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Friday, January 15th, 2010

Heavy Head

Gentleman Reg takes up residence at the Drake Underground

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongAfter being out of sight for what seemed like the longest time following the 2004 release of Darby & Joan, Toronto’s Reg Vermue, aka Gentleman Reg, has been nigh-inescapable since the release of fourth album Jet Black just under a year ago. He’s played many shows big and small, toured North America with The Hidden Cameras and late last year, released a new digital EP in Heavy Head. And now, following his set opening up for Tegan & Sara at the Kool Haus next Wednesday, he will set up shop at the Drake Underground for every Wednesday in February, warming Torontonians with his winsome guitar pop and inviting a different pair of choice openers to accompany him each week.

The residency starts on February 3 with the twee power of Hooded Fang and the orchestral goodness of Kite Hill, the 10th will feature local veterans of the scene By Divine Right and rising stars The Balconies, the following week welcomes the self-explanatory stylings of Dance Yourself To Death and all-girl Weezer cover band Sheezer and the final show on the 24th will be with Evening Hymns and another “very special” act to be announced – whether that means they’ve got someone exceptional lined up and are keeping the news back or they’re still looking but are confident they’ll be great is not clear, but whoever they end up being, they’re in good company.

Tickets for each show are $10.00 at Rotate This and Soundscapes or $12.50 online, though online purchases come with a free download of Heavy Head. Win-win, either way.

Reg gave The Toronto Star a list of his favourite albums of 2009.

MP3: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “How We Exit”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “Plan On Including Me”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “How We Exit”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “Rewind”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MySpace: Gentleman Reg

One-quarter of the aforementioned Sheezer, Laura Barrett, revealed some impressive news via her Twitter yesterday, and that was that she would be opening up for The Magnetic Fields on their upcoming North American tour, presumably including their February 8 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in support of Realism, out January 26, assuming it doesn’t constitute a conflict with her February 12 appearance at Wavelength 500. This is tremendously exciting and I can’t help but think back seven or eight years ago when Laura and I were in a band together, briefly, and recorded a Magnetic Fields cover, linked below. That’s me on guitar, her on backing vox and keys. Ah, memories. Back in the now, Laura’s also got a new video from her full-length debut Victory Garden.

MP3: Laura Barrett – “Decepticon Island Optimists Club”
MP3: Lake Holiday – “Born On A Train”
Video: Laura Barrett – “The Wood Between Worlds”

Dead Sexy has a feature piece on The Balconies.

Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas are teaming up for what they’re calling the Bonfire Ball Tour and trekking across Canada starting on March 10 at Lee’s Palace as part of Canadian Musicfest. Collett releases his new one Rat A Tat Tat on March 9 and Zeus’ debut Say Us is out February 23.

Exclaim and altsounds talk to Woodhands, whose second album Remorsecapade is out January 26 and who will also be appearing at Canadian Musicfest with a show at the Opera House on March 11.

MP3: Woodhands – “Pockets”
Video: Woodhands – “CP24”

LAist talks to The Rural Alberta Advantage’s Nils Edenloff. Their new 7″ for “Drain The Blood” b-sided by their cover of “Eye of The Tiger” is out now, and they’re also listed as playing Canadian Musicfest.

Montreal’s Plants & Animals are readying their second album La La Land for an April 20 release and they’re going to be at Lee’s Palace on March 11 for – wait for it – Canadian Musicfest. Man, that’s turning out to be like some kind of festival chock full of Canadian music or something.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Tom Cruz”

Not playing Canadian Musicfest but arguably the hottest thing in Canadian music right now is Owen Pallett, who this week released the “Best New Music”-ed Heartland and played a sold-out show at the Mod Club to rapturous reviews – expect more of the same when he plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8. There were feature pieces on Pallett in Metro, Interview, The National Post, Paste, The Toronto Star, San Francisco Chronicle, two pieces at Spinner, a three-parter at Radio Free Canuckistan and a video piece at Aux.tv. Yeah, Pallett is everywhere – it doesn’t seem losing the “Final Fantasy” moniker has hurt his profile any. And for the curious, the whole of Heartland is streaming on his MySpace right now.

Stream: Owen Pallett / Heartland

Slightly less with the media saturation but still the object of much talk is Basia Bulat, who plays Trinity-St. Paul’s tomorrow night in advance of the January 26 release of Heart Of My Own. Read interviews with her at eye, JAM, dose, NOW, Chart and The Toronto Star. And congratulations to Diana for winning the passes to tomorrow’s show.

Another notable release this week was Woodpigeon’s latest effort Die Stadt Muzikanten – singer/songwriter Mark Hamilton talked about the record with The Georgia Straight and Chart, and in addition to their February 11 show at the Drake Underground, they will also be doing an in-store at Soundscapes on February 14 at 5PM. Make Woodpigeon YOUR Valentine. Yeah, I went there.

Forest City Lovers have released a video for the b-side from their recent “Phodilus and Tyto” 7″. They’re currently in the studio working on album number three and will be playing the Out Of This Spark 3rd anniversary show at The Garrison on January 22.

Video: Forest City Lovers – “If I Were A Tree”

And finally official is the Thursh Hermit reunion tour, which to the dismay of half the country, will only travel as far westwards as southern Ontario. The Toronto dates are, as previously reported, March 26 and 27 at Lee’s Palace with tickets on sale for $17.50 at the usual outlets or online at Maple Music for $44.50 but including an official reunion t-shirt. Is that worth it? Completely up to you.

By : Frank Yang at 8:33 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post4 Responses.
  1. Owen says:

    I remember you, Lake Holiday

  2. Frank Yang says:

    yes – we played with you circa Les Mouches at Wavelength back in the day.
    And we borrowed Reg’s van for a gig once.

    This post is made of Lake Holiday wayback machine.

  3. Laura says:

    Of course I remember this, Frank! Reunion time?

  4. This Morning In New Music – January 15 2010 | New Music says:

    […] Toronto‚Äôs Reg Vermue (Gentleman Reg) will be playing every Wednesday in February at the Drake Underground in Toronto. He will be accompanied by a different pair of opening acts each week. The first show is February 3 with Hooded Fang and Kite Hill. [Chromewaves] […]