Monday, April 29, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #300

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


Gig of the week:

The Cosmic Range (Man Made Hill) / The Garrison 2019-05-03 (Friday) [FB event]

Huge celebration as The Cosmic Range celebrate their second album The Gratitude Principle at The Garrison Friday night. With its big-band take on Sun Ra-ish space-funk, Matthew "Doc" Dunn and his crew create elastic vibes extending deep inward and outward. Add the late news that the one-and-only Man Made Hill is on the bill and this should be the grooviest night of the season.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Casey Sokol/Rob Clutton/Kurt Newman / Array Space 2019-04-29 (Monday) [FB event]

Holger Schoorl Band [Holger Schoorl/Tania Gill/Scott Thomson/Karen Ng/Paul Newman/Kayla Milmine/Scott Gabriel/Germaine Liu/Mark Zurawinski] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-30 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Nick Fraser Quintet [Brooklyn Bohach/David Hodgson/Alex Argatoff/Ian McGimpsey/Nick Fraser] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-30 (Tuesday)

Audiopollination 70.3: The Fifth Wheel (feat. Heraclitus Akimbo/mkl32 / Bea Labikova/Raphael Roter/Chris Adriaanse / Brian Abbott/Leslie Ting) / Wenona Lodge 2019-04-30 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Cosmic Country for Communists (feat. Nashville Minimalism Unit + special guests / Nick Flanagan [comedy] / Cassie Cao [comedy]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-01 (Wendesday)

Emily Reo (Foxes in Fiction / Hush Pup) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-05-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Hot Garbage (ZONES / Vypers / Mr. Joy) / The Baby G 2019-05-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Protruders [LP release!] / Pure Pressure / The Nymphets / PlasticHeads) / Monarch Tavern 2019-05-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

In Between Sounds #97 (feat. Lorde Awesome) / The Only Café 2019-05-02 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper's Lipliners / The Dakota Tavern 2019-05-03 (Friday – early show, 7 to 9 p.m.! all ages, kids welcome!) [FB event]

Meeting the Incomprehensible: Brian Abbott's Solo Collage Show (feat. Coin Operated Duo [Michael Lynn/Ryan Kinney] / Brian Abbott & Leslie Ting) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-03 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

Emergents IV: Material Mythology (feat. Din Of Shadows) / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2019-05-03 (Friday) [FB event]

Gordon Grdina's The Marrow (Nazih Borish & Roberto Occhipinti) / Aga Khan Museum 2019-05-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

John Southworth & The South Seas [John Southworth/Christine Bougie/Andrew Downing/Craig Harley/Jean Martin] [Miracle in the Night album release celebration!] / The Imperial Pub 2019-05-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

John Oswald/Mary Margaret O'Hara/Aidan Closs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-04 (Saturday)

Donna Linklater (Jennifer Foster) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-05-05 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Jazz United Jam [jazz + tap dancing] / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-05-05 (Sunday – PWYC!)

Audiopollination 71 (feat. Yumiko Yoshimoto [solo] / Elizabeth Miller/Mira Martin-Gray / Craig Pederson/styrofoamNosebleedPrincess/Kieran Maraj / Yomiko Yoshimoto/Allison Cameron/Elizabeth Lima) / Array Space 2019-05-05 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 67 (feat. Qarafa / Oneo Fakind) / Handlebar 2019-05-05 (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!

Paul Newman/Brian Abbott / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-07 (Tuesday – extra-early set @ 5 p.m.! PWYC!)

DUST, the quietest big band in the known world / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-07 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents: A Tribute to Ennio Morricone (feat. Le Muse) / 918 Bathurst 2019-05-08 (Wednesday) [FB event]

LUKA (Dan Edmonds) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-05-12 (Sunday) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society presents: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Lizzy Mahashe (feat. Shaza, Kobena & Jungle Bouti Orchestra / Lorraine Klaasen / Lemphane Mafata / Brian Litvin / and many more) / Lula Lounge 2019-05-12 (Sunday) [FB event]

The Sound of Art (feat. UnQuartet [Meghan Cheng/Nelson Moneo/Cheryl O] with special guest Peter Lutek) / Gallery 345 2019-05-17 (Friday) [FB event]

Diane Roblin Presents (feat. Glen Hall's Ossingtones) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-19 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

McDonald/Card/Silveira (New Hermitage) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-05-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Mean [EP release!] (Secret Wars / Techniques Berlin) / The Piston 2019-05-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Venus Fest presents (feat. Charlotte Cornfield [The Shape of Your Name album release!] / Charise Aragoza) / The Baby G 2019-05-24 (Friday) [FB event]

TIO Celebrates Gwendolyn MacEwen (feat. The Toronto Improvisors Orchestra) / Array Space 2019-05-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

Blonde Elvis (No Frills / Your 33 Black Angels) / The Baby G 2019-05-27 (Monday) [FB event]

Triio [Bea Labikova/Aidan Sibley/Tom Fleming/Ashley Urquhart/Stefan Hegerat/Alex Fournier] [CD release!] / The Rex 2018-06-02 (Sunday) [FB event]

Sahara (Kiwi Jr.) / The Baby G 2019-06-08 (Thursday) [FB event]

Alternate Forest (feat. SlowPitchSound) / Array Space 2019-10-10 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Alternate Forest (feat. SlowPitchSound) / Array Space 2019-10-11 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

Alternate Forest (feat. SlowPitchSound) / Array Space 2019-10-12 (Sunday – afternoon show! all ages!) [FB event]

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Recording: Man Made Hill

Artist: Man Made Hill

Songs: Fantasy Pants + unknown* + I'll Swallow You Whole + Find a Freak

Recorded at The Baby G (MFS 10th Anniversary Celebration / A Night of Rock Music!), March 2, 2019.

Man Made Hill - Fantasy Pants

Man Made Hill - unknown

Man Made Hill - I'll Swallow You Whole

Man Made Hill - Find a Freak

Although I don't get out to as many rawk shows as I used to, the 10th anniversary of this blog felt like enough of an occasion to warrant a special Saturday night kind of celebration. With a limited preview run of a new best-of compilation tape on the merch table quickly selling out (side note: second batch coming soon!) and a mini-remount of my MFS listening station, it felt a bit like a party, but what really made it was seeing so many familiar faces out for the hang.

What also made it feel like a party was having the one and only Randy Gagne to close the night out. As Man Made Hill, his absurdist anthems and give-it-110-per-cent on-stage attitude make every show a sweaty delight. The set included a string of stone MMH classics, but there was a bunch of newer stuff as well, with a tune about Fantasy Pants melding into an atmospheric fantasy sequence, as well as "I'll Swallow You Whole", a slo-jam that's been heard at recent shows that just might be Gagne's "Time After Time". Or maybe his "Bizarre Love Triangle"? In any case, it's definitely the tenderest song I've ever heard to include the lyrical sentiment "I'll eat your fucking life-force!"

* These titles are offered as tentative placeholders only for now. Please leave a comment if you have any info to confirm 'em! Update: "Find a Freak" confirmed via this fab new video!

Recording: Hooded Fang

Artist: Hooded Fang

Song: Sister and Suns

Recorded at The Baby G (MFS 10th Anniversary Celebration / A Night of Rock Music!), March 2, 2019.

Hooded Fang - Sister and Suns

Although I don't get out to as many rawk shows as I used to, the 10th anniversary of this blog felt like enough of an occasion to warrant a special Saturday night kind of celebration. With a limited preview run of a new best-of compilation tape on the merch table quickly selling out (side note: second batch coming soon!) and a mini-remount of my MFS listening station, it felt a bit like a party, but what really made it was seeing so many familiar faces out for the hang.

There was no band that I wanted at this show more than Hooded Fang, largely because my tenure as a fan overlaps pretty much exactly with this blog's life. The first time I ever saw the band was at the second show I ever wrote about here, before I was even recording gigs, so I've seen the group evolve through different lineups and sonic approaches. This show even gave me a chance to properly document another wrinkle – with bassist/lyricist April Aliermo out doing fieldwork on her sonic art projects, Charise Aragoza (of Mother Tongues as well as her own projects) stepped in on bass, holding down the grooves as the band rocked some Dynasty House music as well as some older faves.

[Hooded Fang will be playing the Monarch Tavern on Thursday, May 9th along with Luge, Body Lens, and Nikki Fierce.]

Recording: Matthew "Doc" Dunn

Artist: Matthew "Doc" Dunn

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G (MFS 10th Anniversary Celebration / A Night of Rock Music!), March 2, 2019.

Matthew "Doc" Dunn - unknown

Although I don't get out to as many rawk shows as I used to, the 10th anniversary of this blog felt like enough of an occasion to warrant a special Saturday night kind of celebration. With a limited preview run of a new best-of compilation tape on the merch table quickly selling out (side note: second batch coming soon!) and a mini-remount of my MFS listening station, it felt a bit like a party, but what really made it was seeing so many familiar faces out for the hang.

Still in the midst of the fertile patch that saw the release of two singer-songwriter albums at the end of last year, Doc Dunn brought a stripped-back trio (with his guitar and vintage rhythm box accompanied by Jay Anderson and Grasshopper on percussion) to set sail over some mellow grooves.

[Doc Dunn's "other" project, The Cosmic Range, celebrates the release of their second album The Gratitude Principle this Friday (May 3rd) at The Garrison.]

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

Recording: Triples

Artist: Triples

Songs: unknown* + Hillslide

Recorded at The Baby G (MFS 10th Anniversary Celebration / A Night of Rock Music!), March 2, 2019.

Triples - unknown

Triples - Hillslide

Although I don't get out to as many rawk shows as I used to, the 10th anniversary of this blog felt like enough of an occasion to warrant a special Saturday night kind of celebration. With a limited preview run of a new best-of compilation tape on the merch table quickly selling out (side note: second batch coming soon!) and a mini-remount of my MFS listening station, it felt a bit like a party, but what really made it was seeing so many familiar faces out for the hang.

When I started booking this show, it had a retrospective tint, focusing on musicians that I've been following over the lifetime of the blog. Even if all of them are still creating vital work, I wanted to celebrate a different stream as well, of discovery, of seeing something new coming together in a satisfying way. It was lucky, then, that I'd caught Triples a few weeks previous at Long Winter — this was exactly what the show needed.

Madeline and Eva Link brought a briskly-paced set of catchy guitar-rock confections, and even managed to inject their own historical footnote in the proceedings by covering a tune from Calgary 90's garage rockers Shinolas (which just happens to be the band of the sisters' father Pete Link). Over ten tears, I saw a lot of great stuff and made some friends by showing up early enough to catch a night's opening band, so it felt befitting to offer the audience an opportunity like that at this gig.

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

Friday, April 26, 2019

Recording: FET.NAT

Artist: FET.NAT

Song: Patio Monday

Recorded at Jam Factory (Feast In The East 72), February 28, 2019.

FET.NAT - Patio Monday

Bringing les bruits nouvelles of their Le Mal album out on the road, Hull's FET.NAT added some new routines to their interactive groove repertoire.

Recording: Badge Époque

Artist: Badge Époque

Song: Badge Theme*

Recorded at Jam Factory (Feast In The East 72), February 28, 2019.

Badge Époque - Badge Theme

The new-ish post-Slim Twig ensemble from Max Turnbull has quietly been building steam for a little while now (though there's still only one track online to hint at the project's sound), with Turnbull (on keyb) joined by Jay Anderson (drums), Chris Bezant (guit), Alia O'Brien (flute), Giosuè Rosati (bass), and Ed Squires (percussion). Pushing deeper into the Gainsbourg lounge-funk essayed in the Twig band's late era and adding some library music deep crate dives, this group is less "rock", and feels more suited for some sort of elegant nightclub where they could perform for a seated, cocktail-swirling crowd.

[Badge Époque will be headlining a stacked lineup at The Garrison on Saturday, May 11th, along with fellow travellers Isla Craig, Ice Cream, and Carl Didur.]

* Thanks to a source for passing along the title to this one!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Recording: The Search For Eternal Happiness Pt. 4

Artist: The Search For Eternal Happiness Pt. 4

Song: [excerpt from first piece, in two parts]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Music by Harry and Furlong S1E5), February 27, 2019.

The Search For Eternal Happiness Pt. 4 - [excerpt from first piece, part 1]

The Search For Eternal Happiness Pt. 4 - [excerpt from first piece, part 2]

"The Search For Eternal Happiness" seems to be drummer Harry Vetro's catch-all for ad hoc ensembles brought together to explore new works or new sounds. This iteration brought together Kristian Fourier (piano/electronics), Nelson Moneo (viola) and Cheryl O (cello) to mix some sweepingly romantic sounds (flowing strings'll do that) with occasional jagged edges (delay pedals and feedback'll do that). Really lovely stuff — at set's end, I booked the band to play another one.

[That reprise will see the group — now re-christened "Kerhachne" — play Track Could Bend at Wenona on Tuesday, May 7th. Meanwhile, the next manifestation of Vetro's Search For Eternal Happiness will unfold tonight (April 24th) at The Tranzac, where he'll be joined by Ben Frost, Karen Ng, and Patrick O'Reilly.]

Recording: Andrew Furlong

Artist: Andrew Furlong

Song: [first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Music by Harry and Furlong S1E5), February 27, 2019.

Andrew Furlong - [first piece]

Originally planned as a duo set with Glen Hall, a robust storm forced a late change of plans. Apparently with some aggression to release (wearing a suit'll do that) Andrew Furlong leapt into this suddenly-solo set with vigour and volume, sawing and thumping away with his bow. Things'd ease back after that, with a study of Ornette Coleman's "The Face of the Bass" before Furlong pulled out his grooved drumstick for another noisy round.

[That planned-for duo with Glen Hall has been rescheduled to tonight (April 24th) at The Tranzac.]

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Recording: Franche-Nolan/Ballyk

Artist: Franche-Nolan/Ballyk

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), February 23, 2019.

Franche-Nolan/Ballyk - [excerpt]

This project's core duo of Noah Franche-Nolan (piano) and Mark Ballyk (drums/electronics) was augmented by Laura Swankey (voice/electronics) and Dan Pitt (guitar) for a set of push/pull improvisations, moving from florid clomping and saloon-y tinkling to abstract close-mic'd cymbal feedback rumbles. The latter end of the spectrum was pushed even further when the members of drone/folk-gospel explorers Joyful Joyful (who'd opened up the evening) joined the quartet on stage for en extended coda to the set.

[Noah Franche-Nolan will be playing new compositions with a trio including Hayden Farrar and Nick Fraser at the Tranzac on Sunday night (April 28th).]

Monday, April 22, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #299

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:

All-Set! Editions Double Release Celebration (feat. The Mike Smith Company / Pete Johnston's Stranger Still) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wire Circus [album release!] (Chris Pruden / Laura Swankey) / Array Space 2019-04-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Saturday night offers a pair of album release gigs that are totally worth your time. Busy as a support player in innumerable projects, Patrick O'Reilly's Wire Circus releases its long-awaited second album (with a couple fab solo sets starting the evening off) while Mike Smith (also busy as a support player in innumerable projects) will be trading off songs with Pete Johnston's Stranger Still project as both celebrate two more beautifully-designed albums from the All-Set! label.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Anni Rorke/Alex Fournier/Stefan Hegerat / The Emmet Ray 2019-04-22 (Monday) [FB event]

Furniture Music: Birthday Bash (feat. Laura Swankey & Elisa Thorn / Anni Rorke 3 / Colour and Noise) / Wenona Lodge 2019-04-23 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Glands of External Secretion / Brian Ruryk / Agar Agar [Allison Cameron/Germaine Liu/Andrew Zukerman] / 6 Heads [James Bailey/William Davison/Linda Feesey/Sherri Lyn Higgins/Colin Hinz/Pete Mosher]) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-04-23 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Inbetween [Ted Crosby/Karen Ng/Josh Cole/Phil Melanson] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-23 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Music by Harry and Furlong S1E7 (feat. Andrew Furlong/Glen Hall / The Search For Eternal Happiness Pt. 5 [Harry Vetro/Ben Frost/Karen Ng/Patrick O'Reilly]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Joe Strutt's Birthday! ["4 (short) solo sets of 4 people improvising on 4 instruments they don't really play"] (feat. Brian Abbott/Ryan Driver/Karen Ng/Joe Strutt) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

G----- Unpopped Music (feat. Doomsquad) / The Vatican Gift Shop 2019-04-25 (Thursday – free w/ RSVP!) [FB event]

CCMC with special guest David Lee / Array Space 2019-04-26 (Friday)

Urkimsher [album release!] (Bunny / Dorothea Paas) / Monarch Tavern 2018-04-26 (Friday) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-26 (Friday) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society presents (feat. Salamate Gnawa) / Alliance Française de Toronto 2019-04-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Jazz United Jam [jazz + tap dancing] / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-04-28 (Sunday – PWYC!)

Bill Gilliam/Kayla Milmine/Ambrose Pottie (Bill Gilliam/Bill McBirnie/Eugene Martynec) / Array Space 2019-04-28 (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!

Casey Sokol/Rob Clutton/Kurt Newman / Array Space 2019-04-29 (Monday) [more info]

Donna Linklater (Jennifer Foster) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-05-05 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Double Denim Presents (feat. Art d'Ecco / Absolutely Free / Living Hour / Sauna / Sorrey / Blankscreen) / The Garrison 2019-05-09 (Thursday) [FB event]

Badge Epoque Ensemble (Isla Craig / Ice Cream / Carl Didur) / The Garrison 2019-05-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

AMBiENT PiNG: A Tribute to Phil Ogison (feat. dreamSTATE / Sylken / Wally Jericho / subductionCurrent / Lorne David Thomson / Jeff Howard) / Handlebar 2019-05-15 (Wednesday) [FB event]

LAL [Dark Beings album release show!] (Ziiibiwan) / Gladstone Hotel 2019-05-17 (Friday) [FB event]

Make Some Noise (feat. Casper Skulls / Joseph Shabason) / Toronto Public Library – North York Central Branch 2019-05-25 (Saturday – free! all ages!) [FB event]

Wavelength x NXNE (feat. Most People / Persons / Syngja / Nick Schofield) / The Baby G 2019-06-14 (Friday) [FB event]

Invocation presents (feat. Lubomyr Melnyk) / St. Anne's Anglican Church 2019-06-18 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Robert Forster / The Drake Hotel 2019-11-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Recording: Doit!

Artist: Doit!

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Tiki Room), February 23, 2019.

Doit! - [excerpt from first piece]

Nearly a year to the day after recording what would become their first album, Emily Denison (trumpet) and Andrew Furlong (double bass) reconvened to celebrate Labour of Luck, the first tape on Patrick O'Reilly's W/DRWN label. Skronking and scraping in louder swells (as well as quieter, lean-in stretches) the pair augmented their instruments' standard sounds with extra breath-bursts and percussive explorations. Denison, having decamped to Montréal, is a less-frequently seen figure than previously in these parts, but in time, there will surely be more labours/luck from this pair.

Recording: Patrick O'Reilly & Laura Swankey

Artist: Patrick O'Reilly & Laura Swankey

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Tiki Room), February 23, 2019.

Patrick O'Reilly & Laura Swankey - [excerpt]

This celebration of W/DRWN's first tape was also a preview of a forthcoming one, with Patrick O'Reilly & Laura Swankey preparing to record together. Based on the quality of the performance, this set was album-worthy on its own, through it'll be delightful to hear this duo rendered in something a bit less lo-fi. The pair had enough DD-7's on hand to delay a train, while Patrick O'Reilly also brought out one of his 4-track recorders along with some endless looping cassettes to quadruple the glitchy gloop from his 16 Second Delay.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Recording: Cole/Allemano/Davidson

Artist: Josh Cole/Lina Allemano/Michael Davidson

Song: [first set, 2nd piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), February 20, 2019.

Josh Cole/Lina Allemano/Michael Davidson - [first set, 2nd piece]

Unlike the previous time I saw these three musicians performing together, this was more traditionally structured as three sets from a trio, but there was still plenty of room for individual expression. With traces of tango music wafting over from the Main Hall, this crew went on a graceful traipse through some mellower zones, with even occasional rattles and clanks not marring the restful vibe too much.

[Michael Davidson and Josh Cole will be among a stellar group of musicians (also including Patrick Smith, David French and Nick Fraser) at a special Monk's Music tomorrow (April 21st) in the 6 p.m. slot at The Emmet Ray.]

Friday, April 19, 2019

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo/Kayla Milmine/Paul Newman

Artist: Heraclitus Akimbo/Kayla Milmine/Paul Newman

Song: [improvisation, in two parts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), February 20, 2019.

Heraclitus Akimbo/Kayla Milmine/Paul Newman - [part 1]

Heraclitus Akimbo/Kayla Milmine/Paul Newman - [part 2]

I've had an ongoing interest recently in using my pedals and whatnot as an instrument to manipulate other people's playing. It's a kindness for a musician to go to a slightly vulnerable place and give up some control of what sounds their instruments produce, so I'm fully grateful that Kayla Milmine and Paul Newman indulged me in closing out this album-release night with this sound-processing experiment. It can get a bit trippy when it starts to become unclear who's doing what, but I was rather satisfied with how this came out.

photo by Jakob Rehlinger

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo

Artist: Heraclitus Akimbo

Song: Hanging Heart/Crean

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), February 20, 2019.

Heraclitus Akimbo - Hanging Heart/Crean

Sometimes, certain memories keep bubbling up to the surface. At some point, a floaty, drifty feeling in some music I was making put my mind back to the lakes I'd canoed over when I was a kid living in Saskatchewan. And that brought to mind a particular story that had stuck with me all my life, but that I had rarely told aloud. The end result of all this was Four Lakes in Prince Albert National Park, which in turn lead to this release show, celebrating a limited (and quickly sold out!) CD-R run from Arachnidiscs Recordings.

For this set, I managed to pull off the talking story that's at the heart of the record, as well as this piece presented here — a fifth lake, if you will. Rather than the canoe glides of the album's works this memory is at motorboat speed (as expressed by the underlying rumble) and a sense of feeling dwarfed by the giant lake (the largest one fully contained a National Park). I don't know if people fishing in P.A.N.P. still use hunks of frozen beef heart for bait, but the memory of it being next to the Mr. Freeze I was eagerly hunting for at the Hanging Heart marina's shack is in this somewhere too.

[Heraclitus Akimbo will be performing a duo set — pedal manipulations on double bass — with mkl32 at a Special offsite Audiopollination, Tuesday, April 30th at Wenona Lodge.]

photo by Jakob Rehlinger

Recording: Kayla Milmine & Paul Newman

Artist: Kayla Milmine & Paul Newman

Song: [first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), February 20, 2019.

Kayla Milmine & Paul Newman - [first piece]

I was delighted that two of my fave players agreed to do a set to open things up for my album release celebration — as heard here, their seeming mindmeld creates some supremely-satisfying simpatico stereophonic saxophonic scenarios. That they were even open to having their sounds manipulated with some pedal knob-twisting was even cooler.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Recording: Public Recordings

Artist: Public Recordings

Song: To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation [excerpt, in two parts] [composer: Pauline Oliveros]

Recorded at City Hall's Council Chambers, February 17, 2018.

Public Recordings - To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation [excerpt, part 1]

Public Recordings - To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe in Recognition of Their Desperation [excerpt, part 2]

This joyfully ambitious undertaking saw Chris Willes and his Public Recordings crew bringing music — radical music, music that demands deep listening and focused attention — into the City Hall chambers, a space associated with noisemaking of a different kind. The culmination of a process reaching back a couple years (including its previous mounting at the Gardiner Museum), this version brought a larger audience and bigger crew of musicians into its larger space. (Adding to the logistical complexity of the entire undertaking, there were also a series of public rehearsals in different venues in the week leading up to the performance.)

The beginning of a new form of composition from Pauline Oliveros, this piece for open ensemble has guidelines, but few musical directives, meaning there are a wider range of possible sonic outcomes than with a through-composed piece. With simple instructions and shared light cues, this large ensemble of musicians and non-musicians weave together a drone symphony, a slow-moving sound-river that invites closed-eye meditation (though, especially in an environment such as this, also some open-eyed gawking at how the spectacle is creating itself). The participant list reveals artists from many fields coming together to make these sounds: Anne Bourne, Allison Cameron, Victoria Cheong, 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, and Christopher Willes.

[This concert was co-presented by the Music Gallery, who have had an ongoing stream of Pauline Oliveros-related events this season. The last instalment of the Anne Bourne-facilitated Deep Listening Workshops ("Sounding Difference Through The Text Scores Of Pauline Oliveros") will be at 918 Bathurst on Sunday, April 28th. Free with registration.]

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Recording: Marker Starling

Artist: Marker Starling

Songs: Fly Away/Silver Morn + Conundrum

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, February 16, 2019.

Marker Starling - Fly Away/Silver Morn

Marker Starling - Conundrum

That long wait for Rosy Maze seems a distant memory now, with the new Trust An Amateur marking Chris Cummings' fourth album in a four-year span. Although after the "asides" of I'm Willing's covers and Anchors & Ampersands' re-evaluation of older songs, the new one is the first "proper" album in a while. A real songwriters' showcase, the focus is really on Cummings' words here, with the music stripped back to an old-school Wurlitzer and drum machine approach.

This album release celebration had a stripped back "classic lineup" vibe as well, with Cummings backed by longtime collaborators Jay Anderson, Matt McLaren and Andrew Scott giving a bit of a different feel to the new album's material. One interesting wrinkle in Trust An Amateur is the increased use of suites linking shorter songs together (for an avid film buff like Cummings this is surely akin to the use of montage to comment on characters and situations) and the live show gave a two-fer that's not on the album with "Fly Away" and opener "Silver Morn" joined together. The mid-set dip back through the hits included this take on "Conundrum", reduxed on last year's Anchors & Ampersands but with its origins all the way back on Cummings' first album Doin' It All back from when he was also a Wurlitzer-and-drum-machine-only guy.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #298

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:

Fiver [new lineup w/ Bianca Palmer, Nick Dourado, Jeremy Costello!] (Dieufaite Charles) / Workman Arts 2019-04-20 (Saturday – all ages! dry event!) [FB event]

An exciting night of new songs and new beginnings from one of the city's top songwriters. Backed by Jeremy Costello, Nick Dourado and Bianca M. Palmer (longtime bandmates in Special Costello, and also seen recently in these parts as the core of Beverly Glenn-Copeland's backing band) Simone Schmidt is promising a new sound and new songs ("decidedly not about an insane asylum, all decidedly about the present").


This week's noteworthy shows:

Star Triptych [Elisa Thorn/David Riddel/Laura Swankey] (Yunjin Claire & Mingjia) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-04-15 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

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

Corridor (Balmy) / The Baby G 2019-04-15 (Monday) [FB event]

MAW: A Community Celebration of the Vocal Arts (feat. Donna Linklater / Kalendar / Breathing Music / Ori Shalva / Peg Evans / Tuku / Heather Whaley / Ivy Mairi / Hussein Janmohamed / Martha / Weakness) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-04-16 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Music Hosted by Karen Ng (feat. Craig Dunsmuir and the Dun Dun Band / Bass Off [Josh Cole/Mike DeiCont) / Wenona Lodge 2019-04-16 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Yvonne Matsell presents: An evening with Gentleman Reg [a one-off reunion performance by Gentleman Reg, performing as a three piece, featuring Greg Millson and Kelly McMichael on keys/vocals] (fea. Gentleman Reg) / Radical Road Brewing Company 2019-04-16 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Féroces (And Always / Esther Splett / Xaviera) / The Grand Gerrard Theatre 2019-04-16 (Tuesday – all ages! "mystery film screening after the show"!) [FB event]

Nick Storring & Two Ted Country/Blues [Allison Cameron/Kurt Newman/Mark Zurawinski] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-17 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Daniel Pencer/Matthew Pencer/Josh Cole / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-17 (Wednesday) [FB event]

AMBiENT PiNG (feat. Hypnagogue / ortiz) / Handlebar 2019-04-17 (Wednesday) [FB event]

The Music Gallery's Departures Series (feat. Nadah El Shazly/ ZOË / Qarafa) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-04-18 (Thursday) [FB event]

Sonic Unyon 25th Anniversary Show (feat. Tristan Psionic / SIANspheric / Basement Revolver / Bankruptcy) / Horseshoe Tavern 2019-04-18 (Thursday) [FB event]

Songs of Bread, Wine, and Salt ["new music by composer Pete Johnston based on the words of Nova Scotia–born poet Alden Nowlan."] (feat. Mim Adams/Randi Helmers/Pete Johnston/Rob Clutton) / Anansi Bookshop 2019-04-18 (Thursday) [FB event]

Service for Justin Haynes / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2019-04-19 (Friday – 2 to 8 p.m.) [FB event]

Deliluh / The White House 2019-04-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Silent Shout (feat. Crying High [release party! / ZONES / Esther Splett) / Handlebar 2019-04-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Hugh Man Anniversary Party (feat. Hugh Man / Hobby / Tort / Moul. D / WLMRT) / WLMRT Headquarters 2019-04-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

Eli Wallace [solo piano] (Josh Cole Trio [Josh Cole/Michael Davidson/Karen Ng]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-20 (Saturday – early!) [FB event]

Plastic Babies [Christine Duncan/Patrick O'Reilly/Laura Swankey] / Anni Rorke/Alex Fournier/Stefan Hegerat / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

OliveHouse Concerts #2 (feat. Eli Wallace / Nelson Moneo/Andrew Furlong) / OliveHouse 2019-04-21 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. B McCarroll-Butler & Patrick Smith with Agneya Chitke & Colin Fisher) / The Emmet Ray 2019-04-21 (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!

Anni Rorke/Alex Fournier/Stefan Hegerat / The Emmet Ray 2019-04-22 (Monday) [FB event]

Inbetween [Ted Crosby/Karen Ng/Josh Cole/Phil Melanson] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-23 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Joe Strutt's Birthday! ["4 (short) solo sets of 4 people improvising on 4 instruments they don't really play"] (feat. Brian Abbott/Ryan Driver/Karen Ng/Joe Strutt) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society presents (feat. Salamate Gnawa) / Alliance Française de Toronto 2019-04-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

All-Set! Editions Double Release Celebration (feat. The Mike Smith Company / Pete Johnston’s Stranger Still) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-04-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Bill Gilliam/Kayla Milmine/Ambrose Pottie (Bill Gilliam/Bill McBirnie/Eugene Martynec) / Array Space 2019-04-28 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 67 (feat. Qarafa / Oneo Fakind) / Handlebar 2019-05-05 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #50 (feat. Primate Pyramid / Reknee / Kerhachne [Harry Vetro/Kristian Fourier/Nelson Moneo/Cheryl O]) / Wenona Lodge 2019-05-07 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Soundstreams' Ear Candy: Fauxstalgia [a genre and gender bending cabaret that puts the spotlight on queer artists, Indigenous artists and artists of colour, curated by Olivia Shortt] (feat. Darren Creech / Teiya Kasahara / Cris Derksen / Grace Scheele) / The Drake Underground 2019-05-08 (Wednesday) [FB event]

The Music Gallery's Departures Series (feat. Jaimie Branch's Fly or Die / Not The Wind, Not The Flag) / St. Matthew's Clubhouse 2019-05-08 (Wednesday) [FB event]

unQuartet [Meghan Cheng/Nelson Moneo/Cheryl O] / Gallery 345 2019-05-09 (Thursday) [FB event]

Night Owl Festival presents (feat. TEKE::TEKE / Lee Paradise / Petra Glynt / Bonnie Trash) / The Garrison 2019-05-10 (Friday) [FB event]

RADIOfänik (feat. Continuum Contemporary Music) / The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst 2019-05-10 (Friday) [FB event]

Beams (Zinnia) / The Dakota Tavern 2019-05-10 (Friday) [FB event]

Crrotting (Cares / Goth Girl / 090916) / See-Scape 2019-05-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

POP Montreal presents (feat. Casey MQ / Hanorah / Rapport / Lydia Képinski) / The Baby G 2019-05-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Breathers (Goosebump) / The Baby G 2019-05-15 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Bile Sister (Leucrocuta / American Standard Union) / Handlebar 2019-05-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Recording: Unclassic Classics

Artist: Unclassic Classics

Songs: Lonely Son [Vernon Wray cover] + unknown* + In the Shape of a Heart [Jackson Browne cover]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Sound For Silence II), February 14, 2019.

Unclassic Classics - Lonely Son

Unclassic Classics - unknown

Unclassic Classics - In the Shape of a Heart

This Valentine's Day special served to celebrate a very special love — one felt by a whole series of communities for the Tranzac. With all three of its performance spaces often busy all at once, the sounds from one room can often bleed into the next — theoretically charming in its way, but also disruptive when it happens at an intense or quiet moment of a performance. Fundraising efforts to enhance the rooms' sonic isolation have been underway for awhile now, with this night featuring a silent auction as well as a slate of musical talent drawn from several of the divergent scenes that call the Tranzac home.

The biggest highlight of the night was this sorta-inside-out version of The Weather Station, brought together by Tamara Lindeman to celebrate songs that sound like stone classics, but have been relegated to unjust obscurity. "Most people start cover bands so they can play songs that everybody knows, and play at weddings at stuff. I started a cover band to play songs that nobody knows, hopefully, which is funny 'cause it defeats the purpose of a cover band," she commented early on. The supple and sympathetic backing band got out of the way of the songs, bending their style to fit each piece and moving from the country-soul behind a tune from Link Wray's brother's cult private press album to something simultaneously more "1986" and more soulful than Browne's original recording. (The middle cut here, featuring Lindeman on piano backed only by Ben Whiteley's bass — plus some ungoogleable lyrics — hews the closest to something you might find on a Weather Station album with its spare, intimate beauty.)

A band like this, with Lindeman and Whiteley joined by Sam Gleason (guitar), Geordie Gordon (piano/synth) and Evan Cartwright (drums) played with the effortless excellence of session pros, but also the casual joy that can emerge when there are places like The Holy Oak or The Tranzac to incubate their talent and telepathy.

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

Recording: Jazz United All-Stars

Artist: Jazz United All-Stars

Song: Well, You Needn't [composer: Thelonious Monk]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Sound For Silence II), February 14, 2019.

Jazz United All-Stars - Well, You Needn't

This Valentine's Day special served to celebrate a very special love — one felt by a whole series of communities for the Tranzac. With all three of its performance spaces often busy all at once, the sounds from one room can often bleed into the next — theoretically charming in its way, but also disruptive when it happens at an intense or quiet moment of a performance. Fundraising efforts to enhance the rooms' sonic isolation have been underway for awhile now, with this night featuring a silent auction as well as a slate of musical talent drawn from several of the divergent scenes that call the Tranzac home.

Anyone visiting The Tranzac on a Sunday night lately might have noticed the burgeoning crowds in the Tiki Room, with a rotating crew of musicians providing live accompaniment to tap dancers. The Jazz United Jam is Travis Knights' celebration of jazz culture, featuring live percussive movement from him and anyone else who brings out a board. It's also an intriguing meeting place for musicians, with veterans of the city's jazz scenes mixing with a whole slew of emerging players.

This all-star distillation of the Sunday night jam not only gave Knights a much larger stage to dance on, but highlighted three of the younger players that often host and handle the organizational side of the music end of things: Kristian Fourier on piano, Devon Patton on bass and Keagan Eskritt on drums. You might not have known that there's a tap dancing scene in this city, but it's one more cool cultural tendril that finds a home at The Tranzac.

[You can check out the Jazz United Jam every Sunday (including tonight!) in teh Tiki Room from 7 'til 10-ish.]

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Recording: The Allison Cameron Band

Artist: The Allison Cameron Band

Song: [excerpt from 2nd piece]

Recorded at Array Space (MFS 10th Anniversary Celebration: A Night of Improvised Music), February 10, 2019.

The Allison Cameron Band - [excerpt from 2nd piece]

Every year around Valentine's Day, I tend to remember that it's this blog's anniversary. Then I check back to that first entry, see I'm already a day late, and go on with life. This year, I was thinking about it well ahead of time, and seeing that big, round (and mightily unexpected) tenth anniversary approaching, it seemed befitting to do something a little special. That ended up being a pair of shows, conceptually split into "improvised" and "rock" nights.

For the former, Somewhere There helped out by lending me their regular second Sunday of the month slot at Array, and from there, it was just a matter of winnowing it down from the dozens of people that I wanted to ask to play. It was a no-brainer to ask Allison Cameron to play, as her work as an improviser has inspired and taught me so much. By sheer good luck, three busy schedules aligned and I managed to wrangle a rare show from the "new" Allison Cameron Band (and, as far as I know, their first away from the Tranzac) where Cameron's banjo, keyboard, toy hedgehog squeezebox and tableful of Honeytone mini-amps are augmented by Kurt Newman's guitar and Thom Gill's guitar and synth. There's been talk of working out some pieces for this group to play, but for now, it's just improvisations finding intriguing meeting points in loud and quiet places.

[Allison Cameron will be debuting a new trio named Agar Agar (with Germaine Liu and Andrew Zukerman) at a very cool/noisy Burn Down The Capital show at The Burdock on Tuesday, April 23rd, and will be bringing some Two Ted Country Blues to The Tranzac next Wednesday (April 17th) alongside Nick Storring and Kurt Newman. Newman will also be playing a trio with Mark Zurawinski and Allison Cameron that night, and you'll also be able to find him at The Tranzac tomorrow afternoon (April 14th), doing some pickin' at Ayal Senior's monthly.]

Recording: The Knot

Artist: The Knot

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (MFS 10th Anniversary Celebration: A Night of Improvised Music), February 10, 2019.

The Knot - [excerpt]

Every year around Valentine's Day, I tend to remember that it's this blog's anniversary. Then I check back to that first entry, see I'm already a day late, and go on with life. This year, I was thinking about it well ahead of time, and seeing that big, round (and mightily unexpected) tenth anniversary approaching, it seemed befitting to do something a little special. That ended up being a pair of shows, conceptually split into "improvised" and "rock" nights.

For the former, Somewhere There helped out by lending me their regular second Sunday of the month slot at Array, and from there, it was just a matter of winnowing it down from the dozens of people that I wanted to ask to play. There are a lot of projects get shuffled into zombie mode — not dead, just shifted into the inactive pile as other artistic endeavours (or, just life) get in the way. Sometimes it just takes a "hey, whatever happened to...?" kind of conversation to stir something back up, and looking around for a special "reunion"-type set for this show, I managed to get The Knot back on stage.

This duo for acoustic (and often prepared) improvising cellos from Tilman Lewis and Nick Storring were regulars on the scene a little while back, but besides a tape a couple years ago there hasn't been much activity. But right from the start, the pair fell into some nice zones bowing (and not bowing) their cellos, gliding from rough skronks to double-barrelled pointillistic plinks.

[Nick Storring will be guesting with the Two Ted Country Blues (Allison Cameron/Kurt Newman) at The Tranzac next Wednesday (April 17th).]

Recording: Lender

Artist: Lender

Song: [first piece, part 1]

Recorded at Array Space (MFS 10th Anniversary Celebration: A Night of Improvised Music), February 10, 2019.

Lender - [first piece, part 1]

Every year around Valentine's Day, I tend to remember that it's this blog's anniversary. Then I check back to that first entry, see I'm already a day late, and go on with life. This year, I was thinking about it well ahead of time, and seeing that big, round (and mightily unexpected) tenth anniversary approaching, it seemed befitting to do something a little special. That ended up being a pair of shows, conceptually split into "improvised" and "rock" nights.

For the former, Somewhere There helped out by lending me their regular second Sunday of the month slot at Array, and from there, it was just a matter of winnowing it down from the dozens of people that I wanted to ask to play. It's also one of the perks of putting on a show like this that I could "curate" a set, and throw together a band — like this one — that didn't previously exist. Christine Duncan provided the band name along with her voice and she was joined by Laura Swankey (vox, electronics), Nilan Perera (guitar) and D. Alex Meeks (percussion). The whole thing gelled in a quite satisfactory way, moving from abstract soundscapes into an impromptu spoken word piece from Duncan describing her week's events (three words: Snowmageddon in Seattle). Now I might have to put on another show to make sure this group plays a second time!

[D. Alex Meeks will be one of five percussionists (simultaneously and separately) playing "The Exploded Kit" at Nilan Perera's SynapticCircus night tomorrow (Sunday, April 14th), and will also be joining the picnic blanket of percussionists at The Titillators' historic sixth show afterwards. Christine Duncan and Laura Swankey, as two-thirds of Plastic Babies, will be at The Tranzac on Saturday, April 20th, helping to welcome Finnish jazz pianist Anni Rorke to town.]

Friday, April 12, 2019

Recording: Rapport

Artist: Rapport

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Workman Arts – Main Hall (Long Winter 7.4), February 9, 2019.

Rapport - unknown

With its multiple floors, cavernous halls, creaky stairwells and peeling-paint grandeur, Workman Arts might be the closest thing Long Winter has found to its old home at the pre-restoration Great Hall. Tina Weymouth's stage presence in Stop Making Sense should have inspired the formation of more bands, but thankfully we have this one. The only thing not to love about this group is that they are still keeping their music mostly on stage, with just a single track up on their bandcamp. But their live show (with Stephen "Omhouse" Foster sitting in on drums this time out) remains packed to the brim with infectiously joyful energy — if their lyrical invocations of "freedom" might seem ripped from the song playing over the end credits dance scene in the 80's teen flick of your choice, it's always completely lived in and never just a pastiche. Complete with a "bark-in" to begin, this song teeters on the brink of falling apart about two-thirds of the way through, but it still manages to to elicit plenty of joy, whether or not it evokes, say, the backing vox from The Go-Betweens' "Streets of Your Town" and the sequencer chug of a Game Theory track.

[Rapport will be playing a Pop Montreal showcase at The Baby G on Saturday, May 11th with Lydia Kepinski, Hanorah and Casey MQ.]

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