Del Bel - 2015
Del Bel certainly took their sweet time recording their sophomore LP. Those paying attention will recall that their excellent 2011 debut, Oneiric, piqued the ears of many a critic up here in...
The Forgettable Truth - 2015
Astute scholars of all things Canuckistani will recognize the name Michael Feuerstack from his previous incarnation as Snailhouse and as part of Ottawa indie-rockers Wooden Stars, as well as for his...
Jump / SBTD - 7" - 2015
Kappa Chow's first slab of wax was the menacingly titled 'Punk as Fuck' seven-inch, a cool but rather muffled lo-fi jam that was more basement than garage and, frankly, could just as well hav...
Incantations - 2015
The cover art on Mimico's first full-length may suggest some sort of overwrought Tolkienesque prog rock, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Toronto-based threesome of Ben Oginz, Jerem...
||Find the Others:|
Empire of Time - 2015
Andy Sheppard refers to Find the Others as a music and video project rather than just a band, and I suppose anyone who has witnessed one of their visually stunning live shows would definitely see wh...
The Tempest of Old - 2015
Gabrielle Papillon has been at it since 2001, when she recorded her debut record Songs for a Rainy Day. The transplanted Haligonian, who has been hailed as "one of the finest new songwriters...
||The Soul Motivators:|
Free to Believe - 2015
If on first listen you pegged the Soul Motivators as a collection of vinyl purists obsessing over vintage deep-soul singles and modern day Daptone offerings, you probably wouldn't be too far off the...
||The Soul Motivators:|
Dirt on the Floor EP - 2015
One thing is certain. The Soul Motivators can definitely count themselves lucky to have the hugely blessed chanteuse, Lydia Persaud, fronting things for them. Persaud is swiftly proving herself to...
Plays Cub's Hot Dog Day - 7" EP - 2015
Cub was always something of a curiosity. The Vancouver trio were cute, catchy and cuddly, but mostly bereft of any sort of musical talent. So what happens when you strip away all that cuteness an...
Amongst the Coyotes and the Birdsongs - 2015
Peterborough (ON) singer-songwriter Nick Ferrio is about as old school as you can get. His sophomore disc, Amongst the Coyotes and the Birdsongs, may have been recorded in Sackville, NB and T...
Night Swimming - 2015
Gypsophilia surely must be one of this country's better-kept secrets. The Halifax septet have spent close to a decade honing a sound that melds the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapp...
Chime, Flower & Fountain Cures - 2015
Levi Bruce divides his time between two Canadian extremes, the bucolic shores of the Kootenay River in BC and the urban zoo that is modern-day Montreal. "I was raised in a rural area on a farm in ...
Muuixx - 2015
Though Calgary's economy may have collapsed along with the price of oil, it hasn't made things any easier for Jay Crocker. The erstwhile Albertan was once a fixture on the western scene, upping th...
Transmissions - 2015
By her own admission, Jess Forrest sports a cache of equipment that includes such novel pieces as an Oberheim SEM, a Moog Little Phatty and a Korg MicroKorg vocoder, among many others. No surprise ...
Punk Explosion/Extension - 2015
"I had a teenage epiphany," is how Renny Wilson describes what must be one of the more delusional ambitions in the history of pop music. "What would it be like to synthesize Foreigner with Crass?" ...
Neo-Reconquista - 2015
The MC known as Boogat has been all over the Montreal hip-hop scene ever since his days fronting the francophone band Andromaick back in the nineties. It wasn't really until relatively recently, ho...
Message Centre EP - 2014
The good folks over at Fixture are at it again. The Montreal label has built up a pretty solid roster of bands that specialize in mining all those lesser-known eighties sounds and re-packaging them...
Monkey of Sousse - 2014
SWO8 Blues/Jazz are a family affair and Monkey of Sousse is their second EP. The Mississauga-based collective is the muse of Leslie Martel, one-time flautist for the Queen's Own Rifles March...
||The Souljazz Orchestra:|
Inner Fire - 2014
The Souljazz Orchestra have been at it for a dozen years or so and on their latest full-length they appear to be once again in fine form. The Ottawa-based afro-jazz sextet have definitely come a lo...
Bricolage I & II - 2014
Thierry Larose goes by the name of Tapeheads and Bricolage I & II is his first true album of music. The limited-edition cassette of mostly instrumental bedroom recordings is what the young M...
Ooh! - 2014
After the seventies soft-pop of their We Were Strangers in Paddington Green, Brent Randall and the Pinecones quit the east coast for the big smoke - Toronto to out-of-towners - in 2010. There...
||The Tower of Dudes:|
Make Your Own Culture - 2014
The Tower of Dudes are anything but suburban poseurs. The Victoria-based gypsy punks actually got their start as a more international collective on the streets of Prague way back in 2007. "Origina...
||The Filthy Politicians:|
Modern Man - 2014
I get sent a lot of submissions from musicians that want me review their work, and nothing in my inbox has come close to matching the honesty, intensity, and clear vision of the Filthy Politicians' ...
Hymn for a Missing Girl - 12" EP - 2014
The Darcys latest piece of wax finds the band's fascination with all things seventies - their dystopian rethread of the Dan's Aja was a delight a couple of ...
Perte d'Identite - 2014
A true Montrealer, effortlessly bilingual and born and raised in Mile End before the hipsters arrived, Marie Davidson can include on her resume stints with dreamy etherealists Les Momies de Palerme ...
Right from Real - Part I EP - 2014
Lydia Ainsworth may be the latest signee to Montreal's uber-hip Arbutus label, but the Toronto-based electronic composer sure took a roundabout way of getting there. As a precocious child, Ainswort...
Ex - 2014
Ex is Ritchie Hawtin's first release under his Plastikman alias since his underachieving Closer album way back in 2003. The seven tracks here, all beginning with the capitalized lette...
Alvvays - 2014
The seeds of Alvvays began to germinate a few years back when Nova Scotia natives and childhood friends Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan teamed up with their high school mate Alec O'Hanley and start...
Cultural Envelope - 2014
Sean Travis Ramsay goes by the name of Slight Birching and this is his first long-playing record. The Vancouver-based singer-songwriter trades in the same sort of lo-fi folk that made Bill Callahan...
Proof of Life EP - 2014
Coyote have been kicking around Prince Edward Island for several years now and Proof of Life is their second EP. The Charlottetown five-piece formed around guitarist and singer Josh Carter, ...
Absolutely Free - 2014
Fans of Absolutely Free's post-millennial krautrock grooves have had to wait quite a while for the band's full-length version of events. It has now been upwards of three years since the Toronto-bas...
Last Ex - 2014
Simon Trottier and Olivier Fairfield, the talented multi-instrumentalists responsible for much of the eerie imagery on Timber Timbre's recent Hot Dreams set, formed the more experimental Last...
Sea Legs EP - 2014
Have you ever wondered what the world would be like today if punk had not happened? I mean if the anger of 1977 had been replaced with romanticism and we had obsessed over bands like the Beatles an...
Shallow - 2014
Charlotte Loseth is something of a prodigy in the music world. Recording under the name Sea Oleena, the Saskatchewan-bred, Montreal-based singer-composer dropped her first recordings while she was ...
UFO Houses - 2014
In what probably seems like another lifetime, Dean Drouillard once plucked bass strings in his hometown of Windsor for power pop band Racecar back in the Big Star-friendly nineties. ("We were a ded...
Seasons - 2014
This Calgary quartet has been kicking around since the late noughts, when Mike Buckley and Ben Nixon met up in the picturesque BC interior as students in Selkirk College's music program. As Locomot...
Mauka EP - 2014
Babette Hayward and Tynan Dunfield spend their working days as sound technicians, so the plush electro sounds on their two EPs as Vogue Dots should hardly come as a shock. But what may surprise you...
Shortwave Nights - 2014
Hiss Tracts is a newish collaboration between David Bryant (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Set Fire to Flames) and Kevin Doria (Growing, Total Life). The pair have worked together for at least a deca...
||The Saffron Sect:|
All Lead Back to You / A Pinch of Chalk - 7" - 2014
Well, it certainly is great to hear from the Saffron Sect after all these years. One of Canada's most underappreciated bands released what they call their "lost" second single in the fall of 2014 o...
You Should Buy Myself a Drink / One Thousand Shapeshifters - 7" - 2014
Toronto-based percussionist Joshua Van Tassel had a particularly busy year in 2014, producing a number of excellent records for the likes of, among others, the Olympic Symphonium and Dean Drouillard...
||Stefan Christoff and Nick Schofield:|
Reves Sonores a Montreal - 2014
When not in the studio recording, Montrealers Stefan Christoff and Nick Schofield seem to have their fingers in a number of different pies. In addition to music, the multi-talented Christoff works ...
Dalmak - 2013
Dalmak, the second album on Constellation for Montreal's Esmerine and their fourth overall, is somewhat of a departure for the band...literally, that is. 2011...
Dam Ships EP - 2013
This Montreal quartet first started plying their hushed guitar-based instrumentals sometime in early 2012, and it took just a few months before the band checked in with their first offering, the int...
The Deserters - 2013
Fate is a funny thing. At just seventeen, Rachel Zeffira probably hadn't given it much thought, but when the precocious young singer arrived in London to pursue a career in the opera, that "powerfu...
Bandits and Bridges - 2013
Like their contemporaries south of the border, Trampled by Turtles and Old Crow Medicine Show to name a couple, Union Duke can trace their musical heritage all the way back to Dillard and Clark's ep...
I Thought It Was Us But It Was All of Us - 2013
Rebecca Foon's latest project, Saltland, veers somewhat from the ethereal minimalism of her previous record for Constellation, Esmerine's frankly stunni...
ANAMAI cassette EP - 2013
You might know Anna Mayberry as part of Toronto noisemakers (and Buzz labelmates) HSY, but that would hardly prepare you for this three-song cassette EP. Under the shortened name ANAMAI, Mayberry s...
Mavo 7" EP - 2013
The good folks over at Montreal's Fixture Records seem to have their fingers all over the pulse...of 1985, that is. Sheer Agony's Pet Crow seven-inch last ...
Motorcycle (download single only) - 2013
Weaves has suddenly become the band to watch in Toronto these days after the release of a pair of fine download-only singles, a mesmerizing set at the NXNE fest and a brief but glowing shout-out in ...
I - 2013
Toronto's Fresh Snow are everything you would expect from a group formed by indie record store clerks, in this case those at the massive Sonic Boom on Bathurst Street in the city's west end. Named ...
||Jerusalem In My Heart:|
Mo7it Al-Mo7it - 2013
Radwan Ghazi Moumneh's Jerusalem in My Heart project has been kicking around Montreal's ever-fertile experimental scene for the better part of about eight years now. The Lebanese national, who divi...
Gravez - 2013
Hooded Fang have come quite a ways since their 2008 debut EP, with their earlier brand of twee pop having long since given way to something more akin to that classic American mid-sixties sound, as o...
||A Tribe Called Red:|
Nation II Nation - 2013
A Tribe Called Red couldn't have dropped this album at a better time. Though the Ottawa collective of Bear Witness, DeeJay Shub and DeeJay NDN make music that is ostensibly for dancefloors, they ha...
Do Not Affect a Breezy Manner - 2013
Freelove Fenner's first stab at a long-player seems to find them pulled in two fairly different directions at the same time. In fact, the band have shot and uploaded a couple of videos for the 18-t...
||Texture and Light:|
The Hard Problem of Consciousness - 2013
Texture and Light are the brainchild of recovering west coast DJ Trevor Refix. The British Columbia native spent much of the early noughts spinning at raves out in the wilds of the BC interior - Ke...
Neighbourhood - 2013
Neighbourhood is the Gertrudes' third full-length record. The Kingston (ON) roots-based collective, or folkestra as they are affectionately referred to up in that neck of the woods, checks i...
Kalpa - 2013
It seems that many a hipster up here in Canuckistan is a dropout from the stuffy and constricting world of classical music. That list would include singers Rachel Zeffira and Austra's Katie Stelman...
Warring - 2013
After a wave of misfortune - like getting robbed of their equipment and then losing their lead singer just as they were about to record their second LP - the Darcys seem to finally have it all toget...
Double Seeker EP - 2013
Uaxyacac (pronounced Wa-ha-ca) is the electronic project of University of Moncton music grad Nick Smith and the five-song Double Seeker is his first release. The Montreal-based Smith describ...
On the Beach / Clothed Woman, Sitting - 12" - 2013
The twelve-inch single seems to be the medium of choice for Toronto-based astral-rockers Absolutely Free. After forming out of the ashes of noisemakers DD/MM/YYYY towards the end of 2011, the four-...
||Eli et Papillon:|
Eli et Papillon - 2012
A fortuitous hook-up back in the summer of 2008 gave birth to one of Quebec's more interesting francophone acts, the charming pairing of Eli Larouche and Marc Papillon-Ferland, known simply as Eli e...
The Other Side of Tomorrow - 2012
The Slakadeliqs are actually the alter ego of one Slakah the Beatchild, whose unique hip hop visions meld jazzy downtempo with some rather nifty beats, and are thus a welcome diversion from the usua...
||A Tribe Called Red:|
A Tribe Called Red - 2012
The Ottawa collective known as A Tribe Called Red started off inauspiciously enough back in 2008 when local deejays Ian Campeau, aka DJ NDN, and Bear Witness threw a party with hopes of gathering up...
Pet Crow + 3 EP - 7" - 2012
Sheer Agony are anything but. The Montreal-based threesome ply a lithe, jangly power pop that recalls bands like New York`s dBs, Hoboken, NJ's Bongos or even the crafty eccentricities of the Homose...
Plumes - 2012
The Montreal and sometimes Brooklyn-based threesome of singer Veronica Charnley, multi-instrumentalist Geof Holbrook and harpist Eveline Gregoire-Rousseau had been kicking around since 2004, issuing...
Old Boys EP - 2012
Torontonians James Sayce and Jake Farley first explored their love of early-eighties new wave while living in the handsome Dutch university town of Groningen. Their self-titled 2010 debut for the H...
Aja - 2012
The Darcys are nothing if not persistent. In 2010, the Toronto band had their equipment nicked, were mugged at knifepoint and nearly bought it when their van skidded out of control on some black ic...
Left Here Alone EP - 2012
Edmonton's Faunts hasn't been heard from since they released their Feel.Love.Thinking.Of album way back in 2008, so this tidy little stopgap EP - four previously unreleased tracks that date a...
Null - 2012
For such a multicultural place, Canada has had scant few examples of truly ground-breaking world music. With the possible exception of Toronto's fiery Punjabi by Nature back in the nineties, and ar...
||Godspeed You! Black Emperor :|
Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! - 2012
Godspeed You! Black Emperor dropped this record seemingly from out of the sky, unannounced and a couple of weeks ahead of its scheduled release, with copies just sort of showing up on the merch tabl...
Tender Opposites - 2012
TOPS released their first full-length record in February 2012 to kudos on both sides of the Atlantic. The Montreal foursome of singer/keyboardist Jane Penny, guitarist David Carriere, bassist Tho...
Permanent Scar / The Darkness - 7" - 2011
'Permanent Scar' is Zeus' second release in what Arts and Crafts calls "an ongoing series of double a-side 7-inches". After the relatively warm reception given 'Hot Under the Collar' / '...
Future Songs - 2011
Pat Jordache's brand of avant-pop can be somewhat beguiling at first listen, coming off as messy and cacophonous. But in the case of the Montrealer's solo debut Future Songs, patience can be...
La Lechuza - 2011
After a six-year wait, the Montreal-based duo of percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) and cellist Beckie Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion) offer up their third full-length recording o...
Native Speaker - 2011
Calgarians Raphaelle Standell-Preston, Austin Tufts, Katie Lee and Taylor Smith met up while still teenagers at Western Canada High School, allegedly forming the synth-pop quartet Braids in the cafe...
Feel It Break - 2011
Katie Stelmanis' first solo record, 2008's Join Us , was a challenging collection of experimental electro that showcased her operatic vocal talents and a pe...
Metal Meets - 2011
Ohbijou's allmusic.com entry reads like a yawn - "Canadian indie-poppers with a folksy style bolstered by a group of talented multi-instrumentalists" could describe so many bands that there should b...
In a Fung Day T! - 2011
There is more than a trace of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks in the music of Duchess Says. Though much more accessible than their New York City forebears, the Montreal quartet of Annie-Claude Deschene...
Pashto Translator Needed - 2010
When Godspeed You! Black Emperor went on their indefinite (though recently ended) hiatus in the early part of the millennium, for fans it seemed to open a void unfilled even to this day. But for t...
||The Souljazz Orchestra:|
Rising Sun - 2010
Since the Daktaris blasted us with their Soul Explosion LP back in 1998, the embers of afrobeat have kindled across North America with the likes of Antibalas and the Budos Band south of the b...
Palisades - 2010
Power-pop of the subtler kind often takes a back seat to the more gonad-fuelled, post-Pavement sorts, so the arrival of a single like Tim Gilbertson's 'Chipped Teeth' definitely comes as a pleasant ...
The Craic: An Ephemeral Record EP - 2010
Bella Clava's claim that U.S. Highway 61, the blues highway, "starts in New Orleans and ends in Thunder Bay (Ontario)", may be stretching the truth somewhat, but only just. The highway technically ...
||The Connoisseurs of Porn:|
The Peasant Terror / Chicken - 7" - 2010
The Connoisseurs of Porn bill themselves as noise rock, and those punters looking to have their fillings rattled can rest assured that the lads here most definitely live up to their end of the barga...
Siskiyou - 2010
A stint on an organic farm was all it took for ex-Great Lake Swimmer Colin Huebert to make that move from the Swimmers' Toronto base to the more organic climes of Vancouver. Once settled there, he t...
Silent Your Body is Endless - 2010
Khora is the solo project of Toronto-based Matthew Ramolo, and his sophomore disc Silent Your Body is Restless first saw the light of day way back in 2009 as a privately pressed CD. A copy s...
||Les Momies de Palerme:|
Brulez Ce Coeur - 2010
Multi-instrumentalists Xarah Dion and Marie Davidson have been plying their striking audio/video performance pieces since 2006. The Montreal pair's first musical musings, the self-released CD...
The Happiness Project - 2009
The first two quasi-solo releases by Broken Social Scenesters, Kevin Drew's Spirit If... and Brendan Canning's Something for All of Us..., came out under the auspices of "Broken Social...
L'Ile de Sept Villes - 2009
The Hylozoists' third long-player, L'Ile de Sept Villes, finds leader/composer Paul Aucoin's already deft arrangements flanked by the lilting strings of the Ashbridges Octet. Taking its name f...
||Land of Kush:|
Against the Day - 2009
Sam Shalabi has been a fixture on the Montreal avant-rock scene - surely one of the continent's most fecund - for some two decades now, contributing to or fronting the likes of Molasses, Detention, ...
Timber Timbre - 2009
Timber Timbre is the first release for Torontonian Taylor Kirk on the ever-growing Arts and Crafts label, after being previously issued on the smaller Out of This Spark imprint (along with a ...
||Do Make Say Think:|
Other Truths - 2009
Toronto's post-rock stalwarts Do Make Say Think plough ahead on their sixth LP with more of their stock-in-trade instrumental fare. Here, though, on Other Truths the bucolic guitar and wistf...
Years - 2009
With many of his bandmates in Do Make Say Think and (formerly) in Broken Social Scene taking time to pursue their own projects of late, guitarist Ohad Benchetrit obviously decided it was his turn to...
||Still Life Still:|
Girls Come Too - 2009
Still Life Still grew up together in Toronto's Danforth and Main area on the city's east side, forming as early as 1999 while the boys were still just, well, boys in junior high school. After plugg...
Spectrum 14th Century EP - 2008
Spectrum 14th Century is the first in a pair of EPs issued in anticipation of Final Fantasy's third full-length, Heartland. Recorded at various locations in the summer of 2007 along wit...
Join Us - 2008
Billing herself as a "children's choir survivor', the classically schooled chanteuse Katie Stelmanis jumped ship at the last minute, abandoning her studies in the opera programme at McGill University ...
Parle Parle, Jase Jase - 2008
Taking her cue from the likes of Peaches and M.I.A., Montreal's Donzelle (real name Roxanne Arsenault) takes some hard-hitting electro beats and tethers them to some of the Quebec metropolis' well-k...
Crystal Castles - 2008
Toronto's Crystal Castles got their start as a solo project for producer/instrumentalist Ethan Kath as far back as 2003, but a later collaboration with singer Alice Glass led to a few demo tracks, i...
Old World Lies EP - 2008
This Vancouver octet curiously anchors its sound around Bryan Davies' brooding horns and Edo Van Breemen's hushed piano stylings. Though the pair go back further, having met up playing hippie jams ...
||Do Make Say Think:|
You, You're a History in Rust - 2007
It has been nearly a decade since Toronto post-rock instrumentalists Do Make Say Think's first sonic stirrings - the spacy meanderings of their eponymous debut and the more chafing guitar work of the ...
||Friends in Bellwoods:|
(various artists) - 2007
A rickety old house in Toronto's Trinity-Bellwoods neighbourhood is indie central - a home, practice space and crash pad for the city's vibrant creative underbelly. And while the besotted world press...
Ghosts Will Come and Kiss Our Eyes - 2007
On Hrsta's third full-length, founder/guitarist Mike Moya (ex-Godspeed You! Black Emperor) has teamed up with Jackie-O Motherfucker's Brooke Crouser to create a riveting and frightening psych-folk ste...
Pact - 2007
Citywide Vacuum had toiled about the Windsor (Ontario) scene since the mid-nineties, originally as a two-piece, hocking their glitsched-out and trippy electronica to anybody who would listen. Sportin...
Ca Va Cogner - 2007
Initial spins of Ca Va Cogner, the follow-up to Feu Therese's thoroughly enjoyable debut, may well leave hipsters somewhat flummoxed. The fragmented motorik beats of 2006...
LP - 2007
Fortune smiled early on Holy Fuck after hip hop artist Beans caught their raucous live set at the 2005 Pop Montreal festival and invited them as his backing band at California's Coachella gathering la...
||The Sunparlour Players:|
Hymns for the Happy - 2007
Farm-raised in a Mennonite family amidst the tomato fields around Leamington, Ontario, Andrew Penner was exposed as a child to country and bluegrass bands like the Stanley Brothers. But after initial...
||Kids on TV:|
Mixing Business with Pleasure - 2007
Kids on TV were hit with shrapnel from the electroclash blast of the early noughts, taking up positions alongside the likes of Peaches, Chicks on Speed and Le Tigre in the slutty, edgy queercore/elect...
||Teach Yourself Piano:|
Sweet Waltz, Bitter Waltz - 2006
Windsor siblings Kevin and Sarah Atkinson are Teach Yourself Piano (he the tunesmith, she the wordsmith) and this self-released CD Sweet Waltz, Bitter Waltz follows a decade or so of cafe/books...
He Poos Clouds - 2006
Multi-instrumentalist pop wunderkind Owen Pallett is Final Fantasy, a pop project laden with the delicate refinements of classical chamber music. However, unlike traditional chamber pop, which typica...
Feu Therese - 2006
Progeny of that fecund Montreal scene, Feu Therese boast Fly Pan Am guitarist Jonathan Parent and Shalabi Effect sound collaborator Alexandre St. Onge at the helm. Feu Therese's rookie effort, dedica...
Whites Only Party +2 EP - 2006
The first single release from Gang of Losers, the Dears long-awaited follow-up to their crucial Dead Cites disc, is a rollicking Smiths clone girded with a quasi-rockabilly beat and, of ...
Ampgrave - 2006
Toronto bass/drum duo Lullabye Arkestra mark their Constellation debut with the aptly titled Ampgrave, a scrappy eclectic platter of lo-fi racket. Kate Taylor's massively distorted bass and Ju...
||Black Ox Orkestar:|
Nisht Azoy - 2006
Cobbled together, as it were, from assorted Montreal collectives, the distinctly old world Black Ox Orkestar place themselves in the forefront of a "new Jewish music". Rooted in the traditions of Ash...
Froots - 2006
After the inspiring afrobeat of their 2004 debut Kif Kif, Montreal octet Afrodizz have unsaddled themselves from the crushing yoke of Fela Kuti, opting instead for a hybrid of afrobeat, funk an...
Swift Feet for Troubling Times - 2006
This fetching debut by Toronto-based seven-piece Ohbijou is refreshingly cliche-free - no pasty dishevelled white guys with wrinkled shirts and sensitive expressions earnestly plodding through some gr...
So This is Goodbye - 2006
Junior Boys followed up the charming synth pop of their debut disc, Last Exit, with more polished, urbane electronics on So This is Goodbye, released in August of 2006. With more than a...
||The Saffron Sect:|
Phosphorus Flash EP - 2006
The Saffron Sect seem to dwell in the same trippy, eccentric universe that the likes of Syd Barrett, Daevid Allen or Kevin Ayers once used to occupy. The band got their start in 2004, and since then,...
La Fin du Monde - 2006
After the Hylozoists' debut, 2001's delightful La Nouvelle Gauche, composer/arranger Paul Aucoin fled his native Nova Scotia for Toronto, in the process scotchi...
||The Russian Futurists:|
Me, Myself and Rye - 2006
As far as laptop generated music goes, Matthew Adam Hart's Russian Futurists project stakes out a territory much closer to the idyllic and dreamy pop of the sixties, especially to the sunny hooks of...
The Good, the Bad and the Cuddly - 2006
The Bicycles had come a long way since their 2000 acoustic EP As Is, recorded when the band was just former high school classmates Matt Beckett and Drew Smith. In the five years it took them...
A Swimmer in the Ocean Is Not Afraid of the Rain - 7" - 2006
As with most of the members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, drummer Aiden Girt used the band's indefinite hiatus to explore sonic textures no doubt closer to his heart, in this case the humorous mas...
Unfortunately - 2005
Montreal-based Shalabi Effect play a compelling and eclectic mixture of psychedelia and atonal soundscapes, and Unfortunately, their fourth disc, marks a return to the more intense industrial-s...
Ageless Beauty +2 EP - 2005
A charming EP, this is, clocking in at just over eleven minutes of blissful, airy pop. 'Ageless Beauty', taken from Stars' massively successful long-player Set Yourself on Fire, anchors the di...
Your Ex-Lover is Dead / Fairytale of New York - 2005
The second single from Stars' massive Set Fire to Flames LP is a plaintive break-up duet that pits some rather melancholic strings and horns with a majestic guitar build-up. Amy Millan's lush v...
||Ninja High School:|
Young Adults Against Suicide - 2005
Billing themselves as a "positive hardcore dance-rap band from Toronto", Ninja High School and their raucous and rough-hewn mix of indie punk and hip hop first surfaced in 2004 with their lo-...
Alone, Not Alone - 2005
After dropping his debut LP Are You a Friend in 2002, and a couple of EPs the following year (Objets Perdus and Paperworks), Montag, a.k.a. Montrealer Antoine Bedard, hooked up ...
Wolf Parade EP - 2005
Wolf Parade was formed when fellow British Columbians Dan Boekner (ex-Atlas Strategic) and (former Frog Eyes member) Spencer Krug hooked up in Hipsterville, Quebec, a.k.a. Montreal, way back in 2003...
||Les Georges Leningrad:|
Supa Doopa Remix EP - 2005
Twice voted "freakiest local act" by the readers of the Montreal Mirror and well known for their elaborate stage costumes and masks, experimentalists Les Georges Leningrad were always longer on myth...
Protest EP - 2004
A reissue of a 2002 tour-only EP, the Protest EP comes drenched in the Dears singular flair for the urgent, the dramatic, even the melodramatic. Recorded in the summer of 2001 - remember this ...
Heart - 2003
Heart, the second full-lengther from Montreal quintet Stars, is an album dripping with sublime beauty and unabashed romanticism (of the incurable type no doubt), despite the cornball intros pri...
||The Hidden Cameras:|
The Smell of Our Own - 2003
The primary vehicle for hugely talented singer/songwriter/bandleader Joel Gibb, though operating more like a collective encompassing, among others, Owen Pallett ...
||Manitoba (a.k.a. Caribou):|
Up in Flames - 2003
By 2003, armed with a Master's degree from the University of Toronto and the ripples of success from his debut LP Start Breaking My Heart, Dundas, Ontario's...
||Raising the Fawn:|
By the Warmth of Your Flame EP - 2003
As the main vehicle for guitarist and occasional Broken Social Scenester John Crossingham, Raising the Fawn have often had to take a back seat on the increasingly crowded BSS indie bus and its plethor...
French Diplomacy EP - 2003
Born and bred in the feral wilderness of the Yukon, wunderkind Stephen Noel (ne Kozmeniuk) wrote, recorded and produced the music on his debut outing Boy, from which most of this swell EP was c...
Nighttime Anytime EP - 2003
Nothing beats the hook-laden pleasures of a great EP, and the Constantines' Nighttime Anytime delivers the goods, with four slivers of gruff and grimy soul/punk. Mostly taken from the band's s...
||Godspeed You! Black Emperor:|
Yanqui U.X.O - 2002
"U.X.O. is unexploded ordnance is landmines is cluster bombs" - so say the liner notes to what is Godspeed You! Black Emperor's most overtly political yet eminently accessible disc...
La Nouvelle Gauche - 2001
Multi-instrumentalists the Hylozoists occupy a universe that fuses Stack-o-Trax-era Beach Boys and later-period Stereolab with Calexico and even Frank Zappa's Hot Rats. Originally forme...
Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique - 2001
With its convenient self-defining title - I don't know about the orchestral part, but "pop noir romantique" just about says it all - this disc arrived in rows stacked 10 thick at HMV stores in downto...
||Kristian, Shalabi, St. Onge:|
Kristian, Shalabi, St. Onge - 2001
A gathering of the "garde" - avant-garde that is - is usually a momentous event, especially in Montreal these days. On this CD, electronics composer David Kristian sidles up to Shalabi Effect members...
|| The Be Good Tanyas:|
Blue Horse - 2001
Rustic right from the get-go, Vancouver's rootsy Be Good Tanyas met up in tree-planting camps along the west coast in the late nineties, and then later hooked up at Trish Klein's Chinatown apartment, ...
||Manitoba (a.k.a. Caribou):|
Start Breaking My Heart - 2001
Laptop whiz Dan Snaith spent much of his childhood sequestered just outside Dundas, Ontario, falling victim to the usual small-town suspects of mullets, questionable prog rock and late nights with the...
Hangedup - 2001
To say that the experimental two-piece Hangedup are unique is to go far beyond mere platitude. The Montreal pair of Genevieve Heistek on viola and Eric Craven on drums have concocted a curiously ri...
||Bran Van 3000:|
Astounded EP - 2001
In 1994, James Di Salvio and E.P. Bergen were just a couple of young Montrealers trying to make it in the cutthroat music world of New York City. Barely out of their teens, the pair hooked up when ...
||Godspeed You Black Emperor!:|
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven - 2000
The heady 1990s under the Clinton and Chretien administrations oversaw a period of robust economic growth, steadily rising housing prices, and rosy employment rates. This, however, was only half the ...
||Do Make Say Think:|
Goodbye Enemy Airship the Landlord is Dead - 2000
Toronto post-rock sextet Do Make Say Think were the progeny of a studio project for a university course credit, eventually spawning first a CD, the competent if unspectacular eponymous debut, then a l...
||Fly Pan Am:|
Fly Pan Am - 1999
Originally a side project for Godspeed You! Black Emperor guitarist Roger Tellier (until he left GYBE altogether in 2004), Fly Pan Am flesh out intense instrumental excursions on this eponymous first ...
||Godspeed You Black Emperor!:|
Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada EP - 1999
After the virtual subatomic explosion in indieland of their debut f#a#oo, Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s star was definitely in the ascendant, and their version...
||Urban Surf Kings:|
...Play El Toro and Other Favourites EP - 7" - 1999
Halifax scenesters Urban Surf Kings have been plying their trademark surf instrumentals out on the east coast since the mid-nineties. The lads became a bit of an east coast phenomenon with a spate of...
Summer Daze - 12" - 1999
You can't really talk about the Toronto dance scene without mentioning Nick Holder. The man was there almost from its prehistory, deejaying as a teenager in the 1980s and then producing scores of ...
||Godspeed You Black Emperor!:|
f#a#oo - 1998
intro: foreboding background feedback
enter: eerie foreshadowing (this is pre-Sept. 11) of recorded Lee Marvin-esque voice
"we're trapped in the belly of this horrible ...
Consumed - 1998
To say that Richie Hawtin had already made a name for himself by 1996 would be understating things considerably. The Windsor (ON) native - okay, La Salle, just outside the city - had managed to cra...
She's Got Haggar Slacks / Regret Nothing - 7" - 1998
Formed in Toronto by ex-Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet guitarist Brian Connelly, the all-instrumental Atomic 7 got down to business from the get-go with this nifty seven-inch debut. Featuring the ...
Happy Days 12" EP - 1996
In early 2013 Toronto's Now weekly included 'Happy Days' in its list of the city's 10 best dance tracks of all time...a no-brainer for anyone who spent time on the dance floors during the mid...
The Unforgiving Sounds of Maow - 1996
Though often subsumed under the convenient "cuddlecore" label, Vancouver's Maow actually played a much tougher amalgam of pop, punk and country, the latter most probably the influence of the bandís ...
||King Cobb Steelie:|
Project Twinkle - 1994
King Cobb Steelie's first offerings, the gritty indie seven-inch One's a Heifer / Duotang (1991) and their surly self-titled LP two years later, were full of seething indie-rock, drawing obviou...
|| Roxanne Turcotte:|
Amore - 1994
Montreal pianist/composer Roxanne Turcotte studied electro-acoustic music at l'Universite de Montreal, and her first recording, on Quebec's fine Empreintes DIGITALes label, bears all the hallmarks o...
||Godspeed You Black Emperor!:|
All Lights Fucked on the Hairy Amp Drooling - 1994
The first thing to know about Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s All Lights Fucked on the Hairy Amp Drooling is that no one of any authority out there in cyberland has actually ever heard the damn...
Betti-Cola - 1993
Young, cloyingly cute and for the most part bereft of talent, Lisa Marr, Robynn Iwata and Valeria Fellini formed Cub in the early part of 1992 and by May were hosting their first gig in somebody's b...
Grace - 1991
Toronto's Wild Strawberries - essentially the vehicle for husband/wife duo Ken Harrison and Roberta Carter-Harrison - first caused ripples in 1988 when their song 'Crying Shame' snagged first prize in...
Feel the Drums 12" EP - 1991
Those lucky Toronto clubkids who trolled places like the Boom Boom Room and the Claremont on Queen West or RPM and the Diamond club downtown probably sweated a drop or two to M1's classic acid-house...
Library of the Sun - 1990
John Bottomley won a Juno award in 1993 for most promising male vocalist, just after the release of his Songs with the Ornamental Hermits set. But for those in the know there was nothing rea...
In Her Dream (Bob Wiseman Sings Wrench Tuttle) - 1989
Even as keyboardist with the hugely popular Blue Rodeo, the multi-talented Bob Wiseman must have felt restless early on, releasing his first solo LP In Her Dream around the time the Rodeo's b...
||Violence and the Sacred:|
Dull Knife, Dull Life; Sharp Knife, Short Life / Now a God Dances through Me -7" - 1989
Despite their rather auspicious debut, opening for the mighty Chris and Cosey in 1985 at Larry's Hideaway, Toronto's hyper-experimental Violence and the Sacred have always toiled in the cellars of o...
||The Pursuit of Happiness:|
Love Junk - 1988
The Pursuit of Happiness' 1986 debut single I'm an Adult Now tore up the staid mid-eighties Toronto scene, ripping into country-obsessed Queen West with its potent mix of guitar and existential...
||The Ten Commandments:|
Weird Out - 1987
Toronto-based garage rockers the Ten Commandments got swept up in the mid-eighties Nuggets/Pebbles/Boulders craze, co-hosting their own Pagan Strudel-Fest Pit nights at various clubs about town. Wi...
Big Dark Dreams - 12" EP - 1986
Toronto's Vital Sines showed aggressive tendencies on their 1981 indie debut, the hyper Subway Suicide seven-inch. But when drummer Chris Weekes left to att...
Nothing on TV / Still, I Run - 7" - 1986
The Dundrells were regulars at that cramped mid-eighties shrine the Cabana Room (in Toronto's Spadina Hotel), plying their garage-punk tunes with equal parts verve, wit and humour. After forming as...
||Sheep Look Up:|
Sheep Look Up 12" EP - 1986
London (Ontario)'s reputation as a stolid sort of whitebread wasteland was never really fair musically - hell, any city giving birth to and then actually managing to keep the likes of the Nihilist Spa...
Peace in the Valley - 1986
Though long forgotten, along with the majority of all those C86-inspired bands, the Lawn (guitarists Gord Cumming and Patrick Gregory atop the bouncy rhythms of bassist Richard Gregory and drummer M...
Too Cool to Live Too Smart to Die - mini LP - 1985
Montrealers Tony Dewald and Gerald Van Herk carried the Cramps' fascination with all things rockabilly to the extreme, pairing a four-string guitar with a minimal drum set (no cymbals or hi-hat), cr...
Sell Out Young - 12" EP - 1985
The Nils were chronic underachievers, with their gifted singer/guitarist Alex Soria meeting an early drug-tainted death in 2004 at the age of 39. Hatched in the south-shore Montreal suburb of St-H...
Jack the Ripper EP - 7" - 1985
The Gruesomes were just kids when they started dishing out their freaked-out garage/psych stew. The Montreal teens were the height of cheeky irreverence, with a name culled from an old Flintstones ...
||Jolly Tambourine Man:|
Apple Strudel Man / Sweater in Sri Lanka - 7" - 1984
The mid-eighties in Toronto were a bit of a fallow period for angry youth. Punk was definitely dead, despite all those mohawk-quaffed kids and their slogan-covered leathers. The promise of new wav...
||Quite Ridiculous Nonsense:|
A Failure... EP - 7" - 1984
This excellent EP comes shrouded in the sort of mystery that can cause mild bouts of arrhythmia in serious collectors. The Montreal band (?) was the brainchild of one Daniel Foley, who after all th...
||The Flesh Columns:|
Schweigew Vor Den Sturm EP - 7" - 1984
Flesh Columns hold the dubious distinction of having been the first Canadians as well as (what must be) the youngest band ever signed to Corey Rusk's then-fledgling, but by now mythical, Touch and Go ...
Be What You Want - 1984
The Asexuals are part of that secret history of the 1980s, the one ignored back in the day by MTV and its legion of followers, and glossed over today on the comps and tribute nights. As was brilliant...
Mosaic Fish - 1984
By the mid-eighties the tight-knit punk scene along Toronto's Queen Street had begun to fray into various musical threads. A more escapist alt-country scene was developing around the irrepressible ...
Collage - 12" EP - 1984
After an initial stab at more frenetic new wave/punk on their debut Subway Suicide EP, Vital Sines regrouped, hooking up with future Blue Rodeo drummer Gle...
West Over Seas (+ 2) -12" - 1984
Post-punks Rent Boys Inc ruled the Ontario dancefloors in the early eighties, releasing a pair of excellent records, the hard-hitting 'No Grat' single and th...
Casse-Tete - Musique Concrete - 1984
Montreal-born composer Bernard Bonnier studied under Pierre Henry, collaborating with the musique-concrete master during the first half of the seventies. On his return to Quebec, Bonnier sequestere...
||The Dub Rifles:|
The Boom EP - 7" - 1983
Though largely forgotten, Winnipeg's Dub Rifles are reputedly still spoken of in some circles there with hushed sighs of reverence. Formed in 1980, the soul/ska/punk quintet honed their chops around ...
General Strike / That's Life - 7" - 1983
Nineteen eighty-three in British Columbia was a bitter time, with the province's notoriously polarized political arena stoked by the right-wing government of Premier Bill Bennett. His Social Credit p...
||Rent Boys Inc.:|
Squeal for Joy 12" EP - 1983
This four-song 12" EP came on the heels of Rent Boys Inc's fiery debut 7" 'Pictish' and, while failing to replicate its manic urgency, it helped to cement the ...
Right Now the World Needs a Clear Head EP - 7" - 1983
Windsor (Ontario) record geek Mike Hillis got his first whiff of punk's fumes back in 1975 when he purchased Patti Smith's Horses. "I bought it on the recommendation of (classmate and future...
Inside - 12" EP - 1983
Winnipeg's Class Info released this 12" EP in a limited run of 500 copies way back in 1983 on the indie Classified label, and though few outside Manitoba took notice at the time, the stunning new wa...
Brainbroom / Invincible - 7" - 1983
The Trifids were essentially the same unknown Czech woman behind the equally demented and hopelessly obscure One of You, who issued a couple of singles a few years prior to this featuring a terminal...
Boy, Girl EP - 7" - 1983
Fifth Column's G.B. Jones once said, "Queercore started in my apartment at Queen and Parliament," and that is really not too far off the mark. Long before riot grrrls like L7, Huggy Bear and Bikini...
||Urban Scorch Compilation:|
Urban Scorch Compilation (cassette only) - 1982
Urban Scorch is an obscure but invaluable document of early-eighties post-punk in Toronto. The cassette-only compilation features four bands, each contributing some 15 minutes of music - it's ...
||The Dub Rifles:|
No Town, No Country EP - 7" - 1982
Ska-punks the Dub Rifles had slogged around the Winnipeg area for the better part of a year, consolidating their muscular mix of punk, sixties soul and island rhythms, before taking the plunge into DI...
Right to Be Wild - 7" - 1982
The first of D.O.A.'s instant benefit singles - this to help pay legal fees for the Squamish Five - is a raucous ode to nihilism. The five, which included long-time pal and former Subhuman Gerry Usel...
||Land of Giants:|
Cannibal Dolls / Seven Men - 12" - 1982
When Mark Wonnacott returned to Toronto from the U.K. in 1981, the original '77 punk blow-up had more than fizzled, and in its stead was a growing fashion-forward, gay-friendly, middle class new wa...
||Rent Boys Inc.:|
Pictish / No Grat - 7" - 1982
Surly Toronto post-punks Rent Boys Inc helped fill the void left behind after the original Toronto punks either crashed and burned (the Viletones and the Ugly), lost their edge to new wave (the Diodes...
Innocent Hands - 12" EP - 1982
Youthful, idealistic, and politically earnest Toronto-based agit-rockers L'Etranger formed around 1980 just as the original punk scene started to fizzle. The band were virtual residents at the Cabana...
||Mama Quilla II:|
KKK 12" EP - 1982
The nascent feminist/lesbian scene found a powerful ally in the Toronto six-piece Mamma Quilla II, whose punk-funk amalgam followed roads paved by Kleenex/Lilliput and the Au Pairs across the pond. ...
Monsters in My Garage + 3 EP - 7" - 1982
This is where it all began for Deja Voodoo. With the rockabilly revival in full swing by 1981 and the Montreal scene finally awakening from its late seventies sleepwalk, friends Gerald Van Herk and...
Black Preppies EP - 7" - 1982
*This is an edited and abridged version of a review that originally appeared in the University of Windsor newspaper The Lance in 1982.
In a city like Windsor in 1982, whe...
||Trespassing Bean Rays:|
Trespassing Bean Rays EP - 7" - 1982
As far as the early-eighties dustbin goes, things don't get much more obscure than Ottawa's Trespassing Bean Rays. This hopelessly unknown three-piece seems to have toiled about the national capita...
||The Dry Heaves:|
Shoot Yourself EP - 7" - 1981
Bored, as the punk cliche goes, brothers Hevy Kevie and Tommy Vomit, along with Ray Maybe and two others decided to enter Windsor (Ontario)'s popular Battle of the Bands contest in 1979, dubbing thems...
How Many Fingers? - 12" EP - 1981
After snapping the late-seventies Toronto scene out of its three-chord-punk sleepwalk with their first two singles Hemingway (Hated Disco Music) and the
||Martha and the Muffins:|
This is the Ice Age - 1981
Martha and the Muffins were formed around Toronto's Ontario College of Art and the fledgling, though fertile, nearby Queen West neighbourhood in what would become the proverbial punk cliche of the lat...
The Absence of a Canary - 1981
Those who scratch their heads at how such left-field electronica like John Paul Young's The Life of Ernie Scub or The Absence of a Canary by Ceramic ...
|| The Rage:|
I've Got Your Number / Stay - 7" - 1981
Not to be confused with the California band of the same name, who recorded a version of John's Children's 'Jagged Time Lapse' several years earlier, the Rage were part of a vibrant Toronto pop/punk ...
Subway Suicide + 2 - 7" EP - 1981
Not long after forming in Toronto in 1980, Vital Sines were bitten by the D.I.Y. bug, releasing this three-song seven-inch sometime the following year. But this was hardly the band we would later c...
||One of You:|
Life is So Hard / Faded Flowers - 7" - 1981
By rights, One of You's 'Life is So Hard', with its gloomy organ and equally depressive lyrics, should have been an underground favourite amongst the black-clad goth crowd back in the day. From wha...
Underground / Machine Shop - 7" - 1980
The whole of the American Midwest, including Detroit, was a bit slow to latch onto punk. By 1979, though, a handful of bars there, like Lili's 21 in Hamtramck, the New Miami in the seedy Cass Corri...
||The Pointed Sticks:|
Perfect Youth - 1980
The quest for the perfect pop single - taut, jumpy, emotive - bequeathed a litany of largely forgotten North American new wave bands in the late seventies. Their breakout from punk's surly stance was...
Life in Shadow/Maze of Ways - 7" - 1980
By 1980, some three years after early punk outfits the Viletones, the Diodes, Cardboard Brains and the Ugly had set sonic fire to the streets of Toronto south of Bloor, the embers of post-punk had alr...
||The Young Canadians:|
Hawaii EP -12" - 1980
The Young Canadians emerged in 1979 alongside D.O.A., the Pointed Sticks, the Dishrags, and the Subhumans in that enormously, though belatedly, fecund Vancouver punk scene. Born the K-Tels in Februar...
Automan EP - 7" - 1980
In their infancy the K-Tels were prized in the nascent Vancouver scene for their fiery and frenetic punk, with the cranky 'I Hate Music' finding its way onto the excellent comp ...
Drastic Measures - 1980
As a founding member of the Dishes, Toronto's mid-seventies art-pop icons, Tony Malone can certainly say he got into the punk/new wave scene on the ground floor. The band were regulars at the Beverl...
Teen City - 12" EP - 1980
The Modernettes were latecomers even to Vancouver's already unfashionably late punk scene, thus missing out on 1979's scene-defining com...
Feel the Pain / Grown Up Age - 7" - 1980
For would-be punks, late seventies Ottawa was a bit of a dead zone until the Rotters Club opened its doors on Bank Street. But with bands like the Action already creating a bit of a fuss with their...
||Crash Kills Five:|
What Do You Want Me to Do - 7" - 1980
Taking their name from a local newspaper headline, Toronto-based Crash Kills Five got their start in 1980 when transplanted Calgarian Reid Diamond hooked up with singer Don Pyle, leading to the releas...
||Martha and the Muffins:|
Echo Beach / Teddy the Dink - 7" - 1980
In 1978 Ontario College of Art students Martha and the Muffins were busy etching out their tiny niche in Toronto's burgeoning new wave/punk scene. They probably would have been happy just filling pl...
||John Paul Young:|
The Life of Ermie Scub - 1980
After founding Toronto-based punk(ish) band Cardboard Brains back in 1976, and leading them through a pair of swell EPs (the frankly formula...
New Job - 12" EP - 1980
Null Set recorded their only EP under the auspices of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design between October and November, 1980. The four (Chris Cooper, Ron Dickie, Allan Scarth and Heather Ferg...
Something Better Change - 1980
By December 1979, the twin punk explosions in New York and London had long given way to the more cerebral no wave and post-punk movements. Vancouver's D.O.A., though, had stuck to their guns, firin...
I Don't Know Why (You Love Me) / Look What You've Done - 7" - 1980
Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor can trace their friendship all the way back to high school at North Toronto Collegiate, but it wasn't until the two had finished university that the idea of fo...
||Rot n' Role:|
(various artists) - 1980
Like any provincial city worthy of that distinction, Ottawa in the late seventies had its own version of the mods and rockers clashes. When Stuart Smith and Carl Scultz opened the city's first punk...
||Martha and the Muffins:|
Insect Love / Suburban Dream - 7" - 1979
By the time of their debut single, the self-released Insect Love / Suburban Dream, Marthas Johnson and Ladley and company were busy elbowing their way onto the more punk-friendly Queen Street...
33 1/3 EP (Flat Tire + 3) - 7" - 1979
The Government ruled Toronto's Queen Street West during the post-punk years of 1979-1981, serving up quirky rhythms with dollops of sardonic wit at bars like The Edge, The Beverly, and Larry's Hideawa...
||The B Girls:|
Fun at the Beach / B-Side - 7" - 1979
The B Girls were the progeny of the relentlessly forward-looking Toronto of the 1970s, a time when the city would see its homely Victorian charm ruthlessly bulldozed and replaced by a sleek antiseptic...
(various artists) - 1979
By the very late seventies, punk was starting to infiltrate the milk-fed hinterlands of this continent, and no self-respecting scene was complete without a compilation of its own motley assortment of ...
Rat Race / Good Filthy Fun - 7" - 1979
Like a fiery comet, Active Dog was a short-lived affair, setting ablaze the nascent Vancouver punk scene for less than two years in 1978 and 1979. Formed out of the embers of psychedelic jam band Ste...
Talk's Cheap - 12" EP - 1979
By the fall of 1977, sleepy London, Ontario had already played host to Eddie and the Hot Rods for a notorious three-night stand and was experiencing its own nascent punk scene when transplanted Manc...
Past is Past - 7" EP - 1979
One of the first post-Runaways girl groups, the Dishrags were there almost from the start, forming as 15-year-olds in Victoria, B.C. in 1977 and then hopping across the Georgia Strait to become a pa...
||Gordie Uranus and the Universe:|
Fear of the Night / It's Only Urgent - 7" - 1979
As further evidence that the dustbin of rock is indeed a bottomless pit, there is this potent little double-sider from Gordie Uranus and the Universe. From Ottawa, a relatively fertile punk scene t...
Electric Eye - 1979
Nineteen seventy-nine was a fruitful year for the Government, one that included a couple of seven-inch records, the rougher-he...
Hemingway (Hated Disco Music) / I Only Drive My Car at Night - 7" - 1979
The year 1979 was a productive one for Toronto's top post-punk act. The Government catapulted Canada out of punk and into the quirkier, experimental world of post-punk, releasing this single, the f...
China Boys / Make Some Noise - 7" - 1979
Those who associate the Payolas with their ur-wanker eighties hit 'Eyes of a Stranger' forget that the Vancouver outfit once enjoyed a decidedly hipper cachet thanks to their first single, the fetch...
Bored of Education 7" EP - 1979
The Fits were perennial outsiders in Toronto's late-seventies punk scene. The early band members were present at the Ramone's scene-launching September 1976 appearance at the New Yorker Theatre, as...
Bombers 2 - 1979
Bombers' first album may have been the better of their two LPs, especially for component stereo heads back in the day who hankered for silky synths and fatback gro...
The Subhumans EP - 12" - 1979
No place in North America took punk more seriously than Vancouver. Anyone who has spent time in that west coast city knows full well the political anger that seethes beneath the picture-postcard vi...
The Wayouts EP -7" - 1979
Though it was often well ahead of the Canadian curve, the Toronto punk scene, it must be said, was also crawling with petty criminals and brainless thugs. It was precisely such an environment that ...
||Bunny and the Lakers:|
Numbers - 1979
"The most perfect noise and melody I had ever heard," is how Fifth Column's Carolyn Azar once described Bunny and the Lakers' weirdly iconoclastic Numbers. The Toronto band allegedly played...
||The Pointed Sticks:|
What Do You Want Me to Do? b/w Somebody's Mom - 7" - 1978
When they recorded this punchy seven-inch, Vancouver's Pointed Sticks were still more than a year away from cementing their reputation nationally for sprightly, effervescent new wave on their lone 198...
The Prisoner / 13 - 7" - 1978
Vancouver's D.O.A. were out of the gates early, releasing a pair of seven-inchers by the end of 1978, this after having spent the previous year toiling about Toronto's own nascent punk scene as the Sk...
Tired of Waking Up Tired / Child Star - 7" - 1978
In a perfect world the Diodes would have had a couple of top-10 hits, a few world tours and a best-of compilation stocked in the front racks of HMV shops. Unfortunately, Canada in the late seventie...
Bombers - 1978
Two of Montreal's better-known producers in the seventies, George Lagios and Pat Deserio, were behind the disco-funk studio band Bombers. Both were veterans of that city's thriving pop/disco scene,...
||The Red Squares:|
Ottawa Today / Transmitter - 7" - 1978
Ottawa bands like the Red Squares and the Bureaucrats were forever doomed to play second fiddle to Paul Fenton's the Action, whose pogo-friendly scorch...
Shoeshine Boy / The Killer Bees - 7" - 1978
Ostensibly Canada's first female punk band (with challenges to that throne by the B-Girls and the Dishrags), Toronto's Curse were there right from the get-go, slotted to open for the Tools on a canc...
Step Out Tonight b/w You Use Me - 7" - 1978
The Mods - Greg Trinier (vocals), Scott Marks (guitar), Mark Dixon (bass) and David Quinton (drums) - were one of Toronto's leading power-pop/punk bands of the late 70s. As well as headlining at clu...
Picture My Face / Tearin' Me Apart - 7" - 1978
In the spring of 1977, when Frankie Venom (ne Kerr), Gordie Lewis, Steve Mahon and Nick Stipanitz, all long-haired rockers from nearby gritty Hamilton, managed to talk their way into a gig at Toront...
Stranded in the Laneway (of Love) / To Have Some Fun - 7" - 1978
Though barely a footnote in the Toronto punk scene, the tragedy of leader/singer Mike Nightmare and his band the Ugly is hands down one of the most fascinating stories in the entire annals of popula...
I Love Suzan/ The First Studio Bomb - 7" - 1978
Though it was still the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Canada, Montreal in the late seventies was notoriously indifferent to the sounds of new wave and punk. While scenes in Toronto, Vancouv...
If You Want My Love (Do It) / Stay and Dance - 7" - 1978
This amazing double-sider is a holy grail of sorts for modern soul diggers, fetching upwards of 700 bucks a pop for those lucky enough to score a copy. The plucky Nina Dunn and her disco/soul stunne...
Cardboard Brains 77 EP - 7" - 1977
Despite forming sometime after the scene-starting Ramones concerts at the New Yorker Theatre in September 1976, and playing at the farewell Last Pogo shows two years later, Toronto's Cardboard Brain...
CN Tower / Prime Time - 7" - 1977
Toronto artist Michaele Jordana Berman's first fifteen minutes of fame came in 1976 after her solo exhibition of hyper-realist paintings depicting the slaughter of whales (Oceans of Blood) stru...
Screamin' Fist EP - 7" - 1977
For certain greying punks in Canada's largest city, it's a matter of civic pride that the Toronto punk scene was second only to New York's (and perhaps San Francisco's) back in 1977. Just as in Bri...
TV's on the Blink - 12" EP - 1977
Ottawa's first punk band - and quite possibly Canada's first outside Toronto for that matter - the Action got their start in April of 1977 when they were pieced together by brothers Paul and John Fe...
||Amerigo Maras and Bruce Eves:|
Raw / War - 7" - 1977
Easily the rarest punk artifact to come out of Canada, the 'Raw' / 'War' seven-inch was the brainchild of Toronto conceptual artists Amerigo Maras and Bruce Eves, who founded the Centre for E...
Kebekelektrik - 1977
The Italian-born Pat Deserio was just seven years old when he left the tiny village of Montelongo and landed with his family in a teeming, vibrant Montreal. It wouldn't take long for the newly arr...
||Dogs of War:|
Dogs of War - 1977
Back in the seventies, Montreal's vibrant disco scene mirrored New York's in many ways, but particularly so in the sheer number of guys of Italian origin who hustled their way onto the scene, spinni...
Stadacone - 1976
After the spacy prog-fusion of their superb debut J'un Oeil the previous year, Sloche eased up a notch on the controls on their follow-up. The Quebec City-...
Lougarou - 1976
Franco-Ontarians Marc and Michel Lalonde formed the nucleus of Lougarou while working as part of a theatre troupe in Prince Edward Island in 1974. The brothers picked up guitarist George Antoniak, ...
Aimes-tu la vie comme moi? / Kiki d'Hollywood - 7" - 1976
Before succumbing to colon cancer in 2007, Georges Thurston had enjoyed a storied career in Quebec's oft-ignored disco\r'n'b scene, first as leader of bands like les Zinconnus and the 25th Regiment,...
...Et le Troisieme Jour - 1976
Michel-Georges Bregent and Vincent Dionne never quite broke the sort of ground that, say, John Mills-Cockell did with his bands Interystems and Syrinx, but the Quebec duo's synth-prog opus, 1976's <...
Can You Feel It / Jessi - 7" - 1976
The man most remembered for his 1974 AM hit 'Virginia (Touch Me Like You Do)' was much more than just a one-hit wonder...and, as it later turned out, more than just a man. His talents were i...
|| Norris Vines and the Luvlines:|
Give In / Feel the Warm - 7" - 1976
Here is a vinyl dweeb's enigma if ever there was one. Norris Vines and the Luvlines' honey-dripping floor-filler must easily be the Canadian holy grail for modern soul collectors, but with the deart...
||Biggy Twiggy Band:|
Mama Won't Let You b/w I Don't Want That to Change - 7" - 1975
Singer and bandleader Skip Pollard moved to Calgary in 1971 and formed the Biggy Twiggy Band to tour between Thunder Bay and Vancouver. This undiscovered gem, the band's lone seven-inch, was record...
Si On Avait Besoin d'une Cinquieme Saison - 1975
After the sunny textures of their debut LP, Montreal's Harmonium flirted with the complexities of prog on the follow-u...
J'un Oeil - 1975
The upper reaches of the St. Lawrence River may be about as far away geographically and culturally from the traditional anglo centres of rock as one can get. And yet in the seventies prog rock flowe...
La Marche des Hommes - 1975
Politicos and pundits trying to prove Quebec's distinct society status might want to look into popular music to prove their case. Exhibit one would have to be the plethora of prog rock that thrived...
||Major Hoople's Boarding House:|
I'm Running After You / Questions in Mind - 7" - 1975
Rocky Howell, Peter Pandalino and Rick Riddell formed the Shan-de-leers as high school buddies at Galt Collegiate Institute in 1967 in what is now Cambridge, Ontario. But with the addition of singe...
Carla Whitney (with Choker Campbell and the Super Sounds) - 1975
Choker Campbell had his fingers in many pies. In the 1950s, the Mississippi-born, Michigan-raised saxophonist toured with a host of Atlantic acts, like Joe Turner, Billy Ward and his Dominoes and t...
||Basic Black and Pearl:|
White Christmas / Right On Baby - 7" - 1975
Basic Black and Pearl recorded their first seven-inch for Leon Aronson's Montreal-based WAM label in 1975. The contemporary soul of 'There'll Come a Time, There'll Come a Day' sold well enou...
Lewis Furey - 1975
Though almost as obscure in the seventies as he is forgotten today, Lewis Furey at one point published poetry in Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, collaborated on soundtracks with the likes o...
Beau Dommage - 1974
An offshoot of UQAM* performance art ensemble La Quenouille Bleu, Quebecois folk-rockers Beau Dommage began to take shape when songwriter Pierre Huet and guitarist Michel Rivard were joined by bassist...
Harmonium - 1974
The seeds of Montreal prog-folk icons Harmonium began to take root in 1972 when guitarists Serge Fiori and Michel Normandeau met up in the Montreal theatre community, later picking up bassist Louis Va...
A Third Testament - 1974
After a stint in the avant-garde mixed media project Intersystems in 1968 and forays into the rock forum the following year with the Kensington Market in Toronto and the lesser-known Hydro Electric St...
Upon a Once Time - 1974
The singer-songwriter known as Huckle (ne Kelly Cavanagh) was raised in Montreal and Toronto, but by 1973 the self-described freak ("...we didn't call ourselves hippies then - we were freaks") had s...
Ani-Kuni / Ca tourne en rond - 7" - 1973
Despite the attitude in its title, Madeleine Chartrand's first record, 1971's 'Ah! Comme on s'ennuie', was a rather feeble attempt at chanson that ended up sounding more boring than bored. B...
Poussiere Des Regrets - 1973
Montreal keyboardist Michel-Georges Bregent spent the latter part of the sixties at the prestigious Conservatoire de musique du Quebec a Montreal mastering a bevy of instruments from piano and organ...
Time - 1973
Jimi Bertucci was just one of the many Canadian musicians who trace their roots back across the pond to Italy. Like fellow Torontonian and Mandala guitar wizard Domenic Troiano, along with Montreal...
Hey Miss Maybe b/w I Will Take You Home - 7" - 1973
Google may know everything about you or me, but that mind-boggling algorithm gives up very little on the mysterious Greg Mittler and his long-lost 'Hey Miss Maybe' seven-inch. What we do kno...
On the People's Side - 1972
Largely forgotten, even among the crate-diggers, Horn was a Toronto jazz/rock outfit that seems to have fallen off the musical map even though the band contained drummer Bill Bryans (M.G. and the Es...
|| Roger Rodier:|
Upon Velveatur - 1972
Roger Rodier was originally a member of the Mike Jones Group, whose 'Funny Feeling', the b-side of their only single (Jet Records 1967), seems to have struck a cho...
Dimension M - 1972
Franck Dervieux manned the keyboards on some of Jean-Pierre Ferland's earlier works, but by 1972 the gifted pianist had decided to strike out on his own. For Dimension M, Dervieux assembled ...
The Family - 1971
By 1971, with a massive-selling, self-titled debut (half a million copies stateside) under their belts, Mashmakhan had dived headfirst into the heavy blues/jazz currents fashionable at the time. Unfo...
One Fine Morning - 1971
Until the release of their best-selling One Fine Morning LP, Lighthouse was clinging tenuously to brass rock's second rung, behind Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Electric Flag and the Chicago Tran...
Long Lost Relatives - 1971
After the spacy textures of their groundbreaking debut, Syrinx (the trio of John Mills-Cockell, Doug Pringle and Alan Wells) set about exploring the possibilities o...
Soleil - 1971
After the release of the best-selling LP Jaune the previous year, Quebecois chansonnier Jean-Pierre Ferland followed up with a sprawling double-vinyl effort. Soleil, like its predece...
Wildwoodin' / Ace -7" - 1971
This stormer of a seven-inch dropped off the radar years ago, with barely a mention of it anywhere out in cyberland. What gives? The Concept label was run by former Trend honcho Merv Buchanan afte...
David Wiffen - 1971
His songs have been covered by the likes of Rumer, the Cowboy Junkies, the Black Crows, the Jayhawks, Roger McGuinn, Harry Belafonte, Tom Rush, Ian and Sylvia Tyson and Jerry Jeff Walker. Yet despit...
Le Grand Jeu - 1971
Montreal was still the largest and most happening city in Canada at the end of the 1960s. Toronto may have gotten all the press with its burgeoning scene in Yorkville, but a movement of a different...
||The Magic Bubble:|
The Magic Bubble - 1970
Toronto's Yonge Street by the late sixties was a cauldron of bands playing a pounding, massive rhythm and blues, no doubt a fire lit years prior by the masculine bark of the young David Clayton-Thomas...
||It's All Meat:|
It's All Meat - 1970
Despite the crotch-grabbing allusions (and nods to the Animals song of the same name), It's All Meat actually took their name from a 1960s dog food commercial extolling the virtues of its beefy chow...
As the Years Go By / Days When We Are Free - 7" - 1970
As the Triangle, Pierre Senecal, Rayburn Blake and Jerry Mercer played back-up to future gospel leader Trevor Payne until they were discovered by producer Bob Hahn, who whisked the boys from their n...
Syrinx - 1970
The birth pangs of electronic music within pop were often tentative affairs. Bands like the Fifty Foot Hose and the Silver Apples had to absorb such obtuse luminaries as Karlheinz Stockhausen or Mort...
||The Souls of Inspyration:|
The Souls of Inspyration - 1970
Red Lake, Ontario soft-psych rockers the Souls of Inspyration made the requisite bar slog across Central Canada before setting up shop in Sherbrooke, Quebec in late 1968. There, they recruited keyboa...
Troyka - 1970
This Edmonton power trio combine some frenetic post-Cream guitar thrills with gruff, hyper-macho vocals on their one and only LP. The lads - Edmontonians Robert Edwards, Michael Richards, and Ron Luk...
The Electric Lucifer - 1970
Isolation is often a recipe for madness. However, in the case of electronics pioneer Bruce Haack, a solitary childhood tucked away in the shadow of the Alberta Rockies merely stoked his knack for inv...
||The Gainsborough Gallery:|
Life Is a Song - 1970
There seems to have been plenty of sun in those early-seventies Calgary skies. For a brief period, the relatively tiny city - only 400,000 back then - was the sunshine-pop capital of Canada, fillin...
||La Nouvelle Frontiere:|
La Nouvelle Frontiere - 1970
From the eastern Montreal area of Point-aux-trembles, La Nouvelle Frontiere formed in 1968 when the Seguin twins, Richard and Marie-Claire, met up with guitarist/songwriter Robert Letendre while perfo...
Christmas - 1970
Formed in Oshawa, Ontario by guitarist Bob Bryden amid the ruins of psych-rock outfit Reign Ghost, whose two Allied Records releases fetch hefty sums in collectors' circles, Christmas initially record...
When I Die - 1970
As an offshoot of the massive nine-piece Grant Smith and the Power, the four original members of Motherlode (guitarist Ken Marco, saxophonist Steve Kennedy, keyboardist William "Smitty" Smith, and ...
||The Happy Feeling:|
Happy Feeling - 1970
This Calgary-based band would probably be even further buried in the sands of time if it weren't for the fact that they were produced by the great Norman Petty down at his famous studios in Clovis...
Windsor Tunnel - 1970
For the Viscounts, a move from Amherst, Nova Scotia to the gritty Detroit area in 1966 - in this case to Windsor, Ontario on the Canuck side of things - proved to be just the thing Clayton Moore and...
Vol. 33 Mantra - 1970
Walter Boudreau's electronic/freak/jazz collective L'Infonie held sway over the burgeoning Montreal arts scene from 1967 until their demise in 1974, issuing four full-length LPs with the rather pros...
Life - 1970
Few people took notice when Montreal band Life's lone eponymous album slipped out on Polydor Records in the early part of 1970. Arguably one of the era's most obscure releases, this criminally overl...
Second Thoughts / Sit Awhile - 7" - 1970
Cheyenne Winter were the first band to release a record on Randy Bachman's by now long-forgotten Molten label. The venerable Guess Who guitarist seemed to be on top of the world in 1970, what with ...
||Rick Wilkins and the Mutual Understanding:|
Christmas with Rick Wilkins and the Mutual Understanding - 1970
Having first wet his feet with local dance bands led by Jack Ryan and Gav Morton, the Hamilton (ON)-born saxophonist Rick Wilkins decided to make the move up the Q.E.W. to Toronto in 1957. It was t...
||Luke and the Apostles:|
You Make Me High / Not Far Off - 7" - 1970
As the story goes, Luke and the Apostles had been kicking around Yorkville for several years with limited success outside their home base in Toronto. Some excellent garage rock (the acerbic single ...
Means and Ways / Help for My Waiting - 7" - 1970
Though the Dorians managed to get their records released all across Europe in the early seventies, they have been curiously excised from the annals of pop history, including in their hometown of Win...
Don't Cry Little Tree - 1970
Trevor Dandy's revelatory soul/gospel album Don't Cry Little Tree is about as close to the bottom of the dustbin as you can get. A collaboration between the budding producer Paul J. Zaza and...
||Paul Baillargeon and Dean Morgan:|
Viens, Mon Amour (Original Soundtrack) - 1970
While much of uptight English Canada - most specifically Ontario - was battling censor boards filled with aging, scissor-toting moralists parsing every inch of film entering the country, our French-...
Warpig - 1970
The sixties ended abruptly and ceremoniously - in southwestern Ontario at least - on February 2nd, 1969, when Led Zeppelin made their Canadian debut at Toronto's venerable Rock Pile on Yonge Street....
||The Poppy Family:|
That's Where I Went Wrong / Shadows on My Wall - 7" - 1969
When 17-year-old Susan Pesklevits asked former Chessmen guitarist Terry Jacks to accompany her on CBC's mid-sixties TV show Music Hop, she probably had little idea of the great things to come...
Send Me No Flowers - 1969
The chord-crunching blues-rock on the Churls self-titled debut was hardly a million-seller for A & M. Still, that didn't stop Herb Alpert from issuing a second set of songs for the lads later that ...
||The 49th Parallel:|
The 49th Parallel - 1969
Calgary's torch bearers in the great sixties rock sweepstakes were the 49th Parallel, whose 1969 chart success, 'Twilight Woman', garnered them a few deserved rays of limelight.
Junior Saw It Happen b/w My Little Buttercup - 7" - 1969
There is not a heck of lot out there in cyberland on Edmonton's Shame Tree. It appears that the group was most probably a five-piece consisting of singer Ed Kilbride, guitarist Al Mix and keyboardi...
Measles / I'm Only Dreaming - 7" - 1969
The Lyme's only release, the superb double-sider 'Measles' b/w'I'm Only Dreaming', was purportedly the first stereo 45 released in Canada. And the record might even have scaled some local c...
||J.K. and Co.:|
Suddenly One Summer - 1969
Until its reissue onto CD (Beatrocket, 2001), J.K. and Co.'s Suddenly One Summer was one of those impossibly rare records that seemed to find its way onto every collector's want list, but which...
||La Revolution Francaise:|
Quebecois / Shoo-Doo-Bee-Do - 7" - 1969
After quitting Les Sinners in October of 1968, singer Francois Guy teamed up with Les Jaguars guitarist Jean-Guy Cossette to form the ominously titled La Revolution Francaise. With one-time Sinners...
Sussex - 1969
Phenomenally rare, with those surviving copies fetching upwards of 3000 bucks a pop, the 1969 acid rock raver Sussex had its origins in a drug-addled house in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood. ...
||Five Man Electrical Band:|
Five Man Electrical Band - 1969
With 1967 turning out to be a fruitful one for the Staccatos - their 'Half Past Midnight' had cracked the top ten in Canada - the band headed down to New Yo...
Vol. 3 - 1969
The Montreal-based electronic/free jazz/avant-garde collective L'Infonie formed in 1967 under the direction of Walter Boudreau and featured Quebecois singer/poet Raoul Duguay in his recording debut....
Royal American 20th Century Blues - 1969
A near-mint copy of Rockadrome's lone 1969 LP will probably set you back at least a month's rent - and not a one-bedroom in Wawa (ON), either. Recorded in the early months of 1969 at Art Snider's S...
||The British North-American Act:|
In the Beginning... - 1969
The soft-psych sounds on the British North-American Act's lone LP In the Beginning... now fetch upwards of a thousand bucks a pop, though this must be due more to the record's obscurity than ...
David - 1969
From the same label that gave us Rockadrome comes the six-man, one-woman David. Their sole album is one of those wonderful, flawed surprises from the era, an overreaching blend of orchestral pop wi...
||Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck:|
One Ring Jane / Kill the Pig - 7" - 1969
Though Toronto may have gotten all the press back in the day (try googling these: the Yorkville scene, the Festival Express, the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival), it seems that by the late sixties the...
||The Stone Circus:|
Stone Circus - 1969
The Stone Circus LP has long been one of the holy grails to collectors of the legendary Mainstream label, but so little is known about it that the misconceptions have grown along with its monetary v...
The Churls - 1969
Somewhere over the years the Churls ended up near the bottom of history's overcrowded dustbin, but back in late 1967 the heavy-hitting rockers had quite a presence on Toronto's Yorkville scene, at o...
Front Side Back Side - 1969
Merv Buchanan originally started up his now-sought-after Trend label in 1965 in a crusty old studio out in the wilds of suburban east Toronto. The enterprising dee jay and producer half-flippantly ...
A Spoonful of Cathy Young - 1969
When local Diggers' David DePoe and Brian (Blues) Chapman organized the Queen's Park Love-In in May of 1967, the budding singer-songwriter Cathy Young was barely a busker on the streets of Toronto's...
Ain't Nobody Else / Toe Nails - 7" - 1969
Doomsday Machine put out a couple of professionally recorded singles for the Dot label in 1969. The five-piece from Kingsville, just to the south of Windsor (ON), consisted of guitarist Jerry Alice...
Bearings - 1969
Edward Bear had been knocking about the Toronto circuit since 1966, where they were the house band for a spell at the Night Owl coffee house in Yorkville. By 1969, the band's reputation for poundin...
Release the Sunshine - 1968
This one was scraped right off the bottom of the sixties dustbin. The Folklords are a sort of tripped-out We Five who recorded this lone LP for the Allied label, home to the likes of the Plastic Clou...
You Got Me / Help Me - 7" - 1968
Toronto's Mandala started things off as the Rogues in early 1965 when singer George Olliver teamed up with former Robbie Lane and the Disciples guitar whiz kid Dominic Troiano. A couple of years spen...
Do Re Mi / Playing Games - 7" - 1968
Guitarist Joe Mock got his start fronting the folky Joe Mock and No Commercial Potential, but by 1967 the blossoming Vancouver scene was already starting to attract some of the more talked-about Cal...
||The Mutual Understanding:|
In Wonderland - 1968
"Welcome to Wonderland - momentary abode of the Mutual Understanding - a happy moment in time where all can share in the magic of a mighty and cheerful sound. And meet the Mutual Understanding - as...
|| The Paupers:|
Ellis Island - 1968
Following the tepid response to their 1967 debut LP Magic People, and the near-mythical meltdown at the Monterrey Pop Festival that followed it, the Paupers...
Avenue Road - 1968
A late night jam with the Lovin' Spoonful's Zal Yanofsky in 1967 would prove to be the big break for Toronto's Kensington Market. As Nicholas Jennings tells it ...
||Expedition to Earth:|
Expedition to Earth / Time Time Time - 7" - 1968
On the Garage Hangover site, Expedition to Earth's guitarist Dan Norton recounts how the band took small-town Canada by surprise, in this case the booming metropolis of Canora, Saskatchewan (pop. 22...
Soul Crusade - 1968
After the success of their top-ten corker 'Opportunity', the Mandala seemed destined for opportunities of their own. Their manager Rafael Markowitz (aka Ra...
||The Plastic Cloud:|
The Plastic Cloud - 1968
In July of 1967, the Jefferson Airplane took up a week-long residence at the massive O'Keefe Centre in Toronto, and then played an additional outdoor freebie in front of some 20,000 souls in the sun...
||The Adanac Reply:|
What Would It Be Like? / The Other One - 7" - 1968
Guitarist Thom Nelson originally formed the Nocturns in Calgary in 1960, and like many a budding rock star at the time, plied a Shadows-influenced brand of instrumental rock and roll. It wasn't unt...
Give Us Back Elaine! - 1968
The Rabble, a criminally obscure assortment of hippies from Montreal's western suburbs, were riding a wave of popularity in 1968 after having scored locally with their fetching 'Golden Girl' ...
Blow Up / Blues Finding - 7" - 1968
The orthographically challenged Evolution Expantion unleashed this devilishly rare seven-inch on Art Young's hip Montreal-based Trans-World label, home to local faves the Haunted and the Rabble, som...
Free Psychedelic Poster Inside - 1968
As the experimental electronic duo Intersystems, synthesizer pioneer John Mills-Cockell and performance poet Blake Parker put out three records in the late 1960s: the relatively acoust...
Harlem Lady / I Put a Spell on You - 7" - 1968
Saskatoon's Witness Inc were no doubt riding high after the success of their second single, the Frankie Laine classic Jezebel - that one sold a surprising 50...
||The Nihilist Spasm Band:|
No Record - 1968
Taking their cue from the "spasm bands" of early New Orleans, essentially motley collections of musicians performing on found objects, London, Ontario's Nihilist Spasm Band are a fine example of bot...
|| The Fringe:|
Plastic People / Nancy Brown - 7" - 1968
The Toronto-based Fringe were one of the most celebrated and exciting Canadian psych acts to emerge in Canada in the late sixties, so much so that Quality Records at the time hailed them as "Canada'...
||The Grass Company:|
Once a Days / Once a Child - 7" - 1968
Kim Mitchell was just sixteen years old when Sarnia (ON) natives the Grass Company crossed the border and headed down to nearby Detroit to record this long-forgotten psych seven-incher. Of course, ...
||Les Loups Blancs:|
Je sais que tu mens b/w Sylvianne - 7" - 1968
Les Loups Blancs were so far behind the times that they almost seem like trailblazers. The Montreal band used to deck themselves out in matching Beatles suits and bleached-blond coiffures (hence t...
Influence - 1968
Montreal, in French-speaking Quebec, is not the obvious place you would find British musicians at the height of the 1960s rock explosion. But that's exactly where two expatriates reunited by chance ...
Merryweather - 1968
The mid-to-late 1960s California rock landscape was littered with Canadian expatriates jostling for a record deal and the allure of fame and fortune. By the end of the decade, Canadian musicians we...
Witch Doctor b/w Mister Fantasy - 7" - 1968
The Valhalla got their start in Toronto back in 1967 and issued this hyper-rare single the following year for Merv Buchanan's now-sought-after Trend label. The band were a five-piece consisting of ...
||United Empire Loyalists:|
No, No, No / Afraid of the Dark - 7" - 1968
By the time the United Empire Loyalists got around to releasing this deliciously rare seven-inch - the only piece of wax they would ever make - they were already fixtures on the west coast undergrou...
Black Day in July / Pussywillows, Cat-Tails - 7" - 1968
It was actually more of a black night in July.
The Detroit riots of 1967 were certainly not the first there - the city had previously erupted in the summer of 1943 leaving 34 dead a...
||Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers:|
Does Your Mama Know About Me / Fading Away - 7" - 1968
In his autobiography, Tommy Chong described the Calgary of his childhood as "more like Mississippi than California in the way that black people were treated." It was precisely in such an environmen...
||The Poppy Family:|
Beyond the Clouds / Free from the City - 7" - 1968
Susan Jacks (nee Pesklevits) started out young - at the age of seven to be precise - and by fifteen was singing regularly on TV. But the cherubic singer with the most beguiling of voices had to be ...
||The Ugly Ducklings:|
Somewhere Outside - 1967
Nineteen sixty-six was the year pop's voice cracked, when its squeaky clean Beatles complexion broke out in the pimply scruff of garage rock all over North America. From the Chocolate Watchband out i...
The Rabble - 1967
The Rabble were five boho lads from Pointe Claire on Montreal's west island who played a nominally funky, oddly eccentric alternative to the Haunted's straight-on garage rock. Their first album is ...
You Come On Too Strong / Golden Girl - 7" - 1967
The Rabble got their start in 1966 when guitarist Mike Harris teamed up with singer John Pimm and guitarist Rick Metcalfe in Pointe Claire over on Montreal's west island. However, despite releasing...
Sinerisme - 1967
Les Sinners flitted between English and French-speaking Montreal, a place where the stone structures along Rue St.-Jacques, once the storehouse of stolid anglo wealth, sat just around the corner from ...
The Haunted - 1967
Mid-sixties fuzzbox-driven garage rock was ubiquitous across North America in 1966 and the Montreal area was no exception. Local legends the Haunted, with guitarists Jurgen Peter and Al Birmingham at...
Girl, I Want You / Endless Dream - 7" - 1967
A mint copy of this insanely obscure psych nugget would probably set you back a few thousand bucks if you managed to track down a copy. What little is known about the record comes from a YouTube po...
Go Away b/w Bound - 7" - 1967
The Underworld were a garage band managed by Jed McKay (of Toronto combo It's All Meat) along with fellow Meatster Rick McKim, whose father was rather conveniently po...
||The Ugly Ducklings:|
Postman's Fancy / Not for Long - 7" - 1967
The Ugly Ducklings' fourth single sees them dabbling in psychedelia to limited success. The b-side, 'Not for Long', is the better of the two tracks here, a summery slice of pop existentialism, languo...
Carnivals and Cotton Candy / Peter Zeus - 7" - 1967
The Sault Ste. Marie-based Amen - weekly regulars at their local Teen Centre - spent much of 1966 toiling about northern Ontario, venturing as far as Lakehead University in Thunder Bay as well as to ...
Wish I Could See You Again / Girl - 7" - 1967
Like the Amen, (Those) Rogues came out of the tiny, though curiously fertile, Sault Ste Marie (Ontario) scene. The five-piece is known to have played at a place called the Sundown Room as well as i...
Les Miserables - 1967
In the early sixties as the instrumental combo Les Coronets, these Montreal high school buddies belted out covers of all those trendy Ventures and Shadows tunes at local high school dances, sometime...
||M.G. and the Escorts:|
A Someday Fool / It's Too Late - 7" - 1967
From suburban Pointe-Claire, on Montreal's west island, M.G. and the Escorts saw some chart action at local radio station CFCF with their 1966 debut seven-incher, the rather lame merseybeat of 'Plea...
||Inferno 5 Plus 1:|
I Can Take It / Fay's Gig - 7" - 1967
As Inferno 5, guitarist Lance Whitman, singer John Bell, bassist Wayne Wallace, drummer Leslie Maki and Dave Powers on keyboards, were in charge of keeping the locals entertained at the Inferno club...
Jezebel / Not You Girl - 7" - 1967
Out of the prairies - Saskatoon to be exact - came local heroes the Witness Inc., who got their 15 minutes' worth with their second seven-incher for Apex, a cover of the Frankie Laine hit 'Jezebel' th...
||The Quiet Jungle:|
Ship of Dreams / Everything - 7" - 1967
Toronto's Doug Rankine and the Secrets scored huge in early 1966 with a rather goofy novelty hit, a quintessentially Canadian ode to the burly Toronto Maple Leaf forward Eddie Shack call...
||The Threads of Fybre:|
Mama / Believe Me - 7" - 1967
From the tiny village of St. Clement's near Kitchener, Ontario, the Threads of Fybre were a rather fleeting concern, allegedly performing not more than ten times in their entire career. Nonetheless, ...
Half Past Midnight / Weatherman - 7" - 1967
Following on the success of early rock 'n' rollers the Esquires, Ottawa's most successful sixties group got their start in 1963 as the backing band for local DJ and singer Dean Hagopian, releasing a...
||The Northwest Company:|
Hard to Cry b/w Get Away from It All - 7" - 1967
Things were happening big time on the west coast in 1967, not just in California, but all the way up the Pacific to places like Vancouver. Bands like the Painted Ship and the Collectors had their r...
||The Eyes of Dawn:|
Little by Little / Kaleidoscope - 7" - 1967
After the modest success of their debut seven-inch 'Time to Be Going', which had seen some local chart action earlier in the year, the Eyes of Dawn lost the...
||The Mike Jones Group:|
Each and Every Day / Funny Feeling - 7" - 1967
The Mike Jones Group was originally formed in the early months of 1966 by a couple of high school buddies, singer Michel Lachance (a.k.a. Mike Jones) and guitarist Bob Panetta. The Montreal five-pie...
Opportunity / Lost Love - 7" - 1967
As the Rogues, and then later as the Five Rogues, keyboard player Josef Chirowski, bassist Don Elliot and drummer Whitey Glan cut their soul teeth in the clubs around Toronto's Yorkville and Yonge Str...
In the Evening / Faded Colors - 7" - 1967
The Stonemen's lone single is criminally obscure, with only a handful of copies known to have survived the sixties, and with such a paucity of information about the band out there in cyberland that ...
Do What You Want / Detroit - 7" - 1967
The Nocturnals were actually part-owners of the cleverly named Grooveyard, a happening nightclub over in New Westminster, B.C. that played host to r'n'b acts from 1965 to 1968. The band had been ki...
||The Painted Ship:|
Audience Reflections / And She Said Yes - 7" - 1967
After the regional success of their fantastic double-sider Little White Lies / Frustration, William (the Captain) Hay and his Painted Ship sailed into the s...
Je cherche / Elle n'a rien compris - 7" - 1967
Back in the early 1960s, Saint-Hyacinthe was sort of Quebec's version of Liverpool. The charming city of 50,000 just east of Montreal punched way above its weight, giving birth to a number of cool ...
|| The Paupers:|
Magic People - 1967
For someone giving Magic People a spin for the first time, there is a point midway through the track 'It's Your Mind', precisely when the blithe rhythms segue into the sort of sunshiny chorus...
||The Eyes of Dawn:|
Time to Be Going / Ignorance and Hardship - 7" - 1967
Formed in Ottawa in 1966, the five-piece Eyes of Dawn won a Big 9 battle of the bands contest across the river in Hull, Quebec, leading to a six-month stint as the house band at the La Petite Souris...
||R. Dean Taylor:|
There's a Ghost in My House / Don't Fool Around - 7" - 1967
R. Dean Taylor started singing at various open-air country and western shows when he was just 12 years old, and by 21 the Toronto native had already issued his first record, the pop/rockabilly floor...
Out to Get Light / Cool Summer - 7" - 1967
Right about the time that Montreal's Our Generation were enjoying their first quarter hour of fame, courtesy of their version of Muddy Waters' 'I'm a Man' o...
Never Say Die / Mama Rand's - 7" - 1967
This totally forgotten Montreal band released a few singles in the 1960s on the Columbia and Capitol labels, the best of which is probably this cool double-sider, which according to Billboard magazi...
Looking at a Baby / Old Man - 7" - 1967
The Collectors were probably Vancouver's premier psychedelic band and the only one at the time, aside from the Poppy Family, to have the bulk of their records also released south of the border. The...
||Christine et Ses Copains:|
Mon mini-croulant / Parce que je suis petite - 7" - 1967
The very short-lived Christine et Ses Copains recorded at least three groovy singles on the Elysee label in Quebec before seemingly vanishing into thin air. The Montreal five-piece was fronted by t...
Avoir raison / Un autre ami - 7" - 1967
In the summer of 1967, while Expo '67 was drawing in hordes of visitors over on Montreal's Ile Ste-Helene and anglophone bands like the Rabble and the Haunted pushed envelopes over on the west islan...
||The New Wing:|
The Thinking Animal / My Petite - 7" - 1967
The fertile late-sixties Alberta scene saw a number of bands head south to record at recognized American studios. That list would include Wes Dakus and the Rebels, Barry Allen, Happy Feeling and th...
Le p'tit popy / La generation d'aujourd'hui - 7" - 1967
The seeds of Les Chanceliers started to germinate in Montreal as far back as 1963 when guitarist Gilles Briere formed an instrumental quartet and dubbed it Les Chancellords. But it wasn't until 196...
||Luke and the Apostles:|
Been Burnt / Don't Know Why - 7" - 1967
Mike McKenna had found fleeting fame fronting a blues band called Mike's Trio, playing regular nights at the Cellar Club in Toronto's rapidly changing Yorkville neighbourhood. But sometime in 1964,...
A Place to Stand b/w A Place to Stand - 7" - 1967
Had it not been for Ontario's one-time unofficial provincial anthem, the talented musician, composer and arranger Jerry Toth would be even more forgotten than he already is. The Windsor (ON) native...
||Jack Hennig and the Breaking Point Group:|
Busy People / Maybe Tomorrow - 7" - 1967
Edmontonian Jack Hennig, a blond hunk of a singer who kept good ol' Albertans hopping throughout the seventies with his country and western sounds, actually had a secret psychedelic past that few kn...
Once Upon a Hundred Years - 1967
It is doubtful whether Giuseppe Agostini spoke much English or French when he arrived in Montreal in 1915 with his wife and one-year-old son Lucio, but one thing is for sure. As a former bandleader...
||David Clayton Thomas and the Bossmen:|
Brainwashed / Barbie-Lee - 7" - 1966
Even back in the day, when David Clayton-Thomas was riding high as the frontman for Blood Sweat and Tears with their string of top-ten international hits, few knew that the golden-throated singer wa...
||Douglas Rankine with the Secrets:|
Clear the Track Here Comes Shack / Warming the Bench - 7" - 1966
The Secrets were just a bunch of teenagers playing at the Toronto Pressmen's Club sometime in late 1965 or early '66 when the CBC's Brian MacFarlane approached them with an idea he had. Singer and ...
||The Ugly Ducklings:|
Just in Case You Wonder b/w That's Just a Thought That I Had in My Mind - 7" - 1966
By late 1966, the Ugly Ducklings were ascending the throne of Toronto's Yorkville scene, with their debut single 'Nothin'' having shot to #18 on the CHUM radi...
||The Painted Ship:|
Little White Lies / Frustration - 7" - 1966
Vancouver's Painted Ship first hit the water as the Wee Beasties when budding poet/vocalist William "The Captain" Hay teamed up with
guitarist Rob Rowden out at the University of British Columbia in...
Tomorrow's Ship / Isn't It Strange - 7" - 1966
As members of Jack London and the Sparrows, bassist Nick St. Nicholas and the fraternal drum/guitar duo of Jerry and Dennis Edmonton enjoyed a string of Canadian hits on Capitol in the years 1964 and ...
La poupee qui fait non / Il n'y a rien au monde que... - 7" - 1966
Like most francophone pop bands in Quebec during the 1960s, Les Sultans were busy churning out French-language versions of all those popular anglo hits, starting with 'Toujours devant moi' (a cover ...
Mon Pays - 1966
Singer-songwriter, poet and Quebecois icon Gilles Vigneault got his first break in 1958 when folk singer Jacques Labrecque agreed to record his song 'Jos Monferrand', written in 1957 and marking the y...
1-2-5 / Eight O'Clock in the Morning - 7" - 1966
As Haunted guitarist Jurgen Peter tells it, the Beatles-era Montreal music scene in the mid-1960s was not much different from the rest of Canada at the time, rife with garage bands of varying talent, ...
||The Mynah Birds:|
It's My Time / Go On and Cry - 7" - 1966
Though they were never actually released at the time, these obscure Mynah Birds sides are probably two of the most important unreleased songs in the entire history of pop music. And if that sounds...
||The Ugly Ducklings:|
Nothin' / I Can Tell - 7" - 1966
Under the droll moniker the Strolling Bones, gigging locally as a Rolling Stones cover band wasn't getting Dave Bingham, Roger Mayne and company very far, so the band changed to the grittier sounding ...
The Face of Time / We Were Meant to Be - 7" - 1966
Thunder Bay's Plague were a quintet consisting of guitarist Donald Brown, singer/saxophonist Tom Horricks, bass player George Stevenson, keyboardist Joel Stapansky and drummer Lynn McEachern. The b...
Enregistre a Paris - 1966
Released the same year as Gilles Vigneault's iconic Mons Pays LP, Enregistre a Paris finds the Quebecois chansonnier in the City of Lights, where he...
I'm a Man / Run Down Every Street - 7" - 1966
In the mid sixties Montreal's anglo suburbs on the western part of the island were a hotbed of garage rock, with bands like the Haunted and M.G. and the Escorts kicking up quite a storm locally. Th...
You Gotta Try / Hung Up on You - 7" - 1966
Originally from the small town of Almonte (about 40 km southwest of Ottawa), Thee Deuces started out as an instrumental combo in 1964. A forty-seven-week residence at the Inter-Provincial Hotel acro...
Pour tout dire / De toi - 7" - 1966
During their brief existence, Les Loups put out four singles between the years 1965 and 1967. But for the Quebec five-piece of singer Maurice Paquin, guitarists Robert Paradis and Daniel Giroux, ba...
Baby Send for Me / Shake Yourself Down - 7" - 1966
In their brief existence, the Checkerlads released just three singles, the best of which has got to be this scorching piece of garage punk. The Regina quintet of Arnold Rippliner, Robert Frei, Rob...
||The Gentle Touch:|
Visitors Parking Only / One Way Ride - 7" - 1966
The Gentle Touch were formed in the Hammer - that's Hamilton to the tourists - roundabout 1965. The quartet of Jeff Snider, Alex Harrington, Ron Boyes and Bruce Ley were originally known as the Ph...
Gloria / Ma Lili Hello - 7" - 1966
These barely pubescent youngsters from Lachute, just to the west of Montreal, would likely never have committed any music to wax had it not been for a fortuitous hook-up with the fledgling music mog...
||The Canadian Squires:|
Uh Uh Uh / Leave Me Alone - 7" - 1965
In 1963 Ronnie Hawkins was the unofficial mayor of Toronto's Yonge street strip. He and his backing band the Hawks belted out their southern r'n'b, like the thunderous 'Who Do You Love?', nightly at ...
Like a Dribbling Fram / Someday (the World Will Be as Lovely as Before) - 7" - 1965
The mid-1950s to the early seventies were not only the heyday of the forty-five but also the time of hit novelty records, from Buchanan and Goodman's 'Flying Saucer' all the way through to Ri...
|| David Clayton Thomas and the Shays:|
Take Me Back / Send Her Home - 7" - 1965
David Clayton-Thomas spent the better part of his childhood either on the receiving end of a physically abusive father or mired in Ontario's rough-and-tumble penal system. So when the 20-year-old T...
||The Guess Who:|
Shakin' All Over / Till We Kissed - 7" - 1965
Though it was a number one smash for Johnny Kidd and the Pirates in England in 1960, 'Shakin' All Over' was really not well known outside Europe until a bunch of lads from the Canadian prairies deci...
||Roy Kenner and the Associates:|
Without My Sweet Baby / Baby You're What I Need - 7" - 1965
This was the first release on Merv Buchanon's Trend label. Roy Kenner was a charismatic soul singer who wowed crowds - the ladies especially - with his good looks, boundless energy and James Brown ...
(He Makes Me) Feel So Pretty / Is He Really Mine? - 7" - 1964
After the success of her floor-stomping 'Big Town Boy'
- a top-ten single in Canada around Christmas 1963 - Shirley Matthews certainly must have felt like...
The Sultan / Aurora - 7" - 1963
Boasting a 17-year-old tyke by the name of Neil Young on guitar, this seven-inch of plucky guitar instrumentals by Winnipeg's Squires is perhaps the rarest and most sought-after of all Canadian record...
Big Town Boy / (You Can) Count On That - 7" - 1963
Shirley Matthews was born in shadow of Motown, in Harrow, Ontario, just south of Windsor, but eventually made her way up to r'n'b-obsessed Toronto, where she found herself gigging at the venerable o...
In My Imagination / Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt - 7" - 1963
Neil Ship knew from an early age that he wanted to be in the music business. The Montreal lad attended his first audition at the early age of thirteen. But as he recounts on his LinkedIn page, livi...
Any Other Way / Sticks and Stones - 7" - 1963
In the staid old Toronto of the 1960s, Jackie Shane would have stood out like a sore thumb. The flamboyant r'n'b singer was not only openly gay in an era when most were hiding in their closets, but...
||Chad Allan and the Reflections:|
Tribute to Buddy Holly / Back and Forth - 7" - 1962
As the Silvertones, and then as Al and the Silvertones, singer-guitarist Chad Allan had assembled an early rock and roll band that included fellow Winnipeggers Randy Bachman, Jim Kale, Gary Peterson a...
At Folk City - 1962
For Bonnie Dobson, protest singing must have run deep in her veins. The Toronto-born singer-songwriter was the daughter of a trade unionist who would send her to socialist camps when she was barely...
Experiment Songs - 1961
In the late fifties, songwriters Lou Singer and Hy Zaret conceived of a series of educational LPs to teach curious kids about the wonders of modern science. The six recordings were sheathed in fasc...
||Jack Bailey and the Naturals:|
Oh What Love Is / Beneath the Moonlight - 7" - 1961
During his short lifetime, Jack Bailey rarely ventured from his home in Peterborough, Ontario. He was perhaps the most talented musician ever to come out of the Kawartha Lakes region, but a relucta...
The Way I Walk / Midgie - 7" - 1959
Dave Marsh called Jack Scott "undeniably the greatest Canadian rock and roll singer of all time". Though considered by many to be Detroit's first white rock and roller, Scott actually grew up on the...
Storm in My Heart / Anne Marie - 78 rpm - 1957
Few people buy doo wop reissues these days and thus few people remember that the Chantones were Jack Scott's vocal backing group. Fewer still are aware that this Windsor-based quartet had a chart-...
Little Darlin' / Faithful and True - 7" - 1957
For Dave Somerville, it wasn't so much being in radio as being on the radio. The Diamonds' lead vocalist was gainfully employed at the CBC in Toronto when a fortuitous hook-up there led to t...
My Boy - Flat Top / In Love - 7" - 1955
As a precocious pre-teen, Windsor-born Marjorie Chandler could be heard singing on local radio stations on both sides of the Detroit River. But her real date with destiny would come to her a few ye...