Justin Vernon and I have been in a musical relationship since Fall 2007. A boy I was dating at the time casually mentioned he was keen to see a group called Bon Iver at the Horseshoe Tavern, which holds approximately 400 people. I remember checking out his Myspace page that night to check out this new band I’d never heard of and for some reason, this was my first impression of the group:
After looking at that photo, I wasn’t too concerned about missing anything, so I passed on seeing the gig. Fast forward four or five months to March 2008, Bon Iver returned to Toronto opening for Black Mountain, this time Lee’s Palace and to a sold out crowd. While I don’t remember it quite well now, it’s really comforting to refer back to my former self. After reading that mess of thoughts, I really see the importance of reviews and recording my memories at memorable and not-so-memorable concerts.
Fast forward even further to 2013, and Vernon has now dipped his toes into music making with Bon Iver, Gayngs, Volcano Choir, Kanye West, Kathleen Edwards and the Shouting Matches. Which brought me to the thought today, does this man ever sleep?
I had the pleasure of seeing Gayngs play Coachella back in 2011. It was an unexpected surprise that now two years later, I have only come to really treasure. I found this video a few days ago and have been listening to it on repeat:
The super group is comprised of members of Bon Iver, Poliça, Megafaun and Glasser to name a few. They’re sorta the Broken Social Scene of the American Mid-West. The most memorable instance of that gig was when Har Mar Superstar came out and sang George Michael’s “One More Try” with the band. Thankfully, I had already been familiarized with the weird that is Har Mar Superstar back in 2008 opening for Sia, so I knew what was in store. He came out in a white cape that looked like a bed sheet he stole from the hotel he was staying at.
In reading some comments about Gayngs, I’ve read a bunch of critics on how the band is one part serious and one part farce. There’s something mega cheesy about the ’80s and the synthetic sound that was treasured in that period, but somehow, Justin Vernon has managed to revive it tastefully. I say Vernon because he’s done the ’80s in more than one project.
So with my affair with the music of Justin Vernon revealed, I am over the moon excited for a new album by the Volcano Choir, titled Repave. The picture below is the album’s art work, a photograph by Corey Arnold.
And this little teaser:
And a Toronto gig at the Phoenix September 8.