SHOW ALERT: David Dubois @ Taloola Cafe

Sat. June 1, 2013
8:00 PM

Photo: Ashley Sampson

DAVID DUBOIS presents acoustic versions of new songs and some favourites from his Locusts Have No King songbook... maybe a traditional tune his dad taught him too.

*Thanks to Dave's press group for this!

Show Review: Good Grief

We've not had a chance to see The Dears live. So we can't say seeing their guitarist and his band Krief is the next best thing. But we can say it was a very good thing, and the best guitar talent we've seen in a long time.

A lot was written about the grief Patrick Krief was feeling towards music as a career during the making of A Hundred Thousand Pieces. Fortunately, as he noted in his interview with N2DS2W last September, "I didn't pack it in and go the other way." And fortunately, that meant two opportunities to see Krief: at Windsor's Phog Lounge (September 2012) and P.J.'s Lager House in Detroit's Corktown this past March.

Krief's not a kid, but he's not exactly middle-aged, either. Yet A Hundred Thousand Pieces is a very mature album that translates seamlessly to live performance, with one exception. Live, you get Krief's great guitar solos. (It's one of our few disappointments about Canadian indie shows: bands rarely seem to stray from the musical script into improvisation.)

These aren't ear-blistering, frantic solos for the sake of shock and awe. With Krief, you know you're hearing the work of a gifted musician. That goes for the rest of the band as well: Roberto Piccioni on keys, Denis Paquin on drums, Jakub Zapotoczny on bass and Vincent Pelletier on guitar.

Piccioni missed the Lager House show due to visa issues, but the band worked hard to make up for his absence. They got some unexpected help in the form of a light show from two girls with illuminated hula hoops. At first a bit of a distraction, the show ended with Krief out on the floor with the audience, curled over his guitar in epic solo, with a glowing hoop swirling around his head.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

Let the angst begin

The NXNE Schedulizer is up. Which means it's time to start agonizing over the shows you want to see, and the fact that you can't clone yourself. We use the Schedulizer to put our music wish list together, but create our own printed grid to accommodate all of our extracurricular activities. Are you that organized, or do you go with the flow? What's your schedule look like? Here are our recommendations. We try to see bands we haven't seen before; some top picks are starred. You can check out any of these bands on CBC Radio 3.

Thurs., Jun. 13:

The Balconies
7 PM @ St. James Gazebo

the unquiet dead
8 PM @ Hard Luck Bar

9 PM @ Wrongbar

Shred Kelly**
9 PM @ Supermarket

Stella Ella Ola
9 PM @ Silver Dollar Room

9 PM @ Sneaky Dee's

The Blue Stones
10 PM @ Hard Luck Bar

10 PM @ Hideout

North Lakes
10:30 PM @ Rivoli

little foot long foot
11 PM @ Hard Luck Bar

Olenka and the Autumn Lovers
12 AM @ The Great Hall

White Cowbell Oklahoma
12 AM @ Lee's Palace

The Allens
1 AM @ C'est What

Fri., Jun. 14

By Divine Right**
7 PM @ St. James Gazebo

Imaginary Cities
9 PM @ Mod Club Theatre

Pat LePoidevin**
10 PM @ Free Times Cafe

Shooting Guns**
10 PM @ Hideout

The Luyas
1 AM @ Sneaky Dee's

Odonis Odonis
1 AM @ The Garrison

We Are The City**
1  AM @ Rivoli

Sat., Jun. 15

Gregory Pepper & His Problems
9 PM @ Silver Dollar Room

9 PM @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

10 PM @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

11 PM @ The Garrison

PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots)
11 PM @ Rancho Relaxo

11 PM @ Danforth Music Hall

Dearly Beloved
12 AM @ Bovine Sex Club

Fucked Up
1 AM @ The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

Hot Panda***************** (yes, we're excited)
1 AM @ Sneaky Dee's

In-Flight Safety
1 AM @ The Great Hall

1 AM @ Rancho Relaxo

Sandman Viper Command
2 AM @ Sneaky Dee's

The Blue Stones (TOUR KICK-OFF) @ Phog Lounge

With The Zilis 
Fri May 10, 2013  

The Blue Stones are taking their signature indie blues rock sound and their stylish stage show on the road, touring Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, before returning to Toronto for NXNE this summer. We got to hang out and watch the making of their Rolling With The Punches video, which you can see here.

SHOW ALERT: catl @ Lo & Behold Records And Books

Tuesday, May 7
10022 Joseph Campau
Hamtramck, MI

We love catl. We always have and always will.
We like the new formula as we bet this "sexy, raw, primordial rock and
roll experience" will carry on as we expect . *NOW MAGAZINE | Toronto

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

NXNE quadredux

Is that even a word? We don't know. We made it up to celebrate our fourth year attending NXNE.

 We debated going to other music festivals this year for a change. Mariposa. Wolfe Island. Sappyfest (sigh, some day). But when time and money restrictions, plus small enthusiasm for camping at a festival were accounted for, we came back to the tried-and-true: NXNE and Home County Music and Art Festival.

We love NXNE. Every year has been better than the last. More friends, more great food, and of course more great music. It suits us perfectly, because we love seeing bands in small venues (no Yonge-Dundas Square for us). On our hit list so far:
  • Coeur de Pirate (although we're guessing she'll be playing Yonge-Dundas)
  • Hot Panda
  • Inlet Sound
  • Pat LePoidevin
  • Shooting Guns
  • Shred Kelly (YES!)
  • Sidney York
  • T. Nile
  • the unquiet dead
Stay tuned!

Rolling with the Cameras

N2DS2W goes extra rounds with The Blue Stones

Unlike our first experience as an extra in a music video, this time the only blood shed was fake.

A casting call on Facebook led us to Rough Boxing Gym in Windsor. Our job: to be part of the audience attending a “Half fight, half rock concert,” according to Toronto-based filmmaker and director Sean Tighe. The rock concert: “Rolling With The Punches,” from What’s That Sound, the November 2012 release of Windsor’s blues-rock duo The Blue Stones. Why spend four hours on a Saturday afternoon watching two band members do mock battle, waiting for direction and ducking out of camera frames? “It’s fun to do,” said veteran extra Ashleigh Gunter. We couldn’t agree more.

Buggle off

More than 30 years have passed since ground zero for modern music videos. But far from killing the radio star, videos are more relevant than ever for bands. In February, Billboard announced their Hot 100 will now track YouTube views. What keeps them relevant?

“Music is like a band’s audio persona,” said Blue Stones singer and guitarist Tarek Jafar. “When you see a music video, it forms a visual connection to the band members. I love Sam Roberts, and I love when I get to see him in a video. It’s just as important as live performance.”

On the strength of only two EPs, Jafar and drummer Justin Tessier have been working to form that connection in video and on stages large and small. “We get compared to The Black Keys,” one of their influences, Jafar said. Other musical muses include Roberts, blues legends Muddy Waters and B. B. King, Rage Against The Machine and R&B artist Rafael Saadiq. The band’s trademark suits hark back to The Blues Brothers.

But just like the same ingredients can result in very different dishes, The Stones have concocted their own contemporary blues rock. And it’s getting served to more and more listeners. They made it through the early rounds of CBC Music’s Searchlight contest to find the best new band in Canada. On Apr. 25, their song “Make Your Move,” also from What’s That Sound, was featured on NBC’s Parks and Recreation.

Action, cut, awesome

The gym is a one-ring circus in mostly primary colours, wallpapered in banners and posters of boxing icons. The numerous dangling speed and heavy bags reminded us of a meat locker, and it was just as chilly.

Tessier and Jafar looked the most out of place, barefoot in their dress pants and shirts. Extras in casual street clothes and the camera crew in socks watched as the band danced around the ring, throwing impressively choreographed jabs, uppercuts and ferocity at each other. “Let’s roll it for shits,” Director Sean Tighe signaled. “Action.” Cameraman and brother Michael Tighe carefully shadowboxed the boxers. Cinematographer Kyle Archibald performed his own smooth choreography operating the long arm of the jib. After a few takes, they paused to swap lenses and go in for some close-ups. “Cut,” Tighe said. “We might get only one or two seconds, but it will be awesome.”

While Tighe directed through the lens, producer Marie Jeannette directed the bigger picture--and the smallest details. “I take care of the scheduling and organization, making sure everyone who needs to be there for the shoot is there, and has the proper tools while we’re working,” Jeannette explained. She also made sure that stray water bottles didn't end up on camera, and Jafar’s tie stayed in the right spot on the ropes. She caught someone’s shadow in a shot, and scoured extras to make sure they weren’t wearing anything with a logo on it.

Jeanette has produced some 60 independent music videos, almost all shot locally. “I like to use Windsor peeps,” she said. That included the video’s special effects crew: University of Windsor theatre arts students Rebecca Myers and Stephanie Taylor. “This is our first music video,” said Myers. “We’ll be doing things a little differently because of the shorter distance between the actors and the camera. This will have to be more subtle.”

Within seconds, using just pencils, brushes and a sponge, Myers and Taylor gave Tessier a three-dimensional cut on the nose. Jafar got a bruised cheek and a cut on his temple.


Tighe was an efficient, courteous and focused director, doing no more than two or three takes for each scene. A boxer at a heavy bag in the background. Jafar strutting around the ring solo with his guitar. Tessier on the drums in the ring. The first take, he sent his drumstick holder flying. The second take, a snare went down for the count. “Just like at a show,” joked Jafar. How did Tighe know when a scene isn’t quite right? “It’s not about looking for the not perfect,” he said. “When the camera hits the right spot, it’s awesomeness, you just know.”

In between breaks for cereal bars and water, Tighe brought more extras into each scene, building towards the fight’s climax. Then, with only a few scenes to go, a fuse blew. Set lights and the gym went dark. Breakers clacked. Outlets sparked. No go. Extension cords were uncoiled, swapped and recoiled. Plugs snapped, crackled and popped again. Finally, for no apparent reason, the lights come back on and the show went on. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Jeannette announced, “we’re almost done.”

But not The Blue Stones. There could be no better metaphor for making it in the slugfest that is today’s music business than “Rolling With The Punches.” Far from getting knocked out, the Windsor natives seem poised to break out and go all 10 rounds.

The cast:

The Blue Stones (Tarek Jafar, Justin Tessier)
Michelle McKay (ring girl)

The crew: 

Sean Tighe, director

Michael Tighe, camera
Marie Jeannette, producer
Kyle Archibald, cinematographer at jib

Adam Wright, production assistant
Jason Denham, production assistant
Marie Jeannette, producer
Sean Tighe, director
Michael Tighe, camera
Kyle Archibald, cinematographer at jib
Adam Wright, production assistant
Jason Denham, production assistant

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images