braking teeth


the sewage album
Wednesday 13 January 2010, 16:47
Filed under: film, lists, projects

1. Black Sludge/Basement Flood

2. Taken Care of Business Plan: AAA – Alberta Arts Activism

3. Boyfriends are Recording at My House, My House

4. Moving In February Part II Feat. The Perfect Walk-up

5. No More Moves Unless/Until We Leave Edmonton

6. I’m Not Sure How I Feel About ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer

7. Sweat Pants Summit 2010 Feat. Sarah P Missing: KC

8. George Washington Was Even Better The Second Time

9. ACE BUTCH/ShitFr3nzy Is In The Mix

10. The Weird Canada Forum May Change Your Life

11. Resolutions

I. Do Not React

II. Listen

III. Process

IV. Responses Can Wait

12. Our Life Works

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it’s not regular
Friday 14 August 2009, 11:11
Filed under: projects

[this post was started on July 24th. i haven’t had a minute to spare for blogging.]

“It’s not regular”

That’s what the dude at Castle Pita, the Lebanese market just west of MacEwan arts campus, said when I asked him what the carbonated yogurt drink was like. He also said the opaque white drink in my hand wasn’t “like Coke”. His description was so accurate (see: drinking fizzy liquid cheese). Throwing out food is a huge faux pas to me but I couldn’t persevere; I tossed my irregular soft drink half way through the battle. Would you carry around a dairy drink that was noticeably fermenting with every sip at high noon in July? Don’t judge me.

*            *            *

Illfit recorded at Macewan this week for a summer recording class that Nik Kozub teaches. We did it last year too but the results were kind of brutal. Last time we came in the day before heading on our first real tour. The session was rushed and plagued with troubles getting the right tempo for Band Back Together.  Plus Nik’s students weren’t really feeling us so any interaction beyond the studio window was like pulling teeth.

Band Back’s kind of a barn burner. So far we’ve only been able to do it justice live unlike ‘Goodnight Edmonton’ which has yet to come off believably for an audience. Liam’s girlfriend (who deserves to be introduced as the best solo introspective lofi lady with a guitar in town rather than just my bandmate’s girl friend) Jessica Jalbert and Caity Fisher cooked up a cover based on a rethought guitar part by Liam. Their innovation blows our 90s feedback jam out of the water at least in terms of live playability. Hopefully with their approval I can post it to our myspace soon.

Anyway, this time around the basement of MacEwan was way better. This was our first recording without Doug Hoyer. I can comfortably say that we are more than satisfied with our newest draft pick on bass, Catherine Hiltz (of Storyboard, Whitsundays, Hot Panda, and nearly every notable Edmonton pop band in recent memory needing one more set of skilled hands to play the parts that full time members couldn’t fill). We breezed in, set up rather quickly, fired off two songs, ate an odd lunch, threw down some vocals & percussion, and we were out. Easy peasy.

Unfortunately we didn’t record any new songs. As an exercise in writer’s block we revisited two songs from our endlessly “forthcoming” second EP, ‘The Answer is No’ and ’10 A.M. Riser’. Nothing notable was added to the latter but ‘Answer is No’ went surprisingly well. Liam set off a blazing bluegrass solo (video to be posted later) and upon his suggestion I did a three part airy harmony with myself on the half-time bridge. Without much coercion we even got the recording students to do a gang vocal “NO!” hopefully solidifying an exceptional memory of a summer recording class.

I decided not to push my luck by asking for another day off work so we weren’t available to do a second day of recording. Nik booked the Wet Secrets for the second session later this week. Surely their session with or without full marching regalia also etched an indelible memory for the budding engineers.

I returned to my stuffy office pretty pleased disregarding the wages that I had forfeited to lay down another recording that may never be heard let alone released. The state of Illfit Outfit’s lackadaisical potential is an unending frustration.

Pause

Sometimes it just takes a good day of recording or an unexpectedly synchronous show to remind me how much I love this project. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep putting effort into it though. Pop is getting me down. A solo outlet might be just what I need.



get your ass outta bed, i’ll explain it on the way
Monday 20 July 2009, 11:58
Filed under: absorb, party, photos, projects, shows

(i’ve decided to link everything from now on)

too much happening!

Last MONDAY i don’t recall…

TUESDAY Illfit Outfit played with Parlovr from Montreal and a previously unheardof opener, The Futuremen, at Likwid Lounge. Luckily it was the debut performance of the Futuremen so they had a handful of eager fans providing very vocal feedback (mostly appreciative) until the more seasoned typical show goers arrived near the end of Parlovr’s set. I was apologetic to the gents for the slim attendance -I didn’t say so, but I anticipated lack of promotion and our three shows in the previous weeks might make for the worst attended illfit show in recent memory- but they were  so freaking upbeat and positive it didn’t get them down. The emtpy spaces in the room certainly didn’t have any effect on the ferocity of their show. They were just as awe-inspiring as when I last saw them in the same showcase as Mt. Royal whom I sat in for at last Halifax Pop Explosion. Maybe more so.

Right after their set an influx of people filled up the room. I was kicking myself for not having pushed the promoter, Mark Hayes formerly of MBP aka Mark Birtles Project, harder to let Illfit open instead of headline. That would have been ideal. I really wish more people had seen them. Next time they play Edmonton I will be even more dilligent in spreading the word but I don’t think that will be necessary. I am absolutely convinced that they’re radness will have them much talked about soon.

The trio, Alex, Jeremy and Louis, definitely have the attitude that I am beginning to conclude is essential for indie bands to turn talent into success. Enquiring about their tour so far I don’t remember hearing a single word about poorly attended shows, hunger, fatigue, shitty promoter experiences, none of that. Actually a promoter in Saskatchewan canceled two days prior to the show leaving PARLOVR with two unbooked days. They found the silver lining and had a blast camping both nights.

Anyway, they are one of my favorite Canadian bands right now on account of their attention commanding live show, steller personalities and fucking top quality raw, danceable, & supersingable songs. I wish them the best. I should tell them so.

WEDNESDAY 90’s party rehearsal…

90s

shout outs to what seems to be the Dance Mix 95 cover incorporated into Catherine's poster design

THURDAY Daniel returned to Edmonton for his show at Brixx with Hank & Lily (by the way, people sure love spectacle). He’s been in Vancouver where he can legitimately live busking through a winter rather than subsist as he was here in Edmonton. As I had anticipated he called three days before the show asking myself and the other members to perform unrehearsed. Somehow the promoter mistakenly booked the DB Buxton Revue instead of Daniel solo. Anyway, we played for nearly an hour for the first time since March (when he last breezed into town) but for the bassist Dave Farhall (THE fucking ACE bass man in Edmonton I would say) it was the first time playing Daniel’s music since February.

Back in the day we were really well rehearsed and we usually anticipate eachother’s improvisation pretty easily so it wasn’t an issue to conjure up the recollections of form. Sometimes it amazes me how supernatural musical ability is- mostly when I observe non musical individuals trying to clap or carry a tune. On one hand we definitely can’t take credit for being graced with inherent aptitudes that we never think twice of but maybe performing isn’t so effortless as it seems. Daniel and I have gotten into several arguments about whether or not born-in musical ability exists. His perspective is that abilities can only be taught or learned. I think that’s ridiculous for obvious reasons.

Natural talent aside, like many musicians, I have studied music since I was wee. It is such a slap in the face having to hound promoters for payment or act thankful for being paid after hauling heavy shit, waiting for the late soundman to bitch and moan about soundchecks (he definitely never has to volunteer his services), spending upwards of 5 hours of my time in their venue to make them money that nowhere near compensates me for the tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours invested into studying music for 22 years of my 26 year life. Such is life.

Don’t get me wrong, if I am stoked about an playing on a sick bill, playing for a cause, or  helping a touring friend or good promoter in a pinch money isn’t an issue. But when a bar is gaining patrons that would be elsewhere if not for the show who pay at the door then proceed to eat and drink, there is no reason for the band(s) who drew the crowd to grovel for a pittance let alone leave empty handed. Simple as that. If you are a musician in Edmonton then you will know exactly who I am talking about. If you aren’t, I am talking about promoters at the Starlite and its basement, Brixx aka Velvet Underground aka Victory Lounge.

Still, i love music.

FRIDAY The 90’s party at CIRCLES had a promising start with DJ’s Sarah (smallcaps) & Karen Campos spinning bumpin hits of yesterdecade, NES games projected onto a wall, illegal beers, and veggie pizza-a-plenty.

go90s

my so called 90s outfit consisting of items i wear normally

I was convinced that Illfit shouldn’t hurry into our covers of Moist, Wallflowers, Chris Isaac, Macarena (Thievery Corp, dubstylee on the spot), White Town, and U2 @%&#!!! Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. Delaying the start proved to be a bad idea. The party got busted by the 5-0 halfway through the Boyfriends set. I think we only managed to play three songs of our set: Song 2 by Blur, a Blink 182 cover and ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’. Yes, it is not actually a 90s song but it was on the soundtrack for the movie starring Ms. Angela Bassett released in the 90s. We had just begun the raunch dirge that is Cranberries ‘Zombie’ when a male and female officer sauntered in.

Jay, CIRCLES resident and propietor, stepped outside with them as I was starting to mouth them off.  My candor may have been due to the Red Bull, beers and Grand Marnier but I seriously have a problem with the Edmonton Police DIService. I’ve had too many experiences of calling them for help only for them to be of no help and/or not show up. Seeing them harass the homeless, manhandle jaywalkers, use tasers irresponsibly, and generally show preference for protecting the property of the wealthy (their real job) has turned me off completely. “Thankfully” the officers didn’t write Jay a $2500 ticket. This city is such bullshit. Jay is putting on parties for people that aren’t content to attend the usual douchebag bars and hipster hangouts in a neighborhood that needs serious revitalization. I understand why bylaws and licenses exist but they certainly harsh our rad.

Boyfriends didn’t get to perform our covers of Cranberries, Bran Van 3000 (Drinking in L.A.!) or the reprise of our four alarm Spice Girls medley so I was temporarily bummed. A subsequent 20 minute kitten discussion with a handful of loyal CIRCLES regulars finishing last beers turned things around, as always.

The musical highlight of the night for me was Illfit’s operatic trio outro in leiu of string section outro to that badass song from the Batman Forever soundtrack. Our singing is definitely improving. Liam’s intonation is becoming killer and my voice is beginning to match the suppleness of his. FUN

SATURDAY, SUNDAY, TODAY – so much awesome stuff to be added after my chili picnic with Shamira.



you can’t cash that until tomorrow anyway
Wednesday 15 July 2009, 17:15
Filed under: bike, job, projects

I’m dyin’.

Far be it from me to complain about having a cushy desk job in a bike shop where I get to smell tires and surf the internet all day BUT (maybe I should end this post right here)…

This job is legit but I would much rather be riding my new folder outside, taking a nap in a park, or watching BSG.

I have nothing to complain of.

* * *

Doug sent me a working schedule for our tour in October. Yeah! I’m going on tour with Doug Hoyer and Michael Rault for a whole month. So far the plan is to go east as far as Halifax for the Pop Explosion festival then make our way back to Edmonton. I hope and astral project that we will be able to swing a leg out to the west coast. There is nothing more encouraging than seeing flowers in November but I doubt we will see them.

Stoked!

Shamira plans to fly out to us in Montreal or maybe for the festival, thereby avoiding the hellish Northern Ontario long haul. Seeing her should alleviate some of my inevitable lovesickness.

A-maz-ing!

* * *

Four shows this week! Three bands! More to follow…



he’s a bird dog
Sunday 21 June 2009, 10:39
Filed under: absorb, family, projects

Sean Nicholas Savage

i can’t stop singing his songs. with their simplicity, ease and abundance i can entertain myself for an entire afternoon intimating bites of snack length tunes.

today is my dad’s birthday. it is also father’s day. sean’s music reminds me of my dad. gerald “jerry” roberts could conjure a jaunty (if not raunchy) song from his memory of living in the days before radio, the days before rock, and the days before music needed to feign cynicism or style.

studying a performing art especially in a classical style can lead a performer to believe that the execution of something particularly difficult in a “perfect” manner validates their training. it does. it doesn’t mean that impeccable intonation, theory knowledge, timing, chops, or unending convoluted verse will effectively express the loneliness of a city, the thrill of biking in summer, of the loss of love.

pop is a battlefield. i often feel that i should be creating something more serious, more experimental, more challenging. then i listen to sean’s music and remember that proficiency should not be confused with relevance.

*           *           *

today is my dad’s birthday. it is his third posthumously. it will be the third that has come and gone without me scattering his ashes in Coaldale as i had planned. apparently a 6 month time line for mourning was too short.

i am working on something. so far it is only in my mind. i’m gathering memories or forging them from scraps of family annecdotes to create a project that will hopefully shed some light on how my father’s side came to be the way they are. we are. i am calling it Sugar Beet League.