This weekend the fun continues!

I know we’re all still recovering from Kazoo! Fest last week but we decided to keep the fun going with two amazing shows this weekend.

Kazoo! #180Tonight at eBar we’re hosting our 185th show featuring Vancouver’s legendary Ladyhawk making a rare appearance in Guelph to celebrate their 10th anniversary as a band. If you haven’t had the chance to experience Ladyhawk, prepare to have your face melted by one of Canada’s best rock bands. Also on the bill are Kazoo! favourites Marine Dreams who are on tour with Ladyhawk for their string of Ontario dates. We love Marine Dreams and you should too! Opening up the night we have Guelph’s noise crew Dutch Toko who are releasing a tape single made just for the night. Why should you be at this show? In the words of Bry Webb: “Ladyhawk are as good as it gets. I have seen them play many, many times, and every time was the best. They make me feel like a wild young person again. They’re one of my favourite bands in the entire history of bands.”

pw-elverum-webAnd on Saturday night, we’re hosting a really special show that we’ve been looking forward to for months. Mount Eerie (aka Phil Elverum aka The Microphones) will be playing an intimate show at the Guelph Black Heritage Society (83 Essex St). Joining Mount Eerie will be Toronto’s Wyrd Visions (aka Colin Bergh) who is celebrating the re-issue of his seminal 2006 album ‘Half-Eaten Guitar’ released on P.W. Elverum And Sun label. There are just a few tickets remaining for this show (on sale until tomorrow at 11am) and we don’t expect to have any at the door. Don’t miss out on this rare performance.
Thanks again and we hope to see you this weekend!

Why the Kazoo! Pancake Breakfast Rules

pancakesFive years ago I was eight and three quarter months pregnant, Kazoo! Fest was about to begin, and I was about to release a baby and an album. My finished album had come back from the plant ten days early and me and Dave Lander day-tripped to Toronto to pick it up. It was a Thursday, and Mandibles were playing the Ebar that night.

That particular year I was playing in a ton of different bands. During Kazoo Fest alone I was scheduled to play the Saturday morning with Richard Laviolette and the Oil Spills, Saturday night with the Burning Hell and Sunday morning as Jenny Omnichord.

My baby wasn’t due for another ten days, and I got to the Mandibles show that night with copies of my cd in my bag and excitement to kick off the festival. D Alex and Jordan Howard convinced me to give them copies of my cd – despite my insistence that it wasn’t to be “released” until I gave birth to my son Otis – promising they wouldn’t even open the shrink wrap until they received a text from me announcing my arrival. It was a fantastic show and I was over the moon.

The next morning I went into labour. Andy rushed to Guelph from London, I called the Midwives, and even negotiated a last-minute record deal with Stuart Duncan of Out of This Spark. We spoke on the phone between my contractions, and I was relieved that my cd wouldn’t be born without a label. I was in labour for about five hours, and despite my dad’s wishes that i would set up a birthing station at the Family Thrift Store so “everyone could be a part of it” I gave birth at home, and it was beautiful and insane. I texted D Alex and Jordan Howard and told them they could listen to their CDs. Instead Jordan hopped on his bike in Toronto and rode down the street to Soundscapes to put my cd on the shelf so it could be officially “released” the same day

Obviously my brain was on my baby that day, but I still lamented that I would miss the Timber Timbre/Forest City Lovers/Hylozoists show that night. The baby was 9-days early, and I had definitely not totally switched out of show-mode yet. I was flattered when someone told me Paul Aucoin gave me a birth-day shout out from the stage.

The next morning was a little harder. When the sun came up on an obviously beautiful day and I knew that the Oil Spills were playing on the Kazoo stage in downtown Guelph that afternoon while I was laid up in a bed, my heart broke a little. I lay on my bed in the sunshine filtering in through my window, while Richard and the band played a beautiful set. Once again, my recent delivery was announced from the stage, followed by texts and messages to me of congratulations from all kinds of people I love. I missed the show, but it was nice to know the wonderful kazoo-ers were thinking of me in my absence.

That night was the hardest. The Burning Hell – one of my very very favourite bands and a band I had been playing in for the past year – were playing a show at “The Family Thrift Store – MY STORE! – with the band One Hundred Dollars. I tried sooooo hard to convince myself to make it to that show. My dad was phoning me, offering to secure me a comfortable place to sit. I was watching the clock and gauging each hour if I had possibly mustered up enough strength and healing to tolerate the show. Kazoo! Fest folks and The Burning Hell were giving me updates on attendance and the store was filling to beyond a maximum capacity (it was the biggest audience it had ever held at that point). Eventually I was crying and resigned myself to the fact that the show was going to be too intense, too full of people, too everything for a person who had given birth the day before and for their new infant. Everything that made the show great we’re the reasons I couldn’t handle it. The band came by and visited me and the new baby, and people constantly checked in with me throughout the show, but no amount of stage-shout-outs could heal me that night. People STILL talk about that show five years later, and talk about how it was one of the best shows they had ever been to. It’s still the biggest thing I’ve had to miss.

The next morning we were down to the last day of Kazoo Fest, with one remaining show: The Pancake Breakfast. The Pancake Breakfast show is my favourite event of the festival. It’s always at the end of the string of shows, bringing together sleepy and happy and hungover music enthusiasts, filling them with volunteer-laboured pancakes and sliced oranges and hundreds of cups of coffee with a soundtrack of some of the most peaceful music of the festival. It’s the perfect last show, it’s symbolic of everything that makes this festival great, and it’s the one show that EVERYONE can come to. All of a sudden all the toddlers and children who have been stowed safely in homes and at babysitters the last few nights are free to come and be part of the festivities. There are always people you will see that morning who you missed most or all of the other nights. It’s a morning show, it’s a relaxing show, and it offers a different venue to accommodate anyone who hasn’t been able to manage the other events, whether they’re underage, or just too tired or over-worked to make the night shows.

And that particular Sunday morning Kazoo! pancake breakfast I was scheduled to perform as Jenny Omnichord.

And OBVIOUSLY there was no pressure from the folks at Kazoo! to make it to my set. But they kept my slot for me just in case.

And that Sunday morning, one and half days after having given birth, I pulled myself out of my house, and I made it to the show. It became my cd “double release” party, and Kazoo! Fest became baby Otis’ first show. And my music was the first music he ever heard outside the womb.

And it made up for everything.

Kazoo! Fest Preview – Saturday April 12th

furys-thursdaySaturday is jam-packed, so you’ll need to plan things accordingly to be able to see all of the amazing stuff can. Plus, we have a newly announced free in-store show at 4:45 at Royal Cat Records (10 Carden St.) – Keep reading for more details.

To start, we have the Kazoo! Print Expo kicking things off at Mitchell Hall (99 Woolwich Street, inside St. George’s Church), which features more than 40 artists displaying their mind-blowing printed wares. At 1:30PM, the doors open for a very special show at Silence (46 Essex), and at 2PM Southern U.S. noise and art collective Postcommodity will perform a mix of free jazz and experimental noise, followed by the longest running noise group in the world, London, ON’s Nihilist Spasm Band. This show is definitely going to sell out, and you should definitely get there early. It is being co-presented by Musagetes, Silence and Ed Video (three of our favourite Guelph organizations).

Just across the street from Silence, at Capacity 3 Gallery (6 Dublin St. S.) at 3:30 will be an art opening reception for Hugh Mater’s “My Own Shortcomings”. This event is free and will run until 5:30.

Running concurrently with Hugh Mater’s show will be a SPECIAL performance by Guelph’s newest, oldest and only Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet cover band: FROM a Shadowy Planet. Led by Vish Khanna and featuring some talented Guelph mainstays, this is the band’s first show and will blow the roof off Royal Cat (hopefully not literally).

In the heart of downtown, at Red Brick Cafe (8 Douglas St) is Guelph’s own amazing songstress Jessy Bell Smith, who will be opening the show at 5:30, followed by Toronto’s EONS at 6:30.

After this show, we take a short break before really turning things up for Saturday night. Guelph sonn-to-be-legends Shopkeeper will be opening up for bona fide Canadian folk legend Michael Feuerstack at the CornerStone (1 Wyndham N). This show starts at 9:30, and space is limited, so get there early if you want to check it out.

Just across the street at Van Gogh’s Ear, starting at 10PM, will be experimental orchestral drone stand-outs Whoop-SZO, opening up a crazy night. Following Whoop-SZO is thunder-rock gods Biblical, followed by queer feminist cock rock AMAZEMENT, VAG HALEN and a very special all-covers set by Legato Vipers, featuring a bunch of out of town Kazoo! performers on vocals.

And we’re also back at The Jimmy Jazz again tonight with a free noisy punk rock show. Opening the night we have Hamilton’s WTCHS, who are celebrating the release of a new LP. After that we’ve got Guelph’s own Bleet who are sure to bring the riff-heavy noise. This will be Bleet’s final show, so come say goodbye and pick up a copy of their new album ‘Underbite’. Closing out the night, we have the spastic art punk of Toronto’s Soupcans. Don’t show up late for this one because this will be at capacity early!

Starting at 11PM at Sapphire Lounge will be a Sensi Boy Co-Production, featuring two of Guelph’s best MCs and definitely Guelph’s best dance DJ: Vic NS will be kicking off the show, before Canadian rap legend Noah 23 takes the stage, and DJ Chadillac will be spinning before, between and after.

Kazoo! Fest Preview – Friday April 11th

Destroyer-webFriday night holds three hot tickets and if you play your cards right, you’ll cash in on loads of amazing music!

Early on in the evening, folks will gather at Dublin St. United Church to sashay down the aisle and tuck themselves into pews, shoulder to shoulder, where they will await the treat that follows. Guelph’s own Bry Webb, joined by Rich Burnett, will start the night off with a sure-to-be amazing and special set, performing material off Bry’s forthcoming album, Free Will. Dan Bejar of Destroyer will comprise the second half of the show, appearing at this year’s festival to give a rare and intimate solo performance. This event will certainly be romantic, magical and not easily-forgotten, and should wrap up in time for you to pop downtown and catch what’s up next.

Things get cooking at the eBar at 10 PM with a stacked four-band bill featuring the trippy projection installation, Crystal Clouds by Fezz Stenton. Opening the show are Guelph’s own eclectic cats of cool Adverteyes, followed by local improvised afrobeat troop Manatee. Petra Glynt — musical project of Alexandra Mackenzie, whose Promised Land exhibition dazzled crowds at Ed Video Wednesday night — will then grace the stage with her far-out aesthetic and operatic voice. This fabulous bill closes with the smooth and sultry sounds of Toronto’s DIANA.

You can always count on Jimmy Jazz shows to go late, and this one is no exception. Set to commence at 11PM, this show will fire up with Watershed Hour, a heavy, riveting, and loud two-piece from Peterborough. Start Something will follow and this friendly team of noisy rockers will surely knock your socks off. Finally, Solids, joining us for their Guelph debut, will take us late into the night with their fast-paced grunge pop. Now, remember to drink some water and get to bed before sunrise so you don’t sleep though Saturday’s Kazoo! Print Expo!