If Zooey Deschanel turned out to be as impossibly cool and yet shamelessly dorky as all of the characters she plays in the movies and on TV in real life, she still wouldn’t live up to the loveliness that is Linda Julia Paolucci. Right now, Paolucci thinks she hosts a radio show that nobody listens to called Cantastic Voyage on Radio Glendon, but she’s got the kind of quick wit that’s destined to take her to big, big things. If we were Harvey Weinstein, we’d hire her to pen her generation’s Almost Famous, but we’re us, so we made her a View the Vibe Tastemaker instead. When Harvey finally comes around to discovering Paolucci, he’ll have us to thank for pointing him in the right direction, obviously. In the meantime, meet Linda Julia Paolucci…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I’m on the social media team for NXNE, I’m a surly-sweet doorgirl at Long Winter, I’m an intern at the Edge, I host a radio show nobody listens to (Cantastic Voyage on Radio Glendon), I write, and, of course, I’m Smart Serve certified. Live that dream.
What are some of the most interesting stories and projects you’ve done so far as a writer?
Festivals are almost always my favourite thing to cover. Charging my phone, backing up files, making shandy lendemains (cheap beer and emergen-cs), highlighting set times, Googling band Twitter handles, checking buses, running like hell. I never feel more powerful or free than when I have a wristband and a fest schedule in my ass pocket.
Has your career led you to any “oh my god I can’t believe I’m experiencing this” moments?
I’m a huge CanCon fetishist. I was working for NXNE and my good friend, the photographer Jenicka Wynne, was interning at Sirius XM at the time. We’re both Matthew Good fans, and we’re hugging and squealing (quietly, at a professional volume) side stage during his Yonge-Dundas Square show. We had a simultaneous “this one’s for you, high school self” moment. Rich Aucoin said he liked my tweets at Osheaga. I thought, “Imagine if I applied myself and wrote entire paragraphs?” I got to introduce the Arkells at another show. It was great fun but it’s not like Max Kerman asked me out. That would be truly OMG.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Headphones, hoodies and my library card(s): the trifecta of avoiding human contact on transit.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
The food, the people, the music, and the food that you eat with the people you know because of the music.
What are a few establishments you can’t imagine Toronto without?
Honest Ed’s: He’s a bad daddy! He doesn’t want to raise his prices! I’m sad they’re planning on building condos over the city’s finest gallery of shitty jokes. How many times have I ran in for a pee, gotten lost, and bought something just so I could ask the cashier how to get out? And the deals! I bought a beanie there for a dollar, got drunk and lost it, and bought the same hat a week later.
The Ex: Tacky in the same glorious vein as Honest Ed’s. It seems like just yesterday I never wanted to hear about the cronut again. This year I bought a Molson Dry one piece [swimsuit] for a dollar. You can’t beat a deal like that, friends.
Theatre: Before I was a groupie it was Canstage and all the other great companies that would drag me from the burbly burbs into the city. I just saw The Double at Tarragon Theatre. Arif Mirabdolbaghi, the bassist from Protest the Hero was in the show, so the crowd was pretty evenly divided between blue-haired old ladies and teenage dirty dudes in protest shirts. They all loved it.
The Great Hall: I’ve done six long winter shows at this venue and every time I find new nooks and crannies. MC Escher must’ve drawn the blueprints of this place.
The Lower Ossington Theatre: It’s new but there’s already a NXNE Sunday night tradition that my entire team winds up backstage at the Yonge-Dundas Square hip hop show, rubbing shoulders with Ludacris and Raekwon, while I hang out at the LOT with Barry Taylor and Joshua Elijah. You might think of this as a bad thing, but I really like jokes about Hamilton, so it’s all right.
The CBC Museum: I have dragged so many people to come take a (free!) look at the tickle trunk.
The CN Tower: There’s a point when you drive back on a Megabus where you turn a corner and see the phallic sundial and scrotal Skydome in all their glory and you know you’re nearly home. In my heart I feel Toronto’s tied with Paris for best skyline in the world. I’ve started collecting souvenir replicas from Chinatown.