Volume 95, Issue 76

Friday, February 15, 2002

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"Authentic" restaurant feels cheap and fake

Western gets ready for Purple Shorts

Like a rocket in your Pocket, these Dwellers bring the funk

Vagina opens up to the Western audience

Disc of the Week

Space rock takes flight in London

Rollerball = worst movie ever

Shits and Giggles

Like a rocket in your Pocket, these Dwellers bring the funk

By Grant Donaldson
Gazette Staff

What has 14 legs, seven pockets and some of the meanest horns known to man?

The answer is the Pocket Dwellers, a Toronto-based band whose eclectic style transcends all boundaries and nourishes all musical tastes

Gazette File Photo

.This highly-talented band includes guitars, horns, drums, keys, bass, a DJ and a hip-hop MC. Diversity of influences and instrumental input makes the Pocket Dwellers an oddity, but there is nothing odd about the end result.

"We are all so different and a lot of us are into different scenes. We feed off each other and what we listen to," explains guitarist Christian McKibbin.

This difference in taste accounts for their unique sound, which is a combination of hip-hop, funk, rock, soul, drum 'n bass, jazz and anything else that is swelling up inside them the night of a show.

While touring in support of their second album, Digitally Organic, the Pocket Dwellers aren't taking the album's continued success lying down.

"We are trying to make the skeletal, bare bones of new tracks," McKibbin says, explaining the band always aspires to provide new material for live shows. And while a new album is still in its earliest stages, McKibbin said they may put new stuff on their website shortly.

In the meantime, they continue to do what they are best known for live shows.

The band has played all across Canada, including the Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon, which McKibbin heralds as one of the band's most memorable performing experiences.

The Pocket Dwellers offer a show that is simultaneously down to earth and otherworldly. While they give off an energy that seems to lift them high above the crowd, the group always makes time to chat with the audience and thank them for coming out.

Onstage, the prominence of each Dweller provides a unique sense of equality that has become a rarity in a musical world obsessed with lead singers.

"We want to showcase everybody's talents," McKibbin says. "It's obviously important to have some kind of central figure, but at the same time we're allowing everyone to be an individual."

For the Pocket Dwellers, individual talent is at the forefront for several reasons seven to be exact. Each member of the extended family has a deep and technical musical background, but, as McKibbin explains, they never allow their personal talents to become stagnant.

"That's why we got into music in the first place, to keep learning. Anything you do, you want to get better at your craft."

Besides individual talent and determination, keeping a level head in the corporate music industry has allowed the Pocket Dwellers to become what they are today.

"It's beyond money. It's a love for each other and a love for what we're doing. And hopefully we can make a mark of what we're trying to do." McKibbin ponders.

Adhering to words of wisdom from the earliest days of the band, the Pocket Dwellers have lived up to their name. They continue to "play in the pocket," keeping each groove as mind-shattering as the next.

"It's hard work and it takes a strong spirit to do what you really want to do," McKibbin muses. "But, if you really believe in whatever you're doing and you truly love it do it no matter what."

The Pocket Dwellers will be at Call the Office Saturday night. Tickets are $7 at the door.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002