Monday, November 28, 2011

Prince @ ACC, Nov 26th



Oh yes, this photo of Prince is as blurry as my nostalgia.


Made it out to the ACC on Saturday to partake of Prince's second night of a two-night stand. The hype from the first night, where Prince did seven encore, proved to be a bit of an overhang that set my expectations through the roof. That's the thing about a talent as mercurial as Prince - one is left hoping to witness something magical.

Got there early with a decent seat. Alot of purple clad fans, quite a cross-section of humanity. A few looked like hardcore fans - one lady up front was rocking a black leather coat with NPG and a huge portrait of 1970s era Prince on the back. A few raspberry berets in the audience. The ACC still had a few sections empty at the top but a decent sized crowd.

Arena concerts are a bit of a cheat. It's really two concerts in one as the perfomer either has their back to you half of the time. It works for bands better as the distribution can be evened out with half the band members facing your general direction.

Settled in with a beverage and tried to ignore the adverts for resort vacations streaming down on a captive but monied audience. The vibe was sort of half festive yet unfocussed. I started to evaluate couples (they're into each other, they're NOT into each other, that guy's whipped, etc.) and drifted further into my drink.

Fortunately the wait was not too bad. The ads mercifully stopped and we were off with a screechy but healthy female response to the man himself stepping out on stage.

Second song was Purple Rain . Purple confetti shot up into the air and sadly some of that confetti was still coming down after the show had finished. Clear signs it was going to be a quick night. Still a good feeling got hold of the people as this anthem worked its way to the rafters. Anthem is the right word here cause something in Prince's performance smacked of a religious tone. Something very gospel in the arrangements.

The NPG were tight. Alot of James Brown in the way that Prince marshalls the NPG. Must give Prince his credit that he never upstaged any of his people's performances during the night like James Brown was wont to do.

Another point to note is Prince's interaction with the audience. Tireless. Constantly working to get the crowd into it. A true performer. Somewhere in the earlies Prince asks the audience "When's the last time you went to see anyone with 145 hits?" A rhetorical question which he answered by playing five covers. Prince, we came to hear YOUR joints!

Well, that's not technically true. I was secretly hoping for something unusual and off the beaten track. A surprise. The man has a rep for memorable performances. A Prince cover is usually pretty good.

Anyways, the rest of the night was kind of blur as we ended up getting highlights rather than full songs. 145 hits yo - here's a medley. I was hoping for one slow song in the encore but alas it wasn't to be. If you went to the friday night show, congrats, you saw the real thing.

Trend: More fans invited on stage to dance. And one thing .... Toronto girls CANNOT DANCE. This one white guy outdanced all those chicks. Step it up ladies!

Highlights: Guitar work. Prince can flat out PLAY.

Magic: Prince's seamless transition from Love Rollercoaster to Alphabet St.

Setlist (from setlist.fm):

Gold
Purple Rain
Let's Go Crazy
Delirious / Let's Go Crazy (coda)
1999
Shhh (incl. U Will Be... With Me interpolation)
Mountains
Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
Alphabet St. / Love Rollercoaster (The Ohio Players cover)
Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
Angel (Sarah McLachlan cover) (Shelby J., Liv Warfield, Elisa Dease co-lead vocals)
Nothing Compares 2 U
Crimson and Clover (Tommy James and the Shondells)

Encore:
Controversy / Sexy Dancer (instrumental) / Get Down Tonight (KC and The Sunshine Band cover) (incl. Housequake & (Eye Like) Funky Music chants & Controversy (coda))

Encore 2:
Little Red Corvette (incl. Extraloveable lyrics interpolation)
Take me with U
Raspberry Beret
Cream
Cool (incl. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough interpolation (Michael Jackson cover))

Encore 3:
When Doves Cry / Nasty Girl (instrumental) / Sign O' The Times / The Most Beautiful Girl In The World / I Would Die 4 U / Darling Nikki (instrumental)
("Prince at the Sampler")

Encore 4:
Kiss


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Parade - Louder (Hype 0153)

Catchy track from this girl band from the UK. Girl Power??

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI62NlMa5V0

Mastodon w/ Dillinger Escape Plan and Red Fang, Nov 25th, 2011 Kool Haus Toronto




Just close your eyes and pretend that everything's fine...
-- All the Heavy Lifting, The Hunter



My escape plan friday was to tunnel out to the parking lot, hop in the car, crank some Mastodon and sail east. Turns out this was a great start to a memorable weekend.

Mastodon is a band from Atlanta that exemplifies a genre called sludge metal - a sort of progressive metal with less frequent chord changes than thrash, heavier on what I'd call the "in-between" notes and beats. And in this department, they've got a beast in Brann Dailor, who gives them a really distinctive percussive sound.

The band got some pips with their track Colony of Birchman (Grammy) but the track that caught my ear was from Leviathan, called Hearts Alive. Alot of tracks off this album have a sort of an aquatic theme (jokingly called "whalecore"). Wonder if it's just a coincidence with the Ahab reference - I mean John Bonham's monster drumming opus was Moby Dick.

Mastodon were part of Heavy Metal TO's summer concert so they've been in town a few times. This tour is to promote The Hunter, their latest offering off Reprise records. I think Leviathan was with their former label Relapse.

Met up with DJ IKvsDK to take in the second biggest music spectacle in TO. Headed down on the TTC with a crush of purple clad older folk to Union station.

We made it to the Kool Haus in time to miss Red Fang and get in on the last of the Creemore tallboys.

The place was packed. Crowd was fairly young, male, unshaven and tattooed. A few ladies and rocker chicks. Seemed to be alot of DEP fans judging by the T-shirts.

Not sure what to make of Dillinger Escape Plan. Their scene is a species of hardcore which is heavy on the screaming and light on rhythm. Their frontman does have some pipes noted by DJ IKvsDK somewhat despondantly.

I didn't get much out of their performance but some in the crowd responded favourably. Nice enough, I just don't get it. The lead guitarist seemed to enjoy standing on the speakers. I can't remember a breakdown - some basic songcraft just seemed to be missing.

Short break and Mastodon hit the stage. The crowd surged forward a bit and the sightlines got a little more complicated.

Must say, Mastodon is an apt moniker. These guys brought it for two hours solid with like 15 seconds break in between. Very very impressive.

Alot of material from the new album however the one track that I thought would be a standout, Stargasm, was absent.

Very light on their previous album, Crack the Skye. Overall, The Hunter has shorter and more songs than Crack the Skye. Not sure what accounts for the change in direction; might just be my misperception.

One thing that seems to get better with each album is the synergy between Brann and Brent. It still is a bit confusing that they split the vocal duties between Troy, Brent, Brann and even Bill. I'm not much for lyrics generally, but this arrangement takes some getting used to.

As we exited "den Haus" we overcame the immediate binge impulses (concert merch, hot dog stands) and made it to Fran's. There we ordered a much deserved early (or late) breakfast and read the wreck from the Prince concert - see next blog post.


Trend: Yes, audience members made it onto the stage with the band.

Highlights: Blood and Thunder (White whale, Holy Grail), Ghosts of Karelia, Crack the Skye, All the Heavy Lifting, Creature Lives.


Check the setlist (from setlist.fm):

Dry Bone Valley
Black Tongue
Crystal Skull
I Am Ahab
Capillarian Crest
Colony of Birchmen
Megalodon
Blasteroid
Sleeping Giant
Ghost of Karelia
All the Heavy Lifting
Spectrelight
Curl of the Burl
Bedazzled Fingernails
Circle of Cysquatch
Aqua Dementia
Crack the Skye
Where Strides the Behemoth
Iron Tusk
March of the Fire Ants
Blood and Thunder

Creature Lives (Encore)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cast - See That Girl (Hype 0152)

My question was does the world need another Cast album 15 years after the whole britpop thing ran its course? See what you think. Not a bad single.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7GpVCkd7bA

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SBTRKT feat. Little Dragon - Wildfire

Video: http://youtu.be/ZdUINbi4wSY

SBTRKT, pronounced "subtract", is a musician/producer from London, U.K. This track comes from his self-titled 2011 album "SBTRKT" released through the Young Turks label.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cass McCombs - The Same Thing (Hype 0150)

Catchy eighties alternative sounding track off Domino Records.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUfLXvH4fN4

Oriole Lounge - Drinking Heaven (Blog 001)



















We would like to put a special shout out to our friend @hardingYoung at the Oriole Lounge who just hit his 100th post or should we say drink. The Oriole Lounge, spinning drinks since January 2010. Congrats Harding.

Link: http://oriolelounge.com/2011/11/19/100-drinks/

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pyrramids That Ain't Right (Hype 0149)

Quirky indiepunk ala california. At least it feels like surfer beach rock from California. Fighting the winter blues. Nice!!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-80dJ3fIm0

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Girl in a Coma - Smart (Hype 0148)

Catchy indie track taken from the bands 3rd album Exits And All The Rest released on Joan Jett's record label Blackheart Records. Nice!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIL6P2_B3gA

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SuperHeavy - SuperHeavy

Video: http://youtu.be/jfFbCKLi1V4

This is the first track on supergroup SuperHeavy's self-titled debut album, which was released this year. The band consists of Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, A. R. Rahman, and Damian Marley. The album's artwork was created by Shepard Fairey.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

French Films - Convict (Hype 0147)

Great new single from indieband French Films taken from their upcoming album Imaginary Future. We're hyped about this band. They released a very cool EP called Golden Sea that we featured in December of last year.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViO_hZV4epo

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flashguns - Passions Of A Different Kind (Hype 0143)

Catchy indie track for Saturday night from the Flashguns taken from their debut album Passions of A Different Kind. Don't ask me how I found out about this band.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXXHmmFOIps

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gigamesh - Red Light (Hype 0142)

Funky downtempo indie club track from Gigamesh. Gigamesh are currently in Toronto tonight performing at 99 Sudbury Street??? The last time I checked my friend went to the gym at this place but supposedly they have concerts also. Who knew? I found about the show too late unfortunately. Great track though.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbudFAFaT40

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Star Slinger Horseshoe Tavern Toronto November 2, 2011


















UK superstar dj/remixer Star Slinger was at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto for a low key funked up show. Chanelling the cut and paste movement the Slinger moved through a selection of downtempo, indie. funk, old skool, and soul selections. The outcome: a full on stage dance party by the end of the night as the Slinger rocked the laptop/knobs. Pass The Dutchie!!!!

Openers were Shlohmo and Shigeto.

This is what the crowd said:

Shigeto

@Jyushin Yo, these dudes is bangin'! (@ Horseshoe Tavern for Star Slinger, Shigeto and Shlohmo) http://4sq.com/uKC6KV

Shlomo

@shlohmo Beautiful people in toronto

@jmo000o I met shlohmo #starstruck

@mymanhenri You are now rawking w/ the best: @shlohmo got the #HorseshoeTavern tavern buckin wild w/ that @Gonjasufi rmx @FoFMusic

@mymanhenri Haha. @shlohmo cooking! #Prettyboyswag #Toronto

@thinthurston @shlohmo best performance ever. Any time you need a dose of beautiful women I'm here. Always good meeting an idol. Stay strong shlohmo!!

@durmarie @shlohmo amazing night dude. mad thanks.

@katekillet You're not too shabby yourself. RT @shlohmo Beautiful people in toronto

Star Slinger

@IKvsDKStar Slinger #horseshoe #chaos #ikdk #toronto

@IKvsDK Ultra hyped jammed Star Slinger show tonight. Who will be representing @panicmanual tonight #horseshoe #cutandpaste (IKDK: Nobody)

@IKvsDK Star Slinger with the beats rhyme and bleep #horseshoe #ikdk

@Tricky_Lake Diggin this Star Slinger dudes hair

@IKvsDK Star Slinger just destroyed Pass The Dutchie #musicalyouth #devil #bringitback #horseshoe #ikdk

@Katlyn_J Star Slinger. Amazing. http://yfrog.com/nukn7itj

@giztastic Star slinger slingin' stars.

@Eggramen On stage with star slinger! Un fucking real

@durmarie ill be talking about last night for a while.. yea. @shlohmo @starslingeruk can't believe i met you both!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1osmNEp2XGc

Tuesday, November 1, 2011