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.

Friday 13 September 2019

Everymen - 1996-1998 (1999)

The great thing about the late 90's was that CDs suddenly got way more accessible. And so stuff like this happened - the Everymen released all three of their prior recordings on one disc. We can't really fault them - by 1999, the only tape decks people had were in their crappy Toyotas, you know, the one their parents passed along to them for a first car. Or was that just us? Oh, and who still had a turntable in 1999?

Anyways, this is worth downloading mostly because our rips of cassettes may not be the best.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Ekseptions - Faster Falling Rockets (1999)

Here's another CD from our seemingly endless pile of, uh CDs. We spent a bunch of time trying to sort out the whole Ekseptions moniker a few years ago, and probably don't need to get too much further into that.

Thankfully, we can turn to a review from a late October '99 issue of the Straight to help flesh things out (as well as a bunch of the other CDs we've been posting - sheesh, we could have saved ourselves a lot of work by just reprinting each of these reviews...):

We should note that a bunch of folks involved in this CD - frontman Travis Davies, Mark Rudd and producer Dave Alcock - are playing in Des Arcs, a new thing with former Inferno Dave Anderson. It sounds remarkably like this CD.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Browns - Greatest Hits Volume One (1999)

Hey, it's the Browns! Another great installment of Calgary's ongoing saga of shtick bands. Frontman Jeff Caissie had reactivated them a few years ago, but we think he's moved on to other pursuits now.

Looks like the Browns have managed to get themselves (and this CD) up on bandcamp. So maybe hit that for the download?

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Nine Miles to Morgan - Great Plains (1999)

We're a bit anxious about saying too much about this CD, because last time we posted about Nine Miles to Morgan (ten years ago!), we got their lineup completely wrong. Well, not completely wrong, but significantly wrong. We're glad the comments thread is still there to remind us of our folly.

So, who was in this version of the band? Scott Bennie? Al Fraser? Cam Brass? Steve Elaschuk? If you know, maybe you can let us know?

We have so many questions for such a short EP.

Update! Thanks to the band for chiming in on the book of face and confirming that this was the lineup with Scott Bennie, Daniella Booth, Cam Brass, and Al Irving.

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Shinolas - Radio Beasts (1999)

We hate to play favourites here at the CCPS, but we do. At least we can admit it. And we're also self-aware enough to know that probably none of you care about the genius that we saw in the Shinolas.

So we're glad we have this CD to give us this platform for our weird fetish. We always had a soft spot for the Guided By Voices-ish approach they took to disposable, catchy guitar pop. We think these are re-recorded versions of songs from their multitude of tapes. Kind of a greatest hits package - so maybe if you've been trying to figure out what the hell we're on about, this may be an okay place to start.

Oh, and here's a random article about the Rat's Nest Recording Collective (from the Straight, April '99), which drummer Tom Atkinson was a key part of:

Grab the download here.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Massive Ferguson - Tractivore (1999)

Heh. Massive Ferguson. Yes, we know - Calgary is a schtick band town. But sometimes, that schtick is pretty damn good. Like the Forbidden Dimension. Early Von Zippers. And, yes, Massive Ferguson. Come one - Hutterites and a clown playing sludgy metal? So good.

This CD is a bunch of re-recorded songs from their earlier tapes (if there's one thing the Hayden brothers like doing, it's recording - check out their bandcamp as a testament to this, especially Purple Grain, their amazing Prince tribute) in a slick digital format. Along with the usual nonsense - the bonus tracks on this are especially... something. In the 90's, that 74-minute CD length was a hard drug to shake.

Get massive here.

Monday 2 September 2019

Great Uncle Bull - Hello City Limits (1999)

Well, we can't mention the Puritans without also mentioning Great Uncle Bull, Vlad Sobolewski's other band with future Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir member Judd Palmer. There's a lot of overlap between the songs on their tape (mostly traditional tunes with a couple of originals in the mix), but of course the sound on this is a whole lot clearer - which, considering the delicate instrumentation, makes a big difference. The saw isn't nearly as lost in the mix.

And that's no bull!