This is the last newsletter before this year's Ottawa Explosion kicks off. I don't manage to get out to many festivals, but there's something about this one in particular that feels very close to what I'm shooting for here on Some Party. In years past I've looked at the OXW lineups in complete awe, not because of the bands listed but because I'd recognize embarrassingly few of them. Those lineups were a wake up call that despite however many years I've spent talking about punk music (and Canadian punk music in particular), I wasn't scratching the surface.
So I'll absolutely be at the Ottawa Explosion this year, but as I'm very much still a tourist, let's pull in an expert. To help spotlight one of the many cool bands I'll be discovering this year, I reached out to Heather Grant. Based out of Halifax, Heather's performing (at least) three sets at the festival this year. More on those in a minute, but here's her recommendation:
"One band you should definitely catch at OXW is BBQT. From St. John's NL, this doo-wopp-y power pop band has such catchy songs that sometimes I'm kind of afraid to listen to them because I know for a fact that they're going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. If you like bands like Peach Kelli Pop, the White Wires or early era Donnas, you'll definitely be into BBQT. Word has it that they're also releasing some new songs in the next few days leading up to OXW so folks should keep an eye out for that!"
Heather's got a pair of pop-punk / garage rock bands playing OXW. She'll appear as part of the trio Crossed Wires on Friday at Club Saw, returning there the next day to perform with the four-piece Future Girls. Friday will also see her perform solo at St Alban's along with a number of singer/songwriters (hometown troubadours Jon Creeden and Cory Levesque, Vancouver's Jesse Lebourdais, and Heather's Future Girls bandmate Matty Grace).
In the lead up to the Explosion a handful of interesting write-ups on the performing bands have bubbled up online. Eric Scharf of Ottawa Showbox ran an interview with Drew Demers of Montreal art/noise duo The Famines. Demers discusses the band's experimental record label Pentagon Black, which just released the third in their "paper compilation" series. Calgary punk act Leather Jacuzzi premiered the song "Gloved Hand Holding Caviar" from their upcoming sophomore cassette Slander, Lies & Soda at Exclaim. Meanwhile over at Dominionated, Jim Di Giota reviewed Dooner Nooner the debut full length from Bonnie Doon, an incredibly eclectic mix of low-fi surf, sludgy post-punk, and high energy tracks with a bit of an X-Ray Spex vibe.
The 40 acts voted to the 2017 Polaris Music Prize long list will be unveiled next Tuesday, June 13. The announcement will be streamed live on Facebook at 2 PM EST / 11 PST. A live version of the Polaris podcast be recorded that evening at the National Arts Centre with a number of jurors and special guests on hand to discuss the albums selected.
Nardwuar the Human Serviette appeared on Northern Transmissions' "Records In My Life" video series. The chat was filmed during the Evaporators' Record Store Day appearance at Vancouver's Neptoon Records. He discusses the band's latest full length Ogopogo Punk (Mint), which came out on 8-track (why not), along with stories about records from Slow, The Pointed Sticks and more.
Katie Jensen recently made a deputation to the Toronto Music Advisory Council regarding the need to protect the city's disappearing live music venues. The text of which, and a live-tweeting of the council's recent meeting, can be found over at Twitter.
Toronto punk act Teenanger are going all in on their frequently misspelled name by calling their new full length Teenager. The album, the band's fifth, will be a 13 song set to be released by Telephone Explosion in July.
Teenanger will be among the bands playing SappyFest in Sackville, NB this year. The event's final lineup has now been announced, with The Courtneys, Booji Boys, Fiver, and Jon McKiel among the acts confirmed. SappyFest runs from August 4th to the 6th.
Fucked Up is recording a new LP. I don't know much outside the fact that there are saxophones involved. It's probably not a ska record, but you never know. The band's Ben Cook recently put out a new power-pop single as Young Guv titled Traumatic. It's available on Slumberland.
A big thanks to srcvinyl for sponsoring this first month of Some Party. I recently saw the sad news their physical location in Niagara is closing at the end of the month. While it's a huge bummer, there are certainly deals to be had at 5904 Main St in Niagara Falls as they clear out the inventory, so check it out while you can. Their online record store at srcvinyl.ca is still going strong.
Finally, I've always found Daniel Romano's relationship with punk rock to be fascinating, given his past and how aggressively he's moved from the confines of the genre (Ancient Shapes notwithstanding). So how cool was it to run into a song like "The Pride of Queens" on his latest record Modern Pressure. I've heard far more Ramones tributes than I care to acknowledge, but there are very few as effective at this one.