Tag: tobias rochman

New Canadiana :: Moon – Moon

Moon - Moon

Halifax group Moon’s name is either paying tribute to Divorce Records owner Darcy Spidle’s daughter, the directorial debut of David Bowie’s son, a bare ass, a cult or all of the above.

The blank, bold, minimalist gesture that is this self-released CDR’s packaging is a clever comment on cyber-capitalism, the diminishing role of the craftsperson in the digital age, disposable blog music as a tribal signifier used in sexual courting, and the modern record label as a middleman mournfully splitting the crumbs of a pie no one ordered.

This is an impressive debut. It is a snake in dog’s clothing, moulting expectations, shedding careless first impressions and slithering towards the heat lamp of your heart. Moon’s reflective pop music offers itself as a companion, setting the world to a kraut-beat like a ticking clock, a soundtrack for all that happens until that unseen final moment when — your foot already in the stirrup — death’s famous black horse arrives.

For those of us not anticipating the expansion of government controlled drone-killings on home or foreign soil, tangerine coloured “reality augmentation” glasses pumping ads straight to our retinas, or the slapdash reality TV contest that will decide the next leader of the Catholic church, at least we’ll have more from this promising group to look forward to.

À quoi le nom du groupe Moon fait-il référence? Est-ce un hommage à la fille du fondateur de Divorce Records, Darcy Spidle? Aux débuts cinématographiques du fils de David Bowie? À un cul à l’air? À une secte? À chacune de ces réponses?

Le format ultra-minimal, presque audacieux, de ce CD-Rom auto-produit suggère que le groupe d’Halifax sait très bien qu’il s’insère dans un monde où règne un cyber-capital qui propulse une musique jetable et immatérielle en abondance, ou encore que les labels, affairés à répartir des miettes de pain, sont en obsolescence avancée.

En tout cas, Moon ne laisse pas indifférent. Tel un serpent dissimulé sous une fourrure de chien, il hurle à la lune et glisse, avec une nonchalance reptilienne, tout droit vers la lueur infra-rouge de votre coeur. Moon vient se lover en vous sans hésitation, et vous enveloppe de sa pop opale sur un beat krautrock. Une trame sonore sublime pour n’importe quel moment; même le dernier.

Pour ceux d’entre vous qui n’attendent pas avec impatience de voir les avions drones se multiplier, de faire l’acquisition de lunettes de « réalité augmentée » orange bombardant votre rétine de publicités plus qu’elle ne l’est déjà ou de vous taper la prochaine télé-réalité pour l’élection du prochain leader du Vatican, consolez-vous; il y a toujours Moon, qui promet de nous en donner encore.

Moon – Stained Glass

Moon – Schizophrenia

New Canadiana :: Monomyth – Monomyth

Monomyth - Monomyth
Like most modern acts, Monomyth’s palette is wide. Several seeds are sewn to create the over all, glue-heavy, floral print, guitar-jungle, info-age, post-mailorder decoupage. The A-side is all hooky, ramshackle, Flying Nun, weirdo pop anthems wherein several young men all sing the same thing at the same time. Ze B-side is more textural, very ’90s, very foggy British haze-gaze psychedelia. Basic beats scale back the cheese and slather on ze butter. It’s pretty enough to be popular but you get the impression they are “taking the piss” rather than “taking a piss”. Hopefully all the prospective labels out there get ze memo about ze demo. Halifax always has between 2-4 2,000 – 4,000 (*) good bands at any given time. In my opinion Monomyth are on the tippy-top of that heap.

(*) Editor’s Note: we at Weird Canada know Halifax to be one of Canada’s strongest terrestrial power points, as evidenced by its infinite proliferation and continuous leadership across the Canadian musical cosmos. After consulting with several real life mathematicians and counting the plethora of Haligonian cassettes prominently displayed at Weird Canada HQ, we’ve added some zeros to the original estimation.

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Monomyth – Sacred Hand

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Monomyth – Hiroshima

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Monomyth – Hesse

Video :: Actual Water – La Violence sur Les Champs-Élysées [Director: Danielle Nemet]

Actual Water have been spitting out some freaky-deaky and/or brilliant low run tapes and lathes over the past few years. Now they’re finally gearing up for their first full-length LP, which comes out next month on Unfamiliar. I’m happy to report that the promo-video/single has just dropped and the weird ones have caught it. The group is working some happy, Flying Nun thing that’s a nice change of weather from all the goth-waves washing up our shores. Please don’t let me be misunderstood. I love all the depressing blizzard-queen/rave-witch stuff, but it’s great to take a short break from it as the weather starts to get colder. That’s how I’m feeling anyway.

I’ve always liked director Danielle Nemet’s photo-blog, Sombre Reptiles, so it’s nice her footage puts you in the same warm-world as the snapshots. Kinda had my fingers crossed the singer would bust out rapping by the end but he never did. It’s still the most fun video I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks Actual Water!

Video :: Dirty Beaches – White Sand [Dir. Tsien-Tsien Zhang // Cin. Christopher Doyle]

Not exactly sure how the entire world missed this one. Very quietly sometime last week Alex Zhang Hungtai a.k.a. Dirty Beaches posted the final product of one of his dreams come true: a music video directed by Tsien-Tsien Zhang with cinematography by Christopher Doyle. Mr. Doyle is of course the man who helped give legendary Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s films their distinct look with his fast & loose approach to shooting. The result of this unique technique gives the work a very natural, human perspective. You quickly forget you are even watching a film and sink deep into the world they create.

Doyle & Kar-wai’s collaborations include a long list of masterpieces such as Chungking Express (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000), etc, etc. The video for “White Sand” feels very much like a vignette from one of these films with its voyeuristic, fly-on-the-wall approach, moody drifting shots and abundant (but mild) NSFWisms. It’s clear with the absence of >tired tropical tropes, that is to say the imagery that indie-rock has beyond pillaged in the last few years, that “White Sand” stands as simply a state of mind.

In the days where most young bands use old sourced footage to make quick videos on the cheap in a fast grab, the impact might not be as heavy seeing something so eloquent, warm grainy and hypnotic. Your connectopathic brain is trained to think that something so beautiful could not possibly be original. However when you are informed that this is original footage, shot and directed by professionals specifically to accompany the music it takes on a whole new life and meaning. We are simply not used to seeing this type of thing attempted by unsigned bands in the underground.

New Canadiana :: The Pink Noise – Gilded Flowers

Once again, Pink Noise mastermind Mark Sauner sounds like a laid-back, drug dealing, cartoon street hustler leaning against a brick wall trying to sweet-talk you. Are you going to get inside his black Cadillac and go for a cruise? I warn you he’s headed for a futuristic district. The windows to this man’s soul may be tinted, but it’s a luxury ride to the finish line. This is mutant-making music. These anthems would provide the suitable soundtrack for a dystopian inner-city youth centre with a poisoned water supply. The Pink Noise is truly a national treasure and sorely under recognized for its achievements in the field of sleaze.

[Ed’s note: Yes, we already posted about this album in its original format. This is its fourth pressing and first on wax from the good folks at Pleasence, and it sounds sleazier than ever…]

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The Pink Noise – Shy Guy Beach

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The Pink Noise – Black Cadillac

New Canadiana :: Lantern – Stranger I Come. Stranger I Leave.

With this newest offering, Lantern have fully harvested their Hasil Adkins hee-haw while continuing to bury themselves alive in a blizzard of Bo’s beats. What am I talking about? A refreshing bad-breath, proto-punk, Rat Fink mud bath in which you can finally erase your pockmarked Chevy Chase face. You the listener are transported via the filth to the absolute crispiest and most burnt ends of the fuzz n’ buzz spectrum. There are too many notes in the solos to say they sound like The Cramps, but you get the idea. The opening title track steers the clearest, with an instrumental dub-stomp my co-workers agree is trippy. Lantern is the best band in North America.

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Lantern – Stranger I Come. Stranger I Leave.

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Lantern – I Don’t Know

Interview :: Tobias Rochman from Montreal’s Grand Trine

Tobias from Grand Trine Interview with: Tobias Rochman
From: Grand Trine
(conducted by: Zachary Devereux Fairbrother)
Montreal, QC
::web/sounds::

Way back in June, when Weird Canada was just a baby and myself a hopeful daddy, Grand Trine’s Bruised Tongue debut was an easy target for the early review block. Their fastidious minimal-synth-mockery and blasted anthems had me swooning like my first MJ concert. So, it was my pleasure to publish Zachary Devereux Fairbrother‘s interview with Tobias Rochman, Grand Trine’s leading bass-shredding vocalist. Zach plays with Omon Ra/Omon Ra II and has his own eccentric gravity well called Avant Lard. Because one back-rub begets another, keep your homepage set to Avant Lard and a special Weird Canada mix will soon be yours for the sexing.

Aaron Levin
Weird Canada / Cantor Records
www.weirdcanada.com / www.cantorrecords.com


Z. – Your music both past and present has always incorporated images of mythology, spirituality, and magic. Along with music that is quite, “heady”, and your new record, “Sunglasses,” you say is a tribute to their “iconic symbol of rebellion.” How do these images and symbols shape your art and life?

T.When I said Sunglasses were an iconic symbol of rebellion I
was referring to the instant detachment they provide. I suppose I was
gesturing at a classic detachment equals enlightenment debate. But the
bait was never taken. Even moving past that conversation (which never
happened as I said) to detach equals to rebel. To defect. As a symbol
in our culture we see it in everything from The Black Panther Party to
The Jesus and Mary Chain. It is completely ingrained, understood and
unquestioned. I wanted to use something obvious, blunt and digestible
that conveyed this message or transmitted these values very clearly
and instantly. I wanted caveman-like simplicity with no room for
interpretation or imagination. All the pretentiousness aside it is
also a very stupid name – which I love!

They don’t as much shape my life as they do our culture as a whole. I
guess trying to think about it right now, the last release I did for
Divorce was ‘Vision Correction’ (with Be Bad) and after you get your
eyes fixed there is usually a period of aftercare where your eyes
can’t process regular light and you have to wear polarized sunglasses
for a week as your eyes are crusting over. Maybe unconsciously there
is some greater concept being played out. Maybe ‘Sunglasses’ is just
the next step. Or maybe I am obsessed with alterations and adornments
to the “window of the soul” and what that might mean. I’m too close to
it to know what it might say about me. Or maybe I am just grasping at
straws here.

Honestly with our name being esoteric.. I make a conscious effort to
eliminate overt spirituality (especially references) in this project.
I don’t want it to be corny and cheap. More and more I have been
obliterating those themes to balance everything out. There are two
projects I have seen recently which have a really in-your-face
spiritual-jargon-wank-fest and both left a really bad taste in my
mouth and helped me re-think the approach. I think it was Aleister
Crowley, or maybe it is just a popular occult saying that goes “Those
who know, say nothing.” Very often the people who talk the most about
these things, and are eager to talk the most about that them, know
very little or nothing at all. I have no interest in exploiting occult
symbolism. Or shticks in general for that matter. It’s okay to just
read books about strange topics of interest, without feeling the urge
to ram it down the throats of your listeners.

Z. – I remember in a conversation we had that you said that you believe you can do anything with the power of rock and roll, or something to that extent. Can you expand upon this?

T.I’m sorry I don’t remember that conversation. It sounds like
awful Bono rhetoric out of context. You must have caught me in a
moment where I was leaking idealism. I am fairly moody sometimes. I
can tell you for sure that “Raw power’s got a healin’ hand. But raw
power can destroy a man. Raw power is more than soul. Got a son called
rock and roll. Raw power honey just won’t quit. Raw power I can feel
it.” if that offers any insight on the topic.

Z. – You come from a musical lineage so to speak, your father played in garage rock band called “The Bohemians” in Montreal in the 1960′s. You appear to be following in his footsteps. You’ve also mentioned to me that your saxophone player is a third generation saxophonist. How does this idea of lineage and personal heritage shape your personal mythos and your bands?

T.Well my father moved to Australia when I was in my early teens
and we were not very close at that time. I think by moving to the city
he was born in, playing the instrument he plays, and roughly the same
style of music probably says something. I know Carl Jung says about
children trying to live our their parents unlived dreams. I just don’t
see it as a negative thing. I had a good conversation with Alex from
Dirty Beaches on this topic. He was telling me his father was a
doo-wop singer and the only trace of this former life that survived
was one photograph. But we we discussed the importance of that
photograph to him and his development as an artist. And how Dirty
Beaches started as an experimental project, and slowly evolved,
release by release into a 1 man doo-wop act (although still modern &
innovative in his setup). I suppose you could say something similar
might be happening starting with very abrasive noise-rock with Be Bad
and now moving or growing into more hook-based garage-rock in Grand
Trine. But the transformation has been a little bit demented. For
instance, I still bleed most times when I play. And although I am
working on it I still struggle to sing and not yell. Maybe it’s a lack
of talent on my part. My biggest strength has always been choosing
quality collaborators. I would love for Grand Trine to cover The
Bohemians’ B side “Say it” and to have that released as a 45rpm B
side.

Z. – How has your new home of Montreal changed they way you make music? Thinking in terms of language, social environment, scenic institutions, and employment.

T.The most obvious influence it just the total stream of new
ideas and music coming through constantly. You see all the legends
Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, The Jesus Lizard, Sun City Girls and
all of the best new bands in the underground Human Eye, Tyvek, Thee Oh
Sees, Wet Hair etc.. You get to see everything and then decide for
yourself what is good and why it is good. I have been able to see and
meet lots of the people who I used to play on my radio show in
Halifax. I feel like seeing and experiencing first hand is the best
way to learn. And maybe just seeing that everyone who plays in these
groups are just normal people (maybe with the exception of Timmy
Vulgar from Human Eye who is a paint gargaling rock and roll animal).

The underground/DIY/loft-scene here is amazing and sometimes shows can
be like raves (with better music). 200 people. Byob. There is nothing
better. There is just a general sense of being in the right place at
the right time. You don’t even have to say that out loud to your
friends. Everyone just knows. The plotlines of future documentaries
are being played out in front of our eyes. This is a special city in a
special time.

Z. – Lastly, we are entering winter, a time for reflection, especially for many of those in the cold winters of interior Canada. You must be thrilled with how things have come together over the last year, what do you hope for 2010?

T.Grand Trine will have a string of vinyl eps and singles
coming out during the winter months. After that we will start touring
for longer periods of time. Actually all of our friends bands (Dead
Wife, Ultra Thin etc) are starting to play more shows outside of the
city and are all about to make the jump from release cassettes to
vinyl. A lot of groundwork has been laid in 2009 to make 2010 as
exciting as possible for everyone in the MTL scene. Its starting to
feel like the weeks are passing like minutes. Right now I am just
focused on making our 12″ release show the biggest party possible.
That will be January 2010. We are just trying to find the right
location to hold it. The line up has been confirmed and it’s going to
be new local power-duo The Homosexual Cops & the awesome new
girl-group garage rock band The Peelies.

- Zachary Devereux Fairbrother