Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recording: Zacht Automaat

Artist: Zacht Automaat

Songs: two unknown songs*

Recorded at Double Double Land, July 27, 2013.

Zacht Automaat - unknown

Zacht Automaat - unknown

Full review to follow. Chances to see Michael McLean and Carl Didur live in action are pretty rare, so there was no way I was going to miss this. It turned out to cook even harder than the last time I saw the band, and that was a pretty awesome show. Both of these selections feature the band's core keyb/bass/drums trio being joined by Colin Fisher, on percussion on the first and sax on the second. Word on the street is that there's a double-album vinyl compilation of ZA's recordings coming out soon, so do keep your eyes peeled for that.

* Does anyone know the title to these ones? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Fleshtone Aura

Artist: Fleshtone Aura

Song: excerpt*

Recorded at Double Double Land, July 27, 2013.

Fleshtone Aura - excerpt

Full review to follow. Andrew Zukerman's Fleshtone Aura project has transcended its musique concrète beginnings to become a full-fledged performative practice that veers between post-postmodern pastiche and audience-baiting put-on. I never know if I should be laughing or taking notes for a Masters' thesis when I see this stuff.

* As far as I know, these performances are improvised and untitled — feel free to leave a comment if you know otherwise!

Recording: Sacred Lamp

Artist: Sacred Lamp

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Double Double Land, July 27, 2013.

Sacred Lamp - unknown

Full review to follow. Memory tells me that when I previously saw Ayal Senior and "Doc" Dunn playing together as Sacred Lamp it was loose and jammy. This set, however, was more focused and song-based, even if the instrumental tunes were still quite airy and ethereal. For this one, it sounds like Dunn (on slide guitar) has boiled down all the beauty he has learned while meditating over Sleepwalk and Albatross.

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

Monday, July 29, 2013

Concert Listings Roundup #3

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:

Light Fires (Triple Gangers / Ken Park) / The Piston 2013-08-01 (Thursday) [FB event]


This week's noteworthy shows:

Kelly McMichael and The Gloss [EP release!] (The Magic / Blimp Rock) / Clinton's 2013-07-31 (Wednesday) [FB event]

In-Between Sounds 28 (feat. Bile Sister / Radio Lucifer) / The Only Café 2013-08-01 (Thursday) [FB event]

Wish (Kestrels / Moves / Tess Parks) / Izakaya Sushi House 2013-08-02 (Friday) [FB event]

By Divine Right [Album Release Party!] (So Young / Tess Parks And The Good People) / Lee's Palace 2013-08-03 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Summer Series #10 (feat. Michael Trommer / Heather Segger + Friends) / Array Space 2013-08-04 (Sunday) [more info]


Add these to your calendar:

Wish (The Backhomes / Mystic Triangle) / The Piston 2013-08-07 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Feast In The East 28 (feat. Marine Dreams / L CON / Isla Craig & Ivy Mairi / Les Heures) / Gerrard Art Space 2013-08-09 (Friday) [FB event]

Connoisseurs of Porn (The Greggies / Hijras) / Izakaya Sushi House 2013-08-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Screaming Females (Greys / The Beverleys) / The Shop under Parts + Labour 2013-08-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Surinam (Mexican Slang / Walk North / Prosimii) / The Silver Dollar Room 2013-08-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Robyn Hitchcock / The Drake Underground 2013-09-03 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Robyn Hitchcock / The Drake Underground 2013-09-04 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Pere Ubu / Lee's Palace 2013-09-18 (Wednesday) [more info]

Disappears (Weekend / Aim Low) / The Garrison 2013-10-25 (Friday) [more info]

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Recording: Weaves

Artist: Weaves

Song: Crumble*

Recorded at Daniels Spectrum ("Wavelength 570: The Regent Park Courtyard Session"), July 26, 2013.

Weaves - Crumble

Full review to follow. Wavelength is at its best when it takes its shows to new places and broadens the audience's musical perceptions. Both of those were in play at this outdoor show in the beautiful new courtyard behind Regent Park's Daniels Spectrum. That made it a good night for the "Wavelength crowd" to head to a spot that's off the regular show-going grid and for the locals to wander through and find some music in their backyard. Hopefully there'll be more chances to return to this vital new cultural hub.

Jasmyn Burke and co. are settling into their artfully-bent grooves — like an elastic band, they can go from stretched out to wobbly right in before your eyes, rocking a groove at either extreme. The warbling noises at the start of this one come from Burke "playing" her microphone like an instrument, generating feedback warbles by fluttering it in front of the PA as she paced around the front of the crowd.

* Thanks to a commenter for passing the title to this one along.

Recording: Bizzarh

Artist: Bizzarh

Songs: Xxxtra Rare + Cruella*

Recorded at Daniels Spectrum ("Wavelength 570: The Regent Park Courtyard Session"), July 26, 2013.

Bizzarh - Xxxtra Rare

Bizzarh - Cruella

Full review to follow. Wavelength is at its best when it takes its shows to new places and broadens the audience's musical perceptions. Both of those were in play at this outdoor show in the beautiful new courtyard behind Regent Park's Daniels Spectrum. That made it a good night for the "Wavelength crowd" to head to a spot that's off the regular show-going grid and for the locals to wander through and find some music in their backyard. Hopefully there'll be more chances to return to this vital new cultural hub.

This teenaged hip-hop/R&B duo showed skills beyond their years — clearly evident when they cut loose the safety wire of their beats to throw down an a cappella track, the crowd drawing in close around them and hanging on their every word. They'll be returning to WL at the ALL CAPS! Island festival in a couple weeks.

* Thanks to Ben for digging out the titles for these.

Recording: Pursuit Grooves

Artist: Pursuit Grooves

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Daniels Spectrum ("Wavelength 570: The Regent Park Courtyard Session"), July 26, 2013.

Pursuit Grooves - unknown

Full review to follow. Wavelength is at its best when it takes its shows to new places and broadens the audience's musical perceptions. Both of those were in play at this outdoor show in the beautiful new courtyard behind Regent Park's Daniels Spectrum. That made it a good night for the "Wavelength crowd" to head to a spot that's off the regular show-going grid and for the locals to wander through and find some music in their backyard. Hopefully there'll be more chances to return to this vital new cultural hub.

Prolific beat-master Pursuit Grooves took the crowd on a funky half-hour excursion of experimental hip-hop, woven together on the fly into a continuous montage.

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

Recording: Bad Passion

Artist: Bad Passion

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Daniels Spectrum ("Wavelength 570: The Regent Park Courtyard Session"), July 26, 2013.

Bad Passion - unknown

Full review to follow. Wavelength is at its best when it takes its shows to new places and broadens the audience's musical perceptions. Both of those were in play at this outdoor show in the beautiful new courtyard behind Regent Park's Daniels Spectrum. That made it a good night for the "Wavelength crowd" to head to a spot that's off the regular show-going grid and for the locals to wander through and find some music in their backyard. Hopefully there'll be more chances to return to this vital new cultural hub.

It's easy to identify slo-jam specialists Bad Passion as a Digits side-project, but that's only telling half the story, as Lesley Davies' vocals provide a key counterpart to Digits' Alt Altman. The band mixed tunes from their first release with some newer ones from a promised new concept EP based around the films of Harrison Ford.

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Recording: No Breakup

Artist: No Breakup

Song: Party Crash*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, July 25, 2013.

No Breakup - Party Crash

Full review to follow. A bit of an odd-group-out on a bill of stiff-necked guitar rock, No Breakup closed out the night with a synthpop dance party. Dan Miller and Andrew Pulsifer behind the keybs are well-connected in the city's electronic music scene (amongst other things, the former in his solo project Valerie Dour and the latter as one of the minds behind the Silent Shout music series) but it's vocalist Elisa Nobrega that demands the most attention, bringing a pleasingly ebullient presence to the stage. The band has just released their first single, with an EP on the way and the live show (centred around, as the expression goes, "getting the party started") appears to be rounding into form.

* Word from the band is that we can take this at least as a tentative title for this brand-new song.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Recording: Mystic Triangle

Artist: Mystic Triangle

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Holy Oak Café, July 24, 2013.

Mystic Triangle - unknown

Full review to follow. Mystic Triangle is the solo bandonym for Mimico's Ben Oginz, and while the psychetronic realms he's inhabiting here aren't worlds removed from his band's sound, these come with their own sense of austere grooviness.

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

Recording: Beard Closet

Artist: Beard Closet

Song: unknown* [edit]

Recorded at Holy Oak Café, July 24, 2013.

Beard Closet - unknown [edit]

Full review to follow. "Experimental harshgaze" guitar journeyman Phil Hamilton has expanded this project to a duo for live performance, and the addition of a bass player has opened up new possibilities for exploring sonic textures — and also for shredding.

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recording: Eucalyptus

Artist: Eucalyptus

Song: Neu Calypso

Recorded at Ward's Island Ferry Dock ("Poor Pilgrim 6"), July 21, 2013.

Eucalyptus - Neu Calypso

Full review to follow. Once again, Poor Pilgrim was an excellent day-long adventure, with perfect weather and beautiful music. Many thanks to Matt Cully, who once again put together a summer highlight. You can see some more photos from the day on the MFS facebook page.

Playing 'til the night's last ferry reached the dock, Brodie West's Eucalyptus (at the moment a slightly slimmed-down five-piece) extended their grooves with gentle improvizations. This one ended in a duo between West's bobbing saxophone and the lake's rippling waves.

Recording: L CON

Artist: L CON

Song: Oh How Love

Recorded at Ward's Island Beach ("Poor Pilgrim 6"), July 21, 2013.

L CON - Oh How Love

Full review to follow. Once again, Poor Pilgrim was an excellent day-long adventure, with perfect weather and beautiful music. Many thanks to Matt Cully, who once again put together a summer highlight. You can see some more photos from the day on the MFS facebook page.

With the full moon hanging over the lake, and the gentle lapping of the waves, hearing Lisa Conway's trio playing from their perch atop a lifeguard stand was enough to send shivers down one's spine. Not even the shouting objections of one contrarian could spoil such a perfect moment.

Recording: Bernice

Artist: Bernice

Song: New Bodies

Recorded at Snake Island ("Poor Pilgrim 6"), July 21, 2013.

Bernice - New Bodies

Full review to follow. Once again, Poor Pilgrim was an excellent day-long adventure, with perfect weather and beautiful music. Many thanks to Matt Cully, who once again put together a summer highlight. You can see some more photos from the day on the MFS facebook page.

Robin Dann and co. serenaded the sun to sleep on Snake Island — magic hour gentle dance grooves.

Recording: Soul Sisters Supreme Redux 2.0

Artist: Soul Sisters Supreme Redux 2.0

Song: Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In [from the musical "Hair"]

Recorded at St. Andrew by-the-Lake Anglican Church ("Poor Pilgrim 6"), July 21, 2013.

Soul Sisters Supreme Redux 2.0 - Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In

Full review to follow. Once again, Poor Pilgrim was an excellent day-long adventure, with perfect weather and beautiful music. Many thanks to Matt Cully, who once again put together a summer highlight. You can see some more photos from the day on the MFS facebook page.

With Robin Dann taking the place of Daniela Gesundheit, we might properly refer to this as v 2.1 of Isla Craig's a capella project. In this lovely island chapel, no microphones were needed to send these five voices skyward — pure, natural beauty.

Recording: Nick Ferrio

Artist: Nick Ferrio

Song: Half the Time

Recorded at Franklin Children's Garden ("Poor Pilgrim 6"), July 21, 2013.

Nick Ferrio - Half the Time

Full review to follow. Once again, Poor Pilgrim was an excellent day-long adventure, with perfect weather and beautiful music. Many thanks to Matt Cully, who once again put together a summer highlight. You can see some more photos from the day on the MFS facebook page.

Nick Ferrio led the day off with a set on the storytelling stage, right next to Mother Goose. His plaintive originals were mixed in with a couple older tunes, including a minor-key revisiting of "You Are My Sunshine" that wasn't quite the advertised happy singalong. But with the birds singing in the background, this was an excellent start to the day.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Concert Listings Roundup #2

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:

Zacht Automaat (Fleshtone Aura / Sacred Lamp) / Double Double Land 2013-07-27 (Saturday) [FB event]


This week's noteworthy shows:

Sean Nicholas Savage (Jamaican Queens / JFM / Bad Passion) / Handlebar 2013-07-22 (Monday) [FB event]

Strange Oceans II: Celestial Slaves (feat. Ostrich Tuning / Ken Park / Mystic Triangle / Beard Closet) / Holy Oak Café 2013-07-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

"Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness": A concert in honour of Nic Gotham / Gallery 345 2013-07-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Josh Cole Quartet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2013-07-24 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Evening Ragas by the Water (feat. Aruna Narayan / Vineet Vyas) / Toronto Music Garden 2013-07-25 (Thursday) [more info]

Jay Arner (Elsa / No Breakup / Brave Parents) / The Silver Dollar Room 2013-07-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

The Beverleys (Fill Spectre / Deutsche Banks / King Creep / Bovine Sex Club 2013-07-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

Paradise ["a dance party to raise funds for upcoming music video releases"] (feat. Lido Pimienta / Petra Glynt / Bizzarh / Supermoon) / Comfort Zone 2013-07-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

Akron/Family / Sonic Boom 2013-07-26 (Friday) [FB event]

Wavelength 570: The Regent Park Courtyard Session (feat. Weaves / Bizzarh / Pursuit Grooves / Bad Passion) / Courtyard at Daniels Spectrum 2013-07-26 (Friday) [FB event]

Tich Maredza Band (Nhapitapi Mbira) / Placebo Space 2013-07-27 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Summer Series #9 (feat. Inner Truth Taiko / Happening w/ Diane Roblin) / Array Space 2013-07-28 (Sunday) [more info]


Add these to your calendar:

Kelly McMichael and The Gloss [EP release!] (The Magic) / Clinton's 2013-07-31 (Wednesday) [FB event]

In-Between Sounds 28 (feat. Bile Sister / Radio Lucifer) / The Only Café 2013-08-01 (Thursday) [FB event]

Aim Low (DAS RAD / Ostrich Tuning / Skyn Flynt) / The Silver Dollar Room 2013-08-10 (Saturday) [FB event]

Whirr (Cruelty Party / Breeze / Dilly Dally) / The Silver Dollar Room 2013-08-16 (Friday) [FB event]

Ohbijou [Farewell Show!] / The Great Hall 2013-09-07 (Saturday) [more info]

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Recording: Vesal Ensemble

Artist: Vesal Ensemble

Song: Eivat

Recorded at Harbourfront Centre – Brigantine Room ("Tirgan Festival"), July 20, 2013.

Vesal Ensemble - Eivat

Full review to follow. The Harbourfront was bustling for this biennial celebration of Iranian arts and culture, with a lot of food and music to choose from. I dropped in on this local group, which specializes in Persian classical music, to see them perform a selection of traditional Kurdish songs. It was a wonderful performance from the seven-piece ensemble, and another reminder of the immense cultural richness we enjoy in Toronto, and now they're on my list of bands to seek out to hear again. You can get a further taste of this band's music on their youtube channel, or check out their half-dozen albums.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Recording: Woods

Artist: Woods

Song: Size Meets The Sound

Recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern, July 17, 2013.

Woods - Size Meets The Sound

Full review to follow. It's been a little while since I'd seen Woods, who have slowed down from their prolific album-a-year pace. There was less new stuff in the setlist, but older material has been revised with some new textures and arrangements. Plus: they can still hold a groove in a pretty compelling way. Bonus points to the band for bringing in the old-school paint and oil live projections of lightsweetcrude, enhancing the psychedelic experience.

Recording: Parquet Courts

Artist: Parquet Courts

Song: Stoned and Starving + Light Up Gold

Recorded at The Horseshoe Tavern, July 17, 2013.

Parquet Courts - Stoned and Starving + Light Up Gold

Full review to follow. Although they aren't yet consistently transcending some obvious influences, Brooklyn's Parquet Courts do show potential. Their dry sound was a little too meticulous, but this set-closing rave-up hinted that they can push things 'til they're getting closer to falling apart — which is always a more interesting place. (It should be noted that my measured response was a minority view — these openers outdrew the evening's headliners with a young and enthusiastic crowd.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recording: MagicEyeImage

Artist: MagicEyeImage

Song: Ode to The Universe [Part I]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), July 16, 2013.

MagicEyeImage - Ode to The Universe [Part I]

Full review to follow. Last-minute word of an early gig in the Tranzac's front room gave me someplace to duck into to escape the pervasive heat. Thom Gill pulled this show together for some visiting Montréal friends and played in a triple-various quiet/noise trio with Allison Cameron and Ryan Driver. That, plus a dial-twisting solo guitar set from Colin Fisher were apt bookends for the main set.

The band's band might seem a little goofy at first, but they did show a talent in moving from something abstract (such as in the stretch reproduced here) to a more focused, nearly post-rock sound, before untethering back into strands of component noise — not at all unlike the titular picture springing out of the frame once you relax your eyes in the right way, only to have it disappear again. N.B.: like this music, sometimes the pictures are most interesting just before they cohere into something easily recognizable. There's not a lot of information out there on this trio of Gabriel Drolet (bass), Simon Labbé (guit) and Philippe Melanson (percussion), but they do have music available on their Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recording: King Weather

Artist: King Weather

Song: First Piece [edit]

Recorded at Array Space ("Somewhere There Summer Series #7"), July 14, 2013.

King Weather - First Piece [edit]

Full review to follow. Exploratory trombonist Steve Ward is known to range over different terrains in his various projects, but, by his own admission, in this session with percussionist D. Alex Meeks he was hewing a little closer to his loop-based work Lone Bone work than usual. An interesting series of experiments with Ward capturing and looping everything from his bell mute to the pop-top of his beer can.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Concert Listings Roundup #1

Two things:

1) Talking with a friend the other day, I noted that in terms of trying to turn people on to music that's important to me, I don't have a lot of "pull", but presumably slightly more than zero. And having just a little bit of pull is fine, as a lot of the shows I go to don't need another hundred, or even fifty people going to them — but it sure as hell would help if there were five more people, or even just a couple more.

2) Meanwhile, mostly to help keep myself organized, I put a little bit of an effort in keeping my concert listings in the right-hand column up-to-date. It's not meant to be any sort of exhaustive list, it's just shows I intend on going to or would like to go to if I had the time. Sometimes I look over them and feel a tiny bit impressed at the quality of the shows collected there. But it's easy not to notice them, especially if you're following the site by RSS.

So I had a brainwave: what if, as I added shows to the lists, I simply kept a separate log of them, and presented them, digest-style, once a week? Monday is often quiet anyways, so for now, expect this to show up at the start of the week — that way I can also toss in a list of things to look out for this week.

I'll think about maybe tweaking the format a bit, maybe adding some links etc, but to be honest, I don't want to create too much more work for myself, so it might just remain stripped-down like this. And so: thoughts? Comments? Good idea?


Gig of the week:

Poor Pilgrim Island Show 6 (feat. Eucalyptus / L CON / Pachamama / Bernice / Soul Sisters Supreme Redux 2.0 / Steve Kado's 2003 / Nick Ferrio) / Toronto Island 2013-07-21 (Sunday)

This week's noteworthy shows:

Audiopollination # 8 (feat. Ken Aldcroft performing short duets) / Arrayspace 2013-07-16 (Tuesday)

Offerings Benefit (feat. Still Boys / Hollow Earth / Eucalyptus) / Double Double Land 2013-07-19 (Friday)

The Disraelis (Ostrich Tuning / PROGRAM) / Measure 2013-07-19 (Friday)

Cruelty Party (B-17 / Cell Memory / Spectre) / The Silver Dollar 2013-07-19 (Friday)

Aldcroft/Thomson/Vorvis (Aldcroft/Cole/Ng) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2013-07-19 (Friday)

Odradek [performing live score to The Adventures of Prince Achmed] / CineCycle 2013-07-21 (Sunday)

Somewhere There Summer Series #8 (feat. Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble / Friendly Rich and the Lollypop People) / Array Space 2013-07-21 (Sunday)

Add these to your calendar:

Jay Arner (Elsa / No Breakup / Brave Parents) / The Silver Dollar Room 2013-07-25 (Thursday)

Paradise ["a dance party to raise funds for upcoming music video releases"] (feat. Lido Pimienta / Petra Glynt / Bizzarh / Supermoon) / Comfort Zone 2013-07-25 (Thursday)

Zacht Automaat (Fleshtone Aura / Sacred Lamp) / Double Double Land 2013-07-27 (Saturday)

Light Fires (Triple Gangers / Ken Park) / The Piston 2013-08-01 (Thursday)

Fresh Snow [LP Release Show] (Mimico / Village / Amateur) / The Boat 2013-08-08 (Thursday)


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Recording: The Fabergé Fruits Collective

Artist: The Fabergé Fruits Collective

Songs: Bizarre Love Triangle [New Order cover] + Love Is Such A Drag + Forrrest*

Recorded at Videofag ("Feint of Hart" – Parts 1 + 2), July 13, 2013.

The Fabergé Fruits Collective - Bizarre Love Triangle

The Fabergé Fruits Collective - Love Is Such A Drag

The Fabergé Fruits Collective - Forrrest

Full review to follow. A few selections here from the dare-I-say epic mounting of Henri Fabergé's Feint of Hart. Originally a somewhat freeform cabaret series, the concept (and some of these songs) have been around for a while now, but here have been boiled down into a two-part saga of repression and rebellion. Nearly Shakespearean in its tragic scope, it manages to evoke genuinely strong emotions, even while keeping a lot of charged homoeroticism and goofy humour at the centre of the action.

Henri Fletcher (in his alter ego of Henri Fabergé) does a good job here, but he is largely a catalyst. It's especially the performances of Alex Tindal and Kayla Lorette that bring a sense of internal conflict to the proceedings — and in the case of the former, also an excellent musical turn in his secret drag persona Queer E-Lezzie-Bitch the Fist. The music was very well done throughout, and the whole thing was held together with considerable discipline by director Zack Russell. A laudable achievement for all involved.

Completely sold out for its entire run at the intimate Videofag space (here marvellously transformed by Juliann Wilding's art direction) it seems inconceivable that there will not be a clamour for a remounting of this show, but in the meantime, you'll be able to find members of the troupe hosting SummerWorks' Performance Bar series, August 8-18.

* Thanks to HDWF for passing the titles to these along!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Recording: Babysitter

Artist: Babysitter

Songs: Talkin Bout The New Generation/Real Wild Child's Gone Totally Mild/Gotta Be Me Gotta Be Free

Recorded at Izakaya Sushi House ("Weird Canada, Pleasence, Moustache Rides and Just Shows present An Evening of Avant-Garage"), July 12, 2013.

Babysitter - Talkin Bout The New Generation/Real Wild Child's Gone Totally Mild/Gotta Be Me Gotta Be Free

Full review to follow. This evening of "avant-garage" closed with a visit from Victoria's Babysitter, who started of with these rapid-fire dispatches from their EYE album, shifted to something a little slower and more deliberate at the mid-point, and ended with a huge sludge/noise jam with opener JLK joining in. It all sounded like it could be a soundtrack to suburban alienation, hash, nasty aftermaths of parties gone bad and hours spent hangin' out in a 7-11 parking lot.

Recording: Wolfcow

Artist: Wolfcow

Songs: Electric Afterbirth/Everybody Dies on Vacation

Recorded at Izakaya Sushi House ("Weird Canada, Pleasence, Moustache Rides and Just Shows present An Evening of Avant-Garage"), July 12, 2013.

Wolfcow - Electric Afterbirth/Everybody Dies on Vacation

Full review to follow. I'd seen Greydyn Gatti before in his mutant-synth guise, but fronting his hard rock combo he showed off another side entirely, as if delivering a rhythmically-wayward dispatch from some alternate world's version of Detroit Rock City. Staggeringly prolific as a home-recorder, there's a lot here that demands further investigation, but do see this live unit in action if you get a chance.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Recording: Gay

Artist: Gay

Songs: Chrysotile + Asbestos

Recorded at Double Double Land ("Wavelength 569"/Pleasence Record Release), July 11, 2013.

Gay - Chrysotile

Gay - Asbestos

Full review to follow. Changing topics from "Asbestos" (on last year's Talking Points) to "Chrysotile" (on the brand-new Dance Mix 95) might hint at increasing levels of sophistication, and the songwriting and production on the latter tend to bear that out. On stage, though, the band kept some rougher edges on the songs, which were presented with a winking forced awkwardness that one savvy viewer dubbed "meta-goofiness". Whatever you call it, it's a big Gay party.

Recording: Man Made Hill

Artist: Man Made Hill

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Double Double Land ("Wavelength 569"/Pleasence Record Release), July 11, 2013.

Man Made Hill - unknown

Full review to follow. Dancing like James Brown on PCP and dropping cryptic knowledge (viscosity and "occult rocksmithing" were among the topics examined), Randy Gagne's mutant disco-funk was, as ever, utterly entertaining and mildly befuddling. He remains one of the city's best-kept musical secrets.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Maybe something like "Totally Smooth"? Please leave a comment if you know for sure.

Recording: Dilly Dally

Artist: Dilly Dally

Song: Desire

Recorded at Double Double Land ("Wavelength 569"/Pleasence Record Release), July 11, 2013.

Dilly Dally - Desire

Full review to follow. Dilly Dally's bummer-rock had a bit more Pixies-ish propulsion than I recall from previous encounters. That drove the songs along in a more energetic manner, but they still felt like stories from the aftermath of various unsettling incidents.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Recording: Okavango

Artist: Okavango

Song: Yohanna

Recorded at Woodbine Park ("Afrofest 2013" – Day 2), July 7, 2013.

Okavango - Yohanna

Full review to follow. Grey skies turned to rain on Afrofest's second day, turning the grounds of Woodbine Park into a series of miniature lakes/giant puddles. The brave and joyous simply kicked off their shoes and kept dancing.

The most adventurous music of the afternoon came from this "African Orchestra", a pan-continental grouping that gives different musical traditions a rare chance to rub elbows. For example, in this song from Daniel Nebiat, you can hear his Eritrean krar jousting playfully with Sadio Sissokho's kora.

N.B. This recording is a capture of CIUT's live broadcast.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Recording: Alpha Blondy

Artist: Alpha Blondy

Songs: Hope / My American Dream / Wish You Were Here [Pink Floyd cover]

Recorded at Woodbine Park ("Afrofest 2013" – Day 1), July 6, 2013.

Alpha Blondy - Hope

Alpha Blondy - My American Dream

Alpha Blondy - Wish You Were Here

Full review to follow. Closing out the first night of Afrofest's twenty-fifth festival, Côte d'Ivoire's Alpha Blondy brought his multi-lingual pan-cultural reggae mashup to a giant, celebratory crowd.

N.B. This recording is a capture of CIUT's live broadcast.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Recording: The Carnations + Ian Blurton

Artist: The Carnations + Ian Blurton

Song: How Does It Feel to Feel [The Creation (via Ride) cover]

Recorded at The Great Hall ("A Night of Covers: A Celebration of Chris Levoir"), July 4, 2013.

The Carnations + Ian Blurton - How Does It Feel to Feel

Full review to follow. A celebration and a wake. After the untimely passing of singer/guitarist Chris Levoir, his bandmates in The Mark Inside rightly decided that the proper way to launch their new album Dark Hearts Can Radiate White Light was with a big party, with covers played by friends and collaborators, and a lot of these songs came with stories of how they linked back to Chris. Reminiscent of rehearsal space jams, these were loose and occasionally imperfect, but infused with the spirit of friends playing together. In the end, the night was sad, fun and cathartic.

Playing their first show in ten years, The Carnations closed out the evening with the night's longest set, throwing in a couple of their own songs. They were also joined by Ian Blurton for a couple tunes, leading to some rocktastic action with members taking to the floor in front of the stage before finishing things off in a pile of collapsed amplifiers.

Recording: Action Makes

Artist: Action Makes

Song: Lust For Life [Iggy Pop cover]

Recorded at The Great Hall ("A Night of Covers: A Celebration of Chris Levoir"), July 4, 2013.

Action Makes - Lust For Life

Full review to follow. A celebration and a wake. After the untimely passing of singer/guitarist Chris Levoir, his bandmates in The Mark Inside rightly decided that the proper way to launch their new album Dark Hearts Can Radiate White Light was with a big party, with covers played by friends and collaborators, and a lot of these songs came with stories of how they linked back to Chris. Reminiscent of rehearsal space jams, these were loose and occasionally imperfect, but infused with the spirit of friends playing together. In the end, the night was sad, fun and cathartic.

Action Makes, who used to share a rehearsal space wit The Mark Inside, reunited to play a couple songs that the bands used to bash out together.

Recording: Joy

Artist: Joy

Song: Transmission [Joy Division cover]

Recorded at The Great Hall ("A Night of Covers: A Celebration of Chris Levoir"), July 4, 2013.

Joy - Transmission

Full review to follow. A celebration and a wake. After the untimely passing of singer/guitarist Chris Levoir, his bandmates in The Mark Inside rightly decided that the proper way to launch their new album Dark Hearts Can Radiate White Light was with a big party, with covers played by friends and collaborators, and a lot of these songs came with stories of how they linked back to Chris. Reminiscent of rehearsal space jams, these were loose and occasionally imperfect, but infused with the spirit of friends playing together. In the end, the night was sad, fun and cathartic.

This aptly-named ad hoc group saw Cameron Jingles (The Disraelis) on guitar backed by drummer Nick Kervin (Easy Targets, B-17, Mimico) and bassist Clint Rodgerson (B-17, Action Makes, BB Guns).

Recording: Planet Creature

Artist: Planet Creature

Song: Grew Up On The Seeds [The Hoa Hoas cover]

Recorded at The Great Hall ("A Night of Covers: A Celebration of Chris Levoir"), July 4, 2013.

Planet Creature - Grew Up On The Seeds

Full review to follow. A celebration and a wake. After the untimely passing of singer/guitarist Chris Levoir, his bandmates in The Mark Inside rightly decided that the proper way to launch their new album Dark Hearts Can Radiate White Light was with a big party, with covers played by friends and collaborators, and a lot of these songs came with stories of how they linked back to Chris. Reminiscent of rehearsal space jams, these were loose and occasionally imperfect, but infused with the spirit of friends playing together. In the end, the night was sad, fun and cathartic.

Recording: Pete Carmichael and Co.

Artist: Pete Carmichael and Co.

Song: Dead Flowers [Rolling Stones cover]

Recorded at The Great Hall ("A Night of Covers: A Celebration of Chris Levoir"), July 4, 2013.

Pete Carmichael and Co. - Dead Flowers

Full review to follow. A celebration and a wake. After the untimely passing of singer/guitarist Chris Levoir, his bandmates in The Mark Inside rightly decided that the proper way to launch their new album Dark Hearts Can Radiate White Light was with a big party, with covers played by friends and collaborators, and a lot of these songs came with stories of how they linked back to Chris. Reminiscent of rehearsal space jams, these were loose and occasionally imperfect, but infused with the spirit of friends playing together. In the end, the night was sad, fun and cathartic.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Recording: The Big Sound

Artist: The Big Sound

Songs: Everyday I'll Love You More Than Yesterday [Gladys Knight & The Pips cover] + Too Many Fish in the Sea [The Marvelettes cover]

Recorded at Harbourfront Centre, July 1, 2013.

The Big Sound (feat. Tanika Charles) - Everyday I'll Love You More Than Yesterday

The Big Sound (feat. Aria Zenua) - Too Many Fish in the Sea

Full review to follow. Perhaps not the most obvious choice to celebrate Canada Day, these locals still managed to convey a sense of celebration to the Harbourfront crowd. The sound is getting bigger every time I see them, and they're branching out a bit from their all-Motown-all-the-time mandate. And, best of all, although I'm familiar with a lot of the musicians on stage, it remains an excellent introduction to a group of talented singers who I hadn't otherwise crossed paths with.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Recording: Vieux Farka Touré

Artist: Vieux Farka Touré

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Harbourfront Centre, June 30, 2013.

Vieux Farka Touré - unknown

Full review to follow. Ah, this is summer — a hot (but not too hot) evening down by the lake with one of the world's best guitar players up on stage. It looks so effortless when it's done this well.

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