What the hell was Kazoo! thinking asking me to write a blurb about Eyeballs? I have only seen them once and I may never see them again — but if you asked me how good that one time was on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being Not Satisfying at All and 10 being Extremely Satisfying) I definitely left that show Extremely Satisfied. I can’t say I love Eyeballs yet as that’s the kind of bond between band and fan that takes time to grow but after hearing their 2016 LP Bad Art, I have a feeling they will continue to grow on me like a weird rash (Full disclosure: I have eczema).
Eyeballs make pro-nonsense dance punk music with a healthy dose of freaky deaky. There’s a naughty krautiness to the (song) vibes highlighted with occasional bouts of noise punk fussiness. Gnarly distorted bass lines and heavy organ, glitchy blippity bloop sounding synthesizers, pummeling percussion, there’s nothing this band has that you don’t want. We’re talking Triple AAA battery charged TURBO PUNK.
They are a duology made up of 1 part Jenn Kitigawa, 1 part Britt Prioulx, who are equal parts bad ass. They both share active duty on many traditional cool band instruments like guitar, bass, drums, synth, and vocals. The math on that makes no sense but somehow they pull it off. Word on the street has it that they may have added a third member into the mix though so if you haven’t seen this mysterious new line up, I would get on that.
Go see Eyeballs play at Kazoo! or anytime in the future but specifically at Kazoo! fest because it’ll be their best show ever. Every show after could get diminishingly worse you never know, see them while they’re in their prime!
Brandon Lim is 34 years old and publishes a macrobiotic vegan food zine called the Healthy Ninja, hosts a monthly VHS movie night called Tapewurm Tuesdaze, and runs a Thai restaurant with his family called Mengrai Thai where he met Jackie Chan once. He also plays bass guitar in sludge-punk band HSY, “noh-wave” collective YAMANTAKA // Sonic Titan, and “other” band SIGIL.
Ice Cream are one of those bands that can cradle the feeling of cold seriousness and beauty and weave it into a haunting song. Their multi-instrumentalism as well as their looming “chimp box” playing their backing beats make their live shows permanently engaging, with there always being something to take in. There is also an added quality that they carry of impending chaos, with just two people in control of multiple musical elements. At any given time, Carlyn Bezic and Amanda Crist could be controlling chilling oscillations, ripping a flame fingered guitar solo, delivering a strong haunting vocal, asserting the bass as a lead melodic instrument, playing a spine tingling synth line – It’s hard to keep up. Vocal delivery pierces ears with its seriousness, no matter whose mouth it is coming from. Ice Cream are not a band that dials it in, making their live shows memorable and unique with combinations of costume, set design and lighting. Two of the sweetest people I’ve ever known have created their own world with their own sound to go in it. Every time I am able to enter that world I am thrilled. Attitude, inventiveness, commitment and execution are why I love Ice Cream.
If I was to make a grocery list of the ingredients in my favourite live shows of late, it would include buttery pop, peppy fresh hand claps, and a stinging hot beat.
The Magic is brothers Evan and Geordie Gordon and, when they perform live with Tim Clarke, there is all this sultriness and more. More swoons and grooves and cheekbones and head bops. This combination transports assembled folks to another place: where there is strength in hope. Handmade, heart-shaped pottery, crafted as children, is not space-based. It’s a future-forward, time-bound experiment. For The Magic, what was once clay is now pure molded sound. These soothsayers cast containers. They build vessels of soul. The incantation was conjured on their first release, Ragged Gold, and the alchemy was set with their second album, Nightfalling.
In the backyard of life’s most memorable experiences there’s a legitamish fire pit, bodies gathered round, eyes glinting in the night light. These brothers formed and styled The Magic out the back (in a thrift store, actually) and when they bring it out, we all get to dance. When Geordie sings and Evan drops beats, the flames rise higher and lick the sky. Their set at Silence on Saturday afternoon will be a lovingly cozy, disco-flecked affair accompanying the launch of Jesse Ruddock’s debut novel,Shot Blue: a rare book riddled with feeling.
I dare you to be still.
Alissa Firth-Eagland is Festival Manager of Kazoo! Fest 2017. She’s also a curator, writer, and arts administrator who deeply values the sharing and decentralization of culture. She’s the new curator of Humber Galleries in Toronto.
I first saw Han Han rapping with my friends DATU at a show and I was like “WTF?! Who the hell is that?!” This emcee came out of nowhere. I was really excited and wanted to see more. With dance troupe HATAW backing her up, she recently started playing her own full, very ill sets. Han Han always delivers. Never mind that she raps in Tagalog and Cebuano. Never mind that she’s got a real groove when she moves on stage. Never mind that she’s a full-time nurse helping save lives in the operating room. Han Han has got a very particular “fuck-ya” presence when she’s on stage. She makes talking about social issues the most fun, badass thing ever. Her flow and voice are unique and captivating. You don’t need to understand her Native Philippine languages to be swept into her world. You will always have an amazing time at a Han Han show, like saving your life in a different way.
April Aliermo is a Toronto-based musician who performs in two of Kazoo!’s favorite Toronto acts, Phèdre and Hooded Fang.
“At the moment, my feeling is, that the only way to fight control is communities – small units of communities – people who agree with each other enough about how to live, that they support each other, they share their resources, they spread their ideas through events like this, or through writing or through whatever medium they can find, and they set-up small, autonomous units that are dedicated to a different way of living, where it’s about sharing, and generosity, and loving, and compassion, and kindness, and all of the things that are destroyed by capitalism and totalitarianism.”
“If you see a door, go through it, but leave one foot in the doorway so someone else can follow through.”
In the pursuit of understanding, the temptation towards binary, “either/or” thinking is a well-established fallacy. In my own life, particularly in attempts to understand and interact with the world outside of convention and establishment, that truth has been as challenging as any rite of passage. To frame any aspects of the world in binary terms is to limit our understanding in favour of the naive attempt to control those things. To transcend the urge or push towards this mode of thinking, is to transcend those limits, and transcend control. I can credit the generous and loving art of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with illuminating these truths in ways simultaneously inviting and challenging enough to resonate continuously within me. So important is their work in opening up my own perception of life, love and creativity, that the first song I played for our child, within an hour of arriving in our lives, was “The Orchids” by Genesis’ project Psychic TV.
Now in their sixties, Genesis’ life and work reflect the real magic in human (or humane) existence. S/he invented industrial music. S/he founded a nomadic and leaderless occult order called Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth which had a worldwide impact on music, art and culture in the 1980s. S/he underwent years of surgery and self-transformation to merge h/er body with that of h/er partner in life and creative collaboration, Lady Jaye, to create a unified being called The Pandrogyne. The latter, as a defiance of the limitations of biological sex, may be one of the most holistic works of art and devotion that humankind has ever seen. Every facet of Genesis’ life and art illuminate the illusory nature of our collectively perceived limitations, and offer shared access to the limitless potential of our minds and bodies.
Over many years, Genesis has studied the revolutionary and evolutionary implications of magic, devotion and ancient spiritual practices, and embraced these things in h/er life and work. S/he has traveled to remote areas of Nepal, India, and Africa to learn from teachers of these traditions, and found harmony between h/er own philosophy and practice, and the non-binary views of substance and identity in many ancient belief systems. Here again, those of us who willfully exclude spiritual thinking from our anti-establishment practices are invited to challenge this as another example of the limitations of “either/or” thinking.
This year, Kazoo! Fest and Ed Video invite us to engage with the magic visual artwork of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge as part of the Present Rituals exhibition at Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich St. in downtown Guelph). The exhibition is curated by Scott McGovern and includes works by Alison Postma, Hazel Hill McCarthy III, Trudy Elmore, Emily Pelstring, FASTWÜRMS and Alejandro Garcia Contreras – all radical art makers in their own right. In a place where right-to-life organizations are invited to imply shame and guilt from bus billboards and church gardens, and where new luxury condominium developments suddenly diminish the Catholic church’s insistent role in the city’s physical identity, it seems like a profound opportunity that we have Genesis’ revolutionary and evolutionary spiritual objects available to us. You are invited to open yourself to magic in a time when it is desperately needed, to cast off the binary limitations of conventional thinking, and see what possibilities emerge, if you’re willing.
Bry Webb is the Interim Operations Coordinator at CFRU 93.3 FM, the lead singer of Kazoo! Fest 2017 act, The Constantines, and writes, performs and records solo material solo material (often performed with his band, The Providers).
Check outGenesis Breyer P-Orridge‘s collaborative artwork made with Hazel Hill McCarthy III in the Present Rituals exhibition from Monday March 27th to Saturday April 8th @ Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich St.). Also, be sure to check out their documentary “Bight of the Twin” about their journey to Ouidah in Benin to explore the origins of the Vodoun (Voodoo) religion on Wednesday April 5th at 9pm @ Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich St.).