Austra + Young Galaxy + Tasseomancy // 11-24-11 // LIVE @ WECC

Austra @ WECC
Photo by Andrew Mazurak at the WECC in Winnipeg.

By Andrew Mazurak

Toronto’s Austra came to town in late November expecting colder weather than that which welcomed them. Despite our less than wintery wonderland of a city being unseasonably warm, the WECC warmed up damn quick as the sold out crowd danced their asses off for opener Young Galaxy who just came through town a few months earlier with Junior Boys:

Continue reading “Austra + Young Galaxy + Tasseomancy // 11-24-11 // LIVE @ WECC”

Interview :: Mark Kozelek

by Ronjan Roy

For the last 20 years or so, Mark Kozelek has been producing albums under different monikers (Red House Painters and current band Sun Kil Moon) which have kept his career going in a trajectory that most artists would wish for. Signed to 4ad in the early 90’s through Mark Eitzel from The American Music Club, Kozelek bounced from a few record labels before starting his own, Caldo Verde in the early 2000s. And with the ability to control his output, he has made a legacy of sad and beautiful moments that give his listeners a space that transcends the usual sense of place.

From the sparseness of the first ep sized release of Down Colorful Hill, to the most recently released Admiral Fell Promises, he has stayed prolific, relevant, and influential. Along the way, he has took a couple of turns in film (most notably in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous), released a book of his lyrics, and put his songwriting style on covers from artists as diverse as AD/DC, Modest Mouse and John Denver.

Recently, Kozelek has released a tour documentary shot in black and white, revealing how lonely and tedious the time spent between the live shows can be. Made with filmmaker Joshua Stoddard, it follows him through airports and hotel rooms, in soundchecks and occasionally on stage. With arty shots and a self penned score aside from the track list, the journal of his trek reveals selected moments of an artist who has been notoriously private in the past. Also lately, he has co-production credits, along with lending his trademark vocals to the new album by Desertshore, released on his label. The instrumental band consists of Phil Carney (ex Red House Painters) and classically trained pianist, Chris Connelly.

For the past few years, Kozelek has taken on playing his solo live shows with a nylon stringed acoustic guitar, showing his love of classical records and elegant fingerpicking style.

Here are some excerpts from the interview I conducted with him (via email): Continue reading “Interview :: Mark Kozelek”

Bog River – Hands in the Ground

It’s probably your best bet to take your hands out of the ground and get them on this album. Hands in the Ground is the first full-length release from local trio Bog River. Comprised of Carly Dow, Ben Hadaller and Dave Barchyn, the band released Lost in the Woods in 2010, a rough yet valiant five part EP recorded at Hadaller’s cabin in one day. The EP was a glimpse into the promise possesses – a passion that drives the three of them to work intensely together on a fokly sound that is not only unique but tight and arousing. This time around, the band is doing it right, having recorded this album over the course of a couple weekends while still choosing to record back at the cabin. They dabble in a wide variety of genres and instruments, from pure folk, to Dixieland and gospel on this album. James McKee of the F-Holes makes a trumpet and trombone contribution on tracks four and five, with Alex Campbell is at the piano on track five. Vocalist Carly Dow’s vocals on the album are raw, while Dave and Ben offer silkier alternatives. Hands in the Ground is muddy and simple contemporary folk, and delves into deep themes of family, love and roots. If you’re not already familiar with the band, stop by the WECC on October 13 to celebrate their album release party. (Independent, Victoria King for Stylus Magazine