Meet Idiots! and The Ghost is Dancing
Torontoist’s Back To School Party is only two sleeps and a long-work day away. Unlike the real back to school we guarantee you there’ll be no screaming kindergarteners (the Tranzac is 19+), anxious parents (unless you invite yours) or awkward student-teacher interactions.
We do promise you great bands, one swell DJ, door prizes and pins. You’ve already met DJ Wes Allen and Dollarama. Now meet the other two bands that’ll be playing this Thursday, Idiots! and The Ghost is Dancing.
Who are Idiots! ?
Idiots! are Howard Goldbach, who plays Synths, does Backup singin’, and rides the sampler. Howard is also the technical mastermind behind the project. Either that or he is just the smarter of the two of us, which I don’t think is saying too much. The other half of Idiots! is some kid named Roey Shemesh. He plays bass and sings in the band.
How did you guys meet? Start the band?
We met in High School, actually. We used to skip a lot and go to Howie’s which was like, a two second walk from school. A bunch of us used to go listen to music and hang out there. We have spent a big chunk of our lives hanging out. We went to music college in Vancouver together, and played in a lot of bands out there before starting Idiots! We started recording these electronically based songs, and we got really excited about figuring out how we could play them live. We’re still doing that.
Can you describe what an Idiots! live show sounds/looks/smells like?
We try and go for a drum sound that sounds like knee slappin’, but like a digitally manipulated version of that. You know like back in the day, before electricity where there were no instruments or anything, just knee slappin’. We like to pay homage to that aesthetic in our own little way. The look of the show is pretty interesting. Most of the time it’s just these two ugly dudes with no guitar player or drummer, and it’s like “what are these ugly dudes doing on stage with no drum kit?” When we start playing, though, everything turns out okay. We become more beautific.
Indie kids are loving Electronic music more and more (MSTRKRFT, LCD
Soundsystem, Postal Service) why do you think that is?
I think it’s great that the electronic sound is becoming more and more accepted. I think that sound is sound, meaning that if it sounds cool or if it makes you dance or feel then it’s good. We come from a school where it was acceptable to go see a dude with a pipe cleaner and a paper cup play alongside a printer from a home computer. (ed. note did Dollarama go to this school?) This was at a “highly respected” Jazz Festival. I’m thankful to all those guys who are innovative enough to really take some chances with their shit.
The Ghost is Dancing
Who are the Ghost is Dancing?
Alphabetically – Jonathan (Alt) Altman, Kevin Corlis, Jim DeLuca, Ben Deschamps, Eric Krummins, Jamie Matechuk, Gabie Nadeau, Chris (Odie) Ouderkirk
What kind of music do you play?
Indie rock/pop. GODZILLA POP.
How did the Ghost is Dancing start up? Where did the name come from?
Jamie, Odie, Gaibe and myself [Jim], were living together in our 4 bedroom house at Jane and St.Clair for a good part of a year by now, when one sunny/rainy/snowy day, Jamie, Odie and Eric, who drove them from school, came home. I ran down the stairs too see who it was, and say my hellos.
“We were talking about it, and we thought we should start a band!” Jamie replied, full of boyish glee. Our friendships dated back to the beginning of kindergarten, where Kevin, Odie, Jamie and I, attended the same school. We started off in separate pools of friends, some of us being friends from very early, and some through later schoolyard mergers and acquisitions. Since then we tend to do things together regardless of our base skill set or knowledge, from plays, sports, review websites and currently, music. The fact the some of us haven’t played an instrument, or just started that year, did little to deter us from starting a band.
Later that day/week the four of us, including Gabie, once she got home, were hanging out in Jamie’s room, as he was casually strumming a few strings on his guitar. I picked up what he was going for and started strumming some chords. Eric, with his deep baritone voice, started to sing, a la Gregorian chant, the word ‘Poooooorrrrrrrnoooo.’ Underneath Eric’s humorously haunting melody, I added my own, and on top of that, Gabie, who is now our accordion player, started humming as a trumpet. That day marked the beginning of the band, and our first, and longest standing, uncompleted song, “Porno.” Odie, who never played an instrument, started as our drummer. We later had Kev come and play the drums, who lived in Mississauga at the time, and help Odie transition to the keyboards. Since then we had a trumpet player for awhile, that didn’t work out, and recently added Ben and Alt.
And the name….
At the end of that first day/week, Eric commented, “Now all we need is a melody.”
And to that Odie replied, “Hey that’s our band name.” (Now We Need a Melody)
Suffice it to say we quickly abandoned that name, and a slew of others, until one day, as Odie, Jamie and I were watching TV, something about a racehorse, we commented on the strangeness of racehorse names. Picking up on an idea, Odie made a list of all the race horse names he could find, and we picked one that all three of us, and really only us three liked.
And there you have it. I think.
While we’re on the topic of ghosts… Casper the Friendly, Slimer, or
those crazy ghosts from Poltergeist?
Personally, the ghosts of Niagara on the Lake. Especially the story of a dead soldier who still guards the basement of a house, or the ghost stories from an old cafe, Angel Inn. The whole town’s haunted. They so need some Ghostbusters up in there.
What can we expect from your liveset on the 21st?
If we told you it won’t be a secret now would it? We’ve been scientists, we’ve had a pool party, we’ve had a prom show, we were from the future …. hmmmm ….. seeeeeeccccccreeeeeeetttttttsssss.
Idiots! and The Ghost is Dancing join forces with Dollarama and DJ Wes Allen for the Torontoist Back To School Party this Thursday at the Tranzac. Doors 9pm, $5.