Concert Review: St. Vincent, July 20, Horsehoe

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Toronto – St.Vincent is a band based out of Dallas, Texas. Yea I know, kinda weird. The main event of the band St.Vincent is the lead singer/guitarist, a pixie sized girl by the name of Annie Clark. She is also a member of Polyphonic Spree and plays for Sufjan in her off time, so she is probably pretty talented.

The show was at the Horseshoe, which immediately scores about 100 points on the goodness meter. It guarantees a small, cozy environment. Also, I know where the AC vents are, so I am guaranteed maximum coolness if need be. The Horseshoe is also close to Burrito Boys, and seeing that I was rather hungry before the show, this provided the necessary kick needed to stay focus on the music thru out the concert, otherwise I would spend half the show debating on what to eat afterwards (most likely pho).

The band came on around 12:15 am, which is moderately not early. The band was a four piece set, featuring a violinist, a drummer, annie clark and a bassist/keyboardist. They were quite the multi-instrumentalist. Annie had two mics for use, one was normal, one was distorted. This would provide for much amusement for most of the night. MAN, she is talented. Considering her small size and skinny frame, you would never think she can rock a guitar…but does she ever. The second song concluded with like a seven minute jamming session where she just ripped into the thing. Crazy. The outro is something a band plays at the end of the show, and they were doing it in the second song. This was a good thing.

The band pretty much played thru their entire catalogue (which is one album). It was an extremely impressive show and Id definately be there whenever they play again, unless its at some crappy venue. I might still go anyways.

There was a helluva lot of photos taken that night, by other people. I thought all the flash was a bit excessive. Anyways, that would annoy me if I was on stage.


Here is a link to another review: Another Review

Concert Review: White Stripes, July 5, Molson Amphitheatre

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Toronto – Shows at the Amp are always kinda nice, unless you are out in the lawns. I like how you get a nice breeze coming in off the lake thru out the show, and how its kinda outdoors, but you are still covered from the rain..unless you are in the lawns, or the 400s. Either way, I wasn’t in either section for the show, so that is a moot point. They really need to have a subway line along the lake shore, as it is an absolute bitch getting there.

Going to the White Stripes concert, I was moderately excited. I am one of those people who prefer their earlier stuff then the later albums, so I was wondering how much of the back catalog they would be playing at a show clearly designed to promote their latest album (r)icky thump. Well, they answered that question by playing “Dead leaves and Dirty Ground”, “Hotel Yorba”, “You’re Pretty Good Looking” and “Jolene” virtually back to back to back. For us long time fans, it was like ‘yeaaaaaaah awesome!!’. For the 15 year olds in their Hollister shirts, it was like ‘whaaaaaaaaaa? they had songs before 7 nation army?’. Quite the dichotomy of fans at the venue, i must say.

The band played for roughly 90 minutes, drawing songs from every album. Notable songs they did not play include “Hardest Button To Button”, “Blue Orchid” and “Apple Blossom”. Compared with their last show here, I think this show was a little better.


Movie Review: Transformers

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Toronto – Let’s face it, I am not a big Michael Bay fan. I’ll admit the Rock was pretty good, but besides that, most of the stuff he has done has been shit. The Island? shit. Bad Boys II? shit. Pearl Harbor? super shit. So when they announced that Transformers was going to be directed by him, I vomited in my mouth. Well, maybe I didn’t, but if I was someone who cared a lot about transformers, I would have. Just like when they announced Brett Ratner was going to direct X-Men 3 after Bryan Singer left the project.

With that being said, expectations were not that high for this movie. I will be the first to admit, the trailers looked good and the special effects looked great so I can’t say I wasn’t at least a little bit excited about it. I mean everyone gets on these nostalgic kicks once in a while. I was fortunate enough to see this Monday night (unfortunate enough to have to travel to Richmond Hill to view it..although I had a ride). Anyways, Richmond Hill is crazy..everyone drives cars! I saw like three cars worthy of Fast n Furious in the parking lot on my walk to the theatre. Crazy, I tell you.

This It is what it is. It is a big, loud, stupid, summer popcorn movie. Put your brain at the door and just go in and enjoy the movie. It has fantastic action sequences, peppered between scenes that have some tongue in cheek humor and some incredibly cheesy moments. What of the acting you say? nothing special. The kid Shia is a capable lead.. megan fox has a ridiculously hot body, and she doesnt do much other then look pretty and pose in the movie. John Tuturro plays an over the top agent and there are other comic foils. The stars of this movie is the special effect and man, the robots are freakin cool. Expect blatantly obvious product placement, as all the auto bots turn into pontiac/gmc cars.

But whatever, everyone going to this movie is going to see what transformers are included, and how they look. If you are looking for anything more, you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a fun time and some nostalgic kicks, then Transformers will be a good movie for you.


Concert Review: Bishop Allen, June 28, Lees Palace

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Toronto – One of my roommates favorite bands, Brooklyn’s Bishop Allen took the stage at Lees Palace on a cool summer night (til i got into my apartment). I was there, and here is the review.

Well, before the show I had to go for drinks and dinner with my soon-to-be-married former coworker, so a bunch of us had some dinner at some random pub. Tell me this, my Eastern neighbors, why is it that every pub seems to have brown cooks? I swear, almost every pub I have been in this side of the Mississippi has at least one or two brownies cooking the food. I think this is a grossly underused stereotype, I mean we all associate brownies with taxi cabs and convenience stores, but really convenience stores seem to be runned by koreans or something these days, and cabs are just operated by any sort of immigrants…but pub cooks? always brown. I have no idea why. Maybe its cos of the British colonial thing, most pubs have some sort of anglo menu, like Sheppard’s pie and fish and chips (even though its fries). Anyways, whatever.

Lees Palace was about 1/3 full when we got there, maybe. Maybe 1/4 full. This is a nice change. We was able to get seats along the side of the stage and so I was able to sit down for once and enjoy the show. The air conditioning in the place was pretty good, and that enhanced the show quite a bit. In case you don’t know, Bishop Allen is an indie-pop band from Brooklyn. They are releasing an album in a month. Actually they said that during the show, and my friend josh speaks in a not too quiet voice ‘which you have already stole’. haha.

It was a pretty good show, the vibe was really laid back and the banter was kept at a minimal. They played songs mostly from their new album, but also played some stuff from their 2003 or 2004 or 2005 release, which is called ‘Charm School’. They did NOT play ‘things are what you make of them’ which was disappointing. That was my favorite bishop allen song, although ‘Like Castenets’ is rising on my list.

They played for around 50 minutes, then did a quick encore. Then i went and ate a falafel.

Review : 3.5/5