I miss the ocean, I miss the water, the salt, the spray, the waves, the sounds - this is the closest I have come to walking the seashore. Its maybe the roiling piano, maybe the cymbals, maybe distant horizon of the voice, maybe all. The Long Range Hustle are from Kingston, home to that band that sang '“Yer Not The Ocean”. The ‘Hustle ’re not the ocean either but they are more than ‘Town’ I think. They’re playing the ‘shoe in TO Nov 29.
Shwa living rockers The Standstills return to their hometown Friday Oct 26. They are playing at the Oshawa Music Hall with The Lazys. The Standstills are just two but they make a mountain of music. They’ve been supporters of slowcity.ca for many years and we are happy to see them home.
By Will McGuirk
Gord Downie put out a call to action for all Canadians – do whatever we can to help move towards healing and reconciliation through awareness, education and action. Michael Boguski (Blue Rodeo) has teamed up with like-minded musicians Chris Mason and Lucas Goetz (formerly of Deep Dark Woods), Jim Bowskill (The Sheepdogs, Blue Rodeo), Chris Sleightholm and Dustin Bentall. Together, they recorded Cold Manitoba – a song penned originally by Toronto songwriter, Eddie Orso.
One hundred per cent of the proceeds from Cold Manitoba will benefit the Native Addictions Council of Manitoba – a Native-owned and operated treatment centre that directly targets the addictions problems facing First Nations Peoples in Manitoba and the surrounding area.
“The goal of this project is to move people towards healing – healing as individuals, and as communities,” says Boguski. “I think it’s important to find ways where we can reach out to each other and find common ground. We can begin to get through the hurt by coming together and understanding that there are similarities between all of us. Substance abuse and mental health are not isolated issues – they’re global and affect all people from all communities. My hope is that Cold Manitoba will help bring more awareness to these unifying issues, and can help us think of ways to reconcile and move towards peace and togetherness.” - press release.
By Will McGuirk
Bahamas has released the video for “No Depression” from his rad album Earthtones. The track deals with depression, but by singing about it lifts the depression. Music has always been my best weapon against mental health issues so sing it on.
Bahamas has added two all-ages seated shows to his sold-out run of dates at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. November 1, 2 and 3 are sold-out. A matinee and an evening show will now be on Nov. 4.
By Will McGuirk
With Daniel Romano change is the only constant. And he changes again on “Finally Free”, taking the basement tapes out into the sunshine. A couple of singles have been released already and Romano has dates inked in already, including Lee’s Palace in TO as well as shows in Waterloo, St. Catherines, and London ON.
By Will McGuirk
Looks like the Arkells have found what they were looking for with ‘Rally Cry’ and it may be less Jackson Sq. and more Joshua Tree. The boys from the Hammer are ready to smash the world with their biggest brightest most bombastic album yet - this rally is for radio. If the four lads from Dublin are looking for brothers in arms then the working class spirituals of Arkells No 5 may be just the closest thing - listen to “Only for a Moment” even “Show Me Don’t Tell Me” and you can tell me if I’ve shown you wrong and if you think I’m just being a homer here, recall Bono and buds called in Steeltown icon Danny Lanois to helm and that Simcoe sound found its way across the Atlantic, so mix the Dan vibes and the Dubs and you may just have the Arkells, we’ve said it before.
Oh and yes if you dig into “Don’t Be a Stranger” you will hear about a pal of the band who was from Oshawa, and yes we asked and yes the band answered but said it was personal. Just so you know.
But its not just the Biggest Band in The World which echoes through Rally Cry, there’s Springsteen and the Pixies, Motown Girl bands and afro-pop, Hall and Oates, and a Bob Seger interlude.
So we’re fans of the Arkells from the beginning; singer Kerman, guitarist Mike DeAngelis, bassist Nick Dika, keysman Anthony Carone, and drummer Tim Oxford are a band who have had been able to seize the opportunities, to build and grow, keeping fans while gaining new ones, keeping their eyes on the prize. Like their hometown they have been planning for the big time, knocking on the door so to speak, and they are ready now it has been opened. Hamilton is ready for the big time and so are the Arkells.
And if they are going after U2’s crown, to be the people’s champ as well as the company band, more power to them, I hope they win it all.
Who doesn’t dig the Bo Diddley beat - The Holy Gasp do and its sweet underpinning for a jaunty jointy alt-pop track, “What I Gotta Know.” These kats are a whole lot of 80s Queen St art-punk, like Shadowy Men jamming with the Shuffle Demons only in Montreal. The track is from their album The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex.
Alt-country acts Corb Lund and Lindi Ortega are islands in the stream of music flooding the ear waves. Individually they create songs which stand alone and thrive alone. But no wo(man) is an island they say - we need connections and Lund and Lindi have connected in a way not seen since Ken ‘n Dolly looped arms and skipped their way up the charts in ‘83.
And don’t say that old track isn’t cool - The Cons and Feist say different
Two innovative TO music icons are collaborating to release a pretty rad document of the Canadian indie scene. Selections from the music series “Live at Massey Hall” will be complied and released on Arts and Crafts Records. Volume One includes Destroyer “Foam Hands”, Constantines “Nighttime/Anytime (It’s Alright)”, Hayden “Almost Everything”, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith “Vessel”, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton “Fatal Gift”, Andy Shauf “The Magician”, Cœur de pirate “Place de la République”, Bahamas “Like A Wind”, Japandroids “The House That Heaven Built” and Whitehorse “Die Alone.” Liner notes are supplied by Michael Barclay, author of the the Hip bio, “The Never-ending Present.” The Live at Massey Hall was a series of concerts by Canada’s best indie musicians which were filmed and then presented as short films on YouTube. Tickets were 18.94 in homage to the year the Grand Old Lady opened. She has closed up shop for a touch-up but these album (plus more I’m guessing) should hold you through.
Peterborough player Nick Ferrio’s new album, “Have A Nice Day” has a song on it called “Quit The Band.” Is it a reply to Sappyfest alumni Shotgun Jimmie’s “ Join The Band” - is this a feud!!!
Not so fast Hombre. . .
"Quit the Band is a story song all about how everyone should join a band.” (Nick says in a press release) “The first verse tells the story of the first band I played in, and how amazing it felt to start a band with friends. The second verse is about a turbulent tour I did in Europe, where we were robbed and had our window smashed out of our van, but we kept on, because the show must go on! It was a wild experience, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! So everyone: start a band!"
Two of the best sources for thoughtful modern music, publicist Killbeat Music and DJ, VJ and PJ Laurie Brown collaborated on a podcast earlier this year and they have done so again. Ponderbeat 2 includes Begonia, Folly and the Hunter, Great Lake Swimmers, Dan Mangan, Rae Spoon and others including a cover of the Cranberries, “Dreams’ by Liza Anne.
Those sons of the Hammer have a new album, Rally Cry, forged and ready. Singles are being issued, “People’s Champ”, “Relentless” and now “Only for a Moment.” There’s movement in the camp, they are as the Hawk says, heading for the Big Time, Its right around the corner.
"There’s a line in our tune “Come To Light”, 'The underpass would keep us from harm.' It’s that moment when you’re driving through a rain storm, and you have a second of respite from the chaos outside. I find myself writing and thinking about those moments of calm, and how important they can be. “Only For A Moment” is an extension of that idea. My friend’s mom was struggling with some oppressive mental health issues. It was tough for everyone in her family. But there was a moment we were out one night, where my friend seemed to leave the trouble behind - just for an hour - and could just enjoy her life. The stress in her face seemed to disappear. And I was happy she could have that." - Max Kerman
Also the Ham fam have released the video for “Relentless”