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Natalia Yanchak

Keyboardist, The Dears

Natalia is the keyboardist for the Montreal art rock group The Dears, whose 6th album "Times Infinity Volume One" is out September 25, 2015. In addition to being a full-time musician, she is also a blogger, speculative fiction writer, mother, gardener, video gamer, self-described “plainclothes nerd” and reluctant optimist. Read her blog at nataliayanchak.com.
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The Crushing End of Summer Festival Season

As the summer draws to a close, we look forward only to the rigidity of back-to-school bro-fests organized by student unions. The life of a touring musician is far from glamorous, summer festivals or winter club shows. But at the end of the day that adrenaline rush of playing a show -- any show -- makes it all worthwhile.
09/22/2015 08:03 EDT
Vevo

How I Became a Katy Perry Sympathizer

Currently making the rounds on Facebook is this parenting blog post about our responsibility to teach kids about "good music." What a load of hipster-douchebag crap. My retort: How on earth did your kids get exposed to this "shitty" music in the first place? So when my eight-year-old daughter decides her favourite singer is Katy Perry, what do I do? In my mind, my daughter must make her own decisions.
09/09/2013 12:37 EDT

A Dispatch From the Wright Awards Jury

While hardly a fan of awards (personally afflicted with "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" syndrome), I love nothing more than to use my unqualified opinion to judge others. Who is qualified, anyway? Reviews and art criticism are the pinnacle of narcissism, which is why I generally keep to myself on such matters.
04/11/2013 04:38 EDT
Alamy

Have Baby, Will Blog

Three months ago we welcomed a baby boy into this world. Our second child. I feel that as a blogger I'm obligated to tap into these days of infancy, that I should be mommy-blogging to the extreme, documenting the experience for all to share. Where is this pressure coming from?
02/06/2013 05:23 EST

How the Looming Apocalypse Has Taught Us to Prepare

Two words: Apocalypse Preparedness. It's on the minds of the citizens of the Western World and is stimulating this Leftist-Libertarianism. Simply put, when the world goes to shit and it's every person for themselves, those with a cold-storage full of preserves and an equipped workshop that can repair radios and shotguns will be more likely to survive.
12/17/2012 06:01 EST
GETTY IMAGES

Walking my Kids Around the Edge of the Music Industry

I am now in the twilight of my second pregnancy. This being our second child, I feel more confident than I did the first time around. Parenting is an odd, amorphous journey you take with your children. We have to avoid cramming our own nostalgia down their throats and let them discover who they are and the culture that will inevitably inform their identity. So as I shepherd a seven-year-old carefully around the edges of the music industry, I will also welcome a new person, who will grow up hearing me talk crap about music marketing and false-representation in the arts.
10/10/2012 07:35 EDT
Alamy

Now That I'm a Mom, I'm Less Vice and More Economist

Pondering the genesis of hipsterdom, I often trace it back to Vice, and the importance they laid on the concept of "cool." I mean, Vice didn't invent it, they just presented a pre-existing sub-culture in a consumable format. And yeah: back then, I understood what Vice was because I was living it. But it's not 1997. After having a kid, I was admittedly nervous about having a full-colour, glossy magazine showing stylized images of syringes, used condoms and blood-soaked models lying around the house.
09/27/2012 12:10 EDT
CP

The Game of Politics Shouldn't Claim Lives

During Pauline Marois' victory speech in Quebec last night, gun shots were fired -- an alleged "assassination" attempt on the outspoken leader, as a 62-year-old armed with a handgun and an assault rifle "lost his shit" outside the venue. Marois was unharmed but sadly someone actually died in this vapid protest. We each are responsible for embracing the idea that there is a place for everyone in society, and that to fight for fierce nationalism or singularly-minded patriotism is a dangerous and unnecessary battle to wage.
09/05/2012 02:18 EDT
Alamy

As Music Gets Apathetic, I'm Looking for Other Creative Outlets

Lately I've been obsessed with today's musical climate. Too long have I agonized over this sentiment, trying to reconcile whether "it's just me" or if music has evolved into a new beast with unusual behaviours I no longer understand. But I've decided: Modern music, I am done with thee. What keeps me going is the knowledge that people are still putting their souls into things. How do I know? Because it is in our human nature to create.
08/23/2012 11:49 EDT
AP

Will Google's "Don't Be Evil" Mantra Save My Life?

I think, like Facebook, Apple has peaked. As I type this on my MacBook Pro -- the "entry-level" model from a few years ago, a computer that is powerful enough to record, edit and multitrack an entire album or batch process hundreds of images at a time -- I wonder why I need such a powerful machine?
08/07/2012 12:54 EDT