Monday, July 22nd, 2013
Ohbijou says “au revoir”, throws going-away party
FacebookThere was some sad news last week announcement last week that local stalwarts Ohbijou were going on an indefinite hiatus. Sad because not only was the city losing one of its finest orch-folk bands after three lovely albums – 2006’s Swift Feet For Troubling Times, 2009’s Beacons, and 2011’s Metal Meets – but it felt like the closing of a chapter in the story of Toronto’s independent music scene, one of particular resonance for me.
After making their acquaintance when they opened the very first V Fest in September 2006, I went on to see the band many many many many times over the years and delighted in seeing them grow in leaps and bounds as a live band. Further, their debut Swift Feet topped my 2007 Polaris ballot and I felt Beacons was even better; I don’t recall why it didn’t make my 2010 Polaris ballot though coming out on the very first day of the eligibility period may have caused to get lost in the shuffle. All of which is to say that Ohbijou have been a very rewarding band to be a fan of over the years.
Further, it’s not without significance that they were the very first band to open that inaugural V Fest as Broken Social Scene closed the fest the next night; that was about the time that the initial Can-indie rock explosion was beginning to settle and if you were to draw a rough circle around the artists that represented Toronto across Canada and abroad in the post-Broken era, it could well be the Bellwoods musical community led largely and hosted literally by Ohbijou. You can’t look at the lineup of artists that they drew together for the two Friends In Bellwoods compilations in support of the Daily Bread Food Bank and not be impressed by the names involved: The Acorn, Basia Bulat, The Rural Alberta Advantage, the Diamond Rings-begetting D’Urbervilles, Forest City Lovers, Bruce Peninsula, Evening Hymns, Hooded Fang, the pre-Austra Katie Stelmanis, Snowblink, Timber Timbre, and The Wooden Sky, to name but a few. These are many of the bands that over the run of this blog, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing arise from playing tiny clubs or gallery spaces to much larger stages and acclaim, and have been proud to share an area code with.
And so even with so many of those acts soldiering on, with Ohbijou hanging it up for the foreseeable future it really does feel like the end of an era. But going out on a down note just wouldn’t be their style, so with this lovely video message from frontwoman Casey Mecija as an invitation, the band have announced a final show – with many of the aforementioned Bellwoods artists as guests – on September 7 at The Great Hall; tickets for the show are $20 in advance. I know everyone looked at the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest as the year’s big celebration of Toronto’s emergence as a musical heavyweight; in its way, I think this matters as much.
Video: Braids – “In Kind”
The Weeknd appears to be totally over his camera-shyness, as evidenced by Abel Tesfaye plastering his face on the cover of the forthcoming Kiss Land, which can be seen at The Line Of Best Fit. And more relevantly, the release date for said record appears to be
August 27 September 10; well ahead of his three-night stand at Massey Hall on October 17, 19, and 20.
Exclaim talks to Colin Stetson about getting another Polaris nod for his New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light and his contributions to the forthcoming Arcade Fire record. Stetson plays The Great Hall on September 5 as part of the Constellation Records touring caravan.