Saturday, November 7, 2009

News:: Paper Beat Scissors comes home

A while back, I gushed about Tim Crabtree's newest EP - under the moniker Paper Beat Scissors - and was equally impressed by his live show when he and a huge collection of friends warmed the stage for Caledonia.

For those new to the band's sound, honestly, the picture I've included sums it up perfectly. Warm fuzz, soft focus and incredibly captivating. The Flickr EP is a beautiful mix of acoustic guitar, strings, subtle electronics and tribal percussion, but for anyone in Halifax, seeing these songs take new life in a live setting is something not to miss.

The show is Sunday at Gus' Pub. Gianna Lauren and Josh Dean will be opening proceedings. Doors at 8pm, $7

MP3:: Paper Beat Scissors - Be Patient

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Friday, August 21, 2009

News:: Ketch Harbour Wolves TONIGHT

That's right Halifax. Ketch Harbour Wolves - who you might remember from the praise we showered on them (Best Canadian EP of 2008) - are in town recording their follow up and have a last minute show at The Seahorse tonight.

They'll be playing with Modern Citizen and Owl, so I would urge all of you sad sacks to beat the heat with some anthem-esque rock from a great bunch of guys. Things start @ 9PM and tickets are only seven duckets, so make sure you get down and support these guys.

OWL on the other hand is the super electro synth pop duo from Hali that that will:
a) Make you want to cuddle in a warm blanket with some hot chocolate.
b) Make you want to dance in the middle of the street with your best friend during an Atlantic Canadian snowstorm.
c) Make you want to throw a surprise party for a complete stranger.
d) Make you want to bake a batch of cookies, but then eat all of the dough before the oven is heated to the proper temperature.
e) Then tuck you in to bed because your tummy hurts, and apologize for the cookie dough incident.

Here's the official video for Words. If you watch and don't like the song, chances are we can't be e-friends anymore.


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Concert news:: Gypsophilia & Jerry Leger

As always, it seems that good artists flood Halifax’s venues in waves. We can go a few weeks with nothing but local acts (albeit, terrific local acts) and all of a sudden, three or four really great bands (well, that’s what my iPOD playlist seems to think) roll in at once. Case in point? This week. I won't tread on Nadeau's week-end show posts, but two shows really grabbed my attention and I wanted to give them an extra bit of shine.

Gypsophilia is prepping to release their new record, Sa-ba-da-OW! and even though they still play a mixture of klezmer and French jazz, the new record is much more diverse collection of sounds. Their songs are still playful, as they balance tension, drama and whimsy nicely, but for some reason Sa-ba-da-OW! seems to have a stronger heartbeat and a more enriched soul.

Over the course of 11 songs they revisit traditional and familiar sounds (Jewish Dance Party and Legs Bounce for example), but it's the experiments with more soulful grooves (like the out of nowhere reggae tinged treat, You Make Time or the funk filled Sa-ba-da-OW!), percussion and a willingness to stretch the borders and boundaries of timeless influences that makes this record work.

But no matter how great a job Charles Austin did helping the band fine tune their sound, anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of seeing the band live knows that 11 quick hitting songs on record does NOT equal the pure joy of seeing the songs come to life when the adrenaline and alcohol start running through the room. Fans dress up and almost instantly, a swing dance party starts and instead of swimming through a sea of arm-crossed, pasty faced, white dudes peering at a band with apathy, you groove amongst a breathing mass of smiles that dances until the last note is played. For a few hours, people forget about looking cool and let a true love of music take over.

June 19th and 20th - Sa-ba-da-OW! CD release:
Fred (Doors at 9pm, show at 10pm)

Not to be outdone, Toronto folker Jerry Leger is playing two shows this week. I loved his last record – You Me and the Horse (review) - and am thrilled he's back in the 'Fax (ed: yes, we paid Josh Martinez the requisite dollar for trademark enfrigement). Obviously he’s a big Dylan fan, but more importantly he reminds me of Tom Brosseau.

Even at the tender age of 23, Leger is an old soul and a folk singer destined for a career that spans albums and decades. With recent stops of the Q and support from Ron Sexsmith, I’m not sure how long he will be playing small venues with smaller price tags attached to the ticket. So, take my advice and get out for a hump day treat.

Wednesday June 17th
The Seahorse Tavern - "bluegrass/roots night" w/ Moonshine Ramblers, Smokin' Contra Band

Thursday June 18th
The Company House w/ Al Tuck!

MP3:: Gypsophilia - Agricola and Sarah

MP3:: Jerry Leger - Looking for a Friend

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Concert notes:: Elliott Brood, Jon McKiel, The Burning Hell, Michou, oh my

It’s one of those times that is bordering on an embarrassment of riches when it comes to shows in Halifax. I mean, we don’t have people like Death Cab streaming into the Ocean Playground (wait.. scratch that), but we have some terrific National touring acts making an appearance in our fair city.

First and foremost: Elliott f&cking Brood. These cow-punking, deathbillies will blow the roof of of the new Paragon on April 24th – that I guarantee. Their new album – Mountain Meadows (review) - made our Best-of List last year and as good as they are on record, they are 100X better live. Throw in Jon McKiel (review) as an opener, and this everyone should be hitting up.

Fighting neck and neck for top honors is the smorgasbord of talent and styles invading Gus’ Pub on April 11th. Headlining is The Burning Hell, and you’d never expect a uke driven outfit to pack in the crowd or turn up the energy, but that’s what these Peterborough natives do. Their new record – Baby (review) – is stellar.

Coming with them? Well, you have Windsor ambient, indie folkers Michou. I’m new to their sound, but hot damn, it shows potential. They have all the gentle touch of a terrific folk band, but the melodies are poppy and beautiful. I can’t shake how the lead vocalist (Mike) sounds a bit like Ben Gibbard – on Control when he drops “I'm getting the message in Morse code” you cna't help but make those type of favorable observations- but I’m not sure that is the comparison or style these guys want. Instead of driving pop anthems, Michou prefers a mellow, intricate collage of sounds, one that slowly burns into your heart.

Also on the bill are Weird Weather – a band I’ve never heard of, but the quick scan of the myspace shows these folk rockers should be a nice treat – and the pride of Port Greville, Construction & Destruction.

Oh… and did I mention that Hot Panda and Horses are playing in May? How about Timber Timbre and The Weather Station? Well, I did now.

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