A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink: Oiseaux-Tempête

OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE, 2015; photo by Pamela Maddaleno

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Oiseaux-Tempête, more or less of Paris, are an ever-changing entity. An iteration of the band that includes Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul (FareWell Poetry and Le Réveil des Tropiques), Ben McConnell (Beach House, FareWell Poetry, Marissa Nadler) and bass clarinet virtuoso Gareth Davis (Elliott Sharp and Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner)) have just released ÜTOPIYA?, … Continue reading

Canadian Music Week: Two Songs From: Alex Lamoureux

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Alex Lamoureux is from Manitoba, and was ranked in the top 10 at the Grand Master Fiddle Championships in 2008-2009. Watch these videos, and you’ll see why. By himself, with Old Reel of Eight, Métis style, at the Manitoba Fiddle Association Championships in 2012: At the Manitoba Fiddle Association Championships, and joined by his mother, three-time Grand Master Fiddling Champion Patti Kusturok, also in 2012: For more recent activity, check out Kusturok’s YouTube page, where she’s doing a series entitled 365 Days of Fiddle Tunes.

Canadian Music Week: Two Songs From: Brock Zeman

Photo by Jamie Kronick

Brock Zeman, singer/songwriter, is from Ottawa, Ontario, and plays indie rock with country-folk undertones. He recently released his 11th record (!), Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back. The title track is more spoken word poetry with music involved than a song. It’s meta-commentary on the art and science and struggle of songwriting and broken hearts and stories that don’t belong to you don’t belong to you and that won’t go away. You won’t be able to sing along, he says, as he rolls to a crescendo, which is true. Still, if I had a car and oceans of prairie to get across, I think I would start my driving playlist with it, just for the satisfying rhythms and final, thundering stop. Little Details, on the other hand, is, for lack of a better term, a rollicking break-up song, and you definitely can sing along:

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink, Adam Sturgeon, WHOOP-Szo

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It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. WHOOP-Szo is a fluid musical collective currently operating out of Guelph/London, Ontario, Canada. Previously they were my most favorite purveyor of tone-poems inspired by the Canadian Arctic, but with Mirror North, the a-side of their offering for Record Store Day, things have taken a turn for the sludgy. The record/song was created by an incarnation … Continue reading

Canadian Music Week: Canadians at CouchxCouchWest

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For those of you who don’t know, CouchxCouchWest is an annual music festival that is held exclusively on the web, where brave souls flip on their recording devices and sing a song anywhere but a stage. Pants are optional, pets are encouraged, and you always get a front row, er, screen, seat. Canada sent several acts this year; below are some of the highlights. Modern Day Poets, of Vancouver, British Columbia, with This City: Norine Braun, also from Vancouver, B.C. with Drunk, which is about love and day-drinking: The Holy Gasp, of Toronto, Ontario, with a conga-driven song about creepy crawlie nightmares, aka Bedbugs. And then to clear your mental palate, Winnipeg, Manitoba radio host Nancy Slater with her interpretation of Heavy by The Glorious Sons:

Canadian Music Week: A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Mary Caroline

Mary Caroline

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. For our second Very Special Presentation of A Good Read . . ., we’re jumping all the way up north to Yellowknife, NorthWest Territories, where singer/songwriter Mary Caroline divides her time between television and making indie-folk music. As an introduction, here are some songs from her debut studio album, Life on Earth: Songs of Winter … Continue reading

Canadian Music Week: Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, Sterling Road

Cassie and Maggie MacDonald. Photo credit: Haley Anne MacPhee

Previously on NTSIB’s own personal Canadian Music Week: some rock, some punk, some sweet dirty blues, from the rust belt and the praries. Today we’re jumping out to the Maritimes, to Nova Scotia, and to Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, who have an invigorating sound that draws from Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton traditions. Here are a few tunes from their new record, Sterling Road: Jimmie’s, written for an uncle and the family farm, is a charming delight, sweet as sea breeze on a warm summer day: The Dusty Meadow Variations, a glorious piano and fiddle romp: And finally, their interpretation of Buain A’ Choirce (Reaping the Oats), a Scots Gaelic milling song, which I like because it is both beautiful and gloomy:

Canadian Music Week: A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: Luke Bentham, The Dirty Nil

The Dirty Nil - Luke Bentham is center, in star shirt.

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. A Good Read normally happens on Fridays, but this week we’re having a Very Special Monday Presentation. In the spotlight today are The Dirty Nil, of Hamilton, Ontario, who have some very exciting plans this summer: they’re headed out on their first Warped Tour. If you have not already had the pleasure of rocking out … Continue reading

Canadian Music Week: Two Songs from: The New Wild

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The New Wild are Sean and Daniel Guezen of Winnipeg, Manitoba. They play heavy, bluesy garage rock, the kind of thing that will rattle your bones and pin your ears back if you’re standing in the front row. This is Dallas, the first song from their self-titled EP, which causes me to sway along in my chair, grinning, every time I listen to it: The New Wild by The New Wild And this is Play It By Fear, from the same EP, which is . . . something of a cautionary tale, complete with guitars that burst out like the sharp end of a buzz-saw: The New Wild by The New Wild

Canadian Music Week: Steak and Eggs, Flamingo Bay

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Steak and Eggs is the latest record from Flamingo Bay, of Hamilton, Ontario. Like it’s diner-staple namesake, this record is solid, filling, and comfortingly familiar without being tedious. Here are some of the highlights: Culprit of the Tahiti Pearl, is seven minutes long, and is really two, perhaps three songs in one. It is also the first song, and sets the swamp-garage tone for the record: Steak n' Eggs by Flamingo Bay Checkout Line is the second song, and brings some stompy bluesy swagger to the proceedings: Steak n' Eggs by Flamingo Bay And finally, Righteousness, the closest thing they have to a slow jam: Steak n' Eggs by Flamingo Bay