Archive for the ‘Canadian Music’ Category

Tracts

August 25, 2011

The release dates of Tracts is rapidly approaching and the songs have rounded into form. I am incredibly excited about this collection. It may seem like bluster but I really believe these are the among the best songs to ever come out of The Alder Fork. The track listing (in no particular order) is: Random Places We Meet, Who Wants To Know, Space, Ghosts and Mysteries, and Summer Running Down.

I also want to mention that I will be releasing a second collection of 5 songs at a later date. The Lost Spoons will feature 5 acoustic song. One is the familiar Twenty-Five from The Lights I See You In Shadow. The other 4 songs are brand new and two have never been heard before by anyone.

More details about both are coming soon.

Do You Really Want To Know?

August 16, 2011

Please join us in this public service announcement, with guitars!

Joe Strummer

This blog began with a long series of posts dedicated to the release of a new album by a new group. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about The Lights I See You In Shadow and the history of my music. I have returned today to begin a new series on a new collection of recordings by The Alder Fork.  Over the past few months I have been working on a number of songs with no real plan for what to do with them. I am in the early stages of creating a new band, The Histrionics, with some friends, which means The Alder Fork is at risk of vanishing. This EP of 5 songs, called The Long Spoons, may represent that last new material from my solo project for awhile. It also might not, such are the whims of my musical career (If you really want to know about how I have evolved musically go back to post number 1 and start reading).  The release date is September 17t, with more details to follow. In the coming days and weeks I will be making posts about the tracks and other related material. It should be another fun ride.

The Return

November 10, 2010

It has been quite awhile since I’ve posted here, but I am feeling a renaissance for The Alder Fork blog (and maybe podcast too).  This post is a short one to announce a new album is in the works. Tentatively titled “Sliver of the Moon” it is percolating in my mind as I write this.  I’d also like to note that I am always open to guest writers on my blog so if you want to submit an article, please feel free to do so.

 

Everything Tangible

March 2, 2010

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The Mass Romantics

Cardinal Patrol

Taking on any kind of creative project under a deadline is an immense challenge.  Max Woghiren, aka The Mass Romantics put together a 7-song collection during the month of February.  He says that he fell a little short of his actual goals, but is satisfied with the output.  He should be more than happy with this solid group of songs. Once again, The Mass Romantics blend indie-rock style with Beatles-esque melodies. Indeed this album spans generations of musical convention featuring pieces such as Songs We Lost that mimic The Doors and Genesis, two fairly different bands.  These influences are implicit for Max rather than an overt effort.

The album starts out in triumphant fashion with the moving I Know That You Are a Decider.  He really shows his influences in a genuine way without succumbing to blatant copying.  This quality is very hard to find in popular music.  The second track The Fiction may give you flashbacks to the mid-90’s.  It is homage more than an exact copy.  Max has always been a skilled melodist, and on Cardinal Patrol he has really expanded the texturing of his songs.

Although each of the tracks is enjoyable, We Fall Together was my personal favourite. Coming in at 3’28 it is the second longest song on the album. It has an inexplicable quality that is both goofy and moving.  It also demonstrates Max’s influences in a compelling fashion.  In my mind I was transported to another place, particularly during the instrumental interludes.

Lyrical composition is a great strength of this collection. In the past, Max has been known to deride his writing. Cardinal Patrol, despite being written over only 28 days, is filled with compelling and well-written songs.

Max pays particular attention to creating an atmosphere on this album.  Monotony is the biggest risk in an album created in a month, but although the songs have an overarching textural quality, they each operate within it differently.  This is especially remarkable because the songs average about 3 minutes in length. That is not a lot of time to make an impact. Max is willing to change time and explore tangential ideas in even the shortest songs.

Overall, Cardinal Patrol is an album well worth checking out.  Although it is not available in wide release it is hoped that The Mass Romantics will be confident enough to let the world hear.  These songs are moving and dramatic.  It is 22 minutes in an alternative world where the vibe is solid and ideas are free.  There is no fear in these songs.  This is The Mass Romantics best album to date.

Find The Missing Pieces

October 9, 2009

I promise that I haven’t disappeared.  My life has been a bit more hectic of late, so the blog and podcast have had to suffer for it! The good news is there is ample archive material to sift through, and I should be back to regular postings soon.  The Supercrawl is on tonight in downtown Hamilton.  I am out of town for a wedding, but I’d be there if I could. It promises to be an awesome, if wet, time. Here is The Alder Fork performing Great Lakes at the festival in September:

Oh, Canada

September 16, 2009

A new episode of the podcast is available. This week I talk with Amanda Putz about her new (or actually new again) show, Bandwidth, on CBC Radio One (Saturdays at 5pm).  We also discuss the Polaris Music Prize.  This ever more prestigious Canadian music award will be handed out at a gala event on Sunday evening.  The short list of nominees is:

As always Amanda’s passion for Canadian music knows no bounds. She is among the most knowledgeable followers of our indie scene. The first episode of Bandwidth is available from the North by East West blog.

Continuing Coverage

September 13, 2009

In the aftermath of last night’s festival, great little pieces of the evening are trickling out.  First up we have a video, courtesy of The Alder Fork drummer Martin, of the band’s opening number Coast to Coast. Enjoy!

Oh Ca-na-da

September 8, 2009

I have often written about my appreciation for the CBC in its various forms.  The fact that Canadians have a large national broadcaster, makes it possible for our creative people to find an outlet (there are of course other non-CBC channels, like Bravo, that follow a similar mandate). After changing direction a few years ago, CBC Radio 2, has embraced a very pro-Canada identity. From the Obama playlist to their most recent endeavour, The Great Canadian Song Quest, the folks at Radio 2 have been waving a giant Canadian flag at their listeners.  Canada is a very patriotic country, despite assertions that we are much more passive then the United States or most other nations for that matter.  Canadians beat their chests in more subtle, but no less constant ways, usually promoting our superiority in matters ranging from beer and comedy to health care and rates of violent crime.

As for The Great Canadian Song Quest, it seems to be a neat idea, similar to that of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois and Michigan albums.  The details are available here.  Essentially, the plan is to pick 13 places in Canada and pair them with 13 songwriters to immortalize them in song.  This is a potentially great idea on several levels. First, the idea of the CBC commissioning work for several Canadian artist is, in my opinion, exactly the sort of effort they should be involved with.  Much like producing home-grown television programs, I’d like to see the CBC find opportunities like this one to promote the creation of Canadian music.  Second, the outcome of this contest is bound to be at least a few enjoyable and/or fun songs about places in Canada. I can only hope some of the locations are obscure (think the Hip’s Bobcaygeon). Last, even though the listeners of Radio 2 is probably made up of people who already appreciate the breadth of contemporary Canadian music,  a project like The Great Canadian Song Quest will draw wider attention to some unique talent. Although I will reserve judgment until the project is over, kudos to the folks at the CBC for dreaming it up.

A Poster and Some News

August 10, 2009
Festival Poster by Caillin Kowalczyk

Festival Poster by Caillin Kowalczyk

This fantastic poster for this year’s Alder Fork Festival. High school friend, and gifted artist Caillin Kowalczyk put this together for the event.  He made the very first festival sign back in 2000 when it was The Mid-Summer Festival of Peace and Tranquility and he was the bass player for Urban Moon.  You can see more of his work, and even pick some up for yourself, here.

In other Alder Fork related news, CBC Radio 3/New Music Canada has added the band to its featured artist page. Here’s what they had to say about the album:

Hamilton native Peter Snow’s latest CD “The Colour I Remember Most” is an inventive collection of rock, electronic, folk & pop songs that resonate long after you’ve hit the stop button.

Thanks CBC Radio 3/New Music Canada!

For more info about the band and the festival head over here.

The Review Is In

July 24, 2009

Jade Sperry, a photographer and blogger of note, was kind enough to review my album.  She sums it up quite nicely by saying, “Overall, I found this CD to be powerful, haunting, visionary and imaginative from The Alder Fork and comes highly recommended from this writer.” You can read this review in a few place depending on your fancy:

NXEW Blog (poke around this one for awhile)

Jade Sperry Photography

Jade’s MySpace Page

If you have arrived here thanks to that review you can find all kinds of info about the band, including how to buy the album, here.