Spoon, Kool Haus, October 15

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Toronto – Monday, October 15 was shaping up to be one of the best days of the year to catch some good music. For the old geezers in the sleeveless leather vests, you got Bruce Springsteen at the ACC. No better way of reliving the past then shotgunning some labatt blues while listenin to glory days. For the New York hipsters, there was !!! at the Opera House, coke not included. For the hard rockers , there was the Queens of the Stone Age, rocking some venue that I am too lazy to look up. For the rest of us, there was a little band called Spoon.

Spoon has slowly become one of those bands, where, if you listen to a song, you’ll be like ‘damn, thats spoon’. They have a sound thats pretty much their own ( despite robbers on high street’s best efforts). Ive spent time figuring out what it is that makes a Spoon song Spoon, but really, I can’t come up with it. Tonight, on October 15th, Spoon was at the Kool Haus touring in promotion of their newish album Ga-Ga-Ga-Ga-Ga, which was released on the internet in May, and in shops sometime after, if it has been released already.

Luckily for me and my friend Jeff, the ticket said that Spoon will play at 10:15, so naturally, we arrive at 10:12 or so, and then pushed our way to the middle of the crowd. Man, sometimes, in life, it pays to be kind of tall and tonight (and every concert) reminds me how blessed I am to be above average asian male height (5’3?) . It was a sold out show, and it was freaking hot inside but we were ready to spoon.

Haha, anyways, the band came on at around 10:15 and instantly went into one of their songs. Now as I was explaining to my friend, I can’t really name many Spoon songs because whenever I play some Spoon, I play their entire album so individual songs are mostly lost to me. Hence, this is not a blog post to read if you want a set list. But why would you want one anyway? Heading into the show, I had figured Spoon was one of those really professional bands that just plays. I was correct. It wasn’t until the band finished their hit single (one of the few song titles I know) “The Way We Get By” that Britt Daniels actually said something. The banter did not deviate much from “thank you” and ..well “thank you”.

For the next hour and a half, Spoon pretty much went thru their extensive catalog of music and near the end, decided to play all their hit songs in a row, which was pretty awesome. They sounded really crisp, and Britt Daniels has a good voice, even if it’s a bit raspy. I think the last song of the first encore was “Two Sides to Monsier Valentine” and the last song they played in the second encore was “I Turn My Camera On”.

Overall, the concert was pretty damn good. They played all the songs I liked and they didn’t waste any time. It was one of the quicker 90 minute concerts I’ve been to and I think everyone at the show enjoyed themselves. My only complaint was that the Kool Haus is too far away, and it’s not really that cool to begin with. It isn’t really a haus or a house either. Also, the band shouldnt really call itself ‘Spoon’ cos its so hard to explain to someone who hasn’t heard of the band that you are going to spoon with person x tonight. they might think its weird.

Review: 4/5

haiku movie reviews: Darjeeling Limited, Eastern Promises

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Darjeeling Limited – 4/5

Colorful Backdrop
Flawed Brothers On A Journey
Funny Times ahead

Eastern Promises – 4/5

Dont Mess With Viggo
Not Even if he is nude
Or you will get owned

Klaxons, Opera House, November 10

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Toronto – It is not often that I go see a band twice for the same album tour (off the top of my head .. Franz Ferdinand … The Pipettes .. the Rapture). So when I do go, it is often because the first show was awesome. Such was the case with the Klaxons. A lot has happened to this band since I last saw them in April, more specifically, they won the Mercury Award, which is the most prestigious award to win if you are an UK band. It is like the HGH for the music scene. Once you get it, its all home runs baby, all home runs.

So naturally, when they returned to Toronto, they played a much bigger venue – The Opera House (capacity: 850) which is significantly larger then Lees. Wikipedia lists Lees capacity at 600, but I highly doubt that. I would say 350 max. Anyways, so point is, they played to a much larger crowd this time around.

I am not the biggest fan of the Opera House, it is far away, there is realistically only one bar to pre-drink and they got those black guys in the bathrooms. I HATE that. Okay, maybe those guys aren’t always black, saying that would be racist. I hate the bathroom attendants they have at various night clubs. Its like dude, i might be drunk, but i can wash my own f’n hands and dry myself off. I just don’t see why clubs have to be like that, and the people who do that, is that really the best they can do? Wash the hands of drunken people every friday and saturday night? Might as well end it right there buddy, life is certainly throwin ya to the gutter.

I guess its more of a social problem, because maybe if those guys arent washing our hands and giving us towels, then they are on the street and maybe they might mug people and stuff, so on second thought, perhaps its not that bad. I can deal with not tipping them once in a while.

Onto the show. Man was it completely different from last time. Last time, as you can read in a previous post of mine (here) was pure shenanigans. Glow sticks, surfers, stage divers, people dressed like they were colorblind..everywhere. This time around, typical Toronto crowd. I don’t even think people knew what the first tune was (the bouncer) because it wasn’t on the album. So basically, this was a ‘lets go to this hyped up band and check them out’ kind of crowd. The person standing besides me was just obsessed with taking pictures with his dinky little point and shoot camera, from quite a bit away. I wanted to tell him to give it up, but I’ll let him soak in his disappointment when he loads the crappy pics he took on his imac. Him and his girlfriend were both wearing earplugs too. Man, if you are gonna wear earplugs at a concert, it just proves that you should be seeing rod stewart or clay aiken or something. Get out of there.

musically, the band was solid, and the concert was pretty solid. but it didn’t have the same energy level as the first time. I guess that can be expected, as the venue was bigger and the crowd was definitely different. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I have noticed a trend – the second time around, not always as good. I still enjoyed the show however, my only real disappointment (other then the ones i’ve mentioned) was that there really isn’t a good chinese restaurant near the place, as I was craving congee after the show (soul food for us china mens).

Review: 3/5, if I had not seen the other show, probably 4/5. so depends.

PS: I WISH they played this song, which is a cover of one of my favorite 90s tunes

The Hives, Phoenix, October 3rd

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Toronto – It’s been awhile since the Hives visited Canada’s best city, so when it was announced earlier this summer that the Hives were returning to Toronto to open for Maroon 5, I am pretty sure most fans were all like ‘whaaaaaaaa’ then probably went on to make some joke about Maroon 5 being pansy ass bitches. Luckily, the Hives recognize this slight, and scheduled a show at the Phoenix for a mere 13$. Awesome. Naturally, given this city’s massive Scandanavian population, the show sold out within weeks.

The atmosphere at show was quite excitable. If you know anything about the Hives, you know they put on a good show. It was Wednesday, which is statistically the hardest day of the week, so I am sure the crowd was raring for a good time. I am sure the Hives are a band that really, really, really want to please its fans, as they came on at 9:30. NINE THIRTY. Who comes on at nine thirty? (well the Beautiful South did last year) but seriously, that’s awesome. Maybe I am showing my age here, but really, that is quite delish.

Dressed in matching private school boys uniforms, the Hives quickly went right into one of their trademark two minute songs, whose name escapes me now. I’ll admit it, I can realistically name maybe eight Hives tunes. One of them is ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’, which they busted out early in the set to get everyone going. The lead singer, Howlin Pelle, is arguably one of the best front man doing shows today. He works HARD to get the crowd going, dances and does crazy stuff during songs and consistantly talks between songs. Sometimes I think the length of his between song banters is actually longer then each song. Actually, thats probably true. The dudes pretty funny, and after watching lamewads Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys) and Paul Banks (of Interpol) do absolutely nothing on stage at V Fest, this was a nice refreshment.

so the next hour consisted of a blend of new and old songs, leaning more towards the old then the new. Apparantly they have a new album coming out, and according to Pelle, its ‘very good’ and they were listening to it before the show to get them revved up. The only sad thing about the concert is that you know that the Hives are a pretty limited band, in terms of what they can do musically. It’d be awesome to see someone with the frontmans charisma on a err better band. But hey, what can you do?

The first set ended with their current single “Tick Tick Boom” which is currently also on NHL 08, so if its sounds familliar, this is why. The encore consisted of Supply and Demand, Main Offender and some new song which sounds like it can be a hit. Overall, the Hives put on an excellent show and I enjoyed it quite a bit.