Alternative, Canadian, Concert Reviews, Folk, Music

Miner & Tim Moxam @ The Drake Hotel 7/22/2014

No Comments 24 July 2014

by Mica McCurdy
Tim Moxam
Tim Moxam took the Drake Underground stage on Tuesday night, with collaborators Ivy and Raffa, to croon us all in to a swaying love for the simple things in life: love, nature, family, friends, dimly lit rooms, beer, etc.

Moxam opened with “Blue Sun”, a stand out single representative of his deep folk and country roots. Sounding almost Neil Young inspired, it set the tone for the songs to come with consistently classical themes and strong guitar work.

Ivy and Raffa, backing vocals for the evening, transformed the set from the typical (and often over done) singer/songwriter performance with their perfect pitch and emotive delivery. This was particularly notable in “Coming On” and “Bones”, where their vocals were used for emphasis on lines beyond the chorus and in tandem with Moxam’s harmonica.

Moxam’s songs oscillated between intensity and sweetness, often starting with one and ending the other. His earthy voice holds a kind of rasp that grabs you, but opens up to a beautiful vocal range, as heard later in the set on “Live In The Bedroom” and the jazz/blues number that followed.

Though his time on stage felt short, Moxam quickly built a world that was easy to listen to and easy to love. His charming stage presence created a community from those of us assembled, and it could have only been better if we were sitting outside under the stars he sang about.
Miner
Following Moxam, LA’s Miner took the stage with a happy and energetic set. A self-proclaimed “family band” (a pair of brothers, and a married couple), they were one part Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, one part The Lumineers, and one part pure Americana. Radio friendly single “Carousel” was the highlight of the set, complete with a “woo ohhh” sing-a-long breakdown. They charmed the crowd with their infectious foot stomping and head bobbing, hopefully making their long (and first!) trip to Toronto worthwhile.

Concert Reviews, Music

Awolnation, Childish Gambino, Snoop Dogg @ Ottawa Bluesfest 7/12/2014

No Comments 22 July 2014

AWOLNATION at the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest 2014

Photo by Mark Horton

by Micayla Bussieres

I started my last night of Bluesfest by lounging on the grass with friends when Awolnation came out on the Bell Stage. Their signature electro-rock sound made for good background music for those of us who had a busy Saturday, and the familiar sound of their hit singles had many singing and bobbing along. Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Music

Grimes, Flume, Action Bronson, St. Lucia, Smith Westerns, Majical Cloudz, Haerts, Lowell, Ice Cream and more @ TIME Fest 7/19/2014

No Comments 21 July 2014

by Tiana Feng
Grimes @ TIME Festival 7/19/2014
On Saturday Embrace’s TIME Fest took place after a three year hiatus. Mother Nature  gave no favours as it rained the entire time. Due to miscommunication of some sort, the umbrellas of early patrons were confiscated at the door. This led to a lot of wet fans who were angry when they saw others enter with them. Water bottles weren’t allowed in either. None of these instructions were previously indicated anywhere.  Continue Reading

Acoustic, Blues, Canadian, Classic Rock, Concert Reviews, Folk, Jazz, Music

THE JESSICA STUART FEW, WEST MY FRIEND @ SOLSTICE CAFE (Victoria, BC) 7/19/2014

No Comments 20 July 2014

by Mark Anthony Brennan

IMG_5489 Copying

There is nothing finer than spending time in the funky confines of the Solstice Cafe on a lovely Victoria summer evening. Nothing, that is, unless you add some terrific music by two of Canada’s classier acts. Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Music

BADBADNOTGOOD, Third Eye Blind, July Talk @ Ottawa Bluesfest 7/11/2014

No Comments 20 July 2014

by Micayla Bussieres
ottawablues2
BadBadNotGood put on the most fantastic show to start of the night and I’m so glad I was not standing in the crowd by the stage. This jazz trio made up of Humber College alumni was greeted with applause and shouts that you’d expect at a pop-punk show, partially because of their extreme talent but also because of hometown boy, Chester Hansen, on the bass. They started their set with covers of a few jazz songs, even bringing out long-time friend and collaborator, Leland Whitty, on tenor sax to join them. As BBNG moved into more originals and drummer, Alexander Sowinski, amped up the crowd, a mosh pit began to form and clouds of dust rose above the crowd. My favourite tune was their cover of TNGHT’s “Bugg’n” because it had so much energy and made the entire audience so pumped up for the rest of the night. Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Folk, Music

Sharon Van Etten, Boy & Bear, Old Man Canyon, Shakey Graves and more @ Winnipeg Folk Festival 7/13/2014

No Comments 18 July 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee

BeautifulWeather
Sunday started out as a murky cold affair extending to spritz of rainfall intermittently throughout the day and evening. But, the endurance of the Folk Festers was rewarded with impressive music. Good things come to those who stick around, right? Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Folk, Music

Jake Shimabukuro, Whitney Rose, Andi DiFranco, His Gold Messenger, Calypso Rose @ Winnipeg Folk Festival July 12th, 2014

No Comments 18 July 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee

AnotherSunset

The generosity of the weather Gods temporarily ceased on Day 4, as Environment Canada issued a tornado warning around Winnipeg, affecting shows in the afternoon for a few hours. Thankfully, the stormy conditions morphed into chilly late afternoon sunshine as performances started up on Main Stage. Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Folk, Music

Baskery, The Rua Mamillan Trio, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Grace and Tony, Fortunate ones and More @ Winnipeg Folk Festival 7/11/2014

No Comments 18 July 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee

Sunset

Friday was the start to the weekend part of the festival that featured music as early as 11 in the morning at the smaller stages including collaborative workshops. Despite increased opportunities to see more acts, I had to juggle artist interviews all day limiting the coverage. Oh the tough life! Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Folk, Music

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, The Wood Brothers, Danny Barnes, Chic Gamine, Cara Luft, Della Mae @ Winnipeg Folk Festival 7/10/2014

No Comments 17 July 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee

DellaMae

Della Mae

The streak of summer bliss continued on for Day 2 of the Festival. Similar to Day 1, the acts were consolidated all on the Main Stage, with performances starting a bit after 6 in the evening. Continue Reading

Alternative, Canadian, Concert Reviews, Experimental, Music

Ought w/ Dub Thompson @ The Drake 7/14/2014

No Comments 15 July 2014

by Tiana Feng
Ought @ The Drake Hotel 7/14/2014
It’s rare that I would go out on a Monday night to see a band, unless it’s something I am really excited about and Ought was just one of those bands. Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Music

Blondie, The Paper Kites, Gorgol Bordello @ Ottawa Blues Fest 7/10/2014

No Comments 15 July 2014

by Micayla Bussieres
IMG_3390
I don’t really know how to describe what I expected from Gogol Bordello, but what I saw/heard was so much more. They’re universally known as “gypsy punk” but as they came out onto the stage, Gogol Bordello began an incredibly fast, and loud song. I’m talking so loud that the bass hurt my insides (not that that’s a bad thing). They were so full of energy and each musician played such a crucial role, taking turns to be the center of attention at the front of the stage. I couldn’t exactly understand much that they said in the first few songs but I loved it, jumping along with all of the diehard fans around me. Since I’m clearly not well versed in their music I can’t mention song names but there was one that sounded like a hardcore mariachi tune and it was amazing! I think the highlight of that show was how hard the accordion player jammed out because if you’ve never held an accordion, let me tell you, those instruments are ridiculously heavy.

IMG_3402

I had to leave a tad early from Gogol Bordello so I could get close to the front for The Paper Kites. This group from Australia has recently changed their sound from the extremely folky, banjo-riddled, simple sounds of their first 2 EPs to a more dreamy, folk-pop sound for their newest album, States. Instead of switching between the two fairly distinct sounds, they morphed a few of their older songs into this newer sound, which I found to be a wise choice. When they first started “Featherstone” from the Woodland EP it wasn’t what I expected –slow soft vocals and long guitar notes instead of staccato strumming and finger picking– but they did bring a new feeling to it, and I really enjoyed it once they got into the meat of the song. I think a large portion of the crowd didn’t realize that this wasn’t going to be high energy, and were disappointed, but for those of us who were already fans, the sleepy lullaby-reminiscent sounds were perfect.

IMG_3429
I ended my night by seeing Blondie on the Claridge stage and for a band that’s been together 40 years, they still really held their own. Starting out with the classic “One Way or Another” and following with a mix of old and new including the newer single “Rose By Any Name,” the band seemed to pick up as if it was still their heyday. Watching Debbie Harry dancing up there in her entirely white ensemble (with some sort of strappy bondage harness overtop??) kind of reminded me of a drunken grandma at a christmas party. It’s awkward but very entertaining and you’re just glad she isn’t YOUR grandma. You could see Debbie and the rest of the band were having a great time and so were the people who grew up listening to this iconic music; especially when they launched into a cover of “Fight For Your Right” during the coda of “Rapture” which just happens to be the first video including rap ever shown on MTV. As they ended the set with the tune we were all waiting for, “Heart of Glass,” and then “Dreaming,” it just reminded me that none of us are ever going to be as cool as Debbie Harry.

Alternative, Canadian, Concert Reviews, Folk, Music, Pop

Great Lake Swimmers @ Massey Hall 7/8/2014

No Comments 12 July 2014

by Mica McCurdy
greatlakeswimmers

This past Wednesday Great Lake Swimmers took the stage after what appeared to be a raucous Rural Alberta Advantage set (which I sadly missed thanks to poor work/life balance). The night was a part of a Live at Massey Hall, a new live concert and concert film series. Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Music

Queens of the Stone Age @ Ottawa Bluesfest 7/8/2014

No Comments 12 July 2014

by Micayla Bussieres

Photo by Mark Horton

Photo by Mark Horton

 

This review almost turned into an article exclusively about how terrible rain is when you want to see a show. The day started with an already drenched Micayla arriving at the River stage to see Jenny Lewis but with the excessive amounts of lightning and worsening downpour, the stage crew was quickly wrapping all of the instruments and equipment in plastic sheets. I decided to make my way over to the Claridge stage where Queens of the Stone Age would be playing in an hour’s time and just hope that wasn’t delayed or cancelled as well. Soon, the rain started to let up and Styx began playing over on the Bell stage. As Styx neared the end of their set, the QOTSA crowd grew and began to get antsy so we wouldn’t have to stand in the rain quite as long.

Lucky for us, just before the show began the rain slowed to a drizzle, the sun came out, and a double rainbow appeared! Josh Homme and the rest of the band walked out on stage and launched right into their first song, ending with some praise for the festival, and for the fortunate change in weather. They played through their hits, like “No One Knows” and “Little Sister,” and classics such as “Burn the Witch.” The crowd was filled with the most dedicated fans that couldn’t help but head bang and dance. Although we were all drenched down to our souls, there’s no other way I could imagine experiencing such an intense concert.

Concert Reviews, Music

Bonnie Raitt, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Amy Helm & the Handsome Strangers and more! @ Winnipeg Folk Festival 7/9/2014

No Comments 10 July 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee

 BROSLANDRETH

Within few moments of entering the festival grounds, there was a communal vibe to it all. Families, which included newborns to grandparents, set up their chairs and cozied up with their loved ones. It didn’t seem like anyone was there because of the next buzz band. They were there for, you know,the music! Continue Reading

Concert Reviews, Music

The Paper Kites w/ Horse Thief @ The Casbah (Hamilton, ON) 7/8/2014

No Comments 10 July 2014

by Nilabjo Banerjee
PaperKites
Music fans are known to travel far distances to see their favourite bands. So, travelling few clicks down the QEW to Hamilton to see The Paper Kites was no biggie. Continue Reading

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