WIN STUFF! Tell Me Your Favourite Summer Jam!

As you may or may not know, I live in a basement. Which isn’t altogether the worst thing, but when the weather is as nice as it has been the last week or so, I get a pretty severe case of DECK ENVY. Ohhhh, to relax in a patio chair, with a beer in hand, listening to some sweet jams on my boombox. Do the kids still say that? Boombox? Sweet Jams? Patio Chair?

Raina on a Deck

*Artist’s Conception

Unfortunately, I don’t have a deck. Not yet, anyway. But I do have a patio chair in my apartment. (It’s covered with a blanket. I’m pretty sure no one can tell.) And I do have beer, and I can listen to sweet jams.

So, the question I pose to you, dear reader and obviously very cool person, what’s your favourite summer song? What tune would we be listening to if you were here hanging out in the patio chair? (That’s right, I’d even let you sit in the patio chair and I only have one. That’s how much I like you.)

Here’s what I want you to do. Go to the Rain’s World Facebook page and tell me what song gets your summer juices flowing. 

The best answer (ie: the most summer-y song, that will get added to my Summer Jams Playlist) will WIN a Steam Whistle prize pack, which includes TWO tickets to the Steam Whistle UNSIGNED Show on June 1st! 

You’ll get to check out The Wilderness of Manitoba, Amos the Transparent and! If you’re not full of summer vibes yet – this should do it! Here are the deets:

Click on this to go to the Steam Whistle event page!

Now go! Hit up the Rain’s World Facebook Page – just click on this link! Yes! Just click on it! I made it nice and long so you really can’t miss it! See, still going! This link! This one right here!

I’ll announce the winner on Monday, May 28th!



Finally, My Deepest Secrets: REVEALED!

The rad folks over at Pink Mafia sent me 20 questions to answer – and, like the question-answering person that I am- I answered them!

So, if you’ve ever wondered what my biggest regret is, the best live shows I’ve ever seen are, or whether I like blondes or brunettes – today is your lucky day! Go forth and read!



Papermaps on Rain's World

The highly lovely Dean Marino and Wendy Leung of Papermaps joined me in my kitchen for a little vegan cookery recently! It’s the second time grilled cheese sandwiches have made an appearance on Rain’s World (the first time was with Tokyo Police Club) – but it’s the FIRST time they haven’t actually involved ANY REAL CHEESE!

Caution: this video might change the way you view vegan food forever. Also caution: Dean and Wendy are really really nice people.

By the way: The Olympic Sized Triple-Double Decker Avocado Caramelized Vegan Grilled Cheese Speciale is TRADEMARKED. Don’t even try to steal that catchy title.

Papermaps, by the way, will be playing NEXT WEEK at the El Mocambo! May 25th, to be exact, at 10:45pm. Doors open at 9, and they’ll be joined by Mercy Now, Goodnight Sunrise and Rulers of the Moon.

They’re also going to be rocking NXNE, of course! Catch ’em June 14th at Two Way Monologues’ Showcase at Rancho Relaxo! Their set it at 11pm sharp and you can pick up your tasty NXNE wristbands right HERE.

Wait! One more thing before we go!

The beautiful and avocado-slicingly skilled Wendy has JUST released a new album by her side project, Wendy Vs. called Crayone Wars. Dean’s part of it as well, and you can buy the whole album on the Wendy Vs. bandcamp… right HERE!

Here’s what it sounds like. I think you’re going to like it a whole heap of a lot. I do!

Look out for Papermaps’ new album, they’re hard at work on it, and it’s gonna be rad.

Keep up to date with ALL things Papermaps at their website: PAPERMAPS.NET

NEW BAND ALERT: Stella Ella Ola

Stella Ella Ola Burning Schoolhouse

Featuring Anne Douris, Nixon & Jake Boyd (of Hollerado) and Vince Rice, Stella Ella Ola is new and rad.

Perfect for summer, all of the members share vocal duties and are offering up a 4-song EP full of surf-y, garage-y, poppy jams recorded live off the floor by Tokyo Police Club‘s Graham Wright. 

You can download the EP for free at their Bandcamp page HERE, and stream the whole thing right here:

If you dig it, come see them live at Cine Cycle on Saturday, May 26th. They’ll be playing with Graham Wright, Danger Band and a super secret surprise guest!

You can check out Stella Ella Ola’s facebook page right HERE.

Raina Goes To The Mayor!

Yesterday, I went to my very first Toronto City Council Meeting at City Hall, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.


I know, municipal government. It might not sound like the most riveting subject in the world. But I assure you, it can be. Maybe you’ve wondered what actually happens inside the giant UFO that we call the Toronto City Hall Council Chamber.

Toronto City Hall

This is Dean, and he’s excited about MUNICIPAL POLITICS!

Watching a Toronto City Council meeting is like watching reality television, but it actually MATTERS! Instead of voting off some douchebag you’ve never met or rewarding some attention-seeking asshat with an SUV and a briefcase full of cash, they’re voting on whether or not YOUR community will get bike lanes, or if YOUR favourite public pool will still be operational this summer!

You already know that Mayor Rob Ford is endlessly entertaining. But it doesn’t stop there! There’s an entire cast of characters that make City Council the wonderful piece of performance art that it is!

There’s Rob’s sneaky, cocky, almost-twin brother, Doug Ford (Ward 2)! There’s babe-a-licous left-winger (and possible future mayoral candidate, I hope), Adam Vaughan (Ward 20)! There’s smirking class-clown Gord Perks (Ward 14), who gets serious when it’s time to fight for his community (and who walks with one of the best swaggers I’ve ever seen)! There’s red-faced, heckling, sometimes-quite-possibly-on-the-brink-of-insanity-but-sometimes-actually-pretty-clever Giorgio Mammolitti (Ward 7)! There’s the feisty Pam McConnell (Ward 28)! The rumpled professor’s charm of Joe Mihevc (Ward 21)! And then there’s Speaker Frances Nunziata (Ward 11), who rules the Council Chamber with an iron fist!

Inside Council Chamber

I’ve made it easy for you to find the Mayor!

I faithfully watch Toronto City Council meetings online – but going down to City Hall in person was a whole different story. You can see the councillors working the crowd – working their fellow council members, the media, the audience.

There are even funny moments, like when Nunziata asked us all to make sure our phones were on “vibrator.” And when Rob Ford ran across the room (ran!) to his seat to make sure he could get a vote in on time, and Councillor Shiner was heard to quip: “It was like a lightning bolt! I could hardly see him!” You can FEEL the tension when the councillors debate, even when it’s about something as seemingly boring as the “Transfer of Properties to Build Toronto and Declaration as Surplus” (which, by the way, I still don’t completely understand).

These councillors really are in there for a reason- they CARE about their communities and our city. And, darn it, it’s pretty cool.

Bottom line: If you’re from Toronto, you should go to a City Council meeting. They’re open to the public, they’re free, they’re air-conditioned… and they’re fun. I promise.

Here’s the schedule. (You can watch online here.) Next public City Council meeting is on June 6! SEE YOU THERE!

In the meantime… here’s a documentary about municipal politics from comedy duo Tim & Eric: