The Mountain Goats – Enoch 18:14

Posted on by Alli in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

Went to The Mountain Goats & Final Fantasy last night in Austin; full review coming, I’m tired and trying to track down a set list. For now enjoy this video I took.

The Mountain Goats – Enoch 18:14

Concert Review: Billy Bragg, The Phoenix, Nov 17th, 2009

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

Concert attended and reviewed by Karen

I ‘ve never been to a Billy Bragg concert before. In fact I couldn’t name you one song that he sings. My best friend Louise however has been a huge Billy fan for a very long time and has seen him six times so I went along with her to check him out. Oh I should let you know she’s from Leeds. Billy’s from Essex. This means nothing.

Turns out Billy Bragg is pretty amazing and pretty effing funny! It was just him alone onstage with his guitar. It takes a lot of stage presence and charm to hold an audience’s attention for ….get this…..2 ½ hours!!! All on your own. But he did. He joked with the audience and told us stories and played kick ass songs. Most of which reflected Billy’s social conscience and his desire for people to tune in, keep faith and join together in a battle against world cynicism.

Throughout his set he drank tea…..adorable.

My favourite anecdote was about him being in St. John’s and hearing that Margaret Thatcher had died and he was pissed because if he was back in England he’d be dancing in the streets and celebrating with the rest of the working class…….then he found out that the Margaret Thatcher that died was a dog…..he said he felt more sympathy for the dog.

Billy’s Set List
The World Turned Upside Down
Accident Waiting to Happen
Cindy of a Thousand Lives
The Warmest Room
Mr. Love & Justice
A Lover Sings
Ingrid Bergman (Cover of a Woody Guthrie song)
Ain’t Nobody that Can Sing Like Me
I Ain’t Got No Home in this World No More (Reuben Jones cover)
No Power without Accountability
Evidently Chicken Town ( A John Cooper Clarke cover in the style of Bob Dylan)
Freedom When Liberties are Taken in Thy Name. (The intro to this song was criticism aimed at our politicians for allowing Omar Khadr to rot in Guantanamo. The crowd went wild.)
Levi Stubb’s Tears
The Saturday Boy
All you Fascists
I keep Faith
Power in A Union
Encore: Milkman of Human Kindness
Then he played about a million other songs from his first album but by this point I had been standing for four hours and didn’t care. Ended with A New England, a crowd favourite and a sing along ensued.

Then Billy Bragg tea bagged the audience. Yes that’s what I said. He tea bagged the audience. He took the bag out of his tea and tossed it into the crowd.
Well done Billy! Add one more fan to your list. My Favourite song of the night? Billy Does a cover of a John Cooper Clarke poem in the the style of Bob Dylan. Here is the John Cooper Clarke version:

Concert Review: The Balconies, Nov 5th, 2009, Horseshoe Tavern

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 3 Comments

The Balconies are a three piece from Ottawa, who have recently relocated to Toronto to attend school. They consist of Jacquie Neville, Steve Neville and Liam Jaeger. On the CD you can hear the occasional three part harmonies for mostly upbeat, catchy song with super catchy riffs.

The stand out song on the CD has to be Battle Royale. I played this for Ricky and his response to me was “Man, that Balconies song you played for me was awesome”. My response to him was “Yah, too bad it is the only one like it on the album”. That sounds awful since I really enjoy The Balconies CD. It is a solid pop album that sounds like it came out of Sweden, not Ottawa. Other solid tracks include 300 Pages and Serious Bedroom, but really, Battle Royal is a stand alone entity that deserves some attention.

The Balconies were opening up for Immaculate Machine and Dog Day. I spent most of the show sitting down in the back, but I did move up to the front for a couple of songs. While in both locations I overheard two different sets of people say to their friends “Hey, these guys are pretty good”. They were right. The tracks on the CD translated really well at the Horseshoe and they sounded fantastic. They opened up with an extended version of Battle Royal, which was awesome. Half way through the song it became apparent what the story of the show would be. The story of The Balconies begins with Jacquie Neville. She is a rock star. Her beautiful vocals, her hard and catchy guitar playing and her stage confidence reminded me of other Canadian female rock veterans like Emily Hains and Giselle Webber (Hot Springs, /Giselle Numba One) The one part harmonies of Jacquie Neville and her guitar playing are what I remember most from the show. Should they consider ever changing the name of the band, may I suggest Jacquie Neville & Friends?

One thing that was painful was their stage banter. The only time they really spoke to the crowd was when the drummer mentioned that their CD was for sale over on the side table. Even muttering those few words, it was obvious he had never attended a Toastmasters meeting. He started to say something in addition to his rehearsed “buy our CD” line, but he was cut off when one of his band mates broke into the next song. Awkward.

Concert Review: Girls, El Mocambo, November 10

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 2 Comments


Toronto – Since September 25, the San Francisco band Girls has seen their popularity skyrocket. Their Tuesday night show at the El Mocambo was completely sold out. I was lucky enough to snag myself a pair of tickets and so off I went on Tuesday to check out the latest pitchfork media buzz band.

We arrived earlier then expected for the show and thus, decided to go to the Red Room instead of hanging out at the El Mocambo. How clutch has the Red Room been over the years? Always the same cheap drinks, the same indifferent waitering, the same tasting tofu puffs, same vinegar drenched salad accompanying the same ketchup filled pad thai… no one ever said it’s good, but there’s something to be said about it’s consistency. If you think of cheap pre-concert drinking spots, Red Room is one of the top ones for the venues. Think about it.. there is nothing close to the Mod Club, the Blue Iguana (besides the Opera House) is pricey, you don’t want to be anywhere near the Phoenix and the Horseshoe is pricey cos of its Queen street placement. Lee’s Palace and the Wrongbar have decent pre drinking venues, I guess. But yeah, I definitely appreciate the Red Room for what it is.

The band came on around 10:20. Perfect for a mid week show. Accompanied by a drummer, a bassist and another guitarist, group leader Christopher Owens took the stage looking like he was transported from 1994 grunge era, long hair and all. As with most shows, I don’t really pay attention to what the setlist was, I just know most, if not all the songs from their debut album (called Album) was played. The whole show was very low key, Christopher Owens barely said a word between songs and mostly stuck to his singing/guitar duties. Considering this bands meteoric rise, I would chalk this non-audience-interaction to just not really being ready to play sold out shows.

The music itself was quite good, the sounds of the surrounding band members were rather muted, to the point where you were wondering if he was just playing a solo show. However, given the type of low-fi surferesque rock that the band plays, this was perfect. The songs that were played was a fairly similar representative of the album version, which in itself is kind of raw anyways, so I guess it’s expected.

All in all, I think it was a good show. Talent always shows and in the case of Christopher Owens, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the guy can write some solid songs, even if he wears his influences heavily. It will be interesting to see how they progress as they play more and more shows to larger and larger crowds. I’d definitely be up for checking them out again.