guide: Bluesfest, day 1 - day 5 (07.07.06 - 07.11.06)

I've always been skeptical of the idea of cloning, kind of worried about what would happen if one of those weird and scary sci-fi movies came true and people could create human clones at will. But after looking through the Bluesfest schedule, I would be all too willing to get my hands on something, anything, that would let me be in two places at once.

The guide is split in 2, 5 days in each. Not sure how regular blog-posting will go throughout.. a local Bluesfest performer profile here, a concert review there, a gush about an act everywhere, probably something like that.
And, as always, dial613 wants to know what you think of the shows and everything. Comment below or e-mail to say who blew you away, who let you down, or even who you briefly made eye contact with while repeatedly glancing at the VIP beer tent from thirty feet away.

Enough chit-chat: without any further ado, here is the result of endless sifting through the line-ups on all 4 stages for each of the 10 days in a tireless effort to help you, yes you!, take advantage of some prime (and often rare) opportunities to see all kinds of great (great!) music.
dial613 is pleased to present to you:

Your guide to Bluesfest 2006, pt. 1:
days 1-5

(main) = Main Stage
(mbna) = MBNA Stage
(sheep) = Blacksheep Stage, presented by Mexx
(dusk) = Blues 'Til Dusk Stage

* denotes local artist
also: there are too many 'battles' to cover them all, so the guide will focus on the ones that ended with dial613 feel guilty about ditching the loser.

Day 1 - Friday, 07.07.06

schedule for clones:
6:15 - Brock Zeman* (main)
7:30 - Corb Lund (main)
7:30 - Malajube (mbna)
7:45 - Seu Jorge (sheep)
9:00 - Broken Social Scene (mbna)
9:15 - Calexico (sheep)
the dial613 schedule
Brock Zeman - 6:15
Seu Jorge - 7:45
a pinch of Broken Social Scene - 9:00
Calexico - 9:15

Sure-shot: Malajube, a crazy bunch of French-Canadians who should be seen not only because of their frantic live show, but also because of the recent recognition they've received as one of Canada's top bands... they are one of 10 finalists for the Polaris Music Prize.

BATTLE!: Corb Lund vs. Malajube vs. Seu Jorge
It's a shame that the first night of Bluesfest includes one of the tougher decisions of the festival. Two of these acts are in/around Ottawa semi-regularly, and while they shouldn't be penalized for that, it's just that you don't get to see a Brazilian self-taught guitar player (and movie 'star') too often around here.
Pick: Seu Jorge (website, write-up)

BATTLE!: Broken Social Scene vs. Calexico
It's the international face of the Canadian music scene against an Americana (ironic?) rock band who are arguably at the top of their game. Whenever Broken Social Scene comes to town, dial613 usually has the attitude of "whatever, I'll see them next time." That trend continues. (though after the first couple songs of BSS's set, I may not able to tear myself away).
Pick: Calexico (website)


The guide continues... click here for Days 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Day 2 - Saturday, 07.08.06

schedule for clones:
3:15 - Brazilian Girls (mbna)
4:15 - Deadstring Brothers (dusk)
4:30 - Elvis Perkins (mbna)
4:45 - Great Lake Swimmers (sheep)
6:00 - Matt Costa (mbna)
6:15 - The Acorn* (sheep)
7:30 - Jason Collett (mbna)
7:30 - Keb Mo (main)
7:45 - Torngat (sheep)
9:00 - Bonnie Raitt (main)
9:00 - Feist (mbna)
9:30 - Bell Orchestre (sheep)
the dial613 schedule
Brazilian Girls - 3:15
Elvis Perkins - 4:30
Great Lake Swimmers - 4:45
The Acorn* - 6:15
Jason Collett - 7:30
Feist - 9:00

Sure-shot - Feist. Rick from Jetplanes Of Abraham pointed out that "you can never see Feist too many times," and by golly, he's right.

Under the radar / BATTLE! - Elvis Perkins (myspace), a Rhode Island solo artist who plays incredibly charming folk music on his acoustic guitar. With luck, he'll have a fiddle(r) handy as well.
Also take note of Toronto's Great Lake Swimmers (website), whose music has been described (and accurately so!) as "beautiful bittersweet, drifting, late summer melancholia." It's going to be a tough pick between these two... if you see somebody sprinting back and forth between the MBNA and Blacksheep stages between 4:45 and 5:30, that'll be me. Say hello.

BATTLE!: Feist vs. Belle Orchestre
Based on the Sure-shot, you should know which way this one is going. Plus, with a half-hour difference between the 2 sets, it'll still be possible to catch a chunk of the later one.
Pick: Feist


Day 3 - Sunday, 07.09.06

schedule for clones:
2:15 - Jamie Lidell (mbna)
4:00 - The Amanda Rheaume Band* (main)
5:30 - Sue Foley* (main)
7:00 - Ani DiFranco (main)
9:00 - Michael Franti & Spearhead (main)
9:00 - Solomon Burke (mbna)
9:30 - Amadou & Mariam (sheep)
the dial613 schedule
Jamie Lidell - 2:15
Amanda Rheaume Band - 4:00
Sue Foley - 5:30
Ani DiFranco - 7:00
Solomon Burke - 9:00
Amadou & Mariam - 9:30

Under The Radar - Jamie Lidell (website) may not be under your radar (and he's certainly not under Pitchfork's, for what that's worth), but he was unknown to me until just recently, when I was won over by Multiply, a sleek retro-soul track that is too good not to sing along with. But first I need to learn the words.

Also - Amadou & Mariam, a blind couple from Mali, play some soulful world music that is perfect if you want to see something completely different.

BATTLE!: Michael Franti & Spearhead vs. Solomon Burke
Franti has been the highlight of festivals in the past 2 years, leaving his audiences feeling all warm and fuzzy after magical sets. Burke is one of the only remaining soul music pioneers who has been a part of the music's history from the start. I like Michael Franti, and I'd love to see what the fuss is all about... but it's hard to turn away from a music legend.
Pick: Solomon Burke (allmusic biography) ... and, depending on how it's going, I'll be heading over to Amadou & Mariam at some point.


Day 4 - Monday, 07.10.06

schedule for clones, and dial613:
6:15 - The Stills (main)
7:30 - Matt Mays & El Torpedo (main)
9:00 - Sam Roberts (main)

What more can be said here? A good number of Ottawa showgoers should know each of these acts well, and if you're not one of them, now's your chance to see some dirty Canadian rock at its best.


Day 5 - Tuesday, 07.11.06

schedule for clones:
7:30 - Big Jeezus Truck* (dusk)
7:45 - Mark Kozelek (sheep)
9:00 - Blue Rodeo (main)
9:00 - Be Good Tanyas (mbna)
9:30 - Son Volt (sheep)
the dial613 schedule
Big Jeezus Truck - 7:30
Be Good Tanyas - 9:00
Son Volt - 9:30

Sure-shot - Blue Rodeo, Ottawa festival vets, have their pictures in the city's dictionary entry for "crowd-pleasin'". That is, if Ottawa had its own version of the dictionary. Which it doesn't. But hypothetically, people...

Under The Radar - Though the Be Good Tanyas' biggest exposure may have been a Zellers ad, they certainly deserve more. The combination of their sweet voices paired with banjo plucking folk/bluegrass is irresistable from the first notes.

BATTLE!: - Blue Rodeo vs. Be Good Tanyas vs. Son Volt
More of a two-way matchup, with Blue Rodeo on the sidelines just because they've played the city so many times. Again, Rick from Jetplanes Of Abraham weighed in with a curious (and dangerous!) theory:
"I choose Son Volt, mostly because Ottawa is hosting probably the closest performances by Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar in several years...something interesting could happen."
Hmmm.. If an Uncle Tupelo reunion was ever possible, I guess this might just be the time. But I'm not counting on it, so I'll be happy to catch the tail-end of Son Volt's set. And then start crying when I see Jeff Tweedy on the stage with them.
Pick: The Be Good Tanyas (website)

Stay tuned for part 2, where dial613 encounters a scheduling conflict involving an incredibly guilty pleasure that has remained a closely-guarded secret up until this point. And no, it's not Nelly Furtado... that one wasn't closely-guarded.
And, again, send in your feedback, as well as thoughts for days 6-10, because by now surely you're sick of hearing only what I have to say.

Finally: here's the promised mp3 smattering of Bluesfest artists for days 1-5, in order of appearance:
note: (!) = very recommended (...whatever that's worth)

-->Day 1
Brock Zeman - Sweet Charlotte (part)
The Corb Lund Band - Time To Switch To Whiskey
The Corb Lund Band - Five Dollar Bill
Malajube - Montreal -40 C (!)
Seu Jorge - Queen Bitch
Calexico - Cruel
-->Day 2
Deadstring Brothers - Sacred Heart
Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday (!)
Elvis Perkins - While You Were Sleeping (!)
Great Lake Swimmers - Various Stages (!)
The Acorn - Blankets
Feist - Mushaboom
-->Day 3
Jamie Lidell - Multiply (!)
Ani DiFranco - Studying Stones (!)
Ani DiFranco - Millenium Theater (from forthcoming album)
Ani DiFranco - 78% h2o (from forthcoming album)
Michael Franti & Spearhead - Everyone Deserves Music
Amadou & Mariam - Senegal Fast Food (!)
-->Day 4
The Stills - Let's Roll
Sam Roberts - Dead End
Sam Roberts - The Gate
-->Day 5
Be Good Tanyas - The Littlest Birds
Be Good Tanyas - Dogsong aka Sleep Dog Lullaby (!)
Son Volt - Bandages And Scars
Son Volt - Gramophone

So, what's your schedule going to look like?
Anybody want to pick a fight over some of the sure-shots/battles?
Does your line-up on any of the days look nothing like dial613's?

1 comment:

matthew said...

That guilty pleasure had better be Rihanna, because if it's Hawthorne Heights this site will become my guilty pleasure!

But Bell Orchestre vs. Feist isn't much of a battle. I've heard that one of them will be back in the fall, and the other...will, I don't know, be hanging out with all her famous friends.