Curse you, Dan Aykroyd.
I’m nursing a hangover the size of the Canadian actor (Dr. Detroit). It’s his wine that’s everywhere you turn at CMW, and I had more than my fill last night, beginning at the Fairmont Royal York. This is ground zero for the music festival/conference, which is going into its whatever year. (No idea; have to do some research.) Anyway, I just want to blog briefly about yesterday, since a short entry is about all yesterday deserves.
I made the conference amateur’s mistake of tagging along with other people, including someone called “Dunner“, each of whom of course had their own agenda. As a result, the only act I saw that I’d wanted to catch was Chad VanGaalen, who was playing the closing set at the Horseshoe. I would call the performance “understated,” at least the portion (the first) that I saw.
However, I did see all of Mother Mother‘s set. The Vancouver band seems to have recovered from the loss of backup vocalist Debra-Jean Creelman, who has been replaced by singer/keyboardist Jasmin Parkin, and so the group’s much-ballyhooed harmonies (augmented by Molly Guldemond) are intact.
I have to admit though that I still haven’t warmed up to Mother Mother’s Pixies-ish sound or lead singer Ryan Guldemond‘s songs, and the band’s set last night at the Supermarket, though fun, didn’t sway me either way. I know I’m in the minority on this.
You know that something’s gone terribly wrong with your first night at CMW, which has hundreds of bands playing in dozens of venues, when the highlight is a performance by Gowan. He played “Criminal Mind” and “Strange Animal”, which, if may or may not recall from your teenhood in Winnipeg, at the “Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards” in the ballroom here at the Fairmont.
On hand for induction into the Broadcast Hall of Fame was one John Roberts. If you remember Gowan you might also recall a time when the Canadian TV personality was known as JD Roberts, the host of the video clip show the New Music, who thereby introduced millions of Canadians to Rip Rig & Panic (the British band which I believe was behind the show’s theme music). He’s now a CCN anchor with enviable hair.
And speaking of hair, CMW keynote speaker Gene Simmons, of the reality show Family Jewels, was also hanging out.
Lawrence Gowan, who was welcomed as “the lead singer of Styx!” by one presenter, played his two big ’80s hits, “Strange Animal” and “Criminal Mind”, and damn if they didn’t sound pretty good. Or maybe that’s the Aykroyd talking.