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Literature meets music: Library Voices

Posted by Margot / June 20, 2010

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When these eight musicians storm onto stage, they're using anything but their indoor voices. So I chose to catch up with Library Voices before they started their cacophonous presentation at Il Motore earlier this week. And luckily, I got a chance to talk with the octet not only about their music, but their ideas about books, political figures, and Utopian dreams, too.

As their name might suggest, they're a literary bunch. Hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan and environs, the eight band members (along with their trusty sound guy and merch guy) had a long ride between Montreal and their hometown (3191 kilometers, in fact, if Google Maps isn't mistaken), with a handful of Ontario stops on the way. Instead of listening to their own music on the road (which I concur might be a bit weird), they spent their time brushing up on some classic books-on-tape, including The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and most recently Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. A library on wheels, if you will.

Well-read and articulate, the group's skills translate well into music-making -- they've put together a solid album in Denim on Denim, their first full-length work that came out earlier this year. Top it off with Vonnegut references and commentary on social networking sites, and their music is as intelligent and contemporary as it is fun to listen to. A little bit of pop-py, a little bit of rock-y, a whole lot of good tunes. Of course, everyone wants the best for their music -- when asked what they wanted for their music (when it grows up) they said that they want it to be inspiring, entertaining, and all-around-feel-good. Ideally, they just want people to love their music, make love to their music (and, as Carl added, optimally "at a bush party" -- what better place?)

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In performing, though, the group breaks out with surprising energy (and a dynamism that is super-human to say the least). The band has a tight core, and the additional instruments (sax, trumpet, additional keyboards, many voices, etc.) only add to the layers of music, rather than dilute the melodies. In fact, with three layers of keys-and-synth blending the styles of today and decades past, I occasionally felt like I was dancing with David Bowie in the bubble scene from Labyrinth (if you aren't familiar with that scene, you have some required viewing for the evening). Best of all, though, was when they stepped away from their mics for a second, tuned down the volume, and sang in four-part harmony -- those are some sweet Library Voices.

The band was joined by an opener and a closer - the former a loud duo called The Pack A.D., composed of the Joplin-esque Becky Black and maniac-at-the-kit Maya Miller, and the latter a band from Brisbane-via-Brooklyn, The Grates, who closed the place down for the night.

Library Voices are: Michael Dawson, Carl Johnson, Mike Thievin, Karla Miller, Eoin Hickey-Cameron, Amanda Scandrett, Paul Gutheil, and Brennan Ross.



kanchipuramsarees / January 22, 2019 at 11:44 pm
Nice post
kanchipuramsarees / January 22, 2019 at 11:44 pm
Nice post

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