Friday, 26 June 2015

Fire Engine Red - 1530 (1995)

Hooray! Today, the CCPS is eight years old today! Who'd'a thunkit*? So, why not celebrate with a kind of redundant post?

We posted a weird advance cassette version of this last year, but - as we noted in that post - the mix and track order is different than what ended up on the final CD, so we're going to dive into this without  apologies.

Plus, this CD is quite possibly one of the best things to ever come out of this city.

Fire Engine Red was always a special band, and things really crystallized on 1530. And then, like so many other fine gems that turn out to be made out of sugar, they shattered. Wait, how often do fine gems turn out to be made out of sugar? We're not entirely sure, but we're going to stick to what we've said because (a) we like Fire Engine Red and (b) we might have had too much sugar today. Because someone (Gene Poole) might have (definitely) bought a birthday cake (and a bottle of bourbon) and then ate it (washed down with bourbon).

There's a video for "Shank Pony" that we would love to have linked to, but it's buried in the depths of Steve Elaschuk's facebook page.

So instead we'll just send you to the download link for this masterpiece.

*Seriously, we started the CCPS on a lark, and never expected it to turn into the thing it has become. Thanks to everyone who has shared tapes and stories with us over the years, and thanks to everyone who has told us that this ridiculous project means something to them. Cheers!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Patabeatniks - That Stupid Club (1995)

So, we were at Greek Fest this past weekend, stuffing ourselves with roast lamb, when we stumbled upon the Rembetika Hipsters' merch table, where we picked up this CD (along with the NEW CD from the Now Feeling - yes, you read that right).

The Patabeatniks were an extension of the Eternal Now, featuring Nick Diochnos and VOX/Eye editor Bill Reynolds. So, it's fitting that this continues the tradition we'd expect of literate, melodic pop. We're pretty sure this CD was recorded in Ontario, and that it hails from the time when a pile of Calgarians moved to Toronto in search of fame and fortune. BUT, reading through the band's membership both on the CD as well as the past membership, it's impossible for us to not consider this a Calgary band.

We're not going to post a download link, since we just bought this direct from the Rembetika Hipsters. If you want a copy, you can probably get one if you're at Pegasus on the right night.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Downway - Downway is as Downway Does (1995)

As we head into blissful place that is Sled Island, we're going to sneak in another post, this time with a 20-year-old slice of pop punk.

Downway evolved out of Simon's Pet Iguana, and put out a series of CDs during their time, this being the first. This page mentions a tape that they put out - if anyone has a copy, we'd love to borrow it.

This video isn't from this CD, but it pads out this thin post a bit:

Get Downway here.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Toledo Speedway - Toledo Speedway (1995)

You'd think that with the advent of CDs, band would have taken advantage of all that extra space to make sure they include more details about who they are. Not Toledo Speedway - they go the opposite direction, making extra effort to confuse by using two aliases and one real name for their band's membership. Good thing we have the inside scoop, and can tell you that these guys brought together the drummer from Citrus Park, guitarist from Seven Sorry Senators and bass player from Eight Miles High. The result is pretty decent - playing melodic but weird rhythms, this sits very nicely alongside the Primrods and Hot Little Rocket.

Get on the speedway!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Dino Martinis - The Bottle Collector's Lounge (1995)


The Dino Martinis are probably Calgary's only remaining evidence of the mid-90's resurgence in lounge culture (except maybe Ming? Huh. Suddenly we want to go for cocktails). To be fair, the Martinis started as a jump blues band, but they've apparently expanded their repertoire over the years.

This CD is a pretty fun afair. It should be noted that their track "Combo House" is NOT a cover of the Ramada Gods song, though.

Grab a martini here.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Maud - Maud (1995)

This is one of those things that, well, we honestly forgot how amazing it is. Maud was the continuation of Same Difference, sans vocalist Janice Bracewell. What really comes through on this CD is the amazing musicianship of members Diane Kooch, Lori Kennedy and especially Chantal Vitalis. Most songs on here are instrumental, but they're more pop and jazzy than Huevos Rancheros, so we can't make any lazy comparisons. Although, they do sound a bit like Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet at times... Anyways, this is highly recommended listening.

Get Maud here.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Tariq - Splat! (1995)

We're starting to see a bit of a pattern here. Did the band/artist release a tape in 1993? If so, then chances are they recorded a CD with Krisjan Leslie in 1995, and Tariq Hussain is no exception.

While Tariq is now working at the CBC (following another common pattern of playing in an indie rock back in the 90's and then getting a gig at our national broadcaster), but we note that, judging from the cover of this CD, he had the hipster look down pat 20 years ago.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Tomko Lamb - Songs for Margaret (1995)

(Update! Thanks to Doug Wong for passing us a collection of tapes that included this - it was a dual release on tape and CD!)

We wonder if Difference Engine frontman Tomko Lamb got a 2-for-1 deal on this CD and his band's. All we know is, this is markedly different from, uh, Difference Engine. We think this is the first CD (of several) that Lamb has put out featuring the characteristic sound of him and his hammered dulcimer, which has been a staple around Calgary for, well, probably close to 20 years.

Get the CD here.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Difference Engine - Bloom (1995)

Back on track to 1995! When we pulled out this CD, Gene Poole sagely nodded and said, "Ah, yes. I remember Difference Engine. They fit somewhere between the High Rollers and Big Gulp." And, by gum, he's not that far off. Or maybe a prairies version of Fishbone?

Think Difference!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Calliope - Calliope (1994)

Whoops! As we were sorting through the shiny plastic discs on our floor, we noticed that we had one left over from 1994 that we needed to get back to...

We posted a tape with a few tracks from this CD a few years ago, which might be why we were slow to get back to this. Also, lazy. Anyways, here's the whole shebang, In his 1994 year-end review of all things music in Calgary, James Muretich called Calliope "psychedelic hard-popsters," which is not a bad summation. It's better than our description of the band as an awkward step between Smash LA and Zuckerbaby.

Actually, anything's better than that description.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Red Autumn Fall - Charmer (1995)

So, Gene Poole has notified us that the 20-year posting limit on several CDs is up, so we're going to sort through a pile of shiny plastics discs that's sitting on the floor in the CCPS office. First up, following on our last post, the first full-length CD from Red Autumn Fall.

Now, we've said a lot about these folks already, and, honestly, most of what we have said has been poisoned by VOX's views on the band. So let's sidestep all of that and focus on what the inimitable (that is, unless you're Mike Bell) James Muretich had to say about the band.

Our favourite thing in that article is Simeon recounting how he used to listen to skaterock like Suicidal Tendencies, but it "didn't click in the same way" as the more pop stuff. We like to imagine a parallel universe where it DID click, and Simeon is singing, "How can I laugh tomorrow/When I can't even smile today." Oh wait, he kind of is...

Anyways, we forgot how crazy the fold out the insert for this CD is. Check it out:

That's some fancy press-work there. We're also pleased to see that this fan site is still up (sort of).

Get Charmer here.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Red Autumn Fall - Compilation

Okay, we're heading back to the past (how many of you are thinking, "Finally! Isn't that what this piece of crap is supposed to be about?!"), thanks to a donation from Stephen Morrissey (no, not that Stephen Morrissey. Although, that would have been amazing, no?).

This is a tape that Morrissey picked up at a Red Autumn Fall show at some point around 1995, as the band was embarking on a tour-type thing. This is a, well, half-assed compilation. We suspect someone just dubbed this off old tapes (and maybe the band's first CD, Charmer) as the levels are amazing uneven (we tried to fix that as best we could) and, well, we're kind of embarrassed that Morrissey may have spent money on this. He should have saved his money for the band's Debutant CD, which is shorter but betterer.

Anyways, what DOES make this worthwhile is the inclusion of a track by Playground Treason, Simeon Ross' band before the Smiths Red Autumn Fall. The sound quality isn't very good, but it certainly shows that Ross knew what he wanted to do from the start.

Get all nostalgic here.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Detached Objectives - Shuttle Launch (2015)

Since we started the CCPS (eight years ago this month! Holy crap!), tapes certainly have made a comeback in a way we never would have expected. Back in 2007, it seemed like digital was going to be the new way... but it turns out there are other weirdos like us out there that like to have something physical to hold and cherish.

The other thing that this means is that sometimes bands seek us out and give us their tapes... and this is one of those examples. Thanks to Colin Christopher for sending this our way - we probably wouldn't have known about this minimal wave duo if he hadn't gotten in touch. It's not that we don't like stuff like this, it's just that it usually doesn't hit our radar for some weird reason - this is a rock town, and it sometimes feels like the synth stuff never fully mixes into the scene (unless there are guitars to bridge the gap).

Detached Objectives are mining the same type of stuff as did (do?) the Mannequin Depressives (and Ohama before them), although more, uh, minimal. Because, duh, minimal wave.

We haven't seen this tape in stores, but the download is available from the Detached Objectives bandcamp.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Crystal Eyes - No Man Is An Island (2015)

Uh oh. Another tape from Shake! Records. AND another tape featuring Chris Dadge. Seriously, between those two, we have another cassette storage crisis at the CCPS office.

But it's worth it for this one, which is a new project from Erin Jenkins - it's kind of the opposite of the last thing we featured that involved her, the gothi-y Catholic Girls. This tape is all summertime pop. perfect songs for floating down the Bow River, naively following the currents and blissfully aware of the rapids ahead.

The band has since picked up Samantha Savage Smith on second guitar since they recorded this, and it would be lazy of us to compare this to SSS's idyllic second album... but we are, if anything, lazy. Our favourite track on here is "Here She Comes," which we're assuming is meant to sound like a re-working of the Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now."

We've seen this tape at Hot Wax (surprise!), or you can get it from the Crystal Eyes bandcamp.