Saturday, July 30, 2005

War on hup two three four

Parades Against Parades - Jose Palacios of My Dad Vs. Yours described them as "melodic, post, post-new-wave" in his e-mail blurb for their gig with his band and Daydream Square at Club SAW, and it's quite apt. He also said they do it better than any band he's seen in some time, and that's true too. They have two major assets: An excellent singer in Cody Dyck and a furious drummer in Nathan Young, and the other two members, guitarist Ian Potts and bassist Fraser Baalim are quite capable as well. Lots of the punky flailing and twisting that's popular with all the kids, underpinned with real melodic songcraft, guitars crash and turn pretty ... they certainly deserve a larger audience than the two-dozen people who turned up. Then again, that was apparently a better turnout than the crowd (or total lack of same) at their last gig.

Nathan; good thing the police siren wasn't attached to an actual police car or he'd have been pulled over for speeding.

Cody the singer ... of course my one solo pic of him he isn't singing ... oh well.

Ian does some backup singing.

Fraser rocks the neckerchief look.

Post-new-wave rock action!

Post, post-new-wave rock action!

And finally, post, post ... whatever!

Their There's no riot like a tonality riot CD is good, and I'd definitely run out to buy a full-length from these guys (nice Keith Haring style T-shirts as well).

Evening Daydream

Thursday night I walked over to Club SAW to catch Ottawa space rockers Daydream Square, (who I last saw at Mavericks at the end of May), melodic post-rockers Parades Against Parades and Ottawa instrumental group My Dad vs Yours. All fine bands, neither one particularly like the other. I've been listening to Why Not Now? ... Alan! by Milwaukee's F/i of late, and I definitely detect some similarities, which I chalk up to shared influences. F/i's formula has been described as "Hawkwind + Blue Cheer + raw power electronics" - I'd say that goes for Daydream Square too, though they throw in some Stooges and ease up on the BC. First up were Daydream Square.

Kerry and Eric; flute and feedback for your listening pleasure.

Andrea engages in some leisurely keyboarding.

Michael taps some keys while Andrea handles the bass and vocal duties later in the set; she has a pretty singing voice, which makes for a an interesting juxtaposition with DS's occasionally raw sound.

Their next show is August 26 at the Avant-Garde Bar.
  • Show reminder: It may come a bit late, but Big Jeezus Truck and Damn 13 play The Dominion tonight.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The ones that got away

The John Henrys ended the Saturday show with a country rock raveup that lasted longer than I could keep my eyelids open (I went home a little after 1 a.m.), but it was satisfying nonetheless. Always a good show from these guys; lots of energy, skill and exuberance.

Rey Sabatin in his summer haircut and polyester suit.

Doug Gouthro even has the bolo tie.

Geoff Ward - I shot this picture with a telephoto lens ... can't think why.

Steve Tatone. I think he has a closetful of cloth caps.

Sabatin and Darryl Quinlan face off.

Country-rock action!

They played a few new songs; sounds like it won't be long before they start recording album No. 2.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gold and Black

When I walked into Babylon around 10 p.m. Saturday night, I could almost swear I saw a tumbleweed blowing across the empty wasteland that was the space in front of the stage. Considering that the bill was The John Henrys, Golden Seals and Black Boot Trio, I thought a few more people would have shown up by then, but no such luck. Things did fill out a bit later, but a lot of people missed a really great show. I guess everyone was at the cottage.

Dave Merritt kicked things off with a solo turn, and sounded very fine (as did everyone - soundman Paul Hogan did an excellent job).

You can only do so much with a solo performance, so here he is again with lots of extra shutter speed tomfoolery.

Up next were the Black Boot Trio, who turned in a very entertaining set - as always! Drummer Stef Bennett is caught in mid-strike.

If you think this is a pretty odd face for Steve Fai to be making, just you wait ...

Geoff Taylor rocks the headband look.

I think Bennett's hair should get its own credit in the band's liner notes.

There was some jocularity.

Fai was definitely getting into his guitar work. Perhaps a bit too much, some might say ...

Anyone who hasn't picked up their latest album Eternal Return is doing themselves a serious disservice.
  • Show reminder: We're Marching On!, who put on a swell show at Mavericks in conjunction with the Weapons of Mass Seduction and the SS Cardiacs a while back play Irene's tonight in conjunction with Ottawa's The Acorn and another Toronto band of which I know naught, Ohbijou.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Stars and Attics

Ottawa slowcore sensations Kepler have been mutating and percolating for a few years now. They recently added a pair of Hi Lo Trons and a Wooden Star to their lineup after drummer Jeremy Gara was picked up by The Arcade Fire. The release party for Attic Salt, the group's latest long player, was quite well-attended and drew special musical guests from New York and Toronto (see the post below) and a good-sized crowd.

Here's longstanding members Jon Georgekish-Watt and Samir Khan.

Hi Lo Trons Mike Dubue and Jordy Walker (who also dabbles in The Lords of Vanier).

Snailhouse and Wooden Stars melodicist Mike Feuerstack lays down some lap steel.

GKW pulls some of those crazy slowcore stage antics! That is, standing about a bit and arpeggiating thoughtfully.

Samir works the feedback.

The band plays to the assembled headbacks (I know, turn the flash up next time ...).

The whole night sounded great; no news of upcoming shows, apart from a gig by Feuerstack with the aforementioned Wooden Stars Aug. 19. at Club SAW.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The special guests

Jennifer O'Connor was the third act on the Kepler CD release show bill, and the second that I saw since work kept me late and I missed Colossal (darn it). I was expecting something quite different from a singer-songwriter. Her simple but well-worded melodic folk-rock certainly made for a juxtaposition with Robot Kill City. She has a voice that reminds me somewhat of another New Yorker, Cat Power. As much as I like Kepler and Robot Kill City, I have to say her style is one I prefer, and she and the band pulled it off really well on gear borrowed from the headliners.

Ms. O'Connor; I really can't say enough good things about her lyrics.

Bassist Len; we had a very brief chat after their set where he praised Ottawa's scene.

Drummer John had a somewhat frenetic style.

More Jennifer.

Hot singer-songwriter action!

Red Panda released The Colour and The Light on Red Panda in May, she also has a self-released EP and LP.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Robots return

Whenever I see Robot Kill City these days I'm amazed to recall how much they annoyed me the first time I saw them play at Bumpers. They're still a frenetic and crazy bunch on stage, but they sound a whole lot better. They also have a ton of stage energy. They were performing at Kepler's CD release show and drew quite a crowd.

Charlie Berger gets down while Mike Laderoute stands up (you can just see a bit of Dave Quesnelle's elbow behind him).

Here's a bit more of Dave, in the middle of some sort of hectic movement.

Raff Ceppetelli - this time I managed to photograph more than the back of his head. Hooray for me!

Drummer Jay Rasia faces off with Mike.

More Charlie, more Raff, and Dave's other elbow!

Jumpy post-rock action!

It all bodes well for their full-length album, which is apparently in the mixing and mastering stage.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I've seen The Illuminati twice, once at The Dominion (pictures of which can be seen at the Birdman Sound website) and this past Wednesday at Zaphod's ... is it my imagination, or have they added a few flourishes not native to their 70s hard rock sound? Maybe their opening act From Fiction is leading me astray. Anyway, loads of songs, lots of hair, tattoos - you know the drill. Or you should!

One of the advantages of my new telephoto lens: I can take closeups of folks like Illuminati bassist Nick Sewell without almost sticking my camera up his nose.

Ditto for fellow Tchort alumnus and guitarist Les Godfrey, pre-tattoo action.

Drummer Jim Gering.

Sewell gives the hair a workout.

Godfrey all bendy.

Sewell and Gering rock rhythm action!

More Sewell hair-shaking!

And more rock action!

I was standing near the stage and I swear the volume unblocked my sinuses.

Friday, July 22, 2005

A fictional account

The Illuminati put on a great show Wednesday night; the opening acts were no slouches either. The Lords of Vanier started things off. I only caught the last two or three songs, unfortunately. You can catch the lowdown on the Lords at my earlier post of their Aloha Room show. You can catch Yogi and Damian playing with The Double Pumpers at Zaphod's with From Rags to Bitches at Zaphod's on July 28, and Jordy with Kepler tonight. And now, some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Jordy and Damian ...

And Yogi.

Next up was From Fiction ... well, three-quarters of From Fiction, anyway. Seems bassist Owen was MIA. "If anyone has seen a tall blonde guy with a tie-die shirt ... please tell him he's wanted," requested the drummer. Alas he was nowhere to be found (having gone in search of an Internet cafe some time earlier) so the band started without him.

From left to right, above: Guitarist Adam Barnes, drummer Rob Gordon and guitarist Quentin Ede. As you can see, they have the twisting about post punk thing going on. Also some very good, if somewhat hoarse singing from both Barnes and Ede.

Barnes busts a move.

Gordon really pounded his drum kit; his right-hand crash cymbal kept on falling onto the stage - and once he threw it into the audience.


Finally Owen did arrive, part way through song No. 2, bounding onto the stage to pick up his bass and join in.

Rob Gordon: "What were you doing, Owen?"
Owen Marchildon: "Writing a love letter."
Rob: "To Allison?"
Owen: "Umm ... yes."
Rob: "I thought you said you would not do that anymore!"
Yes, it's always romance that causes bands to falter ...
Anyway, the show then picked up the pace, with Owen throwing himself about as vigorously as his bandmates. And occasionally into the audience, where he thumped on his bass strings with a drum stick.

And now ... rock action!

A good opening act, if not exactly my cup of tea.
  • Don't forget to check out either Kepler at Mavericks (with Robot Kill City and "special guests) ... but as pointed out below, despite my original impression that the Priestess and The Long Timers were at Babylon tonight, the show is actually next Friday, July 29.