Archive for genre

I, The Jury Or Rather, The Judge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

ciwI was recently offered to be a judge at Canada Indie Week. I was honored and I was distraught. I have never believed that it was possible or even appropriate to have musical competitions. What is it that is being judged? It seems to me that it is just too subjective. I always believed that The Beatles were the greatest band ever. I still do. Yet The Beatles never released Dark Side Of The Moon. Pink Floyd on the other hand, never released Rubber Soul or Revolver. How do we accommodate for genre? Do we judge the material? Should more weight be given to the melody or the technical aspects? Do we consider commercial appeal and success? I have no idea! Yet I agreed to judge Indie bands in order to assist in determining the Indie Band of 2013. And so, I gathered my thoughts, and headed out to fulfill my duty as a Canada Indie Week judge.

XPRIME

XPRIME

My venue for Thursday night was Czehowski’s, a nice, non descript bar on Queen St. W. I signed in and was given a pen, and 4 score sheets. I was to judge 4 bands in areas of stage presence, performance, image, crowd response, song writing and ready for the next level. Who knew it would be this difficult? Could I be that objective? Isn’t objectivity subjective? But enough of my philosophical ramblings. Let the bands begin!! The night opened with J.J. and The Platters. A decent rock band with great energy and good songs. The crowd enjoyed them, and J.J. had good command of the stage. Something was missing though. There was nothing original, nothing unique in their music.  Nothing distinctive. Next up, Xprime. I had seen this Niagara Falls band on several occasions during the past 2 years and was amazed at how they had developed. They blew me away. They blew the crowd away. Their energy, intricate songs and amazing harmonies made them a tough act to follow. I will be writing a review on Xprime as soon as I hear their upcoming album. I spent the rest of the evening speaking with this band, getting a sense of where they were headed. Phil Taylor, the drummer, manager, booking agent and business manager is on top of it. These guys play bars, corporate gigs, and private functions and put their earnings back into the band to fund recording projects. Smart and talented.  Following Xprime was an unenviable place to be. So much so, that I cannot remember the other 2 bands who played that night.

As for the venue, there were not enough monitors for the bands and not enough lights to read the score sheet. The server was incredible, loaning me her flashlight so I could mark my scores. Thank you.

Friday night took me to The Silver Dollar Room, a venue I had played many times, a long time ago. Surprisingly it looked exactly the same. In fact, I think I recognized some of the stains. Its nice to know some things never change. I got my score sheets and pen and sat at the seat with the best vantage point in the bar. Once again I was to judge 4 bands.

Boy + Kite

Boy + Kite

Sue Newberry & The Law

Sue Newberry & The Law

Boy + Kite, an amazingly cool band out of Austin, Texas took the stage 1st.  I liked their music. They were innovative and had a unique edge. I chatted with them after their set and picked up an Ep and a full album. Very cool band. They are also due for a review. Next up, The Waxmen, a power trio with some nice songs, but nothing I haven’t heard before. Talented musicians who still need to find an edge.   Sue Newberry And The Law followed. A kind of Parachute Club approach to the music, but this girl can sing. Nice harmonies, and original, but lacking energy. Cool sound though. Finally, Maladies of Adam Stokes, an interesting band that supports a Dylanesque front man. Good songs, cool image, but lacking in uniqueness. All in all a pretty good night.

passesWhen I left The Silver Dollar Room I realized that it is impossible for me to be completely objective in my judging of music. I have my biases, my likes and dislikes. I have been around music long enough to know what I like and don’t like as soon as I hear it. It is not judgemental to prefer one genre over another. It is what makes music universal. There is something for everyone. I will not judge again. It is too stressful, too anxiety provoking. I have lost sleep and I have lost some sense of innocence. Next year, I will just go from venue to venue checking out the bands and writing about Indie Week. It is a lot simpler for me, and it does not wreck havoc on my conscience.

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/
RTDS

Radio That Doesn’t Suck. All the time.

THE NURSERY-Carnival Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

nursery3One of the most intriguing and interesting albums i have heard in a long time, Carnival Nature by Toronto band The Nursery, contain 6 tracks of musical mastery. Released in June, 2013, The Nursery dance to the beat of a very different drummer.

Lysurgically Yours” opens the album with wonderful piano work, and a magical, carnival feel.  The harmonies, hypnotic vocals, theremin and guitar riff create a wonderfully esoteric feel. The steady drumming of “It’s A Sin“, coupled with the over the top guitar, synthesizer and theremin create a very different atmosphere while providing a catchy melody that makes me think of court jesters. “Lucy” delivers a strangely cool melody amid a western tempo countrified guitars and great transitions. The synth opening of “Domino“, accented by drum rolls, delivers a great melody in an unconventional song. It is just plain weird, but I do like weird. “The Wild Heart” contains an REM style acoustic guitar opening, with a very eerie vocal track that creates a wonderfully dreamy sensation. The psych-rock guitar solo compounds the ethereal sensations.” I Was I Was Someone Else” comes with acoustic guitar picking, horns, a sophisticated melody and spectacular vocals. A wonderful song.

nursery2

Alex Pulec

nursery1For the first time I was unable to find an identifiable favorite track. The music defies genre. The Nursery have incorporated several styles and arrived at a sound that can best be described as acid/rock/soul/synth-folk/pop. Let’s be honest. Its just plain weird! Eccentric. Bizarre.  But it is simply incredible. Alex Pulec’s voice, akin to Robert Smith of The Cure, in its tone and phrasing, is perfectly suited to sing these  songs. In fact, I don’t think anyone else could do them justice. I have listened to Carnival Nature several times, and enjoy it more with each listen. The songs are  unconventionally spectacular. The arrangements are weirdly wonderful and I’m having the time of my life listening. This is a band I want to interview.  This is an album you won’t want to miss.

Check The Nursery out for yourself here:      http://thenursery.bandcamp.com/album/carnival-nature

https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/