Tuesday, October 27, 2009

U2 360∘

Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing U2's 360∘ tour.

If you haven't read about my experience, you can read about it here.

If you haven't seen U2 live and that doesn't make you want to see U2 (with the understanding that you don't dislike U2), perhaps seeing the video of the Rose Bowl concert they broadcast live on youtube on Sunday night will convince you that U2 is an act not to be missed.

You can still view the concert at www.youtube.com/u2

A few weeks ago, Sympatico featured the 10 bands that you must see before you die.

U2 is the only band on that list that I have seen.

This week it was announced that U2 was returning to Toronto next July (along with Vancouver and Edmonton).

Tickets for those with a paid subscription to U2.com went on sale today (sorry for not posting sooner - I had meant to look it up, but didn't manage to soon enough). Tickets for the general public go on sale on Monday November 2. There is also a U2 bundle that goes on sale on October 29th.

For details, you can visit www.ticketmaster.ca

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Temper Trap at the Horseshoe Tavern

Last night, The Horseshoe Tavern served up a gem.

The Temper Trap who played at the Glastonbury festival this past summer, who are currently on the A-List playlist on Absolute Radio UK (meaning they get played a LOT) and who will be performing on Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night played at a free gig at The Horseshoe Tavern for The Edge 102.1 Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite.

The Horseshoe Tavern is one of the few good venues in Toronto who allow any kind of camera (without a photo pass), so with the D-SLR in hand, we managed to get some great shots.
I only found out about The Temper Trap during the last week. I downloaded some of their songs on Sunday. On Monday, I found out they were playing in Toronto the next night. Normally for me to love a concert, it helps if I know the songs really well but The Temper Trap are amazing live whether you know their music or not.

They are energetic and get the crowd into their music as you can see from these videos.

Here's the set list:

I look forward to seeing them when they are headlining. It's like we have seen them from their early days and there can only be great days ahead for them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Concert announcements catching my eye - Oct 09

Browsing NOW magazine and a few concerts caught my eye that are not "hot" tickets per se, but are for bands whose music I like, the venue seems a good fit and I'd probably go if I had unlimited budget and lots of free evenings:
  • Matisyahu - Phoenix, Nov 30th - Acidic Jewish hip hop - yes, you read that right
  • Nitzer Ebb - Mod Club, Dec 1 - yes, das man ist bak (of Murderous fame)
  • Devendra Banhard, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Nov 27th - haven't heard much, but Seahorse from a few years back was brilliant - psych retro at it's best
  • Junior Boys - Lee's, Nov 6th - Hamilton Ontario amooth stylers
  • Bill Bragg, Tues Nov 7th - a few mates going, working class hero always has a lot to say
  • Sloan - Dakota Tavern Oct 19th War Child benefit and photo exhibit - good reasons to see a good rock band
  • The XX - Mod Club Dec 2nd - worldwide tour date for alt chart toppers with lots of rave reviews, love their complex mellow sound
  • Metric - Massey Hall Oct 20th and 21st - sold out, but likely worth scalper tickets, one of Canada's best alternative bands
And a couple that I'm going to:
  • Thievery Corporation - Kool Haus Oct 23rd - smooth grooves, complex urban sounds and exotic vocal varieties, I saw them at the front side of the tour in the Spring and it was a highlight of the year, expecting similar set list enhanced by better looking date
  • Champion - Mod Club Nov 27th - great band, better performers, best venue in the city, $15 tickets - no brainer

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where I find new music: Part 1 - the personal recommendation

When someone personally recommends music to me, if I don't know the artist or track, I'll make sure to make a note (Blackberry Note usually).  If we have guests at home, most music fans aren't shy (as there's always music playing in our home and I'm always interested in hearing new music) and making a suggestion on the spot and having me sample (iTunes or TouTube) it right there and then.  If I like the song right away, I'll often download it on the fly and if the mood fits, we'll be listening to the new track minutes later.  Likewise when I'm visiting other music fans, they'll often put on music for me that they think I'll like.  I'm sure many people would possibly feel this is inappropriate for a dinner party of other social occasion.  But on the contrary, the chance to hear and talk about new music is one of the big reasons music fans spend time with one another rather than just sitting at home with their own music collection.  However, we still perhaps feel it's more acceptable to host a dinner party and you just happen to play some new music rather than inviting people over for the simply listening to music together.  That we be kind of odd, like something teenagers would do.  Like I used to do.

Case in point.  We visited my sister-in-law and her family the other night, and her husband (RSc) is a huge music fan (old school CD buyer)  He recommended a band called The Clientele and lent me their new CD.  I sampled the CD the next day, imported it into iTunes, categorized and rated the tracks and now enjoying some lovely mellow psychedelic new tunes.  Solid warm album, perfect for quiet mornings.  Thanks RSc.

Looking forward to more recommendations from my network of music fans, including my partner in crime Suze20TO, Dogtown's Eco and KS, Riverdale's RSc and SR, DC's RSe and CS, Uptown and Serbia's NF, Oakville's SHa, Ottawa's TE and Victoria's SHu.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blog stuffer #1 - PJMixer's October top picks

Tools of the Trade
Dump of stuff I'm listening to these past few weeks.
  • Jamie T - new album is simply fantastic, poetic rhymes with irresistible beats, could be album of the year; pjtrack: Sticks 'n' Stones
  • Cage the Elephant - solid rock licks, on-the-mark recommendation from SHa; pjtrack: In One Ear
  • Florence and the Machine - strong vocals from the gentler sex and lotsa layers of sound and harmonies; pjtrack: Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
  • Arctic Monkeys - not solid all the way through, but some standouts, especially a couple of the ballads; pjtrack: Cornerstone
  • Kasabian - two brilliant singles vying for top honours in my books plus a wrath of pure winners on this stellar album; pjtrack: Fire
  • The XX - male/female duet with moody back tones, wonderful late night listening, spot-on recommendation from RSc; pjtrack: Crystalised
  • Thievery Corporation - this has been out for a while, but as I have tickets to see them for the 2nd time this year, the album is still in constant rotation fantastic grooves with tons of vocal talents; pjtrack: The Numbers Game
  • K'Naan - I keep finding more and more fantastic lyrics in this superb album from local African/Canadian rapper; pjtrack: Take a Minute
  • Dizzee Rascal - sing-a-long Brit rapper w/ some fantastic dance club beats; pjtrack: Dance Wiv Me
  • Champion - simpler rock sounds for sophomore release, but those hard driving guitar and Max's direction and groove sounds combine on many great tracks, perfect appertizer for another live gig in a few weeks; pjtrack: Resistance (Skool)