NXNE Review: Hayes Carll, June 13, Sunrise Records

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, North By Northeast | Leave a comment

Shows in record stores can be kind of a weird thing at times. They can most often be very cool things as well, but yeah, also definitely weird at times. I’ve written before about how it can be a bit of an odd experience from the viewpoint of an attendee, but as Texan singer-songwriter Hayes Carll can attest, it’s probably even stranger from the perspective of the performer.

Carll was made acutely aware of the strangeness of his situation when one store patron began browsing the DVD shelves during his set. Now this is nothing unusual in and of itself; it’s a record store, people are expected to be browsing and certainly no one who happens to be in the store is obligated to pay attention to the guy singing songs and playing guitar next to that Dexter collection that caught your eye, but when this guy went so far as to lean in closer to where Carll was standing to examine a particular title, that’s going a bit too far. “They’ve got a great selection here” mused Carll as DVD guy (who was also wearing big ass headphones) slinked back into the crowd.  To his credit, Carll didn’t seem fazed by this at all, nor did he even seem to notice the giant display of Doctor Who merchandise to his right.  I did though.  There are far more Who collectibles than I would have imagined, but I digress.

Carll, a natural storyteller, spoke further on his adventures in instores (which he said he rarely does) while describing one he did years ago in London (at “HMV or whatever,” as Carll put it) where the store hired both security guys and what seemed to Carll like paparazzi, actually photographers hired by the chain to shoot the show, which made Carll think he had a UK hit that he was previously unaware of. That story, along with tales of getting in trouble for smuggling a single orange back from Canada into the US and newspaper pieces that focused mostly on Carll’s opinions on Tim Horton’s (note: he was drinking Starbucks during his set) are part of what makes Carll an engaging and charming performer. That and his songs. Highlights included the Dylanesque “KMAG YOYO” and set ender “A Bad Liver And A Broken Heart,” which I believe may have been a request. So while not everyone in the store was there to see him, those who were likely walked away satisfied.

NXNE Review: Eternal Summers, June 13, Drake Underground

Posted on by Brent in Everything, North By Northeast | Leave a comment

What NXNE says: “A welcome addition to the barrages of late 80s andearly 90s-era lo-fi acts currently doing the rounds: the sound of a cohesive, hypercompressed imagination finding its way through US underground rock’s salad years with irresistible zeal.”

What PM says: Eternal Summers are a three-piece band hailing from Roanoke, Virginia that played a mix of ’80s high energy electro-pop ala Devo and Blondie but with more speedy guitar-driven hooks providedby front-woman Nicole Yun. They had just busted in from Ohio in the evening and busted out to play the Northside Festival in Brooklyn today so kudos to them for playing upwards of ten short and fast songs in their energetic half-hour set. A good number of supporters came out to see them play songs from their upcoming album “Correct Behavior,” which is being released on Kanine Records July 24th. My personal favourite song entitled “Girls in the City” had drummer Daniel Cundiff singing dark monotone vocals. They have been around since 2008 and have played with the likes of the Raveonettes and Cloud Nothings and will hopefully be back in Toronto touring on this new release.

NXNE Review: Beliefs, June 13, Drake Underground

Posted on by Brent in Everything, North By Northeast | 1 Comment

What NXNE says: “Very, very good local quintet falling somewhere between ‘Isn’t Anything’-era My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth’s art-grunge and Beach House’s stadium sized plaintives. Soon to deservedly be on every A&R person’s radar.”

What PM says: Purported to be “a new band from here” you wouldn’t know it. Beliefs played a tight half-hour set with an abundance of noisy, fuzz-filled guitars and loud bass. As far as I could tell, all three guitarists had Fender Jazzmasters which are best known for being used by shoegaze bands from years past. Vocals were shared between Jesse Crowe and her male counter-part Josh Korody. I spoke to a very humble and polite Josh at the burrito joint a few doors down after the show and he says he’s really excited about this project and is hoping for bigger things to come. They finished their polished set with “Gallows Bird” which you can hear below. No doubt you’ll be hearing about Beliefs in the future so why not catch them tonight at the El Mocambo (main floor) tonight at 9:00 PM instead before everyone else does?

NXNE Song Of The Day: Still Life Still – Wild Bees

Posted on by lauren in Everything, Song of the Day | Leave a comment

If you’re ever looking for a band that brings the love and community of music together, it’s Still Life Still.

Born and bred in Toronto (East York more specifically), Still Life Still have been making music together for well over a decade. They live and breathe music, and after years of playing every venue, several times a week, Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and record label Arts and Crafts took them on, produced their album and signed them. It was a true example that working hard, putting in your time and passionately pursuing your dream (as cliché as it sounds) works out, and the entire album is a labor of love.

The song “Wild Bees” off of debut album Girls Come Too is a soft, harmony-rich song. It paints a beautiful landscape with its lines “Asleep in the valley yeah the leaves all pulse, I see the quiet edges where we all live on”, with Brendan Saarinen and Eric Young’s smooth matching vocals and guitars, they build up with a haunting intensity repeating the lines “then you disappear, is your ghost still there?”.

Still Life Still is playing the Arts and Crafts showcase at the Rivoli on June 14th at 1:00am. Look forward to hearing new songs that will be featured on the long awaited follow up that they have just finished recording.