There were many events that marked my experience of In the Soil 2018: a very notable one was Fat Moth performing in the NAC space on the Saturday evening, with all the expected energy and joy that they bring to their performances. My playlist has a number of their songs on permanent rotation (‘When, not if, you go’, ‘Smith’ and ‘For Thom: Dancing Loons’ were all part of my Welland Walking Playlist this Winter), all dating from their NAC TCO Terrace performance last September.
That event at NAC was also not solely music, and the Fat Moth Release Party w/ Road Waves & The Boo Radley Project at Oddfellows Temple in downtown St. Catharines will also offer a multi sensory experience. On Saturday, May 11th at 36 James Street y’all can catch what will surely be one of the finest shows of the year, and tickets can be purchased here.
Local videographer and documentary filmmaker Stacy Koudys will be debuting a music video that evening, that also involves local artist Geoff Farnsworth, whom designed the tickets for this happening. In a continuation of the grass roots ‘make it happen’ aesthetic that has defined Fat Moth (and the strong support for, and from, the community), every aspect of this show is DIY. Everything from the aforementioned ticket design, to ticket printing and posters, lighting, sound gear, room design, band coordination, bar tending and door hires and venue rental. To quote Jon Lepp: “There’s a lot of risk and work involved in making a unique experience in the city…..Thankfully, Road Waves are also collaborating in this, and Ji Sharp Yehia is a machine.”
Fat Moth’s debut LP “Tall Tales and
Tricks” will be released in June, and this will be a teaser of what
to expect of their latest release. Oddfellows is an active space in
the city, and has emotional resonance for Fat Moth, as not only did
they hold their very first show there, but also released their first
EP in that wonderfully historic and a bit odd (in a good way) space.
Its a site that is a landmark of the community support that defines
Fat Moth, with a sense of ‘home’ implicit in the second storey space.
Doors will open at 8 PM, and the show is licensed / all ages; a very
reasonable $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
I’ll offer their own words: “Fat Moth is a high energy, 7-piece band based in St. Catharines, Ontario. Their outer space guitar playing, three-part vocal harmonies and hypnotic rhythm section tips the hat to elements of Folk Rock, Psych, Prog and Americana that’s sure to get them toes a’ tappin’ and bodies a’ sweatin’.” The performance at Oddfellows is a precursor to how, over the Summer of 2019 Fat Moth will “tour their debut LP Tall Tales and Tricks from Ontario to the East coast.” Further information / images / teasers to whet your appetite for May 11th can be found at Spotify and Instagram.
Ah, but let us not forget Road
Waves , out of that rust belt wonderland with a veneer of neon
tourism that is Niagara Falls. Listen to them on Spotify:
and like Fat Moth, in attempting to describe their music in words
seems to not do either justice, so #artcriticfromhell will
(appropriately, ahem) defer to RW’s descriptor: “The adventurous
nature of Road Waves makes it a challenging task to define the
eclectic four-piece with a huge dose of energy. Touching on the roots
of funk, blues, rock, and jazz, their shows make for an exciting
exploration and connection where performer and listener become one.
Road Waves is on their 3rd major tour supporting their latest album,
Red Sun Rising.” Road Waves’ Red Sun Rising can be found on all
streaming platforms, as well, and (like everyone cool, ahem) you can
check them out on Instagram.
Rounding out the playlist is The Boo Radley Project: “Hailing from Elora/Guelph ON, The Boo Radley Project is an eight piece (and sometimes larger depending on who is in town) genre-bending collective that fuses funk, indie, jazz and literary prowess. They’ve been likened to everyone from Tower of Power and Mr. Bungle to The Cat Empire and Wilco. But really, they’re just Boo, a ragtag group of brothers serving up a quirky, fresh approach to music.”
The Oddfellows is a fine space to enjoy music, and a venue that isn’t staid but with its acoustics and character is a living space that seems to respond to, or enhance, the performers who fill the room (literally and with their voices and songs). Your intrepid #artcriticfromhell has been your trusted guide with In the Soil, and with a number of other cultural events, and I’ll amend my slogan of #buymoreart to #buymorelocalmusic. Do it. I’ll see you there.
Bart Gazzola (also known as #artcriticfromhell) is an arts writer/critic who has published with Magenta Magazine, Canadian Art, New Art Gazette, Galleries West, PrairieSeen, Long Exposure and BlackFlash (where he was Editorial Chair for 3 years). He is Assistant Editor at thesound.rocks and a frequent contributor to various cultural spaces in Niagara.