Saturday, December 18th, 2004
Picture In Pocket
Last night was the Rainbow Quartz Christmas party at the 360, and even though they’re technically based out of Detroit, they have enough (read: two) Torontonian acts on their roseter to justify an out-of-town bash. Entertaining the folks on this eve were RQ veterans The High Dials, rookies The Frontier Index and non-roster invitees Showroom.
Showroom, whom I should say nice things about since I share a rehearsal space with them and they could put, like, raw meat in the back of my amp if they wanted, kicked things off. Subscribing to the sharply-dressed, mod/new-wave school of rock, they played a decent set of Brit-popish tunes with just enough current retro influence to be fashionable (yes, that’s exactly what I meant to say). I think they need to find another gear or two in their transmission to really impress, though. To “take it up a notch”, as the kids say. I thought the hooks need to be sharper, the energy more crackling, but the response they got from the power-pop friendly audience was good and perhaps being asked to play a label showcase like this augers well for their future.
The Frontier Index have been one of the under-heralded local acts who have caught my ear regardless. The one-line description on them is cosmic-country-soul, and that’s pretty apt though they’ve been turning down the cosmic and turning up the rock as of late. Trotting out songs from their debut album coming out next year on the RQ roots imprint Turquoise Mountain, they played an entertaining, high-energy set replete with rock star moves, particularly when the drummer took over vocals (very capably, I might add), freeing up the guitars to duel. They put on a great show but I find myself hoping that the album showcases a little more of their ‘cosmic’ side, as that’s a large part of what hooked me in the first place. Their next show is opening for The Sadies at the Horseshoe on New Year’s Eve. There will be much torch and twang that night, let me tell you.
Seeing as how I was still pretty wiped from the drunken hijinks of the previous night, I wasn’t up to sticking around for The High Dials – sorry – but there was fairly impressive crowd there by the time I left, so I doubt anyone noticed. Some pics from the show.
Pity The Futureheads – as much as I’d like to go see them, hell, they’ve already been here twice in the past few months and it’ll be thrice on February 27 at Lee’s Palace, I will once again have to give them a pass… why? Because the mighty M Ward is at the El Mocambo that same night. Sometimes a decision’s gotta be made. His new one Transistor Radio is out February 22.
Billboard reports that Elvis Costello will have a couple DVDs coming out in the new year. The most interesting is The Right Spectacle, a career-spanning collection of all his videos plus television appearances and commentary. Sounds delish. It’s out January 17 in the UK with worldwide release details to be finalized. Somewhat less exciting is Club Date: Live in Memphis, which documents a show in a tiny Memphis club from this past Summer. Declan is also releasing some vinyl-only EPs from The Delivery Man, but since I don’t have a record player those are of little interest.
So yes, Vince Carter is a big sucky baby, but I’m still somewhat sad to see him go. I’d said before that if Vince went, that would potentially be a fatal blow for the Raptors not just for his loss, but for him being no less than the fourth star/superstar talent to leave Toronto in their decade or so of existance. I’m talking Stoudamire, Camby, McGrady and now Carter, if you’re keeping track – three of the rookie-of-the-years, I do believe. This is how it felt to be a Montreal Expo fan, I guess. I don’t follow basketball that closely so I can’t comment on what we got in return, save that even I know Alonzo Mourning needs to play with a hospital drip in his arm and we have more Williams’ on the team than I can wrap my head around. The two first-round draft picks could be good but the cynic in me just thinks that it’s just a couple more potential star players who’ll flee Hogtown at the first opportunity. Sigh.
np – The Jesus & Mary Chain / Automatic