Here we have it! OBEY Convention VI print guide designed by Meg Yoshida. You’ll be able to pick up a copy starting tomorrow at one of our many Halifax sponsors. Limited to 500 physical copies. Digital version available here.

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A002_C005_0404UXMy first job at 16 was washing dishes in a local restaurant. It was a tough job, but I was able to work with a lot of older, “cool” people. We talked about music in the kitchen regularly. One of the servers I got along with once told me he enjoyed getting stoned and listening to drums solos—something I thought was weird, at the time. It wasn’t until I dug deeper into the fringes of rock, and eventually jazz, that I could appreciate the technical feats and musicality of solo percussive performance, which my coworker was so fond of.

But simply hearing a drum solo is only half the charm—the physicality of performers like Max Roach, Tony Allen or even John Bonham is worth YouTubing, even if you’re not a music nerd. Chris Corsano is also definitely worth looking up – he’s an accomplished drummer who’s worked with a slew of renowned artists like Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke, Björk, and most recently Bill Orcutt (whom you may recall from last year’s OBEY), with a career in experimental jazz drumming of almost 20 years. Fresh off a three week mini tour of the States, I managed to Skype with Corsano last week to chat about his upcoming OBEY show—something that’s been a few years in the making, actually—which will be his first visit to Halifax.

“In previous years I would look at the OBEY lineup and it would always be disappointing that I couldn’t go, so I’m glad I finally get to make one,” Corsano says. When I asked him what we could expect this year, he told me—unsurprisingly—that improvisation underpins his sets. “I don’t plan things out too much, but depending upon what I bring, [it] at least sets some parameters for what can happen,” Corsano says. He’s known for using non-traditional drumming implements during shows—something quite apparent in his own YouTube clips—and recently found a small wooden unicorn in a church goodwill bin. “I guess it truly is experimental music,” he jokes, “but I do actually like the [unicorn’s] sound.”

Corsano has a deep discography, and dropped “Cut,” a phenomenal solo LP of free jazz on Hot Cars Warp Records, last year. He frequently collaborates with other artists, too, most recently with Orcutt on their new effort “The Raw and The Cooked.” The album can be bought at your local record store on deluxe vinyl, and I asked the artist what physical media means to him in this day and age: “Being of a pre-mp3 generation, and also [from] working in record stores, the mp3 download feels like something’s missing,” he affirms. The 38-year-old musician started out recording in a time when SoundCloud was a distant reality, and seems happy to approach his releases in a more old school fashion.

Though he does prefer 21st century recording and the relative ease of modern home studios to yesteryear’s big, costly pro studios. He began experimenting with mic placement and drum configurations at home six years ago. “I started researching microphones and recording, reading a lot and bought a few mics on my own,” he says. One of his goals was to enable home listeners a sonic representation of what he hears himself, while sitting behind the kit. Corsano says he wants to replicate the intimacy of a live performance, but also that “I don’t think the recording would ever replace the live experience.”

Toward the end of our conversation I concluded that Corsano, despite all of his talent and years of experience, is incredibly down-to-earth. He remains humble in light of pretentious descriptions like “post-Ayler,” that have been used to describe him by people like me. “I don’t put too much stock in those labels,” he says, “sometimes it’s too lofty.” Whether he likes it or not, the man holds serious weight in the free jazz music scene. “Hopefully I can walk some amount of walk to back up all the talk,” he tells me as we concluded our Skype call.

Chris Corsano – June 8, 2013 at 7:30PM with Bird Project: Arthur Bull & Norm Adams and Worker.

To keep up to date with Chris, follow his website here –
Interview by Jon Dempsey


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Mac DeMarco Waffle Brunch with special guests Old & Weird
The Khyber Turret Room – 1588 Barrington St.
2:30pm – 4pm | All Ages | $12
FREE coffee from Anchored Coffee

Buy Tickets Online

Buy Tickets at Lost & Found Starting May 23rd

Space is very limited. Paid, artist and volunteer passes only accepted if there is space in the venue.

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Advanced tickets for select shows are now at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola St.). Tickets are also still available online from our Big Cartel shop. Passes are all gone, and the Weird Canada showcase is sold out as well. Other shows are filling up quickly, so grab tickets while you can! If you purchased online already, you’ll be able to pick up your tickets at Lost & Found starting June 5th. Thanks so much for buying in advance. PS For all you sad people emailing us every day, we’ll be adding a second Mac DeMarco show. Announcement tomorrow!!!

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Hi Pals! With the fshirtestival less than a month away, it’s probably time for a quick update. As you can imagine, things have been insane here at OBEY Convention headquarters. But insane is good, and thanks to an amazing crew, the festival is coming together beautifully.

Tickets have been selling fast! In fact, we have already sold twice as many advance tickets and passes than in any year past. Full festival passes are gone. The Mac DeMarco show is getting close to sold out, and the Pissed Jeans show isn’t too far behind. You can continue to buy tickets online from our Big Cartel shop. We’ll also have tickets for every main event available in real life at Lost and Found starting next weekend (the Mac DeMarco show will likely sell out before then). Thanks for buying in advance. It helps us out in a big way!

Despite the lack of front page blog posts, we have been adding content for the last month. Jon Dempsey, Andrew Patterson, and I have written a mini feature for each OBEY 6 artist. Check out our Artist section. Kate Walchuk is also doing a batch of features for her Dog Show artists. Keep an eye out. We are also going to start blogging regularly from now until the festival ends on June 9th. There are a number of interviews in the works, as well as mixtapes, artist sketches, premieres, staff picks, and more.

In other exciting news, OBEY merch will soon be available both online and at Lost & Found. The good people American Apparel donated a huge box of sweat shop free t-shirts and tote bags for us to print and sell. Seth Smith is working on the design as I type, and Halifax’s Fresh Prints is going to screen the stuff. We’ll let you know as soon as it is available!

OKAY, you’ll hear more from us soon. Thanks to all the staff, volunteers, artists, and attendees.

See you in June!


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OBEY Convention VI
June 6th – June 9th
Halifax, NS

The OBEY Convention, Eastern Canada’s only music and arts festival dedicated to the cultural outsider, is thrilled to return with an uncompromising sixth season. Some of the acts scheduled to perform include bizarre indie darling Mac DeMarco (Montreal), Sub Pop’s hardcore punks Pissed Jeans (Philadelphia, PA ), the world’s most supple free-jazz-punk drummer Chris Corsano (Boston, MA), power noise punisher Pete Swanson (New York, NY), ghost and song conjurer Grouper (Astoria, OR), psychedelic dream brothers Tonstartssbandht (New York, NY/Montreal, QC), neo-classical drone composer Kyle Bobby Dunn (Toronto, ON), cosmic jammers PC Worship (Brooklyn, NY), indie proggers Each Other (Montreal, QC), hard rawk weirdoes Babysitter (Victoria, BC), psych outfit The Ketamines (Toronto, ON), and Halifax’s very own road warrior party duo Cousins.

Besides music, look forward to parasitic art installations by James Gauvreau at the main events, an outdoor “Music for Plants” experience by Lindsay Dobbin and friends, experimental video screenings at the library, an art opening by Mitchelle Weibe, a resonating building, and plenty more.

All events will take place at artist run and alternative spaces around the city—The Khyber Centre for the Arts, The Bus Stop Theatre, the Commons Roots Urban Farm, Lost & Found, the Halifax Public Library and more. As usual, OBEY will bring in deluxe sound and light equipment to maximize fidelity and audience pleasure. The main event venues are small and always sell out quickly. Advance tickets and weekend passes are on sale now.


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