Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Don't Know Why (You Stay)

More like “Let’s get out of this venue”. The Camera Obscura/Essex Green show on January 31 has been moved from the ideally-sized Lee’s Palace to the grumble-inducing Opera House. I’m obviously not very thrilled with this news, but I remain confident/hopeful that the combined pop goodness of both acts will defeat the general crumminess of the new venue.

But on to other things – namely, my wondering why The Essex Green doesn’t get more respect? And that includes from me. Their latest album, last year’s The Cannibal Sea, is a rather splendid piece of folk-rock, blending a pastoral, laid back-ness with some urban pop smarts all seen through a soft-focus 60s filter. Chris Ziter and Sasha Bell’s boy-girl vocals are supremely smooth and elegant together – in fact, that’s a fair description for the album as a whole. If there’s any complaint to be filed, it’s that they’re a bit too polite – maybe if they were a bit more in your face, more people would pay attention – but I rather like them just the way they are. But Canadians appreciate politeness, dontchaknow. Looking forward to seeing them, even if it is at the Opera House.

MP3: The Essex Green – “Don’t Know Why (You Stay)”
MySpace: The Essex Green

As for the headliners, they’ve just released the third single from Let’s Get Out Of This Country, the Motown-eriffic “If Looks Could Kill”. The CD version of the single comes with two new b-sides while the 7″ has a cover of The Paris Sisters’ “I Love How You Love Me”. There’s also a shiny new video!

MP3: Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill”
Video: Camera Obscura – “If Looks Could Kill” (YouTube)

Also schedule-shifting – the Rob Dickonson show that had been scheduled for February 7th at Lee’s Palace has been moved up to Monday, February 5th. Purchased tickets will be honoured and if you just can’t bear to miss an episode of Heroes or 24 and need a refund, those are available at point of purchase. And speaking of Rob, he’s made a new MP3 available on his website, which he describes thusly: “I recorded ‘Hush Little Baby’ in the spring [don’t ask] and listened to it again tonight ….it sounded OK so thought I’d share it”. …but Rob, I want to ask!

MP3: Rob Dickinson – “Hush Little Baby”

Congoese kalimba orchestra Konono No 1 will be at the Phoenix on May 1, tickets $20 in advance.

Poster boys for blog-hype/backlash Cold War Kids are at the Mod Club on April 4. I saw them at Lollapalooza and my verdict then? “Nothing astonishing, but alright.” File under: blog indifference. Full tour dates at You Ain’t No Picasso.

Zoilus directs us to “the only article about Joanna Newsom’s Ys you ever need to read,” over at Arthur.

I Heart Music has got Amy Millan’s radio session for KCRW from last month MP3-ed and available to download.

And “Black Mirror”, the first single from the new Arcade Fire album Neon Bible (no, “Intervention” wasn’t it) is now streaming off their website – go to Win’s scrapbook and make with the clicky. Final album release and touring info (including T.O.) should be coming in the next few weeks.

By : Frank Yang at 9:21 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Justin says:

    I love Cannibal Sea. Made my top ten.

  2. Jeff says:

    Boo-urns to the Opera House. Hopefully the mildew/sewer stench has been addressed (doubt it, but there’s always hope)? Btw, did you see Pan’s Labyrinth?

  3. Amy says:

    I love Cannibal Sea too and I likewise have wondered why The Essex Green don’t garner more respect. I wrote about it in my end of year list here:

  4. horace says:

    Everything is Green by Essex Green got some respect and is a much better album. in fact, i’m going to listen to "mrs. bean" right now.

  5. Beth says:

    You know what a move from Lee’s to Opera House also means? Now we have to have press pass to get DSLRs in (Opera House security is BRUTAL / Lee’s has none). GRUMBLE INDEED.

  6. mike says:

    It seems most shows at The Opera House you’re not even allowed to bring simple point & shoot digital cameras into the venue. Several shows I’ve been to their over the last few years I’d actually had to go back to my car to put my camera their because they wouldn’t let me bring it in and I didn’t trust leaving it with security. How hard is it to get a press pass for someone like l’il ol’ me(ie a person with a music blog who doesn’t actually work in the music industry per se)?

  7. Rachel says:

    I’ve been meaning to tell you that I like the new look. But I’m lazy and I procrastinate.
    So, if I make my way to the frozen tundra known as Toronto, wanna hang out? It may be as soon as this spring.

  8. Paul says:

    Here’s why the Arcade Fire is frustrating. "Intervention" is a giant of a song, one of those kind of songs that only comes around every few years. But they’re sitting on it in favor of "Black Mirror," a song almost completely devoid of a hook and really run-of-the-mill in every aspect. Blah I say!

  9. Calum says:

    I know I’m going to come off as "out of the loop" or something, but what’s so bad about the Opera House? Is it bigger than Lee’s? Smaller? Smellier?

    Do tell. The non-Torontonians are confused! And if you can’t take pictures at the Toronto show, you can always head down to Ottawa for ours! I’ll let you bring a camera.

    Also: I’m surprised nobody made a "camera obscura" pun with regards to not being allowed cameras in the venue.

  10. Frank says:

    reasons the opera house is generally poo-pooed, at least for me:

    1) the floor is incredibly uncomfortable to stand on. It’s all flagstone and terribly unforgiving after a couple hours. Hell on your lower back
    2) the sound is inconsistent at best. Some shows sound okay, others sound terrible.
    3) the security can be draconian – once I had a guy search my keys. For what? I do not know. This is also hellish for cameras (and as Beth mentioned, makes me have to go the extra step of securing a photo pass)
    4) there has been comment about a sewage-like odour in the establishment
    5) they have a washroom attendant. I can wipe my own ass, thank you very much.
    6) it’s also a bit out of the way out in Leslieville. Minor gripe, but there you go.

    And yes, it is a big larger. 800 to Lee’s 500. Approximately.

  11. Calum says:

    Jesus, really?! 800!? I hope it does that well here…

    And those comments are fair enough. I’ll keep that in mind for future reference…

  12. Saturna says:

    Rob Dickinson is the shit. Catherine Wheel were amazing and his new stuff is pretty good too.