Thursday, May 28, 2015

Recording: Your 33 Black Angels

Artist: Your 33 Black Angels

Song: Run To The Night

Recorded at Handlebar, May 22, 2015.

Your 33 Black Angels - Run To The Night

Although they get lumped into the psych-garage scene (especially here in T.O., where their local running buddies are the stalwarts of the Optical Sounds crew), NYC's Your 33 Black Angels don't stay in one place musically for too long, constantly turning over their sound and repertoire. So, though I hadn't checked out their new Glamour (with proper Canadian spelling, no less) I knew enough not to expect a re-hash of their past work. One thing that is a constant is a fearless willingness to dabble in "uncool" sounds — this is a band who had a keytar player on recent trips — and there was no exception here with the new material sounding like it had no small amount of "Low Rider" in its DNA. But the goal is never kitsch or imitation so much as finding ways to serve the songs — and, in this case, imbue them with a bit of dance-party boogaloo hoodoo.

Recording: Blonde Elvis

Artist: Blonde Elvis

Songs: Slow Fall on Egypt + No Cause For Alarm

Recorded at Handlebar, May 22, 2015.

Blonde Elvis - Slow Fall on Egypt

Blonde Elvis - No Cause For Alarm

Now available as a stylish compact disc, Blonde Elvis celebrated the release of their first EP with a rock'n'roll party. The recorded versions of the songs are fairly ornate glam, a sound that the live iterations have slowly been steering towards.

[With Product to push, Blonde Elvis will be all over the place for next little while — you can catch 'em for free at the Lakeview Stage (located in the Beer Store parking lot across from the Garrison) during the Dundas West Festival (Saturday, June 6th), at the next Feast in the East (Friday, June 5th at Jam Factory), or at the monumental Telephone Explosion/Pleasence Records/Weird Canada showcase (Friday, June 19th at Soybomb).]

Recording: Twist

Artist: Twist

Song: Calendar Girls

Recorded at Handlebar, May 22, 2015.

Twist - Calendar Girls

Laura Hermiston's Twist impressed from the get-go with the songwriting smarts evident in this bedroom pop project, but with the evolution into a full-fledged live band it feels like the second stage booster rockets have kicked in. Only on their second gig as a quartet, there's still some some gelling that'll come in time but the new energy in the songs can be heard in the joy in Hermiston's yelps.

[Twist will be opening up for San Diego's Crocodiles next week (Wednesday, June 3rd) at Velvet Underground.]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Recording: Ryan Carley

Artist: Ryan Carley

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Milk Glass ("Casual Drones 11"), May 21, 2015.

Ryan Carley - [excerpt]

Although this was the eleventh instalment of this series curated by Lowell Sostomi (formerly of Great Bloomers), circumstance had hitherto kept me from checking it out. Intended as "a non-precious environment" at the fairly tiny Milk Glass, the series is both a space for musicians (mostly from the local indie rock scene) to experiment and for audiences to take in those experiments in a relaxed atmosphere — "casual" in all directions, then, and relatively catholic in its interpretation of that genre, open as it is to a wise range of drone-y, ambient and even noisy forms. The series also includes visuals, which on this night included some dodecagonal hangings and projections from Romar L. Johnson.

Keyboardist Ryan Carley has recently been spotted adding some fugue-y disruptions to New Fries' no-wave, but he has long been presenting more stately tunes in Kite Hill and Ohbijou. This set didn't rely on those musical tropes, but the relaxed drift of the bliptronica he offered here suggested a swim in an especially buoyant sea, where you don't have to worry about anything except watching the stars drift by overhead.

[Carley is promising a "cascading piano and synth set" on Monday (June 1st) at Holy Oak, playing alongside former bandmate Mika Posen, who brings her new Merganzer project.]

Recording: Dylan Green

Artist: Dylan Green

Song: [first section]

Recorded at Milk Glass ("Casual Drones 11"), May 21, 2015.

Dylan Green - [excerpt]

Although this was the eleventh instalment of this series curated by Lowell Sostomi (formerly of Great Bloomers), circumstance had hitherto kept me from checking it out. Intended as "a non-precious environment" at the fairly tiny Milk Glass, the series is both a space for musicians (mostly from the local indie rock scene) to experiment and for audiences to take in those experiments in a relaxed atmosphere — "casual" in all directions, then, and relatively catholic in its interpretation of that genre, open as it is to a wise range of drone-y, ambient and even noisy forms. The series also includes visuals, which on this night included some dodecagonal hangings and projections from Romar L. Johnson.

I didn't immediately recognize Green, who used a guitar, loop pedal, mixer and ipad keyboard app to generate some classic Eno-esque ambiance, shimmering soundsheets fluttering as they receded into the distance. It was only after the fact that I put it together that Green is one-half of Oswego, whose self-titled album (available on a name-your-price basis on Bandcamp) was something I had dug last year.

Recording: Kenton Smith

Artist: Kenton Smith

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Milk Glass ("Casual Drones 11"), May 21, 2015.

Kenton Smith - [excerpt]

Although this was the eleventh instalment of this series curated by Lowell Sostomi (formerly of Great Bloomers), circumstance had hitherto kept me from checking it out. Intended as "a non-precious environment" at the fairly tiny Milk Glass, the series is both a space for musicians (mostly from the local indie rock scene) to experiment and for audiences to take in those experiments in a relaxed atmosphere — "casual" in all directions, then, and relatively catholic in its interpretation of that genre, open as it is to a wise range of drone-y, ambient and even noisy forms. The series also includes visuals, which on this night included some dodecagonal hangings and projections from Romar L. Johnson.

Using a Casio keyboard as a tone generator being manipulated by an effects pedal, this set from P0ST3RB0Y's Kenton Smith (whose usual gig doesn't tend towards live instrumentation) was the night's least drone-adherent, relying on bursts of whipsawing soundzworps.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Recording: KGB

Artist: KGB

Song: [excerpt from an improvisation]

Recorded at Array Space ("Audiopollination 30.1"), May 12, 2015.

KGB - [excerpt from an improvisation]

Matching three strong local talents to a rather ripping band name, this trio of Karen Ng, Germaine Liu and Bea Labikova is also a chance to explore a variety of musical textures from two saxes and percussion. There were some moments of nice musical interplay here, and some further variety when Labikova later switched over to fujara.

[As always, you can listen to the full recording of the night over at Audiopollination's bandcamp. The next Audiopollination, with a whole new mix of instant ensembles, will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at Array Space.]

Recording: Karen Ng + Branko Dzinovic

Artist: Karen Ng + Branko Dzinovic

Song: [second piece, edited]

Recorded at Array Space ("Audiopollination 30.1"), May 12, 2015.

Karen Ng + Branko Dzinovic - [second piece, edited]

This night at Audiopollination saw Karen Ng, Germaine Liu and Bea Labikova play together (as KGB) and separately in a trio of opening sets. Karen Ng (on sax and clarinet) and Branko Dzinovic (on accordion) took a little while to find a common space where both of their sounds could work — there was a lotta high-pitched squawking at the outset. Once they settled into something more atmospheric (as heard on these selections) there were some rather pleasing results.

[As always, you can listen to the full recording of the night over at Audiopollination's bandcamp. The next Audiopollination, with a whole new mix of instant ensembles, will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at Array Space.]

Recording: Germaine Liu + Nilan Perera

Artist: Germaine Liu + Nilan Perera

Song: [excerpt from an improvisation]

Recorded at Array Space ("Audiopollination 30.1"), May 12, 2015.

Germaine Liu + Nilan Perera - [excerpt from an improvisation]

This night at Audiopollination saw Karen Ng, Germaine Liu and Bea Labikova play together (as KGB) and separately in a trio of opening sets. Percussionist Germaine Liu was matched with guitarist Nilan Perera, who began the set with a bluesy approach before shifting, as heard here, to his prepared guitar for some deeper abstractions.

[As always, you can listen to the full recording of the night over at Audiopollination's bandcamp. The next Audiopollination, with a whole new mix of instant ensembles, will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at Array Space.]

Recording: Labikova/Albert/Armin/Norton

Artist: Bea Labikova/Phil Albert/Adele Armin/Cassie Norton

Song: [excerpt from an improvisation]

Recorded at Array Space ("Audiopollination 30.1"), May 12, 2015.

Bea Labikova/Phil Albert/Adele Armin/Cassie Norton - [excerpt from an improvisation]

This night at Audiopollination saw Karen Ng, Germaine Liu and Bea Labikova play together (as KGB) and separately in a trio of opening sets. Labikova (on sax) led off in this first set alongside Phil Albert (double bass) and Adele Armin and Cassie Norton (violins). Despite the numbers, the sound was quite spare, often sounding more like contemporary chamber music than rollicking improvisation.

[As always, you can listen to the full recording of the night over at Audiopollination's bandcamp. The next Audiopollination, with a whole new mix of instant ensembles, will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at Array Space.]

Monday, May 25, 2015

Concert Listings Roundup #98

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gigs of the week:

PPOP Presents (feat. Surinam [cassette release party!] PANIC / Past Crimes) / Soybomb 2015-05-29 (Friday) [FB event]

JOOJ [album release party!] (Carl Didur [live score] / Benjamin Kamino [dance]) / Double Double Land 2015-05-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Mechanical Forest Sound Presents (feat. Moonwood / Manticore / Mirrors) / Ratio 2015-05-29 (Friday) [FB event]

On a pretty busy week, it's just too hard to narrow things down to one show, so let's highlight a couple worthy album release shows on Friday night. The Suicide-meets-Marlene Dietrich of Sook-Yin Lee's JOOJ is celebrating at DDL, while Anagram-descendants Surinam will be spraying blood, pacing nervously and generally punishing the halfpipe at Soybomb — so your particular mood/emotional needs might dictate which one of those is right for you. Or, if you want to get an earlier start to the night, drop in to Ratio for a MMMarvelous night of drone-pop (which, full disclosure, I am presenting) from Moonwood, Mirrors and Manticore — it'll even wrap up in time for you to go check out your choice of the headliners above.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Eucalyptus / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-26 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-26 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Crown Larks (No Sweat [Bile Sister + Fresh Flesh] / Slime) / Handlebar 2015-05-26 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Downtown Boys (VCR / Fathers / The Boys) / S.H.I.B.G.B.'s 2015-05-26 (Tuesday) [FB event]

HPR presents (feat. Doc Dunn & The Cosmic Range / Not The Wind, Not The Flag / Tenderness) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-27 (Wednesday)

Constantines (Chad VanGaalen) / Massey Hall 2015-05-27 (Wednesday) [more info]

LOOM (Princess Century / Memorex) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-05-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ronley Teper's Lipliners (Jaron Freeman Fox & The Opposite of Everything) / The Dakota Tavern 2015-05-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

See Through Trio (See Through 5) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Continuum Contemporary Music and Subtle Technologies: Collide ["an experiment with music, media art and science... combining the talents of leading Canadian scientists, artists and composers"] (feat. compositions by Jimmie LeBlanc / Nicole Lizée / Michael Oesterle / James Rolfe) / The Theatre Centre 2015-05-28 (Thursday) [more info]

Heat (Fill Spectre / Overnight) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-05-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

The Treasure Fleet (Stuck Out Here / Alpha Strategy / Boat Culture) / Smiling Buddha 2015-05-28 (Thursday) [FB event]

Spectrum Music: Your Wish is Our Concert / Alliance Française de Toronto 2015-05-29 (Friday) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-29 (Friday)

The Dirty Nil (Mexican Slang / Not Of) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-05-29 (Friday) [FB event]

The Arraymusic Young Composers' Workshop Concert 2015: New Works for MalletKat (feat. works by August Murphy-King / Ben Wylie / Greg Harrison / Cory Latkovich / Talia Wooldridge) / Array Space 2015-05-30 (Saturday – afternoon show!) [more info]

N.213's Group Vision (Tough Age / Eyeballs) / 8-Eleven 2015-05-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Public Animal (Eamon McGrath) / 3030 2015-05-30 (Saturday – free!) [FB event]

Clara Engel (Nicolas Buligan) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Daniel Carter/William Parker Quartet / Array Space 2015-05-30 (Saturday) [more info]

Wavelength 663: EXVEE [Artscape Gibraltar Point 15th Anniversary Bash] (feat. Digits / Etiquette / Bizzarh / New Chance / The Gas Station / New Fries / Still Boys / Farang / L.atasha A.lcindor aka L.A / MALOO / Man Made Hill) / Artscape Gibraltar Point 2015-05-30 (Saturday) [FB event]

Crosswires (feat. Maybelleen / naw / Avant Kool / The Jim Storie Juniors) / handlebar 2015-05-31 (Sunday) [FB event]

Neil Michael Hagerty (Drainolith / Bile Sister / Humanity's Flanks) / Double Double Land 2015-05-31 (Sunday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

Crosss [LO album release!] (Coarse Language / Carl Didur / Lizzy Boredom) / Double Double Land 2015-06-04 (Thursday) [FB event]

April Snow ["neo-soul supergroup... led by some of Toronto's most badass musicians"] / The Island Café 2015-06-05 (Friday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 49 (feat. Blonde Elvis / Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs . Germaphobes / The Moralist & The Nihilist) / Jam Factory 2015-06-05 (Friday) [FB event]

The Big Sound: 4th Anniversary Concert / The Mod Club 2015-06-05 (Friday) [FB event]

Songhoy Blues (Calvin Love / Billy Moon) / The Garrison 2015-06-06 (Saturday) [FB event]

Jay Holy [Scopolamine Dream release party!](Man Made Hill / Memorex / Huren) / Smiling Buddha 2015-06-06 (Saturday)

Insect Ark (Sarah Davachi / Beard Closet / Christopher Willes) / Ratio 2015-06-11 (Thursday) [FB event]

Demons II (feat. P0ST3RB0Y / Fresh Flesh / Lesionread / Alphabot!) / The Beaver 2015-06-11 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Hooded Fang plays ESG + Hooded Fang / Double Double Land 2015-06-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents The Second Sunday of June (feat. Temporary Ensembles / Renegade COBRA) / Array Space 2015-06-14 (Sunday) [FB event]

Telephone Explosion / Pleasence / Weird Canada presents (feat. Moss Lime / Blonde Elvis / Moon / DAS RAD / JFM) / Soybomb 2015-06-19 (Friday) [FB event]

#PAPER100 Block Party (feat. Lobby / Army Girls / YOUNG RIVAL / Grey Lands) / Massey St. & Queen St. West 2015-06-20 (Saturday – free! afternoon party!) [FB event]

Ken Vandermark/Michael Snow/John Oswald / Array Space 2015-06-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

Eric Boeren 4tet / Burdock Music Hall 2015-06-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Crosswires (feat. CaMp CoMbO / Luau or Die / Palermo / The Jim Storie Juniors) / Handlebar 2015-06-28 (Sunday) [FB event]

Destroyer / The Danforth Music Hall 2015-09-30 (Wednesday) [more info]

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Recording: Marker Starling

Artist: Marker Starling

Songs: Heed the Call + Searching For A Song

Recorded at Lula Lounge ("Wavelength 659"), May 10, 2015.

Marker Starling - Heed the Call

Marker Starling - Searching For A Song

A fine night out to celebrate the long-gestating Rosy Maze album started with Chris Cummings playing solo and in his customary trio format with Jay Anderson and Matt McLaren before being joined by a full band (including four backing vocalists), filling up Lula's large, tiered stage. The bulk of the new album was tackled along with some tasty dips into the back catalogue, such as an especially tasty "Fresh and Fair" and a new arrangement of "I've Been Destroyed" with a guest appearance by Cummings' long-time producer Zack G. Great sound in the room, though the vocals came out a little low in my vapture.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Concert Listings Roundup #97

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

Blonde Elvis [On Vanity release party!] (Twist / B-17 / Your 33 Black Angels) / Handlebar 2015-05-22 (Friday) [FB event]

An exciting night to anyone who's been following the evolution of Jesse James Laderoute's glam-pop project, with songs (and the band's lineup) being slowly refined for quite some time now. The whole night is, in fact, a celebration of fine popcraft, which shouldn't be overlooked just because there's some bands here (like B-17) that can rock the fuck out. Bonus: a too-rare appearance by NYC's Your 33 Black Angels, who have both aforementioned qualities of popcraft and rock-the-fuck-out in abundance.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society / Array Space 2015-05-18 (Monday) [FB event]

Love Scene (GREX) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-05-18 (Monday) [FB event]

Buck Gooter (Connoisseurs Of Porn / Wolfcow) / 8-Eleven 2015-05-18 (Monday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Satoko Fujii and KAZE / Newman/Segger) / Array Space 2015-05-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Chain & The Gang (Crosss / Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs) / The Garrison 2015-05-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Piano Party 3 (feat. Matt Smith / secret guest "JJ Towers") / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-20 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

The Gooch Palms (Death Valley Girls / Tonkapuma / Body Butter) / Smiling Buddha 2015-05-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #30.2 (feat. Natsuki Tamura/Peter Orins/Chris Adriaanse/Steve Ward / Christine Pruvost/Satoko Fujii/Cheryl O/Tiina Kiik / Christine Pruvost/Peter Orins/Andy Yue/Rob Piilonen / Satoko Fujii/Natsuki Tamura/Michael Lynn/Jay Hay) / Array Space 2015-05-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

PPOP Presents (feat. Atsuko Chiba / Other Families / Lice / Sex Club) / Johnny Jackson 2015-05-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

21C Music Festival: Illusions (feat. Gryphon Trio / Ensemble contemporain de Montréal) ["an epic multimedia work... comprised of three new pieces by Canadian composers Nicole Lizée, Gabriel Dharmoo, and Simon Martin, interspersed with one of the great 20th century trios by Charles Ives"] / Koerner Hall 2015-05-22 (Friday) [more info]

Mercury Social Club Kick Off Show (feat. HSY / STÜKA / Nice Head) / Mercury Social Club 2015-05-22 (Friday) [FB event]

21C Music Festival: Cinq à Sept (feat. The Visit) / Conservatory Theatre 2015-05-23 (Saturday – early! 5 p.m.) [more info]

21C Music Festival: Spin Cycle (feat. Afiara Quartet / Skratch Bastid) [four new quartets, remixes and responses] / Mazzoleni Concert Hall 2015-05-23 (Saturday) [more info]

Toy Piano Composers and TorQ Percussion Quartet: Impulse / Array Space 2015-05-23 + 2015-05-24 (Saturday [night] + Sunday [afternoon]) [FB event]

Katenen "Cheka" Dioubate [Bimogo album launch!] / Alliance Française de Toronto 2015-05-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 662 (feat. Most People [Violet Spaces EP Release] / Petra Glynt / Hush Pup) / Clay & Paper Theatre 2015-05-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Michael Rault [record release!] (Marvelous Mark & Bad Zeppelin / Beds) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-05-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Deciduous [live performance with stop motion animations of drawings by Janet Macpherson] / Gerard Art Space 2015-06-24 (Sunday – afternoon show!) [FB event]

Audiopollination #30.3 (feat. Sarah Peebles/Andrew Timar/Glen Hall/Jason Doell / Sarah Peebles/Glen Hall/Aki Takahashi / Glen Hall/Jason Doell/Aki Takahashi/Sarah Peebles/Andrew Timar) / Array Space 2015-05-24 (Sunday) [FB event]

Bernice (Familiar Wild / Ben Hermann) / Holy Oak Café 2015-05-24 (Sunday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

LOOM (Princess Century / Memorex) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-05-27 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Neil Michael Hagerty (Drainolith / Bile Sister / Humanity's Flanks) / Double Double Land 2015-05-31 (Sunday) [FB event]

Ryan Carley (Merganzer [feat. Mika Posen]) / Holy Oak Café 2015-06-01 (Monday) [FB event]

East-meets-West [Shahriyar Jamshidi & Raphael Weinroth-Browne] / Musideum 2015-06-05 (Friday) [FB event]

The Good Family / The Dakota Tavern 2015-06-06 (Saturday – early!) [nore info]

Sound Séance I Warm Up Show (feat. Obody [ex-Weird Weeds] / Within [members of Fresh Snow/Iderdown]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-06-07 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Nonoko Yoshida (Future Machines / Germaine Liu) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-06-16 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Lower Dens (Moon King / Jacco Gardner / For Esmé / Girlfriends and Boyfriends / Blonde Elvis) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2015-06-17 (Wednesday) [FB event]

M for 159 Manning 2015 (feat. Serf Kanata / chastity / beauts / Pat Jordache / Dead Obies / Sasha Chapin / Birds of Paradise / Marvelous Mark + Bad Zeppelin / Jr. Mintz / Vallens / Heaters / Clairmont The Second / BART / The Muscadettes / Fat As Fuck) / 159 Manning 2015-06-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 23 (feat. Northumbria / F A V X) / Handlebar 2015-07-05 (Sunday) [FB event]

Ringo Deathstarr / The Cave 2015-07-23 (Thursday) [more info]

Nite Comfort 24 (feat. Para Palabras / Zachary Gray) / Handlebar 2015-08-02 (Sunday) [FB event]

Friday, May 15, 2015

Recording: Nifty

Artist: Nifty

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall ("Blocks Final Concert"), May 9, 2015.

Nifty - unknown

Matt Smith closed out a lengthy night of music with some re-energizing body-movement grooves, including some from his Pity Slash Love, which will be remembered as the final Blocks release.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Austra

Artist: Austra

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall ("Blocks Final Concert"), May 9, 2015.

Austra - unknown

Katie Stelmanis apologized for not playing material from her Blocks-released solo album (blaming it on the scourge of old hard drive incompatibility) but turned the night's retrospective vibe on its head by instead presenting a full set of brand-new material with Austra. That turned the set into a celebration of the fact that although Blocks is ending, the talent that it nurtured continues to flourish.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!