What the [heck] is going on?

Mazinani and Vorvis CCMC
Hart House Music Room, U of Toronto
January 28, 2005
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Read the above, slice your forehead with a blunted meat cleaver, rinse and repeat, and then maybe you'll "get" CCMC. A long-running Toronto improv trio led by the tummy grumblings of lead meower Paul Dutton, the band attracts a curious combination of onlookers: scholarly flotsam and jetsam, anti-societal types and a whole lotta stink. Whether these puds actually enjoy the seismic spew put forth by CCMC or are merely making the scene, there were poker faces aplenty in the midst of what was, I guess, a high-brow art happening. High above the University of Toronto's downtown campus in a rustic-looking music hall, CCMC played this freebie Friday night gig with the enthusiasm of babbling babes longing for their mama's "drip of life". Accompanied by some random sax shronk, the odd piano fill and some weirdo static-emitting strong box, Dutton cowered over the mic and let 'er rip with a totally unhinged sub-section of sound. Some were cultivated from the barnyard setting, others reached a bit further afield. He did a mean Donald Duck impression at one point, there were some ace dinosaur growls in there and approximately 30 per cent of his "lyrics" can be heard by my folks' cat right before she pukes in the garden. OK, maybe this sounds a bit harsh as I suppose I need to be exposed to more of this free improv stuff or at least Chernobyl leftovers to pass judgments. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate it diphtheriaůneeds to be seen live to merit any semblance of understanding.

As for the evening's closers Mazinani and Vorvis, I did like what they did. Not one bit. Mazinani randomly bashed away at a piano while Vorvis did likewise on a tinky drum kit. No rhythm, just random. Intensity yes but also heaps of tedium and futility. Again, I guess I must've been 20,000 leagues under foot or perhaps just intellectually constipated because I got absolutely zippo from M and V's little fit. Plus my chair was uncomfortable.

Writer: Cameron Gordon

Photo:Cameron Gordon

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