Photo by Danielle Petrosa
And now in at the end of 2013, Canadian Dan Boeckner is once again paling around our fair city. At least that was the aura of the unveiling of Operators, a new project Mr. Boeckner has with Sam Brown, the Columbus Minister of being a professional drummer and a musical Statesman as well. To create repeated anomaly context aside from saying the Divine Fits have spawned a project now that a new Spoon record calls Brit Daniels away; Dan Boeckner’s other projects include Wolf Parade, and the Handsome Furs. When I say Sam Brown, of course you must also think Gaunt, New Bomb Turks, V-3, the Sun, RJD2, and Anna Ranger. When I say Devojka you should say, “how do I pronounce that,” and ask “whom” and then will later say ‘oh the tall female keyboardist of Operators.’ I say all of that to say this: Double Happiness felt really intimate, and almost “house partyish” for the second performance of Operators. (The other show was in San Jose.) I have bought Wolf Parade records in my life with the same desire that I had when I purchased Arcade Fire, so the evening's intimate transparency was surprising. I missed it when Divine Fits played at Ace of Cups, so I can say I did not know what to expect from the indie rock super-group’s new tangent. I was pleasantly surprised that Operators brought it very informal and fun. You could compare the sound to Handsome Furs in terms of synths and howls. But you would subtract the any guitar from the Handsome Furs sound, and instead add drums please. There would be long tangents of keyboard progressions that augmented the complete electronic primitiveness of the moment that were made lively with the adeptness of the live percussion. At some point Devojka was steady with the synth, Boeckner was using various peddles and noise makers to build up the dance-noise steam and then Sam Brown tapped out the highs under the electronic mesmerization with a cymbal, that hovered on top of a drum and not a stand, for a moment of clarity. In addition to danceable musical tangents, and Boeckner’s Bowiesque vocals meets a punk imitating the Boss; in the Canucks stage presence there was also an amiable humility. Boeckner made banter about LSD, whippets and how much he loved opening band Connections. Devojka said Boeckner’s mother would not want to hear that. And Boeckner then said whippets and LSD did not actually exist, and asked if Ohio could keep a secret. Mr. Boeckner’s mother, if you read this, your son was joking, and please check out our anti-fracking articles elsewhere and you will see your son is in good company. Another event that was foreshadowing for the future was the All Dogs' 7 inch release party at the Carabar on Saturday. All Dogs were on the eve of a tour with Waxahatchee. Their 7 inch was released on Salinas Records. Their drummer, Jesse Wither’s previous band, Delay, put a record out on that label which also released Swearin’s self-titled CD. All Dogs seems to be at the place where Plan It X meets Pitchfork. You can cringe at the sentence but it’s more about explaining the All Dog’s context than intent. Maryn Jones of All Dogs is also in Saintsenaca who are signed to Anti-Records. So being off the radar but popular like Delay probably isn’t in the cards. To be honest, I expected to greet All Dogs with a hometown curve and some “cool to see people that played at the Monster House having a go at it but this is not the type a music a grown-ass man listens to.” Normally, I don’t listen to bike pop-punk DIY but I support it if I believe in the people. All Dogs were pleasantly surprising. Maryn Jones’s guitar had the right layer of reverb or distortion or something to create a slight haze with the chord progressions over Amanda Bartley’s bass, Withers drumming and under her singing. I am not saying they sounded like the Melvins or Dinosaur Jr. or anything like that, but the sound had more texture than you would expect from a do-gooder pop-punk group. The songs had depth and the song-writing did not make me go home and bump Action Bronson to assert my machismo. I will also say that I am willing to bet every member of All Dogs is against fracking.

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