Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gone M.I.A. and Fearing D.T.s

Hello Children,

Our dear friend Tully Kinch, that guy with the strange obsession with Octopi (or perhaps, as I suspect, irregular plural nouns) has gone missing, disappeared, been replaced by a thick sphere of present absence.

If anyone has any information as to his whereabouts, please email, post a comment, or take out an add in the back pages of your favourite free weekly newspaper.

If anyone is directly responsible for his disappearance, as in kidnapping or eloping, or have been incidentally been broadcasting Psychedelic Furs, Ultravox or Magazine albums at super high frequencies, well, watch your fucking backs, we have hounds and many samples of Mr. Kinch's intimate articles of under-clothing, and we are hungry and desperate.

Until his return, I bid you refrain from giving directions to strangers and consuming any kirsch, as Tully is known to impersonate both to disastrous ends.

I presumptively thank you for your concern, prayers and potted jam,

Mikhail Poshlost Borginsky

Find Tully Kinch Now and Associates Enterprise
Founder, Director and Assistant Craft Services

Monday, May 14, 2007

Strange Animals from Planet Toronto

Bantered about here:

The Creeping Nobodies

Let's pretend money is no object, and do the make-believe thing as if concerts tickets never sold out (or that Tully here has a permanent privilege guest pass for any show he damn well wants to attend). Then Saturday night may have proved a curious quagmire for the live rock n roll heat seeking party zombie/corner lurker that I am (with wimpy digi-cam to boot). Let's see, Blonde Redhead, Arcade Fire, Peaches… Fuck it, said I, and went straight to the Zoobizarre for some of Toronto's finest and noisiest (and had oh-so much extra cash to spend on beer).

I made the right choice, and the bruises prove it.

Anagram came on like the drunken, coked up, older brother of a June bride at her wedding to some plaid-panted square working as an investment cranker (and whom the bride thought was a total piss-headed loser back in high school when he picked his nose and played Seinfeld trivia at lunch). Read: 'in your face' literally, with lead man's circling antics and mock poses as he chanted on a drone of commands somewhere between Ian Curtis and a Buddhist on speed. There was that cold disdain for key changes and chord progression that sends any radio whore to the STD clinic in a throb. Was that a fucking Saxophone? Like Stooges/Birthday Party saxophone, Fucking A yeah! This gig was so hoped up on incessantly repetitive euphoria and anti-pop attitude I had to cry in the bathroom afterwards for like, two minutes, as I shamelessly stickered it up to cheaply boost my ego.

Having recovered with the help of buying shots for two Aussie dive-bar twins (anything for a smile), the procession banged on punc
tually with The Creeping Nobodies. At first I was apprehensive about getting too close to the stage. While drawn forth by nuclear build-ups of dissonance, not to mention a cut-cute keyboardist whom I was checking out all night, unbeknownst to me she was in the fucking band (oh shame Tully), something about the singer's Columbine-esque style of looming and leering kept me to the wall like I was at some sort of Nazi spin-the-bottle party. But, I now know this to be just the nervous reaction they sucked up, for before long the fear turned to frenzy, bordered on frolic, and u-turned into no-shit seizure-ly phantasmal-fun, like crack fun. How to turn freak lines of guitar, bass, keys and voice into the equivalent of being sexually assaulted in an Ontario sewer? How to have a heart attack in anticipation experinecing mass, condemned architectural ejeaculations? Shit, don't ask me, it's just a metaphor kids (and quite non-sense at that). Review: good, like sucker-punching somebody in the gut good, like great.

Today I breath well, feeling generally coddled for being able to gush sincerely about one of the awesomest ten-buck-or-less rock parties in a while. But don't get too cocky T-Dot, lest I may have to clear some space in my kitchen and turn it into a co-op living share for your exiled under-grounders to come reside and keep me air-guitaring. A Co-op? Ha! The profit would be all mine.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blink Blinkblink: (a)Rousing Digital Unease

Sit down, anywhere, and listen. When I tell you to, look. Tully was out, and wants to share with you a priveliged experinece called "Primary Colours" scored and tweeked by the seemingly elusive, yet actually amiable, Blink Blinkblink.

Dear Tully found himself at The Mile End Cultural Center/Main Hall. The ground was forested with chairs, not locked, but in-strategically positioned in a curious theater motif: early signals of unconventionality? (considering the first set was supposed to take place in pitch black). Us children sat edged forward and square shouldered, staring at the stage, where Blink Blinkblink loomed like a cross between a dystopian fascist god and paranoid circuit-switchboard operator channeling amphetamine devotion and chocolate wired nightmares.

Translating an audio/visual experience into a linguistic one is always a highly metaphorical activity. In the case of last night's experience, technically accurate descriptions would look like a binary code representation of a
Barely Legal centerfold: sure there are erected Ones and womb-like Zeros, but no hint of dewy flesh--a discreet corner or conspiring crevice that inexplicably becomes the focal point of attention and arousal. Speaking of rousing and arousing, time to put away the porn.

Blink Blinkblink's audio-scape was a short-circuit super-charged metaphore. Imagine a zoo, but instead of animals, this zoo housed computers, electronics, stereo equipment, printers, circuit breakers, and maybe even some primitive robots (now there's a moronic ox). During the daytime, parents push their little offshoots around, watching the caged beasts do their thing ("Look dear, it's scanning, feed it a page of daddy's Barely Legal"). But this show is not the family tour--the bright, gaping, enthused gush of of turnstile-happy visitors. No, I am a lone night-watchmen, with suspiciously cute cap and uniform, extended flashlight, and caffeinated vibrations. The zoo at night is not quite silent, it breathes, and dreams (especially the scanner). Here is an old PC drooling bits of giga-liva (drop, clank). There, a mixing board arching its toggle switches, cracking its wire (rrrrr...). There is an unease as I am on my own but not quite alone. Something is stirring, and every step or breath I take I fear the sounding alarm of digital revolutions, and my own vainglorious demise in a grumpy old shredder. This is how I can describe the first part of the show.

The second part saved the crowd's impending doom and awkward glances by throwing up some colour on the wall: primarily primary, but I am no artist. Needless to say this solved the paranoid enigma of whom to ogle and where to stare. Soundwise, think of a desperate house beat so muffled it seemed like an entire island rave had been kidnapped, beaten, bagged, boxed and thrown into an attic where it must feed on its own sweat and vibrations to remain vital (oh so vital). As the sounds broke through, so did the disjointed voices, just maybe preempting the uneasy attempt so many like myself would have in describing what we just experienced. If sight and sound can never be directly transformed into words, Blink Blinkblink just sucks up language into his program--a de-evolutionary trip from symbols into the imagination, where meaning becomes just another space-jet for effect.

(shit, this is way too long, sorry kids)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Upping the Frequency With Broadcast Radio

Montreal has bands, yes, and we have venues, and we have condensed hordes of twitching kids who don't need big heaving radio stations dictating what band to see at what venue. Another thing we have is independent record labels, and now one more of those with the recent genesis of Upp Records. On a privileged behest, Tully left his kitchen to head over to Club Lambi for a show with The Coloured Lights, Holler, Wild Rose!, and Broadcast Radio. The first and last of the aforementioned outfits also include founders of the label itself. How fitting, considering my strange attraction to all forms of vanity (this blog, anyone?). But forget not, children, that indy is short for independent, and not, as most think, indecent.

Ok, so first, let me confess that I did not expect the first band, The Coloured Lights, to come on at like 9:30 (It's Friday, Come On!). So I missed them--too bad since some other little reviewer compared them to The Magnetic Fields, gods of Cabaret Rock. Well, their tracks on MySpace sound cool. Some other time perhaps?

New York's Holler, Wild Rose! took the stage to a sadly vacant arena. I suppose the awkwardness was emphasized by the singer's mid-songs banter ('singing' is not the species of the genus 'talking'). But I must say, it always takes guts to be unknown, in a foreign (and sometimes harshly pretentious and judgmental) city, and to play a set of moody, slow-scape tracks, with guitar and keyboards melting together like Sambuca ice drops, and Jeff Buckley channeled vocals, supported by some truly awesome singer-gasm faces. If I was a better photographer you would have an idea.

Soon after, to slightly less a sparsity, Broadcast Radio stationed themselves up
high, handsomely led by front man Nick Backovic (pictured right). These guys play with the confident ease of a band who does not expend all their energy on simply standing out like a gangrened thumb. I see them in their first jam session making lists of bands who either inspire, or nauseate them, then just saying 'fuck it', light the list on fire, and go with what sounds right and feels fuzzy. There is a certain timelessness if one's conception of time begins in 1992. As an alt-pop-rock outfit, it fits loose around the waist and tight around the shoulders. For sum's sake, I'll say these guys are first and foremost authentic songsters, which means exactly what it sounds like: it is not an act or a show as much as a succession of well-hooked verse to versity. Forthright Huzzahs to them for scoring a gig in ol' Albion (London, England). I am sure they will there be mistaken for home-towners as long as they speak solely through their song.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

How To Pet Your Pet Japanther

In this attempt at writing:
Matt & Kim,

Montrealers feel a strange seduction for the Canidae family, especially the wolf (evidenced by such monikers as Wolf Parade, Aids Wolf, We Are Wolves). So when Brooklyn, NYC exports north the Feline duo, Japanther, I decided to hit the zoo (wow Tully, that was a lame opener, how are the career applications going?).

Wednesday night I fed and read to my octopi (some Mark Twain, some Cracked Magazine), polished my shoes and social skills, collected some spare change from underneath my neighbor's bed (she's a heavy sleeper and I had a spare oxygen tank) and headed over to Club Lambi to get a little rock n' roll out of my system, thickening the air. The lineup was oh so generous, the crowd: blood-ready for the take.

dd/mm/yyyy (pronounced 'Day Month Year' according to some of the more literary types) got things a-startin' to a dance floor that was more like a screen for some kind of gaping mouth machine. Perhaps it was early, more likely we just didn't know when to start our headbanging, when to switch to foot-stomping, and whether to hug or shiv our neighbors. It was that kind of frenetic post-baroque dyst-operetta which I am sure an upping of nocturnal drunkenness would turn things all noise-a-rama insanity. Below is the weakest of my petty pic-taking (but it doesn't get that much better, so enjoy the writing kids).

Question: what puts an awkward smile on Tully's stretched mug? Is it cute girls with bigger smiles and wildly expansive stick swinging tattooed arms? Is it endearingly nerdy pitched and overwhelmed keyboard talky-talky singers who perpetually act like they are a guest over for afternoon tea?

The Answer is one part each and a good dash of hopscotch synth tunes beaten down by thick and unequivocally confident battery bashing. This is Matt & Kim (poorly pictured below). Chase it down with shocky-hand robot dancing and grab somebody's love handles until they bruise (in a good way). I told Kim, whose name I knew personally, to come back and do another show and that she and Matt can have my apartment as long as they pull their weight and learn to use my Swiffer. But seriously, I love them both, oh so much.

Following the Brooklyn twosome routine was the main event, the Yes Cats, Japanther. Whereas M & K's sound of drums and keyboard fit the description, these two guys managed to exude a samurai trickery of attack, and I kept looking over my shoulder for another guitar or bass player hiding in the crowd, ready beat someone over the head with pure dissonant madness. They were definitely not the "we are just doing what we are told" types, but the kind of mad scientists who watch with grinding glee as their subject's writhe in jerky orgasmic pain. (I should add, again, that I mean everything in a good way, a very good way). They paused not, questioned naught, and went straight for the jugular. Picture taking can be a real pain in the fucking colon when you just have to dance and thrash. If you don't keep moving, you will suffocate. It was that kind of show, and today, the bruises prove it.