Saturday, November 08, 2008

Shout out.

I'm gonna start a new occasional feature. These days, I find I don't have the time or energy do to proper show reviews and post some of the photos I take when I'm out and about. But I do want to acknowledge some of the music that I've been enjoying recently, whether on record or live. So we have "shout out."

The newly-named Toronto band Provincial Parks (formerly Howl) is celebrating the release of their new EP, "Iron Ponies," tonight at the Mod Club. The band was nice enough to send over a digital copy of the disk, and I played a song off it on podcast 17. Now that I've had a few more listens, I'm really enjoying what I hear. This is a band that take advantage of the great music scene around them, and their sound contains elements of mainstream indie rock and upbeat, catchy folk pop. The album's been getting some nice press. In the late summer I saw the band play a toned-down set at the Oxford Hotel, a backyard venue in Kensington Market. It was lovely.

Download: My favourite song off "Iron Ponies" is Islands.

Last Saturday I saw one of my favourite sets all year, by Born Ruffians at the Opera House. Just coming off a tour, the youngsters were in fine form. Though only a three piece, they managed to fill the venue with their sound and presence. After having seen the openers---both larger ensembles---it was really apparent why these guys are so popular, and only gaining themselves more and more fans with each show and each release. I've been enjoying their album for months. Other than my grumbling about having to avoid the mosh pit at the front of the all-ages show, I had a fantastic time. They played a couple new songs, and they have me looking forward to the next album from these guys. Henri Faberge & the Adorables warmed up the crowd nicely. Actually, "nicely" isn't exactly the right word for it. The set was CRAZY! Extremely entertaining and energetic. What would have made it better for me was if I'd known the songs. I got the sense that some of the antics were related to the lyrics, but I couldn't really figure out what was going on. Still, wow: a performance I will not forget. Rob has a review (with a couple of my photos) here. And read Bob's take here.

Luke and Mitch from Born Ruffians joined Ruby Coast on stage for the closing song of their set at Sneaky Dee's last night. This, too, will be a show I won't soon forget. I got there late and missed the first opener, but was there for Green Go. I like this electro-pop band more and more each time I see them. They have infectious energy, a great lead man and woman, and are super tight. The faster songs had some of the kids up at the front moshing, but for me what really impressed was when they slowed things down. Slower, yes, but no less intense. They kept the dance party going throughout a well put together set of slower and faster tunes. A really creative bunch, this is totally a band I can (continue to) get behind.

Download: Ghosts of the Future comes from the band's 3-song promotional disk. Look for a spring full-length, and an internet-only series of remixes out even sooner.

I'm still really taken with $100 (One Hundred Dollars') full-length, "Forest of Tears." Fantastic country album. They are playing next Saturday at the Dakota Tavern. I'll be in Berlin, but you should totally go.

Download: No Great Leap.

And since I'm shouting things out, here's to Woodhands! Have fun in Japan!!

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