Tag Archives: Arts & Crafts

Ep. #271: Andy Shauf

Andy Shauf is a talented songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist who originally hails from Saskatchewan. Over the past four years, Shauf has released critically acclaimed and vibrant pop records whose dark textures contain clever lyrics and infectious melodies. He made quite a statement with 2015’s The Bearer of Bad News and has possibly even topped that wondrous record with this year’s conceptual LP, The Party, which is out now via ANTI- and Arts & Crafts Records. He’s been busy touring and will be playing the Hillside Festival in Guelph the weekend of July 22 before heading across the United States with case/lang/veirs. Here, Andy and I discuss being in Winnipeg vs. being in Regina, the East India Company restaurant, Portage and Main, missing home and moving to Toronto, renting a condo and buying a piano and a bed, elevators are hell, dizziness and astronaut material, entering outer space on a big plane, celebrity condo, Andy’s excellent cross Canada adventure to get a new van, on the level, making The Party in a former CBC Radio studio in Regina, Jason Plumb of the Waltons, recording and working in seclusion, people who think they know what to do, the live band, being a multi-instrumentalist, drum lessons, attending a Christian high school and not thinking about that stuff too much, Olivier Fairfield, Josh Daignault, Colin Nealis, the band Fet.Nat, poaching musicians, The Party and Blake Edwards’ 1968 film starring Peter Sellers called The Party, the loose concept of The Party, drinking alcohol at a party, dumb things Andy does at parties, party life, The Party’s characters like Jeremy, Sherri, Alexander, and Martha, character studies in songs and giving them lives, “Jack and Diane II,” getting into Randy Newman, pop-punk and Elliott Smith, finding his voice and writing 100 songs, artistic trajectories and foresight, critical feedback loops, Saskatchewan gives you time, when Andy’s music transcended Canada and he got busy, gradual success, writing one new song, playing the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the song “To You,” and then things elevated.

Related links: andyshauf.com vishkhanna.com

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes. Now available via AudioBoom.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ep. #171: Dan Mangan + Blacksmith

Dan Mangan + Blacksmith is a Vancouver-based band whose latest album, the acclaimed Club Meds, is available now via Arts & Crafts, and has prompted them to tour all over the world. At their recent Guelph stop, Dan and John Walsh spoke with me at length about a 1965 Höfner bass on ebay, it’s all about that bass, the Blacksmith accounting department, it’s nice to be nice, no more mr. plaid guy, creative control, media manipulation and backlash, hey’s and ho’s in the zeitgeist, artistic integrity and populism, when big time artists get weird, thinking of the fans, singing better, the reception, full Kanye, you can fail doing the thing you don’t care about, experimental jazz guys get restless, collaborating for real, debates and Spanish metal, Kenton and Gordon, family life and political lyrics, don’t question your subordinates, the state of Canada and its institutions, being trusted by Arts & Crafts, how Dave Grohl ended up playing and singing on this record, Nell Carter, Hector and the Search for Happiness, caring about your community, Madic Records, Astral Swans and Yellow Bird, maybe stripping down, the song “Kitsch,” the influence of dystopian literature on this record, Milan Kundera, birthing books, and that was nice.      

Related links: danmanganmusic.com vishkhanna.com

Dan_Mangan_Blacksmith_Credit_Norman_Wong

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes. Now available via AudioBoom.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Ep. #136: Absolutely Free

Absolutely Free is a powerful and ambitious three-piece band from Toronto, Ontario. For years, Matt King, Moshe Rozenberg, and Mike Claxton used to play together in a fantastic post-punk outfit called DD/MM/YYYY that put on one of the best live shows in the world. After they broke up, King, Rozenberg, and Claxton eventually reconvened to create music that was a little less frenetic and possibly more dynamic; they seemed keen to explore psychedelic, textured pop and Krautrock as touchstones for something unprecedented. The latest manifestation of their work is their first full-length, self-titled album, which is out October 14 via Arts & Crafts, and on Saturday October 11, they’ll perform the record with a special hologram/laser light show at the Long Winter Bloor Hot Docs Theatre Take Over Event in Toronto. Here, Matt and Moshe talk about throwing vegetables into the fire, DD/MM/YYYY and 11/11/11, absolute freedom, guitars and synthesizers, you can stop the rock, RHCP with an emo twist, misinterpretations and the right comparisons, that time I emailed Moshe during a show, a dysfunctional band can be like a bad tooth, Absolutely Free keeps getting smaller and more impossible, sister act, the rough side of Richmond Hill, southern Ontario hardcore punk, Dan Deacon in Toronto, Mike Claxton was in a band called Plant the Bomb, MuchEast and the Wedge VHS collections, loving the Super Friendz, Jack Grunsky, Boyz II Men, Celine Dion, the Offspring, Green Day, Nirvana, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, adult excitement for music, mixing textured vocals kinda low, Steve Clarkson, mistakes, hazy trends, my SCTV Complete Series box set, the way in which Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up produced and contributed to the new record, life and time and light, existentialism and transcendence, climbing the ladder, external considerations and receptions, scoring the film Two Cares Due None, releasing a bunch of unreleased material, holographic versions of Absolutely Free are playing Long Winter this Saturday while the actual band is in Hamilton, Toronto Laser Services, the song “Earth II,” and then we’re absolutely free.

Related links: absolutelyfree.ca torontolongwinter.com vishkhanna.com

abfreepressbanner

Listen, subscribe, rate/review on iTunes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,