Thursday, October 30, 2008

New blog.

Right here. All the past entries have been forwarded.

Flotilla - The Tranzac

This is a splash of rainbow french-pop exuberance, embellished by a harp, inspired guitar-playing, and steady drumming. Veronica straddles the vocal-prowess of Joni Mitchell and bohemian playfulness of a young Marianne Faithful. This is a soundscape that ebbs and flows with Brian Wilson's soul, Flaming Lips lushness, and French lounge-jazz. Like an aural abstract-painting, a highly imaginative package of sparkling musical gems.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Misfits - The Phoenix

The debaucherous legends of punk have returned, leather-clad, skull and crossbones in tow. Brutal power, sheer urgency, a punishing and frenetic assault that left the near capacity venue in awe. Then there's the stage set-up, looking like a dank, dark, dungeon from hell. Not one for the faint hearted. The sound of a teenage riot, fire in the belly punk, played by bastard children of Dracula.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Dank - Rancho Relaxo

Bursting through the speakers like a missile, turbo-charged rock that combines attitude with a little temptation. High-energy sounds, a little Pavement, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr. The underground of the early 90's. Revived.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Grass - Rancho Relaxo

Behold that 60's retro garage-rock fire, a jaunty, catchy, ode to The Nuggets series, infusing such swing and grooves, this is band that defies father-time, reviving the earthly, decadent electrical jams of the past. The marvelous journey continues.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quest For Fire - The Horseshoe

Grinding, gargantuan riffs, tripped-out vocals, in a swirling head-spinning haze, a sonic excursion of the raw essence of rock, alone in the clouds, in interstellar overdrive

Friday, October 17, 2008

Still Life Still - The Drake

A colourful palette of richly textured songs, that can go from delicately warm moods, ball-breaking noise bursts, to crushing rock-outs, in a Torontopian minute. With these close-knit band members, it's all about the live-performance as well as the musicianship. A fantastic, creative celebration, igniting a fire in the music scene.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Purrr - The Reverb

Purrr is a tripwire apocalyptic sex-machine that never lets up. Techno, rock, punk, all at once--with amazing potency. Add visual grenades/screens, this is a turbo-charged orgasm that blends celebration with revolution.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lioness - Sonic Boom

Live-off-the-floor, a trio of musicians channeling steamy electro-soul energy, pulverizing drumming, whipcrack synths, killer bass, and a swaying vocalist shrieking every ounce of karma out of her system. This is a sleek, propulsive-fueled escapade, pushing a fusion of rock-meets-house music to it's sizzling, and most unholy moments.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Howlin Rain - The Horseshoe

Lord have mercy on my soul. Glorious anthems evoking that towering and freewheeling spirit, overdriven blasts of The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Cream. A sprawling rock-jam hurtling forward, hypnotic organs, hammering drumming, pyrotechnic soloing. Adding to the urgency is Ethan Miller's raspy spleen-venting vocals. The music rekindles the torch of late 60's San Francisco, and iconic rock-blues bombast, plugging-in on pure adrenaline, working on mighty and breathtaking magic.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fred - The Hideout

Very rarely do we get the creme-de-la-creme of Irish bands on these shores, so it was a pleasure. Roddy Frame-Moz-like vocals, dancey rhythms, jubilant chants/melodies, uplifting Housemartins-type joviality with wonderfully sweet keyboards, taking it's cues from the 80's.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christina Maria - Holy Joes

Vocals of longing bliss, warm charisma, personal lyrics, with a flirtatious bossa-nova-type intimacy evoking images of romantic moonlit serenades. A magnetic presence, and if you use your imagination, for one transcendental moment, the joyous yet fragile beauty of Karen Carpenter comes to life.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Person Shooter - Tattoo

Welcome to the high-flying sci-fi circus. This is a band that displays their many facets, a sprawling combination of techno, industrial, binded together with a dynamic rock-assault. It's all about the live-show experience, convincing non-believers that these night-time warriors are nothing short of fist-pumping, ready to blast you to the outer-limits of the cosmos.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Brasstronaut - The Drake

A gentle mix of slowburn orchestral-jazz, Ben Folds magnetism, Miles Davis-trumpet-bursts, baroque-music, evoking starry-eyed neo-psychedelic soundscapes. This is a lush pastiche of sound straddling the intimacy of a Greenwich Village coffee-house, warm spirit of mid-60's Miles Davis, to UK inflected ambient rock. Soulful hymns from the depth of despair to euphoria. Introspective. Exhilarating

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Foxfire - Sneaky Dee's

A bright groove-driven explosion of funk, glam, New Wave, soul, and a Broadway musical. All at once. Grounded in 70's glitz, vinyl funk beats and dazzling virtuosity, Foxfire is a spectacle of sound with enough momentum to electrify the neighbourhood, where for a glorious moment, everyone feels the spirit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Priddle Concern - El Mocambo

There is a familiarity to this music. That singer-songwriter spirit evoking vivid images that flows naturally. The band is a cohesive force, sweeping roots-tinged rock, uplifting, high-energy, demonstrating the ability to keep songs sounding fresh and classic at the same time. Perfect in it's execution. In the heartland we call Toronto.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Let It Be/Songs Of Lennon & McCartney - Roy Thompson Hall

The Beatles are still a reliable floor-filler, even in a classical music venue. It’s always easy to scoff at those who reduce The Fab Fours' tunes to thumbnail cliches, but when you have Rik Emmett, Damhnait Doyle, Andrew Craig, and Fergus Hambleton--entertaining, in a refined, commercialized kind of way. It wasn’t a radical parody, but more a back-to-the basics extravagance. Most of the audience knew the songs by heart, recreating the nostalgia people still continue to appreciate. Next up. Paul McCartney covering Triumph songs.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Adam Faux & The Exploding Band - The Drake

A tight energetic sound that flows, poised musicianship, steady percussion, vintage lyrical approach. An upbeat rock-inspired sound that takes it's cues from all things dynamic, bluesy, with a spirited rough-edge.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Radius & Helena - Centuries Lounge/Massey Hall

Welcome to a prog'd-out cabaret of beauty and fury. That was a great set at Centuries Lounge. An innovative, fearless musical path of the natural order in our own backyard. A juxtoposition of influences and pulling it off with dynamic flair. Brit-inflected hypnotic art-rock, pyrotechnic-drumming, and a supercharged frontman weaving a spell. Genre-bending music as an art-form underscored by a fluency to push the rock idiom to it's limits. RAH are bohemoth of a band guaranteed to whip you into a positive frenzy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Shenanigans - El Mocambo

Get out the 50's vinyl, get out that 70's post-punk decadence, The Shenanigans captures that rock and roll urgency, a crude garage-rock tornado fused with that rockabilly snarl. This isn't exactly uncharted territory, but a delirious guitar-driven workout shows that going up there and bashing it out continues to reign supreme, like a roadster cruising and whipping-up a trail of dust.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dr DFunkt - The Annex Wreckroom

Hustling funk grooves fused with a rock spirit, Kamran's Jamiroquai vocals is soulfully smooth, elements of RnB, guitar-driven rhythms, an energetic performance demonstrating that the flame continues to burn brightly.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rural Alberta Advantage - Silver Dollar

A rootsy, catchy, mix of wonderous textures that clutch your heart and make you move your body at the sametime. Along with supercharged percussion, The RAA is a kaleidoscope of melody and raw-energy like being caught in neo-psych bubbles of champagne.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sean Pinchin - The Savannah Room

All hail the plaid-shirt. A consummate acoustic singer-songwriter, glorious guitar-mojo combined with an entertainers spirit. Cuts right to the chase, whether it's the amusing commentary, or strutting musicianship.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ladyfingers - Rancho Relaxo

A singer-songwriter troubadour taking cues from rockabilly, accentuated with a country-blues-romp. Pinched-wails, sultry vocals, a renegade poet rippin' loose on the guitar, with shining lyrical themes. Greaser cool meets smile-inducing sentimentality. Ladyfingers may not claim greatness. But he may come close to it.

Boxes & Bags - The Rivoli

Boxes & Bags put the 'Pop' back in Pop With Brains. A cacophony of sights and sounds, face-blasting noise-pop that's like a frantic runaway train called the 'Moonstruck Express'. Or perhaps a sci-fi trip to the land of wacky. No need to dust-off the old vinyl. Boxes & Bags are your favourite party album. Cue Gabby's trumpet.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Bloody Valentine - Kool Haus

Making my way to the Kool Haus was almost like a pilgrimage of sorts. Mass destruction and sheer sonic power, an explosion of swirling guitars, Kevin Shields fleshing out roaring soundscapes like a master-craftsman. Blinding strobelights, visual projections, just enhanced the transcendental experience. Perhaps the highlight was the 20 minute punishing roar of 'You Made Me Realize' inflicting both pain and ecstasy. All hail the mythological purveyors of noise! Followed by a dignified, amen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yuka - The Boat

Funky-jazz-soul grooves that want to take you higher, yes, Sly Stone said it best. Yuka is like opening the vaults to the 70's, and dusting-off some vinyl, a burning uptempo of fun-filled vibes, an ass-shaking horn-blasting rhythm monster. Such dynamic power. So entertaining. Judging by the sweltering dancefloor, the people have spoken. Lets celebrate.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tigerbomb (Secret Japanese Girlfriend) - The Horseshoe

This is eclectic music that remains true to an artistic direction. An avant-garde style that see's Doc Pickles fleshing-out impassioned tales, accompanied by a revived Emmit Rogan. An acquired taste to some, but this a unique vision where every note counts. And where every lyric has meaning. A starry-eyed surrealist that evokes that joy of performing. Always endearing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Donlands & Mortimer - The Drake

Painted-flesh, sweltering dance-floor. It doesn't get any better than this. Like entering the eye of the storm, the room was feeling some serious mojo where a funk-soul-rock blast of fun was unleashed. Horns a plenty. Reckless energy a plenty. This hustling and sweet-talkin' troupe has a burning desire to turn your venue into a musical playground.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spiral Beach - The Drake

Welcome to the party. Balloons and teenage party-tactics. Lightening-charged power-pop that invokes catchy, bitch-slapping, sweet and crazy sounds. Every show is like a soundtrack to a hip frat-house, thrashy hooky-rhythms that's guaranteed to get the crowd up and freaky dancing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Caitlin Burgess - Holy Joes

A waiflike Joni Mitchell-type and an acoustic guitar, holding her own to a capacity room. A singer-songwriter finding fun in her music. At peace with the world. Stories to tell. An endearing acoustic escapade that soothes and moves you

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Saffron Sect - Rancho Relaxo

A transcendental trip to to a mind-expanding past, the Summer Of Love and psychedelic-folk, evoking images of free-love, drugs, and burning incense. This is a rich musical soundtrack that blends the past with the present, doomed love as pure bliss.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

SNFU - The Kathedral

SNFU are unarguably Canadian hardcore legends. Ken Chin, looking like an albino Wild Bill, led the fast and furious thunder, ear-piercing volume, pummeling sound, as audience members stage-dived like leather-clad missiles. Hysterical, grinding and relentless, this is classic old-school punk. The sound of the beast.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ciara Adams - The Supermarket

Sophisticated and beaming of musical elegance, this is a lounge-jazz ensemble that evokes images of sunlit evenings and cuddling with a loved one. Ciara Adams is a chanteuse, potently sweet vocals, the band captures the spirit of seductively smokey ballroom, in a French city, where starcrossed lovers meet. Emotional energy, poignant lyrics, a ray of light in this fast-paced world.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Purrr - The Drake

Adrenaline pumping beats, rock-metal riffs, and steady pulsating drumming. A combination of electronica like The Crystal Method or early Prodigy, rippin' grandiose licks, overseen by a glam-like theatricality. It's like Phantom Of The Opera, meets a European dance-club, meets arena-rock.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Carmen Elle - The Drake

Commanding yet passionate Ani DiFranco-like vocals, with an onstage presence that reminds me of 90's alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked, strong, positive and charming, in the mold of Lilith Fair-type songwriters. This is a streetwise and vibrant performer that beams mesmerizing cool.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hamilton Trading Co - The Music Gallery

Led by a songwriting-maestro, this is an uptempo hand-and-foot stomping revival, collective-chorus power, creating a dazzling brand of acoustic-gospel theatre. Clapping and foot-pounding with breathtaking accuracy, the HTC is well-bonded troupe that's guaranteed to deliver a rhythmic performance and salvation-saving vocals every time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Two Koreas - The Neutral

Speed-freak guitar-fuzz, a droning vox, rippin' grooves, and razor-sharp rhythms. An energy-driven ride that combines the mindbending grooves of early Stereolab and The Velvet Underground, with Detroit garage-punk and the spikey-assaults of The Fall. A brash, raucous rock and roll work-out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Cheap Speakers - The Velvet Underground

A pop-rock approach that's instantly catchy, the type of energy that captures that 70's feel-good spirit, well-crafted tunes, while maintaining that edgy indie-rock essence. A solid band with all the right ingredients, musical elements, artistic vision--in all the right amounts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Guest Bedroom - Sneaky Dee's

A swirling carousel-ride of post-punk and prog, Sandi's glass-shattering vocals, blistering Television-meets-Johnny Marr style riffs, balanced by melodramatic-key playing, shades of Herbie Hancock on 'In A Silent Way'. A colourful arsenal of sound (and a sax to boot) rapidfire and convulsive, that reestablishes the band as one of the torchbearers of TO rock city.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nolan Natasha - The Gladstone

The transgendered MC Nolan Natasha in full effect, clever racy rhyming over sweet-sounding electro-funk grooves. NN bare-chested, well-chiseled (revealing surgical scars in all it's glory) lit-up the stage with a commanding, yet kinky stage presence. The queer manifesto in full effect, invoking the giddy crowd to collectively quiver with joy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jay Spectre - The Horseshoe

There are certain bands that capture that spirit of 'the soul-funk ensemble', Tower Of Power, Memphis Horns, Sly Stone, Parliament. That's the sense I get here. Sometimes capturing the essence of the past makes for a brighter, colourful, and highly entertaining performance.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Leonids - Rancho Relaxo

Back in the early 90's, music was blossoming after grunge, with vibrant lo-fi bands like Pavement, Guided By Voices, etc. I hear that same spirit captured by The Leonids. Warm, spaced-out guitars and breezy harmonies that breathe fresh air into a diverse music scene.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oasis - The Virgin Festival

Britrock anthems, pub sing-alongs, swaggering attitude--actually interrupted by an attacker--which potentially could've cut the set short and pissing-off 20,000 people. But the UK deities returned to complete the concert. Liam striking poses, Noel the creative force, Oasis being Oasis, the masses continuing to ride the shelf-life of their first 2 albums. I can take festivals in small doses and all it's corporate glossiness, but as a fan of Britpop, Oasis takes me back to the nostalgia of the mid-90's. So why not. Of course, I headed to Wavelength afterwards.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sand Viper Command - El Mocambo

A band doesn't get any cooler than this, plaid-shirts, UK-style image, and inspired yet upbeat adrenaline-pumping hooks, a cross between The Sonics-style garage-rock, 90's Britpop and The Smiths chiming-riffs. The lead guitarist, props to him, John Squire-meets-Tom Verlaine flash, to compliment a dazzling high-energy package of ear-catching rock.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cheap Trick - Molson Amphitheatre

Tonight was probably the closest I'd get to 1979's Live At Budokan. In the flesh. Robin Zander sounded fantastic, tuxedoed Rick Nielsen punctuated the performance with his energetic showmanship, tossing picks into the crowd. 'The Dream Police, Surrender, The Flame, Tonight It's You', a nostalgic reminder what made the band sell-out arenas in the late 70's. Full line-up and 3 decades later, the band can still rock.

Friday, September 5, 2008

October Sky - The Rivoli

Adventurous UK style rock, epic anthems, a dynamic stage-presence, the lasers and smoke just added to the larger-than-life feel. With such drive and ambition, this talented and hard-working Montreal band is ready to take on the world. Great turn out. The CD release was a success. The future looks bright.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Whale Tooth - The Horseshoe

Catchy indie-pop festivity, bouncy rhythms balanced by rockin' energy. Elise is a crooning starlet, and the band has this searing exuberance, a house-party blending upbeat colourful sparkle and blasts of spontaneous guitar-driven grit. Fun times.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We Take Lovers - Rancho Relaxo

A kaleidoscopic pop/folk sound, diverse instrumentation, roaring voices raised in song. The tight, relentless energy just displays the bands unyielding attitude of rocking out.

Leaving Sangster - The Horseshoe

Hamiltonians fit for these hallowed walls, high-energy rock that's both ballsy and dynamic. The music has this soaring gritty quality, along with melodic vocals, and sparkling feel-good grooves. Justin a couple of times tried to spin his hat onto his head, but you know what? The band hit it's mark tonight. Well done.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Oblisk - The Neutral

Evoking images of Creation Records, Melody Maker, and the 90's British music scene--the UK spirit continues to live, covering the full spectrum, from early Verve, Joy Division, Slowdive, and Spacemen 3, infusing elements of Madchester and shoegazing. Oblisk seamlessly blends all these influences into a firebrand, hypnotic, sprawling sound all their own.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sleep For The Nightlife - Silver Dollar

An impressive display of searing musicianship, adventurous post-rock, atmospheric winding instrumentals that draws on that spirit of free-jazz and prog. Triumphant, spaced-out, a cerebral journey that ebbs and flows with each head-spinning moment.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Basement Arms - Rancho Relaxo

Like walking into a classic saloon, renegade characters with stories to tell, evoking imagery of The Bands self-titled. The music is loping vintage blues-rock at a meandering pace, hoarse vocals, poignant vocals, and electrifying dizzying musicianship, the type of boundless chemistry found in jazz bands. Music that paints a picture of well-travelled journeys. The dusty crossroads rediscovered.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Motely Crue - The Molson Amphitheatre

Get out the mullet-heads and spandex, or as Tommy Lee summoned, your boobies. The Motely Crue machine rolled into The Amphitheatre belting-out fan favourites Looks That Kill, Shout At The Devil, Dr Feelgood, Kickstart My Heart and ending-off with Home Sweet Home. High-voltage glam-metal, a pyrotechnic stage-show, delivered by these 80's rock and roll warriors. Considering the well-documented excess and debauchery (and infamous in fighting) great to see the loyal faithful, 11,000 of them, out in full force to see these legendary headbangers still kickin' it after 25 years.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Alphabot - The Drake

Let's get loopy! A catchy, twinkling electro-collage, hypnotic and fun, led by a giddy yet endearing maestro that hammers-out the cool cosmos on the dancefloor.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pavlov's Dog Orchestra - Sneaky Dee's

Remember Fiddler On The Roof? Tradition! This is a high-stepping march, indie-rock infused with a catchy Russian folkbeat. These songs are performed and delivered an air of confidence, reeling you into a comfortzone where you feel like dancing yourself. Knee-slapping feel-good vibes making your heart pound with excitement.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vilipend - The Kathedral

Brutally powerful, an onslaught of guitar fury, unleashing a beast that's supercharged. Furious chills and high-octane energy set to auto-destruct. A reckless, grinding well-oiled machine that made the ground quake.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Trews - CNE Bandshell

Heavy-hitting 70's inspired sound, melodic rock-outs that combine riff-driven elements of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and The Black Crowes. Colin, wailing like Sammy Hagar, fronts this high-energy whiskey-soaked package, almost like unearthing a treasure-trove of the past. Combined with a darting pixel-display like the ship from Close Encounters, the end result is the timeless heart of rock and roll soul. Free with admission.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Metal Kites - Rancho Relaxo

An ambitious palate of breezy rock, with twinges of folk and jazz. Tielli's emotive vocals, seasoned presence, with a cast of singer-songwriter master-craftsman employing the right thread of musical vibrance. Sort of capturing that acoustic-outlaw spirit with a Brian Wilson-like passion to experiment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Laszlo - The Rivoli

As if Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Depp merged, guitarist/frontman Laszlo is a throwback to the traditional rock-star, leather-clad, shades, and street-wise. Guitar-virtuosity, fluid basslines, high-energy drumming, this trio plays 70's inspired classic-rock that's riff-driven, supercharged, and catchy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

La Casa Muerte - The Drake

This is a rock on interstellar overdrive. Part Broken Social Scene's collective approach, part Brian Jonestown Massacre's tamba-shaking psych-goodness, part The B-52s wacky head-spinning party-chants, part Spiral Beach's youthful adrenaline-pumping euphoria. La Casa Muerte is a manic-explosion, fun-ass booty jams for those who take their music with lots of fun.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Megan Hamilton & The Volunteer Canola - The Boat

Country-folk atmospherics evoking summer evenings on a sunlit grassy-plain, perhaps hiking in the mountains. Enjoying life. The music is a slow, deep, rustic-excursion glossed-over by earthy-rawness. Sweeping, bold hymns from the depths of despair to extreme joy.

Feuermusik - Don Valley Parkway & Queen

Extermination Night usually hosts these word-of-mouth shows in abandoned industrial buildings. The location tonight. A bridge beneath the DVP. Feuermusik combines frenzied sax-outbursts (just think John Coltrane on speed) with plastic-bucket pounding. An experimental jazz-duo that's sexy, raw, and primal, spawning some hell-raising alchemy underneath the steel girders.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bellevue - Rancho Relaxo

Lavish, high-energy indie-rock that infuses swirls of guitar-driven hooks, with traces of Pavement, Weezer, yet blossoming as a sound uniquely their own. A rhythmically pounding trio for those who like their heavy-rock doses high in melody.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hank & Lily - Sneaky Dee's

A slice of theatrical-pop, a heartfelt ray of showtune-flamboyance and spunk. So sweet is this lovely duo, leading you through a jaunty adventure of countryfied stylings and saccharine vocals. The curtain rises. The stage is set. Let the vaudevillian Hank & Lily take you on a entertaining ride of wit, warmth and storytelling.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Heaven & Hell (Black Sabbath w Dio) - Molson Amphitheatre

Dungeons, wizards, and dragons. Although these metal legends weren't led by Ozzy, rather by the elfin Ronnie James Dio, it was still like witnessing a piece of music history. Dio-period Sabbath is classic. Gargantuan riffs/soloing by Tony Iommi, headstrong vocals by Dio, with a set starting with Mob Rules and ending with Neon Knights. Being graced by these legendary forefathers of metal was a humbling experience. Just ask the headbanging masses.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Diemonds - The Velvet Underground

This band is all about one thing, pure rock and roll debauchery and sexiness. Priya is an exotic Joan Jett, a tough-as-nails femme fetale, and C.C. is the riff-master, capturing the spirit of some of 80's glam-metal axe-wielders. TO needs this over-the-top seduction right now, cigarettes, alcohol, and partying your ass off. This is what rock and roll is all about.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boxes & Bags - The Drake

Deep within the subterranean depths comes this interstellar motley crew, the firestarters of throbbing noise-jams, new wave-meets-punk, inspired trumpet-blasts, trippin' the light fantastic. This folks, is what Torontopia is all about. Boxes & Bags is a call to arms--multiple orgasms that blast you off to a different galaxy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Spookey Ruben - Rancho Relaxo

Music thrives on romanticism, the daring to create, Spookey Ruben musically paints with aural splashes of colour, psych-tinged pop all in the spirit of a childrens workshop, sonic invention, avant-garde bliss, to capture a moment in time.

The Golden Hands Before God - Silver Dollar

A band that seamlessly blends 60's psych-garage-rock with the spirit of a foot-stomping gospel revival. A crescendo of energy, infectious gypsy-folk rhythms, spacey Velvet Underground-type electric-jams, with a soul-stirring epiphany of a chant-and-call celebration. Dodging the BJM-type comparisons, The Golden Hands have cultivated a sound all their own, which is worthy of national attention.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fifth Projekt - El Mocambo

An atmospheric journey leaving you drifting above the earth, intricate and haunting guitarlines, slow-burn melodrama that gives a nod to UK ambient-rock, early Verve and Suede's Dog Man Star. Vocalist Tara is an elegant chanteuse, romantic swoons straddling Amy Lee and Joni Mitchell. A magnificent gem that casts a spell.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Vestaloynes - Silver Dollar

A modern-day fairytale of rock and roll warriors, that burning desire to unleash swaggering riffs, powerful rhythms, in an entertaining and fun way. The Vestaloynes have chops. They'll burn you to a crisp. And make you smile.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nadja - The Boat

Washes of sonic swirls of noise, seamlessly fusing the shoegaze template with the industrial-dissonance of Merzbow and The Swans. Almost like being overwhelmed by vaporous tides of energy, that's beautiful as opposed to threatening.

Sarah Shafey - The Supermarket

A vibrant, eclectic combination of vocal-jazz, orchestral-folk, and showtunes. Shafey's evocative RnB vocals, heavenly soul, the centrepiece to lush strings, fluid keys, vivacious rhythms, each song unfolding before your ears, infusing the spirit of another era and combining it with contemporary pop. A delicious slice of life, essence of beauty, beaming rays of musical sunshine in this rather dreary world.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Clouds That Look Like Things - Rancho Relaxo

Inspired indie-rock, space-bound gems that's both high-powered and hypnotic at the sametime. Darcy is a captivating frontman, and the music is an outpouring of exhuberant energy that truly defines young, upstart bands rising in the TO scene.

The Blankket & Band - Sneaky Dee's

A potent stew of The Boredoms, Spacemen 3, and Can. Hypnotic cascades of noise, disarming blissed-out rhythms, erupting in a sonic crescendo of mass destruction. A primal trance-inducing ritual, fuzzed-out and euphoric, in all it's glory.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Organic Funk - The Mansion

A trio that combines talent and enthusiasm, raw rhythmic jazz/funk/rock fusion, topped-off by a bustling stage presence. Adventurous and high-energy, booty-shaking grooves celebrating music. A full-on blast of sweet mojo proving it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Toronto Independent Music Awards - The Phoenix

Got to hand it to founder/executive producer Daniela Oliva who has been putting on the TIMA's for four years. With various TO awards shows annually, it's hard to encompass every band (winners included Dame, Shobha, Jadea Kelly, Lori Nuic, Pavlov's Dogs Orchestra) It's no Polaris Music Prize, but recognizing home-grown talent, putting on an ambitious glitzy-event and honouring local artists, can only foster a genuine and thriving music scene. Plus the winners are bestowed with a plaque resembling a Gold Record Award. Now that's cool.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dead Sexy Sheila - The Silver Dollar

A trio that unleashes a blitzkrieg of garage-punk-glam, the type of pounding energy of The MC5. This is a raw, snarling, hard-edged guitar sound that embodies that Kick Out The Jams spirit. This is the guts of rock 'n roll rebellion, the authenticity found in The Stooges and the New York Dolls. Passionate, carefree, and loud.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Craft Economy - The Horseshoe

A lighthearted mix of retro-80's energy-packed indie-pop, laced with elements of J-Rock-style vocal-tag, and synth-driven grooves. An electro-rock work-out that's so irresistibly catchy and adrenaline-pumping, demonstrating that these band of young-guns aren't afraid to seamlessly blend influences to make you dance.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hippiefest - The Molson Amphitheatre

A concert of peace and love for 3,000 in attendance, rekindling a whiff of nostalgia for boomers, and flashbacks of a bygone era for upstart-bohemians. It was cool seeing music history come to life. From 'White Room' by Jack Bruce to the The Animals/Eric Burdon belting-out 'House Of The Rising Sun', Badfinger, The Turtles, 'He's My Brother' by The Hollies--it was like vintage 60's footage immortalized. The tye-dyed fashion statements transcended the generation gap, but most of all, the authentic and impassioned love music ruled the day. Peace.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Primordials - Rancho Relaxo

The raw spirit of The Sonics, the garage-rock grooves of early-Stones, or any band from The Nuggets series. The Primordials are a bonafide-classic in our own backyard, the birth of rock and roll, impeccable harmonies (and attire) a raucous guitar work-out. Revivalists that infuse jolts of retro-adrenaline in the land of Torontopia. And man. We welcome it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

R.E.D. - The Kathedral

Any band part of an event called "Jack Daniels Get Shit-Faced Party" speaks for itself. R.E.D. is very much in the same vein as the face-melting punk of Bad Brains. Fierce unhinged power. The show doubled as John Ratch's 60th birthday party, Long & McQuades ZZ-Top-meets-congenial-biker luminary. With fast-living booze-swilling Last Pogo types in the crowd, the theme for tonight, fist-pumping bravado.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Slim Twig - Rancho Relaxo

Embodying that semi-mythical 50's guitarist, unleashing a blitzkrieg of howling fuzzed-out blues riffs. Accompanied by strings, synths, and a drumming assault, Slim Twig ignites a sleazy, yet primal detonation of sound from his axe, prancing around like a spastic courtship-dance. Here. Nailing the essence of rock and rolls urgent restless drive.

Friday, July 25, 2008

King Khan & The Shrines - Sonic Boom/The Horseshoe

Like entering the eye of the storm, TO was feeling some serious mojo where a soul-funk-garage-rock explosion was unleashed. Fire-breathing, scorching, a whirlwind of reckless energy, blasts of horns, a foot-stomping party. The driving force is King Khan, capturing the spirit of James Brown and the prancing spirit of a southern preacher. The Voodoo Shaman, King Of The Jungle may have left town--but the party will continue rocking.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Henri Faberge - The Boat

A guitar mangler extraordinaire, the prodigious singer-songwriter spirit, smooth vocals, energetic bursts of soul-blues energy by one uber-hip bandleader. Free Tibet. Free the musical boundaries with grainy rock and folksy beauty.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Barbara Mamabolo - The Drake

A soul diva that infuses the spirit of both Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, powerfully smooth vocals that hit you like cool sun-drenched rays. The music has this jazzed-up rock-vibe, infusing elements of 70's soul and swirly RnB rhythms. For an evening usually dominated by upstart indie-rockers, Miss Mamabolo's effortless crooning leads a journey that's never lacking in elegant spirit.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

68pornomags - Sneaky Dee's

Whiplash riff-driven rock seamlessly combined with punk's spirit. This is hardcore, hip-shaking bombast that just explodes like a string of firecrackers being set-off.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Isoceles Project - The El Mocambo

A prog-metal sound that's fast, furious, and brutal, seamlessly blending old and modern elements, early-Rush and Yngwie Malmsteen with Isis and Tool. And what can I say about Eric. One of TO's most gifted guitarists. A cyclical, swooning ocean of some of the most daring and crushing rock musicianship you'll ever hear.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Quest For Fire - The Horseshoe

Very few bands can rival the thunderous live-power of Quest For Fire. Bright-LSD-flashbacks merging with gargantuan-Sabbath-riffs, making for an ethereal, grinding, euphoric armoury. A band where each primal drum-beat, droning-vocal, and otherworldly solo owes as much to Hawkwind and the psychadelic 60's, as it does to Tony Iommi. The Piper At The Gates Of Heaven unleashed in all it's glory.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hooded Fang - Rancho Relaxo

Perfectly crafted indie pop-songs, catchy inspiring gems, glossed with elements of Belle & Sebastian-esque male-female vocals, psych-folk, and a romping rhythm-country feel. Uniquely Torontopian, a well-rounded uber-melodic sound, bursting with splashes of colour and good cheer, that guarantees fun times. Great band.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Schomberg Fair - The Horseshoe

Canada be warned, The Schomberg Fair is about to capture your hearts. A hard-hitting high-energy hoedown, a southern bluesy-strut that always turns the front of the stage into a sweltering dancefloor. Repeated listens recommended. Ass-shakin' approved.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Machetes - The Silver Dollar

The Machetes kidnaps you with an earth-shattering, raucous post-punk work-out infusing elements of glam and early 90's riot-grrrl. Jen is a supercharged combination of Kathleen Hanna and Siouxsie Sioux, as the band unleashes high-speed breakneck fury, reminiscent of the punk-spirit and dive-bomb energy of late 70's CBGBs. Full of sass and no-bullshit bravado--these ladies will remind you that the sleaze, danger, and flash, is not dead.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Molson Amphitheatre

An alliance of a rock icon and folk-virtuoso in perhaps one of the more unique pairings in music. The steady guitar-mojo of T Bone Burnett accompanied relaxed, atmospheric harmonies, coated with a rustic-country-folk rock stew. As a Zeppelin fan though, skilled and inspired as Krauss is--The Battle Of Evermore was definitely one for the ages.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Heart Beats - Sneaky Dee's

A chanteuse that reveals charm and vulnerability, combined with boldness and sensitivity. Impassioned yet delicate vocals, uplifting hook-ladened pop, a beaming soundtrack that awakens us with a burst of sunlight.

The Hoa Hoas - Sneaky Dees

Take me to the otherside. A majestic, mind-altering sonic-flight, that waxes your senses with the hypnotic spirit of Spacemen 3 and The Velvet Underground. Each song is a rollercoaster ride of psych-rock bliss, an epic adventure of mystical rock jams, The Hoa Hoas are the perfect prescription.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Idle Tigers - The Drake

The Headmasters Ritual according to Ross Hawkins. The swashbuckling romantic morphs into schoolboy channeling musical theatricality, through voice, and a lo-fi synth. A touch of Carry On films, intellectual musings of vintage poetry, and the timeless heartfelt warmth of the singer songwriter. Frankly Mr Shankly--you cannot deny us of impassioned songcraft.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Epigramme - El Mocambo

An infectious cacophony of that glorious 70's spirit, and fusing it with elements of melodic UK-laced pop and swirling neo-psychedelia. Soaring gems that's like some glittery magical mystery tour. Keys, harmonies, and driving rhythms. Amazing onstage chemistry--a swooning, exuberant sound. Entertaining.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rush - The Molson Amphitheatre

Nothing says Canadian than Rush. YYZ, Red Barchetta, 2112, Subdivisions, Spirit Of Radio, Tom Sawyer, etc, etc, even a 10 minute drumming solo by Neal Peart. Giant video screens, green lasers, and rotating spotlights. A homage, a celebration, of a band spanning several decades. Three rock virtuosos, musical trailblazers, classic (and classy) icons who are still playing better than ever. Just ask the 15,000 people who were there for the party.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

La Casa Muerte - The Drake

Pop with balls. An onstage party filled with happy jangle, reckless merriment, and a high-energy that's like some runaway train on a magical mystery tour. Running hot on pleasure-seeking-noise-making fuel. Basically a bunch of friends up there having fun--shining a bit of light in the musical darkness. Hallelujah.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Unbelievers - The Horseshoe

Get ready. Get your balls out. Get your tits out. This band is a scorching punk barn-burner. Style over substance? Style and substance baby. The Horseshoe couldn't have the sizzle without the steak. Leopard print outfits, yellow stilettos. Rawrrr! And quite possibly the coolest merch-table in the city on this night. This band is a little bit of everything. So get out the bullwhips and kerosene. Hell yeah.

HotKid - The Boat

A duo that unleashes electrifying mass destruction. The snarling decadence of 60's garage-rock, grinding blues of The White Stripes, and the explosive assault of Husker Du. Hip grinding and raw. This is what rock and roll is supposed to sound and feel like.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Les Breastfeeders - The Horseshoe

Simple, focused, raw, and thrilling. A wild carnival ride of rock-fuelled guitar-riffs keeping you on the edge of your seat. The Hives. The Ramones. 60's garage rock. A band that speaks the universal language of bone-shattering rock and roll. A dazzling explosion that's both savage and euphoric. Viva Les Breastfeeders.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Jonas Brothers - Molson Amphitheatre

Every generation has them, a continuum spanning The Osmonds to Hanson, pop-confection-siblings catering to hormonally-challenged 12-year-olds. The difference in 2008, is having access to a Grammy Awards-meets-Superbowl halftime-type extravaganza. A backing orchestra, pixeled staggered platforms, risers elevating each member, lasers, pyrotechnics, sky-high flames, guns discharging goo, etc. The music is candy-coated kitsch, but the visual aspect is worth a footnote. At least. Until the next one comes along.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Harold Wartooth - The Velvet Underground

A master of classic rock that truly makes sparks fly, the air scorched, and the ground shake. This band is a continuum of drumming thunder, solos and riffs that would make Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath proud. No need to air-guitar. The Harold Wartooth will do it for you.

Fire Hydrant - Sneaky Dee's

A cohesive sound that draws on the hypnotic-swoon of shoegazing and guitar assault of rock. Concise songwriting, Fire Hydrant delivers an atmospheric yet overpowering live show. A shimmering earthbound storm.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Action Mob - The Supermarket

An eclectic kaleidoscope of retro-pop confection, lounge-jazz, and indie-rock. Equal parts The Free Design, Stereolab, and UK swagger. The key word here is catchy. And irresistably so. Warm soundscapes seamlessly blended with vivacious vocals, bouncy guitar-riffs and winding keys. With this synthesis of influences, The Action Mob casts an intoxicating spell.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Miles - Rancho Relaxo

A heat-seeking explosion of surf-garage-powerpop, wildly energetic, fearless, and as always--fun. Electric hot-jams turning the front of the stage into a dance-a-thon. The Miles equals a noisy, sweaty, celebration.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Entire Cities - Sneaky Dee's

Psychedelic country, electric folk music in it's truest sense. Eclectic as it is symphonic, a sound that combines the vivid soul of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo, and lush musical excursions of Broken Social Scene. A haze of multi-layered emotions built on many traditional musical aspects. A heartfelt barn-burning flight. The power of the collective is felt.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Uncut - The Silver Dollar

A crashing guitar-driven assault, a relentless lock-and-load style, a rush of rock-adrenaline, a pounding high-octane demonstration of what rock bands should feel and sound like.

Cyanotic - The Reverb

A sensory overload of industrial-synth power, a fusion of KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails, dizzying noise, drum & bass thunder, menacing yet high-energy at the same, leaning towards the dark metal-arsenal as opposed to an impending invasion of futuristic cyborgs. High-voltage machine-driven rock.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Black Angels - Lee's Palace

Droning psych-rock tripping the light fantastic, cosmic feedback combining The Velvets, Spacemen 3, and 13th Floor Elevators. Pulverizing drumming colliding with a chugging guitar-driven sonic-collage. Mystical phantasms awash in film-generated images, The Black Angels are a shamanic alchemy of ethereal beauty, sizzling kinetic rock, and psychedelic ecstasy. Turn on, tune in, drop out--to the lunar prophets of the everlasting Summer Of Love.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sadie May Crash - The Kathedral

Potent mix of retro-garage-rock, new-wavish hooks, and catchy well-crafted tunes. Paige is a stellar presence up there. A natural frontwoman. And the music merges pounding rhythms, winding keyboards and and driving guitars. Spastic power that gives a nod to the 60's, 80's, with a rockin' and modern Torontopian twist. Fun times. Great band.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Re-Mains - The Boat

Heartland rock and roll straight from Australia, a foot-stomping stew of alt-country, bluegrass, and rock, swirly grooves that fearlessly captures that desperado spirit, like a wind whipping across the grassy plains. Entertaining.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Guest Bedroom - The Gladstone

A breakneck thrill-ride of avant-garde post-punk. Sandi's venomous wails, razor-sharp riffs, and keyboards that weave through this thrash-driven pyrotechnic workout. Boundless attitude, fiery virtuosity, and raw energy. A band that delivers the goods on time. Every time. The revolution starts here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Green Hour Band - The Gladstone

Psych-garage-rock grooves with that snarling 60's attitude. A sound that captures the essence of The Stones, The Sonics, bands found on The Nuggets series. Raw guitar-driven combustion that pounds, that roars, that keeps that dangerous flame burning brightly. This is real rock and roll in all it's wicked glory.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Star Trek: The Music Performance/TSO - Roy Thomson Hall

From the original series and The Next Generation, to Voyager and the Star Trek movies, one can appreciate the full emotion, sweeping power and orchestration of the compositions. Hearing these scores executed by a world-class orchestra is spine-chilling and hauntingly beautiful. Nevermind Trekkie fans, a performance that any TV/film-score buff would enjoy. Music that continues to live long and prosper.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Blood Ceremony - Silver Dollar

Minstrels. Castles. Fairies. A modernday rock monolith comes to life. That was a great set at The Silver Dollar. Prog-meets-Sabbath bombast colliding with Jethro Tull, a rock powerhouse that captures the spirit of early Midlands prog-rock with grinding unbridled riffs, a dynamic offering of brutal strength and enchanting beauty. Music that's like celestial lightning on a mystic mountain.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Drunkula - El Mocambo

Loud, fast high-voltage beer-swilling rock and roll, a savage assault like a thousand machine-guns being shot. Watching you guys is like rekindling that flame of leather-jackets, Judas Priest, Ozzy, Zeppelin. Great to see rough roadhouse rock alive and well. And set to auto-destruct.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Laura Barrett - The Reverb

Delicate vocals, a pixie-princess navigating the windswept seas of indie-folk eclecticsm. A dreamy carousel-ride driven by a symphonic-collective, playfully clattering instruments, strings, and percussion. An inspired musical gem--like twinkling stars in the limitless night sky.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Spiral Beach - The Horseshoe

Hard-driving electro-pop making for sweaty dance-floor fun, blazing uptempo guitar-riffs, synth-grooves, and a bouncy stage-presence that makes you feel like the band is having a blast up there. For all your musical thrills--Spiral Beach is a technicolour carnival ride coming to an amusement-park near you.

Slim Twig - Silver Dollar

Spellbound Skinny Jim comes alive, the awestruck power of blues-rock-riffage, aggressive, powerful, spiritual. Earth-shattering distortion, drumming assaults combined with string/Farfisa elements. The mythical be-quiffed figure of the golden-age of rock and roll has returned in all it's rapturous glory.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Foxfire - The Reverb

The theme for tonight. Gold. The band. Priceless. A striking delivery of disco-glam-funk, theatrical bombast, impeccable dance-grooves, solid musicianship, and a dazzling onstage presence. Foxfire is a sonic experience of danceable pop tinged party-hits. Delivered with dramatic flair. Always exciting.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Golden Hands Before God - Savannah Room

The BJM comparisons are admirable--almost like a scene out of DiG coming to life. Bluesy neo-psychedelia, infectious folk-rhythms, with a colourful retro-energy that can make any venue come alive. The maestro, conducting magic, in full effect.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Monotonix - The Reverb

I have no idea what's in the water in Israel, but what this rock-trio consumes might be along the lines of Jack Daniels as opposed to anything holy. A pyrotechnic blues-rock explosion of balls-out debauchery. An axe-wielding outlaw that blends the MC5 with Jimmy Page, drum-pounding-fury set to auto-destruct--and a wildman lead singer that romps around like a young Iggy Pop--climbing poles, jumping on the bar, rolling on the ground, and dumping a garbage can on his drummers head. You get the picture. Rock and rolls rumbling menace was felt.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gravity Wave - The Boat

Think beautiful. On a Sunday morning. A slice of neo-psychedelia, avant-garde, electro-pop, Brian Wilson experimentalism, percussive assaults, all with the groove-heavy energy of Sly Stone. Led by a cosmic maestro, a compelling foot-stomping collective that's infectious and fun. An aural Jackson Pollock painting come to life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chris Miller - The Horseshoe

A folk-rock sound bursting with colour, in keeping with that traditional singer-songwriter spirit. A haunting winding road of melancholy and passion, ultimately realizing that light and optimism will always shine through.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Best - The Drake

Just think The Monks meets 60's inspired garage-rock, packaged in a youthful hip-urban quartet. Kickin' it into high-gear, The Best captures that steady-rhythmic groove released as catchy sparkplug-driven guitar-riffs. Tai is almost like another Slim Twig, wailing vocals and a gunslinging axe-wielding style, as the band bounces around and bobs onstage. Rough around the edges. But that's rock and roll.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Spookey Ruben - The Boat

A dazzling display of symphonic-laced rock, entering a world where we're hit by wide-eyed charm and jubilation, dynamic lush gems that delivering kaleidoscopic splashes of aural colour. Merriment led by a one-man cosmic-hero, the band unleashing captivating energy, complete with a dancing character, who I'm willing to bet--is named Shauna.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Vintage Hollywood: The Naughty Revue - The Bloor Cinema

Lights, cameras, action! The art of the tease, burlesque queens, and vintage Hollywood comes to life. Beautiful glittery costumes, erotic routines that were both artistic and entertaining. Host Frankie The Fox made an ideal host, John Waters-meets-Rodney Dangerfield. Glitzy characters out of some 50's movie-set, a nostalgic trip exploring the glamorous side. This show will capture your heart.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Northwest Division - The Silver Dollar

A whirlwind of guitars, sinfully brash roots-rock sound, spine-shivering riffs taking you to another place, a universe where the musical brew just breathes of working-class grit and a tingling, high-energy classic-rock spirit.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The B-52's - The Molson Amphitheatre

Intergalactic retro-space boogie. Fun loving magnificent hooks, flamboyant New Wave kitsch, and relentless spastic power that got the crowd moving their feet and swaying their arms like one wacky 60's beach-party. Cindy and Kate's fabulous harmonies, Fred Schneider acting like some b-movie czar, and as soon as surf-guitar riff of Rock Lobster kicked-in--welcome to 1979--and The B-52's Planet.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hey Rosetta! - The Horseshoe

Powerful music that's nothing short of exhilarating, brash bluesy-riffs, heartfelt vocals, a brew of sweeping feel-good rock, biting rustic-country, laced with traces of trumpet and violin. The energy of the collective is felt, harnessing an East Coast working-class genuineness. Lush. Liberating. Rocking.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No Gold - Sneaky Dee's

A piece of indie-rock sunshine from Vancouver. Jangling guitars with a carefree approach, all glossed-over with a rock crunch--biting post-punk swagger bubbling underneath the breezy guitar-licks. And if the flaming-grooves don't immediately grab you, the hilarious banter will leave you in stitches. Entertaining, slightly irreverent, and fun.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Put The Rifle Down - The Neutral

Electro-shock-rock therapy, a rhythmic-whiplash sound, brisk and supercharged, a rapid fire attack that soars above the transonic dance-punk barrier. These rock mercenaries are always ready to lock and load.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Black Hat Brigade - The Silver Dollar

A call-to-arms, combining elements of sparkling indie-rock with a soaring UK-esque swagger, throwing daring twists at you, pummeling percussion, ringing guitar-riff echoes, to infectious avant-garde folk-elements. This is a dynamic yet quirky concoction of high-energy blasts of sound and style. A successful EP release.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Isoceles Project - El Mocambo

This trio is a prog-metal tour-de-force. An adventurous yet explosive demonstration of rock musicianship, stunning propulsive riffs led by virtuoso Eric Butler, who might be TO's answer to John Petrucci. The band, TO's answer to the Mars Volta--unleashing roughneck instrumentals seething with such spellbinding fury, this is chainsaw-riffage and scorching power that would make Joe Satriani to Robert Fripp, or hell, even Iron Maiden, grin from the rock-pyrotechnic stratosphear.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Metz - The Boat

Blurring the lines between post-rock and psych-meets-classic-rock, as if Black Sabbath and Hawkwind collided unleashing a heated explosion of driving riffs and pummeling drums. A loud thunderous assault, but very much in keeping with the majestic rock and roll spirit. Phoenix rising. Hard charging. In all it's blazing glory.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Eric Clapton - Molson Amphitheatre

Frost warnings and outdoor venues don't go hand-in-hand, but witnessing this original guitar-god was a humbling experience, blasting intuitive blues, an acoustic unplugged set, and scorching freestyle improvisations. A gritty hard-edged attack, trademark guitar wailin', a retrospective that ended with Cocaine, Layla, and Mojo Rising. Gut-wrenching and legendary virtuosity. You just can't take the Delta out of the blues.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bolero/TSO - Roy Thomson Hall

Maurice Ravel's Bolero is all about seduction. Symphonic allure. An irresistible courtship dance that gradually entices you, a circular pattern, unfolding, arousing sinful temptation, ultimately erupting into a roar of majestic and climatic ecstasy. Beginning as sweet candles flickering, ending in a burning eruption of passion. The explosive power exemplifies the sheer jubilation this piece continues to instill, and the timeless spell it continues to cast.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Person Shooter - Rancho Relaxo

An aural adrenaline rush of blinding synths, rapidfire riffs, and brash vocals. An uber-cool presence combined with an industrial-dance-punk assault that will leave you in stitches, blazing, fiery, and full of attitude. To see FPS clicking on all cylinders is like witnessing lightning strike.

The Invasions - The Rivoli

Down-and-dirty garage-rock combined with a little late 70's post-punk. Blazing riffs and loads of attitude. A decadence that carries that spirit of a bygone era. Really goes to show you, that the flame will never die.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Morning Electric - The Silver Dollar

Soaring adrenaline-pumping rock, shades of 70's classic-rock thunder, flashy power-chords. Sway has the swagger and powerfully-soul vocals of a Lenny Kravitz, and the music speaks the language of dazzling and flamboyant high-energy rock. Not too over-the-top. Not too watered-down. Just right.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

N.E.R.D. - Molson Amphitheatre

Electro-powered grooves tearing-down the barriers between rock and hip-hop, double drum-kit explosiveness, collective of voracious rhymers lead by the kickin' jams of Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, made for a awe-inspiring performance. The closest thing to Da Bomb Squad colliding with Holy Fuck. A thrashing blast of packed musicianship, stunning beats, driving riffs, an outburst of noise led by an ensemble who's purpose is to whip you into a frenzy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brad Casey - The Tranzac

Sincere ponderings of a singer-songwriter who plays straight from the heart, vocals that infuses the spirit of Neil Young and Bob Dylan, guitar-playing leading you into a delicate landscape. Thoughtful exuberance and personal lyrics--a humble soul's musical excursion of life, introspection, and light.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Winks - Sneaky Dees

An energetic rendition of symphonic-pop, dazzling, uplifting anthems that's not too over-blown, but rather magical. An ocean of colorful textures, breezy psych-folk, lush strings, and a winding folly of aural-stardust. Cosmic dancers on a musical exploration.

Pavlov's Dogs Orchestra - Rancho Relaxo

Plain and simple. This is a musical celebration. Russian folk music, gypsy rhythms, orchestral-folk, with a touch of indie-rock. A frontman with the spastic-charisma of an Eastern European Elvis Costello. Supercharged energy, infectious and catchy, the spirit of a mini-festival. Rejoicing. Rapturous. Exciting. You're all invited to this dancey wild-ride, because you'll realize afterwords--that music has won the day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Shaky Jane - The Horseshoe

Take Aerosmith, T Rex, The Black Crowes, Kings Of Leon, and a bit of Nuggets-inspired 60's garage rock, and you'll have My Shaky Jane. Roaring, rough-neck, and dangerous, an unyielding spirit and attitude that makes you want to air-guitar and party at the sametime. It's all about balls. It's all about celebrating. It's all about having the balls to celebrate.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

In Support Of Living - The Drake

Merging shoegaze lushness with the avant-garde elements of Stereolab, binded-together with rigorous rhythmic percussion. Swirly hypnotic soundscapes and a rockin' edge makes for something I'd expect on 4AD in the early 90's. But in the present, seasoned musicians can pull this off, a shimmering propulsive work-out, both ballistic and beautiful.

Friday, May 16, 2008

B.A. Johnston - The Boat

A performer and a Casio keyboard proves that you don't need a pretentious schtick to unleash gut-busting hilarity. Pirate costumes, spitting beer, and pouring candle-wax all over yourself. You don't see that everyday. Part sketch-comedian, part singer-songwriter. Part fuck-shit-up. Wild and crazy. But also wild and entertaining.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lymbyc Systym - The Silver Dollar

A pure, spacey sci-fi flight, perhaps astral-traveling, perhaps soul-searching, a soundtrack of ethereal-beauty where shoegaze-hypnosis and gliding-electro-ambience merge to create intergalactic bliss. Come sail away.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mardeen - The Horseshoe

Brash rock laced with an alt-country feel, a high-octane sound with a steady-rhythmic kick. The melodic pop-rawness of Sloan meets Wilco twang glossed-over with the fuzzy jolting-power of Pavement. Adventurous, catchy, hard-edged, working-class heroes playing music that soars and elevates you to the wind-swept reaches of the atmosphere.

Fred Spek's Camp Combo - The Gladstone

Fred Spek is a modernday Al Jolson-meets-Benny Goodman, part entertainer, part bandleader. The music is a jaunty carousel seamlessly blending jazz, swing, and ragtime. Offbeat characters capturing that sparkle of a Mardi Gras procession. A throwback, spattering of minstrelism and rousing musicianship, in the heart of Torontopia. A cuddly heart. With the spirit to match.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Purrr - The Horseshoe

Lights, camera, action. A wonderous rock-guitar distortion spectacle, pounding drums, and intense keys. The strobelights and coloured-screens made it seem like spellbinding music-ambassadors had landed from another planet. Awesome.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dance Electric - The Silver Dollar

Thrashy punk-laced rock, but it's all about the rhythmic-grooves instead of knocking you into submission. Amazing how these congenial-looking upstarts can deliver sleazy rawness and wicked-energy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Secret Public - The Silver Dollar

The heroes of prog-rock is captured in this music, a tight experimental, sonic-collage of sound, combustible and spontaneous one moment, segueing into a spacey dreamlike contemplation the next. Bruford, Hatfield & The North, Yes, Caravan, Soft Machine, King Crimson. This is a blazing instrumental journey that sheds a little 70's prog moonlight on a Torontopian generation proving, this sound ages quite nicely. And timelessly.

Beth In Battle Mode - Rancho Relaxo

A sound that's almost a convergence of musical-elements, capturing that 60's psych-garage-rock spirit, 80's inspired synth-electro-pop, and stirring soul-drenched vocals reminiscent of late 70's post-punk, eg, Pete Shelley. Whatever the case, the band is an intense-yet-catchy pastiche of energy, well-crafted songs, demonstrating that the retro-garage-rock sparkle is alive and well.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Key Witness - Rancho Relaxo

An exotic roller-coaster ride of country, folk, high-stepping rock drama, glossed over by piercingly sweet violin-playing. Taking the boundaries further with this rich hybrid of dynamic, colourful, and incredible versatile sound. Country-life magic combined with lightning-rock energy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nadja - Sneaky Dee's

Nadja is majestic, tranquil sea of sonic mass destruction. A crashing eruption of swirly white-noise infusing shoegazers My Bloody Valentine, industrial-metal of Laibach, and Japanese noise-rockers Boredoms. An ethereal beauty that's both hypotic and violent, but as with all decibel raising walls-of-sound--that impending danger, that sheer thrill--is what gets the endorphins flowing.

Thee 9am Social - The Boat

A hypnotic collage of post-rock, sacrificing sheer assaults for exemplary musicianship. A dynamic, almost spiritual flow, evoking images that touch, exposing glimmers of radiance, power and exhileration.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Lovely Killbots - The Drake

A revelation of soul-stirring piano ballads, lounge-jazz, and piercingly steady drumming. Lauralee's vocals captures that spirit of a golden-age jazz-singer, combined with a gloriously lush and warm sound. Sweet elegance meets a winding maze of percussion. Entertaining.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Black Hollies - The Silver Dollar

The Silver Dollar was witness to a garage-rock explosion, rapid-fire riffs meets thunderous percussion. Proof that this dangerous rock flame will never expire. The heavens opened, lightning struck, as snarling down-and-dirty grooves landed like an almighty missile. From The Nuggets series, early Rolling Stones to The BJM, and everything in between--the ground shook with that high-powered, decadent spirit. Praise be the gospel of The Black Hollies.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Human Kind - The Drake

Those who seek-out an early 80's alt-UK revival need not look further. Hypnotic, echoing riffs, moody Robert Smith-like vocals, glossed-over by rhythmically brash post-punk rock. Whatever the case, whatever the name, the band continues to paint a portrait of distinct retro-Brit-swagger, shades of The NME and Thatcherism--and making it ultra-modern. The Cure. The Smiths. Echo & The Bunnymen. The spirit can all be found here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ten Kens - Sneaky Dee's

Rock bombast, crashing, burning, and simmering, taking you for a heart-pounding ride. Walls of guitars, tense heated vocals, straddling fierce power and occasionally yielding to a softer side. The band is passionate, blasting you to another place with their hard-hitting sound. A thunderous fast-paced rock climax.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Megan Hamilton & The Volunteer Canola - Supermarket

This music is about celebrating life, luminous rays of light, dreamy folk-like mythos led by a waiflike diva. The music is both hypnotic and jubilant, a potent collective of performers that meander into soulful musical expression. Mother Nature be damned. This is the soundtrack to a perfect sunny day.

Witch Ever - The Drake

Assume the air-guitar position, the band captures that classic-rock spirit, driving guitar-riffs, a thunderous sound so majestic and inspiring, a real treat for those who long for Q-107, long-hair, and leather-jackets. Burning, balls-out, and smokin'. For those about to rock, we salute you. Let Witch Ever show you the way.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Halleluyah - Rancho Relaxo

Halleluyah, with it's diversity of musical personas, is almost like the Torontopian version of Sly Stone. An eclectic mix of rock, hip-hop, jazz, and soul--raw animated outbursts, that astonishingly gels quite well. The band strives to drench you in a warm sheet of musical sunlight. Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mixylodian - The Drake

A kaleidoscopic sonic flurry of keys and drums, no-holds-barred rock-out, fast-paced, catchy, from hip-upstarts that convince you, that yes, they're having a blast up there. A mish-mash of electro-rock. A futuristic step forward.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fox Jaws - The El Mocambo

Fox Jaws is all about elegance, drama, and wickedly inspiring rock. All the sets remind me of the Sly Stone song--I Wanna Take You Higher. Soaring through the clouds, an epic flight, a musical life-force, led by a strutting diva-jewel. Use your imagination, and Fox Jaws is playing ontop of a castle, waiting for the winds of heaven to wisk you away.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hamilton Trading Co - The Boat

Great set by the HTC choir. The impassioned singer-songwriter, collective theatrical spirit, and infectious vocal power. Uplifting windswept spirituals--in the heart of Kensington Market. Rejoice.

The Schomberg Fair - The Horseshoe

Introducing their debut CD to the world, a rapturous country-blues-rock revival, full of mojo, full of passion, forging a niche in the TO scene, announcing the bands arrival. Jamming, steady, foot-stompin' fun. For those about to rock, we salute you. Let The Schomberg Fair show you the way.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The 6ixty 8ights - The El Mocambo

Toronto is experiencing a mini-renaissance of 60's-meets-Britpop rock thrills. OK. Maybe I'm just biased. Enter the 6ixty8ights. Dynamic uptempo riffs, sunny harmonies, solid key-laced pop, a sprawling Beatle-esque sweetness. Stuff like this is like peering into the archway of yesterday, and infusing it with something more contemporary. Peace, love, and dammit, some of the catchiest UK inspired music in the city.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Public - The Rivoli

Some bands just all the right elements for a bright future. Brash-guitars, hook-filled melodies, drawing on both a soaring UK inspired sound and a slice of hard-edged rock heaven. Magnetic vocalist Chris just snags you in, and the band is a tight-burst of rhythmic energy, flamboyant and hard-hitting. The CD release was a success. Great turn-out. Public shines, just like it's path ahead

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Vive Quebec Libres - The Velvet Underground

An explosion of garage-rock noise, primal riffs, high-energy, really captures the spirit of what rock should feel and sound like. The ground rumbled and was scorched. C'est bon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Flying Eyes - The Horseshoe

Some rock bands look and sound like what, well, what rock bands should look and sound like. A soaring rock flight, charismatic frontman, searing guitar-riffs, and a tight, dynamic, high-energy sound. Straightforward and raw. Excitement unleashed.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Reveries - Sneaky Dee's

Inventive, ramshackle, minimalist folk-blues fused with an avant-garde spirit. A sound straddling the bluesman summoning creative, spiritual strength at the crossroads, and the spontaneous eclectic alchemy of Krautrock. Musical monks on an intergalactic exploration.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Proof Of Ghosts - The Silver Dollar

Straddling that delicate balance of existing and dreaming, in the realm of swirling atmospheric textures, folk-tinged spirituals, symphonic-like grandiosity. A slice of breezy rural life, gentle and exhilarating, in this urban jungle.

Picturesound - The Velvet Underground

Picturesound is a revelation. A technicolour, hook-ladened UK-inspired sound that owes as much to the psychadelic 60's and John Lennon, as it does to mid 90's Britpop and the NME/Melody Maker. Almost like peering through a starry-eyed looking glass and uncovering a trippy psych-tinged jewel. Color, rocking, excitement, sheer creativity. Astonishing.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Opopo - Rancho Relaxo

Futuristic electro-driven hip-hop-meets-rock designed to melt your brain and scorch the dancefloor. An energetic live-show, pulsating with rhythmic beats, with a cool posse of killer rhymes. This is an old-school kind of cool, full of attitude and reckless energy, so crank it up. You're all invited to the party.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Miles - The Boat

These young rock-stars are here to have fun. And they make sure you're having a blast watching them. This trio is a well-oiled rock and roll machine, the kind of posturing, the kind of explosive energy that captures the essence of rockabilly and 60's garage rock. This is fire-breathing music. Straight from the gut. Straight from the heart. Just ask the crowd who were whipped into a sweaty foot-stomping frenzy. With this band, the best is yet to come.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Evening Hymns - The Drake

A validation of the fact that some performers descend from a little left of heaven. A lo-fi cosmic spectacle straddling swirls of stunning noise laced with that singer-songwriter spirit. Uncomplicated, honest, and beautiful. Experimental soundscapes, a psychedelic-headtrip from an underground mystic. Welcome to the magic bus.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Burning Hell - The Silver Dollar

A symphonic folk-meets-rock kaleidescope of sound, bright keys, infectious and lush, flowing and buoyant, adventurous, almost like a celebration of music itself. Ontop of that, great Martha & The Muffins cover. Keep to your musical vision.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Paper Makers - The Drake

A supercharged duo of buoyant guitar-driven rhythms, sweet vocals/harmonies, and pulsating drumming. A super combination of folk, blues and rock. A catchy high-energy delivery that's poetry in motion. With their exquisite charm, The Paper Makers make you want to sing along.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Purple Hill - Sneaky Dee's

Blissed-out roots-rock fused with equal-parts rock, equal-parts neo-psychadelia, really making for a high-octane, high-energy live performance. A band that really blurs the line between hypnotic shimmering guitars and twangy folk-laced Americana, making for a sprawling sound that uniquely Torontopian. Great band

Magnolius - The Rivoli

The spirit of classic hip-hop lives, shaped into a modern-spectacle, a fierce powerful performance, visually with the screens, and dynamic dancers, really assures everyone that that old-school flame, with it's burning passion, and dense feverish beats, demonstrates that hip-hop, and I mean of the elite, is alive in the T Dot O.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra - Rancho Relaxo

The key words here are revolutionary. And orchestra. An enchanting operetta of scintillating strings, alluring vocals, chamber-music fused with avant-garde and lo-fi rock elements. Almost like an irresistible courtship ritual, swirling, playing, experimenting, and seducing. A contemporary ode to forbidden love. Straight from Parkdale.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Run With The Kittens - The Horseshoe

Interstellar rock warriors, Champagne and Nate make a formidable duo, rippin' guitar riffs and the consummate showman. The music is a rapidfire combination of candid charm and reckless bone-crushing energy, igniting The Horseshoe into a foot-stomping dance-a-thon. These gunslinging astral-commandos were brought here for one thing. To entertain. Mission accomplished--but the party ain't over yet.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Boxes and Bags - Rancho Relaxo

I do believe the hyperkinetic energy set-off a chemical reaction that grew facial hair and burned-off clothing. Chaotic sonic gems by a band of young starry-eyed cosmic commandos. A live-show that's fun, intense, making for gut-busting hellraisin'

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Outbred Inlaws - The Kathedral

A live revolution of leather-clad guts-and-glory, a country-tinged punk-riot that document fast livin', beer-swilling and hot chicks. You know that these road-tested rock-and-roll mercenaries have lived the life. Seems fitting that their set followed female cake-wrestling. Decadent to the very end man.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Telegram - The Horseshoe

Brigid's soaring vocals reminds me of Amy Lee, haunting and powerful. Guitarist Philip is absolutely stellar, sparkling Johnny Marr-like chimes, central to a riff-driven high-energy sound, part swaggering Britpop, part surging indie-rock. Heart-bursting brashness. Just a great TO band.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mahogany Frog - The Drake

A sonic brew of epic prog-rock falling somewhere in between King Crimson and Hawkwind, intense solos that invokes Led Zeppelin, with the psych-rock tendencies of The Warlocks and The Black Angels. This is an adventurous, ambitious, mind-bending head-trip, capturing the true spirit of rock explosiveness and grandeur. Perhaps Canada's answer to The Mars Volta. Spellbinding.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Teenanger - Sneaky Dee's

Teenanger embodies that 70's punk spirit, the decadence, the manic energy, that audio-adrenaline rush. A bit of Ramones, a bit of The Damned, a bit of the New York Dolls. Fiery, raw, and thrilling--a raucous kick-in-the-ass that sparks musical insurrections.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cold Dead Hands - Neutral

This is what rock and roll should sound like. Should feel like. Powerful, merciless, and dangerous. The spirit of classic rock, thunderous riffs and percussion, just pulverized the entire room, whipping the frontline moshers into a frenzy. A rock and roll force that always delivers the goods. That always rekindles that fire. That always takes me home.

Deromantic - Rancho Relaxo

Steve is a musical troubadour, with deep resonant vocals that wisk you away to another place. The music, carefully crafted gems that sparkle with passion, evocative, emotional, a sense of stillness fused with euphoric celebration. Really is a pleasure to watch. To experience. Entertaining.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dead Messenger - Savannah Room

The room was witness to an uprising, snarling explosiveness, pure balls-out energy. As long as the simmering danger, primal rawness and boiling intensity remains in a live performance--music revolutions will continue to sprout forth. Dead Messenger. Haggard Beast. Blood, sweat and anarchy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Secret Japanese Girlfriend - Tranzac

A master of musical eclecticism, endearing vocal urgency, as well as a deft piano-masterstroke. This is where the avant-garde and singer-songwriter co-exist, almost like audio post-modern art. Open your imagination and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Llions - The Horseshoe

Inspiring key-laced pop, beautiful intricate harmonies, this is the kind of rousing chemistry that only a brother-sister duo can achieve. Bursting with energy, Llions makes for a colourful, fun, and infectious good time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Friendlyness & The Human Rights - Sneaky Dee's

Friendlyness and The Human Rights is music for your heart and soul. That was a great set at Sneaky Dee's. Spiritually touched by reggae, the inspiration, the rhythmic heartbeat, artistic freedom unlocking the shackles, a meditation-meets-celebration on what binds people together. If you recognize the universal power of music, you will find peace in your heart, soul, and spirit.

The Champion Heartache - The Drake

A swooning roots flight, falling somewhere in between Wilco and catchy rock. Folk sweetness, breezy harmonies, and concise guitarwork. A lush sound, that’s soulfully smooth, equal parts alt-country fused with 70’s soft-rock, coupled with sparkling indie-type energy. Extracts of twang and gritty swagger, The Champion Heartache is cohesive sound that bursts of colourful flavours.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thee Diet Pills - The Embassy

A garage-rock battle-cry, a call-to-arms, that seizes the spirit of bands like The Sonics, and unleashes it as a snarling, dangerous, speaker-bursting wildfire. The raw firebrand energy is the epitome of down-and-dirty throat-shredding rock n roll. The Diet Pills makes it feels great to be alive. The flame refuses to die.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Holoscene - The Boat

The theme tonight at The Boat was sonic ambiance colliding with sheer power. Holoscene is an ocean of heavenly tides and crashing waves, a cascading cosmic force that draws on spiritual elements to be-at-one with the musical experience. A harmonious soul-merging of that journey, the conflict, the struggle, the dissonance, a post-rock odyssey blending the dialectic ebbs-and-flows of life.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tin Bangs - Rancho Relaxo

A rock powerhouse that left the stage, the venue, and perhaps that leather-clad dancing-girl, up in flames. Windstorm riffs, thunderous rhythms, swagger, enthusiasm, a tight live-show, a triumph of what rock and roll is all about. Everyone was feeling the sweaty intensity, a mini-uprising, blazing a trail of smoke.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rural Alberta Advantage - The Drake

The theme tonight was Elephant 6, in song and in spirit. That was a great set at The Drake, fetching indie-rock fused with melodic neo-psych goodness, capturing the essence of the collective, and incorporating our distinct brand of Torontopian universality. An entrancing, wonderous, jewel. Keep to your musical vision.

Lipstick Machine - Smiling Buddha

The gloriousness of retro-inspired garage-rock colliding with shards of post-punk, pounding riffs meets brooding tension twisting and winding through your veins. That everlasting flame continues to burn.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Today Is The Day - The Reverb

Toronto felt the almighty detonation of grindcore metal at The Reverb, cinematic thunder of the gods that shook the very ground, the pillars mainstream blandness made way for a jarring cyclone of power. Thank you Nashville for delivering a booming, high-voltage, hellraising shockwave.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Idlers - The Horseshoe

A ska/reggae explosion of fun unleashed, a nine-member ensemble of horn-blasts, rhythmic combustion and infectious stage-presence made it seem like a celebration. A spiritual experience from the East Coast dominated by sweltering grooves, high-energy, and pure reckless joy. The ska gods were smiling on Toronto on this night.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Human Statues - The Drake

One-half of the band, but still an alliance of catchy acoustic goodness, strong vocal melodies, driven by the singer-songwriter spirit. Poignant guitar therapy that will get your toes a tapping.

Lioness - Sneaky Dee's

Vanessa is a soul-strutting heroine, electrifying, capturing the vocal prowess of a young Tina Turner. Add Jeff's relentless drumming onslaught, and biting basslines, Lioness is a cutting-edge blast of vocal-guile and analog aural-spasms, unfolding like some apocalyptic vision. No guts. No glory. Free your mind. Alice is waiting.

The Miles - The Neutral

That was an amazing set at The Neutral, pyrotechnic dance-punk that set the place on fire, scorching rockabilly thunder, a musical high-speed car chase blazing a trail of smoke and blinding fumes. Sizzling and dazzling. Place your money on The Miles. These cool-cats are on onto bigger and better things.

Foxfire - The Rivoli

Glitz, glamor, and highly combustible fun. This is what a world-class band should look and sound like. That was a great set at The Rivoli. Neil the swashbuckling crooner, Hannah the fabulous glamor Queen, the interplay between the two is absolutely magnetic. The band is pure-rock magic, dramatic yet stunning musicianship, a melodramatic explosion of a hipster-opera that will leave you breathless.

Spookey Ruben - Tiger Bar

Just barely missing your set at The Tiger Bar, is no consolation for the enthusiasm and spirit for the man they call Spookey Ruben. A melodic cushion of sound, Brian Wilson-esque collages, daring, eclectic and lush. Monochromatic colours that's irresistibly sweet. Canada's Intergalactic Troubadour has made his return.