Eccodek @ Mercury Lounge, Thursday
To start this week, how about taking a jaunt over to West Africa on a Thursday night?
Before midnight you can jump from Mali to Turkey, then dart across the Middle East before swooping down to Jamaica. I'm not suggesting you taxi around Ottawa seeing four different bands. You can get all that in one night, from one band at Mercury Lounge!
Eccodek is a project led by Guelph's Andrew McPherson. On the band's new record, Singing in Tongues, he leaves much of the tonguing if you will to Jah Youssouf of Mali.
At its core Eccodek is a "world music" group, which is kind of like saying Citizen Kane is a movie. Dumb and Dumberer is also a movie, technically, but I'm not sure they contribute the same thing to the canon.
Eccodek is dub, trance, electronica and even folk all rolled into one gorgeous band. It's the kind of group that could play in the daytime at a folk festival and all the Kool-Aid kids would be grooving, and then go play Babylon at 1:00 a.m. and the Red Bull and vodka set would be equally transfixed on the dance floor.
You can't bring the under-19 kids tonight, but do head to Mercury Lounge if you're up for being transfixed. Eccodek plays with Rise Ashen's Bhavantu Collective. It's earlier than the usual Mercury shows so don't be afraid of a Thursday outing. Doors open at 8, show at 9 p.m. and it's $10.
Baths @ Ritual, Friday
If a trip around the world tires you out on Thursday, perhaps a nice, relaxing bath would be in order Friday.
Will Weisenfeld goes by the musical moniker Baths and his music takes a listener into other worlds. It's hypnotic and gentle, and although it's generally electronically produced I can tell it comes from a true-blue trained musician who is also a good tinkerer on the synthesized sounds.
Baths convinced his parents to enrol him in piano lessons when he was only four and these 20 years later he's kept that upright and it finds its way into his soundscapes.
His 2010 debut Cerulean has wonderfully evocative track titles like "Rain Smell" "Indoorsy" and "You're My Excuse to Travel." His brand of sweepingly-ambient compositions are exactly what I wish massage therapists would play instead of whale sounds and bird tweets. I can completely picture getting my knots exorcised to this music.
Baths is a perfect name for a band that envelopes the listener in a soothing, warm musical experience. He's based in Los Angeles and his second album came out last year. Where Cerulean tends along the bright and open, Obsidian's tone plays along that title aptly. Weisenfeld's story, and even his photo, bring to mind Canada's own Polaris Prize winning Caribou and his bedroom electronica. Opening for Baths is Young Fathers and P. Morris. It all goes down at Ritual Friday night at 10 p.m. and tickets are $14. Book your massage therapist as your date and you will achieve total enlightenment.
Orienteers + Tilda @ Irene's Pub, Saturday
Saturday night there is an all-girl Nirvana tribute band at Pressed called Hervana that I can't vouch for, but it's kind of the "in thing" these days to be a group of young women playing songs already done very well by a group of young men.
I would definitely put money down for Slim Moore and the Mar-kays and The New Soul Project at The Rainbow or The Archers, Farewell Davison, The River & The Road at The Blacksheep Inn.
The official pick is at Irene's. It's hosting two of the city's fine folk bands: Orienteers and Tilda. Orienteers is a quiet space-folk quartet led by Ben Wilson. His vocals always impress me with their restraint. I recommend streaming Orienteers' sexy-soft cover of New Order's Regret, a must-listen.
The other band, Tilda, is a little more upfront vocally. Tilda's album Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor came out about a year ago, and it's an ear-catching offering that lead songwriter Michael Peterson calls a "song-story about a fictitious WW2 pilot who bails out over the ocean only to wait out rescue on high seas."
It may be dramatic in muse but it's the kind of pure "pop folk" one can tap and "ooh" along to. I'm not sure which band is technically "headlining" but you don't want to miss either of them, so get there soon after 9 p.m.
Members of Tilda are also playing a benefit on Sunday afternoon between 2 p.m. and 5 pm at the Hintonburg Public House, along with some members of Still Winter Hills.
MTT @ Kaffe 1870, Saturday
MTT, or Minus the Tiger, from The Netherlands, have also made a "must" video, but this one's a double whammy of must-see, must-listen. The video for "Hunted" is startingly poignant and evocative. It may well be a music video, but it would have fit just as easily into film critic Tom McSorley's column. It begins as a short film, beautifully shot, voiced by an elderly Dutch man talking about being hunted by his age. It comes complete with English subtitles (my Dutch classes don't begin until next week).
When the song finally begins around the five-minute mark it has been so perfectly set-up by this man's tales of growing old that it actually brought me to tears. Yet, out of context, it's simply a great pop song.
The band's songwriter and singer is Anne Broekman. She crafts masterpieces like "Hunted" on her acoustic guitar and then fleshes them out with the help of her husband and the rest of the band.
The band is playing at Kaffe 1870 Saturday night, don't miss it. MTT has come all the way from The Netherlands to play in Wakefield, so don't complain about the drive because this band is worth it.
Before you head out you can tune in to hear Bandwidth on CBC Radio One at 5 p.m. Saturday: I have an interview with North Bay's Faraway Neighbours and Kellylee Evans in a studio session.
Thursday, May 1
- Eccodek @ The Mercury Lounge, 9 p.m.
- Gil's Hootenanny May Day: ft Sneezy Waters, Evalyn Parry, The Hootenanny Band (Chris White, Erin Saoirse Adair, Lyndall Montgomery, Elage Mbaye) @ Glebe Comm. Centre. 175 Third Ave. 7:30 p.m. $10.
- River City Junction + Robert Farrell Band @ Avante Garde Bar, time $ / tbd.
- Miguel de Armas Latin Jazz Quartet @ Southminister United Church 7 p.m. $15.
- Forestare @ Shenkman Arts Centre, Orleans 8pm, $33.75.
Friday, May 2
- Arms of the Girl + City Walls + Side Street Nobodies @ Avante Garde Bar, time/$ TBD.
- Jasper Bridge @ Bassline Station, 9 p.m. $5 sugg. donation with some proceeds to Babes4Breasts.
- The Knows @ Pressed Cafe, 8 p.m. $TBD.
- The Frank James Band 4 p.m. Free + 90 pounds of Ugly + Ginger St James + Muffler Crunch 9:30 p.m. $10 @ The Rainbow.
- Blake Walters + Andrew Johnson + Jill Anne Chouinard @ Raw Sugar, 8 p.m. $TBD.
- Baths + Young Fathers @ Ritual, 10 p.m. $14.
- First Funk Friday w/ DJ Soulcial @ Whalesbone Oyster House, Free.
- Grre en Famille + Les Mosquitos @ Zaphod Beeblebrox, 8:30 p.m. $5.
- Carlos del Junco and The Blues Mongrels @ The Almonte Town Hall 8 p.m. $30 at Mill St. Books.
- The Weber Brothers (CD release) @ The Blacksheep Inn, 8:30 p.m. $10 adv.
Saturday, May 3
- Overnight Collides + Mitch Syllester + Huntersfield + Man the Ship @ Avante Garde Bar, time/$ TBD.
- Scissorkick @ Bassline Station, 9 p.m. $5.
- Of Reverie + Something You Whisper + Oh!Victory + Grayscale @ Club SAW, 7 p.m., $12.
- Carolina Hum + Allie Fox @ Daily Grind Cafe, 9:30 p.m. $7.
- Orienteers + Tilda @ Irene's, 9 p.m. $TBD.
- Miguel de Armas Latin Jazz Quartet (Latin Women Expo) @ Library & Archives 7 p.m. $20.
- The True Man Show w/ Paul Ross @ Mavericks, 9 p.m. $TBD.
- Hervana + Decathlete + Elgin Skye @ Pressed, 8:30 p.m. $8.
- Slim Moore and the Mar-kays + The New Soul Project 9:30 p.m. @ The Rainbow.
- Whoop-Szo + Raas @ Raw Sugar Cafe, 8 p.m. doors $5.
- ManPower + Flying Fortress + The Unknown Wrestler @ Zaphod Beeblebrox 8:30 p.m. $8.
- MTT @ Kaffe1870, Wakefield, QC (Dutch band).
- The Archers + Farewell Davison + The River & The Road @ Blacksheep Inn, 8:30 p.m. $10.
- Ball & Chain and the Wreckers @ MacDonald's Corners Agricultural Hall, 7:30 p.m. doors $15.
Sunday, May 4
- Hintonburg Happening - fundraiser with members of Tilda + Still Winter Hills @ The Hintonburg Public House 2 - 5 p.m. $PWYC.
- Open Blues Jam. Host: Wicked Grin 4 p.m. $3 + Riishi Von Rex's Rock-N-Roll Extravaganza 8:30 p.m. $5 @ The Rainbow.
- Alanna Gurr + Justice RF + Lowlands @ Raw Sugar Cafe 8 p.m. doors $TBD.
- Lucky Ron Matinee @ The Blacksheep Inn, 4:30 p.m. $10.
Wednesday, May 7
Shane Philip + Bestie @ Zaphod Beeblebrox 8:30 p.m. $7.