Saturday 21 May 2016

Calgary Songs Project - Carillon Compositions

Oh, hi. We kind of forgot all about this. And then we remembered. And then we got busy with other stuff. But NOW we're finally getting these into your ears.

Remember that Calgary Songs Project thing that we did with Kenna Burima for the 30th anniversary of One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo? Well, this past is still echoing around downtown, the great compositions of the songs that Kenna did for the Calgary Tower carillon.

We know there are a pile of people who haven't been able to hear these yet, since the songs only run at noon. So, thanks to Kenna and her magic recording device, here are the songs (via a spiffy youtube playlist). Enjoy!

Thursday 19 May 2016

Gawker - Demo (2016)

Speaking of tapes we'd forgotten about... uh... we forgot about this one that we picked up at Melodiya a couple of months ago. What can we say? The CCPS offices are a bit cluttered (memo to selves: get our STEP student working on that tomorrow).

Anyways, our cursory internet research tells us there is some overlap between Gawker, Crack Cloud and Dri Hiev. Also, naming themselves after a popular website makes internet research difficult. This is bratty, sloppy punk. We actually had to listen to this tape three times to make sure we hadn't missed something because we got distracted for like two minutes and then the tape was over - they packed six songs into about 8 minutes. They also put more tempo changes into one and a half minute songs than you would have thought possible. Or sensible. But, hey, it works.

Get the tape from the Gawker bandcamp.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Crack Cloud - Crack Cloud (2016)

Here's a tape we got at Lab Coast's LP release show a few weeks ago, and then forgot about because we've only been listening to the new Lab Coast LP and the Sleepkit tape for the past two weeks.

Crack Cloud opened the evening at the Palomino, with a gutsy three-guitar, bass and drums set up (okay, one of the guitarists also switches off with sax, but still). Oh, and three keyboards to help fill in some subtle blips and bloops. They're probably the closest thing to Gang of Four that we've heard in town for a while, with the bass and drums serving as a just-danceable-enough backdrop for speak-y vocals and jagged guitars.

Looks like the physical tape is sold out, but you can grab the download from the Crack Cloud bandcamp.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Aiwass - Demo (2016)

One of the things we're happiest about the current wave of bands drawing on new/cold wave influences is that we no longer have to be ashamed of our extensive collection of New Order and Cure 12" records. So we were quite delighted to discover Aiwass, who are mining the darker end of the cold wave revival spectrum, taking the same starting point as Melted Mirror, but veering off into their own space. It actually might be a closet in their bedroom that they've veered off into, ignoring the glitz and tight production of Melted Mirror and going for a raw mix of synth, drum machine and bass. We can't fault them for their choice.

Get the tape via the Aiwass bandcamp.

Sunday 8 May 2016

Sleepkit - Champion Weekend (2016)

May as well make it a Ryan Bourne psychrock freakout weekend. While we really like the Holgans tape we posted yesterday, we LOVE this Sleepkit tape.

The first time we saw Sleepkit, they blew our minds. Where Holgans' psychedelia slithers around in the grass, Sleepkit's is floating in space. Marie Sulkowski's analogue Farfisa Synthorchestras and voice float around the upper registers like a satellite piloted by a cosmic Kate Bush, with Bourne's bass beaming instructions from its command centre on the moon.

We could go on and on about this tape - but instead we're going to tell you to watch the video for the lead track "Constantinople," which takes the bassline from Trans X's "Living on Video" and launches it into the sun:

Get the tape (or the download) from the Sleepkit bandcamp.

Saturday 7 May 2016

Holgans - Holgans are Dead (2016)

We made a big deal when we finally snagged a copy of the first Holgans tape last year (a couple of years late, as usual). So you can imagine our excitement to get another volume of psychedelia from Ryan Bourne and Kiarra Albina.

This is reportedly a collection of the final recordings of the band in its current form, made over the past couple of years. We assume that the band is transmogrifying into its next form, like some kaleidoscopic Pokemon deep in its underground lair. Which is too bad, because this form is pretty amazing - this tape is lush, cinematic and full of colours and textures that prove that pretty much anything Ryan Bourne touches is genius. These six songs are absolutely solid nuggets of psych pop.

You can also get this one from Eddie at Melodiya (or Dave at Sloth), as well as via the Holgans bandcamp.

Friday 6 May 2016

Oxeneer - Worn Out (2016)

As we've stated before, the CCPS isn't super conversant when it comes to local metal (or metal at all). So we were super surprised when we found ourselves totally, totally enjoying last year's tape from the Weir. It follows then, that we also like this new tape from Oxeneer, a band which is made up of two thirds of the Weir.

With so much overlap between the bands, it's impossible for us not to compare the two. Oxeneer takes the sludgy riffs of the Weir and - as if to make up for having one less member - speeds them up. It's being like you've accidentally put a Weir LP on at 45 instead of 33. Where the Weir lets their riffs hang suspended in the air, Oxeneer takes them and pounds them into the ground.

Go say hi to Eddie at Melodiya and buy this tape from him, or grab it from the Oxeneer bandcamp.

Thursday 5 May 2016

Fire Engine Red - 1530 (2015)

We were trying to find a good transition point from that binge on Von Zippers vinyl to a bunch of new tapes that are in the CCPS offices, and we think we found it. Literally. We were given a copy of this a few weeks ago at Fire Engine Red's reunion show, and we managed to tuck it away somewhere "safe" (ie: somewhere we'd forget about it completely).

So, here we go with what is effectively the third time we've posted this masterpiece from Fire Engine Red. You could call it redundant or annoying, but we're going to call it an impeccable attention to detail. The deal is this: last year for Cassette Store Day (who knew, right?!) Texas label Some Weird Sin did a very short run re-release of this tape, along with new liner notes (with a questionably amazingly accurate band bio by Gene Poole) and cover art more true to what the band had originally wanted. We might have preferred a vinyl re-release, but we'll take this. Especially since we had the reunion show to enjoy.

Looks like you might be able to buy a copy from the Some Weird Sin bandcamp.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Unspooled: Episode 6 - The Everymen's "Yuppie War Anthem"

Woo! It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means that (a) we blinked and lost another month of our lives and (b) it's time for another episode of Unspooled, our CJSW-hosted podcast about Calgary's cassettes! Woo!

And this month's episode is full of all ages woo! thanks to the Everymen's Casey Lewis, who invited us over to Echo Base to give us the scoop on his band's 1998 tape Bryan Went Down to Reno. The short version aired on Mike Bell's episode of Saved by the Bell this afternoon; we've got the expanded cut below.

Monday 2 May 2016

Von Zippers - Wow 'Em Down at Franzl's (1997)

Gene says that as long as we're going for broke posting Von Zippers 7"s, we might as well go for broken and add their 10" to the mix. This is still one of our favourite Von Zippers non-7" records, mostly because it kicks through its 8 tracks in under 20 minutes, leaving you wanting another stein full of delicious lager (that adheres to the German purity laws, 'natch).

Grab this golden great from the days of thee original, pointy-hatted kaisers of garage rock.

Sunday 1 May 2016

Von Zippers - Nothing Can Bring Me Down (2011)

Returning to his favourite theme of being brought down (or, more specifically, not being brought down), Al and his no-longer-pointy-hatted band of merry men put out all of the stops (or at least keyboardist Chris Nevile does) on the Twightlighters' "Nothing Can Bring Me Down" and then lay into the Rising Suns' "I'm Blue". Two sides of Texas garage rock covers, which we can't really argue with. We know some folks kind of wish they played their old material (which, to be fair, leaned heavily on covers as well), but we really like what they're doing these days. Al is - as he always has - teaching us about records we really should be listening to.

Also of note - this record sounds huge and not like the fuzzed out affairs of the 1990s, thanks to Rob McAlister's production work.

We're pretty sure you can still get this record around the shops in Calgary - or at least from the Lemon Sessions' bandcamp.