by carl wilson

The Ornette Report

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Ornette Coleman and Tony Falanga, not this weekend at Massey Hall, but last year at Newport.

I've been searching for reviews of Saturday's show online or in the press, but aside from my colleague Mark Miller's piece in today's Globe, it's all chirping crickets out there. So in a few words: The Ornette concert was not quite as transporting as one might have hoped (as Mark says, the old dog had no new tricks), but it was no let-down, either. Ornette played clearly and with great resonance, so much so that he was actually too loud compared to the rest of the ensemble, diminishing the harmolodic effect of an interplay of equals. He stayed fairly 'inside' as a soloist, never pushing dissonances and seldom even straying from the home keys of his themes and melodies, creating a generally meditative, folklorish and quite bluesy effect. The mood was often elegaic, as is often the case with older musicians, but never nostalgic - especially thanks to the counterpoint from Tony Falanga's bowed bass, whose timbre was often easy to mistake for a second saxophone, as he played high up on his instrument and let lanky Greg Cohen (whose work I first encountered on Tom Waits' Small Change album) handle the stormier bottom end, as he did with gusto: Cohen's spotlit solo late in the set was a high point. Indeed, the twin-bass setup proved itself a perfect vehicle. I only wished Ornette had played his violin for more than the few minutes he did, and more melodically, so the string-trio potential of the group could be explored. (The shaky trumpet interlude, on the other hand, was quite long enough.) I can't speak quite so glowingly of Denardo Coleman's drumming, which was more laboured, less inspired, but it was never intrusive to my experience, and his feel for what the music was asking of him was touching, as an expression of filial duty.

I think everyone who was present would agree that the encore of Lonely Woman was a particular pleasure. Not only did the ensemble play it with assurance for its classic status, I think you could feel in it Ornette's own appreciation for an audience that had just given him a long standing ovation, which felt as much for his lifework in general as for anything that had transpired on stage that evening, and he stretched out a bit more on it than in the rest of the show. It was sad, as Mark notes in his review, that the hall wasn't full, but it's more important that the audience was so respectful and excited to see this pioneer in the flesh, so I think Toronto can hold its head up.

A final thought: One thing I didn't know before seeing him is how introverted and self-contained Ornette seems as a person and as a musician. There's very little testosterone in his persona, indeed an elusive but palpable kind of androgyny - yet with neither flamboyance (except in his flashy suit) nor self-effacingness. I felt that I gained an insight into his music from his physical presence. It made sense to me that this not-so-sociable seeming man would have created a new form of jazz in which the tussel and brawl of the players was downplayed and the individuality of each voice was central, none submitting or playing support to the others. If you ask what harmolodics is, it's a kind of music in which nobody has to shout or compete to get heard but each person's idiosyncrasies provide the form. It requires the listener to open up to the separation of the parts, which form a whole not by adding up but by being suspended in air, like streaks of paint on a canvas, suggesting many directions and never closing doors behind them. Ornette has been a great innovator, but watching him I felt like he had only done what he had to do, because of who he is, not because he meant to be king of the modernist mountain. There's a lot to mull over on the character of artistic advancement there. I don't know what anyone who's seen Ornette before would have made of this concert, but for these insights especially, I am very grateful to have seen it.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, October 31 at 5:05 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (11)

 

Ace!ofspades!ace!ofspades!
ace!ofspades!ace!ofspades!
ace!ofspades!ace!ofspades!
ace!ofspades!ace!ofspades!
ace!ofspades!ace!of...

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Zoilus' Toronto Gig Guide has been exhaustively & exhaustingly updated this evening, so if you're in the hereabouts, look into the link that will predict your future.

Among the additions is the November 9 Just Ace of Spades show at The Boat in Kensington Market, the perfect charity event for rockers too hungover to do a walkathon on a given weekend morning and too kool to sell raffle tickets: What you do is get people to pledge donations based on how many hours you can spend listening to Ace of Spades (yeah, the Motorhead song). The Boat will play Ace of Spades for six hours straight that night. Are you Lemmy enough to handle it? If so, go download a pledge form. (Yeah, it's a week-plus away, but you need time to get your doners signed up, right?)

But first, this weekend comes Sunday's annual Canzine festival of alt-culture, held where I lay my head each night, the Gladstone Hotel. I don't really buy the organizers' claims that zine culture is as hale as ever and hasn't been supplanted by blogville and environs. My informants tell me the gang at zine gatherings is creeping steadily up in age. To be a zine producer isn't quite yet like being a collector of 78s, but it's on its way. (Not that there's anything wrong with being a collector of 78s, or even of Edison cylinders!) But state-of-zines-debate aside, the great thing about Canzine is that somehow in recent years it has developed into its own genre - that is, if you have an art idea that doesn't seem to fit anywhere, or even be worth developing too far, for instance a bunch of people pretending to be pirates or a half-dozen bands recording CDs of songs they make up on the spot on the hour every hour, one of your options is to turn it into "A Room At Canzine." This year's Rooms include Jim Munroe's No Media Kings 5th Anniversary Party; Misha Glouberman's Game Emporium; Amy Lam and Zeesy Powers's Arcadia; Darren O'Donnell's Diplomatic Immunities; Project 3 Media's Digital Grassroots; The Best of Art Metropole's Multiples. I know what some of these things are (Misha's Game Emporium involves a score of people taking commands from a talking robotic stick), but I'm also eager to be surprised.

Plus, Zoilus and Mrs. Zoilus's romance sorta-began at a Canzine five years ago, so it will always occupy a pedestal in my poetic inventory.

ALSO I hope many of you are going tonight to the secret location.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, October 28 at 6:06 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

October, November, Novemberer
(Gig Guide!)

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Left to right, top to bottom: Oct. 28, Nov. 8, Nov. 5, Nov. 11-12, Nov. 13-15.

The Halloween(ish)-to-American-Thanksgiving(ish) live Toronto show calendar is up now! Additions and corrections always welcome.

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the Stillepost.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and, as the saying goes, you - email or post in the comments with show information and disinformation.


FRI NOV. 4
* Leftover Daylight w/ COLIN FISHER, ELLEN WATERMAN, EVAN SHAW, ERIC CHENAUX, GEORDIE HALEY, RONDA RINDONE, SCOTT THOMSON, MICHAEL KEITH, ROB CLUTTON, NILAN PERERA, KEN ALDCROFT, JOE SORBARA, various groupings, three sets => Arraymusic Studio, 60 Atlantic Ave., ste. 218, 9 pm, $6-$10
* WE ARE WOLVES, PEOPLE FOR AUDIO => Drake Hotel, $10
* That Crazy American Music w/ ART OF TIME ENSEMBLE => Harbourfront Centre Theatre (231 Queens Quay West), $25-$35 (Nov 4-5)
* HABANA SAX => Lula Lounge, $25-30 (NOV. 2-6)
DEE KAYE IBOMEKA => Hugh's Room, $20
THE ROYAL CROWNS, THE RIDE THEORY => Horseshoe, $10
SHELDON ROURKE & THE LOADED TOY GUN => The Vatican, $5
THE GARDENS FAITHFUL (farewell show), FIFTH BUSINESS, guests => Rancho Relaxo
THE MARK INSIDE, ACTION MAKES, 100% WoOL => The Boat, $5
PALETTE (live turntablist improv) w/ VISION, DJ STEPTONE, NV, THE VINYL KILLER, DJ VETERAN => Trane Studio, $10
MARK EISENMAN TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St. (Nov 3-4)
Mark de Clive-Lowe's Free Soul Sessions w/ BEMBÉ SEGUÉ => Supermarket, $10
SUE FOLEY => Healey's, $12/$15
CANARY MINE cd release, DJ SCOOTZ, VANESSA JOHN AND THE BACHELORS => Rivoli, $10
ROB CAMPBELL QUARTET => Rex Hotel
DRAGONLORD, ECLIPSE ETERNAL, TRITON, VALKERIES CRY => Reverb, $20
AVENGED SEVENFOLD, SAOSIN, DEATH BY STEREO, OPIATE FOR THE MASSES => Kool Haus, 5 pm, $22.50
AMICI CHAMBER ENSEMBLE, LESLIE KINTON => Glenn Gould Studio, 8 pm, $10-$40
Carmina Burana w/ TORONTO MENDELSSOHN CHOIR => Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge), $35-$65
GENE DINOVI/DAVE YOUNG => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 3-5)
BELVEDERE, THE FULL BLAST, NIGHTS OF VIOLENCE => Kathedral, $12.50

SAT NOV. 5
** THE REVERIES (Rat Drifting improv trio) w/ JEAN MARTIN play the music of SADE (!) => Tranzac, 10 pm
** JENS LEKMAN, THE PHONEMES, STEVE SHIFFMAN & THE LAND OF NO, art by SHARY BOYLE => The Music Gallery, $8/$10
** QUINTRON & MISS PUSSY CAT, NO DYNAMICS => Silver Dollar, $10.50
* A Midautumn Night's Dream w/ RYAN BISHOPS, NATHAN LAWR, KATE MAKI, RUTH MINNIKIN, DALE MURRAY => Gladstone
* THE HOLMES BROTHERS => Horseshoe, $16.50
* That Crazy American Music w/ ART OF TIME ENSEMBLE => Harbourfront Centre Theatre (231 Queens Quay West), $25-$35 (Nov 4-5)
* HABANA SAX => Lula Lounge, $25-30 (NOV. 2-6)
* TAAFI's BONER party w/ PEACHES, MC TEXASS, BIG PRIMPIN', SCOTT McEWAN/JOHN CAFFREY => Drake, 10 pm, $25
DARK RAVE v.69 w/ DJs B7, PHINK & LAZARUS, FRACTURED, MARA'S TORMENT => Funhaus, $5 b4 11 pm, $10 after
WOODPIGEON (w/ SANDRO PERRI, AARON BOOTH), JAMES ANDERSON (of Singing Saws), more => 78 Crawford St., potluck 6 pm, show 8 pm, free
RICHARD UNDERHILL QUARTET => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
Bright Lights Festival w/ ELBOW, THE DUKE SPIRIT, ISLANDS (ex-Unicorns), THE CALL UP (members of Dears, Stills), THE MELIGROVE BAND, STIRLING, THE COAST, more => Stone Distillery Fermenting Cellar, Distillery District, 55 Mill Street, 3 pm- 1 am, $25
BROTHER'S PAST => El Mocambo, $10
BIF NAKED => Phoenix, 6 pm, $20
BLACK DAHLIA MURDER => Reverb, $16
LINDI ORTEGA, TANISHA TAITT, KELLY GOODLAD => Victory Café, $8
THE TREVOR FINLAY BAND => Healey's
Songs of Hope & Inspiration w/ TORONTO CHILDREN'S CHORUS => Metropolitan United Church (56 Queen East), 3 pm, $25-$40
LINDA ORTEGA, TANISHA TAITT, KELLY GOODLAD => Victory Café, $8
TORONTO SINFONIETTA FEAT. MATTHEW JASKIEWIÇZ => Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delisle), 7:30 pm, $30-$50
We Dance w/ DJ SNEAK's Birthday Beats, MARK FARINA, JUNIOR SANCHEZ, TEELOO'S KITCHEN, JASON HODGES, MISCHIEF AND FRANKIE, MARIO J & DOM G => 270 Spadina Ave., 10 pm-8 am, $30+
GENE DINOVI/DAVE YOUNG => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 3-5)
KUSH, NICK BROWNMAN ALI => Gypsy Co-op, $10
BIRDS OF WALES => Lee's Palace, $10
CATCH 22, SUICIDE MACHINES, FLATLINERS => Kathedral, $17
JANINE STOLL cd release w/ MR SOMETHING SOMETHING, LISA WINN, BRIAN MacMILLAN, ANGIE NUSSEY => NOW Lounge, 189 Church, $12-$20 (w/cd)
DJ Starting From Scratch's 15th Anniversary Gala w/ GLENN LEWIS, DIVINE BROWN, JACKSOUL, RAY ROBINSON, KARDINAL OFFISHALL, BLESSED => York Event Theatre (101 Eglinton East), $30
BUBBA & THE AGENTS OF GROOVE, MICHELINE CARONE => Dominion on Queen, $5
Dub & Beyond w/ UNDADOGG, NICK HOLDER, VERSION XCURSION => Andy Poolhall, free before 10 pm, $5 after
CAMERON FAMILY SINGERS => Cameron House
THE GUTTER DEMONS => Cadillac Lounge

SUN NOV. 6
* TAAFI panel on DEEJAYING URBAN INDUSTRIAL ROOTS FROM DETROIT TO DUSSELDORF => Drake, 4 pm, $6
* BROADCAST, GRAVENHURST => Lee's Palace, $15
* FEAR FACTORY, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, ARCANE => Opera House, 7 pm, $25
* PETULA CLARK => Hummingbird Centre, $39.50-$69.50
* HABANA SAX => Lula Lounge, $25-30 (NOV. 2-6)
* SISTERS OF SHEYNVILLE ("yiddish swing chick band"), SHAKSHUKA (Mediterranean groove fusion) => Gladstone, 7:30 pm, $10
* Wavelength 288: Ladyfest Ottawa Tour w/ COUGAR PARTY, THE MAYNARDS, LES ALUMETTES, DJ BANJORDIAN => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
* COUNTRYPOLITANS, KEVIN QUAIN & THE MAD BASTARDS => Cameron House
ELLEN McILWAINE => Tranzac, 7:30
MODEY LEMON, THE APES => Horseshoe, $8
CONTINUUM presents "In The Asylum" => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $5-$20
Solo Piano Sundays w/ JOE SEALY => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
TORONTO ALL-STAR BIG BAND => Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront, 2-5 pm
AKADEMISKA SåNGFäRENINGEN => Hart House, 3 pm
BEN LEE => El Mocambo, $13.50
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH => Phoenix, 7 pm, $30
BEVERLY TAFT QUARTET => the Rex, 3:30 pm, $5
Christos Hatzis's Sepulcher Of Life , Karl Jenkins's The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace w/ ORPHEUS CHOIR OF TORONTO => Metropolitan United Church (56 Queen E), 3 pm. $10-$30

MON NOV. 7
* OKKERVILL RIVER, MINUS STORY => Lee's Palace, $10
* THE SHOUT OUT LOUDS, ESSEX GREEN => Mod Club, $13.50
* HILARIO DURÁN LATIN JAZZ ORCHESTRA => Mod Club, $20
* The See-Saw Sing-Songer Showcase w/ JON RAE FLETCHER, STU STOUT, GEOFF OLSON, WOODY JAMES => Supermarket, $4
OK GO! => Horseshoe, $13.50
SING THAT YELL THAT SPELL, VOLTAGE => The Bagel
ELANA McMURTRY, DAN FOURIER, ADAM WARNER => Cameron House
SERENA RYDER, JEEN O'BRIEN, JACK BREAKFAST => Mitzi's Sister
RUBEN ESGUERRA, CHIVA => Trane Studio
BIG SMOKE BAND => Dominion on Queen

TUES NOV. 8
** THE NO-NECK BLUES BAND, CCMC, THE DISGUISES => Music Gallery, $10-$12
** ROB CLUTTON => Tranzac, 8 pm
** CHIP TAYLOR & CARRIE RODRIGUEZ => Hugh's Room, $20
** SHOOTER JENNINGS (Waylon's kid), THE HIGH DIALS => Horseshoe, free
* CHRIS COOLE & ERYNN MARSHALL => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
* ROCK PLAZA CENTRAL => Tranzac, 10 pm
TOM WILSON/BOB LANOIS => Drake, 8 pm, $15
RIVER CITY TANLINES (Memphis, ex-Lost Sounds), more => Silver Dollar
RUN WITH THE KITTENS, LICKPENNY LOAFER => Cameron
SECRET ARCADE Tuesdays => The Bagel, 9 pm
The Ambient Ping w/ DREAMsTATE, LYNN HARRIGAN => Hacienda, 9 pm, pwyc
JANN ARDEN => Massey Hall, $49.50 (NOV. 8-12)
STEVE SINGH & HIS HOT SHIT BAND, guests => Cadillac Lounge, 10 pm (every Tues. in November)

WED NOV. 9
** KANYE WEST, FANTASIA, COMMON, KEYSHIA COLE => Air Canada Centre, $45.50-$69.50
** "JUST ACE OF SPADES" Red Cross Benefit w/ six hours of Motorhead's Ace of Spades marathon => The Boat, 8 pm-2 am, minimum pledge $5, downloadable pledge form @ http://www.indiepolitic.org
** THE UNDERHOLDE (Mia Sheard/Leah Salomaa/Chris Gartner/Ryan Granville-Martin/Tania Gill) presents a night of obscure covers w/ JILL BARBER, TORY CASSIS, DAVE CLARK, LORI CULLEN, LILY FROST, JOEL GIBB (The Hidden Cameras), DAN GOLDMAN, KURT SWINGHAMMER, ROYAL WOOD => The Rivoli, 8:30 pm, $10
* THE DINNER IS RUINED, guests => Tranzac, 10 pm, pwyc
* COHEED & CAMBRIA, BLOOD BROTHERS, DREDG, ME WITHOUT YOU => The Docks, $23.50
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS (bluegrass) => Silver Dollar (every Wed.)
* COL. TOM'S SWINGING DOORS, FRIENDLY RICH, more => Cameron
HUNTER VALENTINE, FLIPSIDE COLLECTIVE, J'S BASEMENT, WREN CITY CHURCHES, FOREVER COMES CRASHING => Reverb
KIRK MacDONALD-LORNE LOFSKY DUET => Dominion on Queen
JUNIOR MANCE/ARCHIE ALLEYNE/DON THOMPSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 9-12)
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL-STARS => Lee's Palace, $17.50
JANN ARDEN => Massey Hall, $49.50 (NOV. 8-12)
EAST VILLAGE OPERA COMPANY => Mod Club, $13.50
CHRISTINE BOUGIE TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, HELLA, BETWEEN THE BURIED & ME, HORSE THE BAND => Opera House, $20

THURS NOV. 10
** FINAL FANTASY/ NINJA HIGH SCHOOL/ HENRI FABERGE AND THE ADORABLES/ LAURA BARRETT => The Boat, $8
** TIGER LILIES, THE LOLLIPOP PEOPLE => Innis Town Hall U of T, $12 (all ages)
** 416 Improv Festival w/ OPEN HOUSE, QUORUM, THE EVERYTIME BAND, I HAVE EATEN THE CITY, hosted by David Dacks (CIUT/Exclaim) => Tranzac, 8 pm, $5
* KATHLEEN EDWARDS, JOEL PLASKETT => Phoenix, $18.50
* TOM VEK=> Drake Hotel, $15
* New Orleans fundraiser w/ C'MON => Bovine Sex Club
* ARRAYMUSIC cd launch, incl. pieces by JAMES TENNEY, CHRISTIAN WOLFF, JO KONDO, more => Lula Lounge, 9:30 p.m., $5-$20
* DAVID BUCHBINDER cd release, Shurum Burum Jazz Circus => Rex Hotel, 9:30 pm, $12 (Nov 10-11)
* Trumpet Is Jazz w/ LINA ALLEMANO, ADREAN FARRUGIA => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
IMMACULATE MACHINE, SPITFIRES & MAYFLOWERS, THE GUEST BEDROOM => Speakeasy
NINE INCH NAILS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 => Air Canada Centre (sold out)
Ciao Edie Roxx w/ CRACKPUPPY, DJ MARTA => Ciao Edie, 9 pm, band @ 11:45 pm, free
Open Door Music Festival w/ JILL BARBER, LADYBIRD SIDESHOW, D'BI YOUNG, KEVIN FOX, MIKE EVIN, AVRIL BENOIT => Mod Club, 7 pm, $15-$25
JUNIOR MANCE/ARCHIE ALLEYNE/DON THOMPSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 9-12)
HANSON => Kool Haus, $34.50
ADAM FRANKLIN of Swervedriver (solo) => The Old York,167 Niagara, $5
New Orleans Benefit w/ LES SIX, ARIEL, EDEN ANTS => El Mocambo, $5
JANN ARDEN => Massey Hall, $49.50 (NOV. 8-12)
BOHEMOTH, NECRONOMICOM, EXHUMED, WETWORK => Lee's Palace, $15
GRAND THEFT BUS => Rivoli, $10
THE CHARIOT, EVERGREEN TERRACE, STILL REMAINS, UNDERMINDED, TO CHERISH => Opera House, $12.50
THE KILLAZ, MINDBENDER => Supermarket, $5

FRI NOV. 11
** SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS => Horseshoe, $15
** 416 Improv Festival w/ WOODCHOPPERS ASSOCIATION, THE MIROBOLUS TRIO, ODRADEK, hosted by Mike Hansen (CKLN) => Tranzac, 10 pm, $5
* ANDREW BIRD => Revival, 783 College, $12.50
* DAVID BUCHBINDER cd release => Rex Hotel, 9:30 pm, $12 (Nov 10-11)
* Three-Hour Tour w/ DOC PICKLES, BEETHOVEN FRIEZE playing nautical songs => The Boat, $5
* MASTA ACE => Reverb, 9 pm
* LAILA BIALI TRIO => Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor St. W., $15
* Trumpet Is Jazz w/ KEVIN TURCOTTE TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
* BELL ORCHESTRE (cd release), KEPLER => Music Gallery
AGNOSTIC FRONT, BRASS KNUCKLE THERAPY, more => Kathedral, $13.50
Pitter Patter Nights w/ IMMACULATE MACHINE, The Postage Stamps => Cameron House
CHILDREN OF BODOM, TRIVIUM, AMON AMARTH => Opera House, $25.50
SOULIVE => El Mocambo, $16.50 (also Nov. 12)
ANDREA HENRY, THE CRYSTAL SOUL BAND => Trane Studio, $10/$15
JUNIOR MANCE/ARCHIE ALLEYNE/DON THOMPSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 9-12)
JANN ARDEN => Massey Hall, $49.50 (Nov. 8-12)
CHRIS DE BURGH => Roy Thomson Hall, $59-$75
We Dance w/ DAVID MORALES, NEVIO, CARLO LIO & VINYL JUNKIES => 270 Spadina Ave., 1 am, $30
MATINEE SLIM & THE ULTRALIGHT ORCHESTRA, PETER KATZ => Mod Club, 8 pm, $12
Orbit Room 11th anniversary w/ALEX LIFESON, JACK SEMPLE, DAVE MURPHY BAND, THE DEXTERS => Orbit Room, $15
BEAT SOCIETY w/ MR. ATTIC, MOSS, AGILE, MARCO POLO, SUPASTITION, KING REIGN, ZAKI => Reverb, 9 pm, $15-$20
THE LIVING THINGS, THE ROPES => Drake, 11 pm

SAT NOV. 12
** 416 Improv Festival w/ CCMC + SCOTT THOMSON, NICK FRASER AND JUSTIN HAYNES ARE FAKING IT, KEN ALDCROFT’S CONVERGENCE ENSEMBLE, RYAN DRIVER’S FAKE NEW AGE MUSIC BAND, hosted by ZOILUS => Tranzac, 9 pm, $5
** SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS => Horseshoe, $15
* THE CRIBS, LONGWAVE, GIANT DRAG => Lee's Palace, $13.50
* Milk party w/ LADYTRON => Gypsy Co-op
* STEPHEN PARKINSON, ALLISON CAMERON compositions performed by MARTIN ARNOLD, ALLISON CAMERON, ERIC CHENAUX, EMILY PARKINSON, STEPHEN PARKINSON, MARCUS QUIN => Arraymusic, 60 Atlantic, $5
* MICHAEL FRANTI => Bloor Cinema, $24.50
* Trumpet Is Jazz w/ DAVID BUCHBINDER QUARTET => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
* RON DAVIS QUARTET w/ THE SHIMMERING RHYTHM ENSEMBLE => Isabel Bader Theatre (91 Charles West), 7:30 pm
JANN ARDEN => Massey Hall, $49.50 (NOV. 8-12)
New Music Concerts: A Scelsi Centenary w/ LOUISE BESSETTE, piano => Music Gallery (197 John), $5-$25
CHILDREN OF BODOM, TRIVIUM, AMON AMARTH => Opera House
SOULIVE => El Mocambo, $16.50 (also Nov. 11)
JUNIOR MANCE/ARCHIE ALLEYNE/DON THOMPSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 9-12)
Celebration of Long John Baldry w/ DANNY BROOKS, PAPA JOHN KING, MR RICK & THE BISCUITS, ROY YOUNG, GREG GODOVITZ, JOHN DICKIE & THE MISSISSIPPI HIPPIES, more => Hugh's Room, 8:30 pm, $20-$25
MATT MAYS & EL TORPEDO, THE NOVAKS => Opera House, $15
FIRE HYDRANT => Lot 16 (1136 Queen St. West), free
SIANSPHERIC, TOSHACK HIGHWAY => Drake Hotel
BUTCH WALKER, DAMONE => Mod Club, doors 7 pm, $13.50
SALSA SATURDAY w/ DIEGO MARULANDA + PACANDE => Lula Lounge, $10
Embryon Just 1 Fixx w/ ANALOG PUSSY, LOU CYPHER PROJECT, DEZTRO, EXT, DHARMA LAB => Funhaus, $10-$15

SUN NOV. 13
** JOHN CALE, PRIYA THOMAS => Lula Lounge, 6:30 pm doors, $25 (Nov. 13-15)
** Wavelength 289 w/ BRIAN BORCHERDT, MINSK MENSK, OHBIJOU, DJ SELECTIVE SERGERY => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
* ART BRUT, THE DIABLEROS => Lee's Palace $12
AMERICAN ANALOG SET => Horseshoe, $12
HIM, FINCH, SKINDRED => Kool Haus, $23.50
OAR, MICHAEL TOLCHER => Opera House, $22.50
BACKWOOD JUSTICE, BARN OWL, RICHARD LAVIOLETTE, MEN WOMEN KIDS & BUFFALO, CHRIS YANG, FIN => Rancho Relaxo, 8:30 pm, $7
Solo Piano Sundays w/ GARY WILLIAMSON => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
KEN PERLMAN & ALAN JABBOUR => Tranzac, 7:30 pm

MON NOV. 14
** JOHN CALE, PRIYA THOMAS => Lula Lounge, doors 6:30 pm, $25 (Nov. 13-15)
* Open Mic w/ ALEX LUKASHEVSKY => Tranzac, 9:30 pm
ARCTIC MONKEYS => Lee's Palace, $10
GOGOGOAIRHEART, THE JOGGERS, DDMMYYYY => Sneaky Dee's, $8

TUES NOV. 15
** JOHN CALE, PRIYA THOMAS => Lula Lounge, doors 6:30 pm, $25 (Nov. 13-15)
* VIDEO GAMES LIVE (Orchestral Arrangements of Game Music, inc. Halo, Frogger, Everquest, Mario, Zelda, Tomb Raider, more) => Massey Hall, doors 7 pm, $39.50-$59.50
* BAD RELIGION, ANTI-FLAG, PROTEST THE HERO => Kool Haus, doors 7 pm, $34.50
* ILLUMINATI, MARK INSIDE, PRIESTESS, more => Horseshoe
GEORDIE HALEY TRIO => Tranzac, 10 pm
RICHARD UNDERHILL cd release => Montreal Bistro
The Ambient Ping w/ SOFTWARE, TOASTYBIRD VISUALS => Hacienda, 9 pm, pwyc
PHILOSOPHER KINGS => Mod Club, 8 pm, $21.50
THE CHOIRGIRLZ => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St., 8:30 pm, $10
STEVE SINGH & HIS HOT SHIT BAND, guests => Cadillac Lounge, 10 pm (every Tues. in November)

WED NOV. 16
* LOLLIPOP PEOPLE, JOHN OSWALD/SCOTT THOMSON, JOHN KAMEEL FARRAH  => Cameron House, $6
* BAUHAUS => Kool Haus, $42.50
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS (bluegrass) => Silver Dollar (every Wed.)
* TERRY KING => Rex Hotel
* THE DINNER IS RUINED, more => Tranzac, 8:30 pm
SUNDAR VISWANATHAN/DAVID BRAID => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
THE IMMORTAL LEE COUNTY KILLERS => Horseshoe, doors 9 pm, $8
Secret Arcade Tuesdays => The Bagel, 9 pm
ROSANNE AGASEE QUARTET => Montreal Bistro
Orthopedic Foundation jazz benefit w/ NORM AMADIO, TOMMY AMBROSE => Lula Lounge, 7 pm, $20
THE SILENT => The Horseshoe Tavern
The Venatio de Spero Fall Tour w/ GREELEY ESTATES, MY AMERICAN HEART, A CHANGE OF PACE, AGENT SPARKS, THE CONFESSION => El Mocambo, all ages, doors 7 pm, $15
THE MARIGOLDS w/ GWEN SWICK, CAITLIN HANFORD, SUZIE VINNICK => Hugh's Room, $14-$16

THUR NOV. 17
** LYLE LOVETT, JOHN HIATT, JOE ELY, GUY CLARK => Massey Hall, $49.50-$69.50
** PHOSOPHORESCENT, CASTANETS => Sneaky Dee's
** SOUR KEYS, VERMICIOUS KNID, BURDOCKS, GERMANS => Rancho Relaxo, 9 pm, $6
* RAINER MARIA, FIVE BLANK PAGES => Lee's Palace, $10
* Club Filth w/ DJS ARE NOT ROCKSTARS (w/PRINCESS SUPERSTAR, ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE) (NYC), MISS B-HAVE & WANNABEASTAR (NL), JOOST VAN BELLEN (NL), FRITZ HELDER & THE PHANTOMS, more => State Theatre, 69 Bathurst, 9 pm, $12.50 adv.
* NICK 'BROWNMAN' ALI TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St. (Nov 17-18)
IVAN BANFORD & COLIN ANTHONY => Tranzac, 10 pm
BORODIN QUARTET => George Westin Recital Hall (5040 Yonge), $35-$65
DAN MCVEIGH cd release => Hugh's Room, $10-$12
AMANDA MARTINEZ & EVARISTO MACHADO => Lula Lounge, 9 pm
JULIE MICHELS QUARTET => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 17-19)
JIM HILLMAN’S MERLIN FACTOR w/ TUKU => Rex Hotel (Nov 17-18)
EUGENE RIPPER'S FAST FOLK UNDERGROUND => Drake Hotel, 9 pm, $10

FRI NOV. 18
** DRUMHELLER => Tranzac, 10 pm
* THE FLESHTONES => Opera House, $10
* SARAH HARMER, THE WEAKERTHANS => Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front W, $30
* Rendezvous with Madness film festival presents THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON (documentary) => Workman Theatre, 1001 Queen St. W., $8
* LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, THE JUAN MACLEAN, ARTHUR BAKER, SHIT ROBOT, KENNY GLASGOW, WILL MUNRO, A.D/D => Kool Haus, $25
* NICK ALI TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St. (Nov 17-18)
FRONT 242, GRAY AREA => Guvernment, doors 7 pm, $25
Mini-Shoegazer Fest 3 w/ AIDAN BAKER, OFF THE INTERNATIONAL RADAR, DIAGRAM & THE SLEEPING KINGS OF IONA => Sneaky Dee's, $5
MEMBERS OF THE PRESS , BLUESCREEN => El Mocambo  $5
ANDREA HENRY, THE CRYSTAL SOUL BAND => Trane Studio, $10/$15
THE RIZDALES, ATOMIC 7 => Cadillac Lounge
JIM HILLMAN’S MERLIN FACTOR w/ TUKU => Rex Hotel (Nov 17-18)
APRIL WINE => Club 279, $20-$25
DROPKICK MURPHYS => Docks, doors 7:30 pm, $20.50. 416-870-7000.
AEROSMITH, LENNY KRAVITZ Air Canada Centre, doors 6:30 pm, $59.50-$119.50
ALL AMERICAN REJECTS, ROONEY, ACADEMY IS => Phoenix, doors 5 pm, $21
FOZZY, REASON DISAPPEARS => Opera House, $20
JULIE MICHELS QUARTET => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 17-19)
Cuban Fridays w/ CAFE CUBANO => Lula Lounge, $10
DARLENE, SWEETWATER WOMEN => The Kitchen (983 Victoria Park Ave)

SAT NOV. 19
* Small World Music presents THE DHOAD GYPSIES OF RAJASTHAN => Jane Mallet Theatre, 27 Front Street, 8 pm, $30
* Acoustic Harvest Folk Club w/ THE FOGGY HOGTOWN BOYS => Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, 33 East Rd., 8 pm, $15
* RYAN DRIVER QUARTET => Tranzac, 10 pm
RIZDALES, ATOMIC 7 => Cadillac Lounge
BLACK KEYS => Opera House, $15
JENG YI (Korean drums) => Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles West), $15-$20
MASTA ACE, WORDSWORTH, DJ A VEE => Reverb, 9 pm, $22.50
KAMELOT, SEVEN WITCHES, PENETRATOR => Lee's Palace, $24.25
THE PLANET SMASHERS => Horseshoe, $10.50
Toronto Music Expo w/ JEFF HEALEY & THE JAZZ WIZARDS, KITTIE, ROSES IN THE SNOW => Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front West), 11 am-6 pm, $10 (Nov 19-20)
JULIE MICHELS QUARTET => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 17-19)
VICTOR BATEMAN QUINTET => Rex Hotel
Salsa Saturday w/ CACHE => Lula Lounge, $10
DARREN SIGESMUND QUINTET => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.

SUN NOV. 20
** COACH HOUSE BOOKS launches uTOpia: Towards a New Toronto w/ REPUBLIC OF SAFETY, FREE SCHOOL, more => Gladstone, 2-5 pm panels & activities, 8 pm-midnight music, $5
* Solo Piano Sundays w/ HILARIO DURAN => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
DR. DRAW => Hugh’s Room (Nov. 20-21)
Wavelength 290 w/ RAISE THEM & EAT THEM, THE VERTICAL STRUTS, DJ CHICKEN LEGS => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
Toronto Music Expo w/ JEFF HEALEY & THE JAZZ WIZARDS, KITTIE, ROSES IN THE SNOW => Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front West), 11 am-6 pm, $10 (Nov 19-20)
BOBBY WATT => Tranzac
BARRY ROMBERG cd release => Rex Hotel
REEL BIG FISH, THE TOSSERS => Phoenix, $19.50

MON NOV. 21
* Grand Festival of Autumnal Happiness w/ "N" (Rob Clutton/Ryan Driver/Lina Allemano); A PEOPLE'S FAME (John Millard/Tania Gill/Jay Burr), SHUFFLE DEMON DUO (Rich Underhill/Stitch Wynston) => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St., 9 pm, $6-$10 (see also Nov. 27)
THE EFFECTS (Tulsa) => Silver Dollar
DR. DRAW => Hugh’s Room (Nov. 20-21)
NICK CUDA => Lula Lounge
Open Mic w/ BEN SURES => Tranzac, 9:30 pm

TUES NOV. 22
** In The Boneyard w/ THE HIDDEN CAMERAS & TORONTO DANCE THEATRE => Harbourfront, $17-$38 (adv. purchase recommended) (Nov 22-26)
** SHALABI EFFECT (Mtl), FEUEURMUSIC => Drake, 10:30 pm, $10
* EDGAR BREAU (ex-Simply Saucer) & TIM BUTLER (ex-Tim McB, Garble Rays) => Cameron House, $6
* BILL MAYS/TERRY CLARKE/NEIL SWAINSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 22- 26)
The Ambient Ping w/ SYLKEN, URM, ANOMALOUS DISTURBANCES & GENERAL CHAOS VISUALS => Hacienda, 9 pm, pwyc
GREG HOBBS => Tranzac, 10 pm
KELLY PERRAS => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
STEVE SINGH & HIS HOT SHIT BAND, guests => Cadillac Lounge, 10 pm (every Tues. in November)

WED NOV. 23
** In The Boneyard w/ THE HIDDEN CAMERAS & TORONTO DANCE THEATRE => Harbourfront, $17-$38 (adv. purchase recommended) (Nov 22-26)
* LOLLIPOP PEOPLE, JAMIE WAYNE, SLY JUHAS DUO => Cameron House, $6
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS (bluegrass) => Silver Dollar (every Wed.)
* THE DINNER IS RUINED, more => Tranzac, 9 pm
* BILL MAYS/TERRY CLARKE/NEIL SWAINSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 22- 26)
* ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN => Carlu, $27.50-$30
* ERIC BOGLE => Hugh's Room, $25-$27.50 (Nov 23-24)
* MATT BRUBECK/DAVID MOTT => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
OTTMAR LIEBERT, LUNA NEGRA => Winter Garden Theatre, $49.50-$57.50
THE SMASH UP, YOUTHINASIA, WHEELS ON THE BUS => Drake, $10
JAMES BLUNT => Mod Club, 8 pm, $16.50

THUR NOV. 24
** In The Boneyard w/ THE HIDDEN CAMERAS & TORONTO DANCE THEATRE => Harbourfront, $17-$38 (adv. purchase recommended) (Nov 22-26)
* ERIC BOGLE => Hugh's Room, $25-$27.50 (Nov 23-24)
* BILL MAYS/TERRY CLARKE/NEIL SWAINSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 22-26)
* MARILYN LERNER'S MAD SATIE TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St. (Nov 24-25)
* THE MIGHTY GILL => Tranzac, 10 pm
* EAGLE & HAW, JAY BURNSTICK, NADJIWAN, WOLF PACK, TAGAQ => Silver Dollar, 9 pm
THE SHOW BIZ INDIANS, MARC NADJIWAN, host LORNE CARDINAL => Tranzac main hall, 8 pm
LES SIX => Reverb
BARENAKED LADIES, BUCK 65 => Massey Hall, doors 7:30 pm, $42.50-$69.50 (Nov 24-25)
DOXAS BROTHERS QUARTET => Rex Hotel (Nov 24-25)

FRI NOV. 25
** In The Boneyard w/ THE HIDDEN CAMERAS & TORONTO DANCE THEATRE => Harbourfront, $17-$38 (adv. purchase recommended) (Nov 22-26)
* BILL MAYS/TERRY CLARKE/NEIL SWAINSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 22-26)
* MARILYN LERNER'S MAD SATIE TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St. (Nov 24-25)
* DEEP DARK UNITED => Tranzac, 10 pm
DIONNE TAYLOR, PAT LaBARBRA => Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, 5040 Yonge, $40
The Bass Game w/ IDUBNEWYORK feat. RAS KUSH, DUB STYLIST, GNOSTIC ROCKET => Club Trinport, 249 Ossington, $10
FELIX DA HOUSECAT, KENNY GLASGOW => Mod Club
CONTROLLER.CONTROLLER => Spin Gallery, $10
LOWEST OF THE LOW => Horseshoe, $10.50 (Nov 25-26)
LES SIX => The Edge, free
RUSSELL WATSON => Roy Thomson Hall, 8 pm (doors 7 pm), $49.50-$69.50
TOBAGO SIGNAL HILL ALUMNI CHOIR => St Andrews Presbyterian Church (73 Simcoe), 7:30 pm, $30-$40 (Nov 25-26)
DOXAS BROTHERS QUARTET => Rex Hotel (Nov 24-25)
Salsa Friday w/ CACHE => Lula Lounge, $10
BARENAKED LADIES, BUCK 65 => Massey Hall, doors 7:30 pm, $42.50-$69.50 (Nov 24-25)

SAT NOV. 26
** In The Boneyard w/ THE HIDDEN CAMERAS & TORONTO DANCE THEATRE => Harbourfront, $17-$38 (adv. purchase recommended) (Nov 22-26)
** CONTINUOUS DICK (aka POLMO POLPO), TINKERTOY, ADAM MARSHALL => The Boat
** MARTIN ARNOLD & ERIC CHENAUX => Tranzac, 10 pm
** TORNGAT, HYLOZOISTS => The Boat
* ASHLEY MACISAAC cd release => Hugh's Room, $28-$30
* STYROFOAM, ALIAS, ESTHER DRANG => Rivoli
* BILL MAYS/TERRY CLARKE/NEIL SWAINSON => Montreal Bistro (Nov. 22-26)
Edge Electric Xmas w/ THEORY OF A DEADMAN, HURST => Opera House, $18.50
WOMEN’S BLUES REVUE w/ SUZIE McNEIL, LEE AARON, SALOME BEY, ROXANNE POTVIN, SHAKURA S'AIDA, DIONE TAYLOR, host SHELAGH ROGERS => Massey Hall, 8 p.m., $35–$45
ECCODEK, DJ MEDICINEMAN => Drake, 9 pm, $15
HOUSE OF DOC => The Speakeasy, 120 Church St., 9 pm
TOBAGO SIGNAL HILL ALUMNI CHOIR => St Andrews Presbyterian Church (73 Simcoe), 7:30 pm, $30-$40 (Nov 25-26)
The Box Salon (readings/film/music/etc) w/ JASON CAMLOT, LINDA GRIFFITHS, KAREN HINES, IZABELLA PRUSKA, DAVID HYDE, DAVID MCGIMPSEY, MICHAEL TURNER, “mystery rock band” => Rivoli
Salsa Saturday w/ CAFE CUBANO => Lula Lounge, $10
THE LAWS => The Kitchen (983 Victoria Park Ave)
JAMES COTTON => Healey's, $20
MOST SERENE REPUBLIC, DEBASER => Lee's Palace, $10A Baroque Christmas w/ THE MUSICIANS IN ORDINARY =>Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton), $15-$20
JOSH RAGER SEXTET => Rex Hotel
LOWEST OF THE LOW => Horseshoe, $10.50 (Nov 25-26)
SCOTT MARSHALL TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
THE WEBER BROTHERS => Stone's Place, $10
THE DIABLEROS, UNCUT, LIPSTICK MACHINE => Sneaky Dee's, $10 (incl. CD)
ANDREW MACPHERSON, DJ MEDICINEMAN => Drake, $15
Toronto Wildlife Centre benefit w/ CARBONAS, DIABOLLOCKS, PANTYCHRIST, PSYCHOPATHOS, THE FALLOUT => Vatikan, 9 pm, $5

SUN NOV. 27
* Grand Festival of Autumnal Happiness w/ SELINA MARTIN, BOB FENTON, DON FRANCKS & THE TIM POSGATE HORNBAND => St. Andrew by-the-Lake, Toronto Island Church, 2 pm, $6-$10
* ROGUE WAVE => Lee's Palace, 9 pm, $10
* Solo Piano Sundays w/ DAVID BRAID => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
KONOVETS QUARTET (Russian male a capella ensemble) => Eglinton St. George's United Church (35 Lytton), 2:30 pm, $18
Wavelength 291 w/ LUNCHMEAT, FIVE BLANK PAGES, THE ACORN, DJ RYAN => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
JOHN LEGEND => Massey Hall, $38.50-$57.50
LYNN MILES => Hugh's Room, $17-$19
BOB SEELEY/BOB BALDORI => Rex Hotel

MON NOV. 28
** BETTYE LAVETTE => Lee’s Palace, 8 pm, $15
* DAMIAN MARLEY => Guvernment, $32
RUNCIBLE SPOON cd release => Montreal Bistro, 9 pm, $10
SERAFIN w/ THE ROYAL JELLY ORCHESTRA, guests => Mod Club
Open Mic w/MIKE OVERTON => Tranzac, 9:30 pm

TUE NOV. 29
* DOUG TIELLI => Tranzac, 10 pm
The Ambient Ping w/ INSIDEAMIND, PHOLDE => Hacienda, 9 pm, pwyc
Fado Blues w/ CATARINA CARDEAL, MIKE SIRACUSA => Lula Lounge, 8:30 pm, $15
PIRATE JENNY => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.
STEVE SINGH & HIS HOT SHIT BAND, guests => Cadillac Lounge, 10 pm (every Tues. in November)

WED NOV. 30
** LOLLIPOP PEOPLE, BOB WISEMAN, HANK COLLECTIVE  => Cameron House, $6
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS (bluegrass) => Silver Dollar (every Wed.)
* SARAH HARMER => Harbourfront, $31 (also Dec 1)
* THE DINNER IS RUINED, more => Tranzac, 10 pm
HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS, SILVERSTEIN, BAYSIDE, AIDEN => Phoenix, $21.50
GARY BENSON/DUNCAN HOPKINS => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:41 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Republic of Melody

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RoS: From left, Jonny Dovercourt (gtr-vox), Maggie MacDonald (vox), Kate McGee (bass), Katarina Gligorijevic-Collins (bass), Evan Davies (drums-mayhem). Photo by whom-else-but Aperture Enzyme.

Caught the Republic of Safety set at kool teen-feminist mag Shameless's party at the Gladstone yesterday afternoon. (Not a difficult catch, since I currently live at the Gladstone.) Besides Evan's ever-expanding capacities as between-song raconteur (his Hallowe'en "scary stories" about Olestra, tinted contact lenses and chicken fingers were fantastic), the great development is that frontlady Maggie has begun to sing actual tunes through entire songs, rather than just doing her riot-grrrl-rap-yelling (which is beloved but risks a queasy combination of sexiness and monotony over a whole set). And it turns out she can carry them. It's a great leap in self-assurance from her musical start with the Hidden Cameras to her Barcelona Pavilion days to now. (See the Shameless interview w/her this month, or my profile from the spring.) You're Only Lonely is a superb new song, with its stop-yer-sobbin' sentiments arrestingly conveyed.

Weekend Review Column
OVERTONES

Our first indie-rock prime minister?

CARL WILSON
1,104 words
19 March 2005
The Globe and Mail, R9

‘You know who's having the best sex? The people who pay the highest taxes!”

In some looser-hipped Canadian future, it might become a campaign slogan. For now it's rock 'n' roll stage patter, part of a stream of shouted provocations from the lips of Maggie MacDonald, lead vocalist of the Republic of Safety, a woman who never needs to resort to “How ya doin', Toronto?” to command attention.

Republic of Safety, which launches its debut Passport EP tonight, is a kind of political punk band the world hasn't heard before — one that agitates not for revolutionary utopias, but for a very Canadian moderation.

Then again, the typical punk singer isn't a former NDP candidate for the provincial legislature, as MacDonald was in 1999 in her hometown of Cornwall, Ont. She was just out of her teens, in a Fugazi T-shirt and Doc Martens, and ran respectably against an Ontario Conservative cabinet minister. She's worked as a party organizer through subsequent campaigns.

Being a musician was one of the few goals the young writer and activist “never dared dream about,” but she gained confidence after being recruited by friends to play crowd animator in successful Toronto indie bands The Hidden Cameras and Barcelona Pavilion. And she knew what she would sing about: “All I ever think about is politics and sex,” she laughs.

That suited Jonathan Bunce, better known locally as Wavelength music-series organizer Jonny Dovercourt, who was happy to give his high-school pen pal free reign as long as he could underscore her thoughts with scuzzy pinball guitar riffs. Add twin basses, drums and the conceit of a fantasy nation that both parodies and celebrates the Canadian identity, and you've got the Republic of Safety.

MacDonald continues to tour with the Cameras, and has also formed an all-female trio called the Dating Service. She is surprised by the music scene's embrace, but shouldn't be. Gregarious but self-effacing socially (I've known her casually for several years), she's a fury in the floodlights — howling, dancing, stage-diving and generally exhorting audiences to drop all cool pretenses and join her in the dizziness of the moment.

What's odd is hearing this rock 'n' roll energy channelled into not-so-rock 'n' roll subjects such as jobs, resources, trade and social democracy. One can only imagine what foreigners would make of it. But in the afterlife of the several deaths of rock, perhaps it's Canada's turn to scream, not for riots in the street but for a renewal of communal values. Laying waste to society's structures? Neo-conservative politicians are on top of it, thanks.

So, unlike past rock rabble-rousers such as DOA or the Clash, this group has for a logo not an anarchy symbol, but a safety belt. Which is both funnier and, frankly, more challenging.

“You can get up on stage and say ‘Smash the state!',” says MacDonald, “but the people in the audience aren't going to go smash the state. What's the state? It's an abstract concept. But if you talk about methods of demanding a more representative government, or concrete problems like keeping Canada out of missile defence — these are possible goals, but urgent possible goals.”

MacDonald comes by her homespun radicalism naturally, having grown up in a U.S. border town as the daughter of a feminist, union-activist school teacher and a soft-spoken bartender father with a bent for Bob Dylan. She saw Cornwall's factories and jobs move south and leave behind PCB-contaminated brownfields and a suspicious cancer cluster. While she studied her share of political theory at the University of Toronto, the stakes for her are gut-level.

And it's the immediacy that makes it rock. “It's important to turn our eyes to the world as it is and as it ought to be tomorrow, and I don't mean 10 years from now. I mean when you wake up in 24 hours.”

In the anti-free-trade Get Your Horses Back, the band proclaims: “North of the nation of fear/ We have a responsibility/ To build a republic of safety.” This corny Canadian image of order and security sounds peculiar rattled around by thorny guitar and drum lines.

“I've always wanted,” says MacDonald, “to communicate these ideas in a way that doesn't just take away mental energy [as politics can], but gives people an excitement.”

Where politics produces platitudes, rock demands sex appeal, and Republic of Safety cries out as brazenly for better orgasms as for the welfare state.

“One thing I like to say is, there can be no lust for a better world without lust! So we need to promote lust.

“People are repressing their feelings and afraid of their desires, so afraid that they don't know what they are. But when they're invited to feel sexual, they're invited to express desire, and then you can say, well, what else do you desire? You also desire, for everyone, something better.”

Toronto music fans like to joke that MacDonald will end up as the first indie-rock prime minister. She doesn't rule out an eventual return to the electoral fray, though she knows her saucy stage history could raise criticism.

“I write lyrics that have swear words in them. And I make jokes at rock shows that I wouldn't say to a general audience of families and voters. . . . But I don't sing vacuous words. Even if I'm sometimes saying things that are contradictory and complicated, I can explain and stand behind what I'm saying. And I think that's something that is lacking in politics. People's mouths are open, but what's coming out?

“When you poll Canadians, the most memorable, most popular prime minister that we've had — and I'm not saying that he was perfect or that he was right — but the one people care about most was Trudeau. He swore, he was weird, people thought he was gay, he had a funny flower, he did pirouettes, he took risks and he was wild. And people liked him for that.

“So if someone that has a rock 'n' roll background comes into politics, having serious concerns, that's a good thing. I would vote for me — and I'm pretty skeptical.”

To which I can only add: Me too.

For outtakes from this interview, see The Maggie Tapes.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, October 24 at 2:46 PM | Linking Posts

 

Goats Move Mountains (Live)

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John Darnielle and friend.

Last night's Mountain Goats show was a bit more satisfying if not quite as energetic as their visit in May. The set list seemed more thoughtful, or perhaps it was me, no longer just so excited to be seeing tMG after all these years and so more able to notice details. With the absurd amount of competition in the clubs - from Son Volt, Feist and Wolf Parade - the crowd was smaller, so there was more intimacy between us and John Darnielle (and Peter Hughes, whose use of bass as a lead instrument to JD's rhythm guitar continues to amaze), but also between the devotees, who drew two encores from a visibly weary John. The crowd seemed to be familiar mainly with the 4AD material - I think I was the only one who shouted in approval when songs such as Tollund Man, Twin Human Highway Flares or even Color in Your Cheeks surfaced. The high point, however, came when he was joined on-stage by opening band The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (Darnielle made pointed remarks about the band name - he'd have called it just The Prayers, he said, but the band's Christian humility is satisfied by having people mock and insult their name; I call them PaToADS for short). Lousy name or no, they rawked out, leading JD to do something I couldn't have imagined - he set down his guitar, took the mic in both hands and acted like he was actually the lead singer of a rock band. This happened in the song Against Pollution, which ends with a kind of apocalyptic vision, and John put one foot on the monitor, leaned out over the crowd, extended his arm and howled it out like a preacher. Indelible.

Of equal note, though, on more conventional tMG grounds: It occurred to me during a beautifully hushed rendition of Love Love Love (one of several songs he sang very very quietly last night, which was spine-tingling) that while there are many songs out there referring to Kurt Cobain's suicide, that's the only one I know that mentions him by name. It seems of a piece with Gus Van Sant's Last Days in marking the point at which Cobain's become a historic pop-cultural icon - a James Dean, albeit with a somewhat more complex significance; a reference point. Some critics found the Cobain verse awkward but I think they were actually just projecting their own self-consciousness; it's as fluid as the lines about King Saul or Sonny Liston. (I love the emphasis on his vulnerability and humanity in Darnielle calling him "young Kurt Cobain.") I think Darnielle was pointedly claiming the touchstone, saying that it's as valid as American Pie's reference to James Dean - that you don't have to be clever or sociological or allusive or territorial about it, you can just tell it straight-on. It's bolder than it first sounds, I think: Quietly setting its teeth to assert, "There's nothing cheap about this" - especially in the context of an album about Darnielle's own drug-addicted youth. (It would also be an apt song to sing at any Elliott Smith memorial concert, on this weekend's second anniversary of his death.)

Another small exquisite touch, almost unnoticeable, was in Color In Your Cheeks, a song (in my reading) about the treatment of refugees. The final verse normally goes, They came in by the dozens, walking or crawling/ Some were bright-eyed/ Some were dead on their feet/ And they came from Zimbabwe or from Soviet Georgia,/ East Saint Louis, or from Paris/ Or they lived across the street/ But they came, and when they'd finally made it here/ It was the least that we could do to make our welcome clear:/ Come on in... Without making a point of it or even leaning on the altered words, Darnielle has changed the Paris line to or New Orleans.

Chatting afterwards with the friend who came with me, who'd never seen tMG before. She was shocked at his energy and humour, expecting a more sombre person. That contrast is one of my favourite things about Darnielle. We spoke about sad songs sung in upbeat ways, as in klezmer or the blues. She made a comparison I'd never thought of before, between tMG and the Wedding Present - both Darnielle and David Gedge often singing dark stories (both strongly narrative and usually fairly realistic, excepting Darnielle's myth songs) in fast rock rhythms and major chords, using sophisticated language. Of course, Gedge is English and thus hangdog and sarcastic, and also much more concerned with playing with classic elements of songwriting form - with his rhymes and cadences and pop references. While Darnielle is American, and thus less guarded, but more literary and prosodic, trying to do things songs don't normally attempt but poems and novels do, which gives him a wider subject range, and his songs feature more epiphanies - and more violence.

I also thought: If you picture Darnielle as a skinny 17-year-old Californian with long stringy hair, wearing a band t-shirt and being the jumpy, bookish smartass in a small clique of goth/metal depressives, his personality doesn't seem so incongruous after all.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, October 18 at 6:40 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

I Buried Paul

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No, no, not quite. My review of last night's Macca show in today's Globe and Mail is pretty moderate, actually. The most pleasant surprise was that he's still pretty funny, in that early-Beatles-taking-the-piss-at-press-conferences kind of way. But considering this is the first and probably only time I've been in the presence of a live Beatle, I wished that I could have felt my enormous childhood love of their music called forth, but the tunes rolled out in the canned way they must. Not that there was no humanity to the show - I was impressed that he's touring with such a compact band, just two guitarists, keyboards, drums and himself (on guitar, piano and, of course, "my Hoehner Hofner bass"). And bizarrely, the press got fourth-row seats - the only time I've even been on the floor in that stadium, much less right up front. So it was, you know, nice. But his devotion to his own tepidness is kind of extraordinary, and you never felt that all the strange and sad and joyful things that have made up his very unusual life were ever manifest, ever mattered very much to the convivial ritual we were sitting through. The emotional and chronological distance from the nucleus of his significance had about the same effect as physical distance, as if I weren't seeing Paul McCartney at all, but a simulacrum by the goodnatured keeper of his legacy. (In a way a horrible Wings performance would have felt meatier.) The showbiz trappings, effects and overblown stage set, etc., only seemed to foul up that goodnaturedness. Of course, everyone around me was screaming and jumping up and down, which made me feel a way I almost never do - like a jaded journalist. Compared to a lot of rock nostalgia acts, McCartney has to be commended for bringing his full energy (despite occasional stiffness) to a two-and-a-half hour, genuinely live concert.

Hey, maybe it really was the stand-in! ... The "Paul is dead" rumour always had a funny poetic aptness to go along with its factive absurdity. [... on to the review ...]



The affable, unassuming McCartney

By CARL WILSON
The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

At 63 years old, he's indisputably still the cute one. Over a few hours at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto last night, Paul McCartney waggled his head when he hit the high "aaaahs," tugged his forelock when he thanked the audience, and warbled about the delights of English Tea and, "peradventure," a spot of morning cricket croquet.

It's down to the perversity of today's rock-nostalgia concert business that such modest charm had to be buttressed by a 12-metre-high movie screen showing literal video illustrations of his song lyrics, and at one point retracting to reveal a tightly disciplined shower of indoor fireworks -- possibly the most unwarranted pyrotechnics in rock history, coming during the distinctly sparkless new song Follow Me.

The excesses began with a pre-show soundtrack of crescendoing strings that made it seem Mr. McCartney was about to descend from the heavens in a chariot of fire. Next came a brief set by DJ Freelance Hellraiser, who mashed up bits of Mr. McCartney's discography into dance tracks as he does on their recent collaboration Twin Freaks, to decent effect -- though for many of the greying boomers in the 16,000-strong sold-out crowd, this element must have seemed like a ploy to make them appreciate Mr. McCartney's eventual appearance all the more, as a respite from music they can't bear. Perhaps it was for their kids, who were also out in force mouthing along with every word of the Beatles tunes and looking a little lost during the Wings ones.

But the most egregious part of the prelude was a lengthy home movie in which Mr. McCartney narrated the story of his life. Does one of the world's most adored pop personalities (an expletive-deleted Beatle!) really require such self-aggrandizement?

In the video, Mr. McCartney said he always thought of the Beatles as nothing more or less than "a great little band," which bespeaks at once his unassuming nature and the disappointing blandness of his ambition. This combination was what he brought to the stage. Nothing in the show would lead one to reflect, except on the passing of time, but you couldn't complain about his affable showmanship and the solid performance of his four-piece backing band.

The set list was calculated only to please, and incidentally to introduce the crowd to Mr. McCartney's latest album, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. True to reviews that are calling it his strongest effort in decades, its songs fit well into the evening's hit parade, which otherwise ranged from opener Magical Mystery Tour all the way back to pre-Beatles tune In Spite of All the Danger, as well as Drive My Car, Jet, Long and Winding Road, I Will, For No One, Fixing a Hole, Eleanor Rigby, and so on.

The songs were bridged by chat and storytelling, including a mini-songwriting workshop showing how he developed Blackbird out of a passage of Bach, and the story of how earlier in the tour he fell into the hole in the stage from which his piano is raised and lowered through the set. (Fans have begun holding up signs reading "Mind the gap.")

A moment of recognition for "departed loved ones -- John, George and Linda" brought an ovation. The Liverpudlian wit was still quick for bits of banter with the audience, though age and wealth have certainly smoothed and rounded the edge.

Audience sing-alongs were always encouraged. "Twenty thousand backing singers," Mr. McCartney commented. "What more can you ask for?"

For him, the answer is nothing: In the end, he knows that fans come sentimentally, to celebrate what his life has brought to theirs. And he precisely shares the feeling.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, October 11 at 12:24 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)

 

The Passion of Alejandro

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Today in The Globe & Mail, I have a profile of Alejandro Escovedo, on the mend from Hepatitis C thanks to an extraordinary series of tribute concerts and albums put together in his aid by other musicians, after he had a brush with death without benefit of health insurance. The U.S. health-care situation is madness to me, the main reason I would find it forbidding ever to live there, but the jeopardy in which it places artists really arrests me, since you can be a reputable and quite successful artist like Escovedo and still be royally fucked when it comes to health care - with a large family, he says, he couldn't even afford the reduced-cost health packages offered by the Musicians' Union. The fact that the Democrats haven't addressed this problem effectively is disgraceful (and yes, I remember what happened in the first year of the Clinton admin., but why was that able to happen except a failure of political will/strategy?). I think Americans in some ways don't even know what they're missing. A U.S. visitor came to a party in Toronto with me a couple of years ago and was shocked by the fact that almost everyone there was some kind of freelancer. That couldn't happen in Chicago, she said - most people hold onto a job for the health insurance. The foreshortening of options that represents is severe.

All that said, what Alejandro's been able to make of his plight is inspiring. His work deals so bravely and lyrically with hardship in general that it's not wholly a surprise that he is able to illuminate his own suffering in his art. But it's a real model, somebody who doesn't find easy epiphanies in pain but something much flintier, an earned transcendence.

If you've never seen him, you owe it to yourself to catch him on this tour (he's in Toronto at the El Mo on Oct. 4, as listed in the updated Zoilus gig guide) or whenever possible.

If you have seen him, you already know that. [ ... here's the piece ... ]

The body is weaker, the soul is stronger

By CARL WILSON
The Globe & Mail
Fri., Sept. 30/05 Page R25


In his urgent, Springsteen-style anthem Five Hearts Breaking, Texan musician Alejandro Escovedo discovers his lost-lover characters under a sky gone black and pleads, "Believe, believe, and everything will be fine."

There have been times the past few years that it was difficult to take his own advice. But he has caught up with the story now.

Hailing from a large musical family, Escovedo began in early California punk band the Nuns, which staked a place in rock legend by opening for the Sex Pistols' notorious final concert. He went on to help invent cowpunk with Rank and File as well as the True Believers, and as a soulful solo artist found his niche in the alt-country boom of the 1990s.

That movement's periodical of record, No Depression magazine, named him Artist of the Decade against stiff competition from the likes of Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle.

Like those cult figures, Escovedo, now in his mid-50s, has been through trials. There was divorce and the subsequent suicide of his first wife; months on the road away from his seven children; and his diagnosis in 1996 with hepatitis C. That condition eventually brought on his biggest crisis: He collapsed, vomiting blood, after a show in Phoenix, Ariz., in April of 2003.

He survived, but had to begin a punishing treatment regimen he could ill afford -- because, like many mid-level U.S. musicians, Escovedo had no health insurance. It's a plight Canadians can scarcely imagine. "Universal health care seems to be a dirty word in this country," Escovedo says.

His salvation was the respect of his fellow musicians, beginning in Austin, Tex., where Escovedo is part of the musical pantheon of saints. Benefit concerts were organized across the continent, and two tribute albums were released: Por Vida, with the likes of Earle, Williams, Jennifer Warnes and the Cowboy Junkies doing his songs; and a Canadian equivalent, Escovedo 101, featuring members of the Sadies and Blue Rodeo, among others.

"The benefits were incredible," he says now. "Community is kind of a lost art, so it was really impressive how the musical community came together and showed themselves a force to contend with when it comes to dealing with tragedy, whether it's the hurricane victims [the keyboard player in Escovedo's band is a displaced New Orleans resident] or individuals. I'm forever grateful."

Yet he had to humble himself to accept that help, Escovedo says. "It was hard to take the money. I always felt like I was the guy who did benefits for other people. Eventually my wife convinced me that not only was it helping me, it was helping other people also, just by bringing attention to the disease.

"We need to take care of each other. That's really the core of it."

Some of the artists who pitched in were Escovedo's youthful idols, such as John Cale of the Velvet Underground and Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople. "When I began playing, I tried to emulate what they were doing, knowing it was unattainable to tap into that kind of magic. And then these people play my songs, making them sound like I always tried to but never could."

They found fresh nuances in his writing, and made him feel promoted from student to peer. Now Cale is producing Escovedo's next album, including new songs he believes are his best ever.

But returning to the stage was still an intimidating proposition, with his own appearance and stamina so altered. His jet-black hair had fallen out, his muscles weakened. "I'd always been the one who wanted the band to look sharp and present a real presence," he says, as anyone who ever witnessed his marathon performances knows.

The shows and tours will be briefer now, but he has found another kind of intensity. "I think I've been thrust deeper into the music than I ever was, with a certain determination I didn't have before."

It's an energy at odds with the death-wishing rock romanticism that claimed the likes of the Sex Pistols. "It's like Keith Richards says - if he'd done all the things he's accused of, he'd be dead. Rock 'n' roll does require abandon, but I'm not sure the lifestyle is where you should focus. It's in the music, and the mind . . . to find new ways to say things about society and life.

"To have that near-death experience has given me a perspective I probably never would have had. . . . It has been a blessing, really."

Alejandro Escovedo appears with Jon Dee Graham, Oct. 4 at the El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave.

Read More | In Depth | Posted by zoilus on Friday, September 30 at 12:08 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

'What I Really Need Now Is Ideas'

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The October concert schedule in this city is so insane - seriously, there's barely a night in the next month that there aren't battles for your love goin' on - that compiling the calendar has taken up all my spare time the past couple of days. Leavin' zis heah blawg bohh-rinnng, je sais je sais. Enjoy the above picture of Dan Destroyer Bejar singing in Vancouver meanwhile and jot over to Artblot for more of the same from the New Pornographers' show out there (they're due in Hogtown - does anyone still call this city that? - a week from Sunday). (Thanks to For The Records for the link.)

With the avalanche of (mostly) third albums this week from various highly hyped Toronto-based bands - Broken Social Scene, Constantines, Metric, Deadly Snakes, Tangiers - as well as the disbanding of Three Gut Records, it seems like a good moment for taking stock, and I hope to give the matter some consideration in the next couple of days. I'd be interested to hear your own theories.

Meanwhile I'm writing up an interview with the gentle and thoughtful Alejandro Escovedo for this Friday's 7 - the weekly entertainment tabloid in the Globe. I'm going to be doing mid-length show previews for them most weeks from here in, a less-stressful substitute for ye olde columnal duties. Links, comme d'habitude, will be posted here. (Sorry for the franglais introjections - i just finished that Godard biography at long last ... far from a definitive book, I'm afraid - worthwhile for fans, but not enough of either new information or new insight, just dribs and drabs of each, and certainly its treatments of the various films seem fitful.)

Last evening I attended night 2 of the fall Interface series with Achim Kauffman, Michael Moore, Dylan van der Schyff, and Wolter Wierbos at Arraymusic. (I believe my colleague Mark Miller will have a review of night 1 in Wednesday's Globe.) The Monday program featured a generous evening of five sets - three planned improvs followed by unannounced sets by the trio and the trio with Wierbos - happily, since I thought I wasn't going to get to see those combos this week. In fact I was too Monday-night bleary to give it proper attention, but Wierbos's solo trombone set certainly woke me up for awhile, a tremendously energetic and varied performance in which he often vamped a little to set up a pulse and then solo'd "over" himself - quite a trick for a single brass instrument. Not profound, but with great robust humanity. The first and third sets didn't really 'get' me. The drumming in each case was too busy/overbearing (Joe Sorbara's impulses were solid, but the dynamics evaded him) and I didn't find myself in love with Michael Moore as an improvisor - I enjoy his work in compositional form (especially his Bob Dylan cover albums) but didn't feel much spark from him on this particular Monday evening. On the other hand, Achim Kauffman was a beautifully liquid and assured pianist previously unfamiliar to me, reminding me how I am missing my piano while we are in our temporary digs. (Not that I can play remotely like that - he just spread the 88-fingered love.) Eric Chenaux was the ingenious burdock as always. I was pleased to see Matt Brubeck for the first time since witnessing his Oranj Symphonette in the nineties, though he seemed a bit out-of-water in that set. And Vancouver's Dylan van der Schiff is just a stupendous drummer, who had the volume issue totally under control and whose blows always fell gracefully (almost too gracefully?) on the ear. So there was plenty to enjoy, and no doubt I could have taken in more if my own spirit had been more willing - but the "interface" between locals and guests this particular night wasn't at its strongest. There's plenty of promise in the climax of the series tonight, so if you are in town and free, treat yourself.

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, September 27 at 4:06 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

Falling Into Place (Sept-Oct Gig Guide)


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Left to right, top to bottom: Oct. 29, Oct. 22, Oct 9;
Oct. 18-21, Oct. 4, Oct. 16, Oct. 27;
Oct. 10, Oct. 17.

[... to continue, click ...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the Stillepost.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and, as the saying goes, you - email or post in the comments with show information and disinformation.

FRI OCT 21
** THE SUN RA ARKESTRA => Lula Lounge, $30 (Oct 18-21)
** ENGLISH BEAT => Horseshoe. $25.50
* MIKE WEBSTER NONET (w/Kevin Turcotte, William Carn, Kelly Jefferson, Alex Dean, David Occhipinti)=> Rex Hotel (Oct 21-22)
* MISS KITTIN = > System Soundbar
* HOLY FUCK => Mod Club, $10
DJ FREDDY FRESH => Supermarket
THEE MORE SHALLOWS => Silver Dollar
BONNIE BRETT & MARK EISENMAN TRIO => Montreal Bistro (Oct. 18-22)
DYNASTY, THE WORLD PROVIDER => Sneaky Dee's
FUNK SERVICE INTERNATIONAL => Gypsy Co-op
THE HEILLIG MANOEUVRE => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
THE BLUE RAINCOATS => Rivoli
DEBASER cd release, THE EARLY MORNING, EVIL DOERS, PUT THE RIFLE DOWN => El Mocambo, $5
SONGS IN THE KEY OF TOM (A musical portrait of Tom Thomson) w/ DAVID SEREDA and friends => University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King's College Circle, 7:30 pm, $12-$15

SAT OCT 22
** FREAKWATER, CHRISTOPHER REES => El Mocambo, $12.50
* Exclaim! presents Four for Fall w/ SHOUT OUT OUT OUT OUT, LUKE DOUCET, THE FEMBOTS, WHITEY HOUSTON => Lee's Palace, $12-$14
* MIKE WEBSTER NONET (w/Kevin Turcotte, William Carn, Kelly Jefferson, Alex Dean, David Occhipinti)=> Rex Hotel (Oct 21-22)
Five Weeks For Coltrane 4 w/ THE DOUG RICHARDSON QUARTET, guests => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, $15-$20
NEIL SWAINSON QUARTET => Rex Hotel
BONNIE BRETT & MARK EISENMAN TRIO => Montreal Bistro (Oct. 18-22)
MELISSA STYLIANOU TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
Salsa Saturday W/ CACHE => Lula Lounge, $10
THE JIM YOSHII PILE-UP => Sneaky Dee's
I AN EYE, LO & THE MAGNETICS => Horseshoe, $6
JAKALOPE => Phoenix, 6 pm, $17.50
The Yellow Umbrella Tour w/ DUNCAN SHEIK, SARAH BETTENS, DAVID POE, CHRISTINE BAZE => Mod Club, $20
Acoustic Harvest Folk Club w/ BILL GARRETT & SUE LOTHROP => Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, 33 East Rd., 8 pm, $15

SUN OCT 23
* Shameless Magazine launch & Halloween party w/ REPUBLIC OF SAFETY, COUGAR PARTY, horror-movie makeovers, more => Gladstone Hotel, noon-4 pm, $10 ($7 w/ costume)
* THE CLIENTELE, ANNIE HAYDEN => Lee's Palace, $10
* LIZ PHAIR, MATT POND PA => Phoenix, $20
* Wavelength 286: THE VERMICIOUS KNID, BEEF TERMINAL cd release, THOMAS & THE EVIL COMPUTER, DJ SEPARATE BILL => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
* Pitter Patter presents THE POSTAGE STAMPS, OHBIJOU, NOW YR TAKEN => The Music Gallery, 6 pm, $10
HENRY ROLLINS => Convocation Hall, U of T
Solo Piano Sundays w/ JOHN ROBY (9 pm), BILL KING (10:15 pm) => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
16th ANNUAL MASSED MILITARY BAND SPECTACULAR => Roy Thomson Hall, 2 p.m., $29-$63

MON OCT 24
* CSARDAS: THE TANGO OF THE EAST => Roy Thomson Hall, $35-$75
KAREN PLATO QUARTET => Montreal Bistro
RUBEN ESGUERRA & CHIVA => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, pwyc (every Monday)

TUES OCT 25
* THE COUP, LIFESAVAS => Reverb, $15
DRESDEN DOLLS, DEVOTCHKA, FAUN FABLES => Mod Club Theatre, 9 pm (doors 8 pm), $16.50
The Ambient Ping w/MARA'S TORMENT and AKUMU => Hacienda Lounge, 9 pm, pwyc
SLIPKNOT, AS I LAY DYING, UNEARTH => Air Canada Centre, $31-$49
VIENNA TENG => Drake, $15
STATUES, MALCOLM BAULD, TERROR LAKE => Sneaky Dee's
BRIAN BARLOW QUARTET w/ GUIDO BASSO => Montreal Bistro (Oct. 25-26)
Secret Arcade Tuesdays => The Bagel, 9 pm
Anything But Jazz Tuesdays w/ CEDAR AND SPRUCE => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
Acoustic Soul Tuesdays => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, $5 (every Tues.)

WED OCT 26
* HILARIO DURAN TRIO, BETO CALETTI => Lula Lounge, $20
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS (bluegrass) => Silver Dollar (every Wed.)
* COLONEL TOM'S SWINGIN' DOORS => Cameron House, 7-9 pm, pwyc (every Wed)
SERENA RYDER, JUSTIN RUTLEDGE, MICHAEL JOHNSTON => Hugh's Room, $18-$20
THE HEMINGWAY SOLUTION => Lee's Palace
DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS => Opera House. $32.50 (Oct 26-27)
THRICE, THE BLED, VEDA => The Docks. $23
PETER TURNER QUARTET => Rex Hotel
BRIAN BARLOW QUARTET w/ GUIDO BASSO => Montreal Bistro (Oct. 25-26)
NATE RENNER & LAUREN FALLS => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
NICK "BROWNMAN" ALI & THE ELECTRYC TRIO => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, pwyc (every Wed.)
KYE MARSHALL (cello), DANIEL IONESCO (guitar) => Mezzetta, 681 St Clair Ave W, 9 and 10 pm, $7

THURS OCT 27
* MATISYAHU (Hasidic reggae) => Lee's Palace, 8 pm, $20
* JASON KAHN/AKI ONDA, SANDRO PERRI/NILAN PERERA, STEVE BATES/JASON TAIT (Weakerthans/Fembots) => Tranzac, pwyc
* 2nd Annual Chet Baker Tribute w/ PAUL BAKER, DANNY DEPOE'S ALL STAR QUINTET, HAROLD DANKO => Lula Lounge, 7 pm, $20
DULCE PONTES (Portugal) => Roy Thomson Hall, 8 pm, $30-$90
MIN RAGER QUARTET => Rex Hotel (Oct 27-28)
ESPRIT ORCHESTRA (playing R. Murray Schafer, Harry Freedman, Marc-André Dalbavie, José Evangelista) => Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front East, $10-$32
Trane In Session w/ WALEED ABDULHAMID, KWANZA MZINGA, BRUCE CASSIDY & THE AFRICAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, $10 (also Oct 13)
RASPUTINA => Mod Club, 7 pm, $16.50
DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS => Opera House. $32.50 (Oct 26-27)
BRIAN BARLOW QUINTET => Montreal Bistro (Oct. 27-29)
FRED DULIGAL TRIO => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
HOSTILE TAKEOVER => Sneaky Dee's

FRI OCT 28
** Pop Avant series w/ JON-RAE & THE RIVER (w/ 17-piece choir!), THE SILT, CASTLEMUSIC => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $8-$10
** OPETH => Opera House, $32
* Carnival of Curiosities w/ LENNI JABOUR, DIANA OBSCURA, ALLISON RICE & AIDAN ORANGE, HEEBEE GEEBEES, THE HAUNTED BURLESQUE DANCERS, guest DJ RUSSELL SMITH, DJ AKUMU => Great Hall (1087 Queen West), 8 pm to 1 am, $15
* TRICKY WOO, STARVIN HUNGRY => Horseshoe, $8
* CLUB V w/ guests tba => Lee's Palace
* Darker Rave w/ UNITUS (dtrash/dross:tik) vs. CRUSHKILL (hmcr) live, VINYL VANDAL (hmcruk) [uk], SKEETER (hmcr/smerk), C64 (dross:tik), ORBZ (32 division) => Gladstone, 9 pm, $5 (prizes for costumes)
MIN RAGER QUARTET => Rex Hotel (Oct 27-28)
BASSNECTAR, WASABI COLLECTIVE, DJ ROLLIN CASH => El Mocambo, $17
JAMIROQUAI => Kool Haus, $41.25
BRIAN BARLOW QUINTET => Montreal Bistro (Oct. 27-29)
SHANNON GUNN & BRIAN DICKINSON => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
MARK PATTERSON ALTERNATIVE JAZZ QUARTET => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, $8
Cuban Fridays w/ CAFE CUBANO => Lula Lounge, $10

SAT OCT 29
** ORNETTE COLEMAN => Massey Hall, $89.50–$39.50
* Pornoween w/ THE CHINESE STARS,  MAHI MAHI, guests => Metro Adult Cinema, $10
* QUEER JEWISH WEDDINGS w/ MARILYN LERNER, ADRIENNE COOPER, FRANK LONDON, LORIN SKLAMBERG, SARA FELDER => Miles Nadal JCC, 750 Spadina Ave., $10
THE SILVER HEARTS => Rivoli
SUFFOCATION, CRYPTOPSY, DESPISED ICON, ABORTED => Opera House, $25
Vague Terrain presents KERO, NAW, DES CAILLOUX ET DU CARBONE => Art Bar at the Gladstone Hotel, 9 pm, $5
BLACK HALOS, ILLUMINATI => Horseshoe
JAZZ FOR HERBIE fourth annual benefit for Sick Kids' Hospital => Rex Hotel, noon-6 pm, $20 min. donation
THE FORGOTTEN REBELS => Lee's Palace, $10
SAVES THE DAY, SENSES FAIL, EARLY NOVEMBER, SAY ANYTHING => The Docks, $23.50
TESLA => Phoenix, $29.50
THE GROUP SOUNDS (NYC), UNCUT, DJ NNY + Guests => The Social, $10
Five Weeks For Coltrane 5 w/ THE DOUG RICHARDSON QUARTET, guests => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, $15-$20
CHRIS GALE QUINTET => Rex Hotel
BRIAN BARLOW QUINTET => Montreal Bistro (Oct. 27-29)
BOB BROUGH QUARTET => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
DAVID CALZADO Y SU CHARANGA HABANERA => Lula Lounge, $35
JOHNNY RAWLS => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $18
VAUX => El Mocambo, $10

SUN OCT 30
** STEVE REICH & FRIENDS => MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen's Park Crescent, $25-$40
* Wavelength 287: evil halloween costume party w/ ROBOCOPP, RIGOR MORTIS GOT ME DOWN (five-part zombie musical!), DJ WEST EYES
=> Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
* THE GO! TEAM, THE GRATES => The Phoenix, $18.50
* The Composer Now w/ JOSEPH PETRIC (accordion), PENDERECKI STRING QUARTET => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $5-$15
Solo Piano Sundays w/ TANIA GILL (9 pm), BILL WESTCOTT (10:15 pm) => The Red Guitar, 603 Markham St
AFRICAN SPIRIT DRUMMING => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, $10
CHRIS MCKHOOL cd release => Hugh's Room, 2 pm, $10-$12
Ghosts, Goblins And Things That Go Bump In The Night! w/ TORONTO CHILDREN'S CHORUS => Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 230 St. Clair West, 4 pm, $25-$40
GENITORTURES => Lee's Palace
STAIND, DEFAULT => Kool Haus, $33.75

MON OCT 31
* KARDINAL OFFISHAL => Mod Club, 8 pm, $15
YORK JAZZ ENSEMBLE (big band) => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst, doors 8, show 9 pm, pwyc

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, September 25 at 6:36 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (7)

 

Jandek Live in Torontopia?

Rumour of the day: Jandek live show in Toronto in the works???? (See Zoiluses past on Jandek - just the tail-end of that column, actually.)

And here's a bit cut for space from my Essential Tracks list coming out tomorrow in The Globe and Mail:

The White Box
The Mountain Goats, from Down in a Mirror: A Second Tribute to Jandek (http://www.summerstepsrecords.com)
This menacing Pandora’s-box parable fittingly introduces the weird world of Houston recluse Jandek, who has self-released 42 harrowing albums since 1978 and recently shocked followers by making live appearances. Singer John Darnielle has reinvented his vocal style markedly for his contribution to this second anthology of indie-rockers’ Jandek covers, which also includes Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, September 22 at 6:56 PM | Linking Posts

 

Trampoline Hall Chopped'n'Screwed

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Highlight moment from last night's Trampoline Hall: After lecturer Otino Corsano's entertainingly meandering talk on the Statue of Liberty, someone in the audience asked what one would build as the Canadian equivalent. Otino rambled a bit and came around to this answer: The Canadian Statue of the Liberty would also be the Statue of Liberty, except that it would be so small you could hold it in your hand, and everybody would have one. (I love the idea that the Canadian symbol would just be an American symbol put through a kind of scale/attitude warp - it sums up reality in this country nicely.) ... And maybe she'd be black (as is falsely rumoured to have been the original French intent, a rumour the lecturer seemed to have swallowed - although it's possible there was an abolitionist subtext to the image, the model seems to have been caucasian.) (Mind you, the statue's original colour was a dark copper-brown.)

Second highlight: Steve Kado arguing with a classical musician in the audience during the Q&A; for the "Slowness" lecture about which form of music was slower - classical or Dirty South hip-hop: "Emerson Quintet? That shit is fast! Glenn Gould playing Bach is punishingly fast," Steve says. "But crunk is so slow!" (The lecturer, an elementary school French teacher who plays rap en français for her students, asked, "Does the Dirty South do anything in French?" which was endearing. Steve answers, "Uh, no, they're a region of the United States.") Even before this came up I had scribbled on a piece of paper the question, "Is 'screwed' cough-syrup-drinking-style hip-hop a musical parallel to the 'slow food' and 'bonjour paresse' movements?" Of course, it's lazy-like-a-fox music, the slow homicidal threat, Bre'er Rabbit acting slow but actually thinking fast. But it could be read as an economically disenfranchised community's protest against the maddeningly impossible cultural pressure to hurry-up-and-succeed, hold three jobs, etc etc. ("Idleness is not a vice but a sign of intelligence.") I might write more about this one. However, in defense of the poor beleaguered classical musician, who just wasn't as funny or, um, quick as Steve, he was talking about duration rather than tempo - it takes more slowness to sit through and absorb 45-minute piece, he was saying, than a four-minute single. (Okay, but what about an album?)

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, September 20 at 12:30 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (8)

 

Guelph Jazzblog 3.i

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Hamid Drake

The Supersilent set only got better, locking on a horizon of fixed intensities and heading towards it not so much by forward motion but by stretching and spreading laterally, becoming large enough to envelop all it surveyed. I spent much of it leaning on the stage, both to observe more closely and to get away from the jabbering further back in the room. At one point singer/trumpeter/drummer Arve Henrikson was provoked into singing (in his high choirboy tones) a song that began, "Why are all these people talking? Why did they come if what they wanted was to talk?" and proceeded to speculate, "Perhaps they are very lonely/ So they desperately need to socialize/ Why are these people so sad and lonely?" while keyboardist Ståle Storløkken played funereal chords, a good performance lesson in making lemons into lemon daiquiris. In any case, a really involving set of ambient-style improv; I'm looking forward to investigating their recordings.

Now, to return to the earlier AACM concert: Both parts had their strengths, but without question I got more out of the first set, by Douglas Ewart, Wadada Leo Smith, Hamid Drake and Jeff Parker. [... more after the jump ...]

Parker, on electric guitar, was the weakest link - he was fine, but I've never found him an inspired improvisor. But the rest of the quartet was superb, and not (generally) by undertaking heroic-style soloing, but by creating a series of passages from one sonic space to another in a way that left me with that transfigured feeling that is the highest mark of creative improvisation. Drake is never less than stunning, of course - a great exemplar of a musician who defies the mind-body split, seeming at once athletic and intellectual in his every gesture. Smith fulfilled expectations, restrained but canny in his awareness of where his trumpet lines would have maximum effect. And Ewart, whom I don't think I've seen before, was a revelation, confidently leading and evolving the improvisation from strength to strength, wittily deploying the instruments of his own creation - most memorably a slide didgeridu, a brilliant solution to the monotony of most didgeridu playing that allows a player to really dig in and explore its amazing harmonic potentials. His bassoon work was also incredible - a difficult jazz instrument that he made agile and sardonic. I also particuarly remember a section when all four players were playing handheld chiming tubes, sounding like a rainstorm of bells, with Drake somehow finding a way to solo by rolling the ballbearings (if that's what they were) around inside the canister, tapping its sides, sustaining the rhythm in a superconscious way.

The Art Ensemble part of the evening was a more ambivalent experience. I found new trumpeter Corey Wilkes an unfortunately tepid presence - he seemed timid, as though he were perpetually waiting for permission to have an idea; his part of the sound always seemed a drag on the interstellar energies of the group during the open improvisations, and his solos fell into well-carved paths, with an almost painful feeling of blockage. Maybe he was just having an off night for some reason? That was definitively not the case for Roscoe Mitchell - my first time seeing him, and I certainly regret that. He left me breathless with the empathic and assertive quality of his saxophone lines, never predictable but always keyed in to some overlooked essence of the music that was happening at the moment. Joseph Jarman was his usual eccentric but graceful self, a bit prey to his own cliches but a pleasure to hear. (He was originally supposed to play the first set rather than Parker, which would probably have made that set even better, but understandably he preferred not to do double duty.) New bassist Jaribu Shahid is no Malachi Favors, but he held his own handsomely, and Famadou Don Moyes provided a rhythmic foundation that likely would have been easier to appreciate if he hadn't had to follow Hamid Drake. For whatever reason the ensemble feeling last night was lacking - there was little cohesion of intent in the improvised sections, and as a result they often seemed to get stuck in neutral, locked into a textural or rhythmic idea (or anti-idea) for too long, except when Roscoe took the lead. But mostly I just felt grateful to have a chance to hear the Art Ensemble in person at last, as the AACM marks its 40th anniversary - it still retains its charisma, and sadly I can only imagine what it must have been like when Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors were in the band.

It's funny how the positive-thinking vibe of the Guelph festival affects things. As David Dacks and I were discussing during my CIUT interview, the 'niceness' of this festival can be a bit oppressive - it makes it difficult to feel entitled to more polarized emotional responses. To be even mildly critical, as in this entry or as I was about the Fujii quartet yesterday, feels a bit like you're going to find the village turn upon and shun you - as compared to Victoriaville, with its much more professional-listener audience base and its Montreal edge (because a far smaller proportion of the audience there is from the town), where it's almost like a competition to find fault with the music and I very much feel the contrary impulse to champion what was valuable about each concert. But I do keep returning to something Eric Lewis said during Friday's panel discussion (more about that in the final wrapup entry later today) - that he feels a responsibility as a listener to improvised music always to interrogate his own reactions, particularly when he doesn't like something - to wonder if he is being reactionary or misunderstanding the intents of the musicians, missing what is being said. For instance, "If Archie Shepp gets up and plays standards, and you're disappointed because he didn't play 'fire music,' you want to think about why he might have done that." It's a good encapsulation of one of the challenges of this art form, and I think it will stick with me - it's left grains of doubt within my assessments of the music I've heard this weekend, and right now I'm savouring the quiet friction of that sceptical grit against my instinctive (?) reactions. More later. Thanks for reading, if you've been reading, so far.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, September 11 at 11:57 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)

 

Guelph Jazzblog 2.ii

I write you from the Old Quebec Street mall, where a stage has been set up for the midnight Supersilent show. I’ve just bid Mrs. Zoilus and her brother a safe trip back to Toronto after the three-hour AACM/Art Ensemble gig. Winston Smith of CKUT made an affable host. The evening began with an execrable tribute video that was little more than a slide show of AACM photos with a recorded soundtrack; the transitions from shot to shot used every cheesy effect in the amateur-video arsenal: Look! Now the picture is stretching! Now it’s pixillating and filling up with holes! Now it’s flipping around and around and flying out of frame! Now it’s rotating sideways till it’s as thin as the rationale for showing this crapfest before the concert! The photographs themselves were fine, but as a video... really, it was an insult to the performers to screen work so substandard as a prelude to their gig, and did nothing to provide the audience with context - the live interview at intermission with Douglas Ewart on the 40-year history of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was a far, far better idea.

More on the AACM show in a bit; Norway’s Supersilent is starting its set. The big pre-show mystery was what the member billed as playing “audio virus” would actually be doing. [... more, on the flipside... ]

The rest of the band consists of drums, trumpet, and keyboards - the “virus” looks to be a mixing board, with open inputs but also perhaps (I can’t tell from here) connected to synth, or maybe just for looping and altering the on-stage sound (as, for instance, Mission of Burma used to do). The tone is meditative and droney. The festival program compares them to Sigur Ros, and that doesn’t seem totally out of place (it also compares them to Godspeed, but I can tell you that within 30 seconds they’ve proven more dynamic than that). It sounds like good makeout music - pity we’re all standing around on the tile floor of a mall. Ah, now it’s getting much more viral: Overdriven feedback loops and all. The area isn’t packed; no doubt much of the crowd was worn out by the Chicago marathon. But this was the hipster pick of the week - I certainly heard it come up in conversation (“are you staying for the Supersilent show?”) more times than I could count. The virus has now mutated into a drum circle a la latterday Boredoms. Noiseish, light on structure but high on energy/force.

I just saw the kid wearing my favourite t-shirt of the weekend again - on the back it says THIS IS MY HAPPENING AND I’M FREAKING OUT!!!

The problem with the mall setting: Very rarely for a Guelph Jazz show, people won’t shut up. It’s the environment, but it’s also a symptom of disrespect for the relatively youth of the performers - and for electronic music as such - I can’t help but think. I like the progginess of the keyboard buzzed-out melody going on right now (sometimes trends are our friend) accompanied by very Sigur Ros-esque falsetto vocals that I suspect will amount to more when they’ve been infected with the virus. Ah yes, there we go - now they’ve become a rainbow choir of harmonic overlays.

Nearby a pretty girl in a black trenchcoat has just brought a bottle of water to her nearly-passing-out friend.... ah, it is the mall. I’m going to log out to save power (I can’t post directly here anyway - there are five different WiFi networks, but all password-protected) and let myself soak into the groove. A final entry from Guelph in the morning.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, September 11 at 2:44 AM | Linking Posts

 

Guelph Jazzblog 2.i

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Natsuki Tamura. (Font color selected by David Heti.)

Pardon the gap between posts - I suppose I started enjoying the festival too much to report on it, and just finally got to a wireless spot. I’ve missed a lot of the music as well: I’m writing from the lobby at the afternoon concert today (Saturday), where I arrived just a moment too late for the set by Sticks and Stones from Chicago - judging by the crowd response, which was nothing less than ecstatic, it must have been a great set. I saw them take their bow, & Mantana Roberts was done up in some sparkling green face paint, lending an otherworldly mystique to her strong stage presence. Likewise I missed the 8 pm show last night - I heard unenthusiastic reports about the Roscoe Mitchell/Pauline Oliveros set and positive things about the Nicole Mitchell ensemble - I should have gone in but was having too good a time chatting with Toronto trombonist Scott Thompson, Guelph bookstore owner Doug Minette and others. Have I seen any music, you ask? I did attend the midnight show by Rene Lussier and Eugene Chadbourne on guitar and banjo, and that was a wonderful, laidback and fluid set. The two had real musical chemistry - they should record together.

The set by the Satoko Fujii Four, with Fujii on piano and Mark Dresser on bass, Natsuki Tamura trumpet and Jim Black drums, was a mixed success. The general level of musicianship was extraordinary - Dresser is always astounding, Black (whom I don't think I've seen before) was creative and ebullient, and Tamura's voice on horn is distinct and powerful. But Fujii's compositions are kind of lousy, full of new-agey sweep and flourish and contrived melodism - so the improvised solos and such were excellent, but the overall journey was kind of tedious to me. But since the audience was on its feet at the end, calling the band back for an encore, obviously I was in a minority.

I want to address some of what went on yesterday afternoon, as well, but I'll save it for a wrap-up entry tomorrow. Coming up next: The AACM/Art Ensemble show. I'm particularly chuffed to see Wadada Leo Smith, a longtime favourite jazz musician of mine - with a trumpet tone like silken fire - and one who rarely seems to tour, at least in this country. But it will also be interesting to see how the Art Ensemble fares with its new members, Jaribu Shahid and Corey Wilkes, taking on the formidable challenge of filling the spots of the late Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors.

And now my fingers are getting sticky with Bookshelf roasted garlic and caesar salad, so I'll stop for the time being.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Saturday, September 10 at 5:38 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Guelph Jazzblog, 1.ii

My wireless access right now requires going outdoors to quest for the hot spot, so I can't easily post in media res. The Lori Freedman solo-reeds concert that just ended was passionate and ultra-expressive, which in some ways was its drawback - its entry points were all head-on, and I still had my mind in the somewhat frustrating panel that preceded it and needed a side door to synthesize the lines of thought... Anyway, more in a little while. I'm about to go on CIUT to discuss, well, whatever we end up discussing - at about 4:10 if you're in a listening mood.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, September 09 at 3:04 PM | Linking Posts

 

Guelph Jazzblog, 1.i

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Eugene Chadbourne, one of the guests at this year's Guelph Jazz Festival. (Sorry for the generic image - I haven't a digital camera. This on-the-spot blogging is new to me.)

Well, here I am sprawled on the grass outside the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, having just arrived for Day 3 of the annual Guelph Jazz Festival, a small but exuberantly innovative little event now in its 12th year. As long as I can pirate a wireless signal (I've got a wavering one now), I'll be live-blogging from the event today and tomorrow. The expected climax is tomorrow night's appearance by the Art Ensemble of Chicago, but there's a lot more on the bill, including Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra playing in about half an hour with a trio of Ontario musicians (see the schedule by clicking through the link above). I arrived toward the end of the 10:30 a.m. workshop "Of Other Spaces: Improvised Geographies," which seemed to involve stationing various musicians around the MSAC's two floors and letting the audience wander between performances - there seemed to be less circulation by the musicians, which would have been more exciting, spontaneously generating ensembles, but since I was only there for about 15 minutes, there may have been more wandering minstrelsy than I got to see. Still it was a pleasure to wander up to the 2nd floor and discover Matana Roberts (from Chicago group Sticks & Stones) playing resonant solo sax in the midst of Gordon Monahon's amplifier-cabinet installation, then move further back through the galleries and happen upon Rob Clutton and Eugene Chadbourne playing a jaunty bass and banjo duet - in the middle of a laid-out vegetarian buffet luncheon provided by the festival (roasted peppers and onions and potatoes, etc). Shortly after I wandered in, the rest of the audience did as well, while Rob & Eugene kicked out a climactic jig - a nice illustration of the community feeling of the Guelph fest at its best.

As for Guelph at its not-so-best: I'm looking forward to the afternoon discussion, "Roundtable on Listening: The Audience Speaks Out," which seems to be part of a general response to last year's memorable fiasco during the Sainkho Namtchylak appearance here, the theme in the academic component of this year's event, "Improvising Matters: Rights, Risks, Responsibilities." The festival's whole reaction to the fallout from last year has been in the a passive mode, sidelong rather than an open accounting for the issues raised there, but at least they are giving it thought. (If you're interested in the background, check out my posts after last year's festival.) I wish I could have attended more of the colloquium, which began Wednesday morning - every year Guelph makes me wish I had taken the whole week off to spend here, but the expense of getting a hotel room all week restrains me.

Anyway, hope this festival diary will interest jazz-inclined Zoilus readers, and that the rest of you bear with us till normal programming resumes Monday.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, September 09 at 11:43 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

September Songs (Toronto Gig Guide)

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At last, at last the official September Toronto show guide is here (on the flip). It's a packed month: Action gets active as soon as 15 minutes ago (Fembots in-store at Soundscapes) and tomorrow night with K Recs indie-grrrl dreamboat The Blow (Khaela and friends, pictured above in their new video) at, fittingly, the Boat [Update: Correction! Not till Oct. 7! Geez!], followed by Xiu Xiu with Frog Eyes at the Gladstone on Thursday, the AACM-toasting Guelph Jazz Festival all weekend (with live Zoilus coverage Friday and Saturday), the Tranzac open house festival all day Saturday (with the creme de la weird of Torontopian improv'ers and others), the Fifth Column tribute show that same night, Portastatic (ex-Superchunk) with Tenement Halls (ex-Rock*a*Teens) on Monday, Blackalicious on Tuesday, 13 and God (Notwist-meets-Themselves) on Sept. 15, etc.

If it goes forward, the Ear to the Ground festival will be the month's indie highlight, featuring sets by everybody from K'Naan to the Hidden Cameras to Joel Plaskett to Polmo Polpo to Sleater-Kinney, Sept. 16-18. Unfortunately, the CNE venue is known for keeping festivals in precarious positions. I'll try to keep you updated. Sept. 17 also brings the daunting noise-vortices of Acid Mothers Temple with Wolf Eyes. On Sept. 20, blogland's equivalent of Marianne, Annie, is in town with Royksopp; blogland's equivalent of Jake the Snake Roberts (that'd be Warren Kinsella) takes the stage at Sneaky Dee's; and Numbers returns alongside the collective known as Hank. One of my most anticipated shows of the month comes Sept. 22 when Seu Jorge (see Zoiluses passim) is at the Lula Lounge, and the next night it's George Jones (tho I haven't really heard good things about his shows this millennium) and the CD release for the Fembots.

Ken Vandermark is back in town Sept. 24 with his FME ensemble, while The Gossip scandalizes X-Space. From Sept 25-27, we'll be graced with guest improvisors from Amsterdam and Vancouver in the latest Interplay series, featuring the likes of Michael Moore, Wolter Wiebos, Dylan Van Der Schyff and Achim Kaufmann matching wits with Toronto's improv community. Ted Leo is here again Sept. 29. And no doubt there's more to come. (Update: Such as the surprise late-night label showcases at the Drake during the Film Fest, including Three Guts and Arts & Crafts nights.) The calendar will be updated continually throughout the month. See you in the crowd [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the Stillepost.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and, as the saying goes, you - email or post in the comments with show information and disinformation.

FRI. SEPT. 23
** GEORGE JONES, Ronnie Prophet => Massey Hall, $49.50-$79.50
** THE FEMBOTS cd release, NEW BUFFALO => Supermarket, $10
* Leftover Daylight w/ PAUL DUTTON/MICHAEL KEITH/JOE SORBARA/NICK STORRING; JOHN WILSON/PAUL NEWMAN/DAVID FISH; ALLISON CAMERON/RYAN DRIVER/STEPHEN PARKINSON => Arraymusic Studio (60 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 218), 9 pm, $10
* DAVE CLARK'S WOODSHED ORCHESTRA cd release w/ Runcible Spoon, Tania Gill, Monica Fedrigo, Pam Bettger, Julia Hambleton, Lina Allemano, Mike Overton, Blake Howard, Joe Lapinski => Tranzac, 10 pm, pwyc
* DEADLY SNAKES cd release, NO DYNAMICS => Lee's Palace, $8
* PHOSPHORESCENT, DOC PICKLES, DRUMS & TUBA => Sneaky Dee's, 9 pm, $10
* T. RAUMSCHMIERE => Mod Club
* MELISSA STYLIANOU TRIO, THE REX'S ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN COLTRANE => Rex Hotel (Sept 22-24)
FOUR TET, HOT CHIP, KOUSHIK => Horseshoe, $15
NICK ALI presents FIVE WEEKS FOR MILES => Trane Studio (every Fri. in Sept.)
TRIO MUO (Glen Hall/Michael Morse/Joe Sorbara, cd launch) => The Red Guitar
MIDIVAL PUNDITZ (Small World Music Festival) => Gypsy Co-op, 10 pm, $15
MY DAD VS YOURS, THE AIRFIELDS, I AM ROBOT & PROUD => The Bagel, $6
TOWERS OF LONDON => El Mocambo, $10.50
DINI PETTY => Hugh's Room (and Sept. 24)
MISERY => Opera House, $25
Indie week w/ CANNON FODDER, BULLMOOSE, GLENDORA, LES SIX, THE LAST SHOW => Bovine
Indie week w/ AFFLATUS, GRAND:PM, CHRIS BOTTOMLEY, WORD PEOPLE => Brunswick House
Indie week w/ JP SUNGA, NOAH VACHON, AMY CRAZE, DAN GORDON, THE COMPLEMENTS => Cameron
Indie Week w/ JEN WOODHOUSE, WHITFIELD, STRADA, NATIONAL SOUND, GIRL & THE MACHINE, REFLECTION STATIC, JEEN O'BRIEN, I AN EYE, NADINE MEDAWAR => Drake
Indie Week w/ KAREN KOSOWSKI, ALICIA GLANN, ERIC AZ, SNAKES & MUSIC, PETER KATZ => Holy Joe's
Indie Week w/ EVERLEA, PLANESIDE, BREADFAN, DEADBOLT ZEN, FAITHDOWN, THE FIRST TIME => Kathedral
Indie Week w/ DELICA, PLAJIA, ILL ATTIRE, CONFUSION IN STEREO, ANNIQUE, ICTUS => Neutral
Indie Week w/ THE LUDES, THE COAST, THEME SONG FOR A CENTURY, ONSWITCH, more => Reverb
Indie Week w/ AIDAN, THE LORRIES, BLUE VENUS, THE STRAITS, LEN'S HAULAGE, THE AWESOME TEAM (not to be confused with Awesome) => Silver Dollar
Cuban Fridays w/ CAFE CUBANO => Lula Lounge, dance class 9 pm, show 10 pm, $10
LIGHTHOUSE, DAVID RUDDER, NEU JENARASHUN => Harbourfront
Pitter Patter w/ YELLOW WOOD, IN TRANSIT, ROMEO LIQUOR STORE, YOU SAY PARTY WE SAY DIE => O'Grady's, pwyc
BOB BARNARD/JOHN SHERIDAN/DON VICKERY => Montreal Bistro (Sept 21-24)THE HUMAN STORY (w/ Erin Costello) => Music Gallery, $5-$15
FREEBURN, THE DHARMA BODY, EKA TREE => Vatikan

SAT SEPT. 24
** FME (Ken Vandermark, Paul Nilssen Love, Nate McBride) => NOW Lounge, $15
** THE GOSSIP, WE ARE WOLVES, BUSH LEAGUE => X-Space, 303 Augusta, $12
* ACEYALONE, BUKUE ONE, MR. NEWZ, DJ BRYX, DJ SERIOUS => Drake Underground, 10:30 pm, $15
* DAVID "FATHEAD" NEWMAN => Isabel Bader Theatre
* RYAN DRIVER QUARTET => Tranzac, 10 pm
* BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, MARK GARDENER => Phoenix, 6 pm, $20
* ED VOKURKA SWING ENSEMBLE, JEROME GODBOO, RUNCIBLE SPOON, THE REX'S ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN COLTRANE => Rex Hotel (Sept 22-24)
Vague Terrain w/ GRANNY'ARK, NAW, AKUMU => Art Bar at The Gladstone Hotel
BOY => Horseshoe
THE HUMAN STORY (w/ Erin Costello) => Music Gallery, $5-$15
NICK ALI TRIO => The Red Guitar
THE NEW KINGS, THE WHOREMOANS, RADICAL CHEERLEADERS, PUNK KARAOKE => Adrift, 299 Augusta, $5
GOSPEL EXPOSION w/ CALYPSO ROSE, ROKISHA LEWIS, SECRET PLACE, KARL HUTCHINGSON, NIGEL SOYER, more => Bloor Collegiate High School (1141 Dufferin), 7 pm, $25
TERRY YOUNG, ROB RITCHIE (ex-Tanglefoot) cd launch => Birchcliff Bluffs United Church (33 East Rd.), 8 pm, $15
BOB BARNARD/JOHN SHERIDAN/DON VICKERY => Montreal Bistro (Sept 21-24)A MOVING SOUND (Small World Music Festival) => Jivamukti Yoga Studio (5 Shuter), 8 pm, $15-20
LURA (Cape Verde; Small World Music Festival) followed by Salsa Saturday w/ ENERGIA LATINA => Lula Lounge, 8 pm, $15-$20
THORNLEY => Lee's Palace, $20
Gaither Homecoming Concert w/ BILL GAITHER, THE GAITHER VOCAL BAND, JESSY DIXON, JEFF & SHERI EASTER, ANTHONY BURGER, LYNDA RANDLE, BOOTH BROTHERS, SIGNATURE SOUND QUARTET, IVAN PARKER, RUSS TAFF, THE ISAACS, MARK LOWRY, JEFF ALLEN, KEVIN WILLIANS, MIKE ALLEN, BEN SPEER dvd taping => Air Canada Centre, doors 4:30 pm, $29.50-$49.50
Indie Week Merch Fair, Panels, Finals Night => Reverb/Holy Joe's
RAOUL & THE BIG TIME's "HARMONICA STANDOFF" => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $10

SUN SEPT. 25
** Lecture by MARTIN ARNOLD "Improvisation & Narrative" as part of the Interplay festival => Arraymusic Studio, 60 Atlantic Ave., no. 218, NOON, free
** Interplay w/ JOUST (John Oswald/Scott Thomson)/DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF , WOLTER WIERBOS/KEN ALDCROFT, MICHAEL MOORE/LINA ALLEMANO/NICK FRASER/ANDREW DOWNING => Arraymusic Studio, #218- 60 Atlantic Ave. Toronto, 9 pm, $15 (Sept 25-27, 3-night pass $30)
* JENNY WHITELEY & JOEY WRIGHT => Tranzac main hall, 7:30 pm
* NEW ORLEANS BENEFIT w/ KEVIN CLARK, DENIS KELDIE, JANE BUNNETT, CHRISTOPHER PLOCK, NICK ALI, LAURA HUBERT, TOM McDERMOTT, more => Fermenting Room, 55 Mill (Distillery District), $20
* LENIN I SHUMOV, GERMANS, THE GUEST BEDROOM => Polish Legion Hall,
2032 Dundas Street West, 9 pm
TRIO JOURBAN (Small World Music Festival) => Lula Lounge, 8 pm, $20-$25
HEARTLESS BASTARDS => Horseshoe, $10
Wavelength 282 w/ HENRI FABERGE AND THE ADORABLES, THE SUMMERLAD, MAHOGANY FROG, DJ LOUIS PRIMO => Sneaky Dee's
Solo piano Sundays w/ MARILYN LERNER (9 pm), BOB WISEMAN (10:15 pm) => The Red Guitar
STRATOVARIOUS, INTO ENTERNITY => Opera House, 7:30 pm, $29.50
TORONTO ALL-STAR BIG BAND => Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre, $20
U. OF T. WORKSHOP, FREEWAY DIXIELAND, SWING ROSIE => Rex Hotel
ANDY WHITE, STEPHEN FEARING, COLLEEN HODGSON, BROOKE MILLER => Hugh's Room, $17.50

MON. SEPT. 26
** MIA, SPANK ROCK => Phoenix, $20
** Interplay w/ WOLTER WIERBOS (solo trombone), ACHIM KAUFMANN/MICHAEL KEITH/MATT BRUBECK/BRANDON VALDIVIA, MICHAEL MOORE/ERIC CHENAUX/JOE SORBARA => Arraymusic Studio, #218- 60 Atlantic Ave. Toronto, 9 pm, $15 (Sept 25-27, 3-night pass $30) (Sept 26)
* THE ROLLING STONES, BECK => Rogers Centre, $60-$160 ($450 floor tickets)
NEW MODEL ARMY => Lee's Palace. $15
OCTOBERMAN => Gladstone
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO JAZZ BENEFIT CONCERT 2005 => Montreal Bistro
ANDREW BONIWELL TRIO, KRIS CHUBB QUARTET => Rex Hotel

TUES. SEPT. 27
** Interplay w/ ACHIM KAUFMANN/EVAN SHAW/DAVE CLARK/DAVID PRENTICE, DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF/ DOUG TIELLI/ROB CLUTTON,
KAMOSC TRIO (KAUFMANN/MOORE/VAN DER SCHYFF)/WOLTER WIERBOS => Arraymusic Studio, #218- 60 Atlantic Ave. Toronto, 9 pm, $15 (Sept 25-27, 3-night pass $30)
** GEORGE CLINTON FAMILY (w/ Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Darryl Dixon, Rob Bacon), JOI, CHILDREN OF PRODUCTION (Raphael Saadiq, Amp Fiddler, Stephen Perkins, Dave Watson) => The Docks. $41.50
* MARIZA (Small World Music Festival) => Massey Hall, 9 pm, $39.50-$59.50
* DEADLY SNAKES => Soundscapes in-store, probably late afternoon
* THE CRUZEROS => Hugh's Room
SELINA MARTIN, CINDERPOP => Supermarket
THE MORNING-AFTER GIRLS => Horseshoe
PIRATE JENNY => The Red Guitar
The Ambient Ping w/ SONGSPELL (Michael Moon [Vibes, electric guitar, Vocals, percussion], Thom Dean [Keys, percussion], Jenn Howie [Keys, Vocals, percussion]) => Hacienda Lounge, 9 pm, pwyc
BRET MICHAELS (ex-Poison) => Lee's Palace. $30
THE SUZANA DA CÃMARA QUARTET => Montreal Bistro
Exotic Journeys w/ DIANA McINTOSH, BEVERLEY JOHNSTON, PAMELA ATTARIWALA, MADAWASKA STRING QUARTET => Lula Lounge, 8 pm, $10-$15 Celebrating Twins: Toronto, Milan w/ I SOLISTI DELLA SCALLA TRIO, members of QUARTETTO GELATO => George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge), $50
HOGTOWN SYNCOPATORS, CLASSIC REX JAZZ JAM => Rex Hotel (every Tues)

WED. SEPT. 28
* METRIC, JASON COLLETT, THE LOVELY FEATHERS => Phoenix. $20
* Over the Top Fest launch party w/ PREFUSE 73, RIS PAUL RIC (ex-Q and Not U), ULTRA MAGNUS, DJ JUSTIN PEROFF (Broken Social Scene) => Mod Club, 8 pm, $14 adv.
* improv w/ JAKE OELRICHS, RYAN DRIVER, DOUG TIELLI => The Art Gallery of York University, Suite N145 Ross Building, 7 pm, free
* THE DINNER IS RUINED => Tranzac, 9:30 pm (every Wed. in Sept.)
* INTERPOL, BOOM BIP => Kool Haus, 8 pm, $31.25
* MICHAEL PENN, ROSIE THOMAS => The Rivoli, $15 (also Sept 29)
* CRAZY STRINGS (bluegrass) => Silver Dollar (every Wed.)
* Latin Cool Series launch w/ LUISITO ORBEGOSO's ALTA DESCARGA => Lula Lounge, 9 pm, $10
* COLONEL TOM'S SWINGING DOOR => Cameron House, 7-9 pm, pwyc (every Wed)
ASH DARGAN (Small World Music Festival - didgeridoo warning!) => Drake, 9 pm, $15-$20
LORI CULLEN, JORY NASH => Hugh's Room
SWING SHIFT BIG BAND => Montreal Bistro
"EBB", DAVID ROTUNDO PRESENTS => Rex Hotel
CORRY SOBOL QUARTET => The Red Guitar

THURS. SEPT. 29
** TED LEO/PHARMACISTS, NORTH OF AMERICA => Mod Club, 7 pm, $15
* METRIC, JASON COLLETT, THE LOVELY FEATHERS => Phoenix, $20
* UNSANE => Lee's Palace, $10.50
* HOVEN DROVEN (Sweden; Small World Music Festival) => Lula Lounge, 9 pm, $15-$20
* NICK FRASER & MICHAEL KEITH (8 pm), SANDRO PERRI (10 pm) => Tranzac, 10 pm
* KEVIN QUAIN, MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Rex Hotel
* MICHAEL PENN, ROSIE THOMAS => The Rivoli, $15 (also Sept 28)
* Leftover Daylight Series w/ MICHAEL HERRING'S VERTIGO (w/don scott- guitar, joe sorbara- drums, quinsin nachoff- tenor sax, r.j. satchitananthan- trombone, jeremy schaal- alto sax); KEN ALDCROFT/EVAN SHAW/JOE SORBARA; KRIS DAVIS QUARTET (w/ jeff davis, tony malaby, eivind opsvik) => Arraymusic Studio, 60 Atlantic Ave., ste. 218, 9 pm, $15
JORANE => Hugh's Room, $15-$17
THE DIRTBOMBS => Horseshoe, $10.50
RADIUS & HELENA, TWO BEARS, PINKO CRONKITE, SOME WOLF => The Boat, $5, 9 pm
No Format w/ MY PROJECT: BLUE, members of BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE => The Silver Dollar
Pitter Patter w/ THE POSTAGE STAMPS, PROJEKTOR, THE SUMMERLAD, THE LONDON APARTMENTS. THE INFLATION KILLS => O'Grady's, pwyc
WILLIAM CARN TRIO => The Red Guitar
THE HAYMAKERS, PLAN B, RESHURE => Rancho Relaxo, pwyc, 9 pm
AL HENDERSON QUINTET (w/PAT LABARBERA, ALEX DEAN, RICHARD WHITEMAN & BARRY ROMBERG) => Montreal Bistro (Sept 29-Oct 1)

FRI. SEPT. 30
** CULTURE SHOCK w/ SHAWN HEWITT & THE NATIONAL STRIKE, CUFF THE DUKE, GENTLEMAN REG, NO DYNAMICS, MAGNETA LANE, more => Harbourfront (Sep 30-Oct 2)
* JOE HALL & THE CONTINENTAL DRIFT REUNION SHOW, THE SILVER HEARTS, JAYMZ BEE, DAVID FRANKS => Tranzac Main Hall
* DEEP DARK UNITED => Tranzac, 10 pm
* AUTORICKSHAW, TRICHY SANKARAN, KEVIN BREIT (Small World Music Festival) => Al Green Theatre, JCC (750 Spadina), 8 pm, $15-$20 (also Oct 1)
* MELISSA STYLIANOU TRIO, MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Rex Hotel
PAN-TIKI BATERIA (Small World Music Festival) => Gypsy Co-op, 10 pm, $10
DOVES, VHS OR BETA => Docks, $26.50
Pitter Patter w/ THE FEMINISTS, more => O'Grady's, pwyc
NICK ALI presents FIVE WEEKS FOR MILES => Trane Studio (every Fri. in Sept.)
DECEPTIVE MOVES (w/ BILL GILLIAM, COLLEEN OSTOFOROFF) => The Music Gallery, $5-$15
MARBLE INDEX => Mod Club, 7 pm, $13.50
AL HENDERSON QUINTET (w/PAT LABARBERA, ALEX DEAN, RICHARD WHITEMAN & BARRY ROMBERG) => Montreal Bistro (Sept 29-Oct 1)
JIMMY SWIFT BAND => Horseshoe. $10
JOHN NUGENT TRIO => The Red Guitar
THE FADED JEANS => Mix Community Club (50 Fairfax), $5
DAVID WILCOX => Club 279
BRIAN BLAIN'S HI-TECH BLUES REVUE cd release w/ special guests => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $10

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, September 06 at 6:15 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)

 

Alert: David Essig

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I'm irked to discover I omitted this from the live listings earlier: David Essig is making a rare Toronto drop-in tonight at an unknown-to-me club called The Kitchen, out Danforth way. If you haven't run into Essig at any time in his 35 or so years on the Canadian music scene, but you're interested in real folk and blues, intelligent songwriting and virtuoso guitar (especially slide), you should check him out - he's somewhere in the Richard Thompson-John Fahey rank of pickers, and his 1981 experimental album In the Tradition (recorded by Daniel Lanois) was my introduction to avant-garde acoustic guitar playing in general (again, in the Fahey not the Bailey stream). He's also a great, raw wood-rust-and-smokehouse singer of CBGB (country-blues-and-bluegrass) songs, a writer of literate reflective autobiographical pieces, an accomplished player of the Korean kayagum, and a warm-but-tough presence as a live performer. (You can preview some tracks here.) Apparently he recently recorded with the Sacred Steel guitarists the Campbell Bros. - I'd love to hear that collaboration. I'm working and can't make it - if you do, report back.

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, August 11 at 1:50 PM | Linking Posts

 

Get Jolie-Laide with Dead Machines

This week's theme is TOKEN POSTINGS! Let's begin with the above ugly-pretty poster for the Aug. 17 gig by a pretty-ugly band, the Wolf Eyes spinoff lovecore duo Dead Machines (listen), as a reminder that while Zoilus naps, the August gig guide continues to be updated. The latest additions include highlights from the Tranzac for the month, including a great every-Thursday-night Drumheller (see Zoiluses passim) & Saint Dirt Elementary School (read an archival column of mine featuring St Dirt, on the jump) double bill, and tomorrow (Wed.) night, song-singing by Ryan Driver (of the Silt [scroll down] and many other bands, and also mentioned in the piece on the jump) and Sandro Perri (the artist formerly known as Polmo Polpo), which should be delicious.

(Thanks to Stillepost.ca board posters for the Dead Machines info.)

For elbow-licking music, look beyond pop

SCENE
By CARL WILSON
Thursday, June 12, 2003
The Globe and Mail

It's a fact: It is physically impossible for you to lick your elbow.

Another fact: After that last statement, it was very funny to watch you all try.

Likewise, it seems nearly impossible to talk about humour in music without turning into a fatuous point-misser. As Andy Falkous, singer-guitarist of the bitterly hilarious and hard-rocking Welsh band McLusky, put it recently, "It's difficult to have humour in music without coming across as comedy hats and nipple references." The history of the "joke band" is not an amusing one, even if that band is not the Barenaked Ladies. (The only thing worse than a joke band is a joke band's love songs.)

Yet if you spend time around musicians, almost all they do besides cadge beer tickets and say "Whadya think of that new White Stripes?" is try to crack each other up. Even Pavarotti no doubt warmed up the other two tenors before a show with a hearty round of dick jokes. Too little of that day-to-day humour transfers into the music.

Especially non-verbal humour. Pop songs are meant to fulfill expectations; a sudden, slapstick key change or banana-peel slip on a wrong note is funny precisely because it up-ends the expected. The performer chances looking silly, even incompetent, to those who didn't get it. In the computer-processed, note-perfect imaginary universe of today's hit music, that would blow the whole scam. A clever turn of phrase is all right, but nothing that risks actual laughter. (Which is why Neil Young and Bob Dylan are treated like special-ed cases, except their most sentimental stuff.)

On aesthetic grounds, this is to get things exactly backward. American composer Charles Ives wrote in his kickass Essays Before a Sonata (1920) that in music, "Comedy has its part, but wit never." Wit, he said, is "a kind of indoor, artificial mental arrangement of things quickly put together and which have been learned and studied -- it is of the material and stays there, while humour is of the emotional and approaching spiritual."

In the gamut of human emotions, knowing winks and giddy cheer are just not as basic and true to life as a convulsing belly laugh. Ives may be a bit hard on poor old wit (ask Elvis Costello), but any song that sounds like the official Whimsy page in the New Yorker is miles behind one that incites listeners to try to lick their own elbows -- or eat their own heads, as that exquisite comedian John Cage's infamous silent piano piece was sort of designed to provoke.

If you have no sense of humour, you're not taking life seriously enough. The entertainment business takes nothing seriously but itself. So for real elbow-licking music you have to escape pop for what we used to call the avant-garde -- but don't, now that most musical experimentalists no longer see any army worth leading or any enemy even showing up to the fight. Too practical and busy for old modernist slogans, they loosen their spines and play around in sound like it's a sandbox, burying the dour reputation of the dead avant-garde in the process.

Toronto band Saint Dirt Elementary School, for instance, named its first album Hangin' Out with the Kid Who'd Eat Anything for a Dollar, summing up an omnivorous spirit that dares to be juvenile. For months it's been playing every Thursday at the Tranzac club on Brunswick Avenue, plus other gigs around the city's bustling improv scene.

With a roster of guests that often threatens to outnumber the eight core members, the band is like a lively house party, where the trumpet player's likely to be hitting on the hostess, the bassist is propounding outlandish theories and the drummer has a lampshade on his head. Mostly in their 20s, the group is led by Myk Freedman on lap-steel guitar, an unconventional instrument for jazz, whose notes slide and wobble about irreverently. It's hard to be too solemn when your main melody line sounds like a drunk trying to find the keyhole in the door.

The style recalls the Sun Ra Arkestra -- at once one of the most innovative groups and biggest practical jokes in jazz history -- with a dash of Henry Mancini's theme from The Pink Panther. A Freedman piece such as Dogs Are People Too sashays in like a burlesque version of a Thelonious Monk tune, but then Tania Gill's organ flips into the heliosphere and Ryan Driver starts blowing on pieces of balloon rubber between his thumbs and we're at the Star Wars cantina debating sock puppets with Liberace.

Saint Dirt shares members with anarchic improv orchestra the WoodChoppers Association and with quick-change jazz-pastiche artists Zebradonk, who appear at 10 p.m. Wednesdays in June and July at Ting, a hush-hush downtown spot. (Ask around.) Ryan Driver, meanwhile, plays in a dozen other ensembles, including seriously funny trio the Silt and the current title-holder of Weirdest Band in Town, The Reveries.

The Reveries, who've released Blasé Kisses on the new Rat-drifting label, play jazz standards. Eric Chenaux and Doug Tielli each play guitar, while Driver has his balloon "thumb-reed"; Chenaux also blows harmonica while Driver plays bass on a sawed-off ruler and Tielli plays the saw. But each member also has a cellphone speaker in his mouth, through which one of the other players' instruments is being amplified -- so you hear the music coming out of their mouths.

At the same time, all three sing the songs together, slowly, stretched to over 10 minutes whether it's Moonlight in Vermont or Rodgers and Hart's My Romance. But their vocals are hampered by the speakers, and by the cords hanging from their lips, making them sound, well, developmentally disabled. To complete the picture, their drool is running down the wires.

The only parallel I can think of is Quebec duo Undo (Alexandre St. Onge and Christof Migone), who at a festival in London, Ont., crammed their mouths with tinned snails and ate them with medical video-cams and microphones down their throats. But while that was a conceptualist freak show, the Reveries' music is really very pretty. In its woozy, Ella-on-Quaaludes way, it reveres and revives the original tunes, but reels them back to the body, amid all its ungainly, embarrassing excesses. The beauty may even be heightened by the impediments, levitated out of the songs into pure, messy abstraction.

Ives wrote: "We like the beautiful and don't like the ugly; therefore, what we like is beautiful and what we don't like is ugly -- and hence we are glad the beautiful is not ugly, for if it were we would like something we don't like."

The Reveries are right in the thick of that sentence, sitting there with poker-straight faces, because they know the punchline: If you can't lick your own elbow, get a friend to lick it for you. With luck, it'll tickle.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, August 09 at 4:15 PM | Linking Posts

 

Auuugggghhhhh-ist! (Gig Guide)

percy.jpg

Zoilus' monthly Toronto live calendar is up now. Your additions and comments are welcome. Highlights abound but one stands out: Percy Sledge, Big Bop/Reverb, Aug. 24. I confess I wasn't even sure the singer of When a Man Loves a Woman, Sudden Stop, It Tears Me Up and True Love Travels on a Gravel Road - one of my favourite soul singers ever - was still breathing, much less playing Queen Street dives. Other notables include the Tigerbeat6 show with Kid 606, Knifehandchop and Eats Tapes on Wednesday (when there's also the Iron Maiden/Mastodon show and a rare sighting of the HANK Collective); the Escape Goat Records With Friends Like These series from Wed to Sun, including Friday's Final Fantasy/Bell Orchestre/Wooden Stars showcase (also that night, Caron Wheeler ex-of-Soul II Soul); the Knitters reunion show, featuring ex-members of X on Aug. 7; Smog the next night; the two-night all-star hip-hop blowout with Kanye, Nas, Ludacris, Ciara, Little Jon and much more Aug 12-13; T.O. Twang that same weekend with Billy Joe Shaver on Saturday, including an on-stage interview with yers truly; my favourite brutal noise lovebirds Dead Machines on Aug. 17; the Constantines/Oneida soundclash on Aug. 20 and Joel Plaskett at Harbourfront that night; and lots more, so go check out the list. [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the Stillepost.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and, as the saying goes, you - email or post in the comments with show information and disinformation.

MON. AUG. 22
** Bovine Boat Party w/ KIDS ON TV, VOLLRATH => The Bovine Sex Club, "Dress as Pirates!!!!!", $10
* HOPEFUL MONSTER (w/ members of the Hylozoists, Bodega, Feuermusik, and Lily Frost), GABE MINNIKIN => Supermarket, 9 pm, $6
* JOHN STOWELL AND DON THOMPSON => Montreal Bistro
* ALICE COOPER, CHEAP TRICK => The Docks, $58.50
CLEMENTINE => The Horshoe Tavern, Free

TUES. AUG. 23
* CHRIS BARBER, THE JAZZ WIZARDS => Hugh's Room, $36
The Ambient Ping w/ BENEATH THESE IDLE TIDES, BLEEP => Hacienda Lounge, 9 pm, pwyc
MELISSA STYLIANOU w/ROB & DAVID PILTCH, DAVIDE DIRENZO => Montreal Bistro, 9 pm (two sets), $10
DREDG => El Mocambo, $10
MÖTLEY CRÜE, SUM 41, THE EXIES, SILVERTIDE => Molson Amphitheatre, $22.50-$75
GET WELD (Neil Young Tribute) => Silver Dollar, 8 pm
SASS JORDAN => Drake, 9:30 pm, $5

WED. AUG. 24
** PERCY SLEDGE => Big Bop, $42.50
* The Nightmare Show w/ PONY DA LOOK, DOMAINE D'OR, NIFTY, ETERNAL => Trinport (249 Ossington), $5
* THE SILT => Tranzac, 10 pm, pwyc
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS => Silver Dollar, free
* TIM POSGATE/ROB CLUTTON => Red Guitar
* WOODHANDS (Montreal/Vancouver) => Drake, 9 pm
* JANE BUNNETT, JUMPIN' JOHNNY SANSONE, KEVIN BREIT => Hugh's Room, $25-$27.50
DAVID VIRELLES QUARTET => Trane studio
MAGNETA LANE, MUGSHOT, DEAD LETTER DEPT., GHETTO BOX => Lee's
DIONE TAYLOR => Yonge-Dundas Sq. 12:30pm
R.O.T., GEMINI DOC, RAW B SNATCH, DJ SPINSTER => FunHaus, $10.
THE I SPIES, THE WOODHANDS => The Drake
HUNTER VALENTINE, DANCE YOURSELF TO DEATH, THE GUEST BEDROOM => Drake Underground, $6


THURS. AUG. 25
** FRED EAGLESMITH => Hugh’s Room, $27.50
** PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, TANGIERS, THE SOUR KEYS => Mod Club, 7 pm, $12.50
** DRUMHELLER (8 pm), ST DIRT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (10 pm) => Tranzac, pwyc
SUBA SANKARAN, ED HANLEY, ERNIE TOLLAR => Toronto Music Garden, 475 Queens Quay W., 7 pm
BRAN VAN RECORDINGS party => Drake Underground, 9 pm, $10
CALLING ALL DANDYS glam party => Drake Lounge, 10 pm, free
CORRY SOBOL TRIO => Red Guitar
ARRIETA and more Pitter Patter Nights => O'Grady's, pwyc
CLAY AIKEN => Molson Amphitheatre, $42.50-$55.50
Buskerfest w/ OKA, MARACATU NUNCA ANTES => St Lawrence Market area (Aug 25-28)
THE FALLOUT, THE SNOT ROCKETS, KING MINUS, GUTS AND GLORY => Sneaky Dee's, $3
Animal Trax w/ COWBOY JUNKIES => Waterside Theatre, Toronto Zoo, 6:30 pm, $30 (zoo admission included; three-concert series, $80)
Bruckbeat Sessions w/ DJ ASER, DJs DIALECT & MURR => Embassy Bar, 223 Augusta, free
MATT YORK => Rivoli

FRI. AUG. 26
** JON-RAE AND THE RIVER (cd release), GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS, LULLABYE ARKESTRA, AKRON/FAMILY => The Horseshoe, $8
** DEEP DARK UNITED => Tranzac, 10 pm
* Kick Up Your Heels w/ KARDINAL OFFISHALL (9:30 pm), BLAZE: URBAN DANCE SHOWCASE (11 pm) => Harbourfront, free
* AFRICAN BLUES (Madagasgar Slim, Donne Robert, Ndidi Onukwulu) => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $10
* VagueTerrain.net digital-arts site launch w/ TINKERTOY, NAW, AIDAN BAKER => Gladstone Art Bar, 9 pm, $5
* BLUE RODEO => Molson Amphitheatre, $22.50-$65.50
* ANDREW DOWNING QUINTET feat. PHIL DWYER, BRODIE WEST, WILLIAM CARN, NICK FRASER => Rex (Aug. 25, 26)
CHIMICHANGA & THE ORGAN OF XTABAY, PROBLEM, BLOOD CEREMONY, TRADITION => The Bagel
JOHN ALCORN TRIO => Red Guitar
Truth Explosion 'zine second anniversary w/ BOMBS OVER PROVIDENCE, CANCER BATS, RISKY BUSINESS, FOR THE MATHEMATICS => The Reverb, $10
Pitter Patter Nights w/ ARRULLO, THICKHAWK, BAG => O'Grady's, pwyc
Friday Funk w/ KOBAYASHI => Yonge-Dundas Sq., 6 pm
Buskerfest w/ OKA, MARACATU NUNCA ANTES => St Lawrence Market area (Aug 25-28)
Vazaleen w/LIMP WRIST => Lee's Palace
SHOWROOM, Henri Faberge and the Adorables, Reshure @The Cameron House, 5$, 9:30pm
TRACY BONHAM => El Mocambo, $10

SAT. AUG. 27
** Videodrome scratch-video battle w/ SHITMAT, FAMEFAME VS. V-ATAK, DJ WILL MUNRO => MOCCA (952 Queen W.), $5
* Kick Up Your Heels w/ REGGAETON & LATIN URBAN EXPLOSION, THIRD WORLD ENTERTAINMENT (11 pm) => Harbourfront, free
* CAROLYN MARK CD release => Horseshoe
TORI AMOS, THE DITTY BOPS, IMOGEN HEAP (Frou Frou) => Molson Amphitheatre, $29.75-$59.25
THE ROYAL CROWNS => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $8
Buskerfest w/ OKA, MARACATU NUNCA ANTES => St Lawrence Market area (Aug 25-28)
DON PALMER QUARTET => Red Guitar
Ukranian Festival w/ METELYTSIA, SUZIE VINNICK, OLEH BUNCHA, PID OBLACHKIM, CARPATHIA => Jane and Windermere (Aug 27-28)
PAT COLLINS QUARTET => Rex
DAVE MASON  => Opera House
Salsa Saturday w/ RICKY FRANCO => Lula Lounge, doors 7 pm, dance class 9 pm, show 10 pm, $10 (members free, $45 w/3 course dinner + dance class + show)
THE BAYONETTES, TERMINAL STATE< GUNNAR HANSEN => Adrift
SADOCEANSPACEBEAR, RAY WHIMSEY, more => Mitzie's Sister, pwyc
THE RIZDALES => Cadillac Lounge, 4-7 pm

SUN. AUG. 28
* Bana y'Afrique w/ MOTO ET KAPIA DU CONGO, ADAM SOLOMON, MADAGASCAR SLIM, NDIDI ONUKWULU & DONNE ROBERT, CARIBBEAN FOLK PERFORMERS, BLACK ICE, CHEMAGNE MARTIN, MOSAIC ARABIC, more => Metro Hall Sq, 55 John, noon-11pm
* WHAT IS IT? Crispin Glover movie afterparty w/ WAX MANNEQUIN, JAYMZ BEE, DJ SHANNON, DJ VIDEO DAVE => Drake, 11 pm, $10
Wavelength 278 w/ THE POSTAGE STAMPS, THE GHOST IS DANCING, DJ JEWELS OF OSSINGTON => Sneaky Dee's
Kick Up Your Heels w/ PIERRE SCHRYER BAND (3 pm), SWING SHIFT BIG BAND (4:30 pm), SWAMPERELLA (6 pm) => Harbourfront, free
TOTIMOSHI, NICE CAT => Lee's Palace, $8
WARZONE WOMYN => CIUT, 91 St George
CAMILLE WATTS, PETER PAVLOVSKY, ERIC DONOVAN => Toronto Music Garden, 475 Queens Quay W., 4 pm
Buskerfest w/ OKA, MARACATU NUNCA ANTES => St Lawrence Market area (Aug 25-28)
Ukranian Festival w/ METELYTSIA, SUZIE VINNICK, OLEH BUNCHA, PID OBLACHKIM, CARPATHIA => Jane and Windermere (Aug 27-28)
Solo Piano Sunday w/ IRV KOVEN 9 pm, STEVE KOVEN 10:30 pm => Red Guitar
YARA JAKYMIW, BENEATH THESE IDLE TIDES, PARKADE BIRDSEYEING IT => Holy Joes, $5

MON. AUG. 29
ANOTHER COUNTRY => Cameron House, 9:30 pm
SCARS OF TOMORROW, SWORN ENEMY, THE ACACIA STRAIN, ON BROKEN WINGS, IN THIS DEFIANCE => El Mocambo, $13.75
OUR LADY PEES, i mean PEACE => Mod Club, $12.50

TUES. AUG. 30
* OF MONTREAL, THE MANAGEMENT => Lee’s, 8 pm, $11
BLUESCREEN => Horseshoe, free
BILLY IDOL, BIF NAKED => Molson Amphitheatre, $33.25-$53.25
SASS JORDAN => Drake, 9:30 pm, $5

WED. AUG. 31
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS => Silver Dollar, free
TARA DAVIDSON/DAVID OCCHIPINTI => Red Guitar
The Ambient Ping w/ THE RIDERLESS, MICHAEL KEITH/DAVID SAIT => Hacienda Lounge, 794 Bathurst St., 9 pm, pwyc
HUNTER VALENTINE => Drake Underground, $6
BB KING, KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD => Molson Amphitheatre, $32.50-$69.50
DR. HOOK => Lee's Palace, $25
DEATH BY STEREO => Kathedral

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, August 01 at 1:40 AM | Linking Posts

 

Small Craft Warnings

Having hyped it up so much, I'd be remiss if I didn't offer some post-game notes for my boys Drumheller after last night's cd launch at the Tranzac:

1. No matter how you mix up the repertoire, it's always a bad idea to open for yourself. Josh Thorpe's material came across nicely - quite a trick to orchestrate the indescribable "off" rhythms of the Shaggs, and I especially loved the reinterpretation of the Runaways' Cherry Bomb - but it meant that we got the same ensemble for Set 2. Change refreshes the ears. Also, for newcomers you got a little case of identity confusion - what kind of band is Drumheller, they wonder? Maybe it would have worked a little better if Drumheller had broken its own material up with a middle section of Thorpe instead.

2. I wish all improv/jazz bands could have a private room somewhere to play the first 15 minutes of their sets so that they could hit the ground running. At first Drumheller didn't so much sound like a band that plays "out-of-jazz" but just a band that plays jazz. Sometimes the avant-garde could stand to pay attention to the tenets of showbiz - good rock bands blast off with a hot number, bringing the audience into their own aesthetic zone dramatically and decisively. Unless there's a sound conceptual reason not to do that, why not establish your voice as distinctively as possible right away? I think of this band as being bound to jazz with a gaudily coloured elastic that they constantly threaten to snap, but never quite do - but last night it took too long for the elastic even to get taut.

3. The next point is related: Nick Fraser, the drummer who also spoke for the band throughout the show, noted that "a gig is like hosting a party." That's true. And the best parties have a real shape, quiet parts, the boisterous dancing parts, perhaps a surprise (ice cream!) at midnight, and are brought to a gentle denouement rather than collapsing in a heap. But a concert (as opposed to a club gig, which has looser rules) is also a piece of theatre, a narrative that you want to shape. So to say, as Nick did at about one in the morning, that the band is just going to keep playing indefinitely because they have a lot of material, and they "won't be offended if people have to go home," is to abdicate from half the task - and worse, to say you don't really care if people go makes it feel as though you don't really care that they came or whether they ever come back. Half the audience left after the piece Nick introduced with that line - including me, and I'm a pretty huge D'heller fan. Two-and-a-half hours is a long time to listen to instrumental music, and one's ears get tired - unless you have some sense how much more there is to come, you bail. I know it was well-meant, just underconsidered, and it's the kind of error anyone could make, but I hope it won't be made again - unless, again, you introduce the open-endedness as a more structural, conceptual component, it comes across as an indifference to your listeners. And indifference is not one of the seven heavenly virtues of experimental music.

4. All complaints aside, much of the show was terrific, especially the second half of the second set, pre-"class dismissed" moment. Rob Clutton's pieces were especially strong. My favourite (whose name now escapes me, sorry) was one that opened with the horns, Doug and Brodie, in duet and then broke into a middle section with the strings playing a lovely drone-fiddle (bowed-guitar) trio with Fraser, and then returned to the horns - it was a piece in which each note just burrowed into the ears, undulating through the mind and down the spine.

5. On non-musical notes - I was happy to hear that Drumheller won the hearts of the Godspeed-lovin' throngs when they opened for the Silver Mt. Zion at the Tranz. earlier in the week. Speaking of hearts, I also found out that Brodie West's upcoming decampment for Amsterdam will be preceded by his marriage to a lovely young woman named Heather, whom I met last night because we happened to sit at the same table. Congratulations and best of luck to you both.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, July 31 at 5:14 PM | Linking Posts

 

A Hawt July in Toronto Unlimited

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Loretta Lynn, July 22; Out Hud, July 9

Loretta Lynn is just the high mountain peak of a month that kicks off with Ari-Up of the Slits in a two-night stand at Sneaky Dee's (reportedly premiering new material from the upcoming Slits semi-reunion album - is there no old punk or post-punk band that can't be reunited? Ah yes, the Clash... ), overlapping with this Saturday's visit from Vancouver's seven-piece circus-punk-gospel band They Shoot Horses Don't They?, whom I hear from my west-coast correspondents are remarkable (and joined by the surefire Creeping Nobodies), and Neko Case on Thursday, the Pixies, the Pernices, Common, Afrofest 2005 w/ Oliver Mtukudzi, Teenage Fanclub, the Laconnor Interface series at Arraymusic, the last few days of the jazz festival, T-dot-improv supergroup Drumheller on the 30th, and most of all the non-stop skull-top-exploding action at Harbourfront, whose weekend free festivals provide every reason to be glad you're not one of those cottage-bound highway monkeys but have your bike wheels spinning on the burning asphalt of T-topia. It's all in this month's Zoilus Toronto gig guide, updated weekly throughout the month. Please send additions, corrections and kvetches this-a-way. [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the Stillepost.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and ye olde email.

MON., JULY 25
** TEENAGE FANCLUB => Mod Club, $22.50
** Matt Ninja High School presents TRS-80, FASHION FLESH (Chicago "techno freaks"), ANIMALMONSTER => Silver Dollar, $6
* THE COUNTRYPOLITANS => Cameron House, 6-8 pm, free (every Sun.)
* DANCE DISASTER MOVEMENT, KILL ME TOMORROW, KIDS ON TV => Sneaky Dee's, $9
PEPPER => Opera House, 7 pm, $16.50
Elvis Monday w/ EVIL DOERS, THE HOA HOAS, AXE MONKEY, SPIRAL BEACH, THE MACHINES, WINTERBLOOM & THE STARVING ARTIST BUFFET => El Mocambo
LAURA HUBERT => Grossman’s
KICKASS KARAOKE => Ciao Edie
KEVIN QUAIN => Graffiti’s

TUE., JULY 26
* Curiopilot Vol. 3 w/ WAX MANNEQUIN, STOOPY, PRINCE BROTHERS => Drake, 9 pm, $6 (after 11 pm, $8)
* COMMON, DL INCOGNITO => Kool Haus, $34.50
* COMPOSERS WORKSHOP => Gladstone ballroom, $5
Ambient Ping w/ PLANET OF THE LOOPS => Hacienda Lounge, 9 pm, pwyc
FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES, CURL UP & DIE, BEAR VS SHARK, FIRE WHEN READY => Reverb
CUFF THE DUKE => In-store at Soundscapes, 6:30 pm, free
FRUIT (Australia) => Lula Lounge, $18
HUBERT SUMLIN => Silver Dollar, 8 pm, $18
SYREETA NEAL, DANIEL STONE => Trane Studio
WHITESNAKE, DAVID COVERDALE (DEEP PURPLE), SUPAGROUP => The Docks, $46.80

WED., JULY 27
** Sugar Water Festival w/ ERYKAH BADU, JILL SCOTT, QUEEN LATIFAH => Air Canada Centre, $49.50-$89.50
** A SILVER MT. ZION, THE PHONEMES => Tranzac, 10 pm, $10
* BARNYARD DRAMA => The Red Guitar (603 Markham), 9 pm, $10
* BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE => Phoenix, $10.50
* High Lonesome Wednesday w/ CRAZY STRINGS => Silver Dollar (every Wed.)
* NO LUCK CLUB, STOP DIE RESUSCITATE => El Mocambo
* GHOSTLIGHT (adam rosen; brodie west; dave rodger; james anderson; greg chambers; marco landini; minesh mandoda; scott cameron), DOGFUCKER => Neutral, @ sw corner of College & Augusta
BLUE MARTINI => Yonge-Dundas Sq.,12:30 pm
THE DAN BAND => Opera House, $20
HEATHER DALE => Hugh's Room, $14
VANDERPARK => Holy Joe’s
DAVID VIRELLES QUARTET => Trane Studio
THE D RANGERS, ROMI MAYES, WASHBOARD HANK => Tranzac, 8 pm
JEWEL, JOE FIRSTMAN => Roy Thomson Hall, $49.50-$69.50
DAVE YOUNG SEXTET => Rex Hotel

THURS., JULY 28
** A SILVER MT. ZION, DRUMHELLER (Eric Chenaux, Nick Fraser, Doug Tielli, Rob Clutton, Brodie West) => Tranzac Main Hall, 10 pm, $10
** SINGING SAW SHADOW SHOW => time & location tba (outdoors, Thursdays all summer at diff. locations)
* SS CARDIACS, THE BURDOCKS => Sneaky Dee's
* SAINT DIRT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL => Tranzac front room, 10 pm
STEVE KOVEN TRIO W/ROB CLUTTON, ANTHONY MICHELLI => The Red Guitar (603 Markham), 9 pm, $10
RAT TRAPS, JEFFREY NOVAK ONE-MAN BAND, NO-NO ZERO (ex-Exploders/Starkweather), UGLY STICK (members of Bush League and Boyfriend Material) => Rancho Relaxo, 10 pm, $5
COMPOSERS WORKSHOP => Gibsone Jessop Gallery, Distillery District, 55 Mill, $15
Summer Music in the Garden w/ DAVID MOTT => Toronto Music Garden, 475 Queens Quay W., 7 pm
JUSTIN RUTLEDGE, D. RANGERS, ROMI MAYES => Rivoli, 9:30 p.m., $10
RAY LAMONTAGNE => Soundscapes, 6 pm
RAY LAMONTAGNE => Mod Club, $16.50
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 => Horseshoe, $15
Bruckbeat Sessions w/ DJ VISION, DJs DIALECT & MURR => Embassy Bar, 223 Augusta Ave., free
BURY YOUR DEAD => El Mocambo
Pitter Patter w/ KEY CONCEPTS, FOR THE MATHEMATICS, TWO BEARS => The Poor Alex, $5
THE RAT TRAPS, NO NO ZERO, JEFFREY NOVAK, UGLY STICK => Rancho Relaxo, $5

FRI., JULY 29
** A SILVER MT. ZION, SANDRO PERRI (aka POLMO POLPO, singing backed by members of The Silt, GUH and Eric Chenaux) => Tranzac, 10 pm, $10
** DEEP DARK UNITED => Tranzac front room, 10 pm, pwyc
** AIMEE MANN => Phoenix, $30
Irie Music Festival w/ THE SATTALITES, THIRD WORLD, MORGAN HERITAGE, BRINSLEY FORDE, DAVID RUDDER, NEU JENARASHUN, more => Ontario Place, $20-$60 (July 29-Aug 1)
Friday Funk w/ SOULAR => Yonge-Dundas Square, 6 pm, free
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 => Horseshoe, $15
GRAVY TRAIN at Club V => Lee's Palace
THE McBRIDES, TRIPMINER => Drake, 9 pm, $5
RITA DI GHENT TRIO => The Red Guitar (603 Markham), 9 pm, $10
DATAFREQ, SLAVE TO THE SQUAREWAVE, GIRL AND THE MACHINE => El Mocambo
Euphonasia w/ WINVOYAGER, IN SUPPORT OF LIVING, FRAGILO, GERRY ALVAREZ, DJ GAY => El Mocambo. $10
POLIDICKS, CRIPPLE CREW, THE MURDERSQUAD TO, EVERYONE I KNOW MUST DIE, DEATH PACT => Vatikan
THE RIZDALES, THE MAGPIES => Cadillac Lounge
JACQUELINE RENDELL BAND, JAMES SECORD BAND, EMMA LEE BAND, AMY FERGUSON => Healey's

SAT., JULY 30
** JOSH THORPE, DRUMHELLER => Tranzac Main Hall, 10 pm
* Irie Music Festival w/ THE SATTALITES, THIRD WORLD, MORGAN HERITAGE, BRINSLEY FORDE, DAVID RUDDER, NEU JENARASHUN, more => Ontario Place, $20-$60 (July 29-Aug 1)
* Acoustic Potluck 3 w/ JON-RAE FLETCHER, HENRI FABERGE, ANNE & ELISHA, surprise guests => Music Garden (on Queens Quay btw Bathurst & Spadina), 3 pm-?, free but bring potlucky things
* DARREN SIGESMUND w/ QUINSIN NACHOFF, REG SCHWAGER, JIM VIVIAN, ANTHONY MICHELLI => Rex Hotel
NINJA BEATS Dance party w/ karate battle, anime visuals and DJs DJs CHRISTIAN SKJODT, DJ:TK & BABY JOEL SMYE => Footwork, 25 Adelaide St. W., 10 pm, $10
ANOTHER BLUE DOOR => Rivoli
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 (all ages, 3 pm, and 19+, 10 pm) => Horseshoe, $15
LADY SHELLY => Hugh's Room
KIRK MACDONALD QUARTET => The Red Guitar (603 Markham), 9 pm, $10
Irie Music Festival w/ SATTALITES, THIRD WORLD, MORGAN HERITAGE => Nathan Phillips Square and Ontario Place, $38-$68 (July 29-Aug 1)
THE RIZDALES => Cadillac Lounge, 3-6 pm
Toronto Island Summer Jazz Series w/ HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (3 pm), NICK "BROWNMAN" ALI QUARTET (7 pm) => Island Paradise Club, Olympic Island, $5-$10
Hot & Spicy Food Festival w/CANEFIRE => Harbourfront, 8 pm, free
THE TONY FURTADO BAND => Silver Dollar, $15
Vans Warped Tour w/THE TRANSPLANTS, OFFSPRING, MATCHBOOK ROMANCE, STRUNG OUT, MCR, FALL OUT BOY, MOST, DROPKICK MURPHYS, RELIANT K, ATREYU, MXPX, SENSES FAIL, MILLENCOLIN, DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, THE STARTING LINE, MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, REGGIE & THE FULL EFFECT, FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS, THE BLED, OVER IT, SAOSIN, ACADEMY IS, GO BETTY GO => Molson Park, Barrie, doors 11 am, $32.75-$41.25
REMAINAMELESS, 68 PORNO MAGS, PINKO CRONKITE, FIRE HYDRANT => The Poor Alex
SKA-FACE, THE LIQUIDAIRES, THE MAKESHIFT HEROES => Healey's

SUN., JULY 31
* GUS GUS => Mod Club, 9 pm, $16.50
* Wavelength 274 w/ VULCAN DUB SQUAD, KAT BURNS, DJ TV School => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
* Irie Music Festival w/ THE SATTALITES, THIRD WORLD, MORGAN HERITAGE, BRINSLEY FORDE, DAVID RUDDER, NEU JENARASHUN, more => Ontario Place, $20-$60 (July 29-Aug 1)
* THE COUNTRYPOLITANS => Cameron House, 6-8 pm, free (every Sun.)
"Solo Piano Sunday" w/ BOB FENTON 9 pm, DAVID BRAID 10:30 pm => The Red Guitar (603 Markham), $10
DAVID GRAY => The Carlu, $35-$40
The Strange Days Festival w/ DOORS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, VANILLA FUDGE, PAT TRAVERS => The Docks, $57.91
Hot & Spicy Food Festival w/ CHARANGA CAKEWALK => Harbourfront, 9:30 pm, free

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, July 01 at 1:32 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (6)

 

Hearts Are Broken, Heads Are Turned

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Owen Pallett at the Music Gallery in Toronto on June 25, in a photography by Sonia K., gently plucked from the Final Fantasy chat site.

There's been far less interwebbage than I expected about Saturday night's concert here by Final Fantasy (aka Owen Pallett) and the St. Kitts String Quartet at the Music Gallery, and so it falls to me to tell you that if you were not there, you were not anywhere. It's always been remarkable, in the past year, to witness this skinny flop-haired stiff-as-a-board shy person shuffle onto the stage, begin drawing his bow and fingers over the violin and dance his socked feet around his looper pedals and unleash all the angels and demons of the deep, his grade-school-christmas-concert voice unspooling a parallel tattered ribbon of furious demands, cryptic jokes and mournful questions. But to witness this uncanny transformation while four accomplished grownups of concert music behind him generate a whole other well of emotion with sheets of intricate and assured scores penned by the very same person... Well, and that's not even the point. The point is that Owen also sang a dozen-plus new songs intended for his second album, later this year, and that most of them are so beautiful and emotional - if much less pop-assimilable than Has a Good Home - that my jaw kept dropping so hard I'm sure it unhinged, and I kept swiveling to goggle my eyes at my friends in the pews of the lovely (and packed-out) church and make giddy-distressed gasps the way you do when you do not realize you have been holding your breath. How this is possible with songs that are literally based on the arts of divination in Dungeons & Dragons and have titles like Honour the Dead, or Else! and Many Lives --> 49 MP and Song, Song, Song, is the kind of mystery art always threatens to spring on you but too often reneges on, in which a human being just applies extreme imaginative pressure to the mundane and it turns diamond; not to mention how the songs can involve so much humour, discordance, and hoarse yelling and yet still be so full of hurt and death-haunted tenderness.

In short, despite its inbuilt rough patches, and despite my own full awareness that I've already skated outside the lines of hyperbole, this show has lodged itself stubbornly into that slate board on which the memory chalks its list of the best concerts we've ever seen. And of all the marvels that have come out of this central-Canada bloom in DIY creative song-and-sound-making activity in the past half-decade, I think Owen Pallett may be the most singular, the ace in the goddam hole. This album, if he can slow himself down and linger over the recording (as he didn't, really, quite, for the first), is going to be a special thing. (It's also going to be called He Poos Clouds, just in case you thought things were getting a little too highfalutin'.)

I was not keeping notes and so I cannot provide you with the play-by-play the event deserved (though I can mention that openers Torngat from Montreal, a trio of keys & drums & French horn, were also terrific even if their Stereolab-meets-free-improv groove occasionally cruises a little much into tuneful-minimalist-French-movie-soundtrack territory for my tastes), but it was recorded for future broadcast by the CBC's Brave New Waves, so I'll try to let you know when your chance to redeem your sorry lot comes up.

Meanwhile, two 7"s (The George Cedric Metcalf Foundation and Young Canadian Mothers) are coming out from It's A Disaster and Escape Goat records, and chances to catch Owen solo abound for the next few weeks, after which they will, he warns, become scarce for awhile. Many but not all these shows are with the charming Barmitzvah Brothers. I may see you at one or two.

JULY 7th, KINGSTON, ELIXIR
JULY 8th, MONTREAL, LA SALA ROSSA
JULY 9th, OTTAWA, BLUESFEST
JULY 14th, GUELPH, E-BAR
JULY 15th, WINDSOR, PHOG
JULY 16th, PETERBOROUGH, THE BLUE ROOM
JULY 21st, LONDON, THE LAST DROP
JULY 22nd, HAMILTON, THE CASBAH

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, June 29 at 7:22 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)

 

Chant'ses Are

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More to come this afternoon but wanted to let you know that the final days of June have been honoured with an update in the Zoilus Toronto live guide (and July's guide is imminent), including jazz-festival picks.

Of special note is tonight's show at the New Works Studio featuring several local improvisors (Joe Sorbara, Eric Chenaux, Colin Fisher and Ken Aldcroft) with Tom Chant, a UK soprano saxophonist who is part of the Eddie Prevost Trio, the Cinematic Orchestra, the Marseille Figs and the London Improvisers Orchestra, among others, as well as collaborating with Ninja Tune types like Coldcut and DJ Vadim. My impression is that he began - like many sopranoists - as a Steve Lacy acolyte, but has moved away from such melodic (and harmolodic) walkabouts in favour of more abstract pools of sound - but as Bagatellen says, he's reputed to be the "real deal." Check out Joe Sorbara's web page for more. That's at 319 Spadina, 9 pm, $10.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, June 29 at 3:01 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Gwo-Ka a Go Go

I've always been dismissive of the Toronto Downtown Jazz fastival as thin mainstream gruel, and usually it is, but either I'm getting softer or the festival's getting a little harder edged - this year's program is actually pretty impressive. And this afternoon's outdoor show by David Murray & the Gwo-Ka Masters stands out as one of the best free outdoor daytime concerts I've ever seen. No Hamid Drake on drums, unfortunately (I didn't recognize the replacement but he was no Hamid), but the Guadaloupe drummers and Murray himself went all-out, even on the unfortunate departure from the African rhythms into a feel-good island party tune about Bahia that broke the trance they'd been weaving in the withering heat for an hour. And listen here: Herve Sambe (at back in this pic) is your new guitar hero, alternately scratching like a turntablist, nimble fingering it like all the jazz guitar heroes and shredding like Sepultura.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, June 24 at 10:03 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

Are You a Corin Person or a Carrie Person?

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The creators of the album of the summer, 2005: Corin Tucker, Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein.

I've got a review of this weekend's Sleater-Kinney show in today's Globe. It was my first time seeing them and I suspect it wasn't a standout show for them - which makes it all the more incredible. They played all but one of the songs on The Woods - which is the album that's really brought me on-board the S-K express for the first time, after years of liking them moderately - plus two from One Beat, one Dig Me Out, one Call the Doctor, one B-side and one cover. The sound at the Phoenix was great - crunchy without being stupid-loud.

For the first time I understand why this is one of those "which is your favourite Beatle" bands - I think that reaction is only provoked when there's a certain level of equality among the musicians in a group, along with enough of a character contrast to make the answer somehow revealing of the traits the chooser identifies with, to make it a bit of a personality test. ... I think I'm a Corin person who yearns to be a Carrie person. I could say more (like about the way that Modern Girl epitomizes the new album's subtlety with its chorus, "My whole life/ Was like a picture of a sunny day," which seems easily accessible on first hearing but gets repeated until you realize that it's a trick, a song about a simile about a picture of a symbol - not like an actual day but like a photo in a frame, a feeling familiar but unreachable) but I'll let you go read the review and then we'll chat.

Saturday's set list: The Fox/ Wilderness/ Turn It On/ Combat Rock/ Rollercoaster/ Modern Girl/ Sympathy/ What's Mine Is Yours/ Everything/ Light Rail Coyote/ Jumpers/ Let's Call It Love/ Night Light/ Entertain /Encore: Oh!/ I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Richard & Linda Thompson)/ I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.

I also saw Emiliana Torrini on Friday night, who was utterly, utterly charming. But the sound at the El Mocambo made me have to strain to make out the words to the songs from the back of the room, which was a shame. (And the place was plastered with ads for 20hz.)

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, June 20 at 3:56 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (8)

 

It's Got A Gouda Beat

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Photo swiped from Nadia at Squiddity. Sorry it went all squiggly. I dunno why.

When a man plays cheese as a musical instrument, that event deserves to be recorded. Zoilus correspondent John Halfpenny reports on Friday night's concert in Toronto (as part of the current MOCCA drum show, "Demons Stole My Soul") by the beloved Dutch free-jazz percussionist Han Bennink, which centred on two drum kits called Cheese Kit Diptych, built with Bennink in mind by Dutch artist Walter Willems. One is actually made of waxed rounds of cheese, and the other is an artificial replica. Here's John:

"I like to see [Han Bennink] periodically. His playing with Ray Anderson, a few years ago, got me interested in playing percussion. Maybe he relies on too many crowd-pleasing gimmicks, but I always come away with something inspiring whenever I see him. From what I understand, the cheese kits were made for him by a local sculptor. I was doubly surprised. For one thing, they didn't look constructed. They just looked like big cheese wheels. The other surprise was that it wasn't Han's idea. There were two five piece kits, one filled, one hollow. Each drum was equipped with a condenser mic touching the shell at around the mid-point. He also had standard cymbal arrays on a rack.

"He started with the solid kit. To my ear, they were nicely tuned. The sound is difficult to describe. It brought to mind aspects of paper bag mixed with bare feet running on a wood floor. A very pleasing thwok. He kept the performance small, occasionally warbling the brand name of the cheese he was playing: Friiiii-co or sometimes just Cheeeeeeeeeezzzzzee. The kick kept up an insistent low thump while he went to town on the 'toms'. My buddy insisted he could smell warm cheese, but I never did.

"He started on the hollow kit with a rockshow storm that wouldn't be out of place in a stadium show before stopping abruptly and proclaiming, 'Wrong festival.' Certainly the hollow kit had a more natural driving sound, very drum-like, although with a similar warm overtone to the solids. The little gouda ball could almost have been a wood block. He didn't seem to play that kit very long before jumping over to a third kit where he basically went off on a typical Han rant. Board across two drums, playing his mouth, wooden shoes etc.

"Luckily he came back for an encore on the first kit. He ended the show by spiking his sharpened stick into the only red wheel, revealing the cheese inside. In all, he only played the cheese for maybe a half hour, but everyone seemed satisfied."

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, June 20 at 2:21 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

Sunburned Saturday Night

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Bulletin: A "secret" appearance by a Massachusetts collective will take place late night in Toronto on Saturday, after their show elsewhere in town. The evening begins at 10:30 pm with a set by Toronto improv titans CCMC (Paul Dutton, John Oswald and Michael Snow), continues with a set by the awesome Awesome at midnight, and then the anonymous freak-folk-psych-noise collective hits the stage sometime around 1:30 a.m. (Sample the sound at the bottom of this Krudmart page or in Chuck Eddy's picks.) The tariff to enter this alternate dimension is $8, less than half the cost for their legally sanctioned appearance elsewhere, although the heaviosity of that other bill should be humbly acknowledged. Location: The Boat, 158 Augusta, Kensington Market.

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, June 09 at 7:21 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Knee-Deep In June (Toronto Live Guide)

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Photo by Kid with Camera.

SS Cardiacs, whose great new album Fear the Love I haven't had a chance to mention, join the Gris Gris on June 9 at the Comfort Zone, one of the first shows I'm really looking forward to from Zoilus's June Toronto gig guide - which you can find on the jump. [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the Stillepost.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and ye olde email.

WED. JUNE 29
** Leftover Daylight presents TOM CHANT (reeds), ERIC CHENAUX/COLIN FISHER (guitar duo), ALDCROFT/CHANT/SORBARA (guitar/reeds/drums trio) => New Works Studio, 319 Spadina, 9 pm, $10
** Stones Throw w/ J ROCC, PEANUT BUTTER WOLF, MADLIB => Opera House, $22.50
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/ CRAZY STRINGS => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, free (every Wed.)

DOWNTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL (June 24-July 3)
* AMP FIDDLER, BUGGE WESSELTOFT => Phoenix, 8 pm, $30
* ASKEW & AVIS => NFB Mediatheque, 150 John St., 8 pm, $20
* DICK HYMAN/PETER APPLEYARD/RYAN SANDKE => Montreal Bistro
* HOWARD JOHNSON tuba workshop => Nathan Phillips Square, 2:30 pm
TRIO w/STANLEY CLARKE, BELA FLECK, JEAN-LUC PONTY; ROBI BOTOS TRIO => Nathan Phillips Square, $40
ELIANA CUEVAS TRIO => Bow & Arrow Pub, 1954 Yonge, 8 pm
RUSSELL MALONE/BENNY GREEN => Senator (June 27-30)
ROB McCONNELL TENTET => Rex (June 29-30)
EVERYTHING IRIE JAZZ ENSEMBLE => Nathan Phillips Sq., 4:30 pm
REX JAZZ JAM => Rex Hote, 12:30-4 am, $10

EVARISTA MACHADO & FRIENDS => Lula Lounge
H2-OS w/SINCERE TRADE, BELLADONNAKILLZ, DJs HAZMAT & CYPHX => Waterfall Lounge, 326 Adelaide St. W., 10 pm, $2 ("free vegetarian Indian food until midnight")
DAVID VIRELLES QUARTET "Blue Trane Sessions" w/ guest SPARLHA SWA (nyc) => Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst (n of bloor), two sets, 9 pm, $5
Summer Serenades w/ ANDREA ENGLAND => Dundas Square, 12:30 pm, free
Sketch Arts Studio for Street Youth w/ LISA PATTERSON, YOUTH SONGWRITERS, YOUTH PLAYBACK THEATRE => Hugh's Room, $10-$12
TSO Star Wars Concert => Roy Thomson Hall, $25-$90 (also June 28)
PANIC & THE REBEL EMERGENCY => Mod Club
PRIYA THOMAS & BLAST OF 7, NATIONAL ANTHEM, CALCU-LATOR & THE ORAL PRESENTATION => Rivoli, doors 8:30 pm, $5
COMBICHRIST, GLIS, MANUFACTURA => Funhaus, $10

THUR. JUNE 30
** AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, JELO, DJ FASE, THE DUKES, more => Roxy Blu, 12 Brant St., $20 adv.
** House Party w/ NINJA HIGH SCHOOL, TRADITION, LAVA WITCH, VERY VENUTO, DJ Selective Sergery => the Riot House, 285.5 College St., 9 pm, pwyc
** G2: Canada Day Celebration w/ DAVE CLARKE, MAURO PICOTTO , MISSTRESS BARBARA, MARCO BAILEY, GREG GOW, IAN GUTHRIE, JURASSIC 5, CUT CHEMIST, A-TRAK, GROUCH, many more => Guvernment/Kool Haus, 10 pm doors, $35 adv.
* SAINT DIRT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL => Tranzac, 10 pm

DOWNTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL (June 24-July 3)
** KENNY GARRETT QUARTET, JOSHUA REDMAN'S ELASTIC BAND => Nathan Phillips Square, mainstage, 8 pm, $35
* TIM POSGATE HORN BAND w/ HOWARD JOHNSON => Nathan Phillips Sq., noon, free
* SOPHIE MILMAN QUARTET=> Montreal Bistro
* THE HERBALIZER, BONOBO => Opera House, $25
* RAY BENSON & JEFF HEALEY => Healey's, $15
* BUGGE WESSELTOFT => Revival, 783 College, $20
RUSSELL MALONE/BENNY GREEN => Senator (June 27-30)
DON THOMPSON/REG SCHWAGER => Mezzetta, 681 St. Clair W., 9 pm
ROB McCONNELL TENTET => Rex (June 29-30)
DOUG RICHARDSON TRIO => Trane Studio (every Thursday), two sets, 9 pm, $7
REX JAZZ JAM w/ ROB MOSHER TRIO => Rex, 12:30-4 am, $10

* SON OF DAVE ("The One-Man-Blues-Beat-Box Machine," ex-Crash Test Dummies), Z-RAYS, LOLLIPOP PEOPLE => Drake Hotel, 11 pm, $10
HUNTER VALENTINE, JEEN O'BRIEN, DELTA => Rivoli, doors 9:30, $6
THE ILLUMINATI => Horseshoe, 11 pm, free
ADAM SOLOMON & TIKISA (afropop) => Lula Lounge, doors 7 pm, show 8:30 pm, $35 (or $50/couple)
"Cangrind Fest-evil" W/FUCK THE FACTS, MURDERSQUAD TO, SLIT, WRITHING ELIZABETH, DISGUST, VAGINAL DISCHARGE, ORCHIDECTOMY => Kathedral, all ages, $8
RACHAEL SAGE => Cameron, 11 pm
WIDOW, GOAT HORN, BURN TO BLACK => El Mocambo, doors 9 pm, $8
JAMES T. COTTON (a.k.a Tadd Mullinix a.k.a. Dabrye, Detroit), CARLOS SOUFFRONT of ECTOMORPH (Detroit), ADAM MARSHALL, TASK, OCHITWA => Footwork, 425 Adelaide St West, $10
"I am Canadian" w/ DJs NANA, MAYSR, CELL DIVISION CREW, SICK SOUND SYNDROME => Stone Lounge (below Revival), 783 College St., $5 b4 midnight, $10 after, doors 10 pm
milk. & Quadrasonic present Long Weekend Jam Session w/ DJs FELIX, GANI, KID KONGA, ALVARO C., plus live performance by BARRIO LAB => Revival, 783 College St., $8 adv., "more" at door, doors 10 pm
Bruckbeat Sessions w/ ROBERT STRAUSS & ROLAND DESCHAMPS, DJs DIALECT, MURR = Embassy Bar, 223 Augusta Ave., free
YELLOW WOOD => Poor Alex, $5
ON SWITCH => Club 279
GOOD RIDDANCE => Funhaus, $13.50

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, June 02 at 2:24 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

The Chosen (Bobby) Few

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The June gig guide will be up shortly, but here's one preview note: As my colleague Mark Miller pointed out to me, the Rex has jazz pianist Bobby Few here in Toronto on Friday (June 3), playing at 6:30 pm. As Mark said, they don't seem to know what they've got: Few is one of the expat American jazz musicians who left the States for France in the late 60s, so he's generally more obscure in North America than he ought to be. But he's worked with (especially) Steve Lacy, Booker Ervin, Albert Ayler (with whom he grew up in Cleveland), Archie Shepp, Frank Wright and others. He'll be here with a frequent partner, ex-Parisian, now New York-based sax player Avram Fefer (an Ornette and world-music disciple who's worked for David Murray and Butch Morris), for what will no doubt be an underattended gig. Grab an early dinner and rush on down.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, June 01 at 12:11 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Victo 2005: R&D; On The Human Strain

braxton.jpg

At long last here's my review, from today's Overtones in The Globe & Mail, of last week's Victoriaville festival. In general I think it's not ideal to use the column in a reviewing function (I think it muddles up the voice), but I think the Anthony Braxton-Wolf Eyes meeting was a historic enough occasion to merit it. To see the pic of them together, you'll have to buy the paper. On the other hand, a paragraph toward the end was censored by the editors - it's restored here. (Do you think the word "bugger" is that bad?) And I would never have used the fourth word in this headline:

Jazz theologian goes slumming, and makes a bit of history

CARL WILSON
OVERTONES
The Globe and Mail
May 28, 2005

It may not go down alongside the day Dizzy Gillespie met Chano Pazo (and invented Afro-Cuban bebop), but a real moment in the history of jazz, or something, went down last Saturday at the 22nd annual music festival in Victoriaville, Que., reconfirming it as the best place on the continent to go get your inner ear realigned.

Having wrung out half its audience to the point of post-traumatic stress, noise band Wolf Eyes said there was time for one more: Did we want Leper War or Black Vomit? The poll was inconclusive, so the trio’s hulking, bare-headed mouthpiece John Olson turned to the show’s guest star: “Anthony?” [...]

And at that, the near-sexagenarian, notoriously cerebral jazz composer Anthony Braxton glanced down at his saxophone, pursed his lips in a beatific smile and eagerly answered: “Black Vomit!” (Olson joked Braxton must have been inspired by their previous night in the hotel bar.)

Within seconds came the shuddering solar-plexus drum blows and the jerrybuilt-electronic chaos of the track from Wolf Eyes’ 2004 album Burned Mind. And the man who in 1971 released the first full-length solo saxophone album in jazz history was blowing madly along.

Though Victoriaville’s festival is supposed to be about tearing up the musical rulebook, in fact it’s swarmed by sub-factions — the jazz elitists, the rock yahoos, the Québécois-prog populists. This year was primed for a bit of a showdown.

Unprecedentedly, director Michel Levasseur had handed some programming duties over to Thurston Moore of New York postpunk band Sonic Youth: Moore filled the third of the festival’s five long days of music with the young brutalists of Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, his own mayhem-bound nine-piece Dream Aktion Unit and more.

Meanwhile Sunday was stacked with jazz heavies such as Braxton, German saxophonist Peter Brotzmann’s Chicago Tentet and New York bassist William Parker’s Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra.

(There were also highlights outside either cluster, such as stunning avant-traditionalist Chinese singer and guzheng player Xu Fengxia, the harp and electronics set by Zeena Parkins and Ikue Mori, and Kid Koala and Martin Tétrault’s super-charming turntable duet.)

Officially Braxton was at Victo (as devotees call the festival) to play a duet with guitar improviser Fred Frith, and with his own sextet, but his surprise coup was to sit in on Wolf Eyes’ whole set. People giggled about this in the disconcerted way they do when categories come unglued: Why was the black college professor hanging with the white noise dropouts?

Braxton’s always been a divisive figure. Since his 1968 debut album, the Chicago-born musician’s compositions titled with numbers and diagrams put off listeners and critics who thought he was too “academic,” too enamoured with world music and European composers like Stockhausen to be loyal to jazz’s swing and blues. Braxton rightly calls such criticism both “reverse racist” in its scorn for any contribution by whites, and straight-up “antebellum” racist in its conviction that black musicians should be gutbucket-instinctual rather than brainy and cosmological.

But at Victo, where he’s played many times in the past 22 years, and a few similar European festivals, he’s a heroic warrior against the conservative revivalism that’s dominated jazz since Ronald Reagan became U.S. president. It’s a sign of insider status in these enclaves to grok Braxton’s complex systems.

Such supporters can be as much of a burden as detractors: His music isn’t supposed to be some bonsai-tending hobbyist’s pastime. Braxton constructs his arcane mathematical-alchemical structures by collaging musical elements together in a game of musical 3-D chess. He intends the results to resonate with global sociopolitical dynamics — and even magically to alter or undermine them.

Braxton first saw Wolf Eyes at a festival last year in Sweden. He bought up everything at the merchandise table and even fantasized about moving to Stockholm (“as a cook, if I had to”) to study their “vibrational energies,” until he found out they were actually from Michigan. If it wasn’t my imagination, in Sunday’s dazzling show by Braxton’s sextet, amid a swirling mobile of suites that flirted and scrapped and merged with one another, some of the movements already seemed to carry the unbolted-buzzsaw timbral influence of Wolf Eyes.

If it’s startling that this jazz theoretician would fall for a thuggish group with roots in hardcore punk, consider what they have in common: Just as Braxton declares he’s no longer a “jazz” musician (“I have no desire to extend American hegemony”), Wolf Eyes likely would distance themselves from “rock.” Like Braxton, but at a much higher decibel level, Wolf Eyes interlay found sound, past influences and their own eccentric inventions, adding up to a sensibility dualistically divided between cyber futurism and Unabomber-cabin rustic grit. (Although the departure of member Aaron Dilloway seems to have subtracted a few degrees of seriousness.)

And Braxton’s sextet is half of a new 12-piece group that he wants to make his personal permanent ensemble. The idea seems aimed in part at removing himself from the music business to an autonomous realm — much the way the noise artists have built their own underground circuit.

Brotzmann and Parker’s big bands have vision too, of course, but for some reason this week they felt like ghosts of avant-gardism past. After their Sunday concerts, I had to soften my negative take on the circle-dance primitivism of New York’s No Neck Blues Band, whose meandering set did eventually manage to evoke the kind of feral, present-tense presence the jazz groups never cohered enough to find.

The peak in that sense was scaled Monday by Japanese noise royalty the Boredoms, whose closing post-psychedelic communal-rock ritual had a whole arena trancing out in baffling bliss.

So bugger genre and bugger style. Crucial musicians always propose not just notes and chords but social experiments too hazardous for real life — random racial-reassignment cosmetic surgery, suicide pacts, marathon group sex, giving up on language, returning to the ocean — to be staged instead in sound. It’s research-and-development on the human strain. And as Prof. Braxton knows, it can come along in shredded jeans cursing its head off and with sirens in its suitcase as (un-)easily as in any other outfit.

The weekend’s debates were bracing for all sides. To mark the spot with a bold red X, the festival really must issue a triple live-CD set of the many faces of Anthony Braxton at Victo 2005. And they absolutely must title it Black Vomit. Which is funny, you know, but not merely funny.

Read More | In Depth | Posted by zoilus on Saturday, May 28 at 1:09 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)

 

Or, You Know, A Solar Anus

boredoms.jpg

I hate to link to VICE for any reason but they've got the new Boredoms album there for you to listen to, and even if the recording cannot remotely compare to the third-eye-squeegeying effects of the live full-body-rub the band gave us at Victo on Monday, I have to capitulate my compunctions and conscientiously hook you up, because if you haven't seen this tour yet you've missed it - it ended in NYC last night. Check Sasha hyperventilating over the 'doms today. (Wonder if they forced him metaphysically to get drunk and lose his notebook, like they did me?) It was also interesting to see Eye pushing a baby stroller down the Victoriaville main drag - apparently in order to bring the band there, the festival had to fly the whole extended-family commune to Quebec. That's just the deal. So remember never to book the Raelians to play your music fest. Also This post tells me that the reason for the circular-drum formation they play in now is that they "view themselves more as a turntable." Huh. I'd figured "post-digital tribal-fire circle." The more fool I.

News | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, May 26 at 8:44 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMay

Please note the many new additions to the May gig guide, including Grandmaster Flash at Roxy Blue on the 27th and Animalmonster's much-anticipated 8-Hour Drone show at Mercer Union on the 29th. (What note will it be!? Zoilus votes for E-flat.)

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, May 17 at 3:46 PM | Linking Posts

 

Come What MAY (gig guide)

gangof4.jpg
Sorry, wrong gang of four.

More-or-less compleat Toronto show calendar is jitterbuggin' on the flip. Notice Joe Pernice tonight, Veda Hille tomorrow at Lula Lounge (as well as Roots Manuva and The Books and Mice Parade/Chad Van Gaalen/Boom Bip - all separate shows!), the Interface series with Jean Derome this weekend, the over-the-top Over the Top Fest, Mike Doughty (ex-Soul Coughing) on Tuesday, Mountain Goatses!!! (Zoilus' most-anticipated show-of-the-month/year) next Wed., Gang of 4 on May 14 (or else Dat Politics), Stereo Total the following day, that big wedding you don't know about shhh, Deerhoof on May 18 (because Bright Eyes is at the friggin' Docks), the VTO5 new-music festival, (((MIA))) and LCD Soundsystem double-bill, Wolf Eyes, Gang Gang Dance and the Deep Wireless festival. Oh, and Rebecca Gates (ex-Spinanes) on May 21, while I am away in Victoriaville, goddammmmmit. (Thanks Chromewaves, for letting me know my chance to see one of my Top All-Time Crushed-Upon Indie Femme Fatales is, in its turn, crushed.) Whew. [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the Stillepost.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and ye olde email.

TUES., MAY 17
** HANK JONES => Top o’ the Senator (May 17-22)
* VTO5 presents XU FENGIA (guzheng) and a film feat. the late PETER KOWALD (bass) => Goethe Institut, 8 pm, $20
* BRITISH SEA POWER, THE MOST SERENE REPUBLIC => Lee's Palace, $15
* THE GOOD LIFE =>The 360, $10
* THE BLUE VAN => Mod Club
SARAH McLACHLAN => Air Canada Centre, $49.50-$69.50
BLACK CROWES =>Kool Haus, $46.25
Rex Jazz Jam w/ BRANDI DISTERHEFT, SLY JUHAS, LAILA BIALI => Rex (every Tues in May)
EXPERIMENTAL OPEN JAM (all gear provided) => The Bagel, 285 College St., 9 pm, free (every Tues.)
KIDD RASTA & THE PEACEMAKERS cd launch, ROCKY SINGH, NATTY POSSE BAND, DJ CHOCOLATE => Reverb, doors 8:30 pm, show 9:30 pm, $10 (w/free CD)
BREAK THE SILENCE, CRANE, FUTURES PAST, MIGHT AS WELL, RUMSFIELD => Kathedral, $10

WED., MAY 18
** BRIGHT EYES, THE FAINT => The Docks, $26
** DEERHOOF, NEDELLE => Lee's Palace, $10
** GORDON LIGHTFOOT => Massey Hall, $30-$55 (May 18-21)
** HANK JONES => Top o’ the Senator (May 17-22)
* JOHN SOUTHWORTH, THE BICYCLES => El Mocambo, $8
* Ambient Ping & Deep Wireless present RADiO iN AMBiENCE 2 w/ ANNA FRIZ *(Montreal), ALLISON CAMERON and STEPHEN PARKINSON (T'o) => Hacienda (794 Bathurst St. @ Bloor), 9 pm, pwyc
* Peace Jam and Fundraiser for Livvette Moore’s orphaned children w/ TASHA T., HARPOON MISSILE, CODE BLUE, DON SKILACHI, MOTION, RISHAARD, MASIA ONE, ANDRE RANXX, SHARON RILEY (Faith Chorale), more => Opera House, 8 pm (doors 7 pm), $10 minimum donation
* AGYU experimental music series w/ QUASiMODAL => Art Gallery of York University, N145 Ross Building, 7 pm, free
* VTO5 presents Sandhills Reunion by JERRY GRANELLI'S SEPTET (w/ FRANCOIS HOULE, JEFF REILLY, DAVID MOTT, CHRISTOPH BOTH, CHRISTIAN KOGEL, J. ANTHONY GRANELLI) w/PAUL KENNEDY reading Rinde Eckert => Gladstone, 10 pm, $20
* THE BLOOD BROTHERS, PLOT TO BLOW UP THE EIFFEL TOWER, BIG BUSINESS =>Mod Club, $13.50
* Songs Of Anatolia w/ MAZA MEZÉ, BRENNA MACCRIMMON, ISMAIL HAKKI => Harbourfront, $20
* LYNN MILES, JENNY WHITELEY, MELWOOD CUTLERY (cd release) => Hugh's Room, $18
* THIEVERY CORPORATION => the Carlu (444 Yonge), $35-$40
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/CRAZY STRINGS => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, free (every Wed.)
SNOW PATROL, ATHLETE =>Kool Haus, $26.25
NOW YR TAKEN, LAVA WITCH, PROELIIS FERE, GOING NOWHERE => Clinton's, 9 pm, $5
ELIANA CUEVAS => Lula Lounge
KIVA'S TRIO (Wyrd Sisters, harmonic overtone singer), HEATHER DALE => Holy Joe's, 9 pm, $8
DAVID FRENCH, LUIS SIMAO LATIN JAZZ QUINTET => Rex
THE SHANKS cd release, THE POSITIONS => Cameron, 10 pm, $5
THE SECRET HANDSHAKE, THE BEAUTYS => Neutral Lounge, 10 pm, pwyc
THE EXCHANGES => Fez Batik, 10 pm, Free
VICTOR BATEMAN (6 pm) Bartender Daughter Productions Presents MARCO DiFELICE, MICHAEL LADAROUTE, SCOTT MAYNARD, CASSANDRA RUTHERFORD, MARK RUTHERFORD TRIO, guests (8 pm) => Tranzac
THE PERISHERS => Rivoli
DAVID VIERELLES QUARTET => Trane Studio

THUR., MAY 19
** GORDON LIGHTFOOT => Massey Hall, $30-$55 (May 18-21)
** HANK JONES => Top o’ the Senator (May 17-22)
** RILO KILEY, NADA SURF => Opera House, $15
* VTO5 presents STEFANO SCODANIBBIO (contrabass, Italy) w/ JOZEF VAN WISSEM (lute, Amsterdam) => Edward Day Gallery, 952 Queen West, 8 pm, $20
* JOHNNY DOWD => Horseshoe, $8, also Soundscapes @ 5 pm (free)
* AUTORICKSHAW, GEORGE KOLLER, LOTUS => Lula Lounge, $15
* JENNY WHITELEY "Juno Celebration Concert" =>Hugh's Room, 8:30 pm, $17
* ITZHAK PERLMAN => Roy Thomson Hall
* THE BACKSTABBERS COUNTRY STRINGBAND, THE CAMERON FAMILY SINGERS, ROSES IN THE SNOW => Gladstone, 8 pm, $10
RAISED BY SWANS => Rivoli, $6
THE PRIDS, ACTION MAKES, THOMAS & HIS EVIL COMPUTER, LoLo PROJECT => El Mocambo, $5
THE VULCAN DUB SQUAD, DIABLEROS, INFLATION KILLS, FLORIDA EVANS => Rancho Relaxo, $6
HUNTER VALENTINE, RAGS TO BITCHES, KELLY & THE KELLYGIRLS, RANDOM ORDER, more => El Mocambo, $7
DAVE YOUNG w/ SPENCER BAREFIELD QUARTET => Rex (May 19-20)
THE FATALS, BRUTAL KNIGHTS, BAYONETTES => Oasis, $7
AND THE VINYL, THE NETHANIALS, KAT BURNS => Poor Alex, $5
NURAL, AMITY => Vatikan, $5
SAX IN THE CITY w/ Heather Bambrick, Amilie-Claire Barlow, Eliana Cuevas => Design Exchange, 234 Bay, $35
KATE ROGERS BAND (8 pm), BILL NORMAN & TIM HAMMEL (10 pm) => Tranzac

FRI., MAY 20
** GORDON LIGHTFOOT => Massey Hall, $30-$55 (May 18-21)
** VTO5 presents THE NELS CLINE SINGERS => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $20
** HANK JONES => Top o’ the Senator (May 17-22)
** KANAK, LOLLIPOP PEOPLE, FRIENDLY RICH, BOB WISEMAN w/ films by Guy Maddin, Martha Colburn, Ryan Larkin and more => Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex), $5
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
* DJ SERIOUS cd release, w/ D-SISIVE THEOLOGY 3, NOTES TO SELF, MUSIKLEE INSANE, DJ GROUCH => Supermarket, $10
* GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS, WAYNE PETTI, CHET =>Rancho Relaxo
* "Use Your Pocky" w/ TOCA LOCA (contemp. compos.) => Music Gallery, $10-$20
* The Abstract Index live w/ DJs DAVID DACKS, JEREMIAH (SUPERHEAVYREGGAE), MURR (LAL) => Thymeless (College @ Augusta)
Petsounds w/ I AM ROBOT AND PROUD, DJs Bronson Lee, Cab Williamson, Pammm => Stone's Place, $5
PAN/TONE, ADAM MARSHALL, ERIC DOWNER => Footwork, 425 Adelaide St W, 10 pm-?, $5 b4 12, $15 after
KASABIAN, MAD ACTION =>Kool Haus, $20
THE SLACKERS => Lee's Palace, $10.50
DAVE YOUNG w/ SPENCER BAREFIELD QUARTET => Rex (May 19-20)
WINTER EQUINOX, ROBOT => Holy Joe's, free
GORDON LIGHTFOOT @ Massey Hall, $30-$55
CHAMELEON PROJECT, THE VOID, DJ ROLLIN CASH, JAMIE KIDD => Gypsy Co-op
FINE MOTOR CONTROL, PINKO CRONKITE, JEN HALL => Oasis, $5
10
TRASH AND READY cd launch => Gladstone, 9 pm, $5
BEYOND OUR ROOTS latin festival => Drake (May 20-22)
FINCH, Vendetta Red, Walking Concert => Opera House, $20
Pitter Patter w/ TERROR LAKE, THE GREAT AWAKE, THICK HAWK => Poor Alex, $5
SOWATT, Morning After, Shot of Clarity, Junior Vice Presidents => Vatikan, $5
THE FOOLISH THINGS (5 pm), JIMMY DOWLING (10 pm) => Tranzac
RADIO NOMAD => Trane Studio, 9 pm

SAT., MAY 21
** VTO5 presents PETER BROTZMANN TENTET => Rivoli, 6 pm, $20
** M.I.A., LCD SOUNDSYSTEM => Opera House, 8 pm, $20 plus OFFICIAL AFTERPARTY w/ DIPLO, NICK CATCHDUBS, RORY THEMFINEST, WENDY MORGAN, DMT => The Social, 1100 Queen West, $10 b4 midnight
** GORDON LIGHTFOOT => Massey Hall, $30-$55 (May 18-21)
** HANK JONES => Top o’ the Senator (May 17-22)
* THE DECEMBERISTS, REBECCA GATES (ex-Spinanes) =>Phoenix, $15 (two stars for Gates, negative-one for the Decembrists, whom I so far cannot stand)
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
* Tangofest w/ SWEATSHOP TANGO ENSEMBLE, FERNANDO OTERO. =>Trinity St Paul's Centre, $20, 6:30 pm (May 21-22)
MICHAEL OCCHIPINTI's SICILIAN JAZZ PROJECT => Rex
SWAMPERELLA => Gladstone, 8 pm, $8
SUNDOWNERS (6 pm), RYAN DRIVER QUINTET (10 pm) => Tranzac
LIVINGSTON TAYLOR =>Hugh's Room, $27.50
CAROLE POPE =>Sneaky Dee's, $12
MICHAUX MACHINE, SHED, NEFARIOUS INFLUENCE, LIFESTORY MONOLOGUE => El Mocambo
DJ RAP => System Soundbar
Pitter Patter w/ LUNCHMEAT, SAILBOATS ARE WHITE, THE PINEY WOLVES => Poor Alex, $5
BEYOND OUR ROOTS latin festival => Drake (May 20-22)
STIRLING => Horseshoe, $7
ANNE LINDSAY & HER WONDERFUL BAND => Victory Cafe, 9 pm, $10

SUN., MAY 22
** WOLF EYES, GASTRIC FEMALE REFLEX, AWESOME =>Horseshoe, $10
** HANK JONES => Top o’ the Senator (May 17-22)
* Wavelength 264 w/ WOOLLEY LEAVES, EVERYBODY GET SICK, DJ JD =>Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
* Tangofest w/ SWEATSHOP TANGO ENSEMBLE, FERNANDO OTERO. =>Trinity St Paul's Centre, $20, 6:30 pm (May 21-22)
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET => Cameron House, 6-8 pm, pwyc, may 22
CLAIRE LOVE AND THE SWEETHEARTS => Gladstone, 9 pm, pwyc
BEYOND OUR ROOTS latin festival => Drake (May 20-22)
RYAN LUCHUCK => Drake, 8 pm

MON., MAY 23
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
ELVIS MONDAY w/ Tala, Doublenew, Steve Lewin, The Makers, Spiral Beach => Drake

TUES., MAY 24
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
* VTO5 presents HUBBUB, QUEEN MAB TRIO => Goethe Institut, 8 pm, $20
* Pages presents NATHANIEL G. MOORE & THE WORST PUPPETEERS IN CANADIAN LITERATURE (Reading/Puppet Show) => Rivoli, doors 7 pm, free
MEWITHOUTYOU =>The 360, $10
PORCUPINE TREE =>Mod Club, $24.50
MICHAEL BUBLÉ =>Hummingbird Centre, $42.50-$74.50 (May 24-26)
Rex Jazz Jam w/ BRANDI DISTERHEFT, SLY JUHAS, LAILA BIALI => Rex (every Tues in May)
EXPERIMENTAL OPEN JAM (all gear provided) => The Bagel, 285 College St., 9 pm, free (every Tues.)
MR. POINTY (8 pm), GLEN HALL (10 pm) => Tranzac

WED., MAY 25
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
* High Lonesome Wednesdays w/CRAZY STRINGS => Silver Dollar, 10 pm, free (every Wed.)
* GRASSHOPPER SOUNDCLASH cd release => Bovine Sex Club, 11 pm
* Curiopilot series launch w/ JEFF ELLIOT (comedy), WHIPPOORWILL, AEM-50CC, BLUE DEMONS, MICROBUNNY => Drake
MOOD RUFF cd release w/ LISA BELL, DJs GENERAL ECLECTIC, PUPPYHERTZ, NANA => Revival, $5 before 11 pm
Ambient Ping presents MAHOGANY FROG => Hacienda, 794 Bathurst, pwyc
THE BREAKFAST =>Lee's Palace, $8.50
MICHAEL BUBLÉ =>Hummingbird Centre, $42.50-$74.50 (May 24-26)

THUR., MAY 26
** SS CARDIACS cd release, REPUBLIC OF SAFETY, THE VERMICIOUS KNID => Sneaky Dee's
* SAINT DIRT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL => Tranzac, 10 pm
TIBET FUNDRAISER "Living Songs, Sacred Spaces" w/DAVID MOTT, JESSE STEWART, more => Music Gallery, $20/$25
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
* "Underworlds" and "Euridice Variations" presented by RED SKY, TORONTO CONSORT => Glenn Gould Studio, 8 pm, $24-$30 (May 26-27)
* GALITCHA, TANTRA => Lula Lounge, $15
I CAN PUT MY ARM BACK ON YOU CAN'T (7" Release), BEAUMONT HAMIL, PANSERBJORNE, tba => Adrift Skateshop
BILL McBIRNIE w/ MARK EISENMAN TRIO (STEVE WALLACE, JOHN SUMNER) => Montreal Bistro (May 26-28)
BRENDA EARLE => Rex
MICHAEL BUBLÉ =>Hummingbird Centre, $42.50-$74.50 (May 24-26)
THE SUBURBAN POP PROJECT, FIREHYDRANT, BRONCHO CHARLIE => Poor Alex, $5
MILLIONS OF CATS THAT TURNED ON THEIR MASTERS => Silver Dollar
Ketchup Music: Asian Songwriter Showcase w/ JP SUNGA, MOULANN, NELSON TOM, NOELLA CHOI, TINA CHU => Urban Coyote Bar & Grill (8763 Bayview), free
GREATESCAPE, MR GNOME, KEY OF ME, SONGMUZE => Degrassi House, 780 Queen St. East

FRI., MAY 27
** GRANDMASTER FLASH => Roxy Blu (12 Brant St.), 10 pm, $20 adv.
** WANDA JACKSON & THE RIZDALES, ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET => Cadillac Lounge (May 27-28; sold out)
** KHONNOR => Gladstone Art Bar, 9 pm, $8 (come early! tiny room!)
** KID KOALA => Horseshoe, $15
** Hyperactive w/ KID 606 (California), KENNY GLASGOW, LEE OSBORNE => Mod Club, 11 pm-3:30 am, $15
* MYK FREEDMAN QUARTET, DEEP DARK UNITED => Tranzac, 8 and 10 pm
* GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS, WAYNE PETTI, CHET => Rancho Relaxo
* Leftover Daylight Series presents PAUL DUTTON (vox, Toronto)/THOMAS CHARMETANT (cello, from Paris); KYLE BRENDERS TRIO; HALEY/CLUTTON/SHAW/SORBARA => Arraymusic Studio, 60 Atlantic Ave., Ste. 218, $10/$6
* Deep Wireless Weekend radio-sound art fest w/ERIC LEONARDSON, CHRIS BROOKES, ANNA FRIZ, EVALYN PARRY, YVES DAOUST, MILENA DROUMEVA, GEOFF SISKIND, DRAGAN TODOROVIC, GREGORY WHITEHEAD, CHANTAL DUMAS & CHRISTIAN CALON, EMMANUEL MADAN, more => Drake Hotel, see http://deepwireless.ca (May 27-29)
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com (May 20-29)
* STEVE FORBERT => Hugh's Room, $22
* NEW MUSIC CONCERTS: WILD, WIRED WEST w/ Keith Hamel, Joseph Petric, Max Christie, Robert Aitken and the New Music Concerts Ensemble => Music Gallery, $5-$25
* "Underworlds" and "Euridice Variations" presented by RED SKY, TORONTO CONSORT => Glenn Gould Studio, 8 pm, $24-$30 (May 26-27)
Fat Albert's benefit concert & cd release w/ BOB SNIDER, BOB WISEMAN, NORM HACKING, ROGER ELLIS, more => Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil, $10
THE PARIAHS, PLASTIC BAG => Bovine Sex Club
BILL McBIRNIE w/ MARK EISENMAN TRIO (STEVE WALLACE, JOHN SUMNER) => Montreal Bistro (May 26-28)
AL KAY TROMBONE OCTET => Rex
AGAINST ME =>Kathedral, $13.50
JEREMY FISHER, NATHAN WILEY => Mod Club, $12
KARRIN ALLYSON => Top O' the Senator, $18 (May 27-29)
THERESA'S SOUND-WORLD => Artists Play Studio Theatre
JEREMY FISHER, NATHAN WILEY => Mod Club, $12
KOBAYASHI, DJ Goldfinger => Gypsy Co-op
LUNCHMEAT, BOYBALLZ => The Boat
IN SUPPORT OF LIVING, AS THE POETS AFFIRM, OFF THE INT'L RADAR => El Mocambo
MICHAEL JOHNSTON, DAVE CLARK, DAVID CELIA => NOW Lounge, 189 Church, $6
SHOWROOM cd release, DAN GORMAN, SAY AH => Rivoli, $7
THE FOOLISH THINGS => Tranzac, 5 pm
MATTHEW BARBER, YAEL WAND, LINDSAY FERGUSON, ROZALIND MACPHAIL => Rectory Cafe, Toronto Island, $5-$10
RAW CITY GRINDER, SOHO KITCHEN, LINK DE BAREFLY, AMANDA KAYE => Neutral Lounge, 349A College

SAT., MAY 28
** ROBYN HITCHCOCK & HIS SADIES => Lee's Palace, $17.50 POSTPONED!
** WANDA JACKSON & THE RIZDALES, ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET => Cadillac Lounge (May 27-28; sold out)
** Deep Wireless Weekend radio-sound art fest w/KHONNOR, ERIC LEONARDSON, CHRIS BROOKES, ANNA FRIZ, EVALYN PARRY, YVES DAOUST, MILENA DROUMEVA, GEOFF SISKIND, DRAGAN TODOROVIC, GREGORY WHITEHEAD, CHANTAL DUMAS & CHRISTIAN CALON, EMMANUEL MADAN, more => Drake Hotel, see http://deepwireless.ca (May 27-29)
* Hangama! South Asian Street Celebration w/ TRICHY'S TRIO w/ DR. TRICHY SANKARAN, BLACKMAHAL w/ LAL, SINGH BHATTI, MOHAMMED ZAHEERUDDIN, SHAHID ALI KHAN, FRIENDS OF RAAGAS, ANWAR KHURSHID w/ RAVI NAIMPALLY, THE WEBER BROTHERS, JOSH, STATE OF BENGAL w/ RENU HUSSAIN, SHANGRILA, DK W/ DAVE SHARMA, SHIVA SOUND SYSTEM w/ VINEET VYAS, SUHANA SOUND SPEKTRUM w/ RICK LAZAR & SAMBA SQUAD, GADJET and more => Dundas Square, 11 am-11 pm, free
* THE DINNER IS RUINED => Tranzac, 10 pm
* SAM PREKOP, JAMES YORKSTON => Horseshoe, $12
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
* CHRIS SMITHER => Hugh's Room, $22
HOLY SHIT!, THE KIND OF JAZZ MUSIC THAT KILLS, WEDNESDAY NIGHT HEROES, SAIGON DISTRESS SIGNAL => Ania's, $9
KARRIN ALLYSON => Top O' the Senator, $18 (May 27-29)
BILL McBIRNIE w/ MARK EISENMAN TRIO (STEVE WALLACE, JOHN SUMNER) => Montreal Bistro (May 26-28)
GIPSY KINGS => Molson Amphitheatre, $39.50-$59.50
South Asian Heritage Festival w/ HANGAMA => Dundas Square
KEANE, BRENDAN BENSON => Massey Hall, $29.50-$39.50
SOPHIE MILMAN => Glenn Gould Studio, $32.25
KIKI MISUMI QUARTET => Rex
PASO MINO, BEN GUNNING => Rivoli, $7
HUNTER EVES, JASON CHESWORTH, JORDAN VENN & THE SLIZNEYS, LEN'S HAULAGE => Cameron House, 9 pm, $6
WAKE, CUE HTE CROWD, CELLAR DOOR, SIMPL => The Boat, 158 Augusta, $10

SUN., MAY 29
** EIGHT-HOUR DRONE event organized by Steve Kado and Alex Snukal, benefit for BLOCKS Recording Club, w/ drone performances by JONATHAN ADJEMIAN, AIDAN BAKER, COLIN BERGH, MICHELLE BRESLIN, GREG COLLINS, NICO DANN, HANS FINKELDEY, BREDAN FLANAGAN, MISHA GLOUBERMAN, PAIGE GRATLAND, SCOTT HARRISON, KEVIN HEGGE, JACOB HORWOOD, STEVEN KADO, ELISHA LIM, MARCO LANDINI, SCOTT M2, RYAN MAGUIRE, PAUL MORTIMER, LIZ PETERSON, MATIAS ROZENBERG, EUGENE SLOMIMEROV, MIKE SPEARS, MATT SMITH, MIKE STAFFORD, JAKOB THIESEN, BOB WISEMAN,ALEX WOLFSON => Mercer Union, 12-8 pm, $8 full day, $3 hourly passes, chef on site making "obelisk-shaped" vegan food
** GANG GANG DANCE => Lee's Palace, $10
** Deep Wireless Weekend radio-sound art fest w/ERIC LEONARDSON, CHRIS BROOKES, ANNA FRIZ, EVALYN PARRY, YVES DAOUST, MILENA DROUMEVA, GEOFF SISKIND, DRAGAN TODOROVIC, GREGORY WHITEHEAD, CHANTAL DUMAS & CHRISTIAN CALON, EMMANUEL MADAN, more => Drake Hotel, see http://deepwireless.ca (May 27-29)
* Wavelength 265 w/ PRESSE, ACTION MAKES, THE ROBOT ATE ME, Selector GREG COLLINS => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
* THE COUNTRYPOLITANS => Cameron House, 6-8 pm, pwyc (most Sundays)
* DISTILLERY JAZZ FESTIVAL => Various artists, venues. See http://www.distilleryjazz.com, (May 20-29)
* FISHBONE, MISHKA, SLIGHTLY STOOPID => Opera House, $20.50
Trade: Queer Things zine presents EROTIC NIGHTS => Gladstone, 7 pm, $10
ARRAYMUSIC: FUTURE LAB => Music Gallery
KAISER CHIEFS, OK GO => Mod Club, $17
KARRIN ALLYSON => Top O' the Senator, $18 (May 27-29)
AGNOSTIC FRONT => Fun Haus, $16.50
SUPERNOVA'S MUSICK SUMMER SERIES w/Breaking Benjamin, Silvertide, The Exies => Docks, $20
ON SWITCH => El Mocambo
Flying Cloud Folk Club presents SEAN TYRELL => Tranzac, 7:30 pm

MON., MAY 30
ELIZABETH SHEPHERD TRIO => Montreal Bistro, 9 pm, $10
MATTHEW BARBER => Hugh's Room
ISUMAH, MODELAND ROAD, LIPSTICK MACHINE => Silver Dollar
A NEFARIOUS INFLUENCE => Horseshoe
LIFEHOUSE, ROCCO DELUCA => Guvernment, $24.50

TUES., MAY 31
* THE KILLERS, TEGAN AND SARA, LOUIS XIV => Molson Amphitheatre, $20-$48.75
* ORPHANS FAN THE FLAMES ("polyvocal multimedia performance by Margaret
Christakos with music by Steph Copeland and Eric Arner, Rachel Zolf (sax) Lindsay McNiff, Jessica Raffoul, Jenny Sampirisi (voice), video by Margaret Christakos, Jessica Sarrazin and a live runner"), PORTIA live music set, plus readings, films => Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 7 pm, $5
PHIL NIMMONS QUARTET => Montreal Bistro (May 31-June 4)
Rex Jazz Jam w/ BRANDI DISTERHEFT, SLY JUHAS, LAILA BIALI => Rex (every Tues in May)
Bluebird North w/ BOB WISEMAN, DON MacLEAN, DAVID LEASK, ERIKA WERRY, ANDREA WASSE, TYLER KYTE, CHRISTOPHER WARD => Rivoli, 8 pm, $10-$12
EXPERIMENTAL OPEN JAM (all gear provided) => The Bagel, 285 College St., 9 pm, free (every Tues.)
BLUESCREEN => Horseshoe
ON SWITCH => 360
LITTLE JIMMY'S CHICKEN PICKERS => Tranzac, 10 pm

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, May 04 at 2:10 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)

 

Live Evil


I Like It When You Tell Me What to Do: Rat King author Maggie MacDonald as shot by the Queen's Journal.

First read this: Yesterday's Times piece on rock radio is a good wake-up slap for anybody who mixes up the current rock revival with, say, grunge. Still, seeing that Arcade Fire brigade out all through this week makes you wonder if the shift away from radio and CDs (to Internet, iPod and other ways of listening) makes the indie boom look smaller than it really is.

A few fast reminders & announcements of live Toronto highlights this weekend: Maggie MacDonald's Rat King: First-ever full-length public reading, with slides and songs, of this agit-prop-'pataphysical stage musical by Maggie from the Hidden Cameras, Republic of Safety, Dating Service (ex-Barcelona Pavilion). Scenes from Rat King were first staged on the opening night of my Tin Tin Tin series last year. Sunday at the Cameron House, 5 pm, $5 or pwyc.

Tonight: Patty Griffin at the Mod Club, Joel Plaskett at Hugh's Room (also Saturday and Sunday!), Matt Masters at Mitzi's Sister with the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, and Deep Dark United at the Tranzac.

Saturday: Quinsin Nachoff's New Horizons Ensemble at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and Negativland and Diamanda Galas at the Open Ears festival in London. (See tomorrow's Overtones.)

Sunday: Negativland in Toronto at the Drake Hotel.

Me, I'll be in Montreal, where I might go see Caribou, Junior Boys and Russian Futurists tonight but more likely will go see Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) tomorrow. I'll check in at column time tomorrow but otherwise, smell ya Monday.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, April 29 at 10:07 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Dance in the Police Disco Lights

arcade.jpg
The Arcade Fire's designated spouses. Not from last night: Simulation via Bradley's Almanac.

The first night of the Arcade Fire's three-night stand in Toronto last night was like a mass debutante ball for the indie kids (and the, well, not-so-kid-like writers who love them), the elegant old Music Hall upholstery around us, the subway car on the way home seeming like a capacious limousine or school field-trip bus, and love-all-around seasoned to taste. A hard call to pass up the Undertones and Wedding Present, but it was memorable - even if the show hadn't been great it was enough just to look at the two teeming floors of fans, to think Jesus, there are two more sold-out nights like this! and marvel.

Mrs. Zoilus and I were very sad to miss Final Fantasy (had to hit a family birthday party), and didn't get entirely won-over by Montreal's Wolf Parade (felt like a shmoopier, more Cure-like junior Frog Eyes, but they had chawm; we generally figgered it was a bigger venue than they're ready to command - mind is still set on "open"). It'd be silly for me to go on about the A.F. here, but live is definitely where it all comes together for them - I like about half the songs on Funeral plenty, a couple (Tunnels, Laika) I adore, but I loved the huge anarcho-family-jamboree vibe last night, like early Hidden Cameras shows but more theatrical and less participatory. They strike such great tableaux, with a strong dynamic of frozen stillness versus chaos and perfect timing switching from one to the other. Misc. points: Huge drum sound, somehow no matter who's playing them, which is crucial to the parade-ground feel; it must be tough to be away from home so much - six months more or less straight, they said; Win announced that he's just become a permanent Canadian resident (he's from Texas), to much crowd cheerage. Cue closing processional out through the centre aisle, there goes the band, there goes the band, da-da-na-naaaa-na, there goes the band.

What's the name of that broader-shouldered band member with the perfect poses who so joyously molests drums and cymbals and bandmates? The one who disguises himself as a musician but is more of a dancer-provocateur? He's totes an eye magnet, as are of course Win and Regine. We married people love to see the cool marrieds up there - you see, it is romantic, it is epic, yon naysayers. 'Tain't no thing like listening to their tenderly wobbly, steel-drum cover of This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) with true love at your side, chillun: "I can't tell one from another/ Did I find you, or you find me?/ There was a time/ Before we were born/ If someone asks, this where I'll be/ Where I'll be." Amen.

As Win freely admitted last night, they're a very sentimental band.

Speaking of which: I'm now giving the Mountain Goats' new Sunset Tree its first audition, on my broken office earphones (only the right ear works - does that somehow influence which hemisphere of the brain is hearing the songs, or does it just make one woozy?). Initial weather reading: Intense. Reportage tomorrow after the other ear gets redress.

Also: Douglas Wolk provides another example of how music-industry contortions c. 2005 as a whole and Toronto's own 20hz/Stillepost squidfuck run parallel.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, April 27 at 5:04 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

April Show(er)s

nobodies.jpg You're welcome. It's the Zoilus April Toronto music calendar, on the jump, including shows by the Gris-Gris! Regina Spektor! Lee Konitz (the worst publicized show of the year! it's on Thursday! I just heard!)! The Weakerthans/Constantines/other cool kids! Phoenix! The Creeping Nobodies (pretty poster above)! The Lenin i Shumov CD release (jittery excitement!)! Out Hud/Hella! Anita O'Day! Ike freakin' Turner! Handsome Boy Modeling School! Andy Bey! Stars/The Organ/Wooden Stars/Montag at Exclaim!'s party! Angels of Light with Picastro! The Shins! Martha Wainwright! Grandmaster Melle Mel in a Beat Street tribute! Semiconductor! Joel Plaskett! Laurie oh-my-gosh Anderson! Negativland and Diamanda Galas and more in Waterloo! The Wedding Present! The Undertones! The Arcade Fire/Wolf Parade/Final Fantasy times 3 nights! Dizzee Rascal! Toronto jazzer Quinsin Nachoff with Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger (and two local violinists)! And just announced today: Snoop Dogg!

I think that it is finally spring. [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change - this is a casual effort, please do call the venues. Sources include the 20hz.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, ListMe.ca, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note, Toronto Life and ye olde email.

THUR., APRIL 28
** SNOOP DOGG - The Docks
** DIZEE RASCAL, DJ WONDER => Opera House
** THE ARCADE FIRE, WOLF PARADE, FINAL FANTASY => Danforth Music Hall, $20 Afterparty w/Wolf Parade at the Silver Dollar.
** OPEN EARS festival w/ NEGATIVLAND (also at the Drake on May 1), DIAMANDA GALAS, ZEENA PARKINS/IKUE MORI, HILDEGARD WESTERKAMP/ANNE BOURNE, BOB OSTERTAG/PIERRE HEBERT => Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. www.openears.ca (through May 1)
** CARIBOU (formerly Manitoba), SINGING SAW SYMPHONY => Horseshoe, $12
* GREG MACPHERSON cd Release, FEMBOTS => 360, $8
* SNFU, CHIXDIGGIT!, BELVEDERE, MAXIMUM RNR => Reverb, 8 pm, $12.50
* Small World Music presents ALESSANDRA BELLONI (Italy) => Lula Lounge, 9 pm, $15
* KISS-KISS, BANG BANG (Copenhagen) => Rex Hotel (April 27, 28)
* ALESSANDRA BELLONI => Lula Lounge, 9 pm, $15
* DEREK MILLER, GEORGE LEACH => Club 279, 8 pm, $10
* THE KEY CONCEPTS, WAX MANNEQUIN, PINKO CRONKITE, THE HALF GRAM CHALLENGE => Poor Alex, $5
TRASH CAN SINATRAS => Lee's Palace, $15
Montreal-Toronto "indie band exchange" w/ ? => Drake
CEPHALIC CARNAGE, DEAD TO FALL => El Mocambo, $10
GENE DINOVI W/DAVE YOUNG => Montreal Bistro (April 28-30)
KIKI MISUMI => Top o’ the Senator (Apr 28-May 1)
TERROR, COMEBACK KID => Reverb, $12.50
MISSISSIPPI HIPPIES cd release => Hugh’s Room, $17
FERN LINDZON JAZZ QUARTET => Montreal Bistro, 9 pm
TERROR, COMEBACK KID => Reverb, all ages, $12.50
VANDERPARK, THE VOID => Clinton’s
Esprit Orchestra fundraiser w/ HOGTOWN RHYTHM & BLUES REVUE, DANNY MARKS => Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. West, $25-$100

FRI., APRIL 29
** PATTY GRIFFIN => Mod Club, 6:30 pm, $25
** JOEL PLASKETT, PETER ELKAS => Hugh's Room
** OPEN EARS festival w/ NEGATIVLAND (also at the Drake on May 1), DIAMANDA GALAS, ZEENA PARKINS/IKUE MORI, HILDEGARD WESTERKAMP/ANNE BOURNE, BOB OSTERTAG/PIERRE HEBERT => Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. www.openears.ca (through May 1)
** DEEP DARK UNITED   => Tranzac, 10 pm
* CHRIS CAWTHRAY (percussion), METHUSELAH (Chris Banks, Dafydd Hughes, Don Scott), VICTOR BATEMAN'S PORKBONE (Bateman - bass, Eric Chenaux - Guitar, Jean Martin - Drums) => Arraymusic Studio, 610 Atlantic Ave., 9 pm, $10
* CLUB V w/ DJ Will Munro => Lee's Palace, $7
KIKI MISUMI => Top o’ the Senator (Apr 28-May 1)
THE PORCELAIN GODS, THE GHOST IS DANCING, GHOST STORIES, BARF PIGEONS => Cinecycle, $7
MANDO DIAO, THE COMAS, THE AMBER ROOM => Horseshoe, $10
Marvin Gaye/Luther Vandross Tribute w/ TBA => 360, $12
BLUE ROOM cd release => Silver Dollar, 9 pm, $7
DAVID GOGO => Healey’s
MIKE LAWLESS => Rivoli
Salsa Friday w/ CACHE => Lula Lounge, doors 7 pm, dance class 9 pm, show 10 pm, $10 ($45 w/dinner & dance class)
GENE DINOVI W/DAVE YOUNG => Montreal Bistro (April 28-30)
GODDO 30th anniversary show => Club 279, 9 pm, $10
MATT YORK, PETER KATZ, JARET KOOP, TOMI SWICK cd release => El Mocambo, $15

SAT., APRIL 30
** JOEL PLASKETT, PETER ELKAS => Hugh's Room
** ARRAYMUSIC presents GIROGIO MAGANENSI CONDUCTS (conducting-meets-improvisation new music with ensemble, toys, electronics) => Glenn Gould Studio, talk 7:15 pm, concert 8 pm, $7-$20
** QUINSIN NACHOFF (Toronto, sax) w/ ERNST REIJSEGER (Holland, cello), JOHN TAYLOR (UK, piano), NATHALIE BONIN & PARMELA ATTARIWALA (Toronto, violins) => Royal Conservatory of Music (90 Croatia), $15
** OPEN EARS festival w/ NEGATIVLAND (also at the Drake on May 1), DIAMANDA GALAS, ZEENA PARKINS/IKUE MORI, HILDEGARD WESTERKAMP/ANNE BOURNE, BOB OSTERTAG/PIERRE HEBERT => Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. www.openears.ca (through May 1)
* Masquerade Ball w/ LULLABYE ARKESTRA, THE BAYONETTES, DEAR JANE, PROELIIS FERE => Sneaky Dee's, $5
* "Rave of Doom!" breakcore/noise w/NWODTLEM, CRUSHKILL, DIR:Z, SKEETER & $NOOTY => Ear Raid HQ (address announced 24 hours before on heresmycardrecords.com), no cover, 9:30 pm, byob
* "Rec Room" w/ DJ's JARED C., mROBOTO, MIKEY APPLES => Clinton's, $6
JIMMY CHAMBERLIN COMPLEX => Lee's Palace, $15
CARLOS DEL JUNCO => Silver Dollar, $12
KIKI MISUMI => Top o’ the Senator (Apr 28-May 1)
Salsa Saturday w/ EVARISTO MACHADO => Lula Lounge, doors 7 pm, dance class 9 pm, show 10 pm, $10 ($45 w/dinner & dance class)
THE OPPRESSED, THE PROWLERS, THE CLASS ASSASSINS, THE FALLOUT => 360, $15
INTRADA BRASS fundraiser for St. Stephen's Community House => Grace Church On-the-Hill (300 lonsdale), $25
JOHN ACQUAVIVA => Film Lounge
HUGH DILLON REDEMPTION CHOIR => Mod Club
GENE DINOVI W/DAVE YOUNG => Montreal Bistro (April 28-30)
SAM NOTO QUINTET w/ KIRK MACDONALD => Rex Hotel
THE UGLY BUG BAND   => Tranzac, 10 pm
HUGH DILLON REDEMPTION CHOIR => Mod Club, 8 pm
RYAN LUCHUCK BAND, DRIFTER, DELTA, ANNEX RIVALS => Cameron House
"RE.GENERATE" w/, DJs THE DUKES, PAT DAVIS & THE GENTLE PEOPLE => Salem's Lift, 136 Geary Ave. (entrance off Salem), 10 pm, $15

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, April 03 at 2:53 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

Having An Above-Average Weekend

mar31st.jpg
An enticing poster, tho all I know of the bands is silvery rumour.

... means not getting to all the worthy shows there were, and not having time to post. There's much to blog about - notably the final 50 Tracks list, among others - but for the moment I just wanted to alert Toronto readers to live action for this week. Rest of world, talk among yourselves. The following list represents the creme of the remnants of March, not full listings - am I missing anything? (Observe the insanity of Thursday night!) April listings to come mid-week.

Meanwhile, here is the prescription for what you should be doing April Fool's: First, go see the enfant terrible/court jester of contemporary cinema, Harmony Korine (Gummo, etc.), delivering the Kodak Lecture at Ryerson at 7:30 pm. (If you can't make it corporeally, the lecture will be webcast live from the website and archived for later viewing. (Click "ryecast.") And then after that, hustle your pretty little ass on down to the Arraymusic studio to catch Toronto improv supergroup Drumheller as well as Chicago anarcho-cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and friends guesting with various Toronto improvisers in the Leftover Daylight series. Prank your ears, prank your head.

TONIGHT (MON. MAR 28)
* Radio Mondays w/ JASON COLLETT, KEVIN DREW, HOWIE BECK, ANDREW CASH, BILL PRIDDLE, HOLLY THROSBY, MARTY KINACK, "special guest"! (Psst, I hear it's HAYDEN) => Supermarket, 9 pm, $8
* Forced Under Cover 3 w/ ANDY MAGOFFIN, THE PHONEMES, DETECTIVE KALITA, JAYDAWG playing Leonard Cohen and other Canadian hits => Sneaky Dee's, 9:30 pm
* GRINDER w/Darren Maccarty of the Detroit Red Wings => Drake, 6 pm, $10

TUES. MAR 29 [...]

* JOHN LEGEND, MATISSE & THE PLAYGROUND => Docks, doors 8 pm/show 9 pm, $30.75
* MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Senator (Mar 29-Apr 2)
* GREG KEELOR (Blue Rodeo) => Lee's Palace, $20

WED. MAR 30
** KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE => Hugh's Room, $40 (also Mar 31)
** The Ambient Ping w/ CANADIAN ELECTRONIC ENSEMBLE => Hacienda (ex-Tequila Lounge, 794 Bathurst), 9 pm
** McENROE, BIRDAPRES, DJ HUNNICUTT, DJ SERIOUS, DJ FATHOM => Gypsy Co-op
** The Most Horrible Night in Your Life, vol.4, BLITZ CHESS w/ Ethan Moseley - Announced Mate, Jasmine Landau - Queen Force, Mike Hansen - Tower Tactics, Dan Epstein - Zugzwang, Eric Muth - Unorthodox Opening, Gastric Female Reflex / 2 - Gambit, Tomek Krakowiak - Fianchetto => New Works Studio, 319 Spadina Ave. (upstairs), 8:30 pm, pwyc
** LINA ALLEMANO & FRIENDS (w/ Brodie West, Andrew Downing, Nick Fraser) => Rex Hotel, 9:30 pm, $6
* DEAD MEADOW, JENNIFER GENTLE => Horseshoe, $12 (adv)
* QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL => Kool Haus, $31.25 (sold out?)
* MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Senator (Mar 29-Apr 2)
* I CAN PUT MY ARM BACK ON YOU CAN'T, TRADITION, DD/MM/YY => Poor Alex, $5
* VICTIMS OR PIRATES? A Discussion on ARTISTS and COPYRIGHT w/ RICHARD FUNG (moderator), CHARLIE ANGUS (NDP/Grievous Angels), KARL BEVERIDGE (visual artist), JOHN GREYSON (filmmaker-video artist), LAURA MURRAY (Queen's U) => Ontario College of Art and Design, Room 190 (Auditorium), 100 McCaul, 7 pm, free

THURS. MAR 31
** KING SUNNY ADE => Guvernment, $26.50 (adv)
** CROOKED FINGERS => Horseshoe, $10
** KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE => Hugh's Room, $40 (also Mar 30)
** PICASTRO cd release w/ EVERYBODY GET SICK, DJ PAMM => Rivoli, $5
** NQ ARBUCKLE cd release w/ "mini-sets" by FORD PIER, JUSTIN RUTLEDGE, VALERY GORE, ELLIOTT BROOD => The 360
** THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS => Lee's Palace, $28.50 (adv.) (also April 1)
** Global Divas Benefit Gala w/ JANE BUNNETT & THE SPIRITS OF HAVANA, JORANE, DIONE TAYLOR, LAURA OCAMPO, NDIDI ONUKWULU, NIDIA MOYA => Kool Haus, $30 ($125 for gala trimmings)
* MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Senator (Mar 29-Apr 2)
* Out of the Cold/Homelessness Action Group benefit w/ NATHANIEL DETT CHORALE, MARY LOU FALLIS, RH THOMSON, MARGO & MICHAEL TIMMINS (Cowboy Junkies) => Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor West, $25
* MARYEM TOLLAR/JAYNE BROWN and ensemble, Arabic & Greek Music old & new => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $15
* KEN ALDCROFT => Tranzac, 10 pm
* HEINZ HOLLIGER & THE U of T CONTEMPRORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE, world premiere => Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park, noon, free
* DIABLEROS, FOXES, DEPT. OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS => Sneaky Dee's

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, March 28 at 4:44 PM | Linking Posts

 

Hot-Clutton Issue

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Rob Clutton. Photo by Joe Sorbara

Tonight at 10 pm at the Tranzac Club, bassist-composer Rob Clutton launches his first solo-bass CD, coming out on the Rat-drifting label with the typically self-effacing title Dubious Pleasures. I'm quoted in the press materials calling Rob one of Toronto's most gifted pure musicians, and it's a very pleasant surprise to find this modest player stepping out of the group context (he plays in a good dozen ensembles, including his own Rob Clutton Band) to put himself in the spotlight. The disc shows off Clutton's comfortably wide range, whether he's plucking or playing arco or using extended techniques such as the long hisses and frictions that make How Big Are the Dots sound like a journey in a slow-leaking balloon, or the wavering, grumbling drones that rise to scraping screeches in Mr. Taciturn. But there are also nearly devotional-sounding melodies, as on the concise Air. It's easy for something like a solo bass CD to become monotonous, to feel like a recital without personality, and it's a credit to Rob's developing compositional chops that Dubious Pleasures never recedes into background music but keeps up its intensity and physicality. He's a difficult musician to place in a school - this is not a "free jazz" album or a new-music composition disc or a micro-sonics improv album, though it contains elements of each. The eclecticism is welcome, although I sometimes wish I had more of a compass for where this music wants to go, perhaps more of a sense of an argument or challenge posited. This is an issue I have with a lot of Canadian creative improv these days. I'm not sure if it's a reasonable one. On my side is the dialectical tradition of jazz and improv, which have thrived on their forward-questing energies, but perhaps it is too much of an extramusical, or nonmusical, concern - and maybe the quiet refusal to be burdened with it in the current scene is a healthy abstention, forcing the focus back on to the music's unfolding from moment to moment. This sense of duration, almost of a suppressed narrative, is common to a lot of the Rat-drifting releases (featuring players such as Eric Chenaux, Martin Arnold, Doug Tielli, Ryan Driver, etc.), and perhaps it's where Rob's less abstract, more robust style meets theirs.

After his solo set tonight he will join Tim Posgate's Jazzstory for a set with Posgate on guitar, Lina Allemano on trumpet and Jean Martin on drums. The Tranzac is at 292 Brunswick Ave., Toronto, just south of Bloor.

On Record | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, March 22 at 3:50 PM | Linking Posts

 

When March Comes Marching In

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Damon & Naomi, in Toronto in March for Canadian Music Week.

Update: The for-real March gig guide is on the flip. Canadian Music Week highlights are included, but I am not typing out that whole freakin' schedule. I'm not nuts. Otherwise, looking a little snoozy, but that will probably change: Already beyond CMW there's the Keren Ann/Girl Called Eddie show on Sunday, the big grime show Mar. 12, the Jens Lekman love-in at Wavelength on Mar. 13, De La Soul on St. Patrick's Day, a little boom the last two days of the month - McGarrigles, Psychedelic Furs, Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Crooked Fingers - and no doubt more to come. Also, we learn via Wavelength listings that the all-star improv ensemble Bourbon Leaves is now Drumheller - much better! [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change; check with venues. Sources include the 20hz.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note and ye olde email.

MON. MAR 28
* Radio Mondays w/ JASON COLLETT, KEVIN DREW, HOWIE BECK, ANDREW CASH, BILL PRIDDLE, HOLLY THROSBY, MARTY KINACK, "special guest"! => Supermarket, 9 pm, $8
* Forced Under Cover 3 w/ ANDY MAGOFFIN, THE PHONEMES, DETECTIVE KALITA, JAYDAWG playing Leonard Cohen and other Canadian hits => Sneaky Dee's, 9:30 pm
GRINDER (w/Darren Maccarty, Detroit Red Wings) => Drake, 6 pm, $10

TUES. MAR 29
* JOHN LEGEND, MATISSE & THE PLAYGROUND => Docks, doors 8 pm/show 9 pm, $30.75
* MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Senator (Mar 29-Apr 2)
* GREG KEELOR (Blue Rodeo) => Lee's Palace, $20
Acoustic Soul Tuesdays w/ SYREETA NEAL => Trane Studio, 9:30 pm, $5 (every Tuesday)
Bluebird North w/ TARIQ, MOE BERG, LIAM TITCOMB, ALISTER BRADLEY, EDDIE G., BOB SNIDER, ARLENE BISHOP => Rivoli, 8 pm, $12
DON THOMPSON QUARTET => Montreal Bistro (Mar 29-30)
CLAIRE JENKINS => Tranzac, 8 pm
EAGLES => Air Canada Centre
PLUG N' PLAY Open Jam => Sneaky Dee's
New Music Concerts AN EVENING WITH HEINZ HOLLINGER, w/ ROBERT AITKEN, PATRICIA GREEN, DAVID HETHERINGTON, DAVID SWAN, NMC Ensemble => Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front St. E., intro 7:15, show 8 pm, $25-$5

WED. MAR 30
** KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE => Hugh's Room, $40 (also Mar 31)
** The Ambient Ping w/ CANADIAN ELECTRONIC ENSEMBLE => Hacienda (ex-Tequila Lounge, 794 Bathurst), 9 pm
** McENROE, BIRDAPRES, DJ HUNNICUTT, DJ SERIOUS, DJ FATHOM => Gypsy Co-op
* DEAD MEADOW, JENNIFER GENTLE => Horseshoe, $12 (adv)
* QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL => Kool Haus, $31.25
* MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Senator (Mar 29-Apr 2)
I CAN PUT MY ARM BACK ON YOU CAN'T, TRADITION, DD/MM/YY => Poor Alex, $5
KINGSLEY ETTIENNE TRIO => Trane Studio, 9 pm, $5 (every Wed.)
NOVEMBER ALL-STARS => Rivoli
DON THOMPSON QUARTET => Montreal Bistro (Mar 29-30)
TORONTO SYMPHONY "Fireworks & Flourish" works by Oliver Knussen, Hans Werner Henze, Gary Kulesha => Roy Thomson Hall, 8 pm, $10-$105 (also Mar 31)
LITTLE JIMMY'S CHICKEN PICKERS => Tranzac

THURS. MAR 31
** KING SUNNY ADE => Guvernment, $26.50 (adv)
** CROOKED FINGERS => Horseshoe, $10
** KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE => Hugh's Room, $40 (also Mar 30)
** NQ ARBUCKLE cd release w/ "mini-sets" by FORD PIER, JUSTIN RUTLEDGE, VALERY GORE, ELLIOTT BROOD => The 360
** THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS => Lee's Palace, $28.50 (adv.) (also April 1)
** Global Divas Benefit Gala w/ JANE BUNNETT & THE SPIRITS OF HAVANA, JORANE, DIONE TAYLOR, LAURA OCAMPO, NDIDI ONUKWULU, NIDIA MOYA => Kool Haus, $30 ($125 for gala trimmings)
** PICASTRO cd release w/ EVERYBODY GET SICK, DJ PAMM => Rivoli, $5
* MIKE MURLEY SEPTET => Senator (Mar 29-Apr 2)
* Out of the Cold/Homelessness Action Group benefit w/ NATHANIEL DETT CHORALE, MARY LOU FALLIS, RH THOMSON, MARGO & MICHAEL TIMMINS (Cowboy Junkies) => Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor West, $25
* MARYEM TOLLAR/JAYNE BROWN and ensemble, Arabic & Greek Music old & new => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $15
KEN ALDCROFT => Tranzac, 10 pm
LOW FREQUENCY PILOT and more t.b.a. => Vatikan, 10 pm, $5
DOUG RICHARDSON QUARTET => Trane Studio, 9 pm, $7 (every Thurs.)
THE DIABLEROS, DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, FOXES => Sneaky Dee's, $5
WINDVOYAGER, 9 AM SOCIAL => Poor Alex, $5
SOUL DECISION, BILLY KLIPPERT => Revival, 8 pm, $20 (adv)
TORONTO SYMPHONY "Fireworks & Flourish" works by Oliver Knussen, Hans Werner Henze, Gary Kulesha => Roy Thomson Hall, 8 pm, $10-$105 (also Mar 31)
UTOPIA COMPLEX w/ CHRISTINA MITER (artist) => Oasis, 780 Queen E., 9 pm
GEOFFREY KEEZER => Montreal Bistro (Mar 31 to Apr 2)
KALAN PORTER => Massey Hall, $32.50

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, March 01 at 4:49 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

A Ray of Sungrime

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D Double E and crew.

Massive news from Luca that Toronto is going to see its "first grime show." (Luca's not counting Dizzee Rascal, who's been here before and is back at the Opera House on April 28.) But he's right in that this here is a real scene-of-the-grime show, not a star turn, celebrating the release of the Run the Road, which I think is the first major-label grime compilation, in North America: At B-Side on March 12 with D Double E, Jammer, Ears (with his charmer Happy Days) and Toronto's Steady Merkin' Sound (wuzzat, you, Luca?). (More on the compilation stars here.) All for just $12. Update: Also word is (via Paul Autonomic on Dissensus) that a Canadian grime/dubstep web news hub is imminent. Update update: Make that "is here" (thanks, Mark).

Meanwhile, I'd love to speculate about Simon's question about what "level 4" of "realist" discourse is, but like M.I.A. and Missy's music, my day right now could be none more cuckoo-bananas. I'll tell you what level 4 isn't, though: It's not, after realizing that "realist discourse" has a cultural freight that shouldn't be discarded as insignificant, to decide it's okay to go ahead and start dismissing artists and art as phony all over again, but explain it away as a symbolic gesture of solidarity with those who "fantasize realness" (legitimized by their deprivation, which trumps all other grounds of credibility), thus getting to have your snark and disavow it too.

The outcome is to blame the artist for the discourse around her: She shouldn't talk about her background because it causes bad writers to exoticize and fetishize her. (Calling her "the M.I.A. industry" for giving interviews = "Maya, shut up.") And why assume she's receiving all the feedback uncritically, exploiting it unreflexively? When she dropped that bit of Knitting Factory stage banter about "us refugees," Simon, maybe her tongue was a tad in cheek?

More to say about Zizek's class categories (which are helpful but omit the migrant waves that I brought up in the beginning) and Dave M.'s ideas about community and dialogic music, but no time to say it in, so the saga continues. (Anybody else who's blogging about this, aside from Eppy, whose snorts of disbelief do help clear the air, drop a line - I'd like to know.)

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, February 23 at 2:57 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (6)

 

Pussy Bottom, Population 1

It's amazing how quick we are to impute bad faith - me to Antony, Alex Ross to me. So, no, I'm not saying Antony should be "outrageous" and "scandalous" according to some queer-punk-dance-club script. I'm saying that if what he's doing is supposed to be so mysterious, why is it so treacly, so full of dream imagery out of a Freud For Beginners book and intercessionals of group-hug therapeutics? However, it occurred to me last night that because Antony's stuff has this performance-art, visual-art, hell, just plain ART frame around it, I may have been led to apply exceedingly lofty standards to it - expecting it to have a political consciousness, a poetic acuity, a conceptual strategy. When it fails on those counts I start projecting a kind of stupidity on to it. But what if those aren't its ambitions? Project for this weekend is to re-listen to his new album deliberately as pop music and see if it sounds different to me.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, February 18 at 12:40 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

People Ask...

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... "Are you going to the Antony show in Toronto tonight?"

And I answer: No, because Antony's deal strikes me as a lame, mush-minded and most unnecessarily self-ghettoizing camp revival, and his songs as painfully incomplete echoes of great music (with occasional accidental-seeming moments of awkward originality). Yes, he seems like a sweet fellow and he has a heavenly voice. Call me when he is doing an all-Nina-Simone-covers cabaret and I'll meet you there with bells on.

Am I wrong?

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:53 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (10)

 

Trendsettas Make Things Betta


M.I.A.: Still coming into focus. [From Them Finest.]

Pics and a short vid and gabbery from last night's M.I.A. gig can be found at Them Finest. Zoilus's general take is that she will be great at this, but she doesn't really have her stage legs yet, and the no-way-a-dance-club that is the Under-Drake wasn't the best place to try to find them, tho the guest-lists-gone-wild crowd gave it the old college-radio-DJ try. But it's also prob'ly the coziest place ever to see her, as she'll be too big. Or else she'll be done, it's one or the other. Also it needed to be more loud. The volume was too Toronto wussyfoot hush-hush on the bass end. But even in dress-rehearsal raggedness, it was one to remember, including the sweet mental picture of her down dancing in the crowd after she was done, to Diplo's bangin mix. Torontoist has a more name-dropping account. (Along with the sad story of a T-dot graffiti artist struck down by a train - RIP Bardia Bryan "Alpha" Zargham - a story Zoilus was shocked and proud to find came from The Globe, without a hint of moralizing condescension [except for the inappropriate sarcasm in the headline, which you know is not the writer's fault, right? Right.] Kudos to Tony Reinhart.)

For more in the MIA saga, watch for this weekend's Overtones. Meanwhile Sasha gets the final word on last year's diva: "Nellie McKay would like you to know she also won three spelling bees in a row and can do The Mikado in French." S-, as they say, -n-a-p!

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, February 03 at 9:15 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

Feral Feb.: Live in Toronto

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With a name like Ambrosia Parsley, she's gotta be good: Shivaree, at Lula Lounge Feb. 15, 17.

If you lived here, you'd be home now... choosing your outfits. Zoilus' monthly Toronto show guide for February is on the flip. It evolves as the month does. Let me know what got left out - it probably wasn't on purpose. [...]

Corrections & additions welcome. Zoilus-approved shows are marked with a *star. Special picks are **double-starred. If it's not starred, it may mean I don't find it especially thrilling, or just that I don't know or am not sure enough to recommend it. Listings will be updated weekly. All info subject to change; check with venues. Sources include the 20hz.ca Toronto board, Eye, Now, Greg Clow, Canoe.ca, Soundlist, The Whole Note and ye olde email.

WED FEB 23
** BUDDY MILLER, JUSTIN RUTLEDGE => Horseshoe, $15
** THE NATHANIEL DETT CHORALE w/ KWASI DUNYO, KEKELI DRUM & DANCE ENSEMBLES “Voices of the Diaspora: Songs of Ghana” => George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge, 8 pm, $26.50-$38.50
* CRAZY STRINGS bluegrass => Silver Dollar
* MÖTLEY CRÜE => Air Canada Centre, $59.50-$84.50
KOLLAGE (w/ Archie Alleyne, Doug Richardson, Ron Johnston, Robert Botos, Alex Baro, Mei Kelly) => Top o' the Senator, $12 (Feb 22-27)
SUFFOCATION, BEHEMOTH, MISERY INDEX, DEVILINSIDE => Opera House, $26.50
CHERYL WHEELER, KENNY WHITE => Hugh's Room
FORD PIER, SCRIBBLED OUT MAN => El Mocambo
The Box w/ GENTLEMAN REG, PICASTRO, EMILY POHL-WEARY, MARIKO TAMAKI, THE PRIZE BUDGET FOR BOYS, JUBAL BROWN => Rivoli, pwyc ($5 sugg)
SIDEWAYS HAND => Music Gallery, Free Lunch series, 12:30-1:30 pm
NICK ALI TRIO => Honey Supper Lounge, 115 John St. (@ Adelaide)
STEVE KOVEN TRIO (w/Rob Clutton & Anthony Michelli) => Montreal Bistro (Feb 22-26)
MAPLE LOUNGE w/ TIM VESELY (The Rheostatics) => Rivoli upstairs, free(weekly to Feb 23)
EXITMAN, TRICYCLE => Rex
KINGSLEY ETIENNE TRIO => Trane Studio
CIVIL RIOT, BACK AGAINST THE WALL, OSIS, RACKET => Sneaky Dee's
LAUNDROMAT w/ KAT BURNS, BASIA, DJ DUCK HUNT, bake sale! => Cadillac Lounge, pwyc
JIMMY DOWLING (8 pm), MARK RUTHERFORD TRIO (10 pm) => Tranzac
THE SWALLOWS, EUDORA, DOUBLESAD => Cameron House
WHEELS ON THE BUS, BLUE LIGHT ON, J'S BASEMENT => 360, free
KEVIN BARRETO, LUIS GUERRA, MARK CUSHIN, ETHAN ARDELLY, JAY DANLEY, ZULEMA CLAS => Cervejaria

THURS FEB 24
* DAVID KRISTIAN, QUEBEC CONNECTION, LE MONOCHROME => NASA Dance Pub, 609 Queen St. W., $5
* ANNE SULIKOWSKI w/ JEFF SINIBALDI (Art Gallery of York U experimental-music series) => Mercer Union, 37 Lisgar
* LINA ALLEMANO (trumpet) & FRIENDS (Brodie West, alto, Andrew Downing, bass, Nick Fraser, drums) => Tranzac, 10 pm, pwyc
* TOM WAITS TRIBUTE => Horseshoe
* SERIPOP (Montreal poster-art stars) art show opening => Artlab, 457 Richmond St. West, 1st fl., 7-11 pm (show continues to March 3)
* TAFELMUSIK => Trinity St Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor W, $15-$62 (Feb 24-27)
KOLLAGE (w/ Archie Alleyne, Doug Richardson, Ron Johnston, Robert Botos, Alex Baro, Mei Kelly) => Top o' the Senator, $12 (Feb 22-27)
STEVE KOVEN TRIO (w/Rob Clutton & Anthony Michelli) => Montreal Bistro (Feb 22-26)
OHBIJOU, ALIGHT, PEOPLE FOR AUDIO => Cameron House, $5
DANZIG, KATAKLYSM, TRIVIUM, EYES OF FIRE => Guvernment, $30
THE WAILIN' JENNYS => Hugh's Room, 8:30 pm, $17
FAST FOLK UNDERGROUND w/ EUGENE RIPPER, DELTA, CHRIS CHURCH, FRIDAY MORNING REGRET => Drake Underground, $10
KEVIN QUAIN, ANGELA SCAPPATURA SEXTET => Rex
WADE O. BROWN => The Richmond, 342 Richmond West
REMAINNAMELESS, GRADUATION DAY, THE ATTIC => Poor Alex Cabaret, $5
AMBER ROOM, CITIES NAMED US, THE SPRAWL, SONIC ARIA => Sneaky Dee's
CONSTANTS => 360, $7
DOUG RICHARDSON QUARTET => Trane Studio (every Thurs)
JOHN BUTLER TRIO => Lee's Palace, $14.50
ONLYFORWARD (cd release), CRACKPUPPY, PLOG => Lee's Palace, $3
Aids Fundraiser w/ SOUL-R, UNBLIND, BLAK CHILD, HILLTOP PRODUCTIONS feat. TESTAMENT, THE SPLIT => B-Sweet Lounge, 1279 Queen West, $5-$10
CATHERINE MAJOR => Revival, $15-$20, w/ dinner $30-$35
CHRIS MOORE => Planet Kensington, 197 Baldwin, $5
ROBERT OWENS (uk), DJ FRANCO FABI (Mtl) => Metro, 296 Richmond, $10 before midnight ("more" thereafter), Owens at 1 a.m.
GOLDFINGER, THE START, BOTTOM LINE, SUMMER HERO => Kool Haus, $18.50, 7 pm
THE DISRAELIS, THE MOVING TARGETS, MAD RIVER, MORAL SEWAGE => Silver Dollar

FRI FEB 25
** DEEP DARK UNITED => Tranzac, 10 pm
** Canada Africa Partnership for AIDS annual fundraiser w/ MARTHA & THE MUFFINS, TOKYO GIANTS => Bamboo Cabana, 245 Queens Quay, $25 ($15 students)
** MAGNETA LANE, FEMME GENERATION => Drake Underground, 9 pm, $10
** EARSHOT! fundraiser w/ SELINA MARTIN, WAYNE OMAHA, MARTIN TIELLI, FORD PIER, UGLY BUG BAND, KARL MOHR, COMPOSERS WORKSHOP => Polish Second Corps Veterans Hall, 2032 Dundas W., $10
* PERU NEGRO => Roy Thompson Hall
* ALTERED BEATS w/ END (NYC), ADJUST (Detroit), SASKROTCH (Chicago), BLAERG (Detroit) & THE MOURNINGSIDE EXCURSION (Detroit) => Tequila Lounge, 9 pm, $10
* Suck My Disc! final show w/ DAVE SCOONDERBEEK (of Another Blue Door), DIABLEROS, ACTION MAKES, ANAGRAM, THE MARK INSIDE => Sneaky Dee's, 9 pm, $5
* PIN:KSOX" w/ THEBLAMESHIFTER, C64, SKEETER, FUROR, PARUL, THE THUG OF LOVE, TALIXZEN => Club 56, 56 Kensington, $5
* TAFELMUSIK => Trinity St Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor W, $15-$62 (Feb 24-27)
FROM NUBIA TO FUNK w/ NEIL BRAITHWAITE, sax => Trane Studio
ANAGRAM, ACTION MAKES, DIABLEROS, THE MARK INSIDE => Sneaky Dee's, $5
CLUB V w/ GLASS CANDY => Lee's, 10 pm
KOLLAGE (w/ Archie Alleyne, Doug Richardson, Ron Johnston, Robert Botos, Alex Baro, Mei Kelly) => Top o' the Senator, $15 (Feb 22-27)
THE PYLONS, PROXY SET => Horseshoe
GALAXY ALL-STAR ORCHESTRA => Old Mill Inn
Home Sweet Home 3 Tsunami Benefit w/ JAMES BRYAN, NELLY FURTADO, HAYDAIN (JACKSOUL) => Revival, $20
STEVE KOVEN TRIO (w/Rob Clutton & Anthony Michelli) => Montreal Bistro (Feb 22-26)
LAILA BIALI TRIO, ADREAN FARRUGIA QUARTET => Rex
THE MAHONES, TELEJET => El Mocambo
DAVID WILCOX => Club 279, 279 Yonge, $25
milk presents LIL' LOUIS => Roxy Blu
DJ COLETTE, KASKADE => Boa Redux
MARIO => Guvernment, $10-$15 (tix at Broadway Fashion stores)
SLOWCOASTER, FLATTSTREET => El Mocambo Upstairs
KARL MOHR => Polish Legion Hall, 2032 Dundas W., $14
Medieval Roots & Branches w/ SINE NOMINE ENSEMBLE => Saint Thomas's Church, 383 Huron, $10-$15
A THOUSAND CURES, FRANTIC CITY, THE PROVIDERS, RED LETTER DAY => Rivoli
RETURN TO NEW YORK => Mod Club
THERESA'S SOUNDWORLD => Silver Dollar
MARC JORDAN, AMY SKY => Hugh's Room

SAT FEB 26
** HIDDEN CAMERAS 10" launch party w/JOEL GIBB solo => Art Metropole, 788 King St. West, 2-5 pm
** LES AMIGOS INVISIBLES, BARRIO LAB => Opera House, $20
** THE DINNER IS RUINED, SELENA MARTIN => Tranzac, 10 pm, $8 ($15 w/cd)
** NO DYNAMICS, FOX THE BOOMBOX, ICPM ARM BACK ON YC, WINDVOYAGEUR & NAVIGATORS OF HOLLAND, DJ MIKEY APPLES => Dufferin Hotel (2A Milky Way, first alley S. of Queen St., west side of Dufferin, East of Gwynne), $5
* TAFELMUSIK => Trinity St Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor W, $15-$62 (Feb 24-27)
TOCA VOCA w/Heidi Klann, Vilma Vitols, Gregory Oh => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $20-$5
ZEESY POWERS, MINSK MENSK (of Lenin I Shumov), CHRONIC D fundraising for production of Genet's THE MAIDS => Oasis, 9 pm, $5
PUNCH IN THE FACE, VIOLENT MINDS, REPOS, FUCKED UP, CAREER SUICIDE DIRTY BLACK SUMMER => Ania's, 8 pm, $10
KOLLAGE (w/ Archie Alleyne, Doug Richardson, Ron Johnston, Robert Botos, Alex Baro, Mei Kelly) => Top o' the Senator, $15 (Feb 22-27)
THE PARKAS, LEVIRIDE => El Mocambo
RILEY REINHOLD (aka DJ TRIPLE R) w/ ADAM MARSHALL, ERIC DOWNER & ELIOT LAZOR => No Regrets, 42 Mowat Ave. (south of King, east of Dufferin), $10
KASABIAN => Lee's Palace, $12 (sold out)
ORCHID ENSEMBLE => Royal Conservatory (90 Croatia), $10-$15
VANDERPARK, MR SOMETHING SOMETHING => Clinton's
SONS OF OTIS CD release w/ FIFTYWATTHEAD, ELECTRIC MAGMA => Sneaky Dee's
BLACK UNDERGROUND JAZZ tribute to Bob Marley => Trane Studio, $10
STEVE KOVEN TRIO (w/Rob Clutton & Anthony Michelli) => Montreal Bistro (Feb 22-26)
EAST VILLAGE OPERA COMPANY => Mod Club, $17.50
SAVOUR ("monthly night for women, trans folks, queers & music-loving friends") w/ DJs TnT, DENISE BENSON => Andy Poolhall, 489 College St., 10 pm, $5
CHERRYBOMB, SNAK, DELTA, FROG PILOT => Rivoli, $6
THE BLACK MARIA cd rel. => 360
BELVEDERE, BURN THE 8 TRACK => Kathedral
ED VOKURKA SWING TRIO, SWING SHIFT BIG BAND, JESSE CAPON GUITAR TRIO, MANUEL VALLERA & MARK McLEAN WITH ROBERTO OCCHIPINTI TRIO => Rex
MILK. VS. THE DRAKE HOTEL: ROUND 1 w/ DJs FELIX & GANI => Drake Hotel, $5-$10
SHOWROOM, THE AIRFIELDS => Cameron House, $5
THE GEARS => Bovine Sex Club,
THE LIQUIDAIRES => Cervejaria Downtown, 842 College W., $10
FATHEAD => Silver Dollar
PANIC & REBEL EMERGENCY, IAN EYE => Horseshoe
SAT FEB. 26
VANESSA JOHN & THE BACHELORS, UNCLE SETH, THE FRIENDLESS YOUNGSTERS => Healey's, $6

SUN FEB 27
** FAMILYPALOOZA benefit for Kinder Garden childcare co-op, w/ COL. TOM PARKER (Backstabbers), ALEX LUKASHEVSKY (Deep Dark United), DOTTIE CORMIER (ex-Heartbreak Hill), MAGGIE MacDONALD & JOEL GIBB (Hidden Cameras), MR RICK & THE BISCUITS, MARY HARMER & GORD TOUGH, LAYAH JANE, "emerging artists aged 2-5," crafts, snacks, more => Gladstone Hotel, doors 12:30 pm, show 1:30 pm-4:30 pm, adults $12 (sliding scale), children free!
** MICHAEL MAYER, JAKE FAIRLEY => Mod Club
** M WARD => El Mocambo, $10
* THE FUTUREHEADS, SHOUT OUT LOUDS, HIGH SPEED SCENE => Lee's Palace, $12
* TAFELMUSIK => Trinity St Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor W, $15-$62 (Feb 24-27)
* KOLLAGE (w/ Archie Alleyne, Doug Richardson, Ron Johnston, Robert Botos, Alex Baro, Mei Kelly) => Top o' the Senator, $12 (Feb 22-27)
ROCK PLAZA CENTRAL, THE BURNETTES, DJ Pony Carpet => Wavelength 252, Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
SONGS OF SOCIAL DISCORD w/REBECCA BARCLAY (vocals, fiddle, guitar, harmonicas), DAN MEANEY (vocals), JOEL SHORE (fiddle) and others => Flying Cloud Folk Club, Tranzac, 7:30, $12
THE STRAWBS, TEADA, CHUCK BRODSKY, JUAN MARTIN => Hugh's Room
U of T JAZZ WORKSHOP, FREEWAY DIXIELAND SEPTET, SWING ROSIE, AVI GRANITE 5 => Rex
DESTROY ALL DREAMERS, BELOW THE SEA, WINTARY, MNEMOSYNE => Tequila Lounge, $5 or pwyc
Toronto Blues Society HARMONICA WORKSHOP w/ MIKE STEVENS, Roly Platt, Kelly Hoppe, Robbie Antone, Little Bobby, with house band Pete Schmidt, James Rasmussen, Bob Vespaziani => Club 279, 279 Yonge St., 2 pm-6 pm, $12 ($10 TBS members)

MON FEB 28
** FORCED UNDER COVER w/ FINAL FANTASY, GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS, DAVE CLARK, SCOTT MAYNARD => Sneaky Dee's
** TRACY AND THE PLASTICS => Horseshoe Tavern, 9 pm, $10
* SUBTLE (with DOSE 1) HRVATSKI => Lee's Palace, $10
RISE AGAINST, CLOSET MONSTER => Docks, 7 pm, $17
KIM ADDISON QUINTET (w/ Norm Amadio, Alex Dean, Duncan Hopkins and Daniel Barnes) => Montreal Bistro
PETER HILL TRIO, JOHN MacLEOD's REX HOTEL ORCHESTRA => Rex
IAN BROWN (ex-Stone Poses) => Mod Club, $32
MILESTONES => Glenn Gould Studio, $5-$25
LILY FROST, SEAN MacDONALD => Cameron House, 9 pm, $6

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, January 30 at 7:42 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

Turn Your Head Left

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Photos via 20hz Random Weirdness.

A good weekend of live music for me, though not so much for you - too much showgoing makes Zoilus a weary and busy-catching-up-on-things boy, even a couple of days later. The sights and sounds taken in included the packed-like-a-garbage-scow-full-of-refugees show at Rancho Relaxo on Saturday with The Silt, Jon Rae & the River (who did a great screamalong of Kris Kristofferson's-->Johnny Cash's Sunday Morning Coming Down, one of the best songs ever) and Republic of Safety, seen above, led by singer/future-leader-of-the-free-world Maggie from the Hidden Cameras with guitarist-Torontopian Johnny Dovercourt of Wavelength with bassist Kat from the Barcelona Pavilion and second bassist Kate McGee and drummer Evan Davies. RoS may be the world's only post-punk-grrrl band about north-south trade imbalances, democratic socialism, a robust welfare state and really loud orgasms. As Maggie proclaimed in between songs, "Who's having the most sex? The people who pay the highest taxes!" If Maggie can wiggle out of her duties as Joel Gibb's wingman (I'd say she's done her service for that front of the Toronto invasion) and doesn't get distracted by running for Prime Minister, RoS could really become a cult band - Johnny's Mission-of-Burma-channelling riffs and Maggie's surreally ecstatic brand of Canadian nationalism are like nothing rest-of-world has imagined.

Other weekend peaks: Bourbon Leaves, an all-star team of Toronto new-generation improvisors, at Arrayspace on Friday - sophisticated new music with a sense of wobbly fun, big-band-through-the-looking-glass (yet in a different, far less nostalgic way than Carla Bley or, say, Willem Breuker). Bourbon Leaves is a slightly twee name, but that is "under review." The grind-noise improv set by trombonist Scott Thomson, drummer Joe Sorbara and guitar-tronic Nilan Perera was very fine, too. Lovely conversations with Scott and others about the AIMT - he recalled being told by Derek Bailey, "Organizing is a basic part of making this music, just as much as practicing, performing and recording is." If all DIY/experimental musicians could take that credo to heart every scene would be in better health.

As well, No Dynamics at Sunday's Wavelength - Vanessa is almost Maggie's equal as a punk-soul cheerscreamer, she spent the whole set down on the floor with the audience shimmying up a sweat, and she really clicks with this band, which is kind of a Contortions-esque No (Wave) Soul unit, who've been around awhile but never around me. The same evening, Matt Murphy's City Field was, in the part of the set I caught, less well-realized, awkwardly poised between power pop, loose Wilcoisms and arch Devoisms, which tended to cancel one another out. But they are brand-new, so who knows? Meanwhile start training for February's Wavelength anniversary shows, which are going to flatten you with greatness. Seriously, you are going to have one less dimension when this is over because it will have been burned away by joy.

Finally, albeit not live, In Good Company - splendido, all-too-rare non-cartoon, non-Michael-Moore-ish comedy about work and conglomeratization, but how comes that all the male roles R so perfectly cast (Intense! Quaid!) and all the female ones (Scarlett! Deadpan!) equally miscast? And why did the soundtrack mostly sound like leftover casseroles from the fridge of the Garden State, including several of the very same bands. Hollywood dudes, hear this: There are more bands. And there are other ways to find them than by asking the music supervisor from The O.C. Try asking the music supervisor from Gilmore Girls. Or ask me. Drop by with some CDRs and a couple bottles of Woodford Reserve and we'll set you up.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, January 18 at 7:33 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)

 

Can You Name All Six?

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Mrs. Zoilus and I took in the Six Organs of Admittance/Devendra Banhart show at the Music Gallery on Friday night. A packed house full of bright-eyed (and pale-faced) Torontopians bantering intensely about bands and classes and more bands, filling the pews of St. George the Martyr and the aisles and the floor – it was a buoyant place to be.

Wasn’t sure at first how I felt about Mr. Six Organs (Ben Chasney): His intense Faheyesque acoustic guitar picking was compelling, but his singing and speech frequently seemed a little swallowed and awkward - not uncommitted, no, and his melodies and words courageous and vulnerable, yes, full of musical stretches and handstands and yarns yanked inside out unravelled from the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk & so forth. But I was a'fearing the young rover lacked gut, wondered if it weren’t all a bit too academic, if the sweet fuzziness would ever push on to full heart force.

By the end of the set, when he had his acoustic leaning up the amp so it heaved and groaned like a ship caught in an icefield, and he was crouched on the ground field-hollering out a tune overtop the feedback and slamming his knee regularly on the stage to torque the vibrations of the strings and provide nerve-end percussion – that question was settled like a gangfight.

My affection for Six Organs was only increased when the much-ballyhooed Mr. Banhart came out in full pre-Islam Cat Stevens regalia and shortly brought on his band of bearded brothers. I had come because Banhart's case was nagging at me. I praised his albums when I first discovered him, but over the following year they began to seem less satisfying; by the time I mentioned him in the psych-folk column I was steering clear of endorsement. Sometimes you just need to witness the music in person to resolve mixed feelings: You need to check out the aura, whether it has dimension and colour or you see right through the halo like a smoke ring. Very theoretically dodgy I know. But: I walked away from – actually, walked out on – this show knowing what I thought.

Banhart has charisma to burn and he'd fiddle obliviously on as it did. He's got this fantastic from-the-beyond Tiny Tim-fairyland vocal style and he plays guitar with true musical facility and he’s got the tunes and he’s got the genie of inspiration. He’s been a positive influence on the scene, his personal magnetism pulling the shiny gold stars over to this outside-the-margins folk shit. (The Golden Apples of the Sun collection he curated for Arthur magazine is folktabulous.) But he doesn’t make me feel, want, think, gasp. Mild amusement in three or four songs has become acute annoyment. It’s tossed off, there’s one line in a hundred that doesn’t just slip through your fingers like greasy cookie dough – and frankly he creeps me out.

Mrs. Zoilus asked if this was some kind of cult, and while I teased her about it at the time I can see where the question was coming from: Banhart seems like he's leading some EST scam-seminar, radiating his own sexy self-assurance and bloviating on about how you can get it too if you just sign up, maybe sleep over, maybe lend him a couple grand, etc. etc. In fact he grew up partly on some kind of ashram, some sort of orange-tissue-paper-robe compound, so maybe it's not all the kid's fault. But I'd rather break bread with the repo man.

I think Banhart still has the potential to grow up and out of it – he’s got the gift, no question -- but right now there’s just goopy ego syrup at the caramel core of his whole thing. Maybe if I were a groovier, more blown-windows-of-the-mind kind of person, it wouldn’t grate, but I ain’t and it does. By midshow it had turned into a Deadhead-dance-party thing and that was our cue to make an exit. (Stuart Berman of Eye said to me as I slipped by him, “What? You’re going to miss the Ben Harper Love Jam?” which I thought was hilarious.) I’m sure lots of the bright-eyed young things were digging it. Hell they were shouting with spotaneous joy, so pure of heart were they. But y’know, check the parking meters.

(Need a witness? Get the total opposite skinny from For the Records. Who somehow already knew we were there!? And he's got photos.)

Somebody somewhere on the interwebs remarked that Joanna Newsom was “everything I was led to believe Devendra Banhart was” and that’s bang-a-gong bang on: From now on it’s Newsomania and Ban the Banhart around here. (Suggested appellations: "Defakera Banhart!" "Devendra Badheart!" "Defenestratemenow,please Banhart!" "Big Fucking Dealvendra Banhart!" and "Deadvendra Borehead!" Plus did you know his middle name is Obi? After Mr. Wan Kenobi? And that he got his first name from his mom's guru? All true. But ok, I'm getting carried away.) I’ll be picking up some Six Organs of Admittance supersoon as well.

Oh and to show we don’t just hate all hippies by reflex, just most of them on principle: We still vote Animal Collective.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, November 14 at 11:40 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

"Nothing Is Small. Nothing Is Unexpected"

Went out to see Sam Phillips tonight at the Lula Lounge, the first time I've ever seen the L.A. songwriter, though I've admired her work since the early nineties with albums such as The Indescribable Wow and Cruel Inventions produced with her (now ex-)husband T-Bone Burnett.

I haven't kept up as well as I'd like, though, missing her recent semi-comeback discs Fan Dance and this year's Boot and a Shoe - an omission I'm set to correct immediately. Based on my hearing tonight, Boot and a Shoe may be one of the best of the year. Yet even in my neglect I was listening to her often, since she provides the musical punctuation for Gilmore Girls, one of my few tv addictions. My favourite of her new songs, If I Could Write, was played during one of the early episodes this season, but I'd forgotten it till tonight. It's at once a perfect pop song and a piercing meditation on marriage, its discontents and dissolutions. Listen:

I took your ring that never comes off
And put it on.
Sorry to lose you, sorry to keep you
After you were gone.
Nothing is small, nothing is unexpected,
But I want more, and when I go this time,
Don't think I'm comin' back.

Desire's the element that I can't fight,
Dream is the arm of God.
Girls looking for themselves in your eyes -
I'm looking for you.
What's it supposed to be, some kind of perfect?
I want more, and when I go this time
Don't think I'm comin' back.

The music ranges from Beatlesy rock (she covered I Want to Be Your Man as an indigo-blue tango) to gypsy jazz, and she shares Tom Waits' and Elvis Costello's Kurt Weill-tinged tastes in arrangements. Yet she's also about the only pop musician I can think of who if I had to describe their work in one word, it would be "patience."

I think this quality of neither rushing nor insisting has something to do with her history: She began her career as popular Christian singer Leslie Phillips, then left behind that scene and her given name in rejecting the arrogance and intolerance of the Christian right, with an album called The Turning. So the sense of questing and unsureness, the rigour and humility of her songwriting is something special. It's helped out by the conversational lilt she uses to such effect in her "la-la-la" GGs interludes, making her songs seem like intimate dialogues with a silent partner, often romantic but often spiritual too.

Tonight she was accompanied by The Section Quartet (which opened with stupid string arrangements of classic rock hits, and I don't mean good stupid, but recovered with their gorgeous backup, especially Eric Gorfain's parts on Stroh violin, an instrumental oddity also prominently featured on Waits' Alice), as well as Patrick Warren on synth and pump organ and, most of all, drummer Jay Belarose, a big guy who moved like a gracefully dancing bear behind a kit that included a huge parade drum in place of a bass drum and an array of other personalized percussion. He played colours more than rhythms, layering them over Phillips' songs like a Monet.

Phillips herself radiates self-possession, a cool distance worn just askew, so that a corner of vulnerability can be seen, enough to ensnare your empathy. She's really one of the most immensely likeable performers I've ever seen, measuring out her songs and her stage chat so judiciously and respectfully, confident of her songs' value but never presuming upon the audience's attention. The show was brief, about an hour, but crafted like a small, well-lit short story. There's a sly cabaret theatricality but not a hint of Broadway anywhere. She fixes the audience in her sights and takes an obvious pleasure in song by song firing her little arrows of honesty and heart break: They're torch songs, she said, "as in torture, or as in carrying a torch, which means you love someone but they don't love you but you still hold out hope. I have travelled all this way to tell you tonight: The hope will kill you."

That's typical of her wit. When she walked on stage, she stood silently for a moment and then said, "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sam Phillips," which set a tone of tongue-in-cheek formality she kept up whether she was imploring Canada to invade the U.S. if Bush were elected, or asking before the end of the set if the audience would be interested in an encore: "This is Toronto - we don't need to play those silly games with each other."

Suffice it to say I won't be taking Sam Phillips for granted again: A few la-la's on a tv show is decidedly not enough.

Edited to add: This show also had the highest Globe music staff turnout in recent memory. Senior music critic Robert Everett-Green was there with his family (his 10-year-old daughter's a big Sam fan, apparently) as was our blues specialist Brad Wheeler. Robert's review of the show came out Tuesday.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, October 18 at 1:31 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

Torocktober (Smile!)

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The Toronto concert calendar here to Halloween - sorry it comes a bit late. It is pretty thorough, but will continue to grow as info alights. Additions and corrections Superwelcome! A partial-on-the-upper list of high points:

TONIGHT (OCT 2): Deep Dark United (Soundscapes, 7 pm)
Afro-Cuban All Stars (Massey Hall)
Magnolia Electric Co. (Horseshoe)
OCT 3: Rilo Kiley (Horseshoe)
Rokia Traore (Bamboo Cabana)
OCT 4: Dragons 1976 from Chicago (319 Spadina)
OCT 6: Brian Wilson (Massey Hall)
Andrew Hill (Glenn Gould Studio)
OCT 8: Japanther, The Reputation, more (Poor Alex)
Beatnuts, more (Opera House)
OCT 9: Danko Jones, C'mon (Lee's Palace)
OCT 10: Mike Watt (Horseshoe)
The Faint, TV on the Radio (Lee's)
Kanye West, Usher (Air Canada Centre)
OCT 12: Morrissey, the Dears (Hummingbird Centre)
Solex (Lee's)
OCT 13: McLusky (Lee's)
Reveries, Jack Rose, Harris Newman (Tranzac Club)
OCT 15: Libertines (Opera House)
PJ Harvey, Moris Tepper (Phoenix)
Trio X w/ Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval, Jay Rosen; Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver (Goethe Institut)
OCT 17: Sam Phillips (Lula Lounge)
Juana Molina (Drake)
OCT 20: Napalm Death (Rockit)
OCT 21: The Stranglers (Mod Club)
Camper Van Beethoven (Lee's)
OCT 22: Mission of Burma (Lee's Palace)
OCT 23: Delgados, Crooked Fingers (Lee's Palace)
And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead (Phoenix)
The Organ, Pony da Look (Horseshoe)
OCT 24: Lhasa de Sela (Winter Garden)
Lenin I Shumov, The Doers at Wavelength (Sneaky Dees)
OCT 27: Zoilus presents Tin Tin Tin! (Drake)
OCT 31: Halloween Wavelength w/ Corpusse & more (Sneaky Dee's)

Thanks to A Splendid Butterfly for her "October shows" post on www.20hz.ca, also to Greg Gow's at Stained Productions, Now, Eye, etc. Full calendar on the flip.

FRI OCT 1
FRANZ FERDINAND, FUTUREHEADS => Docks, 8 pm, $25
AUTORICKSHAW => Sage Yoga Studio, 5 Shuter St., $20, Small World Festival
ARCADE FIRE => Lee’s, $8
LEFTOVER DAYLIGHT w/ GORDON MICHAEL ALLEN, GEORDIE HALEY TRIO, CHERYL O/ROB PIILONEN/JOE SORBARA => Arraymusic, 9 pm, $10
TEITUR, TINA DICO => Mod Club, $14.50
LADYFEST presents CAROLYN MARK, THE PRISCILLAS, RATSICULE, CLASSIC BROWN, HADASSAH HILL, COUGAR PARTY, BAYONETTES, Liisa Ladouceur, Stolen Wine Social (DJs) => Gladstone, $10
BULLFROG w/ Kid Koala => Revival $10
MANDOLINI & POULIN => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $20
Q AND NOT U, TIM HECKER, The Holy Shroud (ex-North of America), Sour Keys => Rockit, 8 pm, $12
DANNY MICHEL, LUKE DOUCET => Horseshoe. $12
DAVE HOLLAND QUINTET, (JASON MORAN CANCELLED) Progressive Jazz series => Toronto Centre for the Arts, $46.75
QUEEN TRIBUTE => Massey Hall, $49.50
ROBBIE ROX => Silver Dollar Room, 9:45 pm, $10
LUKE DOUCET, DANNY MICHEL => Horseshoe, $15
DAVID GOGO, TOM WILSON => Healey’s
KIDS THESE DAYS, THE MOHAWK LODGE, THE DOERS => 360
NANCY WHITE => Free Times, $12
IN-FLIGHT SAFETY, JULY 26 MOVEMENT, NATASHA ALEXANDRA, MAPS OF THE NIGHT SKY => Rivoli
BRANNIGAN'S LAW, TEETER, BBC, KILLING ZOE, INHOPESOFANEXIT, SHITKICKERS, MYSTIC TRUTH (etc etc) => Kathedral, $10-$15
ANDREW DEVILLERS, CAM DELAAT, ERICA WERRY, JIMMY DOWLING => Holy Joe's
SALTEENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, RUN CHICO RUN => El Mocambo
NEW SIGNALS, FRIDAY MORNING’S REGRET, PERSONAL CIRCUS @ Poor Alex, $6 ($3 with Arcade Fire ticket stub)
MK ULTRA => Drake
LEA LONGO => Holy Joe's
JERRY GARCIA TRIBUTE w/CAUTION JAM => Rancho Relaxo, free, 9:30 pm (also Oct 2)
MELISSA STYLIANOU, STEVE KOVEN => Rex
PITH, DISKARD, SQUARES, CLASS RIOT => Cheap Stunts skate park, Richmond Hill, 4 pm, $5

SAT OCT 2
DEEP DARK UNITED => Soundscapes, free, 7 pm
AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS Hurricane Relief Fundraiser => Massey Hall. $39.50-$79.50
MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO / SONGS:OHIA, SEA SNAKES, JON-RAE FLETCHER => Horseshoe. $10.50
CAROLYN MARK, SUNDAY GOSPEL BOYZ, BACKSTABBERS => Grand Old Uproar! Canadaian Corps Hall, 201 Niagara, $10
LADYFEST DANCE PARTY w/ DUCHESS SAYS, GALAXY, DJs KP Regina & Hannah Sung => Vatican, $10/ladyfest pass
HAMMERHEAD CONSORT percussion duo/piano => The Music Gallery, $25 ($5 student)
FATHEAD => Silver Dollar Room 10 pm $10
SYLVIA TYSON => Hugh’s Room, 8:30, $30
DAVID BRAID/MIKE MURLEY QUARTET => Rex, 9:30 pm, $10,
CLUB BLUE NOTE benefit for St. Christopher House w/ George Olliver, Liberty Silver, Aubrey Mann, Eddie Staxx and Wayde O’Brown, BJ Reed, George St. Kitts, Billy Newton-Davis => Reunion, 7 pm, $45 ($75 w/ dinner)
CHICKENS, STEEL PIER SINNERS, THE FRANKS => Lee’s, $7
JOHN BUTLER TRIO => El Mocambo
WC CLARK => Healey’s
THE STILLS, JASON COLLETT => Opera House, 8 pm, $15
TRIP THE PING FANTASTIC: dreamSTATE, MARA’S TORMENT, CHERYL O/QUASIMODAL => Cabbage Patch, 488-490 Parliament St., 8 pm-midnight, pwyc as part of Toronto Arts Week. (See also Oct 3)
FIFTH DIMENSION => Sheraton Centre
BRENDA LEE => Toronto Centre for the Arts
SUPAGROUP=> Silver Dollar
THE JEREMIAHS, JEFFY FOSTER => Cadillac Lounge, $10, 10 pm
GOLDEN DOGS, BETTABLOKKA, SHOWROOM => El Mocambo
SHOW ME YOUR ROCK, Hive Mag/Art Fair w/ GEORGANNE DEEN, INA UNT INA, RATSICULE, DJ WILL MUNRO => Gladstone, 10 pm
ZOMBI, DD/MM/YYYY, HERD THINNER => Disaster House, $5, 6 pm
WITCH HUNT, I SPOKE, CONCRETE TANK, DISCUNT => Ania's, $6
DEBASER, PUT THE RIFLE DOWN, DJ NINNY PILOT BOY => Poor Alex Theatre, 9 pm, $5
THE WORD presents ILL SCARLETT, MASIA ONE /ULTRA MAGNUS, MELIGROVE BAND, THE JUNCTION, JENNIE LAWS, DJ KURTIS LEWIS, HIP-HOP PANEL DISCUSSION @ Mississauga Valley Community Centre (Grand Opening), 12 pm, 12 am, $10
ROOTS & CULTURE w/ JUAN CARLOS VALENCIA, BENNY ESGUERRA, SHAWNA DIXON, => 360, $10
|8|234|<©0|23!!1 SEZ BREAKCORE w ADJUST (Detroit), SKEETER, PANDA, LAF-O, C64 => Thymeless, 10 pm, $5
CUPIDKISS w/ STONE RIVER, FLATLINED, UNDERCURRENT, 10TH PLANET, PROXY SET => Drake, 9 pm, $6
MIKE MURLEY/DAVID BRAID QUARTET => Rex

SUN OCT 3
LATIN COLOURS => Harbourfront, 1 pm , $8
RILO KILEY, NOW IT’S OVERHEAD, TILLY & THE WALL => Horseshoe. $10
ROKIA TRAORE (Mali) => Bamboo Cabana, 9 pm, $30 (Small World Fest)
TRIP THE PING FANTASTIC: PSYCHOSOMATIC CLIMAX MACHINE, SUBDUCTION CURRENT, ARC => Cabbage Patch, 488-490 Parliament St., 8 pm-midnight, pwyc (also Oct 2)
LADYFEST Acoustic w/ ABIGAIL LAPELL, OHBIJOU, SARAH GREENE AND THE PICKUPS, LAURA RICKER, KAT BURNS => Mitzi’s Sister, $5/ladyfest pass, 4:30 pm
WARMING THE CITY benefit for Native Men’s Residence, Streethelp, Outreach w/ PHAT BASTARD, SEAN WARD, DJ SKIP, KING KONG GIRIO, NEW KINGS, WOMEN AH RUN TINGS, DARRYL WEBSTER, GOLDEN DOGS => Reverb 2-9 pm, $10
KEN WHITELEY’S SUNDAY GOSPEL LUNCH w/ Jane Siberry, George Koller, Amoy & Ciceal Levy => Hugh’s Room, 1 pm, $15
JORY NASH => Hugh’s Room, evening
LADYFEST HO-DOWN w/JANE WAYNES, SUNDAY SINNERS, RAE SPOON => Wavelength 233, Sneaky Dee’s
GLADTOES w/ MICHAEL KEITH+ALAN GLICKSMAN/ THE SLIDE SHOW/ NO NO NONET, VICTOR BATEMAN => Gladstone Hotel, 2-6 pm
ZOMBI, RAPEWHISTLE, IT LIVES WITHIN => Kathedral, $5
JORY NASH => Hugh's Room, $14
CUBAN HURRICANE RELIEF BENEFIT w/ BELLITA Y SU GROPO DE JAZZ TUMBATA => Lula Lounge, 6-10 pm, suggested donation $20
PROSPERO, DJ HAZ:MAT, RAZORGRRL => Savage Garden, 9 pm, $3

MON OCT 4
DRAGONS 1976 (Aram Shelton, Tim Daisy, Jason Ajemian) => New Work Studio, 319 Spadina, 8 pm
HOPE OF THE STATES, INOUK => Lee's Palace, $15 (Also HMV, 5 pm, free)
FLOGGING MOLLY, STREET DOGS, BRIGGS => Phoenix, $18
ALTER BRIDGE w/ Crossfade, Submersed.=> Guvernment, $23.75
MUSIC BY THREES feat. GEORGE CRUMB’s VOX BALAENAE FOR THREE MASKED PLAYERS, GALLOWAY PLUS TWO => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $12
FU MANCHU, COUGARS, ROLLING BLACKOUTS => Mod Club, $18.50
BRIAN O’KANE QUINTET => Montreal Bistro
MATT NATHANSON w/ Charlotte Martin => El Mocambo, $10
THE SECRET: MUSIC OF JONATHAN MUNRO => Gladstone
RICHARD WHITEHOUSE 4TET => Rex, 9:30 pm
MATT NATHANSON, Charlotte Martin => El Mocambo, $10
THE WAKING EYES => Club 279
JOHN OSWALD/SCOTT THOMSON/JAKE OELRICHS, JUSTIN HAYNES/NICK FRASER, GEORDIE HALEY/MARCEL AUCOIN => Holy Joe’s
STILL COILED, 11T1 => Tequila Lounge, $4

TUES OCT 5
DEEP DARK UNITED, THE MAJESTIES => Hooch above Gypsy Coop, pwyc
JOHN BUTLER TRIO => El Mocambo. $12.50
THE EDDIE BALTIMORE MUSICAL MEMORIAL W/ BRUCE LONGMAN, MITCH WALLACE, STEVE GRISBROOK, LANCE ANDERSON, DENIS KELDIE, JOHN MEYDAM, JIM BECK, MAIKE SATOR, ANDY GAVITIS, NORM HACKING, MICHELE JOSEF, CARLOS DEL JUNCO, JEROME GODBOO AND ZOE CHILCO => Silver Dollar, $12
JOHN BUTLER TRIO => El Mocambo, $12.50
CORONA GUITAR KVARTET (Denmark) w/ tim brady => Music Gallery, $20, 8 pm
BRANFORD MARSALIS => Senator, $40
RICHARD WHITEMAN 3RIO (DON THOMPSON/BARRY ELMES) => Montreal Bistro (thru Sat Oct 9)
STEEL PULSE, BEDOUIN SOUNDTRACK => Lee’s (moved from Guvernment), $30
THE PAPERBACKS, TELEPATHIC BUTTERFLIES => Club 360
MOTION SOUNDTRACK => Horseshoe
THE PREMIUMS => Drake
TELEPATHIC BUTTERFLIES, The Paperbacks, The Scribbled Out Man => 360
MIKE EVIN, Katie Sevigny => Graffiti's
MYSTERION, GOODSHIRT, PREMIUMS => Drake, 8 pm, $10
AMBIENT PING w/ JOHN KAMEEL FARAH, NIK BEESON => Gladstone, 9 pm, pwyc

WED OCT 6
METALLICA, GODSMACK=> Air Canada Centre, $49.50-$95
BRIAN WILSON: Smile => Massey Hall, $45.50-$65.50
ANDREW HILL, Toronto Progressive Jazz => Glenn Gould Studio, $32.50
KEVIN HOUSE => Graffiti’s
AUF DER MAUR, VON BONDIES => Mod Club, $17.50, 9 pm
CHRISTINE JENSEN QUARTET => Top o the Senator (thru Sun Oct 10)
THE BLACK LIPS, PANZRAM’S GHOSTS (Anagram/Deadly Snakes), TIT FUCK ME JESUS => Horseshoe, $8
GLADSTONE FAMILY AFFAIR w/ INA UNT INA, HOT FO GANDHI, CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN, comedians, more => Gladstone, 8 pm, $10
REPAIR => Music Gallery, 12:30-1:30 pm, free
KAT BURNS, BAG, SHANNON WEIR & THE EVEN STRANGERS => Sneaky Dee's, pwyc
STATIC FILMS (Chicago), AIDAN BAKER, THE CITY SLEEPS => Drake, $5 or pwyc
MAPLE LOUNGE w/ REID JAMESON => Rivoli, Pool Hall, 8 pm
EXITMAN, TREVOR HOGG QUARTET => Rex Hotel
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7 to Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32

THURS OCT 7
JON-RAE AND THE RIVER => Planet Kensington, free
ERICA WERRY, RUN WITH THE KITTENS, DOC PICKLES => Clinton's, 10 pm, $5-“ish”
CEPHALIC CARNAGE, THE END, BLOODSHOTEYE. => Rockit, $12.75
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7 to Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
GOLD OF HOURS by Charlie Ringas => Earshot, Music Gallery, 8 pm, $10-$30
TIFT MERRITT => Lee’s, $7
CHRIS ALEXANDER, PERDITION, A RANDOM EXIT, DJ MORGANA => Savage Garden
FREQUENCY (Trans Am member) => Silver Dollar
DIABLEROS, IN SUPPORT OF LIVING, THOUSAND-DOLLAR WEDDING => El Mocambo, 9 pm, pwyc
RAGING ASIAN WOMEN TAIKO DRUMMERS, LAL, MAEWON, POMEGRANATE KLEZMER SQUAD, THE CLIKS => Tequila Lounge, $10
MOTION SOUNDTRACK => the Drake
THE SILVER HEARTS, Train 45, Matt Crooker => 360
CEPHALIC CARNAGE, The End, Bloodshoteye => Rockit, $12.75
MOTION SOUNDTRACK => Drake, midnight, $5
BIG FIVES favourite rap spun by DJ FASE, ISLAMABAD, DJ GROUCH, MEL BOOGIE & DJ SERIOUS => Andy Poolhall, $5
PERDITION, A RANDOM EXIT => Savage Garden, 9 pm, $5
KEVIN QUAIN, TARA DAVIDSON QUARTET => Rex
HAUGAARD & HORUP (Superdanish!) => Harbourfront, 9 pm, free!

FRI OCT 8
BOB WISEMAN in-store => Soundscapes, 5 pm, free
SANTA CRUZ R&R; w/ DEADLY SNAKES, DIRTY HEARTS, GOOD PEOPLE => Lee’s, 10 pm $8
JAPANTHER, THE REPUTATION, SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, VIKING CLUB, COURTESY BLUSH => Poor Alex, 7:30 pm
BILLY TALENT, METRIC, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 => The Docks, 8 pm, $25
BEATNUTS, DJ SERIOUS, WRECK SQUAD, HUMAN KEBAB, DRILL SQUAD, DOUG DEEP => Opera House, $20
ELIZA GILKYSON => Hugh's Room, $20
NICK FLANAGAN'S L'AFTERPARTY, w/ ANIMALMONSTER, MIDWAYS, comedy, more => Rancho Relaxo
CHROMEO, DJs DAVE 1, PEE THUG, DMT, BUTROS BUTROS GALI => Gladstone, $10
DOA, BUNCHOFUCKINGOOFS, CLASS ASSASSINS => Rockit
CRACKPUPPY => Horseshoe, $4, 11 pm
MINDBENDER => Reverb
FIVE WEEKS FOR MILES (Davis) w/ NICK "BROWNMAN" ALI & guests Trane Studio => Trane Studio (964 Bathurst) (every Oct. friday), $12
THE FORD PREFECTS (Fake Prom Band), WASTED GARBAGEMEN, DJ DESTRO => Stones Place, “Kerry Potts’ Birfday Parteh,” pwyc
RAMONES TRIBUTE, bands tba => Silver Dollar
MINDBENDER => Reverb
KNACKER => Club 279
CURSED => Kathedral
BLUE VENUS => Drake, 9 pm, $5
MELISSA STYLIANOU, ARTIE ROTH QUINTET => Rex Hotel
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7 to Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32

SAT OCT 9
DANKO JONES, C’MON, FOUR SQUARE => Lee’s Palace, $13.50
WILCO, THE REAL PRISCILLAS => Massey Hall. $35-$59
FLY JIMMY SWIFT, GRAND THEFT BAND => Horseshoe, $10
ALTERED BEATS w/ MEDIKONZ (Toronto), HIJEX (Japan), XANOPTICON (Pittsburgh), PROMETHEUS BURNING (Pittsburgh), 8CYLINDER (Pittsburgh), CUTUPS (Pittsburgh), DJ Dominik => IV Lounge, $5, 9 pm-3 am
BENEFIT FOR KINO 05 (www.kino05.com) with FEUERMUSIK (ex-Rockets Red Glare), I AM ROBOT AND PROUD, BURN ROME IN A DREAM => Rivoli, 8 pm $5
SKIN TIGHT OUTTA SIGHT BURLESQUE => Gladstone, $20
BAYONETTES, RIOT 99, ACTION, TIT FUCK ME JESUS => Kathedral
ANTIHERO w/ DON CASH => Queenshead Pub
ZEROSCAPE => Opera House, $15, 5:30 pm
RHONDA STAKICH, ANA MIURA, SAUCY TARTS => Drake, 9 pm
WABI 1009, Detroit Underground w/ QUANTAZELLE, KERO & DEREK MICHAEL, NITSUJI, OTAKU, OZAWA, TASK => Labyrinth Lounge
RAOUL & THE BIG TIME, KLUVERS BIG BAND, VICTOR BATEMAN TRIO => Rex
THE CLIKS, HUNTER VALENTINE => Clinton’s, $5
RANDOM ORDER, DRAG KINGS, SHAMCOCKS, KITTY GALORE => Sneaky Dee’s, $12
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7 to Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)
PETER VERITY, ANA MIURA, RHONDA STAKICH, Harvest Festival Food-Raiser for Daily Bread Food Bank => Drake, 9 pm, $10 ($8 w/non-perishable food item)

SUN OCT 10
MIKE WATT & THE SECOND MEN => Horseshoe, $10.50.
THE FAINT, TV ON THE RADIO, BEEP BEEP => Lee’s, $15
KANYE WEST, USHER => Air Canada Centre
CHRIS BARTOS (Ennis Sisters) and friends => Cameron House, 6-8 pm, pwyc
NEUROTIC SWINGERS, BOYFRIEND MATERIAL => Rancho Relaxo
LAL, HOLY FUCK (Brian Borcherdt & friends) => Wavelength 234, Sneaky Dee’s
JOHN LEGEND => Mod Club Theatre, $16
PHONIX (Superdanish!) => Harbourfront, 3 pm, free
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7 to Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)

MON OCT 11
THE CONCRETES => Lee’s, $15
ADEM, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY => Horseshoe
THE KILLERS, AMBULANCE LTD., SUFEROSA => Opera House $20
BOXCAR SATAN => Silver Dollar with Bible burning!
JUNIOR SANCHEZ => Liberty Grand
SATELLITE OF JUNE => 360
BEATZ MASSIVE, JASON KENEMY’S DIRECTIONS => Drake, 9 pm, $5
PRHIZZM => Tequila Lounge, pwyc
RUNCIBLE SPOON, CHRIS HUNT TENTET + 3 => Rex
KULVERS BIG BAND (Superdanish!) => Harbourfront, 3 pm, free
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7 to Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)

TUES OCT 12
MORRISSEY, THE DEARS => Hummingbird Centre, $41.75-$69.75
SOPHIE MILMAN cd release => Senator
SOLEX, ON!AIR!LIBRARY, WORM IS GREEN => Lee’s, $8.50
DOUG RILEY B3 QUARTET => Montreal Bistro thru Sat.
THE SIGHTS => Silver Dollar, $7
THE SKYDIGGERS, CASH BROS., ROCK FOUR => Horseshoe
ACEFACE, THE CANDIDATES => Mod Club, $12
SHASTA JADE => Horseshoe, free
AMBIENT PING w/ SOFTWARE => Gladstone, 9 pm, pwyc
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7 to Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)
THE THURSTONS, ONYA => The Hooch (above Gypsy Co-op), 10 pm, pwyc

WED OCT 13
REVERIES, JACK ROSE (Virginia), HARRIS NEWMAN (Montreal) => Tranzac, 9:30 pm, $7
HANK, ANIMALMONSTER => Cameron House, 10 pm, pwyc
McLUSKY => Lee’s Palace, $10
MATT SHARP (Weezer, Rentals) => Horseshoe, $10
KING'S X, Unplugged => Rockit
DEE KAYE => Senator
COHEED & CAMBRIA, Underoath3 => KoolHaus, $22
INTERPOL, SECRET MACHINES => The Docks, $20
DANU => Hugh’s Room
JORANE => Revival, 8 pm, $15
OKAY PLAYER'S CONNECTED TOUR w/ Foreign Exchange, Little Brother, Yahzarah, Legacy Away Team => Opera House, $22.50
MODEL M => Drake, 10 pm, $5
MAPLE LOUNGE w/ REID JAMESON => Rivoli Pool Hall, 8 pm, free
MELISSA McCLELLAND, ROSE POLENZANI, SHARON LEWIS => El Mocambo, $8
KARL MOHR, DJ MATT BLAIR => IV Lounge, 9 pm, pwyc
EXITMAN, CAREY WEST + THE MILLIONAIRES => Rex
THE BILLS, MIKE STEVENS, RAYMOND McLAIN => Trinity St Paul’s, 8 pm, $17
SULEIMAN WARWAR & BASSAM BISHARA => Art Gallery of York University, 8 pm, free
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7. To Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)

THURS OCT 14
TONY BENNETT => Roy Thomson Hall, $59-$125
FLY PAN AM, MONO => Horseshoe, $10
SCHIPOL 2 w/ Arraymusic => Glenn Gould Studio, 8 pm, $20
MINISTRY, MY LIFE W/THE THRILL KILL KULT, HANZEL UND GRETYL => Kool Haus, $32.50
ALLISON CROWE, TANISHA TAITT => Music Gallery, St George the Martyr, $10
KELLY JOE PHELPS, NATHAN => Hugh’s Room, 8 pm, $22.50
NEIL HAMBURGER => El Mocambo, $10
RICH ROBINSON => Lee's, $13.50
THE SILVER HEARTS, Elliott Brood, Nancy Dutra => 360
THE SLIP, NOISES FROM THE TOOLSHED, STEPHEN FRANKE => El Mocambo
INDIE ROCK SCHMOOZE FEST for CHILD FIND ONTARIO w/ BILLY KLIPPERT, SARAH MCGLYNN/ ASH TRIO, THE HITCH, TOMORROW’S EXCUSE, FIRST TIME FALLEN, WHITE ELEPHANT @ Schmooze, 15 Mercer, $25
CHRIS GRAHAM, RAYANNE, CHISAI JACKSON => Drake, 9:30 pm
KEVIN QUAIN, UNKL (Germany) => Rex
AIDA NADEEM (Superdanish!) => Harbourfront, 9 pm, free!
J-LIVE, BROTHER ALI, SKRATCH BASTID, FATHOM & FASE => Fez Batik, $15
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7. To Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)
THE LAST PENTACLE OF THE SUN launch w/ DIABLO RED, MISTER BONES => Rockit, 7 pm, $5 (benefits the Damien Echols Defense Fund)
DIABLEROS, SHORT STORY, CLASSIC BROWN & Vintage Clothing Sale! => Sneaky Dee's, 9 pm, $5

FRI OCT 15
THE LIBERTINES => Opera House, $16.50
TRIO X (Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval, Jay Rosen), LOTTE ANKER TRIO (w/ Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver) => Goethe Institute
PJ HARVEY, MORIS TEPPER => Phoenix, $28.50
FIVE WEEKS FOR MILES (Davis) w/ NICK "BROWNMAN" ALI & guests Trane Studio => Trane Studio (964 Bathurst) (every Oct. friday), $12
JOHN & JENNY’s ROCK n RoLL PARTY w/ TWISTED TARANTULAS, MATADORS => Silver Dollar Room, 10 pm
DJ KRUSH, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC => Mod Club, Oct 15, $20
ST. WAYNE HIGH SCHOOL TALENT CONTEST w/ THE JAYNE WAYNES, SONJA MILLS, BOY CHOIR OF LESBOS, etc etc => Tranzac, $12 ($10 in school-themed costume)
THE SLIP => El Mocambo
COLIN HAY (Men at Work) => Hugh’s Room
TONY BENNETT => Roy Thompson Hall
NO T.O. (Will Munro’s No Wave/Mutant Disco/Punk Funk dance party!) => Thymeless, 10 pm, $5
LARRY BLACKMON’S CAMEO, BLUES UNDERDOG => Atlantis, 9 pm, $10
SING THAT YELL THAT SPELL, WINTER EQUINOX, THE RIDERLESS => Rancho Relaxo, $5
THE KINDLY ONES, TIMOTHY CAMERON, FRIENDLESS YOUNGSTERS => Blue Moon, $5
STIRLING, BETABLOKKA, LOBBY => Horseshoe, doors 9 pm (Stirling not on till 12:30), $5
FLUX 3.0 w/ BRIAN MOORE, CRAIG SWANN, GREG HERMANOVIC => Drake, 9 pm, $5
PITTER PATTER launch w/ ANAGRAM, FLORIDA EVANS, THE PINEY WOLVES => Poor Alex, 9 pm, $8
MELISSA STYLIANOU, ROBERTO OCCHIPINTI 9-PIECE BAND => Rex
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7. To Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)
OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DANCE ALL NIGHT AND DRINK CHEAP BEER w/ RADIUS AND HELENA, DJ 101, DJ EVIL GENIUS, WORDBURGLAR => Cinecycle
PORKCHOPS (freebop by Victor Bateman/Brodie West/Jake Oelrichs) => Tranzac, 10 pm
CAMEO => Atlantis
LEFTOVER DAYLIGHT SERIES w/ DEEP DARK UNITED, KEN ALDCROFT, JOHN OSWALD, JOE SORBARA, SCOTT HOMSON => Arraymusic, 9 pm, $10
ESPRIT ORCHESTRA presents the world premiere of R Murray Shafers' Thunder: Perfect Mind; also Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa, Harry Somers' Those Silent Awe Filled Spaces, Colin McPhee's Tabuh-Tabuhan. Jane Mallett Theatre, 27 Front E. 7pm
AMICI CHAMBER ENSEMBLE => Glenn Gould Studio, 8 pm, $40/$35 seniors/$10 students

SAT OCT 16
MOUNTAINSIDE BAND DUO, JAKE CHISOLM, NATHAN COLES BAND, LENIN SAW SHUMOV SHADOW SHOW (Lenin I Shumov meets Singing Saws) => Tranzac, pwyc
JOLIE HOLLAND => Drake, 10 pm $15
MEL BROWN & THE HOMEWRECKERS AND MISS ANGEL Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $14
SKYDIGGERS, CASH BROTHERS => Horseshoe
CANDIRIA, BUCKET TRUCK, A TASTE FOR BLOOD => Rockit
THE SIGHTS => Silver Dollar, $7
PAVLO => Hugh’s Room
THE WARM-UP THRILLA w/Harpoon Missile, Moment of Creation, Crooks of da Round Table, DJ Tab, Rufftundra, Young Grasshopper, Kizzo => Funhaus, $20
STOP DIE RESUSCITATE, VULCAN DUB SQUAD, SILENT FILM SOUNDTRACK, SMEAR CAMPAIGN, PARADOXX => Rancho Relaxo, 9 pm, $6
DAYNA MANNING => Rivoli
PITTER PATTER presents FIVE BLANK PAGES, THE GRADUATION DAY, SHORT STORY => Poor Alex, 9 pm, $5
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7. To Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)KIYOSHI NAGATA ENSEMBLE => Hart House Theatre, 8 pm, $25

SUN OCT 17
CAROLYN MARK => Mitzi’s Sister (thru Oct 19)
PETER ELKAS => In-store, 7 pm, Soundscapes, free
SWEATSHOP TANGO ENSEMBLE (Montreal) => Senator
MOTION ENSEMBLE (New Brunswick) Cage, Tenney => Music Gallery, $15, 8 pm
SAM PHILLIPS w/ THE STRING SECTION => Lula Lounge
JUANA MOLINA => Drake, 9 pm, $15
STING, ANNIE LENNOX, Dominic Miller => Air Canada Centre
CANZINE including BLOCKS RECORD-RELEASE FRENZY (every hour on the hour!) => Gladstone, 1 pm–7 pm
COUNTRYPOLITANS => Cameron House, 6-8 pm
OFF CENTRE MUSIC SALON => Glenn Gould Studio
MELIGROVE BAND, BEETHOVEN FRIEZE, LEAGUE CHAMPS => Wavelength 235, Sneaky Dee’s, pwyc
KEPLER, DECIBULLY, BURN ROME IN A DREAM => Horseshoe
KMFDM => Phoenix, $18.50
PAVLO => Hugh's Room
LELO NIKA (Superdanish!) => Harbourfront, 3 pm, free
STEVEN FRANKE => The Rex, 3:30 pm
David Buchbinder's SHURUM BURUM Jazz Circus => Stone Distillery, Distillery District, previewing Oct 6, opening Oct 7. To Oct 17. Wed-Sun 8pm; Sun Oct 10 & 17 at 2:30pm. $32
ROBERT CRUICKSHANK/SARAH PEEBLES "Music for Incandescent Events" => DeLeon White Gallery (1069 Queen W.), sunset (6:30ish pm)-7:15 pm, Oct. 9-17, free (part of "Scanning Nature" in the McLuhan Festival of the Future)

MON OCT 18
TRAMPOLINE HALL => Sneaky Dee’s, $6 advance at Soundscapes highly recommended
THE GOOD LIFE (Tim Kasher of Cursive), NEVA DINOVA => Horseshoe, $9
CRADLE OF FILTH => Kool Haus, $30
SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME, DON’T BE SHYS, PICASTRO => Silver Dollar
THE TRAVELLERS (do the Weavers) => Leah Posluns Theatre, $35
KURT SWINGHAMMER => Cameron House
SINGAPORE SLING, Les Six, The Disraelis => Comfort Zone
AMORPHIS => Rockit, $16.75
SINCERE TRADE, AIDAN BAKER => Tequila Lounge, pwyc
CAROLYN MARK => Mitzi’s Sister (thru Oct 19)
SOCAN on Song Panel => Drake, 7 pm, free
SINCERE TRADE, AIDAN BAKER => Tequila Lounge, pwyc
SINGAPORE SLING w/ Les Six, Nassau. See On Disc. Lee's Palace. $8.
YWCA GIRLJAM2 w/Jully Black, Articulo Veinte, Lilac Cana, meewon, Pomegranate Squad, Syreeta Neal, Simon Wilcox => Revival
THE BICYCLES => Hooch above Gypsy Coop

TUES OCT 19
LAURA VEIRS => Horseshoe
PINBACK, SEA SNAKES => Lee's Palace. $13
FEDERICO AUBELE => Revival
CAKE, NORTHERN STATE => Massey Hall, $35.50-$39.50
SARAH JANE MORRIS => Lula Lounge to oct 21, $20
DOUG HAMILTON’S BRASS CONNECTION 11 => Senator (thru Sun Oct 24)
STORY OF THE YEAR w/ LOSTPROPHETS, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, ANBERLIN => Kool Haus, $20.25
JUNE GARBER QUARTET => Montreal Bistro
VALIS (ex-Screaming Trees), SINDEALER => Rockit
JAMIE CULLUM => Phoenix, 9 pm, $22.50 (Sold Out)
GRASS ROOTS ROAD TRIP w/ DRE ALLEN PROJECT, SLUMKIDTRE (THE PHARCYDE), CHITA => El Mocambo
THE BICYCLES, FLAMINGO-GOs => THE HOOCH above Gypsy Coop, pwyc
BILLY CORGAN signs books => Chapters, 142 John St., 7 pm, free; reads poems => Church of the Redeemer (162 Bloor St. W.), 10 pm, $24.25
HORSEY CRAZE (Neil Young tribute feat. members of Constantines) => Silver Dollar, $6
CAROLYN MARK => Mitzi’s Sister (also Oct 17, 18)
CHRIS BROWN, KATE FENNER => Horseshoe
AMBIENT PING w/ MARA’S TORMENT, AKUMU => Gladstone, 9 pm, pwyc

WED OCT 20
NAPALM DEATH, MISERY INDEX, FLESHCRAFT => Rockit
SARAH JANE MORRIS => Lula Lounge (thru Oct 21), $20
RECLINE REVUE w/ JUSTIS, MANJAH, LOUWOP backed by the KINKAID JAZZ QUARTET => Down One Lounge (49 Front St. E.), 9 pm, $3
BRUTAL KNIGHTS, SICK FITS (ottawa), CAREER SUICIDE => Venue TBA
LENNY SOLOMON => Rex
DOUG HAMILTON’S BRASS CONNECTION 11 => Senator (thru Sun Oct 24)
UMBRELLA MUSIC w/THE REMAINS OF BRIAN BORCHERDT, BENEATH AUGUSTA, MALAKAI, ANIMALMONSTER => Rivioli, 9 pm doors
EUDORA, PROELIIS FERE, FIVE BLANK PAGES => Sneaky Dee's, 9 pm, $3

THURS OCT 21
THE STRANGLERS => Mod Club, $32.50
MICHAEL BURGESS => Toronto Convention Centre
SARAH JANE MORRIS => Lula Lounge oct 19-21 $20
CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN, ESZTER BALINT => Lee’s
MOVING UNITS, CHINESE STARS, KILL ME TOMORROW => El Mocambo, 8 pm, $13.50
DAN GOLDMAN, TWILIGHT HOTEL, MIKE PETKAU, OLD SEED, PATRICK KEENAN (all from Winnipeg except Goldman) => Cameron House, 9 pm, $5
LLOYD BANKS => Docks, $29.50
WHYSP (Santa Cruz), JON-RAE FLETCHER & THE RIVER, MELVIN => Rancho Relaxo, $5
THE SILVER HEARTS, OX, ROYAL WOOD => 360
LLOYD BANKS, DL INCOGNITO => Docks, $29.50
UMBRELLA MUSIC w/ BENEATH AUGUSTA => Rivoli, 9 pm, $6
PONTIAC QUARTERLY live literary magazine => Drake, 8 pm, pwyc
INSTINKT (Superdanish!) => Harbourfront, 9 pm, free
DOUG HAMILTON’S BRASS CONNECTION 11 => Senator (thru Sun Oct 24)
SUE FOLEY => Hugh's Room, $18

FRI OCT 22
MISSION OF BURMA => Lee’s, $20
LENIN I SHUMOV/JAMES ANDERSON, PAVLOV'S DOGS, poet ANDREY TSYBINE (all in Russian) => Russian Canadian Federation, 6 Denison Street (off Queen), $6
THE SILT => Tranzac, 10 pm, pwyc
FEMME GENERATION, SMEAR CAMPAIGN, KICK ME KENNETH, PRIESTESS => Sneaky Dee's, $5
BLONDE REDHEAD => Opera House, $20
FIVE WEEKS FOR MILES (Davis) w/ NICK "BROWNMAN" ALI & guests Trane Studio => Trane Studio (964 Bathurst) (every Oct. friday), $12
HOT CARL => Rivoli
STRAYLIGHT RUN, HOT ROD CIRCUIT, NORTH STAR, SAY ANYTHING => Rockit, 7 pm, $14
CRAZY STRINGS’ SIXTH ANNIVERSARY w/ Foggy Hogtown Boys, The Creaking Tree String Quartet, Jenny Whiteley, Crazy Strings => Silver Dollar $10 10 p.m.
A NORTHERN CHORUS, THE JUNCTION => Poor Alex, 9 pm, $7
US ELECTION BENEFIT => Cinecycle, performers TBA
SOUNDS OF THE GHANGES RIVER (North American Buddhist Music Festival feat the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastic Choir) => Roy Thomson Hall, $20-$50
COTTARS => Hugh’s Room
TRICYCLE => Drake, 9 pm, $5
CKLN FUNDFEST LAUNCH w/ DJs DENISE BENSON, ANDREW ALLSGOOD, PREET, CHOCOLATE, CIRCLE RESEARCH => Andy Poolhall, $5
BEN LEE, PONY UP, LINDY => Mod Club, $12.50
DOUG HAMILTON’S BRASS CONNECTION 11 => Senator (thru Sun Oct 24)Friday October 22nd @ CLINTON's
YTB, 3 GUITAROS, THE KILLAZ => Clinton's, 10 pm
KEVIN HEARN & THINBUCKLE, THE COUSINS=> Rivoli, $10
ESTHERO w/DJs in QUADRASONIC => Mod Club, $15

SAT OCT 23
LUCIE IDLOUT, GEORGE LEACH, SLANGBLOSSOM in The Beat presented by imagineNATIVE festival => El Mocambo, 9 pm
CARLOS DEL JUNCO => Silver Dollar
...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD w/ IQU, Forget Cassettes. => Phoenix. $15
JOHN PRINE => U of T Convocation Hall, $42.50-$49.50 (also Oct 24)
THE DELGADOS, CROOKED FINGERS, SLACKERS => Lee’s, $15
(After Show Party => Cobalt (426 College St), free, Resident Easy Tiger DJs w/ Super Secret Guest DJs)
THE ORGAN, PONY DA LOOK => Horseshoe, $8.50
MATTHEW GOOD, LIMBLIFTER => Kool Haus, $32.50
SEA SNAKES, POLMO POLPO => Dovercourt House
SUCK MY DISC! w/ MARK INSIDE, THE VISIT, FEMME GENERATION, ACTION MAKES, NEW SIGNALS => Sneaky Dee’s
THE POOLS, JAMIE JUNGER => El Mocambo Downstairs
GREENFIELD MAIN, FIFTYMEN, TWO-MINUTE MIRACLES => 360
ROBOTS BALL => Drake, 9 pm
DEPECHE MODE FEST 2004 => Reverb, “$10 wearing DM paraphernalia, $12 without”, 10 pm- 4 am, dear god
TANISHA TAITT => Rivoli, 6 pm
DOUG HAMILTON’S BRASS CONNECTION 11 => Senator (thru Sun Oct 24)
THE OLD SOUL, THE EXCHANGES, ELEVATOR => El Mocambo

SUN OCT 24
LHASA DE SELA => Winter Garden Theatre, $40
ALPHA BLONDY & THE SOLAR SYSTEM => Kool Haus
GOV'T MULE => Palais Royale
RASPUTINA, DAYNA MANNING => Lee’s Palace, $13.50
ZAPPACOSTA => Hugh’s Room
JOHN PRINE => U of T Convocation Hall, $42.50-$49.50 (also Oct 23)
LENIN I SHUMOV, THE DOERS (Vancouver), GREENFIELD MAIN (Ottawa) => Wavelength 236, Sneaky Dee’s
RICHARD UNDERHILL (Shuffle Demons) => Mezzrow’s
CANADIAN ELECTRONIC ENSEMBLE (“Rock Music: Sound Symposium Redux”) => Music Gallery, 8 pm, $15
DOUG HAMILTON’S BRASS CONNECTION 11 => Senator (last day)

MON OCT 25
Room 101 presents OPEN COBRA w/Cobratron! => Drake
SOCIAL DISTORTION, TIGER ARMY, EXPLOSION => Kool Haus, $35
LE TIGRE, GRAVY TRAIN, CANNONBALL JANE => The Guvernment, 8 pm, $18,
JAKE LANGLEY, JOEY FRANCESCO, BYRON LANDHAM => Ont. Science Centre, $25
GREYBOY => Una Mas

TUES OCT 26
DO MAKE SAY THINK => Phoenix, $8
TONY FURTADO, OLLABELLE => Horseshoe
DIONNE WARWICK => Hummingbird Centre
VANESSA CARLTON => Mod Club, $18.50
NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND => Drake, 8 pm, $3
ADRIAN FARUGA QUARTET => Senator (thru Sun Oct 31)
MAGNETA LANE => Horseshoe

WED OCT 27
TIN TIN TIN with ROB CLUTTON CONDUCTION, BLOCKS INSTANT BANDS, NATHAN LAWR, RYAN KAMSTRA, more => Drake, 9 pm, pwyc ($5-$10 sugg.)
AKERCOCKE, VEHEMENCE, DIMENTIANON => Rockit, $15.25
MOUSE ON MARS, RATATAT, JUNIOR BOYS => Lee's Palace, $15
BRAD MEHLDAU => Toronto Progressive Jazz series, Glenn Gould Studio $30
BETTY & THE BOBS => Hugh's Room
ADRIAN FARUGA QUARTET => Senator (thru Sun Oct 31)
PROTOTYPES, Call Me Poupée => Bovine Sex Club, free
UNICORNS, NOAH 23, BESNARD LAKES => Vatikan, 7:30 pm, $8

THURS OCT 28
TANGIERS => Horseshoe, $8
K-OS => Opera House, $22.50
IT’S A MOBSCENE jazz in the round w/ KEVIN BREIT, FOLKALARM, PAT LABARBERA QUARTET, TARA DAVIDSON QUARTET => Gladstone, $15
THERESA'S SOUND-WORLD, ROBOT, WINTER EQUINOX => Holy Joe's, free
THE SILVER HEARTS, NQ ARBUCKLE, Nathan Coles => 360
AARON BOOTH, TREEBALL, THE PARKAS, THE MELIGROVE BAND (Endearing Recs.) => Rivoli
MADAWASKA STRING QUARTET residency fundraiser => Music Gallery, $25
THE TEA PARTY => Kool Haus, $32.50
PACIFICA (Vancouver) => Drake, 9 pm, $10
KASPER SOEBERG (Superdanish!) => Harbourfront, 9 pm, free
OPEN DOOR FESTIVAL BENEFIT w/ LIBERTY SILVER, LINDY, Erin McKeown, Melissa McClelland, Chris Pureka => Mod Club, $10-$20, 7 pm
ADRIAN FARUGA QUARTET => Senator (thru Sun Oct 31)

FRI OCT 29
MEMPHIS cd release => Rivoli
ANTIBALAS => Horseshoe $15, two sets (also Oct 30)
DENISE JAMES, GEOFF BERNER, RAE SPOON => 360
FIVE WEEKS FOR MILES (Davis) w/ NICK "BROWNMAN" ALI & guests Trane Studio => Trane Studio (964 Bathurst) (every Oct. friday), $12
ANGIE STONE => Guvernment. 6 p.m., $33.75
WHITE COWBELL OKLAHOMA => Mod Club
2nd ANNUAL AUTUMNAL CABINET OF WONDERS w/ GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS, AKUMU, JOHNNY HOLLOW, SAHRA FEATHERSTONE, DIANA OBSCURA, plus dance, magic circus, photos, videos, palm reading, 90s goth-zine retrospective, by the ROYAL SARCOPHAGUS SOCIETY => The Great Hall, 8 pm, $13
VAZALEEN => Lee's Palace
NOKIMONO Fundraiser => Drake, 9 pm
ADRIAN FARUGA QUARTET => Senator (thru Sun Oct 31)
THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN, THE ASSISTANTS, THE GUEST BEDROOM => Poor Alex, 9 pm, $5

SAT OCT 30
GROUNDTRUTHER (CHARLIE HUNTER/BOBBY PREVITE/DJ LOGIC), BROWNMAN AND THE ELECTRIC TRIO => Opera House, $25
U.N.K.L.E.=> Guvernment
SCRAPPY BITCH TOUR (Veda Hille, Oh Susanna, Kinnie Starr) => Mod Club, 7:30 pm, $15
DL INCOGNITO => Sound Emporium
SONDRE LERCHE, GOLDEN REPUBLIC => Lee’s Palace, 6 pm, $15
ANTIBALAS AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA => Horseshoe, $15 (also Oct 29)
TURING MACHINE, THE VIKING CLUB => Mississauga Masonic Lodge
THE BLUEHORSE => Hugh's Room
UNDADOGG’S DEVIL’S NIGHT PARTY w/ AUDIOSLEEP, JK47 (“come dressed in anti-halloween gear”) => Drake, 9 pm, $5
JAZZ FOR HERBIE => Rex, 1-5 pm, $20
MOST SERENE REPUBLIC, ROMEO LIQUOR STORE, ARIETTA => Poor Alex, 9 pm, $5
ADRIAN FARUGA QUARTET => Senator (thru Sun Oct 31)
VLADIMIR SPIVAKOV, MOSCOW VIRTUOSI w/ the Canadian Children's Chorus => Toronto Centre for the Arts, 8 pm, $55-$95

SUN OCT 31
BEVERLY TAFT/TANIA GILL/ROB McBRIDE/JESSE BAIRD => Rex, 3:30-6:30 pm
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, NASSAU => Lee’s Palace $9
THE TEN TENORS => Roy Thomson Hall, $42.50-$74.50
THE USED, THE BRONX, HEAD AUTOMATICA, THE BLED => Kool Haus, 7 pm, $21.50
TRICK OR FREAKOUT w/ CORPUSSE, FUCKED UP, BRUTAL NIGHTS, AWESOME => Wavelength 237, Sneaky Dee’s
ANDREW DOWNING live score for the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA => Drake, 8 pm
ADRIAN FARUGA QUARTET => Senator (last day)
STINKMITT => Bovine Sex Club

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Friday, October 01 at 5:12 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Put Your Rock'n'Roll Hands in the Goddamn Burning Sand

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Frog Eyes, makers of last year's No. 1 Zoilus album (with the above-pic'd force of nature, Canada's greatest new songwriter Carey Mercer) at the Horseshoe last night: Discouragingly low-attended, maybe 30-40 people there at the peak, but a fanatic cluster up front dancing and cheering to Carey's Beefheart-sings-the-Weavers wonderment. The mix sucked so his virtuoso swoops were sapped of all punch and you couldn't make out the ecological pirate epics in the lyrics. As well I think this show set the record for the number of people who attended alone that I've seen at any rock show this year. People get the way the music's hermetic, it seems, but not how hypercommunal it is?

This year we've been graced with three Frog Eyes-related discs - the 'proper' third album The Folded Palm, Carey's solo project Blackout Beach, and perhaps my favourite, the stripped-down 'acoustic' disc, Ego Scriptor. The highlight of last night's show was probably the rendition of that disc's opening track A Latex Ice Age, which began almost a capella then built into a cracking-glacier-noise cascade. All three albums will furnish you with an entirely new reality in which to live.

Post-show highlight was a story told by bassist Michael Rak about a club they played in Winnipeg where a soundman cranked up on crystal crawled under the stage and somehow managed to suffocate himself down there and die. Nobody knew where he had gone - they assumed he'd gone missing in the streets, and the club actually staged a benefit show to aid in the search. So the performers got up and sang tributes to the local legend-to-be and pled for info as to the poor bastard's whereabouts, "come home stan, come home" (if his name was stan), from the very stage his body was decomposing under. The story goes that it was such a beer and tobacco-smoked dive bar so nobody smelled anything rotten - and he wasn't discovered till the Manitoba smoking ban kicked in.

Rak added that last night was the best show of the tour so far. My sympathies, noble Frog Eyes.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, September 28 at 1:07 PM | Linking Posts

 

Open Loose (and Finish Tight)

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Great sounds tonight with New York's Mark Helias's Open Loose trio at the Arrayspace in Toronto's rapidly gentrifying Liberty Village. (Shown above in an online photo, not from tonight's show - the Arrayspace itself isn't that prettied-up yet!)

The first set, as so often in jazz, was on the tepid side, with Helias's compositions feeling technical, analytical, a touch conservative; when the group returned, they blew that impression sky-high. This is composed post-bop with avant-garde, international and classical accents, but in the second set nothing could have seemed more free. Turns out it is nice for there to be a melody - often voiced with Tony Malaby's sax doubled down by Helias's bass in lockstep precision - but tune mostly mattered far less than tone, and tone less than volume and velocity.

Most of all you listened to dynamics and articulation, with languid lyrical lines broken by more staccato sections and continual variations in noise level that signalled not so much which instrument was dominant as what set of social relationships we were to infer among them. Sometimes they were lovers, sometimes siblings squabbling over an inheritance; often they were cousins coming to blows and then laughing about it over a beer, or two foreigners struggling with a language gap and then suddenly finding out via hand signals and facial mugging that they're both in the same secret guerrilla army.

Helias plays like a Wimbledon tennis champ, switching grip and technique seamlessly, catching you unawares yet never missing a mark; Malaby was the emotional Mediterranean colourist, fearless in expressive range if not necessarily the most compelling of musical imaginations or tonal sculptors; and drummer Tom Rainey was a revelation, playing like a carpenter at work on a sturdy country church who, possessed of a private madness, was carving hidden gargoyles in every corner. His sheer physical power was fantastic - it kills when jazz drummers bash the brains out of their skins, and Rainey could hit everything, high-hat to kick drum to snare, with exact shades and calibrations of deafening force then switch to a laid-back shuffle that filled the room with a mist of cool.

I can't believe Rainey's not famous. (Jazz famous, that is, not famous famous.) This piece expresses the same sentiment and notes that he's never worked as a leader - not surprising given his radically unassuming personality (when Helias started to talk politics he immediately muttered, "Count it off, Mark!") but I don't doubt he's ready for the role.

In any case, we're lucky to have seen such players in such a scruffy little setting, with a large appreciative audience. Helias said it was a lucky break in a tour that "seemed a little thin." He talked soberingly about how musicians are now expected to play the entrepreneur and book themselves everywhere - whether they have that skill or not. He described getting up in the a.m. to do the organizing, sitting down at the piano to collect his thoughts, "and three days later you still haven't made that phone call." Still, he said, this show demonstrated how shit can come together if "you put the energy out there and don't give in to incipient depression," which drew a sympathetic round from all the players in the crowd.

(A lighter moment: One of the organizers brings the band beer, saying she made a special run between sets before the beer store would close. Helias: "Back home we call that enabling." Her, with long-suffering irony: "It's not like I live with a jazz musician or anything.")

Speaking of the crowd, what a good thing for all the Toronto improvisors to witness people who can play their instruments so damn well, but who also aren't sawdust-stuffed samples of jazz taxidermy. This city's got a surfeit of good intentions, powerful imaginations and open minds, but sometimes it seems like the younger generation here suffers a shortage of self-punishingly rigorous rehearsal and skill. They used to call it "chops," and sometimes you've gotta stop being so punk-rock and admit chops rule.

Question: Why is it that all jazz musicians, intro'ing or extro'ing a piece, say that it is "entitled" whatever it's titled rather than "titled" or just "called"? What's the genealogy of that charmingly stilted little tic?

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Saturday, September 25 at 2:42 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (8)

 

Guelphgate, Part III

No new news till the Jazz Festival issues its statement, assuming that's still happening. But the discussion continues to compel me. Tomorrow I might attempt some summing-up, but meanwhile strong statements continue to pop into the comments section on the first post. After the second post, I received this letter, which the writer has kindly allowed me to reprint. His impressions aren't mine, but closer than some others have been.

One bit of second-hand gossip: Sources say Parker and Drake had been hesitant to play with Namtchylak in the first place, having had difficulties with her before, and they likely will not do so again. I don't think that resolves the question, but it's worth adding to the ledger.

[...]

From: Bill Parsons
Re: Sainkho Namtchylak concert
Thu 9/16/2004 1:27 PM

I was at the Sainkho Namtchylak concert Friday night in Guelph.

The first part of the concert until the music halted I presumed to be
conceptual. I had closed my eyes and was transported to Bandung, west Java
where Qur'an mosque singers release prayers amongst the intensity of a
culture in motion. The music of Sundanese vehicles, tools, wildlife,
children's play, and conversations always in flux, though harmonious, to the
multiple, echoing, "site specific" versions of amplified and omnipresent
sung prayers. I remember John Cage's Roaratorio, where musicians and
speakers were spread throughout Convocation Hall in Toronto creating
distinct music with its own character and periodicity while John Cage
recited bits of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

When Sainkho was told, twenty minutes into the concert, a car was waiting
for her I viewed this as theatre. The reactions of the other musicians,
William Parker and Hamid Drake, were realistic and convincing. The audience
too seemed to play along spontaneously and with believable performances.
(Reality television transformed to the "free" music concert stage.) I
maintained this perspective until the end of the show. I often view concerts
as live theatre and find it more enjoyable, especially when the audience is
a part of the show.

The rest of the show was trans-splendid, except for the last 10 minutes
where unfortunately William Parker was determined to maintain a poorly
played temple bowl while obliterating the subtle overtones Sainkho was
trying unsuccessfully to produce - both maintained their positions, each
waiting for the other to stop until they finally both gave in to end the
concert.

All three musicians were brilliant, sensitive, and delivered a first rate
show. I felt fortunate to be there to experience it. I also take my hat off
to Sainkho for having the courage to scream and vent in front of us all,
exposing herself as vulnerable, hurt, frustrated, furious, and steadfast in
her belief that people need to listen.

Bill Parsons

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, September 16 at 11:17 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Show Business: Get Your Scoop On!

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The Zoilus September shows calendar has been updated regularly so Toronto-area types, go check there to fill your daytimers with nighttime noise. But here are some of the most exciting, some of them very exciting indeed. (Sorry to out-of-towners, but here's a solution: Move to Toronto! What's so good about New York anyway?!)

- Friday night (Sept 17) the Willem Breuker Kollektif won't be accompanying Murnau's Faust at the Goethe Institut, but they will return on Sept. 26 to play St. Andrew's church on the Island, 3 pm. See Rough Idea, and big ups to Ron Gaskin.

- Instead, Murnau's Faust at the Goethe Institut (restored! version!) will be accompanied by Ursel Schlicht, Sept. 17, 8 pm (116 minutes). She's a German-born, Brooklyn-resident pianist who made waves in Toronto and Guelph last week with her Sept. 11 commemorative free-jazz-international-folk ensemble piece Ex Tempore. Highly recommended. 163 King Street West at University.

- Also on Friday, The Silt brings its cracked improv'i'billy to the Tranzac, 10 pm pwyc, and Masia One headlines the debut of the M1 ACADEMY monthly hip-hop culture series (pic overhead), featuring Ultra Magnus, Cesar Comanche and Supastition, downstairs at the El Mocambo.

- On Saturday, there's a Ladyfest fundraiser bake sale/yard sale at 774 Crawford St. from 9 to 5. There's also a Ladyfest fundraising concert at Sneaky Dee's on Wednesday.

- That night Mrs. Zoilus and friends host an evening of soundworks-in-the-dark, featuring childhood cassette tapes and answering-machine messages and other audio detritus by Emily Schultz, Matt MacFadzean, Lee Henderson, Dave Poolman, Bill Bissett and others, as part of the Queen Street West Art Crawl, with CD/art swap by Consumption Records, at the Drake. 8 pm, PWYC ($5-$10 suggested).

- Contrary to what the Sneaky Dee's ad says in NOW, Trampoline Hall doors open at 7:40, not 7 o'clock on Monday (Sept 20). You can arrive earlier to pick up tickets while they last, but you're much better off picking them up over the weekend at Soundscapes instead.

[...]

- In a month heavy with tribute shows, you can celebrate Leonard Cohen's 70th birthday (!) at the Reservoir Lounge on Tues., Sept. 21, in which members of the Silver Hearts will cover the whole I'm Your Man album with help from Lily Frost, Bonnie Brett, Reid Jameson and other T-dot crooners. (And yes, I do mean "T-dot" ironically in this context....)

- Another tribute takes place Mon. Sept 27 - the annual, always enjoyable Tom Waits tribute, Steepleful of Swallows at the El Mocambo. Wonder if anybody will have gotten it together to cover something frome the new album, Real Gone? (Remember, though, that's the same night as Frog Eyes at the Horseshoe - sonics over sentiment!)

- The Calvin Johnson show on Sept. 28 is now listed on the K Records site as being at Kathedral instead of Lee's Palace. But it remains unconfirmed. (If you're busy that night, he's also listed as appearing in Hamilton, Toronto and Buffalo that week, as well as my hometown, Brantford, at the wonderful Ford Plant.)

- Also Sept. 28, the Norwegian Lightning Bolt, Noxagt is playing a house! show! at 7 Florence St., 6 pm, $5, with the Creeping Nobodies and others.

- On Sept 29 there is no Tin Tin Tin. My series returns on Wed. Oct. 27, a casualty of fall-season insanity. The wait will be worth it.

- On Sept. 29, the (slightly bizarre) SUPERDANISH culture festival brings you a Denmark Vs. Canada DJ showdown at Revival: DJ Static and MC Nat Ill vs. Abs & Fase with MC More or Les.

- Lesbians on Ecstasy plays an off-Ladyfest show at the Gladstone on Sept. 30 with King Cobra, Scandalnavia, Kingsize and Miss Kitty Galore. The actual Ladyfest begins the next day, schedule still TBA but apparently to include: carolyn mark, cougar party, hot springs, the sunday sinners, the bayonettes,hadassah hill (trash + ready), fox the boombox, rae spoon, the classic brown, glaxay, more!

- Further in the future, Pollstar lists a Kanye West date at the Air Canada Centre on Oct. 10, but no confirmation yet.

- Morris Tepper of Capt. Beefheart's Magic Band opens for PJ Harvey at the Phoenix on Oct. 15! With Eric Drew Feldman a frequent collaborator, the Peej is turning out to have the beefiest heart in rock these days. Well, next to U.S. Maple. Apparently Tepper's new album (on its way to me as I write) includes a new song written with Beefheart, which first foray into music in decades.

- On Oct. 17, the annual Canzine small-press festival hosted by Broken Pencil includes a special project by Blocks Recording Club: A new CD released every hour on the hour from 1 pm to 7 pm! Artists TBA. That's in the Gladstone Ballroom.

- Haven't seen much hype yet for the fact that the Stranglers are playing the Mod Club on Oct. 21. Veda Hille joins fellow west-coast songstresses Oh Susannah and Kinnie Starr in the same place for the revived Scrappy Bitch Tour on Oct. 30.

- Again unconfirmed, but looks like Del tha Funky Homosapien, Aceyalone, Abstract Rude and other MCs are at the Phoenix on Nov. 6.

- Billie Holiday meets cajun stylee in Madeline Peyroux, finally releasing the followup to her lovely Dreamland cd, 8 years later. She comes to the Phoenix on Nov. 10.

- Lali Puna is at Lee's on Nov. 13, Psychic TV at Funhaus Nov. 18, Diplo @ Mod Club on Nov. 19, and - excellent news - Canada's greatest country songwriter Fred Eaglesmith hits Hugh's Room for a four-night marathon from Nov. 24-Nov. 27.

That's enough playing Clark Kent for me. Back with more Guelphology and other things later tonight.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Thursday, September 16 at 4:47 PM | Linking Posts

 

Guelph Revisited: Royal City Standoff

"Everyone running around all upset and rumors flying. Can't you feel it in your fingers and your toes? It's like being alive ... man, all that conversation!" (Rayanne, My So-Called Life)

I.
James Hale writes in the comments sections, backed up in part by Tim Posgate:

" .... she would have been given the hook -- literally -- a lot earlier if she'd been performing at the Apollo Theatre ... What you don't address, Carl, is that this was a contractual agreement between audience and performer, not simply an artist making a statement."

Right, and Namtchylak deserves criticism for her behaviour. But the problem is that it's improvisation: At the Apollo the hook is a known part of the contract, but at Guelph it's not. What's expected at the Apollo was obvious. But improv is often entertaining only by a tenuous stretch of the imagination. It doesn't follow the rules to begin with, so how do we say when the performer is breaking the rules?

[...]

To use a canonical example, wouldn't John Cage's tuxedo-clad silent piano player have gotten a big humongous hook? Experimental music flirts with disaster on purpose. Part of its contract, I'd argue, is that disaster might actually happen. This incident made one wonder whether Guelph's feel-good vibe can handle that aspect of the music.

"I don't share the view that the Guelph festival or any other festival has anything to learn from this other than how to handle such a situation more tactfully than David Burgess - as ham-fisted and foot-in-mouthed an emcee as you'll ever find - did."

But isn't that quite a lot to learn actually - how to handle such a situation? After all, Guelph didn't use the hook - it invented a hook where none had been before. If it was unclear in my previous post, I think that's actually a brave and justifiable choice, but it's not a simple one, and surely it has implications. I'm sure the festival won't make a habit of it, but this option suddenly exists. What if it is used again, with slightly less justification? It would not take many incidents for Guelph to become known as the festival where they'll stop your improv if they don't like how it's going.

As well, the follow-through was terrible, and I don't think it's fair to put it all on Burgess. Even though he comported himself gracelessly, he was also thrown out on his own into a bizarre and hostile situation by people above him in the hierarchy, rather than have them risk articulating their own positions, which would have been greeted with much more respectful attention. If you're going to do something as serious as stopping a performer mid-show, no matter what the reason, you are humiliating the performer and senior festival people should have the guts to show their faces too.

The other lesson is that if you are bringing in a performer who is globally renowned for being temperamental, be prepared. Even if she's not the most famous performer and you'd rather not bother, don't allow things to get out of hand. By being so difficult she risks screwing up her own career, but don't allow room for it to screw up your festival too.

Edited to add: 1. I seem to have been off-base on this aspect. From reports in backchannel emails and also in the comments to the original post (see below), Namtchylak's mood was so erratic that nobody could have anticipated where it was going. So I take back my remarks on that matter.

2. The role of the sponsors and the desire to placate the sponsors is emerging as a depressingly central element in this tale. Again, see comments.

Needless to say, if it does go wrong, don't follow up by delivering an ethnocentric moralistic homily, as if the whole incident were some kind of staged parable you'd put on for our betterment. Ahem.

II.
As for the Shepp talk, I think James has misunderstood me -

"What he served up was not scholarship..."

I never said it was anything of the sort. Just said that it was an enjoyable ramble around his subject, when it wasn't turning to slander.

I do think addiction is an over-stressed and undercontextualized topic in jazz writing; not having read Mark's book I shouldn't comment on that particular case. In general it is a challenge to balance an account of personal dysfunction with one of artistic creation and arts biographers, for good reason, consistently have trouble with it. Shepp was overlooking that and assuming it was solely a black-jazz thing when the same applies to artists, musicians, writers, actors, etc. etc. whenever their stories are told.

So I agree with James wholeheartedly that what Shepp said about Mark was bullshit. I just don't think that it came out of some sort of gratuitous maliciousness - I think it had to do with the defensive habits of a lifetime, which are formed by things a lot more concrete than jazz journalism, but with which jazz journalists have to be prepared to contend and cope.

If you're a white writer or musician or fill-in-the-blank in jazz, you'll probably get called a racist along the way, and if you can't handle and even sympathize with that, however unfair the specific charge may be, you're heading into the wrong minefield. I'm quite sure Mark knows that, even if Shepp's wild punch stung.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, September 15 at 1:17 AM | Linking Posts

 

Lastminutegigalert

Just announced:
The WoodChopper's Association @ The Tranzac Club
Thursday September 16 2004, Doors 9:30pm

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The lowdown:
"Starting at 10pm there is going to be four knockdown sets played by four different WoodChopper bands. Oh Ya! Come and celebrate Lewis Melville's 50th Birthday along with such fine friends as: Jesse Baird, Blake Howard, Jake Ulrichs, Chris Banks, Rob Clutton, Victor Bateman, Andrew Downing, Uncle Lew Melville, Tim Posgate, Terence Dick, Eugene Slonimerov, Brian Cram, Lena Allemano, Scott Good, Scott Thomson, Doug Tielli, Jenny Mitchell, Scott Cameron, Brodie West, Paul Newman, Kenny Kirkwood, Glen Hall, John Oswald, Jay Baird, Dave French, Julia Hambleton, Daphydd Hughes, Tania Gill, Misha Glouberman, Mike Hansen, James Anderson and more special guests to be announced!"

The hype:
"You don't get this much awesome mojo stuffed into one room on just any old day. N'est pas?"

The endorsement: True nuff. Don't miss the phun.

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, September 14 at 12:47 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Guelph Fest's Fantastic Fiasco

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My colleague Mark Miller offers an account in today's Globe of the blowout that went down Friday at the Guelph Jazz Festival. But here's my point of view on one of the most memorable, bad-ass improv shows I've ever seen, which saw a music festival strung up by the weakest wet-spaghetti strings in its own braid of good (or you may say, goody-two-shoes) intentions.

[...]

Mark gets some things right: "Sainkho Namtchylak, a noted singer who improvises in Siberia's Tuvan tradition, was a half-hour into an unhappy, tuneless wail at Chalmers United Church on Friday night. She stood with arms firmly crossed, the picture of defiance, and more than once made a display of consulting her watch, as if to ask, 'How much longer?' At no point did she respond to the tremendous rhythmic undertow generated by the two others on stage, New York bassist William Parker and Chicago drummer Hamid Drake."

Namtchylak's "wail" was actually a drone, and rather than tuneless it was melodically relentless, the same three notes repeated with little variation. (It even could be defended ethnomusicologically, but that would be disingenuous.) Good portions of the audience were walking out and others were buzz-buzzing in their pews, including some beside me doing so in full speaking voice as if nobody could possibly be listening to this - even though Parker and Drake were turning in, off on their own, one of the best sets I've ever heard them do.

At that point, the hapless MC for the evening, one David Burgess, was sent in by festival staff (and according to fest media liaisons, at the demand of other musicians to bail Hamid and William out) and began waving from the side of the stage. Mark was again accurate about what happened next:

"After a moment's confusion, she stopped the performance and reluctantly stepped down to shouts of 'Stay, stay, stay' from the audience. She herself could be heard to ask, 'What is freedom then?' In time, the audience prevailed. Back in place, Namtchylak aired her grievances against the festival and against life in general."

What Mark leaves out here is that after Namtchylak's rant - including some clear charges, like that she wasn't picked up the airport, and some incomprehensible ones - she stood there uncomfortably as tension peaked and members of the audience began shouting out, "Where is the festival director?" and other requests for someone from the extremistly community-minded festival to respond to the complaints and to the awkward situation. There was an utter vacuum. Ajay Heble, the festival's chronically visible artistic director, was for once nowhere to be seen.

Finally, William Parker began playing a golden bowl that produced a calming ring and the focus turned (near unwillingly) back to music. And here's where I differ in the extreme with Mark's account. He says, she "began singing again, this time a little more tunefully but still with some apparent distraction. It was Parker and Drake who gave the music what contour it had."

Obviously Mark would not have enjoyed Namtchylak's performance no matter what. What she did in the ensuing 45 minutes or so was a textbook case of kicking ass and taking names, Tuvan-shaman style. I have a bunch of recordings of her singing, tho I've never heard her live before, and this show outstripped anything I expected. It was furious, virtuosic and encyclopedic, from screams and overtone sequences that seemed likely to splinter the wood of the church if not cause it to burst into flames, to birdlike fluttering melodies that could have turned your blood to fog, and everywhere in between and sometimes - this being Tuvan throatsinging - simultaneously. An incantatory stream of hyperspeed syllables was perhaps most memorable, partly for its pentecostal fire of labial and glottal cascades and partly for the impression (shared, if conversations after the show are any indication, by the whole crowd) that she was putting one mother of a curse on us all.

(Mark claims that the audience cut her off at the end with its applause, but it seemed clear to me the musicians themselves chose their end point - long after their allotted time ran out.)

Parker and Drake served as able accompaniment at that point but their glory was in the first set, while Namtchylak seemed to be throwing the game. I will maintain to all comers, that first section was worth hearing for the bizarre contrast of her inertia and their dynamism - a supremely interesting combination if you closed your eyes to her scowling and just listened to the sound - and I think it's a very weird call to make at any point to decide that an improvisor is doing the "wrong" thing, even if you know that she's doing it to piss you off. That has to be saved for the retrospect.

Still, as Mark said, they were damned if they did stop her and damned if they didn't, and given what we got next, I'm selfishly happy they did.

What I'm not glad about is that they behaved like such passive-aggressive Canadian wimp-ass pissants about it after they took the action. And, though I don't know what the details of what happened beforehand, that they were foolish enough to give this notoriously touchy performer - who is after all from an arctic wasteland that was until recently mostly a place Soviet authorities banished people to, and is only lately a celebrated source of indigenous vocal magic - cause for irritation in the first place. As a friend said, "If they'd been dealing with Cecil Taylor or Anthony Braxton, you know they'd make damn sure that nothing like that got screwed up."

Given Namtchylak's position in her musical culture - an utterly unique one far beyond the range and experience of any other Tuvan singer - that comparison seems apt. And so why did it happen? For all Guelph's self-proclaimed "progressive" character, you have to say it is partly because she's a non-western woman who doesn't command that same respect, because as a result people are ignorant about her stature.

Which made it quadruply nauseating that Burgess - who till that point I could forgive because he was the fall guy, the festival's sacrificial lamb - addressed the issue in his intro to the next set (by Andrew Cyrille's great Pieces of Time drum choir) by saying, "We try to bring cultures together and ... the results are not always peaches and cream," or some such patronizing turn of phrase, blaming what took place on interculturalism itself (!) rather than mismanagement and miscommunication. What a TORRENT OF SMARM! The conflict wasn't between Drake, Parker and Namtchylak, Mr. Burgess. Yes, there was cultural friction, but it wasn't artistic. It was between the festival and the performer. It was between her and you.

I have a stake in the whole mess because I'm all over the festival's program materials: "It's the kind of event that makes you imagine music can change things," I'm quoted. Friday night that was both realized - in the frisson of excitement and of shit actually going down - and betrayed, in the mealymouthed nonsense that was used to defuse it.

Mark says, "This then is Guelph jazz: a place where fans defend on principle an artist's right to perform poorly" as if that were patently absurd. But how do you have free improvisation without that principle? How do you have art, whose history's a sum of brilliant mistakes? The disappointing thing is that it's a place where you thought the festival would defend that principle too.

What is wrong with Guelph has long been that the risks it takes are too dictated by ideology and not enough by art, too directed towards community feel-good moments and not enough to making your spine go gelatinous. Don't get me wrong: For a scrapbooky Ont. college town, the Guelph fest is a fucking brilliant and improbable coup, but after so many years in operation it also needs to take off its Birkenstocks, put on combat boots and wade out into the deeper muck.

Here I'm down with Mark's conclusion, if not with how he got there: "How deliciously ironic, then, that an event that takes such pride in being so high-minded in matters of theory could turn so heavy-handed in the cold face of a little reality."

Bottom line is that conflict is a good thing for art and for thinking, especially in the near-fatally confrontation-phobic Canadian arts, and I think what happened Friday is going to help the festival grow up, if they dare process the experience in a way that isn't purely self-serving. Friday they were on the self-serving path but there are a lot of smart critical people around the fest whom I hope will demand better.

That said, another less enlivening conflict, also involving Mark Miller, came on Saturday during the keynote talk by Archie Shepp, which was mainly an enjoyably circuitous exploration into how improvised African-American music (he doesn't use the word jazz, which he considers insulting) carries the legacy of African culture. But repeatedly he referred to Mark's book Cool Blues: Charlie Parker in Canada by analogy to a story about a carful of bigots rolling down the window to yell "Nigger!" at Charlie Parker on a street corner.

Shepp's anger was over what he considered the book's undue emphasis on Parker's drug abuse compared to his music. I haven't read it, but I do know Mark's work in general and I think the implication that he's a racist is straight-up guff, slander and bile. I also think I can understand why Shepp feels that way - he's seen enough racism from the jazz press, enough misunderstanding of the music far and wide, that he doesn't waste time with a fair trial.

But if Mark's book does overemphasize the druggie angle, I'm afraid he's only falling prey to the same temptation as scribes on Ernest Hemingway, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, you-name-'em, always have and always will give in to, which is that the sordid stuff makes better copy. It is much easier to document and describe than artistic process, heritage and inspiration, so substance loses out to substance abuse.

It is taken too far, and absofuckinglutely it is endemically overdone in treatments of black artists, a kneejerk pathologizing reflex. But that doesn't mean books about Parker should just omit his smack problem either. (See Gopnik on biographical criticism below.)

Though he spoke with rich eloquence, Shepp remains the sharp provocateur he always has been: The accusation of Mark was a tangent from another point, but when he realized it was getting a rise he dug into it. I don't blame Shepp; he has reason for his pique, and his verbal grenade did its job, to percuss the point home. Racism is a question white critics of jazz have to take very seriously; we may never casually absolve ourselves of those underlying biases.

But Mark didn't deserve to be cast as the bête blanc here. His career has been one long, self-sacrificing demonstration of devotion to this music in all its forms, and whatever our other differences, I will stand up for his integrity.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, September 13 at 11:46 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (14)

 

Holding Hands After Swimming in a Lake (Plus: Ambitious Arto)

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Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening, Dub Narcotic Sound System, K Recs) is in Toronto @ Lee's Palace, Sept. 28. I've never seen him. Will it be super-mutant charm or repulsive twee? (The above pic, to me: charming. To you? Caveat emptor.)

In other news: Franz Ferdinand wins the Merrrrrrrrrrrrr............ sorry, dozed off there. At least Belle & Sebastien's waste of Trevor Horn's time was not rewarded. (Grump!)

ALSO: In Franklin Bruno's otherwise excellent Boston Phoenix piece on Arto Lindsay and the reissued DNA recordings, he poses "an obvious question: how did he travel from there to here?" (In which "there" is abrasive "arch-negationist no wave" and "here" is samba-spined "slick, accessible ... electro-acoustic grooves".)

While Franklin limns the result of that journey with his customary eloquence, there's actually a straight answer to the question he leaves hanging.

In brief: After DNA, Lindsay worked with the likes of Anton Fier, John Lurie, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, John Zorn and Ryuichi Sakamoto, all of which likely helped sand some of the spike off his style. But the big missing link is the oft-neglected Ambitious Lovers, Lindsay's band with Peter Scherer on keyboard, which stands at a near-exact midground 'tween DNA and O Corpo Subtil. Their Lust, Envy and especially Greed are sharp mashes of Prince, no wave and Braziliana.

Around the same time, Lindsay met Caetano Veloso in NYC, and because of his Brazilian background he got to produce Veloso's album Estrangeiro, which positioned him to be heavily involved in the next decade's worth of Brazilian avant-pop with Marisa Monte, Gal Costa and Carlinhos Brown, bridging to the likes of Juana Molina now, as well as Lindsay's stunning series of seductive 1990s solo works.

And through it all, he's still never really learned to play guitar: Read David Krasnow's neat Bomb interview with Arto.

Edited to add: Franklin also points out a crack Arto story by Douglas Wolk that includes the best description of DNA's sound I've ever read: "poems constructed entirely of punctuation."

News | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, September 08 at 1:30 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

Harmolodic Hotline

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If you're in Toronto and haven't checked the September calendar lately, there are plenty of updates, a ridiculous amount going on.

One in particular to point out: The great James Blood Ulmer, one of Ornette Coleman's most important 1970s collaborators and in the 1980s a figure bridging no-wave, Black Rock Coalition, blues, free jazz, is appearing at Lula Lounge on Sept. 30. The announcement:

"James Blood Ulmer - MY ID Project
Legendary jazz and blues guitarist Ulmer will appear as part of MY ID Project on September 30 along with Aubrey Dayle and Ron Jackson. Ulmer is renowned for his distinct combination of free style jazz with bottom-bumping funk and gut-bucket blues. Ulmer has recorded with Ornette Coleman, Rashied Ali, David Murray and Oliver Lake. His performance at Lula Lounge with celebrated percussionist Aubrey Dayle and guitarist Ron Jackson will be his first appearance in Toronto in 8 years."

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, September 07 at 2:22 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Predators of the Adoration (Or, "Mount Eerie? Mount Phooey!")

More live music for me this past weekend than in any in many a month: Friday night at Sonore, Sunday with Chenaux/Arnold and Black Ox Orkestar at Wavelength and Monday at the Music Gallery for the Microphones.

[... continue to mini-reviews, denunciations etc. ...]

Sonore, the Brotzmann/Gustafsson/Vandermark trio at the Goethe Institut, was sheer ear-wringing-out pleasure. Oh, and presenter Ron Gaskin [Rough Idea] name-dropped Zoilus from the stage - the first time that's happened, an eeensy milestone in the blogography.

At Wavelength Eric Chenaux on guitar and Martin Arnold on banjo played a deliriously pleasant opening set, featuring some old folk and blues pieces and some originals all run through a blender that was part Eugene Chadbourne, part Tony Conrad-style process music. Martin's very rare vocal turn on Trouble in Mind was a joy (Martin's American originally, if I remember right, so he has the accent for it), and Eric's guitar solo on the last number, from his new disc with Michelle McAdorey, Love Doesn't Change, was an unusual instance of him putting aside modesty and shooting the moon.

The Black Ox Orkestar followed, entrancing most of a surprisingly packed Labour Eve club (happily including a contingent of older relatives of the musicians and perhaps a smattering of Ashkenaz-going tourists(?), less happily the never-ending, never-shutting-up party that carries on in the back of any Wavelength), with a powerful, four-square, somewhat austere set. I missed some of the added texture and sonority of the album, but appreciated the effort made to put the songs in context and provide translations of the Yiddish lyrics, the sort of material that really ought to be provided with the album (it's shrouded in some of the usual Constellation artier-than-thou blank obfuscation - aesthetically sumptuous but unhelpful in this instance, where the histories behind the songs are of darker design than any black-on-black graphic could be).

As for last night, the Microphones... Being in the church that hosts the Music Gallery is always wonderful - as opener Woelv aka Genevieve Castree (aka Gosselin, ex-Montrealer, and Mr. Microphones' fiancee) put it, "It's the best place to play in the world." And I enjoyed her set, a demure Cat Power/Julie Doiron/Bjork sort of thing in French and, on the set highlight, fractured Flemish on a full-throated a capella Jacques Brel cover - tho it'd be nice if she'd make like Black Ox and let the linguistically challenged in on the subject matter time to time - to stimulate the imagination and help prevent the songs from seeming to blur into each other. Also tranced out blissful-like to Craig Dunsmuir's Guitarkestra loops project in the resonant lulling acoustics of the space. But the Microphones...

Well, Washington State, K Recs boy Phil Elvrum has a cult following and far be it from me to piddle on their paradise. And the ensemble assembled by Jonathan Bunce for this first edition in his brand new Avant Pop series at the Gallery was inspired, with Sea Snakes and some ace local horn and woodwind players backing Elvrum's landscape-centric anthems and Woelv's harmonies. The band learned the songs that afternoon and listening to them slapping together ideas for the arrangments on the fly lent a real human drama to it all, an intimate adventure for players and spectators. But after a few years of mixed feelings, this show brought me to the conclusion that I don't like the Microphones/Mt. Eerie schtick - it comes off to me like self-helpy new ageisms, all sub-Hermann Hesse blah blah blah about death and the mountaintops and wolves, these figures repeated in song after song and surrounded with little homilies whose sense of humour (for which thank fucking god, mind you) can't disguise their basic misanthropy.

Not that Elvrum doesn't seem like a fine fella, and definitely a charismatic performer. (All the more once he stopped having to be a bandleader and was playing solo.) But it's all Romantic-with-a-capital-R stuff about the noble indifference of nature compared to the cruel letdowns of social existence, in song after song talking about going into the snowy peaks and living with (and presumably running with) the wolves. While I'm down with the ecological aesthetic, this is just Dr. Phil for Earth Firsters. The crowd eats it up like lullabies, and no wonder, as it's complete moral quietism. ("They tell you you have to stand up for what's right/ You don't. Lie down....")

Philosophically it's bullshit to me - the fact that nature cannot dread death, cannot hate death, etc., that its cruelty is impersonal and thus preferable to the ego-ridden cruel choice of humanity, all that rot. Of course nature can't be ego-riddden - as far as we know, it hasn't that capacity. But human beings having the capacities that they have is natural too. There is no separating curtain except that thinking makes it so. Our cruelty may be laden with self-consciousness but that does not make it less innate, and all that just renders kindness more astounding... (Search out Toronto poet Christopher Dewdney's sadly out-of-print The Immaculate Perception for a brain-spanking naturalist's celebration of the phenomenology of self-consciousness.)

With all that second-order shit shoved aside the nature-boy bit floats there as kid stuff in the sink, left-out-to-spoil Thoreau amped up by a few good English-major feints and dodges but remaining completely wedded to a lyric "I" or (weak dodge) "you" whose effect is that the mountains and clouds are still possessed by the singer rather than vice-versa. Though he gets off a good one about how people try to pretend they are what they're not by going camping (a la Deliverance), his songs ultimately seem like a camping-trip-as-epiphany in a bad workshop short story. You could compare the much more quizzical strategies Devendra Banhart, f'r'instance, uses to make his mystikal dreams seem distinct from the dreamer.

And if this were a rigorous essay, I'd be on that like Elvrum on a thumbsucker about the great black night, but for blog purposes I'll fade out on this more-reluctant-than-it-sounds character assassination attempt - so reluctant that I'm in fact entirely willing to change my mind back again and decide Mt. Eerie is in fact a minor miracle, for instance because of the radical localism of his materials - and make off in dark sunglasses and grey fedora back to the underworld of column deadlines.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, September 07 at 1:40 AM | Linking Posts

 

September Songs

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It's that time already. I got obsessive-compulsive about this list in the past week, with the result that I think it might be the most comprehensive list of live music in the month of September 2004 in Toronto you can read anywhere. I don't promise ever to do that again, but I'll try to update this list this month to maintain its glowering superiority. (Corrections also welcome.)

Highlights known for the month so far include:
- Sonore (Peter Brotzmann/ Ken Vandermark/ Mats Gustaffson), Goethe Institut, Sept 3
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- Jake Fairley (Berlin/Toronto, Uncut), Revival, Sept 3
- Talib Kweli at CNE bandshell, Sept 4
- Fred Eaglesmith, Roots festival, Distillery District Sept 4
- Black Ox Orkestar (Montreal, inc. members of Silver Mt. Zion, ex-Sackville), Wavelength, Sneaky Dee's, Sept 5
- Ashkenaz, Harbourfront all next week
- The Microphones (backed by Sea Snakes), Guitarkestra, the Music Gallery Sept 6
- Guelph Jazz Festival, Sept 8-12 (day by day details below)
- Leftover Daylight w/guests Ron Samworth and Kate Hammett-Vaughn, Arraymusic, Sept 10
- Drive-By Truckers and Alison Moorer [pictured up top], Horseshoe, Sept 11
- Fiery Furnaces, Mod Club, Sept 12
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- Old 97s, Chuck Prophet, Lee's Palace, Sept 12 (strange this isn't at the Horseshoe)
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- Nick Lowe, Lee's, Sept. 15
- Kensington Rocks! and Good Grooming for Girls launch and Sadies two-night stand, all the weekend of Sept 17-18
- Junior Boys cd launch (at last!) with Solvent, Horseshoe, Sept. 22
- NOJO with Sam Rivers at the Rex Hotel, Sept. 22
- John Coltrane birthday tribute, the Rex Hotel, Sept 23-25
- Creeping Nobodies cd release with Les Mouches, Cinecycle, Sept 25
- Frog Eyes, Horseshoe, Sept 27
- Tin Tin Tin, Drake, Sept 29
- Kool Keith, Funhaus, Sept 30
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FULL CALENDAR


WED SEPT 1
MATT WOLFE, JAKE CHISOLM @ Drake PWYC 9pm
DAVID OCCHIPINTI QUARTET @ Top o the Senator thru Sun. Sept 5
CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE @ CNE (The White Album)

[...]

THURS SEPT 2
KYP HARNESS w/DAVID CELIA and JOHN BORRA @ Silver Dollar
TRIAGE (Chicago) @ New Works Studio (319 Spadina) w/ Dave Rempis (sax), Jason Ajemian (bass), Tim Daisy (drums), presented by Rough Idea. 8 pm
CRASH CONTINENTAL @ Drake 9pm
THE 1000 FACES OF LOOPS featuring: PRINCE N!FTY, FINAL FANTASY, GUITARKESTRA, ANIMAL ANIMAL, THE BOSS RC20 LOOP STATION @ Sneeky Dee's. $4
KEVIN QUAIN, KIERAN OVERS QUARTET @ Rex
X MAKEENA (France), CRYOGENICS, MINDBENDER @ Holy Joe’s, $5
THE SPADES @ 360 Club, 10 pm $5
JIM GUTHRIE @ Silver Dollar Room, 9 pm

FRI SEPT 3
HARRY CONNICK JR Hummingbird Centre, 1 Front E. $49.50-$85.50 at TM. Sep 3.
SONORE (Peter Brotzmann/ Ken Vandermark/ Mats Gustaffson) @ Goethe Institute. Set 1, 7:30; Set 2, 10 PM. $20
JAKE FAIRLEY, (Paper Bag, Dumb-Unit, Kompakt, Sender), Derek Plaslaiko (Ghostly, Plus8), Adam Marshall (New Kanada, Killer), Uncut (Paper Bag, Dumb-Unit), 1/2 Inch-No Dick @ Revival $12
SUICIDE MACHINES w/ River City Rebels, Flat Liners.@ Opera House. 8:30 $13.50
LOS PRISIONEROS @ Kool Haus. $35
VAN MORRISON @ Molson Amphitheatre. $35.50-$115
TORONTO CITY ROOTS SONG CELEBRATION: Dan Kershaw, Justin Rutledge & Junction Forty, Kiran Ahluwalia, Sylvia Tyson. 7 pm. SIDE STAGE, 6:30 Michelle Rumball, Greg Hobbs, Suzie Vinnick @ The Distillery District, 55 Mill. $25-$60.
CARSON FOSTER'S KICKASS KARAOKE @ Drake bsmt, 9 pm, pwyc
DARK ELECTRONIC MUSIC w/ PREDATOR-X(trance/E.B.M.), PULSE PLANT(psy-trance), MY SECRET FIRE (ambient noise), REVOLVER_1010(Germany) - (Dark Wave) @ Lee’s Palace FREE before 11pm, $5 after.
RAOUL BHANEJA DUO, KIERAN OVERS QUARTET @ Rex
CJ SLEEZE, VIRGINOISE @ Silver Dollar Room
BARMITZVAH BROS., THE MOUNTAINSIDE BAND, STEVEN DALL, DAVE CELIA @ Rivoli, September 3
THE QUARTERTONES, KOBAYASHI @ El Mocambo (down), $8

SAT SEPT 4
TORONTO URBAN MUSIC FESTIVAL @ CNE Bandshell, 5-10 pm: J-Staxx, Pangea Project, Chilae, Toya Alexis, Gary Beales, Ray Robinson, Saukrates, Talib Kweli (9-10 pm)
THE SILVER HEARTS@ The Drake 9 pm $10
TORONTO CITY ROOTS SONG CELEBRATION: Scott B. Sympathy, Oh Susanna, Lynn Miles, Fred Eaglesmith. 7 pm.. SIDE STAGE, 6:30 Lynn Harrison, Rob Lamothe, Michelle Rasky, Blair Packham @ The Distillery District, 55 Mill. $25-$60.
ELECTRELANE, CREEPING NOBODIES, THE TWO KOREAS @ Horseshoe. $10
THE MUSIC OF ANCIENT GODS feat Thoth@ Opera House. $25
OT AZOJ (Holland) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 8 p.m. CIBC Stage
HAVDALLAH ("Soul stirring Jewish ritual") @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 9 p.m. Toronto Star Stage
THE KLEZMATICS (New York City) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 9:30 p.m. CIBC Stage)
FEAST OF THE EAST (middle eastern rhythms by more than a dozen musicians ) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 11 p.m. Brigantine Room
BACKSTABBERS “GRAND OLD UPROAR” W/ ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET @ Canadian Corps Hall (201 Niagara), $10
WINTER EQUINOX, Form One, No Orchestra, Prologic @ Rancho Relaxo, PWYC
Abbey Sholzberg Swing Trio, Laura Hubert Band, Shurum Burum, Bernie Senensky Quintet @ Rex
GUH, LENIN I SHUMOV, TENDERIZERS (Owen of Les Mouches), GUITARKESTRA, THE BANK (Members of Frank FB_A), THE MARAUDER @ 403 Adelaide West $6. 9 pm.

SUN SEPT 5
TORONTO CITY ROOTS SONG CELEBRATION: Bob Wiseman, Priya Thomas, Serena Ryder, Ashley MacIsaac, 7 pm. SIDE STAGE, 6:30 Ian North, Nancy White, Wendell Ferguson, Adam Mitchell @ The Distillery District, 55 Mill. $25-$60
MICHAEL ST GEORGE CD release. Bamboo Cabana.$25.
ASHKENAZ PAGEANT (A musical/theatrical event involving dozens of artists) @ ASHKENAZ 12 p.m. Anne Tindal Park
ROQUY AND THE CAVEMEN (New York) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 2:00 p.m. CIBC Stage
EAST AND WEST accompanied by Marilyn Lerner (Toronto) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 2:00 p.m. Studio Theatre
KIDS AND YIDDISH (Folksbiene Theatre) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 2 p.m, Brigantine Room
LACHAN JEWISH CHAMBER CHOIR (Toronto) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 2:30 p.m. Lakeside Terrace
BEYOND THE PALE (Toronto) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 3:30 p.m. CIBC Stage
YIDDISH RADIO HOUR (A musical reenactment from the 1930s) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 4:30 p.m. Brigantine Room
SRULI AND LISA (Klezmer for Kids) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 4:30 p.m. Toronto Star Stage
MANOUCHE (Quebec) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 5:30 p.m. Toronto Star Stage
KLEZMER EN BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 7 p.m. Brigantine Room
MIKVEH (New York City) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 8 p.m. CIBC Stage
DECADENT BERLIN (Rediscovered music from the 30s) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront 9 p.m. Brigantine Room $12
KHUPE (Berlin) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront (9:30 p.m. CIBC Stage)
FLYING BULGAR KLEZMER BAND (Toronto) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront (10 p.m. CIBC Stage)
JESZCE RAS (Montreal) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront (11 p.m. Brigantine Room)
THERESA TOVA CANADIAN CABARET (A musical revue) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront (11 p.m. Lakeside Terrace)
BLACK OX ORKESTAR, ERIC CHENAUX/MARTIN ARNOLD @ WAVELENGTH, Sneaky Dee’s
G-MEN CD release, The Sinking Ships, Bruiser Brody @ Rivoli
INFUSION (Australia), DAVE CLARKE, MARK OLIVER, RYAN RUCKUS, DJ MUTE, EVIL P etc etc @ LABOUR OF LOVE FESTIVAL III, Guvernment/Kool Haus, 10 pm-?, $45

MON SEPT 6 (LABOUR DAY)
STRANGE FOLK w/ Geordie Haley/Jean Martin (9:30 pm), Marcel Aucoin/Eric Chenaux (10 pm), Dan Goldman (10:30), Marvinn's Love Mechaniques w/ Daffyd Hughes, Tim Shia, Leo Shia, Chris Banks (11) @ Holy Joe's, pwyc
THE MICROPHONES (Phil Elvum backed by SEA SNAKES), GUITARKESTRA , New! Pop Avant series @ The Music Gallery, 8PM $10/$12 door
TERRORFACT @ Fun Haus
MIX96 Beachfest w. KATE MAKI, FEFE DOBSON, HAWKSLEY WORKMAN, SHAYE, etc. @ Sunnyside Park
KIDS & YIDDISH @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, Noon, Brigantine Room
POMEGRANATE SQUAD (Feminist klezmer, Toronto) @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront Noon., Toronto Star Stage
NORTH END KLEZMER PROJECT, Winnipeg/Vancouver @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 1 p.m., CIBC Stage
HU TSA TSA, Toronto @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront , 1:30 a.m., Lakeside Terrace
KHUPE, Berlin @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 2:15 p.m., CIBC Stage
YIDDISH RADIO HOUR, A musical reenactment from the 30s @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 2:30 p.m., Brigantine Room
ZETS, A musical by Holland's OT AZOJ @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 3:00 p.m., Studio Theatre
SRULI AND LISA @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 3:00 p.m., Toronto Star Stage
SHTREIML, Montreal @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 4 p.m., Toronto Star Stage
TORONTO JEWISH FOLK CHOIR @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 4 p.m., Lakeside Terrace
STEMPENYU’S DREAM, U.S.A. @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 5 p.m., Brigantine Room
EAST AND WEST accompanied by KLEZMER EN BUENOS AIRES @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 5 p.m., Studio Theatre
THREE YIDDISH DIVAS with ADRIENNE COOPER, THERESA TOVA, JOANNE BORTZ @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 6:30 p.m., CIBC Stage
LES YEUX NOIRS, France @ ASHKENAZ Harbourfront, 7:45 p.m., CIBC Stage

TUES SEPT 7
THE GRIS-GRIS w/BBQ, ORE @ Silver Dollar
LILY FROST, ROYAL WOOD@ Drake Hotel, $tba. www.lilyfrost.com.
ADI BRAUN AND THE MARK EISENMAN TRIO Top o' the Senator , 253 Victoria , 8:30 pm, to Sept 12
DAVE YOUNG QUINTET (KIRK MacDONALD/TERRY CLARKE/ KEVIN TURCOTTE/ GARRY WILLIAMSON) play Cannonball Adderley @ Montreal Bistro
TODD KERNS (ex-Age of Electric) @ Horseshoe (free)

WED SEPT 8
THE LONG KNIVES @ Rivoli
ANDY MAGOFFIN @ Rivoli Pool Hall EVERY WED. IN SEPT
INNER CITY/OUTER SPACE w/ Aidan Baker, mn-l, Seven Ton Earth @ IV Lounge 9 pm pwyc
THEMIDWAYSTATE w/ Woke Up in Vegas, more @ El Mocambo
BOB LOG III, Mayor McCa, Action Makes @ Horseshoe, $8.50
ANTIMUSIC MISSILE, Lobster Rock Tokyo, Powered By Air @ Sneaky Dee's, $3
TRANSATLANTIC party feat. DJS Stuart & Grainne Braithwaite (Mogwai), Will Carruthers (Spacemen 3) @ Swallow Lounge, $5 or PWYC
YOONI CHOI 4TET (NYC) @ Rex
DAVE YOUNG QUINTET (KIRK MacDONALD/TERRY CLARKE/ KEVIN TURCOTTE/ GARRY WILLIAMSON) play Cannonball Adderley @ Montreal Bistro
ANGELNOVUS.NET LABEL LAUNCH electronic sound art by TIM CORLIS, STEPHANIE MOORE, DAVID OGBORN and more@ Gladstone Hotel Ballroom $8 at the door 7:30 PM
IMPROVISORS' POOL @ Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen E., 6:30-9:00
AMIRI BARAKA keynote @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST 4:15 pm, MacDonald Stewart Art Centre (MSAC), free
MICHAEL WATERMAN’S SOUND CIRCUIT, launch of Critical Studies in Improvisation @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 5:30, MSAC, free
ANNE BOURNE, JUSTIN HAYNES, RAVI NAIMPALLY @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 8 pm, MSAC $18

THURS SEPT 9
PAU TORRES (Spain, laptop)/ROB CLUTTON (Canada, bass) and UTE VOLKER (Germany, accordion)/CHEFA ALONSO (Spain, sax) @ New Works Studio, 319 Spadina, Upstairs, 8pm.
TOMMY STINSON , ex-Replacements w/ ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE @ Horseshoe. Sep 9.
PERFECT @ Horseshoe
BLUESCREEN, MADRID, ANOTHER BLUE DOOR, DJs STUBERMAN and CHLOE @ Drake pwyc 10pm until 4am
AIDAN, Eden Ants, Paperkillsrock @ Sneaky Dee's
HIGH WATER MARK, Madrid, Bluescreen, Another Blue Door, DJs Phoebe & Stuberman @ Drake Hotel
GASH @ 360
WELCOME KARMA @ El Mo $6
GENTLEMANFEST!, a benefit for Ladyfest Toronto, feat. Femme Generation, Sour Keys, The Pauls, DJ Mikey Apples and others TBA @ Gladstone Hotel, $5
KEVIN QUAIN, BEN JANSON QUINTET @ Rex
DAVE YOUNG QUARTET plays Miles Davis @ Montreal Bistro to Sat.
IMPROVISING WOMEN SINGING workshop, w Kate Hammett-Vaughan (host), Christine Duncan, Sainkho Namtchylak, Yoon Choi, Joane Hétu @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST , MSAC, 10:30
4INOBJECTS (w/Yoon Sun Choi), free, @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 1:30 pm MSAC
KATE HAMMETT-VAUGHN, RON SAMWORTH @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 3 pm, MSAC, free
BARNYARD DRAMA w/Justin Haynes, Bernard Falaise, @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, MSAC, 5 pm, free
MICHEL LAMBERT, w/ Barre Phillips, and Lionel Garcin; OLIVER LAKE QUARTET w/Mary Redhouse @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, St George’s Anglican Church, 8 pm, $23
NOMA @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, St. George’s Mitchell Hall, $18 11:30 pm

FRI SEPT 10
SANTA CRUZ with the BACKTHEFUCKUPS, SMASH HITLEY @ Lee's Palace, dancing, glee
PETSOUNDS "EAT YOUR FRIENDS" magazine launch feat. More or Les, The Bicycles, DJs Bronson Lee, Cab Williamson, Pammm @ Stones Place, $5
RED LIGHT RIPPERS & guests @ Sneaky Dee's
MEATLOCKER SEVEN and BURN TO BLACK @Rockit. $7
JACK JOHNSON w/ G Love & Special Sauce, Donavon Frankenreiter. @Molson Amphitheatre. $35.50
SALVADOR ALLENDE ARTS FESTIVAL @ Toronto Women's Bookstore (73 Harbord), pwyc.
LEFTOVER DAYLIGHT. John Oswald- alto sax, Scott Thomson- trombone ; Ron Samworth- guitar, Scott Thomson- trombone, Joe Sorbara- drums; Ron Samworth- guitar, Kate Hammett-Vaughan- voice; Kate Hammett-Vaughan- voice, John Oswald- alto sax, Ken Aldcroft- guitar, Tania Gill- piano @ Arraymusic $15. 9 pm.
THE SIN-TONES AND BLACK BOOT TRIO @ Cadillac Lounge
OLIVER BLACK, SPOKANE JUPITER, LIFTED AND HUNDRED MILE HOUSE @ Horseshoe, $6.
CAROL POPE, SOOK-YIN LEE, GLOBAL POP CONSPIRACY @ Drake $15
MELISSA STYLIANOU TRIO, THOM GOSSAGE QUINTET (Montreal) @ Rex
DAVE YOUNG QUARTET plays Miles Davis @ Montreal Bistro
Wren City Churches, Fever Sheds, Isherwood, Ill Scarlett, Sian Evans @ Club 279, $5
YARA with THE PIN, CRY: ROBOT CRY, MONSTER MONSTER & ROB HYDE @ Clintons, 9 pm, free
GUTTERDEMONS, MEATHOOKERS @ John & Jenny’s Rock n Roll party, Silver Dollar $10
RON NIGRINI @ Hugh's Room, $10-$12
VOICING OFF: Jazz and Social Justice panel w/ William Parker, Hamid Drake, Ursel Schlicht (and Ex Tempore), Jesse Stewart (host), Maroon @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 9 am MSAC, free
INSTRUMENTS, VOICES, NARRATIVES workshop w/Susie Ibarra, Joëlle Léandre, Jean Derome, Anne Bourne, and Ellen Waterman (host) @GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 10:30 am, MSAC, free
THEO BLECKMANN, JOHN HOLLENBECK @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, MSAC 1 pm, free
JEAN DEROME, JOANNE HETU @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 3 pm, MSAC, free
ARCHIE SHEPP keynote talk @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, MSAC, 5 pm, free
SAINKHO NAMTCHYLAK/WILLIAM PARKER/HAMID DRAKE, ANDREW CYRILLE’s PIECES OF TIME @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, Chalmers United Church, 8 pm, $28
BOB OSTERTAG, PIERRE HEBERT, THEO BLECKMANN @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, St. George’s, Mitchell Hall, 11:30, $18

SAT SEPT 11
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, ALISON MOORER @ Horseshoe $13.50
JENNIFER LOPEZ KNIFE label launch w/Tha Judge Dreadz ("a vocal duo propelled by confounding drum machine patterns"), Rapewhistle ("Think Brian Eno's Music for Paralytic Anxiety"), Materials ("vancouver spazz-rock amazings, who aren't on our label, but we like them") and MORE @ Sneaky Dee's
DEEP DARK UNITED Cd release, THE TRISTANOS @ Tranzac
THE VERMICIOUS KNID, Sleeper Set Sail, Florida Evans, The Smear Campaign, DJ Hopscotch @ Rancho Relaxo, $6
RAAG-MALA MUSIC SOCIETY concert w/Atul Desai (vox), Raqmesh Bapodra (tabla) @ U of T, Med Sciences Auditorium, $10-$28
KID ROCK, WHITESTARR, TWISTED BROWN TRUCKER @ Molson Amphitheatre. $55
SALVADOR ALLENDE ARTS FESTIVAL closing concert w/Nano Valverde and Marcelo Puente, Grupo Chile, Grupo Taller @ The Great Hall, 8 pm, $15
THE PLANET SMASHERS w/ The Toasters, The Pietasters. @ Lee's Palace, matinee 2:30, $10; evening, 10 pm, $15
ZEROSCAPE, The Hellz Kitchen Show, Breadfan, Plight, Endeavour @ Rockit, $8
ADDISON GROOVE PROJECT AND DIESEL DOG as part of the Toronto Progressive Jazz series @ 360, $10
THE SOLES, I.AN.EYE, PATRICK MCGORAN, BRIAN CHAMP and more, as part of Stand In The Flames, an Artists for Awareness benefit,@ Reverb, 9 pm-1 am, $10
CACHE @ Lula Lounge
TWO-MINUTE MIRACLES, THE NEW BLACK @ Drake, pwyc 9 pm
SHURUM BURUM @ Rex, 7-9 pm
BANE, WITH HONOR @ Kathedral, $10.50
DAVE YOUNG QUARTET plays Miles Davis @ Montreal Bistro
MOSE SCARLETT, JACKIE WASHINGTON, KEN WHITELEY @ Hugh's Room, 8:30 pm, $20
SKA BRAWL TOUR 2004 w/ Los Furios, New Blood Revival, The Toasters @ Lee's Palace
JOELLE LEANDRE, INDIA COOKE @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 10:30 am, Youth Music Centre, $18
CARDEN ST. JAZZ TENT @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 11:30 am, 7 pm, w/11:30 am- Autorickshaw, 1:00 pm – Maroon. 2:30 pm - Kevin Breit & Sisters Euclid, 4:00 pm - Les Projectionnistes, 5:30 pm - Shuffle Demons, free
SUSIE IBARRA TRIO with Angelica Sanchez, Jennifer Choi, THOM GOSSAGE’S OTHER VOICES @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 2:30 pm, Guelph Youth Music Centre, $22
URSEL SCHLICHT’s EX TEMPORE note: webcast at www.guelphjazzfestival.com/live, 8 pm, ARCHIE SHEPP/ROSWELL RUDD/REGGIE WORKMAN/ANDREW CYRILLE @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, Chalmers United Church, 8 pm, $30
DO MAKE SAY THINK @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, Old Quebec Street, $18

SUN SEPT 12
MICHEL LAMBERT’S OUT TWICE TRIO w/Barre Phillips, Lionel Garcin; URSEL SCHLICHT/GABRIELLE HASLER @ St. Andrew’s by-the-Lake, Toronto Island, 3 pm
JAZZ VESPERS w/Rick Wilkins, Frank Falco @ Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge, 4:30, free
FIERY FURNACES, White Magic @ Mod Club, $12.50
OLD 97s, Chuck Prophet. @ Lee’s Palace
JOHN BORRA and friends @ Cameron, 6-8 pm, free
KYPRIOS, Sweatshop Union, DL Incognito, Skitz @ Kathedral, $15
EX TEMPORE feat. Ursel Schlicht & Ravish Momim @ The Music Gallery, $5-$15
DEEP DARK UNITED (cd release), FINAL FANTASY, WET DREAMS (members of Frank FB_A) @ Tranzac, afternoon.
SKITCH series w/SCOTT STEVENSON, MIKE GENNARO, KURT SWINGHAMMER @ Rivoli, $5
WIND AND WATER with DEBAJIT CHAKRABORTY sitar, & SUBHAJYOTI GUHA tabla, JULIE MICHELS voice, & GEORGE KOLLER bass, HAJILE KALAIKE , AKA LOTUS & GEORGE KOLLER dilruba @ Glenn Gould Studio 8 pm $20-$25
LAIKA AND THE COSMONAUTS @ El Mocambo
WAVELENGTH: BUILDING CASTLES OUT OF MATCHSTICKS, METRO STARMAN, MATT BOUGHNER , DJ Greg Clow @ Sneaky Dee’s
COLLABORATIONS w/Rex Harrington, Peter Blanchet, Susan Hoeppner, Beverley Johnston, David Matheson @ Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina, $50
MONATOMIC (New York) @ Rex, 9:30 pm
FRIENDS OF FIDDLERS' GREEN @ Tranzac, $12
OUTBREAK (Maine), THE BONDS (Montreal), KEEP IT UP, URBAN BLIGHT @ Ania's Cafe 7 pm $8
IN PLACE OF WISHES by Robert Pennee w/Peggy Lee et al @ GUELPH JAZZ FEST, 10:30 am and 7 pm, GYMC, $18

MON SEPT 13
KAREN MANION, guest @ Montreal Bistro
TOWNES VAN ZANDT DOCUMENTARY @ Toronto International Film Festival, Cumberland 3, 9:30 pm

TUE SEPT 14
HARSH REALITY TOUR w/ Sybreed, Lyzanxia, Freakhouse @ Rockit
DISCO BLACKOUT w/DJ'ing by CONTROLLER.CONTROLLER @ The Embassy, 223 Augusta
KELLY JOE PHELPS @ Hugh’s Room
Z’HOWNDZ, Resinators, Sometimes Why & TBA @ Drake Hotel, $7
DIABLEROS @ Horseshoe, FREE
DOROTHEE BERRYMAN (Louise from Decline of American Empire, Barbarian Invasions), Toronto jazz debut @ Top o’ the Senator, Sept. 14-16.
AL HENDERSON QUINTET (Pat LaBarbera, Alex Dean, Richard Whiteman, Barry Romberg) @ Montreal bistro through Sat. Sept 18
GREG QUILL, STEVE PAYNE, MICHAEL PICKETT @ Rivoli, 9:30pm, $8
VINYL VANDAL, WENDY ATKINSON in the Ambient Ping @ The Gladstone Hotel, pwyc 9 pm

WED SEPT 15
TOWNES VAN ZANDT DOCUMENTARY @ Toronto International Film Festival, Cumberland 3, 9:15 AM
NICK LOWE, Geraint Watkins @ Lee’s Palace.. $23.50.
JULIA FORDHAM @ Mod Club $25, doors 7 pm
DIVINE COMEDY, Paula Palusma, David Celia @ Horseshoe, $13
CARRIER, PROELIIS FERE (CD Release), BLUE SKY BORDERLINE, FRAMEWORK @ Kathedral $7, 7 pm
ALEXISONFIRE, Hopesfall, Moneen @ Opera House, $20, AA
UMBRELLA MUSIC w. THE JUNCTION, ROMEO LIQUOR STORE, MARK BRAGG, PACIFICA @ Rivoli, 9 pm, $6
THE ASSISTANTS & guests @ Sneaky Dee's
live jazz & improvised music
JOHN OSWALD/SCOTT THOMSON/JAKE OELRICHS, KEN ALDCROFT TRIO+1 @ Tranzac, 10 pm

THURS SEPT 16
BASQUIAT TRIBUTE feat Les Six, Natasha Cotreone & Marco of Supergarage, DJ Dopey and more. @ Revival. 7pm. $10.
CORPUSSE, PERMAFROWN, JOHNNY SIZZLE, THE PAULS, FRANK FB_A, POST-CONSPIRACY BOREDOM @ Blue Moon. $6
INDIE WEEK (because what Toronto really needs is another band-showcase festival...) @ Rivoli, B-Side, Bovine, Cameron, 360.
WAYNE OMAHA, The Freckles, NQ Arbuckle.@ Horseshoe. $8
RED DOOR SHELTER fundraiser w/Quarter Tones, DJs Fade One, Nana @ Drake $5, 8 pm
MARTYN JOSEPH @ Hugh’s Room
ALEXISONFIRE, Hopesfall, Moneen @ Opera House, $20
SENSES FAIL w/ Under Oath & The Bled. @ El Mocambo. $13
ANGERKAIN, Uneven Ground & Special Guests @ Kathedral
OPEN SOURCE bring-your-own-music party @ Lounge 88, FREE
AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE feat. Amy Adams, Camile Velasco, Diana Degarmo, Fantasia Barrino & more @ Air Canada Centre, $35-$49.50
KATEYEZ w/Dwight Anderson , DJ Epic , DJ Human Beatbox Jugular, DJ Snax @ Bamboo Cabana, $10
GASTRIC FEMALE REFLEX, ANDREA DRAGHICI @ Le Gourmand, 152 Spadina, Free
IN DIVINE STYLE Hiphop open mic @ Hooch (above Gypsy Co-op)
WOODCHOPPERS' ASSOCIATION/ LEWIS MELVILLE'S 50th BIRTHDAY w/ Jesse Baird, Blake Howard, Jake Ulrichs, Chris Banks, Rob Clutton, Victor Bateman, Andrew Downing, Uncle Lew Melville, Tim Posgate, Terence Dick, Eugene Slonimerov, Brian Cram, Lena Allemano, Scott Good, Scott Thomson, Doug Tielli, Jenny Mitchell, Scott Cameron, Brodie West, Paul Newman, Kenny Kirkwood, Glen Hall, John Oswald, Jay Baird, Dave French, Julia Hambleton, Daphydd Hughes, Tania Gill, Misha Glouberman, Mike Hansen, James Anderson... @ Tranzac, 9:30 pm

FRI SEPT 17
MASIA ONE/ M1 ACADEMY new hip-hop monthly w/ Ultra Magnus, Cesar Comanche and Supastition @ El Mocambo.
THE SILT @ Tranzac
MURNAU'S FAUST with live piano by URSEL SCHLICHT @ Kinowelt Hall/Goethe Institut, 8 pm
postponed to sept 26, new venue: WILLEM BREUKER KOLLEKTIF
GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS, PINE MUSIC, ELLIOTT BROOD, THE BARMITZVAH BROTHERS, THE TWO-MINUTE MIRACLES Weewerk showcase as part of the Kensington Rocks Festival. @ Sneaky Dee's.
ART & NOISE, w/Highway Chronicles, DJ Separate Bill, art installations @ Stones Place, $5
SARAH HARMER, Josh Ritter @Massey Hall. $29.50-$35.50
THE SADIES, RICK WHITE @ Horseshoe, $10
GOOD GROOMING FOR GIRLS CD release feat Jill Barber, Heidi Hazelton, Jon Rae Fletcher & The River, Cougar Party @ Rancho Relaxo. $5.
THE GEARS present Fidel: A Rock'n'Roll Revolution film @ Drake, 9 pm
WE ARE SAMBA featuring ESCOLA DE SAMBA DE TORONTO, BRAZIL NATIVA DANCERS, AXÉ CAPOEIRA, 7 pm @ 90 Croatia St. www.sambatoronto.ca
SNOW PATROL @ Opera House, $17.50
HANK WILLIAMS TRIBUTE feat Oh Susannah, Roy Payne, Russel DeCarle, Joan Besen, Dan Kershaw, Wendell Ferguson, Steve Briggs' Drifting Cowboys. @ Hugh's Room, $25
THE ASHGROVE @ B-Side
VALENTIN Y LOS DEL CARIBE @ Lula Lounge, $15
SIMMER @ Club 279 with guests, $7
KAREN PLATO AND THE MARK EISENMAN TRIO Top o' the Senator
TAXI CHAIN @ Silver Dollar $10
RECLAIM THE STREETS w/Maracatu Nunca Antes, The NOW Project, dj TASK etc @ Bellvue Park, Kensington Market, 6 pm, free
KATIE SEVIGNY @ Cameron House
JULLY BLACK and guests "The Ladies' Show" @ Revival
THE DOWNBELOWS, THE THREAT @ Lee's
SOUNDS OF YOUNG NEW YORK release party w/Dominique Keegan, Steve Yanko, Andrew Allsgood, Denise Benson @ Andy Poolhall, $7
TRIP PHOENIX, ACTION MAKES, STARS HERE, SEPTEMBER IS FALLING, APHASIA, RED LIGHT RIPPERS @ Bovine, $8

SAT SEPT 18
MRS. ZOILUS & FRIENDS present AUDIO IN THE DARK for the Queen St. Art Crawl, with works by Emily Schultz, Matt MacFadzean, Lee Henderson, Dave Poolman, Bill Bissett, etc., CD/art swap by Consumption Records @ Drake, 8 pm, PWYC ($5/$10 preferred)
416 FESTIVAL w/TARA CHASE, FATHOM, SCAM, WYSPER (Oddities), SHEBANG, CITIZEN KANE, much more @ Queen West & Portland parking lot, noon-6 pm, Also Sun Sep 19 FREE
NASSAU, THE TWO KOREAS, PERMAFROWN @ Rivoli, $8
THE SADIES, RICK WHITE @ Horseshoe $10
GOOD GROOMING FOR GIRLS CD release feat Republic of Safety, Magneta Lane, Scandalnavia, The Diskettes @ Rancho Relaxo. $5.
RYAN DRIVER QUARTET @ Tranzac
JOHN RENBOURN, JAQUI McSHEE @ Hugh's Room, $20-$22
WILD T & THE SPIRIT @ Healey's.
BLACK DONNELLYS w/ The 3Tards, Random Killing, Dirty Bird, Riot 99, Guts & Glory, Underage Mouthfuls.@ The Kathedral. $8.
GARY US BONDS @ Lee’s $22.50
VALENTIN Y LOS DEL CARIBE@ Red Violin, $15
SALSA SATURDAY W/ PROYECTO CHARANGUERO @ Lula Lounge, $10
RATSICULE, PACIFICA @ Queen West Art Crawl @ Drake 8 pm
ODIORNE (ex-Mercury Rev!), Blue Screen, Mean Red Spiders & guests @ Sneaky Dee's
SEA SNAKES, Heidi Hazelton, Jill Barber, Lord and Peasant, & TBA @ Port Credit Masonic Lodge, $7
DEAR JANE I..., Tit Fuck Me Jesus, Proeliis Fere, dd/mm/yy @ Poor Alex Theatre, $5
Shurum Burum, Michael Occhipinti's Sicilian Jazz Project @ Rex
KAREN PLATO AND THE MARK EISENMAN TRIO Top o' the Senator
KENSINGTON ROCKS presents G-MEN, PANTY CHRIST, BRUISER BRODY, POISON AEROS @ Silver Dollar Room
BILLY KLIPPERT @ Mod Club, $15
JIMMY GNECCO (of OURS) @ Cobalt, 9 pm, $10
THE CASUALTIES, RIPCORDZ, MAXIMUM RNR, ACTION @ Kathedral, all-ages matinee, doors 2 pm, $15
LADYFEST YARD/BAKE SALE @ 774 crawford st., 9am - 5pm, www.ladyfest.ca RONCESVALLES HARVEST FESTIVAL, many performers @ High Park/Roncesvalles (south stage), Howard Park/Roncesvalles (north stage)
FOGGY HOGTOWN BOYS @ Dominion on Queen, 3:30 pm

SUN SEPT 19
WAVELENGTH: DON CASH, CITYFOLK, DJ Alexandra @ Sneaky Dee’s
ALAN GLICKSMAN’S “GLAD TOES” improv w/ PAUL DUTTON/CHRIS TONELLI (vocal duo), WENDY ATKINSON (bass) and more @ Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel 2pm-6pm free
APRIL VERCH (fiddler) @ Harbourfront, 1 pm, $8
416 FESTIVAL w/TARA CHASE, FATHOM, SCAM, WYSPER (Oddities), SHEBANG, CITIZEN KANE, much more @ Queen West & Portland parking lot, noon-6 pm, FREE
RUNCIBLE SPOON @ St. Andrew by-the Lake Toronto Island Church, Offshore Jazz Matinee 3 PM, followed by Trinity College Choir Evensong, $15
JOHN RENBOURN, JAQUI McSHEE @ Tranzac
BOTTLENECK @ Cadillac Lounge
HOGTOWN FEST w/ Death Threat, Merauder, Ringworm, Agent of Man, The Vice, The Kill Decibel, A Day and a Deathwish, If Tomorrow Comes, Hit & Run @ Reverb, $20. 6pm
BACKSTABBERS COUNTRY STRINGBAND @ Cameron front room, free, 6-8 pm
LANGUAGE LOUNGE w/ Stuart Ross & John Farah, Terence Go and DJ Verlia, Maewon, Ahdri Zhinia Mndieli, Jemeni, more @ Mitzi's Sister, pwyc
KENSINGTON ROCKS outdoor show with More Plastic, Elliott Brood, the Resinators, the Kensington Hillbillies, the Whammies, Psychoactivist, Bunchofuckingoofs, Z’Howndz, Contact, Battlestar, John Grove, Poppy Seed & the Love Explosion, the Fitzroy Terrors, Lesbian Hi-Fidelity and Swamp Baby @ 77 Nassau St., noon-6pm
RONCESVALLES HARVEST FESTIVAL, many performers @ High Park/Roncesvalles (south stage), Howard Park/Roncesvalles (north stage)

MON SEPT 20
TRAMPOLINE HALL @ Sneaky Dee’s, tix at Soundscapes the weekend before, $6, limited rush seats $5 at 6:30 pm, show 8 sharp
MACHA and MAHJONGG @ Lee’s $10
PHIL COLLINS Air Canada Centre. $79.50-$125
JOEY BELLADONNA (ex-ANTHRAX) w/ Goat Horn.@ Rockit. $16.50
Chris Hunt Tentet + 3 @ Rex, 9:30-12:30
TRIBUTE TO DUKE ELLINGTON with DAVID WARRACK and friends @ Montreal Bistro
MATT MEYES @ Lee's Palace, $8
MALHAVOC, ICON OF COIL, CRUXSHADOWS @ Funhaus, $20, 9 pm
LISA LOEB @ El Mocambo. 8pm. $12

TUE SEPT 21
THE REPEATOS in Ambient Ping @ Gladstone, pwyc
KEANE w/ French Kicks.@ Guvernment. $23.25
LEFTOVER CRACK w/ Stockyard Stoicks, Heatskores. @ 360. $15.
JUNIOR BOYS in-store @ Soundscapes 7 pm, free
ANN HAMPTON CALLOWAY @ Top o’ the Senator thru Sun. Sept 26
DON THOMPSON/PHIL DWYER 4TET (w/Terry Clarke, Mike Downes) @ Montreal Bistro thru Sat Sept. 25 (not Wed.)
AMBIENT PING w/THE REPEATOS @ Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, pwyc 9 pm
MARK BRAGG, BOTTLENECK @ Horseshoe
LEONARD COHEN 70th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (I'm Your Man interpreted by Silver Hearts w/ Bonnie Brett, Heather Bambrick, Lily Frost, Patricia O'Callaghan, Reid Jamieson, Robbie Roth, Theresa Tova, more) @ Reservoir Lounge, 7:30 pm, $10
ROBERT RANDOLPH, CITIZEN COPE @ Phoenix, 8:30 pm, $25
SIMON & THE EVIL COMPUTER, SILENT FILM SOUNDTRACK @ The Hooch (above Gypsy Co-op), 10 pm, pwyc
NEKTAR, CARAVAN @ Opera House
THE BLOKK (Afro-Cuban jazz fusion) @ Trane Studio
JAMES THOMSON/CHRIS QUINN, THE WHEELHANDS (bluegrass) @ Tranzac

WED SEPT 22
JEAN BAUDET TRIO (Montreal) @ Humber College, noon-2 pm, Lakeshore Campus Auditorium (3199 Lakeshore Blvd W. 2 blocks west of Kipling)
JUNIOR BOYS CD release, with SOLVENT @ Horseshoe $7
SAM RIVERS w/NOJO 9 @ Rex, 9:30 pm-12:30 am (2 sets)
MARTIN SEXTON @ Lee’s $22
BEN LEE, PONY UP!, LINDY @ Mod Club, $12.50
LADYFEST BENEFIT: NO DYNAMICS, VIGILANTE JUSTICE, THE GUEST BEDROOM @ Sneaky Dee's, $5, 9 pm, www.ladyfest.ca
NUNO CRISTO @ Lula Lounge cd launch $5
SOUNDS OF IPANEMA: A TRIBUTE TO TOM JOBIM w/ Barbara Queiroz, Cristiano de Oliveira, Rosangeal Cabral, more @ Healey's $10
STRANGE FOLK w/ MARCEL AUCOIN, GEORDIE HALEY, MICHAEL KIETH, ERIC CHENAUX, MARTIN ARNOLD @ Tranzac, 10 pm, pwyc
ANTHONY HAMILTON, RAY ROBINSON @ Guvernment, $25
MARCEL AUCOIN (jazz) @ Tranzac
CRAZY STRINGS High Lonesome Wednesdays @ Silver Dollar

THURS SEPT 23
LAL w/ The Resinators, David Dacks. CIUT FM fundraiser. El Mocambo. $TBA.
JULIE DOIRON w/ Herman Dune @ 360
APOSTLE OF HUSTLE @ Clinton's, 693 Bloor W. 7:30pm and 10:30pm. $10
WARSAW VILLAGE BAND @ Assembly Hall (Lakeshore & Kipling), 7 pm, $25 (family $75)
TRASH CAN SINATRAS @ Lee’s $13.50
ABDELLI @ Lula Lounge, $20, Small World Music Festival
SOULIVE as part of the Toronto Progressive Jazz series, @ Opera House, $20
THE FLYING BUTTRESSES CD release @ Sneaky Dee's
KEVIN QUAIN, JOHN COLTRANE BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE by Pat LaBarbera & Kirk MacDonald Quintet @ Rex
CHRIS WHITLEY @ Hugh's Room
HAPPY FINGERS piano fundraising concert for Jazzfm91.1 with @ Mod Club, $100, 7 pm Norman Amadio Joe Sealy, Ian Bargh, Bernie Senensky Laila Biali, David Virelles, Ron Davis, Nancy Walker, Hilario Duran, Richard Whiteman, Kieran Overs (bass) and Archie Alleyne (drums)
DAYGLO ABORTIONS w/ Ssipyeknom, Mr. Plow, more. @ Kathedral
ELLIOTT BROOD, BURT NEILSON BAND @ Rivoli

FRI SEPT 24
MARK HELIAS’ OPEN LOOSE, Ken Aldcroft Trio @ Leftover Daylight Series, ARRAYMUSIC Studio, 60 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 218, $20
HANK, The Bicycles, Immaculate Machine @ Rancho Relaxo, $5
MELISA STYLIANOU, JOHN COLTRANE BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE by Pat LaBarbera & Kirk MacDonald Quintet @ Rex
TROPICO FRIDAY w/ CIMARRON @ Lula Lounge, $10
REZ BLUES w/ ROBBIE ANTONE’s BLUES MACHINE, SHOW BIZ INDIANS @ Silver Dollar, 10 pm
KELLY & THE KELLYGIRLS Swing Swing launch party, @ El Mocambo, $7.
GREEN DAY @ Phoenix
KEVIN BREIT's FOLK ALARM, iOta @ Hugh's Room, 7 pm, $12
THE PARIAHS, MAXIMUM RNR, RED LIGHT RIPPERS, LORRINAS @ Drake 9 pm
JONATHAN SEET BAND, ROYAL WOOD, KEVIN FOX @ Tequila Lounge, 9 pm
MATTHEW BARBER @ Rivoli
SHIT LA MERDE @ Sneaky Dee's
STAGGERED CROSSING @ Horseshoe
POCKET DWELLERS @ Mod Club
ELIANA CUEVAS @ Glenn Gould Studio, $20, Small World Music Festival
BILL GROVE and the Fabulous Embers (rock band, not jazz) 9 pm and 11:30 pm @ Cameron House, $15
KITTIE, WETWORK, THINE EYES BLEED, THRONE APART @ Opera House 7 pm
METRO DESI @ Gladstone, 10 pm-3 am, $7/$10 after 11 pm
MENAGE A TROIS w/SCANDALNAVIA, THE CLIKS, GALAXY @ El Mocambo, $7
R. KELLY & THE KELLY GIRLS cd release @ El Mocambo, 9 pm, $7

SAT SEPT 25
THE CREEPING NOBODIES CD Release for Stop Movement Stop Loss, Les Mouches, DJs Salinger and Dumbfuck @ Cinecycle, 9:30 pm, $7
DZIHAN & KAMIEN @ Bamboo Cabana, $15, Small World fest
BLOCKHEAD, SIXTOO, DJ SIGNIFY @ El Mocambo
MAGNETA LANE @ Hive Launch, Club OVs (1302 Queen West), $7
SHURUM BURUM, JOHN COLTRANE BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE by Pat LaBarbera & Kirk MacDonald Quintet @ Rex
CACHE @ Lula Lounge, $10
THE HIGH DIALS @ Blow Up!, Swallow Lounge (292 College St. West)
OF MONTREAL, THE LATE BP HELIUM (members of Elf Power & Of Montreal), THE BICYCLES @ Poor Alex Theatre
KEVIN WELCH, KIERAN KANE @ Hugh's Room
BILL GAITHER@ Air Canada Centre, 6 pm, $28.25-$48.25
THE FORMULA & guests @ Sneaky Dee's
EVALYN PERRY @ Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, Scarborough $7.50/$15
DJ GREYBOY @ Una Mas, $13.50
JOHN & THE SISTERS (Kevin Breit, John Dickie, Sisters Euclid) @ Silver Dollar, 10 pm, $10
NERO @ 360, $10
CHEVELLE @ Mod Club, 8 pm, $12
TRICKY WOO @ Horseshoe
BILL GROVE and the Fabulous Embers (rock band, not jazz) 9 pm and 11:30 pm @ Cameron House, $15
STIRLING @ Mod Club, $10
JENG YI KOREAN DRUM & DANCE ENSEMBLE @ Isabel Bader Theatre
RACHEL PAGE/THOMAS HANDY @ Renaissance Cafe, $5

SUN SEPT 26
WILLEM BREUKER KOLLEKTIF @ St. Andrew by-the-Lake Church, 3 pm, $20
TRICYCLE & guests @ Lula Lounge $10, Small World Music Fest
HER SPACE HOLIDAY with NEOTROPIC, DAEDELUS & OCTAVIUS @ Horseshoe $9
JAZZ VESPERS w/ Marilyn Lerner @ Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge, 4:30
ROOM 101 games @ Drake, 7:30 pm
WAVELENGTH: THE FIREBIRD BAND, VIKING CLUB, MIA VERKO (ex-Sadie Hawkins) + DJ Christopher Thinn @ Sneaky Dee’s, pwyc
KEVIN WELCH, KIERAN KANE @ Hugh's Room
YAT-KHA @ Lula Lounge, Small World fest
JESSE SYKES & THE SWEET HEREAFTER (about whom I've heard good things) @ Rivoli
SONNY VINCENT @ Reverb
SKATALITES, MAKESHIFT HEROES, CHEAP SUITS @ Reverb, 6:30 pm, $25
THE HARLETTES @ Revival, $10

MON SEPT 27
FROG EYES w/ The Lost Cause. @ Horseshoe. $7. (In Hamilton the next night.)
BLOC PARTY@ Revival $10
TEGAN AND SARA @ Mod Club Theatre, $16
Joel Miller & 'Mandala’ (Montreal, w/Tom Gossage, drums) @ Rex
FAIRPORT CONVENTION @ Hugh's Room
U of T jazz studies faculty concert @ Montreal Bistro, $50
SOUNDSTREAMS works by Harry Freedman and Poul Ruders, Glenn Gould Studio, $25
STEEPLEFUL OF SWALLOWS Tom Waits Tribute @ El Mocambo

TUE SEPT 28
CALVIN JOHNSON @ Kathedral - ? (unconfirmed)
NOXAGT, PANSERBIORNE, CREEPING NOBODIES, IN ABSENCE OF @ Disaster House (7 florence st. north of queen, off of dufferin), 6 pm $5. (house show!)
BLACK KEYS, The Cuts @ Lee’s, $15, 9 pm
SCHOOLBOOKS FOR HONDURAS benefit w/ Eliana Cuevas, Julie Michels, lisa patterson and mark battenberg@ Hugh's Room, $25
HIGH WATER MARKS, TELEPATHIC BUTTERFLIES @ Horseshoe
THE OLD SOUL @ Horseshoe, FREE
RENEE ROSNES QUINTET @ Top o the Senator thru Sun Oct 3
STEVE KOVEN TRIO (with Rob Clutton, Anthony Michelli) @ Montreal Bistro (also Wed.)
AMBIENT PING presents CHERYL O @ Gladstone Hotel, 9 pm, pwyc
RYE COALITION, DIVISION OF LAURA LEE, Your Enemies Friends, The Kinison @ Mod Club, 7pm. $17
ABK (Insane Clown Posse) @ Silver Dollar

WED SEPT 29
XAVIER RUDD, NINE MILE @ Horseshoe. $10
MELISSA ETHERIDGE @ Massey Hall, $59.50-$79.50
WINTER EQUINOX, No Orchestra, K-Pet, DJ Shaniqua @ Sneaky Dee's
CANCELLED - TIN TIN TIN @ Drake. Returns Oct. 27.
ROB McCONNELL TENTET @ Rex
ALESSANDRA BELLONI (Southern Italian singer-percussionist) @ Lula Lounge $20
STEVE KOVEN TRIO (with Rob Clutton, Anthony Michelli) @ Montreal Bistro
BRUCE GUTHRO @ Hugh's Room
SUPERDANISH: Denmark Vs. Canada DJ Showdown w/ DJ Static and MC Nat Ill vs. Abs & Fase with MC More or Les @ Revival
CRAZY STRINGS High Lonesome Weds @ Silver Dollar

THURS SEPT 30
JAMES BLOOD ULMER/MY ID PROJECT @ Lula Lounge, $25/$30
KOOL KEITH @ Funhaus, $24.50 adv.
JAKE FAIRLEY, CONTROLLER.CONTROLLER, UNCUT, FEMBOTS, MAGNETA LANE @ Lee’s Palace $10
LESBIANS ON ECSTASY, KING COBRA, SCANDALNAVIA, KINGSIZE, MISS KITTY GALORE @ Gladstone, $10
JIM BRYSON, NATHAN LAWR @ Rivoli, $8
THE EVAPORATORS w/ Nardwaur the Human Serviette.@ Horseshoe. $8
THE DOERS @ The 360.
ETERNAL FOES SIMMERING IN HATRED: Art of Seripop vs. The Complaint Dept. w/ music by The Creeping Nobodies, No Dynamics @ 44 Dovercourt Basement
CONTROLLER.CONTROLLER @ Lee's Palace, $10
OPEN SOURCE bring-your-own-music party @ Lounge 88, free
DAYGLO ABORTIONS w/ Ssipyeknom, Mr. Plow, more. @ Kathedral (?)
BOOSTER SQUAD & guests @ Sneaky Dee's
LOWEST OF THE LOW, MARBLE INDEX @ Phoenix, $18
ROB McCONNELL TENTET @ Rex
JANE FAIR/ROSEMARY GALLOWAY 5TET (with Lina Allemano, Terry Clarke, Nancy Walker) @ Montreal Bistro thru Sat. Oct 2
AFRICAN BLUES w/ MADAGASCAR SLIM & DONNE ROBERT, ADAM SOLOMON, NDIDI ONUKWULU @ Silver Dollar Room, $10, 8 pm, Small World fest
BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH, FLASHLIGHT BROWN, MAD CADDIES @ Opera House
JP CORMIER @ Hugh's Room, $20-$22 (also Oct 1)

Thanks to: Now, Eye, 20hz., Greg Clow.

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, August 31 at 3:47 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)

 

The Apostate of Husserl, or rather...

Close readers may have noticed over the past year-plus that I am no big Broken Social Scene fan, unlike the 5,000 people I got samwiched by at Harbourfront on Friday night. General verdict: more guitars does not necessarily make more music. To my ears it is an indie version of too-many-riffs arena stylee, sounding a bit more by committee than by collective, on the far side of my preferred songs-to-texture ratio; at best a crack backing band to Emily Haines. I don't fault BSS and their fans - except for said fans' irritatingly high average height - but for me they're more fun to hear about than to hear. (See for example Sarah Liss's blissfully lissfully melodramatic BSS feature in Now last week.) What gets much respect is the warm loving waves they've managed to emanate out to this fair city, far beyond the usual broken inner circle, and Friday night was great evidence for that. (Oh and PS, Jim Guthrie, his ukelele [shades of Stephin Merritt!], Owen [Mouches, Cameras, Final Fantasy] Pallett and the rest of Guthrie's crew owned!)

However, I got to hear BSS member Andrew Whiteman's new project Apostle of Hustle live at Soundscapes on Sunday night, and I'm seriously considering converting to his shimmyshaking faith: sinuous cubanismo textures interwoven into indie rock with nary a shade of world-music blobbism, loops and percussion and horns and touching fragmentary breathy boy lyrics (leggo my emo!) and rhythmrhythmrhythm. I'll surely be writing something lengthier and printier soon.

Speaking of lengthier: Epic Motherfuckin' Literary Lyrics Battle Throwdown is still to come. But I had to get over one (1) case of the howlin' fantods and one (1) case of the late-summer langours first, and now everything has gone column-deadline-shaped (Peter Brotzmann action coming your way), so it will have to wait a couple more precious days.

Which is all right, since the bulk of Blogolalaland seems to have gone on blogiday anyway, half fleeing the Republican convention, half simply fleeing the sad mad whirligig of suppurating summertime.

Nonetheless, I will have some shots to fire at their scurrying behinds.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, August 31 at 1:03 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

This Weekend Is Insane!

What remains to be done, T.O.-live-show-wise, for the balance of August. More notes on words vs. music later tonight in all probability. But first: Live! music! weekend! of! the! summer! How, how do you choose? I do not know. Let us proceed. All of this action is at least a little recommended.

Note Mrs. Zoilus's appearance with One Ring Zero on Friday night, 11 pm at Harbourfront. I swear I did not remotely know this was up until after the lit-rock-article fact. In deference to the blog-borg, she promises not to attempt singing or lyrics or anything that apparently is the domain of specialists who are of the volk, but just read to woozy accordion accompaniment. Oh wait, was I getting back into it there? Ahem. Also note that Margaret Atwood herself is apparently guesting with ORZ on theremin the following night. Okay, so that one makes even me a little queasy. [...]

WED. AUG 25
L'AFTERPARTY feat. Nick Flanagan, Brutal Knights, a Starkweather cover band and more @ Drake Hotel, PWYC
THE MAJESTIES, The Phonemes, Ohbijou, Alight @ Rivoli, $6
SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY AND THE ASBURY JUKES @ Lee's Palace. $30.
BRAND NUBIAN @ Tonic Nightclub, 117 Peter. $15

THURS AUG 26
BLUE RODEO, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON (!), Blackie & The Rodeo Kings @ Molson Amphitheatre, $17.25-$65.50
IVANA SANTILLI @ The Mod Club Theatre $19.50 8 pm
OFF THE INTERNATIONAL RADAR, Pattern is Movement, DJ Polmo Polpo, DJ Smokey Blaze @ Drake Hotel
TAMARA WILLIAMSON @ Rivoli
LEON RUSSELL BAND, Corb Lund Band @ Reverb
KIRK McDONALD QUARTET @ the Rex thru Aug 27
SQUIGFEST feat Daiquiri, Midnight Mission, Transient Workers Union. 340 Yonge. PWYC before 10pm, $5 after. Aug 26.
5th ANNUAL BUSKERFEST St Lawrence Market, free, www.torontobuskerfest.com. Aug 26-29.
MIDTOWN @ El Mocambo $10
FORM ONE, The Handsome Devils, Sixtyseven, TBA @ Rancho Relaxo, PWYC
HILL (16-year-old pop hopeful) @ Drake Underground, 6-8 pm, $6
REED REBELS w/ Lori Freedman (clarinet); Tiina Kiik (accordion); David Mott (sax) @ Toronto Music Garden, Free, 475 Queen's Quay West
TRASH & READY Wordwhore Tour Fundraiser feat Dating Service, Mariko Tamaki, DJs Electric Melissa, Jordanthreat, Skank, w/ word performance by Lisa Foad, Hadassah Hill, Zoe Whitall, Tara-Michelle Ziniuk. @ Buddies in Bad Times, PWYC.
BRIAN WILSON TRIBUTE @ Horseshoe. $5.

FRI AUG 27
SHAWN HEWITT & THE NATIONAL STRIKE w/ DJ A Man Called Warwick, Natasha Alexandra @ El Mocambo
PICASTRO, Black Forest/Black Sea, Great Lake Swimmers @ Cinecycle, $6
CAROLYN MARK CD release party @ Horseshoe, $8
PETE ELKAS, Royal Wood @ Rivoli
NORAH JONES and the Handsome Band. @ Molson Amphitheatre, $29.50-$69.50
JIM GUTHRIE @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 8 pm, Free
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 9 pm, Free
ANEC-NOTAL, “A musical lit-riff soiree” with ONE RING ZERO, ANDREW KAUFMAN (author of All My Friends Are Superheroes), SHEILA HETI (Mrs. Zoilus, author of The Middle Stories), BRIAN FRANCIS @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 11 pm, free
THE BOSTON LETTER @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 11 pm, free
FOG @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, midnight, free

SAT AUG 28
FAKE PROM @ Sneaky Dee's, 10 pm, $5
FEMBOTS @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 2 pm free
THE BARMITZVAH BROTHERS @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 3:30 pm, free
ONE RING ZERO @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 8 pm, Free WITH MARGARET ATWOOD ON THEREMIN!?!
THE HIDDEN CAMERAS @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 9:30 pm, Free
STOP DIE RESUSCITATE @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 11 pm, Free
MALHAVOC CD release @ Reverb.
POWERED BY AIR w/ The Motherlode @ Planet Kensington, 197 1/2 Baldwin.
RAMMER w/ Skeletonwitch, Detsorgsekalf@ Rockit.
MACH TIVER Final show w/ I Spoke, Beaumont Hamel, Panserbjorne @ Ania’s (627 Queen W) $6. 8pm.
LIZ PHAIR, The Cardigans, Katy Rose, Charlotte Martin @ Kool Haus, $20.50
BLOW UP feat. a super secret surprise guest @ Lee's Palace, $6
MACH TIVER, Beaumont Hamel, I Spoke & TBA @ Ania's, AA
REC ROOM @ Clinton's Tavern, $5
IMMACULATE MACHINE & guests @ El Mocambo
JOSH BENKO QUINTET (New York) @ Rex
FIVE MILE ROAD (Toronto, members of Postage Stamps), RADARFAME (Halifax, members of the Burdocks), SPECIAL NOISE (Halifax), ROUGH MUSIC (Winnipeg, ex-Giant Sons/Still Life) @ The Poor Alex, 9 pm, Free
VICTOR BATEMAN, JUSTIN HAYNES, DAVID BAXTER, JEAN MARTIN @ Tranzac, 10 pm-1 am
THE BLACK UNDERGROUND PROJECT: Tribute to Duke Ellington Part 2 @ Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst. $15.

SUN AUG 29
BLOCKS RC “AUTUMN OF AWESOME” with The Creeping Nobodies, Final Fantasy, The Phonemes, Ninja High School, Bob Wiseman, The Barcelona Pavilion, The Hank Collective, Frank FB_A, The Guitarmiztvah Brothers, Sandy Plotnikoff, @ CINECYCLE 10 AM till 5 PM, $7
KICKASS KARAOKE @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, all afternoon from 2 pm, free
(SUB)CULTURES IN THE GLOBAL MAINSTREAM panel discussion @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 3 pm, free
TRICYCLE @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 3 pm
KING COBB STEELIE @ Gobsmacked! Harbourfront, 4:30 pm, Free
WAVELENGTH 228 feat COUGAR PARTY, Fake Cops, Bokker Buckle Band @ Sneaky Dee's, PWYC
LAMB OF GOD, Atreyu, Every Time I Die, Unearth @ Opera House, $15
KIDS COMPOSE, new music created by young audience with Peter Pavlovsky, double bass;
Camille Watts, flute; and Erin Donovan, percussionist@ Toronto Music Garden, 475 Queens Quay West.
PAPA WEMBA, NOUVEL EXPOSÉ, YOSHI LUMANDA, SIBONGELE NENE, YANNICK BOKELO, HUSSEINE SAID, SENSATION BAND, IYASA TRADITIONAL, CHASAYA SICHILIMA AND SIÈCLE 21, Bana y'Afrique festival @ Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen West), noon-11 pm. Free. 416-365-0917.
ATOMIC 7, JOHN BORRA BAND, CAMERON FAMILY SINGERS, DOTTIE CORMIER, HAVE MERCY, TERRA HAZELTON, LAURA HUBERT, CAROLYN MARK, FRANK NEVADA, THE PUFFINS, LAURA REPO, SWAMPERELLA, THE JANE WAYNES AND JOANNE MACKELL & THE PARADISE RANGERS @ Jamboree on Ward's Island, $12-$15.
APOSTLE OF HUSTLE 8 pm @ Soundscapes.

MON AUG 30
CHRIS HUNT TENTET @ Rex Hotel

TUE AUG 31
ROB CLUTTON BAND w/ Brodie West, Tim Posgate, Anthony Michelli @ Tranzac, 10 pm, pwyc

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, August 25 at 6:10 PM | Linking Posts

 

An Autumn So Awesome It Comes In August

From the desk of Mr. Steve Kado (Barcelona Pavilion, Germans, Blankket, etc.)
[Edited to add venue info!]

THE MOST AMAZING SHOW WILL HAPPEN IN TORONTO ON AUGUST 29th
TO CELEBRATE THE COMING OF
a- THE AUTUMN OF AWESOME 2004
b- THE SIX MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LAST BIG BLOCKS R.C. CONCERT

BLOCKS R.C. will be throwing another all-day 10am - 5pm concert.

playing at this concert will be: [...]

EARLY MORNING PRE-SHOW SPORTSERCIZE with BEN STIMPSON and his fancy
shorts! (to help shake off the fake-prom hang-over)

BBQ (no meat)!

BETTER COFFEE!!!(!)

FINAL FANTASY (owen from les mouches plays his solo magic music)
AWESOME (drone cult lead by Alex from Animal Monster)
THE BARCELONA PAVILION (about to release their newest ep, even shorter and screamier than the last one)
NINJA HIGH SCHOOL (dance rap, postitive hardcore)
THE CREEPING NOBODIES (Toronto's best and most art, art-rock band)
THE GUITARMITZVAH BROTHERS ("Belgian" tribute to guelph's The Barmitzvah Brothers)
THE HANK COLLECTIVE (The Best Pop Group In Toronto)
BOB WISEMAN (ex-Slutarded, "Folk Music"/Movies/Puppetshows)
FRANK FB_A (12-year old lead singer backed by 18-19 year old band...the shaggs of tomorrow!)
THE PHONEMES
SANDY PLOTNIKOFF

as well as countless others.

The event will be all-ages,
it will cost $7 to come in.
there will be vegan food.

AUGUST 29, 2004
10 AM till 5 PM
CINECYCLE
ALL AGES
$7

Also:
please keep in mind these exciting new things coming out in september:
Deep Dark United: Ancient out sept. 10th.
The Creeping Nobodies: Stop Movement Stop Loss out sept 25
The Barcelona Pavilion: Untitled 3rd EP out soon!
The Diskettes: Forthcoming album: out in November!
Jenny Omnichord: Happiness Will Live Forever: out in November!
Animal Monster: Full-Length CD out soon!

"wait! what is the blocks r.c.?"

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, August 18 at 6:35 PM | Linking Posts

 

The Light In August

ratsi.jpg
(Above & below: Ratsicule, t.o.'s creamiest faux-french brie, will be out on a cracker at Bad Luck Night at Cinecycle on Aug. 13.)

Collected & selected live music in Toronto this month. Starred shows I'm particularly hip to, others I might not know much about, but all worth keeping in mind. Sorry for the Civic Holiday delay + erratic formatting here. Gratitude to eye, 20hz and other local listings for the raw material. Photos swiped from Hive. Corrections gratefully accepted.

ratsi2.jprg.jpeg

Aug. 2004

AUG 3
THE TWILIGHT SHOW feat. Jonathan Seet, Miss Mitzy Cream & Sistinas, short films and live visuals by littleCatalyst @ Drake Hotel, $10

AUG 4
* MODEST MOUSE w/ Wolf Parade @ Kool Haus. $18.50
MASALA MEHNDI MASTI ROCKS @ Harbourfront Centre: Brigantine Room, 10:30 p.m. with controller.controller, Kazak, Anjulie $5.

AUG 5
* Masala! Mehndi! Masti! @ Harbourfront Centre: LAL (8 p.m. - CIBC Stage); RISHI RICH PROJECT (9:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage); HIP HOP SHOWCASE (10:30 PM, Brigantine Room - $5)
* SONIC YOUTH w/ Sunburned Hand of the Man, Hair Police @ Kool Haus. $27.50
THE WALKMEN @ Lee's Palace. $13.50
* NEIL HAVERTY, Isla Craig, The Sheeet (members of Guitarkestra et al) @ Sneaky Dee's, $5 or PWYC
A NORTHERN CHORUS, Slide Show, The Vulcan Dub Squad, Louise Simpson @ Drake Hotel, $7
SOUND TRAVELS composition workshop by Kevin Austin for electro-acoustic composers & sound artists @ 65 Bellwoods Ave., 7pm, $35

AUG 6
* KING COBB STEELIE , The Barmitzvah Brothers @ Lee's Palace. $TBA.
GOMEZ @ Opera House. $25
* ASHLEY MacISAAC @ Hugh's Room. $25, 8:30pm
DEATH FROM ABOVE, The Meligrove Band, From Fiction @ Mississauga Kinsmen Hall
SOUND TRAVELS guided SOUNDwalk & performance by the Ghettoblaster Ensemble @ Centre Island Ferry Docks, 7pm, free
SOUND TRAVELS artist talk & concert by Kevin Austin @ St. Andrew-by-the-Lake Church, Toronto Island, 8pm, PWYC
* WE WANT THE FUNK with Masia One, Deep, Son of Soul, Leeroy Brown/Buttafingaz @ El Mocambo
[...]

AUG 7
* MASALA! MEHNDI! MASTI! Harbourfront Centre: Devis and Divas - Priya Nayyar (12:30 p.m.- Toronto Star Stage); AGNI (2:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage); Dya Singh (4 p.m. - CIBC Stage); Bageshree Vaze (8 p.m. - CIBC Stage); SW Storm (9:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage); Moushami Roy (10 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace); Masala Mixx with DJ Amita (10:30 p.m., Brigantine Room - $5)
* SLOAN, SAM ROBERTS w/ BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, BUCK 65, CONSTANTINES, The Stills, Death From Above, Pilate. @ Olympic Island. $35.50, 1 p.m.
3RD ANNUAL THIN LIZZY TRIBUTE feat Tacoma Redd, National Anthem, Galore, more @ Healey's. $15
LAZY LESTER @ Silver Dollar. $16. 10pm
APO HIKIN SOCIETY Part of the Mabuhay Philippines! Summer Festival@ Ricoh Coliseum, $38-$88
* 20HZ @ THE DRAKE feat A Vertical Mosaic, mn-1, Kat Burns, Teh New Sneaks (sic), MC Nick Flanagan. @ Drake Underground, $5. 9 pm.
* ISLAND SHOW AFTER PARTY feat. DEATH FROM ABOVE, From Fiction, guest DJs @ Horseshoe-- $7
ROCK PLAZA CENTRAL w/ DETECTIVE KALITA and COCO'S KISS @ Sneaky Dee's. 10pm. $5

AUG 8
* AC NEWMAN w/ Rogue Wave, The Neins@ Lee's Palace. $12
* MASALA! MEHNDI! MASTI! @ Harbourfront Centre: Yoshi (12:30 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage); Devis and Divas (2:30 p.m. Toronto Star Stage); Shahid Ali Khan and The Mast Mast Qawwal Party (3 p.m. - CIBC Stage); Mirchi Festival after party (8 p.m., The Bamboo Cabana - $20 at door)
WAVELENGTH 225 feat THE BACKTHEFUCKUPS (two sets) @ Sneaky Dee's, PWYC
* SOUND TRAVELS feat. Barry Prophet & Janice Pomer @ Centre Island, 12:30 pm, free
SOUND TRAVELS guided SOUNDwalk & performance by the Ghettoblaster Ensemble @ Centre Island Ferry Docks, 1:15pm, free
* SOUND TRAVELS octaphonic (8-channel) electro-acoustic concert feat. premieres by John Oswald & Elainie Lillios @ St. Andrew-by-the-Lake Church, Toronto Island, 3pm, $10

AUG 9
* CURIOSA FESTIVAL 2004 feat The Cure w/ Interpol, The Rapture, Mogwai, Muse, Auf Der Maur, The Cooper Temple Clause, Head Automatica @ Molson Amphitheatre. $25.50-$85.50

AUG 10
* JILL SCOTT w/ Matisse & The Playground @ Guvernment. $40.75
AUF DER MAUR, The Uncut, Social Register, Revolver @ Horseshoe, free
IMMACULATE MACHINE perform Ziggy Stardust with Vanderpark, Rising Action @ Rivoli, $5

Aug. 11
SNACKS, Hank, Vzzt and DJ Mikey Apples @ Drake Hotel, $5

AUG 12
THE RIGHTEOUS & THE HOLY feat Chris Hart, Jay Clark & The Jones, Elliott Brood, The Shovels @ Horseshoe
THE DRESDEN DOLLS @ El Mocambo. $10
* HOMETOWN COUNTRY JUBILEE #3 feat The Bebop Cowboys, The Jenny Whiteley Band, The Weber Brothers, Matt Masters @ Lula Lounge. $10 door. 7pm.

AUG 13
* BAD LUCK NIGHT WITH SAUCY LADIES OF ROCK (AND A FEW WORTHY GENTLEMEN) feat. The Phonemes, Cougar Party, Republic of Safety, Ratsicule & DJ'd by the Ladyfest Synchronized Swimming Team @ Cinecycle, $6
LILA DOWNS (CIBC Stage, 9:30 pm) as part of Planet IndigenUs @ Harbourfront Centre
* KIDS ON TV w/ DJ Will Munro @ The Toolbox, 508 Eastern. PWYC.
SUPERGARAGE @ Horseshoe, $6

AUG 14
VANS WARPED TOUR 2004 feat Good Charlotte, Bad Religion, Rufio, New Found Glory, Billy Talent, Alexisonfire, International Noise Conspiracy, Anti Flag, Rise Against, many more. The Flats @ Molson Park, Barrie, Ont. $39.25
JERU THE DAMAJA @ “Hip Hop Peace,” Dundas Square, Aug 14.
ZUTONS @ Mod Club. Aug 14, $10 at the door only.
* PLANET INDIGENUS @ Harbourfront Centre. With: (3 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage) - Tamara Podemski (Toronto); (3:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage) - Andrea Menard (Saskatchewan); (4:30 p.m.. - Toronto Star Stage) - Stomp Dance & Song with Old Mush Singers and Six Nations Women Singers (Six Nations); (7 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage) - Sandy Scofield (Vancouver); (8 p.m. - CIBC Stage) - George Leach (British Columbia); (9:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage) - Star Nayea (U.S.A.).
* WEIGHTS & MEASURES final Toronto show, From Fiction, Icanputmyarmbackonyoucan't @ Sneaky Dee's
* PETER ELKAS w/ Matthew Barber @ C'est What.

AUG 15
KITTIE w/ Candiria, 36 Crazyfists, Twelve Tribes@Opera House. $17.50
* HONEY JAM #12 @ Phoenix. $15 at TM. 7pm. Aug 15. with Jocelyn Mercer, Andrea Desiree Lewis, Joy Lapps, Masia One, Blaze Dancers, Kellylee Evans, DJs MelBoogie and Gunz & Rozez.
* PLANET INDIGENUS @ Harbourfront Centre. 1 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage - Metis Duel with Brent Poskins, Andre Giroux and Jacinthe Trudeau (Alberta/Ontario); 3 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Wolfpack (Six Nations); 4 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace - Metis Kitchen Party with Annette Chretien, Andre Giroux and Jacinthe Trudeau (Ontario); 4 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage - Tama Wiapara (New Zealand); 4 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Susan Aglukark (Canada).
WAVELENGTH 226 feat THE PAULS, At Dusk, Martyrs @ Sneaky Dee's, PWYC

AUG 16
BIG BLACK LINCOLN@ Tonic. 9 pm. $10

AUG 17
LOS LONELY BOYS @ Mod Club $16
BURNING BRIDES, The Explosion @ Lee's Palace, $12.50
PLANET INDIGENUS @ Harbourfront Centre. Noon - CIBC Stage - Remedy and Weaselhead

AUG 18
* JUDAS PRIEST, SLAYER @ Molson Amphitheatre. $29.50-$52.50
* BOB LOG III @ Toronto Bluesfest - Roots Stage @ 1:45 pm
PLANET INDIGENUS August 18 (Noon - CIBC Stage) - Wayne Lavallee
* UMBRELLA MUSIC @ The Rivoli, 8:30 PM, $6, Stop Die Resuscitate, Femme Generation, more.

AUG 19
* SEA SNAKES, Final Fantasy, Purple Hill @ Sneaky Dee's
HANSON, Michael Tolcher @ The Docks
THE ILLUMINATI @ Horseshoe, $7

AUG 20
* BEBEL GILBERTO @ Carlu Theatre,. $29.50
* STOMPIN' TOM CONNORS @ Massey Hall. $45-$49.50
* ONEIDA, LULLABYE ARKESTRA. Horseshoe. $8. Aug 20.
* BLIP! BLOP! HOORAY! feat. MN-L, Quasimojo, The Boston Letter, LEWIS, Wintary & More @ Nathan Phillips Square, 12 noon
PLANET INDIGENUS @ Harbourfront Centre. 7:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Burnt (Winnipeg); 9:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Christine Anu (Australia); 11 p.m. - Brigantine Room - Slangblossom (Winnipeg); Midnight - Brigantine Room - King Kapisi (New Zealand);

AUG 21
THE VERMICIOUS KNID, The Cardiacs, The Bicycles @ Sneaky Dee's
* ULTRAMAGNUS, DJS Nick Holder, Kurtis Lewis, Soul Source @ Rancho Relaxo, $6
COUGAR PARTY, Trembling, The Bayonettes @ Oasis
BLOW UP feat. THE CELLS @ Lee's Palace, $6
* PLANET INDIGENUS @ Harbourfront Centre. 2 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Leela Gilday (Yellowknife); 3 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage - The Foggy Hogtown Boys (Six Nations); 3:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Jienat (Norway); 7:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Martha Redbone (New York); 9:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Wai (New Zealand); 11 p.m. - Brigantine room - Kinnie Starr (Vancouver); 11 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace - Lucie Idlout (Nunavut)

AUG 22
* STIFF LITTLE FINGERS@ Lee's Palace. $20
WAVELENGTH 227 feat. NEIL HAVERTY BAND, Ryan Stanley Band @ Sneaky Dee's, PWYC
* PLANET INDIGENUS @ Harbourfront Centre: 1 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage - Willie Dunn (Ontario); 3 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Don Ross (Toronto); 4:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Redbone (U.S.A.); 5:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - Lawrence Martin (Ontario).

AUG 23
BB KING BLUES FESTIVAL feat BB King, Dr John, Shemekia Copeland, Elvin Bishop, The Muddy Waters Blues Band. @ Molson Amphitheatre. $19.50-$65.50
THE MUSIC @ Mod Club Theatre $16.00
* BRAND NUBIAN @ Tonic Nightclub, $15

AUG 24
FACE TO FACE w/ My Chemical Romance, Moneen, Seconds to Go.@ Kool Haus. $19
ICANPUTMYARMBACKONYOUCAN'T, Fake Cops , Tora! Tora! Torrence! @ Rivoli
THE LOST SOUNDS @ The Silver Dollar, $8

AUG 25
SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY AND THE ASBURY JUKES @ Lee's Palace. $30
* L'AFTERPARTY feat. Nick Flanagan, Brutal Knights, a Starkweather cover band and more. Cover TBA, @ Drake

AUG 26
* BLUE RODEO w/ Kris Kristofferson, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings @ Molson Amphitheatre, $17.25-$65.50, doors 6 pm, show 7:30
LEON RUSSELL BAND w/ Corb Lund Band@ Reverb. $TBA.
IVANA SANTILLI @ Mod Club $19.50 Doors 8:00pm
OFF THE INTERNATIONAL RADAR, Pattern is Movement, DJ Polmo Polpo, DJ Smokey Blaze @ Drake Hotel
* TAMARA WILLIAMSON @ Rivoli

AUG 27
NORAH JONES and the Handsome Band @ Molson Amphitheatre. $29.50-$69.50
PICASTRO, Black Forest/Black Sea, Great Lake Swimmers @ Cinecycle, $6
* CAROLYN MARK CD release party @ Horseshoe, $8
PETE ELKAS, Royal Wood @ Rivoli
* CINDI LAUPER Casino Rama, Orillia. AUg 27-28
* GOBSMACKED! @ Harbourfront - 8 p.m. - CIBC Stage - JIM GUTHRIE; 9 p.m. - CIBC Stage - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE (free!)

AUG 28
* FAKE PROM @ Sneaky Dee's
* LIZ PHAIR, The Cardigans, Katy Rose, Charlotte Martin @ Kool Haus, $20.50
BLOW UP feat. a super secret surprise guest @ Lee's Palace, $6
* GOBSMACKED! @ Harbourfront - 8 p.m., CIBC Stage, ONE RING ZERO;
9:30 p.m., CIBC Stage, HIDDEN CAMERAS (free!)

AUG 29
* CAROLYN MARK @ Toronto Island Jamboree
LAMB OF GOD w/ Atreyu, Every Time I Die, Unearth. Opera House. $15 at TM. Aug 29.
WAVELENGTH 228: COUGAR PARTY, Fake Cops, Bokker Buckle Band @ Sneaky Dee's, PWYC
* GOBSMACKED! @ Harbourfront, 4:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage - KING COBB STEELIE (Toronto)

AUG 31
DEEP PURPLE, Joe Satriani, Thin Lizzy @ Molson Amphitheatre, $29.50-$49.50

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, August 03 at 4:20 PM | Linking Posts

 

Some of it is just transcendental, some of it is just really dumb

Before posting a few remarks on the weekend's Mag. Fields concert, I should mention that I saw the trailer for the Hollywood remake of Masayuki Suo's Shall We Dance (with, gag, Richard Gere and J-Lo) before Farenheit 9/11 last night, and the theme song turns out to be The Book of Love from 69 Love Songs as covered by Peter Gabriel and some Celtic-sounding warbleress. The song is all Gabriel Yared-ed up to the point that I thought it was Sting, which is a horrible thing to have to say about a song that's possibly Merritt's greatest. (It was played on banjo by a close friend at my wedding, so I take this shit personal.)

[...]

I'm a fan of a lot of Gabriel's stuff, and Merritt must be too (Gabriel's even made at least one cameo appearance in a MF show), but as it sounded in the theatre, this recording goes in the Worst Covers of Best Songs annals. And given how long I've been advocating that pop singers start covering his tunes, this was a real careful-what-you-wish-for face-slap.

Book of Love was one of the obvious highlights of the band's show at Trinity St-Paul's Church on Friday, along with Papa Was a Rodeo and other classics and obscurities. The set list didn't reach any further back than the disc before 69LS, with Smoke & Mirrors from Get Lost, but neither was it a rote run-through of the new album. The church was sweltering on a beautiful summer day, and the band made comic hay of that all evening, mostly with Stephin pulling various stage business to upstage Claudia when she had solo numbers - first he went off stage and dragged an electric fan in (afterwards making obvious "fan" puns - "we like to bring at least one fan up on stage in every show") and later handed out glasses of water to the front rows, again while she performed. Wonder if she minds? In any case, that schtick led to the night's best line, after an audience member shouted out "How about some beer next time?": "You can't bring alcohol into a church," Merritt deadpanned. "It only turns into blood."

The other notable comedy of the night was a very charming mime by Claudia and Stephin to Yeah Oh Yeah!, making the wife-killing musical farce seem a little like an episode of Donnie and Marie. (No link. If you don't know what I mean, count yourself fortunate.)

That aside, three main points:

1. If a meteor had hit the church, Toronto's optometrists would have lost half their business. (Just half, because there was another show the next night.) Spectacle City, no Debord reference intended, though most people in that audience would have gotten it if somebody made one. I love my fellow geeks, but I missed the rest of the human race.

2. This show made me like i better, though that's partly because they didn't play that fucking operetta song. Outside the context of an album, and the expectations one brings to that, and the actual lack of variety of this album's supposed "variety show," many of the new songs stood up respectably among their elders. They're funny and pretty. I was left singing I Die and All Over Town to myself afterwards, for instance. Even though I'd still rather hear the Chinese opera.

3. Stephin's hearing problem is very severe indeed. This was the quietest concert I've ever been to that wasn't some sort of electro-acoustic-improvisational experiment in deliberate quietness. It verged on unamplified, and the songs did suffer by it, though the quality of concentration it demanded from the audience was a pleasure to be immersed in.

At one point Claudia wondered why no one ever laughs at the line "'Cause I've read your horoscope/ And now I've given up all hope" in I Don't Really Love You Anymore and somebody yelled out, accurately, "Because we couldn't hear it!" (She didn't seem to catch that.) (Incidentally I disagree with Alistair about the laughter, though not about much else: It seems not only possible but ideal to laugh aloud in recognition of the cleverness and perfection of Merritt's lines while feeling the ruefulness and pain with the other chambers of your heart.)

Much worse than the mere quiet was watching Stephin wince and put his hands over his ears every time the crowd applauded. (Which explained his cryptic remark early in the show, "You don't have to applaud before the songs too.") The sight tore me up, and I resorted to tapping my hands together lightly instead, in a vain attempt to ease his discomfort. Merritt's live-show days may be in the short numbers. A shame, as he is a pleasure to share a room with, but this hushed acoustic context is way too Live at Lincoln Centre or Vinyl Cafe/Prairie Home Campanion, the craft too foregrounded (end rather than means) and the trash-culture content way too low. (Not that everybody needs trash, but Merritt is Mr. High-Low - that used to be one of his superpowers.) (Also: Maybe everybody does need trash.)

And then I gave him two standing ovations. Because, I don't care, he's still a fucking genius.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, July 06 at 7:45 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Zoilus Picks: July, Live in Toronto

Not quite as crazed a concert month as the last couple, but damn close. Here's what I would do, if I could be everywhere at once. (Thanks to Eye and 20hz for listings resources.) Biggest highlights? Today's a pretty damn good day. Aside from that, there are a lot of good festivals - Afrofest; next weekend's Breaks, Beats and Culture electronic music festival at Harbourfront including the Junior Boys; the Latin Alternative Music Conference with Los Amigos Invisibles and Los Lobos; and the Bluesfest, including Big Boi and Earl Scruggs (!) on July 25.

A few individual gigs to keep in mind: Youssou N'Dour on Tuesday at Harbourfront. Chicago underground jazz group Sticks and Stones at the Music Gallery on July 16, and the Toronto-indie-fun blowout at Cinecycle the same night with Kids on TV, Final Fantasy, Ninja High School etc. Reinvigorated soul legend Nathaniel Mayer at the Horseshoe on July 17. The Hidden Cameras' CD release on July 23. The July 25 all-Albertan edition of Wavelength (and every Wavelength, really). The Prince, Xiu Xiu and David Grubbs shows at the end of the month. And of course, Tin Tin Tin. (Which, though I love it so, will keep me away from the Prince events - as the Cameras would say, goddamn.)

This list will be updated throughout the month.

Sat. Jul 3 (today)
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS, Andrew Bird @ Trinity-St. Paul's United Church
VANDERMARK 5 @ National Film Board
DAVID MURRAY & THE GWO-KA MASTERS (8 pm), and RIZWAN-MUAZZAM QAWWALI (9:30 pm) part of Stella Artois World's Fare: a Global Feast @ Harbourfront Centre (free)
WAX MANNEQUIN, World Provider, BA Johnson, Nia @ C’est What

Sun. Jul 4
WARSAW VILLAGE BAND as part of Stella Artois World's Fare @ Harbourfront

[...]

Tue. Jul 6
BLOOD BROTHERS, Kill Me Tomorrow, Chromatics @ Rockit
YOUSSOU N'DOUR w/ Super Étoile de Dakar @ Harbourfront Centre
FRED EAGLESMITH @ Hugh's Room
ELENI MANDELL CD release @ Drake Hotel

Wed. Jul 7
Global Cafe presents LOS DE ABAJO (Mexico) @ Stone Distillery, Distillery District

Thur. Jul 8
DEAD MOON, Poisoned Aeros @ Horseshoe
PATRICIA O'CALLAGHAN Cabaret Night @ Drake Hotel
TORNGAT (members of Bell Orchestre), PICASTRO, GLISSANDRO 70 (Polmo Polpo + Craig Dunsmuir), JOHN WAYNER (Matt Schitt from Les Mouches, solo) @ THE RIVOLI
Global Cafe presents BEMBEYA JAZZ @ Stone Distillery

Fri. Jul 9
PEROXIDE featuring WILL MUNRO AND LES GEORGES LENINGRAD as part of the Beats, Breaks and Culture electronic music festival @ Harbourfront, 11 pm, free
PATRICIA O'CALLAGHAN Cabaret Night @ Drake Hotel
SCREAM LITERARY FESTIVAL GALA feat. THE SILVER HEARTS @ Hugh's Room
TORTURED SOUL (3 pm), JAGA JAZZIST (8 pm), MANITOBA (9:30 pm), MOONSTARR (11 pm) @ Harbourfront
ALTERED BEATS presents Asstek, Dominik, Animal Monster, Knifehandchop & c64 @Thymeless bar & grill
LEFTOVER DAYLIGHT presents aldcroft/ oelrichs/ thomson/ chenaux, quasiMODAL with special guest Roger Turner (UK), and Rob Piilonen's breaking sounds @ Arraymusic Studio (60 Atlantic Ave. #218)

Sat. Jul 10
SING THAT YELL THAT SPELL, Lee Van Cleef @ Sneaky Dee's
BIT ROCK ALUMNAE SHOWCASE #2 feat. MINISYSTEM, Steve Castellano, Kuma vs. Yool-Kid, Nybbl, Prhizzm, Lltl & live visuals by Project3media @ Clinton's
BEDOUIN SOUND CLASH, In Flight Safety @ Horseshoe
BUENOS HERMANOS TOUR feat Ibrahim Ferrer @ Roy Thomson Hall.
BOX MAGAZINE LAUNCH feat From Fiction, Cuff the Duke, The Two Koreas, Drunkula, DJs Moonstarr, Mike Tull, Eric & Cody @ The Great Hall.
AFROFEST 2004 with the SAKALA BROTHERS , H'SAO, LORRAINE KLAASEN & THANDIE KLAASEN, LIZZY MAHASHE WITH MAFATA LEMPHANE & MALOTI ENSEMBLE, MANSA SISOKO, NEWAY DEBEBE @ Queen's Park (free).

Sun. Jul 11
OSUNLADE, as part of the Beats, Breaks and Culture @ Harbourfront 4: 30 pm, free.
JUNIOR BOYS @ Harbourfront Centre (free, 2pm)
ROOM 101 Misha Glouberman's Games Night @ Drake Hotel
LATIN ALTERNATIVE MUSIC CONFERENCE feat Los Lobos, Los Amigos Invisibles. In association w/ Harbourfront's Ritmo y Color. Harbourfront, 235 Queens Quay @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas W. July 11-18.

Mon. Jul 12
PETULA CLARK @ Hummingbird Centre
HORACE X @ Drake Hotel

Tue. Jul 13
HORACE X @ Drake Hotel
THE PONYS, THE TWO KOREAS @ Sneaky Dee's

Wed. Jul 14
CORPUSSE'S BIRTHDAY BASH, Knurl, Gesundheit @ Drake Hotel
GESUNDHEIT @ Drake (double booked? or diff. spaces?)

Thurs. Jul 15
LONG JOHN BALDRY @ Healy's

Fri. Jul 16
STICKS AND STONES, Martin Arnold, Eric Chenaux & Rob Clutton @ Music Gallery
KIDS ON TV, Ninja High School, Final Fantasy(!), The Vulcan Dub Squad, Eugene Slonimerov, Frank FB_A, Matias, slowlydrowningme, Post-Conspiracy Boredom @ Cinecycle
TORONTO STAR BLUESFEST feat Lyle Lovett, Jimmie Vaughan, Chris Isaak, Wilson Pickett, Cake, The Tea Party, Earl Scruggs, Wyclef Jean, The Holmes Brothers, Gillian Welch, Martha Wainwright, Matt Minglewood, Greg Keelor, Gram Parsons tribute feat Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, Bernie Leadon. July 16-25.
YOUSY BARBARA (8 pm) and LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES (9:30 pm), Ritmo y Color Latin American arts festival @ Harbourfront

Sat. Jul 17
RIP THE MIC freestyle battle@ Phoenix, 5 pm
NATHANIEL MAYER & THE SHANKS w/ More Plastic, Jack Oblivion & The Cool Jerks, Track Dirtyaz. Horseshoe. $10
CHRIS ISAAK, Kathleen Edwards, The Holmes Brothers, Gram Parsons Tribute & more @ Bluesfest, Exhibition Place
PLENA LIBRE (8 pm) and LOS LOBOS (9:30 pm), Ritmo y Color @ Harbourfront

Sun. Jul 18
WAVELENGTH 222 feat. Fox the Boombox, The Wolfnote, Immaculate Machine @ Sneaky Dee's
WYCLEF JEAN, Gillian Welch, Keb' Mo', The Black Keys & more @ Bluesfest, Exhibition Place

Mon. Jul 19
N*E*R*D, High Speed Scene @ Kool Haus
TIMBRE FORM FILM & MUSIC EVENT feat. EUGENE SLONIMEROV of Lenin i Shumov, Wintary, Quasimojo, DJ Separate Bill & short films by Peter Denes, Brad Abrahams, & Leanna DiGiacinto @ Drake Hotel

Tue. Jul 20
VIDIOTS present the Best of Tom Snyder @ Drake Hote
SCISSOR SISTERS @ Lee's Palace

Thur. Jul 22
ALICE COOPER, Foghat, Edgar Winter @ Molson Amphitheatre
WINTARY, The Phonemes, Deep Dark United, Wintary, The Blankket, mn-l @ Sneaky Dee's

Fri. Jul 23
CAKE, Raising the Fawn, The Weakerthans @ Bluesfest, Exhibition Place
THE HIDDEN CAMERAS @ Trinity-St. Paul's (CD release for Mississauga Goddamn!)

Sat. Jul 24
WILSON PICKETT, The Dears, Sarah Slean, Martina Sorbara @ Bluesfest, exhibition place
THE HIVES, Sahara Hotnights, Reigning Sound @ Phoenix
C'MON @ Horseshoe
TYLER CLARK BURKE'S MIDNIGHT MASQUERADE BALLROOM DANCE EVENT @ Drake Hotel
MELANIE DURRANT (3:30 pm), EMELINE MICHEL (8 pm) and TERRY CALLIER (9:30 pm), Omiala festival of New Black Culture @ Harbourfront

Sun. Jul 25
WAVELENGTH 223 feat. Magneta Lane, Falconhawk, Chad Van Gaalen @ Sneaky Dee's
EARL SCRUGGS, BIG BOI (9 pm), Luther Wright, The Sadies, etc. @ Bluesfest, Exhibition Place
LEE BOYS AND CALVIN COOKE, Omiala festival @ Harbourfront, 3:30 pm

Tue. Jul 27
PRINCE @ Air Canada Centre (sold out!)
DAVID GRUBBS @ Horseshoe (free!)
THE NEVILLE BROTHERS @ Harbourfront, 7 pm

Wed. Jul 28
TIN TIN TIN @ Drake Hotel
(and that's all. well, okay, there might be another Prince concert. but you didn't hear it from me.)

Fri. Jul 30
VAZALEEN feat. THE GOSSIP @ Lee's Palace-
SALOME BEY @ Hugh's Room
CIBELLE (8 pm) and BREAKESTRA (9:30 pm), Hot and Spicy festival @ Harbourfront
XIU XIU, Lenin I Shumov, Final Fantasy(!) @ Gladstone Hotel
TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, Irie Music Festival @ Nathan Phillips Square

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Saturday, July 03 at 6:05 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

"We Don't See Eye to Eye/ Or Hear Ear to Ear"

24.jpg

Forgot to mention yesterday that the Globe had a review from me of one of Feist's Toronto appearances last weekend (which totalled three, including her surprise Wavelength set). You can still read it here. The piece is perhaps a little gentle on Feist's songs, which sometimes aren't very good, in my opinion; but she, as a performer, is good, and with all the pleasurable things that were going on in this show, especially Shary Boyle's projections, it didn't matter. Much of the time I forgot to listen to the songs anyway.

I also didn't have space to mention Gentleman Reg's somewhat tentative but memorable opening set - Reg's songs are amazingly well-crafted, as if almost any of them could be covers of big British hits from the eighties sometime. The sound at the Mod Club muddied up some of the tunes with more mid-range vocals, but when he took off into the upper register, it rang like a bell through the club and the great pleasure he took in what his voice can do was contagious.

Edited to add: You can see some of what I was on about by peeking at some nice shots of the show by Frank at the super Chromewaves.net.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, June 15 at 9:40 PM | Linking Posts

 

Ow! Good God!

In der Globe today, I've got a brief review of this weekend's James Brown concert in Toronto. The degree and extent of his showmanship (a strange word, but the right one in this case) was almost incalculable. [...]

Most of the best concerts I see are simply the result of a charismatic person or group doing great material inventively, with great energy and commitment. Brown has all of that but adds an element of hucksterism that in lesser hands would be horribly cheesy: He pretends that all the rigorously timed and choreographed action that his posse gets up to on stage is just good fun, playfully conceived before your very eyes. He'll wave over the tenor sax player, push the microphone in front of him and suggest he play a solo, as if the idea had just occurred to him, then close back in on him a little before the end of the solo to make it look as if the player's a little out of control and doesn't want to stop playing. He shouts out song titles to the band as if the set list hadn't been worked out in advance. He'll give a little "you wanna?" shrug to one of the dancers before they go into a step routine together. And so on.

With all that you hear about how strict and regimented a bandleader Brown is, I'd assumed that you'd see that in the band on stage - and at first it seems so, as they come on in military-style marching band outfits. But Brown covers up the precision of it all with this patina of fun and flirtation. It dances on the edge of being very Vegas, but damned if it doesn't work anyway - it has a perfect authenticity about it, and by that I mean that it does its faking extremely sincerely.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, June 07 at 1:51 PM | Linking Posts

 

June Shows in Toronto, more-or-less Zoilus-approved

Here's my biased local music guide to June. Shows/links will be added as they emerge. Check all info. Caveat emptor.

Tue. Jun 1 - Von Bondies, Death from Above: Opera House-- $13.50
Wed. Jun 2 - Sexmachine feat. Glass Candy & the Shattered Theatre, controller.controller, Duchess Says, DJ Mikey Apples & more: Gladstone Hotel, $10
- Sixtoo Instore: Soundscapes, free
Thurs. Jun 3 - Sixtoo w/ P-Love: Lee's Palace, $10, June 3.
Parade of Noises feat. 700 schoolchildren, The Singing Saw Symphony, Kid Koala, The Kyoshi Nagata Ensemble & more: Chinguacousy Bandshell (Brampton), 7pm
Kevin Fox CD release: Music Gallery, 197 John St, $15
Twill Benefit feat. Claudia Dey, Final Fantasy, Harmony Trowbridge, John Southworth, Kill Unit, Lee Sheppard, Lindsey Zier-Vogel, ohbijou: C'est What, $10 (www.harmonytrowbridge.com )
Fri-Sun, Jun 4-Jun 6Do Make Say Think with, variously, Singing Saw Shadow Show, Les Mouches, Slow Loris, surprise guests: The Music Gallery, $10/$12 each night
Fri Jun 4Tangiers, Uncut: Horseshoe, $8
Sat-Sun, Jun 5-6 Track & Field, with the bits, 8 bit, kids on t.v., ninja high school, the hank collective, fox the boom box, the creeping nobodies, barmitzvah brothers, we're marching on…, lenin i shumov, the barcelona pavilion, jonathan inc., the singing saw shadow show, great lake swimmers, rick & the stables, jason & the imaginaries, the hamilton electronic music and dodgeball team, the chestnuts and the trees, 3 ring circuits feat. jenny omnichord, bahai cassette, matias rozenberg, the phonemes, these are my beating heart, alight, tamara williamson, two minute miracles, les mouches, animal monster: Eden Mills, near Guelph, $10 (for both days)
Sat Jun 5The Two Koreas (Toronto rock-crits rock), The Patients: The Silver Dollar
The Fire Theft, The Secret Machines, Mellowdrome: Mod Club, $17
James Brown with (ugh) Jacksoul, Molson Amphitheatre, $10-$75
The Zutons, El Mocambo, $10
The Wrens, Horseshoe, $10.50
Sun Jun 6Wavelength 216 feat. Stop Die Resuscitate, Ghislain Poirier, vitasminsforyou + Montag, DJ cerebral itch: Sneaky Dee’s, PWYC
Tues Jun 8Hella, Need New Body: Rivoli, $10
Wed Jun 9We Regazzi, Detachment Kit: Rivoli, $8
— north by northeast presents DKT/MC5 (Wayne Kramer and Dennis Thompson w/ guest vocalists Mark Lanegan, Evan Dando, Mark Arm.) Phoenix, $22.50
Thurs Jun 10NXNE feat. Sarah Harmer, Fembots, Ox: Lee's Palace
NXNE feat. Laika & the Cosmonauts, The Remains of Brian Bordherdt, Ford Pier & TBA: Horseshoe
NXNE feat. Station Twang, Elliott Brood, Welcome Karma, Tele, Spitfires & Mayflowers: Cameron House
NXNE feat. Shawn Hewitt, Ozfrankie, Anjulie, Stiffed: 360
Fri Jun 11 NXNE feat. I Can Put My Arm Back On You Can't, Kate Maki, Nathan Lawr & the Minotaurs, Despistado: Reverb
NXNE feat. The Waxwings, Volebeats, Denise James, Myracle Brah: Healey’s
Sat Jun 12 The Microphones, with Pipi "Woelv" Migou, Ninja High School: The Music Gallery, $8/$10
Hayden: Winter Garden Theatre, $32.50
Feist, The Organ: Mod Club Theatre, 720 College, $12.
Tangiers, Death From Above, controller.controller, Uncut: 99 Sudbury
The Silver Hearts perform Tom Waits' Rain Dogs: Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst, $15/$20
NXNE feat. C’Mon, The Organ, Brass Munk, Waking Eyes: Horseshoe
NXNE feat. A Northern Chorus, Tangiers, Raising the Fawn: Healey's (are Tangiers really playing two shows this night?)
Maza Meze: Cecil Community Centre, 58 Cecil $10; $20 w/ CD, — Blow Up feat. The Sights: Lee's Palace, $6
Sun Jun 13Room 101 presents Open Cobra Vol. 1: An explanatory/participatory music event based on John Zorn's Cobra: Drake Hotel, 7 pm sharp, $tba
Wavelength 217, feat. "Special Surprise Guest Headliner", Absent Sound, Points to Victim, DJ Matt Blair: Sneaky Dee’s, PWYC
Mon Jun 14 Sam Phillips w/ Priya Thomas: Lula Lounge, $15
Tues Jun 15 Matt Pond, PA: Mod Club
Wed Jun 16 The Republic of Safety (members of Barcelona Pavilion, Three Ring Circuits, Magnetars, etc.): Drake Hotel Wed. Jun 16
Wed Jun 16-Sat Jun 19 Hot Club of Cowtown: Top O' The Senator, $20-25
Thurs Jun 17-Sat Jun 19 Current 93, Six Organs of Admittance, Simon Finn: Music Gallery, June 18-19 sold out. Tickets available for June 17 only: $45 from malogan@rogers.com
Thurs Jun 17 Julie Doiron, Aaron Booth: Rancho Relaxo
McLusky, Oceansize: Horseshoe, $9
kd lang: Roy Thomson Hall
Jay Farrar: Lee's Palace, $13.50
Sat Jun 19 Fiery Furnaces, Spitfire & Mayflowers: Mod Club, $10
Angelique Kidjo, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., $20 adv/$25 door. 7pm.
Wavelength Zine Fundraiser II feat. Cuff the Duke, Ultra Magnus, Lullabye Arkestra, Ninja High School, DJ Denise Benson: Dovercourt House
Primus: Hummingbird Centre, 1 Front E., $39.50-$45.50.
Sun Jun 20Wavelength 218 feat. Mach Tiver, People for Audio, Picnicboy, DJ Limoscene: Sneaky Dee’s, PWYC
PJ Harvey Tribute feat. Gentleman Reg, Aidan Baker, Jonathan Seet, Brilliant Fish, A Deadly Waltz, Trucks Leaving, The Guest Bedroom, Lee Walker & more: Holy Joe's, $3
Mon Jun 21Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: Horseshoe, $10
Christina Aguilera w/ Chingy: Molson Amphitheatre, $25-$69.50
Mon Jun 21-Wed Jun 23Jonathan Richman, Jesse DeNatale: Lula Lounge, $15/night
Wed Jun 23The Arcade Fire: Lee's Palace, $8
Wax Mannequin, Lake Holiday, Dan Gorman : The Rivoli
Oscar Peterson w/ The Oliver Jones Trio, $30-$150
Thurs Jun 24 John Vanderslice, Pedro the Lion: Horseshoe, $11
Suicide Girls Burlesque: Lee's Palace, $10
The Bicycles, Fox The Boombox, a performance of "London Calling" on ukuleles & tba: Rancho Relaxo
Thurs Jun 24-Sun Jun 27 Habana Sax: Lula Lounge, $25/$30 per night
Fri Jun 25-July 4: Downtown Jazz Festival (picks to come)
Fri Jun 25 Mum: Horseshoe, $15
Starvin’ Hungry: Bovine Sex Club, 542 Queen St West
The Streets: Mod Club
“Shame” Vazaleen (with Nena Hagen, rumour has it!): Lee's Palace
Sat Jun 26Cahoots Summer Youth Theatre Projects Benefit with Sea Snakes, Phonemes, Final Fantasy (Owen of Hidden Cameras/Les Mouches on solo violin): The Theatre Centre, $8
Sun Jun 27Wavelength 219 feat. Pony da Look, Masia One, TV Mike, DJ d-rex: Sneaky Dee’s, pwyc
Ray Condo Memorial event: Horseshoe
Mon Jun 28 Death from Above, The Fever: Horseshoe, $8
Tue Jun 29 Iron & Wine: Horseshoe, $10
Wed Jun 30TIN TIN TIN (lineup TBA): Drake Underground, 9 pm doors, pwyc
Nellie McKay, Lee's Palace, $15.50

Not in June but important to know:
Fri July 2The Magnetic Fields, Trinity-St Paul's, 427 Bloor St. West, $25

(Thanks to Eye and 20hz for compiling raw info.)

Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Monday, May 31 at 5:10 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

Kelly Hogan Underappreciation Night

If this post seems a little sluggish, it's for noble reasons - after being out till 5:30 in the a.m. seeing Neko Case and the Sadies's second night of afterhours performance at the Matador, on Dovercourt just north of College.

matador.jpg case.jpg

If you're not from Toronto, you probably don't know the Matador, but it's a deservedly legendary landmark of night life here, a little bit of saloon culture that dates back four decades, to the era when Toronto couldn't even have bars that didn't serve food. With the Horseshoe, it's practically the only longstanding sanctuary of hard country music in this northern town (Marty Robbins, Charlie Pride, Stompin' Tom, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn - whose Rate It X Neko covered divinely - and later Blue Rodeo, etc. have all performed there) - you might have glimpsed it as the setting of the video for Leonard Cohen's Closing Time.

Though it was apparently raided by the police in March - and the paranoia level among the regularly rigid security staff was even grimmer than usual last night - generally the Matador operates on a margin of the law nobody else in this town can ever seem to find, where obeyance in letter but not spirit (as well as who knows what other unofficial arrangements between owner Ann Dunn, now in her 70s, and the authorities) is good enough, most of the time, for the gendarmes. (Tho it did seem like the raid's had some effect, as none of the usual under-the-table liquid barter action seemed to be in effect.)

So no wonder Neko wanted to do some of the recording for her live-album-in-progress there. Unfortunately, the recording aspect made the show a bit stiff, but the Sadies are never anything less than the hottest live band you could hope to hear, and Neko was in superb voice, just not quite as loose and wild as a great Neko performance will be.

The new songs being recorded for the album seem back up at the old vitality levels, after her last rather muted EP, so the live disc & DVD are something to look forward to.

hogan.jpg

But I have to admit I chafed at being in the backup-singing presence of Kelly Hogan - one of the best singers in indie music bar none - all night without getting to hear her take a lead, but I'm sure that too was because tape was rolling, time was money, etc. I yelled out her name a couple of times, and she seemed to appreciate that, immediately perking up to crack tasteless Jesus jokes in honour of Easter. [...]

All well worth staying up till dawn for, even if the slight stiffness felt like a funny contrast to the famously loose-hipped setting. (There was one not-so-funny interlude where a regular who'd ponied up the extra cover charge to come to her bar for the night loudly groused that this weren't no kind of country music as far as she was concerned, referring to Neko "B-word" derogatorily along the way; Ms. Case's retort from the stage reminded you that she ain't nobody you ever want to cross, in full femme fatale effect, and heavy on the fatality.)

Earlier last night, a fine time at Art Metropole's "Art Metronone" fundraiser at Harbourfront, with fine first-set performances by Martha Hlady and the Tristanos (with local free improvisors playing a Celtic folk tune and Moon River while accompanied by artist Hlady's light-and-sample-emitting computerized steel orbs) and an extraordinary set by the Hidden Cameras in their string-quartet (!) incarnation, with Winnipeg artist Daniel Barrow doing what you might call "still animation" on overhead projector - very dirty, clever and often poignant. I heard rumours that HCs leader Joel Gibb's troubles at the U.S. border, which date to SXSW, are continuing - I'll check up on that and get back to you. It's potentially a very troublesome situation with their new album coming up soon...

About the second half, with Montreal's Daniel Olson on amplified toy, and a set by Antony and (one of) the Johnstons from New York, I have less gushy things to say. Olson so gratingly overstayed his welcome that the audience began to spontaneously applaud partway through his set to get him offstage. (I kinda half-admired that he kept going after that though.)

As for Antony, he has a great voice, part Boy George and part Nina Simone, but for the most part I wished he were singing anything other than his own songs, which descended near constantly into mawkish 1970s-80s camp cliches that rendered banal the whole befouled-choirboy effect of his vocals.

There were a couple of better-realized exceptions, but actually the high point was when he was about to dish some backstage dirt about the Drake Hotel and suddenly realized that since they were sponsors of the event - putting him up for free, in fact - maybe he'd better clam up. No amount of hooting and hollering from the art-world gossips in the crowd could pry out the second half of what his cleaning lady told him that morning. How very subversive. Ish. Or ishn't.

(Note: The Matador pic is stolen from the Accordion Guy blog in Toronto. Remerciments.)

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, April 12 at 1:25 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

"I Knew Then What I Know Now"

Here's the set list from tonight's Massey Hall concert by Elvis Costello with Attractions pianist Steve Nieve. My review will be in The Globe on Wednesday [here], but I could only mention a few bits of this three-hour set show there. It was my first time seeing Elvis, after about 20 years as a fan. After tonight's tour de force, it won't be my last - while a full-band show would have been nice, this context allowed one to concentrate closely on the songs, and the Nieve-Costello Wrecking Squad approach to the old chestnuts is a blast. I've even been persuaded to pick up North, tho I wonder if this material is better in solo-piano settings than with strings and horns etc on the album... Unless otherwise noted, the settings for these tunes were Nieve on piano, synth and melodica, and Elvis on various guitars or just singing.

1. 45 (from When I Was Cruel)
2. I Hope You're Happy Now (Blood & Chocolate)
3. Suit of Lights (King of America)
4. Shot with His Own Gun (Trust)
5. This House Is Empty Now (Painted from Memory)
6. You Left Me in the Dark (North)
7. Someone Took the Words Away (North)
8. Home Truth (Goodbye Cruel World)
9. Motel Matches (Get Happy)
10. No Wonder (For the Stars, the Sophie Muetter collaboration)
11. For the Stars (For the Stars)
12. Veronica (Spike)
13. You Turned to Me (North)
14. Fallen (North)
15. God's Comic (Spike)
16. Shipbuilding (Punch the Clock)
17. What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding? (Armed Forces)
----
encore i
18.The Poisoned Rose (King of America)
19. Brilliant Mistake (King of America)
20. When It Sings (North)
21. Still (North)
22. Can You Be True? (North)
23. Inch By Inch/Fever (Goodbye Cruel World)
24. Watching the Detectives (My Aim Is True)
----
encore ii
25. The Delivery Man (new)
26. Country Darkness (new)
27. From Monkey to Man (new)
28. Either Side of the Same Town (on the Howard Tate disc)
29. Needle Time (new)
----------------
encore iii
30. Almost Blue (Imperial Bedroom)
31. Let Me Tell You About Her (North) - elvis solo on piano
32. Clings Like Ivy (new) - elvis solo on piano
33. The Scarlet Tide (Cold Mountain) - elvis solo on ukelele
34. North (North)
35. Pump It Up (This Year's Model)
36. Dark End of the Street (Dan Penn/Chips Moman)

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, March 16 at 5:58 AM | Linking Posts

 

New Songs, New Ceremonies

Tonight's special-edition Wavelength at the Gladstone Hotel with Xiu Xiu was special, all right.

It looks difficult to translate Xiu Xiu's material to a live setting (almost as difficult as translating it into words) - not technically so much as emotionally. Yet Jamie Stewart was able to engage intensely with his beyond-intimate material, at times seemingly in raptures and at others in jagged, painful touch with his subject matters. And yet he did not hold himself remote. It seemed demanding human work, which is probably why they keep their sets short. [...]

Xiu Xiu music is squirm culture, and in that sense not entirely unrelated to the sort of embarrassment that results from emo and reality tv, but the incompleteness, the unmediated and unanalyzed recreations, and the resulting privacy and layeredness of the work takes it much beyond the confessional; each song is like a short film or play, or like an excerpt from a longer film or play: In medias res.

(Geeky but relevant aside: Rickie on My So-Called Life talking to his teacher Mr. Katimski (both of them closeted):
Rickie: Okay, well, um, you know that essay that I never handed in, about what Odysseus wants? Um, can, I get an extension on that?
Katimski: 'kay...
Rickie: 'Cause I read it. It's, it's about this lonely guy that wanders the world for like, many years, right?
Katimski: Right.
Rickie: And the way that, that it starts, like, in the middle, I, what's that called again? I know you told us.
Katimski: In medias res.
Rickie: Right.
Katimski: It's in the middle of things.
Rickie: Right. Uh, 'cause see, right now it's sort of like, it's sort of like I don't have a place to live.
)

Before we cast Stewart as Odysseus, it's a relief to see that (like Rickie, in the end) he does not have to do it solo. Caralee McElroy's contributions were vital musically. They both played harmoniums, McElroy played synthesizer, drum machine, bell cymbals (played at one point with vibrators, if what I could make out was accurate), triangle and various other percussion, and Stewart was otherwise mostly on guitar. At times the sound - house-gamalan-ambient through a Joy Division filter - was utterly enveloping. But in the quieter, tenser bits, the soft-spoken warmth between the two players helped open the process up, lend it a social dimension, which aids the spectator to fight off the reflex to dismiss it all as narcissism: It is narcissistic, but not just. (And also, so what?)

It would be great to see the full-band version, though the full band does not really exist anymore, I suppose. In one famous incident that I gather circulates on video, L.A. drag queen Vaginal Cream Davis spontaneously gave Stewart a blow job in the course of a show. That must have been a different sort of evening.

I was disappointed that they encored with Fabulous Muscles, the title song of the latest album, which I think is one of Stewart's weakest pieces, the one where the grotesqueness feels more forced than precise, more of a shock game than he usually stoops to. Its arrival felt like a rebuke: "Okay, cheering, clapping people, you think you liked us, but do you like this?" Even then, with this band, I'm willing to consider that I'm just missing the song; after all, that was my first reaction to their work entire.

The crowd was extremely supportive, but it was talkative too. You hear tales about hushed Xiu Xiu crowds breaking down in tears, but this one was chatty and social and dancey and boppy. Fun, but it made it difficult to engage on the same, er, wavelength as the band. (Also, the Gladstone stage is rather low, so it was difficult to see - and the bar seems to have doubled its drink prices: double whiskey, $12!).

It didn't help that heavy rock group Anagram preceded Xiu Xiu. Though variety is the spice of Wavelength, and maybe the rock-out was meant to purge energies to let people focus afterwards, in this case curating the night around the headliners might have been the better choice. But I was so happy to find that Les Mouches were also on the bill. They had to be. This newish Toronto trio (two guitars and Rob Gordon's mindblowing drumming) draws on Xiu Xiu a fair bit: Owen Pallett's vocals share the sweet-whisper-awful-scream dynamics of Stewart's, and the noise-to-music ratio is related, as are some themes. Besides which, they played the best set I've seen by them yet, with a handcrafted DIY light show and great new songs that introduce some foursquare rock to their folk-noise formulae. Owen tells me their new album is mastered. I can't wait to hear it. They're a minority taste but Les Mouches is my current favourite Torontopian band. Though they didn't upstage Xiu Xiu they came thrillingly close.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, March 15 at 2:44 AM | Linking Posts

 

Blocks around the Rock

While the rest of humanity had to soothe itself with the dull psuedo-conversation of post-Oscars day (in which the only point that matters is: Bill Murray was robbed), a few dozen Torontonians got to jump up and down holding hands and screaming THAT WAS THE BEST DAY EVER at the memory of the Blocks' Recording Club's Toronto is Great!!! compilation launch party. Has ever a windy civic boast ever been so satisfyingly proved totally and utterly true? [...]

Arriving in the enchanted secret clubhouse of Cinecycle (which has skylights! who knew?!) squinty-eyed and dry-mouthed at 10:15 on a sunny Sunday Leap Day, we soon found ourselves drinking horrible coffee, eating transcendent vegan sandwiches and listening to: a spinoff version of the Singing Saw Shadow Show; the Barcelona Pavilion; the unbelievably smart soulf-trembles and expletive noise of Les Mouches (three extraordinary musicians of whom you non-Torontonians will soon know); the velvet touch of the Phonemes (of whom ditto); Craig Fraid Dunsmuir's one-man, one-guitar, one-loops-box Afrobeat-ambience project Guitarkestra (highlight: an arrangement of two Arthur Russell pieces, "Lucky Cloud"/"Kiss Me Again", which really must be recorded); the Depeche Mode-to-go suitcasetronic dance magik of Animalmonster; the fine avant-garage of the Creeping Nobodies, music to jump rope on your nerve endings by; the Most Improved award going to the creative hip-hop group-chant cheer-alongs of Ninja High School (It's.... gonna be us-us-us-us-us! is I think my favourite non-exclusionary tautalogically-triumphalist political slogan of the 2000's thus far, and from the same song, I can't stop sing-songing, Mornings, evenings, afternoons and weekends/Freakin' is our business & stock options are peakin'!); the Grand Ole 1977-Punk Glee Club (meets, somehow, Fleetwood Mac) Opry of the Hank Collective, including an incredibly sincere ovation from the entire room for the lead singer's dad, who laughed and laughed; and finally the Moscow-via-Amsterdam jazz punk of Lenin I Shumov, of which you will also hear more (slogan to remember: "Lenin I Shumov is Russian for Awesome!").

Wish I could describe all this in detail or wax philosophic, but it is late and I am still beat 24+ hours later from all the jumping and singing and smiling, but let it be said again that rockin' at 10 a.m. beats rockin' at 3 a.m. all to hell (and I'm no fan of morning); that music is a communal rite as much as it is anything and it's rare to be able to experience that so directly as we did this weekend; and that by the time next leap year rolls around I hope to have convinced the nations of the world of my plan that Leap Day should be an international holiday of solidarity and funk, during which the week is extended as well to 8 days so that it's not a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday but a universal liberated zone, perhaps one day in every 1,461 when the calendar would go on the fritz and people could live in primordial unmeasurable bodily time...

Yeah, that's how much fun the Blocks matinee party was. CN Tower-high props and hosannahs to Blocks (Steve Kado and Liisa Graham). The kind of occasion that makes you cry out, as the saying goes: "I Love World!"

Read More | Via Toronto | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, March 02 at 12:57 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

In Cobra's Coils

Tonight, I went astray as usual trying to find the Arraymusic studio. Home of some of the city's most joyous series of improvised music, its hiddenness is both depressing reality (only an undesirable venue is affordable) and pleasant trick (to hear music both performer and listener can get lost in, head toward a room cheerily reluctant to yield up its location). It was the final night of NYC bassist Reuben Radding's visit, the occasion of a mini-festival called Interface. Radding is a shruggingly fearsome guy, cuddly to look at but, as I knew from hearing his work with TEST's Daniel Carter and others, capable of monster noise. On that count, this was the worst night to go, though I had no other choice: Rather than attacking his instrument, tonight he was mostly called upon to, first, select duos and trios out of the Toronto musicians he had been working with in the past two nights, and second to act as prompter for "Renegade Cobra," which is what it's called when John Zorn' s large-group, guided-improvisation, cut-up-jazz game Cobra is conducted by anyone but Mr. Zorn. [...]

(Which is entertainingly revealing of Zorn's character. Imagine if it had to be called "renegade monopoly" whenever you played Monopoly with anyone but its 1930 inventor, Charles Darrow -- who stole it anyway from its socialist-satirist inventor Elizabeth Magie, who created Monopoly in 1904, just as Zorn arguably stole it from various sources, but that's beyond our purvue at the moment.)

Organizer Joe Sorbara is an amiable force of nature who has been holding regular Cobra sessions the past few months, as well as his ongoing Leftover Daylight series and the Burdocks group that appeared both at the Scratch (Christian Wolff) series and Tin Tin Tin, an event with which readers of this site might be vaguely familiar.

It was the second time Joe had an out-of-town guest conduct the game. The first time, with BC's great drummer Dylan van der Schyff, it was a little frustrating too, if you hadn't been at the rest of the series - maybe there could be a bit of prompter tradeoff, so you get to see the guest play as well as conduct?

Tonight's experiment, anyway, got compellingly mixed results - which is nearly as good as complete success. Radding hails from the birthplace of Cobra and has some definite ideas about how it should be done that seemed to rattle the Cobra conventions of Toronto. My theory is that the group was way more Canadian - polite, not bold enough, and passive about building consensus - than anything his experience prepared him for.

In the first few rounds, the energy was diffuse, which is to say horrendous, to Radding's visible frustration. A between-sets coaching session in the hall found Radding working his American medicine-show charisma; it was capped with a group chant & cheer that you could hear from the studio, which was pretty funny. But it did provide at least a placebo burst of creativity and vigour to the second session.

What I liked was that all the strife resulted in the game being revealed as a game - Radding was more Dungeonmaster-like than any Cobra conductor I've yet seen, insisting the game work the way the game is meant to work, and that seemed like a step up for its fortunes in this city. His sticklerness could have been annoying, but Cobra is by nature maddeningly opaque -- an exercise in libertarian musical socialism that instead turns out to be a cryptography test for the audience. It's governed by a series of one-sided cards you can only occasionally see, with cues in code you don't know. So the conflict involved in improving the group dynamic became a drama of its own that stood in for the missing information.

I still maintain that Cobra would be much richer fun if the rules were explained even in capsule to the audience before the performance. But given the rule against that, it turns out watching Cobra partly fail is more edifying than watching it succeed, because the gears inside the game get exposed. Of course, if you are a supremely detached creature who can close your eyes and just take it as music, you won't care either way, but really, why make it a sport if it's not supposed to have spectators? On a musical level, though, there were lovely moments in the last few rounds, after most of the audience had left, especially when Radding mischeviously left performers hanging (without new cues) on their most extreme gestural moments.

It's going to be fun to watch how Toronto Cobra gains an identity and orientation of its own if Joe keeps sessions going over the next couple of years.

Among the small-ensemble groups at the start, by the way, highlights included Rob Mosher's duet with guitarist Geordie Haley, in which Mosher kept pretending he was about to play soprano sax but then kept running on the spot and jumping up and down as an impromptu invented percussion effect instead; as well as Rob Pillomen's beautiful flute work (a strong point all night, and I don't commonly like flute); and singer Melissa Stylianou's duet with Radding, which had that "telepathic" quality that's always moving in free improv. Stylianou was also witty and charming in her Cobra contributions, culminating in a fade-out on her solo in which she closed off trilling "nobody here, just me... 'Me and My Sha-a-dow...' "

The next "Interface" event is in April with Vancouver guitarist Ron Samworth.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Saturday, February 28 at 2:48 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)

 

Wavelength 200: Wavier, Lengthier, Uncut

"It's our fourth anniversary - four years, four birthday parties, and so far this one's been by far the best," said a hoarse Jonny Dovercourt from the stage of Rockit on Church Street on Saturday night, and the half of the festival I saw certainly backed that up. As I'm quoted saying in the program-zine, Wavelength is the heart of the Toronto music scene - or at the very least the indie-rock-and-miscellaneous scene. The fact that it's lasted four years on volunteer labour and goodwill, as well as its creators' deep capacity to renew their own excitement, provides more to celebrate than one weekend can fulfill. [...]

On the two nights I made the scene, the social occasion was as memorable as the music, as usual at Wavelength, which can make it a challenging gig for anyone whose music is on the softer side, such as the Barmitzvah Brothers on Friday night at Dovercourt House (definitely the find of the weekend's four venues, voted Best Place to Hold a Dirty Cotillion): The high-school-aged Guelph ensemble couldn't fit themselves and all their instruments and toys on to the small riser in the hall, so like many of the evening's performers they couldn't really be seen once you were a few rows back into the packed crowd. (Sacrificing myself for critical duty, I shoved my way to the front row.)

But the sound system wasn't able to pick up a lot of their gentle, charmingly clumsy approach to their instruments - most notably when Jenny brought out her banjo, which even with two mics sounded like a mouse chittering away in its hole. That moment brought out the best in Wavelength spirit, though: Someone in the crowd realized that shushing wasn't working, so he raised one hand for silence as in a kindergarten classroom; as hand after hand went up the noise level fell and Jenny was able to play the song. What was remarkable was how much fun the little gesture itself was, a spontaneous silent chorus of crowd-community, the sound of one hand clapping along.

It was my first time hearing unlikely white Afrobeat band Ultra Magnus. They might not have gotten their Fela Kuti grooves fully locked down, but they were diving in with gusto, and the horn section particularly sounded superbad, like the JB Horns gone to Ornette Coleman school. We decided this would be a superb band to hire for your wedding, for the final hours when everyone is popping around on a champagne cloud, the parents' generation has retired to the side tables and it's the last chance for those sloppy wedding hookups: UM would bring the marriage rites back home to their secret erotic meaning.

I Can Put My Arm Back On You Can't scorched the rafters with a hardcore-Sonic-Youth-something-else barrage, but they overwhelmed Dovercourt House's acoustics with their volume so severely that I can't tell you what the something else might be. And the Fembots simply put on a hypnotizing set that showed how gorgeous and full a sound has grown out of this band's mopey minimalist origins - they've burst into bloom like Songs:Ohia did on Magnolia Electric Co. Jason Tait (also of the Weakerthans) demands to be singled out as the most kickass of a kickass crew: On percussion - though that includes musical saw and banjo as well as vibraphone and a half-dozen other implements - he was off to one side and likely invisible to much of the audience. But his split-second interventions were always precise and inspired, layering extra invisible universes into the Fembots' cracked country songs.

In Saturday's lineup, Montreal's Aids Wolf made for a raucous, sexy start, with the kind of herky-jerky noise rock that I can never resist, and choreography to match, though at times I thought I'd like to subtract about half the rock to make more room for the noise. I was especially thrilled to be seeing Lenin I Shumov for the first time - they went straight to my pleasure centres with their Georgia-via-Amsterdam Russian punk-jazz; there was so much going on that it is difficult to recall isolated elements, which only means that (a) I have to see them much more; and (b) they should hasten to a recording studio. Controller.Controller remains not my cup of tea.

The Barcelona Pavilion's first post-Maggie MacDonald performance, with new co-vocalist Vanessa, was a mixed success: The first few songs were played behind a white sheet, so the band loomed like ghosts, or giants, in silhouette. It was striking and memorable - but we were all thankful when the sheet came down, because a physical Brechtian barrier between performer and spectator doesn't exactly suit a band whose fight song is How Are You People Going to Have Fun If None of You People Ever Participate?

It was difficult not to compare this set to the last Wavelength BP appearance, Maggie's penultimate performance and one of the most riotous, exhilirating shows I've attended in a long long time, but it's also not fair -- that was an experienced foursome kicked up to new highs by tension and anger and sadness and an adamant refusal to capitulate to those emotions. This was a new unit working out what it is now and can be. Vanessa seemed rather tentative until the last couple of songs, and shyness simply isn't part of the Barcelona Pavilion playbook (quizzical remoteness and robotic self-discipline in the process of wild collapse, yes; shyness, no). But she got over the hump in those last numbers. Her voice is a much more musical organ than anything else in the band, quite a bit more melodic than Maggie's, so the potential for interplay between her mellifluous flow and Steve Kado's hoarse hortatory orations seems endless. The question is only how the band can keep up its conceptual integrity while evolving into new forms.

One thought there: Bassist Kat seemed to be edging into a less anonymous and more leading role at points during this set, as if she had wanted to join in on choruses and help direct the theatrics; and laptop-beat-builder Ben stole the show for a minute when he started looking around and scratching his head in open bewilderment (or maybe itchiness). I think a more fully engaged four-way dynamic could open up a lot of ground, at a time when the previous central drama of the Barcelona Pavilion (a kind of psychic cage match between the two lead vocalists that dared the audience to take a side or break it up or do whatever else we were driven to do) can't be replicated and hasn't yet been replaced.

Having said far more than you probably wanted to know, I'll just congratulate the Wavelength team on a brilliant birthday party. Can't wait till next year - and next Sunday.

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Monday, February 16 at 3:46 AM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)

 

Kagel Exercises

What was Under the Volcano's version of Mauricio Kagel's Variete, tonight at The Gladstone Hotel? To start, a variety show. With a beautiful performance by the Art of Time Ensemble, including accordionist extraordinaire Joe Macerollo and other outstanding local players. So: Variety = avant-garde? It seems everything becomes avant-garde again, if you wait 70 years and add extra sex.

This isn't entirely a complaint, but it was, frankly, harder to take in Kagel's music due to the visual intensity of the show: ie., naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies. Or, if not naked, at least underwear-clad and hanging from trapezes.

In fact part of me wants to go on full feminist attack: Are the men ever near-naked? Do the women ever get speaking parts? I am restrained by the poignant presence of the Eggshell Woman (Rebecca Hope Terry), who speaks only one phrase but the best-measured one in the performance. And then there's the wonderful dance (notably by Kate Alton and Stephanie Thompson), aerial work (Stacy Clark Baisley and Heather Hammond - despite the prior crack, I would be a gargantuan hypocrite to complain about how sexy it was), fire dancing, clowning, contortionism, magic and, of course, the mysterious semi-animate pig.

In that list lie all the levels of "how can they do that?" that are, for me, essential to the live theatre and too often ignored (look up Grotowski on actors' "extra-daily" powers and social role). Yes, I think some of the manipulative feints were nearby to accidental. No matter, they worked. Nigel Shawn Williams was an extraordinary MC. And I don't want to blow any secrets - there are shows left this weekend; information here but ... well, there should be more audience plants in every kind of show everywhere.

I had a nice conversation afterwards with John Millard, of Happy Day and other noteworthy musical projects, talking about the ways in which Kagel's score is able to reference vaudeville and cabaret without falling prey to the banal nostalgia-of-cool that so often evokes little more than, as John said, "Oh here's some more Kurt Weill in a language I don't speak." Kagel's music has a depth and dimension of field that never reduces itself to transcription of received ideas, but very much carries a current of live electricity. And the arrangements make the orchestra seem several stadiums times its own size.

John was right to say the fact that it was difficult to pay the music the attention it is due there was so much visual stimulation is "a pretty good dilemma to have." Who cares that you had to mentally slap yourself in mid-movement to hear the marimba doubling the bass clarinet, the sudden entrance of organ, the cello moaning in time? But does it seem quite right that what lingers most are memories of skin on skin and certain bodily countours - and not very many traces of the text (a delectable if not all that substantial effort from US poet Heather McHugh) or emotional content? No. There could have been a more subtle approach to the substrata of the physical score. And more fealty to the composer's blend of South American wry vigour and European dark sophistication: We North Americans pay enthusiastic tribute to that legacy much more than we honour or fulfill it, and that syndrome was present and accounted for tonight.

Instead, at-ready eroticism dominated, so I was left more hot and bothered than thoughtful, and that's not all there is. (Kagel leaves the actual action of his "instrumental theatre" up to the selection of the company, stipulating only that there be some; all reports are, in fairness, that he was delighted when he saw the 8 o'clock show tonight. [I saw the 11 p.m.])

Cavils aside, director Ross Manson deserves a bucketful of credit for bringing this work to North America with all these creative lights and bells - a production that may show up some of the weaknesses of this city's performance culture, but also displays many of its neglected wonders.

Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Saturday, January 31 at 2:42 AM | Linking Posts

 

Liz Phair. The Guvernment, Toronto, Nov 15/03

In "Help Me, Mary" -- track 2 of her decade-old debut Exile in Guyville, which Liz Phair played about a dozen songs into her Toronto show last night -- Phair sings about her plan to get back at the guys who hang around and "bully the stereo" in her apartment:

"I keep my mouth shut tight, I practice all my moves, I memorize their stupid rules ... I'm asking you, Mary, please/ Temper my hatred with peace/ Weave my disgust into fame/ And watch how fast they run to the flame."

She spits those last words out, laying out a Machiavellian revenge plot that neatly marks a line between one feminist generation and another -- one at once more bitter and more willing to use the traditional tools of womanhood to get her own back.

It worked.

Guyville came out at the time of the "fuck-me feminism" heralded by Esquire and Playboy, but made it into a fuck-you, too. As she later sang, Phair came off as "cool, tall, vulnerable and luscious" all at once, with a potent and unique songwriting voice that didn't hide its quirks behind any consistent girl-power pose but insisted on its right to mercurial switches, moving from the high abstract to the fleshy and vulgar in the space of a sigh. It was a one-album mini-revolution that should have changed rock songwriting more than it did.

But that was what she did culturally. What she did commercially was not much -- lots for an indie artist (everybody I knew had that album) but little by music-biz standards. That, of course, is what her latest album, titled just Liz Phair, was calculated to correct: Working with producers like the Matrix and Michael Penn, the disc sees her practising up her moves, tempering her hatred with sweetened-up radio hooks and trying to weave her divorced-mom disgust into fame.

For awhile the new scheme looked to have flopped, with sales of Liz Phair (henceforth LP) sluggish -- though Liz has said that's a fine outcome too: In that version of the plan, LP is a sacrifice fly to get her dropped from Capitol so she can go back to indieville. This week, though, first single "Why Can't I" is actually at its highest chart position - No. 41 on Billboard - since the disc was released in June. So who knows how it'll turn out?

What we do know is that LP sparked one of the bloodiest critical donnybrooks in years. Critics gave it moronic ratings like "0.0," and there was a notorious contretemps in The New York Times (Meghan O'Rourke called LP "career suicide" and Phair wrote back in a parable about Chicken Little seeing the sky falling where there was only a gentle summer rain). Fans lashed back at Phair's betrayal with personal fury in a million chat rooms.

Phair's all-ages show at the Guvernment last night made her critics look as silly as they deserve. Sure, all ages here seemed mostly to mean all ages between 25 and 40, with a handful of tweenies running around in the background, but the set list was calibrated perfectly to illustrate the continuities between the old work and the new. Phair looked cooler and more luscious than ever in a monogrammed sleeveless T-shirt and grey-black-striped skirt and vulnerably charming as she made modest chit-chat between songs.

Someone yelled out "You're the hottest ever!" and she demurred about how lame it was that all she could think of to say was, "Gosh, thanks." She joked about crashing the Bar Mitzvah in the next room. She played and sang with much more confidence and strength than she used to, though she still faltered or went flat from time to time. She was using a clip-on mic, which is too bad: She wasn't moving around much, and could have used the mic stand as a dramatic prop. Her four-man band was unobtrusive and efficient, with especially good work from the organist, though Phair hardly acknowledged and didn't introduce them.

My single greatest complaint about the new material is that it's centred around various "you" figures while Phair's best work has been her most self-centred -- she's got one of the best "I"-dentities in rock. Though she always adds subtle undercutting twists, LP falls too much into the twin modes of turn-of-the-21st radio: Either boast or blame. What is it about the radio speaker that makes the accusatory mood so appealing?

But Phair has been up-front: She was under pressure from both her label and herself to come up with hits, but stuck to the rule that she wouldn't sing anything that didn't sound like herself. That's true, except that often it's far from her most intriguing self. But then there's "Little Digger" -- about bringing a new lover home to meet her son -- or "Why Can't I," which despite its overdone chorus is a sharp snapshot of the scary thrill of a new affair after a breakup, the "inevitable" risk of that time when you "haven't fucked yet" but you're "already wet and... gonna go swimming."

I wouldn't have predicted just how comfortably such songs fell in beside opener "Mesmerizing" (from Guyville) or late-nineties songs like "Polyesther Bride" and "Jealousy." (Which by the way kicks the ass of any song on that subject that wasn't written by a pre-war bluesman. What has John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," for all its sweet apologetics, got on lines like, "I can't believe you had a life before me/ I can't believe they let you run around free/ Putting your body wherever it seemed like a good idea"? They're sentiments millions have felt and nobody's ever set to music before, a good working definition of great songwriting.)

It all raised the question of what exactly an artist owes her audience. And after "Divorce Song," which isn't just my favourite Phair song but one of my favourite songs period, I decided the answer for now was, Nothing. She gave me that song, and I can't wait out her attempt to build a more sustainable career? Ridiculous.

Of course I hope that after this she gets sprung again from the prison of verse-verse-chorus structure, which crimps the unpredictability that's her best songwriting quality. But I think of it less as a betrayal than as a friend going through a phase. You might not totally understand, but you have faith that they're doing what they need to do, and you'll hang back and wait to see where it leads. Otherwise you're just that guy yelling "Judas!" at Bob Dylan in 1966, and who wants to be that guy?

It's partly the intimacy of her writing that makes fans so propietary over her. Partly there is an unwillingness to let a woman artist be as inconsistent, fallible and absurd at times as a man. (Compare the way she's treated to, say, Michael Stipe's long leash.) There's also resentment that she's now a middle-aged, upper-middle-class single mom who still looks like a movie star and sings about how lust plays a major, complex part in her life. Her explicit lines -- this set makes me realize how astonishingly many of them there are -- have so much more punch than Peaches can dream of. (And the Avril comparisons are not only superficial; they flatter Lavigne more than they damn Phair.)

Then there's the perennial devotee's demand that she reliably serve our needs and not fuck up, which is an expectation she's never once encouraged or fulfilled before. The degree to which the LP album is full of wrong moves -- and I don't deny it is -- is the degree to which it is in fact perfectly in character.

I ran into friends after the show who said that though they too had been charmed and delighted by the whole concert, they thought this was the last we'd ever hear of Liz Phair: She's not going to be a star, and she's blown her street cred, so where is there left to go? I don't have an answer to that, and probably Phair doesn't either, yet. But after last night, I'd bet she'll come up with one no one is expecting. Then watch how fast we'll run back to the flame.

SET LIST
Mesmerizing (from Exile in Guyville)
Johnny Feelgood (from whitechocolatespaceegg)
6'1" (EiG)
Polyesther Bride (wcse)
Rock Me (LP)
Divorce Song (EiG)
Friend of Mine (one of the few LP tunes in this concert that's better on the record; it was kind of washed out by the Guvernment's middling sound mix)
Perfect World (wcse)
Flower (Guyville's classic "blowjob queen" track, arranged nicely to build up in volume and density as a rock song with this band)
Favorite (one of the few LP songs that merits the vituperation)
Help Me Mary (EiG, big Rolling Thunder sound)
Stratford-on-Guy (EiG, solo)
Extraordinary (actually follows nicely, though I don't like this LP song, except the bit where she sings in falsetto)
Jealousy (from Whipsmart, the record sadly under-represented tonight)
Never Said (a Guyville track I've always found weak)
Why Can't I (LP)
Supernova (Whipsmart)
ENCORE:
Red Light Fever (one of the best LP tracks, with a super-radio-friendly chorus but a strong domestic-detailed narrative)
HWC (or "Hot White Cum," a cute LP song, far from her best sex anthem but which I like for her justification of it as a utopian vision of what sex could be like when the gender war's taken out)
Fuck & Run (EiG, still perhaps her best song, though a bit rushed tonight)

Read More | Live Notes | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, November 16 at 7:04 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson