Archive for the ‘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.

 

Roll On

May 26, 2010

An interesting project has been floating around for several months.  It focuses on eating disorders and is mostly musical.  Although most of the work is still to come, here is a piece of literature that was written for it. Many anorexics describe their illness as a person.  Essentially they have a relationship with their eating disorder.  In treatment this relationship is challenged and addressed. I hope these words capture some of the inner turmoil.

If I knew of a better way

I would tell you to roll on

Oh so far away

Oh so far away

It’s in your head why won’t you eat?

What my mother says to me

But it’s such a feat

But it’s such a feat

The doctor’s offer a remedy

The potential for recovery

And this year is killing me

With promises it can’t keep

The time I’ve spent on this pursuit

My life with you under wraps

For us, us alone

For us, us alone

I hoped for it all night and day

The answer to my prayers

A new way to live

A new way to live

The doctor’s offer a remedy

The potential for recovery

And this year is killing me

With promises it can’t keep

With you it’s so easy

One hour of this

No time for that

I always listen

To your sage advice

My life makes sense with you in it

The doctor’s offer a remedy

The potential for recovery

And this year is killing me

With promises it can’t keep

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.

Love, I Don’t Like To See So Much Pain

October 16, 2009

No reason for the Peter Gabriel quote.  In Your Eyes is one of my favourite songs of all time.  Beautiful.

New podcast today.  You can click on it over on the side there–>.  Today’s show features The Alder Fork performing at my recent festival. Here are two more video clips from the show (thanks to Martin!):

The Festival Is Coming To Your Computer

September 29, 2009

New podcast is up tonight. As always you can find it over on the sidebar, or subscribe to it on iTunes (so you never miss an episode). As promised this is the first snippet of material from The Alder Fork Festival.  You can hear all of Matthew Blacquiere’s fantastic performance.  Matt is planning another show in the near feature that will be recorded and likely available for purchase. He has never failed to move audiences with his witty stories, magnificent guitar work, compelling voice, and folk sensibilities.

There has been a slight delay in making/selling a recording on behalf of EDACWR.  The wheels are in motion to make that happen, it is just taking longer than expected.

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!

Gratitude and Satisfaction

September 13, 2009

The biggest event on my calendar every year is The Alder Fork Festival. Last night’s version was a rousing success.  The music was great, the cake looked fantastic, and we raised a substantial amount of money for the Eating Disorder Awareness Coalition of Waterloo Region.  Thank you again to The Clark Institute, Matthew Blacquiere, Dave Fallis, the members of my band, the fantastic volunteers, and everyone who came out and supported such a worthwhile cause.  I am already contemplating next year’s version.

The exuberance of the crowd, and the talent on display were the two highlights for me. This was arguably the best festival in the 10 years I’ve run it. The performances were top notch, and the whole evening ran without a hitch. If you missed this year’s event you will still be able to contribute to in the coming weeks, when a recording of the festival is released for sale. All proceeds of the sale will be donated to EDACWR.