Thursday, February 14, 2019

Recording: The Titillators

Artist: The Titillators

Songs: Pennies From Heaven [composer: Arthur Johnston] + If I Were a Bell [composer: Frank Loesser]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 30, 2018.

The Titillators - Pennies From Heaven

The Titillators - If I Were a Bell

This holiday special from Ryan Driver's Titillators saw special guest Alex Samaras sitting in for Thom Gill as designated whistler — a task he pulled off with aplomb, buoyed by regulars Tania Gill (keyb) and percussionists Germaine Liu and D. Alex Meeks. It was to no-one's surprise that even in an all-whistling ensemble that the irrepressible Samaras could not be stopped from belting out a verse — especially when there were tunes from Guys and Dolls on offer!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Recording: Cosmic Homeostasis IX

Artist: Cosmic Homeostasis IX

Songs: Where No Bird Has Gone Before [excerpt] + Dammit, Jim, I'm a Doctor! [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 30, 2019.

Cosmic Homeostasis IX - Where No Bird Has Gone Before [excerpt]

Cosmic Homeostasis IX - Dammit, Jim, I'm a Doctor! [excerpt]

One last drone session to close out the year, Cosmic Homeostasis convened to celebrate Voyager 2 exiting the heliosphere as well as the Ultima Thule flyby – distant encounters that feel close to home to the whispers-from-space crowd. The crew this time comprised of Del Stephen, Trevor Turple, Mike Lynn, Liz Lima, Patrick O'Reilly, Ron Blake, Paul Newman and Heraclitus Akimbo. The whole session is available over bandcamp:

[Cosmic Homeostasis X will be taking place in the Southern Cross on the afternoon of Sunday, March 31st.]

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Recording: MOOONS

Artist: MOOONS

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Invocation presents Ur Audiovisual's Year End Release Extravaganza), December 29, 2018.

MOOONS - [excerpt]

This night celebrated not only the year's passing but also some recent releases on Ur Audiovisual (including Melissa Boraski's Eiyn Sof side-project The Hologlyph, who shared a new video and some projections on the night). Casual hangs, a pot-luck and four sets of music made for a satisfying night.

The night closed with a rare opportunity to see long-distance collaborators Roan Bateman (who had played a Dark Bird set earlier in the night) and Soren Brothers (who had just performed as Man Meets Bear) working together in the same room. There are some more smoothly-assembled sounds on their recent Strange Currents EP (which comes complete with some excellent 70's sci-fi novel-esque cover art) but there was a nice sense of interaction between the pair as they brought the night to its drifting conclusion.

Recording: Man Meets Bear

Artist: Man Meets Bear

Song: two unknown songs*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Invocation presents Ur Audiovisual's Year End Release Extravaganza), December 29, 2018.

Man Meets Bear - unknown #1

Man Meets Bear - unknown #2

This night celebrated not only the year's passing but also some recent releases on Ur Audiovisual (including Melissa Boraski's Eiyn Sof side-project The Hologlyph, who shared a new video and some projections on the night). Casual hangs, a pot-luck and four sets of music made for a satisfying night.

Expatriated Ur Audiovisual co-founder Soren Brothers took advantage of being in town to play a couple sets at this show, starting with some solo songs as Man Meets Bear. In his recordings, his folk-y rambles are given various atmospheric adornments, and there were some scaled-down takes on that here, with a contact mic adding some ghost vocalizations and piano sounds.

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

Recording: Dark Bird

Artist: Dark Bird

Song: Out Of My Mind

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Invocation presents Ur Audiovisual's Year End Release Extravaganza), December 29, 2018.

Dark Bird - Out Of My Mind

This night celebrated not only the year's passing but also some recent releases on Ur Audiovisual (including Melissa Boraski's Eiyn Sof side-project The Hologlyph, who shared a new video and some projections on the night). Casual hangs, a pot-luck and four sets of music made for a satisfying night.

Roan Bateman started things off with a set of Dark Bird songs. Besides an excellent EP of atmospheric instrumentals, his year also included October's Lay Low, out on Ur, and he drew some tunes from that. But also reflecting back on a long-gone time when he lived in the city and was a regular performer at The Tranzac, he also brought out some older songs like this one.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #289

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:

Tranzac Sound For Silence II: Valentine's Day Edition (feat. Polka Dogs / Unclassic Classics / Hex / Jazz United Band) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2019-02-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

A fundraiser for my favourite venue sees musical worlds collide Thursday night, with all-stars from the Tiki's Sunday night jazz-and-tap jam being joined by the Polka Dogs' storytelling and Hex's raw rrrock. Speaking of all-stars, the secret weapon here might be the Unclassic Classics set, with "members of The Weather Station and US Girls, along with special guest Felicity Williams" shining up some dusty gems. There's some Silent Auction action as well.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Franche-Nolan/Ballyk Project [Noah Franche-Nolan/Mark Ballyk/Dan Pitt/Kaelin Murphy/Brooklyn Bohach/Victor Vrankulj] / The Emmet Ray 2019-02-11 (Monday) [FB event]

Public Rehearsals: To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe (feat. Anne Bourne/Allison Cameron/Prices Easy/Ishan Davé/Ellen Furey/Thom Gill/Claire Harvie/Ame Henderson/Brendan Jensen/Germaine Liu/Bee Pallomina/Liz Peterson/Heather Saumer/Brian Solomon/Anni Spadafora/Evan Webber/Christopher Willes and others) / Daniels Spectrum 2019-02-12 (Tuesday – free! open rehearsal @ 3 p.m.!) [FB event]

Ornate Presents (feat. Madeleine Ertel [solo] / TVT [Madeleine Ertel/Brooklyn Bohach/Kaelin Murphy] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-12 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Three Piece Outfit [Aline Homzy/Michael Davidson/Alex Samaras] / Quick D [Ted Crosby/Ben Dwyer/Jacob Wiens]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

MAW 4: A Community Celebration of the Vocal Arts (feat. Richard Marsella / Clamaglamza / Isla Craig / Anny Fyreagle / Laura Swankey / Tidal Mouth / Blunt Chunks / Melanie Leishman) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Jazz and Otherwise Improvised Musics (feat. Eden Prairie [Justin Haynes/Andrew Downing/Kevin Turcotte] / Laura Swankey/Kristen Theriault/Bea Labikova/Kayla Milmine) / Wenona Lodge 2019-02-12 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Public Rehearsals: To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe (feat. Anne Bourne/Allison Cameron/Prices Easy/Ishan Davé/Ellen Furey/Thom Gill/Claire Harvie/Ame Henderson/Brendan Jensen/Germaine Liu/Bee Pallomina/Liz Peterson/Heather Saumer/Brian Solomon/Anni Spadafora/Evan Webber/Christopher Willes and others) / Walter Hall 2019-02-13 (Wednesday – free! open rehearsal @ 6 p.m.!) [FB event]

Lipliners' Wednesdays in February Residency (feat. Ronley Teper and The Lipliners) / The Cameron House 2019-02-13 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Music By & For Ken Aldcroft XXVI (feat. Lina Allemano/Mike Smith / Pete Johnston & Friends [Rebecca Hennessey/Pete Johnston/Jake Oelrichs/Mike Smith]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-13 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Invocation presents (feat. Saltland / Syzygy [Colin Fisher/Ilyse Krivel]) / Array Space 2019-02-13 (Wednesday) – CANCELLED [FB event]

Public Rehearsals: To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe (feat. Anne Bourne/Allison Cameron/Prices Easy/Ishan Davé/Ellen Furey/Thom Gill/Claire Harvie/Ame Henderson/Brendan Jensen/Germaine Liu/Bee Pallomina/Liz Peterson/Heather Saumer/Brian Solomon/Anni Spadafora/Evan Webber/Christopher Willes and others) / OCAD University (The Great Hall) 2019-02-14 (Thursday – free! open rehearsal @ noon!) [FB event]

LeBarons (Hamilton Trading Co. / Christopher James Culgin / Flight Risk) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2019-02-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Not My Song 2019 [Curated by Mingjia, some of Toronto's most creative singer-songwriters will each interpret the song of another randomly paired performer secret-santa style] (feat. Monica Selene/Tara Kannangara/Robin Dann/Angel Apricot/Cass Beau/Katie McBride/Jonathan Wu/Emily Rose/Dorothea Paas/Lauren Dillen/Sabine Ndalamba/Kristin Fung/Mingjia) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Owls Club Opry - Double Feature! [Upstairs: Love Hurts: Legends of Country / Basement: Bands & Drag!] (feat. Love Hurts: Legends Of Country / Persons / Slash Need) / Owl's Club 2019-02-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Vypers [single release!] (Peeling / Wave of Terror) / The Baby G 2019-02-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Völur (Muffler Crunch / Greber / Cares / Jack Moves) / Coalition 2019-02-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Chastity (Greys / Casper Skulls) / The Rec Room 2019-02-15 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Wavelength Winter Festival 19 (feat. Mélissa Laveaux / Lex Leosis / Myst Milano) / The Garrison 2019-02-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble / La Maquette 2019-02-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Wavelength Winter Festival 19 (feat. Anemone / Twist / Future Peers / Isla Den) / The Garrison 2019-02-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Marker Starling [Trust an Amateur album release!] (Sing Leaf) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Canadian Arabic Quartet / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2019-02-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Urkimsher / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

SpaceTime: An Evening with Narcy ["multimedia hip-hop show"] (feat. Narcy with guest appearances from Lido Pimienta / Ian Kamau / Merna) / Aga Khan Museum 2019-02-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Many 2 Many: a night of experimental electronics (feat. Ben McCarthy / Tax Haven / Dohn Valley) / Handlebar 2019-02-16 (Saturday – PWYC) [FB event]

Saint Dirt Elementary School / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-17 (Sunday – afternoon show @ 3 p.m.!) [FB event]

Glen Hall's Ossingtone [Glen Hall/Bruce Cassidy/Diane Roblin/Harry Vetro/Phil Albert] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-17 (Sunday – early set @ 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

The Music Gallery/Public Recordings present: To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation by Pauline Oliveros (feat. Anne Bourne/Allison Cameron/Prices Easy/Ishan Davé/Ellen Furey/Thom Gill/Claire Harvie/Ame Henderson/Brendan Jensen/Germaine Liu/Bee Pallomina/Liz Peterson/Brian Solomon/Anni Spadafora/Evan Webber/Christopher Willes and others) / City Council Chambers 2019-02-17 (Sunday – free!) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Dan Fortin Quartet [Ethan Ardelli/Ted Crosby/Michael Davidson/Dan Fortin]) / The Emmet Ray 2019-02-17 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Wavelength Winter Festival 19 (feat. Elisapie / Beams / Luna Li) / The Garrison 2019-02-17 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Databats (Subterranea / Miserable Weekend / Iderdown) / Handlebar 2019-02-17 (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!

Music Hosted by Karen Ng (feat. Myk Freedman Trio [Myk Freedman/Rob Clutton/Jake Oelrichs] / Tania Gill Quartet [Tania Gill/Lina Allemano/Rob Clutton/Nico Dann]) / Wenona Lodge 2019-02-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Sea Moya (Most People / Miles Francis / Motëm) / The Boat 2019-02-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

Silent Shout (feat. ZA / p0st3rb0y / Leucrocuta / Coarse Language) / Handlebar 2019-02-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Franche-Nolan/Ballyk [Noah Franche-Nolan/Mark Ballyk/Laura Swankey/Dan Pitt] (Joyful Joyful) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Titanium Riot / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-26 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Dustiny [Thom Gill/Josh Cole/Phil Melanson/Matt Newton/Aline Homzy/B McCarroll-Butler] (Dorothea Paas) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-27 (Sunday) [FB event]

MIMICO (Zoo Owl / In Spades) / Monarch Tavern 2019-02-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Mildew Mildew [tape release!] (Teenage Green Bean / Pour Toi) / The Dupe Shop 2019-03-01 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Audiopollination 69 (feat. VV/ Benjamin McCarthy/Cale Weir / [HF]/styrofoamNosebleedPrincess / Dimitar Pentchev / Michael Lynn/Alex Fournier) / Array Space 2019-03-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Women From Space Festival (feat. Kayla Milmine/Bea Labikova / Cheryl O/Meghan Cheng/Irene Harrett / Brian Abbott/Tomasz Krakowiak / Mingjia Jessica Chen/Claire Yunjin Lee) / Wenona Lodge 2019-03-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Women From Space Festival (feat. Tova Kardonne / Diane Roblin/Heather Saumer / Zoë Alexis-Abrams/Neal Retke/William Davison / Ashley Urquhart's Colour and Noise) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-03-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents: Women From Space Festival (feat. Overleaf [Mira Martin-Gray/Heidi Chan/Kayla Milmine] / Bea Labikova/Germaine Liu / Dawne Carleton/Rob Clutton / Tania Gill/Rebecca Hennessy) / Array Space 2019-03-09 (Sunday) [FB event]

Women From Space Festival (feat. Happy Apple [Heraclitus Akimbo/Allison Cameron] / Laura Swankey / Prices Easy [Aisha Sasha John] / Plastic Babies [Christine Duncan/Laura Swankey/Patrick O'Reilly]) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-03-11 (Monday) [FB event]

Robin Hatch [album release celebration!] (Bram Gielen / Simeon Abbott / Dan Werb) / Array Space 2019-03-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Venus Fest presents: an evening with Alok Vaid-Menon (feat. Ziibiwan / Kiley May / Manghoe Lassi) / The Garrison 2019-03-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Elastic Recordings presents (feat. Clock Radio [Michael Davidson/Dan Fortin] [CD release!] / Chris Pruden) / Canadian Music Centre 2019-03-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Telephone Explosion, Morning Trip & Burn Down The Capital Present (feat. Laraaji / Joseph Shabason) / Toronto Spiritualist Temple 2019-04-12 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Chris Cohen [ex-Deerhoof] (Ice Cream / No Frills) / The Horseshoe 2019-04-15 (Monday) [FB event]


Community corner:

  • Posi Vibes — whose mandate is embedded in their name — is looking for some volunteers to "help make cool shit happen" in their efforts to "to create a positive equitable space that includes and honours the voices of women, people of colour, indigenous people and the LGBTQ community." Get in touch with them if you think that's something you'd want to be involved with, and at the very least you should be liking/following for updates on their work/fun activities.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #288

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

Somewhere There Presents: Mechanical Forest Sound's 10th Anniversary Celebration (feat. The Allison Cameron Band [Allison Cameron / Thom Gill / Kurt Newman] / Lender [Christine Duncan / Laura Swankey (music) / Nilan Perera / D. Alex Meeks] / The Knot [Tilman Lewis / Nick Storring]) / Array Space 2019-02-10 (Sunday) [FB event]

This blog became a thing on Friday, February 13th, 2009 (though there was a certain amount of pre-planning before that) so it would seem amiss to not mark the occasion somehow. The first set of celebrations (with more to come!) celebrates the city's creative music scenes, with three sets from some seriously heavy hitters. I'm pleased to have wrangled a too-rare appearance from the "new" AC band (with Thom Gill + Kurt Newman) as well as a return-to-action from the recently-quiet cello duo The Knot. And then, in improvised music tradition, I made up the rest, mixing together four great players into one unpredictable band. It should be a night of great music, and there will also be snacks. (Did I mention the snacks?)


This week's noteworthy shows:

Michael Eckert/Christine Bougie/Joshua Van Tassel/Hugh Marsh / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-04 (Monday – early show @ 6 p.m.!) [FB event]

Red Arm Band [Mingjia Chen/Chris Pruden/Julian Anderson Bowes/Mark Ballyk] / The Emmet Ray 2019-02-04 (Monday – early! PWYC) [FB event]

DUST (the quietest big band in the known world) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-05 (Tuesday – early!)

Track Could Bend #47 (feat. Meg Remy's Last Tape / Freaky Boos [Jackson Darby/Aaron Hutchinson/Becky Katz] / William Davison & Bob Vespaziani) / Wenona Lodge 2019-02-05 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Hainbach (Menial Rips / Munition Passion Altar / Mykhaylo) / Unit 2 2019-02-05 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Lipliners' Wednesdays in February Residency (feat. Ronley Teper and The Lipliners) / The Cameron House 2019-02-06 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Kurt Newman Presents: Cosmic Country for Communists (feat. Janet Macpherson/Kyle Kirkpatrick / Nick Flanagan [comedy] / The Nashville Minimalism Unit) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-06 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Pugs & Crows (Sam Tudor) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents: After-concert Jam with Locals (feat. Pugs & Crows / Ted Crosby / Colin Fisher / Bea Labikova) / Array Space 2019-02-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

In Between Sounds #94 (feat. Lorde Awesome) / The Only Café 2019-02-07 (Thursday – free!) [FB event]

Daniel Barnes/Girma Woldemichael Ethio-Jazz Band / Hirut Café 2019-02-07 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Array Ensemble [four new works by Marielle Groven, Christopher Mayo, Francis Ubertelli and Christina Volpini] / Array Space 2019-02-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Jeff Luciani/Colin Fisher / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Venus Fest presents (feat. Torres / Charlotte Cornfield / HEX) / Jam Factory 2019-02-09 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

Art of the Uncarved Block presents: An evening of spoken word w/ music [spoken word by Fool, Evan Moore, and Jordan Lee-Tung] (feat. Tang / Chris) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-02-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Long Winter 7.4 (feat. James Baley / Graham Van Pelt / Triples / Rapport / KOZA / Westelaken / Jo Snyder / Mindful MC's / Donna Linklater / Mortimer. / Lost is Found) / Workman Arts 2019-02-09 (Saturday – PWYC! all ages!) [FB event]

Sture Ericson and Friends [Sture Ericsson/Nick Fraser/Lina Allemano/Alex Fournier/Kurt Newman] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ayal Senior (Nilan Perera / Nick Flanagan [comedy] / Jonny Friedman) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-10 (Sunday – afternoon show, 3 to 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

BLOOP! [Lina Allemano/Mike Smith/Germaine Liu/Nick Fraser] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-10 (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!

Franche-Nolan/Ballyk Project [Noah Franche-Nolan/Mark Ballyk/Dan Pitt/Kaelin Murphy/Brooklyn Bohach/Victor Vrankulj] / The Emmet Ray 2019-02-11 (Monday) [FB event]

Ornate Presents (feat. Madeleine Ertel [solo] / TVT [Madeleine Ertel/Brooklyn Bohach/Kaelin Murphy] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-12 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Jazz and Otherwise Improvised Musics (feat. Eden Prairie [Justin Haynes/Andrew Downing/Kevin Turcotte] / Laura Swankey/Kristen Theriault/Bea Labikova/Kayla Milmine) / Wenona Lodge 2019-02-12 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Tranzac Sound For Silence II: Valentine's Day Edition (feat. Polka Dogs / Unclassic Classics / Hex / Jazz United Band) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2019-02-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble / La Maquette 2019-02-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Urkimsher / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Glen Hall's Ossingtone [Glen Hall/Bruce Cassidy/Diane Roblin/Harry Vetro/Phil Albert] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-17 (Sunday – early set @ 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

A Night of Mischief (feat. King For a Day [Heidi Chan/ManMan Mui/Amy Naylor/Lee Stone] / BLISK / Parmida) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-18 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Josh Cole Trio [Lina Allemano/Michael Davidson/Josh Cole] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Royal Stompbox presents: Zardoz (feat. Castle If [live score!]) / The Royal Cinema 2019-03-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Cold Early Spring (feat. Dame Cook / Hexzuul / Mandelbrut / Beard Closet) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-03-16 (Sunday) [FB event]

Robyn Hitchcock / The Drake Underground 2019-06-23 (Sunday) [more info]

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Recording: The Ryan Driver Quintet

Artist: The Ryan Driver Quintet

Song: You Go to My Head [composers: J. Fred Coots/Haven Gillespie]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 28, 2018.

The Ryan Driver Quintet - You Go to My Head

This holiday season outing saw a couple subs sitting in with Ryan Driver's ballad-heavy heavy-hitters' group, including Karen Ng on alto sax and clarinet as well as Thom Gill adding some subtle synth textures that more filled in for Michael Davidson's vibraphone than Martin Arnold's guitar. It was all rather dreamy and beautiful as the group stretched out with some standards over a couple sets, ranging from subtly-surging Latin rhythms to woozy clockwork to dreamtime wind-downs.

[Aurochs will be back in the Southern Cross on Friday, February 22nd.]

Recording: Aurochs

Artist: Aurochs

Song: [set 1, 2nd piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 28, 2018.

Aurochs - [set 1, 2nd piece]

A quiet evening at The Tranzac, the sort of night where instead of introducing the bandmembers at the end of the set, bassist/podcaster/raconteur Pete Johnston instead introduced each of the audience by name. But instead of using the room in the room (and a quiet evening in the Main Hall with no sound bleeding through) to add more quiet space to their music, the group went the other way, with Johnston's fuzzy bass textures pushing the group into some pretty rockin' territory. Even with extra volume and velocity, there was still room for the pieces to unfold in some surprising and rather satisfying ways, with Mike Smith's dub interventions on Ali Berkok's piano and Jake Oelrichs' percussion folding in nicely at the edges.

[Aurochs will be back in the Southern Cross on Friday, February 22nd.]

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Recording: DeiCont/Driver/Meeks/Ng/Pencer

Artist: Mike DeiCont/Ryan Driver/D. Alex Meeks/Karen Ng/Daniel Pencer

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 27, 2018.

Mike DeiCont/Ryan Driver/D. Alex Meeks/Karen Ng/Daniel Pencer - [set 1, 1st piece edited excerpt]

Mike DeiCont/Ryan Driver/D. Alex Meeks/Karen Ng/Daniel Pencer - [set 2 excerpt]

Filling up some time in the post-xmas/pre-New Years' holiday gap, this ad hoc quintet brought some wobble/clonk/glide to the Southern Cross, mixing the talents of Dan Pencer (clarinet), Ryan Driver (piano), Mike DeiCont (electric bass), D. Alex Meeks (percussion) and Karen Ng (alto/clarinet).

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Recording: Matthew "Doc" Dunn & Friends

Artist: Matthew "Doc" Dunn & Friends

Songs: Only Love Can Guide Us Now + Crying Shame [Jennifer Castle cover]

Recorded at The Baby G, December 20, 2018.

Matthew "Doc" Dunn & Friends - Only Love Can Guide Us Now

Matthew "Doc" Dunn & Friends - Crying Shame

A slightly-belated night to celebrate the release of Doc Dunn's Lightbourn album turned out to be a twofer, with the additional appearance of its follow-up Some Horses Run on the merch table. These "solo" albums (as distinguished from the collective grooves he heads with the Cosmic Range) found their songs fleshed out with an all-star band that included Simone T-B on drums, Grasshopper on percussion, James Matthew VII (formerly Blind Matty) on guitar, Andrew Scott on bass, Jonathan Adjemian on keybs as well as special guest backing vocalists Isla Craig and Meg Remy on a few numbers.

That exploded the sometimes-introspective vibe of the recorded versions into a cranked-up push-it-to-the-back-of-the-stadium wall of wailing guitars and pulsing funk, making these versions feel like they'd belong up on the merch table in a gatefold cover double-live album — the kind with just a couple stretched-out songs per side. There's even a tip of the hat here to peer and inspiration Jennifer Castle on a version of "Crying Shame" that tears with such momentum Dunn was pushing hard to keep up with the flow of the lyrical river.

[Doc Dunn and a smaller group of friends will be bringing some joy to the Mechanical Forest Sound 10th Anniversary celebration at The Baby G on Saturday, March 2nd.]

Monday, January 28, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #287

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:

Night Of The Living Night Shift (feat. R. Flex / Becca Howe / Determinist?) / Wenona Lodge 2019-01-29 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Full disclosure: I had a bit of a hand in behind the scenes, getting the elements in place for the show. But the stylistically-mixed lineup (and the hearty joy I expect to be present in the room) all spring from the Earl of Ebullience himself, Luca Capone. Taking a step back from the airwaves (most recently on CJRU's The Night Shift) this is a chance to say thanks to someone who left no stone unturned in sharing an appreciation of the city's many flavours.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Piano Fest (feat. Johnny Spence / Ryland Dinneen) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-01-28 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Money House / The Emmet Ray 2019-01-28 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

The Heck Messengers [Mike DeiCont/Lowell Whitty/Ted Crosby/Jacob Gorzhaltsan] / The Emmet Ray 2019-01-28 (Monday) [FB event]

Loom (Queen of Swords / Catholic Wilt) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-01-29 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-01-29 (Tuesday) [FB event]

New Tendencies [Batch 0008 release celebration!] (naw / Invisible Out) / Handlebar 2019-01-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

Video Age (Jackson Macintosh [mem. of TOPS / Crying High) / Monarch Tavern 2019-01-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

Don Kng [Nick Fraser/Don Scott/Karen Ng wsg Jake Henry] / The Emmet Ray 2019-01-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

Insensitive Granola [Aline Homzy/Michael Davidson/Ashley Urquhart/Alex Fournier] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-01-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

Jennifer Foster (Paul Linklater [solo acoustic!]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-01 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

Tallies (Sahara / Carmen Elle) / The Drake Underground 2019-02-01 (Friday) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society presents (feat. Les Frères Cissoko Bannaya Family) / Alliance Française de Toronto 2019-02-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Defend the 11 Fundraiser (feat. Hooded Fang / Brigitte Bardon't / Moul D) / The Beguiling 2019-02-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Concert For Yemen (feat. Mad Ones / HotKid / catl. / Beams / Jerry Leger / Regina Gently / Noah Mintz) / Hard Luck Bar 2019-02-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Sea Beau [EP Release!] (Vixu) / The Root Down Studio 2019-02-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Audiopollination 68 (feat. Del Stephen/Michael Ramey/David Story / Alex Fournier/Mira Martin-Gray/Alexander Whyte / Ryan Kinney/mkl32 / Lîla Ensemble) / Array Space 2019-02-03 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 64 (feat. Dark Tapes, Blank Nurse/No Light) / Handlebar 2019-02-03 (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!

Red Arm Band [Mingjia Chen/Chris Pruden/Julian Anderson Bowes/Mark Ballyk] / The Emmet Ray 2019-02-04 (Monday – early! PWYC) [FB event]

Hainbach (Menial Rips / Munition Passion Altar / Mykhaylo) / Unit 2 2019-02-05 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Pugs & Crows (Sam Tudor) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents: After-concert Jam with Locals (feat. Pugs & Crows / Ted Crosby / Colin Fisher / Bea Labikova) / Array Space 2019-02-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

BLOOP! [Lina Allemano/Mike Smith/Germaine Liu/Nick Fraser] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-02-10 (Sunday) [FB event]

MAW 4: A Community Celebration of the Vocal Arts (feat. Richard Marsella / Clamaglamza / Isla Craig / Anny Fyreagle / Laura Swankey / Tidal Mouth / Blunt Chunks / Melanie Leishman) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-02-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Canadian Arabic Quartet / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2019-02-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

TIO Celebrates Bruce Cassidy (feat. Toronto Improvisors Orchestra with special guest Bruce Cassidy) / Array Space 2019-02-24 (Sunday) [FB event]

Mechanical Forest Sound's 10th Anniversary Celebration: A Night of Rock Music! (feat. Hooded Fang / Man Made Hill / Matthew "Doc" Dunn + Friends) / The Baby G 2019-03-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Tough Age (Vanity Phase / Hugh Man) / Handlebar 2019-03-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Omhouse (Luge / Slurry) / Monarch Tavern 2019-03-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

L CON (Synne Sanden) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-03-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Venus Fest presents (feat. Ivy Mairi [EP release!] / Perfect Health [new solo project from Carmen Elle!]) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-03-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Digawolf [album release!] (Hex) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-03-22 (Friday) [FB event]

The Scientists (B-17) / Lee's Palace 2019-04-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

Jon Langford / The Horseshoe Tavern 2019-05-23 (Thursday) [more info]


Community corner:

  • Noise Bylaw Review: Amplified Sound The City of Toronto is reviewing the Noise Bylaw, and wants to hear from you. The current bylaw provides standards for noise, and applies to all properties in Toronto. There are several public consultations, but this one of of particular interest to music-lovers. NIMBY's and self-appointed no-fun police can suck up a lot of air at meetings like this, so it's vital that musicians, venues, promoters and audiences are on hand to make it clear that the presence of "amplified sound" is one of the things that makes the city a better place to live. April Alimero (Phèdre/Hooded Fang) is once more rallying the musical community to make their voices heard to City Hall, so come and join some friendly faces Wendesday evening at Scadding Court Community Centre.
  • The relatively recent past of of music scene is sometimes the most obscure: out of the range of immediate memory, and also not quite new enough to always be accessible online. (The latter is a sad fact for anyone trying to find out more about a band whose albums list a Myspace address as their web presence!) Thankfully, some bits of this gap are being filled with a new initiative from Grasshopper, who has begun to upload videos from his extensive archive of concert recordings to a new youtube channel. So far there's a bunch of No Dynamics, as well as a couple Ninja High School sets, but keep an eye out for more to come!

Bandcamp corner:

  • Melissa Boraski has done us all a huge favour by pulling together all of her released music — mostly under her Eiyn Sof moniker — available in one spot. Lots of excellent stuff here, including the stone classic Bloodstreams album.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Recording: Andrew Kay

Artist: Andrew Kay

Song: [first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Music By & For Ken Aldcroft XXIV), December 12, 2018.

Andrew Kay - [first piece]

Saxophonist Andrew Kay had previously played this series with some music by Ken Aldcroft, but this time brought some solo and duo improvisations in his memory. Alternating between alto, clarinet and bass clarinet, there were some different textures and moods explored here, especially when Jake Parker Scott (now based in Oakland) joined in on alto, a touch of piano and some genteel impromptu percussion.

[Music By & For Ken Aldcroft will be back at The Tranzac on Wednesday, February 13th.]

Recording: Patrick O'Reilly + Heraclitus Akimbo

Artist: Patrick O'Reilly + Heraclitus Akimbo

Song: Gospel [composer: Ken Aldcroft]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Music By & For Ken Aldcroft XXIV), December 12, 2018.

Patrick O'Reilly + Heraclitus Akimbo - Gospel

This set saw guitarist Patrick O'Reilly playing some of Ken Aldcroft's pieces, but without his usual panoply of effects pedals. Instead, that sonic manipulation was handled by an external agent, adding some unstable twists to the proceedings. I must confess I pitched the concept for to this one, both of out an ongoing recent interest in manipulating other people's sounds, as well as having a chance at digging into Aldcroft's actual songs in a way I wouldn't be able to do on my own. Although he wouldn't've made these sorts of manipulations, Aldcroft was a dab hand with the few effects he did use, and there's some serious scholarship yet to be done on, say, his deft use of looping, especially in his solo guitar work.

You can also stream the full set if you like:

[Music By & For Ken Aldcroft will be back at The Tranzac on Wednesday, February 13th. Heraclitus Akimbo will be celebrating the release of a new solo album at the Tranzac on Wednesday, February 20th.]

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Recording: Brodie West Quintet -1

Artist: Brodie West Quintet -1

Songs: C.T. [composer: Nick Fraser] + They Call This Everything [composer: Ryan Driver] + Possesional [composer: Rob Clutton]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), December 12, 2018.

Brodie West Quintet -1 - C.T.

Brodie West Quintet -1 - They Call This Everything

Brodie West Quintet -1 - Possesional

Playing as a quartet sans percussionist Evan Cartwright left Brodie West (alto), Tania Gill (piano), Josh Cole (double bass) and Nick Fraser (drums) a bit of space to play around in — and one leg of this group's rhythmical foundation removed. They did manage to tackle a few pieces from the group's current set ("Tumbling In" perhaps had more rolling than tumbling, but "Prel and Fug" bounced nicely) but for the bulk of the night the group instead reached beyond the regular repertoire to play some pieces from members and friends. Gill and Cole offered charts, but perhaps the most intriguing voyages were on a couple classic Drumheller1 tunes, and there was also this beautifully-lyrical reading of a song from Ryan Driver's latest, tackled in the best jazz tradition of transforming pop tunes into standards.


1 This is as good a place as any to remind you that the four albums by Drumheller — all essential Toronto weird-jazz documents, besides just being groovy-good listens — are online at Nick Fraser's bandcamp.