by Adria Young
On a beautiful, beautiful Saturday morning, CKDU 88.1 FM and Dave Ewenson hosted the Explosion tradition, Gus’s Brunch. I was helping out and made a run to Sobey’s for Styrofoam cups. On the menu, waffles or burritos, lovingly made by K & L.
And The Graboids kicked things off.
This is how I want to describe The Graboids: I saw them play with BA Johnson a few weeks ago, and someone yells out, “Play a Ramones cover!” and lead Adrian Bruhm replies, “They’re all Ramones covers.” Ha. I mean, they’re not, but if you like The Ramones and that whole sound, you’ll like The Graboids. Plus Adrian runs around with the mic. He went outside to have a smoke mid-song and screamed at people walking down the street. He also sprayed canned whip cream into people’s mouths, and on his own face.
Tyler DJ’d between sets.
THE GRAND WIZZARD GHETTOSOCKS was real fresh, rapped waffles and burritos.
Aaron Mangle and Leigh Dotey played a special COUSINS set including covers of Feist, Dolly Parton, and Port Greville, Nova Scotia’s Construction and Destruction. Leigh and Aaron had great timing and two bass drums. And I was drunk by this point. So I was not as attentive for the Meligrove Band, who played with Chad Van G later that night; they ended with ‘Sheena is a Punk Rocker,’ which was awesome, and kept the 40+ females in the crowd (were they were band member’s moms?) dancing throughout.
I hustled/mosied with my pal Kenton down to The Company House to catch what I thought would be Jon McKiel, for the Saved By Vinyl/Herohill Afternoon BBQ. I missed him by minutes, but I was there in time for Deadhorse. I met the dudes from Deadhorse the night before, through my Calgarian friend Craig, so I was glad to make their set because they seemed like real nice dudes. Well, their band is really cool; with three women and two guys, they have a Mamas and the Papas-meet-the Prairies-and Rubber Soul– vibe. They opened one song by saying it was ‘a Calgary song’ (they’re pitching it as the theme song for the Calgary Stampede) and then all of sudden we were at the rodeo on a hot sunny day and I had a cowboy hat on. My friend from Saskatoon said that’s what all prairie shows are like, and Deadhorse wasn’t kidding around about rock-country, even though it was subtle. Their singer/percussionist had a leather hand-made pouch with slots for each of her five harmonicas. This was Deadhorse’s second time here this year. I hope the Stampede takes their song and I hope they gallop back to NS soon.
Then I had a drunk nap, and missed Jon McKiel again (!). I didn’t have the patience to see Chad Van Gaalen, probably because I saw him a few times this summer and I really wanted a Pepsi. I heard, however, that he was a little surly, and apparently told the crowd he could suck his own dick (nice). And I was hung-over at night, which is a weird and disorienting experience, so I ended Halifax Pop Explosion in my friend Dustin’s studio (Action/Adventure) listening to his audio recordings of Shotgun Jimmie and Dog Day from the night before. It was part of the footage that Mitch at Southern Souls collected at the show, which should soon be available online. To check out most of the Halifax Pop Explosion, keep an eye on southernsouls.ca; tons and tons of shows were filmed.
All I have heard from friends and fellows is how awesome this year’s Explosion was, how much better attended and promoted, how excited all the bands and musicians, and how music is the best fucking thing in the world. Thanks, Pop Explosion.
ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL.