the hidden cameras, march 8
The last time the Hidden Cameras played a local show (at a U of T chapel), they blew a fuse five minutes into their set and were forced to play a few numbers unplugged.
Clearly, frontman Joel Gibb was taken with the intimate acoustic aesthetic, since he started off Saturday's Bloor Street United Church show with a handful of super-lo-fi tunes and didn't even use a mike. Lovely in theory, but with a crowd of 1,200 (the pre-show lineup stretched for two blocks), his breathy songs dissipated into nothingness; not even the churchy acoustics could save the sound.
The Cameras plugged in for the full-band portion of the show and got the audience hoppin' in fine form, but the balance was still slightly off. Let this be a lesson: sometimes practicality's gotta win out over a cool concept. The Cameras should take it to heart for their upcoming European debut tour.
upcoming, mia doi todd attacks
Considering Mia Doi Todd's esoterically baroque sound, it may seem odd that the operatic-voiced, classically trained singer opens for lo-fi indie rockers the New Folk Implosion at the Horseshoe Saturday (March 15). Turns out she's buddies with Folkie Lou Barlow and contributed a vocal track to the Folk Implosion's 1999 disc, One Part Lullaby.
Even more notable, however, is the fact that the ethereal Cali chanteuse -- whose fabulous major-label debut, The Golden State (Sony), dropped last year -- recently came out as an anti-war crusader in the New York Times. Todd told the paper that she likes to make people think with her tunes and wishes she could get her States-slagging ballad The Way (sample couplet: "We're junking bonds / We're dropping bombs we've made by guzzling gasoline") out to the public.
The show's definitely worth checking out. Think of the ticket price as a contribution to the anti-Bush brigade.
kodo meets the hulk
You wouldn't think that the Kodo drummers have much in common with Marvel comic hero the Incredible Hulk. But that hasn't stopped Canadian composer Mychael Danna from getting the Japanese troupe involved in the movie soundtrack for The Hulk.
According to promoter Takashi Akamine, Danna, the award-winning scorer of the soundtrack for Atom Egoyan's Ararat, caught a performance of the Kodo drummers and instantly began to imagine them contributing to Ang Lee's movie adaptation.
He'll bring the drummers into the studio here in Toronto while they're doing their three-night stand at Massey Hall March 20 to 22. Details are sparse on the recording sessions, though it's assumed Danna will be relying on the Kodos' vaunted improv skills.
One thing's for sure: the result can only be an improvement on the horrid slapdashary that was the X-Men soundtrack.