Category Archives: But Wait, There’s More!

A collection of Jess’s uncontainable extraneous thoughts, misadventures with musicians, and insights into what’s shakin’ on the local music front.

Episode 56: Switcharoo Tea & Table Talk w/ Yanis and Jesse

Just a few more sleeps until AFL 2nd Anniversary Showcase! On this episode, Yanis joins me for iced tea and takes over as host of Tea & Table Talk. We get into the podcast’s inner workings, how journalism and music criticism influence us as musicians, the upcoming showcase, and I share details of my original projects currently in the works. Come out to The Hideout Wednesday July 19th to hear Yanis and company live (myself included). Get in the loop!

Episode 54: Tea & Table Talk w/ Aerin Fogel

Today’s episode is Aerin Fogel, organizer of VenusFest, who joined me to discuss the revolutionary feminist and female-centric music festival happening September 30th. You could win Venusfest tickets through AFL’s anniversary show July 19th so be sure to come out for that as well. We dig into the gender politics of music today, her various other creative projects and her incredible work as a core pattern/astrology reader.Get in the loop and see you all July 19th!

Episode 52: Tea & Table Talk w/ Melissa Kelly

In the tradition of our show, we like to shake things up. My guest on this episode works in every creative field BUT music, and has a unique take on what it means to be female in such varying pursuits. Dancer, stuntwoman, photographer and entrepreneur, Melissa delves into what it took to do it all. Her business Beyouty Revolution aims to help empower women with self-healing and self-love techniques, and she host workshops through a built community online and in special events. Special thanks to Ali Barrie and the Grand Trunk for being our backdrop for this episode, a truly perfect trifecta of strong ladies who get shit done. Check out what they’re both up to, and get in the loop!

Episode 48: Tea & Table Talk w/Chris Kerba

Another great chat with a fantastic musician, writer, actor and comedian Chris Kerba of Eclectic Revival! We dig into the many hats one must wear in creative fields, what it’s like to work with the same musical soulmate for years, and what making a record really entails. Stay till the end for a special EXCLUSIVE listen of Sailing Home, off their new album Life & Love. And come see us this Saturday April 8th at the Libertarian!!!

Episode 46: Tea & Table Talk w/ Charlie McKittrick

Today’s episode is a very special new segment of AFL: Tea & Table Talk. Jesse invites musicians to her kitchen table for tea and, well, talking. Charlie McKittrick sat down to discuss his journey from drummer extraordinaire (TimeGiant, Phill Hood!, Foreign Film Star and a billion others) to singer-songwriter and his debut solo record. It’s an insightful, vulnerable, occasionally heavy discussion, and well worth a listen. Charlie opens our No Soul Safe showcase April 8th so get in the loop already!

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Showcase Spotlight: Social Potion

Carmen Toth has been a beast in the Toronto music scene, working and posting every day about her various adventures and shows. Social Potion indeed. In a sea of artists hungry for time to play music in between having to Instagram their side hobbies to show their audience how well-rounded they are, Carmen has managed an engaging social media presence that remains authentic. Luckily, the music that drives her is catchy, unique, and ever-evolving.

Her work reflects her self: candid, fearless and open-hearted. Upon our first meeting, we talked at length about everything from divorce to horoscopes and she read my palm, quite accurately in fact. Carmen’s first release was a burst of energy that drew from and celebrated my personal favourite decade for women in rock, the 90’s. Will her upcoming release echo those sentiments? Produced by Derek Downham and engineered by Tim Foy, Carmen describes it as danceable, full band versions of her often acoustic tunes. Downham assures fans that this is “not a throwback. This is now, moving forward.” Sounds like my fascination with 90’s alt rock is about to be blown wide open.

Our conversation on Social Potion’s first EP can be found here.

Check her out at our showcase November 3rd at The Cameron House. $7 at the door.

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Femme Fatale Showcase: *New Lineup!* Win a Pair of Tickets and Swag!

Hey loopers! Our second showcase night is coming up November 3rd, and we have a special giveaway going down. Write a review of our show on any platform you listen to us (iTunes, Stitcher, Facebook) and we will choose a winner at random to receive TWO tickets and TWO AFL T-shirts for you and a guest!

Submit a written review of A Feedback Loop on iTunes, Stitcher, Facebook, etc and share/tag it wherever folks do that stuff.
Deadline for submission is Oct 28th. Good luck!!!

Any questions? @afeedbackloop on instagram and will have the droids you’re looking for.

AFL Anniversary Showcase: Big Otter Creek

Closing out the night for our showcase is a band that had been close to my heart since I moved to Toronto 6 years ago. Big Otter Creek’s Dan Gangon was one of the first people I met in the music scene here, and if you’re not sure who he is, just check out your facebook page and you will find you’ve got 18 friends in common and he has played music with about half of them.

As one of the band’s singers (sharing this role with fellow guitarist and equally wonderful John Bridgens), Dan’s undeniable rasp and alt-country style has made them a force to be reckoned with. Their current lineup of multi-talented dudes also includes Ben Healy, Jake Saenz and Jesse Shapiro. Since releasing the Orange Takes (from way back to Ep 3!), their sound has fleshed out with a third guitar, and new songs from both Dan and John that range from bluesy and plucky to shuffly and sweet.

The real shining star of Big Otter Creek is the fact that these fellas are so consistently them.

When a band changes their lineup (in this case losing one member and gaining two), it can be a catalyst in their demise or (also in this case) it can breath new life into their old tunes, and bridge the gap to new music. But the Big Otter Creek brand remains intact. There’s a phenomenon I’ve observed with people torn between the big smoke and the sticks energy of city folk stirred with their insatiable desire to get back to the country will always be a relatable notion to great Canadians, especially during our fleeting summers.

It’s not easy to toe the line between tight, harmonic guitar driven blues and softer, jangly country flavours, but BOC delivers in a big way. Don’t believe me? Better come see for yourself tomorrow night. You can tell me right to my face that I was right 🙂


RSPV already! 4 great and varied acts in one night, how can you go wrong?



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AFL Anniversary Spotlight: Phill Hood!

I know what you’re thinking. Jesse, isn’t this showcase for killer bands you’ve highlighted on the show? I have scoured every Feedback Loop episode and could recite them front and back in my sleep, but I’ve NEVER heard a review of Phill Hood and the Exclamation! You wily liar!

And you’re right. But you HAVE heard releases from every other band member in another form. PH&E!’s stellar bass player John William-Blakeley guest hosted our chat on two of his other projects and what it’s like to moonlight in real estate. Fiddler Jarred Albright is one half of the folk-romatics Rye & Fairytales. Drummer Charlie McKittrick’s (sadly defunct) TimeGiant was featured here. And doing double duty on June 30th is Jake Saenz also of Big Otter Creek. Phew!

So to gear up for this AFL all-star set, I got the scoop from the man himself on his upcoming record, working with his best friends, and what it’s like to produce your own album from the ground up.

Since putting the band together last year, they have been in and out of recording at Phill’s home studio, and working out the tracks at shows around Toronto. Their sound has been compared to other great Canadian Celtic-tinged rock acts, but with a bend towards late 90’s alternative. The debut album, Travel, focuses on Phill’s geographical changes as much as his personal ones. Born and raised in Newfoundland, moving to Toronto for university, traversing the U.S. as part of the Tartan Terrors (with Jake, too. Does that guy ever sleep?), it’s all in the mix. Think Spirit of the West featuring the Barenaked Ladies, getting a hit on Big Shiny Tunes 9.

Their second single, Nelly, was met with a huge response at a show in the spring. The clear influence of Jimmy Eat World and some high-octane emotional lyrics made for a powerful track. The band’s stage presence is also a shining example of what working with your friends can bring to a performance.

“It’s just fun. I look back and see JW and Charlie getting a groove together, and then Jake is right there with some crazy new guitar tone. He’s a gear head like me, so we really get some great stuff. And when it’s done, we stick around to check out the next band. Something people overlook, just stay and support each other if you can. “

On recording in his home studio, which has changed 3 times since the album began, Phill also had this to say:

“It’s freeing to have complete control. I can come home after a great set and ride that high, have the mics set up so I can lay down something whenever I want to. But it’s my first crack at producing such a large-scale record, [He produced a 4-track hip-hop EP last spring and the award-winning score for a children’s web series ] so there’s always new tricks to learn. YouTube tutorials really are a goldmine. That, and, just working at it until it has the feel you want.” 

So when can we expect the record release? Phill, a savvy businessman but always an artist first, has decided the album wouldn’t be complete without a final track composed just weeks ago and inspired by a getaway to Northern Ontario. While it may delay the release of Travel, and his band mates have certainly teased him about getting it out there already, it’s certainly a fitting addition to a body of work already brimming with songs that capture what it means to explore and discover. Not just the scenery, but the self.

In the meantime, check out their first single, Obvious and don’t forget to swing by The Hideout June 30th to hear all their tunes live!