Here’s me playing a solo set at Ottawa Bluesfest in 2010! Photo by Ming Wu
Just a quick note to let you know I’ll be on the Claridge Homes Stage this coming Saturday July 9th at 1pm.
I’ll have some friends joining me on stage and we’ll be playing most of the Volume Vs. Voice record, though I will have a few oldie treats for you as well!
I’m looking forward to being a part of this great festival once again and playing some of my songs for you.
Hope to see you out there in field…
The cover of the first LP, “Bleuets”. Designed by Meltingplastic.
I’ve been collaborating on a new rock ‘n’ roll, garage-fuzz, muddy-pop project that we’ve affectionately called ‘Expanda Fuzz‘.
I’m super proud of what we’ve recorded so far and excited that we’re finally releasing a chunk of it into the world.
We just – this moment – released our first album ‘Bleuets’ and you’re the first to know!
Our FIRST SHOW EVER is at this year’s edition of Ottawa Explosion Weekend!
We kick off the Fest on Wednesday June 15th at 7pm. We think it’s a pretty good event for a coming out party, don’t you think?
Check the Facebook event here.
Finally, here is the first video for the creepizoid, lead-off track “Flavour : Zombie”.
Bakelite In The Moonlight
This recording started its life as an acoustic demo I wrote awhile ago. Recently it really started thumping in my brain’s jukebox. When that happens, I usually decide it’s time to let it outside to do its thing, always hoping that I don’t have to clean up after it.
The root of the chorus is how I think we all sometimes daydream about cutting all ties and silently slipping away. You know, that running away fantasy that may or may not involve a pickup truck. Apparently Neil Young had it. Maybe that’s where the fantasy comes from? Maybe it’s just me.
Revealing trade secrets, the original idea for the song was based on a tenor guitar riff which gives it that high, jangley bit off the top. It feels like this song could sub-into a kitchen party rave up. Maybe I’ll find a one of those sometime soon and try the theory out.
In the meantime, I’m content to just let this one out into the yard:
Cons At The New Moon
This is a track from Camp Radio’s first LP. I thought doing an acoustic version of this power poppy number would be a fun experiment. It’s always been one of my favourite Camp Radio songs to play. The riff off the top is a jammer and The Knack style break down as the song builds from the bridge has always been a rock and roll manoeuvre I’m proud of.
The backstory stuff: the New Moon was a restaurant in NDG (Montreal) that served as part of the backdrop to my time living there. I remember my friend Leesie finding a cockroach in a salad there too, and though that gave us pause, it didn’t stop us going for poutine when we were bringing empties back to the Dep across the street.
The part about getting shin splints running down that street in my Chuck Taylors is absolutely true and the ‘sweet breath offers’ and ‘hack poets, fumbling on’ is meant as a private tribute to another old friend who went on to do some pretty cool things. She still does.
Those are just some of the little moments that came together to make this song, which is selfishly meant as a vehicle to keep those memories alive for me.
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My beat up copy. The front cover of the 7″ “Sugarbuzz”
In 1993, just after The Stand GT signed to Seattle’s Top Drawer records, we released a 7″ EP called Sugarbuzz.
I remember wanting to see how fast we could play that killer accordion riff on guitar. Once we figured that out, the tempo was set. Having just got into Rocket From The Crypt, we also decided to add a sax part, which has since always struck me as kinda comical.
And in case you ever wondered, that sardonic comment off the top, “Drummers”, was by our coach and mentor, the legendary Montreal-by-way-of-Australia producer, Rod Shearer.
The back cover
I really love this song.
It is such a great example of Shane’s exquisite, thoughtful and intelligent lyrics, married with an anthemic melody, all while keeping the street punk cred firmly intact. Simply brilliant.
Here is our version, fun and zerofucksgiven as it is. I hope Shane would be proud.
You can also listen to, stream and support us by downloading the other songs on Bandcamp here!
And of course, the glorious original below.
Happy St. Patricks Day and long live Shane MacGowan and The Pogues.
My original vinyl copy of Whatever. You can see the boxing sale mark down from 8.99 to 6.99. Score.
I have a long history of fandom with legendary Montreal band The Doughboys that started when I was in high school.
I remember going to Phantasmagoria in Montreal one Boxing Day and buying ‘Whatever‘ on a whim because the cover looked cool. I don’t remember knowing much about the band, though I was really getting into the Montreal scene by way of Og Records (Gruesomes, Deja Voodoo, etc) in those days.
As we did in those days, the record was quickly dubbed to cassette and crammed into heavy rotation in my parents’ Pontiac Acadian for cruising around. As a result, I rarely think about my last year in high school without having those songs play in my head.
The Doughboys live
I remember going to see them live for the first time in the late 80s at the old Foufounes ‘layout’.
(Do you remember when the stage was a few inches off the floor and facing east? I also saw Sham 69 in that configuration… but that’s a whole other story. That was also the layout that existed when The Stand GT opened for the Gruesomes when they launched ‘Gruesomemania’ on Hallowe’en night in 1987! But I digress…)
Thankfully, I got to see Brock Pytel perform before he left the band. I remember standing there watching him in his bare feet, doing yoga stretches on the stage as the anticipation of the band’s set began to build in earnest.
Jonathan Cummins was the first to pick up an instrument and taunted the audience as he broke into a verse of the KISS ballad ‘Beth‘. (Unfortunately, I never got to see Scott McCullough perform as Jonathan had already joined the band at this point.)
A few seconds after that, the band congealed into a sonic wave of pop-punk euphoria for this wide-eyed kid: The first song was an explosive rendition of ‘Tradition’.
Okay, this is starting to feel like a review of a show that happened 25+ years ago, so you get the picture. If not, this will help:
That show was a mind expander for me. The explosive energy of their live set was off the dial, and nothing like I’d seen before. That bouncing energy became a trademark for the band as they went on to influence so many jumping-while-singing young bands right across North America.
For instance, I remember being in Seattle with The Stand GT and being surprised friends there knew of the Doughboys. “Are you kidding?”, one guy said to me. “They clean up when they come here”.
The Doughboys were real trail blazers for indie bands in those days.
Benefit this Saturday at House Of Targ
So the long and short of all this is, I will be joining my pals Jim Bryson, Blake Jacobs and Leigh Newton (Blake and Leigh of the wicked thrash metal act World War 4!) to play a bunch of Doughboys songs as part of the benefit ‘Punk Rock Cover Nights’ at House of Targ.
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone for this one, as I’m taking on the role of Jon Bondhead and playing bass. I still plan to take on a few jumps while I sing back up, but I guarantee I won’t be sporting dreads or wearing shorts.
The details of the show are:
Saturday, March 5th
90s Punk Rock Cover Night #6
House Of Targ
1077 Bank St., Ottawa
FACE TO FACE performing ‘Face To Face’ (Radiodazed)
MXPX performing ‘Life In General’ (Sidelines)
DOUGHBOYS (Jim Bryson, Chris Page, World War 4, Metal Patrol)
OSKER (Cool Kids Not You)
9pm. 19+. $5.
10:15-10:45 THE DOUGHBOYS
11:55-12:35 FACE TO FACE
The fellas rehearsin’. Photo courtesy Jim’s Instagram account
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