Saturday, 4 June 2016

Chixdiggit - Live Bootleg

We hemmed and hawed about posting this tape, but (a) we're excited about celebrating Chixdiggit's 25th Anniversary tonight and (b) as Gene Poole says: no tape left behind! Or, unposted, as the case may be.

KJ Jansen told the story of this tape when we interviewed him for Unspooled earlier this year. The way KJ tells it, Chixdiggit played with a band from out east who somehow got ahold of a soundboard recording of a Chixdiggit set (we assume the band used to tape their sets and then review them, like a high school football team going over game videos). Said eastern band started selling this tape via their mail distro, completely without Chixdiggit knowing and well before they had any official recordings out. So when the band first toured out to the east coast, fans were waiting for them and singing along with their songs - and asking for songs that were no longer in the band's set list. KJ says he was pretty mad about the whole thing, but finds it kind of amusing now - and we think this ridiculous thing may have helped boost the band's popularity and help get them to where they are today.

What we like about this tape is that it shows how true to their original mission Chixdiggit have stayed: play short, catchy pop punk songs. What we don't like about this is, uh, the lyrical content on some of the songs. "She Knows" is a bit suspect, and both "Four Chinese Girls" and "If Adam Had a Penis" are pretty dreadful, word-wise. The tape is bookended with two classic tracks, "I Should Have Played Football in High School" and "Where's Your Mom," which kind of eases the pain. Thankfully KJ and the boys grew up just enough to remain true to their winning musical formula, but ditched the questionable lyrics (we'll guess this is why most of these songs were unreleased).

Grab the tape here - and maybe request a couple of these tunes at the Commonwealth tonight?

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Unspooled: Episode 7 - The Now Feeling's "Brand New Set of Lies"

Oops! We missed getting our stuff together yesterday to post this month's episode of Unspooled on the same day it aired on thee mighty CJSW's Saved by the Bell.

This month's episode is a real treat - we're going back and forth through time with the Now Feeling, as Allen Baekeland and Terry Tompkins recount their past thirty-plus years of making music and the track "Brand New Set of Lies" off their 1988 tape, From Haloes to Lampshades.

To make up for not getting this posted in a timely fashion, we're going to also suggest you check out the Now Feeling bandcamp for the re-recorded versions of their early songs, as well as the video for the Lost and Profound version of the song:

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Calgary Songs Project - Carillon Compositions

Oh, hi. We kind of forgot all about this. And then we remembered. And then we got busy with other stuff. But NOW we're finally getting these into your ears.

Remember that Calgary Songs Project thing that we did with Kenna Burima for the 30th anniversary of One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo? Well, this past is still echoing around downtown, the great compositions of the songs that Kenna did for the Calgary Tower carillon.

We know there are a pile of people who haven't been able to hear these yet, since the songs only run at noon. So, thanks to Kenna and her magic recording device, here are the songs (via a spiffy youtube playlist). Enjoy!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Gawker - Demo (2016)

Speaking of tapes we'd forgotten about... uh... we forgot about this one that we picked up at Melodiya a couple of months ago. What can we say? The CCPS offices are a bit cluttered (memo to selves: get our STEP student working on that tomorrow).

Anyways, our cursory internet research tells us there is some overlap between Gawker, Crack Cloud and Dri Hiev. Also, naming themselves after a popular website makes internet research difficult. This is bratty, sloppy punk. We actually had to listen to this tape three times to make sure we hadn't missed something because we got distracted for like two minutes and then the tape was over - they packed six songs into about 8 minutes. They also put more tempo changes into one and a half minute songs than you would have thought possible. Or sensible. But, hey, it works.

Get the tape from the Gawker bandcamp.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Crack Cloud - Crack Cloud (2016)

Here's a tape we got at Lab Coast's LP release show a few weeks ago, and then forgot about because we've only been listening to the new Lab Coast LP and the Sleepkit tape for the past two weeks.

Crack Cloud opened the evening at the Palomino, with a gutsy three-guitar, bass and drums set up (okay, one of the guitarists also switches off with sax, but still). Oh, and three keyboards to help fill in some subtle blips and bloops. They're probably the closest thing to Gang of Four that we've heard in town for a while, with the bass and drums serving as a just-danceable-enough backdrop for speak-y vocals and jagged guitars.

Looks like the physical tape is sold out, but you can grab the download from the Crack Cloud bandcamp.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Aiwass - Demo (2016)

One of the things we're happiest about the current wave of bands drawing on new/cold wave influences is that we no longer have to be ashamed of our extensive collection of New Order and Cure 12" records. So we were quite delighted to discover Aiwass, who are mining the darker end of the cold wave revival spectrum, taking the same starting point as Melted Mirror, but veering off into their own space. It actually might be a closet in their bedroom that they've veered off into, ignoring the glitz and tight production of Melted Mirror and going for a raw mix of synth, drum machine and bass. We can't fault them for their choice.

Get the tape via the Aiwass bandcamp.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Sleepkit - Champion Weekend (2016)

May as well make it a Ryan Bourne psychrock freakout weekend. While we really like the Holgans tape we posted yesterday, we LOVE this Sleepkit tape.

The first time we saw Sleepkit, they blew our minds. Where Holgans' psychedelia slithers around in the grass, Sleepkit's is floating in space. Marie Sulkowski's analogue Farfisa Synthorchestras and voice float around the upper registers like a satellite piloted by a cosmic Kate Bush, with Bourne's bass beaming instructions from its command centre on the moon.

We could go on and on about this tape - but instead we're going to tell you to watch the video for the lead track "Constantinople," which takes the bassline from Trans X's "Living on Video" and launches it into the sun:

Get the tape (or the download) from the Sleepkit bandcamp.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Holgans - Holgans are Dead (2016)

We made a big deal when we finally snagged a copy of the first Holgans tape last year (a couple of years late, as usual). So you can imagine our excitement to get another volume of psychedelia from Ryan Bourne and Kiarra Albina.

This is reportedly a collection of the final recordings of the band in its current form, made over the past couple of years. We assume that the band is transmogrifying into its next form, like some kaleidoscopic Pokemon deep in its underground lair. Which is too bad, because this form is pretty amazing - this tape is lush, cinematic and full of colours and textures that prove that pretty much anything Ryan Bourne touches is genius. These six songs are absolutely solid nuggets of psych pop.

You can also get this one from Eddie at Melodiya (or Dave at Sloth), as well as via the Holgans bandcamp.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Oxeneer - Worn Out (2016)

As we've stated before, the CCPS isn't super conversant when it comes to local metal (or metal at all). So we were super surprised when we found ourselves totally, totally enjoying last year's tape from the Weir. It follows then, that we also like this new tape from Oxeneer, a band which is made up of two thirds of the Weir.

With so much overlap between the bands, it's impossible for us not to compare the two. Oxeneer takes the sludgy riffs of the Weir and - as if to make up for having one less member - speeds them up. It's being like you've accidentally put a Weir LP on at 45 instead of 33. Where the Weir lets their riffs hang suspended in the air, Oxeneer takes them and pounds them into the ground.

Go say hi to Eddie at Melodiya and buy this tape from him, or grab it from the Oxeneer bandcamp.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Fire Engine Red - 1530 (2015)

We were trying to find a good transition point from that binge on Von Zippers vinyl to a bunch of new tapes that are in the CCPS offices, and we think we found it. Literally. We were given a copy of this a few weeks ago at Fire Engine Red's reunion show, and we managed to tuck it away somewhere "safe" (ie: somewhere we'd forget about it completely).

So, here we go with what is effectively the third time we've posted this masterpiece from Fire Engine Red. You could call it redundant or annoying, but we're going to call it an impeccable attention to detail. The deal is this: last year for Cassette Store Day (who knew, right?!) Texas label Some Weird Sin did a very short run re-release of this tape, along with new liner notes (with a questionably amazingly accurate band bio by Gene Poole) and cover art more true to what the band had originally wanted. We might have preferred a vinyl re-release, but we'll take this. Especially since we had the reunion show to enjoy.

Looks like you might be able to buy a copy from the Some Weird Sin bandcamp.