Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pat Robitaille: Runnin' Down a Dream

If there is one person that I've posted on who really doesn't "need" the extra attention I'm giving here, it's got to be Pat Robitaille, but I doubt he'll take offense. Pat is probably Windsor music's greatest rising success story at the moment. He's one of those guys who just couldn't do anything other than what he's doing.

In the past few years Pat has logged more miles and graced more festival stages than anybody Windsor calls their own. He is a guitar virtuoso, a silky voiced songwriter and a personality that is hard dislike. Pat has had opportunities to "sell-out" to major label interest and grab some dough, but what is most commendable in the young man is his desire to run it down himself, under his own indie terms.

If you have never heard Pat play or seen him preform, you'll quickly understand how he is rising with his first note. Pat is a polished professional who is nothing but charming and eager to shoot the shit about any random thing. His music is on the cusp of international rotation and acclaim and if you haven't caught on yet, get to his site, hear his acoustic styling and hop on board before he's long gone from our local stages and we're clinging to him from afar.

Sean McLeod and Perilelle: A Great Honor for a Damn Fine Collaborative Effort

Sean McLeod is a hustlin' fool. I have personally seen him walk away from non-artistic jobs that don't fit the mold he wants for his life, run down opportunities to catch something on film and extend himself to great lengths to find a situation which will not only help his ambitions, but help someone else as well.

I spent some time with Sean this past weekend and amidst our standard shit-talking and sarcasm, it was hard for me to deny (even jokingly) that this last project of his is anything but pure pro! Sean recently recruited one of Windsor's most unique musical acts, Perilelle (one woman electro-wrecking crew Steph Copeland) to team up with his vision of creating a bad-ass music video and winning the WAMM competition which was held at Phog this past Thursday. With their collective strength and creativity (and a pretty large team as well) this squad did exactly that and Sean is now two for two in film competitions being entered and won in this area this year.

Sean and another team of friends won the 48 hr. film fest competition this past fall with their comical short, "The Hardships of Heroism" and now with Perilelle's videoed tune "Damages" in the bank as champ, who knows what can come next for either or both of these artists.

Sean is a real live working film maker. He pretty much won't do anything else and I love that about him. As you will see in this video, the man knows his way around a camera and his talents are here in this region waiting for anyone to engage them. Check him and Steph out, they are two very unique and credible talents alive in our midst.

Leighton Bain: A Story-Tellin' Songster

I've known Leighton for quite a few years now and although there is generally a long stretch of time in between our encounters, I can always immediately tune into one of his tunes and find out what's been happening. Story-telling songs don't seem to get the attention they used to anymore. I understand the value of amped up, loud rock and roll, but I'd like to see quality singer/songwriters getting a little more love and attention that would break them out of whatever pen some people think they fit into.

Not every singer/songwriter writes every song about their boyfriend/girlfriend breaking their heart and taking their dog. Sometimes you get Hayden or Elliot Smith-sometimes you get people who let you in, in a hundred different ways with nothing but themselves and their guitar; sometimes you get Leighton.

Leighton Bain has been strummin' his guit-box for as long as I can remember. From what I've known, he's come up with a million different angles to investigate himself and others through song using little more than his own mind and hands. The man has a knack for writing songs. Like Hayden or Elliot, Leighton often takes interest in the darker moments of life and captures them through various eyes. He is a solid and versatile guitarist and he packs a set of pipes which can take you in any direction at any moment; belting it here, whispering it there.

At the moment, Leighton is dividing his time between the Dub city (that's here- those kids and their slang) and the "T dot". Although there are no new shows posted on his site, the spring has sprung and that generally means Windsor can expect their native son home shortly. I'll keep an eye out for all interested and try to stay somewhat up to date on this thing as this semester comes to a close but even if I never see write again, it'd be worth your while to take a listen to what the man has to say.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Death or Comber: Giving Life to Lonesome Open Mics and Ramblin' Rock and Roll

When you host an open mic for an extended period of time, it's hard to keep your shit fresh. If no other musicians show up, you play three sets on your own and it's generally to the same faces who have seen your song and dance (or blurs of it here and there) before. I'm not bitching, I love those faces and most of the time they make me feel like I'm keeping them fairly pleased, it's just nice for all of us when something quality pops in unexpected and the open mic can serve its finest function.

The fellas in Death or Comber have found their way to the DH in various forms on various occasions. Sometimes it's just Kurt and his guitar, sometimes an electric to flush it out, sometimes the whole crew, bass, drums and all, blocking the entrance to the kitchen telling you it's too late for deep fried pickles. Whatever way they come, these guys always make my night more enjoyable. They'll always play a couple of choice covers (Joe Strummer or Irene Goodnight) to get themselves warm, but they are always more focused on their originals, which are certainly that.

Death or Comber has a rambling folk style that mixes elements of harder electric rock with strong song-writing to create a folk/punk hybrid which doesn't disappoint. They are fairly new to this scene, but in the past four or five months I've heard their name being positively thrown around more and more. This Thursday (April 2nd) Death or Comber plays The Whiskey downtown with The Mind Frames and the ever-entertaining Peace Leeches. The show starts at 10 pm sharp with the Mind Frames, and after a brief musical pause for the A channel news, Death or Comber takes the stage before the Leeches bring us home. I think that this will be a very fun evening so come out for a drink to close out the semester or just because you're interested in what I'm pitching. The Whiskey is located at 300 Ouellette Ave., beside the Honest Lawyer and beneath A channel.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Tyres: Rolling Once Again

In the past two evenings I've caught The Tyres twice. As I heard them for the first time in quite a while on Thursday night, I was reminded of how much rock and fun they've provided in the past ten years around these parts. The Tyres have played every venue this city has seen even briefly open its doors to live music. I've seen them at the old Press Club, The Bridge, Venues, The Coach, The Loop, Billie's, The DH, all of them, and their show rolls on steadily every time no matter where they are or who's in front of them.

When people talk about bands being tight, I always think it goes further than just the music itself. When I go see The Tyres I don't know if I'm more entertained by their music or their banter. These guys have known each other in this form for so long that their presence together is very naturally clever and humourous. You can't under value qualities like that with bands. If a group keeps you entertained even while their tuning or adjusting equipment, it is a huge ace in the sleeve and it just makes the whole experience more enjoyable for all involved. Their songs don't veer too far from that characterization either. They are often witty or somewhat tongue in cheek, but never at the expense of the music. These mo-fo's can all play, and all their parts are thoughtfully constructed with various displays of effective harmony.

When Damien Zakoor (long time drummer) packed his bags for Montreal this past year it seemed as though the era of The Tyres was in jeopardy. This is not the kind of band who could get a sessional drummer to cover Damien's parts and all would go on, sometimes that just doesn't cut it. I doubt that The Tyres would have ever really "broken up," but distance is tough no matter how loud your amp is. The good news through all of this is that Windsor is in Daimer's blood and what with all our present prosperity, he just couldn't stay away (I once had a cat like that). He's back behind Dominic and Ken where he belongs now, and all is right with the world. If you have never seen a Tyres show, you must keep an eye out. There surely is "Rock to Discover."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When Irish Eyes are Dilated...

Well, Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody! I'm not going to feature any one band or venue today because I think that a day like today lends itself to pub-crawling and stumbling from place to place. From this moment (noon) onward, jig your way around this city and spend some time in some of Windsor's authentic pubs for the real Celtic experience.

There is music everywhere and throughout the day today, so I'll only point to a few spots specifically in the event that you`re stuck. Micks Irish Pub (28 Chatham St. East) has music all day from various Celtic crews such as Tartan Army and Kenneth MacLeod and the Windsor Salt Band later in the evening. The Aardvark (89 University West) sheds its blues persona for the day and hops on board with the green theme with music starting at 6pm and continuing onward with Kenneth and co. early and Ron Leary and Kelly Hoppe doing their thang to get you to tomorrow. The DH will most certainly be jumping all day long, so come on down for Irish food and drink and with music beginning at 9pm from yours truly.

Hope everybody survives the day and does it up right. Some people don`t get the point of St. Patrick`s Day, but the point is simple and endearing if it is interpreted in the right light. Go out and get drunk. Have fun with your friends, enjoy some good music and food and revel in good cheer just because there`s a whole year to worry about other things and you`re excused for the day. Don`t get so bombed that you end up in a ditch or the drunk tank, but if you`re someone who has never dug the whole character of the day, give it a try and work on your final portfolio of whatever tomorrow. Good cheer possesses rejuvenating power ya`ll, immerse yourselves in it, don`t hate, participate. Too Ra Loo Ra La!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Well Done Welton! Renaissance Man Eric Welton Making Strides.

Producer, singer/songwriter, sound man, photographer, bartender, advertiser, collaborator, optimist, fan. Eric Welton is a man of many hats. Coming to Windsor as a Chatham export a few years ago, Eric has lent his willing and capable hands to just about every musician in this area in one form or another. He's made posters for six packs, recorded albums for 20's, been there to help you mix the sound live, and written and performed in entertaining fashion, West to East, while always hoping to get a few more folks together on any given night, to share some tunes and collaborative energy just to see what happens. I've got to say, it's nice to see that mind frame making progress and paying dividends.

In the last year, Eric has recorded and pressed Travis Reitsma's album Blue Beard, written, recorded and pressed his own album, Fool Heart, recorded and assisted in production on the Tara Watts upcoming release, About Love, and has had his hand in about a thousand other projects aside from gigging. The drive behind Eric's humble demeanor is relentless and impossible to overlook. In the recent past, Chatham rock giants Square Root of Margaret officially added Eric to their roster and guaranteed the man a future in a legitimate, touring, collaborative. Eric has continued to pursue solo gigs or gigs with a shifting lineup in The Eric Welton Band, and will play under that heading Thursday March 19th at The Whisky (Ouellette and University, under A channel) starting at 10pm. The bill also includes West side veterans of rock, The Tyres and the dirty punk styling of High Mother to close it down.

The Whisky is below A channel on the corner of University and Ouellette right beside The Honest Lawyer. Although this joint has been more of a cover band venue in the past, Jamie Greer has got his hands in that place, and that means local, indie music was bound to work its way in there. Jamie is the hardest working promoter of local music this city has got, so I suggest checking out (but not replacing me with) his blog, Musically Speaking. Thanks for reading gang and good shit once again Eric, keep at 'er.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Original Gangstas: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Original Lady Eyes

I once read an interview with Jeff Tweedy where he said that the key to rock and roll success rests in not letting your band break up. It sounds simple enough when I read that back to myself, but I do know better than that and I know that such a thing functions as any meaningful relationship does, with dedication, faith in your teammates and sacrifice.

Nothing that sappy and cheesy would ever come from the mouths of the fellas in the Original Lady Eyes but I think that something should be said for the way these guys go about their business and the way they've been doing it for quite some time. Long ago in a West Side galaxy close to here, I went to high school with these guys when they were rocking orange jumpsuits and jamming as "Cats Pajama's" and various other things. They were then as they are now, very funny, very kind, very talented down-to-earth gents, and although they do not possess that boastful, shamelessly self-promoting quality some musicians do, they demonstrate why such people are always speaking about and standing by themselves.

The Original Lady Eyes are a solid collective of old high school friends who have progressed musically together for the last decade or so. Their sound is full bodied and easy to listen to, but they maintain the balls (is edge a better word for ya?) which defines good rock. There are three guitarists in this group who never sound intrusive or like they're stepping on each other's toes, and Matt (drummer) and Dwaine (bass/vocals) have been kindred spirits for as long as I have known them. GO TO THEIR WEBSITE, LOVE THEIR MUSIC.

The Original Lady Eyes play Phog Lounge on the 28th of March with a multiple band bill I've yet to fully see. You can catch them at the Starbucks (I refuse to link Starbucks) downtown a week before that on the 21st at 6pm if you're old, don't like the nightlife or get too drunk too early. Check these guys out in any form you can and if you're a musician yourself, I highly recommend Dwaine as a production engineer who understands just how broke you are.

********The title of this post, its creator and The Original Lady Eyes mean no disrespect to the Original Gangstas shown below and wish to admit our collective subordination and acknowledgment of their clearly apparent superior bad-ass-ity. Thank you. ****************

Friday, February 27, 2009

Kickin' it at The Kildare for Kenya

The Kildare House (1880 Wyandotte Street East) welcomes an impressive lineup of local artists behind a noble cause tonight beginning at 9:30 pm. The event is being advertised as 8 acts for 8 bucks with 100% of the proceeds being donated to charity programmes in Rafiki Kenya.

Especially in the last year or so, I've noticed that the Kildare House is opening its stage to a wider variety of talent. This is still the most authentic pub experience in the city and there is no comparing the Celtic warmth which seems to surround this place, but it is still nice to mix things up a little every now and then and see who stumbles through the door.

I highly recommend supporting this establishment, this cause, and this evening of music from some of Windsor's best. From Dave Dubois, Kelly Hoppe and Ron Leary (who have already made their way into this blog in one way or another) to Eric Welton, Adam Rideout and others (who I fully intend to feature in the near future) this night of music and exchange will be one to enjoy and remember.

Sorry that I'm doing this day-of posting again, but I couldn't let this one slip by.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Peace Leeches: Looking to Suck the Goodness Out of Everyone

The Peace Leeches are among Windsor's most unique and entertaining musical ensembles.> Young and filled with inspiration and hippie sensibilities, The Peace Leeches form a tandem of energy and showman/womanship that this city has rarely seen. There is no cloud big enough to darken a Peace Leech party and watching them perform demands your attention and applause. I would wager that this band sheds more calories per show than any other Windsor group and that is a fitting testament to their over-riding dedication to music and entertainment.

The band is made up of only two members, Ray Stern (Vocals, synth, guitar) and Corey Schatz (guitar, bass and tech wizardry). Their sound is psychedelically influenced and places as much emphasis on complex, technological mastery as live performance. The songwriting is multi-dimensional and leaves much room for interpretation and Schatz simply owns his pedal work. What I mean by this is that I have seen countless guitar players get pedal or tech happy without mastering the craftsmanship that is necessary. As a result, rhythm and melody can get lost in a clutter of noise and the only way to avoid this is in taking hours of tinkering around behind closed doors to make it work. Well done Peace Leeches, you certainly make it work.

I could write all day about their songs and show, but the reality of it all is that The Peace Leeches cannot be fully appreciated until they are seen. On the 21st of this month (February) they are part of a show fittingly tagged "Focus on Stage" taking place at Phog Lounge (157 University West).> I highly recommend taking part in this evening as it is also promoting local rock photographer Ron Marston and his countless years of dedication and amazing work crossing the artistic genres. The night kicks off at 9pm with The Leeches and moves on incrementally louder from there with some heavy rock and roll from Fiftywatthead and the Vultures. This will be a high energy affair, bring your boogie boots and your finest mosh pit attire.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Big Three at Billie's Place: Bailing Out Your Valentine's Blues

The Big 3 @ Billie's Place
Mr. Chill, Scotty "Shooze" Hughes & Ron Leary

This is the kind of show that inspired me to take this direction with this blog. When these guys unite their super powers it is a perfect example of the extremely high level of talent we have in our midst that could slip past you if you don't carry on in certain circles. Kelly Hoppe AKA Mr. Chill (formerly of Big Sugar fame), Scotty "Shooze" Hughes and Ron Leary are of the highest quality songwriters, collaborators and performers this city has EVER seen. Ron is the mayor of Windsor music and his story-telling tunes have rambled their way across the vast Canadian map building a reputation for Ron as a dedicated road warrior who will run down any opportunity to further his music. You must check him out.>

Kelly has had all the success any Canadian musician could dream of and he's back in Windsor, kicking the shit out of his harmonica, because he wants to be here and sees value in things some of us may neglect. He is as humble as gentlemen get, but don't let his kind rockabilly exterior fool you, when he rocks that mouth harp he is nothing but mean. WHOOO BOY!

Scotty wraps the trio together with complimentary licks that seem effortless while he grooves along with the music, but are nothing short of genius. He has as firm a hold on musical structure and dynamics as any guitar player I've seen and he always looks to be having such an awesome time while he's playing that it has an infectious effect on everybody present. These guys mesh very well together and their show exemplifies the experience and awareness that their track record implies.

Billie's Place (3179 Sandwich Street) is yet another great West side pub, with a great story and experience. Billie worked at the DH for years and was a favorite bartender for many. She banked some cash over the years and eventually bought her own place across the street, staying true to the neighbourhood that loved her and giving them another place to gather together for food, booze, music and socializing. This pub is personal and warm and the cemented two dollar whiskey's don't make anything colder. It's like a great house party when this place gets jumpin' so pop in tonight or any other time to support local causes and great music. Valentine's day heart ache has a friend in folk music, rockabilly and cheap whisky.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Let's Go Down to the Old West End"

O.K. I'm not going to pretend like he's not my brother, but I don't think that that should completely discredit my opinion when I tell you to go to the historic pillar of drink, The Dominion House (3140 Sandwich)on Wednesday (and Tuesday) nights to hear some authentic West End jams. Kenneth has put a lot of miles on his musical odometer and the crew he's got behind him now are as good as any ensemble I have heard him with.

Kenneth's old stompin' ground was the now fallen, but not forgotten, Bridge Tavern on the corner of University and Bridge Ave. If those walls could talk, they'd probably ask to be thrown up on less. That place was home to a large following who has, in the face of tragedy, emigrated further West to the D.H. where more than a century of patrons have drank before. The Dominion House is a historic Windsor establishment and the fellas that have been running that place for the last few years truly grasp what comes with that territory. They are lovers of good music and tall pints and in my experience with them, they have been nothing but supportive of local acts and good times. I'm glad Kenneth found a home there, he's been keeping that place jumpin' since he came.

The Windsor Salt Band is made up of: Max Marshall (bass), Mark Calcott (keys), Sally Zolari (drizums) and Kenny fronting the pack on the guit-box, the fiddle, the mandolin and some other appearances here and there. Max has infectious energy to team with his mean licks, Mark plays some accordion and contributes stellar harmonies, Sally is Windsor's baddest lady drummer (if not drummer period) and they all mesh very well together. A quality evening of music in the middle of the week breaks the grind, so head West good people, eat, drink and be merry.

As a shameless plug, I host an open-mic at the D.H. on Tuesday nights,completing what Kenneth and I like to call, "The West End Weekend". It is much more stripped down than Kenneth's night, but I've been there for three years and I still really love how open mics serve an ever-shifting stage of talent. This open mic is very original friendly and has opened me up to some great local talent in Eric Welton, Death or Comber, Merridian, Tara Watts, this old guy who did some very funny stand-up and countless others. I'm always glad to have people coming out and if you play, or know someone who does, please be encouraged in getting up and strumming out a few.

Sorry this post is so freakin long, I don't know what got into me. Here are your sparknote inspired bullets.
blah, blah, blah, Bridge closed, blah, blah, blah, pushing his brother, blah, blah, blah, go to the Dominion House, blah, blah, blah, pushing himself.

Good day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

High Wattage and More at Cafe Morena

It's nice to see venues rising on the heels of ones lost. When Skye Lounge closed on Pellisier and was turned into a waiting room for Jack Rabbit Slims, or whatever it is now, I felt like the city lost its best solo-act stage. Skye was personal and artsy, it had high ceilings and a great host in Nina and I didn't think that any other place could match the desires of a duo or solo act with quite the same style. This place wasn't meant for bands, but it certainly was made for music.

I think that Cafe Morena (999 Erie St.) has become Windsor's new stage for solo performers. The place is quaint and stylin and finds itself in a very cultural location. There is foot traffic on the streets and ears that are interested in creativity. Like Skye, Cafe Morena entertains the perfect decibel level for its atmosphere. Nothing is ever intrusive, but everything accents everything else.

Speaking of fine accents, Tara Watts is one of Windsor's.> Tara is the Windsor music scene's female poster child. She's strummed a lot of tunes 'round these parts in the last few years and her talent and credibility as a songwriter and performer are as well renowned in this area as musicians get. Tara hosts her very original friendly open mic on Friday nights, so I suggest popping in and hearing some of her uniquely crafted melodies along with some other treats who always manage to pop in. Tara is also putting the finishing touches on her first full length album set for release in the spring of this year. The release will be one of the bigger musical events in the coming months and the technical responsibilities rest in the very capable hands of Eric Welton who this blog will feature more directly in the next few posts. Keep an eye and ear out or ask Tara for the weekly update each week when you go see her play.

Since we're on the topic of Cafe Morena, I also will take this opportunity to give Jackie Robitaille's gig on Thursday's some light.> I knew Jackie fairly well in high-school and her brother Pat is still a pretty good friend and a travelling, recording, touring machine. What I did not know about Jackie is that she is packing the pipes I have learned to recognize, paired with some very soft, sensitive and beautiful piano stylings I had always known she had in the bank. Her clarity cuts right through, and she completes a solid feminine tandem representin' the early bird's weekend, Thursday and Friday. Drop by for a drink and/or a tune (there are other options too) on either or both nights. The ladies will be glad to see ya, and you'll be glad to have seen and heard them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Francophones and Microphones: Windsor and Montreal Come Together to Rock the P-Hog

Windsor's finest and most dedicated rock venue Phog Lounge (157 University West)>
continues their support of independent up and comers tonight beginning at 10 pm. "The Phog" has long been Windsor's most consistent importer of indie music and has afforded many music lovers countless occurrences where they can catch a band from here or away, before they move on to bigger (but not always better) things. Tom Lucier (who also happens to be the mind behind 'Here Be Dragons') has dedicated a great amount of energy over the years to keeping music alive in Windsor and keeping outside talent interested in this city as a potentially positive place to have one's music heard. I highly recommend that you folks check out the link above and stay in the Phog's loop. Tom and the Phog have recently been included in CBC's search for Canada's best music venue, so while you're over there, cast a much deserved vote their way to boot.

The lineup at Phog tonight consists of three acts, one local and two from Montreal. Headlining the night is David Martel> a gifted singer/songwriter who brings more than one may have come to expect from such a categorization. Martel's songs are well constructed and well produced. He is no average bleeding heart acoustic act and his name is rising across this great nation of ours. Along for the journey is fellow Montreal acoustic hombre Mike O'Brien, who I don't know much about but hear great things regarding his ability to warm the stage for Martel and how they compliment each other on select tracks.

Closing the evening is my band, The Mindframes. I'm not going to say much about us, but we're a five piece and I gain great satisfaction from playing with this crew. We're likely to be placed in a category of somewhat progressive, folk-rock (if such a thing exists) and we'll be hitting the stage at around midnight to bring the show home. I know I promised greater notice and I WILL get better in that regard, but it would be great to see some familiar faces and maybe share a drink or some thoughts on what you think of the venue or the tunes. See ya there.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The "W": Working to become more than the symbol for "West Side" and "Whatever"

Dwaine Iler is a local music producer and the frontman of Windsor's west side rockers, The Original Lady Eyes. In addition to helping other musicians get their shit recorded cheap and keeping his own projects moving forward, Dwaine has officially released his new, and latest project and is eager to have it reach willing ears.

The W Music Compilation consists of twenty-six tracks, written and performed by various Windsor musicians of various styles and backgrounds. In gathering these tracks together Dwaine wanted to account for the diversity of the Windsor music scene and perhaps provide a forum which could amplify the voice of its collective make-up.

There is a wide range of music gathered on this recording and although I did not recognize many of the names on the inlet, I found great pleasure in a few of the tracks and was glad to have come upon them. The tracks which seem to stand out to me include: "The Same" - A Welcome Breeze, "Circlops" -Citywide Vacuum, "Serenade"- Jakie Robitaille, and a tune by a 14 year old gal named Keats Conlon who shows off some bad ass pipes, all the signs of good song writing 101 and a name which already sounds like she's a rock star... seriously, Keats Conlon?... that's a cool name.

Anyway, I recommend picking this CD up for various reasons, but I will focus on the good, home-grown music you may miss out on element of my attack. A lot (not all, but a lot) of these tunes are worth your time. The CD itself has 19 tracks with the additional 7 appearing in the form of MP3 drag and drop files. If you're interested in grabbing one, leave a comment and we'll figure it out. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Loop, there it is.

The Locusts Have No King will bring their rock and twang to The Loop TONIGHT (January 22nd, 2009) with fellow Windsorites and alt-rockers A.S.K. (Another Saturday Knight) beginning at around 10 in the p.m.

A.S.K. is fronted by Chad Howson who is a local artist, musician, and supporter of all artistic Windsor endeavors. Their sound is somewhat Interpol influenced and they are sure to contribute some good old fashioned dirtied up sound and bassy vocal melodies.

When A.S.K. wraps up, The Locusts will take the stage and do what they're there to do. These guys have good story-telling tunes that maintain the snap necessary in any good driving tempo. They compliment each other very well and represent how well individual strengths can come together in bands when egos are checked and appreciation is apparent. These guys make for kick-ass nights and are always lots of fun so if you can't get there tonight, catch them somewhere down the road and let me know what you think.

As for the Loop; these days the Loop is known for Saturday night groovin' and some classic (and not so classic) DJ jams. I'm not dissing this at all. I mean, I often find myself at the Loop at the end of a Saturday night with the old boogie boots on after a few and it's been tons of fun. All I'm saying is that this is Windsor's best rock venue and it is underutilized. The Loop is a big-ass room with a big-ass stage. You fill that place with people who love live music and it can move. The halls and the bathrooms smell like piss, there's graffiti everywhere and it just embodies what a rock venue should. Opportunities to catch a live band at the Loop are not nearly as frequent as they once were, so keep your ear to the ground and do it when you can. Hope to catch some of you there tonight.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Taloola: Awesome Joint and it's Fun to Say.

I don't know if this post will reach anybody in time to alter their plans for this evening, but in the event that it does, Dave Dubois (of Windsor's, The Locusts Have No King) will be releasing his solo EP at Taloola Cafe (396 Devonshire Rd.) in the earlier part of the evening. Dave's set starts and finishes early, which allows plenty of time to pursue other endeavours as the night progresses, so there's no excuse to avoid dropping in. More importantly, Dave is a great singer/songwriter and an awesome guy. Music at Taloola is stripped down and personal and makes for one of the finest and most engaging experiences the city offers. I don't know exactly what it is, but eveybody who steps foot in that place seems to do so with a mind that is prepared to tap feet in time and throw a couple bucks in a hat for the musician's benefit. It's a very welcoming place complete with good, healthy grub and cold Steamwhistle's. I believe the operating procedure for Saturday night is that Dave will play a one hour set starting around 8:30. If nobody reads this in time, I won't be surprised or hurt and I imagine Dave won't be hurtin' for bodies, but keep Taloola in mind for some other Saturday evening primer, or anytime you have a hankerin' for a warm place in support of local art. When I have a bit more time I'll figure out how to leave sound bites and pictures, but that time is not now. Thanks for reading folks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Well, the first thing I post on here must surely admit my relative ineptitude and unfamiliarity with this technology and process, but I'll work it out, and this will hopefully become more reader-friendly as we go. Secondly, I want to make it clear that when I end my personal profile with "if you don't like it, I don't give a shit," I'm not being a prick, I'm just hinting at what I feel is a crucial and incredibly admirable element of the whole process of writing and performing music. I think musicians have to maintian a certain edge that says "screw you" or "I don't give a shit" from time to time. To have your music survive in a place like Windsor (and really anywhere) you have to understand that sometimes it may feel somewhat thankless. Your songs might not always catch people the way you had hoped, or there may not be places who think your shit is worthwhile, but the psyche of a musician has got to be like his/her fingers... callused. I don't want to sound like a total hippy or motivational speaker (but if I sound like one, I hope it's like Chris Farley's old bit on SNL) but music has got to come from such a persevering force within, that regardless of what happens outside of oneself, you have to keep playing and understand that if you ever stop, you'll lose touch with an amazing experience and only shift the aforementioned stresses to some other aspect of life which will surely be less fulfilling. I hope that this blog can highlight some of those Windsor musicians who keep strummin' through both the literal and figuarative smog. I gladly raise a glass (and likely 6-10 more) to many of you, and I hope that if nothing else, this may get some more bodies in Phog, Billie's etc. or direct some much deserved attention your way. My next post will start speaking of such folks more directly and name some places, times and previews where you reading can see and hear what I'm talking about. Keep Rockin' Ya'll.... (OR YOU'LL BE LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!)