cmw

CMW Song Of The Day: Caveboy – Monochrome

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

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:

CMW Song Of The Day: 54-40 – One Gun

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

Canadian Music Week will soon be upon us once again, with a whole bunch of Canadian and international artists and industry folk descending on Toronto for a week of shows. Of the Canadian acts, one of the notable names is 54-40, the Vancouver band who helped to define the CanRock sound of the ’80s and ’90s with songs such as “I Go Blind,” “She-La,” “Nice To Luv You,” “Baby Ran,” and “Assoholic.”

After 30 years as a band, 54-40 have reached the point where they’ve started to look back over their career, releasing the compilation album La Difference, an all-acoustic rerecording of some of their greatest hits last year.

54-40 will be playing the Indie Awards on Wednesday, April 19 alongside The Nursery, Repartee, Dan Mangan, The Wooden Sky, and Hollerado and will also be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall Of Fame this year. Check out an acoustic performance of “One Gun” below:

CMW Review: BADBADNOTGOOD, March 23, Wrongbar

Posted on by Mark in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | Leave a comment

BADBADNOTGOOD was featured on the cover of last Thursday’s NOW. The timing simply couldn’t have been better, since they were playing the Wrongbar the very next day. The band consists of drummer Alex Sowinski, bassist Chester Hansen, and keyboardist Matt Tavares. They met at Humber’s jazz program and have managed to fuse elements of jazz, hip hop, youthful bravado, and web 2.0 net savvy to create some kind of tidal wave phenomenon. It was a crazy and adrenaline pumped set as they celebrated both the Now cover, and getting booked for Coachella.

After seeing their fresh faces, it would be easy to discount BBNG as newbies. That is, until you hear them play. They are tight and skilled the way jazz musicians are, but they’ve managed to combine that with restless energy and the confidence to dash musical boundaries. Why can’t a band who has figured out how to tie the jazz of yesterday with the hip hop and rock of today put on a show that involves moshing? No reason, because that’s exactly what they are doing.

There’s a popular conception that modern jazz has become ossified. It’s easy to get that idea if you listen to standard adult contemporary jazz stations that cater to an older generation that grew up on Miles Davis. If that’s your starting point, then it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking BBNG are a different breed entirely. If you dig a little deeper though, you realize that mirroring the times, exploring new vistas, and pushing boundaries is exactly what jazz was about. In that respect, BBNG is simply part of the latest wave of artists to pick up the torch. They’ve been able to do it in a way that resonates with a new generation. That’s a good thing for jazz, and a good thing for new music.

BADBADNOTGOOD’s next album, BBNG2 is set to release April 3rd.

CMW Review: Martha Wainwright, March 22, El Mocambo

Posted on by Mark in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | Leave a comment

The last time I saw Martha Wainwright, I missed half her set due to an unfortunate venue timing mixup. That wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last time that I’m late for a show. It was, however, the most memorable. The remainder was so captivating that it remains on my shortlist of top Toronto Jazz Festival shows. I was not going to miss the start of her CMW appearance.

Martha Wainwright controls her voice the way rocket surgeons control their finely tuned rockets.

Fortunately, I was able to get to the El mo in plenty of time to set up camp. She strode on stage in a bejewelled jacket as if just dismounting from her trusty Harley, then launched into an intimate set of solo acoustic guitar. Her voice is so signature that it really stands in a category all its own. She can serenade like a bird, evoke the singsong qualities of an innocent child, or growl like a rocker. Martha Wainwright controls her voice the way rocket surgeons control their finely tuned rockets.

This was a decidedly different Martha from the one I saw at the jazz fest. That Martha was a demure jazz vixen backed by double bass and warm guitar singing songs from the late great Edith Piaf. That Martha paired nicely with a glass of merlot. This Martha was as ready for a rock show as she was the camp fire. This Martha worked best with some beer. That she can so easily move from chill to elegant and back again underlines her versatility as an artist.

Martha Wainwright has no upcoming shows, though I would consider flying somewhere to see her again.