This past Sunday's Shearing Pinx homecoming BBQ bash had a last minute venue change to Pub 340, which made the all day fest a 19+ event. Apparently, over 160 kids under 19 years old had RSVP'd the event. I feel incredibly sorry for all the kids that couldn't come out because our city has a problem with accommodating all ages events. Not sure what the exact details of why the venue was moved, but it appears to be another case of the No Fun City police throwing their archaic laws in the face of those who just want to have a good time.
I grew up in Aldergrove and attended many, many "coffee house" events there and in Langley where I was exposed to a wide variety of music and surrounded by people of all ages. These weekly events shaped my adolescent mind and pretty much turned me on to punk rock, which was the only outlet for such music in a small town like Aldergrove. It saddens me a bit when I think of all the great bands in this city that kids under 19 only know about through their older siblings or myspace, which is usually about as far removed from the essence of a band as you can get. I'm not sure what can be done about the situation but, clearly, something needs to change.
Anyways, enough with the ranting. I managed to catch almost every single band (sorry Ora) and even snapped a few pics, all in between consuming too many beers and putting my groove on the floor. Pub 340 never got all that full, but there was a good rotation of familiar faces through the afternoon and night. The event seemed to go off without incident and a good time was had by many. Let's hope that we can keep banding together to create events like this.
On with the shows...
i/i kicked off the event (got there just in time for their last song), which makes sense when I found out that the electric violinist in the band, Anju, had arranged the whole day. The jam I did catch was very similar to the blazing post-rock of their set at Music Waste. Can't wait for that Broadway to Boundary 7".
Kellarissa followed with a set of her slowly layered keyboard-pop. I caught Kellarissa several months back when she opened for Samara Lubelski, and I must say that her confidence and mastery of her equipment (she samples her vocals several times during a song and builds up thick, harmonious layers that she sings along with) has increased ten-fold. Obviously people are paying attention, Kellarissa has her Mint Records debut in September.
Pink Noise played a decent set of their post-riot grrl tunage which also included a Shearing Pinx cover! Their set started off a little sloppy but got progressively tighter as they went a long. I hadn't seen 'em before but I wouldn't mind seeing 'em again.
Stamina Mantis played their set in the old smoking room of Pub 340, which turned out to be one of the loudest sets of the night due to the incredibly small space that they were crammed into. This was actually my first time seeing the duo, and I was quite impressed. The duo is comprised of bass and drums but do not fit into any of the blues-informed or Lightning Bolt rip-offs that most bass and drum duos end up in. Instead, it was a mix between tightly wound punk rock and improvisational noise jams. Pretty good shit.
Empty Love played a great late afternoon set of ever-shifting drone that was as captivating as his set at Music Waste. The only thing missing was the Dream Machine, which must have been nixed due to the brightness of Pub 340 in the afternoon. Note to all drone-heads: Empty Love will be curating a Fake Jazz offshoot entitled Fake Sleep, and will be consisting of local drone artists. The first one will be on the 15th of July and features Magneticring and Ian Gregory James, who is also one half of Blouse. Unfortunately, my trip to Chicago coincides with this event so I will have to miss this one. You, on the other hand, have no excuse.
Modern Creatures, who get better every damn time I see them. They used to have a very Siouxsie and the Banshees-style vibe about them, but, now that the keyboards are gone, and they're a two bass assualt, Modern Creatures has morphed into a completely different beast. They have a much more punk-rock feel to them while still maintaining their dark appeal. A local favorite!
Taxes, whom I caught for the first time at the Sweatshop two weeks ago, played a magnificent set of their unique brand of post-hardcore (think Drive Like Jehu on speed). Singer Sean Orr was a maniac behind the mic, pouncing all over the stage and commanding the attention of the entire audience. Despite Sean's mesmerizing on-stage persona, I found the real force of the band was the drummer, who lead the assault with his incredibly driving and technical drumming, and was very reminiscent of the lead drumming of Don Caballero's Damon Che. This band is a real force and I hope they can squeeze out a proper release sometime soon.
Certain Breeds mesmerized me once again with a short set of gothic and hypnotic new wave. I simply can't say enough good things about these guys. Go see 'em soon.
Nu Sensae destroyed Pub 340 once again. The duo is soon to be on tour with Terror Bird (an offshoot of Modern Creatures) across the North American west coast.
Blouse (hey, where's the myspace page?) played an unannounced set that seemed to catch most of the crowd off guard. Despite a few false starts and a quibble with the soundguy, Blouse sounded awesome in Pub 340, whose sound system is quite superior to the ER's. Never noticed it much the first time around but occasionally Josh's vocals reminded me a lot of the slave-driving vocal style of Michael Gira in his early Swans days. The man on the left in the above pic will be playing solo drones at the inaugural Fake Sleep. Peep it.
V. Vecker wildly swung his guitar between several amps placed on the floor of Pub 340 and created a dense whirlwind of disorienting feedback. After several intense minutes, Justin from Mutators jumped on the drums and the two (the both of them are one half of Sex Negatives) put together a fantastic improv'd set.
Shearing Pinx ripped through a two-part set, the first half centering around their odd time-signatured post-punk songs and the second half consisting of freewheeling improv. Great to have 'em back.
My camera was accidentally taken home by my ladyfriend, so I don't have any photos of the last two bands.
The crowd was pretty thin after Shearing Pinx and only the faithful few stuck around for The Sorrow and the Pity and Twin Crystals. The Sorrow and the Pity are a duo of sax and drums that is similar to the punkish side of Naked City. They weren't bad but I just wasn't in the mood for them after almost 9 hours of music and drinking. Twin Crystals were well worth staying up for and provided the most dance-able music of the night (I apologize to anyone whose toes I may have stepped on). I guess it makes sense for the boys to be opening up for Girl Talk at the Commodore, which should be one of the bigger dance parties of the summer. I'm glad that they're are playing a gig at the Commodore but part of me also feels them slipping away into *gasp* mainstream credibility.
Hey, Vancouver, let's do this again sometime soon, eh?