Please Help Wax Mannequin

"Help! Since The Burning Hell recently made 'getting robbed' seem like so much fun, I thought I'd try my hand at it. All of my money, cards and ID were stolen last night. Turns out it's Not Fun after all. Jesse Hildebrand has generously offered up the use of his paypal donation site to help me recoup some funds. If you'd like to make a donation, please go here:​x/ 
Thank you."

Show Alert: Handsome Furs w/ Parlovr

Sat. July 30  @ PJ's Lager House

Montreal's Handsome Furs (Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry) began as an idea in the winter of 2005. Fast forward to the summer of 2011 when the electronic pop duo return to Detroit at PJ's Lager House in support of their third full-length release Sound Kapital.

Montreal music scene mates Parlovr open, building anticipation for their upcoming release Kook Soul.

Listen to the new song here.

Photos: Unknown, but thank you very much.

For the record

Toronto is losing Criminal Records. Sarnia is gaining Red Vinyl Records and Turntables. The project of fellow CBC Radio 3 blogger RedVinyl, the small independently owned record shop will be selling new- and hard-to-find vinyl (some used), turntables, players and record player accessories, as well as accepting special orders. The grand opening is Fri., Aug. 5, and features an in-store performance plus a concert at the Trinity Lounge.

Need proof vinyl is really back in a big way? We were coming back from the Al Tuck show at Phog Lounge in Windsor on Tuesday, and declared the CD we'd bought. The border guard looked at us and said: "You didn't buy vinyl?"

Show Alert: Al Tuck @ Phog Lounge

Tues., Jul. 26 - $5 cover
w/ Max Marshall

Is it Halloween? Because Tom Lucier has worked his magic and pulled off yet another trick, bringing a real treat back to Windsor's Phog Lounge: singer-songwriter Al Tuck (PEI). Although Phog is known for showcasing next year's buzz bands, Canada's Best Live Music Venue also draws talent that stands the test of time. Tuck has been called a "living legend" (Feist) and "songwriter of the highest order" (Jason Collett); also "criminally underexposed" (Earshot Online) and "brilliant but unheralded" (Grant Lawrence). Don't be left in the dark; this show will be well worth Every Little Thing.

Happy Belated Birthday to N2DS2W

We've been so busy we forgot to wish ourselves happy birthday. We turned one year old on July 9. Since that time we've:
  • Seen nearly 100 shows/bands/musicians
  • Posted 150 times
  • Met and chatted with an amazing number of amazingly talented and genuinely nice people (both fellow R3 bloggers and performers)
  • Attended four music festivals
  • Received page views from around the world
  • Been voted one of the top 60 Canadian music websites in CBC Radio 3's 2011 Searchlight
  • Enjoyed ourselves more than we ever dreamed possible
As the site has evolved, we also revisited our mission statement and tweaked it to more accurately reflect what we do:

Our goal is to make this the most comprehensive site that promotes, fosters awareness of and helps Canadian indie musicians and bands coming through the Windsor/Detroit area.
Thank you to everyone who has shared our passion and journey. It's all about the music.

#R3NXNE: Meet-Up Memories

NXNE brings people together for many reasons: film, the interactive sessions, and most importantly, music. This year, NXNE also brought together an amazing number of people from CBC Radio 3's passionate blogger community, many who've only known each other for years through computer screens and cell phones. They traveled from all over Canada (from Vancouver to Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland), the U.S. (from L.A. to New York) and even the U.K. to meet, eat, drink and celebrate a common love for Canadian indie music. Here's a look at the faces, places and embraces we shared. That's why we do, and love, what we do.

NXNE 2011: Day 2, Part 1-- breakfast, brushes with fame and barbeque

"You're going to need some energy for the long weekend," proclaims the website for Cora in Toronto. Truer words were never spoken, as we met at the Cora on Wellington on Friday, Jun. 17, our second day at NXNE, at 9:30 a.m. to record The Wrath of Khanna: the Breakfast Club with #R3NXNE for CBC Radio 3 with 14 other bloggers. No doubt to the bemusement of none other than Peter Mansbridge, who was in a nearby booth enjoying breakfast.

We enjoyed ours as well-- the spinach and cheddar crepe and a bacon omelette. Many thanks to Cora for accommodating us, and especially to Vish Khanna, who then took us on an amazing tour of the CBC studios where we got to meet Rich Terfry, watch a live broadcast of the news, explore secret passageways and genuflect in Craig Norris's empty office (he's off the R3 for the summer hosting "Know Your Rights" for Radio One).

Next, our first music fix of the day: the Kelp Records/Line of Best Fit barbeque at the Global Village Backpackers Hostel. It was a relaxing afternoon (welcome after all the rushing around) of good company, food, conversation (including a chance to say hi to Andy Magoffin and Jenny Omnichord, one of our favourite shows in 2011) and performances-- even if, curiously, none of the bands were from Kelp Records. We just missed Pink Moth, but caught a set of likeable pop by The Elwins, followed by the main reason we added the barbeque to our agenda, Slow down, Molasses (Saskatoon).

Slow down, Molasses

Their generally folksy songs can be evocative as their name or a rocker like "Late Night Radio" from their latest release, Walk Into the Sea. Drummer Ryan Drabble came up after and said, "I saw you smiling the whole time." Why yes, yes we were. We just heard that Slow down, Molasses is too, as they beat out more than 1,400 other bands for one of eight slots at England's End of the Road Festival.

We were sorry to miss all but a bit of Shuyler Jansen's set, but we had a date with a group photo back at CBC at 5 p.m., and then another evening of great music before us. In our next post, we review The Most Serene Republic, Elephant Stone, Braids and the Pack a.d.

Mike Angus announces tour dates

Mike Angus, Shameless Records artist from Edmonton and one half of The Wheat Pool’s songwriting brothers, steps out with his first solo LP, Hymns, released earlier this week on July 19.  Listen to the single "Swallow It Whole" at the Shameless Records link above.
Hymns could be described as the hum of the amps once a band has left the stage. The void of an emptying venue as the room goes dark. In between the music and silence, there’s an echo. That’s the moment Angus chose to write Hymns from. The songs were written in Italy, where Angus spent two weeks in a Tuscan farmhouse working on new material. What emerged were sparse, immediate songs reflective of his headspace at the time.

“An unexpected dark gem …offers private, contemplative music of the highest order.  Highly recommended.” No Depression

“Hymns is an accurate description for the collection, which has a spacious, prayer-like quality and would sound beautiful performed in a church.” NOW Magazine

Hymns Tour Dates

Aug 26 – Windsor, ON @ Taloola w/ Andy Shauf
Aug 27 - Sarnia, ON @  Trinity Lounge w/ Andy Shauf
Aug 28 - Toronto, ON @  Central Bar w/ Andy Shauf
Aug 30 - Ottawa, ON @  Elmdale Tavern w/ Andy Shauf
Aug 31 - Montreal, QC @ Burritoville w/ Andy Shauf
Sept 01 - Toronto, ON @  Czehoski w/ Andy Shauf
Sept 02 - Hamilton, ON @  Freeway Coffeehouse w/ Andy Shauf
Sept 09 – Winnipeg, MB @ Ellice Theatre
Sept.11 - Moose Jaw, SK @ Java Express

(From a press release provided by Killbeat Music)

Winning America: CBC Radio 3's first documentary premieres Jul. 23

What does it take for a Canadian indie band to make it in the States? That's the topic addressed by Winning America, the first documentary produced by CBC Radio 3. Airing on CBC TV BC (only, unfortunately) on Sat., Jul. 23, it follows the ups and downs (including the now famous "Jacked in the Sac" and mustard incidents) of Vancouver band Said the Whale as they look for the elusive recipe to success in the U.S.. hoping to leave their day jobs behind and devote themselves to music full-time. We had the distinct pleasure of viewing the documentary at a screening this past weekend. Directed by Brent Hodge, the documentary is funny, poignant and has a message for any band, anywhere, hoping to beat the odds and make it big.

Winning America premiere Facebook page.

Said the Whale Live Performance Video:

Waxing poetic: Hitting the road.

Photo: Wax Mannequin

Hamilton, ON- based songwriter Wax Mannequin is hitting the road on a bus and heading out west. Wax and longtime tour mate Mathias Kom (The Burning Hell) will reunite for six band-backed prairie shows celebrating their vinyl releases, the Hear Some Evil 7" (with Vish Khanna) and TBH's new release Flux Capacitor.  

Catch them separately in ON and BC and as Hear More Evil as they share the stage throughout the prairie provinces. Wax has promised to share stories, you will read them here. Tour dates follow and more are being added, stay tuned.

Wed Jul 13 - North Bay, ON - 100 George's 
w/ Faraway Neighbours + Ryan Problems
$5 cover | 19+ | 246 First Ave W

Thu Jul 14 - Sault Ste Marie - Coch's Corner 
w/ Night Owl Meme Makers 
No Cover | 19+ | 320 Bay St
NOTE: Wax plays at 9pm sharp!

Fri Jul 15 - Thunder Bay, ON - Black Pirate Pub 
w/ Jean Paul De Roover + The Auditor General
$10 cover | 19+ | 215 Red River Road

Sat, Jul 16 - Rossport, ON - Serendipity Gardens 
$10 cover | all ages 
NOTE: this is an unplugged showcase

Sun, Jul 17 - Kenora, ON - Fragile Glass Studio (7pm-9pm)
$10 cover | all ages | 529 3rd Ave S
NOTE: this is an outdoor showcase

Wed, Jul 20 - Edmonton AB - Haven Social Club
w/ The Burning Hell (Hear More Evil)
$12 advance / $15 door | 19+ | 15120 A Stony Plain Road

Thur, July 21 - Saskatoon SK - Amigos 
w/ The Burning Hell (Hear More Evil)
Cover TBA | 19+ | 632 10 St E

Fri, July 22 - Sun, July 24 - Brandon Folk Festival 
w/ The Burning Hell (Hear More Evil)

Mon, July 25 - Saskatchewan - Secret Show 

Tues, July 26 - Regina SK - The Exchange (The Club)
w/ The Burning Hell (Hear More Evil)
$10 cover | 19+ | 2431 8th Ave

Wed, July 27 - Calgary AB - The Marquee Room
w/ The Burning Hell (Hear More Evil)
$12 advance / $15 door | 19+ | 612 8th Ave SW

Fri, July 29 - Aug 1 - Wells BC
ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art

Tue Aug 02 - Williams Lake, BC - Big Mama’s (6pm-8pm)
w/ Kirby
$10 cover | all ages | 1527 Highway 97 S

Thu, Aug 4 - Vancouver BC - The Railway Club
w/ Collapsing Opposites + Role Mach
$10 advance / $12 door | 19+ | 579 Dunsmuir St

Sat, Aug 6 - Victoria BC - Logan's Pub
w/ Bash Brothers + Loose 
$10 cover | 19+ | 1821 Cook St

Sun, Aug 7 - Nanaimo BC - Queen's Inn
w/ Shred Kelly
$10 cover | 19+ | 34 Victoria Cres

Mon, Aug 8 - Duncan BC - Duncan Garage Showroom
w/ Shred Kelly
$12 advance / $15
Mon, Aug 15 - Kenora ON - Community Arts Hub (7pm-10pm)
w/ Carolyn Mark + Andrew Ross
$10 cover | all ages | 816 Cumberland St S

Tues, Aug 16 - Thunder Bay ON - Black Pirate
w/ Jean Paul De Roover + The Auditor General
$10 cover | 19+ | 215 R
 door | all ages | 201-330 Duncan St

Wed, Aug 10 - Penticton BC - Voodoo's
w/ Windborn
$7 cover | 19+ | 67 Nanaimo Ave E

Thur, Aug 11 - Nelson BC - Royal Pub
w/ Almanak
$10 cover | 19+ | 330 Baker St

Fri, Aug 12 - Lethbridge AB - The Slice
w/ The Void + Black Mastus
$10 cover | 19+ | 314 8TH St S

Sat, Aug 14 - Bruno SK - Arts Bank (matinee 2pm-4pm)
$10 cover | all ages | 531 Martin St
ed River Rd

Wed, Aug 17 - Sault Ste. Marie ON - Coch's Corner
w/ Mora Lee Sound
No Cover | 19+ | 320 Bay St

Thurs, Aug 18 - Sudbury ON - The Townehouse
$10 cover | 19+ | 206 Elgin St

Photo: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

Show Alert: Moonface @ PJ's Lager House

Fri., Jul. 15
With Flow Child and Phantasmagoria

PJ's Lager House, Detroit

To say Spencer Krug's reputation precedes him is an understatement, or perhaps more accurately, an of-statement. Because "of Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, and Frog Eyes" ubiquitously follow his name wherever he goes. But with Moonface, as Krug notes, you get "Just plain half-old me, in any solo or collaborative projects I'm involved in from now until whenever." Pretty self-effacing for a guy deemed "arguably the most talented songwriter of this generation." You also get songs like "Fast Peter," off of Krug's latest release as Moonface, Organ Music, not Vibraphone like I'd Hoped.

Homing in on the Home County Folk Festival

London, Ont.
Fri., Jul. 15 - Sun., Jul. 17

N2DS2W, and another big group of CBC Radio 3 bloggers and friends, will be folkin' around in London this weekend for the 38th annual Home County Folk Festival (HCFF). An approximately two-hour drive from Detroit/Windsor, it's a gas-tank friendly, family-friendly,and definitely Canadian indie music-friendly getaway that's not too far away. Main Stage performers include Basia Bulat and Sarah Harmer (Friday) and Emm Gryner and Hawksley Workman (Saturday).

But as John Teeter, assistant artistic director and festival graphic designer for the HCFF, posted on the Radio 3 blog this morning, "Workshops are the jewel in the folk festival crown. Basically they have a theme and a grouping of artists of like mind and throw them on stage... And they can turn into really interesting versions of songs that you know and love." Especially when the performers include Dan Mangan, The Acorn, Royal Wood, Harlan Pepper plus some of the Main Stage headliners.

Three ways to find out the HCFF schedule:
> Go the 2011 Performers list and find the artist you are specifically interested in and click the [+] sign and see a bio as well as ALL the times that artist is performing.
> Or click on the Workshop schedule where all the performances are listed.
> Or, go to the main stage, evening concert schedule to see those performances.

Show Review: Sam Roberts Band heat up Detroit

Oh, the extremes we go to for a show. Last December, four of us-- and we mean an audience of four-- shivered inside the Vernors Room of the Crofoot to watch Rah Rah. Last month, we sweated inside a sold-out St. Andrews Hall, full of fans-- both human and inexplicably, motionless mechanical ones-- where the temperature easily topped 100F (40C).

The Sam Roberts Band (Montreal) didn't need any help heating up Detroit. They do a pretty good job on their own. Roberts' affection for the city, warts and all, is obvious and the fans (the human ones) return it, more than comparable well-attended shows we've seen in the Detroit area (Hot Hot Heat, Destroyer, New Pornographers).

Why? Roberts' catchy, straight-up rock 'n' roll definitely appeals to Motor City musical sensibilities and to Canadian fans and Juno voters as well; both his 2004 release, We Were Born In A Flame, and 2009's Love At The End Of The World won Rock Album of the Year. Live, the band delivers a performance full of crowd-pleasing hits as strong and sincere as Roberts' handshake. Although in our opinion the band's latest release, Collider, is not quite on par with those Juno winners, there is still plenty to like.

Dear Zeus: We think there's plenty to like about your music too (so reminscent of a certain famous 60s band from Liverpool), and apologize for missing all but one and a half songs of your opening set. We hope our failure to pay attention to show start times doesn't leave a Permanent Scar. Love, N2DS2W.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

Papermaps @ Phog Lounge CANCELED

Sorry, we got word last night from Papermaps that Windsor's off their map again. Hopefully third time's a charm. We'll keep you posted.

Sat., Jul. 9

We're having deja vu. Yes, we did a show alert back in April for Papermaps, but they weren't able to make it. This time it looks like a go at Windsor's Phog Lounge.

 (Toronto): formerly Ex~Po, Papermaps is the creative project of Dean Marino, co-owner of Chemical Sound Recording Studio (Tokyo Police Club, the Black Keys, Born Ruffians). Dean dropped us a note in February to tell us he liked N2D; we like Papermaps' ambitious power pop. Their new name and new album debuted in April; since then, "Reunion" has been in regular rotation on CBC Radio 3.

NXNE 2011: Day 1, part 2-- a little bit of everything

In some ways, NXNE is the great equalizer. With the exception of the big shows at locations like Yonge-Dundas Square and the Phoenix Concert Theatre, bands are on equal ground. Everyone gets 40 minutes for a set, there's no time and frequently no space for elaborate staging, and not a lot of variation in the venues. Most are long rectangles with black walls. ("That's why they call them 'night' clubs," quipped S2W.) Which puts the spotlight exactly where it should be: on the music.

Luyas @ The Shoe

Luyas @ The Shoe

That certainly doesn't mean the music is the same. One of the great things about a festival like NXNE is the opportunity to see a little bit of everything, as we did Thursday evening, starting with  the Luyas (Montreal) at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.

As is common in the world of Canadian indie, the Luyas have assorted ties to other bands-- Arcade Fire, Miracle Fortress, Bell Orchestre, Torngat-- but their 60s psychedelia-meets-the 21st-century sound is completely their own. Led by the winsome soprano of singer/guitarist Jessie Stein, they interpret luminous alt pop/rock with a french horn, keyboards, drums/percussion and a good deal of creativity. They just released their second album, Too Beautiful to Work, earlier this year.

Luyas @ The Shoe
Luyas @ The Shoe

From the Shoe we headed over to the Velvet Underground for the Two Koreas (Toronto), a short walk in distance but a long way in attitude. The Two Koreas were in a "if we have time" slot on our schedule, and surprise-- their razor-sharp set of post-punk garage rock turned out to be one of our top 10 shows of NXNE.

Two Koreas @ Velvet Underground

Two Koreas @ Velvet Underground

The 11 p.m. time slot was a killer: PS I Love You, Slow down, Molasses, the Details or Allie Hughes? Logistics and the opportunity for a second-helping of one of our favourite shows at the Phog Lounge last year prevailed. We went for Allie Hughes at Wrongbar. The quirky velvet riding helmet and mannequin heads were gone, replaced by heavy-rimmed glasses and a German schoolteacher persona, but whatever costume/staging suits her fancy, the theatrical Hughes and her very talented band are wildly entertaining and simply amazing.

Allie Hughes @Wrongbar
Allie Hughes @Wrongbar

Allie Hughes @Wrongbar

Allie Hughes @Wrongbar

Allie Hughes @Wrongbar

Les Jupes @Gladstone

Les Jupes @Gladstone

As bands well know, a good sound engineer is worth their weight in gold. They are unsung heroes if all the settings are in the right place; the band is unsung (literally, in some cases) if not.

Les Jupes @Gladstone

Les Jupes @Gladstone

Last year the sound in the Gladstone Hotel's lofty, brick-walled ballroom left something to be desired.

No problems this year at the Manitoba Music Showcase, happily for us and Les Jupes, of Winnipeg. We enjoyed them as much as we did this past March. Don't let their weighty approach to pop/rock fool you; lead singer/songwriter and man of many hats Michael Petkau Falk is one of the nicest guys around.

Les Jupes @Gladstone

We had hoped to catch Bruce Peninsula, a long-time wannasee, at 1 a.m.; a 19-hour day behind us, plus a date with a 9:30 a.m. radio show ahead of us, meant we hit the hay instead of the Rivoli. Next post: NXNE 2011, Day 2, part 1-- Breakfast and BBQ.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

NXNE 2011: Day 1, part 1-- we land on free parking

In an effort to improve upon last year's misguided scheduling, we kicked off NXNE 2011 with beer: a tour of Steam Whistle Brewing, where we had our first meet-and-greet with fellow Radio 3 bloggers Thursday afternoon. What could go wrong?

Three big events converging on Toronto-- NXNE, Illuminato and the Toronto Tattoo Convention (we just thought TO was really into ink) is what could go wrong, in the form of what one cab driver told us later was the worst traffic he'd ever seen. It put us in scramble mode for the rest of the afternoon, and all because of the R3 Mobile. Thanks to Matt Weed from Steam Whistle for the assist and making the tour happen.

The R3 Mobile
After Steam Whistle-- $10 gets you a great half hour tour, lots of free samples and a pilsner glass or bottle opener-- we hoofed it over to the XM Verge Skybar Lounge Rooftop Party. The lineup for this late addition to our carefully-crafted schedule (we were supposed to be at Trinity Bellwoods for their Live in Bellwood series) was too good to pass up: Hollerado, one of our top 10 for 2010 and our favorite NXNE performance last year, and Zeus, to make up for missing almost their entire set in Detroit.

With a postcard view of Toronto Harbour as a backdrop, we heard a solid set of robust pop from Washington (Australian Megan Washington on keyboard and vox) and alt-rock/pop group Dinosaur Bones (Toronto), warming up for their date with the CBC Radio 3 Showcase on Saturday. In between we chatted with Glen Erickson from the Wheat Pool, who recently launched a music video company; Pete Nema of Sticky Magazine; and the two Michaels from Library Voices (on our schedule for the following evening at the Mod Club).

Dinosaur Bones & Pete Nema of Sticky Magazine (at right)
After a few words with Carlin Nicholson from Zeus, we wish we could say we heard his voice on stage. Instead we heard the voice of reason: we had to go rescue the R3 Mobile from the Steam Whistle lot and pick up our passes if we wanted to hear any shows that night. It's a given at a music festival like NXNE that you miss as many great bands as you see; it wouldn't be the first time that weekend.

We landed on free parking again near NXNE headquarters (the Hyatt Regency on King), when an attendant at a $12 lot let us skate on the promise we were just running in (who said Toronto doesn't have a heart?). We didn't even make it to the door before running into D-Sisive, Muneshine and Ghettosocks, presenters for the SOCAN panel on “Digital Beats & Tweets: How Technology is Changing the Face of Hip-Hop." We've vowed to schedule in some interactive sessions next year; even though we missed their panel, it was great to have another chance to tell D-Sisive and Muneshine how much we enjoyed their show at the Phog in April, and to meet Ghettosocks.

D-Sisive & Muneshine

We had hoped to catch Ruth Minnikin at the Dakota, but by the time we'd picked up our passes, crawled through traffic and checked in at the Grange Hotel, we were lucky to make the Luyas at the Horseshoe Tavern. We'd like to give a shout-out to the Grange; it's not the Hyatt, but in addition to being budget friendly ($95 a night for NXNE), it's clean, centrally located (north of Queen, west of Spadina) and the room has a stove, refrigerator, microwave and even dishes/cooking utensils.

Next post: NXNE 2011 Day 1, part 2-- the Luyas, Allie Hughes, Les Jupes and another schedule fail.