hear what he hears

Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London
tonight
One of the few filmmakers trusted within the perfumed gardens of the 1960s Brit rock illuminati, Peter Whitehead was allowed unparalleled access into the centre of the pop circle to capture the moment for his kaleidoscopic film. With contributions from the likes of Mick Jagger, Michael Caine, Julie Christie, Lee Marvin and David Hockney, Tonite presents a dazzling and intimate record from the very core of the “in-crowd.” With music by Pink Floyd, among many others. “Not a documentary in any ordinary sense,” wrote Variety, “but rather an impressionistic view of the ‘land of mod’ as seen by a sympathetic participant.”

Monterey Pop
This vanguard concert film is an explosive portrayal of the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival at the height of the Summer of Love. Monterey launched the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding and ushered in a new era of rock ‘n’ roll. Other performances by artists like Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and the Papas, The Who and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar are vividly captured by both Ricky Leacock and Al Maysles, who were camera operators. Monterey Pop lives up to its legendary status, making it as timeless as it is powerful.

Planet B-Boy
b-boy
Kids in Osaka, Paris, Seoul and Las Vegas are all doing it-B-boying, breakin’, bustin’ moves you’ve gotta see to believe! Planet B-Boy features insane dance performances, unforgettable power moves, impossible synchronization and sweet choreography. The film tracks the evolution of a street dance turned universal art form, culminating in an international showdown. B-boy crews from 18 different countries face-off in Germany at the annual “Battle of the Year” World Championships, eager to reprazent.