Published Jul 19, 2015At the corner of Wyndham and Carden Street, passersby found an especially eccentric display in front of Ray Mitchell's reliably weird antique and collectible boutique yesterday afternoon (July 18).
With a microphone setup that didn't not look like a ball gag, a battery of effects pedals and a miniature drum kit pared down to a nuts and bolts bass, snare and crash cymbal configuration, Gideon Steinberg (ex-Pecola, Soupcans, Toronto Homicide Squad) brought Dis-a-Ray's bizarre sidewalk collection of mannequins, comically specific signage and other ephemera to life with his solo drum and drone exhibition, klnr.
Like other klnr's public appearances, this Incline/Decline set was announced just days prior — on the first day of the festival — so it flew under the radar of most attendees, maintaining the guerrilla standard he's become known for. Screaming and moaning into a voice-muffling microphone while sweating buckets drumming in the 30-degree heat over frenetic Eastern drones, it was a performance that alienated and amazed.
Some circled around, some tiptoed carefully by and some stopped to take pictures on their smartphones, while unsuspecting patrons at next door's Cornerstone patio sought refuge from the noise indoors while others sat back and soaked it in with a pint. It was a glorious interruption of early evening ennui.