Concerts Concerts This (Mother) Mother's a Giver

This (Mother) Mother's a Giver

Mother Mother at Lee's Palace
Mother Mother
Hannah Georgas
Lee's Palace in Toronto, ON
October 27th, 2010

Review by: Katie Christensen
Photos by: Pete Nema

Both Mother Mother and Hannah Georgas were on a mission to end youth homelessness in Canada by teaming up with RE*Generation for a night of great tunes.

Mother Mother

There is something about Mother Mother that hooked me from the second their voices first penetrated my brain, the exact song was “Body of Years”. Their harmonic high-pitched falsetto tunes amid catchy rock hooks are so unpredictable that they’re addictive. You must hear their albums to fruition from the moment you finish track one. I love when a band can continually surprise me, offering up one track totally different from the next. Their sound is not an one easy to describe, as it is as sporadic as the songs themselves. Their first album Touch Up was fairly well received but the band itself was somewhat pigeonholed whith terms like "quirky". Not, in and of itself, a bad thing, but "excellent musicians" should have crept in more often. They played old favorite “Verbatim,” which starts of strangely similar to TLC's "No Scrubs" and showcases a Ryan Guldemond (vocals, guitar) pseudo-rapping about wearing ladies lingerie. Along with "Dirty Town" which has a serious bluegrass country banjo, chewin' on ripe wheat kind of vibe (and I swear I can hear clucking). And even playing my new-old favorite "Legs Away," where we can hear how pitch perfect and beautiful all three singers voices are when slowed down.

If there was any doubt in this bands capability after their first album, their second will surely have convinced non-believers. In Oh My Heart the band has proven they are a force to be reckoned with. Their disjointed escapism is all encompassing and if you try and make sense of it all, you will fail. For a fairly new band they offer a passionately inventive and rich indie-pop sound with touches of atonality. They follow in Floyd-ian fashion as their music switches time signatures intermittently. Some noteworthy tracks off this album were played like "O My Heart", the beautiful "Ghosting", and that song I just can’t get off repeat "Hayloft". The texture that Ryan, Molly Guldemond (vocals, keyboards, and also Ryan's older sister), and Jasmine Parking (vocals, keys) voices create is unsystematic in the most profound and enjoyable way. Combined with Jeremy Page's thumping bass and Ali Sadat's drumming the result is seamless. So instead of trying to pin down this band, lets just agree that they are awesome.

So, alas I can not offer sound clips or even list lyrics but I can tell you that Mother Mother's 3rd album to be recorded with Last Gang Records is in the works and it will be called "Eureka," a wonderful song not actually on the album (but perhaps still not too late to put it in there?).

If you are interested in RE*Generation be sure to check out the section below!

Mother Mother at Lee's Palace   Mother Mother at Lee's Palace   Mother Mother at Lee's Palace   Mother Mother at Lee's Palace   Mother Mother at Lee's Palace   Mother Mother at Lee's Palace   Mother Mother at Lee's Palace  

Hannah Georgas

Let me start by stating that I started out in the foulest of moods. My grouchiness was worsened by the frigid temperature in the air reminding me of impending winter around the corner. The line up to get into Lee’s Palace was deep, and standing by myself my grumbles fell on deaf ears, probably for the best. Finally taking refuge in the warm bar, I settled into my corner. The bar soon filled with a wide array of patrons and since Mother Mother has been getting much well deserved radio time, their fan base seems to have expanded to include a wider variety of people than I had anticipated.

I had been searching all afternoon but nowhere could I find the opening band and I assumed that Mother Mother was going to be the only ones performing. This was a special show for charity, so I didn’t think much of it. But shortly after I arrived, a young women and man graced the stage. They started right into their first number without much of an introduction, but some cheers from the back of the venue. Her voice was spunky and sweet, as was she, and so full of energy. I soon recognized that this was Hannah Georgas, one of my all time favorite Canadian singers. Yup, it was official, my bad sprits had disintegrated in the presence of Miss Georgas. She opened with "This is Good," an exceptionally beautiful track off her sophomore album, sharing that same title, and good it was.

She was unknown to many of the audience members, but even up at the front, I attempted to urge those around me to give her a chance and to politely shut their traps as my Hannah was trying to sing. I didn’t have to do much convincing as she started into "Bang Bang You’re Dead," easily the most catchy song off the album. This song relies heavily on back up singers (specifically children) that are seemingly vital to the song (they yell the bang bang your dead part!). Without another singer in site I wondered how the song would translate in a live performance with no strings, no drums, and no backup, apart from her keyboard/bassist. Well, Hannah Georgas unplugged is just as good, maybe even better live. As she continued her set treating us to songs about love, friendship, sisterly quarrels, and the awkwardness of dating, the number of audience members swooning over her grew exponentially.

She sang some tracks off her first EP like “Let’s Talk,” “The Beat Stuff,” and “The National” with honest lyrics akin to diary entries. Her usually shy self is empowered by the stage where she summons powerful female influences like fellow Canadian vocalists Tegan & Sarah and Fiest. Maybe it was the crowd or the good charitable vibe in the house, but Hannah gave us some sneak peaks of her new unreleased tracks. One was written for a song writing competition and one with more of that elecreto-pop-punk vibe we get in “Dancefloor” shouting lyrics like “I’m gonna dance dance dance until the cops come”.  She is a sporadic dance enthusiast and urged the crowd to bop along. Then to an intimate rendition of “Dancefloor” she giggled and said “do with it what you will”. Whilst still debuting her new songs she had the assistance of Ryan and Ali from Mother Mother. Emulating a sound that I could expect off her new album. Now that she has proven her musical chops, even gracing the revered (by me) Polaris List, I for one can see her upcoming album to be her best to date. Maybe she will climb even higher on that list, all I know is everyone who heard her at Lee’s will be waiting.

As soon as the lovely Hannah Georgas and her band mate (I’m sorry I don’t know his name) left the stage the crowd turned vicious, marking their territory and snarling at the slightest pushiness. Being a small girl, I got that nervous feeling that I might be elbowed or squashed momentarily. As the band members sauntered on stage I quickly forgot about my fear. Sadly I cannot recount which song they opened with, not because of a high level of intoxication, but because of a little bit of iPhone user error. I do, however, know that the crowd was eager to hear as many old songs as new, as they made their opinions heard. And on the topic of audience members excuse me while I rant for just a moment….

Concerts with a wider demographic can also bring a wider range of behaviours. Here are a few notes to jot down: The opening band deserves some respect; if they are more on the acoustic/quiet side, tone it down a bit, or move way back. When the band is talking about deeper issues like homelessness, such as Mother Mother was, don’t yell out your song requests right then. Lastly, its super fun to go to a concert on a date, but it's not fun having someone else's combined make-out juice splatter the side of your face, keep that in mind love birds – that’s all, no more bashing I promise, unless your as jaded and cynical as I am.

Hannah Georgas at Lee's Palace   Hannah Georgas at Lee's Palace   Hannah Georgas at Lee's Palace  

RE*Generation

If you want to redeem yourself concert-goers, you know who you are, give heaping amounts of money to this charity.

Join the Movement!

RE*Generation is a movement to support solutions to youth homelessness and at-risk youth programs in Canada. To date, more than $600,000 has been raised and dispersed to leading youth serving agencies across the country. The RE*Generation movement is working with a number of Canadian charitable partners to help get kids off the streets and onto a path for a brighter future. Canadians can take action and join the RE*Generation by:

  • Heading to nyhad.com to sign the petition for a National Youth Homelessness Awareness Day
  • Texting REGEN to 30333 to donate $5 to the RE*Generation Movement
  • Checking out the phone that does some good – $10 from every purchase of the limited edition Samsung Link RE*Generation phone will go towards the RE*Generation Movement
  • Learning more by checking out RE*Generation partners like Eva’s Phoenix, the Remix Project, and Broadway Youth Resource Centre

For more information the RE*Generation Movement, visit nyhad.com