Sunday, January 13, 2013
2012 YEAR END REVIEW...
Well, locally it's been a year of big change for the local scene. The biggest change was the closing of not one but two important live music venues. The Manhattan and the Oxygen Club (both on Westmorland Street) were regularly hosting shows with the Manhattan catering both to small regional acts as well as national/international touring artists while the Oxygen was the larger room dedicated to acts selling thousands of units. The venues were not perfect. The former was a cavernous concrete echo chamber on some nights despite the best ability of the soundman while the latter sounded great but often had one large beer sponsor for the bigger shows so punters were subjected to Molson products all night without a choice in the matter. Despite these minor complaints, a city the size of Moncton was very very lucky to have these venues. Many great evenings of swell debauchery were had so a big thanks to the former owners, promoters and all the staff for the good times.
Where there is change, there is also opportunity so it was with great delight that we learned that local music promoter/booker Dana Robertson will now ply his trade at Le Caveau (downstairs at the O.C. Club) which is situated at 700 Main Street. According to Dana, we should expect to see the return of Rockin' For Dollars nights and as well as having the pleasure of a decent PA system. The bar is currently undergoing some major renovations but should soon be open in the new year. Joining Dana at Le Caveau will be some of former Manhattan staff namely bartender extraordinaire Chris Lewis.
PJ Dunphy of Iron Giant fame is also doing some booking of his own at the much storied and sanctified Esquire Tavern. He's taking things slow and plans on having not more than one or two shows a month concentrating on local bands. It is very much an old school approach with no stage and a rented PA. Should be a blast.
Brock Gallant (drummer for the Divorcees) continues booking talent at the tiny and cozy Plan B Lounge (corner of Lutz and St. George Street). The variety is eclectic which is a fantastic thing. In a one month span, it would not be uncommon to see bluegrass, jazz, folk, acoustic blues, pop-punk, trash metal, hardcore, electronica and country. This bar keeps getting (well-deserved) accolades from industry professionals and touring bands who need a Monday night show. A real musicians hangout. The only complaint is that beer prices are quite high which is very restrictive for younger music-minded rockers. I suggest the one litre draught tankard. It is the best bang for your buck.
On the higher-end scale of things with a clientele base that is largely made up of young professionals with an ear for music, is the Tide And Boar. Good food and a decent beer selection makes this an interesting destination for the Canadian indie rock bands who make this a frequent stop.
Spin-It Records (467 Main Street) went through a major expansion this year and as a result have started hosting occasional in-store performances with many more to come according to sources.
La Patente (Archibald Street) is a cool downtown abode that opens itself up smallish house gigs usually advertized on Facebook. Shows are over by 11PM and runs on a Pay What You Can honor system.
The Gummi House (High Street) has ceased hosting punk shows because a sum of money went missing during an event. An unfortunate end to a D.I.Y. endeavour.
Fear of Lipstick, the city's pop-punk mainstays managed to release their second full-length on Germany's ultra-cool P-Trash label. They haven't gigged too much but are still very much a going concern with plans to attend this year's Ottawa Explosion already firmed up... The Beaten Hearts lost a member when guitarist Derek Lounder called it quits early in the year. The band carried on as a four-piece with a tougher sound and then surprisingly became a quintet again when Lounder rejoined a couple months ago. They hope to record soon... Earth AD, Moncton's best-loved metal band, came out of retirement for a few shows and despite the reluctance of some members, we predict more things in the future for this trio...The Virals, the young, talented Ramones-worshipping pop punk quartet broke up this year when their bassist left the fold are promising a return early in 2013 with the line-up intact. They should however consider changing their name as there is an American band with the same moniker with some recordings under their belt already. Just saying... Rabid Reaction did a live off-the floor recording session but nothing has become of it so far...
2012 saw some fresh faces as well as some not-so fresh faces in different incarnations make some interesting noise. The funnest band that I've seen in a while has been the Impulse Items made up of two crusty hardcore types and two punk n' roll types. Ridiculous lyrics set to catchy KBD music with a young front-man who has studied the moves created by the likes of Darby, Stiv and Iggy... Thalidomy Kids are a great new trio formed after the demise of The Kamalas. They are taking sound cues from the Wipers among others and managed to release a cassette a few months ago... One of the most anticipated new acts is Feral Trash. They are comprised of Fear of Lipstick and Thalidomy Kids members. Chief songwriter Eric Daigle says it's unlike anything he's ever done before... Which Witch Is Which? are a new band that have been rehearsing for a few months and are set to make their debut early this year. They feature the unlikely pairing of PJ Dunphy (Iron Giant) and Dan Cadera (Dead Fucks) and two young tarts playing some punk rock...
SOCIAL MEDIA SHAKE UP:
The recent loss of the Moncton Locals Message Board has been detrimental to blokes like me who do not use Facebook. User numbers were way down with most people communicating through other means. Shared information is vital for any counter underground culture so this precipitated the return of the Ale Knight Gazette.
REST IN PEACE:
Musician/Artist Claude Leger died on Nov 16, 2012 at 45 years of age at his residence. Claude was well-known locally as a past member of Idea of North. The bilingual group were active during the 1990's and were especially popular among the francophone independent arts community. Claude was also a member of Peace Frog and 6 Foot 3 during the late 1980's. He will be missed.
MY BEST SHOWS OF 2012:
Filly And The Flops @ Plan B
Doc MacLean @ Plan B
Ronnie Hayward @ Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival
Outtacontroller @ Plan B
Bruce Springsteen @ Magnetic Hill
Deer Tick @ Tide And Boar
D.O.A. @ Old Cosmo
Petunia @ Cafe Aberdeen
Supersuckers @ The Manhattan
Mark Sultan @ The Manhattan
2012 MUSICAL TOP TEN:
We've asked some friends to name us some of their favourite releases of the year. Some comments have been edited due to space...
Ray (AKG Editor, beer drinker, book reader, street walker)
in no particular order
Voivod - Mechanical Mind 7"
Redd Kross - Researching The Blues LP
Bad Brains - Into The Future LP
Outtacontroller - Don't Play Dumb LP
Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros - Live At Acton 2LP
OFF! - s/t LP
Fear of Lipstick- Seasons LP
Real McKenzies - Westwinds LP
Dum Dum Girls - End of Daze 12" EP
Napalm Raid - Mindless Nation 12"
Pete Leger (Man in the E4L postal Code)
Beach Boys - Smile (reissue) CD
Every Mother's Son - Come On Down, complete recordings
Jeff Lynne - Long Wave CD
Johnny Cash- Complete Columbia Albums 63 CD Box Set
Bob Dylan - Tempest CD
Graham Bond - Wade In The Water, Classics Originals and Oddities 4 CD Box Set
Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs - Best of... (itunes download,the only compilation that has everything a fan needs, same as circa 1996 Rhino comp)
Robin Gibb - Robin's Reign (itunes download, otherwise unavailable for years)
Kinks- At The BBC 6 CD Box Set
String Driven Thing - String Driven Thing CD reissue.
Daryl Buote (Quispamsis correspondent, ex-gig attendee, born again headbanger)
1 Fear of Lipstick - Seasons LP
2. Burning Love - Rotten Thing To Say LP
3. Neurosis - Honour Found In Decay (download as the vinyl doesn't come out til feb 2013)
4 Scott Kelly, Steve Von Til and Wino - Tribute To Townes Van Zant CD
5. P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. - MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT LP
6. Bonecrusher - Blvd of Broken Bones LP
7. The THREADS - Love And Other Bad Decisions LP
8. Asphyx - Death Hammer CD
9. Wolfbrigade - Damned LP
10. Arctic Flowers - Procession LP
Shane Mazerolle (bassist, vocalist for EARTH A.D.)
in no particular order
Rush-Clockwork Angels CD
Prong-Carved Into Stone CD
Mumford and Son-Babel CD
Joel Plaskett and the Emergency-Scrappy Happiness CD
Mo Kenney- s/t CD
Billy Talent- Dead Silence CD
Cody Chesnutt- Landing On a Hundred CD
The Real McKenzies- Westwind CD
Regina Spektor- What We Saw From the Cheap Seats CD
The Sword- Apocryphon CD
Glenn Bourgeois (bassist, prog archivist)
10. Flo Rida "Wild Ones" (most likely also available on vinyl somewhere)
9. Rush "2112 (Super Deluxe Edition)"
8. Neil Young and Crazy Horse "Psychedelic Pill"
7. Beachwood Sparks "The Tarnished Gold" LP
(also available on limited edition gold (you got it) double-10" LP)
6. Les Hay Babies "Folio CDEP" (Self-referential note: Breaking the seemingly intentional trend of each inclusion in the Top 10 growing in musical duration...!)
5. Gentle Giant "Free Hand (CD+DVD)"/"I Lost My Head: The Chrysalis Years" (so far, only available on CD, though the lack of digital format may be more so due to the fact these are both UK imports)
4. Sloan "Twice Removed (Deluxe Edition)" (vinyl and digital editions only)
3. Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" (Deluxe edition DVD, Blu-Ray, softcover book and double-7" vinyl)
2. FOCUS "X"
1. Fun. "Some Nights"
Craig Pinhey (writer, sommelier, beer geek)
1. Field Music - Plumb (England, Prog/Pop)
What to Drink: Something complex, refreshing and British, so how about a Gin and Tonic, using Plymouth Original London Dry Gin $28.99.
2. John K Samson - Provincial (Canada, Rock/Pop)
What to Drink: We don’t get any Manitoba products, so I’ve chosen an excellent western whisky. Dark Horse ($29.99) is the latest offering from Alberta Premium, who are well known for making Canadian whisky from 100% Rye, giving it a spicy, full flavour. This has more oak influence, giving Bourbon-like notes.
3. Aimee Mann - Charmer (USA, Rock/Pop)
What to Drink: Something smooth but also fresh, so how about the Gustav Lorenz Reserve Sylvaner ($16.79), one of my favourite white wines at the ANBL.
4. John Southworth - Easterween/West Coast Persona/Failed Jingles for Bank of America and Other US Corporations (Canada, Orchestral/Lounge/Pop)
What to Drink: Absinthe, with cold water added until it turns cloudy (approximately 5 parts water to 1 part Absinthe). Be sure to use New Brunswick’s own Courailleuse, made by Distillerie Fils du Roy ($62.99).
5. Mike O’Neil - Wild Lines (Canada, Rock/Pop)
What to Drink: Garrison Hop Yard ($12.98/6), a very refreshing hoppy session ale brewed in Halifax.
6. Adam Mowery - St . Joseph's Mechanical Penthouse (Canada, Pop/Indie)
What to Drink: Big Tide Seaworthy IPA, brewed in Saint John, available by the Growler or on tap at Big Tide.
7. Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur (Canada, Folk/Rock/Pop)
What to Drink: This enigmatic singer songwriter was born in Ottawa, so I’m drinking one of my favourite enigmatic Ontario wines, Henry of Pelham Baco Noir, $16.99, an oaky, juicy and spicy red.
8. Graham Parker & The Rumour - Three Chords Good
What to Drink: this good honest rock and roll deserves a good honest English ale, like Duchy’s Organic Old Ruby Ale $3.99.
9. Joe Jackson - Duke
What to Drink: This is cocktail music, and one of my favourites is the Manhattan, which certainly was one of Jackson’s favourite places until the smoking ban. Make your Manhattan with Forty Creek Barrel Select Whisky from Ontario, $24.99, or their “amped-up” version, Copper Pot, $29.99.
10. Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind
What to Drink: This energetic band needs a wine with zippy acidity Ben is American, so how about the refreshing Firesteed Riesling from Oregon, $19.99.
Tyler Boutilier (stun-gun guitarist, ex-drinker)
10. CJ Ramone- Reconquista LP
9. Midnite Snaxxx- s/t LP
8. Mind Spiders- Meltdown LP
7. Fear Of Lipstick- Seasons LP
6. Outtcontroller- Don't Play Dumb LP
5. Cheap Time- Wallpaper Music LP
4. Tyvek- On Triple Beams LP
3. OBN III's- s/t LP
2. Mean Jeans- On Mars LP
1. Baddat For Trubbel- Vardighet. LP
Mark McGrath (runner, smiler, music addict)
1) Pallbearer: "Sorrow & Extinction" 2xLP
2) Beach House: "Bloom" CD
3) The Shins: "Port of Morrow" CD
4) Farrer, Johnson, Parker, Yames : "New Multitudes" CD
5) Nada Surf : " The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy" CD
6) First Aid Kit: "The Lion's Roar" CD
7) Neil Halstead: "Palindrome Hunches" CD
8) Mumford & Sons: "Babel" CD
9) Wintersleep: "Hello Hum: CD
10) Stars: " The North" CD
Mark Gaudet (Frank's Music, Robins, Purple Knight, cultural ambassador)
2.Blackmore's Night-A Knight In York
3.Bad Brains- Into The Future
4.Redd Kross- Researching The Blues
5.Van Halen- A Different Kind Of Truth
8.Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - Shock-U-Py
9.Dischage- Early Demos 1977
10.Mantas-Death By Metal (Reissue)
Damian Saiz (Boston correspondent, music junkie)
Napalm Death - Utilitarian (CD)
Killing Joke - MMXII (CD)
First Aid Kit - the Lion's Roar (CD)
Arctic Flowers - Procession (12" ep)
Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten (CD)
OFF! - s/t (CD)
Whores. - Ruiner (CD)
Corrosion of Conformity - Eye for an Eye (deluxe reissue CD)
Dead Can Dance - Anastasis (CD)
Unsane - Wreck (CD)
Bing (DJ, investigator of the unusual)
1. Bruce Springsteen live at the Magnetic Hill
2. Flying Lotus live show and release of album ''Until the Quiet Comes''
3. Les Hay Babies - ''Folio'' CDEP
4. Azealia Banks - "212" single
5. The beginning of a Disco comeback, with a wave of remixed singles by The Reflex and Brennan Green.
Dan Cadera (graphic artist, man about town, bass player)
1. Steel Panther – British Invasion Live Blu Ray/DVD. Most hilarious band ever.
2. Off! -s/t LP
3. Black Keys - El Camino LP (December 2011!)
4. Outtacontroller - Don’t Play Dumb LP
5. Public Enemy - 25th Anniversary Vinyl Box Set.
6. Mean Jeans - On Mars LP
7. Fear of Lipstick - Seasons LP
8 Electric Six - Absolute Pleasure Live LP
9. Skinny Puppy - Bootlegged, Broke And In Solvent Seas Live LP
10. Joey Ramone - Ya Know? LP
Kyle McDonald (sound engineer, musician, promoter, beard)
#10 Gnod - Chaudelande Volume 2 LP (Tamed Records)
#9 Fontanelle - Vitamin F LP (Southern Lord)
#8 High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis LP (E1 Music)
#7 Melvins Lite - Freak Puke LP (Ipecac)
#6 OFF! - S/T LP (Vice)
#5 Rush - Clockwork Angels 2LP (Anthem)
#4 Torche - Harmonicraft LP (Volcom Entertainment)
#3 Cauldron - Tomorrow's Lost LP (Earache)
#2 Pallbearer - Sorrow And Extinction 2LP
#1 Om - Advaitic Songs 2LP (Drag City)
Grant Forsythe (cranky rocker from the capital city)
10. Antidote - No Peace In Our Time CD (Bridge Nine)
9. Exile - s/t 7" EP (Unrepentant)
8. Off! - s/t CD (Vice)
7. Standard And Poor - Let's Take Care Of Our Own 7" EP (D-Spite My Height)
6. Symbol Six - s/t LP* (Doctor Strange)
5. Outtacontroller - Don't Play Dumb LP (P Trash)
4. Channel 3 - Land Of The Free/Make It Home 7" (Hostage)
3. The Mob - Back To Queens/That's It 7" (Weathermaker)
2. The White Barons/The Hookers split 7" (Champagne And Cocaine)
1. Fang - Here Come The Cops CD (Malt Soda Recordings)
* This is a test pressing of an album that was scheduled to be released in the fall but has been put back to this spring. How does a Canadian east coaster have an advance copy of a west coast band on a west coast label? What can I say? I'm people that knows people. :)
Eric Neurotic (Spin-It Records, Fear of Lipstick, Feral Trash, Fucking Scam Records, etc..)
#10 Various Artists - Are you with the band? LP (Paper & Plastic)
#9 Night Birds - Fresh Kills vol.1 LP (Grave Mistake)
#8 The White Wires - WWIII LP (Dirtnap)
#7 Big Eyes - Hard Life LP (Don Giovanni)
#6 Mind Spiders - Meltdown LP (Dirtnap)
#5 Sonic Avenues - Television Youth LP (Dirtnap)
#4 Lost Sounds - Lost Lost LP (Goner)
#3 White Lung - Sorry LP (Deranged)
#2 Neon Piss - s/t LP (Deranged)
#1 Outtacontroller - Don't Play Dumb LP (P.Trash)
Remi Vienneau-Leclair (Comic Hunter)
1. Rush - Clockwork Angels (LP + CD)
2. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory (LP)
3. Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence (LP)
4. Brendon Small - Galaktikon
5. mewithoutyou - Ten Stories
6. Graveyard - Lights Out
7. Japandroids - Celebration Rock (LP)
8. Colour Haze - She Said
9. Motorpsycho - The Death Defying Unicorn (LP + CD)
10. Mental Architects - Celebration