Search Results - "Great Lake Swimmers Church Of The Redeemer Toronto April 14, 2007"

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Your Rocky Spine

Very tired. Long week. Short post. Grammar optional.

Was a little surprised to see the sudden outpouring of Great Lake Swimmers love around the blogosphere this week – it seems the first promos of their new album Ongiara have started going out (and I can only hope I’ve got one en route). Gorilla Vs Bear and You Ain’t No Picasso have both got audio to go along with their first impressions and they’re immensely positive, though I’d expect no less – Great Lake Swimmers are a tremendous and tremendously underrated act, Tony Dekker being one of the finest songwriting voices to come out of Toronto in a long time. The album is out on March 27 via their new label Nettwerk though their old home of Weewerk will still be releasing the vinyl version.

And make no mistake, Great Lake Swimmers sound amazing on vinyl – analog perfectly suits the warmth and richness of the music. Case in point, the Hands In Dirty Ground EP that I picked up on 12″ earlier this week – it was originally only available for sale in CD form on tour, but they made it available in limited-edition analog form and as a digital download at the end of last year. Consisting of a mix of covers, new material, live recordings and alternate versions, it’s a great example of Dekker and co managing to expand on their sound without straying from what makes them special – far easier said than done. An Aquarium Drunkard has some thoughts on and a couple tracks from this EP (which you can supposedly buy from though I can’t find it there or at Rotate This in Toronto, where I did find it).

And as a final GLS mention, it’s worth noting that their two shows at the Church Of The Redeemer on April 14 (one early show at 6PM, another at 9PM) are on sale and selling well so if you were thinking about going – and come on, Great Lake Swimmers + church acoustics = wonderful, they you’d best get in gear.

Pitchfork talks to Okkervil River’s Will Sheff about losing his voice and what to expect from the new album, which they’ll get right back on recording once he can speak again.

Unexpected Grammy nominee Nick Urata of DeVotchKa talks to The Tripwire about how they ended up scoring Little Miss Sunshine, for which they’re nominated in the “Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media” category. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Your daily dose of Shins press clippings – Pulse Of The Twin Cities, The AV Club, PopMatters, The Independent and New City Chicago. I have to say how disappointed I am in the collective music journalists of the world that they have, by and large, been unable to resist the temptation of riffing on the whole “Shins will change your life” angle when composing their pieces. Lazy lazy lazy.

Dark But Shining finds out what Mountain Goat John Darnielle likes most about horror.

I Heart Music has posted a show The Hidden Cameras recorded for KEXP last December and a CBCR3 session from ages ago by the dearly departed Royal City. And back to the Cameras, Prefix points us at their new video. Thanks!

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “Death Of A Tune” (YouTube)

The Straight chats lyrical content with Portastatic’s Mac McCaughan.

Show news – LCD Soundsystem will be playing the Phoenix on May 8 though James Murphy will be doing a DJ thing somewhere in town on May 5. Final Fantasy is playing a couple shows at and as a fundraiser for The Tranzac on February 23 and 24 – the former an evening show, the latter an all-ages matinee. Tickets are $8 in advance and on sale now.

And some notable support announcements – Ohbijou get to win over a packed house of Conor-ites opening for Bright Eyes at the Opera House on February 27, The Submarines will warm up for El Perro Del Mar at the Mod Club on March 5, Basia Bulat will be a tough act for Maria Taylor to follow at the Horseshoe March 21 (odds of my no longer being dead from Sx in time for that one? Not good) and Australia’s Love Of Diagrams open for Ted Leo at Mod on May 2.

Okay, maybe not so short. But I swear that I was careless.

Friday, January 12th, 2007

I Look Like Joyce DeWitt

I’m guessing some of you were wondering why I and a number of commenters were so excited last month when it was discovered that Twitch City was unexpectedly out on DVD. This is reasonable. The show only lasted twelve episodes over two seasons and even those were broadcast two years apart, but in that time managed to establish itself, in my mind at least, as the best Canadian sitcom ever. Of course, this is not a difficult title to win since even though we produce some of the funniest actors and writers on the planet, we paradoxically produce some of the very worst television comedy around.

Created by and starring Don McKellar (Last Night), the show featured a fairly star-studded cast (again, by Canadian standards) with Molly Parker (Deadwood) and Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Galactica) along for the ride. It’s set in Toronto’s Kensington Market and documents the life of agoraphobic TV addict Curtis (McKellar), his co-dependent roommate/girlfriend Hope (Parker) and his convenience store clerk/college buddy Newbie (Rennie). Season one is more rooted to the plotline of Curtis’ roommate (and Hope’s boyfriend at the time) being jailed for killing a homeless man with a can of cat food and how that plays out with Curtis and Hope’s burgeoning relationship and roommate search, but season two is the real gem as it plays much faster and looser and gets positively surreal at points. I especially loved their swapping one Kid In The Hall for another (Bruce McCulloch for Mark McKinney) in the role of talk show host Rex Reilly between seasons, a move initially forced by scheduling conflicts but working perfectly in the TV-centric context of the show (shades of Darrin). Seeing Sloan guesting as white supremacists or Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Single White Female-reprising guest turn were also high points.

I never got to see all the episodes when they originally ran in 1998 and 2000, so this DVD set – which I admit I never thought I’d see – was a real treat. Bonus features are slim but the three commentaries by McKellar and some random call-in guests is suitably daffy. For example, Mark McKinney calls in and ends up commenting on an episode he’s not even in. I powered through the whole series over the holidays and I definitely enjoyed them even more than I did the first time around (the eps I had seen, anyways). Probably because I’m now at age closer to the characters in the show and can properly appreciate their level of dysfunction. I’m also particularly fond of it because it’s set in Toronto. There’s actually very few shows, decent or otherwise, that are set here – the CBC seems to prefer setting things in remote northern/prairie/maritime communities because, well, I don’t know really. But Twitch City feels like our own perfect little BBC series, brief but wonderful. The first episode is archived in three parts on YouTube – it’s good but the series gets so much better as it progresses. So worth seeing.

Video: Twitch City pilot – part 1 (YouTube)
Video: Twitch City pilot – part 2 (YouTube)
Video: Twitch City pilot – part 3 (YouTube)

Chart brings word that Ongiara, the third album from Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers will be out on March 24 via Nettwerk. In the meantime their new 12″ EP, Hands In The Dirty Ground is available at Rotate This, a bit before the formal February 7 release date. It’s limited to 500 copies so move fast if you want one – that’s a note to myself as much as anyone else. And finally, to promote both new releases, the band are touring through March and April (dates on their website) and will wrap things up April 14 with two shows at the Church Of The Redeemer in Toronto.

Paste steps up and reviews eleven of the new albums Ryan Adams was streaming off his website at the time. They get a collective 16.75 stars, if you were wondering.

Emily Haines tells The Winnipeg Sun that she’s a nerd. Really. Also – more interviews with Westender, Vue and The Detroit Metro Times.

PopMatters ponders the mysterious and elusive Mountain Goat, aka John Darnielle.

You may remember my incredulousness that Explosions In The Sky were playing a venue the size of the Opera House. Well it turns out they knew their business better than I – they’ve not only sold it out but added a second show on March 25. Tickets for that one are $15.00.

And adding further to your post-rock diet, Red Sparowes are at the El Mocambo on March 10 for a CMW show. Tickets are $12.50 for the non-wristbanded.

And holding a mini Canadian music week of their own, the double-bill of The Constantines and Jon-Rae & The River are at Lee’s Palace for two nights, March 30 and 31. Tickets are $18.50, on sale next Wednesday. Jon-Rae & The River are also playing Nathan Phillips Square on January 28 as part of the WinterCity concerts. Update: In addition, Shotgun & Jaybird are on the bill for the first night, Ladyhawk the second. Nice. Thanks to Alan for the info.

PopMatters talks Pan’s Labyrinth with director Guillermo del Toro.

Behold – the cutest thing ever.

np – Suede / Dog Man Star