Sunday, May 31, 2009

Smash and smear

The Holy Cobras finished the night off with their psychedelic punk sludge; when I ran into Danny Druff at the Tyvek show a week or so later he admitted to being a big fan of The Germs, one of the bands I compared their sound to. I've been listening to some early live Wire and I'd say that's another possible comparison. Or we could just say it's psychotic mantra punk and leave it at that.

To the left of the pole, Johnny (also of the Fucking Machines and many other bands) and Danny Druff.

To the right, former Million Dollar Marxist Rich and Rodney Royale.

Danny takes a stand.

I think this photo was illuminated by someone else's flash, which is why it looks like someone's been standing on it.

Rod goes down!

Seeing double action!

They're surrounded on all sides by photogs.

Danny works the crowd.

Rodney - still down.

Rhythm section action!

And that's all for tonight!

They'll be back in the basement of 854 Bronson Ave. for the second night of the Gaga Weekend. They're also playing at the Green Room in Montreal June 8. They also have a new split cassette with Grand Trine on the Bruised Tongue label.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eyes wide open

After some tinkering with the reverb (can there ever be enough?) Montreal's Panopticon Eyelids were up next with a thrashier take on psychedelica, far out freak rock inspired by Space Ritual era Hawkwind or F/i (at least live ... the studio stuff I've heard is a bit more free-range). I wasn't completely sold on the vocals (although that may just have been the mix), but the music rocked out in strange and mind-expanding ways. And now on to the photos of the pseudonymous trio (my apologies in advance for any mistaken names).

Tronix Magnet rocks out.

Mike Mercury handles the traps.

Captain Baby Killer swings second axe.

Every venue in Ottawa needs its own pillar.

And so on!

There were a few other photogs there that night: I recommend David Forcier's photos.

Christmas lights action!

Double exposure action (not really - just another flash going off).

And again, though in this case Mike Mercury is really exposed and Killer is not.

And some final hair-swinging action.

Definitely a fun live band.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nervous disposition

Back to the basement, where one can find your faithful blogger (clutching his knee, yelling "Oww!" and about three dozen folks drinking wine straight from the bottle (I declined, since I expected major league pankillers in my immediate future). Next band up was Nervous System, my favourite combo of the night in a very capable crowd. I did that psych rock, y'know.

Jesse Winchester, Matt Cossgrove and Matt Oxley (the latter two also of of Crazy Ocean) make up the trio.

Rhythm section action!

Matt bends a bit.

A terrible Matt picture.

Someone else's flash went off, I figure.

And now, fun with Christmas lights ... not to rule out the possibility that Oxley's brain actually does glow like that.


And there you go then.

They'll be back to the basement as part of Gaga Weekend on June 1, following a show in Montreal just a couple of days at Friendship Cove in Montreal.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rainy day music

I certainly picked a nice couple of days off ... I predict after the weather this Wednesday and Thursday my apartment's going to be a lot cleaner. However, a man can only take so much exposure to cleaning solvents, so I headed off to The Rainbow to see what the young folk of today are doing - specifically a couple of bands from Hamilton on tour together and a local sextet.

Property Line were the odd men (and women) out on this bill. Their music on Myspace comes across as amiable folk-pop; live it has a gutsier, rocking sound. There's a steel guitar player and a keyboardist tucked away off to the left of this shot. They have a lot of pals, which meant The Rainbow was quite full when I showed up.

Property Line, The Rainbow, May 27, 2009

This gig may not have been the most accurate exposure to The Dirty Nil, since their lineup normally includes bass player Dave Nardi. He couldn't make it because, as guitarist Luke explained "He's still in high school." They say they like Nirvana and Weezer and their sound definitely has that early 1990s college rock thing going for it, albeit in more minimalist fashion. Their set included a cover of The Pixies' Gigantic and, less in line with their sound, Elton John's Tiny Dancer. There was a lot of jumping around during this set.

The Dirty Nil, The Rainbow, May 27, 2009

We Were Heads were the most inchoate of the lot. They covered Pavement's Summer Babe and a version of The Ramones' Cretin Hop which didn't sound as good swaddled in fuzz. They like jumping around too, so much so that the bassist lost his glasses (which were promptly donned by the guitarist).

We Were Heads, The Rainbow, May 27, 2009

Their set unfortunately devolved into broken strings and patch cord problems near the last song, but at least they're an energetic bunch.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The better half

I'm thinking of adding a second brilliant theory of band names to my hypothesis that bands with "city" in their name are invariably either psychedelic bands, or garage rockers if there's an adjective in front of the "city"; theory No. 2 is that bands with "girlfriends" or "girls" in them are usually all guys (e.g., The Mystery Girls) ... but then I thought of the Vivian Girls and realized it wasn't so. Anyway, The Girldfriends are indeed all guys, and play a lo-fi garage pop of the sort that appeals to Reatards and Black Lips fans.

My first photos turned out a little freaky ... it looks like Pierre Richardson's flash went off ... perhaps the opposite number of this photo is included in his own Flickr set from the night. Wolfgang is the chap with the guitar, Sammy is on drums.

Nigel was the only one whose guitar was actually plugged into anything. He also noted in a comment earlier that his hat now "smells like fire." Theories, anyone?

Sammy models the avian look.

Singalong action!

Unplugged action!

Sammy takes the microphone.

Wolfgang goes skully.

The whole lot!

I think Wolfgang's mask is starting to slip ... it was all a facade!

And one more Sammy shot for no particular good reason.

After this Wolfgang decided to smash up the guitar he was miming with and throw some eggs at Nigel. Nigel responded to this provocation with a little sibling fisticuffs. "Can you see my bloody lip?" Nigel asked me afterward. "He's damn strong ... I wouldn't have fought him if I wasn't drunk." Their next scheduled show is at the Gaga Weekend on June 13 at Yogi's, but they say they'll play in your shower.

Monday, May 25, 2009

All fall down

I've shot King Khan and His Sensational Shrines before, so there's no reason for introductions (I missed a few members anyway, unless you want to see a very dull drummer shot of John Boy Adonis and the top of organist Fredovich's head). If you've caught my previous Khan posts, or seen his show, you know what to expect - a serious soul workout with a healthy helping of crazy and occasionally painful audience behaviour - and this show was no exception! There was lots of shoving and swaying and a good chunk of the front row ended up tipping onto the stage on more than one occasion.

Please welcome to the stage your new space overlord, King Khan!

He quickly doffed the helmet (and a song or two in the jacket).

I cheated on this photo off the horn section and took it during the soundcheck when I actually had a clear view of them.

Singalong action! With Big Fred Roller, Riddiman and Mr. Speedfinger.

Mark Sultan jumps on stage to sing one.

King Khan slings axe.

Soul action!

Bamboorella isn't just the Gogo Queen of the Underworld - she's also mighty flexible.

Speedfinger jumps! Of course!

Know Your Product gets a workout.

Encore action!

Khan works the crowd!

Big Fred Roller really, really works the crowd.

And a final toot.

A sensational and sweaty show as usual.