Have you heard the expression those who can’t do, write about it?

It’s certainly the case for many music writers. We listen, appreciate and critique — but we don’t play.

Well, at least not usually. But sometimes someone comes along who aims to prove that those who write about it, can.


Such is the case with Stuart Berman, lead singer and lyricist with Toronto rock band The Two Koreas.

Berman just happens to be senior editor of the Toronto alternative newspaper Eye Weekly, and in that role he gets to write a lot about Canada’s thriving music scene. But for the past few years Berman, and fellow Eye writers Kieran Grant and Jason Anderson, along with David Gee and Ian Worang, have dabbled in their surprisingly successful side project — playing music clubs in Toronto.

Their recently released second album, Altruists, has been getting plenty of buzz and flattering reviews, but Berman says the band members aren’t ready to give up their day jobs just yet.

“We’ve always said that’s it’s a bit of an experiment to see how much we can accomplish without doing the things that bands are supposed to do, like tour and really promote their work,” says Berman.

In fact, the band’s weekend stop in Ottawa, and a show the night before in Montreal, is the most adventurous touring The Two Koreas have ever done. It’s partly because they’re busy gents, but also because of their lazy, no-touring policy, according to Berman.

“It’s just two shows outside of Toronto but to us it might as well be six months in Europe.”

But as modest as he may try to be about The Two Koreas’ musical intentions, there is no question that the band has something special going on. The track “Cloth Coat Revolution” is designed to be listened to on repeat, and the obscure musical influences and niche indie rock admiration can be heard in every note on Altruists.

That amounts to some inspiring and interesting rock that’s worth writing about.

Check out The Two Koreas live Saturday at Zaphod Beeblebrox, 27 York St. Tickets cost $6 in advance from ticketweb.ca and doors open at 8 p.m.


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