well damn!

Rolling Tundra Review

Back in December when I first heard about the 2009 Rolling Tundra Revue I could hardly contain my anticipation for April 2009, and after months of hyping up the show, it did not fail to live up to my high expectations.

rt-wkToronto country act $100 started the night off with foot stomping, heart wrenching, bluntly written music. They were a bit on the quieter and country side to be opening up for two rock and roll bands but they did a great job. Simone Fornow did a respectable job entertaining the anxious crowd by introducing each of the band’s songs. Although Fornow was only accompanied by two guitar players, they band played a tight set and I’m looking forward to hearing from them again.

Next up were my favourite live act, the Constantines, this is only my 6th time seeing them, but this was definitely one of the most energetic sets I had seen from them. There was a short period of time where I was afraid I was the only fanatic in the crowd but wasrt-wk quickly proved wrong by the time the boys broke out “Nighttime/Anytime”. To tease the crowd, John K Samson came out to sing vocals on “Little Instruments”, which was great. All in all I think the boys managed to garner a few new fans.

Finally at 10:30 (which normally at Call the Office is when the 2nd band is getting ready to play) The Weakerthans opened their set with “Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call”. They played many fan favourites including “Left and Leaving”, “A Plea from Virtute The Cat”, and “Civil Twilight”. During “Wellington’s Wednesdays” Samson helped an audience member play guitar, but I was sort of upset they only played one song off of Fallow. Lucky for me, they played two more during their encore.

rt-wkThe Waking Eyes‘ Rusty Matyas was wonderful as the Weakerthans’ fifth man. He did a great job supporting them not only on the keys, but on trumpet and taking over a female vocal part here and there.

Overall, a show well worth the $25 ticket, $5 beer and $12 cab ride home.

Live Shows: A Summary
December 26, 2008, 10:27 pm
Filed under: 2008, Live Show | Tags: , , ,

I felt like I should write this down, and what better place than here? Bands I’ve seen this year, in chronological order.

GOB @ Call The Office
Winter Gloves @ the Alex P Keaton
Constantines w/ Castlemusic, Attack in Black @ CTO
Said the Whale @ CTO
Constantines w/ Arkells, Paso Mino @ Fanshawe
Holy Fuck w/ Plants & Animals @ Victoria Park (LOLA Festival)
Constantines @ UWO (Flick Off)
Ladyhawk w/ Shotgun Jimmie, Attack in Black @ CTO
Constantines w/ Tropics @ CTO
Moneen (Acoustic Set) w/ Michou, Songs From A Room @ CTO

Yup, I saw the Constantines four times this year, and Attack in Black twice. I think I may be stalking the Cons, but I mean, it’s not my fault they play London so often! The last time I saw them was easily one of my favourite shows of the year. But I think the Moneen show comes out on top. What an awesome super-fantastic excellent way to end the year.

16 bands in 12 months, not bad for a poor lowly applied math student!

Acoustic Moneen Show @ CTO
December 20, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Live Show | Tags: , , , ,

Erik and KennyOnce again, Devyn and I ventured over to Call the Office with our friend Evan for one last musical hoo hah of 2008. Moneen are easily of one my favourite acts to see live, they have such a great stage presence, are very entertaining and put on a tight show. Last time I saw them was Cutting Edge in August of 2007, and if you account for the fact that Call The Office is one of their favourite venues, I was pumped to see them again!

Windsor, Ontario band Michou opened the show with acoustic anthems and folk ballads, setting the tone for Moneen’s acoustic set. I was impressed with how comfortable these guys seemed on stage for an opening band. Michou reminds me of Backseat Goodbye meets Death Cab with more clever instrumentation. The drummer played a wooden box, I’m sure the wooden box has a real name, but it was pretty awesome. Needless to say enough of an impact was made that the lead singer and his former roommate managed to sell me their LP Myshkin. Don’t tell them I’m a sucker for merch tables.

Next up were Songs From A Room hailing from Toronto, who quickly reminded us all that Moneen are a rock band at heart and we should never forget that. These guys were amazing, they had a great energy and their set was fairly tight. If I go on about them all I’m going to say is how awesome they were and that would be redundant. So, all I’m going to say is they need an NMC page, and if you love heavy rock, check these fellows out.

In between sets I discovered Devyn (who wore a Moneen sweater to the show by accident) is a closet stalker (she tried to push me into Hippy not once, but twice) and we went to the merch table (that Kenny and Erik were running) many many times. But we did find out quite a few interesting things.

  1. They are recording the new album in Toronto, though they’re taking a bit of a break for the holidays
  2. The short film Kenny made that appears in It All Started With A Red Stripe was made when he was in grade 11. He also told us when he was converting the film from analog to digital the machine started to eat some of the tape a few minutes in so he had to try to convert from the beginning again. When he gave it to the guy to put on the dvd he asked him to remove that first bit and only use the version that goes all of the way though. Obviously the guy didn’t because if you watch it, you end up watching the first 5 minutes twice haha.

During these Merch visits we (and by we I mean me via Devyn) requested “Panthers and Polar Bears” which received as I expected, a big laugh. It’s a song from a children’s compilation Somebody Needs a Timeout. On a side note, who asks Moneen and Propaghandi to do children’s music? Christine Fellows and Hayden I can understand, but Moneen? Moving on…

HippyEventually Moneen hit the stage. Kenny and Hippy on acoustic guitars, and Erik played an acoustic bass. They whipped out old classics, fan favourites and new stuff. They even played the first 10 seconds of “Panthers and Polar Bears” after a tiny bit of heckling. Kenny went on to explain that the only reason they wrote the song was because he wanted to say Banana Bah-nahnah in a song ahahahaha.

The new stuff sounds amazing. It’s lyrically thought-provoking and the music sounds very fresh. Their album will be well worth the wait. Kenny tried to calm the rowdy crowd down when he pulled out really quiet songs and I think eventually it worked, somewhat. Haris (their techie, honourary 5th member) had cut his hand in Brampton so he was in the hospital and couldn’t make it to the show, alas Kenny dedicated “There Are A Million Reasons…” to Haris and Hippy’s failed relationship? It was comical to say the least haha. They brought out Lucas (the guy who played the box in Michou) to accompany them, and it turned out really great! They also managed to get the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to Erik who turned 30, he looked rather embarrassed but I think he secretly enjoyed it.

Once Moneen finished their set, the crowd waited for Kenny to come back on stage to get his bag before demanding an encore, it was actually really random and strange, but they pulled out “Passing of America”, and it was craaazy. Hippy brought a drum into the middle of the crowd and got a random to play it while they finished the song. I can’t imagine how awesome it must have felt for the band as performers to be leading this moment.

All in all, I’m going to remember this show as the Moneen Hootenanny haha.

And I’m really sorry if that was incoherent, I’m on painkillers.

Rolling Tundra Revue 2009
December 9, 2008, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Live Show, Music | Tags: , , ,

rollingtundraDear Constantines and the Weakerthans.

When I woke up yesterday morning I saw you are planning on touring together.

And then I saw that you will be playing a show in my town.

You are my favourites and made my day.

Please keep making awesome music and touring together.

Love, Jasmine.

Source: CBC Radio 3 and LiveJournal

Dates: Continue reading

Constantines w/ Tropics @ CTO
December 2, 2008, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Live Show | Tags: , , ,

Friday night my good friend Devyn and I ventured over to Call The Office, here in London to see the Constantines.

Now it’s no secret that the Constantines have quickly become one of my favourite bands. These guys know how to put on a rock show, and when they play London 4 times a year, it’s hard to miss them!

Devyn and I managed to covet our spot in the front row, staking the spot out while catching openers Tropics. At first, I was a bit unsure about Tropics, but their carefully crafted drum driven riffs won me over by the end of the set. While there are just the two of them, I think they managed to successfully take control of the space to induce their rhythmic prog rock. It’s no surprise the Constantines speak so highly of them and threaten to illegally release bootlegs of their shows. Definitely a band to watch out for.

After quite a bit of waiting (not due to the Cons being “Primadonnas” as Bry came out to apologize for, but them not wanting to start earlier than advertised) the Constantines opened with Kensington Heights‘ hardest rock anthem Credit River. At first I was unsure about how this song would measure up as an opener, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The last few times I’ve seen the Cons (ie, the 3 previous times I’ve seen them since April) they’ve been giving Shine a Light the snub, but not Friday night! They played Tank Commander, Young Lions, Insectivora and Nighttime/Anytime, which all left my thoroughly satisfied.

At one point near the end of the set, Bry hung his guitar from the rafters for at least a minute, and the band were very chatty in general, giving introductions to songs and bantering while Dallas tried to revive his bass (which seemed to have died near the end).

Encore was Do What You Can Do and possibly another song, but I can’t remember! They ended with a cover of Fuckin’ Up which Bry introduced as a song by Horsey Craze.

All in all a great night, aside from the guy on acid and his “friend” that I spent the latter half of the show next to.