Outside the El Mocambo -- down the street from the Orbit Room, where local guitar phenom Kevin Breit was getting down with his Sisters Euclid combo -- a group of dejected souls were milling about beneath the neon palms. Among them was club booker Dan Burke, looking as though the bar had run out of sambuca. Apparently, the situation was even worse.
"They're not coming, neither of them," groaned Burke about that evening's anticipated double bill of Adventures in Stereo and the Chamber Strings. "They got turned away at the border.
"From what I heard, to avoid paying the crossing fee the Adventures guys said they weren't going to play a show in Toronto, but the guard noticed the El Mocambo date printed on the back of their tour T-shirts and sent them packing. The show's cancelled."
Conversely, the Sisters Euclid lineup of drummer Gary Taylor, bassist Ian de Souza and organist Rob Gusevs, led by Breit, were all in attendance over at the well-packed Orbit Room.
If you've been wondering what happened to all the city's ponytailed dudes, they didn't all get haircuts. They just pulled up stools at this College Street bar. However, Breit seems to be a big draw for aspiring musos of all hairstyles and sport sandal varieties.
The six-string bass de Souza had strapped on was an early warning sign that there might be noodling trouble ahead. But who could've foreseen the horror of over-cologned jocks enthusiastically fingering air-guitar runs and repeatedly chortling, "Awe-some."
There's no question that Breit can play his ass off. Song after wanky song, he demonstrated his dazzling technique, rattling off about a million fluttering notes without hitting a single one with any soulful power.
For Breit, showing everyone that he could summon the wicca-wicca-wicca sound of a turntable scratch from his guitar strings seemed to be sufficient -- no need to use such facility to convey any larger musical point. Evidently, he does "an absolutely killer" version of Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.
SISTERS EUCLID, at the Orbit Room, September 11. Tickets: $5. Attendance: 60. Rating: NN