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Kazoo! Fest 2017: Wednesday Preview

Well, looks like we’ve made it. 10 years ago, we kicked off this little festival and we’re still kicking. Thanks for sticking with us – we hope you enjoy the week.

At noon, we’ve got a free CSA noon-hour concert by Richard Laviolette happening on campus in the University Centre. It is co-presented with our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM, and the concert will be broadcast live.

We have a few options to choose from for how you want to spend your opening night. Join us and our friends from Ed Video at 7:30pm at Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich St.) for Present Rituals, a group exhibition featuring video, film, installation, digital prints, and drawings about magic, ritual, and witchcraft. After that, we very excited to bring you two great films – first, at 9pm, we will be screening Hazel McCarthy III‘s film, Bight of the Twin (which documents Hazel and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and their journey to Oudidah in Benin) then, at 10pm, we will present Actually Huizenga‘s film about a convent-inclined female that is forced into marrying a creepy, possessive rich dude, Heavenly Sin.

Meanwhile, over at Silence, we have programmed what is sure to be a very special night. The evening will open with Luyos MC and her arresting and innovative experimentation. Following Luyos MC, we are thrilled to be able to present Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. A renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg activist, author, musician, academic, poet and a member of the Alderville First Nation, we are quite fortunate to have Simpson and her band help ring in Kazoo! Fest 2017.

As soon as things wrap up at Kazoo! HQ and Silence, rush over to eBar where Sackville standout Klarka Weinwurm, performing as a three piece, will get things started just after 10pm. Then we’ve got Guelph’s golden child, Richard Laviolette hitting the stage with an all star band. This is also Laviolette’s release show for his long-awaited (and soon-to-be-classic) LP, Taking The Long Way Home (You’ve Changed Records).

Kazoo! Brew is also back. Be sure to try this tasty dry-hopped pale ale, which is available all week exclusively at Kazoo! Fest venues. Big thanks to our friends at Wellington Brewery for making this happen!

10 years.
Day 1.
Turn it up.

Why Alejandro Garcia Contreras Rules by Scott McGovern

Alejandro Garcia Contreras

Alejandro Garcia Contreras

Alejandro is a dark priest of visual culture of the highest order. His unique vision resonates no matter what medium he uses, never compromised or fumbling. He samples thousands of years of human artifacts to blend the ancient with the contemporary, across cultures, geography, and religion, in a quest to find the essence of the human spirit. Images of magic, symbols, and nature are mixed with mainstream and trash culture to reconfigure ideas, casting beams of light on new possibilities and truths, ultimately questioning what we value.

Alejandro is from Chiapas, arguably the most unique and independent state in Mexico, and home to several indigenous groups, languages, and traditions. He spends most of his time there at the DEDAZO artist residency he runs (currently accepting applications!) but can sometimes be found in Mexico City, Los Angeles, Europe, and even Canada.

Every breath he takes and every decision he makes is for the purpose of creating his next project. He’s a particularly talented ceramist who is always learning new techniques, pushing his own boundaries, and both honours and destroys traditions at once. He knows that to make serious artwork, you also have to have fun. The viewer is provoked into discovering new ideas, instead of coddling the opinions they already have. He’d probably get kicked out of most art programs at Canadian universities for being too offensive, but personally I’m far more insulted by boring art that looks like yesterday’s reheated aesthetics.

I research a lot of artists, but Alejandro just kept appearing to me through no effort of my own. Images of his work have been showing up on my computer screen for years. I feel like it wasn’t a choice to end up working with him but more just something that the universe wanted to make happen. Recently, I had the honour to finally meet him when I was in Mexico City, and I felt like I was meeting one of my heroes. He is truly a alchemist of visual culture, and that’s why he rules.

Scott McGovern is the Program Director of Ed Video Media Arts Centre, is on the Board of Directors for Kazoo! Fest and the curator of the ‘Present Rituals’ exhibition.

Check out Alejandro Garcia Contreras three digital prints on canvas and one Super8 film in the ‘Present Rituals’ exhibition at Kazoo! HQ.


Why U.S. Girls Rules by Chris Worden

U.S. Girls

U.S. Girls? Holy moly, now there’s a show. I’ve been a fan for about 9 years or so, I guess. I’ve seen U.S. Girls when it was just Meg Remy and a bunch of analog gear in a suitcase, singing “Red Ford Radio” and “So Ladder Strong“. I’ve felt her big voice barreling downhill through a hypnotized audience, from the sparsely-lit outdoor stage and into the darkness of the woods beyond. It sure as heck made an impression on me. Only a year after that, I saw U.S. Girls as a full band for the first time. She played in the driving rain of a thunderstorm that tried and failed to show her up. I heard people talk about that for weeks afterwards.

Meg provides a weird, new angle on all our shared musical history. Different elements resonate with different people. Driving around with my mom when I was tiny, it was The Supremes, The Crystals, The Shangri-Las, Lesley Gore – that was the stuff that got turned up loud between commercials on 1460 CJOY, and which consequently burned itself into my brain. In part, U.S. Girls represents the logical evolution of the work done by these artists, as well as the rest of the best pop music from the past 60 years. She’s got a long view of the history behind her sound, and it gives her a clarity of vision and purpose for the road ahead that is darn impressive. That’s what happens when you take more than half a century of accumulated musical history and focus it on a tiny point, I guess. You become a laser, and you get to help burn the new path.

That forward motion is what U.S. Girls is all about. Meg is all progress, no backslide. U.S. Girls just keeps getting better. There are no dips. Near as I can tell, it’s more or less just been a straight climb these past 9 years. At any given U.S. Girls show, what you’re seeing is one of the best performers in Canada at the peak of her powers. That’s what you’re going to get at Kazoo! Fest this year. You’re so lucky.

Chris Worden is a musician (Natural Thirst, Baby Cages, Wolfcow), festival director (Electric Eclectics), and Kazoo! Board Member. He sure likes U.S. Girls.

Catch U.S. Girls at Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Thursday April 8th with Cold on Pluto and OBUXUM @ eBar.


Why LA Timpa Rules by Elliott Vincent Jones

LA Timpa

“Who the fuck is this kid and why am I so intrigued by him” is what I said when I first saw my friend Timpa strut down Kensington Market a couple summers back. Hair cooler and bigger than mine. Shoe heels taller than me. Outfits I could never pull off but only wish I could. Baby is shy… humble… and thankful for everything around him BUT with an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude AND determination to make odd music without anyone telling him what to do or how to do it.

The music just adds to an already impressive package and, for me, there’s something very nostalgic about the soundscapes he creates. I hear elements of everything that got me into music in the first place. I hear film, I hear Korine, I hear Lynch, I hear big empty dark spaces, I hear crowded alienating urban life and I hear pure youthful experimentation — music made by a young man who gets it.

I’m excited for what he’s got down the pipeline next. LA Timpa is the anti-artist. Futuristic love boy. Feel him. Love him. Hate him.

Elliott Vincent Jones is an Toronto-based musician who currently performs as Elliott Vincent Jones and previously made music with Ell V Gore. A Guelph ex-pat, Jones has played in local bands such as Brides, The Meat and Tamsen & Elliott.

Catch LA Timpa at Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Friday April 7th with YlangYlang, Ice Cream and Persons @ ANAF.


Kazoo! Fest 2017 – Podcast #8

For our 8th Kazoo! Fest Podcast, we’ve got an episode of Vish Khanna’s amazing podcast Kreative Kontrol, check it out and subscribe!

Century Egg is an artful young pop-rock band based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Featuring lyrics in Mandarin and English sung by a young woman named Shane Keyu Song, Century Egg are an animated quartet in more ways then one. They’ve just released a new EP called River God, and are set to play select shows across Canada, including stops at the Ebar in Guelph on April 7 for Kazoo! Fest. Song, Robert Drisdelle, Tri Le, and Nick Dourado make up Century Egg and all of them recently joined Vish for an in-depth conversation about what life is like in Halifax, Calgary, and China, Shane’s upbringing in China and her background as a graphic artist and animator, oppression and liberation, racialized and underrepresented musicians in Canada, playing cool music, and much more. Sponsored by the Bookshelf, Pizza Trokadero, and Planet Bean Coffee.

Thanks to our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM!