You Say Party! We Say Die!, The Acorn & Hot Springs
Left to Right: Hot Springs, The Acorn, You Say Party! We Say Die!
Saturday night was the final night for CMW 2007. Regardless of the success or failure of the turnouts, it was a festival with some decent showcases. However, when big industry festivals such as CMW or NxNE go down, someone around the city will try to organize a show that will possibly match up to the festival - the show to talk about before and after its occurrence. At the Whippersnapper Gallery, Paper Bag Records threw their own "showcase" (not part of CMW) with some of their newest acquisitions, including You Say Party! We Say Die!, The Acorn & Hot Springs.
Hot Springs made their debut to me last year during NxNE when they played a packed Silver Dollar with word-on-the-street power coming out and about saying, "YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS BAND! FRIG!" So, listening to the word, I had plunked myself in front of the stage to hear nothing but bad noise and no vocals. I walked away thinking not much of Montreal's Hot Springs. Last night, I walk into The Whippersnapper Gallery during Hot Springs' set and drew the 2nd-Chance card. The first good thing to mention about what I saw, or should I say what I heard was that I could hear everything clearly. There's a plus. Then, I could tell what lead singer Giselle Webber (aka. Giselle Numba One) - singing in French and English. There's another plus. Oh, and get this: I actually rocked out to this band. Their brand of Thrash-Pop mixed with a heavy dash of Janis Joplin really hit the heavy spot. Fantastic! I could see there was an influence! I loved it! Although I wasn't really begging for more, Hot Springs had improved since I last saw them. When Giselle sports the rock 'n roll hair, and their bassist, RĂŠmy Nadeau-Aubin, owns the back floor with his pacing and axe-raising, it'd be wrong to keep your feet still.
The Acorn make beautiful music. Their method of combining harmonies with gorgeous riffs and combinations of melodic tunes are undoubtedly some of the best I've heard in a long time. However, the Ottawa quintet needs to work on stage banter. Their claim is that they have lots of stage-time in which they have to tune, change instruments, change settings, bring out new amps, etc. Having thrown them questions of odd nature (CMW, are We're Marching On gonna play?, are you going to use that banjo?). However, lead singer Rolf Klausener smiled, laughed off the Garry banter and the rest of The Acorn practically owned the evening. Folk Rock has a new image when The Acorn are playing. Adding a keys player to the mix has intensified their live sound significantly. Although the music sounds strong and, at times, emotional, The Acorn look like a band I'd like to be in just to be their friends and not do anything else. They probably have more fun than even the most optimistic bands out there.
You Say Party! We Say Die! Good? Good!
So this band was on everyone's map, everyone's computer and everyone's dancing shoes. So, of course, that's when I hear the line, "Garry! Why haven't you seen this band, yet? GEEZ!" My struggles to get into The Horseshoe Tavern the night before resulted in me missing the Vancouver New Wave/Old-School Punk band's heavily-cheered on set. Yes, I cursed. I even stomped my feet a bit. Then, I find out that they're playing this show on a late call and BOOM, they are inside The Whippersnapper Gallery, making using of all of the space around them. At points, I felt like I was going to have to donate my ears because I wasn't going to need them anymore. This was partly my fault since I was near the speakers for the majority of the evening. However, it was worth the fun. Yes, you must dance to the fast drumming (seriously, unbelievably kick-ass drumming) by Devon Clifford, or the rowdy nature that is Stephen O'Shea, and the ceiling-reaching voice of Becky Ninkovic. I guess these guys travel far and abroad for good reasons. Oh, and people in Japan like them, too.
Paper Bag Records are ruling. Keep an eye out for who they continue to sign.
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