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Johnny Novak

Yes, it's my real name

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tonight was the monthly comedy show at one of the bars in the Byward Market. The bar shall remain nameless due to any negativity that may come out of this story. They’re a great bunch of people who support live comedy and we all hope to keep it that way. The comedy show happens on the last Monday of every month and any comic can get on. It’s pretty much a really long open mic, sometimes with up to 30 comedians. The show can go long some nights so not a lot of people, including the comedians stay the entire set. It’s understandable, no one wants to watch amateur comedy for more than a couple of minutes.

Tonight was no different, comedians coming and going. Except this night there was a drunk, bald, black guy yelling at the comedians. We’ll call him “Tupac”. (That’s not racist. It’s a doppelgänger, get it right) Tupac was being a dick the whole night blabbing through everyone’s sets until he got kicked out of the bar right before I went on stage. My set started off good, until I heard some yelling from the door way. It was Tupac.

Tupac continued to yell at me through the open window at the bar yelling stuff like “you suck stretch” and “I fucked your bitch mother”. (The latter I quickly proved wrong because I called her to deny the accusation) The crowd thought it was funny, so I carried on with my set. The truth is though, this guy actually scared the shit out of me and I was worried that he was going to attack me once I left the bar to walk to my car. I was the last comic on stage, so when I was done, the show was done. Some nice audience members walked with me outside but as soon as we got to the front of the bar, Tupac was waiting there. Now I’m not so worried because 1) Tupac is so drunk he doesn’t remember me and 2) even if he did, there are at least 7 guys standing between us.It’s always a good feeling when your audience has your back.

While walking across the parking lot, I look over my shoulder and see things turn for the worst. The group of guys are yelling at Tupac telling him to go home, then he punches a woman in the group. You never hit a woman and these guys knew that within less than a second. They chased Tupac around the corner into the market and beat him to the ground. I feel really bad for Tupac, I hope he’s okay but if I said “he didn’t deserve it” I would be a liar.

But for all of you who left early like the Sens were down 2-0 with 2 minutes to go in the 3rd period, you missed one hell of a night.

See you June 24th at “the bar with the little old french lady”, show starts at 10PM.

Good Night,

Johnny Novak


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Last night after a semi-decent open mic performance, I was standing outside a bar smoking a cigarette. Now, I’m not a smoker anymore, I used to smoke in high school but as soon as I turned 19 I lost all interest in it because buying smokes underage was more than half the fun of it. Since then I can count the number of cigarettes I’ve smoked on my fingers. After smoking it down to the butt, I went to throw it in 3the bucket hanging on the wall. Now I may be 6’4 but I was never good a basketball. My butt missed the bucket by a good 5 inches and all I could do is watch the tinniest reenactment of Armageddon as the little burning ember hurdled towards the leg of another gentlemen smoking. It hit the bottom of his pants, (luckily they weren’t cuffed) rolled down his greasy shoe and safely rested in a crack on the gum-covered sidewalk. Then a homeless guy picked it up and sucked the butt harder than a Dyson. A really dirty Dyson. Needless to say, don’t smoke kids.


“Disco Sucks!” a common phrase from the late ’70s, used by everyone from Dr. Johnny Fever from WKRP in Cincinnati to Geddy Lee of Rush. “Disco Sucks” hit its peak in 1979 with the infamous Disco Demolition Night, because blowing up records with drunk rock fans is always a good idea.


Once the 80s hit, rock carried on and disco pretty much fizzled out. Rock music has always been the same since the Beatles, 4 or 5 guys, guitars, bass and some drums. Disco was a little more complicated. You’ve got your guitar, bass, drums plus some violins, keyboards and even some backup singers. Disco was basically the dance music of the 70s and has slowly evolved over the years. With the introduction of computers into music, disco lost it’s “human touch” with loops and overdubs. When you add loops and overdubs to disco music it becomes house and EDM. (That’s electronic dance music for those of you over 35) More about this in a bit.

One of the few success stories from the disco era was a man named Nile Rodgers. First known as the guitarist from the band Chic, who had hits such as “Le Freak” and “Good Times”. “Good Times” was a huge hit on it’s own but it was also sampled by the Sugar Hill Gang on their song “Rapper’s Delight” which is commonly known as the first mainstream rap song to chart. After putting up cornerstones in rap and disco, Rodgers then went on to produce albums for David Bowie, Madonna, INXS and more recently Daft Punk.


Nile Rodgers: Hundreds of hits, one guitar riff.






Don’t believe me? Here’s a comparison.

Chic – “I Want Your Love” (1978)

Daft Punk – “Get Lucky” (2013)

Same guitarist, pretty much the same riff, 35 years apart.

So that brings us to the present, May 21 2013. Daft Punk’s fourth studio album Random Access Memories came out and there’s a lot of hype around it, including the numerous collaborators. (Including Rodgers)  The reviews are mixed but they all say the same thing: “It’s an EDM album but it’s recorded with real instruments”. If that’s the case, they’re taking a step back in time. To a time where dance music was made before computers. So if you put the instruments back into dance music…


That would make the  new Daft Punk album a disco album. But here’s the thing, is disco really that bad?

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