Fri. Feb. 25: Wax Mannequin returns to tear down the walls at Phog

Posted: February 25, 2011 by Windsor Zene in Live Performances, Previews
Tags: , ,

As someone who’s spent a fair deal of time in Hamilton, I’ve often felt like Steeltown is like a sister city to Windsor (if the sister was on a mountain). Both are tightly linked to its strong union and blue collar work ethic. Both people are hardened to the realities of fluctuating and crippling unemployments which have forced the community to embrace one another with an iron clad sense of loyalty.

So it’s no wonder that Hamilton’s Wax Mannequin has been so embraced by Windsor music lovers. He tours Canada relentlessly (and more recently with forays into Europe) and he always makes sure that Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West) is one of his tour stops. Sometimes several times a year. In fact, I’d wager he’s played Phog more regularly than some Windsor bands. He’s like if Henry Rollins or the New York’s David Johansen had chosen to follow Woody Guthrie or Tom Waits rather than heavier rock and roll. A frantic and captivating showman with a true sense of life in his lyrics, his website states that “(he) now finds himself a forerunner in a strange new movement: roaming recluses and attention-seekers — solo-performers, equipped with laptops, damaged instruments and decaying minivans, making new sounds, informed by hard travel and rough living.”

He’s bringing along a friend from Guelph by the name of Jenny Omnichord, which is the stage name used by multi-instrumentalist Jenny Mitchell when she’s not playing with the bands, Barmitzvah Brothers or The Burning Hell. Under her solo guise, Jenny has released several albums and an EP, as well as the collaborative children’s album, Charlotte or Otis: Duets for Children, Their Parents and Other People Too, which featured collabrations with Andy Magoffin (Raised By Swans, Two Minute Miracles), Wax Mannequin, Shad, Kim Barlow, Ida Nilsen (The Choir Practice, Buttless Chaps), Old Man Luedecke and Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers).

But a word to the wise. If you’re even remotely interested in checking this out, get there early. Wax Mannequin’s legend proceeds him at Phog and more often than not, his shows are packed and sold out by 11 o’clock. So unless you want to be left out in the cold trying to peer through foggy windows (no pun intended), I’d suggest you set 10pm as your target time to avoid missing any of the show…and getting in.

Wax Mannequin with special guest Jenny Omnichord, Phog Lounge (157 University Ave. West), 9pm, 19+

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