Posts Tagged ‘British Columbia’

This week John Jeffrey, the drummer for Moon Duo, announced his debut solo album, “Passage”, and shared its first single, the eight-minute long instrumental “Leaving Franklin.” Passage is due out October 30th via Jean Sandwich (a Portland-based label).

“Passage” consists of four lengthy jazz-influenced instrumental songs and a press release says Jeffrey was inspired by Alice Coltrane and Canadian painter Takao Tanabe. Recorded in a series of sessions at The Hive, with engineer Colin Stewart, Jeffrey drew inspiration from the jazz principles of spontaneity, dynamism, progression, and improvisation, the singular spirituality of Alice Coltrane and the mist-veiled landscapes of Canadian painter Takao Tanabe. He approached each session as an experiment in not only improvisation but also a kind of anti-composition in which he sought to remove ego from the creative process and to reimagine the self as a channel for natural processes, rendered through music. Playing to the rhythms of something unseen – a hidden partner that made itself known only in the moment of contact – Jeffrey sought to capture rather than design.

​The four shimmering instrumentals that compromise the album are like a landscape unto themselves. At once grounding and expansive, molecular and infinite, they defy easy categorization. There are no linear surfaces, only elemental processes that curve and weave, disappear and reappear; a detailed interplay of atmospheric synths and meditative rhythm evokes the motion of water, the momentary ray of light through tall trees. Like a sonic rendering of one of Tanabe’s distant shorelines, there is both beauty and mystery here – a quality just out of reach, that rewards close attention but does not pursue it.
“I didn’t want to have a structure in place, in order to be guided in a specific direction,” says Jeffrey in a press release. “Everything was developed around simple rhythmic patterns.”

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When on touring breaks in 2018 and 2019 Jeffrey returned home to Vancouver Island, BC and recorded a series of sessions with engineer Colin Stewart.

John Jeffrey – drums, bass, guitar, synth, vibraphone
Rolla Olak – guitar
Marc Jenkins – pedal steel

Releases October 30th, 2020.

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Canadian garage rockers Japandroids shared their first live album, “Massey Fucking Hall”, recorded at the aforementioned iconic Toronto venue from their 2017 tour with Cloud Nothings. “We’ve actually recorded a number of shows over the years, and for one reason or another, they just didn’t turn out,” drummer David Prowse explained. “We both like where this show catches us. We are at a bit of a crossroads in some ways between the band that put out Post-Nothing back in 2009 and where we are going. This setlist captures the first three albums really well and shows how much we’ve changed since those Post-Nothing days. We still have the energy but we have better command of our instruments and our voices. It feels a little less off the rails but still has a ton of momentum.

After playing the last of their 200 shows in more than 40 countries in support of their critically acclaimed 2012 album Celebration Rock, Japandroids took a much needed break to rest and recover after their last show in November of 2013. The band would not play again for three years. This month, they made their triumphant return to the stage, playing intimate shows in Vancouver, LA, Toronto, London and NYC, in which they treated fans to their favourites from Celebration Rock and Post-Nothing, and previewed a handful of new, unreleased songs. 

Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, was written clandestinely throughout 2014 and 2015 in Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, and Mexico City. It was (mostly) recorded by Jesse Gander (who had previously recorded both Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock) at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, BC (September-November, 2015). One song, True Love And A Free Life Of Free Will, was recorded by Damian Taylor during an exploratory recording session at Golden Ratio in Montreal, QC (February, 2015). 

Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album is 8 songs. This is because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album: Raw Power by The Stooges, Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen, Marquee Moon by Television, IV by Led Zeppelin, Horses by Patti Smith, Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Remain In Light by Talking Heads, Master Of Puppets by Metallica, etc.

Like Post-Nothing and Celebration Rock, the album was sequenced specifically for the LP. On Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, side A (songs 1-4) and side B (songs 5-7) each follow their own loose narrative. Taken together as one, they form an even looser narrative, with the final song on side B (song 8) acting as an epilogue.

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Back in October we played at Massey Hall. It was surreal to play such a beautiful and historic venue. The people at Massey Hall filmed and recorded the entire show and have put together this mini concert documentary, which shows some of the songs we played that night along with some clips from an interview we did right before the show. It’s a pretty cool document of an unforgettable night.

Band Members:
Brian King & David Prowse


Try to resist a unit that Brooklyn Vegan described as “a whole band made of Jimbos from The Simpsons.” If Danger Mouse was the last straw for you with Parquet Courts, here’s the Stooges to their Velvet Underground, an all-spikes sarcasm brigade formed around the holy mission to Make Indie Angular Again on 2018’s deliciously discordant Seeing Green and 2019’s slightly craftier Club Nites. Just check the Archers of Loaf grunge-bursts that punctuate Dumb’s “Submission” or the manic Beefheart-sliding-on-a-dessert-cart-into-a-wall spree of “My Condolences.” And they even mock their own revival with an anti-anthem called “Slacker Needs Serious Work.”

The only time Dumb break g/b/d allegiance is to stick a gloriously honking sax solo at the end of “Beef Hits,” revealing their most furious song as their silliest, as most angry dweebs boil down to anyway.

Less than a year since they signed to Mint Records for 2018’s Seeing Green, Dumb is already back with a new full-length, Club Nites — this time with even more neuroticism and indignation. Club Nites is a collection of narratives drawn from the nightlife ecosystem.
Released June 7th, 2019

Dumb – Club Nites From the album “Club Nites” available via Mint Records.

Dan Bejar’s Destroyer returned with their new album “Have We Met” via Merge Records. Have We Met caps off an arc begun almost a decade ago, when Dan Bejar released his landmark album Kaputt and entered the most accessible, acclaimed, yet no less eccentric chapter of his career. Informed by the claustrophobic atmosphere of our times, Have We Met is cerebral and absurd even by Bejar’s standards. Bizarre scenes and non-sequiturs abound. Bejar often sounds like a man slowly unravelling over greyscale, icy synth backdrops. But in the epic swell of “Crimson Tide,” was the first I heard from this album and is an immediate Destroyer classic! the new wave pulse of “It Doesn’t Just Happen,” or the sneakily catchy refrains of “The Man In Black’s Blues,” Bejar crafted apocalypse music that’s every bit as transporting as it is discomfiting.

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“Have We Met” settles into disquieting grooves and atmospheres by employing the sounds of 80s soft rock and adult contemporary in ways that often feel slightly off-kilter. However, while Dan Bejar may twist a traditionally comfortable sonic palette, it is never distorted to the point of being abrasive or unapproachable. Furthermore, his lyrics may grimly reckon with the ending of things hope, love, and life as we know it

Released January 31st, 2020
The Band:
Dan Bejar: vox, synthesizer
Nicolas Bragg: guitar
John Collins: bass, synthesizer, drum programming, granular synthesis

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The rock canon has many anti-heroes, Black Mountain being the latest. In the past, Can’s ‘Tago Mago’ established that the only rule in rock and roll is that there are no rules. Delinquent proto-metallers Black Sabbath demonstrated that you can make a lot from not that much. Now Black Mountain teach us that you don’t have to be afraid of the past to move bravely into the future

This single continues in the vein of last record Destroyer, with a more mechanized, sterile ’80s sound, with a b-side more in the ’70s freak rock style of the earlier albums. “Echoes” was kicking ‘round for years before Randall Dunn took the IV production reins and transformed it from its original Gene Clark tailcoating.
The b-side, “Flux”, is Black Mountain’s Turkish psych homage. It’s original title may have been Flounders In A Turkish Bathhouse.”

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Released May 1st, 2020

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Vancouver five-piece Blessed unveiled their debut album “Salt” last year, and it’s a moody, shape-shifting album with a treasure trove of interesting sounds. Pulling from psych, krautrock, industrial, math rock and post-punk, Blessed are intense and evocative, and every time you think they’ve played their final sonic wild card, they present another. Formed in the early winter months of 2015 in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, Blessed were born from a shared creative objective. From the start, its original four members found themselves naturally amalgamating elements of Post-Hardcore, Minimalism, New Wave, Krautrock, and Punk. To date, Blessed has released one single with Toronto’s Buzz Records (Weaves, Dilly Dally, Greys), and two critically lauded EPs. The Fader wrote of the EP II: “Dominated by the high-fructose riffing pioneered by Deerhoof, giving way to a darker, propulsive jam that’s just as chaotic, yet well-controlled.”

From this marginal yet supportive scene, Blessed built connections with a broader community. Their unparalleled work ethic took them on a set of tours that was ambitious for any band, but mostly unheard of for one without a full-length release. Together, they played 225 shows across North America, including stops at Sled Island, SXSW, and supporting slots with acts ranging from Preoccupations, The Courtneys, Chastity, and The Austerity Program. Meanwhile, individual members found time to tour Europe, and start side projects touted by The Needle Drop.
Band Members:
Mitchell Trainor,
Drew Riekman,
Reuben Houweling,
Jake Holmes,
Matt Mckeen,

Blessed’s single “Disease” off their debut record “Salt” coming out on April 5th.

Dan Bejar started Destroyer as a solo home-recording project in the early to mid-nineties. Exploring and overturning genressuch as glam, MIDI, yacht rock, & even underground Spanish independent artists, Bejar was proclaimed “Rock’s Exiled King” 

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Originally released August 28th, 2015

Dan Bejar: vocals, midi marimba on track 8
Ted Bois: piano, yamaha d-50 on track 3
Nicolas Bragg: electric guitar
David Carswell: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, midi tuba on track 4
JP Carter: trumpet, effects
John Collins: bass
Joseph Shabason: saxophones, flutes
Josh Wells: drums, congas, bongos and various percussion

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Vancouver’s Dumb make whimsical slack rock that’s anything but. The band’s cool, campy outlook is both anxious and chill, enveloped in jittery rhythms and bright, fervent riffs. When Dumb settle down a bit, like on the driving “Mint,” they are no less biting. The sprightly single has dual meaning, playfully referencing both money and the Dumb’s new label, Mint Records. “The song ‘Barnyard’ is about a character who is walking along a highway towards an event that they don’t want to attend, becoming delusional in the process. We also wanted to make this a danceable song”

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Band Members
Frankie Rossino
Shavonne Ronnie
Hully Muctab
Pistol P

Releases June 22nd, 2018
written and played by DUMB 

Sub Pop Record’s latest introduction to the world, Jo Passed brings psych rock from a north-of-the-border region better known for more traditional indie. Pink Floyd and Sonic Youth are touchstones here, as this eclectic release establishes Jo Passed as the latest band to watch on a label that is known for bands to watch.

Jo Passed originally consisted of Jo and his friend and drummer Mac Lawrie. The two moved to Montreal together, and toured the far-right corner of North America. After Jo’s return to Vancouver, multi-instrumentalist Bella Bébé joined the band in January of 2016, and multimedia artist Megan-Magdalena Bourne joined on bass, after working on a video for the song “Rage” (from Jo Passed’s ‘Out’ EP). The nicest thing anyone has ever – ever – said to Jo Hirabayashi, frontman of Jo Passed, is that his band’s debut album sounds like “fucked-up Beatles”. ‘Their Prime’, the full-length follow-up to Jo Passed’s two EPs, ‘Up’ and ‘Out’, does sound like fucked-up Beatles. It sounds like Lennon and McCartney discovered Can and Neu!, and maybe a little Sonic Youth and XTC along the way. It demonstrates that timeless knack for dreamy melodies – chord progressions that sound like they were created in a land far, far away.

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The Orange Kyte is an experimental music project with a manifesto to release music in various shapes and forms varying in fidelity and approach but always drawing heavily from a love of ethereal tones, fuzz, reverberation and all things psychedelic. Introducing Stevie Moonboots and a revolving cast of collaborators and cohorts, musical and otherwise. Vancouver, British Columbia’s The Orange Kyte is an exercise in boundless sonic tomfoolery with an emphasis on mind expansion and continuous evolution.

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