Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Released

I went to this release party last night. Or was it a gig?

It was another thing I was invited to via Facebook. Gee. By joining that website I sure have become active in night life, haven't I? After all - this was my, oh, second time!

I entered this tall, narrow red-brick building on Rideau Street apparently called 'Cafe Dekcaf.' Something extremely loud was emanating from the doors. I went in. And expected something totally different.

I couldn't speak. It was too loud to be heard. To my surprise, it was $17 bucks, not 7. I still asked about this, feeling like an idiot (which the vendor appropriately looked at me as) and hastily paid the money. I only had five dollars and change left.

After standing around for about ten minutes, I took in the scene and felt dumbfounded. No one I recognized was here...the room was filled with small crowds of older, grungier-looking people. Lots of leather. Lots of people who looked like they were into meaner interests. The band on stage was so loud and off-sounding (this wasn't the kind of place the band I'd come to see would perform in, was it?) and I seriously doubted my true whereabouts despite the fact that I'd seen two people I knew from high school just outside the building a minute ago. Where had they gone?

I wandered back into the outer foyer...and then noticed the name of the club on the wall.

'Cafe Dekcaf - second floor, yellow door.' A yellow arrow pointed up a flight of narrow stairs.


I dashed up the stairs, and again felt dumbfounded. I faced a black door. Really? It said on the sign, 'yellow door.' Where was it? Further up the stairs was another black door shaded in darkness. And I'd come far enough up the stairs for this to be the second floor.
Uneasily, I pushed the door inward.

"That'll be $7," a familiar face immediately asked me.
There was the correct price! Okay, I must be in the right place now.

People that I did recognize stood around the dark, sparsely-lit room. I knew because they were shorter, more slender, and wore civilian clothes. What's more, they looked like college students. There we go.

I paid the money (my last five and a toony) and walked around. I met with the band - 'Birthday Girls' - which consisted of three people I knew by sight from high school. There was Lloyd Alexander, drums, and who immediately greeted me with happiness and delight that I came, then Kevin Donnelly, on keyboards (and doesn't he also play a guitar?) who was also happy I came. Finally Kyle Kilbride greeted me, again happy, who played bass guitar and shouted the vocals.

The band itself has an interesting sound - it just consists of the bass, a small electronic keyboard and percussion (drums) plus the vocals. It gives them an advantage of sounding different from other normal bands who would almost always implement a lead guitar. That's what every band before them had - two bands came on prior to them, one called 'Trees' (or Earth, the lead singer had a knack for cracking jokes in between songs), another called 'Modern Superstitions' which consisted of a female vocalist, a lead guitar, bassist and drums, and then finally the major act everyone had been waiting for - the Birthday Girls (I do not capitalize 'the' because, as the band says, every girl in the world at one point is the birthday girl, so just the more generic 'Birthday Girls' keeps them distinctive).
While my taste in music lies elsewhere, I still found their sound pretty cool. It's a good taste of live acts; Loud, forceful bass noise, fast, sometimes off-beat drumming (which I like), and simple yet melodic keyboard bits to tie it together. Throw in some vocals for good measure and it's a fun, danceable act to listen to, and support.

Free cupcakes were available as well, and as much as I would have wanted to, I couldn't get their EP - it was seven dollars, and I'd spent the last majority of that on a Budlight. I was thirsty. There was a photographer on hand as well, and I'm sure she got some amazing shots.
Meeting people I'd known almost all my life was refreshing as well; people I'd known since kindergarten were there. I engaged in a chat with a girl who, on the first day I met her, spent the entire school bus ride punching me in the shoulder to 'push over.' I'd been crammed against the window already. And I was probably five or six years old.
"I haven't gotten around to reading that famous blog of yours, but I will," she said at one point. What? How many people read this anyway?
No, it was a pretty good time. At least I didn't spend the whole night standing around, I talked to people, re-connected with old acquaintances and school friends (all the way from elementary school) and saw a pretty good live act. I can't believe how awed people seem to get when I tell them I wrote an entire novel and keep up a blog like this. I haven't even published it yet. When and if I do, then I will appropriately act awed.

I just don't know how. But anyway. Overall, the night was fun and the sounds were good. Even if it's not necessarily my taste in music, I am happy to support and appreciate it. I like the band. I like the music. I like the camaraderie I have with people my own age - my generation - and what they're into, which is this fantastic band.
We all danced. We all jumped. We all sang with'em.

Justin C.

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