Monday, July 11, 2016

Joey Only, the Jolts, and Adstock 2016

After having done a big interview with Rickshaw proprietor Mo Tarmohamed for the Straight, I missed out on Pickwick and No Sinner on Friday; a full week back at work had me exhausted, plus I'd had a long day that very day. Did get to see the Joey Only Outlaw Band there on Saturday, who were very fun! In lieu of words, I will direct you to a cellphone video that I shot (or my interview with him from a couple of weeks ago). Joey has scary eyes when he wants to - he kinda reminds me of Chris Penn at the end of Reservoir Dogs, below - but seems like a super-nice guy; looking forward to his return in October for an album release gig (which may be held up due to a typhoon in Taiwan, which amusingly enough also affected a friend of mine who has gone to teach over there). Nice to check in with Jeff Andrew at the gig, too, but he didn't really have any news... he climbed the Chief in Squamish...
Glad to have caught the Jolts in Maple Ridge at Adstock 2016. They're a great band, who I've been under-appreciating for some time (and more to come on them really soon, actually). I had a hand in suggesting them for the lineup, since I'd caught via Facebook that they were looking for different places to tour and pointed organizer Adam Rayburn at them. But I'm pressed for time, so I'm just going to direct you, again, to a video (who needs music writing, anyhow, when you can just go over to Youtube and check out bands directly?). I'm glad a few people seemed to get into it - for the first couple of songs everyone but me kinda stood back, but (as you'll see in the vid) there were at least a few enthusiastic participants, if not exactly a moshpit. Still: a great set, and the new material (especially "Best One Yet" and "Blasters") was just killer.
Also caught God Said Kill at Adstock, just prior to the Jolts. They prove decisively there's life in nu metal yet, though I gather they identify with metalcore more, or "tech death metal;" hell, I dunno, it didn't seem much like what I think of as death metal, of any sort. In fact, one of the singers had the moves and at least some of the clothes of a rapper, and wouldn't have been out of place sporting gold chains over his soccer duds (actually it looks like he is wearing chains of some sort in the pic below but I don't think it's gold. That's a band shirt he's wearing, too, styled after a sports jersey).
I thought metal was all about brutality and Satan these days (or marijuana and slow heavy blues-wanks, at the other, Sabbathy end of the spectrum), so it was a bit surprising to see this guy bouncing up and down to the music and pumping his arms and mike in the air. My first thought was something like, What is this, Limp Bizkit? But they knew how to get the energy up, and drew an enthusiastic and eager moshpit - including a kid in a Slipknot t-shirt and blue shorts who seemed the very incarnation of their fanbase, and whose enthusiasm through their set made me feel absurdly good (he was one of the three or four moshers in the Jolts clip, too). In many ways, that one kid and how much fun he had were the high point of Adstock for me this year; here's wishing him a kinder future world than I think he's gonna grow up into. And as for God Said Kill, even if their style of metal kind of surprised me, they sure can play; they sounded great, like they should have (or at least could have) been playing a stadium show instead of an open air festival in the sticks. I doubt the way the biz is these days that they'll get their due, but they deserve respect. So: respect.
The strangest bit of the weekend for me involved Space Chimp. I'd seen them on Saturday with the Joey Only Outlaw Band, with their mandolin player having his dreads tied back. "Isn't that the guy from Cornshed?" I thought, whom I always used to watch and think, "Isn't that the guy from the Dreadnoughts?" Then when I arrived at Adstock, they were onstage again, and his dreads were down, and I didn't recognize him at all. "Is this the same band I saw last night?" They sounded the same - a sort of odd cross pollination of American roots music and reggae - but they told me over at the merch table that they'd heard there are are two bands called Space Chimp, which led me to wonder if I might be seeing TWO different bands called Space Chimp, on two different nights, both with a mandolin player. No, it was the same Space Chimp all along, and mandolinist Drew Sexsmith was still Drew Sexsmith, and he was in Cornshed and IS still in the Dreadnoughts. But check this out: Cornshed had played the night before as well, and were missing both Drew and the fiddler that I'd seen at a past Adstock - Tegan Ceschi-Smith - who were the two star players, back then!
I actually had to get Drew to sort me out after their set on all the above. In fact - as was announced at the Rickshaw - Cornshed is going to change their name to reflect their very noticeably different lineup (a fourpiece with vocals and no fiddle at all). I had been excited to show my girl the Cornshed I remembered, but you can't go home again... though Drew says he and Tegan have a new project called Tunesmiths, so there's that...

Really enjoyed Devil in the Woodshack's set at the Joey Only gig, too - very high energy stuff. But it was a couple days ago and I had a couple of rye and 7's and wasn't really thinking too clearly about writing a review later so I got no intelligent things to say about their music. Good to finally have seen them, been wanting to since having written my Westender article on them...

I don't know how many more Adstocks I have in me - my connection to Maple Ridge is pretty tenuous now. But I was glad to go this time. Photo of Tegan from Adstock 2012   (I brought Mom out to that one!).

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