Sunday March 8, 2020

Took Too Much

Dave Schoonderbeek, of the early-2000s Oshawa indie rock group Another Blue Door, has a new solo effort out backed by the members of Toronto's long-running By Divine Right. Cheekily titled Let It Beek, the set features ten affecting new tracks penned and performed by Schoonderbeek, with BDR's core trio of José Contreras, Alysha Haugen, and Geordie Dynes backing him on guitar, bass, and drums respectively. The group recorded at Slaughterhouse 754 in 2016 with Glen Gummerson.

To celebrate the pending vinyl release of Let It Beek, the quartet's organized a single live show, slated for Toronto's Monarch Tavern on Saturday, March 21. BDR drummer Geordie Dynes, who relocated to St. John's shortly after recording this album, is flying back to town to take part in the event. Local garage-pop act The Fern Tips and transatlantic psych group The Flowers of Hell are supporting.

In their original run, Another Blue Door released just one solitary full-length, 2004's Haulers.

Listen: Dave Schoonderbeek with By Divine Right - Let It Beek @ Bandcamp

Merge Records recently announced Harmony Avenue, the 10-song full-length debut from Jade Hairpins. The synthpop act's a collaboration between Jonah Falco and Mike Haliechuk of the genre-twisting Toronto hardcore band Fucked Up. You can check out a video for "J Terrapin," the record's gleeful first single, below. Harmony Avenue arrives on May 29.

Falco and Haliechuk recorded these songs between 2014 and 2018, primarily with Toronto's Alex Gamble (PUP, Surrender, Alvvays). The live version of Jade Hairpins recently debuted for a short tour of the UK, with Tamsin M Leach and Jack Goldstein performing in the quartet.

Jade Hairpins emerged in the run-up to Fucked Up's 2018 LP Dose Your Dreams as (what appeared to be) one of the mysterious, potentially fictional acts that surfaced in the concept record's narrative addendum (file under "Jellicoe & Woodbury"). The name first popped up in the credits of FU's High Rise 7", with the b-side "Tower of Time" purported to be a cover of a Jade Hairpins track (that, of course, nobody had heard). A two-song 12" single from the group surfaced on Merge the same day Dose dropped, pretty much sealing the connection (although nobody spoke about it at the time).

Watch: Jade Hairpins - "J Terrapin" @ YouTube

Partner has a new single out titled "Good Place to Hide (At The Time)," and it comes packing massive Rush vibes. In a statement they commented:

"You find yourself in a room with a locked door. You have always been there. It is all you have ever known. You have no reason to believe you could leave, no reason to believe you would ever want to. And then one day you hear the murmurs. Faint at first, you can't make out the words. But their very existence tells a truth that you have always known. There is something else. And you search and search and just when you are feeling spent and the bright beam of hope has faded to a glimmer, it reveals itself to you, miraculously. The key. And so you cast aside your doubt and grin with victory. But when you slide the key in, behind the door there is another locked door. The search continues.

We wrote this song over the course of about a Year. We had long wanted to explore the idea of hiding, of hidden truths. A chance phrase from our friend Alfred set this song in motion. We hope you enjoy our newest offering."

The Sackville-born, Windsor-based slacker rock act last released the Saturday the 14th EP on You've Changed and Father/Daughter Records. It followed the group's Polaris-shortlisted debut LP, In Search of Lost Time. In the past year the band contributed a cover of the Rush classic "Limelight" to the Polaris Cover Sessions series and also appeared on the very first Some Party cassette comp, Under The Circumstances.

Partner's core songwriting duo of guitarist/vocalist Josée Caron and bassist/vocalist Lucy Niles recorded "Good Place To Hide" with drummer Simone TB (Darlene Shrugg, Fake Palms). There's no word yet if this track's a one-off or due for their certainly-forthcoming sophomore LP.

Listen: Partner: "Good Place To Hide (At The Time)" @ Bandcamp

Simone Schmidt's solo act Fiver returns this year, built out into Maritime supergroup collectively dubbed Fiver and the Atlantic School Of Spontaneous Composition. The four-piece features Schmidt (once of the alt-country group One Hundred Dollars, and still a member of the psych-rock act The Highest Order) backed by Nick Dourado (sax-player for Aquakultre, Century Egg, and others), Special Costello's Jeremy Costello, and Vulva Culture's Bianca Palmer. The quartet recorded several sessions live off the floor at Gavin Gardiner's All Day Coconut Studio in Toronto. The first slate of those recordings arrives from You've Changed on April 3 as an EP titled You Wanted Country? Vol. 1.

Below you'll find a stream of Fiver's reinterpretation of the 1968 Dillard & Clark classic "Train Leaves Here This Morning." The new recordings follow up Schmidt's critically acclaimed 2017's solo record Audible Songs from Rockwood.

Listen: Fiver and the Atlantic School Of Spontaneous Composition - "Train Leaves Here This Morning" @ Bandcamp

Pottery recently shared the second single from Welcome To Bobby's Motel, following up on raucous "Texas Drums" with the twitchy Devo vibes of "Take Your Time." The audio arrived alongside a new animated video that follows the record's titular character on one gnarly drug trip. The clip features design, illustrations, and direction by the drummer Paul Jacobs, with the finished animation created by London's Raised by Bears.

Welcome To Bobby's Motel arrives April 10 from Royal Mountain and Partisan Records. Brooklyn's Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Snail Mail) produced the album, which the band recorded at Montreal's Breakglass Studio. Based in Montreal, Pottery features vocalist Austin Boylan, guitarist Jacob Shepansky, keyboardist Peter Baylis, bassist Tom Gould, and drummer Paul Jacobs.

Watch: Pottery - "Take Your Time" @ YouTube

The Montreal post-punk group Corridor also has a new video online, giving life to the hypnotic Junior track "Grand Cheval." The clip features animation by the Calgary musician and animator Chad VanGaalen, revisiting the bizarre alien worlds and morphotypes we previously glimpsed in the TARBOZ short and his own "Host Body" video.

Junior arrived last year on Bonsound in Canada and the legendary Sub Pop elsewhere, with Corridor holding the distinction of being the first francophone act to join the latter. Produced by Emmanuel Éthier, Junior is the band's third album. Corridor features Jonathan Robert on vocals, guitar, and synths, with Dominic Berthiaume on vocals and bass, Julian Perreault on guitar, and Julien Bakvis drumming.

Watch: Corridor - "Grand Cheval" @ YouTube

The Welland post-hardcore group Hunters & Anglers were once a fixture in the Niagara music scene, at least the punk-adjacent version I internalized in the late 2000s. The group featured three personalities who, in the decade since, I feel that I've seen play in countless combinations on stages big and small. Hunters & Anglers were bassist Ross Miller, guitarist/vocalist Justis Krar, and drummer Jordan Rutledge, who came out of high school together as part of the group Consumer Alert. Miller has the highest profile these days as the extroverted bassist for power-trio The Dirty Nil, while Krar's moved into video production after performing in the formative era of Single Mothers. This past week the former members of Hunters & Anglers shared "Speed of Blood," a sprawling 12-minute track featuring fourteen musicians in the credits. They commented:

"10 years ago we created this song. 15 people came together to help record and bring it to life. We only played it once, in pieces, with just the three of us. After the song was done we didn't know what to do with it. So for a decade it sat undisturbed until now. We are grateful for everyone who supported us on our musical journey as Hunters & Anglers. This is for all of you."

Kenny Mehan and Attack In Black's Ian Romano recorded the track in Welland, Ontario in the summer of 2010. You can find the full roster of players at Bandcamp. Best I can recall, Hunters & Anglers had a single release to their name, the 2009 EP Winter (which you can snag on an entirely different Bandcamp page - it seems the passwords to the original didn't make it through the 2010s).

Listen: Hunters & Anglers - "Speed of Blood" @ Bandcamp

Speaking of The Dirty Nil, the band's vying for the Rock Album of the Year award at the Juno Awards in Saskatoon next Sunday. The group, who already sports 2017's Breakthrough Group of the Year award, recently took part in the CBC's Junos 365 Sessions. In it, the band takes on Bachman-Turner Overdrive's radio staple "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (which itself won a Juno for Single for the Year back in '76). You can stream it below.

In the lead-up to the awards, the Dundas, Ontario trio was also recently profiled an Exclaim piece by Adam Feibel. In it, guitarist/vocalist Luke Betham comments on the nomination and how the rock category itself held special meaning for the group

"That, in and of itself, is an accomplishment... We definitely have some pretty gnarly punk roots and we lean into that sound from time to time, but we consider ourselves a rock'n'roll band. To be recognized in that category, that's worth the award in my books alone. That's an important distinction. You can call us whatever you want — it's highly subjective, obviously — but just to be considered in that category is important for us."

The Nil are nominated for Master Volume, their sophomore LP for Dine Alone Records. The Junos will be handed out in Saskatoon on Sunday, March 13.

Watch: The Dirty Nil - "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" @ YouTube

Toronto's Motorists are hot off the weekend release of their first EP, a 6-song set titled From the Wreckage. The power-pop group features a trio of Calgary transplants, with Feel Alright's Craig Fahner and Matt Learoyd upfront and Jesse Locke (Tough Age, Chandra, Simply Saucer) behind the kit. A limited run of cassettes is out now on Planet of the Tapes.

Locke jested on Twitter that they're going for a "punk Sloan" sound on the outing. As the songs here pair tightly wound jangle-punk with Fahner's world-weary vocals, that's not a bad description at all. You can find a video for the track "Go Back" on YouTube now or snag the digitals at Bandcamp.

Watch: Motorists - "Go Back" @ YouTube

Edmonton's Confusionaires recently released From The Headache To The Heartache, their second full-length. While the trio's clearly wrestled the limits of the "rockabilly band" label, these 13 songs go a good way towards proving they're something more. Headache leaps deftly from vintage rock'n'roll to spaghetti western twang to an attitude-driven punk rock sneer. There are more than a few surfy instrumentals here that should please fans of Huevos Rancheros and the Shadowy Men. The record arrived in February.

Confusionaires features guitarist/vocalist Fat Dave Johnston, Jayson Aschenmeier on the upright bass and vocalis, and drummer Adam Stark. The band co-produced the record with Trevor Rockwell, recording with Adam Stark at Edmontone Studio. The new set follows their 2018 debut, It's Time To 'Make A Little Mess' With.

Listen: Confusionaires - From The Headache To The Heartache @ Bandcamp

The gruff, anthemic St. John's punk group Conditioner has a new EP out on Must Be Nice Records. Titled Low Point, the set features five songs, including the recent "Room For Two" single we featured here in December. The band self-recorded the satisfyingly blown-out, low-fi effort in October of 2019, with Micah Brown mixing and mastering. It follows the band's self-titled 2017 release. The whole EP has this roughshod, early Lookout! Records vibe that I'm very much into.

Conditioner features Nick Giles on drums and vocals, bassist Jeff Gibson, guitarist/vocalist Glen May, and guitarist/vocalist Derek Ashley.

Listen: Conditioner - Low Point @ Bandcamp

A mellow second single recently materialized from the Toronto psych-pop act Roy. You can stream "Love (Sky Sister)" below. It serves as a lower-key counterpart to the bombastic "Is It You (Sky Brother)" that reintroduced Roy to the world a month ago, with both tracks directly addressing the celestial narrative wrapped around the band's upcoming album Pease Love and Outer Space.

Roy's new LP arrives April 17 from Idée Fixe Records. A special edition of the album will be available with a bonus cassette, featuring "synthesizer compositions" intended to be played alongside the LP.

Listen: Roy - "Love (Sky Sister)" @ Bandcamp

The Windsor campus radio station CJAM recently shared a live session from Shotgun Jimmie. Back in November, the singer/songwriter visited the studio while touring in support of his Transistor Sister 2 record. His band at the time featured the above-mentioned José Miguel Contreras, along with Ladyhawk's Ryan Peters and Jay Baird of Do Make Say Think. During the appearance, the band performs "The New Sincerity," "Hot Pots," and "Jack Pine."

Josh Kaiser of Kaiser Sound Productions (and the mighty Psychic Void!) recorded the session, with a group of local filmmakers taking part in the production (Elliot Hale, Greg Maxwell, Walter Petrichyn, Rosina Riccardo, to be specific). Filmmaker David Konstantino produced and edited the footage.

Transistor Sister 2 arrived last summer on You've Changed Records. If you're in Toronto (and you see this newsletter before Tuesday), you can catch Jimmie on March 10 at the Tranzac playing two solo acoustic sets.

Watch: Shotgun Jimmie - CJAM FM sessions @ YouTube

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Under The Circumstances

Some Party's new Under The Circumstances compilation features new and rare songs from Tough Age, Partner, Wares, Psychic Void, and New Vogue!