Archive for April, 2011

April 27, 2011

Strummer Nights 2011

Forget summer nights in Hamilton, Strummer nights are way better!

We were lucky enough to experience 2 straight nights of Joe Strummer songs at This Ain’t Hollywood this past weekend.  Great crowds (the first night was capacity packed, second one almost) and a way better experience than having to live thru an evening of Gorillaz or Big Audio Dynamite to get your 2011 Clash fix.  It was so good we already can’t wait for the next version on Good Friday and Easter Saturday of 2012.  There wasn’t a bad act amongst the lineup with a heap of supergroups, one-offs, reunions and special guests appearing.  Folk, Punk, Celtic, Rock, Reggae, Rockabilly, Thrash genres and everything in-between were all covered.  Personal highlight had to be seeing the Letdowns (ex-Wetspots) play.  Ah, so many good shows they’ve had and all the memories just came flooding back the moment they hit the stage!  Our fave song, Straight to Hell got a sweet treatment and hearing Burning Lights from the soundtrack of I Hired a Contract Killer was fantastic!  Top marks for The Saints Are Coming for bringing a great Celtic twist to some songs that we wish the video we took did more justice.

and speaking of video, this event got us thinking about investing in a better camera to take videos of live music with since our current setup is hit and miss. its just an everyday digital camera and not meant for live music.  ahhhh, there’s always a reason for more gear!

Here’s some pics and some of the best of the video evidence.  Visit our youtube site for all the vizness. More videos still being added as we post this.  Thanks for the memories Strummer Night #9, we’ll see u again for 10!

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April 21, 2011

Review: Pixies Hamilton

so many Pixies songs goin’ thru the ol noggin today.  its a good place to be.  2 pixies shows in 3 days was a fantastic experience.  we’ve included a video of Where is My Mind, our fave part of “I Bleed” and some pics from the show at the bottom of this post.  we loved mondays show in Toronto and Hamilton was equally great but for different reasons.

Mondays toronto show had great seats in a great legendary venue with a capacity crowd.  It was a sight to behold and the band blew us away that night.  Wednesday night was a different setting with similar results.  General admission floor standing in a big rectangular convention centre made for a more relaxed and intimate setting.  we guess it wasn’t at capacity as there was plenty of space to walk about but it didn’t matter to the band.  the crowd was into it and the show quickly turned into another sweet Pixies lovefest.

Monday night we really got the artistry of the visuals behind the band but at the hamilton show its was difficult to focus in on the backdrop.  Which was really the only big difference between the shows.  We stationed ourselves near the soundman for the best sonic experience and the view from there was as good as anywhere.  we did venutre up close for a few songs so we could get some different and perhaps better pics.  we also tried to get some gear shots at the end of the show. tear down was way quick so we didn’t have much time before being told to leave.

Joey’s guitar sounded so good all night and actually Frank’s voice was more sharp and clearer too.  both were noticeablely better than the previous show.  another thought we had during the performance was about how frank and kim’s voices compliment each other so well.  you wouldn’t think they would but they really do.  yet another of many reasons why the Pixies are a sonic delight.

last set on Monday was: Velouria, Planet of Sound, Gigantic, Where’s my Mind

last set on Wednesday was:  Bone Machine, Caribou, Where’s My Mind, Gigantic

there was no “winterlong” on wednesday which made us thankful we’d seen the monday show.  love that tune but it was a great treat to hear caribou as it was one of our early Pixies faves and still is.  we can live with that trade off.  the final bonus to the hamilton show was we actually found the merch table this time around and picked up some sweet merch!

thanks for the shows and memories!   an experience we will never forget.

now off to Stummerfest and hopefully some blogs about that early next week.  stay tuned.

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April 19, 2011

Review: Pixies Toronto

Lucky for us we got to see the Pixies Doolittle Tour last night at Massey Hall in Toronto.  We’ve included the video we took of the first Doolittle track “debaser” and some pics.  Our gallery seats were sooooo sweet!

The Pixies were always one of those bands we liked but never loved.  Doolittle and the material they produced around that time, came out when we were discovering so many different sounds.  It stood out at the time for “not standing out” (if that makes any sense) and we think Doolittle endures because of that.  Its a catchy mix of grace and grit that gave it broad appeal and as time has wore on, we’ve become huge fans.   We’ve seen them once before and that show ranks in our top 10 of best shows ever.  They blew us away on that night and last night was no different except for its raison d’etre.

The show last night was different because its focus is on playing and celebrating the anniversary of the pivotal “Doolittle” release.

The Pixies first entertained us with some B sides and then jumped right into the Doolittle tracks as they were in order of the lp.   One can only marvel at their understated cohesion and how all the little parts each member brings to every track combines into something utterly fantastic to behold.  That in essence is the beauty the Pixies and of Doolittle.  Doolittle was never quite duplicated in the same manner by the band either by choice or by group evolution since its release.  But as fans, would we even want them to duplicate it?  That is also a part of Doolittle’s charm, aura and attraction.  Its a shinning, warm and beautiful sonic gem in a sea of sorta similar gems but it stands out as the best of them all.

We spent most of the night watching Kim play the bass of course.  The first show many moons ago, the drumming of David Lovering had us mesmorized as that was our personal musical focus of the time.  We learnt a lot from watching their interaction during the course of this show.  If Kim was not singing a song, she essentially would play facing David the entire time.

While we enjoyed Kim’s banter with the audience during the show and we know she speaks for the entire band, but it would be nice if they all would share a thought now and then. The end when they all finally did speak was hilarious so maybe that is the point or result they are seeking.

Looking forward to seeing the show again in a day from now in Hammyland!  Perhaps a post about that too so stay tuned!  Til then, this monkey’s gone to heaven!

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April 16, 2011

Thinking about joining on online gym!

TGIF & ready 2 party!

Last nights show at On Cue Billiards was a great hoot!  the crowd was appreciative and we played a huge amount of Reggae!  we took and played  ppl’s requests which was a great feeling and the atmosphere was top-notch.  tankhouse was on tap though it was empty.  can’t wait to play there again soon!

on a personal note, we forgot one of our essential gear bags at home.  we didn’t realize this until we got to the venue.  luckily enough TooNice had spare patch cords so we could still play (though our movement was somewhat restricted) but the bigger issue was we didn’t have our cheat notes for some of the lesser known material.  ack!  what a stresser that was but alas we endured because we had to.  a few missed notes but a good time all around and forgetting the bag could have been a blessin in disguise.  could this be the end of cheat notes as we know it?  only time will tell.  there’s another show tonight!  time to rest up and join that online gym!

April 11, 2011

da waitin’ ends this weekend!

as we wrote in an email to a friend this past weekend “in regards to skipapalooza, we’ve gone from being excited to play it and lets just get this over with already about a 100 times.

skipapalooza is of course the meeting of yours truly’s 2 bands in one night.  the reggae outfit, TooNice ends the evening and we’ve done numerous shows together.  BUT its the debut of our cover band, Those Handsome Hooligans that night. hence the excitment level and “lets just get this done already” line of thinking.

as was remarked during our last jam session, the guitarist and i have been trying to get this band off the ground for a year now.  its been a process that has had its numerous ups and downs and we’ve learnt a lot about ppl and ourselves during that time period.  and looking back, we wouldn’t trade a single experience to get to this launch point sooner.  it just took this long and sometimes ya just gotta be patient… and the patience pays off in spades this weekend!

here’s some rough vizness from a recent open mike test drive of the Hooligans in action.


xpect more pics/viz after this weekend!  let the face melting begin!


April 8, 2011


Our reggaeriffic band, TooNice has just released 2 songs from our debut cd for free download!  Check ’em out at Soundcloud!  Sweet!

April 8, 2011

Cream On!

its the end of our 2nd winter of bass playing.  last year we noticed our fingers and hands were getting super dry (and what’s with the calluses?) so we went out this past summer and invested in some hand creams to allievate the issue this time around.

of course, we had no idea what was best so we picked up 4 brands and here’s how they faired in order:

1. Thentix Skin Conditioner. heads above the rest.  this container is almost empty and that pretty much proves it was our goto cream.  light and non sticky.  made with a touch of honey but didn’t have any issues with bees. kept our hands feeling great for hours. used it often just before heading out for jams.  plus its made right here in Ontario with au natural ingredients.  Buy Local!

2, Nivea For Men Sensitive Moisturizer. also light and non sticky.  it was a close 2nd.  does a decent enough job.  lacks in the long lasting dept.  good if we were just practicing the bass for a bit.

3. Lubriderm Unscented Moisture. a tad on the heavy sticky side but lasted longer than the previous 2.  its decent enough but just wasn’t our fave.  if we were going on a long tour and needing to pack light, this would be the one to take.

4.  Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream. our least fave.  it always felt like we were putting on a pair of surgical gloves and that uncomfortable feeling lingered.  perhaps if our hands were in a nasty way, this would be the one to use but it would be a last resort.

April 5, 2011

Review: NoMeansNo/Metz



Lee’s Palace, Toronto Stardate 04.04.11


caught the entire Metz set and was glad we did.  showing up at 915, we’d been predicting we’d miss out.  great sonic explosions with a blasts and beats that were reminscient of some early nirvana/sonic youth but wayyy better due to the high levels of energy coming off the stage. one tune sounded a tad like “negative creep”.  kept thinking that the guitarist was going to actually toss that geetar.  thats how much action there was onstage.  would go see these guys again in a heartbeat.

nomeansno hit the stage via soundcheck and casually got up and running.  a few Leafs jokes and some banter to the crowd and the band began to tear it up.  we’ve seen nomeansno 3 or 4 times now and this was not their best show but it was oh-so-close.  the older they get, the more impressive they are.  our personal hilites were hearing “theresa, give me that knife” and “its catching up“.  theresa was omitted last time we saw them so that was extra swell to hear.

we don’t think we stopped smiling the entire show.  when was the last time u could say that about a concert u were at?  they are just that amazing to watch and behold.  as we told our crew, nomeansno could go onstage and just make noize for 2 hrs and we’d be satisfied.  the sweat pouring off them was intense and matched only by the energy of the songs.  the night ended with 2 encores.  “victory” and thus giving notice to every band out there younger than them that this is truly what it takes and this is what its truly all about.

thx nomeansno, for once again showing us the way.  we were thrilled to witness!


Here’s the only video from the night that turned out ok.  All the others had wayyyy distorted audio.  Its a short but sweet ending of a song from Metz:

and here’s a slew of pics:

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we are still figuring out the best way to take pics/viz with our new camera and had some fun near the end of the show with the b/w and fishbowl effects.