Monday, February 28, 2011

Artist: Infidels, Album: Infidels, Song: 100 Watt Bulb

"It's like an itch that you scratch, don't tell no lies.  It's like a hundred watt bulb burning in your eye."  The Infidels were a Toronto band that released their self titled debut in 1991 with the label, I.R.S..  The principle members were Molly Johnson and Norman Orenstein.  The duo were in another band during the late eighties by the name of Alta Moda (see blog 6/27/10).  The Infidels had more of a harder rock sound than the previous band.  The album opener, 100 Watt Bulb, was the lead single from the album which got a lot of radio and video play in Canada.  The band toured the country in support of the album as well.  The studio recording included some big names in Canadian music like Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar) and Billy Newton Davis.  Unfortunately, the band lost their momentum during the time it took to release another album.  Their label was also going through some financial troubles and another band in the U.S. began recording under the same name.  Molly never really left the limelight, appearing on a number of other artist's releases like Tom Cochrane and Blue Rodeo.  She would eventually release her first solo album in 2000 and is still recording and releasing music today.  She is also a host on CBC radio 2.  Norman currently owns his own production company in Toronto and composes music for television and film.  The Infidel's self titled debut is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon and Ebay between $5 and $50.  You can watch the video for the song, 100 Watt Bulb, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Artist: Beautiful 2000, Album: What It Is, What It Was, What It Could Be, Song: Good Diamond

"I can't begin to tell you just how I feel.  You would never believe me if I told you I was telling the truth."  Beautiful 2000 were a Toronto band that released their first EP in 1998.  They were featured in CFNY's new rock search that year.  The trio was comprised of brothers, Marc and Danny Stapleford as well as Mez Dilauro.  Their EP caught the attention of Jay Ferguson from the band, Sloan.  That connection enabled the band to open for Sloan during their university tour.  The band released their first full length in 1999, entitled, What It Is..., What It Was.... , What It Could Be.  It was a great album full of jangly pop gems, like this track, Good Diamond.  The band had some good support from College Radio and remarkably, did well selling their tracks for movies and television.  They would go on to release a couple more albums between 1999 and 2003.  Your best place to get your hands on this album is at  It doesn't appear that the band is still together.  There is a MySpace page though (  All three members are still active in music.  Mez Dilauro is actually in a new band called, How I Won The War, and runs a recording studio in Toronto, called, Studio W19.  You can hear the track, Good Diamond, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Artist: House Of Commons, Album: Do The Fuddle Duddle Single, Song: Funky Fuddle Duddle

The year was 1971 and our then, Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, was accused of mouthing the words, "F#$k Off" at members of the opposition party in the House Of Commons.  It obviously caused quite a stir and the Prime Minister never admitted to saying the words.  Instead, he cryptically responded to the press, "Was it the nature of your thoughts, gentlemen, when you say fuddle duddle or something like that? God, you guys!"  The cultural response was almost immediate, and two separate, comedic songs were released on the subject.  This particular one was released by GRT records and appeared to include members of the band, Dr.Music.  They were a jazz rock ensemble that were just starting out at that time.  The A side, Do The Fuddle Duddle, is a tune that would fit well in a Dr.Demento show.  The B side, entitled, Funky Fuddle Duddle, is the real treat though.  They pull the funk out of the trunk on this baby. As far as I know, this was the only release by the band, House Of Commons.  Dr.Music would go on to release a few albums between 1972 and 1974.  The song is likely only available on vinyl 45.  At the time of this blog, there were no copies on Ebay available.  You can hear the B side, Funky Fuddle Duddle, on You Tube (  You can also hear the A side, Do The Fuddle Duddle and then the B-side right after, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Artist: The Super Friendz, Album: Sticktoitiveness, Song: Machine Green

"He's an old drinking buddy with a very good laugh.  He hit on his wife and fired his staff."  The Super Friendz were a rock band from Halifax.  They started out in the early nineties and recorded their first full length release with Murder Records (a label run by the guys from Sloan), in 1995.  Chris Murphy from Sloan actually played drums with them for a short time.  They were one of a few bands like Thrush Hermit (see blog 9/5/10), Jale, Hardship Post, The Inbreds and Eric's Trip, that benefited from the attention Sloan was getting.  Halifax was being dubbed as the next Seattle here in Canada and Murder Records played a big part in getting the local music of that province heard.  The Super Friendz would release a few albums and were nominated for a Juno in 1996 as a result of their debut album.  They lost out to Art Bergmann though. The album, Sticktoitiveness, was a compilation of sorts, released in the year of their break up.  It was their debut American release with March Records out of Chicago and it was comprised mainly of tunes from their earlier releases with Murder Records.  The album is available on Itunes for download.  The band reformed in 2003 and released another album with the label, Outside Music.  They are currently still with that label.  You can hear the song, Machine Green, on You Tube (  You can follow the band at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Artist: Dalbello, Album: She, Song: Talk To Me

"I'm not talking in my sleep.  I'm not promising to keep my secrets safe and warm.  Because something swept inside me like this calm before the storm."  Lisa Dalbello is a singer songwriter from Toronto that rose to prominence in the late seventies.  She was a bit of a music prodigy who caught the attention of David Foster as a teenager.  Through his association, she worked with the guys from Toto and sang on their original demos as well as Boz Scaggs.  She was signed with MCA records originally and released a number of pop dance type albums between 1977 and 1981.  She then retreated from the business for a few years to focus on her songwriting.  During that time she caught the attention of Mick Ronson of David Bowie fame, and transformed her pop image.  She signed with Capitol and released two more albums including this one, She, in 1984.  She had a number of singles during this period of her career and this particular track, Talk To Me, had some very good radio and video support.  She has focused more on her songwriting and project work in the years following her last release in 1995.  She is a Juno award winner and her songs have been covered by Helix, Queensryche and Heart.  If you remember the song, 99 Luft balloons, by a German band named, Nena.  You should also know that Dalbello was the artist hired to translate their songs to English.  Pretty cool lady.  You can follow Dalbello at  You can purchase the album, She, on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Talk To Me, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Artist: Kensington Market, Album: Avenue Road, Song: I Would Be The One

"If you needed someone to love you when you needed them."  Kensington Market were a rock band that formed in the late sixties.  They were brought together by True North Records founder, Bernie Finkelstein.  The band included Keith McKie, Gene Martynec, Alex Darou, Jimmy Watson and Luke Gibson.  Jimmy Watson was actually Van Morrison's cousin.  The band had a couple of singles in 1967 before signing with Warner and releasing their debut entitled, Avenue Road, in 1968.  I Would Be The One was the single and lead off track on the album.  The band did well in the few years they were together and toured the U.S. on a couple of occasions.  They would go on to release one more record in 1969 before calling quits.  Gene Martynec developed a strong reputation in later years as a producer in Canada, working with Rough Trade and The Queen City Kids (see blog 10/26/10).  Their discography has been re-released by Pacemaker Entertainment (  You can purchase the album from their website for $14.  You can hear the song, I Would Be The One, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Artist: Eddie Schwartz, Album: Public Life, Song: Special Girl

"She was a special girl.  She meant the world to me and I gave her everything."  Eddie Schwartz is a singer songwriter from Toronto who got his start playing guitar in a band called Charity Brown during the seventies.  He released his first album in 1980.  He wrote some huge international hits like Pat Benatar's Hit Me With Your Best Shot and Paul Carrack's Don't Shed A Tear.  His songs have been recorded by everyone from Joe Cocker to Meatloaf.  He released three studio albums between 1980 and 1983.  His last was this album, Public Life, which included the single, Special Girl.  It is an eighties gem that was covered a year later by the band, America.  Rick Derringer plays guitar on this album.  Eddie would go on to focus more on songwriting and production following this release and to date, he has to be the most recognized and successful Canadian songwriter.  The song, Special Girl, was included on some compilations in later years.  The first is entitled, Tour De Schwartz and most recently, All Our Tomorrows.  All Our Tomorrows is available for download on Itunes.  You can follow Eddie at  You can watch the video for the song, Special Girl, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Artist: The Barmitzvah Brothers, Album: Let's Express Our Motives: An Album Of Under-Appreciated Job Songs, Song: Trailblazer

The Barmitzvah Brothers are an alternative band from Guelph, Ontario.  They are neither brothers nor Jewish.  Two of the three founding members are actually female.  They formed in the year 2000 and released their first album in 2001.  Let's Express Our Motives...., is their most recent release from 2007.  It was produced by Andrew Magoffin of the band, The Two Minute Miracles (see blog 12/19/10).  Their music has always been very eclectic and very hard to categorize.  It can range from folk to pop to even klezmer.  The song, Trailblazer, really shows off the band's ability to craft a song that is strangely familiar yet so unique.  It has a nice pop sensibility to it.  The band appears to be on hiatus at the moment.  Although some of the members are playing with other artists like The Burning Hell and Jenny Omnichord (alias of band member Jenny Mitchell).  You can keep an ear to the ground for anything new at  You can purchase their album, Let's Express Our Motives...., on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Trailblazer, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Artist: Helix, Album: Back For Another Taste, Song: Good To The Last Drop

"When I'm feeling empty won't ya fill me up.  Make it good to the last drop."  Helix were a metal band that started out in Kitchener, Ontario in the early seventies.  They were actually one of the few rock bands that pre-dated the heavy metal genre before becoming one of Canada's most popular bands within it.  Unlike some of their peers (Rush, Fludd, Max Webster), these guys were metal heads through and through.  Sure they started out as a cover band like many bands did.  However, from their major label debut, No Rest For The Wicked, with Capitol Records in 1983, until today, they haven't strayed from that sound.  The band toured Canada and the U.S. constantly in those early years and thanks to some strong radio support in Texas as well as in their own homeland, they signed their major label deal and starting playing gigs with bands like Motorhead, Kiss, WASP, Krokus and the list goes on and on.  I remember seeing them play with the Black Crowes as well.  They had some huge hits in the eighties like Rock You, Deep Cuts The Knife, The Kids Are All Shakin', Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' (cover), Dream On, Make Me Do Anything You Want (cover) and Heavy Metal Love.  Back For Another Taste, was released in 1990 and heavy metal was starting to lose it's lustre.  The song, Good To The Last Drop, was actually a very late single release and became a surprise hit for the band.  It is one of the band's slower tunes but it's phenomenal.  The band still plays today and has a wonderful website the chronicles the band's history.  You can follow them at  This particular song can be found in a few places.  It exists on the original album, Back For Another Taste, as well as two compilations called, Rockin' You For 30 Years and Smash Hits Unplugged.  Smash Hits Unplugged is available on Itunes.  There were copies of Back For Another Taste and Rockin' You For 30 Years available on Ebay and Amazon between $10 and $50 at the time of this blog.  Rockin' You For 30 Years is also available from the band's website.  The band also released a new album last year entitled, Vagabond Bones.  You can hear the song, Good To The Last Drop, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Artist: By Divine Right, Album: Bless This Mess, Song: Come For A Ride

"Come for a ride y'all.  Come feel alright.  I'm getting high y'all.  Come for a ride."  By Divine Right are a rock band from Toronto that started up in the late eighties.  The main constant member through the years is singer Jose Miguel Contreras.  The band released a few indie albums before their 1997 release was picked up by Nettwerk Records.  That album led to this album, Bless This Mess, in 1999, which featured Leslie Feist and Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) as band members.  The lead off track was this song, Come For A Ride, which got some very good radio and video play in Canada.  The band would go on to release 4 more albums, the latest in 2009.  The band has included a number of individuals from other Canadian acts like the Meligrove Band and have toured China.  They are currently signed to indie label, Hand Drawn Dracula.  You can follow them at  You can watch the video for the song, Come For A Ride, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Artist: Erin Benjamin, Album: Monster In My Heart, Song: Hang On To Me

"Hang on to me, don't take me tenderly.  Hang on to me, I drown easily."  Erin Benjamin is a singer songwriter from Sudbury, Ontario.  She released her self titled debut in 1996 and her follow up entitled, Monster In My Heart, in 1998 with indie label, Baby Hugh Productions.  This track, Hang On To Me, starts off simply with just vocals, organ and percussion but it builds up to a full band about half way through the song.  It's wonderfully arranged.  This particular album featured Katherine Wheatley (see blog 12/24/10), Stephen Fearing and Jason Fowler.  Erin has since worked as the Executive Director for the Ontario Council Of Folk Festivals.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of recent news on her career as a performer and her discography is very hard to find.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy of, Monster In My Heart, available on Ebay for $15.  You can hear the song, Hang On To Me, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Artist: Brock Zeman, Album: Songs From The Mud, Song: 50 Dollar Bill

"I've got a fifty dollar bill smoking in my pocket.  I've got a fifty dollar bill, I'm going out on the town.  I've got Jim Beam burning a hole in my stomach.  Yeah me and old Jim gonna give 'em hell."  Brock Zeman is a singer songwriter from Carleton Place, Ontario.  Keith Glass of Prairie Oyster fame (see blog  1/4/11) produced and played on his first few albums, including this one.  He released his first album with Keith's label, Audio Valley, in 2003.  Songs From The Mud, was his second release in 2004.  His sound is alternative country and this track that opens the album called, 50 Dollar Bill, is him at his gritty best.  I've seen Brock live twice and both unintentionally.  The first was a songwriters in the round solo set at Mariposa and the other was a new talent night at Hughes Room in Toronto.  Both times, he was joined by Keith Glass on stage to perform this acoustic track.  He plays this tune hard live and has quite a presence.  Always the hard working artist, Brock tours constantly and has a number of shows in the Ontario region over the next couple of months.  He's released 8 albums to date.  The most recent in 2010.  He's also started up his own label called, Mud Music.  You can follow him at  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  You can hear the song, 50 Dollar Bill, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Artist: Art Young & The Country Gems, Album: The Best Of Eagle Records, Song: Little Tot

"Now she only stands about five feet four.  She's got the cutest brown eyes that I adore.  A dimple in her chin and a turned up nose but all the fellas know her by the cut of her clothes.  Little tot."  This one goes way back to 1964.  Art Young and the Country Gems cut this track as a B-side to their first single, a Johnny Cash cover called, I Still Miss Someone.  They would release a number of singles throughout the sixties with Winnipeg based label, Eagle Records.  They were later compiled as an album release in 1977 called, Autumn Leaves.  Most people who are fans of Neil Young and the Guess Who have heard the stories about their early years of playing the bar circuit in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.  Well Eagle Records was born out of that same scene.  Young record collectors who were able to bring the latest music from Britain over to Canada were advising bands on which covers to record.  This led to one of the first British invasion recordings by Canadian band, Chad Allen & The Expressions, called Shakin' All Over.  That band, of course, became The Guess Who, in later years.  Well that single was a pivotal reason for Eagle Records to start up as a label and for a number of young bands to follow suit and record music.  Super Oldies, a label out of Duluth, Minnesota, has been restoring these earlier pieces of work and bought the rights to the Eagle Record discography in 2005.  You can find this early rockabilly classic from Art Young on that compilation.  Remarkably, Art was born to deaf and mute parents with no musical ability.  He started recording in 1949 and this particular track was written for his wife, who he nicknamed, Little Tot.  It is available at  You can hear the song, Little Tot, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Artist: Thrust, Album: The Chosen Are Few, Song: I Didn't Know

Thrust is a rapper from Toronto that rose to prominence in the mid to late nineties.  He released his debut in 1996 and his second album, The Chosen Are Few, was released in 2001 with EMI.  His trademark is his old school flow with ridiculously thick beats.  It is a really good album with a number of strong tracks.  He also has Kardinal Offishall, Solitair, Da Grassroots and Frankie Ano collaborating as well.  Thrust came up around the same time as Kardinal, K-OS, The Rascalz, Choclair and Ghetto Concept.  He has a wealth of talent but never seemed to achieve the same mass success as some of the others mentioned.  Most Canadians might remember him from the Rascalz' song, Northern Touch.  That song won a Juno award.  Thrust was also nominated for Best New Solo Artist in 2002 as a result of this album but lost out that year to Hawksley Workman.  He's also toured with Public Enemy and the Fugees.  Thrust is still involved in music and recently released new material under the name, The Chosen Ones, with producer Salty Jackson.  It is another very good release that you can purchase at  The album, The Chosen Are Few, is not widely available.  At the time of this blog, there were copies on Ebay and Amazon trading between $5 and $50.  You can hear the song, I Didn't Know, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Artist: Kristy Thirsk, Album: Under Cover EP, Song: When Doves Cry

Kristy Thirsk is a singer songwriter from Vancouver, B.C..  She joined the band, The Rose Chronicles, in the early nineties and they were signed to Nettwerk Records.  Their debut album won the Juno for Best Alternative Album in 1995.  They beat out Sloan, 54-40 and Our Lady Peace that year, to win the award.  The Rose Chronicles broke up in 1997 but Thirsk was already moonlighting with another band called Delerium.  They were the ambient, electronic side project to industrial act, Front Line Assembly.  The introduction of guest, female vocalists like Kristy Thirsk, helped broaden their fan base worldwide.  That connection with Delerium still exists today although she also found time to release her solo debut in 2003 and this follow up EP, Under Cover, in 2008.  Undercover is a 4 song EP that features 3 originals and a cover of Prince's hit, When Doves Cry.  You can hear the song, When Doves Cry, on You Tube (  You can purchase, Under Cover, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Artist: Cowboy Junkies, Album: Miles From Our Home, Song: Someone Out There

"Someone out there kneeling.  No one out there listening.  But what I want to know before you save my soul.  Is who gave this power to that fucker up there?"  The Cowboy Junkies are a Toronto band that started their career in the mid eighties.  They are siblings, Mike, Margo and Peter Timmins as well as Alan Anton.  They released their debut in 1986 but attracted worldwide attention two years later with the release of the album, Trinity Sessions.  They were signed to RCA and their re-make of the Velvet Underground's, Sweet Jane, set a new standard for cover versions.  The album, Miles From Our Home, was released ten years after that album in 1998, with the label, Geffen.  It's a very good album that is often over looked within the scope of the band's work.  Geffen was apparently going through a merger around the time of this release and this particular album didn't receive the promotional support it deserved.  The experience was pivotal in souring the band's opinion of major labels and led them to begin recording under their own label, Latent Records.  Someone Out There, is another deep album cut that shares the sombre quality that only the Junkies can deliver while also providing a fierce statement.  The band continues to tour and record.  To date, they have 15 studio releases as well as another 20 or more bootlegs of live and unrecorded material.  Their latest project is entitled the Nomad Series and it includes 4 albums that will be released over the span of 18 months.  The second volume was just released in January.  You can follow them at  You can purchase Miles From Our Home on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Someone Out There, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Artist: Andrew Cash, Album: Boomtown, Song: These Days

"These days are divided.  These days lopsided.  These days are tension.  These days I pay attention."  Andrew Cash is a singer, songwriter, journalist and now, politician, from Toronto.  He started his solo career in 1988, with his debut release, Time and Place, on Island Records.  It garnered him a Juno nomination for most promising vocalist.  Boomtown was released a year later in 1989 and was another strong album that benefited from radio and video support in Canada.  His video for the song, Boomtown, won a Juno.  These Days, is a deep album cut whose harmonies really characterize what Andrew was so good at.  For myself, it's like a window to the past.  Canada had a number of great independent artists coming up at the same time and there was such a wealth of wonderful music being released.  The album was recorded in North Carolina and produced by a man named Don Dixon, who had worked with REM on a number of their earlier releases.  Andrew's backing band, The Ambassadors, included Blue Rodeo drummer, Glenn Milchem.  Andrew would release one more album in 1993 before starting a band called, Ursula, with Jason Collett.  Following that, he and his brother Peter (Skydiggers) began recording as The Cash Brothers.  He returned to his solo roots and released his latest album entitled, Murder=, in 2008.  Today, Andrew represents the political NDP party in Toronto, is a freelance journalist for a number of publications and continues to perform as a solo artist as well as in the band, The Cash Brothers.  He also composes music for television and film.  You can follow him at  You can purchase a CD copy of, Boomtown, at Amazon for $15.99 but your best bet is the MP3 version for $10 directly from Andrew's website.  His latest release is available on Itunes.  You can hear the song, These Days, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Artist: Ian Tamblyn, Album: Through The Years, Song: Turlutte

"Swing your partners round and round, listen to romancing.  Swing your partners round and round.  Well now I do not know why I'm laughing but I'm laughing once again."  Ian Tamblyn is a folk singer originally from Thunder Bay.  The title of folk singer though doesn't seem to cover everything this remarkable individual has done.  He started recording in the early seventies and by 1976, had won his first Juno.  To date, he's recorded over 1500 songs and 29 albums.  As a playwright, he has written 6 plays.  He's also worked as a teacher and guide on missions to places like Antarctica.  He released an album called Antarctica in 1991.  It was the third in a string of albums that garnered him recognition as a new age musician as a result of his incorporation of field recordings from his wilderness exploits.  He was also nominated for a Juno that year but lost out to Ofra Harnoy.  The song, Turlutte, was actually released in 1980 on his album, When Will I See You Again.  He describes the song as "a celebration of nonsense song and dance that used to be held on the north shore of the St.Lawrence towards the end of winter."  In 1992, Ian released the album, Through The Years, a compilation of his work which includes this song as well.  Between guiding in the Arctic and playing across the country, Ian is one busy guy.  You can follow him at  You can purchase the original album, When Will I See You Again, on Itunes.  Through The Years is a bit tougher to find and at the time of this blog, there was one copy available on Ebay for $20.  You can hear the song, Turlutte, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Artist: Steve Blimkie And The Reason, Album: Blimkie, Song: All I Want Is You Alone

Steve Blimkie and the Reason were a Toronto band that formed in the late seventies.  They were signed to indie label, Ready Records, which was home to a number of cool bands like The Extras (see blog 9/18/10), The Demics, The Spoons and Blue Peter.  They released their debut, Blimkie, in 1980, following the radio success of their first single, I Got This Feeling.  The album included this track, All I Want Is You Alone. It's melody is almost syncopated and it has such a raw punk quality to it.  The success of the album helped the band land opening gigs for XTC and the Ramones.  Steve Blimkie would release one more album without the Reason in 1981 before calling it quits.  Of note, two members of the Reason, Derry Grehan and Dave Betts, would go on to form Honeymoon Suite.  I don't believe Steve Blimkie is involved in music anymore.  Ready Records was an interesting label that had a short tenure (1979-1985).  They released some cutting edge material from some great artists.  20th Century Masters : Millenium Collection recently released a 2 volume set of the Best Of Ready Records.  Volume 1 includes this track by Steve Blimkie and the Reason and you can purchase it on Itunes.  The actual debut album, Blimkie, is a bit more rare.  Vinyl copies were trading on Ebay for $20 at the time of this blog.  You can hear the song, All I Want Is You Alone, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Artist: Maclean And Maclean, Album: Suck Their Way To The Top, Song: Papillion D'Amour

Maclean and Maclean were a comedy duo originally from Nova Scotia but based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  They rose to prominence in the seventies and released their first recording in 1972.  They were brothers Gary and Blair Maclean and their musical comedy was usually very explicit but quite inventive.  They would re-invent folk classics or pen their own original material.  Some of their releases were produced by Skip Prokop (Lighthouse) and included musical guests like Burton Cummings (Guess Who).  Some interesting facts that I didn't know about them before writing this blog was that they had to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada for the right to perform.  They ended up winning their court case which helped solidify the fundamentals of freedom of speech in this country.  One of their monologues is also credited for the creation of a very popular syndicated comedy sketch used in Canadian radio called "The Champ".  It was licensed to a radio personality known as Brother Jake Edwards and it focuses on a former boxer's misinterpretations of everyday language resulting in his bursts of anger.  It was a very well done sketch that most Canadians are familiar with.  I was introduced to Maclean and Maclean at a much too young and impressionable age, by an older cousin.  The song, Papillion D'amour, was one of a few tracks I remember from those days and it came from a double album entitled, Maclean and Maclean Suck Their Way To The Top / Take The "O" Out Of Country.  One half was a live recording from the El Mocambo and the other half was a studio recording. Papillion D'amour is a song about the butterflies of love (crabs) that absolutely butchers the french language and clocks in under two minutes.  The band released 7 albums in their career.  Sadly, both of the brothers have passed on.  There is a website dedicated to their careers at  You can download the song, Papillion D'amour, on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Papillion D'amour, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Artist: Sinners Parade, Album: Don't Worry Bowta Theng Mister - Compilation of 11 Winnipeg Bands, Song: Rock 'n' Roll

"Don't Worry Bowta Theng Mister" was an indie compilation of various Winnipeg bands released in 1987.  The record company was called Cheese Cannon Records and the compilation showcased the work of 11 up and coming bands from the province.  The compilation was recorded in two studios, Video Pool and VOX Pop.  The latter is owned and operated by Greg Leskiw.  Greg has been around the Winnipeg scene for decades playing in bands like the Shags, Guess Who and Kilowatt.  He opened his studio as a way of enabling young bands from the area to record and has worked with everyone from the Crash Test Dummies to the New Meanies.  On side two of this compilation, Greg also engineered this track, Rock 'n' Roll, by a little known band named, Sinner's Parade.  The vocals sound a bit like Matthew Good.  I'm not sure if any of the members of this band went on to produce other music or if there was a Sinner's Parade album ever released, but this track is top notch.  You can't go wrong with music from Winnipeg.  The city has some deep history in rock and roll.  I found a vinyl copy of this compilation at one of my favourite record shops in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto called, Pandemonium.  To date, I have not been able to find another copy anywhere.  You can hear the song, Rock 'n' Roll, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Artist: Andrew Vincent, Album: Rotten Pear, Song: Going Out Tonight

"Half a pack of smokes on the dashboard and a little hash in the glove box.  Got a bottle of scotch that I ain't poured cus I just spent 2 days in detox.  I'm going out tonight."  Andrew Vincent is a singer songwriter who developed his fan base in the bars of Ottawa before recently moving to Toronto.  Andrew released his debut in 1998 and then adopted a backing band called the Pirates for his next 3 releases.  His fifth release in 2009 with indie label, Kelp Records, entitled, Rotten Pear, finds him re-discovering life as a solo artist.  It is a stripped down collection of acoustic tunes about growing up and growing older.  This particular track called, Going Out Tonight, is reminiscent of Paul Simon.  Andrew has such a seemingly effortless and delicate way about his musical delivery.  He has perfected the art of less is more on this track.  There is at least 5 or 6 years between this release and his last.  The wait was certainly worth it though.  If you are a Kate Bush fan, he happens to cover her song, Hounds Of Love, on this album as well.  You can follow Andrew at  You can purchase the album, Rotten Pear, on Itunes.  You can see Andrew play the song, Going Out Tonight, live on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Artist: Brighton Rock, Album: Take A Deep Breath, Song: Hangin' High 'N' Dry

"Now I'm waiting for your answer babe.  Yes I'm hangin' high and dry.  Time is running out on me.  Yes I'm hangin' high and dry."  Brighton Rock were a metal band from Ontario.  They were winners of the Q107 Homegrown contest and signed by WEA.  They released their major label debut in 1986.  The band's ballads seemed to get good radio play such as Can't Wait For The Night from their debut and One More Try from this album, Take A Deep Breath.  The song, Hangin' High 'N' Dry, had a bit more rock to it.  Keyboards were still prominent but the tempo was faster.  Take A Deep Breath garnered them a Juno nomination for most promising band.  They would go on to release one more album in 1991 which was nominated for Hard Rock Album Of The Year, but they lost out to Rush.  The band then broke up.  They were Johnny Rogers, Greg Fraser, Gerald McGhee, Mark Cavarzan and Stevie Skreebs.  Greg Fraser joined Helix in 1992 and later he and Skreebs formed the band Fraze Gang. The band would reunite as Brighton Rock in 2002 to release a live album and in 2006, an Essentials compilation was released of their hits.  Today the band has been reforming to play the odd gig and you can follow them at  Take A Deep Breath is no longer available and at the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon and Ebay between $15 and $60.  Your best bet is to order the Essentials compilation that is for sale on Amazon for $15.  You can watch the video for the song, Hangin' High 'N' Dry, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Artist: 13 Engines, Album: Perpetual Motion Machine, Song: What If We Don't Get What We Want

"And we're cracking codes and combinations but we're thinking.  What if we don't get what we want?"  13 Engines were a rock band from Toronto that starting gigging in the eighties as university students.  They were signed to Capitol records and released their major label debut in 1991.  They had some great singles off that first album like the song, King Of Saturday Night.  The band was generating momentum which led to this release in 1993 entitled, Perpetual Motion Machine.  This album was so unique to me at the time that it remains one of my all time favourites.  It was jammed with songs that you could listen to a hundred times like More, Smoke & Ashes, Bred In The Bone and this baby, What If We Don't Get What We Want.  They toured Canada in support of this album and in 1995, released their final album.  Then things just dissolved.  The band broke up in 1997 and lead singer John Critchley hooked up with Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) to release a solo album in 2000.  Since then, John has opened a studio in Toronto called Green Door and he's worked with artists like The Hidden Cameras, Dan Mangan and Elliot Brood.  At least he's still making a living doing music but you can't help but yearn for more of this.  Maybe we'll see a reunion one day!  You can purchase all of their releases on Itunes now.  You can hear the song, What If We Don't Get What We Want, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Artist: Tricky Woo, Album: Sometimes I Cry, Song: Fly The Orient

"When the sun goes down, she comes around!"  Tricky Woo are a rock band from Montreal.  They specialize in fuzzed out, garage rock.  Contemporary comparisons might include The Hives.  They released their debut in 1997 and to date, have 5 full  length releases, their last in 2005.  Sometimes I Cry was their third release in 1999.  Fly The Orient is one of a dozen hard rocking tracks from an album that never quits.  It is an absolute rock and roll blast from the past.  The band was actually nominated for a Juno in 2000 for this album.  They were up against some big competition that year (Danko Jones, Thrush Hermit, Len) and lost to Julie Doiron (Eric's Trip).  The unfortunate part about garage rock revivalist bands like Tricky Woo, is that they get very little support.  Alternative radio shuns them for sounding too classic rock and Classic Rock radio won't play them because they haven't been around for 30 years.  Following their 4th release in 2001, the band called it quits to focus on other musical interests.  A year later, some of the members re-surfaced as Soft Canyon.  They reformed in 2005 as Tricky Woo.  Today, I'm not exactly sure which band has more precedent but regardless, it's great to hear that these talented musicians are still recording.  You can purchase the album, Sometimes I Cry, on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Fly The Orient, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Artist: Central Nervous System, Album: I Could Have Danced All Night, Song: I'm Comin' To Get Ya

"Now it might take time and a whole lot of sweat but I know babe I'm gonna get to you yet."  The Central Nervous System were a soul band from Halifax, Nova Scotia.  They were on the Music Factory label for one release in 1968 entitled, I Could Have Danced All Night.  They recorded the album in New York with legendary producer Eddie Kramer (Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Small Faces, Traffic).  Unfortunately, the band broke up a year later before any promotion or touring could take place.  The members were Dough Billard, Keith Jollimore, Bruce Cassidy, Richard Oakley, Jim White and Jack Lilly.  Billard and White would go on to be discovered as Pepper Tree a couple of years later.  Almost all of the members spent time in the band, Lighthouse, as well.  I'm completely blown away by the sound of this album especially when I consider where they were from.  These guys sounded like they were disciples of James Brown on this track, I'm Comin' To Get Ya.  If you enjoy soul music with lots of funky horns, you are going to dig this.  The album was actually re-released by Retro Disc International from Spain in 2008.  Unfortunately though, a CD copy of the album is still quite rare.  At the time of this blog, there were vinyl copies of the album available on Ebay and Amazon trading between $10 and $25.  You can hear the song, I'm Comin' To Get Ya, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Artist: Flatliners, Album: Destroy To Create, Song: Fred's Got Slacks

The Flatliners are a punk band from Toronto that started in 2002.  After years of gigging and releasing their songs on punk compilations, they released their debut, Destroy To Create, in 2005.  It included this song, Fred's Got Slacks.  Even if you aren't a fan of punk, you have to be impressed by the vocals of lead singer, Chris Cresswell.  He manages to sing the words of a 5 minute song in just over two minutes.  Without a doubt, the fastest lyrical delivery that I've ever heard outside of hip hop.  It also has a ska rhythm to it that is reminiscent of the band Rancid's work.  I don't know what the hell he's saying but who cares if you can dance to it!  The band has released two albums since their debut and have signed on with American label, Fat Wreck Chords.  Their most recent release in 2010 is entitled, Cavalcade.  The band tours constantly and has played in the US, Europe and Japan.  They will be making their way through the US next month, playing a number of shows with Screeching Weasel (including a SXSW showcase in Austin, TX).  You can follow the band at  You can purchase the album, Destroy To Create, on Itunes.  You can watch the video for the song, Fred's Got Slacks, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Artist: Texas Audio, Album: CFNY New Music Search 1992, Song: UFO

"UFO's from outer space scrutinizing our human race.  Interceptors on the chase, the earth feels like a lonely place."  Texas Audio was the alias of electronic artist, John Greczula, from Woodstock, Ontario.  He entered CFNY's new music search in 1992 and contributed this track called UFO.  It is a sample heavy dance track about UFO sightings that is reminiscent of music by bands like the Utah Saints and the Information Society.  It got some decent airplay during the contest.  1992 was a very good year for CFNY as this new music search spawned a number of great indie acts like hHead, One, Rail T.E.C. and Teknicolor Raincoats to name a few.  Texas Audio had another single that was making the rounds on various compilations at the time, called, Assassin.  However, I don't believe they ever released an album.  John is also credited with a lot of remix production for various artists during the 90's as well.  The new music search compilations are a rarity and likely only found in used records stores or thrift shops across the country.  Definitely worth picking up if you find one.  You can hear the song, UFO, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!