Sunday, September 28, 2008

Windsor/Detroit Live Music: Lesbo Vrouven (Quebec City) wsg Hotkid (Cambridge) Friday, October 10th

Lesbo Vrouven came to Phog once. I had heard an EP of theirs and thought, "Yep, this is damn good." What happened when they showed to play? They were flawless. The up-tempo, dirty-bass sound was exactly what the recording advertised. I have been waiting for them to leave Quebec again since then. Speaking of "since then", they have played with Beirut, Tokyo Police Club, Pride Tiger, Les Georges Leningrad, and more. Very impressive. Can't wait to hear what they've cooked up in over two years.

They will be joined by Hotkid...a Cambridge outfit. Two-piece, drums and guitar, a-la-Pack A.D., with a guy in the seat and a gal on the mic with the axe. They were easily one of the loudest bands I've heard this year, and I look very-forward to them returning to open for the fabulous Lesbo Vrouven.

These bands evoke a sense of fun and enjoyment of music that makes you happy that they're as good as they are creating music.
Come see.

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Windsor/Detroit Live Music: Wax Mannequin (Hamilton) wsg The Buttless Chaps (Vancouver) Thursday, October 9th

The President of Canadian Indie Rock, Wax Mannequin, will be donning his insanely unique stage performance with Vancouver's (and Mint Records') Buttless Chaps.

Now, you hear the name Buttless Chaps and you think, "Ha-ha," but the band is not something cheeky like Canned Hamm or Flight of The Conchords. The music is well-written, well-performed with energy beaming from the stage for the entirety of their show. It's the kind of music that a dream sequence in a movie could be based off of...
From The Buttless Chaps myspace page:
"Cartography is The Buttless Chaps’ fourth release on Mint Records and was recorded at the Hive Studios by Jesse Gander (Pride Tiger, The Pack A.D., Bison). Combining many elements of The Buttless Chaps’ ever changing sound, Cartography is packed with acoustic rural and cold war electronic influences blended together in carefully orchestrated songs. Lyrical imagery encapsulates the isolation of the modern world, and the quest to find a little patch of green for oneself. The band has always been muscially torn between the country and glittering lights of a human metropolis."


The Buttless Chaps - In My Fingertips

The Buttless Chaps - Caboose

As for Wax Mannequin...he's one of our favourite performers, and one of my favourite people I've met through this music freak-show known as Phog Lounge. He's a beast on stage. A monster. A creative thunder clap. He'll remind you of what entertainment can be.

From Wax Mannequin's myspace:
Wax Mannequin was born in the smoke and industry of Hamilton, Ontario; a damaged, underdog town; a perfect breeding ground for strange, variant things. Incorporating folk, scrappy prog-metal and a tireless creative ethic, Wax infused his local influences with road-broken experience to forge something new. Band-backed, or solo (accompanied by heavy devices and an angry electric guitar) Wax Mannequin has been touring incessantly within Canada (and Australia) over the past five years. Oblivious to the trend and trap of the big cities and the cultural propaganda machines, Wax Mannequin now finds himself a forerunner in a strange new movement: roaming recluses and attention-seekers -- solo-performers, equipped with laptops, assorted instruments and decaying minivans, making new sounds, informed by hard travel and rough living. Wax's thought-provoking live performances and acclaimed recordings have garnered the fervent support of the creative underclass in his home country as well as a burgeoning international reputation. “By training his inner animal enough to let it run free with his muse, Wax Mannequin has given birth to a brilliant bestial gem of audio mythology.” -Exclaim! (Toronto/Canada))| Review of Orchard and Ire | August 2007 "Part wandering minstrel, part rock animal, Wax Mannequin combines a fine sense of prog-rock parody with intense sincerity and lyrical smarts. He will indoctrinate you with chilling harmonies, absurd lyrics and the almighty power of the guitar." - dB Magazine (Australia) | September 2004 "I could start off with a catch-all like 'shockingly good songwriter' or 'eclectic artist,' and while that would partly describe Hamilton's Wax Mannequin, it would do the man a great disservice to leave it at that." -Now Magazine (Toronto)| Disc of the Week | JUNE 28 - JULY 4 2007 | VOL. 26 NO. 43 | Rating: NNNN"

Wax Mannequin - The Price

Wax Mannequin - Message from The Queen

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Windsor/Detroit Live Music: Young & Sexy (Vancouver) w/ Poorfolk (Montreal), & Mohawk Lodge (Vancouver) Wednesday, October 8th

A short story of each band, and it's relation to Phog.
Young & Sexy (Vancouver), of Mint Records, has not been here for a long while. Their first and only visit was nutty, not only because of how insanely great their harmonies were, but because of the response to the bands and their music from the crowd. The band liked it at Phog, and I hope to re-live as positive an experience.
Poorfolk (Montreal) and Mohawk Lodge (Vancouver) who are both on White Whale Records, played last year on a sponsored tour by CBC Radio 3. The end of this show came together with all band members sprawled out on the stage floor together, in a romp unlike many we've seen in our building. These are special, special bands.

Poorfolk has shared the stage with: The Dears, Of Montreal, Aaron Booth, Gentlemen Reg, Matt Pond PA, Greg Macpherson, Plants and Animals among others.

From White Whale Records' website:
"With Wildfires, The Mohawk Lodge sheds their dirty folk leanings in favour of blue collar indie soul. Whereas debut disc Rare Birds catered in campfire songs, the band’s sophomore record is a musical forest fire.

While early Lodge material often relied on homespun charm, every track on Wildfires seems an act of desperate catharsis. This time around the band’s songwriting manages to nod as much to Springsteen as Smog, while their playing manages to bridge the gap between Fleetwood Mac and the Constantines."

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Windsor/Detroit Live Music: Miwa Gemini (New York, NY) w/ Moomaw (San Francisco, CA), & Perilelle on Tuesday, October 7th

Oh dear.
I cannot believe what is on the way.
New York and San Francisco are coming to Windsor!
Miwa Gemini's CD came int he mail the other day, and it floored me. SO GOOD!
Here's a testimonial...

From the music blog
"Cute as a button and talented as few, Miwa Gemini is a breath of fresh air to the female “singer-song writer” stable. Her voice is sweet, yet deep, and her folk-music stands out from the crowd thanks to the use of banjo and mandolin. It’s a bit like throwing The Mountain Goats together with Nina Simone and Tom Waits: hazy, organic, and simply stunning.

Miwa’s second full-length album, “This Is How I Found You”, is already out in Canada, but a US and Europe release is scheduled for March 18, 2008. And I highly recommend that you pick it up."

Also coming, is Moomaw, from San Fran.
From his myspace page:
"Nathan Moomaw plays folk music to lay back in the park and sip whiskey to. Keeping your eyes on the plants and trees and trying to avoid glancing at the buildings towering above the foliage. You feel an addictive pleasant sad."

Opening for them will be Windsor own, amazing, Perilelle. What a perfect fit this will be!

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Windsor/Detroit Live Music: Satch and Duke Forever

Coming on October 2nd:

Music from Ellington's Cotton Club and Jungle Band...Armstong's Hot Five's and Decca Recordings (1925 - 1935).

Ray Manzerolle, Hugh Leal, Jim Wyse, Brian Delaney, and Jack Drobko play the night away in two shows.

First show is at 8pm, $10 cover.

Second show is FREE for anyone UNDER 30 Years Old. The band wants to introduce this music to the young folks, and without having to pay cover, the proper incentive is there.

Tickets on sale now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lindy, You Say Party! We Say Die!, and more coming...

Above: You Say Party! We Say Die music video for Monster

As some of you may know, You Say Party! We Say Die! is coming to Phog on Wednesday, September 24th. I know how people love to wait to buy tickets for shows, and they often times luck out and end up in the show. However, there is a way to save money if you act early this time.
Tickets are $10 pre-sale, but they will be $15 at the door.
I cannot think of a better reason to act ahead of time.

Lindy, the man, the myth, the legend, will be in town on Friday night, and it is going to be what it ALWAYS is...a performance from easily one of the top performers who has ever stepped foot into 157 University Ave. W.
Come enjoy the love-in.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Get Lit Up

Big cities are home to lots of people.

More people, more ideas. Simple math, I think.

I like keeping an eye on the "ist" sites of big cities.,,,, etc. These sites go out of their way to tell readers about the happenings of the cities, the news, the events, profiles of prominent inhabitants, festival profiles, TV schedules for the region, restaurant reviews, public transit news, architectural news, music listings, etc.

I love seeing what's going on in the cities where the numbers are up above Windsor's. Why? Because in those towns, when you float a crazy idea, you are not the only one standing there looking around, listening to crickets. In big cities, there are others who share the taste for flair.

In particular, I like taking these ideas and using them.

I did just that yesterday evening. I saw a night of book-appreciation in San Francisco and Toronto, where authors come in to discuss books, or the topic of their book, but NOT TO DO A READING. At Phog, we have had plenty of readings, and we've had good results. The idea of a book discussion spoke to me because it was more than the same old praise for the ACTUAL words being spoken. I wanted to know more about what these authors had to say about books.

In connection to this, I cleaned out my house. Began at least. The books were the first thing to be culled. Then what? What was I going to do with them? I decided to build the event around the sharing, and ridding of books into the hands of more appreciative readers. From there, I thought about getting some local authors to give their take on books on a panel at the front of the bar, on stage. Thirdly, I compiled a short list of people who read every time I see them, and I asked them to list their top five books. I then printed these out to give to the attendees of the event, so they had something to take with them as a referral to new, influential books.

What happened?

I was nervous as hell, and I figured the turnout might be slim, but to my surprise, there were about 35 people in all who attended, maybe more, plus the hundreds of books brought by the literati attendees. While I expected a book trade and sale, it turned out that people were more willing to give them away en masse. There was a free-for-all after the discussion period where people grabbed books they wanted, didn't know they wanted, and books they knew someone else wanted.

The pride of the evening, aside from the awesome people who brought books, was the discussion. My guests were mentors of mine from days past and present. Here's who spoke:

Paul Vasey, author of several fiction and non-fiction, ex longtime host of CBC Windsor's morning show, and ex-columnist for the Windsor Star. He, alone, shaped my writing to be exactly what it is today. He told me to write the way I talk. I tell stories well with my voice, but it needed to be translated to paper. Ever since then, I think of him when I finish writing anything.

Bob Monks, who has had two books published about how to make art, or about his journey into his life as an artist. Monks was also the editorial cartoonist for The Windsor Star for YEARS, and he was a TV personality with CBC News. He's a total pro, and is now 81 years old (you'd never know it). He was a mentor in my cartooning career between the ages of 16 and 20 (another story). He taught me composition, editing, humility, and honour.

Mary Ann Mulhern is a very successful narrative poet, who admits her attachment to the dark imagery in her stories, and she taught me once a week in a "special class" when I was in grade 7. She's extremely artistic with her view on books, writing, and expression. She's a great inspiration.

Scotty Hughes is graphic designer who has helped lay out and produce MANY local nature books, reference books, children's books, etc. He is a hugely gifted guitar player, idea guy, inspirational presence. I love having him stroll through the door, because it means I will be having meaninful conversation before the night is through.

The panel took off and never looked back. Paul Vasey, co-moderated the discussion, with me, but not out of request but out of habit. He saw gaps where I was not pushing people to express a little more in their answers, and he made the discussion SO MUCH better because of it. It was a lesson in interviewing and moderation for which I will forever be grateful. All the panelist answers were intelligent, true-to-themselves, expressive, un-rushed, un-forced, free-flowing, and fun. Monks had quick, perfect answers that left people laughing, while the others had reflective stories that put the life of a writer and book lover into perspective.

An hour and a half later, I needed to end the discussion, and try to properly thank the panelists. Still, I do not know how to properly appreciate their contribution.

Good news for those who could not go and wanted to go; I recorded the entire thing.

This link will take you to where you can download the file for free! You may want to skip all the parts where I talk, it really doesn't help. Also, some people are reporting some trouble with this link. If it doesn't work, check back again later. I will try to fix it.

This night was a huge success, shedding some light on the under-appreciated literary arts in Windsor. I am proud, and I am anticipating the next Get Lit Up event...but I need to focus the discussion. That's not going to be an easy thing to decide.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

CBC Radio 3 Rock T-Shirt Compendium

In t-shirt news...the new spray-paint Phog t-shirts are available! They are for the die-hard individuals who "get" the design.
*Hint - The regulars of Phog call it "the p-hog" (pronounced pee-hog)
So I decided to make P-Hog shirts, and I'm a big fan of the aesthetic of the spray-paint already.
Come to get one.

On to MORE t-shirt news...
Yes, to this CBC Radio 3 Rock T-Shirt compendium, you are allowed to add all of your Canadian band t-shirts!
CBC Radio 3 takes the cake again and starts a Flickr Group for all of your favourite band shirts that you've invested in over the years.

Phog-goers and music supporters should represent Windsor and join this Flickr group, and then upload images of you wearing those shirts!

Yours Truly could not resist, and I added a pile of images you can check out HERE!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Windsor/Detroit Live Music: Phog Lounge Facebook Group

Are you serious? You're not a member of the Phog Lounge Facebook Group yet? And you read this blog? Get with it.
CLICK HERE and join the group so you can get reminders on you Facebook page about upcoming shows.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Windsor/Detroit Live Music: FAM FEST 3-Day Passes - Get Them!

Come to Phog Lounge or go to Rogues Gallery, or even Dr. Disc to get your 3-Day passes for the discounted rate of $15. Buy at the door, and you'll be paying more. Don't do that. Come get them like the other smart people.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Windsor/Detroit Live Music: Rocktober Schedule

One of the rarest of occasions is happening this month, something we are coining "Bandcouver". For obvious reasons, the name is from the plethora of bands from Vancouver visiting us in a four day timespan.

Also, as I am posting these show very early, I am looking for bands (performers) who are interested in playing some of these dates in October. If you are interested, the bands in bold type are the one's that I am looking for openers to accompany.

1 - Michou wsg Trevor James and The Perfect Gentlemen (Ottawa)
2 - Satch and Duke Forever, FREE show at 10:30 for anyone under 30!
4 - Arctic (Vancouver) wsg The Mindframes, & A Welcome Breeze
7 - Miwagemini (New York, NY) wsg Nathan Moomaw (San Francisco, CA)
8 - Young and Sexy (Vancouver) wsg The Mohawk Lodge (Vancouver) and Poorfolk (Ottawa/Montreal)
9 - Wax Mannequin (Hamilton) wsg The Buttless Chaps (Vancouver)
10 - Lesbo Vrouven (Quebec City, PQ) wsg Hotkid (Guelph)
11 - Brasstronaut (Vancouver) wsg The Awkward Stage (Vancouver) & Hot Panda (Edmonton)
14 - The Pan Canadian New Folk Ensemble featuring performances by Christine Fellows (Winnipeg), Old Man Luedecke (Chester, Nova Scotia), and Kim Barlow (Yukon)
16 - Mother, Mother (Vancouver) wsg The Wooden Sky (Toronto)
17 - Greg Cockerill (Calgary) wsg TBA
18 - The Locusts Have No King wsg The Warped 45s (Toronto)
24 - CJAM Pledge Drive Night with No Border and more bands to be announced...
25 - presents Michou, From Now 'Til Forever, Lifestory: Monologue (Guelph), Stefan, What Seas, What Shores, .D
28 - CJAM's Radio Free Tuesdays

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Windsor/Detroit Live Music: September Show Schedule at Phog

3 - Flying Fox and The Hunter Gatherers (Winnipeg) wsg Trevor Malcolm Jazz Trio
4 - Twilight Hotel (Winnipeg) ALL AGES show at 4pm / 19+ show at 10:30pm with Mr. Chill and Greg Cox
5 - Ron Leary Full Band w/ Dean's Dragon (Toronto), Adam Warner (Toronto) and Mr. Chill
6 - Eric Welton CD Release w/ Tara Watts, Travis Reitsma, Prophet Limbo, and Andrew MacLeod
8 - Open Mic Surgery With Tara Watts
10 - The Pack A.D. (Vancouver) wsg The Hotel Lobbyists (Vancouver)
11 - Al Tuck (Halifax) wsg Kenneth MacLeod
12 - Young Rival (Hamilton) wsg TBA

13 - FAM Art After Party w/
The Original Lady Eyes
Ictus (Toronto)
Make Me Young (Toronto)
Street Pharmacy (Welland)
14 - FAM Fest Music Day w/
This Is Me As A Woman
High Mother
Vice Verses
Salt of the Chief Cornerstone
Kadro (Detroit)
Mobil (Detroit)
Twilight Sentinels
Stone Pipers

15 - Open Mic Surgery With Tara Watts
16 - Get Lit Up - Book sale and Trade night with reading and musings on being published with ACTUAL AUTHORS (7pm start of discussions)
19 - Innes Wilson & His Opposition (Guelph) wsg Hotkid (Guelph) & Cursed Arrows (Guelph)
20 - Konquistador (Australia) wsg Helsinki Go
21 - Roy Mahal (Manury)
22 - Open Mic Surgery With Tara Watts
23 - Super Fun Film Society
24 - You Say Party! We Say Die! (Vancouver) wsg Beast (Montreal) & Winter Gloves (Montreal)
26 - Lindy (Toronto)
27 - Andrew Devillers (Toronto) wsg Matthew De Zoete (Hamilton)
28 - Squirt Bop 11-CD-Release
29 - Open Mic Surgery With Tara Watts
30 - CJAM's Radio Free Tuesdays showcasing this month's show : I Wear White Jeans