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CMW Review: Japanese Breakfast, April 20 & 22, Silver Dollar

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week | Leave a comment

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On the first night of their three night residency at the Silver Dollar, Japanese Breakfast put on a thoroughly entertaining show, playing various tracks from their latest, Psychopomp, along with a number of new songs from the band’s upcoming album, reportedly due out this summer and described by Michelle Zauner as a failed concept album. Of the new stuff, the best of the bunch was the closing number, a song about falling in love with a robot that featured a spoken word intro and autotune effects throughout. As sci-fi concepts go, it puts the band in the company of the likes of ELO or The Alan Parsons Project, which is a good thing in my books.

That first show was impresive enough that I ventured out a couple of days later for their final night at the Silver Dollar and while the setlist was similar, featuring favourites such as “In Heaven” and “Everybody Wants To Love You” (“This song is about oral sex. Pay attention.”) as well as the aforementioned robot love song, the band also ended their set with a version of The Cranberries’ “Dreams,” described by Zauner as “a cover for the old people.”

Earlier that night, Zauner gave a shoutout to opener Liam Betson, who she referred to as her favourite Toronto musician. “Drake is my second favourite,” she added, describing how she tries to imitate his swagger, specifically the way he calls audience members out with an “I see you.” While she claimed she wasn’t at that level yet since she gets too shy, Zauner is nevertheless an engaging, energetic frontwoman, commanding the crowds’ attention.

Though Zauner admitted that it was “a lot of pressure to play three shows in the same place,” it was clear that by the end of their three night run, the band had made a memorable impact. Mentioning how they had come through twice before as an opening act at the Horseshoe, she asked if anyone there that night had been to those shows. “Thank you for coming out again,” she said. “It’s our time to fucking shine.”

I couldn’t agree more.

CMW Review: Zoobombs, April 18, Silver Dollar

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week | Leave a comment

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The Silver Dollar will be closing at the end of this month, making this weeks round of CMW shows one of the last gasps of the storied Toronto venue. It’s a sad moment for Toronto’s music scene and fittingly, Zoobombs singer Don Matsuo was getting a bit emotional over the impending closure.

Addressing the crowd a few songs into their set, he praised the venue and it’s booker Dan Burke and explained how sad he was that the Silver Dollar is closing, Describing the venue as kind of like home, he added that the band hoped to find a new home in Toronto in the future. Rather than mourning the loss of the venue too much though, Zoobombs were there to make sure we enjoy it while it lasts. 

Sure, the loss of the Dollar is sad, but with a high energy show that had a certain manic element to it at times, Zoobombs were determined to make the night a celebration.

CMW Song Of The Day: Yi – Not So Dead

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week, Song of the Day | Leave a comment

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Yi is the collaborative effort of Jordan Allen of Rolemodel and Jesse Crowe of Beliefs.

The pair started writing together in winter of 2015 and the end results were a pair of EPs, fittingly titled EP1 and EP2. According to band’s bio, EP1 embodies “the quiet of winter pushing forward into the waking of the spring,” which seems a fairly accurate description of the Dinosaur Jr-esque “Not So Dead.” Meanwhile, EP2 will deal with “the frantic energy autumn presents.” EP1 will be released April 14th via Hand Drawn Dracula.

Yi will be playing the Silver Dollar on April 20th alongside Teagan Johnston ,Luna Li, The Seams, Japanese Breakfast, and Heaven For Real.

CMW Song Of The Day: Caveboy – Monochrome

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week, Song of the Day | Leave a comment

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I managed to catch Montreal’s Caveboy for the first time during last year’s Canadian Music Week where they managed to impress with an energetic live show and their atmospheric yet danceable electro/dreampop sound. Since then, they’ve played a whole bunch more shows, including appearances at Pop Montreal, CMJ, SXSW. Hillside, Pride Toronto, Osheaga, and Rifflandia.

The band have returned for another CMW and will be playing The Silver Dollar as part of the NeXT POP MTL @ CMW showcase on April 19 (I’m still processing the fact that the Dollar is almost gone) as well as a show with Ria Mae at Adelaide Hall on April 21.

Check out the video for “Monochrome” below: