Friday, September 29, 2006

Our Love Is So Much Stronger

concert review: The Dears @ The Mod Club(Toronto, Ontario), September 27, 2006

I've seen The Dears live quite a few times now. I'd already seen them twice this year - their Canada Day show at Harbourfront in Toronto and then their set at the Virgin Festival earlier this month. My favourite live show of theirs was and still is their triumphant show at the Phoenix in July 2005, a dramatic combination of The Dears epic rock songs set against the backdrop of interesting light effects. Yesterday's show at The Mod Club came close to the emotional resonance of their Phoenix show last year, even if yesterday's show was less theatrical. And while I found the musical directness of the new material initially less interesting(than "No Cities Left"'s songs) in a live setting(when I saw The Dears at Harbourfront in August), their performance at Virgin Festival and yesterday's performance at The Mod Club only confirms how much the new material is starting to sink in for me.

With the band impeccably dressed in black outfits, they exuded an aura of Euro-cool yet still maintained an affability about themselves. The affability I mention, I particular saw in the guitarist(Patrick Krief) and the rhythm section(George Donoso III on drums and Martin Pelland on bass guitar) who were quite a bit more animated than the band's female members. Female members Valerie and Natalia both on keyboards bookended either side of the stage, Valerie on one hand casting seductive glances to the audience, Natalie on the other hand expressing a Sprockets-like coolness, and still both alluring in their own ways. I found the sound mix quite a bit of an improvement from any of the previous shows I've seen them live. In the past, I usually found Valerie and Natalia's background vocals buried in the mix, and further along these lines I'd say the same for Valerie's flute arrangements(particulary on "Never Destroy Us"). However this time around, it was a joy to finally hear the nuances of Valerie's and Natalie's background vocals and Valerie's flute arrangements. Murray Lightburn was in top form, not only vocally but also in his role as frontman as he brought at times an Evangelical zeal to the stage. The set was a mix of songs from "No Cities Left" and "Gang Of Losers" and for a free show(sponsored by Rogers and alsp part of The Edge's Next Big Thing Concert Series) the crowd was pleasantly enthusiastic. Like Murray said to the audience yesterday, the band's been the Next Big Thing for, like, the last 6 years. And what I perceived as a subtle 'f*!k-you' to The Edge was Murray thanking The Edge for supporting them at least for that one night - really how often does The Edge play The Dears, at least compared to some of the shit music they play ad nauseum?

Oh, sorry folks, no photos. Forgot my camera. The only photos I could find from the show were from Kari.

Of course, check out the band's MySpace for tour dates and such. They'll be back in Toronto for a two-night stint at Lee's Palace on November 16 and 17.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Prayer For The Paranoid

Mojave 3(actually only Neil and Pete of the band) performed a live acoustic session for KEXP yesterday(September 25 @ approx 3:35 pm PST). They performed "Who Do You Love", "Yer Feet", "Puzzles Like You" and "Prayer For The Paranoid". Listen to the session through the 14 day streaming archive. Can anyone rip this to mp3, or at least instruct me how to do this? Mojave 3 are at The Mod Club on October 16 - the band kicked off their North American tour in Vancouver, BC this past Sunday and according to The Straight, the band will definitely be without bandmate Rachel Goswell(who is currently off due to health problems) and in her place will be former Seafood bassist Kevin Hendrick.

A recording of Billy Bragg 's show at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto from this past Sunday night(September 24, 2006) has turned up on Dimeadozen. You can catch up with Billy on the road by reading his blog.

Montreal campus radio station CJLO will soon be posting mp3's and some video clips of a live session by The Posies who were in their studios on October 2, 2005. As a teaser, they have posted so far one video clip of the band performing "Solar Sister" which you can access here. It's performances like this which makes me feel that "Solar Sister" is one of the greatest pop songs of the last 20 years. interviews Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi, but more recently The Evens. The Evens release their new album "Get Evens" this November through Dischord. Ian also addresses Fugazi's "indefinite hiatus."

I already knew that The Figurines were going to be at Horseshoe Tavern on October 22, but I just became aware through Pollstar, that Lou Barlow will also be on the bill. I haven't seen confirmation of the Lou Barlow info on any other website[including Lou's site, the venue site] so consider this info tentative.

Whether he's ready to be heartbroken, Mr. Lloyd Cole will be at The Mod Club on November 5.

Easy Star All-Stars will be at Lee's Palace on November 12 to perform their intriguing dub-ified versions of Radiohead songs, and other songs likely. You can listen to some tracks from their "Radiodread" album here. [via Emerge Blog]

It just came to my attention that Diana Krall will be performing at the Opening Night Gala for the new Rose Theatre in Brampton this Friday September 29. I'm wondering if Mr. Costello will be in town also. Not that I could afford to attend this - tickets are a whopping $400.00 per person. If there any Elvis sightings, please leave a comment.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ticket To Immortality

The Dears - all is goodFirst off, I won tickets to see The Dears at The Mod Club this Wednesday! The show is part of The Edge's Next Big Thing Concert Series. Finally, my Inside Edge membership is paying off. The show is a kick off for their tour which'll bring 'em to the US for a few dates before they head over to Europe, then back to Canada in November. For those not going to The Mod Club this Wednesday, fear not, The Dears will be back in Toronto in November for a two-night stint at Lee's Palace on November 16 and 17[although I have a strong feeling that they'll add more shows like Stars' 6-shows-in-4-days run at the same venue last year]. Check out their tour dates over at their MySpace site. And just a reminder that the band will be performing live on MTV Live tomorrow.[photo from http://../]

YouTube: The Dears @ Schubas[Chicago,IL] - Sept 7, 2006 - clip 1
YouTube: The Dears @ Schubas[Chicago,IL] - Sept 7, 2006 - clip 2
YouTube: The Dears @ Schubas[Chicago,IL] - Sept 7, 2006 - clip 3

For a full review of the above show, go to Kirstiecat's blog. She has some great photos of the band as well.

The Toronto Star sheds some light on a few of the Polaris panelists' insights into inaugural Polaris Music Prize album winner "He Poos Clouds" from Final Fantasy. Owen questions whether the judges even listened to his album and thought his album was "kind of crap". He also thought The New P0rn0graphers' "Twin Cinema" should have won.

Pitchfork interviews TracyAnne Campbell of Camera Obscura. She does mention that most of the bands she wants to see are North American but unfortunately because of touring commitments she keeps missing them - and she does namedrop Final Fantasy which I thought was nice.

Chartattack spoke to Joel Plaskett about his song-writing process and Joel mentions that we can expect a new record this winter or sometime early 2007.

Torontoist has some brief commentary on yesterday's Billy Bragg show at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto.

Phoenix's Thomas Mars spoke to The Straight about the recording process they undertook for their most recent album "It’s Never Been Like That": holing themselves up in a big empty old building for three months, without a single song. The guys performed a live session for Morning Becomes Eclectic on September 21, 2006[via Just Keep Bloggin']. Or download the torrent of the session[via Largehearted Boy].

Listen to/watch the live session The Decemberists performed for Morning Becomes Electic this morning.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Feel Alright

The Montreal Mirror speaks with its own up-and-comer Angela Desveaux. She'll be back in Toronto at The Drake Hotel on September 30 as part of a showcase that's part of a Toronto "all-night contemporary art thing" called Nuit Blanche. Also on the bill at The Drake Hotel that night are Blanche, The Bicycles, Mayor Mcca, and Casper And The Cookies[info]

chartattack has tour dates for and speaks with Hamiltonian Mayor McCa about his cheekily titled fifth album "Cue Are Es Tea You".

quartertonality over at Youtube has some video clips from Sloan's CD release show(for their new album "Never Hear The End Of It") at Lula Lounge in Toronto. Watch below:

  • "I Know You"

  • "Can't you figure it out/Set in Motion/Someone I can"

  • "Another Way I Could Do It"

  • "Golden Eyes"

  • "Who Taught you to Live Like That"

  • Kwaya Na Kisser has Cat Power's and Neko Case's KCRW live sessions(from September 12 and September 11 respectively) for download.

    Liverpudlian act Pop Levi will be at Horseshoe Tavern on October 5, tickets $8.

    New York City's Brazilian Girls will be at The Mod Club on October 10, tickets $18.50.

    The Diableros, Uncut and Sylvie will be at Lee's Palace on October 13.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Get Lonely

    The Mountain GoatsZoilus, Chromewaves, The Geneaology of Taste(who also has a video clip) and Torontoist have mostly positive reviews of Tuesday's Mountain Goats show at Lee's Palace which I unfortunately bailed out of going to because I was too tired. The only Mountain Goats release I'd ever heard(not including mp3's of the newer material) previously was his cassette-only release "The Hound Chronicles" featuring The Bright Mountain Choir released through the Shrimper label out of California even before The 'Goats were signed to 4AD in 2002(with the release of "Tallahassee"). The music on that cassette had a lo-fi, folky, troubadourian quality to it that I'd suspected would have deemed The Mountain Goats to obscurity forever, moreso for its fidelityJohn Darnielle's lo-fi recording process rather than the music which was charmingly good. Methinks, I'd should really start playing catchup with The Mountain Goats' newer material. [photo from http://../]

    The Mountain Goats don't have a MySpace site.

    The Fordham Observer interviews The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle about the new album "Get Lonely".

    Just a heads up, that if you pre-order the new Pernice Brothers album "Live A Little", "you will receive a bonus homemade CD, that contains seventeen tracks - demos of all but one of the songs on the CD, plus alternate mixes of 6 songs. It comes in a paper sleeve, designed and autographed by Joe. This is a limited edition bonus CD." You must place or have your orders post-marked by September 22. So get to it. For your convenience I've hyperlinked the order pages below for the various parts of the world:

    USA: order
    Canada: order
    Ireland or Europe: order
    UK: order
    Australia: order
    Rest of the free world: order

    Oh yes, according to The Pernice Brothers most recent e-mail update, tour dates are trickling in(so far only a couple scheduled in Novemeber - 11/09 - Chicago @ Schubas and 11/10 in Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon). You'd think that with Joe living in Toronto with his wife Laura, he'd be performing in Toronto more often? Hmmm.

    And if you're still in a shopping mood, I suggest you pick up the newest issue(#4) of Yeti. I hesitate to call it a zine(really, it's a book) - the new issue is 240 pages and I can vouch for it being a high quality publication based on issue #3 which I have. As with Issue #3, Issue #4 also comes with a CD compilation - 28 tracks in all of exclusive/previously unreleased material from the likes of Destroyer, Okkervil River, Califone, Page France and more obscure artists. It includes interviews with Destroyer's Dan Bejar, Okkervil River's Will Sheff and many others. Yes, I do highly recommend it. At $12.95 US, it's a great bargain.

    The Dears will be appearing on MTV Live on September 26. "For free tickets call: 1-888-491-6888 or Email . You need to be there by 5:30PM at the Masonic Temple 888 Yonge Street , Toronto."

    Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3(which features Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin) will be at The Mod Club on November 10, with tickets $20 onsale starting today. At best, I'm only a casually familiar with Robyn's music but I was looking forward to seeing him live last year when he was touring with The Sadies as his backing band, which disappointedly got cancelled(well, at least the Canadian dates).

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Owen Poos Polaris

    Polaris Music PrizeIs it any wonder that Final Fantasy's "He Poos Clouds" won the Polaris Music Prize? I dont' mean to cast doubt on his worthiness at all. On the contrary, based on his past collobarations(with The Arcade Fire, The Hidden Cameras, etc...) as well as his work as a solo artist, I know he's a very talented artist and I'm sure his album was a more than worthy choice to receive the Polaris award[although personally-speaking I haven't actually listened to his CD "He Poos Clouds" yet]. However, I think regionalism does factor into the equation. There's a heavy emphasis on the Toronto area just looking at the breakdown of the final panel : Rupert Bottenberg (Montreal Mirror); Aaron Brophy (Chart); Matt Galloway (CBC Radio); James Keast (Exclaim!); Grant Lawrence (CBC Radio 3); Sarah Liss (NOW); John Sakamoto (Toronto Star); Helen Spitzer (CFRU); Nicolas Tittley (MusiquePlus); Carl Wilson (The Globe & Mail); Jill Wilson (Winnipeg Free Press).[thanks to Brooklynvegan for the hot links] I don't mean to imply that regionalism results in favouritism. Well, not on a conscious level at least.

    I don't think any of the judges voted the way they did out of any sense of obligation for an artist that lived in the same city they did. I do think that it's only natural for indie music fans to be drawn to the scene around them and in that same sense, I can only assume that the individual panelists, on some subconscious level, are rooting for the artist that's from or near their place of residence/work. I think this regionalism factor is quite valid especially when you start ruling out the artists that probably wouldn't win. As Zoilus(one of the final panelists) expressed, the award was to be given to the album based on merit
    "as recorded artifacts, not "overratedness" or "underratedness", the career positions or prospects of the artists, who "needs" the prize or doesn't, nor presumably any societal "extra-musical" concerns such as genre or race/class/gender etc."

    The purity of such aspirations is noble, but I find it hard that one or some of these didn't factor into any of the panelists decisions. It's not so hard to believe that Broken Social Scene didn't win because they've won Junos before or possibly their loss is only a reflection of the inevitable backlash. Nor do I find it out of the realm of possibility that Metric and Sarah Harmer didn't win because of their respective levels of popularity and thus aren't really indie. How about Knaan and Cadence Weapon? Hip hop never has a prayer in such competitions, well unless your K-OS.

    Given the high concentration of Toronto-centric panelists combined with the reasons why I thought certain bands wouldn't win, Final Fantasy's win was a forgone conclusion. My commentary is in no way a criticism of the final panel. Of what I know about the various individuals, they are indeed a fine group. I'm just not too sure if Final Fantasy would have come out on top if the panel was more reflective of Canada's regionalism. But sincerely, congratulations to Owen. I've had his most recent CD "He Poos Clouds" for months now, and I think I should go listen to it. Hmmm, I wonder if The Deadly Snakes came in a close second in the running?

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Like U Crazy

    concert review: Mates of State, Starlight Mints, The D'Urbervilles @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), September 16, 2006

    Mates of State @ Lee's Palace: photo by Mike LigonI have no introduction left in me for this blog post, so let's get to this. The night started out with the hyper-kinetic, slightly new-wavey rock n' roll of Guelph, Ontario four-piece, The D'Urbervilles. Setting the tone for the other bands who'd follow suit, they had their drumkit interestingly set up off to the right of the stage. Drumming for the band was the drummer of fellow Guelphites, We're Marching On. Of the two openers, The D'Urbervilles were more successful, and if those in attendance weren't already familiar with them then people definitely took a shone to them. It's quite accomplishment that a bunch of non-descript-looking Canadian boys in their jeans and t-shirts can conjure up such spastic energy, translated mostly through the jerky body movements of lanky frontman John O'Regan. A surprisingly healthy crowd was onhand for them and the crowd(or at some of the crowd) were definitely responsive with handclapping, dancing and head bobbing. The band has a few shows sprinkled through September and October including an opening set(for controller.controller and You Say Party! We Say Die!) this Friday September 22 at Horseshoe Tavern.

    Polyvinyl artists Starlight Mints from Norman, Oklahoma followed. The five piece(4 gentleman and 1 female) played a brand of 60's inspired psych-pop that was less of the Elephant 6 school of melodicism and a little more art-rock, with a dabble of "The White Album"-era Beatles quirkiness. Female member Marian Nunez stood out obviously for being the only female of the band and was more than competenet with her keyboard and flute arrangements as well as for her background vocals which at one point she utilized a megaphone. I also found the drum sound heavily emphasized at times, simple four-four rhythms that I'd normally find boring but actually complimeted the guitar arrangements really well. There was something very playful about their sound, alot of it due to the cool/weird vocal interplay between lead vocalist Allan Vest(who I heard a tinge of Stephen Malkmus) and the ebullient background vocals provided by the rest of the band. In retrospect, my initial response during the show was conservative. I thought they were definitely interesting, just not revelatory; I wouldn't go so far to call them boring as some have said over at Stille Post, well at least not the music. Those songs over at MySpace site are definitely growing on me.

    I truly underestimated the enthusiasm of Toronto Mates of State fans because I was quite shocked at the electrifying response the crowd gave as Mates of State's Kori Gardner on keyboards and Jason Hammel on drums began their set[only after having set up their own equipment]. The jubilant vocals from both members shone especially during the vocal interplay when one member'd sing one set of lyrics, while at the same time, the other would sing a different set of lyrics. While I'd only be introduced to the band's music over the last couple of years, I still hadn't heard much of their music until that show. My initial criticsm of their music lay primarily on the over-jubiliation of the vocals. There is such a thing about being too happy-sounding, right? Ok, maybe I was just being a wet blanket with such opinions, but maybe it was the environment of the live show and quite possibly the most energetic and grateful crowd that I've seen all year that made the music more enjoyable. Quite often concert crowds are an almagmation of different responses - from those that enjoyed the music, to those indifferent, to those downright turned off - but I'd be surprised to hear if anyone at the Mates of State show did not enjoy themselves. Audience members weren't shy to yell out song requests at times and or audibly sing along. Yeah, the thrilled crowd were only a reflection of the band themselves who were smiling and enthusiastic throughout. And yes, the pair do look lovey-dovey together: it makes you want to say "Awwww". A great show all around, further validated by Kori Gardner who called Toronto the best show of the tour so far.

    P.S. The insertion of a few verses of Gnarl's Barkley's 'Crazy' into their song 'Like U Crazy' was priceless.

    [my photos from the show]

    Listen: The D'Urbervilles @ MySpace
    Listen: Starlight Mints @ MySpace
    Listen: Mates of State @ MySpace
    In other news, Sloan have their Canadian tour dates up now and are scheduled for a show at Kool Haus in Toronto on October 11. Their new CD, the 30-tracks-long "Never Hear The End Of It" is out tomorrow in Canada.

    Toronto's The Bicylces have some new shows listed at their MySpace site including a slot during the Exclaim/Mint Records shindig happening at Kool Haus on October 13 11, a scheduled appearance on MTV Live on October 16, being part of Andy Kim's annual Christmas show at The Mod Club on December 8 and an appearance at Nathan Phillips Square January 27, 2007 which I think is probably as part of the Toronto WinterCity Festival.

    Sunday, September 17, 2006


    Zero 7While I thought Zero 7's penultimate set on the Future Shop stage at the Virgin Festival last week was a minor disappointment[due to technical difficulties, the long wait for their set, etc...] that might have also possibly been due to the fact that I haven't gotten around to really listening to their new album "The Garden"(though I've had a promo copy for a while now) and I'd also found their prior album "When It Falls" a bit of a disappointment. Highlights of their Virgin Festival set were definitely Sia's acoustic performance of 'Somersault' and the couple of songs that Jose Gonzalez sung on. Zero 7's sound combines conventional songwriting structures with downtempo, sometimes electronic instrumentation, but I'd be quite happy if they concentrate on a more acoustic, song-oriented direction, possibly a whole album's worth. Zero 7's Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns, plus vocalists Sia Furler and Jose Gonzalez, and guitarist Dedi Madden were in Minnesota Public Radio's studios on September 8, 2006 for a live acoustic session, where they performed 'Dreaming,' 'Today,' and 'Pageant of the Bizarre.' Lovely.

    And no, the following aren't acoustic, but here's some more Zero 7 audio for your enjoyment:

    MP3: Zero 7 - You're My Flame (Dabrye Remix)
    MP3: Zero 7 - Futures (Rub n Tug Remix)

    And here's some links I've been sitting on for a bit:

    The Dears will be next in The Edge's Next Big Thing Concert Series and the 19+ show will take place Wednesday September 27 at The Mod Club. Win tickets to the show by entering here[you need to be signed up as an Inside Edge member]. Deadline is 11:59 September 24, 2006. [via Broken Telephone]

    If the disppointment of the upcoming Beirut and Joanna Newsom shows(at the Horseshoe Tavern and The Mod Club respectively) landing on the same night(October 4) was too much to bear, I saw recently on Stille Post that Beirut(with openers being Toronto's Born Ruffians) will be performing the evening of October 3rd in Hamilton, ON at Pepper Jack Cafe. It's an early show that gets going 7:30 pm sharp.

    Also via Stille Post, also visiting Hamilton will be hip hop's legendary KRS-ONE who'll be at Pepper Jack Cafe on October 2. I haven't come across any word of a Toronto date which is strange.

    Stream the new Robert Pollard album "Normal Happiness".

    Relive the disappointment of The Flaming Lips shortened set at the Virgin Festival in Toronto at Toronto Islands on September 9, 2006 and download the torrent[registration required] of the show. [via Largehearted Boy]

    Filter has details on the upcoming deluxe 2-disc reissue of Pavement's 1995 album "Wowee Zowee".

    Saturday, September 16, 2006

    Green Light

    Beyonce @ Yonge-Dundas Square

    So it was all for the Grand Opening of the new Best Buy store at Bay St and Dundas St in Toronto, but a free show is a free show, and Beyonce with her ALL-FEMALE band performed a great one down at Yonge-Dundas Square yesterday evening. Great weather, great vibe, and surprisingly wonderful show[even if we were packed in like sardines]. The audience sung 'Happy Birthday'(at the prompting of ET Canada Host Cheryl Hickey) in honour of Beyonce's birthday a week before as well as the release of her new album "B'day". She performed a bunch of her own hits(eg. 'Baby Boy', 'Crazy In Love'), a medley of Destiny's Child songs(including 'Say My Name' and others) and a few songs off "B'Day"(including a spectacular rockin' performance of 'Green Light'). I was disappointed that only one of the several Jumbotrons in the area were showing the live performance, and from my vantage point I couldn't see the Jumbotron so I was left to my own devices to catch occassional glimpses of Beyonce on stage. And my God, is she even more beautiful in person.

    Yes, Beyonce's music is one the few really mainstream artists' music that I do respect. I think I wrote off Destiny's Child originally but I have come to realize that they weren't half bad. A couple of summer's ago, I was at Harbourfront and there were some hip-hop dancers dancing along to Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love' and it was that moment I realized how funky that song was. When Beyonce closed the show with that song yesterday evening, it was amazing(I just wish that Jay Z was in the house to lend his rap vocals to the performance.)

    Thursday, September 14, 2006


    concert review: Virgin Festival(Day 2) @ Toronto Islands, September 10, 2006

    Jose Gonzalez @ Virgin Festival: photo by Mike Ligon

    Let's get to it. My brother and I made it to the island slightly earlier than the previous day and this time we headed to the Future Shop Stage first where young Torontonian trio Born Ruffians were already playing. While there were some interesting sounds(a little Talking Heads influence, that yelp-y vocals that's so in vogue now), they're hardly a band that I can really get excited about on such a big stage. That was one problem with the festival. The festival featured several local Toronto indie bands(Ohbijou, mean red spiders, The Diableros, and said band above) both on its mainstage and Future Shop stage and as good as some of those bands are(in particular, The Diableros) they're hardly bands I can get excited about watching on a large stage with only a small crowd on hand. There should have definitely have been a third, smaller stage for the local indie rock regiment.

    After Born Ruffians set, we headed to the main stage to see young Chicagoan rapper Lupe Fiasco. I only knew him for the song 'Kick Push' which is a decent rap song featuring a infectious melodic break and a smooth Pharcyde-y lyrical flow. Unfortunately, he didn't get to Toronto due to either trouble crossing the border, or him missing his flight. But he was apparently on his way, because the video screen later on flashed the revised schedules for the day indicating that Lupe would be performing on the Future Shop stage later on around 7:20 pm or so. So at the time we strolled down to the main stage mid afternoon, instead we found emo-esque, hard-core rockers Thrice. Not my thing really, but we stuck around anyway. With Lupe out of the main stage lineup, some of the acts'(like Thrice) had been moved up, although it's perplexing why the show in the end, could still run long, and headliners BSS' set could still be cut short.

    Next up on the main stage were Australian rockers Wolfmother and I could already see after Thrice's set a wave of people slowly filtering in to the area. It's at this point I had to part ways with my brother as I went to go see Jose Gonzalez at the Future Shop stage. A healthy crowd was onhand to watch Jose as he performed on a small raised stage set up on the larger stage. With an acoustic guitar, Jose sat down and performed and sung a subdued set of soulful, folkly pop songs, turning in sublime covers of Kylie Minogue's 'Hand On Your Heart' and closing the performance with Massive Attack's 'Teardrop'. Jose had a very full-sounding, finger-picked guitar sound and he possessed a sensitive, vulnerable, higher-pitched voice that reminded me slightly of James Taylor but with a little more edge. Jose's performance of 'Teardrop' in particular was a slight consolation for Massive Attack being forced to cancel their headlining appearance for that night and was definitely a highlight of the whole festival for me.

    I made it back to the mainstage where Wolfmother were finishing things up and by the large crowd onhand, seemed to have injected a good deal of energy into the crowd. Yes, the band and the audience were quite audible as I walked back from the Future Shop stage to the mainstage. An infusion of big-name Canadiana came in the form of The Sam Roberts Band who were up next. After his first album I sort of lost interest but I do appreciate his brand of intelligent, rock songs. Singles like 'Brother Down', 'Walk Away Eileen' and 'Bridge To Nowhere' drew the most response from the crowd. Sam Roberts definitely knows how to draw that a participatory element out of the crowd, encouring them to clap for several songs. The band ended the night on a dissonant, guitar-pedal-knb-twisting, Crazy Horse-esque guitar jam that I really didn't think the band had in them but I appreciated a lot.

    I took to wandering the grounds and found myself back at the Future Shop stage where DJ duo MSTRKRFT were working the beats for the crowd. Considering there was still day light left and the whole on stage setup was just two guys on stage working the DJ equipment, it was an interesting live performance. It was all about the music really and whether you'd allow their high intensity disco beats to let your body take over and dance, which was the case with at least some in the audience. Their music is infectious on one level but there definitely suited to the DJ Tent(which they actually did play an hour or two before; I wonder what the live setup was like for that?).

    From here on in really was the home stretch for me and my brother. After what seemed like an eternity, as a gangsta-hip hop song blared over the sound system, The Strokes strolled onto the stage. They've been off my radar for a while, but their performance reminded me of why I'd liked the band in the first place. They performed a bunch of songs off of their debut, '12:51' from "Room On Fire" and others probably from the new album. The debut album's songs definitely got the best response. A really tight performance overall. It really does make a difference when a band falls off the radar for a while, then you finally see them live again. It makes you appreciate and enjoy them much more. Frontman Julian Casablancas complimented us for living in such a great country and for it not being as screwed up as his.

    Now, it was a toss up between The Raconteurs and Zero 7. The initial plan was to go to the Future Shop stage and see part of Zero 7's set then high tail it back to the main stage to see The Raconteurs. Surprisingly, though when we got to the Future Shop stage, Zero 7 hadn't even started, and would't start for almost another half an hour. Eventually, we even could hear The Raconteurs start their set off in the distance and due to the long wait for Zero 7 almost decided to get up and go back to the main stage. However, we ended up staying for Zero 7's set. When things finally got going, their set seemed plagued with technical difficulties forcing vocalist Sia Furler and the rest of the band to resort to other tactics like playing acoustically. Sia and a gentleman on guitar performed a great version of 'Somersault'. Later on things were delayed further when there were problems with the bass guitar. Jose Gonzalez made an appearance on few songs that are featured on the new album "The Garden". I think with all the delays and technical difficulties, the momentum of the evening was lost for me and definitely affected my enjoyment of the set. Nonetheless, there were moments like when they finally performed the gorgeous 'Destiny' which balanced things out for me.

    Our walk back to the main stage for Broken Social Scene's set was interrupted by the sight of people flocking out in droves towards the ferry. I was wondering if this was the final straw in the Broken Social Scene backlash. Punky! at Stille Post said that apparently what happened was that security told people that BSS had cancelled their set. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but the reality was that Broken Social Scene did perform, which they did in FULL-BAND LINEUP fashion. EVERYONE was there including Amy Millan, Emily Haines and Leslie Feist(who'd flown in from Hollywood from the night before). What can I say? A BSS show, is a BSS show, is a BSS show. If you were seeing them for the first time, then I'm sure they were a revelation. If it's like me where I've now lost count, well then it was still a mighty fine set even though it was barely an hour. Highlight of the evening was the performance of 'Anthems Of A 17 Year Old Girl' which was the most emotional performance of their set especially when Amy, Emily, and Leslie huddled together in an embrace at the point in the song as they repeated "Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me."

    So there you have it. The inaugural Canadian edition of the Virgin Festival is over. There's a lot of discussion about whether the festival was successful or not or whether it was worth it in the end. Chromewaves has some thoughts on this and Stille Post is still discussing it. If Massive Attack weren't forced to cancel, I could have almost justified the $115.00 in total I paid for my passes for the two days[a pass for one day cost $57.50]. Without Massive Attack, the price tag should have been lower. But it's not like I broke the bank or anything. Comparatively, the two-day Virgin Festival did not come close in scope, cost-worthiness, and full-on enjoyment to my experiences of Coachella in 2004 and Sasquatch earlier this year. It's not to say that I didn't enjoy the Virgin Festival. It was definitely the most relaxing of all the festivals I've gone to; it didn't have the heat of Coachella nor the drastic weather conditions of Sasquatch. Coachella and to some extent Sasquatch had a dizzying number of bands to check out but was near impossible to due to overlapping set times. This Virgin Festival was somewhat better in that capacity since there were only two stages and a far more compact number of bands, and it worked out that most of the bands I wanted to check out were on the main stage anyway. Yes, there were other problems. Long walks between stages, expensive food, the overwhelming Virgin corporate sponsorship that loomed around us[with that much corporate sponsorship there should have been a lot more freebies]. Oh and that Wizard-of-Oz-ian voice that came over the sound system at times to thank us for coming out to the festival. Spooky. As others have mentioned, it's all about "baby steps". If it's true that this festival will be an annual event in Toronto, let's see what next year brings.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006


    concert review: Virgin Festival(Day 1) @ Toronto Islands, September 9, 2006

    The Flaming Lips @ Virgin Festival[September 9, 2006]: photo by Mike Ligon

    Over the weekend the inaugural Canadian edition of the Virgin Festival went off at Toronto Islands, although not without a few hitches. My brother and I made a later start out on Saturday and ended up missing some of the earlier acts. On the bright side, having made it to the ferry mid-afternoon, the lineup to the ferry, the ferry ride over and the lineup to get into the festival grounds were also surprisingly stress free. As the ferry docked, my brother and I could already hear Phoenix's set off in the distance and as we made our way further into the grounds, we heard Buck 65 spitting out the lingo off in the opposite direction at the Future Shop Stage. We decided to walk around and check out the Merchants Village before heading to either of the stages, and within the span of time we walked around I heard at least a few more songs from Phoenix off in the distance. Even from a distance I could still sense a level of crowd energy as the crowd onhand for Phoenix roared with approval when Phoenix frontman Thomas exclaimed they'd come a long way.

    The first full set of the day for us was Toronto's own The Hidden Cameras. The lineup seemed to be the same one that was featured at their Harbourfront show this past August, so in tow were Laura Barrett on xylophone and one or two members of Spiral Beach. I spotted Reg(of Gentleman Reg) watching from the audience and I wondered why he wasn't up onstage although I think I saw The 'Cameras Maggie Macdonald smile down on him. The sound from this stage was quite an improvement from the acoustics of Harbourfront and I thought they performed a really tight set. It wasn't as exhuberant as I'd hope but still there were glimmers of playfulness such as when the group threw out lollipops into the audience before 'Lollipop'. I'm also so glad that they performed 'I Believe In The Good Of Life'. I think the greyness of the sky, the dampness of the ground, and the threat of rain, was on the back of everyone's minds and seemed to prompt frontman Joel Gibb to prompt the audience on several occasions for a little more energy.

    The Dears fared much better, and with a little help from the sun finally coming out, I think the audience started to feel a lot better about the day. As with The Hidden Cameras, The Dears also had recently performed at Harboufront, but the sound at this Virgin Festival felt so much larger. The Dears epic rock sound seems well-suited to the festival environment and I can only imagine that this was what it was like to see The Dears at an outdoor UK festival. The songs off the new album "Gang of Losers" sounded terrific, and the band included a few songs off of "No Cities Left" although I don't recall any songs performed from "End of A Hollywood Bedtime Story".

    As dusk was setting, it was UK act Muse's turn on the main stage. Not quite what I'd expected at all. I think I'd heard a few of their songs previously and my impression of them was that they sounded like Radiohead. Muse vocalist Matthew Bellamy has a similar vocal sound to Radiohead's Thom Yorke(at least IMO), but Muse rocked harder. Mr. Bellamy is quite the axeman also, with an arsenal of riffs and solos that bordered quite literally to sounding like heavy metal. Their metal-lic sound was only one side of them however, and they did sound a little more arty, Radiohead-ish and even pop at times. I could have sworn that one of their songs had a bass line right out of Metric's 'Dead Disco'. While I'm not particularly enthused with their overall sound I did enjoy their set and they infused the crowd with some needed energy.

    Since my brother's a fan of Queens of The Stone Age, I thought he might get a kick out of Eagles of Death Metal who were playing the Future Shop stage. I informed my brother that Queens' frontman Josh Homme plays with EODM but little did I know that he wasn't actually performing with them that night, although the blonde drummer looked awfully a lot like Josh from a distance. We stuck around for several songs including a balls-to-the-walls renditions of the Rolling Stones' 'Brown Sugar'. There dirty boogie, raunchy, rock n' roll was a blast and it's a shame that they weren't on the mainstage to bring the rock to the masses.

    Leaving partway through EODM's set, we set back to the main stage where Gnarls Barkley had just begun their set. It's not necessarily my favourite song of the summer, but 'Crazy' will definitely go down as THE song of summer 2006. The song was all over the radio. We had everyone from The Raconteurs to The Twilight Singers covering the song in concert. Gnarls Barkley frontman Cee-Loo a casual charisma as he complimented the Canadian women and inquired the audience whether anyone had some good weed. He definitely knew how to play up to the audience, however crude it was. But it is rock n' roll, after all. With the musical compliment onstage numbering 10 or more people, including a n all female string section, and with everyone wearing white robes, there was a gospel-feel to the whole experience, also reflected within some of the r n'b grooves in the music. I also was reminded of Kanye West, musically as well with the aesthetics of the live show itself. N.E.R.D. were also another musical contemporary I was reminded of as Gnarls Barkley displayed a similar organic melding of rock, hip-hop, and r'n'b musical influences. Their cover of the Violent Femmes' 'Gone Daddy Gone' was great fun, and when Gnarls Barkley began 'Crazy' with a string section intro, it was divine. Overall, they were a thoroughly convincing live act. As an aside, I'd like to mention that the video screen was featuring real time text messaging and a couple of the funniest ones were "I was promised CHARLES Barkley" and "This guy looks like the Dad from Family Matters". :-)

    Preceding The Flaming Lips, was Kid Koala, who once he had all his gear setup on stage, only managed to perform for about 15 minutes since it was already cutting in to The Flaming Lips' scheduled set. I'd seen Kid Koala perform some of the tracks before(at Harbourfront last year), including the track which featured a sampling of The Cure's 'Close To Me', but the piece de resistance was his sublime cut-up/scratch version of 'Moon River' which he dedicated to his girlfriend who he said she had said 'Yes' to his marriage proposal. The crowd fell to a hush and with the stars overhead and 'Moon River' washing over us it was a close-to-perfect moment.

    And finally ending off the evening were The Flaming Lips. Unfortunately, with the whole day running off schedule, The Flaming Lips ended up only performing for about 40 minutes, rather than their scheduled 1 hour and 15 minutes. I've been fortunate to have seen The Flaming Lips' experience twice in the past(Coachella 2004 and Sasquatch 2006) and my brother saw them with me at Sasquatch so we weren't as disappointed to have seen a shortened set as I assume others were, especially those for who this show may have been their first Flaming Lips show. Of course Wayne did the whole Plastic Bubble walk, and this time, he'd practically rolled up beside me and my brother. This was the first 'Lips show I've been fairly close to the front for and OMG, at one point, when the confetti, streamers, balloons, and beach balls were all above the crowd, it was HEAVENLY. That moment was all I needed to leave satisfied that night.

    Monday, September 11, 2006


    Last Friday September 8, Metric and The Weakerthans performed an outdooor show at University of Toronto as part of their Frosh festivities. Both bands seemed genuinely glad to be playing the show. The Weakerthans performed a tight mid-afternoon set. The rock stars that Metric are, I sort of expected them to phone in the performance, but Emily in particular expressed a genuine enthusiasm as she rocked out behind her keyboard. She even apologized jokingly if Metric wasn't the band that the student body voted(or would have voted) to play their Frosh week. As dusk gradually turned into evening Metric's energetic set came to a close. Highlight of the show was definitely a dynamite extended rendition of 'Dead Disco'. Metric might not be as deep or intricate as other artists from the extended BSS-family, but damn if they do not know how to turn it ON for the audience. A piece of advice to the Frosh: if you want an encore, you gotta express it. Turns out the band went behind their tourbus to sign autographs and take photos with their adoring fans, although I'm sure they would have come out for an encore if the crowd's response for an encore wasn't so half-assed. A few photos from the show below(and more here):

    The Weakerthans @ University of Toronto: photo by Mike Ligon

    Metric @ University of Toronto: photo by Mike Ligon

    After Metric's set, I pondered whether my name got on the guest list for the V-Fest Launch party at The Mod Club featuring latest Arts & Crafts-distributed band Phoenix. Arts & Crafts as well as the band's official website were each giving away 10 pairs of passes and although I'd e-mailed a submission to both, I'd come up empty-handed. I even had a reader e-mail me offering me a guest list spot if I e-mailed her back but I only read the e-mail around 9 pm when I was still downtown at an Internet cafe. However, since I was downtown I decided to pass by The Mod Club and and see if I could get in anyway. Maybe if I looked desperate, they'd let me in. I got to The Mod Club around 10 pm and I told the girl at the door that I wasn't sure if my name was on the guest list and it turned out it wasn't but I asked if she still would be letting people in. Grabbing my hand, stamping it and then giving me a free copy of the latest Arts and Crafts sampler, she said to go "Have fun." She really made my day and I was on the biggest high after that. With barely 5 minutes to spare, Phoenix took the stage performing an energetic set of material off their new album "It's Never Been Like That" as well as a few choice older cuts. Their soulful, danceable, pop music had the crowd enthusiastically dancing, and sometimes singing along. I'm still perplexed why they didn't perform 'One Time Too Many' which I think is easily the best song on the new album. Otherwise, the hour long set(including encore) made up for me missing seeing their set at the following day's Virgin Festival at Toronto Islands(although my brother and I did get to the Island and hear off in the distance at least 3 or 4 songs as from Phoenix's set). Photo from The Mod Club show below(and more here):

    Phoenix @ The Mod Club: photo by Mike Ligon

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Blue Lines

    It's a shame about Massive Attack being forced to cancel their appearance at the inaugural Canadian Edition of the Virgin Festival which is taking place this weekend in Toronto at Olympic Island. The Emerge Blog says that in addition to Toronto, the band have been forced to cancel the upcoming Montreal(9/11), Detroit(9/12) and Chicago(9/13) dates as well although if it's any consolation the press release does say that Virgin Festival ticket holders will be entitled to 'front of the line' status at Massive Attack’s next Toronto show which will be announced soon. Refunds for Sunday Virgin Festival Passes are at the point of purchase and if you bought tickets at Futureshop you only have until September 10 at 12 pm to return the tickets for a refund. Filling in for Massive Attack's headlining spot on Sunday evening is Broken Social Scene. While not quite on the level of Massive Attack[and I've really been wanting to see Massive Attack for a long time], I'll be happy to see BSS live again since the last time I saw them was at one of their shows at Kool Haus earlier in the year. And Emily Haines is in town so I expect to see her onstage with BSS this Sunday. Not sure about Amy Millan since her and or her and Stars bandmates will soon be hitting the road for some out-of-town shows. Whereabouts of Leslie Feist? Who knows Correction: Leslie's MySpace site says she'll be in Hollywood, California for a show at Avalon on Saturday night(September 9th). Anyone think she'll jet back to Toronto to join BSS onstage Sunday night? Let the betting begin!

    Emily and her Metric bandmates(along with The Weakerthans) will be performing as part of University of Toronto's frosh week concert this afternoon[info]. If it is anything like last year's frosh concert(with Sloan and controller.controller) passerbys and non-students alike(like moi) should have no problem getting in since this is an outdoor show and it'll probably not be fenced off. I can't say the same for York University's frosh show, dubbed YorkFest, taking place September 15th but will only be open to York students and alumni with proper York ID as well as government-issued ID(not including Health Cards).

    Did anyone get tickets/guest-list-spots to tonight's Virgin Festival Invite-Only Launch Party at The Mod Club which will feature Phoenix? Arts and Crafts as well as the band's website were giving away guest list spots to the first ten people who e-mailed them, but it doesn't look like I made the cut. I even e-mailed Arts & Crafts this morning, asking if I could still get on to the guest list. Wish me luck. (Or maybe if just stand outside The Mod Club and beg, maybe they'll let me in.)

    Props to theplot over at Stille Post for offering up a couple of full song video clips from Cat Power's late show at Lee's Palace from this past Labour Day. Download live video clips of "The Moon" and "Metal Heart".

    Lee's Palace's websites indicates that Joe-Rae and the River will be there on November 10 for their CD Release(of their third album "Knows What You Need" released through Baudelaire Records). Tickets for the show $10 in advance. Listen to a track("Just One More") at the band's MySpace site. Nice horns on that track. The album is already out on vinyl on indie label We are Busybodies which I saw at Rotate This yesterday. The cover photo of the band is awesome.

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Once I Wanted To Be The Greatest

    concert review: Cat Power @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), September 4, 2006

    Cat Power @ Lee's Palace [late show]: photo by Mike LigonI must admit, before going to see Cat Power at Lee's Palace this past Labour Day, I was really a newbie to her music. I've owned "Moon Pix" for ages and I know her primarily for her music video to her song "Cross Bones Style"[YouTube]. I've even picked up a few of her other albums(including her newest album "The Greatest") recently. Still, for unknown reasons, I've just never gotten around to giving her music a good listen. The beauty of her song "The Greatest"(off the album of the same name) plus a bit of bandwagon-jumping on my part was enough to compell me to fork over the $22.50 plus service charge to go to her late show at Lee's Palace on Labour Day and I'm so glad that I attended. The general consensus about her last(last few?) show(s) in Toronto is that Chan's been a trainwreck live due to flakiness, alcohol or more likely a combination of both. However, a new era of sobriety greets Chan this time around, and it was definitely reflected at her late performance at Lee's Palace on Labour Day.

    While blogger The Genealogy of Taste found Chan to be nervous and twitchy during the earlier show at 7 pm, I think Chan had worked out the kinks by the time the late show got under way around 11 pm. Given past criticisms of her live shows, I thought Chan possessed a decent balance between confidence and modesty: I didn't perceive her to be nervous at all but rather to be quite modest about all the attention thrown her way from the adoring sold out crowd. When a girl in the audience apparently fainted due to heat, Chan was generally concerned and was even offering her water bottle to the girl just as security came running to the front to check on her. And when the girl was brought backstage to be checked out, Chan walked offstage for what seemed like a good ten minutes before coming back onto the stage when she informed the audience that the girl was alright. The performance had been somewhat delayed previously also when Chan noticed someone she didn't recognize scurrying backstage and she called security to check it out because she had some of her things there. Perhaps, these delays were beneficial because they tended to act as intermissions during the generally same-sounding, long set. As sublime as I found Chan's brittle vocals against the spare accompaniement she provided with either guitar or piano, maybe the two hour plus long set was a little too much for some.

    It was a really magnificent set and if I wasn't familiar with the songs necessarily[although I could tell many were familiar], the songs are enough to compel me to give her music a better listen in the future. One thing I'd like to mention though is her knack for performing thoroughly interesting versions of other people's songs. Touching on several covers including The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction", The Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream", and Eric Burdon's "House of The Rising Sun"(plus was that a little bit of Otis Redding's "Try A Little Tenderness" that I heard?), Chan's versions were identifiably hers. With the tenderness of her vocals, slight melodic revisions and the sparest of instrumental accompaniement, Chan was able to make other people's songs her own, if only briefly.

    I'm in general agreement with all the good things Chromewaves had to say about the show. And he has photos too. basic sounds also has a few choice photos and does Jason who posts some nice black and white photos over at Stille Post. Update: My photos.

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Summer's Over

    More than anything else, last week's last real show ever(on August 26, 2006) by The Deadly Snakes at The Silver Dollar was a reminder that summer was coming to a close. I made it to the Silver Dollar(right after Junior Boys' set had finished at El Mocambo down the street) and barely caught The 'Snakes last two songs, but in those two songs, a flurry of memories from many a hot, sweaty, rock n' roll show on a hot, summer night rushed through my mind. And isn't that what summer's all about? Hot, sweaty, rock n' roll! I can't believe I never saw The Deadly Snakes live before that. The last real opportunity I had to see them was a decade ago when they(plus The Super Friendz) had opened for Sloan at Varsity Arena, although I'd missed The 'Snakes' set that time. My, how time flies. And at their last real show, I barely caught two songs. I guess it was never meant to be for me and The 'Snakes. Earlier this year I bought their 1997 indie 7-inch single "Real Rock 'n' Roll Tonight" b/w "How Long Do You Keep a Man," and it's incendiary as rock n' roll gets[I'm gonna have to plop that onto the ol' record player tonight]. Forgive me 'Snakes for never giving a shit until now.

    The Deadly Snakes at The Silver Dollar: photo by Mike Ligon

    But yes, summer is really over. Not one of my best at all. Didn't bring out my bicycle out once(partly because it was broken half the time), I was either sick or had bad allergies half the summer, and generally I felt lazy. Now, on the cusp of Fall, I hope to make up for my lackadaisicalness somehow. I experienced a renewed sense of vigor at the sublime Cat Power show at Lee's Palace yesterday evening(stay tuned for my review) and earlier in the day I caught Australian Ben Lee and his band at Sunnyside Park as part of Mix 99.9 FM's Beachfest. A confident performer who's not afraid to make fun of himself, he is approaching to becoming a bonafide pop star. There were a lot of young girls in attendance, some who weren't afraid to yell out to him that they'd like to 'Catch His Disease'. During his brief half an hour set, he performed songs off his latest album "Awake Is The New Sleep". I was disappointed not to hear any older tracks but it's comforting to know that he's still an indie-rock type at heart as he expressed his jubilation to have danced in a Santa Claus suit as part of The Flaming Lips show(presumably at the Osheaga Festival in Montreal, Quebec) twelve hours prior.

    Ben Lee at Sunnyside Beach[Beachfest]: photo by Mike Ligon

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Count Souvenirs

    Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan @ El Mocambo: photo by Mike LigonIt's been a week since the Junior Boys/The Russian Futurists show at El Mocambo(on August 26, 2006). As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I had scooted down to the show from the The Hidden Cameras show at Harbourfront, leaving at the start of The 'Cameras encore to get to the El Mo. Unfortunately, I'd missed most of The Russian Futurists' set. It's hard to put into words what the music reminded me of. Orch-hip-pop? Perhaps, they do at least live up to the 'Futurists' part of their name, because their songs simply sounded ahead of its time as in not sounding like anything I've heard before. Although I'd previously heard a few Russian Futurists tracks, I still found The 'Futurists' Matt Sharp's vocals unexpectedly peculiar(in a good way though, IMO). I feel guilty for the numerous times I've missed seeing this band live considering they're from Toronto. I will unashamedly admit that them being on UK label Domino Records was a kick in a butt for me to make an effort to see this band. According to their MySpace site they'll be performing at a showcase on September 13th as part of the Toronto International Film Festival, although it doesn't mention a venue. Update: According to this press release, The Russian Futurists play the Rivoli on September 13 at 2:40 pm. Read the press release for the whole lineup and schedule for Canadian Music Cafe which is a music showcase which coincides with the Toronto International Film Festival. The only problem is that it is only open to certain industry people.

    Listen: The Russian Futurists @ MySpace

    The last time I saw Hamilton, Ontario's Junior Boys live was at Harbourfront Centre in July 2004, several months before the release of their debut album "Last Exit". Over the past two years, they've gone from music blog obscurities to Pitchfork-approved items. I don't perceive their popularity as strong as other music blog favourites but they definitely have a strong cult following if the strong(if not sold out) turnout at the El Mo was any indication. All the criticisms I'd mentioned with their live show at Harbourfront in 2004 seemed to be resolved in 2006. They seem to be more confident performers, and their supple electronic blips and beats and melodies are much more suited to a dark club than an outdoor stage during the daytime. Jeremy Greenspan was dressed in white jeans and white suit, offset with a red dress shirt while his bandmate Matthew Didemus was dressed in white slacks and a white loose shirt. Filling out the band was a drummer, against the grain wearing a black leather jacket. Emblazoned in the background was a neon sign of the band name.

    The show was a CD release for the new album "So This Is Goodbye" but thankfully there was a good mix of songs from the new one and their debut album "Last Exit". Here's the setlist, although I don't think this a complete list of the songs that were performed. It was a very danceable set overall, but if dancing wasn't your thing there was always the songs to fall back on as Jeremy's smooth, melodic, vocals and atmospheric guitar sounds melded quite nicely with the live drumming and Matthew's slick yet subtle beats. I can't fathom why they didn't play "Bellona" but that was my only disappointment musically. I was disappointed that they didn't have any more of the new album left for sale at the merch table. The guys are off on a whirlwind tour that takes them to the USA, western Canada, and the UK over the next several months, so do yourself a favour and catch their live show.

    Listen: Junior Boys @ MySpace

    basic sounds has a few photos as well as a link to a YouTube video clip of the guys' show at El Mocambo from August 26, 2006.

    Muchmusic spoke to Junior Boys about "'The Pitchfork Effect', Gilmore Girls & fitting into today’s fast-paced music scene."

    More interviews with the band can be found over at Fact Magazine[via ghost of a flea] and Boston's Weekly Dig.

    Zoilus profiled Junior Boys for The Globe and Mail[Bugmetnot].

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Hannah Sung

    Hannah SungIt was with great disappointment to find out last week that my favourite Muchmusic personality Hannah Sung was leaving the station after working with them for the last five years as a pop culture reporter with MuchNews, but more importantly, as host of The New Music. A combination of intelligence, charm, a sense of humour and attractiveness made her a pleasure to watch, and made switching the channel to Muchmusic even tolerable. The New Music will not be the same without her. Hannah wrote a few parting words. Best of the luck in the future Hannah.

    You can catch one of Hannah's last interviews, this one being with Toronto music blogger Chromewaves, tomorrow night on Muchmusic at 9:30 pm EST.