Festival season is upon us! Kazoo Festival is an annual celebration of local and independent music that takes place over 4 days. This year has some shows that you’ll definitely want to catch. Braden, Teghan, and Kelly share which bands they were most excited about for this year’s festival.
Smooth, smooth, smooth. Legato Vipers have been around since 2011, and have done nothing but impress since they’ve begun performing together. Featuring members from a variety of household local names (Common Grackle, Gregory Pepper and His Problems, and Skeletones Four, to name a few), Legato Vipers take the old-school sound of reverb-heavy surf-rock, and bring it into the 21st century. Having recently released an EP titled Quick Slug, the ‘Vipers are currently on an East-Coast tour, that is set to conclude on April 6th. The tunes provided on Quick Slug tend be a little shorter in length (no song on the EP stretches longer than 3 minutes). They get their point across, without dragging on into ego-centric movements or solos, as some instrumental music can.
Their performance at Kazoo! Fest this year will be particularly special, in that it will be a cover-only set, featuring guest vocalists from a variety of other Kazoo! performers. Without a doubt it’ll be a show to anticipate, then enjoy immensely, then reminisce about, and tell your kids, and your kids’ kids about in years to come. They’ll be taking the stage at Van Gogh’s Ear on Saturday, April 12. Doors at 9.
You can find more information about Legato Vipers, as well as Quick Slug at legatovipers.bandcamp.com
On Thursday, April 10th, The Furys will come out of the garage, and onto the stage at The Ebar for a guaranteed good (and gritty) time. With an enigmatic Bandcamp and Facebook page, the best description of The Furys comes from the music itself, as it should be. With a raw and stripped-down feel to their recordings, there is no glam to their sound, just grainy guitar tone and slow-paced drums. That being said, there’s nothing simple about what they do, with their howling vocals ever so carefully walking the line between tasteful and dissonant, they’ve got a wild energy that says so much more than this article can.
Some have made the claim that The Furys are Guelph’s coolest band, and I can certainly see why. With a sound that is both classic and edgy, they ooze style and cool. Somewhere between tremolo guitar settings and reverb-soaked recordings, The Furys have managed to find their own personal mojo, and I for one can certainly dig it. Can you?
Check out their album titled Baseball Furies at baseballfuries.bandcamp.com (The Warriors, anyone?)
Fresh of the announcement of his band The Constantines reunited, Bry Webb will be a local favourite at this year’s Kazoo Festival. On Friday April 11th, Bry will be playing solo, opening for Destroyer, in what promises to be one amazing event at Dublin Street United Church. If you’re from Guelph and haven’t had a chance to see Bry Webb play, make sure you get out to this show. As a solo artist, Webb has slowed down, written about the life around him as he settled in Guelph to raise a family. Songs from his solo album Provider see Webb’s creative energy and talented songwriting focused on his adult life in Guelph. His sentimental approach to songwriting and performing can be experienced through provoking live performance.
You can learn more about Bry Webb on his website at http://harbourcoats.tumblr.com/.
Dan Bejar of Destroyer will be performing a solo show at this year’s Kazoo Festival on April 11th following a performance from Guelph’s own Bry Webb. Bejar brings unique vocals and lyrics to a rich history of music that he has experience through a number of acts including The New Pornographers, Swan Lake, and Hello, Blue Roses. His recent albums Kaputt (released in 2011) and more recently Five Spanish Songs (released last year) were well received by fans and critics alike. Destroyer presents a diverse sound which focuses primarily on his strong lyrics content and one of a kind voice. Often melancholy matches with upbeat instrumentals make Destroyer an act not to be missed.
You can learn more about Destroyer on his website at https://www.mergerecords.com/destroyer.
Don’t miss Bry Webb and Destroyer on April 11th at Dublin Street United Church. You can learn more about the event and buy tickets on the Music Lives website at http://musiclives.ca/events/kazoo-fest-2014-destroyer-bry-webb/
Kelly McMichael and The Gloss
Kelly McMichael and The Gloss is the music you put on when you’re hanging out in your backyard on a summer’s afternoon with friends. Simultaneously refreshing and nostalgic, McMichael’s voice is reminiscent of femme-power bands such as Letters to Cleo and current it-band Haim. Her calm, pleasant sounding voice has a raspy edge to it that belays the gravity of the lyrics. Backed by The Gloss, who provide a harsher rock undertone to the sound, blending the best of a mid-90s influence with contemporary indie rock trends seen emerging from the band’s southern-Ontario roots.
Performing live, McMichael is the star of the show, her laid back persona pulling you in, making you feel like she’s a friend performing in your living room. But don’t mistake her relaxed attitude for complacency, she’s clearly having fun, interacting with the audience and enjoying performing. It’s comfortable, relatable and perfect accompaniment for socializing with friends or sitting alone in your room. Any of their songs could be a backing track in a John Hughes movie with their blend of nostalgia and relevance.
Isla Craig’s music is an experiment with sound, a creative mashing of synth sound and her own haunting voice. Her music is less individual songs; than it is an expression of creativity and you get the feeling that Craig has allowed the music dictate its own path, the result being an evocative and uniquely original sound.
It is music for inspiring the imagination, its long drawn-out notations feel like they are crawling along, exploring, encouraging you to come with them. Letting your mind wander while listening to Isla Craig is the best way to experience her ingenuity; closing your eyes and allowing your mind’s eye to imagine, to roam free. The lyrics feel like a secondary element, with Craig’s real intent being the utilization of her voice as an instrument itself, juxtaposing it with the best element of instrumental music, the ability for the listener to interpret the sounds as they wish.
What results is an intimate, creative and harrowing sound that can take you anywhere in your imagination.
You can check the calendar on page 8 for all the festival performance and if you’re interested, there’s also a print expo taking place at Mitchell Hall on April 12th. Check out all thing Kazoo on their website at http://kazookazoo.ca.