Monday, March 08, 2004

Removal at The Brickyard, March 5
It seems like half a decade since I’ve been to the Brickyard, but it hasn’t changed much. They must have done some soundproofing as a courtesy to the neighbourhood, because out on the sidewalk I couldn’t hear a thing even though Dollar Store Jesus, a three-piece with a debilitating Nirvana hangover, were going full bore inside. Smash and I heard DSJ’s last few songs – meh. I was more interested in Smash’s new futuristic microelectronic MP3 recording thing, which is the size of a Bic lighter. I might have to get one. If I can hook it up to my phone call recording device it’ll be perfect for interviews.

Who’s that on stage now? Chi Pig? It has to be; no one else is that damn wiry. As soon as he started hollering, I knew for sure. I don’t think I’ve seen him since I caught The Wongs opening for The Screaming Trees at the Commodore a helluva long time ago. His new band is called Slaveco, and they were pretty entertaining. Musically they weren’t too different from SNFU, and Chi’s antics—climbing on and off the stage, getting in people’s faces, playing with an assortment of masks, hand puppets and other props—haven’t changed much. Even if the songs weren’t immediately memorable, catching Slaveco’s set was a nice bonus to the evening.

I need a handy catchphrase to describe Removal, but I can’t come up with one. They’re a trio and they play instrumentals that sound like Rush or Metallica strained through a punk rock filter to remove the fatty verses and solos. Tonight they posted a sign behind the drums that read, “Sorry, the projector is broken” to explain the lack of the traditional slide show during their set. The music had to do even more of the talking than usual. Removal rejects the tyranny of song titles, so I can only say that they played the fast one, the faster one, a few new ones, that really tricky one, and that really catchy one. And also “Frankenstein.” If I can suggest a cover tune for the future, I’d like to see them do “Hocus Pocus.” They could sample the yodelling same as they sample the synth bits in “Frankenstein.” The band was super tight and heavy, and more people should have been there to see them.

After the show, their drummer, spotting Smash’s Voivod shirt, mentioned that they’ve recorded a song with Snake for their guest vocalist 7-inch series. They’re just trying to collect enough funds to press and release it. Smash and I did our bit for the cause, loading up on mass merch.

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