Toronto Urban Roots Festival-Day 1

20140705-113604-41764541.jpg After a less than spectacular beginning to our trip to Toronto, which required us getting off of a plane we woke up at 4:30am to catch and waiting 3 hours for another one, the day ended up going much more smoothly than I’d feared. We missed Born Ruffians set, but the rest of the festival was really cool. The planners did a great job of setting up the stages so that you’re far enough away that the noise doesn’t bleed over, but never so far that walking from one to the other is a hassle. It also helps that there are wide open spaces between the stages so you’re not trying to force yourself through a huge crowd between stages. It’s a much more relaxed fest than I’m used to, and I really like it. 20140705-114154-42114309.jpg The first band we saw was Lucius on the South stage. They were delayed a few minutes while they checked out the sound, but once they started they were great. I love their blend of new wave synth pop and folky harmonies. I was a little disappointed they didn’t do their cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” that they just released, but what can you do. When we arrived at the stage the crowd was pretty small. After the third or fourth song the audience had tripled at least and everyone was dancing and bopping their heads. After Lucius we headed up the hill to see Gary Clark jr on the East Stage. He had a fairly large audience before we even got up there, and I talked to a guy in his late teens/early twenties who had come just to see Clark play. He was treated to a great performance that featured the guitar master shredding all over the stage with his red-hot blues riffs. The set was like lightning in a bottle for the first six or seven songs, then when he slowed it down for a tune the audience lost a little interest and a lot of people started leaving. It never quite recaptured the initial energy, but Gary Clark jr puts on a helluva show and I recommend checking him out. 20140705-113939-41979781.jpg Continue reading “Toronto Urban Roots Festival-Day 1”

Toronto Urban Roots Festival 2014 Preview

Next week, instead of reveling in drunken buffoonery and watching fireworks explode over Lake Michigan, MD is heading north to Lake Ontario in Toronto to collect some Harvey’s trays and also enjoy a great music festival now in its second year. The Toronto Urban Roots Festival takes place at Fort York Garrison Common, and founder Jeff Cohen has put together another great lineup this year. … Continue reading Toronto Urban Roots Festival 2014 Preview

Lawrence Arabia-The Listening Times/Traveling Shoes

Sorry I’ve been a little spotty with posts lately-I’ve been busy doing some other stuff that has drawn my attention away from writing. I want to give you something though, so I thought I’d hit you with a double shot of Lawrence Arabia. I’ve been digging New Zealand’s James Milne since someone thought to forward me his new album, The Sparrow. It reminds me a … Continue reading Lawrence Arabia-The Listening Times/Traveling Shoes

Beirut-The Rip Tide

 You know those cd’s they have out for parents to play to their newborns that are full of Mozart and Bach? I think they’re called “Baby Einstein” or something like that. A better title would be “Baroque Babies.” Anyway, as we all know, within twenty to thirty years classical music will be forgotten, and babies will have nothing to listen to except Tha Carter XLVI … Continue reading Beirut-The Rip Tide

10 Bands You Must See At Lollapalooza; and 10 To Skip

I won’t be attending Lollapalooza this year. No one on the bill jumped out at me as being worth buying a three-day pass, and the one-day pass system is just silly to me. Why would I pay $90 to see three or four bands I could see for $8-10 each in an air conditioned club? However, a hundred thousand or so of you WILL be attending, … Continue reading 10 Bands You Must See At Lollapalooza; and 10 To Skip