Real Lovin’ :: Real Love Winnipeg

by Zach Fleisher

Adam Soloway looks introspectively over the recording studio for Beach Station Blues II. Photo by Laura Sexsmith.
Adam Soloway looks introspectively over the recording studio for Beach Station Blues II. Photo by Laura Sexsmith.

We’re rolling down Hazel Street in Winnipeg Beach and I can already feel it; the calm tone of an acoustic guitar, gentle laughter among close friends and the always refreshing breeze of Lake Winnipeg. As we walk up to the deck and into the sunroom of 228 Hazel, I notice folks in hushed tone of conversation; local recording artist Claire Bones is currently recording a track in the main cottage room, doubling as a makeshift recording haven and I’m told that we all need to whisper in order to continue our conversation. Continue reading “Real Lovin’ :: Real Love Winnipeg”

Nova :: Midnight, Midnight and the beauty & frustration of Winnipeg

by Darcy Penner

Of the many ways one usually expects a band to form (from the ashes of previous bands, high school friends jamming with beer stolen from their parents, the side-project that was only supposed to be about fun, etc.), Nova’s inception has a unique flare to it: a release for workaholics bonded by their love of, and commitment to, Winnipeg. That, and two-thirds of the band didn’t really play their instruments. Continue reading “Nova :: Midnight, Midnight and the beauty & frustration of Winnipeg”

Vampires – Will Give You the Clap

By Taylor Benjamin Burgess

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For the past year, Vampires have been racking up bigger and bigger live shows, including the past two Element Sircuses and the always-packed Cabaret! at the Standard. When this guitar-and-drum duo plays, they navigate some sweat-drenched territory between southern rock and Interpol, whipping the crowd into head-swinging and dancing. And if that isn’t enough, Josh Butcher and David Dobbs stop in the middle of their set, trade instruments, and keep on going. After building a local following, they’ve gotten around to recording, with the help of Jeff Patteson of Home Street Recording and some new rented gear. Stylus eventually wrangled a 15-minute phone call out of David Dobbs.

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Makeout Videotape – I Guess the Lord Must Be in Vancouver

By Taylor Benjamin Burgess

mvAfter his band’s show at the Lo Pub, Mac DeMarco, the pop-sensible singer and guitarist of the duo Makeout Videotape, is listing off what he writes songs about. Once he got tired of writing about girls, he started writing about less meaningful stuff—like eating things, and his job of teaching old Vietnamese women how to use computers. Or at least that’s what he said. He turns to his drummer, Alex Calder. “I write a lot of songs about Alex too. He’s having a rough time in his life right now.”
Calder shakes his head, smiling, like he knows that he wouldn’t be able to stop DeMarco even if he tried. “No, I’m not really, but go on.”

DeMarco continues on, kind of innocently, “I dunno, he moved to Vancouver to go—”

“Jesus Christ,” Calder utters and puts his head in his hands.

Continue reading “Makeout Videotape – I Guess the Lord Must Be in Vancouver”

The Pack A.D. – The Pack is Back

By Kent Davies

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Maya Miller + Becky Black = the Pack A.D. Much has been said about this bad-ass East Van duo. Their brand of gritty, bluesy garage punk has captivated most critics and scored them legions of fans throughout the world. Beyond a doubt, Becky Black has one of the best voices in Canadian indie rock; her teetering, earth-shattering cries coupled with Maya Miller’s thunderous drumming contains all the emotional punch of a hellfire sermon given by King Kong. Those who were fortunate enough to catch their live show at the Albert on their last tour can attest to the spiritually jarring effect you get when witnessing these women in action. Stylus caught up with the pair as they finished up their latest album in Vancouver.

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Review: Dead Man’s Bones

DEAD MAN’S BONES
Dead Man’s Bones

deadmanbones452Released right around Halloweentime, Dead Man’s Bones could be considered gimmicky if it wasn’t so unexpectedly good. Celebrity heartthrob Ryan Gosling and filmmaker Zach Shields manage to combine all the right elements of vintage spooky sounds, raw indie cabaret tunes and the charm of an elementary school play. Featuring the Silverlake Conservatory of Music children’s choir, Gosling and Shields guide the kids through songs about ghosts, werewolves and losing one’s soul. The album often fringes on creepy macabre material with standout tracks like “My Body’s a Zombie for You.” While it might be easily dismissed as a quirky for the sake of being quirky it often strikes the right balance of creative atmosphere and rawness that is lacking in most, if not all, actor-turned-musician celebrity projects. (Yes, I’m talking to you, ScarJo.) Whether it’s the rumblings of out-of-tune children or actors not being able to play their instruments, this project has managed to summon the perfect balance of morbid allure and resourceful conception. (Anti, www.deadmansbones.net) Kent Davies

The Paperbacks – Doubling Up

By Michael Elves

thepaperbackslit
While reports of the music industry’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, the more recent prognosis is that the full-length album is dead (or at least dying). Quickly disseminated and digested as MP3 singles and the shortened attention span of the Twitterverse have created a (not so) perfect storm where albums are given short shrift.
So, local act the Paperbacks chose to follow up their 2007 full-length, An Illusion Against Death, with a double-album.

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An Horse – Grey Area

By Jenny Henkelman
anhorse
It’s a long way around the world. When indie pop outfit An Horse pulled into Winnipeg in September, 2009, Kate Cooper and Damon Cox were more than a little run-down-looking, a little weary—offstage. Onstage, of course, the guitar-drums duo were impeccable and compelling, both in the UW quad and, I’m told, at the Lo Pub the same evening. Touring solidly this past year in support of their critically acclaimed debut full-length, Rearrange Beds, the pair are about to take a hiatus to write a new record. “We’ve nearly finished the cycle of the record we’re on,” said lead vocalist and guitarist Cooper. Continue reading “An Horse – Grey Area”

AN HORSE – Grey Area

By Jenny Henkelman

anhorse

It’s a long way around the world. When indie pop outfit An Horse pulled into Winnipeg in September, 2009, Kate Cooper and Damon Cox were more than a little run-down-looking, a little weary—offstage. Onstage, of course, the guitar-drums duo were impeccable and compelling, both in the UW quad and, I’m told, at the Lo Pub the same evening. Touring solidly this past year in support of their critically acclaimed debut full-length, Rearrange Beds, the pair are about to take a hiatus to write a new record. “We’ve nearly finished the cycle of the record we’re on,” said lead vocalist and guitarist Cooper.

The cycle has taken them from their home of Brisbane, Australia to the bright lights of New York City and The Late Show with David Letterman. It’s taken them to Europe and on tour with Silversun Pickups, Death Cab for Cutie, and Canada’s own Tegan and Sara. “They’re fun, great fun, good friends of ours and very supportive of us,” Cooper said of the Quin sisters. “They’ve worked really hard to be where they are and they’re very authentic.”

Authentic is a word you could use to describe An Horse’s beginnings. Cooper and Cox were co-workers at the last indie record store in Queensland. They were playing in other bands, but as Cooper says, started “mucking around” and found a chemistry between them that worked. “It wasn’t intentional,” Cox said.

The store where they worked has now closed, largely because, Cooper says, “People don’t buy CDs anymore.” An Horse aren’t digital haters; “Digital music’s cool, if people buy it,” she said. But there’s a dark flip side to that. “More people have stolen our record than bought it,” she said, and Cox had the anecdote to illustrate. “Someone had registered a website with Kate’s name, put up our photos and our record to download for free. It was one of those websites where you have to do a survey or something. So someone was getting money somehow. It was really shit and disappointing. We fucking worked really hard on that record,” he said. And the insults don’t stop there. “We’ve had people at shows come up to us and say, ‘You guys are fucking great! Hmm, this is your album. I’m not going to buy it, I’m going to go home and download it for free.’”

Disheartening words for people trying to make a living playing music, but An Horse seems less angry and more frustrated when it comes to piracy. “They don’t realize it’s not cool,” Cooper said.

An Horse might be a bit down, but they’ll be back in the saddle soon—they’re currently on tour with Tegan and Sara (including a January stop in Winnipeg). Their songs have appeared on TV shows like Friday Night Lights and One Tree Hill. Big things are ahead for these two individuals who are passionate about music and making it, in the basement of a record store or on an arena stage. As for the name? Cooper said it originated with a grammatical inside-joke sweater, about the usage rules for words that start with “H” and the indefinite article. Could “An horse” really be correct? “It’s a grey area,” she said, with a shrug.