Sunday August 20, 2017

Plimsoll Punks

Celebrated Toronto indie-pop act Alvvays have revealed the third new song from their upcoming sophomore LP, Antisocialites, and it's a doozy. "Plimsoll Punks" follows the earlier release of "In Undertow" and "Dreams Tonight." In the press release, it's described as both "a winking surf opus indictment of the self-righteous who intend to condescend" and a response to the Television Personalities' 1978 song "Part-Time Punks." It's also completely magical if you ask me.

It's likely my background writing for such an on-the-nose punk publication, but I've developed a bit of fetish for songs about punk, particularly when they're not themselves punk rock songs. I don't have an entirely rational explanation for it, but I absolutely revere Bry Webb's "Ex-Punks," Baby Eagle's "Old Punks," and even Richard Laviolette's tongue-in-cheek "My Grandma's More Punk (Than Most Punks I Know)." This new Alvvays track is a damn fine addition to that canon.

Antisocialites will be available on September 8th via Royal Mountain Records in Canada and Polyvinyl or Transgressive elsewhere. The band has months of tour dates ahead of them, including a four-day residency planned at Toronto's Mod Club this December.

Of Note

Marc Belke, founding member of Canadian punk legends SNFU, has revealed a new 7" single from the band featuring two previously unreleased songs from their archives: "Happy Number" and "Human Cattle." Both tracks (neither of which you can preview at the moment) were demos from 2000 which Belke's reworked and mastered for the release. Rake Records will press about 500 records with an intended September 24th release. In the SNFU chronology these fall in the years between 1996's FYULABA and 2004's In the Meantime and In Between Time (the 2000-released Ping Pong EP featured material from the FYULABA sessions so I'm not sure if that's a great reference point).

Pleasence Records premiered a new track from Toronto's dark post-punk trio WHIMM at CVLT Nation. The song, titled "A Stare Ajar," is the title track to the band's new 9 song album which arrives on the 27th of October. The upcoming record was produced by Dean Tzenos of Odonis Odonis.

Noisey premiered a new song from Julie & The Wrong Guys' upcoming LP. The band, which features former Eric's Trip member Julie Doiron, Cancer Bats' Mike Peters and Jaye Schwarzer, and Edmonton's Eamon McGrath, has a 10 song full length coming up on Dine Alone Records. It's due September 8th. Check out "Love and Leaving," a crunchy guitar-driven number with a bit of a 90s alternative vibe.

This week at Punknews I premiered a new video for "Better Days" from St. Catharines' The Lucky Ones. The long running punk band has returned after a five-year absence with their appropriately titled Better Late Than Never LP. The 14 song set was produced by Steve Rizun (The Flatliners, Junior Battles) and will arrive on September 1 via Stumble Records.

Let's stick with the Region for a moment. Spencer Burton, the Niagara-based singer-songwriter and ex-Attack In Black member, has announced an east coast tour in support of his latest record Songs Of. Look for shows in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI during his trip. Before he embarks there's a lovely sounding kick-off show next Sunday at Oast House Brewers in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Every other week we get a new track from the upcoming Partner LP In Search of Lost Time. "Gross Secret" is the newest, and like the other previews it recalls a big 90s guitar rock sound not unlike early Weezer. When they played this at Ottawa Explosion in the summer they paused during the bridge and coaxed a few such secrets out of the audience, which surely this song was built for. The new LP, which is bound to be enormously fun, is out on the 8th of September via You've Changed Records.

September 8th is looking to be a huge release day, as it'll also see Chad VanGaalen's Light Information set free. The latest preview available is "Mind Hijacker's Curse," which was written up at Northern Transmissions. Chad's description of the song stands on its own:

Mind Hijacker’s Curse is the outcome and side effects of vacationing inside of another organism’s consciousness. Once we can do this, I see the potential to forget your physical self and just live inside of some other beings mind. Hook me up to the fungal web that allows entire forests to communicate. I imagine the dolphin package would be very popular...”

Dolphins are perverts, so that's probably right. Light Information is due out September 8th on Flemish Eye in Canada and Sub Pop elsewhere.

Thanks to my friends at MRG Concerts I'm giving away a pair of tickets to several Canadian shows on the upcoming Against Me! fall tour. The Gainesville, Florida punk band is bringing along Dundas, Ontario's The Dirty Nil and LA's Bleached for the entire trek. If you're interested in snagging a pair of tickets for the dates in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, or Toronto, head to Punknews and follow the link.

FME

Some Party is sponsored this month by the Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, or FME for short. The Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec music festival is celebrating 15 years from August 31st through September 3rd. This week I interviewed Jenny Thibault, one of the event's organizers, over at Punknews about the goals and vibe of the festival.

There are over 70 acts performing FME in a variety of genres, and I'll be profiling a few of them here each week this month leading up to the event.

Montreal's Les Dales Hawerchuk, outside of being a fun, muscular punk rock group, have the among the best band names ever. The four-piece is supporting their recent full length, Désavantage numérique, which was released this past November. At FME the band will play Saturday night at the Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda in a show with Lubik and visiting Breton punk act The Decline !.

Windsor, Ontario native Paul Jacobs now calls Montreal home as well. His garage-psyche output is wildly prolific (six full-length albums, along with a pile of EPs and singles, released in just 3 years) and his music is often simultaneously hooky and discordant, trending towards the bizarre. Check out "Born in a Zoo" from 2016's Pictures, Movies & Apartments to get a taste. At FME Jacobs plays Friday night in the basement of the Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda with NYC punk-jazz combo Sunwatchers.

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