Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Music’

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.

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

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000105 EndHTML:0000007296 StartFragment:0000002294 EndFragment:0000007260

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!):

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:

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!

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.

Where In The World Is…

August 31, 2009

Although Rockapella brought geography and acapella music to a generation of youngsters, this post is not about them, or the Carmen Sandiego line of video games. Instead, I have an update on a previous Alder Fork Podcast guest.

Laura Smith is a very talent B.C. based musician and songwriter. You can hear her on the June 15th, 2009 episode of the podcast.  Her music is available here. She has a tour diary and some live videos on her youtube page. I mention her today because she is setting out on a West Coast tour and I am privy to the dates. If you get a chance to check her out live, you will be very pleased. Here is the list:

September 1st 8pm-10pm Melodies in Mind on CJSF 90.1FM, Vancouver, British Columbia

September 6th 8pm The Railway Club w/ City of Glass and Isobel Trigger, Vancouver, British Columbia

September 8th 11:30am UVIC BBQ – w/ City of Glass, Victoria, British Columbia

September 8th 3:00pm CFUV 101.9 FM live acoustic performance/interview, Victoria, British Columbia

September 8th 9:00pm Logan’s w/ City of Glass and We are the City  Victoria, British Columbia

September 10th 8:00pm The Habitat w/ Immaculate Machine, Kelowna, British Columbia

Friday, September 11th at the Ironwood in Calgary

September 12th 4pm-6pm The Empress w/ Colleen Brown (early show!), Edmonton, Alberta

September 14th 8:00pm The Exchange w/ Eldorado, Shiloh Lindsay and Joseph Blood, Regina, Saskatchewan

September 15th 8:00pm The Park Theater  w/ Living in Red, Patrick Keenan and guests, Winnipeg, Manitoba

September 18th 10pm Houstons Western Canada Music Awards Brandon, Manitoba

September 26th 8:00pm Rifflandia Festival  Metro Theatre, Victoria, British Columbia