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Month: April 2014

Dwayne Gretzky @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

. : : April 18th, 2014 : : .

Summer is fast-approaching, and in the music world, that means festival season. Some of the most historically important musical festivals have been a showcase for current and emerging talent — think Woodstock (either of them, arguably) — but recently, the pendulum has swung so festivals have become a touring nostalgia sideshow.

It occurs to me that both promoters and concert goers could save themselves a bucket load of cash and inevitable disappointment by giving a call to Tyler Kyte, Nick Rose, and the ladies and gentlemen who back them up in Dwayne Gretzky.

The band has nailed nostalgia down to a tee; last year they gathered to perform all of Fleetwood Mac‘s Rumours album, but this year they had their sights set on a broader theme that may appeal to their fan base at large — the entirety of the 1990’s. Cribbing the name of the event, Big Shiny Dwayne, from a classic, best-selling Canadian compilation that charted five straight #1 discs annually, the band came prepared to live up to the title by showcasing the best music of the 90s with a focus on alternative and college rock.

Meaghan Smith @ [various TV]

. : : April 14/17th, 2014 : : .

Four and a half years after her brilliant début major label album, The Cricket’s Orchestra, Meaghan Smith is back with her sophomore follow-up, Have A Heart.

Gone is influence of the big band and early jazz of the 40’s and 50’s, replaced an eccentric mix of modern and 60’s/70’s pop. Although jumping ahead several decades in influence and sound, all you have to do is listen to songs like Friends Like You and you’ll rest assured that at the heart of these bigger, bolder, and largely produced songs is still that sweet and wry Canadian gal who won a Best New Artist Juno in 2011.

Meaghan and her hus-band, Jason Mingo, seemed to have also upped the ante with their live set-up, replacing the stripped down almost-all-acoustic set enhanced by samples with a full live band. Jason now brandishes an electric guitar, and is rounded out by a keyboardist, bassist and live drummer.

The Pack A.D. @ Infinity Club

. : : April 6th, 2012 : : .

What would the early output of The White Stripes sound like if Jack White was female?

OK, some of you probably answered “not a whole lot different.” Ha ha. Very funny. But if this is a question that ever crossed your mind or piques your curiosity after it being proposed to you here, you may be interested in checking out The Pack A.D.

Their latest album, Do Not Engage, has got them national attention of rock radio, and as this blog post goes to print, the band has enjoyed the #1 position at the National Canadian Campus Radio for its tenth straight week.

And with good reason. The band revives the amalgamation of garage rock and grunge-influences blues that propelled Jack and Meg White to international stardom (before they had more fun tinkering with a marimba than making fun rock music, anyway).

Whitehorse @ Massey Hall

. : : March 2nd, 2013 : : .

I’ve held back on posting this recording for a while now for a couple of reasons.

First, it occurred only a week and a half before the birth of my son — so I was otherwise preoccupied much of the time. Secondly, the online hype you’ve read about the sound quality at Massey Hall is grossly overstated: its legendary status is more for the names and performances that have graced the stage rather than the quality of sound being pumped from the speakers. Third, the members of Whitehorse were making such a big deal of the performance, going so far as to name the entire tour and a EP of cover songs “The Road To Massey Hall” that I wasn’t convinced an official recording of the set wouldn’t be eventually released. And I wasn’t completely wrong, either; the band did sell a recording of Emerald Isle from this show to benefit the victims of the infamous Boston Marathon bombing victims.