Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow
Though usually despicable, sometimes crowd chatter at a gig can be a useful thing. For example, at last night’s Toronto debut at Lee’s Palace by New Yorkers Dirty On Purpose, after the band would finish playing a song and the modestly-sized crowd applauded, there would be this huge, awkward silence in the room while they tuned up. Before too long, someone in the band would step up with some banter, but not before it was made very clear that – hey, it’s quiet in here.
But not so quiet when they were playing. The band wields a near-perfect balance between noise and pop, most of the former courtesy of resident guitar-abuser George Wilson. I could see why the band’s setup gave him the bulk of the onstage real estate – he whipped around like a dervish up there while spewing fuzz from his Jazzmaster. His Sonic Youth tribute act was in perfect balance with the buoyant melody and harmonies of the vocals, the band colouring outside the lines just enough. It took a few songs to get the mix right, with the softness of the singing so easily drowned out by the wall of sound, but once that was sorted out, it sounded sublime. A real improvement from when I first saw them at SxSW last year, under a tent on a patio. It sounded pretty much like “KKKKKKHHHHHHHHKHHHHHHH”. But somehow still in a good way.
The set list consisted of almost all new material from their forthcoming Hallelujah Sirens album – only one song from Sleep Late For a Better Tomorrow made the cut, but they did pull out an old track, “Monument” (which will also resurface on the album), for an unplanned encore after being called back by the small but completely won-over audience, and the blistering instrumental was an excellent way to cap off the show. There’s no doubt that they’ll be back in town sooner or later, and when they are you’ll be wishing you could say you were one of the two-dozen or so who saw them last night. And here are some piccies from last night. Update: The band is keeping a tour diary!
Big new release day today! Let’s see what people are saying.
I pre-ordered Centro-Matic’s latest Fort Recovery a little while ago, but only got it late last week, just a few days before its proper release date today. On the first few listens, it seems a little less rocking than Love You Just The Same but it does feature some of Will Johnson’s prettiest melodies ever. I think time will prove this one to be another small classic. D/FW’s WFAA (Bugmenot) and their hometown Denton Record-Chronicle
(Bugmenot) both have features on the band, who will be in town at the Horseshoe on April 5.
Mogwai’s Stuart Brathwaite tells Metromix about stuff he hates, and Barry Burns tells The Cavalier Daily he’s proud of the band’s noise AND volume and The Columbia Spectator about domesticity. Mr Beast is out on Tuesday and while on their American tour, they’ve set up a website that will let you follow the band around the country as they leave a trail of bleeding eardrums and savaged musician egos in their wake. Interesting thing about that map – Vaughan appears, Toronto does not.
Even though Macleans just ran a piece on Neko Case last week, they’ve got another this week. The Washington Post asks the Virginian about her DC-area roots and a reminder that she’ll be on Letterman on Thursday night.
Isobel Campbell, who has recovered from the bout of flu that forced her to cancel Saturday’s Toronto shows, talks to InsideBayArea.com and PopMatters about Ballad Of The Broken Seas. I haven’t forgotten my contest from this weekend – I will be drawing names sometime today.
Once again, 24 commentary will be delayed this week. I was out last night and mis-programmed my VCR – I left the tuner on the wrong channel, so anyone who wants to talk Degrassi: The Next Generation, bring it on. In the meantime, I give you this – PopMatters frets about the frequent use of torture as a means to a just end on the show and Wayfaring.com presents Jacktracker – a Google Maps mod that follows Jack Bauer’s adventuers in and around LA.
np – Saturday Looks Good To Me / Sound On Sound