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Serena-Maneesh at the Drake Hotel, Toronto

Serena-Maneesh

Serena-Maneesh at the Drake Hotel, April 2 2010. Brandur Olaffson photo

Review and photos – Serena-Maneesh at the Drake Hotel, Toronto, April 2 2010

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Brandur Olaffson

i’m in The Drake Hotel
and Underground
my first time
beautifully dressed
travelers, hiplomats,
suburbanites are
coolly breezing
the night time
it’s warm outside
sticky inside

there’s no one about
except for the two
youngsters who
are obviously musicians,

“i’m eugene and i write for
guttersnipenews
a vancouver website,
(here’s where the spark happens)
i’m actually from Winnipeg.”

and that’s when Christoph (guitar)
brightens, “my family’s
from Winnipeg, my brother and i
(Anton, drums), are in NYC,
but my dad is in film and we
were in LA.”

so, i’m interested.
and i remember
Shawn Conner’s review,
Serena Maneesh
the best band he’s
heard/seen/experienced
in the last ten years
and a good review
for The Depreciation Guild.

there’s beautiful wooden floors
here and a disco ball sending
bubbles (light balls) over
the walls and ceiling and floors

there’s also only 25 or so
people
to hear/see/feel The Depreciation Guild
they wait as long as they can
to play, it’s 9:36
and they can’t wait any longer.

the set is shorter than they wanted,
27 minutes, 6 songs
losing likely their best
song, however, what i heard
had me moving
dancing
throbbing
it was beautiful
and lovely. i wanted
more. and that is always
what a band needs to do.

leave them wanting.
throbbing.
excited.
for more.

My Chariot (awe,some dance song)
Sky Ghosts (sweet and lovely)
Crucify You (a dance loop)
November (another dance wonder song)
Trace (beautiful love song)
Heavy Eyes (slow builder, explodes, and is over too soon)

so, after their set, i glow to Christoph
and tell him how much
i danced
and was moved to be in the moment
of their music.
asking for their names,
he writes.

i walk away, and look,
in the candlelight at what he wrote,
Kurt Feldman, guitar, vox, programming
(gorgeous voice)
Christoph Hochheim, guitar
Anton Hochheim, drums

Hochheim! i’m startled and excited
because i know Carl
guitarist of one of the hottest
new bands in Winnipeg’s outrageously
immense music scene
The Vibrating Beds
i dash over to Christoph and Anton

“do you have a cousin Carl –”

their eyes sparkle and they smile,
“he’s in The Vibrating Beds.”

“they’re one of my favorite new
bands in Winnipeg
truly an amazing powerful
band!”

“The world is small,”
my friend Yves said to me
23 years ago in Namur,
Belgium, after i told him about
having met a dear Winnipeg
friend Karen
at the Youth Hostel.
and earlier, Karen and Louis
her hubby and their two kids
and i had dinner.

and here, at The Drake
Underground
i meet some wonderful musicians
from NY, who have family
in Winnipeg and are cousins
of another wonderful
musician. Carl.
The Vibrating Beds.
myspace them and Depreciation Guild.

The Headliners.
friendly. so generous.
they responded to my email
sent at 2 AM Friday morning
(Good Friday)
and replied later that morning.

Serena Maneesh

with a replacement bassist,

Jennifer
striking Hilma unavailable.
Tommy, drums, so friendly
as we chat before their set.
Adne, electronics, lots
of electronics, as we chatted
after their set. he gestures
to the complicated set up
all around him.
Oystein, guitar.
and
Emile and this is what
Adne wrote, “Vocals guitar/master mind”

they’re from Norway.
and their friendly tour manager, Doug,
who gave me a pen
when mine ran dry.
with the understanding
i return it.

there’s a theme here.
friendly,
good people.
good musicians.

and yes,
my expectations are high.

and without further
meanderings and eugene/ings
My Great Expectations
were soon
met
and
then,
what happened?

60 people saw
felt experienced
the fury and power
and anger
and joy
and feed,backing symphonic
throb
of Serena Maneesh.

was it better than
Thrush Hermit?
up until that moment
my favorite set of music
in Toronto.

it was different
and shorter
so much shorter.

10:21 and suddenly
they’re on stage
and building
quickly to an explosion.
ferocity.
like Thrush Hermit
the sound is a wall
of noise
and clever melody
and powerful drumming
Tommy.

44 minutes
8 songs
i wanted more.
there’s a curfew
Underground.

Ayisha
Reprobate
Honey Jinx
Don’t Come Down
Seline
Chorale
Jaana
Blow Your Brain

Reprobate, i write
“Holy Jesus! what a dance song.
WOW SONG!”
i’m already moving
really moving
at the back.
with a candle lighting
my notebook
Doug’s pen writing
between
insane dance moves.

i’m flying.
they’re electric.
Emile is so intense.
wrapped under moving
pancho
sheer fabric.
and a tight hard
kicking the pricks
band
the drumming
sublime.

Honey J
lovely layers
tectonic textures
squeezed prayers
feed
backing
these wickedly
glorious songs
are
hymns

Good Friday.
processions.
dancing.
Marching.

wayward travelers.

Underground
beautiful hard
sound.

orgasmic
dancing
sexing
cherries
Popping
pricks.
heavy hard
thundering
drum
sticks
lightning
rods
slapping bolts
these are
holiest
hymns

tornadoes
twisters
their music
is storm
beautiful
intense
storm,
where you get naked
with your lover
and Holy
F#ck
each other
under the blackest
clouds
horrendous winds
swirling through your
bones
silencing moans
you roar
as the tornado
sweeps
suddenly
over
you.
and,
souls
you.

Sereena Maneesh.

breathe.
f#ck.
sex.
come.

dance.

Don’t Come Back.
“tantric melodies.”
i wrote that!
it’s what i felt.
experienced.
that type of orgasm.

Seline!
Sel;ine!
“Enormous
Holy WOW f#ck
Dance song!”

have i ever
moved like this
in public?

will i ever again?

Move like
this.
in public.
?

Chorale.
Emile says,
“Canadians and Norwegians
seem to have something
in common…
we dance inside.”

not me
not i
i dance
inside and outside
and
give as much as i can,
only
i’m at the back
writing to candlelight
and dancing to their hymns
and they can’t see me.
the people at the back can
and they’re happy
they’re sharing my joy
and
Sereena Maneesh‘s
emphatic
and
ecstatic
now.

this is poetry
this is now,
this is how
we live.
breathe
be in
this moment now.

wall of sound
fury
anger
sweetness.
hymns.

Jaana.
“a few more hymns,”
says Emile.
and they are.
Holy.
Feedback.
Hymns.
the gospel of feedback.
written by the master
mind, Emile
and performed
masterfully
by the band.
from Norway.

see them feel them.
dance inside
with them.
but if you dare
and please
Dare,
Dance outside.
they’ll love you.

Jaana.
shiver spasms of throbbing
wonder. slowly.
creating
joy.

Blow Your Brain.
exquisite feedback.
honey to the soul
like Jesus
like Mary
like Chain.

Emile flies from the stage
to the floor
and tangles with cords
wrestles
fabric and guitar
battles the mike stand
and staggers
as he rips
and roars and
celebrates
this early summer
in Toronto
Underground.

The Drake Hotel
Serena Maneesh
Depreciation Guild.
April 2nd.
A Very Good Friday.
Holy.
F#ck.
These hymns.
These Norwegians.
are

Now!

More Serena-Maneesh photos:

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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One response to “Serena-Maneesh at the Drake Hotel, Toronto

  1. 7 years ago  

    Thanks for the Depreciation Guild setlist.

    I have a track from that set posted now (http://mechanicalforestsound.blogspot.com/2010/05/recording-depreciation-guild.html) plus a couple from Serena-Maneesh, too. (http://mechanicalforestsound.blogspot.com/2010/05/recording-serena-maneesh.html)

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