Etiquette might be a brand new band in TO, but the members’ faces can be pretty similar to most. Does Graham Walsh of electro-punk band HOLY FUCK or Julie Fader, a renowned visual artist, best known of her featurings with Sarah Harmer, Chad VanGaalen, Blue Rodeo and Great Lake Swimmers ring a bell to you? These lovely, creative partners-in-crime and life, Walsh and Fader, formed a band that could carry their own signature a.k.a Etiquette for a night time music with Walsh’s electronic beats and Fader’s lovely, ethereal vocals.
You may not know but Mustafa and I are big fans of electronic tunes. When we heard that Etiquette will have a gig at Silver Dollar – which is one of our favourite concert spots in Toronto -even though I was pretty jet-lagged, I didn’t care because we were superpumped to review an electronic music based band for the first time on dearymusic! We simply didn’t want to miss the chance and happy we haven’t as we were lucky enough to listen their album, Reminisce’s tracks, even before releasing their album on March 24th 2015. As you may now buy their album, you’ll see why we were so glad! But let us continue about our notes on the gig.
Etiquette started the set with Pleasantries which is a very slow down tempo song within synth-heavy tunes then continued with “Sleep to Wake”, “Brown and Blue”, “Outside In”, “On and On”, “Promises” and “Twinkling Stars”. We think “Brown and Blue” has enough potential to become a hit within beautiful keyboard tunes and dreamy, foggy vocals. “Outiside In” was the most well knows song of the night as the audience sang with the band. “Twinkling Stars” was one of the most interesting songs of the setlist as it is a dancefloor-ready electro track. We personally loved “Sleep to Wake” wrecked our hearts within its super melancholic lyrics “I wake to sleep, I sleep to wake, I breathe my breath here”
The show was a success as it was kind of a teaser of the album release, the crowd felt happy to listen all tracks before hand. If you are curious about their live performance, check it out the video below. As we wanted to bring the concert to your homes, we kept the video a bit longer than usual. Hope you guys will like it
You can also follow up their shows on their Facebook page and purchase their album from here.
As dearymusic, we also love discovering music (art) organizations as well as local bands. And Spectrum Music is one of the music organizations that we certainly dearly appreciate the effort on their projects to assemble the best composers of our favourite city TO. They are basically a group of Canadian composers (“Managing Artistic Director” Ben Dietschi, “Director of Production” Shannon Graham, “Artistic Producers” Matt Roberts, Jesse Dietschi, Heather Segger, Chelsea McBride, Graham Campbell, “Education Programs Manager” Daniel Jamieson) who create and present a contemporary hybrid of jazz and classical music. They strive to create innovative, genre-defying themed concerts which explore intersections between subcultures in Canada.
Not so long ago, back in last winter when they were promoting their “Your Wish is Our Concert” project we heard about their work and we were curious to discover how they aim to reach out to their audience. The project itself is quite interactive. For instance “Your Wish is Our concert” concept was basically based on audiences’ ideas which could be converted to compositions. They asked audience to submit their ideas and let the online community vote for the best. At the end of voting period, a short list of ideas were created to and those were chosen to be composed for the show.
So to speak, I tried my chance on “Northern Lights” and it was on the shortlist for the show. There were many other great ideas that composed by wonderful local musicians. We were so curious and excited to hear how Northern Lights would sound for Kyle Brenders, one of the composers of Spectrum music, who was selected to compose my idea. So we went to the show and also shot a short video clip of Kyle Brender’s piece on Northern Lights and couple more videos of the show which you can find below the page.
Even though we couldn’t reach to Kyle Brenders, we had the opportunity to have a quick chat with its Managing Artistic Director, Ben Dietsch.
Oh AND we have a “little” surprise for you on this interview of us. Just read it through.
Here is the interview! And more.
How did you come up with the idea of Spectrum Music
I created Spectrum in 2010 to provide a voice for a unique style of music that was happening around Toronto that weaves improvisatory elements together with sounds from both the jazz and classical worlds. I studied with bassist/cellist/composer Andrew Downing during my grad degree at U of T, and he turned me onto this particular aesthetic: blending elements of jazz and improvised music with the instrumentation and long-form compositions typically found in classical music.
So at the core, my initial artistic motivation for Spectrum really stemmed from this idea: that the future of jazz music lies in its synthesis with other genres, and that jazz improvisers can be a conduit for the great emotional power that comes from expressing a particular moment in time.
I believe that improvisation and composition coexist in a continuum, and all music contains qualities of both. Improvisation is in its most elegant form in the moment it is performed. From that moment on, it’s relevance diminishes as the moment of creation can never be revisited. Composition is in its most elegant form in stasis, on the page. During performance, this boundless potentiality diminishes as any interpretation is just one of many possible iterations. With Spectrum, we’re trying to have the best of both worlds!
When did Spectrum Music start organizing concerts/shows
I did a year-long study project with composer Gary Kulesha in 2011 (Composer Advisor at the TSO) which produced a series of works in this vein. I wanted a platform to share those pieces with the public, and there wasn’t any company dedicated to chamber jazz in Toronto. Necessity is the mother of invention, and thus the very first Spectrum concert was born! I assembled some of the most accomplished and inspiring figures working in chamber jazz in Toronto: Andrew Downing, David Occhipinti, Patrick Reid, Caitlin Smith, among others and presented on “Stories Without Words” in the Fall of 2011. They were fantastic collaborators, some of which stayed on for several years as the company grew. Meet the faces behind Spectrum on our website.
3) How many musicians does Spectrum Music work with?
The relentless creativity and passion from our team of artistic producers allows Spectrum to be very prolific for its size. In a typical season we engage about 20 artists and present roughly 15 brand new works. Since it’s inception, we’ve put over 60 artists on stage in 16 full concert programs featuring over 50 genre-bending new Canadian compositions. Our artistic producers are also exemplary artists themselves, active in all sorts of projects around town.
How did you come up with the idea of Your Wish Is Our Concert project? It is a very unique idea indeed.
Art for art’s sake is important, and I respect it…but that’s not what Spectrum is about. We believe that music is a lens, a kaleidoscope through which we can better understand the world around us, our lives, and each other. So, all of our concerts are about a theme; something out there in the world which has nothing to do with music. We’ve used music to explore the cosmos, ancient art, and fairy tales, and even hipsters and internet memes. We want our audiences to join us on a journey, one that we take together, and one that leaves us slightly changed when we go home.
In other words, there is an element of outreach in all of the art that we create. I feel it’s our responsibility as artists to reach out and offer something of value to the public. My idea for “Your Wish Is Our Concert”, was to take this philosophy to the maximum. I thought what better way to instill a sense of ownership of what’s unfolding on the stage than turning over thematic control to our audience. I wanted to show people that music can be a medium of discourse for everyone, to explore things that they actually care about in the world. Public response was great and we ended up with an incredible set of themes to work with!
4) Does Spectrum Music has any future plans on any other concepts? How many shows have been scheduled so far?
Spectrum turns 5 next year! We’re putting the finishing touches on a very exciting four concerts, and we can’t wait to tell you about them. It’s a secret for now, but just because we love dearymusic readers here are a few hints:
“I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest”
“The vapider the cliche, the sharper the canines of the real truth it covers.”
“Ce qui embellit le désert, c’est qu’il cache un puits quelque part…”
If you know what all three of these clues are referring to, email us the answers (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you could win a pair of tickets to each of Spectrum Music’s shows next season!
Would you like to hear some playful, beautiful, quirky tunes with a bit spiced up jazz? If your answer is yes, you are at the right place. Makeshift Island is one of the most joyful bands in Toronto. We were lucky enough to discover their music on a wine and cheese night while working on some reviews for deary music. We fell for them and we thought that all deary music followers must hear their music.
Makeshift Island is led by the trumpeter of the band, Rebecca Hennessy, whom sometimes features the band with her vocals, is also the composer. This lovely quartet has Tania Gill on piano, Michael Herring on bass whom you’ll most likely remember from the band Peripheral Vision, and Dave Clark on drums. Sometimes they also have some guest musicians such as Tom Richards on trombone whom accompanied them on some of their concerts so far. Rebecca Hennessy regularly plays with other bands as well but Makeshift Island and FOG are her main projects. Once we learnt that they were going to play at Tranzac, we called it as a date and captured that beautiful performance for you.
We grabbed drinks and chatted with band members as they are very down to earth musicians. We were so ready to capture best scenes even brought two cameras to the show.
They started the set with There’s One Thing, then continued with Calypso #1 (You Make Me Feel So Good) Bully The Clown, Fearless and Kind and Quick, Don’t Panic. It is hard to pick favoruite ones but we must admit that “You Make Me Feel So Good” is a great one since it cheers us up and puts a little smile on our faces. “ Quick, Don’t Panic” may take you the deep down places in your heart that you have never been before. The hottest song was Fearless and Kind as its name is quite powerful too. Makeshift Island takes the listener to a musical journey of epic proportion.
Just for the heads up, if you love jazz, you would most definitely like their music. They used to play at Tranzac regularly but these days Rebecca Hennessy plays with FOG more often. We don’t even need to mention that she is a marvellous trumpet player and she has a naïve voice. All other band members are also very well-know, talented musicians in Toronto jazz scene that makes Makeshift Island even more successful.
We’d recommend you to check them out at Tranzac or Emmet Ray when you feel like you need to listen “good music”. We haven’t heard any upcoming shows or a single/album release so we’d definitely recommend you guys to follow their Facebook page and check out Rebecca Hennessy’s personal website once in a while. You may want to listen FOG which is also another band of Rebecca Hennesey. They make great music as well. Toronto jazz scene is better than we know. You just need to check out the local bars and give a little love to jazz.
And don’t forget to take a look at our video below
“You could call it folk. Or rock. Or ambience. If you wanted to deny that parts make a whole. It is realer than that! It is love! Yes, love!” as the band Cairo describes themselves as which Mustafa and I totally agree on. They are one of the best, more importantly loveliest folk, rock, and orchestral alt pop bands in Toronto. It won’t take you long to fall in love with them once you see them on the stage; just close your eyes, follow the rhythm. Then BOOM! You are charmed. Officially. When I first saw them at Horseshoe back in 2013, I was hooked by dreamy lyrics, heavenly violin tunes and cottonous vocals of their first EP “Young Love”. And of course as any person in love would do, I took every opportunity to check their gigs whenever, wherever possible; Horseshoe, The Garrison, The Rivoli etc. And then, the day came! They were releasing a new album. As soon as I found out about it, as deary music we got them under the radar because we believe that every band member of Cairo loves making music. The band is formed by Nate Daniels (Vocals/Guitar), Matt Sullivan (Drums/Percussion), Caitlin Grieve (Strings/Vocals), Dante Berardi Jr (Guitar/Vocals/Synth) and Joel Dalton (Bass/Key/Synth) They have been playing in the city since 2011. They make something that it comes in the bottom of their hearts. That was pretty much why they were under our radar and we were pretty curious and excited to hear the new tunes of their new album “A History Of Reasons”. As you would predict, we went to the gig to cover their live performance.
They started the set with the song “A History of Reasons” which has a super cool intro within soft vocals and fragile violin tunes. The song itself tells the story and carries the all the elements of folk, pop and rock. The Rivoli’s perfect lighting and sound system also helped everyone to experience the song in a different level. That was one of the best moments of the night. They continued the set with “With You”, “Age/Sex/Race”, “Kingdoms”, “Render” and “Starry Eyes”. We must say that we loved pretty much all songs but “With You” was one of the our favourites. We were a little bit disappointed the fact that they didn’t play any other songs from the previous EP called “Young Love”. We wish we could listen “Selfish” and “Addict” at that night.
It was a very short but also a very fun set. We had a great grasp of the new album. And it’s enough talk about our good fortune. We have 3 great news for you: First great news is NOW the album is available to purchase. And you can order it online! Second great news is they are going to tour in UK so even if you are not in Toronto anymore or ever been and if you are somewhere close to UK, here is an opportunity to see a lovely Canadian band. That’s pretty sweet, eh? Highly recommended to follow their Facebook page and track their upcoming shows in Toronto and UK. Third great news: We have two videos in the bottom for you to hear their tunes. If you are patient enough to watch a 16 minutes video, you can almost watch the whole concert but if you think you don’t have time – which we can understand – here is a 4 minutes short video from that night. Enjoy and support local music! Cheers! Itir & Mustafa
You cut me down to size, you say
Be straight, behave
Just crack me up and split my sides
You stole my gaze, now pawn my eyes
The price is high
This is not the deal I made…
Ladies and gentlemen, we are very happy to introduce you groove based – alternative rock band Edgewater Hotel! I clearly remember the first time when I heard those lyrics. That day Mustafa sent me their Soundcloud link and recommended me to listen their EP. I have never heard about them before that day and I was totally hooked by the abstract lyrics with cool guitar riffs and dreamy saxophone melodies.
Edgewater Hotel is formed by Alex Hanes – Bass, Jordan Circosta – Drums, Julian Powell – Guitar, Gary Sahsuvar – Tenor Sax, Rachel Vandezande – Vocals, Mama Worthy – Synthesizers. They have been playing in the city for the last few years. You may have seen them playing at the various venues such as The Opera House, Dundas Square, Lee’s Palace, The Velvet Underground, The Drake Hotel and The Silver Dollar Room.
We were very excited to cover their show because we believe they are one of the more promising new alternative rock bands in the city. So promising; the type of the band whose music from this year we’ll hear on the radio in five years, we believe. They are also a part of Headquarters Coorperative which is a not-for-profit organization made up of like-minded musicians and artists that makes the band more interesting for us. On the gig day, they experienced various technical difficulties at the Coalition: T.O so we did as well as you might notice at the video below. But as the venue was almost packed and the crowed was pumped, nothing could get us down that night. Plus, we all were excited to hear their new single “White Rabbit” (Jefferson Airplane cover) so you might as well want to check the link.
They started the set with Best So Far, Black Market, Anthems For The Arsonist (Parts 1 + 2) White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane cover), Stepping On Stars, Breathe Easy and followed by Mad Fellow, Hindu Cow and Not My Home. We are a big fan of Black Market since we totally hooked up by lyrics and melody. We think that they have a big potential in the Toronto music scene. It is obvious that they love making music together and they totally have fun during the gigs. Overall the performance was good and the audience was happy with their set list.
If you are curious about their live performance, you can take a look at our video at the bottom. We also had the opportunity to interview with them as well –coming soon-. They are going to play at the Silver Dollar on Jan 9th. You wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity! You will definitely have fun, we guarantee you!
Don’t you wanna hear some good music with a bit spiced up koto tunes? Yeah, we know you would take it. Let us introduce you Toronto based folk-jazz power trio Jessica Stuart Few.
I clearly remember the first time I saw Jessica Stuart. She was playing Radiohead songs at a bar in Junction. I was really mesmerised the way she was playing the guitar and how she was losing herself in music. Then I decided to do some research about her and discovered her band The Jessica Stuart Few. It took me a while to digest their two albums. First I spent a quite a bit time to understand the stories behind the songs and then bam! I was hooked by the second album.
The Jessica Stuart Few is formed by Jessica Stuart (band leader, vocal, guitar and koto), Liam Smith (double bass, vocals) and Jon Foster (drums, vocals). The band had various different members in the past but Jessica Stuart has been working Liam and Jon for the last few years. We definitely felt their deep musical connection when they were on stage. They are so meant to play together!
We were very excited to cover their show because maybe this is the only band that both of us would listen almost every day. Therefore we reached out to them and they were very happy to feature with us. On the gig day, we arrived to the Central pretty early as usual and settled in close to the stage. In the meantime we grabbed drinks with a couple of musician friends who came to the show and met with the whole band.
The Jessica Stuart Few took the stage around 9 pm and started the set with Two Sides To Every Story which is one of our favourites. I especially love this song’s guitar riffs. They continued with “Lost Friends”, “Only Girl (Rihanna cover)”, “Kid Dream”, “One Day”, “Same Girl”, “How to Ride A Bicycle” and “What Is It For”. We were not expecting to hear a Rihanna cover but it realy didn’t surprise us since they are very innovative musicians and their music does’t fall into a concrete music genre. It includes jazz, rock, folk and a little bit pop e.g: Don’t Ya. That’s why, it is really difficult say who are their influencers but you can find some clues in the interview video.
Akin to their albums, the show took surprising turns –new songs-, while maintaining beautiful tunes that you wouldn’t forget. We love The Jessica Stuart Few’s candid tunes harmonized with very well written lyrics and we strongly believe that they will definitely take you to your happy place. If you would like to check their music, you can find the videos below – yes, this time we have 3 videos- and you may want to take a look at their lovely blog and Facebook page. They will go for a tour in March, so before they take off, try to catch them in Toronto.
These songs go to whom are sick of dirty dirty cheaters, liars, tired of wham bam thank you ma’ams, still not understanding it’s not you it’s ME type of peeps! If you are in mood to listen blues/soul sounds with a bit of spiced up rock&roll, ladies and gentlemen let us introduce you Laura Cole Band! They will dry your tears with their lyrics and cheer you up with their sound and enthusiasm. Guaranteed by dearymusic! You are worth more than THAT anyway.
The first time I saw Laura was in Taste of Italy back in June 2014. I randomly stopped by the corner and bumped into a great show. A young blonde beautiful lady was singing love songs. After a couple of songs later, I found myself dancing in the crowd. I dearly loved the way she sang and how she interacted with the audience. I took a couple of photos and then started stalking her Facebook fan page.
To save you from the troubles of stalking; Laura Cole Band is formed by Laura Cole (vocal, songwriter), Ron Cole (keyboard), Steve Bings (guitar), Chris Chiarcos (bass guitar), Mark McLean (drums). Laura Cole is such a strong singer who started playing music when she was 3. We believe that she has one of the best voices that we have ever heard in the city. When we learned that she was going to play with her band (Laura Cole Band) at the Paddock Tavern, we got really excited and we even got a new digital audio recorder to capture the best sound! On the gig day, we arrived to the venue a little bit early to settle in. We couldn’t have the opportunity to meet with the full band but Laura welcomed us with great warmth and her sweetest smile. We grabbed a couple of great shots then waited for her to rock the stage.
Laura Cole Band (LCB)took the stage around 10 pm and started the set with “Darling Sweetheart” then continued with “Sweet Escape”, “ Unworthy You”, “ Week There One Day”, “ On My Own”, “ Let It Roll”, “ The Only One”, “ Dirty Cheat” and “Death Row”. It is really hard to tell which song was our favourite but “Dirty Cheat” definitely wreaked our chests out! We felt every single line of the lyrics in our hearts. It was maybe the best song of the performance. We also really enjoyed “Darling Sweetheart” which a high tempo love song will take you to your happy place with your loved one.
Overall the performance was absolutely great. Laura Cole literally puts her soul on the stage and blows all the songs away! Don’t get us wrong, every band member is amazing and especially Dad Ron Cole –yes, he is Laura’s dad- is an awesome keyboard player. They truthfully enjoy playing with Laura. We really love all of songs of LCB but we think that “Unworthy You” and “Death Row” have big potentials to become hits.
Laura has a great voice, the band rocks, lyrics are just awesome enough to cheer any broken heart and we know you haven’t planned much for couple of days now so if we were in your shoes we would definitely take this opportunity to see one of their shows. LCB plays in Toronto every month or so and they mostly play in Hamilton which is not very far J We’d definitely recommend to check her music. You can visit her website as well as her Facebook page but before that you may want to take a look at our video! We hope that you would enjoy her music. If you are having a bad day, she will dry your tears with her gifted voice and soulful lyrics.
p.s: Dear deary music followers, we have a surprise for you! Don’t forget to click the second video at the bottom. We have added a new feature now we have interviews with the bands/musicians! Hope you’ll enjoy!