This week in Halifax is the Halifax Pop Explosion. There are two shows that I really want to attend, and they couldn’t be any different.
The first is a DJ set by Juan MacLean. The second is a live performance by Fucked Up.
Juan MacLean, aka The Juan MacLean, aka John MacLean, is a musician, producer, DJ and singer/songwriter who started his career in post-hardcore band Six Finger Satellite. After the group disbanded, MacLean went on to record electronic music under the moniker of Juan MacLean, his efforts released by DFA Records. MacLean’s anthemic “Happy House” is a cosmic love binge made for dancefloors.
MacLean is also well recognized as a DJ in his own right, having recently released a mix CD on connoisseur label !K7’s DJ-Kicks series. He also recently released a 12-inch via DFA under the name of Peach Melba, the track being a love song to glitzy Chicago house.
The other upcoming HPX 2011 performance that has me excited can be summed up in a simple image:
Fucked Up is a Toronto-based hardcore band, fronted by one Damian Abraham, aka Pink Eyes, aka Father Damian. The band is known for its aggressive tendencies, both in its music and its live performances, where Abraham is known to strip down to next to nothing and bash beer bottles on his head.
Harder-edged music hasn’t been this interesting since Iggy Pop was covering himself with broken glass.
But my admiration of Abraham is less about his music and more about his persona off the stage. Sure, I’m looking forward to the possibility of dropped trousers, but Abraham has made a name for himself as an intelligent and articulate man who has a degree in gender studies and has commented on Fox News. He’s even been known to appear with kid-friendly phenom Yo Gabba Gabba. Abraham is also the current host of MuchMusic’s The Wedge, where his honest enthusiasm for his interview subjects and “aw shucks” self-effacing quality is in large supply.
We, as a music-loving audience, are better for it.
Fucked Up performs an all-ages show at The Pavilion, as well as a 19-plus show at The Palace on Saturday, Oct 22. The Juan MacLean plays at The Palace on Friday, Oct 21.
Check out the HPX schedule for more info.