Posts Tagged ‘halifax’

Dog Day at The Horseshoe Tavern

November 8, 2009

5 November 2009

dog day

Halifax quartet Dog Day played The Horseshoe in Toronto on Thursday as part of their extended Pop Explosion tour. The group played a tight and energetic set, clearly in the groove from playing shows every night for the last two weeks. Their new drummer Rob Shedden was a welcome addition, giving hell to his kit in perfect time. The band played their set unabashedly, without a hint of rock star—just good old DIY indie rock. As if we’d been invited to their jam space for a party where they just happened to blast out a set of tunes before they joined us for a beer and a joint. I was impressed and had a really fun night.

Yes, they do sound like Eric’s Trip, but it’s all part and parcel of the Halifax music scene. The Maritime provinces have been producing lo-fi and moody power pop for decades now, and Dog Day fit right in. It’s a sound I yearn for in a sea of ‘dance-rock’ bands, it brings me back to my high-school days, and churns up some heavy nostalgia. Dog Day are one of my favourite ‘newly discovered’ bands of the year, and I expect only more great things from them. Check out their recently released “Concentration” on Outside Music, you will dig.

I didn’t see openers The Balconies or Immaculate Machine because we drank a few pops at home first due to a shortage of beer funds, but the buzz from the crowd seemed very positive. All in all a great night of Canadian indie rock. Peace.

dog day

Dog Day – Concentration (Outside Music 2009)

August 15, 2009

concentration

Halifax quartet Dog Day return with their follow-up to 2007’s “Night Group” avec “Concentration”. Sounding like a mix between Eric’s Trip, Interpol, and Sonic Youth, the band has crafted a consistently solid dark pop album. This is indie rock for those who forgot such a thing still existed. It sounds nothing but genuine, and it gets better and better with each listen. From opener “Happiness” to closer “Peace”, the record is full of catchy melodies, smooth synth lines, angular guitars, and really excellent vocals.

It’s starting to sound like the “rock” album of the summer for me and I love the fact that they are Canadian and consist of 2 couples from old skoool Halifax bands The Burdocks and The Hold. Truly, this album will be an underated, near-missed, top 15 of the year for me. Like I said, it gets better with every listen. A total grower. The songwriting is mature, and the interplay between vocalists is the stuff of Rick and Julie from back in the day – it also kinda reminds me of Versus, another band so very close to my heart. Find this album and play it while making dinner or reading or chilling out, and once you’ve heard it a few times, listen to it baked and hear it again for the first time. Good work…

Edit: Read a review of their live show at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

dog day

Maritime Road Tripped

August 6, 2009

Confederation Bridge

I’ve just returned from a two-week road trip out east. In a word: glorious. Toronto – Montreal – Fredericton – Fundy National Park – Alma – Hopewell Rocks – Charlottetown – Kensington – Cabot Beach Provincial Park – Halifax – and all the way back again. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Cape Breton as originally planned, but still had a wild and raucous time. Why is beer from the Maritimes so goddamn good? Pump House, Propeller, Garrison, and sweet sweet Picaroon’s, I salute you all. Even you too Alpine and Keith’s.

Cabot Beach, PEI

As most road trips go we had our ups and downs. Lost wallet in Kingston. Stolen backpack in Montreal. Flooded tent in Fundy. Mosquitoes bigger than baseballs on PEI. Temper tantrums in Halifax. The weather was flighty and fickle and fearsome but also occasionally perfect. Overall, the experience was memorable and bonding and amazing and hilarious. Night frisbee anyone? Another bowl of mussels perhaps? The seafood out there is delish and divine.

Crabtastic

Driving through New Brunny is like owning your very own highway. My return to Freddy was short-lived but drunken and nostalgic. The ocean mist in Fundy was cleansing and seemingly alive. The backroads in NB possibly the best part of the adventure. The red dirt on PEI geologically fascinating. Halifax on Jay’s birthday was an absolute shit-show. Our last night camping in Cabano, QC ended fittingly in vomitous disaster inside my tent. Thank you lil’ pointer for that one.

Abandoned house in NB

Pointe Wolfe, Fundy

Now back at work in Toronto I am oddly relaxed but still I wonder once again: What in the hell am I doing here?

Regular musical musings will return toute suite. Peace.