July 30, 2008
photo by Lenny W taken at Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest on July 6, 2008
We are t-minus 10 days until the Wolfe Island Music Fest, folks. When planning your day be sure to get their early in the day because the lineup is great from the get-go. The fourth band on the bill, The Acorn, are definitely not to be missed. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time with the band’s latest release, Glory Hope Mountain, and have come to the conclusion that Rolf Klausener is fast proving himself to be one of the best storytellers in Canadian music. The album’s utterly compelling narrative is backed by instrumentation that is rich, layered, and influenced by an interesting array of sounds, including Honduran folk music. It is personal, powerful, and eminently enjoyable.
In addition to Wolfe Island, The Acorn are playing:
August 1st: SappyFest, Sackville NB
August 2nd: Quebec City 400th Anniversary, Quebec QC
August 9th-10th: Wolfe Island Festival, Kingston ON
Get out there and see them. Here is my recording of their show from Exclaim‘s Wood, Wire and Whisky tour in the fall. I think you will agree it was pretty darn great.
The Acorn, Grad Club, Kingston, 12 October 2007
1. Flood Pt. 1
2. Brokered Heart
4. six people (talk)
6. Kitchener’s more ‘street’ than Waterloo (talk)
8. drinking whiskey & tuning (talk)
9. Spring Thaw
10. time for one more (talk)
11. Crooked Legs
12. better than Montreal (talk)
13. Low Gravity
You can pick up The Acorn’s albums from Paper Bag Records.
July 23, 2008
photo of Jason Collett at the Grad Club on 26 November 2005 by Tamingnoise.
Imagine this: you are sitting in a field on a beautiful summer day, perhaps leaning back on a blanket. There are a few hundred people, hair tussled from a gorgeous ferry ride, along with kids and dogs. It is relaxed and relaxing. You have a cold beer in your hand because being ghettoized in a “beer tent” is for lame festivals. In the late afternoon/early evening, following on from Plants & Animals (whom I talked about last week), Jason Collett takes the stage. Sounds like a rather excellent way to spend a day, eh? It isn’t fantasy, folks, ’cause that and more is what is in store for you at the Wolfe Island Music Fest – which is just a shade over two weeks away. Are you getting excited? You should be.
Collett is one of the bigger names on the bill this year. I’m used to seeing him up-close and personal at ye olde Grad Club so it will be interesting to see him on a bigger stage. As he is no stranger to the festival (or any other) stage, I am sure he’s going to knock it out of the park.
Here are some upcoming tour dates (and see Collett’s website for full dates):
July 26th, Guelph – Hillside Festival
August 6th, Boston, MA – Museum of Fine Arts
August 7th, New York – Bowery Ballroom
August 9th, Wolfe Island, ON – Wolfe Island Music Festival
And, because it is what I do, here is the fantastic set from March in Kingston as part of the tour promoting his newest album Here’s To Being Here. He played a ton of new stuff, all the old favourites, and, as has become expected, was very warm and personable in his interactions with the crowd. Where the last time featured Collett+guitar, this time around he had a full band in tow and, as a result, this show was quite a bit more rocking. I think you will agree that it was a great evening. Enjoy.
Jason Collett, Grad Club, Kingston, 1 March 2008
1. Roll On Oblivion
2. wonderful place (talk)
4. We All Lose One Another
5. here’s to being in Kingston (talk)
6. Through the Night These Days
7. song for Henry Miller (talk)
8. Henry’s Song
9. Brownie Hawkeye
10. you’re doing sexy? (talk)
11. Hangover Days
12. bar band (talk)
13. Parry Sound
14. this song is for you, Kingston (talk)
15. No Redemption Song
16. Charlyn, Angel of Kensington
17. Out of Time
18. Pink Night
19. I like that part (talk)
20. Sorry Lori
21. scissor kicks (talk)
22. Waiting for the World
23. Pavement Puddle Stars
24. thanks (talk)
25. Not Over You
26. These Are The Days
27. Papercut Hearts
28. um (talk)
29. I’ll Bring the Sun
(and a bunch more live JC stuff can be found here)
Collett goodies – here. WIMF tickets – here. Go. Buy.
July 14, 2008
Howdy folks. We are just four short weeks away until the small town of Marysville on Wolfe Island (not to be confused with the other Marysville, which is located just east of Belleville) is invaded with some of the best bands around as the Wolfe Island Music Fest rocks and rolls for two days of awesomeness. Last year, my first, was stellar. With another great lineup, this year should be no different. Need a reminder of who is going to be there? ok, here it is:
August 8th (8:30pm)
The Town Hall Hootenanny featuring Carolyn Mark, Jenny Whiteley, Joey Wright, Luther Wright and friends and The Abrams Brothers.
August 8th (10:30)
Flying V Productions showcase at The General Wolfe Hotel
The Handsome Furs with special guests Magic Jordan
August 9th (1pm start)
Featuring (in reverse order):
Land of Talk
Plants and Animals
The D’Urbervilles [note: it was announced yesterday that The D’Urbs had to cancel due to illness. Ruby Coast has been added to the lineup]
P.S. I love you!
As I did last year, I’m going to feature a few of the bands that are going to be playing at the festival. I have seen most of the bands on the list – regular b(oot)log readers will note that a number of the bands that will be at WIMF have been featured here before – and I can tell you from first hand experience that the quality of acts that will be at the festival is pretty hard to beat. I haven’t seen Cadence Weapon yet and I think seeing him is what I am most anticipating this year. But I am really looking forward to pretty much all the acts especially this week’s feature:
(photo by Fireflyvt, at Divan Orange, Montreal, 17 Nov. 2007)
Montreal’s Plants and Animals. They blew me away in October when they opened for Elliot Brood (who have a new album out!) and The Acorn (also at WIMF) and, when they came back as headliners they were even better. On their second visit they were promoting their amazing full-length “Parc Avenue” and with a longer set they were allowed to stretch their legs a bit, not having to worry that much about time constraints which might otherwise lessen the impact of their longer songs. This show was certainly one of the best so far this year that I’ve seen. They sounded great and put on an all-round fantastic show. As before, they never allowed their songs to get away from them, reeling in the jams at the perfect moments, while keeping things loose and natural. I have a feeling they are going to absolutely slay on the festival stage.
If you are unable to see Plants & Animals at WIMF I feel sorry for you, but you might be able to see them elsewhere as they are playing all sorts of festivals this summer. Check their myspace for full listings
16 July – La Telephone Rouge, Sherbrooke, Quebec
18-19 July – Folk on the Rocks Festival, Yellowknife
25-26 July – Hillside Music Festival, Guelph
3 Aug – Osheaga Festival (Parc Jean Drapeau), Montreal
4 Aug – Central Park Summerstage (with the National), New York
9 Aug – Wolfe Island Musicfest, Marysville, Wolfe Island (just a ferry ride from Kingston)
13 Aug – Whistler Village Mainstage, Whistler, BC
17 Aug – Salmon Arm Festival,Salmon Arm, British Columbia
29 Aug – Espace 400 – La Grande Scene, Quebec City
Plants & Animals, The Grad Club, Kingston, 8 March 2008
2. how about this thing (talk)
3. Good Friend
4. Faerie Dance
5. next selection (talk)
6. À l’orée des bois
7. nice muscles (talk)
8. Feedback in the Field
9. snowy evening (talk)
10. Lola Who?
11. big thanks to Paul (talk)
12. New Kind of Love
13. just can’t do it (talk)
15. encore (talk)
16. Early In The Morning
17. autoharp (talk)
18. Bye Bye Bye
For some more live P&A, you can check out my recording of their October ’07 set which is is still up.
You can buybuybuy the amazing, and Polaris Prize shortlisted, “Parc Avenue” along with their ep “With/Avec”, and rad shirts here.
And get your WIMF tickets through MapleMusic.
July 7, 2008
photo from the show by Rebecca Carter at Relix.
Lean in close. Sam Beam speaks in whispers and gentle strums so you have to give him your full attention. Iron & Wine is perfect for these humid summer nights. The music evokes mangrove, cicada, condensation on your drink leaving a dark ring on the table, & rocking chairs on a back porch. Beam delivers dark, beautiful, and poetic lyrics with assurance. It is not as sparse as it used to be but it remains as gorgeous as ever.
I was quite excited to see Iron & Wine when I was in Boston last year. Unfortunately the once majestic, now slightly rundown, Orpheum has an amazing history but poor sound (which apparently is well known to locals but I expected much, much more from such a storied venue). Couple that with no A/C to speak of during a late-September heat wave and rather uncomfortable chairs, seeing the show that evening – at the end of what was already frustrating day conferencing – left much to be desired. But none of this was the bands’ fault. They played (what should have been) a great set, drawing heavily from the fantastic and then recently released new album “The Shepard’s Dog” with forrays into the I&W back catalogue (but sadly no “Naked as We Came” which I would have loved to hear) and during the moments when the sound wasn’t total shit (ie when you could hear the vocals, and the violin, and the drums – seriously how do the drums which work for 2/3rds of the show suddenly get lost?) it was pretty spectacular – hinting at what a great show it could have been. They are touring Europe in August and are in western Canada in early October. Check out full dates here and try to see Beam and his magnificent beard live for yourself.
I hope my American friends had a wonderful 4th of July weekend (and I hope my non-American friends had an equally wonderful non-holiday weekend). Next week, I think, I will begin my countdown to Wolfe Island Music Fest 2008. Woot!
Iron & Wine, The Orpheum, Boston, 27 September 2007
Buy the excellent Shepherd’s Dog (as well as clothes, other albums & various other goodies) and you can also purchase live Iron & Wine from PlayedLastNight (and you can Cook with Sam here! well, get to see him talk about his favourite recipe).
July 2, 2008
photo taken at the Gladstone by Marc Hodges.
Hey everyone. I hope you all had a smashing Canada Day. To celebrate I’m going to give a quick shout out to a great, Canadian band, The Rural Alberta Advantage, who shared the bill with Entire Cities at The Artel. Going into this show I had a passing familiarity with The RAA – I’d heard a song or two – but hadn’t investigated them in any serious way. Man, I was missing out. They are top-to-bottom amazing on record and live. The RAA feature powerful lyrics & delivery by Nils Edenloff; flawless, frenetic drumming by Paul Banwatt (who was pulling a double-shift as he played with EC earlier); and sublime backing vocals and killer glock work by Amy Cole. They kept up an amazing pace, blasting through the better part of the stellar album Hometowns. The album is dark and sweet and evocative and very very wonderful. They don’t look to be on tour at the moment but be sure to catch them if you have the chance. As usual, here are a few songs from their set in february. Enjoy.
The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Artel, Kingston, 16 February 2008
Do yourself a huge favour and pick up Hometowns, it may be your favourite album of 2008. It is undoubtedly gonna be one of mine.