Canadian Music Week – Part Three

Comin' atcha like a Northern bullet...

Night 3 of CMW time was not on my side.

I worked a long day at my job at HMV and tried to make it down to the Drake in time to see the Paper Bag records showcase. I mainly wanted to see Laura Barrett, but after waiting outside in the freezing snow for a street car for about a half hour I decided I better just proceed right to the Dakota tavern, which was planned to be my second stop of the night.

I can’t say enough how small this venue is, the stage included


The Dakota Tavern is a very small venue. Very cozy and SMALL. So I wasn’t surprised that when I finally did arrive the show was at capacity. So more standing out in the cold happened until I thought to call my publicist friend Rob, who was working for the band that was playing; The Tom Fun Orchestra. A huge thank you goes to Rob as he rushed me into the packed basement which soon filled with tunes much bigger than it. Now I can’t say enough how small this venue is, the stage included. The 10 piece band from Nova Scotia crunched onto the stage, with instruments sticking out from the pile of people, somehow managed to create beautiful noise-y country rock. Accordion, violin, stand up bass, banjo all at war with each other physically (as there was no space) and all but making love musically. Front woman Alicia Penney looked like a grade school teacher not a crazy orchestral rocker. Violinist Morgan Currey played so hard his entire bow looked more like a broom or paint brush by the end of the set as all the hairs were broken. He would most definitely need to invest in a new bow each night. When it came time for choruses all members crowded around 2 microphones and wailed with all their might. The crowd went wild! Foot stomping, beer guzzling, and making new friends left and right became the norm. Front man Johnny Turbo’s (says their Myspace) husky vocals became enjoyable and fun, where on their recordings I didn’t quite prefer them. When the band finished up the crowd was drenched in sweat. It really was a memory in the making, every person in that room (probably only 100) won’t soon be forgetting this CMW experience.

Playing after the Tom Fun Orchestra is not a thing many bands can do well, but Foxfire Forest jumped on stage all costumed up and plunged into their cute indie rock. Last time I saw these guys they seemed to pack a lot more twang into their songs. It was messier, but tonight they were on their game and their songs rang out clearly and organized. Their tunes seemed a bit too familiar for my liking though and although one couldn’t ignore their youthful exuberance on the stage, after what the Tom Fun Orchestra had just pulled on us, it seemed a little less than exciting. So I… proceeded to a friends birthday party but not before my cell phone died… forcing me to head back to my house and charge it, then call my friend and meet up with her to celebrate.

I finally got to bed around 3am and was quickly was beginning to understand why people take work off to cover CMW. The extreme exhaustion was setting in. Two more nights to go and I had already experienced enough great music to last me the whole month! Stay tuned for the last instalment of my CMW experience.

…tonight they were on their game

For the final installment of our adventures at Canadian Music Week just click here.

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