Top Picks for Marvest Festival

If the Marvest Line-up looks like it's so packed with acts from which to choose, it's because it is SUPER PACKED!  Jimmy Skyline poured through the list of acts and presents some of the best bets within genres in order to give you what you're looking for.

Check out this list.

Psyche/Noise/Fuzz/Heavy/Real R&R! 

Expanda fuzz

Saturday, September 16, 10:00pm - 10:45pm
Clocktower Brew Pub, Glebe

‘Expanda Fuzz is a caustic homing device for wayward spirit animals. (from soundcloud)”…. any one who holds the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed in such high esteem gets my attention and love. The duo of Chris Page (Camp Radio/ Stand GT) and partner Leila distort their way through real fuzzed up, dark, noisy garage based muddy mayhem, partially in homage to the NYC Max’s Kansas City sound or Andy Warhol’s Factory.

They appeared as a four piece at Ottawa Explosion 2016, but I think the creative spark lies with Chris and Leila. This is where spirit and intention triumph over technical skill and musical savvy. Elements from Pink Floyd (the good bits) to Suicide are found on a slew of official releases. This years single, “At War with the Summer”, and last years “Bleuets” should be enough proof that droney, hook laden, post punk and retro fuzz box sounds are still engaging and highly satisfying….. think Gateway Drugs meets Death From Above 1979.

Heavy Machine Band

Saturday, September 16, 11:00pm - 11:45pm
Clocktower Brew Pub Glebe

Perfect scheduling puts Potential Red, Expanda Fuzz, and Ottawa’s heavy weight Psyche Rock hitters, The Heavy Machine Band in the same venue. Starting at 9 pm on Saturday, at the Clocktower Brew Pub in the Glebe a night of sonic confrontation awaits. This is a band to watch out for… Smartly, Record Centre Records has gotten behind this dynamic band, and has put out a fantastic 12”  ERSATZ ERA. Full of melody, but buried under layers of dreamy psyche filled nuance, The Heavy Machine Band is on the leading edge of the Psyche/Kraut/Dark Folk/Feedback mayhem that will grip and dominate the music scene any day now… ok, so I will take my tongue in cheek comment back, but for those who are listening in the clubs, bars, and concert halls, this far reaching sound of psyche rock is the single strongest “new” voice in the music scene.

Countless bands like NYC’s RuckZuck, Australia’s King Gizzard, Butterscotch Palace,  Ottawa’s outstanding The Band Whose Name is a Symbol, and Montreal’s USA Out of Vietnam are just a few examples of the new interpretations of psyche rock. The Heavy Machine Band has only been around since 2014, but their folk tinged dark soul filled take on the genre is putting them into comparisons of Amon Duul II, and Ash Ra Temple. If you miss this show, they are playing with Toronto’s Change of Heart at the House of Targ on Saturday September 23.

Groove/Funk/Jam

THRUST

Friday, September 15, 9:30pm - 10:15pm
Industry Pizzeria + Bar

The Chocolate Hot Pockets

Friday, September 15, 10:30pm - 11:15pm
Industria Pizzeria + Bar

City Folk sure seems to be paying attention, as they pair up a perfect groove/funk jam line up back to back on Friday September 15, at the Industria Pizza+Bar. Thrust, a forward thinking 70’s influenced funk/soul futurist trio from Ottawa opens a night of danced fuelled rhythms. It’s hard to imagine such a full funk sound coming out of a three piece, but tracks like ”Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard”, and “I get a Kick Out of You” are examples of playful, inventive and infectious grooves. An up front trumpet leads driving rhythms, with sonic keyboard fills which are as good as any Herbie Hancock 1980’s record. Ottawa is becoming a funked up place to live.

Blessed earlier this year with Bixiaga 70, and the perennial Soul Jazz Orchestra, the funk just keeps coming. If you haven’t seen the Chocolate Hot Pockets, and funk and soul vibes are for you, then this double bill will be what the doctor ordered.  This four piece is becoming a big draw and one of Ottawa’s favourite. They will be playing off grooves from their latest album “The Feast”. Fatback funk, neo soul, jazz-funk, hip hop, fusion…. what ever the label they are certainly one thing, and that is infectious. If you need a musical fix, and your not heading to the big stage shows of city folk, this is the best bet for dancing feet and giant smiles.!

Hip Hop/Rap/Urban

Morris Ogbowu

Saturday, September 16, 9:30pm - 10:15pm
The Unrefined Olive

RBLx

Saturday, September 16, 10:30pm - 11:15pm
The Unrefined Olive

TRAINING SEASON

Friday, September 15, 10:30pm - 11:15pm
The Unrefined Olive

If Hip Hop/Rap is your bag, I suggest that the real deal is not on the big stage, but found at the Unrefined Olive, where Morris Ogbowu is leading the charge. Floating around since 2015, Morris is a Nigerian born, Ottawa based lyrical gangster. His flow is tight and on target. This is world class flow. His beats are jazzy based, afro influenced rhythms which allows a lot of change up lyrical patterns. He can drag a line out like the best MC’s and then rapid fire a life lesson in the next. With a little more age, and life experience, Morris Ogbowu could mature into a fierce force. Similar to most Canadian rappers, there is a bigger world view, and rhymes tend to be more sophisticated then their southern counterparts. His track “Subliminals"  touches on big themes in every line…

“Started off writing this as a cypher

But then I realize that me I ain't really the type of

Nigga to carry drama, don't really care like Obamas

The food industry dependent on farmers

But act like they forgot who went through the struggle

I put that bullshit on karma”

RBLx follows Morris Ogbowu, and should pack the house with there fan friendly hip hop. Coming out of local high schools, and heading what is a hip hop collective. It’s hard to say who or how many will grace the stage this time around, but a “party” atmosphere is a safe bet.

 

Folk/Acoustic/Harmonies

The Artichoke Hearts

Friday, September 15, 9:00 pm - 9:45pm
FarmTeam Cookhouse

This being a folk festival, it would be a great disservice not to mention some of the outstanding folk going on at Marvest. The Artichoke Hearts, not only have an irresistible name, but embody the perfect silky sounds of contemporary acoustic folk. Dreamy and infectious, they extend lovely three part harmonies to rival and compliment the instrumentation. Singer and song writer Caitlin Dolan plays acoustic guitar and is accompanied with pianist Kim Jackson and violinist Jessie Lyon. Another Ottawa group, they are soon to be darlings of the CBC radio, and will be found on a lot of stages at future Ottawa festivals. See them now, before you have to wait in line.