Monday 26 December 2011

Ship and Anchor Cocktail Series (1996-1998)

Here's a Boxing Day treat for you. 15 years ago, the Ship and Anchor Pub along with the record label side of Sloth Records (not to be confused with the record store side, which we'll be hitting later this afternoon that take advantage of their krazy dealz) and the shortly-lived Crybaby imprint made a nice little investment in the Calgary scene by putting out a series of 7" records that do a remarkable job of capturing a snapshot of the city's music in the mid- to late-90's. Plus, they're vinyl records, which we know the kids are crazy for these days.

The Cocktail Series was released in pairs, with each pair on the same coloured vinyl and named for a, well, cocktail. We're trying to make sense of the numbering system on these in the hopes that they'll help sort out some of the chronology in terms of which was released first, but we're flabbergasted by the lack of consistency in their numbering scheme (we suspect Mike Bell is to blame). So we're going to go with the ad above, and suggest that the Puritans and Placebo was released first (on green vinyl - although the Placebo (or Placebo4 as they were forced to start calling themselves) is the one of these that we actually don't have in the CCPS collection, as the popularity of Feist seems to have made them a hot commodity - but thanks to said hot commodity's fans, it's pretty easy to find a rip of this on the interweb, which we've done), followed by Straight and Knucklehead (on white vinyl), Loudmouth and Huevos Rancheros (on red), and finally rounded out with Curse of Horseflesh and Forbidden Dimension (on blue). We're not clear on the year of the final release - if the last pair came out in 1997 or 1998. We could probably ask someone, but that's not how we like to operate.

Also included in these records was a series of trading cards, featuring notable folks from the Ship community. We've picked up some of our records in the years since they were originally released, so we don't have a card for each record. We believe there was even a card for Cal... if anyone has one, we'd appreciate a scan!

Also, in the interests of transparency, our main reason for posting this is so that we can share with all of you the joy that is Straight's "Vacant," penned by former Quitter Joe McCaffery. One of our absolute favourites at the CCPS and an amazing slice of anthemic rock.

Here's an article from 1996, in which James Muretich uncovers some of the never-quite-realized plans of the series (they never did put out a final CD, did they?):

Get the whole series right here.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Sandwiches - Sandwiches (1980)

This is amazing. Not as if finding the complete Sturgeons demo was good enough, we've now been passed a copy of the Sandwiches demo (huge thanks to Allen Baekeland for this!). This is the best Christmas present ever! Well, except for the time Gene's dad bought him a copy of J.G. Ballard's Crash, thinking it was a cautionary tale about the dangers of speeding. Boy, did that ever backfire on him (both Gene and his dad, as it turned out).

The Sandwiches were a very shortly-lived band, featuring Doug Smith on guitar and vocals, Tim Campbell on lead guitar, Kim Solar on bass and Bill Betzler on drums. What we're posting today is a selection of their songs, hand-picked by Campbell. And they're amazing. This is great, lean punk rock that sits very nicely alongside the Sturgeons as forming an important part of our city's musical history.

Considering that members of this band went on play with Animal Kingdom, the Golden Calgarians, and Sacred Heart of Elvis, we're thinking that last summer's ffwd article about the early days of the Calgary scene missed something really important. Seriously, what did Kinsella go on to do? Share the stage with a mechanical bull, apparently (and, no, we're not talking about Chrétien).

Also: in your face, Golden Rock! We know this was on GR's most-wanted list for years, but since they haven't posted in a while... IN YOUR FACE!!! Actually, we're heading to Golden Rock's HQ next week to make them an offer they can't refuse. We think they'll be impressed by the offer. Okay, not impressed, what's the word we're looking for... maybe scared poopless is closer? Anyways, there is an offer to be made. And likely not refused, given the way it will be proposed.

But back to the Sandwiches (we had a bit too much eggnog last night (okay, not too much eggnog - too much rum) and are having trouble focusing). Turning Allen's CD into mp3s turned out to be more difficult than we ever expected, and we ended up getting to know the waveforms of these songs better than those of any band previously featured on the CCPS. But again, it's been totally worth it. So put an extra glug of rum in your eggnog, grab this amazing collection of songs and toast the season. Cheers!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Smash L.A. - Smash L.A. (1990)

We're embracing our inner Jett Thunders with today's tape, which comes to us via - of all people - Airship One's Chris Zimmel. 

Smash LA (i.e. Smash Law N Authority - not Smash Lawn Authority, as we initially thought, although we're now considering getting Steve Elaschuk drunk and changing his landscaping company name to the latter) was Calgary's answer to early 90's glam metal icons like Poison and, well, Guns N Roses. This a highly-underrepresented genre here at the CCPS, most because the Live Wire was in the deep south of the city and we still have a rule that prohibits us from attending rock shows south of 17th Ave SW. What interests us about this band is not the power ballads, but the involvement of future-Zuckerbabby guitarist Reed Shimozawa. We also note that three of the folks from Lanigan, SK's Age of Electric contribute backing vocals, including future-New Pornographer drummer Kurt Dahle. We also also note that several of members of both bands continue to be involved in modern versions of hair metal, proving once again that hairspray does have long-lasting effects.It looks like these guys did quite well in their time, though. This one independent tape spawned three music videos, which have been lovingly posted to the youtubes. Here's our favourite, featuring Shimozawa in a Slash-style top hat:  This is the most time that all of at the CCPS have spent seriously (well, okay, not really seriously) looking at hair metal, collectively, in our lives (like, totally, no way! Dude!). So we'll just direct you and your big hair to the download.

Friday 16 December 2011

Grift - The Grift (1993)

We at the CCPS are creatures of habit. That habit being, if we spot a pile of tapes in a retail environment, we can't help but scan through for anything local. This habit usually doesn't yield much (other than copies of Billy Joel's The Nylon Curtain), so we usually don't set our hopes to high.
So when we started picking through a small pile of used tapes at Hot Wax (where we're used to going to pick up new cassette releases), we almost abandoned the search when we found a copy of ABC's The Lexicon of Love. But the tell-tale low-budget spine of this independent release jumped out at us. And so, here it is.
The Grift feels like, in many ways, an extension of the Burners, although a bit more glossy. The band features the Burners' Mike Stack as well as Sean Maher from Joe 90/the Nex'd. Someone on Ye Olde Youtube has been so goode as to post a video of the band, from shortly before this tape was released:
So there you have it: our compulsive behaviours related to digging through strange piles of tapes have once again been rewarded.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Various - Cam's Lost Compilation

After posting a lost compilation from Ian Doig a few weeks back, Cam Hayden got in touch with us and offered a half-finished, half-assed compilation of his own.

To be fair, Cam can't take the blame for this. Or so he claims. His story - which we're inclined to believe, for no reason other than we're a bit soft-headed sometimes - is that at some point in the late 1990s, some un-named party hit him up to help with releasing this compilation, and basically dumped the tracks they assembled in his lap and expected the compilation to magically appear without any form of cash being applied.

Well, thanks to the marvels of the interweb and the ability for any idiot (or, in this case, collection of idiots) with a blog to upload a file and make it available for download (with no cash being applied), we're now able to bring this compilation into your eagerly-awaiting eardrums. Except that most of the best tracks on here have already been heard.

What is kind of cool and new (to us) on here is a band called Hung Solo, which Cam tells us is a young Adam Kamis. Then there are the two tracks from the original Hot Little Rocket demo, some Rayovaq (we don't think we've every really confessed how much we loved that band - so here it is: we really loved that band), a pair of tracks from Nine Miles to Morgan's tape, a pair of Massive Ferguson tracks that we mistook for Cripple Creek Fairies tracks at first, a version of National Dust's excellent "California" (not the version from their exceptional second CD) and, well, Upshot.

What, you don't remember Upshot? Don't tell us you didn't love their amazing combination of rap, metal and... Dammit, we can't even bring ourselves to mock them.

Which makes this post just about as half-assed as today's featured compilation.

Monday 12 December 2011

Various - CJSW Presents Calgary Cardboard Limousine '93 (1993)

You're not going to believe this story. We're warning you right now, even before we begin. This is - without a word of a lie (which we know is not our usual modus operandi - and neither is putting latin in italics) - a tape we'd been trying to find for some time. And where did we find it?In Jett Thunders' living room. We're not making this up. Seriously. We were at Jett's house, and he was in the bathroom fixing his hair or something, so we were being nosey, as we are wont to do. And when we saw a small pile of tapes, we figured the best we were going to find was a copy of Appetite for Destruction, or maybe Pornograffiti. So imagine our surprise to see this tape!We know that we've lost you here. You can't fathom why this tape is so important. For us, this is one of the better Calgary compilations from the 90's, bringing together Huevos Rancheros, Agony Pipe, the Choads, Rabbit Has Brain... Sure, there are a few bands we can't seem to remember (Thomas at the Wheel? Mekong Riverboat Show?), but there's at least one song we're really excited to hear again - the Steve Wynn-esque "Carolynn" from Monster Zero, featuring Walter Porochnuk, Don McSwiney and Pat McGannon (the latter two of whom would form the Manhattan Jump Blues Revue/Dino Martinis). Oh, and more Ramada Gods. This is a well put-together compilation, despite its lack of liner notes or extra documentation. A great snapshot of a moment in time. Little touches like this are why we pledge to CJSW every year. So make sure you've paid your pledge and then grab this.

Saturday 10 December 2011

Banood - Mind That Parcel... (1986)

We've learned serval important things in our many years of digging through the tapes at Recordland. First, we've already found all the good stuff. Second, you should always bring a package of wet wipes and hand sanitizer. And, third, sometimes digging and perseverance does yield something you're not expecting to find.Like this, the second tape from Banood. We don't have much to add from when we posted their first tape, having already cited the fact that their drummer was at one point married to Sarah McLachlan. So, seeing as we're obviously trying to pad out a post here, we'll also include this lovely video from the youtubes: Unlike digging through Recordland, sometimes youtube just yields plain garbage.So grab the tape here.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Kathryn Rushent - Bodycheck (1987)

This is the second Kathryn Rushent tape we got from Grant Hutchinson. Grant tells us he assisted with the video that is referenced in the liner notes of our last post.It appears that Rushent is still active as an artist in the Airdrie area, while producer David Strattford is actively putting out CDs to combat migraines without drugs, among other things. Get Bodychecked.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Kathryn Rushent - The Mist

This is bit of a surprise - a tape featuring Aleister Hex that isn't garage rock. In fact, this skews far closer towards Jane Siberry than Blue Oyster Cult. Actually, that Jane Siberry comparison may not be completely accurate. But certainly the distance from BOC seems correct.As usual, we're kind of grasping at straws here.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Lockwood-Clark - Coincident Dissolution

In among the tapes from Grant Hutchinson was this one, which stands as a unique recording in our collection to date. We're familiar with Frank Lockwood as the engineer and producer behind recordings from CosmaNat and Tau Ceti. But rather than the new wave stylings of those bands, this tape (which is made up of two tracks, each of which clocks in at over 25 minutes apiece) is more Eno-esque in its soundscapes and themes.Lockwood is in Toronto now, and still recording - although his focus is on acoustic and classical music.Get Lockwood-Clark here.

Friday 2 December 2011

CosmaNat - CosmaNatomy (1988)

We were - at one point, anyways - very good at cross-posting/stealing tapes from our friends at Golden Rock. But we have no idea how we missed this one, which Grant Hutchinson has now also slid our way.Golden Rock originally got a copy via recording engineer and CosmaNat co-conspirator Frank Lockwood. Frank says:

"The cassette-only EP CosmaNatomy was probably our most ambitious project. 'Level this Ground' featured a lot of guitar power chords from Brenda with a complex, multi-part vocal from Pat. 'Pillow Talk' was done by first recording the original Doris Day song onto our multi-track tape, and using it as a guide. None of the original recording appears in the finished song, except for a slowed down 'There must!' from Doris Day that begins the song. The piano part proved to be too complex for either Pat or Brenda's capabilities, so we simply slowed the tape down to the point where it could be played more easily; this accounts for the somewhat "honky-tonk" quality of the result. For the final choruses there is a group of male backup singers which featured my own questionable ability, plus a rare vocal appearance from Brenda. 'What's it Like' is essentially two songs mashed together, a driving 4/4 rock song for the verses, with a very slow, spacey chorus with a lot of reverb. These two contrasting styles are at odds with each other throughout the song until it all crashes to a thundering finale of guitar feedback and noise. 'Total Recall' is the song where I probably had the most input, treating Brenda's violin with a long tape echo, burying Pat's vocal in deep reverberation, and playing some bell-like sounds from an Akai sampler. A middle section follows with a simple keyboard melody underlying Pat's whispered reading, with a lot of violin skitters. The finish recalls the opening section with a return to the heavily processed ambiance gradually overtaken by ever more complex roars of undifferentiated sound and the underwater tolling of some synthetic bell."

Thanks once again to Frank for sending in the tracks, and for Pat and Brenda for giving Golden Rock the green light to post it.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Passion Scars - True Passion Leaves Scars (1992)

If we didn't know better, and if this tape had found its way into our hands without a label, we'd swear this is another Funeral Factory recording. It has all the hallmarks of that band - but we know from other posts here that around this time, Funeral Factory were more interested in being the Cult than making etherial pop.So what is this? The label on the tape tells us it's a Mike Bezzeg-production - was he trying to create another Funeral Factory? There's a phone number of the tape, maybe we should call it and see if whoever answers can tell us more.Maybe after taking a listen, someone out there can fill in the gaps here?

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Funeral Factory - Four Song Demo

The Funeral Factory is a favourite among the downloads here at the CCPS, so when Grant Hutchinson offered up a copy of this, we couldn't say no. Grant did a fair amount of photography, design and video work for bands including the Funeral Factory and Tau Ceti, so it's not surprising that he had a small, but high quality cache of tapes to offer us.We're not sure of the year of this tape - but the recordings (with the exception of "Cold War") appear to be from the same as those from their 1990 tape (which Grant has provided us with an alternate j-card for - apparently the one we had wasn't the one that went to stores?). This perhaps serves as a nice distillation of the band. We're eager to get our hands any Funeral Factory-related clippings or info. If you have anything you can lend us, drop us a line.In the meantime, grab the demo here.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Sissys - Sissys Talk (2011)

We've been quite impressed by Bart Records' commitment to the cassette format, but our impressedness is doubled after seeing the amazing packaging of this new tape from former Grown-Up Darrell Hartsook. You'll forgive us for focusing on the packaging of this for a moment - because it's amazing. This thing is wrapped in a cardboard sleeve kind like the old cassette single (or "cassingle") format of the early 90's. But this takes that format to the next level by varnishing the black paper with the band name (which has confounded the CCPS office scanner). This is a sexy, sexy tape.Not to trivialize the music on here - Hartsook and his cohort (we're told this is a two-piece band, but aren't sure who #2 is - all we've been told is that we are #6) delivers the goods with pummelling drums and guitars. And the amazing "Sweater Weather," a fave here in the CCPS office.You can download this for free from Sissys bandcamp, or buy it from Bart Records

Thursday 24 November 2011

Barflies - Live at Dawn and Paul's (1995)

We can't get enough of "Darby," especially since we ate that weird chocolate that one of our co-workers left in their desk drawer. So we're pleased to bring you another blast of Barflies action.

This is from the same basement show as the earlier Bob Keelaghan set. We're told, by sources who claim to have been there, that this party was a going away of sorts for Paul and Dawn, who ditched their jobs in Calgary to travel the world. The night also included set by Teens For Decency, the Parkades, Gasp and Elmo's Dream. Which makes it a night of super-obscure indie rock, even for us at the CCPS.

But we've never been ones to shy away from the trivial.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Barflies - 4-Track Recordings

A few years back (literally - we're digging back over three years for this one! Time flies when you're farting around!) we had a request for some Barflies. The best we could do at the time was post the audio from a video recording we had somehow come in possession of. Until now!

Thanks to the tapes from Dawn and 4-track from Paul, we've managed to reassemble a collection of their recordings. It looks like "Darby," the track that got them a fair amount of airplay on CJSW, was the only recording they really worked up with the full treatment, as they say. So what we've gathered together are pile of the more reasonable sounding recordings of their basement practices, bringing you forgotten gems like "Poferia," "Supersad" and "Infomercial Queen." And, don't worry, there's some "Darby" action (perhaps an unfortunate turn of phrase) on here as well.

Because we certainly do indeed like Darby.

Monday 21 November 2011

Bob Keelaghan - Live at Paul and Dawn's (1995)

We've had an interesting past week of re-aquainting ourselves with 4-track recorders. A ways back, Dawn Loucks gave us a pile of tapes, and among them were a bunch that had been recorded to 4-track. Thanks now to Paul Poutannen, we have the original machine these were recorded on, and will be presenting the highlights from some of those tapes.

We're going to start - since we just had a Bob posting - with another Bob. The one who we've only recently become comfortable conversing with. Bob Keelaghan is a pretty amazing guy, and we've long been fans of his work - which is why this recording of a too-short solo performance from a show in Paul and Dawn's basement is so special. Part poetry, part guitar godliness, all "what the hell is he doing?" Sadly, there's a drop out in the middle of the sing-along "Guano."

Since this performance is so short, we're going to point you to a few more Keelaghan-related goodies. First, Bob appears to have a youtube channel for his Spam Avenger project. Here's the great track he did for the much-overlooked Stompin' Tom tribute that Saved By Radio but together about ten years ago:

In among the tapes we're sorting through, we also found a promo for... maybe a radio show that Bob used to do? We can't remember what it was from, but we swear we've heard it before (and, yes, we know the original source).

But you came here to hear Bob Keelaghan play guitar, and like the bastards we are, we've made you wait all the way down to this very, very, very last word of the post.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Bobby McAlister and the Telstars - Band of Gold (1998)

We've been fairly unashamed of hiding how much we like the Film Extras tracks from the Oooh, I'm So Pretty compilation, which we now know was a Bobby McAlister project. Thanks to Aaron Booth and his secret stash of tapes, we're now in possession of a post-Film Extras McAlister band.

Aaron tells us that the Film Extras were shortly-lived, and went on to become the Accommodations (with Derek Hannah), who were also shortly lived. They then morphed into Bobby McAlister and the Telstars in 1997, and were, well, shortly-lived. The Telstars were Booth on bass, Aaron McCullogh on guitar and Calvin Becker on drums.

Bobby himself got in touch with us to fill in massive amounts of detail on all of the tracks here:

"Modern Man", "Sing Whatever You Know" - Artist:  The Accommodations
Vocals: Derek Hannah
Bass & Guitar & Vocals:  Bobby McAlister
Drums & Keyboard:  Cal Becker
Guitar:  Brooker Buckingham
Engineered:  Bobby McAlister, Band of Gold
Recorded:  1996

"Amelia", "This Life"  (actually named "Waking Up Someday") - Artist:  Bobby McAlister and the Telstars
Vocals, Bass & Guitar:  Bobby McAlister
Drums:  Cal Becker
Guitar:  Aaron McCullough
Keyboard:  Dylan Haveron
Engineered:  Rob Smith, Rocky Mountain
Recorded:  1997

"Brother, That's All There Is", "Rain Won't Get Near Me"  - Artist:  Bobby McAlister and the Telstars
Vocals & Bass & Guitar & Keyboard:  Bobby McAlister
Drums & Keyboards:  Cal Becker
Guitar & Vocals:  Aaron McCullough
Engineered:  Bobby McAlister, 4-track
Recorded:  1997

"Love Stings", "Sing Whatever You Know", "Do You Wanna Break Up?" - Artist:  Bobby McAlister and the Telstars
Vocals & Guitar:  Bobby McAlister
Drums:  Cal Becker
Bass & Vocals:  Aaron Booth
Guitar & Vocals:  Aaron McCullough
Engineered:  Bobby McAlister, 4-track
Recorded:  1997

"Something In Your Heart", "Sunshine In The Middle Of The Night", "Rain Won't Get Near Me" - Artist:  Bobby McAlister and the Telstars
Vocals, Keyboards & Guitar :  Bobby McAlister
Drums:  Paul Robertson
Bass:  Aaron Booth
Engineered:  Bobby McAlister, Sundae Sound, 8-track
Recorded:  1998

"Unit 22" - Artist:  Bobby McAlister and the Telstars
Vocals & Guitar :  Bobby McAlister
Drums & Keyboard:  Cal Becker
Bass:  Aaron Booth
Engineered:  Bobby McAlister, Sundae Sound, 8-track
Recorded:  1998

"Speed Of Light" - Artist:  Bobby McAlister
All instruments:  Bobby McAlister
Engineered:  Bobby McAlister, Sundae Sound, 8-track
Recorded:  1998

This is pretty great, 70's influenced pop - beard rock, 90's style. Naturally, traces of Paul McCartney abound. We're told that after the recordings were mostly completed - and then shelved - the band imploded, but became the Hardtime Brothers for a short period.

There's some debate raging in the CCPS office about the right car to cruise around listening to this tape in. The usual CCPS chariot, our 80's BMW, is out of the question - right now, we're leaning towards a late 70's Lincoln Continental like this one:

Because Bobby also has his standards.

Monday 14 November 2011

Sturgeons - Yellow Sea Eel Hunt (1979)

The other batch of songs on the CDR from Girls from Tahiti was a set of demos from the Sturgeons. We didn't actually know this existed - and we're still somewhat questioning its authenticity. Does the Franklin Mint provide certificates of authenticity for tapes like this?

That weird French blog seemingly corroborates the existence of an early Sturgeons demo from 1979. We believe this is the same tape, but we have our doubts. While we're big fans of the Forward Disorder/Punk Rock Virgins single, this demo is a lot ballsier, brasher and... maybe even better?

We know we could ask Al about this, but instead we're going to close our eyes, picture this and keep on listening to this alleged Sturgeons demo.

Update! We've had this tape authenticated by Someone Who Was There, as well the tape and song titles confirmed:

01 Attack of the Fetus People/It's A Jock's World
02 Noise For Youth
03 Support First Strike
04 I Was A Teenage Housewife
05 Danger Zone
06 Girls on the Bus
07 Belt Up
08 A.B.U.S.I.V.E. Attitudes
10 Here Come The Injuries
09 Suburban Evacuation
11 I Wanna Die
12 Cash Factor
13 I Know, I Know
14 U of C Gestapo
15 Punk Rock Virgins
16 Forward Disorder

We're pleased that a few of our titles were reasonable close. Okay, maybe only one. Thanks to the same unnamed individual (who may or may not have saved a certain radio station we love) for passing us the cover of the original tape!

Friday 11 November 2011

Suburban Slag - Demo

This is a tape we put a call out for a while ago, and we received it last month from an unexpected source - fellow blogmeisters Girls From Tahiti. The proprietor of said blog had received a CDR with these tracks along with another Calgary band (whose tracks we'll post shortly) - and got in touch with us for more info.

Well, we don't know too much about Suburban Slag other than they included Jeff Burns on guitar, Doug Bolland on bass and future DOA/Subhumans/Personality Crisis/SNFU/who knows who else drummer Jon Card. Who's on vocals? We don't know. This demo is from either 1980 or 1981, and is a great slice of early 80's punk. There's a bit more info this weird French blog, but most of it is actually mis-information.

Which, again, is what we at the CCPS usually strive to provide.

Edit: thanks to our favourite Punk Rock Librarian for filling us in on the vocalist! It was apparently Jim Hanlon

Sunday 6 November 2011

Fricks - Hundred Jeers

We're a bit embarrassed to have been sitting on this track for a few months. It seems that our summer intern, who was supposed to be in charge of the seemingly always-overflowing CCPS email inbox (write to us at! We're standing by! Because, in reality, we don't get that much email, except for notifications of lottery winnings and offers for penis enlargements) turned out to be actually preparing a painstakingly detailed catalogue of craft beers of the Pacific Northwest. For the record, the preparation of said catalogue wasn't the reason for his being fired, it was the lack of sharing of samples of said beers.

So, getting things back on track, we're pleased to now present a lost track from one of our surprise favourites from the past couple of years, the quite fantastic Fricks. "Hundred Jeers" pulls all the elements that caught our attention in the first place. Doug Bolland's melodic bass lines, guitars that remind us just enough of NiCon and some meaty hooks. Andy McLachlan tells us that this track was submitted for consideration on the Play compilation, but the "producers" went with the other submitted track instead, leaving this track to languish, unreleased.

But you can give it a home by grabbing it here.

Friday 4 November 2011

Quitters - Do You Know (1992)

Back in September, we were thrilled to reconnect with one of our favourite guys from the 90's, Mr. joe McCaffery. Playing for a one-off Now Feeling reunion, we were reminded how amazing of a guitarist he is - while Lorrie Matheson reminded us about how crappy our mp3s of the Quitters' Fuzzball EP is.

Well, Joe tells us that a remastered version of that tape might be in the works, which should keep Lorrie slightly less grumpy than usual (certainly not happy, though). But more importantly, Joe unearthed a track that was recorded during the Fuzzball session but - for reasons that escape us, hearing it almost 20 years later - left off the tape. "Do You Know" fits perfectly with tracks like "Good Thing". Which is in itself a, er, good thing.

Grab this unreleased garage pop nugget here.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Various - Loaf Eye: The Minimal-Fidelity Calgary Compilation That Never Was

Carefully stashed in a plastic bag in the box of tapes that Ian Doig leant us was a bunch of tapes that Ian had gathered in about 1996/97, in the hopes of putting together a compilation tape. For whatever reasons, that never happened, but now, thanks to the marvels of the interweb, we're giving this project a new life.Ian managed to put together a pretty swell lineup with this tape. There are plenty of our favourites on here: the Von Zippers, Jackson Phibes, Massive Ferguson, Shoutin' Abner Pim and the Puritans and solo outings by Garrett McClure (as Futures: Bionik) and Scott Bennie. But the gem on here for us is Donker, a super-smart, super-funny, super-hooky supergroup made up of Bob Keelaghan, Mark Igglesden and Pat Andrews. Bob tells us this is the only track the band ever recorded, which is a sad thing - but it makes this compilation a highly-recommended download. Get your loaf here.

Monday 31 October 2011

Forbidden Dimension - Live at Broken City January 9, 2009 (2009)

Halloween here at the CCPS Offices is, quite frankly, another excuse to spend the entire day listening to Forbidden Dimension. This year is no different, but there is an added bonus - not only are we going to spend the day listening to FD tapes and records, we're going to cap off the evening by taking in the band themselves as they celebrate the release of their new CD down at Dickens Pub.To celebrate that celebration, we're pleased to present a live show from a few years back, courtesy of Edmonton's mad show taper, Chris Zuk. Chris slid us this recording a ways back, and we almost forgot the cultural significance of the show - it was a cold January night, shortly after Jackson Phibes has marked his band's 20th anniversary. And the yobs were in full effect (ed: not us. We were there, drunk but not acting yobbish). Shortly into "The Boy Who Has Everything," a pair of nogoodniks came swinging into Broken City, throwing random punches (one of the lucky recipients of said punches was the eye of bartender Adam Kamis). We were pretty impressed by how the band picked up again (and how Kamis' eye swelled up). Anyways, you can relive the fun with this recording. Maybe you can even punch yourself to keep it real.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Beyond Possession - Demo (1989)

As promised, here's the second Beyond Possession demo tape we liberated. These four songs were apparently recorded during the band's final days. 
We're a bit fuzzy on the band's membership at this point - we think John Hiebert had gone on to form Never a Dull Moment... maybe? What we do know is that this band was hugely influential on a lot of other bands (and skaters) in this city and beyond. Heck, we even saw someone in a (somewhat tattered) Beyond Possession t-shirt this past summer.The four tracks on this final demo are also included on the Repossessed compilation CD, but we offer them here as they were originally intended

Friday 28 October 2011

Beyond Possession - Demo (1985)

We went looking for something scratch a friend's Beyond Possession itch this afternoon, and by happy accident stumbled across a pair of tapes we didn't know existed. And, thanks to the international cachet of this seminal hardcore band, finding and liberating mp3s of said tapes has been a pretty easy thing.

We're not going to re-hash the history of Beyond Possession, partly because the excellent Repossessed compilation does a great job of telling their story (blah blah Riot .303 blah blah White Noise blah blah Bootsauce etc), but mostly because we've got a Halloween party to get to, and our costumes this year happen to involve wearing dresses, which is making us all a little nervous. Instead, we're going to present this great video clip from the Youtubes:

We love the idea of someone standing at the back of the hall with a giant, 80's style video camera, hoping that no one smashes into them and wrecks their dad's gear.

Grab Beyond Possession's early 3-song demo here.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Ryan Bourne - Resonate (1998)

Former Sky Suspended lad Aaron Booth recently got in touch with us about a batch of tapes he re-discovered in preparations for a move (unlike the rest of us, who wonder where the hell we jettisoned that missing box of tapes to each time we move). He's teasing us a bit by sending us a couple of tapes at a time (we prefer the proven Safeway bag of tapes in a parking lot - at least then we know what we're dealing with). Anyways, we at the CCPS are beggars and not choosers (maybe?), so we're pleased to present the first tape from Aaron's collection. Which, had we known it was coming, we would have posted immediately after last week's Interstellar Root Cellar tape. So much for weaving a well-crafted narrative. So, pretend the last two posts didn't happen. Except they did, and they're both (especially the Stellazine) totally worth checking out.This tape finds Ryan Bourne trying to find his singer-songwriter voice post-IRC (that is the correct acronym, isn't it?). It feels a bit bossa nova, especially compared to his full-length CD, which is more of a VanGaalen-esque low fi pop experience. But then, we hear VanGaalen in everything these days. I guess it just resonates with us. Get it?

Monday 24 October 2011

Stelazine - Stelazine (6 Songs)

We (along with a bunch of our pals) we saddened by the news of Colin Allin's death earlier this year. So we're extra grateful to Mark Jordan for passing this gem along (for extra points, he managed to enlist the services of Jett Thunders as courier!). There's been a lot of reminiscing about Allin's talents over the past few months, and this tape furthers the evidence of those talents. This is a great set of six songs that sit nicely along the Skin Barn tapes. We're going to go out on a limb and suggest this is the full session they did that resulted in the two-song tape that we posted earlier this year, based on a comment (from Colin?) on that post.Sigh.We suggest grabbing a bottle of Garrison Imperial IPA, downloading these six songs and toasting Colin's memory. 

Saturday 22 October 2011

Wet Pinky Swears - Dripping Wrists of Girlschool Promises (2011)

We're big fans of local Garage Rock revivalists (wait, Garage Rock never died, it just drank itself into a coma!) the Gooeys, so we're pleased to have in our possession a tape from their demented side project, the Wet Pinky Swears. From what we remember, this is front guy Craig Storm, drummer Darrell Hartsook and someone else on bass. These are short blasts of garage noise that provide a, well, sharp contrast to the bubblegum of the Gooeys. The band has (perhaps in error?) made mp3s of this available for free via bandcamp. We should caution you, since it's Saturday morning - this isn't exactly good music for if you have a hangover. We found this out the hard way.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Interstellar Root Cellar - CD Rough Mixes

Gord Adam slid us this tape when we last met up with him. He tells us he was behind the boards for the recording of Interstellar Root Cellar's CD, and one night he made a batch of rough mixes which he thinks ended up being superior to the final CD. We haven't actually heard their CD, so we can't really comment - except for saying that the sunny vibes from this tape are almost making us forget that the days are growing shorter and colder.Almost.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Buddy System - REM Time/All Wrong

We've got another tape from Duane Froslev and Gord Adam. This one appears to be a one-off session with a few local folks - Froslev, Joni Allen, Buddy Rick Valleau and Sandy Switzer. It's pretty fun stuff, and, uh, we don't know what else to say. Maybe it's from the mid-90's? We don't know and we're kind of tapped out right now.

So just grab the download.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Sacred Heart of Elvis - Sacred Heart of Elvis

We're a bit embarrassed to be posting a tape from Sacred Heart of Elvis so late in the game here. Our pals at Golden Rock have posted several bits and pieces from the band, but this is the first of their tapes that we've had in our hands.Sacred Heart of Elvis was, at its core, Ali Riley, Rodney Brent and Tim Campbell. We haven't taken our time here at the CCPS to pay out respects to Tim, who passed away this past May - not because of a lack of respect, but because we were never fortunate enough to meet the man. We'll let this obituary from ffwd stand as our second-hand tribute to Campbell's talents and contributions to Calgary's scene.The Golden Rock posts indicate how much of a revolving door the rhythm sections of the band was - this tape finds the Mules' Duane Froslev and Rob Hayter rounding out the band (a side note: we were very lucky to catch the Sacred Heart of Elvis' reunion show at the CJSW 20th Anniversary thing six years ago - for that show, former Puritan Stephen Nykolyn filled in on drums).This is a great tape, highly recommended. We're not sure, though, if it's the same tape referenced in the article above. The recording of "Wheezing Dog on a Leash" on here sounds remarkably close to the one on the documentation-free 90.9 With a Bullet compilation, which could mean just about anything.Get it here.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Mules - The Mules 666 (1986)

We're pleased to have a second tape from the Mules. This is again a mix of studio tracks and a live show, both from 1986. We've got another recording of "True Love" (making this the third version we've heard - this, as well as the version from the last tape, sound different from the Calgary Compelation track) - which is more than okay in our books. The more we hear that track, the more we can't get it out of our heads.Which isn't to say the rest of this tape isn't as good. They lean heavily on the songs of Johnny Cash in their set - which is okay by today's standards, but you have to remember that this was recorded back when Cash hit a low point and had leant his name and likeness to a bank's ATMs.That said, Gene Poole would like to announce that he is more than welcome to lend his name (although not likeness) to anything that will bring the CCPS more cash. Or beer

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Mules - Studio and Live!

We were super excited when Duane Froslev sent this tape our way. We had only ever heard one Mules track, tucked away on the Calgary Compelation that Golden Rock posted a few years back. "True Love" is pretty great track, and we've been itching to hear more - and now that itch has been more than scratched.The Mules were Frozlev on bass, Rob Hayter on drums and vocals and Brad Paffe on guitar and vocals. Paffe went on to be part of the Daggers in the 90's (among others), as well as the very amazing Remones. Of course, they didn't use their real names in Calgary magazine's 1986 tribute to the scene.

This tape has five studio tracks (two of which we don't know the title to), and another 13 live tracks. This is great country rock, influenced by the more olde time end of the spectrum (as evidenced by the reverse side of the tape cover, above). The covers pull heavily from Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and even Buddy Holly.

We're usually not big on two stepping, but it seems more than appropriate here.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Random Scrapings - Live at the Calgarian/National (1980)

Duane Froslev passed us a few tapes a week or so ago (via Gord Adam), and they're a pretty amazing slice of early Calgariana. This tape is two (?) sets of fun from Random Scrapings, who were Grant Sim, Duane Froslev and Rob Hayter. This tape also has a set from Veiled Threats who - although we can't actually see what's happening on stage - we suspect were actually Random Scrapings playing goofy funk rock (with someone playing what sounds like a duck). There's an important link to Punk Rock History here - Duane Froslev would find his way to Winnipeg, change his last name and become Duane Eddie of the legendary Personality CrisisThe only tracks on here we can ID are the band's covers of Devo's "Freedom of Choice" and Gang of Four's "Anthrax," the latter of which features a feedback guitar onslaught that give the original a run for its money.Hear it here.

Monday 26 September 2011

Coughin' Nails - A Bad Case of Nerves (1988)

We were super happy when the defunct-like-a-certain-recently-fallen-to-earth-satellite Golden Rock forwarded us an email last week. Bob Firmston - brother of Bill E. Stew - was offering up a copy of his band's tape, which Golden Rock had been searching for. Bob's request was simple: help him convert the tape so his son could hear it. We're always happy to oblige in these situations.

While we're big fans of Bill's work, Bob's own band is nothing to sneeze at - this is more garage rock goodness, which Bob tells us was so powerful it almost got them a show in Regina. Most notable in the band is Case Caulfield, who was also doing time with Big Bang Theory at the time. 

There's also a live show from the Coughin' Nails over at Golden Rock, and we've just refreshed the link

CCPS: We digitize so you don't have to.

Sunday 25 September 2011

CCPS Miscellany: VOX 1984

Here's a second round of VOXes for you. This is the last full year of the magazine that we have in our collection - funny how after 1984, it all goes to hell for us.

Highlights from these issues include articles on The Ripchords (January), The Nex'd (Feb/March), The Now Feeling (March), Walt Ohama (May), the end of Mike Bezzeg's FM Moving Pictures (June), Greg Kushner reviewing the Golden Calgarians' Savage Love (November), and Don McSwiney's glorious December cover illustration.

Thursday 15 September 2011

CCPS Miscellany: Gak

We've just about burned out the office scanner over the past couple of weeks, but for good reason. Just before he skipped town, former Borken City bartender/Brenda Vaquero Adam Kamis entrusted us with his collection of Gak magazines, thinking we might enjoy them/use them to line our pet hamster's cage (have we ever told you about Fluffy, the unofficial CCPS mascot? No? Maybe another day...).

Gak was the Night Gallery 'zine, published monthly from 1998 to... well, we're not sure when. The last issue we have is from 2002. And we can't remember when the Night Gallery closed down, because we still haven't dealt with the trauma. This is a pretty sassy little publication, not surprisingly big on fun and quite surprisingly big on facts. We think that's right, anyways. Regardless, there's some good reading here.

We're not sure what's up with the numbering of these publications - we have two issue #4s here, suggesting the 'zine was re-launched at some point. Maybe? Or maybe they just rolled over the odometer, so to speak. What we are sure of is that we don't have all of these. So if you happen to have any stashed away, drop us a line so we can complete our collection.

Thursday 8 September 2011

CCPS Miscellany: VOX 1983 (Issues 1-3)

Last year, our friend Greg Kushner sent us a surprise package that contained a huge pile of early VOX magazines. Some of our younger readers may not remember VOX - it was the monthly (mostly) publication that came out of CJSW, acting as a program guide and also a barometer of the scene. Plus, even from Issue #1, it had some of the best writing to ever come out of this city.

The magazine kicked off in September of 1983, and ran for about 15 years. In 1998, in one of the most disastrous management/governance moves that CJSW has ever made, the paper was sold to the Vancouver-based Georgia Straight and relaunched as the ill-fated weekly Calgary Straight. This move proved only one thing: don't mess with Ian Chiclo. The Straight could never compete with FFWD and folded... we can't even remember when.

We like to sometimes think that Beatroute carries the spirit of VOX, but then we actually read Beatroute and realize - nope. That spirit is still out there, but rather than being concentrated in one place as it was with VOX, it's diffused through all our city's publications.

Anyways, to give you a sense as to what the big deal was, we'll be scanning and posting issues over the next while, as we have the time and ability. Here are the first three issues from 1983 to get you started:

Monday 5 September 2011

Cat Ranch - National Hotel May 5, 1988 (1988)

Ever since the good (and sadly MIA) folks at Golden Rock tipped us to its existence, we've been trying (like them) to track down a copy of Cat Ranch's Song For Calgary entry.

The Song for Calgary contest was tied to the 1988 Winter Olympics (a bit of digging tells us that the national contest actually ran in 1986), and several local bands put forward their own ideas. We've already heard the Unsightly's version, but Cat Ranch's is somewhat legendary - and elusive. So when Gord told us that he had a copy of a live Cat Ranch show, we were super excited.

Cat Ranch was the house band at the National Hotel for five years, originally playing Wednesday nights and then switching to Thursdays. The four-piece - with Gord on bass, Grant Sim on vocals and guitar, Sandy Switzer on lead guitar and Ian Grant on drums - clearly enjoyed the role, if this tape is any indication. They work their way through a cover of Hendrix's "Stone Free," some Guess Who, a cover of Hendrix's "Fire," a Doors track and a cover of Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic"... but no "Song for Calgary."


It's a bit disappointing, but this tape isn't without historical value: about two thirds of the way through the set, they formally mark Gord's birthday, which would be why he had held onto a copy of this. There is, however, a quick mention of the song in the stage banter. That's as close as we get.

This is turning out to be an ongoing search. For now, we're going to have to content ourselves with listening to the real winner of the Song for Calgary contest, "Neighbours of the World":

Good lord, no. No one should ever have to listen to that dreck. So grab this Cat Ranch show instead.

Saturday 3 September 2011

Nex'd - In Living Colour (1985)

We're continuing our journey through the 80s with this second Nex'd tape from Gord Adams. Gord tells us this tape was recorded at CFCN, though we're not certain if there was video as well as audio involved in this session. We recently found a series of videos from the Unusuals from sometime in the early 80s that raises our hopes that this might be a possibility.

We could probably ask Gord to confirm this, but we're too excited about tomorrow's post. So grab today's tape, before it's yesterday.

Thursday 1 September 2011

Nex'd - Demo (1984)

We were pretty excited when Gord Adam got ahold of us a few weeks back. Being more familiar with the Calgary scene from 1990 onwards, we know Gord as the lead guitarist from the first incarnation of Lorrie Matheson's excellent National Dust. And because we associate him with the rock side of the scene, we missed the fact that he played with early-80s new wavers The Nex'd, whose 2-song 12" our pals at Golden Rock had previously posted.

This is the demo tape is the complete 11-song session that yielded their vinyl release. We here at the CCPS are big fans of the New Wave movement, so we're really enjoying this tape. A bit too much, it appears. Gene has managed to dig out the suit he wore to his grade 12 grad, which is a nightmarish pastel blue. He insists on not wearing socks with his shoes (a well-aged pair of topsiders), which, combined with the fact that he no longer really fits the same size as when he was in grade 12 is making all of us in the CCPS office feel a bit uncomfortable.

So, while we recommend grabbing this tape, we don't suggest you follow Gene's fashion sense.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Parkades - Life is a Series of Crushing Disappointments (1995)

This is the final installation of the Parkades story. We're conscious of our previous contraventions of CCPS policy and would like to apologize to our readers for not being able to tell the full and complete story of this band. Gene Poole runs a tight ship here, and while we recognize the importance of history, we also - like the Fox News Network - believe in fair and balanced coverage of the facts.

Listening through these tapes, it's clear the band went through an odd evolution, expanding here to a five-piece (with their third drummer in three tapes!). With bassist Andrew Henry moving to second guitar, the band picked up a second Elmo's Dreamer with Mark Rudd on bass. Rounding out the lineup, Ian Doig tells us that the band grabbed another friend of the band, Stephen Nykolyn of the Barf Lies. We had heard the band's tribute to Japanese garage rock, "(You Ain't Heard) the 5-6-7-8's" on the Australian On Guard for Thee compilation, and this tape is much the same "garage pop," and Ian calls it - with, we can't help but notice, an increased focus on themes of frustration.

It makes sense. Ian tells us that despite having Nardwuar and Al Charlton as fans, the Parkades still could never get any respect in Calgary and packed it in, with members of the band going on to play with Teens for Decency, the Mants, Falconhawk, Name Redacted and Shoutin' Abner Pim and the Puritans.

A series of crushing disappointments, indeed.

Monday 29 August 2011

Parkades - Water Breathing Man (1995)

We're picking up the story of the Parkades - and still working carefully within the bounds of the CCPS Conflict of Interest Policy - with tape number two, which, as Ian Doig points out, somewhat out of sequence. This tape of what Ian refers to as "juvenilia" was from a lengthy set of sessions with Jeff Burns that also yielded the songs off of their "Attack Me" 7" single and their contribution to the Play compilation (and the Suburbanators soundtrack).

[Content removed due to violation of CCPS Conflict of Interest Policy]

But these songs sound... well, weird compared to "Attack Me,"certainly more ramshackle. Kind of like the illustration on the cover of this tape.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Parkades - Is This What Rock Has Become? (1994)

At last weekend's CCPS AGM, the membership debated our Society's long-standing Conflict of Interest Policy. The impetus for this was the discovery of three tapes in the box which Ian Doig had lent us. We previously had these tapes in the CCPS collection, but were unable to post them due to the above-mentioned policy. But, as a result of a lively (read: bloody and ferocious) debate and the subsequent discovery of a little-know sub clause of the policy which, had we known about it earlier, could have saved us from at least two broken fingers and a bloody nose.

Anyways, process talk aside, we're now very pleased to present the first of three tapes from the Parkades. Please note that, although this text was prepared by an unbiased third party in accordance with CCPS policy, Gene Poole has - as Founding Member, Chair and El Presidente for Life - final editing rights on all CCPS posts and may choose to exercise his rights as established in the CCPS Founding Charter. Apparently we weren't finished with the process talk - we believe we are now.

Ian Doig tells us that the Parkades played their first show in 1993 with an original lineup consisting of himself on vocals, Andrew Henry on bass, Name Redacted on guitar and Dave Neufeld on drums. Ian's assertion that the band's first show - headlining on a Tuesday night at the Republik, with an already-established Chixdiggit "opening," resulting in the band playing to a quickly emptying room - set the course for the rest of their time on the scene. That bitterness comes across nice and strong in this gem from the CCPS office's stash of old VOX magazines:

We're surprised to hear that the Parkades were highly-unloved during their time, which strikes us as odd due to their inclusion as the inaugural Rotoflex single. Ian notes that, although this was recorded by Young Dave Alcock in the basement of a house in Cliff Bungalow and released in 1994, it actually followed recording of the much-heralded Rotoflex single. As a fluke of timing, the band put this tape out first after Dave Neufeld left the band and was replaced by Alcock.

[Content removed due to violation of CCPS Conflict of Interest Policy]

And if you believe that, you can the Parkades' four-song tape here.

Friday 26 August 2011

Elmo's Dream - Elmo's Dream

We were a bit surprised to find another Elmo's Dream tape in Ian Doig's collection, but we're nonetheless pleased. We always likes these kids, even when they stopped being kids - which we suppose is when this tape is from. There's no year on the minimalist j-card, but the inclusion of "Astro-Girl" (one of the stand-out tracks from the Play compilation) makes us think this is from 1995. Also, the boys seem to have graduated purely from 4-track bedroom recordings to some hybrid of 4-track bedroom recordings and others likely recorded (or re-recorded, as they appear on earlier Elmo's Dream tapes) in Jeff Burns' basement. That treatment doesn't make this any less Sebadoh-y in its goodness, though.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Babe - Genderoni (1993)

We have vague recollections of Babe from the early 90's, but we had never really attached names to this duo until Ian Doig slipped us their tape. We've seen Jessica Erlendson here before, with the folky Katana. And we know Dolly Sillito from her later solo recordings and Vailhalen. This is a quirky, smart collection of songs kind of reflects the intersection of those paths.

Monday 22 August 2011

Curse of Horseflesh - Bad Day at Black Rock

We recently received a long-awaited box of tapes from Ian Doig, who we know as one of the masterminds behind the late, lamented VOX magazine. We're going to kick of a series of posts from the aforementioned box with this, what appears to be a rough version the b-side of Curse of Horseflesh colourfully-titled Sloth/Ship and Anchor 7".

Always ahead of/behind the times, Al Charlton's four-piece pulled together psychobilly, garage rock and country well before Calgary was ready for it, but this reverb-drenched instrumental serves as the blueprint for folks like the Ramblin' Ambassadors. Plus, a stand up drummer!

And if that weren't enough, this was dubbed over top of some form of demonstration tape, so this track blends nearly seamlessly into this strange free-form jazz. The juxtaposition is highly entertaining at first, but doesn't hold up to repeated listens.

Friday 19 August 2011

Sturgeons - Forward Disorder/Punk Rock Virgins (1980)

Yesterday's ffwd cover story about the start of the Calgary punk scene has got us feeling super nostalgic (even more than normal for us, which is kind of scary), so we're going to post a gleefully stolen rip of this classic single.

The first thing we want you to do is click this link. Done? Good. After seeing this, we believe Al has a time machine and a wig. This is, in case you didn't bother to read the article above, is one of our city's first punk bands. And we really believe this holds up today - "Punk Rock Virgins" is honestly timeless. We're still hazy on the full membership of the band - we know Igglesden was in on the action here, but not sure who else.

We suspect this rip may have actually come from the first Smash the State compilation - but you know what? We don't care. We're just happy to have this to listen to.