They say the first step in conquering addiction is admitting you have one. This to me, begs the question: Is music an addiction? For me, it definitely is. But it also heals all my hurts and gives me something to lean on, or something to reach for. It’s my crutch, like Linus’ blanket or a teddy bear to a child at night (I fall asleep to a Hair Metal playlist, and I can’t sleep without it...) Further to this question, is music a negative addiction? Can a person have a positive addiction?
ANYWAYS. Life got in my way for a while, which caused radio silence here. Be honest, you didn’t miss me at all. That’s okay. “Wait,” you say, “where were you?”
Well, I guess you could say I have an I-HATE-TODD-diction? That is, an addiction to the Toronto based rock band I HATE TODD.
I hesitate to categorize though, because they aren’t typically rock, but they aren’t typical anything else either. There is a song with a melodica (affectionately known to all of us as “keyboardy blowy thing”) in it, and the violin plays a major role in the awesome sonic ride that you take when you listen to or see IHT.
My first question when seeing this band for the first time was “why on earth would anyone call their band that? Poor Todd!” And then I realized (after a few songs) that it afforded hilarious stage banner and antics associated with the image a name like that gives you. I don’t even feel bad for Todd anymore. He’s too pretty. He’s prettier than me, he’s a better dancer, and a better vocalist than I could ever hope to be. My eyes wish they were as blue as his. These are the reasons I have chosen to hate Todd.
Image can only improve good things, and this band is most definitely in the top two that I’ve seen since coming to Toronto. Every song tells a story. Every lyric is well crafted, every musician is a virtuoso at their chosen vessel. Yes, vessel. I am a captain of this article writing, I HATE TODD loving ship! And they are each captains of their instruments. Or something. I don’t know. Maybe in reality I would just love to see them all in pirate garb. Everything is better when you’re a pirate. Arrr!
In all seriousness though? If someone asked me “Hey, what kind of music does this “I HATE TODD” band play? I would respond with “Awesome” because there is no other word.
I’m not going to lie, I fucking love that they have a violin player (Ms. Capucine Onn) in their band. She’s amazing, too. And I’m not just saying that because I know very little about violin other than I like the way it sounds. I mean that one time, I was helping her write out set lists and she was like “Oh, we’re playing that, guess I should brush up on it” and then she told me that she liked to practice it more because the sheet music she had for it (a Beatles cover) was written for Cello. Which means people, that every time she reads the sheet music, it’s for the instrument she isn’t playing. And she has to transpose it into violin. I have three years of musical theory, composition and many choral groups under my belt. It takes me hours to transpose things, and I write it down. She can do it ON SIGHT. AMAZEBALLS.
Nelson Sobral, the guitarist, lends killer sing-able guitar licks (I have one stuck in my head now) to the mix. Not to mention he’s fun to watch, he gets in on the banter, he wears a button with the drummer’s face on it, and he mixes on of the songs with a Zepplin riff once in a while. He’s also got a stellar voice.
Troy Larabie is the percussionist and not only have I seen this man kill it on the set, I’ve also seen him set himself on a cajon (a wood box/acoustic drum) with a shaker in his foot and blast off. I think I have the most fun watching him, because he loves to smile and sing along. I love people who love music.
Kev Carney is the bassist, and gives character to the backing vocals. He gets the best lines in “Zombie Love” and “Holiday with No Rest”. He also wrote my favorite lyric in my favorite song and looks like a relative of early Paul McCartney. What more do you want? Nothing. All you need is Kev (bap bah dah dah dah!)
Todd Preston is the Todd we all hate, and he’s just…electric. I’ve run out of words to describe this band.
If you’re in the area and get a chance, make this band your top priority. Head on over to ihatetodd.com for show dates, mailing lists, and photos.