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Kazoo! Fest 2018: Wednesday Preview

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.

Photo by Levi Manchak

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.

Why WHOOP-Szo Rules by Andrea Patehviri

Photo by Penelope Stevens

WHOOP-Szo

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.

thenoisymountain.bandcamp.com

Innes Wilson – Kazoo! Fest Podcast 2018 Ep #6

Innes Wilson

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.

Clairmont The Second – Fo Myself
Witch Prophet – Manifest
Moon King – I’ve Stopped Believing
Elle Barbara – Soft To The Touch
Doomsquad – Apocalypso
Faith Healer – Until The World Lets Me Go

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Thanks to our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM!

Why Ken Ogawa Rules by Clara Venice

I once asked Ken how he shaves his moustache so incredibly perfectly. (It’s perfect. Trust me: You have never seen more immaculate facial hair EVER.) He just looked at me and said, “Oh I don’t shave it. I pluck it.”

My bunny, Kiki Shobun, is Ken’s BFF. Whenever I’m on tour or out of town for any length of time, Kiki goes to Uncle Ken’s house and you would not imagine the adventures they have together. Although I always miss Kiki when I’m away, I look forward Ken’s updates letting me know how they’re spending their time: he builds her beautiful playhouses and habitats, he once constructed a tiny, bunny-sized book, and thanks to Ken, Kiki now has a profound love of David Lynch films.

The best thing about collaborating with Ken is that he always interprets my ideas in ways I would never imagine. I am obsessed with cute things, as is Ken; but his representation of cuteness always comes with an edge which ensure that the visuals he creates are never sickly the way North American “cuteness” can appear childish. Ken’s designs are instead “child-like” and sweet, but always retain that element of darkness or the threat of fear

lurking somewhere close, like the monster in our closet. Here’s my new website design by Ken Ogawa.

To say that Ken is quiet is an understatement, and yet people often mistake this taciturnity for shyness. It’s taken me years to see that Ken isn’t shy, it’s just that he respects the silence and does not see it as something that should make us uncomfortable. In fact, Ken is always happy to break the silence, but only if he has something worth interrupting it for.

Ken was born and raised in Japan, and he is fluent in Japanese. The last time I went on tour in Tokyo I brought home several Japanese fashion magazines and a new generation Tamagotchi that only speaks Japanese. Ken patiently translated several articles for me (my favourites were a makeup tutorial on ‘How to Achieve 3D Eyes’, and a dating column, ‘Beware of Snake Man’) and my Tamagotchi instructions. Thanks to him I managed to raise three generations of virtual pets. Ken is a really good friend.

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Ken’s mother; a beautiful, statuesque, blonde Italian woman – who moved to Japan after marrying Ken’s father (a Japanese martial artist) and has been there since. Learning that Ken is half Japanese and half Italian explained so much of his design aesthetic; the combination of beautiful, hand-drawn images and bold graphic design hinting at Italian futurism. His craftsmanship is beyond reproach. Ken is the utmost synthesis of both of these aesthetically rich cultures.

On Ken’s CV, after his impressive education, work history, and numerous awards (for which he never brags, of course) he lists his volunteer activity: dog walker.

When I found out that Ken is vegan I asked what his favourite restaurant is, and he replied “I really like Wayne Gretzky.”

Because Ken develops websites and is so up to date with all the technological advancements and devices, you’d expect that he would always have the newest gadgets on the market, but Ken still uses his trusty iPhone 4. The other day he came over and took it out of his pocket; it was inside a ziplock bag. “What’s that?” I asked. “Oh, that’s my new phone case,” he replied.

Ken makes some of the most brilliant animations I have ever seen. Despite having access to powerful software to simplify his process, Ken continues to animate frame-by-frame. This painstaking attention to detail is what makes his work so powerful, regardless of genre, and this is why I love it so much. Everything he creates – illustrations, websites, print layouts, branding, logos – makes tangible the soul of this most wonderful, unique, and talented person.

Kazoo! Fest alumni Clara Venice creates ethereal, dream pop music using an array of instruments inspired by her classical music training and her life as a 21st century pop princess.  She has performed around the world alongside her hologlamorous video personas, opening for the Violent Femmes, Rough Trade, Carole Pope and BNL.

Ed Video and Kazoo! Fest present YKMSNTR by Ken Ogawa, featuring a new animation with a soundtrack by Clara Venice. The work will be up from April 7th to 28th 2018 at Capacity 3 Gallery (6 Dublin Street S.) where there will also be a reception on Sunday April 15 from 10am – 1pm.

kazookazoo.ca/art-more/ykmsntr-by-ken-ogawa

Joni Void – Kazoo! Fest Podcast 2018 Ep #5

Photo by Thomas Boucher

On this episode of Aural Tethers, Hymns57 sits down with Joni Void and has a chat about musical/artistic process, William Basinski, the upcoming anniversary of his album Selfless (on Constellation Records) hints of new upcoming tba release and Joni’s upcoming stop here in Guelph as part of Kazoo! Fest.

Joni Void – Safe House
Joni Void – To Alter Realities from Selfless

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Thanks to our friends at CFRU 93.3 FM!