Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever
Exploding Pigs/The Pine Tarts/The Ex-Boyfriends

@ HIFI Club

January 10, 2008


Cabin fever. Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, confined indoor area. This sounds like, essentially, what Calgary’s rocknrollers have been suffering from after an extremely long bout of holiday shows in dark wooden Canadiana-inspired venues such as Broken City and The Palomino Social Club. This past Saturday, the HIFI Club opened up its doors to those “bohemian hipsters” which normally frequent the bars mentioned above. Featuring fantastic inspirational wolf projections, the disc-jockey stylings of the evercurrent Noah York, and the club kid photographs of New York’s Scott Furkay, Saturday night’s partiers were treated to an entirely adult downtown atmosphere. Which, of course, one should enjoy once and a while.

Those spontaneously combusting meatpackers, Exploding Pigs opened the night up with classically gyrating hips, winks to the crowd, and incredibly distasteful lyrics. Front man Mark Igglesden’s use of percussion instruments really is quite impressive. Everything from a mariachi, to a tambourine, to a kazoo that apparently doesn’t work but is brought along to every show relentlessly, is employed to create a hilarious stage show. However, the average audience member doesn’t always realize the mass wisdom and musical genius behind each and every Exploding Pigs song. For cryin’ out loud, “Kooky Kooky” is more than just a one-hit wonder. It’s truly an iconic testimonial of the unending appreciation and love men have for homemade porn videos.

Recently turned all-boy band, the glorious Pine Tarts hit the velvet-curtained stage next. With pulsing guitar riffs and sweet-as-salt lyrics, lead singer Jesse Powell fiercely plowed through their set list, as well as the hearts of the superfans that littered the crowd. Not looking back once, the Tarts played a couple older favourites, some instrumental splendors, and some brand spanking new sonnets hopefully due out on their next release. As per usual, man-about-town Scott Macklam crawled on stage to hand deliver Pine Tarts records and handcrafted t-shirts to the merch-hungry mob.

Heartthrob rockers The Ex-Boyfriends started their set in a rather shy subdued manner, only to break out moments later into crowd-engaging movements. Djewel launched himself several times into the crowd serenading them blindly whilst the backing band posed in various erotic stances. The phrase “Be my boyfriend again!” was uttered several times during the rock explosion, but I could never quite get a glimpse of whom this regretful dumper was. The evening finished off with a rambunctious dance party when all HIFI guests who held back during the live portion of the night descended en masse to the dance floor. All in all, the HIFI provided an elevated sense of sophistication to a crowd most accustomed to a splintered wooden floor, bartender flare, or a cider splashed in the face.

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