Sound Check

Sound Checkby Amber Goodwyn

When I was younger, more naïve and unworldly than I am now, I sneered upon fandom. Having grown up with musicians and artists, I respected the work they did but recognized these people to be just that: people. Folks with skills and talent, to be sure, but beings with pedestrian fears and weaknesses, warts and all.

This doesn’t mean I have never been a fan — rather that I’ve been a fan in two distinct phases.

I AM MADE OF STERN STUFF*

My first bout of fandom came along at the usual time, adolescence, when I fell deeply into love with the Smashing Pumpkins (though not as deeply as my friend the super-fan, Erin, as she never hesitates to remind me). I listened to their albums loudly and on repeat and my teenage poetry was littered with lyrical experiments inspired by “Porcelina of the Cast Oceans” and “Tristessa”.

My second bout of fandom came long after university when I first heard Marnie Stern’s frenetic guitar tapping. Her joyously feminine and neurotic music came at a time when a band of mine was preparing to record its first full-length album. We trekked to upper New York state to see her perform, and I was wholly smitten. Abandoning my cool detachment, I quickly warmed to the enjoyment of letting myself bask in great ideas and performers. Many of my favorite musicians, it was pointed out to me, were proper music fans too. And so my heart grew three sizes that year — and my musicianship did too.

NO MORE MR. NICE GUY

The day this paper hits the stands is the Day of the Dead! So thrilling — and there  is lots of Halloween-y live music in town to celebrate, so do check out the Listings section for the full run down. Elsewhere on the funny/creepy front, the original king of shock rock, Alice Cooper, will be in town on Nov. 7 at the Conexus Arts Centre. Holla!

Support the scene, man: Self-described ‘frenetic, thumping rock’ trio The Jump Off release their first full-length CD at the SCES Club on Saturday, Nov. 2. Man and His Machine and Black Thunder support the bill. Black Thunder look to be keeping busy this couple of weeks post-tour with shows on the 8th (Chron Goblin at O’Hanlon’s) and the 11th, once again, at the SCES Club. Tinsel Trees will play their last show with White Women and Robot Hive on Nov. 9, at The Exchange, so be there to have fun and to say your goodbyes.

* Lyrics from Smashing Pumpkins’ X.Y.U.

In my ears: My partner’s Suspiria ring tone.

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2013-10-31