Monday, July 30, 2018

Concert Listings Roundup #261

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:

Witch Prophet (Future Peers / VERSA / Inner Touch) / The Commons Space 2018-08-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

I have fond memories of this Little Italy space that was formerly home to the Whippersnapper Gallery, so it's cool to see some music returning there. This night promises to be a multimedia experience — and not only with VERSA's visual music, but also from installations and other sensory delights. And best of all is a set from Witch Prophet, currently riding high in the wake of her excellent solo album dropping a couple months back.


This week's noteworthy shows:

BLOOP [Lina Allemano/Mike Smith/Nick Fraser/Blake Howard] (Tena Palmer/Rob Clutton) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-31 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Julien Beillard (Artifist [John Tielli] / Nick Fraser & Bryan Qu) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-31 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Buzz Records Presents: (feat. Lonely Parade / T-Rextasy / Mother Tongues) / The Baby G 2018-07-31 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Hooded Fang (Nikki Fierce / Eyeballs) / Monarch Tavern 2018-07-31 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Astral Projections X (feat. Body Butter / ZONES) / Handlebar 2018-08-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

In Between Sounds #88 (feat. Lorde Awesome) / The Only Café 2018-08-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ora Cogan (ZOË / Johnny De Courcy) / Pamenar Café 2018-08-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Handlebar turns 6! (feat. LOLAA / Akage No Anne / Luna Li) / Handlebar 2018-08-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 58 (feat. Mikrosleep [cassette release!] / Roberto Herruzo / Senior Beatbox) / Handlebar 2018-08-05 (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!

The Mike Smith Company / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-08-07 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Heavy Traffic: The Music of Intrusion ["electronic compositions for low loudspeakers"] / Canadian Music Centre 2018-08-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Zine Dream After Party (feat. Petra Glynt / Time / Sea Beau / Scarlett Rose) / The Baby G 2018-08-12 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Holy Oak Family Singers Present: Lightfoot (feat. Tamara Lindeman/Thom Gill/Luke Kuplowsky/Ben Whiteley/Felicity Williams/Alex Lukashevsky/Robin Dann/Ben Gunning/Evan Cartwright) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-08-13 (Monday) [FB event]

Bloom (Tryal / Sea Beau) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-08-14 (Tuesday) [FB event]

John Kameel Farah [Strands EP release!] / Monarch Tavern 2018-08-15 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Nidus [Marc Couroux/Jason Doell/Matthew Ramolo] (Reductive Transduction) / Celestina 2018-08-16 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Dusted [LP Release!] (Sauna / Sahara) / Monarch Tavern 2018-08-16 (Thursday) [FB event]

Thin Edge New Music Collective [works by Brian Harman, Kotoka Suzuki, Kenji Sakai, Takahiro Kuroda, Yuka Shibuya, Takeo Hoshiya, Linda Catlin Smith] / Array Space 2018-08-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Body Break (Prom Nite / WLMRT / Scorpio Rising) / Faith/Void 2018-08-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

Furniture Music VI (feat. Colin Avery Hinton / No Seas) / Red Eye Espresso 2018-08-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

Tara Kannangara/Rob Grieve/Alex Fournier/Colin Hinton [playing Paul Motian tunes and Motian-related music] / The Emmet Ray 2018-08-27 (Monday) [FB event]

Owl's Club fundraiser (feat. Alpha Strategy [LP release!] / Clamps / Persons / Greydini / Eyeballs/ Bile Sister) / Handlebar 2018-08-31 (Friday) [FB event]

Chris Pruden/Laura Swankey/Patrick O'Reilly / The Rex Hotel 2018-09-02 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Chris Pruden/Laura Swankey/Victor Vrankulj / The Rex Hotel 2018-09-09 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Jack Name (Ice Cream / Scarlett Rose) / Lula Lounge 2018-09-12 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Chris Pruden/Laura Swankey/Nelson Moneo / The Rex Hotel 2018-09-16 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Badge Époque Ensemble (Korea Town Acid) / The Baby G 2018-09-22 (Saturday) [FB event]

Chris Pruden/Laura Swankey/Emily Denison / The Rex Hotel 2018-09-23 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Christine Duncan/Patrick O'Reilly/Laura Swankey / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-09-23 (Sunday) [FB event]

Chris Pruden & Laura Swankey / The Rex Hotel 2018-09-30 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Friday, July 27, 2018

Recording: Sal Grosso

Artist: Sal Grosso

Song: Sal Grosso - [excerpt, in two parts]

Recorded at The Baby G (Track Could Bend #39), June 5, 2018.

Sal Grosso - [excerpt, part 1]

Sal Grosso - [excerpt, part 2]

In between homes, the TONE festival was kind enough to let Track Could Bend share its space at The Baby G for an extra-early outing before their event. A touch less intimate than the typical TCB surroundings (though brought in a little closer by bringing the action down off the stage), the trade-off was a chance to have an excellent sound-tech and a big PA to listen to some electroacoustic explorations. It was also a treat to host Lisbon's Sal Grosso — TCB's first international guest — who, thanks to the internet, connected with the series in a similar friend-of-a-friend manner as many locals. With laptop, mini modular unit and a multi-effects box, this also fit right in to the series' soundworld with scratchy dreamscapes adding just enough grit to shift past ambient mellowness — and the PA in the back room helped add some nice overtones with the volume pumped up and reverberating off the walls.

[The next Track Could Bend, with sets from Debashis Sinha, Luyos MC and No Seas, will be taking place at its new home in the basement of Wenona Lodge on Tuesday, August 7th.]

Recording: Nicole Rampersaud

Artist: Nicole Rampersaud

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Baby G (Track Could Bend #39), June 5, 2018.

Nicole Rampersaud - [excerpt]

In between homes, the TONE festival was kind enough to let Track Could Bend share its space at The Baby G for an extra-early outing before their event. A touch less intimate than the typical TCB surroundings (though brought in a little closer by bringing the action down off the stage), the trade-off was a chance to have an excellent sound-tech and a big PA to listen to some electroacoustic explorations. With a tight schedule to adhere to, it also made sense to make use of The Baby G's front room for some acoustic sounds while switching over the more electronic sets in the back. The sort of place you might walk through while on the way into a show without really looking at it, it was a treat to have a listening experience in the venue's front space, with its windowed façade giving a panorama of traffic, pedestrians, and seagulls to illustrate Rampersaud's trumpet investigations.

[The next Track Could Bend, with sets from Debashis Sinha, Luyos MC and No Seas, will be taking place at its new home in the basement of Wenona Lodge on Tuesday, August 7th.]

Recording: Barry Prophet

Artist: Barry Prophet

Song: [last section]

Recorded at The Baby G (Track Could Bend #39), June 5, 2018.

Barry Prophet - [last section]

In between homes, the TONE festival was kind enough to let Track Could Bend share its space at The Baby G for an extra-early outing before their event. A touch less intimate than the typical TCB surroundings (though brought in a little closer by bringing the action down off the stage), the trade-off was a chance to have an excellent sound-tech and a big PA to listen to some electroacoustic explorations. It's always a joy to have the series serve as a meeting place for emerging artists as well as those with a longer track record of enriching the city, so I was quite honoured to have sculptor and sound-shaper Barry Prophet in attendance. With his Moog theremin and sundry other electronics, Prophet created some very tasty oscillations, setting the tone for the night.

[The next Track Could Bend, with sets from Debashis Sinha, Luyos MC and No Seas, will be taking place at its new home in the basement of Wenona Lodge on Tuesday, August 7th.]

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Recording: Alex Lukashevsky

Artist: Alex Lukashevsky

Songs: Sarcastic Blues + Zut!

Recorded at The Baby G (TONE Festival and Mechanical Forest Sound present), June 3, 2018.

Alex Lukashevsky - Sarcastic Blues

Alex Lukashevsky - Zut!

It was a real honour to have a chance to co-present a show leading off the second incarnation of the wonderful TONE Festival. Even if there can be unexpected shifts in a lineup from planning to execution, I was very excited with the night that came together. Karen Ng deserves full credit for bringing revered songsmith Alex Lukashevsky on board to close out the show. Most recently playing a support role in Eucalyptus and other ensembles, it's been a good spell since I'd seen Lukashevsky wander through his songbook. I wasn't the only one who was entranced — after he was pulled out from the crowd to add some impromptu percussion for a reading of Deep Dark United's "Zut!", Nick Fraser started calling out requests to extend the set. [And this is probably as good a place as any to remind you that DDL's albums as well as Lukashecky's essential solo Connexions album are all available at his bandcamp.]

Recording: Clarinet Panic Redux

Artist: Clarinet Panic Redux

Song: R.W. [excerpt]*

Recorded at The Baby G (TONE Festival and Mechanical Forest Sound present), June 3, 2018.

Clarinet Panic Redux - R.W. [excerpt]

It was a real honour to have a chance to co-present a show leading off the second incarnation of the wonderful TONE Festival. Even if there can be unexpected shifts in a lineup from planning to execution, I was very excited with the night that came together. The heart of this show was this reunion set from Clarinet Panic, reactivating on a planetary alignment that had all four members in the same city for long enough to get a grip on Cory Harper-Latkovich's quick-shifting chamber-prog. Hearing the velocity and intensity of this music again was a reminder of how much more "rock" it is than most "new music" — especially with saxophonist Karen Ng finding the same fast-squawking tone used by Linsey Wellman in art-punks FET.NAT.

[Rumours are rumbling underfoot about strange extensions of Clarinet Panic's reunion — keep an eye out for some interesting forthcoming news!]

* So far as I can tell, this set-long piece is an extended redux of this older composition, though I don't know for sure if it still bears the same name.

Recording: Kee Avil

Artist: Kee Avil

Song: Space 1.5

Recorded at The Baby G (TONE Festival and Mechanical Forest Sound present), June 3, 2018.

Kee Avil - Space 1.5

It was a real honour to have a chance to co-present a show leading off the second incarnation of the wonderful TONE Festival. Even if there can be unexpected shifts in a lineup from planning to execution, I was very excited with the night that came together. It was our good luck that Vicky Mettler was in town working on music for a dance piece and was able to step in at the last minute. The first songs from this new solo endeavour that have emerged on her EP establish this as a project to keep an eye on — and seeing the gorgeous execution of the mangled loops and shifted textures in a live setting is thoroughly impressive. This music sounded so much bigger in this space than the last time I'd seen this project, so while this recording can't fully express that immensity, I'm happy that it at least offers a very clear rendering of the stereophonic sound space that Mettler constructed on the fly.

Recording: Kurt Newman's Nashville Minimalism Unit

Artist: Kurt Newman's Nashville Minimalism Unit

Song: A Dime's Worth of Sunshine*

Recorded at The Baby G (TONE Festival and Mechanical Forest Sound present), June 3, 2018.

Kurt Newman's Nashville Minimalism Unit - A Dime's Worth of Sunshine

It was a real honour to have a chance to co-present a show leading off the second incarnation of the wonderful TONE Festival. Even if there can be unexpected shifts in a lineup from planning to execution, I was very excited with the night that came together. I was also excited to bring this project from Kurt Newman to the Baby G's big stage + sound system — though I confess at first I assumed that I would get something like the feedback'n'molasses I'd seen previously. The fact that (minimalism be damned) this emerged as a trio was all the more exciting, with Mike Smith (bass) and Nick Fraser (drums) dropping in like a local version of the Wrecking Crew and executing some theoretically simple rhythms with grace and imaginative finesse. Newman had jokingly threatened some "Dukes of Hazzard car chase music" and from that seed of an idea in this piece, they'd speed things up into a chugging train rhythm and slow it down to a relaxed waltz (with some especially-beautiful lyrical playing from Newman) before hinting at possibilities for escape velocity in a closing piece that brought back a bit of that feedback I'd originally associated with this project as well as a guest turn from Karen Ng on sax.

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

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Recording: L CON

Artist: L CON

Song: There Was a Glow

Recorded at Jam Factory (Venus Fest presents), June 1, 2018.

L CON - There Was a Glow

If there were any, er, insecurities in presenting the beautifully-engineered songs from their new album in a live context, Lisa Conway and company tackled them head on, approaching the songs in a few different configurations. Conway started the set off solo, performing a couple songs solo with her Ableton-based rig, before adding members and building up to a lean groove and some disco-reimaginings of older tunes. And ending as she started, Conway stepped into the crowd to close things out singing unamplified, her voice floating above the highway-whisper of cars seeping into the hot room through the open window.

[L CON will be performing at Slip, Slop, Slap, Kat Burns' experimental summer series at Handlebar, on Sunday, August 19th. The group will also be opening up at Falcon Jane's album release celebration at the Gladstone Hotel on Thursday, August 23rd. Venus Fest is presenting a free/all-ages/family-friendly concert in Ontario Place's Trillium Park this Thursday (June 26th) featuring Bernice, OBUXUM and Ansley Simpson.]

Recording: Pantayo

Artist: Pantayo

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Jam Factory (Venus Fest presents), June 1, 2018.

Pantayo - unknown

Leading off a summer of prestigious concert and festival appearances, Pantayo showed off their streamlined pop presentation, integrating their kulintang moves into some increasingly-sophisticated songcraft. Besides the grooves they've been providing, there's a number of tasty new songs in the set, as the members of the group raise their voices in love and resistance.

[Venus Fest is presenting a free/all-ages/family-friendly concert in Ontario Place's Trillium Park this Thursday (June 26th) featuring Bernice, OBUXUM and Ansley Simpson.]

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Recording: Eucalyptus

Artist: Eucalyptus

Song: Something Sparkly

Recorded at Recorded at Hirut Restaurant, May 27, 2018.

Eucalyptus - Something Sparkly

Celebrating their eighth annual residency at Hirut Ethiopian Restaurant, Eucalyptus once more spent a month of Sundays playing to packed rooms of satisfied diners and groove-seekers. On this night, there were a couple subs (Lina Allemano, trumpet and Kurt Newman, guitar) sitting in with the band and in a couple places the group was feeling their way along at the starts of songs — but inevitably once everyone found the groove, things proceeded in a most satisfying manner.

* At least this is what I thought I'd heard being called out from the stage — I will update if/when I hear anything different!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Concert Listings Roundup #260

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:

Goosebump [LP Release!] (Chandra / Persons) / Lula Lounge 2018-07-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

As Germaphobes give way to Goosebump, the songwriting relationship between Paul Erlichman and Neil Rankin continues to evolve and mutate — the most recent fruits of which is the Goosebump by Goosebump LP. That's worthy of being celebrated with a party at the stately Lula Lounge on Thursday. Besides a chance to check in with the band's post Fiji Whizz refreshments, the night also offers another chance to catch the Chandra band, with a team of local weird-rock all-stars backing former child/art star Chandra Oppenheim in a joyful groove marathon.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Exit Phrase [Kyle Windjack/Ben McCarroll-Butler/Nick Marshall/Patrick O'Reilly/Scott Hunter/Julian DiVito] / The Emmet Ray 2018-07-23 (Monday – early! PWYC!) [FB event]

Red Arm Band [Mingjia Chen/Bryan Qu/Chris Pruden/Julian Anderson-Bowes/Mark Ballyk] [debut show!] / The Emmet Ray 2018-07-23 (Monday) [FB event]

LEYA (Omhouse [mostly solo!]) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2018-07-23 (Monday) [FB event]

b mccb 5 [ben mccarroll-butler/Kaelin Murphy/Yunjin Claire Lee/Irene Harrett/Giuliano Di Vito] (Tiny Music [Patrick Smith/Kaelin Murphy/Max Donaldson] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-24 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Archives of Eternity [Patrick Smith/Mark Hundevad/Rob Clutton/Mike Gennaro] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-25 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Julien Beillard (Jose Contreras / Nick Fraser & Brian Ruryk) / The Baby G 2018-07-25 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Venus Fest presents: Music in Trillium Park (feat. Ansley Simpson / OBUXUM / Bernice) / Trillium Park @ Ontario Place 2018-07-26 (Thursday – free! outdoors! all-ages + family-friendly) [FB event]

The Mean (Neon Bloom/Uncle Father) / The Piston 2018-07-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Subtle Blend presents (feat. Buscrates / LeXus / SlowPitchSound) / Handlebar 2018-07-26 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Doug Tielli Trio (Mermaids) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-26 (Thursday)

Not The Wind, Not The Flag / Pamenar 2018-07-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-27 (Friday – early!)

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-27 (Friday)

Darlene Shrugg (Biblical / NOBRO) / Lee's Palace 2018-07-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Material Girls (Alpha Strategy) / The Baby G 2018-07-27 (Friday) [FB event]

96 Tears Backyard BBQ (feat. Komodo / Whimm / Deliluh) / 96 Tears Vintage 2018-07-28 (Saturday – afternoon backyard show!) [FB event]

Dreadnought (Gates / Brigitte Bardon't / Experiment Specimen) / Coalition 2018-07-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Vallens [EP Release] (James Baley / Ellis) / The Garrison 2018-07-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Mingjia (Thom Gill / Raf Wilcot / Margret) / Monarch Tavern 2018-07-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Cosmic Homeostasis VII (feat. Del Stephen/Mira Martin-Gray/Patrick O'Reilly/Ronnie Blake/Laura Swankey/mkl32/Heraclitus Akimbo) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-29 (Sunday – afternoon show, 3 to 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited (Daby Touré) / Harbourfront Centre (Concert Stage) 2018-07-29 (Sunday – afternoon show @ 4 p.m.! free! outdoors! all-ages + family-friendly!) [more info]

Emily Denison Septet [Emily Denison/Laura Swankey/Nelson Moneo/Beth Silver/Patrick O'Reilly/Victor Vrankulj/Mark Ballyk] / The Emmet Ray 2018-07-29 (Sunday – early set, 6 to 8:30 p.m.! PWYC!) [FB event]

Synaptic Circus Sundays (feat. Emily Denison/Tara Kannangara/Nicole Rampersaud / Rob Cluttton/Nick Fraser/Nilan Perera/Dani Oore) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

P0st3rb0y (Leucrocuta / Bad Passion / The Databats) / Handlebar 2018-07-29 (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!

Audiopollination #62 (feat. James Bailey/Neil Wiernik / Jeff Luciani/Del Stephen/Maxwell McEachern / Brett Despotovich/e1e/Erik Kinsella / Mickle32/Mira Martin-Gray) / Array Space 2018-08-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Falcon Jane [album release!] (L CON / nutrients) / The Gladstone Hotel 2018-08-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nerd Noise Night (feat. Odonis Odonis / More or Les / Wordburglar) / The Rec Room 2018-09-01 (Saturday) [FB event]

Silver Dapple (So Young) / The Baby G 2018-09-21 (Friday) [FB event]

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Recording: Tatsuya Nakatani

Artist: Tatsuya Nakatani / Tatsuya Nakatani Gong Orchestra

Songs: [two excerpts] / [excerpt, in two parts]

Recorded at The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst, May 26, 2018.

Tatsuya Nakatani - [excerpt 1]

Tatsuya Nakatani - [excerpt 2]

Tatsuya Nakatani Gong Orchestra - [excerpt, part 1]

Tatsuya Nakatani Gong Orchestra - [excerpt, part 2]

The past couple years have seen a series of visits from master percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, each of which has seen him welcomed by an increasing crowd of astonished admirers. It was therefore fitting for the Music Gallery to provide the resources to take things up to the next level and host a manifestation of Nakatani's Gong Orchestra. Providing the beautiful percussive hardware, Nakatani relies on local programmers to create an ensemble, which then spends the day together learning his vocabulary before performing for the public. The instructions specify that the musicians can be at different levels of experience (and, in fact, do not even need a background in percussion) so it's no surprise that the MG was able to use its many connections into many different scenes to come up with a diverse ensemble. Members included: Brenda Joy Lem, Katie Jensen, Debashis Sinha, Charlotte Cornfield, Rupert Ojiji Harvey, Kristyn Gelfand, HanHan, Alex Punzalan, W. A. Davison, Tréson Alman, Jenn Kitagawa, Bryan W. Bray, Laura C. Bates and Raphael Roter.

Before starting the concert with a captivating solo set, Nakatani reminded the crowd that this isn't so much a musical undertaking as a "vibration project" so that should be kept in mind in listening to these artifacts here — it's nowhere near as wonderful as feeling the vibrations live and in person, where the listener gets to lean in closer to hear the tiniest bowed overtones before being bowled over by mallet-clanging thunderstorms. That feeling of vibration-over-sound was even more intense with the ensemble playing together, while Nakatani conducted the group to create intense phasing and other effects across the length of the churchlike hall.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Recording: In Between

Artist: In Between

Songs: Sans Soleil [composer: Karen Ng] + Old Feeling [composer: Ted Crosby]

Recorded at The Emmet Ray, May 21, 2018.

In Between - Sans Soleil

In Between - Old Feeling

After a couple sets with magiceyeimage, percussionist Phil Melanson was doing double-duty on this night, joining Josh Cole (on electric bass) as the rhythm section for the horns (and tunes) of Ted Crosby and Karen Ng. It's especially pleasing to see the latter's composition book growing with another chance to hear the Ken Aldcroft-inspired "Mister" as well as several other recent pieces. Even a passing street-sweeper (or some similar contraption) came in right on time at the close of Cole's bass intro to the latter selection here — all elements accidentally right in place.

Recording: magiceyeimage

Artist: magiceyeimage

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at The Emmet Ray, May 21, 2018.

magiceyeimage - [excerpt]

magiceyeimage and friends - [excerpt]

Well, it had been no slight amount of time since I had last seen this trio in action, back before percussionist Phil Melanson was such a fixture in these parts. Shifting his base of action to T.O. has made this unit (alongside Gabriel Drolet on double bass and Simon Labbé on guit) less active, so it was a real treat to lean back and soak up their slow momentum. Close in spirit to locals Aurochs (and further afield, The Necks), there's a joy here of exploring gestures and slowly-transforming textures more than any sort of melodic structures. As the evening glow from the skylight began to fade, everything seemed in place in the dusky gloom — as if the musicians were feeling their way through unseen terrain, never too forcefully loud as the roar of trucks and other streetsounds occasionally overwhelmed their sounds.

After a break, the trio were joined for a second set by a couchful of singers. (If my notes are correct, they were: Alex Samaras, Frederique Roy, Felicity Williams, Robin Dann and Eugénie Jobin Tremblay.) With occasional Victoria Day fireworks snapping in the background, this felt like a long-weekend cottage-y soundscape, like you could open your eyes and catch the last glimmers of the sunset over the lake.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Recording: Arma Agharta

Artist: Arma Agharta

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), May 18, 2018.

Arma Agharta - unknown

This evening of weird pop at Owl's Club was in support of this visiting Lithuanian sound artist. Celebrating 20 years of DIY creativity with a world tour, this was joyfully-bracing stuff. A table full of strange gear (including a pair of CDJ's) and European voltage adapters, the respectable-looking individual who was seen setting up re-emerged dressed as Marvin the Martian — and things just got weirder from there. That look was totally appropriate for the Carl Stalling acid trip that followed, a bricolage of drums-rolling-down-a-staircase and maniacal jibber-jabber, all presented with a delightful intensity that made the set as much of a visual spectacle as an aural one.

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

Recording: Bonnie Trash

Artist: Bonnie Trash

Song: Sleepless Sheep

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), May 18, 2018.

Bonnie Trash - Sleepless Sheep

Sarafina and Emmalia Bortolon-Vettor can raise plenty ruckus on their own, but this outing saw them with some support from Chris Worden on second guitar (though to some extent fulfilling the role of bassist in the band). The set was still centred on last year's Ezzelini's Dead EP, but their music was delivered with a bolder confidence than I've seen from the band in the past, making them a rock'n'roll force to be reckoned with.

Recording: Greydini

Artist: Greydini

Song: Abstract Spider Pizza Party

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), May 18, 2018.

Greydini - Abstract Spider Pizza Party

Also known for his work with Wolfcow, the great Greydini has been making "solo" releases of skewed pop for a while, and this set saw him previewing several tunes from the forthcoming 10" Pardon My Syrup mini-album. Exchanging the band's no wave chug for some bumpin' mutant disco tracks, the songs are still fuelled by the same manic street poetry and delightfully absurdist crab consciousness sensibility.

[Rumour has it that Greydini will be returning to party (probably with that new disc in hand) at Owl's Club for Alpha Strategy's album release party on August 31st.]

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Recording: Trevor Turple

Artist: Trevor Turple

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), May 17, 2018.

Trevor Turple - [excerpt]

Responsible for assisting in the untangling of the loops of Nikki Lyttle's songs so they could be recorded cleanly to tape, Trevor Turple also closed out the release party for that same tape with some drifting ambient abstractions. After building a little nest of cables (appropriate, perhaps, for the looped birdcalls that would soon ring out) he deployed synth, sampler and guitar to unfurl some atmospheric samplescapes and backmasked lullabies to wrap up the evening.

Recording: Naomi Floods

Artist: Naomi Floods

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), May 17, 2018.

Naomi Floods - unknown

This show was a celebration of both a tape release and a birthday and felt right at home in the casual, rec-room environs of the Owl's Club basement. Based around carefully-constructed loopcraft, this project from Nikki Lyttle (who previously recorded as gustywinds) built up bemused, yearning dreamscapes from voice, guitar and percussion.

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

Recording: Bad Passion

Artist: Bad Passion

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), May 17, 2018.

Bad Passion - unknown

This menacing slo-jam duo of Lesley Davies and Digits' Alt Altman was building up a good head of steam a few years back, with an EP and everything, but a "dimensional shipwreck" lead to some quiet time before the group was reactivated earlier this year. Songs that sound like the mellowest Kraftwerk duets ever imagined usually conceal apocalyptic imagery (often couched in action-movie tropes) so the music sounds as timely as ever in the current cultural environment.

[Bad Passion will be playing alongside Poster Boy, Leucrocuta and The Databats at Handlebar this Sunday (July 29th).]

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

Recording: Lavender Bruisers

Artist: Lavender Bruisers

Song: Salary

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), May 17, 2018.

Lavender Bruisers - Salary

Though involved, as ever, in a lot of community initiatives (including the No Mean City Collective), Kritty Uranowski has also been spotted lately rockin' out with this fuzzy, stripped-down solo take on the sort of pop she formerly tackled in Patti Cake. Anchored by her powerhouse vox and with a drum machine clattering along for company in the background, the tunes were delivered with a demo-ish rawness and punkrock immediacy. Expect a release of the project's first album (on sale at this show in a preview CD-R with handmade art) to follow soon.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Concert Listings Roundup #259

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 Titillators / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-22 (Sunday) [FB event]

Well, I don't know what to expect from the "historic first performance" by this new crew convened by Ryan Driver, but given the all-stars involved — Thom Gill, Tania Gill, Germaine Liu and Phil Melanson — I certainly want to be on hand to see what unfolds.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Allison Cameron Band [Allison Cameron/Thom Gill/Kurt Newman] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-18 (Wednesday – early!)

Isla Craig (Colin Fisher/Josh Cole/Spencer Cole) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Tough Customer (Puzzlehead / WLMRT / Hugh Man) / Faith/Void 2018-07-18 (Wednesday – all ages!) [FB event]

Ben Gunning Group (Paul, Doug & Phil) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-07-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Alex Fournier & Tom Fleming / Black Cat - Artspace 2018-07-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Maria Bonita & The Band / Drom Taberna 2018-07-19 (Thursday – free!) [FB event]

Nifty Trio [Matt Smith/Colin Fisher/Thom Gill] / Pamenar 2018-07-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

American Devices (Prom Nite / Protruders / Robert Dayton) / Owl's Club 2018-07-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Orville Peck [backed by FRIGS] (Whitney K / Pink Acid Wash / K.A. Butala) / Monarch Tavern 2018-07-20 (Friday) [FB event]

BIG on Bloor Festival (feat. Blokoloko / Juliana Flores / Ayrah Taerb / Luna Li / doesntmatteritsokay / Mas Aya / Jeff Burke / Bonjay / TRiSH / JoniGold) / Festival Main Stage 2018-08-21 (Saturday – free! all-ages and family-friendly! outside!) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Pharmakon / Anamai / Intensive Care) / The Garrison 2018-07-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Faster Presents: Summer Sound Explorations (feat. James Bailey & Kayla Milmine / Paul Stillwell / Eugene Martynec & Brian Abbott / Faster) / Gerrard Art Space 2018-07-21 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Moul D. (Dumb / Rotten Column) / The Beguiling (basement) 2018-07-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Art of the Uncarved Block presents (feat. Fond [record release!] / Blankscreen / Tiptoes) / The Dupe Shop 2018-07-21 (Saturday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Luge (For Esmé) / The Bentway Beer Garden 2018-07-22 (Sunday – free! outside! afternoon show, 3 to 5 p.m.!) [more info]

Taktus / Toronto Music Garden 2018-07-22 (Sunday – afternoon show @ 4 p.m.! outdoors! free! all-ages and family-friendly!) [more info]

DATA (Lily & Horn Horse / Moul D / Lice II) / Faith/Void 2018-07-22 (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!

b mccb 5 [ben mccarroll-butler/Kaelin Murphy/Yunjin Claire Lee/Irene Harrett/Giuliano Di Vito] (Tiny Music [Patrick Smith/Kaelin Murphy/Max Donaldson] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-24 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Mean (Neon Bloom/Uncle Father) / The Piston 2018-07-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Subtle Blend presents (feat. Buscrates / LeXus / SlowPitchSound) / Handlebar 2018-07-26 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

96 Tears Backyard BBQ (feat. Komodo / Whimm / Deliluh) / 96 Tears Vintage 2018-07-28 (Saturday – afternoon backyard show!) [FB event]

Synaptic Circus Sundays (feat. Emily Denison/Tara Kannangara/Nicole Rampersaud / Rob Cluttton/Nick Fraser/Nilan Perera/Dani Oore) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-07-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Astral Projections X (feat. Body Butter / ZONES) / Handlebar 2018-08-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Witch Prophet (Future Peers / VERSA) / The Commons Space 2018-08-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Handlebar turns 6! (feat. LOLAA / Akage No Anne / "secret guests") / Handlebar 2018-08-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Jessica Moss [Aug. 6th] / KGD [Aug. 7th]) / The Phoenix 2018-08-06–2018-08-07 (Monday–Tuesday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #41 (feat. Debashis Sinha / Luyos MC / No Seas) / Wenona Lodge 2018-08-07 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Sarah Davachi) / The Baby G 2018-08-09 (Thursday) [FB event]

Moon King (Nyssa / Mother Tongues) / Lula Lounge 2018-08-15 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Freak Heat Waves (Kristian North / Bile Sister) / The Baby G 2018-09-07 (Friday) [FB event]

Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars / The Garrison 2018-09-13 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nap Eyes / The Horseshoe Tavern 2018-09-24 (Monday) [FB event]

The Holy Gasp [The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex release celebration!] / 918 Bathurst 2018-10-27 (Saturday – rescheduled date! "please dress for a wedding") [FB event]

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Recording: Josh Cole Quartet

Artist: Josh Cole Quartet

Songs: [two pieces]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 16, 2018.

Josh Cole Quartet - [first set, second piece]

Josh Cole Quartet - [second set, first piece]

Scheduled as a quintet date, the numbers here ended up being reduced by last-minute illness, but there were still plenty ideas flowing from Josh Cole (double bass), Karen Ng (clarinet and sax), Ryan Driver (piano) and Brandon Valdivia (percussion). With a freshly-recorded album in the can, the players were well in sync in a series of explorations. The first selection here revs up to speed with a push from Valdivia and Driver's clumpy clusters, while the second, coming after one of those cozy let's-hang-out between-set breaks, reconvened to a quieter room and after tossing and turning a bit settled into a sort of late-night sleepwalk through empty city streets.

[In place of the quintet, Josh Cole will be presenting some different ensembles in the next couple months, including this Wednesday (July 18th) at The Tranzac, backing Isla Craig in a trio alongside Colin Fisher (who will also be playing a duo set with Spencer Cole).]

Recording: Octopus Curls

Artist: Octopus Curls

Songs: [two improvisations]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 16, 2018.

Octopus Curls - [first set, second piece]

Octopus Curls - [second set, fourth piece]

A slightly-different flavour of octopus this time out, with curlers Nicole Rampersaud and Allison Cameron joined by only singular quadruped percussionist Mark Zurawinski. As a crowd trailed past into the Main Hall to be mesmerized by a hypnotist, the trio cast their own enchantment of honks, theremin-ish buzzings, feedback sputters, clonk-clicking, wobbly ukulele and harmonica bleats.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Recording: Haynes/Ng/Whitty/Heraclitus Akimbo

Artist: Justin Haynes/Karen Ng/Lowell Whitty/Heraclitus Akimbo

Songs: Bluehawk + Green Chimneys [composer: Thelonious Monk]

Recorded at The Emmet Ray (Monk's Music), May 13, 2018.

Justin Haynes/Karen Ng/Lowell Whitty/Heraclitus Akimbo - Bluehawk

Justin Haynes/Karen Ng/Lowell Whitty/Heraclitus Akimbo - Green Chimneys

When Justin Haynes was given responsibility for an instalment of the Sunday afternoon Monk's Music series at The Emmet Ray, he assembled a crack team of musicians — well, a crack team and one ringer. Thus Haynes (on guitar) was joined by Karen Ng (clarinet) and Lowell Whitty (drums) as well the non-jazz-certified knob-twistings of Heraclitus Akimbo (seen squinting intently at the lead sheets, perhaps trying to put the "fake" in "fakebook"). It is possible that his presence didn't unduly spoil the fun of two sets of Monk's tunes, which seem to be flexible enough to withstand drone intros, dub keyb stabs, etc. Of course, with musicians like the others on hand, it would be tough for things to go entirely sideways.

[Justin Haynes will be melding together an even larger group of disparate musicians when the Maximum Effort Ensemble plays Terry Riley's "In C" at La Rev on Friday, June 27th. The impressive group is slated to include Josh Cole, Michael Davidson, Alisdair Jones, Tania Gill, Thom Gill, Julia Hambleton, Owen Heathcoate-Fraser, Dafydd Hughes, Jeff LaRochelle, Kayla Milmine, Phil Melanson, Indira Nanavati, Diane Roblin, Luan Phung, Jeff Burke, Heraclitus Akimbo, Blake Howard, Mary-Margaret O'Hara, Heather Saumer, Doug Tielli, Patrick O'Reilly, Tom Walsh, Nick Zubeck, Arie Verheul-van de Ven, Chris Gartner and others.]

Friday, July 13, 2018

Recording: This Tale of Ours Quartet

Artist: This Tale of Ours Quartet

Songs: Little Black Dog + Neveser 14 / Synkathistos

Recorded at Eastminster United Church (Labyrinth Musical Workshop Ontario Concert Series), May 12, 2018.

This Tale of Ours Quartet - Little Black Dog + Neveser 14

This Tale of Ours Quartet - Synkathistos

This was the first in a series of concerts that were the public-facing segment for a busy first year of the Labyrinth Musical Workshop. Labyrinth's central component was a series of workshops giving students a chance to have close-up encounters with masters of different modal traditions from around the world — and the chance to hear many of those same masters making rare local concert appearances was the icing on the cake. This opening show saw an ongoing project that mixes two amazing local musicians (Pedram Khavarzamini: tombak; Araz Salek, tar) with two of the founders (Ross Daly: lyra, tarhu, and rabab; Kelly Thoma, lyra) of the original Labyrinth Workshop on Crete.

Two sets of music from the quartet mixed traditional tunes with new compositions and saw solo turns all around become embroidered by the group's effortless collective flow. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make any of the other shows in the series, but I kept hearing amazing things about the visiting headliners as well as the emerging local musicians who opened the shows — and the skills and techniques learned will linger on in the practices of a whole host of local players. Labyrinth is truly something that our "music city" needs more of, so hopefully the conditions will be put in place for this concept to thrive in our soil.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Recording: Botanicals

Artist: Botanicals

Song: [second section]

Recorded at Handlebar (The AMBiENT PiNG), May 9, 2018.

Botanicals - [second section]

A pleasant night out at the Ping saw some new sound experiments from familiar faces, including this experimental pairing of Neil Rankin and Kirsten Nolan (who are currently and formerly of Germaphobes, now known as Goosebump). Mixing electronics, keyboards, cassette concrète, bass and vintage drum machine, the pair made some sonic explorations in the same style as their concurrent demo recordings, slowly transforming from mechanical rumbles to new age drift.

Recording: Iderdown

Artist: Iderdown

Song: ap050918 [movement II]

Recorded at Handlebar (The AMBiENT PiNG), May 9, 2018.

Iderdown - ap050918 [movement II]

A pleasant night out at the Ping saw some new sound experiments from familiar faces, leading off with Chris Trotter's electro-ambient explorations. Performing a new suite (that has also just emerged on bandcamp in a home-recorded version), there was a nice arc at play, from wall-rumbling low-frequency electro-pop excursions to trip-hop abstractions to the close brush with acid jazz heard here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Recording: Wet Tuna

Artist: Wet Tuna

Song: I'd Rather Be Hayin'

Recorded at The Baby G, May 6, 2018.

Wet Tuna - I'd Rather Be Hayin'

Tourin' with a new joint album on offer, I wasn't very familiar with Pat Gubler (of P.G. Six) but with Matt Valentine on hand, I must confess my expectations for this set were somewhere in the range of "Jerry Garcia Band demos". The set's first track, unwinding the album's "New York Street" suite, was precisely in that zone, but the pair (armed with guitars, bass and a vintage drum machine) had some other tricks up their sleeves as well. This track (allowed to unfurl further from its album version) lead with a genteel drift that brings "Coney Island Baby" to mind, though things would get a chance to get unwound — and later on, the pair would crank up the flanger and get into some Moon Duo-adjacent territory. All told, some rather pleasant excursions for a Sunday night.

Recording: Tony Price & Friends

Artist: Tony Price & Friends

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G, May 6, 2018.

Tony Price & Friends - unknown

While fronting Actual Water a few years back, Tony Price was in the habit of shifting sonic contexts and subverting expectations. This new project shows those same ambitions have been applied at a larger scale, shifting past hooky pop nuggets for longer groove explorations. The "friends" on hand here were Colin Fisher (sax) and Matt "Doc" Dunn (electronics/keyb) helping to mash in some kosmische whispers, as well as offering this piece which sounded like something seeping out from under the door of some vintage Lagos backroom.

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

Recording: Bardo

Artist: Bardo

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G, May 6, 2018.

Bardo - unknown

Ami Spears — who until recently had been pursuing her solo sonic investigations as Blue Light — takes a new turn here. Joined on stage by Patrick Flegel (who has recently been performing as Cindy Lee), the pair brought some brooding atmospheric heaviness, though (as with this piece) occasionally breaking the surface of the drone oceans for some (slightly nostalgic?) poppier moments.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Recording: Patrick O'Reilly, Nilan Perera and friends

Artists: Patrick O'Reilly and Nilan Perera with John Oswald and Kayla Milmine

Songs: [various improvisations]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 6, 2018.

Patrick O'Reilly, Nilan Perera and John Oswald - [trio improvisation]

Patrick O'Reilly and Nilan Perera - [excerpt from an improvisation]

Patrick O'Reilly, Nilan Perera and Kayla Milmine - [excerpt from first piece]

Patrick O'Reilly, Nilan Perera and Kayla Milmine - [excerpt from second piece]

Uncanny things can happen in the Southern Cross Lounge on a Sunday afternoon, including scheduling mishaps and unplanned encounters. Both of those were in play at this session, as originally-slated saxophonist John Oswald could only stick around for a short trio piece before bustling off to another engagement — and then, after completing the first set as a duo, Nilan Perera and Patrick O'Reilly managed to convince Kayla Milmine, who had merely dropped in to check things out on her way by, to join them for the second set. So here's a generous helping of various flavours of atmospheric loops, reverse-delay soundscapes, extended techniques and various saxophone stylings — as well an unsecured snare drum rattling away, and occasional guitarbursts from a main hall soundcheck seeping in like secret radio transmissions.

[All of these players can be found around and about, especially at the Tranzac. Nilan Perera's Synaptic Circus will be back in the Southern Cross on Sunday, July 29th, while Kayla Milmine will be presenting and playing at Faster's Summer Sound Explorations at Gerrard Art Space on July 21st.]