Review Of Frankie and Jimmy At Gage Park.

As part of Canada’s birthday every year, there is a tradition in Gage Park. It’s Your Festival. (It ran this year from June 29th-July 2nd. I went on the 2nd.)

For a long time, it was considered the ‘folky’ festival. (Probably coming from the name Hamilton Folk Arts Heritage Council, the organizers of the event.)

But that’s changing with the New Music Expo Stage. I have noticed in recent years that there has been a lot of exposure for Punk, Alternative Rock, and the like. And I have gotten to see some of my favorite bands there because of it.

This year, one of my favorite duos took to the stage.

Frankie and Jimmy combine Blues, Rock, Folk, and Punk to create something new. All while bringing the past to life.

 

Review:

It may only be two people.

It may only be an acoustic guitar and a harmonica.

But it’s all Frankie and Jimmy needed to give the audience a spectacular set.

Armed with their Blues covers, the D.I.Y ethic of Punk, and their instruments, the duo played fantastically.

They mostly did their Blues numbers, but some of their stuff had a Rock feel to it.

Frankie and Jimmy’s rendition of ‘Freight Train’ deserves a mention. It fitted with the atmosphere, and it was folky and light.

No matter what they were doing, I liked the energy both performers gave off. Both seemed to throw themselves into the music, and that reflected in the performance.

10 out of 10.

 

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Review Of Destroy Music/ Imants Krumins Day.

(*Note: Some items in this article are meant for humor. They are intended for that purpose and that alone. They, and all other material, are covered under section 2 B of the Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms.)

(**Note: Unfortunately, I missed the first band of the evening, which was the spectacular NOT. Sorry about that fellas!)

July 1st, 2012 was an epic day.

Music was destroyed. And rebuilt the way I and so many others have been waiting for.

A new issue of Thunder came out on paper. (Call me biased, but this was the best event of the day. It beat out ALL the celebrations. What country had a birthday again?)

The all-Hamilton compilation so many have been waiting for was finally released. (Yes, Brantford’s Nothing Helper. And yes Stoney Creek’s NOT.  I count all of you one of us.)

I’m divided as to what the most spectacular part of the day and night were.

On one hand, of course the music. It featured a boatload of bands that are my personal favorites, and the style variations were phenomenal. Hangman Pinata’s Jazz-infused Punk to the Krumones reinvention of classic Ramones tones? (And’s that’s just one example of the evening.)Stunning.

On the other, getting to be a part of something so amazing while it’s happening. I used to read, and still do, about Punk Rock when it began. And I wished I could have been a part of what took place.

When I go to an event like this and have so much fun with my friends like I did, I feel like we are in the midst of what’s happening’s for Punk in this great city.

1st Band I Saw: The Pre-Nods.

There is small minority of people within the Punk community, (and let’s face it we all know at least one), who say that ‘Punk Is Dead.’ (Despite being involved with it themselves, and there being Punk bands today.)

I would invite anybody who believes that statement to come see a Pre-Nods show. Especially when they are in a fantastic mode of playing, like Canada Day.

With the Pre-Nods, you can not only see Punk is alive and well. You can hear it too.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans frontman Erik Begg often jokes he is getting older and losing his memory. (He turned 40 earlier this year.) A lot of the time, we as an audience joke back with him, and know it is just that.

But I think Mr! Erik has talked himself into having some of his symptoms, because on Canada Day, he forgot two important elements of the usual performance.

1: Tiny Red Human and Tiny Blue Human.

2: The stage.

Instead, Mr! Erik performed an acoustic set outside.

Early memory loss aside, the set was superb. It was nice to get outside and see something different. (The Tiny Humans are more recent additions to the Wiggler!?! music project.) There was plenty of singing along, prompted or not. So it was a lot of fun.

10 out of 10.

3rd Band: Steeltown Spoilers.

One of the bands that could get me on my feet, (and pirating the stage for ‘I Love Livin’ In The City’) even if I had smallpox.

The Spoilers haven’t been playing a lot of late, so it was awesome to see them again. What made it that much better was that they had new material, as political and Hamilton as any fan would expect.

There was some small, but admirable; mosh pits going while The Spoilers played. Which tells me I wasn’t the only one happy to see the band onstage again.

10 out of 10.

4th Band: Hangman Pinata.

I hadn’t seen Hangman Pinata in quite some time, so when I heard that they would be playing the Destroy Music release party, I was ecstatic.

They are one of the most original bands coming out of Hamilton, (combining Jazz, Hard-Core Punk, and Ska to great effect), and while nothing can ever recreate ‘that moment’ when you first see a great band live; Hangman Pinata nearly did just that.

Their set was fantastic. They played their music well, it was original, and it was good as the first round.

No wonder people talk about them so much.

10 out of 10.

5th Band: Nothing Helper.

While TECHNICALLY not a Hamilton band, (they are from Brantford), I consider Nothing Helper one of us.

They share our humor. They share our love of Punk. And the music backing their lyrics sounds as good as any Hamiltonian could produce on bass, drums, or guitar.

As much I love the music though, I have to love the lyrics and show that accompany a Nothing Helper set. Wackiness ensues, and I’m clapping and laughing at the same time.

It really is the mark of true showmanship when you not only get a set. You get a show.

10 out of 10.

6th Band: Rackula.

I can’t count how many times I have seen this marvelous, all-female Punk band.

But every time, I walk away from the set thinking how great they were.

Their Canada Day performance was splendid, as they broke out a ton of their old songs, and their newer material.

What I thought was really cool was to see all the young guys, listening to Rackula’s brand of Punk. (Which includes a feminist message.) It’s always good to have a message, but it’s even better to have people who listen and cheer it on.

10 out of 10.

7th Band: T.V Freaks.

T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks….

This is a band that leaves my music-loving ears ever divided.

I LOVE their sound. It’s very raw, it’s very early Punk, and it captures the city in it’s sound somehow.

But the onstage antics Canada Day? (Shivers and claps at the same time.)

First came the remarks about male organs. I don’t need to hear how you would like to have a bigger…. appendage. Humor and antics are fine, but it’s the wording that gets me.

The redeeming moment? When the T.V Freaks frontman climbed on one of the amps. This was a moment of sheer brilliance, and reminded me of Teenage Head’s late Frankie Venom.

When all is said and done; I see a lot for the T.V Freaks. If they could cut SOME of the R-rated stuff.

9 out of 10.

8th Band: The Krumones.

I have never attended a full tribute set. (A lot of bands I see will play covers. But they will be by various artists.)

The Krumones were the first, full tribute band I had ever seen. Mercifully, they did a spectacular job. (You hear horror stories about these things.)

The keys, I think, to the band’s successful set was that:

1: They didn’t dress up like anyone in the Ramones. If they had, I would have jumped out the nearest window.

2: They didn’t perform all the obvious songs. I appreciated this, because it led to some new favorites.

The Krumones got a great reaction. People were dancing, people were singing along, and people looked liked they were having the time of their lives.

I would love to see the Krumones again.

10 out of 10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Of The Most Unique Canada Days Ever.

Canada Day is always a special day to me.

Yes, I admit that I often don’t agree with how things are done here. And there are parts of our past I wish had never happened.

But, beyond all that, I see a country that I love. And I love celebrating what so many others have died to give me.

This year is a big year for Canada. Not only does it commemorate 145 years as a country, but it’s also been 200 years since the war of 1812.

That battle was the first of many that helped make us a country. (Yes, I know we’re still technically part of the British Dominion. But I’m sorry, how many people REALLY consider the Queen ‘Their Queen?’)

I think war is a tragedy. I really do. But what came out of it? There aren’t the words that can express my gratitude.

My celebrations for the day will include time with family, singing the Anthem, and going to the Destroy Music Punk show. At the show, we’ll remember Imants Krumins, who I never got to meet; but was told was the ultimate Punk fan. And we’ll celebrate the release of the all-Hamilton Destroy Music, Start Your Band music compilation.

Help celebrate the independence of your nation by shattering the sound barrier around it!!

 

 

No S.C.E.N.E For Kristine. But There Will Always Be More Music.

(*Note. This is intended as a humorous article. The facts are true, but my melancholy, overstatements, and pomposity are all jokes.)

This post is supposed to be about all the fun times I had at the S.C.E.N.E Music Festival. I’m supposed to talk all about how I went to St. Catharines and the people were floored.

I was supposed to interview a great-but-undiscovered band and bring them to the Canadian consciousness. In doing so, I would prove what a spectacular talent I was. I would write my article and show my photos, and win myself a few prizes along the way. (I’m thinking a Governor Generals Award or three. And a couple of Granges. Nothing major. Yet.)

But none of it turned out that way because the universe hates me.

Instead, the night before S.C.E.N.E, I was admitted to the hospital with a migraine and severe dehydration. And the prescription to rid my ails? (Aside from some medicine.) ‘Plenty of rest.’

There went all my hopes and dreams, down the drain!  I felt like crying bitter tears. I felt like pounding my fists into the wall. I felt like tearing the very hair from my head.

This has given me inspiration for a new book. ‘Lamentations.’ (Nobody’s written that before right?) And even if they did, they don’t comprehend my pain. I mean, I missed a music festival. That’s like dying.

But there is an upside: The Canada Day weekend shines like a lighthouse. At Gage Park, there is It’s Your Festival. Snakecharmer, Frankie and Jimmy, and more will be playing. (It’s free.)

And Canada Day, This Ain’t Hollywood will celebrating the independence of our nation by shattering the sound barrier around it. There is going to be a Punk Rock matinée that runs from 5:00pm to 1:00am. We’re finally going to see and hear the result of all this waiting on one, all-Hamilton comp. ($10 gets you into the show and a record.)