Concert Review: Brendan Benson, The Paint Movement, Mod Club, Aug 24

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything | Leave a comment


Toronto – Monday nights are generally low key nights for yours truly. I usually sit back, watch my episodes of Entourage and True Blood and relax. I was thinking of continuing my season in Madden 2010 (great game, btw) and generally enjoying a low key atmosphere. However,the kind folks at Nevado Records informed me that The Paint Movement had an emergency opening slot for Brendan Benson at the Mod Club and invited me to show up .. so I did.

One of the things I love about the Mod Club is that it’s only around a 8 minute walk from my place. I guess this is irrelevant to the readers of this article, but just sayin, when you don’t have to trek a long way for a show (or anything in general), your mood is usually pretty good heading in. As expected, the place was pretty empty – it is a Monday night show afterall. I would say there was about 50-75 people in the audience when The Paint Movement took to the stage around 9.

The last time I saw TPM was at their cd release party (i think) at the Rivoli, so seeing them in the Mod Club was a definitely different experience – there was colored lighting, a larger stage and a sharp sound system. The strong sound system definitely benefited the band, as Jason Loftman’s saxophone came out razor sharp, lending a nice full sound to their BSS/Dears/Jazzy influenced music. Playing tracks off their debut LP “Our Eurythmy”, TPM were impressive and standout tracks like Knock Knock and Faults definitely pleased the crowd that was there. I’m not quite sure where the Paint Movement would go from here, but I can definitely see their time of music score big with a nice mature crowd, which fitted perfectly with the main act – Brendan Benson.

Once upon a time, before Jack White and the Raconteurs, Brendan Benson was one of the reigning princes of power pop. His albums “Lapulco” and “An Alternative to Love” were filled with heart felt, honest guitar driven songs that scored Benson fans all across North America. Having recorded and toured with the Raconteurs for a few years, Benson finally made his solo return to Toronto to promote his latest solo effort “My Old Familiar Friend”.

I’ve always thought of Brendan Benson as a hardworking and honest musician, and true to form, Benson and his band came on at a nice early time of 10:15. He probably realized that his fans are probably of the older variety and have real jobs to attend to the next day, so it was highly appreciated that he came on early. Either that or he wanted to get the hell out of town asap. I choose to believe the former. I’ll be completely honest, I haven’t listened to Brendan Benson much in the past five years so I won’t even bother trying to name any songs besides “Spit it Out” and “Cold Hands (Warm Heart)” both of which he played. What I can tell you is that he played a tight set of music, all of which had that Ted Leo-power pop guitar sound to it, and most of it was catchy. The crowd seemed to enjoy itself and Brendan Benson plodded through the show with an workmanlike efficiency. In fact, when he left the stage after what was his “last song”, I looked at my watch (on my phone) and realized that it was only 11. Obviously, BB did as well, and he promptly came back to stage, apologized for only playing 45 minutes and proceeded to play another half an hour worth of tunes. Closing the set with the appropriate “Feel like taking you home”, Brendan Benson nicely reacquainted himself with his fans and everyone was glad to see this old, familiar friend.

Johnny Marr joins the Cribs

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | 2 Comments

Toronto – How many bands has this guy had since The Smiths? Anyways, Johnny Marr joins the Cribs for their 4th album, called “Ignore the Ignorant” and it’s due for release on September 8th. Of course, this makes the Cribs no longer a brothers only band, but a brothers with a really old man band. Here is a video and some tour dates..

Tour Dates:
9 Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy
12 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
13 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom

Theres more dates to come, although I’m still pissed the last time they played her they didn’t sing “You Were Always The One”

Movie Reviews: Dead Snow and Grace

Posted on by Gary in Movies | 1 Comment

Toronto – Horror films usually don’t pique an interest with me mostly because the script/screenplay themselves are usually the horror, not the action. But a friend mentioned the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and I just had to see several of these films. So… here are my two selections. There were other ones but I’ll get to them in time.


Dead Snow is a film from Norway. Modeled after every other teanage slasher flick, it starts out with 7 med-school friends taking a weekend vacation in a log cabin. But the loosely existing plot quickly escalates to what the film is all about. To make a long story short, what you’re watching for is Nazi zombies. That’s right: fast-walking, flesh-eating, never-dying, vengeful undead who are just slightly stiff because they’ve been buried for 60 years. Apparently a battalion of German troops holding a mining town in Norway was met with some local brutality near the end of the war. Not ready to leave the Earth without gold/jewelry (Fortune and glory, kid!), they stuck around waiting for their loot to be discovered. And of course, it’s in that log cabin. So, med-students meet zombies and all hell breaks loose, Evil Dead style. There’s plenty of weaponary here to choose from: fists, feet, head, torchlight, sickle, hammer, axe, bayonet, helmet, grenade, snowmobile, machine gun, and yes, don’t forget the chainsaw. The movie remains light on its feet and it’s never really scary, but it sure is a gore-fest. The pace is slow at first, and the zombie action doesn’t show up until the half-way-mark. But once it does, there are lots of interesting twists. I loved it when one of the students flashes a sickle and hammer, Soviet style, at a zombie and it lets out this cry of supreme annoyance (which btw sounds exactly the same as normal zombie cry but with bass) – that moment was quite brilliant. So, take this path if you want a gore-fest and some light laughs.


Grace is another kind of zombie movie; in fact it’s probably too good to simply be labeled a horror film. Set in a typical family background, you are introduced to Michael and Madeline, who had a miscarriage and are trying for a second time. I won’t hide the central theme here, either, since you can read it on After Dark’s website. The movie is about Madeline having another miscarriage, after a car accident conveniently kills Michael – except this time she gives birth. What results is a zombie baby that only eats human blood/flesh. The film might be a bit offensive to vegans/vegetarians, as it pokes fun at them at almost every turn for the first while. And while I’m at it I guess it is may also offend men since it kills off the younger mommy-attached husband by the 1/6 mark, shows the older-husband and an older male acquaintance as useless tools, and has two lesbian relationships criss-crossing. But beyond any of that, the film shows what maternal instincts can propel a woman to accomplish. The concept of a zombie baby, I have to say, is really fresh, and that’s how the film can hit several new angles that’s not typical of a zombie flick. It succeeds both in being a shocker and ask some serious questions: 1) If people are really willing to go that far for an unborn/newborn, is it really the welfare of the child that motivate them? 2) Are we to get on the holistic vs. medicine merry-go-round, or is there another solution? 3) Are boomer parents really obsessed with their progeny? 4) Are all babies of vegetarian mothers blood-thirsty zombies? (obviously I’m joking…) But I do find it rather funny how the only thing Madeline could watch during pregnancy was the Animal Channel and that is used as a device that foreshadows a zombie baby. Imagine what would happen if she had been watching Space… would Grace had been Spock, Worf, or a intestine-dwelling alien baby? Either way, this is a subtle shocker (if there is such a thing) and an interesting one to talk over midnight snack of ears. Corn, I mean.

Dead Snow


Friday Night Dance Party – Dizzee Rascal – Holiday

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

Toronto – Dizzee Rascal makes great tunes. Fresh off the Armand Van Helden collaboration “Bonkers”, Dizzee returns this month with chief collaborator Calvin Harris in tow to release this great single “Holiday”. I mean this song is just fantastic..the outro at the end is perfect for a club and light shows and all that good stuff. Check out the video here: