Sunday, December 1, 2013

Brendan Canning @ Media Club -- 11/29/13

No one can ever accuse Brendan Canning of not being a hard working, busy man. The Broken Social Scene co-founderhas his name to about a half dozen bands, and now that Broken Social Scene is on a hiatus, he has been busy with his new solo album, his second counting Something For All Of Us, under the "Broken Social Scene Presents" line.
But in contrast to Broken Social Scene's bombastic, grandiose sound, his new album You Gots 2 Chill takes a tone fitting exactly with its name; it is laid back and mellow.

I got to the Media Club just as Dinosaur Bones took the stage. With a dark indie rock sound, the band had a great presence on stage. A few times they got the crowd clapping along, and had an effortless energy.
They were supporting their newest album Shaky Dream, and with songs like the moody "Career Criminal" being one of the highlights of the set, and I am definitely going to have to pick up their album.

It wasn't long after that that Brendan Canning was up. Joined by Hark on backup vocals (who opened the show and I unfortunately missed), Canning and his band played in front of a projection screen showing stock footage and old videos (including the old science film Powers of Ten)
After an instrumental intro, he launched into "Plugged In", the first single off the new album, setting the tone for the set with it's very laid back mood. Throughout the set, Canning was occasionally joined by members of Dinosaur Bones, and part way through the set invited a friend up on stage, Torquil Campbell of Stars. Campbell joined backup vocals for "Late Night Stars" -- appropriately enough -- and then a pretty amazing cover of Drake's "Hold On We're Going Home"
The band also took the time to stretch their musical legs, as a few songs ended with extended jams; Canning even mentioned after the swirling ending of "However Long" that they did some on-the-fly improvising. The set ended with the soft and beautiful "Last Song for the Summer Hideaway" and while the rest of the band left, Canning stayed to perform one more song, a solo acoustic instrumental.

It was a great show that was marred a little bit by a shitty crowd. The Media Club has always been bad for noise and conversation, and combine that with a Friday night and Canning's chill set, and the din got to be a bit much at times. But Canning managed to get the crowd to shut up for at least one song, the quietest of the set, and the noise seemed to die off after that. Noise aside, Canning is a hell of a performer, and I would love to see these songs in a more fitting venue.

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