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.