Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Written by: Chris Andrade

Fuck that, this could easily be Video of the Year!

Last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Roger Waters was the musical guest, there to perform “In the Flesh” from the seminal album the Wall. Here’s the thing though; his backing band was Foo Fighters.

Is there nothing these guys can do? First John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page hook up with the Foos to perform a number of Led Zeppelin tunes, no they’re rocking out with Pink Floyd alumni. At this point, I fully expect them to play with Jimi Hendrix now. (Yes, I know he’s dead…)

Anyway, enough rambling, let’s witness this awesome display of HOLY FUCKING HELL THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!

Popularity: unranked [?]

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 [?]

Live Review: Utopia Festival

Posted by bradp On March - 15 - 2011

Written by: Brad Poulsen

On Saturday March 5th, a party was held in Vancouver.  The Party was called Utopia.  It was a celebration of Women in digital culture.  And it rocked.  With three stages, three bars, and Peaches spinning the headline set, the W2 Storyeum venue went off.  Did I mention it was a party?

There was good reason to celebrate.  The event took place three days before the 100th aniversary of International Women’s Day and there was a true spirit of togetherness engulfing the event.  With workshops, lectures, a mobile street dance, and a night of fun and entertainment, The one day festival packed a lot of punch.

Aspiring artists, up-and-coming musicians, and mentoring veterans, shared ideas and stages.  Erotic Lesbian fiction and traditional First nations songs were heard back to back.  Poets, Cellists, Djs and Vjs were there to support eachother, and supporters of Vancouver’s arts and music scene came out in full force.

No word yet on attendance or dollars raised but the place was packed and there can be no doubt the event was a success.  Utopia co-curator DJ Betti Forde put it this way on her facebook page, “Out of all the hundreds of parties I’ve been involved in throwing since 1996, Utopia may just have been the dopest…”  Utopia’s good vibes will continue to be felt as the net proceeds support W2 Inner-City Girls’ Summer Creative Tech Camp.  Good vibes indeed.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Video of the Day: Alice in Chains ~ “Last of My Kind” (Live)

Posted by cristóvão On December - 20 - 2010

Here’s a nice holiday treat from Alice in Chains. They just sent out an email to their fans saying the following:

150 live shows in the past 16 months, many countries, many faces and all of you made it possible.

Here’s a little treat for you.

Enjoy, and stay close.

That’s awfully nice of them. Just wish I had the opportunity to see them in the past year or so.

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 [?]

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 [?]

Written by: Isaac Thompson
Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (Noisography)
June 18, 2010 @ the Seahorse Tavern ~ Halifax, NS

Some things never change – or rather a lot of things never change. There are true universal constants all around us. There exist physical constants such as the speed of light in vacuum, mathematical constant like pi and miscellaneous constants: i.e. death and taxes.

High up on the list of known constants – somewhere between gravity and TV’s Law _ Order – is this: the crowds at heavy metal shows are the most enthusiastic crowds in the world. They put fans of other less ass-kicking art forms to shame with their clear, focused desire to have a good time. There seems to be little posturing or self awareness with the heavy metal crowd; just a mass of sweaty, spastic bodies thrashing out their aggression and raising their drinks in the air to the sonic blitzkrieg. Heavy Metal is kind of like an exclusive club where the only prerequisite is that you’re able to tolerate its excesses. (Read Full Review after the photos!)

The Rob Hill Sideshow tested the crowd’s threshold for excess early on. While not technically a heavy metal act, Rob Hill certainly embodied the genre’s spirit. He was more like something from a 19th century carnival freak-show. He started off slow, easing us in, by gargling glass and stabbing himself in the face with pins. It was pretty gross. He stuck one pin in his throat and then ran it back and forth like he was flossing his Adam’s apple.

And the crowd fucking loved it.

Every needle that pierced Hill’s flesh was followed with a unanimous cry of disgust mixed with glee:

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Hill handled the crowd with ease. He had a real sense of control about him, which was reassuring because he ended his set with a fire-breathing show. The heat from the fireballs he spat could be felt throughout the club. The flames licked at the ceiling and then dissipated. I like to think I wasn’t the only one who had one eye on Hill’s stage-show and the other on the fire-exits, but who am I kidding?

Then there was the behemoth stomp of Orchid’s Curse, a big bad motherfucker of a band who totally floored me. It’s hard to really talk about the finer details of a set like theirs because it was a total blur (just like any great heavy metal set should be). I was too busy head banging and throwing my fist in the air to recall anything about their stage presence or song structure, which of course means that both were awesome. Even though I’ve never heard them before, they had me – and the rest of the bar – screaming along to songs with cool lines like:

“Is this what I have chosen or what has been chosen for me?!”

The band was heavy. The kind of heavy you can feel reverberating in your skeleton. The guitar riffs were massive and memorable. Drummer Bobby Webb’s style was intense but much more accessible than the constant machine-gun double bass that a lot of heavy bands use these days. Vocalist Josh Hogan screams a great scream, and I was equally impressed by how he handled the more melodic parts. The newest member, bassist Kevin Mombourquete, added the sledgehammer kick to the band’s sound that gave it a stomping groove. Orchid’s Curse is a fantastic band. Go see them.

Last Call Chernobyl ended the night, treating Halifax to one last show before they go across North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour. They looked confident, happy and excited for the future, which always makes a band fun to watch. Vocalist Kyle Mahar sported an ear to ear grin throughout the set.

Their music was a busy barrage of sound. They played really fast, intricate metal with crazy guitar solos at every turn. Maher’s vocals are intense and he has a lot of charisma as a front man… speaking of charisma, bassist Jason Szeto had it in spades. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

It was my first time Hearing Last Call Chernobyl and while I liked them I get the feeling that I’d need to hear more of them to truly appreciate their music. Their songs had a lot of nuances and there was a lot to take in.

Last Call Chernobyl brought the house down though. The audience-band interaction was amazing. It was like they were one entity. The band and the crowd seemed to even move together in a fluid wavelike motion. The band embraced the reaching hands of the audience and then screamed in their faces. The exchange exemplified why heavy metal crowds are unlike any other crowds and why heavy metal music is a unique and special thing.

Heavy Metal isn’t just the music the Devil cranks while he anally-rapes you for touching yourself at night (how’s that for excess?), it’s also the music that brings people together.

Make sure to check out Noisography for more photos and video from this show!

Monday, June 21, 2010

LAST CALL CHERNOBYL CD RELEASE _ WARPED TOUR KICK-OFF!

SPONSOR WEBSITES:

Some things never change – or rather a lot of things never change. There are true universal constants all around us. There exist physical constants such as the speed of light in vacuum, mathematical constant like pi and miscellaneous constants: i.e. death and taxes.

High up on the list of known constants – somewhere between gravity and TV’s Law _ Order – is this: the crowds at heavy metal shows are the most enthusiastic crowds in the world. They put fans of other less ass-kicking art forms to shame with their clear, focused desire to have a good time. There seems to be little posturing or self awareness with the heavy metal crowd; just a mass of sweaty, spastic bodies thrashing out their aggression and raising their drinks in the air to the sonic blitzkrieg. Heavy Metal is kind of like an exclusive club where the only prerequisite is that you’re able to tolerate its excesses.

ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010

The Rob Hill Sideshow tested the crowd’s threshold for excess early on. While not technically a heavy metal act, Rob Hill certainly embodied the genre’s spirit. He was more like something from a 19th century carnival freak-show. He started off slow, easing us in, by gargling glass and stabbing himself in the face with pins. It was pretty gross. He stuck one pin in his throat and then ran it back and forth like he was flossing his Adam’s apple.

And the crowd fucking loved it.

Every needle that pierced Hill’s flesh was followed with a unanimous cry of disgust mixed with glee:

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!”

ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010
ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010

Hill handled the crowd with ease. He had a real sense of control about him, which was reassuring because he ended his set with a fire-breathing show. The heat from the fireballs he spat could be felt throughout the club. The flames licked at the ceiling and then dissipated. I like to think I wasn’t the only one who had one eye on Hill’s stage-show and the other on the fire-exits, but who am I kidding?

ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010
ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010

Video:

Then there was the behemoth stomp of Orchid’s Curse, a big bad motherfucker of a band who totally floored me. It’s hard to really talk about the finer details of a set like theirs because it was a total blur (just like any great heavy metal set should be). I was too busy head banging and throwing my fist in the air to recall anything about their stage presence or song structure, which of course means that both were awesome. Even though I’ve never heard them before, they had me – and the rest of the bar – screaming along to songs with cool lines like:

“Is this what I have chosen or what has been chosen for me?!”

ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010

The band was heavy. The kind of heavy you can feel reverberating in your skeleton. The guitar riffs were massive and memorable. Drummer Bobby Webb’s style was intense but much more accessible than the constant machine-gun double bass that a lot of heavy bands use these days. Vocalist Josh Hogan screams a great scream, and I was equally impressed by how he handled the more melodic parts. The newest member, bassist Kevin Mombourquete, added the sledgehammer kick to the band’s sound that gave it a stomping groove. Orchid’s Curse is a fantastic band. Go see them.

ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010

VIDEO:

Last Call Chernobyl ended the night, treating Halifax to one last show before they go across North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour. They looked confident, happy and excited for the future, which always makes a band fun to watch. Vocalist Kyle Mahar sported an ear to ear grin throughout the set.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review: Lions & Tigers & Bears CD Release Party

Posted by tzimmerman On June - 21 - 2010

Written by: Thomas Zimmerman
Photos by: Paul Baker _ Amanda Hu of Bearcat Photography
June 18, 2010 @ the Palomino ~ Calgary, AB

“Oh My!!!”…and with that Lions and Tigers and Bears were off and running, dressed in their Sunday best (plaid shirts and holy underwear, not that I checked) enveloping the crowd that had shown up for their newest CD release party in a wave of sonic delight.  With the celebratory atmosphere and the clear indication that the people attending were excited about hearing Lions and Tigers and Bears and not just there to drink, if you used your imagination just a tiny little bit and forgot that the ceiling was especially low in places, you could pretend you were at a concert in the Saddledome.  The whole band immediately connected with the crowd, and it reminded me of times when I’d go over to my friend’s house to listen to records, just for the sheer enjoyment of listening.  Lions and Tigers and Bears wasn’t playing for the crowd, it was as if they were sharing with them what they have so painstakingly rehearsed and created for their new album, Concocted by Fiends.  One of the true indications of talent in my eyes is how relaxed a musician can appear, still be on time, in tune, and have fun all at the same time (even if Jeebs from Nushi was supplying them with “refreshments”), which every member of Lions and Tigers and Bears does.  It is apparent that they love their music and relish sharing it, not to prove that they can play, but as if to say “Here, listen to this, it’s from the heart”.

After getting a copy of their new CD (sorry Cody, you were right), it was really difficult for me to decide whether I like the recorded representation or the live performance, it was that good.  I had a chance to talk with Andrew (Woods?) about production of the CD, and he told me the only real work he did was show up, play and sing.  Apparently Cody Coates did most of the work on the album, and from what I heard he did it very well.  The only potential danger with producing your own work is mixing/editing/mastering it to the point of editing out the feeling of the music with it, which Cody thankfully has not.

This is an album you will enjoy, and if you ever get a chance to see Lions and Tigers and Bears live, definitely do whatever you need to in order to get there.

Popularity: unranked [?]

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