Archive for May, 2011

May 20, 2011

Review: Death Cab For Cutie Toronto

Last night we were lucky enough to catch Death Cab For Cutie at the Phoenix Niteclub in Toronto.  Relatively new to their fanbase, we aren’t completely up2date as we’d like to be with their material.  there are some songs that we really, really enjoy from them and then there’s a bunch that we are more or less “meh” or just not into yet.  though more & more songs are making their way into our ipod playlist everyday.  after last night, the pace at which that is happening is gonna rise!

as the video at the end of the post shows, the night was a complete singalong.  so much so that even at one point the band couldn’t resist commenting on it.  that added to the atmosphere and certainly helped the vocals from not getting lost in the mix.  the first dozen or so songs kinda meandered around for us and it wasn’t until “follow u into the dark” that we personally got more into it.   the band was solid throughout.  we totally dug every member and were mesmerized by what each was doing onstage.  at one point the bass was punching thru the mix perfectly but then it got turned down.  ah well.  we would’ve like more interaction with the crowd and more facing the crowd (what is with turning your back during a solo?).  having the drummer close to the front of the stage was nice to see.  he does so much with so little! the multi-instrumentations of the members was wikked to behold as well.  we swear the chants for the encore were louder than the actual band playing.  how often can u say that?  The next morning, “Cath” was still stuck in our heads which speaks volumes about how much we like that tune.  “Transatlanticism” was epically done and a perfect wrap to an evening that was a sonic delight! we’d go see them again in a heartbeat.

Set(thx Stu!):
1. I Will Possess Your Heart 2. The New Year 3 .Why You’d Want to Live Here 4. A Movie Script Ending 5. Some Boys 6. Doors Unlocked and Open 7. Company Calls Epilogue 8. Long Division 9. Grapevine Fires 10. Codes and Keys 12. I Will Follow You into the Dark 13. You Are a Tourist 14. Soul Meets Body 15. Meet Me on the Equinox 16. Underneath The Sycamore 17. Cath… 18. Crooked Teeth 19. The Sound of Settling Encore: 20. Your Bruise Play 21. Title and Registration 22. Photobooth 23. Transatlanticism

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May 15, 2011

from alley oop 2 zimbabwe

11 tracks from our May 7th Yola’s show in Oshawa have made it online.  we dunno how long all of them will stay up but if u ever wanted to experience an entire TooNice set from the comfort of yer home, now is the time!  the sound is decent, the viz a tad blurry and there’s some guy on the bass in the freakin’ way.  mayday!  mayday!  enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/user/toonicereggae

Tone Update: after this weekend’s 2 hoppin’ shows at the Music On Main Street Festival, (thx Loretto and Tottenham!) the new tone settings seem to be better. at least for the short term we are satisfied. our Ampeg BA210 comes with 5 presets of which we’ve choosen the flattest setting and then we’re tweaking lows at 8, mids to 5, highs to 7 (all are ish’s) for a decent foundation.  after that we can do finer reggae bass tweakin’ at our fingertips on the bass itself on a song by song basis for what the next song requires.  in other bass news, we open up the case on Friday only to discover that we’ve worn a thumb print into the instrument right above the pickup!  at first our reaction was ACK!  then ah, cool. the thumb print symbolizes at lot of practice and fun at shows!

here’s a few phone pics of the venues from the Music on Main St. Fest.  also with the phone so the quality is meh but u get the point.  natty times and we never thought we’d ever be playing a bonafide country bar (Loretto) and on top of that, in a reggae band.  truly unforgettable!

May 10, 2011

catching up with tone

its been a busy few weeks on the bass.  after this coming weekend, it will add up to 7 shows in 5 weeks.  slightly more than the one every other week we thought we’d have when we started this whole learnin’ the bass business.  we’re not complaining though.  every show has been so memorable and for various reasons.  for instance, we played our first “dry” cafe event this past weekend and by the sounds of it, you’d have thunk ppl we’re getting sloshed.  the small but vocal and energetic crowd blew away many a bar crowd with their level of intensity. great times!

skipapalooza was also a great event.  we packed the joint with a crowd to see the debut of “Those Handsome Hooligans” and the return to the area of “TooNice“.  the 5th/last set is still a blur and we managed to keep the energy level up throughout. 3 regrets from the THH debut though:

1. not happy with how we played “come together“.  it was ok, but we would have liked to have played it better (more on this later).  maybe it was just too early in the set for our “A” game.  this has happened b4 to us on other songs.

2. having a blank out moment in the middle of one song.  too funny!  we still don’t know what the heck distracted us or what our mind changed to, but it sure wasn’t about the song!

3. not being able to share a drink with the other Hooigans post set as we had to get back onstage asap for TooNice.  ah well, thats what we get for booking both our bands on the same night!

Hooligans are busy on adding to our 30+ songlist and making promo material.  follow us now on twitter and also here’s a slice from our recent photoshoot.

http://www.facebook.com/thosehandsomehooligans

Those Handsome Hooligans Promo Pic!

in our “spare” time, we’ve been attempting to bring our bass playing up a notch.  a lot of the songs we do in both bands we can either “get by” or is what we consider “sufficient“.  we’ve really been trying to improve on those songs in particular.  we’ve been noticing that the songs we do improve upon bring more enjoyment the next time we play them live.  perhaps it might have to do with the fact that by the end we’re not thinking that “geez, wish we could play that better” and instead the new thought is “thank goodness we learnt that song properly. it sounds so much better now!”

another issue we are dealing with this week is our reggae bass tone.  its slowly slipped into a murky mess in the past 2 shows and its gotten to the point that it needed to be rethought out from scratch.  it used to sound ok but somewhere along the way it changed.  all part of the learning process we gather.  so we took advantage of some free time the other night and just worked on tone until our ears couldn’t take it anymore.  we tried a slew of different settings on the bass, on the amp, on the pedals and mixed and matched til’ we couldn’t any more.  we think we’ve got it nailed down now though. we’ll see how it goes this weekend and likely that will be next week’s post.

last but not least, thanks to clashblog for posting our last post on the strummer nights on their website.  that was fantastic and much appreciated!