March 13, 2008
For the most part, Canadian Music Week is equal parts exciting as it is frustrating. Many great bands pour into Toronto for three days worth of music and if you find the right show, you’ll have an awesome time. On the flip side, if you make a bad decision, you might find yourself in an endless lineup or at a venue that has already reached capacity. Of course, there is also the frustration when two or more bands you really want to see are playing at the exact same time or on opposite ends of the city.
Lights – March 7 – The Rivoli
Friday night, Pop/Electronic princess Lights played an at capacity Rivoli. We barley got in ourselves and later found out that many friends and family of the band were left waiting in line. Odds are most were there to see the buzz created around her since being featured in an Old Navy commercial, but Lights proved that her song-writing talents go beyond selling hoodies and capris. Read TMS interview with Lights here. Check out Lights MySpace here.
Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols – March 7 – The Rivoli
Frankie Whyte and the Dead Idols are everything a rock band should be. Loud, aggressive and charismatic performers, the Idols played their 40 minute set without missing a beat. Frankie herself has the heart of Joan Jett with the dry, sarcastic charm of Ellen Page. The rest of the idols have enough raw energy to bring a resurgence of the 80’s L.A. Sunset Strip/Whiskey A Go-Go sound. The pinnacle of the night was when The Idols played Motleys Crue’s infamous Kickstart My Heart. Check out Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols MySpace here.
Alpha Galates – March 7 – The Bovine Sex Club
Alpha Galates filled the Bovine leaving many bar regulars outside in the cold. Why they would stick this major label act in a club the size of the Bovine is beyond me, but those lucky enough to get inside were blown away by this dark rock five-piece that draws influences heavily from Tool. The sound was sub-par (even by the Bovine’s standards) and at times Matt Wagner’s vocals were a little too heavy in FX, but those in attendance didn’t really seem to care. Check out Alpha Galates MySpace here.
Tokyo Sex Destruction – March 7 – The Silver Dollar
TSD came all the way from Spain to play to a crowd brave enough to survive the extended 3 a.m. last call. They started their set slowly and quietly, while audience members screamed "play something fast" and other such ramblings before the band broke out into 40 minutes of fast, aggressive soul/punk reminiscent of the Motor City sound of the 70’s. Influenced mostly by bands like Iggy Pop and MC5 and the dance moves of James Brown, TSD was perhaps the most entertaining of bands at this year’s CMW. It was chaos as drunk patrons tried playing the keyboard at the front of the stage as leadsinger RJ Sinclair sang and danced his way throughout the crowd. Check out Tokyo Sex Destruction’s MySpace here.
White Cowbell Oklahoma – March 8 – The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
WCO was the craziest band of the night. This southern-fried rock band is as high energy as they come and feature a burlesque dancer and even played a chainsaw on stage. WCO puts on a full production on stage and the only way to describe it is mass insanity. I highly suggest you check them out next time they play. Check out White Cowbell Oklahoma’s MySpace here.
The Ghost Is Dancing – March 8 – The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
This 8 piece indie collective barely leaves enough room onstage for all their members and instruments, but are able to keep their sound from getting too muddy and overbearing. When you watch TGID it becomes obvious that all the members are friends and having a good time. Their music is so friendly it almost makes you feel like you’re an old friend of the band’s and are basking in their joy. Check out The Ghost Is Dancing MySpace here.
Psychobilly band The Creepshow played a high energy CMW set. It was next to impossible to even get any where close to the stage at the Horseshoe while they played. It’s easy to see why this band is getting mass attention in such a niche music market. Read the TMS interview with The Creepshow here. Check out The Creepshow’s MySpace here.