Archive for February 2010

Jenny Omnichord at the Garrison

February 23rd, 2010

My favourite record label Out of this Spark celebrated their 3rd anniversary in January with a concert at the Garrison, with performances from their entire roster: Jenny OmnichordEvening HymnsForest City Lovers and The D’Urbervilles. At the end of the evening, all the bands returned to the stage to play a few songs together, including this one by Jenny Omnichord called “Pain of Maybes.”

Let me tell you a little bit about Jenny Omnichord in case you aren’t familiar with all that she’s done. Her old band, The Barmitzvah Brothers, released five albums between 2000 and 2007. Their last album together, 2007’s Let’s Express Our Motives: An Album of Under-Appreciated Job Songs, is one of the best albums of the last ten years if you ask me. It’s pretty much perfect. Each song tackles a different occupation, from library page to janitor to rodeo clown, using a wide range of styles to capture the essence of each job. Since then, Jenny has released two more full-lengths and a few EPs, her most recent being Charlotte or Otis: Duets for Children, Their Parents and Other People Too, which featured collaborations with Jim Guthrie, Tony Dekker, Shad and many more.

Based off of Jenny’s almost annual output, we should be due for another album this year, and I for one can’t wait! As for Out of this Spark, it looks like it will be a pretty busy year, with new albums from Forest City Lovers and The D’Urbervilles anticipated for the fall.

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Evening Hymns at the Tranzac

February 16th, 2010

This past November, Evening Hymns released Spirit Guides, which was one of my favourite albums of the year. I’ve been a fan of Jonas Bonetta (the man behind Evening Hymns) for a long time now, so I’ve been really happy to see so many people discover him with his latest release. For the longest time, Jonas was a one-band-band, using only his guitar and keyboard (and a few looping pedals) to create his lush sonic landscapes. For Spirit Guides, he enlisted the help of his many talented friends (including Sylvie Smith of The Magic, Tim Bruton from The D’Urbervilles, Shaun Brodie of the Hidden Cameras, and most of The Wooden Sky), resulting in his most diverse and transcendent album to date.

Jonas brought out these friends for his album release show back in December, and I was fortunate enough to be in the audience. Here they are performing his song “Broken Rifle” – see if you can count how many people are on stage for this.

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Steamboat at the Garrison

February 9th, 2010

Maybe I’m just not seeing the right bands play, but going to a Steamboat concert is practically the only time I see people really cut loose at shows. Sure, I’ll see people dancing at other shows, but usually that’s just a few people up front, and only after the lead singer has repeatedly told them to (or worse, actually jumped into the audience and forced people to shake their booties). For whatever reason, a dancing audience comes easy to Steamboat. Peep this video I shot of them playing their song “Talkin’ Shame” at the Garrison a few months back where you can see that I was surrounded on all sides but folks cutting a rug. I must say though, Steamboat’s music lends itself to dancing far better than say, past subjects of this series like Julie Doiron or the Harbourcoats.

For the uninitiated, pick up either one of Steamboat’s EPs (both released last year, the first one is self-titled while the newer one is called Live in Nassau). Learn the words, put on your favourite outfit, grab some friends, and make your way down to the next Steamboat show. I guarantee you a good time.

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LSdoubleDcup at Whippersnapper Gallery

February 2nd, 2010

Well, here’s something different. I’d never heard of this band before I shot this video, so don’t be surprised if they’re new to you too. I don’t think they have much recorded material, and speaking to them before their show they mentioned it was their first time playing in over a year. Nevertheless, I walked away thoroughly impressed by their unique sound and captivating stage presence. You may recognize a few of the members from other Toronto bands such as One Hundred Dollars, Tropics, and The Torrent, so it’s not really surprising that they’ve got the chops.

I think this song is called ‘Chairlift’ and it’s a song about lazy skiers. I’m glad I was able to capture this show because who knows when’s the next time LSdoubleDcup will hit the stage. Also, Whippersnapper is closing down soon. What a drag.

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