CMW Day 2: Live Near Bellwoods, Audio Blood’s Thirsty Thursday + Nash

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Live Near Bellwoods Daytime Living Room Sessions

Last year I managed to make it out to see one of the daytime sessions put on at the tiny Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music and it was great, so this year I had to see what the Young Lions Music Club and Humble Empire team put together. I only managed to catch a couple sets, but the 3 days the series ran were full of great music and I wish I had made more time to check out the sessions.

I missed the first set of the day by Revelstoke, so my Thursday started off with Kalle Mattson, a band that has changed a bit since I last saw them, with a new drummer and a horn player, after moving from Sault Ste. Marie to Ottawa. Kalle Mattson saw quite a bit of success last year after their video for “Thick as Thieves” went viral. Now the band is preparing the release of an EP titled Lives in Between on May 1, 2012. On top of all the hilarious banter, the set was full of great harmonies and what Mattson referred to as “popular appeal” courtesy of the harmonica.

Samantha Savage Smith was less chatty, but so endearing. Her vocals are so gorgeous that I welcomed song after song with little to no banter. Playing songs from Tough Cookie, which was released September 2011, “You Always Come to Mind” stands out as a favourite in the short set.

Half Moon Run had to cancel their daytime set, but good music still followed with Louise Burns and Teenage Kicks, sets I unfortunately had to miss. The other sessions featured the likes of Royal Canoe, Rococode, Ben Caplan and ALX, to name a few, so you can imagine that every day was filled with awesome music. This was also an all ages, free event that made it so those underage music lovers had an option, which is so great! | CL

Thirsty Thursday at CMW

Audio Blood & Beau’s Brewing Company teamed up to put together a great party that included awesome music and free beer and free Jägermeister. While it wasn’t open to everyone, those who attended were treated like rock stars. Since this was a party, I won’t say much – just enough to let you know about the great lineup that day. Let’s just say it got sweaty in there pretty quickly.

Hue was the first band to take the stage at the party. Actually, Hue had a hand in throwing the party because it took place in the home (The Bump) of a couple band members. While it was still early, the pop rockers had everyone who got there to see their set tapping their feet.

CMW: Hue @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12 CMW: Hue @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12 CMW: Hue @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12

Ben Caplan played host that day, but he also played a set a riveting set with his Casual Smokers. Caplan knows exactly how to work a room and got the crowd singing along. It probably helps that, by this point, everyone had started their drinking. With notable gravely vocals and a commanding stage presence, Ben Caplan continues to make waves wherever he goes. Check out In the Time of the Great Remembering, which was released October 2011.

CMW: Ben Caplan @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12 CMW: Ben Caplan @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12

New York’s Sydney Wayser has made quite the name for herself, but for some reason she’s still a secret in Canada. Her stunning vocals will quickly change that as she has just released Bell Choir Coast, her third full-length album.

CMW: Sydney Wayser @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12

Sandman Viper Command will always be party favourites, with their youthful energy and their damn catchy tunes. The band has locked themselves away to record new material, taking a break just for CMW. “Oh Yeah It’s Fusion” is always a set favourite, but I’m looking forward to having a new favourite when they put out their new material.

CMW: Sandman Viper Command @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12 CMW: Sandman Viper Command @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12 CMW: Sandman Viper Command @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12

The schedule was quite behind when The Balconies took the stage and it was so late that many people had already left to get to their night festival plans. I only caught part of the set, but it goes without saying that this 3-piece puts on a great show. Lead singer Jacquie Neville is captivating on stage and the band always plays with such energy, making The Balconies a great choice to end the party. | CL

CMW: The Balconies @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12 CMW: The Balconies @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12 CMW: The Balconies @ AB Thirsty Thursday Party, 21-03-12

Nash – 6:00PM @ French Connection

I stopped by French Connection on Queen St. W. after work on Thursday to check out Montrealer Nash. Mike Nash and backing band played a partially plugged in, stripped down set that was a unique blend of alternative indie, with a hint of electro. Nash’s rich voice provided vocals that were deep and soulful. Low-key, easy going and relaxed, he just seemed to exude the music that was coming out of him. While songs such as “In A State of Mind” were poppy and lighthearted with sweetly melodic keys, there were others with a much darker, damaged undertone to them, that had me, lyric hoarder that I am, scrambling to scrawl down the melancholy words, such as “take what you want, want you need, then throw me away.” By the end of his set I felt like he had pulled me into the depths of his soul, and he left me wanting more. | CD

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Categories: Canadian Music Week 2012, Live Music


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