You have been rocked

From what I remember, this show was awesome. Thankfully, I took notes and have spent most of the morning deciphering them. If you write really small, you can fit a lot on a receipt for potato chips.

First was a bunch of nice guys from San Francisco calling themselves Crime in Choir. They played an eclectic mix of instrumental music with sudden rhythmic and melodic changes. The popular effect of building from silence to crashing crescendo was nowhere in the set and I was glad of it. Thankfully, their saxophonist carried enough melody for me to not mind the missing vocals. For the most part they seemed really into what they were doing and rocked very loudly. Rarely did they appear caught up in the theoretical aspects of the complicated tune at hand. I listened to their album The Hoop today, which I don’t remember acquiring. It was recorded a few years ago and I can’t help but feel the next one will be a much better representation of their diversity amongst the instrumental rock scene.

The Blow surprised me because I was expecting a night of quiet acoustic guitar; that’s what I’d heard they recorded. But what I got instead was a face full of booty bass. At first, I was timid and a little skeptical of the girl in the Star Wars shirt on stage, but slowly her gesticulations and gyrations won me over. She and her laptop-playing crony leap-frogged and pranced about and graciously answered audience questions in detail. These replies never made much sense to me, but they were entertaining nonetheless. The music they made together was fun, but what impressed me most were her lyrics. I enjoyed the songs about being asked out on a date by the universe, wondering how naked one could get, and being on a long list of girls who love the shit out of a guy. Her unaccompanied voice was deceptively in key and sounded very pretty without any laptop beats or melodies to hide in. By the end of her set, the audience was all hot and bothered and happy to be so.

The Hidden Cameras were soooo good. I can feel only pity for those unfortunate fools not in attendance. I only hope the following account can bring you closer to the magic of the evening. Like most bands from Canada, the Hidden Cameras have many members. There’s a drummer, a cellist, a violist, a bassist (upright and electric), a keyboardist with a lightning bolt stuck to her chest, a multi-instrumentalist with a trucker hat, and of course a very talented front man who sang and played guitar. Each song was upbeat, catchy and grounded by the wonderful talents of the vocalist whose tone was tough and tender. The crowd was dancing and cheering and it felt to me like an Irish family reunion dinner was finished, the drinking had started, and the musically inclined uncles, aunts and cousins had started hammering out a rowdy tune. The only album that conjures up a similar scene is On The Cutting Room Floor by the Lune. They played on and on into the night as the crowd thinned like a hairline. Eventually they stopped and sang happy birthday to their bassist and gave everyone chocolate cake. Then they played their last song, the audience applauded and blinked and shrugged at the ensuing silence; what were they to do now? I briefly thought about selling some records, packing some clothes, and following them from state to state for the rest of their tour, but then realized I would only be prolonging the unavoidable end of the night and the end of their set. My only regret is not waking up with one of their CDs in my pocket as well.