Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
You may have noticed I’m on a bit of a Winter-hating trip this week, and with another 20 cm of snow forecast for today to go along with the 30 or so we got on Friday, that’s probably not going to end anytime soon. And while I’m not so naive as to suggest that music is a strong enough anodyne to counter the February blahs, putting on a record of concentrated Summer-y power pop goodness like Two Hours Traffic’s Little Jabs does help a bit.
I responded favourably to it when I first reviewed it last July but am a little surprised how a record that at first glance seemed to be just a solid bit of guitar pop has stayed in moderate to heavy rotation over the subsequent six months. Why? Well, it may just be solid guitar pop, but it’s also nearly perfect guitar pop. With buoyant melodies, breezy lyrics about girls and cars and an obvious appreciation for the finer points of six-string jangle, it may just get me through to the Spring.
And just in case an extra boost is needed, next week they’re setting out from their hometown of Charlottetown, PEI on a nationwide tour sponsored by CBC Radio 3 that hits the Horseshoe on February 23. Tickets for that are $8. They’re also offering up some live tracks recorded there this past June at NxNE (and where I saw them in July) and which you can stream in its entirety here. They’ve also just finished up a video for the ultra-infectious “Nighthawks”. The Chronicle Herald talks to the band about the successes of 2007 and working with producer Joel Plaskett on Little Jabs.
MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Backseat Sweetheart” (live at the Horseshoe – June 9, 2007, via CBCR3)
MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Better Safe Than Sorry” (live at the Horseshoe – June 9, 2007, via CBCR3)
MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Heat Seeker” (live at the Horseshoe – June 9, 2007, via CBCR3)
MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Stuck For The Summer”
Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Nighthawks”
Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Stuck For The Summer”
Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Jezebel”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic / Little Jabs
MySpace: Two Hours Traffic
Also on the bill that night are The Wooden Sky and My Shaky Jane, both of whom I’ve seen recently and make for a very solid bill. The Wooden Sky have also just completed a new video for the title track from their album When Lost At Sea.
Also making the trek from the Maritimes to Toronto in the next month are Dog Day, with two Canadian Music Week shows scheduled for March – at the Horseshoe on the 6th and then the Rivoli on the 8th. They’ve let loose a couple more MP3s from their excellent Night Group record, just in case you weren’t convinced by what you’d heard so far.
Spinner is streaming a bunch of new releases from artists who, incidentally, are all coming to town soon. Bob Mould’s District Line came out yesterday and he plays the Mod Club on March 10. Falling Off The Lavender Bridge from Lightspeed Champion came out last week and he’s at the Horseshoe on March 4. And finally, Sons & Daughters’ new Bernard Butler-produced album This Gift also came out last week and they’re at Lee’s Palace on March 26.