We got some sad news on the weekend: Project 165, one of our favourite art spots/alternative venues run by some of the best people around, is closing it’s doors next week. It’s tough funding an artist run space on the best of days, rent increases and hard economic times make it nearly impossible.
It’s always a fun year when you’re in a band. Being the season of year end lists, we’ve put together our favourite moments of 2010. I should preface this by saying that our definition of “Favourite” is a bit odd, as some of our most-revered shows have been the worst ones—the sort that if you can get through and still want to play another the next day then you know you can hack it. Keeping that in mind, here are Dog Is Blue’s top moments of the year in chronological order:
1. OndaRock Compilation
The year started off with a bang as, after writing a great review of our debut album …Makes Ghost Noises, Italian music magazine, OndaRock, asked us to send a brand new song to be part of a sort of “bands to watch” compilation. “Hot Air Balloons (and Submarines)” was born. The compilation was a great collection of music and it lit the fire under our butts to start the next item on the list…
Song Written Upon Getting Cut by the Argos (CFL Sessions cover)
Stan & Georgie
Aren’t You Glad (Beach Boys cover)
Ahh, Project 165. Our home away from home. We’ve played there 4 times and at least thrice have brought far too much gear for the intimate space. This time we finally got it right: acoustic guitar and small keyboard rounded out by tambourine and glockenspiel. No PA, no soundcheck, no blinking lights.
There’s something intimate about performing without a microphone. Aside from not having a mic stand in your face, its’ like a middle-man has been removed and you can communicate with the audience directly—no disconnect. That’s what this night was all about, as other Project 165 regulars, Tiny Mountains, and travelling troubadour, Pat LePoidevin, all made excellent use of the intimacy.
Of course, it’s also amazing when you don’t have to worry about your half-broken amp conking out, homemade pedals not doing what they are supposed to, or keeping time with loops recorded on the fly. We really ought to do this more often…
Here are some photos taken by Joey Bruni (check out that stage!):
This photo was taken at 7am on Oct. 3, 2010 at Project 165 in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Holding the camera is gallery/venue founder Ryan Ringer*. We had played at 2am that night as part of Nuit Noir II (an all night art/music event that happened to coincide with Nuit Blanche) and were deliriously ready for bed.
It might just be our favourite band shot yet.
*Fun fact: I traded Ryan a vegetable steamer for his winter coat. Hidden inside the lining was a small bottle of moustache glue. Supposedly it’s expensive and he was very happy I found it.