Pat Blythe – A little BoRap, More Indie Week …and Music!

Well this is going to take a while. A full six days of Indie Week including a fabulous launch party  and a very private event at a very secret location, three days on the road with ONES, Horseshoe and Hideout gigs, an MCN Open Mic farewell and move, Pretzel Logic at the Orbit Room….and I’m sure I’m forgetting something in there….. I know I won’t get this all in one fell swoop but needless to say it’s been a non-stop roller coaster ride. Going back to front, let’s start with…. Oh but first…….

Queen @ Maple Leaf Gardens, August 1980

After finally staying in one spot for a couple of hours I met up with my two sons (and my youngest son’s lady) at the Yorkdale Cineplex Odeon to take in Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s been a long wait for this movie…through a change in casting and a myriad of trailers until, at last, it was opening day. Queen is a bit of tradition in this family…..I fell I love with them the first time I heard a bootleg copy of Keep Yourself Alive on a Detroit radio station in early 1973. I listened repeatedly to their first self-titled album and analyzed every photo on the back cover, attended every concert possible on both sides of the border, traveled overseas with my eldest to take part in the final tribute show at Wembley Stadium in 1992 six months after Freddie’s death, attended the theatre production of We Will Rock You three times and watched my final Queen concert with Adam Lambert, again with both my boys. The music of Queen has been a part of my life for 45 years. Both my sons were raised on Queen’s music (and it was how they learned to sleep through anything).

Keep Yourself Alive – Queen

From Wreckage to Smile to Queen, Freddie’s journey is Queen’s and vice versa….a lot of story and huge life (for both Freddie and the band) to cover in just under two hours. If timelines get slightly skewed so be it.  There may have been a few things out of alignment but as many of us can probably attest, trying to remember the befores, afters and all the in betweens to our own mashed up lives during the 70s and 80s might prove to be a bit challenging. Go see the movie!!  Screw the critics. They’re wrong most of the time anyway. The memories are wonderful and Freddie’s life….breathtakingly insane and incredibly lonely….but ahhhhh, the music……exquisite and timeless. God I love these guys……..!!

Indie Week at the Mod Club…..

I got carded!!!! Really!!!! Not just a glance at the old driver’s licence but a stare and compare. I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or insulted but I was certainly shocked. Stunned is more like it and not sure how to react. I think the last time I was asked for ID was oh…..more than a couple of years ago. Making sure everyone who’s in the club are of imbibing age I completely understand but……come on!! To add insult to flattery, they comb one’s bag with the big honking MEDIA lanyard roped around my neck staring them in the face. Again, I get it but it still makes me feel like a criminal….

The finalists chosen after four nights of competing in bars and clubs around the city of Toronto, were all gearing up and tuning up to perform for the final prize. A diverse collection of artists including Twin Flames, Towers and Trees, Greezy Deckz, Georgi Kay (Australia via U.S.A.), Dona Cislene (Brazil), Triss (South Korea), Dylan Hennessy, Ghost Caravan, Double Experience and ETNO (Brazil). Musicians from all over the world and across the country flew in to perform, many for the first time. I arrived just as Twin Flames were leaving the stage. (Note to self, never ever head to Yorkdale Mall on a weekend. It took me longer to get out of the damn parking lot than it did to get home (which is a 45-minute drive!!)) The club was filling up slowly and by the end of the night was comfortably packed (meaning there was still room to move without feeling like you had to part the Red Sea). Some familiar faces in the crowd include Suzy Kori, fellow scribe Peter Montreuil who takes his position as guard over my camera equipment very seriously, J.C . Sandoval, Chris Birkett, photographer Dylan Weller, Hartley Pickens of See Rock Live Magazine and of course Cam Carpenter and the man who started it all, Darryl Hurs. I met Eugene Ripper (Stark Naked and The Fleshtones) who had just released an EP at Tranzac on November 9, and Kelsi Mayne, the latter whom I saw perform at the Cameron House on Wednesday night.

Triss

….and the “Best of Fest” award went to Triss! who were ecstatic to be here in Toronto at Indie Week. All the way from South Korea this electro rock/pop band filled the room with their music. Band members include composer/vocalist Duk Yang, Hyun, bassist Kyu Kim, Min, drummer Kwon Shin, Young and synth Daisy, Jung. Heavily influenced by the synthesizer sounds of the 80s (think Depeche Mode, The Human League, Softcell or Kraftwerk) and, according to Triss, sci-fi movies. An extremely tight unit, their catchy music shoves you onto the dance floor. Electro pop was great for the discos but the addition of “real” instruments, particularly the solid boom of the drums (especially live), fills out the song and the sound. For those who like to move simply watching Jung dancing around behind her keyboards would get your groove on. Congratulation Triss!!!  You can find them on The Book of Face https://www.facebook.com/BandTriss/

Body and Soul – Triss

I was disappointed to miss Twin Flames. I had caught the tail-end of their last song at the Revival launch and my ears wanted to hear more. This indigenous husband and wife team (Chelsey is Métis and Jaaji is Inuk/Mohawk from Nunavik) sing from the heart and their harmonies are simply beautiful. You can actually feel their music. Looking for my next chance to see them live. For more information head to their website https://www.twinflamesmusic.com/

Porchlight – Twin Flames

l-r – Dave Zellinsky, Jesse Boland, Adrian Chalifour and Dave Arter

Towers and Trees put every ounce of themselves into their music and their performance. Every cell in their being is thoroughly enjoying their time on stage and it translates to the audience. This West Coast band is meant to be together. For more info head to their website http://towersandtreesmusic.com/   There’s something about Bad Heart……

Bad Heart – Towers and Trees

Greezy Deckz

Greezy Deckz was up next. This young Hip-Hop performer was once the second smallest baby in Canada. Not anymore. Making big noise he and his team had the Mod Club hopping.

Student Loan – Greezy Deckz

Georgi Kay

Born in Britain, raised in Australia, Georgi Kay now calls L.A. home. A Grammy nominee, Kay has won numerous awards and collaborated with many artists throughout her short career….and she’s only getting started. A member of a rock group at the age of 14, taking on lead vocals within the year, she has gone on to a solo career recording and performing her original material. Now at the age of 25 she is currently working on her third album. Kay’s dreamy voice resonates and captures you, blending seamlessly with her music, combining her love of looping and electronics. One comment on the following video reads, “she needs to sing the next Bond theme.” I agree! For more on Georgi go here http://georgikay.com/

Head Full of Lies – Georgi Kay

Dona Cislene

A group of friends, a love for rock music, mix and stir and you have Dona Cislene, a band that has burst out of the Brazilian music scene to perform with international top acts including Dead Kennedys and The Offspring. Band members are Bruno Alpino (vox/guitar), Gui de Bem (lead guitar), Pedro Piaui (bass) and Paulo Sampaio (drums). They had the club rocking and cheering with the one of the most insanely furious drummers I’ve seen….but the man LOVES his drums! Called bateria in Portuguese or Spanish, the drums or drum kit are surely “battered” when played with extreme force. Sampaio has no problem putting these traps through their paces.

Okay…..I love the drums….couldn’t resist….

ANUNNAKI – Dona Cislene

Dylan Hennessy

The first three times I saw Dylan Hennessy on stage he was solo. This time Hennessy performed with a drummer and, as damn good as Hennessy is, the drums added a different dimension to his music. Nothing beats (pun intended) the “anologue” force and sound of a real drum kit. Always testing, experimenting, stretching and creating, there is no one genre that captures or describes Hennessy’s music although ‘rock’ might come close. Whether he’s sharing the stage with a band or it’s just him and his looping machine(s), Hennessy’s versatility is on full display. Referring to himself a “one piece rock band”, Hennessy, a graduate of Seneca College’s ‘Independent Music Production’ program, tries to “make a guitar and vocal sound like as many things as possible.” I end up mesmerized by his performances….not just by the music. It’s watching his amazing ability to generate the sounds that produce the music that also captivates me. Find out more about Hennessy and his  music here https://www.dylanhennessymusic.com/

The view from above…..all lenses on Hennessy……

Hennessy at Cherry Cola’s earlier this year (another Andy Warhol moment)

Blink of An Eye – Dylan Hennessy

Shaina Silver-Baird

Next up was Ghost Caravan, a name I’ve never come across before.  To clarify… From the website, Ghost Caravan is a group of collaborators lead by Shaina Silver-Baird. Her “ghosts” are what inform the music that she writes. Whether they are the ghosts of specific people, the ghosts of past loves or the ghosts of experience, this caravan of ghosts is the origin of her songs. “My music is still about dark places, but I focus on finding the light, the moment when you realize your own strength and ability to move forward. I want to be proud to share my songs with young women. There are so many voices in the world telling women how to think and feel about themselves. I want to be the voice that celebrates women. I want to empower and uplift people.””

It was amazing to watch such a incredibly talented, all female band perform. Members of this fabulous ensemble include Juliana Iannuzziello on keyboards/bkup vox, Michelle Faehrmann on cello/bkup vox, Rachael Cardiello on viola/bkup vox and Sara Riegler on drums. Singer Shaina Silver-Baird, who’s project this is, has a strong, clear voice with a rather sweet sound that makes you smile. You can hear the joy in it. Her positivity and her energy flowed off the stage and into the crowd. From my vantage point in the balcony there were a number of feet moving to the beat. Find out more about Ghost Caravan here https://www.ghostcaravan.com/home “All aboard”…..I look forward to seeing them again.

A ghostly Sarah Riegler

Michelle Faehrmann

Rachael Cardiello

Juliana Iannuzziello

Shine On – Ghost Caravan

…..and that ends my evening at the Mod Club. I had to depart and missed Ottawa band Double Experience whose most recent release Oh Listener Mine from their album Unsaved Progress has become the “viral anthem for the video game Destiny…”

Oh Listener Mine (Destiny 2) – Double Experience

I also missed ETNO, a Brazilian four-piece rock band, were Indie Week Canada’s ‘Best of The Fest’ in 2017.

Diário da Morte – ETNO

On another note…..

…..there’s this interview with bassist/singer/songwriter Jeff Jones for his single Naked in The Church. Recorded at Wasaga Beach TV for an episode of Beach Corner with Dianna Chycki, the show actually used one of my photos (at 14:50) and credited all the photographers!!!! I am so chuffed. Thank you Jeff for letting me know. Folks there’s a little music history here if you watch the entire interview. Ocean, Rush, Red Rider…… For more info on “Jonesy” and upcoming shows click here http://www.jeff-jones.com/

Beach Corner with Jeff Jones

Ooooo….just found this and I love it….fun and truth….watch for Ellen, J Lo and more…..

Girls Like You – Maroon Five

That’s it!

Cheers!

All photographs ©2018 A Girl With A Camera “The PictureTaker”

The photograph of Queen at Maple Leaf Gardens ©2018 Christopher Blythe The Picture Taker — from the archives

Photographs may not be copied, downloaded or altered in any fashion without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Please scroll down and leave a comment. Thank you.

dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

One Response to “Pat Blythe – A little BoRap, More Indie Week …and Music!”

  1. Tracy Brett Says:

    Great article and pictures! And what a week that was!

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