Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wired for sound

Last night I watched a fine Hong Kong crime movie, Mad Detective (it's about a detective who's quite, quite mad) then went over to The New Bayou for the record release show for The White Wires. They're a much-talked about local trio, as everybody who reads this blog knows. Now that I think about it, most of the regular Ottawa readers of this blog have already seen them live - they're one of those bands I keep managing to miss. Onward!

The opening act was to have been The Fifth Fist, but they couldn't make it, so the slot went to The Visitors who played a set up of pop punk that made me think of a cranked up Muffs, particularly when Antarctic-Cat da Gama handled the singing. Drummer Kevo Polo can also be seen in The Annoyers, while guitarist Skottie has made numerous NCR appearances fronting The Creeps. They threw out a couple of new tunes as well.

The Visitors, The New Bayou, November 29, 2008

In between sets, DJ Nate (Hurlow, that is, also of deceased or irregular combos The Dead City Rebels, Fortunate Sons, Golden Famile and Rickity Ship) spun some punk rock and rock'n'roll tuneage.

DJ Nate, The New Bayou, November 29, 2008

The School Jerks came up from Toronto to play their first Ottawa show. Nasty sneering hardcore that's like The Brutal Knights, but without the goofball humour. That's not a criticism - they had a real edge.

School Jerks, The New Bayou, November 29, 2008

Finally The White Wires played a triumphant set. As mentioned earlier, Allie from The Felines (and The Misclits and Captain Foxy, come to that) drums. Sedatives organist, sometimes Cryptomaniac and Gaga Records supremo Ian Manhire fronts the band and Million Dollar Marxist Luke Nuclear plays bass. So alot of familiar faces turning out the power-pop-punk.

White Wires, The New Bayou, November 29, 2008

It was an energetic evening that ended up with the audience dancing on the stage and running off with Ian's hair.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cat people

I can tell how much my work schedule has impacted my going out to shows by the large number of new local bands I want to see (either for the first time or again) but haven't managed to catch live. At least I can cross The Felines off the list of bands I had yet to see. On the other hand I have to add them to the list of the bands I want to see again. Oh well. On this occasion they were sharing a stage (or the section of the Bytown Tavern's floor that passes for one) with Vancougar, Statues, Horses and Malcolm Bauld.

For those who missed my earlier post, the band is composed (from left to right) of keyboardist Steel Rose, drummer El Maraschino, bassist and sometimes guitarist bassist Momo and Ilona Spo-dee-o-dee. Think Cramps, Link Wray and any band that ever stuck a pencil through an amplifier cone.

Guitar action!

Singalong action! I put this photo up on my Flickr account a couple of days ago. So if you've been wondering when the hell I'd be updating stuff over there, the answer is right now!

Steel handles the keys.

El Maraschino prepares to hit! She'll also be playing tonight at The New Bayou with her other band The White Wires when they release their new LP.

Spo-dee-o-dee wine-coloured guitar action!

And so on!

And we end more or less where we began.

No word on upcoming shows, but they were promising some Christmas vinyl back in August.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Brass tacks

So here's Brasstronaut, Vancouver jazz-pop-whatever-seems-handy quartet. A refreshing change from the usual stuff.

Here we are, the whole luminescent lot! Bryan Davies on trumpet, Edo Van Breemen on keys and vocals, Brennan Saul mans the traps and John Walsh handles the low end.

And now for some bouncy flash.

The view over the xylophone.

Two microphones are better than one.

More horn!

More Saul!

Davies ditches the brass to chip in some percussion (and of course more cowbell).

The whole lot again!

More Edo!

This guy was dragged out of the audience to count into a song in German (there were no Russians available).

And everyone's happy at the end.

I picked up their EP and it's swell. The band is currently ensconced in Banff recording a full-length thanks to their winning a creative residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cutting remarks

Cast your thoughts back to October 10: There's an election in the making and the Conservative Party of Canada is cutting arts funding and kicking small puppies (or something like that). Some artsy-fartsy types decided to resist the blue tide with a series of shows around Canada, dubbed This Is Not A Conservative Party, of which this Zaphod's shindig was one, featuring locals Sadie Hell and non-locals Brasstronaut.

Ben Welland in blue and red. I shot a few no-flash photos that didn't work too well.

Angus Cruikshank was keeping the beat on this occasion.

The whole lot!

Ben reads from the litany of the Tories' failings. "Well I guess they aren't all bad."

The mandatory yelling Ben shot!

The other mandatory yelling Ben shot.

Ben made sure he was right between the red and blue lights.

"I'm going to have to stand for this one."

And one last Angus shot. Which is quite nice, if I do say so myself.

Their next show is at Mavericks December 19 with No Other Way, Hellbros and Phat Bastard.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bye bye blues

Well, here we are at the last of my Bluesfest 2008 postings ... Martha Wainwright was the final show at the Roots Stage for me. As you can see night had yet to fall, but the call of Boris was louder than the acts slated to cap off Bluesfest. Last time I saw Wainright she was accompanied by her band. On this occasion it was just her and mum and a few songs from her recently released I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too as well as her super debut.

"I decided to dress up for this show."

The many moods of Martha!

And here's her mother, noted folk singer Kate McGarrigle. Somewhat apologetic since it's been a while since she was on stage.

And finally a bit more Martha.

Wainwright is coming back to town, enlivening our chilly December with a show at the Bronson Centre with Jason Bajada December 20.
  • Show reminder: Speaking of the Bronson Centre, Stars and Jenny Whiteley play there tonight in a show that is, of course, sold out. Prince Edward Islanders Two Hours Traffic and The Danks play Zaphod Beeblebrox; Will there be doubleneck SG-rockin' action at The Rainbow tonight? Only Moncton jam chap Chris Colepaugh knows for sure. Lefty McRighty is up to something - not quite sure what - at The Elmdale regularly on Wednesdays.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Totally wired

Wire are one the original crop of 1977 punk rockers which seem to have never packed it in. Although the band has gone on hiatus on occasion, like The Damned, DOA and The Buzzcocks, they don’t seem able to resist returning to studio and stage, and has managed to produce a succession of well-received recent albums and EPs. The veteran group’s most recent release is Object 47, and they charted a tour through North America in support that included a stop at Barrymore's to play a dynamite set for a crowd ranging from old punk rockers to relative youngsters who hadn't even been born during their first burst of creativity.

Colin Newman has equipped himself with a Variax guitar and a laptop on stage ("Excuse me while I check my e-mail" he jested as he adjusted some settings before one of the encores).

Graham Lewis goes for a more casual look.

Richard Gotobed off in a world of his own.

Margaret Fiedler-McGinnis, formally of Laika, stands in for recent departee Bruce Gilbert.

Grimacing action!

Less grimacing action.

The whole lot!

And from the other side of the stage.

And so on!

They've finished their live work for the year, but in January 2009 they've got shows lined for Germany and Austria.