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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Day One, Halifax Pop Explosion

Didn't catch a whole lot but everything I saw was pretty fucking special

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 5:49 PM

Hey. Here we are. Pop Explosion. Day one. I'm already exhausted. I didn't take many pics because my camera is a piece of crap Android and it gives me 'droid rage because every photo sucks. So please check out these beautiful photos by Lenny Mullins for a visual reference as I ramble on about what I remember from last night, which isn't much because I like to party. YOLO.

Anyway, I worked here at The Coast factory until 8pm so I missed the comedy stylings of Nick Flanagan at Eat Pray LOL. If you don't know "The Flans," he's pretty good at Twitter so I was pretty much there anyway. I made my way down to The Carleton to catch Psychic Fair and to be honest (which unfortunately is my default setting, AMA), it was one of the best shows I've seen in awhile. Vocalist Josh Salter (Monomyth, Nap Eyes) said that Psychic Fair is a band for fans of '80s college rock since "they didn't have college in the '70s." I've known Josh for hmmm about a decade and I think his compilation of lyrics for Psychic Fair are the best of all his bands. Sorry Quivers (lol). Between the puns and the openness and the imagery and the sincerity, I don't know, I think it's easy to forget the impact and importance of excellent lyricism. It just felt next-level. Then throw in Charles Austin and Andrew Glencross and sounds like Pavement and Can and you got yourself a great fucking band. A history of rock, keepin' it strange. They played new song "Kingdom of God." After that, me and some friends went to Stillwell and we talked about some of Josh's lyrics. Is "Bees on Ice" about beers on a cruise ship? Because all this time I had imagined bees on ice as a bunch of bees performing as Ice Capades, like Stars on Ice, but bees. Nigel Chapman thought about bees on ice blocks, like slow-frozen bees. I mean, there you go, it's great fucking music when you're exhausting three words from a song to come to some kind of meaning, without any kind of conclusion. So there you go. This band rocks. No damn question. 

After some beers, and because The Carleton was definitely sold-out, we made our way to Rejections Cabaret for the last half of The Brood. And woah. I'd never seen these rock and rollers before but man, pretty jammin' bunch. Definitely could see them playing The Shore Club (which rules, that's not a joke), and definitely saw potential for growth and developing a more distinct sound. Brooding, for sure. People were dancing, always a good sign. Cool to see Seamus Erskine at the front of the stage (he sometimes drums for Aqua Alta) so that was rad. 

Then Jean-Sebastien Audet came onstage wearing a sweater and pants in pale shades. Last night, his band Un Blonde was backed by Seamus Dalton and Brad Loughead and it was a serious session of some life-affirming jazz-soul. It's got no genre, actually. I just stood there transfixed by the variety of sounds, some digital on the sampler, some natural, jazz-drum flairs by Seamu, the wondrous scale of Jean's voice, Brad's playing. Mostly I was saying 'wow' or 'oh man' intermittently. I was truly so hypnotized that I spilled a beer down the back of Nathan Doucet by accident. I bought him one to make up for it, which doesn't make sense since it was my own beer I spilled, but it is what it is. Rare to see that kind of talent and originality. You missed out.

click to enlarge Un Blonde - I TOOK THIS PHOTO, WOW NICE AMAZING WOW
  • I took this photo, wow nice amazing wow
  • Un Blonde

After that, five of us piled into Scott Grundy's car and blasted 101.3 The Bounce playing a new hot song about a hula-hoop. A hula-hoop? I can't think of anything more mundane and irrelevant. What's next, songs about window-fans? Anyway, we were blasting that crap as we drove down Agricola Street and pulled up to Gus' Pub blaring Top 40's while Romanian metal band Negura Bunget played. Best entrance I've ever made in. my. life. The band was wild. Not super heavy thrash, not speed, but spooky and dark-sided and mystical for sure. There were moments of thrash but not hard enough to mosh, and it was all shrouded in red lights, atmospheric backing-tracks and Romanian language before the shreds kicked in. Gus's smelled like farts last night. Real thick. But maybe that added to the heavy vibe. It was heavy in there. But aside from the farts, I was into this band. It was another rare set but for entirely different reasons. Then I tried to get Gus' to sell me a beer "to-go" (lol) but that was denied so I went to a party. That was day one. 

Stay tuned, fart faces. 

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