Show Recap: Broadview Espresso with Bernice

Dog Is Blue & Bernice Live At Broadview Espresso 08-09-11

  • When: Sept. 8, 2011
  • Where: Broadview Espresso, Toronto ON
  • Who with: Bernice
    Set List:

  • Dusty Bones
  • Southern Ontario
  • Thirteen (Big Star cover)
  • This Will Be Our Year (Zombies cover)
  • She Said
  • Tortoise
  • Song Written Upon Getting Cut By The Argos (CFL Sessions cover)
  • Slow Boat To China
  • Raise Your Dead
  • Laura’s Song

A week before this show, when the poster to the right was still in pristine condition (I love taping one to the counter and watching it deteriorate over time…), one of Broadview Espresso‘s regular customers said to me “aren’t you worried about playing with Robin (front-woman for Bernice)? What if she blows you out of the water…you’re not going after her, are you?

Funnily enough, we did play after her and I was a little worried that her phenomenal voice might be a tough act to follow. Thankfully, we’re nothing if not foolishly brazen.

These Broadview Espresso shows are often really intimate and not as crowded as others, so I thought it was a good idea to bring out my trusty little homemade tube amp, but when there are suddenly close to 50 people crammed in there 5 watts just doesn’t cut it. Laura’s Microkorg got rave reviews after the set though.

Oddly enough, of all the songs we played that night “Slow Boat to China,” a tune we usually avoid or butcher entirely, was the crowd pleaser (this happened when we played in Montreal as well, actually). We also debuted our version of Big Star’s “Thirteen,” a tune we may or may not be recording very soon (re: it’s 90% done).

All told it was another one of those wonderful shows that reaffirms why we do this in the first place…

…for the drugs, money and babes, obviously.

Show Recap: The Central with Tiny and The Mountain, Garbageface & Ryan Ringer

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central on 06-08-11

    Set List:

  • Slow Boat to China
  • Dusty Bones
  • She Said
  • People
  • Southern Ontario
  • Tortoise
  • Raise Your Dead
  • Laura’s Song

The summer gets away from you pretty damn quickly. We blinked and suddenly hadn’t played a show since our CD release party in June. Thankfully, our good friends Tiny and The Mountain, Garbageface and Ryan Ringer asked us to play their tour kick-off party at the Central to get us off our asses.

Oh, and it was Taste of the Danforth in our neighbourhood this weekend, so any excuse to get out of the East End was a good one…we did, however, stop by the street festivities first to get a couple of awesome bubble guns from one of the vendors, complete with noises and flashing lights. Mine instantly started leaking all over my pedals and I managed to zap a friend right in the eyeball with the laser (you can sort of see Laura using hers in the photo above).

All told, we were rough and out of practice, but had a lot of fun and even had a singer or two in the front row during “Southern Ontario.” It was also our first set using a Microkorg we picked up used last week, which I promptly used to completely derail “Laura’s Song” by choosing inappropriately heavy bass patches.

…if you can’t have fun and screw around then why the hell are you in a band?

New Video: Psychedelic Raise Your Dead Live

Here’s another live video from our CD release at the Tranzac last month. This time around it’s for a tune from our first album called “Raise Your Dead.”* We busted out the light-rings for this one too, so I had fun messing with the colours in post-production to give it some psychedelic flair (or even flare, in this case…take your pick).

Got to love that old Saturn guitar too…

*Our handful of die-hard fans will point out that “Raise Your Dead” was actually 2 songs on the album. However, it’s always been played as one at shows…

Show Recap: Tranzac Tortoise CD Release Party w/Anna Atkinson

  • When: June 9, 2011
  • Where: The Tranzac (main hall), Toronto ON
  • Who with: Anna Atkinson
    Set List: 

  • Dusty Bones
  • Slow Boat to China
  • Dusty Bones
  • Stan & Georgie
  • People
  • The Way It Goes
  • She Said
  • Southern Ontario
  • Tortoise
  • Raise Your Dead
  • Laura’s Song

What a way to end a tour…The main hall of the Tranzac has been on our list of “venues to play before we die” since the beginning and last Thursday not only put a checkmark in that box, but filled it full of dynamite and blew it up in a cloud of coloured lights and confetti.

Surrounded by friends, family and other supporters we celebrated the release of Tortoise while Anna Atkinson (who joined us on stage for “Southern Ontario”) was eagerly doing the same for her debut album, Mooniture.

Of course, I could go on and on about how awesome we were, or how much fun the whole night was, but we had a few very supportive bloggers on hand that night whose take on the evening will likely be a little less biased. Here are a few quick quotes, but click through to check out the full reviews:

“Watson and Heaney have a fantastic chemistry on stage.” Grayowl Point

“Overall the evening had a loose, comfortable feel. It truly was more like a party with friends than a concert.” Snob’s Music

Expect more videos from the show too, as we had Laura’s sister on hand filming along with our little sports camera mounted at the front of the stage.

CD Release Party: The Tranzac June 9 w/Anna Atkinson

Dog is Blue & Anna Atkinson Joint CD Release June 9th Tranzac Toronto We’re back in town after our East Coast tour and it’s about time we gave Tortoise an Official sendoff! It’s an early show, so you can come out, catch out set around 8:30, then still be in bed curled up with a good book and a glass of scotch by 11:30!

Thursday, June 9 / 8pm
The Tranzac (main hall)

Win tickets AND a copy of both Tortoise and Anna Atkinson‘s awesome new album, Mooniture from Snob’s Music!

Spring Tour: Eastern Canada Dates for May/June

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.comWith Tortoise almost here (we picked up the finished hard copies this week—they look great!) we’re heading on tour across eastern Canada to spread the word.

Not only that, but we’re lucky to be playing with some great bands like Pat LePoidevin, Construction & Destruction (our recent cover of a song of theirs can be heard here) and Laura Peek!

Check out the dates below and make it out if you can (those of you out west, don’t worry, we’re hoping to make it that way soon too!):

  • May 6, 2011 – Toronto, ON – The Tranzac w/Pat LePoidevin
  • May 7, 2011 – Ottawa, ON – House Show (get in touch for details)
  • May 9, 2011 – Montreal, QC – Casa del Popolo w/Pat LePoidevin
  • May 11, 2011 – Halifax, NS – Gus’ Pub w/Construction & Destruction
  • May 12, 2011 – Sackville, NB – The Legion w/Pat LePoidevin, Construction & Destruction
  • May 14, 2011 – Fredericton, NB – Gallery Connexion w/Construction & Destruction
  • May 16, 2011 – Charlottetown, PEI – Baba’s w/Contsruction & Destruction
  • May 17, 2011 – Rothesay, NB – The Treehouse w/Jenny Omnichord & Wax Mannequin (get in touch for details)
  • May 19, 2011 – Peterborough, ON – The Cannery
  • May 21, 2011 – Courtice, ON – House Show (get in touch for details)
  • June 3, 2011 – London, ON – Patterson’s Place w/Laura Peek
  • June 4, 2011 – Ottawa, ON – Raw Sugar w/Laura Peek
  • June 9, 2011 – Toronto, ON – The Tranzac (back room) w/Anna Atkinson – JOINT CD RELEASE PARTY!

Show Recap: The Central with Tiny Mountains, Oh Darling! & Brodie Dakin

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

    Set List:

  • Dusty Bones
  • Southern Ontario
  • People
  • She Said
  • Stan & Georgie
  • Tortoise
  • Young Enough
  • Raise Your Dead

There are shows that are tough; there are shows that are fraught with problems and technical difficulties; there are shows where no one is there to play to. There are also shows where not only does it all work out, but you have a damn good time too. Saturday night at The Central was a prime example of the latter.

Our good friends in Tiny Mountains were celebrating front-man Robb Mirsky’s birthday and were kind enough to ask us to play. The Central is the perfect little spot for such a shindig—big enough to fit a small crowd, but small enough to be cozy, with great beer on tap and good eats too.

The first club show with my new Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin, this was also one of the first shows we’ve actually played with our trusty Roland Jazz Chorus JC-77 amp—felt good to have a reliable and loud tank up on stage with me. Of course, my homemade pedals were acting up as always—no fault of their own, mind you. I simply forgot to plug good ol’ Santa Wahs in at all. Technical difficulties keep us mega-rockstars humble.

As always, Laura was rock solid and even got a few verbal jabs at me between songs (she owes me more than a few by now). This was also the first show with her kick drum mic (a great Craigslist score), something we’ll be using a lot.

Photographer Karol Orzechowski (http://decipherimages.com) almost caught a tambourine to the chin in my exuberance, but still managed to take these great shots:

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Dog Is Blue Live at The Central in Toronto on April 2, 2011, photo by karol o. / decipherimages.com

Show Recap: Earth Hour at Broadview Espresso with Anna Atkinson

Candles

  • When: Mar. 26, 2011
  • Where: Broadview Espresso, Toronto ON
  • Who with: Anna Atkinson
    Set List

  • Southern Ontario*
  • Laura’s Song – First Time!
  • Tortoise
  • Record Body Count (Rheostatics)
  • Slow Boat to China
  • Dusty Bones*
  • People*
  • The Way It Goes*
  • Stan & Georgie
  • Song Written Upon Getting Cut By the Argos (CFL Sessions)
  • Hot Air Balloons (and Submarines)
  • Raise Your Dead
  • Young Enough*
  • This Will Our Year (The Zombies)
  • * w/Anna Atkinson

I have to admit, we had no idea Saturday’s show was to coincide with Earth Hour until that morning. Anna emailed asking if we should light some candles and play acoustic. Selfishly, my initial thought was “crap! I’ve been itching to try this great new electric guitar I just bought…” In the end, the earthly sentiment prevailed and the first half of the show was played in acoustic intimacy of a candlelit Broadview Espresso.

As usual, Anna Atkinson commanded the crowd with her unique brand of quirky charm and undeniable talent. We’ve tried backing her up before, but she doesn’t need it at all. Laura and I, on the other hand, benefit greatly from her viola and backing vocals, so she joined us for a good chunk of our set.

In the end, the unplugged immediacy of Earth Hour left it’s mark, as we switched back and fourth between full-on electric and microphone free. I was just giddy to be trying my brand new Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin II guitar (sounds great through an amp or acoustic and looks real perrrtty).

This show also gave us the opportunity to test a few of our more recent tunes to an audience of friends before the new album comes out. “Laura’s Song,” for instance, was played live for the first time and went over well even without my waltzing with a small Casio in the background. Of course, no show of ours would be complete without forgetting to play a song we were excited about. In this case it was “She Said,” but we’ll rectify that at The Central this weekend!

Speaking of songs we forgot to play, here’s a live clip from this show of the one we forgot to play last time, “Young Enough.”

Oh, and this was our first show with band t-shirts! More on those to come very soon…

Show Recap: Rancho Relaxo with Smugshot and Richard Gracious

Rancho Relaxo

    Set List:

  • Dusty Bones w/Anna Atkinson
  • Southern Ontario w/Anna Atkinson
  • She Said
  • Tortoise
  • People
  • Young Enough w/Anna Atkinson
  • Raise Your Dead w/Anna Atkinson

This was the night of the “big snow storm” that had all of Toronto (not to mention southern Ontario and a good chunk of the U.S.) stocking up on canned goods, sitting in their panic rooms locked & loaded for the apocalypse. Of course, we only got about half of the expected white stuff here, so the show at Rancho Relaxo went on as scheduled.

Getting ready to record our new album this month, we used this set as an opportunity to work on some of the new material. Case in point, Anna Atkinson joined us on viola for a few tunes (complete with a great new haircut…) and “She Said” was played live for the very first time.

Of course, I’m an easily distracted mess, so new accompaniment and the debut of a recently built guitar pedal along with strange stage hum made for interesting results. Thankfully, I make it a habit to surround myself with beautiful, talented and dependable women who pick up my slack and slap me with it.

Given all the hoopla over the snow, it ended up being a good time. We were very grateful for an audience who actually braved the overblown weather, and both Smugshot (complete with Keytar) and Richard Gracious (who ended the night with a drunken dance party) were a lot of fun (and each covered bands I’d completely forgotten about—Wheatus and Afroman respectively).

Bring on the House of Miracles!