Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CMW: Day 0

If any of you have actually been reading long enough, and haven't completely destroyed your long term memory due to severe alcohol abuse, you may remember the last time I was in Toronto during the month of March. I, Shane Paul Saunderson the first, had my ass positively kicked by CMW 2008. Now, a full two years later, I have returned, bigger, stronger, and with a more efficient liver.

Last night was Day 0.  CMW officially starts today, however, when Ian Blurton is playing a free show at the Horseshoe... one does not ask questions (yeah, Ia(i)n's!).  I arrived halfway through the set of Sixteen Layers, an Irish hard rock band.  They were tight, but nothing to write home about, and certainly nothing to travel across an ocean to see.

After the Irishmen, Vancouver's Yukon Blonde hit the stage.  These guys were much more to my liking, resembling something almost like a modern Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  The songwriting was superb, the 3 part vocal harmonies were tight, and my only complaint would be that their songs didn't really go anywhere.  It was good music, but I never had a feeling of anticipation.

That is, until they cleared the stage.  I had seen Ian Blurton play with Huron before at the Dakota, in some mixed up, illegitimate offspring project known as Happy Endings, however a 'shoe show is a different beast all together.  I'd owned the album for a couple of months, so I found myself singing along to Blurton's nearly indescribable, mumbling voice, and then 'it' happened.  This band features 3 guitarists, and they know how to use it.  Often, one guitar will carry the main line, one will solo, and one will wailfully produce ambient, droning feedback, which hits perfect harmonics of the key.  It's a very original sound which tries to bring together hard rock with some sort of orchestral mash.

Then, as though you had never lived a day in your life, the guitars will start to sync, slowly converging upon the same glorious riff, and suddenly, without warning, your jaw is pulled to the ground, your loins tickled and three of the most powerful guitarists in Toronto are diving down your ear canal.  None of these songs are singles.  None of these songs are hits.  However, all of these songs have moments of clarity where everything comes together and the very world its self seems like it has compressed to a single, infinitesimal point of pure rock.

The highlight of the show was once again, their cover of Grand Funk Railroad's song, Sin's a Good Man's Brother.  Minds were blown, love was shown, happiness has grown.

-I had my mind blown by Happy Endings and all I got was this fucking awesome t-shirt