Chandra The Garrison, Toronto ON, February 17
Published Feb 18, 2017Hurling headlong into a weekend celebration of exceptional weirdness and inspired independence, Wavelength opened the 17th edition of their annual festival strong, tapping cult post-punk child star Chandra Oppenheim to set things in motion.
The daughter of NYC art scenesters, Oppenheim was 12 years old when — backed by adult members of the once John Cale-produced new wave act the Model Citizens — she penned her Transportation EP, and following a recent reissue of the record, Oppenheim (now in her late 40s) has since reignited the Chandra band.
Now performing with a powerhouse six-piece of younger players from Toronto's music scene, the Wavelength set provided the interesting opportunity of hearing those songs (as well as later tracks recorded with Chandra's all-teenage touring band the Chandra Dimension) with the switch flipped on the dynamic that brought them into this world in the first place. And, completely unannounced, we got a special ear into unreleased 1983 treasure "Day Without Success," too, a particularly involved exercise for the locals, Victoria Cheong (New Chance) and Julie Reich's (Bile Sister) dizzyingly staggered backing harmonies and drummer Jesse Locke's (Century Palm) disco sizzle featuring prominently alongside Oppenheim's vocals.