Friday, May 27, 2016

Recording: Brodie West & Fleshtone Aura

Artist: Brodie West & Fleshtone Aura

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded May 25, 2016 at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays).

Brodie West & Fleshtone Aura - [excerpt]

From now on, the late slot at The Tranzac on Wednesdays is being curated by Healing Power's Wolfgang — who will also have nacho platters on offer along with a variety of cool musics. On this first run of the night everything went quite swimmingly (although there's hopes yet that a promised earlier start time will be taken up as well).

Besides a rare preview of Doc Dunn singing some of the piano-based songs from his forthcoming Wolfking of T.O. opus, the night also featured an appearance from this occasional collaboration between Brodie West's saxophone and Andrew Zukerman's analog synth. The two played off each other in a variety of ways — in this stretch you can hear Zukerman's bubbling burbles doubling West's sax percolations, though at other times he added more abstract counterpoints. There was also their closing opus "Up and Down", which I will leave undescribed to increase the anticipation of future audiences.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Recording: Craig Dunsmuir and Dun-Dun Band

Artist: Craig Dunsmuir and Dun-Dun Band

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 24, 2016.

Craig Dunsmuir and Dun-Dun Band - unknown

After sharing some solo pieces for guitar and drumpad, Craig Dunsmuir called up his band to explore some further dynamics. Following closely on the repeating loops of Dunsmuir's guitar and Josh Cole's bass, Jay Anderson added rhythmic drumpad accents while on the outer wings Colin Fisher and Karen Ng had some room to snake their sax melodies around the musical latticework. Following on Dunsmuir's occasional commands, the group would segue from riff to riff over the course of a couple long pieces.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Craig Dunsmuir

Artist: Craig Dunsmuir

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 24, 2016.

Craig Dunsmuir - unknown

Since debuting his Dun-Dun band at Long Winter back in February, there's been a general sense of anticipation for more from Craig Dunsmuir. This two-fer at Colin Fisher's monthly hit the spot, not only in sharing more grooves from the full band, but also with a solo set showing the building blocks of his compositions. Assembled from looped guitar and drumpad patterns, there was a lot of satisfaction to be derived from these polyrhythmic miniatures, with infinitely-scalable grooves growing fractally from the simple starting points.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Recording: Alexandra Spence

Artist: Alexandra Spence + Diane Roblin / Alexandra Spence + Paul Newman

Songs: [excerpts from two sets]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #42.2), May 22, 2016.

Alexandra Spence + Diane Roblin - [excerpt from first piece]

Alexandra Spence + Paul Newman - [second piece]

This Sydney-via-Vancouver sound artist and clarinet player has dropped in to Audiopollination before, but was the featured guest this time out. Not only did she sit in with Nilan Perera's large ensemble, she also played a pair of duets matched with local improvisers. Diane Roblin offered some rolling piano lines and subtle synthesizer accents while Paul Newman added some quiet sax warbles that mixed especially well with Spence's spare overtone playing, quietly filling the room as the muffled pops of informal long weekend fireworks shows filtered through from outside.

Recording: The Lady Hedonism Consort of Toronto

Artist: The Lady Hedonism Consort of Toronto

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #42.2), May 22, 2016.

The Lady Hedonism Consort of Toronto - [excerpt 1]

The Lady Hedonism Consort of Toronto - [excerpt 2, part 1]

The Lady Hedonism Consort of Toronto - [excerpt 2, part 2]

This large improvising ensemble was convened by Nilan Perera, who added some electric bass to an opening drone section but otherwise primarily conducted. Using some basic hand signs (and occasional vocal instruction) he built up series of loops and competing riffs that tended more toward sympathetic juxtapositions rather than abrasiveness. The members of the ensemble were: Heather Saumers, Bea Labikova, Alexandra Spence, Laura Swankey, Ilana Waniuk, Laura Bates, Aline Homzy and Sanaz Nakhjavani.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Recording: B-17

Artist: B-17

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, May 20, 2016.

B-17 - unknown

Feeling a bit like an Optical Sounds reunion was taking place in the crowd, B-17 were in as ferocious/focused form as I've seen 'em — especially drummer Nick Kervin, who was leaning into the material with a vengeance. Celebrating the release of their Goodbye album, there was a razor-sharp take on album closer "Dropped" and a couple new songs to boot.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Prince Ness

Artist: Prince Ness

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, May 20, 2016.

Prince Ness - unknown

I still can't come up with a better description for this group than "trebly naive jangle", but every time I see them I remember how much room there is to explore within those parameters. Within the songs' clean lines, there's always an appealing earworm or two, such as that high-on-the-neck four-note descending bass riff in this new one.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Glass Slipper

Artist: Glass Slipper

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, May 20, 2016.

Glass Slipper - unknown

This was the first appearance in these parts from this NYC quartet, although there was a familiar face on stage (and an Optical Sounds extended family connection) with guitarist Andrew McGill, who used to play with Tess Parks. Offering up some Oh Sees style garage stomp and a hint of Parquet Courts, this crew managed to get the room onside (and heaving along) quite quickly.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #150

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gigs of the week:

Drone Therapy: National Drone Day at the Music Gallery (group drone feat. Castle If / Oriana Guerrero / Moyo Rainos Mutamba / Allison Cameron / Kat Estacio) / The Music Gallery's courtyard 2016-05-28 (Saturday – free/PWYC afternoon event! outside! mellow/healing!) [FB event]

The AMBiENT PiNG: Evening Drone (feat. dreamSTATE / Northumbria) / Ratio 2016-05-28 (Saturday – free! all ages! n.b. moved to the evening!) [FB event]

A celebration of drone music across Canada and beyond, Drone Day is a chance for DIY communities to create local events to feed into the all-pervasive world-drone. Drone zoners can celebrate at a couple cool events, including the much-anticipated Drone Therapy session at the Music Gallery (which offers "live drone with talking through therapeutic experiences, anecdotes, coping skills, and mental health issues in a casual, drop-in setting"). The evening sees a casual show at Ratio from the AMBiENT PiNG crew.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Dun-Dun Band [Craig Dunsmuir/Josh Cole/Mike Smith/Karen Ng/Jay Anderson/Blake Howard/Colin Fisher] (Craig Dunsmuir [solo]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-05-24 (Tuesday) [FB event]

TorQ Percussion Quartet: Conversations / 918 Bathurst 2016-05-24 (Tuesday) [FB event]

B------ Broadcast (feat. PyPy / The Blind Shake) / The Garrison 2016-05-24 (Tuesday – free!) [FB event]

Xu Shaoyang (Not the Wind, Not the Flag / Ye Xuan) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-05-25 (Wednesday) [FB event]

21C Music Festival: Kronos Quartet with Special Guest Tanya Tagaq / Koerner Hall 2016-05-25 (Wednesday) [more info]

Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays (feat. Brodie West & Fleshtone Aura) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-05-25 (Wednesday – 9:30 p.m. start!) [FB event]

Union Suit (Property / Fake Humans) / Holy Oak Café 2016-05-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Emergents IV (feat. Kiri Koto Ensemble / Boomwhackers) / The Music Gallery 2016-05-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Fet.nat / Several Futures / Retired) / Double Double Land 2016-05-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

The $5 Rap Show: 6th Anniversary (feat. More Or Les / Wordburglar / Swamp Thing / Advice & Champa) / Handlebar 2016-05-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Peter Brötzmann/Heather Leigh / The Velvet Underground 2016-05-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Ought (Palm / The Lonely Parade) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-05-27 (Friday) [FB event]

By Divine Right [Speak And Spell U.S. release party!] (Beams) / Buddies in Bad Times 2016-05-27 (Friday) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Quintet [feat. Tania Gill as Ryan Driver] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-05-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Shotgun Jimmie (Canyon Carvers / LUKA) / Monarch Tavern 2016-05-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 701: 21C Festival (feat. Jherek Bischoff / Dawn Of Midi / The Visit) / Koerner Hall 2016-05-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Big Easy Nights presents Night Time Sounds (feat. Moonwood / Mune / Bicyclops) / Duffy's Tavern 2016-05-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Octopus Curls [Allison Cameron/Stephen Parkinson/Nicole Rampersaud] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-05-29 (Sunday)

ΔTENT with Jason Doell / Canadian Music Centre 2016-05-29 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Michael Herring Quartet [Sundays in May residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2016-05-29 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Wire Circus / The Emmet Ray 2016-05-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Scroll Downers (Worst Gift / Bile Sister) / Double Double Land 2016-05-29 (Sunday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

The Numerators (Baby Labour / Trim Hogs) / Smiling Buddha 2016-06-06 (Monday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #15 (feat. Cetacea / KASHKA / Swankey/O'Reilly/Furlong) / Dundas Video 2016-06-07 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital (feat. Nick Millevoi's Desertion / Steve Kado / zhang) / Ratio 2016-06-09 (Thursday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital (feat. Jooklo Duo with Colin Fisher / CCMC / Cory Latkovich & Robert Grieve) / Ratio 2016-06-13 (Monday) [FB event]

Venetian Snares (Joanne Pollock / Bad Channels) / Velvet Underground 2016-06-16 (Thursday) [FB event]

Papermaps (Beams / The Nursery) / Junction City Music Hall 2016-06-17 (Friday) [FB event]

Toddler (James Irwin / LCON) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-06-19 (Sunday – early show! 6 to 8:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

Queer Songbook Orchestra: One For the Ages / Buddies In Bad Times Theatre 2016-06-19 (Sunday) [FB event]

Joanne Pollock (Witch Prophet / Castle If) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-06-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

100 EYES Presents (feat. HUMANITIES / Telecomo / Childs / The 300 Club 2016-06-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Invocation presents (feat. Nite Jewel / New Chance / Tenderness) / The Garrison 2016-07-08 (Friday) [FB event]


Album corner:

  • Besides occasional shows as a part of Kith & Kin, you don't get so many chances to hear one of the most beautiful voices in this city. That's been rectified with the release of an album of solo vocal material from Martha Farquhar-McDonnell. (There'll also be a celebration for this album's release at the lovely Church of St. Andrew by-the-lake out on the Island, on Sunday, June 5th.)
  • If you prefer to sample your forthcoming albums the old fashioned way, tune into The Night Shift (CJRU 1280AM) on Wednesday night for a first listen to The Highest Order's new album, Still Holding. (There's other opportunities in cities across the country too — more info here.)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Recording: The Mean

Artist: The Mean

Song: The Prisoner

Recorded at The Piston, May 19, 2016.

The Mean - The Prisoner

Fronted by Babs Vermeulen, this new-ish trio (synth/drum machine/guit/bass) covered a sonic terrain that extended from death disco to a sort of aggressive new-wave that was well-epitomized by a cover of Bowie's "Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)". This track, which leaned more on the keybs, pushed things into an intriguing Raincoats-gone-synth-goth zone.

Recording: Processor

Artist: Processor

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Piston, May 19, 2016.

Processor - unknown

The Piston remains a very nice-sounding room, and turned out to be a good spot to listen in on this pairing of Lorenz Peter (synth, drum machine) and Melissa Joakim (bass) — especially with the subs pushing out some low-end vibrations. Their short-ish set tackled three pieces; the middle one menaced with a thrumming drumbeat while this closer leaned a bit more abstract. This works okay as a field recording, but this is really best as body-envelopment music experienced in situ.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Toblerone Boys

Artist: Toblerone Boys

Song: [last section]

Recorded at The Piston, May 19, 2016.

Toblerone Boys - [last section]

This mad scientist funk laboratory with potions crafted from smashed beakers and broken equipment made one of its infrequent appearances at this gig, beaming strange rays into the forebrains of the assembled crowd, creating a new lurching army of the night.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Recording: Xavier Charles + Éric Normand

Artist: Xavier Charles + Éric Normand

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Ratio (Somewhere There Presents), May 12, 2016.

Xavier Charles + Éric Normand - [excerpt]

Instead of stacking three takes on one musical practice, this night from Somewhere There mixed together Heather Saumer and Doug Tielli's folk songs with Suhashini Arulanandam and Ilana Waniuk's quiet violin duets (including Luigi Nono's "Hay que Caminar" and a new piece by Nick Storring) with the visiting headliners' electroacoustic explorations. Éric Normand's bass was used as a noise-generator rather than a melodic tool, and a means of interfacing with a snare drum and some other small percussive objects while Xavier Charles' clarinet ranged from clicks and slow-motion scrapes to fluttering rumbles. Expert-level stuff here, disciplined but freely exploratory, and "noisy" without being loudly abrasive.

Recording: Heather Saumer + Doug Tielli

Artist: Heather Saumer + Doug Tielli

Songs: The Forlorn Stranger + Heather Saumer + The Forsaken Mermaid

Recorded at Ratio (Somewhere There Presents), May 12, 2016.

Heather Saumer + Doug Tielli - The Forlorn Stranger

Heather Saumer + Doug Tielli - The Forsaken Mermaid

"Forlorn & Forsaken" would be an excellent name for a folk duo, although in this case Heather Saumer and Doug Tielli seemed to be having too much fun to qualify for the moniker even as they dipped into some darker material from that ace songwriter Trad. Arr. (plus the likes of Hank Williams and Carla Bley). Each with their trombone and accentuated by autoharp, guitar and singing saw, the pair took turns singing — a revelation especially from Saumer. Casual and intimate, all this set was lacking was a veranda and a porch swing.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #149

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

B-17 [Goodbye record release show!] (Prince Ness / Glass Slipper / Sissy Boy) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-05-20 (Friday) [FB event]

It blows my mind a little to consider that B-17 have been a going concern for five years now, time which has seen the band stropping their sound to razor-sharpness and perfecting their high-energy stage presence (to say nothing of adding some NYC glam to their Stooge-y wah-roars). The pace of releases from local label Optical Sounds has showed down a bit, but the energy in the music they've released — including B-17's brand-new first full-length — hasn't waned. Only time can write a song that's really really real, or so they say.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Michael Keith & Saab Narayan / Holy Oak Café 2016-05-17 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Iderdown (Dirty Inputs / organdrum) / Smiling Buddha 2016-05-17 (Tuesday) [FB event]

coexisDance: The Handbook of Imperfect Yoga Book Launch (feat dance + music by Chris Adriaanse/Zoë Alexis-Abrams/Eve Brown/Rod Campbell/Tania Gill/Brenda Joy Lem/Bea Labikova/Tilman Lewis/Mike Lynn/Rob Piilonen/Raphael Roter/Andy Yue) / The Tranzac 2016-05-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Lab Coast (Century Palm / Dorothea Paas) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-05-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Whimm (Homebody / Poster Boy / Lizzy Boredom) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-05-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Josh Cole / Colin Fisher / Brandon Valdivia / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-05-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan: Higgs Ocean: New Music For Gamelan / The Music Gallery 2016-05-19 (Friday) [more info]

Tomi Räisänen: a Portrait (feat. junctQín keyboard collective with Rob MacDonald and Heidi Saario) / Heliconian Hall 2016-05-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Peach Kelli Pop (Twist / Bueller) / Smiling Buddha 2016-05-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Kid Congo Powers (Meanwood / Alpha Strategy) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-05-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Surinam (Participation / Shahman / Zwarun) / The 300 Club 2016-05-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Blues (Blunt Chunks) / Gladstone Hotel 2016-05-19 (Thursday – free!) [FB event]

Toblerone Boys (Processor / The Mean / James Wyatt Crosby) / The Piston 2016-05-19 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Special Costello (Lido Pimienta / Budi) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-05-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Wavelength 700: WL x Manifesto (feat. Pavilion / Wilde / Language Arts / Obuxum / pHoenix Pagliacci / Loji) / The Garrison 2016-05-20 (Friday) [FB event]

For Attawapiskat (feat. Del Bel, Drago Dit Dragon, Ruby Cikada, Ruby Randall) / Monarch Tavern 2016-05-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper's Lipliners / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-05-20 (Friday)

Nancy Pants (TV Sets / Human Bodies) / Handlebar 2016-05-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #42.2 (feat. The Lady Hedonism Consort of Toronto [Ilana Waniuk/Laura Bates/Aline Homzy/Sanaz Nakhjavani/Heather Segger/Nicole Rampersaud/Bea Labikova/Alexandra Spence/Laura Swankey/Zoe Alexis-Abrams/Nilan Perera] / Alexandra Spence/Diane Roblin / Alexandra Spence/Paul Newman) / Array Space 2016-05-22 (Sunday) [FB event]

Music Between Friends (feat. Brave Radar / LOOM / Blunt Chunks) / Handlebar 2016-05-22 (Sunday) [FB event]

Michael Herring Quartet [Sundays in May residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2016-05-22 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

By Divine Right [Speak And Spell U.S. release party!] (Beams) / Buddies in Bad Times 2016-05-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Wavelength 701: 21C Festival (feat. Jherek Bischoff / Dawn Of Midi / The Visit) / Koerner Hall 2016-05-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wire Circus / The Emmet Ray 2016-05-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Scroll Downers (Worst Gift / Bile Sister) / Double Double Land 2016-05-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Invocation Presents (feat. Big|Brave / Fresh Snow / New Positions) / Soybomb 2016-06-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Highest Order [Still Holding record release show!] (New Chance) / Comfort Zone 2016-06-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 702 (feat. Thor & Friends / Völur / Echo Beach) / Monarch Tavern 2016-06-12 (Sunday) [FB event]

Dories (Bart / Doffing / Luge) / Smiling Buddha 2016-06-14 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Tuns (Only Yours / kiwi jr.) / The Garrison 2016-06-15 (Wednesday) [FB event]

NO FEST: Free Day Party (feat. Casper Skulls / Pet Sun / PONY) / The Garrison (front room) 2016-06-18 (Saturday – day show! free!) [FB event]

Music Gallery Departures Series (feat. The Out Louds / Mette Rasmussen/Tashi Dorji/Tyler Damon / Michael Keith/Saab Narayan) / Array Space 2016-06-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

Music Gallery Departures Series (feat. Endangered Blood / The Mike Smith Company / Body Help) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-06-28 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Nhapitapi / Burdock Music Hall 2016-07-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Freak Heat Waves (New Fries / Cindy Lee / Hellier Ulysses) / The Garrison 2016-08-05 (Friday) [FB event]