at Rancho Relaxo (300 College), Saturday (June 9), 9 pm. $6. 416-920-0366.
named after an all-female breed of fish (nature's wonders never cease), Amazon Mollies offer a rare mix of fun and braininess.Formed in the riot grrl spirit of 1995, the alt-punk San Francisco-based outfit don't shy away from thoughtful lyrics. Their new high-energy, pop-perific Sugar Molly release includes tunes like Siren Song, which warns against thinking you have what you want when you don't.
Then there's Peppermint Falls, their take on Utopia.
"Peppermint Falls is a state of mind," says Antonette Goroch, also known as bass player and vocalist Molly X. "It's the world we come from. It's a reaction to the angsty thing, artists who shout about violence. We're completely interested in revolution and social change, but from a positive place. It sort of harks back to the 60s."
That never gets in the way of the fun, though. They no longer necessarily wear matching mini-dresses, but image still matters a lot to the Mollies.
"It's such a pliable and flexible thing. We love to play with visuals. We used to do matching costumes, but we don't do that so much any more. We definitely, however, go shopping together. Now we're into coordinating hair colours."
Those depend on the aura of the Molly in question. Goroch is the communicator.
"Our drummer (Montana X) has the psychic vibes," Goroch goes on. "The guitar player (Molly D) is the rock, super-grounded. And the keyboard player (Molly Tuesday) is a princess. She's pink.
"Make no other assumptions, except that you'll like it."SGC
at the Phoenix (410 Sherbourne), Saturday (June 9), 7 pm. $18/wristband (first 50 only), $18.50. 416-323-1251.
there's no shortage of cruelironies surrounding the overdue release of folk/pop singer Ron Sexsmith's new Steve Earle-produced Blue Boy album.
The disc was finished two years ago, just before Sexsmith was dropped by Interscope records. Maybe they should have listened to the record first. His surprisingly upbeat Blue Boy album is the first Sexsmith record with radio- and video-friendly-songs.
New Toronto indie label Linus Entertainment is now putting the record out.
In the meantime, Sexsmith has already written a couple of albums' worth of new material and has just finished demos for his next record, experimental, quirkily produced tracks that sound like they could be the most adventurous thing the Toronto singer/songwriter's done yet.
Unfortunately, you probably won't hear it for another two years.
"Small labels seem to work quicker than majors, so maybe we'll all catch up soon," Sexsmith chuckles. "It'd be great to have another record out by next year. I definitely can do it. I just have to pace myself."
No surprise, then, that Sexsmith didn't spend the downtime between albums polishing up his golf game or learning how to make cheese.
"I've been working on my piano," he says. "I had Chris Brown's old piano moved into the house by a couple of gorillas, so hopefully you'll see the results of that soon.
"The piano's an ancient upright that still has all the old rolls. Maybe I'll learn a couple of standards."
at the Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen West), Saturday (June 9), 11 pm. $8. 416-504-4239.
with musical influences rang-ing from Edie Gourmet and Erik Satie to Motown and Mo Funk, it's a wonder the five members of the Fairmount Girls can knuckle down and compose such solid pop songs.
"Sometimes I think it's magic, I tell ya," shares Melissa Fairmount, Agent 002, vocals/Farfisa organ.
"Another thing that makes us stand out is the amount of vocals going on." She shares lead vocals with Dana Hamblen, 004, while Chris Fairmount, 008, "the ultimate Fairmount Girls guy," and Eva Destruction, 007, sing backup and "just kick it in" with bass and guitar interchangeably.
Cuddly Bee, Hamblen's sidecar name, holds the beat down at the kit while 002 is whirling and twirling on the organ. "But," she adds, "I'm no Laurie Partridge."
Captain Jane McBrain, 001, aka Hurricane Jane, plays the "black shiny guitar" and is undoubtedly the Captain of their signature silver Beauville band van, a sweet, sweet number, according to 002.
The Fairmount Girls are professional junk shoppers, which supports their ever-changing and always crowd-pleasing theme shows. Past gigs have flaunted Massive Head Gear, suits and matching skirts (because, according to 002, "we can't always go full-tilt boogie on the costumes") and "Oh, yes, we've also done stewardesses," for which they wore polyester minis and turned the organ into a bevvie cart.
Check out FG's concert panties, their variation on the concert T (and boxer briefs for boys) this weekend. Their new CD, Tender Trap, comes out July 7. JL
at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Saturday (June 9), 10 pm. $6. 416-598-4753.
local r&b has been conspicuous-ly low-key compared to the hype building behind our homegrown hiphop. R&B phenom Jully says it's a Canadian thing.
Comparing the U.S. scene to Canada's, she says, "The main difference is opportunity. Talent is talent, but the Americans don't have to work as hard, because the doors are already open. In the States, hiphop is more mixed up with R&B -- it's basically pop music at this point. And in Canada the hiphop is ruffer and more on the underground tip."
She just wrapped up a successful American tour with Kardinal Offishall and Shaggy, which she says was amazing. "Seven thousand kids going absolutely crazy every night even though most of them had no idea who we were."
Her profile may be low, but Black's single, Rallyin, caught a lot of ears over the past year for its gutsy vocals, a style developed singing in church as a child. Although the production work is of the ultra-tight variety familiar to FLOW listeners, her voice recalls the great divas of yesteryear.
"My dream collaboration would be Etta James, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight and myself. Sort of a mothers-and-daughters-of-soul thing."
She'll be making an appearance at the Horseshoe Saturday with a full live band, a rarity at a time when most urban music performers prefer the security of DAT tape backing.
"Live is where I come alive", she says of her stage show.BB
at Lee's Palace (529 Bloor West), Saturday (June 9), 10 pm. $8. 416-532-1598.
fabulously named winnipeg popcrew the Telepathic Butterflies make a hell of a racket for just two people.
The duo of guitarist Rejean Ricard and drummer Jacques Dubois never intended to operate on such a minimal level. They simply didn't have any luck drafting anyone who fit their moddish pop style.
"It's really hard to find people who share our headspace," Ricard explains. "We have a pretty specific idea of what we wanted to do and anyone else who joined would have to fit in with that. I know those people are around. It's just a matter of accessing them.
"It was easier to do this on our own now as opposed to put up ads everywhere and get a lot of weird calls from people who wouldn't be right."
Despite beefing up occasionally for live sets -- the Butterflies' Lee's Palace show Saturday will feature ex-members of Toronto's Admiral -- Ricard and Dubois have done fine on their own.
Their polished debut, Nine Songs, contains a set of remarkably well-formed and complete pop tunes, with cello and tablas adding to the trippy late-60s vibe. Their stripped-down cover of Donovan's Epistle To Dippy speaks for itself.
"Who you are and the music you make is a reflection of what you listen to," Ricard offers. "We happen to like music from the 60s, and that's nothing to be ashamed of."MG