How to celebrate Valentines

This post comes late, and I apologize, but I’ve been so busy living that I forget to leave a trail of my words behind me. I’m very much caught up in the moment, with little regard to what’s ahead or behind me.

Last weekend was valentines day, and I’m not really the sappy type but for some reason this year was tugging at me, reminding me. Maybe because I know so many couples…but then again I feel I always have. Valentines day often reminds me of this time when I was 16 and received a massive bouquet of roses from a boy I had been desperately trying to avoid. This time of year makes me feel mostly… awkward. That’s the best way to describe it probably.

So it was completely amazing and perfect that Jack got me tickets to see Of Montreal. Probably one of the weirdest bands to witness live, and also one of the most fun! So we did the usual dinner thing on Friday, but come Sunday night I was feeling pretty jazzed about getting on down to the Haunt and dancing with a beer in hand.

The beginning didn’t make sense but that’s the point I guess. All the band members, excluding Kevin Barnes, came out on stage. Rebecca started saying things but her southern twang was so strong no one could understand what she said, yet agreed enthusiastically with anything that sounded to be posed as a question. I can’t decide if this fake accent was funnier because we are in England…I also wondered if maybe people thought that’s how she actually spoke…

Then Kevin Barnes, ‘the greatest singer in the world’, was called onto the stage and we screamed. We clapped. We tried to prepare ourselves for the magic.

Of course wacky costumes were intertwined, Kevin was wearing some sort of cape that made him look like royalty. We danced for a couple of hours, watched the odd animations flicker beyond the band on the back wall, cheered loudly and managed to get an encore out of it. I was pretty much dumbstruck and starry eyed the whole time, that’s how awesome they are. Kevin managed to remove his cape and white shirt throughout the show, and then re-entered wearing a silver sparkle sequin jacket and some rather tight psychedelic looking trousers.

I think we were all pretty happy with the evening. I left smiling and giggling and bursting with excitement.

So that is how I chose to celebrate Valentines day weekend. With beer, Of Montreal, and a really cool boyfriend who understands my strange musical obsessions.

M

Feel it all around

Something I have been craving, a man I have been dreaming of seeing for several years. To the point that when I met Chaz Bundick I actually asked him questions about what Ernest Greene is like. I know…

But the point of this post is that it finally happened! Washed out came to Brighton, so we got tickets and marched on down to the sea front to Concorde 2. This was a sweet relief because just a few days earlier Deerhunter were meant to be playing this venue, however, their UK/EU tour was cancelled. I didn’t cry but I might have had a bit of a tantrum…

Back to the night of dreams… being super keen we arrived around 8 p.m, and to tell you the truth the place was pretty empty. Us Baby Bear Bones were playing some amazing opening music, the way the lead singer hit her drum really caught my attention. To my dismay, they stopped playing after I had only heard about one and a half songs. I was disappointed, but this band happens to be local (and their name is even painted on the wall of Sticky Mike’s) so if I get a chance, I will definitely go to one of their shows. They made an impression.

Amateur Best was next. A man with a keyboard, a horn, a few other gadgets, and a voice. What a voice. I didn’t really know what was happening, it was all so different. It felt almost awkward, watching this guy sing his heart out, but the crowd was growing steadily and he didn’t seem to have any insecurities. I was doubtful at first, but impressed nonetheless. Mainly because he could actually play that horn really well, and captivate an audience.

And then it began. Washed Out came, first his band started playing , then Ernest ran out, looking like quite the hippy with his shoulder length hair and bohemian look, guitar around his shoulder. I will admit, I didn’t listen to much of his newest album Parocasm. I was surprised when he actually didn’t make it his sole focus of the show.

He played the old stuff, what I really wanted to hear. Get Up, Feel it All Around, and Belong were in there as well. I hadn’t felt so zen in a long time. I closed my eyes and swayed and smiled. Sipped my beer, and got slightly annoyed when some lads held up their camera phone for 30 seconds too long. But for the most part, I was extremely relaxed, because that is just what Washed Out does to me.

Afterwards, I was so starry eyed that upon walking into the smoking section and faced with several smiles and North American accents, I just began speaking to his band. Without realizing they were his band until about a minute into the conversation. Embarrassing? Slightly. But we were just too busy bonding over our roots. And I was still floating outside of my body most likely.

I mean, it’s been nearly a week and I’m still dreaming of the moment he stepped on stage.

So I will just leave this here.

Happy Wednesday!

-M

TRUST

I had the fortune of seeing TRUST last night, a Canadian band from Toronto.  My sister introduced me this past fall and we have both since fallen in love.

Yes, you might notice the music makes you want to brood and probably drink hard liquor, but that’s exactly why I dig it. Something about it reminds me of the 80s, and  if you know me you will know that I happen to love the 80s.  It’s probably something to do with the poppy nature of the beats and the synthesizers. I find myself bobbing around melodically, but there is a serious darkness about the music. I’m sure you have heard of the term “chillwave”, with bands like Toro Y Moi and Washed Out being labeled as such. Well this is considered “Darkwave”, so make of that what you will.

The show was not as packed as I had imagined it would be, but this actually made me feel happy more than anything. I have grown tired of being shoulder to shoulder, so this was a nice break. I actually found I was cold  – this almost never happens, especially at Ritual, where most kids can be found dancing and sweating profusely on a Friday night.

I just caught the tail end of Death Ledger‘s set, which seemed to combine hip hop with heavy bass, hard hitting drums, and a darker demeanor. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The faces of the musicians were shrouded in darkness, the only light coming from the back by the bar and some deep red lighting on stage. This was a theme for the night though.

I really enjoyed ERAAS, a band from New York. The singer’s voice really made me think of Health and Placebo, but he was using his pipes in a different way. Definitely experimental, the songs had great flow and I was mostly mesmerized by the way they would switch up instruments and continue into a new song so gracefully. It wasn’t conventional, but then again I think that’s what makes them so talented. It was raw and not perfected, it made me feel happy.

When TRUST finally appeared on stage, that’s when people finally had the courage to step a little closer to the stage. Before this most were keeping a distance of at least five feet. Of course, the crowd was still small, it was personal, like a house party. Smiling at strangers who felt the same way about being here. It was dark, and Robert Alfons stood above us like a tall shadow. His voice is amazing, I found it strange that it was actually real, but I guess men sometimes have that lucky fortune of having such a huge range of notes they can hit.

There were a lot of colours happening, and the strobe lights came on every so often making us feel like we were living in slow motion. The more they played the more everyone grew more comfortable, swaying turned into full on dancing at long last. Of course, upon hearing the opening of “Heaven” people started to go a little crazier.

The show ended five minutes before midnight. I sensed disappointment it was over but I’m sure their lack of albums might have had to do with this. They did play one new song, though, so this could only be a sign of more good things to come.

Radiohead

The band I have loved for…decades? I suddenly feel old, but at least I was only a toddler when I rocked out to My Iron Lung.

It’s happening!

I get to see Radiohead  tomorrow. It seems like it’s been forever since I bought the tickets. Tonight I head to Montreal for hangouts with a special boy. And tomorrow I hope I hear this song. He can hold my hand while we listen, maybe.

I’m also hoping for some other random and weird songs, like Talk Show Host, but I don’t have my hopes up too high.

Happy Thursday!

M

music note and a reason to smile

I was nervous this morning as I sat at my computer eagerly waiting for the clock to strike 12.

When it did, I wasn’t sure what would happen. If I could click fast enough before the masses swiped away my chances of seeing a band I have loved since the age of 12. Then my time came and I purchased two tickets to see Radiohead.

I did not scream out loud, but in my head, so as to not scare the neighbours.

This is the best!

I’m Alive

Just in case you thought I was no longer alive…stop worrying. I’m fine.

Let me follow up on Toronto Island…better late then never!

We were shipped off to an island to witness amazing music and drink expensive bottled water. All worth it, of course. There were plenty of rain jackets, rubber boots and umbrellas. There was a threat of rain that NEVER came, so instead we used our umbrellas to block the beating sun. The day was hot, due to both weather and stage presence.

The ferries were packed tightly and we had to wait for a few rounds before getting on. We eventually got there, but by that time had already missed a few of the openers, including the love of my life, Timber Timbre. I cried a little, but my missing it will be made up for this Sunday!

Beach House took the stage as everyone flooded onto the island. Many were arriving a bit late, like myself. Everyone was quite mellow and chill, wondering what was going on. Who was taking the stage? We were all quite lost, trapped in a sea of people and trying to squeeze by security guards who eagerly look into your bag.

Victoria Legrand can really rock out, even when the crowd doesn’t seem to know how to. I guess some find dream pop difficult to head bang to, but this girl does not. She’s amazing, as are her vocals. Her deep voice is sultry and when she opened her mouth, I almost forgot this was a live show and I was not daydreaming in my bedroom again. I stood back a bit, in awe. I was pretty much lost in the music. Most of the set consisted of Teen Dream. It was amazing, don’t get me wrong. But I would have loved to hear a bit more of Devotion and the self titled album from ’06. Maybe next time…

I have photos, but due to the lack of a press pass, my Nikon was not allowed on the island. You’ll have to fare with my pictures from my little canon powershot…

Up next was Band of Horses. The crowd really came alive, pushing and shoving towards the front. It went from a mellow afternoon to a bit of a rough one. I managed to squeeze myself in there, and I found myself between some rather sweaty, smelly people. The music over-shadowed this, though, as did the smell of marijuana. I’ll be honest, I like them, but I don’t love them. It was a nice change of scene but by this point I was pretty amped for BSS and Pavement. A total dream come true, two amazing bands, together! Nonetheless, BOH was fun to rock out to.

Then it happened.

Broken Social Scene took the stage.

Everyone was wondering who would be there, naturally. Every time I’ve seen them, it is a big surprise. But we’re in Toronto. Something good is about to happen.

And it did.

First of all, who is that guy in the tank? OH shit, it’s a beardless Brendan Canning. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he seems to have shaved it off. It was getting hot, so I don’t blame him.

I wasn’t surprised when they opened with World Sick. I actually kind of figured they would, with the new album release and all. A lot of newer songs were played, but there were some classic BSS moments thrown in. And can you imagine, they closed with Ibi Dreams of Pavement. Complete perfection, with Pavement being present, and all.

It’s funny that G20 and the island show came so close together. Kevin Drew could not resist to mention it, of course…

Something along the lines of the world leaders and a circle jerk…

Feist makes me happy, as does Emily Haines. I’m sure I’m not the only one. The crowd’s reaction was too obvious. Poor Lisa. We still love her though.

Time for the closing act, or “the kicker” as some would say.

PAVEMENT!

I was surprised to see so many people flooding away from the crowd making more room for me and others who were just as eager. The timing was just right, the sun was setting, and the mood was pretty solid.

This was a concert I never thought I would get to see. When I first saw the poster back in January I was a bit surprised and knew from the start if I wasn’t there, it would mean I must have died in a freak accident before being able to witness something so amazing. I would not let this happen.

Before getting there, I already knew what I wanted to hear. And they opened with a classic that made the crowd burst with excitement. What’s that, you say? Cut your hair.

They followed up with some songs I was really looking forward to hearing…Gold Soundz, Elevate Me Later, Shady Lane, Perfume-V, Range Life and Summer Babe.

Oh yeah, and Kevin Drew and Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell hit the stage with ’em.

A guy behind me was pretty excited about summer babe. It was the last song played before the encore, and he was yelling it the entire performance. They finally got the hint. They came back for an encore just to make us all a little more happy than we already were. My head was about to explode when they played Stop Breathin’. Could I possibly handle any more awesome? Answer: obviously.

This concert has been added to my top five. Even with the ridiculous ferry wait…which was about a little over an hour, it was well worth sailing away to an island to experience one of the best shows of my life. I apologize profusely if you were not there.

Over and out.

But I’ll be back for Bluesfest updates.

What are you doing Saturday?

My train ticket is booked and my ticket has been staring down at me from my tack-board since January. It’s safe to say I’m a little bit more than excited for Toronto Island this weekend. An all day jam with some of my favourite bands? Yes, this will be an epic weekend.

Pavement, Broken Social Scene, Band of Horses, Beach House, Timber Timbre, Zeus, The Beauties and Flash Lightnin’.

Can you say “amazing”. I know, I know…I am also stuttering. It’s been almost a year since my last rendezvous with BSS, and EXACTLY one year ago today if I remember correctly since I bumped into the lovely Mr. Brendan Canning at Grizzly Bear, where Feist made a special, and awesome appearance…

I’ll be posting photos, but unfortunately my SLR will not be able to enter. They are “prohibited” so the photos I post won’t be of uh, the best quality. Sadness, right? That’s why instead of looking at my photos, you should just get your hands on a ticket and sail on over!

If I never return to post again it is because I have died from an overload of awesome.