Sunday, April 10, 2016

RIP Tony Conrad

I met Tony Conrad once, briefly. One day in 2006, I discovered that I could see three Nomeansno shows, in Hamilton, Waterloo I think, and Toronto, and one Jandek show (Toronto) in the course of one week, if I took one wee little plane trip and cadged a favour from some fellow Nomeansno fans, who let me crash on their couch. Then I discovered, while I was actually in Toronto, that Tony Conrad - a legend in the world of minimalist drone and American avant-garde music - was playing just up the street from Nomeansno at the Horseshoe, with a set that finished in plenty of time for me to get across town to see Nomeansno (I had to miss out on Ford Pier, I think, to do that, but, sorry, Ford, I'd seen you twice that week already!). As I remember, I had to overcome a sense of unreality, to actually attend the show; it seemed so weird to me that I could see Tony Conrad that I almost didn't go. But in some ways it was the most striking show I saw that week (though having seen Nomeansno a bunch of times before, in Vancouver, was a factor; I mean, I only ever saw Mr. Conrad once).

Anyhow, I wrote about the trip in some detail here - a piece of writing from ten years ago, now, which I don't really remember but will look at again myself when I have more time. Rest in peace, Mr. Conrad. (And note, folks, that his Outside the Dream Syndicate recordings with Faust have just been reissued on vinyl!).

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