Monday, June 15, 2009

Lost weekend

The last day of the Gaga Weekend was the biggest: A full afternoon of sets from Ottawa's top bands, plus some folks from Toronto and Sudbury, followed by an evening of pure rock mania. So I slapped on the old suntan lotion and headed over to the intersection of Greenfield and Main. Then I discovered the bands were playing inside. I arrived to late for the first few acts; my apologies to Year Zero, Fucked Corpse and Germ Attak, but after the previous night I was not able to get out of bed before noon, and I had a few chores around the house that had to be done. I also missed most of The Fucking Machines' set, and only caught the last five minutes, or about six songs. Since I was late, most of my shots are actually of the back of Emmanuel Sayer's head. Emmanuel wins festival prize for most indefatigable sing-alonger, by the way.

The Fucking Machines, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The I toodled over to the "main stage" ... or perhaps that should be the main part of the room ... to see hot teen trio The Girlfriends perform. I'm glad to say this time it was all musical enjoyment and no bashing-on-the-knee with guitars. Yay! The triplets of trash also wore their best dresses for the occasion. Nigel and Wolfgang did, anyway - Sammie wore something that looked like a Halloween wizard's head, or perhaps the mascot for Gentle Giant. By the time of this picture, Sammie and Wolfgang had mostly stripped off.

The Girlfriends, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The small stage doubles as a practice space for several city bands. It's small and it gets pretty hot if you back 30 people into it. It doesn't help if the band in question is The Centretown Cripplers, since not only do they bounce around a bit there's also seven of them. I don't think I took my camera off the widest angle setting once during the set.

The Centretown Cripplers, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

Off course, there wasn't just music on offer. There was also barbecue. Since I suffer from a peculiar affliction which causes me to pack for a small mountaineering expedition for short trips down the block, I was already prepped for food, drink and pitons. J.P. Sadek manned the barbecue, that's Meatlocker mainman Yogi at right (for those few who have just gotten acquainted with National Capital Rock and don't already know them both).

J.P. Sadek and Yogi, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

There was also merch ... and the Ottawa Gaga compilation, which had arrived the previous night. They sold so fast by the end of the day they were just selling the records since they'd run out of handmade covers.

Merchandise, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The Zebrassieres jumped on the main stage next; in addition to Andrew and Daniel from The Beach Blankets, Sarah Ford of The Misclits and Jordy of The Creeps churn out some catchy organ garage pop.

Zebrassieres, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

Zebrassieres, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The next set was my favourite of the afternoon. The Balconies are Ottawa's next big indie rock sensation. If someone ever brings Blonde Redhead to town or Girls Against Boys to town, this is the trio you want to fill the local opening slot. At the risk of hexing them, I'd say they're the local band most likely to hit it big beyond Ottawa's borders as more than a cult sensation. They're sharp musicians and excellent live performers. I hear an album is in the works, and I for one plan to grab it at first opportunity.

The Balconies, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The Balconies, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The Felines dug out the leopard print for their set, which unfortunately seems to be the last. I guess the folks involved all have other projects on the go, and Molly is off to Toronto. So if anyone's interested, there's now space on the Ottawa scene for an all-girl trash-surf quartet. Be warned they're big heels and sneakers to fill.

The Felines, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The Joliettes were yet another band I was unfamiliar with. They come from Sudbury (and have only played a trio of shows there). They've got a pair of folk harmonizing frontwoman, a hot lickin' guitarist and a punk rock drummer, Statues frontman Rob. They do sound super-sweet, and news of an upcoming Gaga records single is most welcome.

The Joliettes, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The White Wires probably had the best-attended show of the day; Allie Hanlon returned to the drum kit while Million Dollar Marxist Luke and Gagaman Ian rounded out the trio.

The White Wires, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

As you can see they filled out the Meatlocker's main space quite nicely.

The White Wires, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

As you can no doubt tell, the bands alternated between the big room and the practice space; I had looked at an earlier version of the schedule and had noted The Botched Suicides were performing in the small space ... did I really want to be in the small room with Ottawa's most infamous band?!? I'm a fan so what the hell - I have nothing to lose but my life. Unfortunately a lot of other folks passed, and only about a dozen folks dared to witness The Suicides' blistering set.

Botched Suicides, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The Suppositories really kicked out the jagged postpunk to perfection. The addition of a fourth member has really added some heft. Here Ian glares ... he also did most of the sound at the Meatlocker, along with Justin Gobeil.

The Suppositories, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

I better include a picture of Ilona since she also played guitar for The Felines. "She's so serious," I heard one Gaga attendee say. You can see Germa Attak's Jo lending Jeff his guitar at the back.

The Suppositories, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

Next up were The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol. I've started referring to them as MW))) so I'll just stick with that. Here's a band for folks who like The Heads, Acid Mothers Temple's raga tunes, The Mike Gunn and the drugged-out fringes of post-rock.

MW))), Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

The School Jerks from Toronto finished things off with another set of Brutal Knightly hardcore. Rough and straightforward like the kids like. The audience had dwindled a bit by the time they hit the stage, but what the crowd lacked in numbers it made up for in slammability.

The School Jerks, Yogi's Meatlocker, June 13, 2009

Then I went home - I needed to recuperate, as did my camera battery.

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