CMW 08: Eye Candy at the Phoenix

CMW 08: Eye Candy at the Phoenix

My Canadian Music Week experience started off with a bang last night at the Phoenix. Eye Weekly hosted it's 10th annual CMW showcase there and it featured one of the festival's most hyped line-ups.

The night started off with local psych rock band Ten Kens. They will be releasing their debut record on top UK indie label Fat Cat Records (Sigur R贸s, Animal Collective) in June. Their set was mostly impressive, but their lead singer doesn't play an instrument (except for the vocal effects pedals he occasionally stepped on) and his arms seemed out of place for most of their moody set. They are a fairly young band though, so I'll definitely check them out again.

Next up was Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains (who are sometimes called "Les Montagnes"). Sebastien can't seem to make up his mind as to what to call his solid backing band, but he does know exactly what he wants to do on stage: rock out! His set was one of my hot picks and he did not disappoint. In addition to their entertaining stage antics, Grainger and company plowed through an amazing set of songs that will be on their debut record (which will hopefully be out soon). Their Edge 102-approved single "American Names" was the song of the night in my opinion.

After two solid local performances, LA punk duo No Age took the stage, making their Toronto debut. I didn't know much about them before their set and I have to admit I'm not sold on them just yet. They didn't sound that great, but I'm not sure if they were able to do a proper soundcheck before the show. Most of their songs are around two minutes long and they all sounded the same to me. I remember hearing a really good song near the end of their set but have no idea what it was called. All the trendy music blogs tell you to love them though, so there you go.

Overall, the night belonged to San Francisco's Deerhoof. I hadn't seen them before but have admired a lot of their recorded work. They were amazing live. Local OCAD graduate and lighting guru Peter Venuto tours with the band and puts on a custom-made light show which includes a spinning electric rainbow machine. Their drummer only uses a kick drum, a snare, a tambourine and a cymbal and he sounds larger than life. The crowd loved every minute of their hour-long set.

Photography by Carlos Weisz.

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