Daily Picks: Friday | Cultural Festivals | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Daily Picks: Friday

Dog Day, Adam and the Amethysts, RatTail, Weekend Dads, Twin Shadow

w/Shotgun Jimmie, The Skeletones Four, Reversing Falls, Old and Weird
Friday, October 21, Gus' Pub, 9pm, $10

Friday's Pigeon Row Showcase is going to be a doozy. To celebrate the fifth year of being a rootin'-tootin' promotin' machine, Pigeon Row gathered some of their favourites to make a very sweet lineup. If you are a major harmony fan, you might be in heaven.

Magically, Dog Day's minimalist lineup of wonder duo Seth Smith and Nancy Urich has made them sound spookier, heavier and louder. If you haven't picked up a copy of Deformer yet (if you haven't, I kind of want to smack your head), do it on Friday or face the consequences. The consequences being that you'll miss out on an album that takes you places; makes you want to give your life an overhaul and take it back to basics. What are you doing with all those sweaters/VHS/boxes of notes from high school anyway? Get rid of those things and build a recording studio in a nook where you can write songs about fresh air and travelling and be sad and happy at once. Or you can leave that to Dog Day and soak it up when you let their song messages wash over you like the ocean.


w/Daniel Ledwell, Chris Page, The Wheat Pool
Friday, October 21, The Company House, 8pm, $10

Montreal's Adam and the Amethysts make gorgeously warm psych-folk with a pulsing Canadian heart. The band's sophomore album Flickering Flashlight features urban hymns and sepia-hued memories of the country, stirring harmonies and rousing trumpets, bike rides, deaths and a brief earnest flash of "Auld Lang Syne" (in the Celtic-flavoured song "Prophecy.") Sonically, the album--- recorded in frontman Adam Waito's apartment, creaking floorboards and all---has a spacey, laden melodicism that hearkens back to The Beach Boys at some points and Phil Collins at others. Waito's voice is alternately casual, precise and wistful, and his songwriting aims to surprise; the song "Canadian Tired" starts as a lament on being stuck in a rut, and rises to a joyous, piano-tinkled chorus imploring all of us to wait---things will get better. While other bands of the Amethysts' ilk enjoy a langourous detachment, Waito (formerly of equally thoughtful synth-pop outfit Miracle Fortress) infuses his songs with vivacity and passion. This music is mellow, sure, but it's also overwhelmingly alive.


w/Kuato, secret guest
Friday, October 21, Tribeca, 7pm, $10

Toronto three-piece RatTail is effortlessly alluring. Its songs are inviting yet gritty. Singer Jasmyn Burke's smouldering vocals pull the listener in, while rhythm section Tim Fagan (bass) and Jesse Matthews (drums) anchor RatTail's unwavering, idiosyncratic rock. Last year saw the release of the George Mounsey EP, its debut seven-inch. Since then, a national tour and a series of playful, demented online videos have whetted the appetites of fans across Canada. With the cassette version of its highly anticipated LP (due in November on Unfamilar Records) in hand, RatTail is sure to give Halifax a whopping dose of what's coming next in the Canadian underground.


w/Tongan Death Grip, Kepi Ghoulie Electric, Chixdiggit
Friday, October 21, Reflections Cabaret, 8pm, $15

With the Detroit Tigers being eliminated from the playoffs, maybe longtime fan and Weekend Dad James Robertson can take some solace in the perks that will come his way this week. "The deli trays and intermittent free drinks are rad," jokes Robertson. "I've played Pop Explosion a bunch of times but it's the first time for Corey and Brendan and they're stoked. I also love the fact we're playing with Chixdiggit, Kepi and our good buds in Tongan Death Grip."

It's a stacked pop-punk show, but that's not all--- the Dads are releasing a seven-inch on standout label It's Alive that night.

Bass player Matt Grace, who is also doing time in Punk Rock Karaoke, Audrey and the Agents and The Graboids, has a marathon Pop Explosion ahead of him, playing a half-dozen sets over four days. With so many prior commitments, The Weekend Dads may neglect you this week, but they will not disappoint.


w/Tupperware Remix Party, Southern Shores, Kidstreet
Friday, October 21, The New Palace, 8pm, $15

Twin Shadow is the moniker of George Lewis Jr., a Dominican-born, Florida-raised transplant currently residing in New York. His debut album Forget, a blend of retro synth sounds and forward thinking arrangements, was released last year on Terrible Records, a label run by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor (who also handled production). By year's end, his record was topping critics' lists and Lewis himself was ranked as one of New York's most stylish people by Time Out magazine. More recently, he wrapped up a transatlantic tour called the Clean Cuts Tour, based on a series of different hair styles he adorned at each gig. He's that guy.

However, beyond the connections, the image and the gimmicks, lay an irreproachable album with as much soothing melody and songwriter's sentimentality as there are danceable breaks and catchy hooks. Where much modern electronica is aimed exclusively at the dance floor and crumbles under close or repeated listening, Lewis' keen eye for detail as a lyricist and his carefully chosen sonic palate give his songs a chameleonic charm.

In a live setting, Twin Shadow transforms into a four-piece band backed by some of New York's tightest players and fronted by Lewis, whose knack for image and artistry turn him into an irresistible entertainer.


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