Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gord Downie & The Sadies: "And the Conquering Sun" (album review)

The Sadies have spent a lot of time in recent years doing collaboration albums.  The Toronto roots mainstays have teamed up with the likes of John Doe and Andre Williams.  So hooking up with legendary Canadian singer Gord Downie for the new record And the Conquering Sun, makes a shit-ton of sense.

The opening track, "Crater", foreshadows what we're in for.  It is a clattery, sprawling number in the ilk of the Tragically Hip's recent output, with the vaguest of nods to The Sadies' roots style.  The same can be said for "I'm Free, Disarray Me", and the snoozer closer "Saved".

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vogue Dots: "Skinny Thing"

New Brunswick dream pop duo Vogue Dots are set to release their debut record.  The EP Toska is set for a May 6th release.

Listen to "Skinny Thing" here:

New releases for Apr 15th: Afghan Whigs, Odonis Odonis, Gord Downie & The Sadies

  • Afghan Whigs- Review
  • Nels Cline
  • Rodney Crowell
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gord Downie & The Sadies
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • Needtobreathe
  • Jamie O'Neal
  • Odonis Odonis
  • Shonen Knife
  • Sonic Avenues
  • Chuck E Weiss
  • Woods

Monday, April 14, 2014

This week in Toronto concerts: Emmylou Harris, Emm Gryner, The War On Drugs

It's a busy busy week in live music.  Country veteran Emmylou Harris is performing at Massey Hall on Tuesday.  Under-appreciated Canadian songstress Emm Gryner is at The Rivoli on Thursday.

...also this week:
  • Christina Perri, Apr 14
  • War On Drugs, Apr 14 & 15
  • The Cotahangers, Apr 14
  • Iced Earth, Apr 14
  • Betty Who, Apr 15
  • Fanfarlo, Apr 16
  • Shapeshifter, Apr 16
  • Unearth, Apr 16
  • The Wonder Years, Apr 16
  • Ghost BC, Apr 17
  • Hellogoodbye, Apr 17
  • X Ambassadors, Apr 18
  • Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, Apr 19
  • S. Carey, Apr 19
  • 5 Seconds of Summer, Apr 19

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Toronto concerts announced this week: Jack White, Kurt Vile

  • Strange Talk, Drake Underground, May 23
  • Failure, Mod Club, May 26 & 27
  • Kurt Vile, The Phoenix, May 28
  • Reel Big Fish, Opera House, Jun 14
  • Patty Griffin, Winter Garden Theatre, Jun 20
  • Lauryn Hill, Sound Academy, Jun 21
  • Delta Rae, Horseshoe Tavern, Jun 26
  • The Antlers, Mod Club, Jun 27
  • Willie Nile, Horseshoe Tavern, Jul 3
  • Scott Weiland, Danforth Music Hall, Jul 19
  • Hudson Mohawke, The Hoxton, Jul 25
  • Jack White, Air Canada Centre, Jul 31
  • Justin Timberlake, Air Canada Centre, Dec 1

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Find: Connoisseurs of Porn

For those who like: The Cult

If you take the sexually-charged hard rock of The Cult and slap some Eagles of Death Metal trickery on top and you get local band Connoisseurs of Porn.

Listen to their recently released album Dead Pets here:

Connoisseurs of Porn play Smiling Buddha Bar in Toronto on April 19th.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The National @ Massey Hall, Apr 9 (live review)

Wednesday night saw indie rock royalty The National pull into Massey Hall for the first of three sold-out shows.

Having seen the band a half dozen times, I have yet to go away disappointed.  However, maybe it was the fact that it was the first night and they wanted to conserve some energy, but the performance was far less intense than most of the one's I've seen in the past.  It was far more workmanlike, hitting all the right spots, but not really swinging for the fences (to mix metaphors).

The focus was on new material, particularly from last year's Trouble Will Find Me.  The set opened with the quasi-hit "Don't Swallow The Cap", and sprinkled "Demons", "I Need My Girl", "Graceless" throughout.  The reverberating "I Should Live In Salt" is undoubtedly the Trouble Will Find Me track that translates most effectively to the stage.

The Afghan Whigs: "Do To the Beast" (album review)

It's been sixteen long hard years since we last heard a new album from The Afghan Whigs.  On April 15th Greg Dulli and crew relieve our heartache with the release of Do To The Beast.

It doesn't take long for Dulli to confirm that he is still one of the best screaming vocalists in music as he gives a throat-shredding performance on the album opener, the alt rock blues groove "Parked Outside".

Intensity is a key characteristic of The Afghan Whigs music, and this record has it's fair share.  The churning guitar maelstrom of "Lottery" is the most obvious example, however, "It Kills" explodes quickly from it's piano introduction into full-on guitar rock a la "Be Sweet".

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

catl.: "This Shakin' House" (album review)

catl. is one of Toronto's best kept secrets.  Hopefully, with the release of their fourth album, This Shakin' House (out April 29th), the secret will be out beyond the 416.

The record gets off to a raucous start.  The duo rattle the walls with "Lamplight the Way", a song that sounds like a ragtag hillbilly Blues Explosion.

The twang is dominant on the country blues number "Resistance Place" and the hand-jive inspired "Getaway Blues".  The album closer, "Awake All Night (Song for Witness)", delivers some full-on honky tonking.