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Pop Montreal 2006

Creeping Nobodies/Lunchmeat/Anagram @ Le Divan Orange, Oct. 7

Posted by Trixie / October 8, 2006

creepingnobodiespop06.JPGCreeping Nobodies frontman Derek Westerholm: a candid moment.

Bands From Toronto theme night continued. From Main Hall off to another venue…Le Divan Orange. I arrive in time to catch Creeping Nobodies. They have that whole disjointed, skittish, syncopated post-punk thing down, but in an enjoyably smoothed-out package. Meaning that it's got that left-of-centre, this-music-could-be-made-by-computers-but-it's-not edge, but the plain ole' pop/rock transcends the cacophony this might suggest. Made me think of (and I don’t imagine these are the obvious comparisons, so this may be boozy thinking) Stereolab if Stereolab rocked hard and had some yelpy male vocals; like Metric if Metric didn’t sound so neutralized.

Watching Creeping Nobodies, I was also reminded of a Freaks & Geeks episode where the cute and cool new girl sort of accidentally befriends the geek trio until the popular crowd embraces her. In this case, it is like two cute and cool girls fall in with the geek trio, but then discover that the guys are actually also cool in their own wierd way, and that all together they can make up a kickin’ band. And so…happy ending for the AV club.

Lunchmeat apparently crawled out of a long term’s toil in dive bars and into the sweet spot of Toronto’s music scene. They may very well deserve to be appraised by an audience more appreciative than I. But all I can say is…you know when wiry lead singers wear tight shortish muscle-shirts and then twitch and roll their eyes upwards whenever they’re at the mic? Ya, well, it’s an aesthetic admired by many, but not by I.

And, finally, Anagram. Music to listen to alone in the dark in your parents’ basement. Before you put on lots of black eyeliner and head to some club to skulk around.
Lead singer Matt Mason, with his dramatic flat, flaxen locks, stalks back and forth, wan and morose. The rest of the band, with saxophone in tow, crowds in. They make for an intense, exciting, fraught show, and the crowd gets into brooding-brow mode while they glower in rapt appreciation. There are inevitable goth, new-wave comparisons to be made (I’m sure Joy Division never fails to come up), but Anagram is doing a unique synthesis of dark, cerebral, reluctantly sexy, sullen-glam.




J Mac / October 9, 2006 at 12:29 pm
Re: Wiry lead singers who roll their eyes and twitch. Exactly. What percentage of supposed onstage histrionics are genuine these days? I think it's the thing that most turns me off when I see a band play, in fact. You can almost see it coming: "this is just about the part where the singer's going to collapse and writhe, because he/she is soooooo crazy and unpredictable."
Trixie / October 9, 2006 at 11:15 pm
I know! If I remember correctly, I think you made a similar observation about Think About Life when they opened for Wolf Parade about a year ago, and I was SO with you on that one.
J Mac / October 10, 2006 at 11:46 am
What's weird is that I loved the Think About Life show at Sala this year, and have completely reversed my previous opinion about them. The more familiar I've become with them, the more I find that their behaviour isn't just affectation. So I rescind that previous assessment. But I still apply it to lots of other bands.
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