Friday, April 05, 2013

Canadian Musicfest -- Mise En Scene @ Sonic Boom and Model Citizen, Toronto (March 22, 2013)

Mise En Scene: photo by Michael Ligon
  Mise En Scene: photo by Michael Ligon

What Canadian Musicfest could perhaps benefit from is alternate venues for bands to play in like instores. I'm kind of surprised that more unofficial in-stores / performances aren't organized around Canadian Music Week like what has happened, especially in recent years, during NXNE. Well, I guess NXNE's warmer weather does help. Local artist & brand development company Audio Blood were in charge of Canadian Musicfest's social media and also organized a bunch of instores at several different locations under the banner of CMW EXTRAS, giving some of the artist/band participants more opportunities for exposure. On the Thursday night of the schedule at 11 pm was the only official CMW set for Winnipeg female guitar/drums duo Mise En Scene but with having to work the next day, I wasn't particularly motivated to stay downtown and have to commute back to the burbs late for a second night in a row. However, since I knew Mise En Scene were going to be playing a few in-stores the next day, I didn't feel too bad for not going to their Thursday night set at the Bovine Sex Club.

That Friday, Mise En Scene had two instores - one just after work around 5 pm at Sonic Boom and then later that night around 8:30 pm at a clothing store in Kensington Market called Model Citizen, both of which I attended. The duo, consisting of Stefanie Blondal Johnson (guitar/vocals) and Jodi Dunlop (drums), were increased to a three-piece with a gent on bass for their Model Citizen in-store. Just when I thought the guitar / drums rock duo thing had been done to death, here comes along these gals who impressed the hell out of me. And no it's not just that they're cute girls (although that doesn't hurt). Musically, they reminded me of bands like Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast, Johnson with her bare bones guitar strumming and Dunlop with her tight and energetic drumming. The gals performed a great set of melodic tunes, showcasing a variety of musical styles including punk, garage and 60's pop. The better set of the two that day was in my opinion the one at Model Citizen. In the more intimate surroundings of Model Citizen, the band's energy was palpable and front-woman Johnson's enthusiasm was apparent as she got the crowd on-hand clapping. The band's debut full-length Desire’s Despair was released late 2012. In the end, it's only rock n' roll and from what I've heard, it's a fine effort.

Photos: Mise En Scene @ Sonic Boom, Toronto (March 22, 2013)
Photos: Mise En Scene @ Model Citizen, Toronto (March 22, 2013)
Facebook: Mise En Scene
Twitter: Mise En Scene
Bandcamp: Mise En Scene
Video: Mise En Scene - "Hey Velvet" (music video)

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