February 26, 2009
Tomorrow, (27 Feb), Hand Drawn Dracula labelmates Brian Borcherdt and Julie Fader (whom I previously talked about here) will be coming to the Grad Club for an intimate, quite, and amazingly beautiful night of music.
Borcherdt was last through town with Plants and Animals in November where he played some material off his fantastic new album Coyotes. The electronics found on The Remains of Brian Borcherdt albums are missing from this record leaving it a rather minimalist affair. Restrained strumming and Borcherdt’s exposed vocals, accompanied by occasional flourishes of strings and haunting backing vocals, are simply yet effective in conveying Borcherdt’s raw narratives. It is an intimate, devastating, evocative, wonderful record.
Brian Borcherdt and Julie Fader have only two dates left on their tour together and then it appears that Borcherdt will be in the UK in the spring (and he will be back in Kingston on March 16th playing with Holy Fuck – tickets are still available but will almost certainly sell out so get ‘em quick) and Fader will be touring most of the known universe with Great Lake Swimmers. Check them out if you have the chance (visit his/her myspace for full dates).
27 Feb 2009 The Grad Club Kingston (BB+JF)
28 Feb 2009 Montreal House (All Ages Early Show), Peterborough (BB+JF)
15 May 2009 The Great Escape Festival, Brighton (BB)
Here are a couple of tracks from Borcherdt’s November show – two that are on ‘Coyotes” and one awesome cover of a song by Mr. Go-For-a-Soda himself which is pretty much too awesome for words.
Brian Borcherdt, Grad Club, Kingston, 22 November 2008
There’s only a few days left to get your entries in for the Shout Out Out Out Out Contest - email me with “SOOOO contest” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be entered to win their new record. It is just that easy.
February 24, 2009
Tonight at the Pete Samples show I talked about on the weekend, the Apple Crisp Records Compilation and Zine will be launched and you can pick it up at the show for a mere $10 (it will be on sale at Novel Idea and other local retailers for $15). This 9 song collection showcases the strength and diversity of the local music scene which is producing some exceptionally exciting music. The compilation features the electro-dance rockers Magic Jordan (the build on “Running for Our Lives” is astounding); the brash high-hat and deadpan delivery of False Face; atmospheric glitch from The House Is Black; singer-songwriters with a difference Nich Worby and PS I Love You – both of whom get better and better with each release and each time I see them; gorgeous tracks from the rootsy, folksy Christina Foster and Rueben deGroot; a stunning track from The Gertrudes who are tough to characterize – with their olde tyme aesthetic which mixes with electronics and theremin (!) – but who produce beautiful songs filled with banjo, harmonies, horns and the most wonderfully unexpected sci-fi touches; and the amazing ambient sound sculptors TimKnightUs. As for the Zine in which the CD comes packaged, it is beautifully constructed and features insights into the Kingston scene, charming dispatches, observations, and notes, along with wonderful photography and art. I highly recommend you pick up the album/zine and get brought up to speed about the amazing art – aural, visual, and textual – that is being produced in Kingston. Here is one track from the record – be sure to come out to Next Church tonight to grab yourself a copy to hear the rest.
*The Gertrudes – Turn Out The Lights
I’ll be speaking about this in more depth in the coming weeks but I thought now was a good time as any to let you know that you need to mark your calendars for the spectacular (and free!) Apple Crisp Festival which will run from March 17th to 20th and which will feature most of the acts on the Apple Crisp sampler as well as B(oot)log favs like Entire Cities and Rock Plaza Central. Its going to be awesome.
February 22, 2009
This Tuesday, another fine installment of the all-ages Apple Crisp Music Series is taking place at the Next Church. Headlining will be Pete Samples who will be joined by locals TimKnightUs and The Day Before Next. That is a whole lot of music for only $5 – but be sure to bring a few extra dollars to buy some tasty apple crisp as well as the Apple Crisp Records Sampler & Zine which is being launched at the show (more on that later).
Samples (aka Brent Freedman) produces really lovely, delicately electronic music. His latest albums are available online for FREE and they are well worth scooting over to his webpage to check out. Here is one track from the gorgeous mini-album “The Jumper Cables” which was released this past summer:
The Jumper Cables is a meticulously crafted gem of a record. Samples pieces together the six dreamy tracks from layers of electronics, soft – almost whispered – vocals, acoustic guitar, and glockenspiel which adds a child-like innocence to it all. It is going to be amazing to watch him piece it all together live onstage.
Feb 24 – Kingston – Next Church – Apple Crisp Presents
Mar 1 – Toronto – Sneaky Dee’s – Wavelength Music Series
Mar 14 – Montreal – Venue TBA – Art Matters Festival Closing Party
You can get PS’s music digitally at Zunior.
(photo by BK from SOOOO’s myspace)
Edmonton’s Shout Out Out Out Out are releasing their follow up to 2006′s excellent “Not Saying/Just Saying.” Their sophomore effort is a slamming record entitled “Reintegration Time” that has all the analogue synths, driving bass lines, robo-vocals, and double-action drumming that you could possibly hope for.
The record starts with the anthemic “Run” which appears to signal a departure in tone for the ShoutSet, the swelling synths seem a world away from the pessimism of “Forever Indebted”. Never fear, however, nothing is glossy nor pristine for the Edmonton sextet and once the vocoder-enhanced vocals of Nik Kozub hit in “Guilt Trips Sink Ships” you realize that their disillusionment with the modern world remains firmly intact. The big beats and dirty synths of bring us back to where we want to be – drunk and on the dance floor – but this time around we can unashamedly allow a hint of a smile on our face. Overall, the production seems more robust on the new record, not exactly polished, but bigger and with even more complex layering of percussion, synths, and vocals than heard previously.
With a seemingly endless variety of keyboards at their disposal, “Reintegration Time” delivers ten unique cuts which nevertheless swirl and morph and blend from one track to the next across the album, presenting a unified vision. Standout tracks include the colossal two-part “How Do I Maintain” at the centre of the album, the simmering “Bad Choices,” “In the End It’s Your Friends” (which was released a few months ago as a split single with San Serac), and “Coming Home” featuring an amazing guest spot by Cadence Weapon (who remixes Shout Out Out Out Out on his ‘pay what you can’ Separation Anxiety mixtape which I highly recommend you pick up).
Here are a few sample tracks – check out their myspace for more:
* Guilt Trips Sink Ships
* Bad Choices
As long-time b(oot)log readers will know, SOOOO is no studio project. Eyewitness accounts relate the awesome mayhem inflicted by the band on unsuspecting audiences (go here for my recording of their 2006 stop in Kingston). They’re going on tour to support the record and it is going to be the hottest set of shows to hit your town this Winter. Here’s a preliminary list of dates (check out their site/space for full dates – including a bunch of shows in March which will take them to California, Colorado, Oregon, and, of course, they are SXSW’ing in Austin)
CD RELEASE SHOWS:
EDMONTON, AB: The Starlight Room, February 28
EDMONTON, AB: The Starlight Room, March 1
CALGARY, AB: Warehouse, March 5
SASKATOON, SK: Louis’ Pub, April 21
WINNIPEG, MB: Pyramid Cabaret, April 22
TORONTO, ON: Lee’s Palace, April 25
LONDON, ON: Call The Office, April 27
WATERLOO, ON: Starlight Room, April 28
OTTAWA, ON: Babylon, April 29
MONTREAL, PQ: La Sala Rosa, April 30
It has been quite a while since we’re run a contest here and so it is high time we get free stuff to you, our loyal readers. Thanks to our friends at Six Shooter, I have a copy of “Reintegration Time” for one lucky person. Entering is easy – just send me an email with “SOOOO contest” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body to email@example.com and I will chose the winner at random. The contest closes March 2nd at noon (EST) and I will announce the winner shortly thereafter. Best of luck.
The new record is out on March 3rd in Our Home and Native Land and will take the US by storm on May 5th. It will be released in CD and digital forms, and in a very extra special triple gatefold LP and will be available at Six Shooter Records or through SOOOO’s site (be sure to pick up their earlier releases and shirts and stuff if you don’t already have them in your possession) so head on over there to pick it up should you not win the copy from me.
February 20, 2009
Toronto troubadour Jason Collett hits the Grad Club stage (CBCRadio3 Spotlight TOP 10 best venue – vote to ensure your and my favourite spot hits number one!) TOMORROW for what will undoubtedly be a fantastic show. There are only a few tickets left so be sure to act fast and get yours to prevent disappointment. Collett regularly plays Kingston and seems right at home at the Grad Club. He always plays wonderful, long sets, drawing from his growing catalogue, and tells some of the best road stories of anyone I’ve seen (see here here and here for previous JC@theGC encounters). The last time I saw him play it was for a shortish set at the Wolfe Island Music Fest this past August. Collett was all business, tearing through eight songs before even speaking to the audience and then wrapped up with two more tunes to end his set. While it may not have been the epic show we are accustomed to, I can’t say I was disappointed. Collett offered the perfect soundtrack to sittin’ in a field, drinking beer, on a hot summer’s day. The set list was well chosen, with a focus on his more rockin’ tunes and included three new songs – which hopefully means that Collett is working on a follow-up to the fantastic Here’s To Being Here (although I couldn’t find much in the way of news regarding a new album). Collett is hitting Kingston and then is going on a quick tour of Ontario tour in March so if you are in the following cities be sure to check him out for yourself (full dates at his webpage):
February 21st, 2009 Kingston, The Grad Club
March 25th, 2009 Hamilton, The Casbah
March 26th, 2009 Guelph, Ebar
March 27th, 2009 London, ON Call The Office
March 28th, 2009 Peterborough, Montreal House
Jason Collett, Wolfe Island Music Festival, 9 August 2008
1. Roll On Oblivion
2. Hangover Days
3. Not Over You
4. “Northern Light Let Down” (title?)
5. Charlyn, Angel of Kensington
6. Brownie Hawkeye
7. Out of Time
8. “Love is a Chain” (title?)
9. a customs experience (talk)
10. A Love Song for Canada
11. thank you (talk)
12. I’ll Bring the Sun
Pick your Jason Collett cds and shirts from Arts & Crafts.
February 12, 2009
photo from 30 March 2007 at the Grad Club by Weekend Vagabond (and check out the stunning photos from NYC in November by gabi porter|ballulah).
Hello fellow dreamers and lovers,
There is no better place you could be this Valentine’s Day than in the Grand Theatre with Jill Barber. The whole world is starting to catch on to what we’ve been saying for ages – that Barber is absolutely, positively wonderful in every way, shape and form. What this means is that she is no longer playing the beloved Grad Club (which made Top 20 best live venue in Canada! Vote here to keep it in the race!) but has moved to a larger venue which will better help her sweep the masses off their feet.
Barber released a record last year called “Chances” which astounded me. Although I had heard a number of the songs live prior to their appearance on the album, I was not prepared for the evolution in the sound these songs would take. Taking her inspiration from wartime-era jazz, Barber turns the sultry up, way up, on this album. Featuring the clarinet, dramatic strings, lovely touches of piano, and close harmony backing vocals that channel the Andrews Sisters, she evokes a bygone age of beauty and sophistication. What has not changed one bit is Barber’s amazing, rich voice. It is a voice to slow-dance to, to fall in love to, and, occasionally, to console a broken heart with. ‘Chances’ was my favourite album of 2008 and I have no doubt will continue to be a favourite long into the future.
Jill Barber is starting a tour of Ontario & Quebec, starting off in Belleville TONIGHT at the Empire Theatre (it looks like there are still tickets available) where I will be seeing her (the first time seeing her perform outside of Kingston) as I will be out of town on Valentines. Do yourself a huge favour – go see her live for yourself. Full listings are available on Barber’s Myspace.
12 Feb 2009 The Empire Theatre, Belleville
13 Feb 2009 The Showplace Theatre, Peterborough
14 Feb 2009 Grand Theatre, Kingston
15 Feb 2009 Petit Campus, Montreal
18 Feb 2009 First Canadian Place, Toronto
19 Feb 2009 The Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield
20 Feb 2009 The Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield
21 Feb 2009 The Mod Club Theatre, Toronto with The Hyloziosts!
22 Feb 2009 Aeolian Hall, London
23 Feb 2009 Dublin United Church, Guelph
26 Feb 2009 Centre In The Square, Kitchener
27 Feb 2009 The Studio at Hamilton Place, Hamilton
Here are a few new songs and a few older ones, along with a cover, from the wonderful Sibling Rivalry Tour’s stop in Kingston last year. Enjoy.
February 11, 2009
Is it just me or is the pairing of Geoff Berner & Forest City Lovers, happening TOMORROW at The Artel is a strange mix? A wonderfully strange mix featuring two things which I adore but I just never would have guessed they would appear on the same bill. But there you go – I guess I just suffer from a lack of imagination. It is undoubtedly going to be a fantastic show featuring two great acts.
The Forest City Lovers’ latest record, Haunting Moon Sinking, released last year, is top-to-bottom lovely. It is filled with wonderfully lush pop, featuring strong vocals, wonderful melodies, and exceptionally tight musicianship which weaves gorgeous strings, straightforward but confident percussion, and unobtrusive guitar in their delicate but dense songs.
photo by Silje Ese Haugen from a show in Norway in 2005.
The other half of the double bill, is the accordion-wielding, whiskey drinking Geoff Berner, is touring to support of his new album “Klezmer Mongrels,” which was released in Canada at the end of January. This album is the third and final installment in the ‘Whiskey Rabbi’ trilogy. Berner, accompanied again by Diona Davies and Wayne Adams, delivers another astounding klezmer punk record filled with his poignant insights, acerbic wit, social commentary, and self-depreciating humour. Brash and beautiful, ‘Klezmer Mongrels’ is celebratory and funny, but there is a dark undercurrent that runs throughout. This comes to the fore in the devastating “One Shoe”, which highlights the abuse of Aboriginal people at the hands of the Saskatoon Police, and continued in the dirge-like “Higher Ground”. But Berner ends on a lighthearted note with his joyous, tongue-in-cheek linguistic lesson “Fukher”. This record is raucous, smart, and funny – all the things I love most about Berner’s music.
Forest City Lovers and Geoff Berner have a few dates on their tour left (posted below) and then Berner will be continuing on out East, then out West, then to Europe. See his website for full dates.
Feb. 12 – Kingston, ON – The Artel
Feb. 13 – Wakefield, PQ – Black Sheep
Feb. 14 – Montreal, PQ – Casa Del Popolo
Be sure to pick up Klezmer Mongrels (physical - digital) and get yourself an awesome accordion shirt while you’re at it. Also, add Forest City Lovers’ wonderful albums to your collection (physical - digital).
February 9, 2009
photo of Jenn Grant @ The Grapes, Sheffield, 12 June 08, courtesy of Marie.
Last week, Jenn Grant released her second full-length album “Echoes“. As was the case with her previous album, the magnificent “Orchestra for the Moon“, Grant’s vocals are absolutely stunning but, with Echoes, the songs are more personal and introspective. The instrumentation remains lush but, overall, it is not as joyous as we heard previously. Grant has said that this is a breakup record, and the album certainly charts an emotional journey without ever becoming cloying or pitiful. Her poignant lyrics are delivered with grace as she allows her voice to provide listeners with some insight into her emotional state. The album is filled with lovely harmonizing (see especially ‘Parachutes’ and the sprightly ‘(I’ve Got) The Two of You’) and the backing music adds subtle texture – I am particularly fond of the bass clarinet and strings which appear throughout the record – while letting her vocals shine.
The East Coast has produced many great singer-songwriters in the recent past and, with ‘Echoes’, Grant proves that she is among the best.
Jenn Grant is going to be all over the place in the next month an a bit with dates in Ontario, the Maritimes, the US and across the pond (but sadly not in Kingston this time around) so be sure to check her out live if you can. Full dates at her myspace.
02.11.09 – Charlottetown, PEI – The Mack
02.12.09 – Toronto, ON – The Mod Club (Early show!)
02.13.09 – Montreal, QC – The Green Mile w/ Mark Berube
02.14.09 – Wakefield, QC – Blacksheep Inn
02.15.09 – Halifax, NS – Rebecca Cohn Theatre
02.18.09 – Sheffield, UK – The Grapes
02.21.09 – Newcastle, UK – Studio in Live Theatre
02.25.09 – London, UK – The Macbeth
02.27.09 – Brighton, UK – TBA
03.14.09 – Toronto ON – CMW, The Reverb w/Melissa McClelland, Amelia Curran, Wendy McNeill and Moriarty
03.19.09 – Austin TX – SXSW, Velveeta Room, Thursday – Six Shooter Records showcase
Here are two tracks off the album for your listening pleasure: