Sunday, March 4th, 2007
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 67
It’s a special Canadian Music Week edition this week! Woot!
|The Besnard Lakes / The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar/Outside)
If you put this record on without me knowing what it was and told me it was the new Low, I may very well have believed you. Of course, you also would have had to convince me that they were taking all sorts of psychedelics, being produced by Brian Wilson, inviting J Mascis to guest on lead guitar and going through a serious 70s rock phase but otherwise yeah – totally believable. But no, while the Besnard Lakes are also fronted by a married couple, they hail from Montreal, not Minnesota, and boast a lineup at least twice as large. The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse is a sonically dense work, often seeming to fold in on itself as it walks the line between nimble and lumbering, joyous and terrifying, but always engrossing and while maybe a little exhausting, still worth the trip.
The Besnard Lakes are at Lee’s Palace on March 9 and then all over SxSW, including the Filter party at the Cedar St Courtyard on March 15 at 3:15 and then their official showcase at the Mohawk at 8:30PM. There’s also more but I don’t remember right now.
|Santa Dog / Kittyhawk (Quince)
Bristol, UK’s Santa Dog take me back – not because we have any history, but because they remind me so much of the classic days of Britpop. Not the raging Oasis-vs-Blur laddism that most people remember, but the female-fronted guitar acts that had their moment in the spotlight in the mid-90s. Think Sleeper and Echobelly and the latter in particular. Santa Dog singer/guitarist Rowena Dugdale’s exuberant vocals are reminiscent of a chirpier Sonya Aurora Madan, especially in the way her accent wraps itself around every sound and syllable though this may be delightful only for non-Brits, I don’t know. The band definitely know their way around a pop hook and while there’s no knockout single that could be their “In-Betweener” or “King Of The Kerb”, I would say it’s just a matter of time before they get theirs and do great things.
Kittyhawk is out in late April on Japanese label Quince and via import here, there and everywhere. Santa Dog play the Boat on March 8 as part of the Pitter Patter Festival, at Clinton’s on March 10 as part of CMW and then head down the QEW for another Pitter Patter event at Absinthe in Hamilton on March 11.
|Funky Nashville / Hitch A Ride (215)
Though I try not to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s hard not to assume the worst when presented with a name like “Funky Nashville”. But for this Danish trio, it’s a wholly unironic if somewhat inaccurate descriptor. They’re far more southwestern in flavour than country and while (thankfully) not very funky in the James Brown sense, they do dwell in a deep, twangy groove that only feels a little bit stiff at times. Lyrically, they sound like, well, three Danes trying to write country music but their musical acumen and slick production compensate for any cliches or shortcomings in that department. Someone put these guys on a soundtrack.
They appear to have the whole of their album available to download off their website so if you like what you hear, go get more. They’ll also be carpet bombing CMW with shows at the Rivoli on March 8, an instore at Sam The Record Man on March 9 at 4:30PM, an afternoon appearance at The Hideout on March 10 (I’ve no idea where that is) and another showcase that night at the Silver Dollar. Then the following week in Austin they play SxSW with a showcase at Uncle Flirty’s Loft at 9PM.