Friday, January 28, 2011

Fitz & The Tantrums @ The Mod Club

Fitz & The Tantrums @ The Mod Club
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Opening Group: Mookie & The Loyalists

___First timers in Toronto, Michael Fitz and Noelle Scaggs (Fitz & The Tantrums) spent most of their morning doing interviews and touring the city! Meeting them was awesome, especially Michael. He was such a sweetheart! I had the opportunity to host a small interview with him, which I'll leave at the bottom of the entry. So, how were they in person? Humble and super interested in interacting with fans! Amazing, because I wasn't sure how they would be.

___Opening the nights events was a band by the name of Mookie & The Loyalists. Totally old school, flashy, a band who would and did cover "Hound Dog" (Elvis) kinda band. I had a lot of fun during their set. Lead singer Mookie Morris was definitely the re-incarnated Elvis. Reppin the red suit, you could tell this guy really knew how to work the stage! They were cool, I'd see them again. Check out their Myspace, click here.

___Clearing the stage of most instrument, with the addition of some... It was time for Fitz! I notice the lights were the same tono of blue and red from their website, and this was making me really excited! Surprisingly enough, the floor wasn't as crowded as I had expected it to be...The night was underrated, which meant more space to dance! They hit the stage and started off with "Don't Gotta Work It Out". The band looked absolutely fabulous! Dressed to impress, and they certainly did! They got the crowd dancing, clapping, singing... it was so much fun! When "We Don't need no Love Songs" came on, all I wanted was to be dressed like folks from the 1960s and to be dancing with a boy in a fedora. There was nothing to not love about their set yesterday! Michael Fitz sang with every cell in his body, until he fell purposely to the ground at the end of a song! I was wide-eyed throughout the show. Back men like Jame's King impressed me too, from playing the Sax to the Flute, I was just super glad to be there. At one point they had the whole audience get down, and I mean really get down and jump up... it was just too much fun. Thank you for an amazing night guys. The Mod Club was the place to be Wednesday night, and if you were there, I'm sure you can agree!

Check out footage from the show!

Conclusion: Best motown pop show ever (at least this year) !

And now, a few words with Michael Fitz himself.

LTT- How are you liking Toronto? When did you arrive?

Fitz- We only got here this morning and Noelle and I hit the ground running... did a ton of press and tv ... this woman from Toronto drove us all we got to already see quite a bit of the city. We went to the university and did an interview at the radio station ...

LTT: How are you liking the tour so far?
Fitz: Loving it you know...and it's been really exciting for us...on this tour we're getting to go to so many cities that we've never been to like Toronto, Montreal, Portland, Maine, Boston, and it's a lot of places we've never been ... Finding out that we've got a lot of fans in places we didn't know, so for us as a band it's really rewarding to see that the music is getting out there

LTT-So after this tour, is there anything planed with other bands? I know you've previously toured with Maroon five...
Fitz- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Flogging Molly... Uhh, I don't know... I know there's been talk about maybe going on the road with some other artist... but uh, right now were just sorta enjoying doing this sorta smaller club tour... like being the headliners of our own tours, just going out there and building it on our own.

LTT- Any music festivals lined up so far?
Fitz- Yah we got Austin City Limits, Sasquatch (Washington State), and a couple here in Canada that I'm not allowed to say.

LTT- Have you guys thought about collaborating with other artists?

Fitz- Uhm, not yet, but we're definitely open to it.. had a couple emails back and fourth with people so we'll see if that comes...were about to do a remix contest for the first single of Money Grabber... we're going to put that up online for people to take the elements and do their own twist ... i love when people remix stuff's always good to hear people's take on stuff..
LTT- Yah, I've actually heard a couple online...
Fitz- Yah, Party Supply outta Brooklyn, He did a great Remix!

LTT- If you could choose any artist to collaborate with of any genre, who would it be?

Fitz- Ce-lo is pretty bad ass, Adele is amazing, but I really like Major Lazer

LTT- So what as a band have you guys been listening to on the road?
Fitz- Major Lazer, Deerhunter... we get some band that gives us their cd and yah we always check it out...local acts and stuff like that...

LTT- Any upcoming albums to look out for?

Fitz- Well we're definitely already working on our next record...when it comes out? I don't know...But we've definitely started the process of writing... going in and back in the studios when were not on the road...might release another single for a 7-inch collectors vinyl in the next couple months, we'll see!

LTT- Last words to your fans?
Fitz- Keep in touch with us on FB. Noelle and I do all the messaging, so please send us a message. If its not her it's me. It's the best way to know when were in town. Click here to check them out.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lissie @ The Opera House

Lissie @ The Opera House
Monday, January 24, 2011
Opening Group: The Bahamas

___So my day started with a quick chat with the security gaurd of the event at the Opera House. It turns out that the original opener, Dylan Leblanc, wasn't able to cross the boarder so Lissie and the guys were out looking for another act to open. They showed up around 5:30P.M. and my friend and I gave her this stuffed tiger we found at the dollar store and she loved it! :P She was sick and wasn't able to chat very long, especially because it was freezing cold outside. All in all, upon first impression she seems like a great person, willing to stand outside in the cold to talk to fans. A+ Lissie!

___Filling in for Dylan was The Bahamas, they took the stage shortly after playing a set on the George Stroumboulopoulos show. Considering they’re a local act that came on such short notice I was thoroughly impressed with what they had to offer! They had great stage presence and knew what to do to please the crowd. They were great! Check out their Myspace, click here.

___As soon as The Bahamas finished their set, Lissie's crew began setting up the stage for her performance. A crew member even put the tiger we got her on the drum set, so cool! The lights went off and thecrowed was rattled! She came to the stage and started her set with “Wedding Bells”, a personal favourite of mine. It was absolutely beautiful, and completely breathtaking. Throughout her show I felt like she was sharing pieces of her life with me. Her performance was so heart hitting and personal; I felt like we were good friends and she was sharing songs she had written, songs that I could relate to on incredible levels. She was amazing, the end. I can go on forever on how incredible she was, but you have to see it for yourself. Lissie is someone to look out for in 2011!

Download Lissie's Daytrotter edition of "Wedding Bells", click here!

Check out video footage of Lissie playing "Bully" from The Opera House.

Conclusion: I regret not putting her album “Catching a Tiger” on my top 10 albums of the year, because it deserved it 100%! You have to go see her live if you like this album, she's phenomenal.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chromeo @ The Opera House

Chromeo @ The Opera House
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Opening Groups: Young Empires and MNDR

___Well, it was -30 something in the cold city of Toronto, and Chromeo was getting ready to play their 2nd show in the igloo I call home. I showed up 15 minutes before doors opened and somehow managed front row... wish it was like that all the time!

___First up we had Young Empires, a Toronto band that's supposedly getting a lot of good attention. Personally, I didn't feel it. You know, some bands have "it" and some just don't. Sorry guys, maybe next time.

___After the Young Empires, MNDR hit the stage, looking rather odd in my opinion. She reminded me of a tacky Lykke Li meets Lady Gaga. Her music was also nothing to get excited about, although there were fans eating it all up... all the power to her if she can pull off what she's doing and have fans... as for me, no thank you.

___At this point, I was just really eager to get my groove on and hear some good funky electro beats. The crowd started chanting the Chromeo Intro song, and I felt at ease with my excitement, this was really happening! Chromeo made the scene and set their positions on stage. As I was standing in front of the famous leg sets, excitement couldn't even begin to capture my thoughts of this event. It was just so much fun! Dave 1's charming smile and P-Thugg's ability to whip the audience up with his talk box. My favorite songs included Momma's Boy, Bonafied Lovin (of course), and Night by Night. Electro funk brilliance at it's best.

Video Footage taken from TheOurVids on YouTube.

Conclusion: I had a good time, and want to learn to talk box.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Little Dragon @ Wrongbar

Little Dragon @ Wrongbar
Monday, January 17, 2011
Opening Groups: BonJay (1st openers) & Billy Goat (2nd Group)

Alright, so Little Dragon arrived with Billy Goat around 4P.M. at The Wrongbar. The sold out show opened at 8 P.M. with limited numbers of tickets at the door. It went from cold to hot in a short period of time as the venue began to fill up.

The night's festivities began with BonJay, a boy-girl duo. It was like African, Soul vocals on top of heavy beats with crazy Lady Gaga-on-downers dancing. With this in mind, it was surprising to hear her cover "This is How my Heart Behaves" by Fiest. Keeping it Canadian, they ended with a song by Caribou. She had an amazing voice, but I thought their music was just OK; Nothing that's going on my iPod anytime soon.

Up next was a group from Portland by the name of Billy Goat. Before performing, they set up a screen with a projector behind it. Unsure of what was to come, they began playing what seemed to be the soundtrack to animations the group created. It was unreal, eccentric and weird all at the same time. From stars outlining bodies in the sky, to glowing mushrooms coming through the walls. It was what I'd imagine in a messed up Alice in Wonderland magazine cut-and-paste world. The music itself was very theatrical; It was a great combination. With different art work and music like that, I can see exactly why Little Dragon decided to tour with them. Check out their music on their Myspace, website and/or Facebook Page. :D

Now finally, Little Dragon. Billy Goat packed up their projector and remaining equipment and made room for the talented Swedish band. This was their first time back in Toronto since their performance with The Gorillaz. Yukimi said, "It's good to be back! Feels just like home... Almost." Starting the show with "A New", I could already tell that this show was going to be amazing. Yukimi was absolutely brilliant as she danced around making real stage presence. She played instruments like the tambourine, hanging electronic cymbals, and this wooden hollow mallet which she hit with a drum stick. She was incredible. At one point, she went behind the drum set with Eric and shared an amazing drum solo. I felt like I was in the middle of a tropical electronic jungle ready to start cave dancing at any moment... especially near the end during their extended version of "Swimming" (2nd last song). Two words, DANCE PARTY. Amazing.


Finishing her show with the beloved single "Twice", the crowd experienced what I call to be a tidal wave of incredible music. Thank you Little Dragon, I knew you were going to be good, but WOW.

Here is some video footage from the show taken by me.

Conclusion: If you haven't indulged in Little Dragon yet, make it your mission to listen to and understand Machine Dreams (their last album.)... Because it's something not to miss. If you're already a fan, then GO SEE THEM LIVE. It's way up there with my best concert experiences.

I forgot to mention, check out the interview I had with Yukimi before the show. :D

5 Questions with Yukimi of Little Dragon.

LTT Asks: What has Little Dragon been listening to while on tour?
Yukimi: Lots of electronic music and other stuff. Everyone on the bus has been sharing their music.
LTT: What's something that sticks out?
Yukimi: ECG

LTT Asks: Have you been inspired on tour to write music?

Yukimi: Yes! I just want to go home and write!
(New Album drops this year/Sometime around Fall!)

LTT Asks: What kind of influences have been shaping the music you will be releasing later?
Yukimi: Lots of South African Electronic.

LTT Asks: If you could take a break from tour to see another band play in concert, who would it be?
Yukimi: We actually wanted to go see the Broadcasts, but we found out the lead singer just died.

& Lastly...

LTT: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Yukimi: Probably Flying Lotus.
LTT: Anything in the works?
Yukimi: Not yet.

All and all, great people making great music for the fans with motives to share some Electro Jazzy love. Check out their new album which according to Eric will be released sometime in the fall.

Photographer: Danelle Tran / Follow her on Twitter @DJZompire (Click Here)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Noah & The Whale

Noah & The Whale
[ Tom Hobden (Fiddle), Charlie Fink (Vocals/Guitar) , Doug Fink (Drums), Urbie Whale aka Matt Owens (Bass)]
Myspace/ Website
-From Twickenham, London
-Described by Doug as Post Grunge Folk
-Toured with Phoenix
-Got their name from the combination of their favorite movie The Squid and the Whale and the name of the Director of the movie Noah Baumbach
-Played Glastonbury, SXSW, and Leeds. They were initially got invited to play Lollapalooza (2008) but had to miss out because their Album (Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down 2008) was released the next day after the beginning of the festival.
-Their Album The First Day of Spring has a corresponding movie created by the band with themes based on the lyrical content. The band wrote the record as one song with preconceived intentions to make a corresponding video. Check it out! click here.
-According to Charlie in an interview, he was listening to a lot of Wilco, Nick Cave, & Talk Talk when writing The First Day of Spring.
-Daytrotter Session available for free Download, click here.

Songs to listen to: 5 Years Time, First Day of Spring (Below), Give a Little Love

Free Downloadable MP3 of Noah & The Whale's First Day of Spring, click Here!

They've been around for a while, but if you've been musically hibernating then here's your wake up call! Their album The First Day of Spring(2009) is absolutely beautiful. Charlie's voice brings me the mystic feeling I get listening to Matt Berninger from The National with the subtle taste of Arcade Fire's use of instrumentals. His voice is different, but just as lovely. The film that corresponds with the album is something you have to check out (Link here). It's genius. I feel bad for blogging about them so late, but as they say, better late then never! Plus, they're coming to Toronto March 24 to The Mod Club. If they stop by around you, I have a good feeling it'll be an amazing show. To buy tickets for Toronto's show, click here.

OH, & PS. Noah & The Whale's new album is said to drop in March. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Twin Shadow @ The Horseshoe Tavern

Twin Shadow @ The Horseshoe Tavern
January 12, 2011

___First concert of the year and it couldn't have gone anymore smoothly. Twin Shadow showed up at 6:30PM to set up and I had the pleasure of catching them before entering the venue and pulling a few words from them. George (The Van Driver/Twin Shadow lead vocalist) and the band approached me politely to say hello. His hair was more intense in person. To tell you the truth, I was really nervous to meet him because after watching interviews upon interviews, he didn't seem to fond of Bloggers... Anyhow, I asked him how the tour was going and how they liked Toronto.... I didn't get much of an answer because they had just arrived in Toronto from their last show in Montreal. All and all George and the band seem like really cool people, cool enough to spare the couple minutes they did shivering in -8 (-20 with the wind shield) weather with me.

___Their opening act was a local artist by the stage name Foxes in Fiction. Very ambient, eery, and harmonious stuff. If you're a fan of Grizzly Bear and Toronto, Check him out! Anyone from Toronto will certainly enjoy tunes like Bathurst, and OCAD Flu. Download his EP Alberto for Free on his website. Click here.

___But finally, Twin Shadow made moves onto the stage just after 10PM to set positions... I can't remember what they started with, or what they said before playing but what I can remember was how amazing they sounded. Imagine listening to their album Forget on full blast in a large theater... now believe me when I say that the experience of hearing them live (or at least standing so close to the speaker in front) was ten times better. I had so much fun just dancing away every song they played... Songs like Slow, When We're Dancing, and especially Castles in the Snow. This was definitely a show I was glad to have attended.

Footage of Twin Shadow performing Tyrant Destroyed at The Horseshoe Tavern taken from my camera.

Conclusion: If Twin Shadow comes by your hometown, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket.

Photographer: Brian Vendiola / Follow him on Twitter @Brian3D (Click Here)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Twin Shadow

Twin Shadow
AKA. George Lewis Jr.
-Born in the Dominican Republic/Raised in Florida/Expanded his Musical Horizons in Brooklyn
-The Album Forget (2010) was written by him inspired by events and people in his life.
Forget was produced by Chris Taylor (Bass player/Producer of Grizzly Bear) Side Note: Chris Taylor is also a partner of Terrible Records/ The record label Twin Shadow is signed to.
-Has a twin sister that has been an influential part of his inspiration.
-Loves Bob Dylan
-Toured with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart + Jamie Liddell
--Clothing choices are inspired by American Movies + Cars + Motorcycles
-Huge fan of incorporating interesting sounds from daily life into his music.

Songs to listen to: Tyrant Destroyed, Slow (Below), At my Heels

Free Downloadable MP3 of Twin Shadow's Slow, Click Here.

Conclusion: I like his stuff, it's very Duran Duran meets Grizzly Bear and Kele (Bloc Party Lead Singer). I like how he uses sounds from things like toys to sounds like the motion of a boot stepping into fresh snow... Everything is music to him. I also think it's cool to hear something with influences from three different parts of the world (Florida+Brooklyn+Copenhagen). It's great that he got Chris Taylor to produce his album because I think it really adds to the mellow-ness and chilled out feeling of the Album. George (Twin Shadow) decided he wanted Chris Taylor to produce his album after seeing his love for using different sounds at a Grizzly Bear Concert in Copenhagen. Weeks later Chris emailed George interested to work together... Awesome! The Album Forget didn't take long to sink in for me which is a good sign! I'm really excited for the show tomorrow and hopefully I have something fun to report back to everyone.

For tickets to Twin Shadow's Show tomorrow at the Horseshoe Tavern (Toronto) Click here! They're 12.50 and you won't regret a penny of it! :D

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums
[James King (Sax), Noelle Scaggs (Vocals), John Wicks (Drums), Michael Fitzpatrick (Vocals), Jeremy Ruzumna (Keys), Ethan Phillips (Bass)]

-Los Angeles, California
-Toured with Flogging Molly, & Maroon 5
-James and Michael went to College together
-Noelles favs include Parliment, Radiohead, Bjork
-Playing a show with Mookie & the Loyalists Jan 26 @ The Mod Club, Toronto. Buy Tickets here for $13, click here!

Songs to Listen to: Money Grabber, Winds of Change, Darkest Street

Free Downloadable MP3 of Fitz & The Tantrums' - Money Grabber, Click here!

Conclusion: This is so Motown meets pop of today... I dig it! I feel like I just stepped out of a time machine and everything is black and white! Definitely a band that puts on a dance party for a concert. According to an interview I saw with Michael and Noelle, they got together very sporadically finding each other through people they knew...and once they started jamming together it was made to be. It's amazing how people like this can find each other in the right place and the right time and make music this fun. Check them out if you like what you hear, it only gets better from there!