TRANSCANADARADIO is proud to celebrate Canada’s Current Cultural artists and their locations! Traveling across Canada’s vast surface and finding the best of the under and above-ground artists, and where to check them out in your favorite Canadian city! Pack your bags! We’re going on a road trip!
Growing up in Taber, Alberta, Lund’s lineage boasts over a century of cowboys. And thanks to his keen lyrical pen, Lund’s Alberta is ready to take its place in a long line of immortal locales lucky enough to have their own poet laureates who paint vivid pictures, spin mythologies and create memorable characters. Think of any of the following: Bruce Springsteen’s New Jersey; Stan Rogers’ Maritime provinces; John K. Samson’s Winnipeg; Lou Reed’s New York City; Stompin’ Tom Connors’ small town Canada; Lucinda Williams’ Louisiana.
And yet voices like those are increasingly rare. Mainstream pop music of all stripes—rock, country, R&B, even hip-hop now—ignores regional specifics, to the point where even as gifted a storyteller as Corb Lund once questioned his lyrical outlook.
Ookpikk makes synthesizer-driven music that fuses the precision and technicality of self declared “Intelligent Dance Music” or “Electronica” with the direct physicality and sensuality of dance music, framing it with a humour seldom found in either style of music. By combining these aesthetics, Ookpik overcomes the academia of the first, and the mindlessness of the second.
Following the success of the Ookpikk’s Total Home-Job EP on the radio waves, it shall be released into the wild on Socalled Recordings on Nov 18th.
A banjo songster like Old Man Luedecke is a rare type of musician. A songwriting one of such hopeful goodness, rarer still. In the tradition of solo banjo men and women of days gone by like Dock Boggs, Bascom Lunsford and Roscoe Holcomb, Old Man Luedecke sings his songs accompanied only by his loving five string, foot stomps and the occasional yodel. His songs are melodic gems blending old time sensibilities with an unusual vision and poetic sense. His music belies someone more than slightly ill at ease with modern life. This is a bizarre type of music Dock Boggs might have made if he’d studied poetry.
Toronto’s Sheltered in Sound, the musical guise of Sean Nilsson, plays starkly intimate 21st century independent folk music. The economy of words, mixed with acoustic guitar, harmonica, and looped percussion, has garnered comparison to Hayden, Mark Kozelek and Nebraska-era Springsteen. Sheltered in Sound has received national Canadian airplay on CBC Radio 2, and also airplay support from U.S. college radio.
The Waking Eyes were among the bands busking for change on October 2 in Toronto. Here they are outside the Horseshoe Tavern performing a cover of The Weakerthans – One Great City. All money raised went to War Child Canada. Other bands included Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven, and Die Mannequin.
The Waking Eyes are Rusty Matyas, Joey Penner, Matt Peters and Steve Senkiw. The group formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 2001 as more of a musical collective and recording project than a band proper. From the beginning they have refused to be one-dimensional and predictable, with the only constant in their sound coming from their distinct songwriting style. Their debut album Combing The Clouds is a rich tapestry of neo-psychedelic and orchestral pop recorded in various basements, garages and bedrooms in Manitoba. It was released to critical acclaim on Endearing Records in 2002.
Eppiphane began as a four piece act that performed periodically around the city of Ottawa. Fusing jazzy progressions with pop-rock hooks, the band’s schedule began to fill up, and their supportive fan base began to grow.
In 2004 the band released You Won’t Be Judged, a four track teaser album which was recorded with Peter Gilroy (Pebble Studios). With more exposure and experience, the band’s reputation grew, and they began touring, as well as participating in many festivals, including Ottawa Bluesfest ‘05.
June 2, 2006, the band played their official album release party to a sold out crowd at the New Capital Music Hall.
By this time, the band had become a five piece ensemble. Their debut album This Plastic World, produced by Jason Fee from Sound of One Hand Studios, caught on quickly, receiving a great amount of air play.
Once in a lifetime comes a band so awesome… Darn, my Don LaFontaine voice just does not come through via text. I promise to try harder next time, good readers. But in all seriousness, the hottest Canadian band of the week goes to Nothing. Not no one… but Nothing.
The band Nothing is unpretentious in nature but its growing fan base and enthralling songs are making it a name to remember.
Drawn from Buddhist ideology and a line from Bob Dylan’s classic Like A Rolling Stone – “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose” – the band’s mission is not just to entertain with pleasant sounds and melodies but also go beyond the ears and straight to the heart where the strongest currents flow.
Backed by a solid team of friends – Ben Larabie on drums, Paul Pettinella on bass, Christian Barrette on flute, and Luke Levandusky on vocals, keyboards & guitar, Nothing has a unique sound that builds each song into a big plush sofa that has fans crawling in and never wanting to leave.
These guys come very highly recommended by yours truly. And, as always, be sure to stay tuned to TransCanada Radio for the latest show listings for Ottawa’s Nothing and go ahead and get excited – soon I’ll have some video, audio, and more photos for you straight from Nothing.
Ghost Notes is the title of a stunning new record by acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Matthew Barber, his first since 2005’s Sweet Nothing. Produced by Barber and engineered by Ken Friesen, Ghost Notes departs from Barber’s most recent efforts in that it emphasizes the moodier, more stripped-down side of his songwriting. Recorded in six gray November days at the famed Bathouse studio near Kingston, Ontario, Ghost Notes is the culmination of almost two years of writing and demoing, and stands as Barber’s most mature record to date.
What began as a project called ‘Bertrand Russell and the Country Club’ soon evolved into Blackout Beach. Whatever the pseudonym, Carey Mercer’s solo creations dwell in a land all their own. Mercer began his solo project soon after the demise of his brilliant first band, Blue Pine, in 2001. Mercer would also form Frog Eyes around this time, recruiting roommate and keyboard whiz Spencer Krug, Blue Pine bandmate Mike Rak and his wife Melanie Campbell to help realize his swirling, frenzied compositions. Though just as dense, intense and literate as his Frog Eyes work, Mercer’s Blackout Beach recordings reveal another side of the artist (and the artist’s psyche).
In the Spring of 2006, a seven-year email correspondence culminated in the meeting of Luke Jackson and Magnus Börjeson. Luke had long been a devoted fan of two of the Swedish musician’s former bands: Beagle and Favorita, and the two songwriters finally met in Paris where Magnus was mid-tour playing in The Cardigans. By the end of the weekend they were like old friends and Luke had accepted an invitation to Sweden for the upcoming Midsummer long weekend holiday. These celebrations were taking place in the countryside outside Malmö at Aerosol Grey Machine, the stunning all-analogue recording studio of Christoffer Lundquist, producer and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, former member of Roxette and founding member of Brainpool, another of Luke’s favourite bands.