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Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


02 Stylus Magazine Oct/Nov 2013

Production Team Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sheldon Birnie Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Mazurak

On the Cover

MISTER JAN is a Winnipeg based Graphic Designer and Illustrator. He’s inspired by anything hand-crafted and dabbles in hand drawn type, chalkboard art, developing his own film and creating prints on his printing press (which was a linen press in its former life). Check out more of his work at

Assistant Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zach Fleisher Advertising Manager . . . . . . . . . . Ted Turner


Distributor . . . . . . . . . . . Patrick Michalishyn Cover Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mister Jan Printed by JRS Print Services: 204-232-3558

Contributors Alyssa Arnold Taylor Burgess Gilad Carroll Jordan Cayer Topher Duguay Matthew Dyck Daniel Emberg Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell Greg Gallinger Jeremy Johnson Devin King Jade Markus Harrison Samphir Broose Tulloch Martyna Turczynowicz Ben Waldman Matt Williams

Stylus is published bi-monthly by the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association, with a circulation of 2,500. Stylus serves as the program guide to 95.9FM CKUW and will reflect the many musical communities it supports within Winnipeg and beyond. Stylus strives to provide coverage of music that is not normally written about in the mainstream media. Stylus acts as a vehicle for the work of new writers, photographers and artists, including members of the University of Winnipeg, of CKUW and of the Winnipeg community at large. Stylus reserves the right to refuse to print material, specifically, that of a racist, homophobic or sexist nature. All submissions may be edited and become the property of Stylus. All opinions expressed in Stylus are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors. Contributions in the form of articles, reviews, letters, photos and graphics are welcome and should be sent with contact information to:

Stylus Magazine Bulman Student Centre, University of Winnipeg 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9 Phone: 204-786-9785, Fax: 204-783-7080 Contributions will be accepted in the body of an email. No attachments please. All submissions may be edited and become the property of Stylus. Unauthorized reproduction of any portion of Stylus is strongly discouraged without the express written consent of the editors.

TableofContents Blah, Blah, Blah Events Around Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Live Bait A Tribe Called Red // Royal Canoe // Paul McCartney . . . . . . . . . . . 12 CKUW Program Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Hip Hop Retrospective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Local Spotlight Greg MacPherson Band // The Young Pixels . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Mental Notes Earl Sweatshirt // Madchild . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Ulteriors Machinedrum // Lorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Iconoclast The Defiled // Wizards // Rose Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Root Cellar Rae Spoon // Deer Tick // Jayme Stone // Skydiggers . . . . . . . . 20 Under the Needle Washed Out // No Age // The Albertains // Fevers . . . 21 Fear of Music Highway 61 Left Alone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Features CKUW 50th Year Anniversary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Crabskull . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Claire Bones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Emma Cloney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Sweet Alibi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 send + receive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


Blah, Blah, Blah All right folks, back to school and the shows, well they are a flowing! As always, Mischa Decter and his crew of misfits and nomads rocks the Rose N Bee Sunday evenings for No Cover Sundays, or the weekly Blues Jam over at Times Change(d), or hit ‘em both up! *** Wednesdays, check out the Songwriter Explosion Series down at 555 Osborne, or Andrew Neville & the Poor Choices at the Rose N Bee *** ALFA throws down an album fundraising party for their new record on October 3rd at Bistro 7 1/4 *** The bad boys from Cheering for the Bad Guy release their album Next Year Country at the Windsor October 4th, while across the alleyway at the Pyramid the Roller Derby crew will be partying it up with ROLLER SOUL *** Austra and Moon King are heading back through town, this time at the Garrick Centre on October 5th; over in Brandon Luke McMaster plays the West Manitoba Centennial Hall; Rose Cousins will be hitting up the WECC; JW Jones is at The Pyramid for Manitoba Blues Fundraiser; and Saskatoon’s Untimely Demise are having a CD release at Union Sound Hall *** For all you vinyl hounds, don’t miss Rockin’ Richard’s Record Show & Sale at the Victoria Inn, down by the airport, on Sunday October 6th. It’s the second largest record sale in the country, so there’s bound to be plenty of gold in them crates! *** Gwar are back with White Chapel, Iron Reagan, and A Band of Orcs on October 6th at the Garrick *** We have Bullet for my Valentine and guests ripping apart the Burt on October 7th *** October 8th, weird excuses for music Teen Daze and Camp Counsellors make an appearance at Union, while local country-gal Desiree Dorion releases her album Small Town Stories at the Windsor *** Local darlin’s Mise En Scene, Indicator Indicator, and Federal Lights are throwing a to-do at the West End Cultural Centre October 9th *** Cancer Bats bring a Sabbath tinged set to the Pyramid on October 10th... don’t miss it! Or maybe you might go see Between the Buried and Me at the Garrick if Bat Sabbath doesn’t feed yr punk as fuck attitude *** Oct 11th The Bros Landreth take on the Times Change(d), Electric Soul get freaky down at the Cavern, The Windups play Raw Power in its entirety at the Windsor, and Leif Vollebekk brings his North Americana to the WECC alongside Vanessa Kuzina & Woodpigeon *** Saturday October 12 Emma Cloney celebrates the release of her album “Stars for Streetlights” at the WECC [see feature on pg 10], and The F Holes, Cam Penner,


and Miss Quincy rock out at the Windsor *** Tesseract, Scale the Summit, and Ancients bring their Altered State Tour to Union Sound Hall Oct 14th, although that same night there’s Streetlight Manifesto, Dan Potthast and Mike Park over at the WECC, as Joe Satriani will be getting off all the lead guitarists in Winnipeg along side Steve Morse at the Burt *** Tuesday the Sadies will melt minds at the WECC, while David Francey entertains down at the Park Theatre *** Wednesday October 16th hardcore heroes Terror descend on the Park Theatre, along with Counterparts, Power Trip, and Code Orange Kids, while degenerates Deer Tick rock the WECC *** Keith Hallett takes a two night stand over at the Times on Main Street October 18th and 19th *** The Windsor hosts Orange Goblin, Holy Grail and Lazer/ Wulf on Saturday October 19th; Daniel Romano will be swooning the Folk Exchange the same night; and hotshot Sarah Brightman plays favs to the MTS Centre *** The Bonaduces revive their classic brand of heartbreak at the Park Theatre Sunday Oct 20th with Kalle Mattson; unless you’re like most people and heading to the Exchange Event Centre to go see Method Man and Redman *** October 21st, The Brains drop by for an earlier 9:30 set at the Pyramid, and the WECC hosts The Pretty Reckless and Heaven’s Basement at just about the same time; while the Park keeps things starting later as Lucy Rose takes the stage *** Snak the Rapper might just possibly be putting on a hiphop show at The Pyramid October 22nd, but what’s in a name? Ian Anderson (yup, of Jethro Tull) is playing the Concert Hall earlier that night so get yr ironic on and catch both of ‘em! *** Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer return to Winnipeg to play the Park Oct 23rd *** Putrescence, Dying Fetus, Exhumed, and Abiotic get gruesome at the Park on the 25th *** SKALLOWEEN 13 skanks it up at the Park on the 26th, but if you haven’t figured out your costume yet, go check out Mississippi Heat at The Pyramid for a good fucking time, or even Frank Turner, The Smith Street Band and Koo Koo Kanga Roo at the Garrick *** Chris Cornell brings his unmistakable voice to Pantages Theatre on October 29th, while Matt Mays and Adam Baldwin are holding down the Park *** Halloween is bound to be full of parties everywhere you turn, but check out Ridley Bent’s Zombie Party at the Times for an extra weird time on the 31st, and The Windsor host the Legion of Liquor’s Hal-

STYLUS LAUNCH SERIES: TONIGHT!!! Haunter, Salinas & The Party Dress Oct 3rd @ Union Sound Hall AUSTRA Oct 5th @ The Garrick Centre ROSE COUSINS Oct 5th @ WECC ROCKIN’ RICHARD’S RECORD & CD SALE Oct 6th @ Victoria Inn SEND + RECEIVE: A FESTIVAL OF SOUND Oct 9-12th @ Various Venues

loween Special on this hellish night *** The False Starts and Stranded will be playing the Windsor Novembe 1st *** Local heroes KEN Mode are at the Windsor on November 2nd with Full of Hell and Withdrawal, while Mariachi Ghost celebrate the release of their long-awaited album over at the WECC, and Paper Kites play a show with both of their EPs on feature, and Grieves rocks the Union Sound Hall *** The Belle Game and Bear Mountain bring their buzz to Union November 3rd *** The Black Dahlia Murder get loud as hell at the West End on Nov 6th with Skeletonwitch, Fallujah and Noisem; and at the opposite spectrum Rusko will be throwing down at the newly opened Exchange Event Centre that night *** Fucking Slayer (or what’s left of them) hit the MTS November 7th! Fuck rights! Matthew Good will be at the Burt that very night with Gentleman Husbands *** Vancouver’s Destroyer returns to the Park Theatre November 8th and Cannon Bros will be opening up this stacked night *** Nathan Rogers reprises his popular Nathan Sings Stan act from the Folk Festival on November 9 at the West End *** Tuesday, November 12th we’ve got The Devil Wears Prada over at the Garrick and Paper Lions at the Park *** Union Sound Hall brings in Protest the Hero on November 13th *** On November 14 one of the sexiest silver-haired vixens, Emmylou Harris, will be playing an intimate set at the Burt *** November 15, Little Miss Higgins & The Winnipeg 5 perform at the WECC *** Sweet Alibi release their sophomore album [see feature on pg 13] at the WECC November 20th, while The Fugitives play the Windsor later that night *** Canadian hip-hop icon and M.A. holder Shad drops by Union Sound Hall on November 22nd to spit some wisdom. Don’t miss this one, that’s for sure. Or check out Biipiigwan, Dead Ranch, and Warsaw at the Windsor that evening *** Hollerado and the Zolas will be boogying down at the Park on the 23rd, and Rae Spoon will be filling up the Windsor so best get there early *** Another Broken Social Scene member is coming through town solooo as Brenden Canning with Dinosaur Bones and they’re at the Park ya’ll *** Monday, December 2nd heats up with High on Fire, Windhand and Kverlertak over at the WECC. Keep yr digital eyes bugged on and @StylusMagazine for additional mind-blowing concert announcements over the next couple months!


Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


CKUW 50TH ANNIVERSARY Longrunning DJs reflect on the switch to FM in 1999 By Sheldon Birnie

It’s amazing to think that CKUW, our campus and

community station broadcasting here from the University of Winnipeg, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The station, which began as a radio club in 1963, broadcasting to a closed-circuit audience from the basement of UW, has seen a lot of changes over the years. The biggest change, perhaps, could be seen as the jump to the FM dial, and a city wide audience, in 1999. Since CKUW hit the airwaves across Winnipeg, many shows and hosts have come and gone. Remarkably, a number of shows have remained since that launch into the ether in 1999, and many with the original host still behind the mic. Of CKUW’s dozens of shows, 15 have been broadcasting nonstop since the first FM broadcast, nine of which are still run by the original host. “I think it’s amazing to have such committed hosts,” says Station Manager Rob Schmidt. Schmidt was first hired at CKUW in 1996. “I think the drive is the joy of sharing stories and discovering new music, it’s something that our best DJs take to heart.” “The station has changed hugely over the years,” says Keith Black, who has hosted 700 episodes of Voyage, which broadcasts Wednesday mornings, “both in the scope of programming, the range and potential of the equipment and the professionalism of the product.” “In the early days, we really pieced together the station with the few resources that we managed to pull together and that we could afford,” recalls Kemlin Nembhard, co-host of Friday evening’s Check Ca. “Over the years, I think the station has invested the resources we acquired wisely and I think that it shows in the quality and diversity of the programming that we have.” “The diversity of grass roots and alternative programming is still a stable, core feature of the station,” says Adam Hannibal, host of Quadrafunk, which airs following Check Ca. Hannibal became involved with CKUW in 1999, just prior to the switch to FM. “Back then, underground music was not nearly as accessible as today. You couldn’t readily go online and listen to most tracks, certainly not in their entirety … The only way most music fans could hear the tracks quickly was to go to live shows or check out radio shows. So for me, hosting a radio show was a great chance to explore all the music I collected on a deeper level and share it with a

wider audience.” Anthony Augustine, host of Phase One Radio, the longest running house and techno DJ show in the province, got involved at CKUW as a first year student in 1994. He went on to host a variety of shows over the years, and became a regular contributor to Stylus along the way. “When the station went FM in 1999, I was hosting and producing a show called Memetic with Alana Cleve that touched on indie, electronic, rock, punk and hip hop,” Augustine recalls fondly. “I wanted to focus more on Winnipeg’s burgeoning electronic scene and the DJs that were a part of it.” As a result, Phase One Radio was born. “I have continued to do [Phase One] over the years because I feel community radio is still an important outlet for the local electronic scene and gives DJs a platform to break new music, build an audience and free themselves from the constraints of playing just for the dance floor.” Dave Berthiume, who hosts Tawny, the Brave, first started hanging around CKUW in 1986. “Usually there were a handful of students studying or talking in groups and clearly not paying any attention to the music,” he recalls. In 1999, as the station was preparing to go FM, Berthiume was en-

couraged to pursue his own show. 14 years later, he’s still at it every Thursday evening. “It’s probably the best hour and a half of my week,” says Berthiume. “Spa Day for the music geek.” Rockin’ Ronnie also got his start at the station in 1986. “Was lookin’ fer a place ta hang out and bein’ able ta play Blues ‘tween classes and rest on the couch seemed the best option,” recalls the Bluesday (Tuesdays starting at 7pm) host. “I started hangin’ out at more bars and jams and findin’ bands to play on Bluesday … I’ve always believed in what Spiderman said, ‘Action is its own reward,’ so that remains me motivation fer Bluesday.” “My favorite change was us going FM,” says Sunday night’s Island Vibes’ Vibesman, who has been with the station since just before the switch. “And broadcasting over the Internet with the audio archive setup at the station. If our listeners miss a show, they can get it on the Internet and save it. Fantastic!” The joy of putting together a show and sharing it with the world, and connecting with the audience are cited by many who have caught the “radio bug” at CKUW. Year after year, Fundrive after Fundrive, there really is something special about the radio format that keeps keeps longrunning hosts coming back for more. “I can’t imagine not hosting the STATION MANAGER ROB SCHMIDT AND THE OLD CKUW SOUNDBOARD. TwangTrust,” says host Stu Reid of his Wednesday evening mainstay, who started the show the week CKUW went FM in 1999. “Now I get to share my love of music and radio with my daughter Brittany, who co-hosts Mud Puddle Radio with me every 4th week [Saturdays at 9am].” “There is nothing like finishing a show that you know was really good and tight, where things just fell into place,” admits Nembhard. “The only thing that surpasses that pleasure is getting calls from listeners that tell you they really dig what you’re playing.” “There’s only a handful of us first-week-FMers left now,” reflects Reid, “but it’s exciting to see new blood getting involved with the station.” Along with Bluesday, Check Ca, Tawny, the Brave, Phase One, Twang Trust, Quadrafunk, Voyage, Dance Hall Fever, and Island Vibes, who have all maintained their original host since 1999, The Tonic, Hit the Big Wide Strum, Off the Beaten Track, Black Mask, the Sex Files, and Inner City Voices have also remained on the air, with new hosts keeping the torches burning into 2013. To get involved with CKUW yourself, check out, or make your way up to the yellow stairs by the Buffeteria on the fourth floor.

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine



Despite having the web presence of a single song

on SoundCloud, people have taken to talking about Chrys Fournier and his dual musical pursuits. This year should be just as interesting, when he drops a diverse trio of cassettes in the fall. Under the moniker Crabskull, Fournier saw his cassette Jovian Black Opera released in 2012 on local label Dub Ditch Picnic. It’s a collection of sinister hip-hop instrumentals, haunted by reverb and synths. Chris Jacques, founder of Dub Ditch Picnic, recalls getting the raw cassettes; “He gave me what would be Jovian Black Opera – hardly listened to half of the first side and was in. That stuff still kills me. When I was making the tapes – I listened to some test tapes at two in the AM in my space in an old empty warehouse type place. It creeped the hell out of me and I had to pack up and go home. Brilliant.” 2012 also saw the wide release by Scab Smoker, a stoner metal outfit for which Fournier drums. The self-produced album also received a larger distribution through DDP, nodding heads locally and getting nods on smaller blogs nationally. They’ve been written up for alternating between doom and thrash with sheer style, brute force, and stark minimalism. I headed down to his West Broadway apartment to talk to him about many meandering things, including his growing range in musical styles. As Fournier explains, “It comes from just being open. When I was discovering music, I was interested in heavy metal really early on. And I was playing music in metal bands at the same time I was getting exposed to hip-hop. So already, right there, I was open to this varied element of music.” We discussed his personal history in his living room, where his MPC4000 sat on his coffee table, and an ambient-prog record played on one of two DJ turntables. A few visceral op-art paintings hung on the wall, which I was surprised to find out that he had painted. In response, he casually commented that he likes to play with patterns. He describes his relationship with music just as casually. “It is an adventure, the exploration of sound. It’s a passion that grabbed me without knowing, really. I was fortunate, my dad was a musician. And not a strict musician.” His dad and uncles would jam out Rolling Stones and CCR tunes in the basement, after his dad bought a guitar, amp, and drum kit from a garage sale. Seeing their enjoyment allowed him to get into music with “no stress, and no expectations.” His parents had him in their early 20s, and were always supportive of him playing music. “I had a drum kit

since a young age, which is pretty amazing. Not many parents would let their kids just bang around on a drum kit.” But soon, metal drumming gave way to beatmaking, and along with collecting records, he began digging for samples. “When I started digging for records, I was just digging for classic rock, and then it moved into more psychedelic and funky things. Then through funk you discover soul, and the deeper it goes. Doowop and blues. You realize, ‘Whoa, don’t close the doors on that,’ because there’s so much good stuff in there, I’m telling you.” ILLUSTRATION BY S HAU NM OR IN

And as his collection largely grew, so grew what he could and would sample from. He says that when it comes to making music out of samples, collecting music and listening to music makes up about 50 per cent of his music-making process. “Some people might not say that, but for me, it’s really about listening to music, you know? Sampling is coming to hear hypnotic music… Really, hearing Pink Floyd, and at the same time getting into DJ Premier. And just fusing the two together was just like, ‘Yeah…’ Stoner loops, and loop digging. It all came together in a way that I didn’t even expect.” The two upcoming Crabskull tapes definitely aren’t departures from Crabskull’s killer haze. Phlegm Bomb Trick$ is still dark hip-hop, but it’s amped-up, a cut above his last cassette, heading closer to trap music and maybe even clubby witch house. And like he’s ventured previously, his Keep the Evil Away will be a dub and reggae mixtape of deep old grooves, though this one will feature 45s played at 33 RPM, with Crabskull original synths and effects thrown in. Fournier explains the difference. “If I connect with the whole song, it will make its way onto a mixtape. Whereas when I’m digging for Crabskull [songs], there really is no limit to what records I’ll listen to, or pull sounds from. Really, it just comes down to that feeling, you know? Once I hear something and I get that feeling, that’s all it takes – it doesn’t matter what it is.” He goes on to say some sounds from Phlegm Bomb Trick$ were sourced from pioneer electronic music, and music concrète. “It was synthesizer music, at a time when it was totally experimental,” he says with utmost respect for some of the composers of the genre, like Daphne Oram, Ruth White, and former Winnipegger Ann Southam. Snailpoison’s Live at the Hatnhimen Caves will be a new endeavour and his first foray into techno. “It’s super slow and lo-fi. And it’s pretty dubby.” Fournier says, noting that he’s more of a fan of Detroit and German acid house than Chicago’s techno. “It’s a new avenue that I’m exploring, so I’m curious about the feedback on it.” Still, Fournier has Jacques’ support as he puts all three tapes out on DDP this year. Jacques explains, “Chrys gave me three tapes this summer and – guess what? – we’re doing three releases. Slowed dub 7”s, techno, and crazy MPC trap beats. Because it’s so varied and weird, it works for my wandering ear. ” But as Fournier’s ambitions grow, he says that it isn’t his growing stacks of records that will keep him going. “I could lose all these records, and it wouldn’t really matter. Because you have this fire inside there, and you’re just fortunate. There’s so much music out there. We’re going to be discovering music for the rest of our lives. The more I realize how close-minded I’ve been to certain genres, I just realize you’re just closing off paths of an adventure.”

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


claire bones


A s I sit on an old leather couch in the back of a Winni-

peg sticker shop, I cannot help but feel slightly anxious for my interview with Winnipeg’s marvelous and always surprising songstress, Claire Bones. After months of attempting to get a few moments of her time, she finally agreed to meet with me. She required that we met somewhere recluse and dark. After remaining quiet following the release of her beautiful “Call You a King” single last December for the Beach Station Blues record, Claire opened up to me about her new take on songwriting as well as new influences in her musical life. Claire is a guitar stalwart and imaginative and often times spiritual lyricist. As she spoke with me, it became clear that Claire has some incredibly exciting musical experiments in the works. I wanted to get to know her. We spoke for hours, and this interview represents a brief summary of the topics we broached. Stylus: So what are favorite bands and what are some bands that have influenced you? Claire Bones: Let me see, my favorite bands...hmm…The Braindead Fenceposts… Stylus: Wait, who are they? CB: They are a 60s style peace punk/ folk band from Pittsburgh from the 90s. Then there’s Elvis Spud, he’s a drummer, just drums and sings. He travels all over the States in old El Camino and just sets up his kit in the back and does shows like that. Have ever listened to his album Welcome to the Real World, Professor? Stylus: No, I’m not familiar... CB: Well, you should get it. You’ll never hear any music like that anywhere. Stylus: And your influences? CB: The Wives of Frankenstein. I listened to Sig Butz a lot when I

was younger, he does this kind of ambient trumpet thing. I actually got to meet him when he played a show in Montréal a year ago. I was the only one in the audience, but I got to jam with him for the second set and then there was no audience. [Laughs.] Stylus: Do you have any hobbies? CB: I collect old filing cabinets, I must have a garage full by now.

January 23-26 2014

Tickets go on sale December 2013

Stylus: That’s a strange hobby. CB: Really? I don’t think it’s strange. It’s pretty cheap. I pick them at auctions and garage sales. Stylus: Do you put anything in them? CB: Yes I do. I write random words on pieces of paper and make drawings of things and file them away. Stylus: Is that part of your songwriting? CB: Oh no, that’s entirely different [giggles]. Stylus: Where do you do most of your songwriting? CB: There’s this old rusted out car out in the backyard of my grandfather’s house in Vita. It has one seat left in it and that’s where I sit and write. Rain or shine. Even in the winter. Stylus: Neat. What the craziest thing you ever did? CB: Hmm, that’s a good question. I cut a house in half once. Stylus: Wait, what? CB: Yeah it’s on my grandfather’s property in Vita. It used to be his guest house. I did that just last year with an old saw. It took me about a week. Stylus: Why did you do it? CB: I dunno, it just felt like it was the right thing do at the time. Stylus: How did your grandfather feel about that? CB: He thought it was a hoot! Stylus: Ok, so besides cutting a house in half? CB: I once filled an old car with spray cans and then set it on fire and when it all blew up, it sprayed all these colours all over these canvasses that I had facing the car. Then sold them on Kijijij. Look for Claire Bone’s contribution to the second Beach Station Blues compilation, released on September 28th in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine



Five years ago Emma Cloney told her husband that

she not only wanted to learn how to play the guitar, fiddle, and banjo, but that she wanted to teach herself. What’s a boy to do, but lay a banjo, fiddle and guitar under the Christmas tree? Emma and the guitar felt an instant bond, and the songs that would make up her first album (2011’s Something To Say) started to flow. Emma began reaching out to fellow musicians, playing open mics and jamming with anyone willing, including Rambling Dan Frechette, who coached her into playing her own music at the Bella Vista in early 2010. Just like the guitar, the connection with the audience was immediate and the rest is history. While her music career was taking off, things on the home front weren’t going so well, the financial crisis that had left millions homeless had Emma Cloney in its heinous and malicious grip. “After I returned home from touring in 2011, I came face to face with the reality of losing our home. As we packed the last boxes and drove down the long driveway one last time I felt my heart break. With my little girls in the back seat, I told them cheerful lies about how much fun our ‘new life’ would be, even though we had no home of our own anymore. With the loss of the house I felt like I lost my identity, so much of my music had been written about life on the ranch. If I wasn’t ‘this’ anymore, then what was I? How do you tell people you failed at being a successful adult? Only two weeks later the second year of nursing school started and I had never felt so broken, or so low.” This lead to the epiphany that she

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hadn’t lost everything, but still had it all, and helped her exorcise an old demon. “I gained my weight in high school. As a kid in foster care who was hurting very badly, I began to seek my comfort in the form of food. Bowls of feelings were used to fill the empty voids in my heart. My choices in life began to mirror this design as I

felt that I wasn’t enough on my own and began to add things to my world (the horses, the ranch, etc). I believed that if I could add enough to my life then I would feel whole. After losing the house and coming to the realization that losing was my finest form of winning, I mustered the courage to face my inner demon. I got really honest with myself about how I got so big in the first place and put aside the excuses. I decided that I was worthy of health, strength and beauty, and I channeled all of my motivation into eating healthy raw foods, and finding ways to love fitness. I shed 100 pounds of trauma, fear, worry, and gained a clearer sense of who I am underneath all that protection.” Out of these experiences came the songs that would form her new album, including the title track. “Some of the songs were difficult to write; like ‘Stars for Streetlights,’ an honest expression of what the weeks following the loss of our home were like. No more could I look up into a star filled sky from the front porch of my ranch, but rather I stared now into the orange glow of Winnipeg’s streetlights. The songs on this album provided me with the therapeutic relief that only my guitar can. In order to move on as I have, I had to be stuck for a while.” On Saturday October 12th Winnipeg singer-songwriter Emma Cloney releases her sophomore album Stars For Streetlights at the West End Cultural Centre. Advance tickets are available at the West End Cultural Centre, TicketMaster, Music Trader and the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store. Kevin Roy and Keith Dyck open the show.






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Sweet Alibi - HAVE GOT TO By Martyna Turczynowicz

folk darlings Sweet Alibi are releasing their latLestocalalbum, We’ve Got To, on November 20th. The trio has been winning over fans with their eclectic folk sound and compelling lyrics. Stylus sat down with Amber Quesnel, Jessica Rae Ayre and Michelle Anderson before one of their gigs at the Times Change(d) to talk about the upcoming release and non-stop touring. Stylus: What’s the story behind your name, Sweet Alibi? Amber Quesnel: It took us a long time and also a dictionary. Alibi was one of the first words that we came across that wasn’t weird. It made sense; we like that we’re pretty and our music’s soft but we always try to drive in an edge. Either it’s in a song or the way we look or what we’re talking about. Jessica Rae Ayre: We wanna hear a few F sharps here and there. AQ: There was another name Michelle had come up with, Woody Got 3. But then we were like that’s way too sexual! There was also Sweet Twang, which was kind of twatty sounding. It would have placed us as a country band. We were starting out, we didn’t really know what we were. Stylus: Your new album, We’ve Got To, is going to be released soon. Tell me more about that... JA: Our next album launches November 20th. It’s very soon, it’s exciting. Basically all the years we’ve spent together. I think sort of where the sentence came from is that… AQ: I think where the phrase came from is that Jessica wrote a song called “Get It Right.” It was at the beginning of us making the next album. In the lyrics she says, “I’m gonna get it right, I’ve got to get it right.” So “we’ve got to” is like the same kind of message “Get It Right” has. You just gotta do it. JA: The title we kind of got from, you get to this point where you start to tour and you pick up momentum and what is your next step? Do you just continue to do that, or go separate ways. We’ve developed so much together, we made this family. Michelle Anderson: So much time and money has been invested in this. Stylus: What’s the sound like? AQ: We worked with Rusty Matyas from Imaginary Cities. He’s tons of fun to work with. He’s got his own sound that he adds to every song. After working with him I’ll totally be able to recognize whether or not he had a hand in producing what I’m listening to. He’s really into writing melodies, which is really great because a lot of the songs we write, we don’t think about that. We think about vocal melodies but not about instrumental. He helped a lot with that. When we were starting out we didn’t even really know whether we were folk or country. That’s what was nice about working with Rusty; it makes our Sweet Alibi sound. It’s still folk but there’s some

elements of pop in there. It’s developed its own vibe. Stylus: Have you been touring a lot? AQ: A lot, it’s been great. We’ve been touring since last April but in the last six months it’s been every month. So we’re usually home for about a week and gone for two and a half or three weeks. The next tour we’re doing is three weeks, five days and I think it’s the longest we’ve done. JA: We’ve also done some awesome festivals. We did Summerfolk, South Country Fair, Winnipeg Jazz Fest, we did the Winnipeg Beach bandstand. Pretty busy. We were also at North by Northeast in Toronto back in june. AQ: That was super fun. We’re doing the HomeRoutes tour in B.C. Stylus: What’s HomeRoutes? AQ: The HomeRoutes Tour is a Winnipeg based company and they choose artists and they put them on different routes. There’s a ton of routes all over Canada and in the States now. You go from house to house so there’s no bars or anything. It’s better than touring on our own because it’s easier. JA: You get to hang out with the people hosting you and have dinner with them. You play a bit and take a break and chat and play again. We’ve made so many friends from that. Musicians from all over the world that do it. It’s getting really popular. People are always asking us at shows, “Do you guys do home concerts? Do you know what that is? How do you get involved?” Stylus: Do you think house concerts are becoming more popular? JA: I think it’s becoming a more popular thing. There are so many independent artists now. Even if it just starts with your family and friends in your city, you can do a couple a year. I think the word’s catching on. People will go to a house concert, and then they’ll wanna throw a house concert. AQ: It’s so fun. You meet new people. The host is sort of in charge of how the night goes, it’s fun for them. I think people like it because it’s intimate. It’s like having a theatre for a night in your home. Stylus: How is touring all the time? AQ: We’re practically married to each other. Everything we do in life now revolves around Sweet Alibi. I know everything in my life does and in theirs. It has to. We always joke on the road about making a Winnipeg gossip magazine. Something very anonymous. Someone needs to do it because it’d be pretty funny.

JA: We watch other musicians’ Facebook posts and are like, “Oh we could totally write that in the column!” and send someone to a show to scope it out. We’d take pictures on our phones. MA: We’ve gotten pretty in depth with this. It might happen. There are a lot of different stories, I think it’s been an interesting summer in Winnipeg. Stylus: That’s really funny! JA: We wanna do it so bad. We’d get so ganged up on though. I wonder what would happen, because people would suddenly want to hide their personal affairs. You could even have moles. But then they would know who’s telling the stories. Stylus: What do you think of Winnipeg’s music scene? AQ: Everywhere we go, it never fails, people are like, “So where you guys from?” and we say Winnipeg and they’re like, “Oh, no wonder, everyone’s from Winnipeg.” It’s almost like they’re slightly annoyed. MA: Somebody from Royal Canoe said something along the lines of “Everybody here is creating because the winters are so long...” AQ: It’s not just because of winter. It’s also the way the city’s designed. We don’t have a huge nightlife, but we have hot spots, there’s the Times Change(d). Even if you’re not a musician you’re likely to end up at the Times and if you do you’ll see amazing music and probably be inspired to start a band and play there. It’s a goal for a lot of young artists in Winnipeg. They’re like “You guys played at the Times? I can’t wait to play at the Times!” We were like that too, that drove us to become a band. Winnipeg talks about other Winnipeg bands a lot, we all know each other. It’s competitive, but it’s supportive. Sweet Alibi will be celebrating the release of We’ve Got To on November 20 at the West End Cultural Centre. Tickets are on sale now! Check out for an unabridged version of this interview!

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


ranscendence. That is the theme of the 15th edition of send + receive, Winnipeg’s international sound art festival. For 2013, the festival has booked some of the most exciting names in… well, a field that seems to suit the theme quite well. Sound art is conceptualized broadly enough at send + receive to transcend even a common descriptor. In speaking about send + receive, the artists variously use expressions such as “avant-garde,” “challenging,” “subversive,” and “ecstatic.” The transcendence theme stemmed from the booking of a legendary act, explains festival director crys cole. “It all stemmed from Charlemagne Palestine,” she told Stylus. “I’m a huge fan of his work and love this idea of ritual transcending the everyday, this ecstatic musical experience that is rooted in all of his work.” Citing one of several Palestine shows in Japan several years ago as one of the most remarkable things she has experienced, cole had a specific piece in mind when booking him for send + receive: Schlingen Blangen, his pipe organ works, which will be performed at a local church. The hype for Palestine’s show was echoed by every artist contacted for this piece. One artist is being co-presented with a festival called Art + Body: See Me Hear, a project of Arts and Disability Network Manitoba (ADNM). ADNM and cole were both eager to bring Christine Sun Kim, an emerging deaf sound artist from New York. Kim will play two shows, including one using piano wires and transducers that invites participation. Her early work included visual representations of sound, while Kim’s current work is deeply entangled with the politics of sound. She addresses conceptual implications of sound as a form of social currency, which is clearly linked to the experiences of deaf people. If that sounds interesting, Kim will be one of several artists doing talks during send + receive (others include Conrad, Palestine, and Sabrina Ratté). These talks are a common feature at sound art festivals because much of the work presented stems from sophisticated questions with which the artists have grappled for years, and for which “three chords and the truth” can’t provide answers. “You get a lot of people who go to all the artist talks: the academics, some profs, students,” says cole. “They might not come to the concerts … then you get people who only come to the concerts, no interest in sitting and listening to somebody talk about their work.” Of course some check it all out, and something is clearly working as send + receive is the second longest-running sound festival in Canada, with a wide reputation for booking the finest talent

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for highly appreciative audiences. “It’s amazing when I am overseas,” cole chuckles. “You’re in a city like Berlin and everyone knows about the festival and they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, I’d love to come to Winnipeg!’ In Canada … most people couldn’t care less about coming to the prairies, but we’re exotic to Europeans!” The appeal for Europeans extends beyond fascination with the unfamiliar. She continues, “[Sound art is] not a huge community in any one place... people need to be brought together. Festivals are an integral part of developing those relationships, and I feel proud to do that here in the prairies because it’s such an unorthodox place to do it.” Despite Winnipeg’s obsessive self-deprecation, one of the Canadian acts is pretty jazzed about playing here. Vancouver’s Joshua Stevenson grew up on the prairies but has never visited this burg. His past tours and projects are many (Kemialliset Ystävät, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Jandek, to name a few), but at send + receive he is playing as Magneticring, another good fit for the transcendence theme. “I like to play in a realm between improvisation and composition,” explains Stevenson. “I keep a palette of compositions and modes but never prepare when they will be executed. I try to reach a place where the instrument and myself reflect off one another, and the sound can lead the way.” That effort to let the sounds dictate his course is a clear inversion of the dominance many of us expect musicians to seek over sound. Curran Faris says the latest recordings of his project Greenhouse are mainly drone guitar work dotted with textures. He says while there will be some familiarity for those who have seen Greenhouse before, he is trying to “stretch things out” a bit for the send + receive performance by including more slow-moving, subtle changes and noise than usual. Faris is one of the locals with high praise for send + receive, crediting the event with helping inspire his Greenhouse work. “[It] may have developed very differently—possibly not even at all,” had he not been at the 2007 festival to witness a couple of particularly inspiring shows. “It was unlike anything I’d ever seen or heard. This really is an event with very few parallels in the world.” Doreen Girard agrees that send + receive is a special event, saying, “The festival brings performances to Winnipeg that aren’t typical of what you see on the prairies. I think it’s super important in that it broadens the typical Winnipeger’s idea of what music can be.” Girard will be performing a brand new piece she calls Type|Error, which she de-

scribes as live or expanded cinema in a vein similar to some of her previous work. Additionally, Girard curates the Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) Project which will be exhibited at send + receive. EVP is a paranormal sound phenomenon that, as its name suggests, depends on tools of the electronic age. The EVP Project being presented here stems from research into BBC Radiophonic Workshop co-founder Daphne Oram’s idea of harmonic frequencies as a potential portal to telepathic communication. Transcendence strikes again! Girard and co-curator Kier-La Janisse combed Winnipeg and Montreal, assembling five sound artists from each city to create installations that engage with the idea. The presentation is dubbed Voices From Beyond, and hits send + receive mere days after debuting at Film POP in Montreal. The artists of Voices From Beyond are all women—a nod, Girard says, to Oram’s groundbreaking work in the field. That sense of consciousness regarding gender in art was an easy sell for cole, who states, “It’s important that there be a political element, especially when curating and making sure women are involved with events like this. Being a female curator and also a female artist in this field, I’m very attuned to it.” Gender equity is listed by cole as similarly important to the balance between emerging and established artists when planning send + receive. The goal seems to be fostering the development of an equitable, cooperative creative community that helps young artists feel empowered to pursue their own sonic inspirations, rather than awed to the point of intimidation by higher profile creators. To a person, the performers rave about the consistent quality of programming and are thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of it. These artists passionately delve into demanding ideas, but there is still plenty in the shows to enjoy without having to know everything. A good portion of what happens at send + receive will be stuff you’ve never heard before, and odds are there will be a bunch you never again have a chance to hear. The festival will also feature Montreal interdisciplinary duo Lé Révélateur and the screening of two Jordan Belson films provided by the Center for Visual Music in Los Angeles. Festival passes are $35 at Plug-In ICA and Into the Music; though nonpassholders can pay admission at the doors. Keep an eye on leading up to send + receive for an unabridged version of this feature, along with Q&A pieces with many of the artists performing.

Dear hip hop, I’ll love you ‘til I die To taste the grace of your embrace, I will try My mission is to utilize my skills on the mic To rid you of the losers, abusers and stereotypes - Dan-e-o, “Dear Hip Hop” (1996)


For many reading this, it might be difficult to imag-

ine what Canadian hip hop looked and felt like in the mid- to late-1990s. Younger folks, for example, might remember Kardinal Offishall’s fourth record, or recognize Drake in a Sprite commercial – but could they identify the underground raps of Da Grassroots out of Jane & Finch in North Toronto? We’re not pointing fingers here, instead we are directing your attention toward Canada’s bygone “golden age” of hip hop music: that lost era of dub-influenced boom-bap drums and lyrics that combined East New York scheming with Caribbean flavour. Indeed, this nation’s pioneering rap stars are also a symbol of Canada’s multiculturalism. Our mosaic of ethnic groups and their associated cultures have largely determined the subculture. In this first installment of Stylus Magazine’s Hip Hop Retrospective, we feature some icons of this movement and the under appreciated records they importantly released. Various Artists Rap Essentials Volume One 1996 It seems fitting to begin with a Canadian compilation album released by a now-defunct urban music label that features three songs which earned nominations for Best Rap Recording at the 1997 Juno Awards. Kardinal Offishall’s “Naughty Dread,” Rascalz’ “Fitnredi” and the mellowed “Bright Lights, Big City” by Toronto duo Scales Empire all received the accolade, but accompany other icons such as Ghetto Concept, Choclair and Citizen Kane on this disc. It’s only a 12-track affair, but perhaps the most complete and panoptic collection of Canadian hip hop ever assembled. Frankenstein UV 1998 “Smooth like an operator/Warmer than an incubator/Proven time again that [his] style’s much greater,” Frank Fallico is a rapper, producer and remixer from Toronto, Ontario. Having mastered 12” VLS for T.O. icons like Choclair and Maestro Fresh Wes, Frankenstein dropped his debut full-length UV to minor sales and glowing acclaim in 1998. Today,

Frankie Ano’s only complete release still shines with a jazz-hop aesthetic and laid-back yet incisive urban songwriting. Please, don’t continue to sleep on this record! Da Grassroots Passage Through Time 1999 If any record captures the cultural mosaic of Canada’s largest city–what with its disparate Caribbean and African populations–it’s Da Grassroots’ debut LP Passage Through Time. Influenced by dub, reggae and hip hop elements, the production trio consisting of Mr. Attic, Mr. Murray and Swiff brought much-needed light to the Canadian hip hop scene with this acclaimed release which also features a

young k-os on the track “Eternal” along with Toronto mainstays Saukrates, Thrust and Mr. Roam. Notable for its varied sampling and instrumental segments, Passage is also a worthwhile listen for the many lyrical styles of its emcees who blend toasting with an east-coast rhyming fluidity.

Mathematik Ecology 1999 During a recent trip to Toronto, I took a stroll down Queen Street West to the famous Cosmos Records where I (astonishingly) found an original pressing of Mathematik’s double LP Ecology, preserved in near-mint condition. While I wasn’t able to foot the $200 price tag, I felt content holding a piece of Canadian rap history in my hands. For those who don’t know, Ecology is a seminal showcase of lyrical talent, expansive vocabulary and • Posters on-point production (courtesy of the • Photos Down to Erf crew), brought together • Memorabilia • Records by Math-U’s youthful voice and ar• Books & Mags (LPs & 45s) ticulate reflections on life, b-boying • Sound Equipment • CDs & DVDs and hip hop culture. Don’t miss the & Supplies • T-Shirts tracks “Plastic” and “Rhyme Training;” the latter features a sample from OVER OVER Bill Withers’ smooth ’72 jam “Kissing 0 8 My Love.” EALER 75,0R0D0 D TABLES ECO S R S s E & CD Cipher K • BL U Table L • P U N O G / P S YC H A T E 360° M ls a R • t P n K e E • C R V RO GG AE ALTERNATI ARITIES E 1998 R L • L I ST LE R & B G A R AG E • P O R T S • R After attending Boston’s renowned VAILAB A JA ZZ • Y • POP • IM Berklee College of Music in the early R T N COU 1990s, producer/engineer Clean and 3 • Admission $4.00 1 0 2 6, r e emcee G² returned home to Vanb o t • Kids under 12 FREE! , Oc couver to pen 360° an overlooked Sunday4 p.m. • FREE PARKING paragon of the West Coast Cana– . .m a 10 • Refreshments available inside hotel dian hip-hop scene. Characterized 4 by shadowy, underground produc, 3 • Come to the Victoria Inn for , 2 oms 1, o the greatest selection of tion and the sinuous rhyming of G², R l ale S ia t n x n Ne music that you will h Cente the 16-track disc is an esoteric trip c r e a M 014 ever see! n Avenu o through back-alleys, b-boy huddles 2 t g , in 0 ll 3 e and late-night chronic sessions. Its 1808 W, Manitoba g FOR MORE INFORMATION standout single, “Peeps,” even reWinnipe OR TABLE RENTALS, CALL: ceived heavy radio-play and landed the number two position on MuchMusic’s Rap City. While a vinyl copy OR is nearly impossible to track down, Rockin’ Richard’s find Cipher on iTunes. @ Record & CD Sale


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Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


Local Spotlight clocks in at 6:290, Today We’re Believers is an all around solid album. It shows off the band’s unmatched creativity and talent. Each song stands strong on its own, while still sounding distinctly like Royal Canoe. (Nevado, Martyna Turczynowicz

ROYAL CANOE Today We’re Believers Royal Canoe’s much anticipated LP, Today We’re Believers, is exciting, funky and lots of fun. The album delivers the eclectic, synthy aesthetic the group has become known for, with catchy lyrics throughout the whole album. Tracks that especially stick out are “Button Fumbla,” with a hip-hop influence and tons of word play, and the reworked version of “Bathtubs,” which features layered vocals and some groovy keyboard. “Hold on to the Metal” is great too, with a single vocal that explodes into a chorus. It’s joyful noise, with creative tracks and Matt Peter’s famously fearless pitchshifting that sometimes gets distorted, to particularly great effect on “Stemming.” While some of the tracks can run a bit long (“If I Had a House”

GREG MACPHERSON BAND Fireball The latest from the increasingly prolific G-Mac hits hard out of the gate and rarely lets up over the propulsive ten tracks that make up Fireball. This dark party gets rocking from the getgo with “1995,” and cranks it up a notch with “Goes Like This,” complete with “woos” and a ripping guitar solo. The title track itself takes a step back, locking you into a dirty groove, while Greg pontificates on the particulars of

a painful, hungover walk of shame (or something). “Motel Hotel,” is a twisted little blast of rock n roll, perhaps paying a brief, late night visit to a couple down the hall from the shirtless protagonist of “Hotel Motel” from 2005’s Night Flares. “Sandhand” is one of only a couple brooding numbers on the disc, but the following “Forcefield” brings us back to the “Party at Greg’s” vibe from Disintegration Blues, bursting with beers about to be cracked. Buried towards the end of the disc, “New-jazz Trio” is the highlight here, a beautiful portrait of someone lost, but not forgotten, inside the heart of the continent. It is reminiscent of the best stuff off Good Times Coming Back Again, while at the same time demonstrating how far MacPherson has come as a songwriter since those early days. As someone who has been listening attentively since Balanced on a Pin, and still occasionally busts out Year of the Record Break, Fireball is an album that satisfies upon repeated listens, and lives up to the potential spread, in various consistency, across all MacPherson’s previous releases. Nice, G-Mac. Real nice. A pure beauty, even. (Disintegration, Sheldon Birnie

THE YOUNG PIXELS For the Love It might be obnoxious if it wasn’t so believable. There’s something genuinely charming in how likable For the Love is, right from the onset. From the ooh-ooh-ooh harmonies of the opening track, the optimistic bio in the liner notes, or the title itself, this is an album made with love. It would be easy to dislike an album that was so cheery, if it weren’t so good as well. Tricia Turner takes the vocal lead on “Pollution Breath,” an album highlight that also provides a brief breather after the straightforward rock songs that precede it. This also allows for husband Daniel Turner to differentiate from the fast-paced rock with some crystalline guitarwork, evoking an early Sonic Youth through a country music filter. Though some dark clouds linger on the album, as on “Expectations,” one can’t help but feel the positivity shining through despite it. If there were any band from this province that could be nominated as the Patron Saints of Friendly Manitoba, The Young Pixels are the strongest candidate. (Independent, manitobamusic. com/theyoungpixels) Devin King

ment on Doris, his debut is hampered by the significant presence of other artists that diminish what could have been an outstanding product. (Columbia/Tan Cressida, earlsweatshirt. net) Harrison Samphir

Danai and Bishop Lamont. Lead-off track “Crazy” effectively sets the tone as Mad raps “Trust me, you don’t wanna fuck with me / I’m sucker free / Stab you with your mother’s cutlery, I’m not your cup of tea” over a heavyhitting, cellar-dwelling beat. Other verses on “Tiger Style” and “Underground King” are less inspired, and feel like outtakes for Dope Sick, but Mad regains focus on “It Gets Better,” bringing listeners closer to the man behind his Battle Axe Warrior persona. Lawn Mower Man is a competent hip hop record, but largely feels rushed with shallow production and recycled hi-hats and samples. Mad Child might do best to wait more than a few months before dropping his next full-length disc. (Suburban Noize Records, Harrison Samphir

Mental Notes

EARL SWEATSHIRT Doris In late August, 18 year-old Earl Sweatshirt (Thebe Neruda Kgositsile) of L.A.’s Odd Future released his first full-length record, Doris. His debut is at once the most meaningful an album yet delivered by the young hip hop crew, yet somehow an inconsistent mess of poorly-placed guest

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verses and middling overproduction. While Earl displays an innate ability to convey emotion through internal rhyming on tracks like “Chum” and “Burgundy,” his voice is often diminished by the distracting inanity of Tyler, The Creator, a surprisingly dull Frank Ocean and the downright unseemly Mac Miller. Despite guests like the RZA on a Christian Rich co-produced joint “Molasses” and the much improved Domo Genesis on “Knight,” Doris usually sounds either disengaged or overly self-deprecating. Earl self-produced seven of the album’s fifteen tracks under the pseudonym “randomblackdude,” however others mastered by the Neptunes and Toronto’s BadBadNotGood can’t seem to fully complement the hardcore hip hop aesthetic projected by the Odd Future crew. Ultimately, while Earl certainly shows promise and improve-

MADCHILD Lawn Mower Man Since his Juno-nominated Dope Sick rose Madchild from debilitating drug addiction to sobriety and widespread solo success, the Swollen Members frontman has been busy concocting a slew of new material. His latest release, Lawn Mower Man, is a continuation of his “comeback” that began with 2012’s Dope Sick, and features familiar Battle Axe production from Rob the Viking and C-Lance. Guest appearances are limited to Prevail – the other vocal half of Swollen Members – Langley, BC singer Sophia


MACHINEDRUM Vapor City Imagine, if you will, me sitting in a floating castle in the clouds, on a luxuriant chaise-longue. I slowly peel a grape as the smooth strains of “Infinite Us” play in the background, and I roll the delicious grape on my tongue. The texture is impeccable; slimy grapey pulp gives way to my teeth and prefermented wine rolls down my throat. This is a wonderful day indeed, I

think to myself. A beautiful woman walks into the room and asks me how I’m enjoying my grapes and I tell her, “very much, but not as much as I enjoy listening to Vapor City, the debut album from Berlin-based electronica whiz-kid Machinedrum.” She agrees. His liquid funk-infused EDM really gets the party started, and his vocal samples provide the musical proceedings with the appropriate amount of soul. I feel sophisticated as I discuss the finer nuances of electronica with the beautiful woman on my chaiselongue. Her favourite track is “Rise N Fall”; mine is “Eyesdontlie.” We agree that the vocals, divorced from semantic context but intimately linked to the music, are achingly beautiful, if you will. Our discussion ends with the final strains of “Baby It’s U” and I think to myself “Baby (Machinedrum), it’s you who make the good music.” I laugh knowingly at my witty

play on words. You too can imagine yourself in this scenario if you also listen to Vapor City. It’s a good scenario to imagine yourself in. I would certainly recommend it. (Ninja Tune, Topher Duguay LORN Debris I began volunteering for Stylus a little over a year ago and I was lucky enough to pick up Lorn’s Ask The Dust for my first review. Ever since, I’ve been looking forward to seeing what dark electronic recesses of his mind he would explore next, so I was excited to hear about Debris, his new EP. Clocking in at around 13 minutes, Debris is briefer than I had hoped for. But what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. “Inverted” emerges out of a murky haze of analogue synths and a rumbling bass, builds tension, breaks down into a schizophrenic

beat, and then leaves you wondering what the hell just happened. “On The Ice” plays off of the kind of peculiar melody that made Ask The Dust so original and shows off Lorn’s ability to carve out an atmosphere you can sink into without realizing. Another one of Lorn’s talents is his ability to produce extremely dark and heavy moods without bringing down the energy of his tracks. I think talent exists because his beats are just so badass. “Bury Your Brother” starts with a marching band’s drumline kicking your teeth in, then digs in with a ghostly synth hook. “Debris,” the title track, is a different kind of animal. I think this may be one of Lorn’s most affective and emotional songs, leaving the drums behind for a more intimate and pared down experience. Then it ends after just a couple minutes. Damn. (Ninja Tune, Matthew Dyck

Iconoclast THE DEFILED Daggers Daggers, The Defiled’s third album, wastes no time traveling back to the past. It’s as if Comeback Kid is punching Underoath in the throat, while 2006 slaps everyone nearby in the face. However a blast from the past isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This UK five piece metal band clearly hasn’t had a terrible career since we’re talking about it over here in Canada. Heavy guitars, double kick on the bass drums and lots of shouting. I don’t think they know what they’re shouting about, but hey, if you like shouting then Daggers is probably going to tickle your fancy. But don’t be misled, The Defiled can calm down to get slow and sentimental like they demonstrate in the track “Five Minutes.” So, if you’re looking to kick back and pretend you’re a hardcore kid in the tenth grade again, this could be the CD you’re looking for. (Nuclear Blast, Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell WIZARDS Loser Surf Death The title of the first EP from Saskatoon-based Wizards was initially a bit of a head scratcher, in part because I knew nothing about them. A few seconds into the opening track it was clear where the “surf ” came from, and after hearing the rest of the songs it

seems likely they are drawing inspiration from some psych bands which makes the title a pretty transparent acid joke. However, that was a postlistening revelation because after the next few seconds of that opener, “Hank’s Horn/Lunar Landing,” I didn’t give the damn title a second thought and just let myself enjoy the guitar, which sure sounds like the work of a Dead Kennedys fan. These guys rock, and are able to contort the conventions of surf rock without getting wanky about it. Although the songs all feature vocal work, it’s kinda got a Sonic Youth feel and is not at the forefront. For the most part, these suckers are delightfully driven by that spacey guitar and propulsive drumming. The band could probably pull off a simple instrumental surf-revival act, but they have great instincts for when to sprinkle a tune with some clever tempo change—a sludgy grind or hopped-up speed beat—and it’s fantastic to hear from such a new band. “Fisheyed” is a stellar track, and the noisy finish of “Days In” is a lengthy outro to an exciting disc. It’s almost like Wizards know what a good thing they’re onto, and were reluctant to let it end. ‘‘m gonna love this disc lots and probably join this crew for the trip every time they roll through town. (Sound and Silence Collective, Daniel Emberg

ROSE WINDOWS The Sun Dogs There’s actually a lot of greatness to be found in this release by Rose Windows. However, even a cursory listen reveals that the band’s biggest influences of 60s and 70s prog rock and Sabbathesque blues metal hamhandedly smother what can often be an enjoyable psychedelic listen. In some ways, the album almost depicts a humourous caricature of this period of music, with an often over-serious aimlessness that might have intended to be casual or exploratory. Lyrically, the album is overwrought and desperately struggles to say something epic and important. In the end, it doesn’t. While Rose Windows wear their

influences on their sleeves in often negative ways, some of the longer tracks bear a Floydian vibe that is genuinely compelling. In these moments, the band does succeed at seeming purposeful and exploratory. On occasions, the influence seem like an exercise the band struggles to complete. When the band plays “Native Dreams” and “This Shroud,” we see a band that uses those influences as strengths rather than crutches. Drawing from aspects of psych, folk, blues rock, prog and metal, this band could actually be appealing for a lot of people. If you love the folk fest atmosphere but have wished it was harder rocking, this may be an album for you. (Sub Pop, Devin King

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


Root Cellar

JAYME STONE The Other Side Of The Air Toronto may not be the first hometown that comes to mind when you think of award winning (two Junos and a Canadian Folk Music Award) banjo players, but Jayme Stone is much more than a player; he’s a true master of the instrument and innovative composer. “This music is about places,” Stone explains in the liner notes. And with imaginary journeys on the spice road, through Mali, and over mountain ranges, The Other Side Of The Air plays like a travelogue. There is a bright, breezy freedom to the pieces. After seven whirlwind musical adventures, Stone takes you to uptown with a three-movement concerto for banjo and chamber symphony, brimming with a variety of complementary styles and global influences, and then winds it down with a lazy down tempo “Tennessee Waltz.” The real genius is in how Stone expands the role of the banjo rather than the orchestra simply serving as a backing band for a lead banjo, and takes the music to places only Bela Fleck could imagine. Not a difficult listen at all, The Other Side Of The Air is both technically magnificent and beautifully accessible. (Independent, Broose Tulloch DEER TICK Negativity The latest from Rhode Island’s rowdy rockers Deer Tick is certainly a study in the evolution of a band. Where their last record, 2011’s Divine Providence was a rollicking cocaine bender of a ride, Negativity is the inevitable emotional rollercoaster of the comedown to follow. In places, like “The Curtain” and “The Dream’s In the Ditch,” Deer Tick come across as an angrier, wiser version of the boys they were on The Black Dirt Sessions or Born on Flag Day. In other places, like “Just Friends” and “Big House,” John McCauley shows he can sing sincere heartbreakers with the best of them.

20 Stylus Magazine Oct/Nov 2013

Throughout, the band expands their sounds far beyond the “alt-country” pigeonhole they found themselves in after their beauty debut, War Elephant. The “Turn the Page”-like sax solo and the subtle choral backups on “Mirror Walls” are particularly on point. My only hope is that John and the boys won’t get lost forever in the eponymous downer that spawned this great addition to the discography of an always interesting band, and will come out swinging a little more on the next one. (Arts & Crafts, Sheldon Birnie

SKYDIGGERS All Of Our Dreaming: Live 1988, 2000 & 2012 The best way to experience Skydiggers is live. Their shows are energetic and engaging, the band always puts forth their best effort and their unique brand of roots-rock, countryrock, or folk-rock is dynamite. Recommended for fans of the Decemberists, Lumineers, or Mumford and Sons. No need to bore you with technical details, suffice it to say that you can’t tell just by listening that this was recorded in a venue and not a studio. Most importantly, as any fan will attest, this is what a Skydiggers show sounds like. The ‘diggers are celebrating their 25th anniversary with four seasonal releases in 2013. The first season, spring, brings the two-disc + DVD live set, All Of Our Dreaming, three concerts spanning 24 years. The first disc is a 1988 live set from the beverage room at the Spadina Hotel. Fans will love songs pre-dating their albums by two and five years (“Monday Morning” and “Just Over This Mountain”). The second disc, “There And Back” is comprised of ten tracks from the original 2000 release recorded at the Horseshoe Tavern and three recorded in Edmonton. It’s a selection of their more popular songs. The DVD is a live 2012 performance from the Glenn Gould Studio The-

atre featuring a typical set list from recent shows. The only downside is lack of liner notes save credits. (Latent Recordings, Broose Tulloch RAE SPOON My Prairie Home This album is the score and soundtrack to a documentary musical film that is not yet released. It is about Rae Spoon’s growing up and surviving a difficult childhood. I have not seen the film and make no claim to any familiarity with the particulars of Spoon’s life, but this album tells a lot of the story. There are a few rollicking, upbeat songs but most leave enough space for the stories and mood to be focal points. Those stories deserve the emphasis, as there is enough emotion in here to make a rubber duck feel. Spoon unloads song after stark song in relating a childhood fraught with identity confusion and lonely terror. “Amy Grant,” the very first track, sets the tone with jarring lyrics and sparse instrumental work. If it gets your at-

tention, you will probably be hooked. “Cowboy” is an artful expression of the pain that always awaits an immature pretender, while “Snake in the Water” channels the fury of Spoon toward their “snake” father, who is held responsible for much of their pain. It would be a terribly sad album if not for the closing song, “I Can’t Tear It From Me,” which sounds like a celebration of a grandmother who helped Spoon learn to find home in love instead of a place, but I’m very reluctant to be so presumptuous when an accompanying film will shortly fill in a lot of the blanks. Several tracks are atmospheric instrumentals or field recordings that will presumably serve as musical interludes during the film. There’s a new version of “Love is a Hunter” here too, if you’re into that kind of thing. I am not familiar enough with Spoon’s prior work to say if any more of these songs are old ones, but can say this set of tunes makes me wish I were. (Saved By Radio, Daniel Emberg

greg band fireball macpherson

also haunter rivers & rust

cannon bros. firecracker/fireglow

nova midnight midnight

greg macpherson disintegration blues

Under The Needle FEVERS No Room For Light No Room For Light is the first full length album from the Ottawa based Fevers. Classified as “electro-indie,” it features an eclectic mix of danceable beats and darker, soulful lyrics. Upon first listen, it comes off as club music that tries to inspire deeper thinking. At times Sarah Bradley’s lead vocals seem to mimic the sounds of string instruments, with no lyrics but often crooning over the background of music. Listen to “Dance Cry Dance,” a catchy song that is perfect for drinking with friends, albeit if pop music isn’t your vibe you probably won’t like it. One of the highlights is “Monuments,” a slower number that showcases Bradley’s gorgeous vocals. I’d skip “ENFP,” which is a confusing mix of nearly unintelligible lyrics sung by Colin MacDougall, accompanied by some awkwardly beeping synths. But MacDougall brings it back up to par in the closing song, “The Veil,” an awesome tune that seems to gather influence from The Postal Service. This album has more hits than misses and is defi-

nitely worth a try. Especially if you like to dance. (Independent, feversband. com) Jade Markus ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF Ceremony Ceremony is a heavy album. The type of album it’s best to enjoy while sitting in a candlelit room on a quiet night, contemplating the cosmic massiveness of, well, whatever you want. Von Hausswolff ’s soaring, emotive vocals, complemented by layers upon layers of church organ, piano, and synths evoke the sort of mental images that you might see in a trailer for a Terrence Malick film. Things kick off about halfway through the second track “Deathbed,” when a dirge-like drum and organ gives way to Von Hausswolff ’s stellar pipes. The next track, “Mountains Crave,” is the closest the album ever gets to a “single,” a melancholy pop song punctuated by handclaps, a simple drum beat, and a pumping organ. That organ is more or less a constant on Ceremony, but the songs never feel too similar due to some dynamic mood shifts that run

everywhere from hopeful to hopeless. The standout track is “Ocean,” starting with spooky, tinkling piano keys that brings underwater cinematography to mind, moving through a short verse and ending with gorgeous, multiple wordless harmonies and heavy piano that feels like waves crashing over you. The whole album is beautifully put together, except for the out-ofplace “No Body,” which sounds like how I might feel when if something I couldn’t see was following me through a dark basement. (Other Music Recording Co., Matt Williams DRAWN SHIP Ghost Weight Ghost Ship can be a difficult album to write about, due to its minimalist nature. Anchored by two guitars, drums and vocals, it’s interesting how despite having a relatively full band, Drawn Ship seem to exist between the spaces of their music. It’s not dark or atmospheric, but aside from occasional added percussion, Drawn Ship have carved a very specific sound, reminiscent of a less energetic version of the bass and drum duo Duotang. There are vocal contributions here from other Canadian music luminaries such as Hannah Georgas, and Ryan Guldemond from Mother Mother. I’m not entirely sure how many people will appreciate the lyrics of this album in the same way that I have, but two tracks here – “Gabriel Dumont” and “Orangemen” – are both about preconfederation Canadian history, which I wish more bands would write about. Ghost Weight is a good album by a band who has a clear sense of their aesthetic. Particularly strong tracks like “No Scene” flex their muscles a bit and show the bad has more power than you might think a minimalist band would have. Though the band doesn’t tread water on this album, more explorations such of this might reflect well on the band’s music. (Scratch Records, scratchrecords. com) Devin King NO AGE An Object Hey, wanna hear a pithy, one-sentence review of this album? Here goes: No Age? More like Japandroids! Because, you know, they’re a two piece, and they’re kind of noisy, and they’re playing vaguely anthemic music? You know, I was ready to snarkily compare this album to a microwaved version of

Post-Nothing, but the buzzy hardcore-by-way-of-Mission of Burma/ shoegaze “I Won’t Be Your Generator” shows they can actually write tunes you can sing along with. “C’mon Stimmung” is another thrashy number with antagonistic us-vs-them lyrics, which for some reason was released early to hype the album up. Throughout, No Age attempt to rein in their weirdo qualities, with mixed results. Sure, the trebly guitar scraping on “Defector/ Ed”” is pretty cool, but it’s not enough to carry a three minute pop song. “An Impression” does a somewhat better job with its contact-mic-produced percussion, but the backing track with its guitar arpeggios isn’t nearly beefy enough to support the monotone melody. The dour mood that runs through the album works on “Running From A-Go-Go,” a drab ode to the worse aspects of touring, and “A Ceiling Dreams of a Floor” is a droney ballad vaguely reminiscent of Swervedriver’s poppier work. Hopefully the members of No Age can improve their songwriting chops for the next release. Better luck next time, boys. (Sub Pop, Topher Duguay CONSTRUCTION & DESTRUCTION Dark Lark Dark Lark is definitely not gonna win any awards for optimism. In fact, Colleen Collins and David Trenaman’s fifth album is sometimes downright terrifying, but in a good way. The album starts things off with the offkilter, post-apocalyptic-western track “Sick Again,” where Trenaman channels Will Oldham through four brief couplets completely devoid of hope. One of the best tracks on the record is “Cato,” which references Cato the Younger reading Phaedo on the night of his death by self-disembowelment (which the lyrics sheet conveniently told me, thanks!). It’s essentially a rollicking rock tune, but the lyrics give it an extra weight and power. Actually, having the lyrics on hand to get into this album is great, because they’re refreshingly and strangely, stiltedly poetic. They also use some interesting words I don’t know (like “dockled”). A couple other highlights include the sludgy, noise-filled “The Horse Returns,” a slow, head-banging screechfest, and “Crow,” which is probably the most soul-crushing portrait of a broken home I’ve ever heard. And while the darkness doesn’t really let up on this record, the closing track, “The New Puritans,” is an awesome slice of straight up, badass riff-rock, com-

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


plete with dead-simple, foot-stomping drums and Collins’ fragile-yet-powerful, otherwordly wail. A good album to sip whiskey to alone in the dark while you slink into an autumn depression. In the woods. (Quarantine Music, constructionanddestruction. Matt Williams

Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan. It’s not quite as good as it ought to be; as an isolated score, it’s more successful, particularly the orchestration by David Christensen. As a song cycle though, it falters when it is weighed down by the lyrics. (Factor, Devin King

THE HEAVY BLINKERS Health I wish that Health were the album that it wants to be. The Heavy Blinkers present an album that tries hard to be a lost east coast Brian Wilson treasure, but miss the mark. Elements are certainly there – the Van Dykes Park style orchestration is perhaps the highlight of the disk as it carries the mood throughout, “Anna Karina, I Was Wrong” being one particularly strong example. Where Health struggles is as a pop album. It’s a lofty goal to make a Brian Wilson album. In his later career Brian Wilson himself has struggled to do that very thing with mixed success. It’s actually helpful to think of this more as a score, which had been part of founding Blinker Jason Michael MacIsaac’s creative process at the time. Apparently written as a musical, complete with guest vocals from Jenn Grant, Sondre Lerche and the High

PISTOL GEORGE WARREN Hoots Deuce I have no idea what Hoots Deuce means. Two hits from a pipe? Is it when an owl takes a shit? Luckily, the fourth release (first one completely self-produced by the band) from Sudbury’s Pistol George Warren doesn’t at all sound like an owl shitting. It’s absolutely packed with infectious energy and harkens back to big-band rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and Motown. There are actually 12 people who played on this album (four of them named Matthew, or a variation of it). That big family vibe is obvious on tracks like the ridiculously catchy single, “High School Blues,” which features a hyper-groovy staccato guitar riff on top of toe-tapping drums, leadsinger Matt Ralph’s echo-drenched cool-guy voice, and some ass-kicking, soulful backing vocals from Stephany Saroka, Jen McKerral, and Shari Diaz (who do their thing on the first three

22 Stylus Magazine Oct/Nov 2013

tracks of the EP). “No Love” is more upbeat and dance-y, and features a nice solo break and some sort of crazy tremolo effect on Ralph’s vocals at one point. “Blue Hawaii” sounds exactly like you’d expect a song named “Blue Hawaii” to sound like, complete with the doo-wop backing vocals and summery, surfy sound. The back end of the EP lacks a bit of the magic that makes the first half so fun to listen to, but it’s not bad, either. This band pretty much sounds like a bunch of kids read a copy of The Commitments and thought it seemed like a cool idea. And it is a cool idea. Pistol George Warren: bringin’ the soul back to Sudbury. (Independent, Matt Williams WASHED OUT Paracosm Following his Life of Leisure EP (which spawned the mega-chill summer anthem “Feel It All Around”), and the sexy, sensual Within and Without LP, Ernest Greene manages to change course without abandoning the sounds that helped him define the chillwave genre. This time, however, he pushes away the feelings of melancholy summer days and trades them for thoughts of acid-washed

psychedelia. The warbly synths of lead single “It All Feels Right” and the silky, smooth double bass tones on the title track are an essential soundtrack to a sweltering walk through the city with five of your best friends. Greene’s voice has always been a large part of his records, but for the first time, they are less of an instrument and more present in the mix. This isn’t to say he’s sacrificing the melodic nuances found in his previous efforts - in fact, melody is more noticeable than ever. The ever-present drone of synth pads and drum machines is still a driving force behind the album, but the foray into what can only be described as a singer-songwriter mentality changes the feel of this album in a way that veteran Washed Out fans might not expect. It’s easy to say that Washed Out will always be warm weather music, and this album is no different. But Greene is more focused than ever. Paracosm knows exactly what it is, every sultry sound pours into the next from song to song. It is Washed Out’s first complete, cohesive (and almost, but not quite, concept) album. It is a welcome direction, and an album which will be enjoyed by many for a long time to come. (Sub Pop, Jordan Cayer

THE PAPER KITES Young North The Paper Kites certainly are an interesting group, waltzing from fuzzy, beach pop sounds to country tinged goodness, while visiting everywhere in between. Having just reviewed their 2010 release Woodland, I have to say that I am still blown away with the maturity with which the group produces music. There are little bits of disorder, particularly on “Leopold Street,” the second track, which many groups would immediately correct and cover up. However, the Kites left that garagey twang right where they felt it belonged. And it works. The tone on this album is very much a self-reflective one. “See the World up From the Trees, Back When We Were Young,” croons lead singer Sam Bentley on “When Our Legs Grew Tall,” perhaps exhibiting a fear of getting older and the inevitable realization that we can’t be kids forever. “This house has never been the same as before…” the band laments on “Paint,” a standout track on an album full of them. The song is particularly beautiful, something which could be said about each track for different reasons. I was especially impressed with the clear and solid synth guitar work on “Kiss the Grass,” another self reflective song about ag-

ing and the beauty of nature. There was certainly some deliberation put into the album artwork related to the themes of the album. On the front, we see a mid twentieth century man, standing alongside a babbling brook, smiling. On the inner flap, we see a young girl from a similar time. These photographs,with their cream hue, and along with the subject matter for the album suggests nostalgic intent. Each song, each lyric seems purposeful and fits perfectly within the album. The Paper Kites have definitely done it again on this elegantly crafted collection of art. Buy it. (Wonderlick Recording Company, thepaperkites. Ben Waldman GRANT HART The Argument The Argument, ex-Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart’s eighth solo disc is a concept album based on a pair of books, Paradise Lost by Milton and Lost Paradise by William S. Burroughs; two sides of the same coin fallen angels and the rise of Satan vs Adam & Eve and the rise of humanity. Despite the heavy concepts and subjects the songs address, they stand on their own musical merits, and the lyric subject references are subtle enough (yet obvious if you look for

them) to leave the songs open to interpretation. They can be taken literally or figuratively, but let’s not overdo the concept, it really is all about the music. And music is good. Awash in melody and catchy fills adrift on a sea of noise. Nowhere near as abrasive as Hüsker Dü, but the similarities abound and Hüsker fans should enjoy The Argument. So will fans of The Replacements and Jesus & Mary Chain. The Argument plays like a down to earth Space Oddity, with a Bowie-like theatrical flair, and more often than not it sound like a oneman band with a guitar, pedals and synth, and a drum machine. Definitely Hart’s strongest work. (Domino, Broose Tulloch

from 80s synth and electric guitar, while offering a new sound altogether. The haunting and beautiful vocals of lead singer Carmen Elle are supported by the thoughtful and well-crafted musicianship of the band. This forward thinking album doesn’t rely on the past however, featuring well placed drum and bass sounds, along with strong travelling bass lines nods its head to the futuristic sounds of electro soft rock. Perpetual Surrender finishes up the same way it began with a lulling and warm sound on their final track “Curtains.” Without a doubt, this soul searching album is poised to garner attention for DIANA and win them many new fans. ( Jagjaguwar, Jeremy Johnson

THE ALBERTANS Dangerous Anything There are many words that popped into my head while listening to the third full-length release from The Albertans, but these three stick out especially: synths, melodrama, and night time. Or maybe just synths, synths, synths. There is a lot of synth on this record. The band has been compared to MGMT, which is kind of tough to hear unless you filtered it through some sort of calming machine and took the hooks away. Throughout Dangerous Anything, those airy synths are accompanied by airy vocals, evoking visions like staring up at stars in the night sky, mostly. One standout is the gently catchy “The Late Late Show,” complete with some pretty vocals that lead into a half-way-through turnaround to some noisy guitars and drums, before switching back to the poppy riff that started it off. The closer, “Black Moon,” is a long, spooky, mostly instrumental track that would make a good soundtrack to walking through the desert at night while you’re really, really high. Dangerous Anything is not really dangerous, and it sometimes gets hard to figure out where one song ends and another begins (the constant synths sort of melt together), but there are some hidden gems on it. (Ernest Jenning Record Co., Matt Williams

TEETHING VEILS Velorio Teething Veils is the project of songwriter Greg Svitil, and Velorio is its debut album. There is some range in Svitil’s songwriting style, but on this album that range seems a bit masked by a couple of factors. The first is his voice, which never ventures far from its apparent comfort zone. Hardly the greatest crime a vocalist can commit, but after the first handful of songs it becomes clear the vocal work will remain earnest, nasal talk-singing. The second factor is the production of the album. I’m no recording engineer, but every track on this album seems to be soaked with that incessant hum so treasured by people who are charmed by the limitations of middling equipment. Maybe you’re a sucker for that sound. You wouldn’t be alone. For me, though, it detracts from a set of thoughtful songs that just scream for more peaks and valleys. The tone is always melancholy, so to coat the whole record with that layer of fuzz makes it feel like a marathon—and there are 21 songs clocking in near 80 minutes here. Barring some story about all the songs forming some poetic, sweeping narrative, it’s asking a lot of a listener to keep engaged with such a lengthy record. To be fair, there are certainly highlights here. “Out of Caverns into Snow” sounds like a weird outtake from a basement session one night when the Bad Seeds were cheating on their frontman with some guy fresh out of Leonard Cohen school. “Ghosts Waiting to be Fleshed” smacks of bouncy teenage synth-pop, carried by a satisfying organ line. Ultimately, though, the length of the album means anyone who doesn’t find its muddy tone seductive is unlikely to stick around for the whole thing. (Etxe Records, teethingveils) Daniel Emberg

DIANA Perpetual Surrender EP Toronto based band DIANA recently released an eight track EP spanning a brief 35 minutes that offers a gentle and well produced approach to a pop music. Perpetual Surrender kicks off with slow and dreamy opener “Foreign Installation,” but the EP soon evolves into a searing and smooth listening experience. It’s a quiet storm of an album that offers a fresh approach to pop music, drawing inspiration

Oct/Nov 2013 Stylus Magazine


Highway 61 Left Alone Desperately Clinging on to What is Left of the Past, Or Not By Devin King

I used to live by the airport, and I would lay out in

the field and watch the airplanes take off. It wasn’t symbolism or some sort of literary wankery, it was just a thing. I remember listening to Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? and watching the airplanes overhead, though that probably never happened. Memory is parallax; sometimes those things that you fondly recall weren’t really that fond, or didn’t even happen that way. So watching the planes and listening to indie music are two things that I used to do, and whether it was this album or another under the planes is irrelevant I guess. It was an indie boom around that time, so it was all kind of the same in the end. So now I’m out of university and I have a job and a kid and I don’t go watch the planes anymore. And it’s hard to listen to music, let alone keep up that pace of discovering new music. I can see how people give up on things, there’s only so much time. It’s not like I’m going to ignore my baby so I can sit quietly and totally absorb that new Washed Out album. It’s just not a thing I can do anymore. He needs to be in bed at certain times to be a healthy tiny human, which means I also have to be here with him, which means it’s harder to go anywhere generally, especially if it’s going anywhere longer than a couple of hours. Time is a problem. So here I am in amber, me and Jimmy Shaw. And it’s got to be hard for Metric, too. They’re getting older and, let’s face it, not nearly as good as they ever were. How do you deal with that, living in your own shadow? It doesn’t seem to bother the Rolling Stones, I guess. It’s super easy to just stop paying attention to what’s happening now and cling to the fondness of your youth. I can totally see why someone like Rod Stewart is still popular. There’s tons of people who don’t just rely on the music of Rod Stewart; he keeps that tiny bit of their past alive that makes them feel like maybe – maybe – they’ll be able to feel the good old days again. Maybe all the bills and aches timetables and world problems will just go away. It will all have been a dream. They don’t need Frank Ocean. No matter how good he is, he can never fill the role that Rod Steward always will in their psyche.

24 Stylus Magazine Oct/Nov 2013

“Nostalgia is death.” That’s the guy who chose to release an album of Christmas songs rather than look back on his works like Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. In the end, he’s right. That weird, shimmery, romantic feeling I have of that time and that music is not only a strange figment, but toxic. Because like listening to that Metric song at the airfield, it didn’t happen. It’s just a strange sense of reaching back to something that I only have an approximated feeling of. And I can never go back there. No matter how hard I try. It would ruin me. Moving forward isn’t a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean that I have to give everything up completely. But I am a different person. I have to live differently. I can’t buy every album I want, or see every show

I wanted to see. It’s a strange bit of acceptance to let something that was such a huge part of my life go like that, but the reality is that I’m happier now than I was then. And I can’t, and wouldn’t, risk this to live like I did. The desire is always there to idealize the past and to dream of going back. It’s thankful we can’t, because we’d have to remember how miserable we were anyway. That’s the good thing about idealizing the past, we don’t actually have to live out the awful bits again. Wait. What’s that? Will I take my son to watch the airplanes? Weren’t you listening? I said it didn’t mean anything. I’ll take him swimming or something.



1 ! 2 ! 3 ! 4 ! 5 * 6 ! 7 ! 8 ! 9 * 10 11 ! 12 * 13 ! 14 ! 15 * 16 * 17 18 * 19 * 20 * 21 22 * 23 ! 24 * 25 * 26 ! 27 * 28 * 29 ! 30 *

Royal Canoe The Unbelievable Bargains Imaginary Cities Yes We Mystic Young Galaxy



Today We’re Believers Nevado Fun Times Why Not Self-Released Fall Of Romance Imaginary Cities Floods And Fires Head In The Sand Ultramarine Paper Bag Miss Rae and The Midnight Ramblers Big Boned Woman Self-Released The Bros Landreth Let It Lie Morning Noise Electric Soul Second Paradise Self-Released Austra Olympia Paper Bag Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian Lamentation Of Swans: A Journey Towards Silence Terrestrial Love Haunter Rivers & Rust Disintegration A Tribe Called Red Nation Ii Nation Tribal Spirit Keith Price Solo Guitar Self-Released Federal Lights We Were Found In The Fog Aporia Mavo Mavo 7-Inch Fixture The Burning Hell People Headless Owl The Cat Empire Steal The Light Two Shoes By Divine Right Organized Accidents Hand Drawn Dracula Bear Mountain XO Last Gang The Tubuloids Surf Fukushima Crapitol Earl Sweatshirt Doris Odd Future Harry Manx Om Suite Ohm Dogmycat Animal Teeth Me & You Self-Released Kate Nash Girl Talk Dine Alone Dead Ghosts Can’t Get No Burger The Young Pixels For The Love Self-Released No Joy Wait To Pleasure Mexican Summer Pharis and Jason Romero Long Gone Out West Blues Lula Oh My Darling Venez Danser Self-Released Fur Trade Don’t Get Heavy Last Gang

winnipeg folk festival ConCeRts MiChAel FrAnTi & speArheAD with guest Michael Bernard Fitzgerald

SePTember 29 burToN cummiNgS TheaTre

lee hArvey osMonD ocTober 4 WeST eNd culTural ceNTre

luCy rose ocTober 21 Park TheaTre

co-presented with The union

FrAnk Turner & The sleeping souls with guest The Smith Street Band & Koo Koo Kanga Roo

ocTober 26 garrick ceNTre

Two norTh: inDigo girls CAnADiAn Tour 2013 with guest Jeremy Fisher

ocTober 3 PaNTageS PlayhouSe TheaTre co-presented with West end cultural centre

AusTrA with guest Moon King

ocTober 5 garrick ceNTre

The hArpoonisT & The Axe MurDerer with guest The Reverend Rambler

ocTober 23 Park TheaTre

The pAper kiTes with guest Reuben and the Dark

November 2 Park TheaTre

Delhi 2 Dublin

AiDAn knighT & JusTin ruTleDge

ocTober 24 Park TheaTre

November 6 Park TheaTre

An evening with

JuDy Collins November 3 WeST eNd culTural ceNTre

eMMylou hArris & roDney Crowell wiTh riChArD ThoMpson November 14 burToN cummiNgS TheaTre

brenDAn CAnning

Twin Forks

with guest Dinosaur Bones

November 20 Park TheaTre

November 24 Park TheaTre

For info and tickets call (204) 231-0096 or visit the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store, Bannatyne at Albert

w i n n i p e g F o l k F e sT i vA l .C A

October/November 2013  

Featuring Sweet Alibi, Crabskull, Emma Cloney, Claire Bones, send + receive and more // Album reviews of Earl Sweatshirt, Washed Out, Deer T...

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