Local Love – Issue #3

The summer of 2011 has come and long gone on the swift wings of beautiful weather and an alcohol induced haze. Looking back, it is difficult to say where time went, but one thing is for certain along with the patio lanterns and sandy beach glory, it was a blissfully musical season. It is the ultimate joy of a band girl. The ability to do the watermelon crawl home from ones favourite watering hole, outdoor festival or concert after listening and falling in lust with a new amazing talent. Being able to savour that happy glow of something new and interesting as you enjoy the breezy warm night air and the heightened conversation, that is always uniquely intense after an amazing show. This Monday I am adding a Special Edition of the Sunday Seven…. which is actually going to be a Sunday Ten. A variation of this blog post is going to appear on Live Nations Facebook page in and around December 31st, 2011 and I wanted to ensure it graced my own blog site first. The bands in this Sunday Seven which is actually a Ten and on a Monday, all hail from Ontario, Canada. All ten were newly discovered this past summer season and all ten were lust at first listen, either for their amazing live performance or brilliantly unique sound. Cheers!

The Blues Stones

From: WINDSOR, ONTARIO

Genre: BLUES ROCK ALTERNATIVE

Bandies: TAREK JAFFER & JUSTIN TESSIER

Album: THE BLUE STONES (Self-Titled)

Discovered: CALL THE OFFICE – LONDON, ONTARIO

Website: http://www.thebluestones.ca

Worthy Because:

Call the Office in London, Ontario is a place where everybody who is anybody has graced the stage on his or her rise to glory. It can be an intimidating location to play to say the least. The venue was as full as it had been all night when The Blue Stones took the stage just after midnight. It has been a stellar night of local talent and these two young gents had a lot to live up to in order to keep the frenzied vibe of the night going. Within minutes of starting into their set they had dismantled my ageist and otherwise groundless skepticism with their tight bass/blues infused rock sound. Tarek’s simplistic guitar work complimented his falsetto vocals, and it became clear as I glanced around why the front of the stage had become infested with woman. The guy’s voice and stage presence is pure chick-magnate; whether engineered or by divine design, it melts hearts. Justin’s impressive, tasteful and minimalist drumming grabs your attention, and holds you through the entire set. This duo are classy, multi-talented and with years ahead of them have unlimited potential.

A Little Taste of Love:

Whale Tooth

From: TORONTO, ONTARIO

Genre: Hip Pop!

Bandies: ALEX DENIKE, ELISE LEGROW, MICHAEL MCCREARY, NORM MASHCKE & SEP NOOROZI

Album: WHALE TOOTH (Self-Titled)

Discovered: ECHO BEACH – ONTARIO PLACE – TORONTO, ONTARIO

Website: http://whaletoothmusic.com

Worthy Because:

Picture this: it is a gorgeous sunny day, you are standing along the stage at a brand new venue that looks and feels like a seaside beach, on the glorious Toronto harbour front. Sipping back cold Corona, enjoying the company of the growing crowd that is forming in front of the stage, and people watching with your sunglasses on. Looking around you can’t help but think, “Man it is truly a beautiful day to be alive”. With the first notes of their first song you are instantly catapulted out of your summer daze and straight into the fiery set of Whale Tooth, by their enigmatic energy, their soulful touch and a natural ability to lure you in. Whale Tooth possesses a happy magic that doesn’t come easy. A rare talent that is derived from something innate, and real. Lead vocalist Elise is an absolute phenom on stage, not just for her velvety vocal talents but because she is a huge ball of energy and remains fueled up on octane and adrenaline from start to finish. This group stole the night for me; every band after them fell short of their charm and style, including Sloan, who we had all showed up to see. If you have the chance to catch them live, DO IT.

A Little Taste of Love:

Saigon Hookers

From: KITCHENER, ONTARIO

Genre: ROCK N’ ROLL

Bandies: TOMMY SMOKES, ROB CYBULSKIE, TOMMY GUNS & LEE BROOK

Album: TRUTH, NO REASON

Discovered: THE NITE OWL – LONDON, ONTARIO

Website: http://www.myspace.com/saigonhookers

Worthy Because:

Sometimes in life, as a true blooded band girl, it is imperative to see a band live because rumor and urban legend dictates that it is the only way they should be heard. So you stuff your slightly drunk body into an overheated, tiny space full of very-drunk bodies that for some reason are always super sticky and wet. This is how Hookers need to be seen… in a small sweaty bar… full of last call drunks. No strangers to the music scene, Hookers have an undeniable chemistry, creating dripping rock that tantalizes and teases while embracing the blue collar approach that one should work, and work hard for the craft they love. Filled to the brim with talent, aggression and enough testosterone to kill the cast of Jersey Shore, Hookers are in fact becoming one of Southwestern Ontario’s hottest commodities.

A Little Taste of Love:

The Dyadics

From: LONDON, ONTARIO

Genre: POWER POP/ROCK

Bandies: KEVIN KENNEDY & MATT WESTON

Album: THE DYADICS (Self-Titled)

Discovered: CALL THE OFFICE – LONDON, ONTARIO

Website:http://thedyadics.com/index.html

Worthy Because:

Keen in keeping brilliant company on the stage, local filmmaker Rob McCallum welcomed The Dyadics to open his benefit gig for the film Unearthly, and they did not disappoint. London Ontario has been fortunate enough to watch this band grow and develop and it’s without a doubt they’ve truly found their stride. Lead Kevin Kennedy has developed an endearing persona onstage whose vocal range and passion emanated throughout the room, enhanced further as the bodies began to pour in. Matt Weston’s uncanny rhythm section is almost as amazing to watch as it is to listen to ask he plays the percussion bass and the drums at the same time. The band knows how to write a quality song, a rare trait that would normally make a band stand out alone, but for The Dyadics it is just one of many things that makes them a pleasure to experience again and again. They were truly the perfect opener to a phenomenal evening.

A Little Taste of Love:

Those Gulls

From: OTTAWA, ONTARIO

Genre: ROCK, INDIE, POST-PUNK ALTERNATIVE

Bandies: ANDREW GROSVENOR, PIERCE McKENNIERY & PETER ZACHAR

Album: THOSE GULLS (Self-Titled)

Discovered: FACEBOOK

Website: http://www.thosegulls.com

Worthy Because:

Do you have a road trip CD? You know, that album that you play over and over LOUD, singing into your thumb/microphone, enjoying every single song on repeat? This is the self-titled CD by Those Gulls for me this summer. I found these gents by clicking on a link on a friends Facebook page and instantly fell in love with the charisma, chemistry and raw talent of this trio. There is a lot of heart in this hard working band from Ottawa, whose infectious surf punk/indie alternative sound is a sensory assault that is too fun and too groovy to ignore. If this band stays on the trail they are beginning to blaze, they will be the best thing to come out of Ottawa since…. well… help me out here?

A Little Taste of Love:

The Marrieds

From: LONDON, ONTARIO

Genre: FOLKY POP

Bandies: JANE CARMICHAEL & KEVIN KENNEDY

Album: THE MARRIEDS (Self-Titled)

Discovered: APK LIVE – LONDON, ONTARIO

Website: http://www.myspace.com/themarriedsmusic

Worthy Because:

This little folk pop duo creates music that is beautiful, heartfelt and never fails to transport me to a happier place. Jane’s understated and delightful vocals are perfectly complimented by a mix of ukulele, guitar and the pure poetry of their lyrics. This husband and wife duet embraces the heart of folk and pop and infuses it into an energetic and powerful concoction. The overwhelming sheer talent of this twosome is beautiful to watch live and has brought to life some of those little Canadian tidbits this country has become known for: diversity & heart.

A Little Taste of Love:

The Hippy Mafia

From: TORONTO, ONTARIO

Genre: URBAN ROCK/FLOWER PUNK

Bandies: OOBLO22, CASTRO, SHAMROC, MOLASSES, FITZDVYNE & DR. KAHUNA

Album: FIRST ALBUM COMING SPRING 2012

Discovered: SOUND ACADEMY-TORONTO, ONTARIO

Website: http://www.thehippymafia.com

Worthy Because:

There are few bands I’ve romanticized  more so then The Hippy Mafia. They are sexy and dirty and very urban and unapologetic, which makes them a force to be reckoned with on during their live performances. These gents are the perfect example of what happens when a group of very talented, musically gifted manfolk get together and create something truly unique and special without bias of music genre holding them back. The absolute inimitability of their indie electro hip-hop rock n’ roll is like raw heat that ripples off the stage and onto the listener transporting them into the messages of their music, messages of peace love and oneness without borders. This multi-national group was so surprising, so overwhelmingly sexy and divine on stage that I forgot that I had actually shown up to see Beady Eye. Looking so forward to these gents returning from their United Kingdom tour and showing Southwestern Ontario a little Hippie love this spring.

A Little Taste of Love:

Hawkeyes

From: DOWNTOWN KITCHENER & UPTOWN WATERLOO, ONTARIO

Genre: RAD, HEAVY & SLOW

Bandies: PF, STREETKNIFE, RA, BLACKOUT, SS & KAISER

Album: NUTHIN YET…. BUT ONE CAN HOPE SOON!

Discovered: THE HIVE – KITCHENER, ONTARIO

Website: FACEBOOK OR REVERBNATION

Worthy Because:

One could argue that given Hawkeyes musical resume, it’s almost as though they’re cheating, but no one ever read me the rules of rock n’ roll. SS is in his true element behind a drum kit. The man was born to hit things, and to hit them exceptionally, ear-shatteringly hard. Guitarist Streetknife rocks harder then 99% of the music community, which is why I am certain this man will one day be revered as a god. Guitarist PF played centre stage and though he may look nothing like his fellow Hawkeyes, PF is what really holds this force of a band together. RA’s hilarious stage antics and contradictory sexy cool demeanor creates a down to earth feeling about the band that despite their experience and obvious talent they don’t take themselves too seriously. Finally rocking bassist Blackout lends to the absolute swagger of the band that can be defined only as “doomy and loud”. Kaiser the other, other Hawkeyes guitarist was sadly absent from the performance I caught this summer. Living on the edge of their mantra of “Tune Down and Turn Up” this band coaxed the late night crowd into a tripped out ambiance, performing with every sense of their collective being.

A Little Taste of Love:

HUE

From: TORONTO/LONDON, ONTARIO

Genre: INDIE POP

Bandies: DANNY PATON, ANDREW SCHMIDT, DARCY FINCK, JESSICA PATON & ANDREW JONES

Album: STARTING FIRES

Discovered: CALL THE OFFICE – LONDON, ONTARIO

Website: FACEBOOK & MYSPACE

Worthy Because:

Danny Paton has a smoky, cowlick howl supported by an energetic and authentically interesting band that evokes excitement and fervour.  The Toronto/London, Ontario based six-piece have an extremely energy-driven, sometimes haunting tension about them, a presence that is illuminated by the sweet sounds of such an array of talent coming together. The thing about Hue is they know how to work together, whether it’s when playing softer tracks like the amorous “Follow” or the amped up intensity of tracks like “The Bump,” they never lose their spirit, in fact, they refreshingly play off of each other and build their performance based around this chemistry. It makes for an enigmatic, unforgettable show that promises greater things. This is not a band to miss.

A Little Taste of Love:

The Beauties

From: TORONTO, ONTARIO

Genre: FOLK ROCK

Bandies: JUD RUHL, SHAWN CREAMER, PAUL PFISTERER, DARRIN McCONNELL & DEREK DOWNHAM

Album: THE BEAUTIES (Self-Titled)

Discovered: THE DAKOTA TAVERN – TORONTO, ONTARIO

Website: http://www.myspace.com/thebeautieslive

Worthy Because:

I have to digress here, just for a moment, to discuss how amazing the crowd at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto, Ontario is on a Sunday night. It is a testament to the power of a band as talented as The Beauties in their ability to mesmerize and capture a room. The crowd sang and, more importantly, felt every song the band played. An inherent attribute to The Beauties success is simply their ability to move you – to make those fine little hairs on your arms stand up as a shiver creeps down your spine. They make you happy, they make you sad, and it comes across so naturally time ceases to exist. Performing with an elegance and ambiance that comes with confidence in ones craft and maturity I am giving them total kudos for making a stuffy venue packed to the core feel so empowering.

A Little Taste of Love:

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2 Comments

  1. Yowza! Thanks for the love–I made the list twice!! Flattered & speechless…

    • All that hard work pays off every once in awhile… keep on keeping on that musical gift… it is rarity.


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