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Posts Tagged ‘Lake of Stew’

My crooked legs brought me to Westfest

June 15th, 2009

This past weekend was Westfest, a 6-year-old outdoor annual arts festival in one of Ottawa’s hottest ‘hoods, Westborough. Tens of thousands of visitors enjoy this family-friendly and free event, which features all sorts of creative talents — anything from spoken word to visual media, from theatre to performance art — and it is driven by one tireless and passionate Elaina Martin, founder and producer of the annual mindblowing weekend, and her army of volunteers.

As a music-head, I tend to get most excited about the singers and groups who come through. Below are a few highlights from Saturday and Sunday…

I had seen Lake of Stew earlier this spring, and was keen to see them again. They did not disappoint — here they are, performing “Down, Down, Down”, in front of a mini-mosh pit:

On Sunday, producer Dave Draves showed us his performing side, and was joined by friends on stage. I shot this video of lovely local singer/songwriter Jill Zmud, who will soon be releasing her first cd, performing “Reconcile” with Dave, Chris Page, and Christine and Jerusha from Ottawa’s Voices of Praise Choir:

The highlight of my weekend was The Acorn, who headlined Sunday evening. I’d seen them a handful of times, but it’d been about a year and a half since I’d last seen the local sweethearts play; since then, they’d gotten a shout-out on Kanye West’s blog (!!!) and did a European tour… and well, they rocked my socks. They seemed incredibly together, comfortable, spot on, and still keen about the music and performance. I’ve always been awed by Jeffrey Malecki’s drumming (so intricate, deliberate, understated) so wasn’t sure what a second percussionist would add, but Pat Johnson put me in my place. Everything was just so. Here’s my 5′ 3″-view of them performing “Brokered Heart”:

What an inspiring event, all ’round… I’ll be back there for Year 7!

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Another helping of Lake of Stew, s’il vous plaît!

March 1st, 2009

Last Friday, I was incredibly fortunate to have attended Amanda & Tim Edwutz’s third ever house concert, featuring Montreal-based Lake of Stew. As early arrivers and bearers of beer, John and I were treated to some superfine cookin’ by band member Richard Rigby, and got to hear the rest of the crew practicing up for what promised to be a feel-good evening.

Local singer/songwriter Eric Vieweg kicked off the show — he charmed and disarmed us with his solo performance and witty banter.

Photo by John Bagnell

Lake of Stew took the stage afterward, filled it to the gills. The six band members who came for the show took turns playing different instruments and taking the lead on vocals — and every one of them looked like they were having a ball. The lucky roomful, in turn, had a ball too.

I’m not usually a hand-clapping-to-the-beat type for live shows, but it was inevitable this night. Hands were clapping, feet were tapping… and loads of grinning all around. They sang about armadillos, walking-on-ice mishaps, and bear bites… All six musicians blew me away, but I was most mesmerized by Julia Narveson’s seemingly effortless playing of the washbasin bass — amazing!

Here is one of the videos I took of them playing a song about Oprah and God:

Sorry for the dimness! The sound’s decent though, and hopefully this gives a good idea of the show we were treated to.

I unfortunately missed recording ‘the 105′ and ‘Water Bill’ (both of which you can hear on their myspace page), worth checking out! Or better yet, catch them live if you ever get the chance — I promise, your feet will be tappin’ too.

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