Thursday, April 25, 2013

Canadian Musicfest - BADBADNOTGOOD, Cookie Duster @ Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto (March 23, 2013)

Cookie Duster: photo by Michael Ligon
  Cookie Duster: photo by Michael Ligon

It took a while but here's the last part of my coverage of this year's Canadian Musicfest. I ended this year's festival, as a traditionally do, on the Saturday night and dropped anchor at the Horseshoe Tavern for two sets. At about a quarter past eleven, Toronto's Cookie Duster took to the stage. You can read up on the history of the band here but this is the project of Brendan Canning(of Broken Social Scene) and Bernard Maiezza, and the current lineup includes Jeen O'Brien, guitarist Matt Murphy(of Superfriendz) and drummer Damon Richardson (Danko Jones). I couldn't help but feel an Emily-Haines vibe emanating from vocalist O'Brien - she sang wide-mouthed with enthusiasm, and perhaps not as much swagger as Haines, but it appeared she was trying. It wasn't hard to imagine some of these songs as Broken Social Scene songs - songs that went from sprawling, to groove-based, and others which definitely presented their distinct pop choruses. The band's single "Two Feet Stand Up" from the lineup's 2012 full-length LP When Flying Was Easy was one of the more infectious songs I'd heard in a long time and I was glad to hear it live. Not everything was as instantly catching as that but in the end I thought the variety was refreshing. While one might think of the band as a supergroup of sorts, I really felt the members gelled well together.

Photos: Cookie Duster @ Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto (March 23, 2013)
Facebook: Cookie Duster
Twitter: Cookie Duster
Video: Cookie Duster - Two Feet Stand Up (Official Video)

BADBADNOTGOOD: photo by Michael Ligon
  BADBADNOTGOOD: photo by Michael Ligon

With Cookie Duster's competent warm-up, I was ready to end the night with Toronto's BADBADNOTGOOD. Having missed seeing them live on numerous occasions, I made up my mind that this would be the night I would finally catch them. Comprised of Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alexander Sowinski on drums, and on that night also including a Leland Whitty on sax and flute, the band worked the crowd hard with their sublime mix of free jazz, hip hop, groove. This was the band's first show ever at the Horseshoe Tavern, and there were moments of intense feeling in the crowd as individuals tried, with only partial success, to get a mosh pit going. As the band approached the conclusion of their set and appropriately prepped the crowd for one final blast of their sonic, almost punk-ish, fury, the crowd took the cue, a mosh pit broke out and in a fit of spontaneity I threw myself into it. Not the first time I've done that but not something I've done very often either, and but the rush you get from it is unlike no other. Yes, I ended up spraining my right foot [I think somebody stepped on my foot] and it took me several days before the pain subsided to a tolerable level, but it was totally worth it.

Photos: BADBADNOTGOOD @ Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto (March 23, 2013)
Video: BADBADNOTGOOD - UWM (Feat. Leland Whitty)
MP3: BADBADNOTGOOD - BBNG2 (full album) *

* or go to the band's website to download BBNG2 in CD quality format

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