September 30, 2012

Live show review: Mutemath at The Phoenix Theatre on September 25th, 2012

It's been almost 5 years since New Orleans rock band, Mutemath stepped on Canuck soil. Many of the die-hard fans didn't have a choice but to travel to the U.S to witness their mind-blowing live performance. I have been to NYC and Lollapalooza to see them twice in the last 5 years. But it's not the same when your favorite band comes to your town, right? At last, after 3 albums and some member changes, Mutemath came back to Toronto and delivered a vivacious live performance at Phoenix Theatre on September 25th, 2012.

Once the recorded music commenced from out of nowhere and the stage lit up, the members crawled through the audience from the back of the venue to the stage. They made it on the stage and once the drummer, Darren King, greeted and put his well-worn headphone and duck-taped it around his head, it meant it was the time to start of their set... The guitar intro of Typical provoked screams from the long-awaiting fans and sing-along session started in the entire venue.

The set included tunes from the last three albums, yet, more skued toward the self-titled debut album, including Beautiful, Plan B, Control, Chaos, and Break the Same. (Perhaps it was carved out for the Toronto audience who'd  waited for them to come back for the last 5 years)These songs focused more on the melodic integration with catchy tunes and guitar riffs rather than the peculiar yet captivating rhythm lines, which you can enjoy in songs from the latest album, Odd Soul. Songs like Blood Pressure and Prytania caused me quite the dilemma trying to decide who to keep my eyes on. The superb drum technic by King was an absolute pleasure to watch. Behind the simplest drum kit, King brought the mesmerizing drum beats. I've been calling him as one of the best drummers alive, and I don't think I overstate by saying that. Paul Meany's vibrant stage performance with his various keys and high-pitched raspy voice were hard to miss. Meany was very engaging with the audience while indulging himself in walking on the crowd. The new addition of the band, Todd Gummerman fit right in the band with his musical talent of multitasking on various instruments, including his guitar and keys. Last, but not at least, the bassist, Roy Mitchell-C├írdenas's spectacular bass lines may have been hidden in the shade of others, but the uniqueness in Mutemath's sound can be only completed with his mind-blasting rhythm line. 

As I am one of the biggest Mutemath fans in Toronto, I sang along with all the tunes and danced my butt off. The ending of the song was nothing but outrageous. Spotlights triggered the loudest and fastest hand crapping by the audience. The tempo was so fast that my hands got so tired after a while. As Meany stretched his arms up in the air along with the chorus of the song, the confetti bazooka fired up. When the members came back on the stage with the last tune of the night, Quarantine, I knew something breathtaking would happen. Meany jumped in the crowed and sang off the stage, while migrating from one spot to another. Once I thought he came back on the stage, he crowd-surfed with a big black boat   on the crowd. Then King brought a snare drum on the top of keyboard and started jamming on the keyboard. Once he came back to his drum set, Meany, King, and Cardenas started banging on the drum, while Gummerman picked up his guitar pedals and crafted electronic beams along with the jam. “Oh My God”, was the only words that I was able to speak after witnessing such a creative and lively show. Mutemath- Please don't take another 5 years to be back in Toronto. Come back soon.

The Wooden Sky, I'm Your Man

Toronto folk rockers, the Wooden Sky are ready to close off their hectic year with another North American tour this fall. With the tour date announcement, they've also unveiled a new music video; I'm Your Man, which is off their album, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, released earlier in this year. I was very surprised that I didn't see their album on this year's Polaris award shortlist. They'll always be in my book anyways. 

The Wooden Sky will perform in Toronto on December 1st at the Phoenix Theatre.  

September 27, 2012

Zoobombs at Silver Dollar Room on September 21st, 2012

It's probably been over a decade ago when I first heard of a Japanese band, Zoobombs. I remember flipping through their albums between numerous others at the Tower Record in Hiroshima, when my high school music geek friend, Nishihara stopped me and briefly mentioned the band. I thought to myself, "What kind of band name is that?" ( Zoobomb in Japanese means a pair of  trousers), and kept skipping through. After arriving in Toronto 7 years ago, I've often asked my Canadian friends if they know the band. I've nodded my head in the realization that they are big in Toronto too. However, I'd missed seeing them live so many times. My recent conversation with Lonely Vagabond made me determined to see them next time there were in town. After all these years, my opportunity finally came to see them here in Toronto at Silver Dollar Room on September 21st.

The moment that Zoobombs stepped on the stage, I knew that it would be one of the best shows that I've ever witnessed. Their vivacious stage presence lit up a fire in the entire venue and went into overdrive. They know the perfect equation to mix various musical genres in their sounds from psychedelic rock, pop, to rapping. The flawless transitions between songs created the endless chain of wowzer from the audience. I was trapped in their dynamic live ambiance. The lyrics were mixed up with both Japanese and English, yet it was hard to capture what the lead singer, Don Matsuo was singing. (It may have been a due to the stereo position.) However, rather it was as if Matsuo was casting a spell on the Canadian audience with their superb performance and their music itself spoke to the audience.  As Zoobombs proceeded their performance, I couldn't help realizing that music is just a means of communication beyond the boarders and language barrier and they maneuver it like a ninja star. The sincerer gestures and their passion were communicated to us through their music and it just made me so happy to be the part of the show.

Their success in my homeland may be a hard tale to describe. However, it is not overstating to say they've had more success in North America than any other Japanese artists, especially in Toronto. At the end of the set, Matsuo thanked the audience and acknowledged that Toronto is a very special place for them and I wanted to tell them that this is their second home.

I thought back the moment that I was at Tower Record and I wanted to tap the young me on the shoulder and tell her to grab the record on hand because she would never regret.

September 24, 2012

The Balconies and Hands and Teeth cover Justin Bieber

A few months ago when I first saw the cover of Beyonce's Countdown by The Elwins and Luke Lalonde (of Born Ruffians), I thought it would be my favorite cover in 2012.

However, Toronto indie rockers, The Balconies and Hands and Teeth have collaborated for this harmonic cover of Justin Bieber's signature tune, Baby with The Mojito Sessions and Southern Soul.  

I never thought I would post Bieber's music video here on Music Psychos. I guess, never say never, right? I'm not gonna lie, lots of indie music fans, including myself of course, have hummed this song numerous times. It is just very catchy and it won't leave your head easily.  

My favorite part of the song is when the members of Hands and Teeth join mellifluous rapping and thickening the chorus with layers of impeccable harmonies. I absolutely adore this cover! Give it a listen. 

September 21, 2012

July Talk, Paper Girl

I can easily say that the debut album of Toronto rock band, July Talk is my most anticipated album for this fall, which is to be released on October 16th via White Girl Records. As I've witnessed their set during NXNE (click here to read my review), I've searched for their recorded material on the Internet. After only finding a couple of songs, I've been craving for a full set of a record by them, filled in with 80's retro rock n'roll and the perfect coalescence of Peter Dreimanis' raspy voice and Leah Fay's sentimental voice. 

I had such a treat. Prior to their album release, July Talk has unveiled a music video of the first single, Paper Girl off the desk. Give it a listen because you will love it. (Stamp! Music Psychos' guaranteed! ) I've been endlessly repeating it on YouTube. I can't wait for their album release. 

September 18, 2012

Tim Chaisson: The Other Side

PEI singer songwriter, Tim Chaisson is ready to release his fourth album, The Other Side on September 25th via Bumstead.

Born in a musical Celtic family, where they are so exquisite that they'd previously been asked to perform for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their last visit in the summer, he's built a frank yet heartfelt method to reach out to the listeners with his gentle voice and a single acoustic guitar.

This new effort, The Other Side epitomizes Chaisson's ability to get closer to the listeners while sliding in the space between the hearts and penetrating with various feelings of the songs. The initial tune, Beat This Heart, kicks off the album with an amiable country pop tune with an effortless gentle vocal and a chain of warm acoustic string jams. Blast Your Way Out also set the tone of the record, where his straightforward yet, humble music tickles the listener with a bed of heartwarming melody. My favorite song of the album is The Healing. This song is a rather quieter tune than others in the album. It deploys the perfect combination of intimacy and longing of his minimal musical style. His cordial voice breathes along with the emotion-provoking lyrics. As it gets closer to the climax of the song, I couldn't help but remember the bitter taste of being broken hearted, which everyone has experienced at least once in their life.

Tim Chaisson has two upcoming Toronto shows. He will be performing at this year's Canada's Walk of Fame at Nathan Philips Square on Saturday, September 22nd. He also has a CD release party in Toronto at Dakota Tavern on September 25th.

Check out his performance of Beat This Heart and Blast Your Way Out with Southern Souls. 

September 17, 2012

Live show Review: Mariachi Fuego - Dakota Tavern on September 17th,2012 by NAM

On Monday evenings, 8-10pm at the Dakota Tavern you'll find 'Mariachi Monday' a relaxed atmosphere with fish tacos accompanied by the soulful sounds of Mariachi Fuego.
I set out to attend Mariachi Monday with 2 of my friends full of excitement. I'm a fan of the Mariachi styling and music and I wasn't disappointed by Mariachi Fuego they put together a great set of songs in the familiar Mariachi styling with  songs from many South American origins and mixing in a sprinkle of familiar favourites. You certainly get your moneys worth as there's no cover and the band play for a good 1 hour and 45 mins.
It's refreshing and enjoyable to sit back an be entertained by talented musicians that enjoy what they do and have fun doing it. Everyone that attended seemed to really enjoy the show and I'd recommend 'Mariachi Monday' to anyone that fancies a laid back Monday evening.

New Hands: Whichever Way You'll Have it

Hamilton electric rock band, New Hands have been keeping themselves busy with tons of fresh single releases this summer. These songs were recorded with their producer, Michael Keire last year while members spent time living together. 

The boisterous electro quintet unveiled another single, Whichever Way You'll Have it last week and it's available for free download on their Bandcamp site.

Likewise other singles, New hands maneuver electrifying synth beat and melodic diapason coated with a husky vocal. As the band stated that "This song best conveys our desire to make people think, feel and dance,” it's so easy to be caught in the vigorous melody from the very first listen. I seriously need to go to their next Toronto show to see these guys. 

Give it a listen from the below link and don't forget to grab your free copy. 

They've also put together a short video with friends for the chorus of the song.  

Live show review: Invasions with Loose Pistons at Sliver Dollars on September 15th, 2012

One of the best hosts of the local music scene, the Silver Dollar Room knows who to put on their bill. This Saturday night, on September 15th, 2012, they put together a stellar line up with Toronto locals, Invasions and Stray Feathers and Toronto first-timers, Loose Pistons from Montreal. 

Montreal garage rock quartet, Loose Pistons, started cranking up their volume on the amps prior to their performance. Once the drummer, Pierre-Luc Boily indicated 'go' on the volume, they commenced their set with their 60's garage rock tunes. I could certainly feel the nervousness from them as it was their debut show in Toronto. However, as they proceeded with their songs, it disappeared immediately and the audience started gathering around the stage. 

Their captivating bluesy rock tunes grabbed my attention from the very beginning and caused a stuck tune syndrome. I found myself deeply immersed in their style of the melodic simplicity. I always find it very attractive when a band knows who they are and Loose Pistons are definitely a band with a strong self-identification with a simple yet solid dynamic to their sound. My favorite tune of the night was Break a Bone, which the lead singer/guitar, Hugo Chartand, rocked out his harmonica to a bluesy rock tune. My heart melted when the harmonica met the hauling guitar solos. I got a cassette EP with a download card from the band at the end of the night, and it's been on heavy repeat over the weekend.- The best five bucks that I've spent for a while. 

Following with the staggering performance by Loose Pistons, Toronto local, Invasions escalated the momentum of the night even further. Their audience showed up around the stage and it became the busiest during the night before they hit the stage. Once they put up a their logo on the back and a flashy little skeleton on the drum set, the Toronto rockers were ready to blast the audience with their newly written songs, which they've now channeled their musical path to Western surf rock. They've also introduced two new members, Brian (same name!), on the bass and trumpet. The astral trumpet tune certainly spiced up the mood of the sounds, which caused the audience to sway along with the melody. The new direction of their 60's mellow surf rock tunes initially stuck me like thunder as I'd expected more poppy garage /surf rock tunes from them. However, I was fond of this new face of Invasions. All the songs seemed to be concentrated together and they triggered uniqueness in their sounds. 

At 2:30 A.M after the show, I found myself not being able to sleep from the excitement I had witnessed - such a boisterous show and I stayed up late trying to find out more about them on the Internet. Hats off to both bands who made my Saturday night. 

Laetitia Sadier, Find Me the Pulse of the Universe

You may recognized the French singer songwriter, Laetitia Sandier as the singer of post rock group, Stereolab. Sandier opened a new chapter of her musical career as a solo artist in 2010 with a release of  her solo debut album, The Trip, which showcased a softer side of her with mellower and more personal attachment to the sounds. Two years later, Sandier released another follow-up effort, called Silencio via Drag city in this summer.

Sandier released a new music video with the lead single, Find Me The Pulse of The Universe off the new record, which was premiered on Stereogum last week. The Bossa Nova melody with Sandier's signature vocal slides effortlesley in my ears. Underneath of the airy tune, there is a strong message from her hidden in the lyrics.-"a song about recognizing the world of possibilities (as one can with mathematics) and thinking in an open-ended, creative way to solve some of the confusion surrounding us."

Laestitia Sandier is performing at Drake Hotel Underground on Tuesday September 18th. 

You were equipped, you were unique
Were suffused in mathematics
Hey Sue, the mathematician
Your views are unimpeded
Hey Sue, the trigonometric
Forever unlocking your head.
Fill it up to the brim, fill it to the top
Generous, bountiful, prodigal, abundant
Channelling deep connections
From one world to the next
Beautiful like art, another human landmark.
Curiousity, intuition are good guides
The idea that in the search for nature╩╝s secrets,
The discovery,
Envelops more conundrum in the belly of her flow
Glimpses of a world of pure thought
That few will ever know

September 16, 2012

Konqistador, Suade

It's been a long journey for Toronto based musical collaboration, Konqistador to quest for the path to make a revolutionary sound in their music. Konqistador is a project which started off by a Canadian duo, Elizabeth Graham and Reginald Tissen. It seemed as if they emerged from nowhere in the music industry. Yet, it took about six years for them to build a magmatic concept beneath of the surface.

The reason behind the long hiatus is, although I've called them 'Toronto based', their backgrounds vary from Winsdor/ Detroit, Melbourne Australia and Turkey as they have settled down from one place to another. You can hear the diversity in their sounds, not only in terms of music genres, but also in their influences, which they have obtained in the process. After a nearly six year long hiatus, Konqistador is at last set to release a new album, Suada (meaning Persuasion) on September 18th.

This album consists of electronic gothic feel in their sounds coated with aesthetic Middle Eastern  music. The initial song, Harcanan Kotu, kicks off with exotic distorted guitar haul, which leads to the marching beats. The song escalates its speed to full capacity with galvanizing electronic systh and a whispering vocal echoes. The album title tune, Suade, is a mesmerizing invitation to the world of Kongistador. As I was withdrawn to this surreal world, where they've discovered the perfect equation to put all various elements in one big pot, I find it quite addictive to immerse myself with their music. In the interviews with various members, there is a repeated comment from everyone: the uniqueness of Kongistador. It's the first thing that you grasp while listening to their tunes. I am also very interested to see how they would showcase their sound in the live show as it seems impossible to put all the elements together in the live show.

Kongistador is playing in Toronto at the Hoxton on December 15th.

September 6, 2012

Album Review: White Ash Falls, By The River Bend

Vancouver pop rock band, Yukon Blonde's bassist, Andy Bishop, has released the debut album, By the River Bend as White Ash Falls via Light Organ Records this week. 

This new project by Bishop is the mirror that reflects who he is. With his profound attachment to the genre, where he is naturally capable of expressing himself in the deepest way, Bishop hauls out from his lungs with a collection of raw folk tunes. These tunes transmit the lively energy of him and his fellow musicians and  they leave a deep impression with sliding acoustic guitar and echoing vocal from the first listen.

In the strip-down tune, Your Song, Bishops' delicate voice expands to the fullest with the resonating humming.  I Can't Get Enough, the hauling harmonica triggers the plaintive feeling from the beginning. My favorite tune in the album,  Whatever You Want, a soulful a capella escalates the speed of the tune as my heart beats quicker followed by a bluesy up-temp verses. Spinner compares his work with musicians like John Mayer or Gavin DeGraw, I think his music reaches somewhere deeper than what these artists can do to me.   

Air Marshal Landing Unveiled a New Music Video for Me and My Friends

Uxbridge pop rock trio Air Marshal Landing released a new music video, Me and My Friends, off their latest EP, Vitamins. You can also download this frenzy song for free via their Bandcamp site. 

Graham Wright Unveiled a new music video, Birds of a Feather

Toronto based singer songwriter, and also best known as the keyboardist for Toronto pop rock band, Tokyo Police Club, Graham Wright premiered a new music video, Birds of a Feather. This song is off his debut solo album in 2012, Shirts vs Skins.

Unlike the frenzy pop sensation that Tokyo Police Club creates, Wright pursues his own musical path with a sentimental folk tune. It would be interesting to see how both projects will grow in the next few years.

Paper Lions Announced a National Fall Tour

Before we knew it, time has passed by so quickly this year as we are heading to the fall season quite shortly as kids are back in school and it's getting cooler at nights. This year has gone by with a bullet-train like speed. PEI pop rock band, Paper Lions dashed throughout the year with a hectic schedule. Started off with an amazing milestone of their Youtube video, Travelling hitting a million viewers over the years. They managed to record a new upcoming album and an acoustic album,  At Long Creek between numinous tours. Before the end of the year, the quartet is also planning to release a documentary in October and also kicking off a new fall tour. Check to see when they are dropping by in your city.


Sep 13 @ Harvest Blues & Jazz Festival, FREDERICTON

Sep 14 @ Dalhousie University, HALIFAX

Sep 19 @ Le Divan Orange, MONTREAL (*AB Afternoon Soiree Day Party) 

Sep 19 @ Le Petit Campus, MONTREAL (*Pop Montreal)

Sep 21 @ Carp Fair, CARP

Sep 22 @ Nathan Philips Square, TORONTO

Sep 24 @ The Guild, CHARLOTTETOWN

Sep 27 @ Breezeway Bar, ST JOHN'S

Sep 28 @ Grenfell Campus - The Backlot, CORNER BROOK

Sep 29 @ George's Fabulous Roundhouse, SACKVILLE

Oct 5 @ Hunter's Ale House, CHARLOTTETOWN

Oct 25 @ L'Agitee, QUEBEC CITY

Oct 26 @ Quai des Brumes, MONTREAL

Oct 27 @ Zaphod Beeblebrox, OTTAWA

Oct 28 @ the Casbah, HAMILTON

Oct 29 @ The Historic Red Dog, PETERBOROUGH

Oct 30 @ Red Hot Chili Pepper, ST CATHARINES

Oct 31 @ Paddy Flaherty's, SARNIA

Nov 1 @ The Mansion, KINGSTON

Nov 2 @ London Music Hall (Lounge), LONDON

Nov 14 @ Media Club, VANCOUVER

Nov 15 @ 90th Street Pub, KELOWNA

Nov 16 @ Avenue Theatre, EDMONTON

Nov 17 @ The Gateway Bar, CALGARY

Paper Lions also made a video of Bodies in the Winter off the acoustic EP with Southern Souls. Check it out!