Archive for February, 2009


The Appleseed Cast – Sagarmatha



My review of The Appleseed Cast’s latest album, Sagarmatha is now up on In Your Speakers.


The Capital Bar Makes the Top 10



Late last month, CBC Radio 3 released the nominees for it’s “Best Live Music Club in Canada” competition. To be eligible for the contest, the club had to be indoor, cater to live music, have a capacity of less than 1000 and be operational at the opening of the contest. Among the 100 original nominees from across Canada was Fredericton’s own Capital Bar. Several weeks of daily voting has passed and it was announced today that the Capital has made it into the top 10 list. Voting continues until February 24th, and the winner will be announced one week from today on the 25th. You can vote on CBC Radio 3’s website here every day until the end of the contest.

The winning bar will win a live concert promoted by CBC Radio 3. Last year’s competition searching for the nation’s best record store resulted in Underdog Meow Records in Prince George, BC receiving an in-store performance by Chad VanGaalen so start voting!


This Saturday: VKNGS, Sleepless Nights and more



Fredericton is in for an audible treat this coming Saturday when two of Atlantic Canada’s best bands appear live supported by a couple of well established artists and a heap of up and comers. First, pack your earplugs and $7 and head down to the Charlotte Street Arts Centre at 6:00pm to hear and witness the percussive force that is VKNGS. An ecletic lineup of acts are scheduled to support VKNGS on their trip to our city including Saint John’s post-punk heroes Hospital Grade, the always energetic A/V and Fredericton’s own Two Piece Empire, playing their second show ever. Rounding out Saturday evening’s lineup is the debut performance by Major/Minor featuring VKNGS and former Jimmy Swift drummer Nick Wombolt.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Capital Bar is hosting the Sleepless Nights and the Slate Pacific later that night. The Sleepless Nights are up for the ECMA for Alternative Recording of Year along with labelmates Grand Theft Bus. Both the Sleepless Nights and the Slate Pacific are also playing playing in Cornerbrook for the ECMAs at the end of the month. Hopefully the Slate Pacific can get a nomination next year for their debut EP Safe Passage due out on March 17th. Also, check out the Sleepless Nights’ CBC Radio 3 session.

Clear your schedules for Saturday after 6pm and be sure to check out both shows.


Hospital Grade
Two Piece Empire

The Sleepless Nights
The Slate Pacific


Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid



Check out my review of Dan Auerbach’s Keep It Hid over at In Your Speakers.


A New Friend – The Pack A.D



Calling The Pack A.D a female version of the Black Keys is a cheap comparison.  Sure, they play blues rock and yes there are two of them…one plays guitar and sings and the other plays drums…and yeah I guess they kind of sound the same too, but damn, these girls have soul. Singer/guitarist Becky Black howls and growls like it’s her last day on the Earth while Maya Miller beats on her kit with an unrivaled fruiosity. The Funeral Mixtape, released last year through Mint Records surpasses anything those fellas in the Black Keys have done in the past few years, buy it.

The Pack A.D – Making Gestures.mp3


Kestrels and The Names and Faces, February 6th, 2009



Last night the Capital Bar was treated with a stellar performance by Truro, Nova Scotia band Kestrels, supporting local folk-rock quintet The Names and Faces. Kestrels’ unique meld of pop and shoegaze creates a conflicting atmosphere of catchy hooks and a wall of noise that translates into pop perfection. Although not enough to “melt your face”, to quote an enthusiastic show goer, Kestrel’s wall of sound definitely left your ears ringing while simultaneously had you tapping your foot and bobbing your head. The tease of “Enter Sandman” and amusing between song banter added to the enjoyment of the set, although I failed to decipher the lyrics to the song “based on the hit sitcom The Office” for the second time. I luckily managed to pick up a copy of the band’s 7”, containing “Seaside” and the B-Side, “On Our Time”, before they left to drive back to Nova Scotia.

Fredericton’s own folk-rock superstars, The Names and Faces took the stage to a slowly dwindling crowd but played determinedly through their excellent set. Astronomically opposite of Kestrel’s effect ridden guitar tones, the Names and Faces merge the folk qualities of full-band Bright Eyes with A.M. era Wilco resulting in a perfect follow up to Kestrals. Unfortunately to those who left early and missed the final songs of the set, they missed the two best.

Look out for Kestrel’s full length, currently being finished up by the band and Seth Smith from Dog Day. The Names and Faces are also working on their full length. Eager to hear both!

Pictures from the show here.

Help Kestrels out by emailing CBC Radio 3 ( and letting them know how spectacular “Seaside” by Kestrels is!


Decemberists Change Hazards of Love Artwork?



Shortly after Pitchfork reported on the Decemberists’ choice of artwork for their forthcoming album The Hazards of Love (Due March 24th on Capital, hear the album early via NPR’s broadcast of the band performing the album at SXSW), the word spread to the band’s very own message board. After numerous complaints that the cover did not represent the “mossy and evil” characteristic that the band used to describe the album, Colin Meloy popped in to say:

Ok ok ok. We agree. We were struggling over this a bit — our designer actually sent an inverted version of the cover first and we nixed it.

Not that this should set some sort of precedent, but don’t ever think that we Decemberists don’t take your opinions seriously!


Not long after, a new version of the cover (shown above) appeared on EMI’s online store and on the band’s myspace. Nice to see the band taking constructive critisism.