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Month: July 2020

Amelia Curran @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Amelia Curran
Amelia Curran @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

. : : April 20th, 2017 : : .

Can you imagine a line up of four bands where the talent is so formidable that NQ Arbuckle opens the show, and Amelia Curran is only the second performer?

That’s exactly the set-up for Whitehorse‘s record release party for Panther In The Dollhouse album at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, and it’s clear Six Shooter Recorders was prepared to present this show with all guns blazing (pun unfortunately intended). Luckily, the Toronto crowd knew not to miss a good thing, and although the floors hadn’t filled up by the time NQ Arbuckle got off stage, things were starting to get much cozier for Amelia’s set.

Hot on the heels of the release of her eighth(!) album, Watershed, Amelia had gathered momentum with its universal acclaim and mainstream media attention as the album that most blurred the lines between Amelia’s art and work as an advocate for mental health in Canada.

NQ Arbuckle @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

NQ Arbuckle
NQ Arbuckle @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

. : : April 20th, 2017 : : .

NQ Arbuckle seems like the ultimate basement-bar band. It’s no wonder they’re frequently playing sold out shows at venues like Dakota Tavern in and around Toronto: front-man Neville Quinlan‘s sprechgesang (a german word for spoken-singing — don’t worry, I had to look it up too!) and clever lyrics, the band’s tight rhythm section, the hooks that are instantly catchy (but maybe not in a top-40 sort of way), there’s no question that they’ve carved a comfortable niche for themselves and developed a devout following.

But I can’t help but wonder if they’re really pushing for any more than that. After all, there was five years between the Juno-nominated album Let’s Just Stay Here and the follow up album, The Future Happens Anyway. Their recent single, Love Songs for the Long Game, was the first sign of new music from the band in the six years since.

Whitehorse @ [undisclosed]

Whitehorse
Whitehorse @ [undisclosed location]

To compliment the Whitehorse recording posted earlier this week, here’s a couple of songs from the archive, captured from the CBC Music Backstage Pass television program.

These tracks were recorded weeks before the release of their debut full length LP, The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss at an undisclosed location (likely in rural Ontario, possibly at the Keelor family farm — but that’s merely speculation).

The videos are available on YouTube should you prefer a visual but if not, Mismatched Eyes (Boat Song) is recorded outdoors, presumably on the lawn of the interior cabin where Achilles’ Desire was captured, while a caramel and ash-coloured cat takes interest in the microphone cables, inches toward the couple, and eventually lies down comfortably at Melissa’s feet.

Whitehorse @ Memorial Park

Whitehorse
Whitehorse @ Port Hope Memorial Park

. : : August 12th, 2017 : : .

Having seen Whitehorse about half a dozen times before, you’d think they wouldn’t be able to surprise me. Especially for a free outdoor show in Port Hope, a quaint town about an hour and a quarter east of Toronto with a population of ~16,700, put on to celebrate Ontario’s 150th birthday.

I’d seen the band perform as a duo using looping pedals to build their songs up from the ground. More recently, I’d seen the band performing as a traditional four-piece, a configuration that seemed to be the new standard.

It was that iteration of the band I was expecting on that summery August evening, but the band pulled out a card that completely caught me off guard in the best way possible.

Bahamas @ CBC and TBS

Bahamas
Bahamas @ CBC and TBS

Not much of a story to this one, I’m afraid!

Bahamas had put out (another) critically acclaimed album, somewhat self-titled Bahamas Is Afie, and on the promotional tour, stopped by CBC for a First Play Live set of five songs (four of which aired on the program Backstage Pass captured here) and later swung by Conan to top off his program one evening.

Although I’m sure the videos are on YouTube or whatever, I’ve captured the audio in high quality from their television broadcasts for those who prefer their audio without video.

Hannah Georgas @ Metro Square

Hannah Georgas
Hannah Georgas @ Metro Square

. : : March 24th, 2011 : : .

This wasn’t the first time I’d seen Hannah Georgas live, it wasn’t the last time, and it wasn’t even the best time that week!

Her Junofest performance at The Drake Underground is one of my favourite concert memories and solidified me as a fan but I also saw her play only two nights earlier at the outdoor Metro Square Juno Block Party show, where her performance was sandwiched between Shad and City & Colour.

You wouldn’t know it from following my blog though, as this tape has never seen the light of day before today.

Aidan Knight @ Mod Club

Aidan Knight
Aidan Knight @ Mod Club Theatre

. : : February 1st, 2013 : : .

Sometimes opening acts fit into a set like a glove. Other times, the opener is so stylistically different that you wonder what the promoter was thinking putting them on the same bill.

Aidan Knight, opening for Hannah Georgas, leaned decidedly towards the latter.

It wouldn’t have always been like that, though. After all, they have a decent amount in common. They’re both based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They’re only a scant three years apart in age. They both cut their teeth in folksy, singer-songwriter genres on the west coast music scene. They were both promoting their recently-issued sophomore albums. But by the time they shared a stage at Toronto’s Mod Club Theatre, they had taken drastically different turns on the proverbial fork in the road.

Colleen Brown @ Burdock

Colleen Brown
Colleen Brown @ The Burdock

. : : March 20th, 2015 : : .

I’d really been enjoying the quality of my most recent Sound Professionals microphones but I’ve found that even powered off and unplugged it seems to drain the batteries. It’s happened more than once that I’ve picked up the mics after weeks (or months) of disuse to discover that they were prematurely emptied. Others mics lasted years with heavier usage on a single battery, while this one seems to need to be changed every 8-10 months. Knowing this hasn’t helped me in remembering to change the batteries, and I’m often the victim of what really  shouldn’t be an unpleasant surprise.

Colleen Brown‘s record release show at The Burdock was once of those nights.

Hannah Georgas @ Deer Lake Park

Hannah Gerogas
Hannah Georgas @ CBC Music Festival

. : : June 14th, 2012 : : .

Hannah Georgas‘ album This Is Good is full of great, punchy, catchy, hooky guitar-based indie rock, so when it met some success including a finalist for Best New Artist Juno, it came as a surprise her sophomore album took a hard left into moodier, down-tempo synth-based music.

It caught me off guard, and it wasn’t until experiencing the new tunes live that I really got it.