Friday, April 15th, 2011
Bruce Peninsula blaze out trail for return
Bruce PeninsulaBy rights, we should have seen a new record from Toronto’s Bruce Peninsula ages ago. Their 2009 debut A Mountain Is A Mouth seemed a long time in coming from when the choral gospel-blues-folk collective began dropping jaws with their live shows, but after its release the band was everywhere and it seemed there was no slowing the momentum behind them.
But life, as it is wont to do, threw a curveball and in late 2010, after their second album had been recorded and they should have been planning how next to spread their word, frontman Neil Haverty was diagnosed with leukemia and the healing power of music would have to take a back seat to the healing power of medicine. Happily, some months later, Haverty is in remission and the Bruce Peninsula is getting back into gear.
While the album doesn’t yet have a firm release date, the band are laying down a trail from here to there and calling it the Bruce Peninsula Fire Sale – a series of releases and goodies intended to renew acquaintances and remind folks of why this band was one of the city’s most interesting new acts not so long ago. The first installment is a cover of Loudon Wainwright III’s “Swimming Song” – complete with video – and though it’s someone else’s song, the sound and arrangement is quite unlike anything we heard on Mountain – more refined, less primal and kind of revelatory. If this is just the start, then I can’t wait to hear what’s to come. Welcome back.
On a less celebratory note, Vancouver’s You Say Party are going on an indefinite hiatus following a harder year than any group of people should have to endure. They’re being clear not to call it an ending, but taking some much-needed time off. And by way of going away gift, a pretty terrific new video from last year’s XXXX though I gotta say, a touch disappointed by the dearth of dancing midgets.
The Leader-Post talks to Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon about flying solo on his current cross-Canada tour along with Jon Janes of The Mountains & The Trees and Magali Meagher of The Phonemes. The tour is winding down now and will wrap on April 21 at The Tranzac in Toronto. He’s posted a quick summary of the jaunt so far and posted a radio session MP3.
Laura Ballance’s shiv-wielding, hard-drinking, fight-picking cat takes centre stage in the new Superchunk video from Majesty Shredding. Their vinyl reissue of Here’s Where The Strings Come In is at the top of my Record Store Day shopping list, and beyond the incentive of it being remastered and not being scratched to shit like my CD copy, it will come with a bunch of bonuses including acoustic demos and a download of The Clambakes Vol. 5: Cup of Clams live set circa 2003.
Video: Superchunk – “Crossed Wires”
Drowned In Sound sits down with Alan Sparhawk of Low for an interview, a song-by-song annotation of the just-released C’Mon and a video performance of one of the songs from the record. eMusic also has an interview with Sparhawk and Square with Mimi Parker. They are at The Mod Club on May 2 and have just released an Uncle Jesse-powered video from the album.
Video: Low – “Try To Sleep”
And the Soundgarden reunion which rather surprisingly didn’t saturate the festival circuit last year, is coming to town – they’ve a date at the Molson Amphitheatre for July 2, with fan club presale starting next Monday.
Video: Soundgarden – “Spoonman”