Friday, January 19, 2007
there you stood on the edge of your feather

Knives Don't Have Your Back is a bit of a slow burn. So while I thoroughly enjoyed myself tonight, if you were to show up at one of Emily Haines' concerts unfamiliar with her solo stuff, I'm not sure if you'd leave a convert or not. That's not a knock against the music. On the contrary, I quite like the fact that Emily's solo venture lacks the immediacy of her work with Metric. There's not a lot of bells and whistles, but there is quality songwriting, and in this case, it takes some time to sink in. For those who've spent some time with the record (which seemed like most of the sell out crowd at the Commodore), the performance was well worth the ticket price.

Emily and the Soft Skeleton ran through Knives... in sequence, which was predictable (although "Mostly Waving" featured a snippet of "House of the Rising Sun"), but somehow rather appropriate. The three member band (that featured Sparklehorse collaborator Scott Minor on drums) did a great job recreating the album's instrumentation, with Todor Kobakov somehow managing to fill in for a section's worth strings and horns with a rack of keyboards and effects. Kobakov also ran the videos - cut together from Guy Madden films - that ran behind Emily for the duration of the gig.

I was a bit lukewarm on the prospect of a seated show at the Commodore, and while a place like St. James Hall would've been preferable, the attempt to turn the Ballroom into a theatre actually worked fairly well. The music had a very "close" sounding quality to it, and aside from the chatty assholes that haunt the back of the Commodore, the atypical show arrangement lent an intimacy to the show that was quite fitting.

If you haven't given her solo joint a couple of spins, don't take my initial words as a reason to stay away if/when she makes a return appearance in Vancouver. Take them as another reason to pick up the record.

Since they played the whole album for the main set, the encore consisted of Emily turning out a wonderfully low key cover of Buffalo Springfield's "Expecting to Fly." They were super anal about photos, but I did manage to grab just the audio of the rendition on my camera.

download: Emily Haines - Expecting to Fly (Neil Young Cover - live in Vancouver 1/18/07)

A couple of show announcements...

Shout Out Out Out Out, who were so good last September that they made you forget how crappy their band name is, are at the Columbia for 1/2 Alive on March 23rd.

And... micro house hero, Matthew Dear is spinning at Lotus on March 20th.

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upcoming shows
2/8 Twin Sister, Eleanor Friedberger, and Ava Luna @ the Media Club
2/9 David Choi @ the Rio
2/10 Secret Chiefs 3 and Dengue Fever @ the Rickshaw
2/13 White Buffalo @ the Media Club
2/14 The Ballyntines and Pleasure Cruise (TT) @ the Biltmore
2/18 Grimes w/Born Gold @ Fortune (early)
2/18 Cruel Young Heart, Young Liars, the Oh Wells, and Matiation @ the Dodson Rooms (AA)
2/18 Cursive w/UME @the Media Club
2/19 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour w/Vacationer @ Venue
2/20 Veronica Falls w/Bleached @ the Media Club
2/26 DJ Krush @ Fortune
2/29 Trevor Hall @ the Media Club
3/6 Slow Club w/Signals @ the Media Club
3/7 Cloud Nothings w/Mr. Dream @ the Media Clubr
3/8 Islands @ the Rio
3/10 Memoryhouse @ the Waldorf
3/17 William Fitzsimmons @ the Biltmore (early)
3/18 Magnetic Fields @ the Vogue (AA)
3/21 Plants & Animals>/b> @ the Rickshaw
3/22 Drive-by Truckers @ the Commodore
3/23 White Rabbits @ the Biltmore
3/23 Loney Dear @ the Media Club
3/24 Sharon Van Etten and the War on Drugs @ the Biltmore (early)
3/25 Nada Surf and An Horse @ the Rickshaw
3/27 The Ting Tings @ the Commodore
4/5 House de Racket @ the Electric Owl
4/6 Chairlift w/Nite Jewel @ the Electric Owl
4/7 Heartless Bastards @ the Media Club
4/8 Metronomy @ Venue
4/8 Gotye @ the Vogue (AA)
4/9 Cults @ Venue
4/10 First Aid Kit @ Venue
4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
4/14 The Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Vogue (AA)
4/24 School of Seven Bells w/Exitmusic @ the Electric Owl
4/26 Justice @ the PNE Forum (AA)
4/27 M83 @ the Vogue (AA)
4/27 Yukon Blonde @ the Commodore
4/28 Neon Indian @ Venue (early)
5/6 Delta Spirit w/Waters @ the Electric Owl
5/9 Yann Tiersen @ the Rickshaw
5/11 Great Lake Swimmers w/Cold Specks @ the Commodore
5/12 The Boxer Rebellion> @ the Biltmore
5/27 Coeur de Pirate @ Venue

legend:
AA = all ages
DG = @damaged goods
DFTK = @dirty for the kids
FJW = @fake jazz wed
EN = @easy now
GD = @glory days
HL = @higher learning JH = @junior high
JY= @junkyard
RRPP = @rocknroll pizza party
SD = @shindig
TT = @toonie tuesday
NW = @no worries

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mp3s are for preview purposes, if you like what you hear, buy it at your favourite indie record store. please don't direct link to photos. click for more.

writing by Quinn
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