Posts Tagged ‘review’
Kitty Pryde is one hot mess of an act.
She’s “been a bitch since 97″, and hails from Daytona Beach… but I wouldn’t count on that being legitimate information, her branding is frustratingly inconsistent. “But that’s the point, doy” — yes, thanks for making it easier for us.
The show was good, and it helps that she is damn cute. Missing tones, screwing up, and acting unprofessional on stage are all part of the act; it was quite charming. Kitty is definitely doing her best to hit a specific micro-demographic and hoping it will spread… and hey, Nardwuar seems to have taken a liking to her.
It’s simple, Kitty Pryde is one of those artists you’ll love or hate. Which one are you?
Shortly reviewed by @JcBizzy
I have one wish.
I wish that K is that one artist I write about that gets big — like really big. I want to sit down, throw on the interwebz one day, and watch a live stream of him in a stadium full of people and be like “yeah… saw that coming”. It’s so important to me that you hear the music for yourself, I’m not even going to grace you with a description. I believe in good music, and this is why I write about it.
Kishi Bashi is (as described on his Twitter) “on tour forever”, quite literally meaning he tours a shit load. I walked into The Biltmore as soon as K started playing (on stage with Tall Tall Trees) and it was hard to get a good spot in the room. The crowd was transfixed with awe. Each couple, singleton, you name it, waiting for their favourite song. Because that’s the thing about K’s music, he writes for everyone.
I had a rare, embarrassing, moment of standing outside the green room in The @BiltmoreCabaret waiting for K to come out just so I could shake his hand. I waited ten minutes, and left — with a single tear in my eye.
If you missed out, you can check out Kishi Bashi’s tour dates on SongKick here.
Words: John (@JcBizzy)
Full disclosure: I write this from the perspective of a 32 year old. That’s right, a 32 year old at a concert. That guy. Shouldn’t you be married? Or shouldn’t you be working overtime at the office? Shouldn’t you have brought your kid with the industrial ear protection? Yes. Anyway, I look at different things when I go to a concert. In fact I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a concert in that devout save-me-music-gods way since 2006. (That was when I was 26, and even then, I was kind of faking it out of nostalgia). Nowadays I go and analyze everything but the music.
Beta-Frontiers: When I showed up at the Drake Underground Beta Frontiers had already begun. I thought they were the house DJs. Their faces were illuminated by their laptops as they played to a dispersed talkative crowd. They had a few groups of friends dancing in isolated circles. The crowd here, and throughout the night, could be best described as “mixed race bohemians”. That’s how I would create my ad strategy to the suits, and probably get nowhere. Anyway, on closer inspection these weren’t just DJs they had some other gear like some sort of MPC and lots of mixers. One of them also had a moustache and a striped shirt – these couldn’t JUST be DJs. I assume these were their tracks, which were pretty nice! But don’t go ahead and add a drummer next time. One day you will be Jay Z Beta Frontiers, but stick to what you do best.
Times Neue Roman: Fuller disclosure: I played bass with Times Neue Roman (Alexander The and Arwobe X3) in Vancouver. I love their take on rap, and I’ll admit I like both guys. Last time I moved to Toronto, Alexander The told me with a steely glare, “Toronto is the land of opportunity, choose wisely”. It was intense. I got scared and moved back to Vancouver. Arowbe and I met in New York when I was in this period of being really isolated and drunk. We checked out some pretty fresh rap and played beer pong with American girls. Chill guy. This puts them in line with a great lineage of rap odd-couples like Outkast, Public Enemy, and PM Dawn.
This evening Times Neue Roman showed up with a drum kit and DJ Menza. Don’t worry, they didn’t go all rap-rock. Papa Roach are rolling in their graves. Presumably on a VH1 show. When I first saw Times Neue Roman perform in 2007 it was just two of them and it was great, so they didn’t have to go all Come-Come-my-Lady. Alexander The is a rocker and this comes across in his stage performance. He looks comfortable in front of a kit, rocking his MicroMoog like any notorious axeman. They started with their great single “Sade is in my Tapedeck” but flipped the summery layed-back song into a dancehall rave-up. This had the now packed dance-floor dancing. All the girls were going nuts grinding with each other, and there was a 32 year old stage left air-grinding with a beer in hand from a fair distance (that’s me!). All the old songs were mastered and there were some new songs in there that held their own. At this point I want to reference all the nineties futurist tunes and imagery these guys pull up for me but I’m just gonna say for the record this is where pop rap-rock begins and ends:
Phedre: Fullest Disclosure: have you heard that band Disclosure? Their first EP was pretty good. Just trying to pander to the kids, BB. I don’t know any bands past 2004. Anyhow, at this point the crowd was ready to party. I had no idea what to expect from Phedre other than their flawless single this year, “In Decay”.
The video for “In Decay” is like an MO for their whole aesthetic. Budget decadence, Dionysian apathy, dreamy what-the-fuckery, all come together with a playful oddball outlook. Musically they take on these forms via the 80s, when rap and funk were more fun. What I’m getting at is early 80s New York, when bands of various genres, artists, and the streets all came together for one big line of coke.
Phedre’s singer has this David Bowie baritone, and the band’s, what best can be described as “talker”, reminds me of when bands cared more to have a kid on their album like Tom Tom Club or Chandra instead of say, Cher. Cher could have played the whole art-school-bad-singer thing if she really wanted to, but then she wouldn’t be Cher. And the world would be a colder place. Did I mention said “talker” made her entrance riding a druid, as their gold painted backup dancer played a trumpet? The projections all night included fantasy styled paintings of Dinosaurs and Cavemen and lions attacking Dragons and some screensaver-styled tigers. It was very impressive. When the beats came on it reminded me of a grimy version of Walk the Dinosaur.
Halfway into the set a sexy-tech beat came on leading into a 60s style RnB ballad. The main singer, who wore an eyes wide shut mask all night with a mish mash of paleo-lithic and antique-store accessories, really displayed his singing chops on this song. I was down. But, this confused me since some songs he sings with an ironic humanoid apathy – which personally I found dragged things down a bit. Maybe some people like that. Still, I found him entertaining in a good drowsy-self-effacing way. Guy is funny.
Phedre is a wonderful DIY collage of sounds and images – the stage show was a perfect meld of Greek tragedy, and low tech reinterpretation of 10,000 BC’s wrap party. The music was an equal collage that worked undeniably best when their melodies soared: after a slow jam dip, the crowd was back on board as they played “In Decay” and the place went as nuts as the people on stage. As the song finished, a screwed version of JLo’s “I’m Real” played them out. “Finally, a song I can get down to!” I thought, and snuck away to my bed. Phedre IS real. So real they opened for Arial Pink the next week, a show I did not go see because I lied to my wife about getting diapers and just hid in the basement trying to figure out why I don’t get young people.
In summary, hot for fall 2012:
Review by: Pat
Now in it’s 5th year, Rifflandia Festival which ran September 13th to 16th is but a hop skip and a ferry from us on the West Coast in beautiful Victoria BC.
One of the best parts of traveling there is the Ferry ride over. Especially in the summer.
The Festival has grown to a pleasant size. The beautifully designed festival guide presents a smorgasbord for the music lover from the main stage acts on Royal Athletic Field to smaller shows in the city’s night clubs and more clandestine all ages shows at Wood Hall. Everything from techno to folk music is well represented.
Well attended by the city and those who travel from out of town, the festival draws everyone from the city’s university students to family audiences.
We arrived on the second day of the festival on Friday. First up on the side stage on the Royal Athletic Park grounds we were drawn to the soothing sounds of Brasstronaut. Their latest effort Mean Sun is one of the best under appreciated gems of this year and just as good as the groups previous Polaris nominated album Mt. Chimaera. I don’t mean this in a bad way but the album should be sold to the masses at Starbucks. It has that great early morning soothing affect while raging on caffeine. The group’s ethereal layered sound was a perfect entry point. The weather was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Next up Halifax’s Rich Aucoin kicked things up a notch working the crowd up with his call and response energetic performance. Perhaps because of the distance across this vast country, Rich is under appreciated on the West Coast particularly in Vancouver but this captive audience were quite enthralled.
One of the big headliners, Flaming Lips put on quite the show Friday night as the sun set and are most definitely one of those spectacle bands that everyone must see if only just for Wayne Coyne’s amazing hair, chill bro vibes and their set closer Do You Realize.
Needs, oh Needs, oh Needs. First off, come and see Needs play our Winniecooper.net Olio Showcase on Saturday at The Cobalt. Why? Every time I see Needs I get genuine anxiety and have to move back from the stage. The hardcore group’s front man, Sean Orr puts on a performance that channels the ghost of GG Allin.
Playing at Soprano’s which was the festivals make shift Friday punk show venue. The bar resembled more of a edge of town watering hole than a concert venue yet was contrastingly fitting and intimate for the group opening for White Lung and Fucked Up.
White Lung – Those Girls (Shouts to sole male band member Kenny)
Mid set Orr began hitting at the ceiling tiles above the stage which brought multiple warnings from the venues staff. Riled up by an eager fan who put Orr on his shoulders mid song he again clawed at the ceiling tiles and framework as if trying to escape. The bouncers promptly pulled him off stage where he continued to sing not missing a beat for a good ten seconds before being put him in a choke hold and dragged 30 feet to the entrance while the band kept playing and threw him out of the building. It was a festival highlight.
From a performance perspective it was well worth the ticket price. Did Orr deserve to be choked and left with a bruised trachea? Probably. Come see them Saturday, judge for yourself.
Next off to the contrasting all ages Alix Goolden Hall, a beautiful vaulted church venue to catch Vancouver’s Humans. I arrived early or perhaps things were running late and was very impressed by Rykka who I had never heard of.
Her uplifting electro pop / rock is in the same realm as Austra or Florence and The Machine and she happens to be from Vancouver.
Dear Rykka can we do a show when you are in town asap pls? I can’t find any of her new music on the internet but here is a promo video of her butt for the upcoming album, Kodiak coming out later this year.
Humans we cover way too much so i’m going to keep this brief. It was one of my favorite shows with them and the acoustics of the church were amazing. I challenge anyone to my stake of seeing them the most / super fan dom.
Made it to the end of their set then promptly headed back to my hosts’ house and passed out on two couch cushions with a towel for a blanket.
Wanted to make it to see The Dudes but that didn’t happen because music festivals are not just about the bands but the city, friends, the smell of the sweet air and you the participant and that shouldn’t be forgotten in light of that which is scheduled.
Caught the end of Dan Mangan on the main stage. His West Coast hippies vibes were a perfect match with the festival who also happen to exclusively serve Victoria brewed Phillips Brewery beer. So Islandy. They even have a special Rifflandia beer. mmmmmm.
Canadian 90′s alt rock pioneers Sloan were then up at the side stage. They have die hard fans. They sounded a little “underreheased” but they are Canadian indie legends so that’s ok.
An indie Vancouver lineup ensued at Wood Hall the rehearsal room adjoined to the Alix Goolden Church Hall with Aunts & Uncles, Ruffled Feathers and Jordan Klassen. Aunts & Uncles were delightful, especially drummer Daniel Ruiz’s drum / xylophone duties and singer Joseph Hirabayashi’s vocals.
I think the festivals schedule was a little off by this point or maybe it was my brain but I missed Kids and Explosions who I have been wanting to check out.
Vancouver’s LONGWALKSHORTDOCK was on. He has become quite a big deal on the local summer electronic festival circuit. His sound is rather unique, definitely not fitting in directly with the dubstep or eletro scenes. There’s also a strong dash of heavy metal in the one man show Dave King puts on with his energetic headbanging, hair and outfit. His .mp3′s need to be more available to hackers, he’s one LP away from worldwide domination and has the live show to back it. If you have a chance to see him do.
This is one of his mellow songs because it’s all I have and was sent to me. He probably has more available for purchase on itunes. Yes he does.
Sunday I had to depart early for work responsibilities which turned into an 8hr DJ set at the closing party for the Vancouver Fringe Festival and a 6:30 am bed time. I heard the closing day activities at Royal Athletic Park were stellar. Thank you Rifflandia Festival for an epic weekend. Looking forward to 2013.
words and photos by @tristanorchard
For the sake of transparency, I’ll admit that I hadn’t listened to any of Linkin Park’s new material until seeing them live at Rogers Arena on Tuesday night.
When I was first offered the opportunity to review the Honda Civic Tour, which also featured American rockers Incubus and Mute Math, I agreed because Linkin Park’s debut album Hybrid Theory encouraged me to paint my nails black and wear a leather bullet belt to Junior High School. I really wasn’t aware that the boys from Agoura Hills, California were still selling out stadiums. But to my surprise, LP have a dedicated fan base that consists of confused emo kids, Metallica loving dads, and your average music lover.
Unlike most rock bands of the early 2000’s, Linkin Park has continued to sell records well into this decade. Their latest release entitled Living Things debuted at number one on Billboard 200, selling over 220,000 records in the first week. Nonetheless, the majority of the songs they played on Tuesday were from previous works, most notably Meteora. Making a nearly sold out crowd go nuts for such classics as Numb and Somewhere I Belong.
In terms of production, there was minimal stage fare. Nothing but an average light show, some mediocre fire explosions, and an illuminated X that divided the stage in half. Yet, that didn’t seem to matter, as Chester Bennington’s voice combined with Mike Shinoda’s smooth flow and good looks were all the audience needed to justify the ticket price.
Chester’s eerily perfect vocals instantly transported me back to 2001 and it didn’t take me long to realize why I once followed this band so contently. Linkin Park is the middle-man in the musical rock game. They’re not punk nor are they heavy metal, they merely externalize anger in a way that is both approachable and appealing. And I can proudly say that since Tuesday I’ve listened to both A Thousand Suns and Living Things multiple times. Well done boys, well done.
Yeah, I know that was deep.
review by @clarkbs
George Lewis Jr. (AKA Twin Shadow) is some kinda hipster kid who can wail… and play a mean guit-fiddle. Backed by a band of equally (Brooklyn style) royalty class scenesters, the group has been killing it for a while now. They played a few tracks off their new record, though their single, “Five Seconds“, was the real crowd favorite.
Twin Shadow are doing well for themselves (note their fly pulp-fiction video) but the band still has some live chops to work out. They didn’t push any boundaries from a live perspective, and I didn’t walk out with any memorable moments. When I show up for a live performance, I expect to be awed by something, in some way … and the band didn’t deliver.
The opening band was a monotone, nu wave, shoe-gaze act. The only reason I know their name, Pool Side, is because I overheard someone saying it walking out. They had a weak “outroduction” … sorry, that was bad.
If you haven’t heard Twin Shadow yet, check out, “Five Seconds”, from their album “Confess”
Reviewed by John
I have been very skeptical of “raves” for some while now. Mostly because I am an ex-raver who swore off any sort of raving ten years ago when it became overly druggy, seedy and the music had lost it’s edge. I had also just returned from a “spiritual quest” the week before feeling refreshed and in no need of venturing back into delirium.
I had heard rave reviews of Bass Coast Project from many trustworthy sources and there were also quite a few people I knew going this year so I decided to check it out.
Now in it’s fourth year the festival has grown organically from a much smaller start up and has gained a reputation for being an anti rave / cultural festival of sorts, inspired by Burning Man.
The event is very representative of “Sea to Sky Culture” which I have learned translates to; a little bit of the Whistler hedonist vibe, a dash of Commercial Drive hippie and a lot of Squamish. The festival’s name Bass Coast was derived from the initials of it’s host province British Columbia, which makes sense because it’s very much inspired by the location in the Squamish Valley. It’s also all about the people. There are grants given out to local artists to create artistic installations which are set up throughout the festival grounds and sixty percent of the performing acts are BC born and bred. Ninety percent of the DJs also create their own music.
The location is nothing short of breath-taking. The festival takes place on the spans of the Squamish River, where over 3000 festival attendees make their homes in the bordering forest for the duration of the event. Getting there early seems to have it’s benefits which include being able to stake out a good spot and more importantly not getting stuck camping next to a dusty road if you come in too late and it’s dark.
A one hour drive from Vancouver to Squamish, half way up to Whistler in the Squamish Valley. Word on the street was that as long as you weren’t super obvious you could sneak booze in which sounded promising. We thought you could also buy booze there but that was incorrect. Despite an attempted early start, a trip to the grocery store to buy some necessities and the booze shop brought us there just before dark on Friday.
With rampant drug use the festival may come as a shock to the uninitiated. I feel like the festival would be terrifying with out a constant supply of intoxicants. The first night seemed like everyone was the most “generous in sharing” with supplies stocked. I managed to lose my camera a few times with strangers offerings and the first night turned into a beautiful mess of sorts.
First night highlights include Blondtron, her smiley face tassels and dancers. She threw down with a memorable booty set that the crowd lapped up at the main stage. The music went on till 5am and the fun continued making for a very late bed time.
I immediately discovered my tent was not in a very well shaded area early in the morning. The sun heat it up to an intolerable sleeping level by 10am a few hours or however long it was after going to bed. I decided to not fight it and rose to start round two.
Saturday became a day to indulge in weirdness meeting strangers with our umbrella.
Run by a group of women the festival has a very motherly feeling to it with liberal bare breasted women everywhere.
I swear the outline of the mountain on the other side of the valley even looks like the silhouette of a women but that may of been the effect of looking at too many beautiful things, dehydration, the piercing bright sun, psychedelics and an overly active imagination?
A very relaxed non corporate motherly vibe prevails stemming from everything from the cloth festival wristband passes, a lack of corporate sponsorship, a green recycling plan, attention to details, very ample lights and sound, free water and fairly priced food to the laxed stance on drugs, alcohol and the security.
Throughout the day there were workshops and yoga and classes on Chinese astrology to keep the body and mind entertained in an area known as The Brain.
The Lightah mid afternoon reggae jam I remember particularly fondly. It felt like everyone was on some sort of psychedelic and was perfect. The ice cold glacial river became an essential cooling station and constant hydration is a must with temperatures reaching 37 C (98f) during the weekend.
Night two I was particularly fond of. San Fran / Dirty Bird’s Christian Martin threw down a very nice house set followed by local favorite Max Ulis.
Overall there was a bit too much of the current trends of dubstep and trap throughout the festival for my personal liking but really the it is about more than just the music with a lot to explore and people to see. There is something for everyone and more music than one can consume. I think I forgot that there was a third stage / “Radio” tucked away in between the main one and the furthest west one for the majority of the festival.
By the third day and resulting lack of sleep I was in pretty rough shape and the idea of skipping town became a reality which could of worked well. I decided I must stick it out for the full Bass Coast experience. Things seemed to mellow out through the third day with the toll taken being evident.
Somehow (booze+) I managed to pull through to see Winnie faves Humans jamming set and Love Dancing at Slaybay. Festival head Andrea Graham who djs and produces as The Librarian had a great Trap set at midnight on the main stage and Justin Martin played a very banging bass’y set around 1am.
I made it to bed early (4am) to get some much needed rest till 10am. The music was still playing upon waking. I had been craving Frank Ocean’s – Thinkin Bout You for the whole festival which could be heard from the distant closing set as well as a remix of the Game of Thrones.
People headed out gradually throughout the day having poured out all of their serotonin made for much less enthusiastic goodbyes than the previous hellos but it was definitely worth it. I look forward to returning next year to take in the Bass Coast experience once again.
photos+words by @tristanorchard
I wasn’t planning on writing a review for Frank Ocean at the Commodore this past Saturday. However, after a few unfavourable, (and unjust), reviews started popping up on the World Wide Web I thought this was necessary.
Let me start off by saying this; who Frankie is fucking or rather not fucking should not enter the conversation of his artistic achievements. While I understand the notion of celebrity and living in the public eye, good music cannot be defined by race, sexuality, or gender. Moreover, Frank Ocean is in a genre all his own. He’s given R/B a much needed facelift by opting to tell his own story without any vocal aids from a high profile rapper. Alright, now onto the review.
I was first introduced to Ocean’s remarkable talents almost two years ago. A friend sent me We All Try via twitter and I instantly fell in love with the voice coming through my headphones. Needless to say, I was more than a little excited/nervous/anxious for his first Vancouver solo performance.
Although I waited over an hour for Ocean to finally perform, all but was forgotten when he graced the stage with his signature white-and-red bandana and an orange tie-dye t-shirt. He looked content, almost as if he knew that with every song he was going to prove the homophonic haters wrong.
By the third song Ocean had a sold-out Commodore hooked. As the opening vocals for Thinkin Bout You filled the venue, the chronic haze was almost as intense as everyone’s musical goosebumps. The crowd quickly fell silent as we watched Ocean hit every note, making both the girls and boys swoon with envy.
Ocean’s relatively small set included all my favourites off Channel Orange, including Forrest Gump, Bad Religion, and the previously mentioned Thinkin Bout You. He also included Novacane, Strawberry Swing, and American Wedding from Nostalgia, Ultra. In-between songs Ocean was sure to thank the crowd for supporting him through this difficult time. And while he didn’t directly mention his “coming out”, it wasn’t necessary, as his music said it all.
Review by @clarkbs