Friday, March 11, 2011

Hamiltonized

Hamilton. Two nights of pure mayhem, madness and molecular rock alteration
by Joel Plaskett, Chris Pennell, Dave Marsh, Peter Elkas and the Peter Elkas
band.

Night 1 was a hard show to beat. The band was tight, the crowd was fiercely
engaged and the joint was hoppin´ (including a young lad in the front row who
knew the words, intonation and timing to every line of every song - he later
played the maracas). A thriving, throttling encore of Down At The Kyber
brought the crowd-kettle to a boil, pulling them to their feet for a third time
that night.

Night 2 was a bit bolder as Joel and the crew took things to a new height
as Joel even dipped into some older material (playing a sonorous acoustic
version of Light Of The Moon). Elkas opened the night beautifully with his
badass band and soulfully drove the show to start things off.

North Bay tomorrow.

Dave Marsh says ´Bring It´.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meaforded

 'Write, Matt. Just write'. The words danced in my brain as I sipped from
a plastic cup of Jack Daniels in the Meaford Hall green room as Pete
Elkas and Dave Marsh scarfed down some Lasagna beside me.

We rolled into Meaford somewhat tired on the start of an exhilarating
adventure. Marsh and Pennell were catching up from very little sleep
and a semi-long plane ride from Halifax to Toronto. I received a text
that said 'We are pulling up to pillar number 6' as Joel and the road
manager Steve pulled up in the Dodge Sprinter. The reality and the
dream of this project truly intermixed when I set foot into the roomy
and relaxed interior of the Sprinter. The oncoming sleet and rain
told us that March was not going to be friendly and it hasn't so
far.

On to Meaford.

The band checked their sound for a long time as certain kinks
needed to be ironed out within a band that had not played together
in quite some time.

But faster than an alabaster ghetto-blaster, the boys had it sounding
tight and heavy. I felt somewhat like a kid in a candy store - and
as a journalist, they tell you never to say this sort of thing - but
in all honesty, I love Joel's music. I love his band. Joel is a pure
guitar throttler, crowd commander and entertainer extraordinaire.
Marsh is a drumcat theologian with a degree in thunderous
stick slams. Pennell is a gunning bassist with a belt in spanking
sound systems with low end channeling.

Meaford was into it. The small border town of Collingwood and
the ski region of Ontario was out of their seats 3/4 of the way
into the set and never sat down again. I filmed from behind them
and took in their nervous energy and held it close.

I guess what makes me excited and child-like when I listen to Joel
is the fact that he is a man who firmly believes in music - and he
believes in his own music when he's playing it. Anyone will buy
anything from a salesperson who truly embeds themselves into
the product. Joel gets it. He just does. His band gets it. They
welcome you in and they rock your soul for all time.
video

Forever changed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dakota Tavern Tornado

Last night, the trip kicked off with a surprise set from Joel Plaskett at
the Dakota Tavern in Toronto. Joel was there in support of his good
friend Pete Elkas who just released a new record entitled 'Repeat
Offender'. The Dakota was a huddled, body-filled space as the electric
anticipation poured out of the many ale taps on a Tuesday night.

Christine Bougie kicked off the night with some of her uber-unique
Jazzy, instrumental stylings as she twiddled on a beautifully toned
Fender Telly and a lap steel. Christine's music is a canvas of cool.
Plaskett followed her with a warm reception and welcome from
Mr. Elkas and pounded out a few new tunes acoustically for the crowd
(including Rollin, Rollin, Rollin with Elkas joining him on acoustic).

After the Plaskett-ation, Elkas and the Peter Elkas Band took
the stage and transported the crowd to a 50's soul club as big,
bouncy beats fell into smooth grooves that soothed and crescendoed.
He challenged the crowd, as a big of an in-kind gift, to pay another
10 bucks on top of the 12 dollar cover, and get his new album on
vinyl. The door was jammed with takers of the deal.

Wayne Petti of Cuff The Duke ended the night with a blasting
enigma of 90's-smattered, guitar fuzz powered material.

All in all, it was a great start to the tour and a grand start to the
story.

We Stand On Guard.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Sight Of The Scene

Starting tonight, Tuesday March 8th 2011, I will be traveling around
chunks of Southern and Northern Ontario with Joel Plaskett and the
Emergency band (Dave Marsh, Chris Pennell and sometimes Peter
Elkas) on a bit of a maiden voyage mission - I will be filming and
documenting for Joel's first band tour in over a year - but on a larger
scale, I am making a documentary about Canadian music. The
working title of the project is 'We Stand On Guard'.

I'm sure I'll be updating this page each day with more and more info
as the project takes shape - so be sure to stay tuned.

To find out more about Joel's March tour and dates, you can go to
Joel's website