Friday, December 30, 2011

Artist: The Grapes Of Wrath, Album: Treehouse, Song: Peace Of Mind

"My father couldn't bother to play the kind of role a child required.  Instead of trying, he retired."  The Grapes Of Wrath are a rock band from Kelowna, British Columbia.  The founding members are brothers, Chris and Tom Hooper along with Kevin Kane.  The guys met during the late seventies and were a part of the growing punk and art rock scene developing on the west coast.  They decided to play some gigs together during the early eighties and by 1984 produced a 4 song demo that caught the attention of Nettwerk Records.  The label re-issued it and the following year, the band released it's debut album entitled, September Bowl Of Green.  Their debut spawned a couple of singles that achieved strong video and radio support in Canada which in turn attracted the attention of Capitol Records.  Their growing popularity also linked the band with Tom Cochrane, who had remixed a couple of the tracks off their debut and became inspired enough to assume the role of producer for their sophomore release, Treehouse, in 1987.  Any Canadian listening to alternative rock during the eighties would probably count this record as one of our country's all time greats.  I believe it has achieved gold status sales and it became a radio and video staple .  The album had two or three strong singles and one of them was this tune called, Peace Of Mind.  You can watch the video for the song on You Tube (  The band would go on to release two more very good albums between 1987 and 1991 before calling it quits in 1992.  Some of the members soldiered on in a new band called Ginger for a couple of albums as well.  The band was nominated for two Junos in 1990 for Single Of The Year as well as Best Video.  Unfortunately, they lost out to Alannah Myles and Andrew Cash (see blog 2/12/11) respectively.  The band has reformed recently and played a number of shows this past year.  You can follow them at  You can purchase the album, Treehouse, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Artist: Plume Latraverse, Album: Pommes De Route, Song: Hold Up

Plume Latraverse is a musician from Quebec.  He started his career during the early sixties with a band called  La Sainte-Trinite (The Holy Trinity).  Plume is a social activist at heart and was a key figure within the counter culture movement in Quebec.  He is a poet, novelist, painter and musician.  His music is a blend of genres.  He has often been described as a blues man but that certainly doesn't capture the sheer magnitude of all his recording works.  He has won International awards for his songwriting and I believe he has close to thirty releases to date.  Following the break up of La Sainte-Trinite, Plume teamed up with another French artist by the name of Stephen Faulkner for a few albums between 1974 and 1976.  Pommes De Route (Road Apples) was released in 1975 and was one of the final albums for the duo.  This is a very cool 70's rock album with some great tunes.  Both Plume and Stephen self produced the album.  Francophone rock is an ongoing exploration for myself.  I don't know much about the music because it typically doesn't get much press in English Canada.  So I've likely chosen a track here that may not resonate as loudly with true Plume followers.  Nonetheless, I love the groove of this deep cut called Hold Up from the album, Pommes De Route.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  I believe Plume is focusing more of his time writing novels these days.  An absolutely massive 5 disc compilation was released during the 90's of his work.  Most of his albums though are available on Itunes and you can also purchase Pommes De Route there.  You can read about Plume at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Artist: The Fast Romantics, Album: The Fast Romantics, Song: How Do You?

The Fast Romantics are a rock band from Calgary, Alberta originally, but now they reside in Toronto.  They are Matthew Angus, Jeffrey Lewis, Alan Reain and Laurna Germscheid.  The band formed in 2007 and won a regional talent contest which enabled them to produce their self titled debut in 2009.    The band has toured the country a couple of times and recently played some shows in the U.S. including SXSW in Austin, Texas.  They were a finalist in one of Spin Magazine's contests and were joined onstage in Calgary at a Holt Renfrew store opening gig by actor, Jeremy Piven (Entourage), who played drums with the band.  The Fast Romantics have also had some of their tunes included in movies and television.  The band released an EP in 2010 and it was produced by ex-Veal bassist Howard Redekopp (see blog 4/24/11).  You can follow the band at  How Do You? is a dirty, little British sounding rocker off their debut with addictive hand claps.  You can check out the track on You Tube (  You can purchase the band's self titled debut on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Artist: Shades Of Culture, Album: A Little Bit About Us, Song: Trapped In A Maze

Shades Of Culture were a hip hop trio from Montreal that formed in 1992.  They were MC's DShade and Revolution along with DJ Storm.  The band was at the forefront of Montreal's hip hop scene and perhaps one of the most recognizable bands during the nineties within that province.  They were a hard working group that basically did it all independently.  They toured relentlessly and travelled across Canada numerous times, playing close to 100 shows a year.  They toured with Washington D.C. band, Bad Brains.  They also opened shows for other punk acts like SNFU (see blog 12/17/10).  Within the genre of hip hop, the band shared stages with Eminem, KRS-One, Gang Starr and EPMD to name a few.  They even opened for the Backstreet Boys at the Molson Centre in Montreal.  The band released their debut EP in 1996 and their follow up full length album in 1998.  In 2000, the band released an album of unreleased demos called, A Little Bit About Us, with the Stomp Record label (  One of the standout tracks from this release is a song called, Trapped In A Maze.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  They sound a lot like Oakland, California's Souls Of Mischief on this track.  The band would end up splitting in 2004.  DShade released a solo album this past year which is available on Itunes and you can follow him at  DJ Storm has also remained in music and has numerous projects on the go.  You can follow him at  The album, A Little Bit About Us, is available for sale at for $10.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Artist: Mars Bonfire, Album: Faster Than The Speed Of Life, Song: Faster Than The Speed Of Life

Mars Bonfire is a man named Dennis Edmonton.  He grew up in Oshawa, Ontario and joined a band called Jack London & The Sparrows during the early sixties.  The band would eventually become just The Sparrows and recruit an American singer by the name of John Kay.  The band started playing heavy blues rock throughout Ontario and eventually made their way to New York and finally San Francisco.  By then, many of the members were burnt out, including Dennis Edmonton and The Sparrows broke up.  The members split off and carried on in other projects.  The majority of the members remained together and formed the band Steppenwolf.  Many of Steppenwolf's early hits were actual Sparrow tunes that Dennis Edmonton wrote, including a big one called, Born To Be Wild.  Dennis decided to concentrate on his songwriting once he left The Sparrows and released an album as Mars Bonfire in 1968.  It was picked up by Columbia Records and was entitled, Faster Than The Speed Of Life.  The album had a number of tunes that were also released by Steppenwolf like Born To Be Wild, Ride With Me, Tenderness as well as the title track.  You can check out the song, Faster Than The Speed Of Life, on You Tube (  There is also some video footage of an interview with Dennis Edmonton where he reflects on this period of his career that is worth checking out on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, Faster Than The Speed Of Life, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Artist: Revenge Of The Egg People, Album: Songs & Hymns Of Glorious Praise, Song: Season's Greeting Felony

"The noise down the hall scared the piss out of me.  He looked like a dead head strung out on speed.  Now I'm charged with a season's greeting felony."  Revenge Of The Egg People were a punk rock band from the Niagara region of Ontario.  They were Cashmere, Hobbs, Spore, Pail and Bug.  They formed in 1992 and released an astounding 13 albums before their break up in 2004.  They also produced their own independent movie and had a fanzine going for quite a while.  In 2002, the band released a Christmas album entitled, Songs & Hymns Of Glorious Praise.  There were some great originals on this album but none better than the song, Season's Greeting Felony.  It's about someone mistaking Santa for a house burglar and accidentally shooting him.  You can hear the song on You Tube ( The band has reformed in recent years to play the odd show.  Lead singer Cashmere along with Bug started a couple of new bands called Throck Morton (see blog 12/27/10) as well as The Rumble Devils.  All three of the bands were signed to Stumble Records (  You can follow Revenge Of The Egg People at  Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Artist: Instructions, Album: Instructions, Song: Don't Say Love

Instructions were a new wave band from Toronto, Ontario.  They released their one and only self titled, debut album in 1980.  The members were Dave Beatty, Peter Crolly, Alan Webster, Regan Myers, Owen Smith and Martin Wall.  Smith and Wall were together in another rock band during the late seventies called, Vehicle (see blog 8/9/11).  Much like Vehicle, their debut was distributed by the Quality Music Label.  However, the sound of the two bands were not similar at all.  Instructions were more like early Cars maybe Ultravox.  The late Domenic Troiano (see blogs 11/10/10, 8/16/11) actually added some guitar work on this album during the recording in Toronto.  Don't Say Love is one of the stand out tracks on the album and I believe it was released as the lead single at the time.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  I'm not really sure what happened to the band following this release.  It is certainly a very unique offering from the 80's decade in Canadian music.  Thankfully, the album has been restored by Unidisc and is available for download on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Artist: Madcats, Album: Madcats, Song: Woman's Got The Power Over Me

Madcats were a Toronto based rock band that formed during the late seventies.  They were Grant Fullerton, Bobby Blake, Brad MacDonald, John Erdman and Glen Gratto.  Fullerton had been around the scene since the late sixties and early seventies with bands like The Stitch In Tyme and Lighthouse.  In 1975, Fullerton and MacDonald started a band called Fullerton Dam and when that band folded, they recruited new members and signed a deal with Skyline Records as The Madcats.  They released their self titled debut in 1978 with the very controversial "Straight jacketed Woman" on the front cover.  Their sound was blues rock but what made them unique was that they had two very strong yet different vocalists.  The album was solid with some wonderful rock anthems including this single, Woman's Got The Power Over Me.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  The band would release one more album in 1981 with Domenic Troiano's (see blogs 11/10/10, 8/16/11) label, Freedom, before calling it quits.  The Madcats discography has been restored in recent years and is available for download on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Artist: Hurst, Album: Wanderlust, Song: Stumble

"I don't really know what I should say or do.  These growing pains are killing me and you.  Nobody wants to listen round here.  We're not always right, we're not always wrong.  Stumble through the moment, stumble 'til we gotta get it right." Trevor Hurst is a musician from Winnipeg, Manitoba originally.  He is likely best known as the lead singer for the band, Econoline Crush.  Trevor headed to Vancouver before settling in Seattle and forming that band in 1992.  They had some huge releases over their career; some of which achieved gold status.  They toured the world, were nominated for a Juno twice and opened for bands like KISS, The Foo Fighters and Collective Soul.  It was actually during a one off gig in Cleveland where Trevor met Collective Soul guitarist, Ross Childress, for the first time.  This encounter would become an important precursor to the release of this album, Wanderlust.  Following the less than stellar commercial response to Econoline's third full length album.  The band went on hiatus and in 2005, Trevor created a new band called, Hurst, and released their one and only debut album.  He was joined by former Collective Soul guitarist, Childress.  It's not anything like Econoline Crush beyond the obvious trademark vocals supplied by Trevor himself and the recognizable guitar that made Collective Soul so great.  It is more of a stripped down rock affair with very little electronics.  One very cool tune on this 7 song release is Stumble.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  Hurst would end up reforming Econoline Crush and they went on to release a new album in 2008.  They are still together and touring.  You can follow them at  Although this one off solo release shares all the trademarks of a rarity now, it is available on Itunes for download.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Artist: The Boombox Saints, Album: Bringin' The Boom Back, Song: Bringin' The Boom Back

The Boombox Saints are a hip hop group from Vancouver, British Columbia.  They actually began as a much larger band; eight people in fact.  They would perform their music live on stage with instruments before changing their approach and narrowing their numbers down to 3 and a DJ.  The Boombox Saints are singer Adlib along with MC's Freeky P, Huggy Fresh and of course, DJ Relik.  Freeky is originally from Hamilton, Ontario while Huggy is originally from Winnipeg.  They released their first single in 2009 and to date, have two EP's to their credit.  The band is planning a full length debut sometime in 2012.  Their current album was released this past year and is entitled, Bringin' The Boom Back.  They have a real old school sound and have shared the stage with some rap heavyweights like Mos Def, Talib Kweli as well as The Souls Of Mischief.  I can't tell you how often I played '93 to Infinity by the latter band back in the day.  The title track from The Boombox Saints' latest EP samples another great old school song by Cali rapper, Ahmad, called, Back In The Day.  It's a very cool tune and you can check out the video for the song on You Tube (  The band is playing shows across the country in support of this release and you can follow them at  You can download the band's new album for free from their website.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Artist: Mary Jane Lamond, Album: Suas e!, Song: Seinn O

Mary Jane Lamond is a Celtic singer songwriter from Nova Scotia.  She sings in Scottish Gaelic often interpreting classic traditional songs and giving them new life through modern instrumentation.  As a university student in Nova Scotia, she began researching her grandparent's history and culture.  Her research into the traditions and music of Atlantic Canada's early Scottish ancestry became the basis for her debut album in 1994.  It led to an encounter with fiddler, Ashley MacIsaac (see blog 7/30/11), which would prompt their collaboration on his hit, Sleeping Maggie, from his debut album in 1995.  The success of that single paved the way for her own sophomore release, entitled, Suas e!, in 1997.  The album did extremely well, allowing her to perform abroad and as well, garnering her a Juno nomination for Best Roots & Traditional album in 1998.  However, she lost out to Ron Sexsmith that year.  She would be nominated again in 2000 for the same award but again, would lose out to Bruce Cockburn.  I honestly think that if there had been a category for World Music Album Of The Year prior to 2003, she likely would have won a Juno.  Unfortunate but certainly not the true measure of an artist's work.  Today, Mary continues to perform and teach workshops about Celtic arts and tradition.  You can follow her at  You can check out the song, Seinn O, on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, Suas e! on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Artist: Rockhead, Album: Rockhead, Song: Heartland

Rockhead were a band from British Columbia.  They were led by former Payolas and Rock and Hyde (see blog 7/9/11) members, Bob Rock and Chris Taylor.  They teamed up with local area musicians, Steven Jack, Jamey Koch and John Webster.  The band released their one and only self titled debut in 1992 with EMI Records.  Bob had already made a name for himself one year prior as the producer for Metallica's huge self titled "black album".  He was also at the production helm for Bon Jovi's Keep The Faith  album that same year as well as The Cult's Sonic Temple album three years earlier.  But times were changing and Nirvana and Pearl Jam both released their debuts one year earlier, ushering in a new musical trend that destroyed the careers of many metal bands.  Perhaps the label felt that with Rock's name already linked to bands like Metallica and Bon Jovi, that Rockhead could ride out this new musical wave like they did.  Unfortunately, it didn't happen and the band folded before recording again.  This was a good album though and if you like your rock and roll, the lead single, Heartland, is a keeper.  You can check out the video for the song on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, Rockhead, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Artist: Lisa Winn, Album: Mother Earth, Song: Mother Earth

"Mother Earth is crying tonight, dying right in front of our eyes."  Lisa Winn is a singer songwriter from Hamilton, Ontario.  She got her start in music as a back up singer during the mid nineties.  She actually worked on Gordon Lightfoot's 1999 release, A Painter Passing Through.  She has collaborated with artists as diverse as Melissa McClelland and Jakalope.  In 2000, she stepped out of the shadows with her debut entitled, Mother Earth.  The album was mixed with songs she co-wrote with fellow artist, Rob Lamothe (see blog 3/3/11) as well as covers like the title track, Mother Earth, which was penned by legendary Hamiltonian, Ray Materick (4/16/11).  It is a wonderful song that is lifted to new heights with Lisa's strong vocals.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  Lisa would end up touring the country as well as Europe in support of this release before going back to the studio for a follow up release in 2003.  Today she spends much of her time finding homes for animals held in shelters.  You can follow her project at  You can keep tabs on Lisa at  You can purchase the album, Mother Earth, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Artist: Melissa Laveaux, Album: Camphor & Copper, Song: Phoebus

Melissa Laveaux is an artist originally from Ottawa but now residing in France.  She released her indie debut, Camphor & Copper, in 2006.  It was produced in Toronto at Imaginit Studios by Lisa Patterson (see blog 8/3/11).  Her music was then discovered by French indie label, No Format, through her Myspace page and they re-mastered and re-released the album in Europe.  They added some cover songs and sadly, decided to delete this track, Phoebus.  I really enjoy this particular track and it reminds me of another French, Nigerian born artist by the name of Asa.  If you haven't heard of Asa, you need to check out the song, Jailer. Camphor & Copper was re-released in Canada through Montreal based indie label, Spectra Musique, in 2010.  Melissa performs mainly in Europe now and is working on her second album.  She has also collaborated with British producer, Majik as well as fellow Canadian, Mocky.  There is actually a Mocky produced, Beyonce cover called, Crazy In Love, that was added to the Canadian re-release.  Someone has uploaded live footage of her performing the song in Paris on You Tube that is worth checking out ( You can follow Melissa at  You can hear the song, Phoebus, on You Tube (  The original version of Camphor & Copper is virtually non-existent today so you'll really have to dig to find a copy.  You can check out Melissa's other work on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Artist: Dee Long, Album: Welcome To The Future, Song: Take My Advice

"If you don't know then I'm not gonna tell you.  Take my advice because I'm not using it."  Dee Long is a musician currently residing in British Columbia.  However, he began his career in Toronto as the guitar player for the 70's band, Klaatu (see blog 11/27/10).  Dee answered a want ad in the newspaper and fell into one of Canada's most commercially successful bands.  In one of the strangest stories in Canadian musical history, Klaatu benefited from a rumour that was started by a reporter in the U.S. claiming that they were actually the Beatles performing under another name.  The band never printed their names on their albums so this of course fuelled the belief that the rumours were potentially true.  However, by the eighties, the band began exposing themselves and their sales began to lag.  Dee remained in music and has worked in the production end of the music industry for the last couple of decades.  He even worked with Beatles' producer, George Martin, in London, England.  He seems to have an insatiable appetite for technology which is likely a natural extension of his love for science.  He has developed his own drum sampling software which he sells on his website and if you listen to his solo work, he always seems to be pushing the boundaries of popular music.  His solo work dates back to the late nineties and the album, Welcome To The Future, is from 2006 on Bullseye Records.  Take My Advice is a strong song from this release with clever lyrics and a great melody.  You can check it out on You Tube (  Dee has just released a new album of re-invented classics and demo tracks from his earlier years before and with Klaatu.  You can purchase all of his music and software from  You can also purchase the album, Welcome To The Future, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!    

Friday, December 9, 2011

Artist: Teaze, Album: Body Shots, Song: Living On The Edge

"See the cue ball disciples with two piece rifles are up for their nightly revenge." Teaze were a rock band from Windsor, Ontario.  They were Brian Danter, Marc Bradac, Mike Kozak and Chuck Price.  They formed in 1975 and rocked it out on the bar scene for a few years before getting their major label break with Aquarius Records.  They released their self titled debut in 1977 and co-wrote a song with George Young of The Easybeats' fame.  George was also the older brother of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC.  Teaze would also cover The Easybeats' hit, Gonna Have A Good Time Tonight, on their sophomore release in 1978.  The band had a really tough time selling records in Canada and the U.S. despite touring constantly.  Strangely enough, they had a "Big in Japan" moment in 1978 that changed everything for them.  They went from playing small venues in North America to sold out stadiums on their first trip to Japan which renewed the label's faith in the band.  However, both a live album as well as their third release in 1979, failed to make an imprint in North America and the band was eventually dropped from their label.  Body Shots was their final release in 1980 before they disbanded and Living On The Edge was one of the singles released from the album.  You can check it out on You Tube (  In the years that followed, a couple of compilations were released of the band's work.  This particular track is also available on The Best Of Teaze.  You can find the album Body Shots as well as the Best Of compilation on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Artist: The Diodes, Album: Tired Of Waking Up Tired: The Best Of The Diodes, Song: Tired Of Waking Up Tired

The Diodes were a punk band from Toronto that formed during the mid to late seventies.  They hold the status of being the first punk band from Canada to sign a record deal with a major label.  The band was signed to CBS Records and released their self titled debut in 1977.  Their first single was a cover of the sixties' hit, Red Rubber Ball, that was originally released by a band named, The Cyrkle, in 1966 and was penned by a very young Paul Simon.  The song did well and soon the band was playing bars like CBGB's and Max's Kansas City in New York.  They also toured with bands like The Ramones, The Dead Boys and The Runaways.  Their biggest single was the track, Tired Of Waking Up Tired, which they introduced to the public while touring in support of their debut release in 1978.  The favourable response to the song prompted it's quick release as a single and in 1979, it was included on their sophomore release entitled, Released.  The band would issue one more album before re-locating to London, England.  However, the band broke up shortly thereafter.  In the years following, an album of outtakes was released in 1982, a compilation through Sony Canada in 1998 and in 2010, a live album with Bongo Beat Records (  The members have reformed in recent years to play the odd show or festival.  As circumstances would have it, they can lay claim to having produced one of our country's top singles ever yet were never awarded here in Canada for their achievements.  They have left an indelible imprint on alternative rock that may be more recognized abroad than at home.  British magazine, NME/Uncut, recently released a special collector's edition called, 501 Lost Songs.  In that edition, artist Bob Mould (Sugar, Husker Du), name dropped the band and one of their songs as one of his favourites of all time.  You can check out the song, Tired Of Waking Up Tired, on You Tube (  While their original sophomore release is a difficult and rare find today, you can find the song on their "Best Of" compilation which is available on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Artist: Nancy Martinez, Album: Not Just The Girl Next Door, Song: For Tonight

"A little love and candlelight."  Nancy Martinez is a singer from Montreal.  She began her career singing back up for many popular Francophone artists during the disco/dance craze of the late seventies and early eighties.  She released her first singles in 1982 under the names of Jade and Nancy Martin.  In 1983, she would release her debut album as Nancy Martinez on homegrown label, Matra Records.  Matra was already home to some well known disco artists like Carol Jiani (see blog 3/29/11).  However, in 1986 she would gain international acclaim with her major label debut entitled, Not Just The Girl Next Door, on Atlantic Records.  The album yielded a couple of popular tracks including this one, For Tonight.  The album is likely Canada's premier release in the freestyle genre.  Freestyle was a form of R&B music that grew in popularity around the same time as break dancing and hip hop.  Electronic dance based music with lots of syncopated percussion and sampling.  This genre likely became mainstream with the release of Madonna's debut in 1983 but was also championed by many dance artists like Shannon, Debbie Deb, Trinere, Connie, Expose, Starpoint and Nu Shooz to name a few!  Nancy's debut ranks up there with all of them and the song, For Tonight, is a standout.  You can check out the tune on You Tube (  Nancy was nominated for the Juno for Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1987 as a result of this release but lost out to Rita MacNeil.  This album is most likely her crowning achievement but she has had a long and prosperous career in music since 1986.  She has eight albums to her credit and has released albums in both English and French.  She also released a Jazz standards album in the last decade.  Aside from her own solo career, she has continued to work with other artists and has contributed her vocals to albums by artists like Celine Dion.  While not all of her work is available for download currently, her major label debut is and you can purchase it from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Artist: D-Sisive, Album: Let The Children Die, Song: Father

D-Sisive is a hip hop artist from Toronto.  He started his recording career during the late nineties, releasing a number of singles before retreating from music for close to a decade.  Both of his parents passed away within a six year period.  However, upon returning, within a span of two years, he released his Juno nominated debut entitled, The Book, as well as his sophomore, Polaris Prize nominated, full length album entitled, Let The Children Die, in 2009.  Both releases included the song, Nobody With A Notepad, which garnered him Socan's Echo Songwriting Prize.  Unfortunately, this same track would cause him tremendous grief when he was sued by legendary songwriter, Lamont Dozier, for copyright infringement.  The album, Let The Children Die, would be removed from further production as a result of the lawsuit.  Thankfully though, it has recently been added to Itunes without the track in question, along with his debut EP, The Book.  It's a dark album which finds him confronting the topic of his parent's deaths.  One outstanding track in particular, is the song, Father.  It's quite moving and you can check it out on You Tube (  D-Sisive is definitely not your typical hip hop artist.  He gains inspiration from artists as diverse as The Beach Boys, David Bowie and Sigur Ros.  He has collaborated with Ron Sexsmith (see blog 9/9/10) and Jay Malinowski (Bedouin Soundclash).  He also wears an ostrich mask.  Most recently, he went public with the statement that he would be dropping the name D-Sisive and changing his name to Derek from Northcliffe.  However, his most recent album this past year was released under the name D-Sisive.  To date he has seven releases and you can follow him at  You can purchase the album, Let The Children Die, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Artist: Cuff The Duke, Album: Cuff The Duke, Song: I Really Want To Help You

"I really want to help you, let you feel free.  But I haven't much hope left and I'm saving it for me."  Cuff The Duke are a rock band from Oshawa, Ontario originally.  They are Wayne Petti, Paul Lowman, Dale Murray and Corey Wood.  Their sound might be described as country rock or perhaps Americana if I were to reach for a label.  They released their indie debut in 2002 which garnered them some critical acclaim and led to a deal with Hayden's label, Hardwood Records.  They would actually tour North America as Hayden's backing band and played shows with Feist and Blue Rodeo.  They are a tremendously hard working band who have released albums at a torrid pace since their inception.  To date they have five albums and their most recent; released in 2011, is the first album of a two part series.  Lead singer and principle songwriter, Wayne Petti has also released a solo album and some of the members have played and recorded with The Hylozoists.  Their self titled album was actually their sophomore release and it includes this great track, I Really Want To Help You.  You can check it out on You Tube (  The band was nominated for their first Juno in 2010 for Adult Alternative Album Of The Year.  Unfortunately, they lost out to Joel Plaskett (see blog 9/5/10).  The band's latest release was produced by Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and you can follow the band at  You can purchase the album, Cuff The Duke, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Artist: Paul James Band, Album: Almost Crazy, Song: The Ugliest Girl In Town

"Her daddy was waving a 12 gauge shotgun.  What he say?  He said keep on kissing her don't run.  She's the ugliest girl in town.  He said, why you keep on coming around?"  Paul James is a well known blues musician from Toronto.  He grew up on Bloor and Bathurst and taught himself to play guitar.  He learned of the blues from hearing the Rolling Stones.  He soon started visiting coffeehouses in Yorkville at the tender age of 13 and saw bands like Luke & The Apostles (see blog 8/11/11), Mandala (see blog 8/16/11) and Sparrow.  The latter band would eventually become what we all recognize today as Steppenwolf.  Paul was actually invited on stage to jam with the band in those early years.  He also got a chance to join Rick James and Neil Young's band, The Mynah Birds, on stage as well, in those early years.  As Paul continued his musical education in the bars and coffeehouses of Toronto, he took up residency at many of the popular blues clubs in the city as the house guitarist.  He also landed a gig backing up Bo Diddley at the El Mocambo which would lead to a life long working relationship and friendship.  He started his first band during the early seventies called Lick N' Stick and was signed to Columbia Records.  Unfortunately, they wanted him to be more disco so the band folded.  He was then recruited by Mink Deville and he toured the world as their guitarist.  If you aren't familiar with Mink you need to check out the song, Spanish Stroll.  Enough said.  Paul then returned to Toronto and started his second band, The Paul James Band.  Almost Crazy was their debut album in 1984.  The song, The Ugliest Girl In Town, was actually co-written with Bo Diddley.  Paul has a very traditional approach to blues rock and is quite the entertainer, often playing the guitar behind his back and doing the Chuck Berry duck walk.  That's actually how he caught the attention of Bob Dylan.  Bob actually invited Paul to play in his band on numerous occasions including shows at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and at the Midland Arena in Buffalo.  Paul is still performing and releasing albums today.  He actually released a new album called Lazy Crazy Blues that features some tracks from his early days with Lick N' Stick.  You can purchase the album and follow Paul at  A true musician's musician who is criminally under appreciated by the general masses but not by his peers.  Unfortunately, Paul didn't release a lot of albums during his early years but rather singles because of the cost of recording.  Almost Crazy is a very rare find but there were copies trading on Ebay for $10 at the time of this blog.  You can check out the video for the song, The Ugliest Girl In Town, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Artist: The (Irish) Rovers, Album: The Rovers, Song: Wasn't That A Party

"Could've been the whiskey, might have been the gin.  Could've been the three or four six packs I dunno but look at the mess I'm in."  The Irish Rovers were a Celtic folk band that formed in Toronto during the early sixties.  They were all immigrants from Ireland yet they met in Canada and began performing in the folk clubs of Toronto.  They would move West and settle in Calgary where they began performing on television for the first time.  This would become a major element in the band's success over the next couple of decades.  They hosted their own shows on the CBC and many of the shows had international syndication which introduced the band to a much wider audience.  The band toured the United States and Canada during the sixties before signing with Decca and releasing their debut in 1966.  The band were musical ambassadors for Canada and represented the country at various World Expos.  They were actually asked by the late, former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, to become Canadian citizens.  Their music was often comedic and there is no better example of that than their 80's single, Wasn't That A Party.  Strangely enough, despite already performing for nearly two decades by the time this album was released and sharing stages with artists like Johnny Cash, the band achieved their first Number 1 record in Canada.   The song was actually written by American folk icon, Tom Paxton.  The Rovers were known for their partying and Tom happened to witness one of their post show events and was compelled to write a song about it.  As it turned out, it became the band's biggest hit.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  The band is still around today and continue to play shows.  You can follow them at  The Rovers have been nominated for a Juno six times yet have never won.  Their 1980 release, entitled, The Rovers, which spawned this hit, garnered the band the Juno nominations for Single Of The Year which they lost to Martha and the Muffins (see blog 1/25/11) and Folk Group Of The Year which was won by Bruce Cockburn.  This particular hit has been included on a number of compilations over the years which is great because the original release is very hard to find today.  You can purchase the song on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Artist: The Piercing Obsidian, Album: Never Had My Kind Before, Song: Fire Burns

"I'm a part of the forest, a stump of a tree that's been cut too many times.  I've been cut too many times."  The Piercing Obsidian is singer songwriter, Andrea Hatala.  She derived her stage name from the name of a gemstone made of volcanic glass.  The shards of glass from this gemstone are known to cause mortal wounds.  Hence the adjective "piercing".  The name might actually suggest a more violent form of music but actually, Andrea purveys more of a folk influenced sound.  She is an excellent songwriter and is joined by a number of local musicians like bassoon player Jeff Burke.  She released her self titled debut EP in 1999 and followed that up in 2004 with this release entitled, Never Had My Kind Before.  The album was actually produced by former Strato-Chief and Absolute Whore's member, Vaughn Passmore (see blogs 8/9/10, 1/21/11).  A great tune from this album is the song, Fire Burns.  You can check it out on You Tube ( You can read about Andrea's band at  You can purchase the sophomore release from The Piercing Obsidian at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Artist: Mahogany Rush, Album: Maxoom, Song: Boardwalk Lady

"With plastic gnomes with wooden combs dressed in white patent leather lace, who showed us a shortcut to the boardwalk lady's place."  Mahogany Rush were a power trio from Montreal, Quebec.  They were Frank Marino, Paul Harwood and Jim Ayoub.  They formed as young teenagers in 1969 and got their name from a really bad acid trip that guitarist Frank Marino suffered which landed him in the hospital.  It is actually where he learned to play the guitar.  In 1972, the band cut their debut album, Maxoom.  Frank was a huge Hendrix fan and you can find numerous cover versions in their catalogue of music.  His playing was also very similar to Hendrix and due to the circumstances around Hendrix's death and Frank's own near fatal experience with drugs, there were sensational stories abound at the time suggesting that perhaps Hendrix took over his body!  Crazy stuff but the resemblance in musical style is astounding.  It's amazing actually that he was only 16 when the band released this album.  They would change their name during the eighties to Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush once Frank became the last original member in the band.   The band has shared stages with some of rock's greatest performers such as Aerosmith and Ted Nugent and to date, have 20 releases.  You can read about their legacy at  One of my favourite tracks from their debut disc is this soulful number called, Boardwalk Lady.  It certainly wouldn't sound out of place in Hendrix's catalogue of music and you can check it out on You Tube (  You can purchase Mahogany Rush's debut album on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Artist: Jason Mitchell, Album: The World Is Flat, Song: Shadowed

Jason Mitchell is a singer songwriter from White Rock, British Columbia.  He began writing poems and stories at first until he discovered the guitar and taught himself how to play it.  He soon transformed his written words to song and began testing his chops on the local coffeehouse circuit.  He was discovered by Warner Music and in 2000, released his debut album, The World Is Flat.  He is a very strong vocalist and he has composed some wonderful tracks on his debut disc.  Most notably, the album opener entitled, Shadowed.  You can check the tune out on You Tube (  This particular release enabled Jason to tour the country in support of bands like Blue Rodeo, The Cowboy Junkies and 54-40.  He would follow up his debut with his sophomore release in 2004, entitled, Little Coma.  This particular album was released independently.  In 2009, he released a single for the Winter Holidays, entitled, Christmas Lights.  All of these releases are available for download on Itunes.  You can follow Jason at  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Artist: Lava Hay, Album: With A Picture In Mind, Song: Don't Tell Me

Lava Hay were a female duo from Toronto that formed in 1986.  They were Michele Gould and Suzanne Little.  They originally recorded the tracks for their self titled debut in 1989 but were then signed by Nettwerk Records.  The label remixed and re-recorded the tracks with the help of label mates, The Grapes Of Wrath and The Water Walk for an official release in 1990.  The band developed a strong following in Canada and were boosted by video and radio support of their music.  Both Michele and Suzanne would each marry a member of The Grapes Of Wrath.  Suzanne Little and Tom Hooper are still married to this day.  The song, Don't Tell Me, was one of the band's more commercially successful singles and it came from their sophomore release in 1994 entitled, With A Picture In Mind.  Sadly, it would be the last album from the duo as they decided to break up that same year.  Gould went on to form a new band called Taste Of Joy while Suzanne Little released material as a solo artist.  Suzanne and Tom released a Christmas album with their two children in 2009 entitled, Hooper Family Christmas.  You can check out the song, Don't Tell Me, on You Tube (  You can purchase Lava Hay's album, With A Picture In Mind, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Artist: The Problem Children, Album: The Future Of The World Is Up To Us, Song: Red Dyed Hair?

"Well I'm walking down the street looking so sweet.  Everyone standing around staring at me.  Red dyed hair.  I said what the fucks a matter ain't you never seen red dyed hair."  The Problem Children were a punk band from Dunnville, Ontario.  They formed as teenage friends back in 1982 under the name, The Tits.  They were Jamie Problem, Barney Rebel and Gary Indiana.  Unfortunately, they had a difficult time getting promoters to book them gigs so they decided on a name change.  The band released their debut independent release in 1984 entitled, The Future Of The World Is Up To Us, on Irate Faction Records out of Toronto.  They were an extremely hard working band that toured the country numerous times and even played shows in the U.S. and Europe.  All on their own dime.  Their popularity was built in a true grassroots manner through constant touring, fan support and by handling every aspect of their music themselves.  The band did have a tumultuous career with member upheaval.  Jamie was the leader and the only constant member throughout those years.  He promoted and booked the band shows while also handling principle songwriting and recording duties.  And if that wasn't a big enough responsibility, he started his own label, Problem Children Wrekords, and began promoting shows as well as signing other bands from the Hamilton area like The Wet Spots (see blog 5/13/11).  His band is no longer playing today but Jamie is still very much involved in the promotion of punk music within the city of Hamilton.  He has an ongoing series of all ages shows called Sunday Slamfest which feature a number of local bands and they are run in conjunction with Hammer City Records (  You can read about Jamie and the band as well as follow his latest musings and work at  Red Dyed Hair? is the album opener from their debut release.  You can check it out on You Tube (  The album, The Future Of The World Is Up To Us, is a very rare find today.  At the time of this blog, there were no copies available for sale online.  Jamie has mentioned that he does have copies available for sale upon request from his website of other releases from The Problem Children.  You also might have luck scouring the vinyl shops of Hamilton if you happen to live nearby.  That's how I was able to nab a copy.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Artist: Joshua Hyslop, Album: Cold Wind, Song: We Have Seen

"No I'm not in a rush to meet my maker and if I was would he be kind?"  Joshua Hyslop is a singer songwriter from Abbotsford, British Columbia.  He has played the local scene for almost a decade and was recently signed to Nettwerk Records.  He is a self taught guitarist who started playing during his mid teens and has recently added banjo and mandolin to his repertoire.  He began recording his debut EP, Cold Wind, in early 2010.  It has a number of beautiful laid back songs including this track, We Have Seen.  I don't think I can top former Much Music veejay, Terry David Mulligan's description of this track as being very similar to something CSNY would have recorded on their eponymous album, Deja Vu.  It has some great harmonies that conjure up memories of a long lost period in music.  Interestingly enough, Joshua travelled abroad for almost half a year during the recording of this album and completed it upon his return.  Not bad for a first experience in the studio.  You can follow Joshua at  You can hear the song, We Have Seen, on You Tube (  Joshua has also just released a timely version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.  Both this track and his debut EP, Cold Wind, are available for download from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Artist: Laura Repo, Album: Mountain Of Me, Song: Mountain Of Me

"There's a mountain behind my back made by the stones I kept throwing back.  Turn around to take stock, there she is standing tall.  Oh mountain, mountain of me."  Laura Repo is a singer songwriter from Ontario.  She recorded her debut, Mountain Of Me, on her own Repo Girl Records label, in 1998.  She enlisted the production talents of John Switzer (Jane Siberry, Andrew Cash, Rebecca Campbell) for this album and he brought along a couple of his friends.  Both Andrew Cash (see blog 2/12/11) and Rebecca Campbell (see blog 6/4/11) contributed their vocals to this album.  Laura is a wonderful lyricist with a voice that could fill a room.  Her style is country though as you'll witness on the title track, her music can rock in the same vein as say, Kathleen Edwards.  You can check out the song, Mountain Of Me, on You Tube (  Laura has released three albums to date and her most recent was released earlier this month entitled, Get Yourself Home.  You can follow her at  You can purchase the album, Mountain Of Me, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Artist: Hooded Fang, Album: EP, Song: Land Of Giants

"In the land of giants there's a saying.  Sometimes it's better to fold than to keep on playing."  Hooded Fang are a seven piece Toronto band that formed in 2007.  The band began as a fun project among friends and the members at one time, totalled 12!  They had a very carefree live presence back in those days and would often exchange instruments on stage.  The band released their debut EP in 2008 to much critical acclaim and their popularity has continued to gain momentum.  They immediately began work on their first full length release and two years later, emerged with an album aptly titled, Album.  It made the long list for the prestigious Polaris Prize in 2011.  The band then embarked on their first cross Canada tour and a mere 9 months later released, their sophomore album, Tosta Mista.  This latest release is a real departure in sound from their two earlier releases.  The album has a real retro 60's garage rock sound that the band conveys remarkably well.  It is a very cool release.  Hooded Fang seem to tour relentlessly and they are returning from a west coast swing with the band, Cuff The Duke.  You can check them out at  In addition to producing and promoting their own work, the band also has their own label entitled, Daps Records (  They have a number of very interesting artists set to release albums in the coming year that are worth a listen.  Land of Giants is likely the song that started the big ball rolling for this band.  You can check it out on You Tube (  There is also some footage of the band playing this song live at CBC's Q studios (  You can purchase the band's entire discography on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Artist: The Wackers, Album: Wackering Heights, Song: Don't Be Cruel

The Wackers were a rock band originally from California but who eventually called Montreal home.  They were Bob Segarini (see blogs 1/8/11, 7/3/11), Randy Bishop, Kootch Trochim, Michael Stull and Spencer Earnshaw.  Many of the members were in previous bands together like Family Tree and Roxy.  The band signed with Elektra Records and released their debut, Wackering Heights, in 1971.  The band toured parts of Canada and the U.S..  The response to their music was likely the greatest in Montreal, where the band had some strong radio presence and made appearances on television.  They befriended many local artists including producer, Andre Perry, who was responsible for recording John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance.  The band would begin recording tracks for their sophomore release in Montreal before Segarini, Bishop and Trochim moved there permanently.  The band would release a total of 3 albums between 1971 and 1973 and actually laid down tracks for a fourth that remains unreleased today.  Segarini and Trochim would migrate to a new band with some future members of April Wine called, The Dudes (see blog 7/3/11), for one album before Segarini began his own solo career.  Segarini would also garner a Juno nomination for Producer Of The Year in 1979 as a result of his solo debut, Gotta Have Pop.  You can check the man out at  He has a very cool cover of the Springsteen classic, 10th Avenue Freeze Out, posted there for a listen.  On the topic of cover songs, one of the many outstanding tunes on The Wacker's debut is their cover of the Elvis classic, Don't Be Cruel.  You can check it out on Vimeo (  You can purchase Wackering Heights on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Artist: David Myles, Album: Turn Time Off, Song: Out Of Love

"Drinking don't taste good and dancing doesn't sound like fun.  The last thing I need is to find someone. So I put away my shirt and I put away my shoes.  I'd rather have nothing than have something to lose."  David Myles is a singer songwriter from New Brunswick.  David grew up with music but actually didn't begin composing as a solo artist until he was in his twenties.  His first release was in 2005 and to date, he has 6 releases.  He is well known in the Maritimes and over the last couple of years, has won numerous regional awards.  He has also won international awards for his songwriting.  I'm actually shocked that such a profound artist hasn't been nominated for a Juno yet.  Time Turn Off was his album from 2010.  Out Of Love is a beautiful song that shows how adept he is at songwriting let alone composing.  You can check out the video for the song on You Tube (  David just released his new album, Into The Sun, last month and it is very good.  He even collaborates with hip hop artist, Classified, on one track.  David is also playing shows this month in Ontario with stops in St. Catharines, Toronto and Orillia.  He is also part of the Vinyl Cafe tour of the Maritimes with Stuart McLean.  You can keep tabs on him at  You can purchase the album, Time Turn Off, from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Artist: Bob Bissonnette, Album: Recrue De L'Annee, Song: Chris Chelios

Bob Bissonnette is a francophone singer songwriter from Quebec.  He released his debut album, Recrue De L'Annee (Rookie Of The Year) in 2010.  His songs are usually sports themed and most typically hockey related.  Bob was actually a professional hockey player before he decided to pursue a career in music.  He was captain of the Hull Olympiques and to date is one of the most penalized players in Quebec major junior history.  He also attended a training camp with the Ottawa Senators in 2002.  Many of his videos feature current and former NHL players.  The song, Chris Chelios, is a humorous lament about the trade that sent Chris from the Montreal Canadians to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Denis Savard.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  You can check out Bob's music complete with his own entertaining videos at  Bob is currently playing shows in Europe at the moment.  You can purchase his debut album from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!    

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Artist: Rock Ranger, Album: Rock Ranger, Song: Doghouse

Rock Ranger were a three piece rock band from Sydney, Nova Scotia.  The band formed in 1999 and by 2001, released their self titled debut.  They were Jay Smith, Mike Morrison and Dan Bauldwin.  Their sound was throwback rock akin to fellow Atlantic rockers, Sloan and Thrush Hermit (see blog 9/5/10).  They played on the east coast primarily and were nominated for an East Coast music award in 2002 for this album.  That is actually how I discovered this track, Doghouse.  They had strong support from college radio and some video rotation with Much Music.  By 2003, the band had shared stages with fellow retro rockers Tricky Woo (see blog 2/4/11), By Divine Right (see blog 2/19/11),  Danko Jones and Bionic.  Coincidentally, their sophomore release was produced in Toronto by Ian Blurton from Bionic (see blogs 11/22/10, 6/30/11).  Sadly though, that album would be their swan song.  Lead singer, Jay Smith, went on to play with Matt Mays & El Torpedo before embarking on his own solo career.  He has also co-written songs with Gordie Sampson (see blog 4/27/11).  You can follow Jay at  You can check out the song, Doghouse, on You Tube (  The self titled debut is a very rare find today.  At the time of this blog, I couldn't find any copies available for sale online.  The song, Doghouse, was also included on Much Music's 2002 ECMA compilation entitled, The Dog & Pony Show.  Amazon has one copy of this compilation for sale on their Canadian site for $10.  You can also check out a fan site for the band at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Artist: 40 watt monkey, Album: The Oshawa Tree, Song: Larks

40 watt monkey were a rock band from Ottawa, Ontario that formed in 2008.  The core members were J.Todd, R.W. Haller, Jeff Tanguay and Rob Porter.  All of the members have deep histories within the Ottawa music scene.  Jeff Tanguay was a member of two influential indie bands dating back to the early eighties called Gonks Go Beat ( and The Town Cryers (  Todd and Porter were in another popular Celtic rock band called Jimmy George (  Lastly, R.W. Haller has worked with bands such as Ken Workman & The Union and Myrle.  The guys played a number of shows in the Ottawa area and released one album in 2009 entitled, The Oshawa Tree.  The album was produced by Dave Dudley of Furnaceface (see blog 11/14/10).  They would record tracks for a second album but it would remain unreleased as the members moved on to other projects.  The band recently reformed to play a show for Haller's birthday.  Today, Haller and Tanguay are members of a very cool rock band called The Cutmen (, who are due to release new material some time this year.  As well, Haller composes music as a solo artist and is also planning to release new material sometime in 2012.  You can follow him at (  You can purchase the album, The Oshawa Tree, on Itunes.  One of my favourite tracks from The Oshawa Tree is a song called, Larks.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  You can also see some live footage of the band playing at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Artist: Rasta Survivor, Album: Bustin Out, Song: Plea Fi De Guns Dem

Rasta Survivor were a three piece reggae band that formed during the early nineties.  They were a socially conscious band and the lead single off this release received some notable attention as a result of it's promotion of Gun Amnesty.  The album was jointly released by the band's label, 40 & A Blunt Records along with popular Toronto dance music station, Energy 108.  The song was titled, Plea Fi Dem Guns, and it received major play on video shows like Rap City as well as on the radio.  I believe the video also won some regional awards.  The band would break up shortly thereafter and I'm only aware of founding member, Wayne Reid's (aka Wayne Passion) other projects.  Wayne continues to perform as a reggae artist and has shared the stage with performers like Snow and Bounty Killer.  He originally began his recording career in Jamaica before moving to Canada.  He has a cooking show called, Reggae Kitchen, that you can check out at which also has a link that will allow you to listen to this particular release.  You can also follow Wayne at  You can check out the track, Plea Fi Dem Guns, on You Tube (  The Rasta Survivor album is a very rare find today and at the time of this blog there was one copy for sale at for $20.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Artist: Images In Vogue, Album: Best Of Collection, Song: Lust For Love

Images In Vogue were an alternative rock band from Vancouver originally.  They started recording in 1981 and released two EP's independently which garnered some significant college radio airplay.  Significant enough that the unsigned band landed opening gigs for Bryan Adams, Roxy Music, Depeche Mode and Duran Duran.  This attracted the attention of WEA and the band was signed in 1983.  They immediately released two more EP's before their major label debut in 1985 entitled, In The House.  Lust For Love was actually the band's very first single with WEA back in 1983 and it benefited from some strong airplay throughout Canada.  It was re-released on their debut album in 1985 which was produced by Gary Wright.  Gary was a legendary American musician most notable for his 70's hit song, Dream Weaver.  The band was also managed by a man named Kim Clarke Champniss who would become known to many Canadians as a popular VJ on Much Music in later years.  As well, one of the band's earlier members, Kevin Crompton, would leave to form the band Skinny Puppy.  Images In Vogue's debut album would garner the band a Juno nomination for Most Promising Group in 1985 but they lost out to another Vancouver based band, Idle Eyes (see blog 4/14/11).  They would re-locate to Toronto following their debut release and eventually sever their ties with WEA.  The band would sign on with Anthem Records for their final record yet would decide to change their name to The Spell for this release in 1988.  The band would eventually break up shortly thereafter.  In recent years, there have been a number of retrospective releases that have captured the band's body of work and have also included this track, Lust For Love.  Their debut album, In The House, along with the Best of Collection, Collection Version 2.0 and Prototypes all include this track and are available from Itunes.  You can check out the original video for the song, Lust For Love, on You Tube (  You can read about the band's legacy at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Artist: Bravebelt, Album: Bravebelt II, Song: Another Way Out

When Randy Bachman left the Guess Who in 1970 for personal reasons, he received a lot of negative publicity.  Especially in the Prairies where the group had originated.  Next to Neil Young, The Guess Who were likely the next most musically recognizable rock band in Canada.  Randy retreated to Winnipeg to spend time with his young family and soon found the desire to begin playing again.  He had an interest in country flavoured rock and wanted to do something a bit different than his experience with The Guess Who.  He hooked up with Chad Allen; an original member of the Guess Who initially, and along with Randy's younger brother Rob, began recording their self titled debut.  With the help of Neil Young, they landed a recording contract with Reprise Records.  The album wasn't commercially successful and as a result, Randy recruited a fourth member by the name of Fred Turner.  Turner would help usher in more of a rock sound which also initiated the departure of Chad Allen.  Randy's brother Tim joined to replace the departed Chad Allen around this time as well.  The band then left the hostile club circuit of Winnipeg for Vancouver and with the help of legendary manager, Bruce Allen, they were able to book some steady paying gigs.  During this time, the band would also begin to record tracks for a third Bravebelt album.  That album would eventually become the debut for Bachman Turner Overdrive when the band's deal with Reprise ended and they decided to change their name before signing with Mercury Records.  And the rest as they say is history.  Randy remodelled his reputation and began his second career with one of Canada's most popular rock and roll bands, BTO.  The two Bravebelt albums were combined and re-released by Bullseye Records in later years.  Another Way Out was originally from the second album and was penned by Bachman and Chad Allen.  Coincidentally, it sounds a lot like the Guess Who.  You can check the track out on You Tube (  You can purchase the Bravebelt album from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Artist: Kidstreet, Album: Fuh Yeah, Song: Never Coming Back

"I took the keys to your Cadillac cause you started this, you started that."  Kidstreet are an electronic band from Waterloo, Ontario.  They are siblings, Karl, Edna and Cliff Snyder.  They formed in 2008 and played shows regionally before being recruited by Nettwerk Records.  They just recently released their debut album in 2011.  One of the tracks, entitled, Song, was picked up by Ford and used in one of their recent commercials.  The band also remixed a track for fellow Canadian, Caribou (see blog 10/13/10).  They have played some very big festivals in Canada like Hillside, NXNE as well as The Halifax Pop Explosion and appear to be leaving audiences in awe of their energy.  They've also played some shows in New York and shared the stage with fellow Canadians, Mother Mother and Dragonette.  The band is building their critical acclaim and judging by the breadth of musical styles within their current work, I would suspect that they will continue to evolve and surprise many in the process.  Kidstreet performs live with bass, drums, keyboards and guitars.  They have a sound that combines the youthful exuberance of The Go! Team with recognizable and nostalgic dance beats.  And that description might only apply to a few of their songs.  Their debut is an eclectic listen as is their EP, X, which pre-dated the debut full length release earlier this year.  Most of the tracks have been included on the debut except for one strong tune called, Spin Twirl, which sounds vocally like Imogen Heap.  The track featured here is called, Never Coming Back, and it is one of three singles released by the band from their debut.  It has a cool stutter vocal effect reminiscent of the 80's dance genre.  You can check out the video of Edna driving around in an old Cadillac through the streets of K-W on You Tube (  You can purchase the band's new album from Itunes.  You can follow them at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Artist: Kings Of Lowertown, Album: South Mountain-Single, Song: South Mountain

Kings Of Lowertown are a band from Pembroke, Ontario.  The band leader and principle songwriter is Mike Mackey.  The band was formed in 2006 and has included a changing cast of supporting musicians.  A regular collaborator and producer of the band's work has been Jordon Zadorozny of Blinker The Star (see blog 4/23/11).  Jordon has a studio in Pembroke called, French Kiss, which has been the home to many Kings Of Lowertown recordings dating back to their debut single in 2007.  The band also had legendary bassist, Mike Watt, play on their 2008 indie EP entitled, Laughing Fox.  Any alternative rock purist would recognize his work with Porno For Pyros, Sonic Youth and Stan Ridgway (Wall Of Voodoo) along with music from his own seminal punk bands called Minutemen and fIREHOSE.  Watt has also featured The Kings Of Lowertown on his music program entitled, The Watt From Pedro Show (  The band has released a number of songs over the past year and some are posted on Soundcloud for free download (  They have a very unique lo-fi sound that is derived from a Portastudio 4 track to cassette device that was popularized during the early eighties, well before digital recording.  Bruce Springsteen actually recorded his album, Nebraska, with one of them.  Mackey also uses some very vintage instruments during the recordings as well.  You'll find their singles on Soundcloud to range in style from 60's garage rock, to early eighties melodic post punk akin to Husker Du.  They even cover a R.E.M. track in tribute to that band's recent retirement.  However, the track featured here entitled, South Mountain, is a departure from the aforementioned descriptions.  It has more of a Drive By Truckers, gritty appeal to it.  It's a great tune by a very dynamic new band worth keeping an eye on.  You can keep track of The Kings Of Lowertown at  Mackey appears to be content with not selling his music at the moment but rather circulating it.  The band does play the odd show when they aren't recording but you may have more luck catching them live if you live in or near Ottawa.  As mentioned earlier, you can access the band's music from the Soundcloud link above.  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Artist: Thor, Album: Keep The Dogs Away, Song: Keep The Dogs Away

Thor was a bodybuilder named Jon Mikl from Vancouver.  He was the only Canadian man at the time to win Mr. Canada and Mr. USA honours in bodybuilding and eventually became Mr. Universe.  He competed against Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk).  His other love was rock music and he fronted a few bands before inviting Frank Soda and The Imps (see blog 4/3/11) to join him as his backing band.  They relocated to Toronto and had quite an impact with their onstage antics.  Super human feats of strength like exploding water bottles and breaking cement blocks with a sledgehammer while on Thor's chest, were just some of the entertainment provided at a typical show.  By 1973, the band was invited to play on Merv Griffin's show which eventually led to some Las Vegas dates for Thor as a soloist.  By this time, discontent with becoming a lounge act, Frank Soda and The Imps broke off to do their own thing.  Thor would eventually land a deal with RCA in 1977 for his debut album, Keep The Dogs Away.  It was a stripped down, glam and punk rock delight, led by the title track and lead single, Keep The Dogs Away.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  This would be Thor's only release with RCA yet he would go on to release over 20 albums with various independent labels over the years and still records today.  He also ventured into acting and has appeared in a number of horror type films.  In 2009, he formed his own label, Vulcan Sky Records and re-released his debut album.  You can purchase the album on Itunes.  You can follow him at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Artist: NEO a4, Album: NEO a4, Song: Rescue Me

NEO a4 were a new wave rock band from Edmonton, Alberta.  The principle members were Ric Johnston, John Tidswell and Joel Anderson.  They formed in 1981 after years of playing in cover bands both in Calgary and Edmonton.  They were heavily influenced by the new technology emerging in music as well as alternative methods of approaching the craft of songwriting.  Robert Fripp, former guitarist from King Crimson, was a major influence for them at the time.  They would gain some early success, landing opening spots for The Cure, Thompson Twins and Thomas Dolby when they toured through the West.  The band would release their debut independently in 1984 as well as a follow up in 1985 before attracting the attention of Duke Street Records.  Duke Street then remixed and re-released some tunes from their sophomore release and re-titled it, Desire.  The title track was the band's first single.  It led them to their major label self titled debut in 1988 which was produced by Colin Thurston.  Colin had just made a name for himself with the production credits on some very popular Duran Duran albums.  The album would spawn a couple of singles, namely the song, Say This To Me.  Rescue Me is a deep album track that I don't believe was ever released as a single but it certainly could have been.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  The guys would add a fourth member for their final release in 1989.  This release would be produced by Chris Wardman of the band Blue Peter (see blog 10/4/11).  They would break up in 1990.  All of the members have remained in music in some capacity over the years and they've posted a Facebook page on the band (  You can purchase the self titled debut from Duke Street Records on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Artist: Parachute Club, Album: At The Feet Of The Moon, Song: At The Feet Of The Moon

The Parachute Club were a band from Toronto that formed during the early eighties.  Core members, Laurie Conger, Lorraine Segato and Billy Bryans were actually fixtures on the Toronto club circuit as far back as the early seventies in world rhythm based bands like Mama Quilla and V.  They were connected to the same roots reggae scene that spawned artists like Lillian Allen (see blog 11/20/10) as well as Truth and Rights.  They released their self titled debut in 1983 which included the Juno award winning single, Rise Up.  The album was produced by Daniel Lanois and received some heavy radio and video rotation in Canada.  It would lead to their sophomore release in 1984, entitled, At The Feet Of The Moon.  The title track and lead single was another great song from the band which helped them achieve gold status sales in Canada and win their second Juno for Group Of The Year in 1985.  You can check out a 12" version of the title track on You Tube (  By 1986, R&B heavyweight, John Oates (Hall & Oates), was co-producing their third album and dueting with Lorraine on the lead single.  The band now had an international presence and toured the globe in support of the album.  Unfortunately, personnel changes and lack of support from their label, Current Records, led to the band folding in 1989.  They would release a greatest hits compilation in 1992 entitled, Wild Zone, which also includes this track.  The band has also reformed in recent years to play the odd festival or show.  Lorraine has continued as a solo artist and you can follow her at  Bryans went on to produce and play with a number of Canadian artists including Lillian Allen, The Phantoms (see blog 1/28/11) and Dutch Mason.  Thankfully and rather recently, the Parachute Club discography was added to Itunes.  You can now find this song on the original release as well as the Wild Zone compilation on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!