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Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Sunday Cleaning – Volume 89

Various Artists / Two Way Monlogues: Mixtape Volume 1 (independent)

Toronto has had a long history of nurturing its independent artists through name-branded showcase series, long-running events such as Wavelength, Elvis Mondays, Pitter Patter Nights and Nu Music Nites becoming trustworthy seals of approval that meant that even if you didn’t know the performers on the bill, you could trust that someone with some reliable taste thought they were worthwhile. The tradition continues with the relatively new Two Way Monologues series, based out of Rancho Relaxo and celebrating its one-year anniversary this coming weekend. To mark the occasion, they’ve assembled a compilation CD of bands who’ve played their showcases and almost all of whom will be playing more over the anniversary weekend.

The assembled list of talent ranges from familiar and favoured – the melancholy anthemicism of Amos The Transparent, the electrifying power pop of Oh No Forest Fires and the rock’n’soul of Fox Jaws – to new discoveries like the haunting country rock of Key Witness and the Attractions-y, New Wave stomp of Beth In Battle Mode, this is a top-to-bottom solid collection of songs from the Toronto/southern Ontario neighbourhood of guitar pop city. Congratulations on the first birthday, and here’s to many more.

The schedule of anniversary shows is as follows, all shows at Rancho Relaxo, and the tracks below aren’t strictly from the compilation but do offer a good sample of what’s on offer.

Thursday, May 8 – Key Witness, Five Blank Pages, Numbers & Figures and The Eatons
Friday, May 9 – Beth In Battle Mode, Fox Jaws, Amos the Transparent and The Coast Guard
Saturday, May 10 – Tin Bangs, The Schomberg Fair, Mark Berube and The Cheap Speakers

MP3: Oh No Forest Fires – “We Fit Our Charm”
MP3: Amos The Transparent – “Title Track”
MP3: Fox Jaws – “Quarantine Girl”
MP3: Tin Bangs – “Shake!”
MP3: Mark Berube – “Cloudy Day”
MySpace: Two Way Monologues

The Heavy / Great Vengeance And Furious Fire (Counter)

Listening to The Heavy, there’s a temptation to call into question their sincerity – after all, the quintet do hail from the UK, land of empire and irony, and their efforts to recreate the sounds of ’70s classic rock, soul and funk right down to the scratchy vinyl sonics are so determined that you’d expect that when they perform, they take the stage in platform shoes, leather Superfly jackets and feather boas. So to discover that they’re actually a rather normal and “indie” looking outfit is both a relief and a disappointment. It’s a relief because if there was that camp aspect to them, it’d undermine just how solid and deep a groove they’re able to create on tracks like “Colleen” and “That Kind Of Man” and a disappointment because you get the sense that if they tried it… they’d pull it off.

The Heavy are at Lee’s Palace on Saturday, May 10.

MP3: The Heavy – “Colleen”
Video: The Heavy – “That Kind Of Man”
MySpace: The Heavy

By : Frank Yang at 10:59 am
Category: Uncategorized
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