December 8, 2010

Shows! Weeping Tiles 16th Annual Benefit Show

Posted in mumbling at 11:39 am by rgsc

The best part of the holiday season is seeing Weeping Tile and a bunch of special guests get together to rock out for charity. This year it is going down at Zappas Lounge on December 21st. Get your tickets at Zap Records or at Maple Music. More details at the Sally Ann website.

November 30, 2010

SHOWS! Apple Crisp Vinyl Release!

Posted in mumbling at 3:08 pm by rgsc

Mark your calendars for the Apple Crisp 12′ Release Party – Dec. 18th at Queen Street United Church.  Check out the AC site for more details.

November 23, 2010

Shows! Steven McKay, Wax Mannequin & Doctor Ew @ The Mansion, Nov 25th 2010

Posted in bootleg, mp3, mumbling at 9:35 pm by rgsc

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

* You May Be Dirty, But You’re All I’ve Got
* Slow Down
* Restore Me

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.

August 26, 2010

Shows! The Gertrudes CD Pre-Release Party – Aug 27 @ The Wolfe Island Grill

Posted in mp3, mumbling at 4:57 pm by rgsc

The first full-length record by Kingston’s The Gertrudes is not officially released until October, but they are having an end of summer, pre-release party TOMORROW NIGHT (August 27, 2010) at the Wolfe Island Grill to celebrate its unofficial release.

The album, “Dawn Time Riot”, is a beautiful, joyous affair. Expectations were high after their two EPs and a split 7″ and the LP not only fulfills but expands on the promise of their earlier releases. The already exceptionally large band opened its arms wide and invited more and more friends and neighbours into the studio, including a youth choir and the Queen’s Symphony Orchestra (you can see some videos of the recording sessions here). Despite the wide array of voices and instruments heard hear, everything fits together perfectly. The precise arrangements and crystal-clear recording ensure that all the layers – from the most delicate to the most raucous – can be heard.

For those who know The Gertrudes, the sound on the record (and even a couple of songs, which have been rerecorded) is familiar. For those of you new to the Gertrudes be prepared for some surprises. Their music is built on a firm foundation of roots music but with experimental touches, becoming “folk with a difference”. In 11 tracks they cover a great deal of territory, from country stompers through lush ballads and into joyous, even shredding, rock. The Gertrudes easily move from the epic to the intimate and back. Their songs are extremely complex but always feel completely natural.

Here’s a couple of tracks from the album:

*The Gertrudes – Warm Wind from the South
* The Gertrudes (feat. PS I Love You) – Sailor

Listen to them live from the Vancouver Folk Fest, recorded by CBC in July here at Concerts on Demand

Get yourself on the 7pm ferry over to Wolfe Island tomorrow and celebrate the release of this fantastic record with The Gertrudes and special guests. More info on the show can be found here but it is worth highlighting that proceeds from the night will be going to Doctors Without Borders’ Pakistan Relief Fund, an eminently worthy cause.

July 26, 2010

Wolfe Island Music Festival 2010 – Only Two Weeks Away!

Posted in bootleg, mp3, mumbling at 12:34 pm by rgsc

Holy smokes – can you believe it? The 2010 Wolfe Island Music Festival is less than two weeks away. August 6th & 7th will see a ton of great bands coming to the lovely town of Marysville on Wolfe Island (just a short ferry ride away from Kingston) and if you don’t have your tickets yet you better get on it.

Despite my good intentions, I have totally neglected to say anything about it so far. I know, I’ve kinda dropped the ball. But you already know about the festival, right? It is one of the best in the country with amazing music and great, laidback vibe. The food is good, the beer is good (Beau’s is a sponsor which is fantastic and the entire balldiamond area is licensed so no beer tent ghetto), and there are always cool vendors.

There are no shortage of great acts on the bill this year. I am really looking forward to seeing Think About Life and Shad as well as  Memoryhouse and Flotilla, none of whom I have seen before. Weakerthans, Cuff the Duke, and Diamond Rings I have seen before multiple times and I know they are going to bring it. It should be great.

In case you hadn’t heard the line up or need a reminder here it is with links so you can check out the bands.

8:30 pm
The TownHall Concert
DANIEL ROMANO (Attack in Black)
$20 advance

10:30 pm
The General Wolfe Hotel
$15 advance

10:30 pm
The Island Grill
$10 advance

5-8 pm
$10 advance


The Wolfe Island Community Centre
Gates open at Noon

And here’s a little something from last year’s WIMF featuring one of this year’s mainstage acts – Diamond Rings. John O joined PS I Love you to open for Woodhands at the General Wolfe. I was late to the show as I was at the Town Hall show, but I was able to hear them play the two songs from their (now sold out) split 7″. There is some crowd chatter but I think the songs are too rad not to share.

* Diamond Rings (feat. PS I Love You) – All Yr Songs
* PS I Love You (feat. Diamond Rings) – Facelove

Buy: Diamond Rings[here & here; EDITED TO ADD: Full length will be released on Secret City on Oct. 26th];  PS I Love You [ep now; LP in Oct]

See you at the Festival.

July 16, 2010

Review: Sanyo Xacti Sound Recorder (with some Jason Collett tracks)

Posted in bootleg, mp3, mumbling at 6:04 pm by rgsc

Something a little different here today. The kind marketing folks working for Sanyo have provided me with a Sanyo Xacti ICR XPS01M Digital Sound Recorder (more info here & here) to test out and tell you all what I think about it. Cutting to the chase, I must say I am very impressed with the tiny thing.

And I do mean tiny. According to them, and I have no reason to doubt it, the Xacti is the smallest and lightest digital recorder on the market. Despite being only ca.  9 by 4 by 1 cm, it seems quite substantial and rugged. When I first opened the package I worried that it would be on the flimsy side but have I have been putting it through the paces over the past couple of weeks and it seems to be holding up quite well.

It seems that the recorder is being marketed towards musicians and additionally aimed at students (to record lectures) but it also works for field recordings (ie, me). I think it would also be handy for journalists, anyone taking minutes and interviewers, although if the audio is going to be preserved (I am thinking of oral historians and tapers) an external mic should be used to ensure the best quality of sound. Which isn’t saying the internal mics aren’t good – in my less than rigorous testing of them they do admirably well – but a better mic will lead to better sound. [EDIT TO ADD: I tried our recording a set of live music without an external mic and I must say I am very pleased with the quality of the recording using the built in mics. Colour me impressed. ]

With the 2GB microSD card which is included with the unit you have 3 hrs of recording at the best quality (44.1kHz linear PCM). It is expandable to 8GB and cards are widely available for about $30. The battery life seems very good – 14-23 hrs of PCM recording (longer for other formats) depending on the backlight settings. Haven’t confirmed this but even if it is close that is very impressive. As there is no external power (ie can’t plug it in or attach an external battery as I can with my MD recorder), this long battery life is a very good thing. I am not terribly fond of having to charge through USB but that is becoming standard so it is to be expected.

The unit is optimized as a recorder and I am very pleased with how the Sanyo Xacti performed when I took it out for test in the field.

One of the things I greatly appreciate about this recording unit is that there is no proprietary formats: the recording is done in .wav or .mp3 (from 64-320kbps). There are automatic settings tied to a number of ‘scene selection’ settings which are optimized for lectures/meetings, interviews, music, or direct connection from another device.

Another thing I am like very much is the tiny but clear screen. It is bright and despite the small size of the screen the time elapsed, time remaining, and various settings are all clearly visible (particularly useful in the dark). And it remembers your last used settings so it is quick to restart recordings. The Record and Stop buttons are well placed and the other sensors took a little while to get used to (my large-ish fingers initially would stray onto the wrong section) but I think I’ve now have a handle on it. You can easily adjust the input settings on the fly to avoid peaking which is essential for me.

Finally, a feature I appreciate having is a ‘recycle bin’ so you can get back deleted files if you have second thoughts. I am sure there are additional features whose usefulness will become apparent as I become more familiar with the device.

As a music player it works well – you just drag&drop .mp3 files into the folder. While it works just fine, it is not the primary function and I don’t see myself using it as my everyday music player. What is a nice touch, though, is the FM tuner (which you can easily record from, naturally) as I love listening to the radio. When playing back recorded audio, though, there are some neat features such as being able to play back at anywhere from 1/2 to 2x the speed (without affecting the pitch).

The Sanyo Xacti Sound Recorder has a msrp of $149 (US, $50 more will get you a docking station) and I think it is well worth the price. It was released in Japan at the beginning of the year and is now coming on the market in the States. It is being sold at Guitar Center (they sell in CDN$ and appear to ship to Canada) but is not online yet. It will be available at other retailers as well. Hopefully it will get a wider distribution across the States and north of the 49. If you want an affordable yet high-quality recorder you should definitely attempt to find this one.

Now, as a music blog, I feel I should post something I’ve taped with my fancy new little recorder. Here are two great summer songs from the fantastic Jason Collett show on Wolfe Island last Sunday, recorded with the Xacti recorder (with my Sony ECM-17 mic).

Jason Collett, General Wolfe Hotel, Wolfe Island, 11 July 2010
* Lake Superior
* High Summer
(buy Collett’s cds from Arts&Crafts)

June 3, 2010

Skeleton Park Music Festival Lineup! (16-19 June 2010)

Posted in mumbling at 8:21 am by rgsc

Hey Folks,

The 5th annual Skeleton Park Music Festival is almost here. It is family friendly, it is super fun, and it is totally free. And, like previous years,  there are a heap of amazing bands playing. Including Ohbijou, The Inbreds, & Henri Faberge & the Adorables, plus a whole lot of great local bands (Gertrudes, PS I Love You, etc. etc.). The schedule is pasted below but before I get to that I need to mention that there will be a free SPMF warmup show TOMORROW NIGHT (June 4th):

A Skeleton Park Music Festival Warm-Up…

Friday June 4, 8pm
@ Whine Cellar (in The Mansion, 506 Princess St)
FREE!  All Ages!

The Famines
False Face
Captain Lavender

The Famines are an awesome noisy bag of wonderfulness from Edmonton and you should definitely check them out (get a sample here on their fancy music player) .

Here’s the full weekend lineup.

Wednesday June 16
@ Chalmers United (212 Barrie St)

7:30pm Rueben deGroot
8:30pm The Gertrudes
9:30pm Ohbijou
Thursday Night

Thursday June 17

@ The Artel (205 Sydenham St)

Lookit! Music! – Featuring Art Exhibition by Trevor Waurechen
8:00pm The Swamp Ward Orchestra
9:00pm Lake of Stew
Friday Night

Friday June 18
@ The Mansion (506 Princess St)

Lake Ontario Waterkeepers Presents:
8pm Dave Bidini
9pm Unconscious Encore
10pm CR Avery
Saturday All Day in the Park

Saturday June 19
in McBurney Park

Live Music, Children’s Activities, Local Artisans, Park & Neighbourhood History

7:00pm Audio Park
6:30pm The Wilderness of Manitoba
5:30pm PS I Love You
5:00pm Madam Raz
4:30pm Nagata Shachu
3:30pm The Inbreds
2:30 pm Luther Wright
1:30pm Oh Susanna
12:30pm Cherry Chapstick
12:00pm Park & Neighbourhood History
11am Ken Whiteley
10:30 am Spook & Squash
Saturday Night

Saturday June 19th

@ The Mansion

10pm After Party w/ Henry Faberge & The Adorables + Local DJs

May 5, 2010

New Mixylodian – “Wild in Church”

Posted in mp3, mumbling at 11:24 am by rgsc

I am a jerk. Ages ago (March 31, 2008, to be exact), Montreal’s Mike Wray of Mixylodian sent me a message with their amazing K ep. I said I would get a post up about it – I even drafted some text – but for some reason I never finished it. I couldn’t find the time or the words or something.

I love the ep. I became an evangelist for it: recommending it to anyone who would listen but never posted about it here. Hopefully I will make up for my previous jerkiness here by telling you all about Mixylodian’s new full length Wild in Church which was just released on May 1st.

The album is filled with astounding imagery and warm synths. The album starts with a stunner called “Make Me” featuring stellar female vocals (I am not sure who sings them – 5 lady vocalists are listed as part of the band on the fbpage) and then settles into a series of glistening pop songs with interspersed of recordings of Wray as a child.

Having fairly gently warmed us up with the first half of the record things really take off in the second half. ” “UFO Road” returns to the breakneck pace found on the amazing K ep and then moves effortlessly into the slinky “The Girl in the Apartment Downstairs”. It is pure gold from there out.

Mixylodian have already had two shows promoting their new album (again I am late…) but will be playing London, ON at EVAC on May 9th and Montreal’s Il Motore on June 4th. Hopefully more dates will be announced in the near future (check their myspace page for more info).

Here are a couple of songs for you:
* Make Me (off “Wild in Chuch” – stream it here)
* Pretty Little Spell (off K ep – stream it here)

Head over to the Mixylodian page to buy the new Wild in Church along with the K ep digitally (no word yet on physical cds). I also recommend you pick up the Mixylodian/Aleks & the Ramps split 7″ which can be bought here.

March 12, 2010

Shows! Apple Crisp Music Fest 2010!

Posted in mumbling at 6:20 pm by rgsc

Hot dog, boys & girls! This year’s Apple Crisp Music Fest kicks off tomorow and the Crispies have out done themselves with all the rad events (most of which are free) they have planned.

In particular, I am wicked excited to see The Happiness Project w/ The Gertrudes tomorrow (March 13th, 2010) & Clues on thurs. (March 18th) but there are great events throughout the week.

I suggest you head over to the AC site for details on all the events & performers. Here is a list of things happening around town. Get out there and see some amazing live music:

The Happiness Project Art Exhibit
March 13-20 4pm-7pm: Viewings
March 12 8pm: Reception
108 Charles Street
All Ages / Free

The Happiness Project (Charles Spearin) w/ The Gertrudes
Saturday March 13th, 7:30pm
Chalmers United Church, 212 Barrie Street
All Ages / Free

Apple Crisp Music Video Club
Hosted by Josh Lyon and Lenny Epstein
Monday March 15th
The Artel Gallery, 205 Sydenham Street
All Ages / Free

Apple Crisp Music Video Club Screenings
Tuesday March 16th, 8pm
The Artel Gallery, 205 Sydehmam Street
All Ages / Free

Castlemusic / Muskox
Wednesday March 17th, 8pm
The Artel Gallery, 205 Sydenham Street
All Ages / Free

Clues / PS I Love You / False Face / Audiopark
Thursday March 18th, 8pm
The Mansion, 506 Princess Street
All Ages / Free

Modern Fuel & Apple Crisp Present:
Friday Night Flux w/ The Cedar Tavern Singers
Friday March 19th, 7pm
The Baby Grand Theatre, 218 Princess Street
All Ages / $10

Tea for the Voyage w/ Bone Ultimatum
Friday March 19th
10pm: The Mansion
506 Princess Street
19+ / Free

Apple Crisp Arts Presents:
Bands in Love, lead by Dave Clark (Rheostatics) / Tunnel Vision After-Party
Saturday March 20th, 8pm
The Mansion, 506 Princess Street
All Ages / Free

Hooded Fang / Christina Foster / Catherine Maclellan
(Festival Volunteer Appreciation Party)
Thursday March 25th, 8pm
The Mansion, 506 Princess Street
19+ / Free

February 11, 2010

SHOWS! CFRC Fundraisers – This is Our Music + Henri Faberge

Posted in mp3, mumbling at 12:39 pm by rgsc

Two great shows to support one great cause. As part of the CFRC Annual Funding Drive (DONATE!), our friends at Apple Crisp are sponsoring:

1) TONIGHT! – “ This is Our Music” featuring Music Maul, PS I Love You, Owl Farm, False Face and The Gertrudes. It is going down at Time to Laugh, 394 Princess Street, on February 11. Doors open at 7:00pm, cover is $5 at the door.  19+

* The Gertrudes – Hard Water (Live at SSUC)
* PS I Love You – Face Love
* False Face – No Business

2) Saturday! – Henri Faberge & the Adorables at the Mansion, Feb 13th (506 Princess Street).

* Out Of Your League
* Ventriloquist Love

Support local music -> support local radio. Both events are going to be raucous good times.

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