Thursday, May 31, 2007

A catholic education

Next up at ye olde Rock'n'Roll Pizza Party was Last Communion, an Ottawa combo that's snagged members from Buried Inside and The Grey.

Emmanuel Sayer sings and throws himself about. He also a guitarist for Buried Inside.

Behind him, drummer and noted artist Hayden Menzies on drums (he also has a show on at Artguise at the time of this post).

Chuck Saso plays bass; like Hayden he comes from The Grey where he played guitar.

Dave Williams plays guitars and wears one of several Regulations T-shirts on view that evening (should've brought mine, I guess).

Communion action!

Despite appearances, Emmanuel did in fact spend part of the show upright.

There you go, then!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Be healed!

According to Healing Power's singer-guitarist Mood, the band formed about six months ago to provide the various members an excuse to travel and meet friends while being paid for it. I'm not sure how much money they're likely to make as the first of five bands on a punk rock bill at Babylon, but they have travelled a bit. The band has hit a few places in The Maritimes and made it as far west as Winnipeg for their May tour. They've got a ramshackle punk sound that reminds a bit of The Reatards and The Pagans, with a bit of hardcore blended in. They're big on the backing wo-o-ohs and also covered The Undertones' Teenage Kicks.

Mood, at left, didn't make my original picture ... the rest of the band is drummer Chris, bassist Doug and guitarist Seth.

Chris looks sporty.

Seth likes the bends.

As does Mood, come to that.

It's sort of a band thing, come to think of it.

Kicking action!

Seth shows off his guitar pick.

Healing action!

I like the messy stuff and I definitely got a kick out of them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Aunt and all

I won't call Great Aunt Ida a regular visitor to the nation's capital - mainstay Ida Nilsen is based out in B.C., after all, but it does strike me that I've had numerous opportunities to catch her live that have gone unfulfilled. Well, no longer. Of course I've seen Nilsen before - she looks swell with a euphonium, and performed with great distinction as a member of both The Violet Archers and The Buttless Chaps at Barrymore's in March 2006. On to Great Aunt Ida, which for the purposes of this show was Ida Nilsen and Scott Malin, with some assistance from Sarah Hallman's drummer Tim and on one tune a drum machine named after their regular drummer, Barrie.

A well-lit Ida and a shadowy Scott.

And vice-versa.

More Ida!

And, er, that's it. Shortest post in quite some time, but this was one of those gigs where most of the crowd is sitting down and I didn't want to be running back and forth between performer and audience all night. I picked up GAI's 2005 release, Our Fall, after the show, and it's super; if I'd had a chance to hear it back when it was released it would undoubtedly have made my year-end best-of list (one of the shorter ones, I'd add). I shall have to track down her more recent effort, How They Fly.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sarah and so on

Another night at Irene's; it was a less rambunctious affair than the previous evening's David Picco show, but not much. Sarah Hallman and her band were noticeably more cranking than when I saw her last at Babylon about 10 months ago (not counting one occasion with The hi Lo Trons at Mavericks). Brian Simms is once again on guitar, and she has a new (to me) rhythm section).

Brian breaks out the slide.

Unfortunately this picture of Sarah is also the best picture I have of her rhythm section, which as far as I know consists of the brothers Watson: Tim on drums and Dean on bass.

An actually half-decent photo of Sarah and Brian.

Singalong action!

Ms. Hallman and Co. will appear next at The Black Sheep Inn on June 17; she also has a Bluesfest appearance lined up, on the River Stage at 1:15 p.m. July 8.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Have a nice time without me

I was looking forward to seeing a lot of great music in June, but alas my work schedule has taken a sudden turn for the busy so I'm going to miss a big chunk of it. Well, no reason to stop anyone else plotting out their showgoing next month, starting with the Capital Idea Festival.

Fiery Furnaces, Ottawa Bluesfest, July 14, 2006

Sure, I'm going to get to see The Besnard Lakes and Jade McNelis June 20; Sunset Rubdown, Montag and Miracle Fortress June 21; Xiu Xiu, Chris Garneau and the mighty Fucked Corpse June 25; not to mention The Fiery Furnaces, Chinese Stars and the always wonderful Hot Springs June 26.

Born Ruffians, First Baptist Church, October 6, 2006

Alas, I shall miss a heap of other good stuff, most importantly The Walkmen (appearing with super duper locals Relief Maps and Acres) on June 22 and The Wrens with Poorfolk and Darling Arms June 22, but also Frog Eyes at Zaphod's June 24 and Born Ruffians with The Field Register and Henri Faberge and The Adorables June 29. You may also fancy the opportunity to see The Russian Futurists and Parts and Labour June 28; there's also Destroyer and Rock Central Plaza at Barrymore's June 27 and Girl Talk with Crystal Castles June 29; finally, if you didn't see Damo Suzuki on his previous jaunts to town you should seize the opportunity June 30.

Fifty Men, Babylon, August 1, 2006

Off course, Capital Idea isn't the only festival in town; Westboro has a hoedown of their own, and while I'm going to miss a chunk of it too, that's no reason for anyone to pass up performances by Big Stone Drummers and Alden Pompana, The Old Youth,Graveyard Dogs, Hunter Valentine, Andy Swan, NUKARIIK, Golden Dogs (once again, I miss a Golden Dogs show ... grrr!), Angela Desveaux, Jason Collett, Lily Frost, Lindsay Ferguson and Kathleen Edwards on the Saturday. Me, I'll be catching at least part of the Sunday lineup: Ana Muira, Marie-Josee Houle, Jupiter Ray Project, Slo' Tom, The John Henry’s, Mckenzie McBride, Eric Vieweg, Crowded Skies, Camp Radio, Juliana Pulford and Fifty Men. (ADDENDUM: Since I've just learned that Zoobombs will be at Babylon June 10, you can probably guess how I'll spend the rest of the evening).

Pride Tiger, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Feb. 3, 2007

Tell the truth, though, if I were free that Saturday (July 9) I'd probably either be in the basement of End Hits watching Mouthus, Cousins of Reggae, B'Italian and Smoke Judo at End Hits or over at Zaphod's catching Pride Tiger, Die Mannequin and The Mighty Eagle Band. What else am I missing - oh, too much to mention, so I'll just pass the word on another two shows you should show up for: Sunburned Hand Of The Man, The Michael Flower Band, MV & EE and The Bummer Road will be freaking out at Zaphod Beeblebrox June 3; and Mocking Music brings The Clientele, Beach House and My Dad Vs Yours to Babylon June 5. If the Walkmen aren't your thing, you might want to check out i(heart)music's Nymphets gig at Zaphod's or The Shovels CD release show at Irene's with Crowded Skies and Golden Famile man Darrell Angus's new project Rickity Ship. Second to last, but certainly not least, Canadian living legends Simply Saucer perform at Babylon with Four'n'Giv'r June 15. Yes, I'll be missing that one too. One last plug: If you like the rock but aren't up for Damo June 30, you might want to spy out Montreal space-stoners The Mongrels (featuring Tricky Woo man Andrew Dickson) and Boom Creek at Irene's.

Pick 'em

First Richard from The Turkey Basters and CKCU's Both Kinds of Music cleared up the pronunciation of Picco's name - it's like pick, not pique. They also christened Picco's band - they are now officially Jetset Motel. After that it was time for a few more rounds of his first-rate country rock.

David Picco, this time with Telecaster.

Jimmy Rose works the guitar.

Sheldon Kelly is their new bassist and backing vocalist.

Dennis Keough - whose name I misplaced last go 'round - on drums (and saxophone, according to the band's Myspace - for this show he left the brass at home).

Jetset action!

If their first fabulous performance at The Dom a while back hadn't led me to buy their album I would have done it again.


Next up on the Irene's stage last Saturday: Hamilton-via-Toronto singer/songwriter Greg Hobbs. Hobbs has been around a while. He put his first album out in 1994; album No. 5 is imminent. Along with his own happy songs about divorce and sad songs about marriage, he covered Carmelita by Warren Zevon and Bob Dylan's Simple Twist of Fate.

Greg does sometimes have a band in tow, but this was just a solo gig.

He asked me between songs "Did you get any of me when I wasn't blinking?" Yes, but it was a close-run thing.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Off to Club SAW for a most eclectic and entertaining show. We've got piano pop, dance-rock and m'bira from an Adorable. To wit:

Pop cabaret artist Glenn Nuotio, seen here singing of long-distance loving and prescription medication - thus the pill projection backdrop.

Last time I saw Dan Werb he was playing keyboards with Spitfires and Mayflowers. Here he is, still playing keys but this time with electro dance-rock duo Woodhands.

Laura Barrett - last seen with Henri Faberge and Co. - rounded things off with her thumb-piano (she also had one of those bass-pedal thingamajigs and Ajay Mehra to play glockenspiel).

I'd also add the turnout was excellent: About 80 people, I'd guess.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Let's talk turkey

Off to Irene's on Saturday for some CKCU-supported roots rock. First up were The Turkey Basters, who have been together either 25 years or six weeks, depending on who's doing the counting. It's about 75% Stumblers, 25% Honest Injun, 50% CKCU radio show host. There was a cover of Hank Williams' Your Cheatin' Heart (I think?) and some other stuff I've forgotten in the week in between (wait - Ghost Riders In the Sky was the other one).

Dave - a.k.a. Pedro - starts things off with some harmonica.

Stumbler Jim handled the lead vocals this time around.

Richard on troublesome guitar.

Surprise! It's Dave Aardvark on drums!

The whole lot!

Rhythm section action!

Basting action!

Who knows what the next 25 years hold?