Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Recording: HotKid

Artist: HotKid

Song: Yours and Mine

Recorded at The Garrison's front room ("Swap, Don't Shop" for Girls Rock Camp), November 30, 2014.

HotKid - Yours and Mine

Community service should always be this fun. Once again, kudos to The Garrison for hosting this seasonal fundraiser, with the back room taken over by a clothing swap while bands played to kids and adults alike in the front. And huge props to Girls Rock Camp, who have expanded from summer sessions to an after school program launching in the new year as well as a March Break camp.

Bassist Peter McIntosh was having trouble with his amp, but once things were sorted out, he demonstrated the melodic centre that he's added to HotKid's proceedings since his return to the band. A raucous finale to a tasty day.

[There's lots of ways to show your support for Girls Rock Camp — the compilation of bands from last summer's campers is now available, and it will be celebrated with an all-ages launch party at Smiling Buddha on February 7, 2015.]

Recording: Terror Lake

Artist: Terror Lake

Song: VHS/BETA

Recorded at The Garrison's front room ("Swap, Don't Shop" for Girls Rock Camp), November 30, 2014.

Terror Lake - VHS/BETA

Community service should always be this fun. Once again, kudos to The Garrison for hosting this seasonal fundraiser, with the back room taken over by a clothing swap while bands played to kids and adults alike in the front. And huge props to Girls Rock Camp, who have expanded from summer sessions to an after school program launching in the new year as well as a March Break camp.

Continuing to pop out for gigs fairly infrequently, Terror Lake remain a perennially-underappreciated band. Their chosen sonic terrain — garage-surf with dual guitar interplay — might seem unambitious, but they've found a lot of ways to expand their sound without retreating from their core identity and they've put out some very tasty recordings. All I can say it you'd do well well not to miss them whenever you get a chance to see 'em in action.

[There's lots of ways to show your support for Girls Rock Camp — the compilation of bands from last summer's campers is now available, and it will be celebrated with an all-ages launch party at Smiling Buddha on February 7, 2015.]

Recording: Dirty Frigs

Artist: Dirty Frigs

Song: Ring Worm*

Recorded at The Garrison's front room ("Swap, Don't Shop" for Girls Rock Camp), November 30, 2014.

Dirty Frigs - Ring Worm

Community service should always be this fun. Once again, kudos to The Garrison for hosting this seasonal fundraiser, with the back room taken over by a clothing swap while bands played to kids and adults alike in the front. And huge props to Girls Rock Camp, who have expanded from summer sessions to an after school program launching in the new year as well as a March Break camp.

"Proper rockin'" is pretty much all my notepad says re: this quartet's set. They've just put out a tape with the Heretical Objects Cooperative.

[There's lots of ways to show your support for Girls Rock Camp — the compilation of bands from last summer's campers is now available, and it will be celebrated with an all-ages launch party at Smiling Buddha on February 7, 2015.]

* Thanks to a commenter for passing along the title to this one.

Recording: ANAMAI

Artist: ANAMAI

Song: Crossing

Recorded at The Garrison's front room ("Swap, Don't Shop" for Girls Rock Camp), November 30, 2014.

ANAMAI - Crossing

Community service should always be this fun. Once again, kudos to The Garrison for hosting this seasonal fundraiser, with the back room taken over by a clothing swap while bands played to kids and adults alike in the front. And huge props to Girls Rock Camp, who have expanded from summer sessions to an after school program launching in the new year as well as a March Break camp.

"One minute out of every hundred thousand, something breaks or is tripped over." In an afternoon filled with, well, rock, Anna Mayberry — who shows off her kickass side with sludge-screamers HSY — demonstrated the power that can be drawn from clear and vivid words in her solo set.

[There's lots of ways to show your support for Girls Rock Camp — the compilation of bands from last summer's campers is now available, and it will be celebrated with an all-ages launch party at Smiling Buddha on February 7, 2015.]

Recording: Pins & Needles

Artist: Pins & Needles

Song: Girl in The City

Recorded at The Garrison's front room ("Swap, Don't Shop" for Girls Rock Camp), November 30, 2014.

Pins & Needles - Girl in The City

Community service should always be this fun. Once again, kudos to The Garrison for hosting this seasonal fundraiser, with the back room taken over by a clothing swap while bands played to kids and adults alike in the front. And huge props to Girls Rock Camp, who have expanded from summer sessions to an after school program launching in the new year as well as a March Break camp.

The most exciting set of the afternoon came early on with Pins & Needles showing how Girls Rock Camp is enriching the musical ecosystem. GRC Alumni who stuck together as friends and bandmates after their camp session, the band just recently successfully closed out a crowdsourcing campaign to record their first album. Onstage, they mix that evergreen "Gloria" guitar chug with zaggling keytar lines and accomplished vocal interplay, tossing off catchy bursts of fun. [The group will be playing at CineCycle on Saturday, January 31, 2015.]

[There's lots of ways to show your support for Girls Rock Camp — the compilation of bands from last summer's campers is now available, and it will be celebrated with an all-ages launch party at Smiling Buddha on February 7, 2015.]

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Recording: Hooded Fang

Artist: Hooded Fang

Song: Tunnel Vision

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, November 29, 2014.

Hooded Fang - Tunnel Vision

Some day, when we look back over Hooded Fang's body of work, it'll probably be easier to see them as a band that was constantly developing, rather than one that was jumping from style to style. Returning from a Euro-hiatus with a whole bunch of new material, someone who hadn't been paying attention might have been jarred with the precision-bursts of this set-opener. Far beyond the sloppy garage, there's a sense that this is the work of a band that's been listening to dance music, and instead of filtering out the slo-jam haze that had gone into Phèdre is channelling the body-movement imperative with post-punk fury. (That makes those ESG cover sets less anomalous and more like signposts.) How their new album balances the tension/release dynamics heard here will be quite interesting to observe.

Recording: Milk Lines

Artist: Milk Lines

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, November 29, 2014.

Milk Lines - unknown

This group's official releases have been pretty thin on the ground so far (although there are also a couple songs available in video form), so it's easy to lose sight of how much things have shifted as the band has refined their sound. The ratio of Emily Frances' lead vocals to Jeff Clarke's (who only sang one during this set) has basically totally flipped since I first started seeing 'em, and with that there's been a subtle torque in the sound, from, say, Moby Grape on speed to Syd-era Pink Floyd out wandering in the desert.

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

Recording: Moss Lime

Artist: Moss Lime

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, November 29, 2014.

Moss Lime - unknown

I tend to leave a lot of my music discovery to happen when I'm out at gigs, so I hadn't looked up anything about this night's first band before they hit the stage. It only took a couple songs for me to conclude that this Montréal trio are exactly the sort of thing I like. Playing "quietly", inasmuch as there's a lot of space not filled in between bass, drum and guitar, the first sonic touchstone that popped in my mind was Young Marble Giants. The second was the dry spareness of Freelove Fenner, so it was a pleasant surprise to note after the set that their tape was in fact recorded at FF's Bottle Garden studio. Definitely anticipating the group's next trip back to these parts.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Concert Listings Roundup #77

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:

Zacht Automaat (U.S. Girls) / Double Double Land 2014-12-29 (Monday) [FB event]

Blockspace II Presents: Pre-NYE Extravaganza/Offerings tape compilation release (feat. label fair + performances by Zacht Automaat / Zones / FIN / Doom Tickler / New Chance / Nick Storring / STÜKA / Stactor / Ludwig) / CineCycle 2014-12-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

It's a surprisingly robust week for shows, with lots going down on New Year's Eve (the Tranzac is my pick there) and a busy weekend after. But the best action comes at the start of the week, with back-to-back chances to catch the bi-annual emergence of local heroes Zacht Automaat. Both great shows, with U.S. Girls in support Monday at DDL, and a full slate of cool music at CineCycle on Tuesday. The latter gig is preceded by a label fair that starts at 5 p.m., and also serves as the release party for the cool new Offerings comp (see below).


This week's noteworthy shows:

Ah! La Lettre! [split tape release!] (Cowcat / Mazola) / Holy Oak Café 2014-12-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Nick Fraser Presents (feat. Nick Fraser/Doug Tielli / Cluttertones / Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-12-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

What's in the Box 2014 – Night 5 (feat. Pet Sun / Programm / Sunshine & the Blue Moon / The Darq / Jaunt) / The Drake Underground 2014-12-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Tranzac New Year's Eve (feat. Lido Pimienta / Tenderness / New Fries / International Zombies Of Love / Blonde Elvis / Sexy Merlin / Mas Aya) / The Tranzac 2014-12-31 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Mehamoud Ahmed (Bezuayehu Demisse) / 237 Sackville St. 2014-12-31 (Wednesday)

Rich Aucoin / Lee's Palace 2014-12-31 (Wednesday) [more info]

The Sadies / The Horseshoe Tavern 2014-12-31 (Wednesday) [more info]

Horsey Craze (Darlene Shrugg) / The Silver Dollar Room 2014-12-31 (Wednesday) [FB event]

The Big Sound / The Mod Club 2014-12-31 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble / The Imperial Pub 2015-01-02 (Friday)

Starry Night [New project from Chang-a-Lang's Brian Okamoto!] (Skeleton Forest [The Skeletones Four, bones bared]) / Holy Oak Café 2015-01-02 (Friday) [FB event]

TWM/iM (feat. The Effens / Modern Sands / Deep Space Cowboys / Different Skeletons) / Gladstone Hotel 2015-01-02 (Friday) [FB event]

Bent Knee (Army Girls / Omhouse) / Smiling Buddha – basement 2015-01-02 (Friday) [FB event]

Kyle Brenders/Brandon Valdivia/Scott Peterson / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-01-02 (Friday)

Feast In The East 44 (feat. Doomsquad / MATROX / ZONES / Barbara) / The Jam Factory 2015-01-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

Bad Channels (Zoo Owl / Valerie Dour) / Handlebar 2015-01-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Class Of 2015/#1 (feat. Only Yours / Wax Atlantic / Fever City / The Holy Gasp) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-01-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

No Angels Dancing [Stephen Parkinson and guests] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-01-04 (Sunday – matinée! 1 to 3 p.m.)

Nite Comfort 17 (feat. Blunt Chunks / Fawn Big Canoe) / Handlebar 2015-01-04 (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!

Special Noise (New Fries / Tasseomancy) / Double Double Land 2015-01-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Say Spirit [James Annett/Josh Cole/Colin Fisher] [tape release!] (Thom Gill [solo] / Mike Gennaro/John Kamevaar) / Ratio 2015-01-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Pharmakon (Pelada / Gaucho / Coarse Language) / S.H.I.B.G.B's 2015-01-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Presents: The Second Sunday of January (feat. Paul Newman [solo tenor sax] / Raphael Weinroth-Browne/Shahriyar Jamshidi) / Array Space 2015-01-11 (Sunday)

Lido Pimienta (Ken Park / Carl Didur) / The Smiling Buddha 2015-01-23 (Friday) [FB event]

Lust For Youth (Bile Sister) / Bambi's 2015-03-09 (Monday) [FB event]


Bandcamp corner:

Word from the Offerings crew is "after this show we'll be changing the name of the paper and starting from scratch", so this compilation — curated by Bile Sister's Julie Reich — will act as a sort of bookend to this incarnation. Plenty of good stuff to enjoy in this little scene snapshot.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Recording: Wish

Artist: Wish

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Garrison ("Wavelength 628: NICE II"), November 28, 2014.

Wish - unknown

With their début album making some waves (word is there's now a cassette release if you can get your hands on it!) Kyle Connolly and his friends are already mixing some new ones into their setlist, leavened with a similar mix of psychedelic jangle and shoegaze haze.

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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Recording: Riverrun

Artist: Riverrun

Song: Burek

Recorded at Ratio ("Somewhere There Presents..."), November 26, 2014.

Riverrun - Burek

Under the leadership of Tom Richards (keybs, electronics), this quartet includes Peter Lutek (space clarinet), Scott Peterson (double bass), and Jake Oelrichs (percussion) in a grouping that collapses the divide between chamber composition and soundscape exploration — and even manages to get a little funky along the way. This tasty confection manages to touch on all of the above, and was one of four extended compositions the group tackled, only one of which was pulled from their recent album.

[Somewhere There will be presenting the group again on the first night of their upcoming festival, Friday, February 20th at The Tranzac.]

Recording: Nomad Wind Ensemble

Artist: Nomad Wind Ensemble

Song: [last piece]

Recorded at Ratio ("Somewhere There Presents..."), November 26, 2014.

Nomad Wind Ensemble - [last piece, part 1]

Nomad Wind Ensemble - [last piece, part 2]

Nomad Wind Ensemble - [last piece, part 3]

Joining in as out-of-town guests on a night put together by Somewhere There, this quartet for wind instruments is an offshoot of Montréal "emo rock-jazz" combo Nomad, here with Ted Crosby (bass clarinet), Mike Bjella (tenor sax), Simon Millerd (trumpet), and Ben Dwyer (alto sax). Given the interplay and extended tasty gliding, this final excursion from their set is worth hearing in full, but for easier navigation, I've put it up here in parts. [It doesn't look like there's much online to see/hear from the wind side-project, but you can check out Nomad's album here, and you can see these folks (together or separately) down at this end of the 401 fairly regularly.]

Recording: (de)Construction Quintet

Artist: (de)Construction Quintet

Songs: First Set, Second Piece [edit] + Second Set, Second Piece

Recorded at Musideum, November 24, 2014.

(de)Construction Quintet - First Set, Second Piece [edit]

(de)Construction Quintet - Second Set, Second Piece

This grouping (perhaps appropriately) deconstructed and reconstructed itself even before its first/only gig took place. Originally conceived as an opportunity for cellist cheryl o and percussionist Rick Sacks to improvise together, some last-minute reconfigurations were needed when schedule conflicts kept the latter away. And thus previously-scheduled quartet members Rob Clutton (bass) and Michelangelo Iaffaldano (prepared guitar and miscellaneous) were augmented by Hamilton's Steven Sauve (piano) and David Schotzko (who I had recently seen in a rather different context, on percussion).

While setting up, cheryl looked over the numbers and commented, as a sort of framing instruction, that the musicians shouldn't feel the need to always be playing all at once. As the set began, she took her own advice and held back, allowing space to develop. That would be the most tantalizing element here, and as the night progressed, the quintet found increasing room for the sounds to linger — the first set selection here is tasty enough as it builds up a bit of intensity; but the second, led by Sauve's prepared piano line, is just exquisite, hinting at the slow melodic interplay you might hear from, say, The Necks. This night wasn't the gig that was envisioned when it was being put togther, but it was surely a satisfying experiment.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Recording: Still Boys

Artist: Still Boys

Songs: [theme] + [backstory] + [popsong]*

Recorded at The Music Gallery, November 22, 2014.

Still Boys - [theme]

Still Boys - [backstory]

Still Boys - [popsong]

In its mandate to act as the city's centre for creative music, props to the Music Gallery for remembering that it's not just the "highbrow" scenes that have a let's-push-things-forward ethos, and that there are plenty of folks who are experimenting with musical sound and form in the let's-call-it-pop field. MG production manager Adam Bradley is known to folks in that latter realm for his work as part of the Wavelength crew, and it was quite pleasing to see him get a chance to bring his sensibility to this "pop avant" showcase. Being part of a curated Music Gallery program not only allows for a chance to interface with a new audience, but also an opportunity to put on a slightly more elaborate show than usual to an attentive crowd.

Regarding this particular weird phenomena, here's what we know: on the stage is a giant, pyramidal face. It wakes up, giant eye opening, and after muttering, begins to sing to itself. Weird symbiotes emerge, including the creature's independently-wilful tongue, but also a dancing CN Tower. Is it an alien? Is it showing us its true form, or reflecting back to us a fractured version of our own humanity? Did it come to us out a desire to become a "boy band"? And when it invites the audience one by one to climb into its maw, is that meant as a purification ritual, or as a sort of focus group to absorb and digest our musical preferences? So much remains unclear, and further research is required.

* I put these in as placeholders for where they fell within the set's narrative arc. Does anyone know the actual titles to these? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Zoo Owl

Artist: Zoo Owl

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Music Gallery, November 22, 2014.

Zoo Owl - unknown

In its mandate to act as the city's centre for creative music, props to the Music Gallery for remembering that it's not just the "highbrow" scenes that have a let's-push-things-forward ethos, and that there are plenty of folks who are experimenting with musical sound and form in the let's-call-it-pop field. MG production manager Adam Bradley is known to folks in that latter realm for his work as part of the Wavelength crew, and it was quite pleasing to see him get a chance to bring his sensibility to this "pop avant" showcase. Being part of a curated Music Gallery program not only allows for a chance to interface with a new audience, but also an opportunity to put on a slightly more elaborate show than usual to an attentive crowd.

On a constant quest to renew and expand this project's musical identity, after launching his début album earlier this year Bryan Sutherland decamped to the wilderness for inspiration, returning with a set's worth of new material (as well as a stageful of foliage and branches) to reveal at this special Music Gallery show. Perhaps taking a cue from nature's calm, the newer stuff is a bit less frenetic than the first batch of Zoo Owl songs — and this one borrows some classic rock'n'roll changes. But there was still plenty opportunities to climb up on his customized stage set to stare down down at the audience with his glowing eyes.

[Zoo Owl will be playing at Handlebar alongside Bad Channels and Valerie Dour on Saturday, January 3 of the new year.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? The obvious title would be "Into the Woods" — please leave a comment if you can confirm that or set me right otherwise!

Recording: Bataille Solaire

Artist: Bataille Solaire

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Music Gallery, November 22, 2014.

Bataille Solaire - unknown

In its mandate to act as the city's centre for creative music, props to the Music Gallery for remembering that it's not just the "highbrow" scenes that have a let's-push-things-forward ethos, and that there are plenty of folks who are experimenting with musical sound and form in the let's-call-it-pop field. MG production manager Adam Bradley is known to folks in that latter realm for his work as part of the Wavelength crew, and it was quite pleasing to see him get a chance to bring his sensibility to this "pop avant" showcase. Being part of a curated Music Gallery program not only allows for a chance to interface with a new audience, but also an opportunity to put on a slightly more elaborate show than usual to an attentive crowd.

Montréal's Asaël Robitaille has put in time with some noteworthy groups in that city's weird underground (including Femminielli and Jef Barbara's band), but this solo project strips things back into an eclectic electronic bricolage that doesn't settle easily into something dancey or something ambient. This set-closer cuts the difference by hinting at vintage Aphex Twin sonics, but there were a variety of other approaches explored as well.

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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Recording: DUST

Artist: DUST

Song: ECSTASIS [an excerpt in two parts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), November 21, 2014.

DUST - ECSTASIS [excerpt, part 1]

DUST - ECSTASIS [excerpt, part 2]

Under the guidance of the elusive Abraham Dust, the ever-shifting members of "the quietest big band in the known world" continue to invert the standard musical paradigm by generating the least amount of volume possible, leaving in their wake only the bare husks of melodies and residues of rhythm. Drums, cello, synths, violin and saxophone all take on strange qualities when played with the minimum force to register, which multiplies when the quietudes rustle against one another.

[This longer segment has been broken into a couple parts, in case you want to separate Part 1's "deep cut" from Part 2, which'd be known in the biz as "the single". The group is taking a seasonal break, but will return to The Tranzac in February; you can keep up with their whisperings via their facebook page.]

Recording: David Schotzko

Artist: David Schotzko

Song: Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra [composer: Alvin Lucier]

Recorded at Array Space, November 19, 2014.

David Schotzko - Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra

This is from a night of music presented by violist Pemi Paull alongside percussionist David Schotzko. When I saw the latter's solo moment in the programme would come with a piece for solo triangle, I will admit I snickered to myself a little — this is the sort of high-concept gimmick that sounds like a satire of avant-minimalism. Eleven minutes later, though, I had changed my tune. Conceived by Alvin Lucier (perhaps best known for his recursive tape-piece "I Am Sitting in a Room"), this takes one parameter — a metal rod clanging against a triangle — and forces the listener to zone in on the infinite variations in that sound. Close your eyes, and strange patterns and overtones emerge — sounds within the sounds within the sounds in a sort of aural cosmic zoom.

As for the duo work that made up the bulk of this show, Array has already posted some excellent-sounding videos that better anything I could have offered, so check this out to see Pemi Paull, who has a penchant for tackling challenging new repertoire for viola, in fine form.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recording: Luxury Transcombobulation

Artist: Luxury Transcombobulation

Songs: Bongowater + Sixth Transcombobulation

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), November 18, 2014.

Luxury Transcombobulation - Bongowater

Luxury Transcombobulation - Sixth Transcombobulation

Mike Smith has had a productive creative year, even if it's more visible right now as steps in a process rather than in a series of finished products. New compositions pop up regularly and are tested out in the context of constantly-variable combos. Even when a project — such as his "Transcombobulation" synth duo with Jonathan Adjemian — gains some ongoing momentum, it's liable to be tinkered with even further. Hence this funky evening, with two synths joined by a rhythm section squared: Jake Oelrichs and Blake Howard on percussion and Pete Johnston and Ron Clutton on double bass. That allowed for extra rhythm and extra funkiness all around, and still plenty of space in the grooves. Over two sets, Smith and co. explored a number of compositions, numbered and otherwise, the moods ranging from the playful percussion of the first selection here to the sci-fi balladry of the second.

[You can also hear more from the night with Mike's compiled collection of recordings, which you can stream or download to make an instant live album!]

Recording: The Space Lady

Artist: The Space Lady

Songs: Synthesize Me + Major Tom [Peter Schilling cover]

Recorded at Double Double Land ("DDL 5th Anniversary, Night 5"), November 15, 2014.

The Space Lady - Synthesize Me

The Space Lady - Major Tom

"I take it from your response to that that you grok psychedelic music," said Susan Dietrich — known professionally as The Space Lady — as a packed-in crowd roared at the conclusion of this set's first song. This special appearance was the capper to a weekend-long set of shows to celebrate a half-decade of DIY culture creation at this Kensington space. It's easy to make fun of the hippie values of peace and love, but as she cranked out tunes on her phased-out Casiotone MT-40, even the most jaded heart was won over by Dietrich's joyful presence and, even for an just one hour, all cynicism was suspended.

Recording: Carl Didur

Artist: Carl Didur

Song: The Hall Of Mirrors [Kraftwerk cover]

Recorded at Double Double Land ("DDL 5th Anniversary, Night 5"), November 15, 2014.

Carl Didur - The Hall Of Mirrors

Getting into the spirit of visiting headliner The Space Lady, Didur offers a rare vocal turn here as he takes a ride on the Trans-Europe Express.

[Important reminder: Didur will be performing two back-to-back gigs with Zacht Automaat next week, on Monday and Tuesday.]

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Recording: Mozart's Sister

Artist: Mozart's Sister

Song: Don't Leave It To Me

Recorded at The Great Hall ("Long Winter: Year Three, Volume One"), November 14, 2014.

Mozart's Sister - Don't Leave It To Me

With an EP and album to her credit, Montréal's Caila Thompson-Hannant hit the stage with more dancers than gear, showing that her time in previous projects (including Shapes and Sizes, Miracle Fortress and Think About Life) has given her an easy confidence on stage. When her tracks destabilize the wub-wub with some wobble, there's definite potential at hand, but her dance-pop is already resonating enough to push her to headline status at a gig like this.

Recording: VCR

Artist: VCR

Songs: VCR - Dirty Girl/City Boy + Scream

Recorded at The Great Hall ("Long Winter: Year Three, Volume One"), November 14, 2014.

VCR - Dirty Girl/City Boy + Scream

The band's disclaimer warns "VCR IS NOT FOR HIPPIES OR ADULTS!" and if you haven't been slamming back the pixie stix you might have trouble keeping up with the yipping velocity and the headlong rush of the organ and drums. This is a group that managed to squeeze seven songs into just under eight minutes on their recent 7", so even if they're a tiny bit more expansive live, you better zip up your bunny suit and be prepared to hop along.

Recording: Bizzarh

Artist: Bizzarh

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Great Hall ("Long Winter: Year Three, Volume One"), November 14, 2014.

Bizzarh - unknown

Long Winter veterans Bizzarh returned to the Conversation Room with a quiet assuredness — the sort of confidence that even if their music isn't blasting out of the speakers, people are gonna quieten down and pay attention. They weren't the last act to play this room on the night, but they certainly felt like the headliner.

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

Recording: Lee Paradise

Artist: Lee Paradise

Song: Paradise

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter – Year Three, Volume One), November 14, 2014.

Lee Paradise - Paradise

Dan Lee (of Hooded Fang and Phèdre) dropped his solo album with just a single gig before decamping to Europe for several months. It was therefore nice to see the project (and its corresponding live band) resurrected for a few more gigs on the other side of the year, with some bass-led dark grooves surging out from an unlit stage.

Recording: Keita Juma

Artist: Keita Juma

Song: Ancient Body Language

Recorded at The Great Hall ("Long Winter: Year Three, Volume One"), November 14, 2014.

Keita Juma - Ancient Body Language

The first instalment of the third Long Winter concert series followed the same template as has been seen as the past, but there were encouraging signs that the programming team are trying to challenge themselves — and the event's audience — to push their boundaries a little further. That was primarily expressed at this show with a heavier-than-usual hip-hop presence, inspired by an exhibition of Devon Little's photography. Call it "silo-busting", but it's always useful to be reminded that there are rich scenes beyond our own scenes — and that we shouldn't be genre reductive about all that "other" music. Keita Juma, for example, has a lot going on in his hip-hop tracks — this one, for example, would sound just as much at home with the dark-synth Silent Shout set. His new Chaos Theory release is still forthcoming, but you can sample his work over on his soundcloud page.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Concert Listings Roundup #76

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:

A Ryan Driver Quintet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-12-26 (Friday) [FB event]

The keen eye might note that this gig is billed as a Ryan Driver Quintet, not the Ryan Driver Quintet. This Boxing Day special lists Driver as being joined by Rob Clutton, Michael Davidson, Blake Howard and "special guest" Stephen Parkinson. The group's languid approach to standards old and new is sure to be an oasis away from the hurlyburly and a fine chance for a post-xmas moment of decompression.


This week's noteworthy shows:

The Taste / Holy Oak Café 2014-12-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

What's in the Box 2014 – Night 2 (feat. Lay These Knight / The Meligrove Band / Seas / International Zombies of Love) / The Drake Underground 2014-12-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Arthur Bull/Bob Vespaziani/Arnd Jurgensen / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-12-28 (Sunday – early!)

Mirrors / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-12-28 (Sunday)

Ben Gunning (Yellow Jacket Avenger) / Holy Oak Café 2014-12-28 (Sunday) [more info]


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!

Zacht Automaat (U.S. Girls) / Double Double Land 2014-12-29 (Monday) [FB event]

Ah! La Lettre! [split tape release!] (Cowcat / Mazola) / Holy Oak Café 2014-12-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Nick Fraser Presents (feat. Nick Fraser/Doug Tielli / Cluttertones / Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2014-12-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Starry Night [New project from Chang-a-Lang's Brian Okamoto!] (Skeleton Forest [The Skeletones Four, bones bared]) / Holy Oak Café 2015-01-02 (Friday) [FB event]

No Angels Dancing [feat. Stephen Parkinson] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-01-04 (Sunday – matinée! 1 to 3 p.m.)

Nite Comfort 17 (feat. Blunt Chunks / Fawn Big Canoe) / Handlebar 2015-01-04 (Sunday) [FB event]

Long Winter: Year Three, Volume Three (feat. Miracle Fortress / Soupcans / Bile Sister / Dilly Dally / Alden Penner / Mas Aya / VOTIIV / Nick Storring / Death Kneel / Z O N E S / Moonwood / Das Rad / Tenderness) / The Great Hall 2015-01-09 (Friday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Wavelength 630: The Class of 2015/#3 (feat. Calvin Love / Most People / Mimico / Etiquette / Hush Pup) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-01-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Class of 2015/#4 (feat. Crosss / Whimm / Dories / I Smell Blood / Stüka) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-01-16 (Friday) [FB event]

The Class of 2015/#5 (feat. Brave Shores / VOTIIV / Country / Peers / Vallens) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-01-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Alex G (Teen Suicide) / Smiling Buddha 2015-01-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

The Class of 2015/#7 (feat. Pet Sun / NOBRO / Champion Lover / Several Futures / CANYUN) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-01-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Pink Wine [7" Release Party!] (NASA Valley / Army Girls / Pony / Germaphobes [ex-Gay]) / Johnny Jackson 2015-01-30 (Friday) [FB event]

The Music Gallery's Departures Series (feat. Peter Evans / Germaine Liu / Brian Ruryk) / Ratio 2015-02-06 (Friday) [more info]

Mystic Triangle [video release party!] (Nyssa / Sexy Merlin) / Handlebar 2015-02-08 (Sunday) [FB event]

Raging Against the Machine (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective / Ensemble Paramirabo) / The Music Gallery 2015-02-19 (Thursday) [more info]

Healing Power Records presents (feat. D/P/I / Craig Dunsmuir / Fleshtone Aura) / The Music Gallery 2015-02-21 (Saturday) [more info]

Crosswires (feat. Halloween Mask / Field Study / Milk Lines / The Jim Storie Juniors) / Handlebar 2015-02-22 (Sunday) [FB event]

Sextet (feat. TorQ Percussion Quartet with Greg Oh and Wesley Shen) / The Music Gallery 2015-03-06 (Friday) [more info]

The Catalyst Series: Skookum Sound System feat. guest artists Lido Pimienta and Sarah Yankoo / The Music Gallery 2015-03-07 (Saturday) [more info]

Continuum Contemporary Music: Continuum: 30 More! / The Music Gallery 2015-03-08 (Sunday) [more info]

The Lanka Suite [feat. The Thing Is / GREX /Jane Bunnett] (Khôra) / The Music Gallery 2015-03-14 (Saturday) [more info]

Emergents III [curated by Christopher Willes] (feat. Geoff Mullen + Jonathan Adjemian) / The Music Gallery 2015-03-19 (Thursday) [more info]

Hands, Fists, Arms (feat. Stephanie Chua) / The Music Gallery 2015-03-21 (Saturday) [more info]

Contact Contemporary Music: Professor Bad Trip (The Michael Eckert Large Earth Ensemble) / The Music Gallery 2015-04-18 (Saturday) [more info]

InterAccess: Orchestra of the Tactile / The Music Gallery 2015-04-23 (Thursday) [more info]

Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston (Segger vs. Segger) / The Music Gallery 2015-04-24 (Friday) [more info]

The Music Gallery's Departures Series (feat. Tim Berne's Snakeoil / Barnyard Drama) / Array Space 2015-04-29 (Wednesday) [more info]

Emergents IV [curated by Ilana Waniuk] (feat. Architek Percussion / Fjola Evans) / The Music Gallery 2015-05-08 (Friday) [more info]

Fossegrimen (feat. Ensemble Polaris / Eliot Cole's Babanigar / Chris Thornborrow's The Moon) / The Music Gallery 2015-06-13 (Saturday) [more info]

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recording: Corpusse

Artist: Corpusse

Song: Fight For Rock

Recorded at Double Double Land ("DDL 5th Anniversary – Night 1"), November 13, 2014.

Corpusse - Fight For Rock

Fuck you — your standards do not apply to Corpusse. Corpusse is committed and will rock until the day Death claims him. That day has not come yet. You may think you're ready for Corpusse, but prepare to be obliterated. Come to his show for a laugh? Fuck you, you'll leave with your psyche scarred and the acrid smell of smoke clinging to your clothing for days.

Recording: Tenderness

Artist: Tenderness

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Double Double Land ("DDL 5th Anniversary – Night 1"), November 13, 2014.

Tenderness - unknown

Kensington DIY spot Double Double Land has survived — nay, thrived — for half a decade, and celebrated that achievement with a weekend filled with music, showing off the range of sounds that have found refuge there. Additional cause for celebration on this first night came with the return of Chrissy Reichert's Tenderness project to our city's stages. There's a new single out now, and more new songs exploring her brand of advanced R&B lurch filling out her set.

[Tenderness will be playing at the Tranzac's New Year's Eve celebrations, as part of a very exciting lineup suitable for dancing your way out of this year and into the next. Highly recommended!]

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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Recording: Arnd Jurgensen and Friends

Artist: Arnd Jurgensen and Friends

Songs: [set 1 excerpt] + [set 2 excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), November 12, 2014.

Arnd Jurgensen and Friends - [set 1 excerpt]

Arnd Jurgensen and Friends - [set 2 excerpt]

Guitarist Arnd Jurgensen had the booking for this early timeslot in the Southern Cross, though word was the set was going to be a group backing the mercurial Mary Margaret O'Hara. She didn't make the gig, but this was still a more-than-adequately-interesting combo to hang out and listen to, with Jurgensen joined by Aidan Closs (percussion, piano), Michael Herring (double bass), Bob Vespaziani (wavedrum), and the wonderful Jeff Burke (bassoon and theremin). What was originally going to be a duo followed by a larger group was combined into two sets of improvised music by the quintet, touching on a range of vibes, from the first set's abstract space blues heard in the first extract to the second set's spontaneous ballad heard in the second.

[You can check out Jurgensen, quite possibly with a different mix of collaborators, in his next Tranzac appearance, Wednesday January 15th in the early slot.]

Recording: Knurl

Artist: Knurl

Song: Knurl - [two edited fragments from an improvisation]

Recorded at Double Double Land, November 9, 2014.

Knurl - [two edited fragments from an improvisation]

There was sadness at DDL on this night as Border Trouble kept the night's headliners away. The openers stepped up to make it an earlier, though still quite worthy evening. Alan Bloor doesn't perform in his harsh noise alter ego as much these days, so it's always worth seeking out what it a fairly singular experience. Bowing and rasping his custom-made stringed instrument (one component of which is a circular sawblade) and sending the signal through a mess of effects pedals, this is completely enveloping — a whitenoise cocoon, if you will. The closest this came to conventional "musicality" was a distorted howl that hinted at a haunted whalesong, but that doesn't mean this is an unpleasant experience. Especially live and loud, there's so much going on in that howl you're sure to find something beautiful if you listen.

Recording: Advice

Artist: Advice

Song: For Friends [excerpt]

Recorded at Double Double Land, November 9, 2014.

Advice - For Friends [excerpt]

There was sadness at DDL on this night as Border Trouble kept the night's headliners away. The openers stepped up to make it an earlier, though still quite worthy evening. First up was this new combo, led by Jonathan Adjemian on his analog synth alongside Chris Worden and Matt Smith (guits), Colin Fisher (baritone sax) and Karen Ng (bass clarinet). Starting with drones and hums, this opened up in a manner suggestive of the emergent metaphor (birth/sunrise/ascendant consciousness) of your choice. A little in a In a Silent Way way, but the closer local point of reference here might be some of Chris Willes' recent work.

There's nothing more slated for this group yet, but speaking of Emergents, Adjemian will be presenting new work in March "for speaking and singing voice, sine waves, and wind instruments" at a show curated by Willes at the Music Gallery. (And while you're waiting for that, be sure to check out Adjemian's latest Hoover Party tape.)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Recording: Jooj

Artist: Jooj

Song: Crushed*

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Wavelength 627"), November 8, 2014.

Jooj - Crushed

This new-ish project sees Sook-Yin Lee and Adam Litovitz working together to explore the liminal space between intimacy and theatricality, a realm for experimental torch songs that exist somewhere between a Suicide gig and a Weimar cabaret. Expect more shows (and an album!) in the new year.

* Thanks to Sook-Yin for passing the title to this one along.

Recording: Maica Mia

Artist: Maica Mia

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Wavelength 627"), November 8, 2014.

Maica Mia - unknown

Montréal duo Maica Mia continue to explore within their chosen field of minimal, melancholy guitar rock — conjuring feelings akin to the projected images of a lonely city on a rainy night that accompanied them. Those visuals were a fitting counterpart, but they've also released a fine album back at the start of the year, suitable for any time you want to conjure a lonely, rainy night in your heart.

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

Recording: Animalia

Artist: Animalia

Song: Little Earth*

Recorded at Geary Lane ("Wavelength 627"), November 8, 2014.

Animalia - Little Earth

Australian expat Jill Krasnicki brings a Big Voice to her solo project, and as she got this Wavelength night at Geary Lane started, Krasnicki was brave enough to step beyond the loosely-delineated stage to dance a bit, even if no one else felt up to it.

* Thanks to Jill for passing the title to this one along!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recording: Rub Out The Word Ensemble

Artist: Rub Out The Word Ensemble

Song: Nova Express* [words: William S. Burroughs / composition/conceptualization: Glen Hall]

Recorded at The Music Gallery, November 7, 2014.

Rub Out The Word Ensemble - Nova Express

Opening the 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival (the other events would take place at The Tranzac) was this ambitious music suite celebrating William Burroughs' centenary. The event was conceived by Burroughs scholar Glen Hall, who played and conducted as the piece's several parts worked off each other. Not only was there an eight-piece band (Bruce Cassidy, Jim Sexton, Chris Cawthray, Rakesh Tewari, Tom Richards, Heather Segger, John Gzowski, David Story), a pair of laptop soundscapists (Ted Phillips, Matt Miller) and live-processed visuals (John Creson, Adam Rosen) at the edge of things (behind a typewriter) sat Ron Gaskin in a rumpled fedora, reading/narrating parts of the proceedings with Burroughs' own words. There was a nice ebb and flow to it such that there was never too much going on at once, even as it built to a fever dream of warped reality.

* I'm not sure of the formal structure of this piece, so I have named this extract after the Burroughs text that is read/invoked during it.

Recording: CCMC Trio

Artist: CCMC Trio

Song: [excerpt from an improvisation]

Recorded at The Music Gallery, November 7, 2014.

CCMC Trio - [excerpt]

With Michael Snow out of the country, John Oswald (sax), Paul Dutton (human voice) and John Kamevaar (electro-acoustic noise/percussion) returned to the Music Gallery in a trio format to lead off the night devoted to Glen Hall's William Burroughs-celebrating "Rub Out The Word" project (and the launch of the 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival). With just the three on stage, there was a little more room for each to explore and stretch out into their untethered soundworld.

Recording: Doomsquad

Artist: Doomsquad

Song: Apocalypso

Recorded at The Great Hall, November 6, 2014.

Doomsquad - Apocalypso

Although the groove remains the central element, Doomsquad's sonic sensibility continues to grow and shift. Opening a string of dates for Tanya Tagaq, the trio was augmented by Brandon Valdivia (of Not The Wind, Not The Flag and Mas Aya) on percussion which enriched the sound. Trevor Blumas is taking the mic a bit more than he used to, but like his sisters Allie and Jaclyn, the vox are often as much for texture — though in this one his vocal line and the rhythmic bounce all add to to a Remain in Light sort of feeling.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Recording: Beard Closet

Artist: Beard Closet

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Smiling Buddha ("Blü Print: An Arachnidiscs Showcase"), November 4, 2014.

Beard Closet - [excerpt]

Declaring that this set was less prepared/more improvised than the constructions he normally brings to the stage, Phil Hamilton still brought a wall of drone/noise to back his guitar assault. This soundblast filled the Buddha nicely, driving some of the crowd further back towards the front of the room and was done a bit too soon. There was a poster on the yoga studio next door for a workshop entitled "THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH", but I'd like to believe this set told me all I needed to know on that subject.

Recording: Colin Fisher & Mike Gennaro

Artist: Colin Fisher & Mike Gennaro

Song: [second piece]

Recorded at Smiling Buddha ("Blü Print: An Arachnidiscs Showcase"), November 4, 2014.

Colin Fisher & Mike Gennaro - [second piece]

Drummer Mike Gennaro can bring a light touch when required, but he's known as a guy that can drive a combo with his propulsive style. When he first started playing sets with saxophonist Colin Fisher, that led to some face-melting shred-offs. That was still hinted at in this set, but what's been far more surprising as this duo has gelled is how Fisher has used Gennaro's rhythmic sensibility to push him into deeper melodic territory, crafting a new and more interestingly subtle chemistry. The development of this sound can be tracked on the new Arachnidiscs tape the pair were releasing at this gig.

Recording: TRANZMIT

Artist: TRANZMIT

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Smiling Buddha ("Blü Print: An Arachnidiscs Showcase"), November 4, 2014.

TRANZMIT - [excerpt]

Besides providing a steady stream of releases "by and for weirdos," Arachnidiscs majordomo Jakob Rehlinger wears several artistic hats. He's most often seen on stages with his Moonwood or BABEL projects, but an open slot at this label showcase gave him cause to make a rare live performance in his TRANZMIT guise. Billed as "EBM sound collage audioscapes meet darkly psychedelic hip-hop constructions", he created a sort of harsh ambient vibe more akin to a radio stuck between stations than anything easily musical. Billed as a one-off appearance at this show, rumours are circulating that Rehlinger might be bringing this back to a stage near you again in the new year.