Entries tagged with: Michael Feuerstack

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by Dominick Mastrangelo

Andy Shauf / Duchess Says @ Megaphono 2/3/2016
Megaphono 2016 Day 2
Megaphono 2016 Day 2

I was told throughout the week that the Ottawa winter I had entered was mild by their standards. And rushing past the sad, completely empty Rideau Canal - usually bustling with ice skaters - on the way to the keynote address on Day One drove that point home.

So, waking up on Day Two of Megaphono and seeing a dusting of snow, the streets and sidewalks already slushy from the morning commute, was a reminder that snowy and bitterly cold are very much synonymous with Ottawa and Canada in general.

After participating in panels and networking events during the day, my show-going began at Pressed Cafe, a coffee and sandwich shop and the Folk Music Ontario-presented showcase featuring three singer-songwriters: Danielle Allard, Amanda Lowe, and Michael Feuerstack. Megaphono is heavily focused on Ottawa talent and thus I had only heard of a few bands heading into the festival and seen only one of them previously and that was Feuerstack.

Leading off the afternoon session was Danielle Allard. Through most of her set, especially the ones where she was playing guitar, I kept thinking how much she reminded me of Ingrid Michaelson, with an engaging voice that lies somewhere between Michaelson and Jenny Lewis. Allard's humor and self-effacing nature made her set a winning start to a long evening of shows.

Sri Lankan singer-songwriter Amanda Lowe was next and played sweet and sad songs about ex-lovers. Feuerstack rounded out the afternoon singing smartly-worded songs over hushed acoustic guitar melodies. "You turn your head for half a second / And someone's carrying them away to make somebody stay," he sang on "Flowers in the City." It was good to see him perform again having last seen him at Pop Montreal a few years ago.

Megaphono 2016 Day 2

From there it was back to St. Alban's Church where I caught former Timber Timbre violinist Mika Posen and her new solo project Merganzer. The church was the perfect setting for her haunting experimental pop, backed with a band and her own mellotron-like "mikatron" providing loops and samples.

Headlining the sold-out showcase was Andy Shauf, a singer-songwriter whose easy-going '70s soft rock is layered with a pleasing voice that drifts heavily toward Elliott Smith. I could have stayed but I wanted to catch Boyhood over at the Dominion Tavern so I ducked out a bit early.

Arriving at "The Dirty Dom" they were near capacity as Boyhood, led by Caylie Runciman, powered through scruffy alt-pop songs with her band. It was a slightly ramshackle but completely winning set and I enjoyed it immensely.

I escaped the crowd for a bit, heading next door to Zaphod Beeblebrox to catch The Pep Tides, an effervescent collective glammed-up in B-52's-esque outfits singing theatrical pop songs. I stayed for a few numbers. It was fun but I wanted to make sure I had a decent spot for the last show of the night, Duchess Says, so I headed back over to The Dom.

BV's given Duchess Says a lot of love over the years and I'd somehow never managed to catch their live set. Annie-Claude Deschenes was more ringleader than frontwoman, cajoling the crowd to get down on the floor, covering them in a clear plastic tarp at one point, she hopped into the crowd at another and took a swig out of someone's beer. People danced on the stage as Deschenes screamed and howled and made terrifying faces. In a dive like the Dominion Tavern with the crowd pressed up close, it was intense and feverish and a great end to the second day of Megaphono.

Pictures and recap of Megaphono's first day are HERE. More pic from day 2 are below...

Continue reading "Megaphono fest day 2 pics/review: Duchess Says, Andy Shauf, Boyhood, Michael Feuerstack, Merganzer & more"

Arcade Fire The Reflektor Tapes

The 2015 edition of Pop Montreal is coming up in less than a month (September 16 - 20) and festival organizers have recently made a few additions to the already robust lineup. Perhaps most interesting is that Pop's film fest will have the world premiere of director Kahlil Joseph' Arcade Fire documentary The Reflektor Tapes which promises:

The film recontextualizes the album experience, transporting the viewer into a kaleidoscopic sonic and visual landscape. It charts the band's creative journey as they lay foundations for the album in Jamaica, record in Montreal and play an impromptu gig at a Haitian hotel on the first night of Carnival, before bringing their breathtaking live show to packed arenas in Los Angeles and London. The Reflektor Tapes blends never-before-seen personal interviews and moments captured by the band to dazzling effect, and features 15 minutes of exclusive unseen footage, filmed only for cinema audiences.
That is just ahead of the film's North American September 23 release date. It will be playing in NYC at Sunshine Cinema, BowTie Cinema Chelsea 9, East 86th St Cinema 4 in Manhattan and Williamsburg Cinema in Brooklyn. and tickets are on sale now for many of those screenings. You can watch the trailer for that below.

The full music lineup has been finalized and new additions include Seattle garage rock legends The Sonics, Doldrums, UK band All We Are, Prison Garde (the latest moniker of electronic musician Vaughn Robert Squire aka Sixtoo) and more. Other artists playing this year's Pop Montreal include Built to Spill, Giorgio Moroder, The Cribs, Mikal Cronin, Godflesh, Will Butler, Babes in Toyland, Thurston Moore, Stars of the Lid, Cannibal Ox, Besnard Lakes (performing as a 17-piece "orchestra"), Viet Cont, The Orb, and more.

There are also lots of panel discussions and lectures happening via the Pop Symposium, including one with Canadian songwriter Andy Kim (the man behind The Archies' "Sugar Sugar" and other bubblegum hits),

Festival passes and day passes are still available. Full Pop Montreal music and film lineups are listed below.

Continue reading "Arcade Fire doc 'The Reflektor Tapes' premiering at 2015 Pop Montreal before North American release ++ fest's full lineup"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Win Butler schooling on the bball court
Pop Vs. Jock
Pop Vs. Jock

POP Montreal continued on Saturday (9/22) and BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo was on the scene and got shots of The Sadies, "Shut Up and Eat Your Ballads" (Leif Vollebek and friends Michael Feuerstack, Laurel Sprengelmeyer of Little Scream, and Brad Barr covering Tom Waits), and Rags to Radio. He also stopped by the Pop vs. Jock basketball game which saw members of Arcade Fire and The Strokes playing basketball with other celebrities like actor Martin Starr (Freaks & Geeks, Party Down), pro basketball player Luke Bonner, and more.

David Byrne, who played a POP Montreal show with St. Vincent a day earlier (9/21) (they start their NYC-run of three shows tonight), performed at the game's halftime show. During his set, he was joined by Arcade Fire's Win and Will Butler and The Strokes' Nikolai Fraiture to perform covers of ? and the Mysterians' "96 Tears" and KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)." You can watch a video of the latter below.

More pictures from Friday (9/21) are HERE. Pics from Sunday (9/23) are coming soon and more from Saturday are below.

Continue reading "POP Montreal Saturday pics -- The Sadies, Pop vs Jock (where Arcade Fire & Strokes members & David Byrne played) & more"


The 2012 edition of Calgary, Alberta festival Sled Island is set to take place from June 20-23 at venues throughout the city. This year includes over 200 bands performing at 30 venues plus a large comedy schedule, film screenings, and art shows.

Sled Island 2012 will once again use outdoor venue Olympic Plaza as its main stage, featuring performances by Feist, The Hold Steady, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Dudes, Shabazz Palaces, Parlovr, and others.

Acts including Russian Circles, Hot Snakes, The Antlers, Boris, Thurston Moore, Willis Earl Beal, Trust, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Terry Malts, Neil Hamburger, How To Dress Well, The Evaporators (aka Nardwuar's band), DJ Jonathan Toubin, Hannibal Buress, Andrew W.K., Tim Heidecker, Archers of Loaf, and many more will be performing at various bars and venues. Check out the full lineup at the bottom of this post.

Festival passes, individual tickets for some clubs shows, and tickets for the Olympic Plaza events only are all on sale. The full festival schedule iwill be announced in June.

Full lineup and 2012 festival trailer below...

Continue reading "Feist, Stephen Malkmus, The Hold Steady and lots more playing Calgary's Sled Island Festival (full line-up)"