Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra gets the young and old moving Va n c o u ve r m u l t i - g e n r e b a n d b r o u g h t t h e c r o w d b a c k t o t h e i r r o o t s Meghan O’Neil The Aquinian
A woman moved her hips melodically, swinging her skirt that grazed the sticky floor. Her movements were fluid contrasting the fiddle player’s wrist, sawing his instrument like a tree. It was an early Thursday night show in the Wilser’s Room at the Capital. Vancouver’s Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra introduced songs from their new album Follow My Lead, Lead Me To Follow, with an official Nov 13 release date. Although the five-piece band was selling their album at the venue. “We say yes to pretty much everything and we’ll always try it. We’re always surprised at the result,” said Kurt Loewen, who plays guitar for the band. The most recent result was their newest album recorded in Toronto during April and May of this year. The songs were written in many places and some go back three years, when the band only had one year together under their belt. Theybegandevelopingtheirsoundin2008,buttheir genre of music is something no critic seems to be able peg down. And it seems neither can the members. “We listen to everything and we try everything. People say ‘they’re kind of a gypsy band, they’re kind of pseudo bluegrass.’ They might be disappointed because that’s not really what we do,” said Loewen. The band’s genre seems irrelevant when they meld sounds from a fiddle, cello, acoustic guitar, drums, accordion and djembe. The fiddle player stood centrestage and the rest in a circular formation around him. Their roots music has taken them from the underground scene in British Columbia to having a national following. From the fiddle to the bongos, the young crowd can identify with a sound that brings them back to their ancestors. Their traditional music has been identified as a melding of folk, tango, waltz, bluegrass and many more. The band sings in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Some people in the crowd closed their eyes while the music played on. “In terms of the land and people there before, I think it’s important to not live in the past but respect the past. We don’t always have to make the same mistakes we made in the past but realize that we are here from decisionspeoplemadethatgotushere.Andweallmutually respect that big time.” The older generation didn’t miss out either. Middle-aged couples danced around, beer in hand. Their movements were less melodic, but just as heart-felt. More and more people pulled their bodies off the black leather couches. Ian Griffiths, the accordion player, projected his voice through the mic and unfolded stories as he sang. The bandintroduced“CanoeSong,”thefirsttrackfromtheir latest album. The tune’s introduction was waltz-like, led by chords on the fiddle. Griffiths’ clear voice chimed in admist Loewen’s acoustic guitar and plucked fiddle strings.
“Canoe Song,” was what inspired the album’s name, ending with the band chanting the lyrics “Follow My Lead, Lead Me To Follow” into their mics. “It’s just a theme that’s been recurring in our lives over and over again. The way we live and interact with each other, and the way things happen in general,” Loewens said. Loewens introduced the fiddle player to the audience, Jacques Mindreau, who has only been with the band for a couple of weeks. Throughout the set, Mindreau’s frantic wrist looked separated from his still arm poised in the air. He was serious and concentrated while his bow flew back and forth in front of his face. In between songs, the members spoke amongst themselves and asked for any questions from the audience. “We look like brothers,” said Loewens. He and Mindreau were both wearing white t-shirts, brown suspendersandbeards.Mindreadidn’tcrackasmile. “Jacques doesn’t think that’s very funny apparently,” said Loewens, the crowd laughing. “Jacques been playing with us for two weeks and he knows about 25 of our songs and we know one of his.” Mindreauledthebandintohiscompositioncalled “Merlin’s dance.” He sang classically and his deep voice spoke another language. His sound caught the audience off guard and they began to prepare for a slow ballad, until he put his fiddle back on his shoulder and yelps were made from the audience on the off-beats. “I feel like I’m at a Jewish wedding,” a woman said, arms tossed in the air.
Being spooky last minute
Emma Chapple The Aquinian
Just because Halloween is on Wednesday, doesn’t mean you still can’t pull together a costume on the fly. Assembling a last minute look can be easy, as long as you have an
open mind and a little imagination. For those who find themselves in such a predicament, here are some dos and don’ts to steer you in the right direction. Do try to use items from your own closet. Remember, unless your best friend’s birthday party has a dressup theme, you’re only going to wear your costume for a few hours. There’s no need to spend a lot of money. For the girls, leggings or tights are costume essentials. And guys, with a few extras, and the
Using different languages and instruments, TMO connects with the crowd (Cara Smith/AQ)
right beard, a plaid shirt can equal a perfect lumberjack. Do think it through. Just because your costume is last minute, doesn’t mean it can’t be cool and different. If you’re really pressed for ideas, search the internet for some. Pinterest and Polyvore are both great websites when you’re in need of a little inspiration. Do get creative! Simply throwing a pair of animal ears on your head does not make a Halloween costume. Make a quick trip to Fabricville! Patterned fabrics are an easy way to add extra accessories
to your look. Think scarves, head ties, or arm bands – leopard print for a cat, camouflage for a soldier, whatever you think will add to your disguise. Don’t forget the details. A few small additions here and there can completely change a costume. One year for Halloween, I was just going to wear a simple black dress and mouse ears. But then I had an idea! All I had to do was get some rhinestones and stick a backwards ‘K’ on my chest, and suddenly, I was Karen Smith from Mean Girls! Little details can take a costume
from completely boring to totally original. Don’t be trashy. Girls, dressing up as a “slut” probably isn’t the best, or most creative, costume choice. There are some people who see Halloween as just an excuse to wear the tiniest, skimpiest thing they own. That might work in the movies, but did you ever think about who might see your photos? There are still ways to be sexy without looking like the town harlot. The rule I try to go by is if my costume is tight, then it shouldn’t be short, and vice versa.