Monday, January 31, 2005

Cancer Bats

Toronto's "hardcore kids in search of a new genre" Cancer Bats, fronted by Montreal's Liam whatshizname perform a set of drop-D acid rock to a crowd of irritated and bickering messageboard hounds at 2106 de Bleury tonight. In the wake of Spin Magazine's guide to Montreal and Dylan Young's shocking and inflammatory column in last week's issue of The Hour, tempers have flared and the self-loathing trust-funded and movers-and-shakers have squared off over such life-or-death matters as myths surrounding festival entrance fees and over-promotion of events.

Cancer Bats - Technolocron.mp3
Cancer Bats - Shillelagh.mp3

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Satyr-like Rich from Vancouver.

Rich is a fresh-faced Vancouver music enthusiast who hosts a radio show on CJSF with the unfortunate name of How To Bowl. Perhaps it was a ska show at one point, but now he plays Daddy's Hands and Ex-Dead Teenager. Good enough for me. MP3s of past shows with heavy Vancouver content are available for all of you ahead-of-the-gamers looking for the next Montreal.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

T. Rex and Primal Scream and Duchess Says

Released in March of 1975, the T. Rex album Bolan's Zip Gun was met with silence from the charts in England, despite being a stripped-down version saved from the synth-heavy excess of the two previous albums (Tanx and Zinc Alloy). Bolan's spry poetry is absent and Tony Visconti's production is missing on this album as well, making the whole album sound like a parody of mid-career T. Rex: absurd boogie-minded riffs with nary a hook in sight, oppressive backing vocals that practically drown out the rest of the instrumentation, and Bolan would later go on to proclaim that Zip Gun was the worst record he'd ever made.

T Rex - Golden Belt.mp3

Golden Belt begins with a steam-engine harmonica, syncopated percussive and piano flourishes and Gloria Jones wailing her northern soul out. It's crowded and excessive and bloated, just like Bolan at the time of the recording in 1974, hanging out in California with Harry Nilsson. "I did nothing but sit in the sun and drink brandy all day".

Primal Scream's 2000 album XTRMNTR! is one primordial slab of fuzzed out guitars and synthesizers, massive and imposing drums and penetrating basslines performed by an ensemble cast of some of the most influential performers of British music in the past 15 years or so... Fronted by former Jesus & Mary Chain drummer Bobby Gillespie, the album includes contributions from Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, Manni of The Stone Roses, Bernard Sumner of New Order, programming by Tim Goldsworthy of New York post-punk production house and label DFA and production by Dan The Automator and The Chemical Brothers, who I don't really care for. It's a great testament to the ability of middle-aged British people to outperform their peers across the pond. And it was released by Creation Records, too. Right!

Primal Scream - Kill All Hippies.mp3

Kill All Hippies resonates with any Montreal resident who has the misfortune of living within earshot of the Sunday tam-tams, a drum-circle gathering of the great unwashed spiritual seekers (who are even more insidious for being so deliberately naive/drug-addled that they seem strangely incapable of harming anyone) and McGill students unsure of what happened to Pearl Jam's fanbase and seeking answers amongst the first group. Bobby Gillespie's falsetto, Einsturzindesque drums, dualing basslines and squealing LFO-heavy synths articulate the the pursuit of new musical frontiers in the face of millenial paranoia and so forth! Was there a better album-opener in 2000?

from the Montreal Mirror...

For my money (or my parent's), Duchess Says have managed to capture something definite and strong with their new lineup that's often lacking in similarily-oriented Montreal bands (the We Are Wolves mp3s, for example, are a tad bit disappointing, unfortunately), it could be the addition of a new drummer, or a fresh determination to undermine people's expectations, but whatever it is, this track CUT UP is a suitable chaser for the previous Primal Scream (and even bears some similarities to the follower ACCELERATOR on the Primal Scream album)...

Duchess Says - CCCUTUUPP.mp3

Hot Springs, Dream Catcher, Unireverse and Michael Doerksen.

Hot Springs @ Musique-Plus

Earlier last night, I went and caught the Hot Springs at Musique-Plus, the Quebecois affiliate of Canada's Muchmusic. There was a flurry of heavily accented French and free Jos Louis treats available after the performance.

DreamCatcher @ The Electric Tractor

One half of Suicide meets Flux Information Sciences without any stage presence whatsoever, unfortunately...

The Unireverse @ The Electric Tractor

Three men with an array of synthesizers, a tape machine and a drum machine performing songs, one being an ode to failed 20th century attempts to build infrastructure on the sun.

l-r: Bearded man with Michael Doerksen.

Friday, January 28, 2005

AutoVaud Wrap-Up and Friday Night Calendar.

I attended last night's Automatic Vaudeville Shandfest at the Main Hall. Taking cinematic cues from both Sergei Eisenstein and Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev, the first two films, Shand and Shand Zweiss, of the nine-part cycle delved deeply into the very grim recesses of humanity's unconsciousness and the Mythic in the most Jungian manner I've seen in cinema in some time. The feature film of the night Apartment Complex marked a turn away from some of the more elaborate and fantastic works of Autovaud's past, and was essentially a Vanity Film about a Vanity Film, eliciting equal amounts of accusations that the emperor wore no clothes and declarations of genius. In my mind, the film positioned itself in such a slippery manner that criticisms are difficult to level at it, and I do have to admit that I preferred 2004's landmark docu-drama The Recommendations, but the film is still a worthy addition to their catalogue.

Now that all of the New Year's resolutions have run their course and failed to stick, Montreal can return to the debaucherous and over-stimulated lifestyle it is recognized the world across for. Some events happening tonight...

Unireverse, Dreamcatcher, Scream Baby Scream @ The Electric Tractor - 6674 De L'Esplanade at St-Zotique. $6.

The Blend-In Blind Inn, Duchess Says, Darryl Balls, Anfan @ La Sala Rossa. $10.

Duchess Says will be performing after a collaborative and improvisational set, so get stoned beforehand.

A bit of an interesting addendum: Arlen of Wolf Parade was responsible for recording AIDSWOLF yesterday. Any idea on who's going to release it?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Wolf Parade + AIDS Wolf

Stephen Guy, editor of the Slouching Towards blog which documents his various escapades and triumphs in post-Soviet Hungary and the finest former 10 Commandments bassist around, gave me the heads-up on the Wolf Parade live session at the CBC's JustConcerts website. It was recorded on November 1 of last year in Vancouver, just after their double-stint with Pink Mountaintops and recording with Modest Mouse's Herr Isaac Brock. Also, as far as I know, the release date for the SubPop debut hasn't been announced, but there's a temporary tri-continental diaspora, as Dan's in Taiwan and Spencer's touring in Europe with the Destroyer and Frog Eyes hybrid.

Also on the topic of lupids, AIDSWOLF, (featuring Montreal's premier silk-screen addicts Seripop) are in the studio today, recording.

Montreal residents, don't forget about tonight's Automatic Vaudeville spectacular at the Main Hall tonight!

Canada's most productive nerd contingent and other movers and shakers are lovingly photographed and given the opportunity to voice opinions in the 100th issue of the CBC Radio 3 webzine, including Vice's Tim Barber, the last person I voted for - the Bloc Quebecois' Gilles Duceppe, David Desjardins of Voir, Gavin McInnes' ass on a dirtbike, and others.

Tuesday in Montreal.

David Border Troubles Carr, Dan Papa Bear Seligman, Marie-Catherine Put It On My Tab Anderson

Jace, of Spin Magazine heart-throbs, the Besnard Lakes

Nick Robinson, formerly of Mishima, and a Six Finger Satellite fan.

David Helping Hand Carr

Noelle The Hustler Sorbara

...And the terrible, terrible saga of ET's late-night molestation.






Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Though I'm unsure about what constitutes an acceptable amount of rumour-mill output, I'll take a chance and reveal that the remaining members of The Unicorns are now in Los Angeles working with a rogue's gallery of indie folks on a holiday-themed song to benefit a charity. I don't know if Giovanni Ribisi sings, but I'd like him to try...

Optimus Crime has vacated Montreal, opting for chaste and pastoral pursuits in quaint old Kingston, Ontario, and abandoning his readers... Are there other sarcastic, smart and smarmy graduate students in Montreal capable of entertaining me with the high n' low brow dialectics of political news and pop-culture commentary?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


England's Drowned-In-Sound has an interview with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.

As Robin "The Titan of Terabytes" Simpson pointed out in his comment to the previous post, we occasionally embark on Tintin-esque adventures together - he as an inspired version of the intrepid boy reporter, albeit a brunette version, and I a beardless and avuncular Captain Haddock, swilling whiskey and cursing loudly. We are, however, missing a crucial component in this arrangement - that of Snowy, the dimunitive and cheery-souled puppy pal with a fine intuitive sense and a passport. If you're interested, contact us, either through the newspaper or the United Shipworkers Union office.

Black Mountain Video

If you're a lonely, tubby and bespectacled teenage nerdboy considering an Animation program at a college or a know-it-all clerk at a video store in Guelph (probably lonely, too), you probably unwind after a long day of unrelentless pedantry by contemplating growing a goatee and watching Zed TV. I don't, and I don't know many who did, so when this aired a couple of weeks ago, it did so below my finely-tuned Cultural Radar, which usually maps the flow of the Zeitgeist like Vasco de Gama mapped wherever it was that he shipped himself off to. Anyway, the massive resources of the state-run broadcasting system, the CBC, have provided even non-Canadians with a glimpse of these soon-to-be-bigger-than-even-Nada-Surf (?????) West Coast weilders of the psych-rock hatchet performing Druganaut in some dank Howe St. studio. As revealed on the Black Mountain website, former Black Halos/Three Penny Opera (I think, fuck, whatever, some Scallen-core band) bassist Matthew is on acid.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Weekend Wrap

Hey, hey, I'm on Page 61 of Spin Magazine. Upper right corner, holding the camera by Robin Simpson, watching Wolf Parade. For an autograph, send the magazine along with a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to:

4576 Clark
Montreal, QC
H2T 2T4

Of course, there's a lot more than just me on that page and on the following page - the article and accompanying tidbits are about Montreal, the bands and the err, uhh, vibe. Melissa Auf De Mar weighs in, and despite being the daughter of a man so admired by Gazette readers and Anglo-Montrealers that he had a street named after him, she still seems as clueless about the city as she was in her Nylon Magazine "Guide to Montreal" in which she heralded Foufones Electriques as the nightspot in Montreal and told us about a delightful and quaint lesser-known Quebecois treat known as "poutine". Nonetheless, an entertaining read, and it's Spin magazine, and regardless of whatever they printed, it's necessary to complain and whine and mock whatever was written.

Pleasure Forever - This is the Zodiac Speaking.mp3
Tim Hecker - Celestina.mp3

Dave Clifford of Pleasure Forever interviewed Sunny Kay (formerly of The VSS, now in YR Future) in a spring issue of Skyscraper Magazine, that loquacious lump of off-set published by Bottomley Bros, which I just got around to reading. It's lengthy, of course. There should be a winter 2004/2005 issue available pretty soon.

I DJed a rather dismal set at the Bright Eyes afterparty on Saturday night at the 100 Sided Die - locals Telefauna and Coco Rosie entertained the crowd, and Jaime, of the now defunct Unicorns and soon to be LA-based (?), DJed as well., formerly has all the gossip, scandal and e-hyperbole you could ever want on the night and its terrible, terrible aftermath.

Montreal's foremost Olde Tyme Entertainments Providers Automatic Vaudeville present another evening of Wagnerian and bourbon-soaked cinema, this one dubbed SCHANDFEST, and featuring "Seth W. Owen's long-awaited Apartment Complex, as well as Schandfilm Zwei, the second entry" in the controversial Schandcycle.

And, just in case you haven't noticed, flutes are the 2004 and 2005 equivalent to 2003 and 2004's "cowbell"... Many Jethro Tull jokes floating about, the Dungen records being released in North America, and now, the new album by Dan Snaith, formerly known as Manitoba, and now known as Caribou. (20jazzfunkgreats posted about the newest album a week or so ago - worth a read.)

Thursday, January 20, 2005


As I've been a bit busy, travelling around the city and watching Caligula and smoking pot, my posting frequency has suffered. Later on tonight I'll put on some mp3s I promised earlier, including more Atlas Strategic and some fey-ish, Postcard Records stuff, as well.

Yesterday I received two CDs in the post from BC. The first was the unmixed EP by Chris Frey of Radio Berlin's new band, The Book of Lists. The EP should come out this spring on Global Symphonic. The second CD was the new self-released Droom album 10 Songs, which treads somewhat similar territory as Graham and William's previous band, A Luna Red, albeit more in the synth-pop vein. I'll write something proper about both of these when I get the chance to digest them a little more...

I'm going to see The Lovely Feathers at Sala Rossa tonight. You may be more familiar with their err, colloquial nomenclature - "The Jew-nicorns", revealed to me by Montreal's most popular bearded slow-talker.

The Bright Eyes after-party looks as if it will be densely packed even before Bright Eyes (that doe-eyed Dylan) finishes up his set, so I suggest gathering up your 15-year old girl harvest and bussing up to the 100-sided Die, before it's sold out. Nicholas and J'aime of the now-crippled Unicorns have been added to the DJ bill, amidst fears that my fondness for grating RISD key-tar bands will be far too much on display.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Rare Earth

After a twenty-one minute jam on the Temptation's "Get Ready" doomed their album, (a horrible joke gone awry, obviously) white-boy soul brothers Rare Earth released it as a truncated 3 minute long single, with the below song as the b-side. My girlfriend had a copy of this in her collection, and I picked it up last night, and was thrilled to find that the b-side was equally as amazing as the other b-side I had just listened to, No More Riders by The Hollies, which was the B-side to the All I Need single. (I'll post that b-side tomorrow, but in the meantime, some homework, download All I Need and tell me whether or not it was a template for later Verve and Richard Ashcroft albums...)

Rare Earth - I Know (I'm Losing You).mp3

The song's great, huh? I don't know if the lines "can feel the passage of another man" and "it's all over your face" are as crude as I imagine them to be, but the echo on the vocals and the bongo breakdown vindicate the whole thing.

Radio Berlin + Black Mountain

Vancouver's longest standing new-wave n' post-punk institution, after that Audiopile guy who only hires goth girls to work at his record shop, Radio Berlin will be on the CBC's Zed-TV tonight, at around 11:30pm.

In other Vancouver news, the new Black Mountain album receives a very favourable Pitchfork review...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Six Finger Satellite MEGAPOST!

"Six Finger Satellite is serious business. The business of doing pleasure. There is an integrity that not all can muster. There is an emotional level that not all can understand. There is a past and a future that only a handful really know."

Confusing and foreign to the great majority of now-graphic designers and micro-brewery enthusiasts who populated the indie/college rock circles of the early and mid-90s, Providence, Rhode Island's original mercurial art-school hedonists Six Finger Satellite were underestimated, especially compared to colleagues Brainiac, who had a tragic death (the singer perished in a car accident - though 6FS bassist Kurt Neimand overdosed and passed away prior to the release of Law of Ruins as well) and an association with Kim Deal that guaranteed them a vague, if rather macabre and shameful nod towards recognition. More DAF than Devo and darkly teutonic than subversively quirky (but also, thankfully, angst-less) Six Finger Satellite were only signed to SubPop on the basis of a prank - a demo-tape sent to Seattle's finest , contained bunk "grunge-styled" songs the group had recorded as a joke.

Shimkus Yell.mp3

The Weapon EP is the poorly regarded bastard child of that original prank, four hookless songs pulling heavily from SST releases that appeased the higher-ups, but now leaves most listeners today with a slightly bilous and unpleasant tinge.

Crippled Monster Bearing Malice.wav (SAMPLE)

Released in 1992, Declaration Of Technocolonial Independance is a best-left forgotten slab of leaden post-hardcore. Nice spandex, though.

1993's The Pigeon Is The Most Popular Bird was the first album, produced by the poor man's Steve Albini, Bob Weston , and mastered by John Golden, who also mastered Drive Like Jehu, and Jehu's predecessor, Pitchfork.

The 10" Machine Cuisine was recorded using only electronic instruments, and remains out of my grasp... It's described by Trouser Press as...
"a conceptual mini-album of eight songs on 10-inch vinyl. Temporarily restaffed as a scientific guitar-free trio, 6FS plays heartless Germanic proto-techno with amoral undertones. The pulsing flow is about as warm as Ian Curtis' ashtray, but the construction is genuinely clever and dryly hilarious. Robotic vocals revisit Devo's neurotic erotica, stoking the fires of computer desire on the opening "Love (via Machine)"; catchy electro-pops like "The Magic Bus" (an original) and "The Greek Arts" modulate G-funk style synth over tight Kraftwerk rhythms and intentionally trite lyrics."

Parlour Games VIDEO CLIP

1995's Severe Exposure is my favourite 6FS album by far - digestible but inherently toxic, it's a cutting slab of heady paranoia and manic claustrophobia that earns its Chrome comparisons and laid a post-punk template that wouldn't be picked up on for another couple of years, possibly because that generation hadn't been brought up on ritalin and easy access to internet pornography like today's 20somethings. Rabies (Baby's Got The) has been covered by local Quebec City transplants Duchess Says and Parlour Games is my choice for best 6FS song. I first picked this record up in Victoria at the second-rate record store specializing in Bob Marley posters and surly, unsatisfied staff, where (thankfully) only the obscure metal CDs are priced at $35 a pop.

Both the Massive Cocaine Seizure and Man Behind The Glasses 7"s have also eluded capture...

The White Shadow.mp3

Paranormalized features The White Shadow, which shamelessly lifts the bassline from James Chance and the Contortion's no-wave dancefloor filler Contort Yrself, and the anti-Degreassi High hit Do The Suicide".

Race Against Space.mp3

Law of Ruins is an open-ended and gargantuan sounding affair, occasionally dubbed-out in that perverse Bauhaus-like way, but as engrossing and hypnotic as Can. Recorded by DFA head-honcho James Murphy.

a fitting finale to the career of the only band that used a key-tar frequently throughout the 1990s, this album was recorded in 1996 and only released years later on Providence's Load Records, who've been home to that city's crop of stoner, afghan-collecting art-student bands' recorded outputs for a while now.


Strangely, 6FS backed up the B-52's Fred Schneider on his Albini-produced solo album Just Fred. There's a Live at the ACI 7" put out by the group that I have precious little informtaion on as well... James Apt was fired from the band by e-mail, and according to messageboard gossip, doesn't perform music anymore and works for a non-profit organization in Boston. Drummer Rick Pelletier plays bass in The Chinese Stars, (Thanks for the correction, Chloe!) who feature two former members of perverse noise act Arab on Radar. Alex Minoff was a brief member of 6FS, but devoted most of his time to Golden, and now plays in Weird War, fronted by rocknroll astrologer and former Sassiest Boy in America Ian Svenonius. John MacLean now records under the moniker Juan McLean, and records for Tim Goldsworth and James Murphy's DFA label.

Some readers might recall a Vice magazine story published two years or so back by John MacLean, in which he discusses coming to Toronto on tour, desperately itching for heroin and shooting up prior to a meeting with some SubPop people... In the end he realizes that he and his pal have just shot up with crack. The same story was published in Index magazine, it's revealed that his pal was Kurt Cobain.

Calgary's Fake Cops are a band that manage to channel a bit of the 6FS sound, though I expect they're less prone to the self-destructive outburts and drug-problems that make up some of the legend of 6FS, and both The Apes and the now-broken up Trans Am have certainly tread the same ground that Law of Ruins was built upon, but it's unlikely that there will ever be a band capable of transcending or exploding whatever it was that 6FS did. (To say little of James Murphy's pre-LCD Soundsystem group Speedking or Northwesterner's Satisfact.) (Yes, yes, even that crackhead from the Libertines...) Within Montreal, you can find 6FS albums finally sitting on record store shelves, after years of being ignored and passed over. (Cheap Thrills, for example, re-stocked their entire SubPop back-catalogue this past summer...)

Friday, January 14, 2005

Blood to my cheeks.

1000 apologies for the delay between posts, I've been deeply disturbed by the amount of Turbonegro I've heard over the past week, which has caused me to recoil from most music and into a fantasy world of my own creation populated by lazy aristocrats, wordly butlers, scheming Aunts and other Wodehosian (Wodehovian?) archetypes... Anyways, a couple of tracks below that brought blood to my cheeks... And... The Globe and Mail's health columnist (his name's unfortunately skipped my mind) made mention in today's column about a study vindicating afternoon naps... For the younger set, the prime naptime is between 3pm and 5pm. On that note...

Procol Harum - Conquistador.mp3
Psychic TV - The Orchids.mp3

More mp3s and a more detailed post after my nap!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

On the town...

I went out and saw Duchess Says last night at the VAV Gallery, Patrick DJed as well. Great performance from the Quebec City transplants, who now sport a muscle-bound drummer, which gives their set quite a bit more of a kick. Well-attended, and the Six Finger Satellite cover sounded just as good as I recalled.

Duchess Says

Hungry Like The Wolf Pinata

Victoria Taylor, Journalist

Robin Simpson, Dandy and Christopher Taylor, Publisher

Ned Schwartz, Heir to the Schwartz Fortune

Bill, Designer

Alex of We Are Wolves

Krzysztof, Son of Warsaw

Percival Sandhoven-Wastitch, Jr.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Skip Spence

Skip Spence (first name Alexander), former novice Jefferson Airplane drummer, Moby Grape member, and ax-wielding exorcist (attempting to save Moby Grape's Don Stevenson from demonic possession by this method while on a speed-binge) released his first and only album "Oar" in the spring of 1969. It's a work more likely to be found on the packed shelves of balding middle-aged record collectors, and though he had a Syd Barrett-like "light burns twice as bright" disappearing routine, it hasn't seem to have garnished his work the attention that it should have, or if it has, I don't hang around with those people. Sundazed re-issued Oar a while back, including a number of out-takes and tracks not heard on the initial pressings of the album. He passed away in Santa Cruz in April of 1999 at 56.

Skip Spence - All Come To Meet Her.mp3

Monday, January 10, 2005

Fuck Me USA again.

I'm sure that this will only stay on as long as it takes for me to work through my hang-over tomorrow, but here's another Fuck Me USA track, unmixed, unmastered and probably uncredited to whatever obscure new-wave band we happened to rip off. Anyways, there's some line in the song about Tom Verlaine (the Television one, I assume) and no guitar... The synth being used is a Roland Juno 6 (bought from William of A Luna Red and now Droom, and now in possession of Lindsay Sung of Radio Berlin), which was about as ubiquitious on the West Coast in the late 90s as certain forms of genital herpes, and possibly just as annoying.

Fuck Me USA - Lens Cap.mp3

Also, despite a couple of good stabs at it, no one has correctly identified the song or band from which the bassline was ripped off of for the first Fuck Me USA track I posted a couple of days back... A hint, then - ripping off from this band is a respectable past-time for hip-hop groups, too.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Atlas Strategic / Wolf Parade

I've recounted the whole pre-history of Wolf Parade many, many times before on this blog, though not thoroughly, so I won't recap now, but here's a song from the second, and now very much out of print, Atlas Strategic EP That's Familiar entitled National Flag. Recorded in January of 2002 by Scott Henderson in Victoria, BC, and written by Dan Boeckner, who went on to record it with his current band, Wolf Parade who released it on their second EP, which is also now out of print.

Vancouver label Global Symphonic have copies of the first Atlas Strategic album (Rapture Ye Minions!) available for purchase on their website, and there's a New Music Canada site for the band which has four tracks from that available to listen to.

Atlas Strategic - National Flag.mp3
Wolf Parade - National People's Scare.mp3

The January 7th Kodachrome.

Last night's Pavilion vernissage at La Centrale art-space.

Just Some Guy

Ami Brousseau, of The Ten Commandments

Robin Simpson, of Pavilion

Dan Seligman, Danager

Michael Doerksen, Birthday Boy

Krzysztof and Bartek, The Sons of Warsaw