Friday night I attended the CKUW Fundrive wrap-up event at the Lo Pub here in Downtown Winipeg. It was a great night of local music featuring the bands of the new Winnipeg record label, Disintegration Records, cofounded by Greg MacPherson and Cam Loeppky.
The room was packed when I showed up fashionably late. I missed Slow Dancers but Nova was just getting started. Unfortunately I was distracted by friends and procuring beer and forgot to take any photos of them, but I can assure you they rocked.
The room was already buzzing, but when Cannon Bros. took the stage everyone in the crowd took note. The two piece consisting of Cole Wood and Alannah Walker always seem to stand out despite their quiet personas. They played most of their recently released album, Firecracker/Cloudglow. If you've never seen them live, Cole and Alannah take turns on guitar and drums, switching off every couple of songs depending on the set list. Alannah's singing has a hint of Tegan and Sara, whereas Cole's reminds me of Stephen Carroll's work in the long defunct Painted Thin. Cole usually steals the show with his stage presence, whether he's pounding on the drums like John Bonham, or making up awkward dance moves.
After stepping outside for some much needed fresh air it was back up to the front of the stage for my friends Haunter. If you've been to any local shows in the past couple of years, especially at Lo Pub, you've probably heard Matt Williams belting out over the microphone with a guitar in one hand and a beer in the other. You may also recognize some of his bandmates from earlier on in the evening (Cole as mentioned earlier in Cannon Bros./Slow Dancers, and Marie France of Slow Dancers). The guitar section lead by Jory Hasselman makes frequent use of vibrato, and exploit the distortion and feedback of their amplifiers. Like so many rock bands before them, I think Haunter's goal is to be the loudest band in town. But they aren't just about volume, Haunter is a hard working band that make honest music. Their late night anthems compel you to down your drink, raise your glass in the air and then have another for the road.
Conclusion, it was a great night of local independent music in one of the best venues in town. If you dig music with a bit more meaning and heart than whatever's being recycled on the Top 40 you should support community radio like CKUW.