Saturday, 30 April 2016

Von Zippers/Les Secretairs Volantes - Dead End Canada (2000)

So, we searched the interwebs and cannot find mention of a real movie called Dead End Canada, so we think that this Toronto label is putting us on. Goddam Toronto.

Except that this label put out the excellent Stand GT single which sees that band covering the Nils, which is A-OK in our book. And so is this record - we know we were talking up "Monkey on You" yesterday, but "Screwdriver High" is also quite excellent.

Dammit, these Von Zippers records are all so good.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Von Zippers - Monkey on You (2000)

We've already stated our love for the Von Zippers and ape-themed cover art. But throw in a reference to the first Vibrators LP, and we're sold twice over. "Monkey on You" is probably one of our favourite Von Zippers tracks from this era (for real this time!). We'd also like to take this moment to note how many Von Zippers songs include the concept of being brought down. Not sure what Al's trying to tell us here.

Go ape!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Von Zippers - Not Worth Payin' For EP (1999)

The name of this record is a misnomer. There is no such thing as a Von Zippers record that is not worth paying for. Even the second side, a (like surreptitiously recorded) conversation about relationships, doesn't bring the value of this down.

Too much.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Von Zippers - Twist Off (1998)

Every time we pick up this record, we wonder at the marvel of it's die-cut, circular perfection. What kind of a madman would break from the tried and true square 7" sleeve?

The same kind of madman who would record super fuzzed out, near-perfect garage rock.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Von Zippers - Wurms (1997)

The Von Zippers had a pretty good run of records on Bellingham garage rock hucksters Estrus, and their starting point - a double 7" - is one of our faves. Who are we kidding, all of these records are our favourites. But we really like the first record's one-two punch of "Wurms" and "Fish." But "Hey Hey Baby" is a pretty solid track, as well. Heck, this whole thing pretty much cemented Al and his band of merry pointy-hatted men as Kaisers of garage rock.

As they are, of course.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Von Zippers - Hot Rod Monkey (1997)

As we were re-filing the 7" records we've been posting over the past while, we realized that by some major oversight we had neglected to post some of our absolute favourite 7" records from this city - the ones by thee mighty Von Zippers. Only one thing to do, then - fix that oversight! And fire whoever was in charge that day. Unless they already quit.

Anyways, the Von Zippers put out a pile of great garage rock singles in the 1990s, which ended up compiled on their Blitzhacker CD (if you want non-crackly versions of these, go find the CD, chump). We'll start with this one, on German label Screaming Apple Records. We like the Von Zippers. We also like monkeys. So we really like the A side of this - but the B side is also really good.

All right!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tom Phillips - After the Fall/Complicated Man (1984)

This is a single that Fire Engine Red/Man of Constant Sorrow Lee Shedden lent us. We decided to break with tradition, and actually reach out to the person behind this. It's a scary, new way of doing things, and we're not sure how we feel about this.

The record is, of course, by local songwriter and Ironwood fixture Tom Phillips. What's notable about it is that it's from his time in Toronto, before he came to Calgary and was recorded with a notable crew. Phillips tells us it was recorded in 1984, at Inception Sound in Toronto with Gordon Lightfoot's band. The players were Terry Clements on guitar (and also the record's producer), Mike Heffernan on piano, Barry Keene on drums, Pee Wee Charles on pedal steel and bass was played by Peer Engelhard (who wasn't in Lightfoot's band).

These two songs are a pretty good indication of Phillips' dedication to his songwriting craft - the A side is a solid, hurtin' breakup song. Sadly, the B side suffers from some questionable production (that drum sound! It stings!).

Complicated, indeed!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Cal Cavendish - Wild Rose/Rig Pig

We forgot all about this record when we were posting weird 7" records from the CCPS collection last month - we actually found this under a stack of other records. That we had also forgotten about. We think we need to do some filing.

Anyways, we figure this one is worth a proper post, since (a) Cal Cavendish is somewhat legendary and (b) we really don't know much about this single. For those who can't quite place the name, Cavendish is the guy who dropped a load of manure and records on the city from his airplane in 1975. David van Belle and Kris Demeanor made his story into a production for the 2010 High Performance Rodeo,which we stupidly missed.

Anyways, there's no year on this single, nor is there any record of it (that we can find) on the interwebs. Maybe this is one of the records that he lobbed on that fateful day?

Who knows?

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Unspooled: Episode 5 - Chixdiggit's "I Should Have Played Football in High School"

Whew! We blinked and suddenly it's April. Good thing we're somewhat organized, and managed to grab some time with KJ Jansen to talk about the story of Chixdiggit (who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year!) for this month's episode of our Unspooled podcast. The shorter version was broadcast on CJSW this afternoon; here's the full version for your listening enjoyment.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Taboo Shackles: Unshackled - The Unreal Story and Unexpected Reunion of the Taboo Shackes (2016)

If we'd been a bit more prescient (ha! the story of our lives!), we would have posted this last Friday, to mark April Fools' day. But we weren't and didn't, so let's just get on with it, shall we?

This link was sent to us via long-time Sun music writer Dave Veitch. This video claims to be "a documentary on short-lived but hugely influential Calgary band The Taboo Shackles. The low-budget film has already been heralded by critics as the most revelatory music film since From Justin to Kelly." It features interviews with Toma Walt Ohama, Terry Tompkins, Janine Bracewell, Conan Daly, Jeff Kusher, John Rutherford, Mike Bell (who goes all out in his vitriolic take-down of the band) and Zenon West. It's full of bullshit, of course.

Sure, the Taboo Shackles existed - they were a bunch of Mount Royal College journalism students with a penchant for fun and silliness - but their importance is heavily hyperbolized in this Spinal Tap-esque documentary that digs into a lot of Calgary music scene nerdery. 

Actually, it's kind of like someone wrote a movie just for the CCPS to enjoy. And boy oh boy, did we ever enjoy it. We suggest you sit back with your favourite beverage and give this a watching.