Friday, September 30, 2011

Artist: Chixdiggit!, Album: Chixdiggit!, Song: I Drove The Coquihalla

"I drove, drove, drove, drove, drove the Coquihalla, just to be, just to be, just to be here with you."  Chixdiggit! were a punk band from Calgary, Alberta.  They were high school friends who started selling tee-shirts with the name Chixdiggit! (aka Chicks Dig It) printed on it.  They weren't even a band yet and none of them had any musical training.  The tee-shirts sold well and they used the money to buy a drum kit.  Over the next two years, the members practiced, played the odd show and by 1996, signed with Sub Pop Records and released their self titled debut!  I Drove The Coquihalla is one of many stand out tracks from this debut and it clocks in under the two minute mark.  The band would eventually leave Sub Pop and is currently signed to Fat Wreck Chords.  They have toured internationally and to date, have 5 albums.  Their most recent album was released this past year.  The band is currently celebrating their 20th Anniversary.  This particular debut album was actually re-recorded and re-released as Chixdiggit! II in 2007.  You can follow the band at  You can purchase the debut album on Itunes.  You can hear the song, I Drove The Coquihalla, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Artist: Grier Coppins, Album: Songs Of Bernie Martin, A Certain Man..., Song: One Last Dance

Here is an interesting tribute to a local Peterborough, Ontario artist named, Bernie Martin.  Bernie passed away in 1995 and his good friend and fellow artist, Brian Sanderson, uncovered over 150 songs in his backyard studio.  He immediately began work on releasing the songs in the form of a tribute album.  He passed around the original recordings to almost 50 artists in the community for their interpretation and the album, A Certain Man..., was released in 1997.  Bernie wore many hats and seemed to be gaining recognition for his work later in life.  He was an actor, painter, playwright, musician, poet and craftsman.  He played live but didn't really promote his work and many of his songs were only known to family and friends.  The song, One Last Dance, really struck a chord with me from this release and it features Grier Coppins on vocals and bagpipes from the band, Taxi Chain (see blog 12/25/10) and Rare Air.  The late Oliver Schroer (see blog 4/8/11) also contributed to this release.  There is a Peterborough based website featuring this recording and many others that were handled by the community group, Backlash Recordings, and it appears to be available for download (  You can hear the song, One Last Dance, on You Tube (  Brian Sanderson continues to pay tribute to his friend Bernie as part of the band, God Knows What (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Artist: Jitters, Album: Jitters, Song: Last Of The Red Hot Fools

The Jitters were a Toronto rock band that formed in 1981.  They were Blair Packham, Danny Levy, Matthew Greenberg and Glenn Martin.  The band was very popular on the local bar circuit and they actually had the opportunity to work with producer Bob Ezrin in 1982 but nothing came from the experience.  However, by the mid to late eighties, the band finally wrote and recorded this song, Last Of The Red Hot Fools, and entered it into a Homegrown Radio Contest in Toronto by Q107.  They didn't win but placed well enough to have the song included on the station's compilation release.  Following this, they landed an opening gig for Huey Lewis & The News at the C.N.E. which attracted the attention of Capitol Records.  Finally, after years of slugging it out on the bar circuit, the band signed their major label deal and released their self-titled debut in 1987.  This particular song became the lead single and it was a national hit, prompting the Juno nomination for Most Promising Group.  However, they lost out to Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts.  This wasn't the only single off the album as the band also released the album opener, Closer Every Day, which received a lot of airplay.  Their popularity would translate into some U.K. tour dates with Heart, opening for them at Wembley Stadium.  The band would follow it up in 1990 with their sophomore release which yielded another great single called, Til The Fever Breaks.  However, the band would eventually pack it in by 1991.  They have reformed in recent years to perform the odd show and Blair Packham continues to perform as a solo artist.  You can follow Blair at  The debut album from the Jitters is available for download on Itunes.  You can check out the band performing the song, Last Of The Red Hot Fools, on a U.K. television show on You Tube (  You can also follow their story and hear some tunes at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Artist: Jim Byrnes, Album: Burning, Song: You Don't Know

Jim Byrnes is a blues musician originally from St.Louis, Missouri.  He grew up singing in church choirs, acting in summer theatre and visiting soul clubs at night.  He moved to Canada in 1969 and settled in Vancouver by the early seventies.  He lost both of his legs when a car slammed into his body as he was helping to push a stalled truck.  Jim would eventually find his way back to music following this horrific setback and began touring as well as working in film and television.  In 1981, he released his debut album, Burning, on Polydor Records.  The album was a mix of r&b covers as well as some self-penned originals which garnered him the Juno nomination for Most Promising Male Vocalist.  He lost out that year to singer, Eddie Schwartz (see blog 2/22/11).  However, he just recently won the Juno for Best Blues Album in 2011.  You Don't Know, is the album opener and honestly sounds like a long lost Stax classic.  Coincidentally, the song was written by the late Isaac Hayes and David Porter.  Jim does a great job on this song and you can check it out on You Tube (  Jim would go on to sign with Stony Plain Records and more recently, Black Hen Music.  He has released 8 albums to date, has appeared in numerous film and television roles and has won three Junos.  You can follow him at  This particular release was remastered and re-released as a two album set during the late eighties by Stony Plain Records and is currently available for download on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Artist: Weather Permitting, Album: Into The Ground, Song: Love Is Good

Weather Permitting were a rock band from Montreal that formed in 1985.  They signed with indie label VOT Records and had a couple of songs released on various artist compilations.  In 1987, they released their debut, Into The Ground.  They were brothers Andrew and Peter Steinmetz, Bruno Steiner and Gary McGirr.  They had an alternative rock sound.  Love Is Good, is a standout track from their debut that opens Side B.  You can check it out on You Tube(  Andrew and Peter shared the writing duties for the band and they both handled vocal duties along with bassist, Bruno Steiner.  They would go on to release one more album in 1989 before calling it quits.  Bruno has gone on to release a number of albums as the front man for the New Orleans band, Blood Red Velvet.  Andrew and Peter formed a new band called, Good Cookies.  Peter currently records under the moniker, Song Mason (  You can also follow Andrew's work as a solo artist at  This particular release by Weather Permitting is a very difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were a few copies for sale on trading between $15 and $80.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Artist: Ian Thomas, Album: Levity, Song: Levity

"Put some levity back into this life.  Take the disillusion away.  Put away the things that go bump in the night, that pull you under."  Ian Thomas is a singer songwriter from Toronto, Ontario.  He started his illustrious career in a folk group called, Tranquility Base, in 1970.  In 1973 he struck out on his own with his self-titled debut and Juno award winning album.  It included the huge international hit, Painted Ladies.  Since then, he has amassed 19 albums to date, either as a solo artist or as a member of bands like The Boomers and Lunch At Allen's.  Ian can boast having numerous top twenty singles, his music in film compositions, his production work with other artists along with being a published author.  A number of his songs have also been re-recorded by international acts like Chicago and Santana.  One of his most popular songs, The Runner, was a hit for the band, Manfred Mann's Earth Band.  One particular release that doesn't seem to get as much attention as it should within Ian's wealth of recording output, is the album, Levity, released in 1988.  I was a much younger man when this was released and remember listening to the title track to this album over and over again.  The album was released with WEA and was recorded in both Canada and England by a man named Christopher Neil.  Christopher had produced some major hit singles for artists like Sheena Easton and Genesis spin off, Mike + The Mechanics.  This album received some good airplay upon it's release and had a couple of singles.  Levity definitely ranks up there among his top songs but for reasons likely known only to Ian, is never included in his retrospective releases.  The actual album is a very difficult find today as well.  At the time of this blog, there were vinyl copies trading on Amazon for $20 and 1 CD copy on Ebay for $130!  You can check out the song, Levity, on You Tube (  Ian is currently working on a new album and continues to play shows with his band Lunch At Allen's.  You can follow him at (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Artist: Stonebolt, Album: New Set Of Changes, Song: All By Myself

Stonebolt were a rock band from Vancouver, B.C.  They formed under the name Perth Amboy as a 3pc in 1973 and quickly swelled to 5 members.  They were Ray Roper, David Wills, Brian Lousley, John Webster and Dan Atchison.  The band played in Canada and the U.S. before landing a major label deal with RCA.  They released their debut album in 1978 and had an international hit called, I Will Still Love You, that cracked the Billboard Top 30.  They also appeared on American Bandstand.  The group would release three more albums before breaking up in 1983.  New Set Of Changes was their third release in 1980.  It's a good album that perhaps wasn't as commercially successful as their previous releases but had some great tunes.  I actually find Side B to be a bit more uptempo than A and that's where I found this beauty, entitled, All By Myself.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  The band also does a Beatles' cover called, Please Please Me, on this album.  They would reform in the late nineties and release an album of familiar songs and continue to play live from time to time.  The album, New Set Of Changes, is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were vinyl copies trading on Amazon and Ebay between $10 and $20.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Artist: Greg MacPherson, Album: Mr. Invitation, Song: Big Skies

Greg MacPherson is a singer songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He is a multi-instrumentalist who began his recording career in 1997 with his independently released debut.  To date he has 8 releases.  His most recent album was released this year.  He has toured internationally and opened for such artists as David Wilcox (see blog 9/12/10) and Chris DeBurgh.  After years of releasing material with local labels like G7 Welcoming Commitee and Smallman Records, he now runs his own label called, Disintegration Records, with Cam Loeppky, who has done a lot of work with bands like Duotang (see blog 11/30/10) as well as The Weakerthans.  Greg is a very gifted songwriter and if you love Americana you should really dig this tune, Big Skies, off his 2010 release, Mr. Invitation.  The drum intro reminds me a bit of the Clash tune, Janie Jones.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  Greg also has another project called Nova and you can check their work out at  Greg will be touring through Germany this month and you can keep tabs on him at  You can also check out the Disintegration Records label at  Greg's album, Mr. Invitation, is available for download from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Artist: Saigon Hookers, Album: Doormat Records Remembers The Low Five, Song: Just One More Peanut

The Saigon Hookers are a rock band from Kitchener, Ontario.  They formed in 2005 as a three piece band and launched their debut, Hello Rock And Roll, in 2006.  The album was produced by Ian Blurton (see blogs 11/22/10, 6/30/11).  The band also played some shows with his band, C'Mon.  They have a throwback hard rock sound that brings to mind bands like Fu Manchu, Nebula, Airbourne, The Hives and The Hellacopters.  They actually cover a Hellacopter's tune on their Facebook page called, A Hopeless Case Of A Kid In Denial.  If you follow hard rock and heavy metal you'll know that this music never died in places like Scandinavia.  The home to bands like The Hives and The Hellacopters and coincidentally, the home of one of the members of this band.  Thus, the song I have chosen here, entitled, Just One More Peanut, was featured originally on a Norwegian heavy metal compilation.  Some time after the release of their debut, they signed on with local label, Doormat Records, and this compilation was released in 2006.  It was entitled, Doormat Records Remembers The Low Five, and it featured a number of local bands including, The Saigon Hookers, and this tune, originally released in Norway.  The band has since expanded to a four piece and have 2 full lengths and 2 EP's released.  Their most recent album was released in 2010.  However, none of these releases include this song which is unfortunate because it is a beauty.  You can hear it on You Tube (  You can follow the band on their Facebook page at  The Doormat Records compilation is a difficult find today and at the time of this blog, there were no copies available online for sale.  However, you can purchase the entire Saigon Hookers discography from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Artist: Royal Canoe, Album: Co-op Mode, Song: I Can't Lie Down

Royal Canoe is a rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba.  They are the second of two bands that were spawned from the demise of The Waking Eyes.  The first, Imaginary Cities (see blog 6/6/11), featured Rusty Matyas.  This time around, the focus is on his former band mate, Matt Peters.  Unfortunately, the history books are filled with great bands that were under appreciated and The Waking Eyes would fit into that category.  Whether it was psychedelia, garage rock or orchestral pop, these guys perfected it with each of their unique genre bending albums.  Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise then that two of Canada's most exciting new acts shared such a beginning.  For The Waking Eyes, their most notable release was, of course, Video Sound, in 2004, which was a straight ahead rock album that also garnered the group a Juno nomination for New Group Of The Year in 2005.  Fast forward one year and that's when Matt decided to piece together the songs that comprise this Royal Canoe debut, entitled, Co-op Mode, with some local area musicians.  He wouldn't actually form the band, Royal Canoe, play live or release this album until 2009, following the demise of The Waking Eyes.  The band is now completing the finishing touches on their sophomore release which is completely different from their debut (now technically five years old!) and you can check out some of their new singles at  There are a lot of similarities that can be drawn between their debut album and the final Waking Eyes release in 2008.  Likely because Matt was contributing music to both projects at the same time.  Their debut is full of great songs that are experimental yet pop sensible. The track, I Can't Lie Down, is a highlight from this album and you can check it out on You Tube (  You can purchase Co-op Mode, on Itunes.  You can also watch a video for one of the band's new tracks on You Tube, entitled, Nightcrawlin' (  Royal Canoe are currently touring Western Canada and you can keep tabs on them at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Artist: Tulpa, Album: Mosaic Fish, Song: The Cage

Tulpa were an art rock/punk band from Toronto.  They formed in 1982 and were originally called, Private Lives, before discovering another band shared that name.  They cut their teeth on the Toronto club circuit and attracted a lot of attention for their wild stage presence.  They were brothers, Chris and John Bottomley (see blog 10/7/10) along with drummer, Sev Micron.  The guys shopped their debut to labels in England and landed a deal with Midnight Records for this release, entitled, Mosaic Fish, in 1984.  The band played a number of shows at the legendary CBGB's bar in New York and opened for such artists as Living Color, Michelle Shocked and while in Canada, The Payolas.  This was their only studio release yet they did release a live album of material recorded at CBGB's in 1986.  The band would eventually break up and brothers Chris and John would go on to release albums as solo artists.  John would eventually win a Juno for one of his solo recordings during the nineties.  Tulpa did reform back in 2009 and 2010 to play some shows but in April of this past year, John had passed away sadly.  Mosaic Fish is a difficult find today.  There was some talk about it being re-released on CD but I'm not sure if that ever happened.  At the time of this blog, there were vinyl copies trading on Discogs between $10 and $15.  If you are a U.S. resident, the album is also available for MP3 download only at  The Cage, is a great track from this release and you can check it out on You Tube(  You can also see some of the early interviews with the band that helped launch them in Canada (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Artist: Dubmatix, Album: System Shakedown, Song: Wobble Weeble

Dubmatix is a reggae artist from Toronto, Ontario.  He is a multi-instrumentalist producer that composes music in a multitude of different styles including dub, rocksteady and roots reggae.  He has worked with some legendary performers over the years like Michael Rose of the band, Black Uhuru.  He released his debut in 2004 and has toured the globe, performing his music live.  To date he has 4 releases.  His most recent in 2010, entitled, System Shakedown.  The lead off track is entitled, Wobble Weeble, and it features the vocal talents of Toronto artist, Kulcha Ites.  You can check out the track on You Tube (  Dubmatix has been nominated for a Juno three times so far and in 2010, won the award for Best Reggae Recording.  This particular release was nominated in 2011 but he lost out to a recording by Elaine Lil'Bit Shepherd.  If you've stumbled upon the music of the Easy All-Stars (a group of reggae musicians that have remixed the Beatles, Radiohead and Pink Floyd "inna reggae style"), you may have heard the Dubmatix remix of Pink Floyd's Breathe.  He has also remixed the Clash's London Calling on a recent tribute to Joe Strummer, entitled, Shatter The Hotel.  You can follow him at  You can purchase the album, System Shakedown, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Artist: Apostle Of Hustle, Album: Eats Darkness, Song: Eazy Speaks

The Apostle of Hustle is a 4pc band from Toronto.  The founder of the band is a man named Andrew Whiteman.  Andrew's main gig is playing guitar in the band, The Broken Social Scene.  However, his musical legacy began during the eighties as one of the founding members of a band known as, The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir (see blog 11/3/10).  Much like The Broken Social Scene, his earlier band was a large collective of musicians that played very progressive music.  A term that could also be applied to the music he creates under the moniker, the Apostle of Hustle.  As the story goes, Andrew spent a couple of months in Cuba, soaking up the country's culture and music and returned to Toronto with a vision.  He found some like minded musicians and formed this band in 2001.  However, The Broken Social Scene had just launched their debut, Forgot It In The People, and thanks to the success of that album and subsequent touring demands, the Apostle of Hustle debut didn't see the light of day until 2004.  Since then however, they have released three albums, their most recent in 2009, entitled, Eats Darkness.  Eazy Speaks is a very cool track from that album.  You can follow the Apostle of Hustle at  You can hear the band perform the song, Eazy Speaks, at the CBC  Go! studios on You Tube (  Lastly, you can purchase the album, Eats Darkness, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Artist: The Skydiggers, Album: The Skydiggers, Song: I Will Give You Everything

The Skydiggers are a roots rock band from Toronto.  They emerged during the mid eighties from the same scene that spawned bands like Blue Rodeo, The Cowboy Junkies and Andrew Cash.  It was actually their connection to the latter that aided in the formation of the band.  Andrew had a weekly songwriters showcase at the Spadina Hotel where the band members first met.  Josh Finlayson, Andy Maize, Peter Cash, Ron Macey and Wayne Stokes started collaborating with one another and eventually took over the showcase at the hotel.  They attracted the attention of Enigma Records in 1990 and dropped their self-titled debut.  The band had a number of singles on heavy radio and video rotation within the country but none better than this one, entitled, I Will Give You Everything.  You can watch the video for the song on You Tube (  The group would go on to win the Juno for Most Promising Group in 1993.  The band has collaborated over the years with everyone from Sarah Harmer to Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo).  Although they've endured some line up changes throughout the years, they are still together and recording new material.  To date they have 11 releases, their last a retrospective, entitled, The Truth About Us, released in 2009.  You can keep tabs on the band at  Their debut is a difficult find today but you can find this song on the retrospective release which is available through Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Artist: Jale, Album: Dreamcake, Song: Not Happy

Jale originated as an all girl rock band from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  They were art school students, Jennifer Pierce, Alyson MacLeod, Laura Stein, and Eve Hartling.  The name Jale was formed using the first letters of the band members' first names.  The band formed during the early nineties, emerging from the same scene that spawned artists like Sloan, Thrush Hermit (see blog 9/5/10), Eric's Trip, Hardship Post (see blog 3/24/11), Plumtree (see blog 12/13/10) and Super Friendz (see blog 2/25/11).  Some of their earliest gigs were opening for Sloan.  They were the first of two Canadian bands to sign with Sub Pop out of Seattle.  Eric's Trip was the first.  They released their full length debut in 1994, entitled, Dreamcake.  Not Happy is the lead off track from their debut and it captures the essence of all girl rock during the grunge era.  Jale was right up there with bands like Veruca Salt, The Breeders, Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield and fellow Canadians, Cub. You can hear the song, Not Happy, on You Tube (  The band would follow this album up with an EP before releasing their final album in 1996.  They did go through some line up changes throughout the years and members Pierce, Stein along with new drummer, Mike Belitsky, would later form a new band called The Vees.  You can purchase Jale's album, Dreamcake, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Artist: Robin Black and The Intergalactic Rockstars, Album: Planet : Fame, Song: T.V. Trash

Robin Black is a musician originally from Manitoba but now based in Toronto.  He moved to Toronto during the nineties and formed the band, Robin Black and the Intergalactic Rock Stars.  They released their first single in 2000 and followed it up in 2002 with their full length debut, Planet : Fame.  The album was produced by Moe Berg (formerly of The Pursuit of Happiness) and Garth Richardson.  Garth is the son of legendary producer Jack Richardson and has worked with bands like Rage Against The Machine as well as The Red Hot Chilipeppers.  The album also featured Canadian songstress, Sarah Slean, on backing vocals.  It's a glam rock masterpiece with a space age theme that included fictitious band member bios.  This album puts the fun back in rock and roll and if you are a fan of Cheap Trick, you will likely dig the album opener, T.V. Trash.  I think of the song, Surrender, every time I hear this tune.  You can check it out on You Tube (  The band would shorten it's name to just Robin Black for their sophomore release in 2005.  That album was produced by legendary producer, Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Nine Inch Nails).  Robin Black spends more of his time in the mixed martial arts field these days.  He is a very interesting man and works as both a fighter and reporter for MMA.  You can check out some interesting interview clips with him from Bite TV (  You can keep tabs on Robin at (  You can purchase the album, Planet : Fame, on Amazon for $16.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Artist: Garrity, Album: Carve A Hole In The Mud, Song: Lately

Here is a band originally from Ottawa, Ontario.  They were North Easton, Mike Yelle, Chris Lochner and Steve McGrath.  Garrity formed during the nineties and released their indie debut in 1998, entitled, Carve A Hole In The Mud.  Thanks to strong radio support, specifically related to this song, Lately, the band landed touring gigs with bands like 54-40, I Mother Earth, Wide Mouth Mason and Tal Bachman.  They signed on with True North Records shortly thereafter and released one more album in 2001 before breaking up.  Front man, North Easton, currently runs a music school in Rockland, Ontario and continues to record music.  You can follow him at  You can watch the video for the song, Lately, on You Tube (  The band's debut album is a difficult find these days.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $5 and $15.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Artist: Main Source, Album: Breaking Atoms, Song: Looking At The Front Door

Main Source were a hip hop outfit that were 2/3's Canadian.  Members K-Cut and Sir Scratch were from Toronto and Large Professor was a native New Yorker.  They formed in 1989 and cut their debut, Breaking Atoms, in 1991 with Wild Pitch Records.  To this day, it is often noted as being one of the top rap albums of all time and I don't think you can talk about many of the genre defining bands of that decade such as De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest in the same breath without name dropping this band.  This record was also pivotal in that it launched the solo career of rappers Nas and Akinyele.  This was the first recording for both artists and both would go on to have very successful solo careers.  Looking At The Front Door was the lead single from this record and you can check out the video on You Tube (  Large Professor would end up leaving the band following this recording and go on to record and produce for other artists.  K-Cut and Sir Scratch would find a replacement in Mikey D and release a sophomore album in 1994 before disbanding.  You can check out their legacy at  You can purchase the album, Breaking Atoms, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Artist: Agatha, Album: Called It Off (Single), Song: Meet You On The Other Side

Here is an early 80's rock gem from Calgary, Alberta.  The band was called Agatha, and they released this single, Called It Off, in 1983.  The single's B-side though, is the real treat.  If you are a fan of early Rush, you should hear the similarity right off the top.  It is a really cool track called, Meet You On The Other Side.  I don't know much about these guys other than the lead singer, Rik Anthony, was in another Canadian metal band called, Breaker, a year prior.  That band had one EP the same year before breaking up.  I'm not sure if this particular single was ever followed by an album release.  Their discography is very hard to track down today and I happened upon a copy of this vinyl 45 by chance through Ebay.  This particular single was recorded at Sundae Sound Studio in Calgary which churned out quite a few indie releases back in the day but is now closed.  It was at one point, owned and operated by the drummer for Chixdiggit.  You can check out the song, Meet You On The Other Side, on You Tube(  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Artist: The Mark Inside, Album: Static/Crash, Song: Sweet Little Sister

"Sweet little sister I can't take much more of this.  Come over here for just one little kiss."  The Mark Inside are a rock band from Toronto, Ontario.  They are Geoff Bennett, Gus Harris, Chris Levoir and Reade Ollivier.  They were signed to Maple Music Recordings and released their debut album, Static/Crash, in 2005.  This was actually a re-released and remixed version as the band had released it themselves before signing a deal with Maple Music.  Ian Blurton (see blogs 11/22/10, 6/30/11) handled the remix duties and as luck would have it, the band got to open for Ian's band, C'mon, as well as Magneta Lane (see blog 6/23/11).  The album had a couple of singles, including this dirty rocker, Sweet Little Sister.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  Unfortunately though, disagreements with their label caused a gap in recording and they didn't release another album until 2010.  They did sign on with Jim Abiss, who is responsible for producing some major albums in the U.K. by bands like the Artic Monkeys, Kasabian, Adele and the Sneaker Pimps.  He brought the band to England, produced their record and signed them to his Metal Box Recordings label.  They opened shows for The Hold Steady in England.  The band appears to be recording at the moment and is set to release their second full length.  You can follow them at  You can purchase their debut album on Itunes.  Thanks reading and enjoy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Artist: Shuyler Jansen, Artist: Hobotron, Song: Write Your Will

"I bit the bullet, I stood my ground.  You're a cheater and a thief in a northern town.  I should have killed you, I just might still. Shut your mouth old boy or I'll write your will."  Shuyler Jansen is a singer songwriter originally from Edmonton, Alberta but now based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  He was in an alt-country band called Old Reliable that formed in the nineties.  They kicked around the prairie scene until 2005.  Right around the time Shuyler Jansen recorded his debut, Hobotron, with the Black Hen Music label.  Black Hen is also home to artists like Jenny Whiteley (see blog 7/1/11), Roxanne Potvin (see blog 8/16/10) and Jim Byrnes.  This particular release really pushes the boundaries of the label, alt-country, with it's incorporation of electronics.  Regardless if it is hard to categorize, there are some great tunes on this release, including this track, Write Your Will.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  Shuyler has since released two more albums, his most recent this year with a new label, Scratch Records, out of Vancouver.  He has toured Canada, the U.S. and Europe in support of his albums and has shared the stage with Carolyn Mark (see blog 11/16/10), Luther Wright (see blog 4/7/11) and the Deep Dark Woods.  He has also played SXSW and NXNE.  He is currently touring through Oregon and Washington State and will be playing shows in Vancouver and the Yukon this fall.  You can follow him at  You can purchase the album, Hobotron, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Artist: Tangiers, Album: Hot New Spirits, Song: Keep The Living Bodies Warm

Tangiers were a guitar, bass duo from Toronto.  They were Josh Reichmann and James Sayce.  They released their debut album, Hot New Spirits, in 2003, with the Sonic Unyon label out of Hamilton, Ontario.  It included this great Hives-like track, Keep The Living Bodies Warm.  The band had a really cool throwback, garage rock sound and you can hear it in the video for this track on You Tube (  The band would enlist the services of former Guided By Voices' drummer Jon McCann for their next release in 2004 before signing on with French Kiss Records for their third album in 2005.  French Kiss is home to some other very cool bands like The Hold Steady and Les Savy Fav.  The band appears to have broken up but you can keep tabs on them at  Josh Reichmann has recorded albums as a solo artist as well as a duo with Sebastien Grainger (formerly of Death From Above 1979), under the moniker, Bad Tits, on the Hand Drawn Dracula label.  You can follow him at  You can purchase, Hot New Spirits, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Artist: Winston Hancock, Album: No Pedestrians (Compilation), Song: Girls, Girls

"Every time I turn around, I fall in love with another one."  Winston Hancock is a singer songwriter from Toronto, Ontario.  He started out on the Queen Street circuit during the late seventies, early eighties, with bands like the True Confessions, Twitch (see blog 5/1/11) and Sherry Kean (see blog 3/21/11).  In fact, two of his songs from that period were featured on a Chameleon Records compilation in 1980, entitled, No Pedestrians, along with other local acts like the True Confessions and Sherry Kean's first band, The Sharks.  He had a real throwback rock n' roll sound that was being popularized by other international artists at the time, such as, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello and Graham Parker.  I find this tune actually sounds a bit like the Flamin' Groovies.  Like his international peers though, he was a skilled pop craftsman when it came to writing songs and it certainly shows on this track entitled, Girls, Girls.  Winston is still around and actually has a website that chronicles parts of his career in music.  He recently released his first CD and has played alongside greats like Jeff Healey (see blog 10/6/10).  You can follow him at  You can hear the song, Girls, Girls on You Tube (  The No Pedestrians compilation is the only place you will find some of Winston's earlier recordings and unfortunately, it is a very rare find.  At the time of this blog, there were no copies available online for sale.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Artist: Boulevard, Album: Into The Street, Song: Lead Me On

Boulevard (aka BLVD) were a Calgary band that formed in the mid to late eighties by founders, Mark Holden, Randy Gould and American vocalist, David Forbes.  The band recorded briefly in Calgary before relocating to Vancouver and landing a record deal with MCA in 1987.  This paved the way for their debut album in 1988.  It was a strong album that produced three popular singles and landed the band opening gigs with Glass Tiger and Boston.  Following those tours, they would enter the studio once more, change their name from the abbreviation BLVD to Boulevard, and release their sophomore album, Into The Streets.  While the album didn't spawn as many hits as their debut, it did produce their highest charting song, Lead Me On.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  The band would break up shortly after this release.  You can purchase the album, Into The Streets, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!