Friday, May 29, 2015

Heat and street

Back when winter had its icy grip on the Nation's Capital, the folks ate Megaphono held a mini-festival around town to promote the local music industry. I caught a bunch of fine sets at such diverse locales as St. Alban's, the Record Centre and the Dominion Tavern. One of the acts at the Dom was Michael Rault, a popster on the way to releasing a new album on the well-respected Burger Records label (also Peach Kelli Pop's American outlet). Lo, summer has arrived, and so has Living Daylight. Last Thursday he dropped by Babylon to wow the select few (seriously, where was everyone?) with his suitable summery stylings. But first, Street Meat, a band I can't really imagine performing until the pavement has soaked up a certain amount of heat.

Street Meat at Babylon

My photos of their set were not the best I've ever taken ...

Street Meat at Babylon

Streetwise action!

Street Meat at Babylon

Leigh sings!

Street Meat at Babylon

Dual vocal action!

Street Meat at Babylon

And so on!

Street Meat at Babylon

Beaty action!

Street Meat at Babylon

On to Michael Rault, whose gentle manner and moustache both remind me of George Harrison.

Michael Rault at Babylon

And here's the other half of his eponymous band, whom he introduced and whose names I promptly forgot.

Michael Rault at Babylon

Jolly percussive action!

Michael Rault at Babylon

Singalong action!

Michael Rault at Babylon

More Michael!

Michael Rault at Babylon

The whole lot!

Michael Rault at Babylon

Danelectro action!

Michael Rault at Babylon

I do believe that's a Longhorn Baritone.

Michael Rault at Babylon

More guitar!

Michael Rault at Babylon

And so on!

Michael Rault at Babylon

Jaguar action!

Michael Rault at Babylon

More percussion!

Michael Rault at Babylon

Feedback finale!

Michael Rault at Babylon

A pretty good time.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Temporal fixations

Festival season has begun, and that means bands from all over are criss-crossing the nation. That means Ottawa gets to be on the receiving end of the occasional oddity, such as French prog-rockers Jack Dupon. They played the avant-garde Victoriaville festival on Saturday, and Sunday they made their way to Pressed. Coming from the opposite direction, on the tail end of their own tour was post-punkers Notta Comet. Stuck in the middle and going nowhere (geographically, that is) was Ottawa's The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol. Notta Comet kicked things off with their "science punk," which apparently means they have songs called Somebody Oughta Burn Down Ray Kurzweil's House. Here's Crawford Smith on bass and Alex Williams on guitar.

Notta Comet at Pressed

Crawford sings!

Notta Comet at Pressed

Percussive action with Eli Kaufman.

Notta Comet at Pressed

Alex sings!

Notta Comet at Pressed

Singalong action!

Notta Comet at Pressed

Rhythm section action!

Notta Comet at Pressed

And of course the traditional shot through the entryway window.

Notta Comet at Pressed

Tapping action!

Notta Comet at Pressed

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol tore through their set.

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Bill frets, John hits!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Bonus Bill!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Extra Nathaniel!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

More guitar!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

John hits!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Miche is under there somewhere.

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Jason manipulates some electronics.

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

The whole blurry lot!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

More Jason!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Sliding action!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Guitar-hanging action!

The Band Whose Name Is a Symbol at Pressed

Jack Dupon are keeping the traditions of French prog alive, with themed albums and polyrhythms. They've been compared with King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Gong, all of which I defiitely hear as well.

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Arnaud M'Doihoma sings!

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Thomas Larsen hits!

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Philip Prebet frets!

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Gregory Pozzoli rounds out the group on guitar.

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Extra Gregory!

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Progressive action!

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Philip sings!

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Rhythm section action!

Jack Dupon at Pressed

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ladies and bugs

Saturday night I popped over to Raw Sugar to check out some unknowns; this was one of those rare occasions when I had neither heard nor heard of any of the acts.Ottawa's Red Velvet and newcomers Coccinella joined Arizona's R. Ariel for an eclectic evening.

Red Velvet performs in an adult contemporary vein, covering a classic such as Stormy Weather, with more offbeat choices like Spirit's Mr. Skin and Concrete Blonde's Joey, alongside some band originals.

Red Velvet at Raw Sugar

Vocal action!

Red Velvet at Raw Sugar

Keyboardist Lillian has also played bass in a number of local bands.

Red Velvet at Raw Sugar

Vocal action!

Red Velvet at Raw Sugar

R. Ariel is based in Phoenix, but is currently on a four-month tour, just her and a drum machine.

R. Ariel at Raw Sugar

She also had a projection.

R. Ariel at Raw Sugar

Ghostly fisheye action!

R. Ariel at Raw Sugar

The microphone was not the most cooperative part of the evening's entertainment.

R. Ariel at Raw Sugar

Coccinella finished things off with a set of garage pop; if you go to the same shows I go to you've likely seen the various members; I dare say it's the first time I've seen a performer cover both Mark Sultan and the Spice Girls.

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

Stephanie frets!

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

Melanie hits!

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

Ommie Jane sings!

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

The whole lot!

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

Extra Stephanie!

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

More Ommie!

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

Singalong action!

Coccinella at Raw Sugar

A fine debut.