Tuesday, December 27, 2011

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 [?]

Written by: Brad Poulsen

Off the Dial will be in Vancouver this Saturday, March 5th covering Utopia, a festival celebrating women in digital culture.  The event leads up to the 100th International Women’s Day on March 8th.  Organizers W2 have put together a multidimensional day combining workshops, an “unconference”, a keynote address from Peaches, a mobile dance party, and an evening showcase bringing together one of the largest groups of female digital artists ever assembled in Canada.

Along with a monumental celebration and cutting-edge entertainment the festival offers women from varying ages and backgrounds the chance to learn from one another. From young women that just got the DJ bug to established artists needing to spin up a little business savvy, the festival will educate and inspire in multiple electronic media genres.

While the workshops and conference held at W2 Storyeum are specifically for women, the mobile dance party and evening showcase are open to all.  The mobile dance party is free of charge and begins at 12:30 pm at the Commercial Street Skytrain Station.  The Party then joins up with the official International Women’s Day parade.  The evening’s entertainment begins at 8:00 and carries through till late, late at W2 Storyeum at 151 West Cordova.   Check out the official site for schedule, lineup, and ticket info.  Note that there are tickets exclusive to the evening’s entertainment as well as inclusive packages available.  For something way Off the Dial hit up Utopia Festival.  Saturday, March 5th.  http://www.creativetechnology.org/page/utopia-1

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Thom Yorke ~ “Reckoner”

Posted by cristóvão On August - 9 - 2010

So, OtD contributor Andy Stewart (aka ‘Show’) sent me a link to this video of Thom York performing live at the Big Chill 2010 this past weekend in Herefordshire. I love Thom and all things Radiohead but I can’t say I was all that impressed with the tune. I was more bewildered by the shaggy hair and unkempt beard. My words to ‘Show’ upon seeing the video;

“wow…Thom Yorke with a beard = fucking bizarre”

That being said, the man is still a musical genius and I was curious if there were any other videos from his festival performance and naturally, there were. In addition to “Give Up the Ghost”, Thom performed Radiohead’s “I Might Be Wrong” and my favourite (hence it being VotD), “Reckoner”;

Parting thoughts with ‘Show’ upon viewing the above video? “In Rainbows is one of the greatest albums of all time”. I challenge anyone to argue with me. Noel Gallagher need not apply.

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 [?]

Arcade Fire Treat Us With Two New Track Teasers

Posted by cristóvão On May - 20 - 2010

…and one helluva cool widget! I won’t tell you how to use it but I’m sure you’ll get the gist soon enough.

Montreal’s Arcade Fire have apparently finished recording their third album, which has yet to be named, and it’s said that it should be out later this summer. Of course, there are also rumours that once the album comes out, we’ll see the group hit the road beginning with a number of festival appearances in both North America and Europe. In fact, Arcade Fire are billed in this year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals in the U.K. this August and front-man Win Butler announced via post-card to NME magazine “We’re really looking forward to playing the new songs live…[it’s] like an inventor emerging from his basement after a year’s work.”

The two tracks being teased in the widget below are called “the Suburbs”, a folky-piano piece and “Month of May”, and edgier more aggressive sound.

Have fun with the widget!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Photos: Halifax Pop Explosion ~ October 21st, 2009

Posted by cristóvão On November - 3 - 2009

Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (Post-Rock Love Affair)
October 21st, 2009 ~ the Toothy Moose

The second installment of Tiffany Naugler‘s photographs from this year’s Halifax Pop Explosion festival last month featuring Said the Whale, Kestrels and the Lodge from their October 21st show at the Toothy Moose;

Visit Post-Rock Love Affair for more photos and video footage from this show.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Tokyo Police Club ~ “Your English Is Good”

Posted by cristóvão On August - 7 - 2009

Hailing from just North of Toronto, Tokyo Police Club will be sharing the main stage on Sunday (August 9th, 2009) with fellow Canadians Metric and Billy Talent plus local Calgarian act Secret Broadcast at this year’s Virgin Festival Alberta. With that said, here’s the lead single from their most recent album, Elephant Shell;

I don’t know if that footage was made to look like vintage random private film or if it actually is but it’s strangely suiting of the perky tune. Watch for our final two VotD this weekend while Off the Dial is at VFest taking in all the great music!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Arkells ~ “Oh, the Boss is Coming!”

Posted by cristóvão On August - 6 - 2009

Hamilton, ON rockers Arkells will be here in Calgary this Saturday on the main stage for Virgin Festival Alberta, so we thought it was fitting to feature this video from their 2008 release Jackson Square;

A playful video for their hit song. Tune into CBC Radio 3 online tomorrow (August 7th, 2009) to hear singer/guitarist Max Kerman and keys/guitarist Dan Griffin guest/co-host with Chris Kelly. The two will play songs from their favourite Canadian artists while Kelly will play Arkells tracks and interview the band members. The show runs from noon 12:00 hrs until 15:00 hrs Mountain Time live on cbcradio3.com and is Sirius 86.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Seeing as we’re just days away from Virgin Festival Alberta and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald was just announced yesterday as one of the many last minute additions to the line-up, I saw it only fitting to make this video for the song “Suzie (I Love You)” today’s VotD;

It certainly helped that he just announced this video TODAY but it’s a great simple song with a great looking, simple video. MBF will be performing on the CJAY92 Stage on Sunday (August 9th) at 15:45 hrs. Tickets are still available.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Wintersleep Added to VFest Alberta

Posted by cristóvão On July - 31 - 2009

2008virginfestlogoNext weekend’s Virgin Festival Alberta here in Calgary just got a little juicier. Halifax group Wintersleep announced this morning they were added to the Saturday, August 8th, 2009 line-up which already includes the Cliks, Mother Mother, Arkells, Thunderheist, K-Os and headliners Pearl Jam.

No additional acts have been announced for the festival although there has been talk from the Virgin Festival people since the show was announced that more would be added. The Sunday line-up includes Shout Out Out Out Out, White Lies, Tokyo Police Club, Metric and Billy Talent.

Tickets for the whole weekend cost $132 but if you’re just interested in the Saturday line-up, single day Saturday tickets are $80 while Sunday tickets are $65.

Virgin Festival Alberta is the second-last show of the Canadian shows this summer with Virgin Festival Ontario taking place on August 29th and 30th at Burl’s Creek Park North of Barrie. Acts include Ben Harper _ Relentless7, the Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, Sloan, Nine Inch Nails (for what will likely be their final Canadian performance), Pet Shop Boys, Our Lady Peace and many more.

Popularity: unranked [?]

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