Tag Archives: Don Kerr

Ep. #294: Don Kerr of Communism

Communism is a remarkable three-piece pop-rock band from Toronto, Ontario. Featuring Paul Linklater and Kevin Lacroix, the band’s the brainchild of well-respected producer, drummer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Don Kerr, who has worked with Ron Sexsmith, Rheostatics, Gord Downie, Leslie Feist, and many, many other people. Communism’s new record, Get Down Get Together came out this past fall and I visited Don and his son Austin, who was home sick from school, for a pancake breakfast to discuss Lego Ninjago characters and Austin, Don makes us blueberry pancakes, a gluten free pioneer, the walking, talking inspiration behind the song “Pocket Sunrise,” Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and Freddie Mercury, authentic dad rock, empathy and hope and inspiration in the world, a time to be blunt, the mockery of righteousness, embracing communism, feminism and communism, capitalism feeds on divisiveness, sharing is caring, The CBC Radio 3 Breakfast Club podcast and more pancakes, keeping up with our elders, producing records by others, collaborators and influencers, what to say, Ron Sexsmith, when time gets more valuable, we’re boring, sick kids have more fun, playing hooky, traumatic grade school events, Ferris Bueller, partying instead of lecturing, substance and style, musical balancing acts, punk rock, Claudia Dey at a farm, back to school, a tour with Bahamas filling in for Jason Tait on drums, a drummer’s good fortune, communal feelings in music, how he got in Rheostatics for being a cool guy, giving, Paul Linklater and Kevin Lacroix, the future of Communism, the Rooster and Revolution, real hippies, one of a kind vinyl sleeves, “Pocket Sunrise,” and then it was time for lunch.

Related links: communism.band vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #123: Bahamas

Afie Jurvanen is a gifted musician and songwriter who works under the tropical moniker Bahamas. Jurvanen has been an in-demand guitarist who has worked with Feist, the Weather Station, and Zeus among others. He has released three records of his signature folk-tinged rock over the past five years, earning a broad fanbase and award nominations and critical acclaim along the way. His latest album is called Bahamas is Afie, which is out now via Universal Music Canada, and it’s prompted him to tour across the U.S. and Canada over the coming months including a stop at Riverfest Elora on Friday August 22. Here, Afie and I discuss wearing shorts on stage (S.O.S.), Thrush Hermit rules and Joel Plaskett’s legs, the assertively explanatory title of his new album, the lush production of Bahamas is Afie, Don Kerr and the Rooster, distinctive musical chameleons like Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Beck, that moment where you think of an idea, hope in sad songs, Willie Nelson, wanting to name your hypothetical unborn child Owen, choosing music over sports, social hobbies, going your own way when pushed by your parents, moving to Toronto from Barrie and making friends in a music community, grade 13/OAC, the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh, Fantastic Pop festival in Windsor, Afie’s early band Paso Mino with members of Zeus, Jason Collett, competition and ambition in music, contemporary cultural consumption and metrics, how artists are adapting to the new face of the music business, we are the product, Peter Elkas is under-appreciated, the Aretha Franklin chugging Diet Coke in a golf cart before kicking ass at the Grammys story, playing in a rainstorm at a festival in PEI, the pros and cons of making and promoting music, opening up a laundromat, how to do your laundry, Michael P. Clive’s cooking show and Afie’s unreleased instrumental music for it, making the Weather Station’s new album in France, being added to Riverfest Elora at the last minute, Jason Tait of the Weakerthans, the song “Waves,” and then the heat is off.

Related links: bahamasmusic.net riverfestelora.com vishkhanna.com

Bahamas_BiA_photo_credit_ReynardLi

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Ep. #82: Peter Elkas

Peter Elkas is a talented rock and soul singer, songwriter, and musician based in Toronto. In the early 90s, he was in an inventive Montreal band called Local Rabbits and when they stopped playing together, Elkas set off on an acclaimed creative trajectory of his own. 10 years ago Elkas released Party of One, his first of three solo albums thus far and he’s celebrating this milestone by reissuing the record on vinyl for the first time and making it exclusively available at shows he’s playing, primarily in southern Ontario throughout April, including a Guelph stop at the Ebar on April 3. Here, Elkas and I discuss the 12-string Fender Stratocaster he brought along to our interview, Randy Bachman, Full House, how many guitars is too many guitars for a general audience to care about, dadhood and having to explain things to small humans, my dad can build you a bookshelf and I can barely build you a sandwich, demystifying the power of our dads, 10 years since Party of One and its “gimmicky” reissue, small people playing piano, the struggle of sit-ups, how we can’t remember the name of the movie A Scanner Darkly, Don Kerr as musical saviour for Pete after Local Rabbits ended, a band from Windsor called the Poumons and another outfit called the Burt Neilson Band, the Light of Day foundation and Pete’s role in it, the multiple times he’s shared stages with/met/fingerprinted/performed before rock icon Bruce Springsteen, playing the Stone Pony in New Jersey, passion versus practicality versus pain, the beneficially slow prep for a follow-up to Pete’s last album Repeat Offender, the song “I See Fine,” and more.

Related links: peterelkas.com newscotlandrecords.com vishkhanna.com

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