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All in the Family by a Guy on a Soap Box

Ben Krawec
January 10, 2011

Photo by Lauren Garbutt

My buddy Joel and I have been friends for a very long time and have a long history of competing over various things, as men do.

We've done a lot of awful, horrid things to each other in the name of competition and we were getting into another one of our contests of will this Sunday. I'm not going to go into graphic detail but it involved a condom and some bodily functions. It quickly dawned on us that this particular contest of will was escalating in a tragic direction that neither one of us wanted to travel in.

Before either one of us did anything despicable and irrevocable we wisely decided that we'd settle this one by having a write-off. Each of us is covering the All in the Family show that happened January 9th at Mikado's and we're going to see who writes the better article.

Before we go any farther with this I'd like to point out that I was actually there for each band while Joel showed up late because apparently turkey is more important than metal. Also, I've become aware thatJoel is offering sexual favours to anyone who votes for him. I'd like to point out that not only am I devilishly handsome with six-pack abs but I'm willing to do things in bed that would make Joel vomit with shame. If you're basing your vote off of who is offering sexual favours then I'm your guy. I know that's a low blow but f*** you.

Also, my article has a picture from the show, courtesy of Lauren Garbutt, so a vote for me isn't just a vote for my article but is also a vote for the photographic talents of Ms. Garbutt. Joel just has some silly picture with an ipod on it. There weren't even any ipods at the show.

If you didn't go to the All in the Family show at Mikado's January 9th then you might as well end it all now, because you missed what is quite possibly the most SPECTACULAR F****ING SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF EVERYTHING! We had Noodles and Fruits, Live Animal Sex, Rod Standish,

Some Kind of Wonderful, Cuntscumb, We Want Barabas and Rudy f****ing Quazar all playing in one night and it was so mind blowing I had to steal somebody else's brains because mine had been blown out my ears.

I'd have to make up new adjectives in order to accurately describe how delightfully bizarre the night was but to give you an idea the whole thing was kind of like one long metaphor for my sex life in that it was brutal and bizarre and left me at a loss for words but was more fun than you can shake a stick at.

Noodles and Fruit started the night on a pleasant note with Josh Suppan reading a children's story while dressed as a farmer from days of yore as a small band played some light background music. It sure was... art I guess. I don't know what else can be said about that. Picture a ginger dude with a moustache in red flannel reading a story about a country mouse.

After them Live Animal Sex made another one of their trademark epic entrances. Dan Barett wore a beard over top of his actual beard to create the first meta-beard I've ever seen in my life. He also wore a viking ship the way an old timey pan-handler wears a barrel and suspenders so he and a pack of vikingettes could run around and rape and pillage the audience while LAS played what would have made a wicked war dance. Also, Live Animal Sex now holds the regional record for most antlers ever present in a mosh pit, which is one. I don't recommend trying to beat this as my powerful intuition is informing me that this contest can only end in bleeding. Live Animal Sex is f****ing wicked, I don't need to elaborate any further. Go see them.

Some Kind of Wonderful was some kind of something. They're one of those bizarro bands that push the boundaries of what can be considered music, so you either love them or hate them. They're great at what they do, the thing is whether or not you like what they do.

Personally, I like 'em. I'm having a hard time putting their act into words so I just wrote a haiku about them:

Josh makes scary sounds,
There's a knitted monster mask,
I'm glad I got high.

And that's all there is to that.

Cuntscumb was F***ing spectacular as always. Bonez rocked the house so hard my face melted off, especially when she was sliding around on the stage while dressed like a walking felony, and every time I thought it was safe to put my face back together they busted out a bitchin' break down that rocked it right back off again. My only regret during their set is that I forgot to wear my ankle brace and couldn't mosh.

Rod Standish and the Rod Standish band made for yet another change of pace. You can't pin down their music into any particular genre, they incorporated elements of blues, funk, pop, metal and pretty much any genre of music I've ever listened to. Imagine coming home after a hard day of work knowing that your wife (or husband, partner, sex-slave, whatever, this is the 21st century after all) has a steak dinner waiting for you, and then finding out that your significant other has arrange for you to have a helping of every single one of your favourite foods served to you by a charming and scantily clad team of very attractive wait staff.

The Rod Standish band is kind of like that but with music instead of food and its ten times more awesome. Mr. Standish has a gig every Tuesday night at DJ's in Niagara Falls if you want to go see him play, which you do.

We Want Barabbas is also eight million kinds of cool but sometimes the different kinds of cool they were trying to blend together weren't exactly compatible. Changes in tempo and intensity are important in keeping up the energy of a show and keeping the audience interested but while those changes are meant to be refreshing but at times they were more jarring than invigorating. I have every intention of seeing them play again but next time I kinda hope they pick something and stick with it.

Rudy Quazar was a great example of a band that changes everything up all the time but makes those changes fun and exciting as opposed to shocking. Out of every band that played tonight I think everybody had the most fun during this set, especially when guest began taking the microphone to rap about everything from politics to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The fun was light hearted, the riffs were heavy and the everything was awesome. On the front page of their website they describe themselves as follows, "Rudy Quazar is a demon built of high energy rock that attacks people with its five fanged tooth. The rock demon Rudy Quazar is summoned by four men hailing from the Niagara Region in Ontario, Canada. Each of these men brandishes a specially tailored and differently shaped suit and tie with an attached weapon of demise." That hits the nail pretty squarely on the head. Go see them.

Overall the show was really fun, it emphasized the tightly knit friendships that make up the music scene around here and gave everybody the warm and fuzzies. If every show were like this then there wouldn't be any war or famine because we'd all be too happy from rocking the f**k out to be jerks to each other. I do have one thing to say about the night that might ruffle a few feathers though. I understand that its not just cool but necessary to push the limits of what we call music, and the intention of the show was essentially to celebrate friendship and the tightly knit nature of the scene; but at times it seems like the emphasis was less on music and more on having inside-jokes onstage and being avante garde. I'm not saying this because I think that avante garde artists are a bunch of self-indulgent wankers that like to pull our legs and call their shenanigans music; I'm a pretty big fan of some of the strangest bands to come out of the region.

There's only so much random cacophony a guy can take in one night, the quirky and the bizarre ought to enhance the music and not be the centrepiece around which the music is built. Regardless, ultimately I'd rather have too much weirdness than not enough and these guys delivered it in delicious heaps.

If you would like to check out the bands mentioned you can find em atthe following websites:

- Ben Krawec -