Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani
Brad Weber was on tour as a percussionist with electronic act Caribou when ideas for a new project came to him.
After the tour, when he returned home to Toronto, he’d hammer out his mental scrawling on a keyboard or drums to shape the songs that eventually formed the material for his debut self-titled EP under the band name Pick a Piper.
“The songs started as a drum loop or a little melody that I created on a laptop while on tour,” Weber, 31, says. He would bring the best loops back to the rest of the Pipers (Angus Fraser and Dan Roberts, both friends from Weber’s hometown of Waterloo, Ont.) and they would add their two cents. He would chop up bits of the top ideas and meld them into tracks.
The resulting album was released this week on Mint Records. It’s very much in the vein of Caribou with jolty electronica and plenty of warm touches created from live instrumentation to upend the laptop-created sound.
At times the album is very much background electronica music, and then it switches to forefront, dancefloor-rhythmic moments and back again. At just 37 minutes, the album scrolls through a number of moods and sounds.
Weber describes his album as cohesive, yet “all over the place.”
“It starts poppy, takes you somewhere strange, and leaves you with this reflective feeling at the end.”
Pick a Piper is playing a number of Canadian dates, including this Sunday at Pressed on Gladstone Avenue. Their live set up features a few acoustic instruments around one full drum kit and two partial kits near the front of the stage. The guys play standing up for a rhythmic, dancey feel. Other sounds are triggered on the fly from laptops and keyboards.
DJ Adam Saikaley will DJ between sets at the show, with streaming visual-art by Hard Science and performances by Raas and Cabaal. 9 p.m., $5. See the Facebook event here.
Three punk bands fill the Dominion Tavern Saturday night: Neck makes their official debut, followed by Dagger Eyes and headliners The Fuzz. 33 York St., 10 p.m., $8.
Greg Harris, better known as Lefty McRighty, played his first gig at a stag-and-doe party at a legion some 10 years ago. He’ll mark that anniversary with a show Friday at Irene’s Pub. Harris, when not playing dirty honky-tonk tunes, organizes the annual O-town hoedown. 9 p.m., $8.
Halifax singer-songwriter Gianna Lauren recorded her new album at the House of Miracles studio with Andy Magoffin (Feist, The Constantines). It’s called On Personhood and she’ll hold a release party at Raw Sugar Cafe Friday. Lauren is familiar to some in the local music community. She lived in Ottawa for a few years and worked as a server at the Manx pub.
It began in Ottawa: The wall of noise known as METZ had its humble beginnings here. Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies and Chris Slorach call Toronto home now and are nestled nicely amongst other avant-rawk acts on the Sub Pop label. They return to Centretown for a show April 10 at Babylon, before continuing a worldwide tour with dates all over the planet and tour spots with Mudhoney and Fucked Up.