Friday, December 30, 2005

The new thing

Show reminder: It's almost New Year's Eve, and that means New Year's shows. Getting an early start, Lefty McRighty and The Boxcar Cadavers are playing Zaphod's tonight with Steve Stacey and The Stump Splitters. Here's Lefty at another Zaphod's gig earlier this year.

On New Year's Eve, The Architects, Good2Go (pictured below), Golden Bulldozer, Friendly Fire and more play Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Ukrainia! play the Avant Garde Bar - and not just the 3/4 of them shown at their CD release at Babylon.

The Flaps and The Empiricals face off at Irene's (a picture of John Higney of The Flaps at Babylon is below) .

Last but not least, The Fiftymen and The John Borra Band play Barrymore's.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, don't forget to drive safe on the way home ... cheers!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

NCR goes nuclear

For those of you not in the habit of scrolling down to fully enjoy the contents of the National Capital Rock sidebar (it's that thing on the right), I draw your attention to the new links to feed in RSS and Atom.

You can thank and/or blame Michael Schultz of Boycrusher and The Hilotrons for prompting this development. We now return you to our regularly scheduled Luddism.

Return from the Dead

Continuing our Birdman Sound festive party coverage ... Steve Fai of Black Boot Trio stepped up to the plate to play a few solo songs, ending with the ever-popular You Don't Have To Drink To Have Fun. He also played Room 152 and a couple of others. Someone yelled out a request for Many Young Men Consider Themselves Cowboys, but as Steve pointed out it's not really an acoustic tune ...

As John declared, most in attendance could have listened to Fai all night, but there was a noisier bunch waiting in the wings: The Fortunate Sons! I've seen them play at a previous Birdman Sound party, at a New Year's show at the Bronson St. house occupied by The Four Frames, and at gigs at The Dominion (opening for Tricky Woo - an incredibly explosive show that was) and at Zaphod's (with Space Elevator). Four of them used to be in The Dead City Rebels, one of Oattawa's premier rock'n'roll outfits of yore. They almost had a record out on the infamous Man's Ruin label, but it went bumps up before the platter could be released. They kicked things off with the touching family tribute Motherfucker In Law - so appropriate to the season! - and detonated onward from there ...

Austen Morrow comes up from Toronto.

As you can probably tell, most of these pictures - like this one of Nate Hurlow -were taken at close range ...

At least there was a drum kit between me and J.P. Sadek ...

Ben Hurlow and Chris Anderson round out the band. You can just make out another former Dead City Rebel, Rene LeClair, there in back.

Faceoff action!

Guitar headbutting action!

And that's it because I ran out of film.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Holiday Birdman

Birdman's annual festive shindig was a fun event, with a bunch of folks jammed into the rec room of the Clocktower Pub to see six different local acts criss-cross between folk, rock, folk, rock, folk and rock. Well, actually there was some country in there, but we'll get around to that later. After John Westhaver's holiday message of seasonal cheer and musical praise and denunciation, Darrell Angus and Richard Matthews from the Golden Famile came up to do a few songs.

Famile member Casey Comeau also provided some vocals.

Next up was Four'N'Giv'r ...

Bob Whitmore gives a hellish howl.

John on the drums ...

They had copies of their debut album (called Psychle, I believe). Their spot was followed by a return appearance from Casey and Richard, who sung a few songs.

They made way for The Weapons of Mass Seduction ... which means yet more Mark McIntyre (aka Jake Heartbreak) pictures along with the Duke and Baumshell Bill.

Mark points something out - or maybe he's giving Bill the finger? You can see a veritable who's who of the Ottawa music scene in the background: Million Dollar Marxist Johnny, Glad Patrick Shanks, Dave Aardvark, Allie Hanlon and Expatriate Damian.

Bill delivers a thumping.

The Duke models his Sharon Jones T-Shirt.

Mark gets the horns from John.

There's more, so tune in on Thursday.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Christmas is a time for reverie, and naturally our minds turn to the birth of the man who best exemplifies the season: Danzig. Yes, the happy gnome who lives at the North Pole and delivers studded armbands and skull beltbuckles to boys and girls who wear a lot of black the world over. My mind also turned back to that time I saw Hot Piss open for the appropriately named Toilet Boys, who almost torched Lucky Ron's in general and me in particular when they played there in May of 1999.
That was the first time I set eyes on Blake Jacobs. Back then he was a fresh-faced, clean cut youth who played in a hazmat outfit and wore meat on stage. Nowadays he's the Grizzly Adams of rock, the kung-fu Santa of sledgehammer riffs, and plays with a similarly-meat-loving outfit, Manpower, with Slo' Tom Stewart and Deadly Dave Dudley (who was also in Furnaceface with Tom).
Manpower - masters of disaster! Overlords of metal! Brainiacs of something that starts with B! There are many metal bands who wear red robes and huge novelty brains, and Manpower is easily in the Top 5. They played a Christmas show at The Aloha , a fine performance that culminated in Manadian Idol ...

Tom prepares to fight the power!

Blake gives a kick.

Dudley does drummage.

Blake is silhouetted by the audio-visual component of the Manpower experience.

And of course Blake's guitar strap has a message for the audience.

After thumping their way through their own tunes, it was time for Manadian Idol, with three contestants offering their version of Danzig tunes. Joshua Grace was the first up: "Let's do this, little man!"

Not only did Joshua have an appropriate croon for his rendition of Devil's Plaything, he went the extra mile costume-wise.

Next up, Luke Nuclear with Black Wings ...

Last, Michael "Danzig Who?" Hurtz of The Sick Fits did Twist of Cain ... "It's about Christmas!"

Tom and Blake pay metal respect to the Danzig performers!

And all three contestants received a diploma from Manada University ("It's the only degree I have!" Luke declared) and a wristband of some sort. Dave Quesnelle of Robot Kill City walked into the shot just in time to provide me with an excuse to mention RKC's last show at Mavericks Jan. 4.

I almost forgot - here's the ultimate symbol of Christmas: Manpower's meat tree!

Happy whatevah to everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Poetry in motion

Continuing in my newfound tradition, I showed up at Irene's in time to miss the opening act from out of town, that being Bad Flirt. I'll catch them some other day, I hope. Locals ... As The Poets Affirm play instrumental post rock (actually, there are some vocals, but they aren't prominent). I reviewed their record for the Ottawa Sun and like it quite a bit (four suns out of five, if memory serves). Live the music seemed more energetic and louder than it did on The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch, but just as focussed.

Kina de Grasse throws in a little singing.

Nathan Gara whacked his drums so hard his glasses flew off.

Ryan Patterson deploys the pocket trumpet.

Alex Saikaley on the keys.

... and tooting a little with Ben Belanger.

Gary Udle (with Kina and Ben shakin' it in the background).

Alex Cairncross, also of Sleeping Pilot, in a rare unspectacled moment.

Post-rock action!

Dreadlock action!

The group's next show is actually tonight at Zaphod's, with the aforementioned Sleeping Pilot.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

All Saints

I zipped over to the Avant-Garde Bar on Thursday in hopes of catching Kat Burns; unfortunately she had completed her set by the time I arrived about 10 p.m. At least I got there in time to catch the lion's share of Steve St. Pierre's performance. It was very energetic singer-songwriter stuff. There was a good-sized, enthusiastic crowd too.

Steve St. Pierre in profile ...

His backing band is The Aldermen: Alex Seguin on drums, Luke Duross on bass and Michael Deluca on guitar. This group clapping was near the end.

Seguin works on his Material.

I suspect Duross and Deluca do not have the same tailor.

He did a few solo songs after it got past the bed time of the hotel guests across the way, and filled a request to play Neil Young and a request not to play Dave Matthews.

He has an EP entitled Self-Titled EP which means that ironically it isn't self-titled. A full-length is planned for 2006. I see from a recent discussion of the Avant-Garde on the website that he contemplates a fundraiser to get the joint a PA upgrade - a very worthy cause, if it ever gets off the ground.
  • Show reminder: Manpower hold a seasonal extravaganza at The Aloha Room, with an assist from Luke Nuclear in Manadian Idol. Already, I am afraid ...