Thursday, October 26th, 2006

I Love You, Hipster Darling

Strange vibe at the Horseshoe on Tuesday night. The regular Nu-Music Nite was usurped by a NxNE promotion that saw the club slathered with Grolsch beer advertising, muzak Stevie Wonder on the speakers and a decidedly rock-ready crowd eager to take in a free show from Montreal’s Bionic and Philladelphia/LA’s Burning Brides – rather odd company for Vancouver popsters The Awkward Stage.

As I mentioned a few days ago, their debut Heaven Is For Easy Girls is chock-full of rich, orch-pop songcraft and wry lyricism about feeling like an adolescent even when you’re an adult. Great stuff on record and to my pleasant surprise, even better on stage. Fronting a five-piece band, Shane Nelken and his compatriots (some of whom I recognized from the AC Newman band) did a fine job of translating the album into live performance with the requisite extra punch and grit that you’d want. Nelken was a fine frontman, offering brief but illuminating explanations of the songs – in case you were wondering, “I Drive” is about falling asleep at the wheel, “Heaven Is For Easy Girls” goes out to a porn star named “Janine” and “T-Rexia Nervosa” was inspired by director Todd Haynes’ Superstar, a short film about Karen Carpenter’s anorexia performed by Barbie dolls.

‘Twas a brief but satisfying set that definitely enhanced my appreciation for the record. I didn’t stick around for the other acts but was pleased to see that those who were obviously in attendance for those bands seemed to appreciate The Awkward Stage. Not many dates left on their cross-Canada tour but to those of you converging on NYC next week for CMJ, take note of their show at Union Hall on the 2nd as part of the Mint showcase.

Photos: The Awkward Stage @ The Horseshoe, October 24, 2006
MP3: The Awkward Stage – “The Morons Are Winning”

Dose talks to The New Pornographers’ Carl Newman about where they are in the new album process.

Fellow Vancouverites Ladyhawk have got a new video for “My Old Jacknife”, or at least it looks/sounds like a proper video. I’m not sure to be honest. And they’ve apparently got a new release in the pipe – unclear when the 6-song Mushroom Sessions mini-album will be released but Jagjaguwar promises it will be. Soon.

MP3: Ladyhawk – “War”
Video: Ladyhawk – “My Old Jacknife” (YouTube) talks to Sloan drummer Andrew Scott. The band are at the Kool Haus November 30 and their new record, Never Hear The End Of It, is out now in Canada and will be released in the US on January 9 via Yep Roc.

Death Cab are in town next Monday and Tuesday for a two-night stand at Massey Hall – a far cry from the sparsely-attended Horseshoe gig five years ago The Ottawa Sun mentions in their interview with the band.

Harp has an insightful interview with Evan Dando

HARP: In July you told a London audience that your solo career was now over.
Dando: No, I didn’t.
HARP: Yes you did.

And so forth. The Phoenix and The Malaysia Star also have interviews. The Lemonheads are at Lee’s Palace December 12.

Drowned In Sound pow-wows with Jason Hamel of Mates Of State.

NOW has released their annual “Best of Toronto” issue and it includes a great little Scott Pilgrim comic from Bryan Lee-O’Malley – check it out in PDF form here.

By : Frank Yang at 8:59 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. barclay says:

    hey frank
    barclay here–we met briefly at pop montreal. glad you enjoyed the awkward stage, as did I (and i also split right after). i have a very amusing interview with him up at http://www.radiofreecanucki…, snippets of which were in the eye article last week.
    and congrats on the milestone! or is that millstone?!