Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Word from the West

(click HERE to listen)

Word from the west. I’ve been enjoying the recent Restless Radio pod-cast installments and have missed the good ol’ days at CHMA, being Mike’s trusty sidekick, putting the show together on the home front. It’s my pleasure to present to your ears some of what my ears have been taking in whilst out here in Vancouver.

Artist: Michael Franti and Spearhead Track: Stay Human
Album: Songs From The Porch (2003)
To kick off the set, here’s a dose of the positive / political energy that is: Michael Franti and his band Spearhead. I had the pleasure of experiencing their live performance at the Malkin Bowl; a great outdoor venue nestled amongst the trees in Stanley Park. The sky opened up midway through the show to which Franti and the positive crowd gave much thanks….

Artist: Elliott Brood Track: Second Son
Album: Ambassador (2005)
I was lucky to catch this trio on their Exclaim! tour. They bring a truckload of floor-stompin’ energy. At the show they handed out an assortment of pots & pans for the audience members to giver on…. You can imagine the mad jam that ensued! They are still on the road with the final two dates on their tour scheduled for Moncton (Friday Nov. 23rd) and Saint John (Sat. Nov.24th).

Artist: Andrew Bird Track: Fake Palindromes
Album: The Mysterious Production Of Eggs (2005)
I came to know this Chicago based multi-instrumentalist as the “whistling guy who recorded an album in an abandoned grain silo for the acoustics” through my good friend and talented musician Rob Reid. Upon seeing him perform it becomes rather obvious that Andrew picked up his first violin at the tender age of four years! I had a tough time deciding which track to choose….. he’s got a deep bag of nine solid releases. You best be checking him out.

Artist: Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) Track: This Is The Dream Of Win And Regine
Album: Has A Good Home (2005)
I had never seen a live performance coupled with manually overhead projected art… Who said that those weren’t useful anymore?
The Win and Regine referred to in the track title are Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of The Arcade Fire, the band with whom Owen plays live (and often opens for) and for whom he arranged the orchestral sections on their albums.

Artist: Great Lake Swimmers Track: Bodies And Minds
Album: Bodies And Minds (2005)
Bodies and Minds, their second album of three, was recorded in a lakeside church in rural southern Ontario, continuing the emphasis on atmosphere from the debut album.

Artist: Chromeo Track: Mommas Boy
Album: Fancy Footwork (2007)
If you have yet to listen to this duo’s newest album “Fancy Footwork” you best be getting to it. Buff the hardwood floor, put on your “dance pants”, apply kneepads and let your inner 80’s spirit shine.
P.S. don’t forget to stretch first J

Artist: Trevor Tchir Track: B-Side Intro
Album: Wooden Castles Fall (2005)
An instrumental selection from this Albertan folk writer’s third album. He’s a great guy (he crashed on my couch in Moncton during his last cross-Canada tour) and his music reflects his melodic knack for storytelling.

Artist: Ideal Lovers Track: ?
Album: ? (2006)
Zachary James DeCamp, David Louis Gaston Payant, Joseph Baron Grass, Joshua Franklin Toal, Mike Evin, and Mike O'Brien make up the revolving songwriter/instrumentalist crew Ideal Lovers. You may have caught them this past summer at Montreal’s outdoor Osheaga Festival Of Music & Arts. As a native Monctonian, Joe Grass is no stranger to past Restless Radio tracklists. His inaugural self-titled solo effort is a definite keeper. I received a bunch of tracks from these guys while they were recording their album so I’m unsure of the track name & album name (or if this particular track even made the cut!)…. Anyhoo… I dig it.

Artist: Imogen Heap Track: Hide And Seek
Album: Speak For Yourself (2005)
I was just recently introduced to this artist from the UK and was instantly captivated with this robotic lullaby. Other than that I know not much of her.

Artist: The Acorn Track: Do You Not Yearn At All?
Album: The Pink Ghosts (2004)
These guys were introduced to me by my brother (thanks Shaver!)… they’ve been keeping busy with one album release per year over the past four years and a fairly busy touring schedule…. Most recently, they’ve appeared alongside Elliott Brood on the western segment of the Exclaim! Wood, Wires, and Whisky tour, and they just released a fresh album entitled “Glory Hope Mountain”.

Artist: Caribou Track: Melody Day
Album: Andorra (2007)
You may have heard of Dan Snaith in the context of the trademark lawsuit that forced him to change his artist name from 'Manitoba'. Sued by ageing punk rocker Handsome Dick Manitoba, despite Dick never having released an album under the name 'Manitoba', and finding himself limited by the high-priced realities of trademark law, Snaith opted to take the high road and change his nom de rock to Caribou. No news yet on whether the province of Manitoba is planning on changing its name...

Artist: The Slip Track: Even Rats
Album: Guitar Hero
This trio has been laying down great stuff since their inception in Boston (1996). I was first exposed to their experimental rhythmic approaches at the Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia. They’ve since relocated to Montreal and recently released “Eisenhower” co-produced by the band and the Matthew Ellard (Elliot Smith, Billy Bragg & Wilco) and with additional engineering by good friend and fellow Montrealien Drew Malamud (Stars, Metric)

Artist: Hawksley Workman Track: No Sissies
Album: For Him And The Girls
Hawksley holds a special place in my musical heart. This Canadian boy has a serious way with words and is so passionate in his dramatic delivery that while watching him perform live I sometimes think that I’m witnessing a Broadway musical. He’s got a new album and tour in the works…. I’m all over it.

Artist: Beck Track: New Round
Album: The Information
Yessir…a melodic closer for the set. No need for an introduction here. Beck has been a staple go to from day one…. He feels like an old friend and I hope he releases records until the world explodes.

Cheers to y’all. Until next time, safe travels and all the best in your life’s passions.
I look forward to catching up with everyone and sharing some cheer over the rapidly approaching holidays. J


1. Stay Human -
2. Second Son -
Elliot Brood
3. Fake Palindromes -
Andrew Bird
4. This is the Dream of Win & Regine -
Final Fantasy
5. Bodies and Minds -
Great Lake Swimmers
6. Momma;s Boy -
7. b-side intro -
Trevor Tchir
8. ??? -
the Ideal Lovers
9. Hide and Seek -
Imogen Heap
10. Do You Not Yearn, At All? -
the Acorn
11. Melody Day -
12. Even Rats -
the Slip
13. No Sissies -
Hawksley Workman
14. New Round -


t said...

If music had big balls, well, this set would have big, big balls.

Menora said...

Keep up the good work.

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