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.