Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Music Recommends: The Elastocitizens

I've never had more fun at a concert than I have whenever I see The Elastocitizens. In my opinion, the off-beat funk band creates the most memorable live music experience available in Toronto.

Frontman Steven McCarthy leads the audience down the rabbit hole of insane and joyous dance tunes in full Freddy Mercury-esque splendour as his alter ego, Grand Poohbah Groove. (The whole band enjoys names of the like- though none quite as spectacular as the G&S-referencing, still-cool-somehow GPG).

Inevitably, an Elastocitizens concert is an inhibition-bashing good time wherein a massive crowd of strangers forgets that they're strangers and that 20 minutes ago they were worried that their hair would get frizzy if the dance floor got too hot. From the first drumbeat to the flingy enthusiasm of the dancers pulled up onstage in the final song, an Elastocitizens show is good for the soul.

But as much fun as the crowd has, my favourite thing about the Elastocitizens concert is the revelry of the musicians themselves. If someone seems like they could possibly be happy being an accountant instead, I have a hard time enjoying their musicianship. But as McCarthy lovingly gazes at the crowd and mutters "God, it's such a fucking pleasure" in a way not necessarily meant for us to hear, you know that the citizens love nothing more than that moment they're in. And that is, afterall, the point of the whole thing.

Check out the Elastocitizens for yourself at their free outdoor concert this Friday at 8pm in Toronto's Dundas Square. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chris Tsujiuchi and the Christerical Cabaret Crew

A couple times a year, one of young Toronto's more engaging performers steps out from behind the piano where he spends most of his time accompanying other acts (like Sharron Matthews) or playing at Statlers Piano Bar (every Tuesday night) and assembles a crazy cast of characters to accompany him to the cabaret stage (usually at Buddies in Bad Times). Now, I go to a lot of theatre, a fair number of concerts, the occasional comedy club- but nothing is ever quite as entertaining as a Christerical Cabaret.

Friday, July 15, 2011

How the Cool Kids Do It

Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman who won hearts in his endearing SNL appearance this year, won minds on Tuesday when he kicked a fan out of his concert for fighting. Pissed off, he stopped in the middle of a song, laid down a few choice words like the soon-to-be classic "You don't come to my show and fight, you come to my show and dance, you asshole!", and carried on with his tune as though nothing had happened.

Read more HERE

Friday, July 8, 2011

Adele, the new queen of hearts

I don't think I know anyone who doesn't love Adele. The soulful singer blasts from speakers in the cool shops on Queen West,  features on the ipods of everyone from moms to university students to spin class patrons and was even covered by two of Broadway's brightest young stars on Glee (whose rendition of "Rolling in the Deep" doesn't even hold a candle to the original). She just broke the record for fastest digital record to hit 1 million copies, inspires hoards with her retro style and sheer swagger and steals another couple thousand hearts every time she graces a talk show (like Chelsea Lately in the video I couldn't upload) with her quick wit, cool attitude and trademark candour.

The girl is just plain amazing.

At 23, the singer/songwriter has already added her thunderous voice to two hit albums, each named for the age she was when the boyfriend the album is about broke her heart (the first is 19, the second 21).

Just so you get the full picture, above is a video of her performing one of my favourite songs, "Make You Feel My Love". She'll steal your heart too, then you can go buy her albums; in case you haven't heard, they're sort of a big deal on iTunes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

YouTube Song Discovery of the Day

If you think you're too cool for this song, you are definitely not cool enough for this website!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In "Guilty Pleasure" News

Long lost Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson re-joined his ageing comrades on Friday in the middle of their performance of erstwhile Burger King jingle "I Want it That Way" at their joint concert with New Kids on the Block (as "supergroup" NKOTBSB).

I will warn patrons of this site right now, I adore the Backstreet Boys, always have, all 18 years they've been dishing out over-processed pop and convincing girls to fall in love with them. I just love them, I don't want any guff about it. That said, I'll try and limit my unsophisticated gushings to a single rarely-published category called "Guilty Pleasures", to be avoided by the snobbier... I mean, "more culturally evolved".... among you. (Warning, I also love Taylor Swift- same rules apply).

With that out of the way, let's talk Kevin! Well, actually, Kevin having always been the second-least interesting band member (after Howie, obviously), the only interesting thing about his return was gauging whether the other guys were happy to see the deserter. If they weren't (which I wouldn't have been, if I were them, left one guy down to convince a cynical music market that we weren't done yet), they faked it pretty well and welcomed him back with hugs. It was nice to see the boys back the way they were at the height of their career.

Actually, you know what, in the years Kevin's been gone, Howie's really grown on me and my love of the band hasn't actually gone down at all. The old guy just doesn't fit in anymore. Get rid of him, the boys are better without him.