think about life

Massive Contest Post

Feeling lucky? Why not take a chance at some of these contests I’m running on my Indie Music Filter.

Who: The Wooden Sky with Hooded Fang and Brian Borcherdt.

When: Friday, November 13th.

Where: Lee’s Palace

What: Currently supporting their full-length If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone on tour in Ontario and Quebec, Toronto’s The Wooden Sky are headlining what looks to be a great show on the 13th. Head here to follow the band as they filmed the “Bedrooms & Backstreets” tour across Canada. The tour featured performances in unique and unconventional spaces and was captured and compiled into these dark, strange and beautiful pieces by director Scott Cudmore. Find them all here.

Prize: Two tickets (19+) to the show and a copy of the disc If I Don’t Come Home You’ll Know I’m Gone.

How To Enter: write ‘sky’ in the comments. I’ll draw a lucky winner.

Deadline: Monday, Nov. 9th at noon EST.

Who: Koushik and VOWLS. with 7th Heaven DJs Tony Phatak & Joe Shampoo

When: Wednesday, Nov. 18th. (tour link here)

Where: The Garrison.

What: Big show for both bands. Dundas native Koushik, who normally resides behind the decks, will be performing with a live band for the first time ever. VOWLS, who are just about to release their first album, have been gaining momentum and praise playing shows with Four Tet, Mi Ami, Thank You, Nadja and Little Girls earlier this year.

Prize: Two tickets to the show (19+)

How To Enter: write ‘Koushik’ in the comments. I’ll draw a lucky winner.

Deadline: Monday, Nov. 9th at noon EST.

Who: You Say Party! We Say Die!, Think About Life and Little Girls.

When: Friday, November 20th.

Where: Phoenix.

What: A killer line-up for the ‘Steamwhistle Presents’ concert series. More info and music here.

Prize: Two tickets to the show (19+)

How To Enter: write ‘Party’ in the comments. I’ll draw a lucky winner.

Deadline: Monday, Nov. 9th at noon EST.

Over The Top Festival turns 8!

On the smaller and more interesting side of music festivals in Toronto is the Over The Top Festival, heading into its 8th year May 21st-23rd. Not just music really, the festival features film and theatre events as well. ‘The music component of the festival will see Toronto debuts for critically acclaimed teen phemons Tiny Masters of Today, Unicorns and Arcade Fire spin-off band Clues, as well as performances by afro beat orchestra Budos Band, harpist Baby Dee, electro punks Think About Life and many more’. In previous years we caught shows from Chad Van Gaalen and Matt & Kim to name a few.

Over The Top is also serving up a number of Toronto and Canadian film premieres, including Tokyo! Directed in three parts by directors Michel Gondry, L讳 Carax, and Bong Joon-ho, Visoneers starring Zach Galifiankis and Don Hertzfeldt讳s I Am So Proud of You.讳 Continuing its foray into theatre, the Over The Top Festival, in conjunction with the Theatre Centre is proud to be involved in the presentation of a number of performances of Michael Rubenfeld and Sarah Stanley讳s The Book of Judith. The festival will also present a series of shorts by local playwrights on May 23rd at the Whippersnapper Gallery.

More info here, tickets at Rotate and Soundscapes.

Speaking of this festival, Toronto’s Five Blank Pages will be playing their final show on May 23 at the Mod Club.讳 As a parting gift they released a new EP, Young Glow, with four new songs. 讳 More info here.

SXSW ’08: Saturday

The busiest day musically for me.I started the day off solo. If you ask me, the best way to see a lot of bands at a festival like this is to do it alone. That way, you won’t waste time making group decisions.

First band of the day? The Whigs at Hot Freaks. I’ll admit I ended up at this show thinking I was going to see The Whip, but the Whigs pleasantly surprised me with a solid set. I jumped out early to see The Jealous Girlfriends, a band that have been getting a lot of airplay here in the office (look for a post on just them in a day or so).

It was around 2pm, I was starving and hadn’t eaten all day. I got a text about the DMX (not the rapper) party at the Brush square. There was always food there. And free drinks. And friends. And British Sea Power. And Duffy. And Ludacris! Duffy was not really my thing. Touted as the next Amy Winehouse, I thought she was was too sober to hold that reputation. Ludacris was phenomenal. Sure, I was the only person under that tent that didn’t know any of the rhymes, but I didn’t need to. I just said ‘CRIS’ when he said ‘when i say LUDA, you say….. ‘. Great performer, even when dealing with sound issues.

A bunch of us headed to the Q party. I wanted to see Pigeon Detectives. Kate Nash was performing soon after arriving at this party. Apparently, my friend Jon claims that she sang a song directly to him. Really? Jon, are you Ryan of the Cribs?

Here’s Kate’s Pumpkin Soup.


Pigeon Detectives played an animated show, the lead singer being a graduate of the Daultry/Jagger school of ‘mic’-onomics. He swung that mic with authority, was really surprised no guitarist got in the way.

Did I eat dinner that night?

The evening showcases started with The Bloody Beatroots. Amazing set by a group I’ve never heard of. Picture two guys who resemble cronies from Shredders Foot Clan in TMNT djying heavy and dirty electro club beats. Recommended for Justice fans.

I finally saw Think About Life. Really glad I made it to this gig. I’ve linked to it before, but again here’s my favorite of theirs, Paul Cries.

I headed out of town to the Red Bull Party shortly after. Kind of a weird one that was. Everything was huge! and they had Red Bull logos everywhere. I played guitar hero on what must have been a 25 foot screen. Cool kids performed (only really remember them smashing a pinata on stage…). We missed Diplo.

I finished the night at The Vice Party. Some good times had there, in point form:

-Fucked Up performed and during the first song, the lead singer smashed a fluorescent light on his head, tossing the broken glass into the audience. One of those pieces shot up and hit the guitarist in the face, who promptly ran for the washrooms. The band stopped after that song.

-Everyone was drinking tall boys of Miller High Life and something called Sparks.? It was doing weird things to people.

-My friend Maria tossed a demoCD into the crowd (stolen from some dude’s back pocket) and it hit a guy in the face. He just shrugged in response.

Here’s Jon, myself and Gary Powers enjoying the Austin air.

The Winks

I was looking into some shows happening in Toronto in the next little while, and I came across this. Wavelength, an institution for new music on Sunday nights, is celebrating 350 gigs by throwing four shows in four days (Feb. 8-11th). This celebration is a little while off, but I liked the lineup on the Saturday night at Salem’s Loft.

New Toronto venue, let me introduce myself. My name is Chris and I’ll be up at the bar, looking for drink deals and trying to find a nice pocket of sound to hear bands perform.

You can tell I’m a fan of Think About Life, and we have an AnimalMonster demo kicking around in the office that is pretty interesting stuff. I wanted to know more about The Winks. I did know that Connor was a fan, that’s generally a good sign that I’ll probably like it.

The band is centered around a core couple of Todd MacDonald (Mandolin and Vocals) and Tyr Jami (Cello and Vocals) with a rotating cast of players helping out live or in the studio. If you check their myspace page, you’ll notice that out of all the people they have performing with them, there isn’t a guitarist listed. How often do you see that?

They put out a record in November (Ache Records), which has one some of the nicest album artwork I’ve stared at for longer than a second. From what I’ve heard of the record, its what happens when you mix together Bright Eyes, Decemberists, Anathallo, Islands. Enjoy.

**Disclaimer. These tracks might not get you right away. Give it a couple listens. Check out Guitar Swing and Slumber Party Lets Go.

The Winks

Best Songs Of The Year – Disc 1

I made a two disc mix CD to give out over the holidays. It was a little tough, as I originally had 60 or so songs in contention before I started whittling. But I got down to 34. I’m actually surprised at the low amount of Canadian content….. but these were the songs that stayed in my head the longest. Enjoy.

**by the way, if you know me and think you’ll see me in the next little while, ask me for one of these discs, I’ll probably have a couple on me.

Indie Music Filter 2006 Volume 1 – Disc 1

1) BrotherAnnuals

2) Hospital BedsCold War Kids

3) Launch Yourself – Adem

4) The Funeral – Band Of Horses

5) In Context – Field Music

6) Young Bride (CWL Remix) -Midlake/Cassettes Won’t Listen

7) Click Click Click ClickBishop Allen

8) So Far We Are – The French Kicks

9) Your Eyes Are Liars – SOUNDteam

10) Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio

11) Photograph - Eagle*Seagull

12) Anti-Anti – Snowden

13) Paul Cries – Think About Life

14) Pate Filo – Malajube

15) Whoo! Alright – Yeah… Uh Huh – The Rapture

Think About Life

Could this be a work of art?

If you caught Wolf Parade when they were touring last year, you might have caught a high energy set from Montreal’s Think About Life. They’re a three-piece dance-party band that make ever effort to get you on your feet.

I’ve heard Paul Cries. What a great tune. Something like TV on the Radio fronted by Julian Casablancas (Strokes). (Their myspace page has some other tracks as well).

The Harbourfront Centre in Toronto has booked them this summer for their Indie Unlimited festival (Aug. 24th-26th), so go and check them out.
Think About Life