Saturday, April 30, 2011

Artist: Salteens, Album: Short-Term Memories, Song: Crash The Market

"Yeah, we're on the scene.  We've got the light on and watching the screen."  The Salteens are a power pop band from Vancouver.  They released their debut, Short-Term Memories, with Winnipeg label, Endearing Records, in 2000.  The band has toured Japan, Australia, the U.S. and Canada.  They recently performed and toured with the children's television show, Yo Gabba Gabba.  The band has gone through some line up changes since 2000 yet the two mainstays have been front man, Scott L.D. Walker and drummer, Dion Willis.  Crash The Market is a song from their debut that I first heard on an internet radio station.  The album got some good rotation on college and alternative radio upon it's release.  The band started their own label called, Boompa Records, for their sophomore release in 2003.  After a 7 year hiatus, the band returned in 2010 with an EP, a children's album and their third full length release.  Their latest release has to be one of the coolest albums out at the moment.  Scott expanded the band to 10 persons with lots of horns and no guitars.  It's a real throwback to sixties pop music perfected by the likes of Burt Bacharach and the Walker Brothers.  The band has done a wonderful job and I certainly hope it earns them recognition.  You can follow the Salteens at  You can purchase their entire discography on Itunes or from their website.  You can hear the song, Crash The Market, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Artist: Jets Overhead, Album: No Nations, Song: Headed For Nowhere

"I'm looking for something that I didn't notice was gone."  Jets Overhead are a band from Victoria, British Columbia.  They released their debut EP in 2003.  This led to their first full length release, Bridges, in 2006 and subsequently, a Juno nomination for New Group Of The Year in 2007.  However, they lost out to the band, Mobile.  This album was also produced by Neil Osborne, who is the vocalist/guitarist for 54-40.  In 2009, they released their sophomore album, entitled, No Nations.  It included this great track, Headed For Nowhere.  A song that should have been nominated for Single Of The Year!  The album was once again produced by Neil Osborne and most of the tracks were mixed by another famous Canadian, Malcolm Burn.  Malcolm has produced albums or played with artists like John Mellencamp, Midnight Oil and Iggy Pop.  However, before all that, he was in a band called, Boys Brigade, that had a hit in the 80's called Melody.  With two Canadian music heavyweights turning the knobs behind the scenes for Jets Overhead, it's hard to imagine this recording could be anything but good.  The band has played festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella and have just released a new EP this past year.  You can purchase their entire discography on Itunes.  You can follow the band at  You can watch the video for the song, Headed For Nowhere, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Artist: The Gruesomes, Album: Cave In!, Song: Hip-no-tyzed

The Gruesomes were a garage rock band from Montreal that formed in the mid eighties.  The band started out playing local clubs and released a couple of indie EP's before their first full length debut in 1986.  They would go on to release two more consecutive albums before 1989 and also produce a couple of videos.  The band's popularity through video play and college/university radio support, blossomed and they began touring nationally as well as in the United States.  They broke up in 1990 but returned in the year 2000 with this psychedelic gem, Cave In!  The band kicked off the album's release with an attendance setting sold out show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.  The show was filmed and broadcasted on CBC.  The boys were now in their thirties but the sound and quality of this recording was as good or better than their early teen trash days.  An exceptional track on this release is the tune, Hip-no-tyzed.  The band got to tour Europe as well in support of this release.  U.S. label, Sundazed Music, would also release an anthology of the bands earlier work in 2003.  The band is still together and plays the odd show from time to time.  They formed their own label, Ricochet Sound, and have re-released their entire discography as well as working with new Canadian acts.  You can follow them at  You can hear the exceptionally groovy tune, Hip-no-tyzed, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Artist: Gordie Sampson, Album: Sunburn, Song: Sunburn

"You're gonna be my great regret though I guess it hasn't hit me yet.  Slow drag on my last cigarette just a good excuse to take all I can get.  You're the lesson I never learn, you're my sunburn."  Gordie Sampson is a singer songwriter from Cape Breton.  Gordie has made a name for himself as a world class songwriter.  He's won a Grammy and multiple Juno awards as a result of other artists recording his music.  The most notable example and the one that yielded a Grammy, was the number #1 hit, Jesus Take The Wheel, performed by Carrie Underwood.  He's had everyone from Faith Hill to Bon Jovi sing his songs as well.  This kind of notoriety overshadows his own musical releases which have all been excellent recordings in their own right.  His debut in 1998 was nominated for a Juno but lost out to the late Willie P. Bennett (see blog 1/29/11).  Sunburn was his sophomore release in 2004.  This album is stacked with great songs including the title track, Sunburn.  I caught Gordie live one summer following this release at a Harbourfront concert in Toronto, opening for Joel Plaskett.  He is a great performer and typical of his eastern roots, was born and raised on rock and roll and isn't afraid to show it.  I think he even covered a Black Sabbath tune that night if my memory of the events is correct.  Gordie released his most recent album in 2008 and continues to have his songs released by other artists.  Little Big Town has a song of his on their new release.  You can follow Gordie at  You can watch the video for the song, Sunburn, on You Tube (  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Artist: Lost Dakotas, Album: Last Train To Kipling, Song: Back In Black

The Lost Dakotas were a rockabilly, country rock group from Toronto in the early nineties.  The principle members were guitarist, Paul Dakota and bassist, Greg McConnell.  The band literally emerged from the underground as buskers within Toronto's subway system.  They released their first cassette only album independently in 1990 and followed it with the album, Last Train To Kipling in 1991.  This album is another rare gem from a fruitful period of independent music within Toronto.  This scene would spawn many acts like the Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Andrew Cash (see blog 2/12/11), The Skydiggers, The Leslie Spit Treeo (see blog 8/26/10) and The Razorbacks.  Those were just some of the bands that achieved some mainstream success.  As you can imagine, for every band that made it there were 10 others playing the same gigs and sounding just as good.  The Lost Dakotas did very well regionally and this album got some great radio support on college and alternative stations in the city.  Last Train To Kipling stayed on the college charts for 100 consecutive weeks, a feat no indie band had accomplished before.  The album is solid from start to finish and they do a very nice job covering AC/DC's Back In Black.  The band toured Canada numerous times and even played SXSW in Texas.  Greg was actually in a band called the Absolute Whores (see blog 1/21/11) before joining the Lost Dakotas.  He was known as Ugly Dick Adonis.  The Lost Dakotas would release one more album in 1993 before Greg would join some former Whores', Vaughn Passmore and Johnny Trash, in a new band called Strato-chief (see blog 8/9/10).  Sadly, Greg passed away in 1999.  Paul Dakota, who was also the principle songwriter, appears to have kept a low profile in the years following the band's last release.  You can keep up with him at  To date, the band's discography is only available second hand.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Ebay and Amazon between $25 and $50.  You can hear the song, Back In Black, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Artist: Joe Probst, Album: The Lion And The Lady, Song: Lovin' You

"Once I was a beggar on a tall dapple horse.  Yes and once I was a sailor in a big ole man-o-war.  Once I was a window and once I was a door and everything that I ever did, I was lovin' you."  Joe Probst was a singer songwriter from Toronto who released his one and only album in 1973, entitled, The Lion And The Lady.  It's a hippy folk affair with narration at the beginning of each record side.  The poetry sets the theme of love and loneliness.  If you are a fan of Harry Chapin, you should definitely dig this.  There isn't much on the man or his music other than he seems to have had a minor hit with the song, Kingston, from this album.  The song, Lovin' You, follows that tune on side one and it has a psychedelic feel to it with flutes and lots of strings.  The lyrics, along with many others on the album, were written by Toronto poet, Brian Purdy.  The album was recorded in Toronto at Manta Sound in 1971, yet it wouldn't get a proper release until 1973.  The Canadian label that picked it up was Daffodil Records, who were responsible for bringing bands like Crowbar (see blog 8/19/10), A Foot In Cold Water, Fludd (see blog 12/21/10), Klaatu (see blog 11/27/10) and even a very young Tom Cochrane to the listening masses.  The owner of the label, Frank Davies, also produced this album.  While no one has heard from Joe in over thirty years, Unidisc did re-release the album and it is available on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Lovin' You, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Artist: Veal, Album: Tilt O' Whirl, Song: Skid

"So one day I'm gonna get the last word.  I'm gonna catch that bastard and make him pay."  Veal were a three piece rock band from Vancouver.  They were Luke Doucet, Chang and Howard Redekopp.  The band released their debut indie album in 1996 and followed it up in 1999 with his album, Tilt O' Whirl.  Luke formed the band following a stint in Sarah McLachlan's band as a nineteen year old guitarist!  Bassist Howard Redekopp would leave the band following this release and make a name for himself as a producer/engineer on some big time records by Tegan And Sara (see blog 9/15/10) as well as the New Pornographers.  He would be replaced by Nik Kozub for one last album in 2003 before the band broke up for good.  Nik would then go on to form the Shout Out Out Out Out.  The song, Skid, is from the Tilt O' Whirl release.  I first heard the song on a CFNY 102.1 new music search compilation.  It's a great power pop tune.  You can purchase the album on Itunes.  Luke Doucet began his solo career just before Veal released their final album.  He has since been nominated for a Juno twice and both times, lost to fellow Manitoban, Neil Young.  He's also produced albums for bands like Captain Tractor (see blog 1/27/11), NQ Arbuckle (see blog 11/16/10) as well as his wife, Melissa McClelland. You can follow him at  You can read about Veal at  You can hear the song, Skid, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Artist: Blinker The Star, Album: Still In Rome, Song: Live By The Gun

"Oh sister, I'm just a blister on your pretty hand don't you know."  Blinker The Star is the brainchild of one Jordon Zadorozny from Pembroke, Ontario.  Jordon relocated to Montreal in the early nineties and played guitar in a band called Tinker.  A female bassist by the name of Melissa Auf der Maur was also in the band Tinker but soon left to join Courtney Love's band, Hole.  Following her departure, Jordon decided to form his own band called, Blinker The Star.  The band independently released their debut album which generated some critical acclaim and had them touring North America.  By 1996, A&M Records was on board for their second release which was recorded in California.  Jordon was also invited to write songs with Courtney Love around the same time.  Dreamworks then signed Blinker and they would release a third album in 1999.  However, unsatisfied with the new recordings, the label and artist decided to part ways.  In 2003, Blinker The Star released these recordings independently and called the album, Still In Rome.  Live By The Gun is a dirty little rock and roll song off this album.  The album was initially recorded in Pembroke with additional sessions in California.  Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham contributed guitar and vocals on this album as well.  Today, Jordon continues to run French Kiss Studios in Pembroke, Ontario.  He is responsible for recording Sam Roberts' Inhuman Condition release.  You can follow Jordon at  He has been involved in a number of different projects since 2003.  The most recent that I've read about is called Sheloom (  Apparently he is also working on a solo endeavour which could be another Blinker The Star release.  You can purchase, Still In Rome, on Itunes or at Maple  You can hear the song, Live By The Gun, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Artist: Messenjah, Album: Session, Song: Jam Session

"This is a jam session, rocking to the music and always rejoicing."  Messenjah were a reggae band from Kitchener, Ontario.  They were a six piece band that released their debut in 1982.  They were picked up by WEA following that initial release and followed it up with their major label debut in 1984 called, Session.  The  band had already done some touring in the U.S. and had developed quite a following in the state of California.  Perhaps that explains why the album was recorded in San Diego and not in Toronto (?).  The band landed the opening slot on the Clash's Combat Rock tour as a result of this release.  The lead off track on this album, is the infectious song, Jam Session.  It received some good radio play back in the day on alternative and college radio in Toronto and it was the first song that I ever heard from the band.  The band's bassist, Errol Blackwood, would leave before their next release in 1987.  The band continued on and has released six albums and are Juno winners.  They also appeared in the Tom Cruise film, Cocktail, in 1988.  Errol Blackwood is also a Juno nominee for his own work as a solo artist and you can purchase his music on Itunes.  The other founding member of the band, Rupert Ojiji Harvey, has also released albums as a solo artist.  Those are available at  Messenjah's work is a difficult find today.  Most of the albums are out of print and hard to find.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy for sale on Ebay for $10.  You can hear the song, Jam Session, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Artist: The Real McKenzies, Album: 10,000 Shots, Song: Bugger Off

"Well bugger off, you bastards, bugger off."  The Real McKenzies are a group of Scottish Canadian punks from Vancouver.  They wear kilts, wield bagpipes and sing songs about everything Scottish, from whiskey to the Loch Ness Monster.  They formed in the early nineties and released their first self titled debut in 1995.  They were originally signed to Joey Shithead's label, Sudden Death Records (see DOA blog 8/15/10).  They have released eight albums to date, their most recent in 2010.  They are currently signed with Fat Wreck Chords out of the U.S. and have shared the stage with bands like Rancid and Flogging Molly.  They have toured internationally and will be back in Europe this summer playing shows in July and August.  The album, 10,000 Shots, was released with Fat Wreck Chords in 2005.  It's a great album with a number of memorable tracks like this one, Bugger Off.  It starts off as a very sparse acoustic tune but kicks into a sonic explosion of bagpipes, guitars and profanity.  Beautiful stuff.  You can hear the track on You Tube (  You can follow the band at  You can purchase the album, 10,000 Shots, on Itunes or from the band's website.  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Artist: Cub, Album: Box Of Hair, Song: Pillow Queen

"I'm your pillow queen.  I'm your wildest dream and if I make you scream so much the better."  Cub were a three piece all girl pop punk band from Vancouver.  They were signed to local record label, Mint Records, home to Neko Case and the New Pornographers as well as her first band, Maow (see blog 7/26/10).  Neko actually played drums with Cub on some of their earlier recordings.  The two constant members in the band through the years were Lisa Marr and Robynn Iwata.  Robynn's brother Randy is one of the co-founders of Mint Records.  Lisa G was the drummer on their final release, Box Of Hair.  The album got some distribution help from U.S. label, Lookout Records, which brought the girls to the attention of American audiences as well.  They toured with bands like Sebadoh, Elliot Smith and They Might Be Giants.  The latter actually recorded a cover of one of Cub's songs.  The song, Pillow Queen, is a punchy two minute rocker from this 1996 release.  The band would release a singles compilation entitled, Mauler, a year later before calling it quits.  The members are still musically engaged yet not with each other.  Lisa has released material as the Lisa Marr Experiment while Robynn is part of the multimedia project, I Am Spoonbender.  You can read about the band at  You can hear the song, Pillow Queen, on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, Box Of Hair, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Artist: Young Rival, Album: Young Rival EP, Song: Poisonous Moves

Young Rival are a three piece rock and roll machine from Hamilton, Ontario.  They morphed out of a previous band called, Ride Theory.  Ride Theory had at least one album released independently in 2002.  Members, Aron D'Alesio, John Smith and Noah Fralick cut their self titled debut EP as Young Rival, in 2008.  They have a real throwback sound that conjures up memories of early Kinks.  Poisonous Moves is a wonderfully dark yet melodic track from their debut EP.  The band followed the EP up in 2010, with their self titled full length.  It is on the soon to be legendary indie label, Sonic Unyon.  The band has been touring the U.S., Canada and Europe over the last few years.  They were most recently touring with the band, Born Ruffians yet they have also shared the stage with The Sadies, Tokyo Police Club as well as The Pack A.D..  They have started work on their third release and are said to be showcasing some of those songs live.  They continue to release singles and remixes on Itunes with non-album teasers.  The Junior Boys just remixed one of their songs from their latest LP.  You can keep up with the band at  You can also purchase all of their recordings on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Poisonous Moves, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Artist: Wild T & The Spirit, Album: Love Crazy, Song: Love Crazy

Wild T & The Spirit is a rock band from Toronto.  Their leader is guitarist/vocalist, Tony Springer, who was born in Trinidad but raised in Toronto.  One of his earliest gigs was with Rough Trade.  He filled in as their guitarist around the time they were releasing their Birds Of A Feather compilation.  He released his debut Wild T album in 1991 called, Love Crazy.  Wailing guitars and lots of soul.  He had a few singles do very well on FM radio in Canada, including the title track, Love Crazy.  The band landed the opening slot on Bon Jovi's, Keep The Faith, Canadian tour.  They also caught the attention of David Bowie who saw one of their videos while on tour in Montreal with his band, Tin Machine.  He would eventually ask Tony to work with him on his Black Tie White Noise album.  Following that recording, he joined Bowie on tour, playing Letterman, Arsenio and The Tonight Show as his guitarist.  He would release another Wild T album in 1993 which also did very well on the radio in Canada.  To date the band has five full length releases, the most recent in 2008, and continues to tour internationally.  Wild T & The Spirit are constantly playing live and likely perform close to 200 shows a year.  You can follow them at  You can watch the video for Love Crazy on You Tube (  The album, Love Crazy, is a difficult find today and likely out of print.  Amazon had a few copies for $50 available.  The band released a compilation in 2005, entitled, I've Got The Rhythm, which also includes this song.  It is available on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Artist: Little Man Hands, Album: Instinct, Song: At All

Little Man Hands is the work of one, Sean Szutka, a musician from Toronto.  Sean released the album, Instinct, in 2000.  He provided the vocals and guitar on this album and produced it himself.  The album was recorded at Crescent Moon Studios in Oshweken, Ontario.  It was mixed by Joao Carvalho in Toronto at Umbrella Sound.  At All, is the second track on this 9 song release.  Sean is adept lyrically and musically at creating a perfect melodic atmosphere for his songs.  At All, is a pop masterpiece that should have garnered him serious attention.  I don't know how many albums he has released to date or if he is still recording under this name.  I do know that he has been involved in a few other projects over the years.  He is one half of a drum/bass/electronica outfit known as Echo Hermits.  His partner is Chris Lamont who actually is credited with co-writing a song on his Instinct release.  He is also involved in the Musical comedy, Big Girls Don't Cry, with Om Shanti (Rachelle Elie) which premiered at the Montreal Fringe Festival.  The most recent news has him starring in a film last year called, 48hrs In Purgatory.  You can follow him at or at  You can hear the song, At All, on You Tube (  At the time of this blog, there were 2 copies trading on Amazon for $350 each!  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Artist: Ray Materick, Album: Life And Times, Song: Linda Put The Coffee On

"Oh my soul, I lost control of my reality.  Cus I got sunshine and red wine but there's hardly nothing left of me.  Oh, Linda, put the coffee on."  Ray Materick is a singer songwriter from the Hamilton area.  In 1972, he released his debut album independently called, Sidestreets.  It was a folk rock masterpiece with wonderful lyrics and a gritty edge channelled through his distinctive vocals.  This led to a major label deal with Asylum Records and in 1974, he released his follow up, Neon Rain.  It spawned a top 20 hit called, Linda Put The Coffee On, which became his signature song throughout the years.  A blessing and a curse possibly.  He went on to release four more albums between 1975 and 1981.  Many of them featured a young Daniel Lanois (see blog 9/16/10) as an accompanying musician.  Then Ray decided to leave the business altogether and apparently worked as a craftsman for almost ten years.  He returned in 2000 armed with his own label, King Kong Recordings, and a boatload of music to release.  To date, the man has released over 20 albums of music and you could hardly describe all of it as folk.  He's become much like a Neil Young in that respect.  He plays what he wants, when he wants.  Check out the album, Born In Hell, Raised In Hell, Gonna Die In Hell, on Itunes after you check out the song, Linda Put The Coffee On.  This dude had some angst pent up in him!  He's awesome though and one helluva talent.  In 2003, Linus Entertainment released a retrospective called, Life And Times, which included some new material along with his various goldie oldies.  It is available at Amazon for $16.  There were vinyl copies of Neon Rain available on Ebay for $10 at the time of this blog.  You can follow the man at  You can hear the song, Linda Put The Coffee On, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Artist: Gravelberrys, Album: Bowl Of Globes, Song: Wonder Where You Are Tonight

"Doing nothing, watching TV, listening to Little Stevie, wonder where you are tonight."  The Gravelberrys were a short lived indie band from Toronto who released their one and only album, Bowl Of Globes, in 1992.  The band had a few different musicians during it's short time but the main contributor was lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist, Paul Myers.  One of the earliest incarnations of the band included bassist, Glenn Olive.  Glenn had been with the band, The Arrows, for their 1985 release, The Lines Are Open.  A very big album in Canadian 80's history.  Bowl Of Globes was produced by Michael Phillip Wojewoda at Reaction Studios in Toronto.  He's become a household name in Canadian music production having worked with bands like the Barenaked Ladies and the Rheostatics.  The lead off track, Wonder Where You Are Tonight, is a perfect power pop tune with clever lyrics.  The song got some decent airplay regionally but the album itself became very hard to find fast.  I searched for years, for a copy of this disc before finding one at Recordland in Calgary.  Paul's brother is actually actor/comedian, Mike Myers.  Paul relocated to California in the late nineties and still resides there today.  He is both a writer and musician.  He has published an authorized biography of the Barenaked Ladies.  He has also published a book about the life of Long John Baldry and has a new book out about Todd Rundgren.  You can follow him at  You can hear the song, Wonder Where You Are Tonight, on You Tube (  At the time of this blog, I couldn't find any copies for sale online.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Artist: Idle Eyes, Album: Idle Eyes, Song: All Day

"You know that sometimes I try to run away.  I can't run faster than my shadow."  Idle Eyes were a Vancouver band formed by front man, Tad Campbell, in the early eighties.  The earliest version of the band can be traced back to Australia of all places.  Tad was living down there at the time and actually began playing the song, All Day, before he moved back to Vancouver.  The band went through some line up changes before signing a deal with Warner Records and releasing their self-titled debut in 1985.  For any Canadian listening to radio in the eighties, you are likely familiar with a number of songs by this band.  Tokyo Rose, the lead track from this album, was a number 1 hit in Canada.  All Day, was also a Top 10 hit in Canada.  They would tour with Toto, Tears For Fears, The Human League, Bryan Adams and Tom Cochrane.  They also won the Juno for Most Promising Group in 1985.  That was their peak though and their follow up didn't generate enough sales causing them to be dropped by their label.  They didn't quit though and continued to release albums independently through the late eighties and nineties.  The band recently reformed to play a benefit show in Vancouver last month.  They have an excellent website that chronicles their career and is updated regularly with news.  You can follow them at  Their discography was been restored and this particular album is available for digital download on Itunes.  The song also appears on a couple of other releases.  In 1994, the band released an album of originals + some hits from the past called, Land Of The Midnight Sun.  Despite the band's website saying otherwise, the song, All Day, was included on at least one version of this release.  I know because I own it!  The band also released a retrospective in 2002 called, Bites Back, which includes this track.  You can watch the original video for the song, All Day, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Artist: Painter, Album: Painter, Song: West Coast Woman

"She's got flowers on her jeans, you know she's got the means to keep you grinning."  Painter were a Vancouver band that was spawned from the sixties band, 49th Parallel.  That band had gone through some personnel changes and by 1970, the current members decided to change their name to Painter and release a couple of non-charting singles.  It wasn't until 1973, that they released their self titled debut with Elektra Records.  The lead track, West Coast Woman, was a Top 20 hit here in Canada.  The men in the band were Dan Lowe, Doran Beattie, Wayne Morice, Barry Allen and Bob Ego.  The album was recorded in Seattle, Washington and would be their only release.  Doran, Dan and Wayne would go on to form Hammersmith in 1974 and release a couple of albums.  Following that, the artists went their separate ways in music.  Dan would resurface again in the eighties, with the band, Prototype (see blog 8/11/10).  In later years he would also find success in the field of recording technology.  If you like southern rock with a little bit of boogie this tune should appeal to you.  It's a free-spirited classic that doesn't get played enough today.  The album was actually re-released by Wounded Bird Records in 2009.  You can purchase new copies of the self titled debut at  You can hear the song, West Coast Woman, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Artist: Gob, Album: The World According To Gob, Song: I Hear You Calling

"I hear you calling, calling for me out in the night, but it's all  bad and I know that."  Gob are a four piece punk band from Langley, British Columbia.  They started recording in the early to mid nineties with their first release in 1994 on Landspeed Records.  However, in 2001, they hit the international stage with their Sony BMG debut, The World According To Gob.  The band had a melodic punk sound for this release, very similar to the sound popularized by Blink 182.  The album was produced by a Brit named Neill King at Factory Studios in Vancouver.  Neill had moved to California in the nineties and had worked with Green Day but prior that that, his resume included works by Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and The Smiths.  The lead single, I Hear You Calling, is perhaps one of the finest power pop tunes this country has ever produced.  The song got some great air and video play upon it's release.  It even cracked the US Billboard Charts.  A year later, it would be featured in a NHL video game and the album would be certified Gold.  The band continued to use the video game medium for more of their songs in coming years and it seemed to work well for them.  Lead singer, Tom Thacker, would also moonlight as the guitarist with Sum 41.  The band has continued to release material and their most recent album was in 2007 on Aquarius Records.  They are said to be currently working on a follow up for release sometime this year.  You can follow the band at  You can watch the humorous video for the song, I Hear You Calling, on You Tube (  The video is almost Thriller like in it's use of zombies.  You can purchase the album, The World According To Gob, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Artist: Garnett Ford, Album: Under The Influence, Song: Hustler

"Ooooooooh gotta get up pretty baby!"  Garnett Ford was a Toronto artist that released his debut album, Under The Influence, with Warner Records in 1978.  He was in a band called Pinball previous to this album, in the early seventies, with guitarist Dave Cooper.  Dave has a long history in Canadian music playing with the likes of Tom Cochrane, Edward Bear and Klaatu (see blog 11/27/10) just to name a few.  Dave also contributed guitar to this release as well.  Garnett's album was produced by Ian Thomas and you can really hear his influence on this particular release.  I really enjoy the song, Hustler, off this album.  It's a deep album track, buried on the B-side and was likely never a single.  It's got a great groove to it.  If you are a fan of Ian Thomas' work in the seventies, you should really enjoy this track.  Garnett would release one more album in 1982.  That release featured everyone from Kim Mitchell to the late B.B. Gabor (see blog 1/23/11).  It was also re-issued by a label out of Germany called Long Island Records.  His debut however, hasn't received the same treatment.  The album is only available on the second hand market in vinyl form.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Ebay and Amazon between $10 and $15.  Not much has been written about Garnett since his last release in the early eighties.  He did start a company with fellow musician, Bob Kellermann, called 2ndFloorView, composing music for movies and television.  You can hear the song, Hustler, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Artist: John Tigan, Album: CFNY 102 Great Ontario Modern Rock Search 1988, Song: Million Miles

"A million miles away is where I'd rather be, but if I choose to stay, please give me some peace."  John Tigan was a finalist in the Modern Rock Contest of 1988 that was put on by radio station, CFNY 102.1.  The station is widely known today as The Edge in Toronto.  These contests were hugely popular in the eighties and I've written a couple of blogs about some of the artists who made it onto the various compilations that were sold.  The contests themselves were responsible for launching some very big names in Canadian rock over the years.  John was fortunate enough to beat out more than 700 other entries and make it onto the vinyl release, as the lead track on Side 1.  Not much has been written about him unfortunately, so I'm not sure if he even stayed in music following this initial success.  The song was definitely one of the best on the album that year.  It was produced by Ron Searles at Manta Sound in Toronto, who now works for the CBC.  His drummer was Paul Delong who played with Kim Mitchell for a number of years.  These types of releases are never easy to find.  I have seen other copies in some used record shops within Toronto.  There is one copy selling at Music for $4.  You can hear the song, Million Miles, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Artist: Killjoys, Album: Starry, Song: Today I Hate Everyone

The Killjoys were a Hamilton area three piece that rose from the underground in the early nineties to take their place on the national stage.  It was such an exciting time for new music with the emergence of Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the United States.  Our local scene was thriving as well with a number of bands perfecting the grunge sound, metal/hip hop hybrid and of course power pop.  The Killjoys were more of the later and in 1994, released their debut, Starry, with Warner Records.  It was a great album and the lead single, Today I Hate Everyone, got strong rotation on both video and radio stations throughout the country.  I'm not sure if this ever led to more exposure south of the border for the band but they certainly were good enough to attract it.  By 1997, they had released their sophomore album and won the Juno for Best New Group.  They beat out Limblifter, Pluto (see blog 8/13/10), Starkicker and Victor (Alex Lifeson of Rush) that year.  The band would release one more album of original material with Marshall Crenshaw handling the production duties but it wouldn't do as well as their earlier releases and the band would eventually fold.  Their singles were re-issued as part of an Essentials collection in 2005 and lead singer, Mike Trebilcock, would also release a solo album in 2000.  You can follow him at  You can purchase the album, Starry, on Itunes.  The song, Today I Hate Everyone, is also on a Rhino: Hi Five release that is available on Itunes as well.  You can watch the video for, Today I Hate Everyone, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!    

Friday, April 8, 2011

Artist: Oliver Schroer, Album: Whirled, Song: Sit By Me

Oliver Schroer was a violinist, composer and educator from Toronto, Ontario.  He released his debut in 1989 and has composed over 1000 pieces of music, recorded 12 albums, has produced many more and appeared on 100+ albums.  He's played with Jesse Cook, Spirit Of The West and Great Big Sea.  He's toured North America and Europe as well.  He was a musician with an open mind as well as a palate for diverse forms of music ranging from Celtic to Balkan and Jazz to Folk.  My wife introduced me to his music.  She had seen him perform at a workshop while she was attending university.  She purchased a few of his albums after that show but her favourite was a song called, Sit By Me, from his third release, Whirled.  If you aren't moved by this song you better check for a pulse!  Oliver succumbed to leukemia in July of 2008.  He had played a farewell concert in June of that same year.  Apparently, he had also completed his final composition the day before he died.  His posthumous album, Freedom Row, was released in 2010 with Borealis Records.  You can read about this remarkable man at  His discography, including the album, Whirled, is available for sale at  You can hear the song, Sit By Me, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Artist: Luther Wright & The Wrongs, Album: Guitar Pickin' Martyrs, Song: Broken Fuckin' Heart

"Well I got a broken fuckin' heart.  Like an idiot I played my cards too quick.  Now I'm up the fuckin' creek.  And all my friends that know me, they've been kind enough to tell me, I look sick."  Luther Wright & The Wrongs are a country bluegrass ensemble from Kingston, Ontario.  A couple of the members including Luther himself were in a band called Weeping Tile with Sarah Harmer in the nineties.  The band grew from busking on Kingston street corners to playing bars and releasing their debut in 1997.  By 2001, the band released a country/bluegrass reworking of Pink Floyd's classic, The Wall.  It was called, Rebuild The Wall, and was picked up by Universal Records.  The band was suddenly touring Canada and the U.S. and have played 500+ shows across the continent to date.  The follow up album in 2003, Guitar Pickin' Martyrs, included all original material.  The theme of the album is heartbreak and it was drawn together from this one initial song, Broken Fuckin' Heart.  Sarah Harmer is often found collaborating on Luther's albums and this one is no exception.  Luther is currently touring East of Winnipeg at the moment and moving into New York to play some shows this month.  Then he'll be out west in May and Germany in July!  You can follow him at  You can purchase, Guitar Pickin' Martyrs, from his website or Itunes.  You can hear the song, Broken Fuckin' Heart, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Artist: Hometown Band, Album: Hometown Band, Song: Feel Good

The Hometown Band were a folk rock ensemble from Vancouver.  They were Shari Ulrich, Claire Lawrence, Geoff Erye, Robbie King, Doug Edwards and Edward Patterson.  The most notable member of the band at the time, may have been Claire Lawrence, who had played keyboards and saxophone with Chilliwack until his departure in 1971.  In later years, a multi-instrumentalist from California, who settled in Vancouver, named Shari Ulrich, would gain popularity as a solo artist.  The Hometown Band were originally put together to support Valdy.  Eventually, the band would sign their own deal with A&M and release their debut in 1976 entitled, Flying.  The title track did very well for the band which prompted their self titled sophomore release in 1978.  It didn't do as well as the debut single but they did win the Most Promising Group award at the Junos that year.  Feel Good was the single off the second album and was penned by Shari.  The band would lose their record deal following this album and by 1980, Shari had released her debut solo album with A&M.  Claire Lawrence would actually produce that album as well.  The late Robbie King, organist in the band, had some deep roots in Vancouver's musical history.  He was part of a popular sixties band called, Papa Bear's Medicine Show and worked with almost everyone in the industry.  Today their discography hasn't been re-mastered which means it is only available on vinyl.  At the time of this blog there were copies trading on Ebay and Amazon between $10 and $25.  You can hear the song, Feel Good, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Artist: Big John Bates, Album: Take Your Medicine, Song: Burlesque Is Dead

Big John Bates got his start in the metal band, Annihilator, during the eighties.  If you were a metal fan back then, like many were, you might remember the song, Alison Hell, which got some heavy rotation on Canada's video station, Much Music.  He was the vocalist at the time and co-wrote a lot of the songs.  He left the band and by the late-nineties, had developed a weird burlesque/gothic/punk image and traded in his metal chops for a more rockabilly punk sound.  He has released 4 full lengths to date under Big John Bates or Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz.  Take Your Medicine was his release from 2006.  He actually transforms his Annihilator song, Alison Hell, into a rockabilly tune that clocks in under a minute and a half.  Another great tune from that album is the song, Burlesque Is Dead.  He's got such a dark sound that can both swing and rock at times.  He has done a masterful job at creating theatre for his music.  It's sex and horror all rolled into one fine rock and roll spectacle.  He tours constantly and plays North America and Europe.  He has shared the stage with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Corb Lund and The Blasters.  He is currently wrapping up an extensive U.S. tour and is now cutting across Canada to play shows in Ontario this month.  His current band is called, John Bates and the Grindhouse and it features two female contortionists that do strange things with fire, electric grinders and snake oil.  You can follow him at  You can purchase, Take Your Medicine, on Itunes.  You can watch the video for the song, Burlesque Is Dead, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Artist: Tuuli, Album: Travoltas/Tuuli Split 7" Single, Song: Spf 5 Million

Tuuli were an all girl rock group from Toronto who sprouted up in the late nineties.  The band went through some lineup changes but the two founding members and mainstays within the group were Jenny MacIsaac and Claire Blake.  Their sound was pop punk.  They toured the festival circuit in Canada and crossed over in to the U.S. as well.  At their peak, they were opening for the likes of Kittie and Cheap Trick.  I first heard them on a CMW sampler from 1997 which featured one of their earliest tracks, Spf 5 Million.  It was written by vocalist, Jenny MacIsaac.  It's a perfect example of the type of melancholy alternative rock that did so well in the nineties.  If you are a fan of Liz Phair or Juliana Hatfield, you will really enjoy this song.  Unfortunately, the band released a few EP's and one full length but I don't believe this song was ever included.  Outside of the CMW sampler, I have only seen it on a Split 7" single which featured a band called the Travoltas on the A Side and this song by Tuuli on the B Side.  It's too bad because this track is an absolute gem.  The band would release their first full length in 2002 and were signed to Linus Entertainment.  The band is no longer together but you can read about them at  Jenny MacIsaac is in a new band called, The Vicious Guns.  You can follow them at  At the time of this blog, there was one copy of the 7" single, Spf 5 Million, for sale on Ebay for $20.  You can hear the song, Spf 5 Million, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Artist: Frank Soda & The Imps, Album: High Times Greatest Hits 1979-1995, Song: Oversexed And Underfed

"Oversexed and underfed, my body temperature is in the red.  I wanna spend my life in bed.  Oversexed and underfed."  Frank Soda & The Imps were a group of musicians from Vancouver that joined heavy metal singer, Thor, as his touring band in the mid seventies for some shows in Toronto.  Thor was a former bodybuilder who smartly parlayed his physical presence into a unique spectacle within the heavy metal scene of the seventies.  He really exposed the theatre aspect of the rock n' roll show by doing things like breaking bricks with a sledgehammer or exploding hot water bottles on stage.  Likely taking notes in the background, the Imps decided to stay in Toronto and re-brand their own act and take it on the road.  Their front man, Frank Soda, began experimenting with different head gear like a T.V. set that exploded or a giant moon head.  The latter would actually malfunction at a Gasworks show in Toronto one night, burning his hair and skin.  The rock and roll spectacle did the trick however, and the band was voted one of Toronto's most popular bar bands.  They released their debut in 1979.  It was a live release called, In The Tube, which attracted the attention of Quality Records.  This record deal allowed them to play larger venues and they began opening for bands like The Stampeders, Triumph, Max Webster, Deep Purple and Savoy Brown.  Their sophomore release in 1980, entitled, Soda Pop, included this humorous track, Oversexed And Underfed.  The band would split up following this album yet Frank would continue on.  He released another album in 1981 and then an EP in 1984.  Frank also shared the same manager as metal queen, Lee Aaron, and worked on one of her projects.  Today he is back in Vancouver and is still recording and touring.  You can follow him at  Pacemaker Entertainment released a retrospective entitled, High Times Greatest Hits 1979-1995, in 1995.  It includes this track and you can purchase this album at  You can hear the song, Oversexed And Underfed, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Artist: Renann, Album: Renann, Song: Sick And Tired

"I get so sick and so tired being overly admired."  Renann is a singer songwriter from Toronto originally.  She released her self titled debut in 1998.  She is an artist on many levels, having worked as an art gallery curator and publisher before deciding to release her first album.  This particular release was quite strong and it won her a spot on the Lilith Fair tour as a result.  The album was produced by Joao Carvalho who also happened to co-write this track, Sick And Tired.  The album also featured the drum work of Howie Beck although not on this particular track. Renann would gain some regional radio play on alternative and college stations.  She played the festival circuit and toured before re-locating to Montreal.  In 2002, she released her sophomore album, Taken With You, which featured songs in both French and English.  There doesn't appear to be any recent music news beyond 2002 on her.  I believe that she runs her own art gallery in Guelph, Ontario now but I'm not 100% certain.  Her discography can still be found at Maple  This particular album was selling for $15.  You can hear the song, Sick And Tired, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Artist: Nick Gilder, Album: Best Of Nick Gilder:Hot Child In The City, Song: Backstreet Noise

"They're breaking out in old blue jeans, juvenile delinquent teens.  Look out for the backstreet noise.  Rock and roll's electric boys."  Nick Gilder was born in England but raised in Vancouver, B.C..  He rose to prominence in the mid to late seventies as the leader of the glam rock band, Sweeney Todd.  Then things got a bit strange and involved one of Canada's other favourite sons, Bryan Adams.  Chrysalis Records in the U.S. became interested in Gilder and his guitarist/songwriting partner from Sweeney, Jim McCulloch.  This rubbed the other band members the wrong way so while Gilder and McCulloch left the band, the remaining members recruited a couple of new singers before settling on a very young, Bryan Adams.  All the while, the song, Roxy Roller, from the band's debut, was rocketing up the charts.  It would go on to win the Juno for best selling single in 1977.  The band would re-release the song with Adam's singing as well as some other compositions of Gilder-McCulloch before legal battles ensued.  What all of this did though was usher in Nick's first solo record entitled, You Know Who You Are, in 1977.  It contained a number of Sweeney Todd songs along with this cool original, Backstreet Noise.  The song would re-appear a year later as the B-side to the Hot Child In The City single from his sophomore release in 1978.  Never a hit or a single, but perhaps one of the coolest glam rock tracks to emerge from Canada.  If you like Sweet, this tune should appeal to you.  Nick, of course, became an international sensation with the song, Hot Child In The City, and would go on to release 9 albums of material.  He still tours today and you can follow him at What many people don't know is that he also composed music for other notable musicians like Pat Benatar and Joe Cocker.  If you remember the one hit wonder, Warrior, from a band named Scandal in the eighties.  Well, he wrote that tune as well.  In 2001, a retrospective was released chronicling his history with Sweeney Todd and as a solo artist.  It is entitled, The Best Of Nick Gilder: Hot Child In The City.  It includes the track Backstreet Noise and is available on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Backstreet Noise, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!