Is there such a thing as flaneur-pop? If not, you can thank The Pickups for inventing it on their latest release, Country Houses, City Streets. With its five songs about love and neighborhoods, produced by the legendary Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith, Rheostatics), listening to the EP is like walking all afternoon with a new friend and learning everything about them.
The Pickups’ blend of effortless pop craftsmanship and hint of lap steel twang will make you feel homesick for where you already are. It’s a reminder to bustling urbanites of what it’s like to amble down a side street or linger too long at a fruit stand. It’s a dose of fizzy pop for small-towners who need more than a bland double-double at the end of a long day. You won’t want to put down The Pickups.
Hannah’s songs “are a little bit crooked, a little bit new.” Her sound is reminiscent of Gillian Welch and The Be Good Tanyas, and inspired by Ola Belle Reed and Hazel Dickens. While Hannah’s style is decidedly Appalachian folk, she’s also influenced by styles outside the genre, such as English and Irish ballads, African spirituals and gospel music, as well as the pop and indie music that inspired her early songwriting — Leslie Feist, Ani Difranco, and other strong female songwriters. “I think these inspirations come through in my lyrics, and in my chord changes, and my musical choices in general,” she says.
“Having seen Hannah grow up surrounded by old-time music, it doesn’t surprise me that she’s developed such a good command of the fiddle and banjo, but her ability to incorporate that trad foundation into her original music will be an unexpected treat for anyone willing to listen.” -Chris Coole, Foggy Hogtown Boys
Having grown up surrounded by her musical family, immersed in the sounds of clawhammer banjo and appalachian ballads, Hannah harvested the sounds and themes of this music in her bones and in her heart. Tether My Heart (Merriweather Records Ltd.) marks Hannah Shira Naiman‘s entrance to the stage as a songwriter, but is a testament to her deep roots in the old-time appalachian genre. Hannah’s songs “are a little bit crooked, a little bit new.” Her sound is reminiscent of Gillian Welch and The Be Good Tanyas, and inspired by Ola Belle Reed and Hazel Dickens. While Hannah’s style is decidedly Appalachian folk, she’s also influenced by styles outside the genre, such as English and Irish ballads, African spirituals and gospel music, as well as the pop and indie music that inspired her early songwriting– Leslie Feist, Ani Difranco, and other strong female songwriters. “I think these inspirations come through in my lyrics, and in my chord changes, and my musical choices in general,” she says.
A timeless story.
A four hundred-year-old play.
Nine great actors.
Eight ounces of whiskey.
One very brave Macbeth.
Here’s the experiment: we’re staging the best Macbeth that we possibly can: a great cast, beautiful costumes, evocative music… and a Macbeth who drinks a bit of actual whiskey on each of his fifteen entrances. Did we mention that the play ends with a swordfight? urbanbard.ca
Duane Andrews & Craig Young: Charlie’s Boogie CD Release
Friday 22 November, 8:30pm
“Duane Andrews is a jazz guitar extraordinaire, famous for his devotion to the style of jazz legend Django Reinhardt. Craig Young is one of the best country pickers you’ll hear anywhere. Put them together in a studio, and you’ll get magic.” -CBC Radio
An evening with Duane Andrews and Craig Young will take you from the traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador, down through the Appalachian mountains into the land of bluegrass and country music and across the ocean to French cabarets filled with gypsy and swing music. These two consummate guitar players complement their enchanting guitar styles with an occasional song from Craig’s rich repertoire.
Ken Aldcroft’s Convergence Ensemble “Saskatoon” CD Release concert
Thursday 21 November, 10pm, FREE/pwyc (sugg. $10)
“Convergence is neither a jazz crew playing tunes nor a free-improv unit, slipping from one to another both within and between songs. While I am as addicted as anyone to energy music’s sugar high, Aldcroft’s formula leads to an ultimately more satisfying full-course banquet.” -Lawrence Joseph, Cult Montreal 2012
“Sneaky Pete — Slugs’ is an ambitious set of finely executed free jazz; it’s the next logical step in the continued refinement of this crew’s fresh and intoxicating sound.” -Bryon Hayes, Exclaim! 20012
This six-piece group, featuring the instrumentation of a fairly conventional modern jazz ensemble, is the primary conduit for Ken Aldcroft’s compositional and conceptual work. In performance, a set list serves less as a road map for the execution of Ken’s varied and dynamic pieces and more like a menu of possibilities; the group’s members can, individually or collectively, spontaneously arrange any of the available material. Employing a system of aural and gestural cues, the group playfully and creatively reshapes each piece in the spirit of free improvisation, the approach that underpins the ensemble’s composite musical experience. The current personnel of the Convergence Ensemble is the result of the amalgamation of various Aldcroft ensembles of and, with numerous recordings and national tours under their collective belt, the sextet is a thoroughly cohesive musical unit. Each player is as dynamic a soloist on his or her instrument as they come not only in Toronto’s lively creative music scene, but Canada-wide as well. Saskatoon is their fifth CD release, all on the Trio Records and Production label: Sneaky Pete-Slugs’ (2012) Our Hospitality (2009), Trolleys (2008) and The Great Divide (2006).
Thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for their support of this concert presentation.
The CD release party for burgeoning alt/folk group Local 164 proves to be an exhilerating night of music with Zachary Bennett of Tin Stars Orphans opening and Indie star Andrew Penner of Sunparlour Players joining Local 164.
‘Dreams from Belle County’ is Local 164’s debut album and is an ode to a forgotten time with murder ballads, working class epics and lost highway blues.
Starting Saturday 30 November, 12pm: The Artisans Gift Fair
Every year during the holiday season, The Artisans’ Gift Fair hosts a fine collection of affordable one-of-a-kind gift products. Vendors gather at the Tranzac, displaying quality handcrafted gifts that range from funky contemporary to a sophisticated classic style.
Whether you’re buying for a friend or loved one, or buying for yourself, you’re guaranteed to find a treasure.
Please join us on any of the following dates:
November 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 – 2013
Wednesday 25 September: DEVON SPROULE & MIKE O’NEILL album release 10pm, FREE/pwyc
Award-winning artist Devon Sproule’s music shares elements of folk, country, and jazz, delivered in an affecting, personal style.
“Vintage country…with jazzy sophistication…beautifully sparse arrangements and melodies that surprise the ear when you first hear them, but which then get under your skin much more than anything more obvious would.” -BBC
“Keep Your Silver Shined rings with a sweet, heartbreaking majesty; these songs are beautiful, timeless and transporting.” -This American Life devonsproule.com