Tag Archive: Bloodgroup


Day two of Canadian Music Week and I’ve been glittered within an inch of my life by the Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party who, I am told by a man who caught a glimpse of my media wristband at another showcase earlier today, are Canada’s next top band. The folks at Rancho Relaxo likewise seem to share his enthusiasm. It’s the most energetic crowd I’ve seen all night despite the fact that it is 2:30 A.M. and Toronto has been awash with rain and freezing temperatures since I arrived 36 hours ago. In the end, I too was powerless to resist their wonky sex pop and fought my way to the front to experience my first Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party close up and personal with the rest of the glitterati.

[Download: Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party – ‘My Five’ mp3]

TLGLTP were a brilliant way to close my first full day at CMW, so much fun, in fact, that I left the show so full of energy that I opted to forgo a cab and walk 20 minutes back to my room through the steady winter rain. Day two began with the first of three days of Live Near Bellwoods living room sessions at the Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music: a series of performances that proved to be so incredible, I’ll wait and dedicate a full week to them soon.

So, instead, fast forward a few hours and a few blocks to El Mocambo where a nice lady found my passport before I even realized I’d lost it and Familia (Maple Ridge, BC)—who bring so much soul to their hook-laden indie rock, it really ought to come with a warning label—played a blistering set with the tightest rhythms and powerful vocals I heard all night. It’s difficult to photograph a band like Familia, if I’m honest: far too easy to lose sight of things like focus and shutter speed with all that uncontrollable dancing and hip-shaking going on. So if my photos from this particular gig are a little blurry, I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. You’re just going to have to entice them down here to the States and out to Britain for a bit of a tour. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

And, if you can, get them to bring Some Community (São Paulo, Brazil) along with them. As I learned Thursday night, the combination of Familia’s soul pop and Some Community’s art pop makes for one undeniably sexy lineup. I’ve talked about Some Community here before, but suffice it to say that they are even more fun live than I had hoped they’d be leaving a small but enthusiastic audience completely shattered by the end of their high-octane set. I don’t know why someone hasn’t signed them yet. All this band really need is a little exposure north of the Equator (an iPad advert, perhaps) and this band could do quite well for themselves here. And I’ll be honest with you, I’ve definitely got a crush on guitarist/bassist/occasional melodica-ist Gabriela Gonzalez.

[Download: Some Community – ‘Random Words’ mp3]

From El Mocambo, it was on to Rancho Relaxo to meet up with members of Yunioshi and Spaceships Are Cool for a bit of Icelandic sex on a Kaoss Pad in the form of Bloodgroup (Reykjavik, Iceland). Now, I don’t know if you can recall the last time you saw two nonironic keytars on the same stage, but I reckon it was sometime around 1987 (and I can’t even promise I was privy to it then as I was only 3 years old). But it’s a phenomenon I’ve witnessed firsthand and I can tell you, Bloodgroup play those keytars like the electro-rockstars they are and everyone within earshot lapped it up excitedly. And by the time the band had worked their way up to their Facebook hit ‘My Arms’ (from Dry Land) it was clear the capacity crowd was ready and willing to take it in all night long. But seriously, when the beats and nerdgasms flow in torrents from the stage like that, can you really blame them? I mean, I’ve never really given much thought to becoming a groupie, but for Bloodgroup, I might reconsider. Anyone feel like joining me in Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves in October?

You already know how the rest of the evening went. (Hint: it’s up there at the beginning. See that neat time-displacement thing that I did?) At the end of a day like this, the only question really left to ask is, how is it even possible that anything could match this? The answer is ‘Friday’.

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It’s that time of year again. Festival season is upon us. All the fundraisers and Kickstarter campaigns are wrapping up and thousands of fans, bands, and media folk are making their final preparations for their respective fests and it all kicks off midweek with Canadian Music Week and Canadian Music Fest (I’m still not entirely sure where the differentiation lies). And I’m all set to go: flight booked, hostel reservation made, media accreditation confirmed.

For those of you headed to Toronto for the fest this week, I’ve taken the liberty of preparing a few posts highlighting some of the acts I am most excited to see and a couple I was heartbroken to cut due to scheduling conflicts. As if you needed more things to work into your schedule.

Snowblink
Toronto, ON
Performing: Painted Lady, Wednesday @11:00 P.M.

It was about a year ago when I first encountered Snowblink as the opening act for fellow Toronto boy, Owen Pallett. I was awestruck by their sound and remained entranced for the full 45 minute set. Every chord—every pitch—so deliberate and perfectly placed, while other two-piece acts make an impression by making a lot of noise, Snowblink succeed in the intimate intricacies of song structure. I even began an email interview with them which never ran because I am rubbish with email interviews. I should probably apologise when I see them on Wednesday.

Xylos
Brooklyn, NY
Performing: Hard Rock, Thursday @9:00 P.M.

The Thursday 9PM slot gave me a lot of trouble as I was working on my media guest list form. There are fully four three star bands (according to the arbitrary guestlist triage rating system I was forced to develop) playing in that time slot. And, as I, contrary to popular belief, can only be in one place at a time, I was forced to cut several top priority bands in one hack job. And Xylos were, by far, the band I was saddest to see go. I hope they’ll forgive me. And I hope some of you will attend their showcase in my stead or a show on their current tour and report back to me.

Some Community
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Performing: El Mocambo (upstairs), Thursday @10:00 P.M.

Do you all remember a few years back when Apple used that one CSS song in an iPod commercial. Well, apparently there’s a lot more of that stuff going down in Brazil than Apple was keen to let on. And it’s a good thing, too, since CSS seem to have fallen off the radar for the time being. But Some Community will be in Toronto this coming week and their particular brand of art pop, falling somewhere between punk and funk, is not to be missed.

Bloodgroup
Reykjavik, Iceland
Performing: Rancho Relaxo, Thursday @11:00 P.M.

I don’t even know where to begin with Bloodgroup. In my CMW listening notes, I’ve written the words ‘electro nerdgasm’ followed by something like half a dozen stars. The rating is probably slightly exaggerated, but watch the video and I think you’ll see where I’m coming from. Something about the Iceland outfit (and fellow supporters of Friday night highlights YUNIOSHI) sent me reeling. Is it possible for a single individual to have simultaneous nerdgasms? Because Bloodgroup are ticking all my boxes.

Brandt Brauer Frick
Berlin, Germany
Performing: Drake Underground, Thursday @Midnight

An electro-acoustic trio out of Berlin, Germany, Brandt Brauer Frick are another one of those bands who owe a lot to marquee minimalists like Phillip Glass and Steve Reich, but are about as willing to be relegated solely to the classical side of the divide as the defiant likes Mason Bates (aka DJ Masonic) or Gabriel Prokofiev. The music: loads of layered ostinato and polyrhythms and just about every other cool rhythmic trick you ever learned in music theory (and some others you didn’t learn).

Aaaand, here’s a bonus version of Bloodgroup’s ‘My Arms’. Like I said, nerdgasm.

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