Posts Tagged ‘Receivers’

Monday, January 26th, 2009


Receivers, Beth In Battle Mode at the Velvet Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangGuilt and courteousness can be powerful motivators. Even moreso than self-preservation, which is why it was that rather than stay home Saturday night, safe and warm, I set out into the frigid, frigid cold to the Velvet Underground to catch a couple of bands who’d been politely and persistently inviting me out to their gigs for a while now – Receivers, visiting from Montreal, and locals Beth In Battle Mode. Of course it helped that I’d liked what I’d heard of both acts and had intended to catch either or both at some point – so why not both at once?

What I’d heard of BIBM past had made me associate them with New Wave power pop, thanks in no small part to their big keyboard sounds and devotion to the art of the hook, but live there was an extra oomph to the delivery that you couldn’t hide behind a skinny tie. In particular, singer/guitarist Ed Maher’s pipes are a lot more powerful than I’d expected, more reminiscent of a ’70s arena rock delivery with a touch of white boy funk-soul, though the transistor-y distortion of the venue’s PA certainly kept things honest and suitably lo-fi. A short set, but definitely sweet. The trio have just finished work on their second album Hot Science and aim to have it out in mid-March.

Receivers aspire to a noble end – to blend the noir-ish atmosphere of ’60s film soundtracks with concise and evocative pop song structures. It’s harder to do well than one might think, but I think Receivers are just about getting it. As with Beth In Battle Mode, the recorded samples I’d heard before the show painted an accurate and yet incomplete picture of the band. Emilie Marzinotto is a much more expressive singer live, though I suspect there’s still more upside to be tapped and the rest of the band was also more dynamic and ragged – in a good way – than on their debut Consider The Ravens. Most tellingly and probably importantly, the songs they introduced as new ones were easily the most immediate and impressive in their set.

I saw much promise in both acts, certainly worth leaving the house for (that is NOT faint praise, FYI) and even the venue – generally known as Toronto’s goth bar and now title-bearer for worst club lighting in the city as far as I’m concerned – left a favourable impression if for no other reason than starting off their club night, just as I was leaving, with The Chameleons’ “Up The Down Escalator”. If this is what goth kids are listening to, then hell – get me some mascara.

I don’t actually mean that.

Receivers will be back in town mid-March for CMW and BIBM will be having a CD release party for the new album around the same time.

Photos: Receivers, Beth In Battle Mode @ The Velvet Underground – January 24, 2009
MP3: Receivers – “Changing Of The Guard”
MP3: Receivers – “Matinee”
MP3: Receivers – “Petrograd”
MySpace: Beth In Battle Mode

Seriously, it’s an awesome song. Check it.

Video: The Chameleons – “Up The Down Escalator”

And because it’s an appropriate segue, there’s been a new communique from Joe Pernice, dispatched from somewhere in Toronto’s west end. In it (you can read it on the Pernice Brothers site), he mentions that his first novel It Feels So Good When I Stop is complete and will be released in September, and that there’s not one but two Joe Pernice albums in the works. The first is a set of covers intended as a soundtrack of sorts for the book, the second is of originals and entitled Murphy Bed, set to come out sometime this year. Though he refers to it as a Joe Pernice record, many of the players of Pernice Brothers – including Bob, the actual other Pernice Brother – appear on it so maybe it’ll carry the oh-so-slightly more marketable band name on release. Who knows. All I do know is that Joe has been living in Toronto for over four years now, and hasn’t done a show of any sort here since July 2005. Would it kill you to throw your new home a bone, Joe? Geez. Oh, and the segue I mentioned above? This Pernice Brothers cover of the aforementioned Chameleons song which I posted as Cover Of The Week waaaaay back in 2004. But which I still love.

MP3: Pernice Brothers – “Up The Down Escalator”

DeVotchKa turns in an unusually long set to NPR’s World Cafe.

Paste serves up not one but two features on Neko Case. Her Middle Cyclones is out March 3 and she plays not one but two shows at Trinity-St Paul’s on April 17 and 18.

Metro Vancouver talks to AC Newman. He’s at Lee’s Palace on March 11 and congratulations to Kaley, Bruce, Kelly, Garret and Alicia, all of whom won copies of Get Guilty.

Cuff The Duke will play a free show at the Natrel Ice Rink down at Harbourfront this Saturday night, January 31, as part of CBC Radio 3’s live broadcast that evening. On the plus side, free show. On the down side, the waterfront is NOT really the place you want to be at night in the dead of Winter. Just saying.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Go! Canada

Canadian Music Fest 2009 reveals initial lineup

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceWhilst perusing the current issue of eye, I noticed something on the full-page announcement of the Bloc Party show at the Kool Haus on March 14 – an image and url for something called Canadian Music Fest. As it turns out, it wasn’t nearly as interesting as I’d initially hoped – just a rebrand of the venerable Canadian Music Week festivities, but with the live showcases now being presented under a slightly different banner than the conference/business-y side of things.

But what was more interesting was the fairly extensive list of artists already confirmed to play CMF/CMW/whatever the weekend of March 12 to 14, and I’m especially pleased to see that London’s 6 Day Riot are coming back to town. They beguiled this past June at NxNE and should do much the same on the return engagement, though I hope they’re prepared for a decidedly different climatological experience this time around. They’ll be spending the first bit of the new year in the studio recording album number two, so I look forward to hearing some new material.

And on the domestic side – it is a Canadian music fest, after all – expect appearances from Basia Bulat, Chad Van Gaalen, Angela Desveaux, Gentleman Reg, Human Highway, Malajube, The Acorn and The Rural Alberta Advantage, amongst many others.

Not playing this fest but hopefully coming to town sooner rather than later regardless are Woodpigeon – they’ll be releasing Treasury Library Canada on February 3 and have made available an MP3 both from it and the companion/bonus album Houndstooth Europa. They’ve also made a new video.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Love In The Time Of Hopscotch”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Oberkampf”
Video: Woodpigeon – “A Moment’s Peace for Mary Christa O’Keefe”

Toronto-based label Out Of This Spark will celebrate its second anniversary with a show at the Tranzac on January 10 featuring their entire lineup, which is to say The D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers, Timber Timbre and Jenny Omnichord. Admission is $8 with a canned food item, $10 without. And the same bill will be at the Albion Hotel in Guelph on January 16.

NME, Paste and Pitchfork talk to Win Butler about the new Arcade Fire film Miroir Noir, available now digitally and by the end of March as a DVD.

To mark the peculiar happening of “Halleleujah” placing both #1 and #2 on the UK singles charts this week (the former a cover of Jeff Buckley’s version of the song by some pop poppet, the latter Jeff Buckley’s version of the song), The Scotsman has a feature on Leonard Cohen and The Telegraph a list of the 20 most interesting things about the song that will pretty much ensure that Lenny’s financial troubles are a thing of the past.

Austin’s …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead will release The Century Of Self on February 17 and roll into Lee’s Palace on March 4, tickets $18.50.

That same day, February 17, Ben Folds is at the Kool Haus, $30.50 in advance.

Witch, who are notable largely for the fact that their drummer is one J Mascis, have a date at the Horseshoe on February 20. Tickets $10.50.

So Much Silence has graciously ripped an acoustic Hold Steady session at KEXP for your listening pleasure.

John Darnielle is offering up a handful of unreleased and really old Mountain Goats tracks for download in the spirit of the season in hopes you’ll “pay it forward”, as they say. If looking for a cause, may I suggest a donation to the Humane Society of Durham, which tragically burned down last week. Goodness knows they need the help right now.