RT CONTEST! Win a pair of tickets to Trashcan Sinatras at the Horseshoe

Posted on by Ricky in Contests | Leave a comment

Photo credit: Mort Shuman

It is now warm and sunny outside, which pairs perfectly with a bottle of wine and also, the Trashcan Sinatras! The Scottish band reunited a few years ago and actually played a Toronto show, but it was at someone’s house, which was quite strange. However, this time around, they are playing a proper venue. On June 4th, they will be at the Horseshoe playing two of their most beloved records – 1990’s Cake and 1993’s I’ve Seen Everything.

“Obscurity Knocks,” the first ever single released by this group is still a song I have on my playlist to this day, it’s a catchy, jangly summery vibe always brings a smile to my face and it’s a good representation of their tracks so definitely check it out at the bottom of the post. Based on their music, you would never guess that the group comes from the rainy dredges of Scotland.

Anyways, we are here to give away a pair of tickets to the show! to enter, you can do one of many things.

1. Follow us on twitter and retweet the post
2. Send an email to panic@panicmanual.com with the subject “I want to go see Trashcan Sinatras” in the subject and your name in the body
3. Comment on this on the facebook post.

Winners will be chosen at random and alerted via carrier pigeon sometime before the show. In this economy, you can’t afford to not enter!

Travel Review: Jordan Part 1 – Basic Info, Aqaba and Wadi Rum

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment


In my never ending quest to be a travel blogger (a paid one), I am here to tell you about one of the places I recently went to: Jordan.

Jordan isn’t really high on many people’s travel list. It should be. It’s a beautiful country with nice people and is actually surprisingly easy to travel around in. Here is some basic information about my trip.

How we got In

My trip actually started in Israel. We got into Jordan by walking across the Southern border from Eilat to Aqaba. This is right on the coast of the Red Sea. It was very easy. You pay some fees to leave Israel, walk across to the other side, present your passport and Jordan Pass, and then smile. Ten minutes later, you are done.

It should be noted that different borders have different rules it seems, so it’s worthy to google the shit out of borders if you choose to cross from Israel.

What is the Jordan Pass?

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The Jordan Pass is an all you can eat buffet pass to the historical sites of Jordan. You can get it here and then carry the QR code on your phone or just print out a copy. Once you buy it, you can just show it at most, if not all of the major sites in Jordan and not bother lining up. The costs fall into 3 tiers and honestly, the only differences between each one is the amount of days you spend at Petra. We got the most expensive one because the price difference is basically a beer. The Jordan Pass also waives the visa fee for entry into Jordan. Considering it costs almost that much to enter Petra alone, the pass is no doubt something you need to buy if you want to tour Petra.

How we got around

Jordan is easy to navigate and does not appear to be too difficult to drive in outside of the major cities. I don’t drive, and I watch a lot of Fast and Furious so it always seems kinda fun, but the people who did drive didn’t seem too stressed out this trip and the roads were in good conditions for most part. We were also able to rent an automatic car in Aqaba and drop it off in Amman without trouble.

It should be noted that the lane markers on the road appear to be merely a concept in Jordan and you will frequently see three cars in what you previously thought was a two car lane. No one in Jordan wears a seat belt either. To navigate, you can just buy a sim card for a fairly cheap price and use google maps. The places were pretty clearly marked, and some of the highways are rather spectacular as Jordan goes from mountains to valleys very quickly.

Okay, now to where we went.

Aqaba – Red Sea


Aqaba is the town on the Red Sea in Jordan. It’s where you go if you want to get your water sports on and it’s the only real reason why you would stay there. We wanted to be on a boat and also do some snorkeling and so we walked around all the dive shops and settled on Dive Aqaba. It surprisingly had a Canadian there and after some confusion, we were able to book our boat and a guided snorkeling tour for 35 JOD a person. There were cheaper options but we are precious and wanted a private experience.

The waters during the day had great visibility and there are a lot of things to explore in the water. There was a lot of fish around the coral reefs in the Red Sea which made for a great experience. We also saw sea turtles and were looking for eels but couldn’t find any. Another interesting aspect of the trip was that we were also able to see wreckages that were just off the coast, including a sunken ship.

A good day all around. Next off, was Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum


Wadi Rum is fucking magnificent. It’s a place with immense beauty and not a place I will soon forget. If you ever want to feel small, Wadi Rum is a great place for this. A giant valley cut into sandstone and granite (says wikipedia), it is a place you’ve seen before. It’s featured heavily in movies like Lawrence of Arabia, the Martians and one of the Transformers. However, you really really have to be there to understand the scope and size of it. This place is enormous.

We spent roughly two days there. Wadi Rum is home to the Bedouin and as such, the only real way to do Wadi Rum is to stay at a Bedouin camp. We stayed with Rumstars and it was great. Their camp was deep inside the heart of Wadi Rum. Food and beverage (in the form of water and tea) are provided and the people who run are very nice. The accommodations are quite basic, but it is completely reasonable.

During the day, you will get driven on a 4×4 to many places that are visually stunning within the area. You will see great vistas, walk through canyons, climb to great elevations and basically want to instagram everything. It’s spectacular.


Next up – Petra, Feynan Eco Lodge, Dead Sea and Amman

CMW Review: It It Anita, May 10, Supermarket

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week | Leave a comment

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Playing as part of the early evening Bonsound Booking Bash show at Supermarket, Belgian noise rockers It It Anita put on a show that was hard to ignore. I don’t just mean that their performance was brash and in your face, alternately noisy and melodic, (it was) but also that it was literally hard to ignore – these guys play loud.

The Liege-based band lists the likes of Fugazi, Metz, Sonic Youth, and Pavement as influences and the sonic touchstones of all of those acts were definitely there in their sound – the way that the members traded off vocals within songs especially brought Fugazi’s live dynamic to mind – though there was also a definite Sabbath-meets-post-rock vibe to one extended number they did near the end of their set.

With the band setting up onstage in a configuration wherein all the members were facing each other as they played, it was almost like you were sitting in on an intimate session in the band’s practice space rather than a show. That intimacy worked in their favour and made for a memorable show.

CMW Review: Loma, May 9, The Garrison

Posted on by Ricky in Canadian Music Week | Leave a comment

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After Avengers Infinity War, Loma is one of the most ambitious cross-overs in history, melding in Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg with the band Cross Record.

Well, it really isn’t but time was running out for me to attempt to leverage that meme and so here it is. Loma, as you know by now, is a merging of several members from different bands. They released their debut record earlier this year and even though it received much acclaim, the word clearly didn’t get out as the band debuted to a rather small crowd at The Garrison.

Set up in a semi circle around singer Emily Cross, the group laid down their atmospheric tracks over the course of an hour, buoyed by Emily’s vocals and surprising energy. I had been warned prior to the show that the band’s music trended on “mellow” and every time you hear about a band that has the word atmospheric mentioned with their music, you aren’t expecting music you can dance to. Yet throughout the night, Emily was able to take the music of Loma and translate it into a physical medium, whether it be dancing or fake jogging on stage, which added an additional element to the show. The band even brought their own light show, which I was impressed with. For a band whose music could totally have made for a show where everyone just sat around, the additional effort was noted, and appreciated.