Sybil: Alright, so we just got out of Hank and Lily at the Pawn Shop, a band from Victoria, BC, a duet, dabbling in a ton of different genres. Their whole premise is that they have two characters that are based off of their comics and they emulate them on stage while developing different styles of music that acts as the soundtrack to these comics. I really didn’t know what to expect going in to the show but the night started out pretty good with some great openers.
K Trent: Yes, a far cry from the headliners but they started the show with Edmontonian, David Finkleman, CJSR DJ and member of at least a couple punk group around town that I’m aware of. Soloing with a whole pile of equipment, much of which I’ve never seen before, some really antique stuff. Not sure what he was sampling or processing or what exactly was going on but he made a whole mess of noise most of which sounded absolutely great to my ears. Definitely a mixed reaction from the crowd at Pawn Shop as abrasive, noisy, loud sound will tend to do to plenty of people.
Sybil: From him we went on to George Ireland and the Willy Nilly’s, who were also amazing, very rockabilly, folk, gospel, lots of distortion. He has had a few different revolving bands in the past, I believe himself and the mandolin players are the only original band members. That being said this ensemble was fantastic, washboard and all. I was able to speak with the lovely lady who plays the washboard after the show and stated that, washboard, cowbell and the saw are all such undervalued instruments which unfortunately don’t showcased and so much more in the case of such an enthusiastic washboard player. They work really well together and I just wanted to tap dance all night to whatever they could throw at us.
K Trent: Everybody did, and everybody was, it was good.
Sybil: And David Finkleman was awesome, I kind of thought I was following what was going on at one point and then I felt as though my ears were being raped for a time somewhere in the middle there but that was the point.
K Trent: It was loud it was abrasive but that’s the nature of that type of free improvised electronic music.
Sybil: And there were so many different levels both openers had mixed media so amazing backgrounds going on, and visual effects that tied into the esthetic of the show in its entirety. It’s always great to see artists coming together and using their space and what they have as an environment to propagate what their trying to do or how they try to communicate to their audience. And then after all that…
K Trent: It all went to a completely different level.
Sybil: Too true, I didn’t know what to expect from Hank and Lily, I had really only heard things online and it really doesn’t do them justice. I was so enthralled, they are just so charming, their characters and how they’ve development them. They hold true to their punk rock, steam punk esthetic and they’re not going to let that go, even in the pop music, goggles and everything, the way they sing and present their music. It’s great that they don’t compromise that and can still develop as artists. It gets weird but in a good way.
K Trent: It was capes and sequins and cod pieces and lucedor mask weird. It was the best kind of weird. There were choreographed dancers, in pig snouts eating ham off of a platter, at one point, just wonderful.
Sybil: Hasselhoff made an appearance. They were just all around good artists and entertainment. And in all honesty and as crude as this may sound you can give me a talented man in a skin tight crushed white velvet onesie any day of the week and that’s perfectly alright with me.
For more info on the bands we talked about see the links below.
By Sybil Blavinskeya and K. Trent Hamwater