Friday, August 28, 2015

Recording: Still Boys

Artist: Still Boys

Song: [a song about juice]*

Recorded at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (SummerWorks Music Series: 2016 Spring Collection), August 14, 2015.

Still Boys - [a song about juice]

The SummerWorks Music series, evolving since its inception in 2008, feels to have really and truly settled into its identity both as another way for SummerWorks to celebrate its growing foregrounding of interdisciplinary art and as a unique feature of the city's live music scene. After a couple years of just stuffing some bands down in the basement to provide an après-play gathering space, 2010's Hidden Cameras spectacular (featuring a "dramatic retelling" their Origin: Orphan album) pointed the way forward — but it wasn't really until 2012 that the festival started to ramp up the practice of pairing musicians with artists from other disciplines to create unique, one-off events.

It was finally in 2013 that the "mature" music series fully emerged, with stand-out events from Maylee Todd and Snowblink. Since then, collaboration has moved to the centre. Last year saw the series' first visit to the Pia Bouman School at the edge of Parkdale, which became their home this year, giving the Series its own space (and a cool pop-up venue). Adam Bradley and the returning Andrew Pulsifer have played to the series' strengths with their musical curation, and all of the works this year felt like good additions to a series whose legacy includes the future memories of these one-of-a-kind shows.

The Music Series was capped off with a special appearance this this giant face (?) / alien boy band (?!) whose very manifestation still leaves more questions than answers. I have seen Still Boys a few times now, and as of yet, nothing about this polymorphously perverse experience feels normal. Sometime after the giant ear went around with a pillow asking to be blocked ("they call themselves musicians?" was its lament) and shotglasses of juice were handed out to the audience I mostly gave up trying to keep track of what was going on — "eye licking... invagination" were the last clear entries in my notes before being fully consumed. For the uninitiated, imagining what Funkadelic might have sounded like with ecstasy and sequencers instead of angel dust and guitars gives a vague hint of the musical vibe — but the whole experience of it is otherwise hard to relate. Keep an eye out for this to land again and plan to experience it for your own self.

* I will update this descriptive placeholder title if I hear anything more formal.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Recording: Listening Choir

Artist: SummerWorks Listening Choir #1

Songs: [five scenes from a Listening Choir walk]

Recorded in and around The Theatre Centre (SummerWorks Festival: Listening Songs: Listening Choir), August 13, 2015.

SummerWorks Listening Choir #1 - Part 1 [sound poetry]

SummerWorks Listening Choir #1 - Part 2 [development proposal]

SummerWorks Listening Choir #1 - Part 3 [wandering balladeer]

SummerWorks Listening Choir #1 - Part 4 [keys, fences, arches, birds]

SummerWorks Listening Choir #1 - Part 5 [patio pop]

For a half-dozen sessions over three days during the SummerWorks Festival, Christopher Willes and Adam Kinner led small groups in the West Queen West neighbourhood around The Theatre Centre calling on participants to interact with their sonic environment — and above all, to listen. Armed with DIY recorder/speaker boxes, the walkers both added to the neighbourhood's sonic diversity and sampled it to play back in a floating zone of slightly-distorted loops. This walking tour was a bit of a spectacle to passers-by, but more stirringly a call to the participants to remember that in their own daily strolls that there are so many sounds to attend to and secret places to playfully unlock: from air-conditioning ducts to the echo-chamber possibilities of a condo window; from the ringing echo of a set of keys on a metal fence to the secret codes of a hidden speaker on a restaurant patio. And meanwhile in the background is the city's own sonic weave and weft: trains rumble by, a siren's tocsin pushes past, birds chirp on sidewalk trees. We're in it all the time, but so rarely consciously of it.

Later in the day after participating in the Choir, I was making my way back along Queen on the streetcar, reflecting on the new details I'd learned about the neighbourhood I was rolling through. And just then, with perfect timing, a later Choir group emerged from the arch between the condo buildings across from Northcote, setting down their speaker boxes to create a temporary clanging symphony. The sounds surround us all the time, just waiting to be listened to.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Recording: Germaphobes

Artist: Germaphobes

Songs: Door in the Floor + She's in the Heat of Her Life*

Recorded at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (SummerWorks Music Series: Heat Shuts Off Overnight), August 13, 2015.

Germaphobes - Door in the Floor

Germaphobes - She's in the Heat of Her Life

The SummerWorks Music series, evolving since its inception in 2008, feels to have really and truly settled into its identity both as another way for SummerWorks to celebrate its growing foregrounding of interdisciplinary art and as a unique feature of the city's live music scene. After a couple years of just stuffing some bands down in the basement to provide an après-play gathering space, 2010's Hidden Cameras spectacular (featuring a "dramatic retelling" their Origin: Orphan album) pointed the way forward — but it wasn't really until 2012 that the festival started to ramp up the practice of pairing musicians with artists from other disciplines to create unique, one-off events.

It was finally in 2013 that the "mature" music series fully emerged, with stand-out events from Maylee Todd and Snowblink. Since then, collaboration has moved to the centre. Last year saw the series' first visit to the Pia Bouman School at the edge of Parkdale, which became their home this year, giving the Series its own space (and a cool pop-up venue). Adam Bradley and the returning Andrew Pulsifer have played to the series' strengths with their musical curation, and all of the works this year felt like good additions to a series whose legacy includes the future memories of these one-of-a-kind shows.

In the tradition of The Bicycles' Young Drones, a band with songwriting energy to burn showed up at SummerWorks with a full set of new material, and a multimedia stage show to match. More of a loosely-defined concept album than a full-on rock opera, Heat Shuts Off Overnight nevertheless gained a reasonable amount of narrative heft thanks to the projection/puppetry work of Sarah Fairlie and Erin Fleck as well as Joanne Sarazen's acting as the band's on-stage avatar, an ennui-laden near-future urbanite looking for entertainment (or salvation) in her virtual-reality goggles. The storyline was left non-didactically loose, but the visual interplay of memory and desire was quite expressive enough — as well as the message that in the end, maybe what you need most is someone to dance with. (Not even some technical difficulties could derail the live presentation — in fact, in context of the show's themes, a couple ghosts in the system felt totally appropriate.)

Musically, Neil Rankin and Paul Erlichman have added keyboards to their core group since I last saw 'em, and added some additional musical heft with special guests Sean Dunal (a.k.a. Sexy Merlin, percussion) and Karen Ng (alto sax, flute) joining them for the whole set. But besides pushing their sound away from the garage and towards New Wave glory (there was no shortage of Talking Heads in this set), the biggest conceptual leap forward was in the songwriting, with the band moving from snark to sympathy. Still, most of these songs could easily slip right into their regular setlists — though hopefully someone will take the initiative to mount a restaging of this ambitious enterprise. (And in the meantime, let's hope that the band strikes while the iron is hot and records these tunes, preserving this creative outburst as a concept album, just as The Bicycles did.)

* Thanks to Paul for passing along the titles to these ones.

Recording: ANAMAI

Artist: ANAMAI

Song: Abris

Recorded at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (SummerWorks Music Series: Heat Shuts Off Overnight), August 13, 2015.

ANAMAI - Abris

The SummerWorks Music series, evolving since its inception in 2008, feels to have really and truly settled into its identity both as another way for SummerWorks to celebrate its growing foregrounding of interdisciplinary art and as a unique feature of the city's live music scene. After a couple years of just stuffing some bands down in the basement to provide an après-play gathering space, 2010's Hidden Cameras spectacular (featuring a "dramatic retelling" their Origin: Orphan album) pointed the way forward — but it wasn't really until 2012 that the festival started to ramp up the practice of pairing musicians with artists from other disciplines to create unique, one-off events.

It was finally in 2013 that the "mature" music series fully emerged, with stand-out events from Maylee Todd, Snowblink, and The Bicycles. Since then, collaboration has moved to the centre. Last year saw the series' first visit to the Pia Bouman School at the edge of Parkdale, which became their home this year, giving the Series its own space (and a cool pop-up venue). Adam Bradley and the returning Andrew Pulsifer have played to the series' strengths with their musical curation, and all of the works this year felt like good additions to a series whose legacy includes the future memories of these one-of-a-kind shows.

Leading off the night, Anna Mayberry and David Psutka got the crowd ready for the immersive theatricality of Germaphobes' Heat Shuts Off Overnight by pulling them in close to listen to Mayberry's folk-tinged tunes.

[ANAMAI play Camp Wavelength this Sunday (August 30th) at 4 p.m.]

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Recording: LAL

Artist: LAL

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (SummerWorks Music Series: all you can hold), August 12, 2015.

LAL - unknown

The SummerWorks Music series, evolving since its inception in 2008, feels to have really and truly settled into its identity both as another way for SummerWorks to celebrate its growing foregrounding of interdisciplinary art and as a unique feature of the city's live music scene. After a couple years of just stuffing some bands down in the basement to provide an après-play gathering space, 2010's Hidden Cameras spectacular (featuring a "dramatic retelling" their Origin: Orphan album) pointed the way forward — but it wasn't really until 2012 that the festival started to ramp up the practice of pairing musicians with artists from other disciplines to create unique, one-off events.

It was finally in 2013 that the "mature" music series fully emerged, with stand-out events from Maylee Todd, Snowblink, and The Bicycles. Since then, collaboration has moved to the centre. Last year saw the series' first visit to the Pia Bouman School at the edge of Parkdale, which became their home this year, giving the Series its own space (and a cool pop-up venue). Adam Bradley and the returning Andrew Pulsifer have played to the series' strengths with their musical curation, and all of the works this year felt like good additions to a series whose legacy includes the future memories of these one-of-a-kind shows.

Like some of the other Music Series shows, longstanding electronic duo LAL incorporated hints of ritual and a sense of celebration into their spectacular presentation, creating a joyful conscious dance party. Working with director Ange Loft (who is also known in music circles for her work with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan), the group moved beyond traditional staging, instead putting a catwalk down the length of the floor and sound technician Nicholas Murray at a table in the audience. Vocalist Rosina Kazi moved freely between those as models danced and strutted on the catwalk, reflecting and amplifying the music's themes of self-discovery, resilience and political action. The duo performed a whole new set of songs which I understand basically corresponds to their new album due at the start of next year. Bands that have been around for a while sometimes get short shrift for lacking the tang of the new, but this show weighty with ideas, energy and upliftment — a reminder that this city needs to celebrate groups like this who are working to push things forward.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Concert Listings Roundup #111

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gigs of the week:

Camp Wavelength (feat. Holy Fuck / Doldrums / Dirty Frigs / Kurt Marble / Zoo Owl / Above Top Secret / Allegories / RAVETAPES) / Artscape Gibraltar Point 2015-08-28 (Friday) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength (feat. The Wooden Sky / Moon King / Prince Rama / Doomsquad / LIDS / Blonde Elvis / Slow Down Molasses / Etiquette / Most People / Digits / Kidstreet / Mar Aberto SoundSystem) / Artscape Gibraltar Point 2015-08-29 (Saturday) [FB event]

Camp Wavelength (feat. Do Make Say Think / The Weather Station / Loscil / Pierre Kwenders / Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche / Anamai / Scattered Clouds / JOYFULTALK) / Artscape Gibraltar Point 2015-08-30 (Sunday) [FB event]

Picking up the mantle of the beloved ALL CAPS! island excursions, Wavelength returns in force to the Gibraltar Point for a fairly packed weekend. The offerings range from big-name headliners to aspiring up-and-comers (and even a few bands like Moon King, making their return as the former after making a nascent appearance as the latter).

After several summers on the island, Wavelength has figured out how to run a festival with professional flow and slickness but without most of the alienating corporate cattle-pen mentality. This year also sees more bands jammed in than previously attempted, with "late night" sets (and a corresponding late-night ferry service, which tends to involve some end-of-night hurry-up-and-wait panic). There's also the whole camping element, if you're into that sort of thing, and all sorts of art and activities beyond the music. A highly-anticipated end-of-summer celebration of Toronto culture.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot (Mark Segger/Jane Bunnett/George Koller) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-08-25 (Tuesday)

Vomitface (Connoisseurs of Porn / Toblerone Boys / Alpha Strategy) / Smiling Buddha 2015-08-25 (Tuesday) [FB event]

DUST: The Quietest Big Band in the Known World / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-08-26 (Wednesday – early!)

Picastro (Loom / Laughing Eye Weeping Eye) / Ratio 2015-08-27 (Thursday) [FB event]

Colleen Green (The Beverleys / So Young / Pony) / Smiling Buddha 2015-08-27 (Thursday) [FB event]

Clara Engel (Victor Cirone and Marc Couroux) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-08-28 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-08-28 (Friday)

Black & White & Grey [new paintings by Lorenz Peter and basement installation room opening] (feat. No Colour Blue [Melissa J/Jess Forrest]) / LP's LPs 2015-08-28 (Friday) [FB event]

Falcon Jane [CD release party!] (The Auras) / The Cameron House – backroom 2015-08-28 (Friday) [FB event]

No Angels Dancing ["finale (for now)"] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-08-29 (Saturday – early!)

See Through 4 (Segger/Lewis) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-08-30 (Sunday – early!)

Audiopollination #33.2 (feat. Geraldine Eguiluz/Zoe Alexis-Abrams/David Jones / Stephane Diamantakiou/Ken Aldcroft / Geraldine Eguiluz/Stephane Diamantakiou) / Array Space 2015-08-30 (Sunday) [FB event]

Crosswires (feat. The Dragonflys / FASTER / Father Zinger) / Handlebar 2015-08-30 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

Riverrun / The Emmet Ray 2015-08-31 (Monday – PWYC!)

Track Could Bend #6 (feat. Basmyn Jurke / Alaniaris / Ken Aldcroft + Mike Gennaro) / Dundas Video 2015-09-01 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Omhouse (Gala) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-09-01 (Tuesday) [FB event]

troubleshooting~ v5 (feat. Jonathan Adjemian / Glen Hall and Eugene Martynec / Zach Clark) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2015-09-02 (Wednesday – early!)

Somewhere There presents (feat. Brick Quartet + Joe Sorbara / Knurl / Clutton/Grossman/Liu/o) / Ratio 2015-09-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

Paper Beat Scissors [album release!] (L CON) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-09-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

Babysitter (Hag Face / Moon Hag / Kappa Chow) / 8-Eleven 2015-09-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

Fresh Snow [EP release!] (Carl Didur / Zones / Nailbiter) / Smiling Buddha 2015-09-09 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Daniel Fortin [album release!] (Bliss Gloss) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-09-09 (Wednesday) [FB event]

I Am Robot and Proud [band set!] (6955) / Handlebar 2015-09-10 (Thursday) [FB event]

Carl Didur (Fet.Nat) / 8-Eleven 2015-09-18 (Friday) [FB event]

Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot (Tradition / Hoover Party) / Ratio 2015-09-20 (Thursday) [FB event]

Ido Govrin (Bespoken feat. Germaine Liu / Diatribes) / Ratio 2015-09-23 (Wednesday) [FB event]

L CON (Joanne Pollock) / Burdock Music Hall 2015-10-04 (Sunday) [FB event]

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Recording: LUKA

Artist: LUKA

Song: Summon up a Monkey King

Recorded at Burdock Music Club, August 11, 2015.

LUKA - Summon up a Monkey King

Now a heart-on-sleeve balladeer, I first encountered Luke Kuplowsky as part of the agreeably moddish rockers Broken Bricks, but hadn't yet checked out this new incarnation that's been percolating along for a couple years now. Dropping a new slab of wax, Kuplowsky has turned down the volume, even when backed by electric guitar and drums. Some of the material leans a little heavily on Jens Lekman-isms, but his discovery of the value of quality backing vocals sells the unabashedly-earnest openness.

Recording: Isla Craig

Artist: Isla Craig

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Burdock Music Club, August 11, 2015.

Isla Craig - unknown

I was glad to have another chance to hear the new set of songs Craig's been putting together. The backing band was largely the same as when I heard them before, driven by Johnny Spence's synth and Evan Cartwright's percussion, but now joined by Rob Clutton on electric bass. He was still having chords listed to him sotto voce as the set began, but fell into the groove quite ably. Despite having Ivy Mairi and Tamara Lindeman on hand to act as backing vocalists, this song starts like something out of Craig's last batch, just looped vocals floating along until the groove kicks in two-thirds of the way through. Wonderful stuff.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Marine Dreams

Artist: Marine Dreams

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Burdock Music Club, August 11, 2015.

Marine Dreams - unknown

Ian Kehoe's "band" has become so stripped-back, it's less of a surprise nowadays to see him playing solo as "Marine Dreams". Already with a notebook of songs newer than the ace one-man-band album that came out at the start of the year, this little ode to vulnerability particularly stuck in my mind.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Recording: The Melancholiac Ensemble

Artist: The Melancholiac Ensemble

Songs: It's Raining Today (feat. Alex Samaras, arr. Adam Scime) + Such a Small Love (feat. Patricia O'Callaghan) + Brando (Dwellers on the Bluff) (feat. John Millard)

Recorded at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (SummerWorks Music Series: Melancholiac: The Music of Scott Walker), August 9, 2015.

The Melancholiac Ensemble feat. Alex Samaras - It's Raining Today

The Melancholiac Ensemble feat. Patricia O'Callaghan - Such a Small Love

The Melancholiac Ensemble (feat. John Millard) - Brando (Dwellers on the Bluff)

The SummerWorks Music series, evolving since its inception in 2008, feels to have really and truly settled into its identity both as another way for SummerWorks to celebrate its growing foregrounding of interdisciplinary art and as a unique feature of the city's live music scene. After a couple years of just stuffing some bands down in the basement to provide an après-play gathering space, 2010's Hidden Cameras spectacular (featuring a "dramatic retelling" their Origin: Orphan album) pointed the way forward — but it wasn't really until 2012 that the festival started to ramp up the practice of pairing musicians with artists from other disciplines to create unique, one-off events.

It was finally in 2013 that the "mature" music series fully emerged, with stand-out events from Maylee Todd, Snowblink, and The Bicycles. Since then, collaboration has moved to the centre. Last year saw the series' first visit to the Pia Bouman School at the edge of Parkdale, which became their home this year, giving the Series its own space (and a cool pop-up venue). Adam Bradley and the returning Andrew Pulsifer have played to the series' strengths with their musical curation, and all of the works this year felt like good additions to a series whose legacy includes the future memories of these one-of-a-kind shows.

This show featured something of a different vibe (and crowd) than the others in the Music Series, something more akin to a night out at the Music Gallery. Traipsing through the scope of Walker's career (though not chronologically, as that would just get increasingly weird and confusingly difficult) might have reduced the show to a sort of highbrow equivalent to one of those "jukebox musicals" which are apparently quite popular. But — probably for the best — there was no attempt to impose any sort of throughline or narrative sense on the material, save, perhaps for a point-of-view that privileged none of Walker's career phases.

The songs were presented by a Greg Oh-assembled big-band with many noteworthy members from the city's pop, improvised and new music scenes1. The music was enhanced by an ensemble that acted as choir and dance troupe as required, adding dramatic flourishes and hinting at Walker's more outré musical practices. For example, the notorious meat-punching in "Clara" (from 2006's The Drift) was amended onstage to some vigourous, albeit more genteel, dough-punching. The spectacle and effort put into that particular slab of uneasy listening made it one of the night's centrepieces — showy but kinda not what one might want to sit down and listen to. (That, in fact, might be an apt description for latter-period Walker to many.)

Those "difficult" moments were balanced with ample selections from Walker's better known avant-crooning days and other youthful pop exercises. All told, it took no fewer than five vocalists to reflect all the facets the show examined. On the whole, the night was a most pleasing confluence of multiplicities — different fanbases, different singers, different Scott Walkers.


1 I'm not sure if this is precisely correct, but combining the programme notes and my own notes, the ensemble included: Gregory Oh (music director, keyboards), Friendly Rich (vox), John Millard (vox), Patricia O’Callaghan (vox), Alex Samaras (vox), Zorana Sadiq (vox), Bram. Gielen (bass), Lina Allemano (trumpet), Amahl Arulanandam (cello), Anna Atkinson (violin), Shaun Mallinen (saxophone), Dan Morphy (percussion), David Quackenbush (french horn), Nichol Robertson (guitar), Laurence Schaufele (viola), Leslie Ting (violin), Dean Wales (drums)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Recording: Most People

Artist: Most People

Song: Telephone

Recorded at Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement (SummerWorks Music Series: What Fate Awaits Them?), August 9, 2015.

Most People - Telephone

The SummerWorks Music series, evolving since its inception in 2008, feels to have really and truly settled into its identity both as another way for SummerWorks to celebrate its growing foregrounding of interdisciplinary art and as a unique feature of the city's live music scene. After a couple years of just stuffing some bands down in the basement to provide an après-play gathering space, 2010's Hidden Cameras spectacular (featuring a "dramatic retelling" their Origin: Orphan album) pointed the way forward — but it wasn't really until 2012 that the festival started to ramp up the practice of pairing musicians with artists from other disciplines to create unique, one-off events.

It was finally in 2013 that the "mature" music series fully emerged, with stand-out events from Maylee Todd, Snowblink, and The Bicycles. Since then, collaboration has moved to the centre. Last year saw the series' first visit to the Pia Bouman School at the edge of Parkdale, which became their home this year, giving the Series its own space (and a cool pop-up venue). Adam Bradley and the returning Andrew Pulsifer have played to the series' strengths with their musical curation, and all of the works this year felt like good additions to a series whose legacy includes the future memories of these one-of-a-kind shows.

The spectacle level of the series was cranked up a notch with this one, combining projections, puppetry, dancers and more to move the show beyond the stage. In one memorable sequence, a model of an undersea-exploring aquanaut was projected on the screen behind the band — and then its real-life equivalent appeared in the midst of the crowd, only to be attacked, and engage in a fight to the death with, a giant silvery eel. That was topped as the set ended with the emergence of a giant hooded puppet — like a blanket monster of a fevered childhood imagination brought to life — rising up behind the band. And just for a break, robot emissaries MATROX took over for a few songs mid-set.

[Most People will be playing a late-night set at Camp Wavelength, Saturday August 29th at Artscape Gibraltar Point.]

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Recording: Four Corners V

Artist: Four Corners V*

Song: Hey! Bo Diddley [Bo Diddley cover]

Recorded at Steelworkers Hall ("Four Corners V"), August 8, 2015.

Four Corners V - Hey! Bo Diddley

A benefit for Girls Rock Camp was the impetus for the revival of this beloved concert series that originally ran for a conceptually-elegant four instalments from 2010 to 2012. As before, the Steelworkers' multipurpose room was the scene for this quadraphonic jam, with bands set up in each of the room's colour-coded corners and alternating two-song bursts for a no-dead-time rock jam. With cans of beer for sale instead of easily-slopped cups of cheap draft from a keg, the floor was less dangerously slick at night's end, but it was still an immersive, joyfully-exhausting experience. Whether this means that the series is back for another set of four remains to be seen, but it's a concept that I was glad to experience once again.

I was also glad to see that the night's performers also decided to revive the tradition of finishing off the night with a four-bands-at-once cover song blowout. In fact, this might have been the best of the ones attempted, with the groups wisely deferring lead vocals to Surinam's Matt Mason, which gave things a bit more of a centre as everyone hammered away on that Bo Diddley beat. Of course, things pulled apart as the bands forged ahead, but in the centre of the room it sounded like a rather fantastic mess, pulling itself in and out of focus before ending in a feedback haze as each of the bands tried to figure out how to finish — or if they wanted to finish.

* To be precise, this was a simultaneous jam featuring Surinam, HSY, New Fries and Cellphone all at once.

Recording: Cellphone

Artist: Cellphone

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Steelworkers Hall ("Four Corners V"), August 8, 2015.

Cellphone - unknown

A benefit for Girls Rock Camp was the impetus for the revival of this beloved concert series that originally ran for a conceptually-elegant four instalments from 2010 to 2012. As before, the Steelworkers' multipurpose room was the scene for this quadraphonic jam, with bands set up in each of the room's colour-coded corners and alternating two-song bursts for a no-dead-time rock jam. With cans of beer for sale instead of easily-slopped cups of cheap draft from a keg, the floor was less dangerously slick at night's end, but it was still an immersive, joyfully-exhausting experience. Whether this means that the series is back for another set of four remains to be seen, but it's a concept that I was glad to experience once again.

After a couple spins around the room, it was during Cellphone's turn that I realized I had to back up a bit to stay out of harm's way. The room's jury-rigged PA ate up most of the synth in their tunes, but there was metallic intensity aplenty. Colin (from Blonde Elvis, Vallens, Lee Paradise) was on the skins this time out.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: New Fries

Artist: New Fries

Song: Jazz

Recorded at Steelworkers Hall ("Four Corners V"), August 8, 2015.

New Fries - Jazz

A benefit for Girls Rock Camp was the impetus for the revival of this beloved concert series that originally ran for a conceptually-elegant four instalments from 2010 to 2012. As before, the Steelworkers' multipurpose room was the scene for this quadraphonic jam, with bands set up in each of the room's colour-coded corners and alternating two-song bursts for a no-dead-time rock jam. With cans of beer for sale instead of easily-slopped cups of cheap draft from a keg, the floor was less dangerously slick at night's end, but it was still an immersive, joyfully-exhausting experience. Whether this means that the series is back for another set of four remains to be seen, but it's a concept that I was glad to experience once again.

The night's format meant that New Fries couldn't lead with their usual fool-you/fake-out slow start intro, but they still managed to inject a certain amount of practical chaos into their segments, including, oh, y'know, a guitar being smashed and ending with all of their gear in a heap. But while everything was intact they reeled off a bunch of old and new material, including this one from their new single.

Recording: HSY

Artist: HSY

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Steelworkers Hall ("Four Corners V"), August 8, 2015.

HSY - unknown

A benefit for Girls Rock Camp was the impetus for the revival of this beloved concert series that originally ran for a conceptually-elegant four instalments from 2010 to 2012. As before, the Steelworkers' multipurpose room was the scene for this quadraphonic jam, with bands set up in each of the room's colour-coded corners and alternating two-song bursts for a no-dead-time rock jam. With cans of beer for sale instead of easily-slopped cups of cheap draft from a keg, the floor was less dangerously slick at night's end, but it was still an immersive, joyfully-exhausting experience. Whether this means that the series is back for another set of four remains to be seen, but it's a concept that I was glad to experience once again.

Anna Mayberry takes the mic for this rant ("you can't even feeeeeeeeeed yourself!") as the band offers up a punishing assault of abrasive noise. It's tantalizing to note that the release of the band's first album is close enough that the bandcamp pre-order is up, so expect news of release celebrations to surface soon. (In the meantime, the band has a couple support slots coming up, with Old Man Gloom at Lee's on Monday, September 7th, and at a Wavelength spectacular on Thursday, September 17th at The Garrison celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Nihilist Spasm Band.)

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!