Sunday August 27, 2017

Culture War Donner Party

Don't Bother is a newly announced punk five-piece from Toronto, and the new project from Paul Lawton of Century Palm, Ketamines, and internet infamy. The group features Lawton performing with Priya Thomas (who's played solo both under her own name and as Iroquois Falls), Mark Streeter of Dorothea Paas, and Matt Nish-Lapidus of Several Futures, along with Ronnie Tee and Marc Holmes. There's a single published song to the band's name at the moment, titled "Culture War Donner Party." Here's what the band had to say about in on BandCamp:

"this song is a critique of: Torontopia, big business indie, and about how I would kill to be involved in it. I've also been thinking about a listicle I read about the Donner party, where someone murdered two people to eat when trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during one of the most brutal winters on record. One of the members murdered another member in self defense and was then was banished and I mean… I GET THAT.

Eat me."

I exist outside the Canadian independent music establishment, both geographically and because I'm a long-time musical dilettante with an unrelated day job. As such the inner workings of the industry and the personalities that comprise it are more of a curiosity to me than something I can claim any first-hand experience with. That said, Lawton's ire-raising questioning of the music system in Canada appeals to me, if for no other reason than it satisfies some convention-questioning punk rock part of my brain. I'm skeptical on reflex, and I question how much I'm being sold by entrenched interests even as I enjoy the fruits of that system. The sentiment expressed in the above song description certainly gives me pause.

Listen: Don't Bother - "Culture War Donner Party" @ BandCamp

Don't Bother makes their live debut in Toronto this fall, where they'll open for Atlanta's Omni with the Sulks on November 9th at Smiling Buddha.

Of Note

Speaking of bands that'll debut soon, So Sensitive is set to play their first show next month, opening for Vancouver's Jay Arner with Tough Age and Steve's Job (the Ottawa band formerly known as Sally Ride). So Sensitive is the new project from BB Cream's Alanna Why and features members of Deathsticks and Plant Legs. There's not much else on the band yet, outside of them being billed as "literally born in the 1990s." The show takes place at Ottawa's Pressed on September 29th.

Toronto hardcore legends No Warning, following years of sporadic shows and singles, are returning to active duty. They were previously announced as headliners of the Life & Death Tour and have finally announced a new full-length. Torture Culture will be the band's first long player since 2004's Suffer, Survive and will the first since frontman Ben Cook refocused his creative energies on Fucked Up and his various solo projects. The single "In The City" finds the group focused back on crowd-pleasing, mosh-ready hardcore. Cook described the band's approach to The Fader:

"We have attempted to express the condition of the human mind that is an outcome of being brainwashed by corporate controlled social media, through a modern and classic feeling hardcore album. Kind of like the scene in Clockwork Orange, when Alex has the lid locks over his eyes and is being forced to watch horrific footage over and over again. We are trying to manifest that torturous feeling; that in a time like this even if you want to look away you cant escape the propagandized media, especially amidst the thick of an overpopulated garbage pumping world. The evolution we have experienced both mentally and physically, and the day-to-day panic and anxiety that we feel is actually a result of our own species' selfish and repulsive impulses."

Torture Culture arrives on October 13th via Bad Actors, Inc. and Last Gang.

Listen: No Warning - "In The City" @ SoundCloud

Hamilton alt-country act Elliott BROOD have released another track from their upcoming fifth full-length. "Dig A Little Hole" will appear on Ghost Gardens when it arrives on September 15th via Paper Bag. You can stream it now at any of the usual places.

Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs' new self-titled full-length has been out for a month now and it's an absolute joy of muscular, punky power-pop, truly one of the feel-good records of the summer. The band just released a new video for the song "Judy" at What Youth. The clip was directed by Shawn Kosmerly of the Sudbury band Dirty Princes, with his mother starring as the titular Judy. The interview that accompanied the premiere is worth a read.

Watch: Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - "Judy"

Toronto's PUP continues to play the Internet to their benefit in clever, delightful ways. The latest is the video for "Old Wounds" from their most-recent full length The Dream Is Over. Playing like an old Choose Your Own Adventure book, the video offers you different narrative paths to follow, leading to encounters with aliens, bears, drug trips, and countless deaths. If you're going to play with this, and you totally should, do it in the YouTube app for the smoothest transitions. As silly as the whole thing is, it must have taken forever to put together and there's something to admire in that.

Watch: PUP - "Old Wounds" @ YouTube

Speaking of drug trips, go watch the new Maria Bui-directed Fake Palms video for the song "I'm Not There." Michael le Riche of the Toronto garage/psych act explained the track to Noisey:

"'I'm Not There' is a meditation on modern society and where we're at as a whole. It's not a political statement by any means, it's us trying to find our place while feeling completely alienated among consumer culture and the general egomania of the selfie generation."

The song will appear on the band's upcoming full-length Pure Mind, due on September 15th on Buzz and Pleasence Records. Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck and Josh Korody of Beliefs produced the album.

Watch: Fake Palms - "I'm Not There" @ YouTube

We've finally got a song to share from Soothsayer, the new full-length from Peterborough, Ontario’s Nick Ferrio. The title track of the new record finds the singer-writer diverging from the folk bent of his past work for a more rock'n'roll, full band approach. Soothsayer, a 10 song set, is due for a September 29th release. The album was recorded with Sean Conway on bass and Brandon Munro on drums.

Listen: Nick Ferrio - "Soothsayer" @ SoundCloud

Prolific Vancouver garage duo The Pack A.D. have yet another full length on deck. Dollhouse will follow last year's Positive Thinking on October 13th via Cadence Music. There's no music to share from the album yet, but the band's announced a number of fall tour dates to support in both the US and Canada. Head to Exclaim for details on the full routing, which will see the band visit Nelson, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, St. Catharines, Hamilton, London, Peterborough, Saskatoon, Calgary, Kelowna, and of course their hometown.

Propagandhi are driving towards the release of their seventh full-length, Victory Lap, on Epitaph Records this September 29th. The Winnipeg band shared a video for the song "Failed Imagineer" this week, directed by Randy Frykas. It's a nonsense-free clip, with the band performing the track in what looks to be their practice space with the song's lyrics overlayed.

Watch: Propagandhi - "Failed Imagineer" @ YouTube

Toronto noise-punk ambassadors METZ have released another song from their upcoming, Steve Albini recorded full-length Strange Peace. "Mess of Wires" will appear on the record when it arrives on Royal Mountain and Sub Pop on September 22nd.

Listen: METZ - "Mess of Wires" @ YouTube

Weaves have shared a new video from their sophomore LP Wide Open. The acclaimed Toronto group, who are in the running for this year's Polaris Prize, released a clip for the song "Walkaway" this past week. The song is one of 11 that will arrive on October 6th, a joint release from Buzz, Kanine, and Memphis Industries.

Watch: Weaves - "Walkaway"

Burlington, Ontario punk band The Penske File have announced a fall tour of Canada (with a few US stops). They'll play Quebec with their Stomp labelmates The Creepshow in September, then head west. The band's supporting their 2015 full-length Burn Into The Earth, a follow-up for which is expected in the not-too-distant future. The dates are at Punknews.

I've been listening to "Thirty" by The Weather Station pretty much daily since I first heard it. That's probably not going to change between now and the October 6th release of the new self-titled full length on Paradise of Bachelors and Outside Music. Tamara Lindeman recently released a new video for the track which you can check out below.

Watch: The Weather Station - "Thirty"

Finally, force of nature Nardwuar the Human Serviette has announced a 30th-anniversary interview marathon. On September 21st Vancouver's CiTR 101.9 FM will broadcast 20 hours of back-to-back interviews, ranging from 1987 to today. His pop-punk band the Evaporators will also be playing a celebratory show on September 23rd at Vancouver's The Hall with Owl Empire supporting. Why Nardwuar was not made the next anchor of The National, we'll never know.

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, that's this coming weekend! There are over 70 acts performing in a variety of genres (and languages) and I've been profiling them here all month.

Montreal's Blood and Glass is an electro-pop duo featuring Little Scream's Lisa Moore and the Barr Brothers' Morgan Moore. The group released the theatrical Punk Shadows LP earlier this year on Simone Records and just recently put out a video for the album track "Hop The Fence," directed by Kaveh Nabation with choreography by Axelle Munezero. At FME Blood & Glass will play Saturday night in the basement of the Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda.

Watch: Blood and Glass - "Hop The Fence" @ YouTube

Zen Bamboo is a four-piece rock band from Saint-Lambert, Quebec. They're currently in the midst of releasing their first full-length, split into four parts to be released throughout 2017. The project, which was produced and engineered by Malajube's Thomas Augustin, will see its second installment arrive at FME. They'll perform at the Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda on Friday evening with Montreal psyche-rock act Elephant Stone and Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers.

Listen: Zen Bamboo - "Volume 1: Juvénile" @ BandCamp

I interviewed Jenny Thibault, one of the event's organizers, a few weeks ago at Punknews if you haven't checked that out yet. I also had a chat with French punk band The Decline ! who are crossing the Atlantic for the first time to play the event. I'll be at FME next week, playing the part of the lost anglophone trying desperately to buy a beer without embarrassing himself. As such, next week I'll be a day or so late with the newsletter. You'll get by.

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