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Barnhart Blog 7 - Family Ties

Joel Barnhart
January 10, 2011

Sunday the 9th was a good night for me. I'd just won the shit out of a turkey cook off, The 4th season of one of my favourite shows had just started, and I was all stoked to go to the All in the Family show at Mikado.

This was the first time that Ben and I were going to be covering a show together. He was to be writing about Live Animal Sex, and I was writing about Cuntscumb. Ben and I doing just about anything together is a perfect recipe for disaster, because we sort of have a running competition to out do each other at everything, as was made evident by the little fight we had while at the show. I won't go into details for the sake of decency (If you really want to know what happened, ask me some time. you could ask him, but I'd probably tell it better. Yeah, I went there Ben, whatchoo gonna do about it?), but it's my move, and he's going down.


Anywho, we decided while at the show that we should have a writing competition to see who gets a better reception. With that in mind, I will give sexual favours to anyone who votes for my article. That may not seem like a huge deal to some, but believe you me, I can do things with my tongue you can't even conceive of. It still counts as winning if you bribe the judges, right?

I arrived just in time to see Live Animal Sex. I've seen them play The Mik once before, and they always put on a good show. I had made up my mind to mosh while at the show, but decided against it, as several members of the audience where brandishing toy viking weapons. That in itself is not enough to dissuade me from doing something, but the one audience member wielding a deer's antler made me think otherwise. The last thing I need is a puncture wound to the throat. Let me tell you, nothing hinders your ability to enjoy a show like bleeding to death. I can't say I was really surprised, though, because that's the kind of band Live Animal Sex is. They show up, they rock your face off (seriously, someone's face fell on the floor, and I slipped on it), and if you don't come away from their set wondering what the f*** just happened, then either you weren't actually at a Live Animal Sex show, or you should seek professional psychiatric help immediately.

Next on the roster was Some Kinda Wonderful. I don't even really know what to say about Some Kinda Wonderful. Their sound displays all of the criteria of music, with the exception of melody. They remind me a bit of Primus and Behold! The Arctopus! if that tells you anything. I've basically been staring at the screen for six minutes, listening to their music on MySpace trying to describe them, but I straight up got nothin'. The bassist (I think it was Ryan Mattie, but don't quote me) wore a wool alligator mask, Josh Suppan did frighteningly accurate impression of a pig being murdered, Jacob Bergsma made jokes about Josh's last name (poophands, for example, because his hands smell better than the rest of him). Not really the kind of band I can recommend to everyone, but they were definitely fun. What other band do you know that stops mid-song to bawk like chickens?

The Rod Standish Band was completely different. Also: all over the place (in a good way, though). They bounced from happy pop rock, to what sounded like Tom Waits, to grindcore and death metal. The contrast in musical style kept it interesting, and speaks volumes about Rod Standish as a musician. Dude's a f***** beast. Doesn't surprise me that he beat the Guinness World Record for longest guitar marathon. My one complaint is that while there was clearly a pretty girl on stage playing keys, I couldn't hear them for the life of me. Minor complaint though.

Cuntscumb finally came on, and kicked my eardrums so hard in the face that I could actually taste how low Mattie's guitar was tuned. I believe it was in drop C, and it tasted like a combination of smoked mozzarella and the tears of a widow in mourning. This show featured Rod Standish on bass, the first time I'd seen him play with them. Bones' vocals switched between the gutteral growel and nails-on-a-chalkboard screeching, interspersed with clean vocals that worked really well. Also, there's just something about a woman in a Skeletor mask, squirming around on stage and roaring like Satan's chainsmoking uncle that rubs me the right way (or rather, makes me rub me the right way*. Hey-oh).

I really have mixed feelings about We Want Barabbas. They play soft, calming post-rock, reminiscent of Mogwai and Russian Circles, which is interrupted periodically by angry grindcore that most people wouldn't classify as music. This actually kind of disappointed me. I enjoy both styles of music immensely, but not together. Post rock relaxes me. It's the type of music that penetrates your soul like a bullet, tearing through your troubles and leaving a soothing calm in it's wake. Grindcore makes me want to punch people. It's the kind of music that makes you rip off your own face and eat it, because f*** you logic, faces are for pussies. Mixing them together is like putting milk and orange juice. both are great on your own, but put them together and it curdles. I think I would prefer it if the same group of musicians had two separate projects, instead of mixing the two genres into one act. I would listen to both, but it wouldn't be at the same time, getting me all relaxed and then punching my brain in the dick with screeching and distortion. That may have been exactly what they were going for, but I wish it wasn't.

Rudy Quazar was absolutely fantastic. They were loud, they were fast, they were funky, and they were f***ing weird. Not unlike Green Jelly. Everything a good band should be. They performed one song where several members of the audience, clearly friends of the band, joined them onstage and rapped while the band played. By far one of the coolest thing I've seen at a show. A definite highlight was when Jacob Bergsma got up and rapped the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme. A versatile band, with a musical style that ranged from funk to metal. As their Myspace page says, "country meets metal meets swing meets reggae meets prog in the same song? Why the f*** not?". That pretty much says it all.

Of all the shows I've covered so far, this one is hands down the one I had the most fun at. All in the Family is a very fitting title for the show, as not only did a lot of the bands feature the same members (almost every band that played featured either Ryan Mattie, Josh Suppan or Rod Standish), but the audience was like a close knit family. It was evident that everyone there clearly knew each other, and have for years. It was a demonstration of friendship and togetherness that largely defines St. Catharines and the surrounding towns of Thorold and Welland. Great friends getting together and celebrating great music. I've lived in a few other towns, and seen a lot of shows in my day, and nothing holds a candle to the energy, intensity, and kinship I witnessed at this show. That is how it's f***ing done.**

- Joel Barnhart -

Just for old times sakes:

*Really? Masturbation jokes? Classy Joel, real classy.
**Alright, well, that's my article, let's see what you got, Ben.