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Music

Grand Analog play their kazoo @ Green Room

Posted by Andrés / January 16, 2010

20100116_grandanalog.jpg

So clear this up for me - is it the Green Room or the Salon Vert? Or is it a point of contention? Those who say it's the Green Room, yell 'Green Room'..." so began Grand Analog's front-man Odario Williams, jumping right into his high-energy participatory hip-hop/funk/reggae set from Analog's second album, Metropolis is Burning. "We're just getting warmed up," he claims with genuine excitement. With shades of rock and humourous odes to recognizable jingles like "I Want You Back" by Jackson 5, Grand Analog mixes catchy tunes, exceptional on-stage charisma with a healthy love for music.

Last night's performance at the Green Room (I yelled 'Salon Vert') marks Analog's second appearance in our city, after Pop Montréal last fall. They were preceded by The Thania & Emelie Band, a young trio of female performers from, what I gathered to be, Vanier College. Their strengths show great potential for the budding performers (both singers have beautiful voices, and can casually switch from violin to piano to flute). With a fairly early 9pm start, the Room was filled with friends and acquaintances who carried the band through some awkward stage silences and occasional blips. Regardless, a worthy start for what will hopefully be a fruitful music career. Their sound: sort of a Jenn Grant meets Feist. Their goal: be on a 2012 iPod commercial.

Next up was main draw Grand Analog. DJ Ofield Williams smoothed the transition from indie light to Marvin Gaye-inspired beat before brother Odario (lead), Alister (keys) and Damon (guitar) joined him on stage. Hailing from Peg City (Winnipeg), the Analog began as a small collective of music lovers. Their love of the medium is apparent in their wide influence. While they can best be described as a rap'n'roll group, mixing the poetry of hip-hop with the harsh strum of rock ("I Play My Kazoo"), they also draw on ska, soul and reggae ("Take it Slow"). And he does indeed play his kazoo on stage.

Odario Williams wants to share his love with the audience, which is why so many of his songs involve and necessitate audience participation. Before playing "Not Enough Mondays/Crunch" he instructs the audience on what and when they should sing along. Before playing his closing "Her Daddy (Don't Like Me)" he insisted that each portion of the room move to the beat. And you have to give it to him - he does NOT stop moving; so much so that some photographers have found it difficult to pin him down for a decent live-act shot. When Odario starts sweating, we start sweating - and it feels great.

Grand Analog is currently touring Canada to promote Metropolis is Burning. Check out CBCRadio3 or their Myspace to listen to their tunes (I suggest you start with "I Play My Kazoo"), and catch them next time they're around. I apologize to local band Bananafish as I couldn't stick around for their closing. They are worth a listen as well.

The show was hosted by Indie Montreal.

Above image courtesy URBNET (Duncan McKee) of Analog's NYC performance. Image doctored by myself.

Discussion

10 Comments

Vanessa / January 16, 2010 at 07:21 pm
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Went to the show too, and it was great!! I never thought I liked this kind of music, but the singer was amazing!
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