Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

I came across this yesterday and it instantly brightened my day AND transported me back nearly twenty years!

It was the first ever Kumbaya Festival at Toronto’s old Ontario Place Forum. All benefits from the concert (including donations gathered via a live broadcast on MuchMusic) went to Canadian charities supporting HIV and AIDS patients. Organized by Molly Johnson, it also starred a host of Canadian artists including Johnson’s own Infidels, Moxy Fruvous, the Lowest of the Low, 54•40, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochran, Randy Bachman, Skydiggers, Holly Cole Trio, Cowboy Junkies and as seen below, the Tragically Hip.

If I recall correctly, each band performed a quick 3-song, 15 minute set and again, if memory serves me right, the Hip were secret headliners who played for nearly half an hour. At the time, I wasn’t a HUGE fan but this performance converted me into full-blown follower. Their set was amazing, I witnessed first-hand Gord Downie‘s signature stage presence AND unbeknown to me at the time, I heard two yet-to-be released tracks; “Thugs” and “Nautical Disaster”, the latter which was thrown in the middle of “New Orleans Is Sinking”. Watch here:

I’ve actually got video of this entire concert (not just the Hip’s performance) on VHS sitting in a box somewhere and was thinking of digging it out to digitize.

The Kumbaya Festival ran for four years from 1993-1996. Interestingly enough, next year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Kumbaya Foundation’s beginnings and it appears there are talks of holding a benefit concert with music and spoken word to mark the occasion and to once again raise money for HIV/AIDS relief. We’ll keep an ear out for details when they emerge.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review: Soundgarden @ Saddledome

Posted by newsboy On July - 28 - 2011

Written by: James Callsen (X92.9 Blog)

Last night’s Soundgarden show was great. Instead of writing a quick blurb AND doing a list, I’m combining them today.

1: It was a HELL of a long show.

The band went on at 8:45 and left around 11. That’s over 2 hours of Soundgarden. I generally gauge a concert’s success by how often I wonder if it’s over yet. I didn’t wonder that once, over 2 hours. So according to my math, that means Soundgarden did well.

2: Soundgarden is old.

Definitely lots of grey in Kim Thayil’s breezy locks and I’m pretty sure Chris Cornell’s beard wasn’t so jet black either. This is a wake up call to Generation X; You’re getting old too. However Soundgarden proved last night that old guys can still do it.

3: I forgot how many great songs are in the Soundgarden back catalog.

When you work at X92.9, you hear a lot of Soundgarden so lately I haven’t had any of their records on in a long time. I forgot how great some of their stuff like “Fourth Of July” (which smoked last night) was. Hearing “Slaves _ Bulldozers” was great too, as was “My Wave” (huge highlight) and “Like Suicide”.

4: Cornell had audio effect help, but Thayil still has it.

Admittedly, Cornell wasn’t hitting all the high notes he used to. That’s what happens when you get old though. He had plenty of audio processed help. Maybe I’m just a weak fan, but I can let it slide. Thayil on the other hand held it down through the entire set. He never was a guy to get too physical on stage, so last night was a real clinic watching him work from 30 feet away. One of the best guitarists of all time.

5: The very laid back pit had something to do with the large amounts of weed being inhaled.

Want to know why people weren’t tearing sh*t up last night? Two words: Contact. High. I haven’t been around that much weed being smoked inside one building in a long, long time. I didn’t inhale, but good thing I don’t have a urine test today.

6: Matt Cameron is awesome

Looked and sounded good last night, just as he gets set to get back on the road with Pearl Jam. That’s like Iggy (Jerome Iginla) working as a wide receiver for the Stamps during the beginning of the NHL season in his spare time.

7: Soundgarden last night was not the Soundgarden of 15 years ago.

They’re 15 years older. Can you do everything you were physically good at 15 years ago? Last nights show was better than I expected. Much better, but maybe that’s because I was expecting an hour long greatest hit set so the could run off the stage and cash their checks. Far more intensity than I anticipated, even if it sounded a little creakier than one would have hoped.

You can hear James on X92.9 FM in Calgary, online at x929.ca and check out his x92.9 Blog.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Placebo Announce One-Off London Gig

Posted by shannona On August - 9 - 2010

Re-posted with permission from GigJunkie.net;

After thirteen years, six studio albums, 11 million album sales, breakdowns, clean ups and the dizzy swell of global success Placebo are back in the UK for a special one off show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on 27 September to celebrate the release of the Battle For The Sun: Redux Edition which is released on the same day.

Join Placebo as you relive your teenage years or discover one of the UK’s greatest bands.

You can buy your tickets at the link below.

27 September    London O2 Academy Brixton

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review: the Dildoniks @ Bovine Sex Club

Posted by jseberras On July - 29 - 2010

Written by: Jesse Seberras

Day 492. Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Planet Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy.

So I was at the Bovine Sex Club. Never heard of it? Well it’s a bar in downtown Toronto that doesn’t want you to know who or what it is. The front of the building is covered in bike shrapnel and other bits of scrap metal in all it’s rusted glory. And one night there, while I was enjoying my fourth bottle of Stock, I noticed there was a stage and on this stage there were three guys and they were holding instruments.

Dildonics are electronic sex toys that can be controlled by a computer. The Dildoniks, however, are a surfer punk trio from Toronto. Both will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Only difference is that you can enjoy the band in public.

Formed in 2009 by front man Joseph Ling, they’ve grown from their humble beginnings of playing out of the back of a U-Haul on a street corner to performing at big venues all around Toronto including the Silver Dollar Room, Rancho Relaxo and The El Macambo. They have created a delicate blend of fast paced punk and instrumental 60′s surfer rock with a dash of lyrics thrown in every now and then.

With song’s lasting anywhere from 30-90 seconds a piece you would think you’re going to be short changed but as the show keeps going you start to wonder how they’re not catching on fire or passing out from heat exhaustion.

You can catch The Dildoniks on a street corner near you as they go on one of their U-Haul tours this August. Or check them out as they play with Peelander-Z on Sept 1st at The Velvet Underground. Check out their MySpace for all the details.

Author Bio: Jesse Seberras is an alien who landed on Earth over a year ago in his rocket ship, Starship Experience. Him and his crew mate, Shawn, formed a quintet rock group in the hopes of becoming intergalactic rock stars. Their band, Starship Experience, sing about the more important things in life: women, drinking and the internet.

Popularity: unranked [?]

UPDATE! Gaslight Anthem & 30 Seconds to Mars Pre-Sale

Posted by cristóvão On July - 21 - 2010

It’s been quite some time since we’ve had some pre-sale passwords for you but today is a good day.

Our Pre-Sale Passwords page has been updated with pre-sales for Gaslight Anthem (in Edmonton and Calgary), Justin Nozuka (Edmonton, Saskatoon) and 30 Seconds to Mars (Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary).

Head over there now to get your passwords. Links to ticket sales can be found too. Good luck!

Popularity: unranked [?]

UPDATE: Serj Tankian Fall Tour POSTPONED

Posted by cristóvão On July - 20 - 2010

Serj Tankian has been keeping himself busy. Earlier this year, he released Elect the Dead Symphony, a live album of his debut solo album with the Auckland Philharmonic Symphony. He just wrapped up the fist leg of his European tour and is playing a couple of U.S. dates before commencing the second leg of the European tour in August. His new album, Imperfect Harmonies is set for release in was released in Semptember and just days after he’ll be embarking on his Fall North American tour.

UPDATE: Tankian postponed the tour indefinitely. Refunds were issued as he apologized for pushing the tour “until a later date”.

The good news; It starts right here in Calgary. The (sorta) bad news; It will NOT be an Elect the Dead Symphony performance as he’s been doing all year in Europe and at those two mid-summer U.S. dates. What makes it all better? The fact that most of the performances will take place in acoustically superior theatres and concert halls, like Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall (September 12th), Edmoton’s Winspear Centre (Sep. 13th), Vancouver’s Centre for the Performing Arts (Sep. 15th), Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Sep. 29th) and Montreal’s Théâtre St-Denis (Sep. 30th).

Here’s the full tour for the remainder of this year;

Remaining U.S. Date _ European Tour 2010 – Second Leg (all dates Elect the Dead Symphony performances);

  • Jul 30* – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre w/Orchestra TBA
  • Aug 07 – Pori, Finalnd – Sonisphere Festival
  • Aug 09 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Tradgarn
  • Aug 10 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
  • Aug 12 – Yerevan, Armenia – Hamalir
  • Aug 14 – Sibiu, Romania – Piata Mare – ARTmania Festival
  • Aug 15 – Burgas, Bulgaria – Spirit of Burgas Festival
  • Aug 17 – Athens, Greece – Terra Vibe Park
  • Aug 20 – St. Poulton, Austria – Frequency Festival
  • Aug 21 – Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop
  • Aug 22 – Biddinghuizen, Holland – Lowlands Festival
  • Aug 24 – Hamburg, Germany – Grosse Freiheit
  • Aug 25 – Köln, Germany – E-Werk
  • Aug 27 – Leeds, UK – Bramham Park – Leeds Festival
  • Aug 28 – Reading, UK – Little Johns Farm – Reading Festival
  • Aug 30 – Paris, France – Bataclan
  • Aug 31 – Wettingen/Zurich, Switzerland – Sportzentrum Tagerhatd
  • Sep 01 – Bologna, Italy – Estragon

“Imperfect Harmonies” North American Tour;

  • Sep 12 – Calgary, Alberta, Canada – Jack Singer Concert Hall
  • Sep 13 – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – Winspear Centre
  • Sep 15 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Centre For the Performing Arts
  • Sep 17 – San Francisco, CA – Nob Hill Masonic Center
  • Sep 18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theater
  • Sep 20 – San Diego, CA – Humphreys Concerts
  • Sep 23 – Bee Cave, TX (near Austin, TX) – The Backyard
  • Sep 25 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theater
  • Sep 26 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
  • Sep 28 – Buffalo, NY – Center For the Arts
  • Sep 29 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
  • Sep 30 – Montréal, Québec, Canada – Théâtre St-Denis
  • Oct 02 – Glenside, PA (near Philadelphia, PA) – Keswick Theatre
  • Oct 03 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
  • Oct 07 – St. Petersburg, FL – Mahaffey Theater
  • Oct 08 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
  • Oct 09 – Miami Beach, FL – Fillmore Miami

Popularity: unranked [?]

Miss Led Zeppelin? Try Michael White & The White

Posted by lmelvin On June - 26 - 2010

Written by: Laura Melvin

Let’s face it.  The probability of Led Zeppelin ever touring again is slim to none.  So, what’s a fan to do? Well, go to a show by an aging Zeppelin cover band of course.  Michael White _ the White rocked a show at the Red Robinson Show Theatre in Vancouver suburb Coquitlam for a moderate sized crowd (with only a handful of people under 40) on Friday night.

As a cover band playing a theatre attached to a casino, I wasn’t surprised to see four middle-aged men with growing bellies and flowing, wavy locks doing their best impression of the 70s era rock band.  I was surprised by the 12-piece orchestra.  This was orchestral Led Zeppelin.  Ever heard “Immigrant Song”, “Whole Lotta Love” or “Dazed and Confused” with a chorus of violins, cellos, and French horns?  It was enough to prompt a party of 40 to 50-somethings to rush the stage, security asking them several times ‘Please, don’t touch’.  When they played “Stairway to Heaven”, the crowd so elated we were positive that all that glitters is gold.  By the end of the show, as Michael White _ the White rounded out the night with “Bring It On Home”, the audience was on its feet, giving a well deserved standing ovation.

It may have been my seven dollar beers talking, but I thought the show was fan-freakin’-tastic.  Not only do Michael White _ the White bring a little reasonably priced Zeppelin to the masses (because you know if Led Zeppelin ever tours their tix are going to be in the $150 and up range), they work with schools to help fund their band programs!  Kudos gentlemen, kudos.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Rodrigo y Gabriela ~ NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Posted by cristóvão On June - 24 - 2010

This video is just too great not to share.

I’ll have to admin that until OtD contributing writer Andy Stewart passed this link along to me, I’d never even heard of Rodrigo y Gabriela. The duo hail from Mexico and as you can see from the video, their speedy, acoustic guitar driven music is astonishing. Funny enough, the two met in Mexico City while playing in thrash metal band Tierra Ácida but later moved to Europe where they began to get noticed. And with good reason!

They’ve already released four studio albums, with the latest 11:11 coming out last year and two live albums.

Once you watch this, it’ll be no wonder that the NPR Music host is so enamoured with Rodrigo y Gabriela.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review + Photos: LLTQ Festival @ Gus’ Pub

Posted by tnaugler On May - 26 - 2010

Featuring Cursed Arrows, Union of the Snake, Bike Rodeo, Myles Deck _ the Fuzz, Iron Giant
May 21st, 2010 @ Gus’ Pub, Halfiax, NS

Written by: Daniel Nightingale
Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (of Noisography.com)

Tiffany teamed up Daniel Nightingale for the Long Live the Queen Festival in Halifax featuring Cursed Arrows, Union of the Snake, Bike Rodeo, Myles Deck _ the Fuzz and Iron Giant. Here are just a sample of some of her photos with Daniel’s review to follow. Make sure to visit Noisography.com for more photos and video footage as well!

Cursed Arrows started off a diverse show of punk, rock, and metal by showcasing a bit of it all – beyond their tight two piece original compositions, I caught covers by Fugazi and Black Sabbath. A lot of two piece bands have a less than full sound, but Cursed Arrows filled up the space nicely with with rapid fire effect stomping and good vocals. Tight and knowing how to please a crowd, and hopefully they’re be returning to Halifax often from their hometown of Kitchener.

Union of the Snake were up next – a new band featuring members of Kestrels _ VKNGS to name a few more recent projects, these guys had a huge sound. Distorted bass chords and heavy, simple drums gave a satisfying counterpoint to the usual wild chords, whammy bends, and great riffage from prolific guitarist Chad Peck. This may have been the first show for these guys, and while they lacked the polish that a lot of the other bands on the billed showed, they made up for it with tough as shit riffs and pure attitude.

Bike Rodeo hit the stage next with their signature garage rock sound and some great new songs. Fresh off writing and recording an album, they all ready had new material to pack into a quick, blistering set ripe with 3-part harmonies and frantic dueling guitar riffs.

The dead-steady rhythm section keeps the crowd dancing pretty much non-stop while guitarists Mike Deon and Nigel Tinker rip off chord after chord of ear candy scale squiggles and crazy bends. It’s worth mentioning that the ‘no pedals’ approach these guys have to playing really gives a lot of room in the mix to hear both guitars, the bass, drums, and 3 vocals – with nasty, artificially distorted guitars, a lot of that usually gets lost. It helped that a proper sound guy and PA were in place last night at the pub!

Sharing the same bass player but somehow seeming to crank him up to ’11,’ even after a sweaty set with Bike Rodeo, was Myles Deck _ the Fuzz. Lead singer Deck struts around the stage with all the swagger of early Rolling Stones, MC5, and Iggy Pop put together, while the band lays down punk rock like it should be – tight, razor sharp, frantic, and edgy. Guitarist Dale Boudreau loses his sound a few times during the scramble of stage divers, head bangers, and Queen (of England, that is) styled mannequin bashers (“Off with her head!” cries Deck as the band riffs continuously on the first note of ‘God Save the Queen’ by the Sex Pistols), but you’d never know it with the steady stream of 8th notes somehow emerging from bassist Al Hoskins’ fingers. Dummy destoyed, the band bangs out the cover we were all waiting to hear and the crowd goes wild.

Not ones to be up-staged, Moncton’s Iron Giant take the stage for the final set. While devoid of props, beyond singer Chris Lewis’ chain link mic stand, Iron Giant waste no time in amping the crowd back up with loud, heavy, badass old school metal. The drummer, looking all of 99 pounds soaking wet (which he would be by the end of the set), sounds like a man of twice the legs with non stop double kick and monster fills. The show is tame by Iron Giant standards, with very little nudity, fire, or stage diving (all of the stage divers seem to have been given the boot during the Myles Deck set). The bar is still packed as the band plays over the 2AM close, but no one seems to care.

Five bands is a lot to schedule but the LLTQ crew pulled it off and the crowd loved every minute of it, from the first band. The additional PA was nice to hear at a Gus’ show, though it mostly benefited the strong Bike Rodeo vocals. All in all a superb job, and we hope to see the return of the festival next year.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Written by: Isaac Thompson
Photos by: Tiffany Naugler
May 12th, 2010 @ the Paragon Theatre ~ Halifax, NS

This week Tiff and I went to the Paragon Theatre for their Halifax Music Club. The HMC happens every Wednesday and features the house band The Light Brights sharing the stage with local artists ranging from comedians to singer/songwriters and rock bands. This time around the musical guests were The Stogies and Mike Trask. The entire concert was streamed live on Haligonia.ca. (Read more after the photos!)

The Stogies got things started right by delivering a wickedly entertaining set of old school rock _ roll with a little reggae and blues. They put on the most energetic show of the night and I loved them for it. Their songs were direct and well written with dirty 70’s style guitar riffs. They’re one of those bands that sound great live. The music has a raw edge and lead singer Blake Johnston’s voice suits the material to a T. He belts the songs with passionate, blues rock immediacy. Although the crowd was pretty small, the Stogies set the room on fire as if they were playing to a packed house.

After their set, The Stogies were interviewed by songwriter Mike Trask and then The Light Brights came onboard to show us all why they’re house band.

The Light Brights played off each other with a relaxed confidence. The songs were catchy with nice breezy melodies that would grow more urgent and intense as they reached their peaks. Each band member brought something to the table. The rhythm section, guitar playing and vocals were all rock solid. The Light Brights combined elements of confessional coffee-house music with loud/soft, 90s rock style dynamics.

Mike Trask played a few songs from his newest album with the Lights Brights as his backing band. This set was a lot of fun and displayed how well the Light Brights worked together as a band. They seamlessly followed Trasks lead. Light Brights vocalist Bethany Victoria even added some excellent (and I assume made up on the spot) backing vocals

Trask’s sound is classic booze-soaked blues. He had a gravely singing style reminiscent of Joe Cocker crossed with Tom Waits, and his songs sounded like the kind that would be fun to howl as your celebrating with your friends or staring into your tear-filled beer.

The Paragon Theatre’s Wednesday night Halifax Music Club is a fun, intimate show hosted by a great local band. It’s well worth your time and your seven dollars. All you photogenic music fans out there might be interested to know that The Light Brights are set to film part of their newest music video at the Paragon Theatre on Wednesday, May 26. So show up and go wild for the camera!

See more photos and video footage over at Noisography.com!

Popularity: unranked [?]

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