Monday, June 28, 2010


I still don't exactly know how I'm going to review this, because I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out what it is.  I suppose it was inevitable that someone would eventually combine auto tuned RnB with hardcore... I just guess there was nothing which could have possibly prepared me for Brokencyde.

Every fibre of my being wants to hate this American "crunkcore" band from New Mexico... but the more I read about them, while I may hate their music, I can't help but respect them... at least a little.  First, regardless of how you feel about the sound, you have to admit, they're doing something original.  I suppose you could argue that all they did was stick T-pain in a room with Jacob Bannon, to which I would have to respond, "why did no one do it before?"

And beyond that, contrary to what you may think, they apparently aren't overprivileged suburban rich kids.  I guess if Fucked Up's Damian Abraham likes them, I can't damn them to the last circles of hell.

Still... I assure you, I really, really want to.

-Won't these loving hands show me how to drag a good man down?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

NXNE: Day 4

I appear to have not written a wrap up of last night, last night.  This may have had something to do with the fact that I just found myself fully clothed, lights on, blinds open at 11am ON my bed (at least I don't have to make the bed).  Needless to say, last night, we ended NXNE with a bang.

We started the night at the Stooges, because it simply had to happen.  There was a throng of people so large that I couldn't even see the stage and the audio was like listening to your neighbor's stereo through a wall.  We left about half way through the set to go pursue something a little more intimate, but at least I can now say I've seen Iggy Pop live.

Ok, I've heard Iggy Pop live.

We poked our heads into Hannah Georges at the shoe, Future in Plastics at Hideout, and Drive Faster at Velvet Underground.  My mother always said that if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all, but I never really listened to my parents.  There is a reason why we didn't even stay for one song of either of those bands.

Where we did end up settling wasn't much better, unfortunately.  The Hyena Dog Robbery was playing Bovine, and had members old enough that they probably could have told me about how difficult rock was in the great depression.  Don't get me wrong; I'm all for respecting your elders, but rock and roll has also taught me not to trust anyone over the age of 30 (in short, I'm fucked in 2 years).  We likely would have continued to move if it weren't for the fact that we'd been pretty much everywhere within a span of 15 minutes.

Once Stark Naked & the Fleshtones came on at Bovine, enough was, as they say, simply enough.  After a few shots to numb the pain we found ourselves walking out of a venue yet again.  We returned to the Hideout to catch half of Drive Like Maria.  Thank HOLLAND our night was finally saved.  Their rotating four piece was a much needed smack upside the head after a night of disappointment.

At last, we returned to the Bovine to see the act I really cared to see last night, Trigger Effect.  I first had my mind blown by these guys around 3 years ago at a Bionic CD release party at Cafe Campus in MTL.  The only thing that's changed is that they are even tighter, but the insanity still reigns supreme.  I have never been so intimate with a band's front man and I usually don't get that covered in other people's sweat unless I'm having sex.  There is a slight possibility that I didn't hear them live; we might have just had sex.

And then my night ended.

Or so I thought.  I was just informed that we continued back to Hideout to see another two bands.  I don't remember either band however, so I feel it wouldn't be very fair to review them.

And then my NXNE ended.

Now, time to jam and then start studying for my final tomorrow.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NXNE: Day 3

I'm fading hard, and soon will have little remaining but a husk of a man.  Still, I'm so close to rock and roll nirvana that I can feel it shaking in my bones.  This festival pushes all the right limits, and knows just how to talk to me to make me feel some kind of special.

That and it's sure a lot more fun than studying for my final on Monday.

We started the night up at Rancho Relaxo.  I managed to catch a handful of songs by Ottawa's The Polymorphines.  They had a frantic, energetic sound, but it was early, and I was still waiting for that 2nd wind to blow into my sails and set me in motion.  Alas, I was set in motion, but it was out the door and towards the Hideout.

Shikasta was one of my favorite Toronto bands around 5 years ago.  I recall the emptiness in my heart when they decided to wind down.  The perfect offset of that feeling was experienced upon finding out that former Shikasta frontman, Russel Fernandes, had a new band named The Mercy Now.  Their live set was everything I could have hoped for; groovy, sexy, loud and proud.  Perhaps the best moment was when the power on the entire block went down and everybody, band and audience alike, just decided that we didn't need no stinkin power to keep rockin.  I assure you, there is nothing wrong with the video below.  The power blew mid-song and the entire block was pitch black.

Eventually, they got the juice going again and Mercy managed to finish grinding up against our souls. We then sat through a set which made me feel awkward and sympathetic. Some poor Aussie named Kirk Special flew half way around the world to have one of the most frustrating nights of his life. The preamble was pretty cool; he was a one man band who used his feet on a kick drum, played some mean blues guitar and screamed over top the whole thing like a swaggering drunk. Unfortunately, the amp he was using had other plans, and while the faulty amp wasn't a game ender for the sound, it was for his stage presence. For a guy who's energy and creativity on stage usually makes the show, being in a bad mood was a perfect way to reveal that in fact, the songs were quite repetitive and being in a one man band, if you're having a bad night, you've got no one else to fall back on.

Never fear, The Speaking Tongues saved the day.  Picking the dirty blues off the floor, an army of tongues followers cheered the powerful blues duo along as they mastered their way around the stage.  I'd been waiting a good long while to see this band live and as I learned, apparently so had everyone else.

To close off my night, I felt it was important to see a band which The Noble Rogues will be playing with in a few short weeks; You Handsome Devil.  Once again, I knew a lot of their tracks inside and out, but never had seen this shit show of a musical force live.  "Listen up or go to hell, either way, you're listening to You Handsome Devil."  - Damn  straight.  This satanic trio of rock n roll awesome is as much a pleasure to the eyes as they are to the ears.  Flying around the stage like possessed madmen, YH666 found a way to get the pole out of Toronto's ass.  I have never seen a crowd in Toronto that has enjoyed themselves as much as this set.
 Well played you little demons, well played.

-I don't need the devil to show me how to do you wrong.

Friday, June 18, 2010

NXNE: Day 2

I'll say it... wow.

So, if ever I thought that these festivals were getting dull and repetitive, thank you, day 2, for proving me wrong.  The Willsinator and I wandered around Q west for a while and eventually made our way up Spadina.  We entered a small unmarked door at around 2pm and joined a random, somewhat secret rooftop society of rock and roll, nachos, cheap beer, and ridiculous fun.

I spent the afternoon getting a ridiculous sunburn, drinking far too much Steamwhistle, having my mind blown by Sandman Viper Command, eating more nachos, striking the vogue with Andrea, and then listening to Hollerado, a personal favorite, rock out on top of a small rooftop apartment.

After the Holler boys, we had a pint at Black Bull before I headed home and passed the fuck out for a good hour.  Something about the combination of massive amounts of cheap beer, tons of sun, and jumping around all afternoon had apparently made me sleepy.

I awoke in a daze, and was ushered into a cab, to find myself shaken to life in The Hideout.  Some horrible, but tight (at least they had that going, right?) band played while I watched Boston lose and cursed the name Kobe.  Once I had resolved to the end of a sporting eve, my focus turned back on rock and an incredible band from Holland called De Staat.  These guys were some strange, prog-y rocktacular combination of QOTSA and meth amphetamines.  I suppose it also helped that I'm pretty sure two people in the audience were on meth:

I was fading hard and fast, but I managed enough energy for one more set.  Fortunately, I did stick around to see the Birthday Boys put on a hell of a way to end my night.  Entirely what I did not expect, these guys impressed me with their huge talent across all players, infectious songwriting, and hard as nails rock and roll attitude.

Sadly, our insane dancers had tuckered themselves out... so all I had to enjoy at this point was rock.

It was enough to make me go home and eat myself to sleep.  Seriously though... I'm still hungry.  Man I'd kill for some pad thai right now.

-Where's the smile that you usually wear?  Give to me the problems you bear.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NXNE: Day 1

It's that time again.  The time where I test the limits of my liver, ear drums, and soul.

Before we even get started tonight, I need to come clean.  I licked a man's eyeball tonight.  Right... I feel better already.

So, after an accounting presentation (yes... I am not damning the man, I am the man) the Rogues met at the studio to continue our plot against the earth.  After a good little session, we wandered over to the Bovine Sex Club.

We arrived in time to see !Attention!.  I was determined not to drink tonight.  That didn't go so well. Attention had a pretty solid instrumentation, but were lacking in the vocal department.  I can't pinpoint exactly what it was about the guy's voice, but something didn't sit right with me.  I guess they just sounded a lot like everything we all listened to a the end of high school, which isn't necessarily a bad thing... it just was?

Drinks were drank.

Apres ca, Dig it Up hit the stage.  I'd followed these gents before thanks to Exclaim, and they did not disappoint.  I'd say more, but SOMEONE bought me Jager shots.  (Fuck you, someone).

Around the time *INSERT BAND NAME HERE* was on stage, I may or may not have bought more alcohol for more people.  Either these guys were extremely awesome, or I was extremely awesome (read: bagged).  Had to be one or the other.  Something Bronx-esque in there.

In case you hadn't noticed, this year, I decided to review NXNE the night of.  My plan is that every night this week, I will come home from the bar, and review the show I just witnessed.  If you think this alconzo style of reviewing is going to be painful to read, let me put it to you this way; tonight was one of the tame nights.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mauled by an amplifier

The weekend in Montreal was the kind one writes tales about.  Our concert was great and in addition to packing a tiny little venue with far too many people, I made a good friend in the sound man who was playing some fantastic tunes between sets.

One of the groups he dropped before we went on was a hard rock -ish band from Matane, QC called Attack of the Microphone.  I laughed, more than a little.... ok, a lot, when I saw that none other than Jonathan Cummins produced their latest album.  Suddenly it all started making a lot of sense.

These guys cover a huge gambit of genres from something punky and driving, almost Bronx-esque, to moments that almost resemble less-prog versions of I Mother Earth.  Their live shows looks like a monkey-fun in a blender and I have NOTHING ELSE TO SAY.

Off to see Dirty Analogue @ the Shoe.

-Try to tell me anything but the truth

Monday, June 7, 2010


I've been waiting for this album for almost 3 years.

Canada Post had better not piss around.  Take a listen to some clips on Jordan's website or myspace.

-You can't help changing, I can't help staying the same, but one of these days things'll change.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Things be damned

Traditionally, for me to be a big fan of hardcore, it's got to be something that really reaches out and grabs me.  Very few HC bands have done this, however the definition of my kinda heavy shit is ETID.  By extention, you can feel free to assume that anything which the Buckley brothers touch is going to be gold in my books.

As such, it should come as no surprise that I've got wood for Keith Buckley's new project, The Damned Things.  Formed as yet another supergroup between Buckley and members of Anthrax and Fall Out Boy, TDT aims to blend their "love of classic rock anthems and powerful melodies with a heavy metal intensity."  A blend of three very different bands, The Damned Things will have a hurdle to overcome in forming a cohesive sound. However, what I've heard so far seems to show that they're up to the challenge.

Buckley's strange lyrics and unmistakable voice still bring an enormous familiarity to this project.  However, the blend of Anthrax's metal-tacular ridiculousness with the Fallout pop-punk vocal harmony layers are a strange mix which somehow... actually kinda works.  They've only released 2 tracks on their website and I for one am damned curious to hear more.

Get it... damned?

-It's not so strange to be a stranger