Sunday, June 28, 2009


All right down to the real business ... I originally figured that National Capital Rock would focus purely on local rock'n'roll acts (that didn't last too long), but you can't get much more local and rocking than the Gaga Weekend convened by scenester supreme Ian Manhire. A load of Ottawa combos convened for the three-day event, starting with a Rock'n'Roll Pizza Party show so well attended that a good number of people were left standing outside. This show was also a release party for The Visitors' new 7-inch, but things kicked off with one of Ian's own bands, The Sedatives.

Bagpipe intro action, courtesy of Ian's uncle!

Singalong action with man-of-many-bands Davey Quesnelle!

Flashing action, courtesy of one of the other dozen photogs at the show.

Steve sings!

Dave drums on, the latecomers look in!

Overhead action!

More singalong action, this time from Skottie of The Visitors and Creeps!

Ian goes down!

Big finish!

Emmanuelle plays a little organ with his foot.

Their next show is at Bluesfest, on the Music-Themed Eatery Stage on July 12.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Strange flesh

The first time I saw Dark Meat at Zaphod's, they didn't play and I didn't recognize them. They were actually just there to watch their pals in The Evangelicals perform they day before they themselves were slated to grace the stage. A bunch of folks I know did get to see them and praised the show. I already had their debut album, Universal Indian and had already figured they'd be up my alley so when for their return I made sure I had the day off and could get to see them. They played a really scorching set of psychedelic mantra rock to a fairly small audience of a couple dozen.

Lots of guitar action, starting with frontman Jim McHugh.

Ace lead guitar courtesy of Kris Deason.

Drummer Jason Robira goes yeah!

Brass photos are always more amenable to black and white, as is the case with trumpeteer Charlie Estes ...

... And trombonist Aaron Jollay.

Ben Clack has one heavily decorated instrument.

Last but not least, piccolo player Emily Armond.

Singalong action!

"This song is about what great houseguests we make."

More singalong action!

The whole lot!

Feedback finish!

If I didn't already have a copy I'd have bought the CD. As is, I bought the seven-inch ... though come to think of it I might already have a copy of that too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

California here they come

The Rock'N'Roll Pizza Party seems to be making a good home for itself at the Atomic Rooster. When I got there at 10 p.m. there was a few people 40 and over at the bar and a smattering of younger folks (apparently celebrating a birthday) at one table. By the time the music cranked up, a little later than usual due to technical difficulties, they'd been magically replaced by a crowd of 20somethings in Chuck Taylors. They were there for some good old Californian rock'n'roll. Both bands have releases on Toronto's Telephone Explosion label, so that's probably why they had ventured north of the border.

First up, Charlie & The Moonhearts. A fast and surprisingly heavy trio with a fondness for Del Shannon and sombreros.

Charlie & The Moonhearts, Atomic Rooster, June 25, 2009

Ty Segall brought the house down with his boyish demeanor and energetic rock. He was helped out by Charlie & The Moonhearts bassist Mikal Cronin and former Divisionist gal Emily Rose on drums. They also covered The Seeds' Pushin' Too Hard in tribute to the late Sky Saxon.

Ty Segall, Atomic Rooster, June 25, 2009

Both bands are playing Montreal's Divan Orange tomorrow with Telephone Explosion folks Teenanger.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The whale surfaces

Tokyo Sex Whale have had a busy spring. They retreated to the basement to record with Ian Blurton of C'mon and everything is tighter and heavir as a result. They've also hade a couple of shows to demonstrate their phat new sounds - this one at Zaphod's and of course their recent Gaga Weekend gig. Top tunes both times ...

Paul sings!

Julia sings!

J.P. drums some!

The whole lot!

Singalong action!

It's mighty red up there on the Zaphod's stage these days.

Bending action!

And finally Paul sings some more.

The fruits of their labour with Blurton should bear fruit shortly. Also, they have an upcoming show at The Dominion August 29 with The Mercy Now and Starvin' Hungry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Here's mud in your eye

Off to see Athens, Ga., psychedelicists Dark Meat at Zaphod's on June 1, I walked in the door as openers Mud Lake were into their last few songs. Apparently they're an offshoot of another local band, the more rock-oriented Black Hill. As both bands feature Steve Ducharme and Ryan Hamilton, I'm not so sure how far apart they really are ... judging by their online offerings, not much. Mud Lake put on a decent performance, though they struck me as a young band still finding their feet they still managed a pretty solid Who cover and some appealing originals. They made me think a bit of Steve Wynn and The Dream Syndicate.

On the left, Ryan Hamilton on lead guitar, mainman Steve Ducharme and drummer Benoit Paquet.

On the right side of the stage, Matt Buttler provides the keyboards and Nick Dore plays bass.

Guitar action!

Drumming action! Benoit was near the front of the stage since he was using Tokyo Sex Whale's kit.

Grimacing action!

Steve sings.

Acoustic guitar action!

The end!

They're playing the Bassline Station August 5.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Head games

We Were Heads finished the night off with some shambolic fuzz rock. There somewhat chaotic style made me think of New Zealand's scrappier '80s and early '90s bands.

Nitten Patel and Peter Beales in faceoff action!

The rhythm section is Dan Edwards on bass and Evan Sidawi on drums.

Nitten sings!

Luke from The Dirty Nil helps out on keyboards.

They're a bendy lot.

Dan sings some.

More Evan!

Peter does his Joey Ramone impression.

Big finish! With Nitten wearing Dan's glasses for some reason.

The bendy end!

They're playing The Casbah in Hamilton tonight and again July 16, once again with The Dirty Nil.
  • Show reminder: Marianis Trench play a predictably sold-out show at Mavericks. Guy Major performs at the Elmdale House.