NEW MUSIC ∆ Wish

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For the past few years, Kyle Connolly has existed as a regular familiar amongst the Toronto psych scene, roving around in bands like Milk Lines, Beliefs, and Breeze. But on August 26, the soft-spoken multi-instrumentalist steps out on his own with the debut self-titled album by his own band, Wish. Featuring the talents of Peter Gosling (Decades, Lobby) on drums, Emily Bitze (Milk Lines) on bass, and long time friend/musical collaborator Josh Korody (Beliefs, Breeze) on guitar, Wish play a sort of psychedelic dream pop that often tends to wander into jammy krautrock territory. Check out their video for the song “Retro Grade” below. Wish plays tonight at the Garrison in Toronto.

Pre-order the album via Hand Drawn Dracula.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LCbnyZ7Lus&feature=youtu.be]

Dog Gone Presents: Amen Dunes Guest Mix

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Next Monday, we’ll be hosting Amen Dunes for his first headlining performance in Toronto. The man behind the project, Damon McMahon, was kind enough to put together this mix of songs, each of which he tells us is an influence on his general being.

Catch Amen Dunes live in Toronto on Monday night at The Silver Dollar along with Alex Calder, Wicked Witches and Milk Lines. RSVP here. Also be sure to pick up the excellent new Amen Dunes record, Love, out now on Sacred Bones.

MP3: Amen Dunes Guest Mix

01. Alex Chilton – Walking Dead
02. Eyeless in Gaza – Scale Amiss
03. Sixx – Sister Devil
04. Flipper – Love Canal
05. Chrome – SS Cygni
06. Happy Mondays – Country Song
07. Lifetones – Good Side
08. Willie Colon – Pa Colombia
09. DJ Paul & Juicy J – I Thought You Knew
10. Aphex Twin – Acrid Avid Jam Shred
11. Aster Bekele – Wub Hager
12. Burial – Forgive
13. Death in June – Peaceful Snow

Amen Dunes △ Love

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The 13th Floor Elevators’ Svengali Tommy Hall once remarked that his band formed what he termed a “third sound”; all the band’s instruments, playing in the right environment, with the right pharmaceuticals, would bleed together to create overtones that would be interpreted as being from another instrument altogether. Damon McMahon and his Amen Dunes project seem to have unconsciously run with this throughout their latest release Love, producing a dynamic work which benefits as much from studio trickery as songcraft. As a result, the final product creates a murky and hallucinatory listening experience saturated in lush production, drawn from disparate elements, and steeped in the droning repetition of collaborators Godspeed! You Black Emperor.

 

The group’s video for “Lilac in Hand” illustrates these elements best, visually showing the uncertain and flowing nature of the music – the viewer’s focus pans in and out from above to below, and forced perspective changes appear visually much like the overdriven sonic elements of the song itself. You can hear that McMahon has drawn from many sources, and is meticulous in what he chooses to include, but the offhand nature of the album’s performances show a performer who believes strongly in using off-the-cuff inspiration to inform a final product which is very much in the moment.

 

Opener “White Child” brings this disorientation into perspective – a piano playing slightly out of time gives way to a backing which builds in intensity throughout the song. Damon’s emphatic lyrical delivery, which calls to mind Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, seems to dictate the ebb and flow of the backing, giving a live and improvisational feel to the recording. Track “Splits Are Parted” continues this trend, with a heavily treated backing track benefiting from simple repetition and cavernous reverb, alongside a spirited vocal and musical arrangement that recalls Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “I See A Darkness”.  “I Know Myself”, based off of an acoustic guitar, opens up over the course of the song to include ghostly harmonies and percussive accompaniment, which all results in a slight R&B feel. On the other end of the spectrum, the closing title track “Love”, with its repeating musical phrase and variations thereof dropping in and out of the mix, can sonically draw comparisons like Brian Eno’s Discreet Music, or ideas previously used in Terry Riley and Steve Reich’s symphonic works.

 

Although the murkiness of the production at times obscures the directness of McMahon’s lyrics, these very same eerie textures produce a shadowy and meditative atmosphere, where, yes, Tommy Hall’s “third sound” is sometimes evoked. The emotion of the performances and dynamic of the production ensure that the final message comes through with a concise and accessible, yet obtuse work.

△ Words by Dave Sampson

Purchase Love via Sacred Bones.

 

Dog Gone Presents Amen Dunes along with Alex Calder, Wicked Witches and Milk Lines at The Silver Dollar in Toronto, Ontario on Monday, June 23rd. RSVP and ticket info can be found HERE.

 

Beverly Glenn-Copeland △ “Color of Anyhow” (1970)

lbbgc (1).jpgThis Toronto-by-way-of-Philadelphia folk singer-songwriter cut a solitary album for GRT in 1970, with Lenny Breau on guitar accompaniment. It’s always great to find something Toronto-based that can compete with anything released during this period, and this is no exception. Think Linda Perhacs meets Richie Havens and Blue Afternoon-era Tim Buckley on a Sunday morning. If you find a copy of this on vinyl anywhere, please let us know!

△ Words by Dave Sampson

Beverly Glenn-Copleand △ “Color of Anyhow”

Dog Gone Presents: Amen Dunes △ Alex Calder △ Wicked Witches △ Milk Lines

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We’re honored to welcome Brooklyn’s Amen Dunes to Toronto on June 23. He’ll be passing through in support of his excellent new long-player, Love, out now on Sacred Bones. The evening will also feature performances by Montreal-based Captured Tracks artist Alex Calder along with Wicked Witches and Milk Lines from Toronto.

Tickets available HERE.

“Clearly, Amen Dunes’
New album can result in
Levitation, dude”
Revolt of the Apes

Dog Gone Presents: Love Saves the Day ▵ A Showcase of Great Northern Psychedelia

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It is said that the ancient Greeks wore white to bed to ensure pleasant dreams. It can also said that we are announcing the first of our new Canadian psych music showcase series, Love Saves the Day, which will be taking place regularly throughout the spring and summer months at Toronto’s Smiling Buddha Bar (temporarily relocated to The Piston).

Our very first Love Saves the Day soiree will feature the debut of Jeff Clarke’s (of Hellshovel/Demon’s Claws/Milk Lines fame) new solo project, Minotaurs Oath, along with performances by Calgary psych voyagers Devonian Gardens and Montreal garage rockers Genital Hospital.

RSVP here.

 

 
Genital Hospital ▵ “Mix 2”

(Genital Hospital album preview)

Dog Gone Presents: Alex Bleeker and the Freaks ∆ The Auras ∆ Tess Parks and the Good People

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We’re psyched to welcome Real Estate bassist and his band of Freaks back to Toronto on April 29 at the Silver Dollar. The night will also feature performances by The Auras and Tess Parks & the Good People along with Dog Gone DJs. Ticket information will be posted next week. As usual, we’ll also be giving away a few pairs of tickets so be sure to follow along on the Twitter and the Facebook.

Feature: A Conversation with Richard Gibson of Optical Sounds

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Since 2008, Richard Gibson and his brother Robert have quietly been operating the underground Toronto-based psych label Optical Sounds. A genuine individual who’s passion for music seeps from his pores, Richard has forged a scene–largely centered around the Kensington Market bar The Embassy–that recalls the prime of the psychedelic heyday.

Home to many of the city’s finest psych and shoegaze bands, Optical Sounds brings together the kind of artists who self release their material, but wave a collective flag and gig constantly around town with one another. A musical collective in its truest sense.

Earlier this week, Optical Sounds released Psych Pop Vol. 2, a compilation featuring songs from artists on the label along with some that are part of its extended family. You can hear the compilation for free via Bandcamp or streaming below. You can also see many of these bands performing live this Saturday night at the compilation release party taking place at The Great Hall.

Richard was kind enough to take a bit of time to chat with us about the label, himself and the new compilation. Read on for the full conversation after the jump.

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Feature: A Conversation with Shane Butler of Quilt

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Polar vortexes, mysteriously occupied hotel rooms, blood stains, burning pieces of metal appearing out of thin air…these are just some of the freakishly weird events that have taken place on Quilt’s current winter tour. As the band made their way through the snowy mountain passes of the West, we were given the chance to chat about their new album Held In Splendor with guitarist/vocalist Shane Butler, a man with an ever-interesting outlook on life. Read on below.

We’ve got a couple pairs of tickets to giveaway to Quilt’s show on Monday night in Toronto. Follow us on twitter (@doggonepresents) and look out for a chance to win before week’s end. Also be sure to pick up Quilt’s new album at your local record shop or via Mexican Summer.

What are the biggest differences between this album and the debut both in terms of songwriting and how the album came about?

Well, we were younger then, we are older now. We used different types of metal and wooden objects on this album than on the first; but also we used some of the same. With this album we were writing about now; with that album we were writing about ‘now’, then. I guess albums are just products of specific moments and the ways we as artists relate to the situations presented to us. We grow as songwriters constantly and we constantly have a new set of materials to work with; I guess those things mark the ‘difference’ or progression between the two.

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Roky Erickson & The Black Angels Ticket Contest

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A few months back, Light In The Attic reissued a series of Roky Erickson solo LPs that, for quite some time, rarely left the vicinity of our listening station. While Roky is well-known for his role as a core member of the 13th Floor Elevators and a pioneer of Texas psychedelic rock, the man’s solo cannon is a bit more mysterious.

See, Roky was arrested for the possession of a lone joint in ’69, to which he pleaded insanity in order to avoid a prison term. A three-and-a-half year stint in the state’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane followed, where he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, subjected to extensive electroshock therapy, Thorazine, and various other FDA-approved psychoactive “treatments.”

In 1973, Roky was released from captivity, although he came out a very different person. Instead of the psychedelic fueled music of The Elevators, Roky turned to horror films for inspiration, as he returned with a new band, The Aliens, penning songs like “Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer),” “Don’t Shake Me Lucifer,” and “I Walked with a Zombie.” To add to his troubles, managers continually took advantage of his instability and drew him into a series of unfair publishing contracts that resulted in a number of unauthorized releases from which he earned not a cent. Eventually, in 1982, Roky signed a legal affidavit declaring that a Martian had taken residence in his body, and gradually disappeared from music all together. However, in recent years Roky has re-emerged on the scene, backed by bands including The Black Angels and the Night Beats while appearing at festivals across the country including FYF and Austin Psych Fest.

On February 11, you can witness the legend live in concert when Roky Erickson and The Black Angels make their way through Toronto. We happen have a couple pairs of tickets to give away, which you can enter to win by simply commenting below with the title of your favorite Roky Erickson solo tune. We’ll pick a winner by Friday afternoon.

Roky Erickson – “I Think Of Demons”