broken social scene, november 22
A Broken Social Scene show is a rare thing, so, inevitably, Friday's in-store in Soundscapes had the feel of an "event." A sizable chunk of the shop was set aside for the stage, and with good reason. So many people kept appearing through the back door clutching instruments that for a minute it looked as though there'd be as many people in the band as in the audience. Not quite, but close.
With a front line of five guitars and a couple of Stars standing in on vocals, BSS strummed through most of the tunes on their celebrated You Forgot It In People disc, keeping things deliberately light and loose. For a group notorious for ignoring material people have actually heard in favour of newer songs, it was a remarkable star turn. Who knows what BSS have up their sleeve for their official CD release bash at Lula Lounge December 12?
kate hammett-vaughan, november 23
Vancouver-based vocal stylist Kate Hammett-Vaughan's role within the Canadian jazz scene as the adventurous anti-Krall is officially in doubt. Her lacklustre sweep through the standards at Top o' the Senator Saturday night left much of the black-turtleneck crowd slumped on their dates' shoulders. Even her drummer, Tom Foster, seemed to be struggling to stay awake as he tappa-tapped the cymbals with eyes shut tight through three snoozy sets. Although there were no more than 16 stout souls left for the final stretch, Hammett-Vaughan -- in fine voice despite recovering from a cold -- failed to seize the opportunity to cut loose and take some chances. She just plodded along with the standards from her recent Devil May Care (Maximum Jazz) disc while her swingless quartet did its best not to wake anyone.
2002 casby awards, november 23
The Edge 102.1 and NXNE presentation of the 2002 CASBYs packed the Kool Haus Saturday, thanks largely to the promise of performances by Treble Charger, Simple Plan, Not by Choice and the Rheostatics, who each, not entirely coincidentally, walked away with awards.
If you happened to miss the festivities, favourite new artist is Sam Roberts, favourite new album Our Lady Peace's Gravity, favourite new video is Simple Plan's I'm Just A Kid and favourite new indie release is Not by Choice's Maybe One Day. The 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed on the Rheostatics apparently carries no stipulation that winners must quietly retire to Muskoka.