Though some other plans muddled my being able to go to all three days of the Out of the Box Music and Arts festival, I did manage to catch (at least some) of Sunday’s show at the Toronto Underground Cinema. The theme was Space Prom, involving most musicians wearing shiny and/or futuristic clothing while trippy images played on the movie screen behind the stage.
Though I unfortunately missed Opopo and The Bulletproof Tiger I did manage to see Blood Rexdale and the Walls are Blonde, Topanga as well as The Ruby Spirit.
I had never seen Blood Rexdale before and it was certainly something to behold. I have no idea how to define the act, only that it was very, very melodic, and it almost sounded like a jam session. However there was definitely a controlled part to it which made it more interesting to observe. As the songs (which were all really long) went on, more musicians began helping out with the songs. The last song was a marathon and involved a giveaway of a comic book, a CD, ticket stubs, a dress shirt and a stick (I think I’m forgetting something).
Next up was Topanga. I had heard of the band but had never heard their music. They very pleasantly surprised me. Their energetic punk-rock sound is really unlike anything else I’ve heard yet. It’s no wonder that Hollerado thinks this band is so great- their joyousness they showed while playing reminded me of Hollerado themselves.
Finally up was The Ruby Spirit. Though I reviewed their EP in December, it wasn’t until Sunday that I was able to finally see them live. And what a treat they were. Singer Paige Boy was a lively lead singer, reminding me somewhat of Emily Haines with her stage presence. She had a great chemistry with guitarist Alex Pulec who looked to really enjoy himself, particularly when he could play a guitar solo. I’ve included a video I took of the show below. It was the second song in the Ruby Spirit’s set.
Secondly, a bit of news from Montreal folk duo Domestic Crisis Group. They recently recorded a cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song For a Winter’s Night” and the good news is that it sounds great. Guitarist Dane Ratliff gently picks his acoustic riff while lead singer Gen Blouin’s unique vocals make for a great partner. You can listen to this great single here.