Monday, November 06, 2006

Wandering Eyes


Finding something interesting on the radio has always been a challenge. The city I live in didn't even have a campus radio station until after I graduated in the late 80's and the local classic rock stations spewed out the same stuff I heard in high school. Over 10 years later we have three university stations, U of M, U of W and Red River College. All these stations actually give some exposure to local bands and less known performers. The national broadcaster, CBC believe it or not, has exposed me to many new and interesting musicians.

Back in the mid eighties, a late night CBC radio show called Brave New Waves profiled indie and alternative music and culture. This show helped influence and shape my taste in music, providing music that was outside the mainstream, especially without college radio. I spend my University nights in bed with headphones discovering "new" music, at least to my ears. When I heard a cool song, I would grab a pen and jot down the name of the band and song title. Bands like Husker Du, Volcano Suns, The Nils, DOA, Half Man Half Biscuit, Minutemen, Sonic Youth... what would my life have been like without CBC-FM?...probably would be waiting for a "new" Boston album to come out.

Through the nineties, CBC had some other good music shows such as Nightlines, DNTO and on Saturday nights, a show that played concerts and in-session performances, much like on CBC radio 3.

More recently I was tuned in to CBC 2 (FM) at work, to a national afternoon show called Freestyle, with co-hosts Kelly Ryan and Cameron Phillips. These two are barely tolerable, but some of the music they play isn't too bad. There's lots of good Canadian content, such as the Arcade Fire, Sadies, Paper Moon, Plumtree, Jale and some newer acts like the Bicycles and Angela Desveaux.

Angela Desveaux - Wandering Eyes
Everyone that I've played this to has asked, who is this? Up until a month ago I would have thought the same. When I first heard Heartbeat on the radio, I thought this was something new from Kathleen Edwards. I have a soft spot for laid back, almost country-ish melody and harmonies and that song raised my curiosity and convinced me to seek out more about Angela. The album has some other moments as well, Wandering Eyes has a poppy feel to it, Sick Of Fools is more country-rock, kind of reminds me a bit like Allison Moorer and All the Talk is the rock song (does the guitar intro remind you of the Weakerthans song This Is A Fire Door Never Leave It Open?..check it out). The rest of the songs are slower or more folkier, which is okay, she has a great voice, but she needs to exhibit maybe more of an edge or urgency in the performance as it starts to sound too similar. She has been compared to Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch with an alt-country twist, so her influences are first-rate, and with experience she will add even more of her own personality and character on the next release. First, have a listen to her new CD or better yet, see her live if she comes to your town!

Angela Desveaux
Heartbeat mp3 ( from Wandering Eyes)
Wandering Eyes mp3 (from Wandering Eyes)
All the Talk mp3 (from Wandering Eyes)
Bury Me Deeper mp3 ( ep 2004 version)

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