Monday, October 31, 2005

So this is me looking sort of mysterious in my black and white glory. It's courtesy of Brigid "Swambo" Ward.

I still haven't gotten any kind of thoughts to write, but i'm kind of enjoying this picture posting ability.

Hey there...

Howdy. So i finally figured out the picture thing. Actually, it's really easy, i think they must have recently changed it. Anyway, i've posted a picture of Gerry and the Pacemakers for no apparent reason.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

In My Leisure Suite...

Feist was very good on tuesday. However, i wasn't quite as impressed as most. I think it had to do with the venue. Something about that voice and those songs in an over-crowded university bar... if only it had been some kind of semi-deserted Parisian cafe...ok a bit specific, i know... maybe i just liked her better when it was just me listening to her in my lonely bedroom.

She was, however in fine form. Any doubts about her live performance skills after that rough Juno performance are erased. She sounded almost exactly as she does on the record (fantastic!). Great vocal control and a mastery of loops was demonstrated, as she doubled her voice over and over, harmonizing with herself, while doubling guitar lines, creating her own wall of sound. It was a strong set.

New Buffalo was rather unexciting. Singing over a recorded track, i didn't even realise someone was actually performing when i entered. I thought it was just a cd playing while somone was setting up onstage.

Jason Collette was pretty good, but a little dry. It's always welcome to hear a little country-rock in this town, but several people agreed that one of his songs sounded near identical to the Rolling Stones' 'Wild Horses".

Matt Mays and el Torpedo remain the cd i keep spinning the most. I've also been listening to a lot of Tom Petty, which is fitting b/c Matt Mays is rather remiscent of Petty.

A cd that i've been putting of getting is Paul McCartney's Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. It's been getting strong reviews from critics and my friends alike and i think it's time i checked it out. I've heard it once through with a casual ear and it didn't grab me, but don't i owe sir Paul another listen? I find it hard to bring myself to listen to music by 60 year old men (i couldn't get into Brian Wilson's updated Smile) but this may be an exception.

Lonely, lonely that is me... - Feist

Friday, October 07, 2005

3 shows.

Last Friday was Tricky Woo along with openers Starvin' Hungry and C'Mon. It was a real rock n roll night at amigos. Probably something like 50 songs played that night. Starvin' Hungry didn't do much for anyone, but C'Mon had the place rocking as did Tricky Woo. I was very excited for this show, and it was enjoyable, but i must admit, i was a little dissapointed. Both C'Mon and Tricky Woo stuck to the short, hard and fast format for their songs, but the repetition certainly wore a bit thin. There just wasn't enough variety, even for a big garage rock fan as myself. Also, i was a little bored by their stage show. I had heard about how crazy Tricky Woo could rock out on stage, only to find them relatively stationary during their performance.

Also disconcerting: the age of both bands lead singers. Ian Blurton of C'Mon could pass for 50 with his greying beard and beer belly.

All in all, the show was fun, if repetitive, but good bang for your buck.

The Arcade Fire at the odeon on Sunday was a much different experience than the sweaty rock of friday night. I missed the first band, but the second opener, Wolf Parade didn't do much for me. They sounded alot like modest mouse, which doesn't usually move me too much either.

The Arcade Fire, however, were fantastic. Their songs were performed really well, with plenty to watch and listen to. The stage set up with a big backdrop and lamps all over the stage was a nice touch, and everything worked together very well. I'm not a very big fan of the Arcade Fire, but they really impressed me. I think the opener, "Wake Up" was the best song. Right from the get-go they had the crowd in the palm of their hands.

Wednesday at Amigos Black Mountain played, and boy it was boring. Both openers set the boring tone and Black Mountain brought it on home. Lost in a sea of long hair and beards, they seemed uninterested in the crowd and gave a really boring performance. I can't imagine how these guys opened for Coldplay in an arena.

Interesting how i loved the Arcade Fire show, yet not a huge fan of their music, but Black Mountain, who's music i do enjoy, put on a show i left early.

Upcoming shows? Well i thought i had my own show the night of Feist, but it's been moved, but now they're sold out. So i'll try and get tickets at the door for that one. Matt Mays plays the 21st, but so do the breaks, so i may have to sneak away after our set opening for In Media Res that night.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Standdown at sundown.

I keep putting of posting till i have time to make a very complete post, but i think that puts to much pressure on my writing and makes posting far to infrequent. So i'll keep it casual, cause i like reading casual writing and it'll help me post more often.

Firstly, Ryan Adams' "Jacksonville City Nights" is starting to grow on me. I guess i was comparing it too much to "Cold Roses" which has a grander, bigger feel. I'm starting to enjoy the ways in which Jacksonville is different from Roses.

I picked up Franz Ferdinand's new album and spun half the disc. So far it's comparable to their first album, in that there's a couple songs that immediately grabbed my attention, like the opening track, "the Fallen", which is super hooky in that fantastic FF way. The other tracks so far are sort of garden variety arty-dance-rockers (funny that such a specific genre now has garden variety). I expect the relationship between this disc and their first will be similar to Hot Hot Heat's "Make up the Breakdown" and "Elevator", that is both are good, but the first was more charming.

The Beatles cds were cheap at one store, so i finally broke down and got the 3rd volume of those Anthology cds. You know, the ones with the demos and alternate versions of many beatles as well as future solo beatle tunes. I should have gotten the 3rd voume long ago, instead of the 2nd one i bought a couple years ago. It's way better, with lots of cool white album outtakes, including a really cool slow version of "Helter Skelter" which still rocks like a motherfucker. It's also pretty cool to hear John swear and say "wrong chord".

Matt Mays and El Torpedo's selftitled album remains the most listened to disc of these days. It's really growing on me. I love the way he has that southern/country style, but sings about things from the Canadian landscape, such as the pelicans and fisherman of nova scotia (where Mays is from). It really adds to the authenticity. He's not singing about buffalo and other things he could only have seen in movies. I also just really dig the songs, they are nicely written and the 70s album-rock attitude of 'who cares how long the song is' is something i'm starting to appreciate more again.

Speaking of abandoning tight song structures, Supergrass' new album seems to do just that. I've only heard half this one too (so little time i'm afraid) and it's like the studio sounds and harmonies of the last record, "Life on Other Planets" mixed with the more sprawling song structues of their selftitled album. I'll keep spinning this disc till i like it, cause i know it'll get me in the end. Supergrass will go down as one of my all-time fave bands i'm sure.

I also want to talk about the shows i saw this weekend, Tricky Woo and the Arcade Fire, so i'll post in a day or two on that.