Thursday, August 17, 2017

Recording: Xuan Ye

Artist: Xuan Ye

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Seven Sonorous Scintillators), July 16, 2017.

Xuan Ye - [excerpt]

Celebrating the release of her You've Just Become Part of Me album of selected comprovisations, Xuan Ye gathered a collection of friends, collaborators and fellow travellers to celebrate, including a Drone Therapy session from Kristel Jax and some jams from DJ New Chance. There was something of a chapter closing/chapter opening feel to this show, with the album release marking the end to a period of intense solo performance that saw radically unique sets from an artist reluctant to re-use past ideas/set-ups. Joining in on percussion and piano during Zoë Alexis-Abrams & Johnny Spence's last song before segueing into her own short-ish set to cap the show off felt like a nod to a direction Ye has been discussing, foregrounding collaboration instead of individual effort. Expect voluminous ideas to keep flowing in any case.

[Xuan Ye + David Jones will be collaborating at a sure-to-be-wonderful show with ANAMAI and YlangYlang, Thursday, September 21st at The Baby G.]

Recording: Zoë Alexis-Abrams & Johnny Spence

Artist: Zoë Alexis-Abrams & Johnny Spence

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Seven Sonorous Scintillators), July 16, 2017.

Zoë Alexis-Abrams & Johnny Spence - unknown

Celebrating the release of her You've Just Become Part of Me album of selected comprovisations, Xuan Ye gathered a collection of friends, collaborators and fellow travellers to celebrate, including a Drone Therapy session from Kristel Jax and some jams from DJ New Chance. Occasionally collaborating ever since last summer's "Abundant Habitat" show, it was no surprise to see Zoë Alexis-Abrams on this bill.

Working through the possibilities of her "solo" material has seen Alexis-Abrams collaborating with some different partners as she explores new textures and sounds. This joint enterprise with synth wizard Johnny Spence saw him creating space for Alexis-Abrams to worry less about setting up loops and so forth. It also included a somewhat-surprising shift that saw her singing mostly in English, changing from relying on her vocal qualities alone to relate her lyrical messages.

[Manticore, Zoë Alexis-Abrams' longstanding duo with David Jones, will be playing at a Burn Down the Capital show alongside Lea Bertucci and Kat Estacio, next Wednesday, August 23rd.]

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

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo & Jason Doell

Artist: Heraclitus Akimbo & Jason Doell

Song: [edited excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Seven Sonorous Scintillators), July 16, 2017.

Heraclitus Akimbo & Jason Doell - [edited excerpt]

Celebrating the release of her You've Just Become Part of Me album of selected comprovisations, Xuan Ye gathered a collection of friends, collaborators and fellow travellers to celebrate, including a Drone Therapy session from Kristel Jax and some jams from DJ New Chance. The night started with this somewhat-noisy encounter between Jason Doell (Xuan Ye's partner in Invisible Out, here on guitar and pedals) plus one Joe Strutt (on function generator, spring reverb, pedals, mixer).

[Heraclitus Akimbo will be back at The Tranzac performing another duo set — this time alongside Matthew Fava — on Sunday, August 27th, opening up for A Quiet Little Village (Paul Newman/Kayla Milmine/Tomasz Krakowiak).]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Recording: {AN} EeL

Artist: {AN} EeL

Song: Birthday A Cappella

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

{AN} EeL - Birthday A Cappella

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

With time growing short at the end of a day packed with music, Retke played the consummate host by cutting short his own festival-closing set — despite the fact it was his own birthday! An ambitious thing done well, here's hoping that this festival makes a return next year.

Recording: Damon Loren Baker

Artist: Damon Loren Baker

Song: Birth Pangs [excerpt]

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

Damon Loren Baker - Birth Pangs [excerpt]

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

That Damon Loren Baker's name is almost an anagram for "Demon Lore Barker" is on point, as that would almost be an apt description for what went down here, with a droning laptop track the backdrop for some just-almost-audible unamplified vocals, Baker's expression somewhere between possession and catharsis.

Recording: Knurl

Artist: Knurl

Song: [excerpt]

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

Knurl - [excerpt]

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

It's always a gift that we are able to watch real artistes like Alan Bloor at work. This time out, instead of his circular sawblade stringed instrument, he brought his table of mounted medal tongues to bow, clink and rasp.

Recording: Moth Ash

Artist: Moth Ash

Song: [excerpt]

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

Moth Ash - [excerpt]

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

After letting things build for several minutes, Craig Renaud (who had also played the festival the day before in his solo guise) crouched down to guide things along through pedal manipulations, which slowly got more abrasive and crunched-up. On the whole, another excellent set from one of the city's choicest drone duos with Lumi Krysztal (violin) and Renaud (a.k.a Bit Reduction, hurdy gurdy + electronics) offering elegant sounds that never overstay their welcome.

Recording: Valerie Kuehne

Artist: Valerie Kuehne

Song: Nootropics

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

Valerie Kuehne - Nootropics

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

Valerie Kuehne hit this show on tour with fellow NYC-ers Irrevery, and while each occupy a different musical terrain, one could see the kinship in the highly-energized performance styles of Kuehne and Irrevery's Paige Johnson-Brown — a sort of hyperactive/hyper-stylized cabaret. (And, indeed, the latter came on-stage to help close out this set.) Though without her usual backing musicians, Kuehne filled the room with her story-babbles and the skronk of her unamplified cello. There were a couple mannequin heads to keep her company, too, though her presence alone was enough to make this a memorable set.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Recording: Members of Retired

Artist: Members of Retired

Song: [first two sections]

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

Members of Retired - [first two sections]

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

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

Recording: Fake Flesh

Artist: Fake Flesh

Song: Cosmic Dread

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

Fake Flesh - Cosmic Dread

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

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

Recording: Irrevery

Artist: Irrevery

Song: unknown*

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

Irrevery - unknown

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

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

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

Recording: No One Receiving Duo

Artist: No One Receiving Duo

Song: [excerpt]

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

No One Receiving Duo - [excerpt]

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

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #213

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


Gigs of the week:

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

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

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

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

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

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


This week's noteworthy shows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JFM (YlangYlang / NPNP / Leucrocuta) / Handlebar 2017-08-20 (Sunday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Recording: FASTER

Artist: FASTER

Song: Hypnochondria, Part 1

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

FASTER - Hypnochondria, Part 1

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

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

Recording: Grossman/o/Prophet

Artist: Ben Grossman/cheryl o/Barry Prophet

Song: [excerpt]

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

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

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

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

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