Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sappyfest 6: In Review

It's been a while since I've posted any reviews, but after attending Sappyfest - one of the best festivals I've ever experienced - I decided to let loose and do some writing.

As of late, I've been pretty addicted to Twitter (PS - follow me on Twitter), so I thought I would write these up as micro reviews. Can I do it 140(ish) characters or less? Let's see!

Daniel Romano: old school country à la George Jones/Conway Twitty. Misha Bower and Julie Doiron on the backups. Wish this band could be at every place I eat breakfast on Sunday mornings.

Owen Pallet Et Les Mouches: Owen’s drummer is a beast, he used to play in a band called From Fiction. They were like watching a heart attack on the stage. He still plays the same. Owen covers Caribou’s “Odessa.” Best part.

Shark Attack: Secret’s out, it’s actually Arcade Fire. I stand 5 rows from the front, and act like I’m 18 again. They played to 7,000 people the night before and will play to 75,000 the next night. Tonight they play to 800. This is what I live for.

Long Weekends: I’m in love with Devin Peck’s bass and Noel’s minimalist reverb-soaked post-punk new wave songs. Beers start flowing, Noel starts falling.

Marine Dreams: One of my favorite East Coast bands rounded out by a shit-hot 6 piece line-up. Ian Kehoe writes the best songs. Seriously.

Hamilton Trading Company: The nicest people and the greatest choir in the world. Fun and deep. Great way to wake up on a Saturday morning. I secretly want to be in this band.

Moonsocket: Jon McKiel plays drums for the first few songs. Julie Doiron plays bass for the last few songs. Marc Gaudet joins in. 3/4 of Eric’s Trip on stage. This is why people have been coming to Sappy for 6 years.

Homo Duplex: Weird minimalist synth/drums pop fuzz. A little too weird for 3pm? Maybe.

Hash Jesus: Classic rock riffs with stoner rock tone. Cape Breton in full effect at Uncle Larry’s.

Klarka Weinwurm & Jon McKiel: Klarka’s new songs remind me of 90s British shoegaze music. So rad. Jon McKiel is one of my favorite songwriters. He plays Motion Pictures and it feels punk rock. Love.

Little Scream: An act touted for unbelievable vocals, but I could not hear them well. I like the musical elements though. I will investigate more once I’m home.

Sandro Perri: Smooth jazz for lounge lovers that also appeals to the kids who love weirdo music. I’m not one of those kids.

The Burning Hell: Can’t believe how packed Uncle Larry’s is. Mathias Khom sings songs about being a Jew, being a pirate, and being fun. Did I mention beers are really cheap at Uncle Larry’s?

John K. Samson: I was never a Weakerthans fan, but I am now a full-fledged convert. He is a poet, tried and true. An ode to Gump Worsely almost makes me teary eyed and I feel uber Canadian. He plays a song about writing a Masters thesis. Makes me excited for September.

Fond Of Tigers: Big change of pace. Some sort of jazz mixed with math rock. Half dressed in black, half in white. I like the math rock parts the most.

Apollo Ghosts: So much fun. Quirky songs, catchy hooks, and a bunch of props. One of my favorite acts of the whole festival hands down. They all crowd surf at the end of their set. The sun hasn’t set yet.

Charles Bradley: Literally the reason I’m here. The Screaming Eagle of Soul! Heartfelt and honest, funky and fresh. I can’t believe this man is 63. He does the splits a bunch and his band plays music that makes me think I am living in 1974. He is overwhelmed by the crowd reaction. I am overwhelmed that he is performing for us.

Wooden Wives: Tom Petty meets C’Mon. Good ol’ fashioned rock n roll from Saint John, NB.

Sleepy Panther: The older woman I’ve been seeing around town is actually the drummer for this band – and a killer drummer at that. They play lo-fi indie anthems. This is their 7th show ever. I want to know more about them.

Quaker Parents: Fresh off a plane from Ontario, the Grundys have the afternoon crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. Quirky riffs and Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd vocal melodies/harmonies make for a fun afternoon show. Best Quaker Parents set I’ve ever seen.

The Acorn: Stripped down, but so beautiful. Rolf is one of the best singers I’ve heard all weekend. He writes great songs. The floor tom runs through a delay pedal – I love it.

The Weather Station: Joni Mitchell vocal styling’s, quicker than lightning banjo picking, and wonderful songs. I wish there were projections of rural landscapes being show on the screen behind her.

Jim Bryson: He performs a bunch of songs from The Falcon Lake Incident with John K. Samson. Raised All Wrong, Fell Off The Dock, Metal Girls… I feel like he is singing stories about my life, or the life I would have in the movies.

Jerry Granelli: The man is a jazz legend, but I can only sit through so much of a solo drum performance.

Shotgun Jimmie: Sackville’s son pulls off a killer rock n roll set. Plays a plethora of material from Transistor Sister – perhaps the greatest album of the year. He is in his prime and I sing along.

Ladyhawk: Ian Kehoe told me they were the greatest rock band in the world. They do not disappoint. They play STDH and I flip out. My second favorite Ladyhawk song.

Chad VanGaalen: Reason #2 why I came to Sappyfest. He plays songs from his new album, Diaper Island, and the tones and riffs are precise. I’ve seen him around all weekend, but was too chicken to talk to him. He seems like he is having the time of his life. That’s good, because I am.

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