The Nerve October 2007 Page
Volume 8, Number 10, Issue #76
508 - 825 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1K9 604.734.1611 www.thenervemagazine.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The Don (a/k/a Editor-In-Chief and Publisher) Bradley “Common Law” Damsgaard email@example.com
Still sexier than Darts Night at the Legion! - Jennifer Charlesworth
Wiseguy (a/k/a Music Editor) Adrian “Paying the Mortgage” Mack firstname.lastname@example.org
6 Black Lips
Shotgun (a/k/a Film Editor) Michael “Wanna Touch Tips?” Mann email@example.com Launderer (a/k/a Book Editor) Devon “Wedding Planner” Cody firstname.lastname@example.org
15 THE WEAKERTHANS
11 Do Make Say Think
The Henchmen (a/k/a Design & Graphics) Kristy Sutor, Laura Jeffries,Toby Bannister
Talk. Listen. Write. Read. - Nathan Pike
15 The Weakerthans
Weapons Cleaner (a/k/a Article Editor) Jon Azpiri, Terry Cox
Let’s lift a pint to the ‘ol ‘Peg four! If you can lift it, that is. Pussy. - Ferdy Belland
Surveillance Team (a/k/a Photographers) Femke Van Delft, Miss Toby Marie, The Muscle (a/k/a Staff Writers) AD MADGRAS, Cowboy TexAss, Chris Walter, Stephanie Heney, Adam Simpkins, Carl Spackler, David Bertrand, Waltergeist, Ferdy Belland, Dave Von Bentley, Devon Cody, Dale De Ruiter, Johnny Kroll, Andrew Molloy, Cameron Gordon, Brock Thiessen, Filmore Mescalito Holmes, Jon Braun, Jenny Charlesworth, Allan MacInnis, Jeff Topham, TC Shaw, Robyn Dugas, Steven Evans
No, they stopped peeing in each other’s mouths years ago... But go see them anyway! - Jennifer Charlesworth
13 Mondo Generator
6 BLACK LIPS
Plaster Caster (a/k/a Cover Design) Toby Bannister Fire Insurance (a/k/a Advertising) Brad Damsgaard email@example.com
Mondo is Spanish for “World”. Just thought we’d tell
11 19 18 7
- Kyle Harcott
Peppersands Stuart Gordon’s STUCK Toronto Film Festival Apocalypse #D’’
The Kids (a/k/a The Interns) Internship available, dudes welcome now. contact firstname.lastname@example.org Out-of-town Connections (a/k/a Distro & Street Team) Toronto: Brayden Jones et. al. Montreal: Douglas Ko Calgary: Mike Taylor Edmonton: Freecloud Records, Bob Prodor Winnipeg: Margo Voncook Regina: Shane Grass Vancouver: Mr. Plow, Stiff Josh Victoria/Whistler: Jono Jak, Lindsay The Nerve is published monthly by The Nerve Magazine Ltd. The opinions expressed by the writers and artists do not necessarily reflect those of The Nerve Magazine’s publisher or its editors. The Nerve does not accept responsibility for content in advertisements. The Nerve reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or submission and accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. Printed in Canada. All content © Copyright The Nerve Magazine 2007. Est. 1999
6 STUART GORDON
Sections 04 20 22 17 25 48 26 27
Cheap Shotz Live Reviews Album Reviews Film/ DVD Music DVD Books Crossword Comics The Nerve October 2007 Page
Cheap Shotz Olympic Update: New Traffic Signs for Fun City
Bloodshots 48 Hour Horror Filmmaking Contest
whatever small change you might have, please, sir). - P. Neil Gland
With 2010 just around the corner, the City of Vancouver is gamely tackling an issue that promises to cause innumerable international insurance headaches for decades to come, namely, the jaywalking problem around the legendary Hastings and Main intersection. Up until recently, the only sure way of navigating this neighborhood (without having to scrape someone off the front of your vehicle later on) would be to simply idle for three or four blocks in any direction; otherwise, you’d better have carbon fiber brake pads direct from Ferrari’s R&D Department to avoid burning them out whilst stopping - YET AGAIN, dammit! – for still another member of the community’s oblivioso, bound and determined to visually inspect your undercarriage (for
Literary Lion Cub The world of literature has a new young Turk, and he’s straight outta East Van. Frank Dodds is only 7 years old, but his first published graphic novel, Frank and the Beast, is already doing brisk business at Magpie Magazines on Commercial Drive among other places. Frank and the Beast details the young writer’s epic battle with the sun, depicted in the book as a total bastard bent on putting all the planets of the solar system into little boxes. Alerted by his “Bad Guy Alarm,” Frank swings into action and does battle with the evil ball of gas. Things take a turn for the worse, but after a tense showdown, Frank uses his prodigious astronomical expertise to restore a semblance of order to the Universe. It doesn’t quite end there but readers will have to purchase Frank and the Beast to find out more, including the horrible situation awaiting our pre-pubescent hero upon his return to Earth. Dodds is a chip of the old blockhead when it
comes to underground publishing; he’s the son of East Van’s one-man book factory Chris Walter. Based on his debut, Dodds already displays a superior grasp of character and plot development. Furthermore, Chris Walter has singularly failed to set one out of his thousands of books in outer space. It makes you wonder why he even bothers. Is the old man threatened by the emergence of this new rival in the bedroom just down the hall? Says Walter, “The little whippersnapper is too big for his own britches.” Sadly, Dodds was unavailable for comment, as it was past his bedtime. Frank and the Beast can be purchased at Magpie Magazines and Co-op Books on Commercial Drive and at New World Designs on Cordova Street in dowtown Vancouver.
You out there! Little Jimmy Romero, Suzie De Palma, and Billy-Bob Fulci: get ready for a stoned-crazy weekend of spurting bloodhoses and straining yer noggin, painfully deprived of sleep, patching together a macabre opus on borrowed digicams, black coffee, papier mache and sheep guts, then screening your finished masterpiece to director Joe “Piranha” Dante. It’s time for 2007’s Bloodshots 48 Hour Horror Filmmaking Contest! Yep – 48 hours to write, shoot, edit, animate, procrastinate, masturbate and decapitate the craziest horror film you possibly can. There are rules, but not many: no cast or crew gets paid, no project can begin before the start-time, and if your team misses the deadline, you’re out of the competition! The slap-dash panic is aided enormously by the random per-team assignment of a specific horror sub-genre (‘werewolf’, ‘rape-revenge’, ‘giallo’) and murder weapon (‘axe’, ‘music’, ‘ball of pure energy’). Plus every team is strung with a common prop and line of dialogue. Bloodshots is similar to any number of timeconstrained filmmaking competitions, except it’s funner, cheaper to enter, encourages rampant bloodshed and debauchery, and is the only competition anywhere where a team would have the nuts to make a B&W ‘60s-style silent Italian nunsploitation film shot on super-8 (last year’s top Vancouver film, Hell’s Habit). Running in multiple cities at once, Bloodshots films will screen locally to an audience and jury and also be posted online. Finalists from the various regions and voting methods will be screened to the aforementioned Mr. Dante (last year it was Robert Rodriguez!). If he chooses you, you win $1000, and the approval of Joe Dante. It’s so fucking awesome. Aspiring freaks, check out www.myspace.com/ bloodshotcanada for details. Important Vancouver Bloodshots dates: Vancouver Filming: Oct. 19-21
Hijacked 767 Strikes Timberlake
ccording to a report issued last month by the extremely reliable and accurate Bang Media, Islamic terrorists plan to attack Justin Timberlake, David Beckham, and quite possibly a number of other incredibly important celebrities. This change in strategy reflects a growing awareness amongst middle-eastern terror networks that killing ordinary people isn’t making sufficient impact on the hearts and minds of western TV viewers. After a brief flirtation with the decapitation of journalists and seemingly innocent
Lolita isn’t Well
hen I was 15, the worst possible pop music was starting to conquer the hearts of the eleven-teen-year-old girls of the world. First it was the Backstreet Boys, with their sultry chair-dance moves and homophobia-causing matching outfits. Then it was N’sync, inspiring many children to have their first wet dream (in turn providing child molesters with beat-off material). But the most significant manufactured pop talent of our time is, without a doubt, Britney Spears. A virgin teenage girl next door, who dressed like a stripper and danced ...well… like a stripper, at the time I thought she was there to tempt my balls during my lonely nights as a hormone-crazed, zit faced teenager. I was half right. She was also designed so that girls wanted to be her, and tooled to make dads enjoy the act of throwing away $20 on the cd (so they could jerk the fuck off to the booklet). Lolita imagery was used to entice us, and everyone wanted to know if a cock had found its way inside her
The Nerve October 2007 Page
contractors with shady intelligence connections found wandering around Baghdad in orange jumpsuits, the Jihadists felt that a more emotionally symbolic target was required. Said one terrorist spokesperson with a dodgy, quasi-arabic accent and a hot dog, “Well, we had to take out Daniel Pearl because he figured out who financed 9/11. And that’s a big no-no. We tried to get things back on track with that Angelina Jolie flick, but it did lousy box -office. So that’s when we had the idea of just killing Angelina Jolie.” Continued the terrorist, who identified himself as “Craig Benso-I mean, um, Ab-Dab El Doo Dah or something”: “The decadent American people need to be hit where it hurts, and you know what that means! Timberlake.” In perhaps the most exciting turn of events, a media savvy organization (of terror) known as Weird Al Qaeda has been hired to, “really sell this idea on people.” “If you can get people laughing before you hit them with the beheadings, your market penetration just goes through the roof,” explained Ab-Dab El Doo Dah. “And Weird Al Qaeda is ‘on’ funny, if you know what I mean. Killer material, generally based on the top Billboard hits of the day. Plays a heck of an accordion, too. I saw him in Dallas in ‘84 and the dude just killed.” In the first in a series of parody terror killings, Weird Al Qaeda plans to release its “Sexy Blowback” video sometime in November. “Once we track down Timberlake and cut off his head like a cabbage,” adds AbDab, who hopes that “Sexy Blowback” is ready in time for the lucrative Christmas rush. - Philip K. Dink
yet. When she said she was a virgin, it wasn’t meant as an inspirational message for the little girls of the world; it was tight-fisted wack-off material for a culture bathed in exploitation. And she gave it to us. Like a good strip tease, each new video meant less clothes, heavier breathing, ramped-up suggestion, and dancing that became almost violently sexual. And we wanted more and more from this unsoiled, pink slit of a teenage girl (I just grossed myself out). Remember that kiss with Madonna? Why was that such a big deal? Because there was the whore, kissing the purebred all-American girl. It was fantasy; everyone wanted it, and how could Britney top that? Selling her virginal snatch couldn’t sustain the heights of her fame anymore. Her career started to go south, and when it turned out she wasn’t a virgin, all the jealous Botoxed bitches saw it as permission to judge her intimate life (mainly because theirs was awful). Well, Britney snapped, took some control of her life, married a couple of douche bags, had two mistakes - I mean, children - and now it’s revealed that she’s a bit crazy.
Vancouver screening: Wednesday Oct. 24 at the Anza Club Bizarre postscript: Bloodshots is organized by Canada’s First Lady of Horror, Kier-La Janisse, who blessed Vancouver with seven years of the Cinemuerte Horror Film Festival and other cinematic wonders. Janisse spent the last few years programming for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, generally considered the most raddest movie-house in America. Returning from Montreal’s Fantasia Festival this July, US Homeland Security decided to deny Kier-La’s entry back into the States, on the grounds that she’s stealing a job from a potential American!!!! Forced to abandon her job, her home, her cats and possessions, Kier-La quickly got a similar gig at the Winnipeg Cinematheque, but that’s it for her US work Visa, based on the arbitrary whims of some asshole border patrol. So remember kids: unless you’re a rich tourist, the USA wants you OUT! Canadians, I hear, are the “silent enemy”. - Dave Bertrand
Fuck Dance Music By Wally Recently, dance music has been fucking me around a bit. I don’t know what its problem is, but I can’t seem to leave my house without dance music rearing its well-groomed little head. Here is the proof in a little series I’d like to call FUCK DANCE MUSIC: 1. So I show up to see Magnolia Electric Co. at Richard’s on Richards at 9:30pm only to find out that they have just left the stage. Moments later they return to play a small encore and I had to pay for my own tickets. This really got my goat and made me look cheap in front of my girlfriend. The Half Alive parties are now being thrown there every Friday night. Come and watch underpaid DJ’s try to bang over coked teenagers. Even the nicest guy in indie rock, Jason Molina, was pissed. Thanks dance music. 2. While doing my review (‘doing’ is what the pros call writing) for the Daft Punk show in Seattle, I wrote that I was sad that I missed the opening set by Justice. They weren’t even on the bill. Fucking Ed Banger shit all sounds the same. Really, really good - but all the same. Thank God my editor caught the mistake before it went to press*. Now he thinks I’m a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaal idiot. Thanks dance music. 3. I actually saw the Justin Timberlake show and it knocked my socks off. Now I’m gay. Thanks dance music. In conclusion, I am now a cheap, gay idiot. Most of you have known that from the start anyway. *Actually it was Michael Mann who caught that. I couldn’t care less about Daft Punk or Justice. Fuck dance music - Music Ed.
Holy shit, of course she is! If you were selling your vagina for years, under the control of people you’re supposed to trust (i.e. your mother, Mickey Mouse, your record company, and that fat fuck Lou Perlman, etc. etc.), your development would be stunted too. So, in one last desperate attempt to revive her career, Britney has been flashing her box to the paparazzi. And now, after years of having the world entranced by that thing, no one wants it anymore. That’s like if beer became free, and no one wanted a pint. She used to be my foe, but now I just pity her. Children are exploited every day, and this child was carefully exploited for our “entertainment”. Sure, she’s a rich bitch and should be taking care of her kids, but her world is far too distorted for Britney to possibly know what’s wrong or right. While you’re enjoying that embarrassing MTV performance again and again, just know that you’re watching a victim of child abuse, and not just some ditsy blonde whose life is out of control for no reason. ‘Lolita’ isn’t well and I don’t enjoy the spectacle. I suggest you stop enjoying also. - David Von Bentley
Hell’s a Power-Poppin’ with The Peppersands By Ferdy Belland
A qualified physician can usually spot the early onset of the dreaded ‘Alice Cooper Eyes’
It’s been a long road, getting Forest Strays out,” comments Andrea Hureau on the new album from the Peppersands. But as one of Vancouver’s busiest melodic rock bands, Hureau has no problem continuing the brisk stride down the long roads of Canada’s music world. Forming the Peppersands in 1998 with founding/current drummer Adam Fink, after moving from the surprisingly artsy (if a wee bit chilly) climes of the Yukon Territory, the spunky young bassist-vocalist - better known as Citizen A - has carved herself a considerable reputation for tireless networking that almost matches her talents as a lead singer, bass guitarist, and songwriter. The Peppersands aren’t the Go-Gos. They’re not the Bangles, either. And although they’ve opened up for Lillix, they sure as hell aren’t Lillix; why hire Linda Perry to write agonizing pre-teen trifles when Citizen A can glamrock it adult-style? Besides, much more interesting
twists on power-pop personality come about when your bandleader’s musical tastes also include the Grateful Dead... and Marilyn Manson! “I miss Whitehorse terribly,” Hureau laments, speaking of her musical origins. “There’s actually a very cool little arts scene sparkling away up there. When I was first getting musical, there weren’t as many young people doing their thing. There were a lot of older people playing roots and folk, bar gigs and such… the backwoods hippie homesteader routine! But when I was a kid, there weren’t many other kids playing. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to come to Vancouver. But nowadays there’s quite a few studios running in Whitehorse, and lots of original live rock music from younger players. Hureau finds her past decade in Vancouver to be a comfortable one. “We still know all the same people we met when we first got here. Most of them are still playing in bands. Anywhere you are,
it’s going to be a struggle to make a living being a musician. I’ve seen trends come and go. When we moved here, the local live scene was dead, and then it built up again, and then it died again, and now it’s building up again. It’s pretty cool to go out and see people you’ve known for six, seven years, playing all these different incarnations of their music. It’s a cool scene here.” The current Peppersands crew includes the feisty blonde keyboard wizardry of Orchard Highway’s Derek Macdonald, and the swarthy, searing lead guitar of Jay Slye (Catlow). It’s this lineup that’s responsible for finger-snapping hooks dripping from the grooves of Forest Strays, and the band’s live show is enjoyably memorable, time and again. Clad in either her classic red-and-black parade-marshal’s tunic or her latter-day penchant for wedding dresses, but always with her Alice Cooperish diamondeyeliner makeup, Citizen A’s tough yet sweet voice
and her rumbling, insistent basslines propel the smart, muscular songs, with her fellow Peppersands rocking along behind her, downplayed yet upbeat. The Peppersands performed one of the more memorable sets at the recent Vancouver chapter of the International Pop Overthrow Festival, an LA-based event which has become a 10-year West Coast tradition with tandem festivals in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. The band was received with admiration from IPO founder David Bash, and when the Peppersands are asked about possible rock incursions into the US, Hureau answers, “We’d love to play the States! We have an invite to play Seattle. That’s a whole other game altogether.You either try to sneak across the border, and risk getting caught and being banned forever, or you invest a lot of money and fill out a mountain of paperwork… but we’re definitely looking into it. 2008’s our year!” n
tequila with enough STP to launch an Apollo moon shot and the rest is, shall we say, destiny. “No, as a matter of fact, there is no mention of this incident anywhere on Wikipedia,” notes Philip Random, “But, as the guy who told it to me pointed out, neither is there any mention of the 1977 GibbyHaynes-snorting-coke-with-George-W-Bush incident in Lopeno, Texas. And we all know that happened. And then there’s Hot August Night itself, August 24, 1972, LA’s legendary Greek Theatre. No way did that
performance just happen. No way is that howling, wild haired, gold chained, rhinestoned, denim clad shaman the same guy who wrote “Sweet Caroline”. The liner notes say he ‘shattered the night’. I say he shattered the space-time continuum itself, particulaly on side four. “Holly Holy”, “I Am I Said” and then a take on “Soolaimon” and “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” that conceivably redeems Judas. Not to mention, it converted Bob Dylan. But that, as they say, is another story.” n
THE ABCs OF
By Bill Mullan
is for Deep Purple, the all-time heavy. At least that’s what the radio ads for their 1972 tour promised. “Smoke On The Water” was the so-dumb-it’s-a-fucking-masterpiece hit (what is a “stupid with a flare gun”?) but in the live show, it was “Child In Time” that “ … actually penetrated the reality barrier and scared God.” This according to Philip Random. “It’s all there on Made In Japan. Ian Gillan (Jesus in the original Jesus Christ Superstar) sings softly at first, imploring us to steer clear of the blind man with the machine gun (among other apocalyptic concerns), and then he starts to moan (not unlike Jesus on the cross), low and desolate at first, but then the band kicks in and he really starts to howl, higher, wilder, more despairing with every exhalation, until Holy Fucking Shit! He is Jesus, feeling the pain and plight of all mankind, forever and ever …” Except, of course, there was no Jesus. Not if you’re Jewish. Certainly no superstar saviour of all mankind. No, Jesus (if he existed at all) was just some long haired mushroom head causing trouble at temple, inciting the rabble and otherwise disturbing
the Pax Romana. Not unlike certain psychedelic rock star types back in the 1960s. The Doors for instance. “The Doors are like red meat for me,” notes Philip Random, “Sometimes I can’t get enough. Sometimes even the thought makes me nauseous. But you can’t argue with that first album. “The End” in particular. No man living in 1967 had ever heard anything like it. Freud, the Icarus myth,Vietnam, the size of Jim Morrison’s dick – it’s all there in the 11 plus minutes of zeitgeist-shattering psychedelic nihilism. And then there’s “Light My Fire”, without which Neil Diamond would never have given us Hot August Night, arguably the greatest live album ever recorded.” Yes, that Neil Diamond. Nice Jewish kid from Brooklyn with a penchant for writing catchy pop tunes, which unfortunately was the antithesis of cool in 1968. Sure, he had money and fame, but he had no Rock credibility, no gravitas of any kind… until the fateful night that Jim Morrison showed up backstage after a show at the Troubadour. The two hit it off, smoked Mary Jane, swigged tequila, and ended up driving all over the Hollywood Hills. Jim told Neil that “I’m A Believer” was better than anything the Beatles ever wrote. Neil said the same for “Light My Fire”, which Jim didn’t write (Robby Krieger did), so he spiked the
And then there’s “Light My Fire”, without which Neil Diamond would never have given us Hot August Night, arguably the greatest live album ever recorded.
The Nerve October 2007 Page
Black Lips A New Record And Maybe A New Reputation
“Goin’ after the ‘fake homo’ dollar seems to be working out for Turbonegro...”
By Jenny Charlesworth
he Black Lips just put out a new record. According to Rolling Stone, it’s their second full-length album. Check with Pitchfork and looks like it’s actually their fifth. Go to Amazon.com and it’s listed as their third… The Black Lips don’t particularly care which album you think their latest release Good Bad Not Evil, is, they just want you to listen to it. It’s the reporting of such falsities, misquotes and downright lies that the Black Lips have spent the last eight years working so hard for. Media misinformation is one of the first signs that a band has started to “make it.” Being chased down the street by pretty ladies and having enough money to buy cocaine (not just the floor cleaner stuff) are both signs, too. They tend to be a bit more enjoyable. With the recent explosion/abduction (depending on who you talk to) of the Black Lips into mainstream music - well, at least of the hipster variety - chances are this is stuff the Atlanta band has encountered, or is about to soon. It wasn’t all that long ago that the Black Lips played their first Vancouver show in the tiny back room of a shifty, now abandoned East Van restaurant known as the Candy Bar. Crammed into a booth, drinking beer and talking too quietly for anyone to pick up the heavy Southern accents, the Black Lips enjoyed anonymity amongst all the tight jeans and faded t-shirts. Out of the 50 people there that night, less than half knew anything about the four guys failing around, shoving and spitting as their instruments blasted-out a demented sound, which in time would become known as “flower punk,” the Black Lips’ own genre of messy psychedelic-garagebliss. A couple months later the band came back to town. And those same 50 people from the Candy Bar went to the show, and this time they knew a lot of the songs, as did the 200 other people who showed up that night to see the Black Lips play. Each show since then has been exactly the same… more and more people and those original 50. Or most of them, at least.
The Nerve October 2007 Page
“The hardest thing to deal with is the backlash from the people in the underground who are hating on us,” explains Black Lips drummer Joe Bradley, speaking to The Nerve from his home in Atlanta. “It’s really pretty tacky,” he adds, hoping to make a point. Bradley doesn’t really want to talk about the backlash that the Black Lips have received from their oldest fans, now that they’re generating so much interest among the Urban Outfitted everybody who’s anybody crowd. The whole situation is entirely too cliché – ‘backlash’ is on the list right up there with being chased by pretty girls – which is why Bradley doesn’t seem all that discouraged by it. Besides, at this point, the Black Lips have more than enough new fans to make up for anyone uneasy about their current success. It was the Black Lips’ decision to get involved with VICE Records last year which many credit for the band’s recent popularity explosion. Bradley acknowledges that releasing the live album, Los Valientos del Mundo Nuevo (2007), on the NY-based label was a real turning point for the band. “VICE reaches an outside audience that we hadn’t had an opportunity to get a hold on at all,” he explains. “We had worked an underground circuit and done as best as we could with that circuit and tried to expand from that [for many years]… Our past labels were really great but they didn’t really have much of a marketing department, we had to do all that work ourselves and tour as much as possible… Being on VICE is easier.” And it certainly seems like that’s the case for the notoriously unruly foursome, what with the band being featured in countless publications since singing with the label, not to mention landing on Rolling Stone’s coveted “Artist to Watch” list; a publicity coup that
will generate more record sales than any bulletin on MySpace ever could. In order to keep up with this publicity storm, the guys have been touring non-stop over the last year (actually they’ve been touring non-stop over the last eight years, but true to “making it” you don’t always hear that part of the story). “The more places you tour, the more people hear your music,” explains Bradley about the neverending tour schedule, which has taken them to such exotic locals as Israel, Palestine and Tijuana. Last year they were on the road for close to 10 months, and this year has been no exception. Especially now that the Black Lips are touring in support of two albums, last month’s release, their fifth full-length (if you trust my facts), and the live album they put out just a few months before that. “We have to work hard right now; it’s a very important time for us. We have to put our greatest effort into making the most of it,” says Bradley. And if their latest record is any indication, the Black Lips certainly have put forth their greatest effort. Good Bad Not Evil may be the first Black Lips record to outshine the fireworks, nakedness, blood, and most of all, the stream of pee flowing into guitarist Cole Alexander’s mouth. Since the band’s inception, their outrageously wild on-stage antics have garnered much attention, so much so, that this “routine” has more or less become a trademark for the band, often overshadowing their actual music. “Most people always report this stuff about us playing live but the last instance of any of that really happening was in 2005. A lot of the stuff you hear is just rumours,” explains Bradley, adding, “We’re not a shock-rock band. If it happens at a show, it
A lot of the stuff you hear is just rumours. We’re not a shock-rock band
happens… but we don’t want to depend on making people open their eyes and mouth in awe because of something stupid we did.” While no one’s asking for an end to the on-stage projectile- vomit, or the rumours that follow from it, moving beyond this notorious reputation will certainly make it easier for audiences to notice and admire the dysfunctional ingenuity of the Black Lips’ music. Listening to Good Bad Not Evil should help too. The songs on this new record are of course unusually weird, random, and ‘60s-inspired, everything the Black Lips are known for, but the tone to this latest collection of psychedelic trash is slightly different. There’s a polished complexity to Good Bad Not Evil that’s subtle and natural yet glaringly present. The Black Lips have found a way to be sloppy but refined, juvenile but elegant, predictable yet adventurous, on a record that stands up to the raunch of their exaggerated live show. And while it’s tempting to attribute the wonderfully absurd perfection of Good Bad Not Evil to something as simple as a band finding maturity, that’s not really the case. Very rarely has maturity alone yielded moments on a record reminiscent of such greats as the Stones, 13 Floor Elevators, Captain Beefheart, and the Velvet Underground, as it has on Good Bad Not Evil. That sort of mastery is the result of something much more deliberate; a real collective focus and musical resourcefulness, which is ultimately much more impressive than watching a bunch of guys set stuff on fire and then pee on themselves. And while it’s those delightfully offensive antics that have made the Black Lips such glamorous cover-boys, it’s likely that this latest record will give them a new reputation, one that finally acknowledges the musical perfection that they achieve, something their fans – new and old – can delight in. n Black Lips plays at Richard’s on Richards in Vancouver on Oct 11
r u o Y
Long running punk show still alive and kicking
By Chris Walter
eneration Annihilation is something of a Vancouver institution, having been around much longer than hopes of Olympic foolishness or Sam Sullivan and his Olympics-loving cronies. At exactly noon every Saturday, Aaron Brown’s surprisingly resonant voice booms from CITR radio, inviting Vancouver punk fans to join him for an hour of fast, vicious, street rock ‘n’ roll.You will not hear My Chemical Romance on Aaron’s show, but you will indeed hear a mixture of classic punk both old and new; Generation Annihilation is the real deal and nothing less. Almost six years old now, GA started as a fill-in show in late 2001. Aaron and co-host Andy Gronberg, got their permanent spot some months later in the spring of 2002. Since then, the show has played host to everyone from notorious local punks the Neo Nasties to legends such as the Templars and Joe Keithley of DOA. Aaron himself can often be spotted at Vancouver punk hangouts such as the Cobalt at 2:00 in the morning, but somehow he always manages to drag his hurting ass to the UBC radio station for his show the next morning. He’s been riding his bike lately, which doesn’t seem like much of a ride for some, but it’s probably farther than most would be willing to go with a gutful of Wendy Thrirteen’s draught beer still wending its way through their system. “Whenever I’m gone, I’ve had my co-host Andy do the show,” says Aaron. “Or had the guys from Powerchord, the following metal show, come up an hour early to fill in. I was absent for three shows this last summer and ran broadcasts of past episodes instead. I guess they could be called summer re-runs.” He’s modest about his uncanny ability to travel all the way to the university every Saturday morning. “I’m usually still in work mode on Saturday and automatically wake up on time. UBC is only about a half an hour away, anyhow,” Aaron explains. His busses must be faster than the ones I’m familiar with, because I’ve never made the trip in less than 45 minutes. But yes, let’s give the man a medal just for showing up at all. In its first few years, Generation Annihilation featured the Cleats, Wednesday Night Heroes, Riot 99, Emergency, and Knucklehead who, at the time, were signed to Longshot Music based in New York. Mike from Longshot was also responsible for bringing the Templars from NY City when they were here in 2002. “An asshole named Chris Walter also flogged his books here on three separate occasions,” says Aaron, rolling his eyes. “The most notable was the first of a two part special called ‘Punk Rock Authors’ after the release of Chris’ I Was A Punk Before You Were A Punk. The second part was with Joe Keithley of DOA fame after Keithley released his autobiographical book, I Shithead.” Over the last few years, the show has taken to doing phone and pre-recorded interviews, as getting bands/people up to UBC isn’t always possible. Iron Cross, GBH, Broken Bones, Total Chaos, Regulations, and the Fallout were interviewed this way. Locals Hong Kong Blonde and Limb From Limb were on the show not too long ago as well. “I was somewhat weary of interviewing Ashtrey from the Neo Nasties after witnessing some of his crazy stage antics,” recalls Aaron. “However, he turned out to be quite mellow and well behaved on the air. Riot 99 had this crazy Australian singer named Drew who was pretty funny. During one show around Christmas, Andy and I were talking about gifts and Andy mentioned his recently purchased vasectomy. Both my mom and grandma were listening at the time and weren’t too impressed.” Guests on the show never have to worry about going thirsty, as a beer-dispensing pop machine named Shaquanda Jones resides in CITR’s recently renovated lounge. Aaron has never had to throw anyone out of the studio, but he’s been known to hang up on annoying callers. Aaron and Andy have never slugged it out, despite Andy’s propensity for playing extreme Scandinavian crust and hardcore on the show. Andy, Aaron says, is “a very mellow individual and quite amenable.” Aaron frowns when asked who he considers to
“Sorry boss, I was only on Facebook for, like, five minutes... Honest!” be the most annoying punk band of all time. “If I were asked this same question 15 years ago I would have probably said Green Day but now there’s far worse stuff like Sum 41 and Blink-182. (Ed: RIP, and good riddance.) I think it would be a safe to say that the majority of the so-called ‘punk’ bands on the Vans Warped tour circuit would annoy me equally.” Disgust turns to quiet reflection when asked about the current punk scene. “In the last decade there’s been a big resurgence of old acts getting back together. It also seems that those who went a different direction returned to their roots. This has caused a whole new generation of new bands to spring up. Although I wouldn’t call the scene entirely fresh, I would say that it’s pretty healthy overall.” New bands on Aaron’s radar include the Spectres, who have an early UK anarcho-punk sound similar to the Mob and Crisis. Look for a new 7” by them soon. He continues, “The China Creeps, who have a skate punk sound and are influenced by early Canadian greats such as Beyond Possession and
Personality Crisis, have just released a 7” single. Limb From Limb are as heavy as fuck and play a gloomy style of hardcore bordering on death metal. Their full-length, which is called Death Famine Plague, was just released on a Bay area label called No Options. On the Oi! /street punk front, Alternate Action have recently released a 10” on a French label called Nayryan Records and a second 7” for Longshot. Christ On Parade are another band to watch out for.” The geek in Aaron comes out when asked how things have changed since he and Andy have been on the air. “A few years back we stopped using paper playsheets and started doing (the show) on an electronic system. The same system enables one to look up titles in CITR’s vast record/CD library. We’ve also adopted a new digital editing system to do record show promos, public service announcements, and such. Most recently, CITR has launched a new website that has all of the programs available for downloading. Unfortunately, this kind of technology doesn’t come cheap, forcing
Andy and I were talking about gifts and Andy mentioned his recently purchased vasectomy. Both my mom and grandma were listening at the time and weren’t too impressed
the station to perform annual fund raising drives to cover the costs.” Aaron thinks for a moment when asked what he considers to be the best venue in Vancouver. “For size and sound, I’d have to say Richards On Richards. It’s also one of the last Vancouver music landmarks that hasn’t been bulldozed to appease the condodwelling yuppies in this city. The staff, however, always seems to be concerned with clearing out the bar early enough to make way for the late night dance crowd. In the last few years, I’ve seen many good bands play at both the Cobalt and the Astoria. On the all-ages front, the Sweatshop is pretty cool. When asked what changes he’d like to see in Vancouver, Aaron smiles. “It’d be nice to have laxer border laws for the touring bands that don’t come here because of them. As far as the station goes, I wish we had a stronger signal so more people could listen.” Aaron has been watching live music since December 9, 1984, when he saw Iron Maiden and Twisted Sister at the Pacific Coliseum. He attended his first punk gig in the spring of 1987 when he saw Death Sentence, the Spores, Unnatural Silence, Lethal Virus, and Lauren Green’s Wet Nipple at a venue called The Edge on Homer Street. “A very memorable show,” says Aaron, “and a great introduction to punk!” n Listen to Generation Annihilation every Saturday from 12:00 to 1:00 PM on 101.9 FM CITR.You can also find the show online at www.citr.ca or view playlists at www. streepunkradio.com.
The Nerve October 2007 Page
The Nerve October 2007 Page
r e w o h S e h t in p Lather U with Von Bentley
This month: Von Bentley sees Velvet Revolver The Pacific Coliseum,Vancouver, BC Friday, September 7, 2007
hings weren’t looking good for this night of old men playing old songs. To cut a long story short, by the time we got to the Coliseum, we had missed Sparta. And the beer line-up looked longer than the passport line in Victoria. So while negotiating what to do about this situation, Alice in Chains started to bust out the song “Grind” (which is exactly the song I wanted them to start with!). Separated from my group, I had to find a lonely balcony seat and enjoy the tiny specks that appeared to be people on stage (I love stadium concerts!). Firstly, I gotta list a few bad points (I hate doing this because I love these guys): Sean Kinney was like half a drum beat off the entire time. I thought it was my shitty seats with some awkward echo. But no, he was just fucking up. Also, the background projection of what looked like a grunge era computer graphic of a world spinning with electric bolts popping out from behind was inappropriate and cheesy. Adding tragically to the now running theme of fuck ups, during the beginning of the solo for “We Die Young” and the apex of “Would”, Jerry Cantrell’s guitar took a shit and died like Layne Staley, ruining the best moments of both songs. But to take away from the bitterness for a second I can say their set was fucking amazing! “Again”, “We Die Young”, “Dam That River”, “Them Bones” and “Rain When I Die”...”Rain When I Die”! That was incredible. But for my buck, “Nutshell” was the highlight of the night. I had a bootleg of the electric live version of the song years ago and claimed it was way better than the record or unplugged versions, but no one believed me. Now everyone knows and it was amazing. New singer William DuVall for me was the perfect replacement. He’s a great talent, cool voice and not an ego driven rock star *cough* Scott Weiland *cough*. The only problem I had with him was that I couldn’t hear his rhythm guitar (one more for the pile of fuck ups) and it just feels weird listening to another dude sing the heartfelt lyrics of a dead man (aka not his fault).
These dudes got a massive standing ovation, the likes of which I have never seen for an opening band. No one was going to the concession stands, shitter or passport line-up. They stood and cheered for more and it was the one time an encore was deserved, but it wasn’t delivered. I was already pissed at Velvet Revolver for that. So as I sat in my seat waiting for the former Gunners to come on stage. I couldn’t help but think they could never top my favorite concert of all time. That, of course was when Axl Rose’s version of Guns N’ Roses came to town, started a riot and never played a single note. The time of my life was had that night. Could Slash and the very, very, very old boys top those events? The answer is an emphatic NO! The Velvet Revolver set started with a black curtain being draped over the stage and NWA blasting from the monitors. Not for a minute or two, but for an entire goddamn song! Then NWA finished their set and a spotlight flashed on a Slash silhouette through the curtain. Blazing the standard Slash solo in predictable fashion,Velvet Revolver busted into one of their many non-hits. And then it was bad song after bad song that no one really cared to hear. Fuck me, Scott Weiland dancing around like he’s making fun of Mick Jagger without any humor - the entire set was just aggravating. Whenever he talked to the crowd (who he clearly despised) it felt so forced, so set up and so rehearsed. It was like watching a Broadway play that never diverted from the script. Whenever these pricks finally busted into a song people wanted to hear, the reception was huge. Way bigger for “Vasoline” - originally done by Stone Temple Pilots - then for let’s say “She Builds Quick Machines”,Velvet’s current single. Another problem was the mix; all you could hear was Duff McKagan’s bass and Matt Sorum’s kick drum. That was disappointing, but the crowd still went apeshit. They wanted the old stuff and that “Falling to Pieces” song for some reason. We were given “It’s So Easy”; a damn good/cheesy sing-a-long of “Patience”; a fucking terrible acoustic version of “Interstate Love Song” and two or three encores (I lost track out of boredom), with okay versions of “Sex Type Thing” and finishing with “Mr. Brownstone”. It was a terrible show, and I can’t convey in words what a cheese dick Mr. Weiland is. The rest of the band (and that bald guy) played great, but the new songs were yawn inducing and had no spontaneity to them. It was a cold, dead, plastic show they gave us, and even though I paid for balcony seats I still feel cheated. Next time, follow the lead of other old timer bands and just play the hits. Guns N’ Roses are dead, folks, I just wish Scott Weiland would join them. P.S. Why did Layne Staley overdose and not Scott Weiland?! Fuck me, once again proof there is no God. n
e Von B
David Von Bentley’s Super Fantastic Contest to Make Other Contests Look Like Pussies! Oh wow, kids, we have a doozy of a contest this month! Since it’s October, I have something spooky and scary for you. It’s a picture of my balls! If you cut it out and wear it on your face this Halloween, you’ll be the most popular boy or girl in your neighborhood. And for the older fellas, I can tell you right now that girls go crazy for these tantalizing testicles. But there’s more! Not only does this month bring you my balls, but I’m also giving Nerve readers the chance to win all of my Ozzy Osbourne albums. All you have to do is identify which horrible Pacific Coliseum balcony cell phone picture is Alice in Chains, which one is Velvet Revolver, and which one is my balls. Also, once you identify my balls, you have to give them their own fun band name, for example, ‘Jimmy Chew and the Droopy Two’. Get it? Isn’t this fun!? Okay then, start studying my balls, and good luck. Also, don’t forget to look both ways when you’re trick or treating. And parents: remember to tape razor blades to your child’s asshole to prevent the rape attempts they will endure on this sugar snack-fuelled night of fun family terror. Boo!
Velvet, Chains or Balls? Which is which? Answers to email@example.com
The Nerve October 2007 Page
Turbonegro Back in Black
By Jenny Charlesworth
Blackwater is proud to introduce its new elite security force to the happy streets of democratic Baghdad!
ock’n’roll and presidental elections – not exactly two things that go together. But if you have an affinity for denim, big hairy sailors, and the rock’n’roll carnage of Norway’s Turbonegro you might just find yourself in the running to command your very own bunch of disorganized, denim-clad sailormen. Gone are the days of wimpy fan letters and wavering allegiance. Unbridled loyalty with a bit of heavy petting is much more to the point – at least for the Turbojugend (pronounced Turbo~U~gen, and with a heavy gay Scandinavian accent for those after real authenticity), the worldwide brotherhood of beer and sweaty good times that has helped to legitimize a fanatical legion of music nerds, and to some extent, the very band they worship. Capturing the world’s attention almost 10 years ago with the release of Apocalypse Dudes, a record so incredible that punk icon Jello Biafra said it was, “possibly the most important European record ever,” Turbonegro has erected itself as a beacon of skeevy depravity. Styling themselves as “threatening gay men playing loud rock”, the band has achieved cult status as masters of sexual innuendo, mainly of the homo variety. With over 30,000 Turbojugend members and chapters all over the world, it should come as no surprise that Turbonegro displays a charismatic egotism within its music and persona rivaled only by Gene Simmons and his uh, “family jewels”. And while the very existence of the Turbojugend is very much tongue’n’cheek - wait, make that tongue’n’ass. It captures the essence of these perverted Vikings of the shaft far better – the support and encouragement which these franchised collectives offer Turbonegro is undeniable, and a significant force in the creation of its records, including the very latest, Retox. Much like the sight of two glossy sailors wrestling together in a giant barrel of lube, the thundering guitars and Van-Halenesque melodies of Turbonegro’s eight studio album shock and delight. Bursting at the seams like a football player in heat, Retox is filled with sneering riffs, heavy rock theatrics, and “fauxmo-erotic” styled lyrics. It’s hard and heavy, and the closest you’ll get to a “happy ending” without the ladies of Motel 6. “They’re all A sides on singles. They’re all great,” explains Happy-Tom, Turbonegro’s raunchy bass player, of the newest offerings. “We
The Nerve October 2007 Page 10
wanted to make the perfect punk-hard-rock record,” the band’s founding member continues. “We were thinking more of time periods really, so Retox ended up like a skate rock album from 1983.” Unlike any skate rock album from 1983, however, Retox took 10 long months to make. “It’s a world record for a punk album,” Happy-Tom jokes, considering, like punk songs themselves, making a punk record is suppose to be pretty simple and fast. But for all that extra time spent in the studio, the band certainly didn’t venture very far from their formulaic Black Flag meets Alice Cooper meets Venom meets The Ramones approach. And while it may not be that imaginative, there’s no question that Retox is the perfect follow-up to 2005’s Party Animals. Speaking to me from what sounds like the green room – assuming the drunken men screaming in the background, randomly shooting off an air cannon, are in fact legit (what else would you expect from Turbonegro’s green room?) – a few hours before joining his burly brothers on stage for Turbonegro’s first Slovenian show ever, Happy-Tom seems pretty calm. Actually he seems more rehearsed than calm, as such, but that’s not surprising given the amount of time he’s had to spend lately talking to media about the band’s latest record. By this point, he’s unnerved responding to criticism that Turbonegro has yet to surpass, or even match, the musical genius laid out by Apocalypse Dudes. “I think every record we make is pretty important,” contends Happy-Tom, clearly not about to validate anyone’s concerns about the state of Turbonegro’s music. And as if there were a fluffer by his side, Happy-Tom rises to the occasion once more with a perfectly timed response to my comments about the increasingly squeaky-clean production of each passing album. “We never liked lo-fi anyway. I think lo-fi is like a bourgeois neurosis… people try to sound authentic… it’s like when rich
kids go slumming.” The line is delivered so perfectly, you can’t help but wonder how many times he’s used it. It’s that clever wit, combined with a promiscuous vocabulary and an unlawful amount of denim, eyeliner and leather that has led to some of the most memorable rock’n’roll songs since Turbonegro’s inception in 1989. Memorable for the driving riffs and righteous drum solos yes, but also for the ridiculous lyrics and true devotion to assholism rampant in each and every song. And the material on Retox is no different. With songs like, “Everybody Loves A Chubby Dude” [Looking for food in the empty streets. Another meal to make my life complete/Taking off my expanding leather.This pretty boy’s just gonna eat forever] and “Hell Toupee” (say this one out loud for full effect) [Spent my life fighting off the pigs. Drinking beer and smoking cigs. Stealing riffs and blowing gigs. But now I’m stuck, googling for wigs. Skin is glowing. Dome is showing… And it’s gonna be… Hell Toupee.] even the most prudish listener is in for a smile, and quite possibly their own Turbojugend membership number soon after. There might also be another reason though why Turbonegro’s songs happen to be so memorable; you may have heard them before – done by someone else. Listen to the first track off the new record, “We’re Gonna Drop the Atom Bomb,” and you’ll find the intro is an almost exact replica of the intro from the Dead Kennedys’ “Holiday in Cambodia,” and lyrically the song contains elements of “You Could Be Mine” by Guns N’Roses. There are other little “borrowed” gems like this throughout Retox and most of Turbonegro’s other records, too. In fact, it’s quite well known that the band pays homage to their idols in this deranged “Where’s Waldo” sort of way. Recalling his typical reaction to discovering something “borrowed” in one of their songs, HappyTom laughs, “Fuck is that where that came from…?”
I think lo-fi is like a bourgeois neurosis. People try to sound authentic. It’s like when rich kids go slumming
So at least you’re sure to know a couple lyrics or basslines from Turbonegro’s new record when the band blazes through town next month – if you haven’t already picked up Retox that is. Touring along side ex-Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nic Oliveri’s new band, Mondo Generator, Turbonegro will play over 20 shows during their What is Rock North American Tour. “We’re really excited, we really like playing in North America,” exclaims Happy-Tom. “People in North America grow up with so much classic rock. Everybody’s listened to everything from Fleetwood Mac and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Creedence to ZZ Top. It’s one of the cultural strengths of North America and we feel really at home with that.” But then again, when does Turbonegro not feel at home, what with its ridiculously huge fan club showing up wherever it goes? Turbojugend denim is just about as dependable at a Turbonegro show as the band’s outrageous stage antics, which include a giant Turbo-dollar-firing-cannon, sweaty face paint, leather jumpsuits and slutty denim vests. After eight studio albums, countless singles, a tribute record and documentary, not to mention countless breakups (the biggest involving heroine and lead singer Hank Von Helvete) and various band lineups (the current lineup has somehow lasted close to a decade) Turbonegro still can rock. But how is it that a band built on the brashness of ego and insidious raunch can still remain so captivating and relevant as the years – all 19 of them – have passed by? Especially since such arrogant tenacity has rarely been so warmly welcomed from an aging band still taunting crowds with the humour of a 12 year-old (albeit a very hairy, sexually-perverted 12 year-old). While there’s definitely something to be said for “being really, really fucking good looking” (well at least according to Happy Tom), that’s not the undeniable quality that makes Turbonegro so successful. It’s loyalty. A loyalty to their cause – to be giant assholes and play loud rock music – and a loyalty they have won from their fans by being these giant assholes. And that really is… WHAT IS ROCK. n Turbonegro w Mondo Generator plays The Showbox in Seattle – Oct. 10; Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver – Oct. 1; Roseland Ballroom in Portland – Oct 12
Do Make Say Think
here are few bands out there crafting music like Do Make Say Think. For 12 years now the Toronto five-piece has routinely been compared to the likes of Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Mogwai, and they’ve been called every dirty name in the music reference guidebook - post-rock, indie, math, mood music, you name it. And while all of this is true in some form, DMST has managed to remain just outside of easy labels and quick-comparisons. Rich in detail, each DMST release progresses onward through an evolutionary process, adding horns and electronics, looping drones, unedited background ambiance, spaced-out jazz flavoured jams topped with moments of tension-building fury, and now with its latest release, You,You’re A History In Rust, DMST presents a wonderful, sprawling tapestry that relies less on electronic movement while leaning on more traditional instruments like the banjo, acoustic guitar and even vocals on two tracks - a first for the band. Conceived and recorded in remote locations around Ontario, you can feel the earthy, woodsy quality in songs like “A Tender History In Rust”, where, if you listen closely, you can make out the sounds of chairs creaking on hardwood floors and the fire crackling in the fireplace. It’s these intimate moments that make a DMST release so unique and precious; rare moments left in the mix because they fit the fabric and add to its layers. Do Make Say Think emerged from the coming together of two sets of friends living in Toronto in 1996. “James (Payment) and I have known each other for about 25 years now,” explains Do Make’s guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Justin Small, on the phone from Toronto, “Charles, Ohad and Dave knew each other in high school and we all sort of knew of each other through our schools prospective bands. James and I moved into the city and got jobs, and when we met Charles, he needed a roommate when we were kicking out a roommate, so it worked perfectly. We all met up and eventually started experimenting with music. We weren’t really a band at that point, just late night tape loops recorded with the equipment Charles brought over, and we’d trade those recordings with friends and stuff. Then Charles booked us our first gig, which in Toronto is pretty easy to come by because there are so many little venues where struggling bands with no names can play for an hour or so.” And how did that first show sound? “It was largely improvised,” answers Small. “I think we brought in some keyboards and held the keys down with tape, and created a lot of feedback and noise loops. We were kind of drawing from that Spaceman 3 type of repetition-creating-isolation style of playing, which can create this blissful atmosphere. So we were really into playing the same riff for 20 minutes while the others played around it. It was pretty crazy hypnotic stuff.” Twelve years later, DMST is still playing on the bliss-through-repetition factor, if not quite as religiously, and of course the music has grown and
By Nathan Pike
“What the... you mean you didn’t bring the hacky-sack, either? Sheee-it...” expanded. With five albums to its credit, a fairly modest tour schedule and a growing family that now includes a lady fiddle player (Julie Penner) - as well as the addition of a couple more horn players - the band has come a long way from its early days of experimental apartment jams. Do Make Say Think has the uncanny ability to pull you way in and make you feel things, as though you’re listening to the perfect soundtrack for your walk in the woods or around a lake. It captures ambience so confidently that you’d swear the recordings were made in remote barns and cottages. Oh, wait. That IS where they record their albums. “It’s kind of become our standard for recording
practices,” says Small, “and we’ve found that it’s become pretty easy for us to remove ourselves from the city when it comes time to make a new record. It is such an intimate thing. We need to leave the girlfriends, wives, kids and distractions and just get the fuck out of town. Nobody can touch us. No phone, no e-mails, just the five of us in these cottages and farms armed with a couple of riffs, some drumbeats and we invent the songs from that. Then we go back to the city and spend months and months cutting the songs apart, gluing them back together and having the rest of the players come in and record over top.” A DMST record is largely a group effort, from the first written chords to the finished product. The
When we hit it, it’s just fucking incredible. I’ve welled up on stage.
band creates every aspect of the record you hold in your hand including all playing, mixing, recording, and at one point they were even handprinting their own album covers. This proved to be quite time consuming once more units started selling. It’s the songwriting process that impresses most, however; the way that any good idea is freely shared and given up for the band. Sure, some members write particular tracks that are pretty faithful to what you may hear on the album, such as “Chinatown”( from 2000’s & Yet & Yet), which was written by James, or a certain country jam off the latest album that was penned by Justin, which became “You, You’re Awesome!” But once the song finds its way into the creative melting pot, it becomes DMST property. And nobody is complaining. “It’s not even a matter of letting it go,” Justin explains. “You just let it become part of the family, which is an honour, knowing that the Do Make Say Think canon includes some of your home recordings. It’s really nice.” It’s not hard to see the respect and honour the members of Do Make Say Think have for the music they’re playing, as well as for one another.You can see it in the interplay between the musicians on stage; the way they come together for truly transcendent moments.You KNOW that each one of them is feeling it every bit as much as everyone else in that room. “We’re not perfectionists at all but we have a pretty high standard,” Small says. “We know what the songs can do and how much we can give to the audience through this music. Take a song like ‘A With Living’. It’s challenging for us to play live because of the vocals and what not, but when we hit it, it’s just fucking incredible. I’ve welled up on stage, when the horns at the end kick in and I can see audience members get that ‘chill’. It just makes it so worth it. But it’s also the one song that can disappoint the most.” I would say it’s a forgivable offence to fuck up on stage or to have an off night now and again, especially when you’re going for 30 nights in a row. And it’s not like the members of DMST are sitting on their laurels when they’re not touring. They all have one or more side projects in the wings when they’re not hanging out with each other. Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit pull double duty with the indie rock, hipster supergroup, Broken Social Scene, and then there’s Justin’s side project which he shares with his love Katia, called Lullabye Arkestra; a dirty, scrappy little heavy metal band with R&B/blues intentions that will leave you ragged and feeling like you’ve just been beaten up by the power of rock ‘n’ roll. But presently, as of press time, DMST will be well into its nine-week tour across North America, and will YOU have an excuse not to go when the band shows up at the Commodore on October 29? Tickets are super cheap, and the band is sure to rule, at least in my humble opinion. Do yourself a favour and find your way to this show, because you only get so many chances at seeing music made magic. Rejoice people!! n
The Nerve October 2007 Page 11
THE NEW ALBUM CODE PIE
The Most Trusted Name In Yous "This band is bursting at the musical seams, so now is a good time to take notice of their amazing bag of tricks." - Exclaim
"...16 songs that fly freely through friendly skies." - The Montreal Gazette
"...likely to blow minds and rock parties in cities near you." - The Spill Magazine
For tour info, and to find out more: www.codepie.com/yous
The Nerve October 2007 Page 12
No Longer Dwarved “Hey, every band has to have a sex symbol... what’s so fuckin’ funny over there!?!”
By Kyle Harcott
Nowhere. Gone. Rock and roll is dead. There are still a few bands that are doing it right. The only reason I’m holding on to it is because I don’t know how to do anything else.” This is the response I get when I ask Nick Oliveri of Mondo Generator what happened to rock’n’roll. And who would know better, right? After all, this is the same cat that got his start playing bass for the stonedgods-from-Palm-Desert known as Kyuss; then left that band to ply his trade playing with everyone’s favorite sickos the Dwarves. Eventually Nick rejoined Josh Homme in Queens of the Stone Age where he wrote the hook for their most famous song (yep, “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”), and of course, got arrested in Rio for appearing buck-naked onstage. If any current musician is the heir-apparent to Lemmy Kilmister’s rock-and-roll throne, Nick Oliveri – aka Rex Everything, Rex Bottoms, and Pierre Pressurer - is surely a contender. Yes, Nick was the fun guy, the rock guy, the paaaaarty guy of QOTSA, and when he was rudely ejected from the band in 2004 (apparently the others got tired of fucking rocking), Mondo Generator suddenly became Nick’s full-time gig - and thank Christ for that. Mondo was formed in 1997 and recorded its first record (Cocaine Rodeo) that same year. But it wasn’t unleashed on the world until three years later when Southern Lord Records finally wised up and realized the world needed another record about reckless drug use and its resultant fun. The band followed this up with 2003’s A Drug Problem that Never Existed (are you sensing a theme here?), which gave us tracks like “Meth, I Hear You Callin’”, surely the funniest song about crystal-meth abuse ever. This summer finally saw the North American release of the Dead Planet record, Mondo’s third full-length. This record, while slightly more accessible than the previous two discs ever gave a shit about being, is still no less throttling, and still a whole lot of hungover fun. On the phone, Oliveri seems pretty well-rested after his return from a too-short stint on OzzFest’s “free-fest” version this summer. “I’ve been at home for a few weeks since OzzFest and the Euro dates” he tells The Nerve, “resting up, getting into the groove for the next tour.” And no, it wasn’t anything like, say, a fistfight with volatile munchkin Sharon Osbourne that led to Mondo leaving this
year’s OzzFest after only five dates. Explains Oliveri, “We did the West Coast dates, but there was some trouble finishing the tour. Long story short, the guys in my band cost a lot of money, and we couldn’t go on doing the tour for free. I mean, it’s great for bands to be able to do that - it’s a really cool thing to do for the fans. But for certain independent bands it’s a lot more difficult to do. Don’t get me wrong – the tour was a blast and we wish we coulda finished, but the guys, they got rent and mortgages now. We aren’t kids anymore. And it’s hard keeping up that high-school, do-it-for-the-band spirit when bills gotta get paid.” The newest version of Mondo Generator is a lean-and-mean affair. Comprised of Ian Flannon Taylor (ex-Furious IV) and Spud on guitars, Giampaolo Farnedi on drums, and Nick doing his usual thing, a recent short stint in Europe was the acid-test for the latest live lineup, and Oliveri assures a good time was had by all. “Oh yeah” he says, “Warsaw was a great time, man. The show was killer, and Spud had a bunch of people he knew from MySpace show up with this homemade Polish vodka, and… yeah, just a great, great night [laughs].” Oliveri’s known the guys in this version of the band a while too, as he’s got a long history of playing with good friends. “Ian and I are both from the desert, his band was one of my favorite bands from the area. Spud and I go way back too, and his style of playing counters Ian’s really well. Giampaolo had this band in Italy called Radar, and they were incredible. When the time came for me to get some new players for Mondo, all these guys were into it, so here we are.” All this just in time for the offer to open for the upcoming Turbonegro North American tour, which will be gracing Vancouver’s own Commode-Door on October 11. “I got an e-mail from Turbo about the upcoming tour, and I sort of dropped the hint that I wanted to open. They were open to the idea, so…” It’s a natural fit – Oliveri’s got a long history with those Turbo boys, having appeared on a Turbo
tribute album in 2001, touring with them in Norway a few years back, and getting asked to sing on the track “Wasted Again” on the ‘Negro’s last album. It’ll be Oliveri’s first time in Canada since he was in QOTSA and he’s looking forward to returning. “Canada’s always been good to me,” he states.” I always have a ball when I’m there. The gigs are great, and the crowds are always cool as shit.” Talking to Oliveri leaves me with the impression that he’s basically the long-time fan who got to eventually be the rock star. He’s come a long way from the teenager who appeared in a CroMags video. “Oh man” he chuckles, “where’d you hear about that?! It was back in ’86 or ’87, I saw the Cro-Mags opening for Motörhead at the San Bernardino Orange Pavilion. After the Cro-Mags’ set, the guys in the band were out in the crowd, and I got to meet them. I was this 15-year-old kid and I thought it was the coolest thing, these guys walking through the crowd filming the audience, meeting their fans. They were filming this kid being chased by the security guards, and I saw the camera and jumped in front of it, and that footage made it into their video for ‘We Gotta Know’. I’m just this crazy long-haired kid jumping around in front of the camera screaming ‘ARRRGH!’ It was pretty cool.” Not to mention the man is fond of recording covers on his albums. Dead Planet alone has covers of “Mental Hell” by the Ramones, “Bloody Hammer” by Roky Erickson”, and “Sam Hall”, made famous by Johnny Cash. Speaking of the Ramones, Oliveri dedicated Dead Planet to the memory of Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee (and also Cash), and he always has them in mind when he’s writing, “Whenever I write something, I kind of approach it in a Ramones-influenced kind of way. The cover of ‘Mental Hell’ was Brant Bjork’s idea, he’s always bugged me to cover that song, and with three of the Ramones gone, it was kind of meant as a tribute. There’s not really any bands I wanna go see live anymore, now that they’re gone.” I ask him about the time he met Johnny Ramone. “I
Canada’s always been good to me. The gigs are great, and the crowds are always cool as shit
was at this gig,” he begins. “I don’t remember whose, but I was waiting in line for the bathroom… long line-up, and I’m just getting to the front of the line, when Johnny Ramone walks in and heads straight the stall I’m about to grab. He looked right at me, looked at the empty stall, and walked right in. I mean, I would’ve let him go ahead of me anyway – he’s Johnny Ramone! But yeah, that was how I met him.” You could also be forgiven for assuming Oliveri is one of the busiest guys in rock, as I did, even though he insists otherwise. In addition to his current work with Mondo and Dwarves, there’s also been some talk of him getting something off the ground with Casey Chaos of Amen. “Casey’s an intense guy, just a total badass,” explains Oliveri “He just puts a pounding on everything he does, musically. I haven’t talked to him lately, but he’s definitely someone I need to get a hold of, because we have talked about doing something together.” He’s also been talking to Hank III about a collaboration. And even though it’s been three years since Oliveri left QOTSA, a lot of people still wonder if he will be any part of that band’s future output, or if he’ll be a participant in Josh Homme’s ongoing Desert Sessions project. Reluctantly, I ask Olvieri if he’s been in touch with his old partner. “I did talk to Josh not too long ago on the phone, couple of months ago,” he answers. “I haven’t talked to him since. His schedule and my schedule don’t really coincide. Whenever we’re in the same place, we do the same things, but other than that, we talk on the phone once in a while, that’s about it.” And will there ever be another Desert Sessions album? “I think so… for Josh it’s like an open-ended thing. There’s really no end to it. I mean, it’s up to him. It’s so experimental and open to change, I’m sure it’ll keep going for a long time.” So don’t hold your breath for Oliveri to get back with Homme anytime soon. Honestly though, Mondo Generator is rocking way harder than QOTSA has in years anyway, and this tour with Turbonegro will definitely be proof of that. Hell, Oliveri’s already talking about recording another Mondo album between these North American dates with Turbonegro, and the possible-upcoming Australian leg of the Turbo-tour. Whatever Nick Oliveri winds up doing in the days to come, it’s definitely destined to be an imbibe-your-drug-of-choice good time. n
The Nerve October 2007 Page 13
The Nerve October 2007 Page 14
Weaker than Who? Stronger than Ever!
Nobody minds waiting at the brand new ‘Topless Super Cuts’
By Ferdy Belland
I’m proud of how Reunion Tour turned out in the end,” says the mild-mannered and easy-going John K. Samson from his home in Winnipeg MB. “I’m a little freaked out – as I always am – over what the reaction will be.You work on this thing for years and send it out into the world, and then I have no control over it anymore. But I do think, for better or worse, it’s the record that sounds most like we sound. If someone doesn’t like it, then that’s fine, but it’s a realistic picture of who we are and what we play like, and what we are together as a group of people.” It’s been four years since the smartly-crafted roots-rock of the Reconstruction Site album ballistahurled Samson’s band into the worldwide rock’n’roll stratosphere, and fans of the Weakerthans (and they are legion) have anxiously awaited a follow-up record with almost glacial patience. And although the brace of songs on Reunion Tour might sound more akin to the New Pornographers’ intelligent power-pop than, say, Wilco’s psychedelic stretching of rootsy boundaries, this is definitely a Weakerthans album that’s equally strong in its own right and deserves its rightful place alongside anything else in the band’s collective output. “I usually don’t listen to the records after they’re done,” Samson admits. “I’ve stopped listening to Reunion Tour already. I gave it its last listen about six weeks ago and I won’t listen to it again. I haven’t listened to any of the other records since they came out, either. I do that because I want to blinker myself from the records themselves and think about the songs, because the songs are what we carry around with us onstage. They’re what we present
every night, and I want to make them new works every time they’re played. Our live interpretations of our songs aren’t radically different from how they appear on record, I assume, but I like to think about the lyrics in new contexts, and I tweak around with them a little bit. Once the records are done, I take them out of album context and put the songs into a set list, which makes them emotionally different, and changes them somehow. I try and keep my distance from the records when I can. So it’s pretty impossible for me to say anything about our albums, critically – I just don’t have any perspective on it.” When asked if the former Propagandhi bassist finds himself banging his fists against his forehead with writer’s block, Samson replies, “Absolutely, yeah I do – quite often! I guess it’s just part of the songwriting process for me, too. Every time I finish a song, or I go to start a song, I think, I have no idea how to do this! I’m a total FRAUD! I don’t know what I’m doing!!! And then, eventually, a song emerges. On this record, I enjoyed taking everything slowly for a lot of the songs. I just had a good time spending quality time with them, walking around with them… and they were good company, at times. And I wrote most of the lyrics during the wintertime, so it was a nice task for a Winnipeg winter! The line between my poetry and my lyrics is
pretty narrow, and I cross it all the time. On the new record, there’s ‘Elegy for Gump Worsley,’ which is pretty much a spoken-word poem I wrote. Poetry is a different thing for me, since I write poems without a song structure in mind, though sometimes I do superimpose them onto songs, but there’s something about the end result; I know if it’s a poem or a song. Sometimes it’s a little mysterious as to why it’s either a poem or a song, but they are separate. They’re different tasks, somehow.” As a serious writer, it only makes sense that John K Samson is also a voracious reader, and in the discussion of prose and literature he recounts his recent reads. “I’m just reading Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine,” he starts. “She’s a great writer, and an incredibly inspiring Canadian, and I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. I’m also obsessed with George Saunders’s new book of essays – he’s the finest short story writer alive. I’m a Cormac McCarthy fan, too. I had trouble with No Country for Old Men… so harsh, whoa! But he’s a great writer, to be sure. I’d like to read The Road. There’s his book Cities of the Plain, and time and again I’ll just pull it out and re-read the last forty pages of it, over and over again. It’s so moving, and so incredible.Very refined and beautiful prose.”
Every time I start a song, I think, I’m a total FRAUD! I don’t know what I’m doing!!!
The question comes as to whether Samson still finds Winnipeg to be an inspiring city to be creative in. “Oh, sure I do,” he answers. “I certainly go through phases where I hate it, and want to leave, but there’s a real kind of… industry here. There are people working on things here, so yeah, it is inspiring. Both an inspiring and a frustrating place to live. The last three winters, I’ve been working on lyrics. That’s my ‘lyric time.’ It’s one of the great things about where I live, here in Winnipeg – there are four very distinct seasons, and I feel I do different things in each season. When I’m in places that are more moderate with the weather, I find myself a bit confused.” This writer recounted his personal experience living in Winnipeg over a particularly harsh winter, visiting a brother stationed at a local Canadian Army base - a failed attempt to quickly reach out the barracks door to grab the mail in the midst of a howling prairie blizzard saw the letters and bills whisked insolently from his grasp; chasing barefoot after the mail in seven inches of snow, clad only in smileyface boxer shorts and a Metallica T-shirt while the enraged roar of Mother Nature (that bitch) filled the world was a truly chilling experience. Samson offers his deepest sympathy, commenting, “People talk about the weather all over the world, but when they talk about the weather here in Winnipeg, it’s truly meaningful. It really does matter to your daily life. It’s kind of like life and death here, with the leftover frontier mentality. The summertime in Manitoba is truly beautiful, although it’s a little too warm for me. I actually prefer the winters, oddly enough...” Samson is married to fellow Winnipeg songwriter Christine Fellows (a fine artist in her own right); they often perform live together, and with her new album Nevertheless scheduled for a November release, Samson looks fondly forward to touring together with his immortal beloved. “I think the Weakerthans’re going to do a little tour with her down the middle of North America in 2008. It’s an incredible record, and I’m really excited about that, too. It’s a remarkable piece of work.” The cheekily-titled Reunion Tour (Samson insists the Weakerthans never broke up in the first place) is the third album the Weakerthans have recorded with Ian Blurton, normally known for being an intimidatingly-bearded Canuck rock god who unleashes the riffs of Odin from his overdriven Gibson SG. “Ian’s got a very keen musical mind,” says Samson. “If you chart out his musical career, he’s an incredibly varied musician.You start with Change Of Heart, through Blurtonia and all the incarnations of those bands, there’s a wide spectrum of taste and experimentation, and he’s really dedicated to sounds. He just has an ear that I trust, implicitly so. And he’s a really creative and thoughtful songwriter, so he’s good at critiquing song structures. He’s a very subtle and smart producer. We’re all very comfortable with him, and trust him. We tossed around some producers’ names when we were starting to get ready to make this record, and we just kept coming back around to him. The test for the potential producers was: will it be as fun as it would be with Blurton? And the answer was always no. We started working with Ian on Left and Leaving and it feels like we still have something to say with him. There’s a good chance we’d work with him again when it comes time for another album.” It’s been a while since the Weakerthans have rocked a room here in Vancouver, and Samson is looking forward to returning to the West Coast for a hotly-anticipated show at the mighty Commodore Ballroom. “I jump at any excuse to get out to Vancouver,” he says. “I’ve been there a few times over the past year, just really as an excuse to visit friends and hang out in that town.Vancouver’s probably my favourite city in Canada, culturally and musically – you’ve got bands like the Buttless Chaps, who I think are the most ridiculously underrated band in the world. Not to mention people like Veda Hille, and until recently Great Aunt Ida. Portico are really cool. I just heard their record the other day and I’ve been listening to that a lot. And the new Ford Pier EP is just great. Ford’s a great friend of ours, and mine, and he’s another one of these people where I can’t believe that everyone doesn’t know his name. And they should! It’s just a really vibrant musical culture. An interesting and cohesive scene out there. And moderate climes!” n The Weakerthans perform Saturday October 6, at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC. Victoria, Oct 7 at Sugar Nightclub; Calgary, Oct 9, at the MacEwan Hall Ballroom; Edmonton, Oct 10 and 11 at the Myer Horowitz Theatre
The Nerve October 2007 Page 15
The Nerve October 2007 Page 16
Short Ends Hill,Tarantino, Apatow and Hammer Movie Pick of the Month
Death Proof (2007) Dir: Quentin Tarantino Alliance Films
I really wanted to rip into this. I mean hey, they split up Grindhouse, tacked on a few bonus features and released this DVD. In a few months, the deluxe edition will no doubt be released with both movies back-to-back to try and get fans of the movie to buy the same DVD twice. The fake trailers aren’t even on this disc or the Planet Terror disc, which comes out later this month. It’s a transparent cash grab and they’re pretty much ruining 2007’s most enjoyable movie going experience and I hate them for it. But then I watched the extended cut of Death Proof and all is forgiven. I watched it again the next day. Then one more time a few days later. Then another time later that evening while wasted with a bunch of friends just to make sure I forgave the bastards that split up Grindhouse.The reason I forgive them is because the extended cut on this disc is far superior to the Grindhouse cut. A lot of people said Planet Terror was the better of the two films. I’d disagree with that. Planet Terror is immediately appealing but Death Proof grows on you and is a far more accurate homage to exploitation cinema. Most exploitation films are slow moving films
But it’s an orgasmic, colourful visual treat. See: the psychedelic paint swirls of Mongo’s alien sky; hypnotized Dale (Melody Anderson), framed among a hundred extras, writhing in ecstasy under the commanding strokes of Ming’s hand in the foreground; or Zarkov’s epilepsy-inducing brain-drain sequence – a seriously intense psychological shock (discarded by the plot minutes later... aarrrghhh!).
Welcome to the Grindhouse: Don’t Answer the Phone (1980)
Spider Baby: Special Edition (1968)
Dir: Robert Hammer; and
Prime Evil (1988)
Dir: Jack Hill Dark Sky
A Must See Classic! Jack Hill is a skilled and accomplished director who - it must be duly noted to remove any notions of snobbery - worked across the broad spectrum of the Exploitation genre creating and bending trends along the way (the women in prison films of The Big Doll House and The Big Bird Cage, the teenage gang debs of Switchblade Sisters, the drag racing nihilism of Pit Stop, the female Blaxploitation of Coffy and Foxy Brown: all immensely entertaining). Spider Baby is my favourite of the lot and certainly the toughest to pin down. It’s for those who wish The Addams Family had considerably more bite to it, more creepy, less kooky, lots of ooky. This family suffers from a debilitating hereditary disorder caused by inbreeding known as the Merrye Syndrome. The Merrye Family live in a big dilapidated house that holds a few unseen family members and other surprises, set dec oddities that become apparent upon repeat viewings. The Merrye Syndrome is not only disfiguring but also involves cannibalism. There is a large amount of empathy for the so-called monsters in this film no matter how psychopathic they may be, it is after all a disease, they can’t help it. Chauffeurcaretaker Lon Chaney loves the Merrye children unconditionally and his compassion shows. Such great casting and performances: a child/beast-like Sid Haig in the advance stages of Merrye, the enchantingly dangerous teen Merrye sisters-one of whom likes to play Spider..... Though billed as a horror-comedy Spider Baby dwells comfortably within the Cinema Of The Eerie, 50s-60s era, alongside such classics as Night Of The Hunter, Peeping Tom, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, Eyes Without A Face, and, Hell, let’s throw in Carnival Of Souls and whatever other amazingly appropriate film that I’ll come across in future that qualifies (send me your list, lick the envelope). Spider Baby is perfectly shot in black and white highlighting shadows and atmosphere. The Director’s Cut varies little from the previous edition except for one brief scene which adds important expository detail to make it from now on be what I say is The Official version. Skimpy packaging is more than made up for by plenty of bonus features including a solid Making Of documentary, a short bio film of composer Ronald Stein (the delightful theme sung by the legendary Lon Chaney is a real treat), an extended scene, commentary track by Jack Hill and Sid Haig, etc. etc. -Robert Dayton
a moment of hurried miscommunication, Ben’s condom gets left on the floor, and Alison’s ovaries…well, I don’t really understand the whole process myself, but she gets pregnant. The rest of the film sees Alison and Ben coming to grips with the pregnancy and trying to build a functioning relationship out of what should have been a one-night stand. As with earlier Judd Apatow projects like Freaks and Geeks and The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up’s humour is delivered with a sincere respect for the characters and their situations. At its heart, it’s a movie about growing up and learning to adjust when real life diverges from your best-laid plans. Finally, it contains many great lessons for kids about sex and pregnancy. Like, if you do wind up with an unexpected pregnancy on your hands, then you have more options to choose from than just a “shmashmortion.” Or, even more importantly, as Ben’s housemate Jason points out, “the real point is not to get yourself in this position…You gotta know all the tricks - like, for example, if a woman’s on top she can’t get pregnant. That’s just gravity.” Well said. -Steven Evans
The sharp DVD package features art by Alex Ross (who also lends a 13-minute fanboy gush), episode awesome of the original 1936 Flash Gordon serial, and a “trailer” for the all-new 2007 Smallville-styled Flash Gordon TV show (for whom I’m currently employed!). Sadly, the latter is really embarrassing: an 11-second thoroughly unattractive title animation, with formatting errors. “Pathetic Earthlings!!!” -David Bertrand
Knocked Up (2007) Dir: Judd Apatow Universal
that are broken up by pointless insanity; Planet Terror is way too much of a “non-stop action thrill ride” to be an exploitation film. Death Proof is 25 minutes of action, 90 minutes of dialogue. If Tarantino dialogue is nails-on-achalkboard to you, stay away. Some shots go on forever and the dialogue in this film is relentlessly meandering. At times you want to yell at the scream, “get the fuck on with it already” but then the action comes and it’s all worth the wait. This film has two of the best payoffs I’ve ever seen. The only thing better than that car chase is the sudden ending. -Michael Mann
Flash Gordon (1980) Dir: Mike Hodges
Ah, Flash Gordon. Saviour of the Universe. That ‘30’s comic book hero who pops up thrice a generation, yet no one remembers... First off – this is NOT Flesh Gordon (1974), that dick’n’boob parody with Emperor Wang from planet Porno and Dr. Jerkoff’s penis rocket. You pervert. Regular ol’ Gordon follows hunky Flash, bubbleheaded Dale Arden and maverick scientist Hans Zarkov, as they rocket to planet Mongo to save our Earth from the cruel whims of Emperor Ming the Merciless (Max Von Sydow, sporting a magnificent Fu Manchu). We meet Ming’s incredibly sexy daughter Aura (Ornella Muti), metal-faced henchman Klytus and assistant Kala (a smokin’ German sadist), the valiant winged hawkmen, and the Robin Hoody woodsmen of Arborea led by Timothy Dalton. Sam J. Jones is Flash, a bleach-haired brick shithouse who’s sub-Keanuvian acting chops somehow propel this magnificently overpriced mess through sheer joyous stupidity. Absurd and camp, Flash was never going to be a “sane” film – as screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. (King Kong, 1976) explains. Shooting a hurried first draft, Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis’ “translator” spoke shit English, Jones was cast from The Dating Game, production designer Danilo Donati (Salo, Caligula, Fellini) did whatever the damned hell he pleased. Logic, reason, a competent protagonist – all tossed out the window in favour of clunky He-Man howlers (“I’m not your enemy, Ming is! Let’s all team up and fight him.”), and that unforgettably grandiose theme song by Queen.
When 2007 draws to a close, Knocked Up will remain the funniest movie of the year, hands down. That’s not a prediction - it’s a statement of the obvious. With all due respect to Superbad, Judd Apatow’s other raunchy summer hit, Knocked Up demolishes its closest rival in the frequency, hilarity and depth of its jokes. The movie is so solid, they could probably piece together a slapdash edit of the deleted scenes and still blow 90 percent of the other studio comedies out of the water. The cast is so on the money that one could easily imagine separate movies each following just the five stoned housemates or the married couple played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. (Or perhaps that second movie would be too similar to Rudd’s character’s description of marriage – “Like an unfunny, tense version of Everybody Loves Raymond, except it doesn’t last 22 minutes, it lasts forever.”) Anyways, back to the movie that thankfully does exist. In it, Seth Rogen stars as Ben, a 23-year old Canadian living (smoking weed, mostly) in L.A. with a group of four similarly underemployed friends. When
the five hit the town for a night out, Ben somehow manages to charm the attractive, career-minded Alison (Katherine Heigl), who is out celebrating a promotion at work. Drinks get drunk, Alison invites Ben over, and, in
Dir: Roberta Findlay Navarre
Another characteristically fine double bill from Navarre. Don’t Answer the Phone is one of the greatest grindhouse movies of all time, since it goes a little further than the rest in terms of pure, blackhearted misogyny, and aesthetic degradation. There’s nothing here to make you feel better after that goat-fucking flick we reviewed last month; Don’t Answer the Phone is sleaze incarnate, made by some of the worst people on earth. As far as I can tell, it’s concerned with the psychotic exploits of a Vietnam vet with a taste for extreme Catholic sadism. Meanwhile, he taunts a radio personality in a very poorly executed hispanic accent, while comedy relief cops sit around an office that looks like it was hastily built inside a school gym, HG Lewis-style. Filmmaker Robert Hammer goes as far as he can without bringing on the XXX, plus his name is ‘Hammer’, but the real attraction is Nicholas Worth as the killer. His performance is completely insane, even after you factor in that he’s playing a crazy person. His sweaty, infantile, unhinged antics bring to mind a hairy Divine, but without the subtlety and nuance. Dayton tells me he showed up in an episode of Hunter, once. Prime Evil is the second to last film by Deuce legend Roberta
Findlay, and it’s just appalling. A terrible, rubber Satan that gets disemboweled and the line, “Cut the crap, fart breath” help to leaven this dreary shit sandwich of a movie, but that’s about it. Findlay at least gets points for exposing the secret Luciferian sect embedded in the Catholic Church, but beyond that, this is a pitiful end to a fabulous career. True to the perverse logic of these things, I therefore loved it. Shot right in Times Square in the year that grindhouse died - 1988 - Prime Evil has an inadvertently elegiac quality about it; enough that I was moved to recreate the experience by inviting a homeless guy into my house and giving him a blow job about half way through. - Adrian Mack
The Nerve October 2007 Page 17
TORONTO INT’L FILM FESTIVAL T
oronto, I hate you.You live in the shadow of New York and Chicago and have no identity whatsoever. You also have no homeless people. Where do you hide them all? In Vancouver, right? What really irks me about your city though is that it’s so nauseatingly supportive. Take the Maple Leafs for example. They’re the biggest joke of all the Canadian hockey franchises and they’ve been this way for about half a century.Yet you Torontonians go out and cheer this team on every night regardless. In Vancouver, we stop cheering for the Canucks if they lose two games in a row and won’t start cheering again until they win at least 10 games in a row. It’s this kind of blind enthusiasm that allows you sustain your grandiose cultural events like the Toronto International Film Festival. In Vancouver we could have a lot of fun things to do that could easily be bigger and better than any show you put on. However, people from Vancouver hate to see anyone succeed at anything so we don’t attend these potentially fun events and they falter in their infancy. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one from Vancouver attended the Olympics. The really weird thing is when you go to Toronto, the people there start supporting you even though you’re an outsider. Last year I went to the film fest and wrote a whole bunch of rude stuff about them that should have earned me a punch in the face. But who cares, I mean, no one from the film festival would take the time to read my article, they’ve got better things to do. Then they read it and actually called me up to discuss it. They weren’t angry though - they wanted to make sure I had an okay time and would be coming back again next year. My mom told me she will never read this magazine but the press office at TIFF will. So hello TIFF press office.You’re probably reading a lot of great articles by people like Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin and this one must pale in comparison. Sorry for this tangent here but I just wanted to let you know that I think you are all swell and do good work. Now let me get back to the festival. For ten efficient days in September, the film industry moves into Toronto - you hear a lot of locals commenting on how much more attractive the city gets during this time. Even though the whole city goes into a Brad Pittinduced hype frenzy, there actually is a lot of substance to the festival. TIFF truly boasts a stellar fucking line-up of movies. Sure, you can waste your time and see movies like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Eastern Promises that are debuting a week before their release. But where this festival really excels is the selection of edgy and weird movies that have zero chance of scoring a big-time distribution deal. Those are the kind of films you wanna see at a festival because if you miss them there you’ll never see them. You can take chances on films at TIFF and you’re not likely to get burned and that, my friend, is a beautiful thing. So in the year that Dubai built a structure that’s taller than the CN Tower, people from Toronto can console themselves with the knowledge that TIFF surpassed Sundance as the premier film festival in North America. Here’s a selection of some of the more interesting films I caught while out there.
about him. Amazing pay-off at the end, though.
The Devil’s Chair
Dir: Adam Mason A guy and his girlfriend go do LSD in an abandoned insane asylum; never a good idea. The girlfriend sits in an evil chair that burrows into her skin and then sends her to some nether region where a demon kills her. They guy gets blamed for the woman’s disappearance and many years later
George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead
Dir: I forget Fear not, it’s good and it got picked up for a theatrical release. It’s a little gimmicky but Romero can get away with it because he’s Romero. This Blair Witch-style reboot of Night of the Living Dead follows a group of students on the night the dead rise from the earth and begin feasting on the living. Finally a zombie movie for the Web 2.0 crowd! A Zack Snyder remake is slated for a summer ‘08 release.
he returns to the haunted asylum with a group of skeptical psychologists (once again, never a good idea). Guess what happens? Not as dumb as it sounds and a strong second outing from Adam Mason who’s first film, Broken is an entertaining piece of low-budget British torture porn.
Dir: Dario Argento The much-anticipated follow-up to Suspiria and Inferno. A third witch has awoken in Rome and the city is caught in a frenzy of cannibalism, suicide, infanticide and priesticide. Starring Asia Argento (fear not pervs, she gets her tits out),
The Mother of Tears is full of campy dialogue, out of control violence, cheap cg and a sinister monkey. This is Argento’s best in a decade, granted that’s not saying much.
Son of Rambow
Dir: David Cronenberg You remember in the introduction when I said it was no fun to go see movies that are having a theatrical the week
Dir: Garth Jennings One of the buzz films at Sundance this year. A young imaginative kid from a luddite religion accidentally watches they went there to shoot a heavy metal band, awesome guys. It’s a shame the most entertaining part of this film was seeing over half the audience walk out before it was over. It wasn’t even one those flattering mass exodus’ brought on by people not understanding the movie. They left because the movie is just plain bad. The only way you could possibly enjoy this movie is if you really get a kick out of watching a whole lot of Suroosh Alvi reaction shots and the most unremarkable footage of Baghdad you’ve ever seen. And if that’s the case, you’re probably reading the wrong magazine.
I’m Not There
after the festival? Well I’m full of shit and I apologize. But seriously, we’re talking about Cronenberg here. It’s got Viggo, my favourite french actor Vincent Cassel and a script by the guy who wrote Dirty Pretty Things. Personally, I think this is the best film of the year and I’ll be surprised if anything comes out that makes me recant that. But you already know this because it’s been out for weeks now.
Dir: Todd Haynes Even if you don’t like Bob Dylan, there’s no denying this film is an impressive accomplishment. While taking it in you can’t help but think “My God, a lot of time and thought went into this movie.” It features six different actors all playing Dylan at various stages in his life, real or imagined. Try to suppress a grin whenever Christian Bale (as early Dylan) or Cate Blanchett (as Electric Dylan) are on the screen. I’m
Rambo and, with the help of a friend, begins shooting a sequel a la Lot’s of fun feel-good comedy from the Brit who made Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This could be this year’s Pan’s Labyrinth. Or next year’s when they’ll likely get around to releasing it in North America.
Sukiyaki Western Django
Dir: Takashi Miike Takashi Miike’s movies are always a gamble. I’m happy to report with his first English language film is his best since Ichi The Killer. This tribute to spaghetti westerns (or macaroni westerns as they’re called in Japan) could only have been made by him. I should clarify about the english part though, it’s actually a weird phonetic english where you suspect the Japanese cast is reading english cue cards with no prior coaching. There’s a definite Tarantino-esque quality to this and not just because he’s also in it. Totally over-thetop samurai-swords-hitting-bullets-out-of-the-air fun. Watch the original Django before you see this movie.You’ll enjoy it more.
Dir: Koen Mortier Some good ol’ fashion NC-17 fun from Belgium. Four handicapped people form a band called the Feminists to perform one momentous show. Funny, because we have a band called the Feminists in Vancouver that consists of four retards as well, too bad they didn’t stop playing after one show (just kidding Ferdy!). This movie is totally filthy with its XXX sex, a guy with a 50cm long penis (limp) and a scene where two of the characters take a trip inside a woman’s blown out hoo-hoo - they refer to this as an exploded rat which I thought was especially brilliant.
Dir: Xavier Gens WIth Calvaire, High Tension, Sheitan, A L’Iinterieur and now
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The Mother of Tears
Dir: Suroosh Alvi & Eddy Moretti If Visa sponsored an award for the most self-indulgent home movie at the festival, this one would have won. Oh the guys from Vice went to Baghdad and they brought a video camera, isn’t that edgy? No one’s ever gone there. Oh and
When Japan needs rescuing, he runs off to a power plant, has clamps attached to his nipples and is electrocuted. This causes him to grow so he’s able to battle the giant baddies. The problem is, all the baddies he fights are really mediocre and phallic looking and the general public could care less
Women like her because they think her films are empowering. I like her because her films have fearless female performances (translation: full frontal nudity). The fearless female actress in this one, a period piece, is none other than Asia Argento. She plays one of those crazy bitches who’s awesome in the sack but won’t let you dump her, no matter how hard you try. I noticed a whole lotta journalists with their notebooks on their laps throughout this one. I guess they were busy taking notes or something.
Heavy Metal in Baghdad
Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto This was one of my favourites of the festival even though people look at me like I’m crack when I try and explain the premise. Here goes anyways, Dainipponjin is a hilarious mockumentary about an unpopular Japanese super hero, think Ultraman. The film jumps back and forth between documentary style interviews with our hero and CG battles with the monsters (or “baddies” as he refers to them).
Frontière(s), France is quickly establishing itself as the home for stylish extreme horror. Any movie where the bad guys are Nazi Cannibals gets a thumbs up from me. This is a fucking extreme movie and rookie director Xavier Gens now holds the crown for making the most violent commercial horror film of the year. Half the audience walked out... this is a good thing.
By Michael Mann
Not There will probably win a bunch of Oscars, but not best director because Todd Haynes is gay and the academy can’t let one of those guys on the mic on live television.
The Last Mistress
Dir: Catherine Breillat Catherine Breillat is the only female filmmaker I like.
“Well, thanks for using all the margarine. Now I can’t make breakfast!”
CRASH INTO ME: Stuart Gordon’s Stuck By Michael Mann
tuck starts with Mena Suvari washing feces off a senile old man at man at a senior citizens home. From that point on you know this isn’t going to be your typical moviegoing experience, but I knew this would be the case before the film even started because Stuck is directed by Stuart Gordon. Stuart Gordon has made a career out of providing anything but typical film experiences. He’s made splatter classics like the Re-Animator series and From Beyond, he wrote Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, produced a movie called Death Bed and most recently directed Edmond, a play of his longtime colleague David Mamet that was adapted for the screen. Based on the true story, Stuck is the tale of a woman who runs over a homeless man (Stephen Rea), which causes the man to get trapped in her windshield. She seems more concerned about the blood on her upholstery than the dying man begging for help. So rather than help him, she drives home, parks the car in her garage and leaves him there while she figures out what to do. Stephen Rea’s character isn’t too happy about this and does everything in his power to escape before he dies of blood loss. It debuted at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival and was one of many great films that were a part of the Midnight Madness Program. After TIFF I had a chance to chat with Stuart Gordon about my favourite things: his movies, gratuitous nudity and running over homeless people with cars. So Stuck is based on a true story. What about this story made you want to make a film out of it? It was just such an incredible story. It was one of those things that if you made it up, no one would believe it. The question was: what would make a woman who normally works as a caregiver in a senior citizens home do something like this. Mena Suvari’s character Brandi starts off nice enough. So it’s circumstance that makes her evil? Well I think she’s a regular ordinary person. She is a nice person but nice people can do terrible things. So would you say it’s nurture, not nature that determines personality? No, I think what happens is that any of us in our society today do not want to take responsibility for their actions. I
think that’s really widespread. Normally very caring people will turn and do horrific things to avoid being punished or called upon for their actions. This movie is a very gritty urban tale. Even the soundtrack is. Were you involved with the soundtrack at all? Oh sure. So do you listen to a lot of hip-hop? [laughs] I don’t listen to it that much but my daughter does. She was kind of a technical adviser on this one. What was the biggest challenge with shooting Stephen Rea stuck in the windshield? Well poor Stephen, he pointed out to me that in reality the guy was in the windshield for three days. But Stephen was in the windshield for three weeks. [laughs] I think he’s a great actor but physically he was really pushed to the limit. He’s a real trooper.
I see these movies when people are in bed and they’re all dressed. Or like have a sheet up to their neck. Yeah, or they’re wearing little teddies. It’s like, what planet are you from? I find it interesting that Mena Suvari has a producer credit and a rather graphic sex scene. Did she resist doing that scene at all? No, Mena’s incredible. She really wanted this movie to push the boundaries. It had to go further. Right from the beginning, it lets you know this movie is not going to play by the rules. You and David Mamet go back a long way, your theatre group performed one of his first plays correct? Yeah we did. We did the first professional production of his work.
I don’t like that expression, porn. People are always trying to lump horror movies into some sort of pornography and I don’t think it is.
The gore in this film is pretty brutal and realistic as opposed to other films you’ve done where there’s an underlying humour to it. If you’re going to show violence you really need to show it the way it is. It’s painful. That’s one of the things that’s very rarely shown in films. People can get shot and keep on going like they’re feeling no pain at all. I think you’ve gotta show that’s it’s messy and it hurts. You’ve never shied away from including what some might call gratuitous nudity in your films. I never think of it as gratuitous. Why do you feel the need to include that? Does the audience demand it? No. It depends what the scene is. There are times when people do not wear clothes. [laughs] It bothers me when
Did working with Mamet on Edmond affect this movie at all? I think it did. There’s a line in Mamet’s Edmond that was sort of leading to this project. He says “How much of your life are you truly alive… when you’re in difficulties. When you’re in a car crash. ” That line sort of stayed with me with Stuck. It is true. When you’re in a car crash. Suddenly your life comes into focus for you. You’ve been making horror movies for close to 25 years now. What do you think about the kids these days and their Torture Porn? I don’t like that expression, porn. People are always trying to lump horror movies into some sort of pornography and I don’t think it is. Like every generation has to create their own monsters. Different things care different people at different times. I think it’s a result of what we’re seeing in our newspapers every day. There’s constantly stuff about throwing out the Geneva Convention. Torturing people in Iraq and Guantanamo. It’s hard to escape it. Movies reflect
what our society is doing. Are there any contemporary horror filmmakers out there that you really like what they’re doing? Oh yeah, there’s a lot. It’s funny because a lot of them were at [The Toronto International Film Festival’s] Midnight Madness. I love [Takashi] Miike. I think he’s great. And Dario Argento is one of my heroes. I really liked Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. I thought that was a great film. There’s some wonderful work being done. From Beyond was just released on DVD for the first time. Why did it take so long to get this amazing movie on DVD? That’s a good question. I’ve been pestering them about it for years now. What was really extraordinary was that when they finally started getting into the idea of putting it out, they located some of the material that had been cut out by the MPAA. We were able to create a director’s cut that re-inserted all this material. What was cut out by the MPAA? A lot of it was violence or sexual material. It’s a very disturbing movie but this is not a realistic film. It’s a film about other dimensions. I think they were getting their revenge on me because Re-Animator had been released unrated. I really had to run the gauntlet. Finally, you’re working on a new Re-Animator film. Well, it’s in development. And what’s it called? House of Re-Animator. The house in question is the White House. It’s about the Vice-President of the United States dropping dead. Since he’s actually running the country, they need to bring him back. [Laughs] Have you got anyone in mind to play the Vice President? I’ve got George Wendt [Norm from Cheers] lined up to play him. n Stuart Gordon is currently “in talks with several different companies” for a potential theatrical release of Stuck.The directors cut of From Beyond was recently released by MGM.
The Nerve October 2007 Page 19
LIVE REVIEWS ordered all cigarettes stomped out; later, the same guard was offering free smokes from his private pack. WHAT FUCKING PLANET WAS I ON??? Everyone touchy-feely and bi-polar – especially the bartenders, who called lights out at 9pm (on a Saturday!). Coincidentally, Mr. Homme was visibly sober and in fine form. As was the band, which currently consists of that guy, and those other guys. All of them dressed in industrial black. I wonder – was there a bargain-bin discount while opening for Nine Inch Nails in 2005? It fits with the new album, I guess. Crunky as steel pistons, and a cold stage set lorded over by chain-link chandeliers. They opened with “Millionaire”, Nick Oliveri’s best ever pistolwhip cracker-jack; except Oliveri ain’t in the band no more. Problem! Josh has a lovely singing voice, but he’s no screamer – and it didn’t ease that still lingering feeling that QOTSA as a band no longer exists, it’s just “Homme and co.”. Otherwise, can’t fault the song selection, which grabbed from every album – “If Only”, “Burn the Witch”, “Sick, Sick, Sick”, “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”, “A Song for the Dead”, with its killer Dave Grohl drum intro (Grohl not in attendance). “Make It Wit Chu”, a new one culled from a Desert Session, is a genuine ballad, disturbingly similar to the Pretenders’ “Brass in Pocket”, perfect for lighters and cellphones. Josh doing a real Joe Cocker up there, his sidemen singing the unmanly high bits while he mumbles about (“Uuuuhhhh huhhh... wooo... oooo... yeahHHHAaaaaa.....”). “Tonight, everyone gets laid,” said Josh, “I promise.” If you include the free sex, it was totally worth 50 bucks. - Dave Bertrand
PHOTO: Femke Van Delft
Commodore Ballroom,Vancouver, BC Saturday, September 15, 2007
I don’t understand the Animal Collective. It’s not that the music is too weird for me, dig – some 20somethings I queried at the gig took it there, assuring me that they were the “new thing” and that if I opened my mind I’d get it – but that ain’t exactly the problem. There’s nothing remotely unprecedented about even their strangest recordings. Neverminding contemporaries like the No Neck Blues Band, as far back as 1981, groups like Zoviet France were creating non-linear, texturally dense noise collages to trip out on, that are weirder and more challenging/ rewarding than anything you might find on, say, Here Comes the Indian (the weirdest thing I’ve heard from them in my brief span of listening to the Collective’s music). What’s confusing is that Zoviet France is an obscure taste, something that kids don’t flock to listen to and never did, and a mere 88 people came to see the No Neck Blues Band when they played here last November. But the Commodore, on September 15th, was nearly full. To some extent, seeing Animal Collective live helps me understand its popularity, because the “Zoviet France factor” in what the band does gets toned way down in performance, and the “boy band” element – sorry – gets upped. Beats are stronger, vocal harmonies more important, and you get to watch (oh goody) two guys dancin’ backlit at their consoles and one guy, Avey I guess, on the mike in a baseball cap (don’t ask me where the fourth member was). Mix in an obnoxious, audiencefocused lightshow and overall rave ambience, and the stage presentation grounds the sometimes very abstract and unusual textures of the music in something performative and concrete and VERY precedented, if not especially interesting. This, I guess, is what happens to avant-gardists who get popular: they gradually stop being avantgarde. Seeing Animal Collective live makes the stuff I actually like about ‘em on disc seem random, accidental, or at the very best, secondary. Next stop top 40? But what the hell, I’m nearly 40 myself, and it clearly had appeal for the dancing, cheering kids
The Nerve October 2007 Page 20
on the floor. And every now and then, if I closed my eyes, it worked – usually during the textural intersong segues that the crowd cheered over. For my purposes, sometimes Collective collaborator/ Black Dice-man Eric Copeland’s opening set – before the rather banal Wizard Prison – was more interesting to get lost in; he erected a towering column of Indo-industrial-dub-drone, challenging Norway’s Fe-mail for sheer volume (if not complexity). THIS I could consistently get off on, without beats or lights or dancing MCs to get in the way. As some guy quipped happily to me when I was pickin’ up Copeland’s CD, Hermaphrodite, at the merch table, “It’s psychotic!” At least the concert didn’t spoil the discs – I was worried there. - Allan MacInnis
Queens of the Stone Age
Bill Copeland Sports Centre, Burnaby, BC Saturday, September 1, 2007 Vancouver’s Civic Strike 2007 – the least debilitating protest in the history of organized labour. My first inconvenience in two months? Driving to Burnaby for this show, because the Orpheum was closed. Whup! This simple hurdle gave QOTSA frontman Josh Homme plenty fuel to rally the troops: “They can strike my nuts – cause nuthin’ keeps me from my Vancouver.” A real comedy evening, between Homme’s razor wit and the arena staff, who had obviously never dealt with rock’n’roll before. I saw three security dudes desperately pry some cutie off her boyfriend’s shoulders; I saw an overly helpful emergency team apply adhesive strips to a scratched shin. “BandAids for everyone!” shouted Homme, “Vancouver... the city of love!” A uniformed bulldog
PHOTO: Femke Van Delft
Animal Collective / Wizard Prison / Eric Copeland
dysenteric diarrhea than any of those kids had in their entire bodies. The wide-eyed Mr. Tube Steak vendor silently served me my $5.50 Bavarian smokie with tight lips and the strangely silent emo kids parted Red Sea-style when I stomped back into the audience area. My black, stony heart went out to those poor guys in Attack in Black. The band was doing their damnedest to rock out, but the kids didn’t seem to want any of it. Christ knows there was a Malkin Bowl full of them, lounging around on the ground on blankets like it was some goddamned folk festival. The numb-fuck high school flashbacks I had were hell on my aching balls, and I could have unleashed pure vigilante justice on the asshole sound crew. AIB’s sound was unbalanced and tinny, and it effectively neutered the trademark thick-ass punch which makes their recordings so bloody powerful. There’s nothing that makes me see more murderous crimson than a quartet of fat, balding sound techs (clad in matching black golf shirts, cargo shorts, and fucking Crocs! Assholes!), loudly chortling away to each other (in stomach-churning British accents) on meaningless audio-tech shop talk, like they were apprentice mechanics in some dingy Langley autobody shop, and not being paid a bloated union scale to supposedly dial in a decent stage sound for a band I considered to be the stars of the night – Live Nation, are you listening? A band I believed should have not been treated like the redheaded stepchildren of indie rock, even if one of AIB’s guitarists was redheaded (whether or not his parents adopted him, I don’t know). I spent the 15 minute set-break stewing in my own juices, staring up into the cold night sky and only seeing Neitzsche’s abyss, to the tune of some shitty techno-R&B bullshit being piped through the sound system. I thought about braving another agonizingly long wait in the refreshment queues for a $3.00 styrofoam cup of tire-shop coffee, but by that time I would rather have queued for splintery, one-ply Soviet-issue toilet paper. I glanced red-eyed at the stage when City and Colour began their yawnable set of insincerely-executed pastel-emotional indieepics, and then I exercised free will. I left the Malkin Bowl. On my way out, I got a kick out of the crazy crackhead at the bus loop, screaming hoarsely about burning down the forest, before the welcome arrival of the #19 bus whooshed me out of Stanley Park and back into sanity. I should have gone to the Monday night noise showcase at the Cobalt instead. - Johnny Kroll
City and Colour / Attack in Black Malkin Bowl Amphitheatre,Vancouver, BC Monday, September 17, 2007
I’d never been to the fabled Malkin Bowl before, so I was stoked as all hell to see one of my new favourite Canadian bands, New Brunswick’s Attack in Black, surrounded by towering old-growth forest under Indian Summer starlight and rocking out in full cry and extreme volume for 800 high-school seniors (and about 250 homeless squatters beyond the gates).Alas, like most rock shows I leave the halfway house for, this ended up as yet another crushing disappointment. First off, the 20-minute lineup for the ATM was hell; dumb-ass kids fumbling hesitantly through the prompts; the damn machine was so slow it was probably steam-driven; and the gall of being raped $2.50 in service charges for withdrawing a stinking $20-bill automatically sent old Johnny into his usual sweetness-and-light mode. Then I walked past some gangly, rat-faced asshole with a faux-hawk, who sneered to his zit-faced jerk-off buddy in the hotdog queue, “I’d like to punch that guy.” I whirled on him and straight-armed him full in the shoulder, and his scrawny girl-jeaned ass hit the dewy grass like a sack of Jared Leto’s shit. I have more muscles in my
Ruins / Fake Shark Real Zombie Pat’s Pub,Vancouver, BC Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Unbeknownst to me, for the last while, Ruins drummer and mastermind Tatsuya Yoshida has been touring as Ruins (alone). This doesn’t mean that the notorious Japanese avant-rock two-piece isn’t bein’ accompanied by weird opera singers, Omoide Hatoba, or the ghost of Derek Bailey. It means that Ruins is now (unofficially) Ruin, a one-piece: bassist
it rather dreamy). On September 12, some other nut stepping took place. This time it had nothing to do with sex but everything to do with the Fucking Champs. After a five-year break, the band finally has some new material to take along on their North American tour. VI came out in April and is one of the band’s most ambitious efforts. There was some confusion for the gig; it was originally booked for the Warehouse, but then for some reason it was moved to the dank pub atmosphere of the Ship and Anchor; perfect for the Champs and, not to forget, free. There’s only one thing better than geek metal, and that’s free geek metal. Or, in this case, slow guitar metal. If that’s what you’re looking for, then get your denim jacket and hoodie combination to the best source; the Fucking Champs can deal out all the nine string drop-D ball-mashing you can handle. The metal they play is a mixture of stoner rock and delicious ironic scenester attitude. The band has dubbed its own style as ‘Total Music’. I guess if you’re going to be this ambitious, why not give it a title that encapsulates everything? You do have to understand that these guys are self-proclaimed nerds and don’t really have a stage presence. Not that you’d notice, because you’re too busy getting throttled with brutal riffage from the nine string Fender.You’ll gladly take the deep knee acrobatics. - Dale DeRuiter
The Victoria Anarchist Bookfair Victoria Cool Aid Society, Downtown Community Centre,Victoria, BC September 8 and 9, 2007
Day One - Feast on the stank! Anarcho punks worldwide united in Victoria to kick off the weekend long Anarchist Bookfair, and I was tempted to pull the fire alarm just so everyone could have a free shower. Hardcore Resist and Exist from California was the headliner, but it was Edmonton punks Eleutheros who got everyone re-evaluating their insurgent tactics. Lead singer Sam kicked serious ass for lack of better words, and space. Dare I compare her to the Queen himself, Freddie Mercury? Sam was flamboyantly dark, and the band’s performance was a night at the opera. My one complaint was with the bass player, who looked as though she was struggling with one of her three chords. Maybe she missed practice? Luckily, the drummer kept the pace. And to their credit, everyone in the band ELEUTHEROS could scream exceptionally well, especially guitar player Lex. But as well as Brian May could hold his own, we all know it was Freddie that had the presence; whenever Sam felt the climax of the song, she would lash her head back so far you would think it was going to tear off. Then she would release the shrillest, eardrum-crushing yell. Her eyes bled anarchy, and when she was not indulging you with her lyrical genius and screaming murder, her voice was one notch above silent. Mid-set, in the most nonthreatening tone, she actually busted
Richard’s on Richards,Vancouver, BC. Thursday, September 13, 2007
Still feeling slightly jilted about the whole Magnolia fiasco, I bust my ass to get to Richard’s on time to see the show. I arrive and all is well in the indie rock world. I see my friends drinking too much, snub a few people and get snubbed myself. A-OK. Then the fucking Doers come on and rock the house with their annoying blend of half-assed shabbiness. Who would have thought that three guys could produce that much noise? At this point I really start drinking hard. They finish. I don’t clap. It’s called integrity. The next band starts to take the stage and there sure was a lot of fellows kicking about. My friend is friends with a member of Fond on Tigers. We meet and I say I’m excited to hear them. This is not a lie. They have a great band name. I get kinda pumped up. Then I start hearing the word ‘experimental’ being throw around the crowd. Oh shit. FOT starts playing and it was the worst garbage I have ever heard in my life. Everyone around me was looking at each other and just laughing their heads off. The first song ended and there was a flurry of people racing for the door. Everyone I met that night used the term “wank” repeatedly. Such a waste of time.You can learn a lot of things from music school, but one thing you can’t learn is how to entertain. BALONEY! They finish and the beers are really going down smooth. Finally Chad Van comes on stage and plays some of the most beautiful and earnest songs about worms and vampires, murderers and families. He is just great. See guys, I’m not all bad. I have a heart. He played a lot of new songs and was mostly on the electric guitar. My only complaint was the bass player’s facial hair was a bit much. Chad, you turned my night around and for that, I thank you. Doers and Fond of Tigers, you almost won this round. Keep up the bad work. - Wally
The Fucking Champs / Birds of Avalon Ship and Anchor Pub, Calgary, AB Wednesday, September 12, 2007
A friend of mine told me as I prepared to move to Calgary, “Never date a girl who has a standing tab at the Ship and Anchor.” I don’t really understand why he gave me this random advice, but my best wager is that his nuts got stepped on by some past love that used to frequent the pub (which by the way is excellent and I find the women who frequent
Hot Hot Heat / The Dudes The Commodore,Vancouver, BC Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I’m starting to feel a bit like Perez Hilton these days. A slightly less gayer, less fatter version. It just seems that I can’t go out to a show without having to riff on some band, and this night was no different. The crowd was pretty funny at this show. It was full of insecure people who don’t know enough about music to realize how gay Hot Hot Heat really is. I was strutting around that joint like I owned it. Which, despite what I may or may not have said to several underaged indie rock girls, I do not. Let me be more clearer. I DO NOT OWN THE COMMODORE. The Dudes took the stage and some good-natured drunken kids bopped around singing every song. These guys are great and I love Scott the drummer. What a nice young chap. I still can’t figure out why their hotel room was by the PNE. Oh, Dan from the Dudes is a killer front man and part time body builder. Those other two fruits are okay, I guess. The fun stopped when Hot Hot Heat took the stage. I would have been so pissed if I’d paid to get in. It was like watching some slimmeddown Dame Ednas trying to make up songs on the spot. I think the drummer sold me a V-Neck T-shirt at American Apparel earlier that week. I left because they were embarrassing me. I know, that’s a bit Perez Hilton-y. Sorry. But I knew there was something else happening in town; TWO GALLANTS at THE MEDIA CLUB. I ran like hell and made it just in time to miss BLITZEN TRAPPER, which sucks because not only are they nice guys, but their tunes are super. Two Gallants, easily the best two-piece since the Pack, played so well, I couldn’t believe all that noise was coming from one guitar. I like how the Media Club keeps getting better and better, like a beer you forgot under your bed. Lana, you are the beer underneath my bed. That’s all. BYE! - Wally
some guy’s balls for saying, “That’s so gay”. Then, to embarrass him even more, she sifted through the audience, found him, and gave him a hug. Mr. That’s So Gay must have missed the part of Anarchy 101 about respecting all types of people. Day Two - I decided to bring my travel size Febreeze. Anyway, everyone knows who Rahzel is, right? The guy who, using his mouth, plays the beat and the words at the same time. Not impressive compared to the performance put on by the Unspoken Wordsmith. Somebody call Dr. Dre, because this skinny white boy got me thinking he was doing some crazy David Blaine shit on stage. I swear he was doing the beat, the words, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, DJ scratching and some cowbell, ALL at the same time. Not only that, his rhymes were tight and his speed would have stopped KRS-One dead in his tracks. It’s too bad he’s an anarchist, Def Jam would be all up in his grill! - Christina Paris
PHOTO: CHRISTINA PARIS
THE FUCKING CHAMPS
PHOTO: DALE DERUITER
Sasaki is not there, nor any other bassist besides. Accompanied, for his September 19 Vancouver gig, by bass-in-a-can and other effects, a solo Yoshida flailed intensely through complex song structures and turn-on-a-dime shifts, performing athletic feats of drummerly precision and dexterity – while occasionally yelping garbled vocals in that made-up language of his. Prog rock, punk, metal, and opera were whipped into a single, irreducible musical storm. His burnt orange T-shirt was soaked in sweat at the end of the 40-minute set. Sasaki bein’ canned meant every unpredictable spastic loop-de-loop was IN YOSHIDA’S HEAD from the gitgo (“now this is the part where I go BRAGGUKKKVVLPHHTTTNK-gak-gak-gak!”). Fuuuhck! It’d be nice to have seen him playing off another musician, but it sounded immensely full for one dude – like the heaviest King Crimson record bein’ played at 78 RPM. I wonder if he digs Nomeansno? A surprisingly large crowd (100+) made it to the event, which really deserved a higher-profile setting. Cool that so many people “got” it, tho’. Unsurprising that a few didn’t: I overheard a couple of kids who’d enthusiastically manned the dancefloor to stagger around to Fake Shark Real Zombie arguing about whether Ruins was cool or not. That could serve as a sort of review of Fake Shark Real Zombie, but I’m sure their enthusiastically adolescent punked-up NY Dolls spazzing is warmly received in certain quarters. I begrudge them nothing, and will think of them no further. When the night ended, I asked Yoshida-san where Sasaki was. “He come back hometown. Money problem,” Yoshida explained – which isn’t that instructive, but was about all I wanted to impose on him. It ain’t gonna be easy for Yoshida to find someone else who can keep up. - Allan MacInnis
The Nerve October 2007 Page 21
CD SPOTLIGHT Ted Nugent Love Grenade Eagle Rock To say that Ted Nugent is back would imply that he left in the first place. The Motor City Madman might be best known for the idiotic stanzas within “Cat Scratch Fever” but he’s also been touring and releasing album for the last 20-plus years. It’s really just a matter of whether anyone’s listening at this point. Love Grenade is his latest offering, and its moronic warblings are about what you’d expect from this skunk-diddling knucklehead. The title track, “Funk U” and the oh-so-clever “Bridge Over Troubled Daughters” are straight-up hard rock nonsense and they are timeless in a similar respect to Bon Jovi’s “Born To Be My Baby” and to lesser degree, the second Wrestling Album (the one with Koko B Ware on 12 Midnite Sweet Turns Sour Midnight Productions The rumble of glass-pack mufflers. Rain on a darkened city street. A phone rings and rings. Drunken laughter spilling from a bar. Streetlights shrouded with fog. Distorted but subdued guitar. Martinis at midnight and puke-splattered concrete. A mechanical voice on an answering machine. An ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts. The phone rings and rings. - Chris Walter
the cover). An updated version of his 1960s Amboy Dukes garage classic “Journey To The Center of the Mind” is also included, as are several tunes with strong Native American themes. I was going to check out the liner notes to get an explanation on the latter, but I was distracted by the Catholic school girl gagged like a suckling pig on the inside cover. For real. - Cameron Gordon fuzzed out, punk jabbing stoner-metal on display here. If my pants weren’t already pissed, they would be now. - filmore mescalito holmes Alternate Action Tough Times Narayan When it comes to Oi! here in Vancouver, Greg Huff is the man. Whether he’s fronting the Glory Stompers, the Subway Thugs, the Lancasters, or Alternate Action, you know you’ll find quality Oi! for the uplifting gormandizer. Tough Times is another stellar release on a long list for Mr. Huff, full of clean guitar lines and catchy arrangements. If you’re down with Oi! then you’re going to love Alternate Action, and on yer bike with you if you don’t. - Chris Walter
Street on the return pass with a post-emo, rock’n’roll, Sturmovik sortie. Just when I thought this record deserved to remain helpless under the blackened banana peels atop my trash-strewn desktop, here I am kicking myself in balls (literally and metaphorically) as punishment for not listening to these four great songs sooner. I could have saved myself from that goddamned Final Fantasy bullshit. “Broken Things” shoulders the door wide open, and before there’s time to catch the breath, it’s all “The Love Between You and I”, until “Cut and Run” finally snapped me out of my shock. By the time the last boop-boops of “1950” tweaked out, 14 minutes had elapsed and it was all over. A bit longer than most of Von Bentley’s Booze Cruise conquests, true, but I craved for more. Those fucking genius pricks in Attack in Black. Where the hell did this come from? WELLAND, ONTARIO??? Jesus. - Johnny Kroll Bedouin Soundclash Street Gospels Dine Alone Nipping at the heels of summer’s last warm embrace comes Street Gospels, the third platter from Toronto’s Bedouin Soundclash. This is album number two, produced by Bad Brains’ Darryl Jenifer, and continues in the Bedouin vein of good time, reggae-infused ska-pop which I can’t admit to being the biggest fan of. But I will give singer/guitarist Jay Malinowski and friends credit for making music that clearly offers respect and love to the musical style they pay homage to. There’s a little bit of everything here, whether it be the old school reggae style of “Jealousy And the Get Free”, the saccharine coated sweetness of “Bells Of 59”, or the nod to southern gospel spirituals in “Hush”. This happy and infectious record is sure to get many an ass shaking out the SADs as we make our way into the cold grey and wet times. - Nathan Pike
to hit my iPod this week comes from Chicago’s Busy Signals. Their debut album is an accomplished collection of highenergy rock with pop and glam thrown in, sans any lame indieness whatsoever. Rock ‘n’ roll is definitely back in fashion. The DIY garage style of this band is punk how it should be, not how a label is going to package it, and the five-piece is comprised of former members of the Krunchies, the Carbonas, the Tyrades, and the English Softhearts. There’s going to be confusion with a now defunct act of the same name - a one-man electronica sampling outfit on Sugar Free Records who used to roadie for Babes in Toyland – but musical overlap, there is not. This Busy Signals is pop-rock all the way, and a real turn up for the books in terms of the way music is going in 2007. - Stephanie Heney Creeping Hand s/t Independent This is the sound of beer bottles smashing on pavement. This is the sound of drunken laughter at midnight. This is the sound of cheap guitars set on “kill.” This is the sound of roller skate wheels on a wooden half-pipe. This is the sound of 10,000 angry voices. This is the sound of police cars burning. This is the sound of jackhammers on concrete, of breaking windows, of fist on flesh. This is the sound of your mama taking it up the ass. - Chris Walter
and grammar was very bad and then I realized that they were just taking the piss. How dare you make a mockery of music journalism, Doers! This is serious business, very serious business indeed! About the CD: for some reason I always thought that the Doers were some kind of satanic sludge band or something, which is why I never made the effort to go see them. I was surprised to learn that the Doers offer more of an offbeat, arty punk sound with no easy comparisons. If I knew more about music maybe I could fake it, but I just do this to get free records and really don’t know shit. Gaiety is kinda cool and different and I think I’ll go see the Doers at the bar. - Chris Walter Down Down III: Over the Under Down My first draft of this review basically explained the history of Down. How they formed in 1991; how this was just a side project; how they made a classic debut and very good follow-up, yada yada yada… Well people, Wikipedia is a far better resource than my constipated mind, so stop looking at dog-friendly porn for once, and save me some time. Did you do it? If you did that, you now know Phil Anselmo (the former frontman of Pantera) is the singer for this southern sludge rock band. But before you run away, I want to make it clear that this is a different man in a different band, singing (not screaming) his way through these new songs. Anselmo has been through hell in the past five years (Katrina, murdered friends, drug addiction, surgery), and has come out of it looking like a shiny golden shit nugget. This is very much his record, his pain, and possibly his redemption as a human being. The man has shit the cock out of his angry ass, and has learned to express himself with more emotions than ‘GRRRRRR’. His voice is stained with whiskey, calloused from verbal violence, and is used with passion throughout Down III. A song like “Nothing in Return” is a perfect example of the new Mr. Anselmo, sticking multiple hooks in your mind (in a good way), with a nearly nine-minute song that doesn’t get tired because of it. “3 Suns 1 Star” is a hot rocker that dropped my panties, and makes me feel guilty about not talking about the rest of the band (because they are amazing!). So, the point is, this is a really good album, with a guy singing you might’ve not liked before and might like now. - David Von Bentley
20 Pound Shovel The Act Your Age EP Independent The 20 Pound Shovel boys are growing up, and though the lyrics are the usual boy/girl stuff, The Act Your Age EP shows a more mature side to the band. That said, this is too mainstream for my taste and I can’t handle keyboards. Think Blink 181 or Sum 41. But the kids in 20 Pound Shovel don’t need my acclaim and they didn’t make this CD for grouchy old curmudgeons; if they hang in there, I’m sure they’ll need real shovels to scoop up all the money they’ll make. - Chris Walter Against Me! New Wave Sire Against Me! is at the very top of its game with New Wave, the band’s fourth album and major label debut. Possibly the most important release of the decade, New Wave somehow manages to be both majestic yet humble. Evocative, powerful, and just plain wonderful, this is the work of modern renaissance men, committed to making music that us mere mortals can only - oh, fuck me, I just can’t do this anymore… - Chris Walter Akimbo Navigating The Bronze Alternative Tentacles Gawd damn, Akimbo! How can it be that it that it took me to the fifth studio album to listen to them? Oh, right, the pee stains on my pants and all my tighty whiteys. If I were a real man, Navigating The Bronze would be a mere refresher instead of an introduction, but that’s my cross to bear. The fact is that this Seattle hardcore power trio is the meanest ass kicker on a label full of veteran bouncers and grizzled stuntmen, and, what’s more, they have the talent to back it up. “Roman Coins” shows the unadulterated power of drummer Nat Damm, essentially being a two minute solo, yet not glaringly out of context in the album, while bassist John Weisnewski and newcomer guitarist Aaron Walters strut all over the rest. Full marks to producer Chris Owens (Lords, Ed Gein) for capturing the gargantuan balls of
The Nerve October 2007 Page 22
Amorphis Silent Waters Metal Blade When did Amorphis turn into Opeth? This record is just an Opeth carbon copy that came out dull and uninspired (like the butt plugs I wear in my parent’s basement as I write this review). Amorphis was, at one point, a pioneer in the progressive metal genre, taking chances and sounding different than most bands. I was never much of a fan, but I respected them for what they did. Having lost their original sound about four albums ago, they’ve come back to rip off the modern day progressive giants known as Opeth. I swear, a song like “Weaving the Incantation” would be a B-side to a B-side to an Opeth single only released in Korea - at best. With far-too-polished production, there’s nothing that remotely feels like genuine emotion on Silent Waters. The supposed hooks in the guitar riffs are just oversaturated with shitty symphonic keyboards that will provide good people with quivering assholes of anger. There is nothing redeeming in this yawn-inducing Finnish queef of a record. It’s a good thing I don’t have a wife because domestic violence would be far to easy for me to perpetrate after 46 minutes of Silent Waters. When am I going to hear a good metal record again? - David Von Bentley
Attack in Black Widows EP Dine Alone In only four songs, the snot-nosed young whippersnappers of Attack in Black deliver a lightning-quick karate chop across the makeup-powdered nose-bridge of Gerard Way and everyone else who sings like him, dresses like him, and shops where he does. Which means the Widows EP just massacred the entire Vancouver Rockshop at full after-school customer peak, and probably strafed the length of Robson
Bella No One Will Know Mint I’m the guy at this magazine who reviews bands like Cannibal Corpse, Nailshitter, and Dekapitator. I’m the “metal dude” because, for what it’s worth, I’m literally the only human being involved with The Nerve that can stomach the sounds of bands like the aforementioned. Needless to say I’m a bitter man because of this. I’m constantly on the verge of physical altercations with anyone who looks at me the wrong way (especially children) because of the brain damage sustained from all of the concussive music I suffer through. So Adrian Mack (my editor, spiritual leader, and Panda breeder) saw the anger in my eyes and gave me a CD that was finally different from the constant, constipated, white boy screams that I’m used to. Enter Bella, a synth pop band that I seriously could only really compare to Imperial Teen, thanks to my lack of knowledge of the synth pop genre. But what do you know!? Imperial Teen-ers Will Schwartz and the legendary Roddy Bottum (formerly of Faith No More, and the man with the best gay porn name ever), both make guest appearances on No One Will Know! I honestly didn’t know that when I made the comparison. This is music you’d hear at art gallery openings or after parties for fashion designers - not my world at all. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate what Bella has here, which is simple, filled with hooks and fine vocal harmonies, and done well. - David Von Bentley The Busy Signals s/t Dirtnap The second kick-ass release on Dirtnap
The Details Draw a Distance. Draw a Border Parliament of Trees Why are there so many fucking wimps for lead singers these days? Holy bastard son of fuck! How does this phoney, melodramatic whining get passed of as singing? Seriously. And the kiddies love it?!? Christ, what’s wrong with you fuckers? I thought it bad enough Canada’s reputation has been soiled by being home to Jacob Hoggard and the fucking headache that is his band Hedley, but it seems that Winnipeg’s Details disagree. They sound a lot like them, but worse.You may not think it possible, but no… Hedley’s music at least gives the impression that there are some balls behind it. The Details’ derivative postemo crap they’re passing off as music, on the other hand, sounds like it was made by a heap of anaemic, crying vaginas. On a positive note, the CD case is made of cardboard, so you can wipe your ass with it if the urge arises. Chances are it will. - Devon Cody
Dirty and the Derelicts Satan’s Seed Independent Dirty and the Derelicts won’t go away. They keep releasing new material and playing shows for little or no money. I tried to tell them that David Geffen isn’t interested in signing them but they refuse to stop making noise.You will not find Dirty and the Derelicts on the Warped Tour, and their CDs are not on the shelves at HMV. Dirty does not snort coke from the backsides of supermodels and the Derelicts are probably only several pay cheques away from being homeless. If you see them panhandling on the street, don’t be stingy. Better yet, buy the fucking CD because it rules and you don’t. - Chris Walter The Doers Gaiety Reluctant Geez, I live in East Van and I’ve never seen the Doers. How lame is that? They’ve only been around for about a million years. Anyway, I scanned the promo sheet - I don’t know why since they’re always shit - and was amused to see that this one looks as if it was translated from Japanese. The spelling
Fueled By Fire Spread the Fire Metal Blade This CD literally came with a sticker declaring ‘Authentic Thrash Metal’ and, believe me, no single sticker has spoken the truth so clearly since ‘Honk if You’re Horny’. My God, the opening lyrics to the song “Thrash is Back” are, and I quote, “Denim and leather, thrash is what we are! Bang your head against the stage, on Baloff’s command!” When a band name checks original Exodus singer Paul Baloff, you know they mean business... and business is shit. Holy Christ, these dudes even have the photo collage of themselves partying in denim and leather, like every Bay area thrash band ever had in their records. I think the best part is the cover art, though. I swear, I was positive it was a dude (clad in denim and leather) strangling women in an alley, but on closer inspection he’s just strangling emo boys. And oh my God, the music is unreal! It’s exactly - and I mean exactly - like every thrash band that came out of San Francisco in the early ‘80s. Hell, the record sounds like they hopped in a DeLorean, travelled back in time and had a zit-faced Kirk Hammett produce it. They even have a horrible drummer
ALBUM REVIEWS who struggles with his double kicks so badly throughout Spread the Fire that at certain points on the opening track it sounds like he gave up and tried to catch up to the beat again. It’s awful, it’s tired, and its… great? These guys love thrash, hate anything that was created after the Reagan administration, and God bless them for it. This is the best record of 1985 made in 2007. - David Von Bentley Girl Nobody Balaclava Casino Heist Jericho Beach Music The two-year in the making follow up to The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be is Vancouver’s Girl Nobody ‘get back together’ album. Or have they split up again? It isn’t clear. Anyway, they’re back, for the time being, with the moody Balaclava Casino Heist. Marta JaciubekMcKeever’s vocals are little girl cutesyquirky, á la Giant Drag, and they fit well with the mysterious and atmospheric songs. Mature and avant-garde is a good way to describe the guitar-based and sample-heavy sound, but GN mostly manages to avoid being pretentious, which always negates any cool. Something like this would never have been dreamt up, however, were it not for acts like Tricky, and I always maintain that dalliances with dub are ill advised. The track “Sniffin’ Glue” is both trip hop pastiche and such a dabbling. Otherwise, Balaclava Casino Heist is a pleasant journey down the rabbit hole. - Stephanie Heney
jaded, lazy, romantic. Trust that this album goes well with coffee, cigarettes, and rainy Sunday mornings. - Devon Cody Hot Little Rocket How to Lose Everything File Under Music Calgary has always had one of the most underrated rock ‘n’ roll scenes in the country, and any band that can pick up commercial steam and garner recognition out of that town without calling themselves “alt rock” or spotlighting the next CFL montage, warrants some serious acknowledgment no matter what style of music you are into. With their latest EP, How to Lose Everything, Hot Little Rocket steps into that fragile phase where a band can smell genuine commercial success right around the corner and creative choices become that much more paramount. With catchy little ditties like “Do the Hustled” and “Like Killers”, these cats seem eager to march down the path that bands like the Killers have plowed out for them. At the same time, there’s something very stoic and genuine about their lyrics and sound; “It Gets Dark” is a flat out, fucking awesome song that shines a light on this band’s versatility as artists. All in all, this album is very tight and is much like a chick that keeps getting hotter the more time you spend with her. - Christopher Petry
of Hallelujah,” you can’t help but whistle along and revel in his joyful misery. - Adam Simpkins Les Savy Fav Let’s Stay Friends French Kiss I’m a stubborn bastard. If two or more people tell me that I have to listen to some band, I generally won’t. Where’s the fun in that? “Oh yeah, I checked out the so-and-so’s.You’re right - they are pretty radicalifornication!” Bor-ing. But now I feel kind of egg-faced since I slept on Les Savy Fav for so long. Let’s Stay Friends is like, super awesome. This isn’t your screamy, ginger-bearded “look at me with a stupid carrier bag on my head” LSF from yesteryear, this is version 2.0 (maybe 3.0; I never really “got” Computer Science) and it was well worth my wait (and my dumb friends’ patience). In fact, there isn’t much spazzy annoyance on this record at all. OK, it starts out a bit generic, but just skip ahead to the party rocker “Patty Lee” and you’ll be all “Hot chicken soup! I’m sold.” Streamlined, trimmed, but still a fair share of interesting twists and turns. Their best one yet? Sure, why not. - Adam Simpkins The Lovetones Axiom Tee Pee I’m a fan of record labels having a “sound”. Bluenote/Impulse!, Relapse, Norton, Steel Cage - you usually know what you’re going to get. So I was pretty excited when I was given some stuff on Tee Pee, but by track five of this Lovetones disc, my eight-and-a-half year old Allister went over and shut it off. Here is his review: “Dad - These guys sound a lot like the Beatles... except the Beatles didn’t SUCK!” - Allister Southwell Many Nerve readers would argue that the Beatles did in fact suck, but that’s not the point. Fans of the Orchid Highway (who don’t suck, but also don’t belong on Tee Pee, either) might enjoy this. - Bruce 13
he mystically coaxes. Okay, that sounded a little creepy. Just buy the damned record, so this Mammal won’t go.... extinct (ahem). - Adam Simpkins Megadeth That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires Image Entertainment I was into plenty of shitty metal bands in my youth, but luckily I can say Megadyke wasn’t one of them. That doesn’t mean they were all that bad; it’s just my friend and fellow Nerve writer David Bertrand would shit cum-covered bricks over them. My God, we spent the whole summer of ‘98 in his mom’s Volvo complaining about women ripping our hearts out, and listening to either his Anthrax or Megadeth tapes (yes, I said ‘tapes’). I overdosed on Dave Mustaine that summer, and never really recovered from the Megadick shakes in the years that followed. In that time, even the steady diehard fan, Tron (Bertrand) - a man that literally had all of their albums, including Greatest Hits - did an article for this magazine titled Megadouche in which he revealed that Mustaine is just a big, retarded ginger kid. Thanks to that very article I now know for a fact that Mustaine’s red Klingon-covered asshole never deserved my admiration (I’m highfiving myself for that). But as I sit here listening to this live record, in which a large Argentinean contingent go bonkers (yes, bonkers) over this Bozo the Clownesque fake who found religion and pisses his pants when he hears the name Metallica, I hear mostly older songs from an old man trying to stay afloat after so many years of poking holes in his own boat. I also can’t help but think, ‘this isn’t all that bad’! Even though the best songs, “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars” are done poorly. Beyond that, if you skip the newer songs like I did, you’ll do fine with it. - David Von Bentley
Then again, these guys just make fuzzedout noise-pop, so it’s not much of a surprise. Grays and whites ain’t hard to mix on a canvas. However, beneath the coatings of tape hiss and guitar torture, there is some remarkably subtle melody to be had. Leaving it so dense in the mix seems to be more from a lack of confidence than ability. If they cleaned up their sound a little, I think they could make something at least as accessible as My Bloody Valentine (who are a bolded influence on the band’s press release). As is, they’ve painted themselves into a niche market full of fickle indie hipsters. - filmore mescalito holmes No Shame White of Hope Turning Black Fullsteam Ah, what can I say about No Shame? They try a bit too hard and seem a tad serious, but altogether they ain’t so bad. This is good pop rock as compared to bad pop rock, of which there is no shortage. The riffs are decent and the vocals don’t pick my ass, and that puts White of Hope Turning Black ahead of most of the other shite I’ve been subjected to lately. Of course, I’m a jaded and bitter old hack with nothing good to say about anyone so No Shame probably deserve more credit than I’m giving them. The music is speedy and they seem dark and negative, which is good. - Chris Walter
The Go! Team Proof Of Youth Memphis Industries/Fusion 3 2005 saw the indie world fall head over heels for the spunky Ian Parton led Go! Team as their debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike garnered a Mercury Prize nomination and rankings on the year end lists of Rolling Stone, Blender, Pitchfork, and a hundred others. This here Proof Of Youth is pretty much their make or break, as far as leaving a lasting impression is concerned. Now, their debut largely consisted of expertly orchestrated samples, and many of those had to be swapped out for North American release (they tour as a six piece band, so it wasn’t a major operation). Saving themselves the extra work and taking a chance in the process, their sophomore effort was recorded as a complete band without bringing the idea of fair use into question. This left much of the camp, cinematic sheen faded, usurped by a focused vision of neo-psychedelic amp fuzz and consistently upbeat horn, string, and/or piano-laden rock grooves, but the crucial signature cheerleader vibe is maintained by lead rapper and funshine chanteuse Ninja (except for the hard, hip-hopping Chuck D contribution). This leaves fans of the debut with no reason to be disappointed in the Brighton band’s follow-up unless, of course, they don’t like being artistically satisfied. - filmore mescalito holmes
Joe Henry Civilian ANTI Despite having collaborated with the likes of Marc Ribot, produced for Ani DiFranco and garnered praise that lumps him in with Tom Waits, this is the first I’ve heard of Joe Henry. He instantly reminds me, very much, of local boy Bocephus King. Civilian is significantly less upbeat, as a general note in comparison to the Bocephus King catalogue, but Henry’s voice quality and vocal idiosyncrasies are so similar the two men could easily be mistaken for each other. Musically, there’s a greater alt-country influence than the aforementioned Ribot, DiFranco and Waits. Lyrically, Henry seems to be a
Marble Rye Tight Pants Wide Stance Independent This six-song EP is hopefully a nod to more great music from an imaginatively powerful Vancouver band that’s beginning to open eyes and ears across the Lower Mainland. Marble Rye nods towards the Deftones, mid-period Foo Fighters, and any given fistful of emo-screamo punks, at a guess - and it all comes together in a convincingly enjoyable listen. Clever arrangements to the songs and dramatics-via-dynamics prove once again that there’s always new life breathing out from the standard-issue guitar/ bass/drums rock format. “Time Shared” sets the bar high with cool harmonized guitar, solid drums, rumbling bassdose, and emotive vocalizing. I have no idea how much longer this magazine has to keep listing off Vancouver’s unending legion of killer bands that could collapse the CN Tower with one overdriven E5 power-chord, but it looks like this issue continues our proud ongoing tradition. And Marble Rye continues Vancouver’s ongoing proud tradition of defining what Cool Canadian Crunch is all about. Now snap to it, you Marbles. That double-CD concept album isn’t going to write itself! Thumbs up. Good show. Postscript to CFOX, if they even bother to read: play this band and drop all that Soma City Ward horseshit, OK? - Ferdy Belland
Jens Lekmans Night Falls Over Kortedala Secretly Canadian As a young child in the late ‘70s, I would usually drift off to sleep to the ungodly 9:00pm showing of “The Love Boat” or the sounds of Modern Lovers records coming from my older sister’s bedroom next door. Imagine my surprise, then, when I dropped the stylus on Jens Lekman’s Night Falls Over Kortedala – a perfect fusion of my two fondest bedtime memories that didn’t involve those lovely nocturnal emissions. Now generally I’m not a huge fan of lounge singers and their Bacharachian ways, but Jens pulls it off without relying too much on kitsch or tongue-y cheeks – while still drawing deep from his wounded heart. And even in Lekmans’ darkest moments, like the upbeat, but lyrically dour “The Opposite
Mammal Lonesome Drifter Animal Disguise If you’ve ever been, you’ll know that La Brea Tar Pits are one of the coolest sights to hit if you’re in the Los Angeles area. Hundreds of years ago (thousands, maybe!) real life Dinosaurs and other bad-ass monsters (?) got stuck in these viscid motherfuckers, while stupid cavemen just stood idly by smoking peace-pipes and chuckling . Fucked up, I know. The reason I mention this is because listening to Mammal brings to mind a delightfully lucid image of what that scene must have sounded like: massive beasts suffering in a sticky mess, full of destructive power, but still unable to break through to unleash their fury. The difference being Mammal (the artist) is his conscious resisting. He knows you want it, but he’s MINT RELEASES ARE AVAILABLE baiting you with his AT FINE MUSIC fuzzed-out drone RETAILERS LIKE THESE! – “come and get it,”
No Age Weirdo Rippers FatCat No Age is the collected efforts of Randy Randall and Dean Spunt, two young notables surviving the LA art/punk underground. They’re growing up fast, though, ‘cause they’ve already completed their FatCat debut. Weirdo Rippers flows surprisingly well considering it’s essentially a compilation of the duo’s first vinyl singles, all released simultaneously on different DIY labels across the globe.
Orange Escape From LA Hellcat I get a lot of shit for giving the first Orange album a good review but fuck the haters. Just because I’m hardcore old school doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be able to enjoy the occasional pop punk record if it’s well done. And Escape From LA is exactly that; the songs are catchy and upbeat with enough tongue-in-cheek humour to keep me amused. The girl might give me grief when I play Orange in the car, but I’m so punk that I can get away with it. She walked in just now and said snarkily, “What is this, Green Day or something?” - Chris Walter People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz Perpetuum Mobile Soleilmoon Carl Stalling meets Joe Meek while traveling through Turkey, and they get to talking about how people just
UBC SUB Ballroom Nardwuar The Evaporators The Pack and more! all ages
release party: October 4 @ The Railway with Parlour Steps closing 16MM opening
Welcome to My Castle! 2-disc DVD A “prequel” to Nardwuar’s Doot Doola Doot Doo… Doot Doo! DVD — an interview only (no music) compilation featuring 2 of Nardwuar's public access TV specials from the ’90s, plus a bonus DVD of stimulating interview material.
Gassy Jack and Other Tales enhanced CD/LP 14 brand new stimulating songs from Nardwuar’s band, The Evaporators! Includes “Gassy Jack,” “EJ Hughes,” and “Y.G.M.I.T.N.Y.G.M.O.”
RED CAT RECORDS 4307 MAIN 604-708-9422
The Mint debut out now www.bellamusic.org www.myspace.com/bella
SCRATCH RECORDS 726 RICHARDS 604-687-6355
ZULU RECORDS 1972 WEST 4TH 604-738-3232
The Nerve October 2007 Page 23
RED CAT RECORDS 4307 Main St.Vancouver B.C.
TOP SELLERS Current Top 10 1. Weakerthans - Reunion Tour 2. The Sadies - New Seasons 3. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam 4. Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil 5. Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators - Keep Reachin’ Up 6. M.I.A. - Kala 7. Turbonegro - Retox 8. Devandra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon 9. The Go! Team - Proof of Youth 10. The New Pornographers - Challengers Top 5 Local (Vancouver) 1. Bison - Earthbound 2. Bella - No One Will Know 3. Lightning Dust - S/T 4. 3 Inches Of Blood - Fire Up The Blades 5. The Doers - Gaiety
don’t exploit sampling technology to the full; they decide to do something about it. Perpetuum Mobile – the title plays off Einsturzende Neubauten’s recent-ish studio venture, but there are no obvious musical similarities – has the feel of a carnival-esque tapestry. If John (Plunderphonics) Oswald wanted to make music you could ballroom dance to, or at least hum along with, it would probably sound something like this – playful, cheerful, and utterly, selfconsciously strange, a kind of novelty music for acidheads. I would have liked it even better, I think, if it were being produced by an autistic 15 year old from Albuquerque (which didn’t seem, on first listen, to be outside the realm of possibility), but in fact, People Like Us is a woman named Vicki Bennett, whose MO involves “animating and re-contextualizing found-footage collages, with an equally witty and dark view of popular culture with a surrealistic edge,” working with UK collage composer Phizmiz in a “uniquely schizophrenic ‘open source’ compositional process.” The artists “uploaded files to a shared server, downloaded and processed each other’s work, and flung the resulting fragments back at each other,” later singing “their own vocals on top of their Frankenstein creation,” though many tracks are wholly
instrumental and the lyrics, when you can make ’em out, include references to cannibalism and having tattoos on your bum.You’ve gotta be in a certain state of mind to listen to it, you know? But it’s pretty darn fun. - Allan MacInnis
Sniff… Sniff… Oh never mind, that’s failure. - Brock Thiessen Phosphene River s/t Prestidigitation We begin with a groovy, hooky bassline from Fuzzhead, one of nine backing bands on the new project from Ohio poet Dan McGuire – also of the Unknown Instructors and Jamnation, who writes’n’recites (“Why is his watch still running if he’s dead?”) and is the general auteur/producer, selecting jammers of a certain stripe to compliment his thing. And a ‘70s thing it is: the solos are so consistently longhair they could be Tonyfuckin’-Iommi – blistering stun-guitar, and leather pants with a generous waistline. Aren’t I supposed to hate and mistrust the ‘70s? So WHY DO I LIKE THIS SO MUCH??? Here comes the central hook again, textured guitar wash wailing around it, and, omigod, my HEAD IS NODDING IN TIME! Even Mammatus, who I once savagely compared to Spinal Tap in a live review, rock out in a heavy and completely credible way (just as well I can’t see ‘em. I mean, in lieu of wizard robes, they had on fuckin’ housedresses, fer chrissake, when they opened for Acid Mothers Temple). Oh, and Kawabata’s on the disc, and the Heads are fuckin’ amazing, driving intense white heat soloing over throbbing, crotch-driven bass. Not everything works – Catacomb, Dave Mitchell - but the good stuff brings back how Deep Purple sounded to me when I was 13, like Dan’s gone back in time and stripped them of the bad hair and bullshit and SALVAGED THE ESSENCE, bringing it home in a baggie. “There is no reason not to start fires.” Thanks, Dan – I needed this. - Allan MacInnis
melded into this neat little slow-core package to flawlessly exude the utter torment of failed love and its surrounding depression. I had to break up with my girlfriend of two years just to feel right listening to it. Picastro has the power to compel you. Consider that a warning. - filmore mescalito holmes Pre Epic Fits Skin Graft Scream-singing and making a huge, ol’ violent racket with instruments has achieved a lot in music’s history, and there’s no doubting the influence bands such as Atari Teenage Riot have had. However, Britain’s Pre have managed to produce something on (the appropriately titled) Epic Fits that is merely racket for the sake of it. While there are admittedly sporadic moments of incohesive genius in here, they’re well hidden, and frankly, if you didn’t have a headache before listening to this album, you most certainly will have after. I’m sure a legion of death metal fans will tell me that just because music hurts your head and makes you want to vomit from your eyeballs, it doesn’t make it bad. But you know, sometimes, relentless horrible noises do only that (think: small child with a whistle). The CD is only 20 minutes long (with 14 songs) but it seems like hours before it ends. - Stephanie Heney
stage-mates) the Pointed Sticks, the Riff Randells take good old rock ‘n’ roll back to its foot-on-the-monitor-and-just-playhard roots. More like the Ramones than the Donnas could ever hope to be, the Riff Randells have perfected punk-pop power tunes so well, it’s hard to believe it’s taken them this long (since 1999 when they first got together) to actually release a debut full length. With line up changes and a variety of labels to their name, Kathy and Anne-Marie are the mainstays, with a revolving door of bass players. Huge in Japan (obviously) and due to tour Europe soon, the Randells’ punk rock ethic is true and they’re even named after a character in the film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Joan Jett would be proud. - Stephanie Heney Rilo Kiley Under the Blacklight Warner It seems an odd move, after members Jenny Watson and Blake Sennet took time out to work on rather successful solo and side projects, for the band Rilo Kiley to return so soon, with a new album (their first on a major label) aimed so squarely at the mainstream. In fact, the only thing remaining of Rilo Kiley’s quirky indie style is the tongue-in-cheek lyrics they do so well. Everything else has turned, well, soft rock. Clearly, Warner’s backing has allowed them unlimited studio and production resources and the results show, but it works well. In terms of guilty pleasures, if you’re going to hide away a really tuneful soft rock album in your collection, this is the one to choose. Fleetwood Mac comparisons are fair but the songs are exuberant and Jenny’s voice is much stronger than we’re used to from her, and paired with the catchy hooks, it’s impossible to dislike this, despite their abandoning of all things cutting edge. - Stephanie Heney
ALBUM The Perishers Victorious Nettwerk The Perishers are great. They’re great because they’re a reminder that Sweden has just as many bad bands as it has good ones. The watered-down, nouveau adultcontemporary sounds of the Perishers’ Victorious are painful pop exercises, lacking edge, originality or adventure. It’s the kind of thing soccer moms play on the way to practice, scarring their kids for life in the process. But what can you really expect from a band whose claims to fame are being handpicked by Sarah McLachlan to open for her 2005 tour and being featured on such high-art programs as The O.C., One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars? The band’s Wikipedia page says the Perishers have not had “a major commercial breakthrough,” and it’s no wonder - they stink. Seriously, what was Nettwerk thinking? Were they planning to bore listeners into submission with this release? Wait, something smells.
Kiss Kissology Volume 2, 1978-1991 DVD Gene Simmons Cock Of all the stupid things I’ve done in my life, none was stupider than my serious attempt to review Kissology. I actually lost friends over that, because I made the mistake of telling it like it is, baby. Kiss is garbage; just the lamest crap. And that’s me going easy on them. The
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problem with Kiss is that it even lacks good camp value, which is all that’s left once you get over the music (not hard to do). The only marginally good thing about Kiss was Ace Frehley, and look what they did to him. God forbid that anybody in that band should enjoy a drink or two. Christ. Why would Gene Simmons bother starting a band when he’d obviously be a lot happier as the warden in a teenage rehab facility like STRAIGHT INC, where he could make kids sit around in their own shit-filled “Humiliation Pants” while quietly selling the surveillance videos to his friends in the Republican party. He’d still have the sex-on-tap, he’d still be rich, and there’d be no such thing as “Shout it Out Loud”. Everybody wins! (except the shit-pants kids) But I’m not above apologizing, and the truth is, I was wrong. Kiss is awesome. I didn’t know that until I got my mitts on Kissology 2, which covers the band’s far more fruitful period of the ‘80s. I fucking LOVE this DVD, and no, Ferdy Belland, you can’t blag this one from me. This is Kiss finally fulfilling all the promise of the previous decade, and I can’t for the life of me understand why Paul Stanley keeps going on in the liner
Picastro Whore Luck Polyvinyl Toronto’s Picastro just shat on my soul with their third album. Here I was reflecting on just how unbelievably perfect everything was and how happy I felt, then blam-o! Whore Luck lands in my inbox. Liz Hysen’s heartbroken… no, that’s not the right word… fucked over words and dysfunctional covers sigh over tortured violins, painful piano, the odd dilapidated pump-organ, and lackadaisical drumming among other random sounds, notes about how frightened and hungry he was during this period. What the fuck is he complaining about? My ‘80s didn’t include playing to a million fucking Peruvians or whatever they are on disc three. What a poof. Disc one is amazing. It includes the theatrically released, European cut of that terrible movie they made, renamed Attack of the Phantoms. There might not be a better demonstration of John Waters’ theory of ‘good bad taste’ and ‘bad bad taste’ (this is ‘bad bad taste’), but I’m still fascinated. Partly because Attack… was directed by Gordon Hessler, who made one of the greatest British horror films of the ‘60s, the incomparable Scream and Scream Again. That movie was set in a military-fascist Britain of the future, where people are harvested for their body parts in order to create a race of indestructible superMick Jagger look-alikes (seriously!) In other words, it was uncannily accurate. How did they know? In this Kiss movie, a lot of lame shit happens and it’s pathetic, but it’s reasonably funny if you’re stoned and there’s a brief shot of a girl in a see-through t-shirt. There’s also a superb interview from 1979 with my hero, Tom Snyder. Simmons admits in the liners that he comes off as a ‘grouchy old man’, because Ace Frehley
Revolution Mother Glory Bound Concrete Shoes I like Glory Bound more than I thought I would. Revolution Mother seems like your usual MTV reject but the songs are tight and not overly commercial. For me the fast songs work better than the slow ones but luckily there are more of the former than the latter. This is hard rock like you’ll find on Loud, almost grungelike in the delivery but with a bit more octane. Fuck, is “grunge” even a word any more? The more reviews I do the worse I get, unlike masturbation, which I have honed to a science. - Chris Walter Riff Randells Doublecross Dirtnap Possibly the best thing to come out of Vancouver since their idols (and recent
is hammered and keeps cracking Snyder up. Snyder clearly loves Ace Frehley, like any red-blooded man should. Disc two is all killer. A 1982 clip from the fabled Fridays TV show is unbelievably weird, with Stanley working a relatively short blow wave and headband combo - kind of like the staff at Budgie’s Burritos - and Simmons foreshadowing the great unmasking by leaving his wig off.Very odd. The band performs “I”, from The Elder. I just can’t get it out of my head now. The old look is back for some footage in Australia, and then it’s all Eric Carr this, and Vinnie Vincent that, up to the MTV special where a Samoan in high-waisted jeans shows us what they all look like under the make-up (*spoiler alert: they’re horrible!!!). A sad, 1980 CNN interview with Peter Criss is included, and tons of other nonsense like “Shandi” (great song), eventually ending with the band’s supreme achievement on disc three: “God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You” (aka Bill and Ted). I think it’s the best thing Kiss ever wrote. It rips “All the Young Dudes” but with a little NWOBHM flair and Gene Simmons in a wig he nabbed from either an African Wampa or the wardrobe closet at Sid and Marty Krofft. - Adrian Mack
Robert Plant and Allyson Krauss Raising Sand Rounder Two of popular music’s all-time best voices are brought together by savvy production legend T-Bone Burnett in a startling and very enjoyable album of smooth, smoky post-folk-rock duets. Big on the spacey grooves one would normally hear on a Daniel Lanois album, Raising Sand is an amazing baker’s dozen of soul-felt love songs which should melt the stoniest shells around the jaded modern hearts of all you latte-slurpers who make sure you’re moping away your afternoons in the more visibly hip coffee shops. The rest of us who’re starved stupid for real songs these days will be gorged senseless by the time the second track “Killing the Blues” ends and you realize there’s tears streaming down your cheeks. The thigh-loosening vocal interplay between Robert Plant and Allyson Krauss is as understated as it is stunning. Krauss’ voice (not without a few recognizable traces of the standard Union Station country-bluegrass styles she’s known for) dives into darkenedboudoir Margo Timmins territory and wraps itself around Robert Plant’s ageless vibrato like a comfy old security blanket. Even if old Percy can’t shatter crystal vases at 300 yards like he used to, there’s a feeling of the completion of a musical promise he laid down over 35 years ago with the rootsy, Brit-trad folk songs he and Jimmy Page wrote on acoustic instruments in the Snowdonian stone cottage of Bron-Y-Aur. The exotic Moroccan touches Plant loves so much appear here and there, as well as quasiklezmer percussion one might find on certain Tom Waits records, but all in all Raising Sand is one of the most welcome musical surprises of 2007. Good thing this project flew right under Hear Music’s
Robert Pollard Standard Gargoyle Decision / Coast to Coast Carpet of Love Merge Invented in Dayton, Ohio in 1957, but not exposed to the mass market until the late ‘80s, The Robert Pollard has consistently served as a reliable rock music generator for the past two decades. Primarily fuelled on inexpensive beer and an equal dose of mystical misery, TRP can be contracted to assist in a variety of projects such as the highly successful Guided by Voices to smaller start-ups including Airport 5 and Circus Devils. With upwards of 1000 songs to its credit, The Robert Pollard prides itself on dependability and positive feedback from its clients. For its latest assignments, Standard Gargoyle Decisions and Coast to Coast Carpet of Love, TRP devotes one record to “Pop” and the other to “Rock.” A manageable task for this experienced machine, yes, but the albums still meet (and occasionally exceed) International Market Standards in all areas. Satisfaction guaranteed. - Adam Simpkins The Rock Ons Anti-Everything (Even Your Mom) Rock Off The Rock Ons don’t really rock; they go from dirge-like drone to a robotic racket but there isn’t really much “rocking” involved. The vocalist, A.K. Rock, describes herself as a “lyrical terrorist” and she isn’t exaggerating. I’ve already reported her to Interpol for extreme noise pollution, and if you think I’m kidding then listen for yourself. I could go on about how they butchered “Anarchy in the UK” but if Motley Crue can do it then I can forgive the Rock Ons. I also appreciate their sense of humour because they’ll need it where they’re going. Buy this for someone you don’t like. - Chris Walter Shout Out Louds Our Ill Wills Merge When Shout Out Louds hit the scene a few years back, it seemed like a flash in the pan; like the flavour of the month in a world wrapped up in all sounds Swedish. But with their sophomore effort, the Stockholm band proves it’s much more than a byproduct of some inane trend. In fact, the record finds the group making strides - sonically, creatively and lyrically well above its debut and covering all the right bases on the pop spectrum. With the help of producer Björn Yttling (the
Björn in Peter, Björn and John), the album hits its mark with utmost precision, making fine use of strings, killer pop hooks and complex percussion - cowbell included. Add ultra-clever lyrics to the mix (i.e. “No cigarette can cover up the mess I’m in/But it makes me less lonely” from “You Are Dreaming”), and you have one highly enjoyable pop record. - Brock Thiessen Square Root of Margaret Teragram Photeur 33 1/3 RPM One glance at the album jacket of Teragram Photeur and it’s obvious Square Root of Margaret’s record possesses psychedelic properties in some form or another; the pastel prisms, peacock feathers and rainbow eyes are a dead giveaway. But thankfully for this Ottawa band, psychedelia never goes out of style. Hinting at the sounds of Village Greenera Kinks, the Elephant 6 collective and post-millennium Teenage Fanclub, Square Root of Margaret’s sophomore effort hits all the right nails on all the right heads. Rarely does the group stumble in its pop explorations, and twists all its influences into an exciting, and entirely worthwhile, whole. And in a sense, Teragram Photeur is a pleasant surprise. While the crisp power-pop workouts on the bands last album, Cloud Nine Revisited, were decent enough, they hardly compare to psychpop gems like “Memories of Things to Come” and “Things People Do” from the group’s latest offering. When the New Year rolls around, Teragram Photeur will likely become one of the best records of 2007 you never heard. - Brock Thiessen Luke Temple Snowbeast Mill Pond Spending the majority of his career being lauded with unfair and lazy Sufjan Stevens comparisons (he’s actually more akin to Andrew Bird and Kevin Barnes), Luke Temple is finally ready to hatch into his own world – wherever that may be. Collecting inspiration from a rich well of sources, none of which are ever completely obvious, Snowbeast plays like a dreamy hot-air balloon ride bouncing between continents and musical eras. With his occasionally near Tiny Tim falsetto, tracks like “Serious” come off as a helium huffing John Lennon, but the majority of material is purely original and warped in their own magical universe. And though Temple is an acquired taste – I volleyed between loving and hating this record for weeks, eventually settling on liking it a lot – it’s worth sitting through a number a times to let all the buried nuances settle in. - Adam Simpkins
SINGLES ONLY CLUB Tranzmitors We’re All Alone with You b/w Between Planets 7” Seeing Eye There’s something about the Tranzmitors that makes me want to make-out. And no it’s not because of their tight pants and little ties (well, not completely); it’s their glossy Brit-invasion-style pop that gets me all hot and lusty. And the effect of their latest 7” is no different. While not the boppy dance-party fans have come to expect, “We’re All Alone with You” and “Between Planets” make for a lovely pair of ballads
that, if you’re anything like me, will have you searching for a lovely pair of lips. Chirping twin guitars, along with clean peppy production and a melodic hopefulness help to keep side A right on track. But it’s the flipside that’s the real charmer. Trying their hand at a classic Jesus and Mary Chain song, the Vancouver fivesome compliment this already near-perfect gem with their own starry-eyed optimism, lumbering hooks, and powerful delivery of the killer chorus. The Tranzmitors wrap this cover up so tight, it’s clear they’re starting to outgrow straight-forward
Pointed Sticks My Japanese Fan b/w Found Another Boy 7” (and extended CD single) Sudden Death/Record Shop Base I challenge anyone in this city to write a better pop song about being pissed off about bein’ rejected by a girl than Bill Napier-Hemy. This is a delightful new studio recording of “Found Another Boy” (the one with the acid-bitter “he’s so nice to you” in the chorus); it packs enough punch to make you wonder if Bill’s over her yet, and for a non-Japanese listener, may slightly usurp Gord’s new A-side, “My Japanese Fan” – a classic pop tune, vaguely reminiscent of “A Hard Day’s Night.” It’s a charming thankyou
to Japan, and a momentous event (A NEW! POINTED! STICKS! SONG! – and not the only one, either, as fans in the audience on August 25 can attest). Pssst: if you find the CDEP version, there’s a 9:37 minute movie of the Pointed Sticks at Club Shelter in Tokyo, doing three songs, the titles of which I will leave a surprise. Professionally shot and edited, it trumps the YouTube stuff by miles and is directed by Toshio Iijima, the promoter who brought them to Japan. If you can’t find it locally or through Sudden Death, you may be able to order it from Record Shop Base, his chain. Arigatoo, Toshio! - Allan MacInnis
Secret Chiefs 3 Four Split 7” Web of Mimicry Secret Chiefs 3 likes to think of itself as a collective of mini-groups; different “bands” for different musical styles. Such was the format on 2004’s Book of Horizons, and now Trey “not Mike Patton, but the other guy” Spruance brings us a quartet of 7” releases from his SC3 babies, all very limited, all very awesome. Ishraqiyun – Balance of the Nineteen b/w The Electromagnetic Azoth – UBIK Ishraqiyun is the Persian/Indian/ ethnic branch of the SC3 that dominated Book…; the stuff that makes you shriek, Gaaaaaawwwdd this slays!!! Sarangi, sitar-guitar, violins, staccato percussion that’s tough to grip. Majestic, mysterious, cool and awkward. Side B is noise, basically - instrument tracks flipping about, some backmasked, bells,
lots of bells, everything smashing, swishing swooshing with sparks of hard oomp-oomp techno drums. UR – Circumambulation b/w Labyrinth of Light The most accessible of the lot, no question. Circumambulation is funky Indian and snappy as Fuckah – with a 4/4 beat, my god! - plus soaring Kashmir violins and flanged synths. The flip side is sparkling, dark epic surf with Jerry Lee Lewis single chord keyboard slams during the “chorus”. Both sides feature stadium-worthy roaring crowd noise, presumably lifted from a Faith No More concert (oouuucchhh!!). UR – Kulturvultur b/w Drive Kulturvultur starts with Japanese guitar arpeggios over a big bony White Zombie bassline, then swerves to hard Kraut tech-drum groove, with harp strums. Side B’s simplicity is its tease: strummed chords, steady rock beat, washes of
Undertones comparisons. - Jennifer Charlesworth
PHOTO: FEMKE VAN DELFT
radar: this record is WAY too good for those who still think queuing up at Starbucks is a cool thing. - Ferdy Belland
mood, layer upon layer, popping bass, threatening new-wave ambience... something out of Eno land, really. Cold, crisp, inviting. The Electromagnetic Azoth – The Left Hand of Nothingness b/w UR – Personnae: Halloween Yes! Yes! YES! SC3 does horror film! Left Hand of Nothingness is EXACTLY Ennio Morricone at his early ‘70s freakish jazz-improv peak. This could’ve been from any number of Italian thrillers (Cat O’ Nine Tails, most likely...). It’s even got the broken toybox/eerie kiddie music and petrified female breathing, plus a segue into the Chief’s own Welcome to the Theatron Animatronique, spookafunkified!!! Fuck! Side TWO is a full band, all cock’s blazing rendition of John Carpenter’s theme from Halloween! Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. - Dave Bertrand
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By Dan Scum Across 1. USSR 5. CCCP hockey rival (abbr) 8. Bullets or Shells 12. Social upheaval 13. Belonging to him 14. Loot 16. Lover of the Russian Queen 19. 3rd Reich Right Hand Man Rudolph 20. Mama has 2 21. Something to be learned 22. Internet Service Provider 23. What a gangsta busts in yo ass 24. Command after “ready” and “aim” 25. Wet dirt 26. Lay down asphalt 27.Yellow, Black, or Chocolate retriever 30. Bolshevik mastermind 33. Bo, Luke, Jesse or Daisy 34. Pavel the Russian Rocket 35. Ruthless Russian Ruler 38. Locale 39. LSD 40. Double Stuff’s 41. Arafat’s Legacy 42. Self Ruling (abbr) 43. Hippie’s apt. 44. Alright 45. Color of Communism 46. Toronto Time Zone 49. USSR’s Man of Steel 52. Retired Russian Space Station 53. Russian Ruler 54. Gambling Game of Death 57. Criminal Fire 58. Wager 59. Slab of meat 60. Tsar 61. Commercials 62. Laura of Blue Velvet Down 1. Remedies 2. Potato chip in Europe 3. Teeth on gears 4. Expert 5. Closest primate to human 6. Broadcasts 7. No Such Agency 8. Electricity unit 9. Modest rodent? 10. Words (French) The Nerve October 2007 Page 26
11. Stew 12. E-J connection 15. Andy’s girlfriend (she’s a real doll) 17. Process words 18. Thorn in a paw 23. The C-word 24. Falsified 25. Buried explosive 26. Current Russian Leader 27. KY or Astroglide 28. Folk singer Guthrie 29. Honey makers 30. Thpeech impediment 31. In League with Satan 32. North Atlantic Treaty Org. 33. Decry 34. Feathered friend 36. Cuban Capital 37. Where you drive 42. Doing the Slalom 43. South American Country 44. Clifford the child murderer 45. Furors 46. Aromatic compound 47. The Devil 48. Hike 49. Mrs. In Spanish 50. Istanbul resident 51. Helper (abbr) 52. Famous TV horse 53. Head (French) 55. Shaq’s league 56. Acid
Last issue’s answers
The Nerve October 2007 Page 27
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The October 2007 issue of The Nerve features articles on Turbonegro, Black Lips, The Weakerthans, Do Make Say Think and Stuart Gordon.
Published on Oct 1, 2007
The October 2007 issue of The Nerve features articles on Turbonegro, Black Lips, The Weakerthans, Do Make Say Think and Stuart Gordon.