Holy Fuck: keeping up with the calendar

Since we'll wager you haven't taken the time to click on our blog profile and read our mission statement for N2DS2W, allow us to enlighten you:

To promote independent Canadian artists and music in the Windsor/ Detroit area and beyond; to serve as a social networking site for CBC Radio 3 bloggers in the Windsor/Detroit area and beyond; and to foster awareness of and goodwill towards independent Canadian artists and musicians between the cities of Detroit and Windsor.

One way we hope to accomplish this is through our calendar. We're trying hard to make it a go-to place for Canadian indie shows coming to the Windsor/Detroit area. So if you know of a venue and/or show we're not covering/have listed, please bring it to our attention! For example, we missed a Sarah Harmer/Daniel Romano show at Ferndale's Magic Bag last week. But we'll do our best to keep it up, and updated.

One show we definitely won't be missing, just added to the Magic Stick's roster: Holy Fuck on Sun., Sept. 26. Yeah, we know. A Sunday. There's something delightfully ironic about that.

Read Russ's spotlight on Holy Fuck, featuring his interview with Brian Borcherdt, at www.nxew.ca.

Photos: Russ Gordon

Show review: Yukon Blonde at Phog Lounge

We've seen more than a few shows since the beginning of the year at Windsor's award-winning Phog Lounge (voted Canada's Best Live Music Venue by CBC Radio 3 listeners in 2009), and out of those shows, no one has packed them in like Yukon Blonde. ("Pack" being a somewhat relative term given Phog's 60-person capacity.)

There was already a "Sold Out" sign taped to the door when we arrived in time to catch the last few songs by Windsor favorites Magic Hall of Mirrors. No surprise there; but Yukon Blonde had a surprise for us. Bassist Andy Bishop had departed to devote more time to his own band, Red Cedar. His replacement: Jason Haberman of up-and-coming the paint movement (Nevado Records label mates include Bahamas, the Meligrove Band, Fox Jaws and Yukon Blonde).

Although we missed Bishop's voice in the band's layered harmonies, Haberman ably fit into Yukon Blonde's no-frills rock and roll. If you haven't seen them yet, they're still on tour through early November. See their complete tour schedule on their MySpace page and stay tuned here for more exciting tour news.

Photos: Russ Gordon

Yukon Ho!

When we first saw Yukon Blonde in February at Windsor's Phog Lounge, the buzz was just starting to build for this Kelowna, B.C.-based band and their 60s-inspired sound. Since then, they've been touring almost non-stop--we saw them a second time in May at Detroit's Magic Stick--and their star has continued to rise, all the way to a spot on the Polaris long list.

All good reasons why we'll be back at the Phog this Thursday to see and support them again, but not the only ones. We'll be back because in addition to putting on a solid vintage-style rock and roll show full of great guitar licks, sing-along lyrics and ear-pleasing harmonies, they're just plain really nice guys. Hope to see you there!

Photos: Russ Gordon

Salt and Pepper

We were just looking forward to seeing not one, but two bands we enjoy, plus catching up with fellow R3 blogger jojodillon. As it turned out, the Islands/Gregory Pepper show on July 13 at Detroit's Magic Stick had more unexpected plot twists than a mystery novel.

For one, as much as we already liked Pepper's oeuvre (yes, we just used the word "oeuvre"), including his most recent release With Trumpets Flaring, we did not expect to proclaim their too-short set the highlight of the evening. The too-short part turned out to be due to a last-minute band addition: Steel Phantoms, which features Islands drummer Aaron Harris.

We confess that the lure of a warm summer night was greater than the allure of their music. On the patio we met Gregory Pepper and His Problems, and another unexpected pleasure ensued: an immensely enjoyable conversation with the band. How enjoyable? "Um, I think
Islands is on their second song, we should probably go in..."

Islands' frontman Nick Thorburn, clothed in white and one glittery glove, played the perfect salt to Gregory's pepper, much to the squealing joy of the most energetic crowd we've seen yet at the Stick. Maybe too energetic; Nick seemed genuinely concerned the "pogo-sticking" dancers were going to hurt each other.

In the most bizarre sequence of the night, someone did apparently get hurt. Towards the end of Islands' set, the music halted, guitarist Geordie Gordon descended into the crowd and a girl climbed up on stage. We heard Nick say "That wasn't cool." The band disappeared into the back and everyone was left wondering what the heck was going on.

Evidently the girl had been struck or pushed into the stage, and as a result lost her camera. After a brief search for it, Islands returned, performed "No You Don't"-- and ended the show.

Photos: Russ Gordon

Phog Phest 2 line-up announced

From our friend Tom Lucier at Windsor's Phog Lounge:

Date: Saturday, August 14, 2010; Time: 12:00pm - 11:00pm; Location: Phog Lounge Parking Lot, 157 University Avenue W., Windsor, ON
View Map

Tickets are $10 per person. On sale now at Phog. Phog Phest 2 boasts bands that have treated Phog as their home. As their headquarters. Not just local bands, but the ones from out of town that continue to find us and connect beyond the music. Or, these performers have made strong connections with Frank and Tom, and with the Windsor music community at large... and they were all available this weekend!! This year, the festival will have far fewer bands than the multi-stage marathon last year. We know this will make the event far more enjoyable for all attending. This way, there will be less insanity between sets. Longer sets from bands you love. This made it very difficult to figure out who to ask to play, but with an annual event (and more special surprises to come in the future months) we know we'll get to everyone we love and appreciate eventually. It is a 19+ event, as we are selling alcohol at the festival. We welcome all under 19 to get vantage points in the neighbourhood surrounding the lot so they can enjoy the music too. Local vendors (business owners we know and appreciate) who's products suit the "booth aesthetic" will be selling their goods on the perimeter of the event to those looking for cool Windsor clothing, jewelry, and art. Here's the line-up, for now (alphabetical):The Bulletproof Tiger (Windsor)Grand Analog (Toronto)James O-L and The Villains (Windsor)Lindy (Toronto)The Locusts Have No King (Windsor)The Magic Hall of Mirrors (Windsor)The Mark Inside (Toronto)Raised By Swans (London)Young Rival (Hamilton). Set times to come.

Shadow Polaris - Short List

Vote for your favorite albums in our 2nd annual Shadow Polaris

NxEW's Shadow Polaris Short List. (vote now)

Voting is on in the final round of our 2nd annual Shadow Polaris. Because of a tie there are actually 11 albums on our 'short list'.

Four of them are on the real Polaris Short List: the Besnard Lakes, Broken Social Scene, Dan Mangan and the Sadies.

Four of them were on the Polaris Long List but not the short list: Amelia Curran, Holy Fuck, Justin Rutledge, and the Wooden Sky.

Three of them were on neither list: Julie Fader, Ohbijou and Schomberg Fair.

Voting in this final round will go on for over two months and will close on Sept. 22, 2010 - two days after the 2010 Polaris Music Prize gala.

You can vote once per day for only one album. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order and bear no relation to the number of votes each received in the last round.

The Magic Majestic

We're pretty fortunate here in the metro Detroit/Windsor area to have not one, but three venues that book Canadian indie bands on a regular basis: the Phog Lounge in Windsor, the Crofoot in Pontiac and the Majestic Theatre complex in Detroit, which includes the Magic Stick. We're heading to the Stick for the Gregory Pepper/Islands show tomorrow tonight (watch for a show review posting); on July 2 we rocked out to a hearing-loss-inducing performance by Black Mountain and before that, caught Yukon Blonde there.

While I'm eagerly anticipating Dan Mangan on Aug. 26 and positively giddy about Hot Hot Heat/Hey Rosetta! on Sept. 11, both at the Crofoot's Pike Room, I just browsed through the Majestic's schedule and found more shows to swoon over:

8/07 @ the Magic Stick: Young Galaxy
9/21 @ the Magic Stick: Tokyo Police Club/Arkells
10/09 @ the Majestic Theatre: STARS
10/30 @ the Majestic Cafe: Born Ruffians

Know of a show? Tell us!-- Yort

Show review: Library Voices

Yeah, we know, there are lots of places to read show reviews. Well, now you have another.

This first appeared at www.nxew.ca, where you're (hopefully) familiar with Russ's great spotlights and more.-- Yort

Library Voices: Everything you’ve heard is true.

It’s hard to live up to hype. So when breathless superlatives trail a band (“Exuded enough warmth to heat a single family dwelling”—Spinner; “Lush instrumentation and note-perfect performances”—Exclaim!) it’s best to check your expectations at the door, right?

Not if that band is Regina’s Library Voices. Currently on tour in support of their first full-length album, Denim on Denim, they lived up to the hype and then some at a June 26 show at Windsor’s intimate Phog Lounge.

Ever wonder about the meaning of the band’s somewhat enigmatic tagline, “Pop as fuck!”? It became pretty evident as bassist Eoin Hickey-Cameron, vocalist Carl Johnson and drummer Mike Thievin got on top of the bar, tables and the audience’s heart and soul while belting out the majority of Denim on Denim, punctuated by Michael Dawson’s endearing monologues (the “Drunk kids talking too openly and too honestly” part of the band’s self-assessment). They climaxed with a trio of hits—“Drinking Games,” “Kundera On The Dance Floor” and “Step Off The Map & Float”—followed by a post-pop-as-fuck cigarette in the form of an acoustic sing-along to the Beatles’ “Help.”

“I knew it would be fun,” commented the friend I brought along. “But I didn’t know it would be this much fun.”

Library Voices’ tour continues through July. Check them out at:
Big River, SK, Ness Creek Music Festival, 07/15-16/10, 8:00pm
Calgary, AB, Calgary Folk Festival, 07/22/10, 8:00pm
Toronto, ON, Harbourfront Centre, 07/25/10, 4:30pm

Polarizing Polaris

I had one of those Polaris moments last night. Hey, Old Man Luedecke didn't make the list! Last year, it was Mother Mother who got dissed (in my opinion).

doesn't make the list generates almost as much discussion as who does, but official purpose aside (see below), love it, hate it or ignore it, the Polaris prize gets us talking about the music we love and music we have yet to discover and appreciate.

"The Polaris Music Prize is Canada's first juried award for creative artistic achievement in recorded music. This national critic's prize honours the full-length album as an art form and awards a cash prize of $20,000 to the artist or artists who create the best album of the year." (Which in this case is June 1, 2009 through May 31, 2010; albums must be at least 30 minutes long or at least eight songs.)


Hello! Is this on?
Thanks for visiting, we're still building and hope to make everything perfect
before we launch this. Our goal is to make this the most comprehensive
one-stop Canadian Indie music info site serving Windsor and Detroit.
The updated show calendar is our special project and will never fail.
We hope you'll join us at some of these shows. There may be a few
thousand photos that appear and we think they'll be good ones, you
might actually be in some! We have friends that we'll introduce
you to and will always welcome you back.

Thanks again, back to work!