Posts Tagged ‘The FM Lounge’

In pro-wrestling, there is something called “ring psychology”. What this means is, that the performers in the ring use body language, actions (or in some cases, lack of action), expressions and nuances to make the audience respond accordingly. They feel the story being expressed by these series of events and they are driven to feel a certain kind of emotion. They are either intrigued to cheer for a wrestler or they are moved to boo a wrestler.

In music, there is a similar psychology. Booking your band appropriately – be it venue or timing – is crucial in creating a proper “buzz” or interest in a return appearance from the audience. If you play the wrong venue too early, you will ostracize yourself. If you play too often, you run the risk of being considered a house band, where the music is secondary to the experience of actually being at the show, which often leads to people eventually leaving your shows to check out something either a) newer, or b) less over-exposed.

Kevin Buckridan, the dark mind behind the Windsor quartet Two for the Cascade, is all to familiar with this music psychology. Two for the Cascade are one of the city’s finest bands, fielding invites to countless local festivals, opening for many nationally respected touring acts, and cast with some of the scene’s most beloved and respected performers, yet their annual resume of gigs is usually far less than what some bands in the scene play in a month.

You see, Kevin comes from a school of thought that art is created by a passion within the artist. It is driven by an uncontrollable desire to release something from within – be it painting, music or what have you – because it needs to be released before you can move on to your next endeavour. It is a sentence that must be said aloud before you can begin the next paragraph. His music (which is sometimes co-written with his wife and co-vocalist/electronics manipulator Stefanie Zaccagnini or, on brief occasions by Theramin/multi-instrumentalist Holly Brush) is a dark revelation of himself and it is written more to exorcise than to appease any audience in general. He doesn’t feel the need to play four times a month to ingrain their hits into people’s minds or play gigs simply to hob knob with the Canadian indie band of the moment. These songs are real, the effort is intended and the result is a calculated risk that he is only open to doing on his own terms.

And luckily he has the perfect cast to compliment what many may consider a rather dark outlook. For one, his wife appears to be the exact opposite of him, but in the most complimentary way possible. She is the Angel to his Beelzebub, the Yin to his Yang, the perpetual smile to his eternal grimace. When the two sing separately, one can hardly imagine what kind of tragic aural devastation may occur if the two should collide – sort of like a vocal version of crossing the streams. It’s real bad, Ray. But when they do intertwine, it becomes something hauntingly beautiful. Like the voice of a dead lover trying to raise the spirits of the deflated one left behind. I’m not sure if Stefanie’s silky voice coaxes Kevin’s devilish snarl to embrace something a little more golden, or Kevin’s darkness offers Stefanie’s light a more reasonable option hovering in the greys, but whatever it is, it is captivating and entrancing. The songs are simple songs of painful devotion – almost begging to ask why someone like her would want to lower herself to someone like him, as she tells him the answer is simple. Because they are quite simply, in love. It is a true musical case of Beauty and the Beast.

The other two members of the band offer a similar counter-balance to the dynamic of the two frontpersons of the band. Holly Brush, one of the city’s only active Theramin performers, is almost reactive of Buckridan’s psyche. It rises and falls like an cacophonous orchestra of sound – part whale music, part neurotic breakdown – accentuating the feral movements of Buckridan on stage. Meanwhile, behind the drum kit, veteran musician George Manury (who has performed in such Windsor favourites as Ten Indians, Magic Hall of Mirrors, and itzjunk, as well as an on-going solo career) plays his set with the precision and grace of Stefanie’s voice. His movements are flawless, his sticks moving as if by themselves. The expression on his face is like that of a child listening to a life changing record for the first time, smiling and grimacing as sounds fluctuate around him on its virgin voyage.

Buckridan is not one to let any diagram roll on with any sense of predictability, which is why he also employs multiple musical applications from his iPhone (something he’s been doing for years now, long before it became indie rock standard), a myriad of pedals and several guitars, and why Stefanie has also been known to work the dials on Moogs or use any number of percussive instruments gathered from trips to other countries.

This Friday, Two for the Cascade return to the Windsor stage with a special show at The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, main level), with two rising stars of the local scene. The Swillingtones is a new act featuring some established local musicians (as featured in a prior Emerging Artist piece here), who have been winning over crowds quickly with their original late ’60s/early ’70s soul sounds mixed in with some fantastic reggae covers to create an energizing vibe.

And opening the show is the disturbingly captivating voice of Zarasutra, a brilliant young songwriter who is barely old enough to play in the bars she infrequents. Another recent focus of an Emerging Artist article, she only gets better with each passing show and her future is definitely one that should include music as its staple.

Two for the Cascade is a band that doesn’t simply create music, they create atmosphere. They create an aura. And they will work that aura like Poseidon worked the sea. Sometimes the waves will be calm and gentle, sometimes they will be fun to frolic in, and sometimes the skies will turn dark and they will try to crush your chest and rip out your heart.

Two for the Cascade with special guests The Swillingtones and Zarasutra, Friday June 10, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, main level), 9pm

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This Friday, some of Windsor’s punk rock legends come together for a clash of epic pistol-leering and damned stoogery. Dale “Elad” D’Amore and Frank Carlone – of the legendary Spy’s – and Hevy Kevie, Tommy Vomit and Ray Maybe – of the notorious Dry Heaves – join forces for Old Punks 3, a punk rawk variety show that features them – alongside backing band members bassist “Coma Mike” Fortier and Dave Garant on drums – bulldozing their way down memory lane playing many of the classic Spy’s and Dry Heaves songs (Spy’s “Machine Shop” and Heaves’ “Shoot Yourself” are Windsor staples), as well as other period punk anthems by acts like The Stooges, Ramones, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Dead Boys and more. And all money from the door is going to help Canadian Diabetes.

The Spy’s exploded on the local rock and roll scene in Windsor, Ontario in 1978 because they were something it had never tasted before: wild, raucous, debaucherous streetsmart punk rock and roll. The Spy’s started when some buddies went to a show at The Old Miami in Detroit and caught their pal – guitarist Dale “Elad” D’Amore – up on stage jamming with former MC5 guitar great Fred “Sonic” Smith. It was then they knew they had to build a band around their axe slinging friend. And so The Spy’s were born – featuring Frank Carlone on vocals, “Coma” Joe Desrameaux on bass and vocals, Dave O’Gorman on drums and the catalyst, D’Amore on guitars. They quickly began tearing up anywhere they could play, from Windsor to Detroit and back again. They left blood, sweat and beers (all empty) wherever their onslaught took them. Their shows became events and everyone knew that Windsor had conquered the underground. They released the Machine Shop/Underground 7″ in 1980 and soon agents and promoters from around the country came sniffing. But the pressures of possible commercial success started to suck the fun out of the band and in the late 1980, the Spy’s dissolved. D’Amore and Coma Joe merged with The Hard-Tops to form The Nelsons, Windsor’s first punk supergroup, while O’Gorman joined rival punk gang The Dry Heaves. Carlone moved on to Toronto to form The Ronald Reagan Story. The Dry Heaves have had several reunions since, the most recent being the live recording in 1995 at The Loop in downtown Windsor. D’Amore is still active in the local music scene, leading The Guitar Army. Although their run was brief, their impact was enormous – almost everyone who experienced the Spy’s went on to form their own bands, many of them influential in their respective scenes.

Shortly after the arrival of The Spy’s came Windsor’s second punk rock soldiers, The Dry Heaves. Formed in 1979, it featured Hevy Kevie on lead vocals, Tommy Vomit and Rudy Babyon guitars, Ray Maybe on bass/keys andCookie Man on drums. Their punk rock attack was a ferocious barrage of angst ridden mayhem, aimed at injecting some youth in the classic rock pomp of the Top 40 doctrines of the day. They played a ferocious schedule, playing a multitude of gigs with such bands as The Spy’s,Destroy All Monsters and Teenage Headto name a few. They released an EP in 1980 on Salem Records entitled Shoot Yourself. Considering the complete commercial unacceptability of punk rock in this time, the album gained national notoriety. The Heaves unfortunately broke up in 1981, following Hevy Kevie’s move to Toronto. They would get together periodically throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s for a series of reunion shows and in 2000, RaveUp Records released a 12-song Shoot Yourself album (featuring the original EP and other unreleased original recordings from the initial sessions). The renewed interest stirred the Heaves into reforming on a more permanent basis and they gigged quite reguarly up until 2004. Hevy Kevie and Tommy Vomit are also still performing locally as part of The Shannon Brothers. Whether or not the Heaves are officially done is anyone’s guess. You never know when another Dry Heave will come up! As in the case of the Spy’s, the Dry Heaves legacy has lasted longer than they did.

If you want to see some true musical legends from Windsor’s earliest days of punk rock, head over to the FM Lounge on Friday. You won’t regret it.

Old Punks 3 featuring The Spy’s and The Dry Heaves, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, main level), Friday April 22, 9pm

Lauren Hedges

Amidst the plethora of shows going on for your viewing and listening pleasure this Friday, there will be some rock at FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. W.) that promises to be a grand ol’ time.

Brothers Randy and Bob Samrah (formerly of Focal Point) and bassist Jeff Meloche (formerly of Ictus) together are known as the alternative rock group SixtyFirstSecond. On their debut EP, released in 2009 and titled “An Introduction to Insight” you’ll find well-polished tracks that make you nod your head and hum along, and they’ll be stuck in your head for hours after.

Joining them are the equally memorable Awake to a Dream, who are experimentally and progressively another alternative rock group. Their sound is a bit more rough around the edges, the kind of grit that popularized a lot of the music you listened to in the 90’s. It’s blended with blues and rock in a way to create songs that manage to be catchy without being annoying. And sometimes the bassist plays ukulele, which is pretty awesome.

One of the most eclectic bands happening in the city right now, Weirdonia will also be making an appearance. Can and Cam, previously of acts such as Slitback and The Sagas of Why Guy have been playing shows under the current moniker since 2009. Their songs range from bluesy to funky to dancy, always with a punk flavour, the kind you’ll find in a suburban garage.

To round out the evening we have the relatively new group, Silver Glory. They played a few weeks back alongside Anonymous Bosch and Jonas & The Massive Attraction, and their set was a definite hit. A sound rich with layers, very Rush-esque at times, and backed by some strong vocals, these boys won’t make you want to mosh, but it’s guaranteed you’ll be paying attention to their entire set.

This show is happening Friday, April 8, 2011 at FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. W, next to Pogo’s) it starts at 9 pm, is 19+, and there is no cover.

Although originally from Canada, the members of the Benito Band are now based out of Belgium. Originally a gypsy folk punk duo, they’ve recently added a third member (an Icelander) to flesh out the sound. As their press release states it, they sound like the product of “Bob Dylan and the Band in a jam session with the Skatalites after a night heavy with Hawaiian girls, old Canned Heat records and too many fugues.” These guys have taken their party vibe and musical carnival from the streets of Brussels to clubs across Europe and the UK, as well as their home and native land. They’re current tour takes them through Windsor on Friday with a stop at the FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West). Joining the boys from Brussels will be a couple of local Windsor acts.

When vocalist Jamie Greer left for Montreal with The Golden Hands Before God several years back, it seemingly signaled the end of The Hung Jury. But the remaining members carried on, changing their name to FourLetterWord and changing the musical style to more of a prog jam band than the bluesier roots rock sound that the Hung Jury worked with. Late last year, Greer began playing on stage with FourLetterWord (who has since replaced original bassist C-Bass with Surdaster‘s Gary Van Lare) incorporating some older Hung Jury songs into FourLetterWord’s new catalogue, first at last year’s FAM Festival then again opening for Grady at the Blind Dog. They’ll be reuniting again for the third time on the FM stage.

Opening the show will be the eclectic sound of the Nefidovs. These guys have been playing a lot lately and it’s been paying off in a gathering of followers. These guys have a sound that can only be described as “Death Ska”. They’re almost grungy garage punk rock but with some serious ska overtones (the horn section helps that). These guys are on their way to becoming one of Windsor’s best live bands.

Benito Band with special guests FourLetterWord/The Hung Jury and The Nefidovs, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s), Friday February 25th, 9pm, $5. 19+

Sometimes a band kind of sneaks into a scene, with no fanfare, no big write ups preceding their debut, often to smaller than normal audiences, but create a tremor that resonates beyond their own knowledge.

Waker Glass is one of those bands who did just that. It should really come as no surprise really, as their members have been in or had stints in some of Windsor’s most successful and acclaimed bands of the past two decades – such as Elephant, Luxury Christ and Treehouse Beggars – and one is in one of the scene’s other up and coming acts, The Rheostats. But they’re debut in the fall of 2010 – an unassuming show with a relatively unknown act called Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers (who have also gone on to some big shows since then) and the avant garde band The STiG (currently toiling as The Thrash Brownies). The crowd wasn’t one of the best the FM Lounge has seen, but the people who were there were attentive. And they listened. By the end of the set, the crowd was filling in a little nicer, as people were texting their friends that there was “something pretty cool” going on at the old Fish Market.

Waker Glass followed that up with a spot on last December’s FunnelFest festival, sharing the stage upstairs at The Loop. For only their second performance, they came through like the veterans they were comprised from, commanding the stage and further cementing their status as a band to watch for. Their sound is definitely “atmospheric” (as several people have said) with an honest to goodness method storytelling that comes from bands like Calexico, Wilco and Automatic for the People-era REM, but delivered more in the style of bands like Mazzy Star. A little bit of sugar sprinkled on the melancholy.

Opening the show is a band that I thought had broken up last year, but it looks like are back (at least for periodic reformations). Meters For Miles is pure and simple, a hard driving pop band that delivers hard hitting pop hooks via an almost punk rock delivery, which again is probably derived from the fact that their members were also in some pretty heavy hitting bands from the ’90s, B Plan and Dirty Harry. Singer/guitarist Dan Marshall also struck gold briefly a few years back when his solo EP was picked up by Universal Records based on the award-winning single, “Dandelion”.

This Friday, Waker Glass and company return to the scene of that first fateful show and I’d bet its far better attended (and appreciated) than their debut. These guys are here to stay.

Waker Glass with special guests Meters to Miles, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s), Friday February 18th, 9pm, 19+

Cottam’s Peter Boyer – the main force behind Windsor’s storytelling folk troupe Same Latitude As Rome – is perhaps one of Windsor’s most underrated songwriters. Perhaps its that at first glance he just looks like one of Windsor’s elder statesmen, and that perhaps this is just something he needs to do to stay young. But you’d be grossly mistaken making an assumption like that. He’s a critically acclaimed songwriter – last year his tune “Song for Louis Riel” got an honourable mention in the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest (anther song, “Easy Street” took the same at the 2007 affair), the year previous “The Faerie Queen” took the same honour at the UK Songwriting Contest. In 2008, their album Which Side of the Line Are You On? was nominated for Best Folk Album at the 2008 Independent Music Awards in Toronto. And his talent has carried on – he’s the father of the Boyer sisters – Anneke, Christine and Heather – who dominated the late ’90’s and early 2000’s of Windsor’s live music scene as Anneke’s Star.

This Friday, Same Latitude As Rome – named after the fact that Cottam (and Essex County) shares the same latitudinal co-ordinates as Rome, Italy – bring their unique folk sound to The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s) and bring in a few guests to share the night.

Opening up the night is George Manury, one of Windsor’s most beloved and respected musicians. Longtime drummer/vocalist in rock and roll stalwarts Ten Indians and electrorchestral pop group Two For The Cascade, as well as prior stints in indie rock faves itzjunk and Magic Hall of Mirrors, Manury released and toured for a gem of an EP entitled simply george m. The track “MilesDavisKindaBlueSundayMorningRain” is a killer.

Also on hand are the eclectic sound stylings of the schizophrenic Thrash Brownies. In the past month, this is their third moniker, having previously performed as The Mellon Collie Flowers (at FunnelFest) and a lengthy stint as The STiG. A smattering of fuzz, groove, the occasional melody and dark sense of dread and satire (with Jeff Stiles at the helm, would you expect any less?), these guys – regardless what they’re name is – are one of the music scenes hidden treats.

There’s a lot of shows Friday night showcasing the new youth movement in Windsor’s music scene. This one is a reminder that we still have a few veterans who continue to play with the same passion and desire after all these years as they did when they were the same age as the young bands sharing the night elsewhere.

Same Latitude As Rome with special guests The Thrash Brownies and George Manury, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s), 9pm

As if Friday wasn’t a stacked line-up already, what with Michou‘s long awaited homecoming happening at Phog and the metal majesty of London’s Battlesoul hitting the Coach, The FM Lounge is putting on their own stacked line-up featuring four solid established local acts.

Built around the premise of a “Birthday Rager” (several members of the bands share birthdays over the past few days), these four bands have united to throw each other one big birthday bash and in the mean time, put on one hell of a rock and roll show for anyone who cares to join the debauchery that will undoubtedly occur with the Old Fish Market’s walls.

Red Rows is an instrumental three piece who had a lot of momentum last year (culminating in a slot at last year’s Phog Phest) but who have been quiet of late – not so much because they’ve slowed down any, but the members’ other projects (Surdaster and Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers) have been picking up steam of their own. It’ll be nice to be reminded again of what the buzz from 2010 was about.

Surdaster has come a long way in the past two years. A line-up re-shuffling has re-energized these guys into one of the scene’s new warriors, a 7-headed hydra of prog rock meets stoner metal that will take you on epic journeys of musical side streets or straight up rock your face with a power chord chunker (such as their raucous live favourite “Mad Dog”). They’ve really learned to work (and work with) the crowd this past year and their live draw is evidence of that. They’re coming off a strong opening set for Elliott Brood at The Capitol Theatre last weekend, so they’ve done their rock and roll stretches.

Explode When They Bloom are like the ninjas of the local scene. You don’t hear about them for weeks or months, no sightings, and then BAM – a rock and roll shuriken hits you in the back of your skull. Due to various work commitments, the members of EWTB aren’t seen that often outside of their own gigs. So sometimes people tend to forget about them until they see their name on a showbill or stumble into one of their shows. But the reaction is always the same. Blown away. Ferocious live, their rock and roll vibe is something heavier than the mainstream alt. rock, and smarter too. These guys are players, no doubt about it – they’re talent is apparent early on into any set. Still playing in support of last year’s stellar release, The Ugly, it’s always a pleasure when EWTB are out and about.

Tyburn Tree, the closers for the festivities, are one of the metal scene’s most underrated denizens. A few years back they released a sludge metal album, Parliament of Trees, that should have garnered them more attention (they appear on this month’s FREE Music Sampler). They’ve combined solid songwriting with tight performance to create a sound that is both reminiscent of some of the genres heavyweights while still retaining a soul of its own. They’ve always gotten on great bills and always seem to be considered great additions to shows, but sometimes it seems like people haven’t given them the credit they should. Which is simply that Tyburn Tree may be one of the most dedicated and talented metal bands in Windsor at the moment. Look for 2011 to be a strong year for these guys – and they deserve it.

Tyburn Tree, Explode When They Bloom, Surdaster and Red Rows, The FM Lounge (156 Chatham St. West, beside Pogo’s), Friday February 4th, Doors at 9pm, 19+, $5 at the door

Tonight at The FM Lounge (56 Chatham St. West, formerly The Fish Market), Dave Russell & The Precious Stones are holding an EP release party for Unnatural Disasters. Doors are at 8pm, with the talented Tara Watts opening the evening. Tickets are $5 in advance or at the door.

Dave Russell first garnered attention on the local music scene as a member of the popular rock outfit The Tree Streets. They played several shows around Windsor at various live venues as well as select shows around Ontario. Fueled by a love for the hook and an obvious penchant for rock and roll’s rich tapestry, The Tree Streets wrote their own impressive songbook of tunes, particularly the little indie pop gem “Never Enough”. But as all good things must come to an end, The Tree Streets disbanded a year or so back, and Mr. Russell was left without a band. While he’s now taking the solo route, he’s also built a great backing band – The Precious Stones – featuring some true players from the local music community – Jamie Reaume (The Golden Eagles, Foreign Film Star), Jake Van Dongen (Inoke Errati), Vin Vicious, Christina Bell, as well as help from former Tree Streets bandmates Brenden E. Fraser and Colin Jolly – to help flesh out some of his songs in a full band format. With a nomination for best folk song for “Rocking Chair” (a track originally found on The Tree Streets’ album but now reworked for his solo EP) at the 2010 Toronto Independent Music Awards, it looks like Russell’s hard work is paying off for some well deserved recognition.

Opening the show will be a rare solo performance (of late) from the super talented Tara Watts (The Locusts Have No King), who will hopefully be showcasing some of the stellar songs from her outstanding 2009 release About Love.

Dave Russell & The Precious Stones EP Release Party with special guest Tara Watts, Sunday January 23, 2011 at The FM Lounge (formerly the Old Fish Market, 56 Chatham St. West). Doors at 8pm, admission $5