Sunday, September 13, 2009

Young Galaxy and Treasure Hunt at Il Motore

Has it really been almost a month since I posted? I should hang my head in shame. It's not for lack of getting out and about! I've managed to get my butt back out to the concert circuit, see some films, check out some art openings. Time to post, Levine, time to post.

So, let me start with the latest and greatest. New amazing band alert. Yes, nothing like catching an act in its infancy so one can reminisce when that band suddenly sells out La Tulipe or Metorpolis (think... Patrick Watson, think... Plants and Animals, think... yeah... you get the point). Young Galaxy is going to be yet another jewel in the crown of the Montreal music scene. Granted, they're really from Vancouver, but I guess they're here now. Yay, us. Yay me, more appropriately, for catching this fantastic act at Il Motore and for like ten bucks, yo. Ten bucks! BARGOON! And the CD -- FIVE BUCKS. Holy schmokes. I picked it up and have been listening religiously since.

Okay, this band is centered on the vocal harmonizing and barganing of male-female couple Stephen Ramsay (guitars, vocals) and Catherine McCandless (keyboards, vocals). The two are backed by an extremely well greased machine behind them that gives depth and complexity to the emotive and pensive (if not emo-esque) lyrics. Though I read in the Mirror that McCandless was reluctant to sing in public, I couldn't believe that was ever the case. She belts out indie pop tune after indie pop tune without ever reaching the shallow end. This girl has got a great set of pipes -- haunting, crystalline, and all around replete with feeling. If she was the Souxsie, Ramsay is very much in the vein of the best morbid crooners I ever loved -- Robert Smith and Morrisey. Don't assume that a bent towards dark hearts and tortured love means the music is drippy or sappy. Au contraire. I was moving around with the rest of the happy music scenesters who were clearly more in the know than I was about this little engine that could. In summation, great stuff. This was by no means the band's first appearance, but I think we can expect that their meteoric climb to greater and greater recognition will be cosmic (yes, those are lousy intended puns).

Openers Treasure Hunt also deserve a quick nod and fist pump of approval. Though the claim was that this was a once in a lifetime pairing, and the busy touring schedules of those in the band might make that so, this little foursome was hot. Two drummers. Two bassists. Sounded like... metal? punk? heavy shit, no matter how I look at it. I suppose it was dude music and that most of the hooting and hollering came from the dudes in the audience and four very punk rock girls in the front. But, I like heavy and I like when the envelope gets stretched and the result cuts deep.