There is a neighbourhood bar at Queen and Brock Street called The Shameful Tiki room. I missed it the first time because the signage is really poor and is in a quiet part of Parkdale. I walk in and the place was absolutely packed to the gills. The tropical drinks were flowing like a great monsoon and you could hear the band at the back of the joint.
As I walked through a smoke machine in the middle of the place, I looked in vain for a place to set up. I had to move to the back of this Oasis to find a single spot. The sound at the back was terrible and I wanted to get closer to the band. Over time people moved and I got a spot near the stage. Moon Junk played a great mix of 60’s psychedelic garage surf music. The beauty of their music was the simplicity of their sound. A lot of the songs were short and sweet and fun. This seemed to be a good mix of a joyous feel mixed with people who want to fantasize they were really somewhere else besides a stuck in a cold winter.
Moon Junk consisted of members Emjay, Martin Loomer, Owen Burgess, and Ian Esquivel. They played well together as a unit. There were no long solos or extended spotlights on one musician. They even did a great cover of The Monkees, I’m not your stepping stone. In fact about 80% of their material was cover songs, most of them so obscure you would think it was original material. The other 20% was original material, and Emjay promised there will be more originals in the future.
The sound system in the Tiki was below par, because it seemed the higher frequencies on the speakers didn’t exist. This made it hard for the band to have a fully rich sound, but Moonjunk was so campy, this seemed to work in their favour. This was the kind of sound you would hear playing from the Munster’s show as well as the Addam’s Family and even some Batman would not feel out of place. This is a young band, only about 1 year old and is making their own way with a sound you don’t hear from other bands today. Even the guitar player has a pink Disney guitar that he exclusively plays on stage. It is not just a gimmick for a song or two, but for the entire show.
If you truly need to unwind and do not want get into some heady music, this is a great band to unwind to. Just find them to see where they are playing next.
Here are some pics from Moon Junk’s performance:
Find Moonjunk here… http://moonjunk.ca/