Let’s explode together! With so many shows in only five days, your Arts Editor and culture vulture artist Nicholas Robins have waded through swampy hangover brains to provide you with some insight to help plan your week. Everyone already knows Girl Talk is not only going to rule, he is also totally sold out. Let’s take a look together at the bands that are worth seeing that you may or may not have already watched feature films about.
Tuesday, Oct. 20 at The Paragon
Crystal Antlers, Red Mass, Dinosaur Bones, A History Of
Ignite the Explosion at a show headlined by a band of dudes with a terribly clichéd hipster band name! Crystal Antlers puts on a wow-the-crowd, high-energy show that defies defining. They are kind of like Man Man with a little less carnival. One of the two percussionists does crazy, standing-up shit with cymbals, a tambourine and hand drums. Live shows sound a lot more surfy hard rock bangin’ than their smoother recordings. Red Mass is actually just a confusing mass of a million writhing Montrealers. Dinosaur Bones are “melodic indie rock.” A History Of is “math rock.”
Wednesday, Oct. 21 at Coconut Grove
Bruce Peninsula, Valleys, TGTGG, York Redoubt
This show wins the Wednesday award not because I love bands with a million beaming members, not because I love gang-vocals and not because I love squeaky girl voices on top of dreamy guitar landscapes. Because I don’t, really. What I do love, however, is York Redoubt. And I love them a lot. It might be somehow festival-defeating to recommend a local band when there’s all kinds of out-of-towners to experience for the very first time, but I cannot stop listening the song “Guilloteens” and I would pay whatever they’re asking to see it live. And I will pay that much again two days later.
Thursday, Oct. 22
Thursday is the day. If you want to traverse the city and drop a trillion dollars and have your mind blown mega open with joy and talent and music juice, you could break this night in two just as it will break your mouth. In two. A smiling two.
St. Matthews at 8 p.m.
Herman Dune, Julie Doiron
Family fun! Bring your nephew! Your kid sister! Your grandma! This all-ages show is all-people friendly. The members of Herman Dune are two Parisian brothers who comprise a sweet (as in saccharine) band of international acclaim. Their senses of humor pair well with sentimental song writing. You should look up the video for “I Wish That I Could See You Soon” if you’re having an ennui-filled midterm downer day.
Julie Doiron just keeps putting out better and better records, putting on better and better shows, getting prettier and prettier and inspiring her crowds to drink tea, ride bikes and play their guitars dirty.
The Paragon Theatre, 9 p.m.
Cadence Weapon, Think About Life, Old Folks Home, Jenocide
Think About Life is the band name that Crystal Antlers wishes it were. Everything about these guys is so awesome and legit. You may recognize red haired Graham Van Peltz because you have a crush on him in his other band, Miracle Fortress. Think About Life are blowing up right now. Up and out of Montreal a la Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. You may never get to see them again at this low price. And, to ice that tall cake with some sweet beats, Greg Napier of Special Noise will be drumming with them. Cadence Weapon has some of the most original rap flow in Canada and is also Edmonton’s current poet laureate. Jenocide is a stone fox electro babe killer.
Friday Oct 23 at the Toothy Moose
Pterodactyl, Surfer Blood, Play Guitar, Tomcat Combat
Pterodactyl are a three-piece art rock band from Brooklyn with a really bright Myspace page. They are like the exciting, stripped-down younger brother of Animal Collective. Surfer Blood are a low-fi four-piece pop-punk band from Florida who, presumably, will try to compete with Pterodactyl for most badass, energetic, live show. Do they sound like the Beach Boys? Who doesn’t these days! Play Guitar, from Montreal, are loud and great and you will probably recognize Christian Simmons from when he used to rule the Halifax indie scene in bands like The Burdocks, the Hold and Radarfame. Their tight licks know how to make a crowd jerk around.
Saturday, Oct. 24
St. David’s Church, 12 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ninth Annual Halifax Zine Fair
This free event is always so life affirming and fun! Grab a coffee at the market or at Steve-o-Renos and wander through the arts and minds of those you know and don’t yet know. In addition to charming, handcrafted literature, you will have the opportunity to peruse and potentially purchase records, cassettes, magazines, postcards, handmade stamps, probably some cute crafty things, comics and all manner of stuff that’s really nutritious for your brain.
St. Matthew’s Church, 9 p.m.
Jenn Grant, Timber Timbre
Timber Timbre is really into this haunted theme. His music is what the Ghost Bees put on at dinner parties. It’s the type of album that sounds like Halifax, even though the band is from Toronto. A rainy Atlantic Sunday is primed for this Devendra Banharty, somber Randy Newman. He’s good. You should go see him. You already know you love Jenn Grant.