Monday, August 14, 2006

Park Life

concert review: DD/MM/YYYY, The Diableros, Stop Die Resuscitate, Neil Haverty, I Can Put My Arm Back On, You Can't, Proof of Ghosts, Mantler, and The Lolo Project @ Dufferin Grove Park(Toronto, Ontario), August 12, 2006

Summertime in the city and what could be more enjoyable than an outdoor concert in the park? It's a wonder that more outdoor shows aren't organized given the size of Toronto. There's barriers of course such as permits and financial cost. It was with great pleasure then that I checked out the show organized by ALL CAPS and Toronto Public Space Committee which occurred this past weekend at Dufferin Grove Park. The lineup featured a bevy of local indie acts including DD/MM/YYYY, The Diableros, Stop Die Resuscitate, Neil Haverty, I Can Put My Arm Back On, You Can't, Proof of Ghosts, Mantler, and The Lolo Project. What's so great about such an event is not just the music(of course), but it really boils down to part of Toronto Public Space Committee's mandate which is celebrating our shared common spaces. There's all these parks and spaces across the city and it's great to see such spaces put to great use. Similarly, in Mississauga where I'm from, The Beating Heart concert series happening weekly outside of the Mississauga Central Library is also a great example of utilization of space. My only quip with The Beating Heart concert series(based on my experience of catching Femme Generation's set there) was that I found the scale of the production a bit too large for the indie bands they were featuring, what with its large stage and its distanced proximity to the audience. I think the ALL CAPS show at Dufferin Grove Park(featuring a similar strata of indie acts) had a much more appropriately-sized level of production with it's barely-there stage and the more intimate surroundings of the grassy, tree'd environment.

Over the course of three hours I caught four of the eight acts scheduled. I missed Neil Haverty and Proof of Ghosts but made it in time for The Diableros' set. It was interesting to watch the 5-piece bash away within the confines of the tiny tented stage. They performed a new song as well as 'old' favourites. During breaks between sets, ALL CAPS volunteers walked around hoping to collect donations. I felt bad that the only change I had was a quarter and I only had twenties in my wallet which I wasn't able to break at the time. Although I did buy a hotdog and pop which they were selling. Up next were the angular math rock sounds of I Can Put My Arm Back On, You Can't. Honestly, I do like this sort of music sometimes and this trio of young gents performed some of the finest math-rock I've heard in a long time. I particularly liked the drummer's dynamite rhythms and his peculiar setup of his drumkit facing AWAY from the audience. Next up was one-man band indie-soul balladeer Mantler. Dressed in a white suit and wearing an ascot and yacht-man's hat, his first song was a great cover of 70's soul classic "I'll Be Around" originally done by The Spinners. With just his keyboard and its preset rhythm tracks and Mantler's vocals, his set had a mellow, relaxed, soulful vibe. Musically, he reminded me a bit of Feist. Last act of the day I caught was Stop Die Resuscitate. The trio had a member on drums, a member on programming duties and a gent on vocals/rapping duties. It was an interesting meld of hip hop influenced beats and rapping, trancey dance rhythms, and dirty, electro-grooves. I caught a few people on the park's grassy hill, dancing up a storm, and I'm almost sure if this were inside a club, the joint would be hopping. Unfortunately, I skipped out on the final acts of the day which were The Lolo Project and DD/MM/YYYY, but I'm sure there'll be a next time. By all accounts, the day was a success.

According to the ALL CAPS website the next event is scheduled for September 9th. Check back at ALL CAPS or their MySpace site for details in the coming weeks.

thecjm has a few thoughts about the show plus a link to some photos he took.

Listen: The Diableros @ MySpace
Listen: I Can Put My Arm Back On You Can't @ MySpace
Listen: Mantler @ MySpace
Listen: Stop Die Resuscitate @ MySpace
The New York Times[Bugmenot] speaks with Neko Case about what she's currently listening to and watching. A reminder that Neko Case will be performing live on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on August 30th. The Traders Den has Neko Case's Peel Session from 2000 available for download[via Largehearted Boy].

Pretty Girls Make Graves are setting their sights for a brief Canadian tour in October and November and already have dates posted at their website. Venues are still TBA, however. According to their website, they have a Toronto show scheduled for November 4th! Update: According to the band's label Matador Records, they'll be playing the El Mocambo in Toronto on November 4th with a band named A Gun Called...which is sort of a small-ish venue for PGMG, don't you think?

Pitchfork lists its 200 greatest songs of the 1960's.

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