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Tuesday October 4th, 2011

Posted at 12:45pm

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The sixth annual Harvesting the F.A.M. Fest kicked off over the weekend, with all three levels of The Loop Building busy with patrons and musicians all night.

It all started in the basement at The Coach and Horses with garage rockers The Hypnotics. The Brothers Konstantino made for an adorably dorky front, backed up by the sharply dressed TJ Dowhaniuk. In addition to music off their latest release “Soul At Seven” they debuted a few tracks off an upcoming album that was recorded in Toronto over the summer and will be released on vinyl sometime this winter. In particular I was fond of the song “TB Blues”, an excellent example of the way these guys incorporate different influences into their alternative-garage style.

After them, still at The Coach, came a group that is frequently credited as being “the hardest working band in Windsor.” Orphan Choir gave a great performance, their fast and loud punk drawing a very large crowd, especially considering that this is Windsor and they played relatively early.

The top-level, The Loop itself, hosted a fantastic show by Surdaster, a band known for their long and eccentric songs. The set culminated with the track “Mad Dog”, always a crowd pleaser, this time even more so, with the audience playing instruments, vocalists hanging out on top of the drums, and a member of Dead Letters, who had previously played a set down at FM, joining in on guitar for the end. Obviously the band enjoys what they do as much as the audience enjoys egging them on.

In the next few minutes I caught the very end of a very anticipated set by Salt of The Chief Cornerstone, a two-piece originally from Windsor who re-located to L.A, and punk-rockers Attention, who had quite a crowd going in The Coach.

The night ended upstairs with the return of The Sean Connery Supergroup, a band dedicated to their image as much as their music. The chant of “S…CS, S…CS!” went up as they got ready to play, and it became clear that in the year since these guys last played, fans have missed them. If you want a band that doesn’t take themselves at all seriously, this is it. Entertaining beyond words both with what they’re playing and their onstage antics, they’re always worth checking out.

On Saturday evening at The Dugout there were some very talented two-piece bands tearing it up. After the baseball game ended, Oshawa’s The Standstills took up the mic in front of a very appreciative crowd. Female drummers always seem to go over well, and they fact that the other half was a very talented singer/guitar player was a recipe for success with the show-goers. Eclectic and dynamic rock, this duo put on quite a show, and will hopefully be returning soon.

They were followed by Windsor’s The Blue Stones, who, despite technical difficulties, managed a great set. The vocals cut in and out, it’s true, but there was nothing to take away from the twosome’s ability to play their instruments. A recently released special edition CD, including all the tracks from the self-titled EP released earlier this year, in addition to a few more. This garage-blues duo plays regularly in the local circuit, and are more than worth catching live.

F.A.M. Fest continues throughout the week with film screenings, seminars, and art displays, with music returning on Thursday at Phog Lounge and Milk Coffee Bar.

For  the full gallery of photos from the show, click here.

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