Thursday, March 31, 2016

Recording: Cousins

Artist: Cousins

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 18, 2016.

Cousins - unknown

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

I remain intrigued by the contours and contradictions of Aaron Mangle's Cousins project. As the band (this time out a quartet augmented with Will Vandermeulen's keyb) haltingly evolves into bro-friendly classic rock terrain, Mangle resists that sort of easy meat-and-potatoes categorization, giving a hearty shout-out to LW art co-ordinator Alison Creba and inviting Lido Pimienta onstage to add some backing vocals. His songs, meanwhile, continue to explore the world around him, from the price of the air we breathe to the size of his SOCAN cheque — all part of a quest to ask, "what do you want to be?"

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

Recording: JOOJ

Artist: JOOJ

Song: Crystalline

Recorded at The Great Hall's Black Box (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 18, 2016.

JOOJ - Crystalline

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

In its recorded version, the monologue at this song's end is delivered by Soon-Yin Lee in a hushed whisper; on stage it comes out more like a fever monologue, pumped along by the heartbeat rhythm. Its minor/epic internal drama (vividly set on Vancouver's Lion's Gate Bridge) always leaves a bit of a tightness in my chest until its blood-pumping-in-your ears escape/resolution. Lee and Adam Litovitz played to a darkened basement, giving everyone in the audience their own safe space to sway or otherwise react to the music before ending by declaring winter's end.

Recording: Triage

Artist: Triage

Songs: three unknown songs*

Recorded at The Great Hall's Black Box (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 18, 2016.

Triage - three unknown songs

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

"Thanks for comin' to this weird room full of cops to see us." No matter how elaborate things get, Long Winter always keeps itself grounded by keeping the door open to the truth-talkin' troupes from the punk scene. This quartet — whose vocalist was more at home on the floor in front of the stage than on it — has some invigourating metal shred in their hardcore blasts. In one of my favourite moments showing off the night's crossover appeal, a couple members of the night's wandering chamber string group, violins in hand, were headbanging along to this with the rest of the crowd.

* Does anyone know the titles to these? I think the middle one is "Power Beat" from the band's demo tape, but please leave a comment if you know 'em for sure!

Recording: Witch Prophet

Artist: Witch Prophet

Song: Funeral For a Killer

Recorded at The Great Hall's Conversation Room (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 18, 2016.

Witch Prophet - Funeral For a Killer

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

With the crowd reaching a critical mass and the room feeling warm and sweaty, this set suddenly felt like a full-on Long Winter experience. Ayo Leilani has gotten more committed to this solo identity than the last time I saw her performing alone and under her own name. Now, although she was joined onstage by her Above Top Secret bandmate SunSun, acting as beat controller, there was a definite sense that this was a distinct project with its own identity. (But still two sides of the same coin, as was demonstrated later in the set when the pair "covered" an ATS track.) With a video loop of Afrocentric images projected behind her, Leilani delivered a confident set of R&B songs that draw in bits of gospel, trip-hop and much more. This track, which recently manifested on Leilani's soundcloud, is a tantalizing taste of the Witch Prophet album, which is promised for later this year.

Recording: Joyfultalk

Artist: Joyfultalk

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 18, 2016.

Joyfultalk - unknown

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Once again, touring as a member of Cousins has given Jay Crocker a chance to broadcast the experimental electronic sounds of his own project. It's too bad this Main Stage set basically overlapped with c_RL's homespun textured noise improvisations in the next room over, as there's a couple groups that would probably enjoy listening to each other. (And also too bad that both of those overlapped with things at LW's other two stages, as I barely managed to catch any of either — thank goodness for the MFS remote unit working in my absence!)

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

Recording: Mystic Triangle

Artist: Mystic Triangle

Song: A4M

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 18, 2016.

Mystic Triangle - A4M

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Having heard Ben Oginz's Mystic Triangle project in more intimate spaces, it was quite exciting to hear his slightly-brooding synth-arpeggiations filling up the huge space in the Main Hall. Sounds like there's some different gear in the mix since I last caught him, too, with some subtle re-arrangements of the material.

[Mystic Triangle, along with YlangYlang and Fake Humans, is part of a staggeringly-good undercard for tomorrow's ZONES album release show (Friday, April 1st at Smiling Buddha). ]

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Recording: Thin Edge New Music Collective

Artist: Thin Edge New Music Collective

Song: Workers Union [excerpt] [composer: Louis Andriessen]

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 19, 2016.

Thin Edge New Music Collective - Workers Union [excerpt]

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

I was rather pleased to see Thin Edge — one of the city's most forward-thinking DIY chamber ensembles — get the call to play at Long Winter. Setting up eight-deep in the Conversation Room, they dressed casually and brought an appropriately loud bit of music. With its insistent rhythmic bursts, this Andriessen piece isn't so far removed from the electronic blast-beats or cosmiche lockgrooves that might be otherwise found at Long Winter — and while the little curls of mic feedback near the end here might sound out of place in the concert hall, at this show they felt totally rock'n'roll. Turn it up!

Recording: Dorothea Paas

Artist: Dorothea Paas

Song: Climbing

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 19, 2016.

Dorothea Paas - Climbing

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

On her recorded output, Dorothea Paas' songs have a little more of a dreampop sheen than was revealed at this live outing, that instead saw them delivered with rough'n'ready rockin' urgency from a straightforward guitar-bass-drums trio. Uncluttered arrangements, keeping the focus on the songs in a short and focused set on a night that this was the only "rock" act in the Conversation Room.

[Paas will be playing a solo set at Holy Oak on Saturday night (April 2nd).]

Recording: CCMC

Artist: CCMC

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 19, 2016.

CCMC - [excerpt from first piece]

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary as a vital cultural institution, The Music Gallery was invited to present a handful of acts at this final outing of the season — a gesture that made even more sense to anyone who knew that the Great Hall's basement was the Music Gallery's home from 1984 to 1991. CCMC played there nearly every Tuesday in those years, so they were a natural pick to play LW — and hopefully their clamour reached a few new ears in the process. Their adventurousness could serve as a beacon to anyone hearing that clomping piano, wailing saxophone, screaming harmonica — and then a voice breaking through: "I DON'T KNOW WHY IT WENT THE WAY IT DID, IT WASN'T THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO GO."

Recording: Nobuo Kubota

Artist: Nobuo Kubota

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Great Hall's Conversation Room (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 2), March 19, 2016.

Nobuo Kubota - [excerpt]

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary as a vital cultural institution, The Music Gallery was invited to present a handful of acts at this final outing of the season — a gesture that made even more sense to anyone who knew that the Great Hall's basement was the Music Gallery's home from 1984 to 1991. As a lead-in to the current CCMC trio of Michael Snow, John Oswald and Paul Dutton, founding member Nobi Kubota performed a set of solo vocalizations.

Recording: No Record

Artist: No Record

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

No Record - unknown

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

This project from frequent Long Winter guest artist Ben Kamino saw him joined EJ Smith (guitar) and Tura Cousins Wilson (drums) — plus 800 feet of paper. I'd caught a bit of this at the previous month's instalment up from the balcony while I was to-ing and fro-ing, but to be down on the floor at the edge of it was something else entirely. That this was, at one level, a "band" was tangential to the whole roiling experience of it, with Kamino pushing furniture, climbing to the balcony and generally dashing about while the audience was encouraged to unfurl the giant rolls of paper, leading to massive, floor-filling tangles. On the other hand, though, it turns out that the multi-talented Kamino is a better singer while running in circles and swinging a chair than many a would-be frontman that I've seen rooted to one spot on a stage — I'm sure that has something to do with the joyful fearlessness that he brings to all his work. The songs were based on circular groove-riffs and repeated mantras, ending with the in-the-moment anthemic cries of "No more waiting!" Totally bracing and a wonderful way to end the night.

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

Recording: Triple Gangers

Artist: Triple Gangers

Song: Roadrash

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

Triple Gangers - Roadrash

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

After singing some emotionally-stormy songs with the Queer Songbook Orchestra's lush orchestrations earlier in the night, Ghislain Aucoin helped close out the action on the basement stage with an extended set from one of his other projects. Alongside Aurora Cowie and Ida Maidstone, the trio opened their set with the theme song to Sailor Moon — a sign that this was going to be lighthearted, campy fun. Over an extended dance party of a set they dug through their catalogue, including this one which appeared on the last of the season's free split 7" singles.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Recording: Prince Innocence

Artist: Prince Innocence

Song: Cheree [Suicide cover]

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

Prince Innocence - Cheree

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Fighting through sound troubles with the monitor mix, Talvi Faustmann and Josh McIntyre tried to start a dance party as they headlined the main stage and even slipped a couple new tunes into their set, including their next single "Angel".

Recording: WHOOP-Szo

Artist: WHOOP-Szo

Song: Gerry

Recorded at The Great Hall's Black Box (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

WHOOP-Szo - Gerry

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

This Guelph-via-London quintet falls somewhere on the metal-hair-but-not-metal-band spectrum, with an interesting mix of sounds stirred up into a noisy vortex. There were plenty touches of sludge-psych in the mix, as well as a revealing Elevator cover, as well as this new tune about police violence.

Recording: Baby Cages

Artist: Baby Cages

Song: Space

Recorded at The Great Hall's Conversation Room (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

Baby Cages - Space

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Revolving around guitarist/vocalist Halloway Jones, Baby Cages combines a bluesy roll with a drumpad rhythm into an art-rock slurry. With something of a rotating supporting cast, the band included Guelph-axis stalwarts Chris Worden and Brian Schirk on this night.

[And in another mutation, Baby Cages will manifest as a duo (with Jones joined by violinist Rachael Cadman) at Holy Oak on Saturday night (April 2nd).]

Recording: The Queer Songbook Orchestra

Artist: The Queer Songbook Orchestra feat. Thom Gill

Song: Cosmic Dancer [T. Rex cover]

Recorded at The Great Hall's Black Box (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

The Queer Songbook Orchestra feat. Thom Gill - Cosmic Dancer

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Crowding ten members on stage, the QSO's elaborately-arranged covers were a most-pleasing change of pace at Long Winter and one of the night's real treats. Cramming in a half-dozen songs into their set, there was less storytelling than usual, but a lot of wonderful music sung by Alex Samaras and Ghislain Aucoin — and this one by Thom Gill, delivered in his disarmingly off-the-cuff style with his own commentary following quickly on the lyrics.

[The QSO will be presenting an evening of Anthems & Icons at The Music Gallery on Sunday, April 17th.]

Recording: The Holy Gasp

Artist: The Holy Gasp

Song: The Man Ain't Groovy [sitaricon version]

Recorded at The Great Hall (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

The Holy Gasp - The Man Ain't Groovy [sitaricon version]

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

"We don't usually sound like this. At all. It's kind of fun to have opportunities to play strange covers of your own music rearranged for instruments that none of us really play. So thanks for giving us a chance to wig out and get groovy."

Recording: Spots

Artist: Spots

Song: Revolution

Recorded at The Great Hall's Conversation Room (Long Winter 4.5 – Night 1), March 18, 2016.

Spots - Revolution

You can't fault Long Winter for being ambitious and for wanting to close out the season by cramming in as much music and art into the Great Hall as possible, but their plan to close the year out with a two-night stand didn't entirely pay off. Giving patrons the choice of two nights (and holding them at the end of Spring Break) seemed to especially cut into the younger crowd and both nights (especially Friday) lacked that "about to burst" feeling that makes LW unique. But even if the crowd was at less than maximum strength, there was no certainly no lack of music spread throughout the building.

Ken Murphy is a familiar sight at Long Winter. As a longstanding volunteer, he helps keep the event's visual side moving smoothly as the master of projectors. It's no surprise that his skill-set there arises from his own artistic practice, which is as much a visual experience as a musical one. Concerned with the carefully-aligned interplay of sound and image his work hews to — and celebrates — the "technical" end of the musical spectrum that is less-represented at LW than scruffy, rough-and-ready styles. But his music (drawing from the quote-unquote uncool terrain of jam bands and contemporary prog) is a reminder that yesterday's stadium spectacle is today's DIY.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #142

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:

FASTER Presents (feat. FASTER [album release!] / Darlene Cuevas/Michael Lynn/Yusuke Furutate) / Gerrard Art Space 2016-04-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Fantahun Shewankochew [Adera CD release concert!] / Alliance Française 2016-04-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

There's a wonderful spring bounty of new albums this week, and this gig of the week selection could as easily have been ZONES' release show at the Buddha on Friday. But instead I'll go with these two shows, where my only regret is that their simultaneity means I'll have to make a hard choice on Saturday. FASTER's Kayla Milmine and Brian Abbott joyfully throw jazz, punk, and bent showtunes into their absurdist cabaret — the night even includes a "special guest dancer/choreographer", so expect a multi-media blowout. Fantahun Shewankochew, meanwhile, is a world-class talent that shouldn't be relegated to being a hidden gem in his adopted hometown. He's shown himself to be an excellent bandleader in the James Brown mold, expecting nothing less than precision excellence from his backing players while delivering traditional and popular Ethiopian music with an Ethio-jazz twist.


This week's noteworthy shows:

The Shivas (Germaphobes / Spells of Vertigo / B-17) / Adelaide Hall 2016-03-28 (Monday) [FB event]

Lawful Citizen (Shay/Fraser Duo) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-03-29 (Tuesday)

Somewhere There presents (feat. Jonah Parzen-Johnson / Dave Miller / Craig Dunsmuir and Dun-Dun Man) / Ratio 2016-03-30 (Wednesday) [FB event]

This Ryan Driver Band (Fiver [solo]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-03-30 (Wednesday) [FB event]

The Paul Collins Beat (Dany Laj and the Looks / Zro4) / Cadillac Lounge 2016-03-30 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Made To Break (Nicole Rampersaud [solo]) / Burdock 2016-03-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

LUKA (Isla Craig) / Holy Oak Café 2016-03-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

Mangchi (Maylee Todd's Sweatshop Hop) / The Shop under Parts & Labour 2016-03-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

R-- B--- Sound Select Presents (feat. Lower Dens / Frigs [f.k.a. Dirty Frigs] / Blunt Chunks) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-03-31 (Thursday – $3 with RSVP!) [FB event]

Surinam (The Mean / Secret Wars / Edgar Breau) / The Garrison 2016-03-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

ZONES [After Image album release!] (Ylang Ylang / Mystic Triangle / Fake Humans) / Smiling Buddha 2016-04-01 (Friday) [FB event]

Hobson's Choice [with choir and Christine Duncan!] / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2016-04-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Doc Dunn/Colin Fisher (Andrew Zukerman/Kyle Brenders) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-04-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Eucalyptus [April Saturdays residency!] / Hirut Restaurant 2016-04-02 (Saturday – Good eats available but not obligatory! early show 7 to 10 p.m.!) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet/Stuck in the City present (feat. Sheer Mag / Laffing Gas / VCR / Peeling) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-04-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Lazy Spring ["intimate solo and duo performances"] [feat. Dorothea Paas [solo] / Dad Art [duo] / Craig Currie [solo] / Baby Cages [duo]) / Holy Oak Café 2016-04-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

c_RL / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-04-03 (Sunday – afternoon show! 2:30 to 4:40 p.m.!)

Richard Laviolette / Holy Oak Café 2016-04-03 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 32 (feat. Databats / Erin Peck) / Handlebar 2016-04-03 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Veldt (Mimico / Scary Movie Noah/Enoch Loves You) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-04-03 (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!

Preanderthals (Tobelerone Boys / Chay & the Hostages) / 8-Eleven 2016-04-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Bart [Holomew album release] (New Fries) / Monarch Tavern 2016-04-07 (Thursday)

Eucalyptus [April Saturdays residency!] / Hirut Restaurant 2016-04-09 (Saturday – Good eats available but not obligatory! early show 7 to 10 p.m.!) [FB event]

Nyssa (Bert Sugar) / Handlebar 2016-04-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Fog Lake (Marine Dreams / The Seams / Home Alone) / Smiling Buddha 2016-04-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

UR Audio-Visual Showcase (feat. Eiyn Sof / New National Film Board Of Canada / Man Meets Bear / Silver Pools) / Holy Oak Café 2016-04-10 (Sunday) [FB event]

ZUZE ["popular & folk melodies of Iran and Azerbaijan set to afrobeat rhythms"] / The Cameron House 2016-04-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Eucalyptus [April Saturdays residency!] / Hirut Restaurant 2016-04-16 (Saturday – Good eats available but not obligatory! early show 7 to 10 p.m.!) [FB event]

Sahara [EP release!] (Whimm / Pavilion) / CineCycle 2016-04-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Eucalyptus [April Saturdays residency!] / Hirut Restaurant 2016-04-23 (Saturday – Good eats available but not obligatory! early show 7 to 10 p.m.!) [FB event]

Michael Hurley [second show added!] (Sandro Perri and friends) / Array Space 2016-04-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 698 (feat. Tough Age / Century Palm / Germaphobes / Long Branch) / Monarch Tavern 2016-04-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

St. Dirt Elementary School [15th Anniversary!] (DUST: The Quietest Big Band in the Known World) / The Music Gallery 2016-04-29 (Friday) [FB event]

LAL [Find Safety album release concert!] (Too Attached / Marshia Celina) / Lee's Palace 2016-04-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Eucalyptus [April Saturdays residency!] / Hirut Restaurant 2016-04-30 (Saturday – Good eats available but not obligatory! early show 7 to 10 p.m.!) [FB event]

Ride the Tempo presents (feat. Partner / Pony / Eyeballs / Pale Lips / Pins & Needles) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-05-04 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 5 Year Anniversary Day 1 (feat. New Fries / Horse Lords / Carl Didur / JFM) / Anchored Social Club 2016-05-06 (Friday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 5 Year Anniversary Day 2 (feat. MATROX / Blonde Elvis / Germaphobes / Castle If) / Anchored Social Club 2016-05-07 (Saturday) [FB event]


Bandcamp corner:

  • Besides those new albums being celebrated above, perhaps this week's most vital release is #BLACKLIVESMATTER - TORONTO BLACK CITY MIXTAPE : A Love Letter In Song To Black Community, a fundraising compilation which has emerged to help support the essential work BLM-TO are doing — now camped out in front of police headquarters for more than a week, demanding justice for Andrew Loku and other community members killed without explanation or sanction by the police. The music on this collection brings together many stands of the coalition's sorrow, resilience, joy and activism. Listen and support.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Recording: Josh Cole Quartet

Artist: Josh Cole Quartet

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), March 16, 2016.

Josh Cole Quartet - [set 1, excerpt from first piece]

Josh Cole Quartet - [set 2, excerpt from first piece]

How lucky we are to have Dan Pencer in town right now, illuminating a whole series of gigs. This night found him sitting in with the Josh Cole Quartet, filling the sax chair normally occupied by Karen Ng. Playing another gig, she'd make it to The Tranzac in time to act as the closer, energizing the closing part of the group's second set. But it was Pencer who really shined, his tone ranging from warmly lyrical to questingly experimental — at one point near the end he leaned over to use a snare drum as a mute, rattling the wires on the bottom as he played through it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Recording: Temporary Ensembles

Artist: Temporary Ensembles, composed of Chris Adriaanse, Rob Diack, Cory Latkovich, Jonathan Luke, Paul Newman, Daniel Pencer, Joe Sorbara, Laura Swankey, and Logan Mills.

Songs: [excerpts form various improvisations]

Recorded at Array Space (Somewhere There presents), March 13, 2016.

Jonathan Luke + Laura Swankey - [temporary ensemble #1]

Rob Diack + Paul Newman - [temporary ensemble #2]

Daniel Pencer + Chris Adriaanse - [temporary ensemble #4]

Logan Mills + Daniel Pencer + Chris Adriaanse + Joe Sorbara - [temporary ensemble #5]

Logan Mills + Jonathan Luke + Joe Sorbara - [temporary ensemble #8] [excerpt]

Laura Swankey + Chris Adriaanse + Rob Diack + Daniel Pencer - [temporary ensemble #9]

Cory Latkovich + Paul Newman - [temporary ensemble #10]

"Temporary Ensembles are born, live short and potentially magical musical lives, and then sublimate into thin air." As a prelude to a session learning the signals and cues for John Zorn's "game piece" Cobra, this night began with an exercise in pure improvisation with the assembled musicians literally throwing their hats in the ring for audience members to randomly select playing combos while convener Joe Sorbara rolled dice to see how many people would play together at a time. Extremely informal, the night felt more like a workshop than a gig, but those who wanted to just listen were welcome along for the ride.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Recording: Daniel Pencer/Christopher Willes/Colin Fisher

Artist: Daniel Pencer/Christopher Willes/Colin Fisher

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), March 12, 2016.

Daniel Pencer/Christopher Willes/Colin Fisher - [excerpt]

This instalment of Colin Fisher's monthly Tranzac residency opened with an exceptionally-quiet set from Philippe Melanson + Nick Storring. The main attraction after wasn't so intensely spare, but still invited deep listening. Playing some rippling patterns on his microtonal guitar, Fisher was joined by Dan Pencer and Chris Willes adding some fragile sax warbles and creamy modular synth fuzz. The resulting music slowly swelled upward in volume but otherwise stayed mostly in place — not so much a drone as a gorgeously-stationary shimmer.

Recording: Philippe Melanson + Nick Storring

Artist: Philippe Melanson + Nick Storring

Song: [edited excerpts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), March 12, 2016.

Philippe Melanson + Nick Storring - [edited excerpts]

Playing to a rather full (but especially hushed) room, this was an especially quiet set — quiet enough that I should add the disclaimer my microphones couldn't really do it justice at all. But it's worth preserving, not only as a currently-rare example of Nick Storring playing an improvised set, but also to see Phil Melanson exploring some further avenues in low-volume percussion. Armed with a single large drumhead, there were shades of Tomasz Krawowiak's implied percussion, but it was combined with Melanson's own electroacoustic sensibility — his tools included a rolling ball on turntable amplified by a mic dangling from above. With a series of barely-audible rattles, squeaks, and bow-creaks in the near-darkness, this was the sort of music that forced the audience to close their eyes and lean in to try and gather in the sounds.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Recording: MIMICO

Artist: MIMICO

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Smiling Buddha, March 11, 2016.

MIMICO - unknown

This proggy night at Smiling Buddha was presented under the auspices of façadeMontage, the promoting arm of Romar L. Johnson, also known for his visual work with the Casual Drones series. Anyone who has been to those events knows that he gives lighting and visuals a precedence above and beyond the usual, so it was no surprise to see the intricate lighting rig and intense dosage of dry ice in action here. Closing out the night, MIMICO overcame some guitar troubles to slide into full-on "Welcome to The Machine" mode with some extended instrumental action powered by Ben Oginz's keyboards.

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

Recording: Moonwood

Artist: Moonwood

Song: Mother's Eyes*

Recorded at Smiling Buddha, March 11, 2016.

Moonwood - Mother's Eyes

This proggy night at Smiling Buddha was presented under the auspices of façadeMontage, the promoting arm of Romar L. Johnson, also known for his visual work with the Casual Drones series. Anyone who has been to those events knows that he gives lighting and visuals a precedence above and beyond the usual, so it was no surprise to see the intricate lighting rig and intense dosage of dry ice in action here. The start of Moonwood's set saw them pivoting from their ambling hexplosions with a trio of spiky, psych-punk rockers. After that, though, they disappeared into the fog with some extended instrumental grooves in the latter part of their set.

* Thanks to Jakob for passing along the title to this one.

Recording: zhang³

Artist: zhang³

Song: unknown [excerpt]*

Recorded at Smiling Buddha, March 11, 2016.

zhang³ - unknown [excerpt]

This proggy night at Smiling Buddha was presented under the auspices of façadeMontage, the promoting arm of Romar L. Johnson, also known for his visual work with the Casual Drones series. Anyone who has been to those events knows that he gives lighting and visuals a precedence above and beyond the usual, so it was no surprise to see the intricate lighting rig and intense dosage of dry ice in action here. Besides co-owning June Records, Ian Cheung is doing some cool modular synth work in this trio, alongside Roey Shemesh on guitar and Jay Anderson on drums. Sounding something like I Am Robot and Proud covering "Hallogallo", the first section of the set heard here offered a continuous, loping groove from Anderson that Cheung could occasionally disrupt with synth eruptions.

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

Recording: Fake Humans

Artist: Fake Humans

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Smiling Buddha, March 11, 2016.

Fake Humans - unknown

This proggy night at Smiling Buddha was presented under the auspices of façadeMontage, the promoting arm of Romar L. Johnson, also known for his visual work with the Casual Drones series. Anyone who has been to those events knows that he gives lighting and visuals a precedence above and beyond the usual, so it was no surprise to see the intricate lighting rig and intense dosage of dry ice in action here. Opening the night, it turns out that this duo of Carl Didur and Colin Fisher has evolved since I saw them a while back, moving from abstract synthscapes into a fully-realized "band" sound. Armed with a Suzuki Taishogoto, Didur provided both bassline and synth in this strikingly-realized section while Fisher played drums.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Recording: Rangda

Artist: Rangda

Songs: The Sin Eaters + Spiro Agnew + Idol's Eye

Recorded at Double Double Land, March 8, 2016.

Rangda - The Sin Eaters

Rangda - Spiro Agnew

Rangda - Idol's Eye

Sort of like a grad seminar in advanced songshredology, this band unites drummer Chris Corsano with guitarists Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) in a superpower trio that was on the road supporting their third album The Heretic's Bargain. What this is is a simple thing done quite fucking well, the intricate interplay unleashed so casually that you might miss its technical excellence while your knees are buckling from the delivery. Equally identifiable as sea shanties, speed-psych-raga and surf jazz, there was an incredible amount packed into their near-hour on stage.

Recording: Wyrd Visions

Artist: Wyrd Visions

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Double Double Land, March 8, 2016.

Wyrd Visions - unknown

This night, headlined by some supremely-proficient American underground legends, opened up with some supremely-proficient local underground legends. And although there was a loud/quiet contrast in the two parts of the night, this was a crowd that respected artistry and was admirably focused and attentive early on. It's always a treat to hear be reminded of the fragile weirdness of Colin Bergh's song-world. Wyrd Visions gigs are rare enough that it feels like a special occasion to be able to hear tracks like this that exist only in his live set.

* I have always thought of this song as "Forces of Nature", but so far as I know, there's no official designation of that anywhere. Please leave a comment if you know otherwise!

Recording: Sacred Lamp

Artist: Sacred Lamp

Songs: two unknown songs*

Recorded at Double Double Land, March 8, 2016.

Sacred Lamp - unknown

This night, headlined by some supremely-proficient American underground legends, opened up with some supremely-proficient local underground legends. And although there was a loud/quiet contrast in the two parts of the night, this was a crowd that respected artistry and was admirably focused and attentive early on. Ayal Senior and Matt "Doc" Dunn were in a more restrained mode, their set featuring fewer cosmic jam-outs and more beautiful compressed gems like these, with Dunn's lyrical slide guitar giving the songs all the "voice" they could possibly need.

* Does anyone know the titles to these? Please leave a comment!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #141

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:

Wavelength 696: Don't Speak (feat. Benoît Pioulard / North Atlantic Drift / David Jones) / Array Space 2016-03-25 (Friday) [FB event]

If you've felt like Wavelength has had scant offerings when its not in festival mode lately, fear not, as they have re-committed to their monthly showcase format, promising a focus on shows with an added conceptual or visual component to make them feel more like experiences and less like a regular gig. There's gonna be a lot of that on offer at this show, with its injunction on any verbal communication inside the venue — all the better to be able to really soak in some atmospheric, ambient pop styles (including some ace local openers).


This week's noteworthy shows:

Karen Ng + Mike Gennaro (ACK! [Avesta Nakhaei/Chris Adriaanse/Karen Ng]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-03-22 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Music for Small Spaces (feat. TorQ Percussion Quartet) / Canadian Music Centre 2016-02-22 (Tuesday) [more info]

Bombino / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-03-22 (Tuesday) [more info]

No Octopus Dances / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-03-23 (Wednesday – early!)

Dust: The Quietest Big Band in the World / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-03-23 (Wednesday)

Pneuma Ensemble ["music of the 12th and 13th centuries"] / St. Michael's College – Charbonnel Lounge 2016-03-24 (Thursday – free! afternoon show @ 4 p.m.!) [FB event]

Os Tropies / Burdock Music Hall 2016-03-24 (Thursday) [FB event]

Fiver [solo set] (Trevor Turple / Ian Russell) / Holy Oak Café 2016-03-24 (Thursday) [FB event]

Caution Tape Sound Collective: "Tetrad" [new works by Patrick Arteaga / Sophie Dupuis / August Murphy-King / Bekah Simms / Tyler Versluis] / Array Space 2016-03-24 (Thursday) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-03-25 (Friday)

Pale Eyes (Petra Glynt / Ah Mer Ah Su) / Double Double Land 2016-03-25 (Friday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. M. Lamar / Clara Engel / Bryan Bray & Germaine Liu / Manticore) / Ratio 2016-03-26 (Saturday) [FB event]

Demons 3 (feat. WEARENOTWHOWEARE / P0ST3RB0Y / Greasy Boys / Wretched Child) / 8-Eleven Nocturne 2016-03-26 (Saturday) [FB event]

In the shadow of the Fatherland (feat. Raphael Weinroth-Browne/Shahriyar Jamshidi) / Small World Music Centre 2016-03-26 (Saturday) [FB event]

Flavia Nascimento with Junior Dias [Brazilian forró] / Yauca's Lounge 2016-03-26 (Saturday) [more info]

Friends of Markos [traditional rebetiko] (Machari [unaccompanied Georgian singing]) / The Piano Salon 2016-03-27 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Bambara (Several Futures) / Smiling Buddha 2016-03-27 (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!

Somewhere There presents (feat. Jonah Parzen-Johnson / Dave Miller / Craig Dunsmuir and Dun-Dun Man) / Ratio 2016-03-30 (Wednesday) [FB event]

This Ryan Driver Band (Fiver [solo]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-03-30 (Wednesday) [FB event]

LUKA (Isla Craig) / Holy Oak Café 2016-03-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

Burn Down the Capital presents (feat. Howardian / Wolfcow / Shrines) / Handlebar 2016-04-04 (Monday) [FB event]

Invocation presents Quiet Quiet Annex Lights (feat. Glenn Jones / Merival / The Mucci/Grossman Duo) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2016-04-05 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Art by Joe Chamandy (feat. Protruders [members of Kappa Chow]) / Fountain 2016-04-07 (Thursday – free!)

Moon King (Calvin Love / Elliott Vincent Jones) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-04-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #41 (feat. Matt Miller/Yusuke FurutateAdriana Monti / Michael Ramey/Emily Denison/David Shelly / Brian Abbott/Ted Phillips/Nilan Perera / Michael Lynn/Ken Aldcroft) / Array Space 2016-04-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Alpha Strategy (Champion Lover / Zwarun [f.k.a. Connoisseurs of Porn] / Vida) / Smiling Buddha 2016-04-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Exquisite Beat Theatre 3: First public tour around the bottom of the ocean (feat. Cheldon Paterson [a.k.a. SlowPitchSound] / Vanese Smith [a.k.a. Pursuit Grooves] / Libydo / Rakesh Tewari) / Ratio 2016-04-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Invocation presents Quiet Quiet Annex Lights (feat. Peter Walker / Ian Russell) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2016-04-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Invocation presents Quiet Quiet Annex Lights (feat. Michael Hurley / Fiver) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2016-04-22 (Friday) [FB event]

photo by Melissa Goldstein

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Recording: Aurochs with Christine Bougie

Artist: Aurochs with Christine Bougie

Song: [excerpt from first set]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), March 8, 2016.

Aurochs with Christine Bougie - [excerpt from first set]

Aurochs have been known to spice up their regular Tranzac timeslot (second Tuesday of every month!) with an occasional guest performer. This night saw local master guitarist/lap steel player Christine Bougie sitting in to help the trio push beyond their regular zone — the results ranged from ambient swells (as heard here) to echoplexed songbursts.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Recording: Jeff Roberts and co.

Artist: Jeff Roberts/ Sarah Peebles/Shahriyar Jamshidi + Jeff Roberts/Branko Džinovic/Heidi Chan

Songs: [excerpts from two improvisations]

Recorded at Array Space (Somewhere There Presents), March 6, 2016.

Jeff Roberts/ Sarah Peebles/Shahriyar Jamshidi - [excerpt from first piece]

Jeff Roberts/Branko Džinovic/Heidi Chan - [edited excerpt]

Following on an event at the CMC showcasing Jeff Roberts' work as a composer, this Somewhere There-hosted night focused on improvisation. His work with guqin follows both traditional and modern paths — the latter deploying a motion-sensing MIDI controller to trigger samples that extend the instrument's sound. Besides examining that sonic range in a solo set that mixed traditional tunes with improvisations, the night also began with two rather-different trios. The first, joined by Sarah Peebles' shō and Shahriyar Jamshidi's kamanche was mostly quiet and still, like nature's ancient ambient music found beside a stream. The second, with Branko Džinovic's extended-technique accordion and Heidi Chan's effect-chain xiao, moved things into the digital age, but still remained rooted in thumping, clacking, plucking tactility.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Recording: See Through 5

Artist: See Through 5

Song: We Have Both Been Dissected

Recorded at Array Space (All-Set! Triple Album Launch), March 5, 2016.

See Through 5 - We Have Both Been Dissected

This show served as the launch party for All-Set! Editions and its first three releases. Masterminded by Mike Smith, these first three albums all included his beautifully-designed packaging — and all three also revolved around players from the overlapping Muskox/Aurochs axis. Utilities is the first recording from the expanded version of bassist Pete Johnston's See Through Trio, which has been exploring his compositions in a shifting variety of ensembles. The constant musical foil is pianist Tania Gill, joined frequently by saxophonist Karen Ng — and in this incarnation filled out by Johnston's Aurochs bandmates Jake Oelrichs (percussion) and Mike Smith (synth). The quintet adds some meat to the occasionally off-kilter compositions, pushing things into a more "band"-like chamber-prog zone. All the pieces (save for closing ballad "More Faults Than California") were presented for this show, and are excellently realized on the album.