• VirginFest should ban blankets and cameras next year

    10 Sep 2007, 17:16

    Toronto's VirginFest was last weekend. The bands were pretty good, but this is not a full review; this is a rant. The crowd got on my nerves. After maneuvering my way through the crowd seated far enough back to ensure they can't see anyone, I'm stuck tripping over everybody's blanket to finally squeeze my way into a decent spot where I'm forced to watch the headliners through the lens of someone else's camera.

    When the sun goes down, pick up your sleeping bag/blanket/whatever obstacle you lay down to "mark your territory". When others are trying to get closer, they will only trip over your stuff and potentially get it dirty. Yes, it was ME who walked all over your blanket... Yes, it was ME who kicked your bag while walking past you... Yes, it was ME who stepped on your toes when you refused to sidestep out of the way to let me pass.

    It's a concert not a photo shoot. If you want to play amateur photographer, apply for a media pass. Otheriwse, your pictures are blurry, over/under-exposed, and all around useless... Your digital camera's LCD is distracting to those behind you and your flash is annoying for those in front of you. Enjoy the music and the visuals with your eyes, not your camera.

    Who glued everyone's feet to the ground? This isn't a movie, have fun! Dance! Sing! Move! At least don't cut-eye those who do.

    Ryan C at BlogTo summarized it quite well:

    All around me were people standing still, staring at the two big screens [...] You people bored the living crap out of the bands all weekend long.

    Think about it, $80-$125, and all you guys did was stand there, smelling of horrendous B.O. which is only excusable when you've been fucking moshing all day long. [...] if you're not going to move a muscle then stay in the back; you're standing in the way of a good rock show.
  • Flying to Europe

    16 May 2007, 2:04

    Less than two weeks until I fly to London. It's been almost two years since I was last there, so I'm looking forward to it. I didn't get to see the town much last time, so I expect to be doing the tourist-y things. It's the Bank Holiday weekend, so I hope things aren't going to be closed or otherwise inconvenient.

    Afterwards, and for the main event, I'll fly over to Bremen, Germany for the Rock am Ring 2007 festival. Although artists like The Smashing Pumpkins, Linkin Park, and Evanescence aren't usually my cup of tea, I've always wanted to hit a big European rock festival. I figure the camping and partying should be worth it.

    On the positive side, I'm looking forward to my hometown heroes Billy Talent hitting it up on the big Euro-stage. I also love Muse, Maxïmo Park, and Kaiser Chiefs.

    It would feel more worth it if half the bands didn't schedule Toronto dates, and I didn't feel obligated to go to their shows here as well =)

    I'm also extremely disappointed Skinny Puppy decided to schedule their Toronto date at a time that I'll be out of the country... argh!!

    P.s. Did I mention Evanescence hit the stage at 2am? Ya, that's unheard of in North America. =)
  • I go to too many live shows.

    14 Abr 2007, 15:49

    1. List any artist in your top 50 you've seen live and note the number of times.

    Nine Inch Nails (5)
    Skinny Puppy (1)
    KMFDM (3)
    Tool (4)
    Pitchshifter (1)
    Meat Beat Manifesto (1)
    Depeche Mode (1)
    Front 242 (1)
    Marilyn Manson (5)
    Mellowdrone (3)
    Rammstein (2)
    Muse (4)
    A Perfect Circle (3)
    Garbage (2)
    Placebo (1)
    The Dresden Dolls (3)
    Gary Numan (1)
    Death From Above 1979 (1)
    Porcupine Tree (1)
    Beck (1)
    The Prodigy (1)
    Ministry (1)
    Jakalope (4)
    Kasabian (1)
    Deftones (3)
    Metric (2)
    Joydrop (1)
    Gnarls Barkley (1)

    2. How many of them have you seen?

    28/50 = 56%

    3. Add the numbers up. How many shows is that in total?

    58 -- I might have added wrong, the numbers irrelevant as some bands opened for others.

    4. List any artist in your top 50 that you haven't seen and has split up/died/stopped making music.

    Stabbing Westward
    God Lives Underwater
    Guano Apes
    Butthole Surfers

    5. How many is that?


    6. List any artist in your top 50 you haven't seen yet but are going to see soon.

    Front Line Assembly
    VNV Nation
    The Faint

    7. How many is that?


    8. How many artists don't fit into these categories?

    Apoptygma Berzerk
    She Wants Revenge
    The Streets
    Nitzer Ebb
    David Bowie
  • Rock am Ring Announced!

    28 Ene 2007, 3:08

    Germany's Rock am Ring festival has been announced. I have been putting serious consideration into attending my first overseas rock festival, and I think I've narrowed down to which one.

    Yes, the lineup so far is mostly bands I've seen before (except the German-grown acts of course). I'm hoping some of the other rumoured bands make it through. Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails were rumoured to be making the festival-circuit this year. I hear Metallica are regular headliners at the 'Ring.

    Besides, it's Smashing Pumpkins first confirmed live date!

    For those who missed the confirmed lineup:
    The Smashing Pumpkins
    Linkin Park
    Billy Talent
    Mando Diao
    Wir sind Helden
    Dave Matthews Band
    The Hives
    Arctic Monkeys
    My Chemical Romance
    Kaiser Chiefs
    Jan Delay & Disko No. 1
    The Kooks
    Stone Sour

    To anyone who's been there in previous years, tell me a little about it. Is it worth me traveling from Canada?

  • Back from Oz

    4 Ene 2007, 3:21

    I just arrived home from my month-long vacation in Australia. It was strange being away from my friends and family at Christmas & New Years, but the people I met abroad became a new family and definitely helped the time pass. It kind of sucks being home; Work tomorrow does not excite me.

    How can one visit Australia and not listen to new artists? I picked up the new Eskimo Joe disc which I had previously downloaded and thoroughly enjoyed. I also bought the new Hilltop Hoods album. I heard a few songs and figured some friends back home would like it. I also bought Bernard Fanning (of Powderfinger) new solo album. Wish You Well is clearly the best track. (My instant favourite at least)

    If there's any other Australian music that I didn't catch while down there, let me know. Yes, I already know AC/DC, Wolfmother, and Jet. I'm hoping for new stuff... =)
  • My hard drive crashed

    7 Nov 2006, 13:41

    Looks like I won't be submitting tracks for a little bit while I try and fix my computer. My server's hard drive crashed, so I'm using this opportunity to upgrade my Ubuntu to 6.06 Dapper.

    I don't think my media files are affected, as they are stored on a secondary hard drive, but my MacBook's iTunes doesn't want to update from my iPod because my network folder isn't mapped.

    I've noticed since iTunes 7.0 that when my network drive isn't mapped and I plug in my iPod, iTunes seems to hang while checking if it needs to upload any files to the mp3 player. Without updating iTunes, there will be no iScrobbler submissions.

    I hope to get this fixed by the weekend so I don't distort my statistics. Plus, repairing my computer is cutting into my Half Life 2 time. :D

    Yes, I'm a geek.
  • Massive Attack Cancelled!

    7 Sep 2006, 20:20

    Due to immigration issues, Massive Attack had to cancel the first four dates of their North American Tour, including this weekend's Virgin Music Festival in Toronto! VFest has quickly replaced them with Toronto's own Broken Social Scene, but I'm still disappointed.

    I guess I still get to see Gnarls Barkley, Flaming Lips, Muse, The Raconteurs... but I was really looking forward to Massive Attack!

    Apparently Massive Attack plan to make up the lost tour dates at the end of the tour. I hope this includes the Toronto date; perhaps as an intimate club show instead?
  • Say Hi To Your Mellow-Droning-Indie-Rock'n Live Gigs

    16 Jul 2006, 15:55

    So, it's been quite the indie-rock weekend. Friday night I caught Mellowdrone play Horseshoe Tavern here in Toronto. Jonathon Bates truly knows how to rock out. This time the band consisted of three other members (including a female on keyboards). I remember last time it was Jon and two others. I didn't recognize the other band members, does anyone know if this is going to be a permanent line up? I think the band was missing a female, plus it feels complete with someone on keyboards. Jon's a joker, my favourite part of the performance was when Jon pressed his head on the keyboard and after the song asking the keyboardist, "Did you see when I pressed my head on the keyboard?"...

    Saturday night I caught Say Hi To Your Mom play The Drake Hotel. They're a little more mellow than Mellowdrone were, but it's fun seeing a performance I could just zone out to. I was also fixated on the sound-technician's LCD screen where he was watching some crazy movie. From what I gathered it was about a character named Sam who would dream crazy scenarios and then he found the nuances in his life. He meets a character named Jill who he had dreamt about and was convinced he was in lover with her in his dream. If anyone knows the movie, let me know. The dream sequences were crazy with Samurai's and Knights and a talking brick wall... It also looked to be set in some type of dystopian future. It wasn't the biggest budgeted movies and it looked almost dated (perhaps early 90's)...

    Hmm, enough about the movie that distracted me... Say Hi's Ed Elbogen is a great performer, he put some good emphasis where needed and rocked out appropriately when required. It was a treat to watch. I used this opportunity to fill my CD collection with Say Hi's entire discography.

    Also worth mentioning, Your Volunteer, the opening band seemed very interesting. My buddy almost bought the EP but didn't have the cash on him. I assume they were local Toronto, but I'm not positive.
  • Gnarls Barkley tour!

    12 Jun 2006, 19:05

    I'm excited!! They've announced a date in Toronto! :D

    For those not in the know, Gnarls Barkley are Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo; some known collaborators (ie, backing band) have been Chris Vrenna and Clint Walsh of Tweaker fame. The entire band is known to dress in costume for performances... Poor Chris and Clint were in Chewbacca and Storm Trooper outfits (respectively) for their performance on the MTV Video Awards.

    06-15 Oslo, Norway - Norwegian Wood Festival
    06-16 Hultsfred, Sweden - Hultsfred Festival
    06-17 Seinajoki, Finland - Tomava Island
    06-21 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega Musikkenshus
    06-23 London, England - Hyde Park (Wireless Festival)
    06-24 Leeds, England - Harewood House (Wireless Festival)
    06-25 Scheessel, Germany - Hurricane Festival
    06-27 Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
    06-28 Munich, Germany - Eisehalle
    06-30 Turin, Italy - Spaziale Festival
    07-03 Paris, France - Le Bataclan
    07-05 London, England - Carling Apollo Hammersmith
    07-08 Brugge, Belgium - Cactus Festival
    07-14 Rotterdam, Holland - North Sea Jazz Festival
    07-18 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
    07-19 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
    07-20 Costa Mesa, CA - Pacific Amphitheatre
    07-23 Los Angeles, CA - The Avalon
    07-24 Los Angeles, CA - The Avalon
    07-28 Yuzawa-machi, Japan - Naeba Ski Resort (Fuji Rock Festival)
    08-05 Chicago, IL - Grant Park (Lollapalooza)
    08-26 Liverpool, England - Creamfields Festival
    09-03 Stradbally, Ireland - Stradbally Hall (Electric Picnic Festival)
    09-09 Toronto, Ontario - Toronto Islands Park
    09-15 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
    09-23 Baltimore, MD - Pimlico Race Course
  • TOOL, Live sold out in Toronto!

    19 May 2006, 1:50

    Finally Tool have come back to the touring circuit! And what a fine, relatively intimate show it was. They played a decent mix of new material and older singles, but I think I would have appreciated a few more rare pre-lateralus songs...

    Things that stood out...
    - Having no opener was a treat as the show ended early.
    - The encore break was spent watching the band sit on the raiser at the front of the stage while we cheer like maniacs.
    - Beer was only $5 (compared to the typical concert venue alcohol inflation rate).
    - The lights and video screens were fantastic!
    - Entrance to the venue was surprisely quick (once the security guards informed us of the second line).
    - Maynard was talkative... and actually faced the crowd while performing (unlike the Lateralus days)

    Things I wish had changed
    - Seated venues make moshing and crowd excitement kind of dull... well, obviously there's no moshing, but unfortunately I tend to enjoy a show more while emerged in a crowd of sweat.
    - As stated above, some older songs would have been sweet.
    - I'd love to hear them break out material from the first EP or even some good ol' Undertow classics.
    - Lateralus feels weird when it doesn't end the show and ending with Ænima just leaves me hyped up and wanting more (but in a bad way).

    C'mon, it's Tool for god's sake! :D How picky can I really be? Very fun night.

    Chart Magazine has a great review as well, you can read it here if you'd like.