CMWist: Friday Preview
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CMWist: Friday Preview

Photo of Hollerado courtesy of Hollerado.
It’s day three of Canadian Music Week, and you can feel the excitement in the air. Before we get started with today’s preview though, we have a couple of public service announcements: German rockers 4LYN have cancelled their show at Clinton’s Tavern due to ill health, and Hollerado are looking for a place to crash for the night. Apparently they’ll make you nachos.
Where were we? Right. There are over 100 bands playing tonight, and you can barely take two steps in any direction downtown without falling into a concert. So, once again, CMWist is here to tentatively nudge you in the direction of awesomeness. Tonight, awesomeness takes the form of Woodhands and Arkells.

The Up-and-Comers

Photo of Woodhands courtesy of Ideal Friends.
Nerdy Toronto two-piece Woodhands will be bringing their distinctly un-nerdy psychedelic synth-pop to the Drake Underground at 12:45 a.m. as part of Paper Bag Records’ epic showcase, which runs from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. Woodhands are joined by Huckleberry Friends, Tropics, Laura Barrett, Slim Twig, Winter Gloves, and Skratch Bastid. And at the bargain price of $5 (all wristbands accepted), this is as close to value-for-money entertainment as it gets on a Friday night. CMWist caught up with Dan Werb yesterday afternoon.
Describe your sound in ten words or less.
Sexed up sweaty balls-to-the-wall dance party.
What other shows are you going to catch at CMW?
We went to the Deerhoof show last night, it was awesome. I’m gonna go to that Murder Records thing tonight, but I’m worried about waiting outside forever. Then I’m going to go to the Pop Montreal show at the Drake on Saturday. [Pop Montreal Presents, 9 p.m.]
How do you pick what songs to play for a shorter set?
Well there’s some of our songs we think of as not more challenging but the kind of songs audiences need to get geared up for, we have to sort of set the scene beforehand and get people dancing. So what we do generally is cut our more challenging songs, less straight ahead bangers, like in a longer set you can afford to run through a bunch of moods and take people in a bunch of different directions, but if you’re playing half an hour you can’t do that so much.
What are you working on right now?
We just finished this album, and we’re starting to do some remixes, like we did a remix of Sally Shapiro and we’re actually starting to reach out to a few people to do remixes. Paul’s in the Rural Alberta Advantage, so he’s busy doing that, and I’ve been writing songs for a new album. It’s going to be a while until we release that.
What’s your favourite song right now?
You know what I really like? I recently discovered Lupe Fiasco, and he’s amazing. He has a song called “American Terrorist,” which is incredible. Just so, so moving and so smart, and the beat is amazing and super, super catchy chorus. And then the other one is a song called “The Past” by this French producer guy called Vitalic. It’s really slow and melancholy and just gorgeous.
What’s your least favourite part of touring?
The mornings, when you have to wake up and then you’re like, “Oh fuck, we’re already so behind schedule,” and then start driving within five minutes of waking up. Canada is kind of hard to tour, but I really like touring a lot. It’s great because it strips down life to the bare essentials in a way, your motivations every day are clear. You’re cut off from your computer, not making a lot of phone calls. All you need to do all day is get from point A to point B and then play a show and that’s it.
What’s your favourite place to play in Toronto?
You know what, it’s always the venue I haven’t played yet that’s on the horizon. Like being at the Phoenix last night I was like, “Man, this would be awesome.” I don’t know, I can’t think of one, I just love playing Toronto. We’re always looking at new venues and waiting for the day when we’re gonna fill ‘em.
Photo of Arkells courtesy of Dine Alone Records.
We also talked to soul rock outfit Arkells, who are playing at the Horseshoe Tavern at 10:10 p.m., along with Hollerado, The Waking Eyes, Inward Eye, Danko Jones, Hey Rosetta!, Hail the Villain, and Age of Daze. Here’s what they said.
Describe your sound in ten words or less.
Rock and roll.
What other shows are you going to catch at CMW?
To name a few: Sweet Thing, Mardeen, Attack in Black, Two Hours Traffic.
How do you pick what songs to play for a shorter set?
When it’s a shorter set, Max usually yells out, “Only the hits tonight boys,” and everyone just nods their heads and knows exactly what to do.
What are you working on right now?
We’re going to be releasing an EP called Deadlines and a 7-inch vinyl in the next couple weeks. We’ve been busy playing shows and writing songs, working jobs, the usual stuff.
What’s your favourite song right now?
We all have different ones probably, but a car sing-a-long favorite is “You Got Yer Cherry Bomb” by Spoon.
What’s your least favorite part of touring?
A strict diet of junior bacon cheeseburgers, which is coincidentally our favorite part of touring as well.
Where are you staying while you’re in Toronto?
Not sure, do you mind if we crash?