Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Everymen - Sit On It (1996)

By PURE CHANCE, we found today's LP in the stacks at Recordland shortly after Ron Choe gave us the Feds tape we just posted. Which is weird, because (a) the Feds were basically the Everymen plus a bunch of other folks and (b) we had no idea the Everymen had pressed a 12" record (IF we had bothered to read the back of their 1996-1998 compilation CD, we would have realized, uh, duh, they did put out a 12"). Actually, in finding this, we think the Everymen make the list of one of the few Calgary bands that put out 7" and 12" records, tapes and CDs. That's a pretty good spectrum of recording media they've hit there.

Oh, and this one is pretty good. Casey Lewis's drumming propels this record through 22 minutes (note: this is a 45rpm record. Darby Sawchuk's vocals sound completely weird and druggy at 33rpm) of all ages pop punk goodness. 

It leaves us pining for the Carpenter's Union Hall.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Feds - Demo (1995)

Ron Choe gave us a third tape, one that we're very excited to see has a j-card. AND it's got Gene Poole bouncing around the office doing a dance he claims is called "skanking." Calgary hasn't had a lot of ska bands, so we weren't convinced and decided to hit the YouTubes to verify that he was in fact "skanking." We've only just barely pulled ourselves out of a video involving a skinny guy and a fedora, and we're taking away Gene's bourbon.

We really can't fault Gene that much, though (even though he DID drink most of the bourbon). This is pretty fun stuff that stays pretty true to the genre - the two tunes are danceable and have a nice bit of social commentary to them. The fact that the guys from the Everymen are also in the band doesn't hurt.

Get your skank on here!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Staasi Quartet - Studio

We have a second Staasi Quartet tape from Ron Choe, with as much of a j-card and backstory as the last. This one is more polished, and we (and Ron) are fairly sure these tracks were part of the same studio session with Ben Doktor that yielded the three tracks on the Hellride to a Bloodbath compilation. We have this level of confidence because it includes the three tracks that were on Hellride.

This is probably our favourite of all the Staasi tapes that have come into the CCPS collection. There's some pretty great stuff on here that maybe helps to reconcile the slight shift in the Primrods' musical direction after Garret McClure joined the band. Or maybe we just said that so we could mention the Primrods again.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Stassi Quartet - 4-Track Demos

Following on our Primrods post from last week, we're very pleased to be able to present another offering from the Staasi Quartet. This one comes to us via bassist Ron Choe, who clears up some of our confusion about the band's membership:
"Staasi was at most times a quartet. Garrett, myself (bass) and Dan MacKinnon (guitar). We had many different drummers - I think the last one was Dan’s brother, Rob - but I remember Garrett drumming in the studio and playing a few shows on drums."
We've been digging through our old VOX magazines - we remember an article on the band that might have helped, but, alas. 

The other thing that strikes us about this is that it sounds really different from the other two tapes that Chris Zimmel gave us a few years ago. This is relatively more straight-ahead than those other two tapes - this sounds like it might have been a basement 4-track endeavor, and includes a couple of the songs that also show up on the Hellride to a Bloodbath compilation. There's no j-card or other info with this- Ron thinks it was recorded somewhere between 1994 and 1996.

As different as it is, it's nonetheless a great thing to get to hear

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Primrods - Kneecappin'! (1995)

Well, we slept through a significant part of the first day of 2015. So, in a half-assed attempt to keep some form of momentum going this afternoon, we're going back to the CD collection for one of our favourites. Which, we note, is turning 20 years old this year.

The Primrods' Kneecappin'! is probably one of our desert island discs. Mostly because we think we could use the shiny backside of the disc to help attract rescue vessels. But also partly because it's really good, and captures the band at the height of the first (second?) incarnation. We're actually surprised we haven't posted this yet - clearly we were waiting for the right time for this one. Well, we have some clipping from the Muretich archives to pad this post out, so now MUST be the right time!

Our favourite quote from the above article: "As far as I'm concerned, we're basically here in Calgary, nowheresville, pretending to be a rock band, which everybody else is doing, so why not put records out because that's what you do when you're in a band." Genius. Likewise for James Muretich's description of the band as "Captain Beefheart stripped of his rank." Good stuff. 

It's kind of too bad Muretich panned the additional dialogue at the end of the album. We kind of get what he's saying, though - with it tacked on at the end of "Francis Gary Powers Offers You The Thrill Of A Lifetime," it does kind of hurt the listenability of the thing. So, for your pleasure, we've included both the full version and an edited track (ie song only) in today's glorious download.

Friday, 19 December 2014

CCPS Miscellany: Various - The Compilation of Hope!

There was a bit of debate as to whether to post this last tape from Alex Kurth. See, there are NO Calgary bands on here (although one of our favourite Edmonton bands, Slates do make an appearance). BUT it's on Bart Records, and you know we LOVE Bart Records, so we gotta post this.

It looks like this is a circa 2010 compilation of bands from across Canada that somehow overlooked the city in which the label is based. We know this is getting tedious, but no link to downloads again due to the age of the release - although you can hear a bunch of the tracks over at Weird Canada.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Memory Screen - EP (2010)

Here's another tape that comes to us via Alex Kurth. This one's pretty much from the complete other end of the spectrum as Brain Fever - Memory Screen is cinematic and lush, making music for comforting, not confrontation.

This tape is credited to Mark Webber, although there's a great video of a full band performance that includes some impressive double drummer action in the vein of Tortoise.

As with out last tape, we're not posting due to its recent-ish release, although it looks like Memory Screen's only web presence is on, uh, myspace.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Brain Fever - Brain Fever

Alex Kurth passed us a few tapes, including this one of Brain Fever (who morphed into La Luna at some point). This band - fronted by Vanessa Gloux - mix hardcore, math rock and ye olde punk rock in unequal parts. This is an early live recording of the band, and it sounds like there are two guitars on this (La Luna is a four piece, so we're not sure at when they lost guitarist #2). Clearly, though, that didn't dilute the intensity of this tape:

Since this tape appears to have been released in the past five years, we're not going to post a link to the mp3s. We're not sure where else you can get this, but it looks like a bunch of the tracks also appear on their self-titled record.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Richard Harrow - Richard Harrow (1981)

Sometimes the record bins at the local record stores yield unexpected treasures. Or, in this case, unknown treasures.

Gene was flipping through the bins at Hot Wax last month, and stopped partway through the H's when he saw today's featured LP (still in shrink wrap, even!). Clearly, we hadn't done all of our homework on Living Room Records guru Richard Harrow and didn't realize he had put out a bunch of records himself. 

This looks to be his third LP, despite being self-titled. It's a very pop affair - no KBD PUNK here - but still entertaining. There's a sly sort of humour behind the songs, like when he sings "it's a wonderful world/But sometimes it stinks." The humour is kind of candy-coated - but then it's hard to imagine that someone with a home studio who has made a career of recording would do anything lo-fi. And a quick look at his youtube channel shows that he's still working in the same vein.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vault of Evil - Live at the Long Bar (1st gig) and first live gig with Pete (1983)

Gene's been in a bit of a funk since realizing we don't have physical copies of those two Bittermen CDs, but we think we've finally found something to lift his spirits. David Lewis got in touch with us (after much cajoling by Mike Tessier), and offered up a live tape of his first band, the ominously-named Vault of Evil.

This is actually two shows from 1983, both from the infamous Long Bar. This band is basically a precursor to the Bowness Back Yard Blues Band, with Lewis on drums, Tessier on bass, Todd Devini on lead vocals, Greg Dinwoodie on guitar and Pete Linckens on second guitar (for the second show on this tape - which we're not sure where it begins...). The performance is understandably raw, but kind of fun. The band has the some cheeky originals, but pads their set liberally with covers ranging from the Stooges' "Real Cool Time" to the Saints' "Demolition Girl."

Lewis also gave us a few photos of the band, providing a great document of what a punk band in Calgary looked like in 1983.

We think Lewis is wearing a combination of rugby pants and a sleeveless Dead Kennedys t-shirt, which is perhaps one of the most daring fashion combinations we've ever seen - perhaps punk at its most extreme. 

Or maybe not. But at least you can give Vault of Evil's live show a listen here