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.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Shiver - Shiver

To be honest, we didn't know what to expect when we popped this tape into the CCPS Digitimization-Machine. We had actually heard more disdain for this band than we'd actually heard their music. It's kind of easy to see why - their various interviews still scattered around the interweb show a pretty significant amount of ego.

And makeup. We're not sure what year this tape was made, but the above article is from 1998, and we're fairly certain that this was not okay by the standards of the day. Maybe it was lead singer Matthew Currie's way of easing into the acting career he eventually became known for. We're a bit surprised, as Jon Pynn and Joel Tobman went on to a stint as the rhythm section for the quite excellent (and mascara-less) Heat-Ray.

Once you've done your makeup as above, you can grab this three-song tape here. But only after you've done your makeup.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Aqua-Sinjels - The Aqua-Sinjels

We're not sure when this second tape from the Aqua-Sinjels is from, whether it was recorded before or after the first we featured here. We want to say after - we don't really have any evidence for this, other than this seems more polished and leaning more towards Britpop (which is likely why John Drinkwater had it in his collection). Which isn't to say that all bands go Britpop with age...

Monday, 15 August 2011

Next in Line - Step in Time (1990)

Here's another piece of the Red Autumn Fall story, thanks again to John Drinkwater.

John tells us that, prior to joining Red Autumn Fall, guitarist Richard Ragany's band Next In Line played shows with Simeon's band. Perhaps it was their musical tastes that brought them together - although John insinuates that it may have been their fashion sense, with both Richard and Simeon showing up at one fateful show with near-identical haircuts and clothing. Again, similar to Simeon's rapping, we'd be highly interested in visual evidence of this.

But we'll have to content ourselves with the band photo on the cover of this tape.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Red Autumn Fall - My Friend Deceiver (1994)

When donor John Drinkwater handed us this tape, we thought it was one we already had. The cover art on this tape is nearly identical to that of a tape we - of all things - bought on ebay last year. However, this tape has a slightly different cover (an image very similar to the one on their first CD) and a mostly different track listing.

Until chatting with John, we forgot that sometime in the late 90's, Red Autumn Fall decided to move to Toronto to try to make it big. This led to a bit of a challenge: name a Calgary band that established itself here and then moved to Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver/Wherever and made it big. We couldn't come up with anyone - other than maybe Sara and Teegan (shudder).

Here's a Red Autumn Fall video, just because our new Marketing Consultants keep saying, "the kids like the media-rich posts, like the Facebook and the Tweetter and the Youtube."

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Red Autumn Fall - Fall of Falls EP (1991)

Just when we thought we had a complete Red Autumn Fall collection, we received an email from John Drinkwater (the dollars, but not the ego, behind the Oooh, I'm So Pretty complilation) offering us a pile of great tapes - and this one.

We didn't realize that RAF ever existed without guitarist Rich Ragany or bassist Jackie Duncan. This tape was recorded live off the floor with this early lineup, and shows us that Simeon Ross at least didn't change too much over RAF's existence.

Except for one thing: John tells us that, in this early line-up, Simeon rapped during one song. While we're pleased that Simeon realized this probably wasn't the best way to be taken seriously in the early 90's Calgary music scene, we are still exceedingly curious and would kill (on a small, insect-sized scale) for a copy of the video that John claims exists of this performance. Simeon, we suspect, would kill (on a large, CCPS staff-sized scale) to ensure the same video is never seen.

Sadly for us, there's not trace of his rap abilities on this tape.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

In Memoriam: Colin Allin

We received some sad news at the end of July, when we heard that Skin Barn's Colin Allin had been senselessly killed in Nicaragua. We had emailed with Colin over the past couple of years, and are still saddened by this tragedy.

So it's no surprise that those who really knew Colin (and can actually spell his name - for whatever reason, our dirt-cheap Lithuanian transcription service had recorded his name as "Collin Allen," which Colin himself found funny and had asked that we keep - but since we heard the news about his passing, we've reverted to the proper spelling) have been even more shocked, and have been recounting memories and stories in tribute on the Colin Allin Memorial Page, with stories from Colin's former bandmates and others.

Last night, four of Colin's former bandmates - Brent Gough, Craig Taborsky, Chris 'Lou' Lowry and Irv Francis - joined CJSW's The Spin Evolution to share some of their stories and spin some of Colin's music. Things got a bit crazy in the CCPS offices when we discovered that our usual method of tuning into CJSW (through the inter web) wasn't going to work (memo to Jett Thunders: spandex is okay, but playing with your servers when we're hoping to listen in isn't). We managed to find a radio of sorts, but it turns out the subterranean concrete bunker we dwell in doesn't yield the best reception. Still, we managed to wrangle a recording of passable quality for you to enjoy. There's a lot of laughter, amazing stories and memorable tunes.

Grab the tribute show here and join us in raising a glass in Colin Allin's memory.