Thursday, October 20, 2011

Upcoming concerts of interest - Fall 2011

Here are some new and recommended concerts coming up over the next few weeks and months:
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band 10/25 The Music Hall
  • Coeur de Pirate - that lovely French voice you hear on CBC 2 and 1/2 of Armistice 11/11 The Mod Club
  • Noah & The Whale - liking their new album - 11/8 The Phoenix
  • Noel Gallagher - set to sing some Oasis classics plus songs from his new album 11/7 and 11/8 Massey Hall
  • Blue Scholars - friendly hip hop from Seattle 7/7 Wrongbar
  • Metronomy - one of Q Magazine's most Exciting Acts On Earth 10/26 The Mod Club
  • Anna Calvi - another of Q Magazine's most Exciting Acts On Earth 12/8 Lee's Palace
  • St Vincent - their name keeps coming up - 12/15 The Phoenix
In the column on the right on the blog page you'll also see an ongoing list of upcoming concerts, an overlap of here with some one-offs.

I've finally gotten around to setting up my YouTube account properly and thought a channel dedicated to upcoming Toronto concerts would be a nice touch - enjoy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where I find new music: Part 9 - Fashion shows

Remember Fashion Television (FT) that used to show on CityTV ? Well, it's no longer on CityTV, although it does now have its own cable channel. Well, I used to watch it. It was on around the same time as The New Music, and along with all the beautiful ladies and clothes, I also liked the accompanying music. If you've ever seen the show, I'm sure you can never forget hearing the intro track - Obsession by Animotion every week (sorry the video is way too embarrassing to embed here).

Well, boys will be boys, and yes I'm still guilty of enjoying beautiful ladies on the runway and especially around Christmas time when Santa delivers an early stocking stuffer in the form of the Victoria Secret Christmas Fashion Show (this year's show is set for Nov 29th at 10pm on CBS). Sorry distracted there for a few moments, back to the music...well, the first VS show I saw on TV included the fabulous sexy dance track - I like the way you move by Bodyrockers (2:45 mark) and it cemented my feelings toward music and the fashion runway. Sorry, rockers, mostly dance music, R&B and hip hop here...but for me, this music is pretty damn sexy.

Now I put a draft down a while ago that noted a Crystal Castles track called Vietnam. I don't remember exactly why I noted the reference but I did find a connection between their music and fashion.

So, the point of this post, if you like fashion, dance music and beautiful people, there's some great music to be found on the fashion show runway. Although sometimes it's a little hard to find, don't worry, send it my way and I'll work on it for you. Now only if I could mix my love of photography with this peccadillo.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sharing the love (or, where other people find new music)

Last weekend, I drove to Montreal and back with a few teammates for the Grand Master's Ultimate tournament. Although we only managed 1 win for the weekend, we played pretty well and I really enjoyed hanging out with a great bunch of guys and ladies. I was a passenger this year and the driver had his kind music on the way to Montreal. He asked if anyone else had some music, but I didn't push the point. On the way home, I offered up some new tunes to the guys, saying I was interested in what they thought of the mix and I thought they might legitimately enjoy a few new finds. If you know me, I've always been the guy to bring his own mixed tape to a party or these days, have a loaded iPod or iPhone at the ready. I'm a little more shy these days about pushing my music, but the memories of friends saying they enjoyed my music, keeps the inner DJ in me alive. After all, that's where I came up with the PJMixer alias.

So they guys liked a lot of the tracks and I said I'd burn them my top 10. I'm not certain when I'm going to see them again, so I thought I'd post them here for the broader group. I hope you like a few tracks. Yes, they are ordered, my mood and progression.

We are seeing We Are Augustines tomorrow night at Wrongbar in Toronto; shots from last time we saw them

Shots from Motopony's gig at the Horseshoe last week for Vivoscene

Canadians Beatrice Martin (from Coeur de Pirate) & Jay Malinowski (from Bedouin Soundclash)

shots from The Monkey's summer Toronto concert

Foster the People are playing here in Toronto on Saturday night and The Sound Academy

Please, please come and play in Toronto boys

Shots from The Vaccines at the Horseshoe last winter

Drat, forgot to post those pics, hold on...there you go, photos from Beady Eye Sound Academy concert

Friday, April 22, 2011

We Are Augustines at The Horseshoe

First time seeing this tight New Yorker group - heartfelt lyrics and energized rock 'n roll. They opened for The Boxer Rebellion to a full and excited crowd house at The Horseshoe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Concert updates - Spring 2011

I haven't posted upcoming concerts in a while and now we're past winter hibernation, the number and quality of visiting artists is on the rise.

Bigger gigs

  • Peter Gabriel - June 22nd Molson Amphitheatre - heard rave reviews from my friend in NYC who saw him last year with same orchestral setup
  • Ray Lamontagne & the Pariah Dogs - May30th Massey Hall - love his sound and my bro says he's brilliant live
  • Paul Simon - May 7th Sound Academy - yes, you read that right, smallish venue
  • U2 July 11th Rogers Centre - forgot they were coming back, if it's anything close to 2009 show it will be a knockout
  • Adele - May 18 Air Canada Centre - recently moved from Kool Haus to accommodate ticket demand

Tempted to go

  • Black Keys and Cage the Elephant - July 7th Molson Amphitheatre - should be a humdinger of a show - mosh pit action
  • Dirty Vegas - April 24th Mod Club - easy-on-the-ear driving dance melodies
  • Supertramp - June 12th Molson Amphitheatre - perfect lawn show

Retro Alley

  • Journey and Foreigner - Aug 9th Molson Amphitheatre
  • Echo & The Bunnymen - May 16th Phoenix
  • The Cars - May 20th Phoenix or Sound Academy 
  • Bob Seger - April 12th - one of my old favourites from the motor city
  • Duran Duran - April 25th Phoenix
Highly acclaimed
  • TV on the Radio - April 18th Sound Academy - new album is supposed to be very good, which is saying a lot for following up their brilliant 2008 release
  • Tinie Tempah - May 2nd Wrongbar - massive Brit hip hop star plays small TO club
  • My Morning Jacket - July 11th Kool Haus 
What I'm going to
  • Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines - May 21st Kool Haus - seen the Monkeys twice and want more, seen hot Brits The Vaccines at the Horseshoe this past winter - sure to get the crowd going and give the Monkeys a run for their money
  • The Boxer Rebellion - April 18th Horseshoe - they put on a fab show here last time around and looking forward to a repeat show now the new tracks have sunk in more
  • Beady Eye June 20th Sound Academy - what mood will Liam be in ?

Friend and lovers love 'em

  • James Blunt - April 26th Massey Hall
  • Death Cab for Cutie - May 18th Phoenix

Full listing can be found on Now and

Where I find new (old) music: Part 8 - the used record store

I met an out-of-town friend today for lunch who was visiting Toronto for the first time.  We met at the Queen Mother Cafe on Queen West and he had walked past Kops Records on the way there and made a comment about stopping in after lunch.  I hadn't been in Kops for a long time and quickly felt comfy surrounded by very famliar album covers.  I do have a turntable set up at home, but only really use it for nostalgia trips now and again, so I no longer buy vinyl.  However, slipping through the bins I quickly found one of my old favourites that I'd forgotten about.  No I didn't buy the album, but I did just buy it online.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Streatles @ Tranzac

The Streatles @ Tranzac - #70/365 by PJMixer
The Streatles @ Tranzac - #70/365 a photo by PJMixer on Flickr.

Friends invited us to join them to see their children's guitar teacher Edward, perform with his Beatles cover band The Streatles.  Our daughter joined us for a great evening of Beatles songs and good times.  Click here for the full set of photos.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Harry Connick, Jr.

Harry Connick, Jr. intro from Rudy Blair by PJMixer

Harry Connick, Jr. did a brief interview with Rudy Blair from AM680, then signed autographs to promote his new CD/DVD at First Canadian Place on March 4th, 2011. I've seen Harry perform a couple of times, incl. his Toronto debut at Roy Thompson Hall in 1989. Click here for other shots.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Intersecting with The Grammies

I'm not a huge fan of The Grammies for a number of reasons: too American-centric; too pop focused; and all the thanks to God. That being said, there are usually a couple of good performances and a few of my favourites artists to cheer for.

So of the Grammy nominees this year, the following are artists I have been listening to over the last 18 months:

  • Cee Low Green
  • Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
  • Eminem
  • Arcade fire
  • Ray Lamontagne
  • Florence & the Machine
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Norah Jones
  • John Mayer
  • Sade
  • Groove Armada
  • Chemical Brothers
  • Robert Plant
  • The Black Keys
  • Them Crooked Vultures
  • Kings of Leon
  • Katy Perry
  • Broken Bells
  • John Legend & The Roots
  • Janelle MonĂ¡e
  • Gorillaz

And lastly, good luck to my old mates from ultimate,
Sam Dunn & Scot McFadyen for their Rush movie.

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011 Albums

Here is a list of albums being released early in 2011 that I'm looking forward to (many have singles already available). Some of the dates may be UK dates so it may be a little later here.

  • Cage The Elephant released in January.
  • Boxer Rebellion just released last week.
  • Armistice (a collaboration of Coeur De Pirate and Jay Malinowski) Feb. 15
  • Adele Feb. 22
  • Beady Eye March 1 (Oasis minus Noel)
  • Alex Turner solo album (Arctic Monkeys) March 14th
  • The Vaccines March 21st
  • Pigeon Detectives April 4th
  • Glasvegas April 4th
  • The Wombats April 11th

Any others that I have missed or that you are looking forward to?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blip updates

Caught up on sharing some music via Blip, incl. electronica and dance tracks from Katy B, Groove Armada; smooth vocals from Ray Lamontagne, Belle and Sebastian, Broken Bells and Paloma Faith; and lots more.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Where I find new music: Part 7 - inflight entertainment

In the old days of long distance commercial air flight, you often had the option of listening to various music selections across a wide variety of genres using the armrest dials and an awful pair of airline headphones. With the help of the playlists being published in the inflight magazine, I'd often find some interesting new tracks.  

With the new touchscreen personal entertainment centres and the option to use our own headphones we now have, the ease of browsing and enjoying lots of new music is wonderful.  I'm currently listening to Belle and Sebastian's latest album - Write about love.  Plus, it's worth noting that the decent choice of movies also brings up the opportunity of finding some new music on the soundtrack.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Vaccines at The Horseshoe Tavern

(all photos by PJMixer)

The Vaccines, a new band from the UK performed at The Horseshoe Tavern last night.

I hadn't heard of The Vaccines when I first saw the concert listing. A few days later, while flipping through Q Magazine with my husband, we're reading about the 10 New Faces of 2011 where The Vaccines were mentioned. When I saw their name, I thought it might have been the concert listing I had seen. It turns out that it was. Edge 102's Nu Music Night had The Vaccines coming to Toronto before their album is released this spring.

We arrived to the venue in time to hear the last two songs by the opening band The High Dials from Montreal. I wish I had heard more because they sounded really good. I'm downloading some of their songs today. Their fourth album was just released last November. Here's their setlist as they wrote it:
The Horseshoe Tavern is one of the few venues that allow D-SLR cameras so my husband likes to get close to try to get great quality shots of the band.

Before The Vaccines went on stage, we met a guy who writes for VivoScene who flew in from Calgary for this show. He interviewed the band in the afternoon and will be posting a review on the VivoScene website later this week. That will be worth checking out.

The Vaccines are very hyped in the UK. I haven't seen a band with this much hype before their album release since Arctic Monkeys (unless I want to count Drake). Before their album is even released, they have been nominated for Critics' Choice at the Brit Awards. I was a little concerned that they wouldn't live up to the hype, especially after they cancelled a couple of shows last week because the lead singer Justin Young was recovering from throat surgery.

It seems like he has recovered well because there was no sign of it in their performance. They played a solid although short set. It was a good introduction of them to Canada and of Canada to them. Justin did mention that even their Icelandic band member had never been as cold as he was in Toronto.

I imagine they arrived on Monday because that was the really cold day. It was a balmy 2 degrees yesterday with rain and snow...but maybe it's the humidity that makes if feel even colder.

They opened the set with Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) a very upbeat song that was released as a single in November. Even with it being shorter than a minute and a half it gave a good representation of the energy that was to come.

It starts with the very singable:
Pretty girl, wreckin' bar,
Ra ra ra ra yeah you are!
Growin' up, I'm twice the man,
Yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah I am!

This venue isn't the greatest for video taking. I like to relive the performances even when the sound isn't up to par so I record anyway, but I don't always upload them. This one was worth uploading just for the introduction.

It has a very catchy chorus:

But if you wanna come back it's alright, it's alright!
It's alright if you wanna come back!
If you wanna come back it's alright, it's alright!
It's alright if you wanna come back to me!

I was happy to get a close-up view of their concert because I'm sure the next time they come, I won't want to be too close when it is actually a mosh pit. Most of their songs are high energy and easy to sing to.

After the concert, I grabbed the setlist from the stage. I'm not sure whether they performed European Sun or Wet Suit which are marked with a question mark on the setlist. From the times on the videos I took, it's possible that they played one of them. Since they were not the songs I knew beforehand, I can't confirm.

Time will tell whether The Vaccines will live up to the hype, but I won't be surprised if they do.