The Octopus Project
Electric Owl, Vancouver, BC, November 13
Like Meek's groundbreaking projects, the Octopus Project employ a mix of electronics and go-for-broke rock, though their style leans more towards post-rock forms than the perfect three-minute pop song. Yet there was a level of casual theatricality in their presentation, from their classic look and engaged stage presence to their chameleon abilities. There's no true leader of this band. Movement on the stage was nearly constant, during and between songs. All four members exchanged instruments throughout the set and rarely sang. This made the distinction of a front-person moot, forging the group as a complete unit worth more than the sum of its parts.
Though Yvonne didn't take a turn on drums, she moved between bass, guitar and sampler like most everyone else, but she was most bewitching behind a Moog Etherwave Pro Theremin. Her arms cocked near the volume and pitch antennas, the fingers on her right hand crooked and toying with the air around the pitch to add vibrato to the feminine-sounding oscillator tone. She was a vision of Clara Rockmore if only Rockmore had rocked more. The band's Ryan Figg was particularly animated when on guitar as well, while Toto Miranda bludgeoned the kit into submission.
There was a highly improvisatory feel to their set, with some efforts to transition between material ending rather abruptly while others hit the ethereal sweet spot. The element of risk involved was part of the thrill of seeing them do their thing. This group were unassumingly high energy, letting loose while maintaining focus on their collective effort, incorporate the occasional noise explosion into their paisley psych sound.
Josh unleashed a string of thank-you's before the last song of their main set, hammering home how genuine their enthusiasm was. Returning to the stage, coyly asking if the crowd wanted hear another song, the group came back for the encore to perform "Porno Disaster," which Yvonne claimed was her mom's favourite song. The rather sinister Jamaican bounce of the track, first recorded for 2002's Identification Parade, was a suitably swanky way to bring the evening to a close.
ReviewsJun 23, 2015
David Byrne's 'Contemporary Color' with St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, tUnE-yArDs, Dev HynesAir Canada Centre, Toronto ON, June 22
In an interstitial video between sets at David Byrne's Contemporary Color, a number of people involved in "colour guard" try to define what,...
ReviewsJun 20, 2015
Fresh SnowLee's Palace, Toronto ON, June 19
It's hard to decipher what exactly went wrong for Fresh Snow last night (June 19), but after an incredible set by Foxes In Fiction, the band...
ReviewsMay 22, 2015
Not the Wind, Not the FlagHalifax Music Co-op, Halifax NS, May 21
The first evening of performances for this year's OBEY Convention featured a wonderfully fluid jam from Toronto's Not the Wind, Not the Flag...
ReviewsMay 16, 2015
DeerhoofPavillon Arthabaska, Victoriaville QC, May 15
If you haven't seen Deerhoof in a while, you won't know what to expect — Noise cranks? Cutesy pop? It could be anything. Their attack ...
ReviewsApr 25, 2015
OuroborosThe Rock House, St. John's NL, April 24
Four saxophones and drums shouldn't have been this entertaining. But with elements of Klezmer, jazz, Afro-funk, and swing, Ouroboros proved ...
ReviewsMar 22, 2015
Tanya TagaqSwan Dive, Austin TX, March 21
It would be foolish to talk about "songs" when it comes to a Tanya Tagaq performance; hers isn't a series of songs but a more singular expre...
ReviewsAug 23, 2015
U.S. GirlsAlbert Island, Ottawa ON, August 22
Gearing up to release Half Free, a new record through 4AD next month, Meg Remy had no problem showing the sizeable crowd what she had been u...
ReviewsAug 23, 2015
The Weather StationAlbert Island, Ottawa ON, August 22
Taking the stage by herself in starting the early evening set, the nation's capital got an intimate look at Tamara Lindeman's formidable son...