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Fashion, Music

Pop: Gonzales, SoCalled, Zwerg

Posted by John / October 3, 2005

The street outside the Mile End Cultural Centre, aka the Green Room and Main Hall, seemed like a good place to be last night. Up in the Main Hall, the Dr. Noh show was at least an hour behind schedule, and Quadraceptor was on the stage. I could only take him in small doses, although I couldn't help but be impressed - there are only so many huge black dudes in samurai armour who stomp around the stage making shrieking sounds. Meanwhile, one floor below, Zwerg had taken the stage, pancake makeup, waxed chest, pierced nipples, and all. By remaining mainly on the street, I was able to glimpse occasional bits of both shows without being too heavily traumatized.

Anyway, Zwerg. I was standing near the stage (and the door, which was crucial), with Pop Mtl. folks Dounia and Dan Seligman, plus Josh Dolgin (aka SoCalled) and Torq from Stars and his girlfriend. Yeah, check me name-dropping. Everyone but Dan and Dounia had a perplexed expression on their face, due to Zwerg. It's really not something that translates to words very well, and I actually pondered purchasing his DVD to prove what I saw. But then I didn't. So, here goes.

He is, apparently, from Moncton, N.B. He's got streaked, frosted blonde glam hair of the variety that you see in posters in the windows of hair salons that should be avoided. Piercing eyes, a well-sculpted face, and a repertoire of hilarious looks/facial poses straight out of Zoolander. Said looks are produced at various points throughout his songs; he looked down at his Yamaha keyboard (something recent and expensive, it looked like), uttered some lyric, and then looked back up with one of the several different looks, which instantly caused pretty much everyone in the audience to snicker. Holy fuck, man, it was hilarious and creepy. His songs have about 800 different melodies in them, and sound vaguely like the kind of music that weird salesguy from the piano section of a music store would know how to play.

Before leaving, Seligman noted to me that tonight's Gonzales/SoCalled show (and this is basically the only reason I put those names in the title) is supposed to be semi-formal. This strikes me as another one of Seligman's nutty schemes, part of some secret plan of his, the intentions of which wil become apparent later. But maybe I'll wear a suit.

Then Josh Dolgin and I got out of there, finally. We had divised a condition in which if Zwerg did something weird in the current song, we had to stay for the next one, and that forced us to stay for quite some time. In fact, I think we eventually just abandoned that plan. Walking west along St. Viateur, we discussed whether Zwerg was serious or whether it was some Neil-Hamburger-esque deliberate badness. We came to no conclusions. Josh seemed a bit worried about his show tonight. He kept asking me if I knew anyone who could play an oud. I think that's what he said, anyway. But Josh always seems kind of worried. If he wasn't worried, I would be.

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