Saturday, 28 December 2019

Bitter Fictions - Walker (2019)

After those two nice bits of Huevos content, here's a guitar hero of a completely different bent, the sonic wizardry of Devin Friesen and his Bitter Fictions. What can we say about Walker that we haven't said about Bitter Fictions before? Oh, there's some nice, delicate piano on "Forget It" (alongside the usual guitar noise/drone/syrup), which makes us think that Friesen's time in Montreal has served him well.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Huevos Rancheros - John Peel Session (1995)

Well, we can't just leave you with one Huevos Rancheros-related gift this Christmas, can we? This one we CAN put a date on: in the spring of 1995, looks like our favourite trio hopped across the pond and recorded a session at BBC's Maida Vale Studios for the legendary John Peel.

While we don't get any ridiculous between-song banter with this set, we DO get a solid recording of six favourites, including their versions of the classics "Telstar" and "Rumble." While yesterday's CBC session reminded us of how much fun Huevos were, this set reminds us of how good AMAZING they were.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Huevos Rancheros - CBC Sessions

As an extra special (and early!) Christmas gift, we have this little gem that's been kicking around our offices for a few years: a set that local heroes Huevos Rancheros recorded for the CBC at some point (maybe around 1995? we this this might have been a RadioSonic session but have zero evidence to back that claim up).

The best part of this session isn't the amazing guitar/bass/drums work - it's the ridiculous between song banter. AND a rare (mostly) a capella track. Don't believe us? We wouldn't lie to you! This session reminds us how much fun Huevos were, and how much we miss them.

Happy holidays!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Sunglaciers - Foreign Bodies (2019)

We're not sure how/why this has happened, but suddenly we're in the position of posting THREE tapes by a band in one year, and for once it's not a Craig Storm-related band. We had bought Sunglaciers' excellent new LP earlier this year, but they've just put it out on tape as well, and we're suckers for well-packaged things like this (silver metallic cassette! acetate insert for the j-card art!). Plus, as we may have mentioned, this album is quite excellent (don't believe us? CJSW has this pegged at #4 on their Best of 2019 list).

Each release from Sunglaciers sees them getting sharper and tighter, and this tape - the first with Helen Young on synth - is, uh, sharper and tighter still. This inhabits a happy space that's somewhere between power pop and shoegaze - "For What" is our pick for one of the best Calgary tracks of the year. But here's another sample from the album, opener "Through the Screen":

As of right now, only the LP or download are available from the Sunglaciers bandcamp; keep your eyes in your local record shops for the fancy cassette.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Rotten Crutch - Intrusive Behaviour (2019)

Sometimes you're at the Palomino, and someone (in this case, Dan Northfield) makes the universal symbol that they're about to throw something your way (which is always appreciated, speaking as people who have been clocked on the head by an unannounced "gift" one or two times in our lives), and suddenly you have a tape in your hands, and you have no idea what the tape is because you don't recognize the band, and you shrug and say, "okay, thanks Dan?"

Having listened to this tape, we can report that Rotten Crutch play a throaty, thrashy sort of punk that we imagine would fit in well at, say Vern's. They uphold the long-standing Calgary tradition of making sure there's a healthy dose of metal in their punk.

And you can get it from their bandcamp.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Slut Prophet - Pity Party (2019)

We've been big fans of Audrey Nicsik and her ever-evolving Slut Prophet since we first saw them a few years ago. They've taken their time putting out their first tape, and it's a real treat. The opening track, "I've Been Waiting For This Moment" is amazing, and not just because it means we'll never be able to go to the dentist again without at least a little bit of discomfort. And as much as it's Slut Prophet's shorter bursts of angular, quirky punk that drew us is, it's the epic, 9-plus minute closing track, "Cyclops," that smashes us over the head and makes us true believers. Smart lyrics combined with quirky, well-executed arrangements - this is super good stuff.

Get if from the Slut Prophet bandcamp.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Purlicue - Dip N Dot (2019)

We're doing a bit of year-end cleaning here at the CCPS, and realized that we've been sitting on a few things... one of which is this posthumous (maybe?) tape from Purlicue. This tape seems a bit more serious than their first outing - but no less, uh, good. Probably what we like is that they keep these songs short and sweet - or bittersweet, like the excellent "Tangerine."

You can get this via the Purlicue bandcamp - or, as we've just discovered, via

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Power & Light - Chastity Is Rebellion (2016)

As you've probably figured out by now, we don't always get tapes in the most timely manner. So here's one from a few years ago, by former Lunatique member Liam Zanin. Power & Light fuses industrial and experimental electronic musics in a manner similar to Edmonton's Rhythm of Cruelty.

Get it from the Pseudo Laboratories bandcamp.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Neutral States/Salt Horse - The Kitchen is Where the Knives Are/Sick Transit (2019)

Note: the following post has been edited to meet the CCPS's Ethical Standards of Practice Policy (CCPS-AP-047b)

It's been a while since we heard from Lee Shedden and his Neutral States, so it's great to see them giving a posthumous physical release to their final recording - even if it is one of those dreaded split tapes. Their side of this tape captures the band in its final form - an excellent mix of folks from 90's-era Calgary bands, claiming members from Placebo, Massive Ferguson, and Hot Little Rocket (along with Fire Engine Red, 'natch). The songs are - in true Shedden form - well-written, catchy, and, shall we say, eclectic in style.

We understand Salt Horse is Shedden's new venture, with all of the Neutral States in tow except for Andrew Wedderburn (who damn well better be working on getting novel number two published - we're longing for a follow-up to the Milk Chicken Bomb). Replacing Wedderburn is {REDACTED} who {REDACTED} and {REDACTED}. Salt Horse is {REDACTED} and ultimately {REDACTED}. {REDACTED}.

Get it from the the Neutral States bandcamp or {REDACTED}.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Stripmall - Surrounding Area (2019)

We were really sad a year ago (more?) when one of our favourite bands, We Knew, called it quits. So to hear that frontperson Geneva Haley had a new band was welcome news - and finding out her bandmates included members of Hag Face, the Shematomas (who are reforming for Femme Wave this year!), and  Ultragash made this something we knew we couldn't miss.

We're not sure where to start describing Stripmall, they're unlike anything else in the city right now. Maybe the closest thing local we can come up with is the very-overlooked Doris Day Film Festival. Or maybe No Limbo Lasso? But those bands go way back - someone described Stripmall as "very 1980's Los Angeles," something along the lines of X. Primal drumming, deft bass lines, angular guitars, and Haley's purr-to-howl vocals carry songs that seem to change direction mid-path, or careen to a halt just as you're getting settled. Scrappy punk blends with country and then turns to post-punk. It's wholly unique and remarkably good.

Get it from the Stripmall bandcamp.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Selci - Effervescence (2019)

Whoops, here's a bit of a left turn for us. Effervescence marks the debut full-length for mononymous electrochanteuse Selci. When we first saw her, we compared her to Kate Bush or Bjork, but then we realized that we're old and our touchpoints are horribly outdated. Elements of ambient electronica and R&B are splashed across this tape, along with a heaping of dramatic tension.

Curiously, Selci's bandcamp only has the vinyl issue of this. But we have it on tape, so you must be able to get a copy somehow...

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Pill Crusher/Geoff - SPL/TS (2019)

Ah, our old nemesis, the split cassette. How do we meaningfully talk about this, especially when the bands on each side are kinda different but also really good?

Screw it, we're going with Geoff's side first. Geoff is propelled largely by the amazingly loud guitar of former Placebo/Breathe Knives noisemonger Kieran McAuley. This is excellent, heavy stuff, with the lead track, "My Heart Blisters When You Are Near" setting the bar pretty high for the rest of the tape.

Good thing it's Pill Crusher they're paired with - we've already declared our like for this band and their 90s revival sounds (is that a thing now?). This trio have been honing their craft since their first tape, and their Dinosaur Jr-esque sludge pop is a fitting contrast to Geoff's side of the tape.

We really like how the bands each cover a Hüsker Dü song at the end of their side of the tape to help tie things together; we like even better that they're Grant Hart-penned selections.

Looks like you can grab the download from either the Geoff or Pill Crusher bandcamp, depending on your mood.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

No Brainer - No Brainer (2019)

Sometimes you need straight-up, no frills punk. Stuff like Knucklehead, the Motherfuckers, or, well, pick another Calgary band in that vein. We're too lazy to dig a third name out. No Brainer delivers nice tight blasts in that fine tradition - which isn't surprising since they boast members of PMMA, Paradise, The Special Edisons, and X-Ray Cat. At least two of those bands, PMMA and Paradise, have been past and/or current faves of ours, so suffice to say we quite enjoy this band as well.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Lucid 44 - Sunday at Rosie's (2019)

Of all the important things that Kevin Stebner and his Bart Records do, one of the things we most appreciate it their issuance of new Lucid 44 recordings. Mark Overland is quite possibly one of the most overlooked and underappreciated. We always default to the tag "sad bastard folk" when describing this band, but some of these songs really haul - "Love Octagon" is full of boogie in a, well, sad bastard sort of way. Good thing there are tracks like the quiet "Sleep (26)" to temper things.

Looks like there's an excellent CJSW session from a year ago on the youtube, featuring a bit of older stuff as well as this tapes "Midnight Move":

At the time of writing, this wasn't up on the Lucid 44 bandcamp (maybe because the official release is a few days away?) - but you can do what we did, and grab a copy at your local record store.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Doug Hoyer - Character Witness (2019)

Apparently former Edmontonian Doug Hoyer has taken up residence in Calgary after a few years stateside, and we at the CCPS couldn't be happier - because it means we get to blather on about how great his new tape it.

This is a polished but understated affair, with Hoyer's vocals and songwriting evoking something between the Magnetic Fields and the Mountain Goats - which is a pretty fine combination in our books. Calling this indie pop feels like it undersells this, especially the very amazing "Partner," a track that feels like it should roll over the ending and credits of every good cop/bad cop buddy movie from hereon.

We highly recommend checking this out; it's available over at Doug Hoyer's bandcamp.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Dial Ups - Hangups (2019)

Seems like a good day to start into the small stack of tapes on our desk here at the CCPS. This one is sitting at the top of the pile - three quick blasts of mod rock from the Dial Ups, which is kind of a continuation of Daaren Boreham's prior project(s). The Dial Ups keeps Boreham paired with Garden Party keyboardist Rosemary Stewart, and adds in bassist Alana Thibault and drummer Glen Beauchamp (who we last saw in the fantastic Synthetiques). We're kind of sad that this is so short, and only includes on of the band's originals (which is solid), but the pair of well-chosen covers - tracks originally by Q65 and the Miracle Workers - highlight the Dial Ups' 60s revival sound.

Like many of Boreham's projects, this one has a limited internet presence (okay, they are on the Instagram). We're not sure where to get this tape (other than from the band themselves).

Edit: sounds like you might be able to get this at Blackbyrd...

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Mozart's Rage - Resurrection (1997)

We're at the last of our CDs for this round of posting (and maybe this year, unless we manage to dig anymore out of a basement somewhere), and we're closing things out with another disc from Mozart's Rage - which, thanks to the interesting cover layout, has done some interesting things to the layout of this webpage.

This CD is less of a remix-focused affair than the one we posted earlier, so a better indicator of the band's sound - we think? From what we've gleaned from the band's facebook page, this would have been put out towards the end of their career. Listening through this, we're getting a little nostalgic for the Warehouse, even despite their sketchy member's only policy thing (well, more of a guideline, from what we could tell).

Rage on!

Saturday, 21 September 2019

James Keelaghan and Oscar Lopez - Compadres (1997)

Have we told this story before? About how, back in the day, we saw a bunch of (okay, at least two) amazing shows in the Black Lounge with the super duo of James Keelaghan and Oscar Lopez? No? Yes? We can't remember what stories we've told before, and we're too lazy to dig through old posts to confirm.

They were pretty magical, entertaining shows, with the easy friendship between Keelaghan and Lopez matching the interplay of their guitars and voices. This CD is a more polished affair than those loose shows, filling their sound out with bass and percussion.

We're not sure about the rights to this, so we'll point you to stream it on the evil Spotify.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Danielle French - Me, Myself & I (1995)

Singer-songwriter Danielle French has been a fixture in the city for over 20 years (obviously, given the date attached to this post), and this is, uh, her debut CD. We made the mistake a reading the blurb about this disc on her website, and now we can't unhear the comparisons to Jane Sibbery. Which isn't a bad thing.

Get it via French's CDBaby store.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Karl Roth - Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (1994)

Back when we did the Calgary Songs Project with Kenna Burima, we were trying to figure out if there was a way to bring in a representative for our city's jazz scene, and some one recommended Karl Roth's "Everybody Wants to be a Cat." We discounted it at the time since it wasn't an original composition, so it's good to have it here now. This is, we think, the original CD version of Karl Roth's signature jazz violin, guaranteed to keep your toes tapping (thanks in part to drums by the Unusuals' Ian Grant).

We think this was re-released with a different running order, and is available from Roth's CDBaby store.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Sonhouse - The Sensual Being (1993)

We never wanted to have to invoke the name of Jane's Addiction in a post ever again, but yet, here we are.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Thorazine - Seed the Black Sky (1999)

So, as you know, the CCPS isn't really conversant in metal, and certainly what this kids call death metal is a couple steps too far out of our limited area of knowledge. Thankfully, we can point you over to Beatroute for a bit more of a history of the band.

Get seeded here.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Lazablasta - Blue Prints (1999)

Lazablasta delved into territory that few Calgary bands dared, playing an electronica-based rock that was clearly influenced by downtempo, UK-based bands like early Massive Attack. And it has Mike Bressanutti on drums!

Get it here.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Lonnie James - Dee-o (1999)

We should probably label this post as miscellany, as we think this was released while former Cutz drummer Lonnie James was based in Toronto, probably in and around the time he was playing with the Super Friendz. It's hard not to invoke the name of the late, great Grant Hart - not just because we're laze and he's a drummer-turned-singer/songwriter, but because Lonnie James kinda sounds like Grant Hart, and his songs have a similar aesthetic.

Anyways, grab it here.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Chantal Vitalis - Just Looking (1999)

We're big fans of singer-songwriter Chantal Vitalis (only partly because of her sly sense of humour), so it's nice to share this EP of stripped down tunes, all of which showed up on her 2002 full-length CD. This is especially worth grabbing for its version of "Is My Coming Round a Problem?"

Get it here.