Some patchy Eastern Canadian tour dates for you to mark in your pocket agenda, wall calendar, or personal digital assistant. As you can see, there are a lot of gaps, but they’ll all hopefully be filled soon with more confirmed shows. But I thought it would be good to put these out there as a little preview… (BTW, thanks to everyone who came out to our Ottawa show. It was lots of fun! Pictures here) We’re also hoping to confirm some more westerly dates and will let you know when we do! Note that we are playing THIS THURSDAY AUG 25 in Toronto at the Tranzac.
Aug 25th – TORONTO, ON (Tranzac)(facebook event)
Sept 22nd – MONTREAL, QC (O Patro Vys – Pop Montreal MEGAPHONO Showcase)
Sept 23rd – MONTREAL, QC (Prism Tower – Pop Montreal Loft Party) *
Oct 5th – TORONTO, ON (The Piston) **
Oct 6th – LONDON, ON (APK Live) **
Oct 8th – OTTAWA, ON (Dom Polski SPK – Kelp Fall Classic)
Oct 13th – HAMILTON, ON (Casbah)
Oct 15th – WINDSOR, ON (Phog Lounge)
Oct 20th – FREDERICTON, NB (Capital) ***
Oct 21st – HALIFAX, NS (Company House – Halifax Pop Explosion)
* w/ The Weather Station | ** w/ Pink Moth | *** w/ Library Voices
And here’s one of the new super sexxxy band portraits we recently took with dear friend and incredible artist/photographer Celia Perrin Sidarous for you to print out and tack to your bedroom wall or tape up in your gym locker.
Thanks to everyone who came to our shows with Land of Talk last week. It was a fun little tour and we can’t wait to get back on the road again soon. My throat managed to pull through (more or less) every night with the help of lots of ginger-lemon tea and cough syrup. Land of Talk were awesome as expected, and it was fun for me to get to play bass and keys with them on a few songs every night.
Here are some more photos from our show in Wakefield, Quebec.
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:
(July 1, 2010 – Update: We did another Take Away show!)
Back in October, illustrious Parisian filmmaker and all-around sexy man Vincent Moon was in town filming a series of Take-Away Shows of Montreal bands for the super-amazing blog, La Blogotheque. The Take-Away Shows are an ongoing series of guerrilla-style live videos of bands performing in unlikely, often public, often intimate spaces. The most famous Take-Away show is probably this one. Long story short, we filmed an Adam & The Amethysts performance in my favorite pierogi restaurant/Polish deli, but the footage apparently turned out not-so-good and the session was never released. They assured me that it wasn’t my fault…
Luckily, the also-illustrious Ryan Muir took some beautiful photos. It was a really interesting experience to sing and play guitar and maybe make people feel kind of uncomfortable at a place where I go to eat pierogis about once or twice a week. The whole time I thought I was really pissing off the staff who had to weave around us to deliver people their orders as we played, but in the end, I got some really nice comments from them about my singing voice, and I think it was a special experience for them too (and hopefully for the customers who expected pierogis and cabbage rolls and borscht, not a folk band).
Hopefully the awkwardness of the situation was laced with some whimsy. I think it was. It’s not every day you spontaneously get serenaded by a cello and bumped into by a Parisian film crew while you’re trying to eat your Sunday borscht.
Back in October fellow Thunder Bay ex-pat Dave Shaw and I conducted a Theremin-building workshop at Articule gallery in Montreal in association with Pop Montreal’s Symposium. It was fun! Best of all, everyone’s instrument worked in the end (about a dozen of them). Well, almost all of them worked. Jenny’s made insane evil droning sounds that weren’t quite right, but cool anyway.
For the workshop we used the Harrison Instruments Minimum Theremin Kit. I really recommend this kit if you have an interest in building a Theremin but don’t have tons of experience with electronics, or if you do and just want a quick and easy project. It only has one antenna for pitch (no volume antenna), but aside from that limitation, it actually sounds amazing and has a decent range, depending on what you use for your antenna. Everyone in the workshop made their own custom enclosure and antenna for their Theremin circuit, which made it really fun. There were cigar box Theremins, film canister Theremins, spoon antennas, and Dave built his into a wireless router and actually used the antennas of the router for the instrument’s pitch control!
Here are some photos from the event.
Builders hard at work
Sean's cigar box and standing spoon Theremin
My finished Theremin in sleek dollar store wooden box
Dave and his amazing wireless router Theremin (and matching sweater)
Ah, memories. The workshop was followed by pitchers of coke and mozzarella sticks at an all-night family restaurant. Perfect.
Also, thanks to everyone who came to the show we played opening for Mew last week at Cabaret Juste Pour Rire. What a lovely crowd.
Adam & The Amethysts (this time: Rory, Rebecca, and I) are playing tomorrow at La Sala Rossa in MTL. Details in my last post. It’s going to be a total love-in of friendly awesomeness, so show up!
We were offline-ish for a little while there, as the tech team was working on redesigning the website a little bit. Now in addition to the blog we have some other pages about the band for you to browse.
In other news, the new record is coming along. I’m really excited about how some of the new songs are sounding. It’s shaping up to be less ethereal, more immediate-sounding. But still with cool sounds and spring-verb on everything (I can’t help it). I guess that all could change as the mixes evolve. The picture to the left is of this cool old public address tube amplifier (Made in Chicago) from the ’50s that’s been modded to act as either a guitar head or a pre-amp. The tubes are all original RCA coke bottle shaped beasts that are on the verge of death which sounds noisy and amazing. I picked it up for cheap in Toronto last year and it’s been a staple piece of versatile gear for me since. Great for making guitar sound bad ass, or a tambourine sound like crap. Awesome crap.
I’d never recorded a cello before, but the sessions I did with Rebecca sounded amazing, and hopefully she’ll come by again soon to sprinkle some more brooding sad fairy dust all over this record.
I’m also starting a seven-day herbal cleanse this week. No salt, sugar, alcohol, refined grains, processed foods, coffee, etc. plus a bunch of herbal mumbo-jumbo supplements. I want my colon to be in tip-top shape while I work on this record. Wish me luck.
Everyone’s heard of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, and anyone who’s seen them will attest to their surreal beauty. I can remember one time lying on my back in the backyard of some family friends in Thunder Bay when I was a kid watching the greenish electric dance in the sky.
Well, the southern hemisphere has sky lights too, called Aurora Australis, and they aren’t too shabby. The incredible photos in this post are borrowed from Environmental Graffiti.
Auroras are the result of the emissions of photons in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, above 80 km (50 miles), from ionized nitrogen atoms regaining an electron, and oxygen and nitrogen atoms returning from an excited state to ground state. They are ionized or excited by the collision of solar wind particles being funnelled down, and accelerated along, the Earth’s magnetic field lines; excitation energy is lost by the emission of a photon of light, or by collision with another atom or molecule.
I have to say, I was surprised this weekend with just how enjoyable and whimsical the ALL CAPS! Island Show was. Rebecca and I had a good set. The crowd was receptive and pleasant and there were a number of Thunder Bay ex-pats in the crowd which made it special for me.
The rest of the day was also really great. This was my first time on Toronto Island, and I didn’t realize how lovely the place was. We took a walk on the beach and I found a number of treasures, including bones, feathers, rocks, a bottle cap, shells, and fragments of old dishes.
The most exciting finds were the two shards of old ceramic plates that had been worn over time like smooth beach rocks, but still had their stamps on them. The one with the cross printed on it was from the children’s hospital. Click here to see my excavated loot up close.
The show itself took place inside the Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts, a 100-year-old natural sciences school that had been rescued from demolition by an urban development organization called Artscape and turned into artist residences and studios (this was a fundraiser for them). As a side note, my friend Yuula Benivolski was doing some rad stuff there up until just recently. Check out her site to see footage of her crazy fire rituals on the beach and other artful endeavors. To get a sense of how beautiful the island is, check out Yuula’s Flickr page.
The atmosphere was very summer-campy, which I loved. There was a big warm fireplace in the big cafeteria-like room in which we performed. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos, so you’ll have to take my word for it. My sister was there and took some, so I’ll try to post them when I get my hands on them.
One highlight was seeing Snowblink perform. I had never heard them before and they were quite enjoyable. We picked up their record “Long Live,” and it’s quite nice.
Near the old school was a lighthouse. Here’s a video I took of noisy art band Ghostlight playing there.
Twas an all-around great event. Ryan, Jonny, and co. who put on this show should be very proud!