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Zygiella IV

03-Jun-2008 04:05 AM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Hungry Lake
Rancho Relaxo in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Zygiella IV
Hungry Lake, Howl
Fleece Elves, The Paint Movement
May 29, 2008
Full Photo Set (21 photos)

In case you don't follow entomology, a zygiella is a spider. But Zygiella (with a capital 'Z') is more of a strategy that includes a unique website, a podcast, and series of showcases. The website shares some of the goals of my website here, including the desire to promote and support independent music, but it is more focused around finding and learning about local-Toronto talent and it is fairly unique is the way you navigate. Since Zygiella is hosted at the Rancho Relaxo, the venue where I've been spending a few good Friday nights recently, I decided to check out the Rancho on a Thursday instead to see what Zygiella IV had to offer.

Hungry Lake

There's something about a guy-with-guitar on stage, sitting in a chair by himself that scares me a little. But every now and then you come across someone that can pull it off, and Josef Thomas, under the name Hungry Lake, is one of those guys. The set opened with a gentle song oddly named I Was A Teenage Zombie, which convinced me to pay closer attention. He worked his way through the set in a similar fashion, with a few songs standing on their own with just guitar and his excellent vocals, and a few others that I thought could benefit from a little added instrumentation. For a couple of songs, Josef brought a friend up on stage to sing back-up vocals which added nicely to the indie folk-rock sound. Now that I've had some time to check out his MySpace page, I see that Josef records with additional instruments, which is exactly what I hoping for. Recommended listening: War Crimes, I Was A Teenage Zombie.

Hungry Lake
Hungry Lake
Hungry Lake

Info & Connect: Hungry Lake on MySpace

Howl

By the time Howl took the stage, the Rancho had really started to fill up, and it was obvious there were lots of people there in support of this band. Their set was decent indie-rock with lots of chiming guitars and melodic vocals. There was definitely musical promise, but the set went a a fair bit over schedule, eating into the stage time of the following two bands.

Howl
Howl
Howl

Howl
Howl

Info & Connect: Howl on MySpace

Fleece Elves

I'm a pretty big fan of South Park, so I can't help it that the name Fleece Elves reminds me of the Underpants Gnomes featured in Season 2 of that show. But instead of stealing underpants (for eventual profit), this is a team of fleece wearing elves (for eventual profit). I'm now imagining the guys in the band reading this and scratching their heads, wondering why the photographer guy is comparing them to thieves of underpants. The answer is: Don't read into it, it's just a thing. Musically, there's something in there that I might describe as a combination of The Weakerthans, Wilco, and The Odds, with all the elements that implies. They had one really great song in the set, but I can't seem to remember how it went. Listen to All Doors Should Open (available for download on MySpace) for good example of what I'm talking about (not the bit about underpants, the bit about the music).

Fleece Elves
Fleece Elves
Fleece Elves

Fleece Elves
Fleece Elves
Fleece Elves

Info & Connect: Fleece Elves on MySpace

The Paint Movement

Last up was The Paint Movement, who didn't get stage time until quarter-after-beer. They're a band that incorporates a little jazz and jam, with wicked drumming by Glen Candy. It's mixed with jazzy sax, prog-rock, and vocal melodies that, when put together, was reminiscent of Steely Dan in some ways. Kevin Kralik (vocals, guitar) mentioned that they've been recording an album, which I believe is expected to hit the merch table sometime in the summer.

The Paint Movement
The Paint Movement
The Paint Movement

The Paint Movement
The Paint Movement
The Paint Movement

Info: The Paint Movement | Connect: MySpace

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