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Music

SPRING BREAK: Delicate Steve with Akron/Family

Posted by Margot / February 20, 2011

Delicate Steve Montreal Il Motore music GrammysLast night, a packed crowd at Il Motore was treated to an evening of impressive proportions; Delicate Steve ramped the crowd up with some exceptional electro-rock, and then Akron/Family did their thing into the early hours of the morning. I was lucky to catch up with Mr. Delicate himself, Steve Marion, before the show to chat a bit about music, touring, Venn diagrams, and poutine.

Hailing from north Jersey, the members of Delicate Steve have been friends since high school. They're all fairly creative and musical guys, and as a result they play each other's music in different incarnations. Steve recorded his latest LP, Wondervisions, by himself in his studio, but touring with pals Mickey Sanchez (keyboard), Christian Peslak (guitar), Adam Pumilia (bass), and Mike Duncan (drums) is ostensibly a bit more fun.

The music itself is, in one word, epic. Listening to it, you feel like you're constantly overcoming adversity, like you're in the final montage of some great early-90s movie or video game (or a marriage of the two, Top Gun). Sparse on words, skilled on guitar, channeling Animal on drums, and high in energy, Delicate Steve brought the noise to Il Motore with happy, upbeat, and plain ol' fun music, the kind of music you'd want to have in your car tape deck, in your iDevice headphones, and as the soundtrack to the best day of your week/month/year.

Steve says that his music has been influenced a lot by Ponytail and Dirty Projectors, and highly recommends their music. As well, he's a fan of the music of Fang Island, having toured with those good folks last fall (that show brought him to Il Motore in November, and he spoke favourably of the neighbourhood's cuisine, including excellent Indian food and tasty Haitian barbeque -- perhaps we should send our food team there next week).

Delicate Steve Montreal Il Motore Akron/Family music Arcade FireAn embarrassing camera snafu in which the author forgot to bring charged batteries resulted in this artist's rendition of Delicate Steve on stage

Steve's no Philistine: He's completely aware of who the Arcade Fire are. He's not too fussed about following the Grammys. He knows that dried blueberries are a healthy food to eat on the road. He knows how to roll with the punches (the nickname "Delicate" was originally meant to be an insult). And he isn't quick to answer which animal his music would be if it were an animal (we're still waiting on the answer, actually). The band will be on tour for the next couple of months, first heading down the road to play for our friends in Toronto and Hamilton -- and while they recognize that they won't get as good a dish of poutine once they cross the Bon Cop/Bad Cop border, they're happy to stay in Canada for a while longer.

Akron/Family took to the stage shortly afterwards, and started their set with a calm and meditative piece. I won't wax poetic about their part of the show, though. We're fortunate at Midnight Poutine to work as a team, so check out what Andrés has to say about this psychedelic/experiemental trio hailing from Portland, OR/ New York City. I'll offer that I enjoy their older material a bit more, and I think that seeing them live raises the Phish conundrum, but that's why we have more than one point of view.

Title image taken from Delicate Steve's myspace page, and artist credits go to Chase Moser

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