Show Review: Make way for The Walkervilles

There was a band not mentioned in our post about Dusted at Windsor's Phog Lounge on Oct. 4. Not because we forgot about them. We just enjoyed The Walkervilles so much we thought they deserved their own five minutes of fame on N2DS2W.

Anyone familiar with Windsor's music scene knows the members of The Walkervilles: Pat Robitaille, and Mike Hargreaves and Stefan Cvetkovic of Michou (Stefan has another alter-ego, Efan and His Island Surfers). But we weren't sure what to expect. Were they a barbershop trio or as brief mentions hinted, a Motown cover band?

The answer is neither. Although they reach across the river for some inspiration and vibe, these artists are more than derivative. This is one of those felicitous occasions when the pieces all come together and good notes happen. The Walkervilles are having fun, and it sounds like it. 

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

The Pack Are Back!

The Pack A.D. w/ Topanga @ Phog Lounge
Also opening: Salt of the Chief Cornerstone (Windsor)

We have been witness to the auditory assault of The Pack A.D. The images here represent some of the most raw, energetic music that two people can create. Wear good shoes and ear protection

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

Show Alert: Two lovely ladies and some Words

English Words
w/ Molly Rankin and Crissi Cochrane

Thurs., Oct. 24 ~ Phog Lounge, Windsor

PEI comes to Windsor as English Words bring songs from their first full-length album, Red Potion. We've been fans of the band since they were known by the name they'd rather forget, and their four-song EP, Customer Appreciation. They are definitely people we love.

There's definitely been a lot of love in this house for Molly Rankin's (yes, of that Rankin Family) sassy pop. The bouncy "Way Home" has been a favourite of Bob the Budgie since we got him last year, and never fails to get him chirping along. Here's proof (be sure to scroll all the way down).

And Windsor's Crissi Cochrane? We think she's Pretty Alright. She hasn't stopped working since "I Won't Try To Break Your Heart" made it into rotation earlier this year on CBC Radio 3, recently releasing this video, and promising new songs from a forthcoming album during her set.

Show Review: Left in the dust

"Cause a distraction. I can get your attention. I am getting through somehow."

From Samuel Langhorne Clemens to Charles Dodgson to Nora Roberts, many famous authors have written under pseudonyms so they could explore genres outside their usual realm. But these efforts rarely get the label so often pasted on Canadian indie musicians' who perform under their own kind of pseudonym: the side project.

"The bruise is so hard to cover when both of your arms are swinging, when they're keeping their guard."

No wonder some tend to bristle at the term, which seems to suggest that these personal expressions are somehow less than their collective alter egos-- in Brian Borcherdt's case, Holy Fuck. We'd argue that the only thing "side" about projects like Dusted is the privilege of getting to hear another side of these multi-talented artists, as we did on Thurs., Oct. 4 at Windsor's Phog Lounge.

"Heard you saying something about someone. But you don't know... no, you don't know. Some kind of static distracts us."

Dusted is Borcherdt and producer-engineer-mixer-musician Leon Taheny, who has an impressive pedigree when it comes to Canadian indie. Borcherdt's plaintive songwriting and soprano dusted with fuzzy reverb plus Taheny's one-man band command of drums, keys and bass pedals equals a truly transcendent experience in alt-rock, especially on songs like "(Into the) Atmosphere." Some of the songs on Total Dust (pressed on beautiful mahogany vinyl) did gather dust for two years; we're sure glad Borcherdt decided to cut them free.

"Some random image, some kind of message, well I couldn't tell. I couldn't catch it. Yet I got caught up in the spell. When will it all come down?"

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

Lyrics from (in order) "Dusted," "Bruises" and "All Comes Down" from Total Dust.

What Happens Next? The Dan Mangan Documentary

The night before musician Dan Mangan plays the biggest concert of his life, he invites a few close friends over for a poker game and explores the ideas of fate, destiny and the daunting question... what happens next?

Directed & Produced by Brent Hodge and Jon Siddall
Presented by CBC TV, CBC Music


Show Alert: Cadence Weapon, Whitehorse, Yukon Blonde

Mon., Oct. 15

Cadence Weapon
Magic Stick Lounge, Detroit
w/ Deastro (Detroit)

Whitehorse (Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland
The Ark, Ann Arbor

Yukon Blonde (opening for The Jezabels)
The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor

If we could clone ourselves, we would, because we hate to miss any one of these shows. We were set to see Whitehorse (and Doucet's White Falcon) earlier this year The Ark, when they canceled to go to SXSW (hard to blame them). Listen: "Achilles' Desire" from The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss

And we love Vancouver's Yukon Blonde so much we've seen them four times, and would have happily done so again, as they continue to tour in support of the great Tiger Talk. Listen: "Stairway," from Tiger Talk

But there's no way we were going to miss Cadence Weapon, a three-time Polaris nominee and former poet laureate of Edmonton. Rollie Pemberton is simply one of the best hip-hop artists in Canada. He's touring in support of Hope in Dirt City, which landed on the 2012 Polaris short list, and is described as "a unique hybrid of psychedelic soul, old school rap, IDM and mutant disco... a groundbreaking achievement in hip-hop."

Listen: "Conditioning " from Hope in Dirt City

A Feast of Festivals

Time and money prevent us from attending as many music festivals as we'd like (we had the most ROMO for the Wolfe Island Music Festival-- what a lineup). Although our Big Three lacked the camping factor, we certainly experienced the range festivals have to offer: from NXNE in the Big Smoke, to folk at the Home County, to home in Windsor getting the boot at Phog Phest 4.

Home County brings in the bright lights of Canadian indie; this year it was Polaris short-lister Kathleen Edwards and Joel Plaskett Emergency. It also features workshops that result in wonderful and unexpected combinations-- The Kramdens and members of Cuff the Duke covering Neil Young, Plaskett and Bahamas, the lovely Olenka Krakus (of Olenka and the Autumn Lovers), Dave Gunning and the Kramdens.

Phog Phest has more of a family reunion/backyard party vibe: friends, dogs, beer, folding chairs, tents, kids, meatball sliders and wood-fired pizza and chocolate chip cookies from Mettawas Station of Kingsville, good conversation and great music.

They've got the recipe down. It's a given that Phog Phest will showcase Windsor talent we've heard and enjoyed, like The Unquiet Dead. Tom and Frank keep it interesting with a mix of tried-and-true ingredients-- this year Toronto's Rural Alberta Advantage and New Country Rehab-- and lesser known bands Phog is famous for getting on stage before they break, like Montreal's Cobra & Vulture.

Cobra & Vulture

The Unquiet Dead

New Country Rehab

New Country Rehab

The Rural Alberta Advantage

The Rural Alberta Advantage

But the unexpected star of Phog Phest 4 turned out to be a Wellington boot. For a buck a chuck, attendees took turns trying to throw the boot the farthest for prizes in the Welly Boot Chuck. Although S2W made a valiant effort, the only prize we took home was a framed Phog Phest 4 poster signed by all the bands. It sure looks a lot better than that boot did by the end of the night.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images