Archive for July, 2007

Patrick Watson – Eye Weekly (7.19.07)

July 24, 2007


Cover story on Polaris Prize nominee Patrick Watson.


BATTLES – Eye Weekly (7.12.07)

July 16, 2007

Battles go AWOL from their musical histories, earning them a chest full of medals

“Holy shit, what are we going to do now?” thought Ian Williams when he finally got the four members of Battles in a room together after their slow, loosely organized assemblage. Like the danger of stacking a bad script with good actors, he was well aware that the fact that his own past in math-rock heroes Don Caballero – along with ex-Helmet/Tomahawk drummer John Stanier, ex-Lynx guitarist Dave Konopka and wunderkind solo multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton’s respective notoriety – was no means to an end. “Everybody was plenty talented,” he says between cellphone drop-outs en route to Portland, “but it didn’t mean that it was going to be a good band.”

After three years of measured exposure and limited releases, their much-anticipated full-length debut Mirrored is enjoying rave reviews and even something of a hit single in the eye- and ear-catching simplicity of “Atlas” (with its shiny video and thump-de-thump groove). Needless to say, Williams’ caution has been assuaged. Far more than the sum of its parts, Battles is a distinctive musical force less interested in who they are than what they are doing.

The short version of Battles’ formation goes like this: (more…)

Dammed – Spacing (Summer 07)

July 7, 2007


A piece on the G Ross Lord Dam and Reservoir for Spacing‘s Water issue. You have to go buy this one.

The Raw Shark Texts – Ukula (6.29.07)

July 4, 2007


Trying to make sense of Steven Hall’s stunning debut novel The Raw Shark Texts, a Jaws-inspired narrative about conceptual fish.

A date with DD/MM/YYYY – Eye Weekly (6.28.07)

July 4, 2007


From tiny YMCA gigs to big-name opening slots, every show is different. Who’s the real DD/MM/YYYY?

DD/MM/YYYY feel right at home counterbalancing the possible capsize of a rickety picnic table, and not just because we’re sitting in the northwest tip of Trinity Bellwoods Park.

A few weeks ago, singer/keyboardist Matt King, guitarist Jordan Holmes and bassist Michael Claxton set up DIY-assembly-line-style on a similar surface in southern California to silkscreen 150 promo versions of their new album Are They Masks? The copies made their way into the hands of new converts acquired during their first trip through the US as part of an ambitious two-month tour, spending the first half with Brooklyn’s Japanther before cutting loose on their own to play an eclectic series of venues including art galleries, a landfill site’s beach, a half-pipe and even a mortuary-turned-theatre-space in Detroit. (Our interview took place during a brief three-day return to Toronto between gigs in South Carolina and Baltimore.)

The tour, the new record and even the collector’s-item freebies are all the culmination of three and a half years of intense shows, hard work, side projects and a series of fortunate events.

Originally planned as a six-song EP, the sprawling tangle of tripped-out aggression and ambiguous phrases on Are They Masks? ballooned to 21 tracks after they finished recording the first three songs at Roger Leaven’s Boombox Studio and, according to Holmes, “He just said, ‘I want to record an album.’ We just kept going with it and ended up getting 21 songs out of it. He was into the project on a creative level, too, so he was encouraging about it.”