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Music, Pop Montreal 2006

Never Say No to More Guitars - Ships at Night Showcase

Posted by Robyn / October 10, 2006

The Field Register, Plants and Animals, David MacLeod, Harmony Trowbridge
Casa del Popolo - Sat, Oct 7/06
I'm so into music lately that I feel like I'm going to die if I don't get my own acoustic guitar for home use within the next week. I don't even play guitar! But I've tried it and want to, I really really want to. The performances at Saturday night's Ships at Night label showcase only intensified my desire.

Yes, I found myself at Casa again. A different kind of music from Friday night, but also a different kind of good.

Harmony Trowbridge, from Toronto, began the show with several lovely and heartfelt songs and cute conversational interludes about things like how to decide on a name for the baby growing inside her. aw, bless. Her singing and guitar skillz reminded me of Julie Doiron, Cat Power, and a bunch of 60s&70s folk; however, she's clearly her own spirit. She (and her singing accomplice) made me happy.

And then more guitar strumming and picking with David MacLeod (and accomplice), who moved the tempo up a notch while still remaining personal, sorta introspective (but not full-on folky.) It didn't grab me outright at the time, but I can see how in a different environment, his style would be more compelling. And listening to a few of his songs as I write this is making me happy. I think I was just ready to rock by that point and MacLeod was just walking the perimetre of that rock fence.

And then so much with just having a few people on stage: The Field Register gathered all six of themselves up on stage and set in for a rock set that was both tight and noodly - y'know, they knew their songs but they also went off on certain riffs, which showed they were having fun - which i love - plus they had friendly between-song banter. I also like that though one person sang the majority of the songs, they did switch up throughout the set, so the band isn't focused on one or two people but is showcasing everyone's talents. In a way, I felt their cohesiveness came out best during purely instrumental rockout parts though, when i'm guessing some improvising went on. I sort of felt the songs soar a bit more at those times. (okay, I think that the seagull-rainbow painting behind the stage really is getting to me now... but I stand by my opinions.)

And then and then, surprise special show from Plants and Animals, who'd played the night before in another venue but who doesn't want to play at Casa when given the chance? I will tell you that by 1am or whenever these guys went on, I was not the most astute observer of the world, but I did have fun, even if I cringed a bit at the faux-funk vibe they were putting out in the beginning. That changed; they went rock and they went loud. Hurrah!

And then I spent a lot of time on the back patio/terrasse, soaking in more good vibes and chatting about a bunch of things, my burning need for a guitar included. (and probably also my less-burning need for a digital SLR. i am beginning to come to terms with my fuzzy band shots though; they're "atmospheric.")




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