the Pale Moon Lights
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the Pale Moon Lights

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Band Folk Avant-garde

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Having relocated from Detroit to Edmonton, Patrick Michelak is a favourite person to talk to about the city.

In short, he loves it here as a musician, and working as a sound engineer at Wolf Willow Sound he gets to help develop the oft-unheralded audio component of local film and TV, not to mention a chunk of our rustic musical culture. He also runs the board at the Empress with precision.

But today we’ll be talking about the band he plays bass in, Pale Moon Lights. Their bio sums it up: “Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood once described the most important quality of Canadian culture: grim survival. Our physical and social environment is raw and difficult. That rawness is our muse. We craft our songs around pain, loss, death and survival. Emotions are poured into melodies and our frustrations are pounded into rhythms.”

Kris Glabush is an extremely emotive singer, a fist-clencher who closes his eyes for the high notes. This is a band that sings with and about its feelings.

For their show tomorrow at ARTery, the band decided to take a backseat curatorial role. Michelak explains: “We put together the show that we would want to see. The bands sound nothing like each other and that’s how we wanted it.”

The lineup has Jody Shenkarek with Fear + Worry and Pale Moon Lights opening for the beautifully goth-country Concealer, whom you need to see, trust me. “The Pale Moon Lights haven’t played very many shows lately,” Patrick continues. “We’ve been reworking songs and finding our legs as a three-piece. Our guitarist moved to Wells last year. We’re definitely finding our sound though, lots of new songs going in new, weird directions. It feels like a new band for the three of us. We’ll be recording a new album this year, when I can break myself away from Colleen’s album and the Black Mastiff album I’ll be doing this spring.”

That would be Lady Colleen Brown, first, and second, Edmonton’s answer to Black Sabbath.

Well, one of them, if we want to be accurate. Brown will be playing both Night Works in the Park events at Hawrelak Park’s Silver Skate Festival this weekend.

“Concealer,” says the PML bass player, “is one of our favorite bands in town and they are going to headline the show. Mostly being selfish here, so we can watch them play after we’re done. But we also feel like they are the band that should be headlining.”

It’s an all-ages show, at 9 p.m. Idris Fashon drums, I should mention. No one mentions the poor drummers. - The Sun


No one wants to get stuck in a rut, and sometimes the only way to make sure that doesn't happen is to completely change what you're doing. Pale Moon Lights has gone through many changes in the last year, and it's been both challenging and liberating. Though known as an alt-country band throughout Edmonton, the group's new songs and lineup show a progression in style and scope.
Having lost a bassist and guitarist just over a year ago, singer/guitarist Kris Glabush and drummer Idris Fashan decided to forget about a second guitarist and replace only the bassist with Patrick Michalak (who also plays with local phenom Colleen Brown) and continue on as a three-piece, allowing them the freedom to change their arrangements and explore new sounds.

"Patrick came into the mix, and what we were listening to was not what we were playing, so it felt like a good time to springboard into something different," says Glabush. "We wanted everything to change."

"It's a bit of an exploration," adds Fashan. "We're starting to dabble in some styles and some things that I would never imagine myself being involved in–like getting into layering and the use of electronics, really just reframing structures as we're going along."

Old fans won't be disappointed because the changes they're making are organic; their songwriting may be evolving, but they're still the Pale Moon Lights. They just don't want to be relegated to a single genre.

"I think we kind of said 'fuck it' to the genre—there's no sense in being pigeonholed," says Glabush. "Even the stuff that I was originally playing ... it was coming out naturally, so I didn't want to fight it, and we all just kind of went with it. It was never contrived while we were doing it, but to keep that going would be."

Adds Fashan, "It's like a different danger when you hang on, because things can get stale before you even recognize it."

The homecoming and rebirth of the re-energized Pale Moon Lights is this Saturday, where they'll be joined by their friends in Concealer and Jody Shenkarek Fear and Worry. - Vue Weekly


Discography

Pale Moon Lights S/T EP

...Upcoming LP 2011

Photos

Bio

Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood once described the most important quality of Canadian culture: grim survival. Our physical and social environment is raw and difficult. That rawness is our muse. We craft our songs around pain, loss, death and survival. Emotions are poured into melodies and our frustrations are pounded into rhythms. Guitar patterns mark the stars in the sky, and the bass forms the dirt that kicks up into our faces. In a short time, the band has built a raw, unique sound that warms as much as it saddens, and tells of the stories that lie within us, as they once laid within our ancestors.

The Pale Moon Lights was started by Kris Glabush, who was writing songs for several years inspired by experience and stories. The death of his grandfather brought him a new perspective on life and his history, and provided a backdrop for much of his writing.

Idris Fashan eschews his percussion background for something different. He looks elsewhere in his drumming, leaning away from a technical approach. Instead, he reaches for "naive drumming" styles to give a spirit and heartbeat that is both tangible and tasteful..

Patrick Michalak comes to PML with a new spirit. After moving from Detroit to marry a dame from Edmonton, Patrick was asked to play with us and fell in as though he'd always been there. He's come from a very musical background which includes a long winded stint in the band the Silent Years. He's also a recording engineer with a heavy resume of experience.

Some of our influences include:

Bob Dylan
Beach Boys
Beatles

American Music Club
Elbow
GBV
Idaho
Robert Wyatt
Lou Reed
Nick Drake
Neutral Milk Hotel