Monthly Archive for June, 2008

N.Q. Arbuckle – Ottawa Bluesfest, July 5th


N.Q.Arbuckle is the unassuming band nudging its way to the bar of great Canadian music.

The bar room prophet himself, Neville Quinlan is clever and modest. You could become his drinking buddy simply by showing up at one of his haunts and sidling next to him for a few pints, a cigarette and easy conversation. Mark Kesper is easygoing and maintains the wheel of the N.Q. touring vehicle. Pete Kesper on guitar is a Leo, likes surprises and is quick to admit he’s only in it because he likes the music. No illusions of fame and glory. John Dinsmore, on bass, is the definition of calm but he carries a big stick.

The lyrics take you from lamp lit Toronto streets to your local bar where the regulars are waiting. Neville’s voice acts as sandpaper making rough things smooth and smooth things rough. Brief love affairs are epic and a road trip with pals lasts three minutes. The loping rhythms are drenched in tasty cowboy guitar licks and create an urban wild west sound. The songs are lyrical and gritty and are snapshots of sweetness and loss seen through a few bottles of beer.

If you’re in the Ottawa area for the Bluesfest, pencil these guys into your schedule. Absolutely worth seeing, trust us.

Adam & the Amethysts: Amethyst Amulet, Babylon (Ottawa) July 25th

Adam & The Amethysts – Bumble Bee

Adam & The Amethysts – He Passed Away

Adam & The Amethysts – Sonic Youth Centre

Adam & The Amethysts – Stupid Ocean

Adam & The Amethysts – The Return

In between performing with groups Miracle Fortress and Telefauna, Amethyst Amulet was handcrafted with the tools Adam Waito had available in his Montreal apartment. In the spirit of long-lost concept albums of the past, Amethyst Amulet tells a story through unified musical and lyrical themes, yet remains, essentially, a collection of good pop songs about love and small-town remembrance, earnestly but playfully composed and humbly realized at home in the big city.

Find out more about Adam & The Amethysts including their upcoming concert dates and more right here!

They say the devil’s in The Details


Since first hitting the stage in 2006, Winnipeg’s The Details have hardly gone a day without seeing each other. The Details quickly established themselves as a hard-working band by releasing their EP ‘Marching Sound’ in November of that year and their full-length ‘Draw a Distance. Draw a Border.’ in September 2007.

The Details, not content to sit around, have played at the 2006 Western Canadian Music Awards, New Music West 2007, North By Northeast 2007, Pop Montreal 2007, both Canadian Music Week 2007 & 2008, and South By Southwest 2008. They have shared the stage with a diverse group of great bands such as Stars (Arts & Crafts), Constantines (Arts & Crafts), You Say Party! We Say Die! (Paper Bag), The Meligrove Band (V2/Murderecords), Mother Mother (Last Gang), Great Lake Swimmers (Nettwerk), and many many more. Much Music also graced the streets of Winnipeg to conduct an interview with The Details which aired nationally.

Find out more about Winnipeg’s The Details right here

Hey Ocean continues their tour across Canada

Hey Ocean – Too Soon

Hey Ocean is a young band with a remarkable talent for blending various musical styles into a brand of infectious pop that is uniquely their own.

The beautiful melodies and clever lyrics of singers Ashleigh Ball and David Beckingham have been described as both poetic and thought provoking, however it is apparent that these two play off each other effortlessly. The duo – who have had a long-standing musical relationship – are joined by the wildly energetic David Vertesi on bass and the groove-obsessed Daniel Klenner on drums. Together, they have created a musical repertoire that cannot be ignored – be it on radio, television or your neighbor’s iPod, Hey Ocean will soon be everywhere.
More on Hey Ocean including upcoming concert dates throughout Canada!

Podcast: The New Indie, vol. 2 – “Labels”

As you might remember, The New Indie’s putting out podcasts presented by the Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association themed in the same vein as the NXNE festival — with the purpose of showcasing all aspects of the Canadian music industry both behind the scenes and front stage.

Taken from The New Indie website:

“The New Indie – Making a living making music” is a collection of interviews with members of the music industry touching on every aspect of the new realities facing Canada’s independent recording artits. The music industry landscape is evolving very rapidly as a result of the internet revolution and other factors. The old star system is burning out, but simultaneously, there is a DIY system emerging for new artists, one we call The New Indie. Today’s artists must be in tune with these changes if Canada is to produce a healthy music industry for the next generation.

The following podcast episode, presented by the Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association, is of The New Indie, Volume 2 – “Labels”:

The New Indie vol. 2 – Labels, part 1
The New Indie vol. 2 – Labels, part 2
The New Indie vol. 2 – Labels, part 3

Miss volume one? You can still grab it here!

Cory Woodward new album to be released nation wide, July 15th/08

Cory Woodward – Slipping Away

On the surface, you’d think Cory Woodward is too young to be writing the songs he does. He shouldn’t have felt the pain he’s felt; his voice shouldn’t be as worn. No, not at his age. But with his gruff voice and familiar song structure, he seems to have been around for years and destined for hyperbole-filled comparisons to Waits and Springsteen.

Read more about Cory’s new album

Russell Porter interviews Canadian artist Cadence Weapon

In this video made for Boing Boing tv, Russell Porter (Porter Report) interviews Canadian rap / IDM / hiphop / house / genre-bending artist Cadence Weapon, aka Rollie Pemberton. Cadence Weapon originally hails from Edmonton, Alberta.

Cadence Weapon, who is 22 years old, is touring Europe and US throughout the summer. Dates are listed — where else? — on his MySpace, along with various blinky things. His newest record Afterparty Babies was just released on Epitaph, and is, as the kids say, fierce.

The Balconies/Politique Show Review (Zaphod’s, Ottawa)

The Balconies, Politique at Zaphod\'s, June 21st (Ottawa)

The Balconies — Rest Up
Politique — Old War Cold War

Just because we ran around Toronto for a week covering Canadian musicians doesn’t mean that we can’t find great acts in our hometown of Ottawa! I was at the legendary Zaphod Beeblebrox to catch two fairly new O-town bands: The Balconies and Politique.

Click here to read our Balconies and Politique show review

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Laura Barrett is striking people’s fancy!

Laura Barrett – Time City
Laura Barrett – Robot Ponies

Laura first played a kalimba in front of real live people in August 2005. Something about her plaintive voice and speculative lyrics, combined with the crisp, metallic sounds of the kalimba, struck people’s fancy, so she played another show. And then a few more!

Since then, she’s released two EPs, joined the Hidden Cameras and Henri Fabergé & the Adorables, acted as Music Director for the New York staging of Maggie MacDonald’s apocalyptic musical, “The Rat King,” been nominated for SOCAN’s inaugural ECHO Songwriting prize, and played shows in cities across North America.

Early this year, Laura was signed to Paper Bag Records, who re-released “Earth Sciences” in February 2008 with a remix by Joshua Van Tassel (Stop Die Resuscitate). With the completion of her debut full-length album – slated for an August ‘08 release – Laura is touring across Canada to check out the cities she didn’t get a chance to see in detail before. Please say ‘hi’ to her if you see her in your town or major metropolitan area!

Here are Laura Barrett’s concert dates:

Jon McKiel: The Nature of Things

Haven’t heard of Jon McKiel yet? Perhaps its because he’s spent the last year hauled up in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a dim lit house, armed with a guitar and a cigarette, writing beautifully affecting indie-pop songs. Joined by his bandmates Josh Kogon (bass), Cory LeBlanc (drums), Mike D’Eon (guitar) and Colin Crowell (synth and trumpet), Jon improves on the tradition of fellow Canadian bands like The Stills and Great Lake Swimmers by combining deep pop sensibilities with rich descriptive lyrics and haunting melodies. On songs like “Poor Heart” and “Get Caught,” Jon McKiel delivers the genuineness that has attracted many to fellow singer/songwriters like Andrew Bird, Stephen Malkmus, and Ryan Adams.

Check out where Jon McKiel is playing in your neck of the woods!