Thursday, April 17, 2014

In a different key

You may recall a few years back that The Gris Gris and their frontman Greg Ashley putting on some wicked garage psyche shows at Babylon and The Dominion Tavern. You might not have known that Ashley was back in town this Sunday at the Dominion Tavern for something a little different. Ashley's been playing bass with The John Brothers Piano Company of late, and they were one hand to open things up with some swinging sounds.

And here most of them are: Clarinetist Thatcher Boomer, trumpeter Arlo Perlstein, drummer Jimi Martin and Ashley.

John Brothers Piano Company Quintet at the Dominion Tavern

And here's the piano man, John Morgan.

John Brothers Piano Company Quintet at the Dominion Tavern

Windy action!

John Brothers Piano Company Quintet at the Dominion Tavern

Jimi hits!

John Brothers Piano Company Quintet at the Dominion Tavern

Extra Ashley!

John Brothers Piano Company Quintet at the Dominion Tavern

As for Ashley's set, the music didn't change a whole lot; it was considerably more jazzy than his previous output.

Greg Ashley at the Dominion Tavern

Swinging action!

Greg Ashley at the Dominion Tavern

Bonus Boomer!

Greg Ashley at the Dominion Tavern

Additional Arlo!

Greg Ashley at the Dominion Tavern

As you can see, Morgan uses an honest-to-goodness, if much-abused, piano.

Greg Ashley at the Dominion Tavern

Rhythm section action!

Greg Ashley at the Dominion Tavern

And a bit more Jimi.

Greg Ashley at the Dominion Tavern

The turnout was about what you'd expect for a rainy Sunday, but the audience was certainly enthusiastic.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just the facts, ma'am

It's been quite a while since I climbed the stairs to Cafe DeKcuf - the last Ottawa Explosion, perhaps? - but I decided it was a good time to finally get to see local grindcore champs Fuck The Facts, after many years of trying and failing to get our schedules to align. Thus, I toddled off to Vertigo a ticket early in the day, and that night picked out a new pair of earplugs and set off.

First band on the bill was Sombre, playing their first set. It's a quartet featuring members of Monolith, two bands of which I know nothing.



Percussive action!



Jumping around!



Gripping action!



Sombre works the crowd!



On to NWOCTians World War 4. "Scream for me, Cornwall!"



Pointy guitar action!



Leigh hits!



Gripping action!



Michael works the low end.



Shirtless action!



Pushy action!



The end!



Fuck the Facts wrapped things up nicely with some raging core.



Bass-lifting action!



It was not quite like Topon's ambient set earlier this year at Pressed ...



Shredding action!



Factual action!



Bendy action!



Grinding action!



Bonus Topon!



And so on!



Well, that's one thing off the bucket list.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Need for sleep

So Saturday night I went over to Gabba Hey to check out some touring East Coasters and grab a Hot Dogs 7-inch from Pierre's wee shop. You might be thinking "Isn't today Saturday?" Yes, you read right - this post is a week late due to school and studying and wanting to keep regular hours. The main draw was The Yips, who have a new tape out on Bruised Tongue, but I had to go early (and by early, I mean around 1 a.m.).

Let's start with the surfin' sounds of The Legato Vipers, who brought switchblade combs and whiskey flasks for their merch table.



Let's just say their music is more 1960s than 1984 ....



Leather jackets for everyone!



And so on ...



On to the swell sounds of Nap Eyes, who really impressed. And yes, that is Monomyth guitarist John Salter on bass. He pulled a doubleheader, as did Seamus Dalton, who drums for the Eyes.



Nigel Chapman does the songwriting ... there's something a bit Postcard-Orange Juice about their sound.



Seamus hits!



Guitar with Brad Loughead!



Bassist-stroking action!



Back to back action!



On to Monomyth, who seem to be doing an excellent job carrying the torch from Elevator to Hell.



Seamus sings!



Singalong action!



Microphone-sharing action!



Feedback ation!



The crowd goes wild! And falls over!



Then it was time for me to head home for bed ... I'll have to catch The Yips another day.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Death and destruction

After a couple of weeks on show hiatus due to a nagging cough, I returned to the scene to catch some squall, honking, synth and guitar courtesy of local jazz noisers Death Bop Trio (who I caught at Gabba Hey in January opening for Red Mass, billed as Throes), Moon Destroyer - last seen at Cafe Luneta, also earlier this year) and Montrealers Black Piranha, who are a declamatory punk trio not unlike a less freaky Le Georges Leningrad.

I failed to notice I had my shutter speed on way too low for my first round of photos. Here's a fuzzy trio, as seen through the window of Pressed.

Death Bop Trio

Karla-Jo saxes it up.

Death Bop Trio at Pressed

Chris mans the keys.

Death Bop Trio at Pressed

Percussive action with Lee!

Death Bop Trio at Pressed

Psychedelic action!

Death Bop Trio at Pressed

On to Moon Destroyer, whose heavy psyche seems well suited to being played with bands which on the surface they share little in the way of sonic aesthetic. (Witness the last time I caught them, with Kitchener hardcore combos Dervish and Two Crosses).

Moon Destroyer at Pressed

Guitar action!

Moon Destroyer at Pressed

Moony action!

Moon Destroyer at Pressed

More guitar!

Moon Destroyer at Pressed

Percussive action!

Moon Destroyer at Pressed

Black Piranha (or BP Black Piranha, to give their full name) finished the night off with some shouty synth-driven hardcore thate mae me think of Aerobitch crossed with Street Meat (with whom they should do a show if they haven't already). Here's a shouty bit with Nathalie Gelinas!

Black Piranha at Pressed

And another shouty but from Jonathan Bigras. "I should have taken off this jacket before we started."

Black Piranha at Pressed

Plus percussive action!

Black Piranha at Pressed

The whole lot!

Black Piranha at Pressed

Noise-making action!

Black Piranha at Pressed

Fishy action!

Black Piranha at Pressed

Jonathan sings!

Black Piranha at Pressed

Extra shouting!

Black Piranha at Pressed

The end!

Black Piranha at Pressed

A very energetic evening.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Girls Vs. Boys

Another Saturday, another trip to Gabba Hey to check out a quartet of bands - some power pop, some sugar pop and some noisy freakers. Ottawa exile Allie Hanlon was back in town with her Peach Kelli Pop combo and they headlined the gig, also featuring locals Average Times, easterners Astral Gunk and new Montreal outfit Pale Lips.

As befitted a band that played its first show two months ago, Pale Lips started things up (after a terrifying trip from Montreal through the spring snowstorm). They seem to be the spiritual descendants of the B-Girls, and covered The Cramps New Kind of Kick and Nikki & The Corvettes' Backseat Love, along with originals about candy, pets and dreaming of killing one's boyfriend in his sleep.

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

I don't know who any of these folks are, barring of course Ilona from Dagger Eyes/Suppositories.

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

Pale action!

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

Percussive action!

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

Shadowy action!

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

Lippy action!

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

Backing vocal action!

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

And finally, some kazoo!

Pale Lips at Gabba Hey

On to Astral Gunk. I was suitably impressed by the Gunk's Ottawa Explosion set in 2013 and they knocked it out of the park again with a frenzied set that got the moshing started.

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Astral action!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Could this be Joe Charmondy of Kappa Chow? Yes, yes, it could. Joe was here at Pressed with his Chow cohorts along with Construction & Destruction in December.

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Guitar action!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Vocal action!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Percussive action!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Bendy action!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

More singing!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Headbanging action!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Instrument switching action!

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

Joe takes on some vocal duties.

Astral Gunk at Gabba Hey

And now for some Average Times. The crowdwent so crazy I was basically stuck by the PA speaker on the right for the whole set.

Average Times at Gabba Hey

Curtis sings!

Average Times at Gabba Hey

Stef hits!

Average Times at Gabba Hey

Seiji sings one!

Average Times at Gabba Hey

The crowd goes wild!

Average Times at Gabba Hey

Allie's had a different set of musicians in tow just about every time I've seen her, but the revolving door doesn't seem to hurt any. This was a particularly sharp set from her current crew.

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

Allie sings!

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

Percussive action!

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

Peachy action!

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

Bass action!

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

There was plenty of crowdsurfing!

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

"You are beginning to scare me."

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

And they're off!

Peach Kelli Pop at Gabba Hey

A most entertaining evening.