Tag Archive: Owen Pallett

Barenaked Ladies and Joel Plaskett with Peter Elkas at the Save On Foods Memorial Arena, April 6th 2010

Gordon was probably the first cassette tape I owned as a kid and I’m sad I wasn’t able to see BNL before Steven Page left the band. Admittedly I haven’t listened to a BNL album in years, and Gordon is probably their only album I own, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see the band perform some of their greatest hits. Throw in the opener of Joel Plaskett accompanied by Peter Elkas, and I was sold. I’m impressed how Joel always manages to keep his show fresh. I’ve seen him live a few times now and he always brings something a little different to the mix. This time it was a stripped down set, just him on guitar and keyboard and Peter Elkas on guitar. He played a lot of material from his most recent release Three. It seemed that most of the people around me weren’t too familiar with his work (was I the only one singing along there?), but the crowd perked up when he started into his hit Nowhere With You. As for BNL, they are nothing short of seasoned pros. Like I kind of mentioned above, I’m not a big fan of the new material, but I was thoroughly entertained by their set. It’s pretty obvious that they have a lot of fun doing what they do.

View the entire photo set here.


Sam Roberts with Matt Mays at the Save On Foods Memorial Arena, June 12th 2010

This was a night of pure rock and roll. Going to this concert was a bit of a last minute decision for me. The next morning I had to get on an early flight to Texas to make it to a conference, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go out the night before I had to fly. I sucked it up and went out anyways, but I was unorganized and was still packing my bags when Matt Mays took the stage. I’m still kicking myself for missing his set. The Canadian icons 54-40 played the second slot (which I was totally surprised at – how were they not the headliners?!).  Unfortunately none of my photos of them turned out, but their set was basically a soundtrack of what I grew up listening to. Thank you dad for educating me so well in Canadian rock. Sam Roberts closed the night. He played a good mix of new and old songs. I particularly enjoyed the songs that Matt Mays joined in on. (And what a photogenic guy Matt Mays is! I’m so happy how well those shots turned out.)

View the entire photo set here.


Owen Pallett with Snowblink at the Alix Goolden Hall, May 10th 2010

Owen Pallett (who at the time had recently changed his stage name from Final Fantasy) hit town in support of his new album Heartland. He cancelled his last scheduled show in Victoria (his Rifflandia 2009 set) due to a bad case of the flu, and the audience seemed glad that he was able to return so soon. Heartland is a beautiful album with some gorgeous arrangements. This new album was recorded with an orchestra so I was curious to see how he would approach performing these pieces, as his stage show is normally just him on his own. He brought support, but it was only one other musician who played some guitar and some drums. It was just enough to add that extra oompf to the new work.

View the entire photo set here.


Sasquatch 2010!!

How can I accurately sum up one of the best weekends I’ve ever had? It turns out that I had to miss the first day and a half of Sasquatch to attend a good friend’s wedding. Even though I wish I hadn’t missed the National, Vampire Weekend, Caribou, and the Hold Steady (to name a few), I still had an amazing time. Can I pick one highlight? No. Here’s a few though: It seemed that everyone at the festival came to the main stage to see LCD Soundsystem. It was one epic, massive dance party. If I have to live with only seeing LCD Soundsystem just once before they called it quits, this wasn’t a bad show to go with. Japandroids put on an most excellent set. While waiting for Japandroids to take the stage, we met the Dan Mangan t-shirt guy (who I originally mentioned here). In the middle of MGMT’s set a bunch of large balloons were released on the hill, it was one of those great festival moments. The Seattle Rock Orchestra probably had one of the most underrated sets of the festival. I had a hard time convincing my friends to join me for this one, but I don’t regret going solo. Their entire set consisted of them covering songs from Arcade Fire’s album Funeral. Checking out the internets soon after Sasquatch last year I discovered that they have also covered David Bowie. Doing another quick internet check while writing the last bit of this post, I find that in the last year they have tackled both Queen and Radiohead. (Friends: SRO is playing Sasquatch again this year and they’re doing Radiohead covers! You’re being told now that you’re coming to see this with me.) At Sasquatch last year the band had about 20 musicians on stage ranging from strings to brass to singers to the more traditional rock band setup; they’re not called a rock orchestra for nothing. (By the way, does anyone want to start a band like this? I would totally get behind a project like that. It looked like it would be a lot of fun.) I absolutely CANNOT wait for Sasquatch 2011!

View the entire photo set here.


I have lots more photos still to upload, so you can expect a Flickr Pics Round Three… well… eventually.

The 2010 Polaris Prize

Well, this is it. The 2010 Polaris Prize will be announced this Monday September 20th. Along with the title, one lucky artist or group will receive $20,000 (Canadian, of course).

For the past couple months the folks at CBC Radio 3 have been conducting a poll on listener reaction to who should win the 2010 Polaris Prize. As of writing, their poll shows Dan Mangan taking the popular vote by a whopping 33%, but this is no surprise as he has held a commanding lead pretty much since day 1 of voting. To make things more interesting Radio 3 has been posting predictions from notable Canadian figures such as Sebastien Grainger (prediction: Caribou), Jann Arden (prediction: Tegan and Sara), Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore (prediction: Tegan and Sara), Alan Cross (prediction: Broken Social Scene), Jeremy Morris of Midnight Poutine (prediction: Karkwa with Radio Radio coming second), Bob Krobauer of Vancouver Is Awesome (prediction: Vancouverite Dan Mangan), Jordan Delic of Aux TV (prediction: Shad), and Randy Bachman (!) (prediction: the Sadies).

If you’re looking to put money down and bet for this year’s Polaris winner, both CHARTattack and Alan Cross of Explore Music have you covered. On Wednesday CHARTattack released their yearly Polaris Music Prize Betting Line. Last year, with mere hours before the gala, they correctly predicted the victory of Toronto hardcore punk band Fucked Up. This year they have the Besnard Lakes down for the win. Alan Cross, the master himself of ongoing new music history, has chimed in with his odds too. Interestingly, he puts the Besnard Lakes in last place and gives the win to Tegan and Sara.

For more insight into this year’s prize, I recommend checking out

  • The Polaris Prize Shortlist in which the authors Gary, Ryan, and Dave have each provided a review for every album on this year’s shortlist. (Note: Despite the title of the blog, these guys aren’t officially associated with the Polaris Prize.)
  • The Broken Speaker which provides reviews for each of the shortlisted albums as well as a couple panel discussions on this year’s prize.
  • radio free canuckistan which provides even more reviews for the ten shortlist albums, as well the chances of winning for each album, and a list of albums that should have made the short list.

If all these predictions weren’t enough for you, I’ll share one more list to keep in mind. The R3-30, the weekly chart show on CBC Radio 3, has compiled the Polaris rankings as if the prize were to be decided by R3-30 chart performance: #10 – Tegan & Sara, #9 – RadioRadio, #8 – Karkwa, #7 – Caribou, #6 – The Sadies, #5 – Dan Mangan, #4 – The Besnard Lakes, #3-#1 – Owen Pallett, Shad & Broken Social Scene.

So who will take the prize this year?

I’ve been liking Karkwa a lot lately. My initial pick was the Besnard Lakes. Tegan and Sara, the Besnard Lakes, Shad, and the Sadies all seem to be the odds-on favourites of the critics. Some people have said they can’t see Dan Mangan taking it, but I think he has a fighting chance. As good as the respective albums are, I would be surprised if past winners Owen Pallett (2006) or Caribou (2008) take the title again. That being said, don’t listen to a word I’ve just written. I’ve guessed wrong for every year but one. In fact, last year I placed Fucked Up as least likely to win. To help you make up your own mind, I’ve put together a playlist of all the songs from shortlisted albums available on CBC Radio 3. Take a listen and judge for yourself!

To find out this year’s winner, tune into the Polaris Prize Gala show streaming live on CBC Radio 3 and Sirius Satellite Channel 86 (audio only) and on MuchMusic (video). The Polaris Prize Gala will be held at the Masonic Temple in Toronto on Monday September 20th at 8pm EST, 5pm PST.

After listening to all ten shortlisted albums, I’ve picked out two of my favourite songs from each. Enjoy!

The Polaris Short List 2010 Mixtape:

Besnard Lakes – Albatross

Besnard Lakes – Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent Pt. 2: The Innocent

Broken Social Scene – Texaco Bitches

Broken Social Scene – Forced to Love

Caribou – Leave House

Caribou – Odessa

Karkwa – Le Bon Sens

Karkwa – Les Chemins De Verre

Dan Mangan – Road Regrets

Dan Mangan – Et Les Mots Croisés

Owen Pallett – Tryst With Mephistopheles

Owen Pallett – The Great Elsewhere

Radio Radio – Dekshoo

Radio Radio – Guess What

The Sadies – Another Year Again

The Sadies – Postcards

Shad – Yaa I Get It

Shad – Keep Shining

Tegan and Sara – Hell

Tegan and Sara – The Cure