Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani
MORE TRANSPARENT (READ: WEIRDER, TAMER)
It was sometime in 2008 when we were bumming around the studio, that Jonathan Chandler, front guy for Ottawa sextet Amos the Transparent, summarized his philosophy for the band’s second album that he was working on at the time.
“I want to make the weirder songs weirder, and the tamer songs tamer.”
It is a simple — and quippable — MO that offers some insight into what makes the band appealing enough to score primo opening spots (they toured with Patrick Watson), attract the attention of heavy-hitting collaborators (Amy Millan and Evan Cranley of Stars) and to cement a rising national profile (they’ll play live on Q on CBC Radio on Friday morning).
While the weird-tame dynamic started with their 2007 debut full-length Everything I’ve Forgotten to Forget, it became apparent on their 2009 EP My What Big Teeth You Have, and comes together on the new LP, Goodnight My Dear, I’m Falling Apart, which was released this week on Valentine’s Day.
By meshing those polarities, Amos the Transparent churns up a funky-ass musical sound.
That madcap, eclectic impulse is evident in the verbal excess of the album titles too. Chandler takes them from his lyrics, which reek with intensity. They are sometimes vulnerable and candid and at other times head-scratching and ambiguous. It’s a push-pull tension that works on a lyrical level as well as on a musical level, resulting in a curious incongruity that you can’t quite tune out.
Amos the Transparent. Saturday, Feb. 18. 9 p.m. $15. Ritual Nightclub, 137 Besserer St. With guests Julia Dales, Fire & Neon, and Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers.
MORE MORE MORE
- DJ Zattar — Timekode founder and host — closes out the Winterlude Sub Zero Music Series in Confederation Park on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. (Make it a double by hitting up Timekode on Friday, Feb. 17 at 10 p.m. Eri Café, 953 Somerset St. W.)
- The Ya-Yas are a Rolling Stones cover band comprising a bunch of dudes who’ve been part of the music scene for ages. See Gilles Mantha, Glen Russell, Fred Guignon, Steve Donnelly, and Rob Bennett play some 40-plus Stones tunes from the ‘60s and ‘70s at the Rainbow Bistro (76 Murray St.), Saturday, Feb. 18. 9 p.m. $10.
- The Queers take over Maverick’s (221 Rideau St.,) tonight.
- Andrea Simms-Karp and Matt Ouimet play Irene’s Pub (885 Bank St.) Friday.
- GOOD2GO performs two sets at the Atomic Rooster (303 Bank St.) on Friday.
- Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra plays the First Baptist Church (140 Laurier Ave., W.) on Saturday
- The Peptides bring their blend of glitz and lament to Irene’s Saturday.