More music this week

The Jon Cohen Experimental.
Romi Mayes.
Les Sexy.


The Jon Cohen Experimental creates unique music that pushes the boundaries of today’s music scene. Not easily compartmentalized into a genre, they are what Cohen describes as a “Chinese buffet” of music.

Their thought-provoking lyrics span themes of spirituality, intersection, self-reflection, and personal insight.  The title of their recently released sophomore album, Behold, speaks to their musical message.

“It’s about beholding who you are and what your place in the world is,” said Cohen.

Cohen, a former member of The Dears and The Social Register, formed The Jon Cohen Experimental in 2006 and quickly put together their self-titled debut.

“I was inspired to take my musical skills into my own hands and create something tangible that I could use as a vehicle to speak to the people and do what I love best,” said Cohen.

Behold is a more deliberative album, taking two years to complete. The album features well-known musicians such as Evan Cranley from Stars, Liam O’Neil from The Stills and Murray Lightburn from The Dears.

Besides Cohen, the two other core members of the band are bassist Ken Martin and drummer Sebastian Cote.

“I’m really fortunate to have them,” said Cohen. “They make happen any of the crazy musical ideas I might have.”

Martin and Cote, however, aren’t joining Cohen on his 2010 tour. The show will be just Cohen and what he calls his Casio Orchestra and Astral Projections.

Curious as to what that means? Check out The Jon Cohen Experimental Friday, Jan. 14 at the Cavern. The first 15 people who arrive will receive a free copy of Behold.


—Ellie Einarson


Don’t expect the hits at Romi Mayes’ show at the West End Cultural Centre on Jan. 14.

No, expect 11 never before heard songs unleashed from Mayes’ repertoire, which she subsequently plans to release in April as a live album – an idea she credits to Winnipeg legend Neil Young.

“Me and guitarist Jason Nowicki of The Perpetrators were doing a great live duo electric show and the response was incredible. It suddenly popped into my head: ‘Why don’t we do what Neil Young did?’” Mayes said in a phone interview.

Mayes is talking about Young’s album Time Fades Away, released in 1973.

“It’s a ballsy move… I always thought that was a cool idea,” she said. “It’s pretty unique to do an album of new tunes and do it live. You capture something you don’t in a studio… the interaction with the audience, the vibe you get, and spontaneity.

“(In the studio), you do lose some of the heart that happens when you play live.”

Documentary crews will also be filming the show, which will part of the package release on April 26 across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

“I hope it’s good, I’m excited to present it,” Mayes said. “I want to hear heckles and hollers and incorporate that into the album.”

Be part of the live album Friday, Jan. 14, at the West End Cultural Centre. Tickets are $12 in advance through the WECC or Ticketmaster, or $15 at the door. Doors open at 7:15 p.m., the show starts at 8 p.m.


– Matt Preprost


Les Sexy is a Franco-Punk quartet, which I was at first pessimistic about, but they have got me hooked – as well as eagerly awaiting their self-titled CD release at the Cavern on Jan. 14.

Les Sexy is a four man band with Danyel Huberdeau as the vocalist, Sean Andert on guitar, Garet Seman on bass, and Brad Salyn on drums. Each member draws heavily on French and English punk, garage, as well as rock influences, which come out in the band’s music.
“We hope people would take away that rock music is indeed alive and kicking in a prefabricated pop based reality-TV society,” drummer Brad Salyn wrote in an email.

“It’s great to have talent and perform as a consummate musician, but if you can’t speak to the crowd at a level that engages them, then you aren’t doing your job as an artist.”

This is exactly what Les Sexy accomplishes.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself air drumming to La Machine and Ca Plane Pour Moi, both highly enjoyable songs.

Salyn describes the upcoming album as “pure energy stripped down,” as well as incredibly sexy (which almost goes without saying for the quartet). Their album release is an event not to be missed, which aims to bring something new to Franco-Manitobans. 

“You should leave our show with a smile on your face, not a bitter grin of resentment against the world,” Salyn said.

Catch Les Sexy’s CD release show on Friday, Jan. 14 at the Cavern. The Noble Thiefs and the Jon Cohen Experimental will also perform.


– Sam Gallagher-Bishop

Published in Volume 65, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 13, 2011)

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