Concert Review: Rogers Picnic, July 20 2008 Fort York, Part 1

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 2 Comments

Toronto – What the hell is with the rain? Seriously. We are turning into Vancouver. Rain was the word of the day at the old and historic Fort York, home of this years Rogers Picnic . The hard working ladies over at Listen Harder were kind enough to provide me and Mark with media passes to cover this festival, so here is my account of it.

Overall Impressions
I thought that Rogers put together a pretty well organized event. The music acts were actually on time. After the Flaming Lips V-Fest disaster from two years ago, this is a big issue specially with the imposed curfews. There was a large variety of food available (I had a pulled pork sandwich from Cluck Grunt Blow or something) and there was Wellingtons beer available, which is always a bonus. Unfortunately, the Welly’s ran out half way thru Tokyo Police Club’s set and I stupidly ordered a Coors Light (that or Molson Canadian was the only option). Yea, so after that debacle, I stopped drinking. I think the rain was a huge factor, it cooled the festival down, so I don’t think many people passed out and also, it turned the middle of the field to a mud pit, so all the Ex Pats in the room could close their eyes and pretend they were with the lads in Glastonbury.

Lets take a look at the acts:

Vampire Weekend
NY Hype Kids Vampire Weekend was given the 4:00 slot, way too early for a band of their immediate stature (re: popular). However, the kids in the band made the most of it – the lead singer wore an interesting dress shirt + v neck sweater + swimming trunks attire that I am sure will inspire preppy kids all over Toronto in the fall. Look for it at your local private school. I called it here first. Having been here for a concert in February, the band seemed genuinely happy to be here. They didn’t even seemed to be tired either, having played Pitchfork Festival just 24 hours prior. The set list was what you expect ie. everything off their debut album. The band even played a new song at the request of one of the fans.

The bands live sound is pretty much the same as the bands studio sound. It’s pleasant and summery, perfect for a summer festival, if it wasn’t raining. However, the rain didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the crowd and the band, as many people were dancing to the songs. Overall, definitely one of the highlights of the festival.

Animal Collective
As much as Animal Collective’s Strawberry Jam album was a highlight for eclectic noise pop fans, I would have to say that the Brooklyn band definitely generated a huge WTF moment for a majority of the crowd at Fort York, considering a lot of people came to see Tokyo Police Club, Cat Power and City and Colour, I wouldn’t necessarily put them in with an Pitchfork type Animal Collective sound. Anyways, the pair from Animal Collective came on with bright t-shirts and worked their craft on stage, mostly keeping to themselves. The rain really really started to come down at this point and I think a lot of people just went to find shelter. A highlight for me was the Panda Bear song Comfy in Nautica. Either way, I would probably think this was a mis-step on the part of the organizers, but that didn’t stop the band from pleasing their own fans.

Stay tuned for Part 2, as there will be some nice pictures from the show as well.

Concert Review – Brooke Gallupe (Immaculate Machine), The Phonemes and Great Aunt Ida: Cameron House, July 10th, 2008

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

(Toronto) This was a very sexy show by three very sexy Canadian musicians in a sexy venue. I love the Cameron House. Great little venu with good table service. In a town like Toronto where you constantly get shitty table service, you can spot good service a mile away. Just keep me drinking, is it really that hard?

First up were The Phonemes, or one, or sometimes two of them. Magali Meagher played a quiet set. A quiet sexy set that is. Her awkward, soft banter and stories about personal ailments totally got my sympathy vote. I was really anticipating hearing Easter Suit, which she didn’t play, and Pain Perdu, which she saved until the end of the show when all three artists took the stage to help perform each others songs. Head on over HERE and listen to Pain Perdu. It’s good.

I was pretty excited to catch Great Aunt Ida too. Sexy. Normally a larger outfit, Ida Nilsen showed up and played a plethora of depressing songs about love and loss. She looks nothing like your great aunt.

I have never made it out to an Immaculate Machine show, so when the opportunity to see one third of them play, I thought I should take it in. Brooke Gallupe played some new solo tunes and also threw in some Immaculate Machine tracks such as Nothing Ever Happens, Jarhand and C’mon Sea Legs. Brooks’ stripped down, intimate version of these songs surprised me with the amount of energy he threw into each track. Dressed in his best whites, his shaking and strumming definitely had some ‘umph’ behind it. Although I must admit, during Jarhand, I kept wanting to hear Kathryn Calder chime in. And yes, Brooke was also very sexy, thanks mostly to his moustache. It’s a good one. Maybe three weeks of growth? Keep the dream alive Brooke.

Here is an awesome Phonemes video:

Mike Patton & Metropole Orchestra

Posted on by Vik in Concerts | 2 Comments

mondo patton

Mike Patton is like the American Damon Albarn. Known mostly as the front man for Faith No More, Patton has been involved in many experimental project over his fairly lengthy career. I was never a huge fan of FTM, but what really caught my attention was when Patton recorded a cover of the Commodores classic “Easy”. Not only was it a huge departure from the 90’s rock we were used to hearing him belt out, but it also showed that he had the chops to pull off a soulful tune.

Since the breakup of Faith No More in 1998, Patton has been involved in diverse projects such as video game voice acting as well as releasing a Postal Service type album titled ‘Peeping Tom’ swapping song files with the likes of Massive Attack, Kid Koala and Kool Keith. I remember listening to this album in 2006, but don’t remember if I liked it or not.

Fast forward to June 2008 and it seems like Patton is put yet another finger in the proverbial pie. Fabchannel has filmed a recent concert where he is performing a collection of covers of Italian pop songs from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s with the Metropole Orchestra. He once again flexes his vocal chords in this concert belting out a diverse list of songs is his trademark rock stylings (Urlo Negro) and bringing it down for all the swingers in the house with a few 60’s pop tracks (Deep Down).

I highly recommend you check out this fantastic concert.

On somewhat of a side note, if you like what you hear in Pattons show, I recommend you check out the works of famed Italian composer Ennio Morricone, the godfather of 60’s lounge pop. I’ve posted a track for your martini sipping, wife swapping pleasure.

mondo morricone

Toronto Jazz Festival – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, June 24th, 2008

Posted on by Mark in Concerts, Toronto Jazz Festival | Leave a comment

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

TorontoBig Bad Voodoo Daddy was formed in 1989 by singer/guitarist Scotty Morris. It started as a three-piece, but quickly grew into its current big band lineup. They were at the forefront of the swing-craze of the mid-90’s, and were popularized by their appearance in the movie Swingers with songs like “You and me and the bottle makes 3 tonight (baby)” and “Go daddy-o”. You’d recognized them if you heard ‘em.

They appeared at the Nathan Phillips Square main stage, and the result was a high-energy show. People who were in their late-teens and early twenties during the 90’s swing-craze were dusting off those swing dance-moves that they paid good money for and thought they’d never get to use. The band was tight, and provided all the ingredients for a good time. They all wore cool cat jazz suits, and the brass played in front of 30’s style jazz stands. Classy.

The music was good. It wasn’t inspiring, but it was solid, tight, and full of energy. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is still at it, cranking out the big band and doing what they do best: saluting and re-creating the old-school dance jazz that was so popular in the 30’s and 40’s. There were two highlights for me. The first was Scotty giving the crowd a history lesson about the Cotton Club, a famous prohibition-era NYC jazz club, with a salute to the late great Cab Calloway. The second was the bassist Dirk Schumaker. He looked like he was having so much fun spinning that stand-up bass of his and playing music that he loves. I was thoroughly envious of the man’s joie de vivre.

If I could have bottled some of it, I’d be set for life. 4/5.