Timber Timbre makes haunted-house doo-wop

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      There are a bevy of standout tracks on Timber Timbre’s latest album, Creep On Creepin’ On, but don’t expect to immediately recognize them when the trio performs at the Vogue next week.

      “The live show is completely different, it’s always been different from the recording,” ringleader Taylor Kirk says on the line from his adopted home of Montreal. “Playing music this way and touring, it’s really like a karaoke kind of thing. To be able to do it differently and change instrumentation is a way to keep things fresh and interesting.”

      And perhaps a way for the singer-guitarist and his recently recruited bandmates Mika Posen and Simon Trottier to handle the monotony of spending their days crammed into a tour van.

      “It was a bit mental,” Kirk says of Timber Timbre’s recent stint in support of its acclaimed fourth effort. “I’m a bit of a homebody and don’t go out much and I’m a very private person so it’s been quite crazy with the stuff we’ve done. Actually, I don’t remember very much about the last several years—it’s all been so crazy.”

      Ask the former Torontonian, who began Timber Timbre as a solo project in 2005, about his time spent in a derelict performance space in New Brunswick, however, and his recollection is crystal clear. Paul Hammond of the Sackville festival SappyFest invited him out east to do a songwriting residency. Kirk accepted.

      “I went out to Sackville a year ago and they gave me access to this old, dilapidated vaudeville theatre,” he recalls. “I kind of set up in there and just worked for two and a half weeks just assembling all those bits and pieces that I was jotting down when I was in the tour van, and just in the world, you know.”

      Listening to the eerie, gothic swamp rock at the heart of numbers like “Woman” and “Too Old to Die Young”, one can easily picture the creaking floorboards and cobweb-draped walls that helped to inspire Creep On Creepin’ On.

      “Everyone always asks, ”˜What does the record sound like?’ So I say, ”˜It’s like a haunted house tape with doo-wop,’ ” Kirk says. He continues with: “We spent a year and a half or more just driving around in the van and listening to music before this record. And now going back after spending some time away from the record itself, and listening to things from that year again, you hear very clearly where things have come from. Or where we’ve stolen things subconsciously and even deliberately.”

      While Kirk isn’t shy about lifting a riff from whatever’s blasting from the stereo, it seems rather unlikely that the man gunning for Tom Waits’s throne will pilfer anything, knowingly or otherwise, from his latest record-store find.

      I’ve got Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) here,” Kirk says with a laugh. “That doesn’t make a lot of sense, I know.”

      Timber Timbre plays the Vogue Theatre on Wednesday (June 1).




      May 26, 2011 at 2:12pm

      Has there been a venue change? My ticket says it's @ the Vogue.....

      Miranda Nelson

      May 27, 2011 at 10:45am

      Duly noted, kids. Article updated. Thanks!