Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gigging with HitZone at the fabulous Commodore Ballroom

The last time I was at the Commodore I was backstage shooting video of Loverboy for Kelly and Rach's All Access Pass. Last weekend I was fortunate enough to not just be backstage, but onstage.
And oh what a stage,  it was magnificent....I felt free as a bird!
The Commodore Ballroom. It's a legendary venue and many of the greatest bands and musical acts ever to pass through Vancouver have performed there over the years. Getting the opportunity to perform up on that stage is something of a massive thrill, not to mention a complete cakewalk as the staff and sound technicians at the Commodore treated us like gold.

So, I thought I would share some of my behind the scenes iPhone pictures from last weekend as my band HitZone played at the Commodore for a corporate event. I only took pics at soundcheck, but some of the band members took some live shots which I thought I would share also!

At sound check, I walked into the beautifully set up venue... Wow! It already felt like a party.

Russell Marsland, guitar genius and soul man getting his tones and sound set up during sound check.

Shawn Soucy, dialing in his monitor sounds so he can drive the bus with his solid, funky, outstanding beats and rhythms.

Billy Mendoza, grooving, driving the bus with Shawn and keeping the low notes .

Tom "check, check, hook me up with a wireless cause I'll probably jump into the crowd and party with the dancers"  Arntzen.

Outstanding horn players Bill Abbott and John Korsrud joined us for the night!  (Sorry John I only had this shot where your back is turned...)

And then, we took to the stage.....and oh what a night!

I love my job, so much!
Just thought I'd share a little peek with you all!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Hugs, Rach!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vancouver bands rock the River Rock casino!

So, I was at the Canada Line station near the  the River Rock Casino with my son and when we walked past this poster my son said: "Look Mom, there is Kelly Brock!", and I said: "Um, yes son, and that is your Mother directly beside her." ; )  

It was his first time seeing me on such a poster and it was kinda fun because I also pointed out the rest of the bands on the bill whom are all fantastic musicians and performers. I felt proud to tell my son that  not only does my corporate band Hitzone also play there,  but I am friends with some of the other acts on the bill. I did a little name dropping then telling him that sometimes I sit in with Dr. Stangelove, and also my friends  (including my music producer) play in Atlantic Crossing. Both are excellent shows that you should catch. In fact all the acts listed are fantastic and I suggest you check them out!

And if you want to see me and my band when we take the stage then strap on your dancing shoes and come to Lulu's lounge in the River Rock Casino on Oct 12-13th!  My very special guest Paul Tobin will be joining me onstage for the night and we will be playing some of his new songs from his soon to be released CD! I invite all his Saskatoon friends who are located in Vancouver to mark the date and come listen to a sneak peak of the new tunes!

See you there!
Rach! xo

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BareBones live acoustic music at Mavericks.

Looking for a good place in the Surrey, Cloverdale, Langley area to watch some great live music?

Tuesday nights at Mavericks you will find BareBones acoustic night. Sometimes I'm on the bill, such as last night where I brought the totally talented Russell Earl Marsland along with me. Russell normally plays guitar in my band Hitzone so this acoustic thing was brand new and different for us and just a pile of fun. I thought I might send a thanks to my friends Wayne and Lory who came out for a listen and captured this song and posted it on You Tube before I even got home, it's just a sneak peak of what  you can expect if you hit Mavericks on a Tuesday.

And on that note, I  thought I would send a prop to Mavericks for their support of live music, Don Taylor really gets a hold of some amazing local talent and if you enjoy acoustic music, all of his acts are top notch all the way. Many of the artists are  people who have been featured here on my blog, Dan Hare, Mick Dalla Vee, Brent Howard to name a few.  There are some really serious players in the rotation, folks who on a regular day of work can usually be found up on a concert stage playing to thousands and yet...... if you come down to Mavericks on a Tuesday night they are right in front of you in an intimate setting, playing songs you love and lighting the room with pure talent.

Thanks to Mavericks for making that happen.
They also serve a seriously mean burger....totally worth the visit.

Cheers, hope your summer  rocks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rock the Shit out of Cancer!

Spotted on Facebook:

Gene Greenwood wrote--- My Good Friend 'Rachael Pachel' was my first live video shoot after surviving Cancer... Now this is the 500th video since that day. I thought this was significant as it involves Rachael, a Cancer Benefit, my girlfriends ( Christina Carrick ) first solo Shoot and my 500th Video.

Cool story.

PS. also spotted at the Rock the Shit out of Cancer benefit.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kelly and Rach visit Urban Rush, and love them..... as well as Fiona's bracelet...

Recently, Kelly and Rach's All Access Pass got an exclusive tour behind the scenes on the set of the award winning entertainment talk show Urban Rush which is  hosted by the delightfully funny Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford. I wanted to share the video with you all for a couple of reasons; firstly, we just had such a great time. Not only are the dynamic duo quick witted and hilarious but they were warm and welcoming and both Kelly and I really had a wonderful day. Secondly, I noticed while we were on set that Fiona Forbes also wears a F*ck Cancer bracelet,  a stunning piece of artwork designed by Susan Fiedler for Inspire Health. Some of you already know from a previous blog post  this  is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and seeing as  Fiona is one of Vancouver's hippest 'it' girls, always with  her finger firmly on the pulse of whats hot and happening in this city, I thought this was a great opportunity to tell you all once again about these stunning pieces of wearable art. 

The best way to do this is to re-direct you right to the F*ck Cancer website so you can read all about them and find out how to purchase one for yourself or for someone you love. I also find this to be a perfect time to mention  the F*ck Cancer ambassador program which welcomes other cancer fundraising organizations and individuals who want to use the F*ck Cancer bracelet or artwork for their own fundraising programs or events.

And in the meantime, do enjoy the video Kelly and I made of our visit to the set of Urban Rush, it was a breathless ride of fun good vibes, and do please make sure to tune in to the show on Shaw TV,  if you everwant to know what's really going on in this city, you can be sure Urban Rush is there to tell you about it!

Rach  xo

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vancouver Kids Walk for Help Phone 2011, help break the silence.

Each year, seven million of us experience mental illness. Many can’t get help as most of the needed public services are delivered piecemeal or they fall outside of medicare. It's tragic, since hardly anyone is untouched by the problem. And yet, here we are in 2011, with not enough attention or resources directed to mental health issues because they are still so shrouded with embarrassment and fear.  And youth are especially vulnerable for they are the most silent victims of all. Research shows that while the majority of mental disorders are treatable, only a fraction of young people recieve any type of mental health care.

This is where Kids Help Phone comes in, for they have given children a voice by giving them a line to someone who will care and listen. Since their phone lines went live in May 1989, Kids Help Phone’s professional counsellors have been providing help and hope to young people in every community. No matter what the problem, Kids Help Phone is there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with caring, professional support for young people from five to 20 who reach out for help.

And now they need our help.

On Sunday May 1st people from over 40 comunities across Canada will be walking for Kids Help Phone.    By participating in this walk we help break the silence on mental health.

This year will be my third year participating in the walk. The first year I walked with with Team Yummy as part of the west coast Yummy Mummy Club. The second year I entertained the crowd with a band of musicians assembled from members of the League of Rock.  And this year I've asked some of my friends from Lushious band to join me onstage and we are very much looking forward to contributing to this important fundraiser. I'm also hoping you will come down and support the festivities or even better,  put together a team, collect some donations and do the lovely 5K walk around the golf course at Langara. The event is a terrific family affair with snacks, games, contests, bouncy castles, facepainting, balloons, radio stations, fitness clubs, booths, celebs, music and much more.
And if you can't make it please tune into CTV who will be there covering the event, and do check out the website  if something about this moves you to take a part and help, you will find ways you can donate or help sponsor a team.


            Below you can click the pictures to visit some of the Kids Walks corporate sponsors. We thank them for their dedication to breaking the silence.

Rach xo

Saturday, March 5, 2011

dinner's ready! ~cooking with rach~

There was once a time when my entire day was devoted to changing diapers, caring for the house and cooking meals for my family. Fortunately the diapers are now gone and the children are older but like other working Moms I no longer have all day quite so free to focus on planning a menu so I've had to learn how to make super quick and easy meals out of scraps of leftover nothing sometimes. Handy because I don't use recipes. Trying to please young palates and still getting veggies into them is always my goal. If I can sneak nutrients in in any way by chopping them up small and hiding them in sauces or under cheese, then I do that. If I do say so myself my food is simply delicious, even it is kinda fattening. I'm no expert on anything but I don't think we should deprive ourselves of the joy of delicious eating so do eat well, but moderate. (That's my tip for getting away with all the naughty ingredients).

One day I took a shot of my dinner with my iPhone and was surprised how well it turned out for an iPhone shot. It sparked a number of picture essays which I've been sharing lately on my facebook and it's been suggested  that I put the series in a collection somewhere together online, rather than just  in random untidy posts.  
So I filed them in an album called Cooking with Rach which you can see here.
Here are a few highlights:


rach  xo

Monday, February 21, 2011

a princess for a party~

You all may remember my friend Alyssa from previous posts or videos about my substitute gigs with Abbacadabra.

One day Alyssa arrived downtown for one of our Abba gigs wearing a princess costume because she forgot to bring a change of clothes after giving a princess party. So together we had to walk around downtown with her still in her costume. I had the best time ever laughing with her at the looks people were giving her, struggling  to keep a straight face as if it is perfectly normal to be wandering around Gastown with Cinderella. Anyhow I have always wished to do a video for Alyssa to support her because just in knowing her I was virtually certain she was the most perfect princess ever.

Last week (as it happens), my friend and All Access Pass co-host Kelly's daughter Kayla had a visit from a very special princess and I was there to catch the magic. I always knew Alyssa was going to be a great princess but I didn't realize how much she looks and acts like was born to be one until I saw her in action with the kids. I don't even need to give an endorsement, you can see what it does for them right here in this video, it's written all over Kayla's face!

For more info on how you can invite a princess to your little girls party, visit Alyssa's website here!

And may a real princess come sprinkle fairy dust on you too! xo

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt and the the Who's from Whoville

I started watching the happenings in Egypt basically from day one and one of the major things that impressed me as it grew was their steadfast dedication to remaining peaceful. Even in the face of brutal beatings and taunting by the opposing thugs they stayed true to their message and carried their protests in peace.
The real turning point of the uprising in my mind happened the day after all the worst of the violence and bloodshed. Despite the regimes cowardly efforts to bully the people into submission, the uprising grew larger and even more peaceful.

When I woke up to the news that morning it sent shivers up my spine. I was so pleased to feel like a part of our human collective got it right and figured out how to truly gather peacefully to make change and to do it on such a wide scale...... THAT is why I wear rose colored glasses, because I do believe that most people/humans want peace and good and the power of that does not have to fall in fear under the shadows of bullies and tyrants. Even though bullies exist, we really don't have to let them rule.

The tipping point that connected people I think was literally 'connection'. Social media was the spark. The ability to pass on the message to each other is what allowed them to galvanize over a shared emotion, it started this movement. Incredible.

It's amazing because this has been unlike any other time in history as far as sharing information goes, and even though the govt shut down the Internet in the early days of the unrest, I think enough people had been reached. They had felt it and clearly they recognized themselves in each other, the saw that they ALL had been very unhappy people for a long time and suddenly they were unwilling to settle for it.

When death becomes a more attractive option to you than living under the same depressing conditions, then you have no choice to stand up for yourself and try to institute change.

And they were smart enough to know that they would lose the message by doing anything other than having a unified and peaceful protest. Good for them. It's inspiring to the core.

Yes, that day after the violence when they all came out to the square like the little Who's from Whoville to sing around the empty Christmas tree..........for me at least, I had this real sense that this uprising might actually be able to sustain itself all the way to a successful revolution.

It was an incredible moment yesterday when he stepped down, today on the news they showed people rejoicing in the streets......, you could feel the country breathe again.

I will be very curious to see how the military handles the transition. I hope they are smart about it, or at least choose for themselves to make an impressive mark in history. They could be instrumental in building something amazing if they just travel ahead 'with' the people and really focus on building a new country with them.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I just like this song, and asked my band one night if we could play it.
On the spot, without hesitation they said, yeah! I love it when they do that, or when an audience
member asks for Hotel California and we just do it on the fly, and we decide we like it so much we add it to our set list...yeah....this is why I am so lucky.  :)  Thanks to Brian Wright  for taking the video and sharing it. :)


Monday, January 10, 2011

Modern Vocalist features League of Rock band Bitter Suite on their weekly spotlight.

I thought I would share with you today this video from the 4th session West Coast League of Rock finale last December, seeing as the last thing I mentioned is that we were preparing for the show. So on finale night, past member Brian Wright was there to support the showcase and he took this video of the last band of the night, Bitter Suite. Loralee Parks made the video work in her favor when she submitted it and it was accepted as a weekly feature on the well populated Modern Vocalist website.

Bio below was cut and pasted from the website:

Loralee Parks hails from the beautiful city of Vancouver Canada. She spent several years in retail sales & management until wanderlust set in. She then packed up everything to work on board luxury cruise lines hosting informational talks & seminars on shopping and port information. After traveling the world, she then decided it was time to head back home to Vancouver and settle on land. Ever since a young age Loralee always had a love for singing and entertaining. Mainly a hobby singer, she never really pursued her talents until about 2 years ago when she got serious and started taking vocal lessons with a master Speech Level Singing coach in Vancouver. After committing to daily vocalizing and practicing she truly found her voice and a new confidence on stage. With the encouragement from her vocal coach, friends, and family she was urged to get out there and perform. Without knowing many people in the Vancouver music scene, Loralee joined an organization called “The League of Rock” where musicians of any skill levels can join a band, rehearse, record, and perform in 10 weeks. This program not only gave her an opportunity to perform but also to meet and network with many professional musicians in the Vancouver area. The band “Bitter Suite” for example only met 10 weeks prior to this performance. Loralee is excited to be pursuing her love for singing and is currently looking at several new opportunities that are developing since her debut with “Bitter Suite”.

Congrats to the band!  What a nice thing to come out of the League of Rock.

By the way there is a Groupon deal if you want to have a taste of the league......$59 for a one day, 4 hour workshop where you will get a sense of the community and rock and roll atmosphere..... go to website for more info  hurry there is only a day left!

Sweet Kerosene band with me and Topher Stott, season 4 showcase!

Rach xo