Fall is here and the time is right for finding new music strewn like acorns in the street. Ottawans The Peptides is a nine-member band with a larger-than-life pop sound. Five vocalists and four instrumentalists draw on funk, electronic and disco influences. Described by the Ottawa Citizen as “the B52’s crossed with The Manhattan Transfer backed by Arcade Fire.” They claim to be a snapshot of Canadian diversity, The PepTides is made up of English, French, Ukrainian, Mexican,Guyanese, Cree, Acadian, Armenian, Scottish and LGBTQ players. The group is noted for its extravagant live performances featuring thick vocal harmonies, theatrical choreography and colourful visuals. The PepTides’ songs juxtapose upbeat music with lyrics commenting on deep themes like love, hate, revenge, sex, religion, war and getting ready for dates.
In 2013, The PepTides garnered national attention by producing a full-length album in collaboration with Stuart McLean of CBC Radio’s Vinyl Cafe. A 2014 release Love Question Mark was lauded by Exclaim! as “an ambitious collection of fun, daring, unadulterated, true blue art.”
Photo Credits: PAT BLYTHE A Girl With A Camera "The Picture Taker" Hives vocalist Per Pelle Almquvist
Bold, brazen, at times frenzied....electric...simply on fire. My introduction to The Hives, a Swedish garage rock band initially formed in 1993 by Per "Pelle" Almquvist and his brother Nicholaus, was to say the least, mind blowing.
Poncing, prancing and strutting around on stage, lead vocalist Pelle is Mick Jagger personified except....he has slightly more grace and flair with equal amounts of cockiness.....and his high leaps and kicks are effin' amazing. The microphone swing is well.....in FULL swing. Well practiced and choreographed it's part of the natural flow of things. Modesty is not Pelle's middle name. The crowd loved him. He has no shame in calling The Hives the crowd's favourite rock bank....day or night. Leaping off the stage a number of times and wading into the crowd, Pelle shines in the limelight. A true performer and entertainer....and yes, he can sing. A pretty good voice as a matter-of-fact....way, better than Jagger. Even Jagger's mother was apparently quoted as saying he couldn't sing for his supper. Pelle's favourite spot on stage....standing on top of the monitors. Second fave, standing on the kick drum (I'm beginnning to wonder how tall he actually is). He never, ever, stands still and he has no hesitation of sticking his face right in your camera. Talk about up close and personal.
Story Credit: Jaimie Vernon/The Canadian Pop Encyclopedia
Following a successful rock star lifestyle with Canadian Glam Rock outfit Fludd, bassist Greg Godovitz left the fold in frustration as the songwriting opportunities for him dwindled. Utilizing a team of musical cohorts from Fludd’s camp, he assembled an ad hoc studio act dubbed Goddo; and released a cover version of "Louie Louie" through A & M Records of Canada in 1975. To promote the song, which managed to stir up a bit of airplay nationally, Godovitz needed a working band to secure gigs, and a paycheck, in the Ontario bar scene.
Enter former Brutus guitarist Gino Scarpelli and former Truck drummer Marty Morin in late 1975. The band made the rounds touring every dingy pub, dive, strip club and high school in Ontario and Quebec with occasional forays into the US and Western Canada as a means of perfecting their stage show and performance chops. There was also the matter of becoming a big act in a little pond. Soon they were the working-man’s power trio; a sonic three-man wrecking crew to be reckoned with through a steady diet of bar circuit gigs over the next two years before finally attracting the attention of Polydor Records who signed the group via a deal with independent production company Fat Cat Records.
Jim Kweskin is not a household name but in the music world the folks he has influenced with his music and jug band style has been a huge influence on modern music. Rock critic Ed Ward has listed The Jim Kweskin Jug Band as one the most important bands of the early 1960s, a list that included the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Byrds.
Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band was the original “Americana” band, the original “roots” band. The first incarnation consisted of Kweskin, Fritz Richmond Geoff Muldaur, Bob Siggins and Bruno Wolfe, starting out in Boston in the 1960s. Maria D'Amato who married to Geoff Muldaur and became Maria Muldaur. Muldaur, a former member of the Even Dozen Jug Band, joined the band in 1963. The Kweskin Jug Band were together for five years merging the sounds of early American rural music, playing a mix of classic blues , hillbilly country, ragtime, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll.
With the folk surge of the ‘60’s the timing was perfect for their unique brand of music. They influenced a lot of musicians looking for a unique sound and The Lovin’ Spoonfu drew a lot from the Jug Band and an another notable evolution was a band that became the Grateful Dead with Gerry Garcia. The Jim Kweskin Jug Band had a style and enthusiasm that couldn’t be matched. In Jim’s words “We didn’t sound like anybody ever sounded before. What we were doing was taking the old styles and building new things out of them. We were ourselves all the time.”
Submitted by Don Graham Photo Credit Christopher Lawson
There was a buzz in Toronto’s iconic Hugh’s Room on Monday night. There is always a bit of a buzz preshow but this was a buzz of a different register. Canada’s living legend and a huge part of the fabric of Canadiana and our roots, Sylvia Tyson was in the house. The anticipation was palpable as fans and admirers eagerly awaited her arrival on stage.
Sylvia slowly made her way through the crowd to get to the stage accompanied by violin legend Scarlet Rivera ( Scarlet came to international acclaim on Bob Dylan’s Desire and Hard Rain albums, and is included on his Biograph and Bootleg Compilations. She also toured with Dylan on several live tours, including The Rolling Thunder Revue and bass player Randall.Kempf, who is coming up on 40 years of service with Sylvia.
Sylvia took the stage looking every bit the classy star that she is, in a red top, blue jeans and her trademark cowgirl boots, this pair trimmed in red. It was her birthday and the first words out of her mouth were “Doesn’t seem like 77 years!” Indeed not, and doesn’t look like 77 years either. The richness and power in her distinct voice is as vibrant as ever.