Monday, May 7, 2012

Off the Dial

Music News, Reviews, Photos _ Podcasts

Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Written by: Isaac Thompson
Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (Noisography)
June 18, 2010 @ the Seahorse Tavern ~ Halifax, NS

Some things never change – or rather a lot of things never change. There are true universal constants all around us. There exist physical constants such as the speed of light in vacuum, mathematical constant like pi and miscellaneous constants: i.e. death and taxes.

High up on the list of known constants – somewhere between gravity and TV’s Law _ Order – is this: the crowds at heavy metal shows are the most enthusiastic crowds in the world. They put fans of other less ass-kicking art forms to shame with their clear, focused desire to have a good time. There seems to be little posturing or self awareness with the heavy metal crowd; just a mass of sweaty, spastic bodies thrashing out their aggression and raising their drinks in the air to the sonic blitzkrieg. Heavy Metal is kind of like an exclusive club where the only prerequisite is that you’re able to tolerate its excesses. (Read Full Review after the photos!)

The Rob Hill Sideshow tested the crowd’s threshold for excess early on. While not technically a heavy metal act, Rob Hill certainly embodied the genre’s spirit. He was more like something from a 19th century carnival freak-show. He started off slow, easing us in, by gargling glass and stabbing himself in the face with pins. It was pretty gross. He stuck one pin in his throat and then ran it back and forth like he was flossing his Adam’s apple.

And the crowd fucking loved it.

Every needle that pierced Hill’s flesh was followed with a unanimous cry of disgust mixed with glee:

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Hill handled the crowd with ease. He had a real sense of control about him, which was reassuring because he ended his set with a fire-breathing show. The heat from the fireballs he spat could be felt throughout the club. The flames licked at the ceiling and then dissipated. I like to think I wasn’t the only one who had one eye on Hill’s stage-show and the other on the fire-exits, but who am I kidding?

Then there was the behemoth stomp of Orchid’s Curse, a big bad motherfucker of a band who totally floored me. It’s hard to really talk about the finer details of a set like theirs because it was a total blur (just like any great heavy metal set should be). I was too busy head banging and throwing my fist in the air to recall anything about their stage presence or song structure, which of course means that both were awesome. Even though I’ve never heard them before, they had me – and the rest of the bar – screaming along to songs with cool lines like:

“Is this what I have chosen or what has been chosen for me?!”

The band was heavy. The kind of heavy you can feel reverberating in your skeleton. The guitar riffs were massive and memorable. Drummer Bobby Webb’s style was intense but much more accessible than the constant machine-gun double bass that a lot of heavy bands use these days. Vocalist Josh Hogan screams a great scream, and I was equally impressed by how he handled the more melodic parts. The newest member, bassist Kevin Mombourquete, added the sledgehammer kick to the band’s sound that gave it a stomping groove. Orchid’s Curse is a fantastic band. Go see them.

Last Call Chernobyl ended the night, treating Halifax to one last show before they go across North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour. They looked confident, happy and excited for the future, which always makes a band fun to watch. Vocalist Kyle Mahar sported an ear to ear grin throughout the set.

Their music was a busy barrage of sound. They played really fast, intricate metal with crazy guitar solos at every turn. Maher’s vocals are intense and he has a lot of charisma as a front man… speaking of charisma, bassist Jason Szeto had it in spades. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

It was my first time Hearing Last Call Chernobyl and while I liked them I get the feeling that I’d need to hear more of them to truly appreciate their music. Their songs had a lot of nuances and there was a lot to take in.

Last Call Chernobyl brought the house down though. The audience-band interaction was amazing. It was like they were one entity. The band and the crowd seemed to even move together in a fluid wavelike motion. The band embraced the reaching hands of the audience and then screamed in their faces. The exchange exemplified why heavy metal crowds are unlike any other crowds and why heavy metal music is a unique and special thing.

Heavy Metal isn’t just the music the Devil cranks while he anally-rapes you for touching yourself at night (how’s that for excess?), it’s also the music that brings people together.

Make sure to check out Noisography for more photos and video from this show!

Monday, June 21, 2010

LAST CALL CHERNOBYL CD RELEASE _ WARPED TOUR KICK-OFF!

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Some things never change – or rather a lot of things never change. There are true universal constants all around us. There exist physical constants such as the speed of light in vacuum, mathematical constant like pi and miscellaneous constants: i.e. death and taxes.

High up on the list of known constants – somewhere between gravity and TV’s Law _ Order – is this: the crowds at heavy metal shows are the most enthusiastic crowds in the world. They put fans of other less ass-kicking art forms to shame with their clear, focused desire to have a good time. There seems to be little posturing or self awareness with the heavy metal crowd; just a mass of sweaty, spastic bodies thrashing out their aggression and raising their drinks in the air to the sonic blitzkrieg. Heavy Metal is kind of like an exclusive club where the only prerequisite is that you’re able to tolerate its excesses.

ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010

The Rob Hill Sideshow tested the crowd’s threshold for excess early on. While not technically a heavy metal act, Rob Hill certainly embodied the genre’s spirit. He was more like something from a 19th century carnival freak-show. He started off slow, easing us in, by gargling glass and stabbing himself in the face with pins. It was pretty gross. He stuck one pin in his throat and then ran it back and forth like he was flossing his Adam’s apple.

And the crowd fucking loved it.

Every needle that pierced Hill’s flesh was followed with a unanimous cry of disgust mixed with glee:

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!”

ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010
ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010

Hill handled the crowd with ease. He had a real sense of control about him, which was reassuring because he ended his set with a fire-breathing show. The heat from the fireballs he spat could be felt throughout the club. The flames licked at the ceiling and then dissipated. I like to think I wasn’t the only one who had one eye on Hill’s stage-show and the other on the fire-exits, but who am I kidding?

ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010
ROB HILL Side Show June 18th, 2010

Video:

Then there was the behemoth stomp of Orchid’s Curse, a big bad motherfucker of a band who totally floored me. It’s hard to really talk about the finer details of a set like theirs because it was a total blur (just like any great heavy metal set should be). I was too busy head banging and throwing my fist in the air to recall anything about their stage presence or song structure, which of course means that both were awesome. Even though I’ve never heard them before, they had me – and the rest of the bar – screaming along to songs with cool lines like:

“Is this what I have chosen or what has been chosen for me?!”

ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010

The band was heavy. The kind of heavy you can feel reverberating in your skeleton. The guitar riffs were massive and memorable. Drummer Bobby Webb’s style was intense but much more accessible than the constant machine-gun double bass that a lot of heavy bands use these days. Vocalist Josh Hogan screams a great scream, and I was equally impressed by how he handled the more melodic parts. The newest member, bassist Kevin Mombourquete, added the sledgehammer kick to the band’s sound that gave it a stomping groove. Orchid’s Curse is a fantastic band. Go see them.

ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010
ORCHID'S CURSE June 18th, 2010

VIDEO:

Last Call Chernobyl ended the night, treating Halifax to one last show before they go across North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour. They looked confident, happy and excited for the future, which always makes a band fun to watch. Vocalist Kyle Mahar sported an ear to ear grin throughout the set.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review: Lions & Tigers & Bears CD Release Party

Posted by tzimmerman On June - 21 - 2010

Written by: Thomas Zimmerman
Photos by: Paul Baker _ Amanda Hu of Bearcat Photography
June 18, 2010 @ the Palomino ~ Calgary, AB

“Oh My!!!”…and with that Lions and Tigers and Bears were off and running, dressed in their Sunday best (plaid shirts and holy underwear, not that I checked) enveloping the crowd that had shown up for their newest CD release party in a wave of sonic delight.  With the celebratory atmosphere and the clear indication that the people attending were excited about hearing Lions and Tigers and Bears and not just there to drink, if you used your imagination just a tiny little bit and forgot that the ceiling was especially low in places, you could pretend you were at a concert in the Saddledome.  The whole band immediately connected with the crowd, and it reminded me of times when I’d go over to my friend’s house to listen to records, just for the sheer enjoyment of listening.  Lions and Tigers and Bears wasn’t playing for the crowd, it was as if they were sharing with them what they have so painstakingly rehearsed and created for their new album, Concocted by Fiends.  One of the true indications of talent in my eyes is how relaxed a musician can appear, still be on time, in tune, and have fun all at the same time (even if Jeebs from Nushi was supplying them with “refreshments”), which every member of Lions and Tigers and Bears does.  It is apparent that they love their music and relish sharing it, not to prove that they can play, but as if to say “Here, listen to this, it’s from the heart”.

After getting a copy of their new CD (sorry Cody, you were right), it was really difficult for me to decide whether I like the recorded representation or the live performance, it was that good.  I had a chance to talk with Andrew (Woods?) about production of the CD, and he told me the only real work he did was show up, play and sing.  Apparently Cody Coates did most of the work on the album, and from what I heard he did it very well.  The only potential danger with producing your own work is mixing/editing/mastering it to the point of editing out the feeling of the music with it, which Cody thankfully has not.

This is an album you will enjoy, and if you ever get a chance to see Lions and Tigers and Bears live, definitely do whatever you need to in order to get there.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review + Photos: Caribou & Guests @ the Paragon Theatre

Posted by tnaugler On June - 14 - 2010

Written by: Josh Pothier _ Tiffany Naugler
Photos by: Tiffany Naugler
June 11, 2010 @ the Paragon Theatre ~ Halifax, NS

The anticipation for this show was HUGE!

It was a sold out, with 25 tickets available at the door… which were scooped up almost immediately by the eager people who were lined up outside The Paragon before the doors even opened. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went to a show that actually had a line up by 9:30pm… your average show goer, here in Halifax, doesn’t arrive at the venue till close to 12am! (Read the rest of the review after the photos!)

By the time Tomcat Combat hit the stage, there were wall to wall people, making it tough to make your way to and from the bar. It was a sight for sore eyes to a band that opens a show, a little after 10:30pm. They came out kicking – bringing the rock to an otherwise electro/dance influenced show. Even still, hard hitting guitar riffs and sexy drum beats combined made the crowd move their bodies, bob their heads and dance like no one was watching.

The band faced a challenge, having to set up and play around a second drum kit which was placed in the middle of the stage, but that didn’t stop them from putting on an excellent show.

Their set ended with a wall of feedback and pedal tweaking, bleeps, and whirls. Guitarist, Noel Macdonald threw his guitar up against his amp and let it slide to the floor. Not content with the sound, laid the amp down slowly on top of the humming guitar, then continued to drag both guitar and amp across the stage in order to reach his pedal board.

Rich Aucoin is not so much a musician as he is a party engineer. It’s like he spends his time locked in a dusty basement watching old rock and roll concerts on scratchy VHS tapes, madly taking notes and trying to crack the code of the ultimate concert experience. Every few months he changes the formula a little more and ventures his way up his basement stairs and steps blindly into the sunlight clutching a MIDI controller and a sheet of paper with new theories to try out.

Here is a list of things he’s figured out so far:

  • Double drummers: Good idea.
  • Video screen projections: Awesome.
  • White clothing: Mandatory.
  • Dancing: Encouraged.
  • Verses: Unnecessary.

Aucoin has re-shaped the art of the live show, and it was apparent last night at The Paragon that he’s almost got it down to a perfect science. He wandered around the stage conducting both his musicians and his audience together. He gave instructions, he fixed problems, he sang lead, he played the keyboard sometimes, he played the trumpet sometimes, he walked around the bar with his multicolored wireless microphone, he hit drums, he threw balloons and confetti, the guy just didn’t stop. He puts so much into his performance that the audience can’t help but give it back to him. It’s great, because Rich figured out long ago that live shows are a millions times more fun when the crowd can dance and sing along.

Instead of just putting out records and hoping people will listen to them enough to learn the words, Rich gives instructions before each song on how the main vocal line goes. Once the song starts it could be five minutes before you’d be asked to chant along, but once it happens the room explodes.

The entire process is a genius idea, because each show is essentially a seminar on how to attend a Rich Aucoin performance. Rich has found a way to involve his audience the way arena bands like KISS and AC/DC involve their audience, even if they show up to the show having never heard a song. Instead of guitar riffs and long hair however, it’s electro beats and clean shirts. If you like fun, then Rich Aucoin shows are for you. If you hate dancing, stay away.

The Caribou live experience is much like listening to their records, it’s hypnotic and it tweaks a certain part of your brain that can’t help but lock in with it. The songs have such intricate patterns layered within the main parts that you can lose yourself trying to discern what’s what most of the time. Their music walks the line between minimalist electro and maximalist psychedelic, and it’s really interesting to see how it all gets put together live.

With a set list containing most of their new record, Swim, Caribou ebbed and flowed, for over an hour, a musical tide with a steady pulsating undercurrent. The last show of a 40-date tour, Halifax was treated to a performance that was as much from the 60’s as it was from the future. The band was silhouetted onto video projections of various manipulations of the artwork for Swim. The crowd swayed and danced, never too aggressively, as rhythmic patterns escalated into full on dual drummer freak-outs and then back into a steady pulse.

Caribou are one of the most talented Canadian bands going right now, and it’s rare that we get to see musicians of this caliber play for a decent price. This is a Jazz show, a DJ set, a post rock show, a visual art show and a new wave dance party all rolled into one. Each musician has such a deep understanding of each facet of music that they can perform in every style Dan Snaith writes songs in, which is seemingly endless. Not only did they play enough old material to keep fans satisfied, they managed to blend it into a cohesive set, a large challenge when you consider how different each Caribou album is. This was a performance people will talk about for years to come, and they had just stopped talking about the last time Caribou played in 2004, when they were still Manitoba. Hopefully it wont be another 6 years until they return.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Photos + Interview: the Johnny Dick Project

Posted by tnaugler On June - 8 - 2010

Photos and Interview by: Tiffany Naugler (of Noisography)
June 4, 2010 @ Gus’ Pub ~ Halifax, NS

Last weekend, Tiffany checked out the Broad and Hard Orbit of Rock and Funkin Roll in Halifax, featuring the Johnny Dick Project, Pounding Sand, Chalkpit and Hugonaut. Not only did she get some excellent photos (as always, but she also did a pre-show interview with Heather Doran of the Johnny Dick Project. Make sure to visit Noisography.com to see more pics!

Tiffany Naugler: How do you spend the couple of hours before a show? Any pre-show rituals?

Heather Doran: Usually before the show the guys and I get together to put a set list together if we haven’t done so already. But for the most part we just have a beer or two and try to relax. That is my way of not getting too nervous before going on stage. If I don’t think about it too much I [can't] get nervous. I don’t really get nervous anymore just excited!

TN: How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen the Johnny Dick Project?

HD: We like to bring a lot of energy to the stage. I really feed off of my band mates and the crowd. So the more energy they have the better. I’d like to think we put on a pretty good rock show and have songs that people can stand up and rock out to.

TN: Are you a big fan of Gus’ Pub?

HD: Gus’ Pub is one of my favorite pub in Halifax because it has such a large varity of music. It has a great atmosphere and people. It feels like a home away from Home for me since I go there so much.

TN: What do you think about that forest of autumn trees on the stage walls?

HD: It makes me feel like I am going hunting! Love it!

TN: Drink of choice, for a Friday night gig at Gus’ is…?

HD: Well, I usually stick with Olands. I love my beer!

TN: What’s your favourite thing about performing live?

HD: I love to be on stage! It feels so natural to me and it is one of the things that I look forward [to] all week. I like the energy I get from the crowd and the opportunity to express myself. The free beer tickets are good too.

TN: Is there anything you would like to throw out there? (Up coming shows, recording news, tours, your thoughts on socks in sandals… whatever you want.)

HD: We are currently recording our debut album and just finished the vocals and tweaking a couple things. Then we just need to get some more money to finish it. Touring is probably next on the schedule. Starting around the Maritimes and trying to build a fan base close to home before we travel far. Keep a look out for us!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review + Photos: LLTQ Festival @ Gus’ Pub

Posted by tnaugler On May - 26 - 2010

Featuring Cursed Arrows, Union of the Snake, Bike Rodeo, Myles Deck _ the Fuzz, Iron Giant
May 21st, 2010 @ Gus’ Pub, Halfiax, NS

Written by: Daniel Nightingale
Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (of Noisography.com)

Tiffany teamed up Daniel Nightingale for the Long Live the Queen Festival in Halifax featuring Cursed Arrows, Union of the Snake, Bike Rodeo, Myles Deck _ the Fuzz and Iron Giant. Here are just a sample of some of her photos with Daniel’s review to follow. Make sure to visit Noisography.com for more photos and video footage as well!

Cursed Arrows started off a diverse show of punk, rock, and metal by showcasing a bit of it all – beyond their tight two piece original compositions, I caught covers by Fugazi and Black Sabbath. A lot of two piece bands have a less than full sound, but Cursed Arrows filled up the space nicely with with rapid fire effect stomping and good vocals. Tight and knowing how to please a crowd, and hopefully they’re be returning to Halifax often from their hometown of Kitchener.

Union of the Snake were up next – a new band featuring members of Kestrels _ VKNGS to name a few more recent projects, these guys had a huge sound. Distorted bass chords and heavy, simple drums gave a satisfying counterpoint to the usual wild chords, whammy bends, and great riffage from prolific guitarist Chad Peck. This may have been the first show for these guys, and while they lacked the polish that a lot of the other bands on the billed showed, they made up for it with tough as shit riffs and pure attitude.

Bike Rodeo hit the stage next with their signature garage rock sound and some great new songs. Fresh off writing and recording an album, they all ready had new material to pack into a quick, blistering set ripe with 3-part harmonies and frantic dueling guitar riffs.

The dead-steady rhythm section keeps the crowd dancing pretty much non-stop while guitarists Mike Deon and Nigel Tinker rip off chord after chord of ear candy scale squiggles and crazy bends. It’s worth mentioning that the ‘no pedals’ approach these guys have to playing really gives a lot of room in the mix to hear both guitars, the bass, drums, and 3 vocals – with nasty, artificially distorted guitars, a lot of that usually gets lost. It helped that a proper sound guy and PA were in place last night at the pub!

Sharing the same bass player but somehow seeming to crank him up to ’11,’ even after a sweaty set with Bike Rodeo, was Myles Deck _ the Fuzz. Lead singer Deck struts around the stage with all the swagger of early Rolling Stones, MC5, and Iggy Pop put together, while the band lays down punk rock like it should be – tight, razor sharp, frantic, and edgy. Guitarist Dale Boudreau loses his sound a few times during the scramble of stage divers, head bangers, and Queen (of England, that is) styled mannequin bashers (“Off with her head!” cries Deck as the band riffs continuously on the first note of ‘God Save the Queen’ by the Sex Pistols), but you’d never know it with the steady stream of 8th notes somehow emerging from bassist Al Hoskins’ fingers. Dummy destoyed, the band bangs out the cover we were all waiting to hear and the crowd goes wild.

Not ones to be up-staged, Moncton’s Iron Giant take the stage for the final set. While devoid of props, beyond singer Chris Lewis’ chain link mic stand, Iron Giant waste no time in amping the crowd back up with loud, heavy, badass old school metal. The drummer, looking all of 99 pounds soaking wet (which he would be by the end of the set), sounds like a man of twice the legs with non stop double kick and monster fills. The show is tame by Iron Giant standards, with very little nudity, fire, or stage diving (all of the stage divers seem to have been given the boot during the Myles Deck set). The bar is still packed as the band plays over the 2AM close, but no one seems to care.

Five bands is a lot to schedule but the LLTQ crew pulled it off and the crowd loved every minute of it, from the first band. The additional PA was nice to hear at a Gus’ show, though it mostly benefited the strong Bike Rodeo vocals. All in all a superb job, and we hope to see the return of the festival next year.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Written by: Isaac Thompson
Photos by: Tiffany Naugler
May 12th, 2010 @ the Paragon Theatre ~ Halifax, NS

This week Tiff and I went to the Paragon Theatre for their Halifax Music Club. The HMC happens every Wednesday and features the house band The Light Brights sharing the stage with local artists ranging from comedians to singer/songwriters and rock bands. This time around the musical guests were The Stogies and Mike Trask. The entire concert was streamed live on Haligonia.ca. (Read more after the photos!)

The Stogies got things started right by delivering a wickedly entertaining set of old school rock _ roll with a little reggae and blues. They put on the most energetic show of the night and I loved them for it. Their songs were direct and well written with dirty 70’s style guitar riffs. They’re one of those bands that sound great live. The music has a raw edge and lead singer Blake Johnston’s voice suits the material to a T. He belts the songs with passionate, blues rock immediacy. Although the crowd was pretty small, the Stogies set the room on fire as if they were playing to a packed house.

After their set, The Stogies were interviewed by songwriter Mike Trask and then The Light Brights came onboard to show us all why they’re house band.

The Light Brights played off each other with a relaxed confidence. The songs were catchy with nice breezy melodies that would grow more urgent and intense as they reached their peaks. Each band member brought something to the table. The rhythm section, guitar playing and vocals were all rock solid. The Light Brights combined elements of confessional coffee-house music with loud/soft, 90s rock style dynamics.

Mike Trask played a few songs from his newest album with the Lights Brights as his backing band. This set was a lot of fun and displayed how well the Light Brights worked together as a band. They seamlessly followed Trasks lead. Light Brights vocalist Bethany Victoria even added some excellent (and I assume made up on the spot) backing vocals

Trask’s sound is classic booze-soaked blues. He had a gravely singing style reminiscent of Joe Cocker crossed with Tom Waits, and his songs sounded like the kind that would be fun to howl as your celebrating with your friends or staring into your tear-filled beer.

The Paragon Theatre’s Wednesday night Halifax Music Club is a fun, intimate show hosted by a great local band. It’s well worth your time and your seven dollars. All you photogenic music fans out there might be interested to know that The Light Brights are set to film part of their newest music video at the Paragon Theatre on Wednesday, May 26. So show up and go wild for the camera!

See more photos and video footage over at Noisography.com!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Photos ~ No Flyers Please & Darby Hall

Posted by tnaugler On April - 29 - 2010

Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (of Noisography.com)
April 16, 2010 @ Gus’ Pub, Halifax, NS

Our friend Tiffany from Noisography.com posted some new photos this week from a recent show on the East Coast. Although she missed the Bad Bad Bad and the Sidewalks, check out some of the great shots of No Flyers Please and Darby Hall below. Also, make sure to visit her site to see more photos and video footage of the show.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Review + Photos: That 1 Guy @ the Paragon

Posted by tnaugler On March - 19 - 2010

Words _ Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (Noisography)
March 16, 2010 @ the Paragon, Halifax, NS

And so, I went to the Paragon to see one of the most interesting artists I have ever encountered. That 1 Guy.

I first encountered this gentlemen at the Evolve Festival, 3 years ago. I had no idea what I was seeing but I LOVED what i was hearing.

I have gone to every show that he has done here in Nova Scotia ever since and have never been disappointed! Tuesday night was no exception.

The night started off with DJ KDZ. I have never heard of this kid and was kind of skeptical having a DJ open. I like DJ’s, don’t get me wrong, but they are not normally chosen to open for any band/artist that I would normally go see. I was pleasantly surprised by him though; mixes of everything from Beyonce to Cutting Crew, which was amazing!

Yet there was no mistake, that the crowd was there to see Mike _ his Magic Pipe. As soon as That 1 Guy took the stage, it was a mad dash for the front and there was no delay getting to the bass!

I am no good with words, so here is the skinny on this fantastically odd musician and his machine (from the That 1 Guy website);

“Funky Bean, Buttmachine, Mustaches and Laser beams.” It reads like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book, but for Mike Silverman, better known as That 1 Guy, it is just the reality he was searching for.

At 150-200 live shows each year people gather to see this mad scientist at work, curiously watching as That 1 Guy plugs an electric chord into the heel of a cowboy boot and transforms it into an instrument. He howls and the audience joins him like a pack of coyotes. They even chime in for the song “Weasel Pot Pie,” offering rhymes to finish a line about “cinnamon scones”: Twilight Zones? Al Capones? Frank Stallones? That 1 Guy laughs and offers the grin of a Cheshire cat. Here is a man who loves his job.

Silverman’s back story is not dissimilar to other musicians: he grew up a music geek, influenced by his jazz musician father, and enrolled in San Francisco Conservatory of Music before joining the jazz scene himself as a sought-after percussive bassist. This is where the similarities end, though, and where That 1 Guy began. “In my case, being a bass player, I just felt very restricted by the instrument itself,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to sound different and have my own sound. I was headed that way on the bass, but for me to fully realize what I was hearing in my head sonically I was going to have to do it my way.”

That 1 Guy set off on his own, challenging the idea of what a one-man band can and should be. Rather than altering and adding on to the bass, he started from scratch, conceptualizing and creating the Magic Pipe. Standing at seven-feet-tall, the collection of swiveling pipes, metal gears, bass strings and electronic buttons forms the shape of a harp, but is played like a futuristic gutbucket.

With his curious instrument, creative performances and abundant talent, That 1 Guy soon caught the attention of promoters around the world and began touring heavily, wowing crowds at Big Day Out, Glastonbury, Monterey Jazz Festival, Lowlands, Wakarusa and numerous other festivals. In 2007 he joined Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist Buckethead on an American tour before headlining his own “Mustaches and Laser Beams” tour through North America.

Despite a demanding tour schedule, That 1 Guy has no plans on slowing down in 2010. His latest album Packs a Wallop! brings a new dimension to his work thanks to new sounds and a new partnership with famed sound engineer Billy Hume (Nelly, Shop Boyz, Ying Yang Twins). Recorded at Hume’s studio in Atlanta, GA, Packs a Wallop! stretches That 1 Guy’s soundscapes further than ever, seamlessly combining hard-hitting rock (“Modern Man”), swampy blues (“Step Into Striped Light”) and electronic groove (“Funk Bean”). Hume’s influence brings greater depth to the low frequencies and heavy beats. “I’m really proud of what we did with the album,” says That 1 Guy. “It sounds closer to what I’ve been trying to do sonically since I started.”

This accomplishment required a new creative process. Whereas his last two albums, The Moon is Disgusting (2006) and Songs in the Key of Beotch (2000, re-released in 2004) were created from songs that he had already performed, That 1 Guy went into The Zone with nothing but ideas, sleeping on a mattress upstairs so he could sneak in to the studio whenever he felt inspired. “I went in there with zero – nothing finished – and I lived at the studio for a month. It was really hard work, really long days, and I forced myself to craft some stuff.” The spontaneity, coupled with a tight window for completing the album, made all the difference. “Human beings do our best work when we’re challenged and pushed up against the wall,” That 1 Guy explains. “By nature, we’re hunters and gathers, spending each day looking for the next meal. It’s easy to be lazy when you don’t have to come up with something creative right away.”

His creativity continues with a new tour in support of Packs a Wallop! Along with the Magic Pipe, expect to see the Magic Saw and Magic Flute, as well as magic tricks. “I had never seen a magic show until about two years ago,” That 1 Guy confesses. “I had no interest in it—but now I just love it. I’m like a twelve-year-old,” incorporating magic tricks seamlessly into live performances, even using a playing card in place of a traditional pick. “So much of my music has miraculous qualities to it because it’s hard to tell what’s going on. There are lots of slights of hand and sonic misdirection. It feels like I was meant to do magic.”

Strange? Perhaps. But as Billboard noted, “In the case of Mike Silverman’s slamming, futuristic funk act… the normal rules of biology just don’t apply.” It suits That 1 Guy just fine.

“I like being my own person,” he says. “I didn’t set out to be a weirdo but I’m starting to embrace it.”

For more photos, visit Noisography.com!

Popularity: unranked [?]

Live Photos: Kestresl & Guests @ Gus’ Pub

Posted by tnaugler On March - 9 - 2010

Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (Of Noisography.com)
March 5, 2010 ~ Gus’ Pub, Halifax, NS

Our Halifax photo-contributor has recently launched a new web site called Noisography but she’s still taking some amazing photos of the local scene down on the East Coast. This time around the show featured Kestrels with guests Ocean Towers, the Baketones and the Voice of Russia.

To see more photos, video footage and a review by Isaac Thompson (from Unfiltered Smoke), visit Noisography here.

Popularity: unranked [?]

Photos by: Tiffany Naugler (of Post-Rock Love Affair)
January 28, 2010 @ @ Gus’ Pub

Another excellent set of photos from our Halifax photographer Tiffany Naugler of the Sleepless Nights, touring in support of their new EP The Phone Booth Outside The Video Store, with guests Doug Mason and the Hamilton Trading Company.

Below is a sample of some of her photos from said show. Make sure to visit her site for more photos, some video footage and a review of the EP by Daniel Nightingale.

Popularity: unranked [?]

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