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Why Fountain Rules by Anni Spadafora


I always want to get a sense of the people who make the music I listen to.

Who the hell are you? Where do you live? What do you care about? Who do you see everyday? What do you hate and where do you hide it? Do you sleep on your belly? What tilts your head to your left 45 degrees?

I know these things aren’t always important to music and its affect, but it’s what tilts my head to my left 45 degrees.

Fountain is a band that reveals (directly and indirectly all the same) who they are and what matters to them. They make razor-sharp pop music–nothing sweet about it (sturdied by Laura Jeffery on drums, it couldn’t be). Their songs find the perfect coordinates for dissonance, melody, and drive, sort of how The Fall often did. Strange songs, but not reserved for a chosen few in a precious corner.

They share vocals (no ego). Songs are titled ‘Landline’ and ‘Bouquet’ (forever forms).

Watching Fountain play live makes me want to bottle the feelings first felt playing music with friends, shelve, and drink later (if I ever forget what really matters). They play with focus, but not too seriously. Actually, they’re the perfect case for music that can still cut without being so dark.

Anni Spadafora is a mixed media artist, cultural organizer and musician from Toronto. She fronts one of Kazoo!’s favorite bands, New Fries.

Catch Fountain at Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Thursday April 6th with Baby Labour and Casper Skulls @ The ANAF.


Kazoo! Fest 2017 – Podcast #3

Ghost Snakes. Are they real? Are they any more dangerous than ghost dinosaurs, or ghost rhinos? Do they lurk amongst us under ghost rocks, or around the neck of ghost Alice Coopers? Ghost Snake’s Andrew Collins and Glacio de Fluvial do not possess the answers to these centuries old questions. In fact, if you’re yearning to learn more about Ghost Snakes, why would you choose to listen to a music podcast?! I mean, they probably aren’t even real anyways!! If however, you would like to listen to two wedding bandmates discuss nonsense with a touch of music, well, we’ve got you covered. Amongst the glorious sounds of other Kazoo! Fest performers, listen carefully, for you just may hear the Whispers Of The Ghost Snake.

Ghost Snake – Knock Knock Who Is There
Ghost Snake – Frankenstein And Merman
Xylouris White – Forging
Baby Labour – Sneak Bayou
Gregory Pepper & His Problems – My Roommate Is A Snake And The Landlord Is A Bat
Fountain – Egg Island
DJ Smoke Weed Guy – IDV
LAPS – Low Room
Jon McKiel – Brothers
Klarka Weinwurm – Tears For Gears
Richard Laviolette – You’ve Really Got Me On The Run
John Southworth – The Horse That Swam Across The Sea
U.S. Girls – Woman’s Work

Thanks to our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM!

Why Xylouris White Rules by Steven Lambke

Xylouris White

Not quite knowing how to begin, I begin slowly, the way one might begin a song. You look over at your fellow musicians to see if they are ready. (listening?)…
I should say here that I do not know the men of Xylouris White, lute player Giorgis Xylouris and drummer Jim White. Not personally, not in the way many of the people writing these pieces know their subjects. I have listened to their records and I have twice seen them perform. I can attest to their individual mastery of their instruments. I do not use the word lightly (I am trying to speak clearly). Too much writing about music is simply hype and an abuse of adjectives. It can be an obstacle to hearing.
During the performance, the musicians will look at one another. It is a hard look to describe, appearing oddly removed from the music being made, which is thrilling. It is a wry look, often, and affectionate. It is more the look of a man listening than that of a man speaking.
What is being heard? Many of the melodies are based on traditional Cretan songs, a tradition of which I know nothing beyond what I have heard in the music of Giorgis and his family. (There are generations of Xylouris musicians).
To speak of folk traditions is to risk romanticization and exoticism and nationalism. To dismiss them is to adopt one of modern capitalism’s more effective methods of destruction. (My thoughts are formed here in a Canada not quite yet grappling with its colonial heritage. This might not translate.) Traditions are actions that have meaning when they are connected to the lived experience of people.
Xylouris White are performing. Where many drummers would evoke a steady click of time passing or aspire to the regimented power of a machine, Jim White plays in a rolling present.
Giorgis Xylouris is singing in deep clear voice in a language I do not understand. I do not know if it is an old song, or if it speaks directly of the mountains, eagles, rocks, and goats for which the songs are named.  If the past is in this music, it is there in the same way as in a body: as blood, scar, and ability. It is there as it in a birthday or a wedding or a ritual feast.
The music is alive. It sweats. I stand up! I start dancing!

Steven Lambke has recently been named Creative Director at Sappyfest, runs You’ve Changed Records, writes, performs and records solo material and is performing at Kazoo! Fest 2017 act in The Constantines.

Catch Xylouris White at Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Saturday April 8th @ Silence.


Why Ten Boy Summer Rules by Rigel Rozanski

Ten Boy Summer

These pals are a kind of auditory slushie. They are the instant-noodle-soup of the whole music-with-soup analogy – you will instantly love them. They bring a raw, grungy, spaced-out, endearing, atmosphere with them wherever they go that’s really special – and they’re super humble about it ❤. Mary King springboards dreamy vocal melodies which appeal directly to your inner brain. The structures of their songs give you time to breath and reflect while still feeling succinct and pronounced. It’s hard not to want to hear everything they’ve written once you get a sense of their music. The whole band gets it — they work together really well like beans and rice.

The first time I met the band it felt like a time traveling van had just pulled up in the narrow bushed driveway of the Neeve St. house. It was a weather-worn hand painted van. Maybe by some sloppy-craftsmanship, the band had accidentally slipped into a different decade for some brief moments. Yes, the more I reflect on it they must have short circuited this world and made a stop to either the 1990s or 2030s with just enough time for the band to swap out clothes and gear before being cast back into the current era to the driveway of the house show. I think at this point, the whole band, company, instruments, amplifiers and sleeping bags actually crawled right out of the trunk simultaneously. Only a short time later, they were unwrapped in the living room making everyone feel like a peanut butter and banana sandwich lunch – the kind where maybe your parents have been giving you the same trail-mix granola bar everyday through grades 2 to 6, but then this time, out of the blue, you got a chocolate chip cookie, amazing.

There is something truly heart-warming/nostalgic about these bunch, they’re silly and full of respect and imagination. When you’re at one of their shows, listening to their music, it becomes obvious that the whole band has something positive to say and I hope you get the chance to experience it!

Rigel Rozanski is the primary force behind the excellent house show series at 42 Jane. He also heads up the Guelph-based band, Cold on Pluto, who are performing at Kazoo! Fest 2017 at eBar on Thursday April 6th.

Catch Ten Boy Summer at Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Friday April 7th with DJ Smoke Weed Guy @ Take Time Vintage.


Why Un Blonde Rules by Robin Dann

Un Blonde

I first saw Un Blonde in Montreal. I had been warned that I would love them, but I don’t think I was ready. Throughout the set, Jean kept re-positioning the microphone, changing its height and angle drastically and suddenly, so that he would have to place his head at odd angles in order that his voice would still come through the system. At the same time he’d throw a hand on a hip and stick it out, swing his guitar around, poke a leg out. His movement seemed completely intentional but also involuntary. Like a person very self aware, but also at the mercy of his limbs. I think all his movement reflects what I ultimately love the most about his music, but I was still in the WHOA THIS IS SO GOOD! feeling, not thinking about it all, yet.

Recently, someone described to me discovering an artist they immediately loved, and having to literally stand up from where they were sitting and move to another room to acknowledge the feeling. Watching Un Blonde play for the first time, I also felt like I urgently needed to do something, like take all my clothes off and go find a pool and jump in. What was this sound? How was he so beautiful? How could this music be at once so janky and bonked, uneven and irreverent and yet the deepest, most princely, pure r&b funk?

Afterwards, I met Jean and he proved to be pretty enigmatic: shy and charming, extremely stylish but untrendy; so confident while keeping his long lashes humbly lowered. I felt happy to be around him. I bought all the music I could and became a huge fan as I got to know the music better & better. I feel as though he can (and does) do anything; his musical choices are just so damn correct.

There’s a present-day, spacial quality that I love about all the Un Blonde releases. They feel unedited, brief, and honest. I love that his sound has really changed with each new batch of songs: we’re listening to his life.

Once I sent Jean an email about playing a show… He never replied, but it didn’t bother me because I felt like I was emailing a sweet monster on a cloud, and you can’t possibly deal with email all the way up there in the sky.

Robin Dann is a Toronto-based musician and front-woman of Bernice, who are playing Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Saturday April 8th at Heritage Hall.

Un Blonde plays Kazoo! Fest 2017 on Saturday April 8th with Bernice @ Heritage Hall.