Cashbox Canada's Live Six Pick for CMW- Half a dozen hot numbers that must be seen to be appreciated.

© Lenny Stoute

Think About lifeThink About life

Think About Life was formed in Montreal in 2005 by drummer Matt Shane and keyboardist Graham Van Pelt as a dance electronica indie rock act. The addition of vocalist Martin Cesar's idiosyncratic ways with classic r'n'b grooves pushed the band into a territory all its own. With a pair of well-received albums in the catalogue and name brand tours with such as Franz Ferdinand and Land Of Talk, Think About Life is edging closer to mainstream attention.

This set will likely focus on material off 2009's Family, a watershed of sorts for the band. Shortly after the release of the album, a fourth member was added to the band. Caila Thompson-Hannant, on bass and vocals. Shortly thereafter, the ‘family’ changed its DNA as Matt Shane stepped from behind the drum kit to pursue a fine arts career, and was replaced by Greg Napier, of Special Noise. This show will serve as a coming out party in the T.Dot for both the tunes from Family and new kidz Thompson-Hannant and Napier. If you've never seen Cesar's hyperkinetic channelling of a dance-clubbed Wilson Pickett, ya gotta.

Friday 12. Lee’s Palace 1.00 a.m.

Bison B.C.


Bison B.C. are a metal band from Vancouver B.C., heavy enough to get a deal with pioneering California labelMetal Bladerecords and get to tour with such behemoths as 3 Inches Of Blood and Priestess. The line-up's James Farwell (Guitars/Vocals), Dan And (Guitars/Vocals), Masa Anzai (Bass) and Brad Mackinnon (Drums).

Bison B.C. are getting to the front of the herd with a savvy mix ofclassic metal, hardcore punk and outbreaks of thrash.The sophomore album for Metal Blade, Dark Ages is good to goApril 13th, which means its highly likely the CMF audiences will get a heaping helping of new material since bands usually can't wait to bust out new shit live.

Recorded with Jesse Gander who helmed 2008's Quiet Earth, tracks likeTwoDay Boozeand Wendigo Pt. 3 (Let Him Burn) are getting talked up as the band pushing its back to the future style even further, with more intensity.

Bison B.C. have been compared to Mastodon but not Elephant's Memory although the have a tune called "Stressed Elephant".

Bison B.C. are passionate, they are committed, they are LOUD.

Friday 12 Bovine Sex Club 1 a.m.

Handsome FursHandsome Furs

Handsome Furs are bent on putting a human face on electro-punk. The band is husband/wife duo of Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and the runway lovely Alexei Perry, whose lyrics are chiefly responsible for the humanist thang. The HF viewpoint comes from a different place than most bands since they never really had to do much of the touring grind before beingsigned to Sub Pop in 2006, dropping the first debut album, Plague Park in 2007.

Face Control is art rock at its finest, mixing upbrooding reflections, deep syncopations and a confidentrock struttothe vocals. As might be expected, the material is tres autobiographical; insinuations outnumber outcomes. the story more often implied than stated. Kinda like a psychic logbook of what Handsome Furs experienced while writing their album—right down to the personal photographs of their journey in the CD jacket.

“What was really important for me as a kid was getting some sense of the human behind the music that I loved,” reflects Alexei. “So for things like the album art and having pictures in there, meant a lot to me. As a kid looking at photos of the people that I really loved and wanted to get to know, it gave a feel of some kind of kinship”.

Be warned, when you catch 'em live, the show has less to do with reliving childhood memories than reliving club dancing memories.

Friday 12 El Mocambo.1 am.

The Hoa Hoas

The Hoa HoasThe Hoa Hoas

Named after a guitar effect, this crew live and breathe rock’n’roll. Straight outa Kensington, da boyz in the band— singers/guitarists Richard Gibson and Lee Brochu, and drummer Calvin Brown, live in band HQ, tucked away behind storefronts in Market. Fourth member, bassist Famke Berkhout, is a tall, blond Dutch expat who lives outside the Market and needs a passport to get in.

With every second Kensington band banging out garage rock, the Hoa Hoas got with a psych rock/neopsychedelic spirit early on. They're not exactly retro but they're not into re-inventing any wheels either. What they’re into is a catchy mix of the trippy and the rock solid and it fills up a dance floor real good.

“I like the idea of carrying on a tradition in rock ’n’ roll,” Gibson says. “I’d rather do that than try to do something that’s brand new. To me, rock ’n’ roll is the No. 1 most important thing in my life.” The Hoa Hoas do a great job of goosing rock’n’roll traditions to life.

Thursday 11 The Comfort Zone.11.00 p.m.

Amy HeffernanAmy Heffernan

Amy Heffernan is from that fine current crop of Canuck songwriter bending folk so far into sproings into pop. Known to energize audiences with her catchy pop hooks and also for great taste in footwear.

The Alberta raised artist never doubted music is what she was born to do. Blame the rest on Gwen Stefani and the vidfor Just A Girl. Amy saw and said,“That’s it – that’s what I want to do!”

She actually first hit the road on the skins, drumming through Canada and the US with Juno nominated artist Janelle for two years. Intent on developing the songwriting, Amy packed her gear and left her oil city home, Fort McMurray, heading to Los Angeles to team up with brother, Doug Heffernan. Bro's an accomplished singer/songwriter who hit on radio with the group 3 Penny Needle.

In Los Angeles, Amy attended the Musicians Institute Recording Artist Program winning the “Best Project Award” and began writing and recording her self-titled debut EP with brother Doug, and collaborator Steve Giles. After playing over 100 shows in six months including her so called “Johnny Cash Prison Tour” (playing to countless Northern Alberta work camps) she moved back to California to begin writing her first full-length album.

It’s done, it's out and Being Awesome is picking up decent reviews, the most interesting descriptive so far is ‘adult-oriented guitar pop’, which sounds like having it both ways. Which in a way is the story of the album, being an equal mix of drunk'n'disorderly rockers and Sunday morning coming downers. The lady shows the chops to make her case for both states of being and the band behind her sounds like they know what's up. This has all the makings of a frat-girl throwdown, including a sassy cover of Lady GaGa's "Just Dance", Just the kind of audiencethat incites a band to go higher, faster, and stranger. This could be sick fun.

Thursday 11 Bread And Circuses 10 p.m.

Spooky RubenSpooky Ruben

Spooky Ruben at the Bovine Sex Club might seem like an odd pairing but is probably just a little circling back to his roots, being a teenage metalhead and all. Over six albums he's become known more as an eclectic agent provocateur and his current outing doesn't disappoint. Three years and then some in the making, it has elements of Spookey doing Flaming Lips and that's a pairing I'd pay to see.

Mechanical Royalty combines the nasty snark of the best yacht rock with straight up metal. And how 'bout that closing track?A 15 and a half minute epic tribute to prog rock influences from Spookey's youth (Rush, Yes, Genesis, Voivod...) In seven chapters it tells the story of a kingdom of robots who are attacked by humans because they possess a magnetic force; a code in the motherboard that keeps harmony in society. The humans who originally created the robots are now looking to take it back for themselves.For the record, it was written way before Avatar came out.

To call the dude quirky would be selling him short and it'd be easy to write him off as an out there flake were it not for the cleverness and relevance of his ideas and how he works them out musically. As per usual, no idea of who and what will show up as his backing thing so there will be surprise.

Some say Spookey is our greatest living Canadian. I'll pass on that but go with Spookey as a national pleasure.

Welcome to Spookeyland indeed

Saturday 13 Bovine Sex Club 1 a.m.