Show Alert: We gotta Hannah to you

Hannah Georgas
Thurs., Jan. 31
The Pike Room ~ The Crofoot, Pontiac
W/ Decades and Mountain Babies

In the States, you may only know Hannah as that voice in a 2009 Walmart commercial.

She wasn't a whole lot better known in Canada then, either.

"This girl named Hannah was supposed to open for Said The Whale when they released their album nationally at the Phog Lounge (in Windsor)," recalled co-owner Tom Lucier. "I was like, 'Who? Oh, okay if Said The Whale thinks so.' And then she opened with Said The Whale as her backing band and she tore the fucking roof off the place. It was easily one of my top five favourite shows of all time."

We saw Georgas when she returned to the Phog Lounge in 2010; it made our top shows that year. In 2011 she was nominated for two Juno Awards,“Best New Artist of the Year” and “Songwriter of the Year.” Still not convinced you should make the trip to Pontiac on Thursday? CBC Radio 3 listeners voted Georgas "Hottest Pipes" for "Robotic," from her new self-titled album.

Now you see them, now you don't: Our top shows for 2012

The title of this post became eerily prophetic when, one sentence away from completing it, a fateful ctrl-z erased every word. So here it is, plucked from the recesses of our memory. As we look forward to Hannah Georgas (a top show from 2010) at the Pike Room on Jan. 31, we look back on the best shows (in alphabetical order) we saw in 2012... and a few we didn't.

Now you see them...

Boxer The Horse: We saw a lot of great shows at NXNE; this PEI band's set was a standout, note-perfect and perfectly crafted.

Cadence Weapon: Canadian hip hop doesn't get any better than Cadence Weapon. With songs like "You Can't Stop The Machine," his Polaris short-listed album Hope in Dirt City should be Detroit's theme album. Too bad Detroit was lined up to see Flying Lotus, unfortunately booked the same night at Majestic.

 catl.: They gave us the blues three times last year, and we loved it every time. We'll miss them while they rest, recreate and regroup.

Delhi 2 Dublin: "Where else are you going to see a kick-ass fiddle player rocking out with a kilt-wearing Korean flanked by two bouncing Bhangra percussionists and a vocalist who looks like he would be at home in a Bollywood music video?" Like Cadence Weapon, they deserved a much bigger audience than they got.

Duchess Says: The best show we almost didn't see. N2D has never seen S2W dance so much. Or drag a lead singer across the floor.

Dusted / The Walkervilles: Two very different bands, one evening of great music. Dusted's "Into the Atmosphere" was so beautiful it gave us goosebumps.

Gentleman Reg: Reg Vermue has been an essential part of CBC Radio 3 for us since we started listening, whether as a solo artist or a member/contributor to bands like The Hidden Cameras and The Constantines. A genuine gentleman, and a genuine talent.

English Words / Molly Rankin / Crissi Cochrane: English words can't express how much we enjoyed this show. All people we love. The Words' Red Potion definitely has us under its spell.

Parlovr / Hooded Fang: The best less is more show. Everyone had gone up north for the 4th of July weekend, so we practically had the bands to ourselves. Loved the stripped-down Hooded Fang, with Daniel barefooted at the mic. And loved hearing Kook Soul live. One of 2012's most overlooked albums, in our opinion, even if it did make the Polaris long list.

MAZ: Best show by a band we'd never heard of before, at London's Home County Music & Art Festival. Celtic + jazz + banjo (Jayme Stone). Yes, please.

Royal Canoe: If we had to pick a #1 show of 2012, it would be Royal Canoe. Our show review pretty much says it all, but to sum up, they "beautifully straddle (or paddle, as the case may be), the line between adventurous music and music that is eminently satisfying to both the ear and the brain."

Now you don't...

Shows get canceled. Bands play the same night as other bands. Sometimes we just can't make it. These five shows were the ones we were most sorry to miss last year. Here's to second chances.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

The Besnard Lakes: "People Of The Sticks"

We have a new album coming out April 2 on Jagjaguwar.

It’s called Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO.


That about covers it.

Plant A Tree

Our friend Jon Janes, professionally known as The Mountains & The Trees, is working on a project: a live music video/EP session.

In Jon's words, "I want you to be involved!" He means it. For several donor levels that will help fund the project, he'll make you part of it. He reached most of his modest goal quickly. Maybe you'd like to be part of the remaining 20 percent. Because when you help an artist or musician, you're planting a tree that will grow into something unique, and beautiful, that will spread roots that anchor the spirit, and cast leaves to the wind of imagination.

Show review of The Mountains & The Trees with Treelines in Sarnia, Ont.

Show Review: King Khan and BBQ

Al Tuck's performance at Windsor's Phog Lounge last year was one of our favourites. So we were excited when we found out he was returning to Phog on Dec. 5. And had every intention of attending.

Until we learned that King Khan and BBQ were playing a Sailor Jerry-sponsored show the same night at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. We knew it was like choosing between a poetry reading given by an eccentric genius and going to a strip club. But we'd never seen King Khan (aka Blacksnake) and BBQ (aka Mark Sultan), who were closing out their reunion tour at the Pig. Journalistic duty won.

The wildest days of this alt-rock/punk/garage duo might be behind them, but we weren't disappointed. So what if they are a bit like two veteran pole dancers in predictably campy neo-Egyptian costumes and black eyeliner? We couldn't take our eyes off them: Sultan's hyperbolic facial expressions, Khan's bare nipple jiggling beneath the gold collar as he played the entire set on a Sailor Jerry-branded guitar with a broken string.

 We couldn't take our ears off radio-friendly (and safe) hits like "Invisible Girl" and "I'll Be Loving You" either. The packed floor of college students launched into the raunchier lyrics, sold hooker, line and fishing pole by Khan and Sultan's honest energy and middle finger attitude.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images


Wow! Another year old? Windsor's own (and Canada's Best Live Venue) is NINE YEARS OLD!

Congrats to Tom and Frank! Thank you for everything that you do.