Monday, December 12, 2011

Introducing Vince Tuckwood-Novelist

Season's greetings to you!

As we continue to expand our artists' collective, it is with pleasure we announce the inclusion of Vince Tuckwood to the Boutique Empire family.  English born and bred, Vince is now living in Connecticut with his family where he has just completed his fourth novel, Escalation, "a fast-paced work of contemporary fiction, deeply rooted in the darkest of unintended consequences."

With the release of Vince's new novel Boutique Empire has made our first foray into the world of literature.  Please check out his latest book as well as the three previous novels on his website: Escalation - available in eBook and paperback versions.

All the best to you, thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Many Gigs!

It's a very busy weekend with all the groups involved in Boutique Empire.  Tonight, Nov 24th, Combine the Victorious is performing their first show in 16 months at the Railway, opening for Magik Spells (from Calgary) and Nixie.  

Tomorrow night, Nov 25th,  Guilty About Girls will be performing as part of the Telus Stage Grey Cup party (6PM) downtown Vancouver.

Then in the evening of the 25th Sex With Strangers is sharing the bill at The Cobalt with The Gay Nineties and 41st and Home. 

Combine the Victorious is in the middle of writing their third album, and their show tonight will be entirely new material, new songs, new equipment, new style.  Currently they have over half their next release written with several more ideas in the development stage.   March 2012 is the scheduled release date for the new material, tentatively titled "The Agreement."

Guilty About Girls is using their performance tomorrow night to release their latest single - Dancefloor - available now on iTunes and all other online retail stores.

After an incredibly busy year that saw them playing SXSW in Austin Texas, CMJ in New York City, the Okanogan Pop Festival in Kelowna, the Halifax Pop Explosion, as well as being a top 20 finalist in the 2011 Peak Performance Project, the members of Sex With Strangers are happy to take some time to themselves in their home city of Vancouver.  Tomorrow night's performance will be the last scheduled show of 2011 for SWS.  Plans are already brewing for them to write their next (fifth) album, more on that in the new year!

Much happening, hope you can check some of these shows out.

Also we'd like to point out that the Boutique Empire homepage has had a nice facelift (we're almost done) by the talented gentleman at  check it out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Dancefloor" Brand new from Guilty About Girls

Guilty About Girls will be releasing their new single, "Dancefloor" on Friday Nov 11th, 2011, but you can hear it today, with a free download until the official release on iTunes. 

Listen now and please share it if you enjoy the song!

Written by Jordy Birch
Performed and produced by Guilty About Girls
Recorded and mixed by Digory Smallz at Claymore Studio
Mastered by Todd Simko at Hearing Protection Required

Vocals and guitar: Jordy Birch
Keyboards: Mark R Henning
Backing Vocals: Isabelle Dunlop
Hi Hat overdubs: Lucas T Poth

Artwork by Rob Edmonds

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Amazing Compilation out now!

Combine the Victorious has contributed a song to a compilation whose proceeds go to help research in prostate cancer.  There are actually 121 songs in this, with songs from Young Galaxy, Great Lake Swimmers, Dan Hill and literally over a hundred more!  Right now it is priced at only $13.99 on the iTunes music store, so for the sheer number of songs it is an amazing deal, add in that the money goes to prostate cancer research, it seems like a pretty great thing!

Check it out on iTunes

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vote for Sex With Strangers

As we are nearing the end of the contest portion of The Peak Performance Project, we are asking everyone to help us win $100,000 by clicking on the following link and voting for Sex With Strangers. 

Vote in The Peak Performance Project

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fashion and Music for Memories

 Fashion and Music for Memories

In proud support of Alzheimer's Society of BC, Wednesday October 12th Isabelle Dunlop will be holding a fashion show / pop up shop with very special musical guests Peak Performance Project finalists: Jasper Sloan Yip and Sex With Strangers at the Waldorf Hotel.

Proceeds from the door shall all go towards Alzheimer Society British Columbia. 

Doors at 7PM
special set from Jasper Sloan Yip at 8PM 
Isabelle Dunlop fashion show at 9PM 
Sex With Strangers perform at 10PM. 
DJ sets from Combine the Victorious between sets.
There will be a pop up shop set up during the evening as well, so those who are intrigued by Isabelle's clothing can grab something for themselves on the night.

Poster design by Rob Edmonds.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Robert Edmonds "Voice Echo" Opening Party

Our resident graphic artist-designer Robert Edmonds has a new opening this Wednesday at Walrus.

A series of Limited Edition Letterpress prints.

"Juxtaposing words within a singular quote from artists, authors, musicians, thinkers, to explore new meanings and sharpen the existing text by focusing the words."

Please join us for the opening reception here at the store:

3408 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Wednesday, September 21st: 6 - 9pm

please vist Rob at his own blog for more images and stories!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

California by Combine the Victorious

A silence of over a year is ended with the release of a new Combine the Victorious track: California (featuring the impressive vocals of Ingrid Schroeder). 

This is the second time CV has worked with Ingrid, the first being on the song "Please" from the 2008 release Disagreements.   With a soaring epic feel that evokes sun-soaked road trips across the golden state, California is just the first song from the upcoming third album by Combine the Victorious. 

California, what the hell happened to you
You were once part of my own golden dream

A long drive to a pink motel
We hugged the coast in a car we bought to sell
Midday heat shimmer ripples and blurs
Where the road and the sky in the distance merge

And I think of the times you were a state of mind
I still think of the times


Lying on the bed, I remember it all
Too hot to sleep, got some ice down the hall
Put it in the bath, drank beer as we sang along to the radio...the radio

And I think of the times you were a state of mind
Snow globe with a Hollywood sign


My turn at the wheel through Monterey
Stopped for gas, a photograph, headed for LA
And all the views rush by
Palm trees push up through the sky...up through the sky...


And I think of the times you were a state of mind...think of the times
And I think of the times
Yeah, I still think of the times

music and lyrics: Henning, Schroeder

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

inside Sex With Strangers

Isabelle Dunlop has made a short clip reviewing the escapades Sex With Strangers had at The Peak Performance Project Bootcamp.   Everyone involved has been extremely positive about the experience, from faculty through to this year's crop of exceptionally talented bands.  The showcases should prove to be really fun to watch!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sex With Strangers - Peak Performance video/Bootcamp

Sex With Strangers have recreated themselves, this time as eight year olds!  The following video was made as part of the 2011 Peak Performance Project, with the wonderfully talented and inspiring BKS Crew behind the camera once again.   Filmed at The Peak 100.5 FM radio station and the Boutique Empire studio here in Vancouver, everyone wants to thank the kids, their parents, and especially Cory Ashworth from The Peak.    Check it out, have a laugh!

Here's a little clip featuring front man Hatch Benedict (along with the rest of SWS) being interviewed by Laurie Logan (another DJ on The Peak)  up at the Bootcamp this past weekend.  Hatch shares his impressions of what he's learned so far at the Peak Performance Project camp.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Combine the Victorious helps fight Cancer

Combine the Victorious is very pleased to announce that they have been asked to contribute a song to an upcoming compilation for the Canadian Cancer Society: AMAZING.  A massive compilation featuring long established artists alongside brand new talent.  Release date is Autumn 2011.  Check out the list of acts, it's very impressive!  Artists on AMAZING

In other Combine news, they have begun work on a new song which will feature a guest vocal from UK recording artist Ingrid Schroeder,  the single is scheduled for a Sept 14th 2011 release.   More news to follow shortly.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Photos unveiled of Guilty About Girls live

We recently discovered these lovely images of the past Guilty About Girls show in Vancouver at Venue.  All courtesy of Venue.

next shows are August 11th at The Waldorf and August 21st at Live at Squamish. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Painting series from Rob Edmonds

Spent a lovely sunny BC Day afternoon with Robert Edmonds (the man behind all the images of Boutique Empire) yesterday, where he revealed his new series based on horse racing.   There are currently three completed paintings with a forth on the easel and a fifth planned to round out the series.   Below is a small image of one:

There will be an exhibit in the autumn at Walrus (on Cambie at 18th) here in Vancouver, where all five  will be displayed.   Acrylic paint on canvas (sizes are approx. three foot by four foot).   More information to follow. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Combine the Victorious offering free download of Disagreements EP

As the writing continues on what will be their third release, Combine the Victorious is offering a name your price download of their second release, the Disagreements EP.   This was their follow up to The World Over and  was originally recorded and released in 2008.   After taking the past year off to focus on their other bands (Isabelle sings with Sex With Strangers and Mark is the other half of Guilty About Girls) the two have begun demoing new songs for their next album (which will either be a 2011 or 2012 release).   The Disagreements EP  contains the songs Decay, Back in Style, Fat Kids Big Cars and Please, all of which either received notice through television licensing or play on radio both here in North America and the UK. 

Please check it out and if you'd like, download the songs.  A new single is scheduled for Sept 2011 with an album to follow closely thereafter.   New songs shall be appearing shortly on the band's soundcloud page.   (the following is a demo of a new song: If Not Love).  

If Not Love - demo July 18-11 by Combine the Victorious

Friday, July 15, 2011

July Updates

With the inclusion of Sex With Strangers in The Peak 100.5's Peak Performance Project, the electro-punk group is busy working on fulfilling requirements for the contest as well as honing their live show for the upcoming showcases.   SWS will be playing shows in Alberta on the 21th thru 23rd of July. 

After nearly a year off from performing the duo Combine the Victorious has begun writing their third album.  Currently they have six or seven songs in demo'd state:  the goal is to release an EP in September 2011 with a full length album to follow in 2012.  The sound is still being nailed down but the early feeling is it will be more electronic than their first two releases, with a concentration on songs that can be performed as a duo.  More info to follow.

Guilty About Girls has been working with Australian remixer Ben Crea (Kreap) who has now provided them with four new versions of their songs.   The band is considering releasing these remixes as an EP, or consolidating them into a larger release to include several new tracks that are being recorded from Spring 2011 forward.   Guilty About Girls is also scheduled to perform August 21st at Live at Squamish this year, with a preview of that show available at The Waldorf on August 11th.

Guilty About Girls - Riviera (Kreap's mix) by KREAP

Gilles Zolty is busy working on various projects in Saskatchewan over the summer and we are hoping to hear some new material from him in the late fall of 2011. 

Lot's going on, plus we are now looking for a new act to join our roster.  Any recommendations? 

Have a good summer, thanks for reading. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sex With Strangers-Canada Day with The Peak!

The members of Sex With Strangers make their debut appearance as part of the Peak 100.5's Canada Day celebration with The Peak Performance Project. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sex With Strangers on Romplr

Sex With Strangers have licensed their song New City Anthem to the application.  Romplr is a remix app for the iPhone/iPad, allowing users to remix tracks and upload for contests on the site.

Check the front page with it's announcement of New City Anthem's inclusion in the system as well as links to the original Video.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ben Crea remix - Riviera

Guilty About Girls has a new version of their latest song, Riviera, remixed by the Australian wunderkind Ben Crea. With strong nods towards Martin Rushent (famed for his work with The Human League amongst others) this version promises to turn heads and bring a sexy vibe to the dance floor.

Guilty About Girls - Riviera (Kreap's mix) by KREA

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sex With Strangers part of Peak Performance Project

Sex With Strangers have just been announced as part of The Peak 100.5FM 's Peak Performance Project 2011 edition.   The band is very excited to be included in this highly popular contest, and looks forward to all aspect of the experience.  Look for their song New City Anthem to be included in compilations and promotion surrounding this project. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Single from Guilty About Girls

A lovely laid back summer time song.   Two versions currently available.

Artist: Guilty About Girls
Song Title: Riviera
Release: BE11011

Or listen on bandcamp
Guilty About Girls - Riviera (AM Mix) by guiltyaboutgirls

Friday, May 27, 2011

Video Premier from Sex With Strangers

Brand new video from Sex With Strangers - Born Again Liars Social Club.  Produced once again by the brilliant folks at BKS Crew, this is the first video from the new "Frontier Justice" album.

Video produced by BKS Crew Productions.
Directed/Shot/Edited by Brett Harvey.
Producer Stephen Green.
Production Assistant Jody Nelson

Download link: iTunes Music Store

Monday, May 23, 2011

First big show of the Summer

Guilty About Girls and Sex With Strangers have teamed up to put together their first big show of the summer.

The Peak 100.5 FM & The Georgia Straight present:
Guilty About Girls
with guests Sex With Strangers
and introducing Young Pacific
Friday June 3rd at Venue (881 Granville Street, Vancouver, Canada)
EARLY SHOW - doors 7PM

It is s CD Release party for Guilty About Girls as their debut has been released thru Black Top Records this spring.  It features the single "Candy Candy"- as seen on Much Music.

Sex With Strangers is supporting their fourth album - Frontier Justice - and is just about to debut the first video from that album for the track Born Again Liars Social Club.   Below is their first video for New City Anthem, still a huge fan favorite.

Special Guests Young Pacific are making a stir with their fresh blend of west coast pop and guitar driven charm.

Doors at 7Pm
Young Pacific on at 7:30
Sex With Strangers on at 8PM
Guilty About Girls on at 9PM

There will be cd's on hand as well as posters to commemorate the evening.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Born Again Liars Social Club - video shoot

Sex With Strangers, under the expert production of the BKS Crew once again, has begun filming the video for their new song "Born Again Liars Social Club."  While the ideas behind the video are not known the band has shared a few images on their Facebook page.

check out the original song on the band's bandcamp page.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Guilty About Girls on CBC/ Sex With Strangers in Kamloops

The Guilty About Girls song "Easy Satisfaction" closes out this week's CBC podcast by Grant Lawrence. Nice show, lot's of new songs and an article on booking shows.

And Sex With Strangers' new album "Frontier Justice" is #3 on the college charts in Kamloops this week as well.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guilty About Girls - Friday June 3rd

Friday June 3rd - The Peak 100.5 and The Georgia Straight present:
Guilty About Girls - performing their first headlining show at VENUE (881 Granville Street, Vancouver, Canada). Joining them on this auspicious occasion will be Sex With Strangers, hot on the heals of their brand new album Frontier Justice, along with the west coast pop of Young Pacific.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
Tickets available at Zulu Records, Red Cat Records and Highlife as well as Ticketweb

Early show - doors at 7PM, show begins at 7:30PM

Robe poster design

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sex With Strangers Georgia Straight Review

Sex With Strangers unleashes a sweaty, hedonistic dance party
By Alex Hudson, April 15, 2011

At the Biltmore on Thursday, April 14

(Rebecca Blissett photo)

Sometime shortly after 12:30 a.m., Sex With Strangers frontman Hatch Benedict joked, “I’m looking forward to working tomorrow.” The irony of this statement was not lost on the undeniably-into-it audience. It may have been a weeknight, but even the promise of a gruelling hangover didn’t stop the revellers from turning the Sex With Strangers CD-release show into a sweaty, hedonistic dance party.

The evening began with newcomers the Controlling Boyfriends making their live debut. The group's members appeared to be battling a case of nerves, and before they even played a song, one of the two rappers admitted, “This was thrown together at the last minute.” This genesis might have explained why the instrumental accompaniment included only a drummer and bassist. The arrangements were a little thin, but this didn’t stop the MCs from delivering an adrenalized performance, leading those who showed up for the 9 p.m. start time in a series of call-and-response shout-alongs.

The energy only went up from there, as the all-female Joyce Collingwood cranked the amps for a fast and furious set of face-melting thrash. The quintet tore through well over a dozen songs in under 20 minutes, with many of the tunes clocking in at around a minute, and the shortest of the bunch consisting of only a single chord. Most of the group’s material relied on a pummelling combination of power chords and pulse-racing rhythms, the guitarists ventured up the fret boards on “Who Cares?” to unleash fiery, interlocking metal licks. This clearly made a major impression on one long-haired headbanger near the front, who spent the performance tossing his blond locks and pumping a fist in the air.

Between sets, Mark Henning from Guilty About Girls and the now-defunct Pure spun a clubby selection of radio hits and obscure gems that ensured that the dance floor never empty.

Though the Biltmore was only half-full, Run With the Heard kept the party people moving with its freakish take on experimental dance-pop. With as many as seven people on stage at once, the outfit delivered a genre-defying squall that ranged from Auto-Tuned pop to backwoods country to ’90s-infused hip-hop. Strangest of all was one song that began as a ramshackle banjo hoedown before morphing into a computerized rager that, bizarrely, found a middle ground between folk and electroclash. Tight as the musicianship was, the best part of the whole spectacle was the sunglasses-wearing bro clutching a tiny plastic six-stringer that appeared to be a Guitar Hero controller converted into a synthesizer.

Run With the Heard lets no piece of out-of-date video-game hardware go to waste. Rebecca Blissett photo.

It was midnight before the headliners took the stage, but Sex With Strangers rewarded the faithful’s patience with a selection of four-on-the-floor dance-rock bangers. This was the release show for the band’s new long-player, Frontier Justice, a concept album about the warring survivors of an apocalypse. The six-piece didn’t let the weighty subject matter hamper the fun, as Benedict introduced two consecutive songs as being “about fucking”.

The massive, bearded frontman’s banter was frequently obnoxious but consistently hilarious throughout the 50-minute set. During Frontier Justice’s title track, the pulsing low end prompted him to observe, “That’s bass, it’s in your face.” Then, between songs, he informed the crowd, “I have one testicle. That’s true.”

The Awkward over-sharing of too much information aside, the robotic, four-on-the-floor disco numbers kept the Biltmore teeming. During the encore, Benedict invited the audience on-stage, and the band finished the night bumping elbows with the punters. And in an uncharacteristically gracious moment, he added, “Thank you very much for sticking it out.”

Hopefully, after a job well done, he rewarded himself by calling in sick for work.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Robert Edmonds hangs at Dunlop Pop Up

    A week in and the Isabelle Dunlop Pop Up Shop is in full swing.  Her spring collection: dresses, sweaters, scarves, necklaces all on display (along with a selection of the Boutique Empire music library).

    On Saturday, the long appreciated and loved artist, Robert Edmonds, dropped off a brand new painting, which shows Isabelle as a young girl standing with her horse "Hamish."  (detailed image below)

The shop now has two original painting adorning its walls.  The first is an abstract by Jordy Birch titled "The Meek Won't Want It" (acrylic on canvas, 4'x6' - pictured above) the second is the Robert Edmonds (80x60 acrylic on canvas - formal title still to be determined).
Open daily Tuesday thru Sunday, Noon until 5PM (later if necessary).  196 Kingsway, Vancouver (corner of Kingsway and 10th Ave E) 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Designs of Isabelle Dunlop

(close up of the wall on the way into the shop)

On the Corner of Kingsway and 10th Ave E.   Open 12-5 daily (except Monday)