\ TO DOWNTOWN \
Who doesn’t enjoy letting loose a good howl of inner torment now and then? If your answer to that question is “me!” then the new Fish With Wings album by The Danger Bees being released tonight at Horseshoe Tavern may not be for you.
But for the loveless, the lovelorn and the lovesick, this latest 9-track installment in the David Macmichael catalogue of amorous anomie and romantic regret is probably exactly what you need to let you know you are not alone. Miserable, yes, but not alone.
But, tear-jerk fans be warned: this is not your older sister’s Danger Bees. Here, at long last, the name of the group finally starts to really make sense. Sweet and loveable and helpful as Bees can be, this album also has a lot of sting and the buzzing you’ll hear is chainsaw-sharp in places. And it’s as scary as, well, fish with wings. (Think about it!)
Macmichael seems to have let loose his inner stinger and the Bees here swarm and attack with furious intensity at times. Anyone who has ever torn off bits of themselves to feed to alligators and crocodiles in hopes of staving off the ravenous reptiles a little longer knows what it’s like to feel wronged by love. And this album is your rallying cry.
It perhaps contains more than one battle hymn, except here the cantus firmus is ramped and vamped up to supersonic modern-Rock speed to be delivered so joltingly that rather than merely stirring it’s more like an angry assault on the unassailable unfairness of impregnable ardour controlling our entire being.
Even though not all the songs are overtly about love (though if love of a bicycle counts, even a tune like “Courier Career” sort of is) even something that superficially is about Russian spy dolls, “KGB”, is another not-so-thinly veiled metaphor for frustrated passion.
With only a couple of exceptions on this disc everything is faster, harder and sharper-edged than on previous releases we’ve told you about, such as 2014’s My Other EP is a Ferrari and 2012’s Wyatt.
While the earlier DB songs (“Good Year” and its ilk) were more syrup ‘n’ whine/sweet-and-sour emo-Pop, here (with the exception of the slow, piano-solo lament of “KGB”, which interestingly closes out the set) it’s almost rage-Rock —though with lyrical irony and self-deprecation that rescues it from ranting.
The loveable, boyish nerd-dork of the adorable early DB tunes has given way to the man-of-action’s howls and growls as he prepares to move on. That happens early, as the first track, “Fall Apart”, transits Macmichael from slow, clear confessional vocal mode starting to stomp towards a controlled but much scarier focused high-energy bursts of pithy, pointed lyrics with elbow-jarring music, ending in the maelstrom of Rock guitar influences that plays such a big role through the rest of the collection.
The pattern of intimate balladeer giving way to rockin’ roller reappears on the album, but by the third track, “Matt Damon”, the musical die is cast and the high-energy takes over for most of the rest of the way. The next track, “Courier Career”, while lyrically cute, is nearly straight-up Punk and there’s lots of thrash the rest of the way, though leavened with plenty of returns to vignette moments of more intimacy,
The guitars do double-duty work to make this transformation convincing, revving up the musical and mood stakes on several tunes. I’m not sure which player is strumming on what on whichever tunes, but the combination of longtime Danger Bees co-core member Josh Gillard (along with Macmichael the only of the original five still active) and “new boy” Matt Leitch —who’s been with the pair for almost four years now— definitely does the job all the way into overdrive.
This trio of talents is ably augmented by Will Meadows on bass and Marc Beland on the kit, as well as by the backup vocal contributions of Tom MacGillivray and the result is the sense of an airtight charge through the field of shards and shambles of shattered dreams and love-gone-wrong or never-went-right.
Seeing this live tonight at 11:45, with guest Dean McKinnon (who is also, interestingly the subject of a song about him —a light-hearted lament about how he always gets the girls when he’s wearing his apron) also on backup vocals, ought to be a sonic tonic for anyone needing a jolt of frantic, dance-friendly angst-Rock.
The four-act evening in the big dance hall in the back room of the club at 370 Queen St. W. starts with a band in which Macmichael also performs, on bass, as Jace Traz’s latest project, Mmmoai Toys, takes to the showcase stage at 9:25 (doors at 8:30).
Traz and co. will be followed by indie outfit Tragic Hearts and then, the final act before the Bees, a Kingston group known as Forty Seven Teeth holds its own mini-record release set for an ep they’ve just produced.
Production of the new DB disc, incidentally, was handled by Dajaun Martineau, who also did the lion’s share of engineering and all the mixing at Phase One Studios in TO, an operation Macmichael describes as “a super high end big budget type studio.” The album artwork, meanwhile, is exactly that —another superbly wacky and wonderfully provocative product of the mind and hands of drummer/guitarist and songwriter par excellence Traz.
Admission to see Traz, the Bees and other groups is just $6 and Macmichael tells me they’ll have physical discs at the show for just $10 extra —and before anything is posted for sale online, making it a definite collectors item.
-Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
SHOW LISTINGS for Thursday, December 01, 2021
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.
Names of subscribers appear in bold and underlined and, where applicable, include a live link to their websites or event page. Advertisers’ listings are in larger type and highlighted, include a live link to their website and also have a copy of the ad included in listings.
ONLINE / ON AIR
9-10am> “The Bill King Show” with host Bill King & guests @ CIUT 89.5 FM ~Blues/Jazz
Noon-2> Blues on Rock Radio UK with Carolyn Fe
416 – TORONTO CENTRAL
6> Ryan O’Shaughnessy @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6-8> Julie Michels & David Restivo @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St., TO ~Jazz; $10-20/pwyc
6:30> Teri Parker Trio @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
7> 1st Thursday Monthly Alex Pangman Band featuring Peter Hill @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues; $
7> Rumpus Room @ Tranzac Lounge (Tiki Room), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
*7> open mic with Derek Mok @ Kensington Lodge, 21 Kensington Ave., TO
7> Coleman Hell; Ria Mae @ Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne St., TO ~$
*7:30-9:30> Bluegrass Thursdays with Houndstooth @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
*8-12> Joe Bowden @ Nawlin’s, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues
8-12> Jeff Barnes & Noah Zacharin @ The Local Gest, 424 Parliament St., TO ~original Roots
8> Poesy; Astral Bell; Cat and the Queen; I.M. Brown @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., TO ~fem songwriters; $7
8> Straight, No Chaser; Dan Fortin Trio @ Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St., TO ~indie Jazz
8>Benefit for Ecoloodi non-profit water conservation organization with Ephram; Moonhead; The Funny Funk Band; Moss Music @ Supermarket, 268 August Ave., TO ~indie; $15
8:30> The Danger Bees featuring David Macmichael celebrating album release for Fish With Wings with guests Mmmoai Toys; Tragic Hearts; Forty Seven Teeth @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO ~original alt-Pop; $6 (cds + $10)
*8:30> Organic Groove open mic with host Dylan Hennessy @ Cannabis Culture, 461 Church St., TO
9> Mrs. Brightside; Bad Girls & Robot Eyes @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St., TO ~Killers tribute; fem Rock; $12
9> Diemonds; Pigeon Park; Blood Diamonds; Bathurst Station @ Adelaide Hall, 250 Adelaide St. W., TO ~indie; $11.50
9> “Siamese Connection 005” with SALT: Thought Project B2b A b h i; Yohei Saka; Condokiller; Harrison Coles; Kaspr @ The Central, 603 Markham St., TO ~art Pop/electronica; $?
9> Angela Saini album release @ Cameron House (rear), 408 Queen St. W., TO
9> The Marrows ep release for Scliosis ; guests Successpool; Scarlett’s Hand; One In The Chamber @ Hard Luck Bar, 772 Dundas St. W., TO West ~indie; $10 (with ep +$10)
9-11:30> Jacob Gorzhaltsan album release for Fly Softly @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St., TO ~original Jazz; $15
*9-1> Blackburn @ Jo Mamas, 317 King St. W., TO ~Blues
*9:30> jam with host band The Regulators @ College St. Bar, 574 College St., TO
9:30-12> The Universtiy of Toronto Skule Stageband @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO ~
9:30> Kiki Misumi Quintet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $
*9:45> Stacey Kaniuk @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~original & cover piano-vocal Jazz/Pop; $
10> New Grease Revival @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO ~Country
0> Karen Ng; Nick Buligan; Dan Pencer @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
10> Grump @ Bier Markt King, 600 King St., West, TO ~Pop Rock
10> Chris Caddell @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~original & cover Blues-Rock; $
10> Jiants; Gold Pony; The Knees Up @ Bovine Sex Club, 542 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock; $
*10:30> Mike Barnes @ Pauper’s Pub, 539 Bloor St. W., TO ~acoustic Pop
416 – TORONTO EAST
6:30-9> East End Arts open mic with host May Chook @ Time Capsule Board Game Café, 2183 Danforth Ave., TO East
7-9> Marla Lukofsky @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Jazz covers & originals; 0$
7> Chantal Kreviazuk; Kevin Fox @ The Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave., TO East ~original Pop; $49-$60
7:30> Circus Flow Jam with Stacie Noel @ Frolick Theatre, 160 Bartley Drive, TO East ~movement/dance
8-12> Bark @ Black Bear Pub, 1125 O’Connor Drive, TO East ~Rock/R&B/Blues
*8:30-10:30> Jerry Leger & The Situation @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Folk-Rock/Country
9> The Achromatics @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Dance Pop; 0$
9> Andrew Fetterley Duo @ Murphy’s Law, 1702 Queen St. E., TO East ~Pop Rock
*9:30> open jam with host Kar Wong @ Sportsters, 1430 Danforth Ave., TO East
*10-2> karaoke with Shane Taylor @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East
*10-1> open jam with host Michael Villamor @ Breakwall, 1910 Queen St. E.
416 - TORONTO ETOBICOKE
7:30> Colleen Allen Trio @ Old Mill Inn, 21 Old Mill Rd., Etobicoke ~Jazz; min table charge
8> The Stew @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Rock/R&B
*9:30-2> Skip Tracer @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd., Etobicoke South ~Rock/Pop
416 – TORONTO SCARBOROUGH
8-12> jam night @ The Birchmount, 462 Birchmount Rd., Scarborough
8> Roxanne Potvin @ Aioli Bistro, 2446 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~songwriter; $50 includes 6pm meal
9-1> The Tall Boyz featuring Tommy Rocker host acoustic open jam @ Winners, 2181 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough
416 – TORONTO WEST
5-8> Bruce Chapman Duo & guests @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Blues
6:30-9> Symphronica Poetry Slam feat. George Elliott Clarke & Shelley Hamilton @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West
8> Emily Gilbert & guests @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W., TO West ~indie
8:30-12> Jason Collett’s 10th Annual Basement Revue @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West ~indie; $30
8:30> Jeffrey Foucault ; opener Ken Yates @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Country-Roots/Blues songwriter; $30
8:30> Ozere; Anna Atkinson @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~original World-Jazz Pop; $15
9> John Wayne Swingtet @ The Emmet Ray, 924 College St., TO West ~Jazz; pwyc
9> New Fries record release for “More”; Private Joy; Carl Didur; Fountain @ The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., TO West ~indie record release; $10
9-11:45> The Ben D’Cunha Trio @ The Piper’s Pub, 782 St. Clair Ave. W., TO ~Jazz
*9-12> open mic night with Anthony Abbatangeli @ DeSoto’s, 1079 St. Clair Ave. W., TO West
*9-1:30> open stage with Jay Pennell @ Dave’s On St. Clair, 730 St. Clair West, TO West ~eclectic
9-12> D’Arcy Windover Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Roots-Pop
9> Tango Urbano @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Tango music
9> Kentron; Mesonyx; Greasy Boys @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St., TO West ~indie
9> Crybaby; Rae Billing @ Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W., TO West
9> David Celia @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Pop songwriter
9> Pet Heads; Charles Tilden; Hush Pup @ Holy Oak Café, 1241 Bloor St. W., TO West ~indie
9:30> The Reposadists Quartet @ Reposado, 136 Ossington Ave., TO West ~Jazz
9:30> The Mercenaries @ Fat City Blues, 890 College St., TO West ~retro Soul-Rock; $
*6-10> Lucas Stagg @ Argyle Arms, 210 King St. E., Cambridge ~Roots-Rock
7-1> Fat As Fuck; A Fellow Ship @ Dstrct, 10 Wyndham St., N., Guelph ~indie;
*7:30-12> open mic with K.M. Smith @ Molly Bloom’s Guelph, 91 Wyndham St. N., Guelph
7:30> George Pantelis @ Fionn MacCool’s Orangeville, 75 Fourth Ave., Orangeville ~Pop Rock
8> open mic night @ M&M Bar, 475 Main St., Cambridge
*8-11> open mic with Sandy MacDonald @ Williamsburg Arms, 1187 Fischer Hallman Rd., Kitchener
*8:30> acoustic jam hosted by Mike Mecher & Vic Freitas @ Kiwi Gastropub, 47 Dickson St., Cambridge
*8:30-12:30> acoustic jam night @ Fiddle & Firkin, 707 King St. E., Cambridge
*9:30> open mic night @ The Black Badger, 55 Water St., Cambridge
*10-2> Mike Something @ Royal Electric, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~acoustic Pop
10-2> Anniversary; Voltang @ Jimmy Jazz, 52 Macdonell St., Guelph ~indie Rock
7-11> The Groove Project with guest Suzie Vinnick @ Harbour Street Fish Bar, 10 Keith Ave., Collingwood ~Blues
7-11> World AIDS Day karaoke tribute to Freddie Mercury @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough
*7:30> Rob Phillips Jazz/Blues Trio and Marsala Likianchuk @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
*8> The Joe Huron Trio @ Sticky Fingers, 199 Essa Rd., Barrie ~Jazz/Blues
8> Pat Maloney @ The Huron Club, 94 Pine St., Collingwood ~acoustic Pop
*9> jam with Ted Rusk @ The Sauble Dunes, 11 Southampton Parkway, Sauble Beach
*5-8> Nelson Denis @ Frank’s Pasta, 42 King Street E., Cobourg ~eclectic mix (Folk, Jazz, soft Rock, Latin)
8-11> tba @ Rum Diaries, 368 Bayly St. W., Ajax
8-12> Igor Laze @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 32 Kingston Rd. E. Ajax ~Pop
*?> jam with Darren Smith & Shayne Thomas @ The Corner Pocket, 45 Prince St., Oshawa
*9> jam @ The Wee Pub, 371 Wilson Rd. South, Oshawa
*9:30> jam with Billick @ Harp & Crown, 300 Kingston Rd., Pickering
9:30> The House Call @ The Edge, 250 Bayly St. W., Ajax ~Rock/Pop
*10> Karaoke with Rob MacArthur @ St. Louis Ajax, 11 Harwood Ave., Ajax
*6:30-10:30> jam with Faces for Radio @ Coasters, 55 Rutherford Rd. S., Brampton
*7:30-11:30> jam with house band @ 52nd St. Tap & Grill, 30 Kennedy Rd., S., Brampton
*8> open mic with host Kevin Kerr @ The Duchess of Markham, 53 Main St. N., Markham
*8-11> Jam with Jayme Lynn Reed @ Offsides Sports Bar, 200 Simcoe Ave., Keswick
9> open mic (signup starts at 8:30) @ The Barrel, 2180 Steeles Ave. W. Vaughan
5:30> Steve Strongman for HWDSB Foundation @ Liuna Station, 360 James St. N., Hamilton ~original & cover Blues; $
*9> LMT Connection @ Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub, 6400 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls ~R&B/Funk
9> Nick Persons; Guy Madonna; Patricia Christina Flowers @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~indie; $5
9> jam with The New Stringbenders featuring John Kneeland @ Coolers Sports Bar, 558 Upper Gage Ave., Hamilton
*9> open mic night with rotating hosts @ Coach & Lantern, 384 Wilson St E., Hamilton
10> Strummers Union @ The Pheasant Plucker, 20 Augusta St., Hamilton
*6-9> Ric Jacobs @ Ivy Bar, 3330 South Service Rd., Burlington
*7-11> James Anthony Band host open mic jam @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington ~Blues
*8-12> jam hosted by The Personics @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington
8-12> Brad James @ The Purple Heather, 3600 Dundas St. W., Burlington
*8> Salsa band @ The Franklin House, 263 Queen St. S., Streetsville ~Latin
*8> Celtic Night @ Fionn MacCool’s Burlington, 2331 Appleby Line
8:45> open mic with Matt Zady @ Failte, 201 City Centre Dr., Mississauga
9-1> Freedom Train @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop
9:30> Glenn Groves @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Honky Tonk Country new & old
*9:30> jam with Jack B Nimble @ Abbey Road Pub, 3200 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga
9:30> Chris Partland @ Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga ~Pop Rock
*10:30> The Killin’ Time Duo @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock
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