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Connoisseurs of Porn

Resonancity, Buzz Records and Dan Burke present CMW with smoke and grime at the Comfort Zone

BAD PARTY

Saturday, March 24 will be a landmark day for Resonancity. That’s the day we extend our reach from the comfortable confines of the internet to the sinister, oft-raided, and, if we’re being totally honest, kind of creepy (but awesome) Comfort Zone. The infamous den of iniquity will be the setting of our very first live Resonancity showcase, a Canadian Music Week bill of skuzzy, attention-grabbing rock and roll.

Resonancity and CMW may seem like strange bedfellows, but we’ve found a way to fit our skewed attitude into the industry-friendly festival schedule. We started this website with a simple goal: to spotlight the beautiful, heavy and often strange bands hiding in plain site, beneath the often-covered, usually PR-assisted batch of boilerplate pop-rock that hogs most of the media attention. How did we reconcile that mindset with a festival whose major coup is reuniting Treble Charger and I Mother Earth?

That’s simple: We teamed up with Dan Burke. Never one to settle for the safe choice, the legendary Toronto promoter collaborated with us and scrappy local DIY label Buzz Records to come up with a lineup that would sidestep the temptation of mediocrity. Burke initially started his NeXT series as a direct challenge to CMW, but the event eventually picked up enough steam that the festival wisely incorporated it into its own schedule.

Burke’s managed to raise as much hell from within, and credit CMW for letting him and a few other left-of-centre promoters to follow their own vision, but even he’s unsure how we managed to sneak this one under the CMW (CMF?) umbrella. While big-name breadwinners like Passion Pit and Atlantic Records Rolling Stone cover stars the Sheepdogs are hobnobbing at the Royal York’s “Indie” Awards, we’ll be tucked below the Waverly Hotel with a five-band lineup that might be a bit off, but definitely won’t be forgettable. No one’s going to pick up a sponsorship deal or record contract here, but if you’re looking for a good time then this will be the place to park for the night.

Post-industrial noisemakers Bad Party have a reputation for crowd-disturbing antics in their live shows (which might be why they’re so rare), and since they’re visiting from Detroit they have a total blank slate.

We’ve also managed to snag Absolutely Free for their third hometown show. You may recognize the guys as four-fifths of Resonancity-favourites DD/MM/YYYY. Their new incarnation brings the same percussive, instrument-switching fervour, but with less focus on spazzy popcraft and more on gorgeous, spacey drone.

Buzz Records kindly lent us one of their house (or, more accurately, Garage) bands, Connoisseurs of Porn. As you may glean from the moniker, these Captain Beefheart, Mr. Bungle worshipping youngsters are less about blog-friendly renown and more about glorious dissonance, with some skewed melodic songcraft poking underneath the jagged edges.

Skitso-Convo have rebranded under the less Googleable name, Cellphone, but they’re the same loveably noisey-but-danceable electro-horror-punks they’ve always been.

The bill is filled out by one more mystery act that we’re excited to share, but we can’t announce them until closer to the show date. We can tell you they’re a attitude-filled bunch of shit-kicking punks that have been making a lot of noise (both literally and figuratively) on the Toronto scene.

CMW Preview: Connoisseurs of Porn debut Re-Gifted Fruit

Gearing up for our first Resonancity showcase at the Comfort Zone this Saturday has us very excited. We stand behind every band on the bill, though we know none of them are exactly industry-friendly. So, starting today and running every weekday up until the show, we’ve decided to give you a preview of each band. Today, we start with local noise-makers Connoisseurs of Porn.

The band first caught our attention for their abrasive, angular, but often strangely catchy compositions, the glorious sound of three bored kids making noise in a garage and accidentally stumbling on some excellently skewed noise-pop nuggets. That’s what caught our attention, but it’s probably not what caught yours. No, that’s most likely their band name.

CoP are built for overstuffed festivals like CMW because, outside of listening to each and every band on the schedule, sometimes you have to resort to blindly reading band names. We don’t think we’re exaggerating to say that Connoisseurs of Porn is one of the more arresting ones on the schedule. (And who knows what kind of spam this site is going to attract after this post?)

According to guitarist Greg Keefe, they chose the name for the exact reason you probably think: they thought it was funny. But, intentionally or not, the moniker eventually penetrated deeper into the band’s aesthetic.

“It…captures something significant both in the ways we relate to music and life,” he says. “Porn is fucked up. Mainstream porn in particular is interesting both in that it’s this weird exaggerated/deranged display of sexuality and yet despite this it is still extremely formulaic. In this respect it seems like a good metaphor for what seems like a lot of posturing that occurs both throughout the music scene and as a more general phenomenon in life. We have the experience of operating on the fringes (both in music and in life) and with this comes a sort of voyeurism – this shit seems ridiculous from the outside. Who knew ass-to-mouth could become derivative?”

The band started when the three members – Keefe, Grant Spooner and Chris Thomas – moved into a house together, mistakenly believing that would inspire musical productivity. Instead it led to drinking, noisemaking and eventually “[making] enemies with the neighbours and the police,” which, somewhat predictably, forced them into a rehearsal space.

From there, they started taking things seriously – not too seriously of course, but enough to produce two short releases – The Peasant Terror/Chicken 7” and the I’m Bored EP – both of which display their knack for strange but compelling weirdo-rock, reminiscent of all of rock’s favourite eccentrics: the Jesus Lizard, Captain Beefheart and Mike Patton, among others.

They’ve also just finished recording their latest EP, Falling Down The Stairs, and is kindly letting us debut the first song. According to Keefe, the EP is the result of “playing the shit out of songs for a really long time then trying to capture a really good version them.” So, without further ado, here is the internet premiere of “Re-Gifted Fruit”: