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!
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!
i remember brandon in so many ways but first and foremost it is this way, giving, caring and present. incredible qualities for a percussionista or any kind of music maker. i remember being introduced eagerly by pals when he came thru to hali’s obey convention years ago with notthewindnottheflag. i had the whole afternoon to present all kinds of improvising music and i remember that colin and brandon were there for almost all of the four hours or so. and like the spirit of the true jazz giant, within the hours of meeting, brandon and colin came to play and i felt brandon’s voice through his hands from the drum ~ and this preface is to let you know how prepared and grateful i am to speak on mas aya and brandon and generosity and also how necessarily i must use this public platform to thank brandon. brandon, my pal. thank you.
i’ve haphazardly toured around the country in discomfort and one of the things i remember about brandon is how grateful i am to see him, light one up and share treasures from the crown of music. how many borrowed drum kits and favours and care-taking gestures i personally am indebted to this kind man is many and i know this sentiment is shared by all of his truly numerous illustrious collaborators.
i remember brandon from the stage of the polaris music prize and i was one of few people who could feel the pressure on him when all the monitors turned off and his drum was still deep into the pocket of the electronic sounds echoing around a deep theatre and still if you watch the video i’m sure you would not know unless i told you. i remember brandon’s convicted reassurance that no outcome at an award show would or could influence the speaking to the spirit that is our work. i remember brandon taking care of business and otherwise i remember brandon smiling and pouring another one in the hot tub.
i also remember clearly the first time i put on “nikan” and was again reminded that the collaborative spirit is always alive and well in the servants of music; and i remember feeling often with mas aya the same spirit that lido pimienta furiously reseeds into the musical landscape. as our ears decide it is time to assess our insecurities around our ancientness ~ we have a home in a new generation of popular artists that can see themselves a million years old.
my insider scoop is that mas aya is ultimately this spirit at work. something that is resiliently ancient and drilled with joyful discipline into the present. i don’t know what the yaks who text thru concerts get out of instruments crafted from and resonating thru the earth but i remember the first time i heard brandon touch a drum and i hear it every single time. honestly, i think the world of music is pretty confused about risk taking and spontaneous music and what it is to always be prepared. please do not heap your expectation on mas aya. just understand that someone who is observant and near the explosions of new music can bring you, tenderly, a new perspective. trust mas aya, y’all. please..
We made it! We’re so happy to be starting Kazoo! Fest 2018 and bringing some of the best and most daring artists in Canada to Guelph for 5 days of mindblowing, genre-defying, and all round impressive music, visual art, performance art, dance, and much more! Thanks so much for your support in the lead-up to the festival, and we look forward to seeing you around downtown today until Sunday.
We kick things off at Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich Street) at 8PM with two performances that will melt minds and and flip wigs. Guelph’s experimental music demigod Ben Grossman is starting the night by showcasing his sound installation, which stretches across the entire space (which is huge). Is it a hurdy gurdy? Is it a new instrument that the world has not yet even heard of? Be there to find out.
Following Ben Grossman’s performance we will be treated to one of our favourite parts of the festival, the premiere of a performance that was supported by the Kazoo! Fest and Ed Video Look Hear microgrant. Luyos MC (MaryCarl Guiao) dazzled last year with their opening performance at Silence, and this year they are back, having teamed up with visuals master Karl Skene to create a multimedia project entitled “We Who Dare”. Music is played on traditional kulintang gongs from the southern Philippines are combined with poetry, illustrations, video, and traditional dress to create an experience where Indigenous Philipinx identities and truth bearers can be felt and heard.
Following “We Who Dare” head on over to the eBar to catch up-and-coming locals No Boys, who will kick off the music portion of the fest with their endearing and infectious indie rock. Following No Boys, we are pleased to bring one of Canada’s finest (not an exaggeration) to the stage, with Mauno from Halifax ready to bring the house down on a Wednesday night in Guelph.
After that, go to sleep! Rest up! There’s a ton more coming your way.
Society has been experiencing a bit of a seismic shift over the past few years. We’re starting to realize shit’s fucked and there’s no excuse left to be complacent. Cause if you’re comfortable, then you’re probably part of the problem. For some of us, it’s been a new process of learning and unlearning, teaching and holding each other accountable, but fortunately there are those who’ve been at it much longer that we can look to and learn from. Enter WHOOP-Szo.
Since their debut in 2009, they’ve always approached their art as a way to heal. With Sturgeon’s Indigenous background and the band’s aim to connect with Indigenous communities all across North America, marginalized voices are always situated at the centre of what they do, even if how they do it has changed. It’s an amazing thing thing to go through WHOOP-Szo’s discography and witness their progression from the dreamy psych-folk of nearly a decade ago, to the sludgy, fuzzed out, loud-as-hell band they are today.
WHOOP-Szo is a band that commands the room. They’re not the kind of band you can talk through at the back of the bar. They have a lot to say and they want you to hear it, so when you’re at one of their shows, you’re going to listen. They’re not afraid to challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable, and that’s what good, socially-conscious art should be doing. Cause it’s only when we’re uncomfortable that we’re willing to change.
There’s a transformative process that happens when you listen to WHOOP-Szo’s music. The places they’ve visited help shape much of the music they write, and their shifting melodies evoke the natural landscapes in which they were written, one moment calm and pensive, and the next, crescendoing into a cacophonous furor. Their music is bigger than the spaces they’re performed in, and we’re transported with the band right to the source of where their stories are from. They bridge the gap between the communities listening to their music and the communities informing their music, demonstrating that the “us” and “them” distinction doesn’t really exist. We’re all in this together, and if one of us is hurting, then we’re all hurting.
We need bands like WHOOP-Szo now more than ever. They inspire self-reflection while generously sharing what they’ve learned to create fertile new grounds for cultural understanding and healing. I can’t imagine a band more suited to playing a community music festival than one who always keeps community at the heart of all they do.
Andrea Patehviri is the Marketing & Outreach Coordinator at CFRU 93.3 FM as well as a Kazoo! Fest board member and part of the year-round and festival programming committee.
WHOOP-Szo plays at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Saturday April 14th with Beverley Glenn-Copeland at Dublin Street United Church (68 Suffolk St. W.)
Tickets for this performance are available HERE.
Alex Rimmington brings you a special episode of her untitled music show featuring an interview with the reclusive singer-songwriter Innes Wilson. Live in the studio, Innes performs music from his upcoming album – a handpicked collection of songs that came very close to never being released. We talk about his irrepressible passion for songwriting, and what it’s like to return to music after so long away from it.