Friday, May 26, 2017

Recording: Smellwether 4

Artist: "Smellwether 4"

Song: Something Else*

Recorded at Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), April 26, 2017.

Smellwether 4 - Something Else

This somewhat-whimsical re-naming of Bellwether 4 was meant as an acknowledgement that regular drummer Andrew Miller was out-of-town for this one, and not as a comment on Joe Sorbara, who was serving as his fill-in. Sorbara plays with some of the members of this band on the regular in other projects and fit in quite nicely over two sets as Emily Denison (trumpet), Anthony Argatoff (alto saxophone), and Victor Vrankulj (double bass) each provided some compositions from the group's rapidly-growing book.

* I do believe that this was the title called out for this one, but I'm not totally sure. I also think it segues into another piece, but I didn't catch the name of that one. Please leave a comment if you can clear this up!

Recording: Marcel Aucoin

Artist: Marcel Aucoin

Song: Waldeinsamkeit

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Piano Party), April 26, 2017.

Marcel Aucoin - Waldeinsamkeit

Marcel Aucoin brought a page of notes but no sheet music to this piano party set. He focused mainly on a series of new and unrecorded works-in-progress inspired by words that have no English equivalent. This tune evokes the feeling of Waldeinsamkeit, a German concept that translates literally into the sense of being alone in the woods, but which suggests the wondrous and mystical feelings that evokes rather than any sort of fear or dread.

Recording: Bob Wiseman

Artist: Bob Wiseman

Song: Piano Party [first section]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Piano Party), April 26, 2017.

Bob Wiseman - Piano Party [first section]

Jonathan Adjemian's Piano party series saw a pair of contrasting players on this night, with Bob Wiseman offering a stream-of-consciousness journey. Even in its jauntier moments, this was high-wire act/heavy concentration stuff, with Wiseman willing himself through note-flurries that would occasionally drop into meditative études before leaping back into the boogie-woogie hurly-burly. It's still a thrill to hear The Legend in action, and one must still Beware of Bob. [You can hear another recording of the full set here.]

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo & friends

Artist: Allison Cameron/Kristel Jax/Heraclitus Akimbo / Brian Abbott/Heidi Chan/Laura Swankey/Heraclitus Akimbo + Ambrose Pottie/Andrew Furlong/Karen Ng/Heraclitus Akimbo + Ryan Kinney/Paul Newman/Heraclitus Akimbo

Songs: [excerpts from four improvised mini-sets]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #53.2), April 25, 2017.

Allison Cameron/Kristel Jax/Heraclitus Akimbo - [excerpt]

Brian Abbott/Heidi Chan/Laura Swankey/Heraclitus Akimbo - [excerpt]

Ambrose Pottie/Andrew Furlong/Karen Ng/Heraclitus Akimbo - [excerpt]

Ryan Kinney/Paul Newman/Heraclitus Akimbo - [excerpt]

Fully aware of my own fungibility, I try not to go out of my way to score gigs for my alter ego Heraclitus Akimbo. This one was an exception. Inspired by Paul Newman, who always has a show on his birthday, I asked Audiopollination's Mike Lynn if he'd be interested in booking me on mine. In a blink, he had a full slate of peeps lined up, filling four twenty minute-ish mini-sets. The goal here was to have each half move continuously, with the musicians switching off seamlessly, and that worked out quite well. In fact, everything went off better than could be expected — but I guess that's what happens when you have so many A-1 talents on stage. Even if half of my stuff didn't work out as planned, there was enough going on to not leave a hole. Playing with others is an interesting experience on the heels of my (limited) career as a mostly-soloist, and it was rather interesting to see things take on their own shapes. The first half ended up being noisier than expected and the second a super-chill zone. Having tried it, I recommend that everyone should play a show on their birthday. Getting older is already the thing you're best at.

[Audiopollination is on hiatus until September, when its self-curation series will return. Heraclitus Akimbo has two shows coming up: a collaboration with Paul Newman on Sunday, June 4th as part of Ratio's "Decreation" series, and a solo set on Sunday, June 18th at Handlebar, with New Tendencies and Bachelard.]

[photo by Tom Beedham]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recording: Nailbiter

Artist: Nailbiter

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Steady Café, April 23, 2017.

Nailbiter - [excerpt]

Josh Korody's improvised modular synth dancefloor attack played to a sit-down/head-nodding crowd at this one, as he continues to juxtapose repetition and minimal melodic evolutions in the service of groove persistence.

Recording: Cares

Artist: Cares

Song: [second movement]*

Recorded at The Steady Café, April 23, 2017.

Cares - [second movement]

Often when I see James Beardmore in performance, it's in situations that tilt towards improvisation and/or collaboration. This one, however, showed off the more structured work that can be heard on his recent releases, deploying deeply-manipulated youtube samples and other found sounds in collaged popsong slurries. Playing in front of some glitch-animated stock photos representing visions of capitalistic success reinforced some of those same themes wriggling under the surface in his tapes.

* There was certainly a deliberate structure here, but I'm not sure if this corresponds to any of Cares' formal pieces — I hear some similarities to, say, "Professional Network" at the start of this extract, and "Chair Throwing Meditation" at the end. So I'm not sure what to go with as a title to this one — please leave a comment if you have any ideas!

Recording: New Tendencies

Artist: New Tendencies

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Steady Café, April 23, 2017.

New Tendencies - [excerpt]

This project from Matt Nish-Lapidus (who also serves as guitar-wrangler in post-punkers Several Futures) began as an experiment in treating field recordings with various post-ambient effects, but has tranformed from a software to a hardware project for live performance. Working with a modular synth, the m.o. for this set seemed to be to twist knobs 'til everything got complicated.

[There will probably be some different tones generated on Sunday, June 18th at Handlebar, at a gig billed as "A Quiet Night", with Matt N-L being joined by Heraclitus Akimbo and Bachelard.]

Recording: Johan Seaton

Artist: Johan Seaton

Song: [third section]

Recorded at The Steady Café, April 23, 2017.

Johan Seaton - [third section]

Bringing something that nudged closer to overt tunefulness than the last time I caught his laptop electroacoustic glitchnoise, there were still some disorienting rumbles and whirr-whoops (some of the latter apparently the sounds of his laptop screen being elektrosluched).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #201

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:

Keys, Wind and Strings Festival ["works by Allison Cameron, Rose Bolton, Gregory Lee Newsome, Uroš Rojko, Paul Clift, Solomiya Moroz and Marielle Groven"] (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective with Olivia Steimel and Solomiya Moroz) / Array Space 2017-05-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Keys, Wind and Strings Festival: Premieres VI ["world premieres by Jason Doell, Germaine Liu, Fjóla Evans, Kasia Czarski-Jachimovicz, and Tobias Eduard Schick"] (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective with Olivia Steimel and Solomiya Moroz) / Array Space 2017-05-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

Holy crow, this was a tough one — I could have gone so many ways with this week's riches, including multi-show celebrations from Fiver and The Rheostatics, a Great Hall takeover by Music in the Barns and two whole days of musical wanderings as a part of Doors Open. (dig through the listings below and find out more about all of these!)

Anyway, in that flurry of great choices, this double-header from the always-fascinating Thin Edge crew shouldn't be missed, mixing together two nights of music with plenty of new discoveries as well as several faves around these parts, including Allison Cameron on Wednesday and premieres from Germaine Liu and Jason Doell on Thursday. The recent magazine cover stars aren't afraid to bring chamber music to Long Winter or to the halfpipe at Soybomb, so if you like those sorts of zones don't be afraid to check them out on their home turf.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Henry Fraser & Sam Weinberg (Zach Bines & Lowell Whitty) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-05-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Rheostatics / The Horseshoe Tavern 2017-05-24–2017-05-27 (Wednesday–Saturday) [FB event]

21C Music Festival (feat. Cecilia String Quartet) / Mazzoleni Concert Hall 2017-05-25 (Thursday) [more info]

Fiver [Audible Songs from Rockwood release show!] (The Lonesome Ace Stringband / Kristine Schmitt) / Likely General 2017-05-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

Bellwether 4 / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-05-25 (Thursday – late set @ 11 p.m.!)

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-05-26 (Friday – early!)

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-05-26 (Friday)

21C Music Festival (feat. Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà) / Koerner Hall 2017-05-26 (Friday) [more info]

James Irwin (L CON / EONS) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-05-26 (Friday) [FB event]

The Big Sound / The Great Hall 2017-05-26 (Friday) [FB event]

Fiver [Audible Songs from Rockwood release show!] (The Lonesome Ace Stringband / Kristine Schmitt) / St. Andrew-By-The Lake location TBA! 2017-05-26 (Friday) [FB event]

Doors Open at 159 Manning (feat. Shape Note Singers / Pat Power / Blankets / St. Andrews / Hot Garbage / The Fuzzy Undertones / Wine Lips / Possum / Crazy Bones / Conor Gains Band / "Secret Guest") / 159 Manning 2017-05-27 (Saturday – free! family friendly! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society at Doors Open (feat. Tich Maredza and Ruben Esguerra / Professor Adam Solomon) / Toronto-Dominion Centre / Bridgepoint Health Administration Building 2017-05-27 (Saturday – afternoon event, sets @ 1 + 3 p.m.! free! all-ages and family-friendly!) [FB event]

Wavelength 729: Doors Open Toronto (feat. Fresh Snow / Contact [playing Allison Cameron's "A Gossamer Bit"] / Kurt Marble / The Holy Gasp / Protruders / The Pucumber Sasssquash Family Band / SPOILS) / R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant/Evergreen Brick Works/Masonic Temple/Bike Pirates 2017-05-27 (Thursday – sets at noon, 2:15 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m.; daytime sets free, evening show PWYC! Includes daytime bike tour!) [FB event]

Riverrun [cassette release!] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-05-27 (Saturday – early!) [FB event]

21C Music Festival (feat. Bang on a Can All-Stars) / Koerner Hall 2017-05-27 (Saturday) [more info]

National Drone Day Evening Drone (feat. dreamSTATE / community drone-improv session by DRONE:KLUB) / Roland Inspiration Centre 2017-05-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Music Gallery presents (feat. Pharmakon / Mamalia / Kristina Guison) / The Baby G 2017-05-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Rose McDowall [ex-Strawberry Switchblade] / Vallens) / Smiling Buddha 2017-05-27 (Saturday)cancelled!

Sportsfan [EP Release!] (Ducks Unlimited / No Frills) / Handlebar 2017-05-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Mazola [Praise the Maize LP release!] (Wearenotwhoweare [EP release!] / Soap) / Euro Sports Bar 2017-05-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Fiver [Audible Songs from Rockwood release show!] (The Lonesome Ace Stringband / Kristine Schmitt) / Array Space 2017-05-27 (Saturday) [Fb event]

Doors Open at 159 Manning (feat. "In C" Performance / Allie Sunshine / The Pairs / Billy Moon / Gung Ho Catalyst / Os Tropies / The Retroaction / Goodbye Honolulu / Luna Li) / 159 Manning 2017-05-28 (Sunday – free! family friendly! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society at Doors Open (feat. Diely Mori Tounkara) / Legislative Assembly of Ontario 2017-05-28 (Sunday – afternoon event @ 2 p.m.! free! all-ages and family-friendly!) [FB event]

Music in the Barns [performing works by Philip Glass, Michael Oesterle, John Cage] (Dana Lyn & Kyle Sanna / Ayelen Liberona with Allison Cameron ["multi-sensory installation"]) / The Great Hall 2017-05-28 (Sunday) [FB event]

Sacred Lamp (Fake Humans) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-05-28 (Sunday) [FB event]

Toronto Improvisors Orchestra: Celebrates Glen Hall / Array Space 2017-05-28 (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!

Tania Gill Quartet [Tania Gill/Lina Allemano/Rob Clutton/Nico Dann] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-05-30 (Tuesday)

Andrew Zukerman & Sandro Perri / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-05-31 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Black Siren presents (feat. Walrus / Seance Sisters / Mother Tongues) / CineCycle 2017-06-01 (Thursday – all ages!) [FB event]

Julie Arsenault (Evan Cartwright [rare solo set!] / Ryokan [LUKA's Luke Kuplowsky adapts the poetry of zen poet Ryokan for voice and guitar]) / Gladstone Hotel (Melody Bar) 2017-06-01 (Thursday) [FB event]

Beams (Ohtis) / The Boat 2017-06-02 (Friday – early show! doors @ 7 p.m.!) [FB event]

Away Forward (Too Young To Go Steady) / Duggan's Brewery 2017-06-02 (Friday) [FB event]

Decreation (feat. Ways / Cluttertones / Blessings) / Ratio 2017-06-02 (Friday) [FB event]

Decreation (feat. ¼ Tonne / Processor / Craig Dunsmuir) / Ratio 2017-06-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

Audio Bleed (feat. dreamSTATE / Dirty Inputs / An Ant and an Atom) / Belljar Café 2017-06-03 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Decreation (feat. Alan Licht & Michael Snow / Not The Wind, Not The Flag / Zoë / Heraclitus Akimbo with Paul Newman) / Ratio 2017-06-04 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 45 (feat. Le 4e discours / Goldbach/Sena) / Handlebar 2017-06-04 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Lunchtime Live! (feat. Nhapitapi / Classic Roots) / Yonge-Dundas Square 2017-06-05 (Monday – free! outside! all-ages + family-friendly! lunchtime show @ 12:30 p.m.!) [more info]

Life In Vacuum (Sigil / Tunic / Dead Broke) / Smiling Buddha 2017-06-07 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Decreation (feat. Chik White / Slow Attack Ensemble / Fleshtone Aura / APA) / Ratio 2017-06-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

John Kameel Farah [Time Sketches release concert!] / Monarch Tavern 2017-06-11 (Sunday) [FB event]

Tone Deaf Culture Presents: Toronto Noise #8 (feat. Goth Girl x Rob Michalchuk [tape release!] / Staph) / The Dupe Shop 2017-06-17 (Saturday – PWYC! all ages!) [FB event]

A Quiet Night (feat. New Tendencies / Heraclitus Akimbo / Bachelard) / Handlebar 2017-06-18 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Babely Shades presents (feat. Cold Beaches / Lake Urmia / Baby Cages) / The Baby G 2017-06-25 (Sunday) [FB event]

Change of Heart [Smile re-issue show!] (Sianspheric / B.A. Johnston) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2017-07-22 (Saturday) [FB event]

X / The Danforth Music Hall 2017-07-30 (Sunday) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength (feat. Deerhoof / Dilly Dally / Jessy Lanza / Rich Aucoin / DATU x HATAW / Duchess Says / Emilie & Ogden / The Luyas / Un Blonde / Bedroomer: Internet Daughter + Eytan Tobin + Kare / Can You Feel It? / Exit Someone / Germaphobes / Ice Cream / Loji / M.I. Blue / Os Tropies / SlowPitchSound / Witch Prophet / Zuze) / Artscape Gibraltar Point 2017-08-18–2017-08-20 (Friday–Sunday) [FB event]

The Orb / Mod Club 2017-08-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wire / Lee's Palace 2017-09-20 (Wednesday) [more info]

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Recording: Partner

Artist: Partner

Song: Gross Secret

Recorded at Longboat Hall (You've Changed Records 8th Anniversary Celebration), April 22, 2017.

Partner - Gross Secret

Geez — has it really been three years since the excellent You've Changed label celebrated it's fifth anniversary? Time flies, but friendship lingers, and this night featured many of the same musicians, either on stage or just hanging out in the now-fancier-than-ever basement of the Great Hall. Unlike most of YC's album-focused artists, Partner have been playing the modern hype game, releasing songs and videos one-by-one and letting the excitement percolate — all the way to the point that they were the natural choice to be the evening's headliners. That meant while most of the songs in their set have been around for awhile, the scope of the band's rock'n'roll vision continues to expand — now encompassing gloriously-impractical double-necked guitars and an even greater propensity to step into the spotlight to whip off a wicked solo. Lucy Niles and Josée Caron were still buzzed from checking off "meeting Melissa Etheridge" off their career bucket list and in a mood to push out as many Saturday Night party vibes as humanly possible.

Recording: Daniel Romano

Artist: Daniel Romano

Songs: I Had To Hide Your Poem in a Song + Hunger is a Dream You Die in

Recorded at Longboat Hall (You've Changed Records 8th Anniversary Celebration), April 22, 2017.

Daniel Romano - I Had To Hide Your Poem in a Song

Daniel Romano - Hunger is a Dream You Die in

Geez — has it really been three years since the excellent You've Changed label celebrated it's fifth anniversary? Time flies, but friendship lingers, and this night featured many of the same musicians, either on stage or just hanging out in the now-fancier-than-ever basement of the Great Hall. I actually hadn't seen Daniel Romano performing since that fifth anniversary show, and in the interim he's travelled many miles, ditching his cowboy hat and Nudie suit for a mod-ish ensemble. And although his band has the same "country" alignment (pedal steel and all) he had then, the sound has pushed outward in all directions into a sort of spaced-out Cosmic American Music. Romano seemed eager to amp up and revise his songs, spitting out lyrics with Dylan-ish Rolling Thunder speedfreak intensity. The label's co-founder was formerly a bit of a prodigal son exploring the fringes of The Industry, but Romano has been easing back into the YC fold with last year's Ancient Shapes side project, and the brand-new Modern Pressure once again has a YC number on its spine.

Recording: Richard Laviolette

Artist: Richard Laviolette

Song:

Recorded at Longboat Hall (You've Changed Records 8th Anniversary Celebration), April 22, 2017.

Richard Laviolette - Someone To Tell My Story When I'm Gone

Geez — has it really been three years since the excellent You've Changed label celebrated it's fifth anniversary? Time flies, but friendship lingers, and this night featured many of the same musicians, either on stage or just hanging out in the now-fancier-than-ever basement of the Great Hall. Switching over to a full-on, seven-piece country band took a bit of time, and Richard Laviolette seemed a little nervous his group was going to get the proverbial hook after just three songs. They managed to get a reasonably full set in, but it gave a leave-it-all-out-there edge to this tune. With a John Prine drawling howl (plus Lisa Bozikovic's keybs prodding things along, plus Aaron Goldstein's pedal steel, plus Jessy Bell Smith's backing vox) this showed off the joyful energy on Laviolette's recent Taking The Long Way Home album.

Recording: Shotgun Jimmie

Artist: Shotgun Jimmie

Song: King of Kreuzberg

Recorded at Longboat Hall (You've Changed Records 8th Anniversary Celebration), April 22, 2017.

Shotgun Jimmie - King of Kreuzberg

Geez — has it really been three years since the excellent You've Changed label celebrated it's fifth anniversary? Time flies, but friendship lingers, and this night featured many of the same musicians, either on stage or just hanging out in the now-fancier-than-ever basement of the Great Hall. Jim Kilpatrick's one-man-band technique grows ever more sophisticated, with his suitcase kickdrum now enhanced by a whole array of percussion tools (including a pedal-operated shaker!) and sounding rather rawkin'. Some special YC family flourishes on the night included an Attack in Black cover and a duet version of "Skype Date", crooned with Misha Bower.

Recording: Misha Bower

Artist: Misha Bower with Will Kidman

Song: Hostage Taker

Recorded at Longboat Hall (You've Changed Records 8th Anniversary Celebration), April 22, 2017.

Misha Bower with Will Kidman - Hostage Taker

Geez — has it really been three years since the excellent You've Changed label celebrated it's fifth anniversary? Time flies, but friendship lingers, and this night featured many of the same musicians, either on stage or just hanging out in the now-fancier-than-ever basement of the Great Hall. Leading with the quietest set while crowd filled in, this set featured just Misha Bower's voice backed by Will Kidman's guitar. They've been working on these songs for a while now (and are now getting ready to record an album of Bower's tunes together), so there was no shortage of easy interplay between the pair.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Recording: Krakowiak/Sorbara/Zurawinski

Artist: Tomasz Krakowiak/Joe Sorbara/Mark Zurawinski

Songs: Shapes + The Cymbal Speaks [composer: Germaine Liu]

Recorded at The Gardiner Museum (Salon 21: CeramiX), April 21, 2017.

Tomasz Krakowiak/Joe Sorbara/Mark Zurawinski - Shapes

Joe Sorbara - The Cymbal Speaks

This night, presented as part of Soundstreams' Salon 21 program involved collaboration and site-specific space usage in wonderfully-intriguing ways. Not only a collaboration between Germaine Liu (as composer) and three noteworthy local percussionists exploring her pieces, but the night was also a collaboration between Liu and ceramicist Chiho Tokita, whose purpose-built pottery served as instruments and a key part of Liu's creative process. The performance flowed between the three floors of the Gardiner Museum, beginning in the lobby with the cup-scraping "Shapes", and moving into the gallery for a solo performance (by Krakowiak) of the beautiful rings-traced-on-cymbal of "The Tree". The musicians led the crowd to the second floor with "Take Flight", an exercise in keeping a piece of tissue paper aloft by hand-generated breeze alone. (This would be reprised at night's end in a participatory segment after the Q & A).

On the second floor the pair explored "Handle Music", with Tokita's abstracted vases (sometimes containing their own ceramic flower stems) tapped and scratched by ceramic picks. A clapping game again led the crowd up the stairway where Joe Sorbara showed the variety of sounds to be found in a single cymbal (a very Liu-esque gesture of microscopic investigation) before the trio closed with the beautiful "Supper Time Us #2", appearing almost as marionettists, small ceramic picks dangling by wires from their fingers and striking a table full of vases — the symphony of plinking slowing down as Liu slowly moved the pieces away one by one.

[Thin Edge New Music Collective will be debuting more new music by Germaine Liu as part of their "Keys, Wind and Strings Festival", next Thursday (May 25th) at Array Space.]