Concert Review: Marnie Stern, March 8, Wrongbar

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | 2 Comments

Toronto – March 8 was International Women’s Day.  I can think of no better performer to watch on that day than Marnie Stern.  Why?  Well, obviously because she’s a woman.  She’s such a woman that she named her blog The Vagina Monoblog.  Yes, she occasionally likes to talk about vaginas onstage, much to the delight of the fanboys up front who shouted things like “You’re cute, Marnie!”  She and her band also apparently talk about strange things like how much money they would have to be paid to have sex with 11 year olds.  You thought Taylor Momson was stirring things up when she wore that shirt onstage at Tattoo Rock Parlour last week?  Momsen’s got nothing on the woman who king of the douchebags Nathan Williams once referred to as an “old desperate bitch,” a phrase Stern later immortalized on a t-shirt emblazoned with the initials “ODB.”  As Charlie Sheen might say, Marnie Stern is winning.  (She even had t-shirts at her merch table that said “Win Marnie Win.”  Odd coincidence or brilliant marketing?)

Musically, Marnie Stern is a huge talent and an impressive performer to behold.  Finger tapping her way through her set, she displayed much technical virtuosity as did her entire band.  She ended her set by bringing out the guitarist from touring partners Tera Melos to join her for a rendition of “For Ash,” which was just about the perfect song to end with. 

I didn’t stick around for Tera Melos, but I did see the local openers Greys, who reminded me of Drive Like Jehu.  They admitted as much when the singer introduced a Drive Like Jehu cover by saying “We learned all our tricks from them.”  He did so by way of berating a guy up front who had never heard of the early ’90s band yet was a fan of Brand New.  He later apologized to that guy but added “Brand New does suck though.” 

Marnie Stern – Patterns of a Diamond Ceiling by dog daze tapes

Celebrating International Women’s Day AND SXSW, a cheap playlist

Posted on by Ricky in Everything, South By Southwest | 1 Comment

Toronto – Never one to give up a cheap opportunity to get quick hits and at the same time, cover two of the most popular topics, the team at the Panic Manual has quickly racked their brains and come up with a playlist that comprises of women playing at SXSW. Now of course, today is International Women’s Day a day celebrating our(my) favorite type of people. Now as Ali G famously once said “One out of every two people is a woman” so it is going to be quite a celebration. I’m sure they’ll be celebrating from Malawi to Mumbai.

So without further delay, here is a play list of women playing at SXSW.

Notable Exception Alert!!! – Anna Calvi

Sadly, Anna Calvi had to withdraw from all her shows at SXSW this year due to an arm injury. This doesn’t mean we don’t love you, it just means we love you less. Still, you should check out her self titled debut album, which was released earlier this year off Domino Records

Desire by Anna Calvi

On to the real list

Kyla La Grange – Courage

I was absolutely in love with her first single – Walk Through Walls and this song from the English singer is no less impressive. I’m pretty sure she is headed for big things based on these two epic, intense songs. Mark it down.

Kyla La Grange – Courage (free download) by Stayloose

Kyla La Grange plays at 10pm Thursday March 17th at Communion night at Klub Krucial

Sharon Van Etten – Much More Than That

One of the most charming performer I have seen recently, Sharon Van Etten has been on a roll ever since her sophomore record Epic to much delight and fan fare. Check her out if like earnest folk rock music powered by a great voice. She’ll be playing a lot of shows including

Wednesday March 16th, Midnight, Swan Dive
Thursday March 17th, 4:00 pm, French Legation Museum
Friday March 18th, 4:00Pm, Mohawk


Tue 04/12/11 Toronto, ON – Drake Hotel
Wed 04/13/11 Montreal, QC – Casa Del Popolo

Much More Than That by sharonvanetten

The Dollyrots – Om Nom Nom

The Dollyrots are a pop punk band out of California (where else, really) that is fronted by one Kelly Ogden. I loved their debut album Eat My Heart Out its catchy and fun. Their showcase is going to be one hell of a show I suspect. No idea why this band isn’t huge, they are made for young girls to party to.

Friday March 18th, Black & Tan, 11:30pm

Om Nom Nom by The Dollyrots

Lenka – Heart Skips a Beat

Lenka is an Australia singer songwriter who is releasing her second album, cleverly/lazily titled Two. Maybe she named it after the Antlers song, I dunno. I’m a sucker for catchy pop music and this track is the epitome of that. Light and bouncy with a hook filled chorus, I imagine her showcase will be entirely fun and charming based on this video and song. Apparently, she has had her music played on a lot of television shows, so she might also be popular in the real world, I am unsure.

3/17 – The Roxy Theatre Presents…Austinrox at Rusty Spurs 9pm
3/18 – Texas Tornado at Red Eye Fly 4:15pm
3/19 – Maggie Maes 3:30 pm
3/19 – The Tap Room-Hotel Café Showcase 9:00 pm

Class Actress – Careful What You Say

Class Actress is the brain child of one Elizabeth Harper. The synth pop group has been making the touring rounds lately with in support of their EP Journal of Ardency. This track has a nice beat and shows a lot of promise. I await their debut album, which I am sure they’ll be preview at these shows:

Mar 16 SXSW @ Lipstick 24 (Flavorpill Party) – 3:30pm
Mar 17 SXSW @ Club 1808 (Piano’s Party w/Das Racist, Still Corners, etc.)
Mar 18 SXSW @ East Side Drive In (Pitchfork Party) – 12:45pm
Mar 18 SXSW @ Friends (Warp Magazine Showcase) – 11pm
Mar 19 SXSW @ Space 12 (Parafora Party) – 7pm

Class Actress – Careful What You Say by The Recommender

Have a good rest of the day!

Canadian Music Week 2011 Preview

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

Toronto – Another year, another Canadian Music Fest.  From March 9 through to March 13, a whole lot of bands both Canadian and otherwise will be filling venues throughout the city.  Here’s a selection of the ones who caught our attention.

Alcoholic Faith Mission: If you’ll forgive the bad alcohol based pun, these Danes have had a good buzz going lately.  Ricky wrote about them here.

Alcoholic Faith Mission play Rancho Relaxo on March 9 @ 12:00 pm, The Dakota on March 11 @ 12:00 pm, and The El Mocambo on March 12 @ 8:00 pm.

Alcoholic Faith Mission – Closer To Dallas by Paper Garden Records

Butterfly Explosion:These Irish shoegazey alt-rockers have been described as “My Bloody Valentine meets M83 meets Sigur Ros in Heaven.”

Butterfly Explosion plays The Hideout on Thursday, March 10 @ 2:00 am.

Butterfly Explosion :: Closer by Harmless Noise

Charlotte Cornfield:This Montreal based singer-songwriter offers up some catchy folk-rock that has already garnered her radio play on the CBC as well as appearances at the Hillside Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, the Ottawa Folk Festival, and Pop Montreal.

Charlotte Cornfield plays Thursday, March 10 @ 8:30 pm at Sneaky Dee’s as part of the Audio Blood showcase.

Elephant Stone: Awesome sitar tinged, poppy psych rock from Montreal.  They’re playing here before they head to SXSW to play about a billion shows.  Should be a good time.

Elephant Stone play Rancho Relaxo @ 1:00 am on Friday, March 11.

Elephant Stone – Bombs Bomb Away by 360degreemusic

Heavy Cream: Fun, energetic punk rock from Nashville.  They definitely bring the goods live.  Their video for “Watusi”is all kinds of awesome and features smoke bombs, ouija boards and various shenanigans.

Heavy Cream play Wrongbar @ 11:00 pm on Saturday, Mar. 12.  Also on the bill are The Pack A.D. and Ty Segall.

J Mascis/Kurt Vile/James Vincent McMorrow:  If you’re looking to stay in one place for awhile, this is a pretty good lineup.  The Dinosaur Jr. frontman and Mr. Vile will offer up some guitar heroics while McMorrow brings the mellow folk tunes.

At The Great Hall on March 11.  James Mc Morrow @ 9:15 pm, Kurt Vile @ 10:00 pm, Kurt Vile @ 11:00 pm.

Janet Jackson: Because you never know when you might witness a wardrobe malfunction in action.

Janet Jackson plays The Sony Centre on March 12 and 13.

Maestro Fresh Wes: Let your backbone slide!

Maestro Fresh Wes plays Maro on Saturday, March 12.

Monster Truck: Let’s face it, monster trucks are awesome.  They can crush other, smaller vehicles and have cool names like Grave Digger.  Therefore, a band named Monster Truck must also be awesome.  The Hamilton band’s bio describes their sound as “big like metal, classic like rock, fierce like punk and sweet like pop.”  

Monster Truck play 2 shows on Friday, March 11 @ 11:00 pm at The Bovine Sex Club and  @ 2:00 am at Lee’s Palace. 

Runnin’ by Monster Truck

Topanga:Calm down, Boy Meets World Fans.  Danielle Fishel will not be appearing at CMW.  However, this Toronto band, whose rambunctious sound falls somewhere between folk and punk, will be. 

Topanga plays The Silver Dollar @ 2:00 am on Thursday, March 10. 

Topanga-Loose Circus by Topanga

Young Galaxy: Ricky wrote about them here.

Young Galaxy play Lee’s Palace on March 10 @ 11:30 pm

There you have it.  Just a small sample of the many bands playing Canadian Music Week.  Enjoy.

SXSW Preview: Matt & Kim

Posted on by Ricky in Everything, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Toronto – Matt & Kim is simply put, one of the most entertaining shows you will see. Their energy is immaculate and their enthusiasm is more contagious then H1N1. No matter how crappy your mood is when you are entering a Matt & Kim show, you will feel a hell of a lot better after the drum and synth duo hit you with song after song of energetic punk-pop tunes. Once again, Matt & Kim are playing SXSW, this time in promotion of their new record Sidewalks. They seem to be only playing large shows in Austin, but if you can find the time, do check them out.

Here’s a video to get you prepped:

3/14 – Austin, TX @ The Belmont
3/16 – Austin, TX – mtvU Woodie Awards
3/18 – Austin, TX @ The FADER Fort, SXSW

Cameras by mattandkim