Friday, November 30, 2007

November goes pop

There's something for everyone this Friday - I, for one, will be at the reunion show for The Trapt, Fluid Waffle and Flag of Truce at Babylon, but if old school hardcore/mod/psych/hardcore/etc. isn't to your liking, you can always head next door to Barrymore's and check out Toronto's top pop brats Spiral Beach (depicted below at Bluesfest this year) and The Hidden Cameras.

If you like your pop a bit earlier in the evening, there's Spookey Ruben and Auto Racing at Zaphod Beeblebrox. Over at Irene's you've got Micarza Camaro and Chris Page. I took a listen to Ghost Bees,' Myspace tunes and was very impressed - I may even check out their very early show at the Avant Garde with Leif Vollebekk and Peterborough's capitals-adverse evening hymns. For other punk stuff, Ripcordz and The Riptides, The Leftovers and Clock Strikes play Cafe Dekcuf. Last but not least, at End Hits you can catch The Artist Life, Riot Service and Fire Heats Water.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


You know, digging through my old photos is kind of fun - I get to see stuff I would have had the good sense to post first time around if I hadn't been half-blitzed from lack of sleep, like this snap of Jesus Mullet, from the first time I saw them back at Babylon in March 2006.

They're playing again tonight with Man With Target at End Hits. Meanwhile, over at Zaphod's The Rebel Year, James Correa and Kristine St. Pierre strut their stuff. The Jupiter Ray Project and The John Henrys grace the NAC's fourth stage.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Devil's night

Every time I go to see The Diableros, it seems the audience is far smaller than they deserve. Since I'm going to miss them this time around due to work, it would only seem fair that they have a really big turnout this evening when they play Zaphod's with The Postage Stamps, right? Here they are performing late last year at that very same venue.

For those who want some seriously diabolical music, head over to Mavericks for Greek metallurgists Rotting Christ, who'll be sharing the stage with such cheery chaps as Wolven Ancestry, Insurrection and Gevaudan.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to Jack

There's a busy weekend coming up, but don't be deceived: We're heading into the slow season. I'm just going to kick myself for not waiting until the beginning of December to send my camera off to the repair shop (where it now awaits a decision by the warranty folks on whether they'll replace it or pay to have it repaired) and post the following picture of Jacko, taken back in June.

They perform at Zaphod's again tonight with From Day One and Alan Ganev. Also gigging tonight: Boys Like Girls, All Time Low and One Second 2 Late take part in a "Myspace secret show" at Mavericks and Bedouin Soundclash, Matt Costa and The Saint Alvia Cartel perform at Capital Music Hall.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

10 more songs!

Another Sadies show, another 40-song set. I barely made it into the packed Barrymore's gig. When I went by the Aloha Room around 2:30 they were out of tickets, so I raced off to End Hits to by one of a remaining dozen. When I got through the front door around 9:30 opener C.R. Avery was on stage wearing a brown leather car coat, beatboxing his way through a tale which was, as far as I could tell, about boxing of the pugilistic variety. He got a pretty good reception from the audience - certainly better than most keytar-wielding storytellers might expect from the audience for what is, in essence, a country rock band. I enjoyed his set, but didn't think it had nearly the punch of a full-band set I witnessed two years ago at Bluesfest.
He was swiftly followed by Young Rival. The band seems to have shed their suits along with their previous name, Ride Theory, but their mod-rock-loving sound remains. They got up to speed after the first couple of songs and put on a really energetic show.
As for the Sadies, they've put in so many hours on stage they could probably play their set in their sleep. They have a new album to draw on (as well as recent soundtrack work for the Big Daddy Roth bio), and played plenty of old favourites like Rat Creek as well.
As usual they larded their performance with an excellent selection of covers, most of them familiar from previous shows in time, ranging from the old-time murder tune Pretty Polly, through The Byrds' Wasn't Born To Follow and The Flat Duo jets' Lucky Eye, with Travis turned in a serviceable imitation of Dexter Romweber's surly bark.
They finished their main set with C.R. Avery returning to play harmonica on Tiger Tiger from Stories Often Told - train songs always go better with harmonica, don't they?
And as sagely predicted in many quarters they returned for"10 more songs!" Flamin' Groovies' Shake Some Action and the appropriate and oft-covered Holland-Dozier Holland number Leaving Here (I've always thought they learned of it from the Motorhead version, for some reason).
My only regret is that my camera is in the shop, so there won't be any photos out of this show - sorry.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stop motion

Man, I hope the guys who warrantied my camera get off their duffs, because waiting for them to decide what to do is getting old fast - and I'm sure these updates aren't quite the thrill off my usual voluminous show posting. At least there's a bunch of potential shows on tonight to take my mind off things.

First up, a post rock show at End Hits with City of a Hundred Spires, Tunturia, and Danger Danger Mammoth Hunter (depicted above at a show in October 2006 with CCS and a bunch of other folks). Pilot Light, Synastry, The Mistress, Malice, Arising Roots and Kill Baseline perform at Cafe Dekcuf. The Russian Futurists and The Cansecos play Zaphods.

The Sadies and Young Rival perform at Barrymore's Music Hall - you may recall the Youngsters' gig at Babylon in June 2006 under their former name Ride Theory (that's them up top). C.R. Avery is also on the bill. There's further twanging at Irene's with The Reverb Syndicate, Evil Farm Children and The Bible All-Stars.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Knightly news

Brutal Knights are one of my favourite punk rock bands, so I'm darn embarrassed to have only caught them live on one occasion (depicted below) at The Dominion on a bill with The Sweet Janes in March 2006, despite their repeated trips to Ottawa. No difference this time - I'm working - but punk-minded folks should check out their gig tonight.

They appear at the A&A Speedshop at 279 Flora with Janes offshoot Holy Cobras, Germ Attak and Suppositories tonight. Also heading for the limelight tonight are Sydneyites The Tom Fun Orchestra with Shannon Rose and The Thorns at Zaphod Beeblebrox and experimental guitarist Eric Chenaux with Sandro Perri (the man behind Polmo Polpo) at the Avant Garde Bar.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Some records

Back in spring I was feeling a bit down in the dumps and wondering if my appetite for new music was beginning to taper with the onset of middle age - now it's six months later and the heap of CDs piling up on the floor beside my computer is imperiling I seem to have acquired a heap of new stuff to tantalize the ol' lugholes.

Acid Mothers Temple, Babylon, April 30, 2007

Some of it was kind of obvious: I filled out my Harvey Milk collection with their riff monster The Pleaser and their super debut My Love is Higher than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be. I bought the new Circle album (like I always do) Katapult; I'm also thrilled to hear the band has regained the rights to their classic Meronia and plan a rerelease in the not-too-distant future. I also got the new Reverend Bizarre, III: So Long Suckers. It doesn't impress me as much as Rectory, but is still pretty cool. Good cover art too. And of course I bought some Acid Mothers Temple stuff - not just their latest CD, but a decent concert DVD, Hardcore Uncle Meat, recorded in Croatia in 2005 during the Cosmic Inferno incarnation. My taste for heavy music has slowly been creeping in a more black metal direction. I picked up Southern Lord's two Velvet Cacoon rereleases and Wolves in The Throne Room's Diadem of 12 Stars. and its followup Two Hunters. I suspect that both of these groups were listening to My Bloody Valentine when they were supposed to be listening to Venom. I've also picked up a pair of Xasthur albums: Subliminal Genocide and To Violate The Oblivious, and hear some of the same influence, although that may just be the bargain-basement recording techniques the folks in the black metal genre seem to favour.

New Pornographers, Bluesfest, July 16, 2006

Mind you, it hasn't all been heavy. I loved Oneida offshoot Oakley Hall's last album, and their new one sounds great too. I'll Follow You has a superbly warm production. I also bought and enjoyed the New Pornographers album (I'm with Matthew Pollesel on this one). I've been entranced by Marissa Nadler since buying a copy of her sophomore album, and am even more impressed by her her third effort, Songs III: Bird on the Water. Such a lovely voice in service of such finely crafted lyrics. I walked past Mountain Home's debut a couple of times, then heard that Nadler provided most of the vocals and snapped it up as well. Another fine effort. The new CD from Six Organs of Admittance on Drag City is also excellent: Ben Chasny is some kind of genius. I haven't heard tell of a new Drive-By Truckers album, but we do have the next best thing in retired Trucker Jason Isbell's new solo album and Bettye Lavette's new soul smasher Scene of the Crime, recorded with loads of help from various DBTers. Then there's Spoon. After buying Ga Ga Ga Ga, I felt compelled to buy their entire back catalogue (barring Girls Can Tell, which I already had a copy of). Also I bought both of Amy Winehouse's albums. I'm quite keen on her music, so I hope she gets herself together.

KTL, Psychic Paramount, Whitehorse, White Lichens

And then there's the whacko noise. I don't want to live in a world without earbleed like White Lichens self-titled album on Holy Mountain, KTL and a newer favourite, Psychic Paramount. I always thought I'd pick up something by their predecessor, Laddio Bolocko ever since Your Flesh raved about them, but never got around to it (story of my life). Now that No Quarter has released a comp of their early work (as well as an exhaustive roundup of Laddio Bolocko as well) I've got no excuse. I started by grabbing the LP rerelease of Gamelan Into The Mink Supernatural, which is going to make it into my year-end Top 10 near the top of the list, and have since snared the first of No Quarter's 2CD comps and a live recording appropriately dubbed Live 2002 The Franco-Italian Tour. Another entry in the stuff-I've-been-waiting-to-hear category is Double Leopards' Halve Maen, which is just about the most spooky slab of noise I've lent an ear to. I've also been finding reliable results from the 20 Buck Spin label with releases from Australian sludge lords Whitehorse and the Monarch/Grey Daturas split Dawn of the Catalyst.
Finally, on the retro side of the things I've been getting major kicks from the two-CD comp of Victoria, B.C. punk bands, All Your Ears Can Hear, Culture's reggae masterpiece Two Sevens Clash, John Uzoni's guitar monster Peacepipe and Food's splendid psych pop LP.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Where eagles dare

Ladyhawk put on a killer show at Barrymore's when they opened for Tapes'n'Tapes back in May - that's guitarist and vocalist Duffy Driediger below. They're returning to Ottawa for a gig at Zaphod's tonight.

The band will share the stage with Attack In Black and Casey Baker and the Buffalo Sinners.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In the picture

It's shaping up to be an interesting week; Final Fantasy - a.k.a. Owen Pallett - performs at Bronson Centre Theatre with support from Ken Reaume and Nifty. Here's a leftover photo from this years Bluesfest performance July 9. at the Black Sheep Stage.

Meanwhile, Mavericks plays host to Camilla Rhodes, Favours The Brave, Dead Winter and Hollyacres.

Monday, November 19, 2007

To the aid of the party

Curse those cosmic rays! One of them winged my camera's sensor a short while ago. It's currently in Mississauga while the techies give it a once over - or perhaps I should say while the warranty folks decide whether it's worth repairing or just buy me a new one. So don't go expecting much in the way of live photography for a while yet. All of which brings me to Ukrainia, pictured below on July 8 rocking at the River Stage during Bluesfest 2007.

The band is holding a birthday shindig for drummer Tom Werbowetski at the Avant-Garde. Elsewhere, Blue Reverb and Deep Red Meteor perform at Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


As band names go, "F" may be asking for trouble, but at least it fits on a button. Their funky hard rock was really energetic, and guitarists Tyler and Jim are both good frontmen. It's also none too serious - like a lot of funk rock, come to think of it.

Jim McDowell models the F-button.

Guitarist Tyler Black.

Bassist Jesse Parkinson.

Drummer Isaac McFaul.

Big finish!

That was pretty good.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Different kinds of heavy

Hmm - I wonder how many people in the city beside me would have a hard time choosing between David Picco's whiskey-burnished exile country rock at Irene's along with Trevor Alguire and P.E.I.'s Northwest Division and Nadja, Eaotin Shrdlu, Sleeping Pilot and Destroy All Dreamers at Babylon. (Not to mention Fucked Corpse and We Fled Cairo at Brixton's).

Good thing I'm otherwise engaged and don't have to decide (wait, that's not good ...).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Prickly business

Shannon Rose was a capable follow to Rebekah Higgs; she's got a good voice and an excellent backing band in The Thorns. It's singer-songwriter stuff with a lot of folk in it.

Shannon, with guitar and without.

Guitarist Steve Matylewicz, last seen at The Avant-Garde backing Damo Suzuki.

Drummer Tim Watson.

Bassist Ashley Newall.

Thorny action!

The whole lot!

They play Zaphod's again on Nov. 23.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

All this and rabbits, too

Rebekah Higgs played a very sharp set. I certainly enjoyed it more, and not just because Jon Epworth and Bloodlines weren't around to put everyone else in the shade. I'm not sure if it's working in a trio with occasional Epworth sidemen Sean McGillvray and Jason Vautour (who were alongside last time) or plenty of roadwork that's made the difference, but less was more.

Sean started off on bass, but after a couple of tunes switched to drums.

His replacement, Jason.

He also played some slide guitar, and later activated the pickups using a cellphone.

Sean on the skins. Higgs said he "fortunately happened to be in Ottawa," I'm wondering if he was here with Jenn Grant, who played at the Capital Music Hall the night before.

Singalong action!

Higgs had a couple of papier-mache (or something like it) rabbits, Bernard and Stacey. "They've kind of been hogging the attention," she noted.

Bernard or Stacey.

And so on!

Hopefully she'll return soon with her cuddly hand-crafted merch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wait and see

When I checked the listing for Zaphod's Monday free showcase, the bill was F, Shannon Rose and The Thorns and TBA. "TBA" were on stage when I entered, sounding a bit like a combination of modern day metallic alterna-rock with a bit of singer-songwriter thrown in for good measure. I was waiting for some kind of on-stage introduction when I noticed the set-times list named them as TBA. And yes, TBA is indeed their name: I suspect that's a bit daring for their own good, but who knows, maybe they'll call their first album Various Artists. (I note they aren't the first band to snag the name, there's an Australian combo as well that seems to have died on the vine).

Bassist Laura and guitarist Shannon, who also handles the lion's share of the singing.

Guitarist Brother Lucy (all names approximate, by the way).

They did diverge from modern trends somewhat to break out the conga.

Good think too, this is the only good shot I have of drummer Frankie.

More to-be-announced action!

Laura and Shannon in fuzzy natural light goodness.

And a low-light all-together shot.

Not exactly my cup tea, but a lot of potential (except where the name is concerned).