Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
Turn The Sky
So how was your Saturday night? Mine was spent at Neutral in Kensington Market getting reacquainted with an old favourite band and being introduced to a new one.
The Airfields have been on a sort of hiatus since last Spring, posting new song demos to their MySpace one minute and then offering cryptic messages raising questions about the band’s future another. Thankfully, it seems the magic eight ball has decided they will carry on and they’ve been getting back into gigging game shape with shows like this one. And though it’s been over a year since I saw them last, it didn’t sound to me like they’d lost a step. David Lush’s voice was starting to go by the end of their set due to a throat infection but their janglesome pop still evokes the ghosts of the C86 era but with an extra bit of modern oomph thanks to the punchy rhythm section. Material ranged from their earliest City-State EP through last year’s excellent Laneways and some new material, including the aforementioned demos now recast as full band numbers. So good to have them back.
I mentioned last week that Dublin’s Butterfly Explosion demonstrated some impressive growth between their first EP and their new Turn The Sky release – well if their live show was any indication, their next release, whenever it comes, will be a quantum leap ahead and surely be something special. Coming into the show, it was easy to call them shoegaze revivalists of equal parts MBV, Slowdive and Spiritualized but somewhere along the line, they’ve managed to perform some alchemy and create a sound that, while still not groundbreaking, is certainly much more distinctive and exciting.
Most notable is their use of the instrumental, which is to say that a lot of their set is such and quite refershingly, not post-rock at all. I’d forgotten that that was possible. Instead, they start with a strong melody and build the sonic equivalents of Summer showers around them – warm, sudden and lasting just long enough to soak you through. And lest you think they let their instruments do all the talking, the two rather ridiculously photogenic and awesomely named frontpersons – Gazz Carr and Sorcha Brennan – also sing wonderfully alone and together, when called for. From listening to their recordings, it was evident to me that they had the tools and potential to create something remarkable. From seeing them live, it’s evident to me that they’re just about there. Can’t wait to hear what they do next.
If your interest is at all piqued, you’ve got one more chance to see them before they head back to Ireland – they’re playing a free show at the Horseshoe tonight, starting at midnight. A bit late, I know, but I’m quite comfortable in saying that it’ll be worth the bleary eyes tomorrow morning. I may even take my own advice and go see them again. But if you can’t make it, take heart – they said they hoped to return for more shows in the late Summer or early Fall.
Photos: The Butterfly Explosion, The Airfields @ Neutral – April 7, 2007
MP3: The Butterfly Explosion – “Sophia”
MP3: The Butterfly Explosion – “Chemistry”
MP3: The Airfields – “Nowhere Left To Go”
MP3: The Airfields – “Lonely Halls”
Video: The Airfields – “Red Fox” (YouTube)
MySpace: The Buttefly Explosion
Hey look, Spinner is streaming some of this week’s new CD releases. How novel.
Heavy Trash are camping out at the Horseshoe on Victoria Day weekend with two shows on May 18 and 19. The Sadies will be playing the parts of both opening band and backing band. Tickets are $15 and go on sale Thursday.
Shout Out Out Out Out will be at Harbourfront on July 7 as part of this year’s edition of the Beats, Breaks and Culture Festival. Don’t bother looking for more Summer fest info – the Harbourfront website is still trying to push their Fall 2006 programming on us.
24: It figures that the week after I rip the show for hitting a new low in absurdity, they follow it up with what can only be described as a pretty damn satisfying ep, if for no other reason than the beaten, crippled, barely on life support plot line of this season is finally over. It was also nice they let Jack off the leash he’s been on most of this season and allowed him to indulge his inner action hero, complete with finishing move quippiness. It must have been satisfying to finally turn in a proper Bond-ian finale… But wait! Finale? There’s still seven more hours? What to do? Oh wait, who’s that waaaaay out there in left field? It’s Audrey! And the Chinese! And their impeccable timing! The question now is will the producers try to concoct some cockamamie angle by which the Chinese are involved with all this season’s nonsense, or will they just let this play out as some miniature season within a season? Trying to figure out which scenario is more plausible is a waste of time – just go with the one that offers the highest body count. And if for whatever reason you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you owe it to yourself to check out New York Magazine‘s 24 Absurd-O-Meter.