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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!

Why Emily Pelstring Rules by Mike Deane

Emily Pelstring’s work makes me want to be a more involved and evolved human being. It makes me want to know more about video art, art history, feminist theory, technology, and the world in general. I’m completely blown away on a visceral and intellectual level whenever I see Emily’s work, but I’m also left feeling like there will always be layers to discover – like, no matter how much I learn, I will always be a few steps behind Emily’s big brain.

But this can also be a good thing: because when there’s so much going into every piece, even a video art ignoramus and casual college film theory burnout is able to walk away completely satisfied.

I would talk about Emily’s dance performances and, indeed, one of my first memories of her was Emily nailing a live performance of the dance from Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights”, but am not sure I have the vocabulary to really do justice to the skill and choreography. I would talk of her installation and musical performances with The Powers, but I fear I wouldn’t be able to fully explain their advanced and humorous exploration of the occult, contemporary feminism, consumer culture, and art itself (though I will say the skeleton body dance is both a mind fuck and hilarious.) And I could try to explain Emily’s installations, but I think you’d do much better to go see the incredibly appealing and innovative multimedia structures currently on display at Kazoo! HQ – like much of what Emily does, they are deftly crafted, visually impressive, somewhat funny, and are imbued with an originality and thoughtfulness rarely seen (when setting up, the artist helping Emily with the installation remarked “I could never think of something like this; my mind just doesn’t work that way,” and I knew exactly what they meant). So where does this leave us?

Emily’s music videos are perfectly paced pieces, and highly involved affairs, mixing heightened aesthetics with advanced DIY, giving them a professional and personal feel at the same time. The shimmering lights, smokey production, glammed-up Midwestern “Heart of Glass” feel of the U.S. Girls’ “Jack” video, the retro creeped out belly dancing Maddin-vibed “Wild Love” video by The Pink Noise, or the stop motion puppet animation of Yamantaka Sonic Titan’s “Hoshi Neko” all differ wildly, but at their heart is a technically proficient perfectionist creating something that has hints of nostalgia, but goes so far beyond anything it nods to.

Emily’s videos deliver on every level: they are masterfully crafted pieces that would impress any video art auteur, they are packed with meaning that could busy a media or gender studies major, and they can entertain anyone from a stoned teenager to a high-art snob. Whenever someone brings up video art, music videos, or anything to do with video cameras, I will always bring up Emily Pelstring, because I think everyone can get into what she creates. As heady as her work can be, it’s often hilarious, and just looks fucking cool. Go see her work at Kazoo! HQ and when she does projections for U.S. Girls on Thursday night.

Mike Deane is a member of the Kazoo! Fest programming committee and the President of the Board of Directors.

Catch Emily Pelstring‘s work at Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich Street) as part of Present Rituals throughout the festival. Emily is also doing visuals for U.S. Girls on Thursday April 6th @ eBar.


Kazoo! Fest 2017 – Podcast #7

Author Jesse Ruddock was by the ocean in Long Beach, NY when she talked to Chelsea Cockshutt from CFRU‘s The Flannel Hour for this episode of the Kazoo! Fest podcast. Jesse and Chelsea talk about isolation and loneliness, the power of water, hockey, and of course Jesse’s debut novel Shot-Blue. Following their conversation you’ll hear some tracks from The Magic, US Girls, and Gregory Pepper & His Problems including…

The Magic – Never Lock The Door
U.S. Girls – Damn That Valley
Gregory Pepper & His Problems – This Town

Thanks to our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM!

Why LAPS Rule by Adam Sturgeon


Hailing from a scene dominated by blues, garage, and folk-rock, LAPS are a throwback to mid-’90s/early 2000s Canadian math rock. This band recaptures the sounds previously dominated by men, by cityscapes and pretensions. But their math rock renaissance is defined by their own peculiar differences…

Sure, LAPS drop hook-laden time changes quickly and with striking contrast, skillfully inheriting their lineage, but with a decisive intervention: vocals, at times baroque and theatrical, delivered by one Heather Ogilvie, vintage clothing boutique owner and humble songwriting genius. Setting course for her songs on the 9 & 3’s is her band of gentlemen, consisting of youth prodigy Tate Lejeune on his untuned and jangly left-handed guitar, all-around good guy Cedric Noel methodically and “simply” owning the low end, and rounded out by Cuzn’ Scotty, forever counting on the kit.

Launching their public profile the right way: with a live video session in their hometown of Fredericton, LAPS recently transplanted to Montreal and have just begun to dip their toes into the possibilities of their complete and whole togetherness. Admirably, they have been charting a path all their own – their sound set adrift and defined by their relative isolation from their hometown; the barren shores of the Northside of the Saint John River’s (lesser but more accurately known as the Wolostoq), juxtaposed with the churches, monuments and general hustle and bustle of the South. LAPS are a shimmering hint on the water’s geometrical edges, an undertow of artistic measures, and current of electrical differentiation.

Adam Sturgeon is an Anishinabek artist, musician, avid screen printer, grassroots community builder and an advocate for Indigenous rights, social change and the strengthening of one’s identity within a cultural context. Currently based in London, Ontario, Adam fronts WHOOP-Szo and is a core organizer behind the Grickle Grass Festival.

Catch LAPS at Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Friday April 7th with Badminton Racquet, Century Egg and Eyeballs  @ eBar.


Kazoo! Fest 2017 – Podcast #6

This week Andrea Patehviri of CFRU 93.3‘s Indie Alarm Clock has a conversation with Katie Ewald, curator of Short&Sweet Guelph Edition 2017, and Kelly McCullough, fan of Short&Sweet! Short&Sweet will showcase 32 contemporary dancers who have carte blanche to create whatever they want… as long as it is under three minutes! Any artist going over the allotted time will be immediately cut off. Katie, Kelly, and I discuss the ways in which time constraints may affect the creation of a work of art, how Short&Sweet breaks down barriers to make contemporary dance more accessible to the general public, as well as the concept of artistic illiteracy and how it should never deter someone from experiencing a new art form – we all need to start somewhere! Let this interview be your intro to Short&Sweet’s intro to contemporary dance! Following the chat will be some of the music that you can hear live at Kazoo! Fest including…

Bernice – Dreamtime
Un Blonde – Who I Am
Gregory Pepper & His Problems – Nothing Songs
John Southworth – Fiddler Crossed the Border
Richard Laviolette – Old Country Music

Thanks to our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM!