On May 26, multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist psychedelic folk rocker Micah Erenberg will be performing at The Northern.
The native of Matlock, Manitoba and his four musical colleagues are on a tour of Western Canada to promote their latest album called Poor Mic’s Toe; the name is a riff on a song called Morphine, which is a dramatization of how Erenberg lost a toe to a lawnmower at the age of 12.
“I was mowing my lawn and I fell over and pulled the lawnmower over my foot,” he said. “So I wrote a comedic dramatization about that experience.”
In the song, the protagonist can’t get over a morphine fix he picks up after losing the appendage but the real Erenberg said he doesn’t touch the stuff.
Interestingly, one time a random audience member tried to show his appreciation for a show by offering the nine-toed 24-year old a handful of what he said was morphine.
“I was like, ‘I don’t really want these,’” he said. “But I appreciated the sentiment.”
Erenberg said exciting and disturbing encounters with fans are par for the course when performing as a psychedelic folk-rocker.
At a recent show in Winnipeg, one fan became so overcome with emotion – and alcohol – that he jumped on stage with Erenberg and the band and launched into a wild air-guitar solo.
“He was yelling and dancing and having a great time,” said Erenberg.
Unfortunately, the fan became entangled in Erenberg’s very real and unimagined guitar cable and knocked one of his guitars off its stand.
“He really wanted to rock out, so all the power to him,” said Erenberg. “He almost broke one of my guitars but what can you do?”
On the album, the band’s songs are short and concise but when they play live they let loose a little bit and improvise and jam a little bit, he said.
“It’s a bit more of an instrumental experience,” said Erenberg. “It’s a bit more engaging.”
Erenberg contrasted the controlled anarchy of his live performances with the relative introspective calm of writing and recording music.
“Recording albums is really this crazy goal that you have,” he said. “You put all your effort into something that you hope people will enjoy but at the live shows people have fun and make friends and that’s a whole other side.”
He and his bandmates have just started recording a new album, which they hope to release early next year. He said he’s been playing live shows since the age of 14 and that he has been with his current band for about two years.
This will be the second time Erenberg and his band perform at The Northern. They stopped by the popular venue last September on a cross-Canada tour and had an incredible experience.
“The people in the town are awesome,” he said. “Our friends from Winnipeg came out, it was a really good time.”