NxNE (day 3)

A fuller day today, as we got up early(ish) to be sure to be able to take advantage of the beautiful day that we had. First up was a visit to my parents’ new condo, into which they’ll be moving in about a month, I believe. I’d seen the model suite, which looked remarkably like the finished product. The suite is huge and nice, the building itself, a little ostentatious in its grandeur – right down to the concierge at the door greeting us.

After that, Ben and I met Alex (normally of Vancouver, here for a summe co-op job) for lunch at the SpaHa, which sits in the new Graduate Building at UofT (which is a stunning architectural piece, although I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to live in it – it looks like it would be fairly dark inside). The lunch was pretty damn good, and keeping with this new idea of café culture that seems to be permeating through Toronto, we were able to sit there unmolested and unhurried for as long as we liked. Brishen, meanwhile, had headed off downtown to hang out with Silas.

A loungey afternoon ensued, and in the late evening, each of us went our seperate ways. Ben was off to Clinton’s to see Music for Mapmakers, who were apparently everything that FULL WHITE DRAG should have been, and clearly excellent as when I next saw Ben he had purchased their CD. Brishen and Silas, meanwhile, were migrating through the Bovine Sex Club/Kathedral area, but nothing spectacular was reported back to me.

I on the otherhand, distinctly unimpressed with the line up for most of Saturday night, decided to spend some time with Nima, as even when I’m in Toronto, it’s always for some reason that keeps me busy. It was a friend of his’ birthday (happy birthday Isa!), and he and his cohorts were going to be at a place called the Living Well. A disparate and interesting group of people (I think the common thread might be parties and role playing games, mixed in with spiritual/social conciousness), it was neet to meet a lot of them, as not seeing Nima terribly often, I wonder sometimes. They’re all good, and as always, seeing Nima is wonderful, and I leave finding myself wishing we were geographically much closer.

But! I did see 2 bands, both at the Rivoli, and they were, as the man says, worth the drive to Acton. First up was Sam Roberts, from Montréal. If Sam Roberts is not the next big thing to happen in Canada, there is no justice. Rocking out hard à la ‘The Strokes’ or ‘The White Stripes’, Sam Roberts brought CBGB from 25 years ago to Toronto last night. Infectious, catchy vocals, full-volume rock licks and a commanding, seductive stage presence all come together in one small package. His backing band, who I believe are called The Sweatstains are tight, and work very well with him. Definitely see him if you can, and if you can find a CD (they were all out at the show), send one to me, will you?
I was fairly convinced that, like the night before, the following act would not live up to its predecessor. Due up was Blurtonia, Ian Blurton, of Change of Heart fame’s new act. Looking much like the man of the mountain in thick beard and long hair under a very dirty San Diego Padres cap, he just came to rock out. His backing band, who looked very much like ageing rockers trying for one last gasp, were so much more than that. With nary a mention of the preceding acts, they just took over with one song. While I won’t say that I liked them as much as Sam Roberts, they were a lot of fun. There was a section of masturbatory guitar soloing, that I have little love for that triend my patience, but otherwise, it was a lot of fun. Highlights: The bassist, jumping around, snaps his patch cable. He just runs offstage, and comes back moments later with a replacement, plugs it in and keeps going like nothing happened. The drummers kit slowly came apart throughout the course of the show through the force of his drumming, only to be completely wrecked at the end by Blurton.

The two acts were a fitting finale to a good rock festival. Now time to head back to Vancouver to re-acquaint myself with my electronica, because I’m all rocked out for a while I think.
Also? Minor (e-grade?) celebrity sighting of Heather, from The Lofters, a really useless ‘reality’ show that I find myself addicted to. She’s tiny.

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