Monday, March 31, 2008

Double exposure

Easter weekend was record release time for The Double Pumpers, and that meant new vinyl (and CDs), a swanky silk-screen poster from local photography guy Petr Maur (who also designed the cover of Old Gold), a star-studded lineup of heavy duty rockers (the Friday prior to the Saturday show captured below featured Bionic and Mad Parish) and of course plenty of good ol' fashioned heavy rock from Ottawa's favourite power trio. There was also some drinking ...

Dave guitars seriously.

Damian sings!

Yogi prepares to rock!

Dave prepares to fight.

Katie-Lynn of C'mon brings booze.

Hungry man Scott Mucklow adds some drums.

Drum standing action!

Dave works the feedback amidst scattered tickets.

The end!

And I can attest that the vinyl Old Gold is mighty fine.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

All time high

Once again C'mon visited Ottawa to rock the house. I've yet to see a show from them that wasn't a knock 'em dead affair, and this one was no different. Actually, it was even more deadly than usual, since Blurton was in excellent voice. I'd say more, except Easter weekend is kind of a blur to me in hindsight. I do recall there was cake.

Ian Blurton plays loud! As you can tell from the chap in the back with a finger in his ear.

Katie Lynn Campbell goes ghostly.

Dean Bentley shouts and hits the drums a bit.

Faceoff action!

Low-down action!

Hair-shaking action!

Ian works the crowd - a sellout, as far as I can tell.

And so on.

C'mon is now headed for parts west, before looping back and conquering The Maritimes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ready to fly

Ladyhawk are one of those bands who can take a slew of obvious influences - in their case Neil Young, Husker Du, The Replacements and Dinosaur Jr. - and stew up a sound distinctly their own. Much of this is thanks to main vocalist Duffy Driediger's heartfelt drawl. They have a new album out called Shots that some people seem to have a hard time getting their heads around. I plan to hunt up a copy sooner or later. In the meantime here's some photos of the shaggy guys with shaggy guitars.

Duffy sings - and uses a lot of duct tape.

A shadowy Ryan Peters.

I think the neck of Darcy Hancock's guitar may be to blame.

Sean Hawryluk's hair is the fifth member of the band.

Fuzzy rock action!

Sean sings one.

The whole appropritely fuzzy lot.

The band is now heading back west before an extensive U.S. tour.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I wanna be sedated

Last night - less than an hour ago, in actuality - I was off at a new venue watching a new band. Or to put it another way, I went to a place I'd been before under a different name to see a bunch of guys I'd seen perform before play under a new name. The Bytown Tavern is the sort-of-new venue located under what is now Hooley's. I remember going there as a preteen to see a four-person British-style comedy act run through a series of skits ... it's been a room for a while. Nowadays it's a no-frills room with a bunch of flat screens showing the hockey game (or some cartoons best enjoyed under the influence of drugs, depending on the hour), the requisite pool tables, dome hockey and foosball. A bunch of barrels and a dimestore cowboy pass for decoration.

The Sedatives, Bytown Tavern, March 27, 2008

A few minutes after the hockey game ended local rock'n'roll fans started trickling in. By the time The Sedatives hit the stage there was probably about 70 people - the place filled up fast. The Sedatives came on a few minutes past 11 ... from left to right you've got Ian Manhire (a.k.a. Flippo, drummer for The Cryptomaniacs and I think guitarist for White Wires), Dave Williams of Last Communion, Steve Adamyk of The Million Dollar Marxists and Emmanuel Sayer of Last Communion and Buried Inside. They recently performed as The Adverts at the punk covers shows, so there were runs through Bored Teenagers, One Hit Wonders and Gary Gilmore's Eyes among other punky splendour. Unfortunately The Sick Fits because Michael Hurts was ... well ... sick. Down with the flu, said Emmanuel. Other than that disappointment, a cool show.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Immaculate technician

There's been a lot of Immaculate Machinery on the blog of late. The band has family in the vicinity so it's no surprise they'd pass through town twice. As mentioned before they sang in Mandarin and covered Final Fantasy. They also bantered a bit, telling the crowd about the dumb in-jokes bands come up with during the hermetic world of touring. This round's big thrill: Tourmate Ladyhawk's "mini-thumb's up." On to the photos. I took a few of Kathryn, many of which turned out, many of Brooke, almost none of which turned out and one of Luke which (fortunately) did. Onward!

Kathryn, and a shadowy Luke.

Brooke dressed up a bit for the occasion.

Luke took off his shirt this time - it's a mite warmer on the Zaphod's stage than End Hits' basement.

And now a bunch of lowlight stuff ...

Okay, i did use a little flash on this one.

The band is off the road for now, barring a gig in Vancouver in a couple of weeks, thus leaving them plenty of time to brush up on foreign tongues.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Video surveillance

Anyhow, back to last Friday and Videotape. The trio formed from the ashes of local post-rock instrumentalists-with-occasional-vocals As The Poets Affirm, but are fuzzy pop with some off-kilter rhythms and occasional instro weirdness. At the time I thought their sonic aesthetic was a far sight more established than their songcraft, but I'm finding them more interesting the more I listen to their MySpace tunes. I'm definitely keen to hear more.

Adam Saikely ... somewhere Jonathan Richman is looking for his shirt.

Ryan Patterson rocks the Ric.

My photo of Nathan Gara is also my worst drummer photo ever! Yay! Okay, boo.

Two microphones for double the vocal fun.

More Ryan.

And more of all that!

It's never a bad idea to make faces at the photographer.

Their next show is up at The Black Sheep Inn with Mahogany Frog and My Dad Vs. Yours April 4. They also have a gig with Thundrah! and We Fled Cairo at a 443 Kent St. house show April 25. They also have an EP, My Favourite Thing, available for download.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Double header

This was a good weekend for shows, and I caught a bunch of acts - no unfamiliar faces, but four fine combos and a new permutation of another. I went to Zaphod's on the Friday to see Ladyhawk. I loved their first album and was keen to see what they were up to. The first act on stage was local trio Videotape, who I would describe as sometimes sounding like Bailter Space, at others like a jangly Jesus and Mary Chain. What their fuzzy pop doesn't sound like is the various members' previous band, As The Poets Affirm. As a bonus, vocalist Adam Saikaley was looking a bit like Jonathan Richman.

Videotape, Zaphod Beeblebrox, March 21, 2008

I had of course seen Immaculate Machine just a few weeks prior at End Hits performing with The Hi Lo Trons and Giant Hand. Once again they sound a few verses in Mandarin (and some others in French). They did sound a lot better on this occasion, which I'd attribute to Brooke being in better health and the techie stuff being done by Slo' Tom, and not a mixing board stashed in the closet. They threw in a cover of Final Fantasy's This is the Dream of Wim and Regine.

Immaculate Machine, Zaphod Beeblebrox, March 21, 2008

Ladyhawk also put on a great show. Last time they were in town they opeded fopr Tapes'N'Tapes, who I didn't find as interesting. As before Duffy Driediger's plaintive vocals were a big part of the band's appeal. Unfortunately they passed on an encore.

Ladyhawk, Zaphod Beeblebrox, March 21, 2008

The next night I went to the Dominion to catch round 2 of The Double Pumpers' CD release show. Unfortunately we missed the opening act, Starvin' Hungry. Allegedly they put on an ace show. Judging from the previous occasions I've seen them I can well believe it. The next act up and running was C'mon, who put on an outstanding show - even better than their usual killer performance. Ian Blurton's vocals were really good, perhaps due to the generous dose of echo. There was a great big crowd at the Dom to rock along, Blurton's chiding about insufficient enthusiasm notwithstanding. By the time the show was over, Blurton had decided Ottawa was better than Kingston, perhaps because they had opened for Against Me there earlier in the week. "We are officially against Against Me," he joked earlier in the show.

C'mon, The Dominion, March 22, 2008

I can't say that I'd want to follow C'mon on stage at any time, but the Double Pumpers did a good job living up to Dave Aardvark's "best band in Ottawa" introduction - particularly when you consider they were getting pretty drunk as the evening rolled on.

Double Pumpers, The Dominion, March 22, 2008

I picked up their new LP, Old Gold before heading out the door.