Monday, July 31, 2006

Still ill

Show No. 3 for Relief Maps. As someone whose been to two of them (and their End Hits basement appearance, I'm not sure if they counted that one), I can say they've been improving in leaps and bounds (and perhaps benefiting from improving sound systems). I gather they had a show at the Avant-Garde this Saturday (with the Ten Commandments) that I missed, so no doubt they'll be even better next time.

Barefoot Katie Duross and guitarist/keyboardist Dusty Dewan.

Luke Duross and drummer Kevin Regan.

More Dusty!

More Kate!

More Luke! (But not more Kevin, because unfortunately my sole pic of him is a disaster - I'm burning the flash card ...).

Cartological action!

Luke also gave me a copy of their new EP, about which more later.

Finally, Ill Ease took the stage. On guitar and vocals, Elizabeth Sharp, also of New Radiant Storm King.

On bass, Elizabeth.

On drums and vocals, Elizabeth.

Those one-woman acts keep you running about. The setup:

Shaking, singing, guitar-playing action!

And a last whack at the drum kit.

She didn't play long, not wanting to keep the crowd up late on a Sunday, but it was a worthwhile set.

Trial and error

I thought I'd be heading directly to see the Centretown Wilderness Club, but it was not to be. I walked past the entry to the Black Sheep Stage on Lisgar St., but did a quick U-turn since Hamell on Trial was sounding too good to pass up. He was singing his self-deprecatory description of how he's going to answer potentially - okay, inevitably - embarrassing questions from his children about his checkered past, Inquiring Minds, from Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs, his latest album. The chorus goes "I'm gonna lie!"

Pete Hamell, musician and prospective Anton La Vey impersonator.

There was some music bleeding over from the Main Stage "Ooo, this is the bit I love!"

A serious performer, he is.

Thank you and goodnight.

A great show, unless you happen to be an Ann Coulter fan.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Red house blues

Mark Kozelek's set was a somewhat moody. I'm not talking about the deep vein of melancholy that runs through his work. He seemed a bit unhappy to be there. He was certainly displeased with the sound from the Blues Til Dusk stage bleeding through. He seemed bemused by the number of Caucasians at the performance as well. He idly wondered if the usual nightclub darkness had concealed the high percentage of his white fans - uh, I'm guessing yes.

Here's a close shot ...

Closer ...


He had some support from the unassuming Phil Carney, also from Red House Painters.

The dynamic duo.

I could have kept listening, but he decided to leave the crowd wanting more.

One or more

The Rainbow is doing a very good thing with its Sunday indie night ... this time around last week they had Saint Bernard of Love, Collapsing Opposites, Relief Maps and Ill Ease. This time around I hung a right on Sussex to get to the Rainbow, and for the first time realized that you can see the bands on stage from the street. Indeed, I could see Michael T. Weiland leading his canine companions through one of his tunes. This time around Saint Bernard of Love was 75% Expatriates and 25% Books on Books.

Next up was Collapsing Opposites. He had experienced some border-crossing difficulties earlier on, thus his song Buffalo was dedicated to razzing the border guards in that fair New York town.

Ryan sings!

Double microphone action!

The big pedal board.

And some saxophone looping.

A fun but brief set.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Another link in the chain

Ball and Chain and The Wreckers are probably the most "pure country" of Ottawa's numerous folk and western loving outfits. In addition to their own originals they played a bunch of tunes either written or made famous by folks like Hank Williams and Georges Jones. That isn't to say they're stuck on imitation; they throw an Acadian twist into their music (Ball and Benjamin are appearing as part of the Grouyon Gumbo at the Ottawa Folk Fest, dont'cha know). It would take too darn long to mention all the bands thee folks have passed through or are still in, so here are some pictures. (Incidentally, I meant to post this yesterday, but slapped up Son Volt by accident, so post wise pictures from Bluesfest's fifth day will start at the end and finish in the middle).

Michael Ball sings one of his own compositions. I believe the lyrics went "Beer, beer, beer, beer ..."

Jody Benjamin models the floral print.

Danny Artuso on steel and guitar.

Drummer Wayne Ford-Robicheau is Ottawa's best dressed. He may also be able to sell you some ice cream.

Jennifer Noxon has her own fab music career; here she plays the cajun triangle.

Bassist Don Evans at right.

Country and western and cajun and so on and so on action!

Unfortunately the band was playing with the sun in their faces. It did strange things to Ball's violins and made everyone look a bit like they were getting ready for a Clint Eastwood film festival. Speaking of Hank Williams fandom, the band was slated to play their third annual Hank Williams Birthday Bash show at the Bayou Sept. 16, but with the abrupt shuttering of that club they'll have to find another place.

Friday, July 28, 2006

High voltage

When the members of Uncle Tupelo went their separate ways, Jay Farrar transferred his efforts into Son Volt. He's avoided the stylistic diversions of some other folks I won't name and stuck with the country rock. Since Mark Kozelek split a little early, Son Volt played a little longer.

Jay Farrar.

Rock poser extraordinaire Brad Rice! The shelltop Duesenberg helps.

Drummer Dave Bryson shakes it.

Considering they were one the other side of the stage, this shot of bassist Andrew Duplantis and their keyboardist - Derry de Borja, I think - turned out quite well.

Filial action!

Who needs a slide when you have a microphone stand?

Let's face it, the real reason that bands go through all that encore nonsense is so that they can go grab a cigarette.

Their set was a knockout punch for a lot of the audience, and I was very impressed as well too, though I was just on the edge of deciding I'd heard all I had to.