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Monday, March 14th, 2005

When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog

Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman utterly beguiled Toronto yesterday, first at a half-hour in-store at Soundscapes and then again at Wavelength at Sneaky Dee’s.

At the in-store, he performed accompanying himself with a ukelele and backed by a double-bassist, singing wry and jaunty songs about life, love and other such trifles. For the evening show, he was backed by members of The Hidden Cameras since he had left his band behind in the US, coming to play in Canada on the sly (though he will return in the Summer to do a more thorough Canadian tour). It was a brief set, maybe barely 45 minutes, Lekman thoroughly entertained the packed house with his rich croon, impeccable melodies and penchant for clever wordplay.

He brings to mind a cross between Stephin Merritt (but without the deadpan gallows humour) and Stuart Murdoch (but without the lisp or wispinesS), with a touch of Morrissey (but without the archness). Who he reminds me the most of, though, is Jonathan Richman – particularly on the folkier ukelele-led stuff. When he picked up the electric guitar and brought the full band out to back him, it was a full-on pop explosion straight out of the Sixties. It was really quite superb.

After finishing his set, Lekman invited everyone out onto College St for an encore, but I couldn’t stick around for it, what with it being a work night and already running later than I’d expected. And for the same reason, pictures won’t be until tomorrow, sorry.

France’s La Blogotheque has a couple of live Arcade Fire mp4s (Winamp will play it as an audio file but Quicktime will play it as video) recorded at Le Nouveau Casino in Paris last Thursday. There’s “Crown Of Love” and “My Heart Is An Apple”, which is quite rare. Also, here are some pics of the band performing a White Session for French radio last week. Note – the pages are all in French, but don’t be afraid. They’re mostly harmless. Thanks to Chryde for the link.

This week’s Splendid interview features Toronto’s own Sadies.

Of The Record has finally gotten over last Fall’s election results and has returned to life. Go say hello, grab some music on your way out.

I finished Knights Of The Old Republic 2 yesterday, great game but man – was it easy. I only had trouble with one battle and it wasn’t any of the end guys. A little disappointed with that. I will probably re-play it on the Dark Side later, but for now it’ll be good to have the time I was spending playing it back to waste on other things.

np – The Wedding Present / Take Fountain

By : Frank Yang at 9:18 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. orlando says:

    frank,thanks for bringing mr leckman to my ears,i dj on a college radio station and we cant stop playing his stuff. people love it,so its really cool to have discovered a great new artist. thanks

  2. suckingalemon says:

    thanks for the photo. i think jens started at ten to twelve and ended at 45 after but he played alot of songs during that time. i fully thoroughly enjoyed every one of the songs he played. i will happily see him again whereever he plays when he returns. his upbeat music (on the album, not live since he was mostly ukelele) reminds me alot of campy belle&sebastian and his charm reminds me of everyones boyfriend, hawksley workman.

    cheers

  3. JOSH says:

    Lekman reminds you of Richman? That’s all the recommendation I need. I’ll be sure to check him out soon. Thanks!

  4. mike says:

    Shit…having to wait until ten to 12 on a Sunday night for a headliner to start…that just sucks. I think Sunday night shows should be over by midnight tops.

  5. Peyton says:

    Just an edit: The Sadies interview is on Splendid, not Stylus. But their both great up-to-date online mags, so it’s easy to get them confused.

  6. Frank says:

    whoops, fixed that. They’re next to each other in my bookmark list…

  7. merckeda says:

    that was me who kept squinting at you at the streetcar stop after the show. sorry, i was trying to place you. i’m not a weirdo, i swear.

  8. david says:

    Check out Lekman’s in-studio appearance on No Love For Ned’s radio show a couple of weeks ago:

    http://…/

    For that matter, check out Ned’s show every week if you can…

  9. Rachel says:

    I think you talked about Nausicaa a while back. Just saw it last week, and I really like it. Did you see Porco Rosso? That’s next on the list. Do Nellie McKay and Sarah Harmon have more than one record apiece, or are they single albums I can’t find?

  10. Rachel says:

    And damnit, I must have a bad copy of KOTOR II. I’m trying it with a second character, b/c I keep freezing near the end with the first. The cheat guide I finally resorted to said there was no particular order to the planets, but I think they LIED. And why don’t you think about medpacs after you get jedi powers? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Oh, and for some of us ‘tards out here, the game’s not so easy. Whining done. . .

  11. Frank says:

    I had no problems with KOTOR2, and I don’t think there is any specific sequence to the planets. I went planet-hopping a lot, though I got forced into the endgame before I got to finish all the quests. Life-support packs are indeed much faster and more healsome than Jedi powers, very handy.

    Sarah Harmer has two solo albums and two with Weeping Tile. Nellie McKay has only one album.

  12. Chryde says:

    Hey, it’s funny, because if you like Jens, I have another gift for you, Frank : last Christmas, he recorded a song especially for one of the compilation I made on my site.

    The song is called "No time for breaking up", and you can find it here : http://…/

    On the same page, a song by The Boy Bathing, another band I love. you should check their songs : http://…/

  13. Lilou says:

    and to complement Chryde’s intervention, there is also a Jens interview (dec2004) on La Blogothèque!! (oh aren’t we fantastic?) here: http://…/

  14. Danielle says:

    Sarah Harmer has three solo albums, if you count "Songs for Clem".

  15. david says:

    But Nellie McKay’s is a double album…

  16. Frank says:

    silence in the peanut gallery!