This will be a two-day report. I got home ahem late last night.

Last night being NXNE Free Period, and thus a zone of No Plans, I met up with my concertgoing compatriot and we sat down to dinner with the Thursday night schedule. Dancing was indicated, so dinner was this:

Poutine pizza!
Good God. It's a duck poutine pizza.


No, I did not eat all of that. Maybe just shy of half. And we got some steamed asparagus with it to layer gently between the waves of gravy-laced death.

Having fueled up, we opted to head to the Horseshoe with thoughts of catching Hooded Fang at 10pm, but nudging in for the 9pm set too so we got a good spot. This proved to be a good choice: the 9pm set was Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers, a band I saw because it was there and then ended up really, really liking.

Aside from having a ginormous beard, Ben Caplan has a hell of a handle on stage patter. The music itself is...Gothic east coast fiddle rock with a palpable dash of klezmer, and the kind of thing that inexorably gets you stomping feet and shouting when the extremely pleasant man onstage with the wicked comic timing is telling you to shout. The blurb in the festival book compared him to Tom Waits, but...not quite the right comparison, I think? He's got that rasp, but Ben Caplan has a big voice, and a huge onstage personality. He's charming, basically; he charmed a room full of people who I think were there to see someone else right into falling headfirst into his set.

By the end, the compatriot and I were kind of goofy and happy and entirely feeling fun, and while the east coast stuff is not always my thing? I would gladly see them play again.

Next up, Hooded Fang, and a bit of a disappointment.

I admit that I know hype kills, and Hooded Fang has had a lot of hype if you are a person who 1) lives in Toronto and; 2) pays attention to local bands and; 3) is maybe a bit of a teensy filthy hipster as your correspondent can sometimes be. There were some definite sound problems throughout the set, but technically it was reasonably solid: what you could maybe call 1960s Scooby-Doo surf pop.

So what was the problem?

I get the feeling that if said band is generally ever happy, the sound problems may have made them kind of sour. I think the note I had from my Twitter commentary was stage presence of a pet rock. I had no sense, period, that anyone on that stage actually wanted to be there. I don't think they even introduced themselves; I wasn't sure I had the right band for the first fifteen minutes or so. After the Ben Caplan set, the contrast sort of stung.

I mean, there were like a dozen kids in front of us, centre stage, totally losing their shit for the whole set -- climbing up on stage to dance -- and these guys did not care.

I...have a mild professional problem with that. I need to feel like you kind of actually want to be playing that show, just a little. Just a touch.

So after that we were a smidge dejected (and really, really warm), and bailed forthwith to Trinity Bellwoods, where we swung on the swings, consulted the Magic NXNE Book some more, and decided that dessert was a better plan than more sets.

Thus endeth Day 2.




Day 3, aka this evening, had a definite plan: Young Lions Music Club had a showcase at the El Mocambo featuring a few tiny local bands I really, really like, and that was where I was going to be. There was an option of seeing a few other local bands at Yonge/Dundas Square first, but it was viciously hot today, and I am underslept and bagged, and had legitimate author things to do for most of the morning/afternoon, so I opted for a short nap instead.

I got there a little ways into Cousin's set:

Cousin


They bill as "slacker rock", and that's about right: solid guitars, a faintly nineties feel, and a singer whose voice honestly isn't keeping up with the proficiency of the rest of the band. But it's reasonably danceable, and even though it wasn't really blowing me off my chair, it deserved a bigger crowd than they got. It's arena-sized music, and a crowd of thirty people in a not-yet-filled club was a little sad.

Next, though -- Paradise Animals!

Paradise Animals
Wheeeeeeee--


I found this band sometime this spring and bought their EP promptly. And I have been looking forward to this set.

It started with a bit of sound futzing that, after the Hooded Fang thing, felt somewhat ominous, but settled out fast: a nearly continuous wave of guitar and synth and a voice that weirdly reminds me of Joy Division. This is eighties-splashed, rhythm-driven dancing music: I am honestly not sure the style fit the format, or if it would have done better in a more clublike setting. I kind of decided that I didn't care. Toronto audiences are apparently infamous for not dancing, so I was that one girl in the front who danced like hell while every else did that nodding thing.

They weren't much for stage chatter either, but? Y'know? It was a good set.

The most impressive thing, actually: the fact that they can get that depth of sound with just four people. And it became really apparent, really early, how that was done: I think the drummer was the only person onstage playing only one instrument. The guitarist was fussing with pedals half the time, and the singer and bassist traded off the bass for a saxophone, for keyboards, for synth. It was a bit like watching Andrew Bird construct songs, just with four pairs of hands, and actually kind of fascinating stuff.

I had a chat with the singer/keyboard player/bassist/everything else after the set, and he said new songs likely drop in September, so I will (and you should) keep an eye out for that.

After that: The Ryan O'Reilly Band, sweet Brit-folk harmonic acoustic stuff which was both lovely and a total change of pace from the set before. It was lovely and quite well put together, and then halfway through this set my fun timer (read: my blood sugar) just totally went off, and I had to take a hasty exit, come home, and fill myself gently with protein until the mood crash sorted itself out.

So I have missed Paper Lions and Teenage Kicks tonight, which is kind of making me wrinkle my nose in an unhappy way, but...well, I've been pushing my body a bit hard for the past week, and this isn't really surprising. And I have to work tomorrow. And I need to sleep.




Tomorrow! Saturday!

Tomorrow is arranged a bit like a tactical mission. Sets I'm hoping to catch include Hollerado, Of Montreal, and The Flaming Lips at Yonge/Dundas Square, and then a hop to the El Mocambo to see Limblifter (!!!) at midnight, and then another hop to the Painted Lady on Ossington for Dinosaur Dinosaur, which is a tinyband of quality I've seen a few times in the last year.

This might actually work, mostly because I also have compatriots for tomorrow night, and it's easier to do the hops/get through the iffy sets when you have company. We'll see how tired and old I get, and how the night develops, and what adventures are located along the way...
leahbobet: (bat signal)
So, guess what time of year it is?

Yes, this one.

I am hoping to actually pace myself this year, and not totally burn out hard on the second night of the festival like I did last year, because I have Plans (tm) for things I want to be seeing and all that. With that in mind, tonight's excursion was one set large:

July Talk
This being July Talk at the Horseshoe


So about a month back I discovered this band called July Talk, and you should click that link, and you should listen to the two songs on that website, because I am telling you to in the most imperative terms possible. This is what happens when Young Tom Waits meets a floaty-voiced, bustier-wearing girl, and then they make out to every guitar ever in a bluegrass/rock/awesome kind of way.

Understand that I was already pretty much bouncing on my toes with joy for this show. No, really. I was literally dead centre in front of the stage, beer in hand, good and early before the set time and bouncing on my toes, and I didn't care that I was seeing this by myself.

And then they went on, and...holy shit.

The stage presence that pours off Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay is kind of visceral and incredible. They strut and tease each other and bite and blow kisses and dance and bend staggering over a guitar, and never miss a beat. They sing somehow both clean and raw at the same time. Thirty seconds into that set, a set full of songs I hadn't heard ("Paper Girl" was the closer, so there I could sing along) the whole of the Horseshoe Tavern had taken a collective deep breath that tingled down to the toes. It was thirty minutes of grinning, sweating wildness. It was the kind of thing that lots of bands try for, and never really get.

Mostly just...holy shit.

They pretty much took that house down.

They do not even have an EP out yet.

Mark my words: In two years this band is going to be famous.



I also think it says something about a set to see what the mood in the room is after. After that set the dude next to me gave me a giant high five, and then two guys in the back struck up a conversation about said set and we talked about small bands and good places to eat on Roncesvalles and whatnot, and then two guys behind us who are in a band playing a set tomorrow struck up another conversation too. This was a room full of sociable, grinning, energized people. This was a room full of liquid happy.

On that basis -- and because, y'know, I'd paid $12 cover -- I stuck around for the next set, by a band called The Heartbroken (or maybe just Heartbroken), but it was pretty apparent early on that it was a bit too country for my tastes, so out into the night we went.

I have no specific plans for tomorrow: There's a Hooded Fang set at 10pm somewhere or other, and Black Owls, the band of the dudes behind me who struck up a conversation, is playing the Hideout at some point. I'm also meeting up with a compatriot for the evening, so I think it's going to be the NXNE Free Period: we're just going to go where the wind takes us.

Look for more concert report through the weekend. Because there's gonna be more concerts.
Yes, the Indie Rock Signal is in the sky. It's your occasional show report!

Tonight: The Darcys (!!!) and Bombay Bicycle Club (!). Sold out for centuries, moved to a bigger venue, and then sold out again, still centuries ago (okay, like end of December). I have had tickets for millenia (okay, since mid-December). And the logistics around this one have been ongoing and fraught. They only got more fraught when the friend I was supposed to go with, who had already paid for her ticket, told me she wasn't feeling well and couldn't go. An hour and a half before doors.

I have had a bit of a stressy day -- it was one of those at work where you feel like you're always relentlessly behind everything, and I had a freelance job to do over my lunch hour too, so. I did not take this happily. Everyone I could think who'd like said show was busy/working late/etc. when I called them, and so I went home to be pissy and sulk, because I was supposed! to see! the Darcys! dammit! and going to shows alone sucks in a special kind of way.

Luckily, Dr. My Roommate came home, said, "What's wrong?" and when I blatted what was wrong all over the floor, said, "Okay, y'know? If we don't stay for the whole thing? I will go with you." Even though she has exam questions to write.

So we were at the door and leaving 20 minutes later.

I have the best roommate.


Show was at the Phoenix, noted previously as the site of the Meanest Coat Check in the World (seriously, not my favourite venue), so I wore a hoodie instead of a jacket and we just waltzed right in. We made our way into the room just as The Darcys were taking the stage, putting down their beers, and picking up their instruments.

This felt a bit like we had just found Fluffy. Glee. Mood improved already!

Actual set: Kind of short, sadly; it was an second opener set at an all-ages show. But! Even a short Darcys set is better than five long sets from other bands. It was about half the self-title and half from Aja, if I was hearing right, and they opened with...gah. Okay, Don't Bleed Me was early in the set. It wasn't the actual first song.


This independently made Toronto music video contains apocalypses.


Watching them play is actually kind of an athletic thing. For people not familiar, the album I found this band on is actually their second. They used to be a five-piece. Then they had finished recording said album, and their singer left, and they had to rerecord, rearrange, redo everything as a four-piece. So there are points where the singer is hopping between keyboard and guitar, or down on the floor doing effects with the mic, singing crouched. It's not quite shoegazer, but there's an element of improv to it that you usually don't get with a rock band, and it...feels almost more like people making music. Making it physically.

Shaking Down the Old Bones was the second-last song, and it's gorgeous, gorgeous live. Edmonton to Purgatory was the last. I would have loved to hear When I Am New Again to close out the set, but if I can't have that, this will do; it's the song that got me into this band, after all.


I almost had my book launch where this was filmed.


The presentation wasn't perfect. But y'know? I like that. I like that Jason Couse does not have one of those polished, smooth, prepped-up voices, and he goes for all his notes with both hands and his teeth anyways. It makes the things that come out of his mouth raw and real and beautiful.

So I danced a lot, and bounced, and was cheery, and then that was the end of the set. So I honoured my end of the deal and we booked it homewards.


Morals:

1) Whoever made two trainfuls of west end hipsters go all the way to Sherbourne for a show is a bad, bad man. I've never seen so much plaid and black-framed glasses east of Yonge in my life.
-- a) This did feel a little good in that That's right, old neighbourhood. I have returned to pillage and destroy you, at the vanguard of a hipster army!yay west side sort of way.
2) I may need to get over my tendency to recreational musician crushes if I'm going to stay into local/indie bands. Stuff gets awkward when there's actually a real likelihood of finding myself in the same social circles as said people.
3) That said? I love this band's music and I want to marry it, and I think, like Broken Social Scene or Mark Lanegan, I am going to be there every damn time they play, giddy like I'm fourteen.


Thus ends your show report.
November 14, 2011 Progress Notes:

"Five Autopsies"

Words today: 1000.
Words total: 5250.
Reason for stopping: Pushing midnight.

Books in progress: Moira Young, Blood Red Road.


Notably forward today. There was stuctural restructuring. A major plot hint just got embedded in said structure, and hopefully it won't strike people as a mistake, because I do zis, I do it on purpose, ja?

We will see what the Other Writers say about it when it's done.

In other news, this Darcys album is proving the wisdom of sometimes just giving away your full-length album for free. Because I am obsessed with it. And am going to try to sneak out of SFContario and get a ticket to their show at the Horseshoe on Friday, so I can give them all my money for merch.

Go look. Support Toronto music! Think globally, band locally!

And with that, bed.
Haven't done one of these in a while; it has been a peculiarly showless fall. But nonetheless: tonight! Matthew Good!

(For background: Matt Good is pretty much a thread through the soundtrack of every novel I write. At 16 years old, nursing my first broken heart, I went to Europe on a March Break school trip with a Douglas Coupland novel and the Matthew Good Band's Underdogs, and something fused and stuck in my brain that has yet to ever unstick. Last week, that stuck thing sent me to Vancouver, to see the mountains and ocean and crows.)

Two things mildly horrid about this show: one, the opener, who was not only Vancouver-1998-music, but generic Vancouver-1998-music. And somewhat awkward onstage. The second thing was the venue -- Queen Elizabeth Theatre -- which is great for stuff like Owen Pallett or other sit-down sorts of shows, but not at all useful when you want to either duck out to skip the rest of the opener and/or dance your face off to the headliner. Although we found out just how much headbanging/dancing range you can actually get in those seats. Oh, we did.

As for the actual set:

This opened...I have no words. This opened with the stage set with the instruments and two table lamps, glowing soft against the darkness, and then the keyboardist crept on and started with a few chords, and Matt came on, and sang an piano-and-voice version of "While We Were Hunting Rabbits" soft and in the dark, backlit by those two warm little lamps.

This is not tonight's show. This is the Kitchener date. But this is what I mean.



There is a little hook in my soul from that, a sliver of gravity and dignity and soft profound things. It's not coming out.

Rest of set...about half of it was stuff from the new album: "Lights of Endangered Species", "Shallow's Low", "What if I Can't See the Stars, Mildred?", "Zero Orchestra", "Non Populus" (yaaaay), "Set Me on Fire" (yaaay) as the end of the encore. The other half hopped around between earlier stuff, with a real emphasis on the first two albums: "Load Me Up", Hello Time Bomb", "Apparitions", "Born Losers", "The Boy Who Could Explode" (yaaay), and kind of most wonderfully, "Weapon" as the closer for the main set. I wrote a whole book to that song, once.

The huge concentrations of really old old stuff meant that any time one of them showed up, the whole theatre got on our collective feet. I found out how much dance space you get in that seat. It's not a lot, but we managed.

It was also a bit of a mouthy crowd; definitely not my favourite. But it meant loud singing along was pretty okay. Which is good. I don't feel complete if I can't at least mouth the words.

As for the encore: I can't decide if this was planned or not, but someone near the back started, in the traditional clap/cheer between set and encore, to start chanting the beginning of "Giant", which is a bunch of cheerleaders going: "K-I-C-K-A-S-S, that's the way we spell success". So it spread, and people picked it up. And once the whole crowd was doing it -- they cut in with "Giant". It kind of had to have been a plant, and planned. But y'know what? It was cool.

The middle song on the encore was something I've never heard, and I felt sort of thrown for a minute until getting home and finding out that it's unreleased. So that's fine.

There are so many things I could have wanted to hear here that I didn't even go in with a wishlist. He doesn't often play the older stuff -- I think there were, for years, some copyright issues between the other members of the Matthew Good Band proper vs. just playing all the later, solo stuff -- but really, in this case, almost anything was good. I wish I could have heard stuff like "The Inescapable Us" or "Extraordinary Fades", but I frequently fall in love with songs that aren't touring songs. There really was no wrong way to build this setlist tonight.

So this was not incandescent, like the last time I saw him, and it was not a religious experience like every BSS show is, but the waves of sound on "Non Populus" and "Weapon", and that first song and the quiet of it, and the soft darkness behind and around us -- that, I suspect, is not going away anytime soon.


Concert buddy Jeff and I walked up from the theatre instead of taking the streetcar; we're both pretty hardcore walkers, and the transit was going to be really crowded (another small downside of that venue), and I needed to move after not being able to dance myself hoarse. So we cut up through Parkdale to the Lakeview Lunch, grabbed a very late dinner (pulled pork sandwich om nom nom) and then wandered the cool night streets back up to home territory.

And now I am home, and night-air chilly, and a little, sweetly haunted. And will probably dream of rabbits, and lamplight, and guitars.
leahbobet: (bat signal)
Quick pop out for a couple sets at the Rivoli tonight with [livejournal.com profile] ksumnersmith: the band one of her workfriends sings for was playing at Pop With Brains, which is a bi-monthly indie showcase that donates the cover/proceeds to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. So we get bands, Karina's workfriend gets some cheering section, good charity donations are done, all's good.

I have no pictures for this one. See last post re: the cellphone camera, its stubborn refusal to, y'know, focus, and how I was going to take it in to get looked at this weekend sometime.

We grabbed some fancy Queen West burgers beforehand at BQM, which was pretty tasty if not so air-conditioned. I had one called the Ossington, which was the most gentrified burger on the menu (cow, grilled portobello, tomato, lettuce, garlic aoili, balsamic glaze, mozzarella). I am not sure if the name is a very subtle joke.

The show itself was in the back room of the Rivoli, which was sort of half-empty and weirdly reminiscent of the sorts of battle of the bands friend-of-friend's shows you'd go to see when you were 15, and this is not a criticism. Tiny cashbox at the door, very loud monitors (and not-so-great levels, honestly; I think they didn't have a dedicated soundperson), people who obviously know each other/know the bands. This was kind of amazingly nostalgic for me, even though it was always the Opera House or the Big Bop when I was a high school band groupie.

There were some other attractions going on: a clothing label selling some stuff, and an artist who was doing quick paintings of each band off to the side of the stage, in watercolour, which was neat. You'd stop every so often and look over at the easel to see how the painting was coming.

We were, sadly, the jerks who only stayed for the set we came to see* -- Karina has to be up early tomorrow, and I have had a somewhat long day here -- but I did catch enough of the first set to comment. The band was Drugs in Japan, and it was very metal: the bassist took this seriously and had the giant poofy metal hair that entirely obscured his face/head, as well as tight black pants with a giant zipper. As far as metal goes it was okay -- actually, I'm deeply impressed that the singer was the drummer, because that means offsetting your own rhythm, and that is not easy business. But mostly it was there, and it was okay, and it's not really my genre.

The workfriend's band, Dinosaur Dinosaur, was...actually, really, really good.

They're a three-piece: bass, guitar, and vocals, with occasional keyboard and other stuff, a drum machine in back, and some legitimate stage presence. And the sound is not easily definable: the things it reminded me of the most were that kind of lush eighties goth music; Shriekback or Sisters of Mercy with the occasional heavy rock guitar thrown in and a definite sultry, noirish, cabaret sort of thing on the vocals and rhythms, although not so much cabaret as Ruby Spirit, which we have established I did not like on the grounds of finding them to simultaneously be trying too hard and not really trying hard enough. It was a little hard to dance to until I figured out that yes, I should just dance like goth clubs, and then it all came together.

Really, really liked the first song -- I think it was called "Somniloquy" -- and a newer one they played, the name of which I didn't catch. I do remember one called "Vampires vs. Swear Words", which is all kinds of excellent.

They do not have an EP yet. This is sad, because I would have honestly bought one after that set even if I wasn't there on friend-of-a-friend grounds. But I am told that by the end of summer this will happen. But I have found their downloads, and I will rest content.

So we gothdanced a bit, and then headed out on earlier grounds of having to get up -- plus, the next band was named R.A.P.E. Tazer, and they were all dudes, and that sort of thing just doesn't bode well -- and I walked back up through Chinatown and Kensington in the soupy air, and around the raccoon sacked out on the sidewalk on Brunswick because it was just too hot to raccoon properly, and home. I have not been walking enough this week. My feet hurt just from down and back.

It is too hot to Leah too, so I am going to sack out myself. Although not on the sidewalk.

*This is something like the downtown twentysomething equivalent of the parents who go to the dance recital and only stay for their kid's number. Très crass.
leahbobet: (bat signal)
So I'm back from the first tour show Soundgarden's played since 1997.

No. For reals.


This was kind of an impromptu thing. Last week sometime, my friend Danny (who I think has no LJ) and I were at our new best patio, talking 'bout stuff and having gin, and I said, "Hey, there's Soundgarden next week. We should go to Soundgarden."

He did not know there was Soundgarden, and is a huge, super, ultra fan. So this thing I said in idleness turned into a thing we were doing or else. And so this morning I rolled out of bed and got some online tickets for Soundgarden.

We actually went down on time for once -- Molson Amphitheatre is apparently sincere when they say a show starts at 7:30. So got some dinner, took the streetcar to the venue, and got in just as Coheed & Cambria were starting the opening set.


I really need to fix the autofocus on this damn camera. In any case, stage, Coheed, heads.


I was curious about this, because I have some friends who really, really like Coheed, and they are generally not people of poor taste. The live show was very metal. And unfortunately, I have been known to sometimes find metal kind of melodramatic and silly, what with its whole and now I will not only have a guitar, but two guitars stacked on top of each other! And I will play this excessively complicated guitar solo on it! And I will do that with the guitar being balanced on my head! (No, I am not kidding. That happened.)

We decided it was kind of Linkin Park meets the Deftones meets a few Wheel of Time novels, and probably more fun if you're into the story. Also that I may be unkindly prejudiced against metal bands.*

They played a lot of Mark Lanegan during the break -- solo stuff and Screaming Trees stuff. And that put me in a good mood.

And then there was Soundgarden.


Same deal; pretend you can see a Soundgarden there.


We had lawn tickets, which means you don't get seats and it's catch as catch can -- and sometimes means you're watching other people watch a show -- but which also means you have the requisite space to dance your face off. And we did that. We did that a lot.

Chris Cornell's voice still sounds the same, even after years and years. They played, well, pretty much old stuff: Black Rain, Spoonman, Rusty Cage, Blow Up the Outside World, Let Me Drown, My Wave, Fell on Black Days, Burden in My Hand, Superunkown, Black Hole Sun, Fourth of July to finish the set. The encore was...two songs I'm not sure of and Like Suicide between them. He did not take his shirt off. Which was sad.

We headbanged and danced ourselves a little hole in the crowd and shouted lyrics back at the stage, and then other people were also dancing there too, and the people next to us were headbanging, and it got muggier and windier throughout the set, and then by the time they started Black Hole Sun there was lightning all over the sky and it started to pour. And we went "Umbrellas? Nah!" and kept going through it, and it was...kind of glorious. :) Every time a new fork of lightning came through the sky, everyone cheered. Apparently this was actually a severe thunderstorm warning. Oops. :)

It didn't rain all that long, but the lightning kept up the whole set -- this weird double light show which got more and more amazing as it went -- and by the end of it we were hoarse and warm and grinning and soaked and exhausted, and it was so, so very good. One of the best shows I've seen in ages. Just...amazing.

We walked through the (again) rain until we found Bathurst again, and straggled into a pub like the drowned rats we were for restorative beer and nachos, and then made our disparate ways home through the city. I ended up walking, even though it meant another 30-40 minutes on my feet and not getting in until past 1:00 am. The city's all humid and cool, and it smelled terrifically like roses and honey tonight.


As a side note, re: last night's what is wrong with people discussion, tonight was the total polar opposite in mood of yesterday's show. Just as much drinking, from what I can judge less drugs (it does make a difference when they're patting you down at the gate for contraband, and it does make a difference that yesterday was all ages, and tonight was decidedly not). But tonight? People were awesome. They high-fived you between songs. Nobody got in your dance space, and everyone was really courteous about spacing ourselves out so everyone had dance space. No throwing shit at people, or other sorts of general fuckery.

The four people next to us were chatting with us between stuff, and high-fiving, and dancing kind of in a clump. In retrospect, the six of us, and then a couple more by the end, were rowdy as all hell; they were probably kinda drunk, and we don't have to be.** And near the end, one of the girls -- it was two couples, I think? -- gave us both this big two-armed hug and said something to the effect of, "I totally don't know you guys, but you're awesome, and it's so cool that we got to experience this together."

...and that is what I mean about good crowds and bad crowds and what's my scene and what isn't. Nights where there is crazy loud rock and my naked toes in the grass and pouring rain on my face and lightning in the sky, and hugging complete strangers because we got to stand together in that, regardless of whether we'll ever run into each other again? That's my scene. That's what's mine.

That is what I mean when I say summer shows.


And now: I did not mean to do two big shows, two days in a row. And I am very tired, and going to bed. :)

*We spent the time between sets naming off metal bands to see if we thought they were silly or not, and thus diagnose or refute this whole prejudice thing.

**'Cause that's how we roll. All trouble, all the time, dead sober.
leahbobet: (bat signal)
So yesterday afternoon, after logging my words, Dr. My Roommate and I made the journey to the hinterlands Downsview Park to see this megaconcert object. We have had the tickets for a very long time and were very much looking forward to it: It was my first time seeing both Weezer and the Hip, so.

I am trying to figure out why this was not a mindblowing excess of awesomeness packed into one day.

It started off just fine: Everyone going northbound on the subway was clearly going to the show, and people started cheering and goofing around on the subway train, and then singing along to Weezer songs on the shuttlebus running from the station to the venue. Nice mood! All good!

Hey Rosetta! were already playing when we got there (we missed Buck 65), so we grabbed some overpriced hot dogs and some criminally overpriced bottles of water ($5? Really? Even by festival concert price-gouging standards that's a little much) and got ourselves into the crowd to finish off the last of the set and camp a good spot for Broken Social Scene.

What I heard of the Hey Rosetta! set was really solid. They played "Welcome", obviously (that's the radio single) and a few other things I'm actually familiar with but couldn't name and couldn't say from where, and I probably ought to get around to getting their stuff sometime soon.

Not a lot of people were up for them, so we made it inside six or seven rows of the stage fence for the BSS set and hunkered down to wait the 40 min until they came on. At which point, I turned around and saw that [livejournal.com profile] jonofthewired and [livejournal.com profile] sandwichboy and their friend Dave were...well, pretty much right behind us. Since there were only 20,000 people in the place, and all. Thus was the afternoon's adventuring party assembled.

BSS played a different kind of set than I'm used to hearing from them, but then again, usually when I'm hearing them, it's their show and their crowd, and they can go as long and as obscure as they please. This was a show the Hip organized, and I think the setlist they picked was my first clue that it was not the sort of crowd I'm at home with: very much the hits (Fire Eye'd Boy, Forced to Love, Texico Bitches, 7/4 Shoreline, Cause = Time, KC Accidental) and a few covers -- Beastie Boys and Modest Mouse. Opening the set with Lover's Spit was nice. They ended with Meet Me in the Basement, but they always do that; I don't think I can hear that song anymore without getting a visceral multilayered flashback of sun-drunk and punch-drunk and giddy and every show they do.


Terrible, blurry stage shot of BSS


After the set the guys wanted to get some food, and I wanted to sit down for a bit -- it was hot and close and several kinds of smoky, and that sort of goes right to my knees and makes me wobble -- so the Roommate and I parked ourselves on a patch of grass and waited for them. They didn't make it back before the Weezer set started, so we went in without them and, well, the crowd had kinda changed.

I don't know if it was more/different people showing up, the tipping point of drinking bad beer (they had Bud. It was $8 a cup. This is a terrible thing to do to anyone) or just serious cultural shift in fan mentality? But. You can kind of feel the mood of a crowd, or a room, and this was not cheerful and grinny and pleasant. It was don't-stand-in-front-of-me, bleary, and kind of mean.


I think this is Weezer, but honestly can't tell.


The set was fine; again, kind of a greatest hits thing. I remember hearing the Sweater Song, Pork and Beans, My Name is Jonas, Say it Ain't So, Troublemaker, Perfect Situation, Island in the Sun, Dope Nose, Hash Pipe, I Want You To. They closed with Buddy Holly. Interestingly enough, they played that cover of Paranoid Android [livejournal.com profile] kafkonia gave me just a few days ago. And there was a lot of singing along, both impromptu and of the "Okay, you sing this chorus" type, so that was all good.

Thing is, I don't like being in a crowd of thousands of people and looking over my shoulder. I didn't like the feel in there. I have said here and there that live music is the closest I get to what some people get out of organized religion, and I guess this is what it feels like to spend the afternoon in someone else's church.

Dr. My Roommate left after the Weezer set: she wasn't feeling well, there was a little too much fuckery going on, she's not a Hip fan, and she had to housesit for someone that night anyways. So I stuck it out with the guys in our little press of space until they came on. And it stayed kind of rowdy and fratboyish, and one too many crowdsurfers landed on someone's back, and then one landed on my glasses and, while I caught them, that's it, we were out of there. We watched the rest of the set from off to the side, at a decent distance, with ice cream. And let me tell you, it restores your faith a little to have friends who will quietly interpose themselves between the drunk staggering person in front of you and where you're sitting on the grass, especially when you are feeling like you're surrounded by asshats who are also wasted on bad beer.

Stuff played? Honestly (and kind of depressingly) I wasn't paying huge attention at that point. They opened with Grace, Too, and definitely did Love is a First, Blow at High Dough, At the Hundredth Meridian, Fully Completely, Courage, Bobcaygeon, Poets, Ahead by a Century, Little Bones. There was It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken, which was surprising. There was Fiddler's Green (!), which was even more surprising, since I was under the impression that they do not, not, not ever play that live and haven't for literal years. Although I just found two YouTube hits of it live, so I guess they've started again. The encore was...The Kids Don't Get It, Wheat Kings, and Music at Work.

The best thing in the set, bar none, was a version of New Orleans is Sinking that had Nautical Disaster nested inside it like matryoshka dolls. And oddly enough, that's the one place where I connected with the space, the crowd, the band: standing up on achy legs to sing along, in a sort of spit-through-my-teeth vicious way, the lyrics to the thing that got me into this band in the first place; one of the very first songs ever to haunt me like a shadow in the way that sends me to the keyboard half-blind now to write, but back when I was 12, just swirled around my shoulders in a way I didn't know how to process or deal with.

Here is the official video of it. It didn't make the haunting any less:



It's a poem. It still is. And it still makes me shudder a little, deep down, with sheer intensity and the cold ocean and death, like nothing else ever.

That was worth the price of admission.

Once they left the stage there was this, which we didn't expect, since officially the Downsview Park Canada Day fireworks had been cancelled for the show:



And that seemed to bring everyone kind of down to earth again, and the crowd moved out, and we skipped the whole crowded and stupid shuttle bus arrangement and just walked the 15-minute trip to the subway station -- although it took longer, since we were all tired and totally going the long way -- and, thankfully, Dave's car. And one quick trip back downtown and one helping of late-night post-show dim sum later, that was that.


I am left, this afternoon, trying to figure out what made that crowd so damned mean, or if festival crowds were always this way, and I was just young enough when I was regularly doing festivals that I didn't notice/got the special treatment for being a cute little 19-year-old girl. I like all those bands and have for years, but that was so decidedly and utterly not my scene it couldn't get any less my scene. Yeah, I've been to outdoor shows where ridiculous amounts of drugs were going around -- see, Island Concert, last summer -- and that was not a substance abuse sort of result. People can be, and are, cheerful and friendly and fabulous at a show during and after serious drinking and pot-smoking (see: Island Concert).

It would easy to say that there were probably a ton of people there not from Toronto (true), or that it's the accessibility of the venue to said people versus something more downtown (possible), or that it was partially the holiday (nationalism, always good for making one a little bit of a jerk) or the fact that it's Pride Weekend (is this where all the jerks went to get away from The Gay?) or a quirk of the fanbase for either Weezer or the Hip, but. I can't honestly say. Too many variables, and too little objectivity on my part. I'm aware that where I live -- in terms of not just city but neighbourhood -- I live in a bubble, and y'know? I can't always say I dislike that.

If I ever see another drunk, skinny, sunburned, scowling, buzzcutted white dude with his shirt off and his hands all over the ass of his stumbling girlfriend, it'll be too soon.


That being said, and hopefully this isn't famous last words of some sort, for tonight mon ami Danny and I are seeing Coheed & Cambria and Soundgarden at the Amphitheatre. I'm tired, but it's Chris Cornell, and that's something you don't say no to. Let us hope for less back-patting thick-necked laddishness there.
leahbobet: (gardening)
July 1, 2011 Progress Notes:

"On Roadstead Farm"

Words today: 400.
Words total: 3600.
Reason for stopping: Good stopping point storywise, and I have to get ready for musicgoing endeavours.

Darling du Jour: It was warmer in the malthouse; my own thrown heat caught and hoarded by the walls.
Words Hallie Won't Admit to Knowing: She's surprisingly verbose today. Maybe she got wind of this metric and is trying to prove me wrong.

Mean Things: The way the worst constraints are the self-imposed ones.
Research Roundup: Soap-making, lye, and potash; photo references for linen shirts, so I can get the hang and texture right.

Books in progress: Darren O'Donnell, Your Secrets Sleep With Me.
The glamour: A long, long night's sleep: I fell asleep on the couch at 8:15 last night, with my thumb still stuck in a book. And now, concerts!


It is Canada Day! Happy Canada Day, and it is definitely shaping up to be happy around here. Spent the morning perusing the Internet in a leisurely fashion, the afternoon writing, and then in an hour or so we'll be heading out to this. I haven't seen The Hip live before. It's about time. I wish I could find my sunscreen.

I also have a finalized Readercon schedule (and not the thing I posted when I wasn't supposed to post it, earlier this week). That'll go up here later tonight or tomorrow, in the interests of not clogging the intertubes.
leahbobet: (bat signal)
Very briefly, this is a Sloan concert report.


Look! See? It's Sloan.


This fine evening, Dr. My Roommate and I went to the Mod Club to see Sloan (Sloan!). We have seen Sloan before, most recently last summer at Dundas Square, but that was a free set and short and tiny, and sometimes a band's playing and you've liked them since you were fourteen and you really just don't say no.

Clearly other people felt that way too, because it was sold out. I have never seen so many people in that room. And this was the second show of a two-night run.

We got there just as the opener was playing their last five bars or so (good timing! We are bad people who skip opening bands!) and they played for about an hour and a half: a lot of the new stuff and a lot of the faster, heavier, headbangy stuff. Unlike at the Rusty show, the people who go to see Sloan (or at least the people who work their way into the front, like we did) went to Nineties Concert Finishing School and are headbangers of quality.


Piratical drums.


We danced. A lot. And got enough of the old stuff salted into the main set to keep the energy moving: Coax Me, and Everything You've Done Wrong, and The Good in Everyone, and Losing California. The encore was fabulous: People of the Sky, Lines You Amend, and Money City Maniacs, in that order. Chris Murphy kept getting the audience to sing full verses and/or the backup on the hit songs. It is deeply satisfying to have a band onstage that encourages my tendency to sing the set back to the band.

The thing with bands that have been around since I was fourteen, and which I have loved since I was fourteen, is that after seeing them a couple times over the years there's a bit of a sense of relationship: you see people change as you change. And you see how people are the same. Chris Murphy is still kind of goofy and tells stories that trail into nowhere but in a funny way. Jay Ferguson is kind of focused and sedate until you put him behind the drums and then holy shit, what a total and complete ham. Andrew Scott's hair is less blond and getting kinda grey already, but he is kind of scarily built. And (as is maybe visible in the bad photo above) Patrick Pentland wore a bowler, vest and tie onstage tonight, still has that perpetually concerned, concentrating, tongue-should-be-sticking-out-with-focus look, and this has rekindled the ridiculous crush I used to have on him in high school. It's something about guys who look faintly concerned. Don't ask me, I just work here.

Shocker of the evening? We got this:



That's video from last night's show, not ours. But holy. They never play that, and I love it, and it has been obsessing me for three weeks, so. :)

And then that was that, and we wobbled back home (I mentioned there was dancing) and stuffed ourselves with protein and water, and five minutes, literally, after we got in there was a massive rainstorm, complete with thunder. Good timing. My feet hurt.

Next concert report, unless I find spare music lying around next week: Canada Day Spectacular! aka, Death By Concentrated Joy (tm).
leahbobet: (bat signal)
Ha-HA. I bet you missed this tag. Or you didn't, but I did. So there.*

It is North By Northeast! And this year, with deliberation and malice aforethought, I took this week off work. I didn't get to enough things last year, what with work and moving house and the G20 and general craziness. This year none of that's getting in my way.

Anyways, tonight's rundown.

First stop, Rusty (Rusty!) at Dundas Square.



For those not familiar with Rusty (!), they were an awesome sort of alt-punk thing back in the mid-to-late 1990s. They had some very good songs (oh wait, this one too). They are also the second show I ever saw: summer of 1995 at Mel Lastman Square, and I remember that show distinctly. So you can see why this was a big nostalgia deal for me.

It was a good set for a short one, and an interesting mix in terms of the crowd: some older dudes who were obviously fans back when, and some younger dudes who were probably there to see the next few sets (Fucked Up was playing the next one). Yes, it was mostly dudes. A lot of them had beards, which I found odd, because usually it's supposed to be the hipsters and not the punks who are all beardy. Also, you could tell who had graduated Nineties Concert Finishing School**, because we know how to headbang right proper, thank you.

Dundas Square is still an awful concert venue. All the sound escapes up. But I got right up front and it was a beautiful night tonight, all warm-but-not-too-warm and breezy and light, so that was all fine.

I have no good critical input on the set proper, because mostly I was dancing about and trying to headbang in a fedora (bad planning)*** and going Rusty! (!) while singing along with lyrics that I somehow still remember even though they haven't played a show or been a band in something like ten years.

So that was good.

After that I didn't really have any good direction for the rest of the evening; the one other band I'd really wanted to see was actually playing opposite Rusty (!), so I'd already missed them. But Evening Hymns was on right after them at the Music Gallery, which is a kind of wonderful space -- it's actually in an old church in Grange Park, and has the incredible acoustics you'd get in an old church -- so I went.

This was a good decision.


See, I meant it. It's beautiful in there.


I stepped through the door into this little cluster of people -- it had gone standing room only -- and a wall of beautiful sound. It kind of knocked my heart sideways. So of course, it was time to stay, and I scooched down the aisle to the front, planted my butt on the floor (nice hardwood heritage church planks, and yes I will sit on the floor, because we are not proud here) and kind of just sank into it for the next half hour.

This is one of those bands I've heard of more than heard, and I'm glad I heard them. There's this layeredness, charisma, intensity to their stuff. It's this folky indie music, slightly country at times, which gets quiet or intense by turns and just goes through you. It probably didn't hurt that the music was literally something I could feel through the floor as well as hear, and it's really suited to that kind of sitting-down, intimate kind of venue. But I got the egg-of-music feeling: just closed my eyes for the last song and felt it go all around me, and was really, really, really happy.

I bought the EP after.

Sample:



I stuck around for the next band, Forest City Lovers, figuring that I had really liked the last one, and I really like Snowblink, who opened up the whole venue (and who I missed), so it was worth a try.

Sadly, this was kind of not to be. Maybe it was the sheer intensity and energy of the last set versus the decidedly more mannered feel of this one; maybe it was just the wandering kind of structure. Maybe they were honestly just nervous. But you could kind of feel the room flatten out, and people started drifting out a bit, and then so did I. Apparently I won't actually stay for anything with strings.

Rambled homeward, made a quick stop at the grocery store for tomorrow's breakfast material, and my feet are sore enough that I didn't actually go back out for the Evan Dando/Juliana Hatfield set which is...right about now. I have blackberries with creme fraiche and rose petal syrup, I have a burn in my legs from a night walking all over downtown, I have the warm feeling in my chest that means good music, and I think I am done for the evening.

Tomorrow is a major concert happening day: Diamond Rings, Land of Talk, and Stars at Dundas Square, and approximately 17,000 other shows I would like to catch in and around that. Further reports on this station as developments occur.

Goodnight. :)

*No wonder I had a rough winter/spring. Not enough concerts.
**It need not be said that I graduated Nineties Concert Finishing School summa cum laude.
***Although aesthetically? Pigtail braids and a pinstriped fedora are very good planning indeed. I swear I make more friends with good hats.
Line edits have developed a rhythm. I go for the easy things first, the low-hanging fruit; the changes I don't mind making or know most definitely that I won't be making. I work through a whole chapter, go back, pick at the other stuff until it frustrates me and I'm out of tea and avoidant and annoyed and magically rediscovering the urge to scrub out my bathtub or reorganize my kitchen cupboards.

Then I go back a day or two later and magically, those hard things are all easy.

I don't know if it's the absence of information overload (less red ink = easier!) or if reading the chapter through again helps set the newer shape of it, and so the bigger changes or thinky bits are easier to fit in when there's a more cohesive whole. But it seems to work. Let it sit and I can finish.

So the shape of my revising evenings now looks like this: do the second or third pass on the last chapter, vacuuming out all the hard things. Take a short break. Do the first pass on the next chapter, until it frustrates me and I'm out of tea and avoidant. Put it the hell away.

I am starting to pick out some of my editor's tendencies (she likes but vs. and and is trying to drive the general pacing faster, kick the whole thing up by 10 mph). I am starting to notice very sharply some of my own (describe everything, little things, big things; start the narration of an incident at the middle or end, and then double back to explain). This has all kind of been impressively educational.

No, I am not finished yet.


In another part of the world, here's [livejournal.com profile] jimhines on readership, fandom, the Internet, and how they overlap (or don't). I endorse this theory entirely, and there's good stuff in the comments too.

In yet another, this band is good even if their video is terrible. Have some:

leahbobet: (bat signal)
Saw, with concertgoing compatriot [livejournal.com profile] ksumnersmith and her guy, the first show of 2011 tonight: four Toronto indie bands that are actually indie enough that 99% of everyone hasn't yet heard of them (and won't for probably a year or two) at the Toronto Underground Cinema.

Yes, I am aware that I just said "I went to see bands you don't even know about." In this case I am not just being a disgusting cooler-than-thou Annex hipster (although if you call me that, I will say "thank you!"); I didn't really know about this show until last week myself and went specifically to see a grand total of one of the four, which I only discovered...well, last week. Hanging out for the other sets was done in a spirit of adventure and discovery. Also, it was an $8 show and really, why the hell not.

The Underground is a weird venue for music. I think this might have been a bit of an experiment for them. I've seen a bunch of movies there (friend [livejournal.com profile] theshaggy is housemates with one of the owners, and we spent a fair bit of time hanging out there this spring/summer) and it's a good theatre with good acoustics, but there's not a stage per se or dance space. They set up a stage on risers of sorts, and while a bunch of people hung out in the seats, some of the more dancingly-inclined sort of crowded by the stage and in the aisles and did their best. I admit I kind of prefer club-style venues for this sort of thing. If I'm going to dance, I want space, and if the music's much good I want to be dancing.

The lobby did actually work out well, though: there was the concessions for food and beer, and the merch tables could be out there, and if someone wasn't interested in this particular set (each band played a 40-minute set or so) they could go hang out in the lobby and not bother other people.

Okay. Actual sets:

The opener was Young Doctors in Love, who I think were added late. This was kind of melodic poppy stuff, two female vocalists, dancy but not hugely remarkable? Bits of their songs kept sounding like other songs. Their drummer kicked a good deal of ass and was awesomely steady. I didn't find this good or bad or awful, it was mostly just there.

Heartbeat Hotel was who I came to see: they had a song on BlogTO's Neighbourhood Mixtape last week (there, I have given you one of my sources for good music) that made me listen to the thing over and over and over, and then stop listening to the five-song mix and just listen to that song, and then go to their Bandcamp site and just buy everything they'd ever made. This has so far proven to be a good decision.

They're less polished live, a bit fuzzy, but still together. I don't know if they have the thing of doing live shoegazer quite together yet, not the way Andrew Bird or Owen Pallett do. They had a good fanbase out too; this is when people started going up front and dancing. They do the wall of sound thing well -- good thumpy through-your-bones drums -- and I like their vocalist live; there's a good rawness to it, versus the "we don't know what we're doing" kind. I didn't quite get my slip-under-the-skin-of-the-music happy place -- and admittedly I spent most of today in a weirdly grim mood, and that probably wasn't helping -- but I got close, and they closed out with two songs I knew and really liked.

(Interestingly, when we were heading out, I took a nose around their merch table and got talking to two of the guys from said band, and asked if they were doing anything else local soon because I found them last week and I like their stuff etc. And they were very nice, and even though I had already bought digital copies of their last EP, they gave me a physical one for free, which was super sweet and unexpected. And if anyone does like the stuff on the Bandcamp site, apparently they're doing a show late next month at Sneaky Dee's, and I will probably go.)

The Ruby Spirit was obviously one of the bigger deals of the night -- fanbase, a better video-montage thingie than Heartbeat Hotel had, costumes, etc. They're a lot more polished than the other two bands, better technical skills on the instruments and just more together in general, and seemed to be doing this sort of big-band pop cabaret Moulin Rouge thingie. They had some dancers up behind them who were obviously their friends in matching white shirts and feathery hair things. I am not being uncharitable when I say that only two of the six were much good at moving one's body in a dancy way. So think We Are Trying For Amanda Palmer or maybe Hannah Fury Fronts a Band With Guitars.

Thing is, they left me weirdly cold (and Karina said the same, actually): maybe it was the singer doing the carnival-barker overenunciating between songs in a very deliberate way, or maybe it was the dancers that were sort of...if you're going to do that, go all-out and have funky costumes or get people who are good dancers. Or maybe it was the weird backhanded "Oh, if you're going to sit in the seats you'll be fined $100" thing the guitarist came out with. Or maybe it was just the very conscious theatricalness of it all: the presentation, the music itself, everything. It was working to be very cabaret, and I have a bit of a reaction to the sensibility of that on a few levels and for a few reasons. I just did not click with this one. Period.

We decided to skip out on The Lovely Killbots; it was close to one in the morning, the potential fourth compatriot wasn't making it from uptown after all, and my blood sugar was doing a couple dubious things. The company decamped up the street for some iffy Chinese and then we went our ways. I walked home through Kensington in the dark and quiet and thick snow, watching the last bits and bobs of the bar crowds empty out, and decided to wipe away the penises and swear words the drunk kids from the Brunny had drawn in the snow piled on parked cars along the side streets. Because y'know, it was a nice night, and even if I can't prevent people from being dicks about things, I don't actually have to walk by and leave their dickery out there.


So in sum: This thing with going to shows of bands that are really young as bands is interesting. It was kind of like watching junior hockey or reading semipro fiction; you see as much of what isn't there yet as what is, and what could be there very soon, what's growing, and there's an interestingness in that. Also, I have to say the price is right. Tonight's outing equalled out to $2 per set.

I am reminded that I like night walking very much, especially when there's a lot of bright white snow on the ground. There is a terrible peacefulness to 2:15 in the morning in the wintertime.

Lastly, it is late and I am tired. Bonne nuit, l'internet.

Stuff.

Dec. 11th, 2010 02:54 pm
leahbobet: (bat signal)
1) Thus endeth one of the busier months per year at the Dayjob.

2) To celebrate that, saw Broken Social Scene and Superchunk Thursday night with [livejournal.com profile] mykwud, who was gracious enough to take the second ticket on short notice (it originally belonged to Dr. My Roommate, but she is unwell at the moment). This'll be a short version of the usual show report, since I didn't write it up that night and since we left during what we thought was the last song and then I found out later they kept playing until 1:45 in the morning. Oops. But anyways.

Sound Academy is sort of redeeming itself as a venue for me, even though they have a constricted, sad beer selection and it's all the way out in the docklands and you have to walk half an hour in the cold through industrial nothingness to get out there if you don't have a car. Usually when I'm at things there they haven't done anything with the back of the room, and it sort of feels like a long deserted hallway. This time, because it was a BSS show, they had a long merch table, Amnesty International, a whole art display/auction thing from a non-profit that runs arts programs for street kids or at-risk kids (and a lot of the art was really, really good) and a video display thing for another one. They were also taking donations for the food bank at the door. Yes, this is a Broken Social Scene show.

I didn't know the opener more than glancingly (Mike did) but it was a really nice, danceable kind of early-nineties alternative set: kind of in the Limblifter/Age of Electric/Treble Charger sort of constellation of things.

Then! There was Broken Social Scene!

(Leah, you ask, didn't you see this band in the summer and write up a whole squeefaced concert report then? Yes. Yes I did. And next time they do a hometown show I will see them again. And the time after that. And the only reason I didn't go to the second date they played at the same venue last night was because my legs were very, very tired from all the dancing I did the night before and I ended up having to eat THIS MUCH protein and crash into bed early and sleep late to feel normal this morning.)

In terms of my Songs I Like bingo card, I got most everything but Major Label Debut (below) and All My Friends, and danced until my legs didn't work (as above). Highlights: original-style version of Almost Crimes, nice long Superconnected, string-and-horn-filled Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl (made me cry in the good way; always does), Sweetest Kill, which is a song I now have a lot more appreciation for, and on the top all-time list, Lover's Spit done just piano and voice by Kevin Drew, with the entire rest of the instrumentation coming in halfway through on the bridge. And the crowd singing most of it. And...oh. :)

It's actually entirely possible they played Major Label Debut later; we had an agreement that when it looked like the last song before the encore, we'd go get the coats, because otherwise you spend an hour in the coat check line. And then we ended up not staying for the encore because we were both hungry and exhausted and wobbly and had to still walk half an hour back to civilization to catch the streetcar, so we staggered back through Scary Industrial Desolate Lakefront Toronto, passing a vitamin water and a bag of Sunchips back and forth, jaywalking indiscriminately, and being ridiculously hyper. Little did I know until the next day that they played until 1:45 in the morning. Yes. You heard that right.

I'm a little miffed about that, but to be fair, I was legitimately tired and out of go and had filled up the concert tank more than adequately. And had to work the next day. I am old, I am old, I will wear my trousers rolled etc. etc. whatever.

Have samples:



This is last night's show, not the Thursday show, but it's the same song and the same venue and you get the idea:



Yes, the crowd sang along on my night too. :)

Oh, here's the one I was at. I'm a little back and to the right there!



...so that was Thursday. :)

3) Back in our everyday lives that aren't actually all about Broken Social Scene, the fantabulous [livejournal.com profile] csecooney interviewed me about Ideomancer for the Black Gate blog. It's mostly about this issue and the process of making it, as well as my own personal history with the magazine, but there are some bits about what we look for if you are the sort of person who cares about such things.

4) [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange's second novel, The Bone Palace, came out this week. I picked it up on Thursday and am, so far, about two chapters in. Amanda can write like whoah. You should read it.

5) While I'm in the Amazon links thing, Chilling Tales, the anthology which "Stay" is going to be in, is available for preorder at Amazon. The release date's March 1st otherwise. It has a cover that looks like Nick Cave's bald guy mullet, true, but it contains some of the brighter lights of Canadian horror fiction and will be well worth your time. Apparently there are going to be some events for it when it comes out too, at World Horror Con and around town here. Stay tuned.

6) A new episode of Shadow Unit came out this week too: "Uniform". It is 30,000-plus words of WTF goodness and a bit of stunt-writing besides.

7) My brain's still chewing on that short story I mentioned a bit back. Don't spook it.

8) I am going to the circus tonight. I would say "If I get everything done here, I am going to the circus tonight," but this would fool nobody. I'm going anyways.


Such is the week that was. And now to send slush, answer e-mail, and go to the circus.

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