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Tonite, Tonite 

Before we get on with the show permit me a short rant about show start times...

Why is it that every gig at the Attic STARTS at 11 pm. The last three shows I've been to there (Pride Tiger, The Golden Dogs, last night's pop explosion show) have gone way into the wee hours of the night because someone insists on booking four bands and starting them this late. It means that you don't walk out of the place until 3 am, or, like some people, you just leave before the headliners start, which totally blows. WTF. Call me old (I'm 26 if anyone's wondering), but does no one else have work/school to be at on a Wed. morning? I don't mind staying up late and being tired at work, but it's starting to seem like that's what it's going to be every time you want to see a band. But I digress...

So despite the late start last night, things ran pretty smoothly. Husband and Knife, a man and his guitar, started off the night. Despite a sizable crowd in the joint H&K failed to ignite much interest, which wasn't really helped by a lack of audience interaction.

Blue Heeler, billed in the HPX program as the headliner hit the stage next. A two-person band, Blue Heeler features ex-Shotgun and Jaybird members Dick Morello and Julie Doiron (yes I know she was also in some band called Eric's Trip, but for the sake of brevity she's ex-Shotgun and Jaybird. Deal with it). I always thought Shotgun and Jaybird songs sounded like really slow Pavement tunes and guess what? Blue Heeler sounded like really slow Pavement as well. I'm not calling this a bad thing, but the band, who are clearly still developing needs to write some hooks in their tunes, or at least something to distinguish each song from the last. All in all good shit though.

Local faves the Superfantastics hit the stage next. I haven’t seen them since last year’s Pop Explosion but I really dig their Pop-up Book LP. Singer-guitarist Matthew MacDonald still seems shy onstage but has come along way since last year. I want more energy dammit! The duo, particularly drummer Stephanie d’Entremont keep the stage banter and audience interaction going but since their songs are like a minute and a half long, it really breaks up the pace of the show. But the songs really speak for themselves and the duo hit their stride on Vantastic and carried the vibe through the rest of the set.

The Bicycles 60s sugar dipped pop tunes are always a crowd pleaser, but major bass amp problems plagued the quartet for the first third of their set. Once it was sorted though, man watch out, this band can ppplllaaayyyy.

Tonight sees me at the Marquee to peep Polaris nominees Besnard Lakes with locals Laura Peek and the Winning Hearts and in my opinion, the best local band in town, i see rowboats. If there’s time after I’m going to hip hop over to the Attic once again and check out Brother Ali (I guess late start times are good for something). I saw him in Vancouver with Atmosphere and Rhymesayers Crew like 4 years ago and he killed. Unfortunately I’ll be missing Blueprint, who I’ve never actually heard, but apparently he made an album completely dedicated to 1988 with beats and references of that wonderful year. For those lucky enough to get tix, Tegan and Sara are at St. Matthew’s and some of Classified’s crew will be at the Half-Life Records showcase at the Seahorse.

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