april 11, be good tanyas
Vancouver's Be Good Tanyas have their folksy bluegrass act down pat, and their show at the Horseshoe didn't disappoint. What really blew me away was their version of Joe McCoy's Why Don't You Do Right -- covered by everyone from Della Reese to cello chicks Rasputina, although best known as the torchy tune sung by cartoon siren Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The Tanyas' Trish Klein played mean riffs on a tiny tin horn while her bandmates traded off on verses. Pint-sized powerhouse opener Erin McKeown helped out with wicked bluesy guitar. Keep an eye on her. She's gonna blow up.
april 13, clem snide
Performing at the Horseshoe without their charming powder-blue prom tuxedos, New York mope-pop climbers Clem Snide proved they could still out-nerd their competition in Weezer and the Old 97s in regular suit jackets and ties. This, after all, was the band behind the theme song to NBC-TV sitcom Ed.
Whether moaning about feeling "like Elvis longing for his long-lost twin" or wondering aloud about Corey Feldman's Hollywood spiral in Junkie Jews, everything weedy singer Eef Barzelay sang came out with a world-weary sigh of someone badly in need of a couch. Their stab at P. Diddy's Bad Boy For Life was quite possibly the whitest cover of a contemporary R&B tune ever conceived, and that should stand at least until Ron Sexsmith has a go at Bootylicious.
april 14, junos
The relocated Junos might have done wonders for Newfoundland and Labrador's tourism industry -- the entire broadcast seemed like one long ad for the province -- but the awards show itself was utterly juvenile compared to the MTV Video Awards airing at the same time on MuchMusic.
CTV's amateurish pre-party show, featuring singer/songwriter Kim Stockwood fawning over red-carpet arrivals and forgetting to speak into her microphone for an entire hour was one of the funniest part of the night.
An arena full of people genuinely interested in being at the Junos.
Barenaked Ladies' Kevin Hearn serenading Nelly Furtado with an accordion version of I'm Like A Bird with improvised lyrics "I don't know where my eggs are, I don't know where my nest is."
Tyler Stewart as a boorish Burton Cummings, seated next to a white-haired gentleman named "Pierre Burton-Cummings."
A quivering Keith Richards mumbling on about Hall of Fame inductee and mega-promoter Michael Cohl, followed by a Kurtz-looking Peter Gabriel paying tribute to Daniel Lanois.
Our Lady Peace shut out.
Barenaked Ladies going with the teleprompter rather than their spontaneous lunacy that worked so well.
Sloan showing why they should be Juno hosts with a 10 minute pre-taped bit from Sudbury.
The amateur breakdance moves behind an off-key Nelly Furtado.
Star producer Daniel Lanois fighting with amplifier feedback.
april 15, our lady peace names new guitarist
With hundreds on the edge of their seats awaiting the announcement of the new guitarist for Canuck stadium rockers Our Lady Peace, a million more are wondering what was the name of the fella that left.
The former guitarist was, in fact, Mike Turner, who "amicably separated" from the group last December while they were recording their new Gravity album (due June 18) with Bob Rock in Maui.
Last Monday, Sony announced that after searching through thousands of videotaped submissions, Our Lady Peace has selected Detroit's Steve Mazur as their new guitarist.
Roots rockers the Sadies recently wrapped up two albums at once. The group's fourth disc was completed in record time with Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and without long-time engineer Steve Albini
That same week, the Sadies also recorded an album with Jon Langford of the Mekons and the Waco Brothers.
"We all love (Steve). He's a friend of everybody and he's a genius. It just had to do with timing," vibraphonist Paul Aucoin explains prior to the Sadies' two-night run at the Horseshoe Friday and Saturday (April 19 and 20). "We were ready, and Greg said there was time available in the studio."
For the past few months Keelor's toyed with the idea of reinterpreting Lee Hazlewood's Trouble Is A Lonesome Town album. Keelor's joining the Sadies for the Horseshoe gig that they'll open with a set of Hazlewood tunes.