Posts Tagged ‘Frank Mills’

Ignored 76: Canadian feels

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2016 at 4:51 pm



Ignored 10: When adults mosh…

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm


Bold statement: You would be hard pressed to find higher praise for an unknown/semi-unknown band than to have adults mosh at your concert.

SF-based garage punk goof Mikal Cronin just spent three nights dusting up the Silver Dollar as part of NXNE 2013. If his second of three shows was any indication, it would appear he is well positioned to join the late Jay Reatard and Wavves in the ranks of notable power pop artists who channel punk rock without playing punk rock in a literal sense.

Let’s finger early Lemonheads as the torch bearers and acknowledge that  if played well and armed with decent songwriting plus the right/wrong ‘tude, this type of music will almost always translate well in the live setting. As was the case with Cronin who personally, I thought was pretty friggin’ fantastic.

So fantastic, he caused some grown-ass mans (and a few womans) to mosh.

You don’t see adults moshing all that often but it can be VERY exciting when you do. Here is a rough ingredient list for adult mosh pits…
1. Multiple pockets of drunk friends (“friends”?) who are starting to lose their proverbial “sea legs” as they wait for their heroes to come on-stage
2. Tight capacity
3. The heat… by Gawd, the heat!!!
4. A band on-stage that is either age-appropriate or at least VERY reminiscent of a like-minded, age-appropriate outfit (i.e. as mentioned, Mikal Cronin was not unlike Reatard or Wavves or early Lemonheads)

When the stars align, that’s when the magic happens. And by magic, I mean… uh, people shifting their weight and knocking into each other.

In short, I would argue there is no greater praise for a fledgling band than to have adults mosh at your shows.

Seeing teenagers, tweens and toddlers mosh is a given since at an all-ages show, kids are more inclined to mosh just for the sake of moshing. For example, I attended a free Pursuit of Happiness gig at Mel Lastman Square on August 16, 1996  and there was a smattering of moshing for music that was hardly mosh-worthy. The mosh pit composition of that concert was 80 per cent teenagers, 5-10 per cent vagrants and 10-15 per cent “other”. Those kids (and displaced people) were moshing for the sake of moshing. So while TPOH were in fine form (as always), they didn’t really INSPIRE the moshing per se. It was circumstantial.

Do you follow?

An even more extreme example comes from a friend who says he and approximately 100 teenage boys from across Ontario moshed to a cassette version of the first Rage Against the Machine album in the summer of 1994. This took place at a tree planting academy (or something) and the pit apparently contained related activities such as crowd surfing, fist fighting and bullying(!!)

Now, details are sketchy (I’d be concerned if they weren’t) but the point is, young people are just looking for an excuse to run into each other. They would mosh to Frank Mills if given the opportunity.

So anyway, the ingredients existed for moshing to ensue at the Mikal Cronin concert and ensue it did. There was pushing. There was shoving. A couple of girls got squished against the low-slung Silver Dollar stage (although they apparently enjoyed it since they both sported ear-to-ear grins).

Cronin and his band  tore through tracks like “Weight” as the moshing grew playfully furious. On a violence scale, I’d give this mosh pit a 1.5 out of 10. It was largely good natured from my stage-right vantage point and to the credit of the Silver Dollar staff, they even allowed an adult to stagedive towards the end of the set (if you can call jumping off a two-foot stage stagediving).

Hopefully Cronin himself can mosh (in a metaphorical sense) into greater notoriety because obviously if you can get 19+ music fans in Toronto to get all visceral and stuff at a show, you’re doing something right.

Aside #1: The Wikipedia definition of “headbanging” is quite amazing and thankfully, linked from the “moshing” entry. Details below although unfortunately, this entry is a bit thin on its “windmill headbanging” definition.

There are various styles of headbanging. Various styles are often mixed according to taste and to the tempo and heaviness of the music. They can also be performed with eyes closed and/or in combination with hand gestures such as the sign of the horns, singing, yelling, and lip syncing. Headbangers’ bodies usually bang with the head, reducing the strain on the neck and making the body move in a serpentine, up-and-down fashion to the music. There are a number of different stances a headbanger can adopt, from a wide stance with one foot farther in front of the other to feet wide apart to either side. The stance chosen is usually determined to gain the best base for the headbanger to keep their balance and avoid falling over. Another popular style of headbanging is windmill headbanging.

Aside #2: Here is a “wall of death” mosh pit video that is very dusty and frankly, a bit disappointing.

Ignored 4: iPod confidential

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2013 at 4:28 am


Bold statement: Now more than ever, music lovers can own and access a wide range of music, cool or otherwise, without much impact on their beloved street cred. No more “guilty pleasures”. Just “pleasures”.

Two early 2000s innovations forever changed the type(s) of music that hipsters and other insects would admit to owning and/or enjoying.

The first innovation was the mash-up. A modern take on the decidedly non-modern efforts of Steinski, Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, M|A|R|R|S and the Timelords/JAMMs/KLF, the mash-up soon became a staple of tinny MP3s and trying-to-hard dance parties across the land.

The Strokes/Xtina purée “A Stroke of Genius” set the stage and things had ‘gotten got’ by the time Girl Talk showed up. Big picture, the mash-up was an indirect way for hipsters to admit their acceptance (ne: love) of Top 40 and gave us some tremendous efforts such as the still-holds-up goodness of…

The second innovation was the iPod. No need to recap its impact but a notable piece of fallout: you could no longer conceal the dirty little secrets of your music collection within your BENNO. Liberating to no end, the iPod forced music fans to drop the pretense and own what they…. well, own.

Short version: should you REALLY be ashamed of owning any piece of music? If your friends are going to judge you… Well, maybe those aren’t real friends.

The following is my effort at ownership and the big reveal of my “Theme from” and “Theme from 2.0” iPod playlists.

These songs are drawn from the 15,000+ songs that live in my 80GB iPod classic.

Theme from 25 songs that, in theory, I should never admit to owning. Rather than, y’know, publishing them on a WordPress blog.

Theme from CompletelyIgnored 25 songs that I should be name dropping with regularity. With a heavy debt paid in full to this book.

Combined, this is the musical equivalent of buying carbon credits to juke my footprint of perceived lameness.

A zero-sum game.


Bonus Thoughts
– It was a tough call between “Music Box Dancer” and “Popcorn” to fill the random-instrumental-smash-of-the-1970s quota. Regardless, the latter should get more credit for helping to introduce electronic music to the masses. The song is over 40 years old.
Belated Jorday update (of sorts) via MySpace.
– Totally sincere: early 1990s Europop is one of the most underrated blips in Top 40 history. So many amazing tunes from so many outfits that were clearly one-and-done propositions (and possibly not even bands as I think some of these songs may have been written by marketing agencies). Effectively, the MuchDance series circa 1991-1995 could serve as that era’s Nuggets.
– is tremendous but seeing Rembert Browne poke fun at an 1980s remake of “Apache” without any acknowledgement of its impact on hip-hop? A miss.
– Not surprising but there is a serious Shotmaker hole in the Internet. Maybe this Wikipedia hyperlink will help.