Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ticket/CD Giveaway & Review: Slim Twig @ Horseshoe Tavern, 29 May.

First, I review Slim Twig’s new album, Contempt!, then I tell you about the ticket + CD giveaway.

Back in October I included Slim Twig (band and man) on my list of the top 10 hottest Canadian bands of 2008. The local Toronto weeklies are big fans, too. To wit: this, and this. But the success of Slim Twig was never a given. His music is . . . weird. Which is part of the point. Slim has little patience for most of the “indie” music being produced today. Even a perfunctory listen to his discography will make this abundantly clear. Recent releases include two EPs put out by Paperbag RecordsVernacular Violence and Derelict Dialect—in 2008, this debut full-length, and an EP (Spit It Twig!) featuring previously unreleased material and remixes of tracks off of Contempt! (Download that last one for free here.)

Slim Twig makes unnerving, boundary breaking music with an urban, futuristic, and retro (yes, both) vibe. His gutsy sonic experimentations layered on traditional rock lines are not for everyday—at least not for me—but when I’m in the mood for something different, I know where to turn. There’s an interesting interplay between old and avant garde in Contempt!, and the band handles theme repetition extremely well. Yet this isn’t free-for-all experimental, new age, art-school noise: Slim Twig’s got pop-rock (and hip hop) sensibilities. The new album won’t do anything to win over the masses, but as the word spreads the musically-bored should take note.

This is an album with attitude, and one that gets better with repeated listening. His music evokes the sights, smells, and characters of a city core, but not the downtown most of us experience. “Hidden” is both futuristic and old-school; “Phantasm Inquest” is avant garde, carnal, poetic, disturbing, obsessive. I can see songs like “Alley Spying,” “Mansion Haunting,” and others showing up on soundtracks of gritty films about urban life. Some of his soundscapes are just downright eerie, and earnestly so. The abrupt ending of “Spirit Hunting”—and of the album—is fitting. The window into Slim Twig’s bizarre mind has been closed. The sun’s come up and it’s time to move on. Or go back and listen all over again.

Download: “Young Hussies” (Contempt!, 2009).
Download: “Phantasm Inquest” (Contempt!, 2009).
Download: “Birthing & Birthing" (Derelict Dialect, 2008).
Download: “Brothl Hunting” (Vernacular Violence, 2008).

The Toronto release party for Contempt! is happening Friday, 29 May, at the Horseshoe Tavern. The night will feature a set by Slim Twig with his band, a set of covers featuring Slim Twig performing with members of $100, Actual Water, The Creeping Nobodies, and Huckleberry Friends, and opening the show will be Wyrd Visions. Broken Tree Fort and Tropics (Slim’s other band) will also appear. This unique show will not be for the musical faint of heart, but those of us keen on the weirder end of the post-rock spectrum should enjoy the experience. Thanks to No Shame, I’ve got a pair of tickets to the show AND a copy of the new CD to give away. For a chance at them, e-mail me at historyjenATgmailDOTcom with “Slim Twig” in the subject line. Please include your full name in the message, and get this to me by 11:59pm on Wednesday, 27 May.

Fine Print: Slim Twig (CD release) feat. Slim Twig & the Young Hussies (playing covers), Slim Twig & the Mercy Mercenaries, Wyrd Visions, and others @ The Horseshoe Tavern, 9pm, $10. 19+.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think slim twig's biggest problem is his singing. He's a terrible singer. His music is also the usual art school ponce. There are a million bands that sound just like slim twig all around america. So why do people keep focusing on how WEIRD he sounds.