Tag Archives: CMW 2015

CMW 2015: Elephant Stone at Hard Luck

Make an album, tour. Make an album, tour. This is all Elephant Stone does, and they’re becoming exceedingly skilled at both.

They were in the right place at the right time, then, on Friday night. It took a superhuman effort to win over the few onlookers that stuck it out until their midnight slot—Hard Luck’s A/C was non-functional, it was the hottest day of the year thus far, and the bar is on the third (fourth?) floor of a building with no windows. The furniture was sweating, in this place.

The Montreal quartet stuck to their typical festival set: tried and true tunes from their self-titled album and last year’s The Three Poisons that provided Rishi Dhir with a handful of opportunities to wail on the sitar (I haven’t given up home that some day, I may get hear “Strangers” live). Check out “Knock You From Yr Mountain,” above, for a taste.

Nothing new in this performance, but rumour has it that work on the next album is underway.

-Scott Bryson

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

CMW 2015: Hot Panda at The Rivoli

Hot Panda shows have always been bracing, and this CMW performance was no exception. They’ve shrunk from a quartet to a trio (and changed drummers) since their last album—in fact, only one original band member remains—but it hasn’t curbed their enthusiasm in the least.

There was little need to see what the night’s other bands had to offer, after witnessing Hot Panda’s blistering rendition of Mclusky’s “To Hell With Good Intentions”—there’s no chance another festival act could top it. Impressive as well, was bassist Catherine Hiltz’s stint on bass and trumpet at the same time. Most other bands look lazy by comparison.

There appears to be a new Hot Panda album on the way, this year; we’ll see if this reinvigoration translates to disc. “Linda Ronstadt,” performed live up above (and at The Rivoli), may be on it.

-Scott Bryson

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

CMW 2015: The Dying Arts at Parts & Labour

I caught the first half of the CMW showcase at Parts & Labour on Wednesday. The night listed a “Special Guest” at 11:00 and my curiosity was sparked.

After a tremendous keytar and drum-pop explosion, delivered by Techromancer, it was time for the big reveal: the special guest was none other than Toronto’s The Dying Arts. They’re playing two scheduled shows this CMW, but this was a great chance to see them in an intimate setting.

The Dying Arts are tight ensemble, and ride a line between atmospheric rock and punk. The rhythm section is remarkably in-gear, and the two guitarists had this audience member begging for more after their short set. The crowd almost wasn’t expecting to see something this good.

One of the many highlights from the night was The Dying Arts’ rendition of Crystal Castles’ “Alice Practice.” Toronto’s NOW magazine asks local bands to cover songs from amazing Toronto albums, and the clip above is The Dying Arts at the Now Lounge, showing off this unusual full-band cover of the highly electronic Crystal Castles original.

-Johnnysomebody

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

CMW 2015: SIANspheric at the Horseshoe Tavern

Change is overrated. Fortunate for us, then, that we’re residing in a golden age of band comebacks.

Fortunate as well, that SIANspheric exhibit no signs of antiquation, fourteen years after their last full-length album (check them out, performing “To Myself” from that disc—The Sound of the Colour of the Sun—up above). They sound exactly the same, in fact, as when this writer last saw them perform, in the fall of 2000. Whether that’s a plus or a strike against them is a matter for debate, but there’s no denying that the soundscapes they wade in—call it post-rock, shoegaze, space rock, whatever—are hangers-on in their own right.

SIANspheric’s brief outing at the Shoe for CMW was alternately cacophonous and gentle, effects-driven, and all-encompassing (par for the course, in other words). They primarily leaned on their classic material, but the few bits of new music they hauled out were marked by a groovy undertone that wasn’t present on past recordings. Hope is alive, that they may craft a new album that doesn’t sound like 1998.

-Scott Bryson

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

CMW 2015: Alert The Medic at The Dakota Tavern

Halifax quartet Alert The Medic were right in the middle of a jam-packed lineup at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto’s west end on Saturday night. They had a few technical issues out of the gate, but their showmanship made up for the gear malfunctions. They captured the crowd of mostly bros and cheerleaders quickly and turned the Dakota into a jamboree of epic proportions. Though they’re from the Maritimes, they have the energy of Texan outfit, and have more in common with The Refreshments, Toadies, or Fastball than with other East Coast bands.

ATM recently worked with Mike Turner (formerly of Our Lady Peace and currently a member of Crash Karma) on the production of their latest record, The Phantom Moves, which took their anthemic rock in a more mainstream direction. The result is a vibe that’s reminiscent of the late nineties Canadian rock scene. The video up top has them covering Our Lady Peace’s “Starseed,” Mike Turner in tow.

The video below is “Echo And Fade,” from the new album. It seems more of a commercial than an artistic statement. It does however showcase the band’s over-the-top pop-rock sound. They’re currently on tour and heading west; if bar bands are your niche, make sure you don’t miss them when they swing through your town.

-Johnnysomebody

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

CMW 2015 Preview: UUBBUURRUU – “Dear God”

Warning: some tasteful hippie nudity herein.

Why is it that videos that attempt to demonstrate the dangers of illicit drug use always end up demonstrating the enjoyment of illicit drug use instead? Sure, there’s the odd individual whose bad trip lands them in the psychiatric unit, but who’s having more fun: the free spirits frolicking in the grass, or the squares looking on with distain?

Montreal’s UUBBUURRUU “is comprised of five dudes looking to communicate with astral entities.” Based on this evidence, their success appears inevitable. You can catch them in CMW action on Thursday, May 7 at Smiling Buddha, at 9:00 PM.

-Scott Bryson

Leave a comment

Filed under Features, Videos

CMW 2015 Preview: Suns of Stone – “Talking To Me”

This Ottawa outfit is described as “Vintage, bearded [and] beer-fuelled,” and that’s precisely what we get in the first 20 seconds of this performance vid. They indulge in the other vintage rock vices, too: smoking, groupies, guitar solos and… turtles?

“Talking To Me” comes from Suns of Stone’s self-titled debut. You can catch them in CMW action on Wednesday, May 6 at the Rivoli, at midnight.

-Scott Bryson

Leave a comment

Filed under Features, Videos