Dodging the Shark

Posted Mar 11, 2007 by Lenny Stoute
A reluctant last minute, offhand, vaguely alienated roundup of CMW's Night Three. We're in Toronto maaan, and we're gonna party like we're in North York. Sorry, I mean New York.
Planned on missing the whole thing this year. A combo of so-so lineup and the specter of watching da kids from the boonies of Edmonton and Saint John bounce off club walls and fall off curbs.
But at this Canadian Music Week time of year, even the direst peoplehater holding All Access passes can experience the true meaning of friendship.Still, I dug in and dodged all offers, only folding when Jaime just showed up with a rainbow of mood changing condiments Saturday night and left the cab running while we toasted what was to come with blasts of arak, fresh from Turkey.
Listen, you don't know Jaime. I try not to inquire too closely where anything that's had, said or done comes from. Tends to lead to bad headaches and sleepless nights.
So we're off in a cab driven by a former, he says, Peshmurga guerilla, wouldn't you know it, from Turkey. So him and Jaime are into it and nothing would do but that Jaime and the guerrilla do a shot of arak, which Jaime has concealed about his person.
Quick stop at the Bovine Sex Club for bracing rounds of Jaeger, a whiff of Purple Dazzle and the earwax cleansing sound of The Black Halos featuring the bombastic backbeats of drummer Rob Zgaljic, fresh from the cover of Modern Drummer, and Billy Helpless's endearing yelps.
The new tunes previewed fit nicely with the Vancouver glam-metal posse's previous output and the eyelinered and pierced fans packing the house ate it up.
When they weren't throwing it up outside the club, causing the horde drifting across the street from the Reverb to step lightly. Into the mass we plunged, Tasering the drunks, dodging streetcars and fending off the huggababy Eheads, to make the treacherous crossing to Holy Joe's.
Now this is different. Rain is four Aussie babes doing retro disco tunes to an emo-prone audience. Loads of confidence, some catchy melodies but shame about the dancing. Wasn't bad enough to be hilarious; just good enough for the bad parts to really shine through.
A brace of Heines and some granular distraction wiped that away in time to give headliner Jackie Bristow a fair hearing.
Outa New Zealand by way of El Lay, the lanky blonde was a strong presence as she laid out a soul-baring set of hard knocks and dirty socks in a nuance-laden voice. This being her first time in Canada, the smitten Jaime was up for showing her around the T.Dot.
Not wishing to piss on Tourism Canada's efforts in that part of the world, I put my Pelle mountain boot down. On Jaime's foot, pining it in place whil the hundlers hustled Bristow away and Jaime offered me a vivid selection of mutilations.
About now, the power pop offered up by The Golden Dogs at the Horseshoe seemed the right fit. Sampled some Mota Madness with a pair of Jaime's extended pals on the way in, squeezing past the ever-growing man mountain that is head door dude Tyrone into a room stuffed with a sunny looking crowd wearing bright colours.
Onstage, hometown crew The Golden dogs were kicking it punkpop style with tunes off newie Big Eye, Little Eye. The Dogs are part of a new and disturbing trend in indie bands, the husband and wife team. In this case, singer/guitarist Dave Azzolini and keyboardist Jessica Grassia are the lead Dogs and Jaime opines this sort of thing just reinforces the Yoko Ono/Linda McCartney stereotype, doesn't belong in rock'n'roll and they'll be hearing from the Groupies Union soon.
'Course, you can't do the CMW without doing the anti-CMW, Dan Burke's funkified, punkified ballroom blitz held annually at The Comfort Zone. Zoobombs in the house, Japan's finest garage punkers blowing up the room with tunes off new album BBB and Don Matsuo's vocals peeling the paint as a lady in black bra and skintight leather trou humps a dude's leg and two nice looking boys simulate Hide The Weenie while doing rails of something which glowed in the dark.
Before you can say who's that girl, Jaime's on them, three heads bent over in silent chemical communion as Zoobombs ramp it up and dust motes float gently down from the ceiling like ancient confetti waiting so many years for just this moment to get in on the show.
Another thing about Jaime. The street's thick with people waving fistfuls of money as cabs whiz by, drivers a-sneer.
When it's time to fall by The House, a non-sanctioned West end space, we amble up to College, Jaime languidly waves in the air and a cab screeches to a halt, rear door half-open.
We've been in this movie before, grabbing the only cab in front of a mob of freezing folk cussing and suggesting interesting things to do to ourselves. And our pets.
Get composed with an application of Northern Lights and before you know it, there we are. The folk fronting this hiphop hooch have deep pockets, so dude at the door can assure us that yes indeed, both MCs, Baltimore's Big Phun and Montrealer Jacques Minoff, were in the House. Both floors were solidly attended, Big Phun spotlighting the Baltimore sound cut with deep house joints while Minoff spun a dance-oriented mashup with elements of Eurodsico and NuMetal.
By now we're dropping a step, so we split a Q of Okanagan Outlook and Stellas in hand, climb to the roof to watch the gentle morning light paint the CN Tower in gorgeous, genital-pink hues.