Friday, January 16, 2009

Stereophonic, Day 2

all photo credit to lindsay sherrard

Stereophonic continues, and just keeps growing more and more awesome. Yesterday afternoon, at 5pm, in the CHMA offices, was the most incredible dance party of an electro-pop show I've ever dreamed of. The venue was tiny, TINY, and when I first arrived everyone was sitting down. I started to worry that everyone, or most people, would be sitting down for the duration. A few of us vowed to set the tone for the epic dance party that was to ensue. Luckily, Sandy, one of the brains behind this operation, told everybody to get on their feet before the first band started up.

That first band was Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees, a Halifax band of Rebekah Higgs, Sean MacGillivray, Colin Crowell and Jason Vautour, who are on the road promoting their new (awesome) album, officially released tonight at the Marquee in Halifax. Of course, they had a few of these albums on hand at the show, handmade and individually numbered, and I got my hands on one of those. But the show! Holy mackerel. They played the album through from start to end, and I was a big fan going in. I have to admit to something of a legendary crush on Rebekah, as well. They opened the show as they open the album with You Don't Miss Me. It set the tone for the show, and holy hannah did it ever get people dancing. Jason, on the guitar, got so into the whole thing, dancing like some kind of madman and putting on one hell of a show--everything about him seemed to scream that, from the facial hair to the gold lamé "sweater-jacket" as woodhands' Dan called it. Rebekah spent any time she could dancing barefoot on top of an equipment crate, which she pulled into the middle of the crowd and continued to sing from there for The Best of All. It was a sweaty electro dance party and one of the best shows I've been to lately. I recommend to anyone, though, if you're going to be dancing up a storm, do not wear full body corduroy. Just don't. It's a bad idea.

Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees - Girls You Love

After a little break which most of us spent downstairs at the pub we came back up, with my corduroy jacket tossed aside. Woodhands put on the most high-energy performance I could possibly dream of. Paul Banwatt is, I think, the most talented and prolific drummer in Canadian music since Neil Peart. Just putting that out there. The self-described 'dirty electronic music' of Woodhands is pumped up to such a level in their live show. Their album is amazing, and if you can get your hands on it, get your hands on it as soon as possible, but this doesn't near do justice to the live show. Dan Werb puts more energy into performing than anyone I've ever seen, putting everything out so that you half expect him to just drop dead at the end of the set. That these two men can put on such an absolutely entertaining and superb show so easy to get lost in speaks volumes about their talent and the overall awesomitude of the band. Also, in what I'll remember as being in the running for best cover of the year, Dan and Paul did their own dirty electro rendition of Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl. I'll be frank, I don't know the song very well. I know the chorus and not even all of that. But I can tell that Woodhands made it their own, made it so much more than that original. Apparently they've recorded their cover, so keep tuned to their myspace, and maybe it'll make an appearance. Possibly their best known tune, Dancer, is not sung on the record by either one of them but a guest vocalist, a woman whose name escapes me. At the show, though, Paul put on his best falsetto (which was a damned good one) and they closed the show with an epic elongated version which saw Rebekah joining us in the crowd and building the most perfect close to such a radtacular show.

Woodhands - Under Attack (Live Remix)

Tonight is going to be a real change of pace, with Julie Doiron and Old Man Luedecke playing at the Vogue Cinemas downtown. I've been looking forward to seeing Old Man Luedecke since the first time I heard him, and now here it comes. Oh, Stereophonic, why can't you be every week?

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