Posts Tagged ‘Urban Moon’

In The Frost That Formed On My Window

November 24, 2008

I’m on a roll, I’m on a roll, this time, I feel my luck could change.

Radiohead

Lucky

At this point in the story we have to back track a little bit to the time between the end of high school and the release of Lemon Orange Lime.  A few interesting things happened that led to new musical collaborations and performances, and a lot more writing.  Towards the end of OAC, Matt and I began playing gigs as an acoustic duo, doing mainly cover songs.  We played at our high school, at a Canada Day party (complete with wireless mics!) and at the annual Mid-Summer Festival of Peace and Tranquility (essentially a party in my backyard that has been held every year since 1999).  Very little remains of those shows, except one cover of a Seven Mary Three song called Lucky. We were very lucky to have such great friends who supported us the whole way.  The final show featured a lot of instruments, a ton of cover tunes, an exit sign full of funny ideas, and was a fitting end to high school.

At the end of the summer Matt and I both moved to the city of Waterloo to attend different universities. Our musical collaboration has never totally ended but it takes a back seat in the story.  It was in the first few weeks of school that I met the Daves, Fallis and Zettel, who would be a major part of my music making for the coming years. We would play at coffee houses and other events for the better part of 4 years before sort of going our separate ways (Dave Fallis was in Pinstripe Mystery of course). We “wowed” people at St. Jerome’s when we played Fifteen Floors. Apparently writing a halfway decent song was impressive!

Both of the “acts” I was part of adopted the name Banana Company, an homage to a Radiohead song, and a tribute to the fake (and real) bananas that Matt and I brought to shows. The highlight of the first year of the Dave, Dave, and Peter experience was a big show in front of 400 people at Conrad Grebel college. It was an amazing time and we played fantastically. I should also note that Dave and Dave joined Urban Moon along with Liz Mensa for a show in September 2002 at Fed Hall on the Waterloo campus. It was a benefit for local charities, and was the last time Rob, Matt and I were on the same stage.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any recorded material featuring the Waterloo Banana Company. I do however, have a copy of The St. Jerome’s Demos, a 5 song EP I put together for friends in the Spring of 2002. It features the first recorded version of 15 Floors as well as an early version of Contemplate (that second good song I struggled with). Of particular note is the song that I have posted here. Rain was recorded in one take at 3 in the morning or so. It is the truest song I’ve ever written. What I mean is it captures exactly what I was feeling at the time, and had been feeling recently. I am not proud of the sound quality or the performance, but the content of the song is what matters.  It is also about as “emo” as I will ever be. So take that for what it’s worth. Matt and I also recorded some of his songs, and I wish I still had copies of them. The St. Jerome’s Demos became the first of a yearly tradition, each of which will be discussed in the coming days, for now enjoy Lucky and Rain.

Lucky (Seven Mary Three) – Banana Company

Rain – Peter Snow

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And My Gratitude Goes Out To You

November 23, 2008

And I say, hello hope, do you remember me, and all these things that make up a memory.

Matthew Blacquiere (Urban Moon)

Hello Hope

Today is Part II of my discussion of Urban Moon. I wanted to devote an entire post to Lemon Orange Lime an EP that Matt, Rob and myself put together in May/June 2002.  Rob had just purchased a very nice recording set up for his basement. After a year apart, when Matt and I went to university, we floated the idea of a small reunion. We each picked one song of those we had written and decided to pool our efforts to record and release them. The result still stands up well today, I think. My contribution to the album was Fifteen Floors, a song that I consider the beginning of my true songwriting career.  Prior to that I had written some terrible songs that aren’t worth remembering.  Fifteen Floors has a catchy melody and a bouncy score.  Lyrically it presents little scenes related to the main story of a disappointing relationship. For sometime after that I struggled to write a second good song. As we will see it did eventually happen.

The album artwork featured lemons, oranges and limes naturally. The title came from large, cardboard pictures of fruit that were picked up from Eaton’s when it closed down. Someone brought them to an Urban Moon show and we adopted them. There are very few copies of Lemon Orange Lime still around, if you have one, cherish it.

Tomorrow I will be moving into both my solo and Banana Company periods (they are essentially the same). For now here are the three songs from Lemon Orange Lime. Should you want to download any of the songs I’m posting in this series please leave a comment or email me.

Fifteen Floors – Peter Snow

Hello Hope – Matthew Blacquiere

Gratitude – Rob Rakoczy

Please Don’t Fight Me

November 22, 2008

In all this madness.

Matthew Blacquiere (Urban Moon)

Red River Project

I’m found of looking back into the past and stretching it out in order to find meaning. Over the next few days I want to look at the milestones in my personal evolution as a musician and songwriter.I am hoping to include clips from each of the periods, and I apologize for the quality but most of these were recorded under less than ideal circumstances.

My musical career began in Grade 10 Business Administration, more or less. I had been singing in theatre productions for some time before that, but I had never been in a band until that class.  I can still remember the first afternoon in Rob’s basement, with Matt on bass, and a crazy song called Airman coming out of the PA.  While I can’t say much for the lyrics or melody, Matt was proving for the first of many times that he could write great songs.  Back in those days we could never achieve any of our grand ambitions in recording or performance, but we were earnest in our efforts.

Urban Moon was always a group in transition. Members, including myself, floated in and out. We had 3 or 4 “final concerts” before we finally shut it down in 2002.  We played in people’s basements, backyards, a dingy hotel bar, an assisted living complex, and in one of the largest on campus clubs anywhere.  We peaked as a band at our very last show, despite the fact that I forgot the lyrics to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

I wanted to post a song from the Red River Project, an album put together by Matt and Rob, but I realized that I no longer have a copy of it. I gave mine to Jen Balen in high school, for the same reason that many men have probably given her things. I was not successful. So I have turned to the 3 disc set: Urban Moon: Live in Suits… Rarities, etc. for a live version of My Madness recorded at one of our so called last shows ever. I should point out that Matt wrote this song, and I am playing bass on the recorded version. You can find both Airman and My Madness right here (there is The Alder Fork news after the songs):

Airman

My Madness

We have reached the first post that won’t include a song from the album.  Hopefully those who have been coming to this site diligently will continue to do so, assuming I can keep it interesting. As a way of celebrating the release of the album (which will actually be next weekend officially) I thought I would give everyone a preview of the final order of songs. You could go back and listen to them all in order, or you can just wait until it is finally available in that way online. Some songs will have minor changes before the finished product is put out.

The Lights I See You In Shadow

Great Cliff-Face Real Estate
Affirmation
Twenty Five
Back and Forth
NOTLD
Easterbrooks
The Mountain
HG Plant Companion
Deer Deer
The Sunrises
Orsola
May