Saturday, September 30, 2006

Church lady

Last Thursday marked the fourth time I've seen Priestess; as frequent showgoer Motorcycle Mike observed "They're always amazing." The large and boozy crowd dug them, as always ... or almost always. I remember a pair of twits at the Motorhead show whining about how they sucked - 10 years from now I bet the same two idiots will be saying "Yeah, I saw them back when they opened for Motorhead, before they got big."

Kicking things off with a little machinegun guitar rock.

Vince Nudo accelerates.

Dan Watchorn rocks the Firebird.

Drum solo!

Some serious hair-shaking from Mike Dyball.

Mike on the mic.

And rocking on out.

Their dedicated Ottawa fans got a killer show, as usual.

Friday, September 29, 2006


The Reverb Syndicate are Ottawa's newest surf sensations. They've played a few shows around town starting back in June, and are a pretty effective combo. Like many a surf combo, they've added a cheesy back story to supplement their sound, a la Man ... Or Astroman? Yes, the four operatives of the top-secret syndicate are here to save us from godawful Top 40 dance music. They do this with their Spy-Fi sound - half Dick Dale, half Monty Norman. One hopes they have a shrine to Vic Flick somewhere in their top-secret headquarters.

I actually met syndicate bassist Agent Ampeg at The Hellbros show.

The Fixer fixes up some beats. Last time I saw him, he was carefully disguised behind a beard and a Telecaster.

Speaking of Vics - here's Vic 20, lead guitarist.

Agent Sovtek, rhythm guitarist!

Psychedelic go-go action from the Soviet Sisters!

Guitar a-go-go action!

Keyboard action!

The whole lot!

Their next show is Oct. 4 at The Rainbow.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Who goes there?

What ... we ... have here ... is a failiyuh to communicate. There was some minor confusion over whether the Islands show at Capital Music Hall had been moved (it hadn't, but the rumour definitely was about). I was even tempted to zip over to Babylon to see if they had in fact moved, but decided to hell with it and walked off to George St. I got there expecting to see The Unireverse on stage, only to hear some kind of acoustic singer-songwriter stuff. No, The Unireverse haven't traded in their Moogs for Martins and Taylors. So who's that on stage?

Answer: Stephen St. Pierre, with Takamine.

Unfortunately, Malajube couldn't make it - Unireverse went on second.

Islands took the stage about 10 p.m., played for an hour, did a three song encore.

Good show, perhaps a bit more sedate than their Babylon show. This was my first time in the Capital Music Hall's new digs. Seems pretty nice, and I thought the sound was very good.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


... As Link might say. I zipped off to Zaphod's to see The Solid Senders (for the second time - first was at the Birdman Sound 15th anniversary party). It was more throaty R&B in the pattern of early Them, Shadows of Knight and more modern outfits like The Headcoatees.

Granted, Marie Pop doesn't look much like Van Morrison.

Eric keeps up the Senders' snappy dress code.

You can tell from Jake's expression he'll have none of this undignified kicking and shaking. And that he has a new rectangular Bo Diddley signature model Gretsch.

Yeah, right!

The psychedelic psounds of the Psolid Psenders! Or perhaps not.

It's all about the old-style microphone and Farfisa.

The whole lot!

As good as ever; Jake's jokes may need some work though.
  • Show reminder: Islands, Malajube and Unireverse perform Capital Music Hall; despite rumours of a venue shift, it does seem to still be at the Hall.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Repetition and noise

I enjoyed Shout Out Out Out Out's show last Wednesday - what with all the high kicks, drumstick twirling, "Holla!" and other on-stage hijinx it was certainly a fun visual spectacle. The music was good too. The band's brutalist punk disco didn't have the audience jumping quite as much as I expected, but the crowd was certainly vocal in its appreciation.

Camera! Action! Lights!

Out out out out action with Nik 7! Sorry, I don't know what happened to Niks 1 through 6. Bassist Jamie Wolfskin spaces out on the low end.

Drummers Snarf and Gravey, shown in a rare no-stick-twirling moment.

Whitey Houston - "That's not a hat, it really is his hair!" - says Nik 7. And note stick twirling at back!

Nik shows he's got sole. Jaycie Jayce on the keys.

More kicks! More lights!

It's gettin' sweaty! (Okay, so it already was sweaty ....)

Nik 7 gives his best mad scientist laugh.

Bass action with Nik and Jamie!

Some audience touching.

Closeup bass action!

The hair-shaking finale!

That was good fun, if a bit overstuffed.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Location, location, location

So, I went to see Rock Plaza Central and they were very good. I've already compared them to Chad VanGaalen, Neutral Milk Hotel, the various Palace acts, The Mountain Goats and the Golden Famile. My Ottawa Sun colleague Allan Wigney added in Nick Cave and some other folks and lauded their faithful appreciation of old-time music. There is something of the creaky 78 rpm shellac record to their sound, though I don't recall Geeshie Wiley or the Bubbling Over Five ever singing about robotic horses forever capering toward the stars.

Chris Eaton taps a little.

Blake Howard, enthusiastic drummer.

Scott Maynard on bass, John Whytock on trumpet - he also played some accordion.

Fiona Stewart on violin and Jay Clarke on guitar ... I'm sure I've seen Jay before - performing with Brian Cram, perhaps?

Donald Murray on mandolin and trumpet.

Rock Central Plaza action!

Mass tooting action!

The whole lot.

My bounced flashes worked out better this time around too. Happiness all 'round.