The indie kids came in throngs, trickling off the Keele bus, scouting for bicycle post-and-rings in an industrial zone or tripping down the railroad tracks, all headed for a place known to them only by word of mouth or the Internet. Agreeing they'd found the spot corresponding to the X on the map, they scurried up a small embankment, through a hole in the fence and into a yard full of parked trailers. Following a path of glow-in-the-dark lines, they came upon a busted-up brick building emanating eerie ambient music. Passing under a glaring streetlamp, they plunged through a dark doorway.
Dozens of kids, normally content in their fuzzy cardigans and singsongy harmonies, spent Saturday night indulging their inner subversive as part of Extermination Music Night 2 , staged by the same covert collective responsible for November's similar spectacle at the Don Valley Brick Works. This time, the venue was a decommissioned Buns Master factory in the Junction, and the evening was even more thoughtfully planned than the first. Again, tea lights glowed all the way down the open space, an installation of cardboard airplane cutouts hung over the performance area and a projector beamed video clips to a cement-block side wall.
As they did at the Brick Works, Feuermusik opened this show with what was likely one of their last sets before saxophonist Jeremy Strachan departs for grad school in Newfoundland. The duo was joined halfway through by two more saxes and a trombone for a totally wacked-out, part insanely structured, part improv freakout.
Rozasia 's Eugene Slonimerov spent much of his time thrashing in the pit or wandering through the crowd as classically trained flautist Alia O'Brien desecrated her instrument with the crookedest and most unsettling little riffs, while underneath, jaggedy guitars created the impression of barely contained chaos.
Anagram reprised their November set by shutting off the lights and relying on the spasmodic flickering of dozens of flashlights to see their fretboards. Their droning hypnotism has been known to arouse urges to violence and maybe a house fire or two, and you almost feel like a flashlight beam striking you in the wrong part of the eye whilst listening to them could trigger grand mal seizures. People in the pit furiously kicked up years of noxious dust.
Boxcars roared past in the night 15 feet from the building; a mystery lady spun fire as kids crept around the darkest corners of the space, and mountains of abused and abandoned machinery lay dormant. Toronto can be so quick to tear down old buildings, but these brief and beautiful excursions into the hidden places have led to two of the most memorable shows in recent local legend.