TRANSISTOR 66 WEEKENDER :: Park Theatre Saturday :: April 28, 2012

TRANSISTOR 66 WEEKENDER w/ Miesha & the Spanks, This Hisses, Les Sexy, and Microdot

By Shanell Dupras

After ten years of providing Winnipeg with rock n’ roll, rockabilly, folk, and whatever other genres Art MacIntyre found exciting, it was time to celebrate! I had the pleasure of attending two out of the three shows from that weekend (although missing Friday was slightly devastating), and was impressed and disappointed all at the same time. What was disappointing was not the actual performances. No, they were all incredible in their own ways! What was disappointing was the turn out. After how much these concerts were promoted, I expected more than 30 people to show up. Continue reading “TRANSISTOR 66 WEEKENDER :: Park Theatre Saturday :: April 28, 2012”

Hillbilly Highway – Scott Nolan live at the Park Theatre

by Sheldon Birnie

Scott Nolan could be to Manitoba what Guy Clark is to Texas. A songwriter’s songwriter with an attention to the minutia of everyday life; drawing from a vast, detailed knowledge of all those who’ve walked the line before him; capable of delivering a heartbreaking line followed easily by a knee-slapper the next. Continue reading “Hillbilly Highway – Scott Nolan live at the Park Theatre”

The Magnificent 7s – Making Friends and Getting Mean across the Continent

illustration: Natalie Baird
By Sheldon Birnie

Winnipeg’s Magnificent 7s are a hard traveling, hard rocking bluegrass band. Preparing to release their sophomore album for local imprint Transistor 66, Matt Magura and Andy Bart recently sat down with Stylus to chat about All Kinds of Mean over a couple pitchers of Two Rivers. Continue reading “The Magnificent 7s – Making Friends and Getting Mean across the Continent”

THE CROOKED BROTHERS – Lawrence, Where’s Your Knife?

“I’ve got funk, I’ve got country / I’ve got rhythm and booze/ I’ve got this crooked little heart / I’ve got this thing for you.” And what’s that? Following 2009’s Deathbed Pillowtalk, Manitoba’s The Crooked Brothers (Jesse Matas, Darwin Baker and Matt Foster), bring their signature growling and all aforementioned genres to Lawrence, Where’s Your Knife? along with stories of long winters, epidemics, hope, loneliness, and sorrow. “17 Horses” is one of the strongest tracks on here with its super catchy, up-tempo beat and gruff, indulgent vocals. Feline basslines prowl all over this record but spend a sizeable amount of time slinking and stretching around “Kansas” and “Another Sun.” The dobro, mandolin, harmonica, banjo, fiddle, and violin all lend a great bluesy feel to the 10 songs. A favourite is “Good Man”, a calmer piece so warm with harmonicas and swaying guitars that you can practically hear the love the lyrics express: “There ain’t nothing like a good man / to drag you down / I ain’t nothing but a good man / why do you keep me around?” Another must-listen is “Your Love is a Ghost Town” simply because it perfectly captures the eerie stillness of a dusty ghost town: raspy vocals are set off by an excellently creeping, measured bassline. I cringe at twanging and country music’s notoriously trite verses as much as the next person, but what The Crooked Brothers have come out with this time infuses soul and story into sound in one of the most non-cliched ways I’ve yet seen. (Transistor 66, Adrienne Yeung

Hillbilly Highway – Afternoon drunk with Mag 7s

by Sheldon Birnie

I had a couple beers with Matt and Andy from the Mag 7s this afternoon — hard traveling troubadours if ever there were any — interviewing them for an upcoming feature for Stylus. Keep your eyes peeled, friends, it’s a gooder! The problem is, though, that I have yet to transcribe the SOG, and the clock is ticking down to load in for the One Hundred Dollars show at Pop Soda’s.

Maybe if we’d drank less beer, maybe if I’d eaten more food, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing up excuses on the Hillbilly Highway when I should be transcribing a half hour of interviewee gold. But there is always tomorrow, and the deadline is at least a day away. Plenty of time for a professional to get his shit together and deliver the goods. Live fast, live free!

Right now, I’m listening to the new Mag 7s disc, All Kinds of Mean, courtesy of Transistor 66, and it is solid, partner! I’ll review the platter in good time, never fear, but for now I’d like to reflect on some personal memories I hold of one of my favourite local acts…

I first heard of the Magnificient 7s back in 2006. At the time, I was living in a house in South Osborne, playing in a couple shitty punk bands. One of those bands used to host basement shows at our place, and one of the groups we used to get to play were called the Ponys. The Ponys soon changed their name to the Ex-Girlfriends, and made a name for themselves on the local punk/garage circuit. It was a pretty sweet band, three babes who partied hard and weren’t half bad at rocking out.

During one of these gigs, Ida told us we should check out her other band, the Magnificent 7s, who were playing some street-fest later that week. Sure, sure, we said, half-assed committing to do so.

But me and my pals ended up checking them out, and I was blown away. Here was a band that was perfecting the ideal mix of old time, traditional country/bluegrass with contemporary punk rock ethos, and having a blast with it the whole while.

Since that fateful day, I’ve seen the Mag 7s play plenty of times, and even shared the stage with them more than once — at the Albert, the Park Theatre, and the Shine On! festival out near Steinbach. During the latter, me and a few of the other Gad Guys had downed a hearty helping of zoomers, and dug their set on an ethereal plane beyond anything witnessed up to that point. Beautiful shit on a starry night out in the sandilands, just beautiful!

The Mags are hosting a CD release in Winnipeg in December. Stylus will be profiling them in our upcoming issue, and I urge you heartily to check them out, if you have or have not already. You won’t fucking regret it. Pick up their new disc when you get a chance, too. Toe tapping good time drinking music! Bottoms up!

This Hisses – Surf Noir

The local trio released their debut album this summer and even with the massive amount of hype surrounding the band and this release, This Hisses deliver! Everyone has probably seen this band perform live at one point or another and therefore is surely aware of the incredible energy this act brings to the stage. Amazingly on the record this energy transitions quite well. “Lycanthrope” starts of the album nicely with a haunting howl and shredding guitar followed by the equally exciting “Bad Vacation” – the latter song by the way, has a pretty awesome back-story behind it evolving a sketchy motel in Regina. The listener is brought right back down to ground state with a couple of nicely slowed down tracks, especially the stellar “Keep What’s Good In Your Heart” which smooth things over before the listener is shot right back into a circle pit of intensity with the upbeat and catchy “Swagger” and “Silver Dagger.” My only problem with Surf Noir is that I feel like the bass is drowned out by the guitar a lot of the time, I personally love the fat bass lines captured in the live show but it seems at times on the album the guitar steals the show, not that that’s a bad thing but as a bass player I am totally biased in that respect. Oh yeah and one more fucking problem… it’s over to soon, eight beefy songs is nothing to complain about but I for one am going to need more in the near future. (Transistor 66, Scott Wolfe for Stylus Magazine