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MEG Minor: From Duchess Says to Superpitcher

Posted by Robyn / October 23, 2005

While taking a break from dancing my ass off at the Superpitcher show Friday night, the conversation turned from why we all had a drink in each hand to why Montreal has so many festivals and what the difference is between the "electronic" music festivals - Why is there more than one? Are there really enough fans here (and elsewhere who are willing to make the trip) to warrant it? Is it all just a difference in individual "vibe"? Between sips, the conclusion came that whatever the answers were, if having more festivals means more shows like this, bring on the organized festival chaos, the wristbands that may or may not work, the lanyards and id cards, the wide-eyed volunteers and the not-yet-jaded Heart that keeps the festival circuits pumping.

While I didn't get to experience as much of MEG this year as I would have liked, the two shows (sigh, yes, just two - but add your two bits on other shows in the comments section below if you're so inclined) I did go to were great fun. Duchess Says played an early showcase on Thursday evening - not really the primetime slot every band wants (the singer joked about it being a 5 a 7), but damn, they managed to gather quite the crowd regardless. And a DANCING crowd at that. DS are some fun fun stuff - a little bit crazy, super cool and friendly, loud, totally with it even if you're not sure what it is - they've got it and make you feel like you too are a part of it. A-Claude, DS's singer even came down into the crowd for several songs, so, y'know, we literally were a part of it even though she was doing the rock work - which she does with abandon and this cool sort of enchantingly manic look in her eyes. What to call their music to all those who ask me what they "sound like"? Well, arty-punk with noise but danceable. The MEG site says "moog rock" and "a mish-mash of no-wave, new-wave, and punk," so take that or leave it, but mostly just don't hate fun and go see a Duchess Says show.

So I thought the Friday night Superpitcher et al. show might be a bit different, possibly more standoffish or cold?, what with all the "techno" n' all - I wasn't sure which way it would go. But damn, that was some warm and friendly tech-house (or whatever categories you're pitching). I got there early to hear the sole Canadian on the roster - Jesse Somfay. There's been hype. That hype is warranted. I'm not even going to tell you how old he is, but hell, good is good and if you start collecting records at age 1, then who cares about the age thing. He went on at 9 and people soon moved onto the dancefloor from their dark corners - no mean feat for Montrealers, where you don't even arrive at the party until after 11. But it's a festival and therefore exempt from that party rule.

Next up was Yuksek, from France, delivering a great set of fairly heady stuff for the cerebrally-inclined ass-shakers in the crowd. I think that's what the crowd mostly was though (oh, hey, there were at least 10 trucker hats spotted!), and I was certainly happy. Then the first German of the night, Metope, who chilled the floor out for most of his set - hey, ya gotta mix it up - and then surprised us with some amazing dancey stuff at the end. Nothing for fellow-German Ada to do but ramp it up from there, adding a lot of melody and mood (and singing!) to the tech-house side of things. It's the stuff of instant fandom. If I wasn't a fan of Superpitcher, the show could have ended right there and I would've been really happy, her new album in hand and everything. But it's pretty obvious that Superpitcher - Aksel Schaufler - is ready for action. I mean, he and the crew set up his records and gear and a Giant Bottle of Vodka like they're all of equal importance to what's about to go down. And he slams down the tunes with a smile on his face, dancing around the decks, arms sometimes outstretched to the crowd, hands punctuating melody-noise. These aren't shiny big house sounds, but they are often big, sometimes a little unrelenting where the tech side takes over but, damn, it's a great blend of melody, speed and noise: so. fun. I could do that again. More electronic music festivals, please.



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