Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Derrick ran a huge feature on Oil City Indie Songwriters Festival founder Jerome Wincek this morning. In it, Wincek takes a bold anti-Stryper stance:

"I was told that music that said 'the devil should go to hell' was wrong," he said.

Bold, I say. Bold.

Headed out to the Canopy View/Remora Deign show at the Latonia in Oil City last night and while the crowd was small, it was diverse -- it was nice to not be the only one there with grey hair. I hadn't seen Canopy View before and had never heard Remora Deign's full amplfied set. It was pretty clear that neither band had planned for a place as acoustically unique as this old theatre - Remora Deign's sound especially was overdriven and out of balance at times with the vocals disappearing.

(And, yes, I wear earplugs to shows and, brief sermon here, so should you - I was using some cheap ones I had left over from the gun range, but I recommend Earlove or Hearos).

That said, it was actually a pretty good show. Canopy View sounded nothing like what I had expected since they were billed as electronica, but came across as anthemic indie rock -- more beholden to 1990s alterna-rock than sounding like say Daft Punk (or even Depeche Mode). They didn't have any merch for sale, which was too bad because my wallet was itching to be emptied and they seemed a little nervous on stage - but they've got good solid skills , put on a decent show, and fall into my would be willing-to-see-again category.

Cory Pfahl - Canopy View vocalist

Remora Deign was headlining. It's clear that they're really comfortable in front of an audience at this point and the drummer, Garth Porter, seemed really focused and tight.

Remora Deign Vocalist Kyle Hoffman

Remora Deign Drummer Garth Porter

The ladies restoring and revitalizing the Latonia are doing a great job and are really motivated to making the theatre a vibrant addition to the Oil City arts community (and there's a whole other essay about that ). They do a drawing during the band's break (I was a little embarrassed when my wife and I both won. In a row. Not so embarrassed that it kept me from taking the prize though...). And it was relaxed atmosphere - I'm not sure that I would court the youth market in that space, but again that's another essay.

Maybe a little too relaxed for a show. What surprised me the most was the apathy of the fans. They paid $10 to see these guys. I had expected some excitement, some dancing, I know that bands like At The Drive In took a strict no mosh policy, but these fans literally had the heads on the tables, their backs to the bands. It was as if they were at a school assembly full of planned forced fun rather than at a show that they not only wanted to go to, but had to pay for the right to go in.

Weird. It must have been really difficult for the bands to keep their energy up with such a blase crowd. And it freaked me out.

Film Cameras Officially Dead In Japan

Lastly, I'm hoping that you, my intelligent and pretty readers can help me. I need to find copies of Lynn Redgrave's plays Mandrake Root, Nightingale, and Rachel and Juliet. Any ideas?

And as long as I'm asking, I'm also looking for a Sawara Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Mops') and a Golden Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata 'Aurescens') Any good local sources?

Finally, how about blueprint diazo paper?

Email me with your suggestions.

Free and Legal Downloads

Ryan Adams Live at The Brewery on February 4, 1994

Sybris - "Oh Man!" (mp3) (Stream Sybris pre-release album Into the Trees)

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