By Will McGuirk
I have been going to Hillside for a couple of years and hanging with Oshawa ex-pat Steve De Taeye. He resides in Guelph now with his partner in art, poet Candace, as well as two boys and other creatures. He works in a record shop, The Beat Goes On, DJs on CFRU93.3 FM and he is a musician so when we compare schedules, his ‘to see’ acts are chalk and cheese to mine. But his are always spot on. He has become a guide for me so I asked him if he could guide the slowcity.ca readers to some interesting picks. De Taeye has his own interesting musical project, Hymns 57 . He has released several cassettes and will be playing Hillside on Saturday. Hymns57 is not on his list but will be on mine.
So Steve, what do you recommend?
“As far as recommendations on who to see at Hillside, Joyful Joyful. Without a doubt I feel in my heart they will be the highlight of the entire weekend. People will be absolutely floored by the sheer emotional power this duo is capable of projecting. Between David's sonic bed that he creates for Cormac's vocal to lay upon to the overall dynamic of their output. . . if you're not sold by then than Cormac's vocal delivery and lyrical prowess will curl up inside your emotional guts and your eyes will leak and the corners of your lips will curl upwards towards the sunny sky. Joyful Joyful is an experience that will stay with you for a very long time. You will be different than before, I promise. “
“There's still a slew of other artists I'm super stoked to see, Yonatan Gat & The Eastern Medicine Singers. I first discovered Yonatan a little over a decade ago when he was wielding his Hendrix style guitar playing in a trio called The Monotonix. This trio of garage punk, fuzzed out anthems. Just a guitarist a drummer and a vocalist. I saw them a few times in a short window of time. Pure volume, wreckless abandon steeped in euphoria. So needless to say I'm keen to experience what Yonatan is up to with this new outfit. I haven't even checked it out so the surprise is as vibrant as possible. “
“The Burning Hell never disappoints and I feel they're really on the come up in a big way, so a Hillside set will be a great addition to their trajectory. Anna Wiebe is a ridiculous talent from town (Guelph) and beyond underrated. However easy and simple her songs may seem, from a musician stand point, they're extremely articulate and full of subtle intricacies. It doesn't hurt that she has the voice you want to hear while sipping wine in a meadow, ya know ?!!
To my knowledge this is the first time another Guelph hometown hero gets to France the stage also, Bird City. This is the project of local Jenny Mitchell. Formerly Jenny Omnichord for those in the know. So it's nice to see her get the recognition. She had a great album last year that did super well on campus radio across the country. She’s a super hard working musician and also a vibrant community member shining a light on the seniors in our community through her CFRU93.3FM mobile unit. Where she goes to senior homes and collects the stories of those who have the most stories to tell us.”
“Again, because shining a light on your own backyard is crucial and overlooked. The sister project that is Bonnie Trash. Uber noir pysche rock. Very much so a fan fav in this town. Big respect and love for having the opportunity to see them do their brand of rock at Hillside.
I'm a product of the 90's so it goes without saying that I was a big fan of early 90's Cancon rockers Change Of Heart and I've always loved Ian Blurton's guitar playing. I've seen this cat in many different projects, so it's awesome to have him featured this year. Orville Peck is gonna be highlight, Fucked Up will get folks kicking up some dust. I've seen Steve Earle before but only once so I'm chuffed to see him again.
I'm hoping Hillside paid Bruce Cockburn enough to just play Lovers In A Dangerous Time over and over... but the Barenaked Ladies version.”
“For the folks w kids, make use of the child care centre area. I believe you can drop your wee ones off for 2 or 3 hrs so the parents can hit up the beer tents lol But the kids every year have a craft they do plus activities Theres also a good amount of kid themed planning for some of the stages. So I'm def looking forward to abandoning my children with a licensed E.C.E at some point in the drop off area.
As for food at Hillside. ALL OF IT IS GOOD. if you're there for the wknd, try as much as you can. There’s annual veterans in the food pavilion that you can always count on and they're local too, so that's a huge win and super conscientious In the past year or 2 some food trucks have popped up on the Lake and Island stages also. But as a family we're always looking forward to the dumplings and the wood oven pizza. My eldest Roenigk and I are also gonna get in on the hot dog grill a few times.”