Photos and Review: Noah's Arkweld @ Supermarket
|11-Jan-2009 08:00 pm||Contributed by: pete||Concert Reviews|
Noah Mintz is possibly more well known for his CD mastering work with Lacquer Channel Mastering than he was with his previous band hHead. I don't mean that as a knock against hHead, what I'm saying is that if you check the liner notes of your CDs, you'll come across his name. Repeatedly. His credits include Broken Social Scene, Wintersleep, Die Mannequin, Constantines, Matt Mays & El Torpedo, Stars, The National, and on and on. As a result, he's very active in the music community, and so it was no surprise that the Supermarket was not only packed with friends but also many musicians when he held a CD release party for his new album, Names For Shapes That Don't Exist.
My connection to Noah is coincidental. I met Cherise Burda (guitar, bass) at the Silversun Pickups concert in early 2007, and then went to see Noah's Arkweld on the Friday of NXNE 2007. Later that year, when Noah needed some badly behaved children to join him for a few songs at Virgin Festival 2007, I offered up my son (and we had a great time). I've become music-friends with his band members, and now I'm working with his wife, the beautiful Nica Mintz, on an art project she dreamed up called 52TO (more on that later).
I get the sense that Noah makes music now simply because he can't help himself. And when it comes to the live shows, they are few and far between, and always very casual. In this case, it felt like he was playing to a room of his close friends, which was probably the reality of the situation. He stopped in the middle of songs more than once because something sounded off, sometimes possibly due to the odd acoustics of the monitor speakers there (at least, that's what I've heard).
Jason Darby (drums) didn't show up until just a few minutes before the set. Why? Because his wife was in labour at the hospital. He played the show and then ran back to the hospital to be with his wife (sources tell me there was another 24 hours of labour afterwards, but Jason is now a father). Also, before the show, Mintz had been dropping hints that a special guest from hHead would show up. That guest was bound to be Brendan Canning (now of Broken Social Scene), but the on-stage reunion was not to be due to Brendan having a bad case of the pukes. But both Hayden and Howie Beck made an appearance for one song, initially introduced by Mintz jokingly as Dave Matthews and Thornley. And Carleigh Aikins, who appears on the album, showed up to sing out the last song with the band.
Like I said, it was an easygoing set, but one song in particular seemed to come together in a way that stood out; with Greg Goertzen on the cello, the best song of the night was easily Wandering Feet. There's something about the way the cello and keyboards interacted during the chorus that brought the whole song forward. The downloadable MP3 of Wandering Feet below is directly off the CD, which is an enhancedmp3 CD. It's a very high quality MP3, free of digital rights, and mastered using a proprietary process created by Noah himself. One other thing about the album: The cover art is actually a picture from the now defunct Bicycle Clinic on Queen Street in Toronto. If you live in Toronto, you're probably familiar with the owner, Igor, who (finally) got busted last summer for stealing what turned out to be nearly 3,000 bikes. In the liner notes, Noah writes a short note to Igor: Fuck you Igor, I want my bike back.
Info: Noah's Arkweld | Connect: MySpace
Media: Wandering Feet (mp3)
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