Shine on you crazy, er, fuck Buttons – Toronto Review

May 22, 2010 at 11:39 am (Uncategorized)

The road to Wednesday’s Fuck Buttons show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto was long and complicated. 

My first introduction to the band was a “Best of” CD by Uncut which featured the marvellous Surf Solar from the Tarot Sport album.  If you haven’t heard the track, it’s a great mix of pounding beats, scratches, and assorted noise. I got a copy of the album, and the rest is pretty good too. 

A couple of months back I was in Soundscapes and wanted to pick up tickets for the She and Him show in June. Unfortunately, thee show wa sold out, and not wanted to leave empty-handed, I bought a ticket for the Fuck Buttons show instead (I know the jump from She and Him to Fuck Buttons is a big one, but sue me, I have eclectic musical tastes) 

Come Wednesday night, I was suffering from allergies and a summer cold, but I managed to drag myself out to the show. Late. I arrived at about 10:15 just in time to catch the end of the Hounds of Hate set. Hard to form an opinion since I saw so little of  their set, but the audience seemed to enjoy it. I listened to their songs at their myspace page , but wasn’t particularly thrilled, but I did like the description: dropout boogie.  

Fuck Buttons show began at 10:45 with Surf Solar. Good way to start, but immediately I noticed a few problems. First, it was LOUD. Not usually a problem, but halfway through my forties, hearing loss from loud music is a bit more of a concern than in previous years. Second, it was hard to see. Now that’s not usually I problem. The Horsehoe has good sight lines, and i’m tall, but when the band is hunched over turntables and keyboards, all you get is the occasional flash of a band member’s head. Add that to the fact that they didn’t interact with the audience, and you’re developing some feelings of alienation.   (The low lighting also meant that none of my pictures turned out really well) 

Another grainy shot

I retreated to the back of the club and sprawled on one of the couches (I may have dozed off for a bit). 

The show chugged along with more of the same.  Surging, swirling sounds, with industrial noises added in, but I couldn’t help feeling that I might have got the same effect if I just turned my iPod up really loud. The live concert experience should be something different from the record, even if the record is pretty cool (Street Horrrsing is pretty good too). 

 The crowd was still bopping along when I left. Maybe it was just me.

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