Sunday January 21, 2018

Living In Lines

Peter Eichhorn of German punk label P.Trash Records died last Tuesday, the 16th of January, 2018. He succumbed to injuries resulting from a car accident. In a statement, Peter's wife Susanne stated that with his death their label had also died, and business would be winding down as soon as possible.

Online it was immediately apparent how massive an impact this overseas label had in Canada. You can't overstate the importance of P.Trash to underground punk and garage rock communities across this country. I can't think of another foreign label that's done more to support and showcase the talent emerging here, and P.Trash has given even domestic supporters of Canadian bands a run for their money.

Personally, I think I started to notice P.Trash back in 2010 when Steve Adamyk's "Speed It Up" single arrived on my doorstep in a batch of Punknews promos. I soon found that the label had a hand in many of the Canadian bands that were minor obsessions for me in those days, from Sudbury groups like Statues and Vicious Cycle to Mark Sultan's Mind Controls out of Montreal. From that time the label's name became a mark of quality for me. Whenever it cropped up in a news submission or press release, I found myself paying a little more attention. That's no small feat when I think about the volume of submissions we'd see in those days.

Last Friday, Adamyk reflected on Facebook about Eichhorn's death and importance to Ottawa's scene:

To say the least, a lot of us are devastated. As some of you know, Peter’s impact on the Ottawa music scene was immeasurable. Without his help, a lot of us wouldn’t have gained any momentum or accomplished much. Peter released records for Jay Reatard, Demon’s Claws, Brutal Knights, Statues etc, but eventually was introduced to Ottawa by Rob Seaton from Statues, where he released Sedatives first 7” and LP, Adamyk Band, Zebrassieres, Mother’s Children, Average Times, BD, Uranium Comeback, Last Communion etc, just to scratch the surface (not to mention countless other Canadian releases). P.Trash was also a major European distributor for White Wires, New Swears, Crusades and many others. The label and distribution company was Peter & Susanne’s livelihood. I’m sure everyone will fondly remember the few times a year the P.Trash website would say: “Closed for family vacation. Peter, Susanne and the kids wish you the best and will contact you when we return.” I’m crushed.

Listen: Steve Adamyk - "Speed It Up" @ Bandcamp

It was fascinating how frequently P.Trash intersected with local music scenes across Canada, and his label served to amplify the reach of small bands to a global audience. Furthermore, Peter often paired with the bedroom labels that had emerged here, either offering European distribution or collaborating directly on projects. The now-defunct Mammoth Cave, for example, co-released their 2011 Bloodstains Across Ontario compilation with P.Trash. The label's also worked together to release the full length from Calgary synth-punk group Teledrome.

Listen: Teledrome - "Dial Tone" @ Bandcamp

Patrick Bertrand of Vancouver's Hosehead Records shared some of his P.Trash collection on Instagram and commented on the German label's impact on his own.

A post shared by Hosehead Records (@hoseheadrecords) on

See: Hosehead Records on Instagram

Woke up today to the terrible news that Peter of P Trash Records has passed away. When I started buying records Peter was already more in tune with Canadian music than I was, and P Trash showed me that not only is there good music in Canada, but that it should be showcased. P Trash was one of the top inspirations for Hosehead for that, and it's incredible that one label, let alone one from the other side of the world, can connect all the friends who's records are in this picture. My taste in music, my record collection, this label, and my social circle wouldn't be what it is today if not for Peter and his wife Susanne.

I'm going back through the P.Trash catalogue now, and even focusing just on the Canadian bands there's too much. There's such depth that it's daunting even to attempt to summarize it. That Peter Eichhorn's legacy resonates in basement shows, dive bars, and record shops from Vancouver to Halifax is simply astonishing.

Watch: Sedatives - "Teenage Runaway" @ YouTube

Of Note

James Lindsay and Paul Lawton of Toronto label Pleasence Records have announced their inaugural Pleasence Fest. The concert will take place on two stages (upstairs and downstairs) at Toronto's Smiling Buddha on Saturday, February 10. It will also serve to launch a new podcast focused on the Canadian music industry. The event will feature a number of acts who've released music on the label, and several artists slated to do so in the future, along with a special guest in the form of Montreal art/noise duo The Famines. Bands with a Pleasence release under their belts performing include the Toronto groups WHIMM, ZONES, Moon Eyed, and Doom Tickler. Acts in the upcoming category include Don't Bother (the new group from Lawton in the wake of Century Palm), the abrasive yet hilarious Toronto punk outfit WLMRT, and Calgary guitar-pop act Feel Alright. You can find more info on the fest over at Facebook.

Montreal pop-punk group Pale Lips have premiered a new double-feature video through Punknews. The Davey Don't directed set videos for the songs "Don't Take Your Switchblade to New York" and "Old Flame," both of which appear on the band's Should've Known Better! EP (Surfin' Ki/Resurrection). "Switchblade" is an homage to the Ramones' video for "I Wanna be Sedated," while "Old Flame" features analog glitch effects which are apparently inspired by the old CHCH kids series The Hilarious House of Dr. Frightenstein. Check them both out below.

Pale Lips have finished recording a new LP with producer Ryan Battistuzzi (Yesterday's Ring, Malajube, Les Breastfeeders) and should be out supporting the new work at festivals in the summer and fall.

Watch: Pale Lips - "Don't Take Your Switchblade to New York" / "Old Flame" @ YouTube

Montreal art-punk / indie rock quartet Ought have previewed their upcoming full-length Room Inside the World by unveiling an animated video for the song "Disgraced in America." The track premiered on the FADER earlier in the week. Check the article there for some revelation on techniques employed by director Heather Rappard and animator Mike McDonnell to create the piece.

Last year Ought signed to Merge Records internationally and Royal Mountain in Canada. Room Inside the World follows up the band's 2015 Constellation release Sun Coming Down.

Watch: Ought - "Disgraced in America" @ YouTube

Chris Reimer, guitarist for the Calgary art-rock band Women, passed away unexpectedly in 2012. In the years since a number of initiatives have been started in his name, including a Legacy Fund supporting youth training in music and dance. That fund has curated a collection of Reimer’s unreleased solo recordings, titled Hello People, which is set for release on April 19.

Over the past five years, Reimer’s family and close friends have been filtering through his extensive catalogue of recorded work spanning nearly a decade and are thrilled to finally present this double LP collection, featuring artwork by Chris Reimer himself, to the public. 'Hello People' is a sometimes confrontational, at others warm and intimate, and always deeply personal document from a multi-faceted artist, compiled from a huge range of recordings spanning lush four-track projects to raw phone memos. Veering from ambient guitar-pedal soundscapes, to delicate acoustic melody and all the way to drone noise experimentation, 'Hello People' takes the listener through an experience of composition and creation from the mind of a deeply talented spirit whose vision was cut short all too soon.

You can preview the track "Waving Goodbye From a Tree" below. It's one of 15 songs to appear in the collection.

Listen: Chris Reimer - "Waving Goodbye from a Tree" @ Bandcamp

Several of Reimer's bandmates from Women are of course now members of Preoccupations (the band once contentiously known as Viet Cong). That group recently released the first single from their upcoming third studio album. The song's titled "Espionage," and it will appear on New Material when it arrives on March 23. Flemish Eye will handle the release in Canada, with Jagjaguwar working the set elsewhere.

Watch: Preoccupations - "Espionage" @ YouTube

Mint Records has posted a new video from Edmonton's Faith Healer, showcasing the song "& Waiting" from the indie-pop band's lovely sophomore full length Try ;-).

Watch: Faith Healer - "& Waiting" @ YouTube

Moon King may have relocated to Detroit, but Daniel Benjamin's still got Toronto on his mind. The dance-pop track "I've Stopped Believing," which premiered at Gorilla vs. Bear last week, plays out Benjamin's disillusionment with his hometown. The track features David Carriere of Montreal's TOPS on guitar. The new song follows up Moon King's 2017 cassette release, Hamtramck '16.

Listen: Moon King - "I've Stopped Believing" @ Bandcamp

CBC arts & culture program q recently featured an oral history of The 'B' Girls, the `77-era all-female Toronto punk band. That's a group that, in a few tumultuous years, become NYC-residing CBGB's regulars, played with the Ramones, Blondie, the Dead Boys, and joined the Clash on their London Calling tour. On the recording host Tom Power introduces bassist Cynthia Ross, who recount's the group's history. The 'B' Girls are playing shows again, and their never-released debut full length has finally seen the light of day on the legendary garage label Bomp.

Listen: An oral history of The 'B' Girls @ CBC

Punktastic premiered a video the song "Guilt Trip" from Victoria, BC punk band No Liars. Here's what the band had to say about the song:

“Guilt Trip” is a song about regret and isolation – a cautionary tale about what happens when you let trivial things get between you and the people you care about, only realizing once it's too late to make amends. It’s about that feeling of not being able to say that certain something to a certain someone before it’s too late and then having that weigh heavily upon yourself thinking… “I could have done this differently.”

276 Sterling Studio filmed the live portions of the video in Toronto. In a single day in Victoria, Mike Morash from Cambiguous Productions shot all the narrative components. The song appears on The Cause & The Cure, the band's debut full length which they recorded with Jesse Gander of Rain City Recorders (Japandroids, White Lung, Woolworm). João Carvalho (Alexisonfire, Silverstein, Protest the Hero) mastered the album.

Watch: No Liars - "Guilt Trip" @ YouTube

At the end of 2017 the five-piece Toronto garage-punk group The Killer Wails released a new single titled "Shake It." The track was recorded by producer James Paul at the Rogue Tractor Shop out in rural Mono, Ontario. This is a charmingly back-to-basics rock'n'roll song and the Chuck Berry worship's apparent.

Listen: The Killer Wails: "Shake It" @ Bandcamp

Wyrd Distro, the non-profit Canadian music distribution service run entirely by volunteers from the blog Weird Canada, is shutting down. The online store is currently selling off their stock, and there's plenty of strange and wonderful underground Canadiana to pick up while supplies last. The store will cease operations entirely on February 16.

Upcoming Shows

Some Party is co-presenting a few rock'n'roll shows in the coming weeks. You should come and tell me to stop emailing you in person.

On Saturday, February 3 we're presenting Hinterland Hoedown at the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto along with with Beau's All Natural Brewing, Punknews.org, and Melanie Kaye PR. The show will feature St. Catharines drunk-punk vets The Lucky Ones, the revived Toronto garage offenders The Exploders, Montreal's eclectic glam-influenced Bolo Mojo, and the Markham's Jenn Fiorentino playing an acoustic set. You can find all the details and RSVP on Facebook. It'll be $10 bucks at the door, and this is a 19+ show.

Then on Monday, March 5 we're co-presenting Toronto's Weaves with local psych-rock act Fourth Way at St. Catharines' Warehouse Concert Hall, a co-presentation of IndoorShoes. You can grab tickets to this one on TicketFly and RSVP over at Facebook.

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