Monday, February 23, 2015

Six years/Six pack: Jakob Rehlinger

MFS has turned six! My introductory thoughts on this landmark can be found here, but long story short: I asked some folks to pick some of their favourites to help me celebrate.

Today's list is from Jakob Rehlinger, who plays in Moonwood and Babel (and Tranzmit and Reverend Moon and probably secretly on other things) and also releases "music for and by weirdos" on the Arachnidiscs label. Despite releasing albums encased in foil, plaster and mud, he has not yet won any "best packaging" Junos.

Before I met Joe, I asked someone who this "Metal Sound Whatsit" guy is. They said, "You've probably seen him at shows, he's kind of aloof, he's kind of abrasive."

When I met him months later there was definitely an awkwardness between us, but I didn't find him abrasive at all. Instead, as our initial greetings sputtered and died on the Holy Oak's floor, I found him to be a kindred spirit. A kindred socially awkward spirit taking refuge on the island of misfit toys that is Toronto's underground music scene.

The aspect where we're not kindred spirits is how Joe actually likes going to shows. Lots of shows. He seems to somehow enjoy leaving his house and mingling with people and making friends. As a misanthropic introvert with an acute social anxiety disorder, I don't relate to this attitude. I'd much prefer to stay in the comfort and safety of my home.

But being a nuanced sort of fellow, there's plenty of great shows I do regret missing. Thankfully, Joe manages to go to almost every single one of them and later, in the protective solitude of my home, I can experience these shows after the fact and decide if my regret is warranted or if I'd dodged a bullet.

So when Joe, chief archivist on our island of misfit toys, asked me to select six MFS recordings to commemorate his six years of archival study I said, "Yes, of course."

It slowly dawned on me I hadn't thought this through. There's over a thousand-million songs posted. So many great recordings. How do you choose? It's impossible. Therefore I'm not going to dig deep. These are six relatively recent shows I was curious about and regretted missing out on once I heard the recordings.

Germaine Liu - [excerpt from third piece]

I've been curious to see Germaine Liu for some time. Since Nick Storring recommended her to me, I think. Well, I still haven't and I'm even more curious.

Saltland - Hearts Mend

I considered taking my chances walking down that "creepy rape alley" (as I've heard it called) that is Geary Lane for this show since I'd put out a split tape a few years ago featuring Khôra and Nick Kuepfer. But this Saltland recording is what made me regret missing the show.

DUST - [excerpt from an improvisation]

I've been meaning to see DUST at D.Alex's behest for as long as it's taken him to stop bothering to invite me to their shows. I didn't know about this one. I'm sad I missed this magic. It must've been immersive from the vantage point of sprawling out on Ratio's floor.

VOTIIV - All to Take

VOTIIV played in the Conversation Room at the Jan 9th Long Winter a few sets after my band, Moonwood, did. Like jerks, we were long gone by then. I was well on my way to a crowd-induced nervous breakdown by that point and I'm not sure I could have handled this kind of intense EBM pummelling. But I'm glad I got to hear it after the fact.

Mirrors - [excerpt from an improvisation]

I didn't know about this show until Joe pointed me towards this recording, Which is bloody fantastic. Mirrors might be my new favourite Toronto band.

Matt "Doc" Dunn's Galactic Jazz Band - [second excerpt]

This is one I knew would be fantastic. What a line-up of players. Apparently it was fantastic. Damn.

You can always click on the tags below to look for more stuff from these artists. Has there been a half-dozen songs posted here that made an impact on you? If you'd like to get in on the action and make a list, feel free to send me an email:

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