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19 Apr 05

3 shows in 1 post: it can be done

in my whirlwind week, i somehow also managed to squeeze in several shows. i don’t think it’s possible for me to capture everything i would’ve liked to at this late date, so i’m gonna have to cop out and do a quick summary of each. last saturday was the constantines + weakerthans + andre ethier show at lee’s in toronto, thursday was the hidden cameras + dandi wind at the elixir in kingston, and sunday was m. ward + devotchka + norfolk and western. woo.

andre ethier:

  • it was nice to see him play a full set this time (as opposed to the quick 4 song set i saw a couple months ago…), and he even included my favourite, the night. yay.
  • he had sandes, pickles and price with him, and they did a solid job of reproducing the album (not to mention several new songs). not bad for a crowd who were anxious (read: rabid) for the cons and especially the weakerthans.


  • they can flat out rock. their opener (a new song whose name i don’t know) kicked my ass…
  • they totally have their rock poses DOWN. rock.
  • their set was a mix of old and new stuff. as anne pointed out, their new songs aren’t quite as anthemic, but they were solid after one listen.
  • a stupid pole obstructed my view of bry for most of the set. that was suboptimal.


  • don’t get me wrong, i love the weakerthans, but their set wasn’t one of my all-time favourites. it probably didn’t help that john k. sampson was also behind that stupid pole…
  • the first thing i noticed was that the band suddenly had 6 members. apparently they borrowed a couple members of the fembots to fill out their lineup a bit.
  • they played all of my favs, as well as a few new songs, so that was a definite plus.
  • john k. sampson’s encore of one great city was a clear highlight.
  • their rock poses need some serious work, especially after following the cons. the marty-mcfly-lie-down-on-your-back-guitar maneuver is a risky move, and frankly, they didn’t pull it off. a couple of the guys in the band, on that night anyway, looked a bit too fratboyish for me. perhaps i’m just too elitist for my own damn good.
  • the night was capped off with a cover of the travelling wilburys’ end of the line, featuring all members of both the weakerthans and constantines. a pretty awesome ending.

dandi wind:

  • so beyond description. picture a guy playing synths in a glow in the dark skeleton shirt who barely moves, along side a woman in a leotard, with face paint, leaping around while singing, jazzercizing, twirling a baton, and tossing around large balloons.
  • and as strange as THAT might sound, the crowd trumped them for overall weirdness: a crazy number of people dressed up in 1920s attire, a guy in a skirt and woman’s hat, a girl in a motorcycle hat and suspenders dragging behind her, a girl with fake red eyebrows and mustache…and on and on and on. truly bizarre. quite possibly weirder than that infamous by divine right show.
  • oh, and they covered the safety dance. whoa.

hidden cameras:

  • also weird: i was expecting an extravagent, or at least bizarre performance from these guys. i’ve heard stories of elaborate stage setups, dancers, half naked performers, etc. etc., but sadly, that was not to be. instead, we ended up with stage of 7 or so relatively non-descript performers who were genuinely enjoying themselves. i guess i can’t really complain about that.
  • their set was a good mix of songs from the smell of our own and mississauga goddam, alongside a number of new tracks. if you like the old, chances are you’re gonna like the new.
  • i quite liked this description from the ottawa xpress: With most bands, the formula is to have a few guys who play lots of notes. The formula for the Hidden Cameras is to have lots of guys ( 8 of them this time ) who play a few notes. true.

norfolk and western:

  • can anyone tell me why rachel blumberg left the decemberists for these guys? i don’t mean that in a bad way – i enjoyed their set, but they’re certainly no decemberists. true, she probably contributes more to the songwriting and vocals… but the decemberists!
  • ok, now that that’s out of the way… their songs ranged from loud and guitar-based to quite mellow with just percussion and a violin. i’ll be checking out more of their stuff after catching their set.


  • what kind of band are they? mariachi? folk? jazz? i have no clue. all i know for sure is that they make good use of an accoustic guitar, violin, accordion, theramin, trumpet and drums.
  • they really weren’t my style of music, but i couldn’t stop my foot from tapping on a number of occasions
  • when they all left the stage to perform without amps on the dance floor, that was brilliant.

m ward:

  • when the band i’m really wanting to see comes on 3rd at 11:45 on a sunday night, the chances are pretty good i’m not gonna be able to last for the whole thing. and when the band i’m really wanting to see doesn’t play much i’m familiar with, and instead plays a laid back set and doesn’t inspire me much at all, the chances of me staying drop even further. sadly, this pretty much describes m ward’s set at lee’s.
  • rachel blumberg (and the rest of norfolk and western) made up his band. pretty cool.
  • how did the old woman standing directly behind us end up at that show? “who are these people?” “norfolk and western.” “well, they never said their name!” “yes, they just did.” “well, that girl sure does have good musicianship.” and on and on and on.
  • his/their performance was certainly passable, and most definitely technically sound (wow that guy can play guitar), but when none of my favs (sweethearts on parade, hi-fi, etc.) were played in the first hour, i had to get out of there and head to bed. it was certainly not as engaging as josh rouse’s show.

now, imagine how many bands i COULD’VE seen if i wasn’t busy being sick, having weird saliva gland-related issues, and getting a new job.

2 Responses to “3 shows in 1 post: it can be done”

  1. 1
    anne the spelling nazi Says:

    a year later you’re still misspelling “acoustic” as “accoustic”?? what’s the excuse this year? and since i’m on a roll, “theremin”, not “theramin” 😉

    one of my favourite parts of the cons show was when they gave whil kidman bongos during the first song. man, that guy just goes nuts! i also quite enjoyed the insane rocking out by the napoleon dynamite look-alike in the front row. priceless.

  2. 2
    'nee Says:

    Congrats on the new job, by the way, that’s freaking awesome! But as a fellow Queen’s employee who’s actually younger than 35, I say: augh!

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