Thursday, September 19, 2013

Airplus Stands for Comfort and They Mean It

After a busy summer of festivals and shows, travel and just enjoying the city, the folks over at Airplus must have heard our dogs barking! 

We were sent their new Geo Gel insole line and we have to say, putting them under foot is almost like walking on a cloud.

The insoles include a patented gel technology with six-sided spring-like gel cells that move with your foot to cushion you as you walk. It's really light weight and helps to wick away moisture so your feet stay cool and dry.

The line features a full length insole ($16.99), an orthotic insole for extra support ($14.99) and a heel cushion for superior heel comfort ($9.99).

But the Airplus line doesn't stop there, there are so many other neat Airplus products that help save your feet when on the go. Have a look in your local Walmart, Shoppers, Loblaws or Target pharmacy and see what they have. 

Trust me, your feet will thank you.

images (c)Airplus

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review: The Troop

When Simon and Schuster Canada sent us the anticipated horror book The Troop by Nick Cutter, we knew we were in for a gory treat. The king of horror, Stephen King, even endorsed the book right on the cover! There’s no arguing with that.

The Troop by Nick Cutter has been one of the better thriller novels I've read in years. I expected to be creeped out and I wasn't disappointed!

Sure, The Troop was distinctly lacking any female characters and was essentially a novel of the degeneration of a group of boys without adult supervision. But it was superbly written, especially with the inclusion of articles and background on the cause of the outbreak. 

Cutter was able to expertly write believable characters, envision a lovely and secluded island for the boys and never once did I want to stop reading. While the story is simple, a troop of boys on an island get stranded when an infected stranger arrives. Part Lord of the Flies and part The Ruins, The Troop turns into a psychological thriller interspersed with horrific and graphic deaths. 

The gore was never too much or over the top, it fit in perfectly with each death and character. Even though the boys try to avoid death by worm, the real threat was one of their own. 

All this simply works in The Troop. Cutter blends seamlessly the sometimes intense horror with the psychological drama that makes monsters seem tame when compared to humanity.

What starts off as a seemingly innocent Boy Scout trip on a lonely island turns into a living nightmare as a stranger with unnatural symptoms crawls ashore with a vicious hunger that leaves Scoutmaster Tim and his five scouts fighting for survival. 

A little bit Lord of the Flies, a little bit Steven King and all kinds of creepy, the Troop forces you out of your comfort zone and leaves you with an icky, anxious feeling that you can’t quite shake.

It’s been some time since I have read anything so graphically detailed that I physically squirmed just reading certain passages. The words paint such a vivid picture that anyone with a slight imagination will be exposed to all the gory visuals as they tip toe through the mess that unravels from chapter to chapter.

Each character is rich with his own issues, all of which, when grouped together, create a smorgasbord of ego, knowledge and fear. There’s an alpha male who is determined to control the group no matter the cost, the over-weight nerd who is possibly the only one with any sense of survival skills, the two childhood friends who play the ying to the other’s angered yang, and of course the odd guy out, the guy with sociopathic tendencies and an apathetic joy of ripping apart animals and playing with his friends’ psyches. 

Surprisingly, a story which could have quickly turned into every boy for himself shows a rare camaraderie as the boys cling to each other for survival, tending to their troubled friends instead of leaving them behind. It offers almost an inspiring, hopeful tone to the story. Too bad they’re all doomed no matter what they do.

I really enjoyed the format as well; news articles and interview transcripts are interlaced between chapters, giving the reader an idea of the unholy demise that lies ahead and adding some background information to the situation. This format works extremely well and adds another level to the narrative. And Cutter is humble enough to admit that this technique was lovingly lifted from King’s Carrie.

The Troop is the kind of book that plants itself deep within you, forcing you to carry it with you wherever you go long after you try to put it down. My skin is still crawling.

City Girls Rating: Four out of Five glasses of wine.

Image from google images

Monday, September 9, 2013

Unsigned #26 & Steam Whistle Contest!

Steam Whistle is back with another Unsigned Series, featuring a lineup of great bands. Which means we're back too with another great Steam Whistle contest!

On September 27th, Steam Whistle will host Unsigned #26, celebrating Canadian indie music. The show will be hosted in the Brewery’s Beer Hall and will feature Maylee Todd (an Unsigned alumni, playing with Woodhands in March 2007 as the very first band to to grace their stage!), AKUA (recently picked up as a back-up singer for Solange), and Paradise Animals (The new project from Mark Andrade, another alumni who has previously played Unsigned with Green Go). 

Doors open at 8pm and admission is only $5 at the door with all proceeds from ticket sales going back to the community through the Artists Health Alliance. 


CityGirlScapes is giving away a Steam Whistle Unsigned #26 Prize Pack that includes two (2) tickets to the Unsigned 26 show on September 27, refreshment tickets, brewery tour passes and Steam Whistle merch.

To Enter

1. Follow @CityGirlScapes on Twitter

2. RT our #CityGirlsContest tweet to enter.

Contest closes on Sept 23. Must be 19 years of age or older and a legal resident of Ontario to enter. 

Winner selection is based upon a random draw held following the contest closing date from all eligible entries received. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

Prize pack must be picked up at the door of the event on the day of the event. Identification will be checked at the door, so if you are under age you will not get in or receive the prize pack offered in the contest. 

Don't forget to check back here after the show for our full review and pictures from the event. GOOD LUCK!

About the Bands:
Maylee Todd is a dynamic and multi-faceted artist, based in Toronto. Her creativity derives its inspiration from a wide range of artistic disciplines: songwriting, production, film, performance art, and design. Maylee’s music combines organic and electronic forms, including elements of boogie, bossa, space funk, psychedelia and soul. She is truly a free spirit who brings all of these seemingly disparate influences into honest, soulful, harmonious yet uncompromising vibrations. Maylee Todd is one of the two performers of Ark Analog who will be playing Unsigned London on September 13th and is also an Unsigned alumni who played the first ever Unsigned show at the brewery with Woodhands.

With emotion and texture at the center of her songwriting there’s reason A K U A’s music has been so warmly received by the few that have happened upon it: it’s real and it’s raw. Having already opened for a wide variety of performers, including Solange, Cody ChesnuTT, Little Scream and Katy B, it’s safe to say that A K U A’s first year as a solo artist is off to a promising start. Akua is currently on tour with Solange (Beyonce’s sister) as a backup singer.

"A lot of bands are forged through friendships, but Paradise Animals take it a step further. Mark Andrade and Gary Pereira used to live beside each other in Guelph, and Pereira now shares a bedroom wall in Toronto with Kerri Silva, to the point where they will knock messages through it and wake up to the sound of the other sneezing. To say that they are close seems to be an understatement, and the band’s comfort with each other comes across in both their music and their conversation.” – Gray Owl Point

images from official websites

Friday, September 6, 2013

CityGirls 13-14 Fall TV Guide

Every year us CityGirls are giddy with excitement when September rolls around. The new Fall TV season is almost upon us and we’re busy figuring out how to PVR all of our returning favorites and new must see shows! This year instead of giving you a synopsis of each show and the reasons why we watch it, we’re going to break it down by genre and give you a glimpse into the inner us.

We are not ashamed to say we are nerdy girls and will always be attracted to shows that play to that. We’re predicting that this year’s break out hit will be ABC’s Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. We’re just not saying this because we loved The Avengers, but it’s by Joss Whedon and that man can do no wrong. 

Must watch Nerdy shows:

· Almost Human (Mondays @ 8pm on FOX, Global)
· Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Tuesdays @ 8pm on ABC, CTV)
· Supernatural (Tuesdays @ 9pm on CW) * ^
· Revolution (Wednesdays @ 8pm on NBC, CityTV)
· Arrow (Wednesdays @ 8pm on CW, CTV) *
· The Tomorrow People (Wednesdays @ 9pm on CW, CTV)*
· The Big Bang Theory (Thursdays @ 8pm on CBS, CTV)

Must watch Dramas:

· Castle (Mondays @ 10pm on ABC, CTV)
· The Blacklist (Mondays @ 10pm on NBC, Global)
· Sons of Anarchy (Tuesdays @ 10pm on FXX) *
· Nashville (Wednesdays @ 10pm on ABC, CityTV)
· Homeland (Sundays @ 9pm on Showtime)
· Masters of Sex (Sundays @ 10pm on Showtime)

Must watch Horror ^:

· Supernatural (Tuesdays @ 9pm on CW)
· American Horror Story (Wednesdays @ 10pm on FXX)
· Grimm (Fridays @ 9pm on NBC, CTV)
· The Walking Dead (Sundays @ 9pm on AMC)

Must watch Comedy:

· New Girl (Tuesdays @ 9pm on FOX, CityTV)
· Community (Midseason, TBS on NBC)
· It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Wednesdays @ 10pm on FXX)
· The Big Bang Theory (Thursdays @ 8pm on CBS, CTV)
· Parks and Rec (Thursdays @ 8pm on NBC)

Must watch show due to high numbers of Hot Guys * :

· Supernatural (Tuesdays @ 9pm on CW)
· Arrow (Wednesdays @ 8pm on CW, CTV)
· The Tomorrow People (Wednesdays @ 9pm on CW, CTV)
· Sons of Anarchy (Tuesdays @ 10pm on FXX)

You’ve probably noticed that a few shows overlapped into a several CityGirls genres. This simply couldn’t be helped. Many of the returning shows we’ve watched from since Season 1, episode 1 and whether for nostalgic or love for certain actors, we keep watching. Sometimes, a show just gets it right each and every episode.

If you're still undecided about how to schedule your TV watching this fall, we recommend that you visit The Futon Critic for indepth synopses and premiere dates. We hope you’ll be as hooked on TV as we are.