Canadian Music Week 2005 at various venues, Thursday through Saturday (March 3-5). See club listings for complete showcase information. Individual shows free-$26.50, wristbands $30, available through Ticketmaster (416-870-8000, www.ticketmaster.ca). Note: some shows have limited wristband access. Check www.cmw.net for further conference event information, details and updates. Rating: NNNN
Slow, sad and haunting are the songs on Barzin's latest opus about the possibility of achieving a meaningful life that's dedicated to the arts. That he never comes to a concrete conclusion hardly matters when the music is as affecting as this. Lush, dreamy arrangements flourish alongside Barzin Hosseini's whispered vocals, never threatening to overpower them, just adding to the dramatic atmosphere. With Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers and Suzanne Hancock in the fold, My Life In Rooms is a grand statement indeed, a soul-searching exercise in melancholic minimalism that offers new findings with every listen. Think Sparklehorse minus the heroin and Tindersticks minus the accent and you'll have an idea of where Barzin is coming from, but you'll need to experience My Life In Rooms first-hand to know where he's heading. A must.
Catch Barzin's CMW showcase at Holy Joe's Friday (March 3).