Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Begin at the End

My night started earlier than usual with a trip to End Hits. Swedish hardcore band Regulations were in town to live up to their reputation as one of punk rock's great loud hopes. Opening up were Ottawa's own teenage manglers, The Sweet Janes. Unfortunately, this pictures obscures their mysterious guest bassist - okay, it was Luke from the Million Dollar Marxists filling in.

The Regulations keep it nice 'n' short, eh?

Next I went to Zaphod's. It was not yet 9 p.m., and the first of four bands slated to play that night were still on stage. Just who they were, I'm not sure. The band scheduled to play was called Out Reason, so I guess this is them. They seemed like a good bunch of musicians, but their stuff was a bit too mainstream to tickle my fancy.

Next up, The Undead. No, not that Undead (despite their bassist's Misfits T-shirt), or any other Undead. If I were the sort of shallow person who judged bands by their appearance, I would have expected some godawful rap-rock deal. Instead, these guys are more on a death metal-hardcore tip. They also stick out their tongues a fair bit.

Norway's 120 Days were the big name draw, and a sizeable crowd did in fact turn out for their synth'n'bass set. They sounded like Spacemen 3 with Moogs. A good heavy, danceable sound from these guys.

Finally, Embassies of Denmark closed things off with a particularly ferocious set. They really ripped things up.

The Embassies will be performing at Barrymore's Nov. 4 as part of the Million Dollar Marxists' CD release shindig.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Killer party

Jonathan Migneault of Mocking Music predicted the Hold Steady's Zaphod's gig of a few hours ago would be the show of the year. I'd say it was the fourth or fifth best - pretty damn good, since it has a lot of competition. Openers Sean-Na-Na did a good job kicking things off. Their music is a bit poppier than The Hold Steady's - in fact it reminded me a bit of Ottawa's own Rhume.

The Hold Steady have quite the buzz going on now. I wrote a blurb for the Ottawa Sun comparing Craig Finn's diatribes to Charles Bukowski's ... maybe I should have said Milton, they both specialize in the down and out.

It ended up with a good chunk of the audience on stage and Stagecoach from Quebexico and Kelly from F!ghtF!ghtF!ght playing the guitars. The crowd definitely went wild, and if you were there you may see yourself in the photos when I post them in a week or so.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Need new body

The delightfully named Fucked Corpse are a new group. Some of these folks I know. Bassist Shub Roy I know from Smoke Judo and Akisakila; Davey is in Million Dollar Marxists and a host of other bands and I've seen accordion and guitar player Pierre taking pictures at other shows. For the rest it was a musical introduction to a seven-piece band that sounds like chanting krautrocking monks on a carousel colliding with a dirigible of San Franciscan sex workers.

Pierre gets down on accordion.

Carruthers M. prepares for downstroke fury as Toby tambourines!

If you've followed this blog you'll recognize Davey ... second from right is autoharpist Craig.

I have no idea what's going on here. Extra flash courtesy of Mike Norton. That's the back of Shub Roy's head in the foreground.

Drummer Geoff stands for rhythm!

More pepper?

Davey sings!

Davey then took off his shirt and grabbed Toby's scarf.

I think Davey was contemplating standing on Geoff's drum, but decided against it.

Big hug! And my only decent picture of Shub that isn't from the back.

It was a crazy, funny time.
  • Show reminder: A horde of hipsters descend on Zaphod's tonight to watch The Hold Steady and Sean-Na-Na.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Movin' back to the city

Yet more City of a Hundred Spires photos! I was going to only post one or two, lest you suffer municipal overload, but one of the advantages of playing shows on Zaphod's dancefloor is that slow shutter speed photos turn out nice.

Max Monast and Carl Cleroux got rhythm.

Jean-Michel Lacombe.

More Carl!

See-through action!

And feedback finale action!

Unfortunately, the neck of Vincent Boisvert's Gibson SG snapped - an all-too-common ailment. You can see it if you look closer at the big version of the photo above.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Olympic event

The Diableros return to town, and this time I was actually off work at the right time to catch them. They came to town with Uncut, who will be accompanying them on a tour of Ontario and out west. It's a natural match since bassist Ian Worang also plays guitar in Uncut. They also both mine that mid-to-late-80s British sound.

Uncut action! Laconic vocals and Sonic Youth guitars put me strongly in mind of Bailter Space.

And The Diableros - with Mike Rubba on organ for this outing.

Good show - unfortunately there was no sign of Sylvie.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Just lookin' for a kiss

Henri Faberge and The Adorables wowed a small crowd last time they played Zaphod's. That time they had lots of crazy stuff on sale at their merch table. This time they were short on crazy stuff but did have a new CD full of excitable, ramshackle pop music and attracted a somewhat larger crowd. They must be Toronto's horniest band, if the lyrics are anything to go by.

Monsieur Henri and Laura Barrett singalong.

Janderton Beauregard looks civil.

If the stage seems a little emptier, it's because a couple of the touring Adorables couldn't make it, alas.

Of course, like all H-Fab shows there's lots of tackling action and shenanigans.

Laura got a little carried away.

There must be an easier way to shake a tambourine.

Laura and Brendan attempt a two-person recreation of their album cover.

A few Bicycles folks ended up on stage - here's Drew Smith, sans B.

Flying clap!

Incidentally, I feel like a bit of a dolt for not realizing that I've seen some of these folks in action prior to their first Zaphod's show ... recognize anyone?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On your bike!

Cute-pop clique The Bicycles have harmonies and hand claps aplenty. They're like the sugary brethren to Henri and The Adorables' hornier output. A few years back they would have landed on Kindercore faster than a kitten on a catnip toy.

Guitarist and singer Matt Beckett - actually everyone sings in this outfit, and everyone except bassist Randy Lee took a lead turn (and maybe he did too and I just forgot).

Last I saw Andrew Scott, he was playing trumpet, guitar and keyboards with The Meligrove Band. He does just the same thing with Bicycles, just not in lime green gym shorts. He also played a few tunes with The Adorables.

Drummer Dana Snell pulled double duty. She's got quite a hard-hitting style.

Bassist Randy Lee rocks the Ric.

Singer, clapper, ironic Woodie-Guthrie-referencing-guitar player Drew Smith - and singalong action!

It's all about the singalong action!

This is one band that is very, very serious about clapping.

The whole lot.

An Adorable (or was it two?) jumped on stage to help out on the finale. And you can be sure the favour was returned.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The low country

Henri Faberge and The Adorables put on a killer show of music and mayhem at their last Zaphod's appearance, so I was super-keen to see them again. Once again, Relief Maps was the opening act. I left home early to catch their set, but all for naught. Bicycles and Adorables drummer and kit provider Dana Snell was held up in traffic with the rest of her band, so it was actually 9 p.m. before everything was set up and underway.

The Maps sort-of have a new bass player. They are trying out (and vice-versa) Nick Comeau of The Bridegroom.

Time for some pre-show larking on Luke's Hagstrom.

The drum set arrived, so down to business!

Dusty shouts.

Kevin dresses for the weather (and any possible Barrymore's shows).

The first of much clapping that evening.

Maps action!

They sounded pretty raucous this show.