Tuesday, November 23, 2010

show review & photos - november 20th kitchen show

the mistake makers/make no gains/stagnant stars show last saturday went really well. it was held in a kitchen near the very bottom of hilly north street. the alberta boys from 90's babies art collective put on the show & the purple house was kind enough to host it. with the drum set in the corner & amps & a keyboard hugging the walls, it wasn't too cramped. one of the p.a. monitors sat in the sink, & the mixing board was kept safe on top of the fridge. cables & cords were duct taped down to the floor, or the ceiling.
around 7:00 people started trickling in, wearing layers of hoodies, or huge winter coats. the windows in the room started fogging up & dripping from all the extra body heat.
mistake makers opened, & since I'm in the band I'm not really sure what to say. it was our very first show & we played for about fifteen minutes, but everyone in the band seemed really ecstatic about it.

after a bit of a smoke break, stagnant stars began setting up. they're two boys from camrose, alberta who moved out to halifax over a year ago. they've been around since january but have only played live a few times since then. the guitarist, joshua plays through two amps, a bass & a guitar amp, along with various peddles. taylor plays drums, while they both sing. this is the second time I've seen them live. the first was at an incredibly crowded basement show at pac flav (deceased north street punk house) sometime last year, or early this year, I can't recall. I had to duck my head under the basement vents & squeeze through bodies to get close enough to see anything. 
I couldn't remember what stagnant stars sounded like, but I knew they reminded me of the seminal texas band, at the drive-in. after seeing them in another crowded room nearly a year later surrounded by many of the same people, my opinion has changed a bit. they play a very chaotic blend of post hardcore, mathy pop punk, folk, & dare I say powerviolence? some songs have very distinct, simple folk guitar progressions, but shift quickly into grind influenced breakdowns & pop punk sing alongs. the drums & guitar combination never sounds as simple as you might think it would. if I closed my eyes & just listened, there could have been four members present in the sound which really says a lot about the duo's musicianship. they have a fairly aggressive stage presence, with the guitarist & vocalist standing facing away, with his back to crowd, often throwing himself in two different directions at once, bumping into people, or screaming away from the microphone. taylor, who sat in the corner behind the drums, switched between beats every few measures & made use of every part of the kit. his vocals were softer than joshua's, & only audible at certain points in the set, but gave the sound the perfect quiet/loud dynamic. I don't know what else to write but I loved this band. they remind me of a mix between saetia, head wound city, grown ups & the aforementioned at the drive-in. they're recording a full length right now I think, or at least planning on it.

a bit after the second set, the house band, make no gains started setting up. I had never seen them play but knew a few of the members from their last band, flags of convenience, which other than members & a similar political ideology they share hardly any similarities with.  
make no gains play a fast, abrasive pop punk influenced sound. after a couple songs most everyone in the cramped room was dancing around or bobbing their head. they were very tight, fast & proficient. the walls began to drip with condensation & steam poured out every time the door to the backyard was opened. they played for quite awhile & threw in a dillinger four cover, along with a nofx cover, which I went really crazy about. folks were grabbing the mic, stomping & climbing up on each others shoulders. I think it was the kind of intimate punk show that a lot of people were longing for. a friend named brad crowd surfed at one point & everyone smiled & laughed while holding him up. it was a great sight & great way to end the night. 
I hung around for a bit afterward talking to friends I haven't seen in awhile, then helped loading up the van & walked home with my distro in a suitcase, pretty happy with my ears ringing all the way down gottingen from north.

make no gains have a tape out now which is four bucks. I may try to get my hands on a copy & do a little review of it. you can also download their e.p. off their bandcamp site which you can check out here. they're playing again on november 28th with the delinquents & the blackrats at gus' pub, corner of north & agricola.
mistake makers are playing on december 4th in dartmouth at cd heaven after a short maritime tour.

stagnant stars are working on their full length, & are also playing december 4th at cd heaven.

check the sidebar for show listings & feel free to email us your own listings at diyhalifax AT gmail DOT com


photo credits: rosie toes (first three & last two), devon jupiter (fourth, fifth & sixth)

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