Saturday, October 31, 2015

Recording: Fisher/Rampersaud/Didur

Artist: Colin Fisher/Nicole Rampersaud/Carl Didur

Song: [trio piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 23, 2015.

Colin Fisher/Nicole Rampersaud/Carl Didur - [trio piece]

This was the first night of what is to be a monthly residency hosted by Colin Fisher, who hinted at the format he's aiming for: a series of solo performances capped off by a group jam. Fisher played a piece for solo saxophone, and then some solo percussion, with the night's other musicians having been instructed to join in when the time felt right. This excerpt has the end of the percussion section, after which you can hear Carl Didur come in on piano to duet for a bit before Nicole Rampersaud joins in on trumpet for some ascension vibes.

Recording: Carl Didur

Artist: Carl Didur

Songs: [two pieces for solo piano]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 23, 2015.

Carl Didur - [excerpt from first solo piano piece]

Carl Didur - [second solo piano piece]

This was the first night of what is to be a monthly residency hosted by Colin Fisher, who hinted at the format he's aiming for: a series of solo performances capped off by a group jam. The night began with a rare opportunity to hear synth/tape-loop wizard Carl Didur playing piano. The longer piece he did had a rolling "continuous" Lubomyr Melnyk feel to it. He was cajoled to play another a bit later while Fisher got ready for his own solo set and reeled off the shorter piece here, with hints of Sun Ra.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Recording: Slim Twig

Artist: Slim Twig

Songs: Textiles On Mainstreet + Cannabis [Serge Gainsbourg cover]

Recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern, October 21, 2015.

Slim Twig - Textiles On Mainstreet

Slim Twig - Cannabis

This hometown celebration for the new Thank You For Stickin' With Twig saw Max Turnbull playing with a crew of his frequent musical associates, even if it was a rather different band than he'd brought to the Silver Dollar earlier this year. With Meg Remy busy conquering Europe as U.S. Girls there were no keybs, the gap instead filled with guitars. Lotsa guitars. The core quintet saw the Flying V-sporting Turnbull joined by Simone T-B on drums, Tim Westberg on bass and the expatriated-to-London Anthony Nemet (Actual Water) on guit. That provided plenty crunch as the band rolled through a series of glam-powered rockout versions of songs from the new album, but to up the ante for the finale, the band added Matt "Doc" Dunn and Matty Dee — two more lead guitarists to power through Bowie's "Black Country Rock" and Serge Gainsbourg's "Cannabis", as well as a brand new tune. Quite a wall of sound and a wallop of good ol' Slim Twig ostentatious maximalism.

Recording: Drainolith

Artist: Drainolith

Song: No Name (Dany Kane's Blues)

Recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern, October 21, 2015.

Drainolith - No Name (Dany Kane's Blues)

An apt opener for a night out with Slim Twig's art/damaged rock'n'roll, this post-AIDS Wolf project from Alex Moskos arrived as a power trio with Moskos' guitar-skinning accompanied by Brian Seeger (Pon De Replay) on electronic drums and Jon Shapiro (ex-Disguises, Induced Labour) on bass. My first impression was not unlike, say, Pussy Galore gone prog with the juxtaposition of slopgunk sonics and fusty textures, mixing the clump-clunk of the drumpads, the guitar's metallic yowl and the occasionally-funky bass stabs. On further exposure, though, it seemed like the real point of comparison here is a certain sort of under-appreciated 80's fusion that would draw in stuff like some of Bill Laswell's projects, Tom Verlaine's solo albums and MX-80. Tasty stuff that certainly agrees with my inclinations.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Recording: Isles Day

Artist: Isles Day

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Ratio ("The AMBiENT PiNG"), October 20, 2015.

Isles Day - [excerpt]

It was a night for days at this instalment of long-running series The AMBiENT PiNG, featuring sets by Snowday and Isles Day. The latter brought a bit more of a planetarium/space rock vibe to their set, employing carefully-modulated slowly-building drone surges pumped along by coma-paced heartbeat rhythms.

[You can listen to a different recording of the band's full set over at their soundcloud.]

Recording: Snowday

Artist: Snowday

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Ratio ("The AMBiENT PiNG"), October 20, 2015.

Snowday - [excerpt]

It was a night for days at this instalment of long-running series The AMBiENT PiNG, featuring sets by Snowday and Isles Day. The former abstracted things even further from the ambient tones of their recent Evoke EP in this improvised set, ranging into some tasty New Age territory driven by some rather pleasant drone tones, chimes, electric piano and abstract vocalisations.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Recording: Absolutely Free

Artist: Absolutely Free

Songs: The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore [The Walker Brothers cover] + Beneath The Air

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 18, 2015.

Absolutely Free - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore + Beneath The Air

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy — but also to look forward. Closing things out, Absolutely Free took the opportunity to shape their show to the space, unwinding their grooves a bit and settling into some more extended ambient excursions than they normally undertake, throwing in some crashing piano chords, gauzy trebly synth and some pleasing wriggling noises. They were joined by Sandro Perri on a couple songs, and they also closed with this one-two punch — which includes, as far as I know, the first cover they've ever done as well as a mellowed-out reworking of one of the tracks from last year's full-length.

Recording: Keita Juma

Artist: Keita Juma

Songs: ¿YRWEONTHISBEACH? + Cashback [a capella]*

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 18, 2015.

Keita Juma - ¿YRWEONTHISBEACH?

Keita Juma - Cashback [a capella]

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy — but also to look forward. It's a savvy bit of programming that saw Mississauga's darkwave bouncelord Keita Juma playing X Avant's final night, given the festival's stated goal of celebrating boundary-pushing music across all genres. KJ, meanwhile, adapted his performance to the space somewhat, focusing a bit more on his words than his grooves to engage the seated crowd that was more apt to head-nod than bounce. Beyond showcasing his ice-cold minimal production style, that also gave a chance to listen in as he grappled with some larger existential questions.

* Thanks to Kehinde Bah for passing along the title to this one!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recording: Tyondai Braxton

Artist: Tyondai Braxton

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 16, 2015.

Tyondai Braxton - unknown

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy — but also to look forward. Former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton closed out the night with his first local solo appearance. Promised as a "soul-liberatingly loud" show, this indeed took some of the raw parts of his recent HIVE1 and threw them inside a jet engine, Braxton's modular widdling rumbling through the pews.

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

Recording: Pantayo

Artist: Pantayo

Songs: Senselong + Duyug*

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 16, 2015.

Pantayo - Senselong

Pantayo - Duyug

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy — but also to look forward. This seven-member kulintang ensemble augmented traditional Philippine gong grooves with modern flourishes like a drumkit and synthesizer. The resultant sounds paid tribute both to where they were from and where they are now — and even took the time to point out the commonalities of Aboriginal cultures under strain both in Canada and the Philippines. But beyond that, this was some really fantastic music, possibly even my fave set from the whole festival. Cheers to the Music Gallery for booking them — now I'm hoping to see them on some other bills as well.

* Thanks to the group for passing along the titles to these.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Concert Listings Roundup #120

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:

Somewhere There presents (feat. Paul Newman with Heather Segger and Karen Ng [Duo Compositions CD release!]) / Array Space 2015-10-27 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Saxophonist Paul Newman is one of the quiet stalwarts of the current group at Somewhere There. His work as a composer tends more toward contemplative investigation than barn-on-fire dashing-about — as a saxophone player, he may well be at the opposite pole of a spectrum defined at one end by, say, the reed-shredding extroversion of Mats Gustafsson or Peter Brötzmann. That doesn't make the textures and topographies that Newman investigates any less exciting, and now he's following up an excellent album of solo pieces with the release of his Duo Compositions. At this celebration, as on the album, he'll be joined by Heather Segger (trombone) and Karen Ng (sax). Expect to hear the two pieces that make up the album, and perhaps something new as well.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Joanna Gruesome (Aye Nako / Bueller) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-10-26 (Monday) [FB event]

Lina Allemano Four / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-27 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

C.J. Boyd (Cetacea / Man Meets Bear) / Holy Oak Café 2015-10-27 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Myriad3 [October Wednesday residency!] / The Rex 2015-10-28 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Deciduous (Sweet Session [Rob Clutton/Randi Helmers] / Organballoon) / Ratio 2015-10-28 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Surinam (Shahman / Edhochuli / Scrapheat) / D-Beatstro 2015-10-28 (Wednesday – all ages!) [FB event]

Judee Sill Tribute Night (feat. Thom Gill / Luke Kuplowsky / Gislain Aucoin / Josh Cole / Phil Melanson / Robin Dann / Felicity Williams / Alex Samaras / Steven Foster) / Holy Oak Café 2015-10-28 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Piano Party 4 (feat. Anastasia Tchernikova / Jesse Levine) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-29 (Thursday – early!) [FB event]

Caution Tape Sound Collective presents: "Singles" ["six world premieres of new solo works for electric guitar and percussion"] (feat. works by Patrick Arteaga / Jason Doell / Colin Labadie / August Murphy-King / Parisa Sabet / Bekah Simms) / Array Space 2015-10-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ivy Mairi [full band show!] (Devarrow) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-10-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Humanities (Sago / Childs) / Coalition Lounge 2015-10-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

DEATH TO T.O. V (feat. Members of Ice Cream, Slim Twig Band and Vallens [performing as Alanis Morissette] / Explorer Feat. Matty Dee [performing as Alice Cooper] / Members of Fucked Up, Young Guv, Wyrd Visions, Elliott Vincent Jones, Prince Ness And Dylan III [performing as Backstreet Boys] / Sahara [performing as Cocteau Twins] / The Two Koreas [performing as Clinic] / Members of Sloan And Good Enough [performing as Descendants] / Blonde Elvis [performing as David Bowie] / Calvin Love [performing as Iggy And The Stooges] / B-17 [performing as Kiss] / The Dirty Frigs [performing as No Doubt] / Beliefs [performing as Portishead] / Fake Palms [performing as Television] / Members of Century Palm and Germaphobes [performing as The B-52's] / Performed By Only Yours [performing as The Police] / Greys [performing as The Smashing Pumpkins] / Sportsfan [performing as The Strokes] / Biblical [performing as The Who] / Members of Hollow Earth, Weaves And Cell Memory [performing as Wings]) / Lee's Palace + The Dance Cave 2015-10-30 (Friday) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Delta Will (Mune / Kurt Marble) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-10-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Invocation TO: Devil's Night Warehouse Party (feat. Programm / Jay Holy / Mystic Triangle / Andrew Roy [of Etiquette] / Nailbiter) / Geary Lane 2015-10-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Crosss (Dirty Frigs / EARRING / BBIGPIGG) / Smiling Buddha 2015-10-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

catl (The Cool Hands) / Dakota Tavern 2015-10-31 (Saturday)

Soybomb Costume Ball 2015 (feat. Respire / Fill Spectre / Ancress / HX KY / Drunk Chicks / High Preist) / Soybomb 2015-10-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

M Y S T I C H Y M N S (feat. Moon McMullen / HRRR / Fellow Human) / Holy Oak Café 2015-10-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ghost Hole VII (feat. Babycages / Hexzuul and Mandelbrut / Fake Humans / Old Witch / 52 Ghouls / SINS + much art and installation activity) / Jam Factory 2015-10-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

Grand Festival Autumnal Happiness (Michael Snow + Paul Dutton / Manticore) / Church of St. Andrew By-The-Lake 2015-11-01 (Sunday – matinée!) [FB event]

Thin Edge New Music Collective: Cuatro Esquinas - A Fundraising Concert / Array Space 2015-11-01 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 27 (feat. Pale Eyes / Ellson Graywell) / Handlebar 2015-11-01 (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!

Ewelina Ferenc/Cassie Norton/Matti Palonen [Eastern & Northern European folk music] / Holy Oak Café 2015-11-05 (Thursday – early!) [FB event]

Walk North (Keepers / Several Futures / Spoils) / The Old Laurel 2015-11-05 (Thursday) [FB event]

Beliefs [Leaper release party!] / The Garrison 2015-11-05 (Thursday) [FB event]

Norman Blake and Joe Pernice with Special Guests [November Fridays residency!] / The Dakota Tavern 2015-11-06 (Friday – early!) [more info]

Places Erupt (Allison Cameron / Just Like You) / Cameron House (Back Room) 2015-11-06 (Friday) [FB event]

IJI (Strands [Jaz from Weaves] / Mnisota) / The Smiling Buddha 2015-11-08 (Sunday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #36: Self-Curation Series (feat. Dawne Carleton/Avesta Nakhaei / Andrew Kay/Jocelyn Barth / Raphael Roter/Chris Pruden) / Array Space 2015-11-10 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Norman Blake and Joe Pernice with Special Guests [November Fridays residency!] / The Dakota Tavern 2015-11-13 (Friday – early!) [more info]

Marilyn Lerner/Andrew Downing / Musideum 2015-11-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Norman Blake and Joe Pernice with Special Guests [November Fridays residency!] / The Dakota Tavern 2015-11-20 (Friday – early!) [more info]

Ben Gunning [Massive Love Record Release] / Burdock Music Hall 2015-11-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

EONS (Merganzer) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-11-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Norman Blake and Joe Pernice with Special Guests [November Fridays residency!] / The Dakota Tavern 2015-11-27 (Friday – early!) [more info]

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Recording: MG Encore Ensemble

Artist: MG Encore Ensemble

Songs: I Am Concrete [composer: Erik Ross; poetry: Darren O'Donnell] + Retablo: 2nd mvt, "Almayne" [composer: Allison Cameron]

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 16, 2015.

MG Encore Ensemble - I Am Concrete

MG Encore Ensemble - Retablo: 2nd mvt, "Almayne"

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy. This night, excellently curated by Chelsea Shanoff, paid tribute to the Gallery's place in the local New Music scene, bringing together several pieces that had been commissioned by the Music Gallery along with a couple tributes to noteworthy local composers who had been part of the MG's milieu. The pieces were executed by a fine ensemble of players, including: Wesley Shen (piano), Mara Plotkin (clarinet), Sharon Lee (violin), Bryan Holt (cello), Wallace Halladay (sax, melodica), Xin Wang (voice) and Dan Morphy (percussion).

The first piece here came from 2008's Concrete Toronto Music concert (celebrating the city's brutalist architecture) and is a love song from the sidewalk's perspective ("I am humble/ skin your knees on me") while the second comes from a decade earlier (when the MG was on Richmond Street), commissioned by Martin Arnold's Burdocks ensemble. It's too often the fate of contemporary Canadian chamber pieces to be premiered with some fanfare and then left to moulder in the score library, so it was exciting to see these get a proper "encore". (Arnold's "Rubber Wain", commissioned by the Gallery in 2007, even got a major revisioning, shifting the orchestration toward free reed instruments and giving it a new bounce.)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Recording: Lori Freedman

Artist: Lori Freedman

Song: Décombres [edited excerpt] [composer: Raphaël Cendo]

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 15, 2015.

Lori Freedman - Décombres [edited excerpt]

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy. The festival's first night concluded with a visit from Montréal-based clarinet wizard Freedman, who was bringing a new performance entitled The Virtuosity of Excess, "a 55-minute 'spectacle' of solo compositions for contrabass clarinet and bass clarinet". Embracing the sometimes ungainly physicality of her instruments, the performance felt at times as much like a dance, with one piece finding Freedman slowly gliding along a long row of her score, spread out across a half-dozen music stands. "Excess" was celebrated in several ways, from shout-singing to stretches of silence to the glitched-out signal-processing heard here, sending shards of noise and static across the quadraphonic spectrum.

Recording: CCMC

Artist: CCMC

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 15, 2015.

CCMC - [excerpt]

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy. After a duet with Casey Sokol, Michael Snow was joined by John Oswald, Paul Dutton, and John Kamevaar — the current incarnation of CCMC, the improvising collective that founded the Music Gallery forty years ago. Filled with energy, the group brought a bit more "noise" to the table than the last couple times I saw 'em, with Dutton in fine sound-shoutin' form and the others following suit. Accompanied by improvised visuals by John Creson and Adam Rosen, the set ended with a visual cue, the lights slowly fading until they were fully off — "I guess that means it's over," Oswald could be heard to mutter in the dark room.

Recording: Michael Snow + Casey Sokol

Artist: Michael Snow + Casey Sokol

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Music Gallery ("X Avant X"), October 15, 2015.

Michael Snow + Casey Sokol - [excerpt]

This year's X Avant not only celebrated the festival's tenth anniversary, but also the Music Gallery's 40th season. No surprise, then, that the festival incorporated various methods to look back at the MG's legacy. After a panel bringing together all of the Gallery's Artistic Directors, the festival kicked off with this pairing of MG founders who could often be found improvising together at the original St. Patrick Street location. Playing side-by-side on grand pianos, Snow and Sokol produced rolling swells of notes, the density thickening and then dissipating.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Recording: Cetacea

Artist: Cetacea

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Steady Cafe & Bar (Kulture II), October 13, 2015.

Cetacea - [excerpt]

Kulture is culture, but louder. This occasional noise night was expertly assembled by David Jones (who performed this night as Hexzuul, but is also a member of Manticore and Bile Sister) and took place in the somewhat unlike setting of the backroom of The Steady, which feels a bit like a joint that got stuck somewhere in mid-transition from a diner to a tiki bar. This solo project from Gates' Bryan W. Bray closed out the night. Cetacea seems designed to give Bray an outlet for sounds that don't fit into Gates' heavy-doom aesthetic, but sometimes heaviness creeps in — seemingly despite himself, to gauge by his reaction to this set.

Recording: Hexzuul

Artist: Hexzuul

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Steady Cafe & Bar (Kulture II), October 13, 2015.

Hexzuul - [excerpt]

Kulture is culture, but louder. This occasional noise night was expertly assembled by David Jones (who performed this night as Hexzuul, but is also a member of Manticore and Bile Sister) and took place in the somewhat unlike setting of the backroom of The Steady, which feels a bit like a joint that got stuck somewhere in mid-transition from a diner to a tiki bar. Backed by some cool glitched-out visuals, Jones offered a mix of sputter/crackle, ominous hums, piercing buzzings, and explosions of static, all offered up with a slow-motion sense of restraint. That doesn't mean that something wasn't going to be thrown from the stage area into the audience.

Recording: Hybrid Frequency

Artist: Hybrid Frequency

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Steady Cafe & Bar (Kulture II), October 13, 2015.

Hybrid Frequency - [excerpt]

Kulture is culture, but louder. This occasional noise night was expertly assembled by David Jones (who performed this night as Hexzuul, but is also a member of Manticore and Bile Sister) and took place in the somewhat unlike setting of the backroom of The Steady, which feels a bit like a joint that got stuck somewhere in mid-transition from a diner to a tiki bar. Syd Ortega's set was split down the middle, beginning with some of the night's quietest, most subtle sounds and transitioning into strobelit harsh noise, which he let run as he slowly raised his arms aloft to clasp his hands together in front of him, as if offering a noise prayer.

Recording: Mandelbrut

Artist: Mandelbrut

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Steady Cafe & Bar (Kulture II), October 13, 2015.

Mandelbrut - [excerpt]

Kulture is culture, but louder. This occasional noise night was expertly assembled by David Jones (who performed this night as Hexzuul, but is also a member of Manticore and Bile Sister) and took place in the somewhat unlike setting of the backroom of The Steady, which feels a bit like a joint that got stuck somewhere in mid-transition from a diner to a tiki bar. I've seen Luis Hernandez's Mandelbrut project in collaboration before, but never as a solo effort. it turned out to be the sound of shit going wrong — of entropy, of things breaking. There was a stronger performative element at play in this set, with Hernandez clashing with the physicality of his noisemaking implements, including the very struggle to keep all of the cables plugged in where they should be.

Recording: Ruin

Artist: Ruin

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Steady Cafe & Bar (Kulture II), October 13, 2015.

Ruin - [excerpt]

Kulture is culture, but louder. This occasional noise night was expertly assembled by David Jones (who performed this night as Hexzuul, but is also a member of Manticore and Bile Sister) and took place in the somewhat unlike setting of the backroom of The Steady, which feels a bit like a joint that got stuck somewhere in mid-transition from a diner to a tiki bar. Ranging from modular staticbursts to gunshot percussion, this fairly unremitting set began the night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Recording: Allemano/Dann/Clutton/Ng

Artist: Lina Allemano/Nico Dann/Rob Clutton/Karen Ng

Song: [first set, last piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 11, 2015.

Lina Allemano/Nico Dann/Rob Clutton/Karen Ng - [first set, last piece]

The music at this Thanksgiving Day special was tastier than pumpkin pie — a comparison that may be freely made given that the band provided both. Instead of any of her regular units, this holiday special in Lina Allemano's regular Tranzac residency timeslot came with a pick-up band that included Nico Dann on drums, Rob Clutton on bass and Karen Ng on sax. The music ranged from jazzy encounters with blazing back-and-forths to musical shell-games with the musicians trying to fake each other into committing to making melodic choices instead of ambient bursts.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Concert Listings Roundup #119

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:

Slim Twig (Crosss) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2015-10-21 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Moving from strength to strength, Max Turnbull has followed up the re-issue of 2012's A Hound at the Hem with the new Thank You For Stickin' With Twig. (Both on NYC's DFA Records, no less!) Back from tour, the merrie crew should be razor-sharp at this hometown release celebration — they might be feeling a little noisy, too, given that they have Crosss and Drainolith (Alex Moskos of AIDS Wolf) along for the ride. Expect the 'Shoe to be shakin' by night's end.


This week's noteworthy shows:

THE AMBiENT PiNG presents (feat. Snowday / Isles Day) / Ratio 2015-10-20 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Open Inputs (feat. Lal / Organdrum / Databats) / Holy Oak Café 2015-10-20 (Tuesday) [FB event]

John Kamevaar/Mike Gennaro / Musideum 2015-10-20 (Tuesday)

Myriad3 [October Wednesday residency!] / The Rex 2015-10-21 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

coexisTence Too: Bleeding True [improvised music + dance event! "21 artists in simultaneous performance in all three rooms of the Tranzac Club. Curated by Colin Anthony who will be in attendance."] / The Tranzac 2015-10-21 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Shannon & The Clams (Shopping) / Lee's Palace 2015-10-22 (Thursday) [more info]

B Squad (Champion Ski / Bravery Cat) / Smiling Buddha 2015-10-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Cheatahs (Spells Of Vertigo / B-17 / Shipley Hollow) / Comfort Zone 2015-10-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nailbiter [Formats release show!] (Mystic Triangle / Marriage / Bit Reduction) / Bambi's 2015-10-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Goat Sauce Jam (feat. Marker Starling / The Maylee Starling Undercover Experience ["Voltron cover band consisting of Chris Cummings, Matt McLaren, Eric Woolston, Jay Anderson, James Taylor, Andrew Scott, and Maylee Todd"]) / The Piston 2015-10-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nicole Rampersaud/Carl Didur/Colin Fisher [solo sets + trio set!] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-23 (Friday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #35.3 (feat. KGB / Michael Snow/Diane Roblin) / Array Space 2015-10-24 (Saturday) [FB event]

Hank [LP Release!] (Marker Starling / The Canadian Romantic) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-10-24 (Saturday) [FB event]

Pins & Needles [Mystic Woman album launch!] / Rivoli 2015-10-24 (Saturday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 54 (feat. The Acorn / Phedre [late show] / Blunt Chunks [early show]) / Anchored Social Club 2015-10-24 (Saturday – early and late shows!) [FB event]

Not The Wind, Not The Flag (Sacred Lamp) / June Records 2015-10-25 (Sunday – early! free!) [FB event]

Playing the NAISA Space, Part II (feat. Scant Intone) / NAISA Space 2015-10-25 (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!

Judee Sill Tribute Night (feat. Thom Gill / Luke Kuplowsky / Ghislain Aucoin / Josh Cole / Phil Melanson / Robin Dann / Felicity Williams / Alex Samaras / Steven Foster) / Holy Oak Café 2015-10-28 (Wednesday) [FB event]

M Y S T I C H Y M N S (feat. Moon McMullen / HRRR / Fellow Human) / Holy Oak Café 2015-10-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ghost Hole VII (feat. Babycages / Hexzuul and Mandelbrut / Fake Humans / Old Witch / 52 Ghouls / SINS + much art and installation activity) / Jam Factory 2015-10-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 27 (feat. Pale Eyes / Ellson Graywell) / Handlebar 2015-11-01 (Sunday) [FB event]

Crown Larks (Bears & Children / Datura Daydream / Slow Collisions) / Smiling Buddha 2015-11-02 (Monday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #8 (feat. SlowPitchSound / APA / Vorvis + Thomson) / Dundas Video 2015-11-03 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Id M Theft Able (Ellen Furey / Fleshtone Aura) / Double Double Land 2015-11-03 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Nhapitapi / Burdock Music Hall 2015-11-08 (Sunday) [FB event]

Wand (The Beverleys) / Adelaide Hall 2015-11-10 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Youssou N'Dour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar / Koerner Hall 2015-11-13 (Friday) [FB event]

Witch Prophet (Mas Aya / Pursuit Grooves) / Ratio 2015-11-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Secrets [power pop from first-wave T.O. punk, feat. Freddy Pompeii of The Viletones] (The Ugly / Pow Wows) / Rivoli 2015-11-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Toy Piano Composers: To Be Announced 3 / The Music Gallery 2015-11-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Diableros [You Can't Break the Strings in Our Olympic Hearts 10-year anniversary show] (Yardlets / Terror Lake) / The Garrison 2015-11-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Hoover Party [Another Bankrupt Hapsburg Legacy digital album release] (Karen Ng & Brodie West / Matthew A. Dunn / Amelia Ehrhardt / Victoria Cheong) / Array Space 2015-12-09 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Recording: Body Help

Artist: Body Help

Song: [second piece]

Recorded at Dundas Video ("Track Could Bend #7"), October 6, 2015.

Body Help - [second piece]

Body Help melds Kieran Adams' push/pull horizontal drum patterns, Josh Cole's treasure hunt vertical bass excursions and Colin Fisher's fourth-dimensional guitar haze-clouds into a slowly-pulsating sphere of abstract funk — a journey that you take while sitting down in one place. Gigs tend to come in occasional clumps, so keep an eye out for more — and word is that there's a second recording from the trio on the horizon.

[The next Track Could Bend — featuring SlowPitchSound, APA, and Jack Vorvis & Scott Thomson — will be at Dundas Video on Tuesday, November 3rd.]

Recording: Karen Ng + Sexy Merlin

Artist: Karen Ng + Sexy Merlin

Songs: Karen Ng + Sexy Merlin - [excerpt from first piece, in two parts]

Recorded at Dundas Video ("Track Could Bend #7"), October 6, 2015.

Karen Ng + Sexy Merlin - [excerpt from first piece, part 1]

Karen Ng + Sexy Merlin - [excerpt from first piece, part 2]

Some very tasty directions here in this pair's first-ever duo set. Credit is due to Neil Rankin and Paul Erlichman of Germaphobes, who'd drafted sax player Karen Ng and percussionist Sean Dunal as extra players on their multimedia SummerWorks spectacular. I was surprised to learn that night that the pair hadn't met before, and my brain immediately started coming up with a plan to recombine their talents. Working more often in a rock context, Dunal shows off a nimble improvisatory touch here, pushing and pulling the tempo and adding some atmospheric synth touches to give Ng a variety of settings to play against. Sadly, this pairing won't get an encore in the immediate future as Dunal has now decamped to the West Coast. Best of luck to him there — hopefully folks out that way will realize they have a true gem in their midst.

[The next Track Could Bend — featuring SlowPitchSound, APA, and Jack Vorvis & Scott Thomson — will be at Dundas Video on Tuesday, November 3rd.]

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Recording: Jerusalem in My Heart

Artist: Jerusalem in My Heart

Song: 7ebr El 3oyoun

Recorded at Jam Factory ("Feast in the East 53"), October 2, 2015.

Jerusalem in My Heart - 7ebr El 3oyoun

It was just a few months ago that Radwan Ghazi Moumneh was in town with his collaborative project with Montréal's Suuns, but his return announced a shift to re-focusing on his own material. The awesomely-titled If He Dies, If If If If If If is just out on Constellation Records, and that was the focus here. Mixing sentimental pop songs with drone-dirges, this project filters a whole set of cultural cues through a set of cutting-edge sound filters, reminding us there's far more music under the sun than we encounter on in our immediate surroundings. Live, Moumneh still prefers to perform in near total darkness, illuminated only by Charles-André Coderre's live-action 8mm-film loop collages. He was also joined in this set by violinist Rose Bolton for a couple songs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Recording: Not The Wind, Not The Flag

Artist: Not The Wind, Not The Flag

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Main Hall), October 1, 2015.

Not The Wind, Not The Flag - [excerpt 1]

Not The Wind, Not The Flag - [excerpt 2]

When I saw NTW,NTF last month, it was outside, under the sun and with a world of strangers standing around and/or wandering by. Assessing the situation, Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia pushed their set towards their louder and more bombastic edges. For this show (celebrating the release of Vermillion, their first-ever vinyl LP, on Pleasence Records) they were in front of quietly-sitting friends, and the band spent most of their extended set going in instead of out. Colin Fisher twisted knobs on his modular synth while Brandon Valdivia huddled over his pedals as the band crated a lengthy buzzing dronescape. These are tones I'd often describe as something like "humming menace", but in Fisher and Valdivia's hands, they felt more affirmative, like potential energy or anti-entropy. Like music yearning to be born.

[Not The Wind, Not the Flag will be playing a free in-store show at June Records on Sunday, June 25th.]

Recording: Nifty

Artist: Nifty

Song: [last piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Main Hall), October 1, 2015.

Nifty - [last piece]

After c_RL's utterly persuasive opening set, Matt Smith called some members of the audience together for a huddle before he took the stage, looking unsure of his gameplan. "I don't know what I'm doing," he commented as he was about to start, which I take it to mean he realized the mood in the room called for something more subdued than he had been planning. After setting up his tubs of electronic gear, he did lead off with a short electronic piece, some humming bursts of burbling synthtone, but then he switched to guitar for a quiet instrumental piece. Then he called up Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia as well as c_RL's Nicole Rampersaud along with a mini-choir and started conducting this piece for found words (he'd solicited a newspaper from the crowd before starting, which explains some of the topical lyrics, if you can make 'em out). Despite himself, Smith still managed to build up to a pleasingly bombastic rush.

Recording: c_RL

Artist: c_RL

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Main Hall), October 1, 2015.

c_RL - [excerpt from first piece]

It's not for nothing that this trio of Allison Cameron, Nicole Rampersaud and Germaine Liu has called their album Friends, given the easy interplay that one sees when they perform. But friends don't always have to be face-to-face, chattering away. This set saw the trio spread out in front of the stage in the Tranzac's Main Hall, each on their own little sound-island, seemingly doing their own thing in isolation — and yet the sounds curled into each other with a wonderful sort of effortless friction. The second piece even had one of those completely-unexpected perfect stops, where a sudden ending, the music landing just so, took all three by surprise with simultaneous suddenness. Playing with effortless authority, this unit is in a special zone right now and this set was so quietly persuasive it really seemed to shape the rest of the night's performances.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Preview/mixtape/contest: X Avant X

X Avant X

October 15-18, 2018

This year, the Music Gallery's marquee festival is celebrating its tenth go-round — but this just happens to be an anniversary within an anniversary as the MG itself is celebrating its fortieth year. That means that this fiercely forward-looking festival is putting on its Janus mask to simultaneously reflect and celebrate. Concentrated into four nights (and without and offsite field trips this year), the programming manages to play past/present/future off each other in some crafty ways.

  • The opening concert (Thursday, October 15th) leads things off with CCMC, who invented the very notion of a "music gallery", and also pairing CCMC's Michael Snow with Casey Sokol, both founding members of the institution. And that's just a warm-up for Lori Freedman, playing a series of new works for clarinet — and pushing the instrument into new territory.
  • Friday (October 16th) sees a different sort of dialogue between past and present in MG Encore, for which curator Chelsea Shanoff has combed the archives to re-mount a series of compositions that saw their debuts at the Music Gallery. Allison Cameron and Martin Arnold, also known for their efforts in the improvising scenes, show off their compositional chops, while Ann Southam and Nic Gotham are remembered and celebrated through their works. There's a noteworthy ensemble of some of the city's finest players performing these, including the likes of Wesley Shen, Wallace Halladay and Dan Morphy. Expect an evening of chamber music at its least fusty.
  • New sounds move to the forefront with an avant-groove lineup on Saturday (October 17th), headlined by Tyondai Braxton (son of Anthony, and former Battles frontman) whose work should be well-complemented by the dancefloor/deep listening fusions of New Chance (a/k/a Vic Cheong of Healing Power Records). The electronics will be contrasted with a different sort of deep groove by Pantayo's kulintang (Philippine gong) set to start things off.
  • Perhaps the boldest nudge for inclusion into the MG's realm of the new and experimental comes on Sunday (October 18th), with Mississauga-based Keita Juma bringing his electro/bounce tracks to the pews. Brooding but electrically simmering, KJ is also an MC that can bring it live. The festival will be closed out with local art-rock darlings Absolutely Free, whose electronic textures and rhythmic thrum should reverberate quite interestingly in the sanctuary — they're promising "lost material + new material + borrowed material" plus a collaboration with Sandro Perri.

Besides the concerts, two other events are at the heart of the festival. Thursday's Artistic Direction panel matches current A.D. David Dacks with his predecessors in a reflection on how the Music Gallery has embraced its mandate and evolved with the times. Again reflecting the past/future duality, that will be balanced by Saturday's Town Hall, which exists as a forum for the wider MG community to think about the challenges ahead and wonder how a beloved institution can remain nimble, viable and relevant.

MIXTAPE!

The Music Gallery has been getting ready for the festival by soliciting some mixtapes from some of the X Avant artists, and there's piles and piles of stuff to dig through already from Vic Cheong, Allison Cameron and Pantayo. They also asked me to contribute, and digging through my recordings from past festivals, I ended up gravitating towards some of the noisier moments, which I've compiled into this for your listening pleasure.

[If the mixtape has disappeared from soundcloud, it is also here.]

TICKETS + MORE INFO

You can check out the details of all the festival's events here, and the MG has a user-friendly/wallet-friendly online ticketing system that makes it easy to book shows in advance. Advance tickets are also available at Soundscapes, and as always, Music Gallery members get a sweet discount. The talk and panel are free, and you could see the whole festival with a pass on sale for $40.

CONTEST

But if that weren't enough, complements of the Music Gallery, I have a pair of tickets to give away to Friday's MG Encore show.

To enter, shoot me an email to mechanicalforestsound@gmail.com, with "contest" in the title and your name in the body. I'll randomly draw a winner on Friday, October 16th at noon.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Concert Listings Roundup #118

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:

Pleasence Records 5 Year Anniversary (feat. Odonis Odonis / Soupcans / New Fries / Blonde Elvis) / Smiling Buddha 2015-10-16 (Friday) [FB event]

The biggest event of the week is definitely the X Avant festival, but I'm going to have more to say about that tomorrow, so for now I'm going to put a word in for this very worthy celebration. For five years now — and nearly fifty releases — Pleasence Records has been championing some of T.O.'s most inventive musical practitioners. To mark the occasion, they're gonna cram the Smiling Buddha full with a lineup that would be more than worth it on its own merits. Come out and give your heartiest congratulations to Deirdre and James — keeping a label going in this day and age doesn't happen without a lot of dedication and spiritual sweat.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-13 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

bedroom / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-13 (Tuesday)

Cetacea (Hybrid Frequency / Hexzuul / Mandelbrut / Ruin) / The Steady Café and Bar 2015-10-13 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Myriad3 [October Wednesday residency!] / The Rex 2015-10-14 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Spectrum: Season Launch Party (feat. Dialectica Saxophone Quartet / Interface sound installation) / Emmet Ray 2015-10-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ken Aldcroft [solo set! Mister, Mister CD Release!] (Ken Aldcroft/William Davison/Emily Denison/John Oswald) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-14 (Wednesday)

John Southworth and the South Seas (Daniel Knox) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-10-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Hip-Hop and N64 Night! (feat. Mega Ran / More Or Les / Wordburglar) / Junction City Music Hall 2015-10-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

X Avant X (feat. Lori Freedman / CCMC) / The Music Gallery 2015-10-15 (Thursday) [more info]

Neoism Now! (feat. Istvan The King / Processor / Fresh Flesh / The New Matriarchy / Monty Cantsin) / Smiling Buddha 2015-10-15 (Thursday) [FB event]

Møød Man (Deliluh / Blunt Chunks / Dohn Valley / Crimcrom) / Ransack The Universe 2015-10-15 (Thursday) [FB event]

X Avant X: MG Encore (feat. compositions by Ann Southam, Allison Cameron, Martin Arnold, Linda Catlin-Smith, Erik Ross and Nic Gotham performed by Wesley Shen, Mara Plotkin, Sharon Lee, Bryan Holt, Wallace Halladay, Xin Wang, Dan Morphy) / The Music Gallery 2015-10-16 (Friday) [more info]

Playing the NAISA Space, Part I (feat. Lisa Conway) / NAISA Space 2015-10-16 (Friday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper's Lipliners / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-16 (Friday)

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Guerilla Toss / Buck Gooter / Connoisseurs Of Porn) / 8-Eleven 2015-10-16 (Friday) [FB event]

By Divine Right (Patti Cake / Nick Ferrio and His Feelings) / Junction City Music Hall 2015-10-16 (Friday) [FB event]

Eve Egoyan [Thought and Desire CD release concert] / Small World Music Centre 2015-10-16–2015-10-18 (Friday–Sunday) [FB event]

X Avant X (feat. Tyondai Braxton / New Chance / Pantayo) / The Music Gallery 2015-10-17 (Saturday) [more info]

Weights & Measures [reunion show!] (Boars) / Soybomb 2015-10-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Night Owl Festival Pre-party (feat. Kim and The Created / Heaters / Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor / The Auras / White Crowleys) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-10-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Alaniaris / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-18 (Sunday – afternoon show! 3 to 5 p.m.!)

Somewhere There presents (feat. The Imperative) / The Emmet Ray 2015-10-18 (Sunday – late afternoon show @ 5:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

Grand Festival Autumnal Happiness (feat. Aaron Lumley & Marielle Groven / Kyle Brenders) / Church of St. Andrew by-the-Lake 2015-10-18 (Sunday) [FB event]

Diane Roblin/Nicole Rampersaud/Raphael Weinroth-Browne / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-18 (Sunday – early!)

X Avant X (feat. Absolutely Free / Keita Juma) / The Music Gallery 2015-10-18 (Sunday) [more info]

The Visit (Snowday) / The Drake Underground 2015-10-18 (Sunday) [FB event]

Sean Nicholas Savage / Smiling Buddha 2015-10-18 (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 AMBiENT PiNG presents (feat. Snowday / Isles Day) / Ratio 2015-10-20 (Tuesday) [more info]

Myriad3 [October Wednesday residency!] / The Rex 2015-10-21 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Cheatahs (Spells Of Vertigo / B-17 / Shipley Hollow) / Comfort Zone 2015-10-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nailbiter [Formats release show!] (Mystic Triangle / Marriage / Bit Reduction) / Bambi's 2015-10-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nicole Rampersaud/Carl Didur/Colin Fisher [solo sets + trio set!] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-23 (Friday) [FB event]

Pins & Needles [Mystic Woman album launch!] / Rivoli 2015-10-24 (Saturday) [FB event]

Playing the NAISA Space, Part II (feat. Scant Intone) / NAISA Space 2015-10-25 (Sunday) [FB event]

Myriad3 [October Wednesday residency!] / The Rex 2015-10-28 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Deciduous (Sweet Session [Rob Clutton/Randi Helmers] / Ryan Driver / Ratio 2015-10-28 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Piano Party 4 (feat. Anastasia Tchernikova / Jesse Levine) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-10-29 (Thurday – early!) [FB event]

Caution Tape Sound Collective presents: "Singles" ["six world premieres of new solo works for electric guitar and percussion"] (feat. works by Patrick Arteaga / Jason Doell / Colin Labadie / August Murphy-King / Parisa Sabet / Bekah Simms) / Array Space 2015-10-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ivy Mairi [full band show!] (Devarrow) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-10-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

catl (The Cool Hands) / Dakota Tavern 2015-10-31 (Saturday)

Soybomb Costume Ball 2015 (feat. Respire / Fill Spectre / Ancress / HX KY / Drunk Chicks / High Preist) / Soybomb 2015-10-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

INVOCATION TO presents (feat. Tom Carter [of Charalambides] / Diseased Orphan / BABEL) / Ratio 2015-11-03 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Chandra (Bile Sister / New Chance) / Jam Factory 2015-11-12 (Thursday) [FB event]

Jonathan Richman featuring Tommy Larkins / The Great Hall 2015-11-12 (Thursday) [more info]

Bob Wiseman (Finchler / Bert Sugar) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-11-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Evening Hymns / The Drake Underground 2015-11-27 (Friday) [more info]

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Recording: Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm

Artist: Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Automatic Doom

Songs: Automatic Doom [The Special Pillow cover] + Season of the Shark + Today is the Day + Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind

Recorded at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, September 30, 2015.

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Automatic Doom

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Season of the Shark

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Today is the Day

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind

Echoing 1990's band-pivoting Fakebook, Yo La Tengo's new Stuff Like That There strips things down with its mix of covers, acoustic reinterpretation of the band's older songs and a handful of new tunes. Tying this tour even closer to the Fakebook concept, the band has invited former guitarist Dave Scramm out on tour with them, playing lead on electric (and some scintillating lap steel) while Ira Kaplan packed away his pyrotechnics, sticking to an acoustic as James McNew played an upright bass and Georgia Hubley used mostly brushes on her stand-up drumkit. So, while the band did play an acoustic set while touring Fade a couple years ago, in the hushed space of a soft-seat theatre this felt like an entirely quieter phenomenon.

Besides presenting a healthy dose of material from the new album, over two sets the group applied its aesthetic both to their usual dazzling range of covers (from The Parliaments to The Kinks to Devo) and to some new Fakebook-ed back catalogue excavations — whether taming rock excursions like "Pass the Hatchet" into a quietly-sizzlin' waterslide ride or or a digging out quieter deep catalogue gems like I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One's "One PM Again". The band also took their pains to make the show place-specific, not just in a heartily-received dedication to the Blue Jays, who had clinched the AL East that afternoon ("Not pandering," joked Kaplan) but also in dedicating songs to The Sadies and Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's Reid Diamond.