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Month: April 2012

Death Cab For Cutie @ Massey Hall

. : : April 19th, 2012 : : . Is it still too early to be nostalgic for Death Cab For Cutie? I’d been a fan of the band for years before they “sold out” — and I use that term not derivatively, per se, but how else do you describe a band who signed to a major label, changed their sound to be more radio-friendly, and saw a jump in concert tickets prices from $18 to $56 from one album to the next? Of course, I don’t begrudge the band their success, and still like a couple of songs off each of…

Steven Page @ Winter Garden Theatre

. : : April 13th, 2012 : : . The odds are fairly high, if you’re under the age of 50 and have spent any of the last twenty years in North America, you know The Barenaked Ladies. They’ve reached popular success due to their smart harmonies, trade off vocals, off-the-wall lyrics, and brillian pop licks. At the very least, you’ve heard them perform the theme song to the smash hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. As big as they are internationally, they were always bigger in Canada. They were virtually our answer to The Beatles. Everyone loved at least one of their songs,…

Our Lady Peace @ Club Infinity

. : : April 6th, 2012 : : . Our Lady Peace might be one of the most important alternative rock bands to ever come from Canada. They never REALLY broke out internationally like they did at home, but they’ve had a modest amount of success that has kept them recording albums and touring for almost a decade past their prime. After near back-to-back hit albums Happiness… Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch and Spiritual Machines, the band’s founder and lead guitar player Mike Turner left the band. The usual “Creative Differences” was cited as the reason, although most fans were apprehensive about swallowing that particular…

Cursive @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : March 31st, 2012 : : . The difference between Cursive‘s performances in Buffalo at Mohawk Place and in Toronto at the Horseshoe Tavern could hardly have been more night and day. And no, not just because the capacity crowd was seemingly made up of frustratingly obnoxious jerks, aptly described by MusicSheBlogged.com as “sentimental ‘bros’ and their overly emotional fist pumping” and “hilarious […] douchebags”. Although it was. Rather, Cursive underscored just what I love about live music. The unpredictability, seeming spontaneity of a performance where anything could happen. From one night to the next, there was remarkable difference in the performance. Sure, this second night might…

Cursive @ Mohawk Place

. : : March 30th, 2012 : : . In university, I fell in love with Cursive. Hot on the tails of The Ugly Organ album, the follow up to their scorching hit, Domestica, the albums never left my, ahem, 128mb mp3 player. I couldn’t tell you how many times I listened to those discs on my travels in and about the streets of Ottawa. The previous summer, the band was scheduled for the Cure‘s Curiosa festival tour — and performed on each and every one of the tour dates, except Toronto. A couple of other tours, for both The Ugly Organ and their 2006 follow-up, Happy Hollow, still kept…

Nada Surf @ Opera House

. : : April 4th, 2012 : : . OK, so I admit it: I may have used some dramatic license when writing my review of Nada Surf at Sonic Boom Records. When I said I had no intention of going to the Nada Surf concert at the Opera House after the record store show, I wasn’t lying… well, not exactly. I didn’t have any intention of going; that is, until about two days before the show when I was notified I’d won a pair of passes through an online contest. The only thing better than a free Nada Surf concert is two free Nada Surf concerts.…

Nada Surf @ Sonic Boom

. : : April 4th, 2012 : : . After traveling across borders, both provincial and international, to see Nada Surf perform almost a dozen times in some seven years, Nada Surf was coming to town and I wasn’t buying a ticket. Their latest release, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, didn’t strike a chord with me. As the band has aged, I’ve noticed a keen drop in infectious melodies and guitar hooks, which have given way to wordy turns of phrase over an increasing down-tempo sound track. I didn’t love their last album like I did the ones before it. High/Low is a great 90’s alternative…

The Rest @ Abyssinia

      . : : March 9th, 2012 : : . As I mentioned in my Andrew Cole blog, I spent the entire evening at the Drake Underground with a watchful eye on an ever depleting battery meter on my Edirol recorder. By the halfway point in Andrew Cole’s set, it had started blinking the low battery notification message, and I was certain that I was going to run out of juice before the set ended. Without spare batteries on hand, I was helpless. The blinking became more urgent, and it looked like it was going to die any second. I hate having incomplete recordings,…

Andrew Cole @ Drake Underground

. : : March 9th, 2012 : : . This is the blog entry I’ve been dreading writing for some time (and perhaps the reason for it’s delay). As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my lower back problem was causing me a bit of pain, and the unique stage set-up for Andrew Cole and Friends at the Drake Underground meant drastically decreased sight lines from my usual taping position. Prior to the evening in question, I couldn’t tell Andrew Cole from a hole in the wall. So, resigned from the lack of invested interest and physical limitations, I decided to take my seat on the…