Neighbourhood singalong

Saturday, May 16, 2020

I performed a short concert for my condo townhouse complex, and live-streamed it on Facebook.


Aaron Bentley and Friends at The Bean

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm performing at The Bean on Thursday, accompanied by my friends Dominic and Sarah von Riedemann. Also on the bill: Signe Miranda and Joel Sweet. The showcase starts at 9:00 pm, but there's an open stage segment starting at 7:30pm.

Be there, be somewhere else, but be here now. Wherever "here" is. Whenever "now" is.

In sum:

Aaron Bentley & Friends
Signe Miranda
Joel Sweet

9:00pm Thursday Feb 17
The Bean
388 College St.,  2 blocks east of Bathurst
Pay what you can

Aug 29 Kensington Market show

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm performing on Sunday in the Pedestrian Sunday street festival in Kensington Market, in front of the Moonbean Café at 30 Saint Andrew Street.

I'll be performing in two acts. At 3:00, I'll perform my own songs, as Aaron Bentley and Friends (the friends being, in this case, Dominic von Riedemann, Sarah von Riedemann, and Simon Loban). At 4:00, I'll be performing as part of Funkenspiel. The showcase starts at 1:15 and the full schedule is:

1:15 pm: Laura Fernandez and special guests
2:00 pm: Flickershow
3:00 pm: Aaron Bentley & Friends
4:00 pm: Funkenspiel!
5:00 pm: Frank Patrick
5:45 pm: The Kindly Ones

So, to sum up:

Sunday, Aug 29
1:15 start
3:00 Aaron
30 St Andrew St.

See you there! Or see you later!


Feb 18 Performance at The Bean

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm performing this Thursday, Feb 18 at The Bean. Signe Miranda organized the event, and Lisa Marie Kruchak is also performing. It starts with an open stage from 7:45 to 9:00, and featured performers from 9-11.

Signe explains, "It's fully acoustic (no mic), but they now have a mixing board, if you need to plug in (1/2" & XLR)! Musicians, singers, poets, storytellers, dancers and other types of performance artists are welcome to share their art.

Coffee, liquor license, music, all ages."

The Bean (formerly Kahawa Coffee House) is:

388 College St. (2 blocks east of Bathurst) 416-964-9900


Pedestrian Sundays

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'll be playing next week at Pedestrian Sunday. I'll be playing as part of The Dukes of Groove, reprising our R&B set from Sabypalooza. This is your chance to see it downtown. I'll be playing guitar, flute and keys, and singing lead vocals on "Hard to Handle".

I'll be playing a set of my own songs (and a few covers) with my friends, Dominic von Riedemann, Sarah von Riedemann and Dominic Major.

Also on the bill are:
  • The Kindly Ones
  • Brilliant Fish (Rob Greenway)
  • Julian Sark
  • Shawn Sage

Location: In front of the Moonbeam Café, 30 St Andrews St. (TBC)

Time: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm


After the gig

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I don't know why it came into my mind, but at the last minute I decided to do a comedy set. That meant chucking many of the songs I'd rehearsed and substituting some I hadn't rehearsed at all.

I dropped "Blue Skies", "Feelin' Fine", "Basket Case", "The Alligator Song" and "The Light. I added "Laundry & Lint", "Only Wanna Screw", "Big Bottom", "Wish I Were an Asshole", and Dennis Leary's "Asshole". In the end, it looked like this:

  • Laundry & Lint
  • Bring on the Rain
  • Works Department
  • Backing up is Hard to Do
  • Only Wanna Screw
  • Big Bottom
  • Comfortable Things
  • Wish I Were an Asshole
  • If You Don't Play
  • Asshole

That's half the songs replaced, but that's not disaster territory for me. If I've rehearsed a song enough in the past, it will come back to me as I play it. It's like dominos in reverse: each line sets up the next one. I barely know what the line is until I'm about to sing it. It works even in a song like Asshole, with two rants as well as the rest of the song.

There's something lost and something gained by flying by the seat of your pants. When you know the wings could come off at any moment, that gives a certain energy. But when you're completely confident, when your body knows what it's doing and can finish the song without you, that lets to focus on making the performance great.

Bits of this performance went over better than others. "Only Wanna Screw", "Backing Up is Hard to Do", and "Big Bottom" got laughs. Myke said he liked "Works Department". Marcus Walker played on many songs, which definitely raised the level of the performance. It was funny, because I deliberately hadn't asked Dominic or Sarah von Riedeman to play with me. The Best of the Open Stage made me think of solo singer-songwriters, so that's what I decided to be when I played there. Then half the guests showed up as duos.

Having a good audio memory has been a blessing and a curse. Because I quickly memorize a part, I don't need written music very long. So I've never learned to read it quickly. But in the local music scene, people are expected to run from memory. And how could I have pulled last night off if I wasn't good at that?


Aaron Back in Some Kind of Saddle-thing

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I'll be performing next week as part of the "Best of the Open Stage" series at The Free Times Café

Also featured: Myke Mazzei, Marni Levitt, Rob Elder

Marcus Walker is hosting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
8:45pm - 11:35pm
The Free Times Café
320 College St.

After all these years, I've still got it. That's what this says to me.

Come out and see me perform. I'll play you some of my songs, maybe a few covers, and try to ramble on entertainingly between them. If there's something particular you want to hear, lemme know.


Pictures from the Woodhouse

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I played my gig at The Woodhouse, and played it well. The other feature, Carmen Schreyer, fell ill, so I played a giant 16-song set. Mostly mine, but a few covers, including Worst Apartment, by request. Simon Loban was kind enough to take some pics of me, and I also took some pictures of Kim Boyce.

Here are the pictures.


Gig: Dec 2 at Holy Joe's

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'll be performing on Saturday, Dec 2 at Holy Joe's. Signe Miranda's Veranda will also be playing, and another band. Details to follow.


Never Learned to Blaaathe

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I've been spending an awful lot of time with Dominic Major lately. For Dominic and Sarah's Jack and Jill party, I decided to write new lyrics for the Kindly Ones song "Never learned to love". This song postulates that Dominic will be sad on Sarah's wedding day because when he wrote it, Dominic couldn't predict that he would be the groom.

It's just a wee bit out of date, so the plan was to make an up-to-date version.

I didn't have a thought of changing the music, and in fact I figured it would be a good challenge learning to play that song exactly as Dominic does.

But Major suggested we should try changing the style while we were at it, and so we settled on doing it reggae-style. So we spent weeks rehearsing it.

Only to flub it on the big night because we let Dominic and Sarah play with us, and they had no idea what we were doing.


Review of the Savannah Lounge Open Stage

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Here's another review: The Savannah Lounge Open Stage


Now available with music!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

As it turned out, it's quite easy to to put a Flash player on your music site these days. Just get a copy of XSPF Player, write up a playlist, and stick them both on your site.

I've put up the same selections from Theatre of the Perverse that appear on my MySpace page, plus Overtired, and a bunch of live recordings.

XSPF Music Player is Free [1] software, so not only is cheap, but you can modify it if you don't like the defaults. And it uses MP3 as its format, so uploading your songs doesn't require any conversion. The downside is, you don't have a choice about whether your songs will be downloadable, or just streamed. They must be downloadable – it's how XSPF works.

While I'm here, folks may find these instructions useful: How to correctly insert a Flash into XHTML.

[1]"As in freedom"


Monday, September 11, 2006

I've gone and MySpaced myself. My myspace page page has final-master versions of Wish I Were an Asshole, Blue Skies, and Pennies to the Pound, from my soon-to-be-posthumously-released CD, Theatre of the Perverse.

Plus a bunch of myspace friend listings, most of whom are actually my friends, not just MySpace friends. And my typical excuses about what I mean when I say I sound like Green Day.

If you can't tell, I'm more than a little ambivalent about joining this giant flytrap of a web site. I'm doing it mainly for the connections, and for the music player. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy running my own site. Hmm, I wonder whether I can leach my own music player? Mwahaha! Or maybe just use a grotty HTML hack to incorporate my real site into the myspace page...

On the other hand, I just put the music up this morning, and it's already got

13 plays today. I think most of them were me, though.


Free Times goes Oasis?

Monday, September 11, 2006

There's an extra reason to hit The Free Times tonight. Tom Glenne, the original Oasis open stage host, will be hosting the open stage. That mean more Oasis alumni will make the effort, which means more Oasis alumni will make the effort. It's a stone soup thing. Or maybe Tom's the speck of grit at the center of the pearl.

Regardless, I'm betting it will be a special night, just because of the vibe. And it will be special for me, anyhow, because I'm bringing my Les Paul to The Free Times for the first time. You can't normally go electric there, because no one brings an amp. But I'm betting Tom will, and worst case, I go through the P.A.


Review of the Loons jam

Friday, August 04, 2006

Here's another review: The Loons Jam


New review of Degrassi jam

Friday, August 04, 2006

Here's my first review: The Degrassi Jam


Site goes atomic!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The web site now provides Atom feeds of news posts. Which means you can keep up-to-date with your favourite feed reader, instead of checking here every 5 minutes in case I've updated.

That's how I keep track of friends' blogs (Sarah Ternoway, Marcus Walker, Dominic Major), and also many of the web sites and web comics I regularly visit. It's pretty sweet, really.

Atom feeds like to have permalinks to the entries, which I was planning to do anyway. After all, if you want to refer to the "Site goes atomic!" post in 5 months' time, it's unlikely to still be on the "News" page. But if you use the permalink, it should still work.



Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hello, folks.

New site

I have started working on my music site again. Starting with this news page, I'll be gradually rolling the whole site over to this new style.

As well as a new look, this new site is also created differently. It's written in Python (TurboGears) instead of PHP, and the source code is available as a Bazaar branch here. If you want to see more of my technical side, see Code Stuff.

New idea

I'm thinking of running posting a series of open stage reviews. Back when I was hosting open stages, that would have been a conflict of interest. But now I'm free, and interested in checking out new places. Does that tickle anyone's fancy? Let me know.

New band

I have joined a band, temporarily branded "The Core". This is Dominic Major's band. The other members are Dominic von Riedemann, Sarah J. Ternoway, Simon Loban, and Derek Stroud.

Old band

Albert Anyone has lost its bass player, Bill Kimberly. But we do have some ideas as to who might satisfy our low-frequency needs. And yes, we're aware of the spam problem on the site.