After writing ten or eleven posts gushing excitement for seeing Ty Segall live, I left the gig feeling embarrassed and disappointed. From the first few songs to the very last song, Toronto people, mostly boys, crawled to the front of the lightly supervised pit and crawled on stage. Most took pool-like belly flops into the crowd, but overstayed their welcome by lingering too long or harassing band members. At one point, Ty Segall said “I don’t like that guy.”
Someone pointed out to me that Ty Segall’s music and performance is very unhinged, so the crowd naturally mimics his attitude. I think my hopes were so high for this gig that it surprisingly wasn’t the band that brought me down (they were flawless), it was the crummy audience.
Something that’s always astounded me is looking around the room of a sold out concert, in your home town, to see that you know no one in the room. It’s a weird feeling, but it’s nice. I used to keep music a secret from my friends. If I liked an artist a lot I wouldn’t share it. I’d keep it deep inside of me, my little secret. Going to a show and having this anonymity is a similar feeling… Except I was trapped in my worst nightmare that consisted of shirtless bros with their Calvin Klein boxers showing.
Segall’s recent release Emotional Mugger is album that I enjoy live more than recorded. Watching a live band comprised of crazy talented musicians is such a marvel and is the reason I started this series in anticipation of this gig. Most of the band came out in weird outfits – Kyle Thomas (aka King Tuff) and Cory Hanson (Wand) were both wearing neon orange. Hanson wore bright orange clown-like lipstick and Thomas was in a bright orange jail-like one-piece. My favourite, Mikal Cronin, just had dress shoes and nice pants on. I dig the average guy.
Segall spent a good chunk of the gig wearing his creepy baby mask. It was no surprise to me, but I could tell people were put off. He’s weird.
The set was comprised of more upbeat Ty Segall songs to keep up with the new album.
If you watch the following video and feel your jaw drop or mutter the words … “what the fuck” to yourself, you’re not off. It’s performance art, it’s the neo-music video and I totally dig it. Friday’s gig is going to be so tight.
See this screen shot of Segall making a creepy, Joker-esq grin:
I love and hate getting into a band and realizing all of the amazing shows that I missed. Enter LA-based heavy psychedelic band, Wand. They’ve played at the Smiling Buddha and the Silver Dollar – two small-venue shows I’ve missed.
Two of the band’s three members are playing in Ty Segall’s touring band, The Muggers. Meet Cory Hanson, who plays keyboard and the synthesizer in Segall’s band. While you won’t likely get the chance to hear him sing pretty with the Muggers, but you can hear his Tame Impala-like voice in this video:
King Tuff, aka Kyle Thomas, is from Brattleboro, Vermont. He’s in his early thirties and started making music in his parents’ house. Spin has high praises for his work and even took the time to showcase his 2008 album, Was Dead, in the form of an oral history.
With light hooks and nasal-heavy vocals, King Tuff sounds a bit like Girls.
Tuff’s playing guitar in Ty Segall’s band the Muggers. Pretty excited to see this guy take the lead.
Tim Presley is White Fence. A sweet friend took me to see them play Toronto venue, the Garrison, back in 2014. I didn’t know much about them aside from the psychedelic-charged album, Hair, Presley made with Ty Segall in 2012. The album was meant to be a split EP, but turned into a collaborative album. Presley is currently touring with Segall as a guitarist in his band the Muggers. I am also super sad to find out that I missed opener Cait Le Bon open for his Toronto gig.
Like Segall, Presley seems to have an endless catalogue of music to share.
When Presley’s not making music as White Fence or touring with Segall, he has a dormant outfit, Darker My Love, and has played with the Strange Boys, the Nerve Agents and the Fall. Most recently, he’s started making music under the name DRINKS with Cait Le Bon. Back in 2011, Presley even started his own record label called Birth, to help release San Francisco musician, Jessica Pratt’s music. Presley’s a designer and makes all his album art.
I cannot get enough of this Kinks-like song. It’s so sweet and sooo sixties:
I drunkenly discovered Mikal Cronin (pronounced like Michael) at NXNE 2013. The guy played a three-night stand at tiny Toronto dive bar the Silver Dollar. The Silver Dollar is famously known for a dispute fellow garage rocker Jay Reatard and Toronto concert booker/promoter Dan Burke both lost their shit (see this). I wasn’t at that gig, but I remember hearing about it.
And while long-time bud Ty Segall was releasing 10 albums, Mikal (we’re on a first name basis) got a degree in music. The fella’s now got three solo albums out and he hasn’t even hit thirty years of age yet. Mikal has a cleaner sound than Ty, which drew me in faster and more immediately than Ty Segall. I however love that they work collaboratively and allow each other to do their own thing.
Mikal is touring with Ty’s band, the Muggers, this year. I’m over-the-moon excited to see them play Toronto in a few weeks. Here’s an awesome, George Harrison-sounding tune, “Get Along.” I think I prefer this version to the studio version:
Getting into bands late means that I’ve usually missed a gig or two. In Ty Segall’s case, I’ve missed seven gigs (of the ones I could find on the internet, perhaps there’s more!). See:
June 2009 – Sneaky Dee’s
August 2010 – Parts & Labour
June 2011 – The Wrongbar
September 2012 – The Hoxton
February 2013 – The Phoenix
September 2014 – Danforth Music Hall
November 2015 – The Hoxton (as FUZZ)
I wish more than ever that I caught his 2010 and 2011 gigs pushing my two favourite ugly-covered albums, Melted and Goodbye Bread, played a tiny venues!!
Ty Segall’s undoubtedly got good hooks (see the album Melted). His sound is fuzzy and lo-fi making it hard to decipher his words. I look up the words for two or three songs off of Melted to find simple, meaningless music. My favourite nothing song is “Sad Fuzz” with the ridiculously catchy line – “Please don’t be sad my baby no/Please don’t be sad you know your mine/Yeah you’re mine.” It’s the ultimate anthem for expiration dating.
Melted is so damn catchy and it’s only 30 minutes long!
“Goodbye Bread” is about the obvious and the not-obvious, which is kind of what I was shooting for with a lot of the tunes. “Hello Monday/ Goodbye Bread” is just about working. “Bread” is money, and the whole tune is kind of like, “You play the game we all play” — it’s about working a nine-to-five, this whole busy-bee, consumerist lifestyle thing. And then it’s also about … [how] you can’t take it with you when you die. So the whole “Goodbye Bread” thing is saying goodbye to money, and a typical, nine-to-five, safe lifestyle.