Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Recording: The Magic

Artist: The Magic

Song: Lies

Recorded at The Gladstone Hotel's Ballroom (Long Winter 5.2), January 6, 2017.

The Magic - Lies

It was exciting to finally hear the songs from last year's Nightfalling in the way they were meant to be heard — in a packed room with people dancing. Having Jessy Bell Smith on stage as a vocal foil amped things up considerably. An able rootsy singer on her own, here she added soulful buoyancy to Georgie Gordon's vocals. Tim Clarke also added vox and some EWI-ish sounds from a synth-sax.

[You can also see some video with my audio over on Brandon Caswell Douglas' playlist from the night.]

[Long Winter continues this Saturday (February 4th) with the action moving to The Theatre Centre, featuring music by Devon Welsh, Off World, Saidah Conrad, Germaphobes, L CON, Ivy Mairi, FIN, Young Clancy, Roberto and Vibrant Matter.]

Recording: LA LUNA

Artist: LA LUNA

Songs: Broken Heart Emoji + Always Already

Recorded at The Gladstone Hotel's Melody Bar (Long Winter 5.2), January 6, 2017.

LA LUNA - Broken Heart Emoji

LA LUNA - Always Already

This quartet's genre tags on their bandcamp includes the string "emo emotional emotive emoviolence", which manages to convey a certain aesthetic sensibility. Live, they gave the impression of loudfastpunks who were learning to slow down, with grinding instrumental passages punctuated by counterpoint co-screaming from guitarist Nicolas Field and bassist Alex Kurth before vocalist Vanessa Gloux would return to the fray to push the song forward.

[You can also see some video over on Brandon Caswell Douglas' playlist from the night.]

[Long Winter continues this Saturday (February 4th) with the action moving to The Theatre Centre, featuring music by Devon Welsh, Off World, Saidah Conrad, Germaphobes, L CON, Ivy Mairi, FIN, Young Clancy, Roberto and Vibrant Matter.]

Recording: HanHan

Artist: HanHan

Song: Tawa

Recorded at The Gladstone Hotel's Ballroom (Long Winter 5.2), January 6, 2017.

HanHan - Tawa

Based on her show-stopping work in DATU's High Blood at last year's SummerWorks, I was definitely looking forward to HanHan's solo set at Long Winter — and indeed it was pretty much the highlight of the event. Bringing a posse of HATAW dancers, the group took up space in the best way, eschewing the stage to take over the floor, performing with the crowd forming a rough semicircle around them. Although the exact messages of Hanhan's empowerment raps might be lost in performance to an English-speaking audience, her point is entirely conveyed by her confidence. [The lyrics are also translated over on her bandcamp.]

[You can also see some video using my audio over on Brandon Caswell Douglas' playlist from the night.]

[HanHan will be playing the Wavelength Music Festival on Silent Shout's co-presented Sunday night groove extravaganza, February 19th at The Garrison. Long Winter continues this Saturday (February 4th) with the action moving to The Theatre Centre, featuring music by Devon Welsh, Off World, Saidah Conrad, Germaphobes, L CON, Ivy Mairi, FIN, Young Clancy, Roberto and Vibrant Matter.]

Recording: Queen of Swords

Artist: Queen of Swords

Song: Ambivalence

Recorded at The Gladstone Hotel's Ballroom (Long Winter 5.2), January 6, 2017.

Queen of Swords - Ambivalence

This project name didn't mean anything to me, but it turned out there was a familiar face behind the veil. I'd seen vocalist Aerin Fogel with The Bitters a few years back but that doesn't give too much of a hint of her current direction. Currently playing guitar and vocals over backing tracks, she was a bit more technologically constrained on stage than she used to be — though the music was definitely more restrained as well and showing off a more richly-expressive vocal delivery. There's a few demo recordings on her bandcamp as well as the promise of a Bobb Bruno-produced album on its way.

[You can also see some video over on Brandon Caswell Douglas' playlist from the night.]

[Long Winter continues this Saturday (February 4th) with the action moving to The Theatre Centre, featuring music by Devon Welsh, Off World, Saidah Conrad, Germaphobes, L CON, Ivy Mairi, FIN, Young Clancy, Roberto and Vibrant Matter.]

Monday, January 30, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #186

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:

Lina Allemano Four (Titanium Riot) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-31 (Tuesday) [FB event]

It's always a rare treat to see both of these projects led by trumpeter Lina Allemano on the same night — and with Allemano spending more time over in Europe these days, one can't be sure when the chance will come up again. Grab it now, and hang out at The Tranzac on Tuesday night — come for the Four's melodic/jazzy excursions, stay for the Riot's sci-fi topographical fieldtrips.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Digital Watch [David French/Michael Davidson/Daniel Fortin] (Aryeh Kobrinsky [solo bass]) / The Emmet Ray 2017-01-30 (Monday) [FB event]

Tonstartssbandht (Elliott Vincent Jones) / The Baby G 2017-01-30 (Monday) [FB event]

Candy Apple Jazz Band / Grossman's Tavern 2017-01-31 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Opus: Testing – Wei Wu Wei ["new pieces by Jonathan Adjemian, Amy Brandon, Amanda Lowry, Leslie Melcher, Julia Mermelstein, Vasilis Mouskouris, Janet Sit and Peter Walton for live electronics and voice that sets the text among the 81 chapters/verses of the Tao Te Ching"] (feat. Adanya Dunn/Zach Clark) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-02-01 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Cate Le Bon (Tim Presley) / Velvet Underground 2017-02-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

In Between Sounds #70 (feat. Lorde Awesome II) / The Only Café 2017-02-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Paul Linklater & Brent Randall / The Cameron House 2017-02-03 (Friday – early show @ 6 p.m.) [FB event]

Patrick O'Reilly Trio / Lula Lounge 2017-02-03 (Friday – early show @ 7:30, free admission before 8 p.m.) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Smomid / Fake Humans / Ben Oginz) / June Records 2017-02-03 (Friday) [FB event]

Kuumba Festival (feat. D'bi & The 333) / Harbourfront Centre (Brigantine Room) 2017-02-03 (Friday – free!) [more info]

Emergents II (feat. I = I / Caution Tape Sound Collective) / The Music Gallery 2017-02-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

Long Winter 5.3 (feat. Devon Welsh / Off World / Saidah Conrad / Germaphobes / L CON / FIN / Young Clancy / Roberto / Vibrant Matter) / The Theatre Centre 2017-02-04 (Saturday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Andrew Furlong/Spencer Cole/Colin Fisher/Nicole Rampersaud / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-02-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

Freddy Pompeii Fundraiser (feat. members of Arson / The 'B' Girls / The Curse / The Demics / The Dents / Dick Duck & The Dorks / Johnny & The G-Rays / The Mods / The Screwed / The Secrets / Sid's Kids / The Ugly / Viletones / Zoom / Zro4) / The Garrison 2017-02-05 (Sunday – afternoon event!) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 41 (feat. Tenderness / David Sharpe) / Handlebar 2017-02-05 (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!

USA out of Vietnam (Traitrs / Rogue Tenant / Cetacea) / Bovine Sex Club 2017-02-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 725: Music as Disruption (feat. LAL / panel discussion with April Aliermo/John Caffery/Councillor Josh Colle/Keita Demming/Sally Lee) / Gladstone Hotel (Ballroom) 2017-02-12 (Sunday – afternoon event! free! all ages!) [FB event]

Smoke & Shadow (Jes Cho / Shaemara) / Holy Oak Café 2017-02-12 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Weather Station Presents: Unclassic Classics Volume 2 (Valentine's Day Edition) (feat. Tamara Lindeman/Ben Whiteley/Ian Kehoe/Geordie Gordon/Sam Gleason/Felicity Williams) / The Cameron House 2017-02-14 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Bad Channels (Yi / Mr. Joy) / Smiling Buddha 2017-02-17 (Friday) [FB event]

Connect [Diane Roblin/Rob Clutton/Mark Zurawinski] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-02-19 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. David Dacks [lecture] / Nick Fraser New Quartet / Craig Dunsmuir & Dun-Dun Band / Body Double [Bile Sister + New Chance]) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-24 (Friday) [FB event]

Grey Lands (Fresh Snow) / Monarch Tavern 2017-02-24 (Friday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. Amelia Ehrhardt [solo dance] / Lîla Ensemble / roundtable on movement & improvised music moderated by Dawne Carleton) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-25 (Saturday – afternoon show!) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. The Thing Is / Manticore w/ James Beardmore + Xuan Ye / Future Machines / Prince Nifty) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

Corrodesion presents (feat. Doom Tickler / Blue Light / Jonny / Corrodesion) / Belljar Café 2017-02-25 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Array Session #45 (feat. Daniel Janke/Rick Sacks/Martin Arnold) / Array Space 2017-02-25 (Friday – PWYC!) [more info]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. Rhinoceros Saxophone Quartet [open rehearsal & concert featuring new compositions by Tomasz Krakowiak and Alice Ping Yee Ho]) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-26 (Sunday – afternoon show!) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. Heidi Chan/Sarah Peebles / Rob Clutton/Michael Lynn / Diane Roblin/Michael Snow / James Bailey/Allison Cameron / The Mike Smith Company / Bristles Trio) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Rainbow Of Forgetting [works by Marjan Mozetich, Linda Catlin Smith, Rudolf Komorous, John Mark Sherlock, Linda Bouchard, Martin Arnold] (feat. The Array Ensemble) / The Music Gallery 2017-03-09 (Thursday – PWYC!) [more info]

The Seams [album release!] (Ice Cream / Kiwi Jr) / Monarch Tavern 2017-03-10 (Friday) [FB event]

Völur (Gates / Pale Mare / Dawn of Tyrants) / Coalition: T.O. 2017-03-17 (Friday) [FB event]

Terry Malts (Shark Toys / First Base) / The Garrison 2017-04-18 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Recording: New Positions

Artist: New Positions

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Dundas Video (Track Could Bend #22), January 3, 2017.

New Positions - [excerpt]

This noisy project from Neil Rankin and HSY's C. Jude has been gradually morphing for a couple years now. Last heard with doom-y drum-machine pulses and punishing volume, the project has shifted again with the addition of Bile Sister's Julie Reich as a third member. I suspect in a room with a bigger sound system this would rise more to the industrial thrum we've heard before, but for this set there was a sense of restraint that was really fascinating — we'll see how that's integrated when the band gets back to their volume-pummelling ways.

[Track Could Bend returns once more to Dundas Video on February 7th, with sets from Bachelard, Upanishads and organballoon.]

Recording: Melk

Artist: Melk

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Dundas Video (Track Could Bend #22), January 3, 2017.

Melk - [excerpt]

Excellent work here from Emily Denison (on trumpet) and Alexei Orechin (on guitar and delay pedals). I'd invited the former out to TCB to fill a set as she saw fit, and originally she had proposed a solo effort (as heard on her recent cool HAVN tape) which then morphed into this duo. Orechin added swelling textures under the drifting trumpet for a really compelling journey, and for a tossed-together collaboration, this had the feel of a genuine "project" that indeed, daes a bidy guud.

[Track Could Bend returns once more to Dundas Video on February 7th, with sets from Bachelard, Upanishads and organballoon.]

Recording: Clara Engel & Neil Wiernik

Artist: Clara Engel & Neil Wiernik

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Dundas Video (Track Could Bend #22), January 3, 2017.

Clara Engel & Neil Wiernik - [excerpt]

Singer-songwriter Clara Engel and sound manipulationist Neil Wiernik had crossed paths previously at Audiopollination, so there was a certain degree of trust in this musical process that saw Engel plugging her guitar into Wiernik's laptop to allow him to manipulate and live-process her playing. He also provided live visual mixing to accompany the sounds' mellow drift. Very nicely executed throughout, this is a nice perpendicular path to Engel's songcraft and a direction that will hopefully be explored further.

[Track Could Bend returns once more to Dundas Video on February 7th, with sets from Bachelard, Upanishads and organballoon.]

Monday, January 23, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #185

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:

Hooded Fang (Anamai / Deliluh) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-01-27 (Friday) [FB event]

I've caught both Hooded Fang and Deliluh lately, and they're in fine form, which is a good reason to catch this show; I haven't caught Anamai, whose been more on the down-low for a while, which is an even better reason to catch this. A night of fine music, plus whatever epochal announcements that the facebook event is hinting at.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Opus:Testing presents: Wei Wu Wei - The Tao Takes The Reins ["brand new settings for voice and electronics of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, featuring works by Jonathan Adjemian, Amy Brandon, Amanda Lowry, Leslie Melcher, Julia Mermelstein, Vasilis Mouskouris, Janet Sit, and Peter Walton"] (feat. Adanya Dunn/Zach Clark) / Canadian Music Centre 2017-01-23 (Monday – free!)

Dafydd Hughes/Jesse Baird/Christine Bougie / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-23 (Monday – early!)

Piano Party 8 (feat. Randy Gagne / David Jager) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-25 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Array Session #44 (feat. Allison Cameron/Karen Ng/Sandro Perri/Nicole Rampersaud) / Array Space 2017-01-25 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [more info]

TV Girl (Ice Cream / Scott Hardware / Poppet) / Smiling Buddha 2017-01-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-27 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Teen Ravine (Ivy Mairi) / Monarch Tavern 2017-01-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Abductive Transduction: A Distributed Sound Performance ["a distributed sound installation featuring approximately 50 hours of live Nidus recordings played back simultaneously through various open-air/transductive sources... [with] an organic transition to live performance accompanied by layered experimental film projections"] (feat. Nidus) / Ratio 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Light Industry [Chris Cawthray/Glen Hall/Jim Sexton] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Holy Gasp (Mayraki / ART the Band) / Smiling Buddha 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Beguiling Moving Blowout Show (feat. New Fries / Creep Highway / Tonkapuma / Man Made Hill / Tough Age / Paul Tjepkema) / The Beguiling 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ruins of Utopia (Fog Spirits / Error 144 / Inchoate) / Belljar Café 2017-01-28 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Illeagle Presents (feat. Jason Collett / Taylor Knox / Forces / Alli Sunshine) / Handlebar 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Cosmic Homeostasis II ["ambient interstellar electroacoustic drift vibes"] (feat. Kat Estacio/{AN} EeL/Brett Despotovich/Brandon Caswell Douglas/Paul Newman/Alice Thomas/Craig Renaud/Ted Phillips/Joe Strutt) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-29 (Sunday – afternoon show, 3 to 5 p.m.! PWYC!) [FB event]

Myriad3 / The Rex Hotel 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

GREX (The Science Of What? / Lil Picnic) / Handlebar 2017-01-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Presents (feat. Nicole Rampersaud/Joe Sorbara/Linsey Wellman / Lina Allemano [solo]) / Array Space 2017-01-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Cameron House Records presents: Handsome Ned Live At the Horseshoe EP release (feat. John Borra / Steve Koch / Cleave Anderson / Screamin Sam Ferrara / Tony Benattar / Johnny MacLeod / Tony Kenny / Ferraro / Devin Cuddy) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2017-01-29 (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!

Lina Allemano Four (Titanium Riot) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-31 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Patrick O'Reilly Trio / Lula Lounge 2017-02-03 (Friday – early show @ 7:30, free admission before 8 p.m.) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Smomid / Fake Humans / Ben Oginz) / June Records 2017-02-03 (Friday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #24 (feat. Bachelard / Upanishads / organballoon [Justin Haynes/Ryan Driver]) / Dundas Video 2017-02-07 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

The Cluttertones / Burdock Music Hall 2017-02-14 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Century Palm [King Of John St. LP release party!] (MOON EYED) / Monarch Tavern 2017-03-02 (Thursday) [FB event]


Community corner:

  • If you care about the sort of culture that happens at small, independent, semi-off-the-grid spaces, now is the time to speak up and give support. There have been many recent rumblings of fascists organizing online against DIY spaces — putatively in the name of "safety", when what they are against is tolerance and inclusion — and an increasing number of real-world indications of a clampdown. You can read more background here and here — and then you can look here to find out how to contact your city councillor and ask them to be a champion of DIY culture and help to fight for spaces for culture to emerge.
  • On a lighter note, when I started looking deeper into bands that cool folks like Carl Didur and Mike Smith were inspired by, I discovered the Canterbury Soundwaves podcast, which has now evolved into Canterbury Sans Frontières. Matthew, who posts new epidodes with every full moon, put out a call for like-minded musical responses resonating around the globe, which is how I ended up making an hour-long guest mix in the latest episode. Lots of overlapping projects from names that should be familiar to frequent readers of this site, including Zacht Automaat, Carl Didur, The Mike Smith Company, Not The Wind, Not The Flag, The Cosmic Range and Fake Humans. My portion starts about 55 minutes in, but the whole thing (and all the past episodes!) are worth your attention.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Recording: Man Made Hill

Artist: Man Made Hill

Song: Hot For Slop

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 31, 2016.

Man Made Hill - Hot For Slop

As always, The Tranzac was a cool and friendly zone to hang out in on New Year's Eve, with two stages of music all night long. Steamrolling into the future, Randy Gagne started the year off with his customary high-energy, high-fashion show. Wearing an old-school laserdisc around his neck like a medallion, he high-kicked his way through some old faves and a few new jams, even bringing Nyles Miszczyk, who's apparently producing some of the new jams, for some high-concept crooning.

Recording: Casper Skulls

Artist: Casper Skulls

Song: Lingua Franca

Recorded at The Tranzac (Main Hall), December 31, 2016.

Casper Skulls - Lingua Franca

As always, The Tranzac was a cool and friendly zone to hang out in on New Year's Eve, with two stages of music all night long. "Outsiders" inasmuch as you might expect to see them at The Tranzac less than most of the night's other performers, Casper Skulls served as the night's headliners, bringing in the New Year on the Main Hall stage with a set of songs already pushing past their recent Lips & Skull EP. Plenty sonic interplay on hand and I dig how guitarist Melanie St-Pierre's vocal leads are more in abundance in the live set than in the band's extant recorded output — and they cut through quite nicely in the room on tunes like this one.

Recording: Not The Wind, Not The Flag & Friends

Artist: Not The Wind, Not The Flag & Friends

Songs: [excerpt] + Auld Lang Syne

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 31, 2016.

Not The Wind, Not The Flag & Friends - [excerpt]

Not The Wind, Not The Flag & Friends - Auld Lang Syne

As always, The Tranzac was a cool and friendly zone to hang out in on New Year's Eve, with two stages of music all night long. Originally slated as an appearance by Not The Wind, Not The Flag to ring in the New Year, Brandon Valdivia and Colin Fisher ended up taking the stage alongside Brodie West and Thom Gill (on piano). Things were just starting to simmer nicely when, as midnight passed, the group kicked over into "Auld Lang Syne". Maybe the promise of a new year includes a full-length set from this grouping — I mean, one can hope.

Recording: Picastro

Artist: Picastro

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac (Main Hall), December 31, 2016.

Picastro - unknown

As always, The Tranzac was a cool and friendly zone to hang out in on New Year's Eve, with two stages of music all night long. Leading things off on the Main Hall stage, before the boisterous crowds could drown it out too much, was noted party band Picastro. Truth be told, their presence was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser — even singer/guitarist Liz Hysen made a joke at the band's expanse. But all said, their slightly-snoozy abstract drift was as good a way as any to raise hopes that the worst of 2016 was just a bad dream we'd soon be done with.

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

Friday, January 20, 2017

Recording: Teenanger

Artist: Teenanger

Song: Emoji Kush

Recorded at The Baby G (Telephone Explosion presents: Xmas Food Drive), December 30, 2016.

Teenanger - Emoji Kush

As is usually the case, the otherwise-quiet gap in between xmas and New Years Eve was filled in with a slew of worthy shows for good causes, including this two-night food drive at The Baby G. This second night was hosted by Telephone Explosion, with Teenanger closing out the night with a set packed full of new tunes from a just-completed forthcoming album. For a while now, the band's increasing ambition on their increasingly new wave studio efforts has been somewhat at odds with their bare-bones stage show, so it's interesting to see the latter catching up a bit — through little flourishes as giving frontman Chris Swimmings a sampler to add in some handclap sounds, and increased space for bassist Melissa Ball's backing vox.

Recording: Hooded Fang

Artist: Hooded Fang

Song: Plastic Love

Recorded at The Baby G (Telephone Explosion presents: Xmas Food Drive), December 30, 2016.

Hooded Fang - Plastic Love

As is usually the case, the otherwise-quiet gap in between xmas and New Years Eve was filled in with a slew of worthy shows for good causes, including this two-night food drive at The Baby G. Playing to a crowd ready to dance along, Hooded Fang bounced through a set filled with Venus On Edge's non-didactic protest songs — plus one new one to boot.

Recording: Whimm

Artist: Whimm

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G (Telephone Explosion presents: Xmas Food Drive), December 30, 2016.

Whimm - unknown

It's been a hot minute since I'd seen this post-punk trio performing, so it was pleasing to see some subtle mutations in their sound — most notably by going for some deeper dynamics while surging through some relatively slower-paced material. Bassist Andrew Matthews really carries things melodically, giving vocalist Mounir Chami more room to hack away at the songs' edges with his guitar.

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recording: Zacht Automaat

Artist: Zacht Automaat

Song: unknown* + Night of the Assassin (feat. Grasshopper) [Les Rallizes Dénudés cover]

Recorded at Double Double Land, December 29, 2016.

Zacht Automaat - unknown

Zacht Automaat - Night of the Assassin

Bassist Michael McLean didn't come back to this side of the Atlantic this summer, so this was the first in-the-flesh performance for ZA since last year's seasonal show. As usual, though, physical separation doesn't keep the band from working, and there was a whole set of new material, mixed in with a few covers. In line with the work he's been doing solo and with Fake Humans in that time, Carl Didur brought along his taishogoto, which he bowed at the start of the first selection here.

With Didur also able to cover the basslines with the taishogoto, McLean could shift over to guitar, taking vox as well on a run through Pink Floyd's "Lucifer Sam". There was further guitar chaos courtesy of special guest Grasshopper on a set-closing blowout version of Les Rallizes Dénudés' "Night of the Assassin" (which the band had previously essayed on their covers tape) that could have followed its pilfered bassline down some sort of infinite rabbit hole. It might be a year again before we get a chance to see ZA play, but expect new recordings to emerge sooner than that.

Videographer Brandon Caswell Douglas was on the scene and used some of my sounds in his documentation of the night.]

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

Recording: Fresh Snow

Artist: Fresh Snow

Song: I Wanna Be Adored [Stone Roses cover]

Recorded at Double Double Land, December 29, 2016.

Fresh Snow - I Wanna Be Adored

An old-fashioned seasonal celebration at DDL for Zacht Automaat's annual performance, with Fresh Snow joining in to start things off. After the mounting drone-zone that started off their set, as it kicked into something more propulsive the bassline peeking through registered in my head, and I scrawled a note observing that whatever they were doing, it was ripping off "I Wanna Be Adored". It wasn't until Brad Davis dropped the lyric that I picked up on the fact it was indeed a cover — though in true rehearsal-room style, there's a a cool tug-of-war at places here, where it sounds like the rhythm section is stubbornly sticking with the song even as Tim Condon kept coming at it with his keybs like he was tackling a different song entirely. There's a few ragged spots here sound-wise — as the song reached its loudest point, the PA tripped out, so the vox and keyb cut out abruptly and the stage sound takes over for a bit before they find their way back in. But with ZA throwing some covers (especially one with an equally-iconic bassline!) into their set, this feels like an apt counterpart.

Videographer Brandon Caswell Douglas was on the scene and used some of my sounds in his documentation of the night.]

Monday, January 16, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #184

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:

The Cosmic Range [New Latitudes release celebration!] (Off World) / The Great Hall 2017-01-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

A worthy opportunity to properly celebrate Matt "Doc" Dunn & co.'s New Latitudes in style — with the band up on a big stage. The album whittles down the group's big sonic universe to a simmer of Sun Ra/electric Miles meditations — though on stage you can expect some more psych-vamp freakouts as well. A band with some of the city's best musicians on stage will also see Sandro Perri and Lorenz Peter set the mood with some live dub/reverb excursions from their Off World project.


This week's noteworthy shows:

CHANNEL no.2: host ["a crossover party that blends art, music, video, performance and discussion"] (feat. Tasman Richardson / Johan Seaton / Halloway Jones / conversation on alternative use of space with David Dacks/Vanessa Rieger/Andrew Williamson/Laura Desiree) / Katzman Contemporary 2017-01-16 (Monday) [FB event]

CHANNEL no.2: where is home now? ["a crossover party that blends art, music, video, performance and discussion"] (feat. Kristina Guison / Leucrocuta / conversation on creative community displacement/migration/exit with Murray Whyte/Rosina Kazi/John Samuels) / Katzman Contemporary 2017-01-17 (Tuesday) [FB event]

TO.U Collective presents [guitar works by Fausto Romitelli, Laurence Crane, Matthew Shlomowitz] (feat. Graham Banfield) / St. Andrew's Church 2017-01-18 (Wednesday – free! lunchtime show at noon!)

CHANNEL no.2: criticality ["a crossover party that blends art, music, video, performance and discussion"] (feat. Cares / Maya Ben David / Baby Cages / conversation on the relationship between artist and critic with Rea McNamara/Chloë Lum) / Katzman Contemporary 2017-01-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Hello Ocho (Eliza / Dohn Valley / Mr. Joy) / Double Double Land 2017-01-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Bellwether 4 [Emily Denison/Anthony Argatoff/Andrew Miller/Victor Vrankulj] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

CHANNEL no.2: less than three ["a crossover party that blends art, music, video, performance and discussion"] (feat. Brigitte Bardon't/Infinite Poolside / s.j cooper / Julie Reich / conversation on artist health and well being with Kristel Jax/Brendan Arnott) / Katzman Contemporary 2017-01-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Strands [Jas of Weaves] (Ducks Unlimited / Colin Roy Gillespie) / The Central 2017-01-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Abigail Lapell [Hide Nor Hair album launch!] (Richard Laviolette / Oh Susanna) / The Rex Hotel 2017-01-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

CHANNEL no.2: growing up art ["a crossover party that blends art, music, video, performance and discussion"] (feat. Joel Eel / Xuan Ye / Aiko Tomi / Clara Venice / Widdows95 / conversation with creative people raised by creative people with Taiga Lipson/Jacob Hughes/Clara Venice) / Katzman Contemporary 2017-01-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Tone Deaf Culture Presents: Toronto Noise #4 (feat. Bit Reduction / Bachelard / Goth Girl x Lumi Kryzstal / Ero Guro / Post Natal Drip [first show!]) / Belljar Café 2017-01-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 60 (feat. Mare / Ayahuasca / Raphael Weinroth-Browne / Manticore) / Matt Durant Studio 2017-01-20 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

The Baby G's Grand Opening (feat. Fake Palms / Elsa / Lonely Parade) / The Baby G 2017-01-20 (Friday – free!) [FB event]

Austra (Lido Pimienta) / Mod Club Theatre 2017-01-20 (Friday) [FB event]

The New Flesh [circuit-bending, generative audio-visual presentation curated by Tasman Richardson] (feat. Sherri Hay/Nohista/Jeremy Bailey/Jenn Norton & Steph Yates/Robin Kobrynski/Tasman Richardson/Katie Switzer & Paul Moleiro) / The Music Gallery 2017-01-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Luge (Worst Gift / Hot Garbage / Life In Vacuum) / The Baby G 2017-01-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 717: Class of 2017 (feat. The Sulks / Yi / Sahara / chastity / Cellphone) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-01-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

IDR – Italian Doc Remix [Marco Cappelli/Doug Wieselman/Jose Davila/Ken Filiano/Jim Pugliese/Francesco Pellegrino] / Array Space 2017-01-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Invocation Residency Series (feat. The Holy Circle / Terence Hannum) / Array Space 2017-01-22 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Michael Herring/Luan Phung/Joe Sorbara) / The Emmet Ray 2017-01-22 (Sunday – PWYC!)

Collective Order #1 (feat. Chris Adriaanse / Liam Stanley / Andrew Miller / Joel Visentin / Laura Swankey / Mike Campbell / Ethan Tilbury / Belinda Rona Corpuz / Noel Thompson / Michael Wenkoff / Jon Foster / Andrew Mcansh / Julian Anderson-Bowes / Jared Goldman / Connor Malsen-Walsh / Ewen Farncombe / Connor Newton / Jocelyn Barth / Murray Cain Heaton / Nebyu Yohannes) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-22 (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!

Opus:Testing presents: Wei Wu Wei - The Tao Takes The Reins ["brand new settings for voice and electronics of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, featuring works by Jonathan Adjemian, Amy Brandon, Amanda Lowry, Leslie Melcher, Julia Mermelstein, Vasilis Mouskouris, Janet Sit, and Peter Walton"] (feat. Adanya Dunn/Zach Clark) / Canadian Music Centre 2017-01-23 (Monday – free!)

Piano Party 8 (feat. Randy Gagne / David Jager) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-25 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Array Session #44 (feat. Allison Cameron/Karen Ng/Sandro Perri/Nicole Rampersaud) / Array Space 2017-01-25 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [more info]

Hooded Fang (Anamai / Deliluh) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-01-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Abductive Transduction: A Distributed Sound Performance ["a distributed sound installation featuring approximately 50 hours of live Nidus recordings played back simultaneously through various open-air/transductive sources... [with] an organic transition to live performance accompanied by layered experimental film projections"] (feat. Nidus) / Ratio 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Illeagle Presents (feat. Jason Collett / Taylor Knox / Forces / Alli Sunshine) / Handlebar 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Digital Watch [David French/Michael Davidson/Daniel Fortin] (Aryeh Kobrinsky [solo bass]) / The Emmet Ray 2017-01-30 (Monday) [FB event]

Long Winter 5.3 (feat. Devon Welsh / Off World / Saidah Conrad / Germaphobes / L CON / FIN / Young Clancy / Roberto / Vibrant Matter) / The Theatre Centre 2017-02-04 (Saturday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Emergents II (feat. I = I / Caution Tape Sound Collective) / The Music Gallery 2017-02-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

Baby Cages (Meeko Cheech / Sportsfan / Secret Broadcast) / Handlebar 2017-02-09 (Thursday) [FB event]

Clara Engel (Someone's Dream) / Sonic Café 2017-02-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

A Night With Pleasence (feat. Alexander Moskos / ZONES / Doom Tickler) / The Music Gallery 2017-02-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #51 (feat. Jackie Leung/David Story/Dan Browne / Bill Gilliam/Glen Hall/Joe Sorbara / Bea Labikova/Raphael Roter/Claire Whitehead / Kristen Moss Theriault/Heather Saumer) / Array Space 2017-02-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Nicole Dollanganger (Pony / Straight Truth) / Smiling Buddha 2017-02-12 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]

Sean Nicholas Savage (Jaunt) / The Baby G 2017-02-16 (Thursday) [FB event]

SEVENTEEN: Wavelength Music Festival 17 (feat. TOPS / DIANA / Vallens / Chandra) / The Garrison 2017-02-17 (Friday – $3 with RSVP!) [FB event]

SEVENTEEN: Wavelength Music Festival 17 – Exclaim! & Girls Rock Camp Toronto co-present: An All Ages Matinee (feat. Peeling / WLMRT / Strands / Denim Roses) / Monarch Tavern 2017-02-18 (Saturday – matinee! all ages!) [FB event]

SEVENTEEN: Wavelength Music Festival 17 (feat. Julie Doiron & The Wrong Guys / Fake Palms / FET.NAT / WHOOP-Szo / Helena Deland) / The Garrison 2017-02-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

SEVENTEEN: Wavelength Music Festival 17 – Mechanical Forest Sound presents Drone Brunch (feat. North Atlantic Drift / Kat Estacio) / Gladstone Hotel – Melody Bar 2017-02-19 (Sunday – free! all ages!) [FB event]

SEVENTEEN: Wavelength Music Festival 17 – co-presented with Silent Shout (feat. Phèdre / Han Han with HATAW / Emay / Fin / Hush Pup) / The Garrison 2017-02-19 (Sunday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Baby Dee / Transcombobulation) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-03-05 (Sunday) [FB event]

SlowPitchSound [THK SKN release party] / Burdock Music Hall 2017-03-10 (Friday) [FB event]

Ugly Beauties [Strange Attractors album launch!] / Jazz Bistro 2017-03-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Courtneys (Jay Som) / The Garrison 2017-03-26 (Sunday) [more info]

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Recording: Bennett/Hutchinson/Turple

Artist: Connor Bennett/Aaron Hutchinson/Trevor Turple

Songs: [two excerpts from an improvisation]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 23, 2016.

Bennett-Hutchinson-Turple - [first piece, excerpt 1]

Bennett-Hutchinson-Turple - [first piece, excerpt 2]

I was eager to check out this set of electroacoustic improvisation after really digging Trevor Turple's After Ever tape, which was issued by Hamilton's excellent HAVN label/collective. On that tape, as with this set, Turple (on acoustic guitar) was joined by HAVN's Connor Bennett (on alto sax and briefcase synth) and Aaron Hutchinson, who was sitting astride the piano bench, playing with amp knobs plus a mini-synth that looked not unlike a Pong controller (and sometimes made dimilar noises). There were pleasing zones throughout their set, with effected saxblurts and atmospheric ahhhhhhhh walked along by Turple's guitar.

[Keep an eye out for this trio — now formally known as "act tbh" — at March's Track Could Bend!]

Recording: Ryan Driver & Jim Sexton

Artist: Ryan Driver & Jim Sexton

Song: For Heaven's Sake [composers: Elise Bretton/Sherman Edwards/Donald Meyer]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 23, 2016.

Ryan Driver & Jim Sexton - For Heaven's Sake

A duo set of standards from Driver on piano and Sexton on double bass worked at the same pace Driver usually tackles standards with larger groups — that's to say at a relaxed drift with plenty of space for the song to unfold itself. This one's probably best known from Billie Holiday's recording.

[The Ryan Driver Sextet's monthly night at The Tranzac falls next on Friday, January 27th; Jim Sexton will be back at Southern Cross on January 28th as part of Chris Cawthray's Light Industry project, also featuring Glen Hall.]

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Recording: Jennifer Castle

Artist: Jennifer Castle

Songs: Crying Shame + Tomorrow's Morning

Recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern, December 21, 2016.

Jennifer Castle - Crying Shame

Jennifer Castle - Tomorrow's Morning

Once again celebrating the dark night of the winter solstice with warm friendship and gorgeous music, Jennifer Castle mixed recent faves (including a beautiful set-opening "Pink City" with Brodie West on sax), reinvigorated older pieces ("One Two Three" and the title track from aught-eight's You Can't Take Anyone) and a whole bunch of new material. Backed for the first half of the show by Jonathan Adjemian on piano (who rolled through the first half-dozen songs almost as a continuous suite), her vocals were also adorned by Vic Cheong and Isla Craig (IC/JC/VC in effect!). There was some darkness and mortality creeping in, with titles including "The Angels of Death" and "The Grim Reaper" (although introducing the latter, Castle commented "it's not as bad as it seems") — and following them there was also "The Silver Lining". The lyrics added to Castle's deep storehouse of pithy, sage maxims ("it's a shame that I thought this river knew my name", "can I band-aid this gash / with coffee and hash?", and on and on) and she departed with a "see you in the spring", so look for a return to these parts as the seasons change once again — as they inexorably will.

Recording: Cindy Lee

Artist: Cindy Lee

Songs: unknown* + Burning Candle [Chad VanGaalen cover]

Recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern, December 21, 2016.

Cindy Lee - unknown

Cindy Lee - Burning Candle

Manifesting as something like the frailest of all femmes fatale, Patrick Flegel (once of Calgary rockers Women) hit the stage like a pressed flower ready to crumble, held together only by determination and an assured Grey Gardens fabulousness. The stage setup was sheer Suicide, with Flegel clinging to a microphone stand while Scarlett Rose (formerly of Crosss, Schønsee) adorned his backing tracks with distorto Farfisa crunch (and on these tracks, beautifully-detailed lap steel). And like Suicide, the project's recordings (which you can grab free + lossless at Flegel's website) often feature the songs clothed in distancing layers of noisy haze, but on stage, they were more circumscribed in a zone somewhere between "Femme Fatale" and "Candy Says".

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

Recording: Parkins/Allemano/Liu/Doell

Artist: Andrea Parkins/Lina Allemano/Germaine Liu/Jason Doell

Song: Obj-jest, the Jettisoned [excerpt]

Recorded at The Music Gallery (Departures Series), December 20, 2016.

Parkins/Allemano/Liu/Doell - Obj-jest, the Jettisoned [excerpt]

This year-closing entry in the Music Gallery's offsite Departures series returned to St. George the Martyr, taking advantage of the room's acoustics to situate this show "in the round" with the performers radiating music outward from the centre. Presented in a live quadraphonic mix, this set presented a new, player-specific piece created as a result of an intense rehearsal process leading up to the show. It gave the sense that electroacoustician Parkins (whose workspace included an accordion, laptop, electronics, packing tape, etc.) was to some extent deploying the local musicians as further instruments in her composition, mixing in Lina Allemano's trumpet, Germaine Liu's percussion and Jason Doell's guitar'n'stuff in her immersive bricolage.

Recording: Joyfultalk

Artist: Joyfultalk

Song: Mill Stones*

Recorded at The Music Gallery (Departures Series), December 20, 2016.

Joyfultalk - Mill Stones

This year-closing entry in the Music Gallery's offsite Departures series returned to St. George the Martyr, taking advantage of the room's acoustics to situate this show "in the round" with the performers radiating music outward from the centre. Bringing the strongest taste of curator Tad Michalak's sensibility, Nova Scotian Jay Crocker's electronic duo was the most "pop" of the night's three sets — possibly something of an inversion of their presentation at standard rock shows, where they are often the "experimental" outliers. Still exploring ways to approach live electronic music with creativity, this set mixed shimmery textures with more propulsive sections, slowly evolving (at least to my ears) from a mad scientist gear lab to a different sort of glitchy sound purveyor.

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

Recording: Magic Hour

Artist: Magic Hour

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Music Gallery (Departures Series), December 20, 2016.

Magic Hour - unknown

This year-closing entry in the Music Gallery's offsite Departures series returned to St. George the Martyr, taking advantage of the room's acoustics to situate this show "in the round" with the performers radiating music outward from the centre. Perched on a riser a bit over from the headlining set's workstations, Melissa Moore (a.k.a. Magic Hour) sat cross-legged, an array of high- and low-tech music-making implements spread around her. After a quiet invocation with bells and a singing bowl, this section mixed live and prerecorded percussion into something reminiscent of Francis Bebey's electronic grooves — and from there the set closed with an expansive ramble based on acoustic guitar abstractions. There was a sense of this being both a spiritual release and a seriously-considered bit of sonic sculpting — you'll have to keep an eye out for more, as there doesn't seem to be much online from this project yet.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Recording: Susan Alcorn

Artist: Susan Alcorn

Song: The Healer [excerpt]

Recorded at Ratio, December 18, 2016.

Susan Alcorn - The Healer [excerpt]

This particularly thoughtfully-assembled Rough Idea production brought together three different sonic explorers for a night of deep-listening vibes. Pedal steel player Susan Alcorn got her start in Texas country bands, but has spent her lifetime pushing the boundaries of her instrument. Inspired by Pauline Oliveros and Messiaen, her avant-adventurousness is still grounded in twang and gospel touches, even as she pushes far beyond in her explorations. Coaxing remarkably-subtle colourings from a notoriously-fickle instrument, this was Alcorn's first visit to Toronto, leaving rather a spellbinding impression. [My mics weren't quite up to the task of capturing these wonderfully-hushed and subtle sounds, so take this as a pale shadow of what was heard in the room before exploring further.]

Recording: Peggy Lee

Artist: Peggy Lee

Song: [two excerpts]

Recorded at Ratio, December 18, 2016.

Peggy Lee - [excerpt 1]

Peggy Lee - [excerpt 2]

This particularly thoughtfully-assembled Rough Idea production brought together three different sonic explorers for a night of deep-listening vibes. Although cellist Peggy Lee has been based in Vancouver for quite awhile now, she got her start in Toronto and still has many connections here. Matching well with headliner Susan Alcorn's effortless virtuosity, Lee's set featured a steady stream of astonishing musical ideas, flitting from drones to string-scrapes — sudden outbursts punctuating subtle explorations. This unamplified set was pushing the limits of my microphones, so here's a couple shorter excerpts to give the general idea.

Recording: Doc Dunn & Co.

Artist: Doc Dunn & Co.

Song: [middle section]

Recorded at Ratio, December 18, 2016.

Doc Dunn & Co. - [middle section]

This particularly thoughtfully-assembled Rough Idea production brought together three different sonic explorers for a night of deep-listening vibes. Picking up on the spirit of headliner Susan Alcorn's Cosmic American drift, Matthew "Doc" Dunn brought an ensemble geared toward creating some sympathetic excursions. With Mike Smith and Johnathan Adjemian on synths and Brandon Valdivia providing some gentle percussion, Dunn floated on top with some tasty slide guitar. The set drifted through three distinct movements, the middle of which is presented here.

[Another aspect of Dunn's sonic explorations will be foregrounded when The Cosmic Range celebrate New Latitudes at the Great Hall next Thursday (January 19th). Sandro Perri's Off World have just been added to the bill to open the night.]

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Recording: Kith & Kin

Artist: Kith & Kin

Songs: Dives and Lazarus [traditional] + Alilo [traditional]

Recorded at The Music Gallery, December 17, 2016.

Kith & Kin - Dives and Lazarus

Kith & Kin - Alilo

Once again, Kith & Kin's Holiday Wassail brought glowing joy to the darkest time of year, raising voices up to celebrate the solstice and winter's return. Both of these are nominally "holiday" tunes, but unlike the ones we're inured to by sheer repetition, these feel like a ray of light even after the holiday's passing. "Dives and Lazarus", reflecting on the fate of a heartless rich man, was presented by Kathleen McDonnell as a piece of wholly topical content while the glorious Georgian hymn "Alilo" called on the larger "friends" ensemble to let the music ascend gloriously to the Music Gallery's rafters.