Monday, February 26, 2007


concert review: The Apples In Stereo, Casper and the Cookies, Rock Plaza Central @ Lee's Palace(Toronto, Ontario), February 20, 2007

The Apples In Stereo's Robert Schneider @ Lee's Palace: photo by Michael Ligon

Last Tuesday, Lee's Palace hosted Denver psych-poppers The Apples In Stereo to a near capacity crowd. They were one of the remnants of the 1990's indie rock boom whom I'd always read about but never made the effort to check out until now. Maybe I should just consider myself lucky that they're still around making new music. I'll tell you now, if the 1990's indie rock nostalgia trip isn't already in full swing, I swear it'll be over the next couple of years.

Opening up the show at a quite early 8:30 pm slot were Toronto's own Rock Plaza Central playing their brand of ramshackle country/folk/rock. I'm a little surprised that more people didn't turn out for RPC's set, although 8:30 pm is probably a little too early for some people to make it to on time. Having seen RPC's terrific set at The Boat, I must say that RPC play off the energy of the crowd. However, with a thin crowd on hand at Lee's Palace for RPC's set this time, there's only so much energy you can get, although not for the band's wont for trying.

Athens, Georgia band Casper and The Cookies dress like a glammed up 60's psych-pop outfit with their stage setup with multi-coloured balloons and floral adornments. At the very least the 3 male/1 female band did get my attention. Fortunately, they had the songs to back it up. To my ears, their sound generally mined that 60's/70's power pop terrain, and for the most part they were successful. As with most pop, it can sometimes be too surgary sweet, but there was enough rocking out(complete with the rock moves) to keep things on the level.

If one things for sure, The Apples In Stereo have their ardent fans. It was quite packed for their set and for the next hour and a half, the band performed a schizophrenic set of pop music that rocked out and touched on psych-pop, power-pop and more. Points of interest: one of the keyboardists was dressed in a funky spaceman suit and the other keyboardist provided some of the greatest oohs/aahs/ba ba ba background vocals I've heard in a long time. Performing oldies like "Strawberryfire" and tracks from their newest release "New Magnetic Wonder"(Yep Roc), lead Apple Robert Schneider seems to be still on top of his game. Sorry, it took so long for me to notice.

Here are my photos from the show.

MySpace: Rock Plaza Central
MySpace: Casper and The Cookies
MySpace: The Apples In Stereo
Unless you're living under a rock, you probably caught The Arcade Fire's performance on Saturday Night live this past weekend. If not, check out The Smudge of Ashen Fluff for mp3's of the songs("Intervention", "Keep The Car Running") performed. Ande Johnston has Quicktime movies of the two performances for download. Brooklyn Vegan points to YouTube video of both performances plus other recent live Arcade Fire-related multimedia.

Blacking Out The Friction has a review of the Final Fantasy show at the Tranzac on February 23 and points to YouTube video from the show. Daniel also points out that according to the Owen Pallett MySpace, he's scheduled to be at Harbourfront on July 1! And if go, which is most definitely a possibily, that'll make 3 years in row me going to Harbourfront for Canada Day!

Wombat Wednesdays is a new music series launching at March at the Tranzac in Toronto and the inaugural month will be curated by The Bicycles. Check out the lineup over at Stille Post. Tickets for each show are only $6, with doors at 8 pm and show at 9pm. I'm particularly interested in checking out the March 28 lineup which will feature Toronto psych-poppers The Old Soul, Massachusett indie poppers Pants Yell!, and Toronto's Catriona Sturton & The Screaming Elks.

Apostle of Hustle has an instore at Criminal Records(493 Queen St. West @ Spadina) on March 9 while Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes performs a solo instore at Soundscapes on March 13.

According to the Horseshoe Tavern website, Scotland's My Latest Novel will be playing an early set(@9:30 pm) at Horseshoe Tavern on March 12 as part of Shoeless Monday. No cover. I'm already planning to see Clinic at Lee's Palace that night but I might shoot over to the 'Shoe early to see if I can catch My Latest Novel.

Trying to see My Latest Novel at the 'Shoe on March 12 will mean skipping Uncut's opening set for Clinic. However, it appears that Uncut have now been added to(and The Diableros removed from) the SXSW Send-Off Party at the 'Shoe on March 6. According to a blog post at The Diableros' MySpace, they've had to cancel their attendance at this year's SXSW "due to work commitments", although they do mention that the songs for the new album are written and they'll be demoing them over the next few weeks. If you're lucky you'll catch some of the new songs at their March 9 show at The Boat(which is part of the Pitter Patter Music Festival).

Brazil's CSS will return to Toronto for a show at the Horseshoe Tavern on June 4[via The Windish Agency].

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