Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Peelander-Z at The Silver Dollar in Toronto
Frank YangPeelander-Z means many things to many people – Japanese Power Ranger-suited comic punks to some, incomprehensibly entertaining novelty act to others, and plain incomprehensible to the rest. To me, they mean the Hot Freaks! shows at The Mohawk in Austin, Texas, which were the highlights of SxSWs past. Those days are probably over and gone, however, so it was very obliging of them to come up to Toronto for two shows last week and help craft some new memories.
This was their first time back in town in a decade – a fact I found remarkable because it meant they’d been DOING what they do for 10 years plus – and while I’m a double-dose of Peelander would have been doubly entertaining, I opted to go to the second of the shows at The Silver Dollar simply because it was closer to home and seemed like a more climbable venue than The Velvet Underground and with better human bowling lanes. Besides making up for an extended absence from Canada, they were previewing their new record P-TV-Z, due out September 28, and really – do you need an excuse to dress up and engage in the sort of bedlam that Peelander do? No, I don’t think you do.
As far as the performance went, it was pretty much everything you could hope for. For the hour that they were on stage (and off the stage), there was the giant squid costume, nose picking, human bowling, replacing the band with audience members, singalongs, limbo, jump rope, conga lines, so many Mikes, and while the Silver Dollar isn’t nearly as conducive to scaling and surfing as The Mohawk, Peelander Red still managed to crowd surf upright onto the bar and back to the stage. Very impressive. And while there’s a temptation to assume the music comes secondary to the antics, just a little attention reveals that they’re capable and versatile musicians. I mean, YOU try playing bass while dressed as a giant squid guitar. Not that easy, is it. But most importantly, Peelander-Z are fun beyond words and utterly unique. And this show was better than the last one at the Mohawk in that Peelander Green didn’t feel compelled to chuck a drumstick at me this time.
Photos: Peelander-Z @ The Silver Dollar – September 2, 2010
MP3: Peelander-Z – “E-I-E-I-O”
MP3: Peelander-Z – “S.T.E.A.K.”
MP3: Peelander-Z – “Rocket Gold Star”
MP3: Peelander-Z – “Champion”
MP3: Peelander-Z – “Panda Punk”
Video: Peelander-Z – “E-I-E-I-O”
Video: Peelander-Z – “Ninja High Schooool”
Video: Peelander-Z – “S.T.E.A.K.”
Video: Peelander-Z – “Mad Tiger”
Belle & Sebastian are previewing two songs from their new record Write About Love via a 30-minute talk show webisode; sounds like it’s going to be a winner, folks. The album is out October 12 and they play Massey Hall the same evening. The first MP3 from the album is supposed to be made available today as well. Update: The track is now available email-widget-swapsies-style.
Unbelievably, The Charlatans’ North American tour in support of Who We Touch, out next Tuesday, is due to begin tonight in Atlanta and they still haven’t cancelled it. They might even already be on this side of the Atlantic! Perhaps flush with confidence that the apocalypse isn’t imminent, they’ve scheduled an in-store at Sunrise Records on Yonge St at 7PM next Friday, September 17, before their show at Lee’s Palace later that evening. And they’ve just released a new video from said record, which is apparently quite decent.
I didn’t pay much attention to Pitchfork’s Top 200 Tracks of The ’90s series last week, save for skipping to the end on Friday and going, “huh”, but their just-posted ’90s In Lists piece was equal parts hilarious, nostalgic, depressing and terrifying – the last one mostly because that, right there, is my high school and university years and it was so so so so long away. The only thing that’s going to be more depressing today – god willing – is biking to work past the hordes of 17-year old frosh starting at the University Of Toronto who have no clue about 90% of the stuff in those lists. Hello, kids! I’m twice your age! Get off my lawn!