Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CBC Radio's Go! / Concert Announcements

CBC Radio's Go hosted by Brent Bambury

If sleeping in on a Saturday morning isn't an attractive enough of an idea for you, why not do something constructive and drop by CBC studios (250 Front St. West, Toronto) for a live taping of CBC Radio's Go hosted by Brent Bambury(who by the way, I loved when he hosted Brave New Waves way back when). I haven't actually listened to this program ever and I'm not aware exactly what the program's focus is but it seems each episode features a live musical guest. And guess what, tickets are free, although as I understand, limited in number. Some of the upcoming musical guests are Woodhands on January 30, Hawksley Workman, Socalled, Valerie Gore and Tiny Billy Cody on February 6, Zeus on February 27, Owen Pallett on March 6 and Jason Collett on March 13. Sign up for tickets here. (Via Impressionable Youth)

Not yet listed on their MySpace, but Pollstar is listing Toronto roots act The Wooden Sky at the Horseshoe Tavern on March 13(presumably as part of Canadian Musicfest) which is quite plausible given the band's already announced tour dates.

Drive By Truckers with openers Langhorne Slim are set to take over Lee's Palace for a two-night stint on April 6 and 7.

Montreal's Wolf Parade return to Toronto for what will likely be a very sought after ticket for their show at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on April 7. Openers are electro-rock act We Are Wolves. Tickets are $20.00 advance ($25.00 @ the door) for this 19+ show. Via Collective Concerts. Tickets go on sale January 28 at 10 EST.

Norwegian noise-pop mongers Serena Maneesh are at The Great Hall on April 2. Via Beggars Group Canada. Tickets $15, onsale now.

Also via Beggars Group Canada, in addition to Toronto hardcore outfit Fucked Up's February 26 date at The Opera House, they're also listed to be at Wrongbar on February 24.

Having finally taken the time to listen to UK's Florence and The Machine early this year, I realized that their debut "Lungs" was quite possibly the best pop album of 2009 and really should have been on my Favourite Albums of 2009 list. But I'm giving it props now. Fortunately Florence and The Machine are returning for another date in Toronto and this time will be playing the Phoenix Concert Theatre on April 10. It's a 19+ show, tickets are quite a steal in my opinion at $20 and they will go onsale January 30 at 10 am EST.

Biggest show announcement of the week so far is that The National will be playing their biggest show to date in Toronto when they play Massey Hall on June 8. A presale took place this morning and those tickets sold out. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take advantage of it but word is that more presale tickets will go onsale the morning of January 27 at 10 am EST - the password is 'bloodbuzz'. Tickets are in the price range of $53.50, $43.50, $37.50 and $32.50. Officially the presale is suppose to end on Thursday January 28 at 10 pm EST but I suspect presale tickets will sell out before that. The public onsale is Friday January 29 at 10 am EST. Via Collective Concerts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dinosaur Jr @ Sonic Boom (January 21, 2010) / Concert Announcments and Music News

Dinosaur JrNot a shabby deal at all that for the price of a non-perishable canned good (actually I brought two) for the Daily Bread Food Bank, I got to see Dinosaur Jr play earlier this evening at Sonic Boom in Toronto. However, even though I'd made it to Sonic Boom at least an hour before the band started, it was already packed enough that my viewing options were non-existent. So as it goes I didn't see a thing except for a quick glimpse of J Mascis. No photos from me unfortunately but it isn't a big deal - the set itself was magnificent. J Mascis and Lou Barlow were in the house although taking over drums was Kyle Thomas of the band Witch (for which J Mascis drums for); J said that our fair country wouldn't let their original drummer Murph in - I'm not sure if that was a joke but I recall people chuckling. The most interesting facet of the set was that instead of the sonic guitar assault I was expecting [I even came prepared with earplugs], instead the trio performed a rather toned down set mixing drums, bass, acoustic guitar and muted electric guitar and guitar-pedal augmented squalls and solos. It was really fascinating actually - it was always sort of difficult to tell whether J was a messy guitar player on their studio recordings since his solos were always buried beneath a sheet of feedback and squall, but hearing him play acoustically I could hear that he was in fact hitting all the right notes. Still the electric guitar solos, muted as they were for this instore, were still magnificent. Part of me wishes that I'd just coughed up the money to see them play tonight at their sold-out show at the Phoenix, but hey c'est la vie. The setlist for their instore was as follows (and if anyone recorded this and would be able to send a download link my way, it'd be ever so appreciated):

"Severed Lips" (from Dinosaur Jr)
"Get Me" (from Where You Been)
"Little Furry Things" (from You're Living All Over Me)
"Imagination Blind" (from Farm)
"Repulsion" (from Dinosaur Jr)
The Wagon (from Green Mind)

In other news, Toronto music promoters Against The Grain and Rootmeansquare have now merged under the name Collective Concerts and have even changed their URL to reflect that - now bringing double the value for your music buck, or something like that. The next couple of items are courtesy of Collective Concerts (hmmm, I'm not feeling that name, but in a week I probably won't care anymore):

Portland's Scout Niblett will be promoting her newest album "The Calcination of Scout Niblett" out through Drag City on January 26 by going on an US and Canadian trek through February and March. She'll be at the Horseshoe on March 17, tickets for this 19+ show are $11.50 in advance ($13 @ Door), and go onsale Jan 22 at 10 am.

As already announced by the Rocky Votolato show at The Drake Underground on April 5, ticket info has now been confirmed - $13.50 in advance ($15 @ door) for this 19 + show go onsale Jan 22 at 10 am.

Montreal's Parlovr will be returning to Toronto for Canadian Music Week in March playing the Musebox showcase at Sneaky Dee's on March 11, the Sirius showcase at the El Mocambo on March 12, the Pop Montreal showcase at the Silver Dollar also on March 12 and opening for Born Ruffians at the Phoenix on March 14. I've read good things about the band; I'll make an effort to check 'em out but with the amount of CMW showcase they're playing how could I not at least catch them once.

Woodhands are at Lee's Palace on March 12, I'd presume as part of Canadian Music Week. Via Paper Bag Records.

Thanks to Consequence of Sound for pointing to live clips of Ms. Joanna Newsom performing new songs in Sydney, Australia recently. Ms. Newsom's new album is entitled "Have One on Me" and is out February 23rd via Drag City. She'll be at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on March 13, tickets $22.50 in advance and onsale now.

chartattack reports that Jason Collett will be releasing a companion EP with his upcoming new album "Rat A Tat Tat" out March 9. The companion EP is entitled "To Wit To Woo" and will be available as a digital download and as well as on Collett's upcoming tour. Collett will be in Toronto with Zeus and Bahamas for a show at Lee's Palace on March 10 as part of Canadian Music Week. You can download a free mp3 from the EP below:

MP3: Jason Collett - "Little Tiger"

Spoon were on Mr Conan O'Brien's show recently to perform their new single "Written in Reverse"(via Pitchfork). The band's new album "Transference" is out now through Merge Records and they'll be in Toronto for a show at Sound Academy on March 29.

Video: Spoon - "Written in Reverse" (live on Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, 19 January 2010)

Via Pollstar, Durham, NC folk-rock outfit megafaun will be at the Horseshoe on April 5 with opener indie-folkie Sharan Van Etten from Brooklyn.

NME has the details on the new album("Plastic Beach, out March 8) from Gorillaz. Listen to the first single:

Audio: Gorillaz - "Stylo"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Concert Announcments / Music News (January 20, 2010)

Coachella 2010It doesn't look like a go for me this year (although that could change) for the Coachella festival taking place in Indio, California from April 16 - 18. Not as strong as previous years' lineups but still there's a lot to see. I mainly not enthused by the headliners with the exception of Day Three featuring Gorillaz and Pavement. I guess I have from now until early April to make up my mind. Perusing the lineup, Canadian acts making the trip to Coachella this year include Jets Overhead, Tokyo Police Club, and Owen Pallett, which seems like a smaller Canadian contingent than in previous years.

Like he hadn't already played live enough over the last 12 months, but Gentleman Reg's prepared to do it hardcore when he sets up residency at The Drake Underground every Wednesday in February. The lineups are as follows:

February 3rd w/ Hooded Fang & Kite Hill
February 10th w/ By Divine Right & The Balconies
February 17th w/ Dance Yourself To Death & Sheezer
February 24th w/ Evening Hymns & Special guests.

Tickets are $10 in advance at Rotate This and Soundscapes or can also be purchased through (which also includes a free digital download of his new "Heavy Head" EP. Doors are at 9 pm with the show at 9:30 pm for each night of the residency.

The Diableros have a few new local dates including a February 20 date at the Horseshoe. Also on the bill are local cow-punks The Schomberg Fair.

On March 9th of 2010 (March 8th in the UK), Jagjaguwar will release The Besnard Lakes' new album "Are the Roaring Night" with the band scheduled to play as part of Canadian Musicfest in Toronto at the Horseshoe on March 11. (tourdate via Outside Music).

Also via Outside Music, Toronto's The Sadies have some tourdates around the Golden Horseshoe (although no Toronto date) over the next several months, while the band's Myspace also fleshes out their itinerary with a couple of US dates(NYC & Rochester).

As chartattack pointed out, Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas will be kicking off a Canadian tour together at Canadian Musicfest in Toronto at Lee's Palace on March 10. Zeus will release their debut album "Say Us" on February 23 through Arts & Crafts while Collett releases his newest album "Rat A Tat" on March 9 also through Arts & Crafts.

Oklahoma City's The Uglysuit are set to roll through Toronto for Canadian Musicfest for several showcase sets it seems according to their Myspace. Their MySpace indicates that they'll be part of the Billions showcase at Lee's Palace on March 13.

I should be probably be more excited but the fact is that I'm not as familar with Joanna Newsom's music as most of you. But I like her enough that I think I want to see her live when she plays the Phoenix on March 13. The new Joanna Newsom album is entitled "Have One on Me" and it's out February 23. Maybe I should dust of her debut "The Milk-Eyed Mender" and acquaint myself with that first.

Still in support of 2009's "Mean Everything To Nothing", Manchester Orchestra are at The Mod Club with The Features, Biffy Clyro, and O’Brother on March 27.

Rocky Votolato stops in at The Drake Hotel for a show on April 5 in promotion of their newest CD "True Devotion". Tickets $13 in advance.

Via Pollstar, UK's Little Boots will be at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on April 30.

As confirmed by Sub Pop and Inland Empire Touring, Handsome Furs will be perform at El Mocambo on March 12 as part Canadian Music Week.

Who knew UK folkies would be so popular in T.O.? To play it safe I'd picked up my tickets for both Laura Marling (Feb 9) and Mumford and Sons (Feb 15) a few weeks ago before they'd sold out but both shows have been moved to larger venues - Marling's show moved from The Drake Underground to Lee's Palace and Mumford and Son's show from the El Mocambo to Lee's as well. The respective dates still stand. Get your tickets while you can. NME reports that Marling is set to release two new albums this year, firstly her second album entitled "I Speak Because I Can" set to be released on March 2, and then Marling plans to record another album which is scheduled for a September release. The Guardian has Marling's new music video below:

Video: Laura Marling - "Devil's Spoke" (music video)

Unconfirmed at the moment, but Pollstar is listing Joel Plaskett Emergency playing The Mod Club on March 13. I guess it's a definite possibility since the date is during Canadian Musicfest and Plaskett is already confirmed for the festival.

Finally, psych-rock vets Brian Jonestown Massacre will be hitting three continents from February through to June on their upcoming tour including a date in Toronto at the Phoenix on June 2. I'm sure some of you will be very excited for this. As chartattack reports, the band will release their new album "Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?" on February 23.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Owen Pallett, Diamond Rings @ The Mod Club in Toronto (January 12, 2010)

Owen Pallett @ The Mod Club: photo by Michael Ligon
  Owen Pallett @ The Mod Club: photo by Michael Ligon

The Mod Club last Tuesday night was the scene of a way sold-out show featuring headliner Owen Pallett on the occasion of his most recent album "Heartland". Signing to Domino Records in the UK and recently dropping his 'Final Fantasy' moniker in favour of his own name, Mr. Pallett's been a beacon for Toronto/Canadian talent for sometime now, and there was no doubt as indicated by the warm response from the crowd that he is very much appreciated.

Mr. John O'Regan may be better known as the frenetic frontman for spastic indie rock outfit of The D'Urbervilles, or perhaps you may even know him as one half(the second half being The Magic's Sylvie Smith) of the now-defunct melancholy electro-pop duo Habitat but as opener for the night, he's now branched out on his own under the moniker of Diamond Rings. Even recent touting by Pitchfork wasn't enough to motivate to check Diamond Rings' music prior to the show but after seeing or more accurately hearing his live set, I now realize the err of my ways. With subtle laptop electro-beats and accompanying himself with keys or electric guitar plus a duet with special guest Gentleman Reg, there was a bevy of scintillating melodies that reminded me of the directness of The Magnetic Fields, although trading in Mr. Merritt's dourness for a more playful attitude. Don't let Mr. O'Regan's tie-dyed t-shirt, glitter and eye makeup distract you - these are really great pop songs. Yes, I was really disappointed that his vinyl release was sold out at the merch table (actually, I'm not sure if they even had any of the vinyl at the merch table, but John did tell me it was sold out).

On past occasions seeing Final Fantasy live there were multimedia experiences with Owen's performance providing a soundtrack to screen projections behind him. Not to say that the music was ever secondary but the creative visuals were always such a nice component. Other than some nice ambient lighting onstage, Owen's performance this time was directly focused on the music. Somehow I'd avoided all contact with the new album "Heartland" (including any advance mp3's made available to the public on the web months ago) prior to it's release last week and prior to the show so as sets go it was mostly unfamiliar territory for me. While there was of course heavy emphasis on the new album, Owen did round out the setlist with faves like set-opener "This Is The Dream of Win and Regine"(from "Has a Good Home"), as well as "This Lamb Sells Condos Play" and "Many Lives -> 49 mp" (from "He Poos Clouds"), and "The Butcher" (from "Spectrum, 14th Century" EP). At this point, I can't offer up any useful critical analysis of the new material except that Owen's cherubic vocals, and supple violin technique (with Owen's use of his violin as a melodic instrument as much as a percussive instrument, epecially with his use of a loop pedal) are still expertly on display. Melodically, the new material's a bit more of slow burner for me since nothing's standing out for me at this point, but with time I expect it to reveal its qualities. One comment I do have is that although Owen had an added onstage member with multi-instrumentalist Thomas Gill, while Mr. Gill did have some nice contributions as a background vocalist and whistler, I felt he was hardly neccessity in terms of added instrumentation considering Owen's profiency as a one-man act. That criticism[well, not really a criticism but more like an observation] aside, I can't express enough how joyous I was to see and hear this show. Really, it was a thing of beauty, and if you're going to see him perform at the quite larger Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto on April 8, I'm sure that'll be a sight and sound to behold.

Eye has a similarly positive review of the show. Someone's posted the setlist for the show. Aux has video of an interview they had with Owen Pallett.

Photos: Owen Pallett, Diamond Rings @ The Mod Club in Toronto (January 12, 2010)
MySpace: Owen Pallett
Video: Owen Pallett - "E is for Estranged" (live @ The Mod Club, Toronto, 12/Jan/2010)
Video: Owen Pallett - "Lewis Takes Action" (live @ The Mod Club, Toronto, 12/Jan/2010)
Video: Owen Pallett - "Honour The Dead or Else" (live @ The Mod Club, Toronto, 12/Jan/2010)
Video: Owen Pallett - "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt" (live @ The Mod Club, Toronto, 12/Jan/2010)
Video: Diamond Rings - "All Yr Songs" (music video)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Concert Announcements / Music News (January 13, 2010)

There was an insane amount of quality concert announcements over the past few days, most courtesy of Against The Grain:

The big one first - the initial lineup for this year's Olympic Island Concert has been announced. The shindig will take place Saturday June 19 at Toronto Islands featuring Pavement, Broken Social Scene, and Band of Horses with more acts to be announced in the future. Tickets $49.50 in advance ($49.50 @ door), onsale January 22 at 10 am, or jump on the presale on January 18 over at (presale ticket buyers will get $5 towards the Arts & Crafts boutique at the concert as well as a chance to win one of 10 pairs of VIP wristbands.

Norweigan acoustic pop duo Kings of Convenience return to Toronto for a show at the Phoenix on February 18 in support of their most recent album "Declaration of Dependence" released last October. Tickets to the show are $21.50 advance ($25.00 @ the door), 19+, and go onsale January 16 at 10 am.

Scheduled for a two-night stint at the Horseshoe Tavern on March 27 and 28 are Atlanta's The Black Lips with openers Demon's Claws and Box Elders. Tickets $15.50 advance ($18.00 @ the door), 19+, and go onsale January 14, 2010 at 10:00AM.

Austin's Spoon return with their new album "Transference" to be released January 19 and which is currently streaming over at NPR. For better, they are touring in support of the new album and will make a stop in Toronto on March 29 with openers Deerhunter and The Strange Boys. Doors 7:30 pm. Tickets $24.50 advance ($28.50 @ the door), all-ages/licensed. Tickets are as follows: Advance Floor - $24.50 and Advance VIP Balcony - $33.50, Door Floor - $28.50 and Door VIP Balcony - $38.50. Tickets onsale tomorrow at 10 am.

Making up for last year's Broken Social Scene Olympic Island concert cancellation for which they were to be a part of, Beach House are coming to Toronto for a show at The Opera House on March 30, tickets $14.00 advance, $16.00 @ the door, 19+, and go onsale January 15, 2010 at 10:00 am.

Also a higly sought ticket, UK's The xx return with Swedes jj for a show at the Phoenix on April 4, tickets $20.00 advance, $25.00 @ the door, 19+, and go onsale tomorrow at 10 am. I finally listened to The xx's debut album in its entirely - a very calculated(in a good way), minimalist sound. I really need to hear it on good speakers.

Hamilton's Attack In Black return for a show at the Horseshoe on February 13, tickets an affordable $10.50 advance ($12.00 @ the door). It's a 19+ show and tickets go onsale January 15 at 10 am. Quite impressed with them when I saw them open for The Constantines recently.

Seemingly a man about town now, Mr. Joe Pernice will play Dakota Tavern on February 16.
Tickets $20.50 advance ($23.00 @ the door) and go onsale January 15 at 10 am.

As previously announced, the Thrush Hermit reunion dates in Toronto take place March 27 and 27 at Lee's Palace. Ticket details have now been confirmed - tickets will set you back $17.50 in advance ($20.00 @ the door). It's a 19+ show and tickets go onsale January 15 at 10 am.

With their new album "The Golden Archipelago" out on February 23 through Matador, Austin's Shearwater take to the road including a stop in Toronto at Lee's Palace on April 1. Openers are Merge Records' Wye Oak, and Kansas outfit Hospital Ships. Tickets for the show are $12.00 advance ($14.00 @ the door) and it's a 19+ show. Tickets go onsale January 15 at 10 am.

Philly psych-rock outfit Dr. Dog, having signed to ANTI- last year, will release their newest album "Shame, Shame" on April 6. North American tour dates kick off at the end of January with a Toronto stop on April 14 at Lee's Palace. Tickets $16.50 advance ($20.00 @ the door), and it's a 19+ show. Tickets onsale January 22 at 10 am.

Portland's Quasi release their new album entitled "American Gong" on February 23 through Kill Rock Stars (according to Pitchfork). North American tour dates get underway in March with a stop in Toronto on April 18 at the Horseshoe. Tickets $10.50 advance ($12.00 @ the door), 19+ show. Tickets onsale tomorrow at 10 am. And that ends the Against The Grain portion of concert announcements.

Here's some other notable upcoming shows:

Born Ruffians play the Phoenix on March 14, presumably in support of their new album "Say It" which is to be released, supposedly during the early part of this year. I'm guessing this show is part of Canadian Music Week.

NYC noisy pop trio Vivian Girls will be playing Wrongbar on March 10 with similarly thrashy openers Male Bonding from the UK. Via Ground Control Touring.

The Wedding Present come to the Horseshoe on April 14 to the celebrate the 21st birthday of their major label debut album "Bizarro" by doing what else, but perform that album in its entirety. Mr. Gedge is on Twitter, if you're so inclined. For a man who still mans his own merch table at show, it's really no surprise for me that he's on Twitter. Hey, the man likes to keep in touch with his fans.

Toronto show promoters No Shame host the Horseshoe on January 30 with two shots of dance rock in the form of local groups Everything All The Time and Lioness and one shot of Haligonian experimental pop from Rich Aucoin. Tickets $8.

Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite at the Horseshoe on February 9 will feature Ashville, NC alt-country punks Those Darlins at 10:50 pm and San Antonion's Hacienda at 10 pm. Notably, Hacienda were The Black Key's Dan Auerbach's backing band on his recent solo tour. Also on the bill are local garage pop outfit Invasions who headline the evening at 11:40 pm/

Swedish indie pop group Shout out Louds release their new album "Work" on February 23 through Merge Records and will embark on a North American tour in May with a stop in Toronto on my birthday, May 8 for a show at The Mod Club. The first single from the new album is entitled "Fall Hard":

MP3: Shout Out Louds - "Fall Hard"
Video: Shout Out Louds - "Fall Hard"

Via The Windish Agency, the Brooklyn/Chicago based indie-dance-rock outfit These Are Powers (whose set at NXNE last year I'd only caught but a few minutes of unfortunately) and their friends Javelin will be at The Deleon White Gallery in Toronto for a show on March 30. These Are Powers have a new EP out February 23 through Rvng Intl entitled "World Class Peoples/Candyman" EP.

Finally, screening for only one night in Canada, Bjork's concert film "Voltaïc: The Volta Tour Live in Paris and Reykjavik" will be shown at The Acacia Centre (formerly Golden Classics Cinema) on January 22, 10$ Advance, 12$ Door. Via Stille Post:

Trailer: "Voltaïc: The Volta Tour Live in Paris and Reykjavik"

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sadies, Ron Sexsmith @ Horseshoe Tavern (December 31, 2009)

The Sadies @ Horseshoe Tavern: photo by Michael Ligon
  The Sadies @ Horseshoe Tavern: photo by Michael Ligon

It seems that other than my solitary blog post last week, this year's blogging has been falling by the wayside. I did have a chance to wade through my photos from The Sadies New Year's Eve show finally. The show wasn't my first choice by any stretch, but having found myself going solo that evening I weighed my choices, narrowing them down to perhaps checking out the indie rock bill at the Tranzac or seeing The Sadies at the Horseshoe. In retrospect, if I'd gone to the Tranzac I'd probably have ran into some familiar faces so while the lack of familiar faces at the Horseshoe was a little disappointing, I think my entertainment value was more than fulfilled. At least the hour long wait in line to snag a ticket at the door was made more bearable chatting with a dude about Guided By Voices, Amy Millan, Cracker and such.

With ticket acquired, I decided to duck out for some street grub and walk down to Nathan Phillips Square ever so briefly before jumping on the streetcar back to the Horseshoe with openers The Schomberg Fair already into their set. While fellow bloggers whose music opinions I respect are fans of them, I can't say I'm there yet. The trio's twang-inflected, gospel, rock is admirable on it's own terms - vibrant drumming, thrashed-out vocals, and twangy guitar and banjo - but I wasn't really feeling it as I should.

While I'm not a really big fan of Ron Sexsmith, it was still a treat to catch him in the intimate settings of the Horseshoe Tavern, given he'd just played Massey Hall earlier in the year. Mr. Sexsmith played a low-key solo set with vocals and guitar which only made it more clear how melodically rich how his song's really are. For the purposes of a NYE bash, Mr. Sexsmith was kind of an odd choice, as he's probably more well-known for his mellowness than anything, but over the course of his brief set he kept the vibe loose, a perfect warm-up for The Sadies' marathon session.

I guess I can check 'saw The Sadies on NYE' off my to-do list. While I don't grab their albums to listen to nearly as much as I should, after witnessing their NYE's gig, I must concur that The Sadies are just about the best live band in Toronto. With the Good brothers(Travis and Dallas) decked out in their signature Gram Parson's-inspired embrodiered suits, The Sadies' first set which started around 11:30 pm and lasted about an hour, had it's share of moments but was only a warm-up for their marathon second set which went to nearly 3 am. The Sadies' sets were a blur of musical influences ranging from country, garage, rock, and psychedelia and so expertly played, especially the Good brothers' guitar licks, that labelling the band any one genre wouldn't do them justice. The band's set was a mixture of fiddle playing, twangy-surfy guitar rock, psychedelic jams and straight-up garage rock. At various times, they were joined onstage by Ron Sexsmith, Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor, and the Good brothers' mom and dad and cousin, but it all felt very loose and unrehearsed, like any good party should feel. As the night wore on, and things got hotter and the band shed their jackets. The sheer endurance they displaed was awesome to watch and really there are few bands that can accomplish what The Sadies can in one night. It was all the more surprising that after their second set ended, the band expectedly came back for an encore and proceeded to play ten more songs. Pure insanity.

Photos: The Sadies, Ron Sexsmith @ Horseshoe Tavern (December 31, 2009)
Myspace: The Schomberg Fair
MySpace: Ron Sexsmith
MySpace: The Sadies

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Concert Annoucements / Music News (January 6, 2010)

Pavement 'Quarantine The Past'Not an essential purchase for me by any means but I may still pick it up at least for the artwork and of course to hear REMASTERED audio of Pavement classics (ok I'm being sarcastic), but Pavement will be releasing a mid-priced 23-track compilation entitled "Quarantine The Past" on March 9 through Matador Records. Tour dates have already been announced for New Zealand, Australia, Europe and New York City and the buzz around the T.O. Community is perhaps they'll play this year's Olympic Island Festival. Of course that's just speculation but I'm sure some of us will be glued to the Olympic Island Concert website on January 11 at 7:30 pm EST when details of this year's Olympic Island Concert is announced. C'mon Pavement!

Against The Grain's been busy with concert announcements these days (and in the process providing me with much thinking to do about what shows I might take in - and just when I thought I might take it easy this year)

With the assistance of Beck's backing band, Parisian singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg plays the Phoenix on January 29, tickets $21.50 in advance($25 @ door), onsale Friday Jan 8 @ 8 am. Update: The show is cancelled. Bummer.

Cuff The Duke have introduced few more local dates including a stop at Lee's Palace on March 20. Tickets $15 in advance($18 @ door), onsale January 8 at 8 am.

Nada Surf will be promoting a new covers record entitled "If I Had a Hi Fi" and taking it on the road including a stop at Lee's Palace on March 29. Tickets $16.50 in advance($20 @ door), onsale January 8 at 8 am.

Vampire Weekend played live on Letterman yesterday in promotion of their new album "Contra" (out next week) and are hitting the road soon. Big enough to play Sound Academy in Toronto? We'll see - they're booked for a show there on March 30. Tickets $27.50 in advance($35 @ door), all-ages/licensed, onsale January 8.

I always assumed band A Sunny Day In Glasgow, where y'know, from Glasgow and I'd imagined them to be indiepop. OK, so they're from Philadephia, and their music's described as using "samples, guitars, and melodies". Lest not judge a book by it's cover anymore - they'll be playing The Garrison on April 2, tickets $10 in advance($12 @ door).

Polyvinyl will be releasing Sweden's Love Is All's third album "Two Thousand and Ten Injuries" on March 23, with the band touring thereafter. They'll be joining Japandroids on April 3 at the Horseshoe. Tickets a measly $12 in advance($15 @ door), onsale January 7.

Owen Pallett will give fans a 2nd chance to see him live(for those unlucky not to get a ticket to his sold out show at The Mod Club next week on January 12) when he plays a significantly larger show at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8. Tickets $25 in advance($30 @ door), all-ages/licensed, onsale January 7.

So it seems to be confirmed now that UK's The xx will be playing with jj on April 4 at Lee's Palace as both record label Beggars Group Canada and booker The Windish Agency are listing it.

On Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 8 pm, Eye Weekly's Stuart Berman will be hosting a free event, Inside The Musician's Studio, down at the Harbourfront Centre Brigantine Room featuring The Happiness Project in performance and interview. And again, it's FREE. Here's a link to the Facebook event details.

While not much CMW/Canadian Musicfest scheduling info has yet to be released, Billions is listing a March 12 show at Lee's Palace which I'm guessing is a CMW-related event and as lineups go it's fantastic - the bill will include Plants and Animals, The Acorn, Russian Futurists, Winter Gloves, and Think About Life. As with CMW usually, I fully expect brief sets at most but that night should still be a good time. Although I don't usually like to stay in one venue during CMW for an entire night, I could definitely imagine making an exception that night.

According to Pollstar, The English Beat return for at show at Lee's Palace on May 18.

Cleveland's enigmatic Baby Dee plays The Music Gallery on April 13. Via The Windish Agency.

chartattack reports that The New Pornographers' Carl Newman had tweeted on January 1 that the recording of the new New Porns' album has been completed. No confirmed release date as of yet but charttack does say the band want to release it this year.