Thursday, November 01, 2007

halloween with bright eyes.

So Bright Eyes happened to hit town on the 31st, which made me anticipate perhaps a more festive performance than their visit last year.
The opener was a fellow Nebraskan, Simon Joiner. Him and his band (the same band that backs up Conor Oberst) played more of a folk/country set, but I still really enjoyed them. We were fortunate enough to be right in front of the mike in the second row, this really enhanced the experience. To add some Halloween factor, there was a couple jack-o-lanterns and a blow-up ghost placed on the stage. Conor joined Simon for a couple songs on keyboard, and Simon played a couple solo songs. During the intermission, some of the roadies threw out candy, supporting the "Halloween theme". Didn't manage to get any, can't say I really would've cared for a Reese's Piece at that time.

So Bright Eyes came out wearing orange t-shirts, with black sharpie drawings (ghost, fish, pumpkin, snake) I understand they were supposed to be Jack-o-Lanterns. I thought it was a valid effort at festivity, I appreciated it. They launched into "At The Bottom Of Everything" from I'm Wide Awake It's Morning which is the song I listen to when I'm on a plane that's taking off. Oberst was a good deal more exuberant than the last time I saw him, and his mood picked up as soon as he placed his wide-brimmed hat atop the blow-up ghost. There was a good deal of confrontation with the audience, but he used distortion on the mike (cause it's spooky) so you couldn't really here all of it. The audience confrontation included the tall guy throwing a pair of panties onstage, people (including me, oops I hit his guitar) throwing glowsticks onstage when he requested them, requests (Bowl of Oranges, No Lies Just Love) were pretty much ignored (he did respond when someone asked him to play a Christmas song), there was also the girl who told him that she loved him more than Holden Caulfield. In some ways, I can draw a comparison between Oberst and Caulfield. I'm not sure if this Calgary performance was better musically for Conor, but I was certain I could sense some charisma last night and it was much better standing closer to the stage. There was a long wait for an encore, but it was obvious they would open with a piano, and I wasn't surprised when the band broke into "Lover I Don't Have To Love". The end of the performance somewhat surprised me, although I could tell that that blow-up ghost and the jack-o-lanterns were asking for it. To the tune of a edgy rock and roll song, the keyboardist brought the ghost down, and Conor proceeded to slam it into the amp, the few jack-o-lanterns on the stage were smashed, and Conor opened a beer can on the floor, and stomped on it, hitting the first couple rows (including me). I was there for the music, but it was certainly interesting to observe.

so highlights and lowlights now.


  • four winds
  • poison oak
  • when the brakeman turns my way
  • at the bottom of everything
  • the pedal steel guitar was pretty rad
  • conor's voice was great
  • I really enjoyed simon joiner, especially the last song they played
  • the people in costume were interesting to observe (the joker, link from zelda)
  • the jack-o-lantern shirts


  • girls who talked during the show
  • i always smell unpleasant-smelling weed during poison oak
  • i would've been pleased to hear "first day of my life"
  • mac hall ranges from really hot to really cold

Finally, the roadies handed out a couple set lists from the stage, and I managed to grab one. So here is what the list says:


Monday, October 22, 2007

final fantasy, basia bulat, oct 18. @ the warehouse.

So I figured I was too lazy to right a review of any sort. But I guess not!
I had been looking forward to this show for quite a while, after a great experience hearing Owen Pallett live at the folk fest this summer. I had his latest album and I liked a couple songs off it, so I was looking forward to seeing Final Fantasy live. After two workshops and two performances at the folk-fest, I (and others attending these events) were very impressed by Owen Pallett. His using of violin and looping was very effective and the songs he performed live were infectious, interesting and quite impressive.

So as my brother and I lined up (just before everyone started to arrive) at the doors of the Warehouse, we were definitely anticipating a good show. We managed to get pretty much front and centre, and were there when DJ Nifty (or Matt, formerly of Les Mouches) began his smaller set. His act was definitely interesting, his use of looping vocals and sounds to create his music was pretty ingenious. After Nifty, Basia Bulat (and a drummer, keyboardist, ukulele player and fiddle player) started their set. I really enjoyed their set, a fun indie/folk melange that kept the audience engaged, and clapping their hands.

Owen Pallett took the stage at around 9:30 (I wasn't particularly keeping track of time). An added bonus to the show, was the old school overhead project playing some amazing multicoloured slides to accompany the show. It was like the notes that we get in english class, but with less dissonance, caesuras, and more birthday candles! He seemed even more comfortable with the audience than the folk fest, which was just fine. It was a great set, so engaging I forgot I couldn't feel my toes through my suede pointy toed waay too flat boots and that the room was exceeding the temperature of the sauna at the Y (except bigger and with more cheerful indie-kids). At one point people began yelling out suggestions (Arctic Circle, etc.). I am not a suggest-yeller, but if I had more guts I probably would've pulled for Adventure.exe, if it's simple enough for me to play on guitar... hey! I also noticed Owen was wearing a Thunder Bay scarf, which made me glad to see some Northern Ontario representation. I won't give anymore detail, but I will make a list of some highlights and lowlights (in my opinion).

  • The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead
  • The colourful and just plain cool transparencies on the projector
  • Basia Bulat's clapping songs.
  • Basia Bulat's drummer brother, who was pretty cute.
  • That many stringed instrument she played, that must be a bitch to tune.
  • Owen Pallet and friends manning the merch table.
  • Paris 1919 was amazing, eerie, fantastic.
  • This Lamb Sells Condos and the switch from violin to piano
  • Song Song Song!
  • This Is The Dream of Win and Regine!
  • Two Years To Win My Heart in the encore-ish thing.
  • The audience seemed pretty cool in an un-pretentious way


  • my brother and I didn't bring any money, so I couldn't buy any hard-to-find cd's
  • I was kinda sad Owen didn't cover Fantasy or play Adventure.exe
  • waiting outside the warehouse for a ride home in t-shirts in the cold.
  • my brother didn't wear a cardigan.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

i'm not dead.

Well, I haven't exactly posted in ages.
I am still alive, just to let everyone know.
It was a long and busy summer.
I dunno if I'm going to keep with up though. My first semester at school isn't exactly hard (English pre-AP, Film Studies, Gym, French) but I don't know if I have enough motivation to write anymore. I'll probably be getting a part time job, to learn some time management before my academic semester begins. I just don't really have anything interesting to write. I could probably find things, but I must admit, I'm a tad lazy.

I am, however, looking forward to some amazing concerts this fall. Seems like that's when all the good acts come around. I unfortunatly (really unfortunatly) am missing the Weakerthans at Mac Hall this October. But I will most likely be catching Final Fantasy, Bright Eyes and Stars as they come around.

Monday, July 30, 2007

folk festival (belated! I just got back from bc)

Well, I honestly can't believe it's over.

And all that I'm left with is some American Apparel clothing and an autographed shirt that says "Cleveland, you've got to be tough" on it. I guess I have a ton of memories too.

The festival gave me a chance to appreciate music and musicians (some musicians, that is) a lot more. The workshops that I went to this year were fantastic, it's amazing what can happen when so much talent comes together, no matter how different or the same. The volunteer experience was great, I worked with some very cool people. I gained a lot of insight from the job I was doing and the people who surrounded me. It was a great learning experience. I definitely have some highlights to go through.

the silly things I liked

-I loved being so busy all the time, walking around, trying to help
-the parties at the end where excellent people-watching occurred
-people-watching throughout the day, although the neo-bohemians are less abundant than at winnipeg
-getting great seats for everybody and everything
-the oddly therapeutic process of pricing cd's
-everyone's lackadaisical attitude
-seeing the audience change in seconds from one workshop to another (old folkies, to hipsters in tight jeans)
-I thought the volunteer shirts were cool
-adrienne young (from adrienne young & little sadie, I didn't get a chance to listen to them) giving us her jackets and short merchandise. so now I have nice new green american apparel shorts and a new brown american apparel jacket.

the real highlights

-enjoying something you wouldn't expect to like in the real world
-rufus wainwright never ceasing to amaze me in his lederhosen. being able to witness his sound check with a couple other people. I was kinda getting tired of him, but after his energetic and refreshing performance thursday night, I was full of rufus-love. we had the best seats in the house, in the front of the dance floor.
-hearing nathan play at lunch, it's hard not to fall in love with them. they're a pretty perfect folk fest band. I loved the idea of their workshop with tuvan throat singers and chumbawumba.
-jon rae and the river were amazing, I have heard them before, but they're incredible live. it's like a phenomenon!
-I saw all four of final fantasy's sets. owen pallett never failed to impress. I have no doubt that his performances made the black glasses-wearing-cool t-shirted-tight jeaned-indie-kids wonder if he actually did poo clouds. anyways I sat pretty-mezmerized in the front for his sets. it was not unlike tuvan throat-singing in that I couldn't fully comprehend how cool it sounded.
-I really like eleni mandell and the cape may, two-artists that I have heard of before, but not totally gotten into.


-don mclean singing the chorus of american pie 93 times.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


hello everyone!

I am back from my not-so-brief bit o' laziness there.
Well, I suppose it wasn't all lazy. I finished up my ridiculously easy provincial exams, (as well as school) and I went to my cottage. I did cottage-y things like swim in the lake, fish for walleye, canoe, draw, paint, read. I actually did a fair bit of reading, I read about 7 Kurt Vonnegut books, and about 10 other books. On the long and annoying trip home, I read A Fine Balance, about the lives and experiences of four people living in India in the 70's. Poverty, death, violence, the brutality and oppression of the caste system. It was probably not the best book to read in two days, although it was well-written I found it a bit overwhelming. I dunno why there was a little "Oprah's Book Club" stamp on it, I thought Oprah recommended fabricated memoirs and lame-self help books. Anyways, it was a nice cottage vacation. I also managed to catch a day of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, it was really a great experience.

Anyways, I'm back at home trying to get used to modern civilization and already very much used to long car trips. Tomorrow I'm heading to Nelson. So it goes.

And on Thursday the much anticipated event of the summer begins, the folk fest! I will try to give you updates on that.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


So school is wrapping up, it's all very, very, busy. I'm getting very excited for summer, it's gotten to the time where I'm starting to really need a break. I'm not too worried about my exams, but I probably should study. Math 10 is going to be pretty difficult. I'm not worried at all about provincial exams, even if I cared I wouldn't worry about them that much.

There's a meeting tomorrow for my volunteer crew at the folk fest HQ, just to meet everyone, etc. It should be nice, I'm already very excited about this gig and perhaps seeing some artists I really like. Anyways, I'm going to take a break from blogging for now (like I already have, basically) and do some actually schoolwork minus the procrastination. Which I probably should be doing now. But, I will leave you guys with this, because I think it's as cute as a button:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

calgary folk festival full line-up I am quite excited!!!!!

So I've snatched myself a gig as Record Tent-er at the Calgary folk fest this year. I am more than excited for that, but yesterday the full lineup was announced, and I'm about as excited as possible. There are some people on there that I've really wanted to see in concert, I really hope I'm able to catch them. Here is a list of artists I would love to catch:

-Rufus Wainwright, just released an album, has a few great albums in the past. I have had a major crush on this guy and his voice since I first heard him.
-Neko Case
-Final Fantasy
-Hawksley Workman
-The Sadies
-and much, much more including some that I don't know, but I'm very interested in hearing if I get a chance.

Now I totally need to do some Record Tent homework.

Speaking of the new Rufus Wainwright album, there is a song called "Tulsa" about Rufus meeting The Killers lead man, Brandon Flowers in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the song he mentions both "a fat guy in a green t-shirt" and a "poor girl waiting in the rain to meet him". Oddly enough, both the fat guy in green and the poor girl turned up with picture of them and Rufus in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the Rufus Wainwright forum. The magic of the internet, I doubt they're disappointed about being immortalized in a Rufus Wainwright song.

fat guy in green t-shirt.