Friday, August 31st, 2007
If there was such a thing as the sound of a bird made of honey, it would sound like Jenn Grant. The Haligonian songstress, who I first discovered way back last December, released her debut album Orchestra For The Moon in May and while most everyone I know who’s heard her has been beguiled, the numbers that seems to amount to are far less than she deserves.
Possessed of a marvelous voice that’s sweet, supple and dexterous, Grant has crafted a record that deftly combines pop, folk, jazz and country styles into something that could easily fit into any of those genres yet resists such pigeonholing. But what isn’t up for debate is that Orchestra is a terrific showcase for both Grant’s vocal and songwriting talents that goes down real nice and easy – and therein lies my only complaint, and it’s a minor one. Orchestra is so smooth that it can make one yearn for just a little bit of grit or earthiness. Grant sounds like she’s gliding through the whole record and it might be nice to have her touch the ground now and again, get her feet dirty a bit. The way the best angels do.
Grant has been through town innumerable times since that show at the Drake in December and I’ve, sadly, missed them all – and I’ll probably miss the next one when she plays the El Mocambo this Wednesday, September 5 opening for The Veils, here all the way from Australia. After that, her next date is at the Phoenix on November 8, opening for The Weakerthans. Tickets for that show are $25 and go on sale next Saturday, September 8.
And if you’re not familiar with The Veils, here’s a single and video from their current album Nux Vormica.
And if that’s not your speed but you’re still looking for something to do next Wednesday, The Bruce Peninsula, who so impressed at Dog Day Afternoon a few weekends ago, have a show at the Tranzac along with Tusks and Snailhouse. eye has an interview with head Bruce Peninsulan Neil Haverty while NOW talks Tusks.
Nicole Atkins & The Sea’s debut full-length Neptune City finally has a release date of October 30 and she’ll be celebrating that night with David Letterman. She’s at Lee’s Palace two weeks prior on October 14 with The Raveonettes. Thanks to For The Records for the info.
John Vanderslice’s October 1 show has undergone a change of venue and picked up some support acts. It will now go down at the El Mocambo and feature Two Gallants and Blitzen Trapper. Horseshoe tickets will be honoured at the ElMo.
Also October 1 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Kool Haus. Tickets $24.50, on sale this morning.
Good news – Patrick Wolf returns to Toronto for a show at Lee’s Palace on October 6. Bad news – I’m in Montreal. Well, bad news for me. Everything else is good news. Tickets are $17.50 and go on sale Saturday.
Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova – aka “the guy” and “the girl” from Once – bring the musical component of that film, The Swell Season, to the Danforth Music Hall on November 23. Hopefully the DVD will be out sometime around then as well – I still have to see it. Tickets are $28.50, on sale September 6.
Chart has details on the gala ceremony for this year’s Polaris Music Prize. It’s happening September 24 at the Phoenix, is invite-only (sorry) and will feature performances from half the nominees, namely Miracle Fortress, Julie Doiron (in Eric’s Trip band configuration), Patrick Watson, Joel Plaskett and Chad Van Gaalen. And in regards to the Arcade Fire kerfuffle reported on earlier this week, apparently the band did eventually give permission for a song to be used on the Polaris compilation CD but the disc was already at the manufacturers by the time they did so.
Will Sheff of Okkervil River insists to The Arizona Daily Star that that’s his natural hair colour. Also check out Down The Oubliette, a new fansite for the band dedicated to cataloguing facts, figures and trivia about the band. Okkervil plays Lee’s Palace on September 21.