Posts Tagged ‘Kite Hill’

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

CONTEST – Out Of This Spark 5th Anniversary Party – February 25, 2012

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWho: Forest City Lovers, Snowblink, Snailhouse, Bocce, Kite Hill, Richard Laviolette, Octoberman, The Meek, Jenny Omnichord
What/Why: Local label Out Of This Spark is turning five years old in 2012, and they’re marking a half-decade of discovering, incubating and launching some of the area’s best new talent the way any good anniversary should – with family, friends and a tonne of great music. Details on the event over here.
When: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Where: The Tranzac in Toronto (19+)
Who else: What, the bands listed above aren’t enough for you? Come on.
How: Tickets for the show are $15 in advance but courtesy of Out Of This Spark, I’ve got a special prize pack to give away consisting not only of a pair of passes to the event, but a complete Out Of This Spark catalog on CD – that’s all ten albums listed here including the ones that are essentially out of print, like the first Friends In Bellwoods compilation that launched the label and the pre-Arts & Crafts reissue of Timber Timbre’s breakout self-titled album. Because you know the collector in you wants it. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to be Out Of This Spark” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, February 21.

MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Light You Up”
MP3: Snowblink – “Ambergris”
MP3: Snailhouse – “I Never Woke Up”
MP3: Octoberman – “Thirty Reasons”

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Straight Up The Dial

Wavelength turns 11, throws a party

Photo via MyspaceMyspace Toronto’s venerable Wavelength might have closed out their weekly showcase series last year in favour of intermittent events throughout the year, but they’ve not given up their tradition of throwing a killer birthday party or five. As they’ve done in years past, Wavelength Eleven (or event #515 if you’re keeping track) will commandeer venues around this city from February 16 through 20 and fill them with many of the finest acts the city and outlying regions have to offer, spanning all styles and genres, frequently on the same bill.

I missed last year’s festivities but hit up one of the 9th anniversary shows in 2009 and it’s interesting to see that one of the undercard acts at that show – Hooded Fang – has already graduated to headline status. This they’ve done on the strength of their debut Album, released last October to considerable praise. And indeed, it’s an impressive first effort that reflects the remarkable rate at which they’ve improved as a band since first making noise in late ’08/early ’09 – I saw them three times over the course of 2009 and each time, most flaws I’d have pointed out for the time before had been sorted without diminishing the amount of fun they were clearly having on stage. Album‘s orchestrally-inclined power pop still tends a bit more to the precious/twee side of things than I’d like and can feel a bit samey over the course of its dozen songs, but the degree of songwriting, musicianship and genuine joy it captures is undeniable. As was clear in each of those live reviews from 2009, big things seem an inevitability for this crew.

Hooded Fang will be closing out the Saturday night of Wavelength Eleven at The Great Hall. The rest of the week’s events look like this – tickets for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are $11 while Wednesday and Sunday are PWYC. There is also a $33 all-access passes available. Check in at Wavelength for descriptions of each act. has an interview with Hooded Fang.

Wednesday, February 16 @ Teranga – Anagram, Bruised Knees, The Guest Bedroom, The Jim Storie Juniors
Thursday, February 17 @ The Music Gallery – Kite Hill, Eiyn Sof, Gordon Grdina’s East Van Strings, Not The Wind, Not The Flag
Friday, February 18 @ The Steam Whistle Roundhouse – Woodhands, Minotaurs, Pat Jordache, Romo Roto, Doldrums
Saturday, February 19 @ The Great Hall – Hooded Fang, Maylee Todd, Little Girls, Eric Chenaux Electric Trio, Grimes
Sunday, February 20 @ The Garrison – Lullabye Arkestra, Neon Windbreaker, Simply Saucer, Ghostlight

MP3: Hooded Fang – “Laughing”
MP3: Hooded Fang – “Mutant Beart”
MP3: Woodhands – “Dissembler”
MP3: Eric Chenaux – “Warm Charleston”
MP3: Little Girls – “Growing”
MP3: Lullabye Arkestra – “We Fuck The Night”

In other just-announced live music happenings – guitar goddess Marnie Stern and prog-rockers Tera Melos will be at Wrongbar on March 8 as part of an extensive North American tour.

MP3: Marnie Stern – “For Ash”
MP3: Tera Melos – “Frozen Zoo”

We’re still some ways out from having a Canadian Musicfest schedule to pore over, but you’d be just silly to not keep staying at the Opera House all night – that’s the Billions showcase – circled on your calendar. The lineup will read like Land Of Talk, Hollerado, Cadence Weapon, Isis (ex. Thunderheist) and Little Scream, so while club-hopping is part of the CMF experience, there’s something to be said for staying put all night.

MP3: Land Of Talk – “Quarry Hymns”
MP3: Hollerado – “Americanarama”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Real Estate”

And I’m very excited that Sharon Van Etten, after many visits in a support capacity, will be playing her first headlining show here at the Drake on April 12 with Little Scream supporting – there’s a recording of her show at the Bowery in New York City last week up at NYC Taper. You may recall that her epic was one of my favourite albums of 2010, and she’s already started work on the follow-up with Aaron Dessner of The National.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”

The New Zealand Herald talks to The National’s Matt Berninger about their breakout year of 2010.

There’s a new video from Retribution Gospel Choir’s album 2.

Video: Retribution Gospel Choir – “Your Bird”

The Skinny talks to Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam about his new record Kiss Each Other Clean, due out January 25.

Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance discuss their visual artistic pursuits with Design Sponge.

Inara George of The Bird & The Bee chats with Spinner.

Pitchfork has a feature interview with Dan Bejar of Destroyer. His sax-y new album Kaputt arrives January 25 and he plays Lee’s Palace on March 31.

The Line Of Best Fit and NOW talk to Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns about their new, nude video for “Dead Deer” from Spirit Guides. The band are currently out in the wilds of Ontario somewhere recording their next album, already dubbed Spectral Dusk – the proceedings are being documented on their Tumblr.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Dead Deer”

Diamond Rings’ John O’Regan discusses the therapeutic aspects of music with Spinner. He’s at the Sound Academy January 26 opening up for Robyn.

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Heavy Head

Gentleman Reg takes up residence at the Drake Underground

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongAfter being out of sight for what seemed like the longest time following the 2004 release of Darby & Joan, Toronto’s Reg Vermue, aka Gentleman Reg, has been nigh-inescapable since the release of fourth album Jet Black just under a year ago. He’s played many shows big and small, toured North America with The Hidden Cameras and late last year, released a new digital EP in Heavy Head. And now, following his set opening up for Tegan & Sara at the Kool Haus next Wednesday, he will set up shop at the Drake Underground for every Wednesday in February, warming Torontonians with his winsome guitar pop and inviting a different pair of choice openers to accompany him each week.

The residency starts on February 3 with the twee power of Hooded Fang and the orchestral goodness of Kite Hill, the 10th will feature local veterans of the scene By Divine Right and rising stars The Balconies, the following week welcomes the self-explanatory stylings of Dance Yourself To Death and all-girl Weezer cover band Sheezer and the final show on the 24th will be with Evening Hymns and another “very special” act to be announced – whether that means they’ve got someone exceptional lined up and are keeping the news back or they’re still looking but are confident they’ll be great is not clear, but whoever they end up being, they’re in good company.

Tickets for each show are $10.00 at Rotate This and Soundscapes or $12.50 online, though online purchases come with a free download of Heavy Head. Win-win, either way.

Reg gave The Toronto Star a list of his favourite albums of 2009.

MP3: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “How We Exit”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “Plan On Including Me”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “How We Exit”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “Rewind”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MySpace: Gentleman Reg

One-quarter of the aforementioned Sheezer, Laura Barrett, revealed some impressive news via her Twitter yesterday, and that was that she would be opening up for The Magnetic Fields on their upcoming North American tour, presumably including their February 8 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in support of Realism, out January 26, assuming it doesn’t constitute a conflict with her February 12 appearance at Wavelength 500. This is tremendously exciting and I can’t help but think back seven or eight years ago when Laura and I were in a band together, briefly, and recorded a Magnetic Fields cover, linked below. That’s me on guitar, her on backing vox and keys. Ah, memories. Back in the now, Laura’s also got a new video from her full-length debut Victory Garden.

MP3: Laura Barrett – “Decepticon Island Optimists Club”
MP3: Lake Holiday – “Born On A Train”
Video: Laura Barrett – “The Wood Between Worlds”

Dead Sexy has a feature piece on The Balconies.

Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas are teaming up for what they’re calling the Bonfire Ball Tour and trekking across Canada starting on March 10 at Lee’s Palace as part of Canadian Musicfest. Collett releases his new one Rat A Tat Tat on March 9 and Zeus’ debut Say Us is out February 23.

Exclaim and altsounds talk to Woodhands, whose second album Remorsecapade is out January 26 and who will also be appearing at Canadian Musicfest with a show at the Opera House on March 11.

MP3: Woodhands – “Pockets”
Video: Woodhands – “CP24”

LAist talks to The Rural Alberta Advantage’s Nils Edenloff. Their new 7″ for “Drain The Blood” b-sided by their cover of “Eye of The Tiger” is out now, and they’re also listed as playing Canadian Musicfest.

Montreal’s Plants & Animals are readying their second album La La Land for an April 20 release and they’re going to be at Lee’s Palace on March 11 for – wait for it – Canadian Musicfest. Man, that’s turning out to be like some kind of festival chock full of Canadian music or something.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Tom Cruz”

Not playing Canadian Musicfest but arguably the hottest thing in Canadian music right now is Owen Pallett, who this week released the “Best New Music”-ed Heartland and played a sold-out show at the Mod Club to rapturous reviews – expect more of the same when he plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8. There were feature pieces on Pallett in Metro, Interview, The National Post, Paste, The Toronto Star, San Francisco Chronicle, two pieces at Spinner, a three-parter at Radio Free Canuckistan and a video piece at Yeah, Pallett is everywhere – it doesn’t seem losing the “Final Fantasy” moniker has hurt his profile any. And for the curious, the whole of Heartland is streaming on his MySpace right now.

Stream: Owen Pallett / Heartland

Slightly less with the media saturation but still the object of much talk is Basia Bulat, who plays Trinity-St. Paul’s tomorrow night in advance of the January 26 release of Heart Of My Own. Read interviews with her at eye, JAM, dose, NOW, Chart and The Toronto Star. And congratulations to Diana for winning the passes to tomorrow’s show.

Another notable release this week was Woodpigeon’s latest effort Die Stadt Muzikanten – singer/songwriter Mark Hamilton talked about the record with The Georgia Straight and Chart, and in addition to their February 11 show at the Drake Underground, they will also be doing an in-store at Soundscapes on February 14 at 5PM. Make Woodpigeon YOUR Valentine. Yeah, I went there.

Forest City Lovers have released a video for the b-side from their recent “Phodilus and Tyto” 7″. They’re currently in the studio working on album number three and will be playing the Out Of This Spark 3rd anniversary show at The Garrison on January 22.

Video: Forest City Lovers – “If I Were A Tree”

And finally official is the Thursh Hermit reunion tour, which to the dismay of half the country, will only travel as far westwards as southern Ontario. The Toronto dates are, as previously reported, March 26 and 27 at Lee’s Palace with tickets on sale for $17.50 at the usual outlets or online at Maple Music for $44.50 but including an official reunion t-shirt. Is that worth it? Completely up to you.