Swearin’, Camp Radio and Dead Weights @ Luneta Cafe March 13
Swearin’ rocking a jam packed Luneta in Ottawa.
Swearin‘ packed Luneta to the brim on Thursday March 13, and it was a big sweaty party.
I have never seen so many people at Luneta in all the shows I have attended, there was well over 100 people crammed in to watch Brooklyn’s Swearin’ pop-punk the place up. The crowd spanned from people who looked like they were in junior high to a rowdy gentlemen who looked much closer to retirement than graduation. It was awesome.
Interview: Swearin’ (Brooklyn, NYC) @ Luneta Cafe Mar.13
By Sacha KW
Swearin’ is one of the bands I’ve listened to most in the last year. Songs like “Dust in the Gold Sack,” “What a Dump,” and “Just” (with its unbeatable chorus of “I just want you to love me, woah-oah-oah-oah-oah”) are burned into my psyche. Swearin’s songwriting style, which is both universal and extremely specific, makes for choruses and verses which I’ve come to associate with moments in my own life. I’m pretty sure anyone can relate to a song like “Loretta’s Flowers”, a slower number which singer Allison Crutchfield describes as being about “watching your friends make mistakes in their love lives”. This is all a slightly tangential way of saying that I went to this show with high hopes and was not disappointed. The band seemed appreciative of the packed, lively house at Luneta and returned the favour with an energetic, highly enjoyable set.
Mr. Chi Pig (SNFU – acoustic set), Chris Walter, and Thomas White @ Luneta, Mar. 5
MR. Chi Pig in Ottawa during his acoustic tour.
It is not every day you get to see a punk legend like Mr. Chi Pig in such an intimate setting.
Mr. Chi Pig, aka Ken Chinn, is the infamous lead singer of one of Canada’s oldest running punk bands, SNFU. He was on point last night with his buddy playing the acoustic guitar for him. The performance felt very personal, as he walked around in the bar and got up close with the people who attended. They played a great mix of SNFU stuff and some real awesome covers, including “Girlfriend in a Coma” by The Smiths and “Can’t Hardly Wait” by The Replacements.
Interview – Chris Cook of Finderskeepers
Finderskeepers are set to release a new album, check them out rocking out.
This Friday, February 28, Ottawa punk rock three-piece Finderskeepers are releasing a six song 7” called Pack Your Bags. This will be the band’s third official release, and having been lucky enough to listen to it I am very excited for them. But not everyone knows these lovely people so I thought best to do a little question and answer with guitarist and lead singer Chris Cook on the band and the upcoming release. Check it out and you can stream Pack Your Bags below.
Direct Hit, Stuck in a Hole and Fresh Hell @ Luneta
Direct Hit bringing it at Luneta.
Milwaukee’s awesome Direct Hit rocked Luneta Thursday December 19. The show also marked Ottawa punk rockers Stuck in a Hole’s final performance.
How does one begin a set when visiting Canada? “Grab your Toonies and let’s get Loonie,” said the band. That was not the last of their satire of Canada. After a few songs they simply began apologizing for no reason no stop and then laughing aboot it. Other than that though, the boys from Direct Hit! played an amazing set full of wicked punk rock tunes that had people singing a long the entire time. Some of my favourites from the night were “Snickers Or Reese’s (Pick Up The Pieces)” an older song that wiped the crowd into a riot (very entertaining to watch people mosh when the floor is so wet from winter boots) and “White Robes,” which you can watch live just below.
Stuck in a Hole playign their last show.
As mentioned this was Stuck in a Hole‘s final show. There is something very strange about seeing a band for the first time, when it is the last time. However, they usually go out with a bang, which leads to a very entertaining show. Let me tell you, Stuck in a Hole did not go quietly. The three-piece were all sporting top hats as the set began with “Halifax Tier” and people with sparklers. Throughout the in your face hardcore punk set, there was silly string attacks, confetti being shot in the air and even a pause for a piñata. The band looked like they were having an awesome time, making it feel much more like a celebration than a funeral. A prime example was their coordinated jumping and then can-can dancing where you could not smack the smile off their faces. The boys ended their set with the gruesome song “Knife,” which is about cutting of your own arms. As the song ended, the last words spoken were, “Fuck you we’re stuck in a hole.”
Opening the night was another local act, Fresh Hell. The band played some sweet punk rock with two very raspy singers, something I love. This was also the first time I ever saw Cory Levesque in a band as opposed to a bleeding heart solo acoustic artist. The tunes were great, specifically “Pick Up the Pieces.”
PS: Thanks to Christopher Cook for the videos.
Veara, July, Neighbours, Chris Benton and Monsun @ Luneta
Veara rocking out with an adoring fan.
Veara, July and a bunch of locals injected the Luneta Cafe with a steady dose of pop-punk Wednesday night.
Hailing from Augusta, Georgia, Veara lit it up with their great energy, despite some technical issues. The band, who I would describe as pop-punk with an edge, rocked through a set full of up-tempo, sing-along tracks, that had some die hards in the crowd rushing the mic and crowding the singer. If they weren’t in the singer’s face, Bryan Kerr, one of the most intense bass players I have ever seen on stage was grabbing them by the shirt and screaming the words at them. Yeah, the energy was there, and did I mention this was a Wednesday? Way to go Ottawa, coming out on a school night. Some of the songs that really stuck out for me were ”We have a Body Count,” ”The Worst Part of You,” and the killer tune they closed with, that got the a circle pit going, “My B-Side Life.” The band continues its Canadian tour in Toronto on Friday. (Check out a brief interview I did with drummer Brittany Harrell after the show here.)
The other touring act on the bill was July from Toronto. They were pure clap-along pop-punk, with a very talkative lead singer. He said such beauties as ”Hey don’t you find the guitarist looks like Freddy Mercury?” to which the guitarist replied, ”Thank you, Freddy attracted women and men.” Vocalist, Devin Moody, also made me laugh when introducing the song ”Second Best” which he said was about the guitarist’s ”hot mom, but it is called ‘Second Best’ because her sister, his aunt, is even hotter.” That song came in first place for me, and was the highlight of their set. As they concluded their set and tried to play the final chorus of their last song, the power went out on the amps and left them laughing in disbelief. They thanked us and walked off smiling, glad they stayed positive and didn’t blow any fuses…
Neighbours with a little help from their friends.
Before the out-of-towners took to the stage, Neighbours, from Nepean (they specify Nepean not Ottawa) rocked out. Delivering fresh tracks from their new EP, This Past Year. The six piece are very tight, and what would you expect from a bunch of guys who all live on the same street? Their set had a real local feel to it with a bunch of their buddies crowding the front and singing every word with them. It made for a very busy space, but I love seeing people jumping in on the mic. Nothing whipped the crowd into a frenzy on this night more than their anthem ”Late Nights” which had people belting out at the top of their lungs. How can you blame them when the pop-punk gem makes references to ”late nights spent on the 95” and a final verse which they repeat and commands singing along to: ”my friends never let me go, they never let me down, you’ll never understand what it takes to give your all, when your friends have your back you’ll never fall apart.” Pure gold.
Chris Benton, a solo acoustic act from Cornwall, brought a little bit of a different speed to the evening. The bleeding heart romantic with a guitar slowed it down and played some great sounding originals, such as ”Be All.” During the song he said, ”I think this is where people clap. It has never happened before but it could.” The crowd chuckled and gladly clapped along. Other than his own material, he played two covers which he did very well, Carly Rae Jepsen’s ”Call Me Maybe” and NOFX’s ”Linoleum.” Always have to respect a person playing a solo show, especially on a bill full of bands. He seems like a very cool dude and he even gave me a shout out for wearing a Belvedere tee shirt.
Opening the night was Ottawa’s Monsun. I only caught the last song, but they sounded pretty good. I hope to catch them again sometime soon to hear more of it live.
Finish What You Started Fest: Get Yer Boots On! @ Luneta Café
If you were wondering what to do with yourself (this weekend or this lifetime) you should take a page from the book of Finish What You Started Records. Energizing, supporting and empowering the local talent is at the core of this hardcore label but what good ol’ Ska Jeff’s really saying is don’t wait around to be what you want to be. Go forward with it! And if you need to create something, do it yourself.
Oh and if you like to mosh, skank, scream, and feel the sweat fly from a musician’s banging head you’re going to have to attend the Finish What You Started Fest this weekend. It starts officially in four hours! It’s a manifestation of the FWYS manifest, a promotion of youth culture & loud music, and one bitching good time.
The 4th annual Finish What You Started Fest from Aug. 16th to 18th, 2013 in Ottawa
Wednesday was the pre-show, getting the masses ramped up for the commotion to come. Three-week-old band Bloodnail & the screaming banshees of Bonnie Doon welcomed Oakland, CA post-punk band The New Flesh to their first-ever Canadian tour. Everyone got their feet under them and swayed. A drummer spat on a chandelier, I saw him. Bonnie Doon covered Kitty by The Presidents of the United States of America. Oh yes. It woke us up.
Tonight continues things in a way Ottawa wants it, with three local bands who’ll welcome everyone in with a few raucous songs. Tropical Dripps, Moon Destroyer & Cryptids! will grace us with their mad bastardry starting at 8PM. The hub of the event is Luneta on Bronson, and we’re please reminded to smoke near the front of the building so the neighbours don’t complain. “We wanna keep this thing going for a long time,” as Jeff says.
Saturday won’t wait for evening to get under way. If you’re quick enough you’ll score some brunch at Robot House after the hour of noon. A small donation is required for grub but it’s also BYOB! No corking fee! Two guys from Ottawa, and three bands from Montreal, London & Pennsylvania will work off the Friday hangover and hustle us over to Luneta for another 8PM start with one my personal favourites Robots! Everywhere! There are five other bands playing that night… Do I have to list them all?!
Sunday (yes, another wonderful day) grindcore from Peterborough, Torontonian grinding black metal, PEI powerviolence, and local band Knives & Forks For Freedom will dot the tees and decapitate the liars to bring FWYS Fest to a wonderfully ringing silence. I can only imagine we’ll be aching for more so maybe next year will be five days of hardcore fun.