Toronto – It’s easy to cover shows that fall to one extreme or the other on the enjoyment spectrum. Great shows and terrible shows are both easy to write home about. It’s the middling shows where you really need to distill what it is you’d like to convey. I spent last Saturday night checking out bands at the Horseshoe sponsored by CBC Radio 3. Fortunately for me, the following two write-ups will be dead easy.
After a few days of listening to energetic music and brash young rock, it was an absolute treat to sit back and soak in a more relaxed fare.
The first show of the night was Calgary-based Woodpigeon and this write-up is easy in the best sense of the term. This band plays a laid back indie-folk that evokes in me the same kind of feelings as the Great Lake Swimmers. After a few days of listening to energetic music and brash young rock, it was an absolute treat to sit back and soak in a more relaxed fare. The musicians weren’t competing for your attention, but rather trying to complement each other. Fancy that! Hats off to the two female vocalists. Their harmonies were subtle, but tasteful and appreciated. This show was a breath of fresh for me, and was an understated highlight of my NXNE.
[Last song of the set] This is a song about drowning. Thanks for coming out. – Woodpigeon
At the end of the show, a CBC Radio 3 representative presented Woodpigeon with the new Canadian artist award. It’s great to see this band getting some recognition for their laid back folksy vibes.
Listening to [Woodpigeon was like being near a calm babbling brook in the middle of the forest.] Having that followed up by DD/MM/YYYY was like 5 drunk fratboys finding your little slice of heaven and puking in it, then on you.
The following show is just as easy to write about, but for very different reasons. DD/MM/YYYY (pronounced “day month year”) is a Toronto-based band that has been described as “A mess of spastic, specially challenged art rock with jagged, diamondback guitars”. Listening to opening band Woodpigeon was like sipping freshly made iced tea by a calm little babbling brook in the middle of the forest. Having that followed up by DD/MM/YYYY was like 5 drunk fratboys finding your little slice of heaven and puking in it, then on you.
Ouch. I don’t feel a thread of guilt for trashing this band. I’ve never seen a more negative bunch of “musicians” who had so little qualms about criticizing potential fans. Half-way through the set the singer, in the broken jargon of well read young 20-year old punk anarchist said something like, “We read in the paper, the newspaper, the paper thingies about someone saying that we were getting tired of touring. F*ck you, whoever said that, we’re not tired. We’re f*cking troupers”.
Now, I don’t work for a band, or a record label, but I’m pretty sure I know a few things about the music industry. Number 1: alienating potential fans by throwing negativity at them isn’t going to get you very far. You could see from the very start of the set that any good vibes leftover by Woodpigeon were thoroughly trummelled by DD/MM/YYYY. Number 2: whoever said “this band has been touring non-stop and is tired” was trying to be nice. It’s industry speak for “this band sucks, but we are going to give them a graceful out by offering excuses.” If you decide to spit on the outheld hand, then that’s not our problem.
The polite Canadian-style applause at the end of every song was entirely too generous for this band. I haven’t even described their music yet: it was unmusical. I would characterize it as loud, jarring (in an imaginative way) and jarring.
(Yes, this is 0/5)