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Stereo Freeze 4.21

April 21, 2009

Concerts you may have seen. Winnipeg, April, 2009:

Shearing Pinx & AIDS Wolf, Royal Albert Arms, April 8th:

Shearing Pinx are a trio from Vancouver who have been perfecting a style of jagged, avant jazz-inspired no wave for a couple of years now. They are a prolific group, not only touring a lot but releasing a bunch of material as well, and they are making a name for themselves throughout the North American underground. AIDS Wolf, of course, are one of Montréal’s premier noise outfits, and have built up a reputation as one of the craziest experiences going, live or on record.

Both groups were in good form on this, the last night of a brief tour they were doing together. Shearing Pinx opened the show with a set of sharp, largely new material from their upcoming release(s) on Halifax’s Divorce Records, before going back to some older numbers. The set culminated in a big dithyrambic jam with both bands on stage. In the silence that followed, while everyone (including the players) tried to figure out what they just heard, the comment “what, have you never seen a supergroup before?” came off the stage. Soon after, AIDS Wolf began their set. Madness encroaching, in a grungy rock club. The vocalist spent most of the set creeping around in the crowd, while the band just kept thrashing through songs at the boundaries of musical coherence.

Really far out gig, with two of the best noise groups around.

 

*****

 

Rolling Tundra Revue, Burton Cummings Theatre, April 18th:

The Constantines/Weakerthans cross-country tour had two nights in Winnipeg, of which I saw the second.

Right off the top, both bands are quite beloved, and this huge tour is their pledge to Canadian audiences, so you know people are going to be into it. The Rolling Tundra Revue has become a big happening this time around, and it’s great to see groups committing to such a trek. Not too sure how it’s gone in other places, but this particular night belonged to the Weakerthans. Not much of a surprise, of course, given the location, but it was pretty conspicuous nonetheless, with a camera crew and the bulk of the audience suddenly coming to life when their set began.

Venues like the historic Walker Theatre, an old opera house with balcony seating and classy decor, are always an experience in themselves. They are sometimes strange places for rock shows though, and the atmosphere is usually reserved and slightly awkward. Having seen the Constantines in numerous rock clubs, this particular venue was a bit formal, and it kind of changed the dynamic of what they do. They put it down though, playing mostly stuff from Kensington Heights, with a couple of older favourites thrown in. As for the Weakerthans, they had the adoring hometown crowd right in their hands. 

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