Show Review: Girls' Night Out

It was all treats, no tricks for N2D on Halloween night at Windsor's Phog Lounge, from the moment we arrived and caught Hannah Georgas' sound check. Hearing a solo mini-set from one of Canada's queens of indie music to a room of maybe 10 people? This is why we love what we do.

Georgas was the headliner that evening for an amazing bill of lovely and talented ladies, beginning with another Vancouver-based singer-songwriter, Jody Glenham (jodyg on the R3 blog). After Russ hung up his costume-- a larger-than-life-size edition of the highly-coveted CBC Radio 3 scarf-- we settled in for her set.

A bartender by night when she's not performing/touring, moxie is the word that comes to mind when describing Glenham. That's what it takes to self-release two albums, including her latest, Focus Pull, which earned a "Best of Vancouver" nod in 2009. At the keyboard, whether delivering the 40s-inspired "Coffee Soaked" or a contemporary pop gem like "Buttons," Glenham and her warm, redolent voice are as straight-up as a shot of (insert your favourite scotch whisky here).

Glenham's Halloween costume celebrated significant events in Canadian history.

Allie Hughes
was the evening's wildcard for us. If you haven't heard of her yet, we guarantee that will change. Even in the indie world there are a lot of bands doing the same thing, albeit well; artists like Allie Hughes give the status quo a welcome jolt. As much as we dislike cliches-- and Hughes is about as far from cliched as you can get-- sometimes no other words will do: we were blown away. While Hughes is definitely the diva (in person she was modest and not surprisingly, a tad eccentric), we were also really impressed by her band. Operatic and unabashedly original, don't miss the chance to see Allie Hughes live.

Following a six-piece band, especially one as over-the-top as Hughes, isn't easy but Hannah Georgas and guitarist/keyboardist Andrew Braun more than held their own.

With her distinctive voice, candid stage presence and some of the most popular songs in Canadian indie today (and on U.S. television, if you've heard the Walmart commercial featuring "You've Got a Place Called Home"), no theatrics are needed for Georgas. The silence in between songs as Georgas performed the majority of her debut album, This is Good, plus "The Beat Stuff" and some new material (looking forward to hearing those fully arranged), was truly louder than words from a less captivated audience.

Georgas and Braun traded outfits for their Halloween "costumes."

Not only does Georgas write some pretty good alt pop, she's a pretty good sport too, willingly posing with the giant R3 scarf as we sent a special message to a fellow blogger and Hannah fan.

Photos: Russ Gordon


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FunnelFest 2.0 - A Benefit for Scott Funnel

By Alex Hudson,
Dylan Kristy, The Windsor Star,
Tom Lucier, Twitter and Facebook

The Windsor music scene is giving back to Scott Funnel by throwing a massive musical bash to support Scott Funnel in his recovery from injuries sustained in a brutal attack on November 13.

Early in the morning on Saturday (November 13), Peter Stewart (better know to the music world as Scott Funnel) was assaulted by three men. The promoter/musician has since had to undergo two brain surgeries and four benefit concerts have now been planned in his name.

Stewart has been involved in the Windsor music scene for two decades and has been booking shows at the Coach and Horses (where he also bartends) for ten years. According to theWindsor Star, he had just got off his bartending shift and was walking to get breakfast when he and his friend, Curtis Byrne, were attacked.

The assault was captured on a security camera from a nearby 7-Eleven and all three attackers were identified. Two of the suspects have been placed in custody, while police are still looking for the third.

Stewart is now in stable condition, but he will need to take a step back from his musical duties while he heals. The benefit concert on Sunday will help him to take some time off work to recover. 

"Scott is very, very dedicated to the live music scene -- it's his life -- and now everyone is coming forward," Coach and Horses owner Jay Zeman told the Windsor Star. "He's held down the Coach for years, so many of the local bands, and even bands from out of town, want to help any way they can."

"When news reached me, via Jamie Greer (a die-hard supporter and true friend of so many) that Scott was attacked, I reacted the same way many in Windsor’s music community did." said Phog Lounge's Tom Lucier,  "I began to shake, and felt like I was going to be sick. Scott, as many know, works at The Coach and Horses, booking shows, performing, promoting, and caring for our sprawling music community. I don’t see him that often, but each time he comes to visit us at Phog, or on the street, or at other downtown haunts…the greeting is always a big smile and a firm handshake."

FUNNELFEST 2.0 is a two-day, 33-band musical festival that was put together in 24 hours.   Each of the 33 bands have some sort of connection to Scott, either from a deep rooted friendship or via a sense of gratitude for what Scott has done for their own musical endeavours over the past two decades. They are all performing for free and all money collected at the door for each of these shows will be going into a fund to help Scott through his recovery.

Doors are at 7pm for all shows. No Cover, but donations are encouraged.
19+ with ID

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3 @ The Coach & Horses
9:30-10:00 – HAMMERDOWN
10:15-10:45 – PITCH UNION
12:30-1:00 – DEATH IN CUSTODY

8:30-9:00 – THE STiG
9:15-9:45 – ALLUSION
10:00-10:30 – ERIC WELTON BAND
10:45-11:15 – WAKER GLASS
11:30-12:00 – YEARS OF ERNEST
12:15-12:45 – JAMES O-L & THE VILLAINS

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4 @ The Coach & Horses
8-8:25 – AFTER ASHES
8:40-9:05 – UNDER RUINS
9:20-9:45 – BATTLESOUL
10-10:25 – TYBURN TREE
10:40-11:05 – LODOWN
11:20-11:45 – GOLIATH
11:55-12:20 – BLOODSHOTEYE
12:35-1 – POUGHBOY

7:45-8:15 – GEORGE MANURY
9:15-9:45 – LONESOME LEFTY
10:45-11:15 – VULTURES!
12:15-12:45 – SURDASTER
1:00 – ?? – GODHEAD

Between-set music by (WH)Y.M.E.(??)

Dinner and a Show 2: Born Ruffians, Meligrove Band and Forest City Lovers

It was a devilishly nostalgic night for N2D on Oct. 30 at Detroit's Majestic Cafe as we looked back on a beginning and learned about an ending.

The cafe is where we first met last year (for Elliott BROOD), and so we celebrated by having dinner before the show. While enjoying the cafe's pulled pork sandwich, yam fries (both highly recommended) and a very artfully presented scallop special, we ended up chatting with the Majestic's general manager, Dave Zainea, and discovered we would be seeing the last live show at the cafe that night. "It's too hard trying to run a restaurant and a nightclub in the same room," he explained. He also shared some plans that we'll detail in an upcoming spotlight of the Majestic theater complex.

Forest City Lovers were a late addition to the evening's schedule, making an already sweet all-Toronto lineup as anticipated as a pillowcase full of Halloween candy. Touring in support of their third full-length album, Carriage (we think it's worth adding to your collection), FCL could be just another alt-folk/pop band. The strength of lead singer Kat Burns' creative songwriting and soaring vocals and her solid supporting cast (Kyle Donnelly on bass, Christian Ingelevics at the drum kit and Timothy Bruton on keyboards and guitar) elevate them well beyond the average.

The Meligrove Band arrived in Detroit riding on the high of a number one song on the CBC Radio 3 R3-30: "Bones Attack!!!" from their fourth album, Shimmering Lights. Core trio Jason Nunes (guitar, piano, vocals), Darcy Rego (drums and vocals) and Michael Small (bass) have been together as a band since 1997; their familiarity with each other and basic alt-rock/pop shows. Our highly-coveted Radio 3 scarves were a ticket to a great conversation with guitarist and keyboardist Brian O'Reilly after the show.

Born Ruffians' lead singer Luke Lalonde has one of those love-it-or-hate-it voices. Clearly there's some love for it over at Radio 3, as Born Ruffians are up for a Best Vocals Bucky Award. Already fans, we agreed Lalonde sounds even better live. Bassist Mitch DeRosier is the definition of tour-de-force and kept the already pumped-up and enthusiastic crowd shouting out requests and clapping along with drummer Steve Hamelin. Radio 3 is already three singles in to the Ruffians' latest, Say It, with more of their spare, catchy and angular brand of alt-rock/pop sure to come into rotation.

Photos: Russ Gordon

Show review: Rah Rah, We Were Lovers, James O-L and the Villains

Rah Rah
Tom Lucier of Windsor's Phog Lounge puts together some really interesting and amazing shows. The lineup on Tues., Oct. 26 was possibly the most diverse: an acoustic version of alt folk/rock, a dance club music duo from Saskatoon and some of the best power pop to come out of Regina.
James & Steve O-L

Windsor-based band James O-L and the Villains are regulars at the Phog. However, like the Rheostats the previous week, we got a pared down version-- just James O-L and his brother Steve O-L, both on guitars. If you want to check them out with their full roster, you can download their latest album, Alive at the Colch, for free at their MySpace page.

We've seen a few people cut loose and dance at the Phog, but for the most part it's more of a head nodding and toe tapping crowd. Despite a filmy indigo curtain with their name in silver sequins emblazoned on it for a backdrop, We Were Lovers couldn't quite get the dance club vibe going. Certainly not the fault of lead singer Elsa Gebremichael and partner Ash Lamothe. Their talent-- Elsa has a powerful and lovely voice-- enthusiasm for their craft is obvious, and their music would improve the playlists at any urban club in the U.S.

Okay, we're going to try really hard not compare Rah Rah to another Regina band with an expansive cast of musicians, an equal ability to write and perform imaginative, fun and charming sing-along songs, superb vocal harmonies and numerous singles from their latest album in heavy rotation at CBC Radio 3. No language barriers here: Rah Rah's tentacles and their sophomore album, Breaking Hearts, will wrap themselves around your ears and won't let go. We don't know what's in the water in Regina, but it sure produces some great pop. There is one thing Rah Rah has the other band doesn't: RoboCat for a "manager."

Photos: Russ Gordon
RoboCat: Rah Rah