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CMW Review: Adebisi Shank, March 10, Rancho Relaxo

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

panic manual adebisi shank

Toronto – Despite it being an enjoyable show, I beat a hasty retreat from The Bonfire Ball at Lee’s Palace to check out Adebisi Shank, who initially caught my interest from their name alone.  The Irish Band derives their name from Simon Adebisi, an imposing character from HBO’s awesome prison show Oz and a man who is certainly very handy with a shank.  It is my firm belief that more bands should name themselves after characters from Oz.  A couple that come to mind are Cyril O’Reilly And The Sock Puppets or The Schillinger Escape Plan.  Those are yours for free if you want them , band that currently has no name.  The Panic Manual offers them up as a public service

Factoring in travel time between venues, I only caught a couple songs by them at the end of their set, but what I heard, I liked.  They had a jerky, math rocky sort of sound, maybe a bit like Don Caballero, but more frantic.  Also, their bassist wore a scarf/mask kind of thing to cover his face and head, which is kind of cool.

Adebisi Shank are also playing tonight (March 11) at The Hideout at 12:00.  Be there or be shanked. 

CMW Review: The Bonfire Ball featuring Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas, March 10, Lee’s Palace

Posted on by Paul in Canadian Music Week, Concerts, Everything | 3 Comments

Toronto – So for the longest time I wasn’t even sure I was getting into this show.  For whatever reason, the wait to get into Lee’s Palace was ridiculously long and slow.  The good thing about this was meeting new people and bonding over the general craziness of it all while wondering whether we should cut out and try to get into the Vivian Girls or Fucked Up shows that were alos happening tonight.  But I stuck it out and finally made it to the front of the line.  The wait made the show itself all that much sweeter. 

Once I was inside, the Collett/Bahamas/Zeus supergroup was well into their set.  The venue was packed and performers seemed to be having as much fun onstage as we had watching them.  And the band was fantastic, switching between each other’s songs with ease.  Each individual songwriter had a style that blended well with each other.  This is not surprising, seeing as Zeus is Collett’s backing band, and Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas) used to be a member of the band.   The overall sound was reminiscent of various ’60s and ’70s sounds without really being derivative or unoriginal.   I read elsewhere that they did a Kylie Minogue cover for their encore, but I didn’t see that as I left to check out another show.  Too bad, that would’ve been pretty cool to see.

 I have seen Collett, Bahamas. and Zeus perform seperately in the past and they were undoubtedly good, but somehow tonight, by joining forces, they became even greater than the sum of their parts … like a Canadian indie rock version of Voltron.

CMW March 14: Hey Rosetta! at the Indies, Royal York Hotel

Posted on by guestwriter in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | 3 Comments

Hey Rosetta!

Toronto – If you’ve never heard of Hey Rosetta!, I strongly suggest you head over to their website or myspace page to listen to some of their music. I don’t just rant and rave about them because they hail from the Mudderland (also known as Newfoundland, which is also known as the best place in the world), but that they play a kind of rock that hasn’t made me this excited in a long time. Their music is a contradiction between simple and complex. Their songs take you on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, manipulating you with intense crescendos and decrescendos of instrument and voice.

I caught them for the second time opening the Indie Awards at the Royal York Hotel for the last night of Canadian Music Week—a fitting slot for a band which has been causing quite a stir on the Indie front since their first album release Plan Your Escape. Most recently, this quiet and humble six piece hailing from St. Johns, Newfoundland, swept three awards at the East Coast Music Awards—garnering big prizes for Group Recording, Recording of the Year and Alternative Recording for their second release Into Your Lungs, produced by Hawksley Workman.

They kicked off, and much to the delight of the crowd, their three song set with I’ve Been Asleep for a Long, Long Time, they looked as comfortable on a big stage as you might imagine them in a small dark pub on George St. The rhythmic beat of the chords was complimented with violin, and the voice of Tim Baker, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, was overpowering. Tim Baker and company performed A Thousand Suns, engaging the audience through an enthusiastic chorus of hand clapping to finish the song off.

If there was any disappointment with their performance, it wasn’t being able to hear their acoustic music. The performance was to say the least a tease, making you beg for a longer set. Thankfully Hey Rosetta! will be playing at Lee’s Palace on April 24, tickets are $10.


5 freaking cod tongues out of 5!

delicious


CMW March 12: Sirius Satellite Showcase, El Mocambo

Posted on by guestwriter in Canadian Music Week, Concerts | 3 Comments

Toronto – Canadian Music week is in full swing in the heart of the city this weekend. Although sparse in the early part of the evening, the Elmo soon filled up on Thursday night for a French Canadian extravaganza hosted by Sirius Satellite Radio.

Duchess Says

Duchess Says

We arrived in the midst of the cacophony of Duchess Says, where singer Annie-Claude was serenading the crowd with her unique brand of intense scream-singing metal and dance punk. Thankfully the set was a mix of anger metal and dance-punk, which was a much more head-boppably well received. Extra points for her stage presence, but this girl is one crazy version of Peaches. Instead of hurling obscenities, she spits a melange of beer and gum.

This girl is one crazy version of Peaches. Instead of hurling osbcenities, she spits a melange of beer and gum.

Extra points for her over-the-top stage presence. At one point we thought there was some crazy drunk in the midst of the crowd causing a ruckus by hurling beer with abandon. We were expecting the bouncers to come in and deal, but then realized it was little wrath-of-Annie herself; dancing and rolling on the floor, grabbing innocent bystanders and showering them with dance punk and beer. Well done. There were no chewing-gum-hair casualties during the making of this set.

Radio Radio

Radio Radio

Next up was Radio Radio—an electronic rapping foursome from New Brunswick, recently coming of a performance at the East Coast Music Awards. This Acadian troupe sang in Chiac, a uniquely Canadian dialect of English and French—a little something we’d like to call Franglais. Although full of energy, we found the whole enchilada to be frat-boyish. One of the pledglings, Timo, sported a handlebar moustache and regaled us with stories in French about birthday parties at strip clubs. This Little man was not unlike a small horny Chihuahua that’s humping your leg that you just can’t shake off. The thought occurred to us even before he fulfilled prophecy by humping the stage. Timo, small doses only please.

We Are Wolves

We Are Wolves

From hip-hop, we moved to the music of Montreal based We Are Wolves. This band appeared on the very same stage last summer for NXNE where they were plagued with technical difficulties that caused several false starts. Thankfully this time around the absence of sound issues allow them to bring their A-game.

It was minimalist electron-rock at its best. Judging from their albums, you’d never guess that this complete sound was emanating from a three-piece. They keep it real with a simple setup: a sparse drum-set with a nary a stool to sit on, a lone guitarist/bassist, and keys. The band’s happier mood definitely made for a better performance. However, not much else seemed to be different between this and their NXNE showcase. There hasn’t been much new material since then, but that didn’t detract from a solid set.

It was minimalist Electron-rock at its best.

Malajube

Malajube

Closing out the night was French Indie starlings Malajube. This band has garnered a lot of attention since their debut album, Trompe-L’oeil. There was a musical lyricism that was missing from the night until the opening of this set. Their sound was reminiscent of a blend of Quebecois Trucker meets 80’s progrock reborn into these little indie adorables.

Big thumbs up on the grandiose sound, however thumbs down on the epileptic light-show. It was out of place for this intimate venue. Their sound and musicianship was all that was needed to attract the attention of the media and music aficionados looking for the next up and coming Canadian darlings.

Overall the showcase was strong, diverse, and well-assembled.

Unapologetically French.

Duchess Says: 3.5/5

Radio Radio: 3/5

We Are Wolves: 4/5

Malajube: 4.25/5

(Covered by Patricia and Mark)