a-ha celebrates 30th anniversary with Deluxe Album Reissue

a-ha celebrates 30th anniversary with Deluxe Album Reissue

When I was an undergraduate student at Western University in London, ON (aka the University of Western Ontario) I would go to a downtown bar called Call The Office every Sunday for Retro Night. And every week they played my favourite retro tune: a-ha’s “Take on Me”. Now, a-ha is celebrating their 30th anniversary with a reissue of a classic alt-rock album. Hunting High and Low: Super Deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition will be released on September 18th, 2015. Super and deluxe!? This is going to be one great reissue.

Album reissues are popping up more and more, especially this year for bands celebrating anniversaries. Led Zeppelin’s first three albums have been remastered and reissued and The Who is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a reissue as well.

With four CDs, one DVD and a 60-page book, a-ha’s album set will include unreleased demos, music videos, rare photos, mixes and of course a full version of the original album. That album has sold more than 10 million copies since its original release in 1985. It was also reissued on 180 gram vinyl in May of this year.

The DVD that comes with the deluxe album contains an unseen alternate version of the “Take On Me” video as well as the classic version. The original video won 6 awards  at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards: Best New Artist in Video, Best Concept Video, Most Experimental Video, Best Direction, Best Special Effects and Viewer’s Choice.


Track Listing for the DVD – The Videos

  1. TAKE ON ME (1985 Version) – Directed by Steve Barron
  2. THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON T.V. – Directed by Steve Barron
  3. TRAIN OF THOUGHT – Directed by Candace Reckinger & Michael Patterson
  4. HUNTING HIGH AND LOW – Directed by Steve Barron
  5. TAKE ON ME (1984 Version) – Directed by Stevie Price
  6. TAKE ON ME (1985 Alternate Cut) – Directed by Steve Barron

In March of this year the band confirmed that they were reuniting and creating new music. Their latest single “Under the Makeup” was made available for streaming only last month. The song will be the first single off their next album Cast in Steel. They are planning a tour for Spring of 2016 and have said that more deluxe editions and vinyl reissues are coming.


VSC and OPDL: Improving Youth Soccer in Ontario one player at a time

What is OPDL?

According to their website, “The Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) is the province’s first standards-based, youth high performance league that combines top level competition with strict high performance training standards. This exciting new youth high performance program is an important component of the overall movement to adopt the core principles of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) across soccer at large in Ontario and Canada. In 2015, OPDL will include the 2001 (U14) and 2002 (U13) age groups.”

How We Got Started

The Vaughan Soccer Club (VSC) received our OPDL license in 2014. In our inaugural year with the league two 2001 teams were formed; one girls and one boys. It took a lot of work from our board of directors and office staff to put together a report proving to the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) that we as a club deserved to be part of this new league. “In order to participate, clubs must apply for a license and meet strict criteria that show themselves to be worthy of training and developing the province’s best.”

The main reason why the club wanted to get our OPDL license? OPDL is seen as an opportunity to be involved in a high performance program. The program is unique in that it is the first standard based league of its kind. It allows coaches and trainers to work with the top youth players in the VSC.

The Trainers and Coaches

This league would not be where it is today if it weren’t for the talented and dedicated coaches and trainers that run the program. Carmine Isacco, head Technical Director and Serge DeLuca, OPDL Director, along with trainers and coaches Jorden Feliciano, Vlad Karpenko, Boris Krimus and Vince Calabria run all teams in both age groups.

DeLuca explains, “Every season that passes I’ve matured and gotten better as a coach. Our schedule allows me to improve with every training session and game.


The Teams and Players

With 4 days of training plus 1 game per week and a season that lasts 11 months out of the year, OPDL players understand the amount of work and dedication it takes to be in this league. Improving with each passing week they work towards achieving their goals. “OPDL teams have a base level of training intensity and rigour akin to professional soccer environments that mean their players not only compete against the best, but train like the best.”

Improvements in players can be seen in ability, technique, tactic and physical strength. The players in the 2001 age group have matured exceptionally over the span of only one year making a big difference in their style of game play.

DeLuca believes that collaboration with the VSC has been essential in his players’ success in OPDL. “VSC is one of the leading developers of players in the region. These players have shown results on and off the field. Playing in OPDL provides a jumping off point for players to advance to professional soccer and is the first stepping stone in further improvement. This goes in line with what coaches and trainers are trying to achieve, getting athletes at the top level to reach their goal of moving towards higher levels of soccer and professional play.”


Working towards the future

The Vaughan Soccer Club hopes to add more players to OPDL as players join our competitive division. We will seek out players that have the potential to play at an even higher level of soccer.

Coaches, trainers and VSC as a whole would recommend OPDL because it is ultimately the highest level of soccer for youth in Ontario. DeLuca believes, “It gives youth the opportunity to play against the best players in the province while training to game ratios allow for extra practice for players to hone their skills. OPDL provides an environment for the player to build and develop in all aspects of the game.”


Walkable Wanderings: 5 Things to do along Spadina Avenue

With the weather getting nicer every day why not pick a downtown street and take a walk. Different distinct neighbourhoods you’ll pass through each have their own unique flavor and you’ll never know what hidden gems you’ll find along the way. Here are a few places to stop by along Spadina.

A&C Games

452 Spadina Ave.

Passing by this storefront literally made me stop in my tracks, take a few steps back and walk inside. The store was full of video games, old and new, geeky t-shirts and tons of video game accessories. There was even a video game tournament going on in the back section of the store. I bought a Nintendo64 controller for just under $40, not bad. The guy in the store made me play Goldeneye to test it out, I suck at Goldeneye.

Banh Mi Nguyen Huong

322 Spadina Ave.

Need lunch for $2.25? No problem! Stop in for an on-the-go meal that’s super cheap and gain a new appreciation for a sandwich that is also super delicious. The ladies behind the counter were so nice and their smile instantly brightened my day. I decided I would take the sandwich to go and eat while I walked. Two birds and all that.

Sonic Boom Records

215 Spadina Ave.

My go to place for vinyl in the city! And just an all around cool store. Flip through rows of records or check out the CD and cassette tape sections for some newer golden oldies. There is also a cozy book section with colourful comics and a ton of funny how to guides. Best part is they’re open until midnight everyday so you can look through the store at pretty much any time of day.

Dark Horse Espresso Bar

215 Spadina Ave.

This hipster coffee shop is Sonic Boom’s next door neighbour, they even share an address. Try an iced latte with something sweet, like a date square or cinnamon twist croissant. Communal tables in the front allow passers by who decide to stop in for a coffee to work on their laptop, play on their phone or people watch out the window. The building is beautiful, think old wooden beams and exposed brick walls. Such a great chill out space.

HTO Park

339 Queens Quay W.

I finished my walk by stopping at the harbourfront. Well, I had to stop there considering there was nowhere else to walk! Okay so technically the address is on Queens Quay but you get the idea. Plopping down in a muskoka chair, I put my feet in the sand and watched planes take off and land from Billy Bishop airport. Best part about this activity, it’s completely free!

Bonus: A few songs you should add to your “Walking Down Spadina” playlist! Happy Walking!



pumpkin picking selfie To anyone reading this, Is anyone reading this!? I can’t decide whether I hope so or I hope not. Anyways, here we go I start my blogging adventure on this 20th day of May in the year 2015, exactly 2 days before my 23rd birthday. At this point in my life I feel like such a typical transitional 23 year old it almost sickens me. The fact that I now have access to the blog I have been talking about starting for a few years now makes it all the more non-unique, at least that’s how I feel. Everyone talks about they’re super cool blog nowadays and what new seed they’re eating and what cleanse they’re doing. I’ll have the burger and fries. Warning: I will be writing a lot about food but this will not be your average foodie blog. I hope for this to be a place where I can write down my opinions and discoveries as a form of catharsis, we’ll see.

For anyone who didn’t get here through the link I posted on my Facebook page so I would get some hits on this thing here’s a bit about me. I graduated from Western University in October of last year and I think I have now past the point where I can call myself a “recent graduate” to possible employers. Fuck. I went to school for something that is not writing (and is too difficult to explain here) but I fell in love with food and travel writing in my fourth year at school. I thought this was the career I wanted to get into but I didn’t give myself the kick in the ass I needed to start a blog, pitch my ideas to editors or ask magazines for a job. Basically, I feared rejection. Well at least now I’ve done 1 out of the 3. Not bad.

I just recently got a gig writing for 102.1 The Edge’s Citizen Blogging Team. I will be submitting pieces on food, music and the going’s-on of Toronto to them and be cross posting here. I think that’s the real reason I started this blog. I live at home in Vaughan (that’s in Ontario which is in Canada if this ever reaches anywhere in the world) with my parents. Anyone who is of european background will know that this is completely normal. I’m Italian-Canadian so I’m supposed to stay here until I’m married, but I have bigger plans (hello small downtown Toronto apartment with high rent!) My older brother calls me a bum but I’m not totally useless. I work at a soccer club in my area that organizes competitive and recreational soccer for kids. It pays well, makes me feel important and my boss doesn’t reprimand me when I show up late. I can’t complain.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed reading this and if not well that’s just too bad. I will be adding all the writing I’ve done in the past sparingly in the next few weeks. I think the type of piece you just read will be rare, it’s not completely useless but it’s also not helpful in getting me anywhere career wise. That said I really enjoyed spewing this bad boy out. My style of writing is sometimes proper, sometimes funny, sometimes serious and sometimes self-deprecating. I tend to write in the same manner I speak, unless I write a proper article that I’ve done proper research for.

[I’m still trying to think of some creative parting note here.]