Skip to content

Month: October 2011

Rebekah Higgs @ Drake Underground

. : : October 30th, 2011 : : . Most Sunday evenings, I can be found at home watching The Walking Dead on television. On this particular Sunday night, I was watching the walking dead live(?) and in person. Actually, it was Rebekah Higgs and band dressed as zombies performing The Zombies songs. Are you still following? I think even my own head is spinning after that one. I guess it should go without saying, considering the date, as a sort of encore performance for the Drake Underground residency shows, Rebekah threw a “bands covering other bands” night, which included a disastrous set of all Justin Beiber songs by Thomas Gil from LOOM. No, really.…

Rebekah Higgs @ Drake Underground

. : : October 23rd, 2011 : : . Phew. After four straight weeks, the real Rebekah Higgs residency gig proper at the Drake Underground finally came to a close. This would be the last of the Sunday evenings in October in which Rebekah and band would treat us to a familiar set of tunes — mostly culled from her recent sophomore release, Odd Fellowship. Over the month, I was treated to differing versions with differing configurations of, generally, the same set list, but one thing has staid absolutely consistent: I’ve loved every minute of it. True, some of the songs had to grow on me a bit…

Danielle Duval @ Rivoli and CBC Radio One

A bit over a week ago, I saw Danielle Duval open for Royal Wood at the Rivoli. I had only listened to part of one song on her MySpace page from her debut album, Of the Valley, on my way out the door, just to get a feel for what to expect. That song, Ambulance, was an upbeat, new wave-influenced tune fueled by thunderous drums, poppy keyboards and jangly guitar. So when the Montreal ex-pat, now living in Toronto, took the stage by herself armed with just an acoustic guitar, I was taken aback. In fact, I missed recording the first 15 or 20 seconds of her…

Rebekah Higgs @ Drake Underground

. : : October 16th, 2011 : : . Another Sunday, another Rebekah Higgs show at the Drake Underground. Coming straight from work, I didn’t have time to grab a bite to eat. Arriving about an hour early, I snatched a seat at the Drake Lounge. I guess hotels are known to often house pretty good restaurants, but The Drake might take the prize. With my first bite into the renowned Drake Burger, I knew it was going to be a good night. After polishing off the meal and finding my way down to the Underground, I started to prepare for taping duties when Rebekah…

Folly and the Hunter @ Drake Underground

. : : October 9th, 2011 : : . When Folly and the Hunter took the stage as Rebekah Higgs‘ opening act at the Drake Underground, I wasn’t sure just what to expect. The group seemed like a random mash-up of ages and ethnicity — an unusual arrangement, unfortunately, that left me without a clear, previously established measuring stick. Seconds into the first song, Raising The Dead, it was clear that a new bar would have been set this night regardless. In spite of the leaning youthful sliding scale of band members, everyone played with an astonishing amount of mastery, each of the members showing absolute technical…

Frazey Ford @ Glenn Gould Studio

. : : September 21st, 2011 : : . About a year ago, I posted a set by an opening band whose performance I didn’t love. It doesn’t matter who it was; all that matters is that I tried to be as gracious as possible, critically observing the sets flaws, and pointing out its potentials. I still posted a recording of the show for download. I received a bit of flack for posting a recording of a band I had less-than-nice things to say, but I stand by my position that this blog isn’t written for me. No, dear reader, it’s all…

Rebekah Higgs @ Drake Underground

. : : October 9th, 2011 : : . The first REAL Rebekah Higgs residency gig at the Drake Underground was unsurprisingly under-attended. Unlike the previous week’s virtually unadvertised show in the upstairs dining / lounge area, this one was a full band performance with a bit of social networking umph put behind it; however, it also happened to fall on Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday. Predictably, most prospective attendees were stuck traveling, visiting family members, and sleeping off the turkey. As such, the room was mostly filled by the other bands and their friends, which was too bad. This was the best Rebekah and co. have sounded…

Ha Ha Tonka @ Drake Underground

. : : October 2nd, 2011 : : . My first exposure to Ha Ha Tonka was as a support act for HaterHigh favourite, Rocky Votolato about a year ago. It was great to finally see them return to the Drake Underground, where the band would now be headlining the evening on the strength of their latest LP, Death of a Decade. I was originally struck by their juxtaposition of old and new into something that’s unquestioningly uniquely their own. Although at the heart of the band they are the southern rock group Kid Rock wishes he could be, they also bring in various other influences, including (most impressively)…

Casey Shea @ Drake Underground

. : : October 6th, 2011 : : . I’d heard of Casey Shea before seeing him open for Wakey!Wakey! at the Drake Underground. If you’re a fan of ANY of the bands on the Family Records label, odds are fairly good you’re at least peripherally familiar with a good chunk of their roster. If nothing else, the label is phenomenal at cross-promotion. Bought the new Wakey!Wakey! LP? In your e-mail is a compilation album featuring bunch of great songs from Pearl and the Beard, Rosi Golan, Matt Singer, etc. etc. But I digress. I’d heard of Casey Shea, and I’ve probably heard a handful of his songs on just…

Wakey!Wakey! @ Drake Underground

. : : October 6th, 2011 : : . Wakey!Wakey! made their Canadian debut at a free indie showcase set at the Horseshoe Tavern a year ago (and I was there to tape it!). Unbeknownst to the promoter, the band was actually somewhat established and had a decent draw — but was only given the second-to-last slot on the bill, and a short twenty-minute set. The room emptied out before the final band, myself included. It was wonderful to finally see Wakey!Wakey!, even if it was the first show on the tour and the band hadn’t gotten fully gelled again, but a twenty-minute set was…