The Manx recently announced that they’ll be featuring some DJs and artists Sunday and Monday nights to put that new sound system to use. Check out the upcoming lineup and dates, should be a great month with such great minds spinning. Each month’s artwork is done by a different local artist too, February’s poster is done by Eric Schallenberg, who has adorned our city with some great posters in the past.
with Ottawa’s Roberta Bondar(cough…. you can read more about this great band in Issue 2 of Herd Magazine released a couple days ago in stores around Ottawa… cough).
Herd Magazine is presenting the show tonight, and in anticipation have released an exclusive first look at new material from their new album Vieux Loup. The song is called ”Rapids (Mère de les chaudières)” and is filmed by the ever so talented Pat Bolduc for the Herd Mag Sessions. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this wonderful present that The Acorn and Herd Mag have dropped on us. Hope to see you tonight in Wakefield to hear some new tracks and celebrate!
Rolf Klausener with vocals and guitar, Adam Saikaley on keys, Pat Johnson on drums, and Jordan Howard on guitar.
London, Ontario’s Wild Domestic is a band that has an ability to draw you into their music, captivate your senses, and then leave you wanting more. The band is with Out Of Sound, a London-based label with bands like WTCHS (Hamilton), Lonnie in the Garden (London), and Say Domino! under their purview. I sat down with them before their show at Pressed on Saturday to discuss their music, the band, and what they have up their sleeves for the coming year. They are currently on a short tour with Lonnie, expanding their horizons beyond London and proving that just because you come from a smaller city doesn’t mean your audience has to be small.
“I think it’s really easy to over saturate the market. You don’t have a very wide demographic to present to. In London especially, there’s a bureaucratic and political aspect to being in a town with a big university and college.”
“Those institutions and student organizations have the money to bring in big acts, and it often stifles other core urban venues. On the flip side, because things are so insular, you really get to know the people you like to work with (Like Savanah and Adam from Out of Sound). With the idea of over saturation, you have to be careful about playing too much. We played as much as we could for a while and we unknowingly over saturated the scene in London. Even in Sarnia, we over-played it and the same thing happened. Now we play every 4-6 months, the magic combination. We had a music teacher that specifically told us not to get stuck in London. Even though there is great support there, it’s so easy to get stuck. We have bigger aspirations.”
The band is actually from Sarnia, Ontario, and the guys were all childhood friends but didn’t start playing as a band until they moved to London. Once together, they began writing material and playing coffee shops and other local establishments. Like many groups, they have taken many forms, and even one time called themselves Kid Skeleton – a 7-piece outfit with a trumpet. In this evolution, they honed their skills as each member brought different abilities to the table.
“There’s a lot of people in the band, and frequently it so happens that someone comes with a riff or a groove in mind – just as a base – then we kind of build from that.”
“Sometimes that ends up being the infrastructure of the song and go with that, or it may just be one of the steps, or we might get rid of a bunch of things and what’s left is what we go with. It usually stems from one or two people. But it’s always a collaboration.”
Now a 5-piece, the band took the stage at Pressed and played several tracks from their 2011 debut self-titled release. One thing that is pretty cool about them is their instrumentation. With every member taking on an instrumental role, most of their songs are driven by the music and not lyrics. It’s one thing that really made Wild Domestic stand out for me – their ability to create layers of instrumentals and sounds that keep you listening. Sometimes instrumental tracks can get boring or repetitive, but their songs tend to come in waves. You get a wave of heavy percussion, then a seamless transition into a more dreamy/reverb-driven guitar part, and so on. The opening track “Universally Known/Already Forgotten” on their record is a perfect example of this dynamic.
“For us the instrumentation always comes first, it’s what we work on the most. It’s an unspoken, unconscious thing for us that we want to get the instrumentation as strong as possible. So that approach sometimes doesn’t leave room for vocals because it would muddle things up a bit.”
“I think a lot of the music we’ve written doesn’t have space for putting words in. It just wouldn’t fit well. Sometimes we think lyrics could go one place or another, but we don’t want it to feel forced. It’s not worth it for us to force something into the music.”
Something else that stood out to me right away was their use of dual drum kits. The song “What Once Ran Wild” begins with the two of them simultaneously unleashing on the drums, and as the song progresses, guiding the buildup and climactic parts, and then bringing things back down again. It was especially interesting to see Nate and Devon move as exact mirrors of each other on stage, then move into separate parts, and then come back together as if they were pre-programmed to do so.
“Our big dilemma was there was already three guitar players so we had to figure out who was playing what. So we decided to go with two drums, we weirded things up almost by necessity. We had to do something differently with so many people.”
It’s exciting that these guys will be looking to write more in 2013. I feel as though their style can really accommodate a lot of experimentation and incorporation of new arrangements and sounds. Right now they’re pretty stoked about a 7” split they are included on, which is the second edition that Out of Sound Records has released.
“It’s a great opportunity to get a good bill together and get a bunch of artists on one release. Fairly short, easily consumed so to speak.”
The 7” split includes Wild Domestic (London), Bleet(Guelph), I Smell Blood(London), and WTCHS (Hamilton) – all great bands on the Out of Sounds label. Keep an ear out for new music and more tour announcements, as the band is hoping to get an East Coast trip under their belt. Going out west is a goal of theirs too, and they want to make 2013 that year.
Rolf Klausener of The Acorn. Photo Credit: Pat Bolduc
I sat down with Rolf Klausener last week for Ottawa Magazine and had an amazing chat. He was kind enough to invite me into his home, and we started with a cup of coffee (and a tiny bit of Baileys) – a necessary beginning to any in-depth conversation. I must say, I learned a lot about Ottawa that afternoon as he opened up about a lot of different things. With new music on the way from The Acorn, as well as a handful of fascinating projects he is involved with, there was no shortage of things to talk about. They’re playing at Blacksheep Inn with Roberta Bondar + Kitchen Party on January 25. Here is the full version of the interview, I hope you get as much out of his words as I did.
Rolf Klausener is someone who lets creativity guide him through his journey through life. Not only is he lead singer and principal songwriter of one of Ottawa’s strongest indie music exports in the last decade, The Acorn, but also a unique personality that embodies the transformation of Ottawa’s arts and culture scene over the years. For almost the better part of a decade, Klausener has gone through the highs and lows of being a local musician – and at times he questioned whether Ottawa is the right place for an artist to be. As The Acorn burst onto the international touring circuit in the mid-2000’s alongside bands like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Calexico and Elbow, they received critical praise for albums such as Glory Hope Mountain (2005) and No Ghost (2010).
With the band going through a transition phase in the last few years, Klausener has taken the opportunity to explore the depths of his creative desires in different ways. His new project called Silkken Laumann is influenced by his fascination with dance music and DJ culture. He is also a curator of a brand new boutique music, arts, and food festival called Arboretum, which succeeded in its goal of creating a “cultural snapshot” of Ottawa in its 2012 debut. Matias Muñoz speaks with Klausener about his many projects, his growth as an artist in Ottawa, and how the city’s arts and culture scene has transformed over the past decade.
You’ve had a busy year. How has 2012 stood out for you?
It’s funny, I feel like 2012 was one of the quietest years of my life as far as music is concerned. I guess what’s changed the most is that 2012 is the first year I’ve had completely off touring with my band The Acorn. Since the band was in a transition phase, I began working on putting together this new festival Arboretum most of the year, and then also had some new singles come to light in a new music project called Silkken Laumann with my friends Adam Saikaley and Pat Johnson. That was really born out of spending all this time at home in Ottawa, getting to know all the DJ culture that is so pervasive and so awesome in the city. I wasn’t able to get into all that when touring so much with The Acorn.
2011 was really my first year off significantly from the road, and I spend that year exploring all these different facets of the city. I started working at Arts Court, I started working at The Manx, and so I began getting exposed to the arts, restaurant, and food culture. Then 2012 was the year I spent going to all the restaurants, meeting all the chefs, and putting that all into Arboretum and these external projects.
What inspired you to get involved in all these projects? How did you get involved?
My whole life I had moved around, I came from Montreal when I was 12 to Ottawa. I never had groups of friends, I never felt like I was part of a clique, I never had that. About 12 years ago, I kind of felt like “wow, I think Ottawa’s my home” and felt an identity in the city for the first time. I’ve lived in other cities and I’ve visited several incredible cities all around the world, but I’ve always felt like Ottawa is a city on the brink. It has a lot of heart and is filled with so many creative and inspiring people.
As I found a home here, I’ve also really wanted to see the city find its own cultural identity. Arboretum was really born out of my incredible friendships. It came out of dialogue, and the fact that some of us were tired of going to other cities to go see small boutique festivals. Why not create our own? We were just lazy, really. We didn’t want to drive to other cities for good music, and it’s something I feel like Ottawa is ready for. So that’s why Arboretum came to be.
Silkken Laumann was something I’d been doing already with Pat Johnson for three years – it’s really just our love of dance music taking on a tangible form. I was listening to music and DJing parties in high school before I even picked up a guitar. I feel like Silkken Laumann and DJing now is just me feeling more comfortable expressing that part of myself. When I started playing the guitar and playing with The Acorn, it felt like that was my identity. I don’t go to dance nights or listen to lots of DJs, I don’t know why there was that rebellion there. Funny enough, when The Acorn would be on tour, the one thing we would do together is try and find a dance night and go dancing. So that side of me was always there, it’s just more out in the open now.
On top of your musical endeavours, you’re also involved with SAW Video and the Arboretum Music+Arts Festival. How do you balance all these commitments?
Creative people have lots of interests – I’m jealous of people that have a singular focus. I don’t say “creative people” with any sort of mysticism or sense that we are privileged in some way (it can be a curse). What I think is more important than balance is not seeing all these interests as different things, but as part of a whole. That’s something I’m trying to do more now in this part of my life, realize that my work at SAW Video and creating the festival and expressing myself musically, or even designing a poster. It’s all part of the same thing. The challenge now is to figure out how these things are all similar rather than how they are all different and making my life more complicated. They enrich my life. So what I try and do is focus on a thing when it needs to be done, and as I’m sure any creative person will testify, your attention span will sometimes waver. I don’t really take breaks — I just focus on other things.
So it’s just staying true to that, expressing a different part of yourself at different times. The most important part of that is that you feel passionate and inspired by what you do. To answer your question, I don’t really balance all these things. I just accept them as thing that I do, and accept them as different facets of the whole.
You’ve been involved in Ottawa’s arts and culture for a long time. How have things changed over the years?
Oh, it’s amazing. When I was 22 or 23 starting to play live with The Recoilers and Kelp Records had just moved to Ottawa, there were some incredibly talented people in the city. To give you an idea of the scene at the time, Jim Bryson was putting out his first record, Kathleen Edwards was putting out her first album, and DJ nights were scarce. Trevor Walker had a residency at Mercury Lounge, the DJ crew Timekode didn’t exist, and we didn’t have any of the dance nights at Babylon happening either. No one really toured, and there were also way more clubs then there are now. But there was a crazy talent pool here, like Jeremy Gara (drummer of The Arcade Fire) played in a bunch of local bands – he’s from Ottawa. Some of the other guys in The Arcade Fire were also living here at the time or had just moved to Montreal.
Things were really different in 2003, the scenes were all really disparate. The punk scene didn’t talk to the indie art-rock people and lived in its own bubble. Snailhouse was here, Kepler was here, and the bands Jeremy Gara was with were all a part of that art-rock scene. That was the scene that I fell into a bit more, and there was also a folk scene that didn’t really talk to anyone either.
So it was weird, Ottawa had a very insular scene but very disparate at the same time – no one really talked to each other. Very few of us went outside our city borders, and if you think about it, that’s pretty self-destructive. And oddly enough, people moved away. Mike Feuerstack and Jeremy Gara moved to Montreal, Samir who did Keppler and Weights & Measures moved to Toronto, Kathleen Edwards moved there too and became a huge success.
After my band played here for five years without touring, I needed something different. I want to see the world, I want to tour – and that’s how The Acorn came to be. It started off by me wanting to do art and my own music, but then I wanted to get out on the road and tour. That’s the city I left behind. Our second EP called Blankets is all about our resentment for the city, our resentment for the scene. People held onto the city for comfort, but it didn’t grow it just sat there and seemingly started to rot.
So seven years went by, and when I came back to Ottawa and off the road in 2011 I was completely blown away by what had happen. Clubs were closing down all over the city. As all these places closed, the contrast to that was 10 or 12 new restaurants opened. There was a community of restaurants and a food scene had developed where everyone was talking to each other, and everyone communicated. The punk scene had merged into the Ottawa Explosion scene that was born out of the Gaga Fest people, and all of a sudden they had their own festival and they were bringing in like 60 bands each spring to do the Ottawa Explosion festival. There were like 12 awesome DJ nights every month, like Timekode, Kitchen Party, Grind, Shameless, Grillz & Glam – a lot of them at Babylon.
What had also come to fruition is the solidification of social media, as trite as that sounds. When I started doing my own shows in 2005, I would go plaster the whole city in posters and bug Xpress, and bug everybody. Now it’s so easy, it’s incredible. If you have 200 or 300 people you really want to know about your event, then it’s so easy to let them know. I don’t want to give too much credit to Facebook, but it’s amazing to see your city’s whole cultural fabric and patchwork there. If you want to dabble in it, you can, and that was so hard to do back then. You had to put in so much effort and really run around to do that seven or eight years ago. I used to think of myself as a cultural chameleon but I feel like everyone is like that now. Your belonging to a cultural or community niche really has no bearing any more. So that’s ubiquitous, every city in the world now does that.
What is the current state of the arts here?
In relation to Ottawa, this weaving of social fabric was exactly what the city needed. It was a big town where some neat things were happening but there wasn’t a way to see it as a whole. But now I see Ottawa as a small city where everyone is talking and everyone is trying to engage one another in creating something momentous, something simple, but something huge. I can honestly say that the last two years in the city are the most exciting, invigourating, and inspiring that I’ve seen in the last 15 years here in Ottawa. Not to say that cool things weren’t happening before, but more than ever, the dreams I had for Ottawa are actually happening. I look around and I can’t choose what to do each week, there’s too much! I remember thinking 10 years ago, “I wish there was too much to do on any given weekend”, because back then there were like two things a month that I would look forward to.
I look at all these people and I know they feel the same way I do. These cultural mavens in the city, like Stephanie Vicente of Herd Magazine, Kelly Brisson of The Gouda Life, chef Steve Mitten of Murray Street, Adam Kronick of Babylon, Emmanuel Sayer who does Ottawa Explosion, and Jon Bartlett of Kelp Records – they all feel that way. There are so many people who are so hungry to see this city keep moving. It felt like 12 years ago was the final heat in an Olympic race, and there were eight racers in the blocks still tying their show laces. Now it feels like their half way around their first lap, and they are hustling. That’s what the city has – hustle. It never used to have that.
Is that what keeps you here? Why did you decide to stay in Ottawa?
Well six years ago when The Acorn was building things up, we had gotten our grant to do Glory Hope Mountain and we were in the studio to do our third recording Tin Fist. Our drummer at the time Jeffery Maleki moved to Montreal and he was trying to get me to come with him. It was partially me chickening out, but I had also moved into this great new house in Ottawa and I realized that this was the house where The Acorn would record our next record. I didn’t want to leave that, and I also felt like my work wasn’t done here in this city. So I didn’t move. But I was really close, there was one month where I was making the plans to move – looking at apartments, I had a girlfriend in Montreal at the time, but I thank my lucky stars I didn’t move. I realize now that I’m part of a community of people that are trying to make the city a better place, and in my own small contributions I hope I am too. I would rather be here in Ottawa making whatever contributions I can, than be in cities like Montreal or Toronto that already have hundreds of people making those contributions there.
Can you describe what The Acorn is to you, and how it might describe certain aspects of who you are?
My great uncle in Switzerland put together a book of our family history and it goes way back to 1319. My family shield is in here, too. My father had passed away and my mom thought it was time I have this book, and so when I was looking for a name I looked to my family’s coat of arms. The first name for the band was Drei Eicheln Musik, which means “Three Acorns Music”. I was just starting, and that was my first gig as part of the Kelp Records family.
So, more than anything, The Acorn has always been an expression of my deepest personal thoughts. It started off as this super honest and innocent expression of my thoughts with The Pink Ghosts, when there were only three of us and it was a tribute to Ottawa. We called it that because it was inspired the Pink family who settled in the Gatineau Hills, and some of the artists in town like Amy Thompson. It was mostly instrumental, but when I listen to that record now it really just sounds like Ottawa in the summer. That’s all it was supposed to be, and it became so much more. It became a vehicle for touring and meeting people all over the world, as well as a vehicle for expressing my thoughts about the city, my family’s history and all that.
But then in 2010, I felt like I lost that. It became my job and it became a way for me to pay my hydro bill. So I needed two years to dismantle the band and take a step back from all that. And now I think it means more to me now than it did in the very beginning, when we were the most successful. The Acorn project is just a way for me to look at my most intimate, honest thoughts and express them.
What does 2013 have in store for you?
I have a few plans. Silkken Laumann finished two singles last year, so we’re looking to finish a record for that. We’re also looking to finish the new Acorn record hopefully sooner than later. We’re playing a big show on January 25 with Ottawa’s Roberta Bondar and a Kitchen Party after party. So that will be a testing ground for some of the new songs, and to see whether the time off has allowed us to shape the project into something new that we can feel excited about again. We’re also planning the new Arboretum Festival for the upcoming year.
I’m just looking to see how I can contribute to Ottawa in a bigger way. I’m really interested in working with the city to understand why certain roadblocks exist that make cultural development more difficult here. I’m looking to facilitate those things for me and my friends, and those who want to create art and cultural events in Ottawa.
Claude Munson works hard. When you meet him, there’s an instantaneous spark of life that radiates from his words and demeanour. For the last two years, he and his band The Storm Outside have been focusing their creative strengths on putting together their new self-titled full-length LP, released in December 2012 through Up & UP Music. Munson has been on the local music circuit for a while now, playing original material at open mics to start, building his name and fan base through various projects such as his former band Marabou, and playing locally as a solo artist at small venues around town. It seems like fate eventually drew the unique talents of each band member together, creating a chemistry that sees songs come together on the album so naturally. The album deals with various themes and motifs, such as fear and loneliness, and is a true journey from start to finish. Everything passed has led he and his band mates to this.
The band consists of four permanent members: Philippe Charbonneau on the (haunting) stand-up bass, Jean-François Delaquis on electric and slide guitar, brother Pascal Delaquis on drums, and of course, storyteller and vocalist Claude Munson. The album is rounded out by the inclusion of special guests Ellorie Mcknight (viola, cello) and Louis-Philippe Robillard (trumpet, harmonica) – adding an extra bit of depth to an album with an already immersive sound. At the December 20, 2012 CD Release Party at Mercury Lounge, the band blew everyone at the sold out event away with an incredible, mesmerizing set. Their next performances will be at the one and only Blacksheep Inn with Sound of Lions January 19th, and February 17th at Café Campus in Montreal.
I sat down with Munson to discuss the album, the band, and where some of the music comes from.
Tell me a bit about The Storm Outside. How has playing in a band differed from your solo endeavours?
It’s really fun to play with a band. I’ve been playing solo for a while because that’s just what I started doing. But when I met these guys, there was this cohesion and chemistry that takes place on stage or at practice. You don’t even have to say anything verbally, it just happens musically and we try to capture that. I would say it really adds to my solo music too, but there’s something to be said about playing alone, too. I think you’re much more in touch with your instrument and voice.
How did you guys meet? When did that chemistry first happen?
Well, I started playing open mics on my own all over town, places like Café Nostalgica and we just started playing and jamming songs in different circles. Not necessarily with this band, but with other singers and players – we got this band together called Marabou. It was a 7-piece French-Folk Gypsy-Reggae thing, and it was a lot of fun. We had really danceable music, and that’s when I met the drummer Pascal Delaquis and the guitarist Jean-François Delaquis who are brothers. So in rehearsals we started practicing, and there was a bit of shyness at first about what to do. And I kept doing stuff with them over the years, and as things calmed down a bit with that band, we started taking on some of my own songs. I started booking shows – I had played solo and built a bit of a base doing house shows and places like Umi Café. So we had a strong trio, and then a few months later we got the bass player Phil Charbonneau on board as well. I really wanted an upright bass player – it brings an acoustic, rustic sound that we were going for on the new album.
How did you personally get into music?
It’s sort of hard to say, these days I don’t think about it too much about why I do it, I just kind of do it. I started playing music in Grade 4 and really got into the violin. I wanted to get into the violin because I listed to a lot of Celtic music with my parents, like Ashley MacIsaac and that sort of thing. I had a teacher in school who replaced library class with a music sing-along and we would sing these French songs that were called “La chansons à répondre” and he would play the songs and we’d sing back. It was really inspiring, the group thing, and the guitar was mesmerizing. So I started playing guitar in Grade 6 and went to a really artistic high school and jammed with lots of people. That’s really when I really fell in love with music, you gain so much clarity and feeling from it. And that’s where the song Driftwood came from, it was all sort of in chunks in the early stages. It didn’t have to do with a girl or sadness or anything like that. The lyrics changed a lot, but the chords and structure were there, it all kind of happened in a night.
Can you explain the concept behind Driftwood?
Well the music itself came from a mix of feelings I was experiencing, I was working at a café and I was alone a lot and friends were further away. Not necessarily a complete absence of friends, but the close ones weren’t right there. And you go through times when you’re lonely and I thought about times when I was being picked on in school and overcoming it, and I just kind of drift away from it. It’s a song that makes me realize through my emotions that I’m very unique and there’s this underlying mission and self-awareness I had to go through. So it’s a song about loneliness, and then finding a place where you are good – coming back to yourself. Making these realizations that life is challenging, but there’s ways to overcome that.
Does the rest of the album go along with the theme of loneliness and self-discovery?
Yeah, well there are a few tunes that are about sadness and fear. I talk about that a lot because myself, and most people, grow up with a lot of fear. In high school I never spoke or talked to anyone, but in my social circles I was very talkative. So there was frustration there, like why am I so shy when the finger is pointed at me? And why am I afraid to express my emotions and feeling? The song Out The Door is about my fear of performance, I was really afraid to sing in front of people. So I closed my eyes and finally the lyrics came, I had recorded the chords and came up with structure earlier on and they were just about that insecurity of performance.
What approach did you take to writing the album?
I’m the principal songwriter, but there are so many integral elements that the band contributes, and they add such important arrangements to the album. We did quite a bit of over-dubbing because we had the freedom to do that, it became kind of an add-on game in the end and I was really excited about that. It really gave me the freedom to explore the ideas in my head I had about certain songs, and really helped define the parts we play live. But there are also three songs on the album that are recorded live off the floor, which is a whole other experience. We just jammed out and it sounded really tight. Some songs I wrote in the earlier stages about three years ago, and then others I wrote in the middle stage in between. I had been working with the drummer and guitarist for over a year before we met. Once we had the group dynamic going, their suggestions were incredible and things kind of created themselves. There was something very natural going on and that’s where the name The Storm Outside came from – like, here’s Claude’s songs and the sound of the exterior added to it, these buddies of his. Kind of like a storm, and it all makes sense, it’s crazy and the rain’s falling and you’re in it. It just feels so natural, so whole.
Do you have any plans to tour in 2013?
Yeah, I’ve really wanted to kick myself in the ass and get on the road, hitchhiking and play wherever I could. I have that wandering vagabond in me like many artists do. It’s just been kind of limited because I felt like I needed a strong recording of what I’d been doing, and once that happened it became a totally different thing. Now we have an album and we can do it, our first gig outside Ottawa is in Montreal on February 17th at Café Campus, which should be really fun. We’ve started applying to festivals too, so we’re waiting to hear on that. If we can get in then we can start booking bigger events. I’m from the East Coast so I have this desire to bring my music there. With the imagery of the album and everything, I feel like we’re bound to make it there eventually.
Are there songs that you hold really close on the album?
Well Driftwood is the strongest expression of the album, and then you have recurring motifs and themes through the rest of the songs. We got a sound that we really liked and held onto that for most of the tracks. Each song has a quality that brings me back to a place where I wrote that song. So the newer ones on the album, like Tumble Over, are more representative of where I’ve been emotionally the last year and a half. Whistle Train is a really dark and fun tune to play too. The Gaslight is my favourite, it’s in the middle of the album and it’s one we don’t play live. I wrote it on ukulele and I played it at a few open mics early on. We transformed it into the experimental jam, it has the oldest vocals on the record, it’s got something weird in it. I remember listening to it and thinking I don’t like it, but I love it. It’s not how I meant it to sound, but let’s keep it because it has this thing about it. It sounds like you’re out in the middle of the ocean and there’s foghorns… maybe stoned? I don’t know.
Why did you decide to go with a full-length over a shorter EP?
Well I got a grant to record this album. We started doing an EP and then we decided on the LP, and sort of jumped back and forth for a while with the ideas. But after recording some of the newer songs, it was clear that we had all the songs for an LP. After two years of working on something, I think putting out the full-length is really something to be proud of. I feel like we could have done even more, maybe record a few fresh songs. But things really do take time, and this project is one that has shown me that you really do need to take your time to put something out that you’ll feel good about and that you’ll give to people, and ultimately stand behind. It was a fine balance of not giving too much, and also making sure what we put out is as tight as it can be – and we really feel that’s the case. We’ll do it even better for the next record. We even played a few new tunes at our December CD Release Party at Mercury Lounge, so there’s just so much music in the band right now. It’s all coming together slowly and I don’t want to stop, that’s for sure.
Take a listen! Buy the album if you like it…which you will 🙂
The time has come! The awesomely terrific new Herd Magazine is set to release its second issue, and have a massive party in celebration of this. The issue 1 launch party at Fall Down Gallery on Bank St. in October was so unexpectedly massive that most people didn’t even get in… lineups down the street, people freezing… but luckily the party will be continuing at Babylon at midnight. Fall Down is hosting the party again, so be sure to get there early so that you can be drinking beer instead of getting frostbite in line. There will be music, visual arts, comedy… just about everything.
My contribution to the new issue is a feature on an Ottawa band – you’ll have to wait and see who it is. Steph Vicente, Pat Bolduc and the crew have put tons of effort into the issue, and I’m sure it will be unbelievable.
Here are the party deets:
James and Blackburn
Wind & the Wild (formerly On a Bear Hunt)
Beats by Dj Greg Reain
Video set by VJ Ina (veejay eye-nah…like vagina…..)
MC’d by local comedian Greg Houston
Cash & Carry art available from Collective Seen Artists
Admission by donation
We’ve got raffles again. Like the last launch, every 5$ you toss us at the door gets you a ticket into the raffle.
Sponsored by Top of the World, Magpie Jewellery, and Slasyh
There will be appetizers!
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I had the chance to join Ming Wu on his CHUO radio show Photogmusic Live (89.1 FM) on New Year’s Eve. In the hour-long segment, we discussed his Top 12 picks of 2012, playing a track from each of the albums he chose as this year’s best. It was lots of fun, and we also got to talk to Alaska of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan (who will be in Ottawa Jan.11 with Boyhood) as well as Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns. Take a listen to the different segments on the Photogmusic blog, hope you enjoy the show!