Wishkaah + Ego Death + Paper Beat Scissors @ Bar Le Ritz PDB

KickDrum Summer Marathon d'Été

Tuesday night on July 12th, 2016 marked an incredible start to the KickDrum Summer Marathon d'Été at Bar Le Ritz PDB. After receiving a warm welcome at the entrance from Josh, organizer of the festival, the show opened with Wishkaah, a singer-songwriter very reminiscent of The Smiths. His self-deprecating lyrics and deep brooding voice was like Morrissey had been reincarnated right in front me. (Yes, I realize Morrissey is still alive, but you get the picture). It's not easy being a solo artist with no one to back you up in the background, but Wishkaah delivered a delightful performance. You can classify this artist as folk/indie music. Check out his song called "Ghost Love" on YouTube for a sneak peak at his music.

The second act of the night, which goes by the name of Ego Death, continued the brooding folk/indie theme. Expecting this act to be a heavy metal band (I acknowledge that I completely judged a book by its cover, or in this case, by its band name), I was surprised when I saw singer-songwriter, Joey Proteau, standing alone on stage with his small acoustic guitar and signature circular microphone. I can bravely admit that the combination of his soft voice and the haunting sounds of the cello in the song "Lucid Dreams" emotionally moved me to tears. The harmonies on the song "Andreanne" were beautifully arranged and sung, making the audience crave even more. Then hearing the banjo on the song "Troubles" was a treat, as was hearing the percussion, which teased the audience with several build-ups and abrupt stops throughout the song. I was glad that Ego Death drove all the way from Quebec City just to play for us on a Tuesday night, of all nights. Thanks for coming down and for introducing me to your music. If I had to compare Ego Death to another fellow artist, I would say that Ego Death has a similar intimate and melodic feel as City and Colour. Go listen to his entire digital album entitled "Grief" for free on Bandcamp.

Last and certainly not forgotten, was the band called Paper Beat Scissors. Lead singer-songwriter Tim Crabtree is a force who was born to perform. How can Tim go from singing so hauntingly quiet one minute to belting out some of the loudest, most powerful notes the next minute? PBS's song "Go On" demonstrates the versatility in Tim's voice. Tim's voice and lyrics flow quite naturally out of his mouth. So does his witty banter in-between songs, which I found to be quite funny and endearing–sorry to "disagree" with you Tessa! (PBS bassist).

I definitely love when a folk/indie rock show gets loud, and Paper Beat Scissors did not disappoint on that front. The loud build-up of guitars and drums at the end of the song "Lawless" just elevated them to the next level and put them in the same league as the band Stars. It's also fun to hear a band experimenting with synthesizers and loop machines; it adds a certain special effect to the music that makes the sound more atmospheric. You got a taste of this atmospheric sound in the song called "Forgotten", which they ended their set with, and which remained on loop in my head the next day after the show. That's the key to a good song–when it gets stuck in your head. PBS is on YouYube if you want to give them a listen!


--A warm welcome to our new volunteer, J.B. Stella, from the CJLO Magazine team!