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Concert Review: CMW Chart Attack Showcase, March 14, Horseshoe Tavern

Posted on by guestwriter in Concerts | 1 Comment

I’m sure it’s happened to you… you open the refrigerator and get a whiff of leftovers you’ve forgotten about.  Some you lament over because the meal was delicious and you really should have done it justice by finishing it.  And others… well you wonder why you took them home anyway.  

Same goes for the Chart Attack Showcase, waaaay back on March 14 during Canadian Music Week.  As we move into summer– the season of concerts and parties, I’m duly noting some of these Chart Attack Showcase bands which will likely be featured at some festival, bar or club in the city.  To go or not to go?


Two Hours Traffic  

Two Hours Traffic

Two Hours Traffic

These PEI musicians play music that is cheerful, upbeat and catchy.  Simple melodies, riffs and choruses that will always get the crowd singing along.  This band is one to see if you want to relax and hang out with friends, have a few cold beers and have good Canadian rock to bop your head to.  Latest album, Little Jabs, was once again produced by the ever growing Canadian icon, Joel Plaskett.  They played a solid set, definitely a pleasant discovery during CMW.  Rating: 4/5 


Golden Dogs

The Golden Dogs

The Golden Dogs

Fronted by husband and wife duo, Dave Azzolini and Jessica Grassia, they played a relatively decent show in front of an audience that had waited through a gazillion band set to see them play.  Following Two Hours Traffic, their sound didn’t seem as polished or well put together.  While they played crowd pleasers such as, “Construction Worker”, I think I was satisfied after the second song.  Lost in the muddle were the catchy hooks that you pick up on in their recorded music.  Worth catching?  Yes, I think good enough that you ought to give them a try.  Rating 3.5/5 


Hexes and Ohs

Hexes and Ohs

Hexes and Ohs

With a lot of hype following this sweet heart duo now located in Montreal, their blend of rock, electro synth pop has got everyone talking.  I saw a lot of bands I wanted to see during CMW, but they were one I was really looking forward to.  Their music is cute, poppy, and on the brink of nerd-dom.  A soft spot in my heart?  Yes, I dare say it is.  I stood in front of the stage ready to dance, but instead stood baffled, lost in the sound that they were trying to reproduce from their album.  I was disappointed and shocked by their performance.  While I appreciate their music and the sound they’re going for, I can’t say they’ve made it up to quite the same level in their live shows.  At least the live show I saw.  I’m sure over time, the transition from recorded music to live stage will become more smooth and we’ll see more of the Hexes and Ohs flair that we hear in their album.  Rating 2.5/5

Concert Review: The Dinosaur Bones [Horseshoe Tavern]

Posted on by Gary in Concerts | 1 Comment


Toronto – I think most people had given up hope about clear skies this season. It’s been snowing every other night for weeks. The discussion is no longer about the weather – it’s about what we are doing despite it. About time, I need positive thinking. We walked in to the later half of The Paint Movement’s set. It was a mix of easy-listening jazz and normal 3 piece rock, and a bongo drum, whose business there was not entirely clear other than he is a good friend who jams. I could seriously NOT hear the bongo. But the melodies are very light on the ears, and so it was very pleasant.

Me, Ricky and Pierre were really taken by surprise when we heard Black Hat Brigade, though. I liked their winding tunes, which was mainly from the synthesizer. It could get over-the-top on some stretch, and jarring some other, but overall I have not heard it used this well for some time. For some reason, I had this misconception that they were from Scotland and not Brampton, ON. Probably had something to do with the synth making a squeal similar to a bagpipe during a song that had the beats to a march (I think that was Swords). They did not play long though – running out of materials from their EP (5 songs for $5) might be the cause. After which we nodded amongst one another, content with ourselves that it was pretty decent music.

As it was getting late but towards the title show, at this point the floor is quite full. It was dark but I never failed to notice that I have a sign on my face and it read: Here is an invisible door through which you must pass to reach the concert! I was leaning on the post (since Horseshoe isn’t huge), yet everyone kept walking by me and I constantly have to give way. The Junction sounded like the product of Matt Costa joining the Beatle’s. A little too happy after the last band – there’s nothing particularly wrong about that, it’s just that I was feeling my age a little and I never got into their songs. One of the guys from Dinosaur Bones came on-stage to steal the show. That’s when I said to myself… it’s been a bit of a long day and your ears need rest. So regrettably none of us stayed for the title show. To be fair, I am easy to guilt-trip, and I listened to them afterwards.  To my surprise I hear a bit of jazz in the way some of the singing is carried… that or I am on a loose-tempo deafness and shouldn’t review concerts anymore. :)

So verdict: Paint Mvmt – not enough to judge. Black Hat Brigade – good but not long enough. Junction – nice, but was not my cup of tea at the time. Dinosaur Bones – require further listening but some advice: may not want to put the show at the very last of 4…

Concert Review: Lightspeed Champion, March 4, Horseshoe

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | Leave a comment

Toronto – WTF IS WITH THIS WEATHER! Its March. There should not be snow on the ground. I am starting to feel like those people in the Day After Tommorrow. It’s cold. Its wet. Its miserable. All these people coming here for Canadian Music Week are never going to come back. Unless they are from other parts of Canada, then I guess it just feels like home.

Even the crappy weather was not enough to stop me from attending the free Lightspeed Champion show last night at the Horseshoe. If I had to pay for the show though…. So yea, NME approved Lightspeed Champion played a free show last night at the Horseshoe. The weather was crappy outside, but I was warmed up by a nice batch of Duff wings, which left my tongue without any feeling. Luckily, I did not go for Death wings, like the people I was with did. Actually, if I had eaten death wings, I could have probably put a match by my ass and light a fire pretty easily and warm the hell up.

The crowd was rather small considering how much hype this guy has been getting lately. However, I don’t really know whats real hype, and what is ‘internet’ hype. I guess considering the weather, this was an okay crowd. Dev Hynes, the lead singer, came out with a violinist at around 9:35. Which pleased me since I was not in a mood for a late show. Thats all this band was, Dev, wearing the finest rat hair hat he could find and a sweater his grandma probably gave him, and his buddy, the violinist. Despite the lack of drums, bass and everything else though, they proceeded to play about 6 or 7 songs, including a cover of the Strokes – Heart in a Cage.

How did the music sound? it was quite good. His album is very stripped down anyways, and relies much on catchy choruses and melodies. This setup was very fitting for him I think. Also, the dude is hilarious. He had no setlist, made a bunch of jokes and told some good stories. Its refreshing to see someone on stage who seems like someone you’d joke around with at a bar or something. For example, he introduced a song about prostitution, saying its from a view of a prostitute. He then said, its not a song about like condoning prostitution and hes not trying to make a statement or anything, finishing with the words ‘im not that deep’. Fuck man, me neither.

So whats the verdict? its a free show. So thats an automatic 3 stars in my book. Combine that with decent tunes and good showsmanship, I think its a 4 star show, -0.5 stars for the weather


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