“The hipster trap”: it’s set when a start time is advertised earlier than the actual start of an event because hipsters show up late. The trap was set at 1313 Hollis St. on Saturday, Jan. 26.
At 30 minutes past seven (the advertised start time), the venue is a cold, empty room. Food Fight, the first band, arrives shortly thereafter. Ron Pearson, the father of DA/ A/D, the second performer, starts setting up chairs at 7:45 p.m. Two guests arrive at 7:50 p.m.; they pay the $5 entrance fee. Two hipsters are trapped; they are the only guests who pay.
Food Fight takes the stage when the lead singer arrives; she was on a booze run and had to pick up merch shirts. Homemade, they are hot from the dryer as they are folded and displayed on a small, round table.
The band plays three songs to an audience of 12. They are a three-person band—guitar, drums, shrieker. Fuzzy reverberation from flinchy-pitched blaring guitar cause eardrum-bounce, which echoes, with painful pleasure, through the brain. Krista Kirby’s words are unrecognizable. She grabs at her head while moaning high-pitched syllables. She swings the mic in circles between songs.
D/A A/D is Alex Pearson. His parents sit in the back of the room on a couch. They keep their coats on.
D/A A/D’s instrument is a silver box with gears and dials. His act is more like a play than a musical performance. The play could be about a propeller airplane, heard from below, the distant, persistent, high-frequency hum of an engine. The hum grows higher and higher, then lower, lower—the Doppler effect.
What’s that now? The throb of a helicopter, flying too close! Are they racing? Flying circles around each other? Watch out! Oh, yep, they crash: a helicopter blade clips the plane. What an explosion. Somebody musta dialled 911—sirens fill the air. Soon the painful pitch of the last ambulance fades into the distance and the silence, the blessed silence, is palpable.
Between D/A A/D and Organ Magic the room fills with compliments to Pearson—“great set, man”—and speculation over whether Metatron’s Dick or Weird Click, the headliners, will show. “They’re always late. It’s just another disorganized Halifax show.”
The audience of 17, now, ebbs and flows for piss and smoke breaks. The room smells like marijuana—the front door doesn’t close properly. The air is cold and smoke-tinted.
Everyone leans forward for Organ Magic.
Boots’n’cats’n’boots’n’cats’n’boots’n’cats underneath electric drums and layers of throbbing sound, orchestrated by Magnus von Tiesenhausen and Jesse Mitchell, who lean over opposite sides of a table filled with wires and cords and knobs and dials. Their feet move in unison, some kind of science fiction four-step. The hipster trap transforms into an electric spiderweb with a throbbing heartbeat, encouraging surrender. We succumb, eyes half open, mouths agape, occasionally lifting mickeys of Jagermeister to lips. Organ Magic perform three songs; they perform until their mixer breaks.
Two of the three acts don’t show. Food Fight jumps at the chance to bookend the night. As they set up again, I leave, for the sake of my eardrums. As I depart, a group of red-eyed, cologne-d boys, laptops underarms, mingle in a back corner. Is it Weird Click? Four hours late. Just in time.