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:






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.


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?

Friday 21 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: She-Devils on Wheels - Live on CJSR (1989)

The CCPS is big fans of campus radio, and we're always thrilled to see how other communities' stations help support a vibrant local music scene. So this tape, via Corey Hamilton, is of note.

Two sides of weird noise,spoken word, and snatches of songs - broadcast on Edmonton's CJSR at what we kind of assume was likely not a peak hour of the day.

Get your wheels here.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: Jongleur - Procession/Paranoia Enz/Minstrels Recycled (1990/1991)

It's been a tough month for Edmonton's music scene. Just following Chris Boddy's passing, guitarist Kirby Fox passed away two weeks ago.

Jongleur was one of the bands Fox was a part of - an arty, lyric-heavy band that started with the core of Alan Demeule, Georges Giguere and Jeff Weeks.

Proceed,end and recycle.

Tuesday 18 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: The Loved One - Tutti (1991)

We'll carry on with part of the Chris Boddy story today, and the band that Euthanasia evolved into (after they were Wickerman). A lot less early 80's punk, a lot more 90's melodic rock (we hear a lot of similarities to the Doughboys in this).

Get some love here.

Monday 17 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: Euthanasia - Above Reproach Beneath Contempt (1987)

We're still in the Edmonton way-back machine, thanks to Corey Hamilton. We know Euthanasia from the one track of theirs on the Writing on Stone compilation, so it's good to have a full release from these fine early goth punks.

Timing is a weird thing - guitarist Chris Boddy passed away earlier this month, a big loss to the Edmonton music scene. Together with his brother Cam and one-time Calgarian Marty Chatrin, the band's sound evokes Killing Joke and other darker political punk of its era.

Get Euthanized here.

Sunday 16 April 2017

CCPS Miscellany: The Imagineers - The Imagineers (1993)

We're taking a trip up to Edmonton, courtesy of Corey Hamilton. We'll start with this, the third release from a fan favourite from that city, the Imagineers.

One of the things that continues to amaze us about this band is their commitment to non titling their releases. Apparently there was also a cassette release of this - if anyone can hook us up with a scan, we'd appreciate it. So that we way we have three different tapes by the band that are untitled, adding to the confusion that surrounds us in the CCPS office.

Figure it out here.

Saturday 15 April 2017

Ghostkeeper - Sheer Blouse Buffalo Knocks (2017)

It's been a while since we've heard from Ghostkeeper, and they're back with an exceptional new tape that sees the band taking their sounds and washing them in gorgeous layers of psychedelia. Ghostkeeper has never been a band afraid to change things up, and so this is a lot less of the rock outing that their last album was, further mining the direction of that release's "Golden." Shane Ghostkeeper's skittering and skipping rhythms are balanced with Sarah Houle's dreamy vocals and the sonic landscape crafted by their new bandmates Ryan Bourne and Eric Hamelin. File this one under: headphone candy.

Get the download from the Ghostkeeper bandcamp. We assume tapes are out there in some of our fine local record shops.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Vacuum Rebuilders - Anything Else is a Compromize (2017)

So, we might have a new favourite band. Coming out of the Pee Blood Records camp, Vacuum Rebuilders are much in line with Glitter and Janitor Scum, and just as good. Or maybe better? There's something about this band that grabs us a bit more - maybe something bubblegummy under their sound that reminds us of the Throwaways. Confusingly, the band not only shares member(s) with Janitor Scum, they also do a song that's on the Janitor Scum LP from last year. If it works, go with it, we suppose.

Bonus points for taping over what we assume are their parents' old tapes. And reusing the j-cards.

We don't know where you can get this tape, but we highly recommend jumping on a copy if you see one.

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Crims and Flow - Nightmare Food in the Vacuum Room (2017)

As we've previously said, we're big fans of the punk kids playing synthesizers. Crims and Flow continue that great trend, but up the ante with a healthy injection of humour. "No Ghost" is solid dark wave with weird synths and, uh, minimal lyrics. We always appreciate people who don't take themselves too seriously.

Get it via the Crims and Flow bandcamp.

Monday 3 April 2017

Gawker - Stephen's World (2016)

Back to the punk rock! We featured Gawker's first tape last year, without having seen the band live. We've seen them a few times now, and they've become a bit of a favourite for their approach to the genre with their precision drumming and a front man that is channeling equal parts Bobby Torpedo and Djewel Davidson.

And they put out tapes at an alarming rate: we just got our hands on this one (released last year), and they've already got a new one out. We're going to have to re-think our cassette storage. Again.

Get this one via the Gawker bandcamp.

Saturday 1 April 2017

Sawlung - Sawlung (2016)

One of the things we're finding as we get older is that we're more interested in experimental music, as well as, uh, metal. So, here's a metal tape we picked up on the advice of Eddie Dalrymple.

Which is funny, kind of, because Sawlung fit nicely into roughly the same area as Dalrymple's band (one of them anyways), The Weir. Slow, pounding guitars and drums along with throaty shouting.

Grab it via the Sawlung bandcamp.