Sunday, October 14th, 2007
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 79
|The Cake Sale / The Cake Sale (Yep Roc)
A collective made up of mostly Irish artists, The Cake Sale was initially conceived in 2005 as a benefit for Oxfam’s “Make Trade Fair” campaign. Over the course of the next year, the likes of Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Damien Rice, Glen Hansard (The Frames), Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol) and Josh Ritter contributed both words and voices to the benefit album which would go on to be certified double platinum in Ireland and will be released in North America this coming Tuesday. As you might expect from a record designed to be as accessible (and thus saleable) as possible, it sits squarely in realm of MOR radio pop – all very pretty and elegant and mostly innocuous but if there’s a standout track, it’s the contribution from Gemma Hayes. She performs one of Glen Hansard’s compositions from the soundtrack to Once and infuses it with a longing and sadness that stands in stark contrast to the other songs on the record. It’s as though she didn’t receive the memo that real emotion was to be checked at the studio door. But even if it’s a bit bloodless overall, the record’s heart is in the right place and only good karma can result from buying it.
|The Mohawk Lodge / Wildfires (White Whale)
When I hear “Mohawk Lodge”, my mind drifts to the White Lodge and Black Lodge from Twin Peaks and that’s actually not a complete non sequiter, because Mohawk Lodge hail from Vancouver so thinking of the rainy Pacific Northwest isn’t totally random. And they sound like it. Like lumberjack coats, like towering spruce trees. Like solid, stoic men with dirt under their nails who keep things close to the vest but with the help of a drink or five, will step up on stage, take the mic and play until the sweat washes the blues out of their collars.
The Mohawk Lodge are currently on tour across Canada and will be in Toronto twice in the next week or so – at the Boat on October 17 and the El Mocambo on October 23, both shows with labelmates and collaborators Octoberman.