Scene and Heard is all over local music news, concert announcements, record releases and festivals like a cheap rug. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to send hot scoops and band gossip.
Tonight, when you're sitting in the Metro Centre with your mom and dad, watching them rhapsodize over Jeff Beck, you might want to sneak a glance over at the stately woman accompanying him on bass. Rhonda Smith was born in Halifax and moved to Montreal as a child. There she became immersed in the jazz scene, and started learning to play her brother's bass, among a number of other instruments. After spending a number of years studying jazz and playing for high-profile Canadian musicians, she went to Germany for a convention and ran into Sheila E. by chance. Yeah, that Sheila E. The PRINCE Sheila E. And as it happens, Prince was in the market for a bass player, no big deal. She spent nearly a decade playing for Prince on tour and on his 2003 album Xpectation, and went on to play bass for the likes of Chaka Khan, Little Richard and T.I., among many others. (T.I.!)
Smith is currently promoting her sophomore album RS2. For more information about the album and her biography (which I've barely scraped here, by the way) you can visit her website. Big ups to this uber-cool Haligonian woman and all her successes.
“Pervert was the only band I knew that didn’t have a Myspace,” says Kyle MacDonald. He’s the newest addition to the Moncton powergrunge ensemble, currently emerging from a yearlong hiatus. As a stalwart member of the Moncton music scene, MacDonald can lovingly trace the band’s history back to 2008 when it formed from the ashes of Heimlich. He was first attracted to the band’s intense live shows and their unique choice of merch — sticks of “Pervert”-branded deodorant, mouthwash and shampoo. This brand of quirkiness along with their raging presence quickly drew them a local following. “The live music spoke for itself. The performances were jaw-dropping,” says MacDonald. Last summer, the band was in the midst of completing its debut album when bassist Jesse LeBlanc quit. Remaining members Matt Hogg and John Jerome had played with MacDonald in Cop Shades and Red Rum and brought him in to fill the gap and complete the album. Pervert’s album hearkens back to the golden days of Moncton’s dark rockers—-there’s threads of Elevator’s heavy melodies along with muscular grooves, all bathed in a wash of post-industrial acidity. It will be available at their Saturday night show at Gus’ with Flying Fortress, The Wides and Cursed Arrows—-along with the deodorant.
While I spent most of this rainy spring sitting on the couch, eating chips, the hot young
prog-rawkers in We’re Doomed have recorded an EP, filmed a music video, played a whackload of shows and are now gearing up to hit the road as part of the Canadian leg
of the Vans Warped Tour. (You may recall that they won the annual Battle to Warped
Tour competition this past February.)
After a farewell show this Friday at the Seahorse with Glory Glory, the Stogies and Levels, the foursome will leap in their newly-purchased van along with their Diminished Fifth Records dad Josh Hogan and
newly-minted roadie Kevin Hall. They’ll be playing four dates (July 14 — 18) in Toronto, Missisauga, Montreal and Fredericton. Drummer Scott Tiller says the band has been too busy to spend any time freaking out about sharing a stage with bands like Against Me!, Less Than Jake, Yelawolf and others. “I’m literally just packing a bag full of clothes,
my camera, my phone, some money I guess,” he says. “Oh, and sunscreen — I burn really
easily. And I’ll probably bring my skateboard.” Tiller said the band is most excited about rubbing elbows with Foxy Shazam, August Runs Red and Paramore. “(Guitarist) Nick Jones really wants to meet Hayley Williams,” he says. “I won’t try to predict what he’ll say. I don’t want to embarrass him in the Coast.” Cute. Keep an eye out also for the boys’ debut EP, Like A Machine, available on iTunes July 12. You can download a free track, “The Show Must Go On,” at weredoomed.bandcamp.com. Happy trails.
Hi Toronto! Four great bands from Halifax are coming to play an NXNE show at the Velvet Underground (510 Queen St West) this Saturday, presented by the Halifax Pop Explosion. Dance Movie kicks off the night at 8pm, followed by Glory Glory (9pm) Jon McKiel (10pm) and Cousins (11pm). Many Halifax types will be in attendance, I hear, and I wish I could be there too. Go poke your head in and see the wonderful music - you shall dig it.
Halifax’s prodigal sons of weird-pop Long Long Long have successfully managed to launch a rather massive North American tour through their own fund-raising methods. The band is currently on the road sharing bills with Cousins, Special Noise and Twin Steps, among others. The tour wraps up July 12 in Charlotte, NC - the land of Ben Folds and NASCAR enthusiasts.
Their latest EP is titled Who The Fuck Said Family Ain’t Family No More. You can download it fo’ free at longlonglong.bandcamp.com. It is my favorite release of theirs yet — a sweetly spectral cluster of songs with hooks that will fill the holes in your heart. In its press release, the band says it wants to be “GHOSTFACE KILLAH famous” - and yes, we hope world domination is not far behind. Here's where Long Long Long is playing so you can see the boys before they get money.
04/22 Fredericton, NB The Capital *
04/23 Montreal, QC Torn Curtain *
04/24 Montreal, QC L'escogriff *!
04/25 Ottawa, ON Cafe Dekuf *#
04/26 Toronto, ON Silver Dollar ~
04/27 Kingston, ON The Artel *
04/28 Rochester, NY The Bug Jar
05/03 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Fireproof
05/04 New York, NY Shea Stadium $
05/06 Pittsburgh, PA The Frame Gallery %
05/07 Columbus, OH Rumba Cafe
05/08 Detroit, MI North End Studios/ Sparklewood
05/13 Madison, WI The Project Lodge
05/17 Missoula, MT The BSMT
05/18 Medicine Hat, AB Justin's House
05/20 Edmonton, AB Dinwoodie
05/21 Calgary, AB No. 1 Legion (WYRD III)
05/22 Vancouver, BC Waldorf Hotel (WYRD III)
05/23 Tofino, BC The Maquinna (WYRD III)
05/25 Seattle, WA Healthy Times Fun Club ^
05/27 Portland, OR Mudai Lounge ^
05/28 San Francisco, CA The Cave ^
05/30 Sacramento, CA The Hub ^
05/31 Oakland, CA The Continental Club ^
06/01 Santa Barbara, CA Biko Garage ^
06/02 Los Angeles, CA Lot 1 ^
06/03 Los Angeles, CA Origami Vinyl ^
06/04 Los Angeles, CA FMLY RIDE
06/05 San Diego, CA The Tin Can Alehouse
06/06 Phoenix, AZ The Rogue Bar
06/08 Albuquerque, NM Dad's House
06/09 Norman, OK The Opolis
06/10 Austin, TX Skinny's Ballroom +
06/11 New Orleans, LA The Circle Bar
06/12 Houston, TX Super Happy Fun Land
06/15 Denver, CO Hi-Dive
06/20 Boise, ID Redroom
06/22 - 06/25 Calgary, AB Sled Island
06/29 St Louis, MO Pig Slop
07/02 Atlanta, GA Wonderroot
07/12 Charlotte, NC Sewercide Mansion
* = w/ Dream Friends
! = w/ Sheer Agony, Silver Apple
# = w/ Special Noise, Freelove Fenner
~ = w/ Duzheknew, Cousins
$ = w/ Pigeons, Jefferson High
% = w/ Shadow Puppets Sleepover
^ = w/ Twin Steps
+ = w/ Watch Out For Rockets
Sloan is set to release its 10th album, Double Cross, on May 10th. The release also marks the 20th year that the band has been together (and holy hell do I feel old now.) The band has scheduled a North American tour to commemorate this auspicious event, but we've noticed that Maritime dates are conspicuously absent from the itinerary. Huh. I guess if you're around any of these other cities during these dates, you can check them out - they will be playing hits from all 10 albums, and everyone loves hits, and whatnot.
May 25 Cleveland OH at Grogshop
May 26 Chicago IL at Subterranean
May 27 Minneapolis MN at 400 Bar
May 28 Winnipeg MB at The Pyramid
May 29 Saskatoon SK at Louis’ Pub
May 31 Edmonton AB at Starlite
June 1 Calgary AB at Republik
June 2 Penticton BC at Barking Parrot
June 3 Vancouver BC at Commodore Ballroom
June 4 Seattle WA at Tractor Tavern
June 5 Portland OR at Doug Fir
June 7 San Francisco CA at Café Du Nord
June 8 Los Angeles CA at Bootleg Theatre
June 11 Milton ON at Milton Rocks Festival
June 22 Toronto ON at Mod Club
June 24 Philadelphia at Kung Fu Necktie
June 25 Baltimore MD at Ottobar
June 27 Vienna VA at Jammin’Java
June 28 Cambridge MA at TT The Bear’s
June 29 New York NY at Bowery Ballroom
June 30 Brooklyn NY at Knitting Factory
July 1 Kanata ON at Kanata Canada Day Celebration
July 21 Meaford ON at Meaford Hall
July 22 Belleville ON at Empire Square Live
July 23 London ON at Rock The Park
July 29 Barrie ON at Kempenfest
July 31 Kenora ON at Harbourfest
Aug 6 Chatham ON at Rockstock
When Andrea Ramolo toured through Halifax two years ago, the Toronto-based roots-folk musician was sleeping in a van with built-in bunk beds, constructed with her longtime touring partner and musical Jack-of-all-trades Jason Skiendziel. For her upcoming cross-country jaunt, which brings her to the Seahorse next Wednesday, April 6, she’ll be supported by a bassist and drummer — and will hopefully be spending at least a few nights in comfier lodgings. Not that she’s complaining, though: “I just want the band to be comfortable,” she says. Ramolo’s humbler tour accommodations provided song fodder for her new album, The Shadows and the Cracks — one song, “Eastern Shore,” was specifically inspired by a spooky rest stop by an old graveyard on the way to Cape Breton. It’s a sea-shanty-style waltz, using the story of fisherman lost at sea as a framing for Ramolo’s own story of unrequited love. “It’s really eerie,” she says. “And that drive has always stuck with me — it’s such a haunting and beautiful place, with all the little lighthouses blinking in the fog.”
Listen to "Eastern Shore":
Philip Clark, aka A/V, takes a brief respite from teaching Korean children to make a guest appearance at DJ James Reid's hip-hop night, Hard in the Paint. The event features "crunk, dirty South, dubstep (wompwompwompwompwomp) and Gucci Mane." And maybe some Lil' B too, we suspect? Gus' Pub, 10pm. $3, cheap dranks!
There's some holiday or something today. Why not just go dancing tonight, ya dingus?
For those in the north end, you can catch an early Jenocide show with Catholic Gaydar, plus a performance with Elle Noir as part of the Pink Triangle DalOUT party at Menz Bar at 8pm. Wear something fleshy-coloured. Later she will double-team the Wardroom stage at the University of King's College with Windom Earle at 10pm.
But wait, there is more? She heads to the UK to play a few shows there this week, and we have it on good authority that she is going to see PJ Harvey in London as well - the same week that Peejer's new album Let England Shake drops. In ENGLANDD! Ummm...yeah. Journey of a lifetime. I'll be over here, grinding my teeth with lunatic jealousy.
UK tour dates are below, aw roit? (That's an accent of British.) In the meantime, you should check out the mix tape she did with DJ James Reid, Shinin' and Grindin', and dream, baby, dream of summer. Download here. And LICK MY LEGS.
The Relentless Garage - Islington, London
Windmill Brixton, London
Buffalo Bar, London, 8pm sharp.
For the first time ever, the ECMAs will be hosting an electronic music showcase in Charlottetown on April 15 and 16. It’s the brainchild of Electro East, a group of representatives from the electronic music community across the Maritimes. Eight artists will be chosen through a jury to perform at the stage, and submissions are open to a variety of genres. Head to electro-east.ca to learn more about the criteria for this event and apply. The deadline is Tuesday February 15 - submissions close at midnight. The jury should have their performers selected by March 11.
In-Flight Safety have joined Cousins, Duzheknew and Long Long Long as part of the Halifax contingent headed to SXSW in mid-March. They've folded the Austin dates into a mega-tour through Europe that ends April 15 back in Charlottetown. As the cherry on the fun-cake, the band has signed with the UK label Conehead. Well good on you, boyees! The band plays the Paragon on March 4.
Below, in no particular order, my favorite photo of the band (by Jule Malet-Veale) a photo of some tacos, and a recipe for fish tacos that someone sent me on the weekend. You're welcome.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, (juice of 2 limes)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 pounds halibut steaks, (four steaks)
4 flour tortillas, 10-inch diameter)
2 cups black beans, canned, or made from scratch
1 cup salsa
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
16 oz. sour cream
1) In a large zip-lock plastic bag or dish with cover, combine lime juice, oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano and pepper; stir well. Add fish to lime marinade and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
2) Prepare grill (medium-high heat) and oil the rack so fish will not stick. Place fish on the hot grill and cook 4—5 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily when teated with a fork.
3) While fish is cooking, wrap tortillas in foil and place on grill to heat.
4) Place black beans in a microwave-safe dish, cover and heat in the microwave.
5) When fish is done, place it in a dish and flake with a fork. Assemble tacos by spooning beans into the center of each tortilla, add flaked halibut and top with cheese and salsa.
6) Broiler option: Preheat oven broiler, coat broiler pan with vegetable oil spray and broil fish 4—5 minutes per side.
END RESULT EQUALS FUCKING YUMMY!
I imposed a Facebook moratorium on myself today, but right before I did so, I saw that both Cousins and Duzheknew had posted on their fanpages that they got into SXSW. WOW that is fun. You can see the list of the bands playing so far here. (Note that Cuz/Duz aren't on it yet, presumably because they're in the last round of showcasing bands.) But just look at it. J Mascis, Erykah Badu, Micachu and the Shapes, Thee Oh Sees, tons of bands that I have never heard of like Asobi Seksu, who sound like Florence and the Machine if she was a broken My Bloody Valentine tape. And blah blah blah, lots of other good things there. Great job bands! Represent and eat tons of tacos!
If you want to see what the whole big deal is, go see Cousins open for Monotonix this Sunday at the Seahorse.
The Nymphets landed in Halifax a couple of months ago on a bit of a tour (they’ve also lived in Montreal and Stockholm) and since then they’ve played a smattering of Gus’ Pub shows and charmed the pants off anyone lucky enough to see them at Rockin4Dollars. Johanna Heldebro (drums) and Jared Leon (guitar) play fast, spiky little punk songs with yelping vocals that will put a lump in your throat even as you maniacally bop your head. Sadly, they will soon be leaving us - but if you pay attention, you might catch them playing a final gig or two before they disappear, like a sweet, all-too-brief dream.
What are you doing?
Together, we are working on our first full-length record as well as the next issue of the magazine that we do -it is called Laura. Johanna is also preparing for an exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki, in March.
Why Halifax? How long do you plan to stay here?
We've been touring since May starting in Sweden, staying for periods of time in different cities. That's how we ended up here. We like it in Halifax. We're going back to Stockholm in mid-December.
Are you fans of the novel Lolita?
What is your favorite thing to eat?
We are not really into food. We eat whatever is available. We like hot dogs, though, and canned beans.
I really like the CPC Gangbangs shirt Jared wears when you play live - do you feel it is a lucky omen of some sort?
That is nice of you to say. I've had it for a while, maybe four years. A guy named Brady made them. I am not sure whether or not it is lucky, but I like the CPC Gangbangs a lot and like the shirt.
I dunno if you're a fan of the Pixies on Facebook, but recently their fan page listed some interesting developments, namely that the band are playing a Canadian tour. More recently, a status update was posted that read: "We can certainly add Halifax NS to the list for a Canadian tour!"
The back-and-forth on this page is interesting - it seems like someone is actually reading the comments, based on the piles of people pleading "HALIFAX" on the previous list of Canadian tour announcements. I like the casual tone of it too - whoever updates the page is all like "Oh yeah, let's add Halifax. Whatever, it's cool." You can almost picture Kim Deal sitting at her laptop squinting and chainsmoking through these updates (yes I know this is unlikely but this is as close to Kim Deal as I'll ever get, okay, so JUST LET ME DREAM THAT SHE IS TALKING TO ME THROUGH COMPUTER OKAY.)
Anyway, no official announcements yet, but this is great news if it all works out. We had the pleasure of seeing the Pixies at Arrow Hall in Mississauga during their '04 tour and it was 1,200 person mosh pit. It was also the closest I've ever come to punching another woman. That story is for another time. PIXIES!
In the midst of a pretty shitty week for Halifax's music community, it's nice to see new ventures rise from the ashes. Trevor Murphy and Josh "Pinky" Pothier are both staples of the scene, as well as longtime roommates/bandmates. In the wake of the demise of their band, The Establishment, the pair decided to launch an online music label that will release music from their various other projects for free and named it The Acadian Embassy.
Pothier's latest group, the mighty Kuato, and Murphy's megaband Quiet Parade are both releasing new music to kickstart the label (The Establishment's final release, The Consumer, is also available.) In addition to this, both bands are going on a brief mini-tour, starting off in Halifax Thursday night at Gus' Pub and continuing on with shows at Gallery Connexion in Fredericton on Friday and Charlottetown's Alibi on Saturday.
You can check out the website and poke around for more treats, updates and etc here: http://acadianembassy.com/