Saturday, 21 November 2015

Melted Mirror - Melted Mirror (2015)

So, today's tape is wrapping together a whole bunch of our favourite things: dark synth pop, Chris Zajko, and Evan Van Reekum. See, Chris Zajko has a new band, and they're playing a really great, dark synth pop. And Evan Van Reekum has a new label, and he's put out their tape as its first release. What a time to be alive!

We saw Melted Mirror for the first time earlier this year, and were super impressed. But this tape helps show how great they are - they play the same sort of the dark synth pop that Edmonton bands like the Faunts and the Floor were doing so well about ten years ago (wait, does that mean we're copying Edmonton's bands, but very, very slowly?). This is catchy, danceable, textured and really great to listen to. Zajko's yelping, staccato vocals are wrapped in Cian Haley's synth leads and arpeggios, along with Jeebs Nabil's chorus-y new wave geetars. The recording on this is surprisingly good - crisp, clean and the right balance between warm and cold. The new wave kid in us is really, really happy right now.

Word on the street is that the tape is sold out, but you can grab the download from the Melted Mirror bandcamp.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Spastic Panthers - Spastic Panthers (2015)

It's as we were adding the tags to this post that we realized something weird - this is the first time Dan Izzo has formally appeared on the CCPS in terms of being on a recording. Sure, he was an early supporter of this site with sharing a box of tapes with us, but, uh, it's weird that he hasn't put out any tapes yet. So weird. In fact, Dan may have asked us in his usual excited manner (ie his usual VERY excited manner) if we were going to put this tape on this site when we bought it from him last weekend. Well, duh. This is what we do. We buy the tapes, we listen to them, we put them on this site.

Anyways, if you're familiar with the Spastic Panthers, you won't be surprised by this tape. It's a nice contrast to the Weir tape we just posted: the songs are short and fast, probably because (as we noted at Tubby Dog last weekend) most kids who are in the mosh pit at Spastic Panthers shows don't have the stamina to last more than a minute and a half.

The high points on this tape is "Party Like a Ninja Turtle," a track even we at the CCPS can enjoy, even though we're a bit too old to ever have fully got into this TMNT thing, and "Amphetamine Vampire," which is classic, frantic Dan Izzo. And "Coaldale Saturday Night" is a sad, desperate view of punk rock in a small town that - we hope - Stompin' Tom would be proud of. Heck, we're just happy that we finally have Dan Izzo on tape.

The band claims that last weekend's show at Tubby Dog was their last ever Calgary show. We assume this means the band is kaput - either that or they're moving to Japan. Either way, do the right thing and get this tape via the Spastic Panthers bandcamp.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Weir - Calmness of Resolve (2015)

Here's another new tape... because that's all we've got right now. But this is a good one. See, we at the CCPS aren't very conversant in metal, even though we recognize how important it is to the Calgary music scene, and how heavily it has influenced a lot of our favourite bands. So, the new Weir tape is something we've been enjoying a lot.

We finally saw these guys live during Sled Island, and (partially because it was the last day of Sled and we may have been a bit durnk) had the weird sensation that time had been slowed down around us, or that we were watching the band through a thick stream of molasses. The Weir's brand of metal is slow, sludgy, riff-heavy and something we can totally get into. But, despite the sludginess of the songs, this tape is super crisp and really well done.

Get it from Melodiya or the Weir bandcamp.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Shiverettes - Just Three Songs (2015)

The Shiverettes are one of those bands that tickle just the right part of our reptilian brains. Their swaggering garage rock is one of our favourite things going right now, because, uh, we're addicted to garage rock.

Just Three Songs delivers the goods with a blast of three suitably snotty tunes. Sure, listening to this on tape lacks some of the great presence of the band - Hayley Muir is an excellent frontperson in the tradition of great Calgary fronts like DJewel and Kamil - but the attitude still carries through enough to make this memorable.

You can download the tracks from this at the Shiverettes' bandcamp, along with the excellent track from their Saved By Vinyl flexi, "Stephen Harper Suck My Dick."

Monday, 9 November 2015

Soft Cure - SAD (2015)

Picking up on yesterday's Basement Demons tape, we'd be cuckoo if we didn't post this tape from their drummer, Seth Cardinal, next. So, we're posting this tape from their drummer, Seth Cardinal!

This is a pretty remarkable collection of bedroom pop that Cardinal has put together. It's quiet, introverted and shows a tremendous sense of, well, pop craftsmanship. We've always had a soft spot from the one man bedroom band, so this is a thing we at the CCPS have really been enjoying.

This tape sits really nicely next to Lab Coast's output. And like Lab Coast, Soft Cure live is a very different beast - taking the songs in a much louder and more garage rock direction. Which is equally as good.

Download this from the Soft Cure bandcamp.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Basement Demons/Lunatique - Split (2015)

Back on to the new tapes! Except not new, we suppose. In the couple of months that we've been sitting on this, one of the bands on this split have, uh, split.

Lunatique called it quits over the summer, but this tape is a great document of their catchy and political songs. We're really looking forward to see where the folks involved pop up next.

The Basement Demons side is bookended by two typically noisy/shouty tracks. But the middle piece is a surprising little sound experiment that provides a nice counterpoint to their usual sound.

Oh, the cassette is this really cool clear, sparkly thing. We're not sure where you can get this physical tape, but there are downloads on the Lunatique and Basement Demons bandcamps.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Calgary Songs Project: Reflecting on Community

We're holding off on tape posts for today, so we can let our pal Kenna Burima give a quick update on the High Performance Rodeo Calgary Songs Project.... 

How do you summarize the musical history of a city is just 30 songs? How do you define and catalogue the contributions of hundreds of Calgarians in just one playlist?

The answer is you can’t.

When the CCPS and I first embarked upon this project to celebrate 30 years of One Yellow Rabbit through 30 songs, we knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy task. With the public submission process now closed, we are sitting on a 250+ playlist of songs; but not just any songs. Songs that have a history, that spark memory, that mean something. They aren’t really just songs, they’re windows into the lives of Calgarians. The responsibility of curating such a list is equally crushing and exhilarating.

These 250+ songs represent a time and a place in Calgary that I can only think are reflective of community. But not just one community - rather a network of communities - punk, pop, rock, folk, country, metal, hip hop, jazz. The patterns that we are seeing emerge from the list and through the people we talk to have highlighted that every musical genre present in our city in the past and in the present has had a surrounding community that supports and nurtures those that are a part of it. How do we even begin to make sense of all those intricate relationships?

We can try.

To me, rather than attempting to create a definitive playlist, we instead have an opportunity to present a snapshot; through 30 songs, of all the communities found Calgary and the people that were (and are) a part of them.

Whatever and however or final 30-song list shakes out, it’s imperative to me that it is an inclusive list. I don’t expect to be a part of every community in Calgary and there is actually a certain amount of pride and happiness that there are musical corners and pockets in Calgary that I don’t know even exist. This means that just because I’m not a part of a certain community, doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge and support and celebrate it as much as my own. We all want, nay we all need, places to feel we belong, that we are understand and supported. That to me is what community is.

So the CCPS and I will be working hard over the next month and when the list is unveiled on January 7, 2016 you will of course see the usual suspects, the popular no-brainers, but you will also see the lesser-known inclusions. We’ll be celebrating songs by indigenous artists, by our LGBT community, by women, by the very people that make our city a diverse, multicultural, metropolitan city.

Kenna Burima

Monday, 2 November 2015

Postman - Demo (2015)

So, what's next on the pile of new tapes we've been amassing? Well, it's Postman, featuring a former member of the Nancees, one of our favourite bands in recent years.

Postman mine a nice little area of garagey punk, stuff that whips along like a slightly-out-of-control train crashing down a hill. This tape doesn't quite hit the same heights as the posthumous Nancees album, but that's a pretty high bar.

Grab this tape from your local record store (we think Melodiya has copies), or download it at the Postman bandcamp.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Janitor Scum - Janitor Scum (2015)

Okay, now that we've wrapped up all that collection and reflection for the first part of the Calgary Songs Project, it's time to focus on big pile of new tapes that's been, uh, piling up beside the stereo in the CCPS offices.

We bought this tape, and we're still not sure what it is. It's somehow related to the folks from Glitter, and while it claims to be from 1989, we're pretty sure it's not. And with the whole tape clocking in at just over seven minutes, this is the type of thing that blows by so quick that it's hard to fully understand. It reminds us a bit of the Topless Mongos, but that's only because we're too lazy to try to find something to compare it to that's not from Calgary.

Maybe you can come up with a better comparison after you listen to Janitor Scum on their bandcamp.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Calgary Songs Project: THANK YOU!

Well, that was a fun few weeks. Thanks to all the people we reached out to directly for giving us their top five lists for the High Performance Rodeo Calgary Songs Project. Thanks to all of you who read these wacky posts and left your ideas and suggestions. And thanks especially to Kenna Burima and One Yellow Rabbit for partnering with us on this fine thing we're doing.

We kind of thought that when we started this, we were just working on creating a list of 30 songs for the upcoming festivities in next year's 30th anniversary High Performance Rodeo. Along the way, though, we got to be reminded of a whole bunch of great music that we had forgotten about - or didn't know about in the first place. We also assembled a long list of just under 200 bands and musicians for consideration, and probably close to 250 songs. And there were some wonderful offshoot discussions that we had, one of which resulted in the creation of an extensive list of women who have contributed to our music scene.

Sure, there's stuff we're kind of surprised wasn't mentioned, but there's also a lot of stuff that was brought forward which, well, is going to make it tricky to thin down to 30 songs.

So what's next? From here, we're going to sift through the recommendations and look at areas where there's consensus about which bands and songs should be included. Part of what we'll be looking it is the relevance of the bands/songs, their diversity and, uh, how good they'll sound on the Calgary Tower carillon. As much as we love the Primrods' Barbet Lad, we're not sure that one would translate that well.

Keep watching the blog here for updates on the project over the next few months. The final list of 30 songs to celebrate 30 years will be unveiled at the launch of the High Performance Rodeo on January 7, 2016.

Thanks again!