Sound Seekers

SOUND SEEKERS: The shows coming up this weekend and beyond, featuring Bonobo, Slo’ Tom, New Country Rehab, and more!

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani

Slo' Tom, shown here in shit disturber mode, will be playing the Atomic Rooster this Saturday. He'll show his twangy side when he takes part in a Stompin' Tom Connors tribute on April 19.

Tom Stewart is centre stage Saturday for a country set under the name Slo’ Tom. Stewart has a long history in Ottawa (see: Furnaceface) and keeps a hand in a number of bands with various musical styles from troubadour to sludge-metal. When he’s feelin’ a little bit country, you’ll find him with slinging country tunes his backing band, The Handsome Devils, or going it alone like a cowboy.

Stewart headlines solo this Saturday at the Atomic Rooster. In addition to playing songs from a forthcoming CD with the working title, I’m Sick, Stewart will be in country icon mode as he warms up for the April 19 Stompin’ Tom Connors tribute, where a number of Ottawa artists will be covering Connors classics. Stewart will be playing “Good Bye Rubberhead” and “The Consumer,” and describes the latter as “the punkest song in Connors’ catalogue.” The Seasick Mammas open the show. It’s the country side-project from members of the Glorious MoonRockets. Look for a new seven-inch single from Slo’ Tom & The Handsome Devils on Ottawa label Pretty Bad Records in the coming weeks.

Two Montreal bands, Suuns and Valleys, roll into Ritual Nightclub Saturday. Both bands play moody, slave-to-the-synthesizer dream rock. The NME approved, calling Suuns the best new band in 2011.  Their new album, Images du futur, was produced by Jace Lasek of the Besnard Lakes.

Toronto band New Country Rehab does just that — they torque country tunes with a rock edge and bluegrass injection. Uncut magazine compared them to Mumford and Sons. New Country Rehab is the latest sign-on to Kelp Records. See them Saturday at the Black Sheep Inn and April 20 at The Branch in Kemptville.

Hometown DJ crew Jokers of the Scene (now of Toronto) return to the capital, where their party-rock anthems were first created. See the DJ duo at the Mercury Lounge Friday. DJ Linus Booth, who used to run the Disorganised record shop on Bank Street, and Chris Macintyre (aka Chameleonic) signed a record deal with DJ label Fool’s Gold in 2007.


Bonobo will take the stage at Barrymore's on April 17. Photo by Andrew de Francessco.

Ninja Tune roster mainstay Bonobo, aka UK electronica grandmaster Simon Green, released his new album The North Borders earlier this month. It’s less out there than past works, bringing together some signature Bonobo sounds from previous albums (melancholy, melody, electro-quirkiness) into low-speed thrills that are hypnotizing without being relegated to background music. The show has been moved from Babylon to Barrymore’s. It takes place Wednesday, April 17.

Opening the Swollen Members show Tuesday at Ritual Will be Cityreal, a Vancouver rapper whose new full length album, called Good Morning Blues, was recorded with Blues musician Wes Mackey. The video for the tune “Nightlife” shows the rap/blues phenom at work. It’s set against the Alberta Tar Sands and includes a few factoids about its environmental effects. One thing I don’t get? When Cityreal (aka Remi Huot) is driving around in the video, is it a comment about our dependency on oil or is he just riding along to the rhymes like some rap video trope?

Some recently announced upcoming dates in the area include:

A Tribe Called Red
The DJ trio that built a regular following through their monthly Electric Pow Wow parties will release their second album called Nation II Nation on May 7 through Pirates Blend Records (a label founded by members of Bedouin Soundclash) and Tribal Spirit Music, a co-operative label for Aboriginal artists. A Tribe Called Red has brought aboriginal music to club land and its members contribute to the continuing discussion of aboriginal representation in the media. The crew of Bear Witness, DJ NDN, and DJ Shub has a host of spring and summer dates booked across North America including the New Orleans Jazz Fest, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK and Osheaga. See the Tribe June 8 Electric Pow Wow (usually held at Babylon), plus an appearance at Bluesfest in July.

Danny Michel
The singer-songwriter, who briefly called Ottawa home, will re-release his most recent album, Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me (Six Shooter Records), with three new tracks. This album received a Juno nomination in the world music category, a new genre label for Michel, who took inspiration for this album from travels in Belize. The three new songs were recorded with The Garifuna Collective, who play music in the traditional Central American style of the same name. Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me will be released internationally on Cumbancha Records, later this year. See Michel at the Black Sheep Inn, June 27 and 28 and at The Neat Café in Burnstown, June 29 and 30.