Friday, May 29, 2015

Recording: Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot

Artist: Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot

Song: [second piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 26, 2015.

Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot - [second piece]

Back from an American tour, there is indeed a Riot goin' on with the quartet (Lina Allemano, trumpet; Ryan Driver, analog synth; Rob Clutton, electric bass; Nick Fraser, percussion) insinuating some lean, driving grooves behind their customary sci-fi soundscape excursions.

Recording: Nick Fraser + Doug Tielli

Artist: Nick Fraser + Doug Tielli

Song: Nick Fraser + Doug Tielli - [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 26, 2015.

Nick Fraser + Doug Tielli - [excerpt]

Although this night's "Nick Fraser presents" slot was mostly given over to Titanium Riot, there was still time for a quick opening set split between percussionist Fraser and Doug Tielli (piano, voice, trombone) which had some quieter, gentle moments, as well as this more ripping bit from the middle of a long improvisation.

Recording: Eucalyptus

Artist: Eucalyptus

Song: Triller

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), May 26, 2015.

Eucalyptus - Triller

Old tunes are getting re-arranged ("Windmill Will" got a bit noisier than it used to be) and there were plenty of new tunes over two sets from Brodie West's avant-calypso collective. And although there's a range of jazz visions and musical textures on offer, the original mission is not being forsaken, as evidenced by a new one that was titled "Lunar Ecalypso".

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

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!

Recording: The Barcelona Pavilion

Artist: The Barcelona Pavilion

Songs: Tidy Up Tidy Up + New Materialogy

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

The Barcelona Pavilion - Tidy Up Tidy Up

The Barcelona Pavilion - New Materialogy

The original lineup of classic Blocks agit-poppers The Barcelona Pavilion reunited five years ago at Wavelength, but it was still a joy to see Maggie MacDonald and Steve Kado bantering/arguing on stage in between songs. A joyful semiotic/dance party ensued.

Recording: Les Mouches

Artist: Les Mouches

Songs: Love Song to an Empty Room + (They Long to Be) Close to You [The Carpenters cover]

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

Les Mouches - Love Song to an Empty Room

Les Mouches - (They Long to Be) Close to You

The secret identity of the show's "unnamable special guests" was spoiled well before when Owen Pallett confirmed that Les Mouches would be playing. Although Rob Gordon and Matt Smith have been Pallett's touring band for a good while, it'd been more than a decade since they'd performed under the old name, playing the music from their Blocks albums. This older material shows off Pallett's nascent songwriting gifts, even if it situates them in a different sonic environment than in his Final Fantasy/solo incarnation. The set started off with a bang — quite literally — as Gordon punctuated a line early on "Love Song to an Empty Room" by tossing a cymbal onto the floor of the open area of the stage in front of his drumkit. And from there, things proceeded well enough that "Close To You" was inserted before the closer.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Recording: Hank

Artist: Hank

Song: Danes in Peril!

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

Hank - Danes in Peril!

Cab Williamson played three quick songs with a backing track on reel-to-reel tape, but he wasn't alone on stage, with a half-dozen members of the Hank Collective singing along.

Recording: Bob Wiseman & Liz Hysen

Artist: Bob Wiseman & Liz Hysen

Song: [excerpt]

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

Bob Wiseman & Liz Hysen - [excerpt]

This duo set, played on the piano at the foot of the Main Hall's stage, was brief enough that a good chunk of the crowd didn't quite realize it had come and gone. I'm not sure to what extent it was improvised, but there were a couple different ideas explored, including this segment that sounds a bit like Lubomyr Melnyk's interpretation of chopsticks.

Recording: The Phonemes

Artist: The Phonemes

Song: Pain Perdu

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

The Phonemes - Pain Perdu

The original trio version of The Phonemes (Magali Meagher joined by Matias Rozenberg and Liz Forsberg) only played a pair of songs, but they were perhaps their two finest — "Steeples And People" as well as this optimistic secular hymn, which declares, "Every day we discover a new day / every night we discover a new night / All I want, all I want, for my friends / is to sing about it."

Recording: Matias

Artist: Matias

Song: Medley: Wasted Time + Small Fires Burn Bright

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

Matias - Medley: Wasted Time + Small Fires Burn Bright

Creating a place to release Matias Rozenberg's music was one of the original impetuses behind the creation of the Blocks Recording Club — the Matias Sucks cassette was the label's second release. After drumming the crowd hanging around outside of the Tranzac into the Main Hall, Rozenberg led his quartet through a short set, including this one that could now stand as a requiem for Blocks: small fires burn bright.

Recording: Ninja High School

Artist: Ninja High School

Song: It's All Right to Fight

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

Ninja High School - It's All Right to Fight

The shuttering of Blocks Recording Club came in a couple stages, with news of the collective cleaning out their office and a retrospective at Long Winter bringing feelings of nostalgia to a certain segment of local music fans. But it was still proper that there was an occasion for folks to come together in one last celebration that felt a bit like a high-school reunion, with old show-friends getting caught up through a long night of music.

The night began with one of the label's most emblematic groups taking the stage with a joking list of possible updates to their name (Ninja Retirement Home, Ninja Hip Replacement, etc., etc.) as Matt Collins and co. struggled to remember the bulk of their rapid-fire lyrics, in between friendly bickering on stage. Not too much has changed, in other words.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Recording: dreamSTATE

Artist: dreamSTATE

Song: National Drone Day - Afternoon Drone [excerpt]

Recorded at Ratio ("National Drone Day // Afternoon Drone"), May 9, 2015.

dreamSTATE - National Drone Day - Afternoon Drone [excerpt]

The second annual Drone Day saw a variety of local events come together. Sadly, I was only able to make it out for this afternoon set by the AMBiENT PiNG crew. (And also sadly, I only got to catch the end of Anomalous Disturbances' opening set.) Against General Chaos' swirling projections, the duo's hour-long set moved from New Age-y wisps to proggy geometric builds — but in the spirit of the day never resolved into the beat-driven zone that their sets would often arrive at. The whole thing left me quite pleasantly drowsy afterwards, and it took a while to get back into a more alert headspace, but it was a worthy administration of drone-doze.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Recording: c_RL

Artist: c_RL

Song: [fourth piece]

Recorded at Ratio, May 8, 2015.

c_RL - [fourth piece]

Three years have elapsed since this trio (whose name is pronounced "curl") made the recordings that were being celebrated on this night as their first album, called Friends. In that time they'd eased off performing together, but as real-life friends there's an easy familiarity in their abstract electroacoustic interplay. There was also room for a variety of sonic approaches and inventions — Allison Cameron had her usual variety of small noise-making implements and mini-amps, Nicole Rampersaud brought her melodica to supplement her trumpet and percussionist Germaine Liu pulled out a recorder at one point. And on this piece, Cameron set the stage by playing a Cantopop tape while Rampersaud attached a contact mic to the bell of her horn, amplifying her valve-twiddling into little feedback-laden noisebursts.

Recording: The Ryan Driver Band

Artist: The Ryan Driver Band

Songs: Fruitless Endeavour + Cat's Peak

Recorded at Ratio, May 8, 2015.

The Ryan Driver Band - Fruitless Endeavour

The Ryan Driver Band - Cat's Peak

It should be noted at the outset that although the name of the Ryan Driver Band is quite similar to the Ryan Driver Quartet/Quintet/Sextet — and even has some overlapping membership — we're actually talking about two separate projects. The latter specializes in Driver's languid interpretations of (old and new) standards, while the "band" is a vehicle for his work as a songwriter, furthering his "solo" works as well as his previous efforts in The Silt. It's from the latter project that these lovely songs come, beautifully rendered by Driver's vox and nylon-stringed guitar alongside Michael Davidson (vibes), Blake Howard (percussion) and Chris Banks (bass). (You can compare how "Fruitless Endeavour" is rendered in a different context via this recording of The Silt.) The set also included some of Driver's newer compositions, and the band has been turning up a bit more regularly of late, so keep an eye out for another chance to catch one of the city's best songwriters in action.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Concert Listings Roundup #96

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:

The Weather Station (Myriam Gendron) / The Great Hall 2015-05-14 (Thursday) [more info]

It pains me a little to list this as the gig of the week, 'cause I'll be out of town and will miss it. But you should not! Celebrating the release of new full-length Loyalty, Tamara Lindeman will be playing with a full band. Expect some delicate and nuanced sounds to accentuate Lindeman's beautifully-plainspoken words. Be prepared for some quiet bedazzlement.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-12 (Tuesday – early!)

Bedroom / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-12 (Tuesday)

Audiopollination #30.1 (feat. Bea Labikova/Phil Albert/Adele Armin/Cassie Norton / Germaine Liu/Nilan Perera / Karen Ng/Branko Dzinovic / KGB [Karen Ng/Germaine Liu/Bea Labikova] / Arrayspace 2015-05-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Jealousy Mountain Duo (Petra Glynt / Not The Wind, Not The Flag / Zaum) / Ratio 2015-05-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Alex Samaras and Ghislain Aucoin / Holy Oak Café 2015-05-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Army Girls (Crushed Out) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-05-13 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Deliluh [Igor EP release!] (The Svens / Fresh Flesh) / Holy Oak Café 2015-05-13 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ken Aldcroft's THREADS (Quintet) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-13 (Wednesday)

Tess Parks (The Auras / Pow Wows / Champion Ski) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-05-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Dust: The Quietest Big Band in the Known World / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-15 (Friday – early!)

Wavelength 660: May Long Weekend Blowout – Night 1 (feat. Big Dick / Kurt Marble / The Pucumber Sasssquash Family Band / Battlewülf) / Handlebar 2015-05-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Föllakzoid (Petra Glynt / Whimm) / Smiling Buddha 2015-05-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Yardlets (Beat Cops / Green Rays / Over / Wave Of Terror) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-05-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Stew Gunn Band (Starry Night / The Skeletones Four) / Holy Oak Café 2015-05-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Pedram Khavarzamini (Shawn Mativetsky) / The Music Gallery 2015-05-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Scapegoat (Imaginary Flesh / zhang) / Ratio 2015-05-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 661: May Long Weekend Blowout – Night 2 (feat. CTZNSHP / The SULKS / Home Alone / Alphabot!) / Handlebar 2015-05-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Alaniaris / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-17 (Sunday – early! – 3 to 5 p.m.)

Static Zine Issue 11 Release – Picnic in Christie Pits! (feat. Sasha Chapin) / Christie Pits 2015-05-17 (Sunday – PWYC! afternoon picnic vibes!) [FB event]

Even FASTER (Fish Eye Trio) / Handlebar 2015-05-17 (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!

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

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

Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-05-26 (Tuesday – rescheduled date!) [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)

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

Mechanical Forest Sound Presents (feat. Moonwood / Manticore / Mirrors) / Ratio 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]

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]

Native North America (Vol. 1) Gathering (feat. Eric Landry [live performance / Cold Journey [film screening] / Double Double Land 2015-06-03 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Wavelength 666 (feat. Fresh Snow / Several Futures / Century Palm / Badminton Racquet) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-06-06 (Saturday) [FB event]

HPR presents (feat. Quicksails / Brett Naucke / I Have Eaten The City) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-06-06 (Saturday) [FB event]

Isla Craig (L CON) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-06-07 (Sunday) [FB event]

Doldrums / Drake Underground 2015-06-11 (Thursday) [FB event]

Nightwave Collective presents (feat. BoyBITCH / Valerie Dour / Triple Gangers [album release party!]) / Handlebar 2015-06-12 (Friday) [FB event]

Wavelength + Arachnidiscs Recordings present (feat. Holiday Rambler / Khôra / Clara Engel / Moonwood / The Holy Gasp) / Smiling Buddha 2015-06-17 (Wednesday) [FB event]

DIANA (Prince Innocence) / Drake Underground 2015-06-17 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Telephone Explosion Presents (feat. U.S. Girls / Soupcans / The Holydrug Couple / Naomi Punk / Crosss / Jacco Gardner / EZTV / Cellphone / Wrong Hole / Heaters / Mick Futures / Moss Lime) / The Garrison 2015-06-18 (Thursday – 3 p.m. to 4 a.m.!) [FB event]

Lloyd Cole / The Great Hall 2015-06-18 (Thursday) [more info]

Wavelength + Pleasence Records present (feat. Sexy Merlin / ZONES / Man Made Hill / Tenderness / Mystic Triangle) / Smiling Buddha 2015-06-18 (Thursday) [FB event]

Wavelength + Craft Singles present (feat. Plasmalab / Homebody / Foam / Crosss / "secret guests" / Chastity Belt / Old and Weird / Un Blonde) / Smiling Buddha 2015-06-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Real Estate (Amen Dunes / Wish) / The Danforth Music Hall 2015-06-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Wavelength + Optical Sounds present (feat. Cell Memory / Planet Creature / The Auras / B-17 / The Saffron Sect) / Smiling Buddha 2015-06-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength presents (feat. Dirty Frigs / Bart / Overnight / Not Of / Champion Lover) / Smiling Buddha 2015-06-21 (Sunday) [FB event]

Dick Diver (Animal Parts) / The Silver Dollar Room 2015-07-03 (Friday) [FB event]

Panamania (feat. Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra / Joaquin Díaz / Lula All Stars / Grand Bateria and Brass / The Heavyweights Brass Band / Radio Radio / Systema Solar) / Nathan Phillips Square 2015-07-10 (Friday – free!) [more info]

Panamania (feat. La Chiva Gantiva / The Fruits / The Heavyweights Brass Band / Radio Radio) / Pan Am Park 2015-07-11 (Saturday – free!) [more info]

Monomyth (Nap Eyes) / Smiling Buddha 2015-07-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

Panamania (feat. Jay Douglas & the All Stars / Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires / Antibalas) / Pan Am Park 2015-07-22 (Wednesday – free!) [more info]

Panamania (feat. Peggy Baker's FluxDelux / Leonard Sumner and Mob Bounce / Derek Miller / Debra Brown's Pulse / Onda Vaga / Tanya Tagaq / The Roots) / Nathan Phillips Square 2015-08-08 (Saturday – free!) [more info]

Panamania (feat. Leela Gilday / Speed Control / New North Collective / Alejandro Escovedo / Explosions in the Sky) / Nathan Phillips Square 2015-08-10 (Monday – free!) [more info]

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Recording: Nidus

Artist: Nidus

Song: [excerpt from an improvisation]

Recorded at Johnny Jackson ("Track Could Bend #2"), May 5, 2015.

Nidus - [excerpt from an improvisation]

I was impressed enough by the hazy ambient improvisations of this trio when I heard 'em back in January that I was eager for more. I was also curious to see how their sound would translate in a rather different environment from the close-in vibes at Ratio, but Matthew Ramolo, Jason Doell, and Marc Couroux filled the bar up with a range of sounds that covered the gamut from "slow-motion bad dream" to "vintage sci-fi soundtrack". There's a bit of a mind-meld in effect as sometimes it's not easy to figure out who's adding what to the sonic soup, but that makes sense as there seems to be an undercurrent throughout, a voice whispering suggestions that you surrender your ego and give yourself up to the void/non-void.

[Track Could Bend #3 will be at Johnny Jackson on Tuesday, June 2nd. It will be a special late-nite edition with increased rock-improvisation action — full info coming soon!]

Recording: Brian Abbott + William Davison

Artist: Brian Abbott + William Davison

Songs: [two excerpts from an improvisation]

Recorded at Johnny Jackson ("Track Could Bend #2"), May 5, 2015.

Brian Abbott + William Davison - [excerpt 2]

Brian Abbott + William Davison - [excerpt]

William Davison is a man of many projects that fall in between the boundaries of genres and scenes but has exhibited a long-term D.I.Y. commitment to not compromising his artistic vision. Brian Abbott is a more recent arrival in town, but is already a familiar face at improvised gigs and on stage as one-half of Faster. Together, there were some nicely-subtle moments with Davison's electronics and amplified objects creating a soundfield for Abbot to decorate with guitar-sound both percussive and melodic.

[Track Could Bend #3 will be at Johnny Jackson on Tuesday, June 2nd. It will be a special late-nite edition with increased rock-improvisation action — full info coming soon!]

Recording: Ah! la lettre! + Kayla Milmine

Artist: Ah! la lettre! + Kayla Milmine

Songs: [two improvisations]

Recorded at Johnny Jackson ("Track Could Bend #2"), May 5, 2015.

Ah! la lettre! + Kayla Milmine - [third piece]

Ah! la lettre! + Kayla Milmine - [fourth piece]

For the opening set at this second instalment of this monthly series, I was curious to see what would happen on a musical blind date, mixing two players who had never met. Both Gabi and Kayla are song-singers and improvisers (the former on her own as well as in bands like Teen Tits Wild Wives; the latter does both as one-half of Faster) and they found a meeting point in short, song-length bursts for trumpet, soprano sax and voice.

[Track Could Bend #3 will be at Johnny Jackson on Tuesday, June 2nd. It will be a special late-nite edition with increased rock-improvisation action — full info coming soon!]

Friday, May 8, 2015

Recording: Surinam

Artist: Surinam

Song: There You Go Again

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, May 2, 2015.

Surinam - There You Go Again

It'd been a few months since I'd caught Surinam, and I was quite pleased to hear a bunch of new-to-me stuff in their set — probably no surprise for a band with their first album now ready to go at the end of the month. They were also now playing as a four-piece, sans keyboardist, though guitarist Willy Mason had a synth beside him throughout the set. It was used for a background layer of whitenoise haze, though, rather then as a melodic element. But otherwise, everything else was as razor-sharp as you'd expect.

[Surinam will be celebrating the release of their first album (alongside PANIC and Past Crimes) at Johnny Jackson on Friday, May 29th.]

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Recording: Tim Berne's Snakeoil

Artist: Tim Berne's Snakeoil

Song: Clutter

Recorded at Array Space ("The Music Gallery's Departures Series"), April 29, 2015.

Tim Berne's Snakeoil - Clutter

Making his first appearance in these parts in a couple decades, saxophonist Tim Berne brought Snakeoil (Oscar Noriega, clarinets; Matt Mitchell, piano; Ches Smith, percussion and vibes) which has just released its second album as a unit. Despite possibly feeling at less than his best (splitting headaches and border troubles were both mentioned), Berne led the group through several excursions, the pieces sling-shotting from more composed, quiet interludes to fiery improvisational blasts.

Recording: Barnyard Drama

Artist: Barnyard Drama

Song: Miss Otis Regrets [Cole Porter cover]

Recorded at Array Space ("The Music Gallery's Departures Series"), April 29, 2015.

Barnyard Drama - Miss Otis Regrets

The most exciting moments at this offsite Music Gallery show came in the night's middle set, with a too-rare chance to see Barnyard Drama in action. This longtime pairing of Christine Duncan (voice) and Jean Martin (percussion, electronics) hasn't been performing much of late, doubtless because of the many external projects (including Element Choir for Duncan and Tanya Tagaq for Martin) the pair have on the go. Their set comprised of a pair of long pieces, each building from quiet to raucous — the second was this rendition of a Cole Porter classic (that the pair tackled back on their first album) that would eventually tear the song's structure into tiny bits and reassemble them in a tower of noise, with Duncan dropping the mic to her side to see if her unamplified voice could compete with the drumkit behind her. (It could.)