Discorder CITR-FM (Radio station : Vancouver, B.C.) 2006-05-01

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Man 2006
That +2 magazine from CITR 101.9 FM _D__jHI)^
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purchase tickets (3Q80QS n hob.ca or ticketmaster.ca 604-280-4444
2     May 2006 Editor
David Ravensbergen
Ad Manager
Caroline Walker
Production Manager
Alanna Scott
Art Director
Will Brown
RLA Editor
Kimberley Day
Layout & Design
Will Brown
Alanna Scott
Datebook Editor
Chris Little
Will"Chauncey Danger"Brown
David"Creepy Uncle"Ravensbergen
Alanna"Bird Flu"Scott
Kat"No Life After Discorder"Siddle
Graeme"Hot Pants"Worthy
Caroline"Snarky Bitch"Walker
Charlotte Bourne
Marlo Carpenter
Arthur Krumins
Photo & Illustration
Zoe Alexander
Guillaume Boucher
Ben Frey
Beth Hamill
Davida Nemeroff
Nicole Ondre
Lauren Scott
Terry Stewart
The Gentle Art of Editing
by David Ravensbergen
Eaters Digest
by Coral Short
Riff Raff
by Bryce Dunn
Strut, Fret and Flicker
by Penelope Mulligan
Cinema Aspirant
by Allan Maclnnis
Spectres of Discord
by David Ravensbergen
Textually Active
Mixtape: Islands
by Nick Diamonds andj'aime Tambeur
by Ben Frey
Under Review
CiTR Charts
Program Guide
Program Guide
Bryce Dunn
Luke Meat
Lasse Lutick
US Distribution
Frankie Rumbletone
CITR Station Manager
Lydia Masemola
Student Radio Society
of UBC
THE Mohawk Lodge
by Ben Lai
[elodic Energy Commission
by Allan Maclnnis
KeepirtgTrack of the Railway
by Curtis Woloschuk
lsThe Hive
Part Two
1 QJoel Plaskett, Not An Emergency
-*- S * by Ian Gormely
"Final Fantasy
24.      O T7" O T A T by Chris-a-rffl
My i_»A<_» MV Diary
Cover Photography by Davida Nemeroff
©DiSCORDER 2006 by the Student Radio Society of the University of British Columbia. All rights
reserved. Circulation 10,000. Subscriptions, payable in advance, to Canadian residents are $15 for one
year, to residents of the USA are $15 US; $24 CDN elsewhere. Single copies are $2 (to cover postage).
Please make cheques or money orders payable to DiSCORDER Magazine. DEADLINES: Copy deadline for
the June issue is May 22th. Ad space is available until May 24th and can be booked by calling Caroline
at 604.822.3017 ext 3. Our rates are available upon request. DiSCORDER is not responsible for loss,
damage, or any other injury to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork (including but not limited
to drawings, photographs, and transparencies), or any other unsolicited material. Material can be
submitted on disc or in type or via email. As always, English is preferred, but we will accept French.
Actually, we won't. Send words to discordered@gmail.com and art to discorderart@gmail.com. From
UBC to Langley and Squamish to Bellingham, CiTR can be heard at 101.9 FM as well as through all major
cable systems in the Lower Mainland, except Shaw in White Rock. Call the CiTR DJ line at 822.2487,
our office at 822.3017, or our news and sports lines at 822.3017 ext. 2. Fax us at 822.9364, e-mail us
at: citrmgr@mail.ams.ubc.ca, visit our web site at www.citr.ca or just pick up a goddamn pen and write
#233-6138 SUB Blvd., Vancouver, BC, V6T1Z1, CANADA.
After the arrival of Rockin' Ruby last month, this column is in danger of devolving into the print version
of The Learning Channel's 'A Baby Story," but I just can't resist making the announcement: I am now
the glowing uncle of a brand new baby, Madeline Raven Linton—in print already, and not yet a week old.
I hadn't expected to meet her for another month, but my sister was struck down with some pregnancy
complications that demanded immediate uterus evacuation. My family anxiously gathered around a hospital
bed in Seattle for several days, waiting for the labour-inducing hormones to do their job, but Madeline was
just not interested in existing yet. Finally the magical and mysterious (not to mention hideously painful)
process took hold, and my wee niece was expelled into the world just as Bob Marley's "Exodus" came on
the stereo. For real, it was purely coincidental. Now I know Bob's music is the great adhesive that holds
humankind together, but seriously, when did he get the power to call infants forth from the womb?
Speaking of uncanny powers of conjuration, this month's feature story has got me thinking a lot about
Dungeons & Dragons. I was never allowed to play D&D when I was young, for fear that I would utterly lose
touch with reality and remain trapped in my role-playing persona forever. It's kind of like when your parents
told you to stop making that disgusting face before it got "frozen" in place, except roughly five times more
bizarre. I can only imagine my mother's fearful vision of an innocent young David hideously transformed
into Sagnor the Barbarian, dispatching neighbourhood children with a battleaxe in his insatiable quest for
gold and experience points. Editing.the Owen Pallett article opened an old wound, forcing me to recall a
wasted childhood not spent dutifully studying necromancy, transmutation, evocation and the other D&D
schools of magic. But when I think about my unfortunate friends that have fallen victim to the life-simulating
vacuum of World of Warcraft, I'm pretty glad I didn't roll those perfidious dice when I was a kid.
One RPG that I did fall in love with (with parental authorization of course) was the Final Fantasy series,
specifically the 3rd instalment (FF 6 in Japan). Pallett's musings on the game's co-existing themes of love
and the apocalypse brought a rush of memories flooding back, of late nights spent levelling up and wading
through the storyline's overwhelming pathos. In honour of that marvellous game we present Final Fantasy
on our front page, where Owen Pallett has the distinction of being the first human to grace the cover in
quite some time. We're hoping to appeal to a whole new demographic that likes magazines about people and
music rather than rocking chairs and mittens. If you're one of those intrepid readers, don't be dissuaded by
my role-playing geekery—read on!
David Ravensbergen, Editor
Red Cat Records
1307 Mtiin St.
New & Used CD's & Vinyl
ph. 708-9422 * email buddy®redcat.ca
Discorder     3 EATER'S DIGEST
Coral Short
The Han's Den
651 East 15th Ave, Vancouver, B.C., (604) 873-4555
(Behind the Park on Kingsway & Fraser)
Junior the Lion was born in the African Lion
Safari near Oakville, Ontario, before moving
to a farm in Manitoba with his owner Henry.
Henry went on to become the proprietor of Nuffy's
Gourmet Donuts on Bridgeport Road in Richmond.
One day Henry drove up to Fraser and Broadway to
the One Love Cafe with his beloved Junior, now dead
and stuffed. Henry's friend Ken, who named the
One Love Cafe to symbolize his love for his wife, his
mother, Bob Marley's song and "the love between us
all, as we are all one," was looking for a new logo
for his restaurant: something Canadian yet exotic.
When Henry drove up with his fierce and proud
stuffed lion, Ken thought to himself, "this is it!" On
the 9th day of the 9th month of 1999, the newly
revamped Lion's Den was born. The storytelling that
goes on in this fine establishment is only one of its
eccentric charms.
Fellow diner Caelie and I met outside and
entered a hard-to-open yellow door at the top of
some green and red steps. There are two knobs on the
door, so make sure you use the bottom one to avoid
confusion. We walked into a cozy, friendly small
cafe with leopard print tables and chairs. A retro
Pac-Man machine sat beside us, and reggae music
played on. We started with the "Caribbean drink,"
which turned out
to be ginger beer
and a Jamaican
grapefruit mixture.
I imbibed the
concoction, which
was so gingery that
it almost burned
my mouth, but in
a pleasurable way.
Caelie enjoyed the
equally delicious
fruity Ting.
The yellow and
red menus contain
not only Caribbean
and Japanese food
but fusions of
both, with some
Cambodian thrown
in. Our humungous meals totally
contradicted their
"small" description
and five dollar price
tags. Caelie had the
Cambodian shrimp
stir-fry with noodles, and I had the
ackee and salt fish.
Caelie's noodles
were cooked in an
unfamiliar way, leaving them slightly
hard in a sesame
sauce with succulent shrimp and a
wide array of
vegetables. The
meal came with a
distufbingly delicious plain iceberg
lettuce and tomato
salad smothered in
Italian dressing. My meal was mostly purple-tinged
rice with kidney beans, with bright yellow ackee—a
pear-shaped tropical fruit from the Caribbean with
a warm and soft texture—and salt fish that wasn't
actually so salty. The prices were totally reasonable
and the meals turned out to be very filling indeed.
Ken came up to us and initiated a secret
handshake with fists all on the same level, intoning
"not above you or below you, but with you." He
followed this cryptic greeting with a rendition of
the Junior the Lion story for the entire restaurant
to enjoy. Junko, Ken's wife, suggested the parfait for
a post-storytime dessert. Delicious fruit explosions
of fresh orange, apple, banana, rice krispies and
vanilla ice cream topped with whipping cream and
chocolate sauce. Sounds like a visit to the dentist
and a stomach-ache, but it was amazingly good
After ensuring that allhisnewcustomerssigned
the calendar (some days are indecipherable scribbles
from all the first-timers), Ken said goodbye to his rasta
and musician customers with "Have a
creative evening!" And they responded
with "Happy 4:20!" as that day was the 20th day of
April. I ain't lying.
4     May 2006 «m
Bryce Dunn
Back from baby break (thanks Davel) with an armful of wax,
so let's get right to it. The Ciaoculos are Italian tub-thumpers
The Mojomatics joining forces with the Ike and Tina of the new
millennium, otherwise known as King Khan and BBQ, to spit out two
R&B-laced ditties that bear uncanny resemblance to each other. Not
for lack of originality, nay, but rather a case of divine artistic vision.
"Walk On" bumps and grinds to the Bo Diddley beat, breaks into a
gallop near the end and halts abruptly. Their take on Dee Clark's "Hey
Little Girl" starts off nearly identical, but stays the course and still
makes you want to shake it. You may be quick to dismiss, but don't let
these guys pass you by—take this for what it is, a good party record.
(YaMsakana Records, 51 Rue Renaudel, Rouen, France 76100 or
Attendees to the Dirtbombs/Black Lips tour last month were
treated to not only one of the finest fine rock and roll performances
in recent memory, but a special commemorative split tour 7" was also
on display for the musically savvy (read: geeky) for purchase. On it I
was pleased to discover The Dirtbombs rendering a stellar version of
Eurythmics "Missionary Man," which has undoubtedly made Annie
and Dave the subject of the latest VH1: Where Are They Now? series
(ok, maybe not, but a man can dream can't he?). Anyway, it rocks out
with their two drumkits out. The Black Lips patented "flower punk" is
in full effect on the flip with a track called "Make It," which I originally
mistook as "Naked," so it goes to show I should pay more attention to
lyrics. A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, but all Lips just the
same—snatch this up if you can, 'cuz once they're gone, they're gone,
(no label info, sorry.)
Just when you thought the lupine fad was over, Sydney Australia's
sons of Sabbath Wolfmother hit the ground running (for the bong),
and deliver a seventies classic rock pastiche on their latest single
"Mind's Eye," complete with Kansas-style keyboard breakdown, lead
(Led?)-heavy guitar and wrapped in a Frank Frazetta (Molly Hatchet
fans know what I'm talking about) illustrated sleeve. The other track,
"The Earth's Rotation Around The Sun," is a bit of a throwaway, as
it's just an esoteric instrumental, but these guys seem to be on the
verge of something big, as evidenced by their sold-out show scheduled
for later this month. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll witness
greatness, or just another band with Wolf in their name. (Modular
Records, www.modularpeople.com).
Not since the heyday of The Mummies and their epic "Whitecaps
Pt.l & 2" has there been a band so bold as The Christa Min to use
a whole seven inch for just one song, but that's exactly what these
mysterious locals do with "The Devil And Tex Wilson". Structured
around a hypnotic three chords (that for some reason brings The
Scientists to mind), some eerie organ and occasional "vocals," the
song actually grabs you by the scruff of the neck fairly quickly, and
the flow of the tune rises and falls powerfully in all the right places.
The real Christa Min would be proud, even if she only likes Silkworm
and the Seattle Mariners. Artwork by the ever-so-humble Nic Bragg
puts the cherry on this garage-blues sundae, so dig in! (available to
finer rekkid shops locally or at CM shows?).
A tale of two local labels to end this month's tabulation of all things
turntable-friendly—Seeing Eye and La-Ti-Da Records are making the
scene. The former are the new kids on the block with an eye for the
underdog, in this particular case Ottawa, Ontario punk'n'roll combo,
The Million Dollar Marxists. Two new New Bomb Turks-in training
cuts from these criminally under-appreciated cavemen blast outta the
swamp with the likes of "I Don't Wanna Evolve" and "Mystery 0".
Me like to smash! Me like to make loud noises with guitars! Me going
nowhere with this! Me likey! (Seeing Eye Records, P.O. Box 88202
Chinatown Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 4A5, www.seeingeyerecords.
com). The latter are still-fairly-new kids with a new release from one-
man band extraordinaire Skip Jensen. Montreal's bastard offspring
to Hasil Adkins and Howlin' Wolf lays down "Honey Child," "Too
Far Gone" and "No Good Man Blues" with aplomb, showcasing his
instrumental dexterity as well as his penchant for songs that hit hard
and stay strong. You won't find these tracks on his recent full-length
Abscond, so best find this clear-vinyl gem before they disappear. (La-Ti-
Da Records, www.latidarecords.com).
Enough reading, now get out there and get these rekkids! Go! GO!
strut, fret
Penelope Mulligan
A Streetcar Named Desire
Ballet British Columbia
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Thursday April 6
Choreographer John Alleyne creates movement so succulent that
watching his company dance can be almost hypnotic. This wasn't
enough, however, to compensate for the fact that his interpretation
of Tennessee Williams' play felt decidedly off-beam. In choosing to
make the piece a study of one of modern theatre's most elegantly
messed-up characters, the Ballet BC Artistic Director may have given
Simone Orlando the role of a lifetime—her Blanche Dubois is complex,
compelling and danced to artistic and technical perfection—but he
also sidestepped what is arguably the play's molten core.
Stanley Kowalski and his wife Stella share an animal attraction
that should give any production of Streetcar an overwhelming
sexual charge (the title, after all, comes from the couple's metaphor
for fucking). Alas, there's no room for this relationship in Alleyne's
busy version. Most noticably, he commissions a story adaptation that
fleshes out events from the past which are only tantalizingly alluded
" to in Williams' script: the closeted homosexuality of Blanche's young
husband and his suicide after an exposed affair. The multiple flashbacks
were unnecessarily distracting as they jostled with a present already
loaded with more scenes than The Nutcracker.
Even more problematic was a crucial piece of casting. You can't
just put a muscular guy in an undershirt and expect to get Stanley
Kowalski. Though Donald Sales is a terrific dancer, it was telling that
he was only impressive during solo passages, when relating to a partner
wasn't an issue. In fact, Sales was singularly impervious to anyone
else on stage. As for Courtney Richardson, her warm, richly sensual
portrayal of Stella was wasted on him. In contrast, Edmond Kilpatrick
was so plugged in as Blanche's gentlemanly love interest, Mitch, that
there was provocative chemistry with anyone he came near. In his
duets with Orlando, he seemed to be constantly challenging the self-
deluding Blanche to be who she really was.
Kim Nielson's economical design consisted of a few strong set
pieces that dominated the stage when needed, and Tobin Stokes' live
jazz score was mostly a good fit. But the groundwork was never laid
for the play's dramatic climax—Stanley's sexual violation of his sister-
in-law—so, appropriately enough, it never really happened. Civilized
foreplay on and around an oversized bed ended abruptly when Blanche
crawled underneath it like a child playing hide and seek. It was oddly
stunted, but then so was her sexuality, and Orlando's rendering of the
character was intriguing precisely because it kept her in a state of high
anxiety. She was damaged and inconsolable, and in a weird way, her
exquisite struggles would often threaten to pull the frustrating piece
into some kind of focus. At one such moment, I decided that simply
calling it "Blanche" would fix everything. On a gut level, though, I was
longing for someone to holler "STELLAAAA".
As no preview tapes were available before deadline, I'm flying
blind this month and recommending a couple of films unseen. One
packs serious pedigree and the other makes my antennae vibrate, so
both are still good prospects.
Whether you have fantasies of becoming a war correspondent
or just want to stay stoked as an engaged, enraged citizen of the
world, The Troubles We've Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime
should be tugging at your sleeve. The 1994 British/French/German
co-production only recently got a North American release, but its
subject—the ethics of war zone reportage—shows no sign of losing
relevance. The fact that it predates the recent glut of hot topic political
documentaries could make it even more interesting. Shot mainly in
Sarajevo in 19 9 3 during two trips made by director Marcel Ophuls (son
of Max Ophuls, revered creator of such mid-2 Oth century eurogems
as The Lovers of Montparnasse and Lola Monies, if you'll pardon
the digression), the film intersperses siege footage with interviews
whose high-profile subjects include journalists, philosophers and war
criminals (Slobodan Milosevic should be a grimly interesting talking
head). Humour and satire provide the leavening agents via vintage
movie clips. The 224-minute experience is unlikely to contain any
empty calories, but there will be a 15-minute break for pee, tea and
stretching. The Troubles We've Seen plays The Pacific Cinematheque on
May 17,18 and 23 at 7:15pm.
I first learned of Clive Holden's massive art project, Trains of
Winnipeg, when one of his 14 short film poems aired on Zed. A visit to
the website revealed that the film cycle component spans 40 years and
is also accompanied by a book and an audio CD. Threaded together by
the notion of a train journey and given sonic heft by Christine Fellows
and members of The Weakerthans, the segments include as subjects
murder, suburban madness, the grit and bang of Winnipeg's rail
yards and the filmmaker's brain-damaged brother, whose vocabulary
shrunk to nine words as the result of a stroke. I get the feeling that
the Vancouver Island native has done something really important with
all this and am glad that the Cinematheque is offering a big-screen
chance to take a look. Trains of Winnipeg: MPSm Poems plays May 31
and June 1 at 7:30pm. CINEMa ASPIRANT
Allan Maclnnis
Is cinemafoodfor your soul, and is your soul hungry? Cinema
Aspirant offers glimpses of gems to be rescued from the
wrechige of your local video store.
Peter Waxkins and Punishment Park
Imagine this scenario for a film: right-wing Christian conservatives
have seized control of the US government, and anyone who criticizes
their agenda or their unpopular war overseas is regarded as an enemy
of the state. The civil rights of leftists and dissidents are suspended and
they're herded into kangaroo courts, found guilty
of treason, and given a choice between a lengthy
prison term or enduring a 50-mile trek through a
desert obstacle course, while national guardsmen
and police-in-training hunt them down. During the
tribunals, the dissidents hurl their protests against
their government and its evil war on deaf ears—the
conservatives accuse them of hating their country, and
whatever they say only further convinces the tribunal
that these are dangerous subversives. Communication
fails to occur; polarization is terminal.
Did you imagine all that as happening in a
contemporary setting? One certainly could, but the
above is in fact the premise of a little-seen film from
1970, Peter Watkins' Punishment Park. Its release on g
DVDin2005wasthefirsttimemostpeople—including B
devoted cinephiles such as myself—had heard of it,
and its director, expatriate Brit Peter Watkins, is far from well-known.
Because of Watkins' uncompromising commitment to his ideals and
probing criticisms of mass audio-visual media, he has been branded
a paranoid and ignored for most of his nearly 50 year career. Even
devoted film geeks often know only one of his films, his confrontational
pseudo-documentary about the probable effects of nuclear war, The
War Game (made in 1965—almost 20 years before Threads or The
Day After). The War Game was produced and then buried by the BBC,
when they realized just how horrifying a film he'd made. Watkins went
on to make the rarely screened cult hit Privilege for Universal, which
played at last month's Big Smash festival (Universal have no plans
to release it on DVD). Watkins left Britain soon thereafter, to seek a
climate where his work would be more warmly received. He has since
worked in Sweden, the USA, Denmark, Norway, France, and Canada;
It was there, in 2003, that he met Oliver Groom, of the Toronto-based
distribution company Project X. Thanks to Groom, at age 70, Peter
Watkins—who now resides in Lithuania—may be
finally finding an audience.
As of this writing, three major Watkins films
are available on DVD through Project X: Punishment
Park, Edvard Munch, and The Gladiators. Groom
says of Punishment Park that "many [viewers] are
surprised at how effective and topical it still is and
wonder how it has remained undiscovered for so
long." Aspirants are urged to explore Watkins' other
work on their own (note that Edvard Munch was
described by Ingmar Bergman as a "work of genius,"
■sB.     I     and is one of the few "lives-of-the-artist" films that
■%S|G«i**f    d°es justice to its subject matter).
kO^jBP Like many of Watkins' films, Punishment Park
II situates itself in a grey area between documentary
and fiction filrjamaking. As Watkins notes, "The
young people in the film were radicals, and some of
them had already been in prison for their beliefs." The
views they express are largely their own, and much of their dialogue
is improvised, as is that of the conservative tribunal members and
police (many of whom were actual conservatives or former police).
The premise of the film is based on actual law—the McCarran act, a
"draconian U.S. legislation [which] provided for the setting-up of places
of detention (in effect concentration camps) for those accused by the
government of subversion." The formal aspects of the film also have
much in common with documentary filmmaking; camerawoman
Churchill was told to "make it look like news footage," and Watkins
often had her jiggling her handheld 16mm camera to give the film a
gritty authenticity. Interestingly, some audiences at the time believed
they were watching actual events taking place. Watkins notes that
"when Danish TV showed Punishment Park, the Danish press reacted in
anger against the U.S. for having such an iniquitous system, then had
to retract when they realized that the film was a constructed fiction....
Why the Danish press should have been surprised by this, I'm not sure,
since they should have been aware that all film and TV is constructed,
that in many senses every audio-visual act is a fiction—including the
evening news."
Prospective Project X releases include The War Game and Culloden,
on one disc, followed by The Freethinker, based on the life of August
Strindberg. Groom would also like to release Watkins' The Journey,
a 1987 international production about the nuclear arms race, but
since the logistics of preparing a 14 % hour long for DVD release are
somewhat complicated, he recommends we not "hold our breath." See
http://www.torontobritpics.com/pxd.htm for more.
People interested in media complicity in frustrating participatory
democracy, impoverishing public awareness, and promoting corporate
and right-wing agendas are highly advised to explore Watkins' media
statement online at http://www.mnsi.net/~pwatkins/ , where he also
writes at length about his films. I'll have more to say about Punishment
Park at Blim on May 30th, where I'll be playing the DVD, followed by a
discussion. Punishment Park is as intellectually exciting a film as you're
likely to see this year.
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If you've had the misfortune of being subjected to Weird Al-inspired
joke rapper MC Lars' recent abomination, The Graduate, you may
have noticed that one track about the time machine. You know, the one
where he tells Albert Einstein to throw his hands in the air, and drops
hopelessly clumsy lines like 'AD 33 maybe you would see me/Telling
Jesus his friend Judas was untrustworthy." You'd think a Stanford-
educated man intent on going back to 1388 to battle rap Chaucer
would have a better grasp of rhyme and metre, but you'd be wrong.
He dismisses some of my favourite Modernists, from Ezra Pound to
Franz Kafka, boasting "I've got postmodern game" as some kind of
disclaimer for his kindergarten cadences. But hey, that song "If I Had
a Time Machine, That Would Be Fresh" sure did make me want to go
back in time.
This month's journey into the nostalgia vortex (MC Lars isn't
invited) takes us back to May 1991, the 100th issue of Discorder.
The Hive and The Railway Club had best look out, because we've got
yet another (historical) anniversary to celebrate. It seems like the
centennial milestone should have been a joyous occasion, but a brief
flip through the covers reveals otherwise. The first clue that something
was amiss can be found in the "Dear Airhead" section, art old letters to
the editor feature dating back to the first issue. Since I inherited the reins
of control in Jancember, the lack of a letters section has seemed to me
a grievous oversight. Without an avenue for reader feedback, our little
outpost at UBC could very well be pumping pages of unreadable tripe
into the city, wasting trees and chafing minds without our knowledge.
I don't really think this is the case, but like a good democracy, a healthy
magazine should encourage dissent. Here's a sample of the not-so-
nice things people had to say about Discorder 15 years ago, in spite of
grandma's advice:
You chumps with your criticisms of a scene that doesn't exist
should save your ideas for chatter in the cafeteria. Stop printing this
nonsense...Someone drive these poeticules from publishing.
This is the most vile, disgusting, confusing, hard to understand,
opinionated, scary piece of publication I have ever laid eyes on.
What's happened to Discorder? I used to look forward to each issue.
Now it's become nothing more than a force of habit, a habit I intend
to break if this publication doesn't improve posthaste. The latest issue
looks like it was thrown together for the sake of fulfilling the claim that
you publish monthly. Not only was it dull and extremely pretentious, it
was poorly designed and devoid of style.
The Discorder covers of the last year have progressively decreased
in taste and judgment, to the point of convincing those unwary of its
contents that it is a quasi-bourgeois sports rock-rag put together by
tasteless, no-time-for-talent "students."
The spontaneous overflow of hatred isn't confined to the
letters section. It seems 1991 was a troubled time for the magazine
staff as well, who were struggling to come to terms with the label
of "alternative" music. Cries of "fuck the scene" and "there is no
alternative" resound throughout the issue, signaling the crisis that
would result in the invention of the term "indie" as the new designator
of cool (pending corporate takeover). But I think the real story is that
people were just generally angrier in the early 90s. A story featuring
a list of Vancouver clubs urges readers to go vent their rage at "My
Dad's Ass," a warehouse bar featuring uplifting acts like Greek death
metal band Morbid Obesity. Or better yet, instead of going to a bar at
all, we are advised to "huff some glue in a parking lot" and "yell at old
A few pages over, writer Jerome Broadway uses an entire page to
catalogue the various objects of his hate in Vancouver. Targets include
Commodore bouncers, Terry David Mulligan, and Anyone Who Listens
to KISS FM, a radio station apparently designed "for people on the
critical list in the intensive care unit at VGH." Towards the end the
clouds part briefly, as one writer dreams of building "something of
meaningful and lasting value: a positive underground," but it feels like
he just put that in there to keep his parents happy.
Watch for more random anger in future issues. For now, in the
spirit of 1991, fuck MC Lars.
by Robin McConnell
Great comix-based films are hard to come by, and too bad. Film is
a natural enough jumping-on point for new recruits to comix.
Unfortunately, for every Ghost World there is a Judge Dredd (first a
popular British comic), a Batman and. Robin (the Clooney one), and
a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The gem-to-crap ratio runs
For a better impression of what comix can achieve, check out
the local scene. Many Vancouver talents put out original mini-comix
of fantastic quality. Some of my local favs include Hate Song by Fred
Grisolm, Space Jet by Mike Myhre, and the exclusively online serial of
Mr. Sean Esty, Marooned.
Hate Song is one part Fubar and one part Boogie Nights, mixed
by your most offensive uncle. It tells the violent tale of Orest, a hard-
done-by redneck who, in the two issues out so far, encounters plenty
of sex, drugs, and madness for any over-the-counter subversive.
Grisolm has a simple style, but it suits his subject. Orest journeys from
his father's home to a lab where a mad scientist is bent on remaking
Orest into a porno superstar.
During his training, Orest endures the sort of tortures that will
appeal to fans of the original Hanzo the Razor, a movie of Samurai-
sploitation fame (if you haven't seen Hanzo, do so—he's Japan's John
Shaft). A drug-induced stupor summons what appears to Orest as the
ghost of John Holmes, who then advises him a la Obi Wan. I could go
on. Orest and a water buffalo then join battle against a b-grade movie
actor—but Hate Song has too many great bits to give away. Before
you shell out cash on the mini-comix, see www.hatesong.com, where
Grisolm publishes each issue before it goes to print.
Mike Myhre crafts one of the most unique mini-comix I've
seen in Vancouver. Space Jet is a smorgasbord of whatever pops out
Myhre's mind onto paper. Issue one conforms to the standard format
of a mini-comic, and conveys innovative design despite the small
print. The stories range from silly to seedy, from London's ladies of
ill-repute to the heartfelt tale of a drunk and his best friend, a pink
Issue two has a more personal touch. Myhre's autobiographical
stories are among the strongest in his repertoire. They are touching,
hold interest, and cannot be lumped with the majority of self-
referential comix. Myhre sharpens his design edge with issue two,
which resembles a box of Maltesers. Check out Myhre's stuff while
he is still relatively unknown, so you can show it off when his name
grows big and famous.
Sean Esty, also relatively unknown, is plugging away at the
online comic Marooned. It falls somewhere between Skull Island and
the good part in Goonies when everything starts to go wrong. So far,
the story is just 17 pages long, but new instalments are worth waiting
for. The art is like a hip hop Sam Keith, with an injection of Mike
Mignola scenery. Esty doesn't sell in stores yet, but don't let that stop
you from killing time at skullcano-island.com.
Comix are more than superheroes and Hollywood supplements;
they are also treats of local talent which won't hurt your wallet. For
more on comix goodness, listen to Inkstuds, Thursdays at 2 PM on
CiTR, hosted by myself and Colin Upton, the city's original small press
expert. You can also check us out at inkstuds.livejournal.com.
by Benjamin Wood
Nowadays, a lot of noteworthy and, dare I say literary, songwriting passes through the press unsung. On the flip side, heaps
of ungodly offerings flutter up unpunished, into the Hall of the
Song Lyric (James Blunt's Beautiful is a horrific example, a horrific
example, a horrific example, it's true). So, without further ceremony,
I'll stop pissing about.
Part One: Everywhere's Romanceless
Recently, the extraordinarily prolific Ryan Adams released
Jacksonville City Nights—an album of his trademark alt-country
songs, recorded with a new back-up band, The Cardinals. The
Cardinals add the lap-steel twang and layered harmonies Adams has
missed since he left Whiskeytown years ago. The album, while patchy,
is more or less a concept record: songs for a stifling hometown. "The
End" is just about as good as alt-country lyrics get:
The trains run like snakes through Pentecostal pine
Filled up with cotton and
fine slow gin
Oh Jacksonville, how you
burn in my soul
How  you   hold  all  my
dreams captive
Captive dreams echo
Bruce Springsteen's sentiments
toward his native New Jersey,
which he etched brilliantly
in two lines of his 1975 epic,
"Thunder Road."
There were ghosts in the
eyes of all the boys she sent
They haunt this dusty beach
road in the skeleton frames
of burned-out Chevrolets
Adams also has the knack
of brevity; he conveys hard-
worn feelings in a single verse.
He is definitely worth keeping
an eye out, if only to see if he
can shake his inconsistency
and ascend, with Springsteen,
to the title of American
Meanwhile, pitched on
the other side of the Atlantic,
there's little England. And,
if you don't already know,
there's more to it than London.
London is the genitalia of
England—everything seems
to go down there, but the
excitement quickly wears.
Sheffield, from which Alex
Turner of the Arctic Monkeys
hails, is England's upper-bowel:
a hard-working, unpretentious
city where bad shit's always on
the move.
Being a north England
native myself, I approached
the much-hyped Monkeys with
trepidation. I willed myself to
hate their debut, but found my
resolve broken by the closing
track, 'A Certain Romance."
The song is a perfect capture
of the dreary nowhereness
that was my home. The lyrics
paint a likely portrait of
doomed British youth; a sight
unseen since the early days of
Morrissey, who saw the same
dimness in Manchester that
young Alex Turner & Co. see
in Sheffield.
Arctic Monkeys are thoroughly uninspired musically (they
sound like a random northerner singing The Strokes karaoke), but
their lyrics give voice to unemployed and therefore violent young
British just as the songs of The Smiths and The Jam did.
Well oh they might wear classic Reeboks
Or knackered Converse
Or tracky-bottoms tucked in socks
But all of that's what ihe point is not
The point's that there ain't no romance around here
Arctic Monkeys have the fastest-selling debut album in the UK
ever, and it's because lyrics like these, from "A Closing Romance,"
became anthems for the teens who hang out, drink high-strength
lager, and roll cars because there's fuck-all else. Like Adams and
Springsteen in America, Arctic Monkeys can turn a good song from
4031 Hastings
ith creepshow
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tickets at scratch, mkurcd cat, highlife |
1 a night in the red light district"
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and guests
ey SI
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guests TBA
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Paper Cranes
Parallels Your Local Music _r Movie Expert
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Wolfmother are ihe band tor you"
Includes me first single "Woman"!
In Concert
THE [IfJill HI
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■bears the distinct sound of an indie
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lipast lovers and corner bars over
§gti__9-iotr rqck frocks that breathe
and shimmer."- Rolling Stone
In Concert
fTIRY 24
Features the single X&tch MyDlseim* 1. Paul Simon - Boy in the Bubble
No sense in skirting around the indelible influence
Mr. Simon has left on me. This is the first song on
the first album (Graceland) that truly leapt out at
me as a youngster. I will never forget the memories
that this song, and the rest of the record conjures up
every time I put it on (which, in order to preserve its
sanctity, is a rare occasion).
2. Donovan - There is a Mountain
This song follows nicely, with its groovy, upbeat
bongo beats. No other song can own the flute the
way "There is a Mountain'' can. I like the imagery.
3. M. Ward - Paul's Song
M. Ward breaks the rhythm of 20+ year old tunes
with a song released just last year. Heartbreakingly
sweet, "Paul's Song" embodies the truth and sadness
wrapped up in the life of a performer on the road.
4. Jim Guthrie - You Are Far (Do You Exist)?
This is one of my favourite songs of all time.
Jim Guthrie crafts such perfect pop gems. He's a
Canadian treasure, and his records get better all the
time. I blatantly steal all my shit from this guy, and
this song in particular. And now he's in Islands!
5. Sparks - Achoo
This really takes things up a notch in the party
that is Side A. Sparks are, essentially, two brothers
from LA, who began in the early 70s playing hyper
rock n' roll, going on to influence Queen. This is off
their 4th record Propaganda, and it climaxes with a
furious flurry of multitracked sneezing put through
a manic blender of gated delay effects! How cool is
that?! These guys are still at it, and just put out a
new record, Hello Young Lovers. Check it out.
6. Chet - Track 03 from Kau'ai
Sadly, I don't know the name of this song, but it's
gorgeous. Ryan Beattie has a masterful voice that
moves with such ease and grace. They hail from
Victoria and they're incredible. Check them out.
7. Bob Dylan -Balladof A Thin Man (live version) from
No Direction Home
This mega-coffee-chain-affiliated release doesn't
need any accolades from me, but I don't care. The
sound from this recording is so fresh and this is the
best organ playing in rock music.
8. Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Pythagoras's Trousers
There's so much music I'd like to put on this
mixtape, but if there's one group I have to
mention, it's Penguin Cafe Orchestra. They were an
instrumental orchestral pop group from England
that made incredible music in the late seventies and
early eighties. This song was playing when a good
friend came over to my apartment one day, and after
standing at the doorway for the entire duration of
the song, he began to cry.
9. Gino Washington - Puppet On A String
Gino Washington is a 60s soul singer who came
up at around the time of all the Motown greats.
Instead of joining their ranks, he did it on his own
and was subsequently much less known than his
peers. Notoriously tardy, he showed up late for a gig
supporting the Stones back in the day, and they had
to play before him!
10. Elizabeth Cotton - Freight Train
This was the first song I heard by Elizabeth
Cotton and it blew me away with its simple, direct
arrangement and beautiful and masterful finger
picking. She started getting recognition in her late
sixties after years of playing quietfy in her home, or
the Seegers' home, coincidentally where she worked
for years as a maid, stealing away to play on (Pete
Seeger)'s banjo.
11. Cannibal Ox - Atom
One of my favourite things about hip hop is the
clever wordplay involved. Can Ox drop this f-bomb:
"This ain't the space race, so why you rushin'?"
12. Fatlip - "What's Up Fatlip?"
This is maybe the most honest, self-effacing song in
rap music. Fatlip tells it like it is, and self-deprecates
overtop an insidiously catchy beat.
13. Viktor Vaughn - "Let Me Watch'' withApani B
Apani B is an unbelievable MC and is completely
underrated in underground rap. She gets her dues
here, one-upping MP Doom's Viktor Vaughn in a
no-holds-barred battle of the sexes!
14. Jaylib - "McNasty Filth"
The late Jay Dee and his collaboration with the
prolific west coast producer Madlib yielded my fave
off the record, featuring Frank N' Dank, Toronto-
via-Detroit party rappers. If you want to start a
party, put this fucking record on.
15. Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox
These guys are really really awesome. They just put
out a new record. Check it out.
16. Brian Eno - Discreet Music
Okay, it's 30 minutes long and would probably take
up most of side A on a real mixtape, but fuck it, this
song is the birth of ambient music as we know it.
Inspired by Erik Satie and an interesting turn of
events in his own life: after a debilitating accident,
Eno was left bed-ridden. A friend came to visit,
bringing with her a record of 18th century harp
music as a gift. She put the record on the turntable
right before leaving but the volume was too low and
the left speaker not connected properly, making it
virtually inaudible. The music became, in Eno's
words, "the ambience of the environment, just as
the colour of the light, and the sound of the rain." .
1. J Dilla - Lightworks
This is off the new Donuts album by Dilla. He's my
absolute favorite hip hop producer of all time. He
gets a kind of black magic quality to all his beats
that I find totally mystifying, and I think his passing
is one of the saddest things to happen to music in
my life.
ander Ebenezer Obey - Ewa Wowun
2. Chief Com
He's the big name in the African Juju scene. I like the
hypnotic quality that he achieves without the layered
guitar that is common to most African pop music.
It's a bit psych-folk too, but much darker and more
3. Toby Driver - In the 1.1. library Loft
This album of soft, pretty guitar based music is
perfect to listen to when you try to fall asleep but
aren't quite ready. It's the right state of mind for this
beautiful, non-melodic sound.
4. Leos Janacek - On the Overgrown Path
One of the few 20th century classical composers
who does melodic music I can get down with. A
Czech composer who claimed to get his inspiration
from the speech patterns of his native language,
Janacek manages to keep it very personal and not
too nationalistic.
5. Deerhoof - Spirit Ditties of No Tone
I wasn't super into these guys before their newest
record, but this one has everything I like from pop
music. Lots of noisy stuff, amazing drums, and
incomprehensible lyrics.
6. Fanfare Ciocarlia - Doina si Balaseanca
This is from an album of gypsy music that I
absolutely love. I started playing the clarinet so that
I could try to play this kind of stuff, but it will be
a long time before I can even pretend. It starts off
somber and lush, and then jumps into the craziest
upbeat dance music ever. The trumpet playing alone
is worth the price of the album.
7. Stevie Wonder -1 Was Made to Love Her
This is the one of my favorite pop songs of all time.
The younger Stevie has a quality to his voice that
nobody has ever captured, despite entire generations
trying their hardest. Some might think the lyrics in
this are a bit facile or trite but when he sings it, I
believe every word.
8. Think About Life - Paul Cries
Martin has been around Montreal for a while now
doing different stuff. This is the first time I heard
Graham and Matt I'm so glad they all got together
to make one of the best things to come out of this
city in a long time. Not to mention they are the
sweetest people you could ever hope to meet.
9. Benjamin Britten- Cello Suite #1, First Movement
This is absolutely the most moving piece of solo
cello music imaginable. I actually find a lot of his
stuff unlistenably boring, but this one is so huge
and beautiful that I can listen to it a hundred times
in a row and it loses none of its power. Arvo Part's
Cantus for B. Britten is also really great, but didn't
make this mix tape.
10. Cadence Weapon - Lisa's Spider
Not a lot of rap comes out of Edmonton, or at least
I don't hear any of it, so it's really surprising that
Cadence can emerge from the scene there such
a mature and original artist. I love his punchlines and his wordplay and his beats are realfy
something else.
11. Company Flow - The Fire in Which You Burn
I'm the living circle circle dot dot [now I've got my
cootie shot—ed.], nobody can touch me.
12. MF Doom - Hero vs. Villain
This is off the Operation: Doomsday record, which
completely blew my mind when I first heard it.
My cousin Ben played it for me a long time ago.
He somehow has the inside track on the best unheard hip hop, despite living in Guelph, Ontario and
not owning a computer. He told me about Warcloud
too, who is amazing and should be found and
listened to.
13. Gonzales - Gogol
I wasn't a fan of his whole half-jokey rap persona, so
it came as a double surprise when I went to see his
show at last year's Pop Montreal. It's quite frankly
the best instrumental music to come out since
Penguin Cafe, and that was decades ago. This song
has everything I love about Erik Satie, but manages
to avoid any copycatting. Stunning.
14. Daniel Johnston - The Monster Inside of Me
Daniel Johnston was a shining light when me and my
friends were first starting to make home recordings
back when I was a kid. I didn't know anything about
his personal life, but they had some records of his at
CFRU (the Guelph college radio station) and I loved
them all. This song is from the gorgeous Laurie EP
and manages to keep all the charm of his earlier
songs while being much more melodically and
lyrically advanced.
15. Erik Satie - Prelude de la Porte Heroique du Ciel
This is perhaps my favorite piece of music ever
written. Erik Satie is my favorite composer and he
originated a lot of ideas that have influenced many
if not most of my favorites who have come since.
This one isn't considered one of his major works
but there is a quality to it that hits me right where
it counts. If I can make one recommendation to
anybody, it's to listen to Satie's music, please.
Discorder     9 y___J__&?o7.?JI pre
Fri May 5th: Fear Zero, The Nextl-rShirf^
Ryan McMahon & Tarll 7pm /
@The PIC PUB, 622 West Pender Street
Sat May 6th: Whitfield,
Orchid Highway, Cinderpop
210 Abbott Street
Thu May 11th:
Pressure Kill Common Style,
In Medias Res, Counting Heartbeats
& Open Parachute! 18pm
Thu May 11th: Superbeing
CD Release Party/8pm
@ ATLANTIS, 1320 Richards
Fri May 12th: The Painted Birds
(formerly Spark That Screams)
wl Elias Tour Kick Off Party & Glim Project
8pm @ The MEDIA CLUB, 695 Cambie
Fri May 12th: Michael Chase,
Andy Collins Tour Kick Off,
Madisen & Philippe I9pm
1585 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Sat May 13th: Madison's Panic,
Dan Mangan, Drew Danburry
& Aubrey Debauchery 19pm
Sat May 13th: Crystal Pistol wl
Billy + The Lost Boys & The Flairs
Double CD Release Party + The Smears
770 Pacific Blvd (beside Plaza of Nations)
Tix @ Zulu, Scratch & Red Cat Records
Sat May 13th: Billy + The Lost Boys
CD Release Party wl Pepper Sands,
New Years Resolution, Treacherous Machete
+ Orchards & Vines 18pm @ The LAMPLIGHTER^
Fri May 19th: The Flairs CD Release Party
wl Todd Kerns, The Turn & The Furios
Sat May 20th: Lions In The Street
EP Release Party wl Grass City
+ more 18pm @ The LAMPLIGHTER
Fri May 26th: Astoria, Rod Bum,
Dan Swinimer & Jason Wilkinson
Sat May 27th: AU4 wl special guests
10     May 2006
<v i?fft|f J doppler defec^^^^fe^^
:x?J$$ laptop ei^#^^^-.^^rs other sungj^fr* •
g§ag trio  taal mala
the alibi room 157 q^>pnder stipfamain $5 qwmk
WI1C Wfljf fc
downtown eastside concert crawl
$15 weekend passes available at limelight video, scratch, zulu & redcat
june 1st-4th
Get full show details at:
C_^___< Chris is a nice fellow. I should be helping him out instead of vice
versa for a change, and talking to Ryder Havdale would be pleasant.
I've known Ryder for many years now, beginning when he was in the
band Second Narrows, continuing while he was part of Kids These
Days and now with his latest project called The Mohawk Lodge. And
hey, we could meet at the Fringe Cafe—they have an excellent selection
of beverages there. So plans were made, drinks consumed, and a
delightful chat ensued.
Discorder: The current lineup of The Mohawk Lodge is different
from when you first started.
Ryder. The Lodge has always been about community, it's always been
a bit of a collective. We started the first recording in a cabin by a lake,
laid all the beds over a weekend. And then I just brought the 8 track to
friends' places, apartments back in the city. So it wasn't really a band
in the beginning, it kind of came together as a whole bunch of people,
and we ended up with seven people on the record. After the record was
done, we ended up playing as those seven people in the band, but on
the record a lot of people only played on a couple of tracks. It didn't
need as many people for the style of music, so we tried to part it down a
bit, due to touring and who could go on the road. It's a different lineup.
It's pretty exciting right now, we got Arch from Readymade playing
guitar, Cory [Price] is still on guitar, Rob Qosephson]'s still on drums,
Ben Labelle on bass.
Would you agree that your live shows rock harder than they did
before with this roster?
Yes, It has definitely gotten more rocking. It comes from the people
that are playing in it now. Also, when we were playing with acoustics,
there were all the sound problems on the stage with the acoustics
feeding back. Now we're just strictly electric, and turning it up.
The first record was me learning how to sing. The first record was
actually an excuse to write a whole bunch of songs that I can sing to.
The next record is going to be the next step.
So is there a new album in the works?
There is. It's called Bloodlines, the tentative title. It got started after
our tour out east in September. Darryl'Neudorf is playing drums on
it, and laid all the beds for seven tracks. We came back and have been
recording since—did a couple days at the Hive, and also took it up to
Lyrically has your music changed? Is there a general theme to the
Rockl [Laughs] It's still very sincere and honest—to me anyways. Life
and Death. This is Chapter 2. Some of the songs were written in fits of
frustration or moments of clarity. Actually it's funny because a couple
of songs on the last album were about my current girlfriend, and it
was a bit of a battle to win her. But we've been living together for two
years now, and sometimes comfort is a crutch.'You can only write so
many happy songs—J prefer the sad songs.
And you seem to be showing ei
your vocals.
n more assertiveness and confidence with
When will the album be released?
It's going to be ready for the end of summer. Finishing it with Darryl
first week of June, around North by Northeast. We're going to go out
there for North by Northeast and stay for a week and mix the record. -
' We like to have three months to prepare records, so it'll probably
come out September 1.
You created White Whale Records, what sort of work do you do with
I pretty much run it all. I had a couple of interns that helped out at
different points for a couple of days-a week. Everything from website
to mailouts to booking shows. Right now I'm working for Endearing
[Records], so the Whale gets taken care of at night.
Currently there are six bands on White Whale Records, and your own
band The Mohawk Lodge is one of them. How do you devote your time
equally and make everyone happy?
It is hard to focus on your own band when there are five other bands
wanting the same amount of time, and you have to be very diplomatic
about where you are going to put your energy. But what it comes down
to* is that the label matches the energy of the band. If the band is going
on the road that's our priority, making sure they got the press, and
that they got everything they need. We do have a publicist actually, so
I don't do everything. Ken [Beattie] at Killbeat does our press. At times
things come up that priority for a certain band. We sort of just fend off
everything as it comes in.
What is the ultimate plan for The Mohawk Lodge, where do you want
to take the band?
The thing I love about The Lodge is that it's my project and I'm totally
open to it taking any new direction that it wants to go, with new people
playing and different sounding records. I feel it's got a long life ahead
of it, and I'm not going to be satisfied until I got a whack of records
under the belt. Right now with The Lodge we're looking to license [die
records] around the world, and just set it up so we can tour and be
musicians frill time. That's my goal.
Right now you guys are probably the tallest band in Vancouver,
[Laughs] I never thought of it that way. Well, we are all working on our
posture. If I actually sorted my posture out, we might actually be the
tallest band in Vancouver.
The Mohawk Lodge will be playing May 6th at the Media Club with Great
Aunt Ida, Heartwarmongering and The Metic.
Ulustmtion by Phieu Iran
Discorder     11 «S^ SL/PS AWAY-
J was a young punk kid into DOA and the Subhumans when
a friend lent me a decidedly odd local LP, The Migration
of the Snails, on which his relative, George McDonald, had
played. A theme album, it featured song titles like "Gastropods
in Transit" and "Escargot," and had bizarre, snail-related
album art The music reminded me of prog rock and Tangerine
Dream at times, psychedelic rock at others, but had an arty,
ethereal quality that defied easy pigeonholing, and 1 had no
idea what some of the instruments listed on the back were
(Khaen? Gas and steam bass? DelatronicsP). The strangeness
of it stuck with me—but I didn't spin it more than twice, and
went back to listening to the Dead Kennedys.
Flash forward 23 years—23 years filled with musical and
psychopharmacological experimentation—and I'm standing at
Cathedral Square, listening to a city-commissioned art project by
Mercury Theatre HI. George McDonald is playing a homemade
theremin as part of a space-noise jam, but I don't recognize his
name. A few months later, local musician Dan Kibke introduces me to
George, in the audience at an Acid Mothers Temple show at Richards
1 Richards, but I'm preoccupied with practicing my Japanese by
offering Makoto Kawabata a "special''.cookie and still don't clue in. A
few months later still, Dan plays me a disc George is on, and the penny
drops: "Wait a second—didn't these guys once record an album called
The Migration of the Snails?"
And so the old adage is proven correct: when the listener is ready,
the musician will come, in this case in the form of the Melodic Energy
mmission. Vancouver's best-kept psychedelic secrets re-released
their first two LPs, Stranger in Mystery (1979) and Migration of the
Snails (1980) on one disc, Moonphase Compendium, in 1997. Last year,
the core members of the band, Don Xaliman, George McDonald, and
Randy Raine-Reusch, alongside a host of non-local collaborators,
released a well-received new CD, Time Is a Slippery Concept, on
Xaliman's "indy audio video studio" label, Energy Discs. They're now
set to actually try to get heard in the city that spawned them.
Describing their music is no easy feat. It's pop music to be sure,
and spacy, but difficult to pin down otherwise. Raine-Reusch, who
makes a "full-time career in the music biz" as composer, musician, and
writer, lists influences from "the Beatles, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and the
Dead," to 'African and Indian music, jazz, and blues." He's fronted a
30-piece didjeridu orchestra and has associated or played with avant-
gardists as diverse as John Fahey, John Cage, Eugene Chadbourne, Mats
Gustafeson, Jean Derome, and Pauline Oliveros. If you think you're
getting close to being able to categorize him, note that he also played
various world instruments on Yes' The Ladder and on Aerosmith's
album Pump (I), organized festivals in Borneo and has collaborated
with Cirque du Soleil, Ann Mortifee, and Alpha YaYa Diallo. Like Don
Xaliman (who recently "performed on faglung—a Filipino stringed
instrument—for the Governor General of Canada at the Chinese night
market"), he is fond of traditional instruments from other cultures. On
the new album he is credited with playing flutes, saling, balimbing,
shakuhachi, dizi, duduk, and more —a pretty diverse list, given that
the overall texture of the disc is electronic. In case you still aren't
clear on just how difficult the MEC are to type, there's a rap tune too
("Beehive Jive"), and a track, "For Sure," that evokes Led Zeppelin's
"Battle of Evermore," with Xaliman's mystical vocal stylings—at least
up until it starts to sound like an Indonesian gamelan orchestra. These
guys are slippery indeed.
Raine-Reusch, as accomplished a musician as he is, points
out that Don Xaliman is "really the core of it all. We all do our own
thing and get together when Xaliman calls us." Xaliman, who also
plays guitar, keyboards, and writes the band's lyrics, described his
process via email: "Over the years commissioners at improv sessions
have been enticed to display; a heightened state of creative bliss and
it's sonically frozen in time," and added to Xaliman's sound library.
Xaliman "restructures the cream to form a composition that never
existed before. It's really an extraction process. Harmless, but capable
of enhancing or distorting reality. That's why some people refer to our
music as psychedelic: we have found ways to create psychotropicafly
appearing musical soundscapes with and without actually consuming
the elixir. 'Psychedelic' refers to the experience the listener receives,
rather than the experience the musician is having. It's really just about
painting mystical, magical, sonic scenery...At times the sound is made
up of many layers of almost subliminal instrumentation. I use that
method to create full and unusual ambience rather than just throw a
bunch of reverb, effects into the mix."
Xaliman's sources for the new album were recorded over a 20
year period, and include recordings he made of "2000 drummers at
the Plaza of Nations and 100 people chanting Ohm in Kits House," to
which Randy added dulcimer and George, theremin. As he says, "there ■
are well over 2000 musicians on this album."
The band owes much of its popularity in "European space-rock
circles" to Del Dettmar, who, Xaliman explains, "learned his chops from
playing sheets of synthesized sounds with Hawkwind for their first five
albums." Dettmar was in BC to make some money planting trees when
he struck up a friendship with the MEC and "helped put the music
together for the first two albums. He had a British analog EMS Synthi,
the same synthesizer Pink Floyd used on Dark Side of the Moon, and
is a true wizard with a wand—a woodsman double-headed axe with
a big bass string clamped to the handle. Melodic Energy Commission
was fortunate to have a brief ride on his cloak-tail, and even though
12     May 2006 we never sounded much like Hawkwind, we were well
received for our imaginative textures." Their long out-
of-print LPs fetch hefty collectors' prices in Europe, and
their CDs are easier to find in stores there than here.
Another reason Vancouverites
familiar with the MEC, as Xaliman explains, is that
they've "rarely performed live as the Melodic Energy
Commission,   either  here  or  anywhere  else."   In
2005, they did a "music and laser improvisation at
the Planetarium," called 'Nearly See Clearly,' which
Xaliman recorded and may yet release. Otherwise,
they hadn't performed with all three core members
since the mid-1980s, when they opened for Captain
Beefheart and his Magic Band on their farewell tour at the
Commodore Ballroom. Xaliman proudly reports that the band
received a "heartfelt standing ovation and an encore," got to
say hello to the Captain, and were compared to Gong by one
of the band members. They also had fun eating the food and
drinking the beer on the Captain's rider.
I asked Xaliman about his philosophy of music. "Music
has the potential of moving energy within our being and
altering moods. It's like a movie where you get caught up in the
comedy, adventure and dramatic ride. We want you to leave
the theatre feeling that you experienced a good story and will
come back someday. Like after an invigorating sonic massage.
A refreshing vacation to the space between particles of time."
As one might gather, there is a fondness for hippie culture
in Xaliman, who likes "its tribal integrity and [the way its]
morphed itself into a colourful street and village culture." He
says, "along with every other cultural influence that's swayed
me, I am part hippie, part techno-traveller, and an alien
crossbreed." Raine-Reusch concurs: "a lot of the ideas of the
early hippie movement I still live with: peace, harmony, the
need to preserve nature....I have a hard time with all the greed
and war in the world at the moment."
Given their music and values, one might be surprised to
discover that the members of the band I talked to are not, in
fact, big fans of drugs. Raine-Reusch's mother was an alcoholic,
so he "stayed away, except for a short and disastrous foray." A
Taoist since age 15, he has "focused on deep meditation and
trance" in order to enhance his perceptions. Xaliman likewise
says that he is "not into doing drugs," and prefers thinking of their
music as "Otherworld Music," rather than "psychedelic." (He coyly
adds however, "I sometimes partake in sacred herbs with psychoactive
properties.") During the peak of their live performances in the early
80s, they did drink a fair bit of alcohol, Xaliman notes. This phase was
documented on a cassette called M=E/C2, and a rare 45 rpm single,
distributed mostly in California and Scotland. "I never liked the mixes
but the music truly rocks," Xaliman says. "Recently I transferred the
raw tracks to digital and am looking for a spot of time to mix them
properly. They are so different that I may think up another band name
for that project..."
George McDonald is "presently working way up north in Alberta,
searching for oil," and could not be reached for comment. Don says
"he's built the most amazing theremin and is anxious to perform with
it and his electric guitar," and will definitely be involved in future
MEC projects. One release to look forward to, Congenial Twist, will be
coming out this summer. Xaliman describes it as "joyous, mysterious
instrumentais made with unusual sounds and instruments...
composed for a magic and reptiles show. It will have an accompanying
storybook for kids."
Xaliman is also interested in video and visual art, and has been
"intermittently exploring photography and graphics for posters and
album covers, recently for Mantravani Orchestra, Orchid Ensemble,
Richard Hite and the recent designs for Melodic Energy Commission."
Some of his work can be seen on their website, www.melodicenergy.
com. The band is hopeful that the internet will pave the way to their
becoming better known; though Neptoon and Zulu stock their discs,
most of their sales have, as of yet, happened through their site. Raine-
Reusch's website is at www.asza.com. JMP3s of a few of their tracks are
available at http://www.myspace.com/melodicenergyci
Musical adventures await.
lj_h-__7J_l „.„.._„ _______*___
EARLY SHOW - Doors 7:00 pm -19+ with ID
Tickets available at Zulu, Scratch, and Red Cat.
EARLY SHOW! Doors 7:00 pm -19+ with ID
Tickets available at Zulu, Scratch, Red Cat, and at the door.
I Play
TUE     Electronic beats
WED    HiP H<>P - *&B - Reggae
4.75 ALIZE
THU     Block Rockin' Boris & Dance Classics
StXY         ^i»
minAvs ~!$L
PM        Top 40 - R&B - Hip Hop - Dance
SAT       Top 40 - R&B - Hip Hop - Dance
 ■                  *_t
Illustration by
Guillaume Boucher I
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\MAY 21 • 10IY 2 • SEPT 3 • OCT 8 • NOV 12
Retro • Electa) • 80's • SynApop
Alternative • Industrial • EBM
* L*     with DJs Pandemonium
3*-       Pyxis &Contrasoma
fl9lJff9t   .A__^Httiiefofe10PM
16     May 2006 HE RAILS
At present, while other
scribes dedicate column
inches to the histories of
The Hive and...umm...
Discorder, my rear view
mirror is set squarely on
Vancouver's venerable
Railway Club.
xQ-"* The Railway has just tallied the twenty-fifth anniversary of its
current incarnation, a landmark worthy of celebration. During those
two-and-a-half decades, this burg has watched complacently as the
likes of The Town Pump and Starfish Room shuffled off this mortal
coil. Yet, even the most apathetically-inclined Vancouverite harbours
a fondness for "The Rail." The institution is akin to your family's
tripodic, half-blind dog: it can't quite "work" a leg like it used to, but
it still serves until 3:00am on the weekend. Like an expertly-trained
courtesan, it knows precisely how to please its patrons regardless of
their predilections.
The current era "of The Railway Club was ushered in when Bob
Williams became owner in 19 81. Williams installed his progeny, Janet
and Steve Forsyth, as managers. Shortly thereafter, Janet became
the club's entertainment coordinator—a role she still holds today.
"When we first started, we did cover bands for the first six months,"
she recalls. 'Aside from the odd night, there was no club (in the city)
doing original music on a regular basis. In late '81/early '82,1 started
booking original bands."
While the popularity and viability of live music fluctuated wildly
in the ensuing years, Janet's dedication to the format has remained
steadfast. "We've kept true to our roots," she submits. To wit: "We
never became a sports bar when times were tough!"
Thousands of nights of live music have seen a legion of
performers grace the room's compact stage. Janet's shortlist of
noteworthy bookings quickly grows unwieldy: "Jonathan Richman,
Ron Sexsmith, Jane Sidberry, k.d. lang, T-Bone Burnett, Camper Van
Beethoven, Robert Cray, Radiohead, The Beekeepers, Rheostatics,
Herald Nix, The Smugglers, Tragically Hip, Buttless Chaps, Carolyn
Mark... and thousands more that are just as worthy."
"We get a diverse crowd with diverse tastes," she comments.
"I work with many local promoters to ensure that I cover a broad
11 They had belly dancers here.
That was a common thing."
range of tastes. I also like presenting a variety of events like poetry
and performance art." While an adaptable palette has lent itself well
tpsurvival, Janet also attributes The Railway's longevity to one of its
constants: "We've always had great, friendly staff."
One longstanding staff member is Stan, the club's regular
doorman. Having served at his post for "more than ten years," he's
-watched countless countenances traipse across the threshold. He
agrees with Janet that the makeup of a Railway Club member hasn't
changed dramatically over the years. In fact, Stan equates the venue
to a hockey team: players come and go but the team identity remains
the same.
While hard-pressed to pick a line-up of Railway regulars equal to
the '77 Montreal Canadiens, a handful of performances stand out for
Stan. "The Blue Shadows with Billy Cowsill was the best show I ever
saw here. Hands down," he enthuses. "Honourable mentions? Jeff
Buckley. A great impromptu show was Los Lobos playing here right
after they'd opened for U2. They just showed up and played for a half-
hour to ten people."
In the mid-90s, Stan almost pulled off a booking coup of his
own. The affable music aficionado had convinced Arthur Lee and his
seminal band Love to play The Railway. "They're my favourite band
and I had that all arranged," he chagrins. "Then, Arthur went and got
himself into some trouble." "Trouble" consisted of a firearms-related
arrest and subsequent jail time.
On the subject of dirty dealings, a dispatch from the blogosphere
charges that a former Railway owner was killed when his 16-year-
old girlfriend flung a hammer at his head. Queried about that claim,
Stan uneasily responds, "I don't want to comment on that one."
When asked about the general state of The Railway Club prior to the
Williams/Forsyth regime, he discloses, "They had belly dancers here.
That was a common thing."
Curious. Curiousenough to get an intrepidjournalist questioning:
"How much do we really know about this 'Railway Club?" While the
bar's current era accounts for a quarter century, it encapsulates but
a third of the venue's existence. Well, after laboriously unearthing
copious dirt concerning The Railway Club's missing years, I've
compiled a special eight-paragraph report entitled: The Railway Club
- The Missing Years.
Established at 579 Dunsmuir Street in 1931, The Railway
Club received one of the first liquor licences issued after the end
of prohibition. Initially, the venue extended membership only to
Canadian Pacific Railroad employees. It soon became customary for a
half-dozen roosters to disappear from each poultry shipment arriving
at Seymour Street's CPR station. These waylaid fowl would inevitably
by Curtis Woloschuk
resurface at The Railway, where they'd be incited into mortal combat.
Ornithological conflict historians speculate that the walls of the rear
smoking lounge have "seen more chicken blood than the toilet seat at
a circus geeks' convention."
By decade's end, Canada had entered the fray of World War n,
and the complexion of The Railway Club- would be forever changed.
When a large percentage of the CPR's workforce enlisted, the club
addressed declining attendance by opening its doors to any individual
sponsored by an existing member. Such liberal policies saw a new
clientele established that drew from both the "riff" and "raff" spheres
of influence.
The Pacific National Exhibition encountered labour strife in
1942 when employees of Happyland (Playland's predecessor) walked
off the job. The ringleader of the work stoppage was costumed joker
Bill "Pickle Pants" Grimaldi—a Railway mainstay. In what was
dubbed "The Clown Strike" by local media, 22-year-old Grimaldi and
his cohorts met at The Railway Club for four straight days in order to
draw up their demands. However, just as negotiations were poised to
commence, the military assumed control of Happyland add converted
it into an internment camp. Despite that outcome, The Railway had
been identified as a haven for the political left and carnies of every
Postwar, the newly opened Penthouse joined The Cave,
Commodore and Quadra Club as the city's premiere nightspots.
Meanwhile, The Railway spenf the next decade earning the rank
of reputable drinking hole. While George Burns and Sammy Davis
Jr. turned in appearances at the aforementioned venues, a Railway
patron might occasionally spy impresario Hugh Pickett enjoying a
businessman's lunch, or actor John Drainie retiring for an evening
The bar was lent some fleeting star power when Errol Flynn paid
a visit in 1959. One October afternoon, the opium-addled leading
man arrived at The Railway intent on advancing his liver damage
and plying his teenage girlfriend, Beverly Aadland, with apple brandy.
Firsthand accounts state that, with Flynn indisposed, a beret-clad
beatnik approached Aadland and asked if she was on a "fake out." An
unimpressed Flynn interceded, only to be informed: "Word from the
bird, The Big Boodle was nowhere." Muttering, "I was Robin Hood...,"
Flynn then huffed out without paying his bill. It would be one of his
final public appearances.
Vancouver became a political hotbed in the 1960s with groups
like the Young Socialist Alliance, Vancouver Liberation Front and Don't
Make a Wave Committee rising to prominence. RadicaJ publications
such as The Pedestal and The Georgia Straight hit the streets and set
the scene for Bill "Don't call me Pickle Pants" Grimaldi's return to The
Railway in 1969.
While spending the previous decade abroad, Grimaldi had
witnessed France's general strike in May of 1968 and fallen sway
to the Situationist writings of Guy Debord, author of Society of the
Spectacle. Adopting the French protest adage, "Workers of the world,
have fun!" Grimaldi organized weekly meetings at The Railway in
hopes of once again mobilizing the city's carnies. The provocateur's
hopes for an artful revolution were scuttled when he proved incapable
" Well, it was in the '80s. We had
belly dancers for Friday lunches."
of explaining the difference between "concentrated," "diffuse" and
"integrated" spectacle to his recruits.
At that point, a broken Grimaldi forever surrendered his haunt
to the descending hordes of belly dancers. Those gyrating castanetists
ruled The Railway roust throughout the 1970s, until Bob Williams
and his family usurped control in 1981. Or so Stan, would have us
believe. When asked to verify her doorman's claim, Janet Forsyth
counters, "Well, it was in the '80s. We had belly dancers for Friday
lunches." ^^^S®
As Karl J. Weintraub wrote, "History is the discipline closest to
life; and life is rarely free of contradictions." Accordingly, it's hardly
surprising that Janet and Stan's accounts of the belly dancing era
prove incongruous. In turn, I anticipate that certain factions of the
Truth Police (motto: To serve, protect and buzzkill.) may take issue
with the odd factual inaccuracy in my special eight-paragraph report.
Let it be noted that I welcome an open debate on any point they find
contentious. Furthermore: I can't conceive of a better forum for such
spirited discourse than the smoking lounge at The Railway Club. See
you at the top of the stairs.
Discorder     17 \\\_wtimm_£Bi6ik
HzveD. JTie Best Hive House.
A familiar sight. Colin loading gear for a live recording. HiveDera.
.  Colin and Jesse at the new studio.
Ah, Vancouver. So when I asked for Hivers past and present to send
fond memories and anecdotes about time spent with Colin and co.,
I forgot one very important thing: musicians are high ALL THE TIME.
They forget things. Well, maybe that's not exactly the case, but, despite
the fact that everyone I talked to got all grinny at the mere mention of
the Hive, nobody sent me a thing. Part of the problem could be that
everyone's just too busy honing their musical kraftwerks to take a turn
at writing, or that bands like Pink Mountaintops are on multi-country
Steven Balogh was once a part of the touring Pink Mountaintops
troupe, but is now staying put in Vancouver to play with the
Anemones. Steve had a good story to tell about recording with Colin
with one of his other bands. "Colin did a lot of live recordings when
the Hive was still located in the basement of their house, he'd pack up
his gear and take it to the venue for a very reasonable fee. I'll always
remember the day we recorded the first Baron Sarnedi ESQ record at
The Sugar Refinery. We played there on a Friday, left our gear set up
and returned with Colin the next day at around 11 am. The whole
time we were recording there was a prep cook in the kitchen making
soup and Stephen (Horwood, original proprietor) weaving through us
with a ladder replacing lightbulbs, making espressos and just generally
going about his day oblivious. Still, 3 hours later we had a decent (and
surprisingly ambient noise-free) album in the can. I'd be perfectly
happy to record anything I ever do with Colin, he's the ideal engineer
in my opinion. 'Course I do still owe them some money..."
The Hive is forever there to document local music and help
fledgling artists enter into the world of recording, whether they have
the cash or not (although this may have changed a wee bit since the
move, what with all those heating bills...). Hive-Fi Recordings, the
Hive's label, was up and running for about five years, adding a further
dimension to artist development and distribution of the good musiks.
Hive-Fi released albums by The Secret Three, Chet, Parks and Rec,
Burquitlam Plaza, John Rae Fletcher, and Great Aunt Ida; most of these
albums are still readily available, even if a spot on the roster isn't. The
rigours of running the label eventually proved too time-consuming
with such a large studio to run (and a kitchen to constantly clean up),
and so Terry decided that Hive-Fi Records had served its purpose. Sadly,
not all the bands on the roster have found alternate labels to call home
yet—anyone out there interested?
Larissa Loyva, a Hive veteran and still in her early 20s, benefited
from Hive-Fi's support when they released the first P:ano records. For
Larissa, both the label and the studio were key components of her
youth. "I used to go to the Hive after school, and I remember doing my
French homework in between takes in the control room, offering advice
to Nick and Colin while they were recording. I was experimenting with
smoking at the time; sometimes we'd go and smoke in the backyard,
then make Slurpee runs to the 7-11. Rob had a big crush on me at the
That's just how laid-back it is at the Hive. Everyone's having good
times, playing with Moz the dog, and reminiscing about days bygone.
Colin's glad to talk about local indie superstars Black Mountain, and
is happy that the band has progressed to the point where they barely
need him anymore. "They have always been very, very self-sufficient,"
he explains. "Now it's reached the point where they record their record
and then they bring it here and mix it on my stuff." He's way more
interested, though, in talking about where Black Mountain came from,
the unknown (or, if you're lucky, beloved) bands that he's had a hand
in recording.
When I ask about bands that have gotten away, I'm quickly
assured that the Hive doesn't look at things that way. Success is not
really what it's about in Hive-land. When Destroyer comes up in
conversation, Rob happily states, "We were just glad to do the one
album with them." The Unicorns wanted quite desperately to record
at the Hive, sending "elaborate love letters," according to Terry, and
demos galore, but Colin and Rob didn't see a fit. Mark Larson, first a
Hive intern, later a roommate, and lately long gone out east to fame
and fortune, ended up mastering the "good" Unicorns stuff and doing
some work on the Arcade Fire album. Mark was happy to share a tale
or two about his Hive connections.
"It was spring 2001; Ihad just moved into the Hive, I was finishing
school, and already living the audio wet dream: creamy synthesizers,
sensual drum machines, lush organs, big machines with blinking
lights, microphones and rock and/or roll. One of my goals was to try to
figure out a way to earn a living with all of this butter. Then, it came to
me: Stay up late, wait for Travis to come home from work, smoke a little
dope with him. Then we'll turn on all the machines, microphones,'
turntables, and plug them all into each other while playing bass in
the dark, all the while trying not to wake up Rob." The plan paid off,
and looking back on his formative experience living at the Hive, Mark
muses, "It's not just a studio, it's a community of love."
A community of love is right. Colin enjoys the nurturing aspect of
recording far too much to go chasing after worldly rewards. Explaining
a recent experience in the studio with a young band, he says, "You
kind of feel like a dad when you have a band like that, even though
they're all bright kids, they're kind of like, 'what do I do now? I'm
scared.' When I get these young bands, I try to do the best I can with
what I'm given, and that's it. I'm not going to try to embellish them
and make them sound better; I don't have the patience." Unwilling to
push too hard, Colin likes to let bands learn from their mistakes.
Jesse works in a similar way, standing by the idea that he "would
rather one of the bands that already comes to us become popular,
rather than have more popular bands than them come to [us]. It's nice
to help people develop their sound." He's had the privilege of helping
ex-d.b.s. bandmates Andy Dixon and Paul Patko with all of the Red
Light Sting recordings. "They were a cool band that had a good sound
to begin with, and it was my job not to fuck it up." Recently he's done
albums with the Doers, Lethbridge, Alberta band Atrophy Manuscript
and Ontario band Varge, who he claims "are one of the most intense
progressive bands in Canada. They sound like NoMeansNo, only take
away the structure and take away the tightness at times and make
it crazy. Their singer is like, the Jacques Brel of punk rock. He sings
with so much charisma,it's almost uncomfortable." Jesse also works
on his own projects when time affords, most recently completing his
Ghost House record in the living room of his home during a bit of
According to Jesse, Stu's currently in the middle of two months'
recording time booked solid, so it didn't really seem necessary to intrude
upon the guy's busy schedule. Stu's got bands coming up from the
States on a regular basis, bands who seek him out, much like all bands
who find their way .to the Hive do, based on word of mouth or having
heard records he's engineered. Jesse claims that the band to watch
right now out of Stu's stables is Textbook Tragedy, a band that's also
given Colin pause for thought—he had to revamp the Hive's vending
machine because of them. "This young band called Textbook Tragedy
came in, all underage, and they bought all the beer in the machine. I
was like, 'I don't want to be held responsible for this.'" And'this from
a mah who, thanks to "some great mushrooms in Hive C," has given
Terry cause for grief. "I have boxes and boxes and boxes of cassette
tapes in my house," groans Terry good-naturedly, "that my husband
will not let me get rid of, that are all just .stoner jams!" So we know
that, ten years on, the Hive, despite being bigger and better, is still very
much the real deal.
18     May 2006 JOEL plaskett!
"You fucking suck!" Comments like this can be discouraging
to anyone, let alone to a musician trying to connect with a
room full of people. For Joel Plaskett, audience discontent (or
apathy) while playing inKelowna, BC, was the inspiration for "Love
This Town," one of the most memorable verses on his 2005 record
La De Da. This ode to Halifax, his hometown, is Joel Plaskett at
his most reflective; yearning for home and familiarity while lost on
the road in hostile environs. Characterized as both an ironic arena
rocker and a soulful balladeer, the Haligonian musician is able to
write lyrics that are at the same time hilarious and heartfelt It is
these contrasting elements which have earned him and his band the
Emergency a die~hardfollowing and growing mainstream attention,
as seen by his Juno nomination for Songwriter of the Year, and his
win in that same category at the East Coast Music Awards.
Joel is proud of the recent accolades he has received
but tends to view them as accomplishments along
the long road in his career, as opposed to a goal
which he was working towards. "There's been a lot
of momentum behind what I've been doing in the
past couple of years, but I've been at what I do for
so long, both with the Hermit when I was younger,
and with the Emergency...but every year has these
little things that are encouraging and mark the
work that we've done as a band. At the same time
when you're in the midst of touring and recording
and writing songs it's kind of an acknowledgement
of the work you've put in all year."
When asked what he feels characterizes
d songwriter, Plaskett offers
what appears to be a description of his own approach
to the craft. "I like personality and idiosyncrasy, I like
people who reflect their own experiences and where
they're from" he says. "But also a bit of humour for
me is always welcomed. It's not necessary...there
are certain people who are very serious and I love
it, but often the people that you think of as being
very melodramatic and serious often have more of a
sense of humour than you realize."
Though recognition for all this work is starting
to find its way to both Plaskett and his band, it has
been a long road. His original group Thrush Hermit
played their first gig when he was 15 in 1990.
They would go on to record two albums for Elektra
Records before disbanding in 1999, the same year
Plaskett's solo debut In Need of Medical Attention was
it is, but the records I've made with my band are
equally as song-based." He feels that riff rock gets a
bad rap in some circles. "I always find it interesting
that you don't think of Led Zeppelin as great
songwriters, but they were, and they were [also]
incredible band performers. People say Jackson
Browne has great songs and The Who were a great
band, but I liked The Who's songs better than I liked
Jackson Browne's."
Plaskett is currently back on the road with the
Emergency promoting their new DVD Make A Little
Noise, which includes a hometown performance
by the band at the Marquee Club in Halifax, a
solo performance by Plaskett in
Saskatchewan and all of the post-
Hermit music videos. As an added
incentive the group traveled to
Toronto last fall to record a three
song EP with former Big Sugar
front-man Gordie Johnson.
"The whole band really enjoyed
working with him, he brought
a lot to the table. I was really
The resulting tracks move
away from the 70s riff rock of
the Emergency's first two albums "
and present a fuller, Phil Spector
rhythmic feel. "I'm really pleased
that these came out different
than anything we've done. My
mandate for these three songs
was to create something that was a little bit more
50s in its references. I wanted that rock and roll
edge as opposed to the late 60s or 70s thing that I've
mined a lot. I was also kind of freaking out on Bruce
Springsteen's Born to Run."
Plaskett has just finished a solo tour of
Australia, which included an opening slot for Russel
Crowe's band at one gig, but is returning to Canada
at the beginning of the month playing gigs with the
Emergency. He expects to tour to the East Coast this
summer while writing songs for an album he hopes
to record in the fall. "This may be the only chance
you have to see Emergency on the West Coast this
year. But it really just depends on when I'm going to
make the new record. I think I'm just going to have
to set the date, which means I'm going to be busting
my ass to get the tunes together all summer."
__NL Jm imtdtt t
released. He continued honing his sound, recording
2001's Down at the Khyber and 2003's Truthfully,
Truthfully with the Emergency before taking the solo
route for 2005's La De Da, for which he received the
songwriter nominations.
Although Plaskett says that songwriting
is something he takes a lot of time and pride in
doing, he is quick to dismiss the singer-songwriter
genre. "People say it's a song-based record and yes
If this is ihe case, be sure to check out Joel
Plaskett and ihe Emergency at the Commodore on
Friday, May 5th.
Discorder     19 Even if you haven't heard Has a Good Home, Pallett's 2005 debut
under the name Final Fantasy, you might already be familiar
with him. After getting into popular forms of music "by accident,"
the Torontonian has found a home with avant garde tunesmiths Les
Mouches and popsters the Hidden Cameras, as well as part of Stuart
McLean's Vinyl Cafe. He just might be most recognizable, though, for
dropping to his knees and pawing at the bum of fellow violinist Sara
Neufeld at the end of the Arcade Fire's performance of "Neighbourhood
#2" on Conan O'Brien early last year. The only-sometimes touring
member of 2005's most hyped indie export also arranged the strings
on the Montreallers' celebrated debut, Funeral. His bowed lines have
also graced records by Jim Guthrie, Picastro, and Esthero, and he's lent
his remixing talents to Grizzly Bear and Death From Above 1979. That
being said, don't go thinking Pallett is merely a hired gun. Although,
when I caught up with him via phone from his hometown, he had just
recently finished up a recording session where he played in exchange
for "a bunch of [the band's] rare 7"s that [he] wanted."
As a musician already involved in so many other projects, Owen
originally envisioned Final Fantasy as a temporary thing. After being
asked by numerous friends to put together a record of some of the solo
numbers he had been accumulating, Pallett headed to the studio. With
a tour with the Arcade Fire looming, the timeline was purposely short.
"Let's make it in a week. If it sucks, we'll make another one," he says,
of the mindset going in. Contrary to the hasty conditions of its birth,
the resulting album is no throwaway. Instead, Has a Good Home is an
intricate record, sounding more like it was carefully crafted in months,
rather than set to tape in a matter of days.
While drums adorn some of the record's tracks, and additional
instrumentation does creep its way in here and there, Owen's debut
as Final Fantasy is an album that's dominated by his voice and his
violin. "I use what I have in front of me...right now that's my violin,"
says Pallett, downplaying the record's minimal instrumentation. He
also notes that "it's easy for critics to look at the instruments and say
that is what the band is... in actual fact Neil Young can make records
like Trans and they still sound like Neil Young." By the same token,
if you've heard the often chaotic band Les Mouches—in which Owen
took a major songwriting roll pre-Final Fantasy—you know that Owen
Pallett will still sound like Owen Pallett, no matter how the songs are
clothed. What makes the first Final Fantasy record distinct, however,
is not the songwriting alone, nor the fact that the violin takes centre
stage, but the combination of the two. "The CN Tower Belongs to the
Dead" is a perfect example of Pallett's penchant for off-kilter storytelling
and delivery, but there's no denying that the crescendo of competing
bowed lines—all swirling around each other in a torrent of catgut and
rosin—is a significant part of what makes the song so engaging.
While he'll occasionally perform with the St. Kitts String Quartet,
a Final Fantasy show is often nothing more than Owen, his violin, and
a looping pedal. Rather than employ extra musicians to fill out his
songs' multilayered arrangements, Pallett simply lays down each part,
records it, and sets it to playback on a loop, repeating the process until
he's got the base of a track down. The resulting composition is a one-
man symphony, providing the backdrop for vocals and more flourishes
of fiddle. "It's going to be as common as reverb or delay," says Pallett,
of the technology that's also beep utilized live by Feist, fellow violinist
Andrew Bird, and Danny Michel (among others) to mimic complex
album arrangements in a solo setting.
The same technique has also allowed Owen to churn out
some impressive reinterpretations of other artists' creations. "As an
experiment I'll use it to cover songs," he says, asking "how many
records can you make using only a looping pedal and a violin?" For the
record, so far he's covered "three full albums" and "at least one song
per album" he owns. The limited 7" EP Young Canadian Mothers features
a jaunty studio recording of Joanna Newsom's "Peach, Plum, Pear,"
but it's Pallett's live tributes that have really turned some heads: Final
tiMy teacher was a
bit of an anomaly,"
states Owen Pallett,
of the instructor who
helped him hone his
musical talents for
over a decade and
a half Burgeoning
violinists usually
change mentomevery
couple owu^^p^U
the time ay^thful
Pallett rmdehis \iwSL
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u every om^^(%
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WiWtrations by Nicole Ondre
Fantasy live experiences have included performances of Bloc Party's
"This Modern Love," Mariah Carey's "Fantasy," and Jann Arden's
"Good Mother." A widely circulated recording of the Bloc Party cover
features audience laughter as Owen starts singing. "People laugh like
it's ironic," he notes, while insisting that none of the song choices
are tongue-in-cheek. "Irony is shit. Irony means we can do better
but we're not going to. I stopped thinking anything was ironic a long
time ago." A little funny, perhaps, from a guy who named his current
project after a role playing video game, christened his new album He
Poos Clouds, and has songs titled "Adventure.exe," "The Chronicles of
Sarnia," and "This is the Dream of Win and Regine" (a simultaneous
nod to his Arcade Fire compatriots and a play on a Dntel song), but
Pallett can explain.
The various names associated with his current musical venture
may be humourous, but they're also the products of very deliberate
choices, rather than half-assed jokes. While admitting that the Final
Fantasy tag was "a deliberate middle finger," Pallett sees a clear
thematic tie between his music and the popular video game series.
"It has to do with the end of the world... there are themes of love
involved," he says of the series' melodramatic quality, before summing
up the game as "a megamusical version of Jean-Paul Sartre." Which
brings us to He Poos Clouds.
"It's a ludicrous expression of devotion," says Pallet of the title of
his forthcoming LP. "If you were to overhear someone describing a love
interest...[the saying is] funny, but it's real." The record, however, is not
a love story, but rather an ambitious concept album that (according to
an email from one of the record's promotional people) "is ostensibly
about Dungeons and Dragons."
"There's neither a dungeon, nor a dragon," corrects Pallett,
while noting that the D&D connection is that each of the record's
first eight songs is based on one of the eight schools of magic from
the game. Just as the religiously inclined turn to God to explain the
20     May 2006 Photo by Davida Nemeroff
more exceptional parts of everyday life, He Poos Clouds draws on
"illusion" and "divination" {and the six other "schools") to draw
similar parallels. "It's a way^pf nerds quantifying a phenomenon," he
explains. Owen, however, doesn't count himself among that particular
group of nerds. "The whole thing is about magic, wttch I don't really
believe in." Pallett's sentigpnts are echoed on "The Pooka Sings," He
Poos Clouds' final numbeiTwhich asjfes me question, "why are all your
songs about the thingsttnat don't exist.?' And with that, the album is
brought full circle.       ,
In additiofi to being far more thematicajly cohesive, and a step %
forward lyrically, HgPoos Clouds is also lfaore^iusJcally ambitious than j
its predecessor! While thelsongs were still written primarihywith live A
performance&nrmind, the recordings we*e arranged for a string quartet
and voice, with Hupgarian composer Bela Bartok and Destroyer's Your
Blues ("his only record where^hffp*usical experimentation matches
up with the haJsg^^^ff^s influences^ The result is a record that,
while based in very traditional classical styles, is forward-IobMng and
origtoal asttpiecAf modern popular art| It's a recoid that challenges,
and is a result ofjts composer's willingness to take chances. "Someone
who is a great guitar player and writes great songs and that's it, that's
half-assed... there's a huge difference [between] a band tha&s*keiiic
and [a band] doing something that vou know may end in failure, "says
Pallett of his attitude towards composition and art. Describing his own
creation profess for He Poos Clouds, Pallett notes thai; the recording was
the first time he "had worked on aU^Su^CTlmders/Ttee-effort paid
He Poos Clouds is out on Blocks Recording Club on May 9Hh_\
while Owen expects to finally hit the WesiCoastfor some live dates in late
"Irony is
shit. Irony
means we
can do better
but we're
not going
to. 1 stopped
w&s ironic
The Dresden DoBs - _x, Vlrgt
Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson bi Crime
Nicolai Dunger- Here's My Song...
Return to the Sea
(Equator Records)
So the other day I saw
this dude with spiky hair and a
donut, wearing a cut-off white
t-shirt and driving a white IROC,
its windows rolled down even
though it was rather cold that
day, just so that everyone could
hear his tunes. It was, after all, the
music emanating from his vehicle
which had first drawn my eyes
up from the pavement, as it had
been years since I had heard ZZ
Top's "Legs" blasted so assuredly
and with so much confidence.
Now, say what you will about
Mr. IROC and his band o' beards,
but he is consistent. And just to
get something straight here, this
is in no way meant as a dis, but
that's more than you can say
for Islands. That being said, and
here's where I'll get to my point,
it is their unwavering eclecticism
and slacker virtuosity which
makes them oh-so-endearing.
That is exactly what many would
have wanted from these two of
three Unicorns, and their Wolf/
Arcade friends. I'm willing to
bet that "Humans" in particular,
propelled by a marching band and
carried forth by Nick Diamonds'
twilight-darkened melodies, as
well as "Don't Call Me Whitney,
Bobby," will end up on more than
a few of this summer's mix tapes
(or playlists if that's your bag).
The latter song's catchiness and
patio lantern-approved beat will
hopefully be enough for you to
dance yourself into forgetting
the track's unfortunate title. Or
better yet, maybe you'll never
know it by name, and only as
that tune you made out to on the
lawn of some house party just off
Main St. the weekend after you
finished exams.
T. Mounteney
Something happened to The
Dresden Dolls since their self-
titled debut from two years ago.
As I listened to Yes, Virginia... I
felt as though something was
missing. Although the same
theatrical melancholy is present
on both works, there is something
inexplicably forgettable about
this album. Amanda Palmer's
vocal styling has only developed
even more of a cabaret tonality
since their debut. In fact, this
latest effort seems to be almost
an exaggerated caricature of the
last, with eyebrow-raising lyrics
like "we need to chop your cock
off / tick-tock, tick-tock..."
But suddenly, just what Yes,
Virginia... was missing dawned
on me—Amanda Palmer is a
much better pianist now than in
her early recordings. But it was
the crass and unrefined quality
of the Dolls' first record that
gave it much of its charm. The
combination of Palmer's crude
perspective on piano theory and
lyrical choices-ranging from
the plight of the child molester
("Missed Me") to the pleasures
derived from self-mutilation
("Bad Habit")-had a certain
jaw-dropping tragic beauty. But
there's something just inherently
vanilla about Yes, Virginia...
The newfound musicianship
and recording techniques have
somehow buffed out the rough
edges that made their debut stand
up and be noticed.
That being said, Virginia
is not without its gems. But I
would suggest you refrain from
this album and wait for Amanda
Palmer's collaborations with
the ...Trail of Dead outfit for
what is sure to be a bombastic
kaleidoscope of epic rock.
Dan McCash
A Lesson in Crime
(Paper Bag Records)
Over startling, hyperactive
drums we hear an urgent
cry: "Operator! Get me the
President of the World! This
is an emergency!" The guitar
launches in, ascending higher,
faster, before the bass marches
forward, handcuffed to Atari-like
keyboards. It's Tokyo Police Club
saying hello on the opening of
their debut EP, A Lesson in Crime.
It's also their theme song, as
frontman David Monks hollers:
"When you're standing near/
Tokyo Police Club/When you're
standing next to me/Tokyo Police
Club/Lost in the Pacific/Arresting
you for being in love."
About as bewildering as an
armed raid on your grow-op,
A Lesson in Crime chases you
through seven songs in sixteen
frantic minutes. One moment
you're seized and forced to
dance at gunpoint, and the next
you're told to lend an ear to a
prophetic tale about a robot-
governed future. You won't find
it easy to catch your breath in
between tracks. They leave you
no room to fight back, but you
won't want to.
Drummer Greg Alsop holds
these songs together with twitchy,
mathematical, post-something-
or-other beats, giving guitarist
Joshua Hook a place to stand so
he can play like Dick Dale if he
were in My Bloody Valentine;
blistering tremolos in an otherworldly dimension. Monks
seconds as the band's bassist,
but he doesn't neglect his duties
on the four-string while singing.
His bass lines constantly give rise
to the momentum, often stealing
the spotlight for a moment or two
before magnetising to the drums
once again.
The lyrical vision of Tokyo
Police Club is of a world where
"computers rule the planet" and
children are "slaves building
spaceships at night/in the
fluorescent light." But don't
mistake their Terminator ethos
for gloom or despair, or even any
kind of social commentary. They
treat their apocalyptic subject
matter with the same tongue-
in-cheek sensibility that makes
the Islands' debut so strangely
amusing. It's hard to think about
avoiding the enslavement of our
species by machines when you're
busy flailing to their handclaps
and screaming back to their dorky
call-and-response choruses.
Smartly, they're willing
to ditch their conceptual side
when the songwriting calls for
it. "If It Works," with a charged,
thumping beat, benefits from
Monks giving us a glimpse into a
mortal moment: "And I wait for
every meal/But I still set a place
for you." It ends up being the
song's most poignant lyric. After
all, it's emotion that sets us apart
from the machines.
The only complaint you
could launch against A Lesson
in Crime is that it falls in that
wish-it-were-longer limbo with
every other great EP. With an
arsenal this strong, the recording
is aching to be fleshed out into a
proper album where they could
develop their lofty concepts to an
even more effective degree. One
can only hope they haven't put
all of their eggs in one basket.
The future of humankind may
depend on them.
Mike LaPointe
To Find Me Gone
(Fatcat Records)
Vetiver will appeal to fans of
Devendra Banhart, Will Oldham
and the whole Americana folk
sound. On their latest, Vetiver
proves they are the kind of
band that can effortlessly play
something beautiful and simple,
with the kind of restraint
that could burst forth at any
moment. The music lies on a
delicate balance of traditional
and experimental sound, with
enough variety between songs
to keep things interesting. It may
be a bit coffee shop for some, but
this isn't Jack Johnson by any
stretch. The songs are careful
and avoid the commercial pull
with minimal production and at
times whisper quiet vocals.
Apparently the Vetiver show
in March was tight, and I'm sure
these guys have a sense of their
sonic debts as they brought along
veteran out-folk artist Michael
Hurley on their tour to open for
them. As far as folk goes, this is
deep music. Music for people who
contemplate waves. I mean really
contemplate waves. And like get
into the patterns in the carpet '
and stuff. This is like Donovan
Jr., in stereo and with a gorgeous
arrangement of folk rock figures
and a darkness that recalls the
obscure Jackson C. Frank. But
enough musical references.
For me, Vetiver wears thin on
the songs where the strings are
overused, something I don't like in
most recordings. Thankfully, this
doesn't happen much, and it's a
small and hesitant complaint on
something I otherwise enjoy. To
Find Me Gone progresses from the
minimalism and simplicity of the
band's debut, adding vibes, organ
and electric and slide guitar.
The songs are overdubbed, and
rock somewhat harder than the
straight-ahead folk and bluegrass
of their self-titled release. The
more I listen to it, the more I like
the album for its calm a
Arthur Krumins
Silent Shout
(Rabid Records)
When we last heard from
The Knife, they were donning
neon jumpsuits and gifting
fellow Swede Jose Gonzales with
their mini-hit, "Heartbeats," to
be used in a commercial for the
corporates. Since then, it seems
as if this brother-sister duo has
crawled their way into the ranks
of the occult to record their third
proper full-length, Silent Shout.
Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer
Andersson perhaps felt that with
this shift in theology they should
also relocate their studio into
the vaults beneath The Grand
Church in Stockholm, leaving
Silent Shout a much darker
and more surrealist affair than
previous outings.
Through a digital wash of
arpeggiated synthesizers and
cold, crackling rhythms, The
Knife evokes tales of solitary
sailors, male-bonding support
groups, frightened housewives
and hopeless TV addicts. What's
most striking about all of this
is Karin's vocals, which have
been stretched and pulled
and manipulated into a wide
array of characters to suit the
atmosphere and eccentric world
of each track. At times, this
can leave the listener feeling a
bit squeamish, especially when
her voice is lowered by several
octaves and comes out sounding
like Linda Blair in the Exorcist,
but overall the effect is completely
enthralling. With Silent Shout,
The JKnife has definitely surpassed
previous accomplishments and
has left us with their finest, most
focused work to date.
Brock Thiessen
MC Lars is a mama's boy.
David Ravensbergen
Island Def fam
What's everyone talking
about these days? Mostly this
guy. Sure, this is a good album,
but it's not that good. It feels like
most of the praise is coming from
guys who just started listening to
rap two years ago because they
thought it was funny. Looking
at the production credits this
should've been the best album of
22     May 2006 Vetiver - To Find Me Gone
all time. Instead, here's what you
really need to know—it's not as
good as Supreme Clientele.
Chauncey Danger
Here's My Song...
(Zoe Records)
Man, that voice. Nicolai
Dunger, a Swede with many a
talent, has recorded it once again
for another little treat for the
ears, on the overly-long titled
Here's My Song, You Can Have It...
I Don't Want It Anymore/Yours 4-
Ever. It's a mouthful of a moniker,
but perhaps appropriately so—
Nicolai Dunger's vocal chords are
no doubt his most valuable asset.
He is also a very capable
songwriter, and his career
thus far displays an interest in
exploring various musical styles
in his songs which mostly deal
with love, loss, and yearning.
His early records were fairly
experimental, but with 2001's
aptly-named, heartfelt Soul Rush
came more accessible songs and
notoriety, gaining numerous
comparisons to Van Morrison.
But, as if refusing to be typecast
simply as a blue-eyed soul
crooner, his next album, 2003's
Tranquil Isolation, was a foray
into American folk and country,
in which he collaborated with no
less than Will Oldham himself.
It made for an excellent, sincere
record that once again sounds
much like its title implies.
Now we have Here's My
Song..., in which Dunger has
successfully blended the styles
of his last two efforts into a
soulful, tranquil set. And as
always, his stunning vocals are
at the forefront. The parallels to
Morrison are still relevant, as in
the upbeat "Hunger," or in the
reflective "Slaves (We're Together
Like)". He hasn't strayed far from
his country leanings either, most
clearly heard in songs like the
mandolin and slide guitar-rich
"Tell Me," and the delicate waltz
"Country Lane". There are also
some hints of Jeff Buckley,
as in the acoustic "White Wild
Horses," a starkly affecting song,
my personal favourite on the
As I've probably made clear,
Nicolai Dunger could record
almost any old song and it
would sound pleasant at worst,
thanks to his gift of a singing
voice. But as with his previous
records, Here's My Song... has
many wonderful
within, and shows Dunger I
dedicated musician and talented
songwriter, always exploring and
developing his craft.
Robert Ferdman
We, The Vehicles
(Flameshovel Records)
Everyone has those albums
in their collection that they
hurriedly shove under the bed
when company comes around.
For me, The Promise Ring has
always been included in the
aforementioned grouping, and
has resulted in more than a few
sessions of unrestrained mockery
at many a social gathering. I
always stuck up for the band for
years; that is until Davey von
Bohlen and Dan Didier joined
Eric Axelson, the bassist of the
now defunct Dismemberment
Plan, and formed Maritime. Their
2004 debut, Glass Floor, was
more than I could take. Its overly
bright and hollow sound filled me
with shame, and I shoved those
records under the bed and that's
where I thought they'd stay; at
least until I heard Davey's newest
To my complete and utter
surprise, Maritime's new album,
We, The Vehicles, has been soaked
in layer upon dense layer of pure
pop-craftsmanship. I kid you
not, this is by far the best thing
Davey von Bohlen has done
since the Promise Ring's emo-
boy classic Nothing Feels Good.
Unlike Maritime's last stale and
monotonous offering, everything
here sounds rejuvenated and
full of promise. Throughout the
album, stand-out tracks like
"Parade of Punk Rock T-shirts"
and "No One Will Remember"
(which actually sounds like a
stripped-down Mice Parade B-
side) have the power of invoking
grins, chills and unconscious
foot tapping. The album is
overflowing with an appealing
variety of song ideas and
instrumentation that holds- your
attention throughout. Like the
overly optimistic voice shouts
at the start of We, The Vehicles,
"It's OK and everything is going
to be fine!" I can pull those old
Promise Ring records back out
from under the bed now.
Brock Thiessen
A Vintage Burden
As easy as it is to dismiss
KWah - Supreme Clientele
Catholics for their popery, there
is something about the ritual
of confession that appeals to
me. Not that I'd ever actually
part those sacred curtains and
bear my heart to a faceless and
potentially predatory old man,
but I like the idea of exposing
my flaws and shedding masks
of deceit every so often. Lucidly
there's the blues—music rooted
in gospel but safely removed
from the church—to give voice
to our collective yearnings and
lament the mistakes of the
past. On Charalambides' latest
offering, A Vintage Burden,
classic blues guitar informs a
modern psychedelic sensibility,
exploring regret and the passage
of time without the baggage of
rigid song structures or religious
The album opens with a
languid guitar loop, repeating
itself with a barely noticeable
delay each time. As the melody
circles forward, Christina
Carter's ethereal vocals meditate
on timeless beauty, gentry
assuring us that "There is No
End." The first track sets the tone
for the remainder of the record,
as the same unadorned guitar
sound and vocal structures recur
throughout. If you're looking for
a dynamic collection of songs,
you've come to the wrong place.
The minimal compositions
quickly fade into the background
if you don't pay careful attention,
but the attentive listener will find
plenty of material for careful
rumination. I'd like to play this
album through some headphones
in a pasture at dusk, watching
the cows chew their cud as the
gathering darkness erases their
Although it never strays from
subdued reflection, A Vintage
Burden avoids indulging in cheap
melancholy. There is something
irrepressibly thankful about
these songs, and while there
are no answers provided to the
questions of love and forgiveness
raised, the album leaves me with
the same contented feeling as
Blind Willie Johnson's rendition
of "Take Your Burden to the Lord
and Leave it There." The record's
lengthy centerpiece, "Two Birds,"
builds on slide flourishes and
cautiously euphoric vocals, over
which Carter delivers the album's
most cohesive statement: "There
is nothing for me to know/There
is no need to struggle/But
after day /I want to know."
David Ravensbergen /0Sr£
iiisily I
jfhey?, dropped by SXSW in Austin, Texas to play a show, check out
other marching bands, and take advantage of sweet deals on parking.:
This is his revort.
Tlive dollars to park for a whole day?! What
E enchanted land is this? It is Austin, and it puts
Vancouver ova- its knee in so many wonderful ways.
' SXSW  was   a relentless  assault  on  the
» senses. Approximately 50 clubs squished side by
side stretched a mile up Austin's 6th Street. And
they all had something to prove. I felt overwhelmed.
And lo® And frightened. My band, They Shoot
Horses, had already toured the West Coast for a
week and a half and this was the highlight so far.
We arrived there Thursday afternoon, a day too
late for Smoosh (damn it to hell!) and The Flaming
Lips' Wayne Coyne j^^fe down the streets in
* his big plastic ball (why don't you just live in that
| stupid thing, Wayne?).
We were the first of six bands to play at Emo's
Annex (just a parking lot and a tent) as part of the
Kill Rock Stars showcase. It was the first show in a
while that the band was nervous about. Truth be
told, the tour was kind of sucky leading up to this
show. Half an hour before we went on, the place
was pretty much empty. Moreover, the banks were
closed and all I had was traveler's cheques. And
no one would take traveler's cheques. So while I
worried about all this, Emo's filled up, we had the
time of our lives, the crowd liked us and bought
stuff and the pressure was over. But enough about
The Fiery Furnaces
So! I had no idea who was playing and
where. I listened in on people's conversations until
I had an inkling...What's that you say? The Fiery
Furnaces at Stubb's? What a coupl Stubb's back
patio/massive field provided such a great setting for
a kind of lame performance from the Freidbergers,
as Chicago's hopeless eccentrics turned a potential
bizarre masterpiece into an Aerosmith concert.
"Straight Street" was barely listenable, but they did
play a great version of "Chris Michaels." Onward!
Erase Errata, BOYP, The Organ
I should have gone to Emo's Annex sooner.
I just made it to see the last two songs, possibly
ever, of San Francisco's Erase Eratta. There have
been rumblings of their demise for a while, so I'm
really glad to have witnessed the last moments of
a great band. I made my way up the street and
noticed that bands were playing everywhere, from
bluegrass buskers on the side streets to rockabilly
revivals on the bank steps. But the coolest by far
was this band called BYOP, I believe. They were
Tafnine piece marching band kind of thing, but
the good kind, complete with this seven foot
^ousaphone player that dazzled the quick-growing
||lK)wd in the middle of 6th street. I got through the
crowd to the Mint showcase just in time to miss
the Immaculate Machine set and see most of The
Organ's first time at SXSW. It was quite good. They
are always motionless onstage, but still captivating
in a haunting, sit-cross-legged-on-the-floor, Low-
ish kind of way.
You Say Party! We Say Diet, The Gossip
It didn't take long to meet up with yet another
Vancouver musician after that, as I ran into Bruce
Dyck, the drummer of You Say Party! We Say Die!
I'm friends with all of those guys, but didn't see
the other four anywhere because, get this, THEY
Bruce and I managed to muscle our way into
Emo's Annex one last time to the see The Gossip
play an amazing set. And Bruce didn't care for it.
Foolish boy. I also met Carolyn Mark for the first
time. She's a nice lady.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Polysics, Run Chico Run
Brace yourselves now: Friday in Austin was
remarkable. I started light, hearing Clap Your
Hands Say Yeah play their last album exactly, note
for note. I met up with Bruce again, and he and
I went to Zero Degrees to see Polysics from Japan.
I've never seen Bruce so subdued. He's usually so
uppity, but for their whole set he was glued to the
floor, fixating on the four-piece decked in bright
yellow Devo-ish jump suits. They tore through
their 40 minute set without breathing once.
Victoria's Run Chico Run had to climb onstage
after that, and this brings me to one big problem at
SXSW—the problem of following excellent shows.
80% of the packed room filtered out to see lesser
bands. Bullshit! Can the Chico's get a fucking
break? Matt and Tom fight so hard, and for what?
Their sets are always great. See them whenever
you can. Buy their new album.
Massacre, Lame DJ
No Arctic Monkeys for this fellow. I was
off to the Fox And Hound to catch the freak
show known as Ariel Pink, and I'm glad I went
early. A nine-piece band known as Storsveit Nix
Noltes astonished us all by playing prog-rock
with classical instruments. Sounds lame but it
was great. The centerpiece was their gorgeous
cello player, who played every abstract part with
precision, all the while contorting wildly in her
chair and maintaining a big smile throughout.
Ariel Pink is known for his hatred of playing
live. For most of his set, he crouched down with his
ear to his monitor, out of the sight of the amazingly
patient crowd. He was rude to the sound man, he
ignored the fans and he was a complete dick to
his soon-to-be-former bandmates. The amazing
thing was that the shitty quality of his albums
was almost duplicated live. Don't ask me how. It
was a 9 out of 10. The night was so young yet—
Jonestown, baby! I always found Anton Newcombe
and the Brian Jonestown Massacre to be insanely
overrated, but I would have spat at the bouncer if
I wasn't let in. It was everything I wanted, though
perhaps not what Anton would have wished for,
that poor man. His bassist and drummer were
stuck at the airport, so he had to enlist the help of
hipsters off the street. They began the show with
a twenty minute jam that kind of went nowhere
but we all loved it. Anton threw out a drunk girl
and slammed a randy fan for screaming "Shave
your chest!" My friend Robb and I left early but the
rest of the Horses filled me in on the subsequent
drama. Anton wouldn't leave the stage, the cad! I
believe it was Mr. Newcombe that said, "You don't
stop the jam until the jam is done." The best part
was when he finally left this lame DJ got on the mic
and started getting the crowd excited for a possible
encore. Then the SXSW promoters stormed out
and screamed "What the hell are you doing? We
just spent 15 minutes getting him to leave!"
Quintron And Miss Pussycat, Peaches
Next up was Louisiana's Quintron and Miss
Pussycat on a cramped upstairs balcony, and it
was one of the best shows I have ever seen. They
loud and sweaty and sexy, and Quintron's
■heavy organ was decked out like a Buick,
complete with working headlights. Thank heavens
people screamed for an encore because they came
back out with Canadian sexpot Peaches, and they
rocked Kiss's "God of Thunder" back and forth all
night long. Legendary.
Three great shows on my cool down-day.
My friend Luke got me into this 80's no-wave
instrumental band called Notekillers, playing on
the same stage Quintron rocked the night before. It
was pretty great but they didn't play "The Zipper,"
an instrumental tune that rivals "Telstar" and
"Spanish Flea".
Then we were off to Emo's Annex again,
where most of They Shoot Horses Don't They stood
in line to see the Pink Mountaintops. We were the
first in line but kept getting passed by corporate
stiffs with their precious laminates. This is my
other complaint: we didn't pay to get in to any of
the shows and neither did the laminate people. The
people that had to pay were the least respected of
the patrons, which is criminal. They should get
carte blanche but they don't. So everyone in line
pretty much leaves except me and a few others,
crying out for revolution. One of the SXSW guys
recognized me, and ushered me around the back.
But I got my comeuppance, and the chants of
"scab" and "sellout" from those I left in the line
still hurt. Pink Mountaintops finished a great set,
then I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness played
and were pretty bad upon my first listen. I left after
The Dirty Projectors
The last show I saw in Austin before we
played the worst show of our fives in Houston was
pretty great. While everyone buggered off to see'
Ghostface Killah perform 30 second snippets of
his tunes, I went across the street to see a virtuosic
four-piece called The Dirty Projectors. Their talent |
on their instruments was mind-boggling. I have j
never heard such odd and wonderful four-part j
harmony in my life. The sucky thing was that I was |
incredibly tired and left before they were done. If I
there's one thing I learned from SXSW, it's that I'm 1
just not 30 anymore.
24     May 2006 CiTR's cliarts reflect what has been spun on the air for the previous month. Rekkids with stars mean they come from this great land o' ours.
Most of these platters can be found at finer (read: independent) music stores across Vancouver. If you can't find 'em there give the Muzak
Coordinator a shout at 604-822-8733. His name is Luke. If you ask nicely he'll tell you how to git 'em. To find out other great campus/
community radio charts check out www.earshot-online.com.
1 'IheDoers*
2 Run Chico Run*
» Neko Case
4 Pink Mountaintoi
6 Quasi
7 'IheSttUs1'       V
8 Islands*
9 teih Yeah Yeahs.
10 V/A
11 MagnetaLant'*
12 Windows'78*
1J TSiureoJaB- "'"
Ked Cat                 I
to. Coftfftvir Bring. the-Fland                              Mini         '
Axis of Evol
BOp Hfio Ho. Boo
Kill Roek Star».    .
a Twin
15 Desttoyer*
16 Blood Meridian*
17 The Buttless Chap**
18 Ivan Hrvatska*
19 The Pfenning Ltps
20 Cadence Weapon*
21 Gnwls Bdrkltsy
Return to the Sea
Dancing Whli Daggers
Fab Four Sutunv. . -
Too Pure
Soldiers of Ovist
yVte-» Night Holds Lurid
. ..".fcBpt" j
22 Mecca Norm
23 ; jDamelson
24 Built to SpiH
Seasons of Love (Party All Year,
AtVitorWith the Mystics ' J
Breaking Kayfabe
Seht turns From St Elsewhere
The Observer
You hi Reverse
Kill Rock Stars
Secretly Canadian
#       Artist
25   International Falls*
' •*-the Plateau
26   The Go! Team
Audio Assault Couse: The College Radio Sessions
27   liars
Drums Not Dead
28   The Robocop Kraus
They Think They Are...
29  The Concretes
In Colour
30   Mogwai
Mr. Beast
31  Femme Generation*
Brothers and Sisters, Alone We Explode
32   Boris
Southern Lord
33   JacMe-0 Motherfucker
Flags of the Sacred Heart
34   Stephin Meritt
35   TheUlumtaatti*
Cheap Powers
3 6   The Buzzcocks
Flat Pack Philosophy
True North
3 7  The Capricorns
Pure Magical Love
38   V/A
Idol Tryouts Vol. 2
39 Bitty and the Lost Boys*
Yet Why Not Say What Happened
40  Paper Moon*
Broken Hearts Break Faster Everyday
41   Sparks
Hello Young Lovers
In The Red
42   Hayseed Dixie
Hot Piece of Grass
True North
43   Sonic Youth
S/T EP (re-issue)
44   Man Man
Six Demon Bag
45   Pretty Girls Make Graves
Elan Vital
46   The Black Angels
Light In The Attic
47   Drive-By Truckers
A Blessing and a Curse
New West
48 Clit 45
49 The Just Barleys
50 The Subways
2, 4, 6, «...
Young for Eternity
Dead Burn
4s Denotes Canadian Content
TTKIE 0^M]M]^]{JiJ_iS   \ y h II - W p-}| IIs I
GBSH        gjgjggg    iTTXn__riTMr^
fMS« ™   W     ^ W^i ^^PW wN*?1 IMP     U^
I JffilfS _**_***
■j_ ^l»«o ffpUAlENTINE
_&■ A  "'■
CITR WWW.LlVEMl!SIC*liC0MR.COM CHOP SHOP "SKcST I^ffi ANARCHYTAnOO v' \i mm \/  g Vifon cam listen to CiTR online At www.citacfl or on the flir at 101.9 FM_^p
Breakfast with
the Browns
Mu;niiKF.r) Votcxs
Suburban Jungle
End of the Worid News
Cute Band Alert!
the Saturday Edge
FtwRD TiMt's Tne Charm
Wrapped in Silver
Ska-T's Scenic
iK&Siilite Apt® Show
:he Rockers
/-'■Show "  :
Parts Unknown
WfcAuJrAU Down
These are the Breaks
G-#__vno\ AvflWLAitON
Democracy Now
Let's Get Baked
Native Solidarity News
PN Avant r a MvsFgrj.
Radio A Go
Rhymes & Reasons
Nardwuar Presents
Son of Nite
Necessary Voices
Wigflux Radio
Salario Mimmo
Leo R wiirezShow
The Canadian Way
Exquisite Corpse
African Rhythms
Shadow Jugcijbrs
the Jazz Show
Caught is;
Live from Thunderbird
Radio Heh
 ! ___!____
Planet Lovetron
Synaptic Sandwich
dm the Shadows
Vengeance is Mine
Hans Kloss'
Misery Hour
I Like the Scribbles
Aural Obstacles
The Vampire's Ball
__ two hours, I take the listener for
a  spin—musically—around the
world; my passion is African music
and music from the Diaspora.
Afrobeat is where you can catch
up on the latest in the "World
Music" scene and reminisce on the
classic collections. Don't miss it.
Reggae inna all styles and fashion.
Real cowshit-caught-in-yer-boots
British pop music from all decades.
International pop (Japanese,
French, Swedish, British US, etc.),
60s soundtracks and lounge. Book
your jet-set holiday nowl
Dedicated to the gay,  lesbian,
bisexual,   and  transexual  com
munities   of   Vancouver.   Lots
of    human    interest    features,
background on current issues,
and great music.
Rhythmsindia  features   a  wide
range   of   music   from   India,
including popular music from the
1930s to the present, classical
music, semi-classical music such
as  Ghazals  and  Bhajans,   and
also Qawwalis, pop, and regional
language numbers.
Join us in practicing the ancient art
of rising above common thought
and ideas as your host DJ Smiley
Mike lays down the latest trance
cuts to propel us into the domain
of the mystic-al.
________________ MONDAY
breakfast with the browns
Your favourite Brown-sters, James
and Peter, offer a savoury blend of
the familiar and exotic in a blend
of aural delights!
A mix of indie pop, indie rock,
and pseudo underground hip hop,
with your host, Jordie Sparkle.
Hosted by David B.
Underground pop for the minuses
with the occasional interview with
your host, Chris.
LETS GET BAKED w/matt & dave
Vegan baking with "rock stars"
like Sharp like Knives, Whitey
Houston, The Novaks and more.
A national radio service and part
of an international network of
information and action in support
of indigenous peoples' survival
and dignity. We are all volunteers
committed to promoting Native
self-determination, culturally,
economically, spiritually and
otherwise. The show is self-
sufficient, without government or
corporate funding.
W.I.N.G.S. (Talk)
Womens    International    News
Gathering Service.
listen to Selecta Krystabelle for
your reggae education.
Vancouver's    longest    running
primetime jazz program. Hosted
by the ever-suave, Gavin Walker.
May 1: "Tom Cat" was an obscure
and   previously  rare   recording
by trumpeter extraordinaire Lee
Morgan with  an  all-star  cast
including pianist McCoy Tyner
and alto saxophone master Jackie
McLean and drummer Art Blakey.
May 8: Tonight we celebrate the
birthday of "The First Lady of
Jazz" (Born 1910 and died May
28, 1981), pianist/composer
Mary-Lou Williams with a fine,
modern (Mary always kept up
with the times) album of originals
called "Zoning".
May 15: One of bassist/composer
Charles Mingus' last great
recorded statements is tonight's
feature... "Cumbia and Jazz Fusion".
His quintet is expanded by some
great guests and a second extended
work is some fine music for a film
called "Todo Mondo"...great late
period Mingus.
May 22: "The Welterweight
Champion of the Tenor
Saxophone" was Hank Mobley.
Mobley was every bit as strong
as Rollins and Coltrane and he
proves it on tonight's classic
called "Workout". Mr. Mobley
with guitarist Grant Green and
powerhouse drummer "Phillie
Joe" Jones and others. Tonight
May 29: Vibist and musical genius
Bobby Hutcherson is coming
to this year's Jazz Festival and
tonight you will get an idea of
his greatness in a quartet album
called "Oblique". Bobby with
pianist Herbie Hancock, the late
bassistwith powerful chops, Albert
Stinson and drummer/composer
Joe Chambers. Bobby's where it's
All the best the world of punk has
to offer, in the wee hours of the
________________ TUESDAY
Bluegrass, old-time music, and its
derivatives with Arthur and "The
Lovely Andrea" Berman.
Open your ears and prepare for a
26     May 2006 shock! A harmless note may make
you a fan! Hear the menacing
scourge that is Rock and Roll!
Deadlier than the most dangerous
Movie reviews and criticism.
En Avant La Musique! se
concentre sur le metissage des
genres musicaux au sein d'une
francophonie ouverte a tous les
courants. This program focuses
on cross-cultural music and its
influence on mostly Francophone
Join the sports department for
their coverage of the T-Birds.
Up the punx, down the emo!
ICeepin' it real since 1989, yo.
Salario Minimo, the best rock in
Spanish show in Canada.
Trawling the trash heap of over 50
years worth of rock n' roll debris.
It could be punk, ethno, global,
trance, spoken word, rock, the
unusual and the weird, or it could
be something different. Hosted by
DJ Pierre.
JulieCo., just playin' what I know
best (or is it the only thing I know?)
- indie rock!
ANOIZE (Noise)
Luke Meat irritates and educates
through musical deconstruction.
Recommended for the strong.
Ihdependentnews hosted by award-
winning jounalists Amy Goodman
and Juan Gonzalez.
Primitive, Juzzed-out garage mayhem!
Cycle-riffic rawk and roll!
Socio-political, enviromental
activist news and spoken word
with some music too.
First Wednesday of every month.
BLUE MONDAY (Gom/lndustrial)
Vancouver's only industrial-
electronic-retro-goth program.
Music to schtomp to, hosted by
Developing your relational
and individual sexual health,
expressing diversity, celebrating
queerness, and encouraging
pleasure at all stages. Sexuality
educators Julia and Alix
will quench your search for
responsible, progressive sexuality
over your life span!
Two hours of eclectic roots music.
Don't   own   any  Birkenstocks?
Allergic to patchouli? C'mon in! A
kumbaya-free zone since 1997.
This is pretty much the best thing
_______■ THURSDAY
Sweet dance music and hot jazz
from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
Punkrock, indie pop, and whatever
else I deem worthy. Hosted by a
closet nerd.
Zoom a little zoom on the My
Science project rocket ship, piloted
by your host, Julia, as we navigate
eccentric, under-exposed, always
relevant and plainly cool scientific
research, technology, and poetry
(submissions welcome).
All-original Canadian radio drama
and performance art written and
performed live-to-air by our very
own team of playwrights and
voice actors. We also welcome you
to get involved, whether you are
professional or inexperienced...
Experimental,   radio-art,   sound
collage,   field   recordings,   etc.
Recommended for the insane.
RADIO HELL (live Music)
Live   From  Thunderbird   Radio
Hell showcases local talent...LIVE!
Honestly, don't even ask about the
technical side of this.
May 4th Big Red Sun
May 11th The Mutators/The
May 18th The Robosexuals
May 25th Hot Loins
m____________m friday
Email requests to:
Top notch crate digger DJ Avi
Shack mixes underground  hip
hop,   old   school   classics,   and
original breaks.
RADIO ZERO (Edectic)
NEWS 101 (Talk)
A volunteer-produced, student and
sports and arts. Reports by people like
you. "Become the Media." i
THE CANADIAN WAY (Eclectic) ',
Independent Canadian music from J
almost every genre imaginable!
covering the east coast to the left i
coast and all points in between. J
Yes, even Montreal! >
<thecanadianway@popstar.com> i
David "Love" Jones brings you the J
best new and old jazz, soul, Latin, ■
samba, bossa and African music ■
from around the world.
<www.a_icamhythn_rad_3.com> >
(L\mce/Electronic) ,
Music   inspired   by   Chocolate  |
Thunder;   Robert   Robot   drops
electro past and present, hip hop
and intergalactic funkmanship.
Beats mixed with audio from old
films and clips from the internet.
10% discount for callers who are
certified insane. Hosted by Chris D.
Dark, sinister music to soothe and/
or move the Dragon's soul. Hosted
by Drake.
_____________ SATURDAY
Studio guests, new releases, British
comedy   sketches,   folk   music
calendar, and ticket giveaways.
A fine mix of streetpunk and old
school hardcore backed by band
interviews, guest speakers, anrLj
Vancouver's only true m
local demo taj
other rarities. (
Dwain, and Merjj
From backrarods delta low-down
slide to ujfian harp honks, blues,
! with your hosts
Jim, Ajuy and Paul.
: best of music, news, sports,
I commentary from around
local and international Latin
American communities.
OUR WAVE (World)
News,  arts, entertainment and
music for the Russian community,
local and abroad.
An exciting chow of Drum n' Bass
with DJs Jimungle & Bias on the
ones and twos, plus guests. Listen
for give-aways every week. Keep
feelin da beatz.
(Hip Hop)
How did you get into college radio? Where did you broadcast before coming to CiTR?
I got my start in 2000 at CHRW, the campus radio station at the University of Western
Ontario. I co-hosted an indie music show at CHRW for about a year and a half, and also
produced a four-part series on the history of the music scene in London, Ontario. When
I moved to Vancouver in 2001,1 became a programmer at CJSF, SFU's campus station. I
hosted my show "Cute Band Alert!" for four years until I left CJSF in August 2005. I'm now
a PhD student at UBC, so moving my show to CiTR seemed like the lpgical thing to do. I'll be
resurrecting "Cute Band Alert!" at CiTR this May, which I'm very excited about.
Yom recently filled in for Chris-a-riffic. How did it feel to fill such big shoes?
It was fun! Filling in for Chris-a-riffic gave me the chance to get back on the air after about
6 months of not hosting a radio show. It made me realize how much I missed hosting "Cute
Band Alert!"
What kind of musical discoveries have you made as a programmer that you wouldn't
have otherwise found out about?
Too many to count! Hosting campus radio shows has given me the opportunity to hear
bands or musical genres that I might not otherwise have come across. Those discoveries
are sometimes accidental—you might play an album just because the cover art looks
cool and end up loving the band—but they often grow out of the community that tends
to develop at campus stations. Fellow programmers or listeners have alerted me to a lot
of great music, which is one benefit of the uniquely interactive nature of campus radio.
Sometimes, campus radio also gives you the opportunity to find out about an up-and-coming
bands before most people do. For example, I discovered The Constantines because their lead
singer used to be the music director at CHRW. We would play their demo on our radio show
and I would go to their shows at the small local club. The last time I saw them play Richards
on Richard's, the club was packed and everybody was singing along to their songs. It's been
really exciting to watch such a talented band achieve so much success over the years.
Who's making waves in indie pop right now? What's your favourite record of 2006 so
Lately I've been obsessively listening to Neko Case's new album Fo* Confessor Brings the
Flood. She's one of my favourite artists, and I can't get enough of her sultry twang. I also
really like the self-titled EP recently released by Montreal's Kickers. I'm looking forward to
hearing more from Lo-Fi-FJSIK, because I think their music would make for a pretty summer
f rigger Finger
David Khang
l^ilVIWfil    -
Discorder     27 MUSIC IS THE FINAL FAN1ASY MLVbu* Dreams Come ive at Zulu
Springtime Can
Kill You
Zulu folks should by now be
no stranger to tne sweet aft-
country musings oi ex-Be Bond
Tanya crooner Jolie Holland.
After all, only a few years back she graced pur shop with
one of the most haunting in-stores in recent memory. Those
there you might remember her unique near-sptrfiuat
approach to her music as well as spooky lyricism that
weaves together a multitude of dreamy images and rich
metaphors. Springtime Can Kill You features Holland joined
by 15 or so of San Fran's finest players and as a result
swings with a rich collaborative vibe—just \t__g^f_^'f
bunch of characters hanging out in Julie's parlour jamming
out on a rag-tag tune!! Standout tracks include the jazzy
horn influenced title track that channels Astral Weeks sr*", *"
Vai as well as the chutzpah of an old school Preservation
Hall big band. Elsewhere, the fortorrtfjatgKim ballad
Moonshiner offers some tasty slide guitar work alongside a
very restrained shuffling beat. Man, we could go on$jeufcS§§
each of these delicately woven'_32 tracks—but let's just
sign off saying this is awesome.
CD 16.98
Chosen Lords CO
Throughout 2005, and with little fanfare, Richard D. James
(Aphex Twin) released the
Analord series of 12-inch's
under the AFX moniker on his
label Rephlex. tn totaJ, 41 tracks
were released over a series of singles—Analord Volumes
1-11. For fans of Aphex Tain, it was an almost unprecSvfe
dented bounty of new material in the gap since the 2001
double album, Drukqs butmany people who have abandoned their turntables wilt have remained unaware of this *
hive of activity. Now, Rephlex releases Chosen Lords: rather
than release a triple CD featuring all 41 tracks, AFX himself
has distilled the tunes into a cohesive album, as it was
intended to be heard. The style? As with most Richard D.
James releases, it's hard to pin it down to any one genre.
Largely recorded on Richard's private collection of anafefl
synthesizers—vintage, moSero and home-made, the
^^^^ptSetodies, harmonies, and even some subliminal
lyrics have $1 evolved directly from the machinesyShy *|J
could say Chosen Lords is partly-inspired by NY electro,
Chicago house and Detroit techno classics, but the album
also stimulates the kind of lucid dreaming atmospherics
found on Selected Ambient Works 85-92.
CD 16.98
Grass CD/DVD
The Animal Collective are a young band at the forefront
of the 'freak folk, music scene. They have a loyal following amongst today's free thinking youth, who enjoy their
surreally dense sonic performances that are described on
online blogs asaudio-hallucinations. You know you may
have smoked a tot of grass-ipgjoufJay arttHnaybe even
popped a tot of pills But. I,'m hoping, sincerely hoping that
you never touched nothin', that your spirit couldn't kill. The*"
reason I say this is cuz I've seen a lot of people walkin'
'round with tombstones in their eyes. You see the dealer
don't care if you live or if you die. The dealer is a man with
the love grass in his hand, but the posheVrs _ monster, good
God, he's not a natural man The dealer for a nickel wl selNj
you lots of sweet dreams, ah, but the pusher luin your body
—lord, he'll leave yoiiir mirra tcjscream. Whoa... What just
happened? New single and DVD materials are a trip.
CD/DVD 14.98
Bitter Tea CD
In my younger days I worked as a
locations scout for all the big budget
Hollywood features. After a while you
develop a knack for knowing how a
place wifl play on camera and you can smell the good shit. I could
have retired on all the kudos paid after finding that dam in
Chinatown, but I didn't, instead I boiled up a pot of Bitter Tea and
rode my horse in the Sonoras. Anyway, I am not here to entertain
you with stories of Dylan kicWfig a mute. No. I am here as a
spokesperson for Brooklyn's blazing Friedberger siblings, who
have just released the finest record of their already ember hot
glowing career. They could retire of all the kudos this handsome
collection of 13 stingray art-pop numbers is earning. Instead, like
any well shuffled deck they will play to chance and hit the road to
bring to life the drama of this fuzzed out post-prog platter. In fact
they play your town on June 12th_t Richards. Bitter Tea baby! A
recording in which fte. snake of the song seeks the shade of fte
sun. Amazing.
CD 14.98
Tlie Spell CD
First Mew material in over three years
—The Spell is the most fitting
name yet for a Black Heart
Procession record. True, One and Two
and Three have economy on their side,
and Amore del Tropics nodded toward the intrigue within. But The
Spelt nails it Spells are cast over a person, a^e affair, a nation, a
world; they enchant and entrap, disorient and delude. They are the
heart of this record, heft the webs they spin and the snap that
occurs When they're broken And there is no better word to
describe fte spooky intoxication of The Wack Heart Procession's
'■ sound. Traps is the smind of driving at mght across the West
Like the wide-open landscape, this is music that knows how to be
both desolate and lush. And it knows that while sadness pulls you
down, discontent pushes you forward. So the Procession never
stops. Here, a song's 6/8 beat will pull you info a moody seductive
waltz and next, tt»|gjilin and piano evoke fte house band of a
lonesome cabaret with the lights turned low. Then fte strings stop
» Ihefr mournful crying and shift into a proppf^ve thrum, and now
we've got the pedal to the metal and we're heading straight down
the open road into a cinematic ftsighf. There's an echo and a vast-
ness, a-sound big enough to Ml the nign: awei than We A
soundtrack to that midrtgtt drive alone, ghost towns of the heart
flickering back to life. This is a band who knows that darkness
takes many forms: despair and confusion, yes, but also shelter,
escape, arid beauty. Hope Is held like smoke in the lungs, dizzying
and burnigj. The Slack Heart Procession is exartfywhat their
name says they are: a cavalcade of foreboding tenderness. The
Spell is cast. AVAILABLE MAY 9™
CD 16.98
The Drift CD
Hey Plastic Palace People. Come to Zulu on May 9th and you
will find something new from the 30 Century Man. It has been
eleven years since his last p^prd Which you may remember being
called Tilt. Come draped in the vines you stole from Montague
Terrance. Come sick with the fever of your first case of Gonorrhea.
Come fresh like the session bass player who ruJetLStinset Strip.
Come like the mulled wine that toasted the fallen madams of
Amsterdam. Come on the waves of silk strings and the precious
bows that seduce the Boy Child into the dens of death and sickness.
Come and play chess with Death all you fallen knights. Come on the
back ol the rats—so few know that they reek; of p^gg^€amewin»
some gospel-babe Joanna and take The Drift In with your big hurt
CD 16.98
Sean Maxey a
have been friends since before you
{and possibly even before they) were
bom. Living and making music together ■
has been their foremost priority. After   j
the demise of their underappreciated
art-rock band, STATIONa, they dropped fte electricity and formed
The Doers, East-Van',s famous acoustic art/pop/punk/party band.
Their climb in popularity has been steady and their live shows are
now regularly attended by pretty much everyone who lives east of
Cambie Street. Several cross-Canada tours have molded them into
fte tightest musical machine possible and it's gotten to fte point
where they spew -out new songs with more regularity th^mesF-*"
people Mink (they just wrote threelirare in the time it took to write
that last sentence). Wbatcha Doin?, is their first full-length album
(after three EPs) and is easily the best thing t&^ve done so far    ■
Even though-for descriptive purposes-it should be noted there are
definite echoes of the Minutemen, Violent Femmes, Dead Milkmen
and Jonathan Richman running through their work, it does them little justice as it can be truly said they sound like absolutely no other
band going today. This, of course, is a very good ftifjgO"*
CD 12.98
The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth
Of The Beast |||§
Tributes are common in pop music, from Candle in fhe Wind to
Chelsea Hotel to You're so Vain. Ifs a fairly easy job to use the
lyric of a song to describe a person, either by means of a biographical
character-sketch ori^&fftljfijjhoncally and poetically. It,s a greater
challenge to use the musical material of a song to realize such tributes, which happens sometimes when jazz players take Athe style of
another player, for example, or in the case of a symphgippork that
[uses a particular set of chords in 8 representational watpfert
abstractly. Hardest of all is.the challen^^somehow'^^ttsound
itself in fte process of elaborating a Mute; making the teMut&Dt :he
music express the perssspty c fie adbjecf-being_paid tritiuie Brainy,
Creatively resoajfeful and am_itioi&, the men from Matmos have
done the o^Bcgnmig pirating portra'ts of acoTvarse (.oliartion of
unique mow loafs, from Patricia Highsmith i Darby Crash to Joe
Meek tn King Ludwig II of Bavaria Pc naps even nwe eclectic than
these figures^Sl^^lg^^fttty r#SalM-mal«ng materials
Matmos have giirtiPfWb produce the musMXrdr»ssnw_Wt;rushe#
roses to snails to burning flesh. Constructed in the spirit of A Chance
to Cut is a Chance to Cure but driven conceptually and topically like
The Civil War, The Rose Has Teeth m the Mouth of the Beast is the
latest mind- and ear-expanding recording.^g^jorward-thinking,
San Francisco-based duo^SvAILABLEiMAY 8W
CD 16.98
Shut Op I Am Dreaming CD
A rwsideybast week I bought s^jftfeopard print bedspread off
Mcraigslist. When t took it hBmS^^ut^fia^te scissors and
|cut rt infe nfe shape of a cape, Which J-^iave'^tlce worn aresfnfl'town"
steadily. Many people think that this is a very resourceful act ajjyjjjpjjj
somewhat creative. HaHtefliff^tefe talk thg.reaf'	
tfttftjis sv§!/ resourceful and cr«Ste«awduaL and one who any
niu^e enthusiast, sfiduld really speriB some time getting to know.
Krug is of course one of the vocalists in the hit rock band Wolf
Parade who flew the VlpiotfeBC coop for Montreal before making it
big with an amazing album on Sub Pop. Krug is of course the gentleman who spent time rocking with Carey and Mei in Frog Eyes, and
later wififthase.two as members of Destroyer's European players.;
And after all this, Spencer Krug is really just a super swell guy and
when recording solo as Sunset Rundown creates musjMjat is noisy,
abrasive and extremely dense — as a result Ms compositions are
strangely beautiful jtsferrtly evocative and approach transcendence.
Of course Shut Up I Am Dream will appeal to you if you are into
Krug's other bands, j^it cut-irjoslwi his own you know you will be
getting the real geW; Recommended.
Exit Music
Songs With
Radio Heads CD
yo pn ftjs flreat re-interpretation of the songs ot England's
- flrtesl; roefc band. After listening to this collection of down-
tempo; Inspired electronic re-workings you can surety say
that a great song remains a great song no matter how it is
re-cut In a day when the art of remixing is on fragil^around. f>
(every hit song^gets te%uehed fa boldly stride into the
dance floor scene) it is pretty refreshing fo see a bunch of
artists tackle something that is so public and so established
anakcome up with such startling results. Personal highlights
include the dream Sia take on Paranoid Android, or
Cinematic Orchestra's classy re-vamp of Exit Music off of
OK Computer Herbert wades into the Wee Bream and
proves why The Bene, is one of the most sublime rock
records ever, artttivsKgi't-even begin to tell you how dope
RJD2 s work with the fabric of Airbag turns out Instead, get
with this awesome exercise in translation or perhaps "trans-
CD 16.9$
He Poos Clouds CD
Own Pallett has some vital Canadian cultural contacts,.
from ihe Arcade Fire and the Hidden Cameras to the j§p
Vinyl Caff. What enables him to bridge his associations? In
part it,s his obvious, multiplex musical talent. For example
Pallett has Addled for the CBC and done string arrangements for the Arcade Fire (aria is rumoured to have offered"1""*'
his services in this respect to Vancouver's own Dan Bejar, to
J|j bring Your Blues, Bejar's synth-heavy masterpiece, to
jjjjj&ing chftber act|ality—a possibility thafs, alas, too
iMpo be til| Anothtr possible factor enabling Collett s
contacts i'. Jbs Canadariw'ss. He's integrated into the active,
pflp-nwsE-riGh'sceueifflfentral Canada, ferrying between toe
key crtes of Montreal and \ 11 to. and thereby reaching out
to a national audience How*. e we think his obvious, self-
cortfidenfrteraViess-liasson" 'hi j to do with it, too. Here's a
m»i that feameifti^^»& violin in order to pick up men.
Joamedti^wr^^^^Wa melodramatic (and "gay-
thefs^according to Pallett) video game, and has based
/?&'fl%t release He Poos Clouds, on re-lmagmmg the "eight
' $&& schools of magic," arranged for string quartet and
voice? AhwryKrcfy. Yes, i£s Pallett's nerdiness that somehow deepfistaaets both indie rock and contemporary
Canajparc cutt&TSj.-<Bvealing an important central truth: nerdi-
jjgssllsonsftutllily fundamental to both. The question of
aattona! identity finally solved, Pallett speaks to all our own
^^fcisiclowiginffirnerd - tiirowing.tweiv^ided dice,
%tag.fiags our hearts on our sjefeffis* AVAILABLE MAM?
CD 12.98
Tou Say Party! We Say Die!-Hit The Floor U>
Spencer    .   Feist-Open Season CO 1
CD 12.98
Spank Rock-Yo Yo Yo Yo CO
Deaihcab For Cutie- Directions DVj|jlt'>
The Coup-Pick A Bigger Weapon CO
Eleventh Dream Day- Zeroes and Ones CD
Camera Obscura-Uoyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken CDEP
Pointed Sticks- Watting For the Real Thins CO
The Red Krayola- Introducing CD
Danielson- Ships CM* ^ffl
Bose Melberg-Cast Away The Clouds CD
Tranzmitors- Some Girls 7" Ex-New Town Animals/Ex-Sftrugglers project
Skip Jensen- Honey Child 7" From Montreal, from Demand Q#||f   ~*
"Falling in Love with Great Women9
til May 31st
Zulu Records
1972-1976 W 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC
tel 604.738.3232


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