Watch Royal Canoe’s “Hold Onto the Metal” and see them tonight at the Garrison

royal canoe

Tonight my favourite band from Winnipeg, Royal Canoe, are dropping by Toronto once again. They recently wowed me at Canadian Music Week, so I’m ready to watch their very fun live performance for the second time in a couple months. With six members, two of who play drums side-by-side (a music weakness of mine), their busy and fun dynamic is interesting and appealing. There’s a LOT of gear, everyone’s singing together and even some distortions they use are oddly groovy. Their quirky Extended Play EP will be on my top list of EPs this year for sure.

Watch the video for “Hold Onto the Medal”:

They’ll hit the Garrison stage around 11 p.m.

Win two tickets to see Tim Fite at the Drake on April 1

tim fite

One of my favourite mad scientist musicians, Tim Fite, will be coming back to Toronto this weekend (April 1) in support of his new album Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t. If you’ve ever seen him live, you know you’ll want to again, and if you haven’t yet, well know you’re missing out on one of the kookiest interactive and heartwearming performances out there.

Heres Tim when I saw him at Lee’s Palace in 2008, with his three back up singers: himself.

Courtesy of ANTI-, here’s your chance to win entry for you and a pal to Sunday’s show.

Just RT this tweet or Like this Facebook post.

Contest closes Friday at 4. Only the winner will be contacted.

Concert Review: Army Girls, Bent by Elephants and The Elwins

bent by elephants live garrison

Army Girls, Bent by Elephants and The Elwins at The Garrison in Toronto, August 4, 2011.

It’s rare that a line-up of local and up-and-coming bands fits so well together for me. As soon as I heard of this show, I was dead set on going. Each of these bands deserve any praise they get right now, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in the future. So here are my thoughts sorted from over the weekend about the event:

Army Girls took the 10pm slot instead of their scheduled midnight post, for a reason I’m unaware of. Carmen Elle and Andy Smith didn’t let the earlier eve faze them though, as they tore through their new material and let any stops between songs be filled with giggles, jokes and thanks. Carmen’s voice is incredibly strong and gorgeous, and put to her guitar playing is a sweet sucker punch to the gut and heart. Andy Smith’s drumming is relaxed and serves as backbone well; but he had a solo moment towards the end when he let loose a bit, and that was fun to see. I see great things for this new duo in the future, hopefully when they release Close to the Bone next month.

Check out “The Power.” (One of my favourite songs this summer.)

Bent by Elephants has been here a few times this summer already, so if you missed them again, I shake my head in your direction. These Montrealers bring jazz to indie rock in a big, big way and they get better every time I see them. Led by Chesley Walsh’s lovely croon and wide range, there’s a plethora of findings through the horns, guitars, upright bass and drums. It’s unfortunate that Charlotte Cornfield left the group to focus on her solo efforts (which is also pretty good, and she’s taking off pretty quickly), but new drummer Eric Dew brings a new sense of urgency and gusto to the group, especially when the focus is between him and bassist Paul van Dyk. The group played a handful of new songs that left my concert companion and me with goosebumps and jaws hanging. The band will be embarking on a long US/Canada-wide tour soon, and I’m quite excited for everyone else to hear them.

Check out “Saskatchewan Pool.”

The Elwins have been playing around Toronto so much all summer, it’s like there’s another show every week (and even this week there’s been at least three). So while that gives plenty of opportunities for us to see them, that means a lot of times I’d be able to say “I will see them soon.” But I finally saw them, and I can say that it was really fun. They’re all charmers, interacting with the audience via giving us buttons, starting a dance competition and more. They’re youthful, but they have the adult groove to make everyone move. All of these qualities prove for not only an entertaining live show but nods towards their work, excitement for what they’ll do next and oh, the thought that they’d make a terrific wedding band.

Check out “Larry Pastorus.”

Allie Hughes is asking you to prom this Saturday

There are two types of proms.

1. FREAK OUT OMG IS HE GOING TO ASK ME HOW IS HE GOING TO ASK ME I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW EVERY SINGLE THING HAS TO BE PERFECT I AM SO FAT CAN WE GET A LIMO WILL THEY PLAY THE RIGHT SONGS WILL WE KISS WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER….

(let’s be honest, almost all of us have had this type of prom)

2. I LOOK REAL GOOD IN MY THRIFT STORE DRESS ALL MY FRIENDS DO WE’RE REALLY THE COOL ONES HERE I MEAN FOR REAL BUT CMON WE STILL CARE ABOUT PROM WE STILL CARE WHO WINS KING AND QUEEN WE JUST HOPE ITS ONE OF US BECAUSE WE DESERVE THIS ‘HONOUR’ MORE, EVEN THOUGH SHE WON’T ADMIT IT THIS IS WHAT SHE’S ALWAYS DREAMED OF BUT WAIT….

I’m going to re-live prom this Saturday with Queen shoe-in Allie Hughes (her new theme after conquering weddings). Come dance with me?

ALLIE HUGHES’ PROM QUEEN DREAM
w/ special guests Gentleman Reg and Dwayne Gretzky
Saturday, May 14 at the El Mocambo
$7 at the door (or less with Prom attire)