Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm now in Vancouver, hanging out with some friends before I head up to Northern BC, where I'll hopefully find some stocked liquor cabinets... I saw Lakeboat and Hank & Lily on Friday in Victoria - Lakeboat's made large strides in my absence, recruiting Thomas and Mattie from Run Chico Run as their new rhythm section, and Jesse Scott no longer has traded in his guitar for a tambourine and some Bob Pollard-esque moves.

Daddy's Hands didn't end up playing on Friday, which was indeed a shame, but I got to hear the new Black Mountain record, which is impressive beyond the words I'm able to muster to describe it. Pre-order it, if you can, or snatch up a couple of copies when it comes out.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Whether or not Daddy's Hands' Dave Wanger was as big of an influence on the song-writing of Atlas Strategic (and by implication, Wolf Parade?) and Frog Eyes as so many hecklers would have led anyone to believe in Victoria a couple of years back is certainly up for discussion. (In drunken moments, I've heard it said that he was a gigantic Godhead figure in that small burg below the 49th parallel on Vancouver Island, but I can't recall if it was me saying that or someone else...) It is not up for discussion, however, that throughout his various musical outlets he's never been able to muster up any stability that could have led to him receiving some very deserved attention... (Though Metal Maniacs Magazine did favourly review the demo tape of his high school metal band, Moral Decay) From Breakwater to M Blanket (a group who's members included Frankie Sparo) to Ache Hour Credo to Daddy's Hands and now Charter Cruise, Wanger has charted a rather wobbly path, through the death of Daddy's Hands' member Emily, Kevin Shields-like control issues and constantly reconsidering moving back to his hometown of Victoria from Montreal...

"just another schoolyard bully ..he's apparently doing some sort of lounge act ..i hope he dies miserable and alone fuck charity he deserves whatever he gets ..shit now i feel guilty ..i don't hate you dave i hope you are doing fine..(i just don't know whether to hate or love ..)

Yikes, Google speaks! Anyway...

The more readily available Tutankhamun was originally released on the Que Sara label, and licensed under the Cargo imprint, Headhunter, and some might be aware of the track on the Slow To Burn compilation Group Therapy Explosion, but there are other releases floating about, most notably Marc (one-time member of Daddy's Hands) from The Mintaka Conspiracy label's releases of "Welcome Kings" (100 copies), and "Ghost In The Bong", which came out in September 2002. Other gentleman-archivists include Jeremy Robinson, proprietor of Ditch Records in Victoria, who had run off a couple of copies of a double-CD set of every song he could get his hands on, including the two early demos, and the Parka 3's David Barclay.*

Daddy's Hands - Summertime.mp3
Daddy's Hands - That's Rich.mp3
Daddy's Hands - There Won't Be A Next Time.mp3

Dave Wanger is back on his feet again and performing - he played last June while visiting in Victoria, substituting for Glass Candy & The Shattered Theatre, and apparently under the influence of a barbituate cocktail, as well as under the moniker Charter Cruise with The Ten Commandments at the Barfly a couple of months back. And now he's living in Victoria, performed last week in Vancouver, and will be playing (if he damn well feels like it, I've been told) tomorrow evening in Victoria at the 50-50 Collective along with Lakeboat and Hank & Lily. Owing to a fortuitous turn of events, I'll be able to catch that show, as I'm flying out from here in a couple of hours on a West Coast holiday tour.

* Another interesting link in this weird six-degrees-of-seperation is professional silent lurker Tam, who may or may not be releasing an album with Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label, but certainly has freaked out many a mop-haired rocker in her time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Back in Montreal after a stint on the East Coast where they played with Les Unicorns Francais, and sleeping in my living room, Vancouver's post-hardcore trio the Witness Protection Program are headlining a bill at the Electric Tractor tonight, along with Les Yeah Yeah Yeahs Francais and intheBROKENSOUND.

The Electric Tractor - 6674 de l'Esplanade, doors @ 8pm, $5

Monday, December 13, 2004

Are you worried about the future of the written word?

William STYRON:Not really. I get moments of alarm. Not long ago I received in the mail a doctoral thesis entitled: “Sophie’s Choice: A Jungian Perspective,” which I sat down to read. It was quite a long document. In the first paragraph it said, “In this thesis my point of reference throughout will be the Alan J. Pakula movie of Sophie’s Choice.” There was a footnote, which I swear to you said, “Where the movie is obscure I will refer to William Styron’s novel for clarification.” This idiocy laid a pall over my life for a dark brief time because it brought back all these bugaboos we have about the written word.

The NY Times Book section had an article in it about the Paris Review's online catalogue of author interviews, The DNA of Literature project, which they're just starting to put up in pdf format, and I've been skimming through it, catching things of interest here and there... It's worth spending a couple of hours here or there. The DNA Of Literature

“During signing sessions my queue is always full of, you know, wild-eyed sleazebags and people who stare at me very intensely, as if I have some particular message for them.” - Martin Amis

I've long considered (well, ever since that Mean magazine cover had him portrayed as Jesus in 97 or 98) Vincent Gallo to be pretty similar to Dennis Miller, the main difference being that Gallo's got that Manson-like look which gives every asshole utterance of his some sort of weight (Devandra Obi Banhart, too, right?) and that whereas Dennis Miller is an unfunny comedian, Vincent Gallo is an unfunny uhh conceptual artist or filmmaker or guy who used to be in Konk or something. Nonetheless, I'll take the opportunity to see his cock without having to watch that Brown Bunny movie, and Gawker has just provided me with that opportunity... Gallo's Cock and Sevigny's Mouth.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Warrior Magazine launch party on Thursday devolved into a rollicking dustup, a worthy homage to the violence that marred the Vibe Awards... Arlen of Wolf Parade found himself straddled by a Kops Krew representative, and Warrior publisher Tony Trew's head met the business side of a flying beer bottle. Speculatory gossip and comparative analysis can be found here... Beaver's cramped quarters performance was enjoyable, his voice reminding me a bit of the Mountain Goats, and he mentioned that next year he'd be putting together a band to flush out the songs, which will add quite a bit...

I dare you all to spend some time snooping about this directory... The jpg titled "plunderbunnies" is a special favourite, but I bet there are more hidden delights awaiting discovery. I just don't have the stomach for it right now...

Mos Def - Wylin Out.mp3
Joy Division - Disorder.mp3

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Psych Warriors or Cowboys From Hell?

Warrior Magazine launches its second issues tonight in Montreal, proving that not every new magazine is an indulgent and masturbatory waste of time, published by recent English graduates and lacking rudimentary copy editing (blogs do it so much better, anyway)... Of course, I'm DJing this, so I would only have congratulatory things to say, wouldn't I?

1817 Ste.Catherine O Thursday, December 9... Doors @ 9, pay-what-you-can... Avec Myyellowfall, and DJs DAN SELIGMAN and Jay Watts III. Spencer from Wolf Parade may be playing as well, you'll have to see.

If you'd prefer to mourn the tragic, tragic loss of one of heavy metal's best goatee-farmers Dimebag Darryl, Montreal's biggest Pantera fans will be performing dirge-like requiems in his memory tonight. Steve Aoki's desert-island group Pony Up and the Kickers at The Green Room, 9pm. "RE! SPECT!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I attended the Malajube show last night at Petit Campus... Despite a late start, everything finished up pretty much on time (a 10:30 curfew in place so the place could fill up for the Campus' white-tank-top bump'n'grind Tuesday night event), with Malajube returning for a two-song encore. I'd never seen the band before, and despite the obvious Unicorns comparisons (specifically with regards to certain syncopated drum beats and vocal melodies, and stop-start dynamics, though I assume that's a result of a shared post-hardcore musical past), it was an entertaining and heavily Francophonic show. The openers were forgettable, not the next Jean LeLoupe as my companion, Danager commented.

Also in attendance at the show was a be-spectacled, mop-topped ruffian, representing NYC's cut'n'paste glitch-pop shoppers Mixel Pixel, who played this year's PopMontreal festival. I'm ashamed to say I'd heard of the group, but never listened to them before, and when you're out in public, you can't googlesearch, ya know?

Mixel Pixel - Pink Shirts.mp3

A small, racist snippet: "Hungary? Do you know what immigrants' homes smell like? Now imagine a whole nation of immigrants. That's what Hungary smells like."


The Get Hustle are a cabaret-tinged vision-force of bleak, liqueur-soaked voodoo and hallucinations emenating from seances with long-dead Parisians in 1920s brothels. Comprised of singer Valentine, drummer Ron Avila (formerly of San Diego's Antioch Arrow and Heroin), and Mac Mann (also of Antioch Arrow), the trio has chartered a similarly murky musical course through the arcane and profane as fellow Portland dwellers Pleasure Forever, releasing two 7"s (I've Got A Gun & I'm Excited and most recently Who Do You Love/Mad Power, featuring a lurching cover of the Bo Diddley original) the Now We're All Gone (GSL) and Dream Eagle (31G) EPs and (the now out-of-print) Earth Oyssey LP (5RC/KRS). They'll be featured on an upcoming tribute album to the Birthday Party as well.

The Get Hustle - Pharoah's Horses.mp3
Antioch Arrow - Conspiring the Go-Go.mp3

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Malajube CD Release

Montreal's second most popular "post-hardcore kids playing pop" group Malajube celebrate the release of their debut album, "Compte Complet" tonight at Petit Campus. The album's on Dare To Care Records and Tracy Maurice, who's probably familiar to most as the designer of Arcade Fire (the second coming of the Osmonds) and Wolf Parade album artwork, is responsible for the sleeve design. Mp3 samples below...

Petit Campus, 57 Prince-Arthur East, Doors @ 9pm
with Avec Pas D'Casse opening

La Maladie.mp3
Le Robot Sexy.mp3

Monday, December 06, 2004

This article on Pabst Blue Ribbon is over a year old, and all the kids in Montreal are drinking Labatt 50 now anyways (as a Gazette article pointed out a couple of months ago, with commentary on the phenomenon by local pin-maker and , Mike Long) but it's interesting nonetheless, in that slightly hung over, lying in bed reading random websites on your girlfriend's laptop kinda way... (I'm finding that Reverend Moon and his crowning as the King of Peace are piquing my interest right now as well.)

The single key text in Neal Stewart's codification of the meaning of P.B.R. is the book No Logo, by the journalist Naomi Klein. Published in 2000, No Logo is about the incursion of brands and marketing into every sphere of public life, the bullying and rapacious mind-set that this trend represents and evidence of a grass-roots backlash against it, especially among young people. Klein's view is that this would feed a new wave of activists who targeted corporations. Stewart's view is that the book contains ''many good marketing ideas.'' He says it ''really articulated the feelings, the coming feelings, of the consumer out there: eventually people are gonna get sick of all this stuff'' — all this marketing — ''and say enough is enough.''

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Western Alienation.

Chris Frey, guitarist and vocalist from Radio Berlin and photographer of note, has a new band called Book of Lists, indulging himself in a passion for the Postcard Records discography, Felt, Josef K and an e-bow possibly? I hear some Ride in there. It's beyond mere mimicry, though, as any fan of Radio Berlin could tell you. (A group that has, more than any other, charted and transcended any new-wave revivals over the past six years or so more than any other, and with less esteem than they deserve.) The group is going into Vancouver's The Hive to record a couple of songs later this month, possibly for a release on Global Symphonic, a label which has done much over the number of years to define the musical landscape of British Columbia, but has yet to (to my knowledge) receive the coverage they deserve from Exclaim!. Harumph.

Book of Lists will be playing the Pink Mountaintops home-coming show on Wednesday, December 8 in Vancouver BC at Richards on Richards. Okanagan-born and Vancouver-ripened psych-group Ladyhawk are opening, as well.

Also on the West Coast, Ashley Webber (bassist) has left The Organ and Droom have just released their new album, Ten Songs.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

HHH -Tex + Jazz Dancer!

With the departure of guitarist Dante Decarro for a small cabin further up Vancouver Island, Hot Hot Heat fans were both melancholic and confused. Internet messageboards filled up quickly with speculation as to who would replace the young Ian Svenonius look-a-like lovingly referred to as "Tex" by female friends. Speculation gesticulated wildly (metaphorically-speaking), like a down-on-her-luck stripper entering a K Hole... Would it be another young Victorian, plucked from the bush-leagues, or a former Instill bandmember? Perhaps a remnant of a Maoist? Or maybe a CanCon also-ran, like a member of better-left-forgotten Econoline Crush. Would anyone give Dan And of Lakeboat a chance, or had his admiration of the Byrds and CCR excluded him from consideration? Luke Paquin, formerly of a group that I've never heard of (and I bet you haven't either, extensive google-searching turns up only 3 performances!) called The Stradlers has been named as the El Pompadour's replacement.

Information is scant, however; we know that at 15, Luke was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was a treasured member of the Cara Feile Irish Dancers troupe. His biography, loaded with subtext... "Luke has been dancing since the 2nd grade taking classes like clogging, tap, Irish dancing, ballet, jazz, and modern. He is also on the swim team."

The album, with Dante noodling in-tact, is titled "Elevator" and will be released in April, with the first single being "You Owe Me an IOU". I expect there to be an announcement shortly to the effect that HHH's vegetarian meat-alternative food product "Not Not Meat" will soon be available on the market. (Oooh, what a pun.)

Running Out of Time
Island of the Honest Man
Dirty Mouth
You Owe Me an IOU
No Jokes - Fact
Goodnight, Goodnight
Middle of Nowhere
Pickin' It Up
Ladies and Gentlemen
Shame on You
Soldier in a Box
Jingle Jangle

The author of the 20 Jazz Funk Greats blog (which I highly recommend - it makes me mourn the lack of any intelligently written and somewhat witty pop/rock criticism on this side of the pond) has a pertinent message. In this case, the missive is directed at England's sizable population of art-school students, but it's applicable to Montreal's population, too. "[...]kids - just stop hanging round has been gay house djs with more coke than taste."

Over ten years ago, Ian Svenonius, fronting the Nation of Ulysses (who still have some serious outstanding intellectual copyright issues to take up with those Swedish chameleons, the International Noise Conspiracy*) warned the kids not to rat out their friends...

Anyway, it's term paper time, so I'm busy for the next little while and won't be able to plop up as many mp3s as I'd like, but upon my return to more regular blogging, I should be posting mp3s accompanied with more substantial chunks of writing. Oh joy. In the meantime, go ferret out the new LCD Soundsystem record.

* And what exactly is it about the world of Swedish pop and rock music (or perhaps just the stuff we get over here) that churns out these "version of" bands... Roxette was the Swedish Eurythmics, down to the trenchcoat their guitarist wore (Dave Stewart's, thanks) and the blonde buzzcut that belonged to Annie Lenox. The Sounds are only Blondie in image, their songwriting not quite up to snuff. The International Noise Conspiracy, fronted by ex-Refused vocalist Dennis Lyxxen, owe a massive debt to Ian Svenonius' The MakeUp, which only makes that little Nation of Ulysses as the template for Refused even more fucked up. Ace of Base was a Swedish version of a Swedish band, Abba, for Christ's sake! And the Cardigans' (who could pull of the Blondie schtick far slicker than The Sounds) latest album sounds like Fleetwood Mac!