Search Results - "Henri Faberge "

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

She Is The Wave

Wavelength to shake you out of your Winter doldrums with, well, Doldrums and more

Photo By Ali BiddellAli BiddellIt hadn’t occurred to me until just now, but there’s a bit of a parallel between this site, right here, and Wavelength. They got a couple years’ head start on me, but both of us spent a solid decade servicing the Toronto independent music community – Wavelength with a weekly concert series that helped introduce the city and the world to much of the amazing music being produced in the 416 and 905, and chromewaves by, um, going to shows and taking pictures. Okay, perhaps the scale is a little different, but both of us also had the good sense to call it after a decade and trade the grind of a regular, regimented schedule for something a little more intermittent but hopefully just as meaningful.

Wavelength events are a bit fewer and far between than my posts – though hey, did you notice me posting just four times over the past fortnight? And not that this is my third post in 24 hours? – but one thing you can still set your watch to is their anniversary series, which always make the dark days of mid-February a little or a lot more musical. This year’s edition – the thirteenth birthday and thus the first entry in its awkward teen years – will take place from February 14 to 17 at venues around town, and while many of the headliners are familiar faces to Wavelength-goers and the Toronto scene in general, it’s notable that former Spiral Beach vocalist/guitarist Airick Woodhead’s new electro incarnation as Doldrums – already making waves internationally and one of the country’s more hotly-tipped new acts for the past year or so. He’s relocated from Toronto to Montreal, but will be back to close the Friday night showcase at the lower Great Hall, less than two weeks before his debut full-length Lesser Evil is released on February 26. Will it deliver on the long-simmering buzz? Dunno, but you can bet that the show will be sold out by people looking to find out.

The rest of the weekend shapes up as follows; hit up Wavelength for descriptions of each act. Advance tickets for each show will be available or you can get an all-access festival pass for $39.

Thursday, February 14 @ The Shop under Parts & Labour ($10 advance)
Lullabye Arkestra / Ell V Gore / Fresh Snow / This Mess / Slow-Pitch

Friday, February 15 @ Black Box Theatre/The Great Hall Downstairs ($15 advance)
Doldrums / Cadence Weapon / Blue Hawaii / Blonde Elvis / Thighs

Saturday, February 16 @ The Great Hall Upstairs ($15 advance)
Do Make Say Think / Evening Hymns / Sarah Neufeld / Doom Squad / Bernice

Sunday, February 17 @ The Garrison ($10 advance)
Cookie Duster / The Magic / Henri Fabergé & the Adorables / Cell Memory & Castle If / Legato Vipers

MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”
MP3: Do Make Say Think – “Greed Waltz”
MP3: Doldrums – “She Is The Wave”
MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”
MP3: The Magic – “Door To Door”

A few years on from his last album, Hayden is gearing up for the release of his new record Us Alone on February 5 with the announcement of a North American tour that will manage the rare feat of staging a three-night stand that will almost certainly leave most of his fans shut out. A more properly-sized hometown show will almost certainly follow, but for now local fans have the choice between seeing him on February 20 at the tiny Dakota Tavern, February 21 at the even tinier Cameron House, or February 22 at the not-that-tiny-but-certainly-not-large Rivoli. Advance tickets – you’ll want those – are available at Arts & Crafts. You can download one of the songs from his new record and stream another.

MP3: Hayden – “Old Dreams”
Stream: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”

Stars gives a behind-the-scenes look at their video from “Backlines”. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on March 20 and 21. interviews Grimes, whom they declared their artist of the year. Last year.

Filter gets some touring thoughts from Patrick Watson.

Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers plays clotheshorse and also a video session for British designer Mr Porter.

Toro interviews The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

Hot on the heels of their holiday edition, The Line Of Best Fit has another Oh! Canada compilation of Canuck artists available to download. No holiday songs, guaranteed!

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Dance Dance Revelation

Henri Faberge & The Adorables’ monthly residence gigs at the Embassy in Kensington Market are something of a Toronto institution, or so I’ve been told as I’ve never been to one. This confession usually gets me a reaction somewhere between incredulity and disdain from the Torontonians I tell, so I’ve kept it on the down low. No particular reason I’ve never been – whenever it’s occurred to me I’ve usually been busy or whatever. And, while I still haven’t been, I did finally see the band live this past Sunday at the Whipper Snapper Gallery as the musical component of a holiday craft show.

While seeing The Adorables was something to cross off my “to do” list, the big draw for me was Ohbijou, whom I’d seen and been greatly impressed by at V Fest and opening for Joanna Newsom but was anxious to see again a) in a cozier environment and b) now that I’ve gotten to know their album Swift Feet For Troubling Times. And while it’s not meant as a slight to the record at all – it’s a warm and immensely beguiling collection of chamber pop – but it really doesn’t do the band justice if you’ve seen them live. Without compromising a bit of the charm of the album, the seven-piece band just sound so much bigger and lusher in performance. And on this night the band had a special Christmas treat in the form of a really amazing cover of Annie’s “Heartbeat”, transfered from clubland to the treehouse brilliantly. With this show, Ohbijou further cemented their status as one of my favourite new finds of the year.

The middle slot went to one Carmen Elle, who I’d initially assumed to be a folkie-type singer-songwriter based on the samples available online. And that’s certainly part of her game, her voice is far richer and songwriting more sophisticated than you’d expect to look at her, it’s evident that she has ambitions beyond that particular niche. She also assembled a band from locals Donlands & Mortimer and Spiral Beach and with them, engaged in some full-on prog-rock jamming that I certainly didn’t see coming. It was more than a bit incongruous but they had the chops for it and kept those excursions relatively compact. While Elle felt obliged to apologize for her perceived unprofessionalism, citing extreme nervousness, I found the promise and talent displayed far outweighed the general lack of focus. When – not if – she pulls all that together, I expect she’s going to do some mighty impressive things. And she’s got time – she’s only seventeen.

In true Toronto style, The Adorables have an immense and fluid lineup and on this night they were ten – maybe eleven – members strong, including almost all of The Bicycles. And I think there’s some cosmic rule that when you’ve got that many people on stage, it’s impossible to not produce upbeat pop tunes and have a good time doing it and that’s what the Adorables did. Sounding like the finale of a high school production of Grease held at a barn dance, their exuberance and antics didn’t quite live up to the legendary status I’d been promised (though some recent lineup changes may have had something to do with it), but they were still mightily entertaining if a bit exhausting to watch. And watching the band’s interaction with their regulars in the audience, of which there were many, it was easy to see why their fans are as devoted as they are.

That said, it was still the two acts on before them that left me most impressed for the evening but top to bottom the bill was a great sample of what’s right with Toronto at the moment. See? I’m coming around. For some Adorables audio, head over to I Heart Music, who is a big band booster.

Photos: Henri Faberge & The Adorables, Carmen Elle, Ohbijou @ The Whipper Snapper Gallery – December 10, 2006
MP3: Carmen Elle – “Violet”
MP3: Carmen Elle – “Some Apples”
MP3: Carmen Elle – “Edgar”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Misty Eyes”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Steep”
MySpace: Carmen Elle
MySpace: Ohbijou

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

The Longway Home

Thanks to Skatterbrain for bringing to my attention the fact that Toronto jangle mavens The Airfields have emerged from their hiatus, somewhat, to post some new demos on their MySpace page. Their Laneways EP, released this Spring, was a real treat and certainly whetted the appetite for more.

When last I spoke to head Airfield David Lush, he said the band (in whatever configuration it was at that time) had recorded an album’s worth of material and yet the future of the band was uncertain. I’ve sent him a quick note asking if the emergence of these tracks indicates some firmer direction for The Airfields – if I get any info back, I’ll update this. But in the meantime, give the new stuff a listen. It’s good.

MP3: The Airfields – “Prisoners Of Our Love” (demo)
MP3: The Airfields – “The Longway Home” (demo)
MP3: The Airfields – “You’re So Wonderful” (demo)

And staying local, Ohbijou, Henri Faberge & The Adorables and Carmen Elle will be providing the musical component to the ALL CAPS craft show happening at the Whipper Snapper Gallery (587A College St., near Clinton) this Sunday, December 10. The craft show starts at 4, music at 7 and it’s all over by 10 – admission is $7 and it’s all-ages. It will be nice to see Ohbijou in a small venue for a change and people have been trying to get me to a Henri Faberge show for what seems like forever now – no, it’s not one of their famously rambunctious residence shows at the Embassy, but should be good regardless.

And skipping ahead a couple days, For The Records fave and Heavy Blinker Jenn Grant will be in town for a number of shows next week, though the one that I’m planning on checking out is on Tuesday night at the Drake Underground where she’ll be joined on the bill by Toronto slowcore/country act Barzin and Haligonians Down With The Butterfly. I picked up Barzin’s latest My Life In Rooms a couple weeks ago and while it’s a little over-samey start to finish, at least the sustained mood is an exceptionally pretty one and there are a few superb tracks on it. As for Grant, her other Toronto shows are at Holy Joe’s on the 10th and Supermarket on the 14th.

I Heart Music has a recent CBC Radio 3 session from Ottawa’s The Acorn. There’s selections from both of their excellent recent EPs Blankets! and Tin Fist, the latter of which they’ll be having a CD release party for next Friday night (December 15) when they open for Elliottt Brood at Lee’s Palace. Acorn singer Rolf Klausener talks a bit about the theme of the new record to Chart.

Joel Gibb complains to Washington Square News that NAFTA isn’t working for The Hidden Cameras. But having successfully navigated the border, he talks to The Portland Mercury, Minneapolis City Pages and Tuscon Weekly. And though the December 14 show in Toronto is still listed on their MySpace, there’s still no venue or ticket information. That’s next week, fellas.

Drowned In Sound talks to Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallett. Via Largehearted Boy.

The Register-Guard talks to Amy Millan, PopMatters talks to Emily Haines. Haines is at the Danforth Music Hall on January 6.

Murray Lightburn of The Dears tells Harp that the album that changed his life was by… The Dears. Okay, everyone who didn’t see that coming, hands up.

np – Forget Cassettes / Salt

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

(Pop) Montreal Grand Prix

So I’m off to Pop Montreal this Thursday and am getting quite excited about it, if for no other reason than it means that one way or another the deadlines at work have passed and I am out of this burg for a few days at least. And though it’s just five hours away, I haven’t been to Montreal in about… 30 years. So that’s also exciting.

Besides the festival, I’ll be participating in this panel at the Future Of Music policy summit, which should be interesting and terrifying at the same time. But back to the festival. There’s obviously lots of talent in attendance, but no really big draws for me personally – at least no one that I’d have otherwise travelled five hours to see (and anyways, most of the will have played in Toronto immediately before or after their Montreal gig).

But ask me who I’m most excited to see and I’d tell you Denmark’s Under Byen. whom I wrote up a little while back. In conjunction with the first North American release of one of their records – Samme Stof Som Stof, out October 10 – they’re conducting a short tour of Canada that includes two Pop Montreal shows, one in Ottawa and one in Toronto on October 9 at the Horseshoe. The first Pop Montreal date is opening for Joanna Newsom so you know they’re going to have the opportunity to impress a packed house. The second, and the one I’m planning to attend, is with sometime-collaborator Howe Gelb who will be performing with Giant Sand. That’s the same bill that’ll be in T.O. on Thanksgiving, and if they blow me away and if I can muster the energy, there’s good chance I’ll be at that show as well.

Samme Stof Som Stof continues to engross me and all accounts are that the band are astonishing live. Both Chart and Exclaim! have interviews with the band.

MP3: Under Byen – “Af Samme Stof Som Stof”
MP3: Under Byen – “Den Her Sang Handler Om At Fa Det Bedste Ud Af Det”
Video: Under Byen – “Af Samme Stof Som Stof” (YouTube)
MySpace: Under Byen

As for the rest of the fest, because of how the Pop Montreal RSVP system worked for media folk I basically had to pick out my main shows for each night a week in advance. While there’s nothing that says I can’t change my mind and see something else, but percluding club-hopping these are the lineups that I’ve signed up for:

Thursday, October 5:
The Hot Springs, Tokyo Police Club, Portastatic and Snailhouse @ La Sala Rossa
Sloan, The Yoko Casionos and Flames! @ Theatre Nationale
Hexes & Ohs @ Preloved
The Diableros, Andre Ethier @ The Green Room
The Soft Disaster @ Casa Del Popolo
Dragonette @ L’Hemisphere Gauche
Basia Bulat @ L’Escogriffe
A Northern Chorus @ O Patro Vys.

– I’ll probably take the Hot Springs over Sloan. I haven’t seen Sloan in 12 years or so but also haven’t really cared about them in 4. The rest I will simply spin the bottle and see what comes up.

Friday, October 6:
Islands, The Big Sleep and Miracle Fortress @ Les Saints
Jessica Bailiff @ La Salla Rosa
The Dandybeards @ The Green Room
Henri Faberge & The Adorables @ L’Escogriffe.

– The Big Sleep is the big draw for me here. I will probably head out after them to give hometown kids Henri Faberge some long-delayed attention. But as you can see, I’ve got a pretty light sched for Friday so far. If you’re going to help me out with any night, make it this one.

Saturday, October 7:
Giant Sand, Under Byen and Mike O’Brien @ Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire
Laura Barrett @ The Green Room
Dirty On Purpose @ Quai Des Brumes
Charlamagne @ Missy Bar
The Besnard Lakes @ Club Lambi

– Sort of a shame I’m dead set on the Giant Sand/Under Byen since there’s a fair bit of other interesting stuff going on at the same time. Alas, sacrifices must be made.

Sunday, October 8:
The Constantines and Favourite Sons @ The Mile End Cultural Centre
Regina Spektor, The Only Son @ Le National
Carolyn Mark, The Acorn and Schooner @ Casa Del Popolo.

– I didn’t actually manage to get an RSVP in for the Constantines, but am hoping to be able to see both the Acorn and the Constantines regardless. But if all else fails, I do have an RSVP for the Regina Spektor gig… of course, I won’t find out I can’t get into the Constantines until after Regina Spektor starts… right, we’ll play this by ear. But for the record, Schooner sounds VERY promising.

And that’s what my weekend looks like. Seems like a lot, but compared to my schedules for SxSW, this is a cakewalk (or a promenade de gateau, as they say in Quebec). Of course, recommendations on who else I should see in addition to (if not in lieu of) what I’ve already picked out are welcome. There are free downloads from many Pop Montreal artists available over at Puretracks – do yourself (and possibly me) a favour and check them out.

Naturally, the local media is all agog with festival features – The Montreal Gazette talks to festival organizer Dan Seligman and also chats with FMC keynote speaker David Byrne, the Montreal Mirror previews some of the performers and wonders where all the big names in this year’s lineup are.

And also, while a goodly amout of my time will be spent at the Future Of Music summit and Pop Montreal events, I will also (hopefully) have time to play tourist a bit. What should I make a point of seeing/doing? Remember – 30 years since I’ve been there.

Speaking of Howe Gelb, according to The Independent, he may be working with Isobel Campbell next. Okay, maybe this is a good time to mention I’ve never heard any of Howe Gelb’s music in any of his incarnations. Does this make me a bad person?

Toronto is going to Montreal… and a little bit of Montreal is coming to Toronto. Malajube will be at Lee’s Palace on November 25. Tickets $10.

Saturday night was the first-ever, Nuit Blanche city-wide art installation in Toronto, and while I didn’t do the all-night thing like some – I had to go in to work Sunday morning – I did hit a number of art installations in “Zone A”, aka the University of Toronto campus and Yorkville. I saw some really cool stuff (Fujiko Nakaya’s fog sculpture across Philosopher’s Walk – though really seemingly not more than some smoke machines – was amazing to experience) and some awful stuff (author Russell Smith, clad in leather pants, reading from his second-person, female-protagonist, pseudonym-published book of erotica? Not as bad as you might think – it’s worse) but the rain held off, the crowds were out and it was a very cool and un-Toronto vibe all around. Some photos at my Flickr and in the Flickr group. The Toronto Star reports back on the event.

np – My Morning Jacket / Okonokos

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

On & On

I declared over the weekend that it was time for musicians to stop fetishising the 80s post-punk/new-wave scene and start playing re-animator with the early 90s shoegazers. I’d now like to nominate an act to help music fans with that painful and awkward transition from one overdone scene into another – Film School.

The band is aptly named, as they strive for a big, cinematic sound that reminds me a bit of Bright Lights-era Interpol in the vocals and guitars (more than a few shades of The Chameleons and Bunnymen here), though overall there’s more groove and less tension, not to mention a healthy dollop of ‘gaze-approved fuzz and atmosphere. I’d also liken them to a less sleepy Calla. They’re obviously of a certain style, but are diverse and hooky enough to have a good shot at a wider audience. The San Francisco Chronicle are boosters, and have a piece talking up their local boys.

Film School’s eponymous new album came out this past Tuesday on Beggars Banquet, who have put together one of those E-Card dealies with some streaming music on it, or you can hit up their MySpace page to hear more. The Dark Stuff gives them a thumbs-up and has some streaming audio, and you can grab this preview MP3 to keep for your very own:

MP3: Film School – “Pitfalls”

One of the bands Film School get compared to in the Chronicle piece is New York’s Ambulance LTD, who have been quiet of late but will be releasing the New English EP in the near future, which will collect some rarities for a stopgap release before their next album. You can hear a couple tracks from the EP on their MySpace page.

You may recall that The American Analog Set was releasing a demo version of every track from Set Free last year – well they’re finally done, and for those of you (like me) who lost track and missed a few, they’ve conveniently compiled the whole batch into a .zip file for you to grab. That’s basically a free album they’re giving away, kids. Can’t beat that with a stick.

Harp gets a number of artists to bear witness to how the Iron & Wine and Calexico collaboration came about and bore fruit. rattles off a list of what it calls “seminal alternative albums”, their definition of alternative apparently referring to the early-mid 90s post-Nirvana period when anything and everything was being scooped up from college radio and thrown into the mainstream in hopes of scoring a left-field hit (which most of these records did, to some extent). This list could be subtitled “mandatory albums in everyone’s collection during my college years”, or “albums found en masse in the every used CD shop across the country two years later”. Via Largehearted Boy.

Some shows – Scout Niblett, who had to cancel her last scheduled show in town last year, will make it up on March 26 at the Horseshoe. The Brunettes will be opening Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s sold-out April 8 show at Lee’s Palace, though For The Records speculates a venue change may be in the offing. And the lineups for Wavelength 300 has been announced, and is as follows:

February 9 @ The Speakeasy – Anagram, Republic Of Safety, Kickers, Feuermusik
February 10 @ The Boat – LAND (Lullabye Arkestra + No Dynamics), Lenin I Shumov, The Bicycles, Castlemusic
February 11 @ The Music Gallery – The Hylozoists, Picastro, Ohbijou, Woodhands
February 12 @ Sneaky Dee’s – Henri Faberge And The Adorables, Ninja High School, The Secret Handshake, The Phonemes

Note the new contest banner up in the corner – this one’s a pretty cool promotion for online label/shop Check it out check it out check it out.

And oh yeah, I’m going to Amsterdam next month. IYou can follow along via the blog or you can wait for the film.

np – The American Analog Set / Set Free Demos