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07 Mar 05

cmw, from the perspective of a chump

if it’s canadian music week, and i’m in toronto, the chances are pretty good that i’ve taken in at least one show…and that was the case this past weekend.

there were so many pretty good sets that i wouldn’t have minded checking out on friday night (limblifter, c’mon, tricky woo, holy fuck, sixtoo, magneta lane and ben lee, to name just a few), but our tiredness and the prospect of having to wait in line to see most of them changed our minds. interestingly, though, we discovered we didn’t have to go to a bar to see bands – our restaurant for the evening, la hacienda, was also the restaurant of choice for both limblifter and c’mon. as a bonus, joel (aka the hot drummer) of andy stochansky and matt barber’s band was seen walking down queen west past the restaurant. not bad for an hour span.

ok, so pseudo-celeb sightings are one thing, but we decided that we should probably actually SEE a show on saturday night. our original plan was to hit up the drake to check out the peter parkers’ set (along with a bunch of people i’ve never heard of), but we eventually decided on the comfort zone, with the zoobombs, gentleman reg, two koreas and the boy ballz. i think we made the right choice. here’s a quick rundown:

  • the two koreas, a band made up of a surprisingly high music critic to non-music critic ratio, were the first band we caught. they played a reasonably enjoyable set of derivative guitar-based rock (think the fall or the clash) featuring stu berman on vocals. it was an interesting juxtaposition of stu’s wanna-be-a-rock-star posturing in front of the rest of the band’s complete stoicness. their music wasn’t bad, but i’m pretty sure i could play bass for them (or pretty much any other instrument) with about two minutes of training – and i’m musically inept. and it’s hard to get past the posing.
  • gentleman reg’s set was the highlight for me. his band this time around featured owen pallett (aka final fantasy) on violin, which definitely caught my attention. i hadn’t heard the band perform with violin accompaniment, and i thought it was a fantastic addition to the live show. in spite of the fact that reg really was an odd choice for that show, he made the best of it by playing mostly upbeat numbers, and i think most of the crowd was into it.
  • boy ballz, possibly the worst name ever, lived up to their name. i can’t really describe how little i liked them – picture a reasonably tight band, all dressed inexplicably in costumes (e.g. the nerd, the wanna be jock, the prep, etc.) fronted by a john belushi/horatio sanz wanna be singing about domination and oral sex. oh, and spelling b-o-y-b-a-l-l-z over and over and over. utter shit. especially when he took off jacket to reveal a boy ballz tank top. ew. and i will stop there.
  • finally, the zoobombs came on at around 1:10 and launched into a fluid set whose songs barely seemed to begin and end – they just morphed into each other. the vocals were pretty much incomprehensible, which was okay since they were likely all in japanese anyway, but the music was fantastic. they were definitely enjoyable (although i wasn’t as intensely blown away as some seemed to be) and we left midway through their set so i could sleep. yep, i’m so old.

so there you have it. another canadian music week has come and gone, and i got to enjoy it for the first time in a couple years. that show didn’t quite live up to the joel plaskett + mike o’neill + the weekend + maestro fresh wes + the dears + tuuli show from a few years ago, but it was a good time.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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