CIFF Capsule Review: Timbuktu

In Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu, we get a long look at events we’ve only seen a glimmer of here in the states. A small group of militants take over the town, changing the laws as they see for based on their interpretations of the Quran. The leader of the local mosque claims he has no problem with their proclaimed jihad, but he does have issues with … Continue reading CIFF Capsule Review: Timbuktu

Toronto Urban Roots Festival-Day 2

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Day 2 was scheduled as our “easy” day, and it lived up to that designation quite well. We kept busy, but it was very relaxed and cool. Four sets was all we needed to hit to consider the day a success and we did it without rushing from stage to stage and managed to enjoy most, if not all, of each set we set out to see.

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Shovels And Rope kicked off the day on the West Stage. I wish more people were listening to this amazing country/blues duo. They ended up with a surprisingly high attendance for being so early in the day, so that put a smile on my face. Michael and Cary Ann played a bunch of tunes from O Be Joyful, and also broke out some brand new songs from their upcoming record (out in August). New stuff sounded really good even though they prefaced the first new one saying they were still learning how to play it live. Their set-up is a lot of fun-it’s just the two of them so they set up a drum/keyboard hybrid and mainly face each other while they play. They were great, and festival founder Jeff Cohen let it slip that they’d be playing at Phoenix Concert Theatre in the fall.

After taking in some great americana what else would you want to hear but some loud punk music?¬†Lucky for us over on the South stage Andrew Jackson Jihad was gearing up. We got over to see them a few minutes late, but managed to see probably 90 percent of the set. They flew through what seemed like a dozen songs in about 20 minutes and questioned whether they needed to slow down to make the show last longer. If you haven’t taken the time to check them out, I seriously suggest doing so. They sound like Mountain Goats if John Darnielle were backed by Titus Andronicus-fast and loud and very¬†cerebral and witty.

Continue reading “Toronto Urban Roots Festival-Day 2”