Monday, April 30, 2007

Monkey business

Last time I had an opportunity to see Garaga I arrived too late to see most of their set. Too bad because fuzz and hard rock are two of the things I like most about music. Not so this time around! Despite some technical difficulties (Harshey guitarist-singer Jeff Martin's guitar amp flamed out, forcing him to use Brendan of Elbeejay's somewhat smaller apparatus), the band soldiered on through a set of fine'n'fuzzy tuneage.

Jeff sings! And has amp trouble!

Rhythm section action with Colin Majid.

This has to rank among my Top 5 drummer photos - and Rob Porter certainly is a smashing percussionist.

Shawn Jam Hill, exactly as pictured.

Garaga action!

The whole bunch!

So far, so good!

Is there a doctor in the house?

Sunday wasn't just a lovely evening weather-wise, it was a swell night to catch some exciting music at Zaphod's (also Tim's Myth played). A good turnout for a Sunday show, considering headliner Dr. Dog aren't exactly a huge name in these parts (or most parts come to that, though they've attracted plenty of Internet affection).

F!ght F!ght F!ght sounded pretty raucous this evening.

Tim's Myth: The crowd loved 'em, and they're obviously a talented bunch, but unfortunately for me those talents don't extend to making music I can find interesting. At least we can thank them for attracting a good chunk of the audience.

Dr. Dog love The Band and The Beatles (circa Revolver) about equally, and as far as I can tell never stopped bouncing around.

An energetic bunch who completely lived up to their reputation as a killer live act.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The pleather is all thine

No, this isn't a post about the Brutal Knights. Nor have I acquired a lisp (or I should say, a worse lisp) . It's about the opening act in the evening of musical adultery from the men of Harshey, featuring the various members' "other" bands. Elbeejay features two former members of Pleather, to wit Harshey bassist Larry "Lars" Russell and Brendan Allistone. Nero drummer Jay McConnery rounds out the combo. I hadn't heard either Pleather or Elbeejay before this evening, though I did stumble across a blurb saying the former paid tribute to both Van Halen and The Rheostatics. I could hear some of The Rheostatics in Elbeejay's music, if you can imagine The Rheos stripped of all their messing about and with some added smart alec wit. And Brendan is definitely an excellent guitar player.

Brendan; I'd quite forgotten he was one of Damo Suzuki's backing band the first time the former Can man rolled through town.

Jay McConnery switches jam for pop.

And of course Larry.

Un-presidential action!

Ashley Newall, Brendan's mate in the appropriately named Ashley Newall Band, helps out on backing vocals and text messaging (for Text Message Girlfriend, of course).

And some last-minute kicks.

Mighty swell!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

By the sea

Kelp's 13th anniversary celebrations moved into high gear with a gig at the Navy Club. Not the easiest venue to find, but a hefty number of folks showed up to enjoy several excellent sets from the record label's family and friends.

First up, New Brunswick's notorious Brockway Biggs rapped over some choice Maritime beats under his Pimp Tea brand.

Waterloo's Agile Like This regaled the audience with songs about Satan, oral sex and America's Next Top Model.

The Michael Parks (formerly The Detective Kalita) had a special guest for almost every tune. Here's Chris Page on mandolin with Andy Swan.

The Flaps kicked out their usual superb instrumental rock.

The Acorn capped things with a scorching show (and numerous percussionists).

The festivities continue today with an instore performance by Chris Page at Sounds Unlikely, Andrew Vincent & the Pirates, Andy Swan, Greenfield Main, Jenny Omnichord and The Luck at the Carleton Tavern starting at 1 p.m. and Camp Radio, Rhume, Flecton and the Two Minute Miracles at the Glue Pot Pub around 9 p.m. (and finishing around 2 a.m., if last night was anything to go by).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Planting the seed

Kelp Records 13th anniversary shindig officially kicked off with an instore performance at the downtown branch of Compact Music with a performance by The Acorn . About 20 people took their lunch break off to see Rolf Klausener and Jeff Debutte play a handful of the band's tunes in a stripped-down folk style (not much of a stretch, mind you).

And of course they'll be playing again later today at the Navy Club.

X marks the spot

Xbxrx have a reputation for fun shows; and like opener Elephantoms they put on a physically vigorous performance. Their music has apparently changed over the years from a synth driven noisepunk style to their current, guitar-focused noise catharsis.

Guitarists Steve and Vice Cooler started the band up in Mobile, Ala. - now they're based in Oakland, Calif.

Purple duct tape ... what can't it do?

Running about! I can understand why Vice was limbering up before the show.

Brotherly action!

I can see the headline now: "Photographer squashed by Vice."

The drummer is MC; The bassist goes by WW, near as I can tell. They should sell bracelet with "WWWWD?" on them.

There's no crowd so small you can't surf on it.

Rhythm section action!

Vice Cooler rocks the much-abused Strat.

See that yellow conduit? That's the gas line. Run for your lives!

Big finish!

I picked up their new CD Wars and quite enjoy it. They make a hell of a racket but you can hear the song structure underneath the scree.

Diemonds and lust

I had today off, which means that instead of arriving an hour too late for The Sick Fits CD and LP release show, I arrived an hour too early. Those Anberlin kids must have taken their time clearing out or something.

The Diemonds are a hard-rock combo from Toronto; they through a cover of The Stooges No Fun into their set.

Next up, The Sick Fits, who brought a plenitude of special guests with them (okay, three).

More later ...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Get me to the church on time

I'm on my way home, about 11:30, just zipping past the Carleton University smokers who congregate near the locks, and the chorus from Priestess's Time Will Cut You Down begins to insinuate itself in my brain. This is what happens when you start mulling the tough choice between rock show and hot bath after you arrive home. You can probably guess which I chose.

Missed The Binges and Tokyo Sex Whale; at least I hope to catch the latter when they release their new vinyl record July 21 at Babylon. Mark your calendar ....

Twist and shout

Back in February I went to Babylon to see For The Mathematics, F!ght F!ght F!ght, Sleeping Pilot and Elephantoms. Well, I arrived too late to see Elephantoms, but someone - Justin of Sleeping Pilot, perhaps? - commented on the derring-do of Elephantoms' singer. That was about all I knew of the band when I went to End Hits to see them open for xbxrx, although I was willing to bet they'd be fast, frenzied and noisy. Any takers? I thought not.

And down goes the PA on the first song!

Here's the aforementioned singer, Kevin. He was indeed active, making several painful-looking flops onto his back. (Although guitarist Gary said he was actually a bit sedate at this performance in a post-show e-mail. Yipes.)

Drummer Mike - just another day at the office.

Gary yells.

Unfortunately I failed to get a decent solo shot of bassist Matt. But then I recall my family motto: "Next time." Anyway here he is with Gary.

Elephantine action!

Kevin post flop!

Some running about ...

And some last-minute shouting from Gary.

They'll be back in the basement, opening for Genghis Tron May 4; they'll also be at Zaphod's August 8.