Friday, September 30, 2005

Flaps up!

The Flaps once again showed why they're one of Ottawa's two premier instrumental bands (I figure it's a toss up with The Empiricals, though I confess to being every-so-slightly partial to Lawlor's crew). A quick set from them due to The Willowz late arrival. And another Clark alumnus! (I guess that's not quite the word I'm looking for, since Matt Gagnon's still in the band, but whatever.)

Pat Lawlor goes for the high frets.

Jamie Gullikson whacked one of his cymbals clean over.

Bassist Matt Gagnon was moderately less bouncy than at his regular gig with Clark the Band.

John F. Higney Jr. does a little two-step.

Fluorescent rock action!

And all together.

They release their debut CD at the Avant-Garde Bar Oct. 15.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Mystery man

I didn't know who was going to start the festivities at Babylon until a day before the show started ... honours went to Rory Lavelle, who used to be in Clark (now Clark the Band). I kept finding blurbs on Google comparing him to Beck. Beck?!? I'm hoping they mean singer-songwriter Howie Beck and not the Loser guy, in which case the comparison is apt. He did a great job all by his lonesome for the small crowd who turned up for The Willowz. Unfortunately I didn't do quite as good a job taking pictures ... here are the two that worked out.

Rory at the piano.

He joked that "It's always a relief when the accordion portion of the show is over." To humble for his own good, he is.

A brief set, which included a dedication to an art teacher who influenced him and who recently passed on, and a fine one.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Put up your Dukes!

Cuff The Duke have progressed quite a bit since I saw them play at Zaphod's way back when. They've also won a fair bit of acclaim for their pop-with-country, which is as it should be. Indeed, they headlined one Friday night for The Blacksheep Stage at this year's Bluesfest. They like that California pop sound, and a bit of post-rock. Sometimes they had me thinking of Calexico, whereas on songs like Take My Money and Run they reminded me of The Hold Steady.

Wayne Petti starts things off on bass.

Jeff Peers deep in thought.

Paul Lowman did most of the bass playing, switching to piano as needed.

Mysterious Matt Faris on drums ... hmm, I think he did the drumming for the Hylozoists too.

Paul Aucoin (who Sadies fans may recall, with a mustache, as Critter) played vibraphone, piano and occasional percussion.

Petti definitely likes to shake it all about.

Some acoustic guitar.

Paul at the piano.

More guitar action!

An explosive finale!

An excellent set, and a packed house, too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Henrys' night out

I thought the John Henrys were going to kick things off Sept. 17; they played second and were as sharp as ever. Dawson City always gets me, I tell ya ...

Rey Sabatin in what is sort of a trademark pose for him ...

Doug Gouthro kicks it up a little.

Steve Tatone sings.

Geoff Ward also sings, just not here.

Darryl Quinlan observes Steve's keys.

Fight the power, eh?

The folks in front of me kept on telling each other "They're really good, aren't they!" No argument from me.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The silver screen

I'm a tad peaved. No one told me that Paul Aucoin's cinematic pop outfit The Hylozoists would be opening for Cuff the Duke Sept. 17. As it is, I arrived just in time for the closing minutes or so of their last tune. I snapped a few pictures; you'll see a few of these folks in future posts ...

Such as Wayne Petti of Cuff the Duke.

If I'm not mistaken, this is Julie Penner, who I last saw wielding her violin for The Fembots.

Here's half the band's drum crew.

I stand under the threat of correction, but I believe this is Paul Lowman, also of Cuff the Duke.

Vibraphone triple-threat! Paul is centre.

I wish I'd seen more. They certainly look snappy in white - shades of The Ladies and Gentlemen ...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Come on, come on!

... is the title of a tune on Nashville Pussy's new disc. Just a coincidence that former Pussy bassist Katie Lynn Campbell now calls Toronto's C'mon her musical home. She and her man, Ian Blurton, accompanied by Randy Curnew, once again graced Mavericks with their monster rock; great band, great crowd, great show!

Ian starts things off with a little feedback ...

Katie Lynn has the most mobile hair in rock.

Randy Curnew was subjected to a few jibes for his Rush T-shirt. (But nothing like the hapless "Ska is Dead" tour playing across the street suffered.)

I bounced my flash off the ceiling for this shot of Ian ... turned out nicely, if I do say so myself.

Attack of the woman with the 50-foot hair!

J.P. Sadek makes sure Randy doesn't overheat. "You're supposed to buy me that drink, not pour it on me!" he could be heard saying outside on the sidewalk after the show.

For some reason I can't help but think of Radiohead's second album ...

A band that has nothing more to prove, but does it anyway.
  • Show reminder: Japan's amazing Zoobombs play Zaphod's; The Young Husbands tag along. Montreal's mod masters The High Dials play Babylon - for free! The band's new album has been getting raves, and they always put on a fine show.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Houston, we have a problem

Another day, another duo. It seems like two-piece bands are sprouting up all over, and with outfits like Whitey Houston rocking out like nobody's business, why the heck not? They come from Edmonton, and kick out some fuzzy riffs via a Danelectro with no knobs, two amps, and one severely pummelled drum kit.

Why does Whitey use a Danelectro with missing knobs? Because he demands quality, that's why!

It's all Gravy when it comes to the drums.

How low can Whitey go? Mighty low.

One-two-three kick!

They finished things up with their ode to unfeeling insurance companies, I Got Fucked by Liberty Mutual. It won't be long before you can see them again: They play Zaphod's Oct. 21, along with The Shout Out Out Out Outs (from Vancouver ... is there an echo in here?), Luke Doucet and those Fembots.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Moose juice

Bullmoose put on a killer show at Mavericks Sept. 16. The Setbacks opened things up, but I was too late to see them and came in as Bullmoose was a few songs into their own set. They play some heavy duty stoner-funk blues that is most tasty to behold. Excellent raw vocals from frontman Eric Lawance (and the occasional bug-eyed facial expression to go with them), backup vocals and monster bass riffs from Seamus Cowan, and some tough but sophisticated drumming from Jeff Cowan (who I am guessing is some kind of relation).

Eric Lawance on guitar and funny looks.

Seamus Cowan on bass and hair-shaking. Take my word for it, he's under there somewhere.

Jeff Cowan hits the skins.

Explosive rock action!

Faceoff action!

Rocking on out!

A really solid bunch of performers, and a great opener for C'mon. I'd forgo many another band to see them again.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oh brother!

The Farrell Bros. are a rockabilly trio from Selkirk, Man. They have the look and the tunes to back 'em up, that's for sure. The actual brothers are bassist and primary vocalist Gordie and his brother, guitarist Shawn (who does a fair bit of singing himself). Nuke Norval keeps the beat and sings too.

Gordie's an upright citizen.

Brother Shawn sings ... watch those neck veins!

Nuke Norval mass destructs his drums.

Family singalong action!

Family rock action!

Rock action!

And going out in a blaze of glory!

There was no Johnny Cash cover that I recall, but there was a Clash song. No opening band this time around, but no matter.