June 17, 2010
Review by: Jen Polk, Pete Nema
Photos by: Pete Nema
After a relatively early start to Thursday, photographer Pete Nema and I met a little later at Sneaky Dee's for beer and nachos, then teamed up to for a 10:00pm gig with Michou. Then Pete stayed at Supermarket for We Are The Take and I ended up at El Mocambo where Fox Jaws impressed me mightily.
My planned 10:00pm pick wasn't making much of an impression on me, so I cut my losses, had the aforementioned nachos and beer with Pete, and then the two of us headed over to Supermarket for Michou. Now, normally I'd refuse to hit up this Kensington Market venue. The room's a decent size, the lighting (for watching) is good, and the bathroom's not so bad. But the sound? Ugh! And, unfortunately, everything I hate about the sound there was in full evidence during Michou's set. The heavy bass was making my whole body shake, and that just wouldn't do. So a friend and I abandoned the back venue for the less-loud front restaurant part where we could still hear and see, but where we were presumably in less danger of doing serious damage to our eardrums. (I do think that being a sound person during a music festival is probably the most thankless job there is, but Supermarket pains me every time I go, to the point that I mostly don't go.)
But I digress. Michou. This Windsor-based pop group excels at accessible, radio-friendly songs that would go over really well as part of the soundtrack to the next big summer teen romance movie. High, sweet vocals, with the usual rock band accompaniments plus occasional trumpet and xylophone added up to create some fun, pretty, catchy tunes. I wasn't much moved, but blame that on my stone-cold heart. There's nothing wrong with well-done summery pop.
We Are The Take
[Pete Nema] While Jen decided to head back to Sneaky Dee's, I decided to stick around the Supermarket to see one of my local favourites, We Are The Take. I've see them fairly regularly, so my plan was watch the show until after they played one of their newer songs ("Sexy Beast") and then start to make my way down to The Gladstone. The band complied perfectly, playing "Sexy Beast" well into the set, which I think meant I was there for most of it. This band consistently produces good harmonies, sweaty energy, and catchy rock compositions. They released a new full-length album not too long ago called The Naked Now (which, if you're a geek like me, you may recognize that as a reference to the original Star Trek series).
Video of "Sexy Beast" below by: Catherine Lacbay
Truth be told: I hadn't planned on seeing Fox Jaws this fest. No offense, it's just that I already know this is a great band, and figured I'd be seeing something different instead. But different drove me away very quickly — I suppose I could have given Health (at Sneaky Dee's) more of a chance, but I wasn't in the mood. So to El Mocambo it was, where The Russian Futurists were playing to a good crowd upstairs, and Fox Jaws were tearing it up downstairs. And by tearing it up, and I am quite (figuratively) serious. The band sounded heavier than before, less pop-rock and more pop-metal. And it suited them. Between drummer Brandyn Aiken's hard-hitting, crazy-fast beats and his sister (and lead vocalist) Carleigh's smoky, sexy Sass Jordan-like vocals, the band put on a real show. Nicely done. For a taste of the band's softer side, check out Mitch Fillion's Southern Souls videos; link below.