Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Use Ether To Subdue Robber

Montreal's newest Great White Hope for pop redemption, the Silly Kissers, will be launching their new 10" Precious Necklace this Friday in the definitely unromantic concrete-bunker of the Torn Curtain. Along for the ride will be Grimes (that's Claire Boucher, who just released a cassette of her own), and Pop Winds. I've already covered the Silly Kissers and Grimes, as well as the solo work of Sean Nicholas Savage in previous posts (here, here and here), so my focus right now is the trio Pop Winds, who seem to be cut from the same cloth as Air France, Lemonade, Tanlines as well as other Sincerely Yours groups: re-formatting Afro-Caribbean poly-rhythms for the less-than-temperate regions of the earth. As superficial as the sampling or adopting of these 'tropical riddims' might be, it's nothing to get your Bermuda shorts in a bunch about - it's pop music, and it rarely gets as lyrically distasteful as 10cc's Dreadlock Holiday or the Bill Wyman song I posted yesterday (Je Suis en Rock Star). If anything, the song that comes to my mind is Siouxsiee & The Banshees' Hong Kong Garden.

So yes, fine, there are the vocal acrobatics and loops of Animal Collective, and those rhythms, but the sentiments and songs are expressed through the production and composition techniques of two very much-maligned genres - 80's industrial and goth. Whereas the post-electric explorations of musicians of that time (Death in June, Current 93 et al.) led to them marching in the wilderness of a martial-pastoral folk almost anti-modernist in its adoption of acoustic instruments, Pop Winds are more comfortable with studio technology, and (in so far as I can tell) less inclined to fascist imagery. And yes, we have a saxophone. (Say what you will about the excesses of the sax-drenched 80's, there's a sonic place the instrument occupies that no other instrument can really move around in.)

It's appropriate that a lot of the lofts and re-appropriated workspaces that house these musicians and events are dank, ranging from the cavernous to the claustrophobic. It's the perfect place to dream of tropical escape in the middle of a bleak Montreal winter. If you're in Montreal, you can catch Kyle Bennett, Devon Welsh & Austin Milne of Pop Winds in just such a place this Friday.

UPDATE: Via Twitter, Pop Winds are recording a new full-length right now at Master Tone in Montreal.

Silly Kissers / Grimes / Pop Winds
DJ sets by Why? Alex Why? and Rough Shape.
Friday, February 19th at the Torn Curtain

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