Friday, October 08, 2010
Woodpigeon @ Yonge Dundas Square: photo by Michael Ligon
So as the photo above attests to even the pigeons couldn't resist checking out Calgarian indie folk outfit Woodpigeon who stopped in at Yonge Dundas Square for a free noon hour show. It was during last year's NXNE that was the first and only time I'd seen Woodpigeon live, so the free show at the Square this past week was a good chance to get reacquainted with them, even if I couldn't catch everything since I had to get back to work. Coincidentally, with both Sufjan Stevens and Belle and Sebastian coming to town for shows next week, it was those two artists that I was reminded of during what I'd caught of Woodpigeon's set. In particular, their cover of the Paul McCartney / Michael Jackson duet of "Say Say Say" prodded my imagination of what the song would sound like if Belle and Sebastian were to cover it, with spare instrumentation, trumpet and a level of restraint in the vocals[B&S never really do rock out, and yet we still love 'em], but overall performed with a sense of playfulness. But Sufjan Stevens was the one artist I was reminded of more, especially during the band's quieter numbers. Vocalist/songwriter Mark Hamilton mentioned The National Parks Project, a collaboration that happened with him, fellow Calgarian, rapper Cadence Weapon, and Toronto indie-folk artist Laura Barrett which Hamilton described as the trio going camping and writing songs together at which point the band played the song he wrote, a melancholy ukelele number with trumpet, backup vocals, bass and drums. Having to go back to work, I was able to catch the penultimate song of the set which was a nautically themed number about "drowing to death", with mentions of "capsized" and "your ship has come at last", ending in a improvised cacophonous instrumental coda. Yonge Dundas Square is a wholly inappropriate venue to showcase the band, but hopefully there were a few new converts in the audience. And as chartattack reports, the band have released a new album Balladeer/To All The Guys I've Loved Before and a new digital EP, Our Love Is As Tall As The Calgary Tower the latter which you can preview at the band's website.
Photos: Woodpigeon @ Yonge Dundas Square, Toronto (October 6, 2010)