Concert Review: Ohbijou, Sebastian Grainger, June 9, Horseshoe

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Toronto – Every June, this little festival called North By Northeast rolls thru Toronto like a hurricane of something, and people from all over Canada come here to play music in hopes of becoming the next big something. It is quite a weekend. There are concerts in every place imaginable, and yet..half my coworkers didn’t even know it was happening. How odd is that? I was lucky enough to score a media pass courtesy of a friend of mine (this industry..its all about who you know). What does this pass mean, you ask? It means a goodies bag, and a chance to not pay for any shows. Also, you can bypass lineups. Pretty sweet, I guess.

So it was Saturday, and I was pretty damn tired. Toronto FC on Wednesday, Interpol Thursday, Voxtrot last nite.. It would of been easy to call it a night and go relax somewhere. But sometimes you have to choose between what is easy..and what is right. What is right, obviously, is to use this pass and go see some hyped show, and bypass an entire line of people while flaunting the pass and walking right on in and looking mildly disinterested at the show.

The show in question was the CBC Radio 3 showcase at the Horseshoe. The show consisted of three hyped Canadian acts – Ohbijou, Sebastian Grainger and the Montagnes and You say Party We say Die!. My roommate scored a pass as well and we headed down to the Horsehoe via the trolley. Holy lineup batman! When we got to the corner of Queen and Spadina, there was a lineup around the block. I was like those 1.50 street dogs must be really popular. However, upon further inspection, it turned out it was to get to this CBC show. I was shocked…this many people listen to radio?

My first thought was that we were not going to get in, but then I remember this little thing dangling around my neck. I went up to the volunteer manning the door and asked what the deal was, and he was like ‘well the capacity is full right now, but if you line up here, we will let in badge owners first..and then the peasants.’ So five minutes later, we were let into the Horseshoe, walking pass the non-special people, I can just sense their beady little eyes shoot lasers of hate and distaste toward us types and it hurt. Kinda. I am glad this was not an emo show, or everyone would have pulled out razorblades and cut themselves i bet.

In all honesty, this is a fairly crappy system to do a music festival. Fans spend like 30 bucks to buy a bracelet, and line up for hours to see their favorite bands. They should be allowed in first, as they probably care the most. I always thought CMW was the industry show, however, with the amount of passes they hand out, thats probably not the case. Anyways, I have just realized I have written four paragraphs and there has been no mention of music anywhere.

Ohbijou is a local toronto band, listening to them, you would think they are an arts and craft band, because they sound like an arts and craft band. That is not a diss or anything, as they play really mellow and good music. They are a large band, comprising of half males, and half females (just like planet earth). The lead vocalist is female, and an asian of some sort. I couldn’t really figure out what kind of asian she was, so i spent the better half of the show analyzing it. I think she is filipino, but she can also be spanish. the name is “Casey Mecija” so definately, she is not a chink. That is what asians do, as soon as we see other asians, we try to figure out whereabouts they are from, and then judge them accordingly. Here is a link of their music:

Sebastian Grainger and his band came on next. Sebastian was one half of the duel DFA 1979. His solo stuff was suppose to be more poppy then DFA, and I guess this is true. His act was a 3 piece set with a drummer and some dude who looks like a cross between Triple H and Meat loaf on bass. He rocked out pretty hard. As for the show itself, the music was pretty good, and the highlight of the show was the last song, which was synth heavy and sounded nothing like all the other songs. kinda weird.

I missed the third act, because I started getting hungry, so I went to go eat a burrito. Overall, the music tonite was very good considering I have not heard any of these songs.

Review: 3/5

Here is a link to the entire show. you can listen to it.

Concert Review: Voxtrot, June 8, Sneaky Dees

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Toronto – Continuing with my ‘multicultural lead singers’ theme for this week, me and some friends made the treacherous trek down to the infamous Sneaky Dees (or Sneaky Disease as it is known) to watch Ramesh Srivastava and his band, also known as Voxtrot. Voxtrot is a band from Texas, that awesome. They play twee-ish/smith-ish kind of music, and released a few EP’s last year that were fantastic. They also released a LP this year, whether you can buy it or not is completely unknown to me. Its always kinda funky to see a band fronted by a non-whitey and its becoming more and more common. A Texas band fronted by a brown guy, who woulda thought? I wonder how bad this guy got it after 9/11, its amazing he’s making such happy tunes.

The last time these guys came to town, there was like 15 people there, so it was nice to see a nicely-packed Sneaky Dees this time around. Voxtrot came on around 12:15, and immediately started singing. Thats the nice thing I like about bands that arent really famous is that they don’t BS around and make you wait for them. Appropriately enough, they started off with the song ‘introduction’. I don’t think enough bands start off their albums with a song like ‘introducing the band’. Suede did it with Dog Man Star, and that’s pretty much my favorite album ever.

The rest of the setlist comprised of songs from the new album, as well as favorites like ‘the start of something’, ‘raised by wolves’ and ‘mothers, sisters, daughters and wives’. The crowd for most part was into it. As someone who was a big fan of their EPs, I was pleased with the show, and this was pretty much what I expected. The dude doesn’t have that great a stage presence, but that might just because of the bands I have seen in the previous few nites (pipettes, css, interpol).

Show: 4/5

Ps. funny story . because of sickness, one of our friends could not attend the show, so we ended up with one extra ticket. My friend tried to sell the ticket outside Sneaky Dees to two members of Voxtrot.

Concert Review: Interpol, June 7, Guvernment

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | 1 Comment

Toronto – After playing some shit hole towns on their most recent tour, Interpol returned to Toronto on Thursday to play a sold out show at the Guvernment. Going into this concert, I wasn’t overly enthused about the show, as I was not the biggest fan of the Guvernment. I don’t even know why it’s spelled that way, unless Arnold Schwarzenegger spelled it. Man, I really miss Arnold movies, you can always count on a good ole “get daaaoowwwn” or a “get oooouttah heee-ahh” for any Arnold movie.

On to the show. Man oh man, the guv must of renovated or something since I was last here (for the Rapture) because, well, it’s freaking fantastic concert venue now. Before, the stage used to be in the corner, so the sightlines wasn’t that great and the stage felt a bit small. Now, the stage lines up the far edge of the wall, which must of taken away some capacity and the stage is nice and high and it improves the sight line dramatically. Very smart, it made the show feel semi-cozy (for a large show). Coupled with a nice sound system and a decent light show and I think you got the new best mid-size venue concert place in Toronto. The only crappy part was they only sold Coors light, canadian, heiny and coronas. What a crap selection. They only sold the midget version of heiny cans too. wat up wit dat? we aint midgets, dont sell us midget beers.

Let me say this, Interpol is probably the best dressed indie band out there. They all came out in like, suits. Carlos D looked like Neo from the Matrix, only if Neo was french, drank wine and ate cheese all day. The crowd was pretty receptive towards this bunch. One of the worries i had going into the show was that Interpol would just play most of the stuff off their upcoming LP and ignore their old stuff. However this was not the case, thru out the show Interpol played a good mix of new and old. The only complain I have about their set is that they didn’t play “The Specialist”, which is my favorite Interpol song. Overall, Interpol was the same as last time, more or less. I am thinking the fact they play with a slight disinterest only favors them once or twice. I mean, you see people go crazy for their music like CSS or British Sea Power and then you see Interpol standing around and just trying to look cool, it gets a bit old.

Interpol – 3.5/5

XBox 360 Review – Rainbow Six: Vegas

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything, Video Games | 1 Comment

Toronto – After watching stuff like 24, theres nothing you want to do more then to shoot some freakin middle eastern people. What better game to do it then Rainbow Six: Las Vegas. This game is simply one of the best games out there for any system. What is the premise? Some bad ass terrorists have taken hostages in Las Vegas. It is up to you and your teammates to infiltrate the Casinos of Las Vegas and kill pretty much every single person who is not white.

This is NOT a shooter for people who play quake and doom 2 and stuff. Running into any situation without careful analysis = you die. Simple as that. This game is hard. Very hard. Terrorists are everywhere, and they are all carefully situated…and they all hate you. Remember that. They hate you. This is what makes this game good, its so damn hard, that when you are able to clear out a hallway without dying, you feel happy. When you snipe a bunch of bad guys without getting shot, its practically Christmas. Thats how hard this game is.

The graphics for this game are awesome, as all the previous games had you fighting in shithole towns. This game, you in vegas baby! colors! lights! noise! everything is encapsulated within this game and you feel like you are actually in Vegas rescuing hostages. the only thing missing is a bunch of white tigers who eat magicians.

Since I have finished the game on the hardest level possible, I feel like I can provide some tips:

- always send in your teammates first into a room. they can die repeatedly. you can die once. there is nothing more satisfying then sending your ‘freind’ into an open street, watch him get sniped, then killing the sniper right after that. reminds of you saving private ryan, sometimes.

- shoot everything that moves. its safer that way, i have lost a few missions because i have shot the person i was supposed to rescue, but bastard probably deserved to die.

Rating: 5/5