Saturday, June 12, 2004

Snailhouse..the sequel

Three nights of concerts and one more to go! [At least until the Franz Ferdinand show on Monday.] Last minute decisions for the most part, the good weather combined with an open schedule has really gotten me out to the shows. And to think that summer hasn't even started yet. A combination of work and going to shows for the last three nights has prevented me from updating my blog. I should be outside right now, since it's such a beautiful day, but my friend and I'll be out and about tonight for the last night of NXNE, so I don't feel so guilty about being inside right now. [Although for the record, I was out earlier this morning. Waking up to a beautiful morning on a Saturday is what life's all about!]

  • Maritime w/ Snailhouse @ Horseshoe Tavern, Wednesday June 9, 2004

    Snailhouse @ Horseshoe Tavern, June 2, 2004: photo by Mike LigonWell it had to happen sooner or later. I've always read about bands playing to small crowds. The concerts I've gone to (whether major label or indie) have tended towards fairly good attendance. However, the Maritime/Snailhouse show was so poorly attended that I didn't realize that some of the audience that were watching opener Snailhouse's set were actually members of the headlining band Maritime. I had never heard Maritime, except for an mp3, but I had read that the band comprised ex-members of The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan, two bands that I'm not that familiar with but were aware that they had loyal followings. I was surprised that more people hadn't shown up. I think I counted, maybe, 20 people. Maybe, it was because it was a Wednesday night. Who knows. The surprising thing was that both Snailhouse and Maritime were surprisingly chipper about the whole situation. Both artists made efforts for people to come closer to the stage. I think that really made everyone feel more comfortable.

    Snailhouse played a set of beautiful understated music consisting primarily of his vocals and guitar, at times with subtle drumming or electronic noodling from a band member. At times his music reminded me of Red House Painters. He played a favourite of mine "21 years", which is slightly more 'upbeat' and melodic than some of his other songs. In my opinion Snailhouse stole the show! Snailhouse(aka Mike Feurstack) didn't set up a merch table at the end of the set because Mike and his bandmate joined Maritime for their set, providing some additional guitar, vocals, and percussion. However, at the end of the night I was able to buy a Snailhouse CD personally from Mike [I bought an EP which I didn't have.]. I had a short conversation with Mike and I had a chance to chat with him about several things. Firstly, Snailhouse weren't playing NXNE [too bad]. Secondly, Snailhouse are on tour with Maritime and their next stop after Toronto is Detroit. Thirdly, the new album was not yet available. If you ever have a chance to see Snailhouse live, I highly recommend it. [And maybe it'll be a great chick magnet, for showing that you're into 'sensitive' music... ;-) ]

    My expectations for Maritime were high, but unfortunately I left disappointed. They were definitly 'pop', which is a good thing in my books, but I felt they didn't really have the songs to match. I read a review of their album on Pitchfork. I still think Pitchfork were too harsh but after seeing the band live, I'm still not won over. They had some semi-catchy songs but overall it wasn't enough for me to decide to buy their CD. There's always next time.

    ps. sorry for the crappy photo...I should have used my flash.

    To be continued tomorrow(hopefully), including reviews of:

    - Sarah Harmer w/ Fembots, Ox @ Lee's Palace(NXNE), Thursday June 10, 2004

    - The Parkas @ Rancho Relaxo(NXNE), 10 pm, Friday June 11, 2004
    - Feist @ Reverb(NXNE), 12 am, Friday June 11, 2004 (well technically June 12)
    - The Waxwings @ Healey's(NXNE), 1 am, Friday June 11, 2004 (well technically June 12)

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