Halifax Pop Explosion:: CBC Radio 3 Showcase

The last showcase for the HPX07 was a mind blower. After seeing Joel Plaskett turn the St. Matthew's Church into his "big Christian Kitchen" and perfectly represent Canadian music, I was a little unsure how the big CBC Radio 3 show would do. Despite the talent level CBC put together, it was a long week of music and Joel's show was crammed to the gills with people.

Luckily, as we walked in for the end of Mother Mother's set, the Marquee was filled nicely and before we could blink, Land of Talk was already setting up and getting primed. LoT is one of the bands I keep waiting for the music community to embrace. Liz Powell is an engaging front woman, and the band's tracks are tight as can be. The amount of sound the create from only three instruments is impressive. Hopefully, when they record and release their first full length, the attention will be there.

They only had 30 minutes for their set, but for those 30 minutes they owned the Marquee. Blasting through tracks from the amazing Applause Cheer Boo Hiss (Speak to Me Bones, Magnetic Hill) and their new single (Youth Brigade) the trio looked like they were having a great time. Apparently they had a crap time in Europe, so the support of the homeland crowd really fueled a stellar performance.

Up next was Polaris Shortlist Nominee, Miracle Fortress. To be honest, of all the acts at HPX07, this was the one for me. Five Roses is probably the best Canadian record of the year, and the increased touring schedule (and full time band) has really helped strengthen the live sets.

Miracle Fortress drove through a quick set that again was much too short. They could have played Five Roses start to finish and no one would have complained, but like Land of Talk, they kept the energy high and seemed happy to be there. Plus, they played a great John Cale cover. The most interesting thing for me was that a lot of the shimmer of the Beach Boy-ish melodies were combined and morphed with distortion, guitar and percussion. It really made for a separate experience, ignoring the subtle nuances of the record and transforming the sound into something that could be enjoyed in a big venue. Obviously, I loved the set.
MP3:: This Thing About You

The final act of the HPX07 was pretty special and fit nicely into the 15th anniversary theme. Eric's Trip is the group that first brought some media attention to the Canadian indie music scene. In the 90's Eric's Trip was making sludgy music that compared with Dinosaur Jr., but added just of the Neil Young to give the band a uniquely Canadian sound. Bottom line? The Halifax crowd was amped beyond amped to see the band get back together.

Sure the band is still making great music (Julie Doiron was nominated for the Polaris and Rick White and Mark Gaudet's band Elevator is stellar), but hearing them blast out the classics was something special. I could go on and on about the show, but it was really one of those things you had to hear for yourself... and like most of the shows @ the HPX07, lots of music lovers were. I can't think of a better showcase to celebrate the success of Canadian music, both old and new.

Land of Talk

Most popular man at XPX07? The music nerds in the front thought so!


Moncton represent

Sit down and get ready

Miracle Fortress rhythm section


Finding the groove

Split 41 on two... break

The main event

Soft focus effect? Yeah, we know that one.

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