The Dark Side of a Winnipeg Moon - Roger Waters at MTS Centre

>> Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Roger Waters - the ex-leader of influential psychedelic rock group Pink Floyd - is bringing his show to the MTS Centre on June 27th for a rather unique evening of music. He is reportedly playing two sets: the first will showcase RW's deep catalogue while the second will feature RW and his band performing The Dark Side of the Moon IN ITS ENTIRETY. Is he allowed to do that? Tickets range from $69.50 to $150 so adjust your entertainment budget accordingly for June.

I've never heard of a legendary act playing an album from start to finish in Winnipeg before...

Current rotation: Imitation Electric Piano/The Whitest Boy Alive


A Feisty Show Announcement

>> Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The talented Leslie Feist plays the Burton Cummings Theatre on May 23rd as part of a tour in support of her upcoming sophomore release The Reminder. Tickets are around $30. Her Juno award winning record Let it Die was absolutely brilliant, so hopefully she'll follow it up with another stellar album.

In totally unrelated news that I just had to comment on since it has deeply affected me, goodbye Ryan Smyth. You've served my Oilers well and will surely be missed.

I know that last comment has nothing to do with music BUT it's my blog... so too bad! You'll get over it.

Current rotation: Final Fantasy/Portishead


A shameless attempt at ego boosting

>> Monday, 26 February 2007

My review of Nathan's cd Key Principles can be found here.

Current rotation: Sigur Ros


Nathan, certainly one of Winnipeg's premier musical acts

>> Sunday, 25 February 2007

On Friday night I hit Nathan's sold out cd release at the West End and if you weren't in attendance, you certainly missed out on a great show. I am deeply impressed by how consistent Nathan are as live performers -- I've seen them several times now, and I haven't once been disappointed. How many performers can you say that about?

Throughout Friday night's show I was engaged and not once did my attention falter during their hour long set of folk/pop/country songs. They played their latest album,
Key Principles, in its entirety and while I absolutely adore listening to that record, watching the band perform it live has heightened my overall enjoyment of it. When I revisit the album now, I can fondly look back at the show in a kind of complementary way. This is what I experience when I listen to Sigur Ros' music ever since I saw them perform live.

That's twice in as many posts I've mentioned my Sigur Ros experience. To this day, no act I've ever seen live have been more impressive than Sigur Ros, but Nathan sure come close.

Current roation: Sparklehorse/Yo La Tengo/My Bloody Valentine


Nathan's show at the West End is sold out

>> Thursday, 22 February 2007

Anyone planning on attending Nathan's release of their brilliant new cd Key Principles is out of luck. It is now sold out.

If you have tickets, I'll see you there.

Other news...I read earlier there is no opening act for Van Morrison, and it is advisable to be there for the start time of 7:30 since he reportedly starts shortly after.

I still remember - like it was yesterday - when I showed up at the Sigur Ros show in Minneapolis and they were already on stage. They went on right at 8:00. Don't make this mistake on March 1st Van Morrison fans!

Current rotation: Yo La Tengo


Zakk Wylde was on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and now he's coming to Winnipeg?

>> Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Ozzy Osborne's guitarist/songwriter and Black Label Society member Zakk Wylde will be hitting the Burt on April 10th. If you've ever seen the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the episode Zakk appears in is hilarious! It is thoroughly ridiculous. In the episode he rides a chariot driven by a chain of white horses, so I'm curious if he'll travel to Winnipeg the same way. We'll find out in less than two months.

Not as interesting news...My Chemical Romance play the MTS Centre on May 15th. If you want a sure thing, go see Bob Wiseman on May 15th.

Current rotation: The Besnard Lakes/Yo La Tengo


A Plethora of Shows

>> Sunday, 18 February 2007

A lot of show announcements at the West End while I was vacationing:

Dan Bern plays there on April 18th. Tickets are 18 bones in advance and are available at the WECC, TM, Music Trader, and Into the Music. My prediction: this will be one hot ticket, and I've never even heard of him!

The Bills stop by on April 11th. Tickets are 17 bones in advance at WECC and TM.

CR Avery and Mihirangi, who played the '06 Folk Festival, are there on March 13th. To quote WECC's newsletter on CR Avery: "
is solo exhilarating performances incorporate spoken word poetry, beatboxing, harmonica, keytar, piano, and more acoustic guitar. Part Springsteen, part Dylan, and part Waits, he is also the author of four hip hop operas." A jack of all trades it seems. This definitely sounds intriguing. Tix are $12 in advance at WECC, TM, Music Trader, and Into the Music.

Mark April 4th on your calendar - Ex-Skydiggers Josh Finlayson and Andy Maize stop by the WECC. Apparently they don't have a website. Their loss. Tix are $15 in advance at all above locations.

Winnipeg's SubCity Dwellers release their latest cd on May 11th.

Winnipeg bluegrass band Stonypoint also launch their newest record on May 17th.

At the Albert:

Pride Tiger - whose website made me jump since I had the f'ing speaker volume too loud - are at the Albert w/ American Flameship on March 3rd. Tickets are $7.

Current rotation: The Besnard Lakes/Nathan


Dazzling Sparklehorse

>> Saturday, 17 February 2007

On Thursday evening I attended the Sparklehorse concert at Richard's on Richards in Vancouver and one thing is certain: Sparklehorse is one peculiar fellow.

After opening act Jesse Sykes took the stage and played an okay but ultimately forgettable batch of songs
sans guitar (he played the keyboard and the three female band members played various string instruments), the Sparklehorse crew meticulously took 40 minutes to set up his/their gear. He must be an extremely particular individual. Likely M & Ms backstage too.

However, it was certainly worth the wait to see this American Man of Mystery. Throughout his entertaining set of moody, sometimes rockin' numbers, Sparklehorse reproduced the myriad subtleties found on his records and even employed two adjacent microphones - you might be able to see them in the photo - to replicate the distorted vocals.

The crowd interaction was minimal with Sparklehorse saying "thank you" a few times. Before saying "thank you" he always looked surprised to see people in front of him, as though he forgot he was playing live music. He really gave the impression that he lives in his head.

One other minor oddity to note: the encore. Encores are typically two to three songs, but Sparklehorse come out for a single song. Whether this was planned or decided on the spot, I'll never know. Likely the latter.

Despite all the unusualness, he really knows what he is doing.

Current rotation: HNIC (Go Flames!)


Camera Obscura & Portastatic Live = A Good Time

>> Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Last night I attended the Camera Obscura & Portastatic concert at Richard's on Richards in BC, and I am happy to report the show was very good.

Portastatic's set (see second photo) consisted of Superchunk frontman Mac and a violinist whose name I can't remember. During the song in the photo they were joined by two percussionists who filled in the sound nicely. The set was primarily Mac with an acoustic and unknown female with a violin, and despite the minimalistic set up, it was an entertaining, energetic set of pop/rock numbers. It is clear watching Mac perform that he has been doing this awhile, and his calm yet confident demeanor is impressive to watch and hard to look away from.

Weird occurrence: in between Portastatic and Camera Obscura's set, the two fellows sitting to my immediate right put their heads down and took a quick nap. It was really strange, but endlessly amusing at the same time. I guess they wanted to be rested for the headliners, or perhaps they were bored to death by Port's set. I'll never know.

Next, Camera Obscura took the stage for an hour long set of their innovative pop songs. Composed of six members, this Scottish sextet sounded like a band comfortable with performing live, and the crowd (including myself and my buddy) was into the entire set. I'm told this show was significantly better than their last visit to Vancouver, especially since the stone-faced singer was more animated. The singer Tracy-Anne(see top photo) is a serious front woman who rarely cracks a smile, but as the set progressed she smiled several times (and even made a few jokes!). At one point she even thanked the crowd for attending the show when she learned one of her favorite singers, pop-country superstar Neko Case, was playing several blocks away at the Commodore.

After the main set, the band returned for a two song encore that was entirely palatable. In the end, I don't think there was anyone who wished they went to see Neko...

Sparklehorse tomorrow!

Current rotation: nothing (leaving soon for a Vancouver adventure).


Portastatic are the opening band for Camera Obscura!

>> Monday, 12 February 2007

Greetings from Beautiful British Columbia!

The Camera Obscura and Sparklehorse concerts are rapidly approaching, and I am unbelievably excited. I just learned last night that Portastatic will be opening for Camera Obscura, which would normally be insignificant since I haven't heard of them BUT it turns out they are fronted by Mac from Superchunk! Being a Superchunk fan, this is great news. It is like attending an additional concert!

Two interesting bands on the same night is a rarity.

Current rotation: Portastatic


The Smashing Pumpkins - Like running into old friends I actually want to hang out with

>> Saturday, 10 February 2007

Reading the 1001 Albums book doesn't nearly go as quick as you'd think. This is not a plot driven page turner - a la Dan Brown or Tom Clancy. Reading this monster takes time, especially since it instills a desire to listen to the album you're reading about, sort of a literary equivalent of running into old friends that you actually want to hang around with.

Case in point: I've started listening to The Smashing Pumpkins again, a band I worshipped at one point during the beginnings of my musical fan career. The Pumpkins - who recently reformed and have a new album
Zeitgeist out in July - have two entries in the book: the breakthrough Siamese Dream and the double cd emotional roller coaster Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness. I've had MCIS in my player this past day and, well, some of the songs really hold up, particularly the melancholy numbers (on Mellon Collie!). LOL. It is remarkable how many memories listening to this album conjures up. For example, I suddenly remembered the time I got into an argument with some dude at a party when I was 18 over who was the better guitarist: Billy Corgan or Tom Morello. This question is not easily answered, of course, since terms have to be set as to what constitutes a better guitarist. Pure technical ability? Perhaps the knack for consistently writing melodic numbers? I don't know, but arrogantly thought so when I was 18 (I voted for Corgan).

See? This book has endless entertainment value. I'm glad I bought it.

Winnipeg show news...

Why are exclamations in band monikers so popular? Here's another one...

Against Me! is here on April 1st at the Garrick Centre (The Marlborough). I still don't understand what to call this venue. I thought it was called "The Venue". Can someone set the record straight? They are here with Riverboat Gamblers and Fake Problems.

Also gracing our city with his presence is former
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star "Jazz" aka DJ Jazzy Jeff on February 27th at Pharaohs. This would be very cool, if he didn't come every year...

I'm off to BC tomorrow, but will still update when I can.

Days until Camera Obscura: 3

Days until Sparklehorse: 5

Current rotation: Pumpkins/Beck


1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

>> Wednesday, 7 February 2007

I picked up a couple of potentially interesting reads the other day. The top book is 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, a selection of 1001 albums recommended by "leading international critics". What will be more debatable: the critics they chose to include in the book or the albums the critics picked? Just something to think about.

Anyways, I think this book has endless reading potential (or else, I wouldn't have bought it), and I'm glad it will soon be a part of my reading diet. I am intrigued by this question: how many albums from this book do I actually own/have heard? I plan on doing a tally. If I get 150/1001, I'll be surprised.

What will likely happen as I read this is I'll realize I am missing an entire food group from my musical diet. For example, I have never heard anything by Portishead and I'm sure this one band will open Pandora's musical box. After a quick flip through, I'm just glad they included Sigur Ros' Agaetis Bryjun, one of my personal favorites. In fact, their album even gets a full page write-up unlike say, Metallica's S & M, which only got half a page (extremely generous, in my opinion).

The other book is essentially explained on the cover. I am anticipating a great read from this as well, but after a brief peruse I am surprised by some selections. More thoughts on this book later.

I just discovered I gave myself a paper cut while flipping through the mammoth 1001 albums book. It is 960 pages.

Show news:

Jessica Simpson's new man John Mayer hits the MTS Centre on April 26th. Tickets reportedly go on sale Friday, February 16th.

Current rotation: Royksopp/Iron & Wine

Days until Camera Obscura: 6

Days until Sparklehorse: 8


Like No Doubt, Gwen Stefani to hit Winnipeg (again)

>> Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Fomer No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani hits the Peg on June 10th for the second time in as many years. Judging by her motley, ostentatious garbs in the above photo, she must be financially hurting since she clearly doesn't have enough money for a shirt! Oh wait. I'm told that's a look she's going for. My bad. IF she has money woes, I'm sure the minimum $49.50 ticket price will certainly help. Tickets go on sale Saturday. Opening acts are slated to be Akon and Lady Sovereign.

Also...former Iron Maiden lead singer Paul Di'Anno is scheduled to play the Zoo!? on March 13th. Tickets are $20 at the Osborne Village Inn.

Even more exciting news however, is ex-Blue Rodeo keyboardist now-turned-showman-extraordinaire Bob Wiseman returning to the West End on May 15th in support of his latest record
Themes and Variations. Touring with him is Jason Trachtenburg. Bob's songs/movies prior to Final Fantasy's show back in September were undeniably fascinating and entertaining (not to mention hilarious). If you haven't seen Bob perform, I encourage you to check him out!

Michael Buble now has time for the Grammys? Sheesh. I can't believe this is news. What a moron.

Current rotation: Western States/Nick Drake

Days until Camera Obscura: 7

Days until Sparklehorse: 9


Show News

>> Sunday, 4 February 2007

Two notable shows taking place this upcoming Friday:

The Eco-Mafia Fundraiser featuring The Paperbacks, Perse, Come The Dawn, and Stasi Baren takes place at the Pyramid. Tix are $6 at the U of W info booth or $8 at the door.

At the West End is a Tribute to Joe Stummer & The Clash with SubCity Dwellers, The Crackdown, The Afterbeat, and The Fabulous Kildonans.

There is A LOT to do this Friday in Winnipeg (see side listing). Wow!

Current rotation: Air/Belle & Sebastien

Days until Camera Obscura: 9

Days until Sparklehorse: 11


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