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.