Pat Blythe – The F**k It List, The Reed Effect, Pterodactyl Problem….and Music!

I run/operate/host (whatever you want to call it) an AirBnB in my home. A cozy, private room with a very comfortable bed and yes, I even serve breakfast in the morning. That’s what the two Bs signify….Bed AND Breakfast. One of my first guests was a young man whose wife had gifted him with a three-day weekend getaway to attend a concert on one of the Toronto Islands. Up from North Carolina, he was excited to tour around the city so I made a few recommendations and off he went.

During his last morning as he was getting ready to check out, our final conversation was about bucket lists…..his in particular. With a wife and two-year-old daughter at home, there was a laundry list of things to do, be it alone, as couple or as a family. He then turned to me and asked me what was on my bucket list. I told him, blurted out actually, “I don’t have a bucket list…..I have a “fucket list.”  I wasn’t quite sure if I had offended him but quickly realized that, after he literally picked himself up off the floor, he was laughing so hard he couldn’t keep his balance. When he finally caught his breath, he asked, “what exactly is a fucket list?”

Well…..as I explained, you go through a life full of lists. Starting with a simple birthday wish list, graduating to Santa’s Christmas list, then it’s all the lists you create as a teenager and very young adult because, well……life is endless and an open road of possibilities. All those lists of things you want to do, to experience, to accomplish, work at or play at, become……so much time and so much to do. Then, as reasonably responsible adults it all segues to the “list wars”….the grocery lists, ToDo/HoneyDo lists, shopping lists, email lists, best of lists, birthday lists, favourite song/show/band list, the “what do you want in your coffee/tea” list when hitting Timmies for the gang, new baby name lists (one for a “she”, one for a “he” and one that covers both), the aforementioned laundry list…..just about anything in our lives becomes a list. They hang like a millstone around our necks or tucked in our purses or pockets. We seem to live and die by lists and if we forget “the list”, time stands still while we frantically, furiously (in high alert, panic mode) search for that list because, lord knows, we can’t leave home without it!!

So, it gets to a point in one’s life when, starting in your fifties and quickly escalating in your 60s your mantra becomes “fuck it!” This reaches peak perfection when “fuck it” joins hands with the “no filter gang” in your 70s. At this stage, like the proverbial drunk uncle at the wedding (or your 90-year-old grandma who says anything that comes into her mind….because she can) anything and everything is fair game for direct, candid, unfiltered, blunt, no-nonsense commentary because, well……FUCK IT! ….and dammit, you can get away with it too! I am still several years from the latter and truly hope I don’t quite reach the totally unfiltered point. However, I think my sons would vehemently disagree. Apparently I was ahead of the game and reached that point about 20 years ago when, as we were doing dishes one night, I asked one of them if he was still a virgin. Splutter, splutter…..MOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM……!!!!! Chris vanished to the basement, snorting all the way.

So….. to my North Carolinian guest, that is a “fucket list” because that’s what you learn to say to all those other lists (and situations) that drove (or drive) you crazy. You realize they’re just not that important anymore. You learn to enjoy the journey, savouring each day you wake up with a beating heart and breath in your lungs. You learn to care less what others think or say and care more about family and friends. You learn not take everything so personally and to walk away from toxic situations and people. You learn to be happy and content on your own. You learn to embrace yourself and live your life the way you want to live it. You learn to simply say “fuck it!” …..and those other lists? They died a rapid but painless death the minute I turned 60.

The Reed Effect…..

Kirk Reed

I can’t help it, every time I hear the name of this band I think of flutes. Whoa!!! Wrong track!! That couldn’t be further away from the music this trio writes and performs. Rock to the core. Insanely crazy stage antics. Jim Carryesque drum and guitar faces. Pounding beats that make the entire audience seem like they’re all on pogo sticks. Voices that sing in harmony and roar in rage. Screaming guitar riffs and bass lines that walk up and down your spine. This is The Reed Effect!

Two brothers, founder Kirk Reed (lead guitar/lead vocal), Chris Reed (bass/vocals) and Bryan Fontez on drums and vocals. These three cause rock ‘n’ roll chaos. I’ve heard both spectrums of Kirk’s voice….singing backup and harmonizing with Suzy Kori or with Veronica McNamee in The Muddy Yorke Blues Machine and at top volume with The Reed Effect. The man can be a passionately manic singer and mellifluous all in a single song….or not. All three band members together bring a rather harmonious dimension to their music. For me, there has to be a melody and I got it!

Chris Reed

Bryan Fontez

I know I mentioned this in a previous column but in the not-too-distant past Fontez was belting them out as front man for Last Bullet. Fontez was persuaded to step out from behind his kit and sing….in front of it….and I don’t blame the band for shifting his focus one bit. Fontez has an incredibly powerful voice and was a very charismatic front man. However, once a drummer, always a drummer so now he’s back in his happy place, hammering the skins once again but I’m thankful he hasn’t stopped singing.

Dylan Hennessy (l) and Kirk Reed

Three consummate professionals and the point was driven home in a very packed club when they performed at Lee’s Palace this past Friday night. Part way through their set Kirk introduced singer/songwriter/guitarist Dylan Hennessy who “guested” on guitar. Freed from the six-string axe around neck, Kirk grabbed the mic and, whirling around the stage with abandon, dove into the next song until….…….no power to the guitar. Nada. Bupkiss. Swapped it out for a backup. Not happening. However, throughout it all, bass and drums, literally, didn’t miss a beat and kept the rhythm going while Hennessy and Kirk tried to figure out what the hell was going on. But…..wait for it…..a wee sprite of a woman suddenly appears on stage and begins dancing and floating around to the bass and drums. Gracefully, at times with eyes closed, she becomes immersed in the music. It was mesmerising. The audience clapped and cheered her on completely forgetting everything else. At the first sounds of the now-working guitar, she elegantly glided to one side and off the stage. Kudos and a HUGE love to Carlynn Reed.  Kirk and Chris, you have one awesome, kickass mom! I love this woman!

Carlynn Reed

The smile and the eyes say it all

Pterodactyl Problems…….

Record release party night at Lee’s Palace. A brand new band on my radar, they closed off the night with an explosion of music. Announcing the release of their new album Esoteric Hobbies, Pterodactyl Problems is a four-piece, Toronto-based, alternative rock band….together since middle school. The latter alone says something about this tight-knit group. They careened onto the stage, lights blazing as lead singer Davey White sashayed in from stage right in full drag. If nothing else, this alone will catch your undivided attention. Complete with platinum blonde wig and a rather fetching, clear vinyl skirt, he ripped into the first song with a voice that was anything but demure.

Davey White

Originally formed in 2012, they reconnected in 2017 bringing together backgrounds in Jazz, Opera, Musical Theatre, Punk and Heavy Metal…..a wide variety of genres that all seem to come together in one cohesive unit. Band members include Jack Neila (lead guitar), Ciarán Neely (bass/guitar), Oliver Salatheil (drums) and the previously noted Davey White (lead vocals/guitar). The band’s name? A comment misheard by Neely who questioned what she thought she had heard out loud, “pterodactyl problems?” Sounded like a good name for a band so it stuck. All members bring something to the table when songwriting. Admittedly, each song is born out of creative differences but it all seem to works.

Paresthesia – Pterodactyl Problems 

I loved the Black Sabbath medley thrown in the middle of the set. The songs were easily recognizable to many and it was a perfect way perk up the ears and have people pay attention to the stage. Nice touch guys!

Ciarán Neely

Oliver Salatheil

Jack Neila

Guest guitarist Sehmim Al (Vias and Spectral Lights)

Satanic Mills and Bhodi Jar rounded out the evening’s entertainment. Both were hard core rockers and had the audience fired up and ready for the next performer. It was a heavy rock night and the most alive I’ve seen Lee’s Palace in quite some time.

Bhodi Jar

Satanic Mills

Music………

A friend posted this on FB. One of my favourite songs it’s now in rotation on my phone. A lovely reminder of the beautiful pieces that get pushed aside for much of the drivel we hear today.

McArthur’s Park – Richard Harris

Spreading Fear – Pterodactyl Problems

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – Black Sabbath

When Doves Cry – Prince

On Drums – Hal Blaine

No Way Out Of Here – The Reed Effect

Cheers!

All photographs ©2019 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera

=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! 

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