Organizing or seeing a concert at an "alternative venue" is an attractive prospect, and always will be. That's no surprise - concerts appeal to our sense of experience, and common venues can begin to feel routine. And we are Not Routine! We are Original! We are Alternative! (I'm being facetious, if that was somehow unclear.) Ignoring the general homogeneity of the substitutions (ie. art galleries and churches), they start to miss the point: these should be special, one-of-a-kind, and honestly fun experiences. It's impractical and risky, but it pays off.
But however daunting that sounds, sometimes an idea is as simple as a leisurely dip in the pool at your local Jewish Community Centre. For months, Toronto experimentalists Absolutely Free had been trying to get the Miles Nadal JCC on board with a poolside performance for their (consequently very belated) "On The Beach" single release party. Impractical and risky is right – who knew how that was going to turn out? Fortunately, it was really goddamn fun. The band played a fittlingly floaty set with only synths and samplers, and the audience swam and splashed and cheered. And while they were having fun, we were getting video.
Above you can watch the band perform a stripped-down, electronic version "Clothed Woman, Sitting," the b-side to "On The Beach." Grab both tracks as a digital download or on shiny IRL vinyl via Bandcamp. Below you can watch them play "UFO" from the first season of our performance video series Noisemakers.