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This (past) Week In Music...


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so london just finished one of its best weeks of music its seen in quite some time, and i tried to make it my mission to see all of, or as much of it as possible. happy to say i made it to all 4 shows i wanted to see.. here's how i saw it:

Monday March 7, 2005 - Sianspheric w/ A Northern Chorus, CTO

The Crew: Solo Mission

I thought A Northern Chorus were a really solid band, and i was told that this particular line-up had only been together a few months, but it clearly didnt show. They were real tight. A more melodic sound, i found, but capable of charging it right back up and pounding it out at ya... i really loved the vocals with the male/female harmonies. The cello player i thought was real interesting, and she really filled out the sound nicely. I think it's a real necessary part of their sound. I'd definitely catch them again sometime.

Sianspheric was what i was really looking forward to seeing, as they've been one of those bands that i've really dug on cd for a long time, but timing never allowed an opportunity for me to see them, until now. I'd heard that they'd had some line-up changes, but were till holding it together. Probably the most significant change, was the addition of Mayor McCa on lead vocal and stomping. I didnt expect that, and really it didnt do anything for me. I didnt find their styles to blend at all, and it seemed to really upset the atmosphere of what Sianspheric were doing. At least it did for me. I mean, they are one of the more massive sounding bands i've heard, they can create these huge walls of sound, but it rarely seemed to end up anywhere.. i dunno, maybe i just didnt get it, but i didnt think it worked at all.

Tuesday March 8th, 2005 - Zoobombs w/ Canned Hamm, CTO

The Crew: Solo Mission (but wound up running into an old college friend)

OK, so, the opener, Canned Hamm... from Vancouver... i wonder if any west coasters have seen these guys... here was my take: ambiguously gay duo set to early 90's techno, with a half dozen or so brilliant jump suits, and all the fancy dance moves and sexy moustaches to go along with it. pretty entertaining tongue in cheek dialogue and general schtick... an entertaining set, and a complete contrast to what came next...

Zoobombs. intense rock'n'roll all the way from tokyo, japan. wow. i said this earlier in the week:

these guys just rocked the living sh!t out of london!!!! unbelievable!!! it was loud, it was funky, it was crunchy, it was bluesy, it was beat driven and riff based, it was in your face, out of control, temperamental, jesus christ what else do you want in a rock show??? this sh!t had it all!!!!

and i still pretty much feel that way. it was one of the finest RAWK shows i may have ever seen. there was a moment of jawdropping truth that, if there was any doubt up to this point, there would be none left that this was some serious fu©king sh!t taking place up there. i'll call it the "Hitchcockian Keyboard Surprise", for fun. the lead guy in the band (lead guitar, lead vocal), who should be noted gets points for rocking his guitar to shreds 2 songs in and having to use his back-up, until he ruined the strings on that one during the first encore, was on fire all nite. absolutely. intense. the whole band was, but this guy.. this guy.. jesus. getting on into there set, towards the end, they're in this beautiful funky, crunchy, bluesy rock jam, and the lead guy starts to break it down until the place almost falls silent and he kinda strolls over to the keyboard player and he starts pointing to the keys, the notes that he wants her to play. no dialogue, only stern direction by way of index finger. but she complies. this continues until he joins in and starts playing off what she's playing and they build up this pretty neat keyboard jam, then he gets bored and moves on to the drummer.. then the bassist, gets them doing the same thing, pointing at the notes, and creating this syncopated jam, then he goes back to the keyboard and starts with her again... outta nowhere the bongo player starts rollin' hard on his bongos and the lead guy spins around and glares at him and now they're squaring off!!! so this goes a little further and he starts to bring everyone back into the jam, left arm is raised up, hand stretched out to the call the office ceiling, the band is rumbling like crazy, hand starts shaking, leg starts pumping, band is jump about to fu©king erupt, then all at once he hammers down, 2 handed, on the scariest most hitchcockian keyboard sound you ever heard!!! the piercing scream of it stopped everyone in the band in their tracks and eyes damn near bugged outta the heads of the percussionist and the bassist.. and the dude layed there. he layed on it while everyone looked around scared and confused for what felt like 30 seconds or so. beautifully painful. so he's layin on this piercing keyboard scream, guitar slung over shoulder, and just as quick as he hammered down, he pops back up into a spin in the air rock kick which brought us right back into the dirty riff and finished the jam off proper. absolutely one of the craziest jams i have ever been witness to. these guys absolutely tore london to shreds and the rock in me is healthier for having seen them. i recommend them to anyone who likes to have music kick them in the ass.

Thursday March 10th, 2005 - Stars w/ Apostle of Hustle, CTO

The Crew: Team Scott w/ the doctor and the part-timer (both of which didnt get in), along with special pre-show guests Hi_Topps and his special lady

Unfortunately for my friends who came with us, the show sold out in advance, so they didnt get in... but that just meant we were in for a sardine packed Call The Office, and it was just that. so many people. it's been a long time since i've seen call the office that packed. but, all for good reason. both Stars and Apostle of Hustle have released fantastic cd's, its no wonder people would want to see this live. we couldnt really get too close for Apostle of Hustle, but what he was doing sounded really good, and made for great atmosphere background kinda conversation like music while we kinda hung out and got loose and talked with some people and whatnot. every once in a while my ears would catch something and i'd just get locked right into them, which is a great sign.. its too bad it was too difficult to get into any good viewing or listening position for them. but when i did manage to, i really liked what i heard, and i've been listening to their cd a lot more since the show. a really solid set from them.

Stars came out, and they were super tight, and had a really great stage presence. we managed to get into a pretty good spot for them and took in the first half of the show from there.. quite enjoyable. the playing was fantastic, note for note on every song they were bang on, and again, that male/female vocal style was awesome. i really loved their back and forth vocals, and the harmonies together. they really compliment each other well on stage. after we felt we got what we needed out of the show we retreated to the back where there was a little more room to breathe, and it was a really enjoyable way to hear their set... definitely a solid band, and definitely worth all the buzz and the hype. it ended pretty early, though, i was back at my apartment at quarter after 1 in the morning.. so i ended up heading back out to find the doctor, and sure as sh!t found him in a pub a half block away.. from there it just got messy(er).

Friday March 11th, 2005 - The Sadies, CTO

The Crew: The Lionel's on Vinyls (guigsy, schwa, questcequecest, hi_topps and lesley, who put up with us and still made us 'french toast, french toast, freeeeeennnch toooooooaaast...'

alright, well, i dont know which Good brother is which, but when we walked in, the one with the bigger hair and raspier voice who could easily be in a daily comic strip was beltin out a chorus of 'BA-BY!!.. somethin something.. BA-BY!!' - and i was sold. everytime he stepped up the mic and belted out a 'BA-BY', i love it more and more. in other words, they had me at hello, baby. these guys kept their energy up and danced us to rockabillied bits all night long... thumpin' stand-up bass, some serious guitar lickin' and twangy pickin', driving drums, and bow shreddin' fiddlin'.. we couldnt stop movin', its too bad it seemed like we were the only ones movin', aside from a half dozen or so other dispersed through the crowd, and mostly at the crazy moments where you really musta been half dead to not wanna move your feet. well, half dead, or scared someone might see you having fun. ::. clearly, we didnt care, and i think about 40 minutes or so after getting there, it became fairly apparent to those around us that there had emerged 5 lunatics in the middle of the room, who were absolutely Hespelered .. there was definitely a time when things got weird and heady, i think it mighta been right around the time they started to unleash the countrified pyschadelia on us... quick, tight, crazy jams... they musta played 30 songs, and all were very well crafted, very danceable, and damn entertaining. i fu©kin loved the sadies last nite. and we learned some valuable things they may come in handy one day: hi_topps likes pyschadelic anything, and 1-800-French Toast is a real phone number, as is 1-800-Sausage. quote of the nite/morning/afternoon: that's the fu©king bullsh!t.

so all in all, a very great week of live music intake. to be honest, im surprised i can still stand at this point. good thing there's not much coming up until the end of the month, cuz im gonna need some time to recover. whew!

as an aside, one studio disc i picked up that i cant stop listening to is NQ Arbuckle - Last Supper in a Cheap Town. 2 songs in particular are catchy as hell, Cheap Town, and Goodnight Irene on New Years Eve. twangy countrified rock n roll with brilliant small town meets big city lyricism, and the rasp to make it hit ya down home. there seems to be a real honesty to every word and every note... i recommend it if you're into any uncle tupelo, or early wilco... just really awesome music.

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Friday March 11th, 2005 - The Sadies, CTO

alright, well, i dont know which Good brother is which, but when we walked in, the one with the bigger hair and raspier voice who could easily be in a daily comic strip was beltin out a chorus of 'BA-BY!!.. somethin something.. BA-BY!!' - and i was sold. everytime he stepped up the mic and belted out a 'BA-BY', i love it more and more.

hey quigsy, great review of a great week of music. Sounds like you arrived at the Sadies with Travis Good singing "Loved on Look"...a song that was originally recorded by Elvis Presley. Glad to hear the boys were in fine form. Still kickin' myself for missing these guys in Ottawa...actually i shoiuld be kicking my stupid car..... ::

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haha, thanks Dr. J! i just got back from a record store, wanted to pick up some sadies, and in particular a disc with that song on it, they only had 2 and i couldnt guess the song name, so i ended up giving up and just bought the latest... but do you know if they have a recorded version of that, and what i might find it on?

these guys NEED to play a come together... seriously... it'd be a dirt kickin', boot stompin' good time!

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Actually that song appears on their Tremendous Efforts CD, but don't worry quigsy their latest is solid. It's always been difficult to capture the Sadies in the studio. Favourite Colours, i think, is one of their best.

Greg Keelor sings Loved On Look on the Tremendous Efforts disc. Good times.


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