Friday, May 24, 2019

Recording: Woodhands

Artist: Woodhands feat. Mamarudegyal

Song: I Should Have Gone With My Friends/Straighten The Curtain

Recorded at Workman Arts – Main Hall (Long Winter 7.5), March 29, 2019.

Woodhands - I Should Have Gone With My Friends/Straighten The Curtain

With drummer Paul Banwatt already on the scene to play with secret guest headliners The Rural Alberta Advantage, this reunion set made good logistical sense. I could be wrong, but I think their last show was in fact the last time I saw 'em, but from Dan Werb's first "oh shit!" it felt like old times. As ever, the pair took the opportunity to stretch out their songs into live 12" dance mixes, injecting their awkward anthems with manic energy.

Recording: The Rural Alberta Advantage

Artist: The Rural Alberta Advantage

Songs: Beacon Hill + Terrified

Recorded at Workman Arts – Main Hall (Long Winter 7.5), March 29, 2019.

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Beacon Hill

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Terrified

In the rather long stretch since I last saw 'em, The RAA has released a couple albums (2014's Mended with Gold as well as 2017's The Wild), lost and reacquired vocalist/keyboardist Amy Cole, and has played a bunch of festivals. This summer they'll be out on the road some more, shaping new material (some of which was previewed at this show).

Recording: Kelly Fraser

Artist: Kelly Fraser

Song: Looking for a Seal

Recorded at Workman Arts – Main Hall (Long Winter 7.5), March 29, 2019.

Kelly Fraser - Looking for a Seal

Hailing from from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, Kelly Fraser brought a Northern perspective to the night, singing and rapping in Inuktitut and English. Her music showed reverence to her community's traditions but also leaped into the contemporary popsphere with both feet.

Recording: MamaRudeGyal MTHC

Artist: MamaRudeGyal MTHC

Song: 4 A.M.

Recorded at Workman Arts – Roseneath Theatre (Long Winter 7.5), March 29, 2019.

MamaRudeGyal MTHC - 4 A.M.

The self-professed "most awkward rapper in the game", this Burnaby, B.C. based musician nevertheless brought some modest swagger to her performance. (And also dropped a guest verse later on in Woodhands' set.)

Recording: Bruised Years Choir

Artist: Bruised Years Choir

Songs: Trouble in Mind [composer: Richard M. Jones] + We Are the Champions [Queen cover]

Recorded at Workman Arts – Main Hall (Long Winter 7.5), March 29, 2019.

Bruised Years Choir - Trouble in Mind

Bruised Years Choir - We Are the Champions

Once more, Long Winter felt right at home in Workman Arts' frayed-at-the-edges splendour. That was enhanced with this appearance from the Bruised Years Choir, one of the organization's resident ensembles. Guided by Jim LeFrancois on piano (as well as familiar face Johnny Spence on guitar) a dozen singers tackled arrangements of songs focusing both on struggles with addiction and madness as well as celebratory triumph.

[The Bruised Years Choir will be one of the (many!) participants in Luminato's massive Cris Derksen-composed choral event Maada'ookii Songlines, free at the Harbourfront Centre on Sunday, June 23rd.]

Monday, May 20, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #303

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:

Sacred Lamp [record release in-store!] / Grasshopper Records 2019-05-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

A modest celebration for a long-awaited platter on Thursday night, marking the official release of Ayal Senior and Matthew "Doc" Dunn's self-titled Sacred Lamp album. These songs have been percolating for a while now, and the disc has been hiding in plain sight at some recent Dunn gigs, so it's nice to have it openly out in the world — and over on Bandcamp, too:


This week's noteworthy shows:

Team Building (feat. Joyful Joyful / Jess Kussin / Chris Lyons / Casey Mecija / Ben Gunning / Bruce Lai / Danika Vandersteen / Avalon Rossignol-Tassonyi) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-05-20 (Monday – early! PWYC!) [FB event]

Music Hosted by Karen Ng (feat. Holiday Rambler / Ruster Never Sleeps) / Wenona Lodge 2019-05-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

McDonald/Card/Silveira (New Hermitage) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Space Cubs (Fast Frens / Dead Neighbourhoods) / The Baby G 2019-05-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Music By Harry and Furlong S1E8 (feat. The Search For Eternal Happiness Pt. 6 [Harry Vetro/Alex Fournier/Max Donaldson] / Andrew Furlong & Bea Labikova) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

DoVira3 [single release!] (R. Flex / Roa Gayageum) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-05-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Jon Langford and his ...... [surprise!] (Jon-Boy w/John Szymanski / Eamon McGrath / Jon-Boy & the Skull Orchard Male Voice Choir w/David Nagler) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2019-05-23 (Thursday) [more info]

The Mean [EP release!] (Secret Wars / Techniques Berlin) / The Piston 2019-05-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Sick Boss [Cole Schmidt/Peggy Lee/Ted Crosby/Karen Ng] / Chris Pitsiokos) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Invocation presents (feat. Sarah Louise / Eiyn Sof / Kurt Newman) / Array Space 2019-05-24 (Friday) [FB event]

Venus Fest presents (feat. Charlotte Cornfield [The Shape of Your Name album release!] / Charise Aragoza) / The Baby G 2019-05-24 (Friday) [FB event]

Ellwood Epps/Nick Fraser/Andrew Furlong / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-05-24 (Friday) [FB event]

Dan Pitt Quintet [Naomi McCarroll-Butler/Patrick Smith/Dan Pitt/Alex Fournier/Nick Fraser] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-24 (Friday) [FB event]

The AMBiENT PiNG presents: Drone Day 2019 (feat. dreamSTATE / Northumbria) / Roland Inspiration Centre 2019-05-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

National Drone Day (feat. autotectonic / Bachelard / Intrepita / Mike Barber) / June Records 2019-05-25 (Saturday – 6 to 9 p.m.! no cover! all ages!) [FB event]

Make Some Noise (feat. Casper Skulls / Joseph Shabason) / Toronto Public Library – North York Central Branch 2019-05-25 (Saturday – free! all ages!) [FB event]

Cloud Circuit (Paul Dutton / Szygy / Lida Nosrati / Miles Forrester) / Gerrard Art Space 2019-05-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Big Butter and Egg Men / The Rex 2019-05-26 (Sunday — afternoon set, noon to 3 p.m.!) [FB event]

Silent Revue presents Berlin: Symphony of a Great City [1927 silent film, presented in 35mm with live score] (feat. Tania Gill Quartet) / Revue Cinema 2019-05-26 (Sunday – afternoon screening!) [FB event]

Jazz United Jam [jazz + tap dancing] / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-05-26 (Sunday – PWYC!)

Jazz from the Cellar (feat. Myriad 3) / The Dakota Tavern 2019-05-26 (Sunday – all ages! early!) [FB event]

TIO Celebrates Gwendolyn MacEwen (feat. The Toronto Improvisors Orchestra) / Array Space 2019-05-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

Double Album Release (feat. Kamancello / Tamar Ilana's Ventanas) / Aga Khan Museum 2019-05-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Edwin Sheard Quartet [Edwin Sheard/Patrick O'Reilly/Phill Albert/Stefan Hegerat] (Karen Ng [solo saxophone]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-26 (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!

Dope Villain [experimental jazz meltdown enthusiasts feat. members of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan] (Chew / Pleasures) / Unit 2 2019-05-30 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 68 (feat. Agencies / Senior Beatbox) / Handlebar 2019-06-02 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Thom Gill & Friends [Thom Gill/Ryan Driver/Alex Lukashevsky/Alex Samaras/Karen Ng/Dan Fortin] [playing the music of Abbey Lincoln] / The Emmet Ray 2019-06-03 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #51 (feat. Pete Johnston's Bog Standards / Mike Barber / Ashley Urquhart and Friends) / Wenona Lodge 2019-06-04 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Misha Bower [Trying to Have it All album release celebration!] / Burdock Music Hall 2019-06-04 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Roedelius (Castle If / Catholic Wilt) / The Baby G 2019-06-07 (Friday) [FB event]

Somewhere There's Second Sunday Series (feat. Lotte Anker/Heidi Chan/Chris Adriaanse / Lotte Anker/Mark Zurawinski/Raphael Roter/Bea Labikova) / Array Space 2019-06-09 (Sunday) [FB event]

Anika [solo] (Phèdre / Praises) / The Garrison 2019-06-13 (Thursday) [FB event]

Grandma's Secret Spices 2: A Night Of Live Experimental Music (feat. Leucrocuta / AUTOTECTONIC / 3hands4milo / Sonja) / Handlebar 2019-06-13 (Thursday) [FB event]

Okavango African Orchestra / Alliance Française de Toronto 2019-06-14 (Friday) [FB event]

MSEA (Kira May / Laura Swankey) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-06-19 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Kahil El'Zabar and David Murray / Remix Lounge 2019-06-21 (Friday) [FB event]

Robyn Hitchcock / Monarch Tavern 2019-06-24 (Monday) [FB event]

Alex Samaras and Friends / Island Cafe 2019-07-12 (Friday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Nhapitapi / Island Cafe 2019-08-09 (Friday – PWYC!) [FB event]


Community corner:

  • The Dandelion Initiative and The Music Gallery are teaming up for a discussion and social hour on the topic of "Safer Spaces for the Arts" at Lula Lounge on Tuesday Night (May 21st). There will be a panel discussion (with David Dacks, Chippy Nonstop, Aerin Fogel and Me Time) as well as time for mingling and discussion afterwards. PWYC at the door, all proceeds from the door are going to the Dandelion Initiative. Light snacks will be provided alongside a cash bar, where all can connect with different people in our community to share space, exchange resources and talk safety and inclusion. There will be child care provided in the front room by a registered early childhood educator.

Bandcamp corner:

  • Nick Fraser has started the vital work of filling in the online gaps of the late Justin Haynes' discography, starting with the self-explanatory Justin Haynes Early Works bandcamp page. There are four albums posted already, starting with Show, Justin's first instrumental album , circa 1997.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Recording: Brodie West

Artist: Brodie West

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Avant Garde Music Avant Garde Birthday), March 25, 2019.

Brodie West - [excerpt]

Guitarist Kurt Newman decided to mark his birthday this year with this session at Array, inviting some friends to join him in a trio of solo sets. Brodie West closed out the night with a set that was somewhat an inversion of the host's, exploring space and quietness with his saxophone.

Recording: Helicopter Money

Artist: Helicopter Money

Song: [final sections]

Recorded at Array Space (Avant Garde Music Avant Garde Birthday), March 25, 2019.

Helicopter Money - [final sections]

Guitarist Kurt Newman decided to mark his birthday this year with this session at Array, inviting some friends to join him in a trio of solo sets. Like his ongoing investigations into country musics, Helicopter Money sees him improvising in a genre that doesn't get so much regard in the realms of "serious" creative music. I don't know much about the shred-y realms of metal, but I'm assuming it's possibly not genre standard to have a single musician (on microtonal guitar) shredding away to live improvised visuals (provided by Kelley Mitchell).

[Kurt Newman will be performing (and presumably bringing something more in his Nashville Minimalism zone) alongside Eiyn Sof at Invocation's presentation of Sarah Louise at Array on Friday, May 24th.]

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Recording: Xiodjiha

Artist: Xiodjiha

Song: [second piece, in three parts]

Recorded at Array Space (Somewhere There Presents), March 24, 2019.

Xiodjiha - [second piece, part 1]

Xiodjiha - [second piece, part 2]

Xiodjiha - [second piece, part 3]

Double bassist Alex Fournier has made plenty of friends along his path, and has been offering hometown crowds some intriguing variety by offering local ears a chance to encounter some of his out-of-town collaborators. Processing the bass with a touch-sensitive tablet, Edwin Huet's live manipulations added an engaging performative angle here, plus some zwangtastic digital timbres. Plus it's always satisfying to see in the present something that would have looked spot-on futuristic to eyes from a generation or two ago.

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo

Artist: Heraclitus Akimbo

Song: 86Hz [edited excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Somewhere There Presents), March 24, 2019.

Heraclitus Akimbo - 86Hz [edited excerpt]

A last-minute fill-in for a friend feeling unwell, I brought some wires and gear to replicate some sounds I'd been noodling around with at home. Revisiting a concept I'd been enamoured with a while back, my main sound source here was simply an 86Hz wave from my function generator. Except for a few burbles from the tape in my 4-track, everything here comes from shaping and folding that tone.

photo by Peter Gough

Friday, May 17, 2019

Recording: Michael Davidson & Dan Fortin

Artist: Michael Davidson & Dan Fortin

Songs: H Moll (Zeitweisse) + Out of Love

Recorded at the Canadian Music Centre, March 23, 2019.

Michael Davidson & Dan Fortin - H Moll (Zeitweisse) + Out of Love

To celebrate the release of their new duo album Clock Radio (which has been in rotation in my ears for a couple months now — highly-recommended stuff!) Michael Davidson & Dan Fortin booked the intimate and sonically-rich living room-like performance space at the Canadian Music Centre. All the better to hear the resonant tones of Davidson's vibes and Fortin's double bass. Basically tackling the whole album as a suite, the pair were aided in a couple spots with some synth support from opener Chris Pruden, who adds a dreamy undercurrent to "Out of Love".

[Dan Fortin's Myriad3 will be playing at The Dakota Tavern's Jazz from the Cellar series in the early slot on Sunday, May 26th.]

Recording: Chris Pruden

Artist: Chris Pruden

Song: Spare Parts [composer: Tim Berne]

Recorded at the Canadian Music Centre, March 23, 2019.

Chris Pruden - Spare Parts

Opening things up for Michael Davidson and Dan Fortin, Chris Pruden brought a set of piano pieces, mostly his own compositions but closing with this Tim Berne reinterpretation bringing in some lush pads from his Prophet-6 synth.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Recording: R. Andrew Lee

Artist: R. Andrew Lee

Song: Four Quiet Preludes [excerpt] [composer: Anthony Genge]

Recorded at Canadian Music Centre (Riparian Acoustics Presents), March 21, 2019.

R. Andrew Lee - Four Quiet Preludes [excerpt]

The final offering in the season of Nick Storring-curated CMC Presents concerts brought Denver-based pianist R. Andrew Lee to town. His selections often mixed Satie-esque spareness with formal complexity, and in honour of this show's location, Lee brought some works by Canadian composers such as Ann Southam and Cecilia Livingston — but it was this piece by Anthony Genge that captured me most.

As of this writing, the archived livestream of the show is still available for you to view:

[Riparian Acoustics will be returning to curate next season's CMC Presents concert series as well, so stay tuned for more announcements there. In the meantime, there will be two RA co-presentations at this year's TONE festival, including Beverly Glenn-Copeland and Dustiny at the Jam Factory on Wednesday, June 12th and CVN with Koeosaeme, Korea Town Acid and Kat Estacio at Burdock on Monday, June 24th.]

screenshot from CMC livestream

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Recording: Grdina/Fraser/Ng

Artist: Gord Grdina/Nick Fraser/Karen Ng

Song: [excerpt from first piece, in two parts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), March 20, 2019.

Gord Grdina/Nick Fraser/Karen Ng - [excerpt from first piece, part 1]

Gord Grdina/Nick Fraser/Karen Ng - [excerpt from first piece, part 2]

Stopping over in T.O. en route to Montréal, Gord Grdina brought his oud and guitar for this improvised set with Nick Fraser (drums) and Karen Ng (saxophone). Good grooves, and like his earlier solo set, some nicely shreddin' spots, but also spaces to pull back and explore some mellower zones.

[Gordon Grdina Quartet and his Quartet will be headlining a Wavelength/Salone di Cultura show at 918 Bathurst on Friday, June 21st.]

Recording: Gord Grdina

Artist: Gord Grdina

Song: [first section]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), March 20, 2019.

Gord Grdina - [first section]

Blowing off some psychic steam after a a rough travel day, Gord Grdina opened up this stopover show with a short solo set that was more shredtastic than anticipated, especially in this opening bowed guitar section. It must have proved beneficial as it lead to some quieter oud explorations to close things out.

[Gordon Grdina Quartet and his Quartet will be headlining a Wavelength/Salone di Cultura show at 918 Bathurst on Friday, June 21st.]