Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Recording: Members of Retired

Artist: Members of Retired

Song: [first two sections]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 2), July 15, 2017.

Members of Retired - [first two sections]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

With bassist Adam Hanrahan having played his own solo set the day before, the remaining members of the group assembled for a jam, giving a rare chance to see how the group's musical sensibility shifts with one element removed. Most notably, the sample-segues evident in band shows in between songs were now centre stage, with the instrumental breakdowns being more palate cleansers, giving the previously unrealized insight that underneath the weird jazz band there's a really weird hip-hop/noise collage band clawing its way to the surface.

Recording: Fake Flesh

Artist: Fake Flesh

Song: Cosmic Dread

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 2), July 15, 2017.

Fake Flesh - Cosmic Dread

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

Day 2 of the festival had some intense noise-bursts as well courtesy of Fake Flesh, the solo counterpart of the busy/collaborative Goth Girl. As this piece shows, there's a concept beyond noise-for-the-sake-of-noise — there's an actual song fighting to breathe amongst the distortion-bursts and crunching percussion. That shouldn't be taken to mean that there to too many soft edges here, and this was still music that felt a bit out of place in the daylight hours, as opposed to late at night in the darkest shadows.

Recording: Irrevery

Artist: Irrevery

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 2), July 15, 2017.

Irrevery - unknown

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

The festival even gave shelter to a couple bands on tour up from N.Y.C., including Irrevery, who mixed scratchy country-punk (think Uncle Tupelo fronted by Loretta Lynn) with some conceptual art elements. Hints of ready-to-roll-on-the-floor recklessness, but there was also a lot of control in the way that the band could descend from a racket down to an intense whisper.

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

Recording: No One Receiving Duo

Artist: No One Receiving Duo

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 2), July 15, 2017.

No One Receiving Duo - [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

No One Receiving was one of Lorne Shapiro's active projects when he was based in Montréal. Since coming to Toronto, there's fewer opportunities to gather, but one could sense an instant connection sparking his gamba playing when Michal Seta (midi guitar, electronics) was on hand, with strings swelling into clouds of electronic interference. ("Moveable" member Hiroya Miura was virtually present in some of Seta's samples.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #213

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:

Camp Wavelength (feat. Jessy Lanza / DJ Shub / DATU x HATAW / Os Tropies / Loji) / The Garrison 2017-08-18 (Friday) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength (feat. Un Blonde / Haviah Mighty / Witch Prophet / Germaphobes / Exit Someone / Tomi Swick) / Sherbourne Common 2017-08-19 (Saturday – free! all-ages! outside!) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength (feat. Dilly Dally / Rich Aucoin / Duchess Says / Ice Cream) / Longboat Hall 2017-08-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength (feat. She-Devils / Zuze / SlowPitchSound / Dan Misha Goldman / Best Fern / L CON) / Sherbourne Common 2017-08-20 (Sunday – free! all-ages! outside!) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength (feat. Deerhoof / The Luyas / Emilie & Ogden) / The Great Hall 2017-08-20 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Island giveth and the Island taketh away. Normally a respite from the hurly-burly of the city, this spring and summer have seen Toronto Island seemingly under siege by nature, suddenly seemingly eager to reclaim the glorious sandbar that has building up in the city's natural harbour for so long. This should be a sobering reminder of the long-term challenges the city faces in the coming ecological catastrophe — but in the short term we also have to face up to the bummer of Wavelength's annual summer festival losing its venue. Regrouping with all their logistical acumen, the WL crew has at least salvaged some of the outdoor vibe with a pair of free outdoor daytime shows close to the water's edge. The night-time portion won't be quite the same, but there's still a wealth of excellent homegrown and imported music to make up for from the vibechange.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Nick Fraser/Bryan Qu/Alex Fournier / The Emmet Ray 2017-08-14 (Monday)

The AMBiENT PiNG: 18th Anniversary (feat. Shimmer Crush / Weep O' Mine Eyes / Paul Kwitek) / Handlebar 2017-08-16 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Nick Fraser/Bryan Qu/Alex Fournier / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-16 (Wednesday)

Play the Parks (feat. Os Tropies) / McGill Granby Parkette 2017-08-17 (Thursday – free! all-ages + family-friendly! outside! early show @ 5 p.m.!) [more info]

Feminist Art Museum presents: Pauline Oliveros' "To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation" (feat. Christopher Willes / Anne Bourne / Allison Cameron / Ame Henderson / Anni Spadafora / Ellen Furey / Evan Webber / Germaine Liu / Ishan Dave) / Gardiner Museum 2017-08-17 (Thursday – early event @ 7 p.m.! free with registration!) [more info]

The Mean (Wolfcow / George Westerholm) / Bovine Sex Club 2017-08-17 (Thursday) [FB event]

Beats, Breaks & Culture (feat. Dead Obies / Above Top Secret with Witch Prophet / Leila Dey) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-18 (Friday – free! outdoors! all-ages!) [FB event]

NYON (Greydini / Passion Altar / Protruders) / Euro Sports Bar 2017-08-18 (Friday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents: Benefit for Parkdale Organized (feat. S.H.I.T. / Tonkapuma / Tashme) / Bike Pirates 2017-08-18 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Beats, Breaks & Culture (feat. Austra / Harrison / Rae Spoon / XOLISA / Mackenta) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-19 (Saturday – free! outdoors! all-ages!) [FB event]

Zine Dream 10 Matinee show (feat. Shoe Beach / Dohn Valley / Hexagon [Carl Didur/Louis Percival]) / The Dupe Shop 2017-08-19 (Saturday – afternoon show!) [FB event]

The Orb / Mod Club 2017-08-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Pop. 1280 (Whimm / WLMRT) / Monarch Tavern 2017-08-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Low Noise showcase (feat. Transmit Vs. Intangerines / Anome / Stan K) / LP's LPs 2017-08-19 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Audio Bleed (feat. L'ombre / Error 144 / Dustin Good) / Belljar Café 2017-08-19 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Beats, Breaks & Culture (feat. Phèdre / Aiko Tomi) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-20 (Sunday – free! outdoors! all-ages!) [FB event]

Diane Roblin/Heather Saumer/Joe Sorbara / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-20 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. DF [Montreal-based audiovisual duo]) / The Emmet Ray 2017-08-20 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

JFM (YlangYlang / NPNP / Leucrocuta) / Handlebar 2017-08-20 (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!

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Lea Bertucci / Manticore / Kat Estacio) / Double Double Land 2017-08-23 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Rob Michalchuk (Brian Ruryk) / The Dupe Shop 2017-08-26 (Saturday – afternoon show @ 3 p.m.! PWYC!) [FB event]

AIM LOW (birdboy / Childs / Mud) / Smiling Buddha – basement 2017-08-26 (Saturday – early!) [FB event]

The Starved (Terror Lake / Candi) / The Baby G 2017-08-26 (Saturday) [FB event]

Quiet Bedrooms presents: Launch Show (feat. Ivan Distaro / Henoheno / S. Ayton / Charles Spearin / Guilt Mountain / Heraclitus Akimbo / YlangYlang) / Danforth And Woodbine neighbourhood 2017-08-27 (Sunday – afternoon/evening show! PWYC!) [FB event]

The Lifers (Decoration Day) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-08-30 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Live on the Patio: Arts & Crafts Night (feat. Bernice) / Roy Thomson Hall – Patio 2017-09-01 (Friday – free! all-ages! outside!) [FB event]

Intersection Day 2 (feat. Evyind Kang/Jessika Kenney/Andrew Timar/Pedram Khavarzamini/Araz Salek / Völur [acoustic set]) / Jam Factory 2017-09-01 (Friday) [FB event]

Intersection Day 4: Plant Music (feat. Castle If / Nick Storring / JFM / Laura Swankey) / Allan Gardens 2017-09-04 (Monday – free! all ages! afternoon event!) [FB event]

John Millard (Tim Posgate & Andrew Downing) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-09-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Pleasence Records presents (feat. Woolworm / WLMRT / Moon Eyed) / Monarch Tavern 2017-09-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Couch Slut (Show of Bedlam / IRN / Brigitte Bardon't / Noose Talk) / Coalition: T.O. 2017-09-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Camp Girls (Kurt Marble / Beige) / Smiling Buddha 2017-09-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

ANAMAI (YlangYlang / Xuan Ye + David Jones) / The Baby G 2017-09-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

KASHKA [acoustic] / Likely General 2017-09-29 (Friday – all ages! dry show!) [FB event]

X Avant XII (feat. Man Forever / Germaine Liu + Ensemble / Luyos MC/Reila) / 918 Bathurst 2017-10-11 (Wednesday) [FB event]

X Avant XII (feat. Chino Amobi / INTERRO feat. Kaie Kellough, Tanya Evanson, Jason Sharp, Kevin Lo) / 918 Bathurst 2017-10-13 (Friday) [FB event]

X Avant XII: Deep Listening Intensive (feat. Anne Bourne) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-10-14 (Saturday – afternoon participatory event! free!) [FB event]

X Avant XII: curated by LAL and Babely Shades (feat. Avrha [members of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan] / Bizzarh / Drawing With Knives) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-10-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Fake Palms [Pure Mind album release!] (Cindy Lee / Lee Paradise) / Smiling Buddha 2017-10-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

X Avant XII: James Tenney: Resistance / 918 Bathurst 2017-10-15 (Sunday) [FB event]

Kamancello [album release!] / Burdock Music Hall 2017-10-15 (Sunday) [FB event]

Invocation presents (feat. COLLEEN / Khôra) / Array Space 2017-11-12 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Recording: FASTER

Artist: FASTER

Song: Hypnochondria, Part 1

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

FASTER - Hypnochondria, Part 1

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

This duo's recent works have been moving away from punk-jazz cabaret/warped carnival songs and into a more composerly space. That doesn't necessarily mean it's less frenzied — "Kaleidoscopter" (this set's first piece) extended the genre-blender whirligig they'd previously explored in their "Death Suite". This one is a bit less dense, but the complicated array of sheet music that the pair were taping to their stands before playing indicates there's still plenty of notes.

Recording: Grossman/o/Prophet

Artist: Ben Grossman/cheryl o/Barry Prophet

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

Ben Grossman/cheryl o/Barry Prophet - [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

Exhibiting a true richness of sound from Ben Grossman's hurdy-gurdy, cheryl o's cello and Barry Prophet's digital theremin, this set's peaceful ambient drift was one of the festival's highlights.

[You can listen to the band's own recording of their full set over at their soundcloud, alongside some older trio work and duo pieces from cheryl o and Barry Prophet.]

Recording: The Bim Prongs

Artist: The Bim Prongs

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

The Bim Prongs - [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

Celebrating the occasion, William Davison brought some tapes of the event's host singing to warble in the background before looping some bristly sounds from a contact mic'd brush and other bricabrac from his collection of implements. Near the end of this extract, there's are some beautiful plinks from the metal tines of an egg slicer that then get whooshed into reverse.

Recording: Mkl32

Artist: Mkl32

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

Mkl32 - [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

Michael Lynn, curator of the Audiopollination series and an open-eared musical adventurer, has adopted this bandonym of late for his solo appearances. Draped over his double bass, bow and metal whisk in hand, he took the prize for the day's shortest set, wringing some dulcet tones from his rusty strings and then clearing the stage.

Recording: Bit Reduction

Artist: Bit Reduction

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

Bit Reduction - [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

Compared to the previous time I had seen Craig Renaud's solo project in action, this outing was a little more restrained — which is to say there were no sharp-edged kitchen implements being swung around, and no blood afterwards. Sonically, that demonstrated Renaud's elegant construction and execution a bit more sharply — you can call this some of the smartest "noise" around.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Recording: Body of Waste

Artist: Body of Waste

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

Body of Waste - [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

Having seen Adam Hanrahan's noise project a couple weeks before, I knew what I was getting into here. And this did indeed explore similar sonic terrain in the day's first earplugs-required set, bracing feedback, sound-knife and all.

Recording: Lorne Shapiro & Brian Abbott

Artist: Lorne Shapiro & Brian Abbott

Song: Sparkling Liver Spots in the Moonlit Thunderdome (or, Three-legged Short Pants for a Severed Octopus) [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

Lorne Shapiro & Brian Abbott - Sparkling Liver Spots in the Moonlit Thunderdome (or, Three-legged Short Pants for a Severed Octopus) [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

I'd seen this pair improvise together in this very same space, and was impressed with their mix of technique, pedal manipulations and a sense of not-taking-things-too seriously. This set had all of that again, with plenty of beautiful stretches that belied their casually-tossed-off titles.

Recording: Money House

Artist: Money House

Song: Die Tochter Meiner Schwester

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

Money House - Die Tochter Meiner Schwester

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

The nights often saw opposing sounds in adjacent sets, with songs and noise mixing as freely as the electronic sounds that predominated early in this day with this trio's jazzy compositions. With Alex Fournier (bass, banter) and Stefan Hegerat (percussion) joined by Patrick O'Reilly (guitar), this one's tune (contributed by Hegerat) has some nifty long-delay diversions from O'Reilly.

Recording: James Bailey

Artist: James Bailey

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Gerrard Art Space (Eclec~Tic~Toc Fest, Vol. 1 – Night 1), July 14, 2017.

James Bailey - [excerpt]

Ever since washing up on our shores, Neal D. Retke (who performs as {AN} Eel) has been spreading joy and preaching the benefits of D.I.Y. co-operation. A busy member of the international home-taping circuit known for his many collaborative projects, this festival arose from a desire to bring together some of the different musicians he's encountered here so far, mixing together songs and noises over two days in the G.A.S.'s cozy east-end space.

James Bailey lead the whole thing off with some sounds manipulated through a Memory Man and a multi-effects pedal, sounding a bit like the further adventures of Pole Position at the outset before downshifting and exploring some other electronic abstractions.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Recording: Kat Estacio

Artist: Kat Estacio

Song: Untitled #1

Recorded at Array Space (Rooted, Somewhere There, and Mechanical Forest Sound present), July 9, 2017.

Kat Estacio - Untitled #1

Normally the night of its monthly Second Sunday series, Somewhere There instead decided to open things up, inviting a couple co-conspirators to each bring an act to this show. On behalf of Mechanical Forest Sound, I invited Kat Estacio to close out the night. It turned out that her solo work for gongs and electronics had some intriguing parallels with the Germaine Liu pieces explored in the previous set. And though this piece floated in similar dream-drifty terrain to what I had heard Estacio explore in the past, there were signs that she is also expanding her dynamics to explore some other moods as the opening piece had a layer of anger that was released in some more aggressive work with the mallets.

[Somewhere There's Second Sunday series continues this weekend (August 13th) with a set from Québec's Sonia Paço-Rocchia offering realtime electroacoustic manipulations for bassoon and visuals, plus a quartet encounter with the SWT organizing team.]

Recording: The Imaginary Percussion Ensemble

Artist: The Imaginary Percussion Ensemble

Songs: Study for Claps #2 & #3

Recorded at Array Space (Rooted, Somewhere There, and Mechanical Forest Sound present), July 9, 2017.

The Imaginary Percussion Ensemble - Study for Claps #2

The Imaginary Percussion Ensemble - Study for Claps #3

Normally the night of its monthly Second Sunday series, Somewhere There instead decided to open things up, inviting a couple co-conspirators to each bring an act to this show. This set, convened by Somewhere There's own Joe Sorbara brought together a crew of musicians to explore some sonic realms inspired by local master percussionist Germaine Liu.

Liu joined in for some of the pieces, while Sorbara was joined by percussionist Mark Zurawinski as well as non-percussionists Emily Denison (trumpet) and Anthony Argatoff (saxophone). For this crew, exploring Liu's pieces meant treating them playfully, as an opportunity to see what happens when the parameters are altered. So, for example, "Study for Claps" was approached in three different ways: first as a straight ahead pattern exercise for three pairs of clapping hands, then with horn improvisations triggered by the patterns, and finally with the horns joining in with percussive clap-blats. The idea of "imaginary percussion" was pushed even further in a pair of runthroughs of "The Sound I Want to Hear" (a piece by Sorbara), first as a drumkit duo with him and Zurawinski, then by giving the drum chart to the horn players to extrapolate a melody from the rhythmic elements.

[Somewhere There's Second Sunday series continues this weekend (August 13th) with a set from Québec's Sonia Paço-Rocchia offering realtime electroacoustic manipulations for bassoon and visuals, plus a quartet encounter with the SWT organizing team.]

Recording: Harrison Argatoff

Artist: Harrison Argatoff

Song: [first improvisation]

Recorded at Array Space (Rooted, Somewhere There, and Mechanical Forest Sound present), July 9, 2017.

Harrison Argatoff - [first improvisation]

Normally the night of its monthly Second Sunday series, Somewhere There instead decided to open things up, inviting a couple co-conspirators to each bring an act to this show. This first set was presented by Rooted, which seeks to grow community and explore new musical ideas by curating, recording, and releasing live concerts.

Saxophonist Anthony Argatoff, who has been making a name for himself in local creative music circles over the past couple years, has recently headed out of the city — so perhaps it's rather fitting to see his younger brother (also a product of the U of T music program) starting to step up as a more prominent player. This solo set saw him exploring some ideas for tenor saxophone, mixing improvisations with composed work and sax licks with some other vocalisations.

[Somewhere There's Second Sunday series continues this weekend (August 13th) with a set from Québec's Sonia Paço-Rocchia offering realtime electroacoustic manipulations for bassoon and visuals, plus a quartet encounter with the SWT organizing team.]

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Recording: LAL

Artist: LAL

Song: Stand In My Way

Recorded at Prairie Drive Park (Feast in the East 63), July 8, 2017.

LAL - Stand In My Way

A return to Prairie Drive Park after last year's initial excursion had another excellent lineup and even better weather. Free food for all gave locals and musical tourists a chance to mingle together and it was a real treat to hear music echoing through the well-used park. Essential city-building work from Toronto Arts Foundation's Arts in the Parks initiative — hopefully this will continue every summer.

As night fell and the playground cleared out, LAL closed the night with a conscious party, celebrating art and resilience. Appreciating the vibes in a neighbourhood she'd known since her childhood, singer Rosina Kazi's hands darted out around her in the barely-illuminated stage area, feeling her way through Nicholas Murray's beats like a teenager tentatively pacing through a darkened park, searching for one excitingly-illicit thrill or another.

Recording: Saxsyndrum

Artist: Saxsyndrum

Song: Maceo*

Recorded at Prairie Drive Park (Feast in the East 63), July 8, 2017.

Saxsyndrum - Maceo

A return to Prairie Drive Park after last year's initial excursion had another excellent lineup and even better weather. Free food for all gave locals and musical tourists a chance to mingle together and it was a real treat to hear music echoing through the well-used park. Essential city-building work from Toronto Arts Foundation's Arts in the Parks initiative — hopefully this will continue every summer.

This Montréal art-rock trio brought all the things their name suggests. When they began playing, a large hawk was circling overhead, the underside of its wings catching the fading golden evening sun — it's just possible it was looking for the source of the seagull squawks generated by Dave Switchenko's heavily-reverbed saxophone. Languishing hints of funk quite appropriate for the damp cool of the evening beginning to descend over the park.

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

Recording: The Cosmic Range

Artist: The Cosmic Range

Song: The Shark [excerpt]

Recorded at Prairie Drive Park (Feast in the East 63), July 8, 2017.

The Cosmic Range - The Shark [excerpt]

A return to Prairie Drive Park after last year's initial excursion had another excellent lineup and even better weather. Free food for all gave locals and musical tourists a chance to mingle together and it was a real treat to hear music echoing through the well-used park. Essential city-building work from Toronto Arts Foundation's Arts in the Parks initiative — hopefully this will continue every summer.

The full Cosmic Range complement were out in force, with Matt "Doc" Dunn joined by Isla Craig (vox, percussion), Andy Haas (sax, electronics), Max "Slim Twig" Turnbull (guit), Jonathan Adjemian (synth), Mike Smith (bass), Jay Anderson (drums), Brandon Valdivia (percussion) and Derek and Iggy Madison (percussion). The set was given over to a sprawling new piece called "The Shark", which moved hungrily between mellow groove-simmers and teeth-baring rockouts.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #212

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:

Native North America Gathering (feat. Duke Redbird / Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback / Willy Mitchell / Shingoose / Lawrence Martin with Vern Cheechoo / Lloyd Cheechoo / Eric Landry / Leland Bell / Brian Davey / John Angaiak / Alexis Utatnaq) / Trinity-St. Paul's 2017-08-08 (Tuesday) [FB event]

A monumental night at Trinity-St. Paul's brings together several of the musicians whose place in Canadian music history was reasserted with the release of 2014's Native North America compilation. Surely an opportunity that isn't going to come around again, this show is really not to be missed.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Fast Music [debut show!] [Mark Ballyk/Julian Anderson-Bowes/Quincy Mayes/Andrew Marzotto/Matt Woroshyl/Bryan Qu] / The Rex 2017-08-07 (Monday) [FB event]

Foonyap (Twin Kai / Plazas / Ivory Towers) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-08-07 (Monday) [FB event]

NOVA [new work by Dan Tapper and new works by Bekah Ann Simms, Allison Cameron and Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh. Electroacoustic works, multimedia pieces and immersive installation.] / Canadian Music Centre 2017-08-08 (Tuesday – free with RSVP!) [FB event]

Ornate Ornette (feat. Mike DeiCont/Mark Ballyk/Andrew Miller/Brodie West/Bryan Qu) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-08 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan presents Sundanese Music Workshop (feat. "leading visiting musicians & dancers from Indonesian Art and Culture Institute of Bandung (ISBI)") / Array Space 2017-08-08 (Tuesday – free!) [FB event]

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires (Blonde Elvis / No Frills) / The Garrison 2017-08-08 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Baby Cages (Johnny de Courcy / Banana Split [members of Ice Cream]) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-08-08 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Brodie West/Reg Schwager/Marilyn Lerner/Evan Cartwright / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-09 (Wednesday – early!)

Music by & for Ken Aldcroft VIII (feat. Allison Cameron & Glen Hall / Andrew Furlong/Andrew Kay/Joe Sorbara) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-09 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Drone:Klub:09 [community drone immersion experience – listen or participate! / Roland Inspiration Centre 2017-08-09 (Wednesday – free!) [FB event]

Invocation Residency Series (feat. Wooden Wand / Snake Church [Ben Grossman/Michael Mucci]) / Array Space 2017-08-10 (Thursday – all ages!) [FB event]

Silent Shout presents (feat. P0st3rb0y [tape release party!] / Lee Paradise / The Marquis / Jonny) / Smiling Buddha 2017-08-10 (Thursday) [FB event]

Plasmalab (Slow Dawn / The Do Nothings) / Euro Sports Bar 2017-08-10 (Thursday) [FB event]

New Adventures in Sound Art: Sound Travels Concert – Object Response] ["artists that use saw blades and other carpentry tools as source material for sound exploration and automation"] (feat. Sonia Paço-Rocchia / Alan Bloor) / Ernest Balmer Studio 2017-08-11 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

Habari Africa Festival (feat. Rhythm Umurisho / Noumoucounda Cissoko) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-11 (Friday – free! outside! all ages + family friendly!) [more info]

Teenanger [Teenager album release show!] (New Fries / Hooded Fang) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2017-08-11 (Friday) [FB event]

Moon King (Scott Hardware) / The Baby G 2017-08-11 (Friday) [FB event]

Voddville V: The Talk Show (feat. SlowPitchSound / Lumi Krysztal) / Hub 14 2017-08-11 (Friday) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength: Camp Cruise (feat. Cadence Weapon / Greys / Tika the Creator / Vallens) / River Gambler 2017-08-11 (Friday – $3 with RSVP!) [FB event]

Habari Africa Festival (feat. Adam Solomon / Adama Daou [balafon workshop] / Master Djembefola Amadou Kienou [Na Folike workshop] / Nhapitapi Mbira / Blandine) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-12 (Saturday – free! outside! all ages + family friendly!) [more info]

Habari Africa Festival (feat. Diblo Dibala & Matchatcha) / Harbourfront Centre – Brigantine Room 2017-08-12 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper's Lipliners / The Dakota Tavern 2017-08-12 (Saturday) [FB event]

Habari Africa Festival (feat. Ubuntu Drum and Dance / Adama Daou [balafon workshop] / Neema Children's Choir) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-13 (Sunday – free! outside! all ages + family friendly!) [more info]

Kultura Filipino Arts Festival (feat. HATAW / JC3 / Kyvita / HanHan / DATU / Gingee / RV Mendoza / Casey Garcia / Darling Cora / Sol.Dust) / Daniels Spectrum 2017-08-13 (Sunday – free! daytime event! all-ages + family-friendly!) [FB event]

Medieval Music with Dance (feat. Pneuma Ensemble) / Majlis Art Garden 2017-08-13 (Sunday) [FB event]

Heaven For Real [Japan Tour send-off with bands and comedy] (Dorothea Paas / Luge) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-08-13 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There's Second Sunday Series (feat. Now Here This [Paul Newman/Heather Saumer/Noah Sherman/Joe Sorbara] / Sonia Paço-Rocchia with Mark Gane/Eugene Martynec/Ambrose Pottie) / Array Space 2017-08-13 (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!

Cindy Wilson [of The B-52s] / Lee's Palace 2017-09-06 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Futuro Libre presents (feat. Pierre Kwenders [Toronto album release party!] / DATU / OBUXUM) / Rivoli 2017-09-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Weeping Icon (Sigil) / The Baby G 2017-09-24 (Sunday) [FB event]

Wavelength & Goethe-Institut present (feat. Hauschka / Debashis Sinha) / St. Anne's Anglican Church 2017-10-27 (Friday) [FB event]

The Clientele (Hoops) / The Great Hall 2017-10-31 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Andy Shauf (Jennifer Castle) / Massey Hall 2017-11-23 (Thursday) [more info]

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Preview: SummerWorks 2017

SummerWorks Performance Festival

August 3-13, 2016

Pushing further with its initiatives around accessibility and cross-discipline pollination, the SummerWorks Festival is less than ever a place to go and just sit down to passively watch a performance. There are indeed, some shows where an audience just watches something on a stage, but much of the festival seems to be seeking to upend that model, to mix/remix/recombine concepts in new ways.

For music fans, that means digging deeper than one used to have to — gone are the days where the Music Series presented night after night of innovatively-staged spectacles by rising local musicians. Instead, musical content is more scattered and mixed among the other productions — so this preview's goal is to dig through some of the diverse landing points for the Festival's music offerings, and then offer some suggestions for a few further avenues that curious ears might go exploring down. [Listen! tags mean you can check out a live recording of that artist from the MFS archive.]

  • Are We Not Horses – The Sci-Fi Summer Musical This re-visioning is a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Rock Plaza Central's breakthrough album — one of those epochal moments where the folkies and weirdo improvisers in the Tranzac's front room teamed up to craft an artifact that made not insignificant inroads into the broader culture. A concept album about mechanical horses in the midst of an epic battle between good and evil, there's plenty of narrative grist to exploit in a stage version — and there's also some pretty cool, memorable songs. It'll be interesting to see if all of that can be brought together into a coherent vision, but whether it's a disciplined gallop or rearing back as it spits the bit, this should be fascinating to behold.
  • Erased: Billy & Bayard The Queer Songbook Orchestra has been workshopping its tribute to Billy Strayhon (Duke Ellington's long-time writing partner) for a little while now, and those efforts are emerging in this show that not only attempts to re-insert him into his rightful place in the musical firmament, but to connect his cultural "erasure" as a gay black man with Bayard Rustin, the pioneering civil rights activist whose efforts were similarly marginalized. Known for its mixture of storytelling/reclaiming narratives and lush musical excellence, the QSO's shows are always emotionally stirring, and this promises to extend that even further.
    Listen! The Queer Songbook Orchestra Geordie Gordon - Don't You Pay Them No Mind
  • Crush On Humans Closest in spirit to the sort of shows that used to be the Music Series' calling card (and including some guest turns by former performers in it), this multi-episode extravaganza promises to reveal the origin story of Toronto's Alphabot — oh, and an "attempt to save humanity from its tyrannical robot oppressors". Should be a fun romp and don't get too hung up on narrative continuity — individual performances during the run should stand on their own just fine.
    Listen! Alphabot! - Rabbit Ears
  • BODIES OF WATER Just another evening of Iranian afrofunk folk-rock from the Zuze ensemble... except with live synchronized swimming and video streams. [n.b.: Please note this event has been cancelled.]
  • Who Runs the World?/Out a Road/Body Brake 8.5 One innovation this year's festival is offering is free late-night programming at the SummerWorks Back Patio at Pia Bouman Studio, just over from Queen and Dufferin. There are some nights with cool DJ's (including John Caffery, Regina Gently, and New Chance) plus some "themed" nights with some excellent live entertainment. Who Runs the World? is programmed by Girls Rock Camp Toronto and will include performances by some of the always-awesome camper bands, Out a Road offers a chance to catch a preview of some of Bonjay's long-awaited new material, and Body Brake 8.5 mixes live dance performance with a set from Witch Prophet.
    Listen! Denim Roses - We Hate Cake
    Listen! Bonjay - Creepin
    Listen! Witch Prophet - Funeral For a Killer

Meanwhile, the festival's workshop series contains a couple entries that may be of interest to folks organizing in the music community, on Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism organizational strategies and integrating indigeneity and decolonizing performance practice. And there's a lot more interesting stuff in the festival, as well: I'm interested in Pearle Harbour's Chautauqua, DIVINE, August, Augusta, and Explosions for the 21st Century. SummerWorks is always a well-curated festival, so if you've got time and a curious mind, it doesn't hurt just to dive into something that fits into your schedule.

The fine print: single-performance tickets are from $15, and there are various pass options available. You can find all the ticket information here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Recording: Body of Waste

Artist: Body of Waste

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Handlebar (Track Could Bend #28), July 4, 2017.

Body of Waste - [excerpt]

When not playing bass in groups like Retired and Deliluh, Adam Hanrahan has also been exploring noise/drone sounds as Body of Waste, creating sonic tension so thick it could literally be cut with a knife.

[Track Could Bend returns to The Steady tonight (August 1st) with Invisible Out's social media complications, Tom Richards' shoreline synth drones and BABEL's last ever (!?) performance.]

Recording: Sound of the Mountain

Artist: Sound of the Mountain

Song: [edited excerpt]

Recorded at Handlebar (Track Could Bend #28), July 4, 2017.

Sound of the Mountain - [edited excerpt]

Elizabeth Millar (clarinet) and Craig Pedersen (trumpet) have been working on this electroacoustic project for awhile now, so it was no surprise to see them in full control of their extended technique, carefully mic-ing the breath-sounds and buttons of their instruments to create a living soundscape seeping into all corners of the room and creating all sorts of "effects" without the use of pedals or laptops. The pair were celebrating an excellently-crafted album (recorded by Thierry Amar at Hotel2Tango) with a westward journey across the country — an adventure as big as their sounds suggest.

[Track Could Bend returns to The Steady tonight (August 1st) with Invisible Out's social media complications, Tom Richards' shoreline synth drones and BABEL's last ever (!?) performance.]

Recording: Blue Light

Artist: Blue Light

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at Handlebar (Track Could Bend #28), July 4, 2017.

Blue Light - [excerpt from first piece]

A too-rare appearance from Ami Spears in solo mode, this set of beautiful music featured slightly-gritty keyboard ambience with little hints of deftly-controlled feedback from gentle brushes of her violin strings. Superb stuff, and we should hope for more frequent solo outings from someone emerging as a strong electroacoustic artist.

[Track Could Bend returns to The Steady tonight (August 1st) with Invisible Out's social media complications, Tom Richards' shoreline synth drones and BABEL's last ever (!?) performance.]

Monday, July 31, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #211

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:

Track Could Bend #29 (feat. BABEL / Invisible Out / Tom Richards) / The Steady Café 2017-08-01 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Some differing zones of electronic experimentation at this month's TCB, with the frazzled social media mysteries of Xuan Ye & Jason Doell's Invisible Out and some soothing shoreline drones from Tom Richards. But most notably, this is purported to be the final-ever show for Jakob Rehlinger's BABEL, as he prepares to pivot to new projects.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Our Quarterlight: Essay/Cassette double launch (feat. Thom Gill & Fan Wu) / The Dupe Shop 2017-07-31 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Monday Penance (feat. Starpilot / Demi-Mal / Beard Closet / Esther Splett) / Smiling Buddha 2017-07-31 (Monday – early show!) [FB event]

Mark McGuire (Ancient Ocean / C. R. Gillespie) / The Baby G 2017-07-31 (Monday) [FB event]

Don Scott/Karen Ng/Nick Fraser (Bloom) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-01 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Thin Skin (Luge / Flesh Narc / Toucan Slam) / Smiling Buddha 2017-08-02 (Wednesday) [FB event]

N//K (birdboy / Little Kid / Childs) / Smiling Buddha 2017-08-02 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ghostlight / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-02 (Wednesday)

FRIGS (Dri Hiev / New Positions) / The Baby G 2017-08-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

Triples (Ducks Unlimited / Champion Ski / Beige) / Monarch Tavern 2017-08-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

The Puppet Show: Opening Reception (feat. Faster) / Gerrard Art Space 2017-08-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

In Between Sounds #76 (feat. Lorde Awesome) / The Only Café 2017-08-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

Godstopper (Alpha Strategy / Humanities / Deliluh) / SPK Polish Combatants' Hall 2017-08-04 (Friday) [FB event]

Audio Bleed (feat. Processor / Panic Engines / Western Plates) / Belljar Café 2017-08-04 (Friday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Ronley Teper & Tim Posgate (Abigail Lapell) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-05 (Saturday – early!) [FB event]

Duffog [Mike Duffield/Ben Oginz] (Bodies That Matter / Korea Town Acid) / Handlebar 2017-08-05 (Saturday) [FB event]

Sunday Residency (feat. Sacred Lamp) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-06 (Sunday – afternoon show @ 1 p.m.!) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 47 (feat. Hybrid Frequency / Stargoon) / Handlebar 2017-08-06 (Sunday – PWYC!) [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!

NOVA [new work by Dan Tapper and new works by Bekah Ann Simms, Allison Cameron and Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh. Electroacoustic works, multimedia pieces and immersive installation.] / Canadian Music Centre 2017-08-08 (Tuesday – free with RSVP!) [FB event]

Ornate Ornette (feat. Mike DeiCont/Mark Ballyk/Andrew Miller/Brodie West/Bryan Qu) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-08-08 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Baby Cages (Johnny de Courcy / Banana Split [members of Ice Cream]) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-08-08 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Plasmalab (Slow Dawn / The Do Nothings) / Euro Sports Bar 2017-08-10 (Thursday) [FB event]

Heaven For Real [Japan Tour send-off with bands and comedy] (Dorothea Paas / Luge) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-08-13 (Sunday) [FB event]

The AMBiENT PiNG: 18th Anniversary (feat. Shimmer Crush / Weep O' Mine Eyes / Paul Kwitek) / Handlebar 2017-08-16 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Beats, Breaks & Culture (feat. Dead Obies / Above Top Secret with Witch Prophet / Leila Dey) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-18 (Friday – free! outdoors! all-ages!) [FB event]

Beats, Breaks & Culture (feat. Austra / Harrison / Rae Spoon / XOLISA / Mackenta) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-19 (Saturday – free! outdoors! all-ages!) [FB event]

Beats, Breaks & Culture (feat. Phèdre / Aiko Tomi) / Harbourfront Centre 2017-08-20 (Sunday – free! outdoors! all-ages!) [FB event]

POSI VIBEZ presents (feat. Osypa Luna [EP release!] / Brigitte Bardon't / James Gray) / Handlebar 2017-08-27 (Sunday) [FB event]

Julie & The Wrong Guys (Casper Skulls) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2017-09-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Labyrinth Ontario Launch / Fundraiser (feat. Bassam Bishara / Meden Glas / The Iranian Modal Music Ensemble of Toronto) / 918 Bathurst 2017-09-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Cassidy Cawthray Neufeld) / The Emmet Ray 2017-09-24 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Tough Age (Future Punx / Eyeballs / New Chance) / The Baby G 2017-10-06 (Friday) [FB event]