August 3, 2011
Photo by Mint Records
I happened to be in Montreal this year when the extravaganza known as Pop Montreal was on. That meant I was able to attend a few wonderful things, including the Pop BBQ put on by Mint Records, Fuzzy Logic Records, Out of This Spark, and Do Right! Music. In addition to tasty food, there was all sorts of tasty musical treats.
My favourite was the Out of This Spark Family Band which featured members of The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers, and Evening Hymns. Since these latter two bands will be hitting the Wolfe Island Music Fest stage THIS WEEKEND I thought it would be a great time to post this short but extremely fun set.
As you can see, they played only one FCL song and the covers that made up the rest of the set are delightfully all over the map. Enjoy & I’ll see you at WIMF this weekend.
The OOTS Family Band, Pop Montreal BBQ, Notman House, Montreal, 2 October 2010
Buy Forest City Lovers, Evening Hymns, & The D’Urbervilles records from Out of This Spark (via Gallery AC)
May 21, 2011
The Provincial Archive playing The Provincial Archives of Manitoba, 14 May 2011 (photo by Robert Szkolnick)
Hello my friends,
It has been much too long. I haven’t forgotten about you but I have had less time to devote to b(oot)log. I imagine things will pick up as Wolfe Island Music Fest is fast approaching — get your earlybird tickets now!.
Before we get to talking about that, I thought I’d shake off the cobwebs by talking about a band who is playing The Mansion TONIGHT (May 21st) – The Provincial Archive.
This Edmonton band plays carefully crafted songs that are filled with literate lyrics. There is a indie folk sound to their music but they enrich it with electronic textures and careful use of keyboards, harmonium, banjo, sleigh bells etc which create a perfect atmosphere to accompany the intimate lyrics. They gently pace their songs, drawing you in with the words that feel like they are being softly spoken to you and then, at the right moment, the music rises, punctuating the sentiment.
The band is in the middle of their wonderfully appropriate “The Provincial Archive in The Provincial Archives” tour which is going across Canada and back. Be sure to catch them if they come to your town – particularly if they are visiting your local archives. Full dates/details can be found on their site.
May 21 | Kingston, ON | The Mansion
May 23 | Montreal, QC | Casa Del Popolo (w/ Charlotte Cornfield)
May 24 | Quebec City, QC | TBA
May 25 | Fredericton, NB | The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
May 26 | Saint John, NB | The Sunstar Lounge More
May 27 | Moncton, NB | Plan B Lounge
May 28 | Halifax, NS | Nova Scotia Archives
May 30 | St. John’s, NL | The Rooms Provincial Archives
May 31 | Charlottetown, PEI | Baba’s Lounge More
June 1 | Qubec, QC | L’agitée
June 2 | Ottawa, ON | Zaphod Beeblebrox
June 3 | Wakefield, ON | Kaffe 1870
June 4 | Sault Ste. Marie, ON | Loplop Lounge & Gallery
June 5 | Thunder Bay, ON | Crocks
June 6 | Winnipeg, MB | The Lo Pub
June 7 | Regina, SK | Saskatchewan Archives Board (Private Performance)
June 7 | Regina, SK | The Exchange, Presented by The Saskatchewan Archives Board
June 9 | Calgary, AB | Broken City
June 10 | Kelowna, BC | TBA
June 11 | Vancouver, BC | Railway Club
June 12 | Victoria, BC | The British Columbia Archives
They played a lovely (if sparsely attended) show at The Mansion last summer. Despite facing a series of unfortunate events leading up to their show, they played a tight set drawing from their two LPs. Here’s my recording of it. Enjoy & be sure to get out there and see them live for yourself.
The Provincial Archive, The Mansion, Kingston, 10 August 2010
1. a real sad story (talk)
2. Art Museums and Tourist Traps
3. Wait and Sea
4. Acquaintances And Lovers
5. stolen passport (talk)
6. Draw an Outline
7. Stammered Words
8. switchspots (talk)
9. I’m a Believer!
10. bear arms (talk)
11. On The Literate
12. one hundred copies (talk)
13. Trading Thrills
February 23, 2011
photo by SarahBrideau.com from 2008 (in Montreal?)
It is a good time to exist my friends, because The Luyas‘ stunning new record “Too Beautiful to Work” was released yesterday and our ears are filled with wonderful sounds. Mysterious, haunting, beautiful sounds unlike anything else you are likely to encounter.
You should go, now, to Idée Fixe Records where you can stream the full album, download two tracks and where you can, nay must!, buy it.
There is a dreamy quality that coats the album. Jessie Stein’s unique voice reaches out plaintively as the music swirls and builds, until things become urgent – like at the 1:41 mark of “Worth Mentioning” where bells ring and penetrating drumming kick in propelling the vocals along. The shifts in the record – from lush to chaotic – make for some extremely memorable moments. The listener is kept off balance and alert, waiting for the next shift or surprise. And there are so many wonderful surprises here. Strange sounds permeate the record – is it effects-laden frenchhorn? the mythical moodswinger? strings or keyboards or horns or something else entirely? The listener is frequently left guessing. Lyrics are repeated, the words gaining meaning each time they are said, each time a new layer of sound is placed behind or over them.
The records is precisely crafted. With so many intricate pieces fitting together, with so many places where the seams could split apart, all the sounds are marshaled together without things feeling constrained. This delicate balance that is achieved on TBTW, between the chaotic and the restrained, makes the record so special.
Back in 2007 I said that The Luyas “are jubilant and terrified, strange and wonderful.” I think this is as applicable to TBTW as it was to “Faker Death“, perhaps, though, more jubilant than terrified but still strangely wondrous and wonderfully strange. They are more confident and commanding without losing their sense of awe or their willingness to joyfully explore dark corners.
The Luyas are embarking on a tour. You should go see them if they wander into your neighbourhood. They are playing many places Canada & the United States & Europe. They aren’t playing Kingston again, at the moment, but perhaps they will stop by soon. Here are some of their upcoming dates. See their site for full listings.
02/24 Montreal, QC- La Sala Rossa02/26 Quebec City, QC- Le Cercle03/04 Charlottesville, VA- Jefferson Theatre w/ Ra Ra Riot03/06 Jacksonville, FL- Jack Rabbits w/ Ra Ra Riot03/07 Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Culture Room w/ Ra Ra Riot03/08 Orlando, FL- The Social w/ Ra Ra Riot03/09 Tampa, FL- Crowbar w/ Ra Ra Riot03/11 New Orleans, LA- One Eyed Jacks w/ Ra Ra Riot, Givers03/12 Baton Rouge, LA- Spanish Moon w/ Ra Ra Riot03/14- 03/20- Austin, TX- South By Southwest
For Pop Montreal, The Luyas created an installation/performance space/event called “Everything is Outta Sight”. They made an enchanted forest from paper and lights. The evening was filmed and it can now be viewed here:
A year ago I saw The Luyas perform – they were haunting a stunning church. I have put some of the tracks online previously, but here is the full set. Enjoy.
The Luyas, Sydenham St. United Church, Kingston 2 February 2010
1. Cold Canada
2. makes you blind (talk)
3. Tiny Head
4. Dumb Blood
5. alright? (talk)
6. Seeing Things
9. Pietro walks (talk)
10. I Need Mirrors
11. kind ladies and sirs (talk)
12. Worth Mentioning
February 12, 2011
Jim Bryson and his friends The Weakerthans are coming to town tonight. However, if you don’t have your ticket already you are out of luck ’cause the show is sold out.
If you are like me and don’t have a ticket you are probably going to miss a great show. Maybe you were lucky enough to see them play at the Wolfe Island Music Fest this summer. If so, they you know that Bryson sings down to earth tunes with a rich, unassuming voice. They are melancholic and wistful but he is not defeated. Bryson picks himself up and continues on, no matter what life throws at him.
After Kingston, Bryson & The Weakerthans are heading out west. Go see them if you have the chance. Check out his website for full details.
Feb 12th, The Grad Club Kingston, ON (sold out)
Feb 25th, The Royal Nelson, BC
Feb 26th,The Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver
Feb 27th, Sugar Nightclub, Victoria
March 1st, Myer Horowitz Theatre, Edmonton
March 2nd, Communitea Café, Canmore
March 3rd, The Gateway Bar – SAIT Campus, Calgary
March 4th, Amigos Cantina, Saskatoon
March 5th, West End Cultural Center, Winnipeg
March 6th, Falcon Trails Resort, Falcon Lake, MB
Jim Bryson & The Weakerthans, Wolfe Island Music Fest, 7 August 2010
Get yourself the great Falcon Lake Incident & other stuff here.
February 4, 2011
(photo of The Phonemes, with Owen Pallett, at the Tranzac 2007.)
The Phonemes are in no rush. They (really, she, Magali Meagher, with help from her friends) took three years between releasing her EP and her LP and it has been over three years since that wonderful album “There’s something we’ve been meaning to do”” came out. I am hoping that there will be a new album soon but I am more than willing to wait for what comes next.
The Phonemes create delicate, intricate pop songs which, understandably, do not spring forth fully formed. A stunning song like “Plate Dance”, with its restraint and refinement is not something that occurs by chance. No, The Phonemes are deliberate and slow paced. While this may be frustrating for a listener, who wishes that more and more and moremoremore of their songs will pour out of speakers and headphones, in the end, it is worth the wait.
When I saw them for the first time, there was just Meagher. Some of the understated lushness found on her recordings was absent, but her lovely pop songs shone. Accompanied on the records by friends who bring strings and drums and harmonies, The Phonemes have an intriguing complexity. For all that these additional players add to the recordings, live, they are not needed. Alone with her guitar onstage, Meagher performed with a modest confidence. She transfixed the audience with an intimate (and at times interactive – for “Steeples + Peoples” she passed out pages from a newspaper to be rustled by people in the crowd, while others clapped, adding wonderful texture to the song) set. Her rich, innocent voice and unadorned guitar were all we needed and more than we hoped for. Below are a few tracks recorded from that night. I hope you enjoy them.
The Phonemes will be playing tomorrow, Feb 5th at The Mansion with Random Recipe and Kingston’s own Monuments & Statues. This is The Phonemes last show at the moment but be sure to keep up to date on their site.
The Phonemes, Grad Club, Kingston, 19 September 2009
February 1, 2011
Julie Doiron‘s songs are like short stories: small gestures filled with emotion. Quick and to the point, they are devoid of filler, and they rapidly immerse you into their world. Her songs are given power by their brevity. They provide dark glimpses into a life where regret, longing, and desire are expressed – at times quietly, at times amplified by rage and desperation. Light shines through, though, at times, and memories of moments of tenderness and contentment help to make the dark times bearable. Whether she is singing about intensely private matters (heartbreak) or the simply comforts (returning home after an absence) Julie Doiron’s compact narratives are always engaging and affecting.
Here are a few songs from the last time Doiron played the Grad Club. She played most of her fantastic album “I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day” along with a bunch of older songs and Fred Squire took the mic for three songs. It was a really fantastic, intimate set. I have no doubt tonight’s show will be just as good. Last I heard, tickets were still available (although probably not online anymore). Find upcoming dates on her site:
02/01/11 Kingston, Grad Club
02/02/11 Peterborough,Red Dog
02/03/11 Toronto, Horseshoe Tavern
02/04/11 Ottawa, Mavericks
02/05/11 Montreal, Il Motore
02/08/11 Hamilton, The Casbah
Julie Doiron, Grad Club, Kingston, 27 March 2009
A lovely track from Little Scream who will be opening (from “The Golden Record” – to be released April 12th, 2011 by Outside Music)
* Little Scream, The Heron and the Fox
January 26, 2011
Toronto’s Entire Cities released a new album in December – it is called “I Hope You Never Come Home” and it is pretty darn fantastic so I hope you bring it into your home. I’ve seen the band a bunch of times live and love their ep and previous album. Their new record confirms their place as one of my favourite bands.
The band may be best know for their boisterous “Dancing With My Brother,” but, as much as I love that song, it is the softer moments that I have really come to appreciate. They have an amazing ability to balance the tender and the rowdy and, in doing so, write songs that are extremely compelling.
There a lot of really delicate moments on many of the songs on the new record, often springing out of the vocal duets of Simon Borer and Tamara Lindeman (such as on “A Coat of Loup Garou” and “Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear”) and the great harmonies (especially on the closing track “Predator Song”). Along with these lovely touches, however, there are plenty of footstomping to be found on the album – particularly in “A Closed Hand.”
The best parts of the album are where the band shift tones and tempos, a tactic employed across the record. Their track “Zombie Song (Dream Logic)” is where this is used to great effect, where a theremin (? I think), breaks in half-way through the song and it goes off in a different direction from where it began, then coming back with squealing guitars and crashing cymbals by the end.
The production – by Ohbijou’s Heather Kirby – is fantastic. The seven-piece band brings a lot to the table and the sound is spot on throughout. Appearances of organ, banjo, flute and trumpet appear as needed at just the right level. The vocals are crisp and clear and the drumming is present without being overwhelming. It is a great sounding record which deserves to be turned up loud.
Entire Cities are smart without being pretentious; thoughtful while remaining rowdy. This is an album full of hard-won joy.
They are playing THIS SATURDAY at The Mansion (details) with The New Country Rehab. It is only $5! Go, see a great live band and pick up their great new record. More upcoming dates can be found on their site.
Jan 29 – Kingston (The Mansion)
Feb 3 – Toronto (Imperial Pub)
Feb 4 – Ottawa (LiveLounge)
Feb 6 – Windsor (Phog Lounge)
Feb 19 – Toronto (The Rivoli)
I previously posted a few tracks from the last time I saw the band. Here is the full set, which includes two songs off their new record (tracks 8 & 14). There is a bit of chatter (particularly during the cover) but it was a really fun show so I thought I’d post the full thing. For one of my all-time favourite shows, check out their 2007 Grad Club set.
Apple Crisp Music Festival, Next Church, Kingston, 20 March 2009
2. Skeleton Park (talk)
3. Cop Song
4. Dancing With My Brother
6. Accountant’s Dream
8. In Octopus Country
11. a cover (talk)
12. Feel It All (Feist cover)
14. Zombie Song (Dream Logic)
15. new friend (talk
16. Waiting (2000 Years)
December 30, 2010
The hottest spot for New Year’s Eve in Kingston this year is undoubtedly The Mansion with PS I Love You. They’ve had an unbelievable year and it seems fitting that they will be closing it out with a hometown show.
The year that was 2010 started off pretty amazing for the band with P4K finally flipping over the Diamond Rings/PS I Love You 7″ and giving “Facelove” the love it deserves in January. They released a single in March, toured – not only outside of the 613 but extensively – and released their full-length in October on the respected label Paper Bag Records. That record, Meet Me at the Muster Station, is making all sorts of Best of 2010 lists for good reason.
If you can, check PS I Love You out on New Year’s. For all up coming dates see their myspace.
-Dec. 31 w/ Cherry Chapstick @ The Mansion, Kingston
-Jan 15 w/ Two Door Cinema Club + TokyoPolice Club @ Koolhaus, Toronto
-Jan 16 w/ Two Door Cinema Club + TokyoPolice Club @ Club Soda, Montreal
They played as part of the 2009 Salvation Army Winter Relief Benefit. Here is their (very, very short) set from a year ago. Enjoy & Happy New Year’s.
PS I Love You, Salvation Army Winter Relief Benefit, The Mansion, 22 December 2009 (early show)
Get yourself the LP, the EP, the single, the shirts etc etc at Paper Bag. If you act quick (before Jan. 2) you can get free shipping and 30% off your order, using the code BOXINGDAY. Go! Shop! [note: the first vinyl pressing of the album is now sold out but I am told that a new pressing (green!) is on its way]
December 21, 2010
Just a reminder that this year’s Salvation Army Winter Relief Benefit is taking place TONIGHT at Zappa’s Lounge. Get out there and enjoy the best thing about Kingston in December.
Last year’s event was a little different than previous years – new venue & two shows – but it featured all the things you come to expect from a Winter Relief Benefit after 15 years: great local musicians, cover songs, folks hopping onstage to give a helping hand when needed, and good times had by all. I attended the early show which did not have a proper Weeping Tile set, but Sarah Harmer did treat us to a nice selection of (mostly cover) songs. She started off with the absolutely lovely “Huron Carol” – which dates back, amazingly, to 1643.
Happy Holidays everyone.
Sarah Harmer, Salvation Army Winter Relief Benefit, The Mansion, 22 December 2009 (early show)
Donate to the Salvation Army.
November 23, 2010
This Thursday night there is a killer line up at the Mansion. Steven McKay, Wax Mannequin, & Doctor Ew are playing as well as the freaking amazing BA Johnston (although BA is playing downstairs – check with The Mansion to see if you can see both shows). I saw Dr. Ew at Pop Montreal and they were a lot of fun, Wax Mannequin is always weird and wonderful, and Steven McKay, who recently released a great self-titled album, is not to be missed.
McKay stole the show when he opened for the Forest City Lovers back in September. He has an easy, warm stage manner which enthralled and amused the Saturday night crowd. He is no stranger to Kingston, having lived her for a couple of years (the song “You May Be Dirty…”, below, is about the Limestone City), and he was right at home back on the Grad Club’s stage. In addition to some of the best banter I’ve heard in quite some time, McKay is a great songwriter whose rich-voiced delivery is exceptionally inviting. There is an earnestness to his songs but he avoids being overbearing with touches of humour. His new record fantastically produced, featuring great vocal harmonies (and some really impressive whistling) and a warm AM gold sound.
There are a few dates left on his current tour and he will be back on the road in the new year so watch his site for details.
- Nov 25th – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
- Nov 26th – Hamilton, ON @ The Casbah Lounge
- Nov 27th – Waterloo, ON @ The Grist Mill
Steven McKay, The Grad Club, Kingston, 18 September 2010
Buy McKay’s self-titled record from the Fuzzy Logic shop or, better yet, go to the show and get the deluxe edition which features a beautiful photo postcards to go along with each song.