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.

Update: we think enough time has passed, we'll let you grab the dl here.

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

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Bittermen - Frequency (1997)

So here's the second Bittermen CD that we don't have in the CCPS collection. And, of course, the one that for us is a lost classic of the city and quite possibly a desert island disc. Or a dessert island disc, whichever the correct spelling is (of all the days for our proofreader to take a holiday, why today?).

We're not sure what it is about this CD, but something on it really tickles that reptilian part of our brain in just the right way. This is guttural but somehow melodic and catchy. It focuses the anger from their first CD just enough, and is a great balance of, uh, bitterness and men.

This CD is solid, start to finish. So good, in fact, that Massive Ferguson recorded a bunch of covers off of it (oh, and one off the Bittermen's first CD). But then, Massive Ferguson recorded pretty much anything that farted, so perhaps that shouldn't be the yardstick we use.

But still, do yourself a favour and download this CD.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Bittermen - Faster than the Speed of Spite (1996)

Oh, snap. Gene has kicked over ALL of the CDs in the CCPS archive. He's discovered something we've been trying to hide from him - we don't have any Bittermen CDs in our collection, This is more than kind of embarrassing - it's a massive hole that creates and empty, sucking, hole-like thing in our heart. We've never felt good about this, and now that Gene has realized this, we feel even worse.

For us, the Bittermen occupy a very special place in our hearts (despite the sucking, hole-like thing we just mentioned). We've had a lot of good two-piece bands (the HighKicks, Hip City Blues Combo, Miesha and the Spanks, the Fags, the Pygmies... wait, a bunch of those have tended to expand beyond two-pieces...), but the Bittermen were our city's GREAT two-piece band. With guitarist Chris McBurney and future iStockphoto empresario Bruce Livingstone on drums, these guys carved a high water mark for two-piece combos.

This CD (which Col. Cam Hayden was good enough to rip for us at one point) is a fairly reasonable intro to the band - although this ancient-but-well-preserved VOX review notes that it "only manages to capture the energy of the Bittermen on several tracks". For us the high point is "My Last Calgary Winter", a suitably apt song title, especially if you're Steve Elaschuk, Sadly for us, that song's not the one that the band made a video for.

Here's some more bonus content, via FFWD from October 1996:

Anyways, not to belabour the point, but we don't have an actual physical copy of this, hence the crappy image quality above, stolen from the Bittermen's inexplicably still-active website. From what we remember, the Bittermen were one of the first bands to burn their own CDs, which is why there was no real sleeve. But at least we have the download.

Edit: we got a copy of BOTH Bittermen CDs, thanks to Corey Hamilton! Our lives are now complete-ish!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Justin Curtis - Rock-a-Billy in 3-D (1994)

We're still in the CCPS CD collection, stuck in the year 1994. Which, someone just pointed out, was 20 years ago. It's almost like we planned that! Almost...

Anyways, here's a CD that we just realized we had been looking for about four years ago. Apparently we found it, but forgot we had been looking for. This is what happens when you're obsessively collecting/hoarding stuff. We think this CD was recorded in Nashville, based on the producer and label. But we're pretty sure Curtis was still based in Calgary when this came out. So grab this and get your rockabilly fix.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Edward and Life - Fading Like Manilow (1994)

We're going completely in another direction from our last few posts with this one. We've already made a big deal of Rob McAlister's pop sensibilities, but we'd kind of forgotten about this CD until Gene pulled it out.

This is basically a one-person show, with a few touches of assistance from Lyle Crilly and Aaron Booth. This sees McAlister in full BritPop mode - from the first few seconds of the opening track, "Heroes are Hard to Come by These Days," we had an instant pining for the Warehouse. Plus, his Smith-esque take one Bacharach and David's "Anyone Who Had a Heart" is kind of amazing. For something that was recorded in a basement in the early 90's, this is a remarkably well-produced CD.

That said, this article by James Muretich uncovers that fact that McAlister was originally into (gasp!) heavy metal:

Grab it here.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bent on Barbi - Bent on Barbi (1994)

Gene's trip through the CCPS CD collection continues with Bent on Barbi's only offering (other than a few tracks on the Play and Hellride to a Bloodbath compilations).

We remember these guys being really loud and really brash, and this memory is backed up by this article from Ye Olde Vox:

We also remember the typography on this CD being damn near impossible to read, thanks no doubt to the influence of Ray Gun magazine at the time. 

Anyways, forget trying to read the cover notes. Tape up your knee and grab the download.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Inquisition - Four Inches of (1994)

Oh, great. So, the Box of Pandora is open. Awesome. Gene Poole has happily been flinging CDs and cases around the office, trying to put them into chronological order (which means our intern is going to have to re-alphabetize them at some point - having a boss like Gene means job security, at least).

1994 seems to be the year that CDs really started to become a thing for indie bands in Calgary, so Gene has suggested we hop sideways-ish from our last Showdown '76 post to this one from punk kids Inquisition. We gotta hand it to these guys - they managed to put out something on every possible format except a 12" record (oh, and 8-track - has any Calgary indie band put out an 8-track?).

A bunch of random notes about this CD: first, the number of bonus/untitled/hidden tracks on here almost outnumber the tracks listed. Also, in true mid-90's fashion, this CD brings together all the usual suspects: recorded by Jeff Burns, mastered by Tona Walt Ohama, and featuring cover/band photos by Zoltan Varadi.

And, of course, a dick joke for a title.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Showdown '76 - Words That Sting... (1997)

Well. It looks like we committed a bit of a faux pas in yesterday's post, by referencing something we hadn't actually posted. Yep, somehow a reference to this Showdown '76 CD slipped past out editors, and so... Gene Poole says now we gotta make things right. Unfortunately, this may mean opening up one of the biggest Pandora's Boxes in our office - the bizarre, unfiltered CCPS CD collection.

This is more of the good stuff that Showdown '76 was known for, except now on a shiny plastic disc, and encoded in ones and zeroes. To be honest, we at the CCPS, despite having an affinity for tapes, believe that CDs have a very important place - there's a certain time when bands only put out CDs, and some of our favourites (Hot Little Rocket, for one) have a discography that is almost exclusively on CD. So, maybe it's okay to post CDs like this one.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Showdown '76 - Splinter/Apparatus

Here's some more vinyl from the Golden Age of All Ages. There isn't a year on this, but we want to guess that this was recorded in the same early 1997 session as Showdown '76's CD, just before the band morphed into Porter Hall. The two songs on here are solid pieces that feel more like Porter Hall than much of the other stuff that came out of the all ages scene.

That's Jeff Caissie above, from what looks like a Showdown '76 show at the dearly departed Carpenter's Union Hall. Thanks to Leasa Podloski for the photo. Grab the download here.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Chapter 16 - Taken for Granted (1996)

We're going to go back to the CCPS 7" collection for a bit, as it appears we've been remiss in posting a few things of interest. The first up is this single from all ages hardcore band Chapter 16, who we posted a few tapes from what seems like years ago. Oh, it really was years ago. Weird.

The photo of Chapter 16 above was taken by Leasa Podloski at one of a million all ages shows she went to as a kid. Remember baggy jeans? Relive the fashion of almost twenty years ago with the download.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Ashley Soft - Take Heart/Give Heart (2014)

There's been a disagreement in the CCPS office about how to label this, if this should be a Miscellany post or a standard post. We picked this gorgeous orange tape up at Tubby Dog on Friday night, following Ashley Soft's set there. The problem is, this tape was recorded in Montreal when front man Clarke Alan Macleod was living in that city. Also, this tape may as well be a completely different band - since it was recorded, he's picked up a new drummer and guitarnoisemeister Devin Friesen to create a very different sound (grab their CJSW session for a listen). BUT since this tape of angular, noisy pop was put out by Friesen's Shaking Box Music, we'll let it slide as a normal post.

Get it via the Shaking Box Music bandcamp, or your favourite local record store.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Mico - Outside the Unbearable Grows (2003)

We made a big deal a few months about the Martin Fulton Overkill picture disc, and at the time we thought they were the only Calgary band to have undertaken such a foolish venture. Well, not quite: there must have been a vinyl fetishist in Mico, since they managed to squeeze out a picture disc version of their second album, Outside the Unbearable Grows.

Thanks to Leasa at Inner Sleeve for putting this aside for us. If you don't have this record (or CD, more likely), you can get it off iTunes.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

CCPS Miscellany: Line Traps - Demo 1 (2014)

We know, we know - Line Traps are from Victoria. But they feature former Calgarian Tiemen Kuipers, and he claims that some of the songs on this great tape (from SHAKE! - who else?) were originally done by his Calgary bands the Suicide Wrists and the Diabetics. Plus, this is pretty excellent, scrappy punk - and it's amazing to watch Tiemen stare down an audience.

It looks like this is sold out in the SHAKE! webstore, but you can download most of it from the Line Traps bandcamp.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Empty Heads - Teerjerker Demo (2014)

Things we like at the CCPS: when younger bands surprisingly dig into our favourite parts of the 90's (Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh). Things we don't like at the CCPS: when bands suddenly change their name just after we've caught on to them. Empty Heads (formerly the excellently-named Teerjerker) are guilty of both these. This six-song tape by a bunch of guys from Sabertooth and PMMA hits just the right spot for us, with short and sludgy pop songs. We'll forgive the name change, which has probably been why we still haven't seen these guys live. Anyways, you might be able to grab this tape at Sloth - if not, you can download it from the Empty Heads bandcamp.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ron Greeves & Curt Labelle - Greeves/Labelle (1982)

In sharp contrast to our last set of 7" singles, we're going to focus on this new addition to the CCPS archive, which CollectorsFrenzy astutely notes has "nothing remotely Punk Rock or KBD about it". 

So then why did we grab this? Well, only partly because of the soft, soft look in the eyes of the gentleman on the left of this cover (is that Ron Greeves or Curt Labelle? We're hoping it's Ron. He looks like more of a Ron than a Curt). We picked this up because (a) it's on Living Room Records and (b) it's got Doug Wong's name associated with it. Also, (c) we have a problem with buying records that may or may not be worth the vinyl they're pressed on. 

This one certainly isn't very KBD - the A-side sounds more like, uh, Air Supply. The B-side is more like the Raspberries, which kind of redeems this. Unfortunately, we don't know anything about either of these gentlemen or what exactly the story behind this record is.

But, hey, don't expect that to stop us from posting the download

Monday, 13 October 2014

Chixdiggit/Groovie Ghoulies - Chronic for the Troops (1998)

The long weekend comes to a close with this, the final Chixdiggit single. This one's a split with California's Groovie Ghoulies, whose bassist Kepi Ghoulie has (we think) filled in on the Chixdiggit lineup at least once. Both bands are covering each other and the Boomtown Rats on here, which is kind of fun.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Chixdiggit - Chupacabras 7" (1997)

Here's the third Chixdiggit single in our collection (we're good at counting, huh?). Gene says this one is good, not Shadowy Bangers good, but still pretty good. We still can't decide if the bit of Steve Miller Band in the title track is a good thing or not.

The video for the A side reminds us that this signals the first shift in the Chixdiggit lineup, with Dave Alcock stepping in on drums.

Gonna reach right out and grab ya!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Chixdiggit - Shadowy Bangers from a Shadowy Duplex (1996)

Continuing with the Chixdiggit vinyl, we find this great two-song SubPop recording. This is probably our favourite Chixdiggit single (admittedly, there aren't that many to choose from) - and only partly because of Tom Bagley's cover art. Both the A and B sides of this are top notch.

Get yr bangers here.