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.