Saturday, February 25, 2017

Recording: Hooded Fang

Artist: Hooded Fang

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, January 27, 2017.

Hooded Fang - unknown

A question mark had been hanging over the Silver Dollar's future for months, but this was the night that officially marked the beginning of the end, with a firm closing date suddenly giving a sense of finality about things — and a jolt to a music community suddenly seeing an epidemic of venues closing. Marking the moment, Hooded Fang called up booker Dan Burke for a bouquet and a heartfelt thank-you. Outside of that bit of ceremony, going in I was basically expecting the same set as when I had seen the band back in December, so I was rather pleasantly surprised to hear more new songs and perhaps some hints of the band's next sonic pivot. There was talk from the stage of a new EP already being in the can, and for several tunes (including this one) Scarlett Rose (who'd recently been touring with Cindy Lee) joined the band on keyb textures. That brought a hint of early Public Image to the proceedings, but even if the new songs were slowed down a titch from the Venus On Edge material, this may also have been the moshiest Hooded Fang set I've witnessed.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Deliluh

Artist: Deliluh

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Silver Dollar Room, January 27, 2017.

Deliluh - unknown

A question mark had been hanging over the Silver Dollar's future for months, but this was the night that officially marked the beginning of the end, with a firm closing date suddenly giving a sense of finality about things — and a jolt to a music community suddenly seeing an epidemic of venues closing. On stage, Deliluh were in Saturday Night rock'n'roll mode — augmented with James Burling (keyb) and Alex Low (guit) there was an Academy of Sciences fam-jam vibe to this different lineup to the last time I caught 'em. The steps made toward stripping back/quieting down are either on hold or being allowed to co-evolve with a newfound heavy abandon as the band focused on stretched-out Pavement jam/drones.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Recording: Charlie Murray

Artist: Charlie Murray

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Piano Party 8), January 25, 2017.

Charlie Murray - [excerpt from first piece]

A last-minute cancellation left a gap to be filled in the Piano Party lineup, but Randy Gagne was able to bring out a fellow Still Boy to keep things rolling. Murray turned out to be a dab hand at tickling the ivories, pulling up his hood and settling into the spontaneous minimalist groove heard here. That was followed by some other blueberry-related content (all the pieces, as it turned out, were directly connected to blueberries in some obscure manner) mixing up improvised Glenn Gould riffing with some funky excursions accompanying some of the drum machine's more absurd settings — even pulling on some brightly-coloured rubber gloves while playing couldn't derail the skilled musicality here. A rather delightful surprise, all things considered.

Recording: Randy Gagne

Artist: Randy Gagne

Songs: Poor Side of Town [Johnny Rivers cover] + unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Piano Party 8), January 25, 2017.

Randy Gagne - Poor Side of Town

Randy Gagne - unknown

Anyone who's seen his endlessly-inventive stage performances will attest that Randy Gagne (a.k.a. Man Made Hill) has no shortage of bravery, but it's something else entirely to take the stage for the first time as a pianist. He still had some beats (and his hands-free microphone) but otherwise, this was a rather-intimate and vulnerable affair. We've seen some signs before of Gagne's affinity for classic rock tunes, but this set pushed further in that direction with this tender Johnny Rivers classic as well as a wade through the Sea of Love suggestive of an absurdist Epic Soundtracks. (It also provided some additional contextualization of MMH's recent Jeff Healey Band cover.) The new age-y closer, meanwhile, sounded like it was written at dawn on a canoe ride during one of Zone Support's many world tours.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Recording: Tasman Richardson

Artist: Tasman Richardson

Song: Hydra Ouroboros [excerpt]

Recorded at The Music Gallery (The New Flesh), January 21, 2017.

Tasman Richardson - Hydra Ouroboros [excerpt]

Though cloaked in some curator-speak that didn't do much to inform what this show would be like, the event's Cronenbergesque title gave some hint of what was going to unfold. A cybernetic concept show where the "systems" played the pieces (with humans at hand to merely assist), the half-dozen installations/mini-sets ranged from the new-fangled and buzzy (neural networks!) to the recently-retro (watching MS Paint dry) to good ol' fashioned Rube Goldberg machines. The visuals were the real stars of the night, but there were interesting sonics attached to most of the projects as well. Richardson not only brought this whole night together, he brought a cool bit of cathode ray visual feedback to present as well.

Recording: Katie Switzer & Paul Moleiro

Artist: Katie Switzer & Paul Moleiro

Song: Generate and Reflect [edited excerpt]

Recorded at The Music Gallery (The New Flesh), January 21, 2017.

Katie Switzer & Paul Moleiro - Generate and Reflect [edited excerpt]

Though cloaked in some curator-speak that didn't do much to inform what this show would be like, the event's Cronenbergesque title gave some hint of what was going to unfold. A cybernetic concept show where the "systems" played the pieces (with humans at hand to merely assist), the half-dozen installations/mini-sets ranged from the new-fangled and buzzy (neural networks!) to the recently-retro (watching MS Paint dry) to good ol' fashioned Rube Goldberg machines. The visuals were the real stars of the night, but there were interesting sonics attached to most of the projects as well. A nice icy blipdrone helped make this one of the night's most satisfying experiments, with some old-school refract/reflect techniques mixing seamlessly with digital projections.

Recording: Robin Kobrynski

Artist: Robin Kobrynski

Song: Panoptic [excerpt]

Recorded at The Music Gallery (The New Flesh), January 21, 2017.

Robin Kobrynski - Panoptic [excerpt]

Though cloaked in some curator-speak that didn't do much to inform what this show would be like, the event's Cronenbergesque title gave some hint of what was going to unfold. A cybernetic concept show where the "systems" played the pieces (with humans at hand to merely assist), the half-dozen installations/mini-sets ranged from the new-fangled and buzzy (neural networks!) to the recently-retro (watching MS Paint dry) to good ol' fashioned Rube Goldberg machines. The visuals were the real stars of the night, but there were interesting sonics attached to most of the projects as well. This opening piece played on the contemporary embrace/fear of surveillance, with a live feed of the audience warping and melting while these ominous tones played.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Recording: Bit Reduction

Artist: Bit Reduction

Song: [edited excerpt from second piece]

Recorded at Belljar Café (T.O. Noise #4), January 20, 2017.

Bit Reduction - [edited excerpt from second piece]

Amongst the stories of venues closing and DIY spaces under threat, there are slivers of good news to be found, such as this coffee-shop-by-day/bar-by-night turning into a friendly hub for loud and user-unfriendly musics. Located on Dundas Street West right opposite that nifty radial intersection with Howard Park that that sees a near-steady stream of streetcars merging in and out, the Belljar is a small-ish space, but quite adequate to the needs of several flavours of noise music. This series comes more from the punk end of the harsh-noise scene, but there are signs that there's an effort being made to book from a wider spectrum and let different sounds rub up against one another.

This project from the stylishly-turned-out Craig Renaud included inputs such as cheese grater, bass-string-sawing-block and raw-shouting-into-audio-cable, all processed through a menacing-looking pedal rack of implements. A bow was shredded, then shattered, and then the fragments used to stab at the string box, and the set ended when there were no longer enough things plugged into other things to send a signal. Yet despite the make-me-bleed harshness (dollar store cheese graters should come with an operators' caution) there was an underlying elegance hinting at carefully-plotted chaos — and possibly even restraint.

[The series returns to The Belljar on Saturday, March 11th, with a night that will include Beard Closet's noise refraction Samesex, plus sets from Marion, Excrement Binge and Corrodesion.]

Recording: Goth Girl x Lumi Kryzstal

Artist: Goth Girl x Lumi Kryzstal

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Belljar Café (T.O. Noise #4), January 20, 2017.

Goth Girl x Lumi Kryzstal - [excerpt]

Amongst the stories of venues closing and DIY spaces under threat, there are slivers of good news to be found, such as this coffee-shop-by-day/bar-by-night turning into a friendly hub for loud and user-unfriendly musics. Located on Dundas Street West right opposite that nifty radial intersection with Howard Park that that sees a near-steady stream of streetcars merging in and out, the Belljar is a small-ish space, but quite adequate to the needs of several flavours of noise music. This series comes more from the punk end of the harsh-noise scene, but there are signs that there's an effort being made to book from a wider spectrum and let different sounds rub up against one another.

This collaborative set put the night into more electroacoustic territory, with scraped instrumentation competing with pedal-noise — and everything soaring into bursts of feedback.

[The series returns to The Belljar on Saturday, March 11th, with a night that will include Beard Closet's noise refraction Samesex, plus sets from Marion, Excrement Binge and Corrodesion.]

Recording: Post Natal Drip

Artist: Post Natal Drip

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Belljar Café (T.O. Noise #4), January 20, 2017.

Post Natal Drip - unknown

Amongst the stories of venues closing and DIY spaces under threat, there are slivers of good news to be found, such as this coffee-shop-by-day/bar-by-night turning into a friendly hub for loud and user-unfriendly musics. Located on Dundas Street West right opposite that nifty radial intersection with Howard Park that that sees a near-steady stream of streetcars merging in and out, the Belljar is a small-ish space, but quite adequate to the needs of several flavours of noise music. This series comes more from the punk end of the harsh-noise scene, but there are signs that there's an effort being made to book from a wider spectrum and let different sounds rub up against one another.

Though billed as the first show for this harsh grindcore trio, in true noise-tape tradition, they already have several releases up on their bandcamp. I recognized bassist Noah Gadke from some of his more soothing outings but here things got a lot more shouty, with amped-up sluggishness and pummelling drums setting the tone for the night.

[The series returns to The Belljar on Saturday, March 11th, with a night that will include Beard Closet's noise refraction Samesex, plus sets from Marion, Excrement Binge and Corrodesion.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Concert Listings Roundup #188

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gigs of the week:

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. David Dacks [lecture] / Nick Fraser New Quartet / Craig Dunsmuir & Dun-Dun Band / Body Double [Bile Sister + New Chance]) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-24 (Friday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. Amelia Ehrhardt [solo dance] / Lîla Ensemble / roundtable on movement & improvised music moderated by Dawne Carleton) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-25 (Saturday – afternoon show!) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. The Thing Is / Manticore w/ James Beardmore + Xuan Ye / Future Machines / Prince Nifty) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. Rhinoceros Saxophone Quartet [open rehearsal & concert featuring new compositions by Tomasz Krakowiak and Alice Ping Yee Ho]) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-26 (Sunday – afternoon show!) [FB event]

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (feat. Heidi Chan/Sarah Peebles / Rob Clutton/Michael Lynn / Diane Roblin/Michael Snow / James Bailey/Allison Cameron / The Mike Smith Company / Bristles Trio) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-02-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

Now in its fifth year, the Somewhere There festival has become a true celebration of the many strands of the local creative music communities. With five shows over the weekend, there's lots of music, plus a keynote lecture and a panel discussion (on dance and improvised music) to provoke conversations. Come and witness new music, unfinished music, impossible music all presented in the spirit of spontaneous joy.


This week's noteworthy shows:

LUKA (Lisa/Liza / Greef / Paterson) / Monarch Tavern 2017-02-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Weather Station presents: Unclassic Classics Volume 3 (feat. Tamara Lindeman / Ian Daniel Kehoe / Geordie Gord / Sam Gleason / Ben Whiteley) / The Cameron House 2017-02-21 (Tuesday – early show @ 6 p.m.!

Ryan Driver (Tamara Lindeman) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-02-21 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Piano Party #9 (feat. Daria Morgacheva) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-02-22 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Bellwether4 / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-02-22 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Ancient Shapes (Uncontrollable Urge / Triples) / Smiling Buddha 2017-02-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Grey Lands (Fresh Snow) / Monarch Tavern 2017-02-24 (Friday) [FB event]

The Big Sound / The Great Hall 2017-02-24 (Friday) [FB event]

SpLit PeRsoNaLiTieZ (feat. members of Deliluh, Surinam, WHIMM and others [covering the Velvet Underground] / Scott Hardware/Errhead/L. Paradise [live electronic sets]) / Holy Oak Café 2017-02-24 (Friday) [FB event]

Corrodesion presents (feat. Doom Tickler / Blue Light / Jonny / Corrodesion) / Belljar Café 2017-02-25 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Array Session #45 (feat. Daniel Janke/Rick Sacks/Martin Arnold) / Array Space 2017-02-25 (Friday – PWYC!) [more info]

End Immigration Detention Network fundraiser (feat. The Highest Order [live album taping!]) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-02-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

Roman Pilates (The Bim Prongs / Body Of Waste) / The Dupe Shop 2017-02-25 (Saturday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Goodbye for Now, Holy Oak [all star band, all-star singers, live recording] (feat. Kieran Adams/Bram Gielen/Carmen Elle/Johnny Spence/Isla Craig/Victoria Cheong /Mamalia/Mary Margaret O'Hara/Ivy Mairi/Alex Samaras/Alex Lukashevsky/Matt Smith) / Holy Oak Café 2017-02-25 (Saturday) [FB event]

A New Day: Miss America live (feat. The Holy Oak Family Singers [Johnny Spence/Luke Kuplowsky/Carmen Elle/Tamara Lindeman/Ivy Mairi/Anni Spadafora + more TBA) / Holy Oak Café 2017-02-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

Pissbowelking (Colin Roy Gillespie [mem. Greys] / Western Plates [mem. Beliefs]) / Handlebar 2017-02-26 (Sunday) [FB event]

Look Vibrant (Omhouse / Max T) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-02-26 (Sunday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

smut (WLMRT / Elegance / Bald Britney) / Smiling Buddha 2017-02-27 (Monday) [FB event]

NOTA Presents: Still Standing: A Benefit for Standing Rock (feat. Poster Boy / Zoo OWL / Lizzy Boredom / Sad Sorcerer) / Smiling Buddha 2017-03-01 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Raging Against the Machine: Coming Together [CD release!] (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective / Ensemble Paramirabo) / The Music Gallery 2017-03-04 (Saturday) [FB event]

Protruders (Eroders / Tranz Defonze) / The Dupe Shop 2017-03-05 (Sunday – afternoon show! PWYC!) [FB event]

Audiopollination #52.1 (feat. Elizabeth Lima/Jamie Thompson/Laura Swankey/Nilan Perera / Alix Hyde/Kayla Milmine/Andy Yue / Elizabeth Lima/Alix Hyde) / Array Space 2017-03-05 (Sunday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #24 (feat. Christine Bougie / Someone's Memory / act tbh) / The Steady Café 2017-03-07 (Tuesday – PWYC! new venue!) [FB event]

JLK & The Assassins [ex-Moss Lime] (Nyssa / Komodo / Sigil [membs. FRIGS + HSY]) / The Baby G 2017-03-10 (Friday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #52.2 (feat. Andrew Kay/Max Donaldson/David Shelly / Diane Roblin/Thomas Hainbuch/Harrison Vetro / Brian Abbott/Karen Ng/Zach Clark / Vladimir Luchansky/Rick Sacks/Glen Hall/Branko Dzinovic) / Array Space 2017-03-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Burger Revolution V T.O. (feat. Paul Jacobs / The Knees Up / The Sulks / Seance Sisters) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-03-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Casual Drones 19 (feat. Sandro Perri / Justin Small / Jess Crowe & Bria Salmena / E Adi / Zephyr) / The Baby G 2017-03-16 (Thursday) [FB event]

Quintile [featuring Vinko Globokar's "Limites" and world premieres by Patrick Arteaga, James Lowrie, Julia Mermelstein, August Murphy-King and Andrew Noseworthy] (feat. Caution Tape Sound Collective) / Array Space 2017-03-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Toronto Improvisors Orchestra feat. Christine Duncan and The Element Choir / Array Space 2017-03-19 (Sunday) [FB event]

Six Saxes Sing for Spring (feat. Monsoon Trio / Dialectica) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-03-19 (Sunday) [FB event]

Artificial Sounds presents (feat. Schwefelgelb / Kontravoid) / Bambi's 2017-03-23 (Thursday) [FB event]

Buzz Records presents (feat. Colleen Green / The Memories / Goodbye Honolulu / Bald Britney) / Smiling Buddha 2017-03-28 (Tuesday – all ages!) [FB event]

Century Palm (Famines / Sweet Dave & The Shallow Graves / Deathsticks) / Monarch Tavern 2017-03-31 (Friday) [FB event]

Dany Laj and The Looks (Ghosted / New Enchanters) / Bovine Sex Club 2017-03-31 (Friday) [FB event]

Zoobombs (Munizo / Knifey) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-04-18 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Invocation presents (feat. Michael Hurley) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2017-04-22 (Saturday) [FB event]

Colin Stetson / The Great Hall 2017-05-15 (Monday) [FB event]


Mixcloud corner:

  • I had a fun time making a playlist for yesterday's drone brunch — so much so that I ended up with more than eight hours of material! So seeing as I have it all gathered together, I shuffled it up and will convert it into a series of hour-long mixes. To keep things interesting, expect about 40% drone and 60% drone-adjacent sounds from various genres. Here's the first one, expect a new one weekly for the next while.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Recording: The Cosmic Range

Artist: The Cosmic Range

Songs: Kowboy + [fourth section]

Recorded at The Great Hall, January 19, 2017.

The Cosmic Range - Kowboy

The Cosmic Range - [fourth section]

This was my first time out to The Great Hall since their long-in-the-works refurbishment was completed. Not only was it a treat to experience the new, spacious bathrooms, but the main space was also opened up with the removal of the large lighting rig that was suspended from the sides of the balconies. There was a new PA as well, and this was a good night for it, rendering the eight-piece band with clarity.

Flanking the stage there were keyboards left and right (for Matt "Doc" Dunn and Jonathan Adjemian, respectively), two percussion stations at the back (for Brandon Valdivia and Kieran Adams), Mike Smith (bass) and Isla Craig (vox) over on the right and lots of room in the middle for Max "Slim Twig" Turnbull (guit) and Andy Haas (saxophone). Alternating between funky blasts and pastoral drifts (and here's one of each for comparison's sake) the set tapped into the Sun Ra-dappled bliss that was captured so well on the New Latitudes album. The night's purpose was, in fact, a slightly-belated launch celebration for the disc. Rather wonderfully executed, it's a real celebration whenever this entire crew can get together.

Recording: Off World

Artist: Off World

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Great Hall, January 19, 2017.

Off World - unknown

A well-matched pick to open things up for The Cosmic Range, Off World filled up the refurbished Great Hall with their live-remix dubscapes. They actually performed at a fairly restrained volume, inviting the crowd to lean in (or sit on the floor) and listen as they filtered in. Sandro Perri and Lorenz Peter were joined for much of the set by Andrew Zukerman on additional synth and sounds, adding some new wobbles to the sonic stems.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Recording: Bellwether 4

Artist: Bellwether 4

Songs: My Epitaph [composer: Ola Belle Reed; arr. Victor Vrankulj] + GF Goodrich [composer: Andrew Miller]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), January 18, 2017.

Bellwether 4 - My Epitaph

Bellwether 4 - GF Goodrich

Another outgrowth of that young cadre (composed mostly of recent-ish U of T music grads) that has been making lots of great music in the local creative music scenes lately. This particular unit features Emily Denison (trumpet), Anthony Argatoff (alto saxophone), Victor Vrankulj (double bass), and Andrew Miller (drums), each kicking in some of their own compositions and tackling a couple standards. A run through Ornette Coleman's "Latin Genetics" captured their penchant for galloping playfulness that really shines on their recent HAVN-released album. They were competing with a raucous tribute band belting out the tunes of Janis Joplin in the Main Hall (a show that had been rescued from the shuttered Hugh's Room), but the quartet managed to crank things up into some tasty zones. Riffing off each other both in music and conversation, they were at their best when that playful element was at the forefront and they let the tunes breathe and wobble a bit.

[Bellwether4 will be recording a live set (alongside TVT) in performance for the new Rooted series on Saturday, March 4th.]

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recording: Marker Starling

Artist: Marker Starling

Songs: Young Love [Janet Jackson cover] + Amsterdam [John Cale cover]

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, January 14, 2017.

Marker Starling - Young Love

Marker Starling - Amsterdam

Quite delightful to see a sold-out room celebrating the release of a new Marker Starling album. The follow-up to Chris Cummings' Rosy Maze was recorded with some Euro-pals in Paris (including Stereolab's Lætitia Sadier), although longtime rhythm section Matt McLaren and Jay Anderson were still holding things down on this side of the Atlantic. I'm Willing might be an album of cover songs, but not only does it avoid obvious choices, it also contains some of Cummings' most emotionally nuanced performances (just check out the title track).

As the set went on, Cummings was surrounded by an increasing number of musicians (eventually the whole of openers Bunny would be on stage), and he ended the set by moving out from behind his wurlitzer to become a full-on frontman. There were a couple new songs from the next album, and they fit right in alongside the covers, and the whole thing reminded me of when I spoke with Cummings a couple years ago, and he was already thinking about the long game — getting better as a songwriter, sounding better and being more confident to take risks. Maybe it's no accident that the Marker Starling "look" has advanced to something more like the steady and confident presence of an august and respected admiral — the Mantler uniform of the sad tuxedo'd lounge singer just doesn't fit any more.