Canadian Music Week Recap

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

Rickys notes in italics

Thursday

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.
(pause)
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.

Saturday

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

Concert Review: British Sea Power @ Plaza Nightclub

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

bsp

Vancouver, March 5th…I was counting down to this day ever since I heard ‘Do You Like Rock Music’. Loyal readers of this blog will know The Panic Manual loves us some BSP, so get ready for some hero worship.

The evening started out with some pre-drinks at my new favorite downtown hang-out – The Calling. Great food, cheap beers and if you’re there on the right night, you’ll hear some good indie music. The only downside – it’s a hell of a walk to all the concert venues.

This was my first time at the Plaza, which doubles as a nightclub on weekend. I hated the layout. There’s a huge oval bar right in the middle which makes it an annoying obstruction if you can’t fit on the small, crowded dancefloor. Luckily the show wasn’t too packed (around 200 people), so we managed to find a nice cozy spot in the middle of the floor around 8 feet from the stage.

We got to the Plaza at around 10:00 expecting to catch the end of what we thought was the only opening set. It was actually the first of two bands on support – a local band called ‘Elizabeth‘. We arrived with enough time to catch the last 2 songs which were too punky and loud for my taste. The next band, ‘colourmusic‘ took almost an hour to get started due to sound problems. They had me intrigued as soon they started setting up their equipment because they were all dressed the matching white tracksuits. I expected them to be German…they’re actually from Oklahoma. After the long wait the set started off with a grade-six-biology-video-esque voice over introducing the band, which I thought was a unique touch. It continued to come on randomly throughout the entire set telling us little known facts about the band and describing a bass riff that was inspired by Lord of the Rings. The only way I can describe this colourmusic is a hardcore version of Apples In Stereo. Geeky but rockin’. One of those bands that you’re pleasantly surprised with after their set.

11:30 rolls around and British Sea Power finally hit the stage, not that I didn’t enjoy the lead up to their set, but I was there because I indeed Love Rock Music. The lads (and very cute lass on violin) sure didn’t disappoint. Immediately kicking things off with “Lights Out For Darker Skies” they didn’t quit until they left the stage after the encore. The set spanned their entire collection, of course focusing on DYLRM. Although thoroughly enjoying the show I would have to say my highlight was the poor bastard who has mistakenly took the indie fans dancing to the right of us for grunge rockers. Halfway through ‘Atom’ he jumped on stage goat horns extended, yelling at the front row to gather around. They instead spread out and 5 seconds later all I could hear was a loud ‘SMACK!’. The crowd continued swaying around what I would have expected to be a corpse after hearing that rough landing. It took a minute or so when we finally hear an ‘OWWWW!’ (as in Spring Break 2008!! Ow!) and see the stage jumper pop with only enough time to try and high five someone before he was chased, caught and dragged out by the bouncers. Classic.

I would have given this show a 4.5/5 but the doomed stage diver bumped it up to a 5/5. I took a pic of the setlist on my phone because I can never remember all the songs played during a gig. I still missed a couple of them below as BSP’s roadie’s handwriting is as bad as my memory:

Lights Out For Darker Skies
Atom
Childhood Memories
The Spirit of St. Louis
A Trip Out
Down On The Ground
Blackout
Waving Flags
The Great Skua
Remember Me
Favours in the Beetroot Fields
Canvey Island
No Lucifer

Encore:
True Adventures
Carrion

Concert Review: Lightspeed Champion, March 4, Horseshoe

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | Leave a comment

Toronto – WTF IS WITH THIS WEATHER! Its March. There should not be snow on the ground. I am starting to feel like those people in the Day After Tommorrow. It’s cold. Its wet. Its miserable. All these people coming here for Canadian Music Week are never going to come back. Unless they are from other parts of Canada, then I guess it just feels like home.

Even the crappy weather was not enough to stop me from attending the free Lightspeed Champion show last night at the Horseshoe. If I had to pay for the show though…. So yea, NME approved Lightspeed Champion played a free show last night at the Horseshoe. The weather was crappy outside, but I was warmed up by a nice batch of Duff wings, which left my tongue without any feeling. Luckily, I did not go for Death wings, like the people I was with did. Actually, if I had eaten death wings, I could have probably put a match by my ass and light a fire pretty easily and warm the hell up.

The crowd was rather small considering how much hype this guy has been getting lately. However, I don’t really know whats real hype, and what is ‘internet’ hype. I guess considering the weather, this was an okay crowd. Dev Hynes, the lead singer, came out with a violinist at around 9:35. Which pleased me since I was not in a mood for a late show. Thats all this band was, Dev, wearing the finest rat hair hat he could find and a sweater his grandma probably gave him, and his buddy, the violinist. Despite the lack of drums, bass and everything else though, they proceeded to play about 6 or 7 songs, including a cover of the Strokes – Heart in a Cage.

How did the music sound? it was quite good. His album is very stripped down anyways, and relies much on catchy choruses and melodies. This setup was very fitting for him I think. Also, the dude is hilarious. He had no setlist, made a bunch of jokes and told some good stories. Its refreshing to see someone on stage who seems like someone you’d joke around with at a bar or something. For example, he introduced a song about prostitution, saying its from a view of a prostitute. He then said, its not a song about like condoning prostitution and hes not trying to make a statement or anything, finishing with the words ‘im not that deep’. Fuck man, me neither.

So whats the verdict? its a free show. So thats an automatic 3 stars in my book. Combine that with decent tunes and good showsmanship, I think its a 4 star show, -0.5 stars for the weather

3.5/5

Concert Review: Two Hours Traffic, Horseshoe, Feb 23

Posted on by Ricky in Albums, Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

Toronto – Saturday night. What to do? Well, I was intending on going to a pajama party, but my friend who was going to it failed to invite me, not wanting to be ‘that guy who goes to a party and brings another party’. so off i was, not really having a plan. Luckily, my other friend had won guest tickets for a show at the Horseshoe, by a band called ‘Two Hours Traffic‘. (he won it off Chromewaves, a site that has many giveaways). Being Chinese, I could not realistically turn down a free show.. thusI went, not having known anything about them. All I knew was what Dwayne and Wade had told me, which was ‘blah blah blah Joel Plaskett blah blah blah PEI blah blah blah CBC Radio 3′. Sounds interesting enough. The Maritimes seem to generate good tunes. Maybe thats what happens when theres nothing to do – you make good music. Thats probably why Sweden is so good at it, aside from designing easy to put together furniture, eating meatballs and drinking that drink they drink..theres really nothing to do there.

So who are these guys? Well, Joel Plaskett produced them and they are from the East Coast. That means one thing – good ole guitar rock. I expected a bunch of pastey ass white boys with longish hair and maybe a few plaid shirts. I was correct. They have a album coming out …last year… its called Little Jabs. I guess this band really flew off my radar. With a boring name like ‘Two Hours Traffic’, I can see why. Despite the name, these guys drew a large crowd. Half of which are probably from PEI (and related to each other) and half fans of the CBC. Quite the dichotomy. I actually had my CBC shirt on for the show, which is coincidental and also a bit odd, since I am a big advocate of not wearing band shirts at a show.

The show was quite energetic, the crowd was really into it. Most fans seem to know all the tunes which would indicate that, they too, have heard of the band. A lot of people yelled out ‘East Coast’. I did too. I wanted to yell out ‘Tupac 4 life! nigga what up!’ but that would probably not go over too well. The band played for about 45 minutes. Maybe an hour. Maybe not. I don’t remember. All I can say about Two Hour Traffic is this: it felt like a Canadian rock show, it sounded like a Canadian rock show and the crowd was that of a Canadian rock show. And sometimes, thats all you really need, is a slice of Canadiana. Follow that up with a nice bowl of pho and you got a good night at the Horseshoe.

Here is a link to Chromewaves review of the show, which probably makes more sense, is less offensive and actually contains relevant details about the band. Everyone has their ways, I guess.

Here is a song off their album Little Jabs. It is off the label Bumstead Productions, which is a label Wade may or may not look at this year in his yearlong article series on Canadian labels.