Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

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 [?]

EP Review: Daniel Moir ~ The Country and the Sea

Posted by lmelvin On May - 29 - 2010

Written by: Laura Melvin

When I first listened to Daniel Moir’s debut EP The Country and the Sea, I only knew the artist was from Edmonton.  That was all.  I didn’t read anything about him prior to hearing his music.  I listened blindly, finding his arrangements beautiful and his songwriting thoughtful.  The first word that came to mind was “mature”; I expected Moir to be a veteran musician.  Imagine my surprise when I found out he was only 20.

I quickly learned that I was not the only one surprised by his talent.  Off the Dial’s own Rob Latham caught Moir at a coffee shop gig in Vancouver and described Moir’s folk-inspired style as “Bob Dylan-esque”.  Latham stated in the article Edmonton Singer/Songwriters Set for Success, “Comparing anyone to the great Dylan is obviously a dangerous game, but Moir possesses a special musical talent that warrants the comparison”.

It’s a great accomplishment to be compared to a singer and songwriter like Dylan.  It’s even greater to be young and have the ability to so concisely convey a fact about the world.  In title track “The Country and the Sea”, for example, Moir manages to widdle down the complexities of life to a few words: “You get what you get and that’s all”.  Even the worldliest adults struggle with this concept and yet, at age 20, Moir is able to pare it down to eight words.

All five tracks on this debut EP are mature, peaceful, and well produced.  The Country and the Sea is a teaser – a few songs to peak your interest and introduce you to Daniel Moir.  I’m excited to see what this young artist creates when he has more than five songs to work with.  He’s at a wonderful point with his musical abilities where his youth blends with his old musical soul to create fresh and inspiring music.  Moir’s first full-length album, Road, drops July 9th.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Edmonton singer/songwriters set for success

Posted by rlatham On November - 18 - 2009


Written by: Rob Latham

For anyone who thought the current dirge of singer/songwriters was becoming all too dull and boring here are two superb Canadian performers who offer an exciting variation.

Edmonton-based Stephanie Bosch, 21, and Daniel Moir, 19, are two very talented performers and songwriters who both share an incredible passion for music.

I meet up with the pair before their gig at the Trees Organic Coffee House, in Vancouver, on Friday night (November 12) alongside local singer Cassandra Bangel.

Speaking to them it is clearly obvious that playing, recording and performing music is what they live for.

Bosch explains: “It’s what I want and there’s no back-up plan. Anything I could settle for wouldn’t be as good as this so not making it scares the shit out of me.

“I’m afraid if I don’t reach what I want to achieve in music I’m not going to be happy in anything.”

The pair performed an impressive acoustic set taking it in turns to play tracks, with Bosch performing songs from her debut album Departures and Moir songs from his debut EP The Country And The Sea.

The evening got off to a good start with Bangel‘s unique blend of acoustic guitar, using both six and twelve-stringed instruments, piano and her spell-bindingly powerful vocals. Performing a host of her own well-written tracks Bangel also offered up an impressive cover of KT Tunstall‘s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and two very entertaining renditions of tracks by The Dresden Dolls.

Bosch and Moir‘s styles vary starkly yet also compliment each other well as they alternate on stage. Moir is clearly a very talented musician, as evidenced by his impressive bluesy-folky style guitar picking as well as a number of guitar solos towards the end of the show.

Moir‘s music is more chilled out, although still retaining a rocky edge, but the general gist of his music carries a more folky feel as portrayed by his Bob Dylan-esque whistling in “The Buffalo Song” and “Laxadasical.” Comparing anyone to the great Dylan is obviously a dangerous game, but Moir possesses a special musical talent that warrants the comparison – not only is he accomplished on guitar and vocals he also excels on the bass guitar, piano, banjo, drums and harmonica.

Both have a great ability for songwriting, Moir‘s style is more relaxed, deep and meaningful whereas Bosch focuses more on the personal emotions that impact upon her life. She has a naturally infectious singing voice with a great knack for writing songs that allow her to easily connect to her audience, such as the singalong “Broken Hearted Fool” with its colloquial style laughing noises and powerful, upbeat chorus.

The pair join up for an impressive cover of “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band, which shows off the pair’s talents, in particular a great guitar solo by Moir.

Then Bosch shows off her versatility by playing an acoustic rendition of Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” which really portrays the powerful voice she possesses in the strong, loud choruses contrasted by the shows of delicate fragility in her vocals that makes her performance so engaging,  as also seen in the songs “24 Hours” and “1982.”

These two young musicians possess the writing and performing qualities and the musical ambition it takes to achieve great success in music and cannot afford to be missed in concert.

To check out Daniel Moir’s music and upcoming gigs visit his MySpace page or buy his songs on iTunes.

Stephanie Bosch will be on tour through January and returns to Vancouver for a special gig during the Winter Olympics at the specially setup Alberta House at 6pm on Saturday, February 20. Her album is available for free download here or visit her MySpace page for more music and tour dates.

Popularity: unranked [?]

CD Review: 40 Thieves ~ 40 Thieves

Posted by JonesK On September - 4 - 2009

Written by: Kristen Jones

40thievesHaving released their first full-length self titled album this past December, Edmonton punk trio 40 Thieves are living the dream.  The band consisting of Caleb Neumeier [guitar, backup vocals], Lee Klippenstein [vocals, bass] and Grant Callaghan [vocals, drums], formed in 2006 and quickly released their EP titled Omens.  Following the EP, 40 Thieves continued with a number of successful Western Canadian tours which saw them sharing the stage with the likes of Carpenter, Sleepercar and Subcity Dwellers, as well as an appearance at the Western Canadian Music Awards and The Works Festival in Edmonton.

The new album said to sound “like a vicious beating outside of a Whyte Avenue nightclub” was recorded and mixed by Juno nomindate producer Nik Kozub (Veal, The Cleats) over a three week period in April of 2008.

From start to finish this album offers high energy, good music and lyrics that are catchy and thought provoking.  I enjoyed the use of a variety of instruments and the way the band blended together without one member taking centre stage.

Although only 30-minutes long, 40 Thieves seemed to be the perfect length, leaving no room for filler.  Two of my favourite songs would have to be the album opener “Capo” and “Up _ Out”, the album as a whole is definately worth a listen.

40 Thieves new album is available on CD at your local record store, or by contacting the band at edmontonfourtythieves@hotmail.com.

Popularity: unranked [?]

New Edmonton Gigs Page Launched!

Posted by cristóvão On July - 23 - 2009

For those of you who’ve followed this site long enough, you’ve probably noticed we had a section called Calgary Gigs where you can see what upcoming shows are happening in and around the city. As of today, we’ve expanded that feature!

Instead of “Calgary Gigs”, you’ll now find the page “Local Gigs” near the top of our site. Simply roll your mouse over it and it’ll reveal the Calgary and newly christened Edmonton Gigs sections. Make sure to check this page when you’re looking for cool music to check out in the province’s capital and check back often for new shows added regularily.

If you’d like to see your city featured in our Local Gigs section, please send us an email and let us know. If you’d like to help out by updating your local city’s listings, even better!

Thanks for reading Off the Dial!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Fox Opera vs. Alberta

Posted by cristóvão On May - 8 - 2009

foxoperaCalgary’s Fox Opera are going to be making themselves quite busy over the next couple of months. They’ve just booked a number of shows across Alberta with the first show being held here in Calgary at Broken City tonight (May 8th) with the Darcy’s and Keys to the City.

From there, they will be playing at the Ottoman in Medicine Hat on May 26th, return to Broken City on May 27th for a free show with the Famines and wrapping up May with a show in Edmonton somewhere between May 28th and May 30th (details to come).

Then in June, Fox Opera will play a show in Calgary at the Palomino with Haunter on June 10th, move over to Lethbridge on June 12th (details to be confirmed), return to the Ottoman on June 16th with Oldfolks Home and then a to-be-determined Edmonton show to follow.

They are also slated to perform at this year’s Sled Island festival, taking place in Calgary on June 24th-27th.

Last fall, Fox Opera released a 4-song EP called March of the Foxes available on MySpace on a dedicated page.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Canadian Virgin Festivals Confirmed With Montreal Announcement

Posted by cristóvão On May - 6 - 2009

2008virginfestlogoI’ve noticed quite a few people have been popping into the web site reading last year’s Virgin Festival Calgary news articles, certainly because they are searching for info on this year’s rumoured festival. Trust me, I’m as anxious as you are.

Well, today we’ve finally got confirmation that not only will there be Virgin Festivals in Canada, but the first Festival’s line-up has been announced with the first-ever Virgin Festival Montreal. Not only that, there are going to be FIVE Virgin Festival’s in Canada this year. However, details on the others are pretty vague.

Let’s talk about the Montreal festival though. You may want to sit down for this. Virgin Festival Montreal will take place Friday, June 19th with headliners Black Eyed Peas, Simple Plan, Hedley, the New Cities and Eva Avila. I know. Saturday, June 20th will feature, ahem, New Kids on the Block, Akon, Live, Lights and Devine Brown.

Should I bother providing commentary on this line-up?

Let’s talk about the other four Virgin Festivals. Sadly, the only news regarding these are that they will take place in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. Now, last year, Virgin Festivals only took place in Toronto and Calgary while Vancouver was cancelled before it had a line-up announced. With only provinces being identified, it’s possible we could see Virgin Festivals take place in Edmonton instead of Calgary but I’m fairly certain Toronto and Vancouver are on solid ground. Halifax is likely but not a certainty.

Hopefully the line-ups for the remaining four Virgin Festivals will be FAR from Montreal’s line-up. Thiers makes last year’s Virgin Calgary line-up look PHENOMENAL! (I should note that I’m rescinding any ill-toward I previously had for last year’s show. I hear Stone Temple Pilots were quite good and missing the Flaming Lips was a mistake.)

Popularity: 11% [?]

the Shagbots Are Everywhere!

Posted by cristóvão On May - 2 - 2009

theshagbots09A week ahead of the release of their new album, We Were Born Tigers, Calgary’s the Shagbots are everywhere. With articles in Calgary-based magazines BeatRoute and Fast Forward, plus Edmonton’s VUE Weekly they’re also going to be doing three radio interviews in the next week.

First, you can catch them on x92.9‘s XPOSURE program at 6pm Mountain Time on Sunday, May 3rd. Then, they’ll be interviewed and performing live to air on CJSW 90.9 at noon, Tuesday, May 5th on the Beet Farm. They’ll be back on CJSW again on Thursday, May 7th for another interview that will air around 10:00 hrs mountain time.

If you want to catch the Shagbots live and in person, there are plenty of opportunities through the month of May. They’ll be in Canmore, AB at the Canmore Hotel on May 7th; in Calgary at the Palomino with Gunther and the Pine Tarts on May 8th; in Edmonton at Likwid Lounge with a DJ set from Roland Pemberton III on May 9th; in Calgary at Eliotzzz on May 15th; in Lethbridge, AB at GCBC Lounge on May 16th; in Winnipeg, MB at the Pyramid Cabaret on May 28th and in Regina, SK at the Club on May 30th. They’re also looking for a venue to play at in Saskatoon, SK on May 29th so if you own a bar or know someone who does in that neck of the woods, get a hold of the band!

You can hear the new track “Blank Slate” from We Were Born Tigers on their MySpace page.

Popularity: 5% [?]

CKY Going on Tour in June Across Canada

Posted by cristóvão On May - 1 - 2009

I never thought I’d see the day when CKY would announce a tour and there would be more confirmed Canadian dates than there are U.S. shows. That’s exactly what’s happened though.

The West Chester, PA group are about to release their fourth proper full-length album, Carver City via Roadrunner Records on May 19th and this week announced the first dates of their North American tour in support of the record. Things start off in Montreal on June 15th with stops in Toronto (June 17th), Kitchener, ON (June 18th), London, ON (June 19th), Thunder Bay, ON (June 21st), Winnipeg (June 22nd), Regina (June 23rd), Calgary (June 24th), Edmonton (June 26th), Kelowna (June 27th) and Vancouver on June 28th.

The only U.S. dates at this time are Seattle (June 29th), Portland (June 30th), Petaluma, CA (July 2nd) and Los Angeles on July 3rd. Pre-sales for all shows can be found through the CKY Alliance web site.

CKY have already released the first single to Carver City, “Hellions on Parade” via iTunes.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Stolen Bus Greets the Dears on Eve of Tour

Posted by cristóvão On May - 1 - 2009

thedears09We’ve heard lots of unfortunate stories of musicians being the victims of stolen gear, vehicles and misfortunes while on tour. This case though, is peculiar because just as Montreal’s the Dears were set to depart on tour.

They were to play a show in Toronto last night but when they woke up yesterday morning, they discovered that their rented tour bus had been stolen from the hotel parking lot where the driver was staying. Luckily, the band had not loaded the bus or the trailer (that oddly enough was NOT stolen) with any of their gear or personal belongings. Reports state that the band managed to rent a van to tour but it’s not known if they were able to make their show at the Mod Club in Toronto last night.

Starting today, the Dears are going to tour the U.S. with California band Great Northern with a show in Brooklyn, NY and wrapping up in Seattle, WA on May 27th, 2009. They will continue touring in Canada after that with dates in Victoria (May 29th), Vancouver (May 30th), Kelowna (May 31st), Calgary (June 2), Edmonton (June 3rd), Saskatoon (June 4th) and Regina on June 5th.

The Dears have also been busy “getting inspired” in their hometown and writing new material.

Popularity: 4% [?]





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