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14 Feb 05

holy fuck! (sorry jesus)

you know it’s a good night when the band you go to see turns out to be the 3rd best band on the bill.

i was pretty excited to see that brian borcherdt‘s other project called holy fuck was taking part in wavelength 250, the music series’ fifth anniversary. the saturday night show started early, so we arrived around 8:30 for fear of missing out. the show was at a place called the music gallery, which turned out to be one of the more unique venues i’ve seen. in reality, it’s st. george the martyr church, and we were seated in pews (complete with hymn books) while watching bands perform while a fun light show was projected on the walls behind them.

when we arrived, thanksgiving were already on the stage (such as it was). thanksgiving is actually one guy, adrian orange, who played a song on the grand piano before picking up an acoustic guitar. he was initially joined soley by a guy playing a banjo, before two drummers arrived halfway through the set. i quite enjoyed their set – there was something very neutral milk hotel about it. it got even better when he asked both drummers to go crazy for his closer, and he finished things off by doing some jumping jacks and then sprinting out of the room at full speed. the rest of the band eventually stopped playing.

holy fuck were up second, and apparently the three of them hadn’t played together as a group since last june. brian borcherdt was joined by king cobb steelie’s bassist and a drummer, and he basically looped beats created by all kinda of fun high tech toys (although his synchronizer was sadly nowhere to be found). they only played 3 songs and, while it was ok, i never really had a chance to get into it. i was impressed, however, at their cohesiveness considering they’d had such a long layoff.

third on the bill was shawn hewitt who, despite the raves in this month’s wavelength (and yes, i recognize that they’re biased), bored me to tears. he’s advertised at blending “sweet soul music and angular rock”, but i must’ve missed that through the yawns. he has a great voice, but the music is definitely lacking.

i’m glad we toughed it out to see the fourth “band”, final fantasy. ok, so final fantasy isn’t so much a band as it is one guy, owen pallett, with a violin and a bunch of pedals in front of him. i’d never heard of him until reading a feature about him in now that piqued my interest. he was clearly the highlight of the night, and mesmerized the crowd with the wide range of sounds he could get out of his violin, as well as his adeptness at using his pedals much like danny michel does (only more so) to create a much fuller sound. at various times he is reminiscent of gentleman reg, the arcade fire and the magnetic fields, which makes for an interesting combination. to add to the fun, he played in front of a suspended white sheet, onto which an overhead projector was projected. throughout his set, someone drew and coloured images, overlapped them, and “animated” them by sliding the overheat sheets back and forth across the projector. (have a look at cellointhbasement’s deviantart site for visual evidence). anyway, he brought a mysterious guy named “leon” from the audience up on stage to play drums during his last song (“hey leon?” “yeah?” “do you wanna play drums on this one?” “…sure.”), and at the climax the sheet fell down as though it were planned…or perhaps it was divine intervention. all in all, a fantastic surprise. if he plays a show near you, be sure to check it out.

oh, and one more note before wrapping up: if the short guy who decided to stand on the pew near the front (and directly in front of me) during final fantasy’s set reads this, you’re an asshole. that is all.

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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