Leslie Feist has never been the type to stay in one place for very long. She’s performed everything from punk to folk all while touring constantly in her native Canada, the United States and Europe. Tonight at the Blind Pig she begins the stateside leg of her North American tour, supported by Broken Social Scene bandmate and fellow Toronto scenester Jason Collett.
Feist, a Calgary native, got her start playing in punk-rock group Placebo (not the British alt-rock group). True to her D.I.Y. spirit she spent almost five years touring nonstop, straining her voice to the point where she was told she might never sing another note.
Subsequently, Feist moved to Toronto to play guitar for By Divine Right, where she met future Broken Social Scene member Brendan Canning. In her downtime between opening for some of Canada’s leading bands with By Divine Right, she found time to record her first solo album and move in with electroclash/trash queen Peaches. She contributed vocals to Peaches’ debut album Teaches of Peaches, and not long after joined the burgeoning supergroup Broken Social Scene just in time for their acclaimed sophomore effort, You Forgot It in People.
Riding the wave of attention lapped onto the Toronto indie-rock scene exposed by Broken Social Scene, Feist released her own critically-hailed sophomore effort, Let it Die, in 2004, and completed her transformation from punk rocker to indie chanteuse.
Collett hasn’t enjoyed quite the same level of success as Feist, but Broken Social Scene has similarly provided him a platform for his solo musings. His third effort, Idols of Exile, already released in Canada, comes out stateside Feb. 2, and finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with his famous friends, including members of Broken Social Scene (Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew, and Justin Peroff,) Metric (Emily Haines and James Shaw,) Stars (Amy Millian and Evan Cranley,) Apostle of Hustle (Andrew Whiteman and Julian Brown) Do Make Say Think (Charles Spearin) and Feist herself.
“It’s all sort of part of the family that is the Broken Social Scene,” Collett said. “It’s a scene that some musical release started because so many of us turned our backs on the industry and stopped trying to calculate how to get a record deal and just started to make music for each other.”
“I think all the best art always gets created that way because what happens is by accident and without intention,” Collett said. “So it was only natural for me to ask my friends to come play on my record.”
Collett also looks forward to touring with Feist again. “Leslie is a spit-fire. I’ve known her for a long time and she’s just great to play with,” he said.
Expect a raucous set where the line between opener and headliner is blurred.
“In typical Toronto fashion she, and her band, play all over my set and me,” Collett explained, “and my band will play all over hers.”