Now or Neverish
Some Party is a newsletter sharing the latest in independent Canadian rock'n'roll, curated weekly by Adam White. Each edition explores punk, garage, psych, and otherwise uncategorizable indie rock, drawing lines from proto to post and taking some weird diversions along the way.
Ottawa's Bonnie Doon is symbolically an important band for me. Before Some Party launched I had an inkling that there was a weird, diverse undercurrent of Canadian rock bands that were more deserving of my (admittingly limited) efforts than the mainline punk I'd been covering for so many years. A big part of coming to that conclusion was plumbing the past line-ups of regional festivals like Ottawa Explosion and SappyFest. Bonnie Doon, an OXW mainstay, always stuck with me as a textbook example of what I could be focusing on.
While they've been around for a while this year's Dooner Nooner was the band's first full length. The Record Centre Records release is a weird mix of druggy surf rock, some scattered sludge, and some fearlessly playful punk bursts that channel X-Ray Spex like few other bands have (a saxophone even shows up to drive that home). The first side of Dooner Nooner ends with "Now or Neverish," a mostly instrumental surf track that feels like delightfully askew Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet song.
A video for "Now or Neverish" premiered recently over at Clash Music. Lesley Marshall's MAVN produced the clip, which takes everything that's so delightfully ramshackle and irreverent about Bonnie Doon on record and makes it visual.
Last week Bonnie Doon opened for Weaves when they played Ottawa's House of Targ in support of Wide Open. The Toronto art-punk quartet continues to garner praise for their sophomore record, which Buzz, Kanine, and Memphis Industries put out earlier this month. A new video for the song "Slicked" arrived this past week, directed by Zak Tatham. "Slicked" is a little bit unlike everything else on the record, in that it stomps around proudly in glam-rock trappings (everyone's referencing T-Rex), but it's poppy, delightful, and perfect for the take it's given here.
Last week I wrote about the impending end of Century Palm and listed off the three of the four members' other projects. I wasn't sure when I published what vocalist Andrew Payne was doing, but it took about 5 minutes for someone to fill me in. Payne, who fronted Ottawa's Zebrassieres before relocating to Toronto, is now working on a solo electronic music project under the guise Vanity Phase. He posted a video recently for the song "Feed My Mind," one of two tracks he has online (the other, "Move On" is at Bandcamp). The video is super weird and I love it.
Toronto's Ducks Unlimited have released the first preview of their debut EP Bull Nakano with the song "It's Easy," a breezy indie-pop tune. You can read a few thoughts from frontman Tom Mcgreevy on the track over at the Dork premiere. The three-song cassette, due on October 27, was recorded with Beliefs' Josh Korody and Greys' Shehzaad Jiwani producing.
Odonis Odonis' new full length No Pop arrives this Friday via Telephone Explosion and Felte, bringing 9 songs of industrial post-punk from the ever-shape-shifting Toronto band. You can preview the entire new record over at CBC Music now. The band also released a music video, directed by Cam Tomsett, for the song "Nasty Boy." For what's ostensibly a performance video, it's pretty damn aggressive.
This past September marked the 10th anniversary of The Great Awake from Toronto punk band The Flatliners. Following a limited vinyl reissue on Fat Wreck Chords and a 7" of demos from the album, the band is now set to celebrate the milestone on stage with a series of anniversary shows. The group will play the album in its entirety on a tour this December that includes stops in London (Dec 6), Toronto (Dec 7), Ottawa (Dec 8), and Montreal (Dec 9). They'll play those shows alongside Massachusetts punk act A Wilhelm Scream, who'll themselves be performing anniversary sets for their 2007 album Career Suicide.
That's not all the Flatliners have been up to. While they continue to tour in support of their new record Inviting Light the band's launched a podcast called Carry The Banner, which features conversations about music and life on the road. The latest episode features KJ Jansen of Chixdiggit!.
The Ottawa and Montreal nights of that Flatliners tour will also feature Single Mothers. The London punk band has announced a number of shows in Ontario and Quebec for December as they support their summer release Our Pleasure. Those dates can be found on Twitter.
Another band from London, the punk group Grievances, is now streaming their debut full-length Late Bloomers at Dying Scene. Chisel Records is releasing the record this month. The band, which features Danny Kidd of Wasted Potential, will celebrate the release on October 30 when they open the Sam Coffey show in their hometown.
Toronto low-fi indie rock group Deliluh are set to release their second album of 2017 as a cassette on November 9. The album, titled Linger in the Afterlight, was actually recorded prior to Day Catcher, which was released in July. You can check out the album art and a stream of the record over at Raw Materials. Frontman Kyle Knapp brought on a lengthy list of contributors for this set, including Nick Grottick and Jess Gierusz of Bad Channels, and Ostrich Tuning's Ami Spears.
Burlington's The Penske File recently appeared on Live From The Rock Room, a studio performance video series run by Mike Felumlee of the Smoking Popes. The trio appeared in the Westmont, IL studio to perform their new single "Come What May." The track will likely end up on the band's next full-length for Montreal's Stomp Records.
The Penske File on the road in the US, a tour which will bring them down to appear at The Fest in Gainesville, Florida at the end of the month. They're by no means the only Canadian act making that journey, as performances are scheduled at the weekend event from fellow Burlington group Grade, Montreal's Boids, Lost Love and Laureate, Toronto's aforementioned Flatliners along with Career Suicide, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Brutal Youth, Life In Vacuum and Dead Broke, Vancouver's Daggermouth, Hamilton's The Dirty Nil, Ottawa's Jon Creeden & the Flying Hellfish, and Winnipeg's Mobina Galore.
Also joining the Canuck contingent will be the Calgary-based folk musician Seth Anderson. The singer-songwriter is in the midst of a US tour from coast-to-coast alongside his One Week Records labelmate Yotam Ben-Horin (of the Israeli punk band Useless ID). While Seth tours he's been providing me with a road diary of his thoughts and experiences. I'm posting that diary on Punknews.org and will be for the remainder of the month. You can start at the first two chapters and follow along with parts three, four, five, and six.
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. You can read the introduction online for free along with an excerpt that explores the venue's punk history at NOW Toronto.