Friday, May 18, 2018

Recording: Ken Aldcroft Emergents Ensembles

Artist: Ensembles containing Karen Ng/Emily Denison/Andrew Furlong/Mark Zurawinski/Daniel Kruger

Songs: East of Baghdad + A Country Mile + Threads III [composer: Ken Aldcroft]

Recorded at The Music Gallery @ 918 Bathurst (Emergents III:The Music of Ken Aldcroft), April 6, 2018.

Karen Ng/Andrew Furlong/Mark Zurawinski - East of Baghdad

Daniel Kruger + Emily Denison - A Country Mile

Karen Ng/Emily Denison/Andrew Furlong/Mark Zurawinski/Daniel Kruger - Threads III

This evening in the MG's Emergents series was dedicated to the music of the much-missed Ken Aldcroft, presented by a group of musicians who were Aldcroft's bandmates and students. The first half split the group into two smaller sub-units before bringing everyone on stage to tackle music from several sections of Ken's diverse songbook, all of which explore different ways to combine an improvisatory spark with structured composition. So, here we have a piece written for rebetiko rockers Alaniaris, as well an acoustic re-interpretation from his Threadgill-inspired Threads unit. There was also some Convergence-style sign-flashing as well as a new composition offered in remembrance by saxophonist Karen Ng.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Recording: Keith/Rehlinger/Renaud

Artist: Michael Keith/Jakob Rehlinger/Craig Renaud

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at Array Space (Track Could Bend #37), April 3, 2018.

Michael Keith/Jakob Rehlinger/Craig Renaud - [excerpt 1]

Michael Keith/Jakob Rehlinger/Craig Renaud - [excerpt 2]

Continuing a series tradition, Track Could Bend marked its third anniversary by inviting back all of the previous year's performers for a celebration. That's enough of a crowd to warrant a larger stage, so for one rainy night, the action shifted over to Array Space. There ended up being sixteen players, all of whom put their names in a hat to be drawn to create spontaneous ensembles for a series of quick sets. To close the night, the hat provided this trio, each member of which has been known to create some rigourous drones in their own ways. No surprise, then, that they fell right together into a deep drift zone; but the twist here came from Michael Keith, whose deadpan comedic sensibility provided a slightly-surreal narrative throughline.

[TCB will be having a special extra-early show at The Baby G on Tuesday, June 5th, with sets from Barry Prophet, Nicole Rampersaud and Lisbon's Sal Grosso.]

Recording: Kardonne/Estacio/Jensen/Nish-Lapidus

Artist: Tova Kardonne/Kat Estacio/Katie Jensen/Matt Nish-Lapidus

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Track Could Bend #37), April 3, 2018.

Tova Kardonne/Kat Estacio/Katie Jensen/Matt Nish-Lapidus - [excerpt]

Continuing a series tradition, Track Could Bend marked its third anniversary by inviting back all of the previous year's performers for a celebration. That's enough of a crowd to warrant a larger stage, so for one rainy night, the action shifted over to Array Space. There ended up being sixteen players, all of whom put their names in a hat to be drawn to create spontaneous ensembles for a series of quick sets. With drifting/buzzing electronics and keyboards sharing space with voice and gongs, this quartet discovered a sort of nonlinear dream-drift, mapping topographical subconscious terrains — intriguing but not necessarily calm landscapes.

[TCB will be having a special extra-early show at The Baby G on Tuesday, June 5th, with sets from Barry Prophet, Nicole Rampersaud and Lisbon's Sal Grosso.]

Recording: Chan/Mazinani/Kuplowsky

Artist: Heidi Chan/Mani Mazinani/Luke Kuplowsky

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Track Could Bend #37), April 3, 2018.

Heidi Chan/Mani Mazinani/Luke Kuplowsky - [excerpt]

Continuing a series tradition, Track Could Bend marked its third anniversary by inviting back all of the previous year's performers for a celebration. That's enough of a crowd to warrant a larger stage, so for one rainy night, the action shifted over to Array Space. There ended up being sixteen players, all of whom put their names in a hat to be drawn to create spontaneous ensembles for a series of quick sets. A trio that might never be attempted through logical means of organization, this alchemical combination of acoustic guitar, modular synth, harmonica and cracklebox unexpectedly melded into a beautifully-genteel sort of electroacoustic folk. In an alternate universe where Eric Chenaux and Martin Arnold are co-headlining arena shows, this could be the opening act.

[TCB will be having a special extra-early show at The Baby G on Tuesday, June 5th, with sets from Barry Prophet, Nicole Rampersaud and Lisbon's Sal Grosso.]

Recording: Davison/Trotter/Labikova

Artist: William Davison/Chris Trotter/Bea Labikova

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Track Could Bend #37), April 3, 2018.

William Davison/Chris Trotter/Bea Labikova - [excerpt]

Continuing a series tradition, Track Could Bend marked its third anniversary by inviting back all of the previous year's performers for a celebration. That's enough of a crowd to warrant a larger stage, so for one rainy night, the action shifted over to Array Space. There ended up being sixteen players, all of whom put their names in a hat to be drawn to create spontaneous ensembles for a series of quick sets. The hat once again obliged with this excellent mix of organic and electronic sounds, giving space for a nice contrast between Chris Trotter's electronic textures, William Davison's concrète clonks, and Bea Labikova's sax explorations.

[TCB will be having a special extra-early show at The Baby G on Tuesday, June 5th, with sets from Barry Prophet, Nicole Rampersaud and Lisbon's Sal Grosso.]

Recording: Martin-Gray/Roblin/Ford

Artist: Mira Martin-Gray/Diane Roblin/Justin Huang Ford

Song: [edited excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Track Could Bend #37), April 3, 2018.

Mira Martin-Gray/Diane Roblin/Justin Huang Ford - [edited excerpt]

Continuing a series tradition, Track Could Bend marked its third anniversary by inviting back all of the previous year's performers for a celebration. That's enough of a crowd to warrant a larger stage, so for one rainy night, the action shifted over to Array Space. There ended up being sixteen players, all of whom put their names in a hat to be drawn to create spontaneous ensembles for a series of quick sets. Things got started with this atmospheric combination that saw Diane Roblin's piano provide some structure for the drift and squeal of electronics and feedback.

[TCB will be having a special extra-early show at The Baby G on Tuesday, June 5th, with sets from Barry Prophet, Nicole Rampersaud and Lisbon's Sal Grosso.]

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Recording: Away Forward

Artist: Away Forward

Song: Junk Science

Recorded at Duggan's Brewery, March 30, 2018.

Away Forward - Junk Science

There's heaps of veteran savvy in this new unit that amalgamates Lisa Nighswander and Greg Chambers of Mean Red Spiders with Andrew McAllister and Paul Boddum of Christiana/Neck, so it's unsurprising that they made their hazy dreampop sound so effortless. Celebrating their debut album, they made the stage into a homey nest, decorated with lamps and a backsheet. Similarly, the songs are like cozy rooms that you can relax and recline in — a place to lean back and look at the skylight (or drift into the skylight within).

[Away Forward will be performing at Wavelength's free/family-friendly Doors Open event, performing alongside Twist, Kira May, SlowPitchSound, and Merival at The Horseshoe all afternoon long on Sunday, May 27th.]

Recording: Stargoon

Artist: Stargoon

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Duggan's Brewery, March 30, 2018.

Stargoon - [excerpt]

The Stargoon crew returned with feedback and mildly-melodic zworping to warm up the crowd in this Parkdale basement.

[Stargoon will also be warming up the crowd for The Mean and Aus!Funkt at The Piston on Thursday, May 31st.]

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Recording: The Silt

Artist: The Silt

Songs: No Twig + One Day Will Come + No One Can Say Too Well

Recorded at Array Space, March 29, 2018.

The Silt - No Twig

The Silt - One Day Will Come

The Silt - No One Can Say Too Well

This typical spring day (in the sense that spring is often cold and rainy) saw the reactivation of this Rat-Drifting era unit (that had only a single one-off show last year since their dissolution in 2010) playing "all the hits" over two sets. There was multi-tasking all around here — most notably from Marcus Quin, who spent most of the set playing drums and bass simultaneously, but Ryan Driver and Doug Tielli each swapped off on several instruments as well.

Mostly favouring a sort of bent-roots crunch (though with several diversions, such as to the prog crooning heard in the second song here) and plenty three-part falsetto harmonies, the group's unstable wobble puts them at the most "out" in a constellation of contemporaries like Royal City and Rock Plaza Central. I only saw this band play once, toward the end of their run, and I was somewhat ambiguous about them then, clearly lacking the context to totally "get" what they were doing. Now, this strikes me as excellent stuff — and this performance, feeling rough-around-the-edges in the best ways, didn't feel like the work of a band that had hardly played in seven years. They've already gotten one more show under their belt, so it looks like this might be back in the "active projects" docket.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Concert Listings Roundup #250

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:

Pink Noise (Man Made Hill / Bile Sister / Wolfcow) / D D L 2018-05-17 (Thursday) [FB event]

Naomi Floods [tape release!] (Bad Passion / Lavender Bruisers / Trevor Turple) / Owl's Club 2018-05-17 (Thursday) [FB event]

Like springtime weeds bursting out through cracks in the sidewalk, local DIY musicians are finding ways to thrive/survive in a hostile environment. I could imagine having an excellent time at either of these shows with plenty fave musicians between them, which makes a hard choice inevitable — it'll come down to a gametime decision on Thursday evening.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Team Building ["New friends and old share new songs, works in progress, thoughts in sound. Hosted by Luke Kuplowsky, featuring a rotating cast of songwriters.] (feat. Dana Sipos / Luke Kuplowsky / Graeme Moffat / Sam Allen / Ghislain Aucoin / Abigal Lapell / Alanna Stuart / Adrian Underhill) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-05-14 (Monday) [FB event]

Peggy Lee/Lina Allemano/Nelson Moneo/Kristian Podlacha / Art Square Gallery & Café 2018-05-14 (Monday) [FB event]

Soundstreams' Ear Candy: Beat It! (feat. Ryan Scott/Leslie Newman/James O'Callaghan/Andrew Staniland) / Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret 2018-05-15 (Tuesday) [more info]

Octopus Curls / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-05-16 (Wednesday – early!)

Josh Cole Quintet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-05-16 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Jessica Stuart presents! Ep. 4 (feat. Hairbrain [Anh Phung/Berty Lancaster] / Jessica Stuart) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-05-17 (Thursday – evening set @ 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

Digital Spectrum: Music for Horns and Electronics ["premieres by Toronto based composers Quinn Jacobs and Patrick McGraw and... works by Larry Lake and Hildegard Westerkamp"] (feat. Micajah Sturgess & Will Callaghan) / Canadian Music Centre 2018-05-17 (Thursday) [FB event]

Negative Gemini (Ice Cream / Nyssa) / The Baby G 2018-05-17 (Thursday) [FB event]

Arma Agharta (Manticore / Bonnie Trash / Greydini) / Owl's Club (basement) 2018-05-18 (Friday) [FB event]

Light Years/Dark Matter [an original multi-movement work composed collectively by all four TorQ members taking the science and imagery of space as inspiration for a new immersive concert presentation] (feat. TorQ Percussion Quartet) / 918 Bathurst 2018-05-18 (Friday) [more info]

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2018-05-18 (Friday)

Labyrinth Musical Workshop Ontario presents (feat. Ali Akbar Moradi / Imamyar Hasanov) / Eastminster United Church 2018-05-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Regina Gently (boyBITCH with Precious Jewel / Loji / AIDA) / Handlebar 2018-05-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Rat-drifting 6 (feat. MagicEyeImage [Simon Labbé/Gabriel Drolet/Philippe Melanson]) / Array Space 2018-05-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

On the Spot and No Thing Composers Joint Concert (feat. Brian Abbott/Paul Newman/Kayla Milmine/Manuel Morales/Amy Brandon/Amy Gordon/Priya Shah/Ivana Jokic/Julia Mermelstein/Melodie Laton/Amanda Lowry) / Canadian Music Centre 2018-05-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Gentle Reminder No.2 (feat. Highgrove / Nathan Ivanco / Humanoid Incognito) / June Records 2018-05-20 (Sunday – PWYC! all ages! early show @ 6 p.m.!) [FB event]

8th annual residency (feat. Eucalyptus) / Hirut Café 2018-05-20 (Sunday – early show @ 7 p.m.! All ages + family-friendly! Good eats available!) [FB event]

No Seas (Karen Ng) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2018-05-20 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

FACS [ex-Disappears] (Vanishing Hand / The Brain) / Monarch Tavern 2018-05-20 (Sunday) [FB event]

Slip, Slop, Slap: Experiment! (feat. Lora Bidner / Zoë Alexis-Abrams / KASHKA [solo]) / Handlebar 2018-05-20 (Sunday) [FB event]

QB8: QueerNOISE (*shhh) pre-Drone Day (feat. Xiao Xuan / tendencyitis / Esther Splett / Twin Masks / Harper Bizarre) / The Arcade 2018-05-20 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Big City Cough [Sean Beresford/Michael Eckert/Lee Rose]) / The Emmet Ray 2018-06-20 (Sunday – PWYC!) [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!

magiceyeimage [Simon Labbé/Gabriel Drolet/Philippe Melanson] / The Emmet Ray 2018-05-21 (Monday – early! PWYC!) [more info]

In Between [Ted Crosby/Karen Ng/Josh Cole/Philippe Melanson] / The Emmet Ray 2018-05-21 (Monday – PWYC!) [more info]

Lina Allemano Four / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2018-05-22 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Cole Blouin (Decoration Day) / Davenport & Bathurst-ish 2018-05-24 (Thursday) [FB event]

Trapdoor Fest: Night 1 ["new, entirely independent and entirely all ages music festival"] (feat. Bad Waitress / Luna Li /Cliff Cardinal / Hot Garbage / Fade Awaays) / CineCycle 2018-05-25 (Friday – dry event! all ages!) [FB event]

The Mean (Aus!Funkt / Stargoon) / The Piston 2018-05-31 (Thursday) [FB event]

Polka Dogs [The Bee album release] / Burdock Music Hall 2018-06-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 68 (feat. Eugene Chadbourne / Protruders / Holiday Rambler / Mermaids) / Matt Durant Studio 2018-06-02 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

TONE Festival and Mechanical Forest Sound present (feat. Manas [Tashi Dorji/Thom Nguyen/Wes McCoy] / Clarinet Panic Redux / Kurt Newman's Nashville Minimalism Unit) / The Baby G 2018-06-03 (Sunday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Special Interest / Que Lastima / Sigil / Piper Maru) / Faith/Void 2018-06-03 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #39 (feat. Barry Prophet / Nicole Rampersaud / Sal Grosso) / The Baby G 2018-06-05 (Tuesday – PWYC! extra-early show @ 7 p.m.!) [FB event]

TONE Festival (feat. Waclaw Zimpel & Kuba Ziolek / Joseph Shabason / Nick Storring) / The Baby G 2018-06-05 (Tuesday) [FB event]

TONE Festival (feat. Anthony Coleman / c_RL) / Arraymusic 2018-06-08 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

TONE Festival (feat. Jessica Moss / Tryal / Manticore) / Burdock Music Hall 2018-06-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

ContaQt: Many Faces - We Are All Marilyns [music by Eve Beglarian, Amnon Wolman and John Oswald, and choreography by Laurence Lemieux] (feat. Contact Contemporary Music) / Buddies In Bad Times 2018-06-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

TONE Festival (feat. The Revival Ensemble / Sick Boss Löve) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2018-06-17 (Sunday) [FB event]

Anthems & Icons (feat. The Queer Songbook Orchestra) / Buddies In Bad Times 2018-06-17 (Sunday) [FB event]

Simply Saucer [7" release!] (Blonde Elvis) / The Baby G 2018-06-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Iceage / Mary Lattimore / Cares) / Lee's Palace 2018-06-23 (Saturday) [FB event]

Baby Cages [Bitter Melon album release!] (Pantayo / "secret guest") / Owl's Club 2018-06-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Darlene Shrugg (Biblical / NOBRO) / Lee's Palace 2018-07-27 (Friday) [FB event]

Friday, May 11, 2018

Recording: Germaine Liu

Artist: Germaine Liu + co.

Songs: Keyschain + Playground + Walking on Water [composer: Germaine Liu]

Recorded at the Canadian Music Centre (Composers' Toolbox: The Joy of Play), March 27, 2018.

Germaine Liu/Heather Saumer/Bea Labikova - Keyschain

Germaine Liu/Heather Saumer/Bea Labikova - Playground

Germaine Liu + Ensemble - Walking on Water

One of the city's most beloved musicians got a chance to explain and demonstrate her artistic process in an instalment of this excellent series curated by Jonathan Adjemian. Known for her boundless curiosity and beginner's mind approach to wringing sound out of pretty much anything, Germaine Liu started by describing her method of "honouring the objects you're playing with... being as honest as possible, without feedback or looking for approval." Some of her game-like pieces were then demonstrated (along with the assistance of Heather Saumer and Bea Labikova) before drafting in the audience to try the materials and compositions for themselves, using keys, stones, pans of water, ceramics and more. As the event's subtitle implied, there was a playful spirit throughout, but that revealed the depths that can be obtained from listening to a pulse and joining in.

[As of the posting of this entry, the livestream of the whole event is still available to be watched online, which is very much worth your time:]

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Recording: Kat Estacio

Artist: Kat Estacio

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Synaptic Circus Sundays), March 25, 2018.

Kat Estacio - [excerpt]

Kat Estacio was exploring some fresh dronefields in a wide-ranging set. The opening section featured some investigations of all the possible sounds that could be generated from rubbing bells against gongs (a Germaine Liu-esque fascination with one single musical element) before building into the electroacoustic rumbles and buzzings heard here.

[The next Synaptic Circus Sunday will be on May 27th and will feature sets from Jonathan Adjemian and LAL's Nic Murray.]

Recording: Chalk Repairer

Artist: Chalk Repairer

Song: [last piece]*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Synaptic Circus Sundays), March 25, 2018.

Chalk Repairer - [last piece]

More nimble drift'n'drag from Patrick O'Reilly's compositions, this time in an ensemble with Andrew Furlong (double bass), Laura Swankey (vox), Derek Gray (Tibetan bowls) and Edwin Sheard (alto sax). The whole set segued nicely from piece to piece, so you can hear a bit of O'Reilly's looped/processed music box at the start here before the group picks up the tune.

[Edwin Sheard and Patrick O'Reilly will be playing some "furniture music" alongside Anh Fung at Red Eye Espresso on Sunday, May 27th. The next Synaptic Circus Sunday will also be on May 27th and will feature sets from Jonathan Adjemian and LAL's Nic Murray.]

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Recording: The Highest Order

Artist: The Highest Order

Song: Thirsty in the Rain [Peter Rowan cover]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Long Winter 6.5), March 23, 2018.

The Highest Order - Thirsty in the Rain

For its season-closer, Long Winter returned to The Tranzac, filling the building with music and art. The night's headliners, The Highest Order brought some mellow jams to stretch out to, including some new songs as well as this cover, whose musings upon the preponderance of want and suffering in a land of plenty fit right in with their oeuvre.

Recording: Moul D.

Artist: Moul D.

Songs: Problems at Work/Lovely Pup/Voicemail

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Long Winter 6.5), March 23, 2018.

Moul D. - Problems at Work/Lovely Pup/Voicemail

For its season-closer, Long Winter returned to The Tranzac, filling the building with music and art. Bringing the night's dose of punk'n'shouty, this quartet managed to cram half of their recent EP into a single song-sized burst.