Friday, April 20, 2018

Recording: The Ryan Driver Quintet

Artist: The Ryan Driver Quintet

Songs: The Seasons The Months and The Days + I Don't Want to Cry Any More [composer: Victor Schertzinger]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Somewhere There Creative Music Festival – Show 1 late-night afterparty), February 23, 2018.

The Ryan Driver Quintet - The Seasons The Months and The Days

The Ryan Driver Quintet - I Don't Want to Cry Any More

Ryan Driver's sextet was playing without guitarist Martin Arnold on this night, and though it's not unusual for the numbers on stage to fluctuate from show to show, it was interesting to see how the members used that bit of additional space in the songs. This time out, it was vibraphonist Michael Davidson going on a bit of an adventure, getting unexpectedly noisy as he rattled and dropped a bow across his keys. Another surprise came in the form of a mini-set of songs from Driver's excellent recent Careless Thoughts album, as this project works almost-exclusively in the realm of covers. Driver himself would probably be too modest to say so, but it has to be pointed out that his own songs absolutely deserve to be in the company of the standards the group usually essays.

Recording: So Long Seven

Artist: So Long Seven

Song: Mad Nomad

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Somewhere There Creative Music Festival – Show 1), February 23, 2018.

So Long Seven - Mad Nomad

Tim Posgate (of Cluttertones and many other groups) was perhaps this group's most familiar face in the Somewhere There context. So Long Seven (which, it should be noted, is in fact a quartet) is an interesting mash-up of cultures and generations that with its somewhat idiosyncratic mix of instruments (guitar, banjo, violin and tabla) dares to flaunt the fusion flag. (A cover of Shakti's "Danse du Bonheur" was a sure signpost in that regard.) Dazzlingly proficient, there's an effortlessness in the group's execution that could render things a bit too cut-and-dried were it not for their corresponding unassuming off-the-cuff casualness about it all.

Recording: Divergence Trio

Artist: Divergence Trio

Song: Applications [last section] [composer: Scott Thomson]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Somewhere There Creative Music Festival – Show 1), February 23, 2018.

Divergence Trio - Applications [last section]

This new suite was written by Scott Thomson for the Convergence Ensemble. But given that the group is currently spread across three provinces, logistics and geography lead to this stripped-down presentation from the group's Montréal-based faction. Based on Robert Hass' poem "Applications of the Doctrine", the piece was composed for a collaboration with Susanna Hood, who added vocals and movement to the trombone and trumpet that were dancing around the music.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Recording: Johan Seaton

Artist: Johan Seaton

Song: [tracks 3 + 4]

Recorded at The Baby G, February 22, 2018.

Johan Seaton - [tracks 3 + 4]

This cozy night at The Baby G featured mostly leftfield electronic experimentation, closing out with some laptop deconstruction from Johan Seaton. Eschewing the audio-visual wizardry he often engages in, he chose to dwell on the darkened stage this time 'round, exploring some equally dark musical moods, ranging from nightmare triphop beats to granularized ice-drifts.

Recording: New Tendencies

Artist: New Tendencies

Song: [third section]

Recorded at The Baby G, February 22, 2018.

New Tendencies - [third section]

This cozy night at The Baby G featured mostly leftfield electronic experimentation, including a series of buzzes and drones from Matt Nish-Lapidus (who also wrangled this night together), wringing admirably-disreputable sounds from his modular synth setup.

Recording: Uxvae

Artist: Uxvae

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G, February 22, 2018.

Uxvae - unknown

This cozy night at The Baby G featured mostly leftfield electronic experimentation, and though this duo qualifies for that description at its broadest reach, they were up to something a bit different than the night's other acts. Song-based (in the sense that their songs are each their own sprawling sound-worlds), this duo of vocalist Marty Adem and guitarist Bryan Bray (also of Gates, Cetacea, etc.) explores some forest hollows, revealing goth-y druid secrets hidden deep in the misty gloaming. The pair have been quite busy working out their sound on stage, and have recently issued their first release, already sold out in a limited cassette run.

[Uxvae will be opening for Rosetta and USA Out of Vietnam at Coalition next week (Wednesday, April 25th).]

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

Recording: Bachelard

Artist: Bachelard

Song: [middle section]

Recorded at The Baby G, February 22, 2018.

Bachelard - [middle section]

This cozy night at The Baby G featured mostly leftfield electronic experimentation, lead off by Heidi Chan's always-expanding event horizon. Ranging from explorations of the musical possibilities of dialtones and busy signals to vox humana blips, her realtime patchscapes remained too restless to ever fall into lazy patterns.

[Bachelard has recently dropped a pair of "short studies with looping pedals, modular synthesizer, Casio keyboard, and bamboo flutes" over at her bandcamp that is well-worth investigating. You can aldo check out her full recording of this set on her soundcloud.]

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Recording: Buke and Gase

Artist: Buke and Gase

Song: Typo

Recorded at The Garrison (Wavelength Winter Festival 18 – Night 3), February 18, 2018.

Buke and Gase - Typo

This year's Wavelength birthday celebration was more restrained than usual, sticking to one venue for three nights and having no extra daytime activities. That left the work of transforming the events to something more than just a "regular" night at a show to scene-setters like General Chaos and Roxanne Ignatius. The festival's final night was the most musically eclectic, the acts connected by an exploratory thread.

Like You'll Never Get To Heaven, who performed earlier in the night, Buke and Gase have changed their onstage energy since I last saw 'em onstage at a Wavelength festival several years ago. But their vibe-change was in the opposite direction — going from a sitting down energy to a standing up one — and it has made a huge difference, especially for Arone Dyer who was quite magnetic projecting the aura of some sort of techno-pagan high priestess. Now, instead of just being purveyors of mysterious homemade instruments, they were putting on a show — it might have felt like jumping blind into the third episode of a Robert Ashley electro-opera, but this was so entertaining it was worth staying on for the ride.

[The next Wavelength Festival is already on the distant horizon, with Camp Wavelength once more contained to the mainland and landing at Garrison Common on August 18th and 19th. Meanwhile, the next few monthly shows, co-productions (as well as a cool Toronto Post-Punk in the Early '80s Music Talk) are all announced.]

Recording: Omhouse

Artist: Omhouse

Songs: Aurock + No Words

Recorded at The Garrison (Wavelength Winter Festival 18 – Night 3), February 18, 2018.

Omhouse - Aurock

Omhouse - No Words

This year's Wavelength birthday celebration was more restrained than usual, sticking to one venue for three nights and having no extra daytime activities. That left the work of transforming the events to something more than just a "regular" night at a show to scene-setters like General Chaos and Roxanne Ignatius. The festival's final night was the most musically eclectic, the acts connected by an exploratory thread.

Although still celebrating the release of their debut long-player, Steven Foster's Omhouse project has been at it for several years now. There's an aesthetic at work here — and one that's matured over the time the band's been active — where the songs don't feel like hooky l'il rockers so much as pieces from a rather "quirky" musical, filled with complicated chords and flute solos (the latter courtesy of keyboardist Anh Phung). Those signifiers might explain why the group is getting tagged with hyphenated prog labels, but on stage this is still a rock'n'roll band, laughing at itself with astonishment as it careens through the changes.

[Omhouse will be playing at Feast in the East's 7-year anniversary celebration (at Jam Factory on Saturday, May 5th) alongside Gary Wilson, Bernice and Cindy Lee. The next Wavelength Festival is already on the distant horizon, with Camp Wavelength once more contained to the mainland and landing at Garrison Common on August 18th and 19th. Meanwhile, the next few monthly shows, co-productions (as well as a cool Toronto Post-Punk in the Early '80s Music Talk) are all announced.]

Recording: Fusilier

Artist: Fusilier

Song: Upstream*

Recorded at The Garrison (Wavelength Winter Festival 18 – Night 3), February 18, 2018.

Fusilier - Upstream

This year's Wavelength birthday celebration was more restrained than usual, sticking to one venue for three nights and having no extra daytime activities. That left the work of transforming the events to something more than just a "regular" night at a show to scene-setters like General Chaos and Roxanne Ignatius. The festival's final night was the most musically eclectic, the acts connected by an exploratory thread.

The night's most unknown quantity came courtesy of co-presenters Brassland, giving the Wavelength crowd a chance to preview material from this Brooklyn-via-Atlanta force while he still only has a couple singles to his name. Accompanying himself on vocal loops and melodic bass, he moved from funky one-man-band constructions to mellower meditations like this — holding a room that had mostly never heard him before with notable charisma.

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

[The next Wavelength Festival is already on the distant horizon, with Camp Wavelength once more contained to the mainland and landing at Garrison Common on August 18th and 19th. Meanwhile, the next few monthly shows, co-productions (as well as a cool Toronto Post-Punk in the Early ‘80s Music Talk) are all announced.]

Recording: You'll Never Get To Heaven

Artist: You'll Never Get To Heaven

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Garrison (Wavelength Winter Festival 18 – Night 3), February 18, 2018.

You'll Never Get To Heaven - unknown

This year's Wavelength birthday celebration was more restrained than usual, sticking to one venue for three nights and having no extra daytime activities. That left the work of transforming the events to something more than just a "regular" night at a show to scene-setters like General Chaos and Roxanne Ignatius. The festival's final night was the most musically eclectic, the acts connected by an exploratory thread.

Since seeing them at the Wavelength festival four years previously, YNGtH seem to have shifted from a standing up vibe to a sitting down one. That seemed to go hand-in-hand with moving the musical energy to a different point on the musical spectrum — away from dream pop and further toward staight-up ambient. There were more shades, then, of Slow Attack Ensemble (Chuck Blazevic's other project) as the gentle sounds generated by him and Alice Hansen sounded like hazy abstractions of the songs that populate the pair's recordings.

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

[The next Wavelength Festival is already on the distant horizon, with Camp Wavelength once more contained to the mainland and landing at Garrison Common on August 18th and 19th. Meanwhile, the next few monthly shows, co-productions (as well as a cool Toronto Post-Punk in the Early '80s Music Talk) are all announced.]

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Recording: Joseph Shabason

Artist: Joseph Shabason

Song: November*

Recorded at The Garrison (Wavelength Winter Festival 18 – Night 3), February 18, 2018.

Joseph Shabason - November

This year's Wavelength birthday celebration was more restrained than usual, sticking to one venue for three nights and having no extra daytime activities. That left the work to transforming the events to something more than just a "regular" night at a show to scene-setters like General Chaos and Roxanne Ignatius. The festival's final night was the most musically eclectic, the acts connected by an exploratory thread.

Anyone who showed up late missed the festival's best set, with Joseph Shabason bringing another edition of his ever-shifting backup collective to the stage for some embracing ambient atmospherics. (This time out saw him backed by Nicole Rampersaud on trumpet, Thom Gill on keys, Phil Melanson on percussion, Bram Gielen on fretless bass and Kieran Adams on Octapad. These are all top-notch local musicians who you should be investigating if you don't already know their other work.) This new piece is based on a keyboard loop by Italian composer Gigi Masin.

* Thanks to J.S. for passing along the title to this one.

[The next Wavelength Festival is already on the distant horizon, with Camp Wavelength once more contained to the mainland and landing at Garrison Common on August 18th and 19th. Meanwhile, the next few monthly shows, co-productions (as well as a cool Toronto Post-Punk in the Early ‘80s Music Talk) are all announced.]

Recording: Odonis Odonis

Artist: Odonis Odonis

Song: Eraser

Recorded at The Garrison (Wavelength Winter Festival 18 – Night 2), February 17, 2018.

Odonis Odonis - Eraser

This year's Wavelength birthday celebration was more restrained than usual, sticking to one venue for three nights and having no extra daytime activities. That left the work to transforming the events to something more than just a "regular" night at a show to scene-setters like General Chaos and Roxanne Ignatius. Night 2 was nominally the "rock" night, with electronics giving ways to amps and drumkits — though the night's final two acts each tugged at those distinctions in their own ways.

Odonis Odonis brought the night to a dark and menacing conclusion with their throbbing industrial "No Pop" — even collapsing keyboard stands couldn't derail their skittering, insect army momentum.

[Odonis Odonis will be headlining Telephone Explosion's "Year Ten" celebration, Friday, June 8th at Lee's Palace. The next Wavelength Festival is already on the distant horizon, with Camp Wavelength once more contained to the mainland and landing at Garrison Common on August 18th and 19th. Meanwhile, the next few monthly shows, co-productions (as well as a cool Toronto Post-Punk in the Early ‘80s Music Talk) are all announced.]

Recording: Freak Heat Waves

Artist: Freak Heat Waves

Song: In the Dip of the Night

Recorded at The Garrison (Wavelength Winter Festival 18 – Night 2), February 17, 2018.

Freak Heat Waves - In the Dip of the Night

This year's Wavelength birthday celebration was more restrained than usual, sticking to one venue for three nights and having no extra daytime activities. That left the work to transforming the events to something more than just a "regular" night at a show to scene-setters like General Chaos and Roxanne Ignatius. Night 2 was nominally the "rock" night, with electronics giving ways to amps and drumkits — though the night's final two acts each tugged at those distinctions in their own ways.

Victoria's Freak Heat Waves have virtually been a different band each time I've seen them, so it wasn't a total shock to see that a taut postpunk unit had been reduced to a Suicide-esque duo for this show. Witnessing Thomas Alfred Di Ninno operating his MPC2000XL in realtime was amusingly akin to watching someone sending a fax, so it was left to Steven Raymond Lind's looming presence to keep the audience focused. Their brand new Beyond XXXL is just out on Telephone Explosion.

[Freak Heat Waves will be playing Telephone Explosion's "Year Ten" celebration, Friday, June 8th at Lee's Palace. The next Wavelength Festival is already on the distant horizon, with Camp Wavelength once more contained to the mainland and landing at Garrison Common on August 18th and 19th. Meanwhile, the next few monthly shows, co-productions (as well as a cool Toronto Post-Punk in the Early ‘80s Music Talk) are all announced.]

Monday, April 16, 2018

Concert Listings Roundup #246

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:

Special Costello (Budi [Nicholas Dourado] / Bonka [Bianca Palmer]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-04-16 (Monday – extra early show, 6 to 8 p.m.! PWYC!) [FB event]

The Halifax contingent of Beverly Glenn-Copeland's backing band Indigo Rising (who played a wonderful show last night at Jam Factory) get their own breakout special showcase in this early show at The Tranzac tonight.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Brandon Davis/Patrick O'Reilly/Jacob Thompson/Robert Diack [Robert Diack Lost Villages CD release!] / The Rex 2018-04-16 (Monday) [FB event]

Lake Affect / The Emmet Ray 2018-04-16 (Monday – early! PWYC!) [FB event]

Dirtywood [Myk Freedman/Rebecca Hennessy/Michael Herring/Dave Clark] / The Emmet Ray 2018-04-16 (Monday – PWYC!) [more info]

Dupé Dupe with Myk Freedman / The Dupe Shop 2018-04-18 (Wednesday – lunch time show @ 12:30 p.m.!) [FB event]

Bellwether4 / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-04-18 (Wednesday – extra-early show, 5 to 7 p.m.!) [FB event]

Octopus Curls [Allison Cameron/Germaine Liu/Stephen Parkinson/Nicole Rampersaud/Mark Zurawinski] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-04-18 (Wednesday – early!)

Ryan Brouwer/Ted Crosby/Karen Ng / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-04-18 (Wednesday)

Dialectica [Breakthrough CD release concert!] (The Toronto Saxophone Quartet) / MCC Toronto 2018-04-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

U.S. Girls / The Horseshoe Tavern 2018-04-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Paul Cherry (Lovers Touch / Triples) / The Baby G 2018-04-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nyssa [EP Release!] (Petra Glynt / Pat McCormack / Shame Agent) / Owl's Club 2018-04-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Audiopollination (feat. Michael Snow & Diane Roblin / Nobu Kubota) / Array Space 2018-04-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Record Store Day (feat. Sydanie / WLMRT / OBUXUM / Colin Fisher & Victor Cirone / The Mike Smith Company / The Spazzes) / Sonic Boom 2018-04-21 (Saturday – afternoon performances! free! all-ages!) [FB event]

Wavelength 751 (feat. Tess Roby / Bernice / Dorothea Paas) / 918 Bathurst 2018-04-21 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

VERSA [album release party!] (feat. Zoo Owl / Future Peers / DF) / The Commons Space 2018-04-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Mother Tongues (Eyeballs / Slutcode / Weak Hands) / Handlebar 2018-04-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Saint Dirt Elementary School / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-04-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Free Songs: Session 1 [" artists/bands... playing three songs each over the course of an hour and a half"] (feat. Obuxum / Charlotte Cornfield / Longtime Listener / The Shuvs) / Quixotic Sounds 2018-04-22 (Sunday – free! all ages!) [FB event]

Triio [Bea Labikova/Aidan Sibley/Tom Fleming/Ashley Urquhart/Alex Fournier/Mark Ballyk] / The Rex 2018-04-22 (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!

Composers' Toolbox ["interactive presentation"] (feat. Christine Duncan) / Canadian Music Centre 2018-04-24 (Tuesday – free with registration!) [FB event]

Rosetta (USA Out of Vietnam / Sovereign / Uxvae) / Coalition 2018-04-25 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Beds (Rapport / Bobbypin / Chloe's World) / Owl's Club 2018-04-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Synaptic Circus Sundays (feat. Ilana Waniuk ["new work for solo violin and electronics"] / Blunt Chunks) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-04-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Tone Deaf Culture presents T.O. NOISE #10 (feat. Abrasion Therapy [debut performance!] / CARES / Hexzuul) / Faith/Void 2018-05-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

Sahara [single release!] (Paul Jacobs / Gloin / In Drift) / Horseshoe Tavern 2018-05-04 (Friday) [FB event]

New Fries (Palberta / Sigil / Creep Highway / Lice 2) / Owl's Club 2018-05-05 (Saturday) [FB event]

Knurl [split tape release!] (Hybrid Frequency / Corrodesion) / The Dupe Shop 2018-05-05 (Saturday – free!) [FB event]

Wet Tuna [Matt "MV" Valentine + Pat "P.G. Six" Gubler] (Tony Price & Friends / Bardo [Ami Spears solo]) / The Baby G 2018-05-06 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Music Gallery presents (feat. Tatsuya Nakatani Gong Orchestra) / 918 Bathurst 2018-05-26 (Saturday) [FB event]

Feel Alright [Pleasence album release!] (Goosebump [f.k.a. Germaphobes] / Wares / Nutrients) / Owl's Club 2018-06-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Peach Kelli Pop (Tallies / Tange) / The Baby G 2018-06-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Shooting Guns (Comet Control / B-17 / Familiars) / Monarch Tavern 2018-06-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Wavelength 763 (feat. faUSt / Castle If) / Jam Factory 2018-07-15 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]