Canadian Music Week

CMW March 12: Sirius Satellite Showcase, El Mocambo

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

Toronto – Canadian Music week is in full swing in the heart of the city this weekend. Although sparse in the early part of the evening, the Elmo soon filled up on Thursday night for a French Canadian extravaganza hosted by Sirius Satellite Radio.

Duchess Says

Duchess Says

We arrived in the midst of the cacophony of Duchess Says, where singer Annie-Claude was serenading the crowd with her unique brand of intense scream-singing metal and dance punk. Thankfully the set was a mix of anger metal and dance-punk, which was a much more head-boppably well received. Extra points for her stage presence, but this girl is one crazy version of Peaches. Instead of hurling obscenities, she spits a melange of beer and gum.

This girl is one crazy version of Peaches. Instead of hurling osbcenities, she spits a melange of beer and gum.

Extra points for her over-the-top stage presence. At one point we thought there was some crazy drunk in the midst of the crowd causing a ruckus by hurling beer with abandon. We were expecting the bouncers to come in and deal, but then realized it was little wrath-of-Annie herself; dancing and rolling on the floor, grabbing innocent bystanders and showering them with dance punk and beer. Well done. There were no chewing-gum-hair casualties during the making of this set.

Radio Radio

Radio Radio

Next up was Radio Radio—an electronic rapping foursome from New Brunswick, recently coming of a performance at the East Coast Music Awards. This Acadian troupe sang in Chiac, a uniquely Canadian dialect of English and French—a little something we’d like to call Franglais. Although full of energy, we found the whole enchilada to be frat-boyish. One of the pledglings, Timo, sported a handlebar moustache and regaled us with stories in French about birthday parties at strip clubs. This Little man was not unlike a small horny Chihuahua that’s humping your leg that you just can’t shake off. The thought occurred to us even before he fulfilled prophecy by humping the stage. Timo, small doses only please.

We Are Wolves

We Are Wolves

From hip-hop, we moved to the music of Montreal based We Are Wolves. This band appeared on the very same stage last summer for NXNE where they were plagued with technical difficulties that caused several false starts. Thankfully this time around the absence of sound issues allow them to bring their A-game.

It was minimalist electron-rock at its best. Judging from their albums, you’d never guess that this complete sound was emanating from a three-piece. They keep it real with a simple setup: a sparse drum-set with a nary a stool to sit on, a lone guitarist/bassist, and keys. The band’s happier mood definitely made for a better performance. However, not much else seemed to be different between this and their NXNE showcase. There hasn’t been much new material since then, but that didn’t detract from a solid set.

It was minimalist Electron-rock at its best.



Closing out the night was French Indie starlings Malajube. This band has garnered a lot of attention since their debut album, Trompe-L’oeil. There was a musical lyricism that was missing from the night until the opening of this set. Their sound was reminiscent of a blend of Quebecois Trucker meets 80’s progrock reborn into these little indie adorables.

Big thumbs up on the grandiose sound, however thumbs down on the epileptic light-show. It was out of place for this intimate venue. Their sound and musicianship was all that was needed to attract the attention of the media and music aficionados looking for the next up and coming Canadian darlings.

Overall the showcase was strong, diverse, and well-assembled.

Unapologetically French.

Duchess Says: 3.5/5

Radio Radio: 3/5

We Are Wolves: 4/5

Malajube: 4.25/5

(Covered by Patricia and Mark)

CMW – The Pigeon Detectives, March 08, Lees Palace

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

Pigeon Detectives

Toronto – CMW was a lot like the storm that hit up Toronto this past weekend, it was quick, it packed a punch, mostly white and left just as quickly as it arrived. The last show on my slate, and the one I was most excited about, was The Pigeon Detectives @ Lees Palace. Upon making my way to Lees, I had already seen Maybe Smith, Said The Whale and Jenn Grant at the Horseshoe and the Rivoli. Seeing as how there was no streetcar to be seen going up Spadina, cabbing was our only option. w.T.F. These are the times you need public transportation the most, and they weren’t there.

Upon getting to Lees, I was informed that my Media Pass was no good there and that they had already let in 50 passes already. Then a couple of people in performer passes weren’t allowed in. “But we are performmmeeeeeeers!” they cried. NOPE. Rejected. Lees Palace definitely fell about eight notches in my book for their mishandling of this affair. Dejected, I went in there and bought tickets at the door for 15$, or as Id like to say … ‘food for a child in Africa for two weeks’. I then went back to my local bar (The Tap) and complained to my friends about it. No sympathies though.

So around 12:10 we entered the half packed Lees and the band came on. Did I mention the show was half packed, and they couldnt allow anymore passes in? W.T.F. All my bitterness ended when the band came on though. They were exactly what I expected, which was a louder version of their album. They were very energetic and often engaged the crowd to get them going, having them clap and saying ‘Toronto’ and having the crowd sing the chorus for ‘I Found Out’. It was a decent show, the singer was everywhere to the point of stage diving at the end of the set.

They played about 50 minutes and probably exhausted their library of songs. My friend took a video of the show and here is the last song.

Overall, a very good way to end off the night. I am sure everyone who went to the show was glad they had went.


Canadian Music Week Recap

Posted on by Wade in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | 1 Comment

Rickys notes in italics


Ricky and I started the evening off trying to see Jason Collett at Lees’. We quickly got rejected at the door because they were only letting in 50 passes for the entire evening. We had media passes. The only way to get in was with a ticket. As we stood there contemplating where to go, Hayden steps up with 3 ladies, says something to the bouncer, and just like that, they are in. Then this happened:

PM: Hey, are you letting passes in now?
Bouncer: No.
PM: Shit man, why did you let Hayden in?
Bouncer: Who’s Hayden?
PM: You’re retarded

The Lees Palace people sucked a big left nut this Canadian Music Week. More on this in my other post

besnard lakes

Then it was off to get rejected at the Sloan show, then over to the El Mo to watch the Besnard Lakes ask for more vocals before, during and after each song they sang. I’m glad I caught them, but will definitely be checking them out again when they come back through town.

The Besnard Lakes were pretty decent, very atmospheric/droney kind of sound. The lead singer looks like he’s from some 70s rock band. The amount of photographers were crazy.

The Superfantastics

It was a slippery hike down to the Cameron House to have a seat and enjoy the musical stylings of The Superfantastics. And really, I thought they were super fantastic. A cute, snappy dressed, duo from Halifax who pulled off the in-between song stage banter like pros. One might even say ‘charming’

Superfantastics: We just did a Fuse session on CBC radio a few weeks ago.
Audience Member (shouting): Hey, I heard that.
Superfantastics: Really?
Audience Member: Yep.
Superfantastics: Mary, is that you?
Audience Member (Mary) : Yes.
Superfantastics: Hey, how are you doing?

I thought the Superfantastics were great, the in between song banters sounded genuine and showed real enthusiam, the set was full of catchy pop songs. They basically do drums + guitar, but they do it well.


Maybe Smith

I think the Maybe Smith show I saw at the Horseshoe was probably one of the best sounding shows that I have ever seen there. It might have been because the room was practically empty, but still, for a guy who goes on stage at 8:30, Maybe Smith gave it all he had.

Good ole college pub music. Maybe Smith has a really strong voice and I really enjoy sitting down and listening to music. I was just happy to be inside after going thru the 8 feet of snow outside. The place was half empty, but that was expected.

Next up was Said The Whale from Vancouver. Their fans came out but… I don’t know. I just wasn’t into them. On this particular night, they sounded like a cover band playing in a bar that started with the words Firkin &… Sorry guys.

They were alrite. I don’t really remember what they sounded like. Maybe thats not a good thing.

Jenn Grant

After that we headed down to see Jenn Grant at the Rivoli. Aside from the smell of leftover fish at this Nova Scotia sponsored event, it was a good sounding show. Right before she played “Dreams”, she handed out homemade, pasta filled, pastille, Easter egg maracas so that we, the audience, could take part in the show. It was odd though when she stopped to tune her guitar for 5 minutes, then kind of half broke into her next song which wasn’t even really a song, then continued to tune her guitar again for another 5 minutes. I guess she didn’t have anywhere she needed to be.

This show was a bit on the short side. Jenn played around a little too much with her guitar and probably wasted much of her set. Otherwise, it was pretty poppy and a pleasant time. The crowd seemed to be into it and the eggs touch was absolutely awesome. MORE EGGS!

jenn grant eggs

Note: We might have a guest writers writing about the Meligrove Band/Sloan show and the Breeders show

My pics from CMW

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