Some years ago when Oliver was just a tiny babe, jiggling around in the baby Bjorn carrier, I spied a fox. She too had on the magical baby carrier, and I struck up a conversation with her, asking how much she loved it… indeed, she did love the infant carrier, for her baby girl. As it turns out, this fox lived a block away from us, and I could almost see her house from mine.
So as we traded our pared-down personal histories and such over several hours spent at parks or dog-walking or whatever, I came to understand that she and her man had been together for about a million years, that he taught high school, and that he had a band.
Cool, I thought, but I secretly wondered about the “band” part. I mean, lots of people play guitar and rock out a little in their spare time. LOTS of people. That sooooo doesn’t mean they have a band. Or that they’re good musicians at all.
But yeah, this pale-but-freckled, auburn-to-red haired, bearded, shy and quiet guy had a band. Hah. You’d never know by looking at him at all. His band – an Indie-rock band – was called Fearless Freap, and they’d recorded three CD’s. Excellent.
“He’s the founder, is he? What’s his position?” I asked my fox.
“Uh, he plays guitar mostly… sometimes bass. He plays piano. A bit of everything, really. Aaaaand he sings.”
I blinked at her. A few times.
“Pardon, what?! He sings? Exactly what does he sing?” Impossible. Seriously.
“Yeah, he’s… like, the singer.” She’s smiling her cool, coy smile. I know this smile. It means, I know it’s incredible, but I shit you not. If she smiled at you and said she was having dinner with The Arcade Fire later that evening, you’d know she ain’t lying.
Still, I was a bit floored. I mean, really. The SINGER?!
*shakes head* Please.
He appears to be a man of few words. He’s always online, seemingly researching something, or in his elusive basement “studio.” When we chat at the park, it’s usually about his students. Or about music. Or about a link on something ridiculous he found on youtube – he’s always ready to share the link. To me, he’s one part hipster-nerd and one part intellectual – and I mean this in the very best of ways. He’s dressed like the quiet cool kid that he is, but he’s not exactly hipper than thou – he’s just much, much smarter.
I like him a lot.
Anyway, he formed a new band sometime after we all became acquainted – Boo Hoo, they’re called – which is a trio consisting of my neighbour Rob, who switches off playing guitar and bass with Ben, and their drummer, Marc. They are three of the most unassuming rockstars you’ve ever seen. But? Rock they do. Oh yes, sweet lord…
(Our hero in question is the one on the right. PS – His mum and my mum get on like a house on fire. Yeah, so. Smell THAT, internets!)
The first time I saw them play was one of those instances when I’m pretty sure I hardly blinked even once. Holy. Crap. My neighbour, the shy, quiet, redhead teacher-man was singing. Like, AS THE FRONTMAN!! And though we were in a smallish hole-in-the-wall kind of place, selling crappy draught beer by the pitcher, and almost everyone was under the age of, say, twenty-two… I think my head exploded. I smiled my fool head off the entire night.
Seriously. Who would have thought?!
. . .
About a week ago, I went out with my fox, and our other neighbour-fox Mrs. Jones, and the three of us left our ‘hood (for a freaking change) and headed out to hear Boo Hoo play. Our skirts were too short. Our jeans? Too tight. Our heels were stacked. Just like our boobies. (Heh.) We were too much. We should have our own show. Totally.
But! Our first stop was on St-Laurent to have sushi at a place called Noa Sushi Lounge, which was all swish inside, with white leather banquette seating, funky Ikea pendant lamps in exactly the right places, and a dropped ceiling with glowing pink neon light outlining the entire space. I loved the look of it instantly. And though an empty room can sometimes leave a person wondering about their choice of dining location, it was the beginning of the Labour Day long weekend, and the city was emptied of people-with-money… it was quiet all over town. We had the place almost entirely to ourselves. (This was a good thing, as the words of the evening were “… since I’m living my life now…” as discussed here, and the three of us were in a racious mood and ready for
The food was even more gorgeous than our waiter, and twice as delicious. (Oh yes, we were up to all KINDS of naughtiness with handsome-young-waiter-guy. Okay, maybe that was mostly me. But the other foxes partook too SO STOP LYING, BITCHES!!) Handsome-young-waiter-guy even bought us a round of sake, which we dropped into glasses of beer called sake-bongs (Is it frosh week?) which he was only too delighted to show us how to drink. We had a good time playing with him. We left a fat tip for the pleasure of it all.
On we went to Casa del Popolo to hear the boys play. The room was small and dark, with all kinds of hipster-sorts leaning against the walls, wearing skinny jeans, v-neck t-shirts, cotton fedoras with the brims rolled up, and black-rimmed reader glasses. I felt a little bit old in there, but whatever – I shrugged it off. I had my own readers on my face (fake ones) hoping my rockstar would notice them, and he did. Right away.
“Nice glasses!” he said.
“Thanks! I wore them just for you…” I pretended to blush.
As soon as the three took the stage and the lights dimmed, I felt that little tingle that one gets anticipating a live show. I love that feeling. Must try to capture more of that in the future…
The stage was tiny… and being as small as I am, I couldn’t actually see Marc drumming, but he does hit ‘em hard and fast. There are some punk influences in there, for sure. Not bad at all for a guy who does computer gaming stuff for a living. Ben, the other guitarist/vocalist reminds me of an over-grown young teenager. (And don’t tell anyone but ohmygodIlovehim… sshhhhh!!) He looks completely delicious and delighted onstage, ripping into his guitar and singing his guts out. He’s as cute as hell… and he looks nothing at all like an accountant. Heh. These guys have been playing together for a few years, and they sound good. Really good.
And then there’s Rob (pictured above with rabbit mask on his head.) The quiet artist at work, doing what appears to be the thing he loves to do more than anything else in the world. And it totally shows. I really don’t know how other people perceive him in the world – I have no idea, and it’s not my business – but the difference of how he appears to me in his daily life, and how he is when he’s rocking out… Oh. My. God. It is pure awesome. It’s a very exciting thing to watch. It totally ups the sexy-factor in a person. Yes, it really does. I hope everyone who knows him gets to see him like this, in his element, being all incredible. Even once. It’s trés, trés cool.
The guys are tight. They grin at each other when they sing. They seem to like each other, and they are all having a good time. That kind of positivity is infectious, and you can’t help but enjoy yourself. There’s nothing like hearing music live… it fills a person up in a way that is so different from aural-alone. I love it. Love. It. I feel like their session was too short. Everyone wanted them to get back on stage and play a little longer, but they had to vacate. Rules are rules, I guess.
No, I’m not having all hot-and-sexy thoughts about my fox’s man. Not at all. (Okay, maybe a little…) But I’ll bet he’s as surprising as a teacher as he is a founding band-member. It’s the element of surprise that is most… juxtaposed, I suppose. And it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if there was a serenade or two of “To Sir With Love” coming his way at some point in his career. Some chick is going to sing it to him – I’m so sure. You know girls go nuts for guys who are teachers by day, and rockstars in bands like Boo Hoo by night.
Rockstars are hot, yo. For reals. No exceptions here.
I seriously love this album called Don’t Die and I’m going to hang the cover art (by Shannon Linde) in my kids’ bedroom. I think it’s a very cool looking frame-worthy piece.
And I also don’t want my kids to die. So. Good plan.
If you haven’t already seen it, this video has our kids being punk-ass punks set to one of their tunes, which was filmed last summer. Shenanigans. Enjoy it.
I can’t wait until the next venue… you should totally come. (And there’s a new album on it’s way – watch for Boo Hoo – IV)
NOTE: photo credits – Julie Gauthier (bed-in) and Ani Harroch (bubbles)