Monday, November 30, 2009

Video of the Week: American Devices

I think I'm liking this new Video of the Week feature... the week's barely starting and I'm already all up in it...

Here's another one I upped on my Facebook page quite a few times already: The American Devices' 'You Wouldn't Understand'...

For those of you who need a description of what they're about to see, it's about a guy, sitting on a chair, in what seems to be an empty apartment, and a dominatrix walking around him, sometimes whipping him gently.

Now that that's clear, here's a bit of info on the band itself: founded 30 years ago, this all-Montréal band is 'fronted' (although I'm 150% sure he despises this term) by Rick Trembles, cartoonist extraordinaire whose work has graced the pages of such prestigious zines as Fish Piss and such renown newspapers as the Montreal Mirror; he has also just released a second volume of his Motion Picture Purgatory series, in which he critiques and analyzes a film in one page - and in comic form. Also in the band are Rob Labelle and André Asselin, other legends of our local scene, as well as another comic-book genius, Howard Chackowicz on drums.

Former member Chris Burns (who has played bass, guitar and drums in the band and whom you could also know from bands like Crackpot and Nutsak, the latter with Asselin and Chackowicz) came up with a list of former members for me to tack onto this:

Jackie Gallant (drums), Cups Von Helm (drums), Suzy Joseph (farfisa organ), Mary-Jane Lamond (keys and vocals), Louise Burns (keys and vocals), Sylvie Payne (bass), and Dave Hill (bass).
to which Trembles added:

You missed Larry Vitus & Eric (hard rock goners) Sandmark who were both on bass for a bit (in the) late eighties.
There you have it, a complete list of current and former members of the longest-lasting freak unit (and apparent revolving door, especially on bass) in town.

You can call them punk, or new wave, or rock - but you would be dead-wrong. Sure, they rock and groove harder than Devo and The Ramones, but they can also slay their instruments with more love than Ravi Shankar at Woodstock.

But, hey - maybe you get it, or maybe You Wouldn't Understand.

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