ORILLIA OPRY at the Cameron House, Friday, 12 midnight. Rating: N
Since the Wrongbar was virtually empty for the Stones Throw showcase at 11 pm and Egon didn't bring any of the crazy Iranian psych and funk singles he'd just bought, seeing Montreal freak folk threats Orillia Opry over at the Cameron seemed like a better idea. That is, until singer/guitarist Daniel Noble appeared on stage wearing a tank top, flip-flops and a bandana headband to announce that Orillia Opry wouldn't be performing as scheduled because singer Emma Baxter couldn't make it so his other band, Les Phantomes would be playing some new songs instead. Disappointing, definitely, but not a complete disaster... or so we thought until it became apparent that Noble's sidekick, David MacLeod (of Timber!) wasn't overly familiar with the material. Why cancel your performance when you can use the showcase slot provided by NXNE as paid rehearsal time for a sideproject?
SEMI-PRECIOUS WEAPONS at the Velvet Underground, Friday, 10 pm. Rating: NN
Finding out what the Semi-Precious Weapons hype was all about required further investigation and the fact that the rain was pouring down in buckets on Queen Street at 10 pm suggested that ducking into the near by Velvet Underground for their set was a reasonable course of action. On stage, the Brooklyn-based glam rockers sporting matching black dye jobs had the clock turned back to the 80s and were trying hard to look enthusiastic about knocking out Power Station riffs for 50 bored looking people. The Weapons might've had a fighting chance if lead warbler Justin Tranter could carry a tune. No such luck. After hearing two more equally terrible songs, the decision of whether to endure more corny posing or to get soaked outside wasn't hard to make. I headed out onto the street.
OK CITY OK, at the Silver Dollar, 9 pm. Rating: N
A band listed as hailing from Tokyo, Japan performing in the middle of Davy Love's Magnificent Sevens label showcase between the excellent Bird Week and Action Makes at the Silver Dollar made ok city ok seem like a worthwhile risk. What a mistake. If you can imagine an inept Japanese trio of bass, drums and fiddle who couldn't hit a groove backing goofy gaijin guitarist Kay Grace doing his best Joe Jackson routine, you'll still have no idea of the true half-assed horror of the ok city ok live experience.