Dave Duncan

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Archive for the 'Music' Category

Our Brand New Baby Gretsch

In the past, I’ve referred to the DDGGF (or, the Dave Duncan Gretsch Guitar Fund) and that I’ve been saving up for a particular brand, make and model of electric guitar.  Well, yesterday, with the help of my good friend Craigslist (which I’ve been searching daily for posts in the “Musical Instruments” category for over a year by searching for the keyword “Gretsch”), I found an even more pretty guitar than the black Electromatic G5120BK I’ve been pining over.

My new girl is an Electromatic 5122DC (where the DC stands for Double Cutaway), she’s a deep walnut colour and her name is Annie.  Allow me to introduce her fully to you, after the jump in full photographic glory.  Just click on the thumbnails to view them full-size.

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The Lucky Horseshoe

Last night I was treated to a great concert as I got to watch some friends fulfill every Toronto musician’s dream; playing live on stage at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern.  Silver Speakers, with special guests Jared and Silas, rocked an awesome show, especially for a rainy Wednesday night.

Probably the highlight of the night for me was hearing a new tune called “The Wrong Blood” that blew my mind.  Sadly, it sounds as though it hasn’t been put to a recording yet, but when it does, I’ll share a link.  It was made all the more awesome when it was introduced with a reference to one of my favourite Southern US writers, Flannery O’Connor.  I really got into her work after taking a course on the literature of the American South back in 2001.

In a completely unrelated piece of luck, my dad did some measurements of our shed foundation up at the cottage and passed along some news that will help in its reconstruction this weekend.  Namely, that the Canadian Shield bedrock is only a few inches below the ground, so resetting the foundation onto some of the most solid rock in the world will require very little digging and very little concrete, hence WAY less work and cost than I’d planned.

Also, while it looks like rain for most of the weekend down in the Golden Horseshoe, Environment Canada is still calling for partly cloudy with very little chance of rain in the Ottawa Valley.  Everything’s coming up Milhouse.

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Casting for Appleseeds

Long-time readers of the blog might recall various roadtrips across our southern border into New York State (and one trip all the way to Pittsburgh with an ill-fated stop in Cleveland) to see a great indie band live.  One night, many years ago, they saved me the trouble of needing photo ID to see them by playing a dive club to an uncaring audience here in Toronto.

Well, tonight I have to travel the shortest distance ever to see The Appleseed Cast as they rock out the historic Horseshoe Tavern.  Tickets are $10 in advance, so I’m guessing they’ll be around $15 at the door, but that’s well worth seeing this seasoned touring band strut their stuff on stage.  Click on the link above to check out some of their music.

I guess it’s categorized as ’emo’, but ignore genre titles and just know that you can look forward to anthemic guitar-based waves of emotion that ebb and flow until your ears are sore.  If you love guitar-based rock and amazing drum work, then you won’t be disappointed.  Well, not by the band at least.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a band at the Horseshoe, but the crowd can be hostile sometimes and the beer is far from cheap.

Still, come on out and enjoy a great show.

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Guitars, with Fringe

So, if you haven’t gotten into the TV show Fringe yet, it’s probably too late to just hop and board and figure out what’s happening, which is a shame.   I’m sure you can use one of many methods to see all the episodes from the beginning and I highly recommend it.  I’m hooked, and I’m starting to get into some of the conspiracy theories behind what goes on in the background, which makes me feel like a sleuth.  Yeah for sleuthing!

Aside from watching freaky TV shows, I’m also begninning my earnest search for my Gretsch guitar.  After winning the NCCA March Madness pool, I have nearly enough money to buy my dream guitar so I have to find a store that actually carries the one I’m looking for.  My good friend (and CBC Radio 3 independent artist extraordinaire) Tyrone has been helping me out by sending along links to Gretsches he’s found, which is awesome.  A little help with some extra eyes goes a long way.  Thanks, Tyrone.

If you haven’t already, you should check out Tyrone’s music at the links above, and then when you’ve realized he’s as awesome as we all know he is, you can get head over to SilentTalkie and get hooked on his weekly podcast.  In the meantime, I’ll just keep looking for guitars and trying to solve the riddle of The Event.

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Guitars That Drip Maple Syrup

There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to recognize a significant change in the patterns of his behaviour and come to accept that something has become a ‘norm’.  I’ve been listening to, and enjoying, the CBC Radio 3 Canadian Independent Music podcasts for a few years now, but only in conjunction with my usual radio and music listening preferences.  Shortly before last week, I noticed that I was eschewing radio and my usual music in favour of some new-found Canadian Indie bands.

After our two nights out for Canadian Music Week, and comparing ticket prices for live Canadian Indie acts, I think it’s safe to say that I am now more in favour of CBC Radio 3 than anything on broadcast radio.  Sadly, as CBC Radio 3 isn’t a broadcast station, I’ll have to enjoy it on the net until I eventually get into satellite radio.  In the meantime, my CD collection will no doubt become engorged with acts from across this great country who still have real jobs while they try to eek out a living and continue making great music.

Right now, I’m particularly partial to The Arkells, Hey Rosetta, Malajube and the ever-present Joel Plaskett.  If you don’t know them, check them out on CBC Radio 3’s site.  You can listen to any and all of the bands ‘in the scene’ on there, and if you create a login, you can create and save playlists, which I highly recommend.  Rock on.


I Gots an Owie

This morning, while unpacking a shipment of books from Indigo that arrived in our mailbox, I gave myself a real humdinger of a papercut right on the top of my right index finger.  It’s a nice, deep little tear right in the centre fold of the biggest knuckle, the first one up from the palm.  I’m going to be feeling that one all day.  On the plus side, I didn’t get any blood on our travel guides for Germany.

Tonight we’re hitting up the ElMo for a taste of Canadian Music Week.  The lineup features some Montreal bands varying in style from synthesizer-based indie to guitar-based indie and I assume there’ll be at least one accordian making an appearance.  I know of only one band on the bill, but I’ve read some reviews of the others and have high hopes for a great show.  I’ll likely spend the rest of today listening to MySpace pages for the bands to get familiar with their music.

So, what will annoy me more today; my strategically placed paper cut that will sting whenever I move my hand, or having to navigate through various MySpace pages?  Your thoughts?

It’ll all be worth it when I’m nursing that cut with a cold beer and some loud music.  T-minus 9 hours, and counting… counting… counting…

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There’s No Line on the Horizon

Due to some deadlines coming together all at once, I’m absolutely buried with work.  It’s at that point where even when you’re not at work, you can think of little else but the big pile on your desk and you dream all night of what you have to do the next day.

However, thanks to a minor screw up at my favourite band’s label, their long-awaited new album is now roaming free and clear on the intarwebs.  I manged to unclog a few pipes last night and give it a listen.  So far, I like it, and each listen shows me something new and I like it even more.  Today, it will serve as the soundtrack to a day of slugging it out in the trenches.

When Charles Dickens wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, he was talking about days like today.

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Rockin’ The Boat

There are few things that make you more sluggish on a Monday morning than heading to a bar to hear some live music on a Sunday night.  I sometimes still think my body is 18 years old and can bounce back like elastic, but in the morning I remember that it’s less like elastic and more like molten rubber.  That being said, I have no regrets about checking out a live show at The Boat in Kensington Market last night.

First off, the venue.  The Boat looks like… well, a boat.  It actually looks like a galleon if it was less of a ship and more of a ’70s porn set.  It’s safe to say that it only survives because of its location and close promixity to fans of ironic surroundings.  Drinks were cheap and plentiful, but watch out for the many buckets hanging from the low ceiling that indicate a very leaky roof.  Some of them are awfully close to lights.

Second, the music.  The opening act was ‘Gates, Gates, Gates’, a female singer-songwriter who is clearly very witty, and did very well for what appeared to be one of her first gigs.  I wish her the best of luck.  She was followed by, what I considered the main event… Silver Speakers, and they rocked the house.

They played an acoustic set (one guitar, one jingly Christmas stick) that was funny, heartfelt, funny and funny.  The crowd ate them up, and the songs were performed beautifully.  Now, since Silver Speakers is basically Tyrone and he plays with Slow Like Big Hams (aka Right-Click Properties), I am choosing to give him some Google-rank love through the wonder of links.  You’re welcome, Mr. Warner.

You can find Tyrone Warner‘s music through his site, his MySpace page or his Facebook group.  Not only can you find his music there, but you SHOULD find his music there, especially if you’re starting to get sick of the same old Christmas music.


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