Posts Tagged ‘Jezebels’

Thursday, January 13th, 2011


Janelle Monáe leads additions to Canadian Musicfest 2011

Photo via jmonae.comjmonae.comBack in mid-December, I pointed out that the website for the 2011 edition of Canadian Musicfest had gone live with the first batch of showcasing artists for the festival. And while there was enough in that initial list to get my attention, in the last couple of weeks the information available has really ramped up and, methinks, another round-up of acts who will be filling Toronto clubs from March 9 to 13 is in order.

Perhaps most exciting is the return of cyber-soul firecracker Janelle Monáe, though if you were hoping to see her play a conventional headlining show then “frustrating” might be the more accurate word. She made Canadian debut last Summer on Olympic Island as part of the Arcade Fire mini-fest and this time she’s performing as part of the CMW/CMF-associated Indie Awards, the exact mandate of which I’ve never understood. But whatever the reason, Monáe will top a bill that also includes Shad, Hollerado, Bombay Bicycle Club, Hannah Georgas and Desperate Union. Obviously, it’s an awards ceremony as well as a show, but my understanding is that Monáe, at least, will play a full set so the $30 ticket price would still be worth it; a festival wristband will also get you in. The Indies take place in the Canadian Room of the Royal York on March 12.

Other “big” shows that week: Land Of Talk, Hollerado, Cadence Weapon, Isis (ex. Thunderheist) and Little Scream show at the Opera House on March 10 (already reported I know), admission $18 or with a wristband. For those who like dudes with their hair hanging over their faces while they play guitar, the pairing of J Mascis and Kurt Vile at The Great Hall on March 11 is not to be missed – that one’s limited wristbands, advance tickets $27.50. It won’t get roots-rockier than Dawes and Deer Tick to say nothing of their Voltron-like supergroup Middle Brother (which includes Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit), all three of whom will be at the Opera House on March 11, all wristbands accepted or $18.50 for advance tickets.

Also noteworthy and festival-related if not necessarily in my wheelhouse – a Big Sugar reunion at the Sound Academy, Good Charlotte at the Phoenix, Melissa Etheridge at Massey Hall – all on the Friday, March 11 – and the can’t miss (with a rocket launcher, ideally) pairing of Buckcherry and Papa Roach at the Sound Academy on March 12. Something for everyone? And less renowned/reviled but of more interest to me – Brits Esben & The Witch (date/place TBA) and Anna Calvi (Wrongbar, March 11), Australians The Jezebels (Lee’s Palace, March 11) and surely many more that still haven’t been announced – they’re expecting some 800 showcasing bands when all’s said and done and the official artist list is only at around 560. Of course, as always, it’s logistics that will ultimately determine what I end up seeing – the schedule has just started going up and already, I’m seeing some tough choices that are going to have to be made about where to be and when.

And let’s not even get started on the fact that SxSW’s showcase listings are slowly coming together.

MP3: Land Of Talk – “Swift Coin”
MP3: Dawes – “Love Is All I Am”
MP3: Esben & The Witch – “Warpath”
MP3: Anna Calvi – “Jezebel”
MP3: The Jezebels – “Mace Spray”
Video: Janelle Monáe – “Tightrope”

I mentioned a little while back that the release of Bruce Peninsula’s second album was on the back burner while frontman Neil Haverty was being treated for acute promyelocytic leukemia; now his friends and bandmates are staging a fundraiser to help mitigate some of the financial burdens of being ill. On January 29, two fundraisers will be held at the Music Gallery – a matinee show with Snowblink, Kith & Kin, The Deep, Steve McKay and Lake Andrew Drowning and an evening show with Timber Timbre, Austra (former BP-er Katie Stelmanis newly signed to Domino) and Evening Hymns. Admission is a $10 suggested donation for the matinee and $20 for the evening show, or if you just want to donate a PayPal account has been set up. More details at the Facebook event.

MP3: Timber Timbre – “Demon Ghost”
MP3: Austra – “The Beat & The Pulse”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Broken Rifle”
MP3: Snowblink – “Ambergris”

If Do Make Say Think’s show at the Drake Underground during Boxing Week was too big or expensive for you, take heart – they’ll be going smaller, cheaper (free with canned good) and just as below grade with an in-store at Sonic Boom on February 3.

MP3: Do Make Say Think – “Other Truths album mix”

Halifax’s Jenn Grant will be bringing her shiny new record Honeymoon Punch – which finds her going a little less jazzy and a little more poppy with great results – at the Horseshoe on February 19, advance tickets $15. The National Post and have features on Grant, who’s just released a new video from the album.

Video: Jenn Grant – “Getcha Good”

Broken Social Scene’s January 18 show at Terminal 5 in New York City will be broadcast live on YouTube starting at 9PM.

QTV has a video interview with Feist.

Volume 1 Brooklyn talks books with Owen Pallett.

eye puts Tokyo Police Club on this week’s cover and solicits their New Year’s resolutions in honour of Saturday’s show at the Kool Haus.

Beatroute has an interviews with Dan Bejar while NOW talks to one of the Toronto-based horn players who’s all over Destroyer’s new record Kaputt. out January 25. They’ll play Lee’s Palace on March 31.

Nils Edenloff of The Rural Alberta Advantage discusses the inspiration behind the song “Tornado ’87” with Spinner. Said song appears on their new album Departing, out March 1.

Fucked Up frontman Damian Abraham talks to eye about his new gig as veejay of MuchMusic’s back-from-the-dead alternative nation show The Wedge which returns to the air on January 26 at 10PM, and to Chart about the new Fucked Up record David Comes To Life, which could be out as soon as May.

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Halifax Pop Explosion 2010 Day Three

Basia Bulat with Symphony Nova Scotia at Halifax Pop Explosion

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe “see something new” mandate largely fell apart on the third night of Halifax Pop Explosion, but with good reason; when you get the opportunity to see Basia Bulat perform with a symphony, you take it. Bulat was the third artist to be brought together with Symphony Nova Scotia as part of the Pop Explosion, Ron Sexsmith and Owen Pallett had done so in past years, and it was Pallett who crafted the orchestral arrangements of Bulat’s songs for this performance which took place in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on the Dalhousie campus.

The evening was structured more like a symphony concert than a pop one, split into two halves and opening with the symphony performing a piece by Toronto composer Jordan Pal before being joined by Bulat and bandmates Holly Coish on vocals and taropatch and Bobby Bulat on drums. Bulat’s songs have often been called orchestral-pop and often come out of the box lovingly adorned with strings, brass and woodwinds, but the strength of her work comes from the emotional directness of their simple folk hearts. So to hear them with their sonic dressings increased tenfold (or so) was fascinating to witness. Pallett’s treatments took those supporting elements and gave them a new level of animation, sometimes taking hues that were muted and enhancing them to technocolour levels or simply adding all-new shapes and colours and in doing so, inverting the tone of the song completely. The symphony emphasized the shadows lurking on “Heart Of My Own” and practically inverted the usually-joyous “I Was A Daughter” into an elegiac sort of farewell.

For me, the real test would be “The Shore”, which was pretty much perfect in its austere presentation on Heart Of My Own and was even more stunning in its live solo arrangement. The rearranged version pretty much came out of it a draw, with the timpani and percussion giving it a stirring, tidal rumble but the trilling woodwinds distracting from the song’s emotional heft. And that would largely sum up how the collaborative pieces went – a lot of embellishment and some distraction. When they played together, it could feel trepidatious, particularly rhythmically, as though songs that were used to flitting freely in light Summer dresses were now having to move with heavy, fancy formal wear on. But even so, in the end the pieces were always made winners not by the massive orchestra or Pallett’s contributions, but by Bulat and her songs.

In addition to the eight orchestral pieces, Bulat played a number of selections either with Coish and her brother or solo, and those performances – aided by the theatre’s stunning acoustics – were just as much highlights of the night as those with the symphony. In particular, one of two new songs – “It Can’t Be You” – featured a vocal performance from Bulat that was just jaw-dropping, and the encore-closing unamplified stomp-and-clap of “Death Come Creeping” on the fancy auditorium stage in front of the orchestra, was as wonderful as it was incongruous. More, actually.

I won’t say that the symphonic treatments improved Bulat’s songs – I think they’re “right” the way they were originally conceived and presented – but that wasn’t the intention in the first place. Rather, it was an artistic and musical experiment for everyone involved that yielded interesting and frequently beautiful results, and one that I still feel privileged to have gotten to see. Here’s hoping that more orchestral collaborations are in the cards for the future so that others can share that privilege and the works can evolve further as their own entities.

This ended up being the only thing I attended on the third night of HPX – partly because Rebecca Cohn was far enough from any other venue that it would have required a whole lot of effort to get anywhere else, partly because the idea of going to a little club after this show and getting blasted in the face with some punk rock wasn’t very palatable and partly because it was going to be more fun to just kick back and hang out with friends afterwards. I’d make up for it the next night.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald also has a review of the show. She now opens up a series of cross-Canada shows for Josh Ritter, including tomorrow night at The Phoenix.

Photos: Basia Bulat with Symphony Nova Scotia @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium – October 22, 2010
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Go On”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Snakes & Ladders”
Video: Basia Bulat – “The Pilgriming Vine”
Video: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MySpace: Basia Bulat

Rae Spoon rolled out a couple more videos from Love Is A Hunter over the last while.

Video: Rae Spoon – “There is a Light (but it’s not for everyone)”
Video: Rae Spoon – “Joan”

Sufjan Stevens talks about some of the personal issues that informed and delayed The Age Of Adz with Exclaim.

The Vancouver Sun talks to Matt Ward of She & Him.

The Asheville Citizen-Times chats with Band Of Horses’ Bill Reynolds and Tyler Ramsey.

NPR interviews School Of Seven Bells.

The video for Johnny Flynn’s new single is out, featuring a live performance in a garden with Laura Marling covering her parts as she does on the studio version on Been Listening. Flynn will be at Lee’s Palace on November 14.

Video: Johnny Flynn with Laura Marling – “The Water”

A couple of interesting international bands are on the Nu Music Nite bill at The Horseshoe tomorrow night (October 26). From the UK there’s folk singer Alessi’s Ark and all the way from Australia, The Jezebels. Easier for you to give the samples a listen, than for me to try and describe a couple of acts I’m only a little familiar with, but the combination of both on one bill and it being free makes it hard for me to stay cooped up at home, as much as I’d like to.

MP3: The Jezebels – “Mace Spray”
MP3: Alessi’s Ark – “Hands In The Sink”

The Dumbing Of America and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer interview Sky Larkin, who are in town at the Horseshoe on Wednesday night.

Under The Radar talks to Rose Elinor Dougall.

Lykke Li has put out a new single – mainly digital but also as a 7″ for collectors – and you can download the a-side below and the b-side at her website. A new album should be out in the early part of next year.

MP3: Lykke Li – “Get Some”