Monday, June 30, 2008

New blue bayou

Last time I was at the New Bayou it was the old Bayou ... not the really old Bayou, but a shortlived club where I saw the Brothers Chaffey and Trevor Alguire for the first time; that was more than two years ago. This time the punks have taken over. There was a bunch of people there (about 70 when I counted, and that was a dozen or two shy of the peak) to see Vanier Shank and The Visitors. I feel like I've seen Vanir Shank's name for ages; they've been on a bunch of bills I never got the opportunity to see. They made me think of a faster, more reckless Leatherface.

Vanier Shank, The New Bayou, June 30, 2008

As for The Visitors, I saw their debut performance at Zaphod's; they were good then, but this time they really rocked out. A smashing set.

The Visitors, The New Bayou, June 30, 2008

This show was billed as a pre-Canada Day show. Naturally that means there's a ton of stuff to do today, and for once it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.

Basia Bluefest, Bluesfest, July 12, 2007

I may start my show-going early on Tuesday by heading over to Confederation Park to see Basia Bulat. She's performing at noon. Later in the day Alex Cuba and Molly Johnson perform. I think I'm finally going to see a 59 Argyle house show - they're celebrating Canada Day with Fucked Corpse, Montreal's Special Noise, White Wires, Crazy Ocean and Teenage Lightning. The New Bayou has a huge lineup of bands, punk and otherwise, for July 1: The Nads, A Final Draw, The Scarlett Fever, The Turne, The Red Jets, The Mistress, Sule, A Common Misconception, Lady Seema Dee and Junior Don, G-Kai, Paper and Metal, Project Mars, Capital Hearts, Jamie Lang and Diamond. Zaphod's has Blazer, Ken Workman and The Union, 27 York, The Cutmen and Alex R. Newman.
The fun continues at Zaphod's on Wednesday with Snailhouse and Sarah Hallman. Snailhouse is releasing their new CD. Irene's hosts Karen Kosowski, Tyler Summers and Trevor James.

Matt Mays and El Torpedo, Zaphod Beeblebrox, September 22, 2003

As for Thursday, quite apart from shows by Incantation, Funerus and Deamon at Cafe Dekcuf; Today I Caught the Plague, Pysiedius, The Great Sabatini, Abhorrent Human Animation and Grafenberg at Mavericks, once again it's Bluesfest time in Ottawa. Although I bought a festival pass (as I have for the past six or seven years), I'm probably going to spend less time festing than in the past. This is mostly due to a strong lineup of acts passing through town, most notably the Boris show at Babylon. Bluesfest has also decided to ban SLR cameras this year, which does kill the buzz for a diehard snapper like myself. I'm interested to see what the turnout at Bluesfest will be like. Unlike last year, it doesn't seem like there's any really acts plucked from the stratosphere like Bob Dylan or Van Morrison.
The main action for me has always been on the side stages, and that seems even more true than usual for 2008. Opening day is one of the exceptions, since TV on The Radio are playing on the Rogers Stage, unfortunately about the same time as Jose Gonzalez on the Black Sheep Stage. Matt Mays and El Torpedo are also performing. It's been about five years since I saw them play at Zaphod's. I've always meant to catch them again since they put on a great show then, but the stars never aligned. I hear they've changed their sound since then, so my curiosity is further inflamed. I also note that Spanish blues rockers Tea are performing at Zaphod's that evening.

Wintersleep, Bluesfest, July 14, 2006

On Friday there's always Wintersleep at Bluesfest. They were pretty good at Bluesfest in 2006, but Tusks, Yellow Jacket Avenger and Psychic Hotline at Irene's look like the better bet to me. The Mahones play Zaphod's and they're always a good show if you like that Pogues-influenced stuff.
There's a bunch of local acts at Bluesfest this year, such as The BushPilots, who will be playing Saturday on the River Stage. Jenn Grant and Richard Thompson are also playing on the River Stage that day so I may just stick around. Then, I may go to the Rogers Stage just to watch the juxtaposition of Ladytron and Lucinda Williams.

The BushPilots, Zaphod Beeblebrox, December 15, 2006

Saturday is busy elsewhere as well, most notably as Gunsmoke release their new CD with The Hypnophonics, Machine Gun Dolly and The Nummies at the New Bayou. Full Blown Chaos, The Breathing Process, The Red Death, Sons of Azrael, Epocholypse and I Call This Safety play Mavericks. Despite their name - which suggests a dance electronica act - Hot Panda are in fact a rough'n'ready pop combo from Edmonton (you can probably dance to them, mind you). From what I've heard I'm guessing that if you like The Bicycles, you'll probably enjoy Hot Panda. They're playing Irene's.

Les Breastfeeders, Babylon, April 20, 2007

Sunday you can check out Innerpiece, Dirty Beloved and Liquid Edge at Zaphod's. But the best show of the day - if personal experience is anything to go by - will be courtesy of Les Breastfeeders. Yes, it's on the Main Stage at Bluesfest, bit I don't think that will stop them from knocking a whole lot of socks off. One of my must-sees for Bluesfest, Chuck Prophet, also plays on the Black Sheep Stage (he also plays the Barney Danson Theatre the day before).

No glove, no love

Despite or because of the fact that Winter Gloves were the band sandwiched between Murder Plans and Bonjour Brumaire that I didn't go to see, they left the best impression. Their electropop with a dance beat makes me think of Woodhands. A lighter Pleasure Forever would also work for comparative purposes.

Mainman Charles F. is an excellent singer with a high register.

Patrick Sayers should be familiar to all for his work with such rocking combos as Tricky Woo and Young Galaxy.

Louis Fernandez also handles glockenspiel duties.

Vincent Chalifour plays the keyboards and also sings backup.

Gloved action!

Poorly cropped action!

And so on!

A really sharp performance. This was their third time through town; hopefully a fourth is not far off. They were handing out free CD-Rs but I'll be darned if I can find mine. They plan a full-length CD for this fall.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Late again!

I shouldn't have tarried over Japanese chambara films last night. I got to Zaphod's while Matthew of Acres was introducing the band's last song, Diplomats, and also praising the new hand-dryer in the men's washroom. It was a powerful performance by both band and dryer.

Acres, Zaphod Beeblebrox, June 28, 2008

These Electric Lives put on a really stellar set. As before I hear echoes of The Cure, Interpol and Bloc Party. This may be just my internal Adorable fanboy speaking, but I also thought Mark Stanfield (depicted below) was sounding a lot like that band's Piotr Fijalkowski. They had a better audience than the last time I saw them, also at Zaphod's, as a headliner over Embassies of Denmark.

These Electric Lives, Zaphod Beeblebrox, June 28, 2008

Finally The Late '94s rocked the house. The crowd swelled considerably by the time they got on stage for both their first performance and their CD release show. Ryan O'Hagan, Tristan Knott (that's them below) along with bassist Mike Short and drummer Mike Bond, who was in thumping good form.

The Late '94s, Zaphod Beeblebrox, June 28, 2008

A promising debut.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First degree homicide

Bonjour Brumaire and Winter Gloves made a trip to Ottawa at's behest; the opener was locals Murder Plans. They put on a swell set - they definitely deserve a larger local following.

Michael Simon and Connor McGuire.

Nicholas Descarie and Michael are obviously rocking the negatives look.

Joel Jacques works the steel.

Singalong action!

The whole lot!

And so on.

Still waiting for that full length they were allegedly recording ...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Addicted to O

The Oholics come Gothenburg, home town of The Soundtrack of our Lives and their precursor, Union Carbide Productions. Ebbot Lundberg, frontman of TSOOL and UCP caught their act one night and decided to mentor the sextet. They've garnered a hefty buzz on the strength of their Madchester-Rolling Stones crossbreed sound and a sharp cover of Syd Barett's Lucy Leave.

From left to right we have guitarist Peter Freibergs, keyboardist Axel Mord, singer Christoffer Rydestaehl, sitar swinger and spacebox tweaker Anders Thunarf and bassist Hannes Thunberg; drummer Niklas Hjort is back there somewhere.

Some songs require twice the tambourine.

Rhythm section action!

Thunarf's sitar playing was either not good or suffering from technical difficulties.

Christoffer takes off.

The spacebox was cool.

This cowbell takes two people to operate.

More Peter and more cowbell.

And so on!

Anders works the crowd, which was actually pretty decent, if shy.

Good show; I've seen a lot of this kind of band, it being my preferred taste and The Oholics leave me with the impression of a promising young outfit.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bombing run

A week after the Erick Von Erick show and I was at Zaphod Beeblebrox again, this time for The Bella Bombs and travelling Swedes The Oholics. I wonder if the comparison with Mensen in the review of Liquid Explosion in Gearhead had anything to do with the lineup. This was the first gig from the Bombs that I'd seen since the punk rock baby shower in anticipation of e-bomb's impending motherhood.

Honey Bomb!

E-bomb! Thinner than the last show.

Turbo-bomb! Sporting an appropriately Scandinavian T-shirt.

Suspect Device!

Rock action!

They certainly haven't slowed down. They're playing the SCENE Music Fest in St. Catharines at the end of July, and Sneaky Dee's in Toronto in August.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Erick's trip

Finally, the headliner: St. Catharines Erick von Erick and The Raving Psychos. I shall overlook the fact that their hit tune is called and Ode to Boobies in D Minor, because frankly it's silly. It isn't even their best song. Their other stuff is solid 1980s influenced pop glam, with its roots in Billy Idol, Queen and Sniff'n'The Tears.

Main man Erick von Erick.

On one side of the stage we have Scott von Scott and bassist Chris. These men like their white curly cables.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Zaphod's pillar, we have keyboardist and singer Sammi and guitarist Joe Sacco.

And on drums, Denis the flying Frenchman. That explains the aviator sunglasses, I guess.

It's hard not to look cute in a cloth cap.

And now, on with the show!

I crush your head!

Over here ...

Over there ...

The whole lot!

Plenty of fun.