Monday, March 25, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #295

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:

Christine Duncan + The University of Toronto Vocal Jazz Ensemble feat. John Oswald ["an exploration of voices and physical space"] / University of Toronto – Walter Hall 2019-03-27 (Wednesday – free! all ages! early event @ 7:30 p.m.) [FB event]

I put this one down as the gig of the week mostly because I have nearly no idea what's going to be going on here, but I'm curious to find out. (Pro tip: generally speaking, anything under the guidance of Christine Duncan is worth investigating in this manner.)


This week's noteworthy shows:

Xiodjiha [Edwin Huet/Alex Fournier] / The Emmet Ray 2019-03-25 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Avant Garde Music/Avant Garde Birthday Party (feat. Rob Clutton [solo] / Brodie West [solo] / Helicopter Money) / Array Space 2019-03-25 (Monday) [FB event]

Furniture Music: Duo Night (feat. Kaelin Murphy/Madeline Ertel / Stephanie Urquhart/Joel Jeschke / Xiodjiha [Edwin Huet/Alex Fournier]) / Wenona Lodge 2019-03-26 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Rob Clutton Trio [Rob Clutton/Nick Fraser/Karen Ng] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-26 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Freesound Series 01 [works by Pauline Oliveros, Lise Morrison, and Anna Thorvaldsdóttir] (feat. Tristan Durie/Olivia Shortt/Kevin Harris/Rachel Côté/Brayden Friesen/Todd Yaniw/Aysel Taghi-Zada/Adrian Irvine/Matt Antal/Evan Lamberton/Dave Riedstra) / Array Space 2019-03-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Music By Harry and Furlong S1E6: Montreal Edition (feat. Logan Mills/Alyssa Makow/Bea Labikova/Raphael Roter / Émilie Girard-Charest/Logan Mills/Andrew Furlong) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

The CWC Project Presents: New Music & Jazz (feat. Laura Swankey / Belinda Corpuz / Lieke Van Der Voort / Germaine Liu) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-03-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Doug Paisley / The Drake Underground 2019-03-28 (Thursday) [more info]

Kiwi jr. [Football Money record release show!] (Twist) / The Baby G 2019-03-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

See Through 4 [Pete Johnston/Nick Fraser/Marilyn Lerner/Karen Ng] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Grandma's Secret Spices: A Night Of Experimental Music (feat. Korea Town Acid / Bachelard / Sonja) / Handlebar 2019-03-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-29 (Friday – early!)

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-29 (Friday – early!)

Long Winter 7.5 (feat. Woodhands [reunion!] / Mother Tongues / Respire / Laura Swankey / t,o,u,c,h,i,n,g / Jazz Money / Vaughan) / Workman Arts 2019-03-29 (Friday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Emergents III (feat. Happenstance / Jana Luksts) / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2019-03-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Xuan Rong (hundredmillionthousand / Dillon Lorne / N A V I) / Jam Factory 2019-03-29 (Friday) [FB event]

CCMC with Al Mattes and Mani Mazinani / Array Space 2019-03-29 (Friday)

PIVOT ["premieres from six early-career composers from the acoustic and electro-acoustic worlds following their six-month mentorship with some of Canada’s most prominent composers."] [works by Amy Brandon, Nathan Friedman, Émilie Girard-Charest, Solomiya Moroz, Luke Nickel, and Lieke van der Voort] (feat. Continuum Contemporary Music) / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2019-03-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Pianorama! A fundraiser for the Tranzac's pianos (feat. Milmine/Roblin/Zurawinski / Noah Franche-Nolan/Harrison Argatoff / Lake Affect / +1 Band / Ashley Urquhart / Noah Franche-Nolan/Kaelin Murphy / Bjorn Kriel/Max Stover / Max Donaldson / Kristian Fourier / Yunjin Claire Lee/Mingjia Jessica Chen / Chris Pruden / William Hunt) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge + Tiki Room) 2019-03-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Cosmic Homeostasis X (feat. Rob Cruickshank/Mike Lynn/Dame Cook/Phil Hamilton/Mira Martin-Grey/Patrick O'Reilly/Heraclitus Akimbo + more TBA) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-31 (Sunday – afternoon set @ 3 p.m.! PWYC!) [FB event]

Wire Circus [March residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2019-03-31 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Jazz United Jam [jazz + tap dancing] / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-03-31 (Sunday – PWYC!)

Invocation Presents (feat. Sophie Trudeau / Michaela Grill / Loom) / Array Space 2019-03-31 (Sunday) [FB event]

Eucalyptus [10th anniversary residency!] / Hirut Ethiopian Restaurant 2019-03-31 (Sunday – all ages + family friendly! good eats available but not mandatory!) [FB event]

5 Year Anniversary (feat. Queer Songbook Orchestra) / Longboat Hall 2019-03-31 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]

Hush Pup [double cassette release party!] (ZONES / Kristian North / Ed Munstay) / Handlebar 2019-03-31 (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!

João Leão (Del Stephen) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-04-03 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Tara Kannangara [live video shoot and concert] / Roland Inspiration Centre 2019-04-04 (Thursday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Xeno & Oaklander / Plastic Ivy / Vanity Phase / Siviyex) / The Garrison 2019-04-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nicole Connelly 4tet [Nicole Connelly/Harrison Argatoff/Alex Fournier/Nick Fraser] / The Emmet Ray 2019-04-08 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Steve Earle / Sonic Boom Records 2019-04-08 (Monday – free!) [FB event]

Ornate Presents (feat. Nicole Connelly/Harrison Argatoff/Alex Fournier/Nick Fraser / Nicole Connelly [solo]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-09 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Editrix (Future Machines / Deanna Petcoff) / Handlebar 2019-04-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

MAW: A Community Celebration of the Vocal Arts (feat. Donna Linklater / Kalendar / Breathing Music / Ori Shalva / Peg Evans / Tuku / Heather Whaley / Ivy Mairi / Hussein Janmohamed / Martha / Weakness) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-04-16 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Service for Justin Haynes / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2019-04-19 (Friday – 2 to 8 p.m.) [FB event]

Eli Wallace [solo piano] (Josh Cole Trio [Josh Cole/Michael Davidson/Karen Ng]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

OliveHouse Concerts #2 (feat. Eli Wallace / Nelson Moneo/Andrew Furlong) / OliveHouse 2019-04-21 (Sunday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper's Lipliners / The Dakota Tavern 2019-05-03 (Friday – early show, 7 to 9 p.m.! all ages, kids welcome!) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Efrim Manuel Menuck & Kevin Doria / Mimico) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-05-10 (Friday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. The Ex / Eucalyptus) / The Jam Factory 2019-05-17 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Lithics (SAUNA / Tough Age) / The Baby G 2019-06-26 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Doomsquad / The Garrison 2019-06-27 (Thursday) [FB event]

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Recording: Cluttertones

Artist: Cluttertones

Song: Leeways Part 4 + 5

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, January 16, 2019.

Cluttertones - Leeways Part 4 + 5

A night of celebration of the new Leeways album, Rob Clutton and co. presented several of its pieces, including these two sections of the title piece that takes up the whole second half. In its recorded incarnation, the piece is filled out by Lee Pui Ming's piano and voice, leaving this stripped-down variation a bit of a rarity to hear. As always, though, Rob Clutton's pieces always leave plenty of room to spotlight his bandmates, so the space was well-used.

Recording: Kayla Milmine

Artist: Kayla Milmine

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, January 16, 2019.

Kayla Milmine - [excerpt]

More solo skronk'n'songs from Kayla Milmine, warming up the crowd on a cold night for an evening of Cluttertones music.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Recording: Dan Fortin

Artist: Dan Fortin

Song: Five

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Music Hosted by Karen Ng), January 15, 2019.

Dan Fortin - Five

On her third-Tuesday-of-the-month night at Wenona, Karen Ng tends to muster up a full house — with the audience often packed full of same the musicians you'll be going to see playing their own gigs later in the week. That crowd was in no small part out in support of a rare solo set from busy double bassist Dan Fortin, playing in his own neighbourhood and offering a set of études he's composed to use as exercises for various techniques (this one, for example, is an exercise in reading accidentals). He also amused the room with his witty banter, pondering the possibility of billing this sort of thing as "stand-up bass". Seeking that out is left to the listener, but here's a sample of the musical portion.

[Alongside vibraphonist Michael Davidson, Dan Fortin will be celebrating the launch of the duo's Clock Radio album (as well as their new Elastic Recordings label) tonight (March 23rd) at the Canadian Music Centre.]

Recording: Alle Meekingsmith

Artist: Alle Meekingsmith

Song: [second piece, part 2]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Music Hosted by Karen Ng), January 15, 2019.

Alle Meekingsmith - [second piece, part 2]

On her third-Tuesday-of-the-month night at Wenona, Karen Ng tends to muster up a full house — with the audience often packed full of same the musicians you'll be going to see playing their own gigs later in the week. This portmanteau name represented an amalgamation of the talents of Lina Allemano (trumpet), D. Alex Meeks (drums), Karen Ng (alto sax) and Mike Smith (electronics). With Smith providing skrches and zolps, the atmosphere moved from hypnozone to lurching sputters to a controlled canter.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Recording: Paul Newman (and friends)

Artist: Paul Newman

Songs: As Long as We Remain [part 1] + Toad Cricket Lear [part 1] (with Brian Abbott) + [excerpt] (with Karen Ng)

Recorded at Array Space (Somewhere There Presents: Paul Newman at 55), January 13, 2019.

Paul Newman - As Long as We Remain [part 1]

Paul Newman & Brian Abbott - Toad Cricket Lear [part 1]

Paul Newman & Karen Ng - [excerpt]

Once more celebrating with the help of some friends, Paul Newman shared some of the music he's been composing since his 50th birthday party. After a set of solo material, he was joined by Brian Abbott and Kayla Milmine, both together and singly, as heard with Abbott's guitar and effects on "Toad Cricket Lear" (whose title was inspired by nature's audible distractions during a trip to Shakespeare in the Park). The night ended with a short duo improvisation between Newman and Karen Ng.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Recording: Fresh Snow

Artist: Fresh Snow

Songs: Transition Drone in D (with Picastro) + King Twink Rides Again

Recorded at The Baby G, January 12, 2019.

Picastro + Fresh Snow - Transition Drone in D

Fresh Snow - King Twink Rides Again

Life's various adventures have kept Fresh Snow on the down-low for the past while, but this show indicated there's still some movement just below the surface. Though more of a "shake off the dust" greatest-hits type set, the band did lead in with an old favourite move, transitioning from Picastro's set as the members of the two bands overlapped to create a collaborative drone. Possibly a sign of further things to come, but their post show salutation online ("See you in 2021 or maybe sooner!") doesn't hint at anything on the immediate horizon.

Recording: Picastro

Artist: Picastro

Song: (She's In a) Bad Mood [Sonic Youth cover]

Recorded at The Baby G, January 12, 2019.

Picastro - (She's In a) Bad Mood

The songs from Picastro's Exit album have been growing and gestating for several years now, and this show marked the record's proper release. (Though definitely available as a vinyl platter at the show, as of yet, the album seems not to be available online.) Pushing further in a direction established in previous album You, songwriter Liz Hysen continues to endeavour to remove her voice from her own songs, providing the lead on only one of the album's cuts. That means there's a contrast with the live arrangements, where she's still doing the bulk of the singing. Meanwhile, the current version of the band, with Germaine Liu, Matthew Ramolo and Nick Storring, continues to shine, capable of both brooding tension and the occasional sprightly rock move.

Recording: Colin Fisher

Artist: Colin Fisher

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Baby G, January 12, 2019.

Colin Fisher - [excerpt]

Working in a similar exploratory mode to his V Le Pape album, Colin Fisher flipped over a few more cards from his tarot deck, ranging from pointillist blipfields to sample-and-hold sproings to damaged drones. Visuals, meanwhile, were provided by Ilyse Krivel, adding a mysterious counterpoint with images seguing from daytime plantlife to nighttime starfields.

[You still have time to catch some artworks by Ilyse Krivel, showing at Kensington's Pamenar Café until the end of the month.]

Monday, March 18, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #294

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:

Two Ted Country Blues [Allison Cameron/Kurt Newman/Mark Zurawinski] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-20 (Wednesday – early!)

Gordon Grdina/Nick Fraser/Karen Ng (Gordon Grdina [solo!]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

No spectacles here, just a relaxed double-header at The Tranzac. Another recombination of Allison Cameron's frequent collaborators in the early slot, followed by a visit from Vancouver's Gord Grdina later on.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Willie Thrasher & Linda Saddleback (Ansley Simpson) / Cadillac Lounge 2019-03-18 (Monday) [FB event]

Merabula [first gig!] (Laura Swankey/Brad Eaton/Alex Lakusta /Robin Claxton / The Emmet Ray 2019-03-18 (Monday) [FB event]

Molly Nilsson (Phèdre) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2019-03-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Music Hosted by Karen Ng (feat. Radio Silence [Pete Johnston/Rebecca Hennessy/Karen Ng/Jake Oelrichs / Edwin Sheard/Andrew Furlong/Patrick O'Reilly) / Wenona Lodge 2019-03-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

AMBiENT PiNG (feat. Mike Barber / Fever Loop) / Handlebar 2019-03-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Forgive The Void! (feat. ZOE / Crying High) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-03-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Riparian Acoustics/CMC Presents (feat. R. Andrew Lee) / Canadian Music Centre 2019-03-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

Concrete Cabaret 2: The Chips Edition ["experimental puppetry and performing object theatre"] (feat. Kosher Dill Spears) / The Baby G 2019-03-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

Digawolf [album release!] (Hex) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-03-22 (Friday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Pharmakon / Death Kneel / Xuan Ye) / The Jam Factory 2019-03-22 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Jaunt (Blunt Chunks / Stacey Sexton & Maggie) / Northern Contemporary Gallery 2019-03-22 (Friday) [FB event]

Elastic Recordings presents (feat. Clock Radio [Michael Davidson/Dan Fortin] [CD release!] / Chris Pruden) / Canadian Music Centre 2019-03-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

BA Johnston (Sleepless Nights / Flesh Rag) / Junction City Music Hall 2019-03-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Premieres VIII (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective) / Array Space 2019-03-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Polyphonic Ground presents: Cameroon War Victims Benefit (feat. Fojeba & Sunshine Band) / Small World Music Centre 2019-03-23 (Saturday – note new date!) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society presents (feat. Carine Au Micro) / Alliance Française de Toronto 2019-03-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

High Strangeness (feat. Ryan Kinney / Brian Abbott/Paul Newman / Kayla Milmine/Kristen Moss Theriault/Laura Swankey/Bea Labikova) / Gerrard Art Space 2019-03-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Unknown Guitar Quartet minus one [Rob Grieve/Luan Phung/Patrick O'Reilly] / The Emmet Ray 2019-03-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wire Circus [March residency!] / The Rex Hotel 2019-03-24 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Jazz United Jam [jazz + tap dancing] / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-03-24 (Sunday – PWYC!)

Baker-Hess Duo with Olivia Shortt / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-24 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Patrick Smith/Andrew Furlong/Mike Gennaro) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-24 (Sunday) [FB event]

Eucalyptus [10th anniversary residency!] / Hirut Ethiopian Restaurant 2019-03-24 (Sunday – all ages + family friendly! good eats available but not mandatory!) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Mira Martin-Gray / Xiodjiha [Alex Fournier/Edwin Huet]) / Array Space 2019-03-24 (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!

Avant Garde Music/Avant Garde Birthday Party (feat. Rob Clutton [solo] / Brodie West [solo] / Helicopter Money) / Array Space 2019-03-25 (Monday) [FB event]

Xiodjiha [Edwin Huet/Alex Fournier] / The Emmet Ray 2019-03-25 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

See Through 4 [Pete Johnston/Nick Fraser/Marilyn Lerner/Karen Ng] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Grandma's Secret Spices: A Night Of Experimental Music (feat. Korea Town Acid / Bachelard / Sonja) / Handlebar 2019-03-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Long Winter 7.5 (feat. Woodhands [reunion!] / Mother Tongues / Respire / Laura Swankey / t,o,u,c,h,i,n,g / Jazz Money / Vaughan) / Workman Arts 2019-03-29 (Friday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Xuan Rong (hundredmillionthousand / Dillon Lorne / N A V I) / Jam Factory 2019-03-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Pianorama! A fundraiser for the Tranzac's pianos (feat. Milmine/Roblin/Zurawinski / Noah Franche-Nolan/Harrison Argatoff / Lake Affect / +1 Band / Ashley Urquhart / Noah Franche-Nolan/Kaelin Murphy / Bjorn Kriel/Max Stover / Max Donaldson / Kristian Fourier / Yunjin Claire Lee/Mingjia Jessica Chen / Chris Pruden / William Hunt) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge + Tiki Room) 2019-03-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #49: Fourth Anniversary All-Star Spectacular! (feat. Andrew Finlay Stewart/Dame Cook/Jakob Rehlinger/David Sait/Patrick O'Reilly/Georgia Webber/Victor O + more to be added!) / Array Space 2019-04-02 (Tuesday – PWYC! special off-site show!) [FB event]

You've Changed Records: 10th anniversary celebration + double album Release Show (feat. Ian Daniel Kehoe / Steven Lambke / Joyful Joyful) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-04-12 (Friday) [FB event]

Orville Peck (Vallens) / Longboat Hall 2019-04-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

Corridor (Balmy) / The Baby G 2019-04-15 (Monday) [FB event]

Sonic Unyon 25th Anniversary Show (feat. Tristan Psionic / SIANspheric / Basement Revolver / Bankruptcy) / Horseshoe Tavern 2019-04-18 (Thursday) [FB event]

Audiopollination 70.3: The Fifth Wheel (feat. Heraclitus Akimbo/mkl32 / Bea Labikova/Raphael Roter/Chris Adriaanse / Riot Pousse [Elizabeth Lima/Sarah Albu]) / Wenona Lodge 2019-04-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Hot Garbage (ZONES / Vypers / Mr. Joy) / The Baby G 2019-05-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Hooded Fang (Luge / Body Lens / Nikki Fierce / mise en scène / Oliver Forest) / Monarch Tavern 2019-05-09 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ugly Beauties / Gallery 345 2019-05-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

Luminato: BIZIINDAN! ["a newly-commissioned tribute performance to the ‘trailblazer of truth,’ Willie Dunn, hosted by ShoShona Kish] (feat. Marie Gaudet / Digging Roots / Lido Pimienta / Pura Fe / Jeremy Dutcher) / Koerner Hall 2019-06-14 (Tuesday) [more info]

Luminato: Maada'ookii Songlines ["200 voices from 8 diverse choirs, 4 soloists and a fusion Indigenous musical ensemble in a new massive choral experience composed by Luminato veteran, Juno Award-nominated cris derksen"] (feat. Jesse Baird/Shaun Brodie/Darren Creech/cris derksen/Bruised Years Choir/Canadian Arabic Choir/City Choir/Darbazi/Element Choir/Vesnivka Choir/Yip's Children's Choir/Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie/Jennifer Kreisberg/Alanna Stuart/Maryem Tollar) / Harbourfront Centre 2019-06-23 (Sunday – free! all-ages and family-friendly!) [FB event]

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Recording: See Through 4

Artist: See Through 4

Songs: Not a Half-Stepper + Sometimes, Once is Enough [part 1]

Recorded at Array Space (Rat-drifting 4), January 11, 2019.

See Through 4 - Not a Half-Stepper

See Through 4 - Sometimes, Once is Enough [part 1]

Although this was the first gig for this particular recombination, bassist Pete Johnston's See Through Music has emerged in ensembles of variable sizes in the past. To explore some compositions that are "halfway between fully-composed and mostly-improvised" he brought a set of nimble compatriots, including Marilyn Lerner on piano, Karen Ng on alto sax and Nick Fraser on percussion. Mostly presenting some galactic premieres, these new pieces were presented with Johnston's typically-witty titles (I earnestly hope that the first one here was inspired by the Tribe Called Quest lyric that immediately popped into my head) and adventurous progressions.

[Pete Johnston will be playing some "improvised street funk" tonight (Sunday, March 16th) in a trio named Yeah You're Right alongside Jessie Levine and Jake Oelrichs. See Through 4 will be playing The Tranzac on Thursday, March 28th.]

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Recording: Joseph Shabason

Artist: Joseph Shabason

Song: Treat it Like a Wine Bar

Recorded at Array Space (Invocation Presents), January 10, 2019.

Joseph Shabason - Treat it Like a Wine Bar

Joseph Shabason's Anne can be viewed as more a development in continuity with his previous Aytche album, but there are still striking developments here. Foremost among those (and in addition to its ample technical merits) is its deeper and more personal emotional palette, weaving in fragments of interviews with his mother (the titular Anne) on the subjects of family, identity and "perfection" in the face of a degenerative illness. This special release show gained poignancy with Anne's presence, getting a chance to see her son presenting this intricate and beautiful music to a packed house.

Shabason's backing band for his hometown shows can expand and contract depending on who's available, and this night saw him being joined by Hugh Marsh (violin), Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet), Thom Gill (guitar/synth/piano), Phil Melanson (percussion), Kieran Adams (samples) and Bram Gielan (synth/bass/piano). That talented and deeply flexible group allowed a lush presentation of the material that rivalled the album's intricate arrangements. The selection here (which closed out the set as it does the album) was presented as a "placid sendoff", a gentle reminder that sometimes our difficulties can be ameliorated by looking at things in the best light.

[Joseph Shabason will be opening for Laraaji at the Toronto Spiritualist Temple on Friday, April 12th.]

Recording: Sandro Perri

Artist: Sandro Perri

Song: [excerpt from new piece]

Recorded at Array Space (Invocation Presents), January 10, 2019.

Sandro Perri - [excerpt from new piece]

Having seen Sandro Perri present the material from his latest album both solo and with band, I was curious as to whether we'd be seeing another wrinkle on the infinite songwriting of "In Another Life". Instead, playing an opening set for Joseph Shabason's woozy ambient album release, Perri zagged and presented a large-ensemble drift-work of his own. Borrowing Nicole Rampersaud from Shabason's band, he was otherwise joined by regular collaborators Blake Howard, Thomas Hammerton and Josh Cole. It's the latter who helps tie this whole piece together, with a delicious little bass-riff that keeps bubbling up to the surface.

The presence of Cole and Rampersaud also links this to the more abstract work he'd been doing in an un-named quartet with that pair plus Alison Cameron. This was apparently the first time this piece was shared with an audience, so hopefully there will be more chances to delve into its mysterious drift.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Recording: Laura Swankey & Friends

Artist: Laura Swankey & Friends - [first section, part 1]

Songs: [first section, in two parts]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Music By & For Ken Aldcroft XXV), January 9, 2018.

Laura Swankey & Friends - [first section, part 1]

Laura Swankey & Friends - [first section, part 2]

What's in a name? The subsequent time I saw this trio, who have been playing together for a while now, they were called Plastic Babies. In any case, excellent work all around from Laura Swankey (vocals and pedals), Christine Duncan (voice and theremin) and Patrick O'Reilly (guitar and pedals). By mid-set, things would work up into the joyfully-frenzied sort of coffee break banter as personal opera that Duncan excels at, but here we find a more restrained soundfield calling itself into being, with some really tasty blips from Duncan's theremin chirping away in the mix.

Recording: Irene Harrett

Artist: Irene Harrett

Song: Tennessee Waltz [composer: Pee Wee King]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Music By & For Ken Aldcroft XXV), January 9, 2018.

Irene Harrett - Tennessee Waltz

A rather satisfying musical introduction to double bassist Irene Harett, here taking a familiar country refrain into abstract zones via some skilful pedal manipulations. As we have seen several times recently in this series, Harrett described another path taken towards discovering the work of Kan Aldcroft, in being inspired indirectly through some of the younger musicians who were playing with him.