Wavelength Presents:

WL500 Tenth Anniversary Festival Night 5: Kids on TV + The Barcelona Pavilion + Mean Red Spiders + Neck a.k.a. Christiana + Boars

February 14, 2010 @ 9:00 pm


The Garrison

1197 Dundas St W



WL500 Tenth Anniversary Festival Night 5: Kids on TV + The Barcelona Pavilion + Mean Red Spiders + Neck a.k.a. Christiana + Boars

Sunday Feb. 14
The Garrison, 1197 Dundas W.

12:15pm — Kids on TV

11:30pm — The Barcelona Pavilion (original line-up reunion)

10:45pm — Mean Red Spiders

10pm — Neck a.k.a. Christiana (reunion)

9:15pm — Boars

Doors 9pm • PWYC, door only (admission guaranteed with festival pass)

+ Projections by General Chaos Visuals

Festival pass $50 !

Advance tickets and passes available at: 
Soundscapes, 572 College St.
Rotate This, 801 Queen W.
Online at GalleryAC.com

From Feb. 10th to 14th, 2010, the Wavelength music series celebrates its 10th birthday and 500th show with Wavelength 500, a festival of independent music featuring 25 bands playing over 5 nights at 5 different venues. WL 500 will look back over a decade of Wavelength and Toronto music scene history, featuring some big names that started small at Wavelength, some dearly departed bands reuniting for this occasion, and some of the best new acts of 2009.

We will also be publishing a special 10th Anniversary Festival Program Guide to coincide with Wavelength 500. Copies will be available at Soundscapes and Rotate This as of Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Feb. 14th also marks the end of the weekly Sunday night incarnation of the Wavelength music series. This is not the end of Wavelength, though. We plan to relaunch the series in a new monthly format in the spring.

Kids on TV

Thanks to a media dust-up in 2007, Kids On TV are a living fable of what’s wrong with mass media in the digital century. They are a loose/tight, hilarious/cranky electro-party-punk band so full of exuberance that they opened a second MySpace account to host more songs, then a third, and then a fourth. This violated MySpace’s terms of service and the sites were deleted. The story of a good D.I.Y. band inconvenienced. End of story, right? Not quite, because they also happen to play music and perform at events celebrating queer culture. Suddenly there appeared an ominous headline in the Toronto Star that read, “Gay band running out of Space.” It was such a deliberately inflammatory puff piece and so distastefully offensive that my opinion of the mass media remained… disappointedly unchanged. Wire services picked up the story, spoon-fed propaganda-inspired radio call-in show hysteria ensued and station lines were jammed for days. It was bigger than watching Peter Mansbridge say “He Poos Clouds.” KOTV shrugged it off and reposted their content back to their multiple sites. After a week or so, the smug self-righteous dust-cloud of opinion ran itself over a cliff, leaving a bewildered band safely back in the arms of the indie community, more world-wise but no less awesome. 

The Barcelona Pavilion

A punk band without drums nor guitars might not seem so revolutionary nowadays, but in 2002 it was like a new Reign of Terror upon Toronto. The Barcelona Pavilion introduced the indie scene to a lot of concepts: semiotics, architecture, “materiology,” “Torontopia,” electric basses without amps, a guy standing still pressing play on a laptop… all in a Fall-referencing Marxist framework.
Ideologically opposed to the “Men Who Practice” paradigm of the math-rock era, the BP were more art project than band. Yet for all their didacticisms, they were also cuddly enough to cover the Beat Happening and get mistaken fora Hidden Cameras side project. The original line-up with vocalist Maggie MacDonald flamed out after just over a year, yet during that time they toured Europe, recorded a BBC Peel Session and made a fan out of Steve “Pavement” Malkmus. Though directly inspiring successors in the equally short-lived Bad Bands Revolution like Pyramid Culture and Garbage! Violence! Enthusiasm!, there is sadly little evidence of the BP’s influence in the Toronto scene of today — except, crucially, for the continued existence of the Blocks Recording Club, co-founded by singer/bassist Steve Kado, who is currently attending CalArts in L.A. and flyingback for this reunion.

Mean Red Spiders

You find no peace, it doesn’t cease, it’s deadly irritation. It keeps you blind, it’s there behind, your every hesitation. It holds your thought, your mind is caught, you’re fixed with fascination. You think you’ll die within thelie, it’s backward elevation!” — from “Reverberation” by The 13th Floor Elevators. Mean Red Spiders is the hook of the song that sticks in your head like a speck of dust in your eye, from texture to timbre to tone. MRS create a live sound that reminds you of the night you broke up with your first love and listened to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless over and over. They take care to play covers in addition to their own material, like how the best poets at a poetry reading will always begin by reading pieces from their hero’s poems before reading from their own. Parent band of Ghostlight, the Spiders are back after many years away. Their song “Compromise” was featured on the first episode ever of 24! They played the very first Wavelength Sunday night. They were the first band to record at, while helping build, Dave Newfield’s legendary Stars and Sons studio, hence the name of their CD starsandsons. 1998’s Places You Call Home features an incredible cover of Bacharach’s “Trains & Boats & Planes.” And they never kill spiders. 


Boars is a bit of an anomaly, because while they’re a very new band, they’re also a very old band. Guitarist Alex Durlak, also head of Standard Form, which printed the zine you’re currently holding, was one of the minds that helped birthed Wavelength in 1999/2000. A couple of years later he started a hardcore four-piece band called I Can Put My Arm Back On You Can’t (a reference to a “play safe” commercial from the ‘80s); they were jarring, complicated, and notoriously loud. When I first saw Arm Back On, at a Wavelength show in 2003, there was a huge box at the front door. After paying cover the door person reached in and handed me a pair of earplugs, saying, “You’re gonna need these.” They were a intense, both in volume and voracity. Arm Back On took a long hiatus in 2005 and finally re-emerged again, but as a three piece. Sadly they kiboshed the whole endeavour in 2009, but luckily soon after Durlak and drummer Damian Valles reformed as a duo with a new musical attack called Boars. 

Neck a.k.a. Christiana

Neck was the very first band to play at Wavelength, the first band I ever introduced onstage and the one band I pine to hear reunite. Family Ties was still a going concern on prime-time TV when a duo appeared at OCA called The Michael J. Fox Tribute Band, fronted by Alastair MacLeod with Paul Boddum on drums. The band wished to evolve past stop-start fun punk, so they put up an ad for
a third member. Meanwhile, during the Degrassi High era, there was a high school band way east of the Don Valley called Development Site. Jonathan Bunce went on to play bass in A Tuesday Weld and Secret Agent (and many years later, as Jonny Dovercourt, to co-found a music series called Wavelength), while Dave Rodgers answered the Neck ad. Neck’s evil/cheery fusion of the thunder of Bob Mould, the sunshine of Brian Wilson, and the breezy intellect of Burt & Dionne revolutionized my outlook on music. After Neck, there was no going back. After Alastair grew up and moved on, his spot on the stage was filled by Andrew McAllister, who contributed a tuneful new dissonance and added challenging new substructures to the sound. They crossed paths with pre-BSS Dave Newfeld and uncrated Uncrated Distant Star and raised the bar for power-pop to a height that has never been met. Jonathan was the last member to join the band, which was rechristened Christiana as a quartet in 2001. At WL 500, this reunion will finally happen. 


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