Halifax Pop Explosion
I had never been to the Marquee before. That building was the Paragon when I was underage and closed by the time I turned 19. The room was incredible: spacious, with corners to explore and hang out in. Purity Ring brought their special stage arrangement with them, an assortment of hanging orbs that lit up according to triggers set by the band’s producer, Corin Roddick. Megan James, Purity Ring’s vocalist (and Haligonian) moved gracefully around the stage singing sweet melodies over Roddick’s boombastic, booming 808 drums. -Evan McIntyre, Arts Contributor
El-P’s live performance was amazing. Being a new fan, I got particularly excited when he opened with the first two tracks from his latest album Cancer 4 Cure. His aggressive, esoteric vocals battled and conquered the industrial-inspired instrumentals he produces. -Evan McIntyre, Arts Contributor
Al Tuck played like he was drunk; it suited him as well as his blazer and beard did. During his whisky-fumed “folk comedy,” as he called it, I wondered briefly if we would hear more than one song, but it didn’t bother me—I love a good belly laugh as much as the next girl. Tuck talked of the old times, like a good folk singer should, and sang about his “brother from another mother.”
Al Tuck played the Carleton on Oct. 16
Not everyone liked Atlas Sound but not everyone was in the mood to be lulled into a trance. He sang sometimes, once or twice—did he sing words? None I recognized. Could his music be called songs? It’s up for debate. But there was music resonating up to the peaked ceiling in St. Matthew’s Church on Wednesday night. And I was floating up there with it.
Atlas Sound played St. Matthew’s Church on Oct. 17
At the end of the night, our bitter curmudgeonly server at the Carleton said Gianna Lauren made him sick—“didn’t anyone tell her she’s not cool anymore?” But he didn’t get it. Lauren sang about marmalade on toast like someone died and her bright red guitar clashed with her crocheted pinafore. She opened the floor up to questions as she shoved her humungous glasses into place. Lauren’s never been cool: that’s why she’s so rad.
Gianna Lauren played the Carleton on Oct. 16
Jon Mckiel didn’t worry about decipherable lyrics on Friday night and it’s not surprising because his pants were bright red and because his music was so slow and loud it made more sense without words. Mckiel’s probably one of those loudly silent brooders who isn’t very good at putting thoughts into words but is such a heavy thinker you feel his thoughts.
Jon Mckiel played Gus’ Pub on Oct. 19
-Meagan Deuling, Assistant Arts Editor
The roadie affixes a disco skull with glowing red eyes to the top of the stage. That’s how you know The Black Lips are about to play. It starts to spin, maybe through some dark magic, but by its regularity it’s electrical. The Lips, at least, cultivate a little dark mythology: rumours of a drunken recording session in Mexico, getting chased out of India for public nudity, and Vice Records music videos do the rest. To their credit, Olympic Hall is sweaty on the last night of the Pop Explosion with flower punk and good, gritty vibes throughout. When guitarist Cole Alexander unleashes a hawk-like screech, band members wave spirit fingers over the crowd as if they are casting some voodoo spell—and well, maybe they are.
-Andrew Mills, Arts Editor