Tag Archives: Luau or Die

Monthly Roundup: April 2014

30 Apr

Toronto’s The Lad Classic, one of Canadian Content Machine’s featured bands of April.

This month, Canadian Content Machine featured a record number of bands here on our pages!

Going out decidedly not like a lamb, March ended as we were finishing our coverage of the Juno Awards 2014 in Winnipeg (for those that missed our predictions lists, you can check them out here, here, and here). April, thankfully, was much nicer as temperatures warmed, and we had plenty of new music to listen to boot.


New Album Reviews!

The Remarkable World of Mac DeMarco – His new album, Salad Days, reviewed


Mac DeMarco.

For those interested in the offbeat (or just plain strange), we featured Mac DeMarco, now residing in Brooklyn by-way-of-Toronto-by-way-of-Montreal-by-way-of-Vancouver-by-way-of-Edmonto-by-way-of-Duncan, British Columbia. Yes, this lo-fi weirdo has certainly travelled around a bit, but the introspective nostalgia of his new album, Salad Days, should prove that there is more than meets the eye. Read our review of Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days here.


Listening to the Wind & the Wild: Their new EP reviewed


Wind & the Wild.

Next, we looked at Montreal’s Wind & the Wild, who just released a new EP titled (naturally) Wind & the Wild. This fine folk foursome have been winning hearts and minds of fans across the country. Their new EP is the perfect soundtrack for your road trip. Don’t forget to catch them at The Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec, on May 23. Read our review of Wind & the Wild’s Wind & the Wild here.


The Lad Classic: Their new, appropriately titled EP, Thunder, reviewed


The Lad Classic.

Toronto’s The Lad Classic made a huge impact this month with their release of Thunder. “New Classic Rock” seems oxymoronic, but there is no better description for this group as they turn their amps to eleven and destroy the eardrums of many a willing listener. “Cadillac Jack”, Thunder’s lead single, can already be heard on rock radios across the country. And don’t worry if you prefer it a little (or a lot) softer: the band also does acoustic sets, with one coming up May 3rd at The Cameron House, Toronto. You can check out our review of The Lad Classic’s Thunder here.


After All These Miles! Jonathan Estabrooks makes a long-awaited debut

Jonathan Estabrooks.

Jonathan Estabrooks.

And now for something richly different. Ottawa-bred baritone Jonathan Estabrooks has, for many years, been hard at work performing in musical theatre, opera, and classical concerts. This April was finally the time he made his studio debut, the classy and classical These Miles. You can listen to Estabrooks in person when he performs at the legendary Roy Thomson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for three shows on May 20-21. Read our full review of Jonathan Estabrooks’ These Miles here.


Remain Calm and Carry On Listening: Coronado’s new EP reviewed

Coronado's Carlos Coronado.

Coronado’s Carlos Coronado.

A band that is getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately, we took a look at Coronado’s new EP, Remain Calm. The Toronto band has been quite prolific, with their second release in two years and they are already previewing new songs from their next release at their live shows. Speaking of which, check them out in our Concert Reviews down below. Read the full review of Remain Calm by Coronado here.


How to Live Life to the Fullest with Harlan Pepper: An Interview with Dan Edmonds and Review of their Latest

Harlan Pepper.

Harlan Pepper.

A band whose sound bespeaks wizened maturity despite being fresh out of high school, Hamilton’s Harlan Pepper continues to capture audiences with their new album, Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest. Produced by rock vet Colin Linden, the album’s mix of folksy psychedelica with electric vibes will surely rein in the accolades as the year goes on. Our reviewer also had the chance to talk with the band’s frontman, Dan Edmonds. For the complete take, read our review of Harlan Pepper’s Take Out a Twenty here.


New Band, Album, and Track Previews!

Trigger Warning: Felicia Harding brings both the new and classic with Isobel Trigger

Isobel Trigger's Felicia Harding.

Isobel Trigger’s Felicia Harding.

Victoria’s Isobel Trigger, led by frontwoman and vocalist Felicia Harding, is a band that has captured our attention over and over again. You may have already heard them from their 2009 release Island, and perhaps you’re listening to their latest single right now. “Dust and Bones”. Their new EP, Nocturnal is set for released this summer, and our writer was pleased to say that it will offer something new while retaining Isobel Trigger’s distinctive sound. Find out more by reading the album preview here.


The Glorious Rise of The Glorious Sons

The Glorious Sons.

The Glorious Sons.

These hulky boys from Kingston put Canadian listeners on notice last year when they won 97.7 HTZ-FM’s Rock Search. Now, The Glorious Sons aim to build on their wave of success, hitting airwaves across the country with hard rock hits like “Mama”. Pretty good for a band that is not even two years old. Catch The Glorious Sons when they blow through Southern Ontario in May, with dates in Burlington and Barrie. Read our full feature on The Glorious Sons here.


Keeping Score on CANVAS: Their new single reviewed

CANVAS. Photo Credit: Hudson Hayden.

CANVAS. Photo Credit: Hudson Hayden.

And here we are with the hugely-hyped CANVAS, making a big splash with their newly released single, “Keeping Score”. Comparisons to Pendulum and Muse are well-warranted here, with a bombastic, synth-driven sound that will surely be setting fires across Canadian playlists this year (and why not the world?). Expect big things out of this Toronto five-piece, and if you’re there during Canadian Music Week, don’t forget to catch them at the Czehoski Bar on May 8th. Check out the full review of the new single by CANVAS here.


Reissue Reviews!

Two Sides of Born Ruffians: Their reissue, Birthmarks Deluxe, reviewed

Born Ruffians.

These Midland natives released their fourth studio album Birthmarks to critical acclaim last year. But, it looks like Born Ruffians aren’t finished yet; their new reissue Birthmarks Deluxe features an entirely new disc brimming with acoustic reworkings and new material. Don’t worry, as our reviewer will tell you, this reissue is all killer and no filler. Read the full review of the reissue here.


Concert Reviews!

Indie Mondays at The Sister: Mip, Luau or Die, and The Outbred Inlaws


The Outbred Inlaws.

Every Monday at The Sister, one of Parkdale’s most reputed bars, you can check out some up-and-coming live acts at Indie Mondays. On Monday, April 14th, one of our writers checked the venue out and took in some fine local Toronto acts: an understated one-woman performance from folkster Mip, a blistering set from surf rockers Luau or Die, and a rollicking, Ramones-worthy show put on by headlining act The Outbred Inlaws. While the bar hasn’t put together a new Indie Mondays set at the moment, you can check out our full take on how this one went here.


Concert Review Quickie: Coronado @ The Piston, April 24th, 2014

Coronado at The Piston.

Coronado at The Piston.

As mentioned before, Toronto’s Coronado is getting plenty of attention from us, and quite deservedly so. They put on an excellent live performance on Thursday, April 24th at The Piston bar in Bloorcourt. As a very pleasant surprise, they finished out their set with plenty of new material to move to, with standouts such as “Lighter than Air” and “Congratulations” . You can next catch them at Dance Cave supporting Moving Units on May 30th. Read the full review of Coronado’s live show here.


Festival Previews!

Osheaga 2014: The Canadian Bands


We also finished our series featuring each and every Canadian band playing at Montreal’s Osheaga Festival in August. Notable bands you may or may not have heard of include The Beaches, July Talk, Royal Canoe and much more! If you haven’t booked your tickets and made plans for your summer trip to Quebec, do so now! Check out Parts 3 and 4, both published this month.


So, that’s all for April, folks. But don’t expect us to lay down lightly now that better weather is here. The month of May will bring plenty of new albums to review, concerts to see, and bands to check out. Some of the artists we will be reviewing shortly include Halifax’s Cousins, Ontario metalheads Drofnosura and DeSever, and Toronto rapper More or Les. Also, we will be doing full coverage of Canadian Music Week 2014 in Toronto, complete with band spotlights, venue breakdowns, and concert reviews. Don’t miss out!

For your Canadian music fix, keep checking in with Canadian Content Machine!

Indie Mondays at The Sister: Mip, Luau or Die, and The Outbred Inlaws

17 Apr


When I arrived at The Sister, a landmark haunt located in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood, there were only six of us there–not particularly surprising for a rainy Monday evening. The stage is just slightly wider than the drum set and is separated from the rest of the pub by a modest red velvet curtain. There, I see the sound guy, a burly man with adorned suspenders reminiscent of Jennifer Aniston in Office Space.

Mip just texted me,” he says. “She’s on her way in a cab,” and finishes downing his pint. Undoubtedly referring to the leading woman of local power-pop rockers The Mip Power Trio, and whose solo act opens tonight’s Indie Mondays set. Mip arrives not a minute too late, and after a speedy set-up the one-woman show catches her breath and starts off with an acoustic number.

As the former resident artist at The Sister, Mip appears truly at home on this stage. Armed with a guitar and an ukulele, Mip mixes stripped down rock n roll with folk elements and a hint of everything from country to blues. They say “write what you know,” and Mip does just that with her songwriting. With topics ranging from drinking to student debt to love affairs, there is really something for everyone here. The lyrics are clever yet understated; the melodies are catchy and filled with energy. There are no gimmicks here, just great narrative storytelling that is sure to lift the spirits.

From writing about what you know to writing about what Torontonians only dream about, up next were surf rockers Luau or Die. Going back to surf rock roots, Luau or Die are a purely instrumental band that, after a few lineup changes, consist of three members. At this point in the evening, there are currently fifteen of us in the audience–which by all accounts classifies a full house at The Sister.

“We wrote this next song while on a high speed chase through the desert!” proclaims bassist Le Spectre as they break into the blistering “Mojave Chaser”. Luau or Die fits with Quentin Tarantino the way a tuba fits with a fat kid.  Were this the soundtrack to your life, then you must be a California spy with the looks of James Dean and the actions of James Bond. With some synchronized routines throw in for good measure, Luau or Die really take you away into a different, better world.

The final act are The Outbred Inlaws. Blue-haired frontman Steven King enters wearing a leather jacket and a L’Autre Dame shirt; although he probably prefers to be called Glenn Brody, he is the leader of this country/punk amalgamation. Mip returns to pull double duty on bass, while Greg Kowalczyk takes his place on the drums.

The Outbred Inlaws are a cross between an Irish hoedown and a dirty square dance wrapped in an ’80s-punk shell. Brody sings from his gut and means every word, with classics like “Let’s Get Drunk” and “Outlaw”. It’s easy to see how The Outbred Inlaws can inspire not just an approving head nod, but a sincere mosh pit in a crowd of less than twenty.

All in all, there is no better way to beat the Monday blues then with the  folk, surf, punk, country and rock displayed at Indie Mondays at The Sister pub.

Author: Tanya Natapov