Wednesday 29 June 2011

Jeff Conolly and the Von Zippers - Live at the Boat and Trailer Show (1997)

Everything was going well for us on Sunday night. Gene was in really good spirits, drinking lots of spirits to celebrate our fourth anniversary. To top things off, we were all enjoying a brand new tape from Chris Zuk - a somewhat rough but perfectly listenable recording of the legendary Jeff Conolly set from the 1997 Boat and Trailer Show, with the Von Zippers backing up the famous Lyres frontman (billed as Man or Monoman?).

Yep, things were going really well until our summer intern piped up with a little tidbit he found on the interweb.

"Did you know Jeff Conolly doesn't think much of the Von Zippers?"

A couple of us guffawed, but the withering glare from Gene immediately silenced the CCPS office.

"What did you say?"

"Yep, straight from the man himself! It says right here: 'I LIKED THEM AS PEOPLE BUT THEY DIDN'T REALLY KNOW HOW TO PLAY LYRES STUFF LIKE THEY SAID THEY DID, UNFORTUNATELY.' Wow, that's really weird!"

We've only JUST finished restoring the CCPS offices to their former state after what came next. Suffice to say, Gene didn't take too kindly to that news. After chasing our intern from the offices (actually, from the city - we'd like to apologize to our former intern, wherever he is now), Gene went on a two-day rampage, vowing to rid the city of any and all Lyres records. Thankfully, Gene turned this into a sort of pub crawl, and ended up a bit too drunk to remember exactly where in the alphabet the Lyres were placed, and so was unable to find any records in Calgary's leading retailers (we also had to break it to Gene that the Music World downtown across from the Bay is closed now - Gene's still a bit confused by the whole Fashion Central thing, though).

We've been trying to get Gene to listen to this bootleg all day - he's still refusing, and doesn't even care to find out if "Help You Ann" is on the playlist (we haven't found out either - Gene has threatened us all with bodily harm should we play this in the office).

Grab this now before Gene catches on to the fact that we've posted it!

Sunday 26 June 2011

Forbidden Dimension - Live at the Westward Club (1989)

Hypno-Vision '89

We're marking a milestone today - it was four years ago today that Gene Poole taught the band to play, had a few too many drinks and then went home and formed the Calgary Cassette Preservation Society. Gene wishes to pass along his sincerest thanks to all of you who have passed us tapes, shared your stories and - most importantly - not served us with cease and desist orders. For that especially, all of us at the CCPS whose livelihoods now depend on the significant revenue generated by this blog and its affiliated endeavours say "thank/screw you."

To show our thanks/screws, we're going to share another tape from the collection of Chris Zuk. Chris tells us he dubbed this off of record-huckster Tiemen Kuipers, who in turn got it from someone... maybe Tom himself? Who knows. All we know is that this is solid gold - this is early, early FD, pulling mostly from the band's first two singles. Tom is backed by a full band here (no drum machine!), and if we didn't know better (which we don't) we'd say this is the same damn lineup he's playing with today, only playing the songs of yesterday. Tomorrow. Sorry, we've got a bit of Sled Head, we're not sure what day it is anymore.

We're also not sure of the exact date of this show, so we're going to pretend it's the one in the ad above, which Tom has posted in his amazing archive of posters. What we are sure of is that the audio quality and performance on here is excellent and so is the song selection. All our early faves are on here, including "Meteor Girl," "Crawling Eye" and "Martian Death Sausage."

Speaking of which, we gotta hit Tubby Dog before they close! Grab this anniversary present to you and party like it's 1989!

Sunday 12 June 2011

Consumer Identity - Work. Buy. Die. (1997)

Two years ago, we got a tape from (we think) Dan Izzo by Consumer Identity that we didn't know much about (mostly because we lost the j-card - it's one of those weird cases where we thought we had scanned it, but turns out we hadn't). So we were pretty happy a couple of months ago, when vocalist and guitarist Aaron Kirkham dropped us a line. He filled in the band's membership for us, and then offered up this unreleased CD from the band. Here's the full story from Aaron:

I had previously been in a band called December with Ian (Mr. Flemish Eye) Russell from about 1991 to 1993. When I moved back to Calgary from Vancouver sometime in 1996, Consumer Identity started up when Jordan [Tettensor] who I had been mates with since high school and shared my tastes for bands like Napalm Death, Brutal Truth and the whole short hair metal hardcore scene like Unbroken and Earth Crisis got around to talking to Ian about starting up a hardcore/grindcore band. Amusingly Ian was up for it and we started jamming at the Hillhurst house Ian was living in. We eventually recruited Big Dan on bass when he moved to Calgary from out east somewhere. We started playing shows with me playing guitar and singing but I was getting fed up with being the vocalist and guitarist at the same time (mostly because I really wanted to do more axe wielding jump kicks etc) so we started looking for a full time vocalist. After trying out a few different people, Aram [Arslanian] showed up at the jam spot one night as we were getting ready to record the demo tape. He fit in right from the very start as he was ultra political in his views and just wanted to scream his head off as an angry young man should.

We recorded the demo with Aram singing the 3 tracks he had learned up to that point and then we went out on a short Western Canadian Prairie tour. We got back from that tour and decided we should rerecord all the songs with Aram singing them and spend more time and money on it so that we could record some new songs we had written as well. That recording session is what makes up the "Work.Buy.Die." album. We were all really stoked about the recording which had been done over a weekend at the new house Ian had moved in to. Just as with the demo the tracking was recorded by John Swires who at that time was one of the founding members of the Catch & Release recording collective. The guitars, bass and drums were all recorded live. Some guitar overdubs were recorded on the second day. Then vocals were recorded with poor Aram completely loosing his voice at the end of the night. He finished off the last couple tracks the next day. Then Roger Sallans mixed the tracks at his own studio and burned two copies of the album to CDR.

The record was supposed to be released as one side of a split 12" that Aram was going to put out on a new record label he was just starting. I think the other side of the 12" was supposed to be Nine Iron Spit Fire but I'm not completely sure. It was one of the SXE bands from Seattle anyway. Then out of nowhere Ian quit the band when he got a scholarship to go to Scotland to study fine Arts for a year. Aram was supposed to go and pick up the master tapes of the album from Roger's studio but he never did and after like a year I think Roger recorded over them so the multi track recordings of the album were lost forever. The two CDR's that had been burnt of that evaluation mix were the only copies the album in existence at that point. I know a few copies of the CDR were made for people in the band but I don't even know if Aram or Dan ever got a copy because I never saw them again after that. I don't think the band even bothered to look for a replacement drummer it just basically died with Ian leaving the band just after recording the album.

There was one funny side note to the band breaking up which was a side project bandthat grew out of it consisting of me and Jordan on guitar, Al Isenbart (from Lucas and Commode Records) on bass, Casey Lewis on drums and none other than Paul Coutts on vocals. The band was called "Forthcoming Empire" and played only one show to open up for Napalm Death at the Republik at the behest of Wes Hegg.

The thought of that combination kind of blows our minds; Aaron has said he might have a board recording, which we're incredibly curious to hear. And Aaron also reminds us that Ian and Jordan went on to a fair amount of infamy with the Fake Cops before Ian started up Flemish Eye.

Saturday 11 June 2011

Various - Suburbanators Original Soundtrack (1995)

We're trying to shake the taste left in our mouth from our last pair of posts with the best mouthwash we know: the minty-fresh Primrods. We're never ones to back off from the edge of a major obsession/compulsion, so what's wrong with one more Primrods-related post?

Okay, that'll be the last reference of our favourite band this post. On to this CD, the soundtrack to Calgary filmmaker Gary Burns' first feature film, The Suburbanators. We only ever saw this film once (in its initial run), and have been half-assedly looking for a copy ever since. We say half-assedly, because if we'd really focused and tried, we probably would have found it at Bird Dog. But we didn't bother, and now we've accidentally killed Bird Dog. Sorry.

Thankfully, the internets have the original trailer:

We only half-remember the film (those beauty shots of a pre-renovation Westbrook Mall are etched in our memory), this trailer helps us fill in a few blanks, as do plot summaries like this one.

From that half-recollection, we believe that each of the bands who had songs on this soundtrack (many of which were grabbed from the Play compilation) had one song featured in the actual film, and then selected an additional track for inclusion on the disc. This disc is packed with our faves: the band we said we wouldn't mention again in this post, Forbidden Dimension and Wagbeard (okay, what's up with the version of Alpha that's on here? We always think our tape player is eating the tape... even though we know this is a CD). Plus, Field Day, Huevos-Rancheros-in-an-alternate-reality Maud, Kerry Clarke's GASP and a quartet of hillbillies who we've got to be careful when we mention lest we break CCPS Policy HR-LR-004 (note: for ease/out of laziness, the CCPS has adopted all of the policies of the City of Calgary - if they're good enough for Nenshi, they're good enough for us!).

We're pretty big fans of Gary Burns' work - thanks to waydowntown, we kept a bottle full of marbles on our desk for years. And as inner-city snobs, we totally dug Radiant City. We haven't seen his most recent film, but now that we've watched the trailer, we're feeling REALLY guilty about killing Bird Dog.

But Blockbuster? Not so much.

Friday 10 June 2011

Sara and Tegan - Orange Demo/Red Demo (1998)

After getting a bona fide copy of Sara and Tegan's Yellow demo in our hands, we decided to see what the internets had to say about the tape. We discovered, with great excitement (read: ennui) that the Yellow demo was just one of three tapes they released before their first album. Wow. We simply had to find those other two tapes. Our lives were meaningless without them. Really oh dear lord there was no way we were going to be able to go on without them.

Thankfully, their rabid fans have made them available through a simple Google search. So, we're grabbing these from their international fan base and planting them firmly back here in Calgary, where they belong.

Quite unlike Sara and Tegan themselves, who have gone on - apparently - to live in Vancouver/California (don't blame us for that vagueness - we're just reposting parts of wikipedia) and Montreal. But, hey, they're coming back to town this summer, gracing us with their presence with two over-priced shows at the Grand. Extra-overpriced if you choose the VIP ticket, which is twice the regular $75 price tag, and which entitles you to listen to a soundcheck (which we assume Sara and Tegan themselves may or may not be present at) and will get you a signed poster.

We're not going to say much more than this: compare and contrast the Bang:Buck ratio of their return home with the FREE show the Primrods gave us last month.

Red means stop. And Orange means don't sue us.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Sara and Tegan - Yellow Demo (1998)

We've been delving fairly deep into the rock for the past while, so it's time to come up for air. And to expose ourselves (?) to legal action (!).

A few weeks ago, an anonymous tipster (not to be confused with an anonymous hipster - this one drinks far better beer than that PBR shite) dropped this in our laps. This is, by all accounts, one of the first recordings of the twin sisters that would go on to be known as Tegan and Sara (wikipedia says they recorded two demos as Plunk, not to be confused with Smoosh). We count ourselves among the folks who actually saw the sisters Quin when they were called Sara and Tegan (also the name they recorded this tape under), before they were corrupted by the same Music Industry that killed the Primrods (it's been a while since we mentioned the Primrods - our editor has suggested that we drop an unnecessary reference in this post, so here you go).

We spent a bit of time on Ye Olde Google, and found this great recounting of an important part of the Sara and Tegan myth: How Two Unknown Girls Charmed the Judges at Garage Warz and Went on to Stardom. Now, we really were at Max's Cafe (cheering on another competing band, Teens for Decency, the Four Unknown Boys Who Didn't Fare So Well in Garage Warz in Fact Came in Dead Las), and we don't quite remember much other than the place being mostly empty and the judges being more than slightly inebriated. Anyways, Sara and Tegan won the overall competition - the grand prize being studio time which they used to record this tape.

To be honest, we haven't listened to this too closely. We've listened to a few snippets here and there, and we can confirm that - just as they did 14 years ago - they get the bile rising in our throats.

The Yellow bile, that is.

Monday 6 June 2011

Forbidden Dimension - Gloria was Evil/Coffinful of Crows

We're the happiest kids on the block right now - today we snagged a copy of the limited edition Forbidden Dimension flexidisc that's tucked inside random issues of Beatroute this month. This little piece of plastic represents the first FD recording in four long years, and is a really great little taster of their upcoming full-length.

Now, flexidiscs are cool and all, but we here at the CCPS are most interested in tapes. So we're going to make an awkward segueway here and talk about Graham Evans' post-Huevos life. Ev played his last show with Huevos at the end of 1995 for undisclosed reasons (to be honest, we've just never asked). You can't keep a good man from his guitar/bass/whatever, and so Ev was soon resurrected as Bloody Holly with Forbidden Dimension (Ev would also go on to play with FD skinman Paul Charlton in the Daggers... but then, didn't everyone?).

Forbidden Dimension - Exclaim Apr. '97

These two tracks, from another of the tapes Ev passed us, are likely from about the time of FD's Widow's Walk CD (ie 1997). "Coffinful of Crows" shows up in its drum machine form on the, um, Coffinful of Crows compilation. And we've heard a more anemic transfer of this same full band version on that weird mix tape we posted a while back. But the a-side (we like to think these two tracks were destined for an ill-fated 7" single) is new to us - we don't seem to have this anywhere in the extensive CCPS collection.

Anyways, more FD is always welcome around these parts - grab the download to hold you over until the Golden Age of Lasers comes out.

Friday 3 June 2011

Arktik Power - Live Sat Feb 24 1990 (1990)

Arktic Power - 1991 (?)

Okay, we have another Arktik Power live show for you, this one from early 1990. And we know what you're thinking - "oh, great, are we going to have to sit through another 45 minutes of Kamil's shenanigans? Or is he going to do us a favour and pull the plug halfway through the first song?" Our answer is: neither!

We thought this tape was mislabelled at first, but Ev confirms the date is correct and that Bill E. Stew made a triumphant (if somewhat dazed) return as Arktik Power's frontman. We're not sure why - all we know is he did, and then shortly thereafter the Arktik Power split (perhaps after receiving a cease and desist letter from the detergent company? (Hey, speaking of cease and desists, we've got something in the queue that's gonna get us shut down! All we have to say is, d'ya like twins???)). And after that, Ev, Coop and Richie formed the three Huevos that we all love so well (which has nothing to do with twins, we swear - honest, Officer!).

Anways, this was supposed to be about Arktik Power. So grab this third live show, and if you can't get enough, grab two of their practices (or "rehearsals" for those who think they're hot shit) here.

(We borrowed the above photo from this flickr set, which we highly encourage you to check out).

Thursday 2 June 2011

Arktik Power - Live at the Westward Club, August 24 1989 (1989)

Astute readers will have noted that yesterday's post partly gave away today's with the cover art. Yes, this Arktik Power tape has a different show on each side. And this is the other show. BUT did you expect that it would be a markedly different BAND!?!?

Something shifted between April and August 1989, with Bill E. Stew bowing out, and - of all people - Kamil Krulis taking over lead vocal duties. And a different drummer, but that's not nearly the difference Kamil makes. Yep, way more front than we can handle. Gone are Bill's semi-coherent ramblings, replaced by Kamil's Mark E. Smith-insprired antagonism. A very different feel to the songs thanks to the difference in vocal stylings, but it still works.

In its own way, that is.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Arktik Power - Live at the Westward Club, April 12 1989 (1989)

Alright, not we've got sometime fun. Not that anything else we've posted isn't fun, but this is all sorts of fun rolled into one. You've got your Legendary Few/Choads, your Huevos Rancheros, your... Yr Scapegoat? Well...

This another from Ev's collection, another of his pre-Huevos bands. Raunchy rock and roll, this live tape is most notable for Bill E. Stew's stage banter. And maybe also its inclusion of a cover of "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins."

A note on the band's name: although this tape is labelled "Arctic," Ev assures us that the proper (in this case, anyways) spelling is "Arktik."