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Kazoo! Fest 2018: Saturday Preview

Here we go. Hope you saved some energy because today is going to be a big one.

Photo by Vanessa Tignanelli

Kick things off right at the Kazoo! Print Expo, co-presented by Wyndham Art Supplies and The Dragon, where you can pick up some prints from your favourite artists. This will be taking place at Mitchell Hall from 11am to 4pm, which is great because you’ll be right by Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich Street) so you can check out the synth hang at 10:30am followed by a very special artist talk with Beverly Glenn-Copeland at 1pm.

Over at Guelph Music, you can catch Guelph’s Hang-Tenner’s, Danny Don’t Surf, and those fine garage cats known as Tough Age (surprise!). This one kicks off at 1:30pm.

At 4pm, you can get cozy at the Red Brick Cafe with a coffee and the dreamy tunes of Innes Wilson followed by the awesomeness that Dorothea Paas brings. After this, you’ll probably have time to run over to Outpost Vintage for an art reception for Kendra Yee & JG’s Velvet 2000 where JG will also be spinning some tunes along with a DJ set from Korea Town Acid from 4pm to 6pm.

Now is your chance to power nap, grab a bite with those friends you met at the Faith Healer show, chill on your couch and tone out to that Joseph Shabason LP you picked up last night or maybe just come by Kazoo! HQ to hang out for a bit. You do you.

OK, let’s continue.

With our friends at Sappyfest and CFRU 93.3 FM, we are unbelievably thrilled to present Beverly Glenn-Copeland & Indigo Rising (featuring Jeremy Costello, Nick Dourado, Bianca Palmer, Kurt Inder and Thom Gill) with a special acoustic set from Kazoo! favorite WHOOP-Szo, at Dublin Street United Church. WHOOP-Szo, who are fresh off a tour of Mexico, will kick things off at 8pm sharp. Advance tickets and festival passes will get you into this one – but you can also pay at the door!

Longtime Kazoo! supporters, The Cornerstone, will be hosting a super chill show stacked with an artist that monopolizes much of our stereo time, L CON, alongside the sweetness that Montreal’s James Irwin has to offer – that fires up at 9pm!

Photo by Lisette Markiewicz

Meanwhile, over at the ANAF, our buds from Wavelength in Toronto are co-presenting a banger featuring one of the festival’s most anticipated sets from Luge, the return of Hammer city hereoes Pucumber Sasssquash Family Band and WLMRT, a great band from Toronto we’ve wanted ever since we first heard them. And, hey, if that’s not sweet enough, Guelph supreme champs Bonnie Trash are there to close out the night. Music at 10!

Maybe you’re looking for something a bit more ethereal? If that’s the case, might we suggest heading over to 10C at 10pm for the mad genius that is Guelph’s Evan Gordon’s Funhouse (FKA SHED), Nova Scotia’s mezmerizing Special Costello, the exploratory expansive soundscapes of Constellation Record’s Joni Void and the riches of Baby Cages? You certainly can’t go wrong there.

Meanwhile, those golden kids over at Place 4 Bands are helping throw the party of the festival at eBar with music from Kazoo! HQ top pick, Toronto’s Matthew Progress, the always-better-than-last-time-but-were-amazing-since-we-first-saw-them Doomsquad, Daniel Woodhead’s brilliant Moon King and the captivating beats of Korea Town Acid (!!!). Music starts just after 10, party goes lateeee.

There’s lots – but we feel confident in saying anywhere you go, you will have a great time. So down your coffee, highlight your schedules and hit the town.

Go see a favourite, go see something new.

Kazoo! Fest 2018: Friday Preview

We hope you enjoyed the wonder and beauty that was Wednesday night and the ram-jammed hit factory that was Thursday night, but Friday is when you really have to start planning carefully.

Photo by Allison CameronWe start off easy enough with two of the Guelph areas best and brightest: Nicolette & The Nobodies with Rich Burnett. Starting at 4PM, get your country and folk fill at Planet Bean, bring the kids, and bliss out / get down to some really great homegrown music. If you’re looking for something a bit heavier, head on up the street to Take Time Vintage for the slacker rock stylings of Sackville’s Kurt Inder and local shoegrunge group EDDYEVVY.

Things get a bit trickier as the night goes on. At the beautiful Heritage Hall (83 Essex St), we have Toronto’s Nicole Rampersaud and Germaine Liu starting off the night proper with experimental jazz vibes that will challenge and amaze, followed by Montreal’s Platitudes, with an experimental electro skronk set, featuring dazzling visuals and otherwordly feelings. Closing out the night at Heritage Hall, Joseph Shabason and co. (feat. Bernice’s Thom Gill, Phil Melanson and Bram Gielen, and Nicole Rampersaud) will play new tracks and huge cuts from 2017’s critically acclaimed and goofily named Aytche.

Photo by Paz Ramirez Larrain

Just up the block from Heritage Hall is Silence (43 Essex Street),  which will feature two of our favourite acts from Toronto. First up at 8:30 PM is MAS AYAthe project of percussion wunderkind and Not The Wind not The Flag Member Brandon Valdivia brings together free jazz, afrobeat and tropicalia, spinning it in its own distinct way. Following Mas Aya is the incredible Castle If. Creating “retro-futuristic, cosmic exotica,” Castle If showcases mellow synths, experimental song structures, and a mastery of mind expanding mellowness.

Now things start to get really difficult, as you’ll have to make some tough choices. Guelph’s hometown psych-visual instrumental rulers Versa are releasing their first full length album overat Kazoo! HQ (123 Woolwich Street) at 9PM, followed by BUDI, the project of multi-instrumentalist Nick Dourada, which will be playing as a 7 piece experimental R&B Funk extravaganza, featuring some of the best musicians at the festival.

One of the highlights of this year’s Kazoo! Fest is our first ever curatorial partnership with Revolutions Per Minute, whose “mission is to build a visionary community of Indigenous artists and to introduce Indigenous music to new audiences.” Kicking off the night at 9:30 at 10C Shared Space (42 Carden Street) is a Kazoo! Favourite, Ziibiwan, who will blow all minds with his “deeply hypnotic spaces where land, sky, and deep sea meet.” Following this will be Silla+Rise, from Nunavut and Ottawa – an incredible mix of throat singing and electronic dance music that is unlike anything we’ve ever heard. Closing out the night will be Winnipeg’s Boogey the Beat, one of the foremost DJs and beatmakers in the country.

Over at the eBar we have a perfect show that blends hip hop with experimental R&B and Jazz (what could be better?). Hamilton noise jazz weirdos Eschaton will be kicking things off, and Toronto’s musical royalty Witch Prophet is following it up with a set of mind-expanding, soul quenching R&B. 2018 Juno hip hop nominee (for self-released Lil Mont from the Ave) Clairmont the Second is closing out the night at eBar with perfect hip hop anthems.

If scrappy punk and power pop is more your thing, ANAF will be delivering in full with Montreal’s Prime Junk kicking off the night at 10:15, with a set full of anthemic indie bangers. Toronto’sTough Age is up next, and these guys are tour tight, packed with hooks, and one of the best power pop post punk bands in the country. Closing out the ANAF will be Fest Faves and local darlings Ten Boy Summer! Get there early, stay late, and no hats please.

Kazoo! Crew – Kazoo! Fest Podcast 2018 Ep #7


On this final Kazoo! Podcast episode of 2018 (and final Indie Alarm Clock episode!) Andrea is joined on air by Brad McInerney, Mike Deane, and Dave Lander, AKA Kazoo!’s Programming Committee, to chat all about all the behind-the-scenes work that happens to make a festival like Kazoo! possible. They chat about community festivals vs mega-festivals, Programming Committees vs Artistic Directors, the challenges that smaller festivals face, dream bookings, and of course, what they’re most excited for at Kazoo! Fest 2018!

Track List:
Matthew Progress – Sip Test
Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Winter Astral
Faith Healer – Such a Gemini


Thanks to our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM!

Why Faith Healer Rules by Jarrett Samson

Faith Healer

Look, let’s face it: Bands. Who needs ’em? Mine included. It feels like there’s 3 bands for every 1 person in Canada. People have been playing instruments on a stage for years now. YEARS! Look at how many people have traded their squire jaguar in for 1/8 of the cost of licensing ableton software. Are they right to do it? …mmmaybe?

No, they are wrong. Bands are good. Band are relevant. Faith Healer is the proof.

Faith Healer is one of those bands where the sum of its parts somehow add up to way more than you could ever expect. Their records sound almost timeless, like they could have been made any time in the last 40 years and you’d believe it. (In fact, the dial-tone that opens Try 😉 might make you more inclined to disbelieve that it came out in 2017). These records are things I listen to and I love them and then I get angry because why can’t I make something this good? Who do they think they are? But then I feel fine again when I remember that I get to listen to them again and again and again until I’m even older and crankier than I am now.

The songwriting. Jeeze. There are so many bands (again, mine included) where you hear them and go “oh, they really like this band.” Someone loves This Heat, someone else is into Black Flag, etc etc etc. I have absolutely no idea what records Faith Healer listened to, what music inspired or drove Jessica to write these songs.

They stand between genres in this thin space that allows a listener to just subtly nudge them into whatever category might make them feel most comfortable with enjoying it yet at no time can that audience limitation truly limit the music. I mean, does this sound like AM radio hits or savage Can jams? Doesn’t that solo kind of sound like Boston, or is it Television? What band can I compare them to in my 300 word review if they don’t explicitly spell it out for me?!?

How does this all work? Well, it works because it doesn’t sound like any of those things. It sounds like Faith Healer.

Live, the band is on fire every time I see them, not a hair out of place (except for Renny’s as he hams up his solos) and composed of some of the all-time MVPs of the last decade in Canadian music. It’s ‘tight’, but not in the way you passively say to a band who let you use their drums but you hated their set, nor is it tight in a regimented, bland, over-rehearsed and sterile way– it’s tight because the whole band is playing with each other, knows how to play with each other, and (I’m hoping/assuming) LIKE playing with each other. It’s all I want out of seeing a band these days. It’s great music made by great people. I feel privileged to know them, to share a label with them, and to get to have this music in my life and in my ears and eye line pretty often.

All that being said, scheduling is leaving me unable to see them play at Kazoo! Fest, so someone let me know how it is. I bet it’s pretty good.

Jarrett Samson is the leader singer and guitarist for Tough Age, who will be performing at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Friday, April 13th at ANAF (32 Gordon St.)

Faith Healer plays at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Thursday April 12th with Elle Barbara’s Black Space and Alpaca Nachos at eBar (41 Quebec St.)


Kazoo! Fest 2018: Thursday Preview

Hope you’re feeling well-rested after the Kazoo! kick-off, cause it’s only day two and there’s so much more to see!

Photo by Karel O./ Decipher Images

The evening will start out with a bit of a difficult choice – are you up for something more experimental and avant-garde, or are you feeling that a cozy evening of heartwarming folk may be more your jam? If it’s the former, head on over to Kazoo! HQ at 7 PM to catch The Powers, Church, and Cindy Lee, for an evening of experimental electronic, performance art, and dance. If you’re up for something a little more intimate, head to 10C at 7:30 PM to catch a trio of heartfelt performances by Bird City, Jom Comyn, and LUKA.

But regardless of which show you choose to kick off your evening, make your way to the eBar afterwards (doors at 10 PM) for an eclectic collection of performances by the Alpaca Nachos (this year’s Girls Rock Camp Guelph choice for Kazoo! Fest!), Faith Healer, and Elle Barbara’s Black Space.

And don’t forget that the Guelph Night Market will be happening all throughout the evening tonight (7-11pm), so be sure to take some time between your show-hopping to head on over to Mitchell Hall to pick up some Kazoo! Fest souvenirs from the Night Market’s curated selection of vendors.

Whew, hope we’ve whet your appetites, cause things are just getting started!