Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Recording: Bidiniband

Artist: Bidiniband

Songs: Legal Age Life at Variety Store [Rheostatics cover] + The Land Is Wild

Recorded at Christie Pits ("Bloor Ossington Folk Festival"), September 22, 2013.

Bidiniband - Legal Age Life at Variety Store

Bidiniband - The Land Is Wild

Full review to follow. Starting out in living rooms and basements in its first year and piggybacking on the local street festival in its second, The Bloor Ossington Folk Festival took a big step up in size and complexity this year, all while holding fast to its mantra of "free music in shared community space". Settling into the topography of Christie Pits, this year's festival included two stages, a beer garden, food vendors and more. Sunday was chilly but dry, and the stages were busy all day, squeezing in a couple extra acts that were bumped from the day before. There were more people around all day, whether up front with the bands, hanging in the beer tent, or just wandering through the park. Kudos to Saving Gigi and the other locals who pitched in to make this a reality. And remember: "folk music" isn't a genre tag, but a description of music that lives in a community, shared between performer and audience. [Also: you can check out a few more pictures from the day at the MFS facebook page.]

It's easy to take Dave Bidini and his crew for granted — on the surface, they're "just" a rock'n'roll band, four guys up on stage trying to amuse each other as much as they're trying to entertain the crowd. But besides their depth of experience (man, these guys can play), there's a little something in the lyrics of nearly every one of Bidini's songs, whether it's a secret whisper of Canadiana or an existential truth-bomb. Being able to reel off an impromptu version of a classic from his old band doesn't hurt either. As the sun burst out from the day's clouds in long, lazy golden-hour rays before evening made its way down to the park, this felt like a tasty moment to savour.

Oh, and P.S.: if the hockey-as-myth of the latter song here gets your heart a-flutter, do note that Bidini will be launching his twelfth book Keon and Me: My Search for the Lost Soul of the Leafs with a multimedia celebration at The Royal on October 4th.

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