Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
I had no idea that Saturday’s Final Fantasy show at the Tranzac, the second of two fundraising shows for the venue, was a matinee when I bought the ticket. But it was, and an all-ages one at that, which is why it was that I found myself in a gaggle of overexcited underagers on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Different? Yes.
And also different (and not legally able to drink) were first act 123Ten, which was composed of a trio of teenage girls kind of rapping, kind of singing and kind of dancing about such weighty matters as battling whales, the practicality of black clothes and odes to baby squirrels. All terribly cute and silly.
They were followed by local trio The Phonemes who managed to see their good vibes and then raise them some. Purveyors of sweet and jangly pop songs with a certain off-kilterness to them that was very welcome, frontwoman Magali Meagher looked to be having such a good time that it was nearly impossible to not smile along. They’ve been kicking around for more than a few years now but this was my first time hearing them – the sound you hear is Zoilus shaking his head.
I’ve said before that I find the Final Fantasy live experience to be much more enjoyable than listening to his records – while that’s still true, the gap between the two is closing rapidly and it’s not because I’m enjoying Owen live any less. Accompanied by a projectionist, Pallet opted to stay in the shadows and soundtrack the visuals to rather than step into the spotlight himself. But even concealed thusly, his music demanded the full attention of the audience as he blended looped violin with his gentle vocals to perform selections from He Poos Clouds as well as some unfamiliar numbers and a cover of John Cale’s “Paris 1919″. I’m not sure that I’ve actually seen a full Final Fantasy set before – it’s always been either a supporting or otherwise truncated set – but really should try harder, it’s as wonderful as the shorter sets, only moreso. While there’ll surely be more opportunities between now and then, he does have another local show scheduled for July 1 at Harbourfront Centre, obviously as part of their Canada Day festivities. Mark it down.
Photos: Final Fantasy, The Phonemes, 123Ten @ The Tranzac – February 24, 2007
MP3: Final Fantasy – “If I Were A Carp”
MP3: Final Fantasy – “Many Lives 49 MP”
MP3: The Phonemes – “Steeples & People”
Video: Final Fantasy – “This Lamb Sells Condos” (YouTube)
MySpace: Final Fantasy
MySpace: The Phonemes
So yeah, the whole internet is agog of Arcade Fire’s appearance on Saturday Night Live this past weekend and yeah, I watched it too. I think it was the first full ep of the show I’ve seen in maybe three years and though the faces have changed, it’s still pretty much the same. Overlong, occasionally painful but with just enough choice moments so that it doesn’t feel like a waste of time. Anyway, BrooklynVegan has rounded up the audio and video from their performances and Catbirdseat also has an… editorial. Of sorts. On everything.
New York Magazine takes a look at their week in the Big Apple while The Globe & Mail talks to Win Butler about how and why they’re so big and popular as to have sold out two nights at Massey Hall in under a minute (well, Ticketmaster’s allotment at least – Massey Hall was still selling decent seats directly late into Friday afternoon. I’m in the right centre gallery, 3rd row in case you were wondering). Neon Bible is out in a week but you can stream the whole thing right now at NME. How’s it sound? I’ve no idea – I’ll tell you when my preorder arrives hopefully next week. But Pop (All Love) declares in the Macleans music blog (yes you read that right) that it’s “Real and good, but not real good” while Rolling Stone, in a rare moment of non crap writing, gives it a solid three and a half stars (via Said The Gramophone in Wherry’s comments).
Scotland’s My Latest Novel will definitely be making the most of their stay in Toronto for Canadian Music Week – in addition to their original showcase at the Drake at midnight on Friday, March 9, they’re opening for Red Sparowes at the El Mocambo the following night and then playing a free show at the Horseshoe on the Monday night (March 12) at 9:30. For my part, I will be managing to miss all three shows and instead be seeing them in Austin at SxSW (Saturday night at 8PM at Buffalo Billiards). As improbable as it seems, I’ve got something else going on all three of those evenings. It happens.
Sooooo SxSW wristbands went on sale yesterday. Anyone got an extra? Anyone? Be your best friend.
24: Where did they find a suit in Jack’s size so quickly? Yeah, that’s all. I suppose I could comment on the riveting subplot of whether or not Morris is drinking again or not, but that’s still too raw and emotional for me to talk about just yet. Sob.
And check out Metatube for all your television blog commentary needs.