Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mixed nuts

Harvey Cartel really wowed me when I saw them perform at The Rainbow, so it was an easy decision to pop over to Zaphod Beeblebrox and watch them headline the free Monday showcase with a trio of bands unknown to me.

First up were Monic, a young quartet with a heavy sound. They were covering The Sex Pistols' Submission as I walked in the door. That doesn't make them a bunch of first-wave punk revivalists. They reminded me a bit more of The Screaming Trees, with the addition of a double kick drum and keyboards.

Monic at Zaphod Beeblebrox
Monic at Zaphod Beeblebrox, March 22, 2010

In Antarctica followed with a set that made me think of outfits like Jetplanes of Abraham, The Acorn or Rock Plaza Central. They said one of their songs was about Jacques Derrida. I'm not sure if they were joking or not.

In Antarctica at Zaphod Beeblebrox
In Antarctica at Zaphod Beeblebrox, March 22, 2010

If you were going by looks alone you'd say Montreal's The Gospel were a bunch of classic rock revivalists. They do have some catchy riffs, but what really defines their sound is sudden shifts from hard to jazzy and sudden tempo shifts (their 2009 CD City of Glass doesn't emphasize this aspect nearly as much as their live show). They also really know how to work a stage. As an added attraction they were selling nuts at their merch table (insert randy joke here), thanks to their drummer's day job at an organic and vegan food packaging business. They'll be back in town soon with a show at Cafe DeKcuf April 9.

The Gospel at Zaphod Beeblebrox
The Gospel at Zaphod Beeblebrox, March 22, 2010

Harvey Cartel wrapped things up with another hot set of jumped-up roots rock; they played as a trio with guitarist Elie switching to bass.

Harvey Cartel at Zaphod Beeblebrox
Harvey Cartel at Zaphod Beeblebrox, March 22, 2010

An interesting mix all round.
  •  Show reminder: It's not music, but it is Henry Rollins at the Bronson Centre Theatre; Keturah Johnson is at The Rainbow.

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