Monday, December 11, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #228

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 Cluttertones (John Millard / Germaine Liu) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-12-13 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Rob Clutton's excellent chamber pop ensemble is reprising their first Burdock appearance from two years back, right down to the same openers offering contrasting (storytelling/experimental) threads shared with the headliners. Expect to hear some new ornate pieces from Clutton, Lina Allemano, Ryan Driver and Tim Posgate.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Garden Party [Aline Homzy/Allison Au/Phill Albert/Alex Fournier/Mark Ballyk] / The Emmet Ray 2017-12-11 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

Andrew² [Andrew Miller/Andrew Downing/Harrison Argatoff] / The Emmet Ray 2017-12-11 (Monday) [FB event]

Ornate Ornette (feat. Nico Dann/Phil Albert/Ted Crosby) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-12 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

LHD [Jeff LaRochelle/Aline Homzy/Michael Davidson] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Bitchin Bajas (ZONES / SlowPitchSound) / Smiling Buddha 2017-12-12 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Brodie West Quintet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-13 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

If:Iff - works for chamber orchestra and electronics (feat. New Music Ensemble of the Royal Conservatory) / Temerty Theatre 2017-12-14 (Thursday – free with RSVP!) [FB event]

Austra (Devon Welsh / Ela Minus / Nyssa) / Velvet Underground 2017-12-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Corpusse Christmas / Sellers & Newel Speakeasy 2017-12-14 (Thursday) [more info]

Mannerisms with special guest Jay Hay (Body Butter [Neil Rankin/Chris Evans]) / Handlebar 2017-12-14 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Explorer (The Hollow Earth / The Mean) / The Piston 2017-12-14 (Thursday) [FB event]

Faith Healer (Cecil Frena / Tough Age / Ducks Unlimited) / The Baby G 2017-12-15 (Friday) [FB event]

Moon King (Doomsquad / New Chance) / Smiling Buddha 2017-12-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

Honey Harper (Scott Hardware / Komodo) / Monarch Tavern 2017-12-16 (Saturday) [FB event]

10th Annual Wassail (feat. kith&kin) / 918 Bathurst 2017-12-17 (Sunday) [FB event]

MAW: A Community Celebration of the Vocal Arts (feat. Anne Bourne / Leslie Predy / Alex Lukshevsky / Kirsten White and Marc Bourgon / Renee The Voice / Scott Peterson / Game Shout Match / The Jumblies/Making Room Community Choir / Shodekeh and Max Bent) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-12-17 (Sunday – all ages + kid-friendly!) [FB event]

Somewhere There Presents (feat. Miropolis) / The Emmet Ray 2017-12-17 (Sunday) [FB event]

Hamilton Trading Co (Traplines / Jupiterspin) / The Gaslight 2017-12-17 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

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

Karen Ng/Alex Fournier/Stefan Hegerat/Marilyn Lerner/Ryan Brouwer / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-20 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Nick Flanagan's Home for the Holidays [comedy + musical performances] (feat. Andre Ethier / WLMRT) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-12-22 (Friday) [FB event]

Daniel Nebiat (Tiruedel Zenebe) / Habesha Sports Bar 2017-12-22–2017-12-25 (Friday–Monday) [more info]

Tranzac New Year's Eve (feat. Ice Cream / Phèdre / Houndstooth / Lauren Barnett / Zoo Owl / The Brodie West Quintet) / The Tranzac 2017-12-31 (Sunday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #34 (feat. Bachelard / LUKA / tendencyitis) / Belljar Café 2018-01-02 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Sahara (Nyssa / Kiwi Jr.) / Monarch Tavern 2018-01-13 (Saturday) [FB event]

Andre Ethier [Under Grape Leaves Telephone Explosion release party!] / The Baby G 2017-01-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Wavelength Winter Festival 18 (feat. TBA) / venues TBA 2018-02-16–2018-02-18 (Friday–Sunday – save the dates!) [FB event]


Community corner:

  • Kristel Jax, whose explorations into drone therapy have included youtube videos, performances and this list of mental health resources, is now launching a podcast. Read more about about it here, and check out the first episode now. For anyone needing to slow down and find a better place while dealing with mental health issues (and/or the trauma of accessing the broken mental health system) this is a place for you.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Recording: Bea Labikova + Raphael Roter

Artist: Bea Labikova + Raphael Roter

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination Halloween Special), October 31, 2017.

Bea Labikova + Raphael Roter - [excerpt]

Celebrating the season with costumes and a horror flick, Audiopollination brought together three sets of improvised sounds for a night of Halloween fun. In their alter egos of wizard and radioactive sludge mutant, Bea Labikova and Raphael Roter presented an excellent set of duo explorations. With the former on sax and fujara and the latter on percussion, the pair played sitting face to face riding several waves of beautiful quiet and clamour.

Recording: The Birth of Troubling Forms

Artist: The Birth of Troubling Forms

Song: Genuine [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination Halloween Special), October 31, 2017.

The Birth of Troubling Forms - Genuine [excerpt]

Celebrating the season with costumes and a horror flick, Audiopollination brought together three sets of improvised sounds for a night of Halloween fun. This group of improvised soundtrack-makers was playing behind an abridged version of Robert Wiene's 1921 silent horror flick Genuine. The group this time 'round featured Alan Bloor (amplified metal), Ambrose Pottie (percussion), Michael Lynn (bass + clarinet) and Tina Kiik (accordion) and they vibed off the eye-popping expressionist sets (probably more than the famously elusive plot, which was all the more scattered in a short version of a short version of the film) with quite darkly-tasty results.

Recording: The Cereal Killers/Lilly and the Jellybean Machine

Artists: The Cereal Killers + Lilly and the Jellybean Machine

Songs: What's Your Thing?/We Are Girls + [first piece]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination Halloween Special), October 31, 2017.

The Cereal Killers - What's Your Thing? + We Are Girls

Lilly and the Jellybean Machine - [first piece]

Celebrating the season with costumes and a horror flick, Audiopollination brought together three sets of improvised sounds for a night of Halloween fun. A night of costumes felt appropriate as an opportunity to reunite The Cereal Killers, which features improvised punkrock outbursts behind recitations of 90's era toy and cereal commercials from Andy Dolgin (who was rockin' the Ace Ventura look this time 'round). The set also included this pair of classic YTV PSA's from the league of Concerned Children's Advertisers.

The backing band — with Mike Lynn (fuzzy bear/bass) Gord Fynes (Morty/drums) Brian Abbot (cheerleader/guitar) and Kayla Milmine (owl/alto sax) — included new addition Elizabeth Lima (catwoman/clarinet), and once Dolgin had run out of jingles, Lima swapped frontperson spots with him to transform the group into Lilly and the Jellybean Machine, self-proclaimed as "Toronto's primary maybe-wave band", for a second half of freewheeling prowls.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Recording: Cosmic Homeostasis V

Artist: Cosmic Homeostasis V

Song: Dammit, all the shrapnels exhaled all at once [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 29, 2017.

Cosmic Homeostasis V - Dammit, all the shrapnels exhaled all at once [excerpt]

Another fifth-Sunday-of-the-month gathering brought together eleven musicians to listen to whispers from space and collectively compose some slowly-moving sounds. The sound palette was a bit more buzzingly electronic this time, finding a humming field for the players to tap into. Some gong-sounds shook that up in the second set, but didn't interrupt the pleasing drift. The performers this time 'round were {AN} EeL, Rob Cruickshank, Kristina Guison, Mira Martin-Gray, Ronnie Blake, Kat Estacio, Syd Ortega, Sarah Peebles, Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh, Johan Seaton, and Joe Strutt.

You can listen to the whole session over at bandcamp:

[Cosmic Homeostasis will reconvene at the end of April, once recent return messages from recent space transmissions are received.]

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Recording: U.S. Girls

Artist: U.S. Girls

Songs: 28 Days + Mad As Hell

Recorded at The Tranzac (Main Hall), October 27, 2017.

U.S. Girls - 28 Days

U.S. Girls - Mad As Hell

This astounding set teasing new material from the newly-expanded U.S. Girls featured a band composed mostly of Doc Dunn's Cosmic Range (as well as The Sulks' Chris Bezant on guit and backing vocalists Kassie Richardson and Basia Bulat) who offered an astoundingly full "studio" sound. Besides opening and closing with some of the tracks they played on from the forthcoming In a Poem Unlimited album they also reinterpreted a series of older songs. Meg Remy balanced the lushness of the ten-piece backing band with sample montages that hearkened back to the project's origins as well as hinting at the seething anger underneath the songs. But it's too easy to just label this as feminist rage (a word that's right there in the title of the Fiver song covered on the new album) — there's a consideration of things that justly evoke anger, but there's also joy in the music as well, from the reggae-ish lilt the band accorded to "28 Days" as well as the ebullient disco of "Mad As Hell".

Remy was in full command throughout — no banter or asides were on offer in the tightly-constructed set, and instead of an encore, all she gave the crowd was a hand-on-hip "didn't I just do that?" glare before leaving the stage. With the release of the album now confirmed for February, this was a tantalizing glimpse of an artist operating at a high level — and expanding their ambitions to ever-higher plateaus.

Recording: Hexagon

Artist: Hexagon

Songs: two unknown songs*

Recorded at The Tranzac (Main Hall), October 27, 2017.

Hexagon - unknown #1

Hexagon - unknown #2

This was my first time catching a full set from this joint effort by keyb wizard Carl Didur and Louis Percival on bass. Percival (who produced some of headliner U.S. Girls' earlier works in his Onakabazien guise) deepened Didur's Éthiopiques vibe with some tasty grooves, including what sounded like a proper Tezeta rhythm. The pair also had their first release — a cassette single that doesn't seem to have manifested anywhere online yet — on sale at the merch table, so hopefully there will be more to follow.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #227

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:

60 plus 20: Celebrating Dan Burke (feat. The Highest Order / Comet Control / Hooded Fang plus special guests) / Lee's Palace 2017-12-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Local legend Dan Burke has long had an eye that could spot a spark in a musician or band, honed over twenty years of putting on shows. He'll be celebrating that landmark (as well as his 60th birthday) at this huge blowout at Lee's, with a series of sets from some of his favourite bands, each stacked with some extra special guest appearances (the event promises Jennifer Castle, Andre Ethier of The Deadly Snakes, Dallas Good of The Sadies, Briå of FRIGS, Matt Mason of Anagram, Michelle McAdorey of Crash Vegas, Nick Kervin of Mimico, Scott Harwood, Richard Gibson of B17, Jake Koffman, Kritty Uranowski and more). It's not at the Silver Dollar, sadly, but this still promises to be a rather memorable night.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Nachtmusik 5.5: Improvised Piano (feat. Avesta Nakhaei) / Sarv Music Academy 2017-12-04 (Monday) [FB event]

The Mike Smith Company (Ali Berkok [solo piano]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-05 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #33 (feat. Justin Haynes/John Oswald/Mani Mazinani / Bea Labikova / Brian Abbott) / Belljar Café 2017-12-05 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Ryan Driver [Careless Thoughts record release celebration!] (Doug Tielli/Heather Saumer/Chris Adriaanse) / Array Space 2017-12-06 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ghostlight / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-06 (Wednesday) [FB event]

The Music Gallery presents Emergents I (feat. Sounds Of Silence Initiative) / 918 Bathurst 2017-12-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

In Between Sounds #80 (feat. Lorde Awesome II) / The Only Café 2017-12-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Quartzite Jongleur [Lina Allemano/Andrew Downing/Ashley Urquhart/Alex Fournier/Andrew Miller] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Horseshoe Tavern 70th Birthday Concert Series (feat. Rheostatics / Ensign Broderick) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2017-12-07–2017-12-09 (Thursday–Saturday) [FB event]

Camille Delean (L CON / Isaac Vallentin) / Belljar Café 2017-12-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Ice Cream [cassingle release!] / D D L 2017-12-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Urgent Voices [compositions by Anna Hostman, James Rolfe, Ann Southam, Scott Wilson] (feat. Continuum Contemporary Music) / Aki Studio 2017-12-08–2017-12-09 (Friday–Saturday) [FB event]

Long Winter 6.2 (feat. Tess Roby / Absolutely Free / Witch Prophet / Petra Glynt / The Cosmic Range / Kurt Marble / YlangYlang / LolaBunz / Moneyphone) / Polish Combatants' Hall SPK 2017-12-09 (Saturday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Buzz Records Presents: A Very Special Krampus Party (feat. Charly Bliss / Casper Skulls / Twist / Lonely Parade) / The Rec Room 2017-12-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

CJRU's Winter Wonder-Realm (feat. LAL / Obuxum / Ziibiwan / Astro Mega) / Handlebar 2017-12-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #57: 5th year anniversary show (feat. Andrew Kay/Brodie Chisholm/Dennis W. Lee / Paul Newman/Laura Swankey/Andrew Furlong / Bill Gilliam/Kiva Simova/Glen Hall) / Array Space 2017-12-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Faster Presents: Sound Magick (feat. Diane Roblin/Brian Abbott / Bea Labikova/Sarah Peebles/Kayla Milmine / Bea Labikova/Bob Vespaziani/Kayla Milmine / Tomasz Krakowiak/Brian Abbott) / Gerrard Art Space 2017-12-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

No Octopus Dances with Kurt Newman / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-09 (Saturday)

Toronto Improvisers Orchestra / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-10 (Sunday – afternoon set @ 1 p.m.!)

Somewhere There Presents: Music of Paul Newman and Brian Abbott (feat. Manuel Morales/Michael Davidson/Kristen Moss Theriault/Brian Abbott/Paul Newman/Heather Saumer/Kayla Milmine) / Array Space 2017-12-10 (Sunday) [FB event]

Omhouse [single release!] (Rapport / Eliza Niemi) / The Baby G 2017-12-10 (Sunday) [FB event]

Lina Allemano Four / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-10 (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!

Somewhere There Presents (feat. Miropolis) / The Emmet Ray 2017-12-17 (Sunday) [FB event]

ZOË (UXVAE / Fog Spirits) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2017-12-21 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

New Chance (ZOË / Invisible Out / Hexzuul) / Smiling Buddha 2018-01-14 (Sunday) [FB event]

Beatrice Keeler (Merival / Alex Leggett / ZOË) / The Cameron House 2018-01-19 (Friday) [FB event]

Class Of 2018 (feat. Lush Buffalo / WHOOP-szo / Hot Garbage / Iris / Tange) / Smiling Buddha 2018-01-20 (Saturday) [FB event]

Yo La Tengo / The Phoenix 2018-03-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Recording: Aurochs

Artist: Aurochs

Song: [set 2, part 1]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 27, 2017.

Aurochs - [set 2, part 1]

With just drummer Jake Oelrichs, bassist Pete Johnston and pianist Ali Berkok on stage, this was a night of "Aurochs classique". (Fourth member Mike Smith was, in fact, "in the house", so to speak, playing in the Tranzac's Main Hall as a member of U.S. Girls' band.) Without Smith's dub-smear signal processing, this outing saw the group at their most Necks-like, slowly developing themes being passed back and forth from one player to another.

Aurochs bassist Pete Johnston will be bringing some of his See Through Music to The Tranzac tonight (Wednesday, November 29th).]

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Recording: Petra Glynt

Artist: Petra Glynt

Song: Radical

Recorded at The Baby G, October 25, 2017.

Petra Glynt - Radical

For those following Alexandra Mackenzie's Petra Glynt since its inception, this release party for her debut full length was a long time coming — though the wait was justified by the groovy clarity captured on This Trip's tracks. Though there would be some low points and struggles on the horizon, this was a night to gather some friends together for a big, celebratory dance party.

Recording: Bobbypin

Artist: Bobbypin

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Baby G, October 25, 2017.

Bobbypin - unknown

In the year-and-a-bit since being the first performer at The Baby G, Alana Marta DeVito returned with a confident swagger in presenting her solo tunes. Like that show a year back, she was playing in support of a former bandmate — she played alongside Petra Glynt's Alexandra Mackenzie (who was right up front dancing throughout the set) in Machetes. And showing some other dimensions, she also was behind the board doing sound for Mackenzie's set and is a part of the Posi Vibez crew, which was on site DJ-ing and adding glitter to the night.

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #226

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:

Lina Allemano double release party! (feat. Lina Allemano Four / Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-28 (Tuesday) [FB event]

LUKA [What Kind of Animal album release!] (SlowPitchSound / Isla Craig) / The Baby G 2017-11-28 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Tuesday sees two excellent albums release parties, and you can't go wrong here either way. Energized by plenty of recent time spent in Berlin, Lina Allemano presents new albums from two of her primary Toronto-based projects: the jazz-composition oriented Lina Allemano 4 as well as the more abstract/exploratory electroacoustic unit Titanium Riot. There are stupendous musicians in both units (Brodie West and Andrew Downing in the former, Ryan Driver and Rob Clutton in the latter, and Nick Fraser in both) and this should be a joyous, packed show — arrive early if you want a seat! Meanwhile, Luke Kuplowsky releases a new set of carefully-wrung observations on love in a night opening sets from MFS faves Isla Craig (seagull ballads) and SlowPitchSound (sci-fi beatscapes).


This week's noteworthy shows:

Thom & Friends [Thom Gill/Ryan Driver/Tom Upjohn/Bram Gielen/Phil Melanson] / The Emmet Ray 2017-11-27 (Monday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Jo Snyder [November residency!] / Imperial Pub 2017-11-28 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Gratitude Listening for Pauline Oliveros (feat. Doug Van Nort, Andrew Timar, Allison Cameron, Jerry Pergolesi, Wende Bartley, Kristian Podlacha, Johan Seaton, Penelope Cookson, Gayle Young, Tina Pearson and others) / Array Space 2017-11-28 (Tuesday – free!) [FB event]

Erath (Brigitte Bardon't & Sheryl Lee Scream / Natural Violence / AC) / Smiling Buddha (basement) 2017-11-28 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Brownies [Parmela Attariwala/Nilan Perera/Nicole Rampersaud/Rakesh Tewari] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-29 (Wednesday – early!)

Pete Johnston's See Through Music / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-29 (Wednesday)

The Burning Hell (Steven Lambke) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-11-30 (Thursday) [FB event]

controller.controller – 7" Single Release [benefit for Ronnie Morris] (feat. Lolaa / Hit The North) / The Baby G 2017-11-30 (Thursday) [FB event]

Julia Male with Fleshtone Aura (Eucalyptus) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-11-30 (Thursday) [FB event]

I. M. Brown (Girls Rituals / Nag / Esther Splett) / Smiling Buddha (basement) 2017-11-30 (Thursday) [FB event]

Century Palm [final show!] (The New Calling / WLMRT) / Smiling Buddha 2017-12-01 (Friday) [FB event]

Lavender Bruisers (King Helen / N//K / Thin Space) / Smiling Buddha (basement) 2017-12-01 (Friday – PWYC!) [FB event]

The DisPerSion Lab + The Music Gallery present (feat. Malcolm Goldstein & Doug Van Nort / Doug Van Nort [solo!] / Electro-Acoustic Orchestra) / Array Space 2017-12-01 (Friday) [FB event]

Array Music's Rat-drifting series (feat. Sarah Hennies / Kurt Newman) / Array Space 2017-12-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Holy Gasp (Fat As Fuck / Friendly Rich & The Lollipop People) / Smiling Buddha 2017-12-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Jessica Moss (Ben Shemie) / The Baby G 2017-12-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Deliluh [Linger In The Afterlight tape release!] (Dorothea Paas / The Brain) / Owl's Club (upstairs) 2017-12-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Tiptoes [Quiet Bedrooms EP release!] (Lius Rhutilius / Myra Maines) / Smiling Buddha (basement) 2017-12-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Ora Cogan [Crickets album release!] (Praises / Dohn Valley) / The Baby G 2017-12-03 (Sunday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 51 (feat. Ben Oginz / RYECROFT) / Handlebar 2017-12-03 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

C.R. Gillespie (Korea Town Acid / Yu Su + Raf Reza) / June Records 2017-12-03 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

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

Nachtmusik 5.5: Improvised Piano (feat. Avesta Nakhaei) / Sarv Music Academy 2017-12-04 (Monday) [FB event]

The Mike Smith Company (Ali Berkok [solo piano]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-05 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Long Winter 6.2 (feat. Tess Roby / Absolutely Free / Witch Prophet / Petra Glynt / The Cosmic Range / Kurt Marble / YlangYlang / LolaBunz / Moneyphone) / Polish Combatants' Hall SPK 2017-12-09 (Saturday – all ages! PWYC!) [FB event]

Audiopollination #57: 5th year anniversary show (feat. Andrew Kay/Brodie Chisholm/Dennis W. Lee / Paul Newman/Laura Swankey/Andrew Furlong / Bill Gilliam/Kiva Simova/Glen Hall) / Array Space 2017-12-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Faster Presents: Sound Magick (feat. Diane Roblin/Brian Abbott / Bea Labikova/Sarah Peebles/Kayla Milmine / Bea Labikova/Bob Vespaziani/Kayla Milmine / Tomasz Krakowiak/Brian Abbott) / Gerrard Art Space 2017-12-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Presents: Music of Paul Newman and Brian Abbott (feat. Manuel Morales/Michael Davidson/Kristen Moss Theriault/Brian Abbott/Paul Newman/Heather Saumer/Kayla Milmine) / Array Space 2017-12-10 (Sunday) [FB event]

Omhouse [single release!] (Rapport / Eliza Niemi) / The Baby G 2017-12-10 (Sunday) [FB event]

Venus Fest Winter Solstice Celebration (feat. Jennifer Castle / Aisha Sasha John / "very special guest") / The Garrison 2017-12-21 (Thursday) [FB event]

Digits (Loji) / The Piston 2018-01-25 (Thursday) [FB event]

Lido Pimienta / The Drake Underground 2018-02-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Recording: Context, NA

Artist: Context, NA

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Somewhere Else, October 20, 2017.

Context, NA - unknown

So far as I know, this was only the second live appearance from this project, a vehicle for the poetic lyrics of Jonathan Pappo (best known as the beatkeeper in groups such as WHIMM and Hooded Fang). Bringing his guitar and atmospheric samples, he was given additional buoyancy with floating synth textures from Zoë Alexis-Abrams and Daniel Busheikin (of Grounders and also No Frills, a new-ish combo in which Pappo is also playing drums). I asked Pappo if the "NA" was an abbreviation for "North America" making this an address or if it stood for "not applicable" — and he simply said "yes", so that's a good hint of the terrain explored here: nonlinear but not too ungrounded, this mini-suite of four drifting songs promised more dreamy landscapes to come.

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

Recording: Stargoon

Artist: Stargoon

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Somewhere Else, October 20, 2017.

Stargoon - [excerpt]

It was a pleasure to bring some Stargoon sounds to this informal living room show [full disclosure/caveat emptor: yours truly is a member of Stargoon] mixing a rock-solid rhythm section with treated sounds swirling from two separate directions. Oh, and also a cheap plastic Russian speak-and-spell spitting distorted phonemes in the background. Look for this as a future live document on the Stargoon bandcamp: in the meantime, our side of our new Arachnidiscs split tape is available for your perusal.

Photo by Andrika De Lanerolle.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Recording: Gilliam-Milmine-Pottie

Artist: Bill Gilliam/Kayla Milmine/Ambrose Pottie

Songs: Improvisation + Creek Listening

Recorded at Array Space, October 18, 2017.

Bill Gilliam/Kayla Milmine/Ambrose Pottie - Improvisation

Bill Gilliam/Kayla Milmine/Ambrose Pottie - Creek Listening

A night of celebration for the Entangled Pathways album, this trio moved easily between through-composed and more loosely structured pieces as well as some guided duo improvisations and the "open" encounter leading off here. That's fitting as these three first connected through the Toronto Improvisors Orchestra. The night featured most of the album's pieces over two sets, ranging from stately textures to choppier sonic waters, with extended techniques from all three wending their way into the music.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Recording: Hans-Joachim Roedelius

Artist: Hans-Joachim Roedelius

Songs: unknown* + By This River (with Christine Roedelius)

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, October 17, 2017.

Hans-Joachim Roedelius - unknown

Hans-Joachim Roedelius with Christine Roedelius - By This River

This evening of ambient pop was conceived by Riparian Acoustics (Nick Storring's post-Ratio vehicle for show curation) and given logistical support by Burn Down the Capital and packed the Monarch Tavern with a fairly mixed crowd. As Hans-Joachim Roedelius settled in, one could see a mix of I-Saw-Him-Back-When types with younger heads now weaned on his work as a part of the electronic music canon. His continued technological forward-looking could be seen from his table of gear with multiple laptops and tablets but the main focus here was the grand piano he was seated at.

His piano work hinted at both sequencer patterns and Satie-esque calmness with occasional swells into lusher, rolling terrains — quite entrancing, even with a pause for some technical adjustments midway through. The set closed with Roedelius bringing his wife Christine onto the stage to join him on "By This River" (most famously known from Eno's Before and After Science, but the melody was composed by Roedelius while Eno was recording with Cluster), shifting the song from Eno's icy cold oceans and repositioned into a sweet parlour tune. Roedelius, who seemed very pleased with the warm crowd and the sounds of the opening bands, was in turn showered with affection from the audience, and the night ended with Roedelius offering a toast to the crowd.

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

Recording: Joseph Shabason

Artist: Joseph Shabason

Song: Neil McCauley

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, October 17, 2017.

Joseph Shabason - Neil McCauley

This evening of ambient pop was conceived by Riparian Acoustics (Nick Storring's post-Ratio vehicle for show curation) and given logistical support by Burn Down the Capital and packed the Monarch Tavern with a fairly mixed crowd. It was, in fact, at Ratio that I had seen this project in a nascent form. Now reverted back to Shabason's own name, that set a year ago, this set and the recordings on the wonderful Aytche album draw from an overlapping pool of musicians from Shabason's band DIANA and adjacent T.O. crews. On this night, the band was a true all-star unit featuring Joseph Shabason (sax, effects, keyb), Matt Smith (samples, keyb), Hugh Marsh (electric violin), Kieran Adams (percussion) and Bram Gielen (bass). As beautiful as the textures on the album are, it's even more impressive to hear it done live with the group offering studio lushness without sounding the least bit stiff or pre-programmed. The vibe that this piece aims at can be gleamed from the fact that it's named for Robert De Niro's character in Michael Mann's Heat. This live version stretches out with beautiful ambiance from March and Gielan before pulling in the rest of the players.

Recording: Xambuca

Artist: Xambuca

Songs: three unknown beatscapes*

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, October 17, 2017.

Xambuca - three unknown beatscapes

This evening of ambient pop was conceived by Riparian Acoustics (Nick Storring's post-Ratio vehicle for show curation) and given logistical support by Burn Down the Capital and packed the Monarch Tavern with a fairly mixed crowd. Perhaps the friskiest of the night's sets, these beatscape vignettes from Chandra Shukla (who usually performs alongside video artist Geo Lynx but was solo on this night) hinted at connections to the headliner's electronic experiments. From what I can gather, Shukla and Hans-Joachim Roedelius were performing collaborative sets on most nights of this tour, but it looks as if the availability of the grand piano in this room shifted things around, giving us this solo excursion.

* Does anyone know the titles to these bits? Please leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Recording: Bill Nace & Twig Harper

Artist: Bill Nace & Twig Harper

Song: [last section]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 16, 2017.

Bill Nace & Twig Harper - [last section]

Bill Nace is probably best known above the underground for his work with Kim Gordon in Body/Head. This duo with Twig Harper (also of Nautical Almanac, rocking with an A-1 Warlock style vibe) dug deep into the subsonic magma and brought some rigourous walls of sound, pushing the Southern Cross' sound system to its limit. Nace's guitar work was very patient, with screwdriver manipulations giving way to meticulous string bowing. Harper, meanwhile, got on with some demon-summoning through treated vocalizations and twists of a homemade-looking synth box.

Recording: Not The Wind, Not The Flag

Artist: Not The Wind, Not The Flag

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 16, 2017.

Not The Wind, Not The Flag - [excerpt]

There are incremental differences to look for whenever Brandon Valdivia and Colin Fisher join together to play music, with different gear and different moods informing each other. This time 'round, Valdivia was a bit more restrained, gear-wise, forgoing his electronics to stay in a more traditional percussion zone. Fisher, meanwhile, had plenty of gear, and once again was layering and looping his sounds in fascinating ways. The mellow textures here build in a really subtle and elegant style — in fact, just after this extract ends the piece moves into a total shred-fest, but it gets there in a way that feels totally organic.

Recording: Dandy Dusted

Artist: Dandy Dusted

Song: [third section]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), October 16, 2017.

Dandy Dusted - [third section]

This new solo excursion from Jeremy Dennis (formerly of Tranz DéFoncé and other strange excursions) involved some esoteric stage rituals (many pages of notes plus several drinking vessels were all consulted) in an attempt to assimilate several musical ideas. Melding "a really, really crude effort at covering Keiji Haino's first record" with an attempt to "cover the movie Altered States", Dennis also threw in some Raw Fruit-style broken beats "just to ease the tension".

Monday, November 20, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #225

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:

Darlene Shrugg [LP Release!] (New Fries / Miss World) / Smiling Buddha 2017-11-24 (Friday) [FB event]

There's a lot of achievements to celebrate this week, including seeing Jennifer Castle playing Massey Hall and the Weather Station dropping a new album to widespread acclaim at The Great Hall. Go to those, if you can still get tickets — but if you need some raw rock electrification in your system there's another option as well, with supergroup Darlene Shrugg (U.S. Girls + Tropics + Ice Cream) issuing their debut full-length Friday at the Buddha. Hard-riffin' rock boogaloo with some apocaplytic flourishes, there's a sense of spectacle inherent in pretty much everything this band does, so this release show should be a doozy.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Slow Man Tofu (Del Stephen & The Careful Mouths / Happy Baby) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2017-11-21 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Jo Snyder [November residency!] / Imperial Pub 2017-11-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Special Costello (Mas Aya) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-11-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Piano Party (feat. Allison Cameron) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-22 (Wednesday – early!) [cancelled!]

Spirit Of The Inner Child: Spontaneous Group Explorations (feat. David Parker/Del Stephen/Heraclitus Akimbo/Jeff Sinibaldi/Erik Kinsella) / Array Space 2017-11-22 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Michael Rault (Blonde Elvis / Queen Of Swords) / Smiling Buddha 2017-11-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Aurochs with special guests Jeremy Strachan and Michael Davidson / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Andy Shauf (Jennifer Castle) / Massey Hall 2017-11-23 (Thursday) [more info]

Duchess Says (Yamantaka//Sonic Titan) / The Garrison 2017-11-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Several Futures (Not Of / Spoils) / The Baby G 2017-11-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Planet of the Loops (feat. Andrew Aldridge/cheryl o/Dustin Good/James Bailey) / Roland Inspiration Centre 2017-11-23 (Thursday – free!) [FB event]

C.R. Gillespie [Séance Works Heretical Objects Cooperative tape release] (ZONES) / Less Bar 2017-11-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Garbageface (Cold Eye / Cetacea) / Belljar Café 2017-11-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

The Nilan Perera Ensemble [Kayla Milmine/Wes Neal/Rick Sacks/Nilan Perera] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Bellwether 4 / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-24 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-24 (Friday) [FB event]

The Weather Station [album release show!] (Bernice) / The Great Hall 2017-11-24 (Friday) [FB event]

MUZE ep.1 ["music & dance improvisation"] (feat. Pierre Mongeon's Transharmonic [Jocelyn Mah/Lonii Garnons/Bea Labikova/Kathryn Merriam/Ian de Souza/Raphael Roter/Pierre Mongeon]) / Array Space 2017-11-24 (Friday) [FB event]

The Hub Pre-Launch Party [fundraiser for new Distillery District all-ages venue!] (feat. Sea Beau / HEX / John Ross / Tequila Nosedive / Starshine / April Anderson-Jaciw / The Ants / Roach) / The Boat 2017-11-25 (Saturday – afternoon/evening show!) [FB event]

Wavelength 743 (feat. PONY / Luge / Bonnie Trash) / Bike Pirates 2017-11-25 (Saturday – all ages!) [FB event]

Tone Deaf Culture presents: T.O. GRIND #4 (Uncle Ray / Malaria / Beggin For Oxys / Excrement Binge / No) / Belljar Café 2017-11-25 (Saturday) [more info]

No Thing Composers Collective (works by Brian Abbott, Amy Brandon, Andy Dolgin, Heather Saumer, Paul Newman, Germaine Liu, and Manuel Morales performed by various ensembles) / Array Space 2017-11-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. Studio Dan) / Array Space 2017-11-26 (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!

Gratitude Listening for Pauline Oliveros (feat. Doug Van Nort, Andrew Timar, Allison Cameron, Jerry Pergolesi, Wende Bartley, Kristian Podlacha, Johan Seaton, Penelope Cookson, Gayle Young, Tina Pearson and others) / Array Space 2017-11-28 (Tuesday – free!) [FB event]

Erath (Brigitte Bardon't & Sheryl Lee Scream / Natural Violence / AC) / Smiling Buddha (basement) 2017-11-28 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Brownies [Parmela Attariwala/Nilan Perera/Nicole Rampersaud/Rakesh Tewari] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-11-29 (Wednesday – early!)

Julia Male with Fleshtone Aura (Eucalyptus) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-11-30 (Thursday) [FB event]

The DisPerSion Lab + The Music Gallery present (feat. Malcolm Goldstein & Doug Van Nort / Doug Van Nort [solo!] / Electro-Acoustic Orchestra) / Array Space 2017-12-01 (Friday) [FB event]

Nite Comfort 51 (feat. Ben Oginz / RYECROFT) / Handlebar 2017-12-03 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #33 (feat. Justin Haynes & Brian Ruryk / Brian Abbott / Bea Labikova) / Belljar Café 2017-12-05 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Ryan Driver [Careless Thoughts record release celebration!] (Doug Tielli/Heather Saumer/Chris Adriaanse) / Array Space 2017-12-06 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ghostlight / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-06 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ice Cream [cassingle release!] / D D L 2017-12-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Quartzite Jongleur [Lina Allemano/Andrew Downing/Ashley Urquhart/Alex Fournier/Andrew Miller] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-12-08 (Friday) [FB event]

Urgent Voices [compositions by Anna Hostman, James Rolfe, Ann Southam, Scott Wilson] (feat. Continuum Contemporary Music) / Aki Studio 2017-12-08–2017-12-09 (Friday–Saturday) [FB event]

Garden Party [Aline Homzy/Allison Au/Phill Albert/Alex Fournier/Mark Ballyk] / The Emmet Ray 2017-12-11 (Monday – early!) [FB event]

The Cluttertones (John Millard / Germaine Liu) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-12-13 (Wednesday) [FB event]

MAW: A Community Celebration of the Vocal Arts (feat. Anne Bourne / Leslie Predy / Alex Lukshevsky / Kirsten White and Marc Bourgon / Renee The Voice / Scott Peterson / Game Shout Match / The Jumblies/Making Room Community Choir / Shodekeh and Max Bent) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-12-17 (Sunday – all ages + kid-friendly!) [FB event]

Parkdale Food Drive (feat. Teenanger / Prom Nite / Lee Paradise) / The Baby G 2017-12-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Recording: James Tenney Resistance Ensembles

Artist: James Tenney Resistance Ensembles

Songs: Timbre Ring (feat. Tanya Charles, David French, Louis Simao, Alejandro Cespedes, Allie Blumas, Alexis Baro, Elena Kapeleris, Ben Grossman) + Listen! (feat. Mingjia Chan, Mara Nesrallah, Belinda Corpuz and Noah Franche-Nolan) [composer: James Tenney]

Recorded at 918 Bathurst (The Music Gallery's X AVANT XII – Night 5), October 15, 2017.

James Tenney Resistance Ensemble - Timbre Ring

James Tenney Resistance Ensemble - Listen!

After an off-season of uncertainty and exiled from its home at St. George The Martyr Church, The Music Gallery has found refuge at 918 Bathurst. Vibewise, this has kept things in the same ballpark, with the new space sharing churchy origins and a wood-y acoustic space. The X Avant Festival was first big test for this arrangement of things, presenting four nights of shows there.

More than ever, the linkages between the Festival's performances was in the overarching theme of "Resistance", explicitly evoked in this final night's survey of some of James Tenney's more explicitly political works. There were a pair of sonically-fascinating "playback" pieces to start the night from Tenney's days as a tape collagist and computer-based composer, including the seminal "Fabric for Che", a soundburst of computer-aided synthesis that must have sounded wholly alien in 1967, but today is quite comprehensible to anyone who's ever been to a harsh noise gig.

There were also three live performance pieces, including the reportage of "Pika-Don", giving perspectives on the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from both the creators of the weapon that obliterated them as well as its victims. There was also the uncharacteristic "Listen...!", a jaunty pop number (endearing in its occasional earnest clunkiness) trying to position "you and me" both as part of the problem and the solution to the world's many ills — at the end of the programme, it felt like a healing balm to end the night and the festival.

But the most interesting resonance of the night came with something that wasn't played, and what emerged instead in its place. When searching for pieces by Tenney that fit the night's theme, his "Ain't I a Woman?" (from 1992) was suggested. The piece abstracts "certain acoustical properties" of the words in Sojourner Truth's famous speech, breaking them down and distributing them across a string section and vocalists. Perhaps viewed as a progressive social endeavour in its time, in 2017 performing a piece by a white composer written to feature a specific white soloist that appropriates the words of a black woman is viewed differently. Whether this piece could be presented — as a representative of political music in its time, or as something useful in today's context — received a lot of discussion in the Music Gallery's community [full disclosure: as a member of the MG's Artistic Advisory Council, I was present at some of these discussions]. Consideration was given to "remixing" the piece, and/or programming it to be led by a black soloist, to return the words to the community and historical reality that they emerged from. (Side note: one further issue is that there's no clear documentation of what Sojourner Truth's actual words were, and the most-widely known transcription, and one which Tenney referred to, was by Frances Dana Barker Gage, a white abolitionist and women's rights activist, published a dozen years after the speech and re-written in a Southern dialect different than Truth's own.) In the end, there was there was a sense — from the black community and the wider MG community — that there's simply no interest — and scarce redeeming value — in hearing a white composer's take on a black woman's suffering, and it was decided not to mount the piece.

In its place, there was a performance of "Timbre Ring" ("for any number of definitely-pitched instruments, beyond about five"), a piece composed in 1971 but apparently never before performed in public. This version took nine performers (from different musical scenes and artistic practices) and spread them around the the perimeter of the audience. The idea of the piece is to take one single extended note and explore it in all its musical possibilities, as it was moved back and forth from one performer to another, passed along through eye contact. Though less overtly didactic, like the discussion around "Ain't I a Woman?", this piece felt more like a plausible model for resistance — based in listening, mutual respect, communication and sharing a moment together.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Recording: Avrha

Artist: Avrha

Songs: [first piece, section 3]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (The Music Gallery's X AVANT XII – Night 4), October 14, 2017.

Avrha - [first piece, section 3]

Taking a night off from its new home base at 918 Bathurst, the Tranzac threw this Saturday night party in The Tranzac's Main Hall. More than ever, the linkages between the Festival's performances was in the overarching theme of "Resistance", and to get a different perspective on that the MG turned this night over to community-insurgent popforce LAL, who brought in the Babely Shades collective to put things together. Before the show, Babely Shades' Hana Jama led a deep and lively discussion with some of the night's artists on how their art expresses both their identities and their sense of resistance. The night also had an impressive visual component, not only with projections of Riya Jama's richly-detailed Afrofuturistic art, but also with the projections of radical shadow-puppetry ensemble Drawing With Knives.

Extracted from the axis of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, this project strips away songs + stagecraft to give some musical exploratory space to Alaska B (drums, percussion, samples) and Brendan Swanson (keybs). Starting in a fairly delicate space, this set had a patient sense of build as it seeped out into different sonic zones — eventually finding the space-prog territory it warps into here.

Recording: Bizarrh

Artist: Bizarrh

Songs: a cappella + unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (The Music Gallery's X AVANT XII – Night 4), October 14, 2017.

Bizarrh - a cappella + unknown

Taking a night off from its new home base at 918 Bathurst, the Tranzac threw this Saturday night party in The Tranzac's Main Hall. More than ever, the linkages between the Festival's performances was in the overarching theme of "Resistance", and to get a different perspective on that the MG turned this night over to community-insurgent popforce LAL, who brought in the Babely Shades collective to put things together. Before the show, Babely Shades' Hana Jama led a deep and lively discussion with some of the night's artists on how their art expresses both their identities and their sense of resistance. The night also had an impressive visual component, not only with projections of Riya Jama's richly-detailed Afrofuturistic art, but also with the projections of radical shadow-puppetry ensemble Drawing With Knives.

When they first emerged a few years ago, this soulquarian r&b/rap duo were everywhere for a while, popping up on all sorts of bills, and garnering acknowledgements as a fast-rising force. After some time away from the spotlight, it looks like their next phase is beginning. Their stage presence was as self-assured as always, passing back melodies and rhymes like they were just hanging out in their bedroom, but feeling ready to conquer a stadium.

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