Dull To Pause

>> Thursday, 30 July 2009

Enthusiastic gypsy-punk troupe Gogol Bordello stop by town for an October 4th date at the Burt. Presale starts tomorrow, and if I successfully procure the code, I'll post it under comments.

The Vic Chesnutt Band play the West End on November 20th.

Alex Cuba will be at the Park Theatre on November 19th.

Local favs Quinzy rock the same joint on August 27th.

For those heading up to Gimli this weekend for my ethnic kin's event, the spelling-bee-final worthy Islendingadagurinn, here's who are playing:

Saturday @ The Harbour Stage: Library Voices and Crosstown Rivals. Show starts at 8.

Sunday @ The Alternative Folk Festival: vitaminsforyou; The Details; John K Samson; Royal Wood. Shows start at 6:30. I'll likely make the trip North for this.

Infinite Playlist: Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care


Shake Harder Boy!

>> Tuesday, 28 July 2009

There's a doin's a transpiring!

09 Folk Fest alumni The Deep Dark Woods drop by the Park Theatre on October 8th (thanks to Will for the heads up).

11 Questions alumni Haunter rock The Albert on August 14th and The Lo Pub on August 28th.

Still Life Still have landed the opening slot for the Hold Steady's September 24th sold-out show at the West End. Hope you managed to score tickets cuz it's gonna be great.

Cuff The Duke stop in at the Albert on September 17th w/ Zeus.

These Arms Are Snakes are there on September 18th.

And finally, to whom it may concern: mum tickets go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. sharp via our ol' pals at Ticketmaster.

Infinite Playlist: The National - Boxer


Blessed Brambles

>> Friday, 24 July 2009

My nightly prayers to the Winnipeg Music Gods have finally been answered! Those benevolent deities are bringing one of my favourite bands ever, Icelandic melody-makers múm, to New Iceland for a gig at the Pyramid on October 30th.

I'm still in a state of dippy shock.

Infinite Playlist: Mum - Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy


Loretta Broke My Heart With A Letter

>> Wednesday, 22 July 2009

First, a show announcement that filled me right to the brim with happiness: Chad VanGaalen is hitting the Park Theatre on October 9th. Yay!

Second, a show that is likely too scary for me: Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson is at the MTS Centre on September 13th.

Third, those just craving some delectable Norweigian electro-pop should catch Datarock at The Zoo on September 8th. I'll likely hit this, too (thanks to Rieds for the tip).

Fourth, for a cost-effective, intimate gig, catch Great Bloomers at Music Trader (for free) on August 4th @ 8; if you like what you hear, the band will rematerialize at the Lo Pub on August 13th (thanks to Carly for the heads up).

And finally, congrats to Michael on winning the Eagles of Death Metal tickets.

Infinite Playlist: Chad VanGaalen - Soft Skeleton


11 Questions With...The Job

>> Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Giveaways ahoy! The giving gang over at The MuseBox Canada are offering readers of this blog a “The Job”-related prize pack consisting of the following:

• A copy of The Job’s CD
• A The Job T-Shirt
• A guest list spot for their show at the Lo (+1)

So who are The Job, you ask? Well, The Job are a Toronto-based garage rocking quartet known for their devastatingly raucous live shows, something Winnipeggers will get to experience first hand this Monday the 27th at the Lo Pub (for free if you win the contest). If you’re interested, flip me a quick email by Friday at noon with “The Job Giveaway” in the subject line, be sure to include your full name and just for fun, answer the following question: What’s one of your essential summertime records? (While still a newbie record, Cut Copy’s In Ghost Colours is and should continue to be one of my fav summer albums). One entry per person please. And remember you need to be 18 to get into the Lo.

Also, Vocalist/guitarist Nyles Miszczyk of The Job took part in the now-patented 11 questions segment and gave me some pretty decent (although succinct) responses. We apparently share a love of Xenon.

1. Where are you right now?

MOOG Audio on Queen St. (at work)

2. Who is the best Toronto-based band (other than your own, of course)?

Bang Bangs - their lead singer Sian will take you into a back alley, sing the shit out of you and leave you for dead. Brilliant.

3. What are your top three, all-time favourite records?

Beatles - Revolver, Television - Marquee Moon, Beulah - When Your Heartstrings Break

4. Of the albums you own, which has the best cover art?

Louvin Brothers - Satan Is Real

5. What is one song you love, but dismiss as “a guilty pleasure”?

"Peg" by Steely Dan

6. What was the last great concert you saw?

King Khan & The Shrines. They'll make you believe.

7. Would you rather have invisibility or flight?

Invisibility, because airplanes take care of all my flying needs.

8. What is your favourite periodic element?

Xenon - I like my gasses noble.

9. Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart?

Jon Stewart. His hair in Death To Smoochy is a constant inspiration to me and the rest of the band.

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?

The Collected Short Works of Roald Dahl... probably the 5th time I read it.

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

Michelangelo. Easy. Did you know that Splinter and Elmo are played by the same guy? I shit you not.

Infinite Playlist: Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours


In An Interstellar Burst

>> Friday, 17 July 2009

So the benevolent folks over at Maple Music are giving away, exclusively to readers of this here blog, a guest list spot (+1) for Eagles of Death Metal’s July 26th show at the Garrick. EODM, if you’re unfamiliar, is Josh Homme from QOTSA’s bumping other project. Toronto garage-rockers Flash Lightnin' open.

If you’re interested, flip me a quick email by Monday @ 4 p.m. with the subject line “Eagles of Death Metal Guest List + 1 Giveaway” and include your full name in the body of the email. I'll draw the winner randomly and shortly thereafter someone from Maple will email you and provide you with all the information you’ll need. As per usual, one entry per person, etc.

Some recently announced shows-of-note:

Indie-poppers The Most Serene Republic swing by the Pyramid on October 3rd with Grand Archives.

Local funk demi-gods Moses Mayes play there on September 12th.

Grand Analog returns to the Pyramid on August 15th with Lioness.

Hugh Cornwell (of Stranglers fame) is there on September 23rd.

XPLICIT rock the same joint on September 25th.

And finally, A Wilhelm Scream will be there on October 1st with The Artists Life and The Riot Before.

Infinite Playlist: Radiohead - OK Computer


11 Questions With...Little Foot Long Foot

>> Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Bluesy, boozy, and pulsing with life. This pretty much sums up the dynamite sound of co-ed garage-rockers Little Foot Long Foot.

Hailing from Toronto, the twosome of singer/guitarist Joan Smith and drummer Isaac Keith are bringing their rockin’ good-time-of-a-show to the Pyramid this Friday, part of an extensive tour in support of their incendiary head-turner Harsh Words. The band's fiery frontwoman answered 11 Qs for me and by doing so revealed her crush on '09 Polaris-nominee Joel Plaskett, her dislike of the Beatles, and her favourite word (monkey!).

1. Where are you right now?

We're in Toronto. We're recouping to the best of our abilities after the eastern leg of this tour and trying our damndest to detox (the Maritimers like their drink) before hitting the road again next Tuesday.

2. Who is the best Toronto-based band (other than your own, of course)?

We're partial to a band called The Mercy Now http://www.myspace.com/themercynow. Only seen them once, but they completely destroyed the band they were opening for and we've been listening to their song 'Mercy' for the past 10 months almost non-stop. One of the best pump up songs we've ever heard.

3. Right now, would you rather listen to The Beatles or Radiohead?

I am sort of infamously (within my circle of friends) against the Beatles, so I would pick Radiohead. It's pretty much impossible to get away from the Beatles no matter where you go or what you read...Radiohead is at least more of a CHOICE...plus they are, you know, not too shabby.

4. What are your top three, all-time favourite records?

T Rex - Electric Warrior
so simple. so repetitive. so GOOD. And, of course, the best album cover ever.

Joel Plaskett - Down at the Khyber
I used to be head over heels in love with this man...mostly due to how amazing this album is (plus he was really cute when he had shaggy hair).

Tori Amos - Boys for Pele
I am aware that this one does not make me look all that cool, but it is basically the soundtrack to my early teens and I will assert that if she was young and brand new right now and released this album she would blow most indie songstresses/songsters out of the water. I realize now that a lot of her stuff is corny and over-dramatic (perfect for a pre-teen), but this album is so varied/angry/delicate that it has never gotten old for me.

5. What is one song you love, but dismiss as “a guilty pleasure”?

Right now it would DEFINITELY be 'Poker Face' by Lady Gaga. She at least (allegedly) writes her own songs so I don't have to feel QUITE as guilty about it...I think? 'Bluffin with my muffin'. I love it. This song is a necessity when I hit the gym.

6. What was the last great concert you saw?

We're musicians, so we are usually broke and generally can't afford to go to big fancy concerts. Seen lots of great little acts wherever we play. The last big one that really blew me away though was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at the Phoenix in Toronto...more than a year and a half ago. She controls a crowd like almost no other, and the band is obviously tighter than shit...cuz shit is pretty tight.

7. Would you rather have invisibility or flight?

Definitely flight, cuz there's a lot of the world that I have yet to see and I imagine that would be a big help. Also, being invisible would probably mean hearing people talk shit about you cuz they think you're not there, and I don't really have any desire to hear such things.

8. What is your favourite word?

'Monkey'! Followed closely by 'puppy'! I cannot say either word without smiling. I obviously DETEST animals.

9. PC or Mac?

This is being typed on a Mac...but it's not mine. It's pretty, though. I've heard the actor who plays the PC in the Mac commercials speak, though, and he is really quite endearing...plus I am pretty suspicious of the Mac people saying how these things are virus and spy-ware proof cuz there are 'so few of them'. Go into any coffee shop in Toronto and it's just a sea of MacBooks. There's gotta be some yuppie hating virus maker somewhere trying to bring these things down from the inside. So I'll pick PC due to its transparency, and it was my first.

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?

I'm re-reading 'I'm With the Band' by Pamela Des Barres. Although I don't think I would've exactly enjoyed being a groupie in the 60s/70s, that book gives me a perfect blend of escapism and a keen feeling of jealousy.

11. And finally…who’s your favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

Although I think I watched that show a lot as a kid...was there really a difference between them? They all liked pizza, right? Whoever had the nunchucks, I guess.


Stars' co-leader Amy Millan returns to the West End on October 18th.

Lee Harvey Osmond play there on October 21st.

Mark Berube & The Patriotic Few stop by the WECC on October 14th.

The Fugitives drop in three days later.

Infinite Playlist: Wilco - Wilco (The Album)


Flightless Bird - Winnipeg Folk Festival (Friday)

>> Sunday, 12 July 2009

Before heading to Folk Fest on Friday afternoon, I made a crucial error: I switched from jeans to shorts.

More on this later.

We (me and a small crew) arrived at the bustling grounds round 3 and immediately toured the heavily populated area. Delicious food was eaten (samosas and pad thai and kettle popcorn!), beers were guzzled in the designated alcohol tents, and wet mud clung to my white shoes (clothing mistake #2). Regardless, it was all pretty fantastic.

I caught a few songs from such small stages acts as Mark Berube, but I was feeling itinerant so I wandered around and soaked up the atmosphere before settling in at the main stage.

First up: Josh Ritter. Arguably, the most charming and veritably happy singer-songwriter in the biz today, Ritter beamed from ear-to-ear the entire time, clearly pleased to be playing music for such a deep, responsive crowd. His 50 minute or so timeslot, which included a riveting solo performance of “Girl in the War”, teemed with life and was a fine way to kick off the main stage festivities. Ritter and his boys should really be given the award for “Most Elegantly Dressed Musicians” at Folk Fest ’09.

It was about this time that I started wishing for pants. The mercury plunged, the sun disappeared behind a veil of clouds, and the wind increased.

Caught Gentleman Reg on a small stage prior to Iron & Wine, and I could easily see and hear why and how he’s garnering the acclaim he has so far this year. His stuff was pretty lively and pretty poppy (folksy? not too much). Watched him for maybe half an hour then worked my way back in time for Iron & Wine, the artist I wanted to see most.

Armed with only an acoustic guitar, a soothing voice, and a delightfully unkempt beard, Sam Beam’s hour long set was essentially a cross section of his entire catalogue. Tunes from all three of his full lengths were played as was a soundtrack cut, material from his EPs, and songs from his collaborative effort with Calexico. A tasteful and varied set list. Sure it would’ve been great to see him backed by a full band, but his artful acoustic renderings were still mightily spectacular (see end of post for set list). I was enchanted the entire time.

By the time the diva of the indie world manifested on stage (11ish), the earlier incipient chill was full on, and my teeth started chattering involuntarily. Neko Case, sensibly clad in a hoodie, was six kinds of brilliant. Her golden larnyx projected beautifully across the festival grounds as she propelled through material that spanned several albums. Sadly, my near-frozen party - who at this point were draped in blankets and borrowed sweaters - and I decided to leave before we all died of hypothermia. Fortunately, we could still hear her booming pipes as we took part in the funeral-procession-slow march out of the grounds, and only missed three songs or so.

Next year, I’m gonna bring pants.


Iron & Wine Set List

1. Trapeze Singer
2. Woman King
3. Naked As We Came
4. Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car
5. Upwards Over The Mountain
6. History Of Lovers
7. Fever Dream
8. Lion’s Mane
9. He Lays In The Reins
10. Untitled New Song
11. Jezebel
12. Sodom South Georgia
13. Flightless Bird, American Mouth

Infinite Playlist: Iron & Wine - The Creek Drank The Cradle


This Is Not A Joke So Please Stop Smiling

>> Friday, 10 July 2009

Shows Ahoy, Mateys!

Local acclaimed folksters The Duhks play the Pyramid on September 24th.

Little Foot Long Foot are there on July 17th.

Busta Rhymes, yes THE Busta Rhymes, will appear at Blush Ultraclub on August 17th.

Flogging Molly stop by the Burton Cummings Theatre on October 24th.

The Lytics are at the Albert on July 31st w/ Hope Atlantic, Abstract Artfrom, and DJ CO-OP.

And finally, The Wooden Sky rock Ragpickers on August 12th.

Well, I'm off to Folk Fest for the day. Neko and Iron & Wine and Josh Ritter and and and...it's gonna be fantastic...and possibly overwhelming!

Infinite Playlist: Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot


Sing From The Back Of A Train - Sunset Rubdown Live At The West End

>> Monday, 6 July 2009

(Far right: The bassist kinda looks like Bruno).

(Not quite sure what keyboardist/percussionist Camilla Wynne Ingr was doing half the time, but she added gorgeous textures to the sound).
(The Witchies)

"Thanks very much for coming out to see us on a Sunday night," said Sunset Rubdown's leader Spencer Krug last night, with utmost sincerity. Twice.

I must admit, I appreciated Krug's words. Despite the show ending early (11:10), it always takes me an hour or two to wind down after a particularly awesome concert, like yesterday evening's, and this normally mean a very tired, almost painful workday morning, especially when you're the kind of person who needs, inexorably, a full eight to function properly.

So yeah, I was deeply impressed with Sunset Rubdown's live show - it was engaging and loaded with complex but accessible dynamic shifts, sparkling melodies, and Krug's touching quaver. Heavy with tunes from the just-released and veritably fantastic Dragonslayer, the band played for just over an hour and were tight and clearly passionate about what they do. Sure the set was short and left me craving more. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd go see them again in a heartbeat.

The Witchies were one of two openers, and I enjoyed their gritty sound. Plus, I loved and laughed hard when the singer asked some fairly discourteous guys in the front row if he was interrupting something.

Unfortunately, I didn't arrive in time for Elfin Saddle.

Infinite Playlist: Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer


Love Is A Mix Tape

>> Friday, 3 July 2009

Scottish pop-rock celebrators Franz Ferdinand are returning to Winnipeg! The Glaswegian foursome drop by the Burton Cummings Theatre on September 2nd with tickets going on sale Thursday. No word yet if there's a presale or who's opening.

MSTRKRFT is playing at, umm, Wheelies on August 1st. Wheelies!

Infinite Playlist: Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer


The Sea And Cake - Live At The Pyramid

>> Thursday, 2 July 2009

Took part in some Jazz Festivities on Tuesday night in the form of Chicago art-rockers The Sea and Cake at the Pyramid. The guys sounded tight and the vocals were pristine; however, while I was pretty into their set for the first half , my interest waned significantly during the second half and I wound up leaving during the encore. Still glad I went though.

Show news...

Owen Pallett returns! Final Fantasy is bringing his minimalist violin & loop shtick to the West End on October 2nd. Presale is currently underway and the code is CLOUDS. The buzz generating Timber Timbre opens.

Montreal's Chic Gamine hit the West End on August 18th.

Elliott Brood plays there on September 30th. Presale is underway for this too. Password is CHUCKWAGON.

Trampled By Turtles stop in at the West End on September 10th.

Acoustic rock duo Mojave swoop into Ozzy's on August 28th.

Oh, and I scrobbled my 50, 000th track the other day on last.fm! The prestigious honour went to "Young Hearts Spark Fire" by those fine Japandroids dudes.

Infinite Playlist: Silence (Watching Veronica Mars)


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