Our CMW Hexperience

M4We accidentally played a Canadian Music Week showcase this week. That is to say the awesome people at Wavelength asked us to play their collaborative event with M For Montreal at the Garrison. Though we have an unofficial no CMW/NXNE (or any other showcase festival) policy in the band, we said yes. Of course. Why not? It’s just another show, right? It’s not like capital-M, capital-I Music Industry scouts actually go to these things to find new talent. And if they are, well, a psychedelic jam-band probably isn’t what the Industry is looking for. So no harm, no foul. We just kind of showed up and did our thing for the two or three friends we knew were down there with the 17 people in the audience.

Now, here’ something we didn’t consider about playing a CMW showcase. Apparently Moonwood normally isn’t on a bill which warrants a  music writers’ time but for CMW a bunch will show up and actually write about an opening band, which happened to be us. Most were positive, if not a little baffled.

Grey Owl Point

The eclectic lineup began with Toronto krautrock purveyors Moonwood. Now a four-piece, they brought nearly 40 minutes of jams split into two “songs.” Starting with a track the vocalist called “Olivia Chow for Mayor” (it’s not actually called that), it was a full-on assault of keys, electronic flourishes, guitars and drums. Vocals added a touch of mystique to the amorphous music, which could change from minimalist to brutal at the drop of a hat. Concluding with a song not called “Rob Ford Not For Mayor” the band started the night on a groovy note.


CBC Music

The massive, psychedelic jam of Moonwood. It was a little hard to tell what Moonwood were doing at first, but watching them build their wall of noise until it threatened to overtake us all was pretty impressive.

Demo Magazine

Kicking off the night with a journey to the outskirts of the galaxy were Toronto space rock outfit Moonwood. Formed as a collaborative effort between Jakob Rehlinger and [Jacqueline Noire], the band’s krautrock-influenced catalogue was made all the stronger with the presence of a bassist and drummer, both of whom displayed an impressively high level of stamina as the band charged through a vast landscape of spiraling jams. The group’s performance served as a perfect accentuation of the tension one might expect to experience during the earliest moments of a show.



Panic Manual

Starting things off were space rock/krautrock band Moonwood.  Formerly the solo project of Arachnidiscs‘ Jakob Rehlinger, the project has morphed into a full band devoted to bringing the Hawkwind-esque jams. Their set consisted of two songs, which for tonight at least, were entitled “Oliva Chow For Mayor” and “Rob Ford Not For Mayor.”  A fully satisfying set. 

Chart Attack were less impressed, giving our performance a “C” grade overall. Apparently, our GPA was brought down by Jakob’s hat.

Kewl Effects: B  In a less scattered or at least more self-contained format, Jakob Rehlinger’s hydra-head guitar would have shone. Ambition: A — Rather than stick with the propulsion of [Trans Martian Express], the band opted for two twenty-minute stretches in a set at least partially inspired by Toronto’s mayoral race (the second half was jokingly titled “Rob Ford Not For Mayor”). Energy: C+ — This was certainly the venue to try new things. But there was no easy entry point for the wandering, non-committal experimentation was easy to tune out of, and felt like they were trying to abruptly shove the audience into a trance state they hadn’t earned yet. Most, like me, were content to sit. Some chatted at the back or played on their phones. The atmosphere was one of patient tolerance. Hat: F — Green straw fedora. Took me right out of it. Final Grade: C.

For the record, the hat is not green (it’s grey), straw (it’s cotton) or a fedora (it’s a trilby). We did enjoy, however, the NME-style arbitrary slagging of our whole set based on Jakob’s hat. CMW is, after all, about the capital-M, capital-I Music Industry experience.