Saturday, April 14th, 2007
In The Road
Now that my attendance at Lollapalooza 2007 is far from a sure thing, I’ve begun examining festival options a little closer to home. As I mentioned before, Hillside in Guelph the weekend before is looking pretty attractive but there’s also a pretty impressive to-do happening the weekend after a few hours east on the 401.
The ninth edition of the Wolfe Island Musicfest will be happening on August 10th and 11th on Wolfe Island, one of the Thousand Islands outside Kingston, Ontario. Fittingly, the headlining act on the Saturday, the main day of the fest, will be Wolf Parade but the rest of the lineup is just as impressive, featuring Holy Fuck, Apostle Of Hustle, Chad Van Gaalen, Born Ruffians, Spiral Beach, Basia Bulat, The Abrams Brothers, The Ride Theory, Nich Worby and most excitingly for me, Weeping Tile.
For those unfamiliar, Weeping Tile was Sarah Harmer’s band in the mid-90s before she struck out as a solo artist and one of my favourite acts during their too-brief existence. Though not too far removed from Harmer’s recent work in songwriting terms, Weeping Tile were electrified, considerably louder and all-around scrappier. If you only know Harmer via her folkier solo records, you might be surprised to know that the lady can rock out but believe you me, she can. I thought they were wonderful and when they parted ways in 1998 after one EP and two full-length albums, it was a sad day. The last time I saw them was at a Christmas reunion show at Lee’s Palace way back in 2001 but they still do the occasional special gig around their original home base of Kingston, hence their appearance at the Wolfe Island show. They also just contributed a song to The Secret Sessions, a tribute album to The Rheostatics, who played their final shows a few weeks ago.
I got the following MP3 off a sampler sent to radio stations around the release of their second album Valentino in 1997 – it’s a French version of the first single, “South Of Me”, intended to make them superstars in Quebec. I don’t think it worked, but it’s an interesting curio.
But back to Wolfe Island – in addition to the main to-do on Saturday, there’s the Hootenanny Review taking place the night before, featuring Jenny Whitely, Luther Wright (Luther was/is Weeping Tile’s lead guitarist), Julie Fader and Jim Bryson. The festival is a charity event intended to raise funds for the Wolfe Island Community Centre and environs. Tickets for the Hootenanny are $15 and for the festival, $25. On-site camping will be available for $10. For those who rarely leave the city (I’m looking at you, self), Wolfe Island is approximately three and a half hours east of Toronto.
As for Hillside, they’re not slated to announce their lineup until the May issue of Exclaim! hits the streets in the last week of this month, but some names who will be in attendance have been trickling out here and there (Sweet Static has been doing a fine job of digging up the info). So far, it looks like we’ve got Chumbawumba and Shout Out Out Out Out on Friday, Do Make Say Think, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings on Saturday and Alejandro Escovedo on Sunday with Basia Bulat, Born Ruffians, The Dears, Mad Violet, Angela Desveaux, Ohbijou and Mother Mother also appearing at some point over the weekend of July 27 to 29, amongst many many others (info culled from various hopefully reliable sources). If you’ve got more info or names, please leave a note in the comments. But no matter who ends up playing, if tradition holds it will sell out incredibly fast and be a great time regardless – or so I’ve been told by folks who’ve gone in the past. This year I’ll find out for myself.
NOW talks to Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers, who played both Wolfe Island and Hillside last year and are playing two shows at the Church Of The Redeemer tonight. And if that’s not enough for you they’re also doing an in-store at Soundscapes tomorrow afternoon at 4PM. If anyone wants to go to the late show tonight, I have an extra ticket for said performance that I’ll let go for less than the $15 face. If you’re interested, email me.
Paste sends Said The Gramophone to visit with Arcade Fire (who headlined Hillside two years ago) in their converted church/studio/hall of justice. They’ve announced the openers for their two Toronto shows at Massey Hall on May 15 and 16 – support will come from The Handsome Furs, the side project from Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner. That could be alright though coming on the same day that they announced The National were a string of US dates for the Arcade Fire, it’s a little underwhelming.
The National have set up a minisite for their new album Boxer, out May 22. On it, they’ve collected all the video teasers for the album released so far around the internet (including this one for “Gospel”, premiered right here) which are themselves taken from the Vincent Moon documentary on the band, A Skin, A Night. I’m saving my thoughts, comments on the record for closer to the proper release date, but I will reiterate what I’ve said in brief before – Boxer is amazing. Especially played loud.
And finally, Editors have been added to day two of V-Fest and Cat Power is back in Toronto for her fourth show (counting both Lee’s Palace sets) in ten months on July 10 for a show at The Phoenix. Yeah, we’ve been getting a whole lot of Chan.