January 11, 2007

Rock Plaza Central – a few tracks, a few dates

Posted in bootleg, mp3, mumbling at 1:12 pm by rgsc

Following up on the As the Poets Affirm post from last weekend, I wanted to talk a bit about the headliner for the second day (this saturday) of MockingMusic Weekend Showcase: Rock Plaza Central.

When a copy of their new album “Are We Not Horses” fell into my hands I didn’t really know anything about Rock Plaza Central. Upon the first listen, I was confused (robot horses???Whaa???) but hooked nevertheless. It took a while to figure out what they are going on about (a post-apocalyptic future where robotic horses, who think they are real, are victorious in a battle against angels…or something along those lines) so thankfully this is a record that lends itself to repeat listens. The music is as complex and wonderful as the lyrics. While the subject matter is science fiction the sound is Americana (Canadiana? they are from Toronto, after all). But this is not your standard country-folk: along with guitar, banjo, mandolin and the other usual suspects, the sound is filled out with xylophone and shakers and a grade 3 choir and horns, amazing horns, which serve to build and build and then blast out in emphasis. The record is almost bipolar in tone, moving from moments of defeat and exasperation, found in lines like “…should tonight we die tonight, dear, there will be nothing left” (on “How Shall I To Heaven Aspire?”), to defiant jubilation with “Be joyful/My children be joyful!” a moment later. An album that deals with existential crises of robot horses (see the title track) is certainly a rare thing and if the theme sounds a bit odd or confusing don’t let it be off-putting. Rock Plaza Central has created an dazzling soundtrack to their unique, finely crafted fantasy world.

They are on the road for the next month or so, so be sure to check them out if you can here:

Saturday, Jan 13, 2007
Ottawa at Zaphod’s w/ As the Poets Affirm and My Dad vs Yours

Thursday, Jan 18, 2007
Guelph at E-Bar w/ The Constantines

Saturday, Jan 27, 2007
Montreal at Main Hall (5390 St. Laurent) w/ Oxford Collapse

Sunday, Jan 28, 2007
Toronto at Lee’s Palace w/ Oxford Collapse and Thunderbirds Are Now

Feb 17, 2007
NYC at The Glasslands (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) w/ Oxford Collapse and Meneguar

Of course I can’t leave you without posting a few tracks. These come from RPC’s visit to Irene’s Pub in Ottawa, with my thanks to MockingMusic.

* 08/14/03 & Our Hearts Will Not Rust.mp3

* When We Go, How We Go (Part II).mp3

* Anthem For the Alread Defeated.mp3

and of course, courtesy of CokeMachineGlow, via Pitchfork

* SexyBack(JT cover).mp3

Find more music here and here. Buy this fantastic record from Zunior or go to Outside Music for a physical copy.

I am loving the posters for the MM shows:


  1. […] a while may know that I am rather fond of Toronto’s Rock Plaza Central, who I talked about here and posted a live set here. My 2007 was bookended by RPC shows: I saw them in Ottawa in January and […]

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