Sunday, January 31, 2010

MFM Showcase- Live Music!


Usually I'm not a big fan of attending showcases because it's basically a big promo for something, you have to sit through speeches and self-promotion before you see what you came for. This was the second annual Manitoba Film & Music showcase that featured participants from our local film groups and music performers from our Province, a three hour show for FREE. Free was good, because I really wanted to check out just a few bands that I'm familiar with, but these type of shows are meant as a sampler so you can to get a taste (teaser) of some of the local talent I've been neglecting. Again, if I didn't have to sit through all the interviews and speeches, the music portion would have taken up only a fraction of the total 3 hour show. Don't get me wrong, there were some other interesting non-music items such as Cordell Barker's 9 minute short, Runaway and Talia Pura performed a beautiful breathtaking aerial dance, twisting and turning high above the stage grasping a pink silk fabric...nice. Showcases like this are meant to remind people what a diverse and talented community we have here in Winnipeg.

The music ranged widely: country-folk sounds of Nathan and Sierra Noble, rap' n 'roll of Grand Analog, pop-rock of Quinzy and Paper Moon, blues-rock of Billy Joe Green And Romi Mayes, metal thrashings of Domenica, unique sounds of Daniel Roa, classic rock of Harlequin and the indie-rock stylings of the Weakerthans. Everyone got to perform one song (except the Weakerthans-2) and in between each band, the time was used for the interviews and film clips. To close the show, kid's performer Fred Penner led a sing-a-long of his classic, The Cat Came Back, with many of the previous performers joining in. An appropriate way to end this (too?) long show.

I have to admit I had an ulterior motive for attending this show, I received a new portable digital recorder, Tascam DR-07 for Christmas and this was my opportunity for a trial run. This is the first recording I've made with this machine and I thought a casual crowd in a nice acoustically sounding building, like the Concert Hall would be ideal to test out how the recorder performed. The seating area was dimly lit (not too dark, so I could see the controls) and I seated myself close to the back of the main floor, but dead centre with no one immediately beside, in front and behind me. I played with the volume levels and tried both the built-in mic and the external Sony mic I've been using with my mini-disc recorder. The results are very satisfying and I'm excited to share this recording exclusively with the TDIT blog.

Manitoba Film & Music Showcase
Winnipeg Centennial Concert Hall

January 31, 2010


1. Nathan *
2. Quinzy *
3. Billy Joe Green *
4. Grand Analog
5. Romi Mayes
6. Domenica
7. Paper Moon
8. Daniel Roa *
9. Sierra Noble
10. Harlequin
11. Weakerthans
12. Fred Penner & Friends

* used the internal mic (can you tell the difference?)

I decided to post each artist/song separately in case you wanted to just sample a couple of artists instead of downloading them all. I didn't record any of the other on-stage presentations (talking, interviews etc.), only the music (except JP Hoe who opened the show and I arrived late), so I stopped the recording after each song.
Enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Before They Was Famous- The Shins (Flake)


Remember The Shins? They really haven't released anything in almost 3 years now and I just read that front-man James Mercer wants to take a break from The Shins until 2011 when they're next album will be released. As you're anxiously anticipating their next album, take a look way back before The Shins were The Shins.

The Shins were known as Flake (later Flake Music), they formed in 1992 and released a whole bunch of 7''ers, a EP and a full-length album. Initially The Shins were a side-project for James Mercer and Neal Langford and when Flake Music disbanded in 1999, it's former members became The Shins.

The Spork EP was released in 1995 and this lo-fi recording shows a much different sounding band than 5 years later. The Shins soothing lush indie-pop sound is replaced by a more rockier crunchy, fuzzy guitar sound and Mercer's vocals have a more uncontrolled urgency. Their sound reminds me a bit like Superchunk or early Buffalo Tom. Personally, I'm kind of enjoying this EP, I'm sure you won't find this CD at your neighborhood Walmart or Starbucks and you'll be still hard pressed to find it at any indie record stores (try eBay or download it here). If you're a Shins fan this is an interesting listen and stay tuned as I'll post the Flake Music's full length album as well. Now you don't have to wear out your copies of the first two Shins albums as these should tide you over until the new album arrives.

FLAKE MUSIC
Spork EP (1995)
  1. Pull Out of Your Head Size
  2. Dying Lack of Spit
  3. Totto
  4. Nuevo
  5. Dilly Dally
  6. 6.
FLAKE MUSIC- Spork ep. rar

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Live From The Women's Club Vol. 2


Sorry for taking so long to post The Jayhawks, Live From The Women's Club Vol. 2, I'm in the process of reorganizing the room that houses my boxes of live concert CD's. They were previously stacked on my drafting table that hasn't seen a clear surface in over 10 years. This is part one of my plan to organize and catalog the shows and try to figure out which boxes I've already inputted into the computer (I haven't updated since 2004). This whole process may (will at least...) take weeks, but that means I will come across some cool stuff to post here as I'm sorting through the boxes. I've already found a couple unlabeled discs that feature a live in-studio performance by Winnipeg band, B'ehl and a 2000 SXSW show by the Weakerthans. Stay tuned! In case you're counting I have 37 "orange boxes" and shoe boxes of concert discs on the shelf, the boxes that have the pink tags have already been cataloged...should be fun!

Live From The Women's Club Volume 2 continues where Vol. 1 left off, almost literary, because it's songs are taken from the same concert (04/26/02). Volume One was edited to one disc before the band probably considered to release the rest of the show. Personally, I like to hear the complete concert from start to finish in it's original setlist order, so in some ways these were the left-overs from the first disc. Unlike Lou Reed's albums, Rock 'n' Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live which featured different tracks from the same concert (Rock 'n' Roll Animal was far superior to Lou Reed Live), WC Vol. 2 is equally as strong in quality and performance as Vol. 1. As a bonus there are demos from the Smile album (12-13), Rainy Day Music (14) and a demo recorded at The Jayhawks practice space (15).

THE JAYHAWKS
Live From The Women's Club Volume 2

1.One Man's Problem
2. What Led Me To This Town
3. The Man Who Loved Life
4. Tampa To Tulsa
5. Somewhere In Ohio
6. Settled Down Like Rain
7. Angelyne
8. Jennifer Save Me
9. Clouds
10. All The Right Reasons
11. Reason To Believe
Bonus Tracks -
12. Gypsy In The Mood
13. Okhee's Theme
14. Save Me From Myself
15. Boston Maid

THE JAYHAWKS- Live From The Women's Club Vol. 2. rar

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Jayhawks- Live From The Women's Club


The Jayhawks are one of those bands that I've travelled out-of-town to see live. A road trip to nearby Grand Forks in December 1999 and Bemidji, MN in October 2001 were very memorable shows and I also saw them when they played Winnipeg in 2003 and the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1988. They were and still remain a favourite band of mine and I seriously considered heading to Minneapolis last July to see one of their reunion shows with original member Mark Olson. No matter what the line-up of the band is, they always offer up a great live show and amazing musicianship.

A few years back, the band released a live recording of one of their all-acoustic shows featuring the stripped down trio of Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Tim O'Reagan. Originally, this "official bootleg" was only sold at shows, but later you were able to find it at some independent record stores (and apparently now at Amazon). The concert took place on April 26, 2002 at the Women's Club in Minneapolis, MN. If you're a fan of the band already, this album is a beautiful companion piece to their studio recordings and if you've never listened to the Jayhawks, this recording reveals the quality and depth of Gary Louris's songwriting and the how much their melodies and vocal harmony define the Jayhawks' sound. I still prefer their electric full-band sound, but the intimacy of an acoustic show can't be denied.

THE JAYHAWKS
Live From The Women's Club
1. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
2. Nothing Left To Borrow
3. Drivin' Wheel
4. Crowded In The Wings
5. Say You'll Be Mine
6. Save It For A Rainy Day
7. Two Hearts
8. Smile
9. Trouble
10. Bottomless Cup
11. Tailspin
12. I'd Run Away
13. Break In The Clouds
14. Blue
15. Waiting For The Sun
16. Sound Of Lies
17. Sister Cry -
Bonus Tracks - Demos from Smile Album
18. Desperate Serenade
19. Someone Will

THE JAYHAWKS- Live From The Women's Club. rar

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sara & Tegan -Live On CBC Radio 1998


Back in 1998 at the age of 17, the Quin twins (identical) entered a Garage Warz Battle Of the Bands competition in their hometown of Calgary, beknownst to them this would be the start of a very successful career in music. Since winning the contest, they have toured extensively and have just released their sixth album, Sainthood to much critical acclaim. They played a pair of sold-out shows in Winnipeg last week on a cross country tour where they will play pretty much every major city in the US and Canada...ha! who needs American Idol when Garage Warz can open so many doors.

I must admit I'm not really a huge Tegan and Sara fan, but I can appreciate their dedication and hard work and keeping true to their own vision. I have their first couple albums, but honestly I can't remember the last time I gave them a spin. I've heard a few cuts from the new album and it's not bad, I'll have to give it a complete listen.

I'm in the process of converting some of my live concert tapes to CD (or digital files) and I thought this T & S recording might be of interest. It's a radio broadcast of CBC's Radiosonic, a program that aired Saturday night on the FM dial. Each week they featured a live concert and sometimes a live in-studio performance in their Vancouver studio. I had a habit of recording any band that sounded interesting or that I was familiar with already. This night, Sara and Tegan (this is not a typo, this was before they were officially known as Tegan And Sara) who were virtually unknown at the time, were interviewed and performed live in-studio. This is a rare early live recording and it's a good raw performance...that sounds great!
I also posted the uncompressed FLAC version on Dimeadozen.org (you need to be a member)

SARA & TEGAN
CBC Studio 2
Vancouver, BC

May 30, 1998

(FM Master)

1. Intro
2. Interview
3. Here I Am
4. Interview
5. I'm Falling Asleep
6. Interview
7. Days And Days
8. Outro


SARA & TEGAN- 5-30-98. rar

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Absolutely Nothing!

I can find absolutely nothing in the way of pictures of the band, this is as good as it gets.

If you're a hardcore Plumtree fan you may be already familiar with Carla and Lynette's early side-project, Absolutely Nothing. They formed in 1994 with members, Carla Gillis, Lynette Gillis and Lisa Verge (later replaced by Derrick Hiltz) and they released a couple of cassettes and played mainly around Halifax. Absolutely Nothing would never be mistaken for Plumtree, their sound was more aggressive, their songs are short and fast and they definitely had a punk edge to them. Carla still sang, but instead of playing guitar she switches to bass. As their MySpace page says, they are a "lean and teen Halifax punk band". They disbanded by 1997, which enabled Carla and Lynette to tour freely and concentrate on their main project, Plumtree.

A number of years ago (at least 10 years ago!), I received a Absolutely Nothing cassette tape and a VHS tape full of Absolutely Nothing and Plumtree live performances from someone on the East Coast, I can't remember who it was, but thanks! Unfortunately the video tape was probably a few generations old, so the quality is a little rough and is not by any means high def, but it's a great documentation of both bands. The tape made me even more of a fan and created a need to see them perform live. I'm hoping there will be a renewed interest in the band, cause I figure the new Plumtree.ca site is a way for Carla and co. to maybe gain some attention because of this Scott Pilgrim movie and to give their fans (new and old) a glimpse into what they were missing. The t-shirts are just a tiny way they can cash in. Plumtree was a band that broke-up at the height of their popularity and called it quits much too prematurely. Check out their discography page and buy their studio albums! Show your support for the band and who knows...!

Carla and Lynette have continued to form bands together and record great music. While living in Vancouver they formed, Bontempi (They mailed me their CD) and Bells Clanging. Currently in Toronto, Carla and Lynette's latest project is, Sisters.

Getting back to Absolutely Nothing, I'm posting this rare cassette demo I have. The sound is fairly lo-fi and raw and there's some tape hiss and the sound volume fluctuates a bit (again a few generations old). I just transferred the tape to digital files and honestly I hadn't played the tape in years. Maybe one day if the members of the band re-release it on CD and clean-up the sound, with a better mix and less distortion, this could sound really good. On their MySpace, the song samples sound much bassier and cleaner.
Enjoy!

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
Demo cassette (1994?)
1. Fako
2. AWOL
3. Ol' Blue Eyes
4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
5. Lawyers Suck
6. Pointed
7. I'm A Boy
8. Milli
9. Loser
10. Armidillo
11. PDS / 4 Track
12. Ich Habe Angst
13. I Don't Know
14. Top Of The Morning
15. Liberated Woman

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING- demos. rar

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Plumtree - Scott Pilgrim

With the release of the upcoming film starring Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, it should be noted the film is based on the graphic novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley. More importantly before the books, the name of "Scott Pilgrim" originates from the song by Plumtree.

In the film, Michael Cera's character (Scott Pilgrim) will be seen wearing a Plumtree t-shirt. The band is selling those very same shirts on their newly launched website at http://www.plumtree.ca/. It should be also noted, I just bought one! (buy here!) Photos later when it arrives!

More Plumtree videos can be found on YouTube or on Plumtree's site.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Plumtree Live!


I know there are at least a few readers to this blog that have heard of the late great all-girl Halifax band, Plumtree. If you are not familiar with the band, have a look from their Wiki-bio.

Plumtree was formed in 1993, when the original line-up of the band were teenagers. Carla Gillis (aged 17) on vocals and guitar, sister Lynette (14) on drums, Amanda Braden (15) guitar and vocals and Nina Martin (16) on bass. In their 7 years of existance, they produced 3 full-length CD's, one EP and five 7" singles. In 1996, they were awarded a YTV achievement award for the best Canadian band under twenty and appeared on the nationally broadcasted show. Their popularity was helped by the fact around this time, a boom of great young bands sprung up in the Maritimes region (Sloan, Jale, Eric's Trip), that gained national and American attention (think, Sub Pop!). Plumtree earned a solid fan base with their down to earth, fresh approach to indie-rock that took them on tour throughout Canada and the US. They toured with bands such as, Superfriendz, Thrush Hermit, Inbreds, Weakerthans and the Local Rabbits.

I had the pleasure of seeing the band 4 times during their last tour in 2000 and I wished I had discovered them sooner. About a year ago, in one of my past blog postings I talked about meeting the band after a show and about how I recorded their shows I attended (Also you can still download the Flutterboard cassette ep). If there is interest, I could transfer some of my tapes to CD (or mp3's) and post some more live Plumtree.

Today, I have a recording that was broadcast on the CBC during a East Coast Music Awards showcase concert. Plumtree played a short set (I'm not sure if this was edited down) at the Halifax Convention Centre on January 31, 1998. The sound quality is excellent, as it's a radio broadcast, but there is a glitch between Effin' and You Just Don't Exist, I must have knocked the tuner dial or something as I lost reception for a few seconds, other than that, it's good.
Enjoy!

PLUMTREE
Halifax Convention Centre
Halifax, NS
January 31, 1998
FM Broadcast

1. Hang Up Baby
2. Fatherhood
3. The Game's Over
4. Sodium Chloride
5. Effin'
6. You Just Don't Exist
7. Racing Gloves
8. Go! / outtro.

PLUMTREE- 1-31-98. rar

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Minus 5- Hello EP


Since the last post featured Scott McCaughey's first band, The Young Fresh Fellows, I thought it would be appropriate to follow-up with Scott's "other" bands' first release. In 1993, Scott formed the Minus 5, a loose pop collaborative that was designed not to have a consistent line-up album to album. During the early Minus 5 records, the only constants were McCaughey and Peter Buck, who had recently moved to Seattle from Athens, GA, home to his "other" band, R.E.M.

The Hello EP was the Minus 5's first release and it was put out by the They Might Be Giant's mail order record club, Hello CD Of the Month Club.

MINUS 5
Hello- EP (1993)
  1. Loser So Supreme
  2. Only One Thing
  3. Brotherhood of Pain
  4. Drunkard's Lullabye
MINUS 5- Hello EP. rar

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Fabulous Sounds...


...Of The Pacific Northwest!
Since it's a new fresh year, I thought I should start the year by making good on some requests. Back in November, when I wrote a posting celebrating 10,000 views to this blog, I posted 4 versions of the Young Fresh Fellows song, Teenage Dogs In Trouble, the title-track to this blog. The original version of that song appeared on their first album, The Fabulous Sounds Of the Pacific Northwest. I know it's kind of late, but to Kev from the UK, I'm finally posting the original album you requested for download. This album is from over 25 years ago and this classic album launched the career of this great Seattle band that is finally receiving the recognition they deserve. I've stated many times on this blog that the YFF are my favourite band, so please take advantage and have a listen because I have lots of YFF rarities to post in the future.

YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS
The Fabulous Sounds Of The Pacific Northwest (1984)
  1. "Rock 'N' Roll Pest Control"
  2. "All Messed Up"
  3. "Gus Theme"
  4. "Think Better Of Me"
  5. "Power Mowers Theme"
  6. "Empty Set Takes A Vacation"
  7. "View From Above"
  8. "Big House"
  9. "This Little Mystery"
  10. "A Humble Guy"
  11. "Down By The Pharmacy"
  12. "Teenage Dogs In Trouble"
  13. "You Call That Lonely?"
  14. "That Letter"
  15. "Young Fresh Fellows Theme"
YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS- The Fabulous Sounds Of The Pacific Northwest. rar

Friday, January 01, 2010

Welcome to 2010!


Will this be the year we make contact?
Welcome to the new year and new decade! I trust everyone had a great 2009 and have high hopes for the upcoming year. I don't think I'll post a top 10 albums or songs of 2009, mainly because I doubt I listened to enough CD's to make qualified choices for this year. I will say that I purchased some very fine products from folks such as Wilco, Neko Case, Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, The Hold Steady, Condo Fucks (Yo La Tengo), The Disciplines (Ken Stringfellow-led Norwegian band), Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard, Dinosaur Jr, Metric, Amy Millan and Wendy Bird. As well as some great (long-awaited) compilation sets from the Jayhawks and Big Star. I'm not usually one to keep close tabs to "the scene" or to follow what's "hot" in music, as I've spent a lot of my recent time downloading and buying music from past decades, sort of that re-acquiring of music I had on cassette and LP, that I now want to upload on my iPod.

To celebrate the end of 2009, here's a rockin' New Year's eve party song from Pittsburgh's late great, Frampton Brothers, circa late 90's, not 2009..."Let's make believe, things are really gonna get better, yeah everythings gonna be better, this time..."
Happy New Year!

FRAMPTON BROTHERS- Party Hat mp3
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