Wavelength Presents:

WL500 Tenth Anniversary Festival WL500 From Fiction + The Bicycles + Laura Barrett + Young Mother + Magic Cheezies

February 12, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

9pm

Sneaky Dee's

431 College St

19+

PWYC

WL500 Tenth Anniversary Festival

From Fiction

The Bicycles

Laura Barrett

Young Mother

Magic Cheezies

 

Friday February 12th, 2010

Sneaky Dee’s 431 College St

From Fiction

Cymbal crashing ghetto-blasting riff thrashing brain
bashing gut smashing are just a few descriptors of a
From Fiction live show. The apogee of the Barcelona
Pavilion-coined “Men Who Practice” paradigm of local music
making, From Fiction did just that, practicing for nearly a
full year before stepping onto Toronto’s stages in 2002. And
rather than slowly see a band develop show after show, local
audiences had their minds instantly destroyed by the most
powerful and intrinsically tightest group of musicians Toronto
had seen in years. Expanding on the minimalist math rock

sounds of local predecessors Rockets Red Glare and out-of-
towners Weights and Measures, From Fiction incorporated

pop melodics and punk rock noise freakouts into their
songwriting, creating a sound all their own. Live, From Fiction
were an unstoppable force, from guitarists Quentin Ede and
Adam Barnes’ dueling labyrinthine riffs to Owen Marchildon’s
body-flailing bass rumbles to Rob Gordon’s caffeinated
animalistic drum assault. Releasing a self-titled EP recorded
with local heavy hitter Ian Blurton, the band channeled their
energy into their follow-up full length, recorded in Chicago
with legendary engineer Steve Albini. After four years of
vigorous practicing, touring and releasing Bloodwork in
2006 on Last Gang Records, From Fiction burned out at their
creative peak and vanished overnight without ever playing
an official final show. WL500 will see the band reformed,
rejuvenated and ready to blow your mind one last time. 

 

The Bicycles

The Bicycles didn’t really break up; they just went on
“permanent hiatus” after a decade of shows beginning
in 1999. In that time they recorded only two albums,
2006’s The Good The Bad and The Cuddly, and 2008’s Oh
No, It’s Love. Their CD release shows, which aped the Last
Waltz format (wryly dubbing the shows “The Last Shmaltz”)
saw them backing the likes of Matt Murphy, Andre Ethier and
Sloan, and inciting the “farthest crowd surf” at Lee’s Palace.
The Bicycles were unabashedly pop, recalling The Monkees
or Andy Kim (who they backed up for his Christmas show
at the Mod Club in ‘07) with surprisingly mature and lush
instrumentation, at a time when fuzz rock was the local flavour
of choice. The Bicycles riffed on the cliché staple of pop music:
love songs; but these songs, and indeed the band itself, were
directed more to pop music itself than any flesh-and-blood
romance. With their cartoonish artwork, hand-crafted merch
and stage props, and even a DVD board game, the Bicycles
oozed an unpretentious D.I.Y. pop tenor unlike anything else

in Toronto. 

Laura Barrett

The era of the Bad Bands Revolution opened up local
stages to anyone and everyone with the urge to try
out something musical, but beyond enabling a world
of excruciatingly terrible bands, it also allowed a few new
faces to shine insanely bright among the D.I.Y. din. Only
the most whimsical stroke of genius would lead an artist to
cover Weird Al Yankovic’s “Smells Like Nirvana,” let alone
cover it on a kalimba purchased capriciously on eBay.
While many artists fell into lazy mediocrity, interpreting the
BBR manifesto as an excuse for “not really trying,” a few
illustrious folk understood it as a summons to “really try,”
despite a lack of previous experience or social capital. Laura
Barrett’s kalimba debut quickly led to more live shows and
a need for original songs, which manifested themselves as
the sci-fi stage-musical linguistic trips we’ve come to wrap
our minds around when listening to Laura’s music. Drawing

on her training in classical piano, her love of literature and
a willingness to experiment, Laura Barrett stands out as one
of our city’s most innovating and inspiring artists — whether
playing solo or collaborating with other artists such as The
Hidden Cameras, Basia Bulat or The Hylozoists. Since her
first full length, Victory Garden, was released on Paper Bag
in 2008, Laura has been traveling the roads of North America
showcasing the power of fingers tapping tiny metal tongs to
a vision all her own. 

Young Mother

Young Mother is not a band we’ve followed for years
and nor have they woven a special thread in the
tapestry of the series. This is because Jesse has
only played one show so far as Young Mother the band
proper, and the Wavelength he played at last November
was the first show of his own material in more than a year.
He came with a backing band and packed a soulful nuanced
vibe and an explosive sense of wonder that just jawdropped
us all. Jesse, however, has been quietly weaving away
in Toronto for many years and we have had a number of
Incidental(s) paths cross with him. Through those years he
has always struck me as a thoughtful, misunderstood
ambassador forced to live in this cold hard material world,
all the while trying to translate his own personal expanding
universe, more often than not falling on deaf ears that only
respond to passing pop fancies or copycat indie outfits.

When he took the stage at The Garrison and put forth for
the first time — for me at least — a completely realized
audio-vision, Jesse was standing in for all the rest of us. 

Magic Cheezies

Marshall McLuhan had this theory that the emergence
of a new medium makes its predecessor obsolete,
but in doing so recovers an earlier, abandoned
medium— for example, radio replaced print but ironically
brought back the spoken word. Could the same thing
happen with decades? Just as the ‘80s abandoned the
mellow, comfortable ‘70s in favour of flash and excess, at
the same time they gave birth to nostalgia for the idealism
of the ‘60s. Right now we’ve just left one decade that didn’t

know what it was about, and we’re entering one that has
no idea what it will be about, but one thing is clear: the ‘90s
are back. And why not? An argument could be made that
musical progress peaked in 1994. The only problem with
this theory is that arbitrary collections of dates aren’t able to
think about anything, and besides we’re talking about the
Magic Cheezies, one of Toronto’s Class of 2009. Founded
by singer/guitarist Heather Curley (once of DD/MM/YYYY)
and drummer-turned-bassist Mark McLean (formerly of The
Sick Lipstick and Black Cat #13), the Cheezies show that
when done right, back-to-basics Punk Rock can be the most
exciting thing you’ve ever heard. They take the unapologetic,
estrogen-fuelled menace of Riot Grrl bands like Bikini Kill,
tighten its screws, and flip on the harsh-noise switch. Only
this time, we can’t count on Roseanne Barr to explain it to
our folks. 

 

 

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