2004-06-08 01:44 am (UTC)
Hey, so sorry the Saskatoon crowd was so, erm, sparse! I have no idea why the place was so deserted on such a gorgeous Saturday night (not all of us are Flames fans, for crying out loud). Part of the blame goes to our sorry excuse for a newspaper, which is utterly clueless when it comes to promoting top-notch Canadian indie rock.
Anyway, despite the absurd ambience and the amp hassles, you guys sounded terrific, your set tantalizingly short. Be sure to come back to Toon Town...next time around, I guarantee more people will show up once word of mouth builds. Maybe we'll even reach ten. Just kidding.
Oh, and thanks for putting together such a brilliant album...it's definitely one of the year's highlights so far.
Adrien from PopMatters.com
2004-06-12 10:33 am (UTC)
Here's my (amateur) review of the Calgary show.
I was lucky enough to actually check my email two days before GN and Panurge rolled into their first stop in Calgary, so I brought a friend and headed down to Broken City. I had never heard of the place, and couldn't find anything on the internet, so I inquired and Brett was able to provide me with a URL. (apparently not indexed by Google at the time - http://www.brokencity.ca at 613 11th Ave SW) The (rather nice) show poster is also displayed on that page. A coloured version was displayed in the front window of Broken City, but I didn't have a camera with me for the show.
The place smelled like paint and dust as we entered around 7pm. I had learned from my friend that the opening was last Friday, but construction was still being done until a few hours before we arrived. Cover was 8 dollars, and we decided to just pay it and stick around. There was a projection tv, and game five of the Calgary/Tampa series was on. A surprisingly small crowd was watching and drinking beer; maybe 15 people at the time. I passed by a booth where Girl Nobody was seated; I recognized Marta at least, but I didn't speak to her until later in the night.
Beer was free - at least, free unless you felt like tipping. The Broken City staff were friendly, and they even prepared a bunch of food for everyone, also at no cost. A few more people trickled in as the game went on, and when the game ended, a handful came in as well. Not all stayed. All in total, maybe 20 people in the audience, not counting the staff of the venue or Panurge.
I can't say I can even begin to describe anything related to music and do it justice, but to sum things up... Both sets were marred by audio troubles; whether it was the setup or the sound crew or both, I do not know. Some fairly harsh feedback throughout, and the levels of everything were all over the place. Vocals were never loud enough, which was a shame, because both Chris Lovell of Panurge and Marta Jaciubek of Girl Nobody are excellent.
I could tell that Marta was quite unhappy with the sound, to the point of frustration, sometimes laughing while she sung, and occasionally dropping her tambourine in despair. Kudos to Panurge for largely ignoring the problems and just doing their thing, though I suppose most of the sound problems were resolved a bit by then. I had only heard two songs by Girl Nobody - Smile and Beware on CBC's ZeD TV, and Aliens (short clip from the website, then-called Manchester I think) - through all the feedback and far-too-loud guitar, I could tell that it was definately worth the wait. Despite the horrible audio, they still managed to sound good, and as Marta sings in their CD's first track and their sound check that night, Girl Nobody was "doing [their] best".
2004-06-12 10:35 am (UTC)
(cont'd from above)
I had signed up on the mailing list as soon as I heard Smile and Beware several months ago, and now that the CD was out, I knew I wasn't to be disappointed. Thank you Marta, for the chance to see GN play, and for the CD. Overall, their first release is excellent. Smile and Beware and Aliens are still my favourite tracks out of the set, but they manage to create a nice diversity of styles; up and downtempo, and with a very lush sound throughout. Samples in the background nicely complement their variety of instruments, but they were barely heard during the show. I just wished they had played more, but maybe they had gone through their whole repertoire already. It's too bad I wasn't aware they had t-shirts to sell, or I would have gotten one.
Marta got fed up with a heckler in the audience, and she began changing lyrics in the song they were performing at the time to go on about how the Flames sucked, the Canucks rocked, and how she was tired from the trip to Alberta in their van. I was impressed when she smoothly segued into a retort to the heckler flipping her the bird. I may have been the only one in the audience to laugh, but then again, there weren't many of us. In response to Marta's statement that "Calgary doesn't really like us much", I have to say that one show - one very small, sparsely advertised show, during the playoffs - is not a fair assessment of Calgary's support for indie music; especially GOOD indie music. In another venue, another time, I am sure their band would grow to be loved by Calgarians given the chance to hear them, as I am positive only good things will follow for Girl Nobody.
Panurge I had never heard about, but I am also glad to have taken in their show that night. I purchased their CD right then and there, and after several listens, it's become one of my favourites. A lot of the songs that they played I felt had a lot of promise, but had those same audio problems that made it at times wincingly painful to listen to. The CD affirmed my instinct that, when properly mixed, all of the elements in their sound worked together, rather than as seperate entities. I remember two songs in which their other singer was absolutely inaudible. The electronic background and drums, handled by Daniel Byrne, were so loud that they sometimes overpowered both the guitar and vocals. I questioned how the various effects and oddball sounds fit in at all, but of course, on the CD, it all makes sense... right down to the amusing sample of "Why doesn't anybody like me anymore"? on the CD's opening track, Sweet Fannie Annie. I'm still not sure why Annie isn't liked anymore, but Panurge has certainly gained at least one listener that night.
ps Marta - thanks again for the CD, very generous of you!
believe me... they aren't short on repertoir!