SXSW

Concert Review: Ali Barter, March 9, Drake Hotel

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | Leave a comment

20200309_200408

A few songs into Ali Barter‘s set at The Drake on Monday night, an enthusiastic fan shouted out, “So good!” Barter’s response was to tell us all that So Good is the name of a brand of soy milk in Australia, and he in turn took this as an opportunity to tell Barter about bags of milk. Sure, why not.

I guess since they were on the general topic of consumer goods, Barter also noted that there’s no more toilet paper in Australia, clearly a comment on the current coronavirus outbreak which has led to people panic buying mass quantities of TP.

While stockpiling toilet paper certainly seems like an overreaction, a similar abundance of caution has also resulted in the much more understandable yet still disappointing cancellation of next week’s SXSW festival and conference, which in turn has left touring musicians like Barter with a SXSW-shaped hole in their schedules.

Touring behind her latest album, Hello, I’m Doing My Best (which is, in fact, so good – that guy wasn’t wrong), Barter was in good spirits despite the setback and was quite happy to be in Toronto to play her first ever Canadian show. Though she was only here for a short while before going back to the U.S. for a few more shows, she promised she’d be back. And like many touring musicians, she polled the crowd on exactly how one should pronounce our fair city’s name, finally settling on “Tronno.”

Barter ran through most of the new album with highlights including “Backseat”, “History Of Boys” and a solo performance of “January” (which we wrote about here). She introduced that song by talking about how much she generally hates the month of January. “It seems like the promise of a new year, but by the end of the month you’re the same old fuckhead,” she said, before adding, “Let’s get depressed” and launching into the song.

Another memorable number was “Ur A Piece Of Shit,” which she described as “a love song” that she wrote for her friends. Both that song and “January” exemplify what’s good about Barter’s songwriting – she writes about the stuff one can go through while growing as a person and dealing with your issues, all of it with a touch of humour at times and set to some very catchy tunes reminiscent of ’90s/early 2000s indie and alt rock sounds. I’ll take that over soy milk any day.

Song of the Day: Calliope Musicals – Echo Of The Whoos

Posted on by Ricky in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

calliope

Editor’s note: This post was originally intended to be part of our SXSW coverage, but, y’know … looks like SXSW ain’t happening anymore. Damn shame. But on the bright side, Calliope Musicals are from Austin and they’re already there anyways, so chances are they’re still playing somewhere in the city during what would have been SXSW week. We shall see …

Austin’s Calliope Musicals seems like they would be a fun band. I don’t know much about them but this song “Echo of the Whoos” features whoooing, gang vocals and xylophones, all of which sound fun to me. They have a bit of an Edward Sharpe vibe minus the whole ‘this feels like a cult’ feeling.

It also sounds like music from the late ’00s which gives me nostalgic feelings . God I’m old.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Sports Team – Here’s The Thing

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Here’s the thing – SXSW is set to begin in just a little over one week and among the many bands that will be playing there is London’s Sports Team.

Here’s another thing – “Here’s The Thing,” the latest single from Sports Team’s full length debut Deep Down Happy, is a very good song.

With lines such as “if you work a little harder, you’ll get by”, “if your parents worked to earn it, then it’s yours”, “if you’re barely getting by, then that’s your fault” and “you’re worth as much as all the luxury you buy”, the song takes a satirical look at a certain type of thinking that we generally might see offered up as bits of homespun ‘wisdom’ but which ultimately end up being “just lies lies lies lies.” Check it out below.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Katie Pruitt – Normal

Posted on by Gary in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

artist-43227
Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen

It’s no secret that I have a thing for folksy songs. The setup couldn’t be simpler – one person, few background instruments, and still air between us. There is also nowhere to hide. Here, I don’t need to be submerged by a wall of sound.

What I almost never tire of is that expansion of a voice hitting and lifting me like a perfectly timed wave, one that I can scramble to launch from, time and again. There is no strict need to overanalyze the melody, the hooks, etc. You just go with the flow until it drops beneath your feet and you go toes up into the sand with sea lions gawking at your inability to swim.

“Normal,” from Katie Pruitt‘s album Expectations, is one of these. It is authentic and heartfelt.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 76 77   Next »