The inaugural Nunavut Music Week just wrapped up in Iqaluit. The event, organized by local label Aakuluk Music, is trying to build bridges between local talent and the music industry infrastructure to the south.
If you want to get a sense of what's going on at this nascent gathering, you should absolutely follow the Toronto Star's pop-music critic Ben Rayner, who's been writing from it. Last week he wrote of Tanya Tagaq's participation in the event and the evolving criticism the breakthrough throat singer's encountered from more conservative cultural voices in the territory. He covered a triumphant set from veteran Igloolik band Northern Haze, who've been playing hard rock in the North since 1984. Just today he wrote of the final night's performances, which were snowed out of their venue and ended up as a house party.
That party was in the home of Steve Rigby, drummer of The Jerry Cans. That band, which mixes throat singing and folk-rock sung in Inuktitut, is perhaps the city's most successful export. They're behind the Aakuluk label as well (and thus the whole event). Here's them covering the Tragically Hip's "Ahead By A Century" from June of this year.
Speaking of the Hip, Gord Downie announced a new solo record last week. Introduce Yourself is a double-album which will feature 23 songs. It was recorded over two four-day sessions in January of 2016 and February of 2017 with Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew. Arts & Crafts will release the record on October 27. Downie and Drew previously collaborated on the Polaris short-listed Secret Path (and Drew co-produced the last Hip record, of course).
October's looking to be just as busy a release month as September, and a number of highly anticipated new releases by Canadian artists are now available to preview. Wide Open, from Toronto art-rock group Weaves, is due on October 6 from Buzz, Kanine, and Memphis Industries. You can check it out now over at NPR. The Weather Station's self-titled full-length arrives that same day from Paradise of Bachelors and Outside Music. The commanding folk-rock record is being streamed for a limited time at CBC Music. The new EP from hard-rocking Toronto three-piece Bike Thiefs is out now, and the entirety of Lean Into It can be found at Exclaim. The same goes for Soothsayer, the new album from Peterborough's Nick Ferrio that finds the folk singer taking a bit of a power-pop detour.
Nova Scotia not-for-profit DIY collective Mirus Records have released Mixtape I, their first compilation featuring exclusive new recordings from Halifax artists. The 15 song set is available digitally or as a limited edition made-to-order cassette. Profits from the sale of the comp will go to The Plumbtree Project, which aims to provide private music lessons to eight women, along with a few months in a jam space and passes to the Halifax Pop Explosion.
The comp ends with a new track by the Booji Boys, who broke out a cover of "Sold Out" by the early Boston punk act Gang Green. Guitarist Cody Googoo recently announced that their second Booji Boys full-length is nearing completion too. Look for it at some point on Drunken Sailor Records.
Toronto's Teenanger have posted a video for "The Night Shift." As this is perhaps the weirdest song on their recent LP, it's appropriately odd. "The Night Shift" is a synth-driven goth number song by drummer Steve Sidoli. The video, directed by Scott Cudmore, features choreography by HSY's Anna Mayberry and some degrading VHS effects. Teenanger's fifth record, Teenager, was released hits past July by Telephone Explosion.
METZ recently took part in a live studio session as part of CBC Music's First Play Live series. The Toronto three-piece noise-punk band's joined at the performance by Holy Fuck's Graham Walsh, who both mixed the session and pays keyboard on a few songs. The band recorded the session in support of their newly released full-length Strange Peace (Royal Mountain/Sub Pop) and play three songs from that record ("Drained Lake", "Raw Materials", and "Lost in the Blank City") along with their single from last year, "Eraser."
This week Niagara-on-the-Lake post-hardcore/emo group Heavy Hearts premiered the song "No Heaven" at Punknews. It'll be part of the band's anticipated upcoming EP On A Chain, due out on October 27 via New Damage.
The FADER premiered "Chains," a sludgy new song from Whitby, Ontario's Chastity. Brooklyn's Captured Tracks will release the song as the title track of a new five-song EP, due out this October. Chastity lead Brandon Williams commented on the new material, which is quite a few degrees angrier than the Peroxide single from January:
“when I’m drawn to write I’m either sad or I am pissed. The world has changed since writing my last release, and both the sad and pissed feelings have since increased.”
The Riptides, a pop-punk quartet from Ottawa, have released a video for their song "Goodbye Hawaii," directed by Petr Maur. It's part of the band's 18-song full-length Canadian Graffiti, which was released last month by Portland's Something To Do Records. The song's a throwback to that 60s doo-wop obsession that the Ramones introduced into early punk rock. The video, appropriately, features a swingin' beach party and a retro rubber-masked monster. Check it out.
Toronto indie rock group Casper Skulls have released another track from their upcoming Buzz Records full-length Mercy Works. "Lingua Franca" features Melanie Gail St-Pierre on lead vocals. You can head to Noisey to read her thoughts on the track. Like the previous preview of the album, this track finds the band eschewing the aggression of their first EP for a more pensive take. Mercy Works is out on November 3rd.
There's an abundance of silly metal cliches wrapped up in No Warning's stomping "Hell Realm" video, directed by Tristan CM. I'm never quite sure how seriously I'm supposed to take stuff like this, but it's pretty fun. The track will be part of Torture Culture, revived Toronto hardcore group's first LP since 2004. It's due on October 13 from Bad Actors, Inc. and Last Gang.
Speaking of hardcore, the Toronto / Hamilton group Hellbent is playing a number of shows in October to support their new EP Pups, Penguins & Sockeye Salmon Sandwiches. You'll be able to grab a copy on cassette on upcoming shows in St. Catharines on October 5, Hamilton on the 6th, Toronto on the 8th, or Montreal on October 12. That last show will feature Cancer Bats performing a full Black Sabbath cover set as Bat Sabbath.
This month Some Party is sponsored by the new book The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: A Complete History by David McPherson. The Shoe will mark its 70th birthday on December 6th, 2017. The Queen Street bar and venue, which opened as a country music club, has been an integral part of every era of the city's rock'n'roll history, including a special place in the emergence of punk rock and new wave in Toronto as the scene of the Last Pogo. We're giving away a copy of the book, along with tickets to see D.O.A. play the Horseshoe on Saturday, October 14 over at Punknews.org.