Category Archives: 2017

Halloween With JIVETOWN

By Matt Harrison

Hidden away in a basement apartment watching the night go by is where I found myself Halloween night. A few good people who’d had their plans collapse like a House of Cards -a phrase that now harnesses two meanings- were primed for something to do and extended an invitation to come around the corner to The Toad in the Hole Pub. Clad in my best White Guy in a Sport Coat costume, I stood up from Garfield’s Halloween and walked over.

There were two bands playing that night, one upstairs, one downstairs. As I walked up to the building I heard a raucous bluesy twang flowing past the cigarette smokers and out into the streets as patrons streamed in and out the bar’s front door.

I walked past the inviting aroma of sound I heard from the street and to the basement. The downstairs show came at a cover charge of $5 and earned listeners a spider shaped stamp on the wrist that, from a certain angle, looked like a cross eyed sun.

Within minutes of walking into the music, with it’s brass section likely in no need of amplification, I found myself wondering about the upstairs commotion that I’d walked past on my way in. With that thought, I trudged up the stairs and, as I neared the top, the snap of Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’ overtook the now faint murmur of brass that fell into the background with each step.

As I came through the entrance atop the steps, which opened up to the top floor, ‘Stand By Me’ had transitioned seamlessly first into Sean Kingston’s ‘Beautiful Girls’, and then, after one or two chorus’, ‘The Monster Mash’. Already the decision to migrate North of the floorboards seemed to payoff.

The set finished soon after I entered the room with ‘Pretty Woman’ by Roy Orbison and, after the approximate time it takes to acquire and half consume a plate of nachos, the members of JIVETOWN returned to the stage for another set.

Upon the second time I saw them onstage that night they came out with a rendition of ‘Come Together’ sung with a venomous rip to the lead singer’s voice. Psychedelic flares of well timed wah made the momentarily mistimed bass almost undetectable as they played as well as it must have sounded in the minds of Lennon and McCartney once upon a time.

They followed this phenomenal rendition with a show of Canadianity, busting out the Sheepdogs ‘Keep to Your Own’ that turned into the Ghostbusters theme song before going back to the Sheepdogs again. A timely nod to one of the great lost songwriters came with ‘You Wreck Me’ by Tom Petty, followed by what I found to be the best song of the night, ‘The Weight’ by The Band.

Once ‘The Weight’ was over, I was ready to go. My drink was empty, my nachos were stowed away in a capsule of styrofoam. At this point, I was ready for sleep. Each blink had become longer than the last and my bed had filled my voicemail box calling me.

“You’ve all heard this one too many times,” the front man meandered between sips of beer. “But we’re gonna make sure you hear it way too many times.”

With that, a thunder of humming and boot stomping roared the start of ‘S.O.B’ by Nathaniel Ratliff and the slice of dancefloor in front of the stage filled with people in an endless array of costumes. It seemed as if someone had opened the door to Tim Burton’s dreams and had let all the characters out for a night of dancing, hidden among the mass of costumed humans. Monsters and ambiguous creatures all gathered to dance and sing together. A clown with one giant shoe nearly danced the red out of her nose while a man with a briefcase full of fake money rained giant $10 bills onto the crowd in which at least a couple people must have thought it strange that he’d chosen to print bills of such a modest value. The energy of the crowd peaked with each yell of “Son of a Bitch!” before falling away in wait of the next burst of chorus. The room was electric, the energy of the crowd was palpable.

When the song finished, the floor cleared, and I grabbed my coat. My chair was pushed in when they began playing the last song of the set; ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ by Joe Walsh. They had me again. I couldn’t leave. With music this good, I simply couldn’t leave.

At the conclusion of this last song, their set had finished and I could finally let myself leave. They promised more music and I can only take their word that it was ever played. What leaving early left me with was the feeling that I will see them play again, I simply have to.

Anywhere JIVETOWN is playing is a place worth being, if only for the night. They bring life to the music and flood energy through the room, the crowd. The basement performance had cost $5 but the show worth paying to see was upstairs.

Be sure to keep up with JIVETOWN:

Silverstein, Seaway, Cedar Green – The Dead Reflection Tour

By Samuel Stevens

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Cedar Green Vocalist, Joey Volpe. Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

The recent drop of temperature in Winnipeg, plus the recent snowfall wasn’t stopping fans from coming out to see some of their favorite bands perform on a Tuesday night. The show was opened up by the debuting local band, Nice Cops. Nice Cops delivered a fun set full of powerful and catchy Pop Punk tunes.

Second band of the night to hit the stage was Cedar Green hailing from Philadelphia, PA. They sure did get the crowd warmed up for Seaway and Silverstein. The band stood out boldly on stage because of vocalist, Joey Volpe’s brightly coloured shirt full of flowers. Cedar Green played a solid Pop Punk set.

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Seaway vocalist, Ryan Locke & guitarist, Andrew Eichinger. Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Canadian’s own, Seaway were the next to perform Tuesday night. Opening right up with their hit, “Slam” from their 2nd album, “Colour Blind” before performing a few new tunes for the Winnipeg crowd. Seaway seemingly knew what the crowd wanted to hear.

Seaway is currently on the road touring their recently released 3rd album, “Vacation”. Vocalist Ryan Locke, before their set came to an end was sure to inform the crowd that the band will be back again in the Spring.

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Silverstein members Josh Bradford, Paul Koehler, & Shane Told (left to right). Photo by Samuel Stevens Photography.

Lastly Silverstein, also hailing out of Canada are currently on the road touring their 9th studio album, “Dead Reflection” which was released all the way back in July. Silverstein belted out fan favorites such as, “Bleed No More”, “Your Sword Versus My Dagger”, “Ghost”, and “My Heroine” to name a few of plenty. Many songs on Tuesday night’s setlist sure pleased the crowd. The band tried to perform something off every one of their previous releases while playing some new ones as well. The one that stuck out most to me was, “The Afterglow”. About to go on 18 years as a band, Silverstein proved that they’re here to stay and that there’s much more to come in the future.

Silverstein will almost immediately be hitting the road again after their current North American tour to return to the UK to end the year off. At the beginning of 2018 they have a big tour lined up with Tonight Alive, Picturesque, and Broadside of the United States.

K.I.D – Poster Child EP

By Samuel Stevens

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

Released March 24th 2017 by Universal Music Canada

On their new EP, “Poster Child”, K.I.D continues to prove that they’re an Alternative Rock band that needs to be taken seriously. K.I.D delivers four catchy Alt. Rock, Synth Pop infused tracks that allow vocalist, Kara Lane and instrumentalist Bobby Lo to shine beautifully.

K.I.D, which is abbreviated from Kids In Despair, originally formed in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. K.I.D is comprised of members Kara Lane and Bobby Lo. Kara and Bobby are close friends that met when they attended the same high school together. In the mid 2010’s K.I.D wanted to create a Garage Rock-style album and went on the hunt for a producer to develop this dream. This is when they met Mike Crossey, best known for his producing work with The 1975, Wolf Alice, and Arctic Monkeys, to name a few.

The lyrics of “Boy” are of a sexually suggestive nature about, as the title of the song says a, “boy”. Although not on the EP, about a month after the release of “Poster Child”, K.I.D released a new version of, “Boy” as a single featuring the up and coming Hip Hop artist, Cupcakke.

“Errors” features a darker side of the bands topics talking about crippling depression and how hard it can be to live with. While “Errors” does feature a darker nature, the production of the song is upbeat and catchy, featuring a lot of catchy melodies and synth over bass and drums.

“Taker” captures the essence of the bands Alt. Rock side. “Taker” is about a one sided relationship and asking the other person in the relationship when are you going to contribute to the relationship. As per the lyrics “Taker, taker, taker, taker, taker, when are you gonna, gonna give a little?”

“I Cannot Sleep at Night” is pretty self-explanatory. The song opens up with Kara singing, “I cannot sleep at night, my anxieties run high and they build up inside”. This song is about various anxieties that could keep you awake in bed at night. “I Cannot Sleep at Night” may feature one of the catchiest synth hooks on the EP.

K.I.D’s debut concept album, “Tired All the Time” will be out very soon. K.I.D has just recently released the singles, “Happy When I Cry” and “Elevator” off the upcoming LP. K.I.D’s upcoming debut is an album that should be worthy of watching for.

“Poster Child” proves K.I.D are not just another Alternative Rock band in the scene, but one to seriously watch out for. With countless catchy hooks, choruses, and covering various meaningful subjects within their lyrics, this EP will leave listeners wanting more immediately after the first listen. Kara and Bobby only get approximately 12 minutes on this EP to showcase their songwriting abilities and hit it out of the park. Kara’s vocal range shines across all four tracks. I’m certainly looking forward to what they will bring on their upcoming debut album, “Tired All the Time”.

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