Canadian Music Week

CMW Review: Coalesce, Harvey Milk, The Atlas Moth, March 11, Annex WreckRoom

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | 2 Comments

panic manual harvey milk

Toronto – Metal and hardcore are not things we write about too often here on The Panic Manual, but as I may have mentioned before, I do like the heavy stuff from time to time, so for my purposes ,Canadian Music Week became Canadian Metal Week on this night.

First up was The Atlas Moth, a band out of Chicago who really impressed me.  They had a densely layered,epic, doomy sound featuring three guitars, multiple vocalists, and touches of synth.  I heard touches of Neurosis and even Pink Floyd in their sound.  Their set seemed like it was over too soon and way too short, but that may have had something to do with the fact that all their songs were pretty long.  I would definitely be interested in seeing them again.

Harvey Milk are an interesting band.  Named after the politician from the ’70s, they’re currently touring behind their self titled album, which was actually recorded back in the early ’90s but has only recently been remastered and released for the first time.  The first couple songs were really doing it for me, but by the third song, they really hit their groove.  They played a bunch of new unreleased songs a new unreleased song (or maybe two?)  from an upcoming album , which was full of slow, bluesy riffs.  Frontman Creston Spears had a row of what I believe were shots of whiskey lined up onstage ,which probably accounts for his vocal style, which could certainly be described as whiskey soaked.  They also have what I believe is the best t-shirt design ever.

panic manual coalesce

Coalesce put on a pretty intense show.  The recently reunited band are touring behind their latest (and first in 10 years) album OX, although they only had a handful for sale because they figured everyone would have downloaded it anyways.  It’s ok though, I’m sure they sold a few t-shirts (even though the designs weren’t as daft as those Harvey Milk were selling).  They were gracious enough to take a few song requests shouted out by fans, saying that since they hadn’t been here in 10 years, they would play what the crowd wanted to hear.  I was a little bummed that they didn’t play anything from their album of Led Zeppelin covers, but not at all surprised … although hearing “Black Dog” would have been pretty sweet.

CMW Review: Adebisi Shank, March 10, Rancho Relaxo

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week, Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment

panic manual adebisi shank

Toronto – Despite it being an enjoyable show, I beat a hasty retreat from The Bonfire Ball at Lee’s Palace to check out Adebisi Shank, who initially caught my interest from their name alone.  The Irish Band derives their name from Simon Adebisi, an imposing character from HBO’s awesome prison show Oz and a man who is certainly very handy with a shank.  It is my firm belief that more bands should name themselves after characters from Oz.  A couple that come to mind are Cyril O’Reilly And The Sock Puppets or The Schillinger Escape Plan.  Those are yours for free if you want them , band that currently has no name.  The Panic Manual offers them up as a public service

Factoring in travel time between venues, I only caught a couple songs by them at the end of their set, but what I heard, I liked.  They had a jerky, math rocky sort of sound, maybe a bit like Don Caballero, but more frantic.  Also, their bassist wore a scarf/mask kind of thing to cover his face and head, which is kind of cool.

Adebisi Shank are also playing tonight (March 11) at The Hideout at 12:00.  Be there or be shanked. 

CMW Review: The Bonfire Ball featuring Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas, March 10, Lee’s Palace

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week, Concerts, Everything | 3 Comments

Toronto – So for the longest time I wasn’t even sure I was getting into this show.  For whatever reason, the wait to get into Lee’s Palace was ridiculously long and slow.  The good thing about this was meeting new people and bonding over the general craziness of it all while wondering whether we should cut out and try to get into the Vivian Girls or Fucked Up shows that were alos happening tonight.  But I stuck it out and finally made it to the front of the line.  The wait made the show itself all that much sweeter. 

Once I was inside, the Collett/Bahamas/Zeus supergroup was well into their set.  The venue was packed and performers seemed to be having as much fun onstage as we had watching them.  And the band was fantastic, switching between each other’s songs with ease.  Each individual songwriter had a style that blended well with each other.  This is not surprising, seeing as Zeus is Collett’s backing band, and Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas) used to be a member of the band.   The overall sound was reminiscent of various ’60s and ’70s sounds without really being derivative or unoriginal.   I read elsewhere that they did a Kylie Minogue cover for their encore, but I didn’t see that as I left to check out another show.  Too bad, that would’ve been pretty cool to see.

 I have seen Collett, Bahamas. and Zeus perform seperately in the past and they were undoubtedly good, but somehow tonight, by joining forces, they became even greater than the sum of their parts … like a Canadian indie rock version of Voltron.

CMW March 14: Hey Rosetta! at the Indies, Royal York Hotel

Posted on by guestwriter in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | 3 Comments

Hey Rosetta!

Toronto – If you’ve never heard of Hey Rosetta!, I strongly suggest you head over to their website or myspace page to listen to some of their music. I don’t just rant and rave about them because they hail from the Mudderland (also known as Newfoundland, which is also known as the best place in the world), but that they play a kind of rock that hasn’t made me this excited in a long time. Their music is a contradiction between simple and complex. Their songs take you on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, manipulating you with intense crescendos and decrescendos of instrument and voice.

I caught them for the second time opening the Indie Awards at the Royal York Hotel for the last night of Canadian Music Week—a fitting slot for a band which has been causing quite a stir on the Indie front since their first album release Plan Your Escape. Most recently, this quiet and humble six piece hailing from St. Johns, Newfoundland, swept three awards at the East Coast Music Awards—garnering big prizes for Group Recording, Recording of the Year and Alternative Recording for their second release Into Your Lungs, produced by Hawksley Workman.

They kicked off, and much to the delight of the crowd, their three song set with I’ve Been Asleep for a Long, Long Time, they looked as comfortable on a big stage as you might imagine them in a small dark pub on George St. The rhythmic beat of the chords was complimented with violin, and the voice of Tim Baker, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, was overpowering. Tim Baker and company performed A Thousand Suns, engaging the audience through an enthusiastic chorus of hand clapping to finish the song off.

If there was any disappointment with their performance, it wasn’t being able to hear their acoustic music. The performance was to say the least a tease, making you beg for a longer set. Thankfully Hey Rosetta! will be playing at Lee’s Palace on April 24, tickets are $10.

5 freaking cod tongues out of 5!