Waves: A Road Show

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Crossing the river heading towards Moose Jaw, seeing waves of fury hitting the side of the barrier between the river. This is the detailing of my first road show, traveling into uncharted waters, a noise show in Moose Jaw entitled “Waves Of Fury 12”.

My excitement grew as I was aware that Ahna was playing in some way at the show tonight. Sadly Shearing Pinx had to cancel. I finally made it to Moose Jaw. Following the main road I spied the Rogers Video that the venue was right behind. I entered a door with a small show poster on it. Two set of stairs one up one down, I first decide to head up to what looks like old office space. I quickly head down into the basement to find a long room full of old computers, instruments, a p.a. system, a fridge and a small group of people scattered around. I spot my friend Jon who is playing tonight, I go say hi and figure out what’s happening.

Bad news Ahna couldn’t come either because of a funds issue, but we were going to try to set up a Skype webcam performance with them. Soon the realization that the internet connection wasn’t happening, no Ahna at all.

Still hopes were up, Kelly Churko who has lived in Japan for 13 years was performing tonight, plus a bunch of other noise and experimental acts that I never seen before.

Soon the venue started filling up with people, an actual crowd, a noise show that is making money! A good portion of the crowd are high school girls that are pretty obnoxious.

After meeting a bunch of people it was time for Mark Lowe to go up on stage and announce the order of the bands:

Guidewire
Phlegm Gadget
Greenmist
Mr. Dub
Lowebrau
Kelly Churko
Grey Owl(Me)

WHAT ME?!!? Suddenly I was headlining the freaking show! It was only recently I was always the opener, and now here I am going to close the show. I decided not to let this get me in a panic, it was actually kind of exciting to be asked to close a show.

The Show:

Guidewire

Guidewire (Regina)

First up was Ryan Hill (Guidewire). His set was laptop based, creating a very nice soundscape with some ambience. A car taking off is used at one point in his set. A nice opening set for the night.

Phlegm Gadget

Phlegm Gadget (Saskatoon)

After Guidewire I quickly ran to the 7-11 right around the corner to go get something to eat – I didn’t have any supper yet. When I ran back to the venue the harsh broken noise of Jon Vaughn’s Phlegm Gadget was in full effect. Taking a four-track recorder and a machine for tape manipulation this set was very noisy indeed. Many of you know Jon for his pop quiz shows

Greenmist

Greenmist (Saskatoon)

“That’s a little better,” says Dallas Kruszelnicki at the beginning of his internationally famous Greenmist set. This hot yoga instructor channels some sort of cryptic energy during his set with tape manipulation, echo laden vocals, harsh noise and just plain weirdness. This dude slays every time I’ve seen him. Highly recommended!

Mr. Dub

Mr. Dub (Regina)

*A lil’ back story about this set. Drake Mark one half of Mr Dub claims that Brodie Mohninger decided to just go home and move and he will perform by himself. In reality Brodie was actually hiding within the speaker cabinet that Drake was using for with gear, how long was Brodie in this cabinet? Since the first performance of the night!

So Dub without Mr. began to do a solo electronic set with cheesy sound effects that sounds like he recorded his own voice doing those effects, it was really Brodie with a microphone inside the speaker. Nearing the end of the song Drake claimed his stuff stopped working only to have Brodie pop out of the cabinet and begin the proper Mr. Dub set.

With cheesy lyrics and funky keyboard sounds this was the outsider set of the night, a total party at a noise show. These kids are really good at what they do and could probably play a mean dance party.

Lowebrau

Lowebrau (Moose Jaw)

I am furious at my camera during this performance – there is not one clear photo in the bunch. Lowebrau (Mark Lowe) was seriously channelling some incredible waves of fury. With a very complex looking setup this noise set was intense. Three times the speakers shut off momentarily due to how loud they were playing. The levels were intense! The Waves Of Fury founder sure lived up to the events name, it felt like getting punched in the face, in a good way, if that’s even possible.

Kelly Churko

Kelly Churko (Tokyo Via Moose Jaw)

The big name of the night, Kelly has performed with some big names in the noise scene while living in Japan throughout the past 13 years. A laptop based set was very ambient with lots of drone sounds. Even a moment that sounds like a cat purring. A short set due to the battery dying, it was still incredible. Again my camera was telling me enough was enough, not a clear photo in the bunch. Also earlier in the night Kelly mentioned knowing Jim O’Rourke! Just stating something awesome about this guy!

Grey Owl

Grey Owl (Prince Albert Via Saskatoon)

Time has come for my set. Using a ambient track I made I was using a loop of vocals to create very tripped out sounds. There were bumps in the set like most other sets of the night, but I felt it went pretty well. I got one complaint afterwards, it wasn’t long enough “just short of 12 minutes”.

Afterwards we had a big campfire up at Mark Lowe’s farm. This farm was gorgeous with a house made almost entirely out of cedar. Mark’s jam space was full of instruments and things he built.

Me, Jon, Dallas and his girlfriend spent the night. The next day after stopping at a coffee shop I parted ways with the group to make the four hour trek back to Prince Albert. For my first proper road show I say this was a success!

Listen to the complete sets:
http://soundcloud.com/lowebrau/sets/waves-of-fury-12

Films Shown:
Beast of Blood http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065456/
The Black Hole http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078869/

— Matthew Yablonski