Tag Archives: Ben Gunning

Ben Gunning (with Matt Murphy)

A long time ago, in the mythical 1990s, there were a couple bands who took my heart by storm. The Flashing Lights and The Local Rabbits. The two bands would frequently play shows together around Toronto. Sunday night the frontmen from those two bands played two sets at The Drake Hotel to kick off Ben Gunning’s residency.

Matt Murphy started off the night, he who was formerly in The Flashing Lights, was playing along with his acoustic guitar, and though I’ve seen this man perform countless times and in many different genres and band setups, I had never before seem him performing alone, with a guitar. Murphy started off the set with “Pretty Boy Floyd,” a classic Woody Guthrie song1. He carried on, mostly playing new songs, but did include a song from he called old, but didn’t date, which he only recently finished, in addition, a City Field song which was not on their EP, and “Worth A Song” from the Guy Terrifico soundtrack. Murphy swapped between acoustic and electric guitars, and finished the set with “Way Out There” by Hank Snow.

Ben Gunning’s set consisted almost entirely of songs from his two solo records, Beigy Blur and Mal De Mar2, with the exception of one new song. His performances were good, and though the audience consisted of myself and my friend Allegra, Gunning played as if he was playing to a sold out crowd. I can safely say that at least 50% of the audience thought he chose an ideal set list, combining the best of his two albums, from “Beauty of God” and “Oh Rebel” on the first record to “Take The Hook” and the title track from the second.

Ben Gunning continues his residency, playing the first Sunday of the next two months at The Drake Hotel in Toronto. You can catch him on August 1 (with Steven McKay) and September 5 (with Thomas).

  1. Which I know better as a Byrds song. []
  2. I really hope I spelled those right. []

Mal De Mer

Ben Gunning has posted some of my photos on his website. If you already saw those on Flickr or Facebook, they’re the same, but if you haven’t check ’em out at bengunning.com.

On that note, check out Ben Gunning’s new record Mal De Mer.

January 2010, in review

In December, I set goals for myself, how many films to see this year, how many shows to attend, how many records to purchase, and how many books to read. This is the standings, as of the end of January…

Books I read (1/10 – 10%):
Animal Farm by George Orwell | Originally published 1945

Films I saw (11/52 – 21%):
It’s Complicated | Originally released 2009
Magicians | Originally released 2007
A Single Man | Originally released 2009
Fantastic Mr. Fox | Originally released 2009
After Elizabeth II (Documentary, from CBC Doc Zone)
Crazy Heart | Originally released 2009
Brüno | Originally released 2009
Dan In Real Life | Originally released 2009
Men Who Stare at Goats | Originally released 2009
It Happened One Night | Originally released 1934
A Boy And His Dog | Originally released 1975

Albums I bought (7/52 – 13%):
Gene Clark by Gene Clark (vinyl) | Originally released 1971
The New Despair by The Gothic Archies (CD EP) | Originally released 1997
The Wayward Bus by The Magnetic Fields (CD) | Originally released 1992
Distant Plastic Trees by The Magnetic Fields (CD) | Originally released 1991
Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love by Jonathan Richman (CD) | Originally released  2004
Heartland by Owen Pallett (vinyl)
Mal De Mer by Ben Gunning (CD)

Shows I attended (5/52 – 9%):
Julie Doiron (w/ Will Kidman) @ The Cobourg; January 9, 2010
Krupke, Skip Jensen & Ginger & Irene @ Rancho Relaxo; January 15, 2010
$100 (w/ The Lonesome Ace Stringband & Stripmall Ballads) @ The Horseshoe Tavern;  January 22, 2010
Ben Gunning (w/ Allie Hughes) @ The Rivoli; January 29, 2010
The Dress Whites @ Bread & Circus; January 30, 2010

Ben Gunning

Went to see Ben Gunning last night, he was releasing his second solo record, Mal De Mer. He played the complete record. For more photos, click here.

Egge & Elkas

I didn’t bring my camera tonight, but I went down to the Rivoli to see Anna Egge and Peter Elkas. Anna has a beautiful voice, and a handful of really good songs, but I’m not sure if I’m totally sold on her. Perhaps it’s partially because she kinda looks like a woman I work with, who I’m not too fond of. Perhaps it’s her songs. I dunno. Either way, her set was enjoyable, but nothing to write home about. She wins bonus points for the cover of Belle & Sebastian’s “A Summer Wasting” found on her MySpace.

Peter’s set, however, was fabulous as always. His band were a three-piece, and did a nice mixture of songs from Party of One and Wall of Fire. Elkas also played a few songs from what will one day be his third record (which he’s recording with Thrush Hermit’s Ian McGettigan). Of those songs, three were fantastic, fun, and wonderful; one wasn’t.

Sidenote: Peter, I’m sorry I yelled out “61 Days,” but you can’t blame me, it’s a fabulous song.

Another note: I spoke with Ben Gunning during the show, and he mentioned a show coming up at The Drake on December 9th.