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Recording Reviews

Brave Radar -- Message Centre EP Brave Radar:
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...
SWO8 Blues/Jazz -- Monkey of Sousse SWO8 Blues/Jazz:
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 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...
Tapeheads -- Bricolage I & II Tapeheads:
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...
The Pinecones -- Ooh! The Pinecones:
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 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 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' ...
The Darcys -- Hymn for a Missing Girl - 12 The Darcys:
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 ...
Marie Davidson -- Perte d'Identite Marie Davidson:
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 ...
Lydia Ainsworth -- Right from Real - Part I EP Lydia Ainsworth:
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...
Plastikman -- Ex Plastikman:
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 -- Alvvays Alvvays:
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...
Slight Birching -- Cultural Envelope Slight Birching:
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...
Coyote -- Proof of Life EP Coyote:
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 -- Absolutely Free Absolutely Free:
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 -- Last Ex Last Ex:
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...
The Taste -- Sea Legs EP The Taste:
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...
Sea Oleena -- Shallow Sea Oleena:
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 ...
Locomotive Ghost -- Seasons Locomotive Ghost:
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...
Vogue Dots -- Mauka EP Vogue Dots:
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...
Hiss Tracts -- Shortwave Nights Hiss Tracts:
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...
Esmerine -- Dalmak Esmerine:
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 -- Dam Ships EP Dam Ships:
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...
Rachel Zeffira -- The Deserters Rachel Zeffira:
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...
Union Duke -- Bandits and Bridges Union Duke:
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...
Saltland -- I Thought It Was Us But It Was All of Us Saltland:
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 -- ANAMAI cassette EP ANAMAI:
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 -- Mavo 7 Mavo:
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 ...
Weaves -- Motorcycle (download single only) Weaves:
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 ...
Fresh Snow -- I Fresh Snow:
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 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...
Hooded Fang -- Gravez Hooded Fang:
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 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...
Freelove Fenner -- Do Not Affect a Breezy Manner Freelove Fenner:
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 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...
The Gertrudes -- Neighbourhood The Gertrudes:
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...
Valued Customer -- Kalpa Valued Customer:
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...
The Darcys -- Warring The Darcys:
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...
Uaxyacac -- Double Seeker EP Uaxyacac:
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...
Absolutely Free -- On the Beach / Clothed Woman, Sitting - 12 Absolutely Free:
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 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 Slakadeliqs -- The Other Side of Tomorrow The Slakadeliqs:
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 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...
Sheer Agony -- Pet Crow + 3 EP - 7 Sheer Agony:
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 -- Plumes Plumes:
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...
Bishop Morocco -- Old Boys EP Bishop Morocco:
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...
The Darcys -- Aja The Darcys:
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...
Faunts -- Left Here Alone EP Faunts:
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...
Mahmood Schricker -- Null Mahmood Schricker:
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! 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...
TOPS -- Tender Opposites TOPS:
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...
Zeus -- Permanent Scar / The Darkness - 7 Zeus:
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' / '...
Pat Jordache -- Future Songs Pat Jordache:
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...
Esmerine -- La Lechuza Esmerine:
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...
Braids -- Native Speaker Braids:
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...
Austra -- Feel It Break Austra:
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...
Ohbijou -- Metal Meets Ohbijou:
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...
Duchess Says -- In a Fung Day T! Duchess Says:
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...
1-Speed Bike -- Pashto Translator Needed 1-Speed Bike:
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 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...
Tim Gilbertson -- Palisades Tim Gilbertson:
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 ...
Bella Clava -- The Craic: An Ephemeral Record EP Bella Clava:
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 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 -- Siskiyou Siskiyou:
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...
Khora -- Silent Your Body is Endless Khora:
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 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...
Charles Spearin -- The Happiness Project Charles Spearin:
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...
The Hylozoists -- L'Ile de Sept Villes The Hylozoists:
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 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 -- Timber Timbre Timber Timbre:
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 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 -- Years Years:
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 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...
Final Fantasy -- Spectrum 14th Century EP Final Fantasy:
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...
Katie Stelmanis -- Join Us Katie Stelmanis:
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 ...
Donzelle -- Parle Parle, Jase Jase Donzelle:
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 -- Crystal Castles Crystal Castles:
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...
Brasstronaut -- Old World Lies EP Brasstronaut:
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 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) 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...
Hrsta -- Ghosts Will Come and Kiss Our Eyes Hrsta:
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...
Citywide Vacuum -- Pact Citywide Vacuum:
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...
Feu Therese -- Ca Va Cogner Feu Therese:
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...
Holy Fuck -- LP Holy Fuck:
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 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 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 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...
Final Fantasy -- He Poos Clouds Final Fantasy:
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 -- Feu Therese Feu Therese:
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...
The Dears -- Whites Only Party +2 EP The Dears:
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 ...
Lullabye Arkestra -- Ampgrave Lullabye Arkestra:
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 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...
Afrodizz -- Froots Afrodizz:
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...
Ohbijou -- Swift Feet for Troubling Times Ohbijou:
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...
Junior Boys -- So This is Goodbye Junior Boys:
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 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,...
The Hylozoists -- La Fin du Monde The Hylozoists:
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 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 Bicycles -- The Good, the Bad and the Cuddly The Bicycles:
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...
1-Speed Bike -- A Swimmer in the Ocean Is Not Afraid of the Rain - 7 1-Speed Bike:
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...
Shalabi Effect -- Unfortunately Shalabi Effect:
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...
Stars -- Ageless Beauty +2 EP Stars:
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...
Stars -- Your Ex-Lover is Dead / Fairytale of New York Stars:
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 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-...
Montag -- Alone, Not Alone Montag:
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 -- Wolf Parade EP Wolf Parade:
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 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...
The Dears -- Protest EP The Dears:
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 ...
Stars -- Heart Stars:
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 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 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 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...
Boy -- French Diplomacy EP Boy:
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...
The Constantines -- Nighttime Anytime EP The Constantines:
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 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...
The Hylozoists -- La Nouvelle Gauche The Hylozoists:
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...
The Dears -- Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique The Dears:
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 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 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 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 -- Hangedup Hangedup:
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 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 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 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 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 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 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...
Nick Holder -- Summer Daze - 12 Nick Holder:
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 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 ...
Plastikman -- Consumed Plastikman:
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...
Atomic 7 -- She's Got Haggar Slacks / Regret Nothing - 7 Atomic 7:
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 ...
P.J. -- Happy Days 12 P.J.:
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...
King Cobb Steelie -- Project Twinkle 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 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 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...
Wild Strawberries -- Grace Wild Strawberries:
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...
M1 -- Feel the Drums 12 M1:
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...
John Bottomley -- Library of the Sun John Bottomley:
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...
Bob Wiseman -- In Her Dream (Bob Wiseman Sings Wrench Tuttle) Bob Wiseman:
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 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 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 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...
Vital Sines -- Big Dark Dreams - 12 Vital Sines:
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...
The Dundrells -- Nothing on TV / Still, I Run - 7 The Dundrells:
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 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...
The Lawn -- Peace in the Valley The Lawn:
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...
The Gruesomes -- Jack the Ripper EP - 7 The Gruesomes:
Jack the Ripper EP - 7" - 1986

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 ...
Deja Voodoo -- Too Cool to Live Too Smart to Die - mini LP Deja Voodoo:
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...
The Nils -- Sell Out Young - 12 The Nils:
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...
Jolly Tambourine Man -- Apple Strudel Man / Sweater in Sri Lanka - 7 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 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 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 ...
The Asexuals -- Be What You Want The Asexuals:
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...
Tulpa -- Mosaic Fish Tulpa:
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 ...
Vital Sines -- Collage - 12 Vital Sines:
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...
Norda -- West Over Seas (+ 2) -12 Norda:
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...
Bernard Bonnier -- Casse-Tete - Musique Concrete Bernard Bonnier:
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 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 ...
D.O.A. -- General Strike / That's Life  - 7 D.O.A.:
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 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 ...
Porcelain Forehead -- Right Now the World Needs a Clear Head EP - 7 Porcelain Forehead:
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...
Class Info -- Inside - 12 Class Info:
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...
The Trifids -- Brainbroom / Invincible - 7 The Trifids:
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...
Urban Scorch Compilation -- Urban Scorch Compilation (cassette only) Urban Scorch Compilation:
Urban Scorch Compilation (cassette only) - 1982

An obscure but invaluable document of early-eighties post-punk in Toronto, this cassette-only compilation features four bands, each contributing some 15 minutes of music - it's a C-60 if you do the ma...
The Dub Rifles -- No Town, No Country EP - 7 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...
D.O.A. -- Right to Be Wild - 7 D.O.A.:
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 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 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...
L'Etranger -- Innocent Hands - 12 L'Etranger:
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 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. ...
Deja Voodoo -- Monsters in My Garage + 3 EP - 7 Deja Voodoo:
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...
Contradance -- Black Preppies EP - 7 Contradance:
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 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 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...
The Government -- How Many Fingers? - 12 The Government:
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 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...
Ceramic Hello -- The Absence of a Canary Ceramic Hello:
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 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 ...
Vital Sines -- Subway Suicide + 2 - 7 Vital Sines:
Subway Suicide + 2 - 7" - 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 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...
The Spys -- Underground  / Machine Shop - 7 The Spys:
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 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...
Kinetic Ideals -- Life in Shadow/Maze of Ways - 7 Kinetic Ideals:
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 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. Ne the K-Tels in February ...
The K-Tels -- Automan EP - 7 The K-Tels:
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 -- Drastic Measures Drastic Measures:
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...
The Modernettes -- Teen City - 12 The Modernettes:
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...
The Bureaucrats -- Feel the Pain / Grown Up Age - 7 The Bureaucrats:
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 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 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 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...
Null Set -- New Job - 12 Null Set:
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...
D.O.A. -- Something Better Change D.O.A.:
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...
Hi-Fi's -- I Don't Know Why (You Love Me) / Look What You've Done - 7 Hi-Fi's:
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...
The Government -- 33 1/3 EP (Flat Tire + 3) - 7 The Government:
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 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...
Vancouver Complication -- (various artists) Vancouver Complication:
(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 ...
Active Dog -- Rat Race / Good Filthy Fun - 7 Active Dog:
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...
The Demics -- Talk's Cheap - 12 The Demics:
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...
The Dishrags -- Past is Past - 7 The Dishrags:
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 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...
The Government -- Electric Eye The Government:
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...
The Government -- Hemingway (Hated Disco Music) / I Only Drive My Car at Night - 7 The Government:
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...
The Payolas -- China Boys / Make Some Noise - 7 The Payolas:
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...
The Fits -- Bored of Education 7 The Fits:
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 -- Bombers 2 Bombers:
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 -- The Subhumans EP - 12 The Subhumans:
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...
Martha and the Muffins -- Insect Love / Suburban Dream - 7 Martha and the Muffins:
Insect Love / Suburban Dream - 7" - 1978

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...
The Pointed Sticks -- What Do You Want Me to Do? b/w  Somebody's Mom - 7 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...
D.O.A. -- The Prisoner / 13  -  7 D.O.A.:
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...
The Diodes -- Tired of Waking Up Tired / Child Star - 7 The Diodes:
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 -- Bombers Bombers:
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 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...
The Curse -- Shoeshine Boy / The Killer Bees - 7 The Curse:
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...
The Mods -- Step Out Tonight b/w You Use Me - 7 The Mods:
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...
Teenage Head -- Picture My Face / Tearin' Me Apart - 7 Teenage Head:
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...
The Ugly -- Stranded in the Laneway (of Love) / To Have Some Fun - 7 The Ugly:
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...
The 222s -- I Love Suzan/ The First Studio Bomb - 7 The 222s:
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...
Cardboard Brains -- Cardboard Brains 77  EP - 7 Cardboard Brains:
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...
The Poles -- CN Tower / Prime Time - 7 The Poles:
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) struck a ch...
The Viletones -- Screamin' Fist EP - 7 The Viletones:
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...
The Action -- TV's on the Blink - 12 The Action:
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 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 -- Kebekelektrik Kebekelektrik:
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 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...
Sloche -- Stadacone Sloche:
Stadacone - 1976

After the spacy prog-fusion of their superb debut J'un Oeil the previous year, Quebec's Sloche eased up a notch on the controls on their follow-up. The Chi...
Lougarou -- Lougarou Lougarou:
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, ...
Boule Noire -- Aimes-tu la vie comme moi? / Kiki d'Hollywood - 7 Boule Noire:
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,...
Dionne-Bregent -- ...Et le Troisieme Jour Dionne-Bregent:
...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 <...
Bill Amesbury -- Can You Feel It / Jessi - 7 Bill Amesbury:
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...
Harmonium -- Si On Avait Besoin d'une Cinquieme Saison Harmonium:
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...
Sloche -- J'un Oeil Sloche:
J'un Oeil - 1975

The upper reaches of the Saguenay River in Quebec - Chicoutimi and Jonquiere to our international readers - may be about as far away geographically and culturally from the traditional Anglo centres ...
Morse Code -- La Marche des Hommes Morse Code:
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 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 -- Carla Whitney (with Choker Campbell and the Super Sounds) Carla Whitney:
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...
Beau Dommage -- Beau Dommage Beau Dommage:
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 -- Harmonium Harmonium:
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...
John Mills-Cockell -- A Third Testament John Mills-Cockell:
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...
Huckle -- Upon a Once Time Huckle:
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...
Madeleine  Chartrand -- Ani-Kuni / Ca tourne en rond - 7 Madeleine Chartrand:
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...
Bregent -- Poussiere Des Regrets Bregent:
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...
Biggy Twiggy Band -- Mama Won't Let You b/w I Don't Want That to Change - 7 Biggy Twiggy Band:
Mama Won't Let You b/w I Don't Want That to Change - 7" - 1973

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...
Abraham's Children -- Time Abraham's Children:
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...
Horn -- On the People's Side Horn:
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 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...
Franck Dervieux -- Dimension M Franck Dervieux:
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 ...
Mashmakhan -- The Family Mashmakhan:
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...
Lighthouse -- One Fine Morning Lighthouse:
One Fine Morning - 1971

As Canada's entry in the big brass soul sound of the late sixties, Lighthouse was clinging tenuously to the second rung, behind Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Electric Flag and the Chicago Transit Author...
Syrinx -- Long Lost Relatives Syrinx:
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...
Jean-Pierre Ferland -- Soleil Jean-Pierre Ferland:
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...
Fear -- Wildwoodin' / Ace -7 Fear:
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 -- David Wiffen David Wiffen:
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...
The Magic Bubble -- The Magic Bubble 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 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...
Mashmakhan -- As the Years Go By / Days When We Are Free - 7 Mashmakhan:
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 -- Syrinx Syrinx:
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 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 -- Troyka Troyka:
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...
Bruce Haack -- The Electric Lucifer Bruce Haack:
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 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 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 -- Christmas Christmas:
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...
Motherlode -- When I Die Motherlode:
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 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 -- Windsor Tunnel Windsor Tunnel:
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...
L' Infonie -- Vol. 33 Mantra L' Infonie:
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 -- Life Life:
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...
The Cheyenne Winter -- Second Thoughts / Sit Awhile - 7 The Cheyenne Winter:
Second Thoughts / Sit Awhile - 7" - 1970

The 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 w...
Rick Wilkins and the Mutual Understanding -- Christmas with Rick Wilkins and the Mutual Understanding 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 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 ...
The Dorians -- Means and Ways / Help for My Waiting - 7 The Dorians:
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...
Trevor Dandy -- Don't Cry Little Tree Trevor Dandy:
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...
The Poppy Family -- That's Where I Went Wrong / Shadows on My Wall - 7 The Poppy Family:
That's Where I Went Wrong / Shadows on My Wall - 7" - 1969

When 17-year-old Susan Pesklavits 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...
The Churls -- Send Me No Flowers The Churls:
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 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. Unfortunately, p...
Shame Tree -- Junior Saw It Happen b/w My Little Buttercup - 7 Shame Tree:
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...
The Lyme -- Measles / I'm Only Dreaming - 7 The Lyme:
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 J.K. and Co.:
Suddenly One Summer - 1969

Until its recent 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, bu...
La Revolution Francaise -- Quebecois / Shoo-Doo-Bee-Do - 7 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...
Bent Wind -- Sussex Bent Wind:
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 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...
L' Infonie -- Vol. 3 L' Infonie:
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....
Rockadrome -- Royal American 20th Century Blues Rockadrome:
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... 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 -- David David:
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 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 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 -- The Churls The Churls:
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...
Cargo -- Front Side Back Side Cargo:
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 ...
Cathy Young -- A Spoonful of Cathy Young Cathy Young:
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...
Doomsday Machine -- Ain't Nobody Else / Toe Nails - 7 Doomsday Machine:
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...
The Folklords -- Release the Sunshine The Folklords:
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...
Mandala -- You Got Me / Help Me - 7 Mandala:
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...
Mock Duck -- Do Re Mi / Playing Games - 7 Mock Duck:
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 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 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...
Kensington Market -- Avenue Road Kensington Market:
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 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...
The Mandala -- Soul Crusade The Mandala:
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 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 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...
The Rabble -- Give Us Back Elaine! The Rabble:
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' ...
Evolution Expantion -- Blow Up / Blues Finding - 7 Evolution Expantion:
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...
Intersystems -- Free Psychedelic Poster Inside Intersystems:
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...
Witness Inc. -- Harlem Lady / I Put a Spell on You - 7 Witness Inc.:
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 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 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 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 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 -- Influence Influence:
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 -- Merryweather Merryweather:
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...
The Valhallla -- Witch Doctor b/w Mister Fantasy - 7 The Valhallla:
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 ...
The Ugly Ducklings -- Somewhere Outside 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 -- The Rabble The Rabble:
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 ...
The Rabble -- You Come On Too Strong / Golden Girl - 7 The Rabble:
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...
Les Sinners -- Sinerisme Les Sinners:
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 -- The Haunted The Haunted:
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...
The Media -- Girl, I Want You / Endless Dream - 7 The Media:
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...
The Underworld -- Go Away b/w Bound - 7 The Underworld:
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 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...
The Amen -- Carnivals and Cotton Candy  /  Peter Zeus  - 7 The Amen:
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 ...
(Those) Rogues -- Wish I Could See You Again / Girl - 7 (Those) Rogues:
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 -- Les Miserables Les Miserables:
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 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 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...
Witness Inc. -- Jezebel / Not You Girl - 7 Witness Inc.:
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 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 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, ...
The Staccatos -- Half Past Midnight / Weatherman - 7 The Staccatos:
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 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 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 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...
The Mandala -- Opportunity / Lost Love - 7 The Mandala:
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...
The Nocturnals -- Do What You Want / Detroit - 7 The Nocturnals:
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 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...
Les Lutins -- Je cherche / Elle n'a rien compris - 7 Les Lutins:
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 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 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 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...
Our Generation -- Out to Get Light / Cool Summer - 7 Our Generation:
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...
The Footprints -- Never Say Die / Mama Rand's - 7 The Footprints:
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 the groovy 'Never Say Die', which according to Billboard ma...
The Collectors -- Looking at a Baby / Old Man - 7 The Collectors:
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 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...
Les Talmud -- Avoir raison / Un autre ami - 7 Les Talmud:
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 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...
Les Chanceliers -- Le p'tit popy / La generation d'aujourd'hui - 7 Les Chanceliers:
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 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,...
Jerry Toth -- A Place to Stand b/w A Place to Stand - 7 Jerry Toth:
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 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...
David  Clayton Thomas and the Bossmen -- Brainwashed / Barbie-Lee - 7 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 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 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 radio charts. A coveted support gig for the Ro...
The Painted Ship -- Little White Lies / Frustration - 7 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...
The Sparrow -- Tomorrow's Ship / Isn't It Strange - 7 The Sparrow:
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 ...
Les Sultans -- La poupee qui fait non / Il n'y a rien au monde que... - 7 Les Sultans:
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 ...
Gilles Vigneault -- Mon Pays Gilles Vigneault:
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...
The Haunted -- 1-2-5 / Eight O'Clock in the Morning - 7 The Haunted:
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 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 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 Stonemen -- In the Evening / Faded Colors - 7 The Stonemen:
In the Evening / Faded Colors - 7" - 1966

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 ...
The Plague -- The Face of Time / We Were Meant to Be - 7 The Plague:
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...
Gilles Vigneault -- Enregistre a Paris Gilles Vigneault:
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...
Our Generation -- I'm a Man / Run Down Every Street - 7 Our Generation:
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...
Thee Deuces -- You Gotta Try / Hung Up on You - 7 Thee Deuces:
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...
Les Loups -- Pour tout dire / De toi - 7 Les Loups:
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 the third time was a definitely the charm. With a couple of forty-fives ...
The Checkerlads -- Baby Send for Me / Shake Yourself Down - 7 The Checkerlads:
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 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...
The Canadian Squires -- Uh Uh Uh / Leave Me Alone - 7 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 ...
Race Marbles -- Like a Dribbling Fram / Someday (the World Will Be as Lovely as Before) - 7 Race Marbles:
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...
Shirley  Matthews -- (He Makes Me) Feel So Pretty / Is He Really Mine? - 7 Shirley Matthews:
(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 Squires -- The Sultan / Aurora - 7 The Squires:
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...
Shirley  Matthews -- Big Town Boy / (You Can) Count On That - 7 Shirley Matthews:
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...
Neil Sheppard -- In My Imagination / Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt - 7 Neil Sheppard:
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...
Chad Allan and the Reflections -- Tribute to Buddy Holly / Back and Forth -  7 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...
Bonnie Dobson -- At Folk City Bonnie Dobson:
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...
Jack Scott -- The Way I Walk / Midgie - 7 Jack Scott:
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...
The Chantones -- Storm in My Heart / Anne Marie - 7 The Chantones:
Storm in My Heart / Anne Marie - 7" - 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-...
Dorothy Collins -- My Boy - Flat Top / In Love - 7 Dorothy Collins:
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...
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