TV On The Radio - Live At The Burt

>> Saturday, 30 May 2009

Was down at the Burt earlier for TV on the Radio's gig there, and, quite simply, it was fantastic and titillating.

The Brooklyn-based experimental rockers proved why they're one of the most inventive, critically lauded bands around - their dense sound translated brilliantly live and was simultaneously intense *and* danceable. And boy are they a bunch of humble guys, repeatedly thanking everyone for coming out to see them. This is an ambitious collective who clearly appreciate their fans, who are genuinely sincere about their craft, and who know how to put on a dazzling concert. I'm still glowing.

The verse-chorus-verse-defying Dirty Projectors opened, and while I enjoyed their set and the abundance of sunny vocal harmonies throughout, I felt, at times, there were too many sounds vying for my ears' attention. This is contrary to the opinion of a wide-eyed zealot I met after they finished - while waiting in line to use the bathroom - who proclaimed with manic glee how The DPs (his nickname, not mine) were, "The best band ever!"


Take that Beatles! Screw you, Rolling Stones! Radiohead? Preposterous!

Seriously though, Dirty Projectors Super Fan really should've waited until TVotR were finished before making his audacious claim.

They were that good.

Anyone else there?

Infinite Playlist: The Dears - Missiles


Grand Analog - Live At The Pyramid

>> Thursday, 28 May 2009

Last night my friend Whitney kindly brought me along as her +1 for Grand Analog's cd release soiree at the Pyramid, and it ended up being a blast. Odario Williams's fluid, driving rhymes overtop funky, bubbling guitars and bass, courtesy of Damon Mitchell and Warren Bray, made for a danceable hip-hop sound that was surprisingly light on sampling (the minimal sampling was brought to life by Williams's younger DJ brother Ofield).

In the end the show had a warm, summery vibe - the sort of feeling that elicits merry and unselfconscious dancing.

Which the sweaty, forest-thick crowd toward the front readily did.

Show rumblings...

Exuberant New Zealand indie-poppers Cut Off Your Hands are coming to town, playing The Albert on June 27th (I'm really looking forward to this).

Veteran Alt-Punk-Rockers Social Distortion’s tour includes a date at the Burt on July 29th with Civet and The Stranglers.

Boston’s The Main Drag, dubbed “the best unsigned Artist by”, will be at the Lo Pub on June 24th.

Singer-songwriter Del Barber is at the Park Theatre on June 9th.

Sam Roberts plays a gig at the Ex on June 18th.

Unapologetic bubble-gum-popper Lights has landed the opening spot for Keane's September 16th Winnipeg date.

Local roots-rockers The Western States are releasing their latest disc Bye and Bye at the West End on June 12th.

Infinite Playlist: TV on the Radio - Dear Science


11 Questions...With The Perms

>> Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Winnipeg's own The Perms are a melodic rock/pop band who are starting to turn heads round these parts. The trio's fourth longplayer Keeps You Up When You're Down dropped in January and is garnering acclaim from fans and critics alike, even scoring a favourable review from our very own Uptown this week.

Chad Smith from the band recently took part in my increasingly popular, patent-pending 11 questions segment and here's what he had to say:

1. Where are you right now?

In my cold basement, on the computer.

2. Who is the best Winnipeg-based band (other than your own, of course)?

I'd probably say...The Guess Who. Are they still playing together?

3. What are your top three, all-time favourite records?

Rubber Soul by The Beatles
Pet Sounds
by The Beach Boys
Out Of The Blue by Electric Light Orchestra.

4. What is the best restaurant in Winnipeg?

Tony Roma's, they have the tastiest onion bloom I've ever eaten!

5. Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

I don't really watch either of them, so I can't give a fair opinion.

6. Would you rather have Invisibility or Flight?

Probably invisibility, 'cause then I could get into any concert/event for free!

7. What is one song you love, but dismiss as “a guilty pleasure”?

"Hey Ya" by OutKast - I know all the words.

8. What’s the worst bus route in Winnipeg?

I don't take the bus, so I don't really know; I use a horse & buggy instead.

9. What was the last great concert you saw?

Def Leppard at the MTS Center (I'm not sure why so many people were sitting down during a rock concert).

10. What book(s) are you currently reading?

Slash's autobiography - it's interesting how much he talks about Steven Adler from "Celebrity Rehab."

11. And finally…who’s your favourite New Kid on the Block (Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan, or Jonathan)?

I don't know...the first one that dies?


The Canary Islands

>> Monday, 25 May 2009

Just a quick note today: British piano-rockers Keane are stopping in at the Burt on September 16th. Tickets went on sale today via their fan club while general presale starts Friday.

If I come across any presale passwords, I'll post them in the comments.

Infinite Playlist: El Guincho - Alegranza!


Be Sure To Yell Bingo!

>> Sunday, 24 May 2009

The main stage schedule for this year's Folk Fest was dropped a couple days back, and the Friday night is looking impossibly awesome (according to my tastes anyway).

Wednesday, July 8

Elvis Costello & The Imposters

Thursday, July 9

Alana Levandoski
Punch Brothers Featuring Chris Thile
Xavier Rudd

Friday, July 10

Josh Ritter
Oumou Sangaré
Del McCoury Band
Iron & Wine
Neko Case

Saturday, July 11

Chatham County Line
Serena Ryder
Burning Spear
Okkervil River

Sunday, July 12

Steven Page
Arlo Guthrie
Loreena McKennitt

I'm still debating whether to attend the full weekend.

In other show news...

Andrew WK returns to these parts, playing a gig at the Albert on June 28th. Strangely, his phone number is plastered all over his MySpace page, so if you feel inclined to chat with the man, now is your chance. Assuming it's a real number of course.

The Vibrators are at the Albert on June 26th w/ Farler's Fury.

Punk-poppers Blink 182 have included a Winnipeg date in their mammoth-sized tour - they'll be at the MTS Centre on August 2nd . Sadly, Weezer - who are opening(!?) for the recently reunited Blinkers during a good chunk of their tour - are not coming.

Progressive metal act Dream Theater rock the Burton Cummings Theatre on August 16th w/ Zappa plays Zappa, Pain of Salvation, and Beardfish.

And finally, a friend sent along this creative and hilarious indie-game the other day (via CatBirdSeat), a fun, innocuous little way to kill some time between bands at a show. While the beer types need to be Canadianized, the rest of the squares should be possible to spot at any given indie event in The Peg.

What would the Canadian beer equivalents be?

Infinite Playlist: Gentleman Reg - Jet Black



>> Thursday, 21 May 2009

The big-hearted folks over at Maple Music have sent along not one, not two, but three autographed copies of indie-rockers The Dears' latest release Missiles for me to give away to my readers. The backs are autographed by the band's fearless leader Murray Lightburn, who'll be appearing, along with the rest of the herd, at the soon-to-be-reopened West End Cultural Centre on June 6th.

Want one?

Simply send me an email by 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 30th with the subject line "Dears' CD Giveaway Extravaganza!", be sure to include your full name in the body, and, just for fun, answer the following noodle scratcher of a question:

What's the best show you've seen at the pre-renovated WECC?

A couple other things:

1. Only one entry per person
2. Winners will be randomly drawn by me and emailed shortly thereafter.
3. If you haven't been to a show at the WECC, you can still enter. I'll forgive you. This time...

Infinite Playlist: The Dears - Missiles (I got a non-autographed copy)


Mandelbaum Mix - Volume Two

>> Tuesday, 19 May 2009

So I was out running the other day, enjoying a rare beautiful spring morning while sweating profusely, when suddenly it hit me like a sack of doorknobs: my running playlist, Mandelbaum Mix Volume One, just ain't cutting it no more! (The playlist is named after the octogenerian fitness buff on Seinfeld, aptly portrayed by the late, great Lloyd Bridges in the above clip).

Nothing personal against the songs populating Volume One, but some fresh, healthy change was badly badly needed. And after studious consideration and lots of adding, deleting, rearranging plus a few frustrated tears and overjoyed Eurekas!, I have devised, what should be, pure sonic motivation.

Tomorrow night...It's go time!

  1. The Flaming Lips - Fight Test
  2. El Guincho - Kalise
  3. MGMT - Kids
  4. The Go! Team - Doing It Right
  5. Stereolab - Three Women
  6. Beck - The New Pollution
  7. Cut Copy - Feel The Love
  8. Vampire Weekend - Ottoman
  9. Mates of State - My Only Offer
  10. The New Pornographers - Sing Me Spanish Techno
  11. The Postal Service - Some Great Heights
  12. Belle & Sebastian - I'm A Cuckoo
Running Time: 50:45

The video for the Belle & Sebastian entry is thematically fitting, making the track an ideal one for injecting some down-the-home-stretch, second-wind energy. At least I hope so.

What's on your workout playlist?

Infinite Playlist: Mandelbaum Mix - Volume Two


Mixylodian - Live At The Lo

>> Saturday, 16 May 2009

Bit lazy with my updates these days. Sorry!

On Wednesday, I hit the Lo for the third time in a week to catch Montreal's Mixylodian. The band went on pretty late (12:20), so the crowd was pretty thin to say the least; however, the tireless trio were unfazed by the threadbare audience and gave it all they've got, plowing through a 40 minute set of herky-jerky pop tunes lathered with gleeful and spirited boy-girl harmonies. Easily worth sticking around for.

Oh and the above photos were unwittingly brought to you by local brewery Half-Pints. I really *should* get a kickback - I'm gonna email them and ask for a free six pack!

On May 30th, Hello Operator are staging an all-ager at the Pyramid from 4-9; Ayria plays an 18+er starting round 10.

Gimli's The Paps open for The Shagbots on May 28th.

Vieux Farka Toure drops by the same venue on June 26th.

Local roots-folkers Nathan are holding a Run For Rights Benefit Show at the freshly renovated West End Cultural Centre on June 6th.

Infinite Playlist: Yo La Tengo - I Can Heart The Heart Beating As One


Massive Nights

>> Wednesday, 13 May 2009

This year's Folk Festival lineup keeps getting better and better. For the first time since 1978, the legendary and prolific Elvis Costello is playing a show round these parts - he'll be the headliner on the just-added fifth day of the Folk Festival: Wednesday, July 7th.

Two more days and it'll be a full week!

More acts for the sure-to-be-great Folk Fest were also announced today, including:

  • Ex-BarenakedLady Steven Page
  • Burning Spear
  • Mirah
  • DJ Logic
  • Tom House
  • Digging Roots
  • Ridley Bent
  • Jackpine
  • Fred Penner
  • Alphabet Soup
  • Dominique Reynolds
One thing to note. Weekend passes don't include the added evening (Wednesday), so you have to buy another ticket for that night ($20 if you have a weekend pass; $40 for the day).

Better book your time off work soon!

Other show news..

The Shouting Ground are the Pyramid on June 12th.

Monotonix stop by there on May 21st.

Unfortunate news: Vancouver fuzz-poppers Japandroids, arguably the hottest indie act in this fine country, have canceled their already-rescheduled June 7th gig at the Lo Pub due to continued illness. Let's hope for a speedy recovery - I'm pretty stoked to see them live.

Oh, and LL Cool J has bailed on Winnipeg too! Sorry nostalgia lovers.

And finally, congrats to Larissa and Stephen on winning the Stills' contest. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Infinite Playlist: The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America


Law Low, Mt. Royal, and Rah Rah - Live At The Lo Pub

>> Saturday, 9 May 2009

Whenever I catch a show at the Lo Pub, I'm reminded of this myth I once heard about King Louis (not sure which one). Said monarch was able to manipulate his ocular blind spot so when he was haranguing his densely populated court, he could remove undesirable courtiers from his field of vision and stay focused.

The entrance to the Lo is adjacent to the stage, and there's always a stream of people flowing in and out throughout the night. It can be a little distracting. I always think how handy it would be to possess King Louis's uncanny ability.

Minor complaint aside, I spent the last two evenings there and had a pretty grand time both nights.

Yesterday, I caught celebrated Icelandic folk-singer Lay Low who played there as part of the increasingly popular Nuna festival. And the place was just brimming with people. Her 45 minute set was intimate, warm and undeniably irresistible, and the singer herself was unspeakably charming, often squeezing her eyes shut while singing. I was impressed.

The previous night, Medicine Hat's Mt. Royal (above) and Regina's Rah Rah rocked the considerably-less-populated joint. My Rah Rah pictures turned out too dark, my fault for neglecting the flash, so they're essentially unpostable. Rah Rah's set was imbued with enjoyable and spirited indie-rock, and I was surprised by how mature they sound relative to their ages (I had them pegged as in their early 30s and they were actually very low 20s).

Mt. Royal I was completely unfamiliar with. Their harsh and noisy sound complete with screamy vocals was pretty off putting, and since I was beyond tired, I seriously considered bailing. However, after a few songs, their rather unique sound grew on me, woke me up, and I ended up enjoying them.

A lot.

Infinite Playlist: Califone - Roots & Crowns


Oceans Will Rise

>> Wednesday, 6 May 2009

So the impressively generous folks over at Arts & Crafts are giving away some awesome Stills-related prize packs exclusively to readers of this Winnipeg-centric blog!

Here's the deal:

Giveaway #1

  1. Two guest-list spots for The Stills' May 16th show at the Pyramid
  2. Oceans Will Rise LP (their latest, Juno-award winning release)
  3. Oceans Will Rise Poster
Giveaway #2
  1. Oceans Will Rise LP
  2. Oceans Will Rise Poster
To enter, simply flip me an email by noon on Wednesday, May 13th (address on the side) with the subject line "Oceans Will Rise: The Giveaway", include your full name in the body of the email, and just for fun answer this question:

What's the best show you've recently seen?

A couple other things:
  1. Winners will be drawn randomly by me. You can only win once.
  2. One entry per person.
  3. Offer is open to Manitoba residents only (sorry rest-of-world!).
  4. Show is 18+ (unless accompanied by an adult). Please keep that in mind under-18ers.
  5. Winners will be notified by me; the giving lady at A&C will email you shortly thereafter and take things from there.
Good luck!


Show Announcements...

CKY is at the Pyramid on June 22nd.

Rock legends Aerosmith are walking this way (sorry, couldn't resist), playing a show at the CanadInns Stadium on August 7th with ZZ Top.

The Tragically Hip have added a fourth show during their half-a-week residency at the Centennial Concert Hall: September 7th.

The Coathangers stop by the Pyramid on June 23rd w/ The Ex-Girlfriends.

Spooky Ruben is there on June 4th (remember the video Wendy McDonald?)

Infinite Playlist: Carolina v. Boston OT. Oh, just ended. Highlights now.


Bloc Party - Live At The Burt

>> Sunday, 3 May 2009

Just got in from rocking the Bloc Party show at the Burt, and - wowzers! - it was nothing short of amazing. The British rockers sure know how to put on an excellent show and were spontaneous, charming, and a lot of kick-ass fun.

I'm exhausted, though, so I'll flesh this post out a little more tomorrow if I can. Hope you were there!


Congrats to Holly on winning the Rah Rah cd! I'll get that off to ya, post-haste.

Oh, and I'm currently lining up a couple more contests, so please check back later in the week.

Infinite Playlist: Hockey Highlights


I'm (A Multiple of) 9 Today

>> Friday, 1 May 2009

Lots of show announcements to get through, so I'm gonna just dive on in.

The white-hot noise-pop duo Japandroids have rescheduled their late-April gig at the Lo Pub to June 7th. After earning the highly coveted Best New Music distinction from The Fork, you can bet The Lo will be a packed house. Go early.

Songstress Emm Gryner is at The Park Theatre on May 12th w/ local fav JP Hoe.

Calgary's Women play the Albert on May 6th.

Metals lovers rejoice! Slayer and Megadeth will burst some ear drums at the MTS Centre on June 29th.

Classified is at the Pyramid on May 8th.

Grand Analog and Nestor Wynrush are staging a double cd release party there on May 27th.

Clues will be there on May 25th.

The Shagbots will play on May 28th.

Reminder: if you wanna win Rah Rah's cd, don't forget to flip me a quick email. Contest closes on Sunday. See all details in below post.

And finally, after careful deliberation (I even took the day off work!) I have decided that Mum's "I'm 9 Today" is my official 27th birthday song. Last year's was The Sugarcubes' "Birthday".

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Infinite Playlist: The above song...looped.


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