In just 5 days, 700 Canadaian musicians rocked out all over Toronto’s venues, sharing their music with the nations most important ‘music people’ (this festival was a few months ago… better late than never though, right?!). I was lucky to attend one night of this festival, very excited to see The Balconies and The Wooden Sky. Now, while I, the sheep, am used to wooly curl-rings laying around all over the farm from my family, I must say…. I have never seen so much facial hair and ink all on one place. Despite this culture shock (if you will), I discovered a new band worthy of much attention that night.
Ladies and gentlesheep, I bring you YUKON BLONDE!
Sitting through the openers at a concert can be extremely tedious – all you want is to see the band you came for. They can never be as good as the band you came to see because you just don’t have the same excitement for them. This was not the case for the nights openers YB.
Yukon Blonde, as pictured above, literally started the night off with boom. I came wanting to see the other bands, but these guys just blew me away. They ended their set with an epic 3 minute or so jam session and they managed to set the bar high for the rest of the acts. They used all five band members to create powerful vocals and background vocals. These guys just came off to me as a group of friends who just want to live life and make music together, and it works for them. They put on a fantastic, energetic, and overall FUN show, which is probably why I went on their myspace as soon as I got home that night. It is bands like these that are memorable to us – their energy lets you know that they are there to share their music with you, and that is it. Their energy lets the audience know that the band respects us, and that we deserve to hear them at their best. So, on that note, check these guys out!:
This week, we introduced the “Song of the Week” section, and the first band to be featured is The Balconies. They are a band that formed in Ottawa, and are currently rocking the Toronto scene.
The Balconies are currently unsigned (probably/hopefully not for long) and consist of Jacquie Neville (guitar, vocals), Liam Jaeger (drums, vocals), and Stephen Neville (bass, vocals).
Now, my friends usually think that I only listen to sad/slow/mellow/depressing music… BUT I am here today to prove them wrong!! My latest obsession is The Balconies; It took me literally WEEKS to find their full album, so I had been living off of the 6 songs found on their myspace for a while. According to their myspace page, this group of three formed when Jacquie and Liam met while studying classical music at the University of Ottawa (that’s right; Beethoven, Mozart, all that.. great stuff). Stephen, the brother of Jacquie, was then stolen from home to become a rockstar (Okay, not really but you get the point). But the music they make and the music they studied is far from similar. The catchy vocals are shared between all three members, backed up with a popping bass line and speedy drums which lure you into a world of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows (To all my dear friends: take that!!). With that being said, the female vocals for this band are one of the most powerful and controlling ones I’ve ever heard.
If you like what you hear, you’ve GOT the check out this live video of them: Live in Ottawa.
They’ve only got one full length out (self-titled, and recorded!) But look out Canada, look out world! With this much spunk, these guys are gonna be big someday! They have some shows coming up (which are likely to be intimate), so be sure to get out and show some love and support!
28 Jan- Clark Hall Pub (Kingston, Ontario)
30 Jan 2010 – L’Absynthe w/ The Darcys and Jane’s Party (Montreal, Quebec)
2 Feb 2010 -Babas Lounge (Charlottetown, Prince Edward)
3 Feb 2010 – Mount Allison Tantramarch Pub w/ By Divine Right (Sackville, New Brunswick)
5 Feb 2010 – The Capitol (Fredericton, New Brunswick)
6 Feb 2010 – The Pavilion – EARLY ALL AGES SHOW (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
6 Feb 2010 – The Seahorse Tavern w/ Soaking Up Jagged and Bad Vibrations and Cold Warp (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
10 Feb 2010 – The Drake Hotel w/ By Divine Right and Gentlemen Reg (Toronto, Ontario)
26 Feb 2010 – The Black Sheep Inn w/ The Golden Dogs (Wakefield, Quebec)
27 Feb 2010 – Legendary Red Dog – w/ The Golden Dogs (Peterborough, Ontario)
16 Mar 2010 – The Casbah (Hamilton, Ontario)
01-24 Park City, UT – Sundance Festival
01-26 Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House
02-10 Glasgow, Scotland – King Tuts
02-11 Manchester, England – Islington Mill
02-12 Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club
02-13 Dublin, Ireland – Whelans
02-14 Belfast, Northern Ireland – Speakeasy
02-16 Cardiff, Wales – Arts Centre
02-17 London, England – Bush Hall
02-18 Lille, France – L’Aéronef Club
02-18 Saint-Malo, France – La Route du Rock
02-20 Paris, France – La Maroquinerie
02-21 Ghent, Belgium – Vooruit
02-22 Brussels, Belgium – Botanique
02-23 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
02-24 Groningen, Netherlands – Vera
02-25 Berlin, Germany – Roter Salon
02-26 Copenhagen, Denmark – Loppen
02-27 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser
02-28 Oslo, Norway – Parkteatret
03-02 Gothenburg, Sweden – Pusterviksbaren (Club Woody West)
03-03 Hamburg, Germany – Molotov
03-04 Leipzig, Germany – UT Connwitz
03-05 Munich, Germany – Feierwerk
03-06 Zurich, Switzerland – Abart
03-08 Newcastle, England – The Sage *
03-09 Edinburgh, Scotland – The Queens Hall *
03-11 Brighton, England – The Corn Exchange *
03-12 Coventry, England – Warwick Arts Centre *
03-13 London, England – Roundhouse *
03-14 London, England – Roundhouse *
03-17 Lisbon, Portugal – Lux Fragil
03-18 Guimareas, Portugal – Centro Cultural Vila Flor
03-26 Washington, DC – Black Cat #
03-27 Middletown, CT – Wesleyan University
03-28 Boston, MA – Paradise #
03-29 Montreal, Quebec – La Sala Rosa # 03-30 Toronto, Ontario – Opera House #
04-01 Pontiac, MI – Pike Room #
04-02 Chicago, IL – Metro #
04-03 Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater #
04-04 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center #
04-05 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room #
04-06 Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Saloon #
04-07 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater #
04-09 Boise, ID – Neurolux #
04-10 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge #
04-11 Vancouver, British Columbia – Rickshaw Theater #
04-12 Seattle, WA – Neumos #
04-14 San Francisco, CA – Bimbos #
04-15 San Luis Obispo, CA – Downtown Brewing Co. #
04-19 Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room *
04-21 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater %
04-22 Austin, TX – Emo’s %
04-23 Houston, TX – Walter’s %
04-24 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon %
04-25 Tallahassee, FL – Engine Room %
04-27 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree %
04-28 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge %
04-29 Atlanta, GA – The Earl %
04-30 Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle Tavern %
05-01 Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle % 05-06 New York, NY – Webster Hall
05-07 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
05-08 Baltimore, MD – 2640 Space
* with Grizzly Bear
# with Bachelorette
% with Washed Out
Make sure to check out a show in your town, we know we are!
While on the subject of Beach House, be sure to pick up a copy of Teen Dream, their third album, which will be out on January 26/10.
What do the singers of Bon Iver and The Antlers have in common?
That low, scratchy growl of a voice, of course!
One day, while the wolf and the sheep were hard at work discussing the best albums of 2009, the obvious choice for #1 was Brand New’s Daisy. Brand New is our ULTIMATE band. We could probably share some crazy stories about things we’ve done for this band, but maybe another day. It’s pretty much Brand New over everything else in life for us. At least, that is how it is on most days. Not on this day though, because the wolf said to the sheep, “I hate to break it to you, but my favourite album of the year was by The Antlers.” Jaws dropped and so did the (chat)room temperature. The sheep was enraged. The wolf was scared with its claws ready to defend as the sheep wanted to pounce.
Clearly, 2009 tested our musical tastes and dedication to our favourite band. Even thought my love for Brand New will float on and on, I find that I am less.. well, obsessive, about them due to the new sphere of music that I have opened myself up to. Upon hearing His Old Branches a 2009 EP released by what can be considered our breath of fresh air band – The Republic of Wolves (You’ve got to hear this band!), the sheep exclaim— I mean, bah-ed loudly, : “I AM SO OVER BRAND NEW RIGHT NOW”. The point is, there comes a time for every music lover when you begin to explore the world of music beyond your safety point (ie Brand New, which held me over for years). You begin to explore new music and sounds and the feelings these new artists invoke. 2009 marked this for me. I’m not sure if it is because I moved away to university and became more independent in life overall (a milestone, really) and therefore was more brave to try new things, or simply because the same old tunes weren’t cutting it for me. Either way, my life has been blessed with new sounds to enjoy, and I will be grateful for this beyond the day when my children pick up the same CDs I bought this year and fall in love with them the same way I did.
Among these CDs, there will be a copy of Hospice. This was an album that I had to get used to with every listen. Thankfully, each listen did not feel like a chore (such as trying to like the new Taking Back Sunday albums back in the day…..). I was trying something new, now forcing myself to like something I was already dedicated to. I was intrigued by the new art. The thing that interested me the most about Hospice is that it is a concept album and tells a story chronologically with each song. I was introduced to the song Two in a mixtape I received from a certain big-toothed individual who runs this blog. There were 17 songs on that mixtape and this was the only one I listened to for days (sorry wolf). I hate to say this, but it was beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! So much beauty in 6 minutes that it could make you cry. I had a hard time getting into the rest of the album because the bar was set so high due to my repetitive listens of Two (iTunes play count: 62)
As for me, I am beyond excited to see The Antlers this February as they make a stop in Toronto with The Editors (The Editors on Myspace). As for the Wolf, she has been lucky enough to see them already, and could only describe it as the most beautiful show she’d ever been to. Now, please note that, even though we use the world “beautiful” a LOT on this blog, does not mean that we use it lightly. We use it because it is the perfect word, and we mean it every time.
I can wrap up all this personal junk with saying that The Antlers have been a big deal for me because they are a new sound for me. They have been a band that allowed me to expand and test my boundaries of what i allow my ears to hear. In my life, that is a pretty big deal.
We care for one thing here - to share sounds and words and melodies and ideas that are so beautiful, they'll make you want to fall apart and sleep forever.
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