My Tiny Circus

My Tiny Circus

 Ottawa, Ontario, CAN
BandJazzPop

My Tiny Circus perform original songs about sex, sin, stalking, Satan and aliteration in a breezy jazz/swing/latin style. Guaranteed to delight and offend in equal measure. Not at all boring.

Band Press

Running off to join My Tiny Circus – Upfront Ottawa


http://www.upfrontottawa.com/archives.htm

A CD is currently in the works and a compilation of pre-releases is available at the shows. Don't let the overly bashful DJ Stevie Steve talk you out of buying one either, for a few bucks you get some very slinky tracks that sound very shiny indeed for pre-releases. Steve insists the new tracks will be shinier, but then again he also claims to be a magpie, and nothing's ever shiny enough for magpies.
The song "1-800-666-HELL" drops a very smooth Latin drum line that's complemented by a vocal melody and lyrics that sound like they could have been written by Ozzy Osbourne if he had done a Vegas show. The sinfully playful backup vocalists chanting the title are the proverbial cherry.
"Loser Magnet" is the track every girl can relate to at some time or another. The band swings as Gabriel laments stories with such obscure place references that they must be autobiographical. No one talks about Wawa unless they've had the misfortune of traveling through/getting stuck there.
The monthly shows are developing a regular crowd and with good reason: their unpretentious loungecore style delivers an atmosphere unlike any other seen in the Ottawa area. There's something surprisingly refreshing about a jazz band with a good sense of humor that extends past laughing at their own "jazz jokes" made up of strange notes that no one else in the room gets.
The fiendishly clever lyrics come complete with the attitude. Sacha's stage presence mixes the classic jazz lady image with that woman you'd imagine to be sitting in a Paris café, sipping a tiny coffee, smoking a long cigarette, and looking far too chic to be approached. And besides, what man doesn't have a special place in their heart for a woman that'll tell you straight up she "lacks the balls to tell you what [she's] really feeling"?
The sets sound polished and are full of very well put together original compositions, and some covers with a "what the fuck?" factor that is high indeed. You haven't heard Stairway to Heaven until you've heard it done circus-style. And every band that plays Avant-Guard should have to close out the show with a Leningrad Cowboys track, if for no other reason that it seems to amuse the owner to no end.
The band moves through the progressions of the tracks in a way that makes one think they've been playing together a lot longer than they have. The two percussionists gel nicely and the assortment of things that get whacked fills out the songs well. The horn section also deserves honorable mention, bringing excellent leads on a wide range of instruments that even included the rarely seen flugelhorn (yeah that's right, flugelhorn, Google it). The new disc should be along soon, the next show at the Avant- Garde will be on May 19th, so press the leisure suits, order a brightly colored cocktail, and set your ass to sway.

Satan's Lounge – The Ottawa Citizen

Satan's Lounge

The sound of sweet subversion is nicely packaged in an eight-piece band called My Tiny Circus. Its members have jazz skills; their front woman, Sacha Gabriel ("Grandmaster Sach"), is a fashion plate with a rap-like coo. They play buoyant lounge music monthly at the Avant-Garde Bar.

While there, you can sidle up to the bar, nurse a fancy drink and appreciate the band on a clubby-cool, black-turtleneck level.

And if you're not easily offended, you'll get a whole other experience, too. Just listen carefully: amid the brassy run of notes, you might hear the words "using this doll show me where Jesus touched you." That song is called Hand of God. It's not for the humourless, or the religious. Neither is 1-866-H-E-L-L, a funny little song about sin, says the band's founder, accordionist and pianist, Stephen Tippet ("DJ Stevie Steve").

"I went to a Catholic primary school and I seem to remember a nun saying someone was going to call up Satan the minute you sinned. I had this idea that there's a hotline." The song mentions sins and their potential consequences.

Tippet mirrors his band. He is a proper-sounding sort with a crisp English accent that gives way to a pot-stirring wryness. "The music sounds very pleasant," he explains, "except the content is not what you'd expect. It's generally about murder, Satanism and stalking -- what you'd expect to find in heavy metal and the anarcho end of the punk spectrum, but with a lounge vibe. For me, that's far more subversive than doing it in an expected way."

Tippet says he's always looking for that "flicker of recognition" from the audience. He's not disappointed. The band fills "The Russian Place" when they play on the second Saturday of every month. Look for an album in August. My Tiny Circus plays two sets at the Avant-Garde Bar, 1351/2 Besserer St., Saturday. 9 p.m. $5.