Pub 340
Sunday, July 6th

Listening to Shearing Pinx’ guitarist Erin makes me wish I had checked out the New Zealand music scene more carefully when I was there: looks like it gets a bit more interesting than Bic Runga. (Then again, Erin came here, so who knows?)

Mostly I spent the all-day Pub 340 event on Sunday - moved, alas, from the all-ages Sweatshop show Anju had planned - running around socializing, before I ran out to go to another thing I had to do, coming back to catch Shearing Pinx’ homecoming performance (after a successful US tour) around 11PM. I missed all but four bands in the lineup, but this will not stop me: the day was great! After meeting attendee Nathan Holiday (see the Tunnel Canary interview), I got to have a confessional chat with ShPx drummer (and Fake Jazz co-organizer) Jeremy, about how I said so-so things about them in the last ever Nerve Magazine. I wrote, then - contrasting Shearing Pinx with Fake Shark, Real Zombie in the “disappointment of the year” section - that I was “let down by Shearing Pinx: much as I’d rather hear NY No Wave revisited than pointless NY Dolls recidivism, I found the one live set I’ve seen by them (opening for Fugazi’s Joe Lally) just a little too sloppy and throwaway.” I’ve felt guilty about that ever since I discovered how fucking kickass Poison Hands is, which Jeremy had to fucking GIVE me before I heard it, dumbass that I am (I get by with a little help from my friends); clearly I’d missed the boat. I felt very relieved when Jeremy agreed with me, that their Joe Lally set was not a very good one. It was great to see them fucking cook at Pub 340, jagged and sharp and spastic and, really, reminding me a lot of Kill Yr. Idols on killer amphetamine.

Not that I’d know what killer amphetamine was like, but, like, how I imagine it would be.

Anyhow, Peter Plett is right: I haven’t been giving these guys and gals enough credit. It is way too easy to shrug and say, “No Wave revisited.” There is a vibrant complexity to what they do - the ability to start and stop and shift with vicious precision, creating unpredictable and dramatic music that is sophisticated and interesting to investigate, while simultaneously providing cathartic, noisy, asskickin’ fun.... Aja from Vancouver’s own Her Jazz Noise Collective (a project that Erin and Anju are both involved in) danced enthusiastically to their songs throughout, which is a glowing review unto itself. It wasn’t quite the crazy violent moshpit of the Mutators show (God protect me) that I saw at Music Waste a few weeks ago; I briefly even considered joining in myself. I didn’t - I’m saving myself for Nomeansno’s next local set - but Pinx, I thought about it, I really did.

Then I bought a shitload of $5 CDs from the merch table from Isolated Now Waves, to go with the stack of Thankless stuff I’m supposed to be reviewing. I bought me some Black Dicks, Her Jazz Noise Collective Live at Fake Jazz Wednesdays, and four ShPx tour CDs, all cool little art objects unto themselves. I haven’t listened to ‘em much yet (Analog Aura has some epic jams), but if they’re half as good as this LSDJ thing (Thankless 11), it’ll be a good night when I get around to it. (LSDJ - aka Mark Gabriel - is complex, trippy, sample-based music - I picked out some Meredith Monk, actually, I think off Dolmen Music, which is a cool source for a sample. It’s a pretty satisfying listen, but it also makes “pleasant background music” for a night passing the pipe with friends).

What else did I see that night? Dave Chokroun, a tad drunk on beer that *I* bought him this time, so you don’t think I’m a cheapskate, doesn’t END his songs with The Sorrow and The Pity as cleverly or precisely as when he’s sober, but he cusses more (cf., a random “cocksucker” thrown into the stream of his rant), yells louder, and seems more thoroughly purged at the end of it all. Not only does the system love it when he fucks it, but he seems to get off on it a bit, too; this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Is it wrong that I’m more impressed with Darren Williams’ sax playing now that I’ve seen him hold his own with Mats Gustafsson?

I was too nervous that V. Vecker’s guitar would escape his grasp and clobber someone (ie., me), as he swung it about his circle of amplifiers, to really trip out to the drony feedback symphony he produced by doing this. Remind me to wear protective gear the next time I see him.

What else? Plett and Anju’s i/i project boasts a drifty, trippy, none-too-extroverted experimental guitar rock quality that I grooved on briefly before I had to run out the door; I’d have to hear it again to figure out how to listen to it, let alone write about it, but I liked what I heard (tho’ Anju’s violin got a bit lost in Peter’s texture)... That’s about all I saw of the day, but gee ain’t it nice that Vancouver has such a rich avant garde scene! There are kids in this town who make a lot of the musicians who play our jazzfest seem hopelessly middleclass.

Hey, speaking of Anju and Aja and Erin, y’all know about Women’s Studies, the first Monday of every month at VIVO, right? (For two months to come, I think it is). The weird women of Vancouver assert themselves and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Or the Goddess, or the audience, or whomever stops by - which, really, is NOT ENOUGH OF YOU, especially you weird women out there. You have nothing to lose but your chains! Check it out August 4th, probably starting 10pm-ish. The scene around Her Jazz, Fake Jazz, and so forth is surely the fertile muck from which the future of Vancouver’s arts and music scene is even now crawling, slimy and cute and hungry for bugs. Feed it, nurture it, and play with it while you can, before it gets big enough to bite your finger. Posted: Jul 17, 2008
In this Article Artist(s) Shearing Pinx , The Sorrow & The Pity, V.VECKER, i/i Resource(s): Pub 340