Spring is almost here, and kids in Montreal are slowly creeping out of their holes, emerging triumphant bearing mp3s that represent the fruits of their 6 months of Seasonal Affected Disorder. The Amethysts aren’t the only ones who decided to throw a new track into the ether this March. Friends (and members) of Adam & The Amethysts have recently released some amazing music on the interwebz. And I’ll be damned if I’m not going to BLOG THE SHIT OUT OF THEM.
Mozart’s Sister is dear friend Caila Thompson-Hannant, whom I used to play with in Miracle Fortress way back when, and whom you might recognize from Shapes & Sizes and Think About Life. She just released this free EP on bandcamp that evokes Prince and Dirty Projectors and great times.
Generalessa is Scott Johnson Gailey, who just so happens to play bass and drums in the Amethysts. He released these lo-fi bedroom pop songs that are sure to please your sensibilities.
Code Pie is Rebecca’s band, and their new album of feel-good pop tunes is killer. Be sure to listen to the single “Operator.”
And they also cover Justin Bieber’s “Baby” which is not to be missed by anyone, please:
You can spot former Amethyst Rory Seydel in this new video for this awesome Pat Jordache song. Pat is a great and talented man who makes filthy arty pop music that I, you, and everyone else rightfully loves, and his band is among Montreal’s current best and brightest.
James Irwin is another dear friend and this song is just fucking brilliant. Plus it was recorded by Pat. He used to play in My People Sleeping (RIP), one of the best MTL bands, with former Amethyst, Katherine Peacock.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to check out the PWYC album Odd City by Ancient Kids, the new band lead by occasional Amethyst drummer Jordan Robson-Cramer featuring me on guitar and keyboards. I’m not on this record though; it’s pretty much all JRC.
When Vancouver band SSRIs got stuck in Thunder Bay, Ontario (my home town) for a week due to a broken tour van, they turned lemons into Northern Ontario lemonade. Here’s their reworked cover of Champs-elysées they produced with their (unwanted) spare time in honor of their depressing week where they missed several shows and no doubt lost lots of money. I’m not sure if this is just as hilarious if you aren’t from there, or at least haven’t toured through there. Anyways, I found it hilarious, and even made me a little nostalgic.
We’re playing in Montreal this Friday April 23 with our good friends World Provider at everyone’s fave Mile End showhole Casa Del Popolo. It would be nice to see you there! Rebecca can’t make it because she’s in New York for a month, but I’ll be playing with the help of a rock four-piece line-up featuring Rory from Shapes and Sizes and Keiko and Jeffrey from the Acorn. This band is like a box of chocolates.
We’re playing first so be prompt. It’s $10 and doors are at 8:30.
And here‘s a free mp3 of a newer WP song from their most recent record.
I went to see Joanna Newsom at the Ukrainian Federation in Montreal the other night. It was one of the best shows I’ve been to in a good while. I wrote a review of the show for Nomag.
The harp itself was impressive. Resembling a cross between a stately oak banister and a huge archaic loom, when you see it in person it’s hard to imagine any human being playing one, let alone a petite 28-year-old from small-town California. But last night at the Ukrainian Federation, Joanna Newsom plucked its 44 strings with outstanding poise and personality, and a classical virtuosity that’s rare in indie music.
In other news, I’m getting really excited about our tour dates in April with Land of Talk. Rebecca and I are working hard on putting together a set with some new arrangements for the shows. Just to refresh your memories, the dates are as follows:
Land of Talk w/ Adam & The Amethysts
April 6: Guelph, Ontario – Ebar
April 8: Toronto, Ontario – Lee’s Palace
April 9: Kingston, Ontario – The Grad Club
April 10: Wakefield, Quebec – Black Sheep Inn
I’ve moved into a new studio space that’s shared with a few friends, which is really exciting. Up until now I’ve been working almost exclusively from home, but having this space away from home to be really loud in is incredibly liberating. I’d post some photos, but it’s not very visually stunning at the moment.
Also, the weather is so nice today in MTL. I just sat and had a coffee on a patio in the sun and it was an incredibly regenerative experience. I think I will BBQ this weekend if this keeps up. I don’t doubt that it might just start snowing again at any moment, but I’m enjoying this early spring weather while I can.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, whether or not you celebrate it, here is a love song by the singular and beautiful Ruby Attwood (Tears for the Year) of My People Sleeping. It’s about her boyfriend John who I know for a fact is a very handsome young man. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
The concept for the recording is rather interesting. Here’s some more info about the video/recording:
This video is the first in a new series from A Story Told Well called “Four In The Wild”.
The series will consist of audio recorded, on location, in the traditional 4 track arrangement, but with no post-processing or artificial reverbs/delays. The artist will be shot in 4 different location with 4 different acoustic environments to temper the sound. In the video, no b-roll will be used so that anything happening on screen in the edit will be a moment captured at the exact time of one of the layers.
This recording features Ruby Kato Attwood of My People Sleeping, Yamantaka Sonic Titan and Women With Kitchen Appliances. It was filmed in various locations in Montreal. Let us know if you recognize any of them.
Thanks to Nora Bouazzouni of La Blogotheque for location sound, co-art direction and propwork sanity.
Thanks to Jessie Stein for the wurly.
Thanks as well to Duff Smith for the camera assist.
You really gotta hand it to this 22 year old MC who risked–and in my opinion, transcended–dorkdom and made this unabashedly sentimental hip-hop homage to his hometown (and mine) Thunder Bay, Ontario. Dorky maybe, but the references to Finnish pancakes, Labatt Crystal, and Terry Fox give me goosebumps–and incidentally I’m not the only one. As of posting this the video has over 210,000 hits on YouTube (almost twice Thunder Bay’s population), and the genuine hometown pride evinced by the YouTube comments makes my eyes moist. I really hope that they start playing this on MuchMusic. It’s definitely slick enough, and Thunder Bay could use the cultural moral boost. Now who’s going to mash this up with Amethyst Amulet?
We have a little spring tour that’s starting to shape up. So far there are only a few dates confirmed but more should be added eventually. The confirmed dates are with the loverly Land of Talk. They look a little something like this:
April 6: Guelph, Ontario – Ebar w/ Land of Talk
April 8: Toronto, Ontario – Lee’s Palace w/ Land of Talk
April 9: Kingston, Ontario – The Grad Club w/ Land of Talk
April 10: Wakefield, Quebec – Black Sheep Inn w/ Land of Talk
Also, we’re playing in Montreal really soon at Il Motore for the first night of the 3-night Blue Skies Turn Black 10-year anniversary party. Here’s the massive lineup for the night:
Whoa, sorry I had been absent from this thing for the past month and a bit. I’ve been deeply entrenched in work on the record and intensive French class. Since I’ve been absent from the internet, I’ve also been to Thunder Bay for the holidays. As always it was a relaxing and regenerative experience. My sister Carly and I took a walk near our old neighborhood and these are some photos that she took. There are more of these and some repeats on her blog. The last one of Carly was taken by me. Click to enlarge.
Another highlight of visiting Thunder Bay was performing at a house concert with my current favorite Thunder Bay band The Ukeladies. They’re a synth and ukulele duo that play sad, sweet, and strange pop music. They don’t have a lot of recordings yet, but they do have at least one song on their Myspace page, which has been written up on Said the Gramophone. Here’s a video of them performing at the house party:
Solange Knowles covers Dirty Projectors – First she ostensibly gets her sister Beyonce and Jay-Z into Grizzly Bear. Now this. Somehow, every time a big hip-hop or R&B star (especially a Knowles) flirts with indie rock, which has been happening lately, my dream of one day stealing Beyonce away from Jay-Z seems slightly less absurd. [UPDATE: check out this article from August. Jay-Z on indie rock]. But seriously, Solange’s version of “Stillness is the Move” is so good and based around the same sample as Dr Dre’s xxplosive. Thank you, Pitchfork. (note: Pitchfork’s mp3 was taken down, but this one should still work). Also, if you haven’t seen it, the Dirty Projectors’ incredible original “Stillness is the Move” has a lovely video. I’ll be seeing you Montrealers at the Dirty Projectors show this Sunday at Le National with our good buddy Tuneyards. Should be epic.
In other news, my herbal detox is going well. I’ve pretty much gotten over feeling hungry all the time, but the other night I had a very impassioned dream in which I ate an entire plate of nachos. That was all that happened. Notably, the nachos had pesto on them, which is something I will have to try after this cleanse is finished.
Also, look out for an Adam & The Amethysts Montreal show or two in the coming months, because, why not?
Carl Spidla is a singer/songwriter here in Montreal who is worth checking out. If his voice were a fine wine, it would have a nose that evokes wet grass and Mile End bachelor pad, a Bob Dylanny attack, an evolution marked by smokey cedar and plum, with a decidedly Bruce Springsteenish finish. It would also be surprisingly inexpensive and even more surprisingly manufactured in Ontario.
Turns out, Carl also has a nifty blues music blog called Country Blue. It is also worth checking out. Do it, dammit!
On an unrelated note, I hope everyone had a pleasant Halloween. I combined two Halloween cliches and went as a tacky tourist/mummy (as did m). The mummy part got a little uncomfortable so I removed my wrappings partway through the evening, leaving me just a lowly regular tacky tourist. Which was fine by me.