Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The whole tooth

On Tuesday I had a dental appointment and, due to all the lovely, lovely drugs was a little out of it as a result. So, no work, no prepping all those pictures I took of The John Henrys and Slo' Tom and Carolyn Mark raving it up at Barrymore's until tomorrow. Instead here's a heretofore unpublished picture of The Banditas, who play a show tonight at The Aloha Room.

While I'm at it, I have a leftover picture of Alicja Trout of The River City Tan Lines helping out with the drumming at their killer Dominion show.

And here's an exciting preview of Carolyn Mark and Slo' Tom, both of who mention booze in their songs a lot.

You'll have to wait for Thursday for the rest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The metal boys

Clark put on another great show at Zaphod's ... unfortunately it was the first real cold day of they year and I suspect a number of music fans decided that the Tuesday night could go on without them until they got their winter coat out of mothballs. Too bad, because John Tielli shone on guitar and vocals, Matt Gagnon was his usual bouncy and sometimes goofy self and new drummer Dan Neil is a very solid presence on the skins.

In fact, here he is!

And here's Tielli in a bounced flash shot.

John: "And on the instrument with four big fat strings, Matt Gagnon."
Matt: "I thought you were going to say four big fat stomachs - because I'm half cow you know."
While you ruminate on that bit of stage banter, here's a photo of Matt:

Jordan Howard of Nathan Coles Outfit guested on keyboard and percussion.

Rock pose action!

Matt Gagnon plays a little keyboard. With his forehead.

And all together.

Another great show.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Coles corner

Nathan Coles Outfit actually features someone named Nathan Coles: The moonfaced guitarist and singer heads up the Guelph quartet, piloting them through a musical menu that ranges from rootsy pop to luminescent alt-country to a closing number that sounded close to post-rock. Nathan Coles sings, twitters and plays guitar; Chris Hierlihy plays bass; Jordan Howard plays guitar and provides back up vocals and Vish Khanna drums.

Nathan is also a cricket-noise maker extraordinaire.

Hierlihy was a mild-mannered presence on stage but big in the mix.

Howard was definitely the most active guy on stage - and an excellent guitarist, too.

Khanna is a very hard-hitting drummer - I was thinking that he and Hierlihy would make a great hard rock rhythm section.

Singalong action!

I tried a bunch of shutter-speed tomfoolery, 90% of which did not work out.

I could definitely see them on a double bill with, say, Cuff the Duke.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Shove it!

The Pop Shove Its were all crazy energy for their triumphant return to the stage. I don't recall ever seeing the band back when it was a real going concern, though I've seen all three band members in other bands. Rob Skitmore and Kosta McKay are, of course, another 2/5s of The Department of Foreign Affairs while Rob Snasdell-Taylor is a veteran of King Kung (for some reason I keep remembering him playing a good chunk of a show at Lucky Ron's/The Hi-Fi with his fly down ...), The Waxies, etc. Anyway, the band went crazy, the crowd went crazy, and I took an unrealistic amount of pictures of people bouncing around.

Rob sings!

Snasdell-Taylor must have ankles of steel.

Kosta McKay grimaced more or less non-stop.

I just noticed that Rob was wearing a dynamite shirt and Snasdell-Taylor's T-shirt is decorated with gun silhouettes ... what does it all mean ...?

RST adds some backing shouts ...

... works the feedback ...

... and gives a great big kick!

Pop action!

The band hasn't quite called it a day. I see from Chart Attack's Ottawa Buzz that they plan to finish off a few recordings and release an EP - perhaps with a show to go with it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Gotta get gone

The Double Pumpers are big fans of headliners The Pop Shove Its, so they snagged the middle slot for an exceptionally rocking set. I should mention that the audience on this night was particularly killer - lots of enthusiastic folks rocking out to all three bands. As for the Pumpers, you already know all these guys ...

Dave Martindale is so lonely he could cry.

Damian Sawka is most likely dyin' to smile.

Paul "Yogi" Granger is his usual imperturbable self. Snapped a few sticks this time, too ...

Singalong action! Well, more like shoutalong action.

Dave works the feedback.

Double Pumpers action!

It was definitely a good night for trios.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Rock, scissors, dynamite, Paperjack

Paperjack are one of the innumerable rock crews who came and went before I began snapping pictures. Fortunately they reformed along with The Pop Shove-Its to bring their fiery alt rock to the Ottawa masses. Long time blog-watchers and scenesters will of course recognize the rhythm section from Jake Lovetart (and The Department of Foreign Affairs in a different form). I dunno what guitarist Nick Minns does in his spare time, but Ben Wilson can be seen performing in the Polytones. He also has a solo project called Fish Eye Lens who it just so happens are playing tomorrow with Department of Foreign Affairs at Irene's. Coincidence? Maybe!

Wilson shows off his favourite move.

Minns shows off his right-handed Yamaha played lefty.

Brennan behind the traps.

Chris Teasdale on bearded bass.

Wilson sings.

Twist action!

And all together - what a swell combo.

I presume Paperjack have now returned to a state of inactivity, but the aforementioned Polytones have a release party for their very fine new CD coming up Dec. 3 ... along with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Coincidence? Well, probably not ...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

In the key of black

Yeah, the Black Keys have won acres of good press - the punchy blues rock duo from Akron, Ohio have buckets of grit, swagger and soul. The audience that sold out Barrymore's Nov. 18 was certainly enthused by their performance - and deservedly so. Personally, I still give the evening's honours to their tourmate Nathaniel Mayer, with a honourable mention to Ottawa's own Weapons of Mass Seduction. Strange as it seems, for me the Keys' tight show worked against them - I wanted something a little looser, sloppier, crazier ... and compared to Mayer their interaction with the audience was restrained. Ah, I'm done whining - it was good show by any fair measure.

As you can see from this picture of Daniel Auerbach, the smoke machine was working overtime.

Patrick Carney gave his kit a very solid thumping.

Dan goes wild!

Pat goes psychedelic!

Keys in the smoke ...

And facing off.

The view from behind the mixing board.

They gave us a good hour of their time - and at a very reasonable rate, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hell, yeah!

Pacing the Barrymore's dancefloor while the Golden Famile tore down their gear I noticed Matthew Smith of Volebeats, Outrageous Cherry and THTX fame chatting with Music for Cats supremo Karen McLane. Must be here to play guitar for 1960s soul great Nathaniel Mayer, I figured. And so it proved to be. Then I noticed the bedraggled locks of Dirtbomb, Witch and solo artist Troy Gregory (and underneath them, the man himself!) headed in the general direction of the bar. Must be here to play bass for 1960s soul great Nathaniel Mayer, I figured. And so it proved to be. I did not notice the remarkable sideburns of Dave Shettler, but if I had I'm sure would have figured he was here to drum for Mayer, if only because that's what he did last time around, when Mayer played a very early Saturday show after his scheduled slot on the 2004 Bluesfest stage suffered an unexpected power blowout the night before.
Mayer's previous backing outfit The Shanks was more Memphis rock'n'roll, while Gregory and Smith's more psychedelic leanings pushed Mayer's sound into the psychedelic shack, with Mayer pulling the songs out to outrageous lengths by riffing on the choruses.

Nay Dog, the "pimp of pimps"!

The bishop of bass, Troy Gregory.

Mayer points out some foxy babe in the audience.

Matthew Smith in a spectral projection.

Dave Shettler and his amazing sideburns.

Mayer invited several young ladies on stage to shake what their mama gave them. One of them leaned back into Mayer with greater than expected enthusiasm, causing them both to topple over. Fortunately no harm was done - no doubt it's not the first time he's been knocked over by some chick's butt.

I think he wanted to keep this one.

Personally I liked his set better than the Black Keys' - more rambunctious, raunchy, and generally rock'n'roll.

A pity he didn't have his leggy saxophone player with him this time, though.
  • Show reminder: Good2Go play the Aloha Room.