There, Even When I’m Not

Photo of Joey deVilla on the cover of Jason Rolland's karaoke songbook

I may be in Ottawa (Alternate Accordion City) for the summer, but I maintain a presence in Toronto (Original Accordion City) thanks to Jason Rolland. He’s the host of many popular karaoke nights, including the one informally known as Loser Karaoke — the Thursday night session at Tequila Sunrise frequented by Toronto’s social media types and their friends. Jason’s just redone the covers of the big binders containing his song lists, and Yours Truly is on the cover. My friend Rayanne Langdon pointed it out to me last night. Thanks for putting me on the cover, Jason, and thanks for the heads-up, Rayanne!

If you want to see where Jason’s playing next or what songs he has, make sure you check out his site.


What’s Up This Week

This certainly isn’t all that’s going on this week, but this is all the after-work stuff that I’ll be up to…

Monday, July 26th: Tweetgasm 1.0 at the Gladstone Hotel

Poster for "Tweetgasm v1.0" at the Gladstone Hotel: "The Gladstone Hotel presents its first Tweetup - Monday July 26, 2010 - 7 p.m. till 12 a.m. (4 the early birds) - Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street W. - Melody Bar - No Cover - DJs Joe Blow and Sigourney Beaver"

The folks at the Gladstone Hotel are launching Tweetgasm, a monthly series of Tweetups at the Melody Bar where everyone’s invited to “dance, drink, eat and meet”. The event will be hosted by the following local Twitter personalities:

It’s at the Melody Bar in the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West (just east of Dufferin/Gladstone) on Monday, July 26th and runs from 7:00 p.m. to midnight.

Tuesday, July 27th: Developer Lunch at Sky Dragon Restaurant

"Developer Lunch": Photo of bamboo steamer containing 4 siu mai

Every now and again, local software development guy with a videocamera Kristan “Krispy” Uccello calls a gathering of Toronto’s programmers for a nice dim sum lunch. That’s the Developer Lunch, and there’s one happening on Tuesday!

It’s at Sky Dragon Restaurant, top floor of the Dragon City Mall, SW corner of Dundas and Spadina, on Tuesday, July 27th and runs from 12:00 noon to about 1:30 p.m..

Wednesday, July 28th: BIXI Bash Launch Party at the Gladstone Hotel

Row of Montreal Bixi bikes in their docking station

When I was in Montreal earlier this summer, I took Montreal’s BIXI bike system for a spin and loved it. I also noted that BIXI was coming to Toronto, and it’s happening at last. What better way to mark the event with a party: the BIXI bash? There’ll be free food and entertainment, as well as a chance to take a BIXI bike for a spin (having ridden one myself, I can report that they’re great city bikes).

It’s at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West (just east of Dufferin/Gladstone) on Wednesday, July 28th and runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m..

Thursday, July 29th: Loser Karaoke at Tequila Sunrise

loser karaoke

After a little dinner engagement, the Ginger Ninja and I will probably make our way down to Tequila Sunrise to catch the weekly Loser Karaoke event. Loser Karaoke isn’t about being the best singer, it’s about wanting to sing in front of a friendly and appreciative crowd. Loser Karaoke is also a regular gathering of Toronto’s social media and web development crowd, so if you’re looking for work or networking opportunities, you might want to drop by.

It’s at Tequila Sunrise, 212 Adelaide Street West, just west of University), on Thursday, July 29th and runs from about 10:00 p.m. until they close the joint.

Friday, July 30th: “Stumbling Distance with Joey and Wendy”, Grendel’s Den, Harvard Square (Cambridge, Mass.)

grendels den

The Ginger Ninja and I are spending the long weekend in Boston and parts surrounding, and we want to catch up with our friends in the area! So we’re declaring a gathering at our favourite Harvard Square hangout and inviting whoever wants to catch up with us for a drink, dinner, conversation or impromptu accordion performance.

It’s at Grendel’s Den, 89 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, MA, on Friday, July 30th and running from 5:30 p.m. to about 1:00 a.m. Join us!

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods Geek It Happened to Me Music Play Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked

Joey deVilla playing "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" on accordion at Loser Karaoke

One of the songs in my MP3 collection that’s on heavy rotation is Cage the Elephant’s Beck-ish, slide-guitar southern-rock-y ode to “doin’ what you gotta”, Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked. It practically begs for an accordion version, so I’m learning it in order to add it to my repertoire, which could stand a little refreshing.

Joey deVilla playing "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" on accordion at Loser Karaoke with Jason Rolland in the background

While I haven’t learned the song well enough to perform it unaccompanied, I’ve had just enough practice to do it as an accordion karaoke number, which I did at last week’s Loser Karaoke. Loser Karaoke is a regular Thursday night event at Tequila Sunrise where having a good time trumps singing ability. It helps that Jason Rolland is an entertaining karaoke host. As an added bonus, it’s where a lot of the people from Accordion City’s high-tech, startup, social media entrepreneur scene come to cut loose. For more on Loser Karaoke, check out their Facebook page.

I should feel ashamed to say this, but a decade’s worth of public accordion playing has attenuated my ability to feel shame: the reason I know about Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked isn’t because I’m dialed into the alt-rock music scene. Thanks to middle age, I used to be with it, but they’ve since changed what “it” was. I know about the song because of…well, a video game. Namely, Borderlands, which uses the song in its intro sequence:

For the curious (and the fans), here’s Cage the Elephant’s official video for Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked. Enjoy!