- Thursday, November 7
Eucalyptus (Toronto) +
Ryan Driver (Toronto) +
New Friends (Calgary)
Another stellar lineup of traveling and local greats. This year (and last) seems to have been an insanely good one for traveling acts. It seems there's been some heavy generosity going on over at the Canada Council for the Arts.
Eucalyptus is a 7-piece instrumental ensemble led by Brodie West. The all-star band, which is based in Toronto, plays West's compositions, highly bewitching models for collective improvisation, drawing from a colourful palette of musical styles including pop, jazz, avant-garde, and the syncopated rhythms of calypso, bossa nova, and dancehall. This disparate mix of elements is pulled off without a hitch, largely due to the players' formidable talents and flexibility. The band is a veritable who's-who of the Toronto scene, headed by altoist West, who is known for his work with Drumheller and ongoing partnerships with Han Bennink and Terrie Ex. Ryan Driver is one of the most multi-faceted and beguiling members of the Toronto scene, more on him below. Trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud is one of her city's fresher voices on that instrument, logging hours with c_RL and the Shaw/Rampersaud Project, who have an excellent disc on Barnyard Records. Last month's visitor Nick Fraser (Drumheller, Jandek, Eric Chenaux) plays the drums and Blake Howard (Toronto Dance Theatre, Sandro Perri) plays percussion. Alex Lukachevsky, on guitar, is well-loved in these parts for his strikingly original jazz-pop-folk hybrid Deep Dark United (be sure to scope their excellent Rat-Drifting CD). And Mike Smith (aka Muskox) is a killer bassist, member of Sandro Perri's current unit and occasional player in the MV/EE universe. It would be enough to count on the the insane personnel in this group, thinking about the massive body of rich, adventurous work they've created over the past decade or two, but it's the way they bring it all together, with more than dash of the Ellington/Mingus/Sun Ra continuum, that makes it a must-see this fall.
The nice thing about this type of group is that you could pull almost any of them out on their own and they'd provide a similarly excellent experience. This is what is happening on this night from Ryan Driver, who will play a solo set of piano and vocals, performing his own tunes, and perhaps some standards. Driver is held in high regard at Bug Incision HQ, and with good reason. He was a member of the amazing shambolic pop trio The Silt (along with Doug Tielli and Marcus Quin), he played frazzled minimalist improv with Eric Chenaux in the Guayaveras, alongside Justin Haynes and Jean Martin he plays street-sweeper-bristle bass in the group Freedman, he adds keys to groups like Saint Dirt Elementary School and Deep Dark United, he bats around standards in his own quartet, and he has a run of absolutely stunning solo songs albums under his own name. These albums blend country, jazz, and something entirely more unique (a quality he brings to all the projects mentioned above) to create something that really doesn't sound like anything else. A real treat to have him on the bill.
New Friends is a Calgary trio who play dark, spooky-sounding music. But this is just general world the music inhabits. The band covers lots of ground, from doomy, drone-heavy crescendos to breezy, peppier moments and back. The songs are based around Evan van Reekum's (Fist City, Teledrome) guitar playing, which meld an affinity for various strains of rustic six-string lineage with an ear for a post-rock sense of texture and pacing. The spook arrives care of the Ryan von Hagen's otherworldly playing of The Pyramid, a self-built device from which he coaxes a delightful range of odd noises. And the thing is sewn together with the raw, inventive drumming and brooding vocals of Kaelen Ohm, at once skirting the background areas of the music and providing melody and form to the songs. New Friends recently finished tracking their debut recording with Bug Incision's Chris Dadge, and it will be out this fall.
National Music Centre (134 11th Ave SE)
Doors at 8:00pm, show at 8:30pm
Land of Marigold + Chris Dadge/Eric Hamelin + Dice Parks
Hot Wax Records Basement (back door - 114 10th Street NW)
Doors 6:30 / Music 7:30
$5/pay what you can
Land of Marigold is the Montreal-based duo of Ellwood Epps (trumpet) and Josh Zubot (violin). The two are central figures in Montreal's left-leaning jazz and creative music worlds. Epps is a familiar name to followers of Bug Incision-related activity. His excellent trio Pink Saliva (with Michel F. Cote and Alexandre St-Onge) released an album a few years ago and he is part of the Unrepeatable Quartet, a document from his solo trip to Calgary last fall. He's played with Matana Roberts' Coin Coin, Jean Derome, and William Parker. Zubot is likewise steeped in some heavy activities, our favourite being the amazing Subtle Lip Can trio and their stellar disc on Drip Audio. Mendham (with Jason Sharp, past Bug Incision stage star) and Ratchet Orchestra also appear on his resume. Both men are consummate musicians, enjoying a very full range of possibilities on their instruments. There is high degree of one-mindedness to the music that is indeed difficult to achieve and is worth cherishing.
Chris Dadge and Eric Hamelin have been experimenting with various duo formations for the last year. They have tried two guitars, they have tried guitar and drums, they have tried cello & drums, they have tried drums & cello, and they have tried violin & cello. As two people who are known primarily for their percussive abilities, they've explored, quite naturally, the two drums/percussion scenario, which has yielded some successful results and will hopefully do so once again on this night.
Dice Parks will issue a solo performance from his ongoing exploration of drum machines, small keyboards, loose-fitting rhythms, liberally applied FX processing, and addictive hooks. He has released a few highly limited tapes previously, and has a new recording coming out soon on Night People.
- new releases available now:
- Badland (aka Simon H. Fell, Simon Rose,
and Steve Noble) - Six
- Darren Williams - Reed
- Seeded Plain - Provincial
- Joe Morris/Fausto Sierakowski/Nigel Taylor
- Part and Parcel
- next volume of the Dan Meichel Archives
scans of the Bug Incision presents programs from 2007-2009
- video archive