Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Empty Heads - Normality (2017)



The part of us that grew up in the 90's really, really likes Empty Heads. They had us hooked from "High & Dry," the first song on their first tape, and have been coaxing us along with their angsty, loud guitar rock. Chris Dadge's recording gives this a bit more of a Sebadoh-meets-Dinosaur-Jr-in-a-dark-basement feel, and that's totally okay by us.

If you missed the excellent Three Documentaries series from CJSW and Guillaume Carlier earlier this year, here's the piece on Empty Heads:



Get the  tape from the Empty Heads bandcamp or Debt Offensive Records.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

PMMA - Draw the Line (2017)



We're really pleased that PMMA have returned to cassettes after their 7" and LP. The rikki-tikki drum machine at the start of the tape is a total fake-out to their merging of anthemic punk and dark wave. We've enjoyed all of PMMA's recordings, but this one stands out (perhaps due to Craig Fahner's recording), with the title track on here being worth the price of admission alone. But there's no video for that track, so here's the lead track instead:



Get it from the PMMA bandcamp.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Child Actress - Milking a Dead Cow (2017)


Rena Kozak has played under a few names in the past few years, and has been on stage with a pile of great bands. She's settled on the name Child Actress for this tape, which pulls more towards the dreamy pop of Gold than the low-fi punk of the Shematomas. This is a (mostly) one-person show, and a really great one at that. The tape feels slightly claustrophobic, which fits with the dark themes of the tape.

Get it from the Child Actress bandcamp.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Dream Whip - Dream Whip (2016)


Dream Whip play a low-fi pop that pulls equally from 60's girl groups and 90's indie rock. Sure, they're mining ground that's pretty close to bands like the Dum Dum Girls, but this is pretty fine stuff.



What, they broke up already?

Ah, well - get the tape from the Dream Whip bandcamp.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Lab Coast - In Real Life (2017)



It's been a while since we posted, mostly because we've been immersed in the schedule for this year's Sled Island, trying to figure out how we can see all the Calgary bands that are playing. And maybe also a couple of Edmonton ones.

Anyways, here's a band we have a complex love/hate relationship with. We love them 'cos they're so good, but hate them b/c they're a significant cause of the constant re-shuffling of our cassette collection. This tape is a live collection, with the A side being a CJSW session from a year ago. The B side is a mix of various live versions of "Waiting," some noisier than others.



Get the tape from the Lab Coast bandcamp or (we assume) Hot Wax.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Beat Apostles - Here Comes Tomorrow (1988)



We debated what to do with this, whether to update our original post or - as we've finally decided - to purge it and start again. So, here goes with the fourth tape from The Beat Apostles.
ALL SONGS COPYRIGHT THE BEAT APOSTLES

A
BIG RED WORLD 6:00 (S. Heimbecker)
ART 3:48 (S. Heimbecker)
HERE COMES TOMORROW 3:50 (P. Leblanc)
TURNING BLUE 3:45 (S. Heimbecker)
GOD HELP THEM 4:43 (P. Leblanc)
22:06

B
WAR WITHIN 7:40 (S. Heimbecker)
CLIMATE OF DESPAIR 3:58 (P. Leblanc)
VENUS (ON A STAINLESS STEEL BED) 4:03 (S. Heimbecker)
DESCEND 4:18 (S. Heimbecker)
ATHENA 4:35 (S. Heimbecker)
24:39

All Songs Arranged By M. Walton, P. Leblanc, S. Heimbecker

Appropriated Radio Library, M. Walton

STEVEN HEIMBECKER — E-bass, vocals
PAUL LEBLANC — guitar, vocals
MARK WALTON — drums, percussion

SPECIAL THANKS TO:
WARREN GYSI — saxophone on DESCEND, TURNING BLUE ART
ADELE LEGER — backup vocals on GOD HELP THEM, DESCEND
MAX — acoustic guitar on ATHENA

Recorded on 8-track at
Max Sound Studios, Calgary, AB
Engineered by Max Brisson, Arnold Bender
Mixed by Arnold, Max, The Beat Apostles
Photo — Shannon Hale
Cover design and layout — Mark Walton
Produced by :
Qube Assemblage Co.
3rd. flr. 1202 first street SW
Calgary AB T2R 0V4
1-403-228-1055
Once again, we've got a pile of great clippings (including one by the great James Muretich), posters, and photos from Studio A Go Go:










Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Beat Apostles - All Around (1988)


Here's tape number three from The Beat Apostles. This is another set of live recordings, this time without a keyboardist, which trips away some of the jazzier/boppier elements of the band's sound. But still just as much fun.
contact the Beat APOSTLES c/o
QUBE ASSEMBLAGE COMPANY
3rd flr, 1202 1st street S.W.
Calgary, Alta. T2R 0V4

SIDE 1 - ¨dance I say, dance…¨
ILL AT EASE 4:45
HERE COMES TOMORROW 4:15
RIDING HIGH 4:50
I’M SO GREEN 4:05
BLACK ED BLUES 6:15
TOTAL 25:20
SIDE 2 - more art, less pop
CUBE IN THE HOLE (INSTR.) * 2:00
THE MIRROR * 5:05
THE ALL-AROUND ** 6:00
THE MILLER’S DAUGHTER ** 3:40
GOD HELP THEM ** 4:40
TOTAL 22:00
STEPHEN HEIMBECKER - BASS, VOCALS
PAUL LEBLANC - GUITAR, VOCALS
MARK WALTON - DRUMS
BACKUP VOCLAS ON THE MIRROR:
JODY CORNER, JANINE HALL
SIDE 1 RECORDED LIVE AT THE NATIONAL HOTEL, CALGARY JAN.8-9, 88
* CJSW COOL BLUE SERIES, OCT. 28, 87 WESTWARD HOTEL, CALGARY
** LIVE AT THE NATIONAL, NOV. 87 RECORDED BY ARNOLD BENDER
COPYRIGHT BEAT APOSTLES 87, 88
Again, huge thanks to Steve Heimbecker for passing along more photos (the black and white ones are from outside the National Hotel, the colour are from a gig at Studio A Go Go), posters, and a clipping from the Emery Weal.








Get the Beat!

Monday, 1 May 2017

The Beat Apostles - Ed is Dead (1987)


After their first tape, The Beat Apostles slimmed down from six members to four, and in doing so became a lot more relaxed and fun. This is the sound that the band would become known for, more jazzy and poppy than their first outing.
RECORDED LIVE AT THE NATIONAL HOTEL JULY 23, 24 1987
CALGARY. ALL SONGS ARRANGED BY T.B.A., ALL SONGS © 1987 T.B.A. EXCEPT THOSE MARKED *
RECORDING & SOUND ENGINEER: ARNOLD BENDER 
SIDE 1
RUNNING OUT OF THE PAST (HEIMBECKER) 5:28
THE MILLERS DAUGHTER (HEIMBECKER) 4:04
LADY COOL (HEIMBECKER / LEBLANC) 5:28
GOING TO THE DISCO (HEIMBECKER / WALTON / LEBLANC) 6:32
BULLY (HEIMBECKER) 4:44
SIDE 2
TIME (LEBLANC) 3:48
THIS INFICARIUM (WALTON / HABERMILLER) 5:08
FEVER * 4:57
MYSTERY DANCE* 5:50
DON’T BETRAY THE UNIVERSE (HEIMBECKER / LEBLANC) 5:28
THE BEAT APOSTLES ARE: PAUL LEBLANC / GUITAR & VOCALS, BART HABERMILLER / KEYS & VOCALS, STEVEN HEIMBECKER / BASS & VOCALS, MARK WALTON / PERCUSSION
SPECIAL THNKS TO THE BULLETS OF BLISS; JODY CORNER & JANINE HALL / BACKING VOCALS
T.B.A. FAN CLUB: 2508 3RD AVE N.W. CALGARY, AB T2N 0L3
Cover and duplications : Steve Heimbecker
Steve also passed along a pile of photos from a gig at the National Hotel, posters, and clippings from this era of The Beat Apostles.








Get Dead here.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Beat Apostles - At Screaming Fish (1986)



Steve Heimbecker got in touch with us a short while ago to ask why the hell the download link on our post for The Beat Apostles' Here Comes Tomorrow post was dead. It was one of the things that we somehow lost in our hostile takeover of Golden Rock, but Steve has been kind enough to hook us up with the COMPLETE Beat Apostles discography - and a pile of ephemera. And a history of the band:
A brief history of the Beat Apostles, by Steve Heimbecker, Montreal - 2008
In the early 1980's, a confluence of time based art (video, sound, and performance art), together with the energy, experimentation, and political activism of the world wide punk rock movement came together to create many, many art punk "happenings" in Calgary, which were often centred around student activities at the Alberta College of Art.
Out of these activities, a loose group of about 10 to 20 art students / friends began hold music jams together in various apartment basements and living rooms in the Hillhurst-Sunnyside district.  The music was very raw and edgy, and subscribed to long periods of chaotic improvisation and partying.
In 1984 / 85, the first version of what would become the Beat Apostles (then called "Dead Horse Lake"), started renting rehearsal space at the independent night club 10 Foot Henry's (located at the base of the south end of the 10th Street bridge), and home to such bands as the Ripcords and Mode d'employ.
In the spring of 1986, as "Eggs on Legs",  about 8 future Beat Apostles gave an art punk "happening" performance at 2nd Story Gallery (now Truck Gallery), that advertised among other things, ancient Egyptian surf music, Ethiopian death marches, and self caged go-go dancers, dancing in cages built from Bow River drift wood.  It was said after this concert that time had seemed to slide sideways that night.
Some months later, a core group of 6 players (Zeindler, Walton, Hollingsbury, Leblanc, Heimbecker, Habermiller) were sitting at the National Hotel drinking beer, listening to other punk rock bands (probably from Vancouver such as the Animal Slaves) and wondered what the new band name should be for their group for an upcoming show.  Somehow, the group realized that sitting at the table were Mike, Mark, Peter, Paul, Steve, and Bartholomew, the apostles of Calgary art punk and beat.  Thus, the Beat Apostle name was adopted.
In November 1986, at the independent warehouse / art studio "Screaming Fish", a night of performance art and art punk was presented.  A live recording of the Beat Apostle's first concert that night was made by Heimbecker and was released as a limited edition audio cassette (28 copies sold), "The Beat Apostles at Screaming Fish".  This unique and mesmerizing event was a big success, but did cause some problems with the local police, SPCA, and of course the landlord.  The Calgary Police where quoted around that time as declaring that the Beat Apostles were "incredible" and that they (the police), "had never seen anything like it!"  These unintentional endorsements were welcomed by the band.
However, a conceptual schism emerged soon after the Screaming Fish concert and reduced the bands core numbers from 6 to 3, finally leaving Heimbecker (bass and vocals, sound effects editing), Leblanc (guitar and vocals), and Walton (drums and radio sound effects sampling). Arnold Bender joined the trio as live sound mixer and recording engineer. Many guest Calgary musicians and backup singers also enjoyed playing with the band for a variety of time frames during these years.  
For only 3 years, from 1986 to the Beat Apostles demise in 1989, this art punk power trio played nearly 100 shows to audiences in Calgary and the prairie region in punk rock bars, night clubs, ballrooms, community centres, and speakeasies including the National and Westward Hotels, the Acoustic GaGa, Studio A-Gogo, the Night Gallery, the Republik, MacEwan Hall Ballroom, the Alberta College of Art student association, and also many benefit concerts for local art centres and causes such as the Calgary Peace Festival, 2nd Story Gallery, One Yellow Rabbit, The New Gallery, Em/media and CJSW FM.  
Coinciding with the birth of community campus FM radio at the University of Calgary in 85/86, the Beat Apostles soon become a favourite of many hosts at CJSW 90.9 fm.  The band, in only 4 cassette releases (3 live concert recordings and 1 studio recording) chalked up several top ten song placements on the local CJSW 90.9 FM charts, and too charted on the campus and community radio in many parts of Canada. They also had appearances on Rogers cable 10 community TV and the newly created YTV channel.
To much critical review The Beat Apostles released their only studio album in December, 1988, "Here Comes Tomorrow" working with former Ripcords guitarist Max Brisson and singer Adele Leger in the studio. However with disagreements in creative directions building among the 3 band members, TBA played for the last time in the summer of 1989.  Drummer Mark Walton and guitarist and singer Paul Leblanc joined forces together with other local musicians to create the Monkey's of Eden, while bassist and singer Steve Heimbecker pursued his solo career fine arts, intermedia and audio art. Heimbecker did not stop writing and performing music however. Now on guitar and lead vocals he put together 3 more Calgary "art" pop bands through to the mid 1990's, all with cassette releases: the Aukestra (1989), the Edible Pumpkin (1990), and the Friendly's (1991 to 1994).
During that very inspired period of Calgary indie music in the late 1980s, The Beat Apostles shared the seen and stage with other great Calgary indie bands such as (but not limited to) the Ripcords, Mode d'employ, The Golden Calgarians, Cat Ranch, The 21 Hundredz, Big Bang Theory, Same Difference, Maud, Melvin and the Rocket Scientists (Mark Stewart), Liquid Light, The Sacred Heart of Elvis, The Hooligan Preachers, Feast of Fools, Ninth Configuration, and Huevos Rancheros.
Scott took the time to transcribe the liner notes for us, saving our lazy fingers a bunch of work:
RECORDED LIVE NOV. 29 / 86 AT SCREAMING FISH STUDIO CALGARY ALBERTA

THE BEAT APOSTLES ARE: MIKE, MARK, PETER, PAUL, BART AND STEVE

SIDE A
T.V. EYE
COME TAKE A CHANCE
BOPPER
DEATH MARCH
FUNK UP
WIPE OUT
WILD THING

SIDE B
EI TAI WAN
MY PRETTY THING
WHO DO YOU LOVE
SMOKE ON THE WATER (INSTRUMENTAL)
PUPPET ON A STRING
THE BEAT

* THE BEAT APOSTLES INTERVIEW ON C.J.S.W., CALGARY NOV. 21 / 86 - WITH THANX TO LISA

——

Hand made cassette covers and duplications, hand titled using gold ink on black matte paper. 28 copies printed.

Sound recording : Steve Heimbecker - using a Sony Pro Walkman audio cassette recorder and 2 Shure SM51 lavaliere microphones in XY configuration placed high in room centre.
Cover and duplications : Steve Heimbecker
And here's a bunch of photos from one of the band's shows at ACA (now ACAD) in 1986, as well as a press clipping:







 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Doe Eye - Six Song Demo (1995)


It's been far tool long since we posted any Primrods-related content, so we were overjoyed to receive an email last week from Derrick Denholm that read, in part:
Below is a link to my bandcamp page for a band I had with Garret and Leah in 1994-95. I moved to BC shortly thereafter, was involved with a group that became the Buttless Chaps, among many others. This is a good 4-track recording done at the time when Garret had been asked to join the Primrods. There is only one cassette copy in existence, and these tracks on bandcamp are WAV files I made from audacity transfers.

Hope this is of interest to you. Think: Rodan, Slint, Boredoms, TFUL 282.
Of course this is of interest! Doe Eye is way noisier than McClure's pre-Primrods involvement in Staasi Quartet, leaning more towards bassist Leah Van Loon's prior (?) band, Squat. Their gloriously sloppy cover of Blondie's "Anything Can Happen" is, well, gloriously sloppy. 

Grab it via the Doe Eye bandcamp.

Monday, 24 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: Subworm Feeders - Out of the Mouth into the Door (1993)


Here's our last Edmonton tape from Corey Hamilton. Being from 1993, Subworm Feeders bear a lot of the marks of a post-Seattle explosion alt rock band. Except maybe a bit weirder - we reckon these guys had at least one Butthole Surfers tape in their collection.

Maybe?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: The Pop Crisis -She Was Pop (1989)


We're still in Edmonton with a few more tapes from Corey Hamilton's collection. The Pop Crisis features Kelly McPhillamey, who would go on to play with Minstrels on Speed. Like that band, these are pop-focused rock songs. Pop Crisis are a little less heavy than the Minstrels, maybe because this was pre-Seattle?

Pop rocks!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: Small Town Apathy - Live on CJSR (1989)


Here's another live broadcast from CJSR, kind of in the same vein as She-Devils on Wheels, but with more of an industrial element to things. Meaning that there's lots of noisy banging on things in this. And maybe more song structures. But only slightly.

Feelin' apathetic?