Tuesday 29 March 2022

Various - I Love Oscill8 (2020)

In a quick chat with Eine Kleine China's Charles Gunn, he mentioned Oscill8- which we were vaguely familiar with, but hadn't really dug into to find out more. Oscill8 bill themselves as a live music collective - they're based here in Calgary, but include artists from across Western Canada. This tape is the first of a series of compilations they've put out - and as you can expect from a collective, it's spans a bunch of styles within electronic music but all of a remarkably high quality. The standout tracks on here come from Jayne Murray's a toy rabbit (which blends samples and synths together in a compelling blend that's not unlike Eine Kleine China's work) and Michael Weicker's Weep o mine eyes (which keeps to a sparser sound that explores textures and nuances in sound).  

Get this tape via the Oscill8 bancamp and keep your eyes on their instagram for upcoming events.

Monday 28 March 2022

David Lavoie and Carson Tworow - Urban Repurpose (2021)

Continuing our exploration of the Inner Ocean Records catalogue, we have this tape from Calgary-based trumpeter/guitarist David Lavoie and Vancouver electronic musician Carson Tworow. Despite being electonic-based, the songs on here retain an organic warmth as they bounce from lo-fi hip hop beats to neo-soul. A lot of this reminds us of the work of Kruder & Dorfmeister, which is a pretty great touchpoint.

Get it via the Inner Ocean Bandcamp

Sunday 27 March 2022

Carsten Rubeling - Volk//People (2019)

We've been following the work of Calgary's Inner Ocean Records for several years, but had neglected to feature them here at the CCPS - partly because (a) the label has a LOT of releases under their belt and (b) we had a hard time figuring out which artists were Calgarian. Well, we finally spent a bit of time and picked out a couple to feature here - and, yes, it's about goddam time, seeing as Inner Ocean is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. 

This first tape (from a few years ago) is from Calgary-based trombonist and composer Carsten Rubeling and it stays true the breezy feeling of Inner Ocean's releases, with a subtle but compelling soul- and hip hop-influenced jazz. Rubeling is backed by an excellent group of musicians that includes Sinistrio's Steve Fletcher (who we're kind of surprised we haven't mentioned before here). 

It's great listening for a lazy, sunny Sunday - and you can get it from the Inner Oceans Records bandcamp.

Saturday 26 March 2022

Kontact - First Contact (2022)

We got more metal last bandcamp Friday, this time in a more traditional heavy metal vein. This debut from Kontact (featuring members of Blackrat and Traveler) has a tasty sci-fi theme and describe themselves as a blend of Judas Priest and Voivod - to our ringing ears, that sounds pretty apt. Except with growlier vocals - which we think suits these songs' stories of barbarians and pharaohs. 

There is some excellent riffage on here that we quite like. Get your copy over at the Kontact bandcamp.

Friday 25 March 2022

Cultist - Manic Despair (2022)

We went on a bit of a shopping spree last bandcamp Friday and picked up a few things that hadn't crossed our radar before. The first is this one from local death metallers Cultist. This is the band's third release (including a split EP with Victoria's Euthanized). As you know, we're not super conversant in metal, but we can report that this is everything we'd hope for in the genre and more - the added synth textures that sneak in on occasion are a tasty addition to the mix. If you're looking for a better sense of what this sounds like, we'll point you over to one of the many reviews from more knowledgeable sources.

Or you can just hit the Cultist bandcamp for a listen or to get your own copy.

Thursday 24 March 2022

Weir/Adolyne - Dummies (2022)


Here's something we're really excited about - a split tape featuring two heavy bands covering Portishead tunes. Saskatoon's Adolyne have a more straight-up take on "Glory Box" which while quite good pales in comparison to the Weir's full on assimilation of "Roads." Their version retains a hint of the song's iconic Rhodes riff but wraps it in a nice sludgy feeling that takes Portishead's melancholy to a whole new level. Topping the whole package off is a pair of remixes on side two by experimental musician Chad Munson.

Sadly, this was a limited edition tape that looks like it was a physical-only release. So we have nowhere to point you to, other than perhaps the next Weir gig.

Thursday 10 March 2022

Garry Jones and Doug Wong - A Wedding Invitation (1981)

Well, here's the last Doug Wong-related single in our archive (to date!). This is a fun one, produced for the wedding of teacher and children's entertainer Garry Jones to Barb Craig. Wong and Jones had collaborated on the 1979 children's album, Wanda the Little Wizard, which gets referenced on side one of this single. Wong narrates the invitation (right down to reciting the number to call to RSVP) before turning side two over to Bev Sjoberg for the Richard Harrow-penned "Wedding Song."

It's a pretty fun and unique way to celebrate a wedding.

Wednesday 9 March 2022

Creeps - Bums and Scum (1982), Western Bums - Oh, Where Did My Paycheck Go? (1982)

In 1982, Doug Wong's Mootown Records label was brought back to life for a pair of novelty singles - both with a bit of political narrative from the times. The first, the Creeps' "Bums and Scum" was likely inspired by Raplh Klein's infamous comments about bums and creeps who were looking for work in the city. "Oh, Where Did My Paycheck Go?" covers the more timeless topic of, well, never having enough cash.

The article above attributes both singles to the same artist, and has a different title for the Creeps' single, which confuses us. But we're often confused - especially by the catalog numbers of these (1140 and 960), which make use wonder if those local radio stations had something to do with these.

We do appreciate the stickers that came with the Western Bums' single - we'll likely be putting these to good use around the CCPS offices.

Get some Mootown action here.

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Billy Stone - Denim & Lace/A Face In A Picture (1977)

We've got a few more Doug Wong-produced singles to go before we move on to... well, we're not sure what we're moving on to after this. 

Mootown Records was kind of a pre-cursor to all the Doug Wong Music releases we've been featuring. Around 1977, it looks like the label released at least three singles including this one and another from Judy Reimer (who we've since learned was one of the Reimer Sisters - which we SHOULD have been able to figure out, but we're slow).  

We're not sure if the Country Music Lovers Association mentioned in that article ever came to fruition - or if there were more than three singles on Mootown. In 1979 Wong switched gears and put out a fwe singles on the Aurora Records imprint before going with DWM. 

Get Billy Stone's single here.

Monday 7 March 2022

Prairie Crossing - Working Blues/Minstrel Man (1989)

Well, here's the last DWM-numbered single in our collection. Prairie Crossing were the house band at the Saturday Night Special folk club, and these two track also appear on the band's Doug Wong Music-manufactured LP (we'll get to it someday, trust us). What's kind of remarkable is that bassist Charles (Chuck) Frank is still playing with the club's current house band, the Beagle Boys

Doug Wong Music put out about 105 singles that have a DWM catalogue number - there are a couple of latter singles that we can't confirm if they were actually produced. But We've shared everything we've got - there are about eight that we still need to get our mitts on, but they're, well, the pricey ones.

Get today's single here!

Sunday 6 March 2022

Dale Lodder - Demon (1981)

HUGE thanks to Rick Leclerc for getting in touch with us an offering up another Doug Wong Music goodie just as we were getting to the bottom of the pile... And this is a pretty great single that we're thrilled to have in the collection.

Dale Lodder ran Phantom Sound Studios and issued a couple of singles on the DWM sub-label Ghostrax Records, one by Susan Smith and this by the man himself. There's a quick mention of Lodder in this article by Patrick Tivy (which is mostly about Doug Wong (we'll get to posting that Wanda LP someday)).

This single reminds us of some of the Stampeders' singles - the A side is a pretty great hard rocker, while the B side is a quirky but upbeat number. Both sides show off both Lodder's studio AND guitar chops.

And you can hear them here!

Saturday 5 March 2022

Sylvia Turner - We'll Lock The World Out (1989)

We're nearing the end of our stack of Doug Wong Music singles, which is something that makes us sadder than you can imagine. But we've got this single for today - which comes with a great story about singer Sylvia Turner's upbringing and path to Alberta, and her underlying love of singing. This is kind of an odd country single - we almost think the backing track is driven by some sort of rhythm machine (which would make sense, since the instruments are credited to one person). But Turner's peppy, romantic tunes keep things bopping along without getting bogged down.

Get it here.

Friday 4 March 2022

Ursula! - Mommy, Don't Leave Me/The Magic Web (1983)

The file in the Doug Wong archives for this single from German-born singer Ursula! is packed full of goodies. It's got two press kits, including bios that track her from her move as a child to Canada, her early days in Toronto's folk scene learning her first guitar chords from Gordon Lightfoot, playing throughout the US and Canada, and finally landing in Edmonton where she was based when she made this record. There's also a glossy 8x10 photo, her January 1983 show itinerary, and an extensive list of songs she can play in her sets that ranges from "Both Sides Now" to "YMCA." And the chords and lyrics for her two songs on this single, which are narrative-heavy tunes in a country vein. 

This is the sort of thing we've really enjoyed about the Doug Wong archives, hitting little caches of stuff like this. It's pretty fun - even if Ursula! doesn't count as a Calgary artist. 

But you can get her single here!

Thursday 3 March 2022

Jim Dorin/Pat Hatherly - Dreamin'/Mama's Gonna Ride Again (1986)

We posted a single from Pat Hatherly last year when we were working through all of the Heart Records releases, so finding this single in a thrift store in High River was pretty great. Another Doug Wong Music single found in the wild! Hatherly's B side is a pretty fun honky tonker, but it's Jim Dorin's laid back instrumental "Dreamin'" that we enjoy the most on here.

Dorin has some interesting credits to his name, and it looks like he's still active. And the download is here!

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Judy Reimer - Which Way Will I Be Tomorrow (1980), Dale Archibald - Hold Me Close (1985)

We're going to pair these two singles together because (a) they're both country and (b) we can't really tell you anything about either artist. We had posted a single by Judy Reimer on Westmount Records a few months ago, and the fog around her hasn't lifted in that time. The files from the Doug Wong archives don't have any additional info, either.

So maybe just grab the download?

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Billy & Olsen - Hey I Really Like You/Just Dreaming About My Lady (1981)

We were a bit puzzled by the Moose Factory logo on this single, until we went looking through the Calgary Herald archives... For those who weren't of drinking age in the year 1981, we've got the wisdom of Jim Davies to guide us on this one:

Yup, just next door to the future home of the Night Gallery was the Moose Factory - part lounge, part discotheque. Billy & Olsen were one of the regular attractions there - we're not exactly sure how/why this country-tinged R&B single got the Moose Factory logo on it, maybe it was a promo type thing?

Let's assume it was - see you in the lounge!